Israeli blackmail: You must do what we can’t, because if you don’t, we will

on 88 Comments

There are those who would have us believe that:

[O]ne day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran — possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft.

Worried about an Israeli attack on Iran? That’s the idea.

You must do what we can’t, because if you don’t, we will.

This is how some Israelis are trying to twist Washington’s arm to get the US to attack Iran.

A more honest way of making the argument would be to say this: If the US won’t attack Iran, then Israel will — even though it won’t accomplish its military objectives and it will open Pandora’s box. Desperate nations sometimes do desperate things. You have been warned.

Another name for this: blackmail.

It’s hard to counter an irrational argument when the irrationality is intentional. Such are the means by which someone like erstwhile Israeli army corporal and current Atlantic commentator, Jeffrey Goldberg, attempts to persuade his readers — not through cogent reasoning based on clear evidence, but by an insidious form of argument that has the clarity of slime.

Consider the way he tries to close his case for an attack on Iran — even while avoiding saying straight out that he supports such a course of action.

The United States must not take the risk of letting Israel attack Iran because if President Obama orders US forces to attack instead, this would be the most patriotic thing to do. Obama would not be serving Israel’s interests; he would be defending Western civilization.

Based on months of interviews, I have come to believe that the administration knows it is a near-certainty that Israel will act against Iran soon if nothing or no one else stops the nuclear program; and Obama knows — as his aides, and others in the State and Defense departments made clear to me — that a nuclear-armed Iran is a serious threat to the interests of the United States, which include his dream of a world without nuclear weapons. Earlier this year, I agreed with those, including many Israelis, Arabs — and Iranians — who believe there is no chance that Obama would ever resort to force to stop Iran; I still don’t believe there is a great chance he will take military action in the near future — for one thing, the Pentagon is notably unenthusiastic about the idea. But Obama is clearly seized by the issue. And understanding that perhaps the best way to obviate a military strike on Iran is to make the threat of a strike by the Americans seem real, the Obama administration seems to be purposefully raising the stakes. A few weeks ago, Denis McDonough, the chief of staff of the National Security Council, told me, “What you see in Iran is the intersection of a number of leading priorities of the president, who sees a serious threat to the global nonproliferation regime, a threat of cascading nuclear activities in a volatile region, and a threat to a close friend of the United States, Israel. I think you see the several streams coming together, which accounts for why it is so important to us.”

When I asked Peres what he thought of Netanyahu’s effort to make Israel’s case to the Obama administration, he responded, characteristically, with a parable, one that suggested his country should know its place, and that it was up to the American president, and only the American president, to decide in the end how best to safeguard the future of the West. The story was about his mentor, David Ben-Gurion.

“Shortly after John F. Kennedy was elected president, Ben-Gurion met him at the Waldorf-Astoria” in New York, Peres told me. “After the meeting, Kennedy accompanied Ben-Gurion to the elevator and said, ‘Mr. Prime Minister, I want to tell you, I was elected because of your people, so what can I do for you in return?’ Ben-Gurion was insulted by the question. He said, ‘What you can do is be a great president of the United States. You must understand that to have a great president of the United States is a great event.’”

Peres went on to explain what he saw as Israel’s true interest. “We don’t want to win over the president,” he said. “We want the president to win.”

Israel only wants what’s good for America — and we’re supposed to believe that, even while few if any Israelis could be persuaded that America only wants what’s good for Israel.

The truth is that everyone gets to define their own interests so let’s ignore the obsequious crap from Peres and consider Goldberg’s core claim: that Israel is gearing up to strike Iran.

Even if Goldberg is participating in a neocon game of bluff, the only kind of bluff worth engaging in is one that has credibility. To make a credible argument that Israel has the intention of going it alone, Goldberg would have to present the outline of a credible plan of attack. He doesn’t even try.

Israeli planes would fly low over Saudi Arabia, bomb their targets in Iran, and return to Israel by flying again over Saudi territory, possibly even landing in the Saudi desert for refueling—perhaps, if speculation rife in intelligence circles is to be believed, with secret Saudi cooperation.

And he prefaces this “plan” by saying Israel only gets one try. That’s not even a back-of-an-envelope war plan. It’s more like a Twitter war plan.

Five years ago Kenneth Pollack dismissed the idea that Israel could attack Iran on its own. I don’t see any reason to doubt that his analysis on the military logistics of an attack still remains sound. Indeed, there seem to be plenty of Israeli analysts who concede that Israel simply does not have the option of going it alone. Even Goldberg quotes an unnamed Israeli general who says: “This is too big for us.”

In The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America, Pollack wrote:

[T]he United States … should not count on Israel to conduct a counterproliferation strike for us. It is almost certainly the case that Israel would be willing to absorb the diplomatic costs of a strike, would be prepared to deal with Iran’s retaliation in the form of either terrorist attacks or missile strikes on Israel, and probably is not overly concerned about Iranian behavior in Iraq. The problem for Israel is much simpler: Iran is too far away. Most of the known Iranian nuclear facilities are around 1,000 miles away from Israel. Its Jericho II ballistic missiles could reach these targets, but they lack the payload, accuracy, and numbers to be able to significantly damage (let alone destroy) more than one or two of the large Iranian nuclear facilities, which leaves the matter to the Israeli Air Force. Even assuming that Israeli aircraft were to fly directly to Iran, overflying Jordan and Iraq, the only aircraft in its inventory that could reach Iran’s known nuclear sites are its 25 F-151 strike fighters. (Israel would need to set up aerial refueling stations at three to five locations between Israel and the Iranian targets for its roughly 350 F-16s to be able to participate, which would be practically impossible.) Because the F-151s would have to carry a considerable amount of fuel, they could not carry a great deal of ordinance. Given the size of the various Iranian nuclear facilities, it would not be possible for Israel to destroy all of them in a single raid as it did Osiraq. Nor would it be politically, militarily, or logistically possible for Israel to sustain multiple such strikes over the many days, if not weeks, it would take for all its F-151s to accomplish the job. [My emphasis.]

The neocon game of bluff will only box in the Obama administration if the Israeli “threats” are treated seriously. A more appropriate response would seem to be to focus on the limits of Israeli military action — unless that is one imagines that Israel would launch a nuclear attack on Iran, which to my mind is wildly implausible. (If Israel wants to permanently seal its global pariah status, the first offensive use of nuclear weapons since Nagasaki is a sure way.)

Goldberg reports, but apparently didn’t take seriously, the observations of some Israelis who given their positions of military command seem to merit close attention:

Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli army chief of staff, is said by numerous sources to doubt the usefulness of an attack, and other generals I spoke with worry that talk of an “existential threat” is itself a kind of existential threat to the Zionist project, which was meant to preclude such threats against the Jewish people. “We don’t want politicians to put us in a bad position because of the word Shoah [Holocaust],” one general said. “We don’t want our neighbors to think that we are helpless against an Iran with a nuclear bomb, because Iran might have the bomb one day. There is no guarantee that Israel will do this, or that America will do this.”

The message Netanyahu, Goldberg and other panic-stricken Zionists are unintentionally sending out is that come the day Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, Israelis may as well back their bags and abandon the Jewish state.

That probably won’t happen because in such an event Israel will “discover” what many Israelis no doubt already think: that retired General John Abizaid was right when he said that the United States and its allies can “live with” a nuclear-armed Iran. “Let’s face it — we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we’ve lived with a nuclear China, and we’re living with nuclear powers as well,” Abizaid told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

That was true in 2007 and it’s true now. It’s also true that spineless politicians remain the playthings of fear-mongers who are addicted to war.

This article is cross-posted at Woodward’s site, War in Context.

88 Responses

  1. traintosiberia
    August 11, 2010, 9:35 pm

    Goldberg is well known in the media and in the poltical circles for his trenchant attack on Saddams’regime.He pilloried the liberal and the sceptics.He earnestly encouraged US to attack Iraq. Why does n’t he advocate an US atatck against Israel now for what Israel is planning that will violate UN/Int national laws
    put US /Nato lives at risk
    cause massive dislocation in economy
    cause death of millions
    cause displacement of millions
    create a permanent enmity between US and Mulsims
    will cause total loss of trust between US and the rest of the world.
    will dwarf the crime of Nazi Germany.

    If he were a true American, he would have done so by this time.
    Interstingly he used false information to mount an attack on Iraq.Now he is using genuine information from a racist country to make US join the crimes of that racist country.

  2. annie
    August 11, 2010, 9:43 pm

    thanks for your sanity paul

  3. MRW
    August 11, 2010, 9:54 pm

    You must do what we can’t, because if you don’t, we will Think about it. Stupid much? Illogical?

    • RoHa
      August 11, 2010, 10:03 pm

      When did logic have anything to with it?

      • MRW
        August 12, 2010, 6:59 am

        Here’s a much saner voice than Jeffrey Goldberg (h/t Pat Lang):
        link to

        You read this, and compare it to the looney tunes running Israel, and you wonder whether the Israeli leaders and their papas have sawdust for brains.

  4. MRW
    August 11, 2010, 9:56 pm

    “Let’s face it — we lived with a nuclear Soviet Union, we’ve lived with a nuclear China, and we’re living with nuclear powers as well,”

    The US is helping Vietnam develop nukes right now.

  5. Taxi
    August 11, 2010, 10:00 pm

    Yes israel is in a bit of a quandry.

    It knows full well it can’t take on Iran alone, it needs USA’s giant war-machine to achieve any significant military objective against Iran.

    But to the israelis, there are other ways of getting us stupid yanks involved.

    Like provoking a regional war with either Lebanon or Syria or both would then lead Iran to intervene, as vouched by their recent tri-lateral security pact – and by bringing/luring Iran into the holy land war zone, israel ostensibly ‘drags’ the USA into yet another war theater.

    You’d better believe it, America: we’re still gonna go to war with Iran, on behalf of israel – regardless of what the respectable Paul Woodward and numerous other honest and sane voices may have to say about the whole diabolical affair.

    The wheel of the Iran War has already been spun – yeah that’s right, while we slept it happened (again!).

    What will be left will be the backlash. Big, bad backlash here on our soil and most certainly around the world.

    No doubt this backlash will change the order of the world as we know it.

  6. RoHa
    August 11, 2010, 10:05 pm

    I thought the Israeli plan was to mount the attack from Georgia, or use nukes from their submarines.

    • MRW
      August 12, 2010, 12:41 am

      Ha…the Israeli idea of war outside the nabes, because their troops have never fought above sea level. It’s hard to imagine Israeli soldiers scrambling up the mountains they have to traverse to reach their targets. They have zilch experience fighting at high altitudes.

      And if they think they can sit in their submarines and lob missiles over the Zagros mountain ranges, they’re stupider than I thought.

      One of the nuclear power plants in is the province or region of Khuzestan, which has mountains in the 14,000 ft vicinity. There are 18 other planned sites, including Bushehr. Bushehr is on the Persian Gulf coast and is supposed to go live this September. So what is Israel going to do? Bomb an electrical plant at sea level and think it’s destroying “Iran’s nukes?”

      BTW, here is a US ad for nuclear power featuring the Shah of Iran.
      link to

      • RoHa
        August 12, 2010, 1:38 am

        I was thinking of an air attack from Georgia. Much shorter than over Iraq or Saudi. I didn’t expect them to actually send soldiers into Iran. What are the Americans for, if not that sort of dirty work?

        Doesn’t Israel have cruise missiles on the subs?

      • MRW
        August 12, 2010, 1:58 am

        An even stupider idea to shoot from Georgia. If Iran fires back, it runs the risk of hitting Abkhazia and South Ossetia; in other words, Russia. Will the Russians roll into to threaten Georgia from the east and north?

        Guess what was announced yesterday?
        Russia deploys anti-aircraft missiles in Abkhazia
        link to

      • MRW
        August 12, 2010, 2:00 am

        P.S. The Georgians are apoplectic.

      • MRW
        August 12, 2010, 2:02 am

        Apparently, the Israelis have nuclear weapons on those subs. Rumor. But if it lobs them, it will be the first nation to do so since Hiroshima.

      • RoHa
        August 12, 2010, 2:08 am

        Israel has been working on getting Georgia as a base for some time, which is why they were furious about the Russians slapping down the stupid unspellable president.

        And I like the Russian cunning of saying “Sorry, we can’t let Iran have S300s” and then plonking them close to Iran.

      • RoHa
        August 12, 2010, 2:09 am

        “it will be the first nation to do so since Hiroshima. ”

        Someone has to be.

      • MRW
        August 12, 2010, 2:26 am

        This is one of Goldberg’s more priceless lines: Israeli planes would fly low over Saudi Arabia, bomb their targets in Iran, and return to Israel by flying again over Saudi territory, possibly even landing in the Saudi desert for refueling

        Like going to the mall. ‘Israeli planes will fly over the Negev, drop some shit, and return to base’. Has anyone ever stopped to look at the Zagros Range it actually has to fly over — an undulating range created by the two tectonic plates under them — or listen to Scott Ritter describe the anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems embedded in those mountains?

        In order to “bomb their targets in Iran,” they have to fly 1/3 of the way into Iran over a region they know little about. Or are they going to get American boys to fly their suicide missions for them?

      • MRW
        August 12, 2010, 2:44 am

        And I like the Russian cunning of saying “Sorry, we can’t let Iran have S300s” and then plonking them close to Iran.

        Kinda’ delish, isn’t it. According to some military sources with great knowledge of the region, part of the reason why Israel wants the US to divvy up Iran is because it wants a major Iranian gas field to supply natural gas to Europe. Israel invested billions with American and Turkish partners to put a pipeline to Europe through one of the ‘stans to carry gas from the rest of the ‘stans. Russia got wind of it in 2007. Gazprom, the Russian gas company went to each of the ‘stans involved and offered them retail for their output and buried Israel’s plans. Russia supplies Europe now, from the region; it’s an incredible market.

        Israel is out billions. Their only hope of recouping it is Iran. Russia beat them to the punch, and if this is really the impetus behind all this, then you have to be brain-dead to think that Russia is going to let Israel have its way in Iran.

        Follow the money.

      • RoHa
        August 12, 2010, 6:17 am

        “Or are they going to get American boys to fly their suicide missions for them?”

        Once again I ask, “What else are Americans for?”

      • Psychopathic god
        August 12, 2010, 6:21 am

        Israel has had Iran under routine drone surveillance for several years.
        Not unlikely Israel has spies all over Iran.

        Israel probably thinks they know a great deal about Iran.

      • RoHa
        August 12, 2010, 6:26 am

        There is an unconfirmed report that Iran has actually got hold of a few S300s. Two are supposed to be from Belarus, but Belarus denies it. If it is true, you can be sure that Russia did not try hard to stop it.

        China’s got a pretty big interest in Iran as well. And Turkey has a finger in the pie, as well as being decidedly brassed-off with just about everything that USrael has done in the region for the last ten years or so.

        Let’s see Israel take on Russia and China by itself. It would be educational and character building.

      • MRW
        August 12, 2010, 7:02 am

        I like that: “character building.”

      • Psychopathic god
        August 12, 2010, 7:12 am

        thanks for this information, MRW.
        For about 30 years Israel and Iran ran a joint corporation shipping oil from Iran to Eilat, where it was piped (piping stolen from Italians) to Askhelon to a facility Rothschild financed. From Ashkelon it was sold to Europe, creating a revenue stream that kept Israel in business. Until Khomeini shut it down.

        One of the backstage deals Doug Feith worked with Chalabi was a scheme to revive — or replace — the oil flow, this time from Kurdish Iraq to Eilat. we know how that worked out, although Kurdish Iraq and sharing oil revenues is still in play in Iraq, and Israel is said to have over 500 corporations already working in Iraq.

        But, Israel claims to have discovered amassive natural gas trove off Ashkelon, and several trillion barrels of gas are in Gaza’s coastal waters. So god might not have made a mistake after all, in settling Jews in Palestine, not Iraq-n; they have natural resources.

        Thus, the question: Why can’t they just get along?

      • MarkF
        August 12, 2010, 7:43 am

        Your comment about Israel having spies in Iran reminds me of an episode of Inside Washington, a local DC talking heads show. They were discussing an Iranian missle or rocket launch that didn’t fair well, and Krauthammer, with a smirk on his face, said that it wasn’t an “accident” that the lauch failed, feathers coming out of his mouth as he spoke.

        Like a little kid, he couldn’t be happy keeping it to himself, he had to gloat.

        They may not know a lot about Iran, but unfortunately they know an awful lot about us and our politicians. Just depressing.

      • Antidote
        August 12, 2010, 3:24 pm

        I read somewhere a while ago that Israel got their subs through the Suez Canal undetected. Is that possibly true?

  7. esteban folsom
    August 11, 2010, 10:19 pm

    W.B Yeats

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.
    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert.

    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    • Taxi
      August 11, 2010, 10:35 pm

      Excellent choice poem by a choice poet – and so prophetic and pertinent indeed.

      Thanks esteban folsom.

  8. Antidote
    August 11, 2010, 10:38 pm

    Of course it’s bluff, and there is no way the US admin or military has any interest in attacking Iran. If this report is reliable, Israel is trying to start a war, and the US/EU and Arab states are working against it. This is not the first time (remember the cancelled Iran flotilla):

    YNET Report: Israel planned military op following border incident
    Published: 08.11.10, 09:46 / Israel News

    Israel planned on launching a large-scale military operation in response to the border incident between the Israel Defense Forces and the Lebanese Army which killed Lieutenant-Colonel Dov Harari, the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.

    According to the report, Defense Minister Ehud Barak informed French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner about the plan, which was eventually withdrawn following pressure by US, French, Egyptian and other Arab state officials. “

    • American
      August 11, 2010, 11:09 pm

      I’d like to be confident about that.

      But …remember when?…we thought even Bush would not be so insane as to attack Iraq…are or least I was one of ones who thought that.

      We know that congress would support Israel attacking Iran. The dems in particular are run by AIPAC and their jewish campaign donors. The Israeli cabal in congress has been laying the resolutions to support this for years. These people are not sane, the politican’s world begins and ends in the incest tank of our halls of power. They are to themselves like royal Gods removed from whatever devastation would actually happen to this country or the people by fighting Iran for Israel.

      So the only question is what will Obama , the politician, do when that happens. And how hard will the military push back on congress getting the US involved?

      I would advise those who can to get their shit in order cause if Israel does hit Iran and it turns into a regional war that drags the US in, then this generation is going to learn the real meaning of sacrifice.

      • Psychopathic god
        August 12, 2010, 6:29 am

        Flynt Leverett and Hillary Leverett took a very helpful approach in their deconstruction of Goldberg’s cut-and-paste hasbara: they showed Obama the way out of the this excruciating dilemma, a way out that calls upon virtues like statesmanship, and that holds the promise of a future of peace and prosperity:

        So, what should Obama do? Goldberg concludes with a story told by Israeli President Shimon Peres about Israel’s founding prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. When Ben-Gurion met U.S. president-elect John F. Kennedy in late 1960, Kennedy asked what he could do for Israel. Ben-Gurion replied, “What you can do is be a great president of the United States.”

        Regarding Iran, what constitutes “greatness” for Obama? Clearly, Obama will not achieve greatness by acquiescing to another fraudulently advocated and strategically damaging war in the Middle East. He could, however, achieve greatness by doing with Iran what Richard Nixon did with Egypt and China — realigning previously antagonistic relations with important countries in ways that continue serving the interests of America and its allies more than three decades later.

      • potsherd
        August 12, 2010, 8:39 am

        Exactly. What matters isn’t really what Israel does, it’s what the US does. All the US has to do is defend Iran, as the NPT demands it do when a signatory is attacked by a non-signatory state.

      • Antidote
        August 12, 2010, 9:54 am

        potsherd – why did the US (or other Nato member states) not defend a Turkish aid ship attacked by Israel in international waters? More ambiguous situation perhaps, but still.

      • Chaos4700
        August 12, 2010, 9:59 am

        Technically Turkey has defended it. And Europe’s reaction has been mixed.

        Realistically, no one else had any military ships near Israel in order to do that. I wonder why?

      • potsherd
        August 12, 2010, 10:02 am

        Because the US is under the control of the Israel Lobby, and thus it ignores its treaty obligations. There was nothing ambiguous about the Turkish situation.

        The way is clear, the will is subverted.

      • Antidote
        August 12, 2010, 10:55 am

        And Nato is the reserve US army, under US control. Fine. But how much longer? The old Nato was about keeping the Germans down, the US in, and the Soviets out. Obsolete agenda

      • lysias
        August 12, 2010, 11:01 am

        There were also two Greek ships in the Freedom Flotilla (as well as a U.S. ship!) More NATO.

        Ships of the Gaza flotilla raid.

      • Antidote
        August 12, 2010, 11:21 am

        no casualties, though, on the other ships, and I don’t remember them being boarded by the Israelis?

        Just read this on Israeli BS re the ‘hate boat’. Drives home the point once again that all one has to do to merit a murderous Israeli response is to give them the ‘evil eye’:

        “until this week [the Israelis] insisted their own inquiry was sufficient, and that was already under way. One fact emerging from this process was that the victims, according to “Sgt S” who shot six of them, “were without a doubt terrorists”. And he produced evidence to back this up, which was: “I could see the murderous rage in their eyes”.

        This matches the classic definition of a terrorist according to international law, as someone “with murderous rage in their eyes”, and shows the key witness in any terrorist trial isn’t the forensics expert or explosives analyst but an optician. If they’re trained well enough they can shine a light at the iris and tell whether you’re short-sighted, long-sighted, Hamas or Basque separatist.


        One possible difficulty in proving the optically murderous gang’s intent could be that none of them had guns. But the IDF dealt with that by saying the “mercenaries” preferred to use “bats, metal bars and knives, since opening fire would have made it blatantly clear they were terrorists and not peace activists”. So this was another cunning trick of the terrorists, to disguise the fact they were terrorists by not doing anything terrorist. My neighbour’s much the same; disguising her terrorism by being 74 and spending all day peacefully doing the garden without ever shooting anyone, the evil witch.

        Even more blatantly, the inquiry was told the group did have guns on board, but “the mercenaries threw their weapons overboard after the commandos took control of the vessel”. Because that’s classic guerrilla training, to carry guns right up until the moment when the enemy arrives, and then throw them away. This is the strategy of all great military thinkers. That’s why Nelson, at the Battle of Trafalgar said: “Men, I see the French, and so let every Englishmen do his duty, and chuck all our weapons in the sea. That’ll teach the bastards.”

        link to

      • Antidote
        August 12, 2010, 8:58 am

        Well, I’m not as confident as I’d like to be either, American, and I do remember Bush, and, even worse, how easy it was to fool just about the entire country into attacking Iraq.

        “We know that congress would support Israel attacking Iran”

        How would that even be possible? A clandestine nuclear power attacking a country that actually did sign the NPT and is not in any obvious non-compliance with inspections? As Fidel Castro pointed out recently, Israel would – theoretically at least — have all nuclear powers against them if they launched a unilateral strike on Iran, that Netanyahu is not that stupid, or he would have struck Iran’s nuclear facilities already (he was elected to deal with the Iranian threat, after all)

        So even if the IDF was capable, or believed to be capable, of taking on Iran on its own, Israel absolutely does need the US to launch a military strike against Iran. The only way they can get there is to provoke an armed conflict with Lebanon (or Gaza), and the border shooting / tree incident was one such attempt in which Israel portrayed itself as the innocent victim (I don’t buy it in view of, for instance, the Business Week report that the UN offered to cut the tree to avoid a clash, and that Israel went ahead with the routine pruning even though they were told that the Lebanese considered – rightly or wrongly – the tree to be on their territory. And the military operation, or rather military exercise, according to a DEBKA report, was presumably meant to provoke more hostile reaction from Lebanon). If Israel manages to look like the victim of an unwarranted aggression, allies like the US (or Canada, cf Harper: “An attack on Israel is like an attack on Canada” – thank you very much) would have to come to the rescue, and the chain reaction would very likely lead to Iran siding with the ‘aggressor’. That’s the worst case scenario unfolding, for both the region and the US.

        What will Obama do? Look at what he has done: escalate the war in Afghanistan, put Petraeus in charge. Who’s going to do Iran, if not Petraeus? I would even consider the possibility that the Rolling Stone interview and inevitable McChrystal retirement was an ‘inside job’.

    • thankgodimatheist
      August 12, 2010, 1:53 am

      “Israel planned on launching a large-scale military operation in response to the border incident”

      That would have been against Lebanese army posts and other neighbourhoods in Beirut causing maximum civilian casualties. They would have not stood a significant chance against Hizbullah fighters who are well prepared for the welcome ceremony…

  9. Chaos4700
    August 11, 2010, 10:43 pm

    It’s not as if Israel really needs to do any actual arm-twisting in Washington. No policy is too absurd or destructive as long as it makes the rich even richer. This is all dog-and-pony to make the have-nots in the US more and more comfortable with the notion that we “must” start WWIII.

  10. RoHa
    August 11, 2010, 11:15 pm

    Right, Avi.

    Never underestimate human stupidity.

  11. sherbrsi
    August 11, 2010, 11:16 pm

    Great article, Paul Woodward.

    Goldberg is laying the foundation for war. All the elements are there. Israeli desperation for an attack. The urgency of dealing with a mad regime “nuclearized.” The coaxing of the Americans into dealing with a world destabilizing force. And the all important “existential threat”.

    The arguments Goldberg makes are weak and almost certainly composed to prey on the ignorant and Islamophobic Americans who have been steadily fed a diet of Zionist propaganda propping up Ahmedinajad as the second coming of Hitler. The fact that he even entertains the notion that the Saudis will duly assist the Israelis in their strike is itself preposterous. It’s a lot of posturing, speculation and baseless predictions all written in the direction of getting the Americans on board the Iranian “threat.” The catch here, that Goldberg inadvertently admits in the article, is that Israel itself is helpless in the situation. As history as shown, Israel has independently struck both Syria and Iraq in similar missions. So what stops Israel now? Goldberg’s piece is really just another effort in the continuing and multifaceted effort of the Jewish and Zionist lobby to pave the way for America itself to do Israel’s dirty work.

    So, to modify the title of the statement for myself, I would say Israel’s intentions are:

    “You must do what we can’t, because if you don’t, we will make you.”

    • MRW
      August 12, 2010, 2:03 am

      Great article, Paul Woodward.


    • Psychopathic god
      August 12, 2010, 6:33 am

      the zionist propaganda machine is operating full speed ahead.

      New Yorker published a hit-piece on Ahmadinejad that should make decent journalists everywhere weep with shame, and cause an insurrection amongst the ranks of prostitutes who do an honest hour’s work for their wage.

  12. RoHa
    August 11, 2010, 11:32 pm

    Incidentally, the opening credits of “Yes We Canberra” incudes the following fake statistic.

    Which boats threaten you?

    Refugee boats – 12%
    Israeli boats – 32%
    The Fairstar – 56%

    • Sumud
      August 12, 2010, 3:07 am

      Roha ~ I just watched a few episodes of YWC online & saw the boats things in the opening of the third episode, hilarious.

      I also loved the Julia Gillard GPS gag in the first episode (9:09):

      link to

      For those outside Oz, “Moving Forward” is Gillard’s inane campaign slogan, the cardboard cutouts are first Kevin Rudd (deposed PM) and then a huddle of “boat people” (refugees, mostly from countries where we’ve made war or supported civilian slaughter: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sri Lanka) which have *again* been political punching bags by both main parties during the current election campaign.
      Me, I’m going with the Greens. I think they’ll do quite well and pick up a lot of Labour voters unhappy about the coup against KR. They even have a reasonable policy WRT Palestine.

  13. Sumud
    August 12, 2010, 1:25 am

    My question is why hasn’t this clown Goldberg been hung out to dry?

    After his entirely false statements about Iraq and Al Qaeda, and Iraq and the WMD he should be the laughing stock, at least.

    More broadly why haven’t the neo-cons and Republican fascistas been subjected to the moder-day (law-abiding, of course) version of what was done to Mussolini by the Italian Partisans?

    • Donald
      August 12, 2010, 11:12 am

      “My question is why hasn’t this clown Goldberg been hung out to dry?

      After his entirely false statements about Iraq and Al Qaeda, and Iraq and the WMD he should be the laughing stock, at least.”

      Because he was wrong with the right people, whereas antiwar types were right with the wrong people. Cute sloganeering aside, it really is that simple. If you were a well-informed antiwar person in 2002-2003, against it not only because it was stupid but also because it was wrong, you’re persona non grata in the American political mainstream.
      Someone like Goldberg fails upwards. He sided with the right people, so his journalistic future continues to be bright. The fact that he told stupid lies in service of a disastrous war is a plus in his resume.

      • Sumud
        August 12, 2010, 6:30 pm

        “Someone like Goldberg fails upwards”

        So much for Adam Smith’s invisible hand eh? I guess you can’t regulate bad journalists/pundits out of existence though. Thank god for the internet and the ability to by pass MSM, and/or stop by and tell Goldberg what a dick he is – like many of those commenting on his Atlantic article have done.

      • wondering jew
        August 13, 2010, 3:31 am

        Hitchens, who is a genuine star, who backed the attack on Iraq and who backs an attack on Iran, granted Goldberg an interview recently.

  14. Bandolero
    August 12, 2010, 1:31 am

    In the Nuremberg Trials, the world has found how to deal with problems like these. Let’s hope he sees his judge before inflicting the death of uncountable humans.

    • Antidote
      August 12, 2010, 1:08 pm

      According to the principles applied at Nuremberg, ethnic cleansing of Germans and Palestinians should have been condemned and prosecuted as a crime against humanity. Neither group has received any justice, or even full acknowledgement of their suffering, past or present.

  15. Citizen
    August 12, 2010, 4:57 am

    How do you apply the principles of the Nuremberg Trials to a former regime of the only existing superpower and/or its partner or de facto principal, the only nuclear power in its region?

  16. lysias
    August 12, 2010, 6:37 am

    Obama knows — as his aides, and others in the State and Defense departments made clear to me — that a nuclear-armed Iran is a serious threat to the interests of the United States, which include his dream of a world without nuclear weapons.

    How is an Israel with hundreds of undeclared nukes and that has not signed the NPT Treaty not a much more serious threat to any such dream?

  17. traintosiberia
    August 12, 2010, 7:49 am

    Geffrey Goldberg is assuring us of an diplomatic equivalence to “cakewalk and welcoming with flower” that was supposed to hapen following invasion of Iraq, when he says this diplomat or that country is not opposed to an attack on Iran. The underlying intellectual duplicitiy with a view to get accecptance among a broad swath of public is same.

  18. traintosiberia
    August 12, 2010, 8:09 am

    Iran will be attacked .I hope not but it will before Novemeber or in 2012 before Novemeber. But that is part of a story that will not be remebered fondly by US and years later by Israel.
    There was a time when US ( Colin Powell) was asking Arabs to recognize Israel ( and today its leaders are afraid of travelling to Europe,its friends include only the elites of US/UK/Germany/Canada ) was touting of transport of oil from Iraq to Israel,was keeping Libya/Saudi/Egypt trembling on knees, and was refusing to even look at the grand proposal from Iran to address “all issues” pertinent to Israel and US. That was the time when Colin Powell like so many other did not have the guts to address his own conscience. That was a time when Army General was fired for estimating a cost that was mariginally above that of our arrogant political hacks. That was a time when India was itching to get on board. That was a time when Bush blithely ignore the incipient attacks by insurgents and could laugh at missing WMD . Soon there was a day after at home and in Iraq. The unemployment and foreclosures and maiming of so many Americans have brought the reality back to American psyche. Next time they wont have anger and fear and Bush manipulation to blame.
    US populatin will be asked to turn on each other to deflect attention.The meaningless issues of Gay-Lesbia-Trans Gender-Muslim mosques-Arizona -law-immigration-14th amendemnts will dominate and fracture the country while the elites will be trying to sweep the economic/ employment issues under the carpet. Then the serpents from outside will move in as liberator .

  19. Tuyzentfloot
    August 12, 2010, 8:15 am

    Two additions:
    – plan b: what if there is no war with Iran. Would it be satisfactory to have a containment embargo that is reasonably debilitating?
    – What if there is a war? What would be on the grocery list of things to do in the fog of war. Expulsions of Israeli Arabs? War with Lebanon(If not upfront).

    • potsherd
      August 12, 2010, 8:41 am

      There is no justification for any action targeting Iran. None. Period.

      Iran has the right to develop nuclear power. It has the right to defend itself. The “Iran threat” is nothing but Israeli paranoia and lies.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      August 12, 2010, 8:47 am

      I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of Israeli leadership here.

      • Psychopathic god
        August 12, 2010, 1:27 pm

        with Israel it’s not a shoe game, it’s a head game, Tuyzenfoot. potsherd is right: it’s not about Iran’s nukes it’s about Israel’s paranoia. If Iran did not have bows and arrows Israel would still seek to destroy Iran.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        August 12, 2010, 2:30 pm

        Alright PG, I can accept all that. And my parent post comes after that.

        Is Israel’s overall aim now a singular intent to bomb Iran, as the title suggests, or is there a less obvious aim that estimates the ambitious goal might well fail but a less ambitious goal could be achieved of a strong embargo on Iran.

        And on the other hand, what could be secondary plans if there is an actual large scale war. I’ve read somewhere that Sharon ordered a logistics study in 1964 about how many trucks would be needed to escort 300.000 people to the border with Jordan. This is the kind of thinking that comes with the ‘fog of (long enough) war’ grocery list. In my feverish antizionist imagination israeli generals always have this fog-of-war list in their drawer. Second drawer on the right, always locked, between pages 12 and 13 of their favorite Playboy.

      • lysias
        August 12, 2010, 2:44 pm

        Escorting people to the border is exactly what Nazi Germany did to Jews living in Germany who were of Polish nationality in August 1938:

        In August 1938 the German authorities announced that residence permits for foreigners were being cancelled and would have to be renewed. This included German-born Jews of foreign origin. Poland stated that it would not accept Jews of Polish origin after the end of October. In the so-called “Polenaktion”, more than 12,000 Polish-born Jews, among them philosopher and theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and future literary critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki, were expelled from Germany on October 28, 1938, on Hitler’s orders. They were ordered to leave their homes in a single night, and were only allowed one suitcase per person to store their belongings. As the Jews were taken away, their remaining possessions were seized as booty by both the Nazi authorities and by their neighbors.

        The deportees were taken from their homes to railway stations and were put on trains to the Polish border. The Polish border guards sent them back over the river into Germany. This stalemate continued for days in the pouring rain, with the Jews marching without food or shelter between the borders. Four thousand were granted entry into Poland but the remaining 8,000 were forced to stay at the border. They waited there in harsh conditions to be allowed to enter Poland. A British newspaper told its readers that hundreds “are reported to be lying about, penniless and deserted, in little villages along the frontier near where they had been driven out by the Gestapo and left.”[15] Conditions in the refugee camps “were so bad that some actually tried to escape back into Germany and were shot,” recalled a British woman who was sent to help those who had been expelled.[16]

        Expulsion of Polish Jews in Germany.

        It was this act that led the son of two of these expelled Jews, Herschel Grynszpan, to assassinate a German diplomat in Paris, Ernst vom Rath, whose death was the occasion for the Nazis to launch the Reichskristallnacht pogrom.

      • Psychopathic god
        August 12, 2010, 5:52 pm

        continue the Playboy theme, Tuyzenfoot: Israel will go for the Full Monty.
        Israel sees itself as the civilizing agent of the Middle East.

        Put on your tinfoil hat: it’s my belief that the sacking of the museum in Baghdad was no accident, it was part of the plan to smash Iraqi culture and historical memory in order to replace it with a more appropriate, more civilized western sensibility and refinement, like Tel Aviv or some of the new ticky-tacky settlements.

        Israel believes Iran is culturally and politically backward and that it doesn’t know how to run an economy; Israel thinks it knows better how Iran should be run. Israel wants to smash Iran one way or another: Shock and Awe Iran so that Israel can come in and remake the place in the image and likeness of Western Europe — yes, socialism and all: Israel is staunchly socialist (shhh, don’t tell Tea Party/Christian zionists), and to use all of the abundant natural and human resources Iran possesses to far more efficient, predatory capitalist purpose and profit. Bolsheviks had the same ambitions for Russia and zionists had the same ambitions for Germany; Russians revolted and got killed. Germans resisted, so, western forces in collusion with Great Britain smashed Germany. Do you see a pattern emerging? zionism has been on a rampage since the late 19th century.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        August 13, 2010, 7:00 am

        Hm, I have to say some of what you’re claiming sounds outrageous without the benefit of being funny. I am aware of aspirations inside Israel to redesign the middle east, and some of those ideas are shared by the neocons in the US, but the stuff you’re saying about Russia and Germany, well, I’m glad I have my tinfoil hat. I wouldn’t call Israel socialist either.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      August 12, 2010, 8:53 am

      And would it make sense to push for war if you have decided you’d be satisfied with outcome b: just a blockade/embargo?

  20. yourstruly
    August 12, 2010, 9:08 am

    Maybe Obama thinks he’ll win another Nobel peace award by nuking Iran for the avowed purpose of ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Reminds me of the movie “Dr. Strangelove”. Could Jeffrey Goldberg be Dr. Strangelove’s reincarnation?

    • lysias
      August 12, 2010, 2:54 pm

      Could Jeffrey Goldberg be Dr. Strangelove’s reincarnation?

      No, that spot is reserved for Dr. Charles Krauthammer.

  21. Eva Smagacz
    August 12, 2010, 10:33 am

    Gillard, of course, is more Zionist than Peres. Quite a coup for Israel Lobby, Australian Department.

    • Sumud
      August 12, 2010, 11:25 am

      Eva ~ did you know Gillard’s partner started working for Australia’s biggest Israel lobbyist (Albert Dadon) in December 2009? It’s so disgustingly transparently corrupt.

      More disturbingly, Paul Howes (one of the backroom boys that organised the coup against Rudd) is Israel’s number 1 fanboi in Australia – since Mark Regev left, that is.

      Ant Loewenstein wrote about it as did a few of the local papers:

      ‘Gillard and the Zionist lobby are completely separate (or not)’
      link to

      ‘The ALP and Israel is like a disease that no medicine can cure’
      link to

      • RoHa
        August 13, 2010, 5:13 am

        And the Coalition has a deputy leader who is prepared to reveal operational practices of ASIO in her defence of Israel’s misuse of Australian passports.

        I think I’ll vote Green, even if they are obsessed with the climate change nonsense.

      • Sumud
        August 13, 2010, 6:51 pm

        Well I can’t agree w/ you about climate change being nonsense but am voting the same, and am in Lindsay Tanner’s seat which stands a good chance of going to the Greens. I am *horrified* that asylum seekers are again being exploited (by both main parties) for political gain.

        Roha ~ do you watch The Gruen Transfer? They’ve had ad agencies do alternate campaign for the parties, the pro-Greens ad was excellent:

        link to

        That the Greens are perceived as a one-issue party was discussed by the agency responsible in the background piece:

        link to

  22. traintosiberia
    August 12, 2010, 10:51 am

    What has happened to us?
    Evangelics are offerring us a solution to our ills like Savonarollora did to the excesses of Medicii family in Florence. Tea party enthusiast with legitimate claims are adding to the passion of religious rights by focussing on irrelevant issues that subconsciously adds legimacy to evangelics. It is interesting that when one could not question one line of argumnet, we forget that one could not also question other themes or prevalent narrative.That is precisely happening with our psyche. We have too long have allowed our elite to define things for us,erect monuments for us to pay homage to.We have allowed our patience morph into passive accecptance.Now we are silent on the hype engineered by Israeli agents in this country despite decades of duplicity and muderous adventures by Israel using US as a shield.We have been indoctrinated to accecpt views of religion or corportae interest over scientist on global climate,TV pundits over NIE on Irans nuclear capacities,advice of the same failed economist who pushed this country to abyss,tortured waiting at the airport in the name of security that is direct result of our own stupid adventures,big governemnt in the name of fighting big goverment,to displace our anger at teachers and police officers for earning a living wage,at “illegal immigrants” rather than at the corporate who use them,at durg abuser instead of the drug Czar and the banks who make the most of the profit. Israel is part of this corrupted atmosphere adding to the false promises of our current crops of religious and intellectual supporters of Savonarloa while same time sleeping with Medicii of Wall street-Pentagon.

  23. Leper Colonialist
    August 12, 2010, 1:11 pm

    Well, it would require an immediate growth of an immense pair, but all the Obama administration has to say is essentially – be prepared to sleep in the bad that you’ve made. Act in this manner and you will act alone, there will be no US veto in the UN Security Council, executive branch officials will not even bother to take your phone calls. See how much help Jane Harman and Eric Cantor and Anthony Weiner and Howard Berman prove to be in those circumstances.

    Like i said, it would require the rapid growth of an immense pair, so….

    • Psychopathic god
      August 12, 2010, 1:31 pm

      Eric Cantor, for one, has been extremely clever, aligning himself with two lily-white Christians, perhaps Catholics, Paul Ryan & ??? I forget the other guy — the “young guns.”

      a damn shame. Paul Ryan has really good economic ideas. Prolly had to sell his soul to the zionist devil in order to get a hearing.

  24. tree
    August 12, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Glenn Greenwald has a take-down of Jeffrey Goldberg’s spewings in service to Israeli warmongers:

    How propagandists function: Exhibit A
    By Glenn Greenwald

    Jeffrey Goldberg, in the new cover story in The Atlantic, on an Israeli attack on Iran:

    Israel has twice before successfully attacked and destroyed an enemy’s nuclear program. In 1981, Israeli warplanes bombed the Iraqi reactor at Osirak, halting — forever, as it turned out — Saddam Hussein’s nuclear ambitions; and in 2007, Israeli planes destroyed a North Korean-built reactor in Syria. An attack on Iran, then, would be unprecedented only in scope and complexity.

    Good news! Israel can successfully end a country’s nuclear program by bombing them, as proven by its 1981 attack on Iraq, which, says Goldberg, halted “forever, as it turned out — Saddam Hussein’s nuclear ambitions.”

    Jeffrey Goldberg, The New Yorker, 2002, trying to convince Americans to fear Iraq:

    Saddam Hussein never gave up his hope of turning Iraq into a nuclear power. After the Osirak attack, he rebuilt, redoubled his efforts, and dispersed his facilities. Those who have followed Saddam’s progress believe that no single strike today would eradicate his nuclear program.

    When it suited him back then, Goldberg made the exact opposite claim, literally, of the one he makes today. Back then, Goldberg wouldn’t possibly claim what he claims now — that the 1981 strike permanently halted Saddam’s “nuclear ambitions” — because, back then, his goal was to scare Americans about The Threat of Saddam. So in 2002, Goldberg warned Americans that Saddam had “redoubled” his efforts to turn Iraq into a nuclear power after the Israeli attack, i.e., that Saddam had a scarier nuclear program than ever before after the 1981 bombing raid. But now, Goldberg has a different goal: to convince Americans of the efficacy of bombing Iran, and thus, without batting an eye, he simply asserts the exact opposite factual premise: that the Israelis successfully and permanently ended Saddam’s nuclear ambition back in 1981 by bombing it out of existence (and, therefore, we can do something similar now to Iran).

    This is what a propagandist, by definition, does: asserts any claim as fact in service of a concealed agenda without the slightest concern for whether it’s true. Will the existence of a vast and menacing Iraqi nuclear program help my cause (getting Americans to attack Iraq)? Fine, then I’ll trumpet that. Now, however, it will help my cause (mainstreaming an attack on Iran) to claim that the Israelis permanently ended Iraq’s nuclear efforts in 1981, thus showing how well these attacks can work. No problem: I’ll go with that. How can anyone take seriously — as a Middle East expert and especially as a journalist — someone with this blatant and thorough of an estrangement from any concern for truth? Can anyone reconcile these factual claims?

    More at link: link to

    • Tuyzentfloot
      August 12, 2010, 2:44 pm

      It’s a reasonable guess that Saddam had no clear plans for nuclear weapons before 1981, but that the bombing of the Osirak made him decide to build nukes.

      The Syria reactor quote next to the Osirak quote also stinks. Seymour Hersh is certain that it was a missile factory(in an interview he uses a much stronger statement than in his article) – and you can see why that mattered to Israel. It hits Hezbollah.

    • MRW
      August 12, 2010, 7:48 pm

      It’s brilliant.

  25. MHughes976
    August 12, 2010, 2:12 pm

    The ‘what we can’t’ in the headline is worth some attention. If Israel had the power to attack Iran and win a reasonably easy victory it would have done so years ago. For all the ‘we’re crazy!’ propaganda that sometimes surrounds Israel it seems to me that their record is one of attacking soft targets and avoiding serious risks.
    A blackmailer who said ‘I’ll send photos of you with another woman to the newspapers just as soon as I’ve found some’ would not make a lot of money. What Israel is doing is not really blackmail but a neurotic kind of appeal for emotional sympathy.

    • Antidote
      August 12, 2010, 4:21 pm

      Attacking ‘soft targets’ with overwhelming force, thus minimizing losses, is a tried and true military strategy throughout human history. Raiding chimpanzees do it, too. Then there is the high-risk guerilla fighter, the partisan, the suicide bomber, the terrorist. Passion for their cause matches the risk involved. A US soldier, on the other hand, is quite capable of going into the army to further his career/education, or to seek adventure, to do some extreme-Playstation. That’s why neither the Us army nor the IDF find much respect among the Taliban, Hizbullah, Hamas or the Revolutionary Guards. Milquetoast soldiers to them.

      The sympathy factor is played up a lot lately. After having declared the British anti-Semites, Peres is building up the ‘coalition of the willing’ between IDF and Holocaust victims in Romania:

      link to

      Meanwhile, Romanian-born Mr. Holocaust Wiesel, who wants anti-Zionist Ahmadinejad convicted or assassinated for incitement of genocide

      link to

      has appealed to the ‘Jewish spirit’ to halt the controversial deportation of 400 children of migrant workers in Israel.

      link to

      This is the first time he gets upset about Zionist reality clashing with the ‘Jewish spirit’?

      Not to mention the various effort of Israel lobbyists in Canada and the US to save ONE Iranian woman from the death penalty – while having NO objection to bombing Iran ? How many lives that would save: not to bomb Iran

  26. traintosiberia
    August 12, 2010, 2:28 pm

    Israel has done most of the mischiefs quietly ( informing the powerful of the time in secret).Why is it doing or saying so luodly this time?
    One possibility that he is taking an extreme postion to the right of the most extremist reactionary ( a scheme often used by Richard Pearle) so that a consensus still way off the middleground is strcuk which wil be in this cae never to talk to Iran or lift sanctions.
    Second it allows Israel to swallow up slowly W bank and reduce Gaza to a deserted place or to a cemetary.
    Third possibility is that this is an attempt to delay the fractious Israeli society from focussing on economic and religious issues.
    Fourth possibilty is that Israel is expecting Iran to enter into slow relentless destrcution like Iraq ,that evolved under ever enlarging UN sanctions and Int. demands from 1991 , following a response by Iranian to its attacks on Iran.

    • Antidote
      August 12, 2010, 4:37 pm

      fifth possibility: Israel doesn’t want war with Iran either, but neither do they want to make the ‘painful concessions’ necessary to achieve a peace deal with the Palestinians. Are they banking on getting what they want in the peace talks for abstaining from a war nobody wants?

  27. Chu
    August 12, 2010, 5:33 pm

    the laws need to be changed so brainwashed Israeli-loving youth like Goldberg, cannot enlist in a foreign army. Surely, he gets a cold sweat when he thinks of his trip to Masada during his IDF service. If he were a US marine, he might tie his nationalism (often strengthened in a military career) to the United States.
    This guy is unreal. He should be deported.

  28. lysias
    August 12, 2010, 5:58 pm

    Well, the Israeli diplomatic preparations for war with Iran are continuing. Peres is in Romania, ostensibly in commemoration of the IDF soldiers killed in a crash of an Israeli helicopter on exercises in Romania, but look what he got the Romanian president to say: Romania says it will stand by Israel in event of conflict with Iran: Romanian President Traian Basescu tells President Shimon Peres his country will stand by Israel if it attacks Iran:

    Romania’s president said Thursday his country will be a loyal partner of Israel and NATO in the event of a conflict with Iran, but added that he hopes the dispute can be solved through diplomacy and sanctions.

    “We hope that the sanctions imposed by the Security Council of the U.N. will create the correct solution in Tehran, not digging graves for American soldiers but starting transparent negotiations,” said President Traian Basescu standing next to Israeli President Shimon Peres who is on an official visit to Romania.

    Basescu told reporters if a conflict broke out with Iran, “Romania will be a loyal partner of NATO … and a loyal partner of Israel. The two leaders earlier talked for an hour about a range of topics including Iran.”

    Why, by the way, does membership in NATO have anything to do with coming to the support of Israel, a non-NATO country?

    • Antidote
      August 12, 2010, 10:50 pm

      Israel appears to be a quasi- Nato and quasi-EU member. Maybe it will soon be a quasi-NPT signatory.

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