Security expert formerly in Bush I administration says Holocaust rationalizes Israel’s nuking Iran

Ramberg
Ramberg

Bennett Ramberg, formerly of GHW Bush’s State Department, now a purported expert on international relations, offers this unsettling prediction/threat in the New York Times’s Jan. 25th print edition:

If Jerusalem really believes that a nuclear-armed Tehran poses an existential threat –– and cannot be contained by a conventional military attack, sanctions, deterrence or regime change — there remains one option to end the threat that people fear to talk about: Israel’s use of nuclear weapons.

Far-fetched? For an Israel that grew out of the Holocaust and beat back adversaries seeking its destruction without the bomb, the unthinkable option becomes more plausible when a nuclear-arming Iran repeatedly calls for the Jewish state’s extinction.

Notice how Ramberg deftly recognizes Israel’s capital as Jerusalem, and also, repeats the propagandistic claim that Iran has called for the Jewish state’s “extinction.” Did the South African state go “extinct” when it held free and fair elections? In Ramberg’s worldview, Israel is justified in pre-emptively inflicting a nuclear holocaust on Iran because Iran’s President said… what exactly? Someone, stop this psychotic thinking, now!

(P.S. – For some reason, the NYT’s web letters page is running a few days behind the print version, so no direct link as of now to the letter, I transcribed it from the print.)

Posted in Iran, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government | Tagged , , , , ,

{ 59 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Kathleen says:

    ” there remains one option to end the threat that people fear to talk about: Israel’s use of nuclear weapons.”

    Have spent quite a bit of time at the IAEA’s website reading documents. Amazing to read letters from leaders of other nations in that region who write about Israel’s uninspected nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and how this has posed a threat to peace in the middle east for decades. How Israel’s unwillingness to sign the NPT agreement yet demand that their neighbors abide to the very agreement that they continue to refust to sign is beyond hypocrisy and poses extreme danger to the area.

    Finkelstein, I believe Zbig and Carter have referenced the possibility of Israel using their nukes.

    Matthew and others. Zbig is going to be on the Diane Rehm show in 30 minutes talking about his new book “Strategic Vision” Have heard several interviews with him on Morning Joe and he is going to be on Cspans book Tv this Saturday. The book is focused on educating the American people about foreign policy based on accurate information. The possibility of Israel dragging the US into a military confrontation with Iran etc etc.

    Hope folks call , email, facebook questions about the US’s support for Israel no matter what they do and how this effects our relationship with other nations in that region..etc. Know everyone here can come up with relevant questions. Give it a try. Hundreds of thousands of people listen to that program. 1-800-433-8850 [email protected]. They love first time callers, emailers. You could even mention MONDOWEISS and the discussions etc going on here.
    Clues…get your plug in first. MONDOWEISS…RACE FOR IRAN
    Throw out a piece of info about the issue that you think will be beneficial to the audience expanding their knowledge base. Ask a relevant question of the guest.

    Go for it

  2. pabelmont says:

    This sort of talking has the form of psychosis but seems more likely to be deliberate, diabolical manipulation — hoping (not unreasonably) to excite the ever-excitable public fears that the prediction of horrors so reliably elict.

    The form is familiar: “Because Martians — jealous of earth’s liberties — may desire to blow up the earth, we must pre-empt them by blowing them up” with no examination whatever of whether or not the fearful premises (evil desire, possession of means to achieve evil outcome) is correct, is based on evidence, etc.

  3. Dan Crowther says:

    that would be national suicide for israel if they did that. leaving aside potential fallout/radiation issues, they would be the pariah of all pariahs. and the ill will would definitely not be kept to jewish israelis

    • seafoid says:

      Israel can no longer impose its writ on the region. Time for the Jewish state to grow up and act like a nation.

      • Theo says:

        Sorry, seafoid,

        however Israel is NOT a jewish state and I hope it never be.
        It should be a state where all have the same rights, without any consideration for religion.

        • seafoid says:

          it will be eventually…

        • Shaktimaan says:

          No, it is. But that doesn’t preclude it from being a liberal democracy that guarantees equal rights under the law. It’s not really any different than any other “ethnic nation-state” in this regard. Judaism is being defined here as a nationality, not a religion. Kind of similar to the Arab People, who ultimately only share a language as the one consistent thing between all of them.

        • Avi_G. says:

          Shaktimaan says:
          January 27, 2012 at 5:32 am

          No, it is. But that doesn’t preclude it from being a liberal democracy that guarantees equal rights under the law. It’s not really any different than any other “ethnic nation-state” in this regard.

          Actually it is, because the state of Israel uses both the ethnic and religious definition to privilege one group over another.

          Israel considers “Jewish” to be an ethnicity and a religion. And the way to become Jewish is either by being born to a Jewish mother or by PROPER conversion.

          In addition, if a Jew from Boca Raton can move to Israel and enjoy rights that are not afforded to a native-born Palestinian, then your ‘ethnic nation-state’ shtick has no leg to stand on.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          Right of return does not depend on someone being Jewish though. It never did. Around half off the immigrants who enter Israel annually are not technically Jewish. Israel was created to protect people from anti-semitism. This remains its key concern.

          And a Jew from Boca-Raton who immigrates to Israel would have the exact same rights as a native born Israeli-Arab. No more, no less. All ethnicities/religions are guaranteed equal rights under the law in Israel. Discrimination exists, surely. But not legally.

        • Cliff says:

          Actually, there are racist laws and institutional discrimination. Israeli Arabs in their entirety are like the token Black guy.

          Israel uses the 20% non-Jewish minority for PR purposes.

          And the Jewish Law of Return is indeed unfair and immoral. A Jew is allowed to settle in Israel without any ties to the land aside from the abstract.

          A Palestinian is not allowed to live in Israel w/ his or her spouse. A Palestinians is not allowed to return to his land and home in what is now Israel because that land has been stolen.

          Israel was created through war and ethnic cleansing. To mention that it was created to ‘protect’ people from anti-Semitism is repulsive. The Palestinians are continually losing their homes and enduring a 45+ year occupation to ‘protect’ Jews from anti-Semitism?

          Ridiculous, spurious, Zionist bullshit. You must be new here.

        • Cliff says:

          The difference between Israel and other countries is that Israel is a colonial-settler State in the 21st century.

          It does not provide equal rights under the law and institutionally discriminates against the Arab minority (who lived under martial law until 1966).

          Israel immediately refused the Palestinian refugees the RoR in a war in which it ethnically cleansed 750K Palestinians. This war was fought mostly inside the Palestinian side of the Partition Plan.

          Israel has not stopped the ethnic cleansing though. Between 67′ and 2003, Israel has used various bureaucratic and underhanded methods in denying the residency rights of almost 200K Palestinians. There is a well-documented history of Israel’s continual ethnic cleansing enterprise.

        • Avi_G. says:

          Shaktimaan says:
          January 30, 2012 at 3:37 am

          Right of return does not depend on someone being Jewish though. It never did. Around half off the immigrants who enter Israel annually are not technically Jewish. Israel was created to protect people from anti-semitism. This remains its key concern.

          And a Jew from Boca-Raton who immigrates to Israel would have the exact same rights as a native born Israeli-Arab. No more, no less. All ethnicities/religions are guaranteed equal rights under the law in Israel. Discrimination exists, surely. But not legally.

          Should we chalk that up to an outright attempt to lie and deceive or do you suppose you deserve the benefit of the doubt, hence earning you the label of an ignoramus? That’s a serious question.

          The Law of Return permits only Jews to immigrate to Israel. Get a clue, already.

          But, what I find fascinating is how people like you manage to muster the chutzpah to come on here and lecture others who have shown 10001 times before that what you peddle is an outright lie.

          It’s as though you are delusional enough to think you’re fooling someone, especially when that someone is an Israeli who knows Israel in and out like the palm of their hand.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          Oh MY! Isn’t someone feeling spunky today!!! So I get to choose, is that it? Between a liar and an ignoramus… hmm. Tough one. Let me get back to you on that, k?

          Aaaannnnnyyyyyway, where were we? Oh yeah, Law of Return in Israel. Let’s see, you say that “The Law of Return permits ONLY Jews to immigrate to Israel.” and also that I should get a clue; and also that you find my level of chutzpah fascinating. (ed. note: Thank you!! That is SO sweet!)

          Okay! And I say that some non-Jews are eligible to immigrate under the Law of Return and as evidence I will cite the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Website, which says:

          “A description of the Law of Return would not be complete without mentioning the 1970 amendment, which accords the right to immigrate to Israel to non-Jews who are either children or grandchildren of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew or the spouse of a child or grandchild of a Jew (on condition that this person was not previously a Jew who had knowingly converted to another faith). The amendment was intended to accept in Israel families, mainly from Eastern Europe, where mixed marriages were abundant.”

          Please accept this humble gift of a clue, in the form of the above quote, from me to you. My chutzpah and I are going to go take a quick nap before work.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          And the Jewish Law of Return is indeed unfair and immoral.

          Yes and no. It is unfair. It’s not immoral.

          Israel was created through war and ethnic cleansing.

          Of course. All states are created through war and ethnic cleansing. Palestine was created through war and ethnic cleansing.

          To mention that it was created to ‘protect’ people from anti-Semitism is repulsive.

          How come? It WAS created for this purpose and it’s done a great job at it too. There’s no reason that the Palestinians can’t still have a state just like it. It’s not nearly too late yet for them. But you’re focusing too much on the occupation and settlements. This isn’t really about them, they’re inconsequential to the Palestinians getting what they want. (If what they want is a successful state like Israel’s.)

          I actually suspect that this isn’t the goal of many of Palestine’s leaders. Wasting time focusing on some settlement swimming pool that Israel’s building next week just distracts from the real issues.

          Currently Palestine’s biggest impediment to peace isn’t even Israel. It’s Palestine. They have to decide what they actually want. If the PA and Hamas can’t agree on what the future of Palestine looks like then it will continue to look like Palestine’s past for the foreseeable future.

        • patm says:

          My chutzpah and I are going to go take a quick nap before work.(my bold)

          You made the above statement at January 31, 2012 at 7:05 am, and here you are still commenting at 10:44 am.

          Mmm…. Answer: hasbara trolling is your work.

        • Cliff says:

          A description of the Law of Return would not be complete without mentioning the 1970 amendment, which accords the right to immigrate to Israel to non-Jews who are either children or grandchildren of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew or the spouse of a child or grandchild of a Jew (on condition that this person was not previously a Jew who had knowingly converted to another faith). The amendment was intended to accept in Israel families, mainly from Eastern Europe, where mixed marriages were abundant.

          LOL

          How is this a counter to the claim that the Law of Return is only for Jews?

          For non-Jews, it’s only those “who are either children or grandchildren of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew or the spouse of a child or grandchild of a Jew.”

          Palestinians married to Israelis are not allowed permanent residence or citizenship in Israel.

          The Law or Return is either for Jews are for those belonging to Jewish families.

          Nice try? Nope, on second thought – horrible try. Just like you intentionally parroted the superficial truth of the JNF’s land holdings statistics (and missing the context/bigger picture/overall point) you miss the forest for the trees here.

        • Cliff says:

          Of course. All states are created through war and ethnic cleansing. Palestine was created through war and ethnic cleansing.

          We’re in the 21st century, and Israel is still ethnically cleansing and colonizing.

          Palestine might have been created as a territory through war 3000 years or 2000 years or 1000 years or 500 years ago but none of that matters.

          We’re talking about the relationship between two peoples. The Israeli Jews and the Palestinian Arabs, Bedouins, etc.

          Zionist colonialism and terror is not Israel’s original sin. It is on-going in the present, so to imply that Israel’s borders are defined and the Zionist project completed is false and dishonest to the core.

          When Israel ceases to be a racist, apartheid State w/ racist laws and privilege for Jews while under-privileging it’s non-Jewish, Arab minority – then you may refer to Israel in the company of other antiquated former colonial-settler States, as a part of a historical club.

        • Cliff says:

          Shank says:

          There’s no reason that the Palestinians can’t still have a state just like it. It’s not nearly too late yet for them. But you’re focusing too much on the occupation and settlements.

          As opposed to what?

          There is no Palestinian State without territorial contiguity and independence and security (among other things).

          The Palestine papers revealed how dishonest the Israeli government was about their characterization of the Palestinian negotiators (‘no partner for peace’).

          It’s actual Israel that doesn’t want peace. It wants land. The settlements and the colonial project are the impediment to peace.

          link to articles.latimes.com

          For one thing, the documents show that Palestinian leaders appeared to be far more willing to cut a peace deal than most Israelis, and even many Palestinians, believed.

          In contrast with Israelis’ portrayal of Palestinian leaders as rejectionists, the Palestinians come across in the papers as the side better-prepared, with maps, charts and compromises, even broaching controversial trade-offs that went beyond what their own people were probably ready to accept.

          Though publicly Palestinians have insisted on a full right of return for refugees, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledged in March 2009 that deep concessions would have to be made.

          “It is illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million [refugees] or, indeed, 1 million,” Abbas is quoted as telling his team.

          Though other documents suggest that Abbas rejected a 2008 Israeli offer to accept only 10,000 refugees, one 2008 e-mail from a Palestinian attorney suggested that Abbas was prepared to accept an “extremely low proposal for the number of returnees to Israel.” No figure was stated.

          As well, the Palestinians offered in 2008 to allow Israel to annex most of the large Jewish housing developments built around Jerusalem on land seized during the 1967 Middle East War. As part of the offer, Israel would have had to give up comparable land around Jerusalem and agree to evacuate several large West Bank settlements.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          Well Cliff,

          The difference is actually pretty key. It means that the RoR is not based on actually being Jewish but on who might be a victim of anti-semitism. Perhaps you don’t see the distinction, but it represents a sea change in the way some detractors of Israel would portray it, (based on a theory of racial superiority) and the reality of it’s reason for existing (as a stopgap against widespread anti-Semitism.)

          Regarding the JNF I have no idea what you’re talking about. My key argument is and always was that Arab Israelis are NOT prohibited from using any Israeli land in ways differing from Jewish Israelis. The fact that whats-his-name was unable to even admit a minuscule error over the JNF’s land holding percentage was evidence of an inability to engage in honest debate. Arguing over facts is somewhat silly. They can be looked up. But in this case it doesn’t matter what it says when we look something up. The reality of many of the posters here is disengaged from the reality of historical fact.

        • Shaktimaan says:

          Cliff,

          You can’t look at a single round of negotiations from 2009 and extrapolate the entirety of the I/P peace process and its faults from it. If Abbas was indeed willing to make such concessions regarding the Palestinian RoR then it represents a HUGE change from previous stances taken by Arafat. Regarding Israel, a lot changed as to how it views the process over the past decade. Primarily the biggest influence was the collapse of the left peace movement due to the double blow of the second intifada and the failure of the Gaza withdrawal to produce a positive model for the West Bank.

          In general Israel’s been willing to give up large amounts of land in exchange for peace. What it won’t budge on is the RoR and certain parts of Jerusalem. But now the peace movement is very weak. Israelis have lost faith in the ability of the Palestinians to ensure peace following fixed and permanent Israeli concessions, like withdrawals. Now you may disagree with this. But it is just the reality of the Israeli perception. There was a very strong peace movement in Israel at one point willing to make far reaching concessions. Currently though neither the will nor the trust exists.

        • Cliff says:

          Shank said:

          But it is just the reality of the Israeli perception.

          It’s good you admit your argument has nothing to do w/ reality but rather, the pervading Israeli perception.

          Gaza did not belong to Israel. It is inadmissible to acquire territory by war and it is a violation of the 4th Geneva Conventions to transfer the occupying country’s population to occupied land.

          Israel was not making concessions, it was simply beginning to follow international law and norms.

          The negotiations in 2009 are not unique. They are a microcosm for all the negotiations of the sham peace process. The image and reality of the conflict as a whole.

          Regarding past negotiations?

          DemocracyNow! Debate: Dr. Shlomo Ben-Ami vs. Professor Norman Finkelstein, Part 1 of 6

          Part 1, of a debate between Professor Norman Finkelstein and Dr. Shlomo Ben-Ami – who once served as Israel’s Minister of Internal Security AND Minister of Foreign Affairs.

          Dr. Ben-Ami was involved directly in the Oslo Accords. He goes on to say in this debate that if HE were ‘the Palestinians’ he would not have accepted the Israeli-US proposal.

          Dr. Ben-Ami also CONCEDES, that as the peace process winded down and public opinion in Israel went south, Ehud Barak (the Israeli Prime Minister at the time) effectively ended all the talks, NOT Arafat and the Palestinians.

          Excerpt:

          NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: On every single issue, all the concessions came from the Palestinians. The problem is, everyone, including Dr. Ben-Ami in his book — he begins with what Israel wants and how much of its wants it’s willing to give up. But that’s not the relevant framework. The only relevant framework is under international law what you are entitled to, and when you use that framework it’s a very, very different picture.

          AMY GOODMAN: If you can bear to make this response brief, Dr. Shlomo Ben-Ami.

          SHLOMO BEN-AMI: Yes, yes. Okay, the last third part of the book, as Dr. Finkelstein says, there is the diplomat, and this same diplomat still behaves in a way as a historian when he says in this book that Camp David was not the missed opportunity for the Palestinians, and if I were a Palestinian I would have rejected Camp David, as well. This is something I put in the book. But Taba is the problem. The Clinton parameters are the problem, because the Clinton parameters, in my view —

          NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Maybe you could explain to them what that is. I don’t think most people will know the Clinton parameters.

          Moving further into the debate:

          Let’s now turn to, just quickly, the last issue. It’s going to be hard for a lot of your listeners, because even though I have read two dozen books on the topic, I keep getting things confused. Camp David accord talks are in July 2000. Clinton parameters are roughly December 23rd, 2000. Taba, in January 2001. Now, Dr. Ben-Ami says Camp David, I can understand why the Palestinians turned down. Unfortunately, in his book he keeps referring to Arafat’s unyielding positions, even though now he acknowledges Palestinians made concessions at Camp David. In fact, as I said, all the concessions, within the framework of international law, came from the Palestinians.

          Let’s now turn to those Clinton parameters. Dr. Ben-Ami accurately renders their content. I don’t think he accurately renders in the book what happened. He states in the book that at Taba, Israelis accept — excuse me, at the time of the Clinton parameters, the Israelis accepted the Clinton parameters. Arafat didn’t really accept the Clinton parameters. He said he did, but he didn’t. What actually happened? What actually happened was exactly as what was announced by the White House spokesman on January 3rd, 2001, the official statement was both the Israelis and the Palestinians have accepted the Clinton parameters with some reservations. Both sides entered reservations on the Clinton parameters. Dr. Ben-Ami leaves out in the book both sides. He only mentions the reservations by the Palestinians.

          Number two, I was surprised to notice one of the books Dr. Ben-Ami recommends is the book by Clayton Swisher called The Truth at Camp David. I looked in the book. On page 402 of Clayton Swisher’s book, when he’s discussing the issue of entering reservations to Clinton’s parameters, he quotes none other than Shlomo Ben-Ami. You acknowledged — you call them relatively minor, but you acknowledged that Barak entered — you called it several pages of reservations. In fact, Barak sent a ten-page letter of reservations to the Clinton parameters. It was exactly symmetrical. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians agreed to the Clinton parameters with some reservations.

          Wait, one last point. One last point. Dr. Ben-Ami left out another crucial point in his account. He doesn’t tell us why Taba ended. It ended officially when Barak withdrew his negotiators. It wasn’t the Palestinians who walked out of Taba. It ended with the Israelis walking out of Taba, a matter of historical record, not even controversial.

        • Cliff says:

          LOL

          On who might be a victim of antisemitism?

          The reason Israel exists, such as it is w/ a Jewish majority, is through ethnic cleansing and war.

          It’s great that Jews are not being persecuted against. It’s despicable that it came at the expense of persecuting Palestinians.

          The ‘argument’ is that the Jewish Law of Return is discriminatory – which it is.

          Jews and people belonging to Jewish families are only allowed to ‘return’. Whereas Palestinians who have material ties to the land are not allowed to return.

          Jews around the world are not being persecuted and even if they were it would not justify the continuing ethnic cleansing and persecution of another people.

          As if that were the only way to facilitate a supposed safe-haven for world Jewry.

          The Palestinian people have real, physical ties to the land – which is to say, self-determination belongs to people of a land and not to religions or races or ethnicities. The Zionist (not Jewish, because there has been a continuous, albeit small, Jewish population in the land as well throughout the history preceding the establishment of the State of Israel) construct of ‘ties’ to the land, is purely abstract.

          As to your debate w/ Shingo –

          I think between Shingo and Shmuel, your hasbara nonsense got dismantled completely.

          The point was not the 13% statistic anyway. You weren’t able to prove that Arabs were not discriminated against in land ownership.

          It’s truly absurd though because Israeli Jews are the majority population anyway. Any argument about land ownership should take that into account. The discrimination is institutional (with some overtly racist laws as well). Since Israeli Jews are the majority population, you can reiterate the 13% statistic as if it has deep meaning but it’s entirely superficial. That was Shmuel’s point I believe and your only response was to issue non-rebuttal rebuttals, wherein you kept remarking on the hostility to your asinine and idiotic characterizations of what is really a black and white issue.

    • ahadhaadam says:

      I disagree. You are underestimating the West’s ability to commit atrocities and impose a double standard with a straight face.

      First of all, 100 Senators and 430 House reps will vote to congratulate Israel and replenish its Uranium supplies. The Europeans will no doubt condemn this action and then send Israel another nuclear capable submarine while adding Israel to the EU. Then the media in the West will go on to describe it as a heroic deed which saved Israel from another Holocaust and saved the lives of thousands of US troops since it was a defensive attack and things would have been a lot worse if the US had to invade Iran.

      • Dan Crowther says:

        ahadhaadam –

        well, i am generally not one to underestimate the wests ability to commit atrocities and impose a double standard, I don’t mean to here. We are discussing though, a nuclear first strike – or aggressive nuclear war. I doubt very much that the western media (and I agree, it probably would try) would be able to contain the visceral reaction/hatred the world would feel toward israel, and unfortunately, jews in general, as it would be the self proclaimed “jewish state” aggressively destroying another country.

        The holocaust would also officially be dead as a useful tool of the israeli’s and zionist jews – no one would ever want to hear from either group again about the suffering and horrors of a holocaust decades ago if faced with a modern holocaust of their creation. And, I think, once the holocaust “goes” so too do all moral defenses anyone can attempt to make for Israel. Governments might still tow the line, but the world’s population would be radicalized. again, just my opinion.

        • seafoid says:

          The Holocaust in effect allowed the Zionists leeway to establish a state but not to control the Middle East. But they like being in control….

        • ahadhaadam says:

          Once again, I beg to disagree. If you can create a narrative of self-defense and propagate it through world media, then the West not only will not condemn but cheer on, as it happened in the 1967 war when the West celebrated an expansionist war of aggression and ethnic cleansing which was packaged and sold as a pre-emptive attack by “poor little David fighting for survival”.

          Of course, these days it is much harder for Israel to create a narrative of self-defense as its world image as a little guy fighting “evil Arabs” has been tarnished, but I don’t think that is the reason Israel won’t launch a nuclear strike.

          The main reason is that such an attack will inevitably lead to a nuclear weapon from Pakistan or N. Korea to be smuggled to the Middle East and dropped on Tel Aviv, which will be the end of the short lived Jewish State.

        • split says:

          “Jewish State” – They got you too ;) ,…

        • Dan Crowther says:

          So, how does the scenario you describe not spell national suicide for israel? i tried to stay away from the “they will get nuked themselves” angle – and mentioned radiation/fallout instead, but surely this would be something planners would have to think about…..In the end, we both agree with each other – if they dropped a nuclear weapon on Iran, one way or the other, Israel would be finished. The israeli’s seem to prefer the slow road to eventual “destruction” through their policies, I don’t see them wanting to expedite it anytime soon

        • lysias says:

          The main reason is that such an attack will inevitably lead to a nuclear weapon from Pakistan or N. Korea to be smuggled to the Middle East and dropped on Tel Aviv, which will be the end of the short lived Jewish State.

          Which raises a question Brzezinski raised on Diane Rehm this morning. If the Israeli nuclear force is unusable, wouldn’t Israel — which would suffer much more from one or two nuclear bombs detonated on its territory than its larger neighbors would — be much better off in a denuclearized Middle East?

    • Charon says:

      It would most definitely be curtains for Israel. They would not be prepared for the aftermath.

      When people like this Ramberg guy say things like that, I’m not sure if they are advocating attacking Iran’s nuclear sites with a nuke, or -more likely- nuking Tehran where over 9 million people live. Never again, even if it kills 9 million people?

  4. eljay says:

    >> If Jerusalem really believes that a nuclear-armed Tehran poses an existential threat –– and cannot be contained by a conventional military attack, sanctions, deterrence or regime change — there remains one option to end the threat that people fear to talk about: Israel’s use of nuclear weapons.

    Well, there you have it: If Tehran really believes that a nuclear-armed Tel Aviv poses an existential threat –– and cannot be contained by a conventional military attack, sanctions, deterrence or regime change — there remains one option to end the threat that people fear to talk about: Iran’s acquisition and use of nuclear weapons.

    Because what’s good enough for Israel is good enough for Iran…right?

    • RoHa says:

      “Because what’s good enough for Israel is good enough for Iran…right?”

      Wrong.

      The Eye-ray-nians are evil, swarthy, unshaven, wild-eyed, Jew-hating, Ay-rab religous fanatics who support terrorism and oppress women.
      link to haaretz.com

      The Israelis, on the other hand, are quiet old Jewish men with beards and funny accents, full of wry humour.

      So obviously anything Iran were to do would be evil, whereas everything Israel does is morally justified.

      You know it makes sense.

      • piotr says:

        I agree, but that makes any concessions by “the mullah” irrelevant. If they engaged in making vanilla ice cream it would still be evil and worthy of sanctions. But it also makes any bombing futile — Israel is threatened existentially, because Good is threatened by the mere existence of Evil.

        Since there is no good solution, Netanyahoo and Barak must decide what would be more fun. Talking about the war is definitely fun.

      • eljay says:

        >> The Israelis, on the other hand, are quiet old Jewish men with beards and funny accents, full of wry humour.

        Where are the women in all this? Ummm…never mind. So, if Iranians were to become quiet old men with beards and funny accents, full of wry humour, would that suffice? Or would they need to become Jewish, too? :-)

        And if they did become Jewish, would they suffer the same “collective psychological complex” as do Israelis?

        So many nuances…

  5. Winnica says:

    You do notice, I hope, that this is an American making the comment, not an Israeli. Just so that you don’t go off on a tangent blaming Israel for what the man says.

    • ahadhaadam says:

      Of course, people are aware of that. It is a well known and well discussed phenomenon of American Jews being generally more hawkish than Israelis. The reason for that is simple: they get no flak, i.e. they do not suffer any consequences of the wars that they preach for.

  6. patm says:

    ….off on a tangent blaming Israel for what the man says.

    And where on earth do you think he gets his talking points from, Winnica? Another Israel Firster is what you’ve got here. Do you honestly believe a war with Iran is in the interests of America, or any other country in the world? Please answer this last question.

    • Winnica says:

      I don’t think a war is in anyone’s interest. An Iranian-instigated war wouldn’t be in anyone’s interest, either.

      I have no idea where he gets his talking points from. Perhaps he thinks them up on his own: some people can do that, you know. To the best of my knowledge, no Israeli official has ever said Israel might use nuclear weapons. If anyone here has solid evidence that Israel gave this fellow talking points, I’d be interested in seeing it. Until then, the assumption looks to me like the standard fare of commenters on this website: any allegation against Israel is acceptable, and any questioning of the allegations means the person doing the questioning is from “hasbara central”, where-ever that may be.

      • eGuard says:

        Winnica: An Iranian-instigated war wouldn’t be … Iran did not instigate a war in centuries. You are distracting from the issue.

        As the Angry Arab recently said in England: “Since I was born in 1960, Israel attacked: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, Tunis.”

  7. American says:

    A google search will show you Ramberg is churning out an article a day on Israel using it’s nukes.
    He’s doing an Adler–suggesting without suggesting that Israel could, would, maybe should go ahead and use it’s nukes on Iran. Trying to be slick (and failing) he’s doing the old Israel nuke black mail scheme of (sob) if you don’t kill our enemies for us we will have to use our nukes and it will be your fault not ours..can’t you ‘peacefully’ kill them for us?
    Ex.
    link to project-syndicate.org

    Just more US Zio Iran hysterica and war drum banging.

    Some day someone is going to call Israel’s bluff and say go ahead do-doos, you’re on your own.

  8. Sin Nombre says:

    I have a different take on what this man has said.

    In the first place assuming all of what Mr. Ramberg relevantly said was reproduced here the headline is clearly wrong in any implication of moralizing on his part: Nowhere do I read him as saying the Holocaust *justifies* Israel using nukes on Iran. Maybe he thinks that, but he didn’t say it here.

    And then, beyond that, I think the truth of what he said—that, contrary to lots of loose talk today Israel *does* clearly have the ability to “take out” Iran’s nuke program—ought to be recognized and its implications noted.

    After all, since Israel *does* have this ability, what does this say further about its attempts to get the U.S. to do the deed for it? To, essentially, do what it *says* it can’t do, but can, and to do what it *says* should be done, but won’t do itself?

    Much reflective of my own thinking, I gotta say: If indeed Israel feels that Iran is such a bloody, clear, absolute looming threat to it, go at it Israel. Just don’t go trying to get us to do the dirty work for you and get us to pay the price. Man up to your own nutty ideas and pay the price.

    But, I believe, the fact is … it would not. So meaning the U.S. would indeed be the ultimate sucker if, doing Israel this favor, it attacked Iran instead.

    • No, DON’T “go at it Israel.”

      what kind of rational thinking is that, sin nombre — “go ahead, Israel, nuke Iran if you want to,” as if USA has no interests involved.

      USA IS involved in every move Israel makes. To flicker a green light to Israel re Iran is to signal the demise of the United States into pariah status equal to if not exceeding that of Israel.

      US needs to tell Israel that the moment it opens its silos, which are under constant US satellite surveillance, US bombers will scramble over every inch of Israeli territory, the bank accounts of every UJF office in the United States will be frozen; AIPAC agents throughout Washington and the entire nation will be frog-marched into the nearest FBI headquarters, and every Israeli corporation de-listed from NASDAQ.

      for starters.

    • American says:

      SN,

      I don’t think Israel has the ability to take out Iran’s nukes. At least that is the opinion of the US Military Command…..quoted in a Richard Sale article I linked to here a few weeks ago. Basically the top Brass was quoted as saying Israel has no conception how to go about that kind of strike and didn’t have the range to do it without losing their planes to fuel starvation.

      Back when Olmert wanted the Syrian reactors hit he asked Bush to have the US do it. Bush said No. So some months later Israel did it themselves. I think if Israel thought they were capable of doing Iran they would, with or without US approval.

      And I suspect that for all Obama’s Iron Clad pandering, that no assurances have been given to Israel that the US military would pull their nuts out of any fire they start. If the US would not commit military help to Israel after a attempted hit on Iran, that wouldn’t be enough for Israel. They might get only material aid, US weapons shipments, in the event Iran interest strikes back and Israel knows it cannot win even a conventional war with Iran and the other actors like Hizabollah Iran might bring in.
      I am guessing, on observation of all the pieces, that where it all stands now is that Israel will keep up the political pressure on the US to bomb Iran while also trying to create incidents that would provoke and cause a war. If that doesn’t do it, then Israel might be willing to risk a strike, even lose planes, that they know won’t suceed in the hope Iran will strike back and that zionist US congress will then be able to push Obama and the US military into backing up Israel.

    • piotr says:

      Sin Nombre,

      Israel may have the ability to take out Martian, Venusian or Iranian “nuke program”, but I would not bet on it.

      The precise nature of those three programs is not clear. What facilities and personel is sufficient for continuation of those programs? For example, Technology Review had an article claiming that there exists a technology based on laser vaporization that may enrich uranium several orders of magnitude more cheaply than centrifuge technology, and that Iran knows it. Centrifuge program may be a gigantic decoy.

      For all I know, this program is a decoy because Iran does not need nukes to create nuclear scale economic devastation. It does not even need any new resources either. They proved that they can lob missiles at the Strait of Hormuz for months. But they need some external support, primarily from China, which can be secured only by an extreme provocation.

      The other data points are the IDF ability to “take out” Hamas and Hezbollah.

      Lastly, the main supporter of Syrian regime is the government of Iraq. There is no land obstacle that would stop delivery of a gazilion of short/medium missiles from Iran to Syria following an attack on Iran, and the feeble status of Syrian regime would only make it more pliable for such a scheme. A devastating attack on Iran would not disable Iran, which is just too large, but could lead to a devastating response.

    • Sin Nombre says:

      @teta mother me:

      Lots of my point, ma’am (?), wasn’t any wish to see Israel use its nukes on Iran, but that nobody really believes it would in the present situation so clarifying things that Israel is essentially falsely whooping up its concern over Iran so as to try to buffalo the U.S. into doing its dirty work and attacking with conventional weapons.

      Nor do I see much violence done to my logic: If indeed Iran is the great “existential threat” to Israel’s very existence, they why *wouldn’t* Israel use its nukes to eliminate that threat. Indeed why wouldn’t it first propose to get rid of its own nukes if Iran abandoned any desire for same?

      @ American and piotr:

      Oh sure Israel has the ability to take out the Iranian nuke program—as is clearer now from what I wrote just above—given that I meant using it’s *own* nukes to do so.

      And this means and includes using its own nukes one way or another: Either low-yield tactical things directed specifically at Iran’s nukes sites and maybe even directed just underground, or regular yield nukes in a variety of ways. One suspects, for instance, that absent Teheran alone Iran might pretty much be put back a century or more.

      And please, no flames for overly-excitable on-lookers: Of *course* I think these would be horrors and don’t want to see same, and of course I’m just observing the bottom-line facts so as to make a point. And, once again, my point in noting this is just simply to illustrate the entire big picture of bottom-line reality of things instead of the oddly stunted discussions that we see instead —as regards any *number* of sub-issues regarding this subject.

      For instance, if the Martians were monitoring the public debate on the whole Israel/Iran issue in the U.S. and Israeli and even European media and amongst the politicians there and damn near everyone else, they would be mystified: How the hell come no-one ever seems to mention the possible solution of *everyone* in the Mideast giving up their nukes? A Nuke-Free ME Accord, that is. Such a bloody strange omission, it would seem. But we of course know it exists simply because Israel has rejected same because the U.S. (and indeed everyone it seems, except hte arabs) has obediently pretended it doesn’t exist.

      Likewise then a similar distorting stunting exists as regards this other issue of whether Israel could indeed “do” Iran itself. With its nukes of *course* it can. But everyone pretends that this doesn’t exist.

      Why? Once again it seems to me part of the propaganda ploy Israel is playing, pretending that oh gee, the Iranian threat to it is so so so great that of *course* it should be attacked, but poor poor pitiful Israel just probably can’t do it alone so of course the U.S. should do it instead.

      Or, in other words, propaganda trying to get the U.S. to do its dirty work. Indeed, trying to get the U.S. to do what it *can* do, but *won’t.*

      Otherwise I agree with you entirely American that Israel will continue doing what it can to provoke a U.S. war with Iran, impede or trash any attempted peaceful solution to the situation and etc.

      @ piotr:

      While off-topic a bit and just as a matter of interest I am highly dubious about all the talk of Iran’s big ability to make much trouble militarily in the event it is attacked. And that includes all the talk about the straits of Hormuz, or even via “terrorism” for that matter.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think the politico-economic fallout of an attack on Iran would be very very great and long-long-lasting and horrible and for that reason alone it should be ruled out.

      But look, we keep seeing these arab/moslem ME countries talking big like Saddam did about “burning” Israel and the “mother of all battles” and Armageddon and blah blah blah, and look what happens when the U.S. and even Israel launches its considered attacks: That latters’ forces cut through them like a knife, and you see a helluva lot of terribly and corruptly lead arab/moslem forces either running away or waving their underwear over their heads.

      Not to blame them: Once again they are just terribly and corruptly led, and then there’s the overwhelming well-led American/Israeli forces, and then there’s the overwhelming techno advantages those American/Israeli forces have.

      Just in terms of our imagery intelligence alone, geesh, at the start of any attack we’d launch the first to get whacked would probably be about 90% of Iranian forces around the straits whose locations are no doubt minutely known and tracked. And you’d see in fact even before that the taking out of what relevant Iranian radars that existed by our stealth planes and anti-radar weapons and low flying cruise missiles, and then terrible bombardments from our naval forces right there, and on and on and on.

      Seems to me the lessons of the last wars in the ME, as stupid as they’ve been in intent, is that militarily we know what we’re doing in the main, as regards conventional warfare that is. And nobody’s talking about invading Iran and trying to occupy it so exposing our relative inability to conduct irregular war against guerilla-type/insurgent/”terrorist” movements and actions. Plus, we’ve got damn few people to be targets left in Iraq, and I doubt Iran has much ability to do anything much in Afghanistan. (Although I’ll admit that the reaction among Pakistanis and what that could mean would be a wild card, which, however, would still be a rather indirect, mostly non-military thing.)

      In fact just saw a piece in Haaretz where the Israeli military has concluded that Iran’s military abilities just ain’t much either.

      No, when it comes to quantifiable conventional military stuff let’s face it, we’re good. And you can bet that the lights have been burning very late in the Pentagon for a long time now figuring out, hour by hour if not minute by minute, precisely what the hell we’d do in any attack we initiated. Right down to the precise coordinates each major weapon would be targeted upon.

      And for all the deriding of the term “shock and awe,” well, for Iraq’s military they were shocked and awed into essential helplessness and fleeing, weren’t they? So much so that we lanced up to Baghdad like a hot knife through butter, and then even *in* Baghdad we sent a column of tanks and etc. right through the bloody place and their military couldn’t even seem to muster a couple of snipers to make little scratches on our armor.

      So no again, unlike any Israeli attack, an American attack wouldn’t be some overnight sneak bombing of just the Iranian nuke targets. They can’t really move those, so first it would be clearing away the undergrowth that would threaten our forces and stuff, and very likely very very targeted and thorough decimation of Iran’s command and control element (the high military at least, with lots of cruise missiles zooming through Teheran streets), because we know we can just sit back and clear that underbrush and wait until we can just repeatedly pound the living shit out of those immovable nuke sites at will with no resistance.

      Of *course* there may well be this or that unforseen goof-up. Nuts, we could even lose a carrier, say. But would they be *militarily* significant? No, not in terms of the outcome. And not even—speaking as bottom-line as possible—in terms of relative loss of life. Given the ferocity of our weaponry I have no doubt that within the first *hours* of any attack we launched you’d see not just thousands but many multiples of that in dead Iranian military and paramilitary forces. Just in the first several hours.

      I just don’t think people grasp the ferocity of modern American weaponry and the sophistication with which it is employed. The Iranian forces would just be toast.

      Once again for flamers, *please* try to distinguish between analysis and advocacy. The foregoing, if you need a further clue, is an attempt at the former. And, once again, by none of this do I mean that I think us attacking Iran would be anything but politically nuts.

      • Sin Nombre, where was the analysis? there’s a lot of hyperventilating of the ‘US and Israel are great we can whoop ass’ variety, but I didn’t see any indication of an appreciation of Iranian terrain, training, determination, differentiation between Iraq that had been softened by 10 years of overflight and air attacks, and Iran that has reacted quite differently to 10 + years of US & Israel threats, sanctions, etc.

        Iran has turned the West’s attempts to isolate Iran technologically into a challenge to demonstrate just how self-sufficient Iran can become. For example, Iran has developed some medical and bio- technology that is far in advance of American capabilities.

        But it’s in soft power & strategic thinking ability, and the ability to unify its populace that Iran has a wide margin over US and Israel. This is a nation that knows not only its own history but also Israel’s, Europe’s and the US’s, while the ignorance of Americans and the psychosis of Israelis will destroy them. Iran walks a high wire between its ancient Persian culture and overlaid Islamic culture, but at least Iran is aware of the tensions in its society; US and Israel are not– US is fragmented by rather than strengthened by its diverse immigrant cultures and the great gap between elites and the rest of us; Israelis cannot even admit to themselves how much they hate one another — Ashkenazi hate Mizrahi; Ashkenazi hate Sephardi; Orthodox hate seculars; settlers are a wild card — the only thing that keeps Israel together is militarization; its a culture that craves war as an alcoholic craves a drink to dull himself, or an addict craves a high. That does not make for clear strategic thinking, and Israel’s leaders serve Israelis ill by constantly keeping them addicted.

        F&*ks up the rest of the world too.

        You may find it an amusing exercise in”analysis” but 70 million Iranians have been living with the very real and persistently voiced threat of being turned into “toast” for much of their lives, since emerging from a war when half a million of them WERE attacked with chemicals or otherwise killed.

  9. If indeed Israel feels that Iran is such a bloody, clear, absolute looming threat to it, go at it Israel. Just don’t go trying to get us to do the dirty work for you and get us to pay the price.

    Too late. The US is the public face of the sanctions against Iran (even if every honest observer knows that they were engineered in Tel Aviv) and it is the US Navy, not Israeli, that is now floating around the Gulf. The US vs. Iran war has already begun and, just as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc, Israel is nowhere near the battlefield instigated by its actions.

    • Shaktimaan says:

      Instigated by Israeli actions? What actions are those?

      just as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc, Israel is nowhere near the battlefield

      Well, Israel was asked not to participate by the US. The Iraqi and Afghani wars were certainly not caused by Israel.

  10. seafoid says:

    I think attacking Iran would be one audacious step too far for Israel.

    • thetumta says:

      Seafoid, that’s why your not a Likud member. Smile. This is about ethnic empire same as the Germans. Of course they’ll do it if they need to and the world might do a little hand wringing. They are going to finish the ethnic cleansing they have in mind and establish their borders where they wish and only one thing will stop them. It’s not on the horizon. I think you might be under-estimating ethnic ruthlessness? Imagine if the Tutsis had little nukes rather than machetes.
      Hej!

  11. radii says:

    standard use of stretching propaganda: you have a propagandist advocate a position far outside the rational range of debate to stretch the boundaries of what is acceptable – suddenly what seemed at the outside periphery of what could be considered is now within bounds

    • seafoid says:

      “suddenly what seemed at the outside periphery of what could be considered is now within bounds”

      Except the Israeli regime is nuts. They need the US to go after Iran. They don’t have the capacity to bomb Iran alone and they can’t manage a war that lasts more than 3 weeks and causes a large reserve call up. Maybe Wolfowitz and Feith can put themselves on the line for Israel this time.

      If the US did attack Iran the oil price would hit $200 minimum. The US needs to create 285,000 jobs per month for 5 years to get unemployment back where it was in 2006 . Currently it manages 150,000 on a good month. If the oil price heads north there won’t be any net new job creation in the US. Israel has got to the point that whatever it does militarily hurts Americans. If I was Dempsey I would tell Bibi where to stick it.

  12. RE: “Notice how Ramberg…repeats the propagandistic claim that Iran has called for the Jewish state’s ‘extinction.’ Did the South African state go “extinct” when it held free and fair elections? ” ~ Taylor

    FROM PHILIP GIRALDI, 01/26/12:

    (excerpt)…The “experts” who claim that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he would “wipe Israel off the map” have got it wrong. Genuine language specialists have pointed out that the original statement in Farsi actually said that Israel would someday collapse: “The imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time” is the accurate rendition. The imam being referred to is the late Ayatollah Khomeini, making the statement a quote within a quote. It’s wishful thinking perhaps, but far from a threat. The fact is that Iran has not attacked any of its neighbors since the 17th century, when it went to war with the Ottoman Turks, and has never threatened to attack Israel. Nor does Iran threaten the United States in any way…

    SOURCE – link to original.antiwar.com

    • Not only that. Ahmadinejad has made it clear that the collapse of the Zionist regime will come about spontaneously. For instance:

      Concerning Holocaust and collapse of the Zionist regime, Ahmadinejad said that downfall of the regime does not need any atomic bomb and even a war, because this regime is based on cruelty and massacre so it will collapse automatically.

      Also:

      President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the Zionist regime is inherently doomed to annihilation and there is no need for Iranians to take action.

      Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of D8 summit in Malaysia, he said the Zionists themselves are well aware of the fact that their time is over.

      “They label us as aggressors but this is a big lie because the Iranian nation throughout the history never attacked any nation,” he said.

      So that Ahmadinejad has not threatened to destroy Israel or even the Zionist regime after all. All he’s said is that it will collapse on its own.

  13. patm says:

    …the assumption looks to me like the standard fare of commenters on this website: any allegation against Israel is acceptable, and any questioning of the allegations means the person doing the questioning is from “hasbara central”, where-ever that may be.

    Why are you hanging around if the articles are so off base and the commenting section so offensive?

    You certainly aren’t here to learn about the I/P conflict. You’re here to tell us all about it. Many of us have watched this movie before. The pattern of Israeli hasbara trolling sticks out like a sore thumb on this site. You’re the new troll.

  14. dbroncos says:

    Bunker busters have a nuclear component, no? The peace prize winner made sure that the IDF will have plenty of them at their disposal if they decide to wage war by ‘conventional’ means.

  15. “Iran’s President said… what exactly?”

    That Ahmadinedjad threatened to “wipe Israel off the map” is one of the great lies of the 21st century.

    link to washingtonpost.com

    Another is “Iraq has WMDs”, any we all know where that led us.