Consequences of an attack on Iran are no joke

Middle EastUS Politics
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This post originally appeared on Lobelog:

A grim joke made the rounds in late 2002 and early 2003, in the lead-up to the US invasion of Iraq. The version I recall went something like this:

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney go into a Texas bar. Over a couple of beers they plan the invasion of Iraq, taking out Saddam Hussein and taking control of Iraq’s vast oil reserves. The big question, though, is how Americans might react to their starting another war, with victory still elusive in Afghanistan. They decide to do an impromptu sampling of public opinion, and invite an average, all-American looking guy standing at the bar to join them for a friendly drink.

“What would you think of us invading Iraq and taking over their oil fields, if you knew that 30,000 Iraqis and one American bicycle mechanic would be killed if we do it?” Bush asks.

The fellow slowly sips his beer, his brow furrowed. He mulls the question and looks troubled. Finally he asks, “Why should an American bicycle mechanic have to die?”

Cheney slaps the table and grins triumphantly at Bush. “I told you no one would give a damn about the 30,000 Iraqis!”

A decade later, no one seems to give a damn about Iranian lives either.

The U.S. legacy in Iraq

As we now know, far more than 30,000 Iraqis and one American have died since the US invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003. The number of documented Iraqi civilian deaths from violence since the onset of the “Second Iraq War” now totals between 105,000-115,000, according to the continuously updated Iraq Body Count database. It also notes that according to the WikiLeaks Iraq war logs, the figure may be 13,750 higher still.  Official Department of Defense statistics as of mid-December, as compiled by Margaret Griffis at, reveal that 4484 members of the US military deaths and 1487 private military contractors have lost their lives since the war began, as well as 319 “Coalition” troops, 348 journalists and 448 academics. Estimates of the number of Americans wounded range from an official count of 33,000 to estimates of over 100,000.

Iraqi physicians are seeing an upsurge in cancers and birth defects, which they blame on the usage of depleted uranium in the shells and bombs used by US and British forces in the 1991 Iraq war and the 2003 invasion. An estimated 300 tons of depleted uranium were used to attack Iraq in the First Gulf War. Abdulhaq Al-Ani, co-author of Uranium in Iraq: The Poisonous Legacy of the Iraq Wars, has been researching the health effects of depleted uranium weaponry on Iraq’s civilian population since 1991 and explained in an interview with Al Jazeera that the effects of depleted uranium on the human body don’t even begin to manifest until 5-6 years after exposure. Al-Ani points to a spike in Iraqi cancer rates in Iraq in 1996-1997 and 2008-2009.

Dr. Ahmad Hardan, who has served as a special scientific adviser to the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the Iraqi Health Ministry, has been monitoring the effects of depleted uranium exposure on adults and children, which include multiple cancers and serious birth defects. He told reporter Lawrence Smallman that “Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.7 billion years and that means thousands upon thousands of Iraqi children will suffer for tens of thousands of years to come.” Leukemia has become the third most common cancer throughout Iraq, with children under 15 especially vulnerable. “This is what I call terrorism,” he said.

The BBC reports that babies born in Fallujah now have 13 times the rate of congenital heart deformities than European-born infants. While visiting Iraq, World Affairs editor John Simpson was told many times that women in Fallujah have been advised not to bear children. The director of the Afghan Depleted Uranium and Recovery Fund, Dr. Daud Miraki, has found that increasing numbers of infants in eastern and southeastern Afghanistan are being born without eyes or limbs, and have tumors protruding from their mouths and eyes. The Pentagon denies any connection with the US military’s use of depleted uranium, even though (or perhaps because) these same effects are endangering veterans returning to the US from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, whether from the right, left or the center, the potential “consequences” of military strikes (a euphemism for war) against Iran are being assessed almost exclusively on the basis of the potential impact on Israel, the US and Europe: a spike in the price of oil wreaking havoc in the global economy–Hezbollah launching missile strikes from Lebanon into Israel and carrying out acts of terrorism against “soft western targets”–rather than the disastrous consequences for Iran, its neighbors and the global ecosystem.

One exception is a 114 page “Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Development Facilities,” produced in 2009 for the Center for International and Strategic Studies. It devotes all of two pages (90-91) to the human and environmental human catastrophe that would result just from an attack on the Iranian nuclear power plant in Bushehr:

Any strike on the Bushehr Nuclear Reactor will cause the immediate death of thousands of people living in or adjacent to the site, and thousands of subsequent cancer deaths or even up to hundreds of thousands depending on the population density along the contamination plume.

The authors also warn that “Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will be heavily affected by the radionuclides.” (Are the Arab states of the Gulf who supposedly are so eager for Israel to contain Iran’s regional ambitions aware of this?)

The ever-smirking Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, has calculated that the casualties of a war with Iran could be limited to fewer than 500. “There won’t be 100,000 dead, not 10,000 dead nor 1,000 dead. Israel will not be destroyed,” Barak said reassuringly during  a November radio interview quoted by the Washington Post. “If everyone just goes into their houses, there won’t be 500 dead, either,” he said.

Barak means Israelis. As for Iranians, who’s counting? Who cares?

The human cost of attacking Iran

No one is talking about the harm that “surgical air strikes” against “suspected Iranian nuclear facilities” with GBU-28 “bunker-buster” bombs, which derive their ability to penetrate concrete and earth from depleted uranium, would inflict on 74 million Iranians, nearly a quarter of whom are under the age of 14 and under and half of whom are under the age of 30. (Where are those self-designated “pro-life” voices that should be expressing outrage? Or does “the right to life” evaporate as soon as a fetus exits the womb?)

No worries are being expressed about the release of radioactive materials into the biosphere of  Central Asia (and by eventual extension, the entire earth). If the depleted uranium in the bombs comes into contact with radioactive nuclear materials present in the targeted nuclear research sites–nearly all of which operate under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supervision–the potential for disaster would be magnified exponentially.

Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Major General Aviv Kochavi grimly told the hawkish Herziliya Conference recently that Iran possesses more than 4 tons of low-grade enriched uranium as well as almost 100 kilograms of uranium enriched at 20%. If true, is it really a good idea to send these radioactive materials spewing into the air and water of Central Asia and beyond? Is it any wonder that Russia, China and India–all whom are much closer geographically to Iran, as well as downwind of the direction in which radiation and toxin-tainted winds would initially blow–are the UN Security Council members most opposed to attacking Iran?

Nor is anyone questioning the wisdom of dropping unprecedented numbers of 5000 lb. “bunker busters” capable of penetrating 100 feet of earth or 20 feet of concrete into the bowels of an already earthquake-prone region. No one seems to care about the irreparable and uncontainable environmental damage that could be done to miles of Iranian coastline: the adjacent Caspian Sea to the north, the Arabian Sea to the south, and the Persian Gulf to the west. What about the permanent damage to the underground aquifers of Central Asia, where water is already scarce? If fracking for natural gas can render US drinking water flammable, imagine what pounding some of the most plentiful natural gas fields with bombs could do.

The unforeseeable consequences

Prognosticating the full extent of the damage that could and would be inflicted upon Iran and upon Iranians is difficult to impossible. No one outside of top security circles can even guess the number of targets of an Israeli and/or US attack (the BBC suggests five in addition to Bushehr). Other variables include the quantity or capacity of the weaponry that would be employed, whether Israel plans on using nuclear weapons, whether so-called “precision surgical strikes” reached or missed their intended targets, all of which would affect the scale of “collateral damage” to human beings, infrastructure, homes and apartments, schools, mosques and World Heritage sites as a consequence of “bomb-bomb-bombing” Iran’s suspected nuclear research facilities.

Almost assuredly an attack on facilities buried deep within the earth would utilize “bunker busting” guided  bomb units (GBUs) that gain their power to penetrate from depleted uranium. The cost in lives, injuries, and long-term dangers to the health of civilians, including genetic damage to unborn future generations from toxins and radioactive materials in the depleted uranium bombs dropped and nuclear materials leaked is also incalculable.

Is war worth it?

Contrary to misleading media reports, there is no evidence that Iran is presently attempting or even planning to build a bomb. But even if there were, an Israeli and/or US attack would merely postpone its development for a few years, and perhaps even spur and speed up nuclear weapons research for deterrence.

Returning to public opinion polling, a recent Pew Research Center telephone survey (Feb. 8-12) asked a sampling of 1500 adults in all 50 states, “How much, if anything, have you read or heard about the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program?”

38% said “A lot”

39% said “A little”

23% said “Nothing at all”

Yet asked whether it was more important “to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action” or “to avoid a military conflict with Iran even if it means they may develop nuclear weapons,” 30% of respondents prioritized avoiding a military conflict, while 58% said military action might be necessary (20% more than the number who had said they “knew a lot” about the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program). This isn’t a fluke: the same Pew survey asking the same question of different respondents Sept. 30-Oct. 4, 2009 found that only 41% said they “knew a lot” while 61% would approve of military action–the same 20% differential.

(In the most recent survey, respondents were also asked whether the US should support or oppose an attack on Iran by Israel “to stop its nuclear weapons program.” 39% said the US should support Israeli military action, 5% said the US should oppose Israeli military action, and just over half (51%) said the US should “stay neutral.”)

But what if the questions were framed differently? What if the pollster were to ask, “Would you approve or disapprove of Israel or the US delaying progress in Iranian nuclear research (not necessarily in pursuit of a nuclear weapon) by 3-5 years at most, by dropping spent uranium bunker-busting bombs on a country of 74 million people, a quarter of them younger than 14, if tens or even hundreds of thousands might die and perhaps millions more might suffer from genetic damage causing birth defects and cancers for generations to come?

And what if the follow-up question was, “If depleted uranium bunker busters were unable to penetrate Iranian underground facilities where nuclear research was allegedly taking place, much of it under the supervision of the IAEA, would you approve of Israel using nuclear weapons that would magnify death and destruction a hundredfold and result in what some might call ‘a holocaust’”?

Frankly, I have no idea what the pro and con percentages would be to questions asked in this way. But it’s time for the pollsters gauging public opinion to speak more forthrightly about what the real options–and the real consequences–of attacking Iran are. They can start by shedding the sanitized references to “military action” and “surgical strikes” and calling them what they are–acts of war that will inflict death and destruction on tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of Iranians. Iranians like the characters in the Oscar-winning film “A Separation,” who love their children and want the best for them, who worry about their aging parents, who struggle to make ends meet in the face of high unemployment and economic stress. As the film’s director Asghar Farhadi stated in his acceptance speech for 2011’s Best Foreign Language Film:

At a time of talk of war, intimidation and aggression is exchanged between politicians, the name of their county, Iran, is spoken here through her glorious culture, a rich and ancient culture that has been hidden under the heavy dust of politics.

Should that heavy dust be poisoned with toxic radioactive contaminants from depleted uranium and perhaps even nuclear fallout? War on Iran is no joke.

No Responses Yet

  1. seafoid
    March 1, 2012, 3:07 pm

    Remember what they did to Fallujah they will do in Iran.
    link to

    And this will be a war for Israel and the settlers. Backed by every major Jewish organisation in the US.

  2. Jeff Klein
    March 1, 2012, 3:36 pm

    Although the cost in American lives and health of a US attack on Iran would be trivial compared to the carnage in the region, still here is something I wrote which makes an argument that I haven’t seen elsewhere:

    We’re already paying a ‘War Tax’ at the gas pump
    link to

    It’s timely to remind folks about why gas prices are actually rising now, especially as the Republican/Neocons are using it as a campaign tactic. Another cost of our “unbreakable bond” with Israel, which I suspect would affect some of those polling numbers if people knew.

  3. Philip Munger
    March 1, 2012, 4:08 pm

    This may be the best article on this subject I’ve read yet that ties in the true costs of the Iraqi Wars. Thank you, Dr. Cohen.

  4. piotr
    March 1, 2012, 4:19 pm

    “Who cares” what the cost of the attack would be to the enemy.

    Israeli public is not overly concerned with that. However, in the case of attack on Iran, either Syria and Hezbollah would be attacked too, or both Israel and Hezbollah/Syria would put their defenses in “hair trigger” posture with the same end-result.

    Syria and Hezbollah have some number, few thousands or more, of a medium range missiles that can be send on reasonably small targets. Given “use it or loose it” situation, they will “use it”. And given somewhat limited numbers, they have to choose the targets carefully. Attacking people in residential neighborhoods is not cost effective, so I do not expect many civilian casualties. Economy is a VERY different story.

    Port facilities and storage of hydrocarbons would probably top the list. Next will go industrial facilities that offer maximum damage for a given amount of explosives. Petrochemical and chemical factories are almost self-combustible. Microchip factories are very expensive. Other than that I have no ideas, but basically the logic would be to prioritize expensive facilities that are difficult to repair.

    • Philip Munger
      March 1, 2012, 4:33 pm

      War on the level this might easily get to is an enormous crime against humanity. Environmental damage and pollution such as our use of agent orange and depleted uranium, or the Jiyah power station oil spill (larger than the Exxon Valdez) in the 2006 Lebanon invasion certainly are, but this – if the war starts – will be much worse than the above examples.

    • lysias
      March 1, 2012, 4:40 pm

      What about targeting Dimona?

      • piotr
        March 1, 2012, 8:51 pm

        I do not think that Dimona would be targeted. Missiles have 50-200 kg of explosives, so hardened bunkers are not appealing targets. Municipal waste disposal plant — no bunkers, out there in the open, big. Conventional power station, ditto, especially if it has gas/oil storage. And in case Syrians and Hezbollah are too stupid to figure out target selection on their own, they can just check what IDF was targeting in Lebanon and Gaza.

        This is indeed terrifying. Why trying to put chemical weapons in warheads if you can destroy a chemical factory? 200 kg of explosives can disperse tens of tons of pretty bad stuff.

        Israel is probably tempted to target Iranian factories. because just targeting the places where the products of these factories are will not delay nuclear programs. But this will put Israeli factories “in play”.

        War is MADness.

    • OlegR
      March 2, 2012, 7:37 am

      Your analysis is good regarding Hizbollah.
      I doubt Syria will have anything to say in the matter since they have their own
      problems.They will of cause seize the opportunity to crush the opposition.

      Hizbollah is a different matter since they are the direct client of Iran.
      Their long strategic arm.
      But the Hizbollah also has the good of Lebanon in mind as well.
      A full blown attack on Israel’s civilian infrastructures will result.
      in us returning the favor (which was not the case in 2006) .That is a very
      strong deterrent.Iranian regime may prevail or it may not but the shia muslims still have to live in Lebanon.
      So Nasralla being a smart guy might choose to sit this one out like he did during
      Cast Lead.If we don’t strike first and make sure that he understands that
      our business is not with him unless he makes it so this could be avoided.

      But anyway it’s better we don’t get to that point.

      • Chaos4700
        March 2, 2012, 8:54 am

        A full blown attack on Israel’s civilian infrastructures will result.

        So you’re assuming that Hezbollah will behave EXACTLY as your IDF does? It would be poetic symmetry for Dahiya to use the Dahiya Doctrine on your ass this time.

      • OlegR
        March 2, 2012, 9:23 am

        No they would be a lot less efficient since their missiles are not
        accurate which will increase a civilian casualty rate.
        Do ever get to some valid point chaos ?

      • Chaos4700
        March 2, 2012, 12:43 pm

        Oooh, so the Lebanese aren’t as good at mass murder as you are. Thanks for the clarification. Unless you’re really going to suggest that every man, woman and child you slaughter is automatically a terrorist. If Dahiya was your idea of “precision” what’s your idea of being reckless? This?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 2, 2012, 1:17 pm

        be a lot less efficient since their missiles are not

        this would be funny if it wasn’t so sick. remind me about all the schools, un center, hospital and mosques targeted in gaza and the destruction of southern lebanon, and the samouni family. i think i would definitely choose to be on the other side of hezbollah’s ‘ lot less efficient-ness’ than the accuracy of the immoral idf targeting civilians. anyday. i suppose you do know they drop fliers down in order to designate civilians as combatants. please, we are not stupid.

      • Walid
        March 2, 2012, 9:32 am

        “So Nasralla being a smart guy might choose to sit this one out like he did during Cast Lead.”

        Oleg, your assessment of what Hizbullah would do or don’t do is wrong. The Shia are looking forward to the “final battle” to take place in downtown TA more than you can imagine. There is no doubt that Lebanon’s infrastructure would be destroyed but there’s also no doubt about the same happening to Israel’s.

  5. piotr
    March 1, 2012, 4:31 pm

    One word: depleted uranium is not radioactive. Vaporizing heavy metals is not good for your health, and that roughly what happens when uranium is used against armor and buildings. Vaporizing lead or cadmium and converting them to a very penetrating dust would probably be no worse, or not much worse. If I understand, our bodies use minute amounts of various metals like zink, copper, iron, selenium and heavy metals can “confuse” body chemistry. Importantly, metabolism is typically very parsimonious with metals, they are not naturally purged from the bodies by liver, kidneys etc.

    So depleted uranium is “just a poisonous heavy metal”, not radioactive.

    • lysias
      March 1, 2012, 4:45 pm

      Depleted uranium may not be radioactive, but the uranium 235 and plutonium that would be released and scattered by the bombing of nuclear plants are highly radioactive.

      • ToivoS
        March 1, 2012, 9:12 pm

        Actually depleted uranium is radioactive. It is less (by about 60%) than natural uranium and only 10% as radioactive as U235, the key ingredient in nuclear power and bombs.

    • Fredblogs
      March 1, 2012, 8:38 pm

      It is radioactive. Just not very radioactive. That’s why it has a halflife of about 4 billion years. It slowly decays. Don’t mistake the halflife for how long it will have an effect on the population though, the stuff corrodes, erodes and spreads out. Eventually it reaches the background level of 0.3-11 parts per million in the soil. That’s the soil you’re walking around on in random places in the world, not soil where they’ve been firing DU shells. 0.3-11 parts per million of natural uranium (mostly U-238 which is what depleted uranium is made from).

      Oh, and it probably does do more damage as a heavy metal than the radiation, but the radiation doesn’t help.

  6. Dan Crowther
    March 1, 2012, 4:45 pm

    I wasn’t laughing. My punk ass might get called back into the service………..

    • Abierno
      March 1, 2012, 7:54 pm

      You are right. For the US to enter this war, it would have to institute a national draft owing to the deleterious effects of Rumsfeld’s stop loss policies, extensions of duty and too frequent rotations. While the American public might ignore the accurate and chilling prognostications above, a draft wherein us youth die for Israeli hegemonic aspirations and existential fears would bring the average american to instant rage, particularly in concert with bankrupting this all to indebted country.

      • teta mother me
        March 2, 2012, 12:05 am

        nope. no draft. politicians have that covered, killing two birds with one stone, really — DREAM act says legalize illegal immigrants by having them serve in the US military. There are two forms of DREAM act, one that offers option of ‘attend college OR military service, the other is ONLY military service.
        get them pesky Lateenos to earn their keep, daggone it.

      • Duscany
        March 2, 2012, 2:10 am

        “a draft wherein us youth die for Israeli hegemonic aspirations and existential fears would bring the average american to instant rage, particularly in concert with bankrupting this all to indebted country.”

        There will be no rage. The congress, the media, fundamentalist Christians, and Republican candidates all support Israel (and will continue to do so) till the cows come home. There is no answer to this and there is no hope. War is coming whether we and Mondoweiss like it or not. It will kill tens of thousands of people and destroy the American economy for a generation, despite which US aid for Israel will continue undiminished.

      • Dan Crowther
        March 2, 2012, 9:36 am

        “war is coming whether we and mondoweiss like it or not”
        - duscany

        Anyone notice how all of a sudden, North Korea is opening the kimono? Isn’t that exactly what the Iranians did when it was obvious Iraq was going to be destroyed? This really is domino’s.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    March 1, 2012, 5:25 pm

    RE: “The ever-smirking Israeli Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, has calculated that the casualties of a war with Iran could be limited to fewer than 500.” ~ Marsha Cohen

    ALSO SEE: Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths, By Ira Chernus,, 11/11/11

    (excerpt). . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around, that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
    But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
    Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all
    this. . .


    • teta mother me
      March 2, 2012, 11:08 am

      speaking of smirking — Ephraim Sneh made a number of outrageous statements in a panel alongside Trita Parsi at Woodrow Wilson Center, introduced by Wilson Center director Jane Harman.

      Barbara Slavin was in the audience and asked one of the three or four questions of the panel:

      (at 1:07) Barbara Slavin: “When Israel looks at the downsides of an attack on the Iranian nuclear program do you consider the casualties that it would cause within Iran in terms of bombing sites that are full of radioactive and other toxic materials? Has Israel ever done a study that would look at the numbers who would be killed and injured in Iran if it were to mount such a strike? Is that even a factor in Israel’s calculations? Thanks

      Sneh: I have to be very careful in answering your question [because of] the grey line between ethical question and operational question. But the – I can um uh uh assure you that Israel is very very careful to avoid that kind of damage.

      Slavin: How do you [carry out strikes?] without releasing all these [gestures with arm in air] all these radioactive —

      Sneh: [It causes a problem] between moral issues and an operational discussion, which I’m not allowed to answer. You know, I have so many wonderful answers to give you but I can’t. [Sneh smiles; audience laughs.]

      Sneh is one of the characters that causes my ‘antisemite’ neurons to go thwang. I find his attitudes and utterances pure malevolence, and it is my human failing to associate him (and his close sidekick Bibi) with the essence of Jewishness. When I heard him tell a 2008 AIPAC crowd that the Iranian regime must be removed, Iranians are incapable of removing them, therefore, essentially, Iranians should be starved until they revolt and overturn their regime, I was aghast. He amplified the thought pattern in the linked panel discussion. I think he’s insane, perhaps criminally insane.

      In this conversation, Jeff Blankfort mentions an encounter he had with Moshe Sneh, Ephraim’s father. Both are staunch Communist Socialists. (this is sneaky) — here’s what Blankfort had to say about Moshe Sneh:

      “when it came to the question of Israel and Palestine it was quite interesting because my father supported a bi-national state, and he actually was working for a bi-national state. We had, in the early days, some of the important Israeli leaders, Jewish leaders, stay at our home, including Moshe Sneh, who was the head of the Haganah, and also a member of the Israeli communist party.

      Well, Sneh asked my father if he could arrange for him to meet with some wealthy Jews in Beverly Hills, and my father did that, and they went out to visit these wealthy Jews in Beverly hills, many of whom had been socialists when they were young, and they kind of liked the idea of a socialist Israel. Not a socialist United States, but a little socialist Israel would be fine. And so when some of these wealthy Jews in Beverly Hills asked Moshe Sneh, when he wanted them to invest their money in Israel,”Aren’t you going to have a socialist Israel?” And Sneh said to them, “By the time we’re socialist, you’ll have your money back ten times over.”

      So when they were leaving, my father turned to him and said, not friendly like, “You’re talking out both sides of your mouth. What kind of a socialist . . . what kind of a communist are you?”

      And he told me this story, my father did, and I remember it because it impressed me, the contradictions between preaching and practice.

      I occasionally muse that Christian evangelicals are equally passionate about support for Israel and opposition to “socialism” that, ie. Obama represents. They never put the two thoughts together, that Israel was established to be a socialist nirvana. It also never registers with Christian evangelicals & Tea Partiers opposed to ie. insurance-care ‘reform’ that Israelis enjoy government sponsored medical care–subsidized by US taxpayers.

  8. Real Jew
    March 1, 2012, 7:03 pm

    What the author of this great piece somewhat neglected to emphasis is the danger presented by the polls itself. No politician, whether Israeli or American, would dare go to war without having the approval of the majority of their citizens. Most politicians take into account the results of these polls when deciding whether or not to go to war. And once they have the desired approval rating by (mostly uninformed) participants…….boom!

  9. gamal
    March 1, 2012, 7:12 pm

    “who’s counting? Who cares?’
    well yes but,

    100,000 deaths, and using IBC, come on i thought holocaust denial was banned, so if I say 600,000 Jews died in the war, oh i see not if its in the article, still, 10% of the accepted figure, if you believe in that science and rationality we hear so much about, the credible estimates ORB poll Lancet studies, put it between 800,000 and 1.4 million why use IBC whose methods couldnt credibly catch all but a tiny fraction of the deaths, it is kind of shameful. Doesnt really sit well the intent of the piece.

    • droog
      March 2, 2012, 4:32 am

      +1 on the IBC casualty figures gamal, also IMHO the notion of bunker busters as ‘fracking the enemy’, is highly dubious and thus a distraction.
      This all needs to be said, this should be on the idiot box every time some chickenhawk politician or pundit starts reciting from ‘warmongering for dummies’, however the piece is short one word. I believe the most significant word, the innocuous one that very few would recognise before, that after the event everyone knows, and wishes they didn’t. For us in the UK, not many people had heard of an Exocet before the Falklands War, afterwards everyone had, and by the MSM measurement criteria ( our blood ) this wars word could well be Sunburn.

  10. HRK
    March 1, 2012, 9:59 pm

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this excellent and extremely informative article.

    I had no idea that bombs not considered “nuclear bombs” dispersed radioactivity.

    All of America needs to know this.

  11. dbroncos
    March 1, 2012, 10:54 pm

    A window into the jaded attitude many Americans have about the violent death of someone else’s children:
    The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that, during the official 8+ year time frame of the Iraq war ( March 21, 2003 – December 15, 2011) there were nearly as many homicides in Camden and Philadelphia combined as combat deaths in Iraq.

    Homicides in Philadelphia and Camden: 3,474
    Combat deaths in Iraq: 3,517

    • Chaos4700
      March 2, 2012, 12:16 am

      I remember having something of an argument with some friends many years ago, whereby I asked them how many deaths have taken place in Iraq and (as I expected) they only quoted the deaths of American soldiers there. To which I promptly asked rhetorically, “And what about Iraqi civilians? Don’t they count?”

  12. Walid
    March 2, 2012, 9:18 am

    “The authors also warn that “Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will be heavily affected by the radionuclides.” (Are the Arab states of the Gulf who supposedly are so eager for Israel to contain Iran’s regional ambitions aware of this?” (Marsha Cohen)

    That’s a new one for me. Americans have relatives at the military bases in Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE. What’s the US to do about the 40,000 servicemen and almost equal number of civilians posted in these countries?

  13. Donald
    March 2, 2012, 9:27 am

    This is off-topic, but I think most will be interested. The link is to a Tablet magazine article about the links between Israel and Guatemala and more particularly, the links between Israel and its most genocidal dictator, Efraim Rios Montt. Montt was just indicted for genocide (in late January).

    Tablet link

    I found out about this from reading the current issue of the Nation Nation link ,but while they mention US support for the dictator, Israel goes unmentioned.

    Not to distract attention from the warmongering against Iran, but I think this blog missed the Tablet Guatemala story when it came out or anyway I didn’t see it.

  14. seafoid
    March 2, 2012, 12:23 pm

    The American soldiers who will die fighting in this war for the Major Jewish Organisations will leave behind broken families

    link to

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