Israel will attack Iran– and Obama gave tacit approval (Haaretz)

Obama entering Oval Office yesterday photo by Pete Souza
Obama entering Oval Office yesterday photo by Pete Souza

This is frightening. The editor of Sheldon Adelson’s Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, has a frontpage piece in that newspaper pushing an attack on Iran “with or without the Americans”:

“Difficult, Daring, Doable. Yes, we can strike Iran. And yes, we can succeed.”

Noam Sheizaf writes:

Regev, a member of Binyamin Netanyahu’s inner circle between his two terms as Prime Minister, attacks those speaking against the war, and concludes that “Yes, it’s possible to attack – and to succeed.” Israel Hayom, launched in 2007 by international casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is known for its deep commitment to supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu.

If that’s not worrisome enough, Aluf Benn at Haaretz says Netanyahu is preparing Israelis for an attack on Iran, and that Obama will be in on it:

[In a Knesset speech Wednesday] Netanyahu presented three examples in which his predecessors broke the American directive and made crucial decisions regarding the future of Israel: the declaration of independence in 1948, starting the Six Day War in 1967 and the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981….

Netanyahu is hinting that in his Washington visit, he received Obama’s tacit approval for an Israeli attack against Iran – under the guise of opposition. Obama will speak out against it but act for it, just as the past U.S. administrations speak against the settlements in the territories but allow their expansion. And in this manner Netanyahu summarized the visit: “I presented before my hosts the examples that I just noted before you, and I believe that the first objective that I presented – to fortify the recognition of Israel’s right to defend itself – I think that objective has been achieved.”

This morning, the editor-in-chief of the Israel Hayom newspaper, Amos Regev, published on his front page an enthusiastic op-ed in support of a war against Iran. Regev writes what Netanyahu cannot say in his speeches: that we cannot rely on Obama – who wasn’t even a mechanic in the armored corps – but only on ourselves. “Difficult, daring, but possible,” Regev promised. We need not be alarmed by the Iranian response: the arrow would take down the Shahab missiles, and Hezbollah and Hamas would hesitate about entering a war. The damage would be reminiscent of the Iraqi scuds in the 1991 Gulf War – unpleasant, but definitely not too bad. The analysts are weak, but the soldiers and the residents of the Home Front have motivation. So onward, to battle!

To use Netanyahu’s “duck allegory”, what looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war, and not just a “bluff” or a diversion tactic. Until his trip to Washington, Netanyahu and his supporters in the media refrained from such explicit wording and made do with hints. But since he’s been back, Netanyahu has issued an emergency call-up for himself and the Israeli public.

Bruce Wolman, who pointed me to the Haaretz, speculates that the attack might serve Obama, politically:

Has Obama convinced himself that an Israeli attack on the Iranian sites would be the pragmatic policy decision, and maybe solve his 2012 political problems at the same time?”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

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

  1. seafoid says:

    “Difficult, Daring, Doable. Yes, we can strike Iran. And yes, we can succeed.”

    Sounds like Obama’s own “yes we can”. And he couldn’t either .

    Thanks to Kathleen a few days ago for this link
    link to commondreams.org

    Very interesting WaPo ad from early March with warnings from Zinni, Panetta, Dempsey, Mullen, Gates

    • Carowhat says:

      Israel will never do this alone. It will count on the Iranians striking our forces after Israel first attacks theirs. Then Obama will have no recourse but to send in our planes to bomb Iran too.

      Even if Iran refrains from attacking us and only retaliates against Israel, the sight of Israeli casualties and wrecked apartment houses will soon have us in the war anyway. Congress will demand it.

      Our future is not in our hands. If Israel attacks Iran we will be in the war within a week.

  2. RudyM says:

    Regarding Wolman’s comment, I think there’s a much greater chance that an attack on Iran (with or without overt U.S. assistance) would hurt Obama’s chances than help them. The outcome is too unpredictable, but even the results that can be predicted with some certainty, such as rising gas prices, would, if anything, hurt Obama’s chances of re-election. The Republicans are in disarray and it’s hard to imagine a likely Republican nominee who could beat Obama. If he just sits tight, Obama will win a second term (and I do not say this as an Obama supporter).

    • Citizen says:

      RudyM, you omit that the American masses have been taught for ages that there’s no sky between them and Israel and their News shows have told them nothing different, have instead, parroted that big lie. Gas prices might rise to $10.00 per gallon at pump and US News will still be blaming that on the Iranians and Palestinians, of whom the American masses know nothing. Obama will join Israel’s latest war on Iran so long as it comes before Nov elections. He will stump speech on rise of gas pump price as what has to be paid to save Israel & US from Iran–to beat his GOP contender, Romney, who will be saying same and more to get Zionist $ & mainstream media backing.

    • radii says:

      yes, Bibi wants desperately to ruin Obama re-election, and Obama may be outsmarting him – Bibi launches attack and gives O the chance to formally rebuke him/israel and reset US policy in favor of, gasp, US self-interest

    • ahhiyawa says:

      RudyM. Agreed.

      Should Obama attack Iran before the November election oil will skyrocket to 200 or more a barrel. He will certainly suffer defeat at the polls. Should he win the election and than attack he will instantly become a failed, lame duck President, far more maligned and hated than Bush-43 when the enterprise becomes widely known as a failure.

      Bibi and his cohorts are serial prevaricators, who in failing to strong arm Obama to their ‘red lines,’ is attacking the Prez by creating war fears in the hopes of driving up the price of oil, which they hope will defeat Obama in the election. Its the only angle they have got and will probably not work.

    • Bruce says:

      @RudyM

      I also stated to Phil that “maybe it’s a well contrived show to get Iran to take negotiations more seriously. There was the leak about the message to Iran through the Russians. But such a strategy is still high-risk and could easily backfire…. Let’s see if the Lobby attacks on the President die down.”

      I agree that an attack on Iran will ruin the Obama Presidency, but the immediate reaction will be a rallying around the flag by the American public, high gas prices or not. This is always the case once the bombs start dropping and the reason I argued this would be a plus for Obama’s re-election. If the US military only becomes involved after Iran counters, then Obama will temporarily get the benefit of the doubt. Both Bush’s made the mistake of invading Iraq one year too early in the election cycle.

  3. MHughes976 says:

    ‘Hinting at tacit approval in the guise of opposition’ – these twisted words may contain the truth but could also be manipulation of the domestic audience and a bit of bravado in the face of failure.

  4. Dan Crowther says:

    Hasn’t this always been the math? Did anyone ever seriously think Barry and the O’s were against this?

    One things for sure – as soon as the Israeli Jets take off, the ethnic cleansing will begin.

    • Citizen says:

      Yep, Dan, the same way OP CAst Lead was done during POTUUS elections. It’s so blatant. No wonder they despise us, those who bilk us for aid to Israel.

      • Carowhat says:

        “No wonder they despise us.”

        I have no doubt that Netanyahu does, as did Sharon before him. Also of course the settlers who routinely ridicule Christians and people like Colin Powell.

        But I wonder how the average Israeli feels? Do they appreciate our help or do they regard us as a country way full of weak but dangerous goyim?

        • Oddly many Israelis resent the US and think we “have too much control over them” and “tell them what to do”.

          When I get this line from Israelis I want to puke. The victimhood status never goes away, and they project their own influence on us, onto them! It’s infuriating, and you are almost like….. Where do I begin with this BS upside-downism?

          I’m usually like… you know of people lobbying the Knesset for US interests? And you do know you can just say no to our aid and political cover, and do whatever the fuck you want, which you do anyways…. so why don’t you stop complaining about free billions, political cover, tax-free American Zionist donations, and possibly some trillion dollar wars we fight for your interests (or even express “gratitude”!).

        • Dan Crowther says:

          For whatever reason, I watched an old Meir Kahane lecture last night—- and yes, the right wing (which I pretty much consider kahane-inspired at the minimum) does indeed want to tell the rest of the world: FAH-Q

          Maybe not a good idea — heres Kahane:

  5. kalithea says:

    Netanyahu’s reading of Obama reminds me of the excuse rapists try to get away with: she said “no” but she really meant “yes, yes, yes”. But then I can understand how he might read Obama all wrong, because we all certainly read him wrong too four years ago!!

    Funny how with this imminent threat of war, Democrats are disguising themselves as Republicans; registering with the other side in Operation Hilarity to vote for SANTORUM; so he can end up the Republican nominee. Democrats are the most virulent critics around of the only anti-war Republican, Ron Paul, who in turn is critical of Obama’s foreign policy. Looks like Democrats are going to get what they’re praying for: WAR and then SANTORUM because the saying is true: Be careful what you wish for — more tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.

    If Israel attacks and war breaks out; this is going to be more than Obama can handle. Democrats who believe an Israeli attack before the election would benefit Obama are DELUDING themselves, because when Obama starts losing control; when things start getting out of hand, Americans will run to a tough Republican figure.

    • yeah, it completely jumped out at me:

      Netanyahu is hinting that in his Washington visit, he received Obama’s tacit approval for an Israeli attack against Iran – under the guise of opposition.

      • American says:

        Netanyahu is doing what he his merry band always do, lying, stirring shit, and grinding out propaganda for those not smart enough to catch onto it.

        Only about a hundred times have the “on going” statements of the US military command been quoted on here along with their findings and pronouncement that Israel is not capable of carrying off a successful attack on Iran. Period
        And they have explained in detail why Israel does not have the capability to do it.
        And stated “publicly” that the US Military is ‘against’ a strike on Iran.
        Pay attention to “publicly stated” cause the Military does not ‘ever’ publicly voice their view or leak their views unless they are stone cold seriously for or against something.

        “If Obama does go against the US military position then you can bend over and kiss the American ass goodby…cause it will be just the start of more and more.

        • he’s trying to compel obama to either confirm or deny with the intention of punishing him for it one way or another. it will be interesting to see how the WH and military respond.

          the last time they tried doing this the WH cancelled the spring military drills and shoved them up to the fall right before the election.

        • crone says:

          Yes Annie… I agree completely. He is certainly putting Obama in the position of having to deny what NetanYAHOO said – which he may think will put pressure on Obama in someway to join in the fray.

          I don’t think Israel can pull this off on their own – they would definitely need more than a nod, and a “yes, you can go ahead” —-

          But if I’m reading this incorrectly and US military does give Israel support, then we can watch the planet go up in flames as Russia, India and China and goodness knows who else comes to Iran’s defense.

    • Citizen says:

      Won’t matter as both Obama and Romney will back Israel to the hilt when it attacks Iran, and they will ignore simultaneously Israeli strategy of deeper erasing of “our misfortune, “also tagged as “the Palestinian Problem.”

  6. piotr says:

    An attack on Iran remains insanity.

    The most important aspect, strategically, is that Israel is in pursuit of “absolute security” through absolute insecurity of the adversaries. As opposed to more stable option of reducing the conflicts. However strong Israel or Israel/USA alliance can be, you must fail if your goals are impossible.

    The main ingredient of impossibility is that the limited nature of Israel security has more to do with the laws of physics than with existence or inexistence of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran could remove every molecule of uranium from its territory and how the strategic equation would change? Not much. The main cause of Israel vulnerability is the existence of conventional missiles directed at Israeli targets. Consider this scenario:

    1. Hezbollah removes some worthless Katyusha missiles from storage, places them “on display” and waits.

    2. IDF spots the missiles, bombs.

    3. 500 much better missiles strike port, oil storage and factories in Haifa. Iron Dome intercepts 200.

    Crisis and war ensues. If Israel retaliates on retaliation, another attack comes from different locations. Syria repeats Hezbollah manouver, and a pro-Iranian militia in Gaza. How the dust will settle it is hard to tell, and trying to check it is called “adventurism”. This is in Israel’s corner. But USA has more to worry about: having transit rights through Central Asia and Pakistan revoked and getting NATO forces in Afghanistan under siege. Blockade of Hormuz. Backlash in Egypt. Eastern province of Saudi Arabia in flames.

    Nukes have NOTHING to do with all those scenario. Crossing the lines that states do not attack each other does.

    And that does not address the issue what are the interests, inclinations and abilities of other powers. At the very least, Asian countries (and Russia) that are not admirers of American domination can pretty completely disable sanctions on Iran. The West does not have monopoly on supplies of agricultural and industrial products after all, and the non-Western market for oil became huge.

    However USA raises the stakes, there will be some expensive reaction. Verbal war is the least damaging option.

    • CigarGod says:

      We have Iran surrounded. Last count I made was 24 major bases, plus 2 naval fleets. Last I heard was 45+ bases.
      I still agree with you that it is insanity…but the planning sems to support it.

      This is an old (2007) report, but it is so comprehensive…with LOTS of maps and charts…, I think it still has value.

      link to globalresearch.ca

      • piotr says:

        USA is out of Iraq. Central Asia is basically surrounded by China, Russia and Iran, Afghanistan does not count as a transit route. After an attack on Iran, the last vestiges of American presence in Central Asia, including military transit to Afghanistan will be gone.

        I have difficulty figuring out what is it with Pakistan. I think they still did not open ground military transit to Afghanistan because of drone attacks on their territory. Islamic radicals may demand to close Pakistan even to NATO supply flights. They may hate Shia, but between passions of the moment and total confluence of interests, they may do it, and violently at that. NATO forces in Afghanistan will be under siege, like the French in Dien Bien Phu.

        We have a lot of positions on the south shores of the Persian Gulf. But with Central Asia in Asian camp, Iran is not isolated. If Russia will demand to cease and desist from any attacks on Iran soil, she will be in position to enforce it. It may be a game of chicken unseen from 1960.

  7. stevieb says:

    Well, under international law, Iran now has the legal right to attack Israel and the U.S as a means of defending itself from impending attack. Maybe that’s the idea? Probably not – at least you’d think, ‘what’s the point’ – USreal cares not one iota for international law- inspite of the global economic system, which would seem to make international law quite important, very relevant. But then I suppose the media need to continue with the illusion for the benefit of Zionism’s supporters – most of them probably unknowingly.

    • stevieb says:

      I wonder what Turkey might do in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran?

      • Citizen says:

        Turkey does not feel it has the power of bucking both Israel and USA. It will allow them to act in unison, and try to build its own support with China, India, Russia. Look at what has happened since the flotilla episodes.

    • mig says:

      stevieb :

      Well, under international law, Iran now has the legal right to attack Israel and the U.S as a means of defending itself from impending attack.

      Sorry to say but no. In international law, there ain’t no preemptive attack or war.

      • stevieb says:

        that’s not a ‘preemptive attack or war’. Under international law Iran has the legal right to defend itself from an impending attack. And when a country mobilizes forces and continues to threaten specific attacks you DO have the LEGAL right to defend yourself. Premptive war is illegal. Iran would not be prempting war. It would be defending itself from imminent attack. You can argue whether this attack is immiment – imo the evidence is quite solid – including terrorist attacks within Iran supported by U.S/Israel etc etc.

  8. Citizen says:

    Related: Why Hate Gilad Atzmon? link to veteranstoday.com via @AddThis

  9. Woody Tanaka says:

    Well, it seems that the only thing that may stop these crazy Israelis is if enough of their own people are slaughtered in a counter attack that they cease their militarism and a new political system rises up.

  10. Fredblogs says:

    I still think attack is not going to happen. Israel doesn’t have the long range bombers and bunker busters it would need to destroy the decentralized and dug in nuclear weapons program of Iran, and both sides know it. It’s all bluster for the elections. As for Obama’s bit about military options being available if necessary to stop Iran from getting the bomb, that’s just a bluff too. What’s really going to happen is that we’re going to let them have the bomb and count on mutually assured destruction to stave off war.

    • ahhiyawa says:

      Agreed. Not going to happen by either Israel or the US.

    • Denis says:

      I’m with you, too, Fred.

      David Albright said it: we know Israel doesn’t have the capability to attack Iran simply because they haven’t done it. Israel does not go around advertising its intentions when it faces an “existential” threat. It doesn’t even advertise AFTER the fact.

      This hyper-rhetoric is all choreographed for a reason. The challenge is figuring out what the reason is.

      Russia has already made it clear that an attack on Iran is an attack on Russia. When Omama says he has Israel’s back, is that a message to Russia? I don’t think so. I think he’s just groveling for AIPAC shekels. He probably called Putin before making that comment just to be sure they’re cool. Unless the Suez or Hormuz or Saudi Arabia are threatened, the super-powers are not going to square off over Israel or Iran

      Even if Iran is an existential threat to Israel, who else cares? What’s Israel got that anybody wants? Bagels?

      • Fredblogs says:

        Who cares? Well, the Israelis for one. Everybody who doesn’t want to see what happens when 200+ nukes go off also. Sane Iranians care. Anybody downwind of Iran cares. If Israel goes, it’s taking whoever destroys it with it.

        • Denis says:

          What’s that??

          Are you saying it’s the Israelis who are the existential threat to everybody “downwind.”

          When will the world see this? In 1973 Mier threatened to nuke Cairo if Nixon didn’t come to the aid of the IDF, which was getting its butt kicked.

          Yes, my friend, I couldn’t agree more. It is Israel that is the existential threat to everyone in the Middle East, and beyond. Noam Chomsky has quoted a US Army Col who has said the military is aware Israel could use its nukes on the US.

          And so the US gets its knickers in a twist over Iran, who doesn’t even have that first warhead. The psychologists call this “displacement behavior.”

  11. snowdrift says:

    How much of this is part of a concerted campaign to pressure the Iranians with ever increasing threats? Israel attacking alone is utterly pointless and I still have a hard time believing they would actually go through with it, unless Netanyahu is completely nuts (not to be dismissed) and hopes that Iran retaliates, thus forcing the US to intervene and maybe, in his view, helping the GOP in November. Which is really a long shot. If he thinks being chummy with the neocons and knowing his way around the Washington bubble makes him attuned to US political realities, I think he’s in for a rude surprise since Iran is not an important issue for the non-AIPAC segments of the population.

    • seafoid says:

      The Iranians are not stupid. They have been around in the region for a lot longer than the Zionists :)

      They know Israel can’t pull it off.

      Israel is like the eunuch who goes into hysterics when the best looking woman in town looks at his best friend. Who has the family tackle.

  12. marc b. says:

    Netanyahu presented three/four examples in which his predecessors broke the American directive and made crucial decisions regarding the future of Israel: the declaration of independence in 1948/the attack on the Suez canal in 1956, starting the Six Day War in 1967 and the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981….

  13. radii says:

    er, why are we not arresting Sheldon Adelson for treason (and not for the mobbed-up corrupt mafia gambling stuff) … isn’t it illegal to fund and foment war as a private citizen especially when it is in contravention of stated national security policy goals ??

    • ahhiyawa says:

      Do you THINK! That maybe criminal charges are a consequence of Adelson’s treason’s and attempts at manipulating US foreign policy?

  14. Hm. Would the hundreds of Israeli nukes really be enough to stop an Iranian and wider Muslim/concerned world retaliation against such an Israeli attack?

    I think there is a chance that if Israel attacked Iran, even nukes on Arab cities wouldn’t stop the region from lynching the Israeli butchers responsible for the latest war.

    Which means that Obamas tacit approval of an Israeli attack is not the biggest problem, even if it is of course in itself despicable.

    The biggest problem is, that Obama doesn’t declare to Netanjahu in the strongest terms that if Israel attacks, the US won’t lift a finger dealing with the inevitable backlash.

    If he did that, there would be enough Israelis willing to stop Netanjahu because they would fear retaliation. Unfortunately though, most Israelis have a sense that the guilt-ridden west will protect them, no matter how criminal their deeds.

    • The biggest problem is, that Obama doesn’t declare to Netanjahu in the strongest terms that if Israel attacks, the US won’t lift a finger dealing with the inevitable backlash.

      The US won’t have a choice, it would be drawn in no matter what. Picture a map of Iran, and then picture it basically being surrounded by islands of the US military base archipelago, and oil-transporting ships going through Hormuz, as well as US troops in Afghanistan, US embassies – all possible targets.

      Any Israeli attack, if followed by Iranian retaliation, would certainly eventually involve the US in some way.

      • CigarGod says:

        ahhh….a fellow map reader.

        Incredible how we have a country surrounded…yet they have no one surrounded.

        How dare they toss out our puppets?

        • Incredible how we have a country surrounded…yet they have no one surrounded.

          CigarGod, they’re hegemonizing their borders. This cannot be tolerated.

  15. Ael says:

    This is all misdirection and I am surprised how many are falling for this sleight of hand.

    The IDF does not have the punch to knock out the Iran nuclear program.
    They *hope* that the USAF would do it for them, but have no intention of launching an attack themselves.

    Alas, the US military and intelligence community does not want another war. This makes it hard to get any momentum in Washington.

    All this talk about war has the happy side effect of knocking the Palestinians out of the media picture.

    • seafoid says:

      “All this talk about war has the happy side effect of knocking the Palestinians out of the media picture.”

      To what end? If Israel does it long enough will the Palestinians disappear ?
      I can’t see the point. Other than winding up Israeli Jews beyond hysteria.

    • All this talk about war has the happy side effect of knocking the Palestinians out of the media picture.

      True, that may be one of the goals of the campaign.

      With the world now scouring over every minutae and detail of every ounce of uranium in Iran and wondering if the IDF is actually crazy enough to attempt to lob enough bunker busters near anything resembling a large metal container, the public is surely paying less attention to ongoing house demolitions, settler land grabs and extra-judicial killings in Gaza.

      The IDF does not have the punch to knock out the Iran nuclear program.

      Also true. Without direct US involvement, there are several limitations on the IDF’s ability to severely damage all of Iran’s nuclear related sites, most importantly distance which requires refueling, and accuracy of the attacks – they would need to get it right on the first try, as turning around and reattempting to bomb sites would be problematic – and Iran actually has anti-aircraft capabilities, it’s not a defenseless country, like Iraq.
      Some reading :
      link to francona.blogspot.com
      link to francona.blogspot.com
      link to washingtonpost.com
      link to ynetnews.com

      For discussion on the 1981 Osiraq reactor attack and the consequences :
      link to lewis.armscontrolwonk.com
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/an-israeli-attack-against-iran-would-backfire–just-like-israels-1981-strike-on-iraq/2012/02/28/gIQATOMFnR_story.html
      [PDF] link to pitt.edu

      Now, the problems with all of this are :
      1) We can analyze all we want, but in the end policy is not always guided by knowledge and common sense. The facts that it would not be sufficient to cripple the nuclear program and that the result would probably actually spur on the very thing they ostensibly want to avoid (a nuclear weapons program) is not a definite guarantee that it will not actually be attempted. Which leads to point 2 :
      2) Israel has built up over the years its “credibility” – meaning its ability to convince its neighbors that it truly has the capacity and the will to wreak total havoc. Part of the strategy of targeted killings, bombings and administrative detention policies is to send a message to future would-be “perpetrators” that they’d better think twice before engaging in activity the Israeli government, security services and spooks deem questionable. It “sends a message”. This was also one of the reasons for Cast Lead as well as the recent murders in Gaza.
      The Logic of Israel’s Targeted Killing :
      link to meforum.org
      That is, they have engaged in sufficient hoodlumery in the past that it is plausible for onlookers to think that they just might be crazy enough to actually go through with it (we’re back to Moshé Dayan’s “mad dog” idea).
      3) Even if it’s an elaborate, orchestrated media campaign with Israel playing bad cop to the US’s good cop (in which they would both be complicit, of course), there still is nothing to lose by keeping our eyes on this and diligently debunking the propagandists if they are actually trying to lie us into war yet again.

  16. eGuard says:

    Killing 25 Palestinians in Gaza was just a toe in the water. You know, see which paper would react? Who would condemn? And behind the screens, the Obama campaign budget is threatened.

    The only important post needed now, anywhere, is titled: “How Israel uses the US election to attack Iran”. Second prize: “Deduction on when it will happen”. Additional prizes: “parallels with the Gaza attack 2008-2009″ and “parallels with Iraq 2003-…” No prizes for: “Who will pay” and “What aftermath”.

  17. Amar says:

    I fear the Israelis main goal is not so much to cripple Irans nuclear potential in any attack, but to benefit from the aftermath and the resulting turmoil in the region. As Netanyahu said in 1989 Israel should have expelled the Palestinians from the West Bank while the worlds eyes were on the China student revolt and crackdown. Israel may use the Iran adventure as simply a cover for far more reaching actions closer to home… which may ultimately involve the ‘transfer’ option (expelling the Pals to Jordan and taking over the WB completely). I believe they think they can get away with something like this.

  18. American says:

    This is just more propaganda and story plant.
    Obama is not going to o.k., officially or secretly a Israeli attack “that the US will part of.”"
    Three purposes to this plant–1) rattle the monkey cage more 2) make it appear there is some “secret” green light by Obama. 3) then if Israel does ‘try’ to bomb Iran the portion of dummies susceptible to this propaganda will believe it.

    Attacking Iran or ‘being seen to be’ in on a war with Iran would send Obama’s election ratings down, not up. Which would be another plus for the zios.

  19. ToivoS says:

    There is something seriously wrong with this story. The is no way that Obama would give tacit approval for an Israeli attack on Iran. He might have said something like if you insist, who am I to stop you. For that is a fact — Obama can not prevent an Israeli attack. Politically the lobby is too powerful.

    But it does sound like Bibi is telling people in Israel that he has Obama’s OK. In that case, Obama had better announce in unambiguous terms that if Israel decides to attack they will have to face the consequences on their own. Such a statement would likely push the lobby into overdrive so such a course would be politically risky.

    If all of this noise coming out of Israel is Bibi’s doing then I think a case can be made that he is clinically insane. He could be talking himself into a position that would leave no alternative except to bomb Iran and this is something that Israel cannot do effectively. They just might come out it looking like the loser.

  20. Nevada Ned says:

    Will Israel and/or the US attack Iran?
    Israel’s most famous peace activist, Uri Avnery, think that neither the US nor Israel will attack Iran.
    Journalist Patrick Cockburn also doubts an attack.
    Meanwhile, historian Gary Leupp thinks the signals are contradictory. Noam Chomsky thinks it’s impossible to make a definite prediction.
    For my part, I recommend the Patrick Cockburn story above, where he points out that the US has now browbeaten its “allies” into economic sanctions on Iran and an aggressive blockade against Iranian oil sales and Iranian banking.
    The US and Israel share a common interest in regime change in Tehran, although for different reasons. The US wants to turn Iran back into the US client state that Iran used to be under the Shah, while Israel wants to eliminate a rival regional power.

    The readers and authors at the Mondoweiss website appreciate the power of the Israel lobby, but do not always understand this shared interest between the Israeli ruling class and the US ruling class. The US is the #1 world power, while Israel is (or hopes to be) a regional enforcer for the US empire.

    • Israel is (or hopes to be) a regional enforcer for the US empire.

      is that how you perceived this latest move..as hoping to enforce the US empire? because this doesn’t feel like israel enforcing US plans to me.

      • Nevada Ned says:

        Some US politicians and many Israeli politicians have threatened to attack Iran (because of Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons and non-existent nuclear weapons program). Instead of an attack, they settle for increasingly harsh sanctions. The world says, “Wow, what a relief! It’s only sanctions, not war.”

        Don’t forget the history here: in 1953 the US was able to oust an Iranian government that had nationalized the Western (British, I think) oil company, and install the Shah. How? By organizing a blockade of Iranian oil, followed by a CIA-organized coup. So this approach has worked for the US before against Iran. I’m not sure it’ll work this time, because the Iranian leadership is more able to resist US pressure than the Iranian government was back in 1953.
        Anyway, read the piece by Patrick Cockburn again. The US and Israel both want regime change in Tehran, and the US and Israel are laying an economic siege against Iran.

        Apologies, I got the link to the Patrick Cockburn piece switched with the link to the Uri Avnery piece.

  21. gingershot says:

    Duh – Israel is crossing all red lines by an attack on Iran.

  22. Rusty Pipes says:

    Who in Ha’aretz gave the green light for this headline? Bibi is a right-wing politician running for reelection, determined to make himself look tougher against Middle East foes and more influential in America than his competitors. There is no way to determine what, if anything, Obama said to Bibi from his campaign rhetoric.

    • Les says:

      Obama’s public statements, no matter what Netanyahu claims, are those of an equivocator. Now Netanyahu and the whole world can see that Obama has hoisted himself upon his own petard.

  23. Daniel Rich says:

    Iran should attack Israel. Period.

    Israel’s stated intention to attack Iran violates international law for a number of other reasons:

    1) Iran has never threatened to use its nuclear capability to attack Israel.

    2) There is a legal bar against any attack on Iran’s civilian nuclear facilities, in light of the Resolution 533 of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which prohibits any such attack and deems it a violation of international law.

    3) Iran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), its leadership has formally renounced nuclear weapons, there is an absence of any treaty constraint barring Iran’s possession of a nuclear fuel cycle, and to this date after extensive inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities, the IAEA has never detected any diversion of nuclear material to military purposes.

    Evidence, including reports in Washington Post citing the opinion of US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, suggests Israel is well beyond the “preparatory stages” of an attack on Iran and is gearing up to implement this plan within the next several months.

    Taken together, these arguments make a potent legal case for Iran’s anticipatory strike on Israel, irrespective of whether or not Iran moves forward with it or has the actual capability for a successful pre-emptory attack to disable its ardent enemy. According to Iranian media reports, Iran has some 11,000 missiles able to hit targets throughout Israel. The issue of military capability aside, within Iran’s legal discourse, the unlawfulness of Israel’s hostile intention and the lawfulness of Iran’s right to attack Israel first are basically two sides of the same coin. Even the UN sanctions on Iran, let alone US and or Israeli war on Iran, should be viewed as illegal under international law.

    link to atimes.com

    The only language a bully understands is, unfortunately, violence.

    • piotr says:

      Iran is neither innocent nor stupid.

      I think that this strange nuclear program is chiefly a vehicle to goad Israel to attack. It is really not necessary to get nuclear fuel, and it is also a very inefficient way to get bombs. But it is dispersed, modular and hard to destroy. If it is destroyed nevertheless, tangible loss for Iran will be negligible. And they will have a very high quality case for war.

      According to Technology Review (MIT publication), centrifuges form a dead-end technology. Laser Isotope Separation offers a possibility of using several times less energy and space. The article claimed that Iran was experimenting with it. The trick is to get the exact infrared frequency that knocks out electrons only from those molecules of uranium hexafluoride that have the target isotope, and then ions are concentrated using electrodes. Part of the research can be done in a normal university lab, and when moving to industrial scale, I guess that part would never see daylight.

      LIS is a speculation, but this way or another, the centrifuge program is a gigantic strategic decoy.

      By the way, in what country chess were invented?

  24. yourstruly says:

    surely president obama knows the story of the 1956 suez canal war. the israeli, french and british invaders. how a few stern words from president eisenhower forced the foreign invaders to sheepishly turn back, with the public back home in the u.s. of a. looking on approvingly. Obama should practice what he needs to say, so that he’ll be ready when u.s. intelligence tells him israel’s about to attack iran. if he does it before the november election, he’ll win in a landslide. oh that he had the cajones!

  25. Terryscott says:

    I assume your joking about Iran attacking Israel. I don’t see how nuclear war is something we should hope for.
    The question about Turkey is a good one, because many people here think domination of the Persian Gulf and guarantee of Turkish obeisance are the real reasons Iran wants nukes. Turkey would be in a worse position to oppose Iran’s support of the slaughter in Syria, for example.
    Turks are uneasy about this, and approaching it with a sort of gallows humour.
    Therr’s a joke making the rounds
    “Q:What do Hirishimab and Teheran have in common? A: Nothing, yet..

  26. dbroncos says:

    Sky high oil prices will cement the deal for the North American pipe line, and if that pipeline goes through we can consider the door slammed shut on any serious American efforts to do anything about global warming. The coastal flooding that is forecast in the coming decades will dwarf every problem America has created for itself in the ME, including our absurd obsession with Israel.

  27. optimax says:

    “Netanyahu is hinting that in his Washington visit, he received Obama’s tacit approval for an Israeli attack against Iran – under the guise of opposition.”

    This just means the US won’t attack Israel for attacking Iran. It reminds me of the so-called secret deal Netanyahu made with Bush that supposedly Obama broke. Can’t remember what it was.

  28. Patrick says:

    For any number of reasons, an Israeli attack against Iran would pose a grave risk to Obama’s chances for re-election. In particular, high gas prices are already hurting his approval ratings. He would have to be foolish and reckless to give even tacit support for an attack on Iran. And this it would be out of character; if anything, Obama has shown himself to be cautious politician.

  29. optimax says:

    And Obama’s reassurance the US will stay Israel.s arsenal.

  30. Opaleye says:

    “The Yahoo” can try to prepare Israelis for war all he likes, but the reality is that Israel completely freaks out even with very low levels of casualties from their regular civilian slaughter escapades. Thousands of rockets landing there will completely freak them out, and The Yahoo knows that. Israelis saw that their much vaunted IDF wasn’t all that crash hot in the last Lebanon war and not many Israelis actually believe they will do better in a bigger, longer war. That’s why the polls show Israelis only want an attack if the US in “in”.