Pentagon fears Israeli strike on Iran would drag US in

JP MILITARY articleLarge
Gen. James N. Mattis, who commands American forces in the Middle East, was said to be troubled by results of the war game.   Matt Dunham/Associated Press

For the third day in a row the New York print edition of the NYT has got a front page article focused on war with Iran. Today’s is U.S. War Game Sees Perils of Israeli Strike Against Iran by Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker and it’s a whopper.

WASHINGTON — A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials.

…..

[T]he game has raised fears among top American planners that it may be impossible to preclude American involvement in any escalating confrontation with Iran, the officials said. In the debate among policy makers over the consequences of any Israeli attack, that reaction may give stronger voice to those in the White House, Pentagon and intelligence community who have warned that a strike could prove perilous for the United States.

………..

The two-week war game, called Internal Look, played out a narrative in which the United States found it was pulled into the conflict after Iranian missiles struck a Navy warship in the Persian Gulf, killing about 200 Americans, according to officials with knowledge of the exercise. The United States then retaliated by carrying out its own strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

The results of the war game were particularly troubling to Gen. James N. Mattis, who commands all American forces in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia….

What are the chances that Americans would be afforded a report on our military’s assessment without having it finalized/”balanced” with Israel’s opposing assessment? Not much. Note how we are being sold a bill of goods pretending there will be only mere, limited, slight repercussions. Nothing that could lead to hundreds of thousands dead like our Iraq adventure:

“Israeli intelligence estimates, backed by academic studies, have cast doubt on the widespread assumption that a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would set off a catastrophic set of events like a regional conflagration, widespread acts of terrorism and sky-high oil prices.

“A war is no picnic,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio in November. But if Israel feels itself forced into action, the retaliation would be bearable, he said. “There will not be 100,000 dead or 10,000 dead or 1,000 dead. The state of Israel will not be destroyed.”

And here is Israel’s chosen American ‘liberal’ mouthpiece  delivering the ‘belief’ that an attack on Iran will go swimmingly. First softening the target (with four paragraphs of Uganda/Entebbe/Netanyahu’s dead bro: “Yonatan was the only Israeli soldier killed” warm up), then, after much equivocating, he goes in for the smooth landing:

Jeffrey Goldberg:

The arguments I’ve outlined here — and those I’ll describe in my next column — all lead to a single conclusion: The Israeli political leadership increasingly believes that an attack on Iran will not be the disaster many American officials, and some ex-Israeli security officials, fear it will be.

These were vertigo-inducing conversations, to say the least. Next week, I’ll discuss why, from Netanyahu’s perspective, a strike on Iran, even if only marginally successful, might be worth the risk — and may be historically inevitable.

Right, surprise us Jeffrey. Or tell us again what we already know. Neocon hawks are steering the debate on how to take on Iran. This has been exposed time and again.  Tell us why we need a ‘liberal’ translator to deliver Netanyahu’s narrative for war?  It’s only vertigo-inducing because you’re so circular about it. We get it: Israel wants to attack Iran and they want the American public’s okay to go to war, again. Against the judgement of our own military leaders. And you are explaining that to us, gently. And ad nauseam (your drumbeat began 18 months ago). And we’re not even talking about gas prices…

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in American Jewish Community, Iran, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Media, Middle East, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror

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

  1. Kathleen says:

    During a conversation on Chris Matthews Hardball last evening about oil prices and production Congressman Markey closing statement was blaming Iran for rising prices. He said “Iran as they rattle the markets” Essentially blaming Israel’s endless saber rattling and threat to attack on Iran and oil speculation taking place as a result on Iran. Markey kissed Israel right on the ass last night.

    On MSNBC’s Rachel Maddows she did a one hour show on non proliferation and Mexico agreeing to take out all nuclear weapons grade fuel. Good show. But when Rachel and her team put up a map of countries with nuclear weapons Russia, China, US, France, UK, Israel, India, Pakistan and NOrth Korea. She and her team chose to put up Iran as having nuclear weapons on the map. Talk about irresponsible, inaccurate and dangerous. Fueling the endlessly repeated and unproven claims that Iran not only has a nuclear weapons plan but they have nuclear weapons. Rachel Maddow needs to be pounded for doing this. Shameful and dangerous

    • Empiricon says:

      Maddow took the spot Cenk Uygur should have. Now we know why — yet another PEPpy (Progressive Until Palestine). She’s pretty damned intelligent otherwise so it seems a concious choice.

    • that’s so weird kathleen. why would she do that?

      • Kathleen says:

        Go watch the whole program from last night. Much of it wonderful. Then she and her team put up a map of the world and put up the countries that have nuclear weapons and then puts up Iran and adds a very weak weak and unproven explanation. The reason she does this is the same reason she has in the past repeated that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map etc. Maddow has beat on the go to war with Iran drums in the past. But this was way way over the top. Total unproven claims and she puts Iran up on the map as a nuclear weapons nation. Was absolutely disgusting and telling about Maddow and her team

      • dahoit says:

        Cause she’s a no good Zionist liar.Where’s our Shane to rescue US?

    • Citizen says:

      Kathleen, if memory serves, Madow mumbled something very fast & in a markedly low tone for her– about no evidence Iran has the bomb, and nearly simultaneously–behind her on the map, Iran appeared, and she then verbally (in her normal loud tone) reeled off all the countries shown as having the bomb–including Iran. Anyone watching the show without paying close attention would take away Iran had the bomb. OTOH, I think that show was the first time I heard anybody on TV be unequivocal in a statement re Israel having the bomb. I don’t recall her saying Iran was a signatory to the NNPT while Israel was not? Did she?

      • Kathleen says:

        Glad you are backing me up. I can not find the clip on her show that day on March 19th where she puts up the map of the world and shows Iran on the map with other nations that have nuclear weapons. Wanted to listen again. Did not hear her say that there is “no evidence Iran has the bomb” Did not hear her say this. But even if she did whisper this putting Iran up on that nations with nuclear weapons map was terribly irresponsible and dangerous. She and her team are absolutely fueling unsubstantiated and endlessly repeated claims about Iran. This is not the first time Maddow has done this. Can not find the exact clip of the maps with Iran up there with Russia, US, UK, France, China, Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea. Was a huge yellow world map

        • Citizen says:

          Kathleen, your memory is better than mine–perhaps I was hoping so much to get some objectivity from Rachel since she actually said Israel had the bomb. What she actually said when adding Iran to the map speaks for itself in light of the fact the Map and she declared it reflected only states that had the nuke bomb & that map stayed big behind her during the whole show, yet her reason for putting Iran on that map was not repeated.

          3-19-2012: Rachel Maddow pointing at a big world map with countries that have nuke bomb circled & named in bold letters:

          “So, this right now, what you`re looking at here — this is who in the 
world has nuclear weapons. Let`s also add an outline around Iran, because 
even though Iran says they neither have them nor want them, there are 
international concerns that Iran is not only working on having nuclear 
weapons but they may be close to that.” link to msnbc.msn.com

          If she were not a deceptive biased B&*%$ she would have added to her comment about Iran that there’s no actual evidence from official inspections Iran has a nuke bomb or is even preparing for one.

  2. Kathleen says:

    “We get it: Israel wants to attack Iran and they want the American public’s okay to go to war, again. Against the judgement of our own military leaders.”

    And Rachel Maddow helped with the go get Iran drumbeat last night which she has done before

    • weindeb says:

      I rarely watch Rachel Maddow anymore – liberal about most things decidedly so, but she’s too often too cute by far and more prolix than profound. On the other hand, I am somewhat surprised that she would so obviously play the AIPAC game. I thought that usually political commentators like her just remain silent about things Israeli, whether direct or otherwise, as if no problem existed.

      • radii says:

        I ditched Maddow a while back – she was earnest and articulate and passionate at first but seems to be drinking her own Kool-Aid at this point – she takes herself just a bit too seriously for me now – and she is a wuss on the I/P topic and follows the AIPAC party line

        • It is the problem plaguing most of the MSM — sins of omission. As someone here already mentioned, she’s a bright lady…so she knows what she’s doing.

          Sad that people seeking to profit by gaining your trust inevitably fail to retain their credibility. It’s hard for anyone to go against their paymasters. That’s why the paymasters are so successful in exerting their will.

        • Kathleen says:

          I feel I have to know what the MSM is and is not covering. How they fuel misperceptions, prepare Americans now for an Israeli or other strike on Iran etc etc

  3. Dan Crowther says:

    The Marine Generals are usually the only ones who give a shit about the actual troops – and we always get painted as the psychos killers…ha.

    Fmr Marine General Anthony Zinni on Iraq:

    Zinni believes this was a war the generals didn’t want – but it was a war the civilians wanted.

    “I can’t speak for all generals, certainly. But I know we felt that this situation was contained. Saddam was effectively contained. The no-fly, no-drive zones. The sanctions that were imposed on him,” says Zinni.

    Zinni on the “real” culprits:

    “I think it’s the worst kept secret in Washington. That everybody – everybody I talk to in Washington has known and fully knows what their agenda was and what they were trying to do,” says Zinni.

    “And one article, because I mentioned the neo-conservatives who describe themselves as neo-conservatives, I was called anti-Semitic. I mean, you know, unbelievable that that’s the kind of personal attacks that are run when you criticize a strategy and those who propose it. I certainly didn’t criticize who they were. I certainly don’t know what their ethnic religious backgrounds are. And I’m not interested.”

    Adds Zinni: “I know what strategy they promoted. And openly. And for a number of years. And what they have convinced the president and the secretary to do. And I don’t believe there is any serious political leader, military leader, diplomat in Washington that doesn’t know where it came from.”

    link to cbsnews.com
    ——————————————

    The key thing to remember is that the military brass are not pacifists by any means – they didn’t object to war on Iraq, they objected to its pratical application, to include timing and so on. These aren’t arguments against war on Iran as much as they are “maybe this isnt such a great idea for the time being”; or in other words, we need to think on this a while longer.

    Let’s also remember that one of Barry’s key selling points was that he was going to “use the noodle” and be a more competent manager of the war machine and so on. Story after story about dilligent preparation/study/analysis, as we have seen lately, seems like useful propaganda in that effort.

    And that is what the “war” speech from Barry will be: I have exhausted all options, thoroughly engaged the military and the analyst community, used all international institutions, and have, at every turn, made clear that only after weighing/exhausting all options would i contemplate using military force – unfortunately we are now at that point….yada yada yada….

    • W.Jones says:

      I learned recently Pakistan has many more people than America does. America simply cannot occupy the Middle East. Oh and Pakistan is pretty rightwing- an ally of the Taliban in the 1990′s and has nukes.

      Iran is a big country too, and has alot of influence in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

      The long-term plan is to treat the Middle East like the West Bank and Gaza are treated?

      The “soft power” tactics used in Tunisia and Libya are more effective from an imperialistic standpoint.

      Globalization is easier to manage I assume than direct colonialism. But the Iraq war appeared more of the latter. So it’s not too surprising that even those who seek strong US world dominance would object to the Iraq war.

      • Charon says:

        I’ll never understand why you folks even mention Pakistan. The majority of the Taliban-Pakistan history is based on propaganda. Calling Pakistan right-wing is a bit of a stretch. The majority of Pakistan have been opposed to Wahhabi-Salafism (aka, what everybody thinks Islam is even though it never really was until recent history) for decades. India has nukes too. Pakistan, is a divided and conquered India compliments of the British. They’re not exactly friends. Israel has nukes. Israel is the least trustworthy nation on the planet with nukes and they have a whole arsenal. Unofficial doesn’t mean it isn’t there. What’s is Kashmir anyways? The British and then the Zionist have long been very interested in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

        The Libya/Tunisia thing was an unnecessary disaster btw. That’s why it hasn’t been used on Syria. Globalization and colonialism are the problems with the world. The US doesn’t dominate the world btw. Only their military. We are ranked near the bottom in a lot of things Americans think we are number one at. Nor would I want the US to dominate the world.

        It’s strange that people get called antisemitic for being anti-globalization. It’s also strange how the USA went from being Republic to Democratic right under our noses. Democracy, especially this corporate financial central banking variety, is terrible. The USA is a Constitutional Republic. All those laws that usurp the constitution we’ve been seeing these past few decades (especially the draconian ones from the past few years) are unlawful. The public just doesn’t know it. We’ve been duped and taken over by neoconservative globalizationist hawks. That’s a bad thing by the way.

        • the Zionist have long been very interested in Afghanistan and Kashmir.

          why kashmir? strategic location along with afghanistan?

        • dahoit says:

          Well,it’s a tool to divide Pakistan and India and to keep them at tension,so it fits the Zionist playbook of divide and conquer,aint that what has happened here?

      • Dan Crowther says:

        Jonesy-

        Im not really sure what you’re saying here.

      • Citizen says:

        W.Jones, The total population in Pakistan was reported at 175.0 million people in 2010.

    • heh
      bunch of us were teasing a friend the other day — guy’s a former Marine. We were calling Marines a “division of the Navy.”

      He said Yeah, that’s right; Marines are the Men’s division of the Navy.

  4. According to the national racist religion we call Americanism– only American soldiers’ lives really matter. Also pretty much any white American.

    The concept that Palestinian life has any value at all? That’s nowhere on the U.S. political spectrum. I propose putting it on the spectrum by demanding boycott resolutions against Israel.

    • If a single note, no matter how melodious, is played incessantly, ultimately it will drive the listener insane.

      The piano is arrayed with keys. Play a different tune.

  5. Theo says:

    “killing 200 americans”

    This must be a cheap joke! Those aircraft carriers have a crew of over 5,000 men and if Iran hits one of them with a missile, hundreds will die instantly. If the missile hits the bay where the bombs and ammunitions are, or the fuel area, the whole ship may just blow up killing most of its crew, and this is only one single missile.
    What about those other hundreds fired at our ships, how many of those will hit the targets? How many ships will sink?
    We also have military installation all around Iran with at least 100,000 soldiers, an easily hit by iranian missiles. Iran makes sure the Taliban go on the warpath, again.

    In addition Iraq will rise again, Iran supplied them with enough weapons. How many americans must die there? We can expect that many american facilities will be hit by terrorists, perhaps our cities, such as New York. How many people will die if they explode a chemical device on Times Square?
    The majority of the population in Bahrain are shiits and we have our ME fleet there. Does anyone think that it will not be hit? It is only a couple hundred miles from Iran!

    Iran is not Iraq and we will pay heavily if we or Israel decides to attack them, so forget about the 200 dead americans. Add a couple 00 to that number.

    • Mooser says:

      “In addition Iraq will rise again, Iran supplied them with enough weapons.”

      But, but, I thought Iraq and Iran were deadly enemies? Didn’t they recently fight an eight-year war? One which left both sides badly damaged? Seems like all the US would have to do to keep Iran off balance is be friendly to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq?
      How on earth did Iraq and Iran end up together again for the first time?

      • eljay says:

        >> How on earth did Iraq and Iran end up together again for the first time?

        Both of them hate America for its freedoms. :-)

        • Mooser says:

          “Both of them hate America for its freedoms. :-)”

          Oy! Everybody’s got a thing, but some don’t know how to handle it.

      • dahoit says:

        Iran?Haven’t we resupplied them with our castoffs and outdated surplus army(wabbit detectors)crap?

      • Theo says:

        I presume your comment is facetious, however I still clear up my comment.
        The population of Iraq is a shiit majority and their religious leader Chief Turban ElBacardi, ( I simply cannot remember his name), is supported by Iran and has over 100,000 well armed private army.
        You can bet your sweet life if we attack Iran they will take revenge on our troops still in the country, including all those 17,000 civilian employees of the embassy.

        • i think sistani is the religious leader and hakim was the one with the army, but he died as i recall. i am sure he has a successor tho. the badr brigades are the name of the troops. it is true that during the iran and iraq war lots of those people took safe haven in iran (religious leaders) and they do have alliances with iran who trained the badr brigades.

          edit: here we are:

          link to aljazeera.com

          Ammar al-Hakim, a junior Shia cleric, leads one of Iraq’s most influential Shia groupings, The Islamic Supreme Council Iraq (ISCI). ISCI is running in in the March 7 parliamentary as the biggest party in the Shia coalition, Iraqi National Alliance.

          Formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the once exiled Shia Islamist group changed its name to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq in 2006. In September 2009, Abdulaziz al-Haikim, its co-founder and spiritual leader since 1982, died of cancer passing the leadership on to his son Ammar.

          The ISCI commands the loyalty of the most powerful Shia militia in Iraq today – the Badr organisation (formerly known as the Badr Brigade).

  6. Winnica says:

    Thought experiment: Imagine the leaders of any country except Israel are convinced their country faces an existential threat: say, Pakistan, or Saudia, or France or the UK. They also understand that pre-empting the threat might cost American lives – hundreds, maybe even thousands. Would anyone expect them not to pre-empt the existential danger out of consideration of the Americans?

    I’m not saying Israel faces such a threat. I’m questioning the logic that demands that even if it is, it may not defend itself out of consideration of America.

    And no, the American support for Israel doesn’t weaken the question. Look at it in its fullest starkness, with no ifs or buts, and then answer.

    • better yet winnica, why don’t you give us some examples of countries who have carried out preemptive strikes you thought were admirable. don’t ask us to work with the hypothetical. israel’s been beating the drums to attack iran for decades, your question implies you think iran taking a wack at israel would seem reasonable. it wouldn’t. israel being ‘convinced’ is just not good enough for me.

      • Amar says:

        “israel’s been beating the drums to attack iran for decades”

        1992: Israeli parliamentarian Benjamin Netanyahu tells his colleagues that Iran is 3 to 5 years from being able to produce a nuclear weapon – and that the threat had to be “uprooted by an international front headed by the US.”

        1995: The New York Times conveys the fears of senior US and Israeli officials that “Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than previously thought” – about five years away – and that Iran’s nuclear bomb is “at the top of the list” of dangers in the coming decade.

        link to csmonitor.com

    • Shingo says:

      I’m not saying Israel faces such a threat. I’m questioning the logic that demands that even if it is, it may not defend itself out of consideration of America.

      Yes Winnica, that would put to bed once and for all, the myth that Israel is America’s greatest ally in the region or that there is no daylight between the two countries.

      Now pull your head out if your rear end and try to imagine the US defending it’s interests without considering Israel.

      And no, the American support for Israel doesn’t weaken the question.

      Of course it does. Without American support for Israel, Israel would be doing a lot less defending and engaged in a lot more negotiation.

      It’s because of US support that Israel believes it doesn’t have to.

  7. Les says:

    Corporal Goldberg’s loyalty is to the country where he chose to do his military service, Israel. This hardly makes him American.

  8. LeaNder says:

    Annie, this was delightfully irreverent. I loved to read it. How about calling Goldberg, Mr. Point-of-no-Return, reminds me of Mr. Faster Please, Ledeen.

    I don’t know why, but I think Netanyahu bluffs. This may be wishful thinking on my part. Over at sic semper tyrannis they extensively discussed Israeli capabilities to do it on their own a couple of years ago. The result was, they aren’t able to. There is another reason why I think he bluffs, it surely wouldn’t improve Israels image abroad, as it may well turn out a disaster at home.

    This was a comment on Pat Lang’s blog:

    jdledell said…

    Sorry I’m late to this topic but I’ve been in Israel for Purim. While there I spent a lot of time with my nephew and his family. He is an F-16D squad leader in the IAF. Over more beers than I can count we spent a lot of time discussing the topic on everyone’s mind, Iran.

    While he has no inside information, at least to share, he was quite open on his reasons for believing there will be no IAF strike on Iran.

    1 – Israel has only 25 of the F-15 Strike Eagles. These are the planes best equipped to carry the GBU-28 bombs and extra fuel tanks necessary to bomb the nuclear sites. The about 20 other F-15′s will mainly carry 2000 lb bombs. The remaining F-15′s will stay home in case they are needed for Lebanon and/or Gaza.
    2 – A sizeable contingent of F-16′s will be needed for escort and anti-air suppression. His guess is 50-60 would be needed. However, there is a shortage of external fuel tanks to outfit all the planes needed foe this mission. Unless they are hidden at some base he doesn’t know about, there isn’t enough. He is not aware of any on order either.
    3 – The biggest achilles heel to this mission is air refueling. The IAF currently has seven 707 refuelers. However, only 4 of them are in current service, the other three await canibalization for parts. However, these 707′s are old and in the maintenance shop more than in the air. The wiring is old and they have had problems with electrical shorts – not a good thing in a refueler. The old C-130 refuelers are not up to this kind of dangerous mission over hostile territory.

    In a nutshell, he doesn’t believe they have enough reliable refueling capacity to support an effective mission of this size. The IAF has bought another 707 refueler but it wont’ be delivered until this summer. His biggest gripe is the IAF spends tons on money on Gee Whiz stuff on not enough on nuts and bolts.

    In most of my conversations with Israelis this past visit, they don’t believe Israel will go it alone. The consensus is Bibi is ,as usual, a big bag of wind. The real fear is not that Iran will drop a nuclear bomb on Israel but the threat that it could happen will dry up aliyah candidates as well as business investment.

    Just one more piece of information to plug into the millions of words already shed about this situation.
    Reply 18 March 2012 at 07:02 PM

    • Mooser says:

      “I don’t know why, but I think Netanyahu bluffs.”

      I don’t see where he has any problems. All he has to do is get the war started, and appear to be losing and good ol’ Uncle Sam will finish it, or attempt to.
      Sure, the Pentagon may try to cover their ass, but they never saw a war they didn’t like, and after all, the military is under civilian control….

      • Carowhat says:

        You’re absolutely right. All Netanyahu has to do is start the war and congress will insist we jump in with both feet. I don’t even think Israel has to look like it’s losing. Just let one bottle rocket hit Tel Aviv and there will be congressmen complaining that we’re shamelessly letting our closest ally and the only democracy in the Middle East spiral down the tubes.

        What would really guarantee American entry into any Mid East war is an attack on our forces. In the hours or days after Israel attacks Iran, someone in Iran or in their navy or at some air defense missile battery will fire something at one of our ships or planes.

        That’s all it would take. All of the American Congress, all the president’s advisers, and three-quarters of the American public would rise as one to demand that we turn Iran into a glass parking lot.

        Now Iranian’s aren’t stupid. Just to guard against being vaporized by our carrier task forces they may threaten to shoot on the spot any soldier or sailor who fires on the Americans in the wake of an Israeli attack. In that case, I expect, the Israelis already have a contingency plan in place to make sure American forces get attacked anyway, so, no matter what happens, we still enter the war.

        • In that case, I expect, the Israelis already have a contingency plan in place to make sure American forces get attacked anyway

          didn’t you read the article? the way it reads, if iran doesn’t respond to an attack by attacking the US thereby ensuring it’s own destruction (iran’s) it will probably set off low grade terrorists all over the place (paraphrasing of course) and then, according to the writers this will ‘instigate’ a response to get the US into the war. that was my memory of the article from this morning. i could be off. so whether iran does it or it’s pulled off as a false flag making it look like iran does it, either way there’s the excuse for the US entering the war. somebody probably might prefer iran take that kind of action so they do not have to, but at least the stage is set and the public is ready for it, or will be by the time they hammer it into our heads for months.

        • Carowhat says:

          I didn’t see anything in the article suggesting that Israeli might stage false flag ops to make sure we enter a war on their behalf. But, even so, as I said in my earlier post, I am sure that that Israel has a contingency plan ready to go in case Iran fails to retaliate against us.

        • I didn’t see anything in the article suggesting that Israeli might stage false flag ops to make sure we enter a war on their behalf.

          nor did i say the article suggested israel might stage a false flag attack. what i said about the attacks was

          according to the writers this will ‘instigate’ a response to get the US into the war…….so whether iran does it or it’s pulled off as a false flag making it look like iran does it, either way there’s the excuse for the US entering the war.

          the last part was my analyses (for free btw, aren’t you lucky)

          so, when a country warns of another countries upcoming attacks.. like this: link to aljazeera.com it is a good indication a false flag could be in the works.

          The magnet bomb that exploded on an Israeli Embassy diplomat’s car in Delhi on February 13 seemed on the surface to be consistent with an Iranian-sponsored action.

          It was carried out with same method by which Israel’s Iranian proxy, the Mujahedin-e Khalq, had assassinated an Iranian scientist in mid-January. It occurred on the anniversary of the 2008 assassination of Hezbollah operations chief Imad Mugniyeh, which Hezbollah had vowed to avenge. And it happened at the same time as what appeared to be attempted bombings in Bangkok and Tbilisi.

          But a review of the evidence uncovered thus far makes the link to Iran begin to look very dubious. Instead, it points to the distinct possibility that the Israelis planned a carefully limited bomb attack that was not intended to cause serious injury to Israeli diplomatic personnel, but that would advance the larger Israeli narrative on the need to punish Iran.

          The evidence surrounding that bomb itself indicates a series of decisions by the terrorist team that is fundamentally inconsistent with an Iranian-Hezbollah revenge bombing.

          i rec the entire gareth porter article.

          note in the article how the israelis tipped off india weeks before the attack was going to happen saying it was ‘likely’. and then note how it completely sucked up the press (it was a look over there moment but i can’t quite recall what we were being diverted from at the time) but it came back to iran iran iran..oh wait i remember….it was during clapper threat assessment time and we were being directed to understand how iran might or could attack us. or something. but at the time it was merely the mexican mafia thing..not impressive. anyway..sorry rambling. let’s go back to gareth porter:

          Indeed, it was Israel, not Iran that stood to gain politically from the terrorist car bomb in Delhi. Israel was well aware that a terrorist bombing in Delhi that could be blamed on Tehran was a potential lever to change India’s policy toward Iran. As an Israeli official told the Wall Street Journal, if India were to adopt Netanyahu’s position that Iran was responsible for the bombing, it would take the India-Iran relationship to “a whole different level”.

          Nearly two weeks before the bombing, Israel acted to ensure that Indians would assume that a terrorist attack in Delhi on that date had been carried out by Iran. A letter to the Delhi police on February 1 signed by the Israeli Deputy Chief of Mission in Delhi and the First Secretary responsible for security expressed concern that Iran and Hezbollah would take revenge on the anniversary of the Mugniyeh assassination by carrying out terrorist actions against Israelis. It also referred to the possibility of Iranian revenge for the assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist Mustafa Ahmadi Roshan on January 11. Although the letter did not specify that an attack might take place in Delhi, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo led a delegation of intelligence officials on a visit to Delhi around the same time and turned over a list of 50 Iranian nationals with the request that they be kept under surveillance.

          anyway, my point is you said I am sure that that Israel has a contingency plan ready to go in case Iran fails to retaliate against us.

          i was merely suggesting if israel wanted to get the US into the war (which is fairly obvious they do) and iran didn’t retaliate…a contingency plan might be what the nyt article said would instigatethe US to enter the war. shall i copy paste?

    • thank a lot LeaNder , i’m so glad you had fun reading it.

      re netanyahu bluffing..it’s screwing with our election and regular news cycle. just a constant rev rev revving for war.

      one of the things i found very interesting and why i opened with it…this is the third day in a row the nyt has featured a big iran story on it’s front page for the home readers. the third day. you’ld think 3 or 4 iran stories a week but no..it’s 24/7 iran and that is by agenda..not sure if you opened the ‘hawks are steering the debate on how to take on Iran.’ link towards the end of the article but that was one of their front pagers. it’s just all the neocn stuff and it very blatantly says….well, the url for it is actually pro israel hawks are steering the debate on how to take on Iran or something along that line. you know what i say about url’s..they reveal what the author was originally thinking. our FP is being driven by radicals..and that’s the truth.

      • LeaNder says:

        All he has to do is get the war started, and appear to be losing and good ol’ Uncle Sam will finish it

        Yes, that may be Bibi’s gamble, but at the moment it feels Obama does the right thing. That’s why Bibi needed to spread rumors to try to make himself look slightly better.

        • Citizen says:

          Maybe Bibi is baiting Obama to give him the bunker buster bombs & air-refueling products he needs; I read something recently saying when the two met last time during the AIPAC conference Obama promised him that stuff if Bibi will wait until after November elections to bomb Iran. Recall Obama offered Bibi two squadrons of F-35s merely to suspend settlement expansion briefly?

      • LeaNder says:

        Annie, I am not in the States, thus don’t witness the TV Iran war drums, including the visual tricks Kathleen so expertly alludes to above. In this context the article you linked: ‘hawks are steering the debate on how to take on Iran.’ was rather informative. At least NYT readers now know, who are the main forces behind this hype: Like these guys. The PNAC had a much more neutral American look.

        Among those advocating a more aggressive approach toward Iran are prominent Republicans in Congress, like Mr. Cantor and Senator John McCain of Arizona; the party’s presidential candidates; groups like the Emergency Committee and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac; the so-called “neocons” from the George W. Bush administration who were strong proponents of the war in Iraq; pro-Israel evangelical Christians like Mr. Bauer, who is also active in the group Christians United for Israel; and many Democrats.

        And then there is this:

        The disagreements over what to do about Iran reflect the divisions among Jews themselves. In a survey of American Jews last September by the American Jewish Committee, an advocacy group, 56 percent of those polled said they would support American military action against Iran if diplomacy and sanctions failed, while 38 percent opposed it. Support was down slightly from a year earlier.

        Won’t non-Jewish American readers ask themselves, are we chopped liver? Would 80% of non-Jewish Americans support an American war against Iran, as Israelis would, if I remember correctly?

        Will TV pick up on this information? Can it really work again, as if nothing has happened? I see even the dark prince, Richard Perle is active again.

        Let’s see what happens if Israel’s security will be made a central election issue. What’s the much talked about window-of-opportunity for a war anyway in light of the next US election campaign?

        • the dark prince, Richard Perle is active again.

          yes, he’s always been lurking in the background. yuk. these guys are like vampires, they seem to live on and on thru one administration to the next. i don’t watch the TV except if someone links to a news story on the internet. but when i do see it it is so dumbed down usually. but, obviously i am a news junkie. i see what themes are being pushed and their placement in the coverage (why i notice those 3 iran stories on the NYT print front page and buried in the world section for the rest of us). basically what the little guy thinks is unimportant as long as a certain audience is revved up and ready to go. our job is to fall in line.

          yes, the hawks article was very good but i don’t know if they would have written it had bloggers so hit on this for years, including phil of course. it was a ‘jew counting’ article in it’s own way. it hit many main themes, even adelson. we went nuts when up w/chris hayes ran that show but now the same kind of info is in the nyt. the blogosphere is leading the discourse and they are following because it’s basically out now. this is very clear:

          it is the most hawkish voices, like the Emergency Committee’s, that have dominated the debate.

          they say israel lobby they sat j street they say bill kristol (1st paraghraph!) and Emergency Committee for Israel, they say aipac, and not til the 12th paragraph do the mention…..jews or jewish.

          The disagreements over what to do about Iran reflect the divisions among Jews themselves. In a survey of American Jews last September by the American Jewish Committee, an advocacy group, 56 percent of those polled said they would support American military action against Iran if diplomacy and sanctions failed, while 38 percent opposed it. Support was down slightly from a year earlier.

          they can say ‘the Emergency Committee’s, that have dominated the debate’ but they can’t say radically rightwing jewish hawks dominate the debate. they can’t. but they can provide them access. i wonder over the last year if we could peak in the background and find out who all those anonymous sources were how many of them were from these groups. the grandaddies of the josh blocks. the turn the screws on team. but they can say the Emergency Committee dominates the debate. so that’s a start.

        • American says:

          American Public Opposes Israel Striking Iran
          link to worldpublicopinion.org

        • LeaNder says:

          Annie, I absolutely understand your frustration, but strictly I think it’s appropriate to not talk about rightwing Jews / Jewish hawks only. For one reason, I still lean towards the Chomsky/Finkelstein perspective on the issue. I think, I would cringe, if I read an article on US politics that only concentrated on the Jewish angle, at the same time I understand why Phil started the discussion. Paradox? yes, unfortunately this is a recurring theme in my life.

          In a slickly produced, 30-minute video, the group that the two men lead, the Emergency Committee for Israel, mocked Mr. Obama’s “unshakable commitment to Israel’s security” and attacked his record on Iran as weak. “I’ll be brutally honest: I don’t trust the president on Israel,” Mr. Bauer, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, said in an interview. “I think his record on Israel is abysmal.”

          Did we have that video, I forget?

          Post 911 I was overwhelmed by my first encounters with the diverse scandals in US politics, like Iran-Contra and the extensive research on it. Drug war and drugs weapons angles. At same time I discovered the connections of non-Jewish actors to Christian religious circles. Isn’t Gary Bauer (Oliver North too?) such a candidate? What about the larger “Judeo-Christian” complex? Obviously there is an Israeli interest angle to the whole story. But also true that these authoritarians embrace it eagerly as their main forwardmost eastern front.

          True, that Israel somehow seems to sit at the center of contemporary dynamics. But also true that there seems to be a confrontation between this Judeo-Christian and a fundamentalist Muslim ideology. They produce mirror and feed on each other. It’s no doubt a highly dangerous scenario.

        • LeaNder says:

          Thanks American, that’s a good sign. For whatever it’s worth. I surely hope that US intelligence is in high alert, and that the administration does it’s very best to keep the messianic apocalyptic cult leader in Tel Aviv / Jerusalem at bay. Mr. Point-Of-No-Return seems slightly confused lately.

    • yourstruly says:

      meaning that israel would risk the lives of thousands of american soldiers, not to mention how many of its own troops/citizens and iranians, so as to increase jewish immigration and outside investment in its economy? and its leaders think they can win over the public to this monstrous plan? so as to preempt such a war, starting with jeffrey goldberg, gary bauer and william Kristol, how about these israel firster traitors being put on trial? -

      members of the jury, in the trials of jeffrey goldberg, gary bauer and william kristol, each on the charge of treason, what are your verdicts?

      each is guilty as charged, your honor

  9. re: ““A war is no picnic,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio in November. But if Israel feels itself forced into action, the retaliation would be bearable, he said. “There will not be 100,000 dead or 10,000 dead or 1,000 dead. The state of Israel will not be destroyed.” ”

    Barak seems to be talking about Israeli dead, not Iranian dead.
    You have to think Israeli — Iranian deaths don’t matter. Palestinians deaths didn’t matter.
    Or think American vis a vis Iraq — Iraqi deaths don’t get counted, another way of saying they don’t count.
    Recently Barak said, “Israelis will be fine; they should just stay in their homes. Maybe 500 will die. That’s all.”

    • Mooser says:

      “Recently Barak said, “Israelis will be fine; they should just stay in their homes. Maybe 500 will die. That’s all.”

      Gosh, I’ll make sure to remember these reassuring words, whenever our lovely hasbaratchniks wail and moan about the “rain of missles” from Gaza. And he’s referring to Iran, who could presumably rain much more deadly and accurate arms at Israel.

    • American says:

      Israeli can’t do anything but botch a raid, it doesn’t have the heft to do it. But Netanyahu is so delusional I doubt he understands that.

      Report from jdledell

      ”I’ve been in Israel for Purim. While there I spent a lot of time with my nephew and his family. He is an F-16D squad leader in the IAF. Over more beers than I can count we spent a lot of time discussing the topic on everyone’s mind, Iran. While he has no inside information, at least to share, he was quite open on his reasons for believing there will be no IAF strike on Iran. 1 – Israel has only 25 of the F-15 Strike Eagles. These are the planes best equipped to carry the GBU-28 bombs and extra fuel tanks necessary to bomb the nuclear sites. The about 20 other F-15′s will mainly carry 2000 lb bombs. The remaining F-15′s will stay home in case they are needed for Lebanon and/or Gaza. 2 – A sizeable contingent of F-16′s will be needed for escort and anti-air suppression. His guess is 50-60 would be needed. However, there is a shortage of external fuel tanks to outfit all the planes needed foe this mission. Unless they are hidden at some base he doesn’t know about, there isn’t enough. He is not aware of any on order either. 3 – The biggest achilles heel to this mission is air refueling. The IAF currently has seven 707 refuelers. However, only 4 of them are in current service, the other three await canibalization for parts. However, these 707′s are old and in the maintenance shop more than in the air. The wiring is old and they have had problems with electrical shorts – not a good thing in a refueler. The old C-130 refuelers are not up to this kind of dangerous mission over hostile territory. In a nutshell, he doesn’t believe they have enough reliable refueling capacity to support an effective mission of this size. The IAF has bought another 707 refueler but it wont’ be delivered until this summer. His biggest gripe is the IAF spends tons on money on Gee Whiz stuff on not enough on nuts and bolts. ”

  10. Richard Cohen, the ‘liberal’ Ziocon at WaPo, comes out and admits it plainly in today’s paper: Israel should bomb Iran, not because the Persians might get the bomb, but to slow the brain drain caused by emigration of Israel’s high-tech specialists from the Tel Aviv area. Here are excerpts from the article, entitled “Israel’s Short-Run Problem”:

    But Israel also has a short-term objective — and that is to play for time. … Why can’t it just hang on? What’s wrong with containment? … How is Iran different? … Iran is different because it has explicitly threatened Israel.

    It is about economics. Israel has a humming economy with a marvelously vibrant high-tech sector. The statistics are astounding. Until recently, Israel, with fewer than 8 million people, was second only to America when it came to companies listed on the Nasdaq …. Talent, though, is fungible. It can get on an airplane and move. It can come to the United States where Israelis, as it happens, swarm all over Silicon Valley. Everyone has a different figure, but at least 250,000 Israelis live in the United States, an Israeli official tells me.. That’s a significant slice of the country’s population. These Israelis are in America for a variety of reasons — education, jobs, etc. — but some of them may like the fact that nowhere in America do rockets rain down or terrorists run amok. If Israel is to keep its talent, it must provide a safe and secure environment.

    As long as Iran supports anti-Israel terrorist groups, Israel remains — to one degree or another — a dangerous place. An Iran with nuclear weapons becomes a more potent protector of its client terrorist groups ….

    Sanctions may cause Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program, if indeed that’s where it is now heading. But critics of Israel’s approach have to understand that Iran’s program looks different from Tel Aviv than it does from Washington. In the long run, an Israeli attack on Iran will accomplish nothing. In the short run, it could accomplish quite a lot.

    (emphasis added)

    I think Richard Cohen has just given me a new nickname for Israel: ‘The Short-Run Nation’.

    Here’s the link:
    link to washingtonpost.com

    • ToivoS says:

      Thomas I have been making this argument for a few years now. Israel has created a strategic dilemma that it can’t solve with war. Cohen’s analysis is mostly correct except with that last sentence, ‘in the short term much could accomplished’. In the short term, an Israeli attack would likely accelerate the emigration of highly trained Jews from Israel.

      This dilemma began immediately after 1948. First, Israel built up Tel Aviv as a cosmopolitan center where 80% of Israeli Jews now live. Downtown Tel Aviv is equal in size of the blast radius of 3 normally sized fission bombs. Second, they decided to engage in perpetual war to expand their territory. And third, they introduced nuclear weapons into the mix. They violated one of the first laws of conflict: he who lives in a glass house shouldn’t start rock fights.

      The people of Israel are acutely aware of this problem. It is only rational to move away and it looks like for those that can do so easily are leaving in droves. The emigration numbers are very hard to come by, but if an Israeli official admits to 250,000 then it seems that the often mentioned 750,000 Israeli expats is probably closer to the truth. Imagine, living in a country where 10% of the population lives abroad.

    • The conundrum is that if USrael attacks Iran, US will be implicated, and Americans will be killed.
      Everyone will know the war is for Israel.
      Cohen just said so: Americans will be called upon to kill Iranians for the sake of Israel’s economy.
      Americans will form some small measure of resentment toward Israel. Or maybe a slightly more than small —
      American men and women will be asked to forsake their dreams of becoming an engineer or scientist, or of having a family, or a productive life, so that Israelis can collect Nobel prizes.
      Americans will not only be called upon to sacrifice their dreams and ambitions, they will be called upon to die for Israel.
      When that happens — and remember, this time we know without a doubt that it’s Israel that wants this war — when Americans come home dead, having fought for an Israel flag, all those Israelis in Silicon Valley are going to start to feel mighty uncomfortable.

      Back to the drawing board mr Cohen.

  11. Daniel Rich says:

    Q: We get it: Israel wants to attack Iran and they want the American public’s okay to go to war, again.

    R: You couldn’t be more wrong. Israel will not attack Iran, because if it thought it could get away with it, it would have done so already [I have said so for years and till today am still right].

    No, Israel wants the US to attack Iran, so the fallout will be directed at ‘Yanks,’ not Jews. How are those overflies over Assad’s Damascus palace lately? No more going through the sound barrier over his head like in the old days?

  12. Daniel Rich says:

    This is how Bibi see it:

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that he was incensed by “the parallel between the pinpoint slaughter of children … and the Israeli military’s defensive surgical strikes against terrorists who use children as live shields.

    Keynotes to remember:

    > pinpoint slaughter of children
    > Israeli military’s defensive surgical strikes [sic]
    > against terrorists
    > use children as live shields [very sic]

    The above validates any and all violence.

    link to sun-sentinel.com

    • it is circular logic daniel. it posits that since israel has the ability and technology to make surgical strikes it therefore is intending to strike a terrorist thereby making any and all civilian death ‘collateral damage’ ie unintended, hence legitimate, according to israel. so any surgical strike that kills a civilian on his own land like a 61 year old farmer or 12 year old boy link to mondoweiss.net was unintended.

      it also perpetuates the propaganda that since rockets coming from gaza are aimed at civilian areas that there is an ability or intention to ‘pinpoint’ intended individuals even tho there is an abundance of evidence any targeting of the crude rockets will not hit any civilians and cause much less civilian death than israel’s ‘surgical’ strikes.

      so it places all the emphasis on ‘intention’ and posits israels have none wrt civilian death and palestinians have all intention. whereas i posit if you asked a palestinian militant what his goal was he would not say to target civilians. if he had an option he would rather take out the fighter. but it’s randon, so it’s a crap shoot.

  13. marc b. says:

    The two-week war game, called Internal Look, played out a narrative in which the United States found it was pulled into the conflict after Iranian missiles struck a Navy warship in the Persian Gulf, killing about 200 Americans, according to officials with knowledge of the exercise. The United States then retaliated by carrying out its own strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

    that’s curious. the ‘war game’ managed by kenneth pollock of the saban center back in 2009 concluded that iranian actors, even at their most aggressive, would not retaliate against american forces directly or interfere with american operations in iraq and afghanistan in response to an israeli attack.

  14. CTuttle says:

    In Millenium Challenge ’02, Gen. Van Riper, as the Red leader, took out 20,000 US sailors, most of the 5th fleet, that consisted of one Carrier…! Now we have 2 Carriers and a third on it’s way, and they’re saying only 200 sailors…? Wtf…?

    • ToivoS says:

      ctuttle The US no longer has carriers routinely stationed in the Persian Gulf. They occasionally send one in (most recently the Stennis, but it not there now) but for the most part they are stationed in the N Arabian Ocean, well out of range of the Iranian antiship cruise missiles. We do keep destroyers and frigates in the Gulf. Losing one of those ships could easily result in the deaths of 200 US sailors.

      The Navy has taken to heart the results of that earlier war game Van Riper played. We no longer station carriers in the Formosa straits for similar reasons — China is armed with even more of these antiship missiles.

      • Daniel Rich says:

        @ Ctuttle/ToivoS,

        Perhaps the following played a small role in this mute fandango for three as well?

        The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced

        link to dailymail.co.uk

        • ToivoS says:

          Daniel I remember that story as well. This happened after the Chinese demonstrated their silk worm missile after alerting the US Navy that they were going to test it. The missile came in at mach 2 and hit its target dead on. One thing that was impressive about the test is that it was not ballistic, but was self guided — namely it searched out the target after launch. What this meant is that the Aegis antimissile defense could not predict its trajectory. The Iranians have similar weapons and that is the reason the US Navy is keeping carriers out of the Persian Gulf for the most part.

  15. pabelmont says:

    Why didn’t the WAR GAMESTERS take the line that if Iran, post Israeli attack, attacks a USA warship, the USA will just ignore it (as we did Israel’s attack on USN Liberty in 1967), taking it as:
    * a cost of USA’s support for Israel
    * but not a reason to get into a wider war.

    AND THEN SAY SO RIGHT NOW TO THE USA PUBLIC SO WE CAN GET PRE-EMPTIVELY FURIOUS AT ISRAEL and at USA’s helplessness.

    (Guess that’s what’s being developed, actually).

  16. lobewyper says:

    General Mattis’s article is another warning to Netanyahu. Note that it appeared in the NYT. Maybe Obama can’t warn (at least publicly) without paying a huge political price electionwise. But the military seem to be the mouthpiece for the administration (just as Panetta was). Obama wants anyone but himself to take the blame for not joining in an Israeli attack. Also consider: bluffing can be carried out up to the final line of departure of attacking forces–they can be staged, etc. without actually attacking. This is a war of nerves IMHO.

    • the military seem to be the mouthpiece for the administration

      perhaps but i believe the military is unified with the commander in chief. they are speaking as a unit.

  17. Les says:

    In spite of what preceeds, notice that these two final paragraph attempt to cede the argument to Israel — the Times just cannot help itself from promoting whatever the rest of the Israel Lobby is pushing at the moment.

    “Israeli intelligence estimates, backed by academic studies, have cast doubt on the widespread assumption that a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would set off a catastrophic set of events like a regional conflagration, widespread acts of terrorism and sky-high oil prices.

    “A war is no picnic,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio in November. But if Israel feels itself forced into action, the retaliation would be bearable, he said. “There will not be 100,000 dead or 10,000 dead or 1,000 dead. The state of Israel will not be destroyed.”

  18. thetumta says:

    If Iran is attacked you will get the next 10 years compressed into the next 10 months, economically. China has abandoned the dollar, India, Brazil and Russia as well. Once the Saudis accept anything other dollars for oil, well I guess we’re all 1 day too late. The Zionist enterprise will vanish from the pages of history as it was founded on quicksand, only now they will take us with them. Ever been in a really bad place, I had hoped not to revisit it, oh well, life’s a gamble every day, pay attention.
    Hej!
    Tumta

  19. RE: “Pentagon fears Israeli strike on Iran would drag US in”

    MY COMMENT: P.S. Please help Tikkun/NSP run the following ad in major American newspapers.

    No Mr. Netanyahu,
    No President Obama:
    No War on Iran
    and No First Strike

    Some who have signed this ad believe that the best path for homeland security is through rejecting the old-fashioned “domination strategy” to get your way…
    …Click HERE to see a draft of how this ad would look in the newspaper.

    If you would like to help Tikkun/NSP run this ad, please make a donation.
    TO DONATE -
    link to salsa.democracyinaction.org

    TIKKUN WEBSITE – link to tikkun.org
    NETWORK OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESSIVES (NSP) WEBSITE – link to spiritualprogressives.org

    • P.S. SEE: Hawks Steering Debate on How to Take on Iran, By Eric Lichtblau and Mark Landler, New York Times, 3/18/12

      (excerpts)WASHINGTON — Even before President Obama declared this month that “I have Israel’s back” in its escalating confrontation with Iran, pro-Israel figures like the evangelical Christian leader Gary L. Bauer and the conservative commentator William Kristol were pushing for more…
      . . . Urging diplomacy are liberal groups like J Street, which is helped by $500,000 a year in contributions from the liberal philanthropist George Soros, and Tikkun, a Jewish journal that has begun running newspaper advertisements here and abroad that urge, “NO War on Iran and NO First Strike!” Tikkun, based in Berkeley, Calif., is hoping to link its antiwar message with the Occupy protests.
      “A lot of people talk about the ‘Israel lobby’ as if it’s a monolithic thing,” said Dylan Williams, head of government affairs for J Street. “It’s a myth. There is a deep division between those who support military action at this point and those who support diplomacy.”
      Clear fissures have developed among pro-Israel groups — not only between hawks and doves over whether to use military force against Iran, but among hard-liners themselves over just how aggressively to confront it.
      Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino owner who is a staunch supporter of Israel, was once a major donor to Aipac. But because of Aipac’s support for American aid to the Palestinian Authority, he has broken from the group. This year, Mr. Adelson has given at least $10 million, along with his wife, to support Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign…

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to nytimes.com

      • P.S. SEE: Hawks Steering Debate on How to Take on Iran

        dickerson, did you notice the last paragraph in the post at the top of this thread:

        Right, surprise us Jeffrey. Or tell us again what we already know. Neocon hawks are steering the debate on how to take on Iran. This has been exposed time and again.

        you know the funny thing i noticed about that url? it reads “pro-israel-groups-differing-approaches-on-iran”. i guess they couldn’t say that in the headline so they changed it to ‘hawks’. after they mention richard perle
        ..here’s the last paragraph:

        Steve Rabinowitz, who served in the Clinton administration and now advises Jewish groups, said that an issue that Republicans “hoped would be a major weapon in turning Jews against the president was all but taken away from them.”

        • Bumblebye says:

          Annie, have you seen this:
          link to 1not2.org

          Spotted it via Antony Loewenstein, advocates a “single, secular, democratic state in Palestine”, by a mixture of Israelis and Palestinians. Beautifully put together and written.

        • thanks bumble, i will check it out now.

        • RE: “you know the funny thing i noticed about that url? it reads ‘pro-israel-groups-differing-approaches-on-iran’. i guess they couldn’t say that in the headline so they changed it to ‘hawks’. ” ~ Annie Robbins

          REPLY: Das ist verboten! It would be a “blood libel”! It would be yet another example of “new anti-Semitism”!

          SEE: Israel in the NYT Corrections Box, by Peter Hart, FAIR, 3/10/12 – link to commondreams.org

  20. piotr says:

    My impression is that the Iranian nuclear program just does not make much sense on its own. Its values is that it irritates a hell out of USA, and Israel. Irate Israeli leaders prattling about an attack that never comes: advantage Iran.

    What if the attack comes? I think that the key to Iranian strategy is the program to produce conventional missiles, while the nuclear program is in a way “disposable”. Even its utter destruction does not hurt Iran much. Iran will have many avenues to retaliate, for example, block Hormuz and demand reparations from USA and Israel. If Israel will additionally start exchange of fire with Lebanon and Syria, the situation can become dire.

  21. piotr says:

    link to nytimes.com

    It is hard to believe, but the comments in NYT look like Mondoweiss.

    Is USA on the way to become a normal country? Perhaps the spectacles of arrogance by Bibi and Adelson, plus futile endeavor in two wars is really sinking in.

    • piotr, from the ‘reader’s picks’/top of the list link to nytimes.com
      w/275 and 195 votes respectively:

      Greg Pitts Boston

      This is a high risk situation above my pay scale since I don’t have access to the sensitive intel those calling the shots (no pun intended) have. But it’s frightening the way the rhetoric has ratcheted up in the past few weeks (no help from the NYT!) from the GOP candidates and Netanyahu.

      After an exhausting 10 years at war, including one with incorrect or doctored facts (Iraq) I’m strongly in favor of Obama’s full press to let sanctions and diplomacy play out. It lends credibility to us and undermines the ready-fire-aim crowd.

      Of course I support Israel and its right to exist. But it gets my blood pressure up when I see members of Congress and candidates for president genuflecting at AIPAC year after year. The craving of money and votes from a specific powerful demographic doesn’t exactly reassure me that our best foreign policy interests are at the top of their list. Winning an election is.

      Obama has it right and it IS reassuring.

      ……

      Winning Progressive Chicago, IL

      I am really struggling with President Obama’s approach on this issue. Military action against Iran would be pure folly – it would either get us mired in another long term military quagmire that we cannot afford, or it would do little except further alienate and undermine the pro-democracy activists in Iran. Both US intelligence agencies and Mossad say that Iran is not currently trying to develop a nuclear weapon. And even if Iran were, a containment strategy is no more risky than is military action. As such, President Obama’s willingness to keep military action on the table is highly disturbing.

      That being said, I suspect that Obama has determined that the commitment to a military backstop is the only way to reign in the hawks in Israel and keep them from acting rashly. And making sure there is not a rush to war, such as the one with Iraq, is critically important.

      And in evaluating President Obama’s approach, it is important to compare it to that offered by his Republican opponents. Bloodthirsty folks like Santorum and Gingrich are virtually salivating over war in Iran, while Romney is showing once again that he cannot stand up to the reactionaries that have taken over the GOP.

      http://www.winningprogressive.org

      link to facebook.com

      now that’s mainstream