Chuck Hagel said idea of going to war with Iran is ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Hagel and Obama
Hagel (l), David Petraeus and Obama, in Iraq 2008. Source: SSG Lorie Jewell/Digital (thanks to Peter Voskamp)

Reports are that Obama may tap former Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican and Vietnam veteran, to be his next secretary of Defense. Hagel is a realist who has repeatedly bucked the neoconservatives (and as Eli Lake and Steve Walt say below, the Israel lobby is gearing up to try and do to him what it did to Chas Freeman 4 years ago). The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), for instance, is already gearing up to battle Obama over Hagel.

Chuck Hagel
Chuck Hagel, from the BBC

Yesterday, ECI’s Noah Pollak tweeted out one reason (among many) for why he’s so averse to Hagel: he is chairman of the Atlantic Council, a mainstream think tank. The Atlantic Council has posted a piece by a member of the council titled “Israel’s Apartheid Policy.”

Here are some more reasons for why the neoconservatives are coming out swinging against Hagel:

In November 2010, Hagel led a forum on the Iran issue at the Atlantic Council, which he chairs. His comments make clear that he would never go to war with Iran, and the idea that all options must be on the table is one that he specifically rejects.

He says that only in an Alice in Wonderland world would we go to war with Iran. The American public doesn’t want a war, military suicides and divorces are at all-time highs, Hagel says, and he takes exception to Stuart Eizenstat, the lobby’s man on the panel, saying that if we had to we could put 100,000 troops on the ground in Iran.

Some of the transcript:

Hagel:

As to the use of military force, whether it’s for a political motive or not, I don’t think I have to remind the public that the United States of America is currently in two wars – two of the longest we’ve ever been in.  And before we finally wind our way out of each, they will be the longest wars we’ve ever engaged in. 

That has come at a very significant cost to this country.  I think it’s undermined our interest in the world.  You don’t need to go much beyond asking any general who’s in charge of men and women in the Pentagon, their families, or any metric that you want to apply – record suicides, record divorces, record homeless and all the rest – as to but one consequence of taking the nation to war. 

So I think talking about going to war with Iran in fairly specific terms should be carefully reviewed.  And that’s pretty dangerous talk.  It’s easy to get a nation into war; not so easy to get a nation out of war, as we are finding out.  I’m not sure that the American people are ready to go into a third war. 

Second, if you subscribe to what Barbara [Slavin] has laid out – at least, what our taskforce has found – in particular, the internal dynamics that are occurring in Iran, then why in the world would you, as Barbara has noted, want to get in the way of that? ….

As the ambassador [Stuart Eizenstat] has noted, we are the mightiest military force on Earth.  The world has never seen such military power.  But that military power must always be tempered with a purpose.  And the military option is always on the table – of course it is – for any sovereign nation.  But at the same time we recognize that, that option is there. 

The leaders of our country, the leaders of the world are not living in an “Alice in Wonderland” type of a world.  They are living in a real world and they have to make real decisions based on what they calculate to be the dynamics and the facts as they are today.  But probably more importantly, what they think they will be.  That’s leadership….

Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service:  How exactly does saying that all options are on the table help the U.S. case in human rights or anything else or even with respect to the nuclear program? 

Hagel: Well, I would add this:  I’m not so sure it is necessary to continue to say all options are on the table.  I believe that the leadership in Iran, regardless of the five power centers that you’re referring to – whether it’s the ayatollah or the president or the Republican Guard, the commissions – have some pretty clear understanding of the reality of this issue and where we are. 

I think the point that your question really brings out – which is a very good one.  If you were going to threaten on any kind of consistent basis, whether it’s from leadership or the Congress or the administration or anyone who generally speaks for this country in anyway, than you better be prepared to follow through with that. 

Now, Stuart noted putting 100,000 troops in Iran – I mean, just as a number as far as if to play this thing out.  The fact is, I would guess that we would all – I would be the one to start the questioning – would ask where you’re going to get 100,000 troops.  (Laughter.)  So your point is a very good one, I think. 

I don’t think there’s anybody in Iran that does not question the seriousness of America, our allies or Israel on this for all the reasons we made very clear.  And I do think there does become a time when you start to minimize the legitimacy of a threat.  When you threaten people or you threaten sovereign nations, you better be very careful and you better understand, again, consequences because you may be required to employ that threat and activate that threat in some way. 

So I don’t mind people always, as we have laid out, and I think every president and every administration, anybody of any consequence who’s talked about this can say – does say.  But I think it’s implied that the military threat is always there.  Stu made an important point about, there are a lot of ways to come at this. 

But once you begin a military operation – I mean, you ask any sergeant – and it’s the sergeants and the guys at the bottom, not the policymakers that have to fight the war – (audio break) – there the ones who have to do all the dying and all the fighting – (audio break) – sacrifices, not the policymakers. 

But my point is, once you start that, you’d better be prepared to find 100,000 troops because it may take that or, eventually, where you’re going – my earlier point:  You don’t know.  And you can’t just – (audio break) – concept of, well, we’re going to do this but it’ll be marginalized, it’ll be a limited warfare.  I don’t think any nation can ever go into that way.  So that would be what I would just add to the rest of the other conversations. 

Now here are the reports on the Israel lobby’s opposition. First Eli Lake at the Daily Beast:

Hagel’s real opposition will likely come from the pro-Israel lobby in Washington. While the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) never takes formal positions on nominees, if the group is asked by senators for its view on Hagel, it’s unlikely AIPAC will have a kind word.

A senior pro-Israel advocate in Washington told The Daily Beast on Thursday, “The pro-Israel community will view the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel in an extremely negative light. His record is unique in its animus towards Israel.”

Josh Block, a former spokesman for AIPAC and the CEO and president of the Israel Project, told The Daily Beast, “While in the Senate, Hagel voted against designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, refused to call on the E.U. to designate Hezbollah a terrorist group, and consistently voted against sanctions on Iran for their illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. It is a matter of fact that his record on these issues puts him well outside the mainstream Democratic and Republican consensus.”

In the past, Hagel has even garnered opposition from pro-Israel Democrats who have defended Obama’s Israel record. Ira Forman, who was in charge of the Obama reelection campaign’s outreach to Jewish voters, said in 2009—after Hagel was named co-chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board—that he would have opposed Hagel’s nomination for a more substantive position.

 

Max Fisher at the Washington Post reviews other statements by Hagel over the years also demonstrating his reluctance to go to war with Iran.

Steve Walt at Foreign Policy looks forward to a donnybrook with the lobby over Hagel, so that Obama will grow a spine with Netanyahu and the lobby, or, alternatively, so that there will be less prevarication among journalists about the lobby’s power:

Hagel does have one political liability: Unlike almost all of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, he hasn’t been a complete doormat for the Israel lobby. In the summer of 2006, for example, he incurred the lobby’s wrath by calling for a joint ceasefire during Israel’s war with Hezbollah. Pressed by the lobby, Bush & Co. rejected this advice and let the war drag on, even though prolonging it made Hezbollah more popular in Lebanon and cost additional Israeli lives. Hagel has also been outspoken in calling for the United States to be more evenhanded in its handling of the peace process, and he’s generally thought to be skeptical about the use of military force against Iran. Needless to say, such positions are anathema to Israel’s hard-line supporters, some of whom are already attacking Hagel’s suitability for SecDef. For the rest of us, however, Hagel’s views are not only sensible — they are in America and Israel’s best interest.

Having lost out on Susan Rice, Obama is unlikely to put forward a nominee he’s not willing to fight for or whom he thinks he might lose. So if Hagel is his pick to run the Pentagon, you can bet Obama will go to the mattresses for him. And what better way for Obama to pay back Benjamin Netanyahu for all the “cooperation” Obama received from him during the first term, as well as Bibi’s transparent attempt to tip the scale for Romney last fall?

For what it’s worth, I hope Obama nominates Hagel and that AIPAC and its allies go all-out to oppose him. If they lose, it might convince Obama to be less fearful of the lobby and encourage him to do what he thinks is best for the country (and incidentally, better for Israel) instead of toeing AIPAC’s line. But if the lobby takes Hagel down, it will provide even more evidence of its power, and the extent to which supine support for Israel has become a litmus test for high office in America.

Update: This piece originally stated that Eli Clifton wrote the piece at the Daily Beast, when it was Eli Lake.

About Philip Weiss and Alex Kane

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

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

  1. Kathleen says:

    I was able to ask Hagel direct questions about the race for Iran and the Israeli Palestinian conflict at Macky Auditorium on the campus of Univ of Colorado/Boulder at the Conference on World Affairs in 2009. Hagel was the keynote speaker. His answers were clear, on point and he emphasized negotiations with Iran and agreed that there had been a great deal of unsubstantiated claims repeated about Iran in the media in the US. He also strongly indicated that he thought the continued expansion of Israeli settlements were a serious problem. If Republicans ran Hagel in 2016 he would more than likely get my vote over Hillary Clinton who is a very serious interventionist warmonger who has sold out to Israel and the I lobby

    • Krauss says:

      And you think Sheldon Adelson, Julian Robertson, Julian Singer, Dan Loeb and other GOP Israel Firsters would allow that? Not to mention the fanatically Zionist Op-Ed page of the WSJ, or the Israel Firster-run Weekly Standard(by the fanatic neocon Bill Kristol) or the National Review?

      This is something I find interesting. You know, the media always laments the death of the moderate Republican. Do you think that the NYT will fight for Hagel once the Israel lobby and/or Jewish establishment tries to destroy him? You know, Hagel is one of those moderate Republicans. Will David Brooks, NYT’s resident neocon defend him as a moderate Republican?

      No, here the establishment prefers Sarah Palin on the Israel/Palestine conflict.
      The hypocrisy is astounding.

      By the way, Phil did post a video of Kristol and J Street’s Ben Ami(who is now basically running another AIPAC) sitting together in a synagogue and smiling as Kristol gloated about his and his neocon buddies’ Stalinist purge of the “WASP Arabists”. Hagel is probably one of them.

      But again, don’t expect the liberal media to fight for the Hagels of the world. If they do, the heat on them will be so immense that they won’t be able to take it, not to mention the under-the-radar attacks from the Jewish community against the Jewish editors of the NYT about the “lack of loyalty”. Notice that the “concern” about Hagel is coming from both parties. Neocons isn’t a Republican idea. It’s just that Republican neocons are more open about where they stand.

      I suspect Obama won’t even nominate Hagel, but I think he wants to deep down. Notice that his entire national security staff is basically made up of realist WASPs, some of whom are Republicans. That tells you something of how crazy the Jewish position on foreign policy, completely captured by people like Dennis Ross who are obsessed with Israel, has become. (And by Jewish position, I mean the Jewish establishment position, which is more or less merged with the Israel Lobby).
      Everything is viewed through a lens of Israel.

      And thus, Obama has slowly removed them from any position of power of his foreign policy with a few exceptions.
      On domestic policy, however, Obama is much more likely to have Jews very close to him. Quite telling.

      • Kathleen says:

        Lately Chris Matthews has been making me feel sick again. Before the invasion of Iraq Kristol, Gaffney, Frum were regular guest on his program pushing the invasion but Matthews did taunt them by sarcastically calling them the ‘best and the brightest” and he would question their false claims about Iraq a little …very little. After the invasion a year or two into it he started hammering on them a bit more and now we know Chris Matthews likes to claim that he was ALWAYS against the invasion from the beginning. What spin. He never even had the experts on before the invasion who were questioning the validity of the intelligence. No Scott Ritter, Dr. Zbig, Ray McGovern, Leveretts nope nope nope. Chris basically went along with the push even though he did bash Kristol and team after the invasion outwardly.

        Now Chris Mattews is back kissing their asses talking about how smart Kristol is and how he reads the Weekly Standard daily. Doubt very much if Chris Matthews, Maddow, etc will touch how the I lobby is all ready attacking and undermining Hagel being nominated. Will they have Charles Freeman on to talk about his ass beating by the Isreali firsters. Will they have Hagel on to talk about how he took an oath to the US constitution…not to the President, the congress to Israel. Took and oath to protect the constitution from enemies within or without of our country. Hagel is clearly a US firster

      • Kathleen says:

        Too bad the Prez cannot find all of the independent and rational thinking that Hagel possesses without Hagel’s huge blunder voting for the Iraq war resolution. Not many who voted against the Iraq resolution to pick from. Lincoln Chaffee only Republican to vote against the Iraq war resolution. Was just looking at Dick Durbin and his history (he always seems so reasonable and voted against the Iraq war resolution, was on the Senate intelligence committee should have been a clue Hillary) Did not know it was Dick Durbin who took Paul Findlay’s seat. One of the few congress people to stand up against the I lobby long ago.

  2. Kathleen says:

    As you have pointed out Hagel is going to get pounded by the I lobby…bet he can make it through the pounding. Hope and pray Obama nominates him. Would be a real solid and clear sign about saying no to a military intervention with Iran.

  3. HarryLaw says:

    Stuart Eizenstat has noted “we are the mightiest military force on earth” that may be true, but it has been thrashed in Vietnam, kicked out of Iraq, and is being humiliated by a rag tag insurgency in Afghanistan, as for the 100,000 US troops on the ground in Iran Eizenstat wants, may I remind him General Zinni thought 300,000 troops were needed for the Iraq war with a population of 25 million, Iran has a population of 75 million who are better armed and far more motivated than the Iraqis, the Shias take their shrouds to the battlefield, they also have the ability to close the strait of Hormuz and plunge the Western world into economic chaos, don’t listen to these war mongering zealots.

    • Hostage says:

      I remind him General Zinni thought 300,000 troops were needed

      That’s not really the case, it would just have been a career ending move to ask for a force of the necessary size. The US had 500,000 members of the armed forces on the ground in South Vietnam. It was a country of 19 million at the time. A force about half that size was needed to provide them with direct operational and logistical support from other bases in the region like Guam, the Philippines, and Thailand.

      Using a force of 100,000 to invade a country and control an unfriendly population of 75 million, would be like pouring the proverbial package of Kool-Aid in the Ocean.

  4. Mooser says:

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war.

    • You make a good point, Mooser. With the lock-step control AIPAC has over Congress, I’m surprised they haven’t drafted the war resolution and voted it through without debate. Wait, maybe they did already and no one was paying attention.

    • Hostage says:

      Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. [To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water]

      Yes, but most authorities agree that all of the practices mentioned in Clause 11 are illegal nowadays according to the Laws of Nations mentioned in Article I, Section 8, Clause 10.

      Legitimate acts of self-defense are covered separately in Article I, Section 8, Clause 15: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;”

      After the US and its Allies defined the crime of aggression and its punishment in the Charters of the Nuremberg & Tokyo tribunals, they worked to insure universal ratification of the UN Charter by all states. It contained a prohibition against the threat or use of force. That instrument required our Congress to end the practice of “declaring wars” or exercising the power to authorize piracy using letters marque and reprisal. In fact our government has enabling legislation which implements international conventions that prohibit armed aggression, piracy, slavery, and a number of other now-senescent features of the US Constitution.

      The US State Department still lists the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the OAS Charter, and the UN Charter as Treaties in Force. All of those were multilateral international agreements to outlaw wars of choice and unilateral military occupations of the territory of another state, no matter how temporary, and regardless of the motive involved. Nothing would theoretically prevent the other signatories from establishing another tribunal and passing judgment on the members of Congress for the crime of aggression.

      • Mooser says:

        Okay, I knew that the War Powers clause had been considerably twisted out of shape, but now I’m completely confused, Hostage.
        You cite several things that have modified that War Power, and all of them restricting it, if I read right. Yet, we (the US) seem to go to war at the drop of a hat. Why it’s almost as if we’ve gone back to elective war-making by a monarch on borrowed money, which is famously ruinous, even to empires. What’s up with that? If Congress isn’t taking us to war (thank God) who is?

  5. American says:

    Hagel was my man for President in 2008. Did everything I could and got everyone I knew to call and beg him to run but I think he determined the time was not yet ripe. Don’t know if he would consider it in the future but as I said before, if Americans want a third party candidate that CAN ACTUALLY WIN Hagel is the one who could do that.

    link to politico.com

    Here’s POLITICO’s list of top 10 facts about Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel:

    1. He’s a Vietnam War veteran. Hagel served in the Army with his brother, Tom, in 1968. They were both infantry squad leaders with the Army’s 9th Infantry Division. Hagel received two Purple Hearts for his service.

    2. He was harshly critical of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy. Though a fellow Republican, Hagel began to differ with Bush often during the Iraq War. And although he supported the U.S. invasion, Hagel was among three Republican senators to support Democratic-sponsored legislation in July 2007 to require Iraq troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days.

    He also opposed the Iraq troop “surge,” calling the political interests involved “a Ping-Pong game with American lives.”

    At a Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hagel called the surge “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it’s carried out,” to applause from attendees.

    3. He was bandied about as a possible Defense secretary during Obama’s first term. Obama quickly said that he was interested in including Republicans in his Cabinet, and Hagel emerged as a front-runner at the time.

    The Sunday Times in March 2008 quoted Obama as saying, “Chuck Hagel is a great friend of mine, and I respect him very much.” Obama eventually elected to keep Bush’s last Defense secretary, Robert Gates, in his post through 2011.

    Now, the only Republican in Obama’s Cabinet is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former congressman from Illinois.

    4. He’s local. Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, and their son Ziller and daughter Allyn live in McLean, Va. He’s a distinguished professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and chairman of the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan think tank that promotes transatlantic cooperation and international security. And he’s as co-chairman of the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board and chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Board.

    5. He’s a cell phone magnate. In 1984, Hagel co-founded Vanguard Cellular, a mobile phone manufacturer that made him a multi-millionaire. Vanguard was bought in 1998 by AT&T Wireless for $900 million in cash and stock and the assumption of $600 million of debt. More than 2,000 people were employed at

    6. He resigned from the Veterans Administration over a disagreement. Hagel was appointed as the agency’s deputy administrator in August 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, but quickly began to think that VA Administrator Robert Nimmo was steering the agency in the wrong direction, according to the book “Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward” by Charlyne Berens.

    Nimmo used an appearance on the “Today” show to portray Vietnam veterans as a “bunch of crybabies,” Hagel said, and likened exposure to Agent Orange in the war theater to teenage acne. Hagel submitted a letter of resignation on July 1, 1982 — after 10 months in his role.

    Continue Reading 7. He co-authored the new GI Bill. Hagel teamed up with fellow Vietnam veteran Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to co-author the legislation that Bush signed in 2008. The Post-9/11 GI Bill expanded the scope of education assistance provided to returning veterans who served after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

    8. He’s been criticized for his stance on Israel. “He is one of the most hostile critics of Israel that has ever been in

    Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America says.

    Over the years, Hagel has urged negotiations with Hamas and has decried the influence of the “Jewish lobby” in Washington.

    This month, Noah Silverman of the Republican Jewish Coalition wrote, “For the president to elevate Hagel to a position of trust would be construed as a gesture of indifference — if not outright contempt — toward Jewish Americans and every American who supports a strong U.S.-Israel alliance.”

    9. He’s friends with Joe Biden. The bipartisan friendship formed during their years in the Senate and on the Foreign Relations Committee. They visited northern Iraq together in December 2002, and addressed the Kurdistan Parliament.

    “If he and I grew up in the same neighborhood, we would have been friends since we were kids, because we share the same kind of basic value set,” Biden told The Hill newspaper. “In my neighborhood, a promise made is a promise kept … and that’s Hagel.”

    10. He’s floated the idea of a new political party. In Hagel’s book, “America: Our Next Chapter,” he wrote that the U.S. may need another political party to face future challenges.

    “In the current impasse, an independent candidate for the presidency, or a bipartisan unity ticket … could be appealing to Americans,” he suggested”

    • Kathleen says:

      I just had a great argument with a dear friend who is a die hard Dem no matter what. I told him that I would vote for Hagel if he ran for the Presidency over Clinton any day. Whoa should have been there. Would definitely be the first time I would be voting for a Republican in a Presidential race in 42 years of voting…but I would do it if the Dem candidate is going to be Clinton.

    • Kathleen says:

      By the way American thanks for this run down. I started following his history awhile back and then as I said was able to ask him direct questions about the race for Iran and the Israeli Palestinian conflict at the World Affairs conference at Univ of Colorado some years back. Know that question and answer period is at their website but have not looked. His answers were sober and crisp and based on facts. Talked about Iran being a rational actor, signing the NPT, no hard evidence against them, and that they know all options are on the table no need to keep threatening. In fact foolish. He even said something about the Israeli settlements being a real threat to peace in that conflict. Again I would vote for him IN 2016 over Clinton in a flash. And would work my ass off to get others to do the same. Clinton is a war monger. Hagel is not. Even though they both voted for the Iraq war resolution.

      • Kathleen says:

        “His answers were sober and crisp and based on facts. Talked about Iran being a rational actor, signing the NPT, no hard evidence against them, and that they know all options are on the table no need to keep threatening. In fact foolish.”

        If i may interfere, without meaning to be confrontational, i have the following objections:

        “Iran being a rational actor”

        Highly debatable.

        The ramblings of Ahmadinejad about the twelfth Imam (or the thirteenth, i get mixed up when it comes to religion) increase the probability that Iran might use the bomb as a result of apocalyptic thinking. And the stakes are too high (Israel’s existence) to take such a possibility lightly.

        Even if Iranian leadership were rational, they do face a demographic and economic disaster that will materialize around mid-century: an Iranian population growing old (and, hence, increasingly dependent on pensions) right at the time that their oil reserves will be depleted.
        Such a situation makes it a no-brainer for them to attack neighbors so as to steal their oilfields. Neighbors know this, and will be tempted to acquire nukes themselves (that’s why, as we learned from Wikileaks, Saudi Arabia wanted an American strike on Iran, they just can’t afford a nuclear Iran).

        With the Middle East full of nukes, i think it is just a matter of time when terrorists will get their hands on them.

        So, even if Iranian leadership is rational, the threat to both world peace and Israel is real, if Iran gets the bomb.

        link to guardian.co.uk (the pertinent to the wikileaks link)

        link to pjmedia.com (it directs to a link about Iranian demographics)

        “signing the NPT”

        It won’t be the first time a country signs a treaty, only to renege later on its obligations.

        “no hard evidence against them”

        Why aren’t the Iranians allowing inspections at Parchin, and opt for enduring the economic sanctions? The only conceivable reason is that, indeed, they are making a bomb.

        The evidence feels pretty hard to me.

        “they [the Iranian leaders] know all options are on the table no need to keep threatening”

        I think they don’t, and this is where i blame Obama: why has he been pressuring Israel not to attack? The Iranians must have surely interpreted this as a green light from America to go on with the nuclear program without fear of a military strike – Israeli or American.

        • Shingo says:

          Highly debatable.

          No it’s not. All 16 US intelligence agencies, the DOD, the Mossad and the IDF all agree Iran is a tractional actor.

          That makes you completely out of touch with reality. In fact, it’s safe to suggest you are the irrational actor.

          The ramblings of Ahmadinejad about the twelfth Imam

          No such ramblings exist other than in the overactive imaginations of neocons and Israeli hard liners.
          Even if Iranian leadership were rational, they do face a demographic and economic disaster that will materialize around mid-century: an Iranian population growing old

          False again. Iran’s population is very young and Iran’s demographic challenges with respect to the ageing population are far less sever than most western countries.

          Such a situation makes it a no-brainer for them to attack neighbors so as to steal their oilfields.

          Iran’s oil reserves among the top 3 or 4 in the world, not to mention the fact that they also have huge natural resources (minerals) apart from oil. Iran has not attacked or invaded anyone in 300 years, so there is simply no basis whatsoever for your crazy theories.

          With the Middle East full of nukes, i think it is just a matter of time when terrorists will get their hands on them.

          They already have in Israel.

          link to guardian.co.uk

          That pertains to the US puppet tyrannical leaders in the region who were living in far of popular uprising, which was prophetic seeing as the Arab spring soon followed. What polls actually show is that 59 of the Arab world supports Iran’s nuclear program.

          link to pjmedia.com

          David P Goldman is a right wing religious nut case (hence being hosted by a far right wing blog) who’s findings are completely contradicted by reality.

          It won’t be the first time a country signs a treaty, only to renege later on its obligations.

          So in other words, you are suggesting they be bombed in case they break the treaty. Yep, makes a lot of sense.

          Why aren’t the Iranians allowing inspections at Parchin.

          They already have TWICE in 2005. The allegations about Parchin date back to 2003. So why should they permit the IAEA to return without new evidence?

          The only conceivable reason is that, indeed, they are making a bomb.

          So if the police come knowing at your door and demand to look through your wife’s lingerie drawer (without any justification) and you say no, that must prove you have something to hide.

          The evidence feels pretty hard to me.

          No, it doesn’t, because there isn’t any. What feels hard to you is your willingness to believe whatever you are told without reading the evidence.

          I think they don’t, and this is where i blame Obama: why has he been pressuring Israel not to attack?

          Because Isrel cannot attack Iran. It’s Israel that has been pressuring the US to attack Iran on their behalf, which is why Netenyahu was spending so much time lobbying for such an attack this year. Obama correctly and right told him to shut up and go home.

          It is Israel that is the greatest threat to world peace and security, not Iran.

          We haven;t had anyone as extreme or messiness as you on these boards for quite some time.

        • RoHa says:

          “The ramblings of Ahmadinejad about the twelfth Imam (or the thirteenth, i get mixed up when it comes to religion) increase the probability that Iran might use the bomb as a result of apocalyptic thinking. ”

          Many of us in the real world have long been nervous about American religious fundamentalism. We are not happy that the nation which has the largest nuclear arsenal is a nation which is infested -even at high levels – with nutcases who believe the End is Nigh. (I recall Joseph Luns urging the US to keep its Mid-West senators at home, and not let them make speeches in the other NATO countries, because they terrified Europeans far more than the Soviets ever could.)

          And Ahmedinejad does not have the power to declare war. He does not control the armed forces.

          “And the stakes are too high (Israel’s existence) to take such a possibility lightly.”

          If by “Israel’s existence” you mean the lives of all the people in the area, then the stakes are indeed high. If you mean the political entity, the sooner that political entity ceases to exist, the better.

          “Why aren’t the Iranians allowing inspections at Parchin, and opt for enduring the economic sanctions? The only conceivable reason is that, indeed, they are making a bomb.”

          Your imagination is very limited. They may be working on some very important non-nuclear military project, and not want foreigners poking around in it. But here is an Iranian view.
          link to presstv.ir

          “i blame Obama: why has he been pressuring Israel not to attack?”

          Perhaps because he does not want to get dragged into a third war and lose American lives and ships for the sake of Israeli paranoia.

        • Shingo says:

          “This [Saudi Arabia wanting an American strike on Iran] pertains to the US puppet tyrannical leaders in the region who were living in far of popular uprising, which was prophetic seeing as the Arab spring soon followed. What polls actually show is that 59 of the Arab world supports Iran’s nuclear program.”

          But my argument was that the Saudi leadership (and other Middle Eastern regimes) will attempt to acquire nukes, if Iran does. And this constitutes a threat to both Israel and world peace.

          The favorable attitude of the Arab public towards Iran’s nuclear program (i take your word for it) is irrelevant to my argument, because it is the leaderships that will decide to greenlight acquisitions of nukes, not the Arab public.

        • “David P Goldman is a right wing religious nut case (hence being hosted by a far right wing blog) who’s findings are completely contradicted by reality.”

          I referred to the article of David Goldman and explicitly stated that it directs to a link about Iranian demographics. The whole purpose of the link was to provide some evidence for my claim that Iranians are on a trend toward a higher ratio of old people around mid-century.

          David Goldman’s religious or political leanings cannot affect the credibility (or lack of it) of the demographic data.

          I remember having shuddered when i read Goldman’s reference to a homosexual as a “weakling”, but, if you disregard his attitude on gays – hey, the Iranians are worse in this (dis)respect – you will find that his a very good analyst. Plus, i have never caught him into a lie, when he produces evidence.

        • Dionissis Mitropoulos said:
          “With the Middle East full of nukes, i think it is just a matter of time when terrorists will get their hands on them.”

          Shingo replied:
          “They already have in Israel.”

          I like wit in itself, and i also like the fact that it helps the flow of the discussion – why call someone names, instead of gently offending her with esprit?

          But wit alone cannot refute the very clear danger of Islamic terrorists coming into possession of nukes, in case Arabic regimes try to match Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

          Israelis are not terrorists, they have not threatened with nuclear annihilation anyone in the region.

        • Shingo said:

          “So in other words, you are suggesting they be bombed in case they break the treaty. Yep, makes a lot of sense.”

          No, you are misreading me.

          Kathleen made a point about Hagel speaking the right stuff, and one of the purportedly good points of Hagel was that Iran abides by the NPT, and that this is one more reason not to see Iran as a threat.

          My whole point was that the fact that Iran says that it abides by the NPT does not detract the least from the fact that Iran is a threat, because it can always renege on its stated views on NPT.

          I suggest to Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities (not the Iranian people, of course) because i consider a nuclear Iran a threat to Israel’s existence, and consider Israel’s right to self-defense morally obvious.

        • Shingo

          “They already have TWICE in 2005. The allegations about Parchin date back to 2003. So why should they permit the IAEA to return without new evidence?”

          Why not permit them to inspect? What does Iran stand to lose by allowing inspections, if they are not really making a nuclear weapon? They only stand to gain (the lifting of the sanctions) if they agree to the inspections – unless, of course, they are, indeed, producing nuke(s).

        • Shingo

          “So if the police come knowing at your door and demand to look through your wife’s lingerie drawer (without any justification) and you say no, that must prove you have something to hide.”

          I wouldn’t want the police to come out of the blue in my house and demand to look through my girlfriend’s S/M gear or my boyfriend’s spliff stash.
          And refusing to allow them to inspect would be my first response.

          But your analogy is inaccurate.

          In the case of Iran, the right to demand inspections stems from the fact that Iran has scared Israel and many westerners with its purported attempt at nuclear weaponization. So it is not an unjustified demand.

          If the police were to tell me that they came to inspect my house because a neighbor is scared that i might possess explosives, i would surely let them in, even without a warrant, just so as to restore their and my neighbor’s peace of mind about my peacefulness – that is, if i didn’t have explosives hidden.

        • Shingo

          “Because Isrel cannot attack Iran. It’s Israel that has been pressuring the US to attack Iran on their behalf, which is why Netenyahu was spending so much time lobbying for such an attack this year. Obama correctly and right told him to shut up and go home.”

          I strongly disagree.

          Israel must have made her intentions to strike Iran very clear to Obama, and this explains the anger emanating from pro-Israel media at Obama’s refusal to give the ok to such an operation.

          I remember Caroline Glick complaining that all Israelis want to go on with the strike, but that many of them are put off by Obama’s warnings not to, because those Israelis do not want to risk America’s fury at an Israeli strike.

          Why would the pro-Israel media make such fuss about Obama’s purported pressure on Israel if Netanyahu did not intend to go on with a strike and Obama was, indeed, applying pressure on Israel against it?

          There is also a very clear indication that Israel wanted to strike but Obama was fighting her:

          link to articles.washingtonpost.com

          ““We’re trying to make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel,” said an administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.”

          Also, the public statements made by Dempsey in August, i.e. that the IDF cannot destroy Iran’s nuclear program, but only delay it, must have come as a response to behind-the-scenes Israeli pressure on Obama to let them attack.

          link to haaretz.com

          Why else would Dempsey come out publicly, unless there was Israeli pressure on the administration to let her strike Iran by herself?

          There is an abundance of such evidence as the above.

          Please, let us, at least, agree that Israel is willing to go it alone, without any US bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities. It is a common sense observation.

        • Shingo

          “No it’s not. All 16 US intelligence agencies, the DOD, the Mossad and the IDF all agree Iran is a tractional actor.”

          The US intelligence agencies might just be playing along with Obama’s unwillingness to let Israel strike.

          The Mossad and the IDF must be understandably in the mood of not outraging the administration of their only ally in the world – America.

          No one can be so assertive as to the rationality of the Iranian regime.

          Genocidal wishes along with apocalyptic thinking provide serious reason to doubt the alleged rationality of the mullahs.

        • Shingo

          False again. Iran’s population is very young and Iran’s demographic challenges with respect to the ageing population are far less sever than most western countries.

          The link i provided (from UN population Prospects) exhibits current fertility rates in Iran, which today stand at 1.5 children, more or less same as Europe.

          The current demographic mix of Iran (with lots of young people, as you told me) is irrelevant to my argument.

          My point was that the future population of Iran, based on these trends, would have an increasing ratio of old people to young ones, and that, right at the time that their oil-reserves will be depleting, they will be faced with a huge number of pensioners. This bodes for economic catastrophe, and the Iranians, aware of the this trend (as Ahmadinejad has made clear by addressing his people so as to push them to breed more) might be tempted to use their nuclears as a threat, in order to steal neighboring oilfields – actually it is our common friend’s point, David Goldman’s, not mine, but i fell for it immediately when i first encountered it in the past, it seemed very rational.

          Europe’s parity with Iran, as far as fertility rates are concerned, is irrelevant to my argument. It is the possible motives for Iranian aggression that i was examining, not Europe’s demographic challenges – by the way, Europeans will be richer than Iran when the trend hits bottom in the future, they will be able to provide for their pensioners.

        • Shingo

          “No it’s not. All 16 US intelligence agencies, the DOD, the Mossad and the IDF all agree Iran is a tractional actor.”
          “That makes you completely out of touch with reality. In fact, it’s safe to suggest you are the irrational actor.”

          I have replied to the first point you made a couple of comments above.

          As to my irrationality, if i were an Israeli, i would consider myself perfectly rational in worrying about the rationality of a theocratic regime that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

          Most Israelis do worry. Are they so out of touch with reality, too?

        • Cliff says:

          Israel is not willing to go at it alone.

          It cannot go at it alone without getting US approval. There are consequences for the US and our troops if Israel strikes Iran.

          Hence, without American approval there is no Israeli strike.

        • Shingo

          “It is Israel that is the greatest threat to world peace and security, not Iran.”

          Why?

          Has Israel threatened to annihilate any country? Or invade a neighbor? I remember that she even unilaterally ceded Gaza to the Palestinians.

          Israelis don’t strike me as such a threat to world peace as you portray them to be.

        • Cliff says:

          There is no legitimacy behind your ‘right to demand’ inspections of Iranian nukes.

          The world is not secluded to the US and Israel. Both the US and Israel inflict pain and suffering on the Middle East and it’s people. Fear as well.

          Israel has nukes. The US has nukes. Israel regularly kills it’s neighbors and steals their property. Israel regularly kills Palestinians, while occupying and colonizing their land.

          So there is no moral high ground from where Israel can point a finger at Iran.

          There is no Iranian threat. There is only Zionist propaganda and identity politics.

          Israel wants to reign supreme in the region. Iranian nukes contests Israeli supremacy.

          Iran should have nukes. That way Israeli bullies cannot inflict pain and suffering on the non-Jews of the region.

        • Roha

          “Many of us in the real world have long been nervous about American religious fundamentalism.”

          American fundamentalists are not mainstream politically. Iran’s theocrats are. That’s why the latter represent a nuclear threat, while the former don’t.

          “Many of us in the real world…”

          Call me a dreamer!

        • Roha

          “And Ahmedinejad does not have the power to declare war. He does not control the armed forces.”

          Ok, ok, “Ahmadinejad” is my catchword for the Iranian regime.

        • Roha

          “If by “Israel’s existence” you mean the lives of all the people in the area, then the stakes are indeed high. If you mean the political entity, the sooner that political entity ceases to exist, the better.”

          I mean the political entity, Israel the country (with whatever borders) and i am really curious why you don’t recognize her right to exist.

          Don’t you recognize the corresponding right of the Palestinians to form the state of Palestine?

        • Roha

          “Your imagination is very limited. They may be working on some very important non-nuclear military project, and not want foreigners poking around in it. But here is an Iranian view.”

          If that were the case, i.e. the revelation of their conventional weapons secrets, wouldn’t they have said so?

          I saw in your link the claim that they do not allow inspections because they don’t want the IAEA to come asking for inspections again after three months. Sort of like “we are tired of your demands for inspection, you western satans, we won’t let you inspect any further”.

          Now, that sounds lame. Considering the fact they are enduring sanctions, what is the credibility of the claim that they do not allow the IAEA to enter because they are fed-up? Isn’t the damage to their economy by the sanctions more than enough to help them overcome their purported indignation?

          I still think that the most plausible reason for the Iranian denial is that they do make nuclear weapons.

        • Roha

          “Your imagination is very limited.”

          Thanks!

          On second thought, though, i don’t really think you believe it.

          You have already made the innuendo that i don’t live in the real world.

          Imagination (and a vivid one at that) is a sine qua non for someone to be able to live in the world of fantasies.

        • Roha

          “Perhaps because [Obama] he does not want to get dragged into a third war and lose American lives and ships for the sake of Israeli paranoia.”

          But nobody asked America to commit boots on the ground or do the bombing.

          True, the US will have to open the seaways that Iran is surely going to attempt to block, but that does not represent a military challenge for the US Navy, it won’t involve American casualties, no soldiers will die – the hell with the ships, so what if America loses a vessel?

          Only Israel has to take the rap for an attack.

          And if we weigh the threat to Israeli lives that a nuclear Iran represents with the minor losses that America may incur in its fleet, the dilemma is resolved in favor of an Israeli strike.

        • Kathleen says:

          mitropoulous even the US Chairman of the Joint of Staff General Dempsey referred to Iran as a ‘rational actor” on I think it was Meet the Press over a year ago. It has been Israel and the I lobby over the last 10 years at least that have been successfully for the majority of the american public been able to paint them as irrational and dangerous based on their endlessly repeated and NEVER challenged unsustantiated claims by the Rachel Maddows of the MSM

        • Shingo says:

          In the case of Iran, the right to demand inspections stems from the fact that Iran has scared Israel and many westerners with its purported attempt at nuclear weaponization. So it is not an unjustified demand.

          That’s absolutely false. Seriously, you are going to have to produce far better arguments if you expect to be taken seriously on this forum. Making up whatever comes to your head and expecting that to pass as a leitmate argument is not going to cut it, so I suggest you stop lying.

          Your views really are an extremist, as you clearly beluieve that the interests and security concerns fo every other state should come secondary to Israel’s.

          Scaring Israel is not a crime or a premise for any such demandsm, espcially given that Israel’s iontelligence directors (past and present) and the heads of the IDF have all said that Iran is not a threat, and is not making nukes.

          Should Israel be subejected to intriosve inspectiong becasue it’s neighbors fear being attacked by Israel?

          Parchin is a sensitive miltary facility and Iran has every reason to want to deny access to it for security reasons which have nothign to do with nukes.

          As I explained to you, the evidence realting to Parchin is from pre 2003. Iran complied and allowed he IAEA access to it twice in 2005, who havign inspected it at the time declared they found nothing nefarious there. Both previous heads of the IAEA have said they saw the evidence about PArchin and that it is weak and baseless.

          It wasn’t until the Israel stooge, Yukia Amano, took over the IAEA that the evidence (provided by Israel no less) was deemed credible.

          In any case, as was pointed out in the above link, Iran have said they are willing to allow the IAEA access to parchin is return for guarantees that some of the sanctions will be lifted. Washington refuses.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel must have made her intentions to strike Iran very clear to Obama, and this explains the anger emanating from pro-Israel media at Obama’s refusal to give the ok to such an operation.

          First of all, Israel have tried to trick and blackmail Obama into supporting a strike. Earlier in the year, they were issuing press relewases that they wouldn’t even consult Washington if and when they decided to strike Iran. So why are they angry at bama’s refusal to give the ok if they really meant to go it alone or havd the capability?

          The answer is simple. Israel can’t pull of such an attack alone and everyoen in Washington and Israel knows it.

          I remember Caroline Glick complaining that all Israelis want to go on with the strike, but that many of them are put off by Obama’s warnings not to, because those Israelis do not want to risk America’s fury at an Israeli strike.

          Glick is a liar. Isreal do not support a strike.
          link to haaretz.com

          The polls showed that Israelis would only supported a strike if the US did it for Israel. As I have pointed out to you repeatedly, Netenayhu could not even get his own military leadrs to sign on to the plan to attack Iran, becasue anyone with a brain agrees such an attsck would be an act of insanity.

          Why should the US suport a policy that they do not believe is in their onwn intersts? No one beleives an attak woudl be a good idea, and the Amercan public is overhwlemingly opposed to it.
          link to payvand.com
          link to haaretz.com

          Why would the pro-Israel media make such fuss about Obama’s purported pressure on Israel if Netanyahu did not intend to go on with a strike and Obama was, indeed, applying pressure on Israel against it?

          It is rare for Israel and US leaders to disagree in public, so any uch disputes wil always make news.

          There is also a very clear indication that Israel wanted to strike but Obama was fighting her:

          No, this was Netenyahu bluffing and trying to pressure Obama into carrying out the attack on Israel’s behalf. This wouldn’t be as big an issue if Israel was prepared to go it alone. Every leader in Washington and all of Netenyahu’s cabint (not to mention the IDF and Mossad) agree that a war with Iran would be a disaster. Furthermore, all US and Israeli intelligence agencies agree Iran has not even made the decision to produce nukes, so such an attack would not only be a disaster for the region, it would be a complete waste of time.

          Also, the public statements made by Dempsey in August, i.e. that the IDF cannot destroy Iran’s nuclear program, but only delay it, must have come as a response to behind-the-scenes Israeli pressure on Obama to let them attack.

          On the contrary. Dempsey’s statements was Washington drawing a clear line in the sand, that if Israel were to attack Iran, they would be on their own. Depmsey also made it clear that Washington and ISrael knows Israel could not carry this attack out without Washington’s help.

          Even Egud Barak, Israel’s foreign minister, admitted publicly that Israel simply does not have the ablity to accry out such an attack.

          An Israeli news channel reported Sunday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak asked the Israeli military in 2010 to prepare for an imminent attack on the Iranian nuclear program, but that their efforts were blocked by concerns over whether the military could do so and whether the men had the authority to give such an order.

          “Eventually, at the moment of truth, the answer that was given was that, in fact, the ability did not exist,” Mr. Barak said in the clip that was shown on Sunday.
          link to nytimes.com

          So your argument is completely wrong on all counts. Israel is not willing to go it alone, and cannot possibly do so without any US bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Washington knows it. Israel knows it.

          So you might as well face reality.

        • Shingo says:

          They only stand to gain (the lifting of the sanctions) if they agree to the inspections – unless, of course, they are, indeed, producing nuke(s).

          Wrong. That is the problem. Iran have asked that sanctions would be lifted if they agreed to allow inspections but the IAEA does not have the authority to offer that concession and Washington has refused to be forthcoming.

          So the question is, what does Iran stand to gain by allowing inspections of a highly sensitive military facility? Especially in light of the fact that they have accused the IAEA of being complicit in the assassinations of Iranian scientists, by providing the names of scientists to Israel.

        • Shingo says:

          Kathleen made a point about Hagel speaking the right stuff, and one of the purportedly good points of Hagel was that Iran abides by the NPT, and that this is one more reason not to see Iran as a threat.

          She is correct. No state has ever produced a nuke while being a signaroty to the NPT.

          My whole point was that the fact that Iran says that it abides by the NPT does not detract the least from the fact that Iran is a threat, because it can always renege on its stated views on NPT.

          That’s not a point. In fact, it’s not even a legitimate argument. Iran wasn’t forced to sign the NPT to begin with, so arguiing that they are a threat becasue they can renege on it is frankly, absurd. In fact, if Iran weer to renege on the NPT, they would have to start by withdrawing from the NPT, then expelling the IAEA inspectors – all of which would send an unminstakable signal to the world of their intentions.

          I suggest to Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities (not the Iranian people, of course) because i consider a nuclear Iran a threat to Israel’s existence, and consider Israel’s right to self-defense morally obvious.

          I suggest you are displaying psyciopathic tendencies and are a Zionist supremacist, because such an actions would be completely futile (Iran has no nuclear weapons facilities) and a war crime. Thus Israel would only be bombing Iran’s civilian infrastructure.

          What’s worse, is that as Meir Dagan (former head of Mos sad) has explained, such an attack would provide a huge incentive for Iran to actually produce nuclear weapons.

          If I were to suggest that Iran should bomb Israel’s nuclear facilities on the basis of self defence, would you agree?

        • Shingo says:

          But wit alone cannot refute the very clear danger of Islamic terrorists coming into possession of nukes, in case Arabic regimes try to match Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

          There is nothing to refute because there is simply no basis for your right wing talking point.

          1. One would have to be insane to suggest that Iran would risk producing nukes (and possible attack on), only to give those nukes to a terrorists group. What possible reason would Iran have for doing so? If that terrorist group were to use it against Israel, Iran would be blamed and suffer severe consequences anyway, so there is no conceivable advantage.

          2. If Arabic regimes really believed Iran were making nukes, and it is true they would try to match Iran’s nuclear ambitionsm, then there would be nuclear weapons programs all over the place. Iran’s nuclear program has been in the headlines for over a decade, so what are they waiting for?

          Israel was founded on terrorism and has elected terrorist leaders. Israel is a monument to terrorism. In fact, Menachem Begin once boasted that he alone had brought terrorism to the Middle East.

          >> they have not threatened with nuclear annihilation anyone in the region.

          Nor has Iran.

        • Shingo says:

          The whole purpose of the link was to provide some evidence for my claim that Iranians are on a trend toward a higher ratio of old people around mid-century.

          As is every developed and industrialized country in the world. So what is Iran is facing is the same scenario as dozens of other states.

          Goldman’s piece is absurd. His premise is that this so called demographic time bomb that he claims Iran is facing (which he describesas an existential risk), will lead to Iran’s leaders resorting to irrational behaviour. Not only is this assumption based on the most outlandish and irrational assumptions, but it’s ironic that he overlooks a state like Israel – which is forever claiming to be under esxistential threat due to everything from Ianian nukes to African asylum seekers. Using his argument, should we not also assume that Israel will be taking insane and self-destructive risks to avert these threats?

          David Goldman’s religious or political leanings cannot affect the credibility (or lack of it) of the demographic data.

          Yes it does, because it clearly colours how he chooses to interpret the data and what he thinks it means.

          That’s why his book has been widely criticized.

        • Shingo says:

          But my argument was that the Saudi leadership (and other Middle Eastern regimes) will attempt to acquire nukes, if Iran does. And this constitutes a threat to both Israel and world peace.

          That argument simply doesn’t hold water. Iran’s nuclear program is decades old and has been in the headlines for over 10 years. If the Saudis were so sure Iran were trying to produce nukes, then why haven’t the Saudi’s started their own nuclear weapons program? Why would they wait for Iran to have one before producing their own?

          It makes no sense.

          The favorable attitude of the Arab public towards Iran’s nuclear program (i take your word for it) is irrelevant to my argument

          No it’s not, because if there was a wide believe that Iran were producing nukes and a threat to these countries, then the attitude of the Arab public towards Iran’s nuclear program would be the same as their leaders.

        • Shingo

          “2. If Arabic regimes really believed Iran were making nukes, and it is true they would try to match Iran’s nuclear ambitionsm, then there would be nuclear weapons programs all over the place. Iran’s nuclear program has been in the headlines for over a decade, so what are they waiting for?

          They are waiting for Israel to do the dirty job and blow up the mullahs’ program. They wouldn’t want to risk a fallout with the West by starting a nuclear program of their own, a program that at the end of the day will not be needed, considering that it is certain that Israel will attack sooner or later.

          “1. One would have to be insane to suggest that Iran would risk producing nukes (and possible attack on), only to give those nukes to a terrorists group. What possible reason would Iran have for doing so? If that terrorist group were to use it against Israel, Iran would be blamed and suffer severe consequences anyway, so there is no conceivable advantage.”

          True.

          But if Iran produces more than one weapon, it will be able to spare one and give it to their terrorist brothers in (nuclear h)arms. Iran’s own nukes will be their deterrence against any Israeli or western retaliation.

          Besides, there is always the possibility of other Arabic states (which might have gone for acquiring their own nukes as a response to Iranian nukes) passing weapons to terrorists.

          “There is nothing to refute because there is simply no basis for your right wing talking point.”

          Sure there was something to refute, namely my claim that Iranians might pass nukes to terrorists.

          And you brought two very good arguments against my claim – i call it a draw.

          “Nor has Iran [threatened any state with annihilation”

          What about that quote of Ahmadinejad, the one about wiping Israel from … shall we argue the translation to “map” or “time” or whatever?

          But it is not just Ahmadinejad, there are other officials who have kind of talked the annihilation talk.

          But, shingo, let me ask you a question: aren’t the Israelis justiafibly worried that Iran might attack them with nukes, given Iran;s clear statements to the effect that they don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist?

          Can the Israelis dismiss this worry, when they know that a regime that hates them is on the verge of getting the bomb?

          “Israel was founded on terrorism and has elected terrorist leaders. Israel is a monument to terrorism. In fact, Menachem Begin once boasted that he alone had brought terrorism to the Middle East.”

          You just violated Mondoweiss’ comment guidelines, which preclude mention to Nakba-related stuff!

          Anyway, that’s ancient history, the important point is how the two people, Israelis and Palestinians, can coexist peacefully.

          “right wing talking point.”

          That labeling, again!

          I will briefly explain tomorrow my political leanings – it’s no human’s land, really.

          Meanwhile, i have to go to sleep. Shingo, it was great talking to you.

        • Shingo says:

          Ok, ok, “Ahmadinejad” is my catchword for the Iranian regime.

          The Iranian regime has not attacked anyone or invaded anyone in 300 years.

        • Shingo says:

          Iran’s theocrats are. That’s why the latter represent a nuclear threat, while the former don’t.

          Iran’s theocrats are the one issues fatwas as decreed banning nukes, so how cn they possibly be a nuclear threat?

          Call me a dreamer!

          No, I’ll call you a mouth peace for Israeli hasbra.

        • Shingo says:

          The US intelligence agencies might just be playing along with Obama’s unwillingness to let Israel strike.

          You’ve just demonstrated once and for all that you are imperious to facts, logic and reason. You’ll make up anything or say the first thing that comes to your head to spread pro Israeli propaganda.

          The 2007 NIE, which was actually completed at least a year before it’s release, stated that Iran’s leaders were rational actors. That was during Bush’s term in office.

          Every year since then including 2008 (under Bush) , every US intelligence director has repeated that Iran’s leaders are rational actors.

          The Mossad and the IDF must be understandably in the mood of not outraging the administration of their only ally in the world – America.

          That makes even less sense. If the Mossad and the IDF are so concerned about the outraging the US, then why isn’t Netenayhu?

          And if the IDF and the Mossad are, as you are suggesting, lying to placate Washington, wouldn’t these former heads (now retired) come out and be warning us that Iran really is a threat rather than insisting they are not and that war with Iran would be a disaster?

          Clearly they are very assertive as to the rationality of the Iranian regime.

          And what is becoming increasingly apparent, is that it you that is irrational, messianic and delusional. Ion top of that, you really can’t wrap your head around the idea that the IDF is not all powerful and cannot pull off an attack against Iran without the US to help them or do it for them.

        • shingo

          “And if the IDF and the Mossad are, as you are suggesting, lying to placate Washington, wouldn’t these former heads (now retired) come out and be warning us that Iran really is a threat rather than insisting they are not and that war with Iran would be a disaster?”

          You are right.

          It would have been very easy for them to come out publicly admitting they were lying.

        • Mooser says:

          “We haven;t had anyone as extreme or messiness as you on these boards for quite some time.”

          And with such a unique, objective and disinterested point of view! Why, I can’t find a smidgen of skew in the entire skein.

        • Shingo

          “on top of that, you really can’t wrap your head around the idea that the IDF is not all powerful and cannot pull off an attack against Iran without the US to help them or do it for them.”

          Are you sure that you are not stereotyping me?

          I never said or implied that the IDF is all powerful.

          And obviously i don’t know if they will be able to pull it off. But, given that Iran is going for the bomb, i predict that Israel will be forced to strike sooner or later. We will find out then.

        • Shingo

          “And what is becoming increasingly apparent, is that it you that is irrational, messianic and delusional.”

          Messianic? How so?

          Are you mistaking me with somebody else?

        • Shingo

          “The Iranian regime has not attacked anyone or invaded anyone in 300 years.”

          They didn’t have nukes, though, did they?

        • RoHa says:

          “American fundamentalists are not mainstream politically.”

          You clearly know very little about American politics. The American fundamentalists are major players in the Republican party and in the US military.

          G. W. Bush was a fundamentalist.

          You certainly have lost contact with the real world.

        • Cliff says:

          Israel has no right to exist.

          Right to exist – is a Zionist meme. An offshoot of the antisemitism slur and diversion.

          No State has a right to exist. States are political entities with no inherent legitimacy.

          People have a right to exist, but in relation to land and property that right is not absolute.

          Israeli thieves do not have a ‘right to exist’ on Palestinian land or property. Etc.

          These rights you speak and imply are all borne out of a desire to both absolve Israel of it’s numerous war crimes, crimes, moral depravity, etc. and to perpetuate the destruction of Palestinians culturally, economically and socially.

          During the years proceeding the American Civil War – the US Army as well as frontiersmen and colonists would systematically destroy the American Buffalo.

          The Buffalo was integral to the survival of Native American tribes in the area out West. There was no purpose or need for the destruction of the buffalo.

          The US agents were simply doing it to destroy the Native American peoples who depended on the animal as a way of life.

          I consider that genocide. Genocide is not synonymous with a wholesale, industrial-size and factory-planned murder of a people (like the Holocaust). Genocide is also about intent and also about destruction of the cultural and social and economic components that hold and ‘form’ a people as a cohesive entity.

          Destroying those elements, fragments the people and if the destruction continues – those people disintegrate as a cohesive unit.

          The Palestinians land is taken from them. They are kicked out of their homes to make way for Zionist Jews. Their livelihood is regularly DESTROYED by the Israeli government and military.

          Their society is FRAGMENTED by the apartheid, occupation, colonialism. Their religion is persecuted by the Israelis – both Christian and Muslim.

          Their daily life and freedom of movement is restricted – they are effectively a kidnapped people. Held hostage by a DERANGED criminal with the backing of the world’s number one mafia (the US).

          Israel is committing a genocide against the Palestinians (as per the definition of genocide and NOT ZIONIST hysterics over the ‘entitlement’ to that definition).

          I recognize the Palestinians right to come home (in the land known as ‘Israel’ – a terrorist State that should be reformed).

        • RoHa

          You clearly know very little about American politics.

          True.

          The American fundamentalists are major players in the Republican party and in the US military. G. W. Bush was a fundamentalist.

          My perception is that they are far less likely to use nukes than the Iranian regime is. Iran is far more religiously fundamentalist.

          Bush would have (deplorably) objected to my right to marry my boyfriend. Ahmadinejad would have hanged us both.

          You certainly have lost contact with the real world.

          You have told me that again, i got it the first time, no need for the repetition.

        • RoHa says:

          “My perception is that they are far less likely to use nukes than the Iranian regime is.”

          Since the Americans have got nukes, and have already used them, I am not so sanguine.

          “Ahmadinejad would have hanged us both.”

          Unless you pre-empted him by getting a sex change operation. Iran performs the second largest number of such operations, and the Iranian Health system pays half the cost.

        • Shingo says:

          If that were the case, i.e. the revelation of their conventional weapons secrets, wouldn’t they have said so?

          Said what? Yes we are working on secret weapons?

          I saw in your link the claim that they do not allow inspections because they don’t want the IAEA to come asking for inspections again after three months.

          That’s not what the link says. The link says that if the inspectors find nothing, what is to prevent them from three months down the road to demand further inspections?
          That’s a perfectly reasonable concern for a number of reasons. What you clearly don’t understand, is that under the NPT, the IAEA has no right to ask to inspect non declared nuclear sights. So even if the IAE has suspicious that a sight might be nuclear related, they have no right to ask to inspect it.
          By allowing the IAEA to inspect Parchin, the Iranians have already gone above and beyond their obligations under the NPT, and in spite of having found nothing the last time, the IAEA is now asking to inspect it again.
          The IAEA has become completely politicized sice the Washington puppet, Yukia Amano took over. In a Wikileaks memo, he was revealed to have promise Washington that he would do their bidding.
          The Iranians are rightfully suspicious that the Amano will keep pushing for more and more access, and using the inevitable standoff as a reason to raise suspcisions.
          Even more ridiculous, is that contrary to your claims, neither the IAEA nor Washington have agreed to lift sanctions if Iran allows the IAEA into Parchin. I other words, the sanctions will be enduring no matter what Iran does, so why agree to the IAEA request?

          I still think that the most plausible reason for the Iranian denial is that they do make nuclear weapons.

          No, you are wrong because if it were, then the US and Israeli intelligence community would also take that position. They don’t.

        • Shingo says:

          Has Israel threatened to annihilate any country? Or invade a neighbor?

          Of course they have. Numerous times. They invaded every neighbour .

          As for threatening to annihilate any country, no one has done that.

          I remember that she even unilaterally ceded Gaza to the Palestinians.

          Which was only because they decided they could no longer justify the cost of maintaining the occupation in Gaza and decided those resources would be better served stealing land in the West Bank.

          Israelis don’t strike me as such a threat to world peace as you portray them to be.

          Of course they are, which is why Israel has consistently polled as the greatest threat to world peace for the last decade.

        • RoHa says:

          “Has Israel threatened to annihilate any country? Or invade a neighbor?”

          Israel has invaded all its neighbours and annihilated Palestine. It regularly threatens Lebanon. On June 7, 2008, Israel’s Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said “If you so much as dream of attacking Israel, before you even finish dreaming there won’t be an Iran anymore.”

        • Shingo says:

          I have replied to the first point you made a couple of comments above.

          I read your points and a exposed the absurdity of your insane conspiracy theories and flaws in your logic. Please read them.

          As to my irrationality, if i were an Israeli, i would consider myself perfectly rational in worrying about the rationality of a theocratic regime that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

          Why? What does Israel care if anyone recognize Israel’s right to exist? It’s none of Israel’s business, especially seeing as Israel’s ruling party has a charter that rejects the right of a Palestinian state to exist.

          Most Israelis do worry. Are they so out of touch with reality, too?

          Actually it turns out they don’t, in spite of the relentless efforts on the part of their leaders to incide fear and insecurity for cynical political reasons. Yet more evidence that you are out of touch with reality.
          link to haaretz.com

          Say, how do you know what most Israelis think anyway? Are you Greek , Israeli or a Greek on the Israeli payroll?

        • RoHa says:

          “I mean the political entity, Israel the country (with whatever borders) and i am really curious why you don’t recognize her right to exist.”

          States do not have a right to exist. Israel is an evil organization, so the sooner it is abolished, the better.

        • RoHa says:

          “True, the US will have to open the seaways that Iran is surely going to attempt to block, but that does not represent a military challenge for the US Navy, it won’t involve American casualties, no soldiers will die – the hell with the ships, so what if America loses a vessel?”

          Plenty of US sailors will die if the US Navy goes up against Iran. Iran is well equipped with anti-ship missiles, and some are bound to hit the targets. They have not been designed to sink ships without doing a great deal of damage.

          “And if we weigh the threat to Israeli lives that a nuclear Iran represents with the minor losses that America may incur in its fleet, the dilemma is resolved in favor of an Israeli strike.”

          A mere unrealised threat does not outweigh actual losses.

        • Shingo says:

          This bodes for economic catastrophe, and the Iranians, aware of the this trend (as Ahmadinejad has made clear by addressing his people so as to push them to breed more) might be tempted to use their nuclears as a threat, in order to steal neighboring oilfields – actually it is our common friend’s point, David Goldman’s, not mine, but i fell for it immediately when i first encountered it in the past, it seemed very rational.

          It’s not rational at all because simply put, such a manoeuvre would only be possible if no one else had nukes. No one has resorted to nukes as a threat or to strategically attack anyone since WWII, and for very good reason. You can’t threaten nuclear attack on state you plan to invade – so it defeats the purpose.

          Even you have suggested that if Iran were to go nuclear, the surrounding states would follow suit. And even if they didn’t, the US has nuclear armed fleets and submarines permanently in the Gulf, poised to strike. So how could Iran possibly use a nuclear threat to steal oil from them?

          Europe’s parity with Iran, as far as fertility rates are concerned, is irrelevant to my argument.

          No it’s not, because most developed states in the world are facing this very same problem. In fact, Israel’s problem in this regard is much more severe. Israel has no resources at all and the fastest growing sector of their population is the Haredi, who live entirely on government welfare. So Israel will be faced not only with a growing elderly population, but also the religious youth who refuse to work.
          It has been estimated that in 20 years, there will be 4 Israeli Jews on welfare for every one Israeli worker.

          by the way, Europeans will be richer than Iran when the trend hits bottom in the future, they will be able to provide for their pensioners.

          That’s funny. You are clearly using the same ecomic thinking that has brought Greece to the financial ruin. You really should steer clear of macro economic theory.

        • Shingo says:

          True, the US will have to open the seaways that Iran is surely going to attempt to block, but that does not represent a military challenge for the US Navy

          Of course it does. Iran is armed with advanced anti ship missiles and will mine the Gulf, so US nazy ships wil be extremely vulnerable. One direct hit on an aircraft acarrier and there go thousands of American lives.

          Then there are the naval bases in Bahrain, which will be a target for Iranian missile attack.

          Only Israel has to take the rap for an attack.

          But they won’t and they can’t. As I have explained to you, Israel will be using US made weapons and ammunition. US supplied fuel, airline refuelling tankers, and most of all, US permission.

          And if we weigh the threat to Israeli lives that a nuclear Iran represents with the minor losses that America may incur in its fleet, the dilemma is resolved in favor of an Israeli strike.

          In other words, you are happy to sacrifice American lives to satisfy for your psychotic delusions.

        • Shingo says:

          You have already made the innuendo that i don’t live in the real world.

          Your arguments are vacuous and based on ignorance, but seeing as you have only popped up on this thread while the Israeli lobby and Israeli propagandists are working to undermine Hagel’s nomination, you probably do live in the real world and have been given orders to pollute this forum with your inane and absurd arguments.

        • Shingo

          Even more ridiculous, is that contrary to your claims, neither the IAEA nor Washington have agreed to lift sanctions if Iran allows the IAEA into Parchin. I other words, the sanctions will be enduring no matter what Iran does, so why agree to the IAEA request?

          I did not claim that Washington had agreed to lift the sanctions in case the IAEA was allowed to inspect. I just took for granted that if the West is satisfied that Iran is not producing nukes, then the sanctions will be lifted.

          What makes you say that the sanctions will persist no matter what Iran does?

          If Iran allows the West to restore her peace of mind about nukes, what possible motive does the West have to keep up with the sanctions?

        • Shingo

          That’s funny. You are clearly using the same ecomic thinking that has brought Greece to the financial ruin. You really should steer clear of macro economic theory.

          ????????????????

          What economic thinking?

          I just said that, in the future, European states’ coffers will be able to support the pensioners, whereas Iran’s won’t.

          The economic ruin of Greece was not a result of any economic thinking, but of a widespread corruption among us, the Greek people and politicians and apparatchiks ( i made a similar point to my reply to another commentator somewhere in this thread).

        • Shingo says:

          They are waiting for Israel to do the dirty job and blow up the mullahs’ program.

          No they are not. They have all stated that they are opposed to an attack on Iran. link to google.com

          They wouldn’t want to risk a fallout with the West by starting a nuclear program of their own

          Which debunks your ealier argument that an Iranian nuclear wepoans program would start a nuclear arms race.

          It’s funny how you Israeli propagandist contradict yourselves so easily.

          But if Iran produces more than one weapon, it will be able to spare one and give it to their terrorist brothers in (nuclear h)arms. Iran’s own nukes will be their deterrence against any Israeli or western retaliation.

          You clearly have not thought any of this through or think like a juvenile. Do you even understand what a second strike capability is? Israel has it. Iran does not.

          Israel has hundreds of nukes and more importantly, has second strike capability due to it’s long range missile systems and it’s nuclear armed submarines. What this means that even if Israel successfully hit by a nuclear attack, it can easily launch barrages of nuclear missiles at it’s enemy.

          What this means is that no amount of spare nukes will protect Iran. And that’s before you even factor in what the US will do.

          Besides, there is always the possibility of other Arabic states (which might have gone for acquiring their own nukes as a response to Iranian nukes) passing weapons to terrorists.

          And they would be in the same position and an Iranian state who passed nukes on to terrorists.
          There is simply to validity or credibility to your argument.

          Sure there was something to refute, namely my claim that Iranians might pass nukes to terrorists.

          No there isn’t because apart from the arguments I have presented, all intelligence suggests that Iran is not making nukes and has no interest in doing so.

          What about that quote of Ahmadinejad, the one about wiping Israel from … shall we argue the translation to “map” or “time” or whatever?

          Not a threat. Ahmadinejad did not say Iran would wipe anyone off the make, or be responsible for the disappearance of the regime in Jerusalem disappearing from pages of time.

          If I were to predict that Zionism will be gone in 20 years, does that constitute a threat?

          there are other officials who have kind of talked the annihilation talk.

          There was indeed one statement to that effect from a general, but so what? Military leaders are notorious for making asinine comments.

          aren’t the Israelis justiafibly worried that Iran might attack them with nukes, given Iran;s clear statements to the effect that they don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist?

          No, and here’s why.
          1. The IDF, Shin Bet, and Mossad have repeatedly stated that Iran is not making nukes and has not decided to build them. Barak has also said so.
          2. The head of the IDF has said that even if Iran had nukes, Iran would not pose a threat to Israel. Barak and Livni have also stated this
          3. Former and current heads of Mossad and the IDF agree Iran are rational – in other words, they will not embark on a suicidal mission of by attacking Israel with or without nukes

          Can the Israelis dismiss this worry, when they know that a regime that hates them is on the verge of getting the bomb?

          Why do you keep repeating the obvious lie that Iran is on the verge of getting the bomb? Are you simply ideologically incapable of accepting there is no evidence they are building a bomb or even attempting to?

          The only answer that I can come up with is that you are desperately clinging to this position because without it, you have no case and would have to admit that the whole Iran hysteria is based on lies and deception.

          You just violated Mondoweiss’ comment guidelines, which preclude mention to Nakba-related stuff!

          No, read the guidelines again. There is no prohibition against discussing the Nakaba, only Najkba denial.

          Anyway, that’s ancient history, the important point is how the two people, Israelis and Palestinians, can coexist peacefully.

          Wrong, because the issue of how Israelis and Palestinians can coexist peacefully is inextricably linked to the injustices of the Nakba. Like so many Israeli propagandist, you keep referring to the history of anti Semitism prior to Israel’s founding to justify Israel’s actions, yet you dismiss the Nakba as ancient history.

        • Shingo says:

          It would have been very easy for them to come out publicly admitting they were lying.

          Instead what they have done is come out and admit that Iran is no threat and that Israel’s leadership is leading Israel to disaster by pushing for a confrontation with Iran. They have also said that an attack on Iran would guarantee Iran would produce nukes as a result.

        • Shingo says:

          I just said that, in the future, European states’ coffers will be able to support the pensioners, whereas Iran’s won’t.

          What makes you think European states’ coffers will be able to support the pensioners? Europe is on the brink of financial collapse. If that happens, there will be nothing left in the coffers.

          The economic ruin of Greece was not a result of any economic thinking

          Of course it was economic thinking.

        • Shingo says:

          They didn’t have nukes, though, did they?

          No one had nukes then. In fact, the last time Iran attacked or invaded anyone was more that 300 year ago, and they did it without nukes.

          Hopefully you can see how absurd your argument is.

        • Shingo says:

          Messianic? How so?

          Being completely impervious to evidence and reports from intelligence sources, as well as countless statements from military and intelligence leaders (current and former) that have stated Iran is not producing nukes and is a rational actor.

          You simply reject the weight of evidence in favour of your own belief and carry on unperturbed. That makes you either a pathological liar or ideologically delusional.

        • Shingo says:

          Are you sure that you are not stereotyping me?

          No, yiou are doing that all on your own without my help.

          But, given that Iran is going for the bomb, i predict that Israel will be forced to strike sooner or later. We will find out then.

          What do you mean given that Iran is going for the bomb ? it is not a given at all. No one in the intelligence or defence community in Israel or the US is making any such claims.

          So why do you insist on repeating these falsities? Are you remotely interested in an honest debate or are you going to continue to ignore all the evidence presented before you so you can simply keep repeating your propaganda?

        • Donald says:

          I haven’t the patience to get into a discussion with someone who politely repeats far right cliches by the truckload. I just wanted to point out a couple of things.

          First, I’m not aware of any occasion in wartime when a “vessel” was sunk without sailors dying. The customary way to sink a ship in the modern era is to use high explosives delivered by bomb, missile or shell that blow holes in the ship and allow water to flow in until in accordance with Archimedes principle of buoyancy, the average density of the ship becomes greater than that of seawater and it goes to the bottom. Generally speaking people die in the process.

          Second, though it is traditionally ignored in the modern age of doublethink, any government which accumulates a large stockpile of nuclear weapons even if for the purposes of deterrence is tacitly announcing its willingness to commit genocide if it deems it necessary. Israel has its hundreds of nukes not to blow up a few invading armies, but to utterly destroy its enemies if it was on the verge of losing a war. Incidentally, there are some who think Israel helped apartheid South Africa acquire the Bomb, so its own sense of responsibility is open to question on proliferation grounds, though admittedly there are no more allies like apartheid South Africa around to tempt it to do that now.

          Also, if Israel really believed it faced an existential threat from Iran, then it doesn’t have the conventional capability to eliminate that threat with air strikes. That’s why they want the US to do it. Probably even the US lacks the capability. To eliminate the threat you’d either have to invade, or to quote Ripley (I think) from Aliens, they’d have to nuke the place to be sure.
          Their own claimed logic of imminent existential threat leads to the conclusion that they might pose an existential threat to Iran. But again, that’s part of the doublethink age we live in. The very people who speak loudly of pre-emptive war miss the point that they are warmongers.

        • Shingo says:

          I did not claim that Washington had agreed to lift the sanctions in case the IAEA was allowed to inspect. I just took for granted that if the West is satisfied that Iran is not producing nukes, then the sanctions will be lifted.

          And I am here to tell you that you are wrong. Iran has been trying to win that concession as part of the negotiations and Washington has refused to even discuss it.

          What makes you say that the sanctions will persist no matter what Iran does?

          The sanctions have nothing to do with Iran nukes. All US intelligence agencies have reported that Iran is not producing nukes or taken steps to do so, so there is no basis for the sanctions in the first place.
          They are intended to effect regime change.

        • RoHa

          Unless you pre-empted him by getting a sex change operation. Iran performs the second largest number of such operations, and the Iranian Health system pays half the cost.

          You are kidding me, right.

          Tell me that you didn’t bring this argument in support of Iran’s treatment of gays, or i will have to consider you are a barbarian.

        • Shingo

          Say, how do you know what most Israelis think anyway?

          I took Caroline Glick’s word, and it sounded very plausible, plus that was my perception from the media.

          Are you Greek , Israeli or a Greek on the Israeli payroll?

          Greek, not on the Israeli payroll.

        • Shingo

          Like so many Israeli propagandist, you keep referring to the history of anti Semitism prior to Israel’s founding to justify Israel’s actions, yet you dismiss the Nakba as ancient history.

          I referred to anti-Semitism to justify Israel’s actions before 1948.

          I dismiss the Nakba, as i dismiss anti-Semitism, as unhelpful complications in today’s deliberations for peace.

          The more you think what people have done to you, the more you get angered, and this is not a state of mind conducive to the compromises needed for a peace agreement.

        • Dionissis Mitropoulos said

          They [the Arabs] wouldn’t want to risk a fallout with the West by starting a nuclear program of their own

          Shingo replied

          Which debunks your ealier argument that an Iranian nuclear wepoans program would start a nuclear arms race.

          You just committed an act of intellectual dishonesty: you presented just part of my argument.

          I said that the Arabs wouldn’t want to risk the fallout with the US because they waited for Israel to do the dirty job. It naturally follows that if Israel does not strike, the Arabs will feel compelled to acquire their own nukes, because the risk of the fallout with the US and the West will be far less dangerous than the (ex hypothesi) nuclear Iran.

          It’s funny how you Israeli propagandist contradict yourselves so easily.

          It’s funny how you, Shingo, will stop at nothing so as to make your point.

          PS. There have been budget cuts in the hasbara department, they have to make do with the less qualified guys like me – prone to contradictions and all.

        • Donald

          First, I’m not aware of any occasion in wartime when a “vessel” was sunk without sailors dying.

          So there is risk that some American soldiers might die, after all, if Israel strikes unilaterally and the US Navy has to interfere to open the seaways that Iran will attempt to block.

          Why should those deaths be blamed on the Israelis and not on the Iranians, who will attempt to block the seaways and who will be the ones that fire against the American vessels?

          any government which accumulates a large stockpile of nuclear weapons even if for the purposes of deterrence is tacitly announcing its willingness to commit genocide if it deems it necessary.

          What should your assertion lead us to conclude? That the US should surrender its arsenal unilaterally, for example?

          Israel has its hundreds of nukes not to blow up a few invading armies, but to utterly destroy its enemies if it was on the verge of losing a war.

          Like all other countries that possess a large arsenal. What is your point, exactly?

          Also, if Israel really believed it faced an existential threat from Iran, then it doesn’t have the conventional capability to eliminate that threat with air strikes. That’s why they want the US to do it. Probably even the US lacks the capability. To eliminate the threat you’d either have to invade, or to quote Ripley (I think) from Aliens, they’d have to nuke the place to be sure.

          Seeing how competent you are in Physics (the allusion to the Archimides’ principle impressed me!) i will take you at your word and assume that, if Israel wants to destroy the nuclear program, she has to resort to, i quote you, “nuking the place”.

          Their own claimed logic of imminent existential threat leads to the conclusion that they might pose an existential threat to Iran.

          Only if Iran goes on with its nuclear program.

          The Iranians do have a way out of the existential threat that you suggest Israel poses to them: stop their program.

          But Israel, if her perceptions (as implicitly expressed by her Prime Minister) are true, i.e. that Iran is going for the bomb and that Iran might use this bomb against Israel, has no way out of her own existential threat: it all depends on Iran’s behavior.

          So, shouldn’t we be directing our diplomatic pressure to the one whose actions have started this whole mess and who is the only one who can stop it bloodlessly? That one is Iran.

          Having seen your Physics, i am confident you can couch the whole thing in Game Theory terms – and conclude that the win-win solution is for Iran to stop the program.

          But again, that’s part of the doublethink age we live in. The very people who speak loudly of pre-emptive war miss the point that they are warmongers.

          Not only warmongers: all too often, Islamophobes too.

          I haven’t the patience to get into a discussion with someone who politely repeats far right cliches by the truckload.

          He has done worse: he is dedicatedly anti-Hamas.

        • Shingo says:

          You are kidding me, right.

          No it’s a fact. If you are too ignorant to know this, then you have no business writing about the topic.

          Tell me that you didn’t bring this argument in support of Iran’s treatment of gays, or i will have to consider you are a barbarian.

          Tell me you don’t think that Iran’s treatment of gays is a reason to start what could turn out to be WWIII or that bombing Iran would help the plight of gay people in Iran one iota, or I will consider you certifiably insane.

        • talknic says:

          dionissis mitropoulos

          “If Iran allows the West to restore her peace of mind about nukes, what possible motive does the West have to keep up with the sanctions?”

          Project for a New American Century. Ever heard of it, look at the signatories.

          What they prescribed for the US in the M East, the US has done.

        • talknic says:

          Cliff “States are political entities with no inherent legitimacy”

          Governments are political entities. States should be declared by a body formed expressly representing all the legitimate citizens of the territory regardless of the citizens’ particular political persuasions. States exist despite the fact that the regimes governing them might change. States belong to their citizens, not their Governments.

          A state’s inherent legitimacy comes from the self determination of the citizens of the territory to want to become a state.

          As to whether Israel has a legitimate right to exist is arguable.

          1) The Zionist Federation was formed by people who were NOT the legitimate citizens of the territory to become a state or the representatives of all the people of the territory they sought as a state. It was only in 1936 that the Zionist Federation moved to Palestine.

          2) At no time did it represent all the people of the Palestinian territory that became the State of Israel, roughly 45% of whom were not Jewish.

          3) It was declared on behalf of a “movement” founded outside of the territory. A movement cannot be a citizen of a territory “.. ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE’S COUNCIL, REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENTlink to mfa.gov.il

          3) Israel is the only State on the planet to have been declared on behalf of the world’s Jewish population no matter where they held citizenship.

          4) Israel claims to have no set borders.

          Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States .. entered into force on December 26, 1934.
          ARTICLE 1

          The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; …. link to cfr.org

          Israel does however, exist. It does have borders. The Israeli Government acknowledged them on numerous occasions link to wp.me

          Were it to have adhered to its obligations, not dispossessed hundreds of thousands of non-Jews, adhered to its borders and not illegally acquired territory by war, not illegally annexed, not illegally settled, was not an emerging apartheid state, it could be an OK place to live for all its citizens. A change of name for where people lived would have been pretty much all that happened for those who chose to accept Israeli citizenship.

          Alas in not living up to its obligations as a State and UN Member, it has created a nightmarish, illegal ‘facts on the ground’ situation dripping with Palestinian blood and that of its own citizens who’ve been duped into believing Israel has some special rights above the Law.

          How to bring the situation to order without spilling more blood will depend entirely on whether the little red heifer decides to kick the SH*TE out of the china shop when it is eventually brought to task.

          That is what the world has feared ever since Israel threatened to do exactly that link to wp.me Thus far all indications seem to point to it continuing with this less than veiled threat

          The Palestinians show far more understanding of the situation and certainly much more compassion for their duped neighbours by agreeing to concede to have their state in only 22% of their rightful territory in order that there be peace link to haaretz.com

        • Shingo says:

          I took Caroline Glick’s word, and it sounded very plausible, plus that was my perception from the media.

          Glick is a raving lunatic who lies with impunity. She claims in her attack on Hagel that everyone in the republican party hates him, which is demonstrably false. She represents the far right of Israeli society, so to take her at her word suggests you are either ignorant or share her extremist views.

        • Shingo says:

          I said that the Arabs wouldn’t want to risk the fallout with the US because they waited for Israel to do the dirty job.

          But that is false and dishonest too, because the Arab leaders have all said they do not want Israel to attack Iran. In fact, they have not even expeessed support for a US attack on Iran, so you are lying through your teeth.

          PS. There have been budget cuts in the hasbara department, they have to make do with the less qualified guys like me – prone to contradictions and all.

          Hasbrats have always been prone to contradictions. That’s inevitable when you’re spinning disinformation and talking points.

        • Shingo says:

          But Israel, if her perceptions (as implicitly expressed by her Prime Minister) are true, i.e. that Iran is going for the bomb and that Iran might use this bomb against Israel

          BTW. Yuval Diskin the former head of Shin Bet, says that not only is Netenyahu wrong on Iran, but that Netenyahu suffers from messianic delusions.

          So if you are concerned about religious nut jobs pushing for war, you’re barking up the wrong tree by focusing on Iran.

        • RoHa says:

          “Tell me that you didn’t bring this argument in support of Iran’s treatment of gays, or i will have to consider you are a barbarian.”

          Of course not. I mentioned this point to show that Iran is not just a Muslim version of the Westboro Baptist Church.

        • RoHa says:

          “So there is risk that some American soldiers might die, after all, if Israel strikes unilaterally and the US Navy has to interfere to open the seaways that Iran will attempt to block.”

          The immediate risk is to American sailors.

          “Why should those deaths be blamed on the Israelis and not on the Iranians, who will attempt to block the seaways and who will be the ones that fire against the American vessels?”

          Because the Israelis will have started an unprovoked and unjustified war.

        • American says:

          Countries have a right to exist..? LOL Countries only exist as long as they ‘can’.
          Countries ‘disappear’ all the time or become other countries:

          Austria-Hungary: A monarchy (also known as the Austro-Hungarian Empire) that was established in 1867 and included not just Austria and Hungary, but also parts of the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy, Romania, and the Balkans. The empire collapsed at the end of World War I.

          Bengal: An independent kingdom from 1338-1539, now part of Bangladesh and India.

          Catalonia: This autonomous region of Spain was independent from 1932-1934 and 1936-1939.

          Champa: Located in south and central Vietnam from the 7th century through 1832.

          Corsica: This Mediterranean island was ruled by various nations over the course of history but had several brief periods of independence. Today, Corsica is a department of France.

          Czechoslovakia: Peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993.

          East Germany and West Germany: Merged in 1989 to form a unified Germany.

          East Pakistan: This province of Pakistan from 1947-1971 became Bangladesh.

          Gran Colombia: A South American country that included what is now Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador from 1819-1830. Gran Colombia ceased to exist when Venezuela and Ecuador seceded.

          Hawaii: Though a kingdom for hundreds of years, Hawaii wasn’t recognized as an independent country until the 1840s. The country was annexed to the U.S. in 1898.

          Newfoundland: From 1907 to 1949, Newfoundland existed as the self-governing Dominion of Newfoundland. In 1949, Newfoundland joined Canada as a province.

          North Yemen and South Yemen: Yemen split in 1967 into two countries, North Yemen (a.k.a. Yemen Arab Republic) and South Yemen (a.k.a. People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen). However, in 1990 the two rejoined to form a unified Yemen.

          Ottoman Empire: Also known as the Turkish Empire, this empire began around 1300 and expanded to include parts of contemporary Russia, Turkey, Hungary, the Balkans, northern Africa, and the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in 1923 when Turkey declared independence from what remained of the empire.

          Persia: The Persian Empire extended from the Mediterranean Sea to India. Modern Persia was founded in the sixteenth century and later became known as Iran.

          Prussia: Became a Duchy in 1660 and a kingdom in the following century. At its greatest extent it included the northern two-thirds of Germany and western Poland. Prussia, by World War II a federal unit of Germany, was fully disbanded at the end of World War II.

          Scotland, Wales, and England: Despite recent advances in autonomy, part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, both Scotland and Wales were independent nations that were merged with England to form the U.K.

          Sikkim: Now part of far northern India, Sikkim was an independent monarchy from the 17th century until 1975.

          South Vietnam: Now part of a unified Vietnam, South Vietnam existed from 1954 to 1976 as the anti-communist portion of Vietnam.

          Southwest Africa: Gained independence and became Namibia in 1990.

          Tanganyika and Zanzibar: These two African countries united in 1964 to form Tanzania.

          Tibet: A kingdom established in the 7th century, Tibet was invaded by China in 1950 and has since been known as the Xizang Autonomous Region of China.

          Transjordan: Became the independend kingdom of Jordan in 1946.

          Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR): Broke into fifteen new countries in 1991: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldovia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

          United Arab Republic: From 1958 to 1961, non-neighbors Syria and Egypt merged to become a unified country. In 1961 Syria abandoned the alliance but Egypt kept the name United Arab Republic itself for another decade.

          Urjanchai Republic: South-central Russia; independent from 1912 to 1914.

          Yugoslavia: The original Yugoslavia divided up into Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia in the early 1990s.

          Zanzibar and Tanganyika merged to form Tanzania in 1964

  6. Kathleen says:

    We should all be contacting our Reps and the President supporting Hagel’s nomination. Clearly he is going to be hit hard by the lobby. Contact Pres, Reps, write letters, share this link

  7. American says:

    The I-Firsters are going to get really nasty and ugly. Man up Obama, do it.

    link to politico.com

    Some Jews, Israel-backers fear Chuck Hagel

    By KATIE GLUECK | 12/14/12 9:44 AM EST Updated: 12/14/12 11:15 AM EST

    Some Jews and supporters of Israel voiced major concerns about the possible nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Defense Department, taking to Twitter and the blogosphere this week to slam the Nebraska Republican.

    “Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite,” a senior Republican Senate aide told the Weekly Standard. The aide continued, “Hagel has made clear he believes in the existence of a nefarious Jewish lobby that secretly controls U.S. foreign policy. This is the worst kind of anti-Semitism there is.”

    The Times of Israel reported that “The nomination of Hagel would likely worry Israel supporters, who have criticized the former Republican senator for what they see as a chilly stance toward the Jewish state.”

    The English-language Israeli publication cited Hagel’s past positions on issues including the second Lebanon War in 2006 and Israel’s dealings with former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

    “Now that the election is over Barack Obama no longer has to appeal to supporters of Israel or haters of terrorism—so he is about to appoint former Senator Chuck Hagel to replace Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense,” charged Jeff Dunetz at the blog “Yid with Lid.”

    A top Israel advocate told the Daily Beast that “The pro-Israel community will view the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel in an extremely negative light. His record is unique in its animus towards Israel.”

    Reports Thursday indicated that Hagel (R-Neb.), is a likely pick for the top Pentagon position.

    The Midwesterner has come under withering fire from some corners of the conservative and Jewish communities for his previous rhetoric and positions on Israel and Iran.

    “He is one of the most hostile critics of Israel that has ever been in the Senate,” Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America told the blog The Algemeiner.

    At the blog Israel Matzav, another headline read, “Bad news for Israel: Obama wants Hagel at Defense.”

    The piece then cited those NJDC talking points, which include Hagel’s refusal to “write the EU asking them to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization” in 2006; that “In October 2000, Hagel was one of only 4 Senators who refused to sign a Senate letter in support of Israel” and that in 2005 he “refused to sign a letter to President Bush to pressure the Palestinian Authority to ban terrorist groups from participating in Palestinian legislative elections.”

    “Hagel was one of the most consistently anti-Israel Sens in modern history,” tweeted the conservative Philip Klein of the Washington Examiner. “Would be a great fit for Obama administration.”

    Hawkish conservatives also noted support Hagel has received from some who have taken a critical approach to Israel.

    “Hagel’s got Walt on board,” Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller tweeted, linking to a piece from Harvard professor Stephen Walt, who co-authored a controversial book on what he called the “Israel lobby.” “Now if he gets Leveretts & Michael Scheuer, he’ll score an anti-Israel all-star hat trick.”

    Pamela Geller, writing at the conservative blog “Atlas Shrugs,” ran with the headline “Jew-hater for defense?”

    • seafoid says:

      When Main street finds out about the lobby and how it exposes American soldiers to danger as a thank you for Jewish money I imagine “Jew hater” won’t be such a powerful word for Geller. Anyone who opposes war with Iran has the best interests of Judaism at heart.

      • seafoid says:

        “Anyone who opposes war with Iran has the best interests of Judaism at heart.

        I am a non-Jewish Greek atheist, and very pro-Israel (no connection whatsoever with what is called “Israel lobby”). I am saying this because it is the first time i comment here and i assume people want to get an idea of who is the newcomer.

        I know this is a Jewish blog, so i presume you are a Jew, and i need to ask you a question: how can it be bad for Israel and/or Jews if Israel bombs Iran’s nuclear facilities?

        We know Ahmadinejad is going for the bomb. We also know that time is limited for Israel to take action, given that beyond a point no military action will be able to seriously damage the nuclear program.

        What’s so wrong with Israel defending herself?

        And how would that be bad for Jews and Judaism?

        • seafoid says:

          I have been studying Torah at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem for 34 years and I know what happens when we stray from the path of righteousness. War is bad for us. Look at what happened to Bar Kochba my friend.

        • seafoid says:

          I know what happens when we stray from the path of righteousness.

          But Israel’s hypothetical attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities will be an act of self-defense.

          Defending oneself is perfectly compatible with being a moral person.

          Look at what happened to Bar Kochba my friend.

          I had to look up the incident in Wikipedia. So, Jews lost a battle in the past. This does not prejudge the military outcome of an attack against the Iranian nukes. In fact, i would bet that Israel will be able to get results, given the fact that her Army is very strong – i am no fan of any Army, i should add, but i consider them a necessary evil.

          War is bad for us [Jews].

          Well, people worldwide are very anti-Semitic, and they would rush to blame Israel for her perceived belligerence in attacking Iran. One more excuse for them to badmouth Jews and Israel.

          But this hardly constitutes a reason for not engaging in self-defense. Following the above line of reasoning, we should say that Israel should not have entered the 1948, 0r 1967, 0r 1973 wars. But if she hadn’t, there would be no Israel today – incidentally, i don’t believe in nations and national identities, but, considering the global animus against Jews, i am more than willing to make an exception for Israel, merely on account of the fact that they are the only ones that really need a country.

          So, yes, the probable attack on Iran will be bad in the sense that both Israel and Jews collectively will be blood-libeled again, but the alternative is worse: the possibility of Holocaust number two.

        • seafoid says:

          Which part of Beit Shemesh do you live in?

        • eljay says:

          >> We know Ahmadinejad is going for the bomb. … What’s so wrong with Israel defending herself?

          Given continuing existential threats made against Iran by at least two nuclear-equipped, militaristic nations (Israel and the U.S.), it shouldn’t surprise anyone IF Iran were in fact “going for the bomb”. What’s so wrong with Iran defending herself?

          >> … considering the global animus against Jews, i am more than willing to make an exception for Israel, merely on account of the fact that they are the only ones that really need a country.

          There has always been and there continues to be plenty of animus against women, homosexuals and gypsies. Why do they not merit their own countries?

          And how does a “Jewish State” allegedly and perpetually under threat of annihilation make Jews safe? How are American Jews safer because Israel exists? How are Jews in Israel – who can’t stop “Remember[ing] the Holocaust!”™ and worrying about being “wiped from the map” (even as they continue to oppress, steal, colonize, destroy and kill) – safer than Jews in America?

        • “Given continuing existential threats made against Iran by at least two nuclear-equipped, militaristic nations (Israel and the U.S.), it shouldn’t surprise anyone IF Iran were in fact “going for the bomb”. What’s so wrong with Iran defending herself?”

          Please name one instance where Israel made public statements threatening Iran with annihilation. There is none.

          “There has always been and there continues to be plenty of animus against women, homosexuals and gypsies. Why do they not merit their own countries?”

          There is no genocidal global animus against gays (well, if we exclude Iran, where they hang them) or women or Romas.

          If there were, i would have certainly acquiesced to some territories being allocated to them.

          Besides, things are getting better and better for them as time goes by, same-sex marriages will hopefully come into effect sooner or later, so gays will not feel the need for territory just for them. Women have never expressed a wish for a state of their own.

          But Jews are being seen with prejudice all over the world, plus they have expressed their wish for a state.

          That’s why i distinguish between Jews and other persecuted groups.

          “And how does a “Jewish State” allegedly and perpetually under threat of annihilation make Jews safe?”

          By providing European Jews with a place to run, in case Europe goes mad once again.

          I live in Greece, and the neo-Nazi Party “Golden Dawn” is already at 15%, according to recent polls.

          A well-known Greek MP, who is its spokesman, very recently appealed to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and refered to George Soros as being a representative of the “worldwide Judaism” (yes, he actually said that about Soros) that is fighting the Greek neo-Nazis. I need to inform you that these guys conduct pogroms against immigrants everyday, with the Greek police turning a blind eye.

          The signs are all over the place in Greece, and, i think, in Europe too.

          “How are American Jews safer because Israel exists?”

          American Jews are safe. I was referring to the rest of the Jewish Diaspora.

          “How are Jews in Israel … safer than Jews in America?””

          I never claimed that they are safer in Israel than America.

          But America is not going to open its doors to 7 million Jews from Israel to come and live there, so Jews need a country of their own.

          “Remember[ing] the Holocaust!”™”

          Yes, Israelis and Jews remember it and talk about it. If you are implying that they are unduly concerned, i reply that 6 million gratuitous killings (and a history of unprecedented -timewise- persecution) justify any psychological reaction.

          “and worrying about being “wiped from the map””

          Why the scary quotes? Iranian officials and Ahmadinejad himself have said that much.

          “even as they [the Israelis] continue to oppress, steal, colonize, destroy and kill”

          Well, by now you must have guessed that i disagree on every single count, as far as your allegations about Israeli behavior toward Palestinians are concerned – but the Mondoweiss post is about Iran, so i suggest we talk about these in some other (relevant to your concerns) post.

        • seafoid says

          “Which part of Beit Shemesh do you live in?”

          I caught your tone immediately, but, still, i had to resort to Wikipedia to find out what this place that you mentioned is all about.

          Considering that i have already said that i am a native Greek non-Jewish atheist, i take it you think i am lying.

          There is no way i can conclusively prove to you that i am not Jewish, but i can certainly prove to you that i am Greek:

          Here is my email

          [email protected]

          And here is the link to my articles (in Greek) in the Greek newspaper i work for, where i sign with my email (which is the same with my screen name and happens to be my real name).

          link to iapopsi.gr

          If you can think of some way of proving to you that i am not an Israeli and/or Jewish, i am all ears.

        • Shingo says:

          But Israel’s hypothetical attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities will be an act of self-defense.

          No it won’t, any more than bombing Israel would be an act of self-defense. by Iran.

          Once again, you’re simply reasserting the racist, supremacist argument that Israel’s rights and security concerns trump everyone else’s – in which case, you obviously believe that Jews are superior to all other humans.

          Defending oneself is perfectly compatible with being a moral person.

          Not when that excuse is used to justify colonization, land theft, human rights violations and war crimes. The fact is that you Israeli propagandists will never consider a point at which self defense is no longer an legitimate claim, no matter what Israel does in the name of self defense.

          In fact, i would bet that Israel will be able to get results, given the fact that her Army is very strong – i am no fan of any Army, i should add, but i consider them a necessary evil.

          You would lose that bet seeing as even the former defense minister, Ehud Barak, admits Israel does not have that capacity.

          Well, people worldwide are very anti-Semitic, and they would rush to blame Israel for her perceived belligerence in attacking Iran.

          Nazi Germany used the excuse of self defense to carry out numerous acts of aggression, beginning with the invasion of Poland. Israeli apologists like you are very right wing and fascist, and would never accept that anything Israel does could possibly be anything more than self defense, even when it is blatantly aggression. You’re simply tone deaf and suspended in a hermetically sealed bubble where you’re unable to comprehend any suggestion that Israel might be in the wrong.

          Following the above line of reasoning, we should say that Israel should not have entered the 1948, 0r 1967, 0r 1973 wars.

          Which would be entirely true. In fact, the ’48 war was started with Israle having expelled 300,000 Palestinians and Haganah forces already station well outside Israel’s border. Israel started the war in ’67. Numerous Israeli leaders have admitted Israel started the ’67 war without justification. On no occasion was Israel’s existence ever under threat.

          ’73 would never have happened had Israel not launched an aggressive war in ’67.

          So, yes, the probable attack on Iran will be bad in the sense that both Israel and Jews collectively will be blood-libeled again, but the alternative is worse: the possibility of Holocaust number two.

          Please stop spouting such nonsense on this forum. You are so out of your intellectual depth, it’s painful to watch.

          The entire Israeli military and intelligence establishment in Israel refused to comply with Netenayhu’s orders to prepare a plan for war with Iran, because they understand the absolute folly and lunacy of such a plan. Obviously they know this stuff far better than you.

          Perhaps you should take note from those who have some grip on reality.

        • Shingo says:

          We know Ahmadinejad is going for the bomb

          Who’s we? All 16 UN intelligence agencies and the Mossad agree otherwise.

          We also know that time is limited for Israel to take action, given that beyond a point no military action will be able to seriously damage the nuclear program.

          Wrong again. Isrel’s defense minister says otherwise and the entire IDF refused to comply with Netenayhu’s orders to prepare a plan for war with Iran, because they understand the absolute folly and lunacy of such a plan.

          What’s so wrong with Israel defending herself?

          A better question would be what is wrong with your lack of understanding on knowledge about this topic?

        • RoHa says:

          “There has always been and there continues to be plenty of animus against women, homosexuals and gypsies. Why do they not merit their own countries?”

          And redheads. Where should we establish Rangania?

        • Shingo says:

          Please name one instance where Israel made public statements threatening Iran with annihilation. There is none.

          Right after you point to a single example of Iran making public statements threatening Israel with annihilation.

          But Jews are being seen with prejudice all over the world, plus they have expressed their wish for a state.

          So have the Palestinians, yet Israel has stolen their land, not to mention mass murdering them with great frequency. As Someone who claims to care for all living crestures, must be disguisted with such behavior.

          I need to inform you that these guys conduct pogroms against immigrants everyday, with the Greek police turning a blind eye.

          Yisrael Beiteinu, Av igdor Liberman’s party, has repatedly called for Israeli Palestinians to be driven out of Israel. As Someone who claims to care for all living crestures, must be disguisted with such policies.

          American Jews are safe. I was referring to the rest of the Jewish Diaspora.

          Jews in Australia, Britain and most of Europe are safe too, so what part of the Diaspora do you have in mind?

          But America is not going to open its doors to 7 million Jews from Israel to come and live there, so Jews need a country of their own.

          What makes you think that? Millions of Israeli Jews came from Amercan to begin with and most of them have hung on to their US passports. it’s ironic that you are arguing Jews need Israel to be safe, when in fact, many Israeli Jews have kept or are applying for foreign passports in case Israel goes to hell.

          Why the scary quotes? Iranian officials and Ahmadinejad himself have said that much.

          No they haven’t. Ahmadinejad has NEVER threatened Israel in any way.

          Well, by now you must have guessed that i disagree on every single count,

          Of course you do, and you are wrong; because as a Zionist, you have little choice but to ignore these facts or admit you are a suporter of fascist, apartheid colonial policies.

        • Shingo says:

          BTW Dionissis (or whoever you are).

          I just read through some of your writings, and they have to be some of the most superficial and trashy pro Israeli propaganda I have read outside of right wing Zionist blogs in the US.

          Your stuff is more pro Israel than mainstream Israeli news sources. One would be hard pressed to find so many absurd articles with anti Semitism mentioned in the title.

          If this is an indication of what you will be bringing to the debate (and you are who you say you are) you are in for a rude shock.

        • eljay says:

          >> Please name one instance where Israel made public statements threatening Iran with annihilation.

          Who said anything about annihilation?

          >> There is no genocidal global animus against gays … or women or Romas.

          There is no genocidal global animus against Jews.

          >> But Jews are being seen with prejudice all over the world, plus they have expressed their wish for a state.

          Or perhaps Jews are being seen with prejudice all over the world – if, indeed, that is the case – because Zio-supremacists around the world continue to justify, advocate for, excuse and embolden an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” that for over 60 years has stolen, colonized, destroyed and killed with impunity, and which – according to Zio-supremacists – has done so on behalf of and for the benefit of Jews all over the world.

          It’s no wonder many Jews want to disassociate themselves and their religion from this destructive, supremacist project.

        • Shingo

          “BTW Dionissis (or whoever you are).”

          Who else i might be?

          I gave you my email, my real name, and a way of corroborating that i am indeed a Greek journalist.

          Conclusive proof would be if i also had a picture of mine somewhere on the internet, but with the pro-Israel stuff i write, and the neo-Nazis in Greece attacking anything they perceive as hostile, i thought it wise not to have a picture uploaded anywhere.

        • Shingo

          “I just read through some of your writings, and they have to be some of the most superficial and trashy pro Israeli propaganda I have read outside of right wing Zionist blogs in the US.”

          Must be because i get lots of information from such blogs (Camera, Honest reporting, Palestinian Media Watch, Elder of Ziyon, Martin Kramer, Dr Richard Landes at the Augean Stables, UN Watch, Washington Institute etc.).

          I am convinced that they are not trashy, in fact i find them very credible.

          As to their superficiality, i cannot attest to it: superficiality is a matter of degree, for my current needs the breadth of their information and the clarity of their analyses is more than adequate.

        • Shingo

          “I just read through some of your writings”

          My writer’s vanity compels me to inform you that, when i write in Greek, i make lots of puns and usually i tweak humorously Greek proverbs by changing a word(s) to make it applicable to the subject matter.

          This is usually the case with all those small titles that are spread at the beginnings of most paragraphs (they are intended to catch the reader’s attention in a provocative manner).

          The Google Greek to English translation you might have used (or any machine-translation) misses all the humor and the puns and the faux malice and the colloquialisms and everything that makes the text attractive.

          Wouldn’t want you to think low of me – but i’m afraid you already do!

        • Shingo

          “Your stuff is more pro Israel than mainstream Israeli news sources. One would be hard pressed to find so many absurd articles with anti Semitism mentioned in the title.”

          I object to the “absurd”

          That aside, i stress the anti-Semitism charge in my Greek articles because you Jews here in Mondoweiss are not opposing Israel out of anti-Semitism, but those Greek non-Jews who do oppose her in Greece do so precisely because they are anti-Semites.

          I know my people, and, more than that, i know how we are being brought up: the street-wise guy in the neighborhood i grew up (and there’s one like him in all Greek neighborhoods) was explaining to me how it is the Jews that spread drugs in the world so as to facilitate their plan of global domination – such a cliché. The stereotypes about greedy, powerful and malicious Jews are considered conventional wisdom.

          You cannot even begin to understand how most Europeans are eased by their culture into anti-Semitic thinking, you should have had experienced it yourself to understand what i am talking about.

          Speaking to such an audience, it is better to rock the boat.

          Hence my common references to anti-Semitism when i speak to my compatriots.

        • Shingo

          “If this is an indication of what you will be bringing to the debate (and you are who you say you are) you are in for a rude shock.”

          I don’t like rudeness, either evincing it or receiving it, but i can take it.

          But, haven’t you just spoiled the shock-value of the treatment i might receive, by warning me to anticipate it?

          Ok, i am joking.

          Just to explain myself, i entered the debate in Mondoweiss because i was curious to see the other side of the argument, together with its motivating emotions, in its natural habitat – the comment section.

          I do not in any way intend to disrupt the debate, either by obscuring or by diverting the discussion. When i will be commenting, i will probably wait until lots of comments have been made, so as not to spoil any group feeling that might have been developing among the commentators.

          But i cannot guarantee that you will approve of what i bring into the debate. What i can guarantee is that my input will be what is in my head – right, wrong or debatable as it might be.

          and you are who you say you are

          Hey, we have settled that one.

        • Roha

          “And redheads. Where should we establish Rangania?”

          The joke went lost on me because i don’t know what Rangania is. Please, do tell.

        • Roho

          “Who said anything about annihilation?”

          You did.

          I quote you

          “Given continuing existential threats made against Iran by at least two nuclear-equipped, militaristic nations (Israel and the U.S.)…”

          “Existential threats against Iran” is roughly synonymous with “threats to annihilate Iran”.

        • Roho

          “There is no genocidal global animus against Jews.”

          There is.

          The Arab world is clearly feeling genocidal against Jews.

          Europe’s anti-Semitism has just taken the form of anti-Zionism. It is not currently genocidal against Jews in general, but against Israelis in particular. Not that they view the rest of the Jews positively, in fact they they despise them, but they have turned their hatred towards the more politically correct objective of eliminating Israel.

          Considering that the animus is still present, but suppressed, Europeans are always a candidate for turning to the genocidal Arabic variety, as soon as Israel goes down.

        • Roho

          “Or perhaps Jews are being seen with prejudice all over the world – if, indeed, that is the case – because Zio-supremacists around the world continue to justify, advocate for, excuse and embolden an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” that for over 60 years has stolen, colonized, destroyed and killed with impunity, and which – according to Zio-supremacists – has done so on behalf of and for the benefit of Jews all over the world.”

          Anti-Semitism has been present far too long before Israel was established.

          It can’t be Israel-related

        • Roho

          “Zio-supremacists”

          I haven’t got even a whiff of delusions of supremacy in any hardcore right-wing Israeli blog i have frequented. There is a strong connection to the land, i gather, but i haven’t come across any belief in unmerited superiority to the Palestinians.

          The basic claim is that all the land belongs to them, but they don’t view the Palestinians as racially inferior.

        • Roho

          “because Zio-supremacists around the world continue to justify, advocate for, excuse and embolden an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” that for over 60 years has stolen, colonized, destroyed and killed with impunity”

          Just to get something straight, you renounce the existence even of pre-1967 Israel, correct?

        • Roho

          “It’s no wonder many Jews want to disassociate themselves and their religion from this destructive, supremacist project.”

          You ask me, it’s a real wonder that, after all the persecution, Jews

          1) Still exist and live as free human beings

          2) They have not adopted the victim’s attitude

          3) They have not turned malicious and mistrustful toward the rest of the world

          But i fully sympathize with the attitude you are imputing to some Jews who want to dissociate themselves from Israel – i know my psychology, and i am pretty certain i would have turned against Israel if i had been born as a Diaspora Jew.

          In my case, it would have been my sensitivity shouting to the non-Jews “will you, please, stop hating me, it’s not me who has done anything wrong”.

          But i’ ve been born native Greek instead of Greek Jew, so i will never know exactly how i would have felt. But it would have been along those lines.

        • AlGhorear says:

          After opening the link to the website you posted, I’d put you more along the lines of Anders Brevick, Geert Wilders and the EDL, or its Greek version. Very creepy and not worth responding to. I wish I hadn’t looked.

          By the way, anyone can conceal their true identity with a gmail account. Perhaps you’re not Jewish and you don’t live in Beit Shemesh, but you win today’s prize for Islamophobia.

        • eljay says:

          >> You did.

          No I didn’t.

          >> “Existential threats against Iran” is roughly synonymous with “threats to annihilate Iran”.

          No it’s not.

        • eljay says:

          >> Roho

          eljay.

          >> There is.

          No there isn’t.

          >> The Arab world is clearly feeling genocidal against Jews.

          1. The Arab world is not global.
          2. Some part of the Arab world may have animus against Zio-supremacism and Zio-supremacists, but that’s not the same as the entire Arab world “feeling genocidal against Jews”.

        • Shingo says:

          The Arab world is clearly feeling genocidal against Jews.

          Absolute rubbish. Assuming you include Iran in that group, the mere fact that there are 25,000 Jews living quite happily in Iran who refuse to leave, debunks your claim entirely. Even the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, said that Hamas fight is not against Jews, it’s against those who oppress Palestinians.

          Europe’s anti-Semitism has just taken the form of anti-Zionism.

          No that’s a bit like saying that anti Nazism is an excuse for hostility towards Germany. Zionism is a racist, violent and intolerant ideology that should be rejected by any human being of conscience. In fact, the sad irony that Zionists and Nazis both categorizing human beings into Jew and non-Jew is lost on hateful people like yourself.

          Not that they view the rest of the Jews positively, in fact they they despise them, but they have turned their hatred towards the more politically correct objective of eliminating Israel.

          That again is clearly false. Jews enjoy privilege and respect throughout the Western world – so much so that the majority of the world’s Jewish population refuses to live in Israel.

        • Shingo says:

          “Who said anything about annihilation?”
          You did.

          But it was you that claimed the threat of annihilation was only being made by Iranians, not against them.

        • eljay says:

          >> “Existential threats against Iran” is roughly synonymous with “threats to annihilate Iran”.

          >> No it’s not.

          To expand: Iran’s existence can be greatly altered without the country or its citizens being annihilated. See Iraq.

          Israel’s existence can be greatly altered – from an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” to a secular, democratic and egalitarian Israeli state of and for all its citizens, equally – without the country or its citizens being annihilated.

          Unfortunately for Zio-supremacists, that doesn’t make for good, dramatic victimhood. :-(

        • AlGhorear

          “After opening the link to the website you posted, I’d put you more along the lines of Anders Brevick, Geert Wilders and the EDL, or its Greek version. Very creepy and not worth responding to. I wish I hadn’t looked.”

          Anders Brevick was a murderer. Please tell me where you read anything that remotely resembles incitement to violence against Muslims or other minorities. There is abolutely nothing of the sort wherever i have written.

          The Greek version of the EDL are the neo-Nazis, the guys that chase the immigrants, and i have already wrote an article against those neo-Nazis, and the one that is coming up on Saturday is once again against them. So i can’t be a fan of the Greek version of the EDL, can i?

          If you could also say what was “creepy” in what you read, it would help in proving that you are not merely engaging in character assassination.

          I claim that there is nothing creepy in whatever i have written, and i have never called for violence against any minority (Greek or otherwise).

          Merely throwing contemptuous adjectives and descriptions, without citing what is that made you label me and/or my writings accordingly, is tantamount to intellectual fascism.

          “but you win today’s prize for Islamophobia.”

          The term “Islamophobia” refers to an irrational fear of Islamic tenets (the term “phobia” is Greek and refers to an irrational fear).

          If you don’t mind if your gay friends get hanged, then it is you who is irrationally deferent, not me irrationally afraid. Being afraid of certain dictates of a culture that breeds sexism and homophobia is a healthy psychological response.

          “I wish I hadn’t looked.”

          Curiosity killed the catharsis of your soul? Oh mon Dieu!

        • AlGhorear

          “By the way, anyone can conceal their true identity with a gmail account. Perhaps you’re not Jewish and you don’t live in Beit Shemesh,”

          I don’t really understand this.

          Should my identity be debated just because i am pro-Israel?
          And do i bear the onus of proof that … what?
          What exactly is the accusation?

          Tell me any steps i should take that will alleviate any concerns you might have over my identity and i will oblige – just don’t ask for a picture of mine or my home address: as i said, it is dangerous to be pro-Israel in Greece, thanks to the neo-Nazis, the guys you had no problem identifying me with.

        • Sorry eljay, i got mixed up with the names and named you after Roho.

          “1. The Arab world is not global.”
          2. Some part of the Arab world may have animus against Zio-supremacism and Zio-supremacists, but that’s not the same as the entire Arab world “feeling genocidal against Jews”.”

          Your point is well taken. When i speak of the Arab world or the Muslim world i have in mind the mainstream cultural trends, obviously there will be Arabs and Muslims not adhering to them.

          But i don’t think that the main trend is just hatred of Israelis (i mean those of Israelis you consider Zio-supremacists). I think it encompasses all Jews.

          Anyway, there isn’t really a conclusive way to decide the issue, is there?

        • seafoid says:

          “I caught your tone immediately, but, still, i had to resort to Wikipedia to find out what this place that you mentioned is all about.”

          The problem with Zionism is that it takes up too many evenings

        • Shingo

          “Once again, you’re simply reasserting the racist, supremacist argument that Israel’s rights and security concerns trump everyone else’s – in which case, you obviously believe that Jews are superior to all other humans.”

          If i believed that Israel’s right to security trumped everything else just because i happen to like Israel, then i would be indeed supporting an argument that makes an unjustified discrimination – a racist or supremacist discrimination probably, as you noted.

          But i am basing Israel’s right to bomb Iran on her right to self-defense. Self defense is a morally acceptable reason for inflicting harm, and has nothing to do with supremacism, or racism.

          The only morally relevant consideration to my mind is whether Israel is unjustly attacked or in danger of being unjustly attacked. If this condition is fulfilled (and i think it is, based on Iran’s vocal opposition to the existence of Israel, coupled with the acquisition of weapons that can destroy Israel), then Israel is on the side of morality, and has every right to defend herself.

          So i predicate my support for Israel’s neutralization of the Iranian nuclear facilities on morally relevant facts (i.e. whether she is indeed in danger and has come in that dire situation through no fault of her own).

          Therefore, i do not predicate my support for Israel’s preemptive action on any consideration of Jewish supremacy. If Israel’s existence is not threatened by Iran, as many of the commentators insist, then she has no right to attack.

          Perhaps you want to claim (as you have) that i am wrong as far as the facts are concerned? Even if i am wrong, my support has nothing to do with supremacism, but all to do with the (purported) facts that define the situation as self defense.

        • Shingo

          “No [it is not true that defending oneself is perfectly compatible with being a moral person] when that excuse is used to justify colonization, land theft, human rights violations and war crimes. The fact is that you Israeli propagandists will never consider a point at which self defense is no longer an legitimate claim, no matter what Israel does in the name of self defense.”

          The alleged crimes against the Palestinians that have been perpetrated in the name of self defense are irrelevant to Israel’s right to defend herself against Iran.

          If we, pro-Israel advocates (propagandists? ts ts ts!) justify anything Israel does by appealing to self defense, even when the necessary conditions for self defense are not fulfilled, then obviously we are on the wrong. But this not what i do.

          “”No [it is not true that defending oneself is perfectly compatible with being a moral person] when that excuse is used to …”

          A final conceptual point: it is always true that defending oneself is perfectly compatible with being a moral person.

          The question is whether the circumstances, which justify us in categorizing the situation under the heading “self defense”, do obtain.

        • Shingo

          “Israeli apologists like you are very right wing and fascist”

          I am the exact opposite of a fascist, and whether i am right-wing, or not, is something that i will let you (personally, i am no good with labels) decide after i cite certain relevant attitudes of mine.

          I am not a fascist because i see a Big Brother state as violating my most precious value: liberty.

          I hate a state messing up with people’s lives more than is required. So i am obviously pro-same-sex marriage, pro-abortion and i am also in favor of the legalization of all drugs, not just the soft ones (the reason being that i hate the idea of a state interfering with what i do to my body).

          So up to now, i guess, i am on the leftist side.

          But my wariness with state intervention cuts in all directions: the state should stay out of the economy, and refrain from heavy income redistribution. If the loaded ones feel like donating (as, i think, they should) that’s ok, but the state has no business appropriating (too much)wealth that has been earned legally. This would be a violation of the freedom of the tax paying public.

          I also have to grant (contrary to any emotion of mine) that possession of handguns should be legal. I hate the bravado that usually accompanies the redneck’s weapon-wielding, and, besides, if i were to hold a gun i would probably kill myself accidentally. But i have to acquiesce to the right of the redneck to live free from undue state intervention, so i have to acquiesce to his right to carry.

          So, here i am, landed on the right-wing side, as far as those issues are concerned.

          So, no fascism at all, and only partial right-wingedeness (and partial leftiness).

        • RoHa says:

          “Ranga” is Australian for “redhead”, so a country for the rangas of the world should be called “Rangania”.

        • Shingo

          “The entire Israeli military and intelligence establishment in Israel refused to comply with Netenayhu’s orders to prepare a plan for war with Iran, because they understand the absolute folly and lunacy of such a plan.Obviously they know this stuff far better than you.”

          Of course the IDF and the Mossad know better than i do.

          The question is whether their reaction to a hypothetical strike is based on their assessment of the dangers that Israel faces or, instead, on an unwillingness to go against Obama’s demands on Israel not to strike.

          If the latter is true, i.e. if they are just playing along with Obama so as not outrage the only country that might place a veto at the UN Security Council, then my claim that there is a possibility of Holocaust number two is perfectly compatible with the security establishment’s reaction: they, too, might recognize this danger of extermination ( i am sure they do), but prefer to adopt a wait-and-see stance, so as to guard against Obama’s revenge in case they defy him.

        • Shingo

          “Please stop spouting such nonsense on this forum. You are so out of your intellectual depth, it’s painful to watch.”

          It is painful for you to watch me in such a state of (alleged) intellectual shallowness only if you are afraid of seeing yourself in such a state.

          Moi, i don’t mind being perceived as intellectually wanting – nor do i believe i am.

        • Shingo

          “Perhaps you should take note from those who have some grip on reality.”

          Someone else in this thread has already accused me of being out-of-touch with reality, you copycat!!!

        • Shingo

          Dionissis said

          “But Jews are being seen with prejudice all over the world, plus they have expressed their wish for a state”
          Shingo replied

          “So have the Palestinians, yet Israel has stolen their land, not to mention mass murdering them with great frequency. As Someone who claims to care for all living crestures, must be disguisted with such behavior.”

          The two conditions i offered to justify Israel’s need for a state must come in tandem: the Jews are seen with heavy prejudice all over the world, plus they have expressed the wish for a state. I was attempting to refute the argument that women would be entitled to a state of their own according to my reasoning. I didn’t have Palestinians in mind.

          I haven’t denied the Palestinians’ right to have a state.

        • Kathleen says:

          “will be an act of self defense” Twisted, sociopathic thinking. Would be an illegal act of aggression based on unsubstantiated claims. A war crime. Just as the US invasion of Iraq was.

        • Thanks RoHa, i couldn’t find “Rangania” in Google

        • Kathleen

          “will be an act of self defense” Twisted, sociopathic thinking. Would be an illegal act of aggression based on unsubstantiated claims. A war crime. Just as the US invasion of Iraq was.

          The claims are not unsubstantiated, the behavior of Iran (not allowing inspections) indicates that they are going for the bomb.

          If they are, then it is not a war crime to strike the nuclear facilities.

          And alluding to the above is not sociopathic thinking, it’s just common sense.

          An irrelevant question: do you like the way Iran treats women and gays?

        • Seafoid

          The problem with Zionism is that it takes up too many evenings

          Sorry, i didn’t get what you mean.

        • Shingo says:

          Someone else in this thread has already accused me of being out-of-touch with reality, you copycat!!!

          Perhaps you should take that a evidence there is truth to it.

        • Philip Weiss says:

          excellent Seafoid. I missed that!
          google it dionissis

        • Mooser says:

          “And here is the link to my articles (in Greek) in the Greek newspaper i work for, where i sign with my email (which is the same with my screen name and happens to be my real name).”

          Oh….my….God! This is so sad, here is someone who desperately, desperately needs to read Mondo, but we’ll never see him again. Assuming veracity on his part, which I might as well. Sad.

        • Mooser says:

          “An irrelevant question: do you like the way Iran treats women and gays?”

          If it’s irrelevant, why are you asking it?

          (If this is true, it’s really sad. And this guy is a working journalist? I could sob.)

        • Shingo says:

          The claims are not unsubstantiated, the behavior of Iran (not allowing inspections) indicates that they are going for the bomb.

          Your descent into hysteria and detachment from reality cpontinues.

          1. No it doesn’t, otherwise all 16 US inteeligence agencies and the Mossadf would not have arrived at the unanimous concluson that Iran has not decided to even pursue nuclear weapons. You are basing all your argument purely on emotion and irrationality.

          2. Iran has allowed inpsections for over a decade, including Parchin, even though it is not a nuclear related sight. This time, they want guarantes that sanctions will be lifted. You claimed that this would happen if Iran agreed to allow accesc to Parchin, but the US has not agreed to those terms.

          So why should Iran agree?

          3. In fact, it’s precisely ecause there is no evidence Iran is building nukes that Naanyhu is pushing for Washington’s red line to be constatly lowered.

          If they are, then it is not a war crime to strike the nuclear facilities.

          But they are not, so it would be.

          And alluding to the above is not sociopathic thinking, it’s just common sense.

          You are not making a common sense argument, you are basing it on supported assumptions. That is irrational.

          An irrelevant question: do you like the way Iran treats women and gays?

          What do you think would happen to women and gays who are bombed? And what does Iranian treatment of women and gays? BTW? do you like the way Israel slaughters children by the hundreds?

        • Shingo

          “No that’s a bit like saying that anti Nazism is an excuse for hostility towards Germany.”

          There was no global animus against Germans before the war.

          There was too much global animus against Jews throughout their history.

          When i said that anti-Zionism in Europe is an excuse for anti-Semitism, i based it on the fact that there was already Jew-hatred long before Zionism.

          But your analogy fails in the case of Germany: anti-Nazism cannot be an excuse for hostility towards Germans, for there was no worldwide hostility against Germans before the war. The Germans were not hated people before the war.

        • Philip Weiss

          excellent Seafoid. I missed that!
          google it dionissis

          Sorry, i missed something too! What am i supposed to Google?

        • Shingo

          Perhaps you should take that a evidence there is truth to it.

          That much insecurity? Responding with light hostility to a friendly tease?

        • Shingo

          Absolute rubbish [that the Arab world is clearly feeling genocidal against Jews].”

          Is that how you cope? Denial?

          It surely explains your petulance – a brain constantly avoiding painful (or inconvenient) realities is kind of touchy.

          Forgot to mention that the Protocols are a best seller in the Arab world – but, hey, you can tell them that you always hated the Elders. Be certain that they will spare you.

        • RoHa says:

          Oscar Wilde said it about socialism.

        • RoHa says:

          “The claims are not unsubstantiated, the behavior of Iran (not allowing inspections) indicates that they are going for the bomb.”

          No it doesn’t. And Iran has allowed inspections.

          “If they are, then it is not a war crime to strike the nuclear facilities.”

          Yes it is. Attacking a country which is not making war is a war crime.

          Such an attack would mean causing real, certain, deaths to prevent unreal, uncertain, deaths – deaths that have not happened and might never happen.

        • Kathleen says:

          The claims are totally unsubstantiated. Iran as a signatory to the NPT has the legal right to enrich uranium to 20%. There is no hard evidence that they are enriching uranium beyond what they are legally able.

          Israel should sign the NPT and open up their doors to inspections of their massive stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and stop being a threat to peace in the middle east

        • Mooser

          but we’ll never see him again.

          What makes you say that?

          I’ ll be on vacation for three weeks, and probably away from commenting, but i do not intend to disappear. In fact, i like that some commentators (Shingo, for one) cite facts i didn’t know.

          This is so sad… Sad.

          A bit maudlin today, aren’t we, Mooser?

        • Shingo says:

          There was no global animus against Germans before the war.

          There was no animus in the Arab world towards Jews either before the European immigrants began arriving and threatening to conquer Palestine.

          When i said that anti-Zionism in Europe is an excuse for anti-Semitism, i based it on the fact that there was already Jew-hatred long before Zionism.

          Wrong. It is based on Israel’s criminal and murderous behaviour. Even Israel’s traditional and long standing allies are losing patience with Israel.

          So the analogy with Germany stands.

        • Shingo says:

          Is that how you cope? Denial?

          There’s no denial because there is no evidence of anyone feeling genocidal towards Jews. Even when Khaled Meshaal arrived in Gaza and have his speech, he stated clearly that he struggle is against those who oppress Palestinians, not Jews.

          a brain constantly avoiding painful (or inconvenient) realities is kind of touchy.

          That’s burglarious coming from someone who’s been constantly rejecting the evidence of reality put before him in favour of his feelings and opinion.

          Forgot to mention that the Protocols are a best seller in the Arab world

          Well, never mind because it’s completely irrelevant. The Protocols are a fraudulent conspiracy theory, but mention nothing about genocide. Mind you, if you want to talk about genocidal incitement, you should look up the King’s Toraks, a best seller in Israel.
          link to countercurrents.org

          Or how about the Likud, Shas and Betar chareters, all of which pledge the clearance of Palestinians from at least the Jordan to the sea.

          The leader of Shas is well known for his pronouncem¬ents calling for the “annihilation of Arabs”.

        • Shingo

          There was no animus in the Arab world towards Jews either before the European immigrants began arriving and threatening to conquer Palestine.

          But i have been told that, prior to this, the Jews in the Arab world were not exterminated because they had accepted their dhimmi status. In case they had showed signs of independence, they would have been exterminated.

          If that’s the case, then the Arab demand that Jews be second-category people (or else!) counts as animus.

        • Oscar Wilde said it about socialism.

          RoHa thanks, the quote was tweaked so i couldn’t find it.

          I still miss the point as it pertains to me.

        • Shmuel says:

          But i have been told that, prior to this, the Jews in the Arab world were not exterminated because they had accepted their dhimmi status. In case they had showed signs of independence, they would have been exterminated.

          Which countries? Which periods? Which regimes? What does “dhimma” mean? Were Jews singled out? Did such treatment also afford benefits? What was the international context at the time? Is legal status necessarily an indication of “animus”? What do you mean by “signs of independence”? Where did you get the idea that Jews would have been “exterminated”? Where demands for equal rights were made how were they met? By whom? What role did colonialism/anti-colonialism play?

          There’s a little more to the history of Arab Jews than the platitude of dhimmitude.

        • RoHa says:

          “Given continuing existential threats made against Iran by at least two nuclear-equipped, militaristic nations (Israel and the U.S.), it shouldn’t surprise anyone IF Iran were in fact “going for the bomb”. What’s so wrong with Iran defending herself?”

          I recall a serious US Presidential candidate singing
          “Bomb bomb bomb,
          Bomb bomb Iran”
          not so long ago.

        • Shingo says:

          Must be because i get lots of information from such blogs (Camera, Honest reporting, Palestinian Media Watch, Elder of Ziyon, Martin Kramer, Dr Richard Landes at the Augean Stables, UN Watch, Washington Institute etc.).

          That certainly explains why your column sound identical to those Israeli propaganda and disinformation sources. None of them are remotely credible and don’t even pretend to be.

          for my current needs the breadth of their information and the clarity of their analyses is more than adequate.

          So I take it your current needs are to spread Israeli propaganda and disinformation?

        • Shingo says:

          The Google Greek to English translation you might have used (or any machine-translation) misses all the humor and the puns and the faux malice and the colloquialisms and everything that makes the text attractive.

          Be that as it may, the substance of your arguments in the body of your articles, reads like text book puerile Israeli propaganda.

        • Shingo says:

          That aside, i stress the anti-Semitism charge in my Greek articles because you Jews here in Mondoweiss are not opposing Israel out of anti-Semitism, but those Greek non-Jews who do oppose her in Greece do so precisely because they are anti-Semites.

          First of all, not everyone here is Jewish, and secondly, the suggestion that all Greeks who are opposed to Israeli policies are anti-Semites is an infantile argument.

          You cannot even begin to understand how most Europeans are eased by their culture into anti-Semitic thinking, you should have had experienced it yourself to understand what i am talking about.

          Sorry, but you clearly don’t know the first thing about Europeans and how they think. I was brought up in Europe, and have family there, and while racism and xenophobia are ever present, there is nothing unique to how Europeans think. If anything, the climate is far more hostile to Muslims and African immigrants to even have time to obsess about Jews as you seem to believe.

        • Shingo says:

          The basic claim is that all the land belongs to them, but they don’t view the Palestinians as racially inferior.

          Of course they do. The very fact that they believe they have greater rights to the land is based on the assumption that the Palestinians are less deserving, inferior, less advanced, less productive, less intelligent and less human.

          This thinking goes back to the Ben Gurion who said from the beginning the Arabs were backward and inferior.

        • Shingo says:

          If i believed that Israel’s right to security trumped everything else just because i happen to like Israel, then i would be indeed supporting an argument that makes an unjustified discrimination – a racist or supremacist discrimination probably, as you noted.

          And you have. You have repeatedly insisted that Israel has the right to attack Iran, but reject the idea that Iran might have a right to attack Israel if Iran felt threatened.

          But i am basing Israel’s right to bomb Iran on her right to self-defense.

          Do you recognize Iran’s right to self-defense? Of not, the you are indeed a racist or supremacist.

          Self defense is a morally acceptable reason for inflicting harm, and has nothing to do with supremacism, or racism.

          It is if you believe only one race of state has that right.

          The only morally relevant consideration to my mind is whether Israel is unjustly attacked or in danger of being unjustly attacked.

          So you would consider a just attack on Israel to be plausible?

          So i predicate my support for Israel’s neutralization of the Iranian nuclear facilities on morally relevant facts (i.e. whether she is indeed in danger and has come in that dire situation through no fault of her own).

          Therefore, i do not predicate my support for Israel’s preemptive action on any consideration of Jewish supremacy.

          In he absence of recognizing that all states have the right to carry out such pre-emptive action, then then the only conclusion one can draw is that you are predicating your position on Jewish supremacy.

          Even if i am wrong, my support has nothing to do with supremacism, but all to do with the (purported) facts that define the situation as self defense.

          What is clear is that you are indeed wrong, and have been presented with sufficient evidence to enable you to to come to that realization, yet you refuse to acknowledge the evidence (or the lack of to support your position).

          What this indicates is that your position is not based on the principals you stipulated above, but your ideological beliefs in Jewish supremacy.

        • Shingo

          Sorry, but you clearly don’t know the first thing about Europeans and how they think. I was brought up in Europe, and have family there, and while racism and xenophobia are ever present, there is nothing unique to how Europeans think. If anything, the climate is far more hostile to Muslims and African immigrants to even have time to obsess about Jews as you seem to believe.

          If you are Jewish, then they wouldn’t be telling you their anti-Semitic fairy tales.

        • Shingo says:

          The question is whether their reaction to a hypothetical strike is based on their assessment of the dangers that Israel faces or, instead, on an unwillingness to go against Obama’s demands on Israel not to strike.

          What could the possibly fear from Obama? Obama has capitulated on just about everything when it comes to Israel. What do you possibly imagine Obama would do to Israel if Israel defied the US and attacked Iran?

          The worst scenario from Israel’s perspective would be that Obama would simply sit it out and not assist Israel. Of course, even this is moot because Israel could not carry out such an attack anyway without the US.

          If the latter is true, i.e. if they are just playing along with Obama so as not outrage the only country that might place a veto at the UN Security Council, then my claim that there is a possibility of Holocaust number two is perfectly compatible with the security establishment’s reaction: .

          You are presenting yet another incredibly absurd argument. As I asked you before, why would the military and intelligence establishment in Israel be more concerned with crossing Obama than Netenyahu? What have they got to lose or fear that Netenayhu does not?

          they, too, might recognize this danger of extermination ( i am sure they do), but prefer to adopt a wait-and-see stance, so as to guard against Obama’s revenge in case they defy him.

          So let me get this straight. The Generals in Israel would rather risk extermination at the hands of Iran that upset Obama? Is that really what you are suggesting?

        • Shingo says:

          So up to now, i guess, i am on the leftist side.

          Except when it comes to Israel, in which case, you become a rabbid right wing militarist.

        • Shingo

          Do you recognize Iran’s right to self-defense? Of not, the you are indeed a racist or supremacist.

          Iran is not in self defense, Iran is the aggressor, in that it (purportedly) produces nukes and probably will use them. If Israel threatened Iran with nuclear annihilation because she did not recognized Iran’s right to exist, Iran would be in self defense. So, yes, i recognize Iran’s right. But right now, Iran is not in self defense.

          The Iranians started this whole thing, not the Israelis.

          This supremacy charge against me, it’s getting boring – and ineffective, if you are just trying to smear me. You should go for the Islamophobia trope.

        • Shingo says:

          The alleged crimes against the Palestinians that have been perpetrated in the name of self defense are irrelevant to Israel’s right to defend herself against Iran.

          On the contrary, it reveals a pattern of how aggression is marketed as self defense.

          If we, pro-Israel advocates (propagandists? ts ts ts!) justify anything Israel does by appealing to self defense, even when the necessary conditions for self defense are not fulfilled, then obviously we are on the wrong. But this not what i do.

          Actually it is. And the way you are doing this is by rejecting all the evidence and intelligence of both the US and Israel that states Iran is not producing nukes, has not decided to and is a rational actor.

          You are clinging to the position that Iran is producing nukes and is driven by suicidal and irrational messianic delusions. Without this fundamental premise, you have no case.

          A final conceptual point: it is always true that defending oneself is perfectly compatible with being a moral person.

          The debate we are having is whether there is a case to be made for self defense, which traces up back to the point I made above. Your position is only valid if Iran is making nukes and intends to use them against Iran. As I have explained, there is no evidence whatsoever to support this claim yet you are steadfastly holding on to it.

          There is simply no basis for categorizing the situation under the heading “self defense”.

        • Shingo says:

          And this guy is a working journalist? I could sob.

          He’s not a journalist Mooser. The guy reads Camera and all the Zio propaganda web sited to get educated. He’s a hack who was probably given a column the way Jennifer Rubin was over at the Washington Post, with the job of pushing the Israeli right or wrong debate.

        • Shingo says:

          But i have been told that, prior to this, the Jews in the Arab world were not exterminated because they had accepted their dhimmi status. In case they had showed signs of independence, they would have been exterminated.

          That’s false.

          If that’s the case, then the Arab demand that Jews be second-category people (or else!) counts as animus.

          That’s what Israel demands of the Israeli Arabs.

        • Shingo says:

          If you are Jewish, then they wouldn’t be telling you their anti-Semitic fairy tales.

          Why would I care?

        • Shingo says:

          Iran is not in self defense, Iran is the aggressor, in that it (purportedly) produces nukes and probably will use them. If Israel threatened Iran with nuclear annihilation because she did not recognized Iran’s right to exist, Iran would be in self defense. So, yes, i recognize Iran’s right. But right now, Iran is not in self defense.

          How can Iran be the aggressor when it has not attacked or invaded anyone in 300 years?
          Where is it purported that Iran is producing nukes? Not even Israel’s government makes that argument.
          Where is the evidence they intend to use nukes they are not even producing?
          Are you suggesting that refusing to recognize a state is the same as threatening it with annihilation?

          The Iranians started this whole thing, not the Israelis.

          Started what?

          This supremacy charge against me, it’s getting boring

          So I the anti Semitic charge you spray so gratuitously.

        • Shmuel says:

          You cannot even begin to understand how most Europeans are eased by their culture into anti-Semitic thinking

          Dionissis,

          I am not familiar with Greek society and so, would not presume to tell you anything about “most” Greeks. I am quite familiar with some other European societies however (I happen to live in one, slightly to your west) and, in my experience, your statement is both wrong and grossly unfair.

          If you are Jewish, then they wouldn’t be telling you their anti-Semitic fairy tales.

          I do happen to be Jewish, but you wouldn’t know it to look at me (well, apart from the horns, but I file them down to the stubs and wear an inconspicuous native hat). I have heard and overheard my fair share of anti-Semitic fairy tales – both to my Jewish face and when roaming around under cover – but “eased by their culture into anti-Semitic thinking”? Definitely not. In the parts of Europe I frequent, Jews are definitely in (Israelis slightly but only slightly less so – for those who know the difference): regular guys, shabbily treated, with a cool and exotic culture/religion that isn’t Catholic/Christian (a plus for many, no big deal for others). Roma? Muslims? Africans? Chinese? Subcontinentals? South Americans? Filipinos? A very different story.

          I’m not saying there is no anti-Semitism or culture of anti-Semitism in Europe, but that is a far cry from your sweeping generalisation (not a good way to go about fighting racism) regarding “most” Europeans and their culture.

        • Shingo

          Your descent into hysteria

          Have you ever heard of the psychological process of projection?

          Anyone reading this thread can conclude that, given your tone, if there is a hysteric in here, that’s definitely you.

          Hey, you even threaten to ban me!

        • Shingo

          He’s not a journalist Mooser. The guy reads Camera and all the Zio propaganda web sited to get educated. He’s a hack who was probably given a column the way Jennifer Rubin was over at the Washington Post, with the job of pushing the Israeli right or wrong debate.

          The newspaper belongs to daddy, that’s why i have so much freedom to write about Israel – no other newspaper in Greece would allow anything remotely pro-Israel.

          Check the surname of the owner in the print edition (click the “entyph ekdosh” button, or the picture of the printed paper), it’s the same as mine (“Mhtropoulos”).
          I hope this eases your paranoia a little bit.

          You would be surprised to find how much more accurate my articles about Israel are, compared to the articles of other Greek journalists.

          And, yes, i read the CAMERA stuff, as i have already told you.

          Mind you, i see that i can get educated from Mondoweiss too – that is, if you don’t ban me.

        • Shingo

          Except when it comes to Israel, in which case, you become a rabbid right wing militarist.

          Militarist.

          I have more gut reaction against (non-consensual) violence than you could ever imagine.

        • Shingo

          None of them are remotely credible and don’t even pretend to be.

          Palestinian Media watch is all about Palestinian videos.

          They can’t lie because they simply upload videos of what the Palestinians are saying.

        • Shingo says:

          I have more gut reaction against (non-consensual) violence than you could ever imagine.

          The only got resection you have demonstrated is your obsession with Israel attacking Iran without justification.

        • Shmuel, you are a gem. I wish i have had more discussions with you in this post. But i am going for a three week vacation, so our discussion will end today unfortunately.

          I’m not saying there is no anti-Semitism or culture of anti-Semitism in Europe, but that is a far cry from your sweeping generalisation (not a good way to go about fighting racism) regarding “most” Europeans and their culture.

          I might be overdoing it with the generalizations about “most” Europeans, but only because i see that there is a European mindset (aware of, if not commited to, the standard anti-Semitic tropes) which might turn to explicit anti-Semitism, if the economic conditions of European countries become unfavorable.

          This power-aura in which the Jews are perceived may even be positive for Jews under good times. But if the economic situation of European countries deteriorates, then it is a short step for impoverished Europeans from being in awe of Jews to scapegoating them. It is this vicious potential of the Jew-stereotypes that makes me talk about European anti-Semitism.

          The seed is not the tree, so the fact that European brains harbor Jew-stereotypes is not anti-Semitism.

          But they might flourish into something very ugly, if the ground becomes favorable for it.

          PS. All your rhetorical questions about dhimmitude are calling for the nuance required to deal in depth with the issue of (alleged by me) Arab anti-Jew animus – Shmuel, you rock!

          A riverdeci – if he does not ban me!

        • Shingo says:

          Why should those deaths be blamed on the Israelis and not on the Iranians, who will attempt to block the seaways and who will be the ones that fire against the American vessels?

          Because those deaths would have been the consequence of Israeli aggression and war crimes.

          What should your assertion lead us to conclude? That the US should surrender its arsenal unilaterally, for example?

          Of course it should. Nuclear weapons are of no use in modern warfare.

          Seeing how competent you are in Physics (the allusion to the Archimides’ principle impressed me!) i will take you at your word and assume that, if Israel wants to destroy the nuclear program, she has to resort to, i quote you, “nuking the place”.

          Those are Israel’s own words.
          “Defense experts claim Israel have two options, either deploy special forces on the ground, or use ballistic missiles with tactical nuclear warheads, the British paper reported.”
          link to jpost.com

          Only if Iran goes on with its nuclear program.

          So now you admit Iran is not producing nukes?

          The Iranians do have a way out of the existential threat that you suggest Israel poses to them: stop their program.

          Which program? Their civilian program? As has been pointed out to you, they are not producing nukes, so what should they stop?

          Have you ever heard of the psychological process of projection?

          Absolutely, and I have seen you display it about Iran when you accuse them of starting this whole mess, when all they have done is embark on a civilian nuclear program.

          Anyone reading this thread can conclude that, given your tone, if there is a hysteric in here, that’s definitely you.

          Really? I would suggest you take another look – no one is convinced by your pathetic and superficial talking points. While facts and evidence are being presented to you, you dismiss them on the grounds that your feelings suggest otherwise.

          And yes, you should be banned for wasting everyone’s time here.

        • Shingo says:

          The newspaper belongs to daddy, that’s why i have so much freedom to write about Israel – no other newspaper in Greece would allow anything remotely pro-Israel.

          You mean remotely so pro Likudnik. But it makes sense that there is no other way that such a ligjhtweight could have obtained a job based of the poor quality of your writing.

          You would be surprised to find how much more accurate my articles about Israel are, compared to the articles of other Greek journalists.

          Based on the fact everything you have argued has been bereft of truth, it’s safe to assume you are deluding yourself.

        • Shingo says:

          Palestinian Media watch is all about Palestinian videos.

          Is that an admission that all the other sites you refer to are propaganda?

          They can’t lie because they simply upload videos of what the Palestinians are saying.

          Of course they can lie. It’s very simple to put a false translation to a video.

        • sardelapasti says:

          ” The newspaper belongs to daddy, that’s why i have so much freedom to write about Israel – no other newspaper in Greece would allow anything remotely pro-Israel.”

          Let me guess. Αθηναϊκά Νέα or Ελεύθερο Βήμα? Oops, sorry, both had been banned in 1945 for collaboration with the Nazi Propaganda-Ministerium.

          Let’s be clear, I don’t approve of any newspaper banning, even if they are propaganda organs for the Nazi or Zionists. On the other hand, the fact that anyone can publish mendacious and poisonous nonsense just because he happens to be his Daddy’s kanakari has nothing to do with free speech.

        • sardelpasti

          Let me guess. Αθηναϊκά Νέα or Ελεύθερο Βήμα? Oops, sorry, both had been banned in 1945 for collaboration with the Nazi Propaganda-Ministerium.

          But you don’t have to guess, the name of the newspaper is in the link and has nothing to do with the ones you referred to.

          Mentioning two newspapers that have been banned in the past for collaboration with the Nazis and somehow associating me with them shows that you are attempting to create a sort of guilt by association so as to make me look bad.

          It just so happens that i have again and again written against those two newspapers for (among others) their pro-Palestinian stance, a stance they support by lies and by omitting context in their coverage.

          And daddy has filed charges against them, i am not sure when the case will reach the courts.

          These two papers are today considered the most prestigious ones (something like the New York Times of Greece) and they belong to the same publisher (DOL, which is an acronym for “Dimosiografikos Organismos Labraki”, which means “the Journalistic Organization of Labrakis”, “Labrakis is a Greek surname). Their current name is similar to the ones you posted (“ta NEA” and “to VIMA”).

          I have been consistently attacking them both with the charge of anti-Semitism, so stop smearing me by associating me with former Nazi collaborators.

          Let’s be clear, I don’t approve of any newspaper banning, even if they are propaganda organs for the Nazi or Zionists.

          Seeing how nonchalantly you slandered me, i am not so sure that you really appreciate the content of the right to free speech in its entirety, so i wouldn’t be surprised if you were to actually suggest the banning of newspapers that disagree with your ideology.

          People there are who would say that your attributing moral equivalence between Nazists and Zionists turns you into an anti-Semite. Would you like that?

          On the other hand, the fact that anyone can publish mendacious and poisonous nonsense just because he happens to be his Daddy’s kanakari has nothing to do with free speech.

          When you blame me for publishing “mendacious and poisonous nonsense”, you are supposed to refer to what is it in my articles which made you reach the conclusion that what i write is mendacious and nonsense.

          Merely asserting accusations without backing them up has nothing to do with the free speech you claim to be a supporter of.

        • Shingo says:

          Cheap shot, Shingo.

          Oh please, you’ve done nothing but pollute this forum with cheap right wing Israeli propaganda.

          If Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) was doing this sort of thing we would have found out by now: someone from the other side of the conflict would have spotted it and that would be the end of the credibility of PMW.

          That is demonstrably false. When the false story broke about Ahmadinejad threatening to wipe Israel off the map, Farsi translators debunked the story. That was 8 years ago, and her we have fools and stooges like yourself still repeating that crap, in spite of I having been debunked. The truth is that web sites like PMW cater to pro Israeli audiences who don’t care if they are being lied to.

          People like yourself.

          Here is one article by him on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is typical of his writings:

          Is this some kind of joke? The guy is just another pathological liar who sugar coates his bile. Here is but one example:
          “The problem, which you don’t seem to understand (or acknowledge) is that the Israelis have done a great deal to understand the Palestinian “narrative” (your subsequent remarks reflect that effort, however imperfectly), while the Palestinians have done nothing of the sort.”

          Not only does he try to push the usual canard that this a conflict between 2 evenly matched an evenly culpable sides, but he wants the rape victim to accept responsibility for what’s been done to her and empathize with her attacker.

          “I challenge you to cite one (even non-official) Palestinian source that reflects the self-critical and empathic analysis done by many Israelis, academics, journalists, bloggers, etc. .”
          So to sum up this psychopath, he expects the victim to reflect on their own failings and try to understand their attacker.

          This explains a lot about your sick and twisted mind. Wherever did you come by your sadistic ideology? Did your father drum it into you?

        • Palestinian Media Watch as a clear case of a site that cannot really disseminate propaganda

          lol. how did this even pass moderation?

        • dm, i presume you are aware your link leads to someone claiming palestinian death is ‘intended and sought after by Hamas.’

        • Shingo

          When the false story broke about Ahmadinejad threatening to wipe Israel off the map, Farsi translators debunked the story.

          I clearly remember that the New York Times gave that translation too. Are they non-credible too?

          Besides, i remember having read that, initially, the official Iranian Presidential website gave the same translation.

          If the translation was wrong, then the western media and the Iranian website have made a mistake, they did not do it on purpose, we cannot blame them for malicious intent.

          Why should we blame only PMW for malicious intent, and exculpate the rest of the media who made the same mistake?

        • sardelapasti says:

          “People there are who would say that your attributing moral equivalence between Nazists and Zionists turns you into an anti-Semite.”
          Either morons or malignant propagandists. And what the hell is “moral” equivalence, anyway? The two have the same Romantic-German nationalist origin, the same pattern of aggression, open systematic flaunting of international law in every point, total absence of lip service to civilized convention, a record of massacres and a source of worldwide war threat. The Zionists have not started industrial-scale massive genocide. Yet.

          In fact, no need to “slander” you, as you proudly display yourself what unspeakable propaganda robot you are:
          “those Greek non-Jews who do oppose her in Greece do so precisely because they are anti-Semites.”

        • sardelapasti

          Either morons or malignant propagandists. And what the hell is “moral” equivalence, anyway? The two have the same Romantic-German nationalist origin, the same pattern of aggression, open systematic flaunting of international law in every point, total absence of lip service to civilized convention, a record of massacres and a source of worldwide war threat. The Zionists have not started industrial-scale massive genocide. Yet.

          What you have just written corroborates what i thought, i.e. that you are not an anti-Semite, because you are opposing Israel on account of her actions, not because you hate Jews.

          And i asked you if you would like to be labeled with the morally intimidating term “anti-Semite” despite your not being one.

          I was trying to show you that it feels bad to the recipient to do this sort of thing, i.e. unjustly labeling others, because that’s what you did to me by associating me with Nazi collaborators.

          In fact, no need to “slander” you, as you proudly display yourself what unspeakable propaganda robot you are: “those Greek non-Jews who do oppose her in Greece do so precisely because they are anti-Semites.”

          Well, not all such Greeks , strictly speaking.

          But, since you are Greek (as your fishy name and your knowledge of the term “kanakaris” imply, not to mention that you knew DOL’s Nazi-collaboration past) please tell me: aren’t most Greek center and right-wingers opposing Israel because they are anti-Semites?

          And from the Greek lefties that i presume you associate with, aren’t the majority of them under the spell of anti-Semitic stereotypes (i have heard a lot during my time, even at Exarhia), despite the fact that they are not allowed to express them openly in their lefty environment? Haven’t they been brought up hearing about greedy and powerful Jews, doesn’t this Jew-related “information” reside in their brains even if they do not make much of it?

          The Left has always been more open-minded towards Jews, as towards every social issue – for reasons i will not delve into now. But this does not detract from the fact that the stereotypes are there and that even the Greek leftists have been (inadvertently, we don’t choose either our parents or our culture) poisoned by them.

          Yes, part of the Greek leftist opposition stems from Israel’s perceived colonialism. But those stereotypes i mentioned, they form another part.

          I would be happy to hear your perceptions of Greek society with regards to Jews.

        • Shmuel says:

          Dionissis,

          Since you seem to have decided to spend your vacation commenting at MW, allow me to point out something a little “fishy” in your own remarks here (no sardines necessary).

          How can you recognise the legitimacy of criticising Israel (as you purport to do), when you reject both the substance of all such criticism (citing standard apologist fare and the very worst Zionist propagandists) and cast aspersions on the motives of the critics themselves (non-Jews here, and Jews elsewhere – e.g. Judith Butler)?

          The bottom line is that, although theoretically possible (you are, after all, ‘open-minded’), in practice, you do not believe that there is such a thing as legitimate criticism of Israel. Furthermore, you pretend to be objective, even a little naive, always willing to learn, to check things out for yourself, when in fact your positions (like those of Kramer, Pipes, Elder of Zion, Camera and others you have cited) are quite consolidated and unshakeable.

          There is nothing wrong with having clear ideas, but it is dishonest to present yourself as ‘wanting to learn’ and being ‘open to discussion’ when you have obviously come to be adversarial (albeit in as polite and faux-naive a fashion as possible) and disseminate propaganda, without any real interest in discussion.

        • Shingo says:

          I clearly remember that the New York Times gave that translation too. Are they non-credible too?

          You obviously don’t remember too clearly. The New York Times referred to a number of interpretations, but in the end, ultimately concluded that there was no threat to destroy Israel. Perhaps you struggle to read English?

          Besides, i remember having read that, initially, the official Iranian Presidential website gave the same translation.

          No it did not. You are confusing the Presidential website with MEMRI.

          Why should we blame only PMW for malicious intent, and exculpate the rest of the media who made the same mistake?

          Because PMW has had ample opportunity to correct this error, bus chooses not to. Therefore, they hare exhibiting malicious intent.

        • Shingo says:

          There is nothing wrong with having clear ideas, but it is dishonest to present yourself as ‘wanting to learn’ and being ‘open to discussion’ when you have obviously come to be adversarial (albeit in as polite and faux-naive a fashion as possible) and disseminate propaganda, without any real interest in discussion.

          Superbly put Shmuel.

        • sardelapasti says:

          You heard enough. You have a propaganda pulpit at daddy’s, so no need to waste our time here.

      • American says:

        “Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite,” a senior Republican Senate aide told the Weekly Standard.”can

        hmmm…..love to know who the senior repub aide was who said that.
        Maybe we bribe someone to squeal on him…….lol
        Or maybe some group should offer a ‘reward’ for the guy’s name….put an ad in the WP offering it…lol

      • yourstruly says:

        in addition to judaism, anyone who opposes war with iran has the best interests of all living beings at heart

        • yourstruly says:

          “in addition to judaism, anyone who opposes war with iran has the best interests of all living beings at heart”

          The best interest of Israelis, too?

          I think of myself as having the best interests of all living beings at heart (animals included), but i don’t see who else is going to be affected by an operation against Iranian atomic bombs, other than the people of Israel and Iran.

          If we add to this the fact that Israel is morally justified to engage in self-defense because of the threat to her existence that Iran poses, then a preemptive attack on Iran is not only in the best interests of Israelis, but morally permissible, too.

        • Cliff says:

          Israel is colonizing Palestinian land and her people.

          Israel regularly kills Palestinian civilians.

          Israel regularly violates IHL and commits war crimes.

          So I think someone should preemptively strike Israel. It’s morally permissible, you hasbarat.

          Iran poses no material nuclear threat. This is about regional influence and Iran SHOULD be more regional influential than Israel and the US.

          Israel is a Jewish colony and imperial watchdog. Israel needs dictatorships in the region as allies because the people of those countries are naturally inclined to oppose Israel.

          So it is morally permissible to oppose Israel and Zionism – a destabilizing logic that undermines the natural rights of all non-Jews in the region.

        • Cliff says:

          “Israel is colonizing Palestinian land and her people. Israel regularly kills Palestinian civilians. Israel regularly violates IHL and commits war crimes.”

          I have already replied to someone else (but my answer is in moderation) that i’d rather not engage in discussion concerning issues irrelevant to the original Mondoweiss post, which is relevant to Iran, and that we talk about these issues some other time in a relevant post – i am not sure if Mondoweiss welcomes extraneous discussions.

          But i can’t resist the temptation for a quick reply:

          Palestinian civilians get killed inadvertently, not deliberately and not as matter of Israeli policy toward this end. The settlement activity legality is fiercely disputed, and i am no legal expert to insist that it is or it isn’t. The war crimes charges need to be made more explicit, for i don’t know what you are referring to.

          “So I think someone should preemptively strike Israel. It’s morally permissible, you hasbarat.”

          If Israel (or any other country) was engaging in the crimes you described, then the international community would be justified to take action (even military action) against Israel (or any offender, for that matter).

          But i don’t endorse your allegations against Israel.

          So, no need for the international community to attack Israel.

          “you hasbarat”

          I’ve encountered the term in the past, but i am not sure exactly what connotation it carries – but, yes, i understood that you were not complimenting me.

          As i said, i am very pro-Israel, and have been turned so by the incredible amount of unjustified vilification that Israel receives.

          Defending her became a mental habit for me for during the last two years.

          Do i qualify for being “hasbarat”?

        • Cliff says:

          “Iran poses no material nuclear threat.”

          Are you sure?

          And would you be willing to risk your life, if you were an Israeli, relying on Iran’s good intentions?

          That’s the dilemma the Israelis face.

          “This is about regional influence and Iran SHOULD be more regional influential than Israel and the US.”

          Why?

          Why should a regime that still lives in the Middle Ages (you’ve seen the public hangings of gays, i presume) acquire more regional influence?

        • Cliff says:

          “Israel needs dictatorships in the region as allies because the people of those countries are naturally inclined to oppose Israel.”

          The fact that the people of the region might be inclined naturally to oppose Israel, does not mean that they are morally justified in doing so – if, for example, they hate Israel because they have misinterpreted certain tenets of their religion, they are merely misled, not righteous.

        • Cliff says:

          “So it is morally permissible to oppose Israel and Zionism – a destabilizing logic that undermines the natural rights of all non-Jews in the region.”

          Even if a country is destabilizing its surrounding region (the Middle East), it doesn’t follow that this country should cease to exist – but only that it should be persuaded to behave properly.

          But i am also doubting your empirical claim, i.e. that Israel is undermining the natural rights of all non-Jews in the region.

          With the exception of the Palestinians, who are the other people of the region who can plausibly claim that their rights are undermined by Israel?

        • Shingo says:

          The best interest of Israelis, too?

          Yes the best interest of Israelis too. Just ask Meir Dagan Benny Gantz, Tamir Pardo and Yuval Diskin.

          but i don’t see who else is going to be affected by an operation against Iranian atomic bombs, other than the people of Israel and Iran.

          You sound utterly incoherent, which seems to go hand in hand with liberal Zionists who try to put on the warm and fuzzy humanitarian charade. Numerous Israeli leaders have admitted that even armed with nukes, Iran poses no threat to Israel, so any aggression by Israel to take out Iranian nukes would be purely to maintain a military and strategic superiority in the region.

          If we add to this the fact that Israel is morally justified to engage in self-defense because of the threat to her existence that Iran poses…

          No it doesn’t, which is why it would be a war crime were Israel to act in such a way. You’re merely spouting the ludicrous premise (so typical among hasbrats) that Israel’s security is so paramount that it trumps everyone else’s security concerns or strategic and domestic concerns.

          So no, there is no argument you’re presented that comes even close to suggesting that an Israeli attack is morally permissible, let alone in the best interests of Israelis.

          That is unless you believe that any one of Israel’s neighbours have the same moral legitimately to attack Israel due to the existence of Israeli nukes.

        • yourstruly says:

          since a u.s. backed israeli war* against iran risks a much larger conflagration (doomsday, even); yes, opposing war with iran is in the best interests of israelis too.

          *if israel decided to go to war alone, still the u.s. would be involved on account of its role in sustaining israel’s military might.

        • Shingo says:

          Palestinian civilians get killed inadvertently, not deliberately and not as matter of Israeli policy toward this end.

          False.

          “The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets.”
          Qutoe from Mordecai Gur(Israeli politician and the 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF) during an internview with Israeli military analyst, Ze’ev Schiff (Haaretz, May 15, 1978).

          The settlement activity legality is fiercely disputed, and i am no legal expert to insist that it is or it isn’t.

          You don’t need to be a legal expert. The settlements are illegal. Every state including the US has decalred them illegal adn the International Court of Justice ruled 15-0 that they are illegal.

          The war crimes charges need to be made more explicit, for i don’t know what you are referring to.

          1. Ethnic cleasing (1948 to the present)
          2. Collective punishment (Gaza)
          3. Massacres like Deir Yassin, Lod and Tantoura.

          The list is endless.

        • Shingo says:

          Are you sure?

          Yes. All 16 US intelligence agencies, the US DOD, the Mossad, current and former heads of the Mossadn adn IDF all have stated that.

          And would you be willing to risk your life, if you were an Israeli, relying on Iran’s good intentions?

          Using that insane logic, Israel should nuke every state in the region, since you can never be sure what they may or may not do into the future.

          That’s the dilemma the Israelis face.

          Israel doesn’t face any dilemma. If that were true, then the IDF genrals woudl not have refused to compluy wth Bibbi’s demands when he told them to porepare for war with Iran.

          Why should a regime that still lives in the Middle Ages (you’ve seen the public hangings of gays, i presume) acquire more regional influence?

          Why should a regime that murders children in the hundreds and believes their sky Daddy promised them the land (which pre dates Middle Age thinking), and rules over only 7 million people, have any regional influence at all?

        • Shingo says:

          The fact that the people of the region might be inclined naturally to oppose Israel, does not mean that they are morally justified in doing so – if, for example, they hate Israel because they have misinterpreted certain tenets of their religion, they are merely misled, not righteous.

          But if for example, Israel is simply putting out this propaganda to deflect discussion from the fact that Israel has stolen land by force and is settling it in violation of international law, then it would be justified would it not?

        • Shingo says:

          Even if a country is destabilizing its surrounding region (the Middle East), it doesn’t follow that this country should cease to exist – but only that it should be persuaded to behave properly.

          Correct, the trouble is that Israel conflates calls for it to behave with calls for it’s destruction.

          But i am also doubting your empirical claim, i.e. that Israel is undermining the natural rights of all non-Jews in the region.

          It’s not good enough to doubt it. You either refute it, or accept you will not be taken seriously or that your arguments have no merit.

          With the exception of the Palestinians, who are the other people of the region who can plausibly claim that their rights are undermined by Israel?

          Bedouin and Christians.

        • Shingo

          “You don’t need to be a legal expert. The settlements are illegal. Every state including the US has decalred them illegal”

          America refers to them as “illegitimate”, not “illegal”

          link to guardian.co.uk

          Those horrible Zionists, that you (very?) often appeal to, claim that this is because the Palestine Mandate gives a clear right to Israel to settle all the land, and that this right cannot be rendered inactive unless the two state solution is implemented, or unless Israel annexes all the West Bank and Gaza.

          I try to get a little bit into depth in this legal controversy, it is very complicated, no way is it so clear-cut as you present it to be.

        • yourstruly says:

          in summary:

          suffering as it is from the dangerous to self & others toxin that is zionism, israel must be “detoxed” or otherwise rendered fit to live with – for the well being of the world as well as that of its own people.

        • Shingo

          “False.“The Israeli army has always struck civilian populations, purposely and consciously. The army has never distinguished civilian from military targets, but has purposely attacked civilian targets.”Qutoe from Mordecai Gur(Israeli politician and the 10th Chief of Staff of the IDF) during an internview with Israeli military analyst, Ze’ev Schiff (Haaretz, May 15, 1978).”

          Well, i was obviously referring to Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense when i said that children, sadly, get killed inadvertently and not intentionally.

          I wasn’t referring to ancient history.

          If Israel wanted to target children today, then she could have killed lots more, couldn’t she?

          What might have occurred in the past does not prove that contemporary Israel targets children.

          PS. I tried to find the Haaretz archive to read the whole thing, but i couldn’t. I take your word for the accuracy of the quote, but i was interested to see more context in what Mordechai Gur said.

          I have seen lots of false Zionist quotes (i do not imply anything about your truthfulness) and i have also seen many of them taken out of context, hence my insistence on checking these things for myself.

        • yourstruly

          “since a u.s. backed israeli war* against iran risks a much larger conflagration (doomsday, even); yes, opposing war with iran is in the best interests of israelis too.”

          What doomsday?

          It’s Iran we are talking about, not a superpower. Iran cannot damage the world with its conventional arsenal.

          Doomsday might come when countries led by religious fanatics get hold of nukes.

          If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, then, yes, doomsday is a possibility.

          That is why most Israelis are afraid of a nuclear Iran.

        • yourstruly

          “*if israel decided to go to war alone, still the u.s. would be involved on account of its role in sustaining israel’s military might.”

          If Israel strikes on her own, then there will be no American casualties, no American body-bags from Iran will be forthcoming, that was the point i was trying to make.

        • yourstruly says:

          nobody/nowhere-else is going to be affected by an operation {of a surgical kind?} against iranian atomic bombs, other that the people of iran and israel?

          apparently, at least so far as the above israel firster is concerned, we americans don’t count as people. perhaps that’s why the israeli pm seemed so happy upon being told that the twin towers had been struck by hijacted airplane. wondering if at the time he said something like”thank god, mostly americans?” – for all he cares!

        • yours truly

          “apparently, at least so far as the above israel firster is concerned, we americans don’t count as people. perhaps that’s why the israeli pm seemed so happy upon being told that the twin towers had been struck by hijacted airplane. wondering if at the time he said something like”thank god, mostly americans?” – for all he cares!”

          I thought Israel firster was a term referring only to Jews. Does it apply to non-Jews too?

          How on earth have you come to the conclusion that i do not care about American lives?

          I explicitly said that if Israel strikes on her own, no American soldiers will get killed. And i have already said that i think that Israel should attack the Iranian facilities by herself, and that America doesn’t need to participate in the attack.

          How does my explicit concern for American lives count as “not caring about Americans”?

        • Shingo says:

          If Israel strikes on her own, then there will be no American casualties, no American body-bags from Iran will be forthcoming, that was the point i was trying to make.

          If Hezbollah or Hamas were to strike Israel with a nuclear weapon provided by Iran, do you believe Iran would bear any responsibility?

          So let me ask you, why do you believe there would be no American casualties given that Israel would be carrying out that strike with US supplied weapons, US supplied bombs, US supplied fuel tankers, US supplied fuel and US permission? Iran has already said they would hold the US accountable for such an attack.

          Surely you cannot be that stupid?

        • RoHa says:

          “If we add to this the fact that Israel is morally justified to engage in self-defense because of the threat to her existence that Iran poses, then a preemptive attack on Iran is not only in the best interests of Israelis, but morally permissible, too.”

          You are saying that Israel should attack Iran now because Iran might attack Israel at some time in the future. An attack on Iran would kill people. It is not self defence to kill some Iranians because some Iranians might kill Israelis in the future. It is just murder.

          There is no moral foundation for that view.

          (Also, since Israel actually has attacked Egypt and Lebanon in the past, the Egyptians and Lebanese have reason to suspect that Israel might attack them again. Do you think that makes it morally permissible for Egypt and Lebanon to attack Israel pre-emptively?)

        • RoHa says:

          “The fact that the people of the region might be inclined naturally to oppose Israel, does not mean that they are morally justified in doing so – if, for example, they hate Israel because they have misinterpreted certain tenets of their religion, they are merely misled, not righteous.”

          However, they oppose Israel because it has committed – and continues to commit – crimes against them. This is morally justsified opposition.

        • Kathleen says:

          Israel and the I lobby have been trying their best to get the US to do their dirty bloody pre-emptive illegal war crimes for them. And yes the right wing I lobby had a huge influence on the push for the invasion of Iraq. The US has their own war crimes that we should be held accountable for we do not need to add to that list

        • Hi Kathleen

          I am suggesting the same thing that you do about Iran, i.e. that America stays out of a hypothetical strike.

          For this particular military undertaking, Israel does not ask for US help, she merely asks to be allowed to do it by herself.

        • Shingo

          “So let me ask you, why do you believe there would be no American casualties given that Israel would be carrying out that strike with US supplied weapons, US supplied bombs, US supplied fuel tankers, US supplied fuel and US permission? Iran has already said they would hold the US accountable for such an attack.”

          I specifically said that America does not need to commit boots on the ground or do any bombing, and that there will be no American soldiers dead if America allows Israel to proceed with the strike on her own. The whole point of my insisting on this was to offer a counterargument to those in this thread who were worried about Israel’s dragging American soldiers in the conflict by applying pressure to America so as to make the US do the bombing. And i was saying that they don’t have to worry about American body-bags coming back from Iran. I was clearly referring to deaths of soldiers.

          If Iran is going to strike America through terrorists (despite America’s abstinence from a hypothetical strike), as you seem to imply, then there might be American civilian casualties.

          Let me understand what you are saying: should America refrain from selling weapons to Israel (or any country), if Iran threatens to strike America through terrorism because of an arms sale that Iran disapproves of?

          And are you really suggesting that when America is threatened with terrorism, then it should adjust its policies to the terrorists’ demands?

          Surely, you cannot be that suicidal?

          Surely you cannot be that stupid?”

          Language, Mr Shingo, language!

        • Hi RoHa

          “You are saying that Israel should attack Iran now because Iran might attack Israel at some time in the future. An attack on Iran would kill people. It is not self defence to kill some Iranians because some Iranians might kill Israelis in the future. It is just murder. There is no moral foundation for that view.”

          I think there is a moral foundation, based on a utilitarian perspective:

          If Iran (or terrorists that might acquire nukes) hits Israel with a nuclear weapon, the Israeli casualties will be far, far, more than the Iranian casualties that will result from an Israeli conventional bombing of the nuclear facilities.

          Besides, Israel will be targeting military personnel only, whereas a hypothetical Iranian nuclear attack will be aimed at the whole of Israel, civilians included.

          Finally, Israel is not the aggressive one in this instance, she merely responds (preemptively) to Iranian acts of aggression (the attempt towards acquisition of nukes by a regime that does not recognize her existence and has at least once engaged in annihilationist rhetoric). The ball is on Iran’s court: if it renounces the weaponization, then Israel will not strike. It is not like Israel is intent to strike anyway, she is merely forced to self defense by Iran’s intransigence.

          “It is not self defence to kill some Iranians because some Iranians might kill Israelis in the future”

          If we base ourselves on the above, then we can conclude that it is self defense to kill those Iranians (i.e. those that are Iranian soldiers) that probably will kill a huge portion of the Israeli population if allowed to go on with their nuclear program.

        • Israel does not ask for US help, she merely asks to be allowed to do it by herself.

          oh please, there’s only about 1000 israel lobby op eds to completely decimate this argument. you should do some homework before making these silly allegations.

        • RoHa

          “Also, since Israel actually has attacked Egypt and Lebanon in the past, the Egyptians and Lebanese have reason to suspect that Israel might attack them again. Do you think that makes it morally permissible for Egypt and Lebanon to attack Israel pre-emptively?”

          I agree with the logic of your argument, but i disagree with the facts: if there are compelling reasons to suspect that someone might attack you (e.g. she might have repeatedly talked to that effect in the past and right now she is armed and moving towards you in a menacing way, despite your calls to her to stay away from you) then, yes, you are justified in preempting her aggressively.

          But Egypt does not fit the above description. They have no reason to suspect that Israel will attack them, since Israel does not intend anything of the sort and has said nothing of the sort.

          Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Israel was the aggressor against Egypt in 1967 (honestly, the first time i heard this claim was in this forum, i am under the impression that Egypt was amassing armies at Israel’s borders at the time, and that it blocked a seaway, and that this constitutes an act of war).

          Past aggressive behavior is not the only indicator of the likelihood that she will do it again. Current behavior counts much more. As things stand today, Egypt has no reason to think that Israel will attack her.

        • RoHa

          However, they oppose Israel because it has committed – and continues to commit – crimes against them. This is morally justsified opposition.

          I take it we are talking only about the Palestinians.

          Israel has offered peace both in 2000 and 2008. It’s not like they have no choice other than to engage in terrorism. And i find it very capricious to consider these offers ungenerous when they have been offered approximately 96% (some say 97%, i haven’t been able to dig an exact figure) of the West Bank.

        • yourstruly

          suffering as it is from the dangerous to self & others toxin that is zionism, israel must be “detoxed” or otherwise rendered fit to live with – for the well being of the world as well as that of its own people.

          With regards to your suggestion concerning the well being of Israelis, i would suggest we let them decide what is good for them.

        • Mooser says:

          What are you twelve goddam years old? This is what we get from a place they always told me was one of the fonts of Western Civilisation? I simply don’t believe this.
          Listen Dion, I dare to read Mondo. I dare you to read this blog for a month. You can’t do it.

        • Mooser says:

          “but i don’t see who else is going to be affected by an operation against Iranian atomic bombs, other than the people of Israel and Iran.”

          Does anybody know how to say “fallout”…. oh, never mind.

        • Shmuel says:

          America refers to them as “illegitimate”, not “illegal”

          Wow, a clear change of policy if I’ve ever seen one. Now that you mention it, I’m not sure the US ever considered the settlements illegal, because even UNSC Res. 465 (approved by the US) only said that they have “no legal validity”, but didn’t actually use the word “illegal”.

        • Shmuel says:

          Israel has offered peace both in 2000 and 2008.

          Dionissis,

          You do Israel an injustice. Why just 2000 and 2008? Hasn’t Israel’s hand “always been extended in peace” (see e.g. Amb. Prosor’s recent speech to the UNGA)?

        • tree says:

          With regards to your suggestion concerning the well being of Israelis, i would suggest we let them decide what is good for them.

          But you don’t extend the same right to Iranians. You are suggesting Iran be bombed for the possibility of obtaining a nuclear bomb, when Israel has hundreds of them, and threatens Iran over the possible future existence of one. Can’t you see your double standard here?

        • Hi tree

          But you don’t extend the same right to Iranians [to decide for themselves what is good for them].

          I do extend to Iranians this right – but not the additional right to unjustifiably harm others in order to further Iranian interests.

          My reply, to which you just replied, was to a commentator who argued that refraining from bombing Iran’s facilities would be good for Israelis. Given that most Israelis would want to go on with the strike if Obama did not oppose it, and given that they face the possibility of an unjust nuclear attack, it struck me as a bit patronizing to tell them “you, Israelis, don’t know what’s good for you, don’t preempt Iran”. And that was my message to the commentator, that it is patronizing to decide what is good for (an adult) someone who faces such an existential threat.

          You are suggesting Iran be bombed for the possibility of obtaining a nuclear bomb, when Israel has hundreds of them, and threatens Iran over the possible future existence of one.

          It is not morally relevant how many nukes each party has.

          What is morally relevant is who intends to use them to do unjustified harm. I claim it is Iran, and not Israel.

          The fact that it is (highly, to my mind) probable that Iran will obtain and use the nukes, but not certain, is indeed a morally relevant factor: the more the likelihood that Iran will perpetrate nuclear assault, the more justified the Israeli preemption is. If the probability is very low, Israel should not attack.

          Can’t you see your double standard here?

          I hope the above clarifications prove that i do not have a double standard: i recognize Iran’s right to act in precisely the same way that i consider justified in Israel’s case, if it so happens that Iran finds itself in the same situation that Israel has found herself in – i.e. being threatened with annihilation by a nuclear state that does not recognize Iran’s right to exist.

          I might be wrong in my factual claims, Iran might not be going for the bomb, or it might not be intending to use it.

          But in no way do i hold a double standard: if Iran was in Israel’s shoes, i would have granted it the same right to defend itself.

        • Shingo says:

          Actually Shmuel ,

          The state department has issued a statement in 1967 that they consider the settlements a violation of the 4th Geneva Conventions.

        • Shingo says:

          i would suggest we let them decide what is good for them.

          So long as they do it with their own resources and money.

        • Shmuel says:

          The state department has issued a statement in 1967 that they consider the settlements a violation of the 4th Geneva Conventions.

          But did they say they were “illegal” or did they just say they violated international law? It’s all so complicated ;-)

        • Mooser

          What are you twelve goddam years old? This is what we get from a place they always told me was one of the fonts of Western Civilisation? I simply don’t believe this.

          What you were told was about 500 BC.

          Contemporary Greece is a disgrace – disGreece?

          We are probably the most corrupt people of the initial core of the EU – hence our economic bankruptcy. This extensive corruption must be the result of our spending 400 years under Ottoman occupation: we developed an attitude of cheating the occupier’s state representatives. This might have had survival value then, but we are stuck with it even today.

        • RoHa says:

          “I think there is a moral foundation, based on a utilitarian perspective”

          A utilitarian calculation can only work if like is being compared with like. But that is not the case here.

          If Israel attacks, there will certainly be deaths.
          If Israel does not attack, there is no certainty that there will be deaths.

          “Finally, Israel is not the aggressive one in this instance, she merely responds (preemptively)”

          Technically, it is preventative, not pre-emptive. But I assume you are totally ignorant of Just war theory, so I won’t go into that.

          “to Iranian acts of aggression (the attempt towards acquisition of nukes by a regime that does not recognize her existence and has at least once engaged in annihilationist rhetoric). ”

          There is no certainty that Iran is trying to develop nukes. Development of any weapons does not constitute an act of aggression.

        • Shingo says:

          Well, i was obviously referring to Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense when i said that children, sadly, get killed inadvertently and not intentionally.

          Of course it was intentional. Israel uses precision guided weapons do they hit what they want to hit.

          If Israel wanted to target children today, then she could have killed lots more, couldn’t she?

          That’s a bit like saying that a serial killer isn’t really a serial killer because he only killed a few victims.

          What might have occurred in the past does not prove that contemporary Israel targets children.

          What proves that Israel targets children is that children tend to be among Israel’s largest numbers of casualties – that and the fact that the IDF openly promotes the murder of unborn foetuses along with their mothers.
          link to un242.idmilano.com

        • Shingo says:

          I explicitly said that if Israel strikes on her own, no American soldiers will get killed. And i have already said that i think that Israel should attack the Iranian facilities by herself, and that America doesn’t need to participate in the attack.
          blockquote>

          You have also said that even if Americans are killed, it would be preferable to Israel suffering a nuclear attack.

        • Shingo

          Your arguments are vacuous and based on ignorance, but seeing as you have only popped up on this thread while the Israeli lobby and Israeli propagandists are working to undermine Hagel’s nomination, you probably do live in the real world and have been given orders to pollute this forum with your inane and absurd arguments.

          Conspiracy theorizing?

          That’s a new low, Shingo.

          I have popped up on this thread to talk about Iran, not to “pollute” (whatever that means) this forum, and, also, (as i have told you in comment December 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm) to get an idea about “the other side of the argument, together with its motivating emotions, in its natural habitat – the comment section”.

          I specifically said that i do not intend to disrupt this or any future discussions, and that i will wait before commenting until lots of comments have been generated, so as not to interrupt any group feeling that might develop among the commentators. I do not wish to harm your cause by diverting your discussions, or whatever.

          But maybe you consider hearing the other side “pollution”? You shouldn’t, it helps one solidify her views, you should welcome it.

        • Shingo

          You have also said that even if Americans are killed, it would be preferable to Israel suffering a nuclear attack.

          I have never said that, you are manipulating my words.

          I said that it does not matter if an American vessel is damaged, i spoke about the American fleet, not that it does not matter if American lives are lost. I clearly referred to vessels, not humans.

          What you just said was not just a cheap shot, but indecent.

        • Shingo

          Actually Shmuel ,The state department has issued a statement in 1967 that they consider the settlements a violation of the 4th Geneva Conventions.

          I have made a comment on the legality of settlements, which was in moderation, but now it has disappeared, probably deleted by accident, so i will repost it.

        • Shingo says:

          Let me understand what you are saying: should America refrain from selling weapons to Israel (or any country), if Iran threatens to strike America through terrorism because of an arms sale that Iran disapproves of?

          First of all, may I ask why you keep insisting on including a refer to terrorism every time you mention Iran military aggression? Is this some cynical attempt to delegitimize any action Iran might take as illegal immoral?

          Secondly, is it not true that every time Hamas attacks are mentioned in the Western media, that it is always mentioned they are backed by Iran? So if Iran poses a theat to Israel by virtue of the fact it arms Hamas, then doesn’t the US similarly pose a threat to Iran?

          And are you really suggesting that when America is threatened with terrorism, then it should adjust its policies to the terrorists’ demands?

          Again, there is the reference to terrorist and terrorists’ sprayed gratuitously, but let me answer that with a question. If Iran were to give a nuke to Hamas and it was used to attack Israel, should Iran be held responsible? Should Iran adjust its policies to Israeli and American demands not to do so?

        • Shingo says:

          Besides, Israel will be targeting military personnel only, whereas a hypothetical Iranian nuclear attack will be aimed at the whole of Israel, civilians included.

          But these are hypotheticals layered upon hypotheticals, layered upon hypotheticals. To get to this incredibly unlikely scenario, you have to assume that Iran is producing nukes (they are not) and that the are intending to use those nukes on Israel (clearly they are not) and that they are so determined to attack Israel that they are willing to commit suicide on a national level (clearly false).

          So why are you raising such an absurd hypothetical scenario at all?

          Finally, Israel is not the aggressive one in this instance, she merely responds (preemptively) to Iranian acts of aggression (the attempt towards acquisition of nukes by a regime that does not recognize her existence and has at least once engaged in annihilationist rhetoric).

          Finally that’s complete rubbish. Israel is indeed the aggressive one in this instance as they are in every instance. Israel’s leaders have admitted to Jeffrey Goldberg that the reason they fear an Iranian nuke is not because Iran would use it, but that a nuclear armed Iran would tie Israel’s hands militarily.

          In other words, contrary to your utterly erroneous argument, the Israelis fear that an a nuclear armed Iranian would stifle Israeli aggression and Israel cannot bear to consider a situation where they cannot bomb anyone they want with impunity.

          if it renounces the weaponization, then Israel will not strike.

          Your ignorance and ideological imperviousness is mind boggling. Iran’s leaders have repeatedly renounces weaponization. How can you possibly not kwon this unless your sole reason for posting to this blog is to sew disinformation and lies?
          Ahmadinjead has repeatedly denounced nukes and said they are an anachronism.
          Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei has repeatedly stated that nukes are incompatible with Islam and issued a fatwa against nukes.

          So what is there that is forcing Israel to defend herself?

          Answer: NOTHING.

          Now with this information at your disposal, it needs to be stated that unless you acknowledge it and refrain from repeating your lies, you are not here to debate anything, but to troll and derail the discussion.
          Trolling is a violation of the terms of the blog and you will be banned.

        • Shingo says:

          They have no reason to suspect that Israel will attack them, since Israel does not intend anything of the sort and has said nothing of the sort.

          Israeli leaders have threatened to retake the Sinai, so you are wrong. In which case, does Egypt have the right to attack Israel and preempting her aggressively?

          Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Israel was the aggressor against Egypt in 1967

          Even Israeli leaders admit this, so I don’t know why you are pretending as though you have never heard this argument before.
          “In June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us, We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”
          [Prime Minister Begin, 1982]
          “The entire story of the danger of extermination was invented in every detail and exaggerated a posteriori to justify the annexation of new Arab territory.”
          [Mordecai Bentov (member of the wartime national government), Israeli newspaper Al-Hamishmar, 14 April 1971]

          Past aggressive behavior is not the only indicator of the likelihood that she will do it again. Current behavior counts much more.

          I agree. Iran has not attacked or invaded anyone in 300 years. That should count for a great deal.

        • RoHa

          A utilitarian calculation can only work if like is being compared with like. But that is not the case here. If Israel attacks, there will certainly be deaths. If Israel does not attack, there is no certainty that there will be deaths.

          You can convert future probabilistic estimations into actual numbers by applying the statistical concept of “expected value”:

          If you multiply the probability of future deaths with the number of those that are supposed to die at this future time, you get the number that allows you to compare certain with probable deaths.

          For example, if the probability that Iran will strike Israel with nukes and kill 4 million people is 50%, then you can say that the number of Israeli deaths pertinent to our calculations is 2 million.

          That number is legitimately comparable with certain deaths.

        • RoHa

          Technically, it is preventative, not pre-emptive. But I assume you are totally ignorant of Just war theory, so I won’t go into that.

          I am referring to actions to stop an imminent attack, however they are called.

          Technically, you are pedantic.

        • Shingo says:

          Israel has offered peace both in 2000 and 2008.

          No they didn’t. In 2000, Ehud Barak later admitted he offred noting to Arafat. In 2008, Olmert ‘s offer was made while he was a sitting duck and had no chance to deliver on it.

          It’s not like they have no choice other than to engage in terrorism.

          The terrorism that followed 2000 was instigated by Israel.

          And i find it very capricious to consider these offers ungenerous when they have been offered approximately 96% (some say 97%, i haven’t been able to dig an exact figure) of the West Bank.

          I find it very capricious that you would even think to dispel that kind of garbage on this forum and that anyone would take you seriously.
          First of all, the figure was closer to 78% because it did not include the Jordan valley or the territory Israel has already annexed. Secondly, it was non continuous, but a series of disconnected bantustans (a concept Sharon adopted from apartheid South Africa). What Israel offered was not a state, it a means by which Palestinians could be warehouses in large prisons.

        • Shmuel

          But did they say they were “illegal” or did they just say they violated international law? It’s all so complicated ;-)

          Shmuel, your playful irony comes as a wonderful gift to me.

          I am a fiend for irony, both giving and receiving it.

          Besides, i was getting dulled by Shingo’s constant name-calling (and his, as of today, conspiracy-theorizing).

          So, cheers – i mean it, it’s not ironic!

        • Shingo

          Your ignorance and ideological imperviousness is mind boggling. Iran’s leaders have repeatedly renounces weaponization. How can you possibly not kwon this unless your sole reason for posting to this blog is to sew disinformation and lies?

          I obviously meant if they truthfully renounce them.

          Yes, i’ ve heard what they said. But their actions (not allowing full inspections) convinced me they don’t mean it.

          So, am i a liar because i am not convinced by Iranian renunciations?

        • seafoid says:

          “Palestinian civilians get killed inadvertently, not deliberately and not as matter of Israeli policy toward this end”

          Says who ? It’s a very bloody occupation.

        • Shingo says:

          Given that most Israelis would want to go on with the strike if Obama did not oppose it, and given that they face the possibility of an unjust nuclear attack, it struck me as a bit patronizing to tell them “you, Israelis, don’t know what’s good for you, don’t preempt Iran”.

          What do you mean Given that most Israelis would want to go on with the strike if Obama did not oppose it ? What poll supports this argument? In fact, polls show that Israelis are opposed to war with Iran in spite of Bibbi’s hawkishness.
          And that was my message to the commentator, that it is patronizing to decide what is good for (an adult) someone who faces such an existential threat.
          There was a poll earlier that showed Israelis would support an attack on Iran is the US led the effort, but none that support Israel gong it alone.

          It is not morally relevant how many nukes each party has.

          What makes you the moral judge to decide such matters?

          What is morally relevant is who intends to use them to do unjustified harm. I claim it is Iran, and not Israel.

          But you are wrong on multiple points. Iran has not decided to even produce nukes, so it cannot be possible that they have decided to use what they don’t have and don’t intend to produce to attack Israel.

          being threatened with annihilation by a nuclear state that does not recognize Iran’s right to exist.

          But that is not the case and you know it. No one has threatened anyone with annihilation, and Iran is not a nuclear state anyway. There is no obligation to recognize any state’s right to exist.

          BTW. Has Israel recognizes Iran’s right to exist?

          I might be wrong in my factual claims, Iran might not be going for the bomb, or it might not be intending to use it.

          Wouldn’t it make more sense to establish with some certainty if this was true before building your hypothetical arguments?

        • Shingo

          I find it very capricious that you would even think to dispel that kind of garbage on this forum and that anyone would take you seriously.
          First of all, the figure was closer to 78% because it did not include the Jordan valley or the territory Israel has already annexed.

          Zionists give a bigger figure than the one quoted in Wikipedia, but i will offer the wikipedia number:

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          “Barak offered to form a Palestinian State initially on 73% of the West Bank (that is, 27% less than the Green Line borders) and 100% of the Gaza Strip. In 10–25 years, the Palestinian state would expand to a maximum of 92%[3] of the West Bank (94% excluding greater Jerusalem).[4][5][6"

          If i were interested in land and in forming a state, i would have taken the offer and run, before the Zionists changed their minds.

        • Shingo

          First of all, may I ask why you keep insisting on including a refer to terrorism every time you mention Iran military aggression? Is this some cynical attempt to delegitimize any action Iran might take as illegal immoral?

          The reply of mine that made reference to terrorism came as a response to your allusion to terrorists in your previous comment which i cite below:

          If Hezbollah or Hamas were to strike Israel with a nuclear weapon provided by Iran, do you believe Iran would bear any responsibility? So let me ask you, why do you believe there would be no American casualties given that Israel would be carrying out that strike with US supplied weapons, US supplied bombs, US supplied fuel tankers, US supplied fuel and US permission? Iran has already said they would hold the US accountable for such an attack. Surely you cannot be that stupid?

          You were doubting my claim that there were going to be no American soldier casualties in case Israel struck unilaterally, and you alluded to the fact that Iran will hold the US accountable for its technical support to Israel. You obviously meant that Iran would orchestrate terrorist hits in the US as retaliation, and that this would result in American civilian casualties.

          So my reference to terrorism was very apropos, because you had brought up the issue of Iranian induced terrorism against the US. And i just asked you whether you think that America should capitulate to any demands under the threat of terrorism.

        • Shingo

          Now with this information at your disposal, it needs to be stated that unless you acknowledge it and refrain from repeating your lies, you are not here to debate anything, but to troll and derail the discussion.
          Trolling is a violation of the terms of the blog and you will be banned.

          I didn’t know you were a moderator. I don’t want to be banned, so i will oblige to concede any of my points about Iran that has been disproved, but, please, specify which those points are.

          I appealed to the probability that Iran is producing nukes. I cannot concede that it certainly doesn’t, and the international community thinks they are justified to consider this probability, since they have not lifted the sanctions.

          I appealed to Ahmadinejad’s quote about wiping Israel off the map (or the page of time, depending on the translation). This statement, coupled with Iran’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic thinking (which seems to be shared by the Shiite regime) suggests that there is a possibility that they might strike Israel. I cannot concede that it is certain that Iran will not strike Israel. Plus, i have offered the threat of nuclear proliferation in the region as a threat to Israel and the West if terrorists get their hands on weapons.

          What exactly is that you want me to concede so that you will not ban me?

        • Shmuel

          Wow, a clear change of policy if I’ve ever seen one. Now that you mention it, I’m not sure the US ever considered the settlements illegal, because even UNSC Res. 465 (approved by the US) only said that they have “no legal validity”, but didn’t actually use the word “illegal”.

          You are perfectly justified to mock the argument that “no legal validity” is not synonymous with “illegal”. They are synonymous.

          But the counter-argument i found is that, i quote:

          link to camera.org

          “One exception–under former President Carter, the United States initially voted for U.N. Security Council Resolution 465 which was passed on March 1, 1980. This resolution stating that Israeli settlements in the territories have no “legal validity” is often quoted to bolster the “illegality of settlements” argument. However, the American vote for this resolution was subsequently retracted, with the United States claiming that it had intended to abstain and blaming a communications failure as responsible for the vote.”

          So, does the Resolution stand, or not?

        • Shingo

          Even Israeli leaders admit this, so I don’t know why you are pretending as though you have never heard this argument before.

          I don’t pretend, i have never heard it before.

          Thanks for the data, i will look into them.

        • Shmuel says:

          You are perfectly justified to mock the argument that “no legal validity” is not synonymous with “illegal”.

          Time for some more mocking.

          A misleading statement from Camera? How shocking.

          The “communications failure” had nothing to do with the US position regarding the illegality of the settlements, but “with the understanding that all references to Jerusalem would be deleted” (the US position was that Jerusalem should be “undivided with free access to the holy places for all faiths”). In other words, had the “references to Jerusalem” been removed, the US would have approved the resolution (although its preferred solution was not dismantling). The “communications failure” thus resulted in a positive vote, rather than an abstention (not a negative vote or a veto).

          The resolution stands of course (voted by a majority of the UNSC), and the US repudiation in no way indicates that the US does not consider the settlements illegal.

          link to books.google.it

        • Donald says:

          If you want to see what an air strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would do to civilians, take a peak at this study–

          pdf file

          “You can convert future probabilistic estimations into actual numbers by applying the statistical concept of “expected value”:”

          So if Israel is likely to attack Iran (say, 50 percent chance) and if they really want to be sure of destroying all their nuclear facilities, they will have to use nukes. They can’t do it with their conventional arsenal. I’ll go find a link on what that would take in a minute. So 0.5 times millions of deaths equals millions of deaths over two. If they only use conventional weapons, then maybe only thousands or tens of thousands of dead. What do we do with these numbers? I’d say we should avoid war.

          Incidentally, the expectation value for the number of deaths due to an asteroid impact or the eruption of a super-volcano in 2013 is probably in the tens of thousands. Low probability in a given year times global cataclysm equals a fairly big number of “expected deaths”.

          Here’s another pdf file, a study on what a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would require. The authors point out what I think is common knowledge–that only the US could do this with conventional weapons.
          It’s not just Israel bombing some unfinished reactor with a few planes.
          It’s a massive undertaking–

          another pdf file

        • Shingo says:

          So, does the Resolution stand, or not?

          It doesn’t matter, because they are a violation of article 49 of the Geneva Convention.

          Here is a link to a 1968 telegram in which Secretary of State Rusk said the US had advised the Israeli Foreign Ministry that it viewed the establishment of civilian settlements in the occupied territories as a violation of the principles contained in the Security Council resolution and article 49 of the Geneva Convention.
          link to history.state.gov

        • Shingo

          Now with this information at your disposal, it needs to be stated that unless you acknowledge it and refrain from repeating your lies, you are not here to debate anything, but to troll and derail the discussion.
          Trolling is a violation of the terms of the blog and you will be banned.

          I do not want to be banned, but i don’t know what you might consider as trolling.

          I also do not want to derail any discussion in Mondoweiss.

          So, here is what i propose: you let me know how many days after the post has been posted i might enter the discussion. Five days later, a week, what?

          That way, the discussion will have concluded long before i “pollute” it with my comments. There will be nothing left for me to derail.

          Deal?

          PS. I told Shmuel i’ ll be away for three weeks on vacation. The “three weeks” is true, but the “vacation”… well, you know that we are constantly being retrained in effective hasbara, so you understand where i am going – or, better, where the Lobby is sending me.

          At least you are done with me for the time being!

        • RoHa says:

          ‘You can convert future probabilistic estimations into actual numbers by applying the statistical concept of “expected value”:’

          You are still comparing hypothetical deaths that very well may not happen if no action is taken with deaths that will happen if action is taken.

          “For example, if the probability that Iran will strike Israel with nukes and kill 4 million people is 50%, ”

          Iran does not have any nukes. There is no evidence that Iran will have nukes in the near future. Ther is no evidence that Iran is developing nukes. It is highly unlikely that Iran would attack Israel with nukes even it had nukes.

          Your moral sense is as twisted as your understanding of the situation.

        • RoHa says:

          “Technically, you are pedantic.”

          Of course I am. Precise, rigorous use of language is part of precise, rigorous thinking, and precise, rigorous thinking is necessary for moral decisions. It is important to understand the difference between “pre-emptive” and “preventative”.

          A pre-emptive attack is one that inhibits an immediately imminent attack that is certain to happen. An individual example: A guy in a bar takes a swing at me. As he raises his fist to punching position, I kick him in the balls.

          This is generally regarded as morally permissible, as self defence.

          A preventative (or “preventive”) attack is one that attacks a potential enemy before that presumed enemy has intiated any attack, before any attack is know to be imminent, before any such attack is know to have been planned. The aim is to inhibit the presumed enemy’s ability to mount an attack.

          An individual example: A guy on the other side of the barroom keeps glaring at me and, from time to time, clenches his fists. I walk over and kick him in the face.

          This is not morally permissible. He has not attacked me, and there is no certainty that he will attack me.

          An Israeli attack in Iran would be preventative, and thus immoral.

        • Shingo says:

          But their actions (not allowing full inspections) convinced me they don’t mean it.

          First of all, what you believe doesn’t matter. You obviously know nothing about nuclear proliferation or intelligence gathering and you dismiss evidence and reports by coming up with your unlikely conspiracy theories.

          It has already been pointed out to you that Iran has fully complied with inspections under the NPT and that in spite of this, they are still being accused of secretly making nukes. Thus for them to go above and beyond their obligations, they want this BS and non stop innuendo to end. So they are asking for something in return for allowing access to Parchin and the US/IAEA says no.

          Therefore, there is nothing to be gained by agreeing to provide access.

          So, am i a liar because i am not convinced by Iranian renunciations?

          You are because you have no evidence to support your position and all the evidence available says your position is based purely on speculation and your pro Israel mania. Your refusal to accept the weigh of evidence against your opinion shows you are not open to truthful inquiry or debate.

        • Shingo says:

          Zionists give a bigger figure than the one quoted in Wikipedia, but i will offer the wikipedia number:

          Yes, in forums like these, Zionists like you will start out by claiming the 96% figure until someone like me challenges their claims by pointing out that

          1. the higher figure ignored the territory already set aside for settlements
          2. ignores the Jordan Valley.
          3. The 73% figure is the only offer that actually existed.

          As it turned out, the offer was so inadequate that even the Israeli foreign minister at the time, Shlomo Ben Ami, admitted afterwards that he would have rejected the offer too had he been at Camp David.

        • Shingo says:

          You were doubting my claim that there were going to be no American soldier casualties in case Israel struck unilaterally, and you alluded to the fact that Iran will hold the US accountable for its technical support to Israel. You obviously meant that Iran would orchestrate terrorist hits in the US as retaliation, and that this would result in American civilian casualties.

          I said nothing about terrorist hits in the US at all. I was alluding to terror attacks against US military targets in the Middle Eat.

        • Shingo says:

          I didn’t know you were a moderator. I don’t want to be banned, so i will oblige to concede any of my points about Iran that has been disproved, but, please, specify which those points are.

          I am not a moderator, I am warning you that people who keep repeating taking points ad nauseum in the face of evidence to the contrary do get banned.

          I appealed to the probability that Iran is producing nukes. I cannot concede that it certainly doesn’t, and the international community thinks they are justified to consider this probability, since they have not lifted the sanctions.

          The sanctions were not imposed because Iran is producing nukes. In fact, the UN, which has imposed the sanctions, has not even decaled Iran to be in violation of the NPT. The US pushed ferociously for the sanctions to be implemented and based on the fact that the US went ahead and attacked Iraq without UNSC approval, the other permanent members of the UNSC (ie. China and Russia) made a political decision not to veto the resolution. Both of them have stated that Iran is not making nukes, so as with the sanctions against Iraq, the sanctions against Iran are proof of nothing.

          I appealed to Ahmadinejad’s quote about wiping Israel off the map (or the page of time, depending on the translation).

          The statement was not even a threat. No matter what translation you chose to believe, it does not state that Iran would wipe anyone off the map or from the pages of time.

          This statement, coupled with Iran’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic thinking

          Iran’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist is a carnard. No other state in the world has ever reserved the right to exist. No one has ever recognized Greece’s right to exist (ir would be pointless) . Does that mean the intentional community is at war with Greece?

          Secondly, the BS about Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic thinking is simply without any basis. It was another piece of propaganda invented by neocon think tanks in Washington.

          Plus, i have offered the threat of nuclear proliferation in the region as a threat to Israel and the West if terrorists get their hands on weapons.

          Again, that allegation has been resoundingly refuted. There is no evidence or logic behind that claim unless one assumes that Iran’s leaders are prepared to condemn their entire population to annihilation.

          Stop the lies and infantile talking points. You have no basis for repeatedly reaffirming them and you are wasting your time and everyone else’s by doing so.

        • RoHa

          Your bringing up thought experiments is a good thing, that’s how we should be assessing the moral right of a country to engage in pre-emption or prevention or whatever.

          A preventative (or “preventive”) attack is one that attacks a potential enemy before that presumed enemy has intiated any attack, before any attack is know to be imminent, before any such attack is know to have been planned. The aim is to inhibit the presumed enemy’s ability to mount an attack. An individual example: A guy on the other side of the barroom keeps glaring at me and, from time to time, clenches his fists. I walk over and kick him in the face.

          I would add to your second thought experiment a few characteristics that are morally relevant:

          If the person in the bar has said in the past she wants to see me dead, and if i am justified in thinking that she is mentally unstable on top of that, and if, in addition to clenching her fists and glaring at me, walks out of the bar and (as i can see through the bar’s window) she is ready to buy a gun, then i am morally justified to walk out of the bar too and prevent her from acquiring the weapon in the least drastic way: if i can just scare away either her or the gun-dealer without violence, that’s what i should do. If the only way of stopping her from acquiring the gun is to hurt her, then i am morally justified to do it, using the minimum amount of violence that would be effective in preventing her from the acquisition.

          I am off commenting for three weeks, as i have said two days ago (my comment is still in moderation), but i made the exception because i really liked your approach (analytic philosophy techniques), which is both effective in evaluating moral issues in depth, and has a sobering effect in emotively laden discussions.

        • RoHa

          You are still comparing hypothetical deaths that very well may not happen if no action is taken with deaths that will happen if action is taken.

          If there is a probability x% that y deaths will occur, then the number x% times y is as good as actual deaths.

          I would have been referring to hypothetical deaths only if i had relied on the initial number y. Correcting the y number of deaths (through the multiplication of the probability of them occurring) takes out the hypothetical element, the resulting number is what we should consider as certain deaths, albeit in a future time.

          The life-insurance industry engages routinely in this sort of calculations.

          Iran does not have any nukes. There is no evidence that Iran will have nukes in the near future. Ther is no evidence that Iran is developing nukes. It is highly unlikely that Iran would attack Israel with nukes even it had nukes.Your moral sense is as twisted as your understanding of the situation.

          We were debating a philosophical point pertinent to whether deaths that are certain to happen can be legitimately compared with hypothetical ones.

          If Iran is developing nukes and if Iran plans to hit Israel with them and kill a number of Israelis(we can assign relevant probabilities to each of these events and estimate the probability that these two events will happen jointly), then we can decide whether the expected value of Israeli deaths justifies the hypothetical Israeli strike.

          My moral sense, twisted or not, has nothing to do with the technical/philosophical subject we were discussing.

          If the probability that either Iran is developing nukes or that it intends to use them is zero, as Shingo says, then i am factually wrong. It doesn’t follow that i am morally twisted.

          Haven’t you ever made false predictions? If yes, would it mean you are immoral?

          This is my last comment for the next three weeks, i know i have said it twice already but now i swear.

        • Shingo

          Iran’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist is a carnard. No other state in the world has ever reserved the right to exist. No one has ever recognized Greece’s right to exist (ir would be pointless) . Does that mean the intentional community is at war with Greece?

          All other countries’ right to exist is implicitly recognized in that no one has said that they don’t have a right to exist.

          But in Israel’s case, we have some Arab countries and Iran denying Israel’s right to exist even in the pre-1967 borders (“ALL of Palestine, from the river to the sea”)

        • Donald

          pdf file

          Thanks for the data, Donald. I’ ll check them.

        • Mooser says:

          “This extensive corruption must be the result of our spending 400 years under Ottoman occupation:”<

          Yeah Dion, from re4ading your commentgs, I can see the Ottomans must have an easy time of it. Hardly ever seen somebody so eager to sell out and blame others.

          Yup, those Ottomans, they broke the Greeks, and didn't even break a ssweat, cause Greeks are, well, Greek.

        • oh please. i think everyone is well aware for this ‘right to exist’ lingo is nothing but a whining diversionary hasbara ploy designed to demand an occupied oppress people squander on the ground and make declarations their own home is jewish.and we all know it will not end there anyway. because after said ‘right to exist’ was established then the request becomes ‘as a jewsih state’ as if it is palestinians who are supposed to declare their own nakba was a jewish ‘right’. seriously, this is cruel and unusual. here’s the thing, the longer you and your like kind keep up this ploy, this shadow excuse for colonization and excuse for not allowing palestinians a home and citizenship, more and more people see exactly what this is about.

          this isn’t the old days where msm said something and that was that. we have a voice now, and we can easily combat the kind of offensive hasbara you’re offering. we know, israel wants all the land. so no amount of ‘you did it to the indians or it’s their fault, or they want to kill us’ or whatever is going to stop the flood of people who are exhausted listening to israel’s lies. flood of people, its become very clear (like so yesterday) this is an EXCUSE for continued land grab.

          it’s like a broken record and it’s all you got. change the policy, not the hasbara.

        • Shingo

          Both of them have stated that Iran is not making nukes, so as with the sanctions against Iraq, the sanctions against Iran are proof of nothing.

          Just a question:

          If Iran does not intend to acquire nukes, as you have told me, why is Israel so hell-bent on seeing Iran’s nuclear facilities destroyed?

          Is it sheer paranoia on the part of Netanyahu, or are there ulterior benefits for Israel?

        • Cliff says:

          @the new Zionist troll, dion

          Israel is physically advocating a ‘Greater Israel’ ‘right to exist’.

          So if there is a backlash, the backlash is against Greater Israel – which was always the aim of Zionism. Zionist leaders were talking about partition as a first step to greater territorial expansion.

          No State has a right to exist.

          You generalize the widespread supposed acceptance of this concept. You provide no proof. No inkling of evidence.

          States are political entities. States rise and fall. Nazi Germany was a State. Did Nazi Germany have a ‘right to exist’ as well?

          And who is this ‘no one’ (as in everyone, but the Arabs) anyway?

          If you accept the implicit and inherent validity of ‘right to exist’ then explain why.

          Why do all States have a right to exist. Does that mean you support all States? Even oppressive States?

          LOL

          And if not, and if you think a ‘right to exist’ is based on the morality of a State (encompassing democratic consent, human rights, etc.) then every State’s right to exist is open to criticism.

          Hence, a racist, apartheid, colonial and oppressive State like Israel has no right to exist.

          It has no right to exist in any scenario (except the scenario wherein we are all as deluded and dishonest as you, hasbarat).

        • If Iran does not intend to acquire nukes, as you have told me, why is Israel so hell-bent on seeing Iran’s nuclear facilities destroyed?

          i’ll give you a little hint. after the neocons humped iraq’s wmd’s til we took the bait and made war what did israel do after we invaded? they started building like madmen. israel’s only interested in one thing, greater israel. that’s why, after obama came into office and he said lets focus on i/p, netanyahu screamed ‘IRAN’. that’s why within hrs after obama won the election they weren’t whining about iran anymore, suddenly they were screaming about palestinian statehood bid.“This has to be done now, immediately.”

          uh huh.

          link to mondoweiss.net

          Cat’s coming out of the bag on what’s really on the minds of certain people after the U.S. election and it sure as heck isn’t Iran.

        • Shingo says:

          If Iran does not intend to acquire nukes, as you have told me, why is Israel so hell-bent on seeing Iran’s nuclear facilities destroyed?

          Just to be clear, it is not Israel who is hell-bent on seeing Iran’s nuclear facilities destroyed, it is Netenyahu. As I have explained already, his own generals refused to cooperate with his directive to come up with a plan to attack Iran, so clearly they are not hell bent at all.

          Nor are past and present heads of the Mossad, IDF and Shin Bet.

          So the question becomes, why is Netenyahu so hell-bent on seeing Iran’s nuclear facilities destroyed? Yuval Diskin, former Shin Bet chief says that Netenyahu is misleading the public on Iran, and that his making decisions ‘based on messianic feelings.’

          link to haaretz.com

          So to answer your question, it’s probably part paranoia, part domestic politics. The Bush administration thrived on maintaining a high degree of fear and uncertainty among the public – it’s a very effective way to distract people from the failures of your domestic policies.

        • Cliff

          Why do all States have a right to exist. Does that mean you support all States? Even oppressive States? LOL

          People are kind of backwards and still abide by national identities. I respect their right to entertain in their brains any sort of bullsh!t they wish, and live according to these mistaken tenets so long as they do not harm others.

          Since they want to form countries, let it be so. Every country has a right to exist. If their regime is immoral, i deplore the regime. If the majority of the people support the regime, i deplore the majority’s ethics too. I do not support neither the regime nor the majority that empowers it, but i do recognize their right to exist as a country, because i recognize the same right to people and regimes that are not immoral. If there is anything we can do to bring down the immoral regime, i am all for it. But the country has the right to exist.

          I don’t like you Cliff (because you get verbally aggressive very easily), but i recognize your right to exist.

          the new Zionist troll, dion

          If a critical mass of present commentators tell me to refrain from commenting to Mondoweiss, ever, i will stop commenting.

          “LOL”

          Derision (even your own coarse variety) is by far the most effective weapon in propaganda wars – i am not so sure it contributes to your open-mindedness, though. In fact, it seems that it suppresses it.

        • Shingo says:

          All other countries’ right to exist is implicitly recognized in that no one has said that they don’t have a right to exist.

          That’s a chicken and the egg argument. No one has said they don’t have a right to exist, because they have not demanded it.

        • Mooser

          Yeah Dion, from re4ading your commentgs, I can see the Ottomans must have an easy time of it. Hardly ever seen somebody so eager to sell out and blame others. Yup, those Ottomans, they broke the Greeks, and didn’t even break a ssweat, cause Greeks are, well, Greek.

          You make it sound as if i am a Greek nationalist who just placed blame on the Turkish people.

          I never said anything of the sort. I just offered a sociological explanation (one espoused by non-nationalist Greek historians) for the Greek people’s tendency towards corruption.

          I said it must be (partly, to be sure) due to the fact that we have been occupied for 400 hundred years, and that this occupation made us develop an attitude of cheating the state representatives, and that this attitude became a habit in us.

          The reference to the Ottomans came naturally, because it flows naturally to say who the occupier was when you refer to an occupation. I did not intend in any way to express ill-feelings towards the Turkish, or any belief in Greek supremacy. The 400 year occupation would have had the same result even if the occupier was the Chinese or the French. The important issue, as far as the development of the corruption habit is concerned, is the 400 years, the length of the occupation, not the identity of the occupier.

          Your making this innuendo about my purported nationalism was dishonest – all the more so when i have already stated in a thread above that i do not believe in national identities.

          Some things i have written against Greece in my past articles (not in the Israel column) are considered a sin in Greece, the things i wrote are supposed to be voiced only by traitors of Greece – yet i spoke in public.

          So i am not a Greek nationalist, and i can prove it.

          Can’t you see through the glasses of your stereotypes?

          If not, then ditch them. Better to be vulnerable than an ideologue who is unjustly prejudiced.

        • Shingo

          It doesn’t matter, because they are a violation of article 49 of the Geneva Convention.

          The Zionist counterargument is that the Geneva Conventions do not apply in the case of Palestinians, because the Geneva is applicable only in cases of occupation as defined by the Hague Convention. And the Hague Convention requires that, for someone to be considered as occupied, she must have been a signatory to the Hague, and Palestinians were not – so the legal counterargument goes.

          An additional one is that, even if it is granted that the Geneva applies, still the meaning of “transferring” Israeli population is not relevant to the settlers, because the settlers went to the territories on their own will, not forced by the Government of Israel. The Zionists insist that this is how “transfer” should be interpreted, i.e. as forceful transfer, because this is how the term is used throughout the Geneva Conventions, and that we cannot alter the meaning of the term when it comes to applying it to the occupier.

        • dm, you may be new here but your arguments are not. international law is not determined by ‘what zionists insist.’ i’ll go find the argument and you can read it on the other thread. it wasn’t even two weeks ago.

        • Cliff says:

          dion said:

          Every country has a right to exist. If their regime is immoral, i deplore the regime. If the majority of the people support the regime, i deplore the majority’s ethics too. I do not support neither the regime nor the majority that empowers it, but i do recognize their right to exist as a country, because i recognize the same right to people and regimes that are not immoral. If there is anything we can do to bring down the immoral regime, i am all for it. But the country has the right to exist.

          You recognize the inherent right of political institutions – however, oppressive and immoral – to exist. Yet, you support movements to bring down regimes.

          What is the purpose of an arbitrary recognition of a State’s ‘right to exist’ – only to support movements to bring down that State?

          Bringing down a regime is to bring down a State. ‘Regime’ is simply a slander against whatever political foe you align yourself against.

          The Palestinians voted for Hamas. That was the democratic result.

          In the Palestine Papers leak, Israel said it would put the Palestinians on ‘a diet’ as a means of punishment for voting for Hamas.

          Similarly, Israel intentionally attacked civilians and civilian infrastructure during the Lebanon 2006 War due to Southern Lebanon’s support for Hezbollah.

          Israel called this the ‘dahiya strategy’. In other words, terrorism.

          The rest of your post is pathetic mendacious garbage.

          I was the one who said that people have an inherent ‘right to exist’. But, you intentionally avoid my specific questions.

          Do you recognize the right of Nazi Germany to exist?

          States have no rights. They are man-made creations with no inherent legitimacy except through force. Force used against political enemies and against the unruly subjects of the political system itself.

          When considering colonial conflicts, like the Israel-Palestine conflict – the notion of ‘right to exist’ is especially absurd. Indigenous peoples cannot be expected to respect or recognize the alleged inherent and arbitrary ‘right to exist’ of their occupiers.

          dion said:

          I don’t like you Cliff (because you get verbally aggressive very easily), but i recognize your right to exist.

          The feeling is mutual, troll.

          I think you and other fanatical liars of your cult should be banned immediately. You are not Greek and everything else about your biography is bullshit.

        • Cliff says:

          IHL is not dependent on what Jewish nationalists and terrorists ‘insist’. Your entire post is irrelevant.

          As is your fake biography.

        • Hostage says:

          The Zionist counterargument is that the Geneva Conventions do not apply in the case of Palestinians, because the Geneva is applicable only in cases of occupation as defined by the Hague Convention. And the Hague Convention requires that, for someone to be considered as occupied, she must have been a signatory to the Hague, and Palestinians were not – so the legal counterargument goes.

          The ICJ cited article 2 of the 4th Geneva Convention which says that it applies to

          “all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.”

          link to icrc.org

          Tellingly, the Zionists have never been able to locate their imaginary rules within the text of either the Geneva or Hague Conventions. In it’s 2003 advisory opinion, the ICJ noted that the territory in that case had been subject to the jurisdiction of Jordan, a high contracting party to the Geneva Conventions, in accordance with an agreement concluded with Israel. See paragraph 72 link to icj-cij.org

          The conventional law contain in Hague IV of 1907 simply required that a “territory” be subject to the jurisdiction of one of the great powers, not that the inhabitants be signatories.

          FYI, the Nazis argued that the rules of the Hague Convention of 1907 only applied to states which participated as signatories of the convention and that several belligerents in the world war were not bound to respect the terms, because they were not state parties.

          That argument was rejected in a judgment on “The Law Relating to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity” handed down by the Nuremburg Tribunal. It held that the Hague rules were a deliberate codification of the customary rules. The Tribunal held that by 1939 they were recognized by all civilized nations, and were regarded as being declaratory of the laws and customs of war binding on any party to an armed conflict. link to avalon.law.yale.edu

          By 1993 the Security Council and General Assembly had made similar determinations regarding the four Geneva Conventions of 1949. They included offenses against the customary laws contained in the Geneva Conventions in the statutes of the ICTY, ICTR, and ICC.

          An additional one is that, even if it is granted that the Geneva applies, still the meaning of “transferring” Israeli population is not relevant to the settlers, because the settlers went to the territories on their own will, not forced by the Government of Israel. The Zionists insist that this is how “transfer” should be interpreted, i.e. as forceful transfer, because this is how the term is used throughout the Geneva Conventions, and that we cannot alter the meaning of the term when it comes to applying it to the occupier.

          When Israeli Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein was the Attorney General, he advised that the settlers could be prosecuted. I assume that he is just as well informed as any other Zionists lawyer on that particular subject. See the Haaretz article“A-G: New Hague court may indict settlers for war crimes”, Jun.11, 2002 .

          In any event, the Rome Statute has long since been adopted and ratified by the majority of states. It criminalized the acts of all the state officials who facilitate the transfer, either directly or indirectly, by furnishing utilities, roads, construction tenders, & etc. Many of the settlers, like the members of the regional councils or Jerusalem city officials, are state officials who can be prosecuted for crimes they commit on the territory of Palestine.

        • Shmuel says:

          Dionissis,

          Both the Israeli High Court and the Israeli Government have recognised Israel’s status as a “belligerent occupier” and the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the OT. See HCJ 2056/04, Beit Sourik Village Council v. The Government of Israel: link to domino.un.org

          Regarding the attempt by Israel apologists to twist the meaning of Article 49(6) of the Fourth Geneva Convention – an interpretation without any basis in IHL – see e.g. the discussion we had here a few weeks ago: link to mondoweiss.net

          The argument that Article 49(6) does not apply to Israeli settlers in the OPT because they were not “forced” to go there (but “merely” participated in a programme initiated, sponsored and actively promoted by successive Israeli governments) is as spurious as the argument that Israel is not a belligerent occupier – rejected by the entire world and supported only by apologists and propagandists.

          Aside: Weren’t you supposed to be on vacation?

        • Cliff

          You are not Greek and everything else about your biography is bullshit.

          That can be settled (no pun intended, don’t get yourself worked up!) very easily: if you know how to import Greek characters in the comment box, give me a Greek text and i can translate it for you.

        • Hostage, my sincere thanks for the trouble you took to write down all this information. I will look into it – international Law is so complicated.
          I don’t know when the comments close in Mondoweiss’ posts, but, after i have read and understood everything you gave me (it will take some time), i will come back with any questions i might have. Thanks again.

        • Shmuel thanks, i will look into your links. By now i have accumulated more than enough, just from the comment exchanges on this post. I am also intent on delving a little bit into which sources of international Law take precedence over others – recently i found out that UNSC Resolutions are binding only if they are chapter seven ones (didn’t know this, but i shouldn’t be telling you because Shingo will have a hell of a time rubbing that to my face).

          I am on vacation, i just had to reply to certain ad hominem that i didn’t want to stand (i am not a nationalist), but i got caught in the conversation – never been one to easily give up habits of any sort.

          Should i swear for the third time that i am done with commenting for the next weeks? – i do, but i wouldn’t trust me!

        • Shingo says:

          The Zionist counterargument is that the Geneva Conventions do not apply in the case of Palestinians, because the Geneva is applicable only in cases of occupation as defined by the Hague Convention.

          Yes, that is the losing argument they put to the International Court of Justice and lost. Alll 15 justices, including the Jewish justice, disagreed.

          And the Hague Convention requires that, for someone to be considered as occupied, she must have been a signatory to the Hague, and Palestinians were not – so the legal counterargument goes.

          Like I said, Israel presented that argument to the International Court of Justice and lost. Alll 15 justices, including the Jewish justice, disagreed.

          So clearly, the Zionists (meaning you) are wrong.

          still the meaning of “transferring” Israeli population is not relevant to the settlers, because the settlers went to the territories on their own will, not forced by the Government of Israel.

          Another failed argument that the ICJ threw out of court. They concluded that Palestine is a high contracting party to the Geneva Conventions. Furthermore, the settlements in the territories is still illegal because it was enabled and encouraged by the Israeli government.

          The Zionists insist that this is how “transfer” should be interpreted,

          Too bad. No one but Israel accepts this interpretion.

          So clearly, the Zionists (meaning you) are wrong. That is why Israel is so determined to circumvent the courts and the UN. If the were so confident of their legal position, they would agree to settling the issue at the UN, but they know that once the ICJ and ICC get involved, they are screwed.

        • Hostage says:

          I am also intent on delving a little bit into which sources of international Law take precedence over others – recently i found out that UNSC Resolutions are binding only if they are chapter seven ones (didn’t know this, but i shouldn’t be telling you because Shingo will have a hell of a time rubbing that to my face).

          The UN Charter doesn’t even mention the term “Security Council resolution”, much less say that any decisions of the Council can be ignored.

          The ICJ dispelled the myth that only so-called Chapter 7 resolutions are legally binding in the Namibia case: 1) the members of the UN have agreed that in carrying out its duties the Security Council acts on their behalf (Article 24, Chapter 5); and 2) the members have agreed to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council (Article 25, Chapter 5). Those are treaty obligations. link to yale.edu

          “The Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs”, a UN legal publication, explains that during the United Nations Conference on International Organization which met in San Francisco in 1945, attempts to limit obligations of Members under Article 25 of the Charter to only those decisions taken by the Council in the exercise of its specific powers under Chapters VI, VII and VIII of the Charter failed. It was stated at the time that those obligations also flowed from the authority conferred on the Council under Article 24(1) to act on the behalf of the members while exercising its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Article 24, interpreted in that sense, becomes a source of authority which can be drawn upon to meet situations which are not covered by the more detailed provisions in the succeeding articles. The UN Repertory on Article 24 says: “The question whether Article 24 confers general powers on the Security Council ceased to be a subject of discussion following the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice rendered on 21 June 1971 in connection with the question of Namibia (ICJ Reports, 1971, page 16)”.
          *See page 5 link to untreaty.un.org
          * link to untreaty.un.org
          * See note 2 on page 1 link to untreaty.un.org

  8. seafoid says:

    Fair play to Hagel. Exposing more American soldiers to the hell of war because Israel can’t live in peace is appalling.

  9. fantastic. we can only dream this is a sign of things to come in obama’s second term.

    • seafoid says:

      I would prefer to see some results from Obama ..

    • Kathleen says:

      Dr. Zbig recommended that Obama move quickly and assuredly in his first year on the middle east. Don’t wait. If Obama nominates Hagel and then sticks by his side through the fight we know things are headed in a different direction. This would be the bold move we have been waiting for out of Obama. Contact the White House, contact Reps let them know we support Hagel’s nomination

  10. Pamela Geller, writing at the conservative blog “Atlas Shrugs,” ran with the headline “Jew-hater for defense?”

    I can’t think of a better endorsement than Pam Atlas’s misrepresentation of Sen. Hagel.

  11. doug says:

    There is less than a snowball’s chance in hell that Hagel will even be nominated. Unlike Chas, Hagel would require confirmation. It would require politicians committing ritual sepuku to vote to confirm.

    However, it could well be a ploy. AIPAC et al do not want this in a public hearing and so this may well just be something put out there to get something else that might actually be politically achievable. Lord knows, there’s a lot on the plate.

    • It would require politicians committing ritual sepuku to vote to confirm.

      please explain. elaborate liberally, i am dying to hear what you mean.

      • doug says:

        Annie,

        If Hagel was nominated the hearings would pretty much only be about his lack of support for our “most important/greatest ally,” Israel. It’s a hearing that is unwanted (by AIPAC as well as the DC politicos) and, IMO, won’t happen but if it did it’s a safe bet that anyone voting to confirm would see a dramatic drop in their election funds and similar increase in support for future opponents. They all know this. A CLM if you will.

        • thanks doug. after reviewing your earlier comment i realize i completely misinterpreted your meaning. my mistake. i thought you wrote ‘ “Nothing “secret” about it’ wrt the accusation hagel was an antisemite.

      • American says:

        I think he means that AIPAC and associates including some I-Firsters in congress would go after the political careers of anyone who voted to confirm Hagel…..so it’s career suicide for them to do so.
        Fear of their political lives appears to be AIPAC’s hold on many politicians.

    • lysias says:

      If this becomes a public fight, and Hagel and Obama appeal to the American people, this may be what breaks the power of the Lobby. I’m not so sure the nomination would be doomed to defeat in the Senate.

      • ritzl says:

        Agree, lysias. I’d add that the appeal should be made to their own domestic/economic self-interest, a “fiscal-cliff” tie-in, and/or giving military families a long-deserved break. Lots of compelling options at the moment.

        • yourstruly says:

          although i don’t know the breakdown re: small (a couple hundred dollars or less) versus large corporate contributions in the november election, but if it more or less followed what took place in the 2008 election, small donations had to have been decisive to barack obama’s reelection; also to the replacement in congress of several tea partiers by progressive democrats. no reason the same approach won’t work in the 2014 by-election. so long as they’re able to remain in office, does it really matter to politicans, the source of their campaign contributions?

      • Inanna says:

        Exactly lysias. Against the notion of AIPAC power you have Senate collegiality, which demands that colleagues and former colleagues be treated deferentially and respectfully. Not only that, the Democrats would have a hard time opposing their President’s pick and the Republicans would have a hard time opposing a fellow Republican. Furthermore, Hagel’s defence/foreign policy views resonate with the non-insane wing of the Republican faithful and lot so Independents and Democrats. Put that against a background of war exhaustion on the part of the US population and military, the behavior the President has been subjected to by Netanyahu and growing American anger at Israeli ingratitude and I’m thinking that if Obama nominates Hagel, it could well be genius.

      • Ellen says:

        Agree. One, Hagel is respected throughout the Senate. Two, the Senate is a very protective club and they do not like to turn on their own. It almost never happens.

        Torpedoing a Hagel nomination would require some really ugly politics and it would make those conducting it look very very ugly. It could backfire big time.

        However, the lobby (or blob as they are called in D.C.) will try and make lots of hay out of the fact that he is/was on some kind of advisory board for Deutsche Bank.

        McCain, Graham, et. al. have already blown their powder on Rice. (Not that she deserved lots of support, but whatever….)

        And something else: All that money from the blob going to Romney did not buy him the Presidency. And when you think, for example, that when Congressman, Donna Edwards of Maryland was viciously attacked by the lobby, and then her campaign contributions exploded as a result….

        It will be interesting to see if MSN (Wall Street Journal and CNN) go along with the attack.

    • ToivoS says:

      Obama did win something on Nov 6. If he vigorously defended Hagel as his nominee none of the ProIsraeli Dem senators would attack Obama as antiIsrael or antisemitic. I doubt that most Republicans would either. AIPAC would not support that kind of an attack on Obama. The important issue is that Obama would have to cash in his political capital and make clear that attacks on Hagel were attacks on him.

      The neocons on the fringes would likely raise a storm and we could anticipate the WaPo and WSJ joining in the assault. I notice that the Daily Kos is also moving into opposition against Hagel. However, if Obama makes the nomination Kos would back him. This could be the proxy fight over the big national debate that Phil has dedicated his career to.

      Somehow, this kind of fight does not seem to be in Obama’s nature. Obviously, this is a trial balloon so we will see what happens.

    • yourstruly says:

      the louder the popular call for chuck hagel’s appointment, the more likely congress (& the president) will be able to resist the israel lobby’s demands. today, for example, a million or so missives (not missiles) to congress & the white house, with much more to follow, wouldn’t this go a long way towards securing hagel’s appointment?

  12. Les says:

    Top five reasons Obama should pick Chuck Hagel for SecDef
    Posted By Stephen M. Walt Friday, December 14, 2012 – 11:10 PM

    So the Beltway world is a-twitter (literally) with the rumor that President Obama will nominate former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) to be the next secretary of defense. This is a smart move that will gladden the hearts of sensible centrists, because Hagel is a principled, intelligent and patriotic American who believes that U.S. foreign and defense policy should serve the national interest. Here are my top five reasons why Hagel would be an excellent choice for the job.

    1: He’s a Republican realist. Like former defense secretary Robert Gates, Hagel is a realist from the moderate wing of the Republican party. He’s a staunch advocate of a strong defense, yet he’s clearly opposed to squandering U.S. power, prestige, and wealth on misbegotten crusades. He’s also not prone to threat-inflation, which makes him almost unique.

    Hagel’s candidacy is also something of a no-lose appointment for Obama. By nominating a well-known Republican, Obama can again demonstrate a genuine commitment to bipartisanship. And if Republican senators try to torpedo the nomination of one of their own, it merely underscores how petty, extreme, and out of touch they are. Either way, Obama wins.

    2: He thinks for himself. Unlike the usual inside-the-Beltway careerists with jelly for vertebrae and weathervanes for a conscience, Hagel is an independent thinker who wasn’t afraid to challenge his own party when it started heading off the rails under President George W. Bush. Hagel showed real courage when he said that the Bush administration was the “most arrogant and incompetent administration”; he was telling it like it was. Washington could use more plain speaking these days, especially where foreign and defense policy are concerned. That’s what Obama liked about Gates, and that’s what he would get with Hagel.

    3: He knows the subject. Hagel is a decorated Army veteran who earned two Purple Hearts in Vietnam, and he’s remained involved with defense matters throughout his public career. More importantly, he’s also well-versed on intelligence issues, having served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB). In an era where DoD and the intelligence community increasingly intersect, that’s a valuable pedigree. And if his personal experience in war has made him less inclined to intervene than eager civilians with no military experience, so much the better.

    4: He’s got good judgment. Although Hagel erred in voting for the Iraq War resolution in 2002, he figured out the war was a blunder a lot faster than most of his colleagues did. He wisely opposed the “surge” in 2006, and called instead for an immediate U.S. withdrawal. In terms of U.S. interests, getting out earlier would have saved us tens of billions of dollars and hundreds of soldiers’ lives, and it would produced essentially the same outcome we have today. Remember: we stuck around long enough to cement Nuri al-Maliki’s hold on power, only to watch him align his country with Iran, tell us to leave, and then obstruct our efforts in Syria. With the benefit of hindsight, Hagel’s judgment looks sound.

    5: He’s got the right enemies. Hagel does have one political liability: Unlike almost all of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, he hasn’t been a complete doormat for the Israel lobby. In the summer of 2006, for example, he incurred the lobby’s wrath by calling for a joint ceasefire during Israel’s war with Hezbollah. Pressed by the lobby, Bush & Co. rejected this advice and let the war drag on, even though prolonging it made Hezbollah more popular in Lebanon and cost additional Israeli lives. Hagel has also been outspoken in calling for the United States to be more evenhanded in its handling of the peace process, and he’s generally thought to be skeptical about the use of military force against Iran. Needless to say, such positions are anathema to Israel’s hard-line supporters, some of whom are already attacking Hagel’s suitability for SecDef. For the rest of us, however, Hagel’s views are not only sensible — they are in America and Israel’s best interest.

    Having lost out on Susan Rice, Obama is unlikely to put forward a nominee he’s not willing to fight for or whom he thinks he might lose. So if Hagel is his pick to run the Pentagon, you can bet Obama will go to the mattresses for him. And what better way for Obama to pay back Benjamin Netanyahu for all the “cooperation” Obama received from him during the first term, as well as Bibi’s transparent attempt to tip the scale for Romney last fall?

    For what it’s worth, I hope Obama nominates Hagel and that AIPAC and its allies go all-out to oppose him. If they lose, it might convince Obama to be less fearful of the lobby and encourage him to do what he thinks is best for the country (and incidentally, better for Israel) instead of toeing AIPAC’s line. But if the lobby takes Hagel down, it will provide even more evidence of its power, and the extent to which supine support for Israel has become a litmus test for high office in America.

    Of course, it hard to know how effective a manager of the sprawling Pentagon bureaucracy Hagel would be. But he would inherit a seasoned team of deputies to help him handle the day-to-day administrative tasks, and he certainly knows how the sausage gets made in Washington. Obama reportedly has confidence in Hagel’s judgment, and could rely on him both for sage advice and political cover when needed. It is therefore easy to see why the president might find him an appealing pick. Equally important, he’d be an excellent choice for our country, which has a crying need for effective and principled leaders.

    link to walt.foreignpolicy.com

    • American says:

      ” Equally important, he’d be an excellent choice for our country, which has a crying need for effective and principled leaders.”

      Amen, Amen, Amen to that…..

  13. I hope the U.S puts up a balls to the wall America firster like Chuck Hagel appears to be, with no apologies to the zio-zombies from the two tribes of the apocalypse.

    Let Israel first become anathema in American foreign policy.

  14. Kathleen says:

    Phil, Annie, etc just got off the phone with Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center here in Boulder they took my suggestion and we are doing a candlelight vigil tonight at the corner of Canyon Blvd and Broadway at 5 pm today/Friday in response to these killings in Conn and gun control. Also contacted Medea, Occupy and put an announcement on Huff Po hope folks will join us in responding to these killings. Respond now. Enough of these horrific killings. These individuals shot off 100 rounds 1OO ROUNDS. Annie contacted occupy sf hope they put something together. Know Medea will hope it is tonight. Don’t wait. Respond now

    • kalithea says:

      I look forward to the day when the world will address the crimes against the children in Gaza and Palestine in general or in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places like they do the crimes against American children. A month ago, 37 children were slaughtered in Gaza and no where did they get this much coverage from all angles not even close, and yet they’re also innocent victims of a crime.

      Why is it that the lives of children here are more valuable than children in Gaza? Why do people look and then just move on when dozens of children and hundreds in Cast Lead were slaughtered and suffer an ongoing crime? We should ask these questions and put an end to this inequality, injustice and inhumanity.

      All the coverage these children are getting and deservedly so just reminds me of the attention that other children deserve and are robbed of because of the bias and lies that Zionists manage to perpetuate in the West.

      • ritzl says:

        Agree, totally. How to express the equivalence is what’s elusive.

        Personally, I find it difficult to cry for the kids in CT, when whole families are killed in Gaza, and in all the other places we and Israel bomb. Maybe that’s bad or wrong, but that disconnect mutes the, or at least my, empathy on the domestic front.

        And I use that disconnect when I discuss tragedies like CT. Maybe that’s bad or wrong or gratuitous too, but some parallels have to be drawn, in order to end the willingness to kill abroad without reservation, and diminish the lamenting when it happens at home. How else is our political killing machine going to be heeled?

        Every mother’s kid is cherished. Every mother’s kid.

        Rant…

      • Kathleen says:

        I agree and do everything in my power to bring attention to these deaths of children and others in parts of the world where the US has intervened and intervening. Contacting Reps, letters to the editors, lobbying in DC, numerous arrest in my life over these actions, candle light vigils, protest protest protest. Money sent to organizations taking medical supplies etc. Yes I too wish and push for attention and change on US aggressive and deadly foreign policy

  15. lysias says:

    Iran is something like three times the size of Iraq. 100,000 troops would not be nearly enough to occupy the country.

  16. Hagel speaks sense and opens the debate up in a rational manner – absolute anathema to the lobby who depend on lies, deceit and manipulation. No wonder they are going into overdrive. If ever the US government was run on rational grounds, they would be out of a job overnight, and packing their bags.

  17. Mndwss says:

    “Chuck Hagel said idea of going to war with Iran is ‘Alice in Wonderland’”

    Why did he not call it a war crime?

    Or a crime against peace?

    I like that he does not want to go to war, but why does he call it a fairy tale?

    I hope the American empire (the wolf) ends up as dinner for the third pig:

    “The third pig builds a house of hard bricks and he lets his brothers in when he sees them. The wolf fails to blow down the house. He then attempts to trick the pigs out of the house, but the pigs outsmart him at every turn. Finally, the wolf resolves to come down the chimney, whereupon the pigs boil a pot of water in which the wolf lands and is cooked.”

  18. This is going to play out like a biblical parable.

    ‘Republican Senate Aide Calls Hagel anti-semite’

    link to thedailybeast.com

    “Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite.” When asked to elaborate, the aide writes, “Hagel has made clear he believes in the existence of a nefarious Jewish lobby that secretly controls U.S. foreign policy. This is the worst kind of anti-Semitism there is.”

    The top aide Republican Senate aide passes along this quotation from Hagel: “The political reality is that … the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.”

  19. Shingo says:

    Of what I know about Hagel, he strikes me as one of the most sensible, rational, and clear thinkers in Washington.

    What an outstanding choice by Obama.

  20. sciri21 says:

    The Lobby would be unable to stop Hagel from winning confirmation, just as it was unable to stop Bob Gates despite his position in favor of diplomacy and against war with Iran.

  21. talknic says:

    Drip …. drip …. drip … bit by bit Israel is eventually gonna have to pay the reaper and it has no one to blame but itself.

  22. RoHa says:

    He’s a Vietnam veteran. People who have actually been at the pointy end of a real war frequently turn out to be unenthusiastic about starting new wars.

    They should offer me (or someone like me) the job. All I know about war is moving little coloured arrows around on maps.

  23. GJB says:

    I haven’t felt this good about a Republican since Abe Lincoln!

    • Kathleen says:

      Then Republican Senator Lincoln Chaffee voted against the Iraq war resolution and was completely mortified during the John Bolton nomination to the UN hearings. Watched Chaffee’s face during the Bolton hearings. I thought he and Biden, Kerry, Kennedy, Boxer, even Voinovich were going to jump over the Senate tables and kick Boltons ass. They were all so visibly pissed about the NSA’s unwillingness to hand over asked for NSA intercepts that allegedly had to do with Bolton and teams wiretapping of Colin Powell
      .

  24. Qualtrough says:

    If powerful Israeli interests in the US think that Hagel has record that is “…unique in its animus towards Israel”, how in the world can anyone think that Obama would dare nominate him? Is there anything in President Obama’s record indicating he would do something like that?

    • Kathleen says:

      Nope nothing. But lets keep the faith and hope, pray and push by contacting Obama and our Reps in support of the potential Hagel nomination. Just the fact that they are willing to put his name out says a great deal. Keep pushing

  25. grandpont says:

    “Hagel has made clear he believes in the existence of a nefarious Jewish lobby that secretly controls U.S. foreign policy. This is the worst kind of anti-Semitism there is.”
    Really? I can think of a lot worse. In fact the only person who could possibly believe that ‘this is the worst’ would have to be…a holocaust denier.

  26. Citizen says:

    Commentary is already attacking Hagel: link to commentarymagazine.com

    Nothing like Israel Firsters 5th column in America to nullify top notch American patriotic leaders like Hagel and Freeman while Dick and Jane sleep.

  27. kalithea says:

    This is not a case of Hagel being critical of Israel; this is much better! This is a case of Hagel not feeling intimidated by Zionists and Zionists losing power; and if there’s one thing that drives them koo-koo-batty, it’s that. Hagel can expect a barrage of Zionist opposition from both sides, because when the issue concerns Israel, Zionist Democrats demonstrate their true colors and allegiance.

    How dare he not coddle Israel and put it first? How dare he not bow to Israel? I love watching Zionists stomp their feet, rant and squirm…gimme more! Lol! I’m gonna love watching them make asses of themselves! Bring it onnnnn!

  28. yourstruly says:

    one might say that lately luck’s been the president of the u.s. of a.

    terrible luck, what with hurricane sandy & the ct elementary school slaughter

    worse, that it will have taken so long for the president to face up to the critical challenges of the real world

    good luck, in that he’s being presented now with the opportunity to step forward & lead the way

    gaining everyone’s attention

    but will the public listen to him?

    it did, fdr, back when only the crazies talked about an impending doom

    & today, what with these perpetual wars & global warming, not to mention the economic woes?

    re turning things around, if so inclined, he not only could help bring this about, he could shorten the process & make it less painful for the rest of us

    if he decides not to?

    the struggle continues

  29. Kathleen says:

    I keep wondering when Chris Matthews, Joe Scarbourough etc will report about the attacks on Hagel’s potential nomination. They sure covered the attacks on Susan Rice’s potential nomination. So far not a whisper. Maybe Chris Hayes will cover the attacks on his potential nomination this weekend on UP

  30. American says:

    The Lobby is in high gear. Here goes the Senate with another letter on Iran with 57 Senators pushing for a military strike. ..they keep pushing harder each time…like a step program inching ever closer. I couldn’t find which senators signed it but while looking at goggle search results, most of the previous letters on Iran like this one for the last 4 years also usually had 57 senators sign on….there must be a 57 club.

    link to aipac.org

    Senators’ Letter Urges Obama Against Iran Concessions

    A bipartisan group of 57 senators have signed a letter this week calling on President Barack Obama to take a more aggressive stance against the Iranian regime in order to stop its nuclear program, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday, December 19. “We strongly believe there should be absolutely no diminution of pressure on the Iranians until the totality of their nuclear program has been addressed,” reads the letter, initiated by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). Noting that “Democrats and Republicans in Congress have set aside their differences and worked together on a bipartisan basis with your Administration to put in place the most stringent sanctions ever against Iran,” the letter urges Obama “to reiterate your readiness to take military action against Iran if it continues its efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon.”

  31. Tuyzentfloot says:

    I’m struggling to find where it’s made clear that Hagel should be called a realist. His opposition to war with Iran doesn’t say much. He does go a bit further saying that you shouldn’t make threats that you’re not willing to follow through on. How’s his position on rapprochement with Iran?

    It’s also good to keep in mind there are large differences between progressives and realists. Kissinger is a realist. Stephen Walt and the Leveretts are. I appreciate the Leveretts a lot but their positions are often not as nice as people think. They wouldn’t have overthrown Qaddhafi and they are in no hurry to overthrow Assad.

    • Tuyzentfloot says:

      Well there’s this from jpost, so I think there are good reasons to apply the realist label.
      link to jpost.com

      Hagel prefers engagement.

      “Distasteful as we may find that country’s rulers, the absence of any formal governmental relations with Iran ensures that we will continue to conduct this delicate international relationship through the press and speeches, as well as through surrogates and third parties, on issues of vital strategic importance to our national interests. Such a course can only result in diplomatic blind spots that will lead to misunderstandings, miscalculation and, ultimately, conflict.”

      In that book, he also raises the idea of living with a nuclear Iran, an idea Obama has on many occasions roundly rejected.

      “The genie of nuclear armaments is already out of the bottle, no matter what Iran does,” he wrote.

      “In this imperfect world, sovereign nation-states possessing nuclear weapons capability (as opposed to stateless terrorist groups) will often respond with some degree of responsible, or at least sane, behavior. These governments, however hostile they may be toward us, have some appreciation of the horrific results of a nuclear war and the consequences they would suffer.”

      In a May interview with Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin, Hagel said, “The two options – attack Iran or live with a nuclear-armed Iran – may be eventually where we are. But I believe most people in both Israel and the United States think there’s a ways to go before we get to those. I think Obama is handling this exactly the right way. I can understand differences between Obama and the Israeli prime minister, but we have differences with all our allies.”