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‘NYT’ gives Israelis its magazine to make an attack on Iran ‘normal’

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NYT Magazine cover
NYT Magazine cover

Two days ago the New York Times Magazine published a landmark in warmongering journalism, a huge article predicting and justifying an Israeli attack on Iran, written by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman. Last night I went to dinner with a friend who knows nothing about these issues but who said she was sickened to read it. What follows are a number of others expressing similar outrage.

First from a smart friend:

The enormous article by Ronen Bergman in the Sunday Times magazine is a shocker. The cover, title and artwork all push the attack like crazy; the article itself is more sober–but he’s had impressive access to all the Israeli leaders and ends by making Jeffrey Goldberg’s 2010 prediction, only this time for 2012: Israel WILL attack before the end of the year. The recent piece by Ethan Bronner, very weird for the front page, assuring Americans that Israel was satisfied that the repercussions of an attack would be bearable–was really hype for this magazine article. All published to make the attack normal. To deflate in advance any anger from American military or the administration.

Here is the ad for it on the front page, bottom right of Sunday’s paper: “For the first time since the Iranian nuclear threat emerged, the conditions for an Israeli assault have been met. With all other options for containment exhausted, will Israel attack Iran. And when?”

So… Bill Keller’s weird little piece “Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran” was actually positioning him on the skeptical far left of the talk at the Times high command.

From our own Matthew Taylor, “Megalomania on high:”

The Times piece cheerleading for Israel to attack Iran dropped in print. And the main graphic pull-quote:

“At the end of the day, when the military command looks up, it sees us — the minister of defense and the prime minister. When we look up, we see nothing but the sky above us.” – Ehud Barak

In the Jewish religion, Yahweh is not just “the one and only true G-d,” he resides in the sky.

Gary Sick describes the piece as sensationalist and misleading:

Will Israel Really Attack Iran? The real answer is no, they will not. But you would never figure that out by reading the New York Times.

The sensationalist article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine (Jan. 29) adds to the hysteria surrounding U.S. and Israeli relations with Iran. Ronen Bergman, a columnist with the leading Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, concludes that Israel will probably attack Iran this year.

He draws this fearful conclusion after recounting his discussions with key Israeli military and intelligence officials, present and former, who describe to him in great detail: (1) why Israel is incapable of conducting such an attack; (2) why such a foolhardy action would fail to stop Iran’s nuclear program; and (3) why it would actually leave the situation far worse than it is now.

Say what?

Not only is his conclusion at odds with virtually everything he produces as evidence, but there are some omissions in his analysis that regrettably have become predictably routine in talking about the Iranian nuclear program…

Leon Hadar at the National Interest says that Obama may no longer be able to write the script on the American encounter with Iran. In his view, the Republican candidates and Israel seem to be driving this train:

Will the administration give Israel a green light to attack Iran, or has it vetoed such a move? Is the White House hoping to create an environment conducive to U.S. military action, or is it applying diplomatic brinkmanship that could bring about a peaceful resolution?

This kind of policy opaqueness and injecting a lot of “noise” into the process can provide a strategic advantage over foreign adversaries. From that perspective, what is perceived as a sense of confusion in the Obama administration may be a sort of psychological warfare against Iran (“We cannot control Israel”) and diplomatic pressure on China and Russia (“Support sanctions or Israel will strike”)….

Obama’s lack of transparency has a major downside. The White House believes that it is writing the script for this diplomatic production. But some of the main actors may not be willing to read the lines assigned to them and could try to write a different ending.

Neither the current Israeli government nor the Republican presidential candidate will support a deal with Iran that would be acceptable to the regime there. So much for the proposal by Turkey and Brazil that Iran send uranium abroad for enrichment or a step-by-step process advanced by Russia that calls for confidence-building and transparency measures by Tehran. Any sign that Obama was even considering these or similar ideas as a basis for negotiations with Iran would ignite a storm of protest by Benjamin Netanyahu and his Republican pals.

Two comments from Times readers, near the top of the comment pile, express cynical skepticism:

Cristine Cordaro:

So Israel wants to lure the US into yet another war?

And Stu: 

They’ll do what they want whether or not the United States agrees with it. We should let them know that if they attack Iran, they’re on their own. Israel should get no support from the US, either tactical or financial. We have our own problems.. Any assistance the United States gives Israel can only be in its best interests not ours.
But of course, that won’t happen. Israel would never attack Iran without knowing, it will be supported by our politicians, who play to the vested interests here who put Israel’s interests above that of the United States.
Which begs the question of this ally of ours; exactly how many Israeli soldiers fought with the “coalition forces” in Iran and Afghanistan? Zero, of course.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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199 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka on January 31, 2012, 10:08 am

    “Which begs the question of this ally of ours; exactly how many Israeli soldiers fought with the “coalition forces” in Iran and Afghanistan? Zero, of course.”

    This should be the $3B question to ask of these immoral ingrates. But enough well-place contributions to those who are supposed to be looking out for America, American soldier’s lives and the good of the country, and suddenly those basic, fundamental questions aren’t asked.

    • Citizen on January 31, 2012, 3:27 pm

      US press points out that US did not want Israel 2 join coalition forces as then we’d have no Arab state helping us in attack. Not! Nothing like the question Y. If an American raises it, doing our duty of pursuing informed consent, that American is ipso facto an “anti-semite.”

      • Citizen on January 31, 2012, 3:33 pm

        Ron Paul on war and peace: http://www.issues2000.org/2012/Ron_Paul_War_+_Peace.htm

        Israel is a sovereign state; let’s honor that. They can do what they want by themselves, and they can suffer the consequences. It’s called “self-governance.”

        Cut all aid to Israel.
        Represent ourselves at the UN, not Israel.

      • seafoid on January 31, 2012, 4:11 pm

        Reading this crap would make one feel sorry for Judith “WMD” Miller who lost her job and also for Jayson Blair who lied to the readership of the grey lady and also got the heave ho.

        I thought the piece was very shoddy. Who cares what sociopaths like Barak have to say? they can’t even run their own country properly.

        Imagine the NYT doing a 15 page special on the 176000 Jewish Israeli kids who live below the poverty line.

        http://www.yadeliezer.org/

      • on January 31, 2012, 4:45 pm

        “Israel is a sovereign state; let’s honor that.”

        How about Israel honoring American sovereignty?

        According to Haggai Ram in “Iranophobia,” Ronen Bergman is a functionary of the Israeli propaganda machine.

        Concerning Bergman’s book on the 2006 Lebanon war, Ram quotes Bergman:

        “The second Lebanon war began . . .more than 27 years after the ascendancy of Khomeini to power in Iran, and on the very same day as the industrialized states were prepared to impose significant sanctions against the regime in Tehran , a regime relentlessly working to obtain nuclear weapons. On [that day] Hasan Nasrallah, “the General Officer Commanding Southern Iran,” as Israeli military intelligence is keen on calling him, changed the world’s agenda by unleashing his forces against Israel.”

        Then Ram discusses the meaning and impact of Bergman’s writing:

        “With these words Bergman, and Israeli journalist turned terror-cum-espionage expert, begins a highly popular–albeit equally problematic–book on Israel’s dealing with Iran and the Hezbollah. Despite its repetitive and . . .tedious narrative . . .and despite (or perhaps owing to) its many inaccuracies and distortions regarding Iranian history and culture, the book topped the . . .best sellers list for many weeks in 207. This is not coincidental, partly because the book exudes so systematic a visceral hatred of everything Iranian, [emphasis supplied] but in the main because it is rooted in an a priori assumption that many an Israeli would readily endorse. . . .
        Bergman’s book not only fails to challenge but also ends up reproducing the prevalent . . .view in Israel–namely, that the 206 Lebanon war was, to cite Benjamin Netanyahu, “conceived, organized, trained and equipped by Iran, with Iran’s goal of destroying Israel and . . .building a . . .Muslim empire.”
        Like the many anti-Iran charges uttered by Netanyahu . . .Bergman’s book is not a product of sheer fantasy. As with all other acts of propaganda and disinformation, Berbman’s [book] is predicated on an element of truth. Iran has been the main culprit behind Hezbollah’s transformation into a force able to confront IDF. . . .Yet Bergman’s function –like the function of many Israelis who have introduced and disseminated these notions–is not to expose and confront that truth. Instead, it is to take that element of truth and package it in a manner that would serve the belligerent policies of the Jewish state in the wake of the “war on terror” the Bush administration unleashed . . .

        Indeed, . . .the Israeli government has . . .”hijacked the antiterrorist agenda to impose more and more brutal policies on the occupied territories,” with the ultimage goal being “to render completely unviable any prospect of a Palestinian state.” ” pp 73-74

        Summarizing — Bergman is a propaganda function of the Israeli state;
        Bergman’s function is to incite and maintain in Israeli “visceral hatred of all things Iranian,” ie. keep Israelis in the state that Abarbanel described.
        The war on terror is Israel’s proxy war on Iran;
        In the minds of Israeli leaders like Bibi & his pals, war on terror = war on Iran = cover for Israel to complete its ethnocide of Palestinians.

      • Charon on January 31, 2012, 8:53 pm

        Citizen, Israel brags about sovereignity. That much is true. And I believe we should ‘honor’ that and leave them to be on their own. Mom and dad kicking their 68-year-old son out of the house finally.

        Now the ‘fine’ folks at wikipedia say that:

        “A sovereign state is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states”

        I hope that’s not an official definition… Israel has no defined territory!

    • RoHa on January 31, 2012, 8:46 pm

      “Which begs the question of this ally of ours; exactly how many Israeli soldiers fought with the “coalition forces” in Iran and Afghanistan? Zero, of course.”

      Exactly how many Israeli soldiers fought alongside US forces in any wars at all?

      • Djinn on February 6, 2012, 8:13 am

        As Australia has now unquestioningly followed the US into 3 pointless immoral wars when do we get our 3 billion a year?

      • Chaos4700 on February 6, 2012, 9:59 am

        Please, Djinn. It’s not loyalty that buys US largesse, it’s Lobbying dollars.

      • Djinn on February 7, 2012, 4:41 am

        Sadly however most Australians will continue supporting sending our troops to die in offensive (in both meanings of the word) wars Americans start in the deluded notion that if needed the US would protect us. Given the only nation with even a remote possibility of attacking us in the next century is China, I think we’d be on our own. As you say it’s $ not loyalty and the Chinese have it over us in spades on that score. We could have a Tiananmen Square moment on Swanston St and the US at best would make quiet murmurs about “minimizing casualties” and leave us to be bulldozed. Sucks being a poodle state.

  2. dahoit on January 31, 2012, 10:14 am

    Well the last comment about Israelis serving with US in Afghan and Iraq would only reinforce the Arab and Muslim claims that these evil wars are for Israel,so that’s why Israel was not asked to contribute openly to this effort,and they are not part of NATO,under whose umbrella all this crap happened.
    But there are Israelis involved in Kurdistan and at least Georgia,so they are behind the scenes,moving curtains and backdrops,and as always, planning and scheming, on how to get Americans to drink the milk of amnesia,and believe in unreality.

    • dahoit on January 31, 2012, 10:16 am

      Notice how the fire and flames and smoke emit from Iran?Man,do these idiots not realize that there could be some unintended consequences to their actions,or do they really think they are gods?

    • crone on January 31, 2012, 10:28 am

      “Globetrotting journalist Pepe Escobar discusses his article “Sinking the Petrodollar in the Persian Gulf;” the increasingly divergent US and Israeli “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear program; proposed pipelines that would route oil around the Persian Gulf, marginalizing Iran’s ability to shut the Strait of Hormuz; how sanctions on Iran have lessened the US dollar’s dominance in global oil trading transactions; and the civil strife in Syria, where the opposition is no more credible than the reigning minority Assad regime.”

      http://antiwar.com/radio/2012/01/24/pepe-escobar-17/

      • pabelmont on January 31, 2012, 11:50 am

        The replacement of the dollar as the payment-medium for oil could severely hurt the USA, or so I’ve read. Pipelines around Iran cannot be built — if they still need to be built — quickly enough to “allow” a war against Iran during 2012, and such a war could/would cut Iran’s oil out of the world supply long enough to really, really hurt a lot of countries even perhaps the USA (or its allies who might speak to it about heading off this stupid war).

        Israel is crazy enough — or claims to be — to use nukes (but against whom?) if it feels its existence threatened — but the USA may perhaps not be that crazy. Nukes against Iran for example will not increase the world supply of oil. Nukes against China, Russia, India? Well, who knows. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      • lysias on January 31, 2012, 6:48 pm

        Enough nukes could drastically reduce the world’s population (and thereby its need for oil — cut down on global warming, too).

        I wonder if our lords and masters are thinking along those lines.

    • dimadok on January 31, 2012, 10:50 am

      Kurdistan alleged involvement of Israel was a small payback for the ’91 SCUDs fired on Tel Aviv.
      Georgia arms sales- what the hell it has to do with the topic here?

      • on January 31, 2012, 4:20 pm

        W.T.F? ? ?
        US has already paid a price for those SCUDs — US provided a shield, stationed in Iraq, to shoot down those SCUDs before they harmed Israel, and no Israeli Jew died from a SCUD — some Israelis had heart attacks in the course of the fighting.
        However, 28 US soldiers who were manning the missile shield were killed.

      • eGuard on January 31, 2012, 8:04 pm

        dimadok, those scuds were empty-headed.

        Now how do I explain that to you?

      • dimadok on February 1, 2012, 10:43 am

        @eGuard- Empty, you mean like with “ordinary” explosives instead of chemical or biological? Now that makes it so much better, right?

    • Justice Please on January 31, 2012, 2:16 pm

      “they are not part of NATO,under whose umbrella all this crap happened”

      NATO had nothing to do with Iraq.

      • Woody Tanaka on January 31, 2012, 2:56 pm

        “NATO had nothing to do with Iraq.”

        Exactly. That was done with the “coalition of the willing” — but it was mostly by mercenary scum.

  3. gazacalling on January 31, 2012, 10:19 am

    One of the most awful moments in the Republican Presidential Candidates debates in Florida this week was when an American man from Palestine asked the question about the conflict.

    Romney responded, “There shouldn’t be an inch of daylight between us and Israel.” Gingrich tried to top this hyperbole as only he can, but saying he’d move the US Embassy to Jerusalem on his first day as President.

    I went to bed very depressed. Are these people running for office to represent the American people and their interests or what?

    I’m all for being friends with and helping Israel, in order to further America and Israel’s long-term best interests. But 720,000 settlers on occupied land, treating the people as second-class citizens with no civil rights for decades now, and using other countries like Iraq and now Iran as scapegoats to blame all Israel’s problems on… all of this is certainly not in America’s best-interests, and really, neither is it even in Israel’s long-term best interests.

    The American political situation doesn’t come out of nowhere though. The Republican candidates aren’t just being evil. It’s the Establishment media, the NYT, that facilitates and creates this environment. The candidates are forced to respond to it.

    When Newt Gingrich attacks the Establishment media, I actually love it. They deserve our scorn. Look at what they do.

    • Kathleen on January 31, 2012, 11:27 am

      That was a depressing moment. All in line…for now.

      • lysias on January 31, 2012, 6:50 pm

        Not all in line. Ron Paul isn’t in that line.

  4. Les on January 31, 2012, 10:23 am

    The Times is the most important newspaper outlet for Israel firsters. War-mongering is nothing new for the paper.

  5. clenchner on January 31, 2012, 10:29 am

    I read it as confirmation that attacking Iran was stupid and that Barak/Netanyahu are insane AND out of sync with the Israeli military establishment.

  6. Dan Crowther on January 31, 2012, 10:36 am

    If Israel did attack Iran, which I don’t think it will – it will be because that is what the US wants. I know we’re supposed to pin everything on the Lobby around here, but the US “interests” vs Iran battle has been going on for a very long time, and pre-dates the state of Israel.

    If we want to pretend the US does not have a “grand strategy” for the region (and the world) and that US interests – capital- are being hijacked by those crazy Israeli’s – fine, if it helps us feel better about voting for democrats, have at it, but it just isn’t true. Don’t get me wrong, there is a “Israel Lobby” that holds sway, but the idea of a “Pinky and the Brain” scenario, with the Israeli’s leading us around by the nose to only their bidding is just totally ridiculous. Just look at the about face Turkey has done recently, they’re in the running for #1 Client State status over there, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Lobby.

    Also, can’t we finally move past the “Obama may have lost control” nonsense? This is the guy who last week told every American we should be more like the military in our day to day lives. This “the president is being pulled in so many directions, faces brick walls of obstruction” stuff started waaaay back during the healthcare debate and was fallacious then. The Israel enthusiasts and Iranian Bashers are a bi-partisan team, but here again, its “bibi and the republicans” as if the Democrats don’t have extreme Israel firsters in their ranks. And the reason there’s a bipartisan consensus is in some part because of the “lobby” but also because there is no bigger Israel firster than capital and that’s who calls the shots. But, I guess it was the Lobby that made Warren Buffett drop 4 billion on Iscar, or maybe Buffett is in the Lobby? Who isnt in the Lobby?
    “The purchase is the largest Buffett has ever made outside the United States. He told Yediot Aharonot that “I believe in the Israeli market and the Israeli economy and I think that this is a good time to invest in it.” — Buffett.(2006)
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Israel+beyond+politics/Buffett+acquisition+of+Iscar+puts+Israel+on+the+investment+map+7-May-2006.htm

    • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 11:31 am

      Can you expand on your point about Turkey? I haven’t kept up with that.

    • Krauss on January 31, 2012, 11:33 am

      I don’t know why you’re dragging in the personal investments of Mr. Buffett.
      As far as I know, nobody of us have raied this point so why should you?

      The people who are driving the debate on Iran is the Israel lobby. Nobody wants the war. And Gingrich et al only push for war because their funders and donors want a war, and without those guys, their election chances are gone. It comes with the territory.

      People in the American establishment don’t want war because they know it doesn’t make sense, the State department, the Pentagon, the military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and so on.

      If you can get a 100-0 vote in the senate on sanctions which Obama himself doesn’t want(and he didn’t dare to veto it because he knows he’ll be finished then), then that says a lot about your political power.

      It may not be a fun thing to hear, but when it comes to the Middle East, AIPAC and it’s allies(both in the media and on the hill) really do control the conversation. That doesn’t mean everything goes to their plan or their wishes(like in Syria, or Libya and so on) but when it comes to Israel’s interests, more often than that they get their way. Even in such important matters like peace and war.

      It’s not pretty and it’s disgusting, but face the reality instead of wishing it away.
      Work for change.

      • Dan Crowther on January 31, 2012, 12:12 pm

        “It’s not pretty and it’s disgusting, but face the reality instead of wishing it away.”
        ——————-
        That’s what I am telling you.

        As for Buffett, 4 billion buckaroos is a lot of money – its a publicly traded company. Someone should tell Warren his interests are being harmed!!
        Exactly, his interests aren’t being harmed, that’s why he’s investing in Israel, as are many other large institutions and their billionaire CEO’s. If the Israel Lobby includes the interests of Global Capital, what the fuck are we talking about here? But your right, Buffett is a Good Democrat, therefore I shouldn’t mention that he invests in Israel….

        You keep projecting onto Obama what you hope he thinks or feels. You don’t know he doesnt want those sanctions – his objection was that he would have to petition congress for exemptions for China, South Korea etc – he thought that impeded his power, that was his objection – not the sanctions themselves.

        As for Turkey – there are Kurds in Syria, there are Kurds in southern Turkey as well as in northern Iraq. Turkey isn’t going to stand for a Kurdish Spring. They are fixing to be NATO or the UN’s ground troops for intervention in Syria, troops and gear building up on southern border now. Now that the EU bid is done, they are re-focusing on becoming a regional hegemon, and for right now, they need the West
        http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/25/turkey-and-the-syrian-%E2%80%98abyss%E2%80%99/

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/23/will-turkey-join-sick-men-of-europe/

        “Turkey has more projects in Syria than has any other country, while its trade balance with Syria is positive and exceeds one billion dollars. More importantly, Turkey’s largest Arab export market is in the United Arab Emirates: eight billion dollars in 2008. Given the UAE’s central role in the regional counterrevolution, that Turkey has fallen into line behind it and the American government is not a surprise. Erdogan has nearly turned himself into a Turkish doppelganger of an Arab autocrat: talk left on Palestine while walking right on the economy, and then scurry right on Palestine, too, as soon as attention is averted.”
        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/egypt-syria-and-the-dynamics-of-counter-revolution.html

      • Charon on January 31, 2012, 8:43 pm

        @Dan, Interesting analysis on Turkey. There are Kurds in Iran too.

      • seafoid on January 31, 2012, 12:47 pm

        Krauss

        I think it’s more Byzantine than that. It’s very hard to know anything from the mainstream media. The US doesn’t want any threat to its regional hegemony and Iran could be in the way especially if it nukes up.
        Israel is hysterical and suffering from a collective psychiatric disorder so anything is possible. Capital wants captive markets . It could all make sense in the economic system. Economic Depression is often followed by doses of imperialism.

        What I suspect is that when it comes down to real business the imperialists in the US will shaft Israel. History works like that.

    • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 11:45 am

      “there is no bigger Israel firster than capital”

      Sorry, I don’t buy that. Israel is simply not a major player in world capital flows. The reason the Lobby gets its way on the Issue is because it is completely orthogonal to the interests of US capital. So whatever Israel does, it has very little effect (positive or negative) on Big Business, which is focused on building things in China and importing them to the West. Consequently the Lobby owns this issue because they don’t have to compete with the business lobby, which actually has more money to spend if it comes to it. But for the most part, business could care less about the Middle East. Attacking Iran is an exception that would be very Bad for Business, unless you are small oil company in the Bakken. But even then, a global depression might not work out well for you.

      • Dan Crowther on January 31, 2012, 12:33 pm

        Ok, fine – go tell Buffett and his buddies they’re getting ripped off, that their investments are not yielding a return. They’ll laugh at you. It seems like everyone is in the Lobby, what I am saying is that not everyone “in the lobby” is making irrational decisions. Seems to me that “potential conflict” does a lot for high oil prices, and it also seems to me that non-aligned countries (like Iran) are overall bad for business in the West, as they disregard the West’s authority – this becomes problematic for those seeking to dominate the planet.

        Israel on its own is not a big player in international capital flows, but they represent one of the pillars of the global capitalist system in the region and they play a key role in allowing for external control of the region and its resources – that much should be clear to anyone here.

        Klare’s latest is worth a read
        http://www.salon.com/2012/01/31/if_the_iranian_powder_keg_explodes/

      • American on January 31, 2012, 2:21 pm

        Dan,

        Here is a good write up on Buffet and Iscar. Iscar is a family held corporation. It was started in the back yard of tool making German Jew in Israel and grew from there. It has most of it’s plants outside of Israel so all it’s production nuts aren’t in one bag. The heirs to and officers of the company are known as peace advocates for I/P and promote bulding industrial parks to build the economy of Palestine.
        It was the CEO of Iscar that contacted Buffet as a possible investor so they could expand further and because according to them being an Israeli based company was becoming more of a handicap to them getting investors and putting plants ourside Israel. Iscar appears to be a rarity in business circles today in that it sticks to it’s founders principles of value and isn’t your typical ethic-less corporation.
        But investing in Iscar isn’t investing in Israel–Israel derives nothing from Iscar but job and taxes and the fact that Iscar has 85% or more of it’s production based in countries outside Israel takes most of the risk out of investing in it as a Israel ‘based’ company.

        So basically wrt Israel Buffet isn’t looking at Iscar as a “Israel” investment, but as a privately held corporation whose plants are spread out enough to other countries and it’s market not dependent on Israel consumers , it’s world wide, so the risk of any political happenings or war events in Israel are minimal on his investment in Iscar.
        This is exactly the kind of company Buffet likes and is hard to find these days in mature countries; pirvately held, good rep,ethical officers, needs some capitalization to expand and has minimal risk to disruption by having production locations spread around.

        So bottom line it’s not saying anything about Israel the country per say even if Buffet makes the usual PR noise all foreign investor make about it’s great to be here, yada.,yada.

        What is interesting to note in the article is that Israel has 2 billion surplus (wonder where that came from) and stands to collect 1 billion in taxes from Iscar sale of stock to Buffet.

        http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/may2006/gb20060508_953503.htm

      • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 3:59 pm

        Buffet is just one guy. Yeesh. Capital markets are bigger than Buffet.

        If you want a pillar of the global capitalist system in the region, try Saudi Arabia.

        Israel has an economy based mainly on subsidies from the US. Call it a pillar of global welfare statism.

      • Dan Crowther on January 31, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Ok, so lets call Saudi Arabia another pillar (which it is) your only reinforcing my argument that “the Lobby” is but one part of the machine. Look at how we are arming them, the Bahrainians and the Qatari’s…..

        Israel has an economy based on subsidies from the US – and the US has an economy based on subsidies from taxpayers, just like every other state capitalist country in the world. What does the US get for its subsidies? It gets a bulwark against Arab nationalism/self determination, it gets a high tech sector to invest in, a big customer for arms and other technologies and a “western” in a region of great strategic importance that is a reflexive ally.

      • on January 31, 2012, 7:52 pm

        according to a report by a British journalist in 2007, back in the 1980s the Rothschilds aggregate net worth was $23 trillion.

        Caesarea, in Israel, is privately owned by Rothschilds.

        wikipedia: “With the establishment of Israel, the Rothschild family made an agreement to transfer most of their vast land holdings to the new state. A different arrangement was reached, however, for the 35,000 dunams of land the family owned in and around modern Caesarea: after turning over the land to the state, it was leased back (for a period of 200 years) to a new charitable foundation. In his will, Edmond James de Rothschild stipulated that this foundation would further education, arts and culture, and welfare in Israel. The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation was formed and run based on the funds generated by the sale of Caesarea land which the Foundation is responsible for maintaining. The Foundation is owned half by the Rothschild Family, and half by the State of Israel.”

      • kma on January 31, 2012, 12:34 pm

        you guys are completely ignoring the weapons industry. the “pinky and the brain” analogy works: everyone is stupidly in line with never-ending war, republicrats, spentagon, media, you name it. the MIC is the brain. probably the biggest thing the US gets from Israel is justification and fear, and Israel gets its ethnic cleansing, US welfare, and its own weapons industry.
        yeah, nobody wants war with Iran, but nobody is going to stop it, either.

      • Dan Crowther on January 31, 2012, 12:52 pm

        Right, and it’s the US’s “MIC” — I just can’t take seriously those who say that the US being duped by the Israeli’s and its US henchmen…We dont say the same about the rest of the world that we sell a sht load of weapons to…..that’s what the US does, its the worlds weapons manufacturer in the ultimate state capitalist model.

      • Keith on February 1, 2012, 4:10 pm

        KMA- “the MIC is the brain.”

        I vote for Wall Street, however, they closely work together and are both committed to a warfare economy.

    • lysias on January 31, 2012, 6:52 pm

      the US “interests” vs Iran battle has been going on for a very long time, and pre-dates the state of Israel.

      Huh? Pre-dates the state of Israel? Were you aware that Truman invited Mossadegh to the White House, where they had a cordial talk in 1952? You can read about it in Stephen Kinzer’s book about the 1953 coup in Iran, All the Shah’s Men.

      • Dan Crowther on January 31, 2012, 7:11 pm

        Yeah, I am.

        http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/tehran/etc/cron.html

        And so, in 1906 the “strong line of continuity” began. The Iranians are not people, they are not allowed to have constitutions.

        We are at war with Eastasia, we have always been at war with Eastasia

      • lysias on February 1, 2012, 1:49 pm

        As I recall Stephen Kinzer’s book Reset, a major role in drafting Persia’s new constitution in 1909 was played by American missionary Howard Baskerville, who died fighting for the Persian Constitutional Revolution. I know of nothing to indicate the U.S. government opposed Persian independence and constitutional rule at the time. Quite the contrary. Again, as I recall Kinzer’s book, Baskerville’s role made Americans quite popular in Persia at the time.

      • Dan Crowther on February 1, 2012, 2:22 pm

        The strong line of continuity here refers to the British to American progression in the region. The Brits (along with the Russians and others) were decidedly against Persian democracy (for obvious reasons) – and so, when the US took over Britain’s Empire following the second world war, the default US position was to oppose Persian democracy. (The US Embassy opposed Baskerville as well)

        That is why I said, “we have always been at war with Eastasia” – the US inherited the empire and it’s antagonisms.

      • lysias on February 2, 2012, 11:21 am

        I’d have to see evidence that the U.S. consulate (we didn’t have an embassy or ambassador in Iran until 1944) opposed Baskerville. The Wikipedia entries on Iran-U.S. relations and Morgan Shuster (the American financier who was appointed Treasurer-General of Persia by the Persian parliament, the Majlis, in 1911, on the recommendation of the U.S. government) seem to imply the the U.S. supported the Persian Constitutional Revolution and opposed British-Russian imperialism in Persia. I see no evidence that the policy of the U.S. government was different.

      • Charon on January 31, 2012, 9:02 pm

        @lysias, Then the CIA pulled of Operation Ajax the following year and set the stage for democratically elected Mossadegh in favor of installing the Shah as the ruling dictator. He lived and died the remainder of his life under house arrest. Officially/Unofficially the coup was regarding a communist threat. Who knows though.

  7. Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 11:04 am

    Phil,

    how long is it since Netanyahu said the Times was Israel’s worst enemy? Long enough for the community to put the heat on the Times and for them to cook this up?

    Here’s an interesting quote:

    “Some have been recruited under a false flag, meaning that the organization’s recruiters pose as other nationalities, so that the Iranian agents won’t know they are on the payroll of “the Zionist enemy,” as Israel is called in Iran.”

    I note they ever so delicately forgot to mention which “other nationality” was involved. Wouldn’t want the Times’ readers to splutter in their cornflakes.

    • lysias on January 31, 2012, 6:54 pm

      Anybody know who edits the New York Times Magazine?

  8. iamuglow on January 31, 2012, 11:09 am

    So many sensible comments on the NY Times article….

    “Carlton – Montclair
    If Israel continues to illegally occupy the West Bank and Gaza Strip and oppress and humiliate the Palestinians that live there they will have no security ….Period
    They are not hated because they are Jews. They are hated because they are occupiers of lands that don’t belong to them.”

    Colin Wright – Richmond, California
    “…On the other hand, when a scientist — one who is not a trained soldier or used to facing life-threatening situations, who has a wife and children — watches his colleagues being bumped off one after the other, he definitely begins to fear that the day will come when a man on a motorbike knocks on his car window.” ”

    In other words, Israel openly practices terrorism, and we continue to support her and protect her from the consequences of that.”

    How great does the dissonance have to get before the Times starts treating its readers as adults and stops manipluating the facts of I/P? I wonder…

  9. peeesss on January 31, 2012, 11:11 am

    “Obama maty not be able to wright the script.” Give me a break. All Obama had to do was go on TV, if he didn’t want the US involved in a conflict with Iran, and state that the NIA reports says unequivically that Iran does not have a Nuclear weapon program, no and ifs and buts. Spell out that a war with Iran is unneccessary, without any justification and the US, will not condone or agree to an attack by Israel on Iran. Spell out the enormous human, economic damage it will do the the world, in particular to the US. . Obama talked of the “dumb’ war in Iraq. Could any war with Iran, involving the US, be any “dumber”? He could line up most Military men, analysts, diplomatic envoys , past and present, to show the absurdity of the US entanglement with an Israeli engineered attack. . Of course he will have to combat the onslaught of the Zionist, neo con establishment, msn, print and TV. But he will save the US from a catastrophe and save the lives of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of innocent people. His policies, to date, however give the lie , that somehow he is “holding ” back Israel. His diplomatic, military , covert actions, his arming of Israel and the dastardly , Dictatorial Gulf States and his provocations , word and deed, do not show an embattled President trying to change the direction away from conflagration.

  10. Krauss on January 31, 2012, 11:29 am

    Something happened between Tom Friedman’s Dec 13th column(“bought and paid for”) and now, but whatever it was, it was effective.

    Probably the same forces who slowly, slowly encircled CAP and forced Zaid Jilani out. The lobby roars. I think the force which they were met with, as the deadline was drawing closer, were shocking them and still does. I think that’s part of the reason why Jeff Goldberg, a neocon through and through, but with a domestic liberal agenda, has been so frantic in recent days.

    The piece is notable because it’s basically, as you say, war propaganda. You don’t get primetime access to Israel’s biggest decisionmakers splashed out on 15 pages as a coverstory in one of the defining establishment magazines in America without a lot of strings attached. It’s beyond naïve to think that Israel’s defence establishment didn’t have a clear goal with allowing specifically Mr. Bergman as their vessel. And they should play their hand that way, from an Israeli perspective it’s very rational and logical.

    But why should an American paper carry war propaganda on behalf of a foreign nation? That’s treason. And that is the real scandal, what are the folks at the NYT doing? Again, contrast the relatively skeptical attitude of the paper in the fall with the slavish submission it now treats Israel’s advocates. And this conincides with the snare around CAP’s neck, and those around it. As well as the Hitler-orgy at Tablet. All the stars line up. The lobby’s scarred and determined to prove who (still) commands the heights of the debate.

    But we would be fools not to call them out on it, as Phil does here.
    The whole ‘Israel Firster’ debate is a total distraction, aimed at silencing critics ahead of a big war. Ignore it. It’s like a wizard, who wants the crowd focused on his hand, while his other hand does something else.

    And that something else is dragging America to war with a country it has no purpose attacking, because the lobby is working overtime for Israel. So we’ll have to make a choice: what matters to us, our pension funds, the future prospects of an increasingly beaten down population, especially among the poor, the young and the minorities who all will be dragged down for a generation or more if Iran is attacked and the world economy tanks, or do we care more about the political fantasies of grandeur which is keeping Mr. Netanyahu in thrall?

    Israelis have every right to care about their country, but so do Americans, who may not wish to destroy the world economy and throw their increasingly shrinking middle class into further, destructive disarray and displacement for a foreign power. And shame on those, like Sheldon Adelson, who regret having served the U.S. army or those, like Jeffrey Goldberg, who serve Israel’s army instead of America’s and takes a national loyalty pledge to Israel(who he now claims he doesn’t ‘remember’).

    • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 12:02 pm

      “You don’t get primetime access to Israel’s biggest decisionmakers splashed out on 15 pages as a coverstory in one of the defining establishment magazines in America without a lot of strings attached. It’s beyond naïve to think that Israel’s defence establishment didn’t have a clear goal with allowing specifically Mr. Bergman as their vessel.”

      Correct, and they wouldn’t be going to such lengths to telegraph an attack if they were really planning to carry it out. No, they still harbor hopes of suckering in Uncle Sam to do their dirty work for them.

  11. Kathleen on January 31, 2012, 11:30 am

    Last week on MSNBC Dr. Zbig said he thought there could be a pre-emptive attack on Iran by Israel between now and the election. Now that would surely help take Obama out and that may be just what Israel has ordered

    • lysias on January 31, 2012, 6:57 pm

      Zbig said the same thing in a recent interview with the Financial Times.

  12. seafoid on January 31, 2012, 11:36 am

    “Instead there is that peculiar Israeli mixture of fear — rooted in the sense that Israel is dependent on the tacit support of other nations to survive — and tenacity, the fierce conviction, right or wrong, that only the Israelis can ultimately defend themselves.”

    The patient reports being unable to sleep and appears to have difficulty trusting others. His spouse says that he has become increasingly violent at home and that the children are afraid of him. She says this is the worst episode of his illness.

  13. Denis on January 31, 2012, 11:55 am

    Reality check.

    Three weeks ago Obama sent the USS Abe Lincoln carrier group from Thailand to the Persian Gulf. It has just passed through the Hormuz. Two other carrier groups — Stennis and Vinson — are presently in the Gulf of Oman. An unprecedented naval build-up in any part of the world at any time, except for war.

    Obama has just sent 15,000 pairs of boots to Oman — 30 miles from Iran. This is not embassy duty.

    Iran has been on full military alert since about October.

    UN nuke inspectors have just arrived in Iran, which would never happen unless Iran is sweating bullets. Recall all the UN investigations of Saddam — aluminum tubes and the whole bit — prior to Bush’s attack. If the UN team concludes that Iran is on the road to a nuke, it will be the thumbs-up US/Israel needs to make its case for the post-war history books. This is the Colin Powell moment deja vu. Afterwards, they can say “oops.”

    Obama wants to get re-elected in 2012 as much as Bush did in 2004. As long as it’s viewed as being justified, going to war in a bad economy never hurt any president’s chances for re-election. But Obama needs some sort of “independent” rationale (i.e., UN report) and media support, or else he just comes off in the short term as another war-mongering Democrat, like Johnson.

    Go back to Feb. 2003 and review the NYT’s role in pushing the Powell UN-BS and, consequently, pushing the US into war and you’ll be better prepared to understand what’s going on today.

    • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 12:04 pm

      “UN nuke inspectors have just arrived in Iran, which would never happen unless Iran is sweating bullets.”

      Wrong, the UN inspectors have been in Iran regularly for many years.

      • Denis on January 31, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Like Clinton said, it depends on what the definition of is is. What do you mean by “in?” There have been dozens of unannounced DIV’s — design inspection verifications — by IAEA over almost a decade. Does that constitute being “in Iran?”

        The point is that there have been no inspections since the damning IAEA Nov07 report, or even since the sanctions and saber rattling began. The last DIV was actually mid-October, 2011. And a lot of threats have passed back and forth since then, including the threat to shut down Hormuz, and an Iranian nuke electronic-trigger expert has been assassinated.

        That is precisely why this week’s IEAE visit is so significant. The recent flexing of US naval muscle has clearly softened Iran in a way the sanctions and assassinations have failed to. If those inspectors get inside the heavy-water facility IR-40, it will be a virtual capitulation by Iran.

        If not, well . . . the ducks are being lined up. Amahdinejad & co. see that and they are sweating bullets. The only thing that can possibly save their bacon at this point, short of capitulation, is another move by Russia.

        Sorry, “bacon” is not the right word here at all. No offense meant to anybody. Let me try it again: The only thing that can save their collective kiester at this point is another move by Russia.

      • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 4:37 pm

        Yes, inspectors arriving unannounced *in* Iran does constitute being *in* Iran. First you say there have been dozens of inspections up until Oct 2011 and then you say there have been no inspections since 2007.

        The current “inspection” you refer to was actually a negotiation session, with just 6 IAEA people of whom two are very senior:

        “A senior IAEA team will visit Iran from 29 to 31 January 2012. The overall objective of the IAEA is to resolve all outstanding substantive issues.

        The team of experts will be led by the Deputy Director General for Safeguards, Herman Nackaerts, and will include the Assistant Director General for Policy, Rafael Grossi. ”

        http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/2012/prn201201.html

        They are not going to be getting their hands dirty doing actual inspections. They are there for a gabfest. The BBC quotes Iranian sources that the team did not visit any nuclear sites.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16821214

        According to Business Week, “IAEA nuclear inspectors leave Vienna tomorrow for three- days of talks with Iranian authorities.”

        http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-29/iaea-chief-unsure-of-iran-s-candor-while-israel-issues-warning.html

      • Shingo on January 31, 2012, 5:12 pm

        Thete have been dozens of unannounced DIV’s — design inspection verifications — by IAEA over almost a decade. Does that constitute being “in Iran?”

        Yes, unless inspectors are to move to Iran permanently.

        The point is that there have been no inspections since the damning IAEA Nov07 report, or even since the sanctions and saber rattling began.

        So what? 2 months is a small timeframe when it comes to the nuclear industry. Reactors take 4-5 years on average to build and commission.

         an Iranian nuke electronic-trigger expert has been assassinated.

        An nuke electronic-trigger expert? Wow, that’s amazing seeing as there is no expertise in Iran on nuclear triggers.

        That is precisely why this week’s IEAE visit is so significant.

        Rubbish. This visit has only been hyped to bd significant.

        The recent flexing of US naval muscle has clearly softened Iran in a way the sanctions and assassinations have failed to.

        Rubbish again. The only thing that has happened is that the IAEA has sent inspectors with great fanfare.

         If those inspectors get inside the heavy-water facility IR-40, it will be a virtual capitulation by Iran.

        Rubbish. Inspectors have been allowed into the heavy water facility in the past. Furthermore, Iran will eventually be obliged to open the facility to inspections once it is operating anyway and have said as much.

         & co. see that and they are sweating bullets.

        Yeah right which,  is why Washington rolled back it’s “red line” 2 weeks ago from Iran having the ability to make nukes to Iran building a nuke.

        The only thing that can possibly save their bacon at this point, short of capitulation, is another move by Russia.

        What  do you mean by capitulation? Iran have agreed to pretty much every American demand short of giving up enrichment to 3.6 %.  Washington doesn’t even want Iran to capitulate, because that would make regime change more difficult to achieve.

        The only thing that can save their collective kiester at this point is another move by Russia.

        Hardly. The US has dug in self into a hole. Their deranged sanctions policy has only hastened the demise of the petro dollar. And the growing consensus among the elite is that a war with Iran is a bad idea.

      • LeaNder on February 2, 2012, 7:21 am

        And a lot of threats have passed back and forth since then, including the threat to shut down Hormuz, and an Iranian nuke electronic-trigger expert has been assassinated.

        Shingo, it feels slightly –?irreverent?–since many here stared at this “electronic-triggers” photo in utter disbelieve. A young man and his son, 2 years old, 1, 3? And wasn’t there a south American angle …Iraqis involved in terrorism plots against Israel just as now Iran the other alleged sponsor surfaces.

        Not much time to follow but in these times I appreciate the perspective of the military intelligence on present US politics – I hope not as usual.

    • Taxi on January 31, 2012, 1:48 pm

      Sultan Qaboos, ruler of the Sultanate of Oman, is a declared friend of Iran, as he is a declared friend of all countries in the world, excluding the Apartheid state of israel righteously, since its assault on Gaza. Unlike his Gulf oil Arab cousins, he declared neutrality during the Iraq-Iran war. Indeed the Sultanate of Oman and Iran have had a long and enduring friendship for over a thousand years and many of their citizens are intermarried. It is highly unlikely that the diplomatically fixated Sultan would allow Iran to be attacked from Omani waters. He is an anti-war Sultan who is interested in trade and prosperity.

      Obama is positioning for pacification and covert containment of the rogue israelis, not for an attack on Iran.

      • on January 31, 2012, 4:11 pm

        that’s my hopeful read of the positioning of US carriers, Taxi. Also how I read Panetta’s bobbing and weaving — I think — or want to think — that Panetta is doing his level best to contain Israel without inflaming American or Israeli Jews, and while issuing back-channel assurances to Iran.

      • MHughes976 on February 2, 2012, 8:29 am

        I share the ‘hopeful’ view here and pray that it’s right. Obama must hope to be able to say that his campaign, using means short of war, are ‘working’ – at any rate to keep saying this throughout the election period. I think that the Iranians will probably let him get away with this even if they are sorely provoked, but the danger is that the borderline between ‘means short of war’ and ‘war’ will get so blurred that we find ourselves in a war anyway. The terrorist campaign on Iranian soil is surely not over.
        As for a overt Israeli attack on Iran – what has changed since the Battle of the Tree a couple of years ago when both sides had a pretext for going at it hammer and tongs but showed no interest in doing so? That was an indication, surely, of an approximate balance of power. Has Israeli re-armament under Obama’s regime tilted that power decisively? On the face of it the continuation of the same old political tactics, with sympathetic journalists and academics – oh that analytical tone! – breathing fire and brimstone, that has been used for a dozen years suggests that there has been no decisive change. These tactics certainly work in keeping us Westerners quivering but in the wider world it must have given Israel a reputation for empty threats which would make the real threats, should they ever come, hard to recognise.

  14. seafoid on January 31, 2012, 12:01 pm

    “The Israeli Air Force is where most of the preparations are taking place. It maintains planes with the long-range capacity required to deliver ordnance to targets in Iran, as well as unmanned aircraft capable of carrying bombs to those targets and remaining airborne for up to 48 hours. Israel believes that these platforms have the capacity to cause enough damage to set the Iranian nuclear project back by three to five years. ”

    It’s a massive gamble. Read stupid. The economic future of 5.5 million people on the wrong side of the Med might hang on the throw of a die.

  15. piotr on January 31, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Israel’s involvement in Georgia is an example of senseless adventurism. It emboldened Shaakashvili with pretty bad, if short lived, consequences for Georgia, and pretty bad, and lasting, consequences for Israel (if you think that Russia has no influence in Syria and Iran, and it does not matter what weapon system it provides, then scratch that remark).

    Israel is not truly rational in the choice of adventures.

  16. Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 12:28 pm

    The cover image seems to me to be suggestive of a sports promotional poster advertising a soccer grudge match. I mean is it normal to describe a war as “A vs. B” ?

    The idea is to convince Americans that war is a spectator sport they can safely watch from a distance, while cheering for their favorite team.

    Phil is right to call it a landmark in warmongering. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I think it even outdoes the propaganda efforts prior to Iraq, which at least pretended to have a serious tone to them. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    • on January 31, 2012, 3:50 pm

      Recall that in “City of God,” St. Augustine, who witnessed the Sack of Rome, condemned the “games” mentality of his time.

      • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 4:45 pm

        Well, I’d have trouble recalling that since I haven’t read “City of God”, but I’ll stand with St. Augustine on that point. I was going to say I’m on the same team, but that might have undermined the argument somewhat.

      • on January 31, 2012, 6:16 pm

        “I’m on the same team, but that might have undermined the argument somewhat.”;>)

  17. Mndwss on January 31, 2012, 12:28 pm

    Operation Oops! (Operation Ajax: A case study in misperception):

    “It is interesting that the operation was named “Ajax.” The famous Greek warrior was lauded in Homer’s Iliad for his unrivaled strength and supreme courage. In this sense, perhaps the choice of name was a vain allusion to America’s own self-perception. However, in Sophocles’ play about the Greek hero, Ajax is an arrogant actor driven by a blind hatred for his enemies. Tricked by Athena, Ajax slaughters a herd of sheep, when in fact he believed he was fighting his enemies. It is this misperception, begotten in part out of his single-minded drive to destroy his enemies, which leads to Ajax’s subsequent downfall.”

    http://www.iranian.com/main/2012/jan/operation-oops

    This time, tricked (false flag?) by Athena[Israel], Ajax[USA] slaughters a herd of sheep[Iranians]?

    • Mndwss on January 31, 2012, 1:18 pm

      And a lot of people will have to die young… (again).

      ‘Some die young’ by Laleh Pourkarim (an Iranian born Swedish singer-songwriter):

      http://www.iranian.com/main/video/2012/jan/some-die-young

      “I will tell your story if you die

      I will tell your story and keep you alive

      the best i can”

      And the killers will think the price is worth it:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

    • on January 31, 2012, 3:52 pm

      thanks for this, Mndwss.
      these are the tales that shaped the world view of America’s founders. We need to be reminded of that and of the stories. Americans USED to know more than the book of Revulashuns.

  18. Justice Please on January 31, 2012, 2:24 pm

    This disgusting piece of blackmail (“attack Iran, or else an Israeli attack will set the Middle East on fire!”) also appeared in Germany. Süddeutsche Zeitung, a center-left newspaper on most issues, gave Ronen Bergman the opportunity to spout propaganda on behalf of a foreign government on its website. I have no idea if it also appeared in print.

    It’s sold as part of an effort by some think tank to promote security thinking ahead of the coming Munich Security Conference, which will be held on February 3th to 5th.

    Funny thing, the piece has in the meantime disappeared from the website. It was online at least for a short time 2 hours ago.

    • seafoid on January 31, 2012, 4:29 pm

      UK guardian also joins in the intel BS fest.

      What a sad day for the Guardian.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/31/iranian-attack-america-allies-intelligence

      Because the United States does not look like a militarized country, it’s hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere at any moment. Similarly, we’ve become used to the idea that, when various forms of force (or threats of force) don’t work, our response, as in Afghanistan, is to recalibrate and apply some alternate version of the same under a new or rebranded name—the hot one now being “counterinsurgency” or COIN—in a marginally different manner. When it comes to war, as well as preparations for war, more is now generally the order of the day.

      Read more: http://www.utne.com/Politics/Is-America-Addicted-to-War-in-Iraq-and-Afghanistan-5314.aspx?page=2#ixzz1l4dRAowl

      • annie on January 31, 2012, 4:39 pm

        that guardian article is so much hyperbolic crap i can’t believe it. i just read the statement from clapper (wrote a post but not sure when/if it will go up). claptrap, that’s what that is.

      • seafoid on January 31, 2012, 4:59 pm

        Isn’t it pathetic? Iran doesn’t have to do anything. Just sit back and watch Israel panic.

      • Justice Please on February 1, 2012, 2:34 am

        Clappers talk about the alleged plot to kill some Saudi ambassador is indeed claptrap. But I found the Guardian piece to at least be somewhat balanced, with some critical voices. Take this for example, from the couple last paragraphs:

        “In a strikingly critical report, an influential Israeli thinktank, the Institute for National Security Studies, warned that the Israeli leadership could be rushing into a decision to attack without properly thinking of the implications. The authors said that Israeli society should “not assume that decision makers will automatically make correct choices based on a rational of an attack’s cost effectiveness”.

        “Past experience has proven that such an in-depth discussion does not always take place,” the report said. It questioned whether a nuclear Iran was really an existential threat to Israel and warned that unilateral action would alienate the US and other Israeli allies.

        “The image – not the first of its kind – will be of an Israel unilaterally violating the rules of the international game and launching a military campaign without legitimacy from the security council. This might increase Israel’s isolation as well contribute to its delegitimisation.””

    • seafoid on January 31, 2012, 4:54 pm

      The only American anywhere near to the power structure interviewed for the piece is Matthew Kroenig who “worked as a special advisor to the Pentagon from July 2010 to july 2011” . His “hunch” is given. Pretty poor . He says the US “should begin gathering international support and building the case for force under international law”

      Not a snowball’s after what happened in 2003 . What a loser. And he’s the only American the Israeli had access to.

      The rest of it is a massive Mossad blowjob.

      • lysias on February 1, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Kroenig did a piece urging an attack on Iran in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs. I understand he was none too popular in the Pentagon. I wonder why Gates hired him.

    • lysias on January 31, 2012, 7:09 pm

      And look what title the Süddeutsche gave Bergman’s piece: Schatten des Holocaust [Shadow of the Holocaust].

      • Justice Please on February 1, 2012, 2:39 am

        Oh, you found it. Thanks lysias. The title makes me vomit.

        But I note that in the version you linked, the blabla about the Munich security think tank is missing. Too bad I didn’t copy it when I first read it.

  19. American on January 31, 2012, 2:57 pm

    From the article:

    “Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, chief of the army’s planning division. Speaking of the former leaders of Libya and Iraq, he said, “Who would have dared deal with Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein if they had a nuclear capability? No way”>>>>>

    *Someone who has a couple of years should go thru Israeli statement and document all the lies and contridictions. Like the one above. Israel claimed Iraq has WMDs and offered all kind of intel to the US saying that why they should be attacked.
    So much for the the current lie/claim of ‘who dares attack a country that has nukes’.

    “On Tuesday, Mr. Netanyahu spoke on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and reminded his listeners why he might feel the need for Israel to launch an attack. He said: “I want to mention the main lesson of the Holocaust when it comes to our fate. We can only rely on ourselves.”

    * Some one please tell me when Israel has relied only itself and not on US power money and influence.

  20. on January 31, 2012, 3:38 pm

    the most important thing about the magazine cover is what it does NOT say.

    it does NOT say “IRAN vs Israel.”

    from the time Ehud Barak appeared on BBC on Sept 11 2001, to the time Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a congressional subcommittee on Sept 12 2002 and encouraged the congressmen to back Bush in attacking Iraq as a way of hobbling Iran, Iran has been Israel’s target.
    Please note also that boogeyman Ahmadinejad was and unknown quantity in 2001-2002; he was not elected until 2005.

    Ehud Barak Sept 11 2001 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tbxYWKtYWM (in course of interview, Barak alludes to “rogue states, sponsors of terror” that must be isolated economically & other ways, over next 6010 years . . . At 4 minutes, for the first time he puts a name on “rogue states” — Iran, Iraq, Syria.

    Earlier in the interview, Barak said something intriguing: we will have to launch a campaign against global terrorism “just like our forefathers launched against piracy on the high seas.”
    #1. “OUR” forefathers? Is Ehud Barak a US citizen? Was Israel a state that pledged forces to combat “piracy on the high seas” at the time of the Barbary Pirates? Quite the contrary — Jews had migrated to North Africa, Italy and Turkey by the era of Barbary Pirates, three entities that WERE ‘Barbary pirates’, and Jews were among the pirates.
    #2 Early US actions against Barbary Pirates are a central theme of Michael Oren’s 2007 “Power, Faith, and Fantasy.” Did Israelis feel the US needed to have its ‘hate Middle Easterners’ mojo reinforced, so Oren produced propaganda to support Barak’s meme?)

    Wesley Clark Sept 20 2001 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSNyPS0fXpU
    ~Sept 20 2001, Pentagon leaders had already planned to take down 7 states in 5 years.

    Benjamin Netanyahu Sept 12 2002 http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Conflictw
    Netanyahu tells Congress terror groups are a “network;” Iran is part of network but Iraq is “keystone.” “Take down Iraq FIRST and the rest will follow.”

    • on January 31, 2012, 4:03 pm

      PS, re American’s question, “When has Israel ever relied on itself?”

      In the Barak BBC interview linked above, Barak says, “OUR civilization is threatened . . .WE will have to declare a war on terror; THE UNITED STATES, BRITAIN, AND RUSSIA will have to fight it.”

      In Bibi’s comments to US Congress, he says congressmen should back Bush and US should declare war on Iraq.
      Then he says, “Israel will be under threat, especially from chemical attack. We will need the United States to provide vaccines for 6 million people and gas masks . . .”

      The US supplied the vaccines, tho in a lesser amt than demanded. don’t know about the gas masks.

    • MRW on January 31, 2012, 4:17 pm

      teta mother me,

      I watched that Barak interview on Sept 11, 2001. And I was struck, too, by Barak’s preemption of US history as if he were the US President, or even entitled to speak as a US government official about the catastrophe and what it portended for us that day. (I haven’t rewatched your link before writing this.) That little bastard was sitting in the BBC Green Room waiting to go on before the first tower fell–my television coverage showed him in a PIP insert sitting there, and he was highlighted as coming up in the next hour sort of thing–and he coined the phrase “global war on terror’ that day. Made my blood boil.

  21. Woody Tanaka on January 31, 2012, 3:46 pm

    “I want to mention the main lesson of the Holocaust when it comes to our fate. We can only rely on ourselves.”

    Anyone for whom THIS is the main lesson of the Holocaust should be locked up as a mental patient. Seriously, only someone who is mentally disturbed can make this statement in any seriousness.

  22. MRW on January 31, 2012, 4:07 pm

    This could be a judo play on the part of the NYT. Israel now owns any attack on Iran, as Opeleye pointed out. No whining that it’s being done for any other reason. The Israelis, and specifically Netanyahu, have put their heads on the chopping block of wanting a preemptive war. And lined up the heads of World Jewry (“The Jews” as they’ll be called in shorthand) along with them as instigators of a war should they remain silent, agree to this, and it all goes horribly wrong (the concept of a ‘Just War’ notwithstanding).

    It raises a lot of questions.

    Did Israel and the Lobby allow this (1) to test US public reaction to a US-backed assault? (2) to taunt Obama into caving with the necessary cavalry? (3) to plunk down more See-we-re-not-freiers-and we-control-Obama bravado? (4) or, to corral the 70 million (per John Hagee) Christian Zionists to vote en masse for their candidate?

    Or, is the NYT cleverly opening up the topic of Israeli aggression and captivity of congress to the Sunday morning talk shows, the Alphabets, and the pundits who are afraid to discuss it head-on? Will Fox be able to avoid typing the topic on every crawl bar in every bar in the country, or avoid captioning Hannity, where it will sink in like a slow drip?

    What will the ex-military and intel officers do? What will they be called upon to leak? (This is the shit I love…when these guys (with their PhDs and MS degrees in military strategy and foreign affairs) combine their decades of experience and knowledge of the inner workings and cosmic/top secret/classified facts to clandestinely protect a country they’re still sworn to protect; the Mark Perry leak with Robert Baer on obligatory talkshow parade being one tiny example.)

    Going to be an interesting spring.

    • on February 1, 2012, 8:31 am

      wish this blog still had the ability to cast votes for a comment. I would give MRW’s comment at 4:07 pm a big Thumbs Up.

  23. radii on January 31, 2012, 4:27 pm

    What a banner announcement, New York Times, to declare that indeed you have sold your soul

    Most of us knew it already, but now everyone does

    What, Judith Miller wasn’t enough embarrassment?

    The New York Times will henceforth be referred to in two historical parts: pre-9/11 and post 9/11 – because it has clearly become an overt tool of the Likkudniks since then

  24. ritzl on January 31, 2012, 4:36 pm

    Two things.

    Your smart friend seems to completely discount popular anger, particularly given the cover art:

    “…To deflate in advance any anger from American military or the administration.” (Why?)

    And, correspondingly,

    If Obama publicly nixed an Israeli attack (and publicly explained why, thus preventing the economic blowback), he would be in all probability be re-elected in a landslide.

  25. wondering jew on January 31, 2012, 5:44 pm

    I am opposed to a war (other than the current low level killing of scientists) against Iran fought by either Israel or the United States. The unseen consequences (or easily predicted consequences that would probably come true) are too fierce for me to support such a war.

    If it is true that pure rationality cannot explain the Israeli fear of an Iranian nuke, neither do I think it is so farfetched a fear. If the current modern Iran had not been founded by a man of Khomeini’s temperament and philosophy and if the current president of Iran did not delve into Holocaust revisionism, the irrationality of the fear would be a little easier to argue.

    Iranian support for Assad in Syria reassures you people, I suppose?

    Again, I think a war against Iran seems foolhardy and I trust Meir Dagan and his school of thought over the Ehud Barak and Bibi Netanyahu school of thought.

    • Opaleye on January 31, 2012, 6:11 pm

      “I am opposed to a war (other than the current low level killing of scientists)”

      I trust you will be all in favor of Iran retaliating against Israeli academics? Since it’s only, you know, low level and all.

      • wondering jew on February 1, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Opaleye and Bumblebye- I favor Israel in its war with Iran. Iran supports Hezbollah. I do not favor an escalation that will lead to full fledged war. The assassination of Iranian scientists is part of the low level war. Given Iran’s hostility to Israel and its de facto status of “at war” with Israel, given its support for Hezbollah and Syria, I consider low level acts of war permissible if not laudatory, primarily because they will not result in major escalation. If and when Iran begins to assassinate Israeli scientists I will react at that time.

        Also members of the Iranian government attacked a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. Fighting the government of Iran is not the best thing that God or man ever invented, but I hate the government of Iran and anyone helping that government particularly in regards to military prowess are welcome to my hate as well. If I have to list where my sympathies lie regarding the category: scientists helping the Islamic junta of Iran create a nuclear weapon, they are not even on my list of people I have time to worry about.

      • Opaleye on February 1, 2012, 11:36 pm

        “If and when Iran begins to assassinate Israeli scientists I will react at that time. ”

        And how will you react? Will you bring the dead Iranian scientists back to life to make it all better and ask Iran to bring the Israelis back to life? No, you’ll claim that Iran is practicing terrorism, notwithstanding that you are explicitly promoting terrorism in your post here. Do you even understand that you are advocating terrorism?

        You claim that Iran is “at war” with Israel. By that standard, Israel is at war with the entire region. So according to your logic, Israel is a legitimate target for terrorism.

      • RoHa on February 2, 2012, 1:06 am

        “Given Iran’s … support for Hezbollah and Syria”

        So you don’t think Lebanon or Syria should be able to defend themselves against Israel?

        “Also members of the Iranian government attacked a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. ”

        And this was proved when?

      • Taxi on February 2, 2012, 2:57 am

        So finally you come square clean wandering jew: hizbollah is the REAL reason why israel wants to attack Iran – cuz hizbolla de-mythologized before the eyes of the whole world, the cowardice and ineptitude of the idf. Hizbollah has made sure israel NEVER has it’s capricious ‘little wars’ anymore.

        And let’s NEVER forget that hizbollah was birthed out the criminal israeli invasion of Lebanon.

        Why it looks to me that the most feared enemy of Apartheid israel IS hizbollah, not a nuke-armed iran.

        Oh by the way, in case you didn’t know it, hizbollah is funded MAINLY by Lebanese patriots of ALL religious persuations, in Lebanon and in the diaspora.

        You guys haven’t got a clue or a chance against the Lebanese. They’ve been living on their land before the birth of Abraham and moses and jesus and mohamad. They know you better than you know them.

      • Chaos4700 on February 2, 2012, 5:44 am

        Would be nice if people like WJ favored genuine AMERICAN interests, seeing as he, you know, lives here and was actually born here, not Israel. But I guess that’s too much to hope for.

      • wondering jew on February 2, 2012, 5:22 pm

        Opaleye- Having never communicated with you before, “If you take it down an octave, I bet you I would still get your point.”

        The terrorism of assassination of political leaders and scientists would be classified as terrorism by a dictionary or a lawyer, but I view them as entirely different than (from) indiscriminate killing of civilians. I would not be pleased if Israeli nuclear scientists were killed by enemies of Israel, neither would I consider it “terrorism” in the same sense as killing of civilians. The killing of Zeevi by Palestinians in 2001 would be an occasion of such a murder, although more in the realm of tit for tat rather than attempting to disable a military development program, and therefore less justifiable in my eyes. (I was not pleased by the killing but I would put it in a different category than terrorism.)

      • wondering jew on February 2, 2012, 5:28 pm

        Chaos- It would be nice if people like you would not hope for the change in other people’s views before attempting to understand those people’s views. But when I attempt to explain the evolution of my views some a**h*** comes along and tells me that my murdered ancestors should climb out of their graves and slap me, so understanding me is not one of your priorities. Taunting me is much easier and more fun.

      • wondering jew on February 2, 2012, 5:51 pm

        Chaos- I believe it is in the US interest to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, although it is probably against US law. But I am aware that I have split loyalties and as such I would submit that someone less biased (like President Obama or Leon Panetta) should decide whether the US should engage in illegal activity in order to limit the influence of the government of Iran.

      • annie on February 2, 2012, 6:36 pm

        political leaders, scientists and who else? a scientist is a civilian. so who else? policeman? of duty soldiers. the family of soldiers or scientists?

      • lysias on February 2, 2012, 6:48 pm

        Why is it in the U.S. interest to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists? What has Iran ever done to us?

      • Chaos4700 on February 2, 2012, 7:32 pm

        You support state terrorism, WJ. You want me to be polite to you about that?

      • Cliff on February 2, 2012, 7:37 pm

        “members of the Iranian government attacked a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires”

        Do you think it’s acceptable for Palestinians to kill Israeli government officials if possible. Israeli military. Prominent violent settlers? Zionist intelligentsia?

        I mean, whatever you THINK these random, nameless, Iranian government agents did (in some random attack on a synagogue in Argentina, wtf) – the Palestinians have been abused for so long and far worse.

        Wait, you’re a Zionist and only begin your timeline of events when YOU are attacked.

        Israel has nukes and kills Palestinians on a whim w/ impunity. It colonizes Palestinians land and gets away with it. In terms of what a country does to it’s neighbors, Iran has a far better record than your racist, apartheid State.

      • RoHa on February 2, 2012, 8:14 pm

        “I believe it is in the US interest to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists”

        What benefit will that bring to the US?

      • wondering jew on February 2, 2012, 8:38 pm

        RoHa- regarding the Iranian government’s attack on the Argentine-Israel Mutual Association, here is the wikipedia short story:

        On October 25, 2006, prosecutors in Buenos Aires formally charged Iran and Shi’a militia Hezbollah with the bombing, accusing the Iranian authorities of directing Hezbollah to carry out the attack and calling for the arrest of former President of Iran Ayatollah Rafsanjani and seven others, including some who still hold official positions in Iran.[6]

        Speaking on state radio, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hoseyni described the accusations against the country as “a Zionist plot”. Both Hezbollah and Iran deny any involvement in the bombing.[35].

        My understanding is that something akin to an arrest warrant was issued by interpol and was never respected by Iran. If those accused by Interpol submit to a trial, the truth or nontruth of the accusations can be established by someone of some standing.

      • wondering jew on February 2, 2012, 8:49 pm

        Annie- I think there is a difference between putting a bomb in a restaurant and killing a scientist working on nukes. Although the scientist may be declared by law as civilian, I don’t place much value on such a categorization, if in fact he is helping to build a bomb.

        I do not consider the assassination of a political leader to be in the same category as a scientist building a weapon. I do not approve automatically of all political assassinations, but I approve of the killing of Sheikh Yassin and of Rantisi of Hamas, for I credit those assassinations for the “end” of the 2nd intifada. I don’t know that Israel is particularly careful about its use of the political assassination tool, and it seems too easy to get out of control. We saw this too often as in the killing of an innocent man in his bed in Hebron, when the goal was his nephew or son in law. But regarding military scientists working on nukes, I think that is rather simple in comparison.

        The killing of policemen as in the attack on Gaza three years ago is a different issue. I think reasonable minds can disagree on the killing of those policemen. I do not know international law and I have no way of knowing whether my different takes on different situations are in fact reflected in the law. But Joe Smith, policeman, or Joe Smith, off duty soldier, is different than targeting a specific scientist.

        The attitude here seems to be, Iran should get a bomb if they want one and who really cares. The US has a bomb and so every one should have one if they have the resources to develop it. I disagree. I think every effort within bounds should be taken to stop the current government of Iran from getting a bomb. Killing a nuclear scientist in Tehran is within my bounds. Comparing it to other acts of violence may be useful if we were studying the law, but my heart says that killing scientists who are building a nuke for Ahmadinejad and his cronies is an enemy and within bounds.

      • American on February 2, 2012, 11:08 pm

        Well WJ that is total bulls***.
        I would explain why but it wouldn’t change your mind.
        However it goes something like this…..it’s fine for your people to kill their (imagined) enemies but not for other people to kill their enemies.

      • RoHa on February 2, 2012, 11:38 pm

        I other words, you just have an accusation based on a bungled and incompetent investigation. No proof.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/18/argentina-iran-jewish-centre-bombing
        http://www.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1192401

        And on this basis you put yourself on the side of those who would make war on Iran?

      • Chaos4700 on February 3, 2012, 9:16 am

        Wondering Jew supports the assassination of innocent Iranian and Palestinian civilians.

        We don’t really have to make it any more complex than that, folks.

      • wondering jew on February 3, 2012, 3:09 pm

        Chaos- To taunt is one thing. but try to be accurate. i suppose that the Iranian scientists building a bomb for Iran can be called innocent. I wouldn’t but I suppose you could. So to say that I support the assassination of innocent Iranian civilians when I support the assassination of Iranian scientists involved in a weapons program, you might be calling it as you see it.

        But the assassination of Rantisi and Sheikh Yassin. They were certainly not innocent Palestinian civilians. Different category entirely.

        Try to limit your taunts to the truth.

      • wondering jew on February 3, 2012, 3:11 pm

        American- If you wish to explain something, don’t let my impenetrable mind stop you. But it seems to me that you are interested in writing slogans and not in trying to explain anything. Go back to preaching to the choir. That’s the way.
        I’m sure.

      • wondering jew on February 3, 2012, 3:15 pm

        RoHa- I think that it is not to the US benefit to have a nuclear Iran. I think it is to the US benefit to be “in charge” of the Persian Gulf and its oil. I think that a nuclear Iran will be more ornery in its dealings with its neighbors including Iraq, where the US still has a stake and Saudi Arabia, which has lots of oil. That would be the benefit of stopping a nuclear Iran and the killing of the scientists would be to the US benefit.

      • on February 3, 2012, 4:33 pm

        the man who smuggled uranium from Apollo, PA, United States in t of America, to Israel lives a comfortable, even luxurious life surrounded by his family and on the board of a local Hillel in Pennsylvania. The state and nation whom he cheated and from which he smuggled proscribed materials to build dangerous and unregulated weapons, provides for his security and prosperity.

        The young child of an Iranian nuclear scientist will grow up without his father, who was a patriot in his own country.

      • American on February 3, 2012, 4:33 pm

        No slogans WJ, just no point in going into a long explaination of what wrong with your view of who is o.k. to kill and who it isn’t.
        Israel kills some scientist to preempt a Nuke because he works for Iran’s nuclear efforts.
        So suppose an American assassinates Netanyahu to preempt a war he might start with Iran against US interest.

      • Cliff on February 3, 2012, 4:45 pm

        The point you are making first and foremost is that the Iranians should not have nuclear energy or a nuclear bomb.

        Do you believe the first chance they get, they will bomb Israel?

        What happens after they bomb Israel?

        Do you think they haven’t considered the end-game of this course of action?

        You are hysterical, like your fellow countrymen and it is that hysteria that is murdering Iranian scientists.

        Many of the people who were killed on 9/11 were members of the technical intelligentsia of the US. In fact, you don’t really care about the context of these murders – you’re simply trying to justify them.

        Here is someone you agree with, Ward Churchill – justifying 9/11:

        There is simply no argument to be made that the Pentagon personnel killed on September 11 fill that bill. The building and those inside comprised military targets, pure and simple. As to those in the World Trade Center . . .

        Well, really. Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America’s global financial empire – the “mighty engine of profit” to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly.

        Recourse to “ignorance” – a derivative, after all, of the word “ignore” – counts as less than an excuse among this relatively well-educated elite. To the extent that any of them were unaware of the costs and consequences to others of what they were involved in – and in many cases excelling at – it was because of their absolute refusal to see. More likely, it was because they were too busy braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants. If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it.

        So WJ, do you believe 9/11 was at least a partially legitimate attack (the Pentagon)?

      • RoHa on February 3, 2012, 8:38 pm

        “I think it is to the US benefit to be “in charge” of the Persian Gulf and its oil.”

        The US simply cannot stay “in charge” of the Gulf for ever. And even without nukes, Iran can still disrupt the oil flow in the Gulf, and it is more likely to if the current situation persists or deteriorates than it would if friendly relations were established between the US and Iran.

        But there is, in fact, no real evidence that Iran is working on producing nuclear weapons.

        The Iranian nuclear weapons programme probably does not exist.

        If it existed, it is debatable whether it would be a real danger to the US, or even to Israel.

        And even if were a real danger, there is no solid reason to believe that it would be realised.

        The scientists are being murdered simply on suspicion that they might be involved in something which probably does not exist, and which might not be a real threat even if it did exist, and which might not be realised even if it were a real threat.

        Murder on the basis of such fantasy is simply immoral.

      • Chaos4700 on February 4, 2012, 12:55 am

        Are Israelis who work in nuclear science viable targets for assassination, WJ? Would murdering them by car bomb in the streets be justified?

      • Chaos4700 on February 4, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Also, when Israel killed Shiekh Yassin, they used a gunship to fire on a mosque and killed nine people who merely happened to be standing near the site of the bombing. Twelve more people were injured.

        That’s my problem with you. You think people should die just because they are leaving a mosque. That’s your logic: causing an explosion at an Israeli Sbarro’s, bad; causing an explosion at a Palestinian mosque, good. Jewish victims, crime; Palestinian victims, justified.

        That is you, wondering jew. That is everything you stand for. I’ve changed none of your words. You endorsed that attack rather explicitly and I want that awful, ugly hateful crime of speech to stick to you, for the rest of your time here.

      • wondering jew on February 4, 2012, 5:17 pm

        Cliff- I do not think Iran will use a nuke on Israel the first chance it gets. I think that Iran acquiring a nuke would alter the balance of power in the region. I assume you would consider the tumult in the United States in October of 1962 to be mere hysteria. So if Israel is guilty of hysteria at least their reaction is not against the history of other reactions.

        Certainly some of the rhetoric of fear is hysterical, but I do not think it is unreasonable for Israelis to wish that the largest regional power with a program of hatred towards Israel (and towards Jews, I would add), should not achieve their goal of getting a nuke.

      • wondering jew on February 4, 2012, 5:28 pm

        Chaos- I was not aware that the toll in innocent civilians was that high in the killing of Yassin. I think that raises questions about the assassination that I did not raise when I praised the assassination of Yassin. But the assassination within itself was not terrorism in the same sense as Sbarro restaurant was terrorism. (I know that the collateral damage casualties have a right to consider themselves innocent victims, but Yassin himself was not an innocent victim, but in fact, a worthy target.)

      • Chaos4700 on February 4, 2012, 5:37 pm

        Bull. Shit. Don’t feign ignorance around me. It’s not “collateral damage,” it’s murder. And you murdered a crippled man in a wheel chair, not because he actually ever hurt anyone, but because he said things you didn’t like. To be fair, he was saying things that the vast majority of people in the world don’t like, but you know what? You know what murdering a man and his family and maiming a dozen or so people who are standing near him just because he said something makes you? It makes you an enemy of free speech. It makes you anti-American.

      • Cliff on February 4, 2012, 5:38 pm

        There is no program of hatred toward Jews in Iran.

        And hatred toward Israel exists all over the Arab world precisely because of the destabilizing logic of Zionism. The wars, the colonialism, the fighting in between the fighting and all the rest.

        You have not answered my main question:

        Do you consider the 9/11 terrorist attacks to be at least partially acceptable since the Pentagon is a military target? Do you consider the deaths of people in the WTC to be acceptable if they were a part of what Ward Churchill (and you by implication) call the ‘technocratic elite’ (the ‘little Eichmanns’ of the American Empire)?

        Israel is a small country and it’s problems are small and overblown by CONSTANT hysteria.

        The Israeli hysteria over Iran is not unique and does not exist in a vacuum. It is an excuse to not solve the conflict w/ the Palestinian.

        You – whether you’ve had a change of heart on a very few policies of the Israeli government – are symbolic of the Israeli narcissism.

        This is why Israel is a racist, apartheid State. Being an apartheid State is much easier for Israel w/ it’s side-show distractions about Iran, than outright ethnically cleansing the remainder of the Palestinians in the OT.

        Slow-creep Zionism is better than bursts of violence. The Gaza massacre was not good for Israel’s image, but no one will give a shit when you slowly steal, demolish, dispossess, etc.

        That’s the sad truth.

        You and your racist apartheid State are more of a threat than a nuclear Iran.

        The entire region is under house arrest by the geopolitics of the US and Israel.

        It is not a Jewish region, but an Arab and Islamic region subverted by Zionism and American foreign policy.

      • Chaos4700 on February 4, 2012, 5:45 pm

        But the assassination within itself was not terrorism in the same sense as Sbarro restaurant was terrorism.

        Again:

        That’s your logic: causing an explosion at an Israeli Sbarro’s, bad; causing an explosion at a Palestinian mosque, good. Jewish victims, crime; Palestinian victims, justified.

      • RoHa on February 4, 2012, 6:35 pm

        “their goal of getting a nuke”

        Aside from US and Israeli government lies and hysteria, why do you think Iran has this goal?

        “a program of hatred … towards Jews, I would add)”

        Why do you think Iran has a program of hatred towards Jews?

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 5:19 pm

        RoHa- “Why do you think Iran has a program of hatred towards Jews”, if you mean “why do I think” as in “what makes me think” I would say that the Holocaust denial conference is one indication and the alleged attack on the Jewish center is another indication.

        If you mean why as in “what is the source of their hatred of Jews” it is probably based upon hatred of Zionism and Israel’s foreign policy, although I have not studied the Shiite brand of Islam of Iran circa 1979-2012. I know that through history Islam has varied widely and wildly from from tolerance towards Jews and Judaism to absolutely zero tolerance towards Jews and Judaism. From the little that I have read about Khomeini’s brand of Islam, it is not very tolerant.

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Cliff- I do not think that the attack on the Pentagon was an act of terrorism in the same sense that the attack on the WTC was an act of terrorism. It is clear to me that the Pentagon is a military target and that the WTC was not a military target. (Recall that the attack on the Pentagon involved the killing of civilians on the airplane used as a weapon for the attack and so that aspect of the killing was indeed terrorist.)

      • Woody Tanaka on February 6, 2012, 5:40 pm

        “…in the same sense as Sbarro restaurant was terrorism.”

        The Israeli government uses military force, every single day, against civilians and has for 40 years. Is it only terror if it is Jews who suffer? If the Israeli government does not permit Palestinian civilians the freedom to control their lives, why should Israeli civilians be off-limits? Because they’re Jews?

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 5:44 pm

        eljay- Ward Churchill’s opinion is interesting but I disagree (vehemently). Attacking a specific person with specific current responsibility for a specific weapons program is an entirely different story than killing a technocratic elite.

      • Chaos4700 on February 6, 2012, 6:28 pm

        From the little that I have read

        And that’s what we call a money quote.

    • Bumblebye on January 31, 2012, 6:23 pm

      You approve of “your side” (either nationality) committing terrorist murders against innocent (non-fighting) scientists in foreign lands? Funny how that works (not) in reverse.

      • wondering jew on February 3, 2012, 4:00 pm

        Bumblebye- I address this to you, since you usually are civil.

        In the last 3 years (since the war against Gaza), my position on issues regarding the Israel Palestine conflict have changed. The most marked change is that whereas before the period I was against negotiating a border agreement with the Palestinians without an agreement on issues such as refugees, I am now in favor of negotiating a border as soon as possible even neglecting the other issues.

        My position regarding bombing Iran has changed as well. I went from “don’t know” to “opposed”. It could be that my policy regarding killing Iranian nuclear scientists was what I needed to justify my “do not bomb Iran” policy. Israel must do its utmost to stop the nuclear development, utmost short of war. Obviously killing a human is an act of war, but short of war means short of all out war as in bombing Iran as in envisioned like the attack on Iraq’s Osirak reactor.

        To sum up the Israeli position seems to be: persist, persist, persist, and my current position is that Israel should persist, persist and innovate. (two parts persistence and one part innovate). I don’t know if my position regarding Iran is innovation regarding not bombing, but I do know that it is persistence regarding killing Iranian nuke scientists.

      • Bumblebye on February 3, 2012, 5:26 pm

        Whereas my view is that Israel must be coerced, probably kicking and screaming, to give up its ethno-supremacism so that all its citizens are equal, and probably to giving up the territories internationally recognized as occupied (so including EJ and Golan). That would mean the end of expansionist zionism. It would mean the end of the automatic right of “return” for foreign Jews. That would be the end of hostility from Iran. Israel must end its racism. Full Stop! A state capable of applying full equality *could* at a pinch, include the occupied territories, but it would have ceased to be an entirely ‘zionist’ entity. The Iranian hostility is to the zionism which denies rights! The zionism which steals and devours and destroys the full history of the land and its peoples. But there seem to be no Israelis with that vision for their future, it’s all just more of the same. That’s so self-destructive and terribly narrow. There is no future in that at all. Iran does not have a weapons program.

      • wondering jew on February 4, 2012, 5:09 pm

        Bumblebye- Your assertion that Iran does not have a weapons program is based on what? And if you are wrong, will you apologize for making statements without any basis?

        You oppose Zionism with all your heart and mind. I suppose since I respect a Palestinian’s right to oppose and hate Zionism, and I respect your right to identify with the Palestinians I therefore must accept your right to oppose Zionism with all your heart and mind.

        But I do not oppose Zionism with all my heart and mind. I respect the urge for Zionism that led up to December 1947 and based on that respect I try to imagine ways that Israel can measure up to the respectable aspects of pre Israel Zionism. Although my quest is questionable, (can Israel really improve given current trends?) we are in fact on entirely different pages in regarding Israel.

      • Chaos4700 on February 4, 2012, 5:33 pm

        You thought there were nukes in Iraq, WJ. Five thousand American soldiers (and thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, possibly as many as a million or more Iraqi citizens) died because you wanted to believe a lie.

        And you want to do that all over again?

        You aren’t hated because you’re a Jew, WJ. You’re hated because you want people to die.

      • American on February 4, 2012, 7:15 pm

        WJ,

        You overlook the obvious in Isr vr Iran. One, what Iran wants from the US is recognition as a sovereign state and US relations on that basis, same as other ME state we recognize. That has been Iran’s stated position for decades. Israel is a side show to Iran except in that Iran knows everything Israel has done to prevent the US establishing normal relations with Iran.
        Iran has nothing to gain from bombing Israel, in fact it’s a pipsqueak to them in every way except their control over US policy regarding Iran and others.
        “If” your Israel wasn’t psychotic and ‘if’ they wanted any kind of ME peace and “if’ they would be content with existing as normal state and not some kind of Jr. US hedgemon in the ME, they could have tomorrow a US brokered agreement of non agression with Iran guaranteed by the US. Everyone would get what they wanted, Iran would have sovereign state recognition by the US, Israel would have no nuke threat from Iran and the US and world wouldn’t sit up nights worrying about oil disruptions.
        But that is NOT want Israel wants…sorry to insult… but the Israelis are mad, bat shit crazy on their US protected spoiled brat 60 year tear thru Palestine and the ME and the world. They are not rational, they are truely paranoid psychotics with delusions of grandeur. And I not saying this to insult you even though I know it’s bound to. But this is the down and dirty truth.
        And why the whole world is fed up to the gills with your enemies after enemies and holocaust hysterics and all the rest of the crap and blackmailing and poor mouthing and threatening Israel throws around on everyone.

      • RoHa on February 4, 2012, 7:37 pm

        “Your assertion that Iran does not have a weapons program is based on what?”

        I may be wrong, but so far I do not think Iran has a programme for producing nuclear weapons. I am not so sure that Iran does not have a programme for gaining the know-how to produce them.

        This is based on the following.

        (1) Lack of hard evidence that there is such a programme. (The nearest thing to evidence is the dodgy laptop. There has been no confirmation that this is genuine, and since its promoters are the gang that brought us the yellowcake letter and other faked evidence against Iraq, I am justified in suspecting the laptop, too, is a fake.)

        (2) In 2007, the United States National Intelligence Estimate thought, apparently on the basis of the laptop, that Iran had such a program, but halted it in 2003. This was restated in 2009. (The Russians said they had seen no evidence of such a program to begin with).

        Since this comes from agencies of a government which is trying to push the opposite line, it is particularly significant.

        (3) The IAEA consistently states that it has “no concrete evidence of an ongoing nuclear weapons program or undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran”.
        The IAEA does have concerns, and there is an IAEA team currently in Iran trying to resolve those concerns. Some of those concerns are based on information from “Western intelligence agencies” so they may well be based on lies.

        (4) For at least ten years, there have been continual warnings from “Western Powers” that Iran is just a couple of years from having nuclear weapons. Like the much predicted Second Coming, it still hasn’t happened.

        (4) High ranking Iranians, including the President, have continually denied an interest in having nuclear weapons. (This is the weakest of reasons, given my position that politicians and truth are mutually exclusive categories.)

        So what is your belief that Iran does have nuclear weapons programme based on?

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 4:23 pm

        RoHa- I have not done sufficient research to justify my belief that Iran has a nuclear program. If I had my own web site, I suppose I would feel the necessity of studying the issue more fully. My knowlege and thus my fears are based on skimming articles, rather than studying the issue.

        When Rabin shook hands with Arafat on the White House lawn, he told people that Israel’s big concern was Iran and not the Palestinians. So the fear has existed for longer than people have been crying wolf. By the way, the boy who cried wolf, at some point the wolf showed up. Just cuz someone cries wolf does not mean that they will be wrong forever more.

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Chaos- I never thought there were nukes in Iraq, especially after Israel committed a war crime and bombed Osirak in 1981. My superficial research indicates that in 1990 Saddam was much closer to a nuke than he was 13 years later.

        There were four bad results to the War against Iraq. 1. Loss of US money. 2. Loss of US soldiers, 3. Loss of Iraqi civilians and 4. Improvement of Iran’s geopolitical position.

        I do not want people to die. I did not create the world, and the human tendency to kill. I did not create history with the Jewish people’s human tendency to find a land and make a stand.

        Do not confuse hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis with one Iranian nuclear scientist, who is either an innocent helping his government provide more cooking oil to the grandmother in Tehran, or is very guilty, a willing cog in the machine to turn his government, (which is not evil from A to Z but is evil from A to X or so,) into a more powerful military power. This scientist was either innocent as some contend or is guilty as I contend. (Some people might consider helping Iran’s imams to acquire a nuke a good or a neutral act, but I do not.) The hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were innocent.

      • lysias on February 6, 2012, 5:28 pm

        You think any scientist (or at least any nuclear scientist) who is willing to use his expertise to turn his government into a more powerful military power is evil enough to deserve killing? I imagine that would mean a lot of American and Israeli scientists are evil enough to deserve killing.

      • Woody Tanaka on February 6, 2012, 5:33 pm

        “There were four bad results to the War against Iraq. 1. Loss of US money. 2. Loss of US soldiers, 3. Loss of Iraqi civilians and 4. Improvement of Iran’s geopolitical position.”

        What the hell kind of twisted morality do you have that you list, among the “bad results” of the US war on the Iraqis, first, the loss of money, and second, that some invading soldiers were killed, and only third, that innocent civilians were killed. Really??? Loss of US money was the #1 “bad result”? What kind of sick, twisted person are you?

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 5:40 pm

        I think that scientists who are not only willing to use their expertise, but are in fact currently using their expertise to strengthen any country’s military, are valid targets in a war. Why would a soldier in a trench who is a mere pawn (in his capabilities) be a valid target while a scientist who is building a dangerous weapon would not be a valid target?

      • RoHa on February 6, 2012, 6:17 pm

        “I have not done sufficient research to justify my belief that Iran has a nuclear program.”

        Then it would be wise not to hold that belief instead of succumbing to the lies and the propaganda.

        ” Rabin … told people that Israel’s big concern was Iran”

        But this does not show that there was a nuclear weapons programme to be afraid of.

        “Just cuz someone cries wolf does not mean that they will be wrong forever more.”

        Nor does it mean that they will ever be right.

      • Chaos4700 on February 6, 2012, 6:29 pm

        Can we change your screen name to “wondering who can live and who deserves to die?”

      • MHughes976 on February 6, 2012, 6:28 pm

        If it is said that people with a significant role in the armaments/munitions industry are in effect members of the armed forces then it becomes legitimate to attack them whenever it is legitimate to attack the armed forces. But then it is never legitimate, indeed always terrorism, to pick off members of a potential enemy’s armed forces, without a declaration of war, through the agency of people who are not themselves identifiable as combatants. That sort of attack really eliminates the distinction between peace and war and the distinction between combatants and others.
        You could resort to the ‘All’s fair; no rules’ position but that has logical consequences of its own.

    • lysias on January 31, 2012, 7:20 pm

      What do you make of Trita Parsi’s book Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States, which appears to document that Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran had pretty good secret relations for the first decade and more after the 1979 revolution in Iran?

    • MRW on January 31, 2012, 8:28 pm

      Wonder jew,

      Iranian support for Assad in Syria reassures you people, I suppose?

      Moon over Alabama:
      “Neocon Israel Mouthpiece Writes Syrian Opposition Intervention Paper”
      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/01/neocon-israel-mouthpiece-writes-syrian-opposition-policy-paper.html
      “Bashar al-Asad is right. There are international conspiracies to take him down.”

      • annie on January 31, 2012, 9:11 pm

        hi mrw, not to be picky but it is moon of alabama

        The name of the original Whiskey Bar was taken from Bertolt Brecht’s Alabama Song where the first line goes:
        “Show me the way to the next whiskey bar”.

        The name Moon of Alabama was taken from the first line of the chorus of that song:
        “Oh, moon of Alabama …”.

        The design of this site has been directly stolen or re-engineered from the Whiskey Bar site.

        http://www.moonofalabama.org/about.html

      • MRW on February 1, 2012, 5:26 am

        Dead right, annie. I’ve made that mistake before when I’ve quoted him. ;-)

      • lysias on February 1, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Words by Brecht, music by Kurt Weill.

        There are several versions of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny on DVD. Anybody got any recommendations for which of them is best?

    • Chaos4700 on February 2, 2012, 5:42 am

      So you’re pro-assassination? Cute.

      • MHughes976 on February 2, 2012, 8:10 am

        A cold, slightly flippant, endorsement of terrorism.

      • Chaos4700 on February 2, 2012, 10:07 am

        He lived in Israel for four years. Kids, this is your brain. This is your brain on Zionism… any questions?

    • Mndwss on February 2, 2012, 7:43 pm

      “I am opposed to a war (other than the current low level killing of scientists) against Iran fought by either Israel or the United States.”

      How would you like a high level war against Dimona fought by China or Russia?

      I wonder if the wondering jew would love the radioactive holy land after ww3

      Would he sit there with his two heads and three eyes arguing about who has the chosen head?

      • on February 3, 2012, 4:35 pm

        “arguing about who has the chosen head?”

        lol

  26. dbroncos on January 31, 2012, 10:40 pm

    RoHa-
    “Exactly how many Israeli soldiers fought alongside US forces in any wars at all?”

    None. Israel was asked to send medics to Vietnam – they refused. The Gulf States provided the funds and the staging grounds for the Gulf War while we paid Israelis billions of dollars to sit on their hands. Rationalizing Israel’s ‘cop on the beat’ status is nonsense. Funding it is insanity.

    • RoHa on January 31, 2012, 11:30 pm

      “None.”

      Exactly. This great ally of the United States has done sweet FA for the US.

      Whenever it comes to the crunch, the US gets actual troops, ships, and planes from Australia, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand. For various wars NATO and non-NATO countries often chip in.

      But never Israel.

      And which great ally does the US political machine slobber over?

      • Woody Tanaka on February 1, 2012, 9:38 am

        “But never Israel.”

        Exactly. A bunch of dead-beat ingrates.

      • wondering jew on February 1, 2012, 5:37 pm

        In the propaganda war between Communist Russia and the US, Israel forwarded the Khruschev speech denouncing Stalin to the United States.

      • RoHa on February 1, 2012, 7:59 pm

        And that’s it?

      • Chaos4700 on February 2, 2012, 5:45 am

        Yeah, Israel is really good at providing “intel,” riiiight. Any luck with that Nigerian yellow cake yet?

      • wondering jew on February 2, 2012, 5:31 pm

        In the cold war, particular Lebanon 1982, the Israelis equipped with American weapons decidedly defeated the Syrians equipped with Soviet weapons.

      • Chaos4700 on February 2, 2012, 7:33 pm

        And then there’s also Johnathan Pollard! Oh wait…

  27. anonymouscomments on February 1, 2012, 12:05 am

    the US intends to send the USS ponce, a navy mothership that *was* going to be decommissioned, to the gulf (as soon as they can, perhaps as soon as may)-
    http://rt.com/usa/news/us-iran-navy-military-113/

    we all love a good low probability prediction, and many here have talked about the lethality of some iranian missiles, namely the sunburn. i think an attack on this ship, in/near the straight of hormuz, could spark the US bombing of iran. basically it could spark WWIII in a worst case scenario, but a US-iran war will be bad enough.

    as a disclaimer, i consider it 50%+ any attack on a US ship in the gulf, pinned on iran, would be a *false-flag*. iran has strong survival instincts, and they seem intent on staying their hand, despite US/israeli provocations (many of them acts of war). but perhaps, if we force iran to attempt to close the straight, then send this behemoth in, they might bite. IMHO they would not bite though, so we might need to get creative (false-flag).

  28. eGuard on February 1, 2012, 7:44 pm

    This is what the Angry Arab writes in his piece “Why I read The New York Times” (he’s from the blogroll here).

    Not to learn the news. But:

    The NYT serves as the mouthpiece of the Israeli government and its champions here in the US. It is part of learning about the enemy. One learns from the NYT not from what it covers, but also from its decisions on what not to cover: i.e., from news omissions.

    And: In sum, the NYT is not an enjoyable read for an Arab anti-Zionist.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/why-i-read-new-york-times

  29. john h on February 2, 2012, 12:21 am

    Gary Sick describes the piece as sensationalist and misleading:

    Will Israel Really Attack Iran? The real answer is no, they will not. But you would never figure that out by reading the New York Times.

    Now here’s the same in reverse:

    Israeli Film Depicts Iranian First-Strike Nuke Attack on Israel

    The Israeli power of delusion is evident in this short film called, The Last Day, which purports to film the last moments of an Israeli family before Iran drops a nuclear bomb on Israel and obliterates it.

    This film is a perfect example of how an entire people can be anesthetized and transported into an altered state of reality that shows them to be innocent lambs led to the slaughter; when in fact they are just as much agents of their own destiny as their enemies are.

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/01/31/israeli-film-depicts-iranian-first-strike-nuke-attack-on-israel/

  30. hammersmith46 on February 2, 2012, 7:14 pm

    after wwii the u.s. executed at least one propagandist who participated in germany’s hoorahing itself into war.

    • eljay on February 4, 2012, 6:09 pm

      It appears that promoting / justifying the assassination of non-Israelis / non-Jews on this site is now (or has recently become) acceptable.

      Does this mean that members are free also to promote / justify the assassination of Israelis / Jews they deem to be – in wj’s words – “worthy targets”?

      Just curious…

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 4:50 pm

        eljay-

        I am certainly not promoting assassination of non Israelis and if it seemed that way, let me try to correct it. Am I justifying it? Yes.
        I feel that an all out attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities will result in an unpredictable conflict. That’s why I oppose it. If in fact the nuclear scientist that was killed was only involved in a program that wants to make cheaper energy for the housewives of Iran, then in fact my justification was stupid and immoral. But if that scientist was helping the current regime of Iran to strengthen its military options, I don’t see the assassination as evil. The leaders of Israel were elected or selected to protect Israel. And killing that scientist probably protects Israel.

        Because of the accusations regarding Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires (which I admit I tend to believe without sufficient research), I think there is some validity in stating that strengthening Iran’s current regime’s military is performing an act of enmity towards the Jewish people. (The Holocaust denial conference also adds to my hatred of the current regime in Iran as well and adds sense to view them as my enemies.)

      • eljay on February 6, 2012, 5:16 pm

        >> I am certainly not promoting assassination of non Israelis and if it seemed that way, let me try to correct it. Am I justifying it? Yes. … if that scientist was helping the current regime of Iran to strengthen its military options, I don’t see the assassination as evil. The leaders of Israel were elected or selected to protect Israel. And killing that scientist probably protects Israel.

        And you extend this same courtesy of “righteous assassination” to Iran, yes? The leaders of Iran have a right to protect Iran, and killing scientists who help the regime of Israel to strengthen its military options protects Iran, so it cannot be evil, yes?

        BTW, are Palestinians – for similar reasons, including acts of enmity performed by Israel’s current regime’s military toward the Palestinian people – entitled to assassinate Israeli scientists who help the regime of Israel to strengthen its military options?

      • wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 5:36 pm

        eljay- I think there is a huge difference between targeting a crowd of civilians and targeting a military scientist. There is no question that I would mourn the Israeli military scientist, but I would see the logic of the killing and would not call it terrorism in the same sense that targetting civilians is terrorism.

      • Chaos4700 on February 6, 2012, 6:31 pm

        Can we start killing Israeli nuclear scientists, then? If it’s OK to kill Iranian nuclear scientists, then? If it’s OK to set bombs in Tehran, why not Tel Aviv?

      • Woody Tanaka on February 6, 2012, 6:55 pm

        “…in the same sense that targetting civilians is terrorism.”

        But if those civilians are the ultimate authority, as they are in every democracy, then are they not ultimately responsible? So if you can justify the killing of a scientist, how is an attack on the ultimate authority responsible for the war on the Palestinian people (aka, the Israeli public) not a legitimate target?

      • eljay on February 6, 2012, 8:53 pm

        >> eljay- I think there is a huge difference between targeting a crowd of civilians and targeting a military scientist. There is no question that I would mourn the Israeli military scientist, but I would see the logic of the killing and would not call it terrorism in the same sense that targetting civilians is terrorism.

        Wow, that’s a terrific bit of deflection, really, but I wrote nothing about targeting civilians.

        So, if the Israeli assassination of an Iranian scientist who helps to strengthen the Iranian regime is not an evil act, then the Iranian or Palestinian assassination of an Israeli scientist who helps to strengthen the Israeli regime, or the Cuban or Afghani assassination of an American scientist who helps to strengthen the American regime, are also not evil acts, yes?

      • jayn0t on February 6, 2012, 10:55 pm

        ‘Wondering jew’ says “Ward Churchill’s opinion is interesting but I disagree (vehemently). Attacking a specific person with specific current responsibility for a specific weapons program is an entirely different story than killing a technocratic elite”. Then he/she gives her/himself away: “The Holocaust denial conference also adds to my hatred of the current regime in Iran as well and adds sense to view them as my enemies.” So much for wondering jew’s support for freedom of opinion: advocating murder for doing defence research, hatred for opinions.

      • Chaos4700 on February 6, 2012, 11:11 pm

        We all know what wondering jew is really saying: to him, Jews can only ever be victims so anybody the “Jewish state” summarily executes MUST be retroactively guilty. That’s why he can only condemn terrorism when the victims include Jews.

      • Danaa on February 7, 2012, 3:40 am

        Chaos – “Can we start killing Israeli nuclear scientists, then?”

        Why stop with ‘nuclear’ scientists? one of the scientists murdered in Iran by israel was a particle physicist. A field also known as theoretical high energy Physics. It has very little to do with nuclear Physics and is about as esoteric as it gets. A person trained in that field will likely know next to nothing about nuclear “bombs” which is really more about nuclear engineering, since the Physics is pretty much all known. I expect that someone – in the bowls of the Mossad made a little mistake – or two – perhaps they didn’t take very much Physics in college? assuming they went to a decent college in the first place and did not just get to coast. As an aside, that one murdered Iranian scientist (forgot his name for a moment) participated in conferences – and even collaborated – with israeli scientists, who knew him from his work – and several of them expressed utter disgust – and indeed alarm – over the vicious murder of one of their own.

        Basically, it’s like killing a cosmologist, or someone like Feinmann (bless his memory) or Weinberg or Green or Van t’Hooft, just to mention a few known names (not saying the iranian was of the same caliber or reknown). How would we feel about that?

        And who is to say that this does not expose israeli theoretical scientists to the same treatment? if everything goes – why nwouldn’t this give license to someone to just bomb a hall full of nanotechnology experts? (one of the murdered Iranian scientists was in that field). We have over 10 major conferences in that field alone around the world. Does anyone really think it’s a good idea to have them crawling with security operatives watching for potential killers?

        From what I gather, of the 4 murdered scientists only one had even a tenuous connection with nuclear engineering (the first one murdered). The last guy assassinated was relatively junior – and worked in procurement . What that tells me is that Israeli Mossad doesn’t really have good nuclear scientist “targets”. Only targets of opportunity. Quite likely, the significant nuclear scientists in Iran are quite well protected, and will not be allowed to just step into a car on the street without serious precautions.

        In any case, I do wonder how safe Israeli scientists feel about all this, and what do they really think about their colleagues being murdered?

  31. wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 10:07 pm

    eljay- Yes.

    All killing is evil. (very few exceptions). The killing of a scientist who strengthens a regime through invention of military weapons is (in my nonlegally binding opinion) a valid act of war.

    • Chaos4700 on February 6, 2012, 10:59 pm

      So Israel is at war with Iran? For murdering an Iranian scientist working on nukes in Iraq — oh, soooorry, you meant Iran? And you endorse and support starting (another) war over nonexistent nuclear weapons?

      Remind us how you were supposedly against the war on Iraq but this time — this time! — this time is supposed to be different.

      I hope some day you know what it’s really like to lose people to war, you coddled armchair warmonger.

    • eljay on February 7, 2012, 8:26 am

      >> eljay- Yes.
      >> All killing is evil. (very few exceptions). The killing of a scientist who strengthens a regime through invention of military weapons is (in my nonlegally binding opinion) a valid act of war.

      I didn’t ask you if you considered it to be an act of war. And I’ll stick to your original assertion regarding “strengthening a regime’s military option” for two reasons:
      1. You’re clearly trying to bolster the defence of your assertion by narrowing the scope of what types of assassinations you’re willing to accept as “not evil”.
      2. Your new wording does not remove Israeli scientists from

      I politely ask again: Since you consider the Israeli assassination of an Iranian scientist who helps to strengthen the Iranian regime to be not an evil act, would you also consider the Iranian or Palestinian assassination of an Israeli scientist who helps to strengthen the Israeli regime, or the Cuban or Afghani assassination of an American scientist who helps to strengthen the American regime, to be not evil acts?

      • eljay on February 7, 2012, 8:38 am

        >> 2. Your new wording does not remove Israeli scientists from

        The complete wording should have been: Your new wording does not remove all Israeli scientists from the list of valid candidates anyway.

      • Chaos4700 on February 7, 2012, 9:13 am

        Here’s a better question: Aren’t virtually all Israelis REQUIRED to become soldiers in adulthood? So under wondering jew’s logic, aren’t almost all Israelis valid targets for assassination, because merely their Israeli citizenship represents their participation in “strengthening the military?”

        Congrats, wondering jew. In justifying terrorism against Iranian, Palestinian and Lebanese families, you have justified violence against your own family.

  32. wondering jew on February 6, 2012, 10:29 pm

    Woody Tanaka- If you wish to say that every act by the Palestinians against the Zionist/Jews is justifiable because the Zionist/Jews should not be in the nation building business in that part of the world, then no one is stopping you. That is your opinion. But we have not reached any common ground.

    If instead we are trying to establish certain ground rules for the war that is being fought, then prohibitions on certain acts should apply to both Palestinians and Jewish Zionists.

    When establishing those ground rules, I would assert that killing civilians is in the category of most egregious acts. Now, supporters of Israel say that Israel never targets civilians and always targets valid targets and the problem is that there is collateral damage at times. And in a theoretical sense I agree with the distinction between intentionally targetting civilians and targetting a military target who is standing in a crowd of civilians, but in fact, the death of civilians must at some point be sufficient deterrent to prohibit or stop the killing of the valid target due to the death of those near the target. So I would place the evil of killing of civilians at the top of the list of prohibited acts and I would call the collateral damage a category of excuse that has some validity, but not nearly sufficient validity.

    So in terms of evil acts: 1. Killing civilians for the sake of killing civilians and in a close 2nd evil. 2 Killing civilians who get in the way of the killing of valid targets.

    Then comes the targetting of persons who some claim constitute valid targets and others would dispute that validity. 1. builders of weaponry that don’t wear uniforms. (Would the Japanese or the Germans have been within their rights to kill Openheimer as he was developing the first atom bombs? I would say, yes.) and then after that 2. the killing of political leaders- The US set up rules to prohibit the killing of political leaders, but from a moral point of view I don’t see this as a problem any worse than any other deaths in war, although I understand that nations might wish to make the killing of leaders forbidden.

    There is another problem: slippery slope. Once you make killing civilians of any sort valid, then you seem to end up shooting a waiter in Norway and killing an uncle of a militant in Hebron who was sleeping in the “wrong” bed.

    I do not wish to minimize the evil of any act of killing of human beings. I am pleased that I have never shot a gun in anger at any human being and I hope never to have to do so. But the establishment of the Jewish state in that part of the world could only have occurred at the point of bayonets and I consider the effort of Jews to stand up on their own two feet as valid.

    • Chaos4700 on February 6, 2012, 11:05 pm

      Whatever. You’re a terrorist sympathizer, wondering jew, and it isn’t even slander to say so any more. It’s merely that you only support terror when A) the aggressors are Jewish and B) the victims are Palestinian and Iranian civilians.

      You’re using the EXACT logic that took us to Iraq, so don’t feed us that bullshit that this time with Iran, oooooh, this time is different.

      The rest of us Americans who don’t have dual loyalty to your little colonialist-nationalist state that only exists because of assassination and ethnic cleansing won’t forget where you stand, wondering jew, when Israel starts World War III.

      • on February 8, 2012, 6:37 pm

        Conversation with John Limbert,

        As is typical of situations involving post-WWII imperial over-reach, U.S. distress with Iran is largely our own fault. If the CIA had not overthrown Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 — Operation Ajax — and if afterward the U.S. had not incessantly sought to get the Iranians to do what we wanted with their oil, relations today might even have been normal, but certainly would be far less fraught than they have become. Unless we sit down to talk through our differences this Cold War will go on and on, or maybe turn hot. Unsure of each other, both sides are capable of making extremely grave mistakes. It’s all quite senseless. To get a helpful perspective from a former top State Department expert on Iran I turned to Ambassador John W. Limbert, who shares many of my concerns.

        Limbert was foreign service officer held hostage in Iran, now professor at US Naval Academy after having worked for a time with US State Department on Iran affairs —
        Nowadays, Jeff Feltman and, presumably, still, Dennis Ross are America’s face to Iran. God help us.

        anyway — relative to Wandering Jews anxiety laden confusion over his eagerness to kill Iranian scientists as being the lesser of two evils that allows him to work out his irrational hatred of Ahmadinejad, Limbert and George Kenner, the program’s host, had this to say (at ~29 min):

        Kenner: “We in the US are very quick to call so many actions abroad ‘acts of terror.’ Why can’t we in the United States say, the murder of Iranian scientists is an act of terror?”
        Limbert: “Exactly right. It’s a no win for us, whoever did it, and it seems like a third party did it, but we may have been involved, I don’t know [throughout the interview, Limbert diligently refrained from forming the word ‘Israel’ .] Hillary Clinton seemed truly upset. But you’re right, it is terror.”

    • Woody Tanaka on February 7, 2012, 8:56 am

      “If you wish to say that every act by the Palestinians against the Zionist/Jews is justifiable…”

      Do try to restate the question, answer it:

      If it is okay to kill civilian scientists because they strenghten the “enemy,” and since the Israeli public are the ultimate authority, as they are in every democracy, how is an attack on the ultimate authority responsible for the war on the Palestinian people not a legitimate target? How is not every adult settler not a legitimate target?

      • Woody Tanaka on February 7, 2012, 9:10 am

        “Do try to restate the question, answer it: ”

        That should say, “Don’t try to restate the question, answer it:”

  33. RoHa on February 6, 2012, 11:35 pm

    “But the establishment of the Jewish state in that part of the world could only have occurred at the point of bayonets”

    And that is why it should never have been established. A state which can only be established by force against the wishes of the majority of the people is illegitimate. To claim that the establishment of Israel is “valid” is to claim that the interests of Jews are more important than the interests of Arabs. And that is a totally immoral position.

    You have done yourself no favours in this thread, WJ.

    You have shown that you are prepared to have people murdered on nothing more than suspicion of misdoing.

    You have shown that you are prepared to base your beliefs on what you know perfectly well is wild-eyed, hysterical, propaganda. (For someone of your age, intelligence, and education, this is deeply disappointing.)

    You have shown that you consider that Jews are the important ones and the rest of us are just filler.

    You have shown a bizarre set of priorities in respect of the war in Iraq.

    All in all, you have demonstrated a depressing lack of moral understanding.

    • wondering jew on February 8, 2012, 5:05 pm

      RoHa- I may have deserved a patronizing response, but you seem to have particularly enjoyed being patronizing.

      a. My comments regarding the ill effects of the Iraq war were listed by their coming into my mind rather than by their priority. In the future when I do not mean things to be taken in a particular order of importance I will list things as a,b, c and d rather than 1, 2, 3 and 4. the four ill effects of the Iraq war that I listed were a. loss of dollars , b. loss of American lives, c. loss of nonAmerican lives and d. loss of geostrategic advantage. I am not sure how I would prioritize the losses in my own mind. I am unsure where the most people have died from violent causes in the last 3 years. This ignorance means that my consciousness of the death of nonAmericans is not the first consideration in my mind. Obviously since the US wastes money on such things as a tax cut for the wealthy and a triage for the economic system the wasting of a trillion dollars seems trivial.

      Before the war began I backed the war that I knew was coming. It was a war I might add that I did not advise the president upon, a president that neither I nor the electoral voters from the state of New York voted for, and a war that I was able to anticipate immediately after the quick entry of US forces into Kabul. (“They’ll want a more formidable enemy and take advantage of the anger of the US population in some direction.”) and a war that I knew was coming from the STate of the Union address when Bush announced the Axis of Evil.

      But before the war I anticipated US casualties in the hundreds and at the time I stated to some fellow New Yorker that if there were deaths in the thousands, I would oppose the war or accept that I had backed a bad decision. Which in fact was revealed by the history of the last 8 or so years. So even though the casualties of US troops was probably geopolitically the least “important” of the four bad effects, that was the worst effect from the point of view of me, who supported the war based on the belief of casualties in the hundreds and not thousands.

      • wondering jew on February 8, 2012, 5:37 pm

        RoHa- Further:

        Killing Iranian nuclear scientists is not my occupation or preoccupation. It seems that an actual all out war between US or Israel and Iran is a possibility. It seems to me to be a very dangerous possibility. Therefore I say to an advocate of such an attack by Israel, “I oppose an all out war, but I think everything short of an all out war should be utilized.”

        I now see that the advocacy of such a position is more of the heart than of the mind. The logical consequences of such an advocacy are too unpredictable as to who would be considered a valid murder target, for me to pretend it is a logical train of thought rather than an emotional one.

        Since I am merely an observer rather than a decision maker I probably allow myself a little bit of latitude regarding such an act of murder.

        When your fellow commenters seems to propose that I be jailed as a war criminal for advocating war crimes, I think that they show their true colors regarding their desire to punish people who disagree with them.

        I do not consider non Jews as merely filler. Although I currently hate God more than I love him, I believe that human beings are the greatest of God’s creations. If I advocate murder against an Iranian scientist giving Ahmadinejad a nuclear bomb, I do not feel this shows that I consider nonJews as filler. I consider Ahmadinejad a personal enemy and a scientist who give Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs a nuke to be a very dangerous man giving very evil people, the ultimate weapon. That this makes all nonJews as filler, is bushwa.

        I must also add a note about the killing of Yassin and Rantisi in Gaza. Gaza is Israel’s shame. And so any act of murder in the Gaza strip by Israel is part of a shameful history. When they were alive I despised Yassin and Rantisi. I think killing them put a stop to the intifada. But Gaza is Israel’s shame.

        On certain issues I use this space to work out my own thinking. I have not worked out my thinking on all issues. When I favor something from the heart and find I cannot argue it with others, I will put it in the category of a heart opinion rather than a logical opinion. I suppose if I was raised in a less confusing time or to less confusing circumstance my opinions would already be set in stone so that I would be pristine and in shape to patronize others. Lucky you.

      • eljay on February 8, 2012, 6:44 pm

        >> wondering jew @ February 8, 2012 at 5:37 pm

        Do you grant Iranians and Palestinians the same right to “heart advocacy”?

        Are Iranians allowed to hate the Israeli regime and to advocate for and justify the assassination of Israeli scientists? Are Palestinians permitted to hate the Israeli regime and to advocate for and justify the assassination of Israeli scientists?

        And, if they do, do you consider the resulting assassinations to be not evil, in the same way that you consider the assassinations of Iranian scientists to be not evil?

        Or are you what you appear to be: Just another Zio-supremacist hypocrite?

      • wondering jew on February 9, 2012, 5:48 pm

        eljay- I hereby grant Iranians and Palestinians the right to advocate the murder of the people who would be the equivalent of my advocacy of murder. I hereby grant them the right to think ex post facto of those murders as I have expressed myself ex post facto on such murders.

        I think if the general goal is to understand the other guy, then a certain leeway in discussions should be allowed. I think that a discussion of each case might reveal something if the two or more people discussing it were aiming towards understanding the other guy. (I don’t know if my “other guy” is the same as “the other”.)

        But I don’t sense from you a desire to understand the other guy. You seem to get a kick out of taunting and not much pleasure from any other type of communication. Maybe I’m wrong.

      • eljay on February 14, 2012, 8:56 pm

        >> eljay- I hereby grant Iranians and Palestinians the right to advocate the murder of the people who would be the equivalent of my advocacy of murder.

        Wow, what a hateful person you are. I don’t believe anyone should have the right to assassinate others.

        >> … I don’t sense from you a desire to understand the other guy. You seem to get a kick out of taunting and not much pleasure from any other type of communication. Maybe I’m wrong.

        I’m all for understanding the other guy, and I understand that you’re OK with certain levels of injustice and immorality. I’m not. I’m all for communication with people who believe in justice and morality…but that’s not you.

        So, no, you’re not wrong – you’re just not someone for whom I can have any sort of respect.

        But, hey, if you believe that assassination – and maybe even ethnic cleansing – is occasionally a “necessary” evil, who am I to stop you from savouring your righteousness?

  34. RoHa on February 8, 2012, 6:18 pm

    “If I advocate murder against an Iranian scientist giving Ahmadinejad a nuclear bomb, I do not feel this shows that I consider nonJews as filler”

    Supporting the establishment of Israel at the point of a bayonet does.

  35. RoHa on February 8, 2012, 6:19 pm

    “I suppose if I was raised in a less confusing time or to less confusing circumstance my opinions would already be set in stone so that I would be pristine and in shape to patronize others. Lucky you.”

    I’m older than you, so I have been throgh more time, most of it confusing. As for circumstances, I don’t know how to measure that.

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