Trending Topics:

Would you buy a used metaphor from this warmonger? (Niall Ferguson’s ‘creative destruction’ echoes Rice’s ‘birth-pangs’)

US Politics
on 126 Comments
Niall Ferguson
Niall Ferguson

Unbelievable that Newsweek and Daily Beast are running Niall Ferguson’s promotion of a war with Iran. Israel’s war or the U.S.’s, I’m not even sure which– but he’s for war. The Nazi analogy comes in with the word “appeasement,” and the piece ends with a finial of foolishness that will tag Ferguson for the rest of his born days, as Condi Rice’s description of Israel’s onslaught on Lebanon in ’06, “the birth pangs of a new Middle East,” will haunt her. Ferguson:

War is an evil. But sometimes a preventive war can be a lesser evil than a policy of appeasement. The people who don’t yet know that are the ones still in denial about what a nuclear-armed Iran would end up costing us all.

It feels like the eve of some creative destruction.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

126 Responses

  1. Bumblebye
    Bumblebye
    February 6, 2012, 12:33 pm

    The kind of “creativity” he and other worshipers of the right have produced tends to maim babies for generations to come. Be that Agent Orange or Depleted Uranium. Or in this case the possibility of first strike nukes. He’s like Hitchens here, he’s found a fauning audience of Americans, where he didn’t have such in the UK.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 6, 2012, 3:00 pm

      David Bromwich did a total hatchet job on Ferguson’s academic capabilities in the New York Review recently

      http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/dec/08/disappointed-lover-west/

      Ferguson is what someone in the Review said about Gingrich- “the thoughtless person’s idea of a thinking person’.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        Thomson Rutherford
        February 7, 2012, 12:53 am

        I can testify that Ferguson is no economist, though he certainly doesn’t hesitate to pretend to be one every chance he gets. He has some credibility as a financial historian, but not a lot because he doesn’t understand basic tenets of monetary theory and international macroeconomics.

  2. February 6, 2012, 12:41 pm

    The US is lost….the media stinks to high heaven…no journalism what so ever….

    just go along what ever the media masters want…

    Is Iran a Threat?
    by David R. Henderson, February 06, 2012

    Through the government of Switzerland, Iran’s government made an overture to the Bush administration in 2003, in which it asked the Bush administration to meet Iranian officials to discuss ending the sanctions and bringing Iran back into the community of nations in return for Iran’s forswearing any attempt to build nuclear weapons. According to Parsi, the Bush administration, at the behest of Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, rebuffed them. Moreover, the Bush administration verbally attacked Tim Guldimann, the Swiss ambassador to Iran, for being the bearer of good news. Interestingly, Parsi quotes none other than Efraim Halevi, the former head of the Mossad (Israel’s version of the CIA) saying of the Iranian government in 2006, “I don’t think they are irrational, I think they are very rational.”

    http://original.antiwar.com/henderson/2012/02/05/is-iran-a-threat/

  3. Philip Munger
    Philip Munger
    February 6, 2012, 12:52 pm

    I just read the Daily Beast version of Ferguson’s article, and am glad to see MW addressing it so soon. The comments at that version are even more critical than what Phil W has to say here, and I recommend readers go to The Daily Beast and read them.

    One can hope that Phil W is right that the shortcomings of Ferguson’s essay “will tag Ferguson for the rest of his born days,” as they should. It is probably more likely that the article will instead lead to a new fellowship or two for Ferguson at some far rightwing-funded “think tanks.”

    Of particular interest in the comments are the three responses by RepStones to “Ferguson’s inference that Six Day war was legal and just by Israel….”

    Others address the author’s reference to Israel as “the most easterly outpost of Western civilization.” Apart from the simple fact that people in Moscow, Melbourne and Auckland might disagree, more and more, the government of Israel is being increasingly dominated by people whose world view has less to do with a “Western” legacy than do the cultural, educational and diplomatic policies of the governments of India, Singapore, South Korea or Japan.

  4. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    February 6, 2012, 12:53 pm

    It feels like the eve of some creative destruction
    —————————-

    Funny that he makes the argument using capitalist terminology…….

    ( I KNOW HE’S “IN THE LOBBY” – OK, I KNOW)

    • iamuglow
      iamuglow
      February 6, 2012, 1:40 pm

      Italian futurists (artists) before WW1 used the same terminology when seeking to overthrow conservatism/tradition.

      The Futurist Manifesto had declared, “We will glorify war — the world’s only hygiene — militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futurism

      http://www.unknown.nu/futurism/manifesto.html

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        February 6, 2012, 6:32 pm

        RE: “The Futurist Manifesto [in pre-WWI Italy] had declared, ‘We will glorify war — the world’s only hygiene — militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman‘.” ~ iamuglow

        FROM TED RALL, 07/22/10: …Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay “Eternal Fascism” describes the cult of action for its own sake under fascist regimes and movements: “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
        SOURCE – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/22-1

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        February 14, 2012, 5:51 pm

        P.S. RE: “…Umberto Eco’s 1995 essay “Eternal Fascism” describes the cult of action for its own sake under fascist regimes and movements: ‘Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation’.…” ~ Ted Rall (from above)

        ROGER COHEN, 2/13/12: “…Netanyahu — raised in the Jabotinsky strain of Zionism by a father who viewed Arabs as “semi-barbaric” and rejected an “emasculating moralism” in favor of a new warrior breed of Jew…”
        SOURCE – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/opinion/cohen-the-dilemmas-of-jewish-power.html

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        February 6, 2012, 6:49 pm

        RE: “The Futurist Manifesto [in pre-WWI Italy] had declared, ‘We will glorify war — the world’s only hygiene — militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman‘.” ~ iamuglow

        NETFLIX: Vincere, 2009, NR, 124 minutes
        Ida Dalser (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) falls for young Benito Mussolini (Filippo Timi) in Milan and sells everything she has to help the future dictator fund his newspaper, Popolo d’Italia. But when World War I separates the newly wedded couple, Mussolini marries another woman. Ida demands to retain her rights as Mussolini’s wife and the mother of his son, but the Fascists have other plans for the dictator’s dark secret in this gripping biopic.
        Director: Marco Bellocchio
        Language: Italian (English subtitles)
        Netflix Availability: Streaming and DVD
        NETFLIX LISTING – http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Vincere/70118770
        Vincere, Official Trailer (VIDEO, 02:00) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeaRJxJcp7E

      • iamuglow
        iamuglow
        February 6, 2012, 8:06 pm

        Thanks. I’m watching it now. It looks good.

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        February 8, 2012, 6:38 pm

        I love it when Mussolini’s son (mothered by Ida Dalser) does the hilarious impersonation of his father!
        Incidentally, Netanyahu has always reminded me a bit of
        Il Duce (“The Leader”). They are both such obtuse blockheads.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 6, 2012, 6:57 pm

        You just have to watch German newsreels of the fighting on the Eastern Front to see that ideology visibly manifested: destruction by fire aestheticized.

        Of course, what our televisions showed during Shock and Awe was no different, really.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 6, 2012, 4:02 pm

      He says

      “The double-dip recession. Oil prices are on the way down thanks to concerted efforts of Europe’s leaders to reenact the Great Depression. An Israel-Iran war would push them up, but the Saudis stand ready to pump out additional supplies to limit the size of the spike.”

      He doesn’t understand the oil market . Saudi couldn’t stop the Libya civil war jacking up prices in 2012. He doesn’t understand the psychology of the stock market either. Hundreds of millions of western savers will see their mutual funds tank for the sake of 5.5 million Israelis. Why?

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        February 6, 2012, 4:14 pm

        My bank branch kindly provides copies of the FT which I sometimes read for a few minutes. There was a report last week that the good old Saudis had announced a policy of raising the oil price from $75 to $100 per barrel. The FT contributor said that this would be in vain, since the western world would respond by greater efficiency.
        Well, we can all have our plans and predictions but it surely doesn’t look as if the Saudis are planning on saving our oil-price bacon in the near future. They might try to halt a panic caused by a war in the Gulf but they might not succeed all that well. If Iran was really smashed up and its oil exports lost for a few years the Saudis and their plans for a higher price would face no obstacle. They’d have us – just to compete for cliche of the day – over a barrel.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 6, 2012, 4:49 pm

        Speaking of Libya, Libyan Salafists have now turned up in Syria, fighting against Assad’s government. Libyan Salafis Killed In Syria.

      • Dan Crowther
        Dan Crowther
        February 6, 2012, 4:57 pm

        its the same house of saud funded guys…….

  5. lysias
    lysias
    February 6, 2012, 1:07 pm

    To judge by what Craig Murray reports on his blog, there’s a lot of support for an attack on Iran in British government circles.

  6. iamuglow
    iamuglow
    February 6, 2012, 1:12 pm

    I do not understand how post Iraq these Iran war mongers are getting anything published…yet they keep appearing. Months ago they were coy calls for war and now they are becoming outright calls for “creative destruction”.

    There was one on Yahoo yesterday –

    “Avoid World War III — The U.S., Not Israel, Should Attack Iran.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/avoid-world-war-iii-u-not-israel-attack-185500648.html

    it was written by “Owen Rust” which goes to a Yahoo page for “Calvin Wolf” that has a pic of some a little older than teenager on it. His bio reads…

    ” am a professional educator and aspiring writer. I have lived in Texas, New Mexico, and Wyoming and have been both a professional backpacking guide and cartoonist in the past. …”

    http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1092681/owen_rust.html

    What is this bs?

    In re to the one on Daily Beast…he uses this blatent Orientilism
    “any traction that is the most easterly outpost of Western civilization has Iran in its sights.”

    and also has this Nazi comparison to Iran…

    “Presumably this would be in the same way that, if German scientists had developed an atomic bomb as quickly as the Manhattan Project, the Second World War would have ended with a negotiated settlement brokered by the League of Nations.”

    Would it be fair to descirbe this as ‘state media’? I have hard to believing independent professional journalists could be this dumb.

    • Charon
      Charon
      February 6, 2012, 7:33 pm

      In my opinion, I believe it is safe to assume that these Iran war mongerers ARE the media. The media is about as trustworthy as a commission salesman trying to sell you a timeshare in Vegas. The initial criticism from the rational masses has gone numb due to these non-stop Iran stories. They looked for an opening and have decided that now is the time, advocating for war against Iran is fashionable.

      I also don’t understand the Nazi comparisons. How is modern Iran comparable to Nazi Germany? Do they have a territorial dispute over a 20-year-old treaty? Are they capable of invading and occupying neighboring countries? Do they have any desires to even do that? Are they powerful enough to do that? Are they persecuting their Jewish population? Just a few years ago, there was an offer to ‘help’ Iranian Jews emigrate to Israel. Few took this person up on the offer. The Iranian Jews who have emigrated apparently cited economic and family reasons for doing so, not political reasons.

      • iamuglow
        iamuglow
        February 6, 2012, 11:58 pm

        ” They looked for an opening and have decided that now is the time, advocating for war against Iran is fashionable.”

        Yeah, its been such a torrent of demonization lately. Its amazing how overt and overwhelming the propaganda has been on Iran leading up to this.

        I can recall pre-9/11 Mohammad Khatami was president there and the US media/administration were running stories on how Iran was on its way to being a secular country…Albright might have even made some overtures while Clinton was in office…. Of course after 9/11 they held vigils for the Americans in Teran.

        Then Bush named them in the Axis of evil…the US started it wars and occupations….Israel got in its bombings…Ahmadinejad became a vocal critic of Israel….now Iran has been turned into this caricature in the Western media…that can be targeted for a war.

        While the majority aren’t buying it…some are. And with their being little to no opposition in the media…its hard to see these seeds for war can be undone. It may be all bluster this year…but in the future, idk, its hard not to be pessimistic.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 7, 2012, 6:56 am

        “Axis of Evil.” Frum. Indeed.

      • dahoit
        dahoit
        February 7, 2012, 12:51 pm

        C’mon,as we and Israel have taken the Nazi playbook to further heights,the Germans and Hitler are being rehabilitated.(Of course not in Zionist eyes,as that’s just a comparison too far to contemplate,but the rest of the world might.)

      • February 7, 2012, 2:07 pm

        well Charon, that same media you tagged is one step ahead of your argument.

        This morning’s NPR “we hate Iran and you should too” blast was — Iranian Jews living in Israel!
        Jews with ties to Iran and Israel feel conflicted

        They’re in conflict, poor dears. Should we advocate that the state we live in now seek to bomb the country we came from? Well, maybe just a little bit — not my sister, but my mother in law, hmmm. And not civilian infrastructure, just nuclear plants (which are, by the way, civilian infrastructure — I’ve seen the power lines: there are power line pylons radiating from the plant at Natanz for as far as the eye can see. And there’s an ancient village at Natanz, I don’t remember how far from the nuclear site, maybe 10 miles? — it has a Turkic mosque — cone-shaped — that’s over a thousand years old. Surely those nice IDF bombers will maneuver around the village at Natanz and their ancient mosque — oh, and their farm fields too — no nuclear radiation there, ok boys? My nephews eat that food.

  7. eljay
    eljay
    February 6, 2012, 1:18 pm

    >> War is an evil. But sometimes a preventive war can be a lesser evil than a policy of appeasement. The people who don’t yet know that are the ones still in denial about what a nuclear-armed Iran would end up costing us all.

    War is an evil. But sometimes a preventive war can be a lesser evil than a policy of appeasement. The people who don’t yet know that are the ones still in denial about what a nuclear-armed, oppressive, expansionist, colonialist and and religion-supremacist Israel will end up costing us all.

    • stevieb
      stevieb
      February 8, 2012, 11:47 am

      Far too late. JFK tried to curtail Israel’s nukes, but was of course murdered shortly thereafter. From then on, it was never again an issue for the U.S government.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 8, 2012, 12:49 pm

        The reactor at Dimona went critical on Dec. 26, 1963. Interesting date.

  8. john h
    john h
    February 6, 2012, 1:22 pm

    Creative instruction from Leonard Cohen:

    The birds they sang at the break of day
    “Start again”, I heard them say
    Don’t dwell on what has passed away
    Or what is yet to be

    Ah, the wars they will be fought again
    The holy dove, she will be caught again
    Bought and sold and bought again
    The dove is never free

    I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd
    While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud
    But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up a thundercloud
    And they’re going to hear from me

    We asked for signs, the signs were sent
    The birth betrayed, the marriage spent
    Yeah, the widowhood of every government
    Signs for all to see

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in

  9. Jeff Klein
    Jeff Klein
    February 6, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Ferguson is a joke as a scholar and a thinker. No doubt the dons at The World’s Greatest University thought a Scottish accent would lend some tony Adam Smithian gravitas to their ranks. But of course even a fool can be dangerous if given credence by the gullible.

    Interesting here that it is one of the very rare acknowledgements in the MSM that Israel actually launched an attack against Egypt — rather than the usual story that it was defending itself against Nasser’s genocidal onslaught. But it has a purpose here: to justify a “preemptive” attack against Iran tht would be hard to disguise as “defense” in real time.

  10. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    February 6, 2012, 1:27 pm

    The US/Israel trying to box Iran in by increasing sanctions means that one has to back down, if the Iranians back down, history has shown the US would simply move the goal posts and make demands of Iran so outrageous the Iranian Government would not last 5 minutes if they complied with them, which is of course the object of the exercise, but for the US to back down in an election year. Doesn’t look promising does it.

  11. marc b.
    marc b.
    February 6, 2012, 1:31 pm

    apparently ferguson is stepping into the vacant, discredited shoes of friedman, logically, politically and rhetorically. what puerile discharge, complete with a multi-point checklist (not to exceed ‘5’ for fear of confusing readers or sending them yawning back to refresh their youporn accounts) and friedmanian comic hypothetical dialogue. ferguson has always favored personal ambition over historical accuracy. blood thirsty twerp.

  12. eGuard
    eGuard
    February 6, 2012, 1:35 pm

    In the same issue: his wife Ayaan Hirsi Ali The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World.

    “Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide”.

    “In Iran dozens of Christians have been arrested and jailed for daring to worship outside of the officially sanctioned church system”.

    “Instead of falling for overblown tales of Western Islamophobia, let’s take a real stand against the Christophobia infecting the Muslim world”.

    • Tzombo
      Tzombo
      February 6, 2012, 2:33 pm

      Last thing we heard from her was when she asked our national Islamophobic troll Geert Wilders to tone it down. Looks like she’s toning it up again…

    • February 6, 2012, 2:36 pm

      from Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s wiki entry — she’s a colleague of Girt Wilders. nuf said.

    • lysias
      lysias
      February 6, 2012, 4:40 pm

      “Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide”.

      No thanks to the U.S.! Saddam’s regime in Iraq protected Christians (Tariq Aziz was a Christian). After the U.S. invasion displaced Saddam’s regime, Iraqi Christians were subjected to persecution and violence, and half of them left, mostly for Assad’s Syria, which also protects religious minorities. The Vatican had warned Bush that that would be the result of a U.S. invasion of Iraq, but he paid no heed.

      If the U.S. and its allies succeed in toppling Assad’s regime in Syria, Syrian Christians may well face a similar fate.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      February 6, 2012, 10:54 pm

      Side note: Ayaan Hirsi Ali – did I read somewhere she appeared on the Colbert show and left the Netherlands because of fraud?

      Side note 2: Wilders’ goal after he graduated from secondary school was to see the world. Because he did not have enough money to travel to Australia, his preferred destination, he went to Israel instead.[27] For several years he volunteered in a moshav and worked for several firms, becoming in his own words “a true friend of Israel”.[28] With the money he saved, he travelled to the neighbouring Arab countries, and was moved by the lack of democracy in the region. When he returned to the Netherlands, he retained Israeli ideas about counter-terrorism and a “special feeling of solidarity” for the country.[29] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geert_Wilders

      • Tzombo
        Tzombo
        February 7, 2012, 11:11 am

        She lied about certain things connected to why she had to leave Somalia. This was at a time when the Netherlands was deporting refugees who had even the slightest inconsistency in the story of why they became refugees, wildly cheered by Ms Hirsi Ali’s political allies. She left for the US shortly after that.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 7, 2012, 12:24 pm

        I wonder if Wilders’s PVV party has gotten any funding from Israeli or Israel-associated sources.

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        February 7, 2012, 12:37 pm

        lysias
        Funding from Israel?
        Yes, very much so!
        I watched a vid week or so ago, showing a young, chestnut haired Wilders who went to stay in Israel for some time as a youth, and investigating the contacts and admirers he’d made there, and the funding he gets from Israel.
        I’m going to play hunt the link now!

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        February 7, 2012, 1:23 pm

        Aunty Beeb (via youtube) comes up trumps with the goodies again:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeLs6C2hYC8

        Just 15mins of the prog, but shockingly revealing.

      • February 7, 2012, 2:14 pm

        troubling.
        wonder if Wilders communicated with Victoria Nuland and Bob Kagan when Nuland was at NATO hdqt in Belgium.

  13. Mndwss
    Mndwss
    February 6, 2012, 1:41 pm

    “He [Niall Ferguson] is currently working on the official biography of Henry Kissinger to whom he has been granted unprecedented access.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_Ferguson

    Wikipedia had an error. (maybe a virus?) That should be:

    He is currently working on the official hagiography of Henry Kissinger to whom he has been granted unprecedented access.

    What if the ICC had been granted unprecedented access to Kissinger….?

  14. doug
    doug
    February 6, 2012, 1:51 pm

    The meme that Iran is out to kill all Jews has been in a Drudge linked story for a few days.

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/

    It’s written by a nutjob who has pushed this line for some time. The nutjob has stated Iran has a thousand suitcase weapons grade U235 nukes scattered around the US and other such nonsense. At least Chalabi didn’t make claims that violate the laws of physics. That the guy gets an audience reflects the current insanity.

    Hitler didn’t just kill 6,000,000 Jews, his ghost haunts to this day stoking paranoia.

    • Charon
      Charon
      February 6, 2012, 7:43 pm

      Ridiculous. I don’t know whether to laugh or be angry at stories like that.

      Somebody should tell people that 25,000+ Jewish people (the figure is deliberately deflated) live in Iran. There is no evidence of being treated as second class citizens or being persecuted. There has a been a couple of stories trying to raise red flags that wound up being baseless. AFAIK, Everything I have read says that Persian Jews in Israel and abroad are strongly opposed of an attack on Iran (as expected).

      That suitcase nuke thing I’ve heard my old life. It was originally the USSR. Then it was Iraq. Just like every dictator apparently channels Hitler according to these people.

      • February 7, 2012, 4:33 pm

        story on NPR this morning reported that “250,000 Iranian Jews live in Israel.”

        pre-1979, ~80,000 Jews lived in Iran.
        25,000 remain
        of those who left, 70% migrated to USA; that’s about 38,500

        so what is this demographic problem Israel is worried about; the population of Iranian Jews doubled every ~9 years between 1979 and 2012, 16,500 Iranian Jews increased and multiplied and became 250,000.

  15. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    February 6, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Concerning appeasement, you always know who’ll be the first to use such accusations to their advantage. Not everyone knows that the first time people were accused of being Chamberlains was when Hitler silenced the skeptics about going to war against the Polish threat. Now that I think of it, probably nobody knows that.

    • February 6, 2012, 2:38 pm

      I don’t understand what you are saying, Tuyzentfloot. Could you please explain?

      George Bush made a speech in Knesset in which he implied that then-candidate Obama was an “appeaser.” The meme is showing signs of a declining shelf-life.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        February 7, 2012, 4:01 am

        Teta Mother Me, the grand owner of the appeaser label was Chamberlain, for being a peacenik who let himself be fooled by the Nazis – at least that’s the story – and this has been used as a warning on how to handle warmongers ever since. My point is, the main users of this argument have again been the warmongers. No, Hitler didn’t actually accuse the opposition of being Chamberlains when he wanted to invade Poland. That would have been a bit surreal. But I hoped it would get the point across that with the Chamberlain story warmongers cashed in twice.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 7, 2012, 7:53 am

        Somewhat off topic, but I have nothing but disdain for anyone who looks at Chamberlain and the appeasers with derision. Those who do are absolutely ignorant of history. Anyone who examines the history, and understands what France and the UK experienced in the Great War, who doesn’t understand that what the politicians in the ’30s were trying to do with Hitler was to avoid another Great War, are flipping morons. While Chamberlain can be faulted, the reality is that there was really nothing he could have done to avoid war, save for preemptive surrender. He simply could not have known that at the time.

      • Chaos4700
        Chaos4700
        February 7, 2012, 9:41 am

        I appreciate your perspective, Woody, but Chamberlain’s logic was deeply flawed and any sensible parent could tell you why. If a child grabs a cookie from the cookie jar after the parent says no, and the parent says, “Well…. okay…. you can do it this time, but next time listen to me,” what’s the child going to do, next time?

        I appreciate that Chamberlain had noble goals. He was just an idiot.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 7, 2012, 10:04 am

        teta mother me,

        I am talking about the appeasment prior to Sept. 1, ’39 (Munich, “peace for our time,” etc.)

        And while it is no secret that Hitler did not wish to fight the UK, he was unquestionably and undoubtedly a military expansionist. The UK could have come to terms with Germany, but realistically, after Septemeber 1939 (and especially after May/June 1940!), there were no terms which would reasonably been acceptable to a Britain that 1) had not yet been invaded and still possessed the RAF and Royal Navy and 2) had hopes to bring the US into the fight.

        I have some critical ideas about Churchill and FDR, but the notion that they were war-mongers and that WWII was an avoidable war is nonsense. Short of killing Hitler and having Goering suceed him (assuming that Goering could consolidate power), there was no way that Germany was NOT going to fight an offensive, aggressive war. Hitler wanted it; it was going to happen. That’s the way it in that state.

      • patm
        patm
        February 7, 2012, 10:25 am

        “I appreciate that Chamberlain had noble goals. He was just an idiot.”

        Neville Chamberlain lived through The Great War, Chaos. The month the Balfour Declaration was signed, for example, 35,000 British soldiers died in the battle of Passchendaele. I doubt Chamberlain was an idiot. No sane Brit wanted another war in Europe.

        I don’t know enough to comment on teta’s theory regarding the mental health of Churchill and FDR.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 7, 2012, 10:31 am

        International politics isn’t parenting. (And it didn’t help much that the claim which Germany was making — joinder of the lands of the Sudetendeutsche with the rest of Germany — sounded in accord with the principles of national self-determination which the Allies pushed at Versailles.)

        We (especially Americans) tend to forget how devastating the First World War was to the UK and France (especially France) where an entire generation of men were killed. That’s what he was trying to counter; that’s why they were trying to avoid war at all costs. Chamberlain also faced the fact that, in many ways, the UK and France (especially France) ended the war as nominal victors, but in many ways in a worse position than Germany, the defeated.

        He was no idiot.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 7, 2012, 12:22 pm

        Woody, you left out the German POV that UK still had colonial subjects at the time in question–Churchill simply was a Brit ethnic nationalist yearning for the days when Brits ruled the seas, and he was determined to maintain such world hegemony as long as possible, devil take take the rest. Germany, you recall, lost their colonial empire as the result of WW1. In a key way, WW1 was the result of the fact Germany gave the first real competition to England’s Empire–take, just their navies–Germany in the days of Bismark and thereafter were a threat to Brit world hegemony.

        I think US sent the dough boys over there because of WASP domination in US government at the time, and more significantly, because US Big Biz were anxious Britain would not be able to pay back its loans. (That old 1% solution-explanation–along with Wilson’s mentor, Mr B., the American Zionist judge supreme.)

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 7, 2012, 2:12 pm

        “Woody, you left out the German POV…”

        I’m not sure how this post is particularly relevant to the discussion of Chamberlain, frankly. Care to elaborate?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 7, 2012, 3:19 pm

        Woody, anyone here can go research all that the Germans told Chamberlain, what he was aware of in terms of German context from the Teutonic horse’s mouth. Part of the point here is, how relevant is Chamberlain? If he is, then the reality he worked in is relevant too–unless we are agreed mainstream media and political references to “appeasement” are pure BS because there really is no stable analogy, same as Frum’s Axis Of Evil phrase was totally misleading, and duplicitous.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 7, 2012, 3:57 pm

        Citizen,

        I was merely making an off-topic comment about the unfair opinions leveled at Chamberlain, and not on any present-day use of the word. The fact is that people label Chamberlain as being “cowardly” and such, but that is totally unfair. I’m not saying anything more than that.

  16. Sin Nombre
    Sin Nombre
    February 6, 2012, 1:57 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if there’s one foolproof way to tell if a commentator on this issue is truly trying to be intellectually honest it is whether they at least *talk* about why a Nuke-Free Mideast Accord wouldn’t work.

    They don’t have to agree it would work. For whatever reason they don’t even have to agree that it should be tried. (Despite it being the *complete* answer to all claimed need to attack Iran, and despite it being the peaceful one.)

    All they have to do is address it at least.

    And so, to draw the distinction from Mr. Ferguson and his piece today, I’ll just point out that of Akiva Eldar’s in today’s Haaretz wherein he notes that unlike Israel, Iran has openly endorsed the 1974 U.N. Resolution calling for such an accord. And note the title of his piece which is “Israel Can Clear Mideast of Nukes, It Just Won’t.”

    (http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-can-clear-mideast-of-nukes-it-just-won-t-1.411272)

    For whatever reason I can’t get through to post a comment to the above effect on the Newsweek/Daily Beast page, but I think someone ought to.

    Otherwise, if there is a war with Iran historians in the future are going to look back at the talk taking place now in the major media in the U.S. in the run-up to same and wonder whether some sort of strange cosmic cloud hadn’t settled over everyone’s mind making it somehow impossible for their neurons to understand the concept of a mutual nuclear disarmament.

  17. MRW
    MRW
    February 6, 2012, 2:11 pm

    Without checking, I’ll bet Ferguson buys into ‘The Precautionary Principle’, enshrined now in EU statutory law, and unmasked in Part 3 of Adam Curtis’ brilliant The Power of Nightmares that takes on the Neocons and Islamists. Here is a transcript from Part 3, about 48 minutes in. Excuse the length, but you need the preamble, or you can watch it on YouTube or Google video:

    [CUT TO SCENE OF FUTURISTIC ROADWAY AND COUPLE DRIVING IN FUTURE CAR]

    VOICE OVER: In the post-War years, politicians had also used their imaginations, but to project optimistic visions of a better future that they could create for their people, and it was these visions that gave them power and authority.

    [CUT, INTERIOR, DOWNING STREET: ANGLE ON TONY BLAIR]

    VOICE OVER: But those dreams collapsed, and politicians like Tony Blair became more like managers of public life, their policies determined often by focus groups. But now, the war on terror allowed politicians like Blair to portray a new, grand vision of the future. But this vision was a dark one of imagined threats, and a new force began to drive politics: the fear of an imagined future.

    [CUT, INTERIOR, TONY BLAIR ADDRESSING AUDIENCE]

    TONY BLAIR: Not a conventional fear about a conventional threat, but the fear that one day these new threats of weapons of mass destruction, rogue states, and international terrorism combine to deliver a catastrophe to our world. And then the shame of knowing that I saw that threat, day after day, and did nothing to stop it.

    [CUT, ANOTHER ADDRESS]

    BLAIR: It may not erupt and engulf us this month or next, perhaps not even this year or next …

    [CUT, CLOSE-UP ON TONY BLAIR, SPEAKING TO INTERVIEWER BEFORE STUDIO AUDIENCE]

    BLAIR: I just think these— these dangers are there, I think that it’s difficult sometimes for people to see how they all come together— I think that it’s my duty to tell it to you if I really believe it, and I do really believe it. I may be wrong in believing it, but I do believe it.

    [CUT, EXTERIOR, MOONLIT, DARK CITY SKYLINE]

    VOICE OVER: What Blair argued was that faced by the new threat of a global terror network, the politician’s role was now to look into the future and imagine the worst that might happen and then act ahead of time to prevent it. In doing this, Blair was embracing an idea that had actually been developed by the Green movement: it was called the “precautionary principle.” Back in the 1980s, thinkers within the ecology movement believed the world was being threatened by global warming, but at the time there was little scientific evidence to prove this. So they put forward the radical idea that governments had a higher duty: they couldn’t wait for the evidence, because by then it would be too late; they had to act imaginatively, on intuition, in order to save the world from a looming catastrophe.

    [CUT, INTERIOR, MEETING ROOM]

    BILL DURODIE [Director International Centre for Security Analysis, Kings College]: In essence, the precautionary principle says that not having the evidence that something might be a problem is not a reason for not taking action as if it were a problem. That’s a very famous triple-negative phrase that effectively says that action without evidence is justified. It requires imagining what the worst might be and applying that imagination upon the worst evidence that currently exists. [MRW: Durodie just smirks here.]

    [CUT, INTERIOR, HALL ; ANGLE ON TONY BLAIR ADDRESSING STATE FUNCTION]

    BLAIR: Would Al Qaeda buy weapons of mass destruction if they could? Certainly. Does it have the financial resources? Probably. Would it use such weapons? Definitely.

    [CUT, INTERIOR, MEETING ROOM]

    DURODIE: But once you start imagining what could happen, then—then there’s no limit. What if they had access to it? What if they could effectively deploy it? What if we weren’t prepared? What it is is a shift from the scientific, “what is” evidence-based decision making to this speculative, imaginary, “what if”-based, worst case scenario.

    [CUT, EXTERIOR, CAMP X- RAY, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba]

    VOICE OVER: And it was this principle that now began to shape government policy in the war on terror. In both America and Britain, individuals were detained in high-security prisons, not for any crimes they had committed, but because the politicians believed—or imagined—that they might commit an atrocity in the future, even though there was no evidence they intended to do this. The American attorney general explained this shift to what he called the “paradigm of prevention.”

    [CUT, INTERIOR, HEARING ROOM, UNITED STATES CONGRESS]

    ASHCROFT: We had to make a shift in the way we thought about things, so being reactive, waiting for a crime to be committed, or waiting for there to be evidence of the commission of a crime didn’t seem to us to be an appropriate way to protect the American people.

    [CUT, INTERIOR, OFFICE]

    DAVID COLE [Professor of Law, Georgetown University]: Under the preventive paradigm, instead of holding people accountable for what you can prove that they have done in the past, you lock them up based on what you think or speculate they might do in the future. And how—how can a person who’s locked up based on what you think they might do in the future disprove your speculation? It’s impossible, and so what ends up happening is the government short-circuits all the processes that are designed to distinguish the innocent from the guilty because they simply don’t fit this mode of locking people up for what they might do in the future.

    VOICE OVER: The supporters of the precautionary principle argue that this loss of rights is the price that society has to pay when faced by the unique and terrifying threat of the Al Qaeda network. But, as this series has shown, the idea of a hidden, organised web of terror is largely a fantasy, and by embracing the precautionary principle, the politicians have become trapped in a vicious circle: they imagine the worst about an organisation that doesn’t even exist. But no one questions this because the very basis of the precautionary principle is to imagine the worst without supporting evidence, and, instead, those with the darkest imaginations become the most influential.

    [CUT, INTERIOR, RESTAURANT]

    DAVID JOHNSTON, INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST, NEW YORK TIMES: You’ll hear about meetings where terrorist matters are discussed in the intelligence community, and always the person with the most dire assessment, the person with the—who has the, kind of, the strongest sense that something should be done will frequently carry the day at meetings. We thus believe the most dire estimate of what could happen here. The sense of disbelief has vanished.

    INTERVIEWER: So the person with the most vivid imagination becomes the most powerful.

    JOHNSTON: In a sense, that’s correct.

    Besides, look who Ferguson is married to, Ayaan Hirsi Ali (and Geert Wilders’ buddy), two peas in a pod.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      February 7, 2012, 7:09 am

      Al Qaeda network was fabricated–there’s a documentary video clip detailing at length of just how this was done by the neocons to justify war, on YouTube.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 7, 2012, 7:37 am

        Ah, after scrolling down on this thread, I now see Dickerson named the video clip: The Power Of Nightmares, PT 3.

  18. lysias
    lysias
    February 6, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Full circle. Ferguson began his career by arguing that Britain should not have entered the First World War. (No doubt the underlying thought there was that, without a Britain in the First World War, the British Empire could have survived.)

    Well, even before he did his First World War book, The Pity of War, Ferguson did a history of the House of Rothschild. I wonder if that too was an authorized (family) biography.

    • February 6, 2012, 2:46 pm

      from flyleaf, “The House of Rothschild; Money’s Prophets, 1798-1848,” by Niall Ferguson:

      THE MYTHOLOGY surrounding the Rothschilds’ wealth and power is two centuries old. Now the historical reality, long buried in the bank’s archives, is revealed for the first time by Oxford historian and bestselling author Niall Ferguson in this definitive account of a legendary banking dynasty’s rise to power.

      The first scholar with unrestricted access to the more than twenty surviving Rothschild archives, including documents hidden for half a century in the KGB’s special archive — Ferguson has synthesized material from tens of thousands of letters . . .

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        February 7, 2012, 7:25 am

        teta mother me, does your copy include 3 pages of Acknowledgements like mine does? Reading those 3 pages, it was hard for me not to conclude Ferguson was not much more than a gatherer of selective documents, organizer of same, and outliner, and, lastly, stenographer of authorized content. As if he was reading my mind, after a large space, Acknowledgements ends with a paragraph “Note: On Being an ‘Authorized’ Author” In this “Note” the author explicitly denies being censored by members of the Rothschild family, and generally otherwise (as may be unintentionally suggested by the subject 3 pages of details illustrating who read his stuff and “helped” in a myriad of ways in the writing, translating, etc).

      • February 7, 2012, 9:57 am

        Citizen, the thought that sticks in my mind after reading Ferguson’s Acknowledgements is, He knows on which side his bread is buttered.

        And it paid off — Warburgs hired him to sketch Seigmund Warburg “because he was so trustworthy.”

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870
      February 6, 2012, 5:31 pm

      RE: “Adam Curtis’ brilliant The Power of Nightmares that takes on the Neocons and Islamists.” ~ MRW

      VIDEOS: The Power of Nightmares on YouTube in 3 episodes

      Part 1: “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
      The first part of the series explains the origin of Islamism and Neo-Conservatism. It shows Egyptian civil servant Sayyid Qutb, depicted as the founder of modern Islamist thought, visiting the U.S. to learn about the education system, but becoming disgusted with what he saw as a corruption of morals and virtues in western society through individualism. When he returns to Egypt, he is disturbed by westernisation under Gamal Abdel Nasser…
      …At the same time in the United States, a group of disillusioned liberals, including Irving Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz, look to the political thinking of Leo Strauss after the perceived failure of President Johnson’s “Great Society”. They come to the conclusion that the emphasis on individual liberty was the undoing of the plan. They envisioned restructuring America by uniting the American people against a common evil, and set about creating a mythical enemy. These factions, the Neo-Conservatives, came to power under the Reagan administration, with their allies Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and work to unite the United States in fear of the Soviet Union. The Neo-Conservatives allege the Soviet Union is not following the terms of disarmament between the two countries, and, with the investigation of “Team B”, they accumulate a case to prove this with dubious evidence and methods. President Reagan is convinced nonetheless.
      Part 1 – Baby It’s Cold Outside (VIDEO, 59:12) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4_vkIsKOU4

      Part 2: “The Phantom Victory”
      In the second episode, Islamist factions, rapidly falling under the more radical influence of Zawahiri and his rich Saudi acolyte Osama bin Laden, join the Neo-Conservative-influenced Reagan Administration to combat the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan…
      …The Neo-Conservatives, with their conservative Christian allies, attempt to demonise Clinton throughout his presidency with various real and fabricated stories of corruption and immorality….
      Part 2 – The Phantom Victory (VIDEO, 59:13) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiK2Hozba8E

      Part 3: “The Shadows in the Cave”
      The final episode addresses the actual rise of al-Qaeda. Curtis argues that, after their failed revolutions, bin Laden and Zawahiri had little or no popular support…
      …With the September 11th attacks, Neo-Conservatives in the new Republican government of George W. Bush use this created concept of an organisation to justify another crusade against a new evil enemy, leading to the launch of the War on Terrorism.
      After the American invasion of Afghanistan fails to uproot the alleged terrorist network, the Neo-Conservatives focus inwards, searching unsuccessfully for terrorist sleeper cells in America. They then extend the war on “terror” to a war against general perceived evils with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The ideas and tactics also spread to the United Kingdom where Tony Blair uses the threat of terrorism to give him a new moral authority. The repercussions of the Neo-Conservative strategy are also explored with an investigation of indefinitely-detained terrorist suspects in Guantanamo Bay, many allegedly taken on the word of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance without actual investigation on the part of the United States military, and other forms of “preemption” against non-existent and unlikely threats made simply on the grounds that the parties involved could later become a threat. Curtis also makes a specific attempt to allay fears of a dirty bomb attack, and concludes by reassuring viewers that politicians will eventually have to concede that some threats are exaggerated and others altogether devoid of reality. “In an age when all the grand ideas have lost credibility, fear of a phantom enemy is all the politicians have left to maintain their power.”
      Part 3 – The Shadows in the Cave (VIDEO, 59:47) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSBTRSUIFY4

      • DICKERSON3870
        DICKERSON3870
        February 6, 2012, 5:52 pm

        P.S. NETFLIX: The Power of Nightmares, 2004, NR, 3 discs
        Given the impact of 9/11 and with media sensationalism at an all-time high, this three-part documentary explores the use of fear for political gain. The first, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” examines historical aspects of international threats. “The Phantom Victory” looks at how two disparate groups, radical Islamists and neo-conservatives, apply similar tactics. And “The Shadows in the Cave” begs the question, “Is organized terrorism an illusion?”
        Netflix Availability: DVD (3 discs)
        NETFLIX LISTING – http://movies.netflix.com/Movie/The_Power_of_Nightmares/70035190
        The Power of Nightmares Trailer (VIDEO, 04:00) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaLPFayD8FA

      • MRW
        MRW
        February 6, 2012, 6:44 pm

        This series is banned on US TV. Internet only.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 6, 2012, 6:53 pm

        I borrowed the DVD’s of Power of Nightmares from Netflix.

        I just started watching a later series of Adam Curtis’s, The Trap. That DVD I had to buy from Amazon.

  19. eGuard
    eGuard
    February 6, 2012, 2:25 pm

    So he wants to counter the argument that, in case of a war …
    3. The world economy would be dealt a death blow in the form of higher oil prices.

    He and his friends can easily put their money where their mouth is. After all, money is your specialty. Just promise, Niall, YOU pay the rise, worldwide.

  20. kalithea
    kalithea
    February 6, 2012, 2:40 pm

    I didn’t even bother to read the article at Daily Beast. I can’t stomach justification for war any longer and I’m refusing to read such garbage and garbage pretending there is such a thing as a “just” war. I find these arguments so offensive that they literally make me physically ill. So why should I put myself through that?

    There is a puzzling, dangerous trend happening, as opposed to the war in Iraq where Neocons led the charge and the media followed, in the case of Iran so called Liberals and “Liberal” media are actually ramping up the war rhetoric and justifying the march to war with Iran.

    Last Friday, on the eve of the Nevada caucus I watched Piers Morgan (a self-proclaimed Liberal) interview Ron Paul and Piers actually stated this bullshit: “I think Iran is a different situation [from Iraq] because I think they would if they could consider attacking Israel.”

    REQUIRED VIEWING FOR EVERYONE: Minutes 25:00 TO 26:25 of the interview. I beg you all to watch what Ron Paul says.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68-nxfqcoGw&feature=player_embedded

    Please watch this excerpt of the interview where Ron Paul is brutally and courageously honest like no one I’ve seen appear in the mainstream addressing foreign policy issues and then try to tell me how supporting Ron Paul has not become the most urgent necessity of our time considering how far to the Right Democrats/Liberals are going on the issue of a pre-emptive strike against Iran.

    I’m not sure if anyone watched the CNN coverage of the Nevada caucus where CNN was covering the caucus being held at Adelson Hall in Clark County. Something very strange was happening there, in my opinion, an attempt to fix the vote. However, because cameras were present at the site as perhaps CNN imagined Gingrich would no doubt win at this site, the vote counting ended up carefully scrutinized and RON PAUL got almost 60% of the vote at that particular location. Funny because after that result, the vote counting in the rest of the county was shut down til the following day! I kid you not! Later on Sunday and this morning, the GOP came out with the “official” results 21.1% for Newt (2nd place) and 18.7% for Ron Paul, but in 2008 Ron Paul came in second in Nevada with 18% and he’s been getting 5 to 10% higher this year (although considering what happened in Nevada it could actually be higher) in the states that already held their primary.

    So Ron Paul got 60% of the vote at a location that ironically received scrutiny because it was a location where Newt was expected to win as it was a so-called late “religious caucus”, but then he came in third in the rest of that county? Who can buy into this???

    No doubt, hopefully, Ron Paul’s team will ensure the votes are properly scrutinized from now on BUT the fact still remains that aside from the rest of the GOP, the most virulent opponents of Ron Paul are on the DEMOCRATIC SIDE.

    We are being dragged to war and Democrats and Liberals are betraying the rest of us who are holding true to our moral values. SHAME ON THEM; THEY MUST BE EXPOSED. They are responsible for the same kind of deception that led to the war in Iraq. They are TRAITORS to the moral cause that has made the liberal side great!
    Please watch that excerpt of the interview and support Ron Paul so that he has enough resources to monitor and counter whatever fraud is attempted to derail his campaign.

  21. BillM
    BillM
    February 6, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Ferguson’s argument was so weak that it’s hardly worth taking apart, but I was drawn to this detail:

    A third, CVN 77 George H.W. Bush, is said to be on its way from Norfolk, Va.

    It’s a very precise statement, and should be precisely wrong (that carrier just returned from the Persian Gulf a couple months ago – see http://gonavy.jp/CVLocation.html).

    There should be no way the carrier is headed back to the Gulf. So was Ferguson just making stuff up, or does he have a source? If this particular detail were true, I would find it extremely troubling. If the US is scrambling a third carrier…

    • eGuard
      eGuard
      February 6, 2012, 3:01 pm

      Most probably, he doesn’t know how to tell bow from stern.

    • MRW
      MRW
      February 6, 2012, 3:09 pm

      BillM, you mean fourth carrier. They already have three there.

      • Philip Munger
        Philip Munger
        February 6, 2012, 3:47 pm

        From the latest information I’ve found, we have two aircraft carriers adjacent to Iran – the Vinson in the Arabian Sea and the Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. The Stennis has made it all the way past Singapore, supposedly headed back to its base in Bremerton:

        CVN 68 – refit in Bremerton
        CVN 75 – refit/repair in Norfolk
        CVN 76 – refit in Bremerton
        CVN 71 – refueling complex overhaul at Newport News
        CVN 77 – end of deployment period at Norfolk until 24 January. Now “exercising” in Atlantic with new air wing
        CVN 65 Enterprise JTFEX and COMPTUEX exercises in Atlantic – as of 12 January
        CVN 69 – in Norfolk?
        CVN 70 – arrived Arabian Sea 09 January
        CVN 72 – operating in Persian Gulf from 22 January
        CVN 74 – North Arabian Sea at 05 January (it had passed out the Hormuz Straits on 29 December) 31 January – Singapore Strait
        CVN 73 – Yokosuka as of 28 December

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 6, 2012, 4:30 pm

        Hey Philip

        Are you running a car hire business? I heard CVN 68 was smashed up real bad on the New Jersey turnpike by a very lovable and earnest elderly French couple who couldn’t figure out the exit system. CVN 73 was rented out to some Canadian backpackers. CVN 74 ended up in Vegas in a trailer park and had to be towed back East after one of the staff saw it on Google Earth.

      • Philip Munger
        Philip Munger
        February 6, 2012, 4:45 pm

        If any of those things are for rent, I don’t think I could afford the rates. 77, 65 and 69 all appear to be in a flex mode, meaning they could quickly be deployed in support of Iran operations, or to make a NO! statement to Tel Aviv. I suppose 73 could redeploy from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, and 74 could turn around. At any rate, there are only two off Iran right now.

      • BillM
        BillM
        February 6, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Philip, thanks, that agrees with everything I read. If the US were to suddenly surge a carrier toward the Middle East, that would be one of the few things that would change my perception of the current events from “a lot of hot air” to “extreme danger.”

      • snowdrift
        snowdrift
        February 6, 2012, 5:22 pm

        Haha! This made me laugh.

        Niall Ferguson also wrote a book lauding British imperialism — his whole career is one big reactionary schtick, and the appeal that pompous Brits of a certain mold have to Americans reminds me of the Exiled’s takedown of the Economist, where that magazine’s mostly American readership got the “sick thrill of being talked down to by a dirty old aristocratic prig.”

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 6, 2012, 5:31 pm

        I wonder how Ferguson will react if Scotland votes to secede from the UK when Alex Salmond holds his referendum in a couple of years.

      • MRW
        MRW
        February 6, 2012, 6:03 pm

        Ah, thanks, Philip. Last I looked the Stennis was still in the Gulf or thereabouts.

      • MRW
        MRW
        February 6, 2012, 6:06 pm

        snowdrift, I loved Exiled during the Kosovo War, and shortly before when I started reading it. My tastes run to base male high school humor, and their escapades made the grade. ;-)

  22. February 6, 2012, 2:52 pm

    In Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath. Hoover was scathing in his denunciation of FDR for involving the US in war in Europe, arguing that Roosevelt should have “let Germany and Russia annihilate each other,” which would have spared the bloody war with Germany that cost so many lives, as well as the Cold War, that cost yet more again lives and treasure.

    As Ferguson well knows, the first world war was engaged to cover up impending bankruptcy. In The Pity of War, p. 140-141″ Ferguson writes (or quotes):

    ” In February 1914 the American ambassador Walter Page warned the State Department: ‘Some government (probably Germany) will see bankruptcy starint it in the face and the easiest way out will seem a great war. Bankruptcy before a war would be ignominious; after a war it could be charged to “Glory”.’ . . .And there was the rub. The danger — in Churchill’s words — was that the German government, rather than try to ‘soothe the internal situation’, might ‘find an escape from it in external adventure’. The Rothschilds too saw that financial constraints might positively encourage the German government to pursue an aggressive foreign policy, even at the risk of ‘incur[ring] fresh military and naval expenditure on a grand scale’. The Social Democrat leader August Bebel made essentially the same point in a memorable Reichstag speech in December 1911:

    There will be armaments and rearmaments on all sides until one day: Rather end in horror than horror without end . . .They might also say: Listen, if we wait longer, we are the weaker side instead of the stronger . . .The twilight of the gods of the bourgeois world is in prospect.

    This analysis was all too shrewd. Not for nothing did Moltke argue in March 1913 that ‘things must be so built up that war will be seen as a deliverance from the great armaments, the financial burdens, the political tensions’. [emphasis added] ”

    Ferguson’s special area of expertise is the intersection of warmaking and finance.

    In his recent book, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics,” John Mearsheimer reports that both Churchill and FDR lied to their people to involve their nations in war in Europe, and that FDR and Churchill had been collaborating closely for several years to involve the US in Europe’s war. Mearsheimer says that FDR’s initial ‘big’ lie staged to move the American people to a war footing involved an incident with the US submarine Greer. But the lie didn’t work; the American people were still “isolationist.” FDR and Churchill’s nations were both in economic disarray and NEEDED “creative destruction” to cover up impending “ignominious” bankruptcy.

    Mearsheimer notes that LBJ lied to the American people to press the war in Viet Nam.

    Mearsheimer notes that George Bush lied to the American people to motivate them to back the invasion of Iraq, against the protests of millions in the United States and worldwide.

    Mearsheimer notes that Tony Blair lied to the British people to motivate them to back the invasion of Iraq, against the protests of millions of British citizens.

    That is to say, Bush and Blair reprised the tactic of FDR and Churchill to engage in “creative destruction” against the democratically expressed will of the people, by lying.

    What’s that old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times _fill in the blank____. Fool me four times _fill in the blank____ .

    One final thought — yesterday, Dennis Ross sent his most recent acolyte from the WINEP bench, Ash Jain, to regurgitate the AIPAC party line why US should wage war on Iran. Jain proclaimed Israel the “only democratic state in the Middle East,” a statement that should bring to the minds of thoughtful people this crucial understanding:

    In a democracy, or at least the way the US democratic republic is organized, the decision to wage war is entrusted to the people’s direct representatives; war may not — theoretically — be waged by executive fiat. As the above list notes, every war since 1945, and perhaps even earlier, in the United States has been engineered by a unitary authority who has bypassed the will of the people and has then lied to the people and further propagandized the masses to think that war is essential, and has even lied to the US Congress to gain their support in waging a war, and in most of those cases, the war was required by the executive to bring about “creative destruction” to cover up an impending “ignominious” bankruptcy of both financial AND moral treasure.

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      February 6, 2012, 4:26 pm

      FDR’s initial ‘big’ lie staged to move the American people to a war footing involved an incident with the US submarine Greer.

      The USS Greer was a WWI-era destroyer, which was fired upon on September 4, 1941, by U-652, after the Greer began aggressively hunting the Nazi submarine. The sub had been spotted by a British patrol bomber, which notified the Greer and proceeded to drop depth charges on the sub’s location. As the Greer was at that time sounding for the sub, it is reasonable to assume the Germans had no way of knowing whether it was the plane or the destroyer that was attacking it.

      Otherwise, a very informative comment.

    • MRW
      MRW
      February 6, 2012, 6:29 pm

      teta mother me,

      It was further complicated by the Rockefeller vow after the Standard Oil breakup in 1911 (?) to ‘break up’ the United States in retaliation. WWI was when it was affirmed that oil determined the outcomes of war, not gold, so Rockefeller, British-Persian (BP), and Royal Dutch Shell divvied up the world into three areas of operation and dispensed with the colonies (Germany, France, Japan, etc) who controlled oil fields afar via war and treaties, and consolidated their hold. Even the Vietnam War had this as one of its basis because the fields off Vietnam in the South China Sea could supply the world for hundreds of years (Standard Oil completed it’s 10-year survey of those fields the day our boys were jumping on helicopters form the roof of the embassy in Saigon).

      Laurence Rockefeller was General MacArthur’s assistant in Japan in 1945, and had read the renowned geologist Herbert Hoover’s book on world resources, the one Hoover wrote before he became Prez. Few know about it. As assistant to MacArthur, he collected all the Japanese weapons and instead of giving them to the Chinese (who would have prevented the Mao Tse Tung takeover), he promised them to Ho Chi Minh to take out the French…in return for Standard Oil getting its mitts on those oil fields. Ho Chi Minh reneged on the deal after ousting the French in 1954 because by then he knew about Hoover’s book. So did the French, Chinese, and Japanese.

      There’s waaaay more, but it’s drinkey-poo time here, and that call is beckoning.

      Ferguson wouldn’t write about this stuff. Why upset his sponsors.

      • February 6, 2012, 6:59 pm

        enjoy that drinkey-poo then hurry back, MRW.

        My eyes go bleary with reading yet there’s always so much more to learn. I never did finish reading Yergin’s The Prize. Maybe Dickerson can find an online version of it — I recall it was televised about 15 years ago (when I had cable).

        cin cin

  23. gracie fr
    gracie fr
    February 6, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Niall Ferguson is a nervy sort of Brit who still regrets the end of the British Empire’s civilizing mission. He has taken it upon himself in the circles of punditry, to endorse the United States’ necessity to fill the gap and be the new “enlightened” beacon of civilization”. This stance did not exactly endear him to Pankaj Mishra whose demeaning review of Ferguson’s “Civilization: The West and the Rest” in the London Review of Books (November 3, 2011) struck a blow to the man’s ego. A rancorous flow of commentary ensued in the Review’s pages that spilled over onto the pages of The Guardian and beyond, culminating in the threat of a law suit on Ferguson’s part.
    It seems to have been a bluff as there has been no further word of pending legal action that I am aware of…
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n21/pankaj-mishra/watch-this-man

  24. American
    American
    February 6, 2012, 4:10 pm

    Hum….I wonder why the other side, the anti Iran war and anti Israel firsters, don’t use the Appeasement and Preemptive argument?

    Why aren’t they writing articles for grass roots consumers saying…

    DON’T APPEASE THE ISRAEL FIRST WAR MONGERS!
    DON’T APPEASE THE ZIONIST!
    PREEMPT THE ISRAEL FIRST WAR MONGERS!
    PREEMPT THE ISRAEL FIRST US CONGRESS

    Too politically correct I suppose to indulge in such. Much better to be dragged into a war than to have any tinge of offensiveness to anyone. Oh well, I guess we can comfort ourselves with how we took the high road despite how many people it put six feet under.

    I was watching a movie the other night about how the irregular guerrillas outside the American Revolutionary army changed the course of battles by breaking the rules of war that opposing armies don’t target each other’s battle leading Officers.
    Maybe we need more guerrillas and less Queensbury’s rules in this battle.

    • February 6, 2012, 7:05 pm

      EXACTLY, American!

      We have ceded the narrative to the Israel Firsters.

      We have got to start swamping the bookstores with “expert analyses” of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, and with pro-Palestinian and pro-Iranian books, T Shirts, posters, fliers, banners, toys, video games, the works. WE have got to take the OFFENSIVE and take back the narrative.

      Dershowitz is a jerk. Ignore him. Write past him. Disregard him. Don’t waste your time reading him or defending against him. Play your own game.

      (Joe Paterno RIP)

      • thetumta
        thetumta
        February 6, 2012, 9:49 pm

        No my dear, Dershowitz is Witty, nothing more. Yes, he should be ignored, but I fear it’s just 10 days too late to mention it? Iran is the game changer. If you can assault 80 million people by initiating an unprovoked war of aggression over nothing, what chance will the Palestinians have? Zippo. Forget them.

        I can’t think of a single scenario of an Israeli/American defeat in the coming days other than an un-managed, unanticipated economic collapse, but that will occur after the deed is done(Their hoping). I think checkmate might be next. Yet another weak, compromised Demo/Republican administration on this subject. Many Germans were hung over far less than this.
        Hej!

  25. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw
    February 6, 2012, 5:40 pm

    “Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.”

    –Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      February 6, 2012, 6:34 pm

      But if on Monday one lot of people are being dragged along into war according to Goering’s formula – by lies – some other lot will by Tuesday have a genuine reason, with no need for government lies, to believe that they are being attacked and thus to defend themselves. By Wednesday the first lot will have a valid reason of their very own: the lie will have become truth.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 6, 2012, 6:54 pm

        That’s what happened at Pearl Harbor. But, if the government tries to pull that stunt too often, it becomes too obvious what it’s doing.

      • February 6, 2012, 7:09 pm

        put some dates beside those statements, HarryLaw. Goering was observing after the fact, he was not inventing.
        By the time of the Nuremberg Trial, TWO US presidents–Wilson and FDR– and at least one British leader, Churchill, had lied to their people and mounted massive propaganda campaigns to take their nations to war, against the expressed opposition of the people — you know, the mugs who actually fought and died in selfsame wars. “War is a racket.”

  26. gazacalling
    gazacalling
    February 6, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Great headline, Phil.

  27. southernobserver
    southernobserver
    February 6, 2012, 7:42 pm

    We should not discount the pernicious role of what is fundamentally romanticism amongst the neocons, and indeed bibi et al.

    I what I mean is that they aren’t necessarily or at least not only sociopaths. The truely dangerous thing is that they dream of being Winston Churchill, leading their nations against the ruthless onslaught of evil. Winston was a great man; but they want to be him without either the intelligence, or doing the hard yards. Even Winston himself was famous for saying that “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war”. Instead, they want to leap straight into war-war.

    More important everybody damns chamberlain for appeasement. Really, could England have gone to war then? They were massively unprepared, and would have been swamped. My reading is that he genuinely thought that it was possible to avoid war; in retrospect we can say he was naive, but unlike his critics was also well aware that they weren’t ready to fight. Chamberlain bought time that made all the difference. He was not an ‘appeaser’ he was an informed, clever patriot and I believe saved England.

    In the modern world I can only agree with American; if we are ‘appeasing’ anybody, it is the war mongers and terrorists of the likud.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      February 6, 2012, 10:55 pm

      “More important everybody damns chamberlain for appeasement. Really, could England have gone to war then? They were massively unprepared, and would have been swamped.”

      Maybe not England by itself, but Britain certainly could have gone to war. (Why do so many of you forget about Scotland and Wales?) Chamberlain’s appeasement was to allow the Germans to take over the Sudentenland. This is where the Czech defenses were. A German invasion would have been hung up on those for some time, and Britain and France together would have been able to mount an effective assault on the Western border of Germany. The Soviet Union declared willingness to assist Czechoslovakia. Germany would have faced a two front war, and four enemies at once. The German Army was just not strong enough to deal with all of them.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        February 7, 2012, 1:00 pm

        Telford Taylor’s ‘Munich’ offers quite full documentation and argues that a decision for war should have been made. However his account makes me sympathise with Chamberlain to some extent. Chamberlain was at the head of an unwieldy coalition. His French partners were hesitant, his Dominion partners unwilling, his own military advisers discouraging, the predictions of quick victory in 1914 a bitter memory. There were great uncertainties over Romania, Poland and above all the Soviet Union.

      • Woody Tanaka
        Woody Tanaka
        February 7, 2012, 3:52 pm

        “Maybe not England by itself, but Britain certainly could have gone to war.”

        But his whole goal was not to go to war. Even a small war, as the previous one went from one assassination to 17 million people dead in 4 years. We have the luxury of saying, “War in 1938 would prevented the hell of 1939-1945,” but Chamberlain was saying that “the Sudentenland is a small price to pay to have a shot at avoiding a repeat of the hell of 1914-1918.”

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 7, 2012, 6:33 pm

        “his account makes me sympathise with Chamberlain to some extent.”
        “But his whole goal was not to go to war.”

        Indeed, yes. I have a great deal of sympathy for Chamberlain’s position. The horrors of 14-18 were at the front of the minds of everyone old enough to remember, and that was a substantial part of the population. In his position I probably would have made the same decision.

        I am simply saying that the “Chamberlain bought time” argument is misconceived. Yes, Britain had some time to build up its forces, but Germany was able to improve its position far more.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 7, 2012, 7:06 pm

        Why do so many of you forget about Scotland and Wales?

        I think you forgot Northern Ireland.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        February 7, 2012, 7:28 pm

        I always try to.

        It is very much an afterthought in the official title “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.

        I need a constitutional expert to tell me whether this means that the United Kingdom is the Union of England, Scotland, and Wales, and that Northern Ireland is an odd extra bit (that is the way I interpret it) or that Northern Ireland is legally counted as part of the United Kingdom as well as being governed by the UK government.

        That is, does the title mean UK +NI or UK = E+W+S+NI?

        Great Britain means, of course, E+W+S, and is distinct from Lesser Britain, which is part of France.

      • lysias
        lysias
        February 8, 2012, 10:25 am

        Before the Act of Union with Ireland of 1800, it was the Kingdom of Great Britain. No “United” in the title. After the union, it was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

        After southern Ireland became the Irish Free State in 1922, while Northern Ireland stayed within the kingdom, the kingdom became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (official change of the name in 1927).

        The present-day United Kingdom is considered to be a direct continuation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and not a successor state, and the Act of Union in 1800 remains in force in the UK (although with amendments).

  28. rensanceman
    rensanceman
    February 6, 2012, 8:26 pm

    Ferguson is the author of “the House if Rothschild” and was granted access to family records. There seems to be an obvious quid pro quo with his remarkable conclusions about our need to wage war with Israel’s menacing neighbor Iran. Pity, he seems so intelligent to have written such well researched books, but to have come to such a sorry, group think solution.

  29. Inanna
    Inanna
    February 6, 2012, 10:54 pm

    As an economist/historian, Ferguson should know the history of the term ‘creative destruction’. The concept is implicit in Marx’s writings about the workings of capitalism and was coined by Joseph Schumpeter:

    The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop to such concerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the same process of industrial mutation—if I may use that biological term—that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism.

    Thus making war seem as essential or inevitable as economic change, as something desirable since it makes things better. In the same way that cars replaced the horse and buggy and stablehands and coachdrivers were replaced by assemblers and mechanics, war replaces the old with something new and better. Never mind the destruction and loss of life. That is a necessary cost and how gloriously we shall celebrate and remember their sacrifice, eh Niall? Because human life is something that is ok to destroy since Niall puts it on the same level as losing one’s job due to technological progress.

    • MRW
      MRW
      February 7, 2012, 7:31 pm

      Great comment, Inanna, and thanks for rooting out where Creative Destruction came from.

  30. American
    American
    February 6, 2012, 11:56 pm

    Well if this Israel- First excerise of their ‘US democratic rights in behalf of their foreign homeland’ doesn’t gag you nothing will.

    OP-Ed: American Jews, Seize the Day!

    Published: Monday, February 06, 2012 10:05 AM

    Stopping the Iranian madmen is not Israel’s responsibility – it is America’s as the Defender of the Free World. If Israel moves, she will become the scapegoat for any conflict that results. Where is US Jewry?

    Iran is on the verge of securing a nuclear terrorist state and President Obama is stalling. Stopping the Iranian madmen is not Israel’s responsibility – it is America’s as the Defender of the Free World.

    Jews in America, it is our obligation as citizens to demand that Obama end the impending global threat posed by Iran. If we, American Jews, declare our support for Israel’s right to attack Iran, we will be absolving him of his duty to defend our Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.

    Once he does that, Israel becomes the scapegoat, because any steps Israel takes to defend her nation against Iran will appear as though she, not Iran, will have instigated a global conflict.

    Yet not one Jewish organization points out this fact or demands that America not Israel destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure now.

    Israel has been treated like the dregs of the Earth because, for more than 60 years, not one Jewish group or organization ever stood up to Congress and said, “How dare you force the people of Israel to negotiate with terrorists?” This is the great stain and shame on American Jewry. Because of our complacency and neglect in supporting Israel, she is now surrounded on all sides by her enemies and facing a nuclear holocaust.

    Our job in America is to take the boot forcefully from Israel’s neck, but we didn’t do it. We failed to stand firmly against one President after another who believes that America would achieve peace and financial security with the Islamic world that strives to annihilate Israel.

    What a betrayal to America’s core values! And American Jewry said nothing!

    Ahmadinejad is now constructing chambers of death where nuclear bombs will replace Zyklon B to finish Hitler’s work in their hell on earth. How dare any nation, especially Germany and France, say we should not immediately demand the destruction of Iran’s nuclear war machine – but even my fellow-American Jews don’t demand it. How dare they speak of their love for Israel and remain silent? It’s time we take a firm stand!

    I call on all American-Jewish leadership to create a firestorm so that all Jews from the national Jewish community call Congress, demanding they end the sanctions and take action against Iran now. While we must be polite and firm, we must not be deterred. Hound your representatives daily as though it were Israel’s last day on earth.

    I’ve been warned numerous times, “Don’t push this agenda. It might upset our Congressional representatives who now support Israel. Don’t push them too far.” Is this what Emma Lazarus had in mind when she composed, ?Give me your tired, your poor,” that immigrants who left their oppressive homelands for the new world might once again live in fear in America?

    More specifically, that an American citizen of Jewish descent would dread abandonment by a Congressional representative because we dared to criticize proposals that do not go far enough to secure Israel’s safety. Why is it that the Jewish people, victims of hatred and terrorism, feel we must hold our tongue when we are being short-changed, and be grateful for whatever favors we’ve been granted?

    The Jewish Federations and religious leaders who represent us have adopted the same victim mentality that delivered our brethren directly into the gas chambers of World War II. Now, as in the past, these same groups hold in contempt those Jews who demand unrestricted action against those who planning our extermination. As if that were not enough, we now have new heirs to the thrones of leadership who say, “Wait until 2013,” but offer no positive hope or direction to overcome this Iranian threat.

    If we are to survive this final worldwide onslaught against the Jewish people, American Jews must reject the mindset of compliance that made us victims in every nation and every generation. The time has come to demand for ourselves what every other American takes for granted since the birth of our nation – that we have the right to be fearless, bold, boisterous when calling our leaders to account when dealing with Iran.

    As American citizens, we can be rightly proud of Nathan Hale who said, “Give me Liberty, or give me death.”

    We need our own American Natan Halevy! – someone who has the courage to declare publicly, risking his life and his fortune, that the policies that the President of the United States is pursuing are leading to the destruction of the Jewish state and the persecution of the Jews worldwide.

    He must be stopped.”

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11234

    • MRW
      MRW
      February 7, 2012, 7:36 pm

      American, the blurb for the Op-Ed author says

      Stanley Zir is founder of Never Again is NowandVictorious America.com, “dedicated to the completion of America’s destiny… in fulfilling Liberty’s mandate: ‘Our Eternal War on Tyranny’….”

      This op-ed is an affront to everything this country stands for.

  31. Patrick
    Patrick
    February 7, 2012, 12:40 am

    Paul Krugman has pointed out many times, including just today, that Niall Ferguson, whose supposed expertise is in economics history, has been making predictions that have proved consistently flat wrong, and that he has no real understand of economics. To wit:

    “The first story is good old crowding out: the government is borrowing, that competes with private borrowers, and that drives rates up. That’s what Niall Ferguson was arguing back when, it’s what Morgan Stanley was arguing when it predicted soaring rates in 2010. To be fair, it’s a reasonable story when the economy is near full employment. But it’s all wrong when the economy is depressed, and especially if it’s in a liquidity trap. And it also involves a fundamental misunderstanding of economics to argue, as Ferguson did, that crowding out can actually deepen a slump.”

    See: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/interest-rate-stories/

    and from today: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/anti-keynesian-revisionism/

  32. piotr
    piotr
    February 7, 2012, 12:52 am

    In Administration of chicken hawks. it was characteristic that Condoleeza Rice was quite cheerful about birth pangs without any personal experience.

    In a similar vein, I wonder what does Niall Ferguson know about creativity?

  33. American
    American
    February 7, 2012, 2:56 am

    http://antiwar.com/radio/2012/02/02/gareth-porter-142/
    Use the Mp3 player

    Intersting interview with Gareth Porter of IPS.
    Porter says a flag officer at the pentagon who was on Dempesy’s trip to Israel says that Dempsey message to Israel from Obama really was that the US WOULD NOT join in or come to the defense of Israel if Israel attacked Iran unprovoked.
    Another point Porter made was the Mossad report I saw last week– that the Mossad has found and intends to report to and agree with the US and IAE that there is no sign that Iran is building or will begin to build a nuclear weapon.
    *Wonder if the Mossad told Mrs. Feinstein that in their private meeting?

    Lots more info in the interview.
    Porter worried O doesn’t have the balls to stick to what he told Israel.
    Israel military knows it doesn’t have the ability to attack Iran and accomplish anything…must have US do it. And some question even US could get to the core of the facilities without ground troops actually going into them. Which seems to be true because last week pentagon said current bunker buster wouldn’t do the job and they were looking at building a new bigger bomb.
    Must have US do it– is why the US Israel firsters are churning out dozens of propaganda articles a day like this one.. ”Israel Can’t Act Alone on Iran Nuke Threat: Jeffrey Goldberg”….demanding US attack Iran, and running hysterical Iran is targeting US Jews and US articles and commanding Jews to rise up and overpower Obama so the US will attack Iran.
    To get US involved, Israel would have to set up something to provoke Iran into attacking some US asset or set up a false flag attack themselves on some US interest that would be blamed on Iran.
    Probably the only thing worth pondering now is what Netanyahu would set up to do that….it would have to be something covert, a assassination of some US official or bombing of some US embassy or installation, maybe assassinating a US Ambassador or even blowing up some commerical passanger plane they could lay on the Iranians.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      Tuyzentfloot
      February 7, 2012, 4:25 am

      that the Mossad has found and intends to report to and agree with the US and IAE that there is no sign that Iran is building or will begin to build a nuclear weapon.

      Ever notice how “Iran hasn’t decided yet?” (..to build a bomb) sounds a lot more threatening than “Iran is not considering it”. As if they’re constantly on the brink of starting construction.

  34. Justice Please
    Justice Please
    February 7, 2012, 6:22 am

    “what a nuclear-armed Iran would end up costing us all.”

    Is he really that dumb, or does he simply forget about the 10.000 US nukes and the 300 Israeli nukes? I can’t believe that he gets paid to write about politics.

  35. patm
    patm
    February 7, 2012, 9:15 am

    I found this item in Kate’s list.

    Israel’s PM warns his officials to stop Iran ‘blabber’ first paras.

    “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned his officials to stop “blabbing” about the possibility of an attack targeting Iran’s nuclear program, the newspaper Maariv reported on Monday.

    Netanyahu is said to have directed the instruction at a number of military officials and government ministers who he believes have been speaking too freely about a potential Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

    The newspaper, citing unnamed senior officials, said Netanyahu delivered the warning during a meeting with ministers from his Likud party on Sunday.

    The newspaper, citing unnamed senior officials, said Netanyahu delivered the warning during a meeting with ministers from his Likud party on Sunday.

    “Stop blabbing, already,” he reportedly told the officials. “This chit-chat causes huge damage, puts Israel on the front line, and damages sanctions” imposed by the United States and Europe on Iran, the premier reportedly said.

    Maariv’s sources said there was concern that Israel “might be perceived as dragging the U.S. into a war with Iran against its will and endangering the U.S.’s national interests.””

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/02/06/192939.html

    • lysias
      lysias
      February 7, 2012, 12:25 pm

      That story actually appeared on an inside page of today’s Washington Post.

  36. lysias
    lysias
    February 7, 2012, 1:01 pm

    Ha’aretz writer Akiva Eldar (tongue in cheek?) thinks Israeli government policies have already encouraged the emigration that that government appears to consider an existential threat: Jews who are malicious to those who help us:

    Time to move?

    A recent New York Times article featuring an interview with Defense Minister Ehud Barak indicates that it might be a good idea to head to the nearest travel agency.

    In the article, by Ronen Bergman, Barak cites three conditions for a military strike against Iran: international legitimacy, primarily American, for an attack; Israel’s ability to act; and the necessity of a military operation. Bergman thinks that, for the first time, some Israeli leaders believe that all three of these conditions exist.

  37. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    February 7, 2012, 1:19 pm

    I don’t suppose Netanyahu was talking in English, but in English a blabbermouth is not one who speaks misleadingly but one who speaks incautiously and lets cats out of bags. For more than a decade we’ve had a procession of journalists and academics who dislike Iran and just love the thought of being the chosen messenger of mighty Israel. Their activities are valued surely not because they actually put pressure on Iran, which must by now be thinking that the threats are empty, but because the political reaction in the west is panicky and subservient. The continuation of these activities obviously requires encouraging nods and winks from Israeli politicians and military men, letting these wonderful and intelligent friends in on their secret. Netanyahu may be calling for more subtlety and ambiguity but I don’t think that the whole show could be called off without an unwelcome questioning in the west of Israel’s effortless superiority over all comers.

  38. stevieb
    stevieb
    February 8, 2012, 11:54 am

    I watched an interview on a very Zio-centic CBC(Canada) with a fellow from a Zionist think tank and an Iranian Professor from Queen’s University.

    Both were for an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, but the Iranian Professor claimed that since the last NSA assessment of Iranian nukes in 2003, Iranian enrichment of uranium has increased from 5 to 20 percent(in terms of quality – sorry I’m not much in science) which I thought was quite interesting if it is indeed true.

    • patm
      patm
      February 8, 2012, 1:08 pm

      …, Iranian enrichment of uranium has increased from 5 to 20 percent(in terms of quality

      Did the Iranian prof provide a source for this statement?

      “very Zio-centric CBC” I don’t think this label is fair as a blanket statement. They are dependent on our Zionist-loving pm for a big chunk of their funding. They are doing their best to ‘strike a balance’ in I/P coverage.

      Canadians on mondo may wish to join Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, a group formed a year or so ago to monitor the media.

      http://www.cjpme.org/

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot
        February 8, 2012, 1:50 pm

        …, Iranian enrichment of uranium has increased from 5 to 20 percent(in terms of quality.
        Did the Iranian prof provide a source for this statement?

        It’s true alright, if you don’t look closely. The iranians are enriching uranium to 20%. The part that is missing is, they’re only enriching the amounts they need for medical purposes, so they’re not upgrading their stock from 5% to 20%.

        Turkey and Brazil had helped broker an agreement to provide Iran with the needed 20% uranium without them performing this level of enrichment, but the US pulled out of that.

  39. Citizen
    Citizen
    February 8, 2012, 2:05 pm

    You think this article is relevant to this MW post and thread?
    Israel to the United States: “We’ll Give You the War, You Give Us the Cannon Fodder” http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/02/israel-to-the-united-states-well-give-you-the-war-you-give-us-the-cannon-fodder/

    Seems the green light is on, and all Bibi has to do is (1) concoct a false flag OP making it seem Iran has started violent action against either an Israeli or American, or (2) just do a preemptive/preventative attack on Iran, and when Iran retaliates against Israel, somehow make it look like Iran hit an American asset, which will trigger the condition for success, America’s full entry into the war Israel starts (on trumped-up or inflated pretext, or merely by declaring it’s threatened existentially by Iran)

Leave a Reply