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Barak to US: Be afraid, be very afraid of ‘the sword at our throat’

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Israeli front pages Photo:Dvorit Shargal of

The Israeli press went on steroids over the weekend pushing an attack on Iran, and it’s getting mass coverage.

The push began with Ynet’s report that Israeli P.M. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak advocate an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities this fall, before the U.S. elections in November.

And what about the fact that “not the [Israeli] army command, not the security forces, not even the president -  supports an Israeli strike now” (Hebrew edition)? Defense Minister Barak was unmoved. According to Ynet “Barak therefore made it clear that everyone against an attack is free to resign.”

Speaking anonymously, a “senior Israeli official… known for his sharp analytical skills” warns of impending doom.

Ari Shavit writes in Haaretz:

“The sword at our throat is a lot sharper than the sword at our throat before the Six-Day War,” the official said.


According to the official, if Iran obtains nuclear arms, it will goad its neighbors and adversaries and will be unstoppable. “What happened in the Rhine in 1936 will be child’s play compared to what will happen with Iran,” he said, referring to the entry of German forces into the Rhineland in 1936 in violation of the Treaty of Versailles.

“All the moderate forces around us will be significantly weakened and heavy storm clouds will gather over the Middle East. The region will not be the same region and the world will not be the same world, and our lives will not be the same either. We will live under the shadow of a permanent storm,” the official said.

Noam Sheizaf reports at +972 that this “anonymous decision maker” pushing war is none other than Ehud Barak:

Ari Shavit offers a few hints to the identity of his interlocutor (the source is “known for his sharp analytical skills”; has a piano in his living room; was at the center of decision making twice; and more.) It is also widely known that Shavit has very good relationship with Barak; and this is not the first time he has citied the same “senior source” (including a hit job on Tzipi Livni before the last elections). Even Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On wrote on her Facebook page explicitly that the source in Shavit’s article is Ehud Barak.

The daily media roundup by the 7th eye (a media watchdog site) also states that “Shavit’s source is Barak.”

In the interview, Defense Minister Barak responds to arguments made by those opposing the attack. He tells Shavit that Israel will be able to cause considerable damage to Iran’s nuclear program, delaying it for a few years – possibly until the Iranian regime falls; he expects no American guarantee to attack the nuclear facilities next year, and he insists that Israel must attack soon and not hand the problem over to the Americans (according to reports in the Israeli media, the IAF would not be able to cause significant damage to the Iranian nuclear program unless the attack is carried out in the coming months). Barak says:

Naturally, the question becomes ‘Will Obama have Israel’s back?’

Color me suspicious, but what are the chances that the timing of this August impending-doom pressure wave isn’t just a means of revving up American politics? Netanyahu and Barak providing our compliant press with ammunition for Romney via the Emergency Committee for Israel, Dan Senor etc making their job easier?

On Tuesday Haaretz reported there was some “new intelligence information”  according to a Western diplomat and Israeli officials. Not to be upstaged by his own anonymous persona Barak went on Israeli Radio and trumped this ‘new intelligence’ which has since morphed into a new US National Intelligence Estimate report claiming the US has learned Iran is even closer to a bomb.  Interestingly, this has not been confirmed by the WH but it doesn’t stop tongues from wagging.  Rumor has it somebody’s pissed:

It just keeps escalating. Case in point check out CNN’s Iran: High stakes nuclear poker game?

Sorry, but I simply must end this with some humor. Will Obama force Israel to attack Iran? Some folks think that’s the question. American Thinker says Obama is being irresponsible by allowing Israel to prepare to attack Iran all by its lonesome:

And therein lies the irony of Obama forcing Israel to put its citizens and soldiers at risk to do something that he should be authorizing the U.S. military to do.

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is a mom, a human rights activist, and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area and likes to garden. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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68 Responses

  1. American on August 10, 2012, 4:42 pm

    “And therein lies the irony of Obama forcing Israel to put its citizens and soldiers at risk to do something that he should be authorizing the U.S. military to do.”

    OMG……he actually said that?….if that isn’t the epitome of the Zionista mentality and narassicism nothing is.
    Only non Jews and non Israelis should die and take risk to protect Israelis.
    The US has the Debbie Wasserman ”moral obligation” to kill itself for Israel?

    I’ve considered running off a copy of everything on MW and burying it in a lead trunk the back yard so maybe some civilization after us will dig it up and know what happened to the US.

    • annie on August 10, 2012, 8:07 pm

      OMG……he actually said that?

      absolutely! only i think it’s a she..Lauri B. Regan.

    • Krauss on August 11, 2012, 12:30 am

      This is completely and nothing but psychological warfare.

      I’m still amused that people, at least quite a bit of people, still believe that the Israeli leadership will announce on beforehand that they will strike.

      Israel’s pattern is clear: whenever you want to strike, go silent beforehand to do it by surprise.

      So whenever I hear some ex-Mossad guy saying that “If I were an Iranian I’d be very worried the next 12 weeks” or this barrage of attacks by Barak, you can be sure to dooze off. They just want to make sure that the sanctions are strong enough.

      Nothing will happen until after the election.

      • quercus on August 11, 2012, 7:52 am

        Nothing’s going to happen, Krauss, period. Not if the Zionists are going to get their hair mussed, which will certainly will. If they attack Iran, this time they will allow their hummingbird ass to overwhelm their jaybird mouth.

  2. Hostage on August 10, 2012, 5:15 pm

    It isn’t in the national interest of either Israel or the US to attempt to change the existing international laws against preventive wars or attacks on peaceful applications of nuclear power. A spoonful of your own medicine can bite you or your allies in the ass. Iran is not the only country in the world that worries its neighbors on account of a latent capability to produce weapons.

    The case for a preventive attack against Japan from China or North Korea is actually much better than the one for an attack on Iran. The Japanese government deliberately amended it laws that govern nuclear programs to include “national security”, and sitting members of the Japanese Parliament have openly discussed obtaining nuclear weapons. Japan has enough material lying around to fuel over 5,000 bombs. Based upon past experience, the neighbors have very legitimate concerns about the role and possible ambitions of a re-militarized Japan for the region. See:
    *Revisions to Japanese Atomic Law Cause Worry Over Possible Weapons Aim
    *Nuclear Arms Talk Accompanies Japan Atomic Power Phaseout Debate
    *In Japan, Provocative Case for Staying Nuclear: Some Say Bombs’ Potential as Deterrent Argues for Keeping Power Plants Online
    *Seoul getting jumpy about Tokyo’s national security push

    On the other hand, neither the US nor Israel is open to the idea that bombing their nuclear power plants is legal, despite the fact that both have well-known weapons programs. In fact, Israel’s attacks on other nuclear power plants have resulted in IAEA resolutions that declared the practice a violation of the UN Charter and international law:

    • Fredblogs on August 10, 2012, 7:18 pm

      Well, violation of blah blah and the only thing that saved Kuwait from a nuclear armed Saddam Hussein that the U.S. would have done nothing about.

      • Hostage on August 10, 2012, 9:59 pm

        Well, violation of blah blah and the only thing that saved Kuwait from a nuclear armed Saddam Hussein that the U.S. would have done nothing about.

        Hasbara blah blah and we know that the bombing of the Osirak nuclear reactor by Israel served as the motivating factor which drove Iraq’s quest to acquire nuclear weapons before the first War in the Gulf. Iraqi or Iranian nuclear weapons would curtail Israel’s ability to use military force in the region with absolute impunity. See Larry Derfner’s “Don’t believe Bibi: 1981 strike only sped up Iraqi nuclear program”

  3. Dan Crowther on August 10, 2012, 5:22 pm

    Along those lines – apparently the House of Saud says they will only allow Jets through their airspace if its a US sanctioned action, and they will intercept the Israelis if they go it alone.

    In other words, they’re on board – but only if its US backed.

    This is so crazy, its anyones guess. I wonder if Romney will bring up Obama’s arming of Al-Qaeda in the debates? Maybe if AQ gets John Bolton to lobby for them like the MEK, they too can get off the terrorist list. Unreal.

    So much for the clash of civlizations, huh? The US, Israel, the GCC and Al-Fckin-Qaeda forming Vultron to destroy the region.

    • Keith on August 10, 2012, 6:50 pm

      DAN CROWTHER- I have come to the conclusion that there is a better than even chance of a US/Israel attack on Iran in October (October surprise), unless sanctions and covert ops bring about regime change before. The primary reasons will be geo-strategic. I doubt there will be an invasion, they will simply destroy the infrastructure and the society.

      • annie on August 10, 2012, 8:11 pm

        I have come to the conclusion that there is a better than even chance of a US/Israel attack on Iran in October

        not i, i think they are mining for quotes for the attack ads and presidential debates. grist for the mill so to speak. that’s my hunch anyway.

    • Carowhat on August 11, 2012, 8:19 pm

      “. . . they will intercept the Israelis if they go it alone.”

      If the Sauds try to intercept the Israelis we can expect to see a lot of Saudi fighters going down in flames. But it will never come to that. No one will mess with an Israeli attack, even the Iranians (at least till it’s over and the Israelis have gone home). I expect the Israelis would have attacked long ago but they still see hope the Americans will do it for them.

  4. seanmcbride on August 10, 2012, 5:36 pm

    There is an increasingly disturbing vibe emanating from Israel towards the United States that resembles a threat: if you don’t do exactly what we demand that you do with regard to Iran, you will suffer terrible consequences. The tone of the rhetoric is moving into Samson Option territory — the whole world (“the nations”) is being threatened with the wrath of Netanyahu and Barak. One hears the voice of the angry Old Testament God.

    • on August 11, 2012, 12:18 am

      “The tone of the rhetoric is moving into Samson Option territory”
      And the same sentiments are shared by millions of “American” donors.

      I think the real story of this Iran war lust is the effective shutdown of US democracy that is planned for the aftermath of an Iran attack.

      It makes complete sense when viewed that way, and is completely insane otherwise.

  5. chuckcarlos on August 10, 2012, 5:42 pm

    yes, that is a big problem on the West Coast

    first we had to worry about all them ChiCom Sappers coming muggled in with China made mouses and printers…wanting to take over all of them honest made in the USA burrito joints and Taco Bell…

    now this Iran threat? Iranians planning on opening a chain restaurant in San Diego and corrupting our youth and stealing all of our precious bodily fluids….

    Diabolical all those Iranians…the women with those long legs and short skirts hidden behind those robes and then the men…ohboy, the men all have them Italian Silk Suits with NO ties…It’s not jewish or even Chinese…

    Before we had to worry about all them heavyweight potato eating Russian women wanting steal all of our semen…now we have the Iranians…

    whatever will we do?

  6. Carowhat on August 10, 2012, 5:46 pm

    ” American Thinker says Obama is being irresponsible by allowing Israel to prepare to attack Iran all by its lonesome:”

    It astonishes me how many people truly believe that the US has an obligation to attack Iran for Israel.

  7. BillM on August 10, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Color you suspicious indeed. It’s not like we didn’t ALL see this tactic coming. Just to Fareed Zakaria myself:

    BillM says:
    May 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm
    + Show content
    Gotta give the man credit, he absolutely destroyed the opposition. One thing folks on the outside will soon notice vis a vis Israel and Iran: all the voices in Israel calling Bibi and Barak insane and warmongering on Iran will suddenly dry up. Those voices had reached a recent crescendo, but it had far less to do with the threat of war and far more to do with a political maneuver to isolate and polarize Bibi in advance of the election. Now that the election is off, those voices will largely disappear. This fact will be followed by stories that the disappearance of those voices is evidence that Israel has moved to a war footing and the danger of war is extreme. Happily, those stories won’t actually be true, they’ll just be a revival of the Israeli tactic to pressure the US by threatening a unilateral attack on Iran. Sadly, the tactic will work.

    Nothing has changed militarily. Israel still lacks the ability (and lately, the money) to go to war unilaterally with Iran. Hence, this tactic can ONLY be aimed at the US. The very minimum goals of this tactic are designed to simultaneously distract Obama and to force him to levy ever-greater sanctions on Iran. The maximal goals, of course, are to kill two birds with ones stone, and force a war that would bring down both Obama and the Iranian power structure.

    • DICKERSON3870 on August 10, 2012, 7:18 pm

      RE: “…those stories won’t actually be true, they’ll just be a revival of the Israeli tactic to pressure the US by threatening a unilateral attack on Iran. Sadly, the tactic will work.” ~ BillM

      ALSO SEE – “Haaretz: Adelson’s Billions in Service of U.S. War Against Iran”, by Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 8/07/12

      A Haaretz reporter has just published a fascinating theory (and English) in which Bibi Netanyahu, with the connivance of Sheldon Adelson, is provoking not just war with Iran, but a U.S. war with Iran. Sefi Rachlevsky writes that Netanyahu believes that if he attacks Iran a few weeks before the election that Obama will have two choices: either he will join in the attack, in which case both Bibi and Adelson will have gained their supreme objective, the dismantling of the Iranian menace. If Obama refuses and leaves Israel in the lurch, so Rachlevsky’s theory goes, the incumbent president will lose the election to Mitt Romney, who will then be able to finish the job once he assumes the presidency.
      I don’t know if Bibi is stupid and callow enough to believe this. But what is most interesting is the Haaretz reporter’s claim that Adelson is willing to use his billions in service of this grand scheme. The language here is strong, provocative, disturbing, but worth considering seriously:

      We’re not talking about an independent Israeli attack. Precisely the opposite. All of Adelson’s billions are meant for this moment: dragging America into a war to save Israel. Netanyahu succeeded previously in restraining American pressure for peace. But dragging America to war using the methods of Pollard and the Protocols, that’s a different planet altogether.
      …These things must be said clearly. No leadership has the right to send the IDF [to war]–endangering thousands of soldiers and civilians–into a war it [Israel] doesn’t have the ability to win on its own. No one has the right to gamble with Israeli lives. Legetimitately involving the U.S. in war against Iran should only be done by a government following a policy of moderation. A government which failed in this effort would not gamble that it could drag the U.S. into war if it only sacrificed enough Israeli lives in the process.
      …IDF chief Benny Gantz and the army’s leadership are obligated NOT to carry out such an order [to attack Iran]. Giving such an order should be prohibited. It should be prohibited to execute it as well.

      Adelson will spend infinitely, both in order to make Mitt president and to ensure war with Iran. That part of the theory I find much more convincing. I have no doubt that Adelson may believe in this double-edged strategy. If he does and there is an Israeli attack before the election, I’d expect a massive campaign blitz in favor of “helping Israel finish the job.” To Adelson’s mind, he’s performing a double-mitzvah (at least): getting Mitt elected and obliterating Iran as a threat to Israel. Someone having the warped thinking of the casino magnate could easily think this way. . .


      P.S. Here is a nice set of photos of Sheldon “Dr. Strangelove” Adelson stroking his trademark black leather clad right hand. –

  8. justicewillprevail on August 10, 2012, 6:06 pm

    So this jumped-up little aggressive state is amping up their ridiculous and unfounded hysteria yet again, screaming wolf at every little mouse that comes its way, as if they weren’t the fourth largest military state in the world, possessing an arsenal of nuclear weapons. Now that Romney has encouraged them, they now think they must manipulate the US elections so that American lives will pay for their occupation, and spark off more years of endless trillion dollar wars, whilst they sit back by their pools with their barbecues, watching it on television, enjoying their subsidised lifestyle. What is there left to say about such a benighted, spoilt, ludicrous little tantrum-prone brat of a country? $%&k off.

  9. Woody Tanaka on August 10, 2012, 6:25 pm

    These people (the israels) won’t be happy until Iranians are dead. They’re blood thirsty monsters.

    • OlegR on August 11, 2012, 8:19 am

      How many Israelis, which ones, what percentage of Israeli population are blood thirsty monsters exactly ?

      • on August 11, 2012, 10:00 am

        How many Israelis would prefer to ignore the blood-thirsty monsters in their tribe, and quietly support perpetual war, for the sacred cause of preventing Jew-on-Jew violence?


      • Taxi on August 11, 2012, 10:52 am

        How many aren’t “blood thirsty monsters” – you tell us mister oleg.

      • Woody Tanaka on August 13, 2012, 5:49 pm

        Count up the number of them mentioned in the article and do the math yourself. They’re the ones I’m talking about.

        And you do remember how your people count, right, Oleg??
        один, два, три, четыре…
        You time oppressing Palestinians in their land hasn’t wiped out how things are done in your land, right?

  10. DICKERSON3870 on August 10, 2012, 6:45 pm

    RE: “‘The sword at our throat is a lot sharper than the sword at our throat before the Six-Day War,’ the official said.” ~ Shavitz’s Haaretz article

    SPEAKING OF SWORDS: “Bibi: Israel Will Raise ‘David’s Sword’ Against Iran” ~ By Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, 9/28/11

    [EXCERPTS] . . . But the most interesting and frightening element of the interview was his [Netanyahu’s] comments about Iran. Other reporters have been noting that Bibi lately has been waxing apocalyptic and mystical about the possibly oncoming war with Iran. In this interview he says:

    Iran’s nuclear programs are turning it into an existential danger to the State of Israel. The question is not just what Israel is doing to stop it, but what the world is doing. The awareness by the world community that Iran is progressing on a track toward developing a nuclear weapon obligates it to act so that Iran does not get this weapon. With every day that passes, Iran gets closer. The obligation of the international community to act grows as the fear [that Iran progresses toward a bomb] does.
    You must keep in mind: that we aspire toward peace; but at the same time we must wield the sword of David to defend the Jewish State.

    Of course, in Bibi’s skewed world-view, David’s sword was raised only to defend his people, not in aggression against a victim. But we should keep in mind that David’s sword slew an Israelite enemy and led to the killer’s annointment as King of Israel. . .
    …Bibi (and to a lesser extent, Barak) have a very complicated complex that is little short of messianic and frightening. In the past, I’ve written dismissively about Bibi saying he has no principles and that even his so-called Jewish values appear to be manufactured. Now, I’m not so sure. And I don’t know which is worse, a megalomaniac with no principles or values; or a Jewish megalomaniac with religious-nationalist principles and values. They both scare the living hell out of me. . .


  11. ToivoS on August 10, 2012, 7:05 pm

    The ravings of madmen. But what is the point? — Israel is not going to attack Iran. Repeating over and over again that they will makes little sense (yes, there is the argument that it is the glue that holds sanctions together, but wolf calling over time simply degrades credibility).

    I genuinely find this charade puzzling. There is the danger that the talk will create its own dynamic that results in war but it is a war that if initiated by Israel will end in strategic failure for Israel yet again.

    (BTW, do people take the American Thinker seriously — it sounds like a fairly extreme publication.)

    • annie on August 10, 2012, 8:18 pm

      BTW, do people take the American Thinker seriously

      not that i know of, that’s why i prefaced it with I simply must end this with some humor. but it does give us an idea of the kind of crackpot thinking we’re going to be hearing going into this election.

    • American on August 11, 2012, 2:05 pm

      “I genuinely find this charade puzzling. There is the danger that the talk will create its own dynamic that results in war”…ToivoS

      I don’t find it puzzling, it’s typical monkey cage rattling for Israel.

      But I do agree the talk and threats can create it ‘s own dynamic of the Israelis deciding……”Lets do it!”
      I haven’t seen much in Israel where their hubris and emotionalism didn’t trump long term strategy and rationalism.

      In fact what I just said reminds me the King of Jordon said the same thing in an interview on the Charlie Rose show last week…..that the Israelis ‘have no concept or capacity’ for looking at the long term for Israel or long term results of their actions.

  12. MRW on August 10, 2012, 7:32 pm


    As a result, a lot of Republican and Independent votes for Ron Paul will balkanize Romney getting there. Just out anger at Israel pulling this stunt. This catastrophic stunt.

    • CloakAndDagger on August 11, 2012, 2:26 am

      Mitt Romney’s candidacy seems to be on shaky grounds. The Republican convention is starting to look like an unfolding drama. Ron Paul isn’t out of the picture yet – not by a long shot.

      If he doesn’t sort out his tax issues and refusal to disclose tax returns, all bets are off.

      • Carowhat on August 12, 2012, 4:52 pm

        “If [Romney] doesn’t sort out his tax issues and refusal to disclose tax returns, all bets are off.”

        Well, you’re right, though it didn’t hurt Obama with the mainstream media that he never released his college records (perhaps, as some have speculated, because they showed he attended Occidental and Columbia as a foreign student).

  13. Mooser on August 10, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Everything you need to know about the “American Thinker” can be found at a wonderful website called “Sadly, No!” No, it’s so good, I gotta link it like this: Sadly, No!
    Is today’s top post about the “American Thinker”? Maybe not, but scroll down and see. They cover The American Thinker extensively. With contumely jollicosity, if you ask me.

    Oh wait, todays top post is about The American Thinker. Cool.

  14. piotr on August 10, 2012, 9:55 pm

    IDF is not prepared for the magnitude of problems that an attack on Iran can cause.

    My favorite two examples:

    1. Recently 20,000 faxes were sent to IDF offices to protest planned demolition of villages, and IDF spokesman complained that it damaged the communications of IDF. Imagine the wave of faxes that Iran can unleash if attacked. Millions!

    2. Videos posted on this site showed how difficult it is for IDF to control and capture adult Palestinian sheep (lambs can be very effectively kicked, but adult sheep with plentiful wool are surprisingly feisty, and IDF troops are not equipped with shepherd crooks). Iran has more than 50 millions of sheep and goats. Any commando operation would have to deal with those creatures.

    The most disastrous aspect of a putative attack on Iran is that to a degree that Iran has a “sharper sword” than Egypt in 1967, the sword is not nuclear, but it has the form of conventional cost effective weapons, chiefly various missiles. An attack at sites connected to the nuclear program would not affect Iran military capability at all, but in can have profound contrary effect. As Russia and China oppose attacking Iran, they probably already issued quiet threats of countermeasures, of which the easiest would to to totally remove embargoes affecting trade with Iran. There is a literal smorgasboard of measures that would form humiliating and dangerous blowback.

  15. Carowhat on August 10, 2012, 10:48 pm

    “Be afraid, be very afraid”

    What I’m afraid of are cliches like “be very afraid.”

  16. gingershot on August 10, 2012, 10:50 pm

    Time to stop pussyfooting around with Israel – Saudi Arabia just came out saying they will shoot down any Israeli planes trying to illegally attack Iran by the so-called ‘Southern Route’ – and certainly Turkey is not going to let the now hated Israelis attack on a ‘Northern Rout’e.

    This leaves the puppet state of Jordan and Iraqi airspace occupied by the US for Israel to go for it over the ‘Central Route’.

    Former Sec State Zbig Brezinzski says we should go up and challenge and if necessary shootdown Israeli planes if they try going over Iraq and expect America to turn a blind eye

    This is obviously in America’s strategic interest to prevent an attack on Iran that would absolutely devastate the American economy – all so Israel can use a regional war or perhaps even World War III to enable her to maintain her Apartheid state a few more years down the road

    Israel and Mad King Bibi must be stopped and stopped cold with an effective No Fly Zone Out of Israel to prevent an Israeli attack.

    Early warning listening ships or AWACs should be stationed directly off the Israeli coast and instantly relay any Israeli sortie against Iran – perhaps even in time to target Israel planes while they are still on the ground

    Israel must be hermetically sealed off from illegal attacks on Iran or other Middle Eastern countries and contained in no uncertain terms until it ceases and desists as the international rogue regime that it has become

    A ‘Coalition of the Willing’ to seal off Israel is beginning to coalesce and hopefully Turkey will come out with a statement echoing Saudi Arabia and the US lets Zbig Brezinzski out of his box to close off Israel’s Central Route to Iran

    • annie on August 11, 2012, 12:32 am

      all so Israel can use a regional war or perhaps even World War III to enable her to maintain her Apartheid state a few more years down the road

      if a regional war or ww3 breaks out israel will do a lot more than maintain apartheid. of that we can be certain. just look at how much more of palestine got gobbled up when we invaded iraq. that’s the whole point, expansion. don’t ever take your eye of the ball, they don’t. this is certainly not about security, it’s overt aggression and expansion and they’re using the US to achieve it.

    • MRW on August 11, 2012, 12:29 pm


      Early warning listening ships or AWACs should be stationed directly off the Israeli coast and instantly relay any Israeli sortie against Iran – perhaps even in time to target Israel planes while they are still on the ground

      Russia already has satellites stationed right over the area protecting its port in Tarsus. They would see them suiting up. Iran would be notified in nanoseconds.

    • Freija on August 11, 2012, 1:43 pm

      Yes a No-Fly Zone over Israel…
      So Israel can enjoy again the thing for it’s own
      it was so enjoyed by the thing in Iraq
      and in Libya

    • Carowhat on August 12, 2012, 4:59 pm

      “Former Sec State Zbig Brezinzski says we should go up and challenge and if necessary shootdown Israeli planes if they try going over Iraq . . ”

      Brezinzski went a little nuts when he said this. I certainly believe he knows it would never happen. Americans can’t shoot down Israeli planes. The resulting furor would make the attack on the USS Liberty look like a church social. No president would authorize shooting down Israeli planes (even to protect American lives–unless at this late date they want to break precedent and do what they didn’t do to save the crew of the USS Liberty).

  17. ColinWright on August 10, 2012, 10:55 pm

    “…And therein lies the irony of Obama forcing Israel to put its citizens and soldiers at risk to do something that he should be authorizing the U.S. military to do…”

    Help me. I’m trapped in an asylum where the lunatics have taken over.

    What is this? There’s this almost completely trumped-up crisis that all too many seem to be eagerly seizing upon as a means of hurling most of the world into disaster.

    Why? What is their problem? Is it something in the water?

    • annie on August 11, 2012, 12:39 am

      forcing Israel to put its citizens and soldiers at risk to do something that he should be authorizing the U.S. military

      because like..the US military is not made up of soldiers and never in a million years would americans citizens become targets/NOT.

  18. pineywoodslim on August 10, 2012, 11:41 pm

    A unilateral attack by Israel on Iran before the US election seems a risky play for Israel politically (and of course militarily and economically as well).

    I assume that Israel would think it’s certain that election politics would force Obama to immediately jump in.

    Well, maybe not. Let’s assume Obama says no to Israel–yes, a big assumption I know–and despite all the hasbara and msm rhetoric, Obama goes ahead and wins the election. That could happen. I think the US public’s support for Israel is a mile wide and an inch deep, and certainly secondary to the public’s concern about the economy.

    So, Israel overplays its hand, Obama wins, and Israel is stuck with a loser of a war. Not a good scenario for Israel the next four years.

    • annie on August 11, 2012, 12:57 am

      I think the US public’s support for Israel is a mile wide and an inch deep

      this is a little OT and perhaps presumptuous of me but i’m in the mood to spill my beans to what the heck. having grown up in the bay area i have grown accustomed to certain social and political trends starting here. things that seemed far out at one time becoming the norm. we lead in free thinking.

      lately, when i meet new people or mention what i do (online political discourse/ME..i/p) it is rather startling how many people (now, as opposed to even a year ago) are like..openingly expressing ‘wtf is up w/israel?’ even my ex who’s up in seattle, really stays away from politics, said he notices israel’s footprint now whereas before i sounded like some lone wolf blowing in the wind. i really notice the difference. all of a sudden people want to engage in the subject.

      i had the wonderful opportunity of hosting one of our contributors from palestine recently, a remarkable (so much i can’t even begin to describe) young talent (teen) and as we went about the usual things people do on holiday, she was amazed how many people knew about palestine. even at the checker at store (‘where are you from’..and then wanting to engage…they knew what was going on). it’s not really under the radar so much anymore and people want to talk about it whereas before people shy away from politics. and people don’t want war with iran.

      so yeah, an inch deep. or maybe less than that. kinda like, get the f out of our face israel. it’s becoming an obvious imposition. out here in the bay area. of course we’re always a few years ahead of the rest of the nation (wrt expressing ourselves) but where the west goes, the nation follows. socially anyway, and this is starting to feel very social.

      • pineywoodslim on August 11, 2012, 2:01 am

        I live in Iowa and have never noticed any passionate support for Israel here. Much of the upper midwest has isolationist roots, a focus on Main Street, and a dislike of foreign intervention–essentially conservative positions by some standards, but the polar opposite of neo-conservatisim.

        If you walked up to most people on the street here and said, “we should support Israel”, you would probably be met with a surprised stare and then the question, “why”?

        Frankly, Iowans are also tightwads or, to put it nicely, frugal, and take a jaundiced eye towards US aid to countries such as Israel.

      • CloakAndDagger on August 11, 2012, 2:10 am

        Yep – I wouldn’t move anywhere from the Bay Area. Many of us think So. Cal should be in a different state. :)

      • annie on August 11, 2012, 3:03 pm

        Many of us think So. Cal should be in a different state. :)

        of course, most people born and raised in the north resent the south. that aqueduct running down the length of our state symbolizes why.

      • MRW on August 11, 2012, 1:01 pm

        @annie, August 11, 2012 at 12:57 am,

        I’ve been hearing the same thing, although I’m not as far west as you. But then, as you know, I’ve written about this before and had late night convos with Danaa about it. I noticed the change the instant Netanyahu embarrassed the US President in Congress [doesn’t matter who’s in office, although no one would have pulled that stunt with Bush] and got 29 ovations.

        There’s Israel-whine fatigue. And nothing has underscored it like the economy. I am hearing open complaints about the time congress spends writing laws for Israel and the ‘security’ of US-based Jewish orgs and none to fix the foreclosure mess, create jobs, and stop the CEO fraud. What has surfaced lately, although people turn around to check who’s listening, is that the CEOs responsible for the Global Financial Crisis (GFC)…although I am only referring to the US…are ‘all Jewish’, whether true or not. The biggest mistake Obama made when he first took office was not creating an independent commission or whatever to investigate how the crisis came about–Geithner and Summers convinced him not to–and give the guy in control subpoena power with the authority to hire the 2-3,000 FBI agents needed to file prosecutions. As Dr. Bill Black said, this was caused by “control fraud,” that is, fraud by those in control. Black’s recent article in which he keeps hammering at how they did it is worth reading, even though it’s long:

        The fault can be laid at the feet of the US media for their lack of honesty in addressing the issues openly out of fear of the anti-semitism charge. This has nothing to do with ‘Jews’ the way Muslims in this country are currently being targeted…created by right-wing Jewish extremists, I might add. This is a national security issue. If it were France, Germany, or Mexico trying to get us into a proxy war, this country would be in an uproar. What will happen if Netanyahu/Barak succeed in dragging us in will galvanize this country–because the majority will have not seen it coming, and the MSM media will have failed those who wanted to know. Then you can take anti-semitism to the bank, as transportation and food become prohibitively expensive. Remember the anger that produced “Freedom Fries,” not that I agreed with them.

      • annie on August 11, 2012, 3:19 pm

        CEOs responsible for the Global Financial Crisis (GFC)…although I am only referring to the US…are ‘all Jewish’, whether true or not.

        this isn’t really what i’m referencing. if anything, the ethnic component of this is more impacted by awareness of palestinians brought about by the attempted islamophobia-zation of our country. whereas i don’t think palestine was really on many people’s radar before, who they is the backlash against the way Muslims in this country are currently being targeted…created by right-wing Jewish extremists.

        also, i attribute a lot of the awareness to the coming out of the arab youth and other youth who support our multicultural society, especially how that comes out in the art..hip hop, immortal technique, shadia mansour and political art.

        most people do not dive to far into really understanding how or why we got in the financial mess, they just don’t. they just know they are ripped off and why is over their head. but they get it wars that cost trillions are running us dry and those wars are targeting muslims. people are not that stupid, and i think they can comprehend we’re directed to blame muslims as a way of desensitizing and diverting away from understanding the wars are killing us morally and financially.

        anyway, it’s simple moral messages that are sinking into the minds of people that is waking them up.

        listen to this awesome interview of Suheir Hammad, when she says at 12:40 in the video when she says ‘if you decide not to talk about politics, that is a political decision you’ve made’.

        well, people are deciding to talk about israel more. it’s a political decision they’ve made.

      • MRW on August 11, 2012, 8:04 pm


        Agree. But you’re in a more aware-of-the-world section of the country; ergo, less insularity. It gets translated in different ways in Fly-By-Country. I’ve written here a couple of times that support for Israel is 3,000 miles wide and half an inch deep. I think Netanyahu, et alia, are playing with fire, and that they are seriously mis-reading this country. They mistake silence for acquiescence; this country is not silent, it’s doing mortal combat with its soul. The backlash from their going to war will harm ordinary American Jews. Not something I want to see.

      • Carowhat on August 11, 2012, 9:05 pm

        If war erupts with Iran, it will at first confuse and confound the American people. Then congress will demand 100% support for Israel (i.e. massive strikes on Iran). Both Romney and Obama will conclude that the Iranian menace make this a moral necessity. The public, led by a cheerleading media, will slowly but inevitably agree. Two years from now our standard of living will have taken a huge hit. The resulting depression will take 20 years to resolve itself, at the end of which no one will ever again say world power and United States in the same sentence.

  19. CTuttle on August 11, 2012, 1:31 am

    Aloha, Annie…! I posted a new myFDL post… Return of The Living Dead…

  20. MladenAndrijasevic on August 11, 2012, 1:50 am

    David Grossman vs. Bernard Lewis. Whom do you trust more on Iran?

  21. Denis on August 11, 2012, 1:51 am

    Oy vey, either the Israelis have slipped their last cog or there is method in this madness. As LogoPhere observes today [Item #3, Aug10] and yesterday [Item #3, Aug09], Israel is playing both ends against the middle, and Iran is the middle:

    “Today the Obama people said the Israeli NIE story is bullshit, and that there is no such NIE and the US has no such information, which caused Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak to walk-back yesterday’s inflammatory rhetoric while calling the Obama people liars in the same breath: ‘There probably really is such an American intelligence report – I don’t know if it is an NIE one – making its way around senior offices (in Washington).’”

    Links at

    There “probably really is” ????

    • MRW on August 11, 2012, 8:12 pm

      Oy vey, either the Israelis have slipped their last cog or there is method in this madness

      Barak was using the same trick that was so successful the morning of 9/11–for us; 15:30 GMT for him–when on BBC World Service (or whatever it was called then) he accused Osama bin Laden of doing the deed. He was waiting in the Green Room 1/2 hr before he went on.

      He “probably” thought he could do a repeat.

  22. biorabbi on August 11, 2012, 2:36 am

    Every pro-Israeli blogger(I follow them all)and every single anti-Israeli blogger(I follow lots of them)has the air strike in mid-October, this week or that week in October. So, if every blogger with an opinion(pro or con)has the exact same opinion on when the strike will occur, they are wrong.

    If I were guessing, I would pin the time on an Israeli attack(if they’re will be an attack)the first week after the election. I believe Obama will win. I believe the Israelis realize Obama will win. The Iranians believe that a second Obama term will allow greater flexibility from Obama. I would place the bet on the day after our election, not the day before.

    Having said that, I don’t think it’s doable in the military context. Oppenheimer realized the impossibility of stopping this technology. It might have been possible with the Iraq or Syrian strike by Israel, but not in the Iranian set up. How can you stop the technology when your knowledge base continues to grow as does your Uranium stockpiles?

    The danger of the Iran nuclear bom is not that Iran has the bomb, but what will the Saudis and the gulf states do? How soon will they buy their bombs as well. Sanctions will not work, not having sanctions will not work, bombing Iran will not work, not bombing Iran will not work.

    If the issue was simply Iran having the bomb versus Israeli having the bomb, both sides would be deterred, but I do deeply worry about what the Saudis will do. I think the force of gulf states Jihad in Syria tells us how seriously they view/fear Iran.

    • annie on August 11, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Every pro-Israeli blogger…and every single anti-Israeli blogger ….has the air strike in mid-October, this week or that week in October.

      soooo, what about MW? where do we fit in your predictions? since you are so up on things perhaps you can link to adam, phil, allison, alex or i wrt these strike predictions.

      • Taxi on August 11, 2012, 1:54 pm


        What exactly are the israelis gonna strike huh?

        And how will they do it successfully huh? Iran ain’t Gaza – do not confuse the two, as military operations go.

        Let’s be clear here: this “strike”, it ain’t coming this year for this simple reason: israelis have been caught out in a bluff in public (no support for strike from majority usa people during election year), PLUS the situation ain’t nowhere near that desperate yet (no clear evidence of an Iranian weapons program).

        The only time a strike will come is when the israelis get real desperate, for instance: closer to THEIR election time, not ours. There’s a pattern of this in their modus operandum.

        Everything else between now and the expected desperate hour, which could even be a couple of years from now or even more, is popcorn chitchat.

        And everything the israeli hawks say between now and then is purely for israeli domestic consumption. As usual, they feed their people with daily bowls of fear, so their politicians can claim saviorhood and votes. But this tactic doesn’t work outside of israel.

        You could say that zionism’s downfall is it’s addiction to messianic heroism. And for those esoteric few israelis who can think for themselves outside the ziobox, they’re packing up their bags cuz they’ve already figured the true reality: they’re damned if they strike, and they’re damned if they don’t. Simply, they’re doomed and it’s game over for zionism already.

        But of course the (vast) lowest common denominator in their society, is just foolishly stuck going through the deluded motion of it, practically already celebrating Iran’s defeat – nevermind the israelis haven’t won a single war since they invaded Lebanon in 1982.

        A carnival of bravado is not a victory parade. It’s the opposite.

      • biorabbi on August 11, 2012, 3:47 pm

        The predictions are the same on all sides of the issues. I will use MW links when I post on other blogs.

        Annie, I have changed my mind on MW and on yourself and Phil. I was irritated, outraged that an anti-zionist blog would ignore Syria because many of the murders were committed by Assad. I viewed this as cowardly, ie not debating a topic that detracts, ignores, Israel and zionism.

        Obviously, I was completely wrong. While I disagree with many of the arguments expressed on MW, I do respect you. You do tackle topics that may detract from the anti-zionist premise. This is courage.

        I certainly will link you and others here in the future.

      • annie on August 11, 2012, 5:07 pm

        thank you bio. personally, i predict there will not be a strike in october or before the election (i am a wishful thinker). also, i don’t think debating syria detracts or ignores from discussing israel. i think there is room for discussing both separately or together.

        also, don’t confuse silence with a lack of interest. i think one of the reasons there was a dearth of posts about syria was perhaps simply because none of us felt proficient enough of the overall picture there to be framing the topic for a wider audience. it reflects on the site when we post/publish main stories in a different way than it does when we express our personal opinions in comment sections.

        but there was never a decision to ignore syria. it just happened and for that we have no excuse really. we’ll try to keep up on events there more. and hopefully people who are informed will submit entries. we really do rely on our contributors for keeping our community informed. and we don’t all agree about everything.

        one more thing, syria has been conducted from the get go with a huge huge dose of disinformation from every angle. it lessens ones credibility to be latching onto reports that end up being untruthful and there have been a lot of publications ending up w/egg on their faces throughout this ordeal. so as i said it is no excuse for being silent, especially when innocents are being slaughtered. it’s the fog of war and sometimes when you are not sure it’s a natural instinct to not put your reputation on the line rather than having to eat your words later.

      • MRW on August 11, 2012, 8:41 pm
      • annie on August 12, 2012, 1:02 am

        thanks mrw, grrrreat article. it’s a must read.

  23. straightline on August 11, 2012, 4:38 am

    A more upbeat post from Derfner at 972. Maybe Bibi and Barak will find it harder than they thought.

  24. Kathleen on August 11, 2012, 10:05 am

    The Israeli official describes the ‘cloud’ over the middle east. And most countries in that region consider Israel’s undeclared nuclear, biological and chemical weapons the ‘cloud” in the region. Israel’s unwillingness to sign the very Non proliferation treaty that Iran signed long ago.

    If Israel attacks Iran they absolutely deserve to be attacked back. Attack Israel’s underground nuclear facilities. Israel started the arms race in that region and continues to be unwilling to play by the rules that they demand others play by. Enough

    Let’s hope the U.S. does not follow Israel into that abyss. We have all ready made disastrous and destructive mistakes based on unsubstantiated claims

    • Denis on August 11, 2012, 2:21 pm

      @Kathleen: If Israel attacks Iran they absolutely deserve to be attacked back.

      Kathleen, I almost always agree with you, but this time I really, really agree with you. Really. (Channeling Madow here with the “really” thing.)

      In 1967 Israel launched an unprovoked napalm and torpedo attack against the USS Liberty hoping to con the US into nuking Cario. If Johnson and MacNamara had retaliated they way they should have — by reducing Tel Aviv to a smoldering pile of dust — the whole world would be much, much safer today.

      As it is, Israel’s bellicose, existential clap-trap that only it is entitled to hold nukes in the ME is bringing the world closer to the nuclear abyss than the Cold War ever did. A nuclear-armed Israel is a threat to the entire globe, particularly with its inventory of nuke-armed subs growing.

      If the world will not force Israel to give up its nukes, then the next safest position is deterrence, and Iran is the only country currently able or willing to implement that unfortunate “solution.”

  25. American on August 11, 2012, 2:20 pm

    In talking about if Israel will attack Iran or not you can’t leave out the US congress.
    That’s the other half of the zio nuthouse.
    And congress has been working on getting the US to strike Iran 24/7.
    With every bill they have passed they have given Israel a US check good toward hitting Iran , all Israel has to do is cash it in by making even a unsuccessful attack on Iran and the US will be required to finish the job for them.

  26. Carowhat on August 11, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Any Israeli attack on Iran will result in a disaster for the United States. If Romney becomes president he will happily join in the attack. If Obama remains president he will reluctantly join in the attack (but will still attack). And that assumes that they even have a choice.

    If Iran us after Israel attacks them, our president, who matter who he is at the time, have to initiate a massive response. The dust won’t settle for years. While the war goes on the American people (as happened in WWII) suffer a major drop in their living standards. The depression that follows will go on for another 20 years. And yet there are people in the major media (and some here on this site even) who can’t wait for this to happen.

    They suffer from the Pavlov dog syndrome. All you have to do is say “Israel” and “existential threat” in the same sentence and their common sense goes out the window.

    • piotr on August 11, 2012, 8:00 pm

      Quite importantly, the disaster stemming from Israeli attack will have a gift card attached “Complements from your dearest friend. Hugs and kisses — Israel.”

      I seriously doubt that “blowback attacks” would be directed at Israel. Dahiya doctrine can be inhumane, but it has some effectiveness — with limits. American personel will be the target, it is all over the place around Iran. And USA has to many interests and resposibilities to conduct insane attacks that can make Russians go ballistic. (Memo: don’t provoke anyone to go ballistic if they indeed can do so, i.e. have ballistic missiles with multiple thermonuclear warheads. What if Tehran is bombed like Beirut was and Diego Garcia is flattened?)

  27. Carowhat on August 18, 2012, 11:23 pm

    “Memo: don’t provoke anyone to go ballistic if they indeed can do so.”

    I just noticed this, Piotr. Well said.

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