Stop Hyperventilating: Obama Will Not Choose War with Iran

-

obama iran press.jpgIn September 2007, before the release of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, I wrote an article for Salon titled “Why Bush Won’t Bomb Iran.”
At the time, the belief that George Bush and Dick Cheney would take military action against Iran was palpable. When I wrote my piece which was based on a great number of discussions with intelligence analysts, military brass, and others in the national security bureaucracy, I was temporarily vilified by voices on the left and the neoconservative right for popping the bubble of their deterministic obsession that the US was on its way to bombing Iran.
While some of the terrain has changed in the nearly three years since that article was written, much has remained the same.
The many unknowables and unexpected consequences of adding another hot war to America’s rather full plate of hot conflicts around the world remains the same. Iran, which clearly can dial up or dial down the activities of its transnational terrorist networks has them on low simmer at this point. An attack against Iran would probably blow this control valve off — resulting in a terrorist superhighway running from Iran through Iraq into Jordan and Syria right toward Israel. This network would also unleash itself against allied Arab state governments in the region and also cause havoc against US forces and affiliates in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These problems were there three years ago and remain today.


On top of this, despite the confidence, even eagerness, of the US Air Force to bomb Iran’s nuclear program capacity, the other military services are not so sanguine and fear that the logistics demands for such a military action and its followup would undermine other major operations. In other words, adding another major obligation to America’s military roster could literally break the back of the US military, erode morale, and result in eventual, massive shifts in American domestic support for the US military machine which had become increasingly costly and less able to generate the security deliverables expected.
And thus, the likelihood — despite whatever Iran may or may not do as it pursues various nuclear options — is that the Department of Defense itself will find itself tied in knots during any new strategic review or decision to take overt military action against Iran.
Then there is the question of Iran’s seeming desire to be attacked. As David Frum has commented and written, one should pause a bit before actually doing what Iran’s theocratic elites seem to be inviting. Frum and I recently agreed that an attack on Iran would give Ahmadinejad, the hard right clan around Ayatollah Khamenei and the most despotic, anti-reformist wings of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard exactly what they need to further consolidate their political hold today. Given the contested election and turmoil among Iran’s top elites and other strong internal tensions inside Iran’s political system, the leadership today does not enjoy a strongly consolidated position. Bombing Iran would solve this for Iran’s current leadership.
Other consequences of action against Iran are that it may increase by an order of magnitude the global doubt that already exists about America’s ability to generate new and better outcomes in the international system. In the eyes of many nations around the world, the deployment of military force is a desperate act, not an act of confidence — and usually not an act that will generate desired, predicted outcomes. China and Russia, no matter the relative warmth of relations today, will likely veto any UN Resolution endorsing military action against Iran — and will wait on the sidelines to see what the outcome will be of a military action that doesn’t receive a stamp of approval from the global body.
As others have written, Iran may find itself the beneficiary of sympathy reactions, that it doesn’t deserve, from other states around the world including Russia and China that see its natural gas and oil reserves as something to attach themselves to as American power, perhaps unleashed against Iran, actually punctuates the end of American hegemony over oil and energy resources in the Middle East.
I could add perhaps another dozen or so likely nightmare outcomes and downsides for the US and allies if Iran were attacked — the most serious of which is that such an attack would at most delay Iran’s capacity to acquire a nuclear warhead, which today is still questionable, and turn it into a certainty. In other words, Iran may be pursuing a latent nuclear option, basically like Japan, in which it has the capacity to produce warheads but elects to stay on the edge of that capacity. Bombing Iran could assure in the future that it acquires these weapons — and in such a case, Iran’s security paranoia, used to justify so much of its erratic behavior and posture, is validated.
So, even after bombing Iran, we end up with a nuclear armed, pissed-off Iran. While I think great states, including Iran, operate mostly through carefully considered strategic calculus, such is not always the case — and Iran’s chances of emotion-led behavior or vengefulness, or accidents, increase.
This is the worst box to end up in any theoretic assessment of outcomes with Iran.
And others in the Obama administration also know that bombing or not bombing Iran is not a binary proposition with neat and clean outcomes on either side. The security of circumstances of Israel and the view that many on the Arab street will have that their own governments may have acquiesced to Israel’s security preferences without getting anything in ending the humiliation of their Palestinian brothers puts every government in the Arab League at risk.
I think that there are many things that can yet be done to change the incentive structure of the Iranian political leadership and either seduce or cajole its leaders into a more internationally acceptable course — and all of these should be tried and put on the table before the potentially cataclysmic course of adopting the Iran War option.
While there are individuals in the Obama administration who are flirting with the possibility of military action against Iran, they are fewer in number than existed in the Bush administration. They are surrounded by a greater number of realists who are working hard to find a way to reinvent America’s global leverage and power — and who realize that a war with Iran ends that possibility and possibly spells an end to America presuming to be the globally predominant power it has been.
There are also political opportunists in the Obama administration — who after a horrible year of relations between the President and Israeli Prime Minister — want to spin the deep tensions over Israel-Palestine away long enough to get through the next set of 2010 elections.
There are many who worry too much that Obama’s recent highly scripted, positive, buddy-buddy encounter with Benjamin Netanyahu means that the United States is acquiescing to Israel’s view of Iran, of settlements, and of the world.
This would be a misread of the situation. Come December 2010, my hunch is that all of those who have recently placed faith in a White House posture of Israel uber alles will be as disappointed in the Obama White House as many other interest groups have been who thought that Obama would deliver on their single issue.
In this case, Obama will stick to script and offer a similar line as Ariel Sharon once offered after being criticized by his supporters on Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza: “One has to weigh many different options in determining our nation’s security needs Things look different when sitting behind the Prime Minister’s desk.”
This will be true for Barack Obama as well — who knows that there is no winning outcome for the US and its allies if he chooses a military course with Iran, even if some of his team seem to enjoy flirting with that option.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

141 comments on “Stop Hyperventilating: Obama Will Not Choose War with Iran

  1. Rob says:

    The author mentions the 2007 NIE at the begining of the article, that NIE was incorrect. It contradicted Germany, Britian and Israel at the time it was published and even the IAEA. The report came to a conclusion that the Iranians stopped working on plans to develop a nuclear weapon program after 03, this was wrong. The author makes no mention of this, why?
    Also:
    “I think that there are many things that can yet be done to change the incentive structure of the Iranian political leadership and either seduce or cajole its leaders into a more internationally acceptable course — and all of these should be tried and put on the table ”
    This is purely an excersize in useful idiocy, that will only be used for Iranians to run out the clock while they develop this capability. Iran developing this capability will be the biggest strategic blunder in history.
    Sadly much like this Adminstration policy toward Iran, this article is based on a pipedream.

    Reply

  2. Rob says:

    The author mentions the 2007 NIE at the begining of the article, that NIE was incorrect. It contradicted Germany, Britian and Israel at the time it was published and even the IAEA. The report came to a conclusion that the Iranians stopped working on plans to develop a nuclear weapon program after 03, this was wrong. The author makes no mention of this, why?
    Also:
    “I think that there are many things that can yet be done to change the incentive structure of the Iranian political leadership and either seduce or cajole its leaders into a more internationally acceptable course — and all of these should be tried and put on the table ”
    This is purely an excersize in useful idiocy, that will only be used for Iranians to run out the clock while they develop this capability. Iran developing this capability will be the biggest strategic blunder in history.
    Sadly much like this Adminstration policy toward Iran, this article is based on a pipedream.

    Reply

  3. nadine says:

    Ehud Yaari says that the US has decided that containment is not good enough. He gives the main credit to King Abdullah of KSA, who laid down an ultimatum. (Gee, will anybody spin conspiracies around the power of the Saudi Lobby?) We are certainly hearing very different noises from the administration than we did before. Sounds like Steve and the other “grand bargain” “realists” have lost the argument.
    US revamps its

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    Dan, what Cole actually said was “It is not impossible that the people behind this resolution [supporting Israel against Iran] are fervently hoping for the Judgment Day to come more quickly and look forward to a Middle East apocalypse as a step toward the Return of Christ and the end of that pesky but temporarily necessary Judaism.”
    So he says they are picking policy positions to get the Wars of the End of Days moved up to next Tuesday. For that you need a lot more evidence than finding a few preachers who might fall into the dispensationalist camp. You need evidence, quotes, of which Cole supplied none, and nor have you.

    Reply

  5. James says:

    Steve, you are apparently not taking into consideration (as I mentioned in prior comments it was too important not to) that Israel could attack Iran dragging US into it as a result. Especially with the following:
    AIPAC influenced/neoconned House OK

    Reply

  6. Dan Kervick says:

    “But painting the whole Democratic party with the craziness of black liberation theology makes as little sense as painting all of CUFI with the most extreme beliefs of one or two of the most fundamentalist or dispensationalist preachers involved with it.”
    It’s hardly just “one or two” – dispensationalism is probably the chief theological strand in the Christian Zionist movement. But your general point is true enough. Yet you’re changing the subject to “all of CUFI.” It is *you* who made the blanket statement that Christian Zionists have never said the things Cole said they have said. But in fact, a great many Christian Zionists have said those things.

    Reply

  7. nadine says:

    “W and M are not, therefore, betraying realism, and the author of the blog post is just flat out wrong on this point, near as I can tell.”
    questions, I don’t get your reasoning. Go back and read how W and M quite understand the necessity for Europe to keep its nukes, and for Iraq to acquire nukes, in the case of Iran getting the bomb, but insists Israel has nothing to worry about and ought to disarm. There is just no way to call these consistent or coherent arguments.

    Reply

  8. nadine says:

    Look, Dan Kervick, it’s no skin off my nose if you want to associate yourself with a President who went to a black liberation theology church for 20 years with an America-damning Marxist preacher who claims Jesus was black, either. Though it does make the Democrats look like America-hating, reverse-racist socialist nuts, which might be problem for them one of these elections.
    But painting the whole Democratic party with the craziness of black liberation theology makes as little sense as painting all of CUFI with the most extreme beliefs of one or two of the most fundamentalist or dispensationalist preachers involved with it.

    Reply

  9. Dan Kervick says:

    “There is no theological litmus test for CUFI or the very broad spectrum of Christian zionists who support Israel, who make up a majority of Americans, if Mr. Gallup is to be believed.”
    Certainly, Nadine, CUFI is some kind of umbrella organization. But what you said is that Christian Zionists had never said the things Cole attributes to them, when if fact, dispensationalist theology is one of the major intellectual currents – if you can call it that – in the Christian Zionist movement.
    Look, it’s no skin off my nose if Jewish-American zionists want to associate themselves with these kinds of kooks. It just makes zionism look more than ever like a fanatical and wingnutty movement. The short-term opportunism strikes me as desperate.
    But American Jews should watch the dogs they choose to lie down with, because not only will they wake up with fleas, they might find themselves on the wrong side of some new rapture prophesy faster than you can say, “stabbed in the back.”
    Do you think people whose world view is built on the phantasms of their over-fired imaginations and prophetic conceits, and who are filled with holy zeal to rain brimstone down on the world’s Muslims, because they believe that’s what God is telling them to do, will think twice about doing the same to Jews when they become convinced that God has declared a start to Act IV – in which The Lord lets the Jews have it?
    All it will take is some new charismatic preacher, or some new popular novelist of the apocalypse.

    Reply

  10. Matthew says:

    Is there anything more touching than reading Zionist apologists telling us how much Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arabs “fear Iran.”
    Translation: The Medieval Monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Kleptocracies of the Gulf fear a flawed nation that is infinitely more intersting culturally and technologically than their own.
    Essentially, these same apologists want us to worry if the Saudi Royals–who deny woman driver’s licenses–feel threatened by the much more dynamic country on the other side of the gulf.
    In a word, no.

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    nadine, thanks for the link. A nice, careful reading of W and M et al. I think maybe the author has realism mischaracterized as a reified/descriptive concept (this WILL happen) as opposed to a predictive/normative concept (this SHOULD happen).
    W and M can be realists in that they think the democratic process ought to have nothing to do with FP, that in fact there’s a Platonic ideal of EP that IR theorists and practitioners strive for (my sense of their work actually). And so for them to freak about THELOBBY is not to be non-realist, by to be hyper realist and, I guess, unreal. Because, of course, all sorts of non-rational moments intrude all the time in FP. There is no Platonic ideal, there is no Kantian moment even. It’s utilitarian calculus based on imperfect knowledge, failures of reason, and all the stuff that the behavioral econ people have been dredging up of late.
    W and M are not, therefore, betraying realism, and the author of the blog post is just flat out wrong on this point, near as I can tell.
    But otherwise there are certainly all sorts of things to wonder about with regard to these guys….

    Reply

  12. nadine says:

    questions, you may find this interesting:
    Pejman Yousefzadeh excoriates (but more in sorrow than in anger) Walt and Mearshimer, who were both professors of his, for completely abandoning realism when the subject of Israel or the so-called “Israel Lobby” come up
    “Walt and Mearsheimer have made seminal contributions to the field of international relations scholarship, and thanks in large part to their teachings, I consider myself a realist in viewing international affairs. But realists can disagree, and when it comes to Walt and Mearsheimer, they have wholly abandoned the realm of realist theory

    Reply

  13. nadine says:

    “Do you know *anything* about dispensationalist theology, Nadine? What in the world do you think they believe? ” (Dan Kervick)
    A number of different things, Dan. There is no theological litmus test for CUFI or the very broad spectrum of Christian Zionists who support Israel, who make up a majority of Americans, if Mr. Gallup is to be believed.
    What’s more important is the CUFI has never announced the imminent Second Coming, wars of Gog and Magog to start Real Soon Now. So Cole made it up, because what the hey, they’re Christian Zionists so they believe anything.
    But Ahmedinejad really does say he believes in the imminent return of the Mahdi, does pray for it in speeches. and references show up all the time on official Iranian press releases. But Cole never, ever mentions that.
    Gee, if George W. Bush had ever prayed aloud for the Second Coming, think Cole would have noticed? Me too.

    Reply

  14. Marcus says:

    An interesting thing about that Cole piece is that the only help he invisions Iran getting, is exclusively from IslamoFanatics – How 12th.Centurary !
    If anything deserved to be relegated to the dustbin of history-it`s Fundamentalist religous theocracies running anything bigger than a bake sale.
    But they do seem destined to cronfront the 21st century and when push comes to shove, does anyone (outside of exclusively arabic speakers) really doubt the outcome.
    If anyone TRULY wanted to avoid ” prolonged and serious violence” they would concentrate on convincing the antagonists to stand down.
    I`ve noticed a conscious ignorance on the part of Muslim Terrorist supporters (like this guy Cole) on the potential destructive force of the US military , as well as a lack of respect for the restraint of firepower that has been shown by same.
    He writes ” If Israel wants war with Iran” LOL… that`s a good one ! If people know anything at all, they know THAT`S a big fib.
    Anyway, what`s the big deal.. after Iran,there`s nobody left to fight…except maybe, Pakistan, Turkey, Eygpt,Syria (but that would be a quick one) Iraq AGAIN, maybe some of those Stan`s, Yemen, Somalia and MAX. 6 or 10 others, No Biggie.

    Reply

  15. JohnH says:

    You know you have struck pay dirt when all Nadine can do is call someone “an arrogant moronic drip!” {Character assassination is SOP for Jewish Supremacists.)
    Good job, Nadine! In your mind, and probably your mind alone, your opinion is much more informed than a University of Michigan professor who specializes in Middle Eastern history.
    And you have the chutzpah to call HIM arrogant? Maybe you should take a look in the mirror!

    Reply

  16. Don Bacon says:

    In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC and elements of the Israeli government.
    CUFI has an ulterior agenda: its support for Israel derives from the belief of John Hagee and his flock that Jesus will return to Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon and cleanse the earth of evil. In the end, all the non-believers – Jews, Muslims, Hindus, mainline Christians, etc. – must convert or suffer the torture of eternal damnation.
    John Hagee, founder of CUFI, denies that Jesus was the Messiah. He claims that Jesus did not think of himself as the Messiah and that he is going to be the Messiah at the Second Coming, but was not at the first coming.
    So the Jews did not kill the messiah. They’re off the hook on that. And an attack on Iran would kick off Armageddon which will bring the second (true) coming.
    You can’t make up this bullshit, it’s too weird. Like Hagee.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    And no, Nadine, I am not challenging your right to speak such absolute nonsense and propaganda. I am simply lamenting Steve’s failure to exercise his right to remove it.

    Reply

  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Judging from the “properties” displayed when one right clicked on “Adam Smith’s” link, it was pornographic spam. And it was removed in a jiffy.
    Its a real shame that Nadine’s despicable spam isn’t as seldomly posted as the occassional spam, such as Adam Smith’s, that makes it through Steve’s filters. It is also a shame it isn’t removed with the same speed that Adam Smith’s was.

    Reply

  19. Dan Kervick says:

    “Of course, the Christian Zionists have never said any such thing.”
    Do you know *anything* about dispensationalist theology, Nadine? What in the world do you think they believe?

    Reply

  20. nadine says:

    An arrogant moronic drip like Juan Cole, who once announced that Sept 11 (2001) was done in revenge for Israel’s attack on Jenin (2002), is just your speed, POS.
    Cole in unintentionally humorous, warning darkly “It is not impossible that the people behind this resolution [Christian Zionists] are fervently hoping for the Judgment Day to come more quickly and look forward to a Middle East apocalypse as a step toward the Return of Christ”.
    Of course, the Christian Zionists have never said any such thing. But Ahmedinejad and the government of Iran do say that the hidden Imam’s return is imminent, all the damn time. Ahmedinejad expects and prays for it in his speeches, and declared that a miralcle happened right during his UN speech!
    But does Cole ever notice all the fervent Twelver millenialism emanating from Tehran? Nooooooo, of course, not, it’s not PC to notice the religious fanaticism of Muslims…only of Christians, where you can just make it up if it doesn’t exist.

    Reply

  21. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Repubs Plot Israel-Iran Apocalypse
    and the Collapse of the US Economy
    by Juan Cole
    Jamal Abdi at HuffPo explains that almost a third of Republicans in the House have signed on to a resolution urging Israel to attack Iran.
    The National Iranian American Council has a petition you can sign calling on minority leader John Boehner to repudiate this measure.
    The move is reminiscent of the 1998 letter the Project for a New American Century signatories sent to President Clinton, putting pressure on him to initiate war on Iraq. They did maneuver him into pulling out UN weapons inspectors and bombing Iraq. The US removal of the inspectors made the West blind as to the lack of Iraqi weapons programs, since their absence could no longer be certified.
    In turn, Iraq

    Reply

  22. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Of course, the FACT that NO MAN has EVER been convicted of “rape by deception” in Israel because he lied about his marital status will have no bearing on Nadine’s disingenuous spew.
    Are we to believe that married men in Israel never lie about their marital status in order to land in the sack with the target of their infidelity? Apparently so, if Nadine’s ridiculous assertion is to be believed.
    This conviction is based ENTIRELY on a racially motivated and prejudicial indictment. To believe otherwise, knowing the extremely rare, (once before, for lies that had nothing to do with marital status), occurrence of indictments under this statute, is ridiculous.
    As if we needed more evidence to heap upon the piles of evidence indicting Israel for its increasingly covert racist policies.

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “That’s what the law says. That’s the case it was written for”
    Note she doesn’t cite the law, nor link us to any substantiation to her claim. Typical Nadine, eh??? A rabbi that lies with impunity. Whats up with that?

    Reply

  24. nadine says:

    While we’re on human interest Palestinian stories, here’s one you be interested in. From Barry Rubin:
    “This is a remarkable story in human terms but there is an extremely important point for understanding the Middle East embedded in it as well.
    On June 14, Palestinian terrorists opened fire on a police car travelling on a road, en route from Beersheba to Jerusalem. One policeman, Yeheshua Sofer was killed. Two others were wounded. Sofer was due to be married in three months. It took a month but members of the cell were finally captured. They spoke quite freely about this attack and others they had planned for killing Israelis.
    During the interrogation, one of the leaders remarked that only two weeks earlier his six-year-old daughter had been given a free operation in Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem to remove a tumor from her eye. The operation had been paid for by an Israeli organization.
    Reading this, I recall a number of similar past instances. In one famous case, the Palestinian who later attacked Israel had been saved from injuries inflicted by another Palestinian in a quarrel. There have also been examples of terrorists playing on the sympathy of Israelis claiming they needed medical attention–especially in one bloody attack on the Gaza-Israel border–not to mention the use of women and children to smuggle weapons or even to carry out suicide attacks.
    The Western reader–if he doesn’t go in for some elaborate theory in which somehow Israel is still to blame–might see this and other such cases as examples of human ingratitude, the kind of thing often found in private life. There is also a psychiatric explanation: the person involved is in some way deranged, causing him to behave in an “illogical” manner.
    Yet beyond irony and insanity, both falling short of the needed explanation, this kind of situation is important because it challenges the common Western theme of kindness and concession as inevitably leading to moderation and peace. There is another misleading flip side of this view, too: the concept that what seems like inexplicable violence or “fanaticism” is a direct response to ill treatment.
    Thus, for those locked into the kindness breeds kindness model (which often does work in personal life), terrorists must be shown to be suffering from poverty or personal suffering (even though statistics show this to be untrue) or understandable outrage at bad treatment (ignoring the possibility of their engaging in alternative behavior, like making a compromise peace or building a democratic society).
    Yet the main missing explanation explaining such behavior is ideology and world view. If you think that the divine being has ordered you to wipe out Israel and the Jews (or Christians and the West also), if you have no self-critical facility whatsoever, if you believe (and are told by the West) that you are always a victim, if you put a priority on revenge rather than improving your situation, and if you view your opponent as sub-human (racism is more frequently deployed by elements in some parts of the “Third World” against the West than vice-versa nowadays, whatever was true in the past), then your conscience will be untroubled by having your daughter healed as a gift and trying to kill the maximum number of Israelis thereafter.
    Where have things been different? Obviously, one can insist on one’s dignity and right to have a country of one’s own without developing such behavior. We have seen this in dozens of cases over previous decades. You don’t have to invoke such names s Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King Jr or Mahatma Gandhi in this case. Quite average nationalist leaders far from sainthood have pulled it off repeatedly.”
    http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  25. nadine says:

    “Wonder who owns the multiplex cinemas in the West Bank and are they in the jewish part of the West Bank or the Palestine part?” (Carroll)
    There are a couple in Ramallah (the first one opened in 2004) and one in Nablus, which opened last year.
    In case you don’t know, Nablus and Ramallah are both inhabited entirely by Arabs.
    The economy of the West Bank has been growing at 7% or 8% a year for the last few years. That’s part of “Fayyadism” which was recently posted about here on TWN.

    Reply

  26. nadine says:

    “What if he WAS Jewish, and he lied about being single when he in fact was married? Does anyone here think he would have been convicted of rape for telling such a lie??”
    Yes, you dumb pos. That’s what the law says. That’s the case it was written for.
    Of course, if it had been a Jewish man and an Arab women, it wouldn’t have wound up in court. Her family would just have honor-killed her.

    Reply

  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see that Israel has now convicted a Palestinian man of rape because he had consensual sex with a Jewish womanm of adult age. Seems he lied to the woman, and claimed to be Jewish.
    What if he WAS Jewish, and he lied about being single when he in fact was married? Does anyone here think he would have been convicted of rape for telling such a lie??
    So. This conviction can ONLY be described as RACIST application of the law. Period. His crime? Daring to mix genes with a member of the master race. Shouldn’t he have known better than to misrepresent and hide his own inferior genetic make-up from this poor hapless Jewish victim? Gawd forbid, she spread her legs for one of those nasty terrorist sand niggers. Will she ever be able to wash off the filth from such an illicit contact?
    Israel has become detestable. Is this the kind of overtly racist application of law that we can expect from a modern day “Jewish State”? And the majority of Jews in Israel??? Will they protest or dissent against these kinds of overt governmental admissions of state sponsored racism? What are we to think of a people that condone, advocate for, and participate in policies and mores that are openly racist, discriminatory, and brutally oppressive towards the Palestinian people? What are we to think of a people whose religious “leaders” are becoming more and more venomously bigoted and vocal with their hatred????
    If you’re a male in Israel that wants to get laid, be careful what you lie about, rape has become a crime of genetics. Whatever you do, don’t contaminate the gene pool unless you’re willing to pay the price.
    I see too that Israel has once again reacted violently against peaceful protest in the West Bank, targeting journalists that dare seek to expose the truth. Its a shame our media, and blogs like this one, refuse to give Israel’s treatment of peaceful protesters the same attention they do to Iran’s treatment of peaceful protesters.

    Reply

  28. PissedOffAmerican says:

    By comparison, Nadine finds shopping mall in Gaza to be a war crime!
    http://aliabunimah.posterous.com/the-gaza-shopping-mall-reality-and-hasbara
    The Gaza “shopping mall”: reality and hasbara
    When he came to Washington a few months ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was touting the multiplex cinemas and shopping malls that have supposedly sprouted up in the West Bank as evidence of the “economic renaissance” going on there. There is no such economic renaissance — it is a mirage promoted by Israel and its collaborators — under the rubric of “economic peace.” In fact, in large parts of the West Bank, people are poorer even than in Gaza, which is saying something given the wretched poverty and unemployment in Gaza.
    Now, Israel’s supporters have leapt on a minor story — the opening of a shopping “mall” in Gaza — to perform a similar hasbara trick: ‘there is no poverty in Gaza, no siege, no hunger, no malnutrition. Just look at them, they are living better than we do!’ I have seen such messages on many right-wing and pro-Israel sites.
    Israel’s Ynet reported:
    While Hamas continues to demand a full lifting of the blockade, the Gaza market seems to be doing alright. Gaza Mall, the first ever shopping center in the Strip was opened last Saturday with masses storming the new attraction.
    The two-floor compound, each stretching over roughly 9,700 sq. ft, offers international brands as well as much-needed air conditioning. Tens of thousands of shoppers from Rafah to Beit Hanoun have already visited the site within a matter of days, making the center Gaza’s new craze.
    First, note that the reported size is about 20,000 square feet (1,850 square meters). To put this in perspective, the average size of a Wal-Mart store in the US is five times larger than the entire Gaza “mall”: 108,000 square feet (with the largest Wal-Mart stores going up to 185,000 square feet!).
    Now I have received this eyewitness account from a source in Gaza:
    “I found out about the Gaza mall. Yes it exists. The goods in there are very expensive and it’s not a real mall, barely bigger than a little supermarket. It has 4 sections, one sells vegetables grown in Gaza, the 2nd section sells clothes and shoes, a 3rd section is like a huge supermarket with things brought to Gaza through the tunnels, and the last sells electric materials, TVs, stereos… The owners are very rich people in the Gaza Strip. Most of the stuff being sold are either made in Gaza, or brought via tunnels. And there are no thousands visitors, when I went there, I saw about 15-20 people only.”
    Gaza is a territory with 1.5 million people. They ought to have a normal life. That this small store is being celebrated as a major achievement shows just how hard the Israeli siege is biting. It also shows — as I reported in a previous blog post — that the siege is producing a small wealthy economic elite, while the vast majority suffers.

    Reply

  29. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Jul 25 2010, 1:06PM – Link>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No doubt in my mind that Dick Cheney, Abrams, and some other neos and zionist are clinically sociopathic.
    Since the bottom line determinant of the disorder is usually defined as lack of a “conscience” for all intents and purposes…it’s just missing due to a brain abnormality.
    Even my sister in law who is way more liberal than I, says, because of her professional experience, that the only options for criminal psychopaths or sociopaths or as some professional communities refer to them, is to lock them away forever or execute them if state law allows because they aren’t curable. Paranoid schizophrenics and other kinds of mental disorders that are dangerous to others are often manageable with drugs but sociopaths are not.

    Reply

  30. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Jul 25 2010, 1:06PM – Link>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No doubt in my mind that Dick Cheney, Abrams, and some other neos and zionist are clinically sociopathic.
    Since the bottom line determinant of the disorder is usually defined as lack of a “conscience” for all intents and purposes…it’s just missing due to a brain abnormality.
    Even my sister in law who is way more liberal than I, says, because of her professional experience, that the only options for criminal psychopaths or sociopaths or as some professional communities refer to them, is to lock them away forever or execute them if state law allows because they aren’t curable. Paranoid schizophrenics and other kinds of mental disorders that are dangerous to others are often manageable with drugs but sociopaths are not.

    Reply

  31. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican, Jul 25 2010, 1:06PM – Link>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No doubt in my mind that Dick Cheney, Abrams, and some other neos and zionist are clinically sociopathic.
    Since the bottom line determinant of the disorder is usually defined as lack of a “conscience” for all intents and purposes…it’s just missing due to a brain abnormality.
    Even my sister in law who is way more liberal than I, says, because of her professional experience, that the only options for criminal psychopaths or sociopaths or as some professional communities refer to them, is to lock them away forever or execute them if state law allows because they aren’t curable. Paranoid schizophrenics and other kinds of mental disorders that are dangerous to others are often manageable with drugs but sociopaths are not.

    Reply

  32. nadine says:

    “Nadine – I don’t think anyone here is really trying to defend the tactics of Hamas or Hezballah(except to jerk your chain). ”
    You’re wrong jd. They do defend Hamas (whom Carroll supports) and Hizbullah all the time, using the Leftist technique of air-brushing them out of the picture. Leftists are self-forbidden to criticize “the other”, so when “the other” are Arab terrorists, they prefer not to mention them. If forced to mention them, they make excuses for them. But they prefer to pretend that they aren’t there.
    This was Goldstone’s main technique: accept the story told by Hamas-picked Gazan witnesses, in which the Gazans were helpless civilians, assume the worst about Israeli intentions, since ‘obviously’ they had used their advance weaponry to destroy civilians.
    And the Hamas fighters? What Hamas fighters? Goldstone never talked to any, he never tried to even figure out if there had been any around, much less if there might have been some exchange of fire. Well, once Goldstone did ask “the Gaza Authorities (=Hamas) if he could talk to some Hamas fighters and was told, “Oh, we don’t know any of those guys.” He accepted this answer! Over and over, Hamas is airbrushed out of the picture to render the desired verdict, while Israeli actions and intentions are simply invented out of whole cloth, since Goldstone never talked to the Israelis either.
    “All of the Hezballah Katyusha and Hamas Qassam rocket ordinance fired at Israel does not equal one week’s worth of bombs dropped by Israel”
    Hizbullah has plenty of larger missiles too, jd. Last time Israel was successful at destroying most of them before they launched, which is part of the action you are complaining about. Sounds to me like you wish the inequality was ‘fixed’. What do you think would happen to the casualty rate then?

    Reply

  33. nadine says:

    jdledell, nice company you are keeping here on TWN. Are you happy with the crowd you are cheering?
    I would be more interested to hear directly from your Golani nephew. I daresay his views (what are they, btw?) on what you can and cannot do while fighting terrorists who wear no uniforms and blend into the civilian population to fight are a little more realistic than yours. You seem equally shocked that civilians are getting killed, as that the IDF has ROEs which try to protect the lives of IDF soldiers. This is naive. You can go argue about ROEs at the margin, but no army in the world will be interested in a deal that sacrifices hundreds of their own soldiers to protect enemy civilians and terrorists. I assure you, the American army would not be gentler. But the American army doesn’t operate under the same microscope.
    Breaking the Silence was another one of those New Israel Foundation leftist Israel bashing NGOs passing on rumors to make Israel look bad. Let’s not go for the “fake, but accurate” news standard, shall we?
    The difference between us is that you expect Israel to be perfect, while I expect it to adhere to its ROEs, a rather more realistic goal. Israel has opened over a hundred investigations into various incidents in Cast Lead. I certainly hope they investigate seriously and try to improve protections for civilians — insofar as it is possible in the situation. It will never be enough to satisfy you. The terrorists get a vote in designing the situation, and they want civilians to die. I assure you that you don’t protect civilians by letting the terrorists win.

    Reply

  34. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Something demoralized and stupefying about a high-ranking official of the State Department dipping into this swill and ladling it out as respectable history……”
    The “State Department”???? Who’s that????
    This is TWN. At TWN, the “State Department”, as well as our “Secretary Of State”, don’t exist.
    This fantasy known as the State Department, that doesn’t exist here, is now requesting military operatives and equipment, that will be exclusively State Department assets, with which to do whatever it is they are doing in Iraq.
    Kinda odd, wanting to get their own private little army going, eh??? But hey, don’t worry about it, Hillary Clinton is just a figment of our imagination, and doesn’t really exist.
    (Except in our nightmares. It’d be a real bummer to find we went to war with Iran because of the machinations of someone Steve Clemons apparently finds irrelevent, wouldn’t it? Is it REALLY any suprise that the State Department is dishing out the “swill” that is the backbone of the Israeli narrative? What aspect or component of the narrative isn’t “swill”?? Certainly, Clinton and her compatriot “diplomats” and analysts over at State have been more than willing to spoon the Israeli swill about Iran into the bowl of horseshit our media offers as daily fare. Why should we be suprised when they offer the swill of Israeli revisionist history. Its their way of saying “eat shit” to the population they refuse to actually serve. )

    Reply

  35. Carroll says:

    Posted by JohnH, Jul 25 2010, 1:44PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Just for credibility’s sake. This isn’t just my amatuer take. My sister in law is a Psychiatrist and a MD practicing for 20 years at a major hospital.
    In our political discussions she is always, by habit of training naturally, looking for the individual or collective root psychs in everything.
    She has sent me several books written for the lay community…one being “The Sociopath Next Door” that explains these types to the non professional public.
    Like you were saying, they are in all levels of society from prisons to CEO’s offices to religious leaders.

    Reply

  36. JohnH says:

    Like I said earlier on this thread, public relations, hasbara, and historical revisionism is all they’ve got.
    When the facts speak for themselves, Israel loses any moral authority and loses the moral high ground. Once that happens, there is no reason for anyone to preference Israel over any other country. That will spell the end of the Zionist project.
    Habara is their life line.

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    I find this very interesting. As most of us have noticed the zionist are always trying to rewrite American history as well as their own history to make it appear that early Americans were zionist supporters from the getgo and therefore Americans and jews are the proverbial “one and the same”.
    I have seen a lot of this nonsense stuff on the net by zionist activist, Washington was a jew, Lincoln loved the jews, America always wanted to restore the Jews to Palestine American was created by zionism..there is no end to fanciful stuff they make up.
    It’s so ridiculous most people who know anything about American history laugh it off.
    But what I find interesting about this article is it indicates that now every aspect of zionist historical revision and propaganda is begining to be nit picked and ridiculed ….as it should be.
    But what is sooooooo funny about the zionist propaganda is all the little slip ups they make when trying manufacture history. For example in this ponied up Lincoln example referring to PALESTINE as the homeland of the jews when everyone knows that according to the Jews there never was a PALESTINE!…LOL.
    Did State Department official get his Zionist swill about Lincoln from mytho-historian Michael Oren?
    by Philip Weiss on July 23, 2010

    Reply

  38. JohnH says:

    “The medical establishment estimates that about 4% of the population are undiagnosed clinical psychopaths. The bad news is this type of mental disorder is not curable.”
    Even worse, these personality types seem unusually attracted to positions of power, government and corporate. And their narcissistic self-confidence allows them to advantage to these positions, while others languish, often because they exhibit some degree of doubt, self reflections and social conscience.
    Nadine actually does us a favor by revealing the personality of the Jewish Supremacist. Everyone can see how such people have absolutely no remorse, no matter how egregious the crime.

    Reply

  39. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The good news being that these human abominations such as Nadine are still in the minority in the United States. Although a carefully nurtured media campaign of misinformation is able to control the level of the public’s awareness, what it CANNOT do is rob the individual of their inate concern and compassion for the condition of their fellows. If provided with accurate and complete information, the majority of mankind will stand in favor of the humane treatment of our global brethren, be they Jewish, Muslim, Christian or otherwise.
    The bad news is that if monsters that comprise the minority, such as Nadine, gain enough power, the satanic and evil among us, such as the Adolph Hitlers, the Dick Cheneys, the Idi Amins, the Pol Pots, etc., are able to inflict their misery and attrocities on the majority.
    Such appears to be the case in The Jewish State. And unfortunately, we see a very real danger of the same thing happening here. Obama has definitely given away the farm. The extreme disillusionment true liberals have with his policies and insincere platforms will undoubtedly lead to a dismally low poll turnout for the left, and his egregiously incompetent and dishonest leadership has almost virtually guaranteed that the ghouls of the far right will benefit with a return to majority. These devils like Dick Cheney, Abrams, Kristol, Perle, Bolton, etc., are not finished yet. And adding to the danger, we have these pieces of SHIT on the left, such as Hillary Clinton, actually paving the way for the right’s return to power by practicing diplomacy, and advocating for kinds of policies, that really differ very little from what the Bush years gave us.
    Nadine’s skull face and the dark forces that guide and dictate her ideologies may well be the army of tomorrow, benefitting from Obama’s political cowardice and lack of moral conviction. To opine that war with Iran is not on the horizon due to the very sane reasons that exist to discourage such an action is idiotically optimistic. The advocation for such an endeavor is obviously insane, yet the very maniacs advancing such advocations are the very maniacs that are returning to power due to Obama’s complete and utter lack of spine or integrity.
    And as a side note, once again, Steve’s avoidance of mentioning Hillary Clinton in essays such as the one he offers above is disingenuous through omission. It is a shame he doesn’t level with us in this one area, rather than putting his readers in the position that they must presume and guess as to his motives for excluding such an important component of any debate about United States’ policies towards Iran. He gives us a seriously incomplete analysis through such ommissions, which calls into question his entire body of analysis. Is it unreasonable to assume that he has been tasked to offer essays such as this one in order to aid in lulling the Iranians into a false sense that they will not be attacked? I am not yet advancing that theory, but his longstanding commentary that has consistently avoided Hillary’s stances and machinations in regards to Iran gives one true pause to wonder as to motive.

    Reply

  40. Carroll says:

    Normal people will never be able to understand those like nadine.
    But they can be explained.
    One of the most interesting books I read some years ago was The Question of Zion by Jacqueline Rose, who as a Jew was a zionist in that she supported the existence of Israel, but as a psychoanalyst felt compelled to deconstruct what the zionist mentality actually is and the individuals it attracts.
    She characterizes zionism as a collective mental disorder induced by jewish victimhood. And illustrates how the shame, rage, and sense of helplessness of the Jews has been displaced onto the Palestines. The victim mentality was reinforced by the world in the creation of Israel and the sympathy they received. But this support instead of positively affecting the jewish mentality, led instead to justifying their rage and to the growth of a hubris grounded in revenge and a messianic dream of jewish supremacy and an international world jewry power as the formerly powerless victims who triumph over the world that had persecuted them.
    She goes on to explain that certain personalities among Jews are attracted to zionism for the same reason non jewish personalities are attracted to other movements or organizations that have anti social, paranoid or sociopath and psychopathic elements.
    The difference between the IDF solider who deliberately shot three Palestine children and the Teabagger who threw a disabled man from his wheelchair as a welfare beggar is only in the degree of their disorder and how far these kinds of maladjusted personalities are allowed to go is determined by whatever authority they are subject to by law, national policy or society.
    In the extreme like nadine and marcus they all exhibit the typical hallmarks of anti social or sociopathic disorders.
    1: Aggressive narcissism
    2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
    3. Pathological lying
    4. Cunning/manipulative
    5. Lack of remorse or guilt
    6. Shallow
    7. Callous/lack of empathy
    8. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
    The medical establishment estimates that about 4% of the population are undiagnosed clinical psychopaths. The bad news is this type of mental disorder is not curable. Experts say this is a genetic brain impairment that cannot be reversed or treated…something was simply “left out” of the brain at birth.
    Basically…it’s totally useless to argue with these types, ..you are trying to engage the part in a normal brain’s function that just doesn’t exist in these people.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What irritates many of us is your absolute inability to see or understand any of Israel’s faults”
    Actually, thats not true. Speaking for myself, what “irritates me” is her overt and despicable racism, justified and rationalized by a consistently dishonest narrative that is buttressed by a steady litany of lies and scripted talking points.
    And she now claims to be a rabbi? The racist sack of shit presumes to offer the teachings of God??? Thats far beyond “irritating”, thats just plain WRONG.

    Reply

  42. David says:

    Extremist religious zealots seem to me to all be cut from the same cloth. Central Florida is awash in the Christian televangelist version, as is also Texas, and I gather Colorado.
    They should all wear WWI German military belt buckles, since like that German war machine none of them have a clue what an actual supreme being, should there be one, is all about. Try finding universal benevolence anywhere in their xenophobic theologies, if one can call what they espouse theologies, since they have nothing to do with any god that might actually make sense and/or boost the human spirit. Thomas Jefferson got it right as far as how the New Testament should be edited. The Old Testament – what a study in the foibles and failures of human beings and their tribal treatment of each other, interspersed with bits of wisdom which are consistently violated by its purported adherents.
    Oh, yeah, gott mit uns, but as Bob Dylan said in speaking of a god which actually makes sense, “If god’s on our side, he’ll stop the next war.” I ain’t holding my breath.

    Reply

  43. Neo Controll says:

    “Do you [Nadine] have any empathy for anyone besides Jews? When I read what you write, it always strikes me as unreal and inhuman. No one can be that callous about other human beings.I apologize for getting personal but I am stunned by the amount of poison that drips from your words.” (jdledell)
    Ain’t we all stunned. But Nadine says she’s a rebbe. Yet she would endorse the tactics of a Kahane, no doubt, or at least make excuses. Her inhuman ilk is a blot on Jews everywhere. Really a blot on humanity. But anyone who has met these ultra conservatives knows their gall. Without American backing, they would be just another bunch of common political thugs. Still are.

    Reply

  44. jdledell says:

    Nadine – I don’t think anyone here is really trying to defend the tactics of Hamas or Hezballah(except to jerk your chain). What irritates many of us is your absolute inability to see or understand any of Israel’s faults. You have placed Israel on a pedestal of perfection it does not deserve nor wants.
    All of the Hezballah Katyusha and Hamas Qassam rocket ordinance fired at Israel does not equal one week’s worth of bombs dropped by Israel. Do you understand how civilians in South Beruit felt when Israeli bombs devastated the apartment blocks there. There were no rocket launchers there ad no fighting but Israel bombed and killed civilians there for being Shite.
    My nephew is a Golani IDF captain and he fought in Lebanon 2006 as well as Gaza City in 2008. Israeli military doctine emphasizes deterrance as a primary goal and punitive measures against enemy fighters and general population enhances achieving that goal. In Lebanon that took the form of, for example, calling in an airstike of a convoy of cars leaving a village under attack in case any Hezballah members were escaping. Do you honestly think either he, or the pilot, cared who was really in the cars?
    I’ll give you another example from Gaza. The ROE was for the IDF not to be killed and at all costs not get captured – anything else was okay. That meant when they came upon a house or apartment building and it was thought people or fighters might be inside, they simply blasted away with tanks rather than chance taking the place with ground troops.
    The operating conditions meant the IDF did not deliberately target civilians but could care less if civilians got killed. If you spent time in Israel and spoke Hebrew you would understand. All you have to do is meet some really life IDF soldiers and buy them a drink. They will tell you the real story of life in combat. It isn’t pretty and Breaking the Silence is only the tip of the iceberg. You read pronouncements from IDF brass and Israeli politicians and seem to buy their words as the absolute truth. It’s garbage and in your heart I think you know it.
    Cruelty and hatred are not the province of only arabs and Palestinians but Israeli Jews have it in equal measure. If you know anyone in Israel talk to them about how they feel about the current ethnic cleansing going on in the Jordan Valley. One by one Palestinian villages are being demolished an the residents pushed out. Farisiya is just the latest example. Can you put yourself in those peoples shoes and understand how they feel.
    Do you have any empathy for anyone besides Jews? When I read what you write, it always strikes me as unreal and inhuman. No one can be that callous about other human beings.I apologize for getting personal but I am stunned by the amount of poison that drips from your words.

    Reply

  45. Cammy says:

    OBAMA AVOIDS BIBLE VERSES
    Here are some Bible verses that Pres. Obama avoids:
    Proverbs 19:10 (NIV): “It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury – how much worse for a slave to rule over princes!”
    Also Proverbs 30:22 (NIV) which says that the earth cannot bear up under “a servant who becomes king.”
    And Ecclesiastes 5:2-3 (KJV) advises: “let thy words be few…a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”
    Although Obama is not descended from slaves, he may feel that he’s destined to become a black-slavery avenger.
    Or maybe an enslaver of all free citizens!
    For the brain-dead, pro-murder politicians in Washington DeCeased who fix Social Security by voting to abort millions who otherwise could be paying into SS (!), I have two pro-life slogans I thought up:
    “Unborn babies should have the right to keep and bear arms – and legs and ears and eyes etc.!” and “Unborn babies should have the same right to be born alive that abortionists had!”
    For more insights, Google “Obama Supports Public Depravity” and “Mayor ‘Napoleon’ Bloomberg.”
    BREAKING NEWS about Obama’s re-election promise:
    The promise of “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” can be traced to Hoover’s 1928 Presidential campaign.
    Well, Obama has twisted these words and is promising that if he’s re-elected there will be “a chick in every car and some pot in every garage!”

    Reply

  46. nadine says:

    Maw, you don’t get it. JohnH accused Israel of siting their rockets amidst civilians populations just like Hizbullah. I was responding that aside from the fact that it isn’t true, there would be no point in it. Human shields only work if the other side is reluctant to kill civilians. If the other side is delighted to kill civilians, the human shields will just be killed to no purpose.

    Reply

  47. JohnH says:

    After vilifying Richard Goldstone repeatedly, the Jewish Supremacists here have chosen to ignore the fact that the IDF confirmed three of his most serious findings:
    “It has confirmed the fatal shooting by a marksman of an unarmed man (the Goldstone commission said a man and a woman were killed) walking with a group of Palestinians waving a white

    Reply

  48. Maw of America says:

    Here are a pair of peculiar pronouncements:
    “Hizbullah isn’t reluctant to kill Israeli civilians! they love nothing better. They openly rejoice when they manage to do it.”
    -and-
    “Hamas and Hizbullah don’t build bomb shelters, which is absolutely their choice, because they have no interest in protecting their civilian populations.”
    In the first, I can’t discern if killing civilians is the issue, or simply the audacity to celebrate it.
    In the second, would building bomb shelters make it okay to bomb civilian populations?
    Pretzel logic, if I ever heard it…

    Reply

  49. nadine says:

    I have a new Israeli war crime for you JohnH: the oppressed shoppers of Gaza City are being forced to look for specials on Zionist pants in the new Gaza City Shopping Mall. Liat Collins:
    “No sooner had Israel announced it was easing the blockade on Gaza, in the wake of the flotilla affair, than the poor starving residents we

    Reply

  50. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If Iran ceased to exits would Israel and US troubles with Muslims end?”
    “If Israel ceased to exist ould US troubles with Iran and Muslims end?”
    Oh, wise up.
    Perhaps you will clue us in to what our “troubles with Iran” are? But I strongly doubt it.
    And, uh, I see. Its “muslims” that are a problem for us? Well, at least you’re an honest bigot, and say whats really in your head.

    Reply

  51. nadine says:

    “Signatories to the Geneva Conventions are obliged to send war criminals to prison. Israel never has.” (JohnH)
    That’s another lie. They have, they are and they will again.
    But Hamas has never charged any of its fighters with war crimes. Ah, but you think Hamas is just great and doesn’t need to change a thing.
    The Gazans don’t agree. Only 30% still support Hamas; nothing kills the appetite for Islamist rule like a taste of it. But then, you don’t care about the Gazans, do you?

    Reply

  52. observer says:

    PissedOffAmerican:
    If Iran ceased to exits would Israel and US troubles with Muslims end?
    If Israel ceased to exist ould US troubles with Iran and Muslims end?

    Reply

  53. nadine says:

    Give Don Bacon enough rope, and the hundreds of Palestinian civilians who died from having Hamas rig their houses with explosives and forbid them to leave never existed. They are Arabs, so you give Hamas full permission to use them and kill them at will.
    That’s the thing about war crimes. Once one side stops observing any law of war, dresses their fighters as civilians, puts the women and kids up front as human shields, then civilians start to die in the fighting. And do you know what the Geneva Conventions actually say about this? That once one side commits “perfidy” their civilians lose the status of protected persons. Look it up.
    That’s because the authors of the Geneva Conventions had actually fought wars. They knew if you handed out free passes for using human shields, you would only get lots more human shields and dead civilians. So they wrote the rules not to allow it.
    But today’s fine humanitarians of the Left think that Hamas and Hizbullah deserve a permanent free pass to commit whatever crimes they please.

    Reply

  54. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I surmise then that there is connection – at least in some peoples’ minds – regarding Israel, Iran, and the United States”
    Only an idiot would posit otherwise, or suggest that its just “in some people’s mind”.

    Reply

  55. nadine says:

    “All you have to do is count the casualties since 2000, where Israel has killed several times as many Palestinians as vice versa.” (JohnH)
    If Israel didn’t build bomb shelters for its population, you would have much higher Israeli casualties. Hizbullah shot 4000 rockets at Israeli cities in 2006; Hamas shot 10,000 into Israel. If they didn’t kill more Israelis, it wasn’t for want of trying!
    Hamas and Hizbullah don’t build bomb shelters, which is absolutely their choice, because they have no interest in protecting their civilian populations. They are too busy using them as human shields.
    So just as I said, you accuse Israel of war crimes because they protect their own population. It’s a crime to keep Israelis alive. Such a fine humanitarian you are. You are positively salivating for more dead Jews. And you pretend not to know why I think you are an anti-Semite.

    Reply

  56. observer says:

    observer:
    Yet again a discussion about US & Iran degenrates into a discussion about Israel, the Arabs, and Iran.
    I surmise then that there is connection – at least in some peoples’ minds – regarding Israel, Iran, and the United States.
    If that is in fact the case; i.e. there is a factual basis for this line of thinking then I suggest that US is confronting issues in the Middel East that are intractable for US. That is, the stragetic situation in the Persian Gulf and that of the Levant are conjoined with each other and wrapped in a religious shorud.
    What this means that US is stuck in a situation from which she cannot extricate herself be her own efforts; be they military or diplomatic.

    Reply

  57. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Every army on earth commits war crimes sometimes. In the legitimate armies, it is illegal and may results in the perpetrators being brought up on charges”
    And they all gangbang fourteen year olds while bigoted hasbara drooling wretches mumble justifications like “the sex was consensual”????
    Eh, you ignorant wacko?
    And they all shoot American peace activists in the head with tear gas canisters, at close range?
    And they all target unarmed fishermen and farmers attempting to fish and farm?
    And they all hold seriously ill people at border checkpoints for days, resulting in regular unnecessary deaths at border checkpoints???
    And they all have some underground army of wannabe nazis and racists like yourself, vomiting up a steady litany of fictitious rationales, disingenuous justifications and scripted talking points, undoubtedly subsidized with American tax payer dollars?
    You’re a rabbi????? I thought rabbis believed in God. If you do, you certainly have a perverted sense of what is moral and humane. I don’t think my God would think much of you. I’d add that you should fry in hell, but I don’t wanna turn you on and getcha all excited.

    Reply

  58. JohnH says:

    Nadine’s problem (and that of the Israeli government) is that facts clearly demonstrate that Israel is responsible for the balance of terror. This is why, for most people around the globe, Israel lost the moral high ground years ago.
    All you have to do is count the casualties since 2000, where Israel has killed several times as many Palestinians as vice versa. Or look at land confiscated, people kicked out of their homes, etc. Look at the news any day, and you can see reports of settler violence, IDF soldiers targeting unarmed Palestinians, courts exhibiting Jim Crow racism, etc.
    The Goldstone Report identified Palestinian crimes but determined that the balance of death and destruction was disproportionately caused by the IDF. Same for Lebanon in 2006. Same for the El Aqsa intifada. Same for Lebanon 1998. It goes on and on to 1948 and before.
    The only hope that Israel has for maintaining its tenuous grip on the moral high ground in the United States is to keep Americans ignorant. That is why Jewish Supremacists put enormous pressure on the US media and on other elites. It’s why the hasbara campaign is so intense. And why Nadine’s rants are so desperate.
    Denying reality is the only hope they got.

    Reply

  59. Don Bacon says:

    Give nadine enough rope, . . .and you get the IDF using Arab kids as ‘point men.’

    Reply

  60. JohnH says:

    As Nadine says, “every army on earth commits war crimes sometimes.” But Jewish Supremacists like Nadine wear their war crimes as a badge of honor.
    Signatories to the Geneva Conventions are obliged to send war criminals to prison. Israel never has.

    Reply

  61. nadine says:

    “So if Israel decides to go to war with Hezballah in an anticipatory strike prior to bombing Iran then all the Lebanese civilian deaths are no longer Israel’s fault, all the deaths are due to the leftists in the world. ” (jdledell)
    If the Leftists had condemned Hamas and Hizbullah as war criminals for their use of human shields, they might have felt some pressure to keep their batteries away from apartment buildings and hospitals. But you told them it was fine, admirable, a grand winning strategy, when you decided to blame only Israel for killing the human shields when it destroyed the rockets. So naturally Hamas and Hizbullah are doing more of it, thanks to you.
    Tehran didn’t build and supply Hizbullah to have them sit on their rockets forever; nor can a radical Islamist group do so without facing internal charges that they are traitors who have abandoned the duty of jihad. There will come a day when Tehran will order Hizbullah back into the field.
    On that day, you will once again, like clockwork, blame Israel for everything that happens next.

    Reply

  62. nadine says:

    “The IDF commits war crimes and, like all Jewish Supremacists, you refuse to acknowledge proven facts.” (JohnH)
    Look, you moron, let me address this once and for all. Every army on earth commits war crimes sometimes. In the legitimate armies, it is illegal and may results in the perpetrators being brought up on charges.
    In the terrorist armies, it is standard operating procedure. Terrorist armies’ entire strategy is a war crime. They attack civilians while hiding behind civilians.
    The IDF is a legitimate army. Hamas is a terrorist army.
    That is why Hamas routinely (it was reported over and over) rigs houses to explode with the civilians still locked inside. It is also why IDF troops have sometimes forced an Arab kid to open a door, figuring that he knows which doors are rigged and which are not.
    The only reason you don’t acknowledge Hamas’ war crimes is that you don’t care about Hamas’ war crimes. You admit it. You even say, they don’t claim to be “like us” so for them, war crimes are allowed.
    Arab life is cheap as dirt for you, unless an Arab can manage to get killed by a Jew. Then you care. Anti-Semitic concerns trump humanitarian ones every time.

    Reply

  63. Don Bacon says:

    The IDF doesn’t call it human shields, it’s “neighbor procedure” or “Johnny.”
    In 2002 the IDF informed the Israeli high court that it would stop using civilians for military tasks, except for the “neighbor procedure,” using Palestinian civilians to order other Palestinians to leave their houses to be arrested.
    This was dangerous work. In one event, soldiers sent Nidal Abu Mukhsan, a nineteen-year-old resident of Tubas, to the house of Nasser Jarar, a Hamas activist, and ordered him to get Jarar to leave his house. When Abu Mukhsan approached the house, Jarar, apparently thinking that the person coming toward him was a soldier, shot Abu Mukhsan.
    During Operation Cast Lead, it was a regular procedure to send Palestinians to check houses. The code name for that was ‘Johnny’ (Palestinian). They would say ‘Johnny is entering to check that the house is clean, and then we go in.'”
    An IDF veteran described an even more disturbing use of human shields, a modified “neighbor procedure”: Sometimes the force would enter while placing rifle barrels on a civilian

    Reply

  64. nadine says:

    “Tehran was not amused at having to supply Hizbullah with an entire replacement rocket arsenal.”
    Nadine – Do you have a source for this assertion? Or is this another one of you opinions that you, and you alone, classify as facts. ” (jdledell)
    Of course I do, Tehran’s unhappiness with Nasrallah was widely reported in the Mideast. Here is good overview of Hizbullah since the 2006 war from the Middle East Quarterly “Nasrallah’s Defeat in the 2006 War:
    Assessing Hezbollah’s Influence,” by Eyal Zisser http://www.meforum.org/2054/nasrallahs-defeat-in-the-2006-war It’s well footnoted so you can look up the sources. Some quotes:
    “On the eve of Mughniyeh’s assassination, reports circulated that Tehran had supplanted Nasrallah’s leadership with his deputy leader Na

    Reply

  65. nadine says:

    JohnH, you moron, of course Israel doesn’t put its rocket launchers in between civilian houses and hospitals like Hizbullah does.
    Never mind that Israel tries to protect its own civilians (another thing you condemn them for), what the hell use would it be? Hizbullah isn’t reluctant to kill Israeli civilians! they love nothing better. They openly rejoice when they manage to do it. Next war, they will be aiming their arsenal at the center of Haifa just like last time.
    Hizbullah uses human shields BECAUSE IT WORKS. If Israel really didn’t care how many civilians they killed, it wouldn’t work.

    Reply

  66. jdledell says:

    “Tehran was not amused at having to supply Hizbullah with an entire replacement rocket arsenal.”
    Nadine – Do you have a source for this assertion? Or is this another one of you opinions that you, and you alone, classify as facts.
    “Congratulations, Leftists, you are going to get a lot more innocent people killed in the next war. Hope you are happy.”
    So if Israel decides to go to war with Hezballah in an anticipatory strike prior to bombing Iran then all the Lebanese civilian deaths are no longer Israel’s fault, all the deaths are due to the leftists in the world. Hmm – Do you realize how ridiculous that makes you seem. In your world Israel should not be blamed for anything and you still think you have credibility?

    Reply

  67. JohnH says:

    Um, Nadine, I think that it was the IDF that was found to be using Palestinians as human shields…
    If you mean that the Palestinians have military bases in densely populated areas, why don’t you criticize Israel for doing exactly the same thing?
    And how exactly does that justify blowing up an apartment building where the IDF has just ordered an extended Palestinian family was ordered into, killing many women and children?
    The IDF commits war crimes and, like all Jewish Supremacists, you refuse to acknowledge proven facts.

    Reply

  68. nadine says:

    “I do not buy any intelligence coming out of Israel. Their intelligence service is a “B” or a “B-” intelligence agency that looks better only because most their Arab adversaries are so incompetent. If they were good, they would have know about Hizbullah’s points of strength in 2006 and would not have started a war that they lost.”
    The incompetence of the 2006 Lebanon was was examined in Israel and laid at the doorstep of the Chief of Staff, not the intelligence service. The Chief of Staff was an Air Force guy who convinced Olmert he could do everything from the air, which turned out not to be true. But Israel did know where Hizullah’s assets were and destroyed them quite thoroughly. Just because Hizbullah claims to have won, don’t believe them. If you’ll notice, the border has been very quiet since 2006. For all their big talk, Hizbullah was in no shape for a rematch. Tehran was not amused at having to supply Hizbullah with an entire replacement rocket arsenal.
    No, Israel’s incompetence in 2006 was in strategy and execution, not intelligence.
    Israel recently made public its assessment of Hizubllah’s arsenal in South Lebanon, strategically laid out near town centers, schools, hospitals, mosques, etc to use the population as human shields. This was true before, but is much more so now. There were reports in the last war that Hizbullah fighters prevented civilians from fleeing the areas of fighting; doubtless we’ll see a lot more of that too. You think Hizbullah wants to protect civilians? They are all too happy to create “involuntary martyrs”. Allah told them the more martyrs, the better.
    This is what happens when the “humanitarians” of the Left reward using civilians as human shields instead of condemning it, as they did by backing the hatchet job called the Goldstone Report. You reward something, you get a lot more it. Congratulations, Leftists, you are going to get a lot more innocent people killed in the next war. Hope you are happy.

    Reply

  69. nadine says:

    “I’m sure nadine would get to it, but here is her guru Barry Rubin saying that “it is rather clear that no such attack [on Iran] is imminent.”
    Yes, his logic is good. First, that the Israelis are acutely aware of enormous risks and costs associated with an attack, so they won’t do it unless all other options have been exhausted. The sanctions option has yet to play out, and let’s hope the Mossad has a good handle on the how the sabotage and internal regime change options are looking.
    Second, that if you are going to pay the price of an attack, you want to make sure you destroy a lot of hard to replace stuff in the attack, which means nuclear weapons and production facilities that are completed or near completion. What he’s saying is that the Israelis are likely to wait for the breakout phase before attacking.

    Reply

  70. nadine says:

    “Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be incredibly destabilizing. Attacking them would also create the same kind of outcome. In an area that’s so unstable right now, we just don’t need more of that.” (Admiral Mullen)
    Interesting non-statement. Notice he doesn’t say how you are supposed to avoid A without B.
    Let’s all pray for the Mossad’s success in sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program. That, or internal regime change, seem to be the only other options.

    Reply

  71. Don Bacon says:

    from HuffPost:
    Nearly a third of House Republicans have signed onto a resolution supporting an Israeli attack on Iran, which has been publicly discussed and circulated by its lead sponsor Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
    H.Res. 1553
    July 22, 2010
    Expressing support for the State of Israel

    Reply

  72. Don Bacon says:

    I’m sure nadine would get to it, but here is her guru Barry Rubin saying that “it is rather clear that no such attack [on Iran] is imminent.”
    http://tinyurl.com/27wcky8

    Reply

  73. Don Bacon says:

    The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran was due a year ago, and is still not in.
    The US, with a $75 billion dollar, 200,000 person intelligence community occupying space in 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies, in the Washington metro area alone amounting to 17 million square feet of space, with all this capability the intelligence community can’t prepare a National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which is such a huge ‘threat,’ one that Obama worries about every day?
    I guess they need more people, money and space.

    Reply

  74. observer says:

    sagesiah:
    I think you are wrong about the powers of Mr. Ahmadinejad. His powers are not as expansive as Mr. Khamenei – who does not hold executive power – but they are comparable to any CEO who is reporting to a Chairman of the Board.
    I do not buy any intelligence coming out of Israel. Their intelligence service is a “B” or a “B-” intelligence agency that looks better only because most their Arab adversaries are so incompetent. If they were good, they would have know about Hizbullah’s points of strength in 2006 and would not have started a war that they lost.
    Moreover, almost all of these various intelligence agencies of Israel as well as EU depend very much on what American intelligence gives them. Make of this what you will.

    Reply

  75. observer says:

    Marcus asks if the entire world could be wrong.
    Hmmm…
    Billions of flies also like excrement.

    Reply

  76. Don Bacon says:

    nadine: “The IAEA says it CANNOT confirm the peaceful use of Iran’s nuclear fuel”
    What the IAEA report actually said: “While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
    Some basic info.
    (1) The IAEA is restricted in its scope of activities to verifying non-diversion of fuel. Everything else is outside its bounds. NPT:” . . .the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agencys safeguards system, for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfillment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.”
    Ex-clu-sive.
    (2)Under US pressure the IAEA dumped Dr. ElBaradei as chief, the same one that resisted Iraq’s invasion, and hired a US lackey, I forget his name. It’s a nobody. Anyhow, what the report seems to be implying is that, there are undeclared nuclear materials in Iran, whereas there has never been a shred of evidence that such materials exist. The IAEA’s speculations are meaningless and purely political.
    I’ll give you another one. The IAEA has also overstepped its charter referring to “Iran

    Reply

  77. Carroll says:

    Posted by Marcus, Jul 24 2010, 1:47PM – Link
    Don bacon; Do you believe that the entire world is wrong and that you and few Islamisists,Conspiracy nuts and anti-semites are right ?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sure, why not? Don’t you believe that ‘entire world’ was wrong about the Jews and a few Jews were right?..LOL
    gawd… every time you open your mouth marcus you shoot yourself in the foot.

    Reply

  78. Marcus says:

    Don Bacon; Many defenders of Iran`s nuke programn argue that ,perhaps they have violated the spirt of the law,but not the letter of the law,(this is a self-defeating arguement) perhaps you are one of these ?
    After reading the Treaty (have you ?) it is obvious that rather than trying to cover the technical aspects of enforcement (which would require thousands of pages) it is aimed at establishing good-will and trust among nations, That is not only the spirit but also the essence of the Treaty.
    Iran is in gross violation of that essence.

    Reply

  79. Carroll says:

    How long will it take for sanctions to cripple Iran?
    Probably a long long-long long, if ever time.
    And as time goes on, international competition for resources and profit will pop loopholes, if not outright defying of sanctions on Iran.
    Maybe for a while the US can twist arms by using various threats like trade and US based asset seizures and etc. against those who violate the sanctions.
    But the irony is that having expedited the global capitalist program for the world.. the machine now has a life all it’s own and is going to keep on seeking profit and advantages against all other seekers where ever they can find it.
    So Iran may, like Iraq, live under sanctions for decades but never fade away.
    Probably the biggest question is does the US have the where with all and influence to enforce or seduce enough countries into it’s programs any longer and if so for how long?
    And of course does the US have enough money to ‘buy out’..i.e. bribe away business deals others may make with Iran?
    And also at any time, power jockeying and various events and conditions in other countries could steal the thunder from the whole Iran hysteric mob.
    There are going to be countries in the ME like Saudi who want the US to remain their protector and bear the cost of their protection and status quo who will cooperate. There will be other countries in and out of the ME who will see ‘Iran verboten” as not in their own economic interest.
    This is going to be like the 100’th sequel of the same US Sanctions movie.
    UPI…
    Iran signs $1.3 billion Turkey pipeline deal
    Saturday, July 24, 2010
    Iran’s Oil Ministry said the country had signed a one billion euro ($1.3bn) pipeline deal to take gas to Turkey and Turkish firm Som Petrol said it was the partner in the project.
    “The one-billion-euro deal to build 660km gas pipeline was signed yesterday during the Iranian oil minister’s trip to Turkey,” the Iranian ministry said yesterday.
    A senior Iranian official said Iran would pay a transit fee to export its gas to Europe using the pipeline crossing Turkey.
    “The pipeline will enable Iran to export 50 to 60 million metres of gas per day. It will be constructed within three years,” Javad Oji, head of the National Iranian Gas Export Company. (NIGC), said on the ministry’s website.
    Oji was quoted by the Mehr news agency as saying that 23 per cent of the project would be handled by the Iranian side and 77pc by the Turkish side.
    One of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers, Iran has been hit by US and UN sanctions that have hindered access to foreign investment and slowed its development as a major exporter.
    The website identified NIGC’s Turkish partner as ASB, but Som Petrol said it had signed the deal.
    “We signed the agreement on the Iran-Turkey pipeline,” Som Petrol’s chairman Sitki Ayan said.
    “This agreement can be seen as continuation of a project that began in 2008.”
    Iran and Turkey first agreed on a pipeline project in 2008 with the aim of carrying Iranian gas to Europe.
    Ayan said the pipeline would carry 110 million cubic metres of gas per day and is planned to be completed in 2014.
    The project is estimated to cost as much as 25bn euros, he added.
    Som Petrol already has operations in Turkmenistan and has been looking to expand business with Iran’

    Reply

  80. nadine says:

    “Open question: why doesn’t Israel give us intel on
    Iran directly? Why do they funnel it through the
    MEK? This makes little sense, unless something
    ridiculous is going down.”
    According to the reports on the Qom facility whose existence was made public last September, it was found by a combined British, French and Israeli intelligence effort.

    Reply

  81. sagesiah says:

    Observer:
    I think the answer to your question of whether or
    not we can conduct diplomacy because of our
    massive intelligence apparatus will come when the
    new NIE on Iran comes out. If it is riddled with
    intel from exile groups, especialy the MEK, then
    we are in trouble.
    My comment on Ahmadi is meant to highlight that he
    has very little power and is also an elected
    (well, kind of) official whose statements about
    foreign affairs may often be targeted for a
    domestic audience. I agree that when he first came
    to office he was indeed interested in
    rapproachment. Every Iranian president has been,
    but it’s a battle to see whose side can deliver it
    first and creates a lot of opportunities for
    opponents to scuttle efforts.
    Open question: why doesn’t Israel give us intel on
    Iran directly? Why do they funnel it through the
    MEK? This makes little sense, unless something
    ridiculous is going down.

    Reply

  82. Marcus says:

    Don Bacon; thank-you for providing that link,have you read the treaty ?
    Apart from everything that we do not yet know,here is a partial list of why Iran is in breach of the NPT and under their fourth round of sanctions (These sanctions were not applied by Israel btw.)
    “cooperate in facilitating the application of IAEA safeguards”
    This involves alot more than you claim, they have not done this eg.The SECRET Qum reactor.
    “safeguarding effectively the flow of source and special fissionable material” eg; Syrian tech.transfers
    “declaring their intention to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race” They have only said that at this time,nuclear weapons are against the tenets of Islam (at this time) rather vague,it hardly inspires trust.
    Resposibility to “strenghten of trust between states” their threats and actions towards Israel,again Qum ?
    “must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force” Israel,Iraq,lebanon,syria etc. Iran has participated in all of the violence.
    But perhaps most importantly the Treaty requires them to “pursue negotiations in good faith” They have not done this,they are therefore in non-compliance with the NPT and that is why sanctions have been applied.
    Don bacon; Do you believe that the entire world is wrong and that you and few Islamisists,Conspiracy nuts and anti-semites are right ?

    Reply

  83. nadine says:

    “The IAEA has had the Iran nuclear program under full, continuous surveillance for years and has continually reported that Iran has not diverted fuel.”
    Don Bacon,
    Just the opposite. The IAEA says it CANNOT confirm the peaceful use of Iran’s nuclear fuel:
    “The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is a “special case” for the agency’s monitoring teams because of suspicions the country is hiding experimental nuclear programs.
    Speaking at the opening of an agency conference Monday in Vienna, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said Iranian officials have not provided the necessary cooperation for the IAEA to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is for peaceful activities. ”
    http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/IAEA-Chief-Irans-Nuclear-Program-is-Special-Case-95766659.html
    Please stop lying about what the IAEA says.
    Of course, when you keep finding secret underground uranium enrichment facilities, like the one at Qom made public by Israeli & British & French intelligence last year (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6850325.ece), only a total moron would claim that proves NPT compliance. Or a paid propagandist. So which are you, Don?

    Reply

  84. nadine says:

    “British deputy prime minister Clegg says U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was illegal. ”
    Gee, Bush really wasted that six months at the UN in 2002, which he only did at the request of Tony Blair. You seem to have forgotten about Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing 12 years of unresolved hostilities.
    “What’s the UN Charter, chopped liver? ”
    Something rather more putrid. Chopped liver at least tastes good. Any treaty is only as good as who gets to adjudicate it. If it’s club of the world’s worst dictators whose first rule is never to wash each other’s dirty linen in public, the treaty will only be enforced on democracies. For dictatorships, it will be helpful PR.
    Sort of like the problem with gun laws, which liberals also have eternal faith in, despite the obvious fact that criminals don’t obey them.

    Reply

  85. observer says:

    Don Bacon
    Yes, UN Charter, thanks to US, EU, USSR, China has become “chopped liver”.
    In fact, UN was setup to prevent war among major powers; and not against smaller powers by the Great Powers.
    The situation has materially deteriorated much more in US; even the principles of the Peace of Westphalia is no longer respected by US leaders.

    Reply

  86. Don Bacon says:

    news report (Reuters):
    British deputy prime minister Clegg says U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was illegal. Faced with repeated questioning at a news conference whether this represented government policy or a view endorsed by Prime Minister David Cameron, the spokeswoman said: “The deputy prime minister is entitled to his own view.. . .I don’t believe the coalition government has a specific view on the legality of the Iraq war”. (end of report extract)
    When I was in grammar school, hundreds of years ago, more or less, blue UN flags were part of the decor and we were taught about this agency that, after many previous attempts, was going to bring peace to the world. Fifty nations (a large number then) signed onto it, on June 26, 1945.
    The UN Charter, we learned, was the law of the land. It included these key statements:
    # All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
    # All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
    Nowadays with all my blogging, I never, ever see a comment on when wars are justified or not by various world conditions that some find troubling and others just pass by, I never see a comment that includes any mention of the illegality of starting a war. Never. It’s out of fashion, I guess.
    What I do see are various blovations about the efficacy of war, why we should or why they shouldn’t, in some shabby country, and now this:
    “I don’t believe the coalition government has a specific view on the legality of the Iraq war,” she added.
    What’s the UN Charter, chopped liver? Do we all (wrongly) agree that there are no international laws about starting wars, about the ‘illegality’ of war, about refraining from the threat or use of force, and throw the UN Charter into the trash heap of history, along with the charter of the League of Nations and all the rest?

    Reply

  87. observer says:

    Steve Clemens:
    I liked this article.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/22/clegg-truth-iraq
    Specially the bit about the Ernie Bevin test.

    Reply

  88. observer says:

    Marcus:
    In the event that an attack is mounted against Iranian safe-guarded infrastructure, NPT will be dead. If you you think otherwise, you are living in dream world.
    The Great Powers are de-legitimizing international treaties and institutions. And they think they are being clever and powerful. In fact, they are making the world more unsafe for themselves and for others.
    The contravention of the Geneva Accords by US and EU, the open admission of the ex-President of the United States of using torture will make POWs – including Americans – to suffer more in the coming wars.
    In regards to UNSC Sanctions against Iran: UNSC cannot take a sovereign right from another state. The sanctions are, in fact, illegal.

    Reply

  89. Don Bacon says:

    Marcus: “The treaty that would be strengthened is the NPT. Iran has been flouting the rules and is under a fourth round of sanctions because of that.”
    Horsepucky. Please specify what part of the NPT that Iran has flouted. Here’s a link to the NPT to assist you:
    http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/npt/text/npt2.htm
    In fact, the IAEA has one, and only one, responsibility under the NPT and that is to verify that a country does not divert nuclear fuel to a weapons program. The IAEA has had the Iran nuclear program under full, continuous surveillance for years and has continually reported that Iran has not diverted fuel.

    Reply

  90. Muqaawama says:

    As an Iranian-American that has spent much of my professional
    life in Iraq, Lebanon, and Pakistan, I agree with all your well-
    argued assertions- a military attack on Iran’s mullahs will only
    strengthen them, much like Saddam Hussein’s miscalculation in
    1979.
    At the same time, I do think we are being too timid on Iran. The
    Iranian people are, paradoxically, the most pro-American
    populace in the Middle East. Unlike anywhere in the region, Iran
    has had its Islamic revolution and has seen first hand the
    emptiness and corruption of political Islam as a ruling system.
    And unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, there are real democratic
    institutions on the ground in Iran with an educated populace
    who will utilize them if you can get rid of the tyrants at the top.
    This does not mean we have to invade or bomb. The Iranian
    regime gave us a glimpse of their inherent weakness last
    summer- they have no legitimacy among their own people. We
    should support the civil society groups that are challenging the
    regime non-violently, instead of sitting on the sidelines and
    worrying about the consequences. There are already
    consequences. Iranian agents continue to support those who kill
    American men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Experts will
    say that this will taint these civil society groups with American
    sponsorship. Hogwash. They are already tainted, killed, raped
    and tortured as the regime has accused all of them of being
    fronts for foreign interests. How much more tainted can they
    get?
    There are few countries in the Middle East with Iran’s geography,
    natural resources, skilled population and storied history as a
    regional power. We should work to harness this country and its
    legitimate political heirs (the people) against extremist Sunni
    Salafism and its adherents among our “so-called” allies (Saudi
    Arabia and Pakistan).
    For some alternative viewpoints visit my blog at:
    http://muqaa-wama.com/

    Reply

  91. Marcus says:

    Observer; The treaty that would be strenghtened is the NPT. Iran has been flouting the rules and is under a fourth round of sanctions because of that.
    Iran has been finacing, arming and training groups who are in a openly declared state of war with Israel, including having military personnel in the war zone abuting Israel`s border,
    I think any reasonable person would understand,
    that`s a hell of alot more warlike, than some bank having a more difficult time buying insurance for an oil shipment.

    Reply

  92. Don Bacon says:

    Iran and Israel are not in a state of war, but one could argue that US and Iran are, just based on the sanctions, which are an economic ‘siege.’ Economic sanctions by the US on Japan were a key factor in starting that war in the Pacific.
    Sanctions are the modern version of siege warfare — each involves the systematic deprivation of a whole city or nation of economic resources. Siege warfare is particularly onerous as it affects innocent noncombatants. Large numbers of people, particularly children, died in Iraq as a result of those sanctions in the nineties.

    Reply

  93. observer says:

    David Billington:
    My fundamental point is that these grouping can be effective only if US cedes power to local hegemonic powers. She is not.
    In regards to World Government: I do not want a world government for the reason that it can fall into a dead end and never recover. Besides, I do not wish to be ruled by Euro-Americans or the Orientals, or Hindus, or a combination thereof

    Reply

  94. observer says:

    sagesiah:
    I actually do take what Ahmadinejad says seriously.
    I think he was interested in coming to an understanding with US; from the Bush days. And he has tried to go as far as he could.
    I think Holbrooke is a hatchetman.
    Creative diplomacy cannot come from him.
    Is US any longer even capable of diplomacy given the budget that is being devoted to intelligence and war as opposed to state?

    Reply

  95. observer says:

    Marcus:
    If it were so the war would have occurred in 2006.
    But I am curious which international treaties do you envision being strengthened?
    US and EU so far have shredded the Chemical Weapons Treaty, the Geneve Convention of Treatment of POWs, the Genevea accords of 1907 on Occupation. The war will add NPT to the list.

    Reply

  96. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve, your argument concerns mainly the merits of the situation: the rationality of bombing Iran. But whether Obama bombs Iran or not depends on his ability to withstand a campaign of pro-bombing political agitation from right-wing hawks, a campaign which hasn’t begun in earnest yet. We have seen several times in the past – including last week – just how sensitive this administration is to criticism from the right, and just how he eagerly he craves the right’s approval.
    When the new President was given a Nobel, and thereby offered an exceptional opportunity to advance his vision and global agenda on a world stage before an attentive international audience, he squandered that opportunity, and used the occasion for a defensive professorial lecture to the world on the need for American military power.
    That speech followed several weeks of the usual sort of hectoring criticism from the right about Obama’s alleged anti-Americanism and his occasional acknowledgments of past American errors. (There is nothing the right hates so much as the acknowledgment of errors or apologies, since they interpret such admissions as weakness.) But the right, as I recall, was absolutely thrilled with Obama’s Nobel acceptance speech, so with very little work they extracted from him the change of tone and direction they were hoping for.
    There is plenty of noise from the hawks about Iran, and the need to do something about it eventually. But we have yet to see the big war push. When that comes, we can expect the political pressure to be intense. And it might be pressure with a global dimension, complete with a variety of staged outrages, coordinated media assaults and declamations, fraudulent documents, manufactured evidence and engineered provocations. When all that happens, will Obama have the ability to keep his head, challenge the provocateurs, interpret what is happening correctly and communicate that interpretation effectively to the American people?
    So far, this administration has proven to be surprisingly and remarkably weak when it comes to communicating a progressive vision in the face of the predictable right-wing barrages of criticism, and has even succeeded in elevating a ridiculous opera bouffe cast of right wing media comedians into a feared and powerful opposition movement. Obama seems to expect political debates and agitation to come in the form of courteous, and honest academic exchanges, and has been taken by surprise in the past by the mad and unscrupulous fury of real-world propaganda.

    Reply

  97. Carroll says:

    It’s redundant to post this in a way because it happens every day in Palestine. A jewish IDF solider deliberately shoots 3 children, age 8, 4 and 3 and a 60 year old woman. Israel has yet to ever convict any of their troops of deliberate murder of this kind. It’s a commonplace happening in Palestine.
    You have to ask yourself what kind of people and culture and state produces such mindless killers of children?
    And look at the US political leadership that supports it.
    These people and all their enablers and supporters need to be erased, eradicated, wiped from the universe.
    From the Goldstone Mission’s interview of Khaled Abed Rabbo, the father of the three girls:
    Khaled Abed Rabbo
    On January 7 at 12:50 p.m. the Israeli army bulldozed our garden and the Israeli tanks were positioned in front of our house. They started yelling at us through the speakers and asked us to leave the house. So I came out along with my wife and my three children: Suad, 8 years old, Samar, 4 years old, and Amal, 3 years old, and my mother, 60 years old. We were all holding white flags. The Israeli army was stationed right across from our house. So we stood by our entrance and holding

    Reply

  98. sagesiah says:

    Observer:
    I don’t necessarily disagree with you that an
    improvement in US-Iran ties is (at least close to)
    impossible with SecState Clinton being the face of
    the negotiations, although I wouldn’t take
    anything Ahmadi says too seriously as it is
    Khamenei that controls Iranian statecraft.
    The problem is that there are too many states that
    do not want to see anything close to resembling
    the first step in exploring the ressurection of
    the Perso-American alliance, namely, Israel, Saudi
    Arabia, Pakistan, and the various Gulf states (not
    suggesting that would be our aim, just citing
    former CIA office Robert Baer who says Saudi
    diplomats have been terrified for at least a
    decade that we will do this very thing). Any
    restoring of ties with Iran would have to be done
    very quickly and very secretly. Using Clinton
    wouldn’t seem to be either of those things. It
    would probably be Holbrooke, or maybe Jim Jones.
    This is complete speculation, though.

    Reply

  99. Adam Franklin says:

    There is little public doubt that Obama will refrain from exacerbating the shaky political and extremist foundations in Iraq. The world is still to see the “weapons of mass destruction.” Given his short term in office and overall demeanor to a seemingly timeless festering in the area I feel we now have the “right man” at the tiller to glide the US cautiously past deep and murky issues which will continue to prevail as long as religious militant factions cultivate distrust in efforts to attract ideological support.

    Reply

  100. JamesL says:

    Marcus, you’re a real comedian. “It will defuse all the tensions around the I/P situation.” Hahahahahahahahaha!! Who writes your material?

    Reply

  101. Marcus says:

    The bombing of Iranian nuke and missle sites;
    It will end, not delay,their nuke programn.
    It will eliminate the worlds gravest security threat.
    Iran is in a un-declared state of war with Israel. Israel already has every legal right to bomb.
    Nadine as usual is right,I`ll paraphrase her, the Iranians are crazy enough to set this off, I don`t think, even Obama, could ignore the sinking of an American warship,a la the North Korean incident,but maybe he would,but not the second incident,I`m pretty sure.
    It will diffuse all the tensions surrounding the I/P situation.
    It would prevent a monsterous shift in power, nukes in the hands of Islamic Jihadis worldwide.
    It would calm the tensions that remain in Iraq and everywhere else that Islamism flourishes. Defeat does not breed success in any culture.
    It would embolden democratic moderates everywhere who could end the escalation in violence,it would surely weaken,not strenghten the warmongers in the Iranian Regime. It`s a conflict that Iran will lose,the people know this.
    The Sunni states can relax and even give up their own nuke programns.
    It will stregthen trust in international treaties and trust among nations.

    Reply

  102. Marcus says:

    The Iranian people are already peeved off about thier goverment`s beligerent foreign policy,they certainly do not want war and anyway ,It`s a bombing,not a war.
    Nobody even needs to get killed.
    It`s briks and mortar that will be bombed.
    The Iranian people will avoid “experiencing serious and prolonged violenc” I have that much faith in them.
    The people of Iraq and Afghanistan did not rally behind Sadamn and the Taliban, neither will the Iranian people their current “leadership”
    A nuclear Islamic Jihadi Genie Bottle is not going to happen.
    The accidental theocracy in Iran will be phased out.
    The transition ,from dictatorship to representative Gov`t will continue.
    “seducing or cajoling” not a good idea.
    If Obama was thinking of launching a new generation of electric cars,then closing the Straits of Hormuz would be a good idea..o yea..he is.

    Reply

  103. David Billington says:

    Observer,
    The regional unions of South America and Africa do exist but are at a very
    early stage of development. My suggestion is that America assist them to
    develop more than they have to date. ASEAN must be careful not to
    antagonize China but could also draw closer together.
    I agree that world government is an idea whose time has not come. That is
    why I propose the further development of regional unions to reduce the
    extent to which the world is divided between large and small states. Once
    the world consists of a handful of large nations and a handful of regional
    unions, it may be easier to negotiate ties between everyone on a basis of
    equality.

    Reply

  104. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Obama Will Not Choose War with Iran”
    Of course, when Israel murders a few dozen or so Americans in a false flag attack, this premise no longer holds water, does it?
    In fact, if Iran simply murders or maims the amount of Americans Israel has murdered or maimed in the last two years, theres a good bet we would go to war over it.

    Reply

  105. Carroll says:

    Posted by jdledell, Jul 23 2010, 8:25PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    What makes you think Netanyahu and the US zionist are too rational to attack Iran.
    Let’s see…
    Did Israel’s pounding of Gaza accomplish anything besides just letting the zionist kill a bunch of civilians?
    Did the Israeli bombing of the non exsitant Syria nukes actually accomplish anything?
    Did the pounding of Lebanon and the million carpet bombs actually accomplish anything except letting Israel pretend it’s a big dick swinging power?
    Do the checkpoints, the killing of stone throwing children really Do anything for Israel.
    Does any of this sound rational? No matter what kind of tired worn out spin they put on it, it is the ‘acting out’ of the sick and mentally deranged.
    I would like to think you are right…but I doubt it. These people are not part of the sane world, they are way out there in some black hell hole in a space created in their own minds.

    Reply

  106. Don Bacon says:

    Steve has backed off his Iran is developing nukes to Iran has the capacity for nukes.
    Thank you, Steve.

    Reply

  107. Pahlavan says:

    If the loss of innocent lives, not to mention containment challenges in Afghanistan and Iraq, both of which were war torn countries long before the

    Reply

  108. jdledell says:

    I agree with Steve that the chances are very slim that the US would initiate a war with Iran. I suspect we will continue, and even increase, our diplomatic/sanctions process and then rely on containment and MAD if Iran proceeds to develop nuclear weapons.
    I think Obama clearly understands that while stopping nuclear proliferation may be a heart felt personal goal, the only way to effectively insure that, is a full blown occupation of Iran. This is an impossible task for the forseeable future.
    I cannot forsee Israel being crazy enough to start a war with Iran on their own. Israel does not have the munitions or fuel to engage in a long war and if they start a war on their own I don’t see the world coming to their aid. Even the US would be hard pressed to continue supplying their war needs for any length of time.
    Adam seems to feel that Iran would not respond to any bombing attack. I think that is wishful thinking. I can easily see Muqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi Militia going nuts, attacking American installations along with rogue elements of the Iran Revolutionary Guards. I can see the Pakistanis taking the opportunity to solify their influence in Afganistan in the east and Iran in the west. I can see the Kurds using the opportunity to try to establish their own independence bringing Turkey and Iraq into play. Throw in Syria, Hezballah, Hamas, the Palestinians in the west bank and Israel proper and you have a situation that can easily grow totally out of control.
    People who think the US can prevent the closing of oil traffic in the Straits of Hormuz are smoking good stuff. Iran has hundreds of the Sunburn supersonic anti-ship missles. Given the very short distances involved in the Straits oil tankers are sitting ducks and as the last war games proved US Naval ships would be sunk trying to guard them. These are the missles that sunk a US carrier in the war games.
    A war with Iran has the possibility of lasting for years. This would break our military forces after enduring everything that has happened in Iraq and Afganistan. Obama and Gates are not stupid enough to try. As much as I dislike Netanyahu, he isn’t stupid enough to try either.

    Reply

  109. Maw of America says:

    I think another issue for Israel in deciding on an attack on Iran is a simple supply shortage. The U.S. could prevent any arms sales to Israel and may be a viable ploy in deterring such an attack. This assumes that Iran can engage Israel in the air and down enough planes to deplete their supply of F-16s.
    I’m no expert on Israeli armaments, but I have to believe that most of the big weapons systems come courtesy of American technology (not to mention largess).

    Reply

  110. observer says:

    sagesiah:
    President of Iran has publicly identified US Secretary of State as the enemy of the Iranian people.
    No diplomatic movement, initiated by US, can any longer be sustained with her.

    Reply

  111. observer says:

    David Billington:
    The regional unions that you propose already exist.
    One of them is ASEAN and in the Middle East, there is also ECO (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_Cooperation_Organization).
    But your vision cannot be realized since for ECO US will have to cede power to Iran.
    This certainly is what Nixon was doing with the Shah.
    As for world government – it is a foolish idea.
    Do you seriously want to have a single world government that could be hijacked by Hitlers, Husseins, and Neo-Cons of this world?

    Reply

  112. David says:

    Bush would not accede to Cheney’s desire to inflict war on Iran. There is no reason to think Obama would be any less intelligent on this matter than Bush proved to be, whatever the reason.
    And Israel cannot start a war with Iran without US approval. They would not be able to wage it on their own. They could only choose to kill everybody, including their own. Makes no sense on any level that they would do that.
    So no, the US is not going to war with Iran, not now, not tomorrow, not next week or next year. And neither is Israel.

    Reply

  113. JamesL says:

    There is only one possible Mideast conflict that would help Obama and serve the US at this point, and that is if Israel does send aloft a force to attack Iran, Obama throws up a curtain of fighters and says to Israel: “If you don’t turn back we will shoot you down. America will not allow Israel to attack Iran.” Obama may have already said that privately to Israel–Don Bacon’s 180 idea. But it would be better if done in the moment.
    There are no downsides to such a move and a whole raft of advantages. An Israeli attack on Iran in no way serves the US.
    Any attack on Iran would be much more than an open ended war. The ramifications are simply incalculable, and every one is very, very bad.

    Reply

  114. sagesiah says:

    Steve,
    I agree with most of your analysis. I also agree
    that Obama is not interested in military action
    against Iran – not to mention people like Robert
    Gates, David Petraeus, etc.
    I really would like you to address the Israeli
    question, though. They obviously would not secure
    fly-over rights from Turkey, Syria, or Iraq. Would
    the Saudis allow it, or would they be stuck flying
    over water? And, secondly, if the Obama
    Administration believes that this is a terrible
    action for US interests (I agree wholeheartedly),
    what would be done to prevent it? The only thing I
    can think of is the US military shooting down
    Israeli planes, and somehow I’m not entirely sure
    that would happen.

    Reply

  115. JamesL says:

    K2K: “China will not let Iran even think about closing the Straits of Hormuz.”
    That China plans ahead farther than America can’t be overstated. A closing of Hormuz for a limited time would hurt others more than China, so China could conceivably see advantage without the liability of owership of the act. Don’t count on Chinese or Russian alignment to keep Hormuz open.

    Reply

  116. DonS says:

    Talk of Obama’s vision ‘for the world’ seems incredibly irrelevant in the context of this post, or in any respect for that matter. Is it just an assumption that because there is an American president he must have a vision for the world? Really, he is having a hard enough time managing what is immanently on his plate to keep the US from drowning in debt and decay, far from playing king maker to the world. Of course, if he be of a Machiavellian turn of mind, who knows? He does smile a bit to heartily in all those group photos with the adoring world leaders.

    Reply

  117. K2K says:

    The complexity of what is happening begs a more panaromic view of Iran. Iran’s economic distress is already impacting their internal power structure. Syria, and possibly Hezbollah, in turn, are reacting to their patron’s economic squeeze. Add in the Arab League’s uncertainty over Iraq’s ability to form a government, and Egypt. Add in the natural gas deposits off the shores of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, whose known deposits already change the way the EU views Israel. Iran has significant restive minorities. The Baluchis in both Pakistan and Iran.
    Most of all, what will the Kurds, in all four countries, do? What will the U.S. do about Iraqi Kurdistan if the next Iraqi government snubs them? Will Iran really build a wall? Will Turkey invade?
    As usual, I tend to agree with nadine, in that there will be some sort of provocation. The type of provocation will determine America’s response.
    China will not let Iran even think about closing the Straits of Hormuz. So, I am keeping my eyes on the Kurds and the Baluchis. And, as always, waiting for Mother Nature to deliver her massive earthquake to the epicenter of tectonic faults – Iran.
    If only people would stop obsessing about Israel.
    [Don S: Mr. Mead is hardly “colored by Israeli-centrism” in that he still believes the conflict with the Palestinians is about some land, and not all of the land from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, free of Jews and Christians. More people should read the Hamas Charter – if they do not mean it, why not change it?]
    The Saudis and the Gulf States are really the most threatened by a nuclear Iran, motivated by a millenialist Twelver Shi’a ideology. And everyone is threatened by an Iran supplying dirty bombs to their proxies, which I would think is already a technological possibility.

    Reply

  118. Don Bacon says:

    The Strait of Hormuz is the most crucial of all the world’s chokepoints. It links the otherwise enclosed waters of the Persian Gulf (what the US calls the Arabian Gulf) with the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Oman, with the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean via the Gulf of Oman, with the Islamic Republic of Iran occupying its northern shores and the Sultanate of Oman

    Reply

  119. David Billington says:

    Wigwag,
    The Mead article calls useful attention to President Obama’s worldview but
    in that connection I am not sure I see how Iran raises any concerns not
    already raised by a nuclear China or by a nuclear Pakistan, the latter having
    a proven track record of proliferation. The argument for an air strike on
    Iran seems to me to proceed from a narrower set of realist concerns,
    primarily the ideology of the Tehran regime and the impact of a nuclear
    Iran on neighbors with whom it has outstanding religious and territorial
    disputes.
    If Obama really wants to bring a vision of world government closer to
    reality, the correct approach is not to bomb threats along the margins of
    the world order but peacefully to encourage regional unions to develop so
    as to reduce the distance between large and small nations that make
    nuclear proliferation so appealing to the latter. South America and Africa
    could someday resemble Europe as closer unions, and so (with some
    qualification) might Southeast Asia. The Middle East and South Asia are
    likely to resist closer integration, as will the United States in its present
    frame of mind, but if the rest of the world is pulling together, time will be
    against isolation.
    The danger to Obama’s worldview is a new multipolarity of great national
    powers floating in a sea of minor sovereignties. What Obama doesn’t have
    is a clear sense of a middle stage to circumvent this. A strategy that
    focuses on uniting the smaller nation-states into regions has a precedent,
    though, in Obama’s own 2008 nomination strategy of coalescing smaller
    states to outflank the larger ones. Threats to the world can only grow in a
    vacuum and the real need is to fill the vacuum. Regional unions can be a
    step that many small countries find more attractive than a jump all the way
    to world government.

    Reply

  120. Don Bacon says:

    When Joltin’ Joe Biden said last year that Israel has a ‘sovereign right’ to attack Iran, I took it to mean that the US had told Israel in no uncertain terms to keep its planes in their hangars and the US would cover it up with a statement to the contrary, which Biden did.
    It’s the First Law of politicodynamics — always believe the opposite of what they say and you’ll never be wrong. I first noticed it with LBJ — he was a master at it. You always knew what he meant if you flipped it 180.

    Reply

  121. David Billington says:

    Steve,
    I am inclined to agree that bombing Iran by the United States is unlikely, but
    I would qualify the reasons you give in two respects.
    First, Iraqi Shias and Iranian Shias are first and foremost Arabs and Persians,
    and they do not automatically align together. In the event of a US air strike,
    Iran cannot push terrorists through Iraq and then Syria and Jordan if these
    countries and their people do not want them to go through.
    Second, the US Navy can quickly restore security to shipping through the
    Straits of Hormuz, and Israel can defeat Hezbollah again, although at what
    cost and with what protracted consequences for Israel are unclear. A
    conflict with Iran could engage US forces in Iraq but it is hard to foresee a
    degree that would force us out of the country or deter us from undertaking
    an air strike on Iran if for other reasons we believed it to be necessary.
    The reasons we are unlikely to strike Iran are, first, that a conventional
    bombing campaign won’t actually stop that country from becoming a
    nuclear weapon state, and second, that the US military does not want
    another open-ended war, even if it is a war that our forces could more or
    less manage.
    Nadine makes a good point about the danger of war by miscalculation but I
    think the risks of escalation are sufficiently clear to the US and to Iran to
    induce in both a measure of restraint. The danger is that Israel might feel
    threatened enough to take action and that an Iranian nuclear capacity will
    cause Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to go nuclear as well.

    Reply

  122. Jack says:

    Obama never chooses anything. He just reacts to events.
    Israel has made it clear that it will ultimately attack Iran. Furthermore, most Sunni Arabs grudgingly support an attack on Iran. Saudi clerics have already publicly said that Iran is a greater danger to them than Israel.
    Thus, Obama will wake up one day and find that Israel and Iran are at war. At that point he will have no choice but to intervene.

    Reply

  123. nadine says:

    I don’t think Obama will chose war with Iran either, but he may blunder into it, if his displays of American weakness ever tempt Iran into some action – such as closing the straights of Hormuz – that the US can’t afford to ignore.
    Consider the 2006 Lebanon War. Hezbullah had intended a cross-border raid, not a war. But their raid was too successful – they killed 8 and captured 2 soldiers, if I recall, and Israel is very sensitive to captured soldiers. The raid made PM Olmert go off half-cocked rather than do nothing and look weak. Olmert attacked Hezbullah and foolishly promised to put it out of business, which he failed to do (though he did destroy its arsenal and kill a bunch of people in Hizbullah-land in Southern Lebanon).
    In this kind of case, a leader who has a reputation for strength has more room for maneuver than one who is already considered a wuss. Olmert was considered rather a wuss, and his defense minister Peretz was entirely out of his depth. Need I mention that Barack “Engage with me, please” Obama is considered a wuss surpassing even Jimmy Carter?
    Iran is already sabre-rattling by searching ships in the Persian Gulf. Add in the Iranian regime’s long history of hostage-taking, and the possibility for some incident to blow up the way the Hizbullah border raid did is always there.

    Reply

  124. Adam says:

    Steve,
    My apologies for the impolite comments.
    1. Suggesting that Iran can dial up terrorism is one of Wolf Blitzer’s favorite cliches. Are you suggesting that Hezbollah et al. cannot act independently? And if attacked, wouldn’t Iran stick to the moral high ground– out of strategic self-interest– and not retaliate? It’s hard to imagine Iran even firing a missile at Israel (only a symbolic attack, at most) without experiencing serious and prolonged violence.
    2. Would you ascribe careful consideration to the same administration that won’t withdraw from Afghanistan? You give it too much credit. Both it and the Pentagon promote an attack on Iran, both verbally and in print.
    I’m not convinced that this is just more aggressive posturing. I enjoy your usually insightful writing, but your predictions are not convincing here.

    Reply

  125. observer says:

    DonS:
    For US, Iran, and the Arab states in the Levant and the Persian Gulf, war is expensive and peace is cheap.
    For Israel, peace is expensive and war is cheap.
    This circle cannot be squared.

    Reply

  126. observer says:

    DonS:
    For US, as well as Iran and the Arabs, peace is cheap and war is expensive.
    For Israel, war is cheap and peace is expensive.
    This cirecle cannot be squared.

    Reply

  127. Steve Clemons says:

    What points disappoint you Adam? I disagree as these issues are major ones that have to be considered as part of any “attack” strategy with Iran. You are asserting poor analysis — but I put my views out in print. What are your counterpoints? Look forward to hearing what you have to share.
    And by the way, none of this is recycled from CNN or the State Department. That is an off target comment.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  128. observer says:

    Steve Clemens:
    US has lost control over the evolution of the Arab-Israeli War and the Iran Nuclear developments.
    They can no longer be settled on terms that would be currently acceptable to US.

    Reply

  129. Adam says:

    This article is disappointing. This is poorer analysis than the Note’s usual, as some of it is only uncritically recycled from CNN and the State Department.

    Reply

  130. jonst says:

    When the same (or many of the same)creepy neocons, neoliberals, and dual loyalty types start singing the same songs, at the same pace, in the same places, they did before the run up to the Iraq War, I be very cautious calling concern about an attack “hyperventilating”.
    And personally I am much less concerned what Obama will do, or not do, than I am concerned with what Rahm will do.

    Reply

  131. DonS says:

    “. . .he [Mead] thinks that there is at least a distinct possibility that Obama will order an attack against Iran because Iranian nuclear aspirations (whatever they may be)represent a dagger through the heart of Obama’s aspirations for the world.” (wigwag)
    An extrapolation within an assumption within a presumed theory. And Wig Wag [or Mead’s] theories are not to be taken at face value since they are colored by Israeli-centrism, with a default position, in this case, to an Israeli preemptive strike, with or without U S participation or acquiescence.
    Which brings us to Carroll’s: ” . . . let’s say Israel finally pops it’s cork and tries it.”
    “What’s the US position then…just shovel more money to Israel for whatever direct or indirect retaliation may result?”
    So, in a way, Steve’s precatory analysis (to me there is an attempt to shape the narrative, of course), is less to the point than the sub question of “What will Israel do?” If Obama pulls the trigger, in an act of some political stupidity (and it would be political, not homeland-defense based, obviously you can kiss the American empire goodbye — a direction it is leaning anyway. If Israel attacks Iran, the practical results for the U S may be nearly the same as if it had attacked on it’s own, since it is hard to believe the U S would follow up with disavowals and actions towards Israel that would convince anyone that the U S is a disapproving, or even independent actor in the matter.
    Most recent case in point: the U S reaction, lone in the world, to Israel’s botched flotilla attack.
    As usual, Israel seems to hold most of the cards, since it can ratchet up domestic pressure on Obama through it’s AIPAC surrogate. Obama’s lack of Eisenhower-like understanding and determination is a caution.

    Reply

  132. Don Bacon says:

    I agree with Steve, and would only add that the chairman of the joint chiefs is currently an admiral who is undoubtedly aware that Iran has the capability to sink US naval ships if it were attacked.
    This would be in addition to the other actions it might take: blocking the Hormuz Strait, stepping up attacks on US troops in Iraq, missiles from Iran and Lebanon into Israel, jacking up the price of oil, possibly involving China and Russia, etc.
    The principal problem the US has with Iran, of course, other than the incessant Israeli whining, is not with any nuclear worries but that thanks to misguided US policies Iran has not only become a regional hegemon, Iran has also moved more into an orbit with Russia and China, two not-so-favorite US rivals.
    Of course the best strategy for the US would be to adopt Iran as a partner in the area which would help so much in Afghanistan and Iraq particularly, and Lebanon, but Israel’s belligerency comes first and they wouldn’t accept it.
    So while there’s so much money in militarization and war, like with Israel now offering to buy some new Joint Strike Fighters from the US (with US taxpayer money), there has to be some restraint when taking on a real power like Iran as opposed to the patsies that the US normally attacks.

    Reply

  133. JohnH says:

    Bravo! A well reasoned and articulated position on Iran!
    “Global doubt already exists about America’s ability to generate new and better outcomes in the international system.” It’s wonderful to hear someone inside the beltway state this. It’s obvious that the US military has been singularly inept at effecting positive change either in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no reason to expect a different outcome in Iran.
    The promoters of perpetual war do not have the best interests of the American people at heart.

    Reply

  134. Carroll says:

    I don’t think Obama is or has ever considered bombing Iran.
    But let’s say Israel finally pops it’s cork and tries it.
    What’s the US position then…just shovel more money to Israel for whatever direct or indirect retaliation may result?

    Reply

  135. WigWag says:

    Steve’s take is interesting, well thought out and elegantly expressed. Walter Russell Mead has a different take on this; he thinks that there is at least a distinct possibility that Obama will order an attack against Iran because Iranian nuclear aspirations (whatever they may be)represent a dagger through the heart of Obama’s aspirations for the world.
    Mead’s take on all of this is less tactical than Steve’s but perhaps more strategic. In any case, like the point of view expressed here, it is well worth considering.
    For those who might be interested, here’s the link,
    http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/07/16/nuking-westphalia-obamas-deep-convictions-point-to-war-with-iran/

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *