Sunday, June 5, 2011


BOMBING IRAN THIS SUMMER IS A REAL POSSIBILITY TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM "Palestine" at the corrupted UN IN SEP.? This act alone will be the culmination of the Clean Break policy paper of 1996, with all the dramas, wars, assassinations, Mayhem and the destructive chaos theories combined...

The first step in a responsible foreign policy is the understanding that your neighbors are not little animals for you to manipulate with carrots and sticks. If Iran had been treated as a sovereign entity with interests that should be considered, the "Iran problem" would not exist. Look at the history of Iran. Repeat. Look at the history of Iran. Where is the mystery?
Iran is circled by America's forces, isolated for more than 20 years, always listening to threats, and no one coming with a simple answer on why should Israel and Pakistan be the only nuclear powers in the region,they are doing what any other country would do...

A recent article in {Ha'aretz} by Amir Oren warned
that ``between the end of June and Gates' retirement, and the end
of September and Mullen's retirement, the danger that Netanyahu
and [Ehud] Barak will aim at a surprise in Iran is especially
great, especially since this would divert attention from the
Palestinian issue.'' This warning of an Israeli military strike
on Iran's nuclear facilities at Natanz and other locations has
been buttressed by senior U.S. military and intelligence sources,
who have warned, in the past 24 hours, that U.S. military forces
have been conducting big contingency planning drills over the
past several weeks, for a U.S. intervention, following Israeli
strikes on targets in Iran. These sources say that a target date
for such a joint Israel-U.S. attack on Iran would be July and
August of this year.

A number of other recent developments further fill out this
picture of a potential Armageddon provocation by Netanyahu, Barak
and Obama.

First, on June 3, Britain's {Guardian} reported on an
interview with recently retired Mossad head Meir Dagan, who
attacked Netanyahu and Barak as ``irresponsible and reckless.''
{Ha'aretz} columnist Avi Shavit explained: ``Dagan is extremely
concerned about September 2011. He is not afraid that tens of
thousands of demonstrators may overrun the settlements. He is
afraid that Israel's subsequent isolation will push its leaders
to the wall and cause them to take reckless action against
Iran.'' Dagan told reporters that when he was head of Mossad, he
and Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin and Israeli Defense Forces Chief
of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi could collectively veto any reckless
behavior by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak, but they have
all been replaced by weaker figures who would not buck attack
orders from the Prime Minister. ``I decided to speak because when
I was in office, Diskin, Ashkenazi and I could block any
dangerous adventure. Now I am afraid that there is no one to
stop Bibi and Barak, the Siamese twins CIA/MOSSAD criminal tools.''

Second, the Obama White House launched a panicked, clumsy
preemptive attack this week against {New Yorker} magazine writer
Seymour Hersh, to spike his June 6 article, ``Iran and the
Bomb,'' which provided previously unpublished details of a 2011
updated National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear
weapons program. The new NIE, updating the December 2007 NIE,
concluded that there was still no compelling evidence that Iran
had resumed its quest for nuclear weapons, which had been frozen
in late 2003, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. As
Hersh documented, the 2011 NIE was delayed for more than four
months, due to political pressures on the intelligence analysts
to reverse the earlier findings. But the intelligence community
experts, with backing from such senior officials as DIA Director
Gen. Ronald L. Burgess, stood behind the analysts, and refused to
bend to political pressures. DIA, in particular, assessed that
the Iran nuclear weapons effort had been principally directed
against Iraq--not Israel, and that the March 2003 invasion and
overthrow of Saddam Hussein had taken the Iraq threat off the
table, and Iran had shelved the nuclear weapons effort. Hersh
quoted former DIA humint director Col. Patrick Lang that the
intelligence community had ``refused to drink the Kool Aid this
time...., but for how long are they going to continue with utter

FDDC Deceptions....''

On June 2, {Salon} magazine published a report by Glenn
Greenwald, which read, in part: ``Seymour Hersh has a new article
in the {New Yorker} arguing that there is no credible evidence
that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons; to the contrary, he
writes, `the U.S. could be in danger of repeating a mistake
similar to the one made with Saddam Hussein's Iraq eight years
ago -- allowing anxieties about the policies of a tyrannical
regime to distort our estimates of the state's military
capacities and intentions.' This, of course, cannot stand, as it
conflicts with one of the pillar-orthodoxies of Obama foreign
policy in the Middle East (even though the prior two National
Intelligence Estimates say what Hersh has said). As a result,
two cowardly, slimy Obama officials ran to {Politico} to bash
Hersh while hiding behind the protective womb of anonymity
automatically and subserviently extended by that `news outlet.'"
The trash-Hersh campaign spread to other publications, in a
futile Obama White House effort to kill the impact of the Hersh

A senior U.S. intelligence official, after initially
dismissing the imminent threat of an Israeli military strike on
Iran, made a compelling case for why Israel might launch such an
attack in the near-term. If Israel concluded that the recent
computer virus, which greatly disrupted the work at the Natanz
facility, had been countered, and a new generation of centrifuges
had been successfully installed, Iran could be 12-18 months away
from a nuclear weapons breakout. That alone would suppress any
Israeli institutional resistance to an attack on Iran. The
source added that U.S. intelligence believes that Israel's
military capabilities have been seriously diminished and that an
Israeli attack on Natanz and other facilities would most likely
do only minimum damage. Therefore, the U.S. would have only two
options in the event of such an Israel attack: Sit it out and
make it clear that the attack was not sanctioned by Washington,
or launch U.S. military operations to ``finish the job.''
Contingency plans for the latter option are definitely in place,
the source explained, and it would thus be up to President Obama
to make the call. While there is no love lost between Obama and
Netanyahu, Obama's decisions are all calibrated to ensure his
2012 reelection, and he would be very reluctant to buck the
Israeli Lobby and leave Israel to fend for itself....

People fail to account for the deep antipathy towards US that Bibi reflects. Israel does not need US anymore; the question is not If but How Soon Israel will completely kick US in the groin then under the bus. Be assured it will happen.

Linked to that deeply felt antipathy of Bibi's Israel toward the US, and linked to the necessity of maintaining revenue streams to defense contractors, are Israeli natural gas production and the involvement of US corporation Noble Energy in developing Israel's Mediterranean gas fields. Noble's website reports that one of those fields, Leviathan, "represents the largest exploration success in the Company's history, with gross mean resources of 16 Tcf of natural gas, and a deep penetration into Lebanon's territorial waters on a very large scale...This is called theft of other people's resources. We are actively studying multiple export options, including both LNG and pipeline scenarios. The Company anticipates returning to appraisal drilling at Leviathan in mid 2011."

In comments on a US visit in 2010 (iirc) Bibi said Israel would soon not need to concern itself with Egyptian gas deals since it would control far greater NG resources than anyone in the region.

Think about that: Israel which thumbs its nose at international law, has nukes, has biggest army in region, has access to much of US military info and intel, will have an unlimited source of revenue to bully its way around the world.

Israel would attack Iran simply as a way of flipping the bird in US's direction.

Palestinians? Who are they?

If you understand the way Bibiite Israelis and Israel advocates in US think; namely, that their rhetoric is a projection of Israeli internal mental dialog, and apply that notion to David Brooks' Sacramento Bee column in which he says that Arabs in the region are "depraved," then you recognize that Brooks is revealing what Gilad Atzmon calls "the terror within."

Israel has become a monster. Israel is on its way to becoming the smallest political entity in the world that controls a huge revenue resource. Iran and even Saudi Arabia need to worry about husbanding their resources to feed very large populations; Israel needs only divide billions of dollars in NG revenues among 7 million people.

US has served its purpose; it has killed or destroyed all of Israel's enemies -- or all of the civilizing and restraining forces that might rein in Israeli megalomania -- save for Iran; that project can be completed by Fall 2011 -- same time as Noble plans new explorations in Mediterranean.

Israel doesn't need the US anymore, and Israel can complete, on its own, the destruction of Iran that AIPAC began in 1995 with economic sanctions....

Bombing Iran is crazy. First, conventional bombing of the buried nuclear sites won’t work. Second, the Iranians will try to shut of the flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf. A full blown sea battle at the Gulf of Hormuz will skyrocket the price of oil. Gas lines and energy shortages will collapse the world economy. An Israeli nuclear attack on Iran would destroy the nuclear sites but also would invoke a Middle East War and risks nuclear retaliation as the fallout drifts over Pakistan.

Yet, this nightmare keeps coming back to haunt us. The problem is the kooks imbedded in the USA and Israeli governments whose ideology dismisses Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). They have the same intellectual heritage as the nuts who pushed for a nuclear attack on China and then bombing North Vietnam back to the Stone Age which would have starting World War III.


An attack on Iran and Lebanon is in the works?

In contrast to, say, a year ago, few analysts now dare to consider a military strike on Iran in the near future as a serious possibility. On the contrary, most are dismissive of the idea, especially in as much as Israel is concerned. "One of the great bluffs in the foreign policy community in the previous decade was that Israel would have no choice but to attack Iran's nuclear facilities unless Washington stepped up and took military action first," writes Trita Parsi in Foreign Policy, offering a lucid analysis to explain why such an option is not feasible. [1]

Yet, despite all the good arguments, the Iranian front is becoming more complicated every week and month. Israel is by far not the only foreign threat to the ayatollahs, and its silence and apparent weaknesses can be misleading, as the past 44 years (since the 1967 war) have taught. It is seldom safe to call what may appear

to be an Israeli bluff.

The advice of a prominent military historian stands out in this respect. Two years ago, during a period of heightened Israeli rhetoric against the Islamic Republic, I asked him privately for his opinion. He responded: "What seems to be different this time is all the [Israeli] public arm-waving in advance of any action. Usually they act first, as they did recently [in 2007 against an alleged nuclear reactor] in Syria, and say very little afterward. This inclines me to believe that there is more rhetoric than reality here."

In the past month or so, there has been some important debate in Israeli political and media circles about a strike on the Islamic Republic, but as a whole, it has been remarkably muted compared to the bluster of, say, a year ago. Back then, Jeffrey Goldberg, among others, stirred the spirits by predicting that "there is a better than 50% chance that Israel will launch a strike by next July". He drew that conclusion on the basis of his discussions with Israeli politicians and defense officials. [2]

In the past few months, ostensibly in the wake of the Arab Spring, discussion of a war with Iran has been relegated to the back-burner. The logic of waiting to see what happens prevailed, and more pressing problems, such as Egypt's instability and the Palestinian intention to declare statehood this year, took the center-stage in Israel. Splits on the Iranian issue became increasingly visible inside the Israeli establishment, and even some politicians previously seen as hawks, such as the influential Defense Minister Ehud Barak, softened their rhetoric.

It is worth noting, however, that Goldberg's deadline has not yet passed, and could even be stretched due to unpredictable circumstances such as the Arab Spring. The most important red flag since the beginning of the year came in the form of an emphatic warning issued a month ago by Mossad's legendary former chief Meir Dagan, who said that an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities was "the stupidest thing I have ever heard". He later added, "If anyone seriously considers [a strike] he needs to understand that he's dragging Israel into a regional war that it would not know how to get out of. The security challenge would become unbearable." [3]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also alluded to the possibility of striking Iran, for example in his speech before the US Congress last month. "When I last stood here, I spoke of the consequences of Iran developing nuclear weapons," he said. "Now time is running out. The hinge of history may soon turn, for the greatest danger of all could soon be upon us: a militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons." Subsequently, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of strategic affairs, Moshe Ya'alon, said that "the civilized world" must take action against Iran, including military action "if necessary".

As mentioned above, heating up the rhetoric could mean a delay in any Israeli timeline for an actual strike. At present, discussion is muted, but it could escalate any moment. It could also subside, perhaps in anticipation of a strike. It is important to watch the warning signs.

Israeli analyst Amir Oren argues that "between the end of June and [US Defense Secretary Robert] Gates' retirement, and the end of September and [chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike] Mullen's retirement, the danger that Netanyahu and Barak will aim at a surprise in Iran is especially great, especially since this would divert attention from the Palestinian issue." [4] Right now, Oren's arguments and his conclusion appear speculative, but it is important to watch the Palestinian-Israeli sub-plot, among others.

Even speculation about an imminent prisoner swap deal for the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit [5] can be interpreted to point to a danger of conflagration. In the past, Israeli analysts have speculated that the government would try very hard to free Shalit before any attack on Iran, because a regional war could mean that a deal is put off indefinitely.

It is important to mention that a couple of months ago, Israel released detailed maps of Hezbollah bunkers in South Lebanon , in what was widely seen as a warning to the militant organization to stay out of any confrontation with the Jewish state [6]. Hezbollah is widely perceived as a fundamental part of Iran's deterrent against Israel.

Both Dagan's comments, the release of (perhaps outdated) Hezbollah maps, and the Shalit negotiations serve their own complex goals; they do not necessarily come in genuine anticipation of a strike on Iran. Taken together, they raise significant questions, but these can also be interpreted in different ways.

It could be, for example, that Israel is preparing for the eventuality of somebody else's attack on the Islamic Republic and the repercussions that would almost inevitably reach it. Dagan could also be warning against Israeli involvement with a strike rather than the possibility of unilateral action.

From a more global perspective, tensions involving Iran are clearly at a high, even though the known facts fail to implicate convincingly the Jewish state. A source close to Russia reports that the Kremlin has started to pull out significant numbers of nuclear technicians and other specialists from the Islamic Republic; if confirmed, this information could mean that Russia anticipates a military campaign in the near future.

The same source speculates that a military operation against Iran could be seen as a necessity in order to suppress the Arab Spring, or to further the interests of the alleged counter-revolution. "A hit against a big country could do the job," he says.

Some analysts have applied a similar logic to the campaign against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, but the Libyan debacle has clearly not done the job. Moreover, the now increasingly possible ouster of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh could rekindle the protests throughout the Arab world. As a prominent figure in the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood told Reuters, "The departure of Saleh is a turning point not just for the Yemeni revolution but also is a huge push for the current changes in the Arab region and is the start of the real victory."

Necessarily, this shifts the focus of the discussion to the fabled maestro of the counter-revolution, Saudi Arabia. Much has been made of the Saudi Arabian foreign legion and the Gulf Cooperation Council's militancy. In an extensive analysis for Asia Times Online, Brian Downing discusses the recruitment of Sunni former Pakistani and Iraqi soldiers for the Saudi private army. [7]

Saudi Arabia's bitter feud with Iran is long-known, as is the "cut off the head of the snake" comment that Saudi Arabian King Abdullah made to American officials a few years ago. [8] It is hard to imagine that Saudi Arabia is militarily prepared for an imminent attack on Iran, and a full-blown private war involving Pakistan seems much to speculative to be discussed in detail, but in this part of the world, it is good to expect the unexpected.

Moreover, it is equally hard to imagine that, should hostilities break out, the United States would be able to stay out of the fray for long. The reality is that its dependence on Saudi oil is simply too high.

It does not help that the Iranian nuclear crisis is deepening. Despite assurances by Iran's nuclear envoy Ali Ashgar Soltanieh that building a nuclear weapon would be a "strategic mistake", the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued warnings last month that one of its seals in the "feed and withdrawal area" of the Natanz enrichment plant was broken. This would mean, according to experts, that Iran is trying to conceal how much enriched uranium it has on stock. Last month, the IAEA also accused Iran of hacking into its inspectors' computers and cell phones during visits to the facilities. [9]

Moreover, the Arab Spring has clearly failed the expectations of some observers, including Israeli experts, that it could spread to Iran and topple the regime. The internal rifts in the Islamic Republic have only deepened recently, but this may actually make the nuclear stand-off more entrenched. According to a recent report by the Institute for Science and International Security:
Much has been made in the media about the power struggle between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - with the backing of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) - and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. The struggle may make less likely the prospect that Iran will be able (if it is indeed willing at all) to negotiate a diplomatic deal over the nuclear crisis in the near future, though it may still be willing to meet with the P5+1 [Five permanent members of the United Nations Security Councils plus Germany]. Iran has thus far been unwilling to suspend its enrichment program as called for by the United Nations Security Council or answer questions about its past work on nuclear weapons ... [S]ince the Supreme Leader has shown a willingness to publicly and forcefully assert his authority over Ahmadinejad, and appears unwilling to negotiate an end to the nuclear issue, any deal is unlikely. This could make any meetings with the P5+1 simply an empty exercise on Iran's end. [10]
In brief, while there are many good reasons why a war with Iran is unlikely at the moment, dark clouds are quietly gathering, and in the Middle East, appearances could be misleading. Both the Iranian and the anti-Iranian camps are arming and preparing themselves militarily, and in military science as in theater, Anton Chekhov's maximum often applies that a gun in the first act is bound to go off at some point later.

Rhetoric, in fact, is often inversely proportional to the probability of action. Summer is the time to watch, both because it has historically been the season of war in the Middle East, and because according to most experts, this summer Iran will likely reach the nuclear point of no-return. So will, in all likelihood, the Arab revolutions....

If wishes were horses, beggars might ride, but this is fantasy...again. :)

The last thing that Tel Aviv will admit to, that they are a really big Screw-Up. And 'if' that particular Screw-Up does decide to get stupid (which they already are) and attack Iran, the most they could do would be 'minimal damage', which would throw the ball to the Pentagon's court -- 'finish the job' or 'sit it out'.

Getting their arses whipped in Lebanon was not a lesson, it was a humiliation that demands redress...

Israel is like Paris Hilton - it just has to get its name in the paper every single day, usually by screwing someone.

I would prefer that US DoD told both Tel Aviv and the 'occupied' White House/Congress that they were no Foreign Power's whipping boy, and Foreign Powers like Tel Aviv can go and find a rolling doughnut to jump through...

But the big question in all of this is that after more than 15 years of Israeli threats to bomb Iran's nuclear sites, and a good 6-7 years of breathless rumors, leaked plans, threats, regular talk of points of no return and expressions of macho Israeli fortitude in this, why on earth do the bombs stubbornly refuse to rain out of the sky?

Perhaps all these chimeras are really about something else entirely?