Lieberman Edges US to War with Iran

Exclusive: American neocons have moved the United States closer to war with Iran via a subtle change in the “red line” phrasing, inserting the word “capability” after the usual threats to take out an Iranian “nuclear weapon.” Now, Sen. Joe Lieberman is making the shift official, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Sen. Joe Lieberman is leading a group of nearly one-third of the U.S. Senate urging that the red line on war with Iran be shifted from building a nuclear weapon to the vague notion of Iran having the “capability” to build one. The neoconservative senator from Connecticut has introduced a “Sense of the Senate” resolution that would put the body on record as rejecting a situation that arguably already exists, in which Iran has the know-how to build a bomb even if it has no intention to do so.

The resolution tracks with the positions of hardline Israeli leaders, such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and undercuts the position of President Barack Obama, whose administration has been exploring ways to negotiate an agreement with Iran, which insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut (Drawing by Robbie Conal at robbieconal.com)

U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies also agree that Iran has NOT decided to build a bomb. [See Consortiumnews.com’s ““US/Israel: Iran NOT Building Nukes.”] However, in recent weeks, the goal posts have been subtly moved not only by American neocons and Israeli hardliners but by the major U.S. news media, which has inserted the new weasel word “capability” in mentions about of Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons ambitions.

Of course, many consumers of U.S. news haven’t noticed this slight change in wording from Iran’s alleged “pursuit of a nuclear weapon” to its alleged “pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.” But the distinction is important because a “capability” can mean almost anything, since peaceful nuclear research also can be applicable to bomb building.

To deny Iran the “capability” would almost surely require a war between the United States and Iran, a course that some neocons have been quietly desiring for at least the past decade when the Iraq invasion was seen as a first step to bringing “regime change” to Iran – or as some neocons joked at the time, “real men go to Tehran.”

Indeed, the massive U.S. Embassy in Baghdad – which now sits increasingly idle – can be best understood as the intended imperial command center for a new American dominance of the region. But those neocon plans were spoiled by the disastrous turn of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and ultimately America’s forced military withdrawal from the country at the end of 2011.

A Neocon Comeback

Since the grim writing was on the wall about the Iraq outcome, American neocons have been looking for new ways to get their imperial agenda back on track, with Iran’s nuclear program just the latest opportunity.

So, Iranian efforts to negotiate confidence-building initiatives regarding its nuclear program, such as agreeing to a Turkish-Brazilian plan in 2010 to trade about half of Iran’s low-enriched uranium for radioactive isotopes needed for medical research, have been blocked by neocons in Congress and their allies in the Obama administration, with the support of key U.S. media outlets, like the Washington Post and New York Times.

The latest shift toward forcing a new war has centered on the insertion of the word “capability” after the words “nuclear weapons.” The Obama administration has indicated that it would consider an Iranian decision to build a nuclear bomb a “red line,” suggesting the possibility of a military strike at that point.

However, that threat isn’t making the neocons happy because the U.S. intelligence community is standing by its 2007 conclusion that Iran halted work on a nuclear bomb in 2003 and hasn’t resumed that effort. Israeli intelligence apparently has reached the same judgment. Both U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak have referenced this state-of-play in the intelligence assessments in recent public remarks, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern has reported.

So, what are the hawks in Israel and the United States to do? Their new sleight-of-hand has been to quietly shift the terms of reference, arguing that it doesn’t matter whether Iran is actually working on a bomb but that it must be denied even the “capability” to work on a bomb. That is the point of Lieberman’s resolution.

Lieberman’s Allies

In a statement at his Web site, the senator announced that 32 senators – both Republicans and Democrats – have banded together to introduce a resolution urging action to prevent Iran from pushing “forward in its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. … By rejecting any policy that would rely on containment of a nuclear-weapons capable Iran, this bi-partisan resolution sends a clear message to Iran’s rulers that the United States will stop them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.”

In other words, the next preemptive war could be launched not against Iran for actually building a bomb or even trying to build a bomb but rather for simply having the skills that theoretically could be used sometime in the future to build a bomb. The “red line” has been moved from some possible future development to arguably what already exists.

Lieberman is co-sponsoring the resolution with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), with support from Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), John McCain (R-Arizona), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Chuck Schumer (D-New York), Bill Nelson (D-Florida), Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas), Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Mark Udall (D-Colorado), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Dan Coats (R-Indiana), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Boozman (R-Arizona), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), Dean Heller (R-Nevada).

That group amounts to nearly one-third of the 100-member U.S. Senate.

[For more on related topics, see Robert Parry’s Lost History, Secrecy & Privilege and Neck Deep, now available in a three-book set for the discount price of only $29. For details, click here.]

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

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61 comments on “Lieberman Edges US to War with Iran

  1. fosforos on said:

    “Sense of the Senate” has nothing official about it, still less any legal standing. This is nothing but the usual ritual nonsense for Dumbocrudic politicians seeking cash and Zionist votes. It will be totally ignored by a foreign policy establishment which, though totally reprehensible, is nevertheless sane.

  2. DDearborn on said:

    Hmmm
    Several things come to mind reading this article. First as Joe made clear decades ago; he is a traitor in mind body and soul. A traitor that owes his allegence to israel and only israel. Another intesting fact here is the alarming number of women in the Senate who support this. I suppose it is their riather pathetic attempt at convincing the voters they actually have balls underneath those skirts. The only thing it really says is that they don’t have any at all. But what is really scary here is that these Senators seem to be selling the notion that not only individuals but entire countries should be put to death for thought crimes…….

    • robert bogner on said:

      your wrong on Lieberman’s loyalties, he has a great allegence to health insurance companies

  3. Essentially, what it means is that Iran, already a member of the NPT, has a declared legal and civil nuclear program, and therefore should be bombed into oblivion.

    Joe Lieberman is a genius I say ! A genius !

    • Artemis Rose on said:

      Warmongering chicken-little-hawks like you and your buddy Liberman are just two of the millions of reasons my husband (Viet Nam Vet; father: WWII Vet) and I (father: WWII Medal of Honor; brother: Viet Nam Vet) chose to leave our birth nation as once patriotic Americans who then became shamed and disgusted Americans and emigrated to a non-warring nation. We now happily live in a country which has never perpetuated wars, killed millions of innocent civilians,many of whom are children, destroyed the infrastructure of countries, to attain world power dominance and corporate financial gains.

      Our “conscientious objections” to US’ foreign policy and illegal, unnecessary never-ending wars has been rewarded in many ways. Primarily, we are no longer complicit because not one of our tax dollars goes to support the US war machine. Additionally, besides enjoying our new chosen country with like-minded citizens, all of our assets and home equity were protected from the US’ economic collapse
      (by design to benefit Wall Street/Bankers). The bonus for us is the high standards and quality (ahead of US) of universal health care provided. Unlike 62% (2007) of Americans who went bankrupt or lose our home due to a medical crisis (73% had medical insurance but exceeded their cap).

      President Eisenhower warned Americans in 1961 of the impending demise of America and government due to take-over of the US Government by the Military Industrial Complex (shadow government). Project for a New American Century (PNAC http://www.newamericancentury.org/) a foreign policy doctrine the US has followed to attain imperialism, capture other countries resources, and justifies US’ hegemony and perpetual never-ending wars which has been endorsed with a long list of neo-con signatories every American should read (but most know nothing about PNAC).

      I fear the worst for Americans is yet ahead. I did my very best to awaken the “belief systems” every American holds which has been ingrained in everyone since birth to the “reality” of the US’ corrupt government, oligarchy and fascism (gov’t in bed with Wall Street/Bankers/Corps) in action with far too many millions of Americans who are apathetic and do nothing to protect themselves, their assets, or their county from further ruination.

      Why I label the US as a Warring Nation:
      US Wars since WWII:
      Korean War (1950-1953)
      Lebanon crisis (1958)
      Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961)
      Dominican Intervention (1965)
      Vietnam War (1957-1975)
      Operation Eagle Claw (1980)
      Grenada Conflict (1983)
      Beirut Confict (1982-1984)
      Panama Invaison (1989)
      Persian Gulf War (1990-1991)
      Somolia: Operation Restore Hope (1992-1993)
      Kosovo War (1996-1999)
      Yugoslavia Conflict (1999)
      War on Terrorism (2001–present)
      War in Afghanistan (2001-present)
      Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (2002)
      Liberia peacekeeping (2003)
      Iraq War (2003-present)
      Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and counting!
      Who’s next? Iran? OMG!!!
      Dissent develops democracy!

    • sheena Ohern on said:

      Your comment is wrong on every aspect:
      Mr Lieberman is anything but smart, he was wrong on Iraq and presence of WMD there.You need to go back and read his speeches on the subject. So many Americans and Iraqies have lost their lives and health and livelyhood because of him and his likes. He has caused so much harm to so many people because of his personal gains such as receiving funds for re-elections etc.
      NPT means Non Proliferation Treaty. This declration was signed by majority of the UN countries. The signing countries agreed on the principal of nuclear energy use only for civil constructive purposes. Israel despite owning about 200 nuclear war heads being the 3rd nuclear power in the world refused to sign. You need to go and figure what you stand for if it is death and destruction then you are on the right path and if it is peace and prosperity then you need to change course.

      • That’s exactly what I’m saying. I agree with you totally. I was emphasizing on the fact that Iran is part of the treaty and has a legal developing civil nuclear program, no evidence that it’s being designed for military use, and yet Lieberman wants to go to war

        Lieberman is an ideologue when it comes to foreign policy, most especially when it comes to Israel’s security supposedly threatened by Iran, which is farther from the truth because the ruling Mullahs wouldn’t be stupid enough to nuke Israel from the face of the earth even if people think that they’re actually are trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and yet absolutely no evidence to prove it in the first place. There’s no need to mention that it’s the WMD case on Iraq all over again.

        But like you said, Israel with its nuclear weapons and with the most superior air force in the Mid East is very well capable of obliterating Iran ten times over if it wanted to.

        The question to ask is will Americans fall for the lies again when Republicans and Democrats attempt to exaggerate the case for war, most especially when the mainstream media on TV and all the major serious news outlets like the Times and the Washington Post are not doing their job to report the facts. Not only the current situation has become pathetic, but also very dangerous.

  4. rosemerry on said:

    1. Robbie Conal’s pic is far too flattering
    2. After the 100% Senate vote to destoy Iran’s economy recently, this is not really surprising. Are these people really pretending to represnt the USA?
    3. The Moroccan arrested yesterday was reported here in the French press as arrested on “suspicion of wanting to” attack the USA. How extreme are the thought police becoming?

  5. Hillary on said:

    If you want to know where the power lies, then ask whom you cannot criticize. –Kevin Strom
    Senator Lieberman promoted the invasion of Iraq resulting in millions of dead , crippled ,homeless , missing , diseased human beings.

    Israel is an island of beligerant Jews in the Muslim Middle East that has become the world’s 4 th. strongest Nuclear Military Power and is now uncontrollable.
    Jews must awake ASAP to knowing that Zionism is the real enemy of the Jews !!!

    http://www.zionismbook.com/

    • Artemis Rose on said:

      Israel is a Zionist provocative warring country with hundreds of nuclear warheads.

      FYI: One needn’t be anti-semitic to recognize the difference between Zionists and Jews.
      One only needs to be a humanist and care about peace for all countries, races and respect all creeds
      to recognize the hypocrisy and bigotry behind Zionism.

      Lieberman would serve his county extremely well if he’s pack his bags and move to Israel.
      Lieberman heads my list of most loathed and unethical US politicians who lack integrity.

    • Arabs are Semites

      • Apostolos8 on said:

        500 hundred million Arab people are Semites which include most of the Lebanese and those in the occupied territories. Thus the term anti-
        Semite as it only applies to Jew is nonsense.

    • The anti-semite accusations by bigots who choose to defend a fascist nation has worn thin. There is no need for anyone to defend themselves when called an anti-semite by a narrow-minded fascist. Israel is a terrorist state as is their A–hole buddy, Amerikkka. If war does come about, I say we strap the traitor Liberman to the first bomb to be dropped. A dead Lieberman would be a step in the right direction to putting this country back on course to freedom. LIEberman, whose name contains a big LIE, has adopted the tactics of the very person all Jews are taught to hate – Hitler. Welcome to the fold Mr. LIEberman, you fit right in with the rest of the fascists (corporatists)that have taken over our country. How much are they paying you?

    • Thanks for the history lesson. What Zionism proposes to be is no longer true.
      What Zionism has become is more important than what you believe it was or was meant to be. We all know it for what it is – a word for a warlike people to hide behind, intertwined with superstitious religious beliefs to give credibility to Israel’s hypocrisy.

      • Consortium News must abandon copy/paste facility at this site otherwise we may one day have to endure to forward a whole book, OR provide us with Fast Forward function please.

    • Excuse me, but Israel is not an island of sanity. Time is not in it’s favour as the proportion of the population becomes more extreme. There is little if any difference between the zealots of Islam and those of the Jewish faith. Do you really believe that a god made you a chosen people and that he told you to kill every man woman and child so as to claim land. And genetically, European Jews have more ties to the individual regions of Europe they came from so what is meant by people, a faith or a distinct line?
      Those who take faith too seriously often miss the essence of the humanity it teaches amid the tripe. So the world was created in 6 days, and life began in Eden etc. I think I’ll put my bets on science, the the universe is billions of years old and man arose out of Africa. Those Biblical stories are written down because they didn’t have a clue about the world or the universe beyond their narrow vision of the world.
      It seems that those who do take their religion too seriously are exceptionalists, like the Boers in Africa, the Puritan influence in America etc. Each saw its journey as their Exodus and to hell with the people already there where they landed no matter how generous they were in the latter case.
      And now under the influence of AIPAC, Israel, and fundamentalist Christians racing to Armagedon, the rest of us are being dragged into another war. Even if Iran had nuclear weapons, they would be for defence only, knowing full well the world Russia China, America, and Israel would slaughter them if they initiated a attack. However exceptional Israel has underhandedly developed the nuclear capability and uses it for its own ends, the crown jewel Eretz Israel and to hell with the non Jews. The fusion of politcs and religion which easily becomes fascism.

    • Why is questioning Isreal always construed as anti-Semitism?

    • Here he is again with his slogan “Antisemite”. get a life Flat 5. Every one here can see Israel for what it is.

  6. Christopher J on said:

    Joe, might as well move to Israel where your allegiance is given to, you are now edging treason in U.S!

    • In a speech to AIPAC Lieberman told them he believed he had been placed in the US Senate by G-d to guard and protect Israel. So he can’t move there.

  7. Bob Reynolds on said:

    I wish we all would stop using the term preemptive war. Iran threatened
    by Israel and the US could defend starting a preemptive war,
    but any war launched by the US and/or Israel against Iran would be properly defined as
    a war of aggression and a crime against humanity.

    As it is we, the US and Israel, are already in an undeclared aggression against Iran.

  8. Not a surprise from that trio of war monger “bom bomb Iran” As for the others,I remember how Lieberman took control of Hillary as well as the ladies, and McCain when he announced to run for president, glued to his side, then Graham hung on to McCain. Does it not tell you something of Lieberman modus operandi. He is the Lobby front man. He is coming up for election but said he will not run, I say he is waiting to see which way the wind blows and order from Netanyahu for future assignment. We need to push the AG to enforce the laws on bribery for lobbies contributions.

  9. You have the wrong e-mail for me that changed long ago what I originally entered was correct

  10. John Hawk on said:

    Joe Lieberman and Dick Blumenthal are no Abe Ribicoffs! I’m a Nutmegger and Democrats of Connecticut should be ashamed of Joe and Dick, both of whom I know personally, campaigned for in the old days, and voted for likewise…what a waste! I thought Blumenthal would see the light, but essentially he also takes orders from Noddin-yahoo et alia…

    The United States of America…fo’git a-bout it…capiece?

  11. fosforos on said:

    “others have claimed that Zionism is not, and was never, representative of views of the majority of Jews. From its inception, Zionism enjoyed wide popular support, particular in Eastern Europe and Russia.”
    This is false and tendentious. In 1938 the Polish Jewish community held elections in which the Socialist Bund, hard anti-Zionists, decisively defeated the Zionist parties.

    Also, it’s nothing but a lie to say that marx wrote something called “A World without Jews.” He wrote nothing by that title and nothing that would justify that slanderous title.

  12. The “famous Senator” Joe Lieberman (CT) is at his game again, not a second worried about America and its interests. His lies about weapon of mass destruction in Iraq are patent.

    For his information (and his 31 sidekicks), Col. Lawrence Wilkerson (former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell during and after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq) has stated, “This resolution reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war, and could be the precursor for a war with Iran.” He added, this resolution is “effectively, a thinly-disguised effort to bless war.” Congressman Dennis Kucinich courageously told Congress: “We’re Being Lied Into Another Iraq in Iran.”

    Importantly, several national security and arms proliferation experts alert us that this resolution would virtually Prevent President Obama from diplomacy and dialogue with Iran to avert war. With this resolution, more American sons and daughters will be slayed or maimed while wasting our tax dollars. Further, American bombs would again murder at least 100 thousand innocent people, this time in Iran, just akin to Iraq.

    We are tired of wars after wars; wasting precious resources we need in America to shelter, heal, feed, and educate our people for a better America. War is the work of evil doers. The promoters of wars are hired agents for immoral.

    Yet, media “rates” keep broadcasting shameful lies and messages of hate by wicked agents of our so-called “staunch friends”, Israeli Rulers. American citizens are peace lovers. The vast majority of Americans believe direct diplomacy with Iran is the single most effective way to prevent war and nuclear proliferation.

    War is against our national soul. Our government must quit acting like a wolf, and feel the shepherd’s love that filling us.

    • Of course we will end up having a war with Iran. Do we need to? No. But there are certain people that want us to for their own reasons and so more American boys will end up shedding their blood to satisfy someone else’s interests. We have to realize that we are now smack in the middle of the “1984″ syndrome–perpetual war for perpetual peace–of course the perpetual peace never gets here and war time is a great time for stripping American citizens of their few remaining liberties. Undoubtedly some false flag even with Iran will soon take place and we will be in another ten-year long no-win war. After Iran, who knows? But you can bet there will be someone else. All the presidential candidates except Ron Paul are more than willing to go along with this charade.

  13. If the esteemed senator wants a war I suggest he get a gun and go fight the damn thing himself.

    • Artemis Rose on said:

      Lieberman won’t get and gun and go fight the wars he supports because he, like other chicken-little war hawks, prefer to protect himself from warfare, and instead send others
      along to do his dirty work, and then bask in his safe-non-war-zone home.

      Most US warmongers are wimps and never go to war because they are, in fact, chicken-hawks and spineless men.

  14. 19 other non-nuclear-weapons states have the “capability” to manufacture nuclear weapons and are enriching uranium, including some (Japan, Brazil) who have already declared that they intend to make nuclear weapons if the need arises. Why aren’t Lieberman and his cronies going after these other states? The answer is simple: The nuclear issue is a red herring. There is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. What these folks want is a pretext to attack Iran, and if they can’t get justification using one set of criteria, they will move the goalposts. These are war mongers. Remember Iraq, and don’t let them fool us twice.

  15. Archie1954 on said:

    Lieberman is one treacherous individual! He would put the US in grave danger in order to satisfy his Zionist masters. When will Americans wake up and acknowledge the traitors in their midst?

  16. I say ok, if they attach an amendment stating anyone voting for or authorizing this or any other war/action/peacekeeping/covert ops/etc., and any eligible children, are required to take the point in the first wave of any invasion.

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  18. Frank Walter on said:

    Lieberman probably has dual citizenship with Israel, and that’s fine. Many Americans hold such political or religious allegiance with Israel, something with which I have no problem unless those Americans occupy a Senate seat or a House seat (not necessary to mention the obvious: executive). Jonathan Powers sits in a prison cell because he had a little difficulty with “allegiance” (gave top Secret documents to Israel)! Lieberman has always supported Israel no matter what the international outrage: killing 1,400 defenseless Palestinians in Gaza (2008-2009), piracy in international waters (seizing Turkish flotilla) with the murder of nine humanitarian workers (one an American), the usurpation of West Bank Palestinian land for an Israeli mall plus apartments, and the usual bullying, intimidating, humiliating, and executing of Palestinians

    Don’t expect America’s media to tell you anything about what’s happening in Israel except how oppressed the poor Israelis (4th most powerful military in the World) are.
    Suggested reading: Noam Chomsky’s “Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and Palestine”!

    • Care to explain who you arrive at both those terms? Or even explain why you give a multi page tract on zionism but only a pair of ad hominem attacks against someone you have an obvious personal bias?

  19. david tarbuck on said:

    “Capability” means just a hyped up excuse for war mongering.

    For some thirty years tThe University of Alberta had in the STACKS of the Engineering Library all the technical knowhow from the Manhatan Project. This was availble to any one and actually is 3rd year UNDER graduate curricula.

    The facts today are that poverty stricken dwarfs such as N. Korea at great sacrifice can build the damn things and if provoked as this one was (by USA) will do so.

    Ergo it is remarkable that Iran with an obvious “capability” has not yet shown that it is their intent to test a bomb. Would that the “West” stop provoking Iran and any others into taking on a useless (other than bluff) major expense at the expense of their peoples welfare; such would do more for the security of everyone including USA and Israel by removing much incentive for these things.

    I might add that it is the nuclear powers who are outside the spitit of non-proliferation by draggingout he commitment to REDUCE their own arsenals. Only France has shown some concern for this aspect. President Sarkosy has declared that French nukes “are not aimed at anyone; perhaps others might follow this initiative?

    • Duglarri on said:

      My second-year Physics course in 1978 included a “design a nuclear bomb” term project. This was an operable working design, lacking only the fissionable material. And that was at a community college- also in Canada. Given the cold war I suppose it was thought that a bit of practical knowledge might come in handy.

      As our professor pointed out, every country that’s tried to make one of these things has been able to do it first try.

  20. JUDAS JOE and his buddies, the same group who’s *SSES PUCKER UP WHEN THE THOUGHT OF DOING SOMETHING FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IS MENTIONED. THEY NOW WANT TO PUT US BACK IN ANOTHER COSTLY WAR, WHY, THE ISRAELIS DON’T WANT PEACE AND CONTINUE TO DO THINGS WHICH ENSURE THAT THE ARABS WILL BE AT WAR WITH THEM.
    SINCE WHEN DO WE ALLOW ISRAEL TO DICTATE POLICY TO OUR COUNTRY.
    THEY WANT TO ATTACK IRAN AND ARE TELLING US THEY WILL AND WANT AND EXPECT US TO FOLLOW THEM.
    WOULD WE EVER THINK OF ALLOWING ANY OTHER COUNTRY TO DO THIS?

  21. Kenny Fowler on said:

    Whiny Joe and his cohorts won’t get anywhere with this nonsense. It’s just the latest attempt by the neocons to keep the war drum beat going. Obama told the Israeli’s no attack period. The Israeli’s desperately want to attack Iran but will not without U.S. support. The neocons will continue to pull these stunts to get attention.

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  23. chmoore on said:

    I agree with the article that “capability” as a standard is ambiguous and too easily manipulated for the personal career gain of certain politicians.

    This current use of it also amounts to extreme hypocrisy.

    If capability were a legitimate standard, then guess what, the good ole U.S. would logically be the worst offender – as the country with not only the greatest nuclear capabiltiy, but also the only country with a history of actual deployment.

    The fact that the U.S. today can reasonably be considered as not likely to deploy a nuclear weapon, is proof that “capability” is not by itself the basis for determining the likelihood of an intention for deployment.

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  25. Duglarri on said:

    Absolutely correct that “capability” is moving the goalposts, and the implications have not been pointed out so far. The fact that denying Iran the capability would require killing a large number of physics teachers in Iran doesn’t appear to be a problem, to judge from the muted (if not cheerful) reaction to the assassinations of Iranian physicists.

    But eliminating the capability means something else, beyond hitting the enrichment sites. It also means that the Bushehr nuclear reactor would have to go.

    Denying Iran nuclear technology would mean attacking and demolishing an operational, fully powered nuclear reactor.

    If you look up the earthquake risk of the Bushehr location, something of the implications of that become clear. Hitting that reactor would create a Chernobyl or Fukishima-level disaster that would irradiate large parts of the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, as a result of the prevailing winds.

    Radiation leaked into the water of the gulf would also threaten the water supplies of tens of millions of people who depend on desalination.

    There was a time when Barak and Netanyahu were calling for an attack on Iran before Bushehr was fueled, after which time it would be too late, because you could not contemplate creating such a disaster.

    No longer, apparently.

  26. In our current Orwellian world it is understandable why so many politicians of the Liebermann-McCain-Graham mold are concerned about Iran getting nuclear weapons. If the Iranians acquired two or three bombs that would give them an overwhelming advantage over Israel which only has (allegedly) somewhere between 200 and 300 atomic weapons, hundreds of aircraft and several submarines. And, because the United States stripped itself practically naked cutting down to less than two thousand A-bombs, we are in a very vulnerable position. It is difficult to understand how our leaders can sleep at night when they have to face such an ominous threat. Maybe they relax by counting campaign donations from AIPAC.

  27. When pro-war Lieberman ran for re-election to the senate he was opposed by anti-war Ned Lamont. Guess which one Obama supported.

  28. Pingback: “SWIFT Boating” Iran | Dissident Voice | Boating Guide

  29. I was a human shield in Iraq and I will be try at age 90 to be one of a group of 2,000 others who will travel to Iran or lay down my life in any country falsely accused and phtsically violated unjustly by the
    corporate military government of the United

  30. You call that proof? A you tube video about some clowns movie? Also arabs can’t be antisemitic, there semites themselves. Something you should be aware of.

  31. Great, no facts so now you cry about how we are oppressing the poor jew should because we don’t buy your bull.

  32. Joe is a terrorist and should be waterboarded daily…

  33. Brian Routh on said:

    this war mongering moron should go join his zionist bully boy friends in Israel and leave us all out of it!

  34. Pingback: Lieberman Edges US to War with Iran : The Muslim Observer

  35. Interesting article, except for the missing elephant in the room: Lieberman’s best warmongering ally. Ahmadinejad, while proffering platitudes to avoid the war, actually does not mind it. If he and his accomplices wanted to avoid a U.S. invasion, they would “invite” their TV to run “Blueprint for Truth” daily, would “invite” their imams to preach about it, would “invite” their high school teachers to quizz kids about it, and would “invite” their architects and engineers to join their 1,700 colleagues who have requested a meaningful technical investigation into the sudden total disintegrations of the twin towers and Building 7.

    The real mystery in this affair is why Ahmadinejad, like Gaddafi a few months ago, appears to be ready to sacrifice his personal lifestyle, his cushy retirement, and perhaps his life, on the altar of the 9/11 censorship.

    When western pacifists realize that their worst enemy is not in Washington or Jerusalem, but in Tehran, they might start to take meaningful action and actually prevent the war.

    Love,

  36. Judah the Lion on said:

    Plain and Simple: Anti-Zionism Is Anti-Semitism
    There’s no daylight between the anti-Zionist and the anti-Semite

    By David Solway, PJMedia.com, January 6, 2012

    It is easy to see that many critics of Israel are unquestionably anti-Semitic in outlook and feeling and are merely using a political argument to camouflage a religious, racist, or ethnophobic sentiment. Under cover of “legitimate criticism of Israel” and the condemnation of Zionism as an invasive colonial movement, anti-Semitism has now become safe. Plainly, the distinction these new anti-Semites like to draw between anti-Semitism as such and anti-Zionism is intended only to cloak the fundamental issue and to provide camouflage for vulgar ideas and beliefs.

    This is a very shrewd tactic and is most disconcerting not only in its vindictiveness but in its frequency. Jewish philosopher and theologian Emil Fackenheim has outlined three stages of anti-Semitism: “You cannot live among us as Jews,” leading to forced conversions; “You cannot live among us,” leading to mass deportations; and “You cannot live,” leading to genocide. Amnon Rubinstein, patron of the Israeli Shinui party and author of “From Herzl to Rabin: The Changing Image of Zionism,” has added a fourth stage: “You cannot live in a state of your own,” which leads to boycott, divestment, sanctions, biased reporting, pro forma support of the Palestinians, and calls for the delegitimation, territorial reduction, and in some cases even the disappearance of Israel as we know it.

    If this is not unqualified anti-Semitism, then nothing is. As Martin Luther King Jr. observed at a Harvard book fair during which Zionism came under assault: “It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism. … Let my words echo in the depths of your soul: When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — make no mistake about it.” King understood, as so many have not, that there is really no daylight between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. To deprive Jews of their national haven or to submerge them in a so-called “binational state” with an Arab majority is to render them vulnerable to prejudicial fury, scapegoating, pogroms, and, ultimately, even to Holocaust.

    King’s homespun analysis has been confirmed in a report released in the August 2006 issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution by the Yale School of Management in collaboration with its Institute for Social and Policy Studies. The report concludes that the statistical link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism can no longer be denied — a correlation that should have been obvious years ago despite the disclaimers regularly circulated by covert Jew-haters and Jewish revisionists.

    In “Why The Jews?” Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin similarly point out that:

    The contention that anti-Zionists are not enemies of Jews, despite the advocacy of policies that would lead to the mass murder of Jews, is, to put it as generously as possible, disingenuous. … Given, then, that if anti-Zionism realized its goal, another Jewish holocaust would take place, attempts to draw distinctions between anti-Zionism and antisemitism are simply meant to fool the naïve.

    All that has happened, according to these authors, is “only a change in rhetoric.” Anti-Zionism, they claim, “is unique in only one way: it is the first form of Jew-hatred to deny that it hates the Jews.”

    When we turn to the Jewish community itself, we find an analogous dynamic at work among many of its more fractious and insensible members. The issue is only exacerbated by the large number of generally left-wing Jews who have spoken out against Israel, levelling an endless barrage of cavils, reproofs, and aspersions against social and political conditions in the Jewish state or its negotiation tactics vis à vis the Palestinians. The verbal Kassams and textual Katyushas they continually launch are as damaging to Israel’s international standing as Hamas rockets and Hezbollah missiles are to its physical security. Some go so far as to deplore its very existence, regarding the country as a burden on their assimilationist lifestyle, as an unwelcome reminder of their indelible and resented Jewishness, or as a particularist violation of their utopian notions of universal justice.

    Many Jews tend to see Israel as a threat to their convenience, a nuisance at best, a peril at worst. They have failed to comprehend the justice of George Steiner’s lambent remark in “Language and Silence”: “If Israel were to be destroyed, no Jew would escape unscathed. The shock of failure, the need and harrying of those seeking refuge, would reach out to implicate even the most indifferent, the most anti-Zionist.” According to Saul Bellow in “To Jerusalem and Back,” the great Israeli historian Jacob Leib Talmon was of the same mind. In a conversation with the author, Talmon feared that the destruction of Israel would bring with it the end of “corporate Jewish existence all over the world, and a catastrophe that might overtake U.S. Jewry.”

    These Jews who are vexed by the existence of their fallback country are living in a fantasy of personal immunity to the bubonics of Jew-hatred, something that has never ceased to infect the world. In reviling the one nation on earth that serves as a last asylum should they ever find themselves in extremis, they have not only risked their — or their children’s — possible future survival. They have also effectively expunged their own historical identity, aligning themselves with the foul theories and convictions of their persecutors. Victim and victimizer are in agreement. This is nothing less than a form of self-loathing, a rejection of essence, that paradoxically corresponds to the contempt and hatred of the non-Jewish anti-Semite. It is, in short, nothing less than reflexive anti-Semitism.

    As Daniel Greenfield asks in an article exposing the campus betrayals of the Berkeley Hillel chapter that endorses patently anti-Zionist organizations, “why shouldn’t there be a consensus that Jewish identity is incompatible with the rejection of the Jewish state?” Following the same line of thought, Phil Orenstein, a member of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, writes:

    For two millennium [sic], the Jewish people have been rejected from countries throughout the world. Now at long last we have the Jewish State, a safe haven that can welcome our people home. We need to teach our youth what the blessing of Israel means to the Jewish people.

    In fact, it is not only Jewish youth who have strayed from the recognition of who they are and who the world regards them as being, as if they could find sanctuary in ostensibly exalted ideals or in collaboration with their diehard adversaries. It is every Jew who has embraced the anti-Zionist canard and by so doing negated his own integrity and selfhood. In denouncing or repudiating Israel, the state founded to ensure his perseverance and preserve his identity in the world, he has renounced that same identity. He has disavowed and thus erased himself — precisely as the typical anti-Zionist, laboring to obliterate Israel from the map, has sought to render the Jew defenseless and susceptible to repression or, even worse, extermination.

    Updating the Hannukah story, Steven Plaut accurately describes these anti-Zionist Jews as modern Hellenists “ashamed of their Jewishness,” siding with the Seleucid empire against the Hasmoneans who fought for the restoration and survival of the Jewish people. But the upshot is that anyone who objects to the existence of the state of Israel, who would like to have it vanish from the international stage, who wishes it had never been established, who considers it a geopolitical blunder, or who insists on treating it as an embarrassment or a nettle to one’s equanimity, is an anti-Semite, for he would despoil the Jewish people of its last line of defense in an always problematic world. In “What Is Judaism?,” Fackenheim laments that “all anti-Zionism, Jewish and Gentile, should have come to a total end with the gas chambers and smoke-stacks of Auschwitz.” Regrettably, this was not to be.

    Certainly, one can be critical of Israel, but given its beleaguered condition, surrounded by enemies and constantly under attack, such criticism must be tempered by respect and circumspection. Nor should criticism function as a stalking horse behind which an inimical or incendiary project moves forward. It is when legitimate criticism morphs into anti-Zionism that we know a malign agenda is at work.

    King was right. “When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — make no mistake about it.” It amounts to the same thing. Whoever — Jew or non-Jew — advances a campaign against the wellbeing or the existence of the Jewish state is, quite simply, an anti-Semite. It makes no difference if the hater is a Muslim like Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Christian like Jostein Gaarder, an American Jew like Thomas Friedman, or an Israeli Jew like Neve Gordon, he is an enemy of the so-called “Zionist entity” and therefore an anti-Semite. Make no mistake about it.

    David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, was released by Mantua Books.

  37. Judah the Lion on said:

    Wisse: Harvard’s Latest Assault on Israel
    Promoting the Jewish State’s destruction at a school dedicated to ‘democratic governance.’
    Ruth Wisse..
    Wall Street Journal..
    28 February ’12..

    In 1948, when the Arab League declared war on Israel, no one imagined that six decades later American universities would become its overseas agency. Yet campus incitement against Israel has been growing from California to the New York Island. A conference at Harvard next week called “Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution” is but the latest aggression in an escalating campaign against the Jewish state.

    The sequence is by now familiar: Arab student groups and self-styled progressives organize a conference or event like “Israeli Apartheid Week,” targeting Israel as the main problem of the Middle East. They frame the goals of these events in buzzwords of “expanding the range of academic debate.” But since the roster of speakers and subjects makes their hostile agenda indisputable, university spokespersons scramble to dissociate their institutions from the events they are sponsoring. Jewish students and alums debate whether to ignore or protest the aggression, and newspapers fueling the story give equal credence to Israel’s attackers and defenders.

    A featured speaker at Harvard’s conference is Ali Abunimah, creator of the website Electronic Intifada, who opposes the existence of a “Jewish State” as racist by virtue of being Jewish. A regular on this circuit, he also keynoted a recent University of Pennsylvania conference urging “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) of, from and against Israel. Ostensibly dedicated to protecting Palestinian Arabs from Israeli oppression, BDS has by now achieved the status of an international “movement,” some of whose branches exclude Israeli academics from their journals and conferences.

    But the economic war on Israel did not start with BDS. In 1945, before the founding of Israel, the Arab League declared a boycott of “Jewish products and manufactured goods.” Ever since, the Damascus-based Central Boycott Office has tried to enforce a triple-tiered boycott prohibiting importation of Israeli-origin goods and services, trade with any entity that does business in Israel, and engagement with any company or individual that does business with firms on the Arab League blacklist. Although the U.S. Congress took measures to counteract this boycott, and the Damascus Bureau may be temporarily preoccupied on other fronts, the boycott momentum has been picked up by Arab students and academics.

    Freedom of speech grants all Americans the right to prosecute the verbal war against Israel. But let’s differentiate toleration from abetting. Harvard may tolerate smoking, butits medical school wouldn’t sponsor a conference touting the benefits of cigarettes because doctors have learned that smoking is hazardous to health. The avowed mission of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, host of the upcoming conference, “is to strengthen democratic governance around the world by preparing people for public leadership and by helping to solve problems of public policy.” How farcical that instead of seeking to strengthen democratic governance, its students hijack its forum for “studying” how to destroy the hardiest democracy in the Middle East.

    The pattern of anti-Israel attack, administrative embarrassment, Jewish confusion, and media exploitation of the story will continue until all parties realize that the war against Israel is fundamentally different from biases to which it is often compared. Once Americans acknowledged the evils of their discrimination against African-Americans, they abjured their racism and tried through affirmative action to compensate for past injustice. Arab and Muslim leaders have done the opposite. Having attempted to deny Jews their right to their one country, they accused Jews of denying Arabs their 22nd. After losing wars on the battlefield, they prosecuted the war by other means.

    Students who are inculcated with hatred of Israel may want to express their national, religious or political identity by urging its annihilation. But universities that condone their efforts are triple offenders—against their mission, against the Jewish people, and perhaps most especially against the maligners themselves. Smoking is less fatal to smokers than anti-Jewish politics is to its users. Remember Hitler’s bunker.

    Ms. Wisse, a professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard, is the author of
    “Jews and Power” (Schocken, 2007).

  38. brian on said:

    More people are beginning to understand what the German’s were dealing with and why they elected Nazi’s to try and save their country. Well America, you fought on the wrong side of WWII and now you’re only beginning to pay the price. These inbred, hate-filled, war mongering lunatics will not stop until they are stopped. That’s their entire history.

  39. So you claim some guys opinion piece proves your point? You should take a few courses in logic and reason as well as getting yourself a dictionary and learning what words mean.