Resisting the Pull of Anti-Iran Terror

Israeli agents reportedly have collaborated with an Iranian terror group to murder Iran’s civilian nuclear scientists in an escalation of violence that further draws the United States toward the precipice of another Mideast conflict, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

By Paul R. Pillar

Although the assassinations of Iranian scientists have until now been followed by no indication of responsibility other than smug comments of satisfaction from officials of the most likely foreign state perpetrator, now NBC offers something more specific.

According to a report by Richard Engel and Robert Windrem, the assassinations have been the joint work of Israel and the Iranian cult-cum-terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq. According to the report, the partnership has involved Israel providing financing, training and arms to the MEK to accomplish the hits, as well as to commit other acts of violent sabotage inside Iran.

Mohammad Javad Larijani, a senior aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, discussing Israel’s alleged role in murder of Iranian scientists. (Credit: NBC’s RockCenter)

The story tracks with accusations from officials of the Iranian government, who say they base most of what they know on interrogations and captured materials from a failed assassination attempt in 2010. Such accusations by themselves would be easy to dismiss, of course, as more of the regime’s propaganda.

But the NBC story cites two senior U.S. officials, speaking anonymously, as confirming the story. A third official said “it hasn’t been clearly confirmed yet,” although like the others he denied any U.S. involvement. The Israeli foreign ministry declined comment; the MEK denied the story.

With or without confirmation of details of this story, the assassinations are terrorism. (The official U.S. government definition of terrorism for reporting and statistic-keeping purposes is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”)

The extra twist in this new report is the use by Israel, already widely believed to have been responsible for the murders, of the MEK, a group with a long track record of terrorism that has included American victims. Other parts of that record, including the MEK having been an arm of Saddam Hussein’s security forces, have meant the group has almost no popular support within Iran.

Anyone in Israel, the United States, or anywhere else hoping for a salubrious regime change in Iran would be foolish to have anything to do with the MEK.

Even more important than what is foolish is what is immoral. Terrorism denies the high ground to anyone who uses it, including the use of it in disagreements with Iran. It also hastens the slide through mutually reinforcing hostility into what may be a far more destructive form of violence (i.e., a war).

Although the United States has not been involved in the assassinations, the nature of its relationship with Israel, both real and perceived (President Obama commented the other day about staying in “lockstep” with Israel on Iran), means that Israel’s actions suck the United States farther down the slide.

Amid all the reasons for dismay and outrage over this, there is also an irony. One of the oft-repeated rationales for the conventional wisdom that an Iranian nuclear weapon would be unacceptable is that it would somehow turn Iran into a regional marauder that would recklessly throw its weight around the Middle East in damaging ways.

Well, there is an example of a Middle Eastern state that behaves in such a way, but it isn’t Iran. This state invades neighboring countries, ruthlessly inflicting destruction on civilian populations, and seizes and colonizes territory through military force. It also uses terrorist group proxies as well as its own agents to conduct assassinations in other countries in the region.

Besides terrorism, there also is, as with any prototypical rogue state, a nuclear weapons angle. This state, unlike Iran, has never signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty or admitted an international inspector to any of its nuclear facilities. Even though it has had a sizable arsenal of nuclear weapons for decades, it has kept its nuclear weapons program completely out of reach of any international scrutiny or arms control regime and does not even acknowledge the program’s existence.

It also is so intent on maintaining its regional nuclear weapons monopoly that it is using terrorism to strike at the nuclear program of a country that doesn’t even have one nuclear weapon and probably hasn’t made a decision to make one.

One could almost argue that this record of behavior supports that conventional wisdom about what an Iranian nuke would do to Iran’s behavior.  But actually it doesn’t.  The behavior of the state in question is made possible not by nuclear weapons but instead by its conventional military superiority over its neighbors and by the cover provided by a subservient, protective great power whose policies it is able to manipulate.

The United States needs to distance itself as much as possible from this ugliness, for the sake of adhering to its own principles as well as trying to avoid sliding any further toward catastrophe. It was good that Secretary of State Clinton quickly disavowed the most recent assassination, but distancing requires something more.

Forget the lockstep business. Israel is out of step with American policy because it evidently is out of step with American values and American interests. Washington needs to proclaim loudly and repeatedly that the sort of terrorism that the NBC report describes is the antithesis of how differences with Iran ought to be settled, and that those differences need to be settled through diplomacy.

Then negotiate like we really mean it. Two distinguished retired U.S. diplomats, William Luers and Thomas Pickering, have recently provided some excellent instruction on how to do that.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. (This article first appeared as blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

27 comments for “Resisting the Pull of Anti-Iran Terror

  1. Hossein
    February 15, 2012 at 16:34

    Has any body noticed that “Flat 5” has called every one here “antisemitic”
    It is laughable that’s his argument.

    • F. G. Sanford
      February 17, 2012 at 03:59

      He keeps posting articles by Alan Dershowitz, as though that trumps any rational discussion. Alan holds the “Franfurter” chair (No, I’m absolutely not making this up.) at Harvard. That makes them both Kosher hot-dogs. I enjoy those regularly, so I ardently deny any spurious charges of antisemitism. But I like them with Grey Poupon, so I guess that makes me rich, or French. Anybody remember the Joe Pyne Show? Joe used to invite all these screwballs on, and hurl cheap insults at them. Joe actually had lost a leg due to a war injury. Apparently, he got Frank Zappa on the show one night, and said, “I guess your long hair makes you a woman.” To which Frank replies, “I guess your wooden leg makes you a table.”

  2. bobzz
    February 15, 2012 at 14:39

    Flat writes:

    “Instead of spouting your usual antisemitic myths, see below:
    The first is that Zionism did not particularly aim to settle the “Holy Land” (Palestine) and that Zionists were willing to settle in places such as East Africa and Cyprus. The latter were considered for a time as temporary asylums in order to alleviate the suffering of Russian Jews, but they were never accepted as end goals for settlement by the Zionist movement.”

    Flat, you do make sense on this one. Were I an unreasonable antisemite, I would just deny your argument, but I don’t. I can only wish you could show the same flexibility. The hard right Zionists, Jewish and Christian, want to drag America into a your war with Iran. If that happens, it will further erode our already very shaky economy based on two other credit card wars, and Israel will be leaning on a bruised reed (America). You know the passage. Then who will be your friend? I would not be so certain that Yahweh would sustain you against the world. Maybe, but I would not bet on it. If you want to think of all of us as antisemites, suit yourself, but your thinking so does not equate to reality.

  3. MA
    February 14, 2012 at 19:22

    “• Warning Iran Against Hitting ‘Soft’ American Targets
    The Obama administration should deem an attack on a synagogue or embassy as tantamount to a military attack on the U.S.

    Flat 5, you could not refer to any neutral source to support your argument. I have yet to see a more established Muslim hatter than Allan Dershowitz. I suspect his doctoral work involved exploring the power of Hasbara Propaganda.

  4. flat 5
    February 14, 2012 at 08:35

    Instead of spouting your usual antisemitic myths, see below: (very complete detail)

    Zionism and Land – Several misconceptions about Zionism and land exist.

    The first is that Zionism did not particularly aim to settle the “Holy Land” (Palestine) and that Zionists were willing to settle in places such as East Africa and Cyprus. The latter were considered for a time as temporary asylums in order to alleviate the suffering of Russian Jews, but they were never accepted as end goals for settlement by the Zionist movement.

    In order to further the goal of settlement outside Palestine, Israel Zangwill left the Zionist movement and founded the Territorial Zionist movement, a separate political and ideological stream, that tried to secure a national home for the Jews in other territories. Zangwill also became a champion of immigration to America and of assimilation.

    Another myth is that Zionism aspires to extend the borders of Israel throughout the Middle East. Zionists certainly wanted the largest possible territory for the Jewish state, but the main goal was always to have a national home for the Jewish people within the ancient territory of Israel and Judea, and the Zionist movement accepted partition of the British mandate in 1922, a tiny truncated state offered in 1937 and the UN partition resolution of 1947.

    A peculiar claim of anti-Zionists offered as “proof” of “Zionist expansionism” is the claim that Israel is the only country whose constitution does not define its borders.

    Israel does not have a constitution, and many or most constitutions do not define the borders of the state, as for example the United States constitution. The Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel does not declare its borders, but neither does the United States declaration of Independence.

    Herzl negotiated with the British regarding the possibility of settling the Jews on the island of Cyprus, the Sinai Peninsula, the El Arish region and Uganda. After the Kishinev pogroms, Herzl visited Russia in July 1903. He tried to persuade the Russian government to help the Zionists transfer Jews from Russia to Palestine.

    At the Sixth Zionist Congress Herzl proposed settlement in Uganda, on offer from the British, as a temporary “night refuge.” The idea met with sharp opposition, especially from the same Russian Jews that Herzl had thought to help. Though the congress passed the plan as a gesture of esteem for Herzl, it was not pursued seriously, and the initiative died after the plan was withdrawn.

    In his quest for a political solution, Herzl met with the king of Italy, who was encouraging, and with the Pope, who expressed opposition. A small group, the Jewish Territorial Organization (“Territorial Zionists”) led by Israel Zangwill, split with the Zionist movement in 1905, and attempted to establish a Jewish homeland wherever possible. The organization was dissolved in 1925.

    The insistence of Eastern European Jews on Palestine as the Jewish homeland, coupled with the failure of alternatives, maintained the focus of the Zionist movement on Palestine.

  5. bobzz
    February 13, 2012 at 22:13

    Flat, you are one angry dude. Other defenders of Israel comment without the venom. No one of this site is anti-semitic or racist; that is solely your interpretation. I would not mind if every Jew in Israel lived in America. We simply disagree with what Israel has become, where she is going, and her taking us down the tubes with them. We cannot afford the wars we fought, and still fight, on credit cards, and now Israel wants to drag us into Iran and more debt when every bona fide intelligence report says Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Developing “nuclear capabilities” is not the same as developing nuclear weapons. And even if they had them, it is much more likely they would be to deter attacks from Israel. Did you know that no less than one of the founding Zionists, Theodor Herzl, originally wanted to set up a home for the Jews in Nigeria?

  6. John
    February 13, 2012 at 19:04

    Why not get rid of your antisocial tendancies Flat5? Hamas was propmoted by Israel in the 80s’ to undermine Palestinian nationalism under Arafat (how many times do I have to tell you). Israel is a racist state and getting worse as fundamentalist views take a stronger hold. So much for the secular dream of the Zionists. Arab Israelis haven’t the same rights as Jews. Jews cannot marry non-Jews, Israeli Arabs cannot bring in their partners from the occupied territories, there is talk of ethnically cleansing Israel of Arabs and on it goes (property laws, political rules, etc). Much talk about ridding the world of Israel is in fact to make the area equal for all.
    And I resent Mossad using passports from my or any other coutry, to do its dirty business.

    • flat 5
      February 13, 2012 at 21:03

      Arabs certainly have a hell of lot more rights than Jews who lived for thousands of years in arab countries who were expelled. F.U. and your racist state bullshit.

      • Hossein
        February 15, 2012 at 16:45

        You are an Idiot or a fool. But I think you are both to think we belive that arabs have more rights in Israel that Jews do in arab countries. We have thousands of Jews living in Iran and they can easly pack up and leave for Israel but they choose to stay in “their” country Iran even with the bribe money Israel has offered to them to leave the country. Not one Jew has been hurt in Iran even with all the assassinations Israel is doing in Iran.

        • flat5
          February 17, 2012 at 09:05

          Iran’s President who I would think represents the country’s policy has publically stated repeatedly that there was no Holocaust, and also has called for Israel’s destruction. You’re the idiot and ass kisser of Iran and their state sponsored terrorism.

  7. flat 5
    February 13, 2012 at 17:40

    Israel, the “Arab Spring,” and the Wishful Thinkers
    David Harris
    February 13, 2012

    When it comes to Israel, advice is never in short supply.
    It’s doled out steadily by diplomats, scholars, editorial writers, columnists, you name it.
    The onset of the so-called Arab Spring – in actuality, it more closely approximates an Islamic Winter – has unleashed another tidal wave of counsel and critique.

    They are summed up along the following lines:

    “[T]he Arab Spring holds out a historic opportunity to complete the peace process in the Middle East” (French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé);

    “The Arab Spring is an Opportunity for Israel” (Natalia Simanovsky, The Journal of Turkish Weekly);

    “Netanyahu’s prescription is to do nothing” (New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman);

    “There is a need [for Israel] to look over the horizon” (Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center).

    It’s as if some observers, wanting desperately to wax optimistic about the moment, fail to take note of another reality, one far more sobering for Israel.

    Since the upheaval began in Tunisia, Israel’s immediate security environment has become more, not less, challenging. The chances for peace, already remote, seem still more distant.

    I say this with profound regret.

    As a long-time supporter of a two-state agreement, I wish for nothing more than the day that enduring peace will come for Israelis and Palestinians alike – and a more comprehensive settlement with the Arab world as well.

    But wishful thinking has its limitations, especially in this rough-and-tumble neighborhood.

    Consider the stark reality that Jerusalem faces today:

    Let’s begin with Lebanon, long under Syria’s iron grip and now increasingly in the hands of Syria’s – and Iran’s – dependable ally, Hezbollah.

    Named a terrorist group by the U.S., Hezbollah operates a state within a state. It has a well-trained militia and stockpiles of missiles and rockets estimated in the tens of thousands. The group’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, boasts that his weaponry can reach every part of Israel, a nation that, in his view, has no right to exist.

    Then there’s Syria. Yes, the very same Syria that’s in the news every day for the savagery of its regime.

    Should President Bashar al-Assad be ousted, could Israel then rest peacefully? Hardly.

    Who would replace him? Most probably, Sunni Islamists. Al-Qaeda has already endorsed the opposition forces. And who would control Syria’s stockpile of advanced weapons, courtesy of Russia and Iran?

    And if Assad somehow manages to hang on, with help from Tehran and Moscow, Israel now has an even better idea of the unbridled brutality of its northern neighbor.

    To the east looms Iran.

    Here is a nation that flouts UN Security Council resolutions and International Atomic Energy Agency strictures, while developing nuclear-weapons capability and calling for Israel’s elimination. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on January 29th that Iran could get the bomb within a year.

    Closer to the east lies Jordan, which has had quietly convergent interests with Israel for decades – largely driven by common fear of Palestinian radicalism – but may yet be touched by street protests and surging Islamist political muscle.

    To the south is Gaza, the Hamas stronghold.

    Want to understand Hamas? Read its charter, which sets forth its worldview in chilling detail. There is no place for Israel and not much love of Jews, either.

    Listen to the words of Gaza’s prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, who was just in Iran, where he declared for the umpteenth time that his group “will never recognize Israel.”

    And consider the thousands of deadly missiles and rockets in Gaza, supplemented regularly by the smuggling of weapons across the lawless Sinai and through the tunnels.

    Then there’s Egypt.

    We all pray that, whoever ultimately gains power in Cairo, the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty will hold.

    But with two-thirds of Egyptian voters choosing the Muslim Brotherhood or even more extreme Salafists, who today can be optimistic about the direction of Egyptian-Israeli ties?

    And take note that, in the past year alone, there have been 12 separate terrorist attacks on the Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel (and Jordan).

    Then there is the West Bank and the ruling Palestinian Authority.

    President Mahmoud Abbas has been billed as Israel’s best hope for an accord.

    Maybe, but then again, maybe not.

    Abbas, missing in action for most of the last three years, has had an odd way of demonstrating his commitment to the peace process. And his PA keeps undercutting the spinmeisters by glorifying Palestinian terrorists who have murdered innocent Israelis, and by teaching incitement to children.
    To make matters still worse, Abbas has now embraced Hamas, the very group that ousted his forces from Gaza in a bloody coup nearly five years ago.

    I don’t know how long that marriage will last, but even if it turns out to be short-lived, what message does it send to Israel and the world?

    The PA is ready to join forces with a group openly calling for Israel’s destruction, and whose leader in Gaza travels to Iran to embrace its rulers. And yet Israel is supposed to see in all this an “historic opportunity”?

    Oh, and by the way, one of Hamas’s demands for tying the knot was dropping Salam Fayyad as prime minister. There goes the one Palestinian leader who, more than any other, invited hope for a better future.

    And in this tour d’horizon, a word about Turkey.

    Once a close regional partner of Israel, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken the country in a different direction.

    He has embraced Hamas, pandered to the Arab street, and lambasted Israel every chance he gets, including in the recent dust-up with American author Paul Auster.

    New chances for Israel thanks to the “Arab Spring”?

    Much as I’d love to see them, where exactly are they?

    So, to the advice givers, at least the well-intentioned among them, here are my two cents: Please show more restraint and greater understanding of Israel’s difficult regional situation today.

    Maybe in speeches, editorials, and columns there are easy answers. In Israel’s real world, alas, there are not.

    • Ma
      February 13, 2012 at 21:51

      The Israeli woes described in this article are the logical consequences of occupying someone else’s territory by force. You would be a fool of first water if you expect Palestinians and their Muslim neighbors stop resisting and start hugging Israel. Peace for Israel therefore is in Israeal’s own hands but because of illegitimacy of it’s creation and the resultant psychopathic behavior on the world stage it is incapable of helping itself towards a peaceful future. It would be interesting to see how long it succeeds to manipulate the American Foreign Policy. As a mater of fact America is not the only country; West as a whole is under Zionist influence. But again for how long??

      • flat 5
        February 14, 2012 at 08:19

        more of your antisemitic bullshit…

        On Monday, Israeli embassy workers in the capital cities of India and Georgia were targeted in terrorist attacks that Israeli officials believe were planned and carried out by Iran and its client, the militant group Hezbollah. The bomb in Tbilisi was defused, but the bomb in New Delhi, planted in an embassy worker’s car, exploded and injured at least two.
        The Iranian Threat to New York City
        As the West’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear program heats up, New York City—with its large Jewish population—becomes an increasingly attractive target.
        Iran’s next target could well be on American soil. In Senate testimony last month, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stated that Iranian officials “are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States in response to real or perceived U.S. actions that threaten the regime.”
        As evidence, Mr. Clapper cited an alleged plot foiled last October in which a naturalized U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, directed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, hired a member of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The plan involved blowing up a Washington, D.C., restaurant—potentially killing hundreds of Americans in the process.
        Iran has a proven record of using its official presence in a foreign city to coordinate attacks, which are then carried out by Hezbollah agents from abroad, often leveraging the local community—whether wittingly or not—as facilitators. Most notable are the 1992 and 1994 bombings of Israeli and Jewish targets in Argentina, which killed 29 and 85 people, respectively. The New York City Police Department, where I work as director of Intelligence Analysis, sent a team to Argentina to study the modus operandi of those attacks and to meet with Argentine security officials who worked the investigations. Coupled with open source information, this is what the NYPD learned:
        Iranian agents were sent to Argentina years before the attacks, where they integrated into society and became Argentine nationals. Mohsen Rabbani is believed to have been in charge of coordinating the 1994 attack and is subject to an Interpol arrest warrant for his involvement. He first came to Argentina in 1983, where he subsequently became the main imam at At-Tauhid, an Iranian-funded mosque in Buenos Aires.
        After traveling to Iran in August 1993 to participate in a meeting that allegedly gave the planned attack the green light, Mr. Rabbani returned to Argentina as a cultural attaché to the Iranian Embassy, conveniently providing him diplomatic immunity. Then, Hezbollah agents from abroad received logistical support from members of the local Lebanese-Shiite community and the Iranian Embassy to carry out the attack.
        The Argentine attacks were by no means isolated incidents. Hezbollah has been tied to failed attacks in 2009 against Israeli and Jewish interests in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Turkey. Last month, Thai officials arrested a suspected Hezbollah militant for possibly planning attacks there or perhaps facilitating the movement of weapons through Bangkok.
        The NYPD must assume that New York City could be targeted by Iran or Hezbollah. On Feb. 3, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened that Iran “had its own tools” to respond to sanctions and threats of military action against it. Indeed, as the West’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear program continues to heat up, New York City—especially with its large Jewish population—becomes an increasingly attractive target.
        This is neither an idle nor a new threat. As one example of Iranian agents acting in New York, in 2004 two security guards attached to the Iranian mission to the United Nations were sent home by the State Department after being caught conducting surveillance of city subways and landmarks. Iran’s U.N. mission allows officials from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence to live and operate in New York with official diplomatic cover.
        Iran also has a presence in New York via the Alavi Foundation, a nonprofit ostensibly devoted to charity works and promoting Islamic culture. In December 2009, Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, described Alavi as having “effectively been a front for the government of Iran.” A contemporaneous complaint filed by Mr. Bharara’s office led to the seizure of Alavi’s assets—including the Islamic Institute of New York, the largest Shiite mosque in the city and the location most closely affiliated with Iran’s U.N. mission. The NYPD Intelligence Division also played a role during the initial stages of the Alavi investigation.
        Hezbollah and its supporters have a presence in New York and the surrounding area as well. In 2008, two Staten Island men pleaded guilty to providing material support to Hezbollah. Just down the road in Philadelphia, 26 people—including a former Brooklyn resident—were indicted in federal court in 2009 for conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group.
        Lebanese-linked businesses in the tri-state area and elsewhere have been implicated in a massive money-laundering scheme benefiting Hezbollah. This scheme was revealed in a civil suit filed against several Lebanese financial institutions last December by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Meanwhile, at least 18 other Hezbollah-related cases have been brought in federal courts across the United States since 2000.
        Given the alleged plot against a foreign diplomat in Washington, Iran’s increasingly bellicose rhetoric and its long history of sponsoring terror attacks abroad, the NYPD must remain vigilant in attempting to detect and disrupt any attack by Iran or its proxies. Anything less would be abdicating our duty to protect New York City and its residents.
        Mr. Silber is director of intelligence analysis for the New York City Police Department

        • MA
          February 14, 2012 at 18:56

          As Director of Intelligence Analysis, New York City Police Department and as an Israel insider you are better placed to know what preparations are going on behind the scene to cause false flag incidents in New York city. We know who is expert in this business. Should we take your words as warning that something real sinister is on the horizon again, which Iran/Hezbollah would be blamed for this time?

          Whole world (neutral world) at this stage knows about the made up story of Saudi Ambassador’s assassination plot but you and your ilk continue to quote this nonsense. Few more ‘Directors of Intelligence Analysis’ like you and who will need enemies from without!!

  8. flat 5
    February 12, 2012 at 10:02

    as usual the far left antisemites who love Iran, spew their usual bullshit on this site.

    • PhilH
      February 12, 2012 at 20:07

      F.G. Sanford’s and John WV’s assertions are spot-on. Flat 5’s response is the usual and expected from Israel-firsters. Zionism is a political movement, not a religious one. Being anti-Zionist has nothing to do with being “antisemitic.”

      Israel was the first country in the world to develop a secret nuclear arsenal. They did everything Iran is accused of doing in spades–to include conducting secret nuclear tests. If Iran had done 1/10th of what Israel has already done, it would have already been bombed back to the stone age.

      Israel’s Jericho III missile has a 6,000 kilometer range, allowing Israel to target all of Europe and much of Asia. Why Israel would need to launch nukes so far escapes logical explanation. Is Norway a threat to the Zionists? Perhaps the next version of this missile will reach Washington DC, so the Israelis can keep the U.S. Congress malleable and compliant.

      If Iran cannot have nuclear weapons, Israel should give up hers.

      • flat5
        February 13, 2012 at 08:56

        You’re more naive than Neville Chamberlain. Hitler,et al, tried to destroy the Jewish people, the arabs in ’48, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran have publically stated the same. You’re just a typical no nothing asshole period.

        • John
          February 13, 2012 at 18:46

          Flat5, you’re all wet. In 48 the Israeli forces were never out numbered or out equipped as reliable Jewish historians now report. The other Arab countries didn’t take the matter seriously, they were not unified, and they only slowly added small units. Once more Jewishness is a religion not a race. Today you are killing or displacing your ancestors from the Canaanite mix. The Jews already living peacefully in Palestine before Zionism didn’t want the ‘trouble makers’ coming.
          What Israel is doing today, in the time of huge improvements in human communication, is what the Spanish did to South American native populations, what Boers did in South Africa and what what North Americans did to their native populations. Today you can enjoy the publicity. And you don’t have to be rude about about it.

          • flat 5
            February 13, 2012 at 21:01

            John, you’re all wet and naive to boot. The new state of Israel was totally outnumbered attacked by several arab states. You’re full of shit in your stupid comparisons of Jews to the Spanish and S. American culture. Your obvious antisemitism shows. I’ll be as rude as possible when it comes to idiots like you. Here’s a commentary that your far left ass will hate:

            • Warning Iran Against Hitting ‘Soft’ American Targets
            The Obama administration should deem an attack on a synagogue or embassy as tantamount to a military attack on the U.S.
            By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ
            The Iranian government has now made crystal clear that it is at war not only with Israel and Zionism but with Jewish communities throughout the world. As Iran’s Rafah news website—identified with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—threatened last month, Iran plans to “take the war beyond the borders of Iran, and beyond the borders of the region.” And last week an Iranian News Agency headline declared that “Israeli people must be annihilated.”
            These and other recent threats have, according to news reports, led Israeli and American authorities to believe that Iran is preparing attacks against Israeli embassies and consulates world-wide, as well as against Jewish houses of prayer, schools, community centers, restaurants and other soft targets.
            If this were to happen, it would not be the first time that Iranian agents have bombed or attacked Israeli and Jewish targets in distant countries. Back in 1992, Iranian agents blew up the Israeli Embassy and a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians, many of whom were children. The Argentine government conducted a thorough criminal investigation and indicted several Iranian officials, but those officials were well beyond the reach of Argentine legal authorities and remain at liberty.
            The U.S. government should deem any Iranian attack against Israeli or Jewish soft targets in America to be an armed military attack on the U.S.—to which the U.S. will retaliate militarily at a time and place of its choosing. Washington should not treat such an attack as the Argentine authorities did, merely as a criminal act.
            Under international law, an attack on an embassy is an attack both on the embassy’s country and on the country in which the embassy is located. And under the charter of the United Nations, an attack against a nation’s citizens on its territory is an act of armed aggression that justifies retaliatory military action.
            An attack on an American synagogue is no different than an attack on the World Trade Center or on American aviation. We correctly regarded those attacks as acts of war committed by al Qaeda and facilitated by the government of Afghanistan, and we responded militarily. All American citizens, regardless of their religious affiliation, are equally entitled to the protection of the American military.
            U.S. retaliation could take the form of military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Though such action might be pre-emptive in its intention, it would be reactive as a
            matter of international law, since it would be in response to an armed attack by Iran. It wouldn’t require Security Council approval, since Article 51 of the U.N. Charter explicitly preserves the right of member nations to respond to any armed attack.
            This is not to argue against such an attack if Iran decides not to go after soft American targets. It may become necessary for our military to target Iranian nuclear facilities if economic sanctions and diplomatic efforts do not succeed and if the Iranian government decides to cross red lines by militarizing its nuclear program and placing it in deep underground bunkers. But the legal justification for such an attack would be somewhat different. It would be predominantly pre-emptive or preventive, though it would have reactive elements as well, since Iran has armed our enemies in Iraq and caused the death of many American soldiers.
            If Israel were compelled to act alone against Iran’s nuclear program, it too would be reacting as well as pre-empting, since Iran has effectively declared war against the Jewish state and its people. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently confirmed Iran’s role as Hezbollah’s active partner in its war against Israel, claiming that it “could not have been victorious” in its 2006 war without the military support of Tehran. Iran’s ongoing support of
            Hezbollah and Hamas, coupled with its direct participation in the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, constitute sufficient casus belli to justify a reactive Israeli military strike against the Iranian nuclear program.
            The best outcome, of course, would be to deter Iran from both foreign aggression and domestic nuclearization by making the costs too high, even for the most zealous or adventurous Iranian leaders. But for deterrence to succeed, where sanctions and other tactics appear to be failing, the threat of military action must be credible. Right now it is not, because Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other administration officials are sending mixed signals, not only with regard to the U.S. but also with regard to Israel.
            The administration must speak with an unambiguous and credible voice that leaves no doubt in the minds of Iranian leaders that America won’t tolerate attacks on our citizens or a nuclear-armed Iran. As George Washington wisely counseled in his second inaugural address, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”
            Mr. Dershowitz is a law professor at Harvard. His latest book is “Trials of Zion” (Grand Central Publishing, 2010).

      • Hossein
        February 15, 2012 at 16:31

        Ehud Olmert was the man in charge of the secret nuclear program and he lied straight faced to US president that they were not building the bomb. JFK was assassinated by the mossad for trying to expose the nuclear program they had and bring IAEA inspections. That’s why they have kept it as a secret as to who assassinated JFK after all you cannot have an ally if the “Ally” assassinates your elected leader now can you.

    • Hossein
      February 15, 2012 at 16:23

      Israel is the biggest threat to USA and Zionism is the biggest threat to Israel.

  9. JohnWV
    February 12, 2012 at 06:38

    Israel, not United States, is Iran’s enemy. An Iran with nuclear weapons will disrupt Israel’s cruel and outrageously exercised Mideast hegemony. All our Mideast wars have been against our interests, yet successfully advocated by the Jewish state. Again against our interests, Israel has involved us in increasingly overt operations against Iran. Spies and American military drones in Iranian airspace are the most recent revelations. Since before 9/11, American soldiers have been dying for the Jewish state. We are at war. Who did this to us? Israel, AIPAC, the One Percent and traitorous monied Israel Firsters have corrupted our politicians and entire electoral system. Justice and the future of America demand that they be prosecuted and jailed.

  10. F. G. Sanford
    February 11, 2012 at 23:04

    While we’re on the subject of abject hypocrisy in American foreign policy, is anybody besides me waiting with bated breath for the Fawning Corporate Media’s report on just how terrific life is in Libya since NATO got rid of that bad, bad man, Colonel Qaddafi?

    The FCM (Fawning Corporate Media), like our congress, is a tool of the same oligarchy that pulled that off. There seems to be a direct pipeline from the SAIS graduate program to the State Department, and some of their faculty have even taught at the Naval War College. “Bright young minds” are only deemed so if they get the requisite stamp of approval from that little club. The same is true in the world of finance, where there seems to be a revolving door between Goldman Sachs and their ilk and various positions of “public trust”. It isn’t a merit based system: it’s a little club, and we aren’t members.

    But don’t dare point out the ‘elephant’ in the room. That wouldn’t be “lockstepping”, now would it? Bright young minds be damned. They’re going to decide who floats to the top of the foreign policy cesspool, and the choices won’t have anything to do with talent, ability, foresight, creativity or innovation. Everyone in the Neocon insider’s club is there because of who they’re connected with, not because they have any personal merit. People like Richard Perle, Eliot Cohen, Paul Wolfowitz and their cronies couldn’t fix a leaky faucet if their lives depended on it.

    So, we’re going to keep goose-stepping in lockstep, because the FCM isn’t EVER going to tell the truth to the American people. We’ll just keep hearing that all these problems are caused by dictators like Qaddafi, or whoever the bad guy ‘du jour’ happens to be.

    This is a great article. But like that story about the man who hits his donkey with a two by four, and somebody asks, “Why don’t you try to reason with that poor beast”? His reply resembles the state of America’s awareness: “I have to get his attention first”.

  11. charles sereno
    February 11, 2012 at 18:33

    Ever since President Johnson skewed American policy toward Israel, even at the expense of American lives (see the USS Liberty incident), the tail has increasingly come to wag the dog. I pray there still are analysts like you or McGovern at the CIA.

  12. February 11, 2012 at 17:26

    the easiest way is to give IRAN a piece of the market in the Middle east.

  13. Procivic
    February 11, 2012 at 12:33

    As long as candidates need AIPAC’s blessing before entering a Congressional race the interests of the U.S. will always take a back seat. Unfortunately most Americans are unaware of the extent to which a superpower is held hostage to the whims of successive Israeli governments.

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