Romney Adds to Iran Tensions

Mitt Romney wants American Jewish voters to know he’s ready (if not eager) to back an Israeli preemptive war against Iran. Romney’s recent bellicose comments in Jerusalem add pressure on President Obama to escalate his support for an Israeli strike, too, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s strong pro-Israel statements over the weekend, including his endorsement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (a reversal of long-standing U.S. policy), increases the pressure on President Barack Obama to prove that he is an equally strong backer of Israel.

The key question is whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will interpret the presidential campaign rhetoric as an open invitation to provoke hostilities with Iran, in the expectation that President Obama will feel forced to jump in with both feet in support of our “ally” Israel. (Since there is no mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and Israel, “ally” actually is a misnomer, at least in a juridical sense.)

Mitt Romney speaking in Jerusalem on Sunday. (Photo credit:

As we saw 10 years ago with respect to Iraq, if one intends to whip up support for war, one needs to find a casus belli, however thin a pretext it might be. How about juxtaposing “weapons of mass destruction” with terrorism. That worked to prepare for war on Iraq, and similar rhetorical groundwork for an attack on Iran is now being laid in Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu broke all records for speed in blaming Iran and Hezbollah for the recent terrorist attack that killed five Israelis in Burgas, Bulgaria, and in vowing that “Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror.” But what is the evidence on Iranian or Hezbollah involvement? Bulgarian officials keep saying they have no such evidence. More surprising still, government officials in Washington and elsewhere keep warning against jumping to conclusions.

So far the “evidence” against Iran consists primarily of trust-me assertions by Mr. Netanyahu. On Fox News Sunday on July 22, Mr. Netanyahu claimed Israel has “rock-solid evidence” tying Iran to the attack in Bulgaria. The same day on CBS’s Face the Nation, Mr. Netanyahu said, “We have unquestionable, fully substantiated intelligence that this [terrorist attack] was done by Hezbollah backed by Iran,” adding that Israel gives “specific details to responsible governments and agencies.”

Did the Israelis somehow forget to give “specific details” to Bulgarian and U.S. officials?

At a joint news conference with White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan in Sofia early last week, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov admitted that he was aware of no information concerning the terrorist or those who dispatched him. Mr. Brennan’s July 25 talks with top Israeli officials, it appears, were similarly unproductive. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on July 26: “A week after the Burgas attacks, Israeli, Bulgarian, and U.S. [officials] still have no leads regarding the identity of the suicide bomber.”

These events took place against an historical backdrop pregnant with relevance. July 23 was the 10th anniversary of a meeting at 10 Downing Street, at which the head of British intelligence casually revealed the fraudulent origins of the coming attack on Iraq. The official minutes of that meeting were leaked to London’s Sunday Times, which ran them on its front page May 1, 2005. No one has disputed their authenticity.

This is how the minutes record the core of the briefing by Sir Richard Dearlove, the British intelligence chief, who had just conferred with his U.S. counterpart, George Tenet, at CIA headquarters on July 20, 2002, on what was in store for Iraq:

“Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”

The “fixing” of intelligence is bad enough. But note Mr. Dearlove’s explanation that war with Iraq was to be “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.” Translation: We will claim Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and that he might well give them to terrorists, unless he is stopped forthwith. Mr. Netanyahu is now taking the same line on Iran.

On Face the Nation on July 22, he pointedly asked: “Just imagine what the consequences would be if these people [terrorists] and this regime [Iran] got a hold of nuclear weapons. [We need to] make sure that the world’s most dangerous regime doesn’t get the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

Never mind the elusive evidence on the perpetrators of the attack in Bulgaria. Never mind that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta posed the direct question to himself on Face the Nation on Jan. 8 and then answered it: “Are they [the Iranians] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.” Never mind that 10 days later Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said essentially the same thing during an interview on Israeli Army Radio.

The likelihood of hostilities with Iran before the presidential election in November is increasing. Beware of “fixed” intelligence.

Ray McGovern is a retired 27-year veteran of CIA’s analysis division whose responsibilities included preparing and delivering the president’s daily brief. His email is [email protected]. [This article appeared first at the Baltimore Sun’s Web site.]

12 comments for “Romney Adds to Iran Tensions

  1. boron
    August 2, 2012 at 10:56

    “More on” Likud apologist dribble. We luv U, windup toy and all.

  2. W Weelan
    August 2, 2012 at 04:50

    For all the presently hyped up tensions with Iran,one must come to realize that Israel`s intentions,to move about that particular objective,is their
    initial removal of Bashar Hafez al-Assad of Syria,for the obvious reasons.

    As one could witness,the orchestrated current war in Syria was the perfect
    objective to open up the necessary airspace for the Israeli`s to attack Iran,which,for all intended purposes,was the > Trojan Horse they needed.

    To no surprise,the corrupt western world,in lock-step with the World Zionist Movements,has again cooperated in the murder of thousands of innocent people. . . shamefully selling out themselves,while pretending otherwise.

  3. bobzz
    August 1, 2012 at 11:29

    My own opinion: I do not hate Israel. I recognize she has been buffeted by centuries of persecution by the medieval version of right wing Christian/state nexus ending in the Shoah. Israel has been granted a legal basis to exist within the 1967 borders as recognized by international law and even the Arab League—yes, even the Arab League. Today’s Israel is on a self-destruct course, and saner people are trying to save her from herself as well as keeping America from going down the tubes with her. This is not antisemitic; this is disagreement, and no one buys the line that just disagreeing with Israel is antisemitism any more than disagreeing with America is anti-American—although come to think of it, the right wing may indeed think that.

    • bobzz
      August 2, 2012 at 00:59

      Perhaps, but once Israel is established by legal right, anyone can immigrate. But the settlements have no basis.

  4. Morton Kurzweil
    August 1, 2012 at 10:50

    Millions ask, What’s for lunch.
    Mitt asks, What’s my profit.

  5. F. G. Sanford
    July 31, 2012 at 16:27

    On Mittens Bibi, and Massive Ordnance Penetrators:

    Mittens says to Bibi, “What’s for lunch, old Pal? I’m hungry after all this corny campaign guile-
    You know it isn’t easy hiding all my wealth offshore, pretending I’m obsequious is bad to boot,
    My money isn’t evil it’s just pocket cash, those campaign contributions are the truly evil root.”
    “Mittens you’ll be happy, I’ve got such a treat prepared,
    It’s delicious and it’s Kosher, you can eat it with a smile.”

    “Bibi, you’re so naughty, you know you shouldn’t have. That Yellow-Cake will turn my butt to flab.
    I’d bet my bottom dollar this was Karl Rove’s idea, but what the hell, it worked before, let’s eat.”
    “Yellow Cake, it’s ‘Pareve’, I wouldn’t lie, you can’t go wrong, take my advice-it’s such a lovely treat,
    Our spies are loyal to both sides.
    You know they’ll never blab.”

    “So Mittens what’s this stuff I hear, the MOP is massive and it penetrates through stone.
    Nasty Persian potentates with fifteen wives apiece, are seriously weaponized, their missiles are erect.
    What can we do to stem the threat, existence is at stake, after all I’m only asking for my due respect.
    We need Massive Ordnance too, I think you need to share.
    We’ll rig the vote, but you throw us a bone.”

    “Bibi, I don’t know my friend, but if you pass the Yellow-Cake, I’ll try to find a way.
    Your buddy Shelly Adelson has kindly bulked my graft, I’m grateful for the help, it’s true-
    But he should bet on Annie’s horse- and by the way, there’s a Massive Penetrator too.
    But fifteen wives, polygamy it seems-
    Bibi, just what are you trying to say?”

    “Ima-dinner-jacket scares me half to death, Okay? He’s got a little missile that he wants to weaponize.
    With fifteen wives, you understand, imagine what it’s like to curb those nuclear desires?
    I’d have them too if I were him, but I like real estate. We’ll grab as much as it requires-
    To change conditions on the ground.
    Wiping maps is is how WE legitimize.”

    “Don’t worry, Mitt, the Yellow-Cake will fool them all again. It’s a recipe that never will get stale.
    Americans will like it too, their flabby butts prevail, they’re hungry and they cannot get enough.
    They’re gullible and flattery is all you need-just keep pounding at the Jesus thing, hang tough-
    They’ll buy the goods from MSNBCNN,
    The Yellow-Cake will never fail!”

    “What’s this I hear, that Annie’s got a horse she thinks should win the gold?”
    “Who needs allies, we’ve got friends-we share our information and cooperate.
    Plausibly deniable, there’s nothing to debate, the nuclear canard will always help us instigate-
    I’ll call my buddy Shelly, and have him fix the race,
    The horse will win, and Yellow-Cake will take the prize. Sold!

    • incontinent reader
      August 1, 2012 at 06:48

      F.G., bravo! You’ve outdone even yourself this time!

    • ilse
      August 1, 2012 at 23:00

      Great. I wish I had bet on that horse.

  6. Hillary
    July 31, 2012 at 11:15

    G.W.Bush that Evangelical Christian and bumbling idiot got to be US President because from the beginning of his candidacy he amassed an enormous amount of money

    You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know where the money is AVAILABLE in politics.

    Romney like G.W. Bush & Tony Blair all bow & scrape to the “Jewish Vote” the code name for Jewish money.

    The belligerent country sitting on hundreds of Nuclear Bombs , Chemical Weapons that has invaded all its neighbors is Israel and NOT Iran.

    The massive aid given to Israel is used to BRIBE US politicians to vote to supply even more money to Israel and vote for all its expansion plans.

    This wheels of this system are well oiled and this sickness has lasted for many years.

    Meanwhile the 50 Million US citizens living below the poverty level like “Joe the plumber” are totally unaware.

    In the USA the deliberate MSM manipulation of public opinion is rampant and without Consortium News and a few others the US Public would never “know”.

  7. Roger Thomas
    July 31, 2012 at 10:53

    God help us all if this Mitt Romney, ignoramus and nutter, becomes President. WE cringe at the thought that the White House, already Israel’s poodle, will become totally servile under his presidency.

    Are you Americans not shamed by the knowledge that your government serves first the interests of an abomination of a regime rather than your own country’s?

    • ilse
      August 1, 2012 at 22:42

      Romney sounds just as stupid as Palin. I am sure they are on a level.

    • ilse
      August 1, 2012 at 22:47

      I am ashamed of the stupidity of this guy, and I am not even a citizen of this country.
      I live here and pay my taxes, while Romney, a citizen, does not, but instead spreads his war propaganda, so he can profit from it.

Comments are closed.