NYT Publishes Call to Bomb Iran

Exclusive: The New York Times continues its slide into becoming little more than a neocon propaganda sheet as it followed the Washington Post in publishing an op-ed advocating the unprovoked bombing of Iran, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

If two major newspapers in, say, Russia published major articles openly advocating the unprovoked bombing of a country, say, Israel, the U.S. government and news media would be aflame with denunciations about “aggression,” “criminality,” “madness,” and “behavior not fitting the Twenty-first Century.”

But when the newspapers are American the New York Times and the Washington Post and the target country is Iran, no one in the U.S. government and media bats an eye. These inflammatory articles these incitements to murder and violation of international law are considered just normal discussion in the Land of Exceptionalism.

An Iranian man holding a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

An Iranian man holding a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

On Thursday, the New York Times printed an op-ed that urged the bombing of Iran as an alternative to reaching a diplomatic agreement that would sharply curtail Iran’s nuclear program and ensure that it was used only for peaceful purposes. The Post published a similar “we-must-bomb-Iran” op-ed two weeks ago.

The Times’ article by John Bolton, a neocon scholar from the American Enterprise Institute, was entitled “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” It followed the Post’s op-ed by Joshua Muravchik, formerly at AEI and now a fellow at the neocon-dominated School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins. [For more on that piece, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocon Admits Plan to Bomb Iran.”]

Both articles called on the United States to mount a sustained bombing campaign against Iran to destroy its nuclear facilities and to promote “regime change” in Tehran. Ironically, these “scholars” rationalized their calls for unprovoked aggression against Iran under the theory that Iran is an aggressive state, although Iran has not invaded another country for centuries.

Bolton, who served as President George W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations, based his call for war on the possibility that if Iran did develop a nuclear bomb which Iran denies seeking and which the U.S. intelligence community agrees Iran is not building such a hypothetical event could touch off an arms race in the Middle East.

Curiously, Bolton acknowledged that Israel already has developed an undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal outside international controls, but he didn’t call for bombing Israel. He wrote blithely that “Ironically perhaps, Israel’s nuclear weapons have not triggered an arms race. Other states in the region understood, even if they couldn’t admit it publicly, that Israel’s nukes were intended as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure.”

How Bolton manages to read the minds of Israel’s neighbors who have been at the receiving end of Israeli invasions and other cross-border attacks is not explained. Nor does he address the possibility that Israel’s possession of some 200 nuclear bombs might be at the back of the minds of Iran’s leaders if they do press ahead for a nuclear weapon.

Nor does Bolton explain his assumption that if Iran were to build one or two bombs that it would use them aggressively, rather than hold them as a deterrent. He simply asserts: “Iran is a different story. Extensive progress in uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing reveal its ambitions.”

Pulling Back on Refinement

But is that correct? In its refinement of uranium, Iran has not progressed toward the level required for a nuclear weapon since its 2013 interim agreement with the global powers known as “the p-5 plus one” for the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Instead, Iran has dialed back the level of refinement to below 5 percent (what’s needed for generating electricity) from its earlier level of 20 percent (needed for medical research) — compared with the 90-plus percent purity to build a nuclear weapon.

In other words, rather than challenging the “red line” of uranium refinement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew during a United Nations speech in 2012, the Iranians have gone in the opposite direction and they have agreed to continue those constraints if a permanent agreement is reached with the p-5-plus-1.

However, instead of supporting such an agreement, American neocons echoing Israeli hardliners  are demanding war, followed by U.S. subversion of Iran’s government through the financing of an internal opposition for a coup or a “colored revolution.”

Bolton wrote: “An attack need not destroy all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.”

But one should remember that neocon schemes drawn up at their think tanks and laid out on op-ed pages don’t always unfold as planned. Since the 1990s, the neocons have maintained a list of countries considered troublesome for Israel and thus targeted for “regime change,” including Iraq, Syria and Iran. In 2003, the neocons got their chance to invade Iraq, but the easy victory that they predicted didn’t exactly pan out.

Still, the neocons never revise their hit list. They just keep coming up with more plans that, in total, have thrown much of the Middle East, northern Africa and now Ukraine into bloodshed and chaos. In effect, the neocons have joined Israel in its de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia for a Sunni sectarian conflict against the Shiites and their allies. Much like the Saudis, Israeli officials rant against the so-called “Shiite crescent” from Tehran through Baghdad and Damascus to Beirut. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran.”]

Since Iran is considered the most powerful Shiite nation and is allied with Syria, which is governed by Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, both countries have remained in the neocons’ crosshairs. But the neocons don’t actually pull the trigger themselves. Their main role is to provide the emotional and political arguments to get the American people to hand over their tax money and their children to fight these wars.

The neocons are so confident in their skills at manipulating the U.S. decision-making process that some have gone so far as to suggest Americans should side with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria or the even more brutal Islamic State, because those groups love killing Shiites and thus are considered the most effective fighters against Iran’s allies. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism.”]

Friedmans Madness

The New York Times’ star neocon columnist Thomas L. Friedman ventured to the edge of madness as he floated the idea of the U.S. arming the head-chopping Islamic State, writing this month: “Now I despise ISIS as much as anyone, but let me just toss out a different question: Should we be arming ISIS?”

I realize the New York Times and Washington Post are protected by the First Amendment and can theoretically publish whatever they want. But the truth is that the newspapers are extremely restrictive in what they print. Their op-ed pages are not just free-for-alls for all sorts of opinions.

For instance, neither newspaper would publish a story that urged the United States to launch a bombing campaign to destroy Israel’s actual nuclear arsenal as a step toward creating a nuclear-free Middle East. That would be considered outside responsible thought and reasonable debate.

However, when it comes to advocating a bombing campaign against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, the two newspapers are quite happy to publish such advocacy. The Times doesn’t even blush when one of its most celebrated columnists mulls over the idea of sending weapons to the terrorists in ISIS all presumably because Israel has identified “the Shiite crescent” as its current chief enemy and the Islamic State is on the other side.

But beyond the hypocrisy and, arguably, the criminality of these propaganda pieces, there is also the neocon record of miscalculation. Remember how the invasion of Iraq was supposed to end with Iraqis tossing rose petals at the American soldiers instead of planting “improvised explosive devices” and how the new Iraq was to become a model pluralistic democracy?

Well, why does one assume that the same geniuses who were so wrong about Iraq will end up being right about Iran? What if the bombing and the subversion don’t lead to nirvana in Iran? Isn’t it just as likely, if not more so, that Iran would react to this aggression by deciding that it needed nuclear bombs to deter further aggression and to protect its sovereignty and its people?

In other words, might the scheming by Bolton and Muravchik — as published by the New York Times and the Washington Post — produce exactly the result that they say they want to prevent? But don’t worry. If the neocons’ new schemes don’t pan out, they’ll just come up with more.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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70 comments for “NYT Publishes Call to Bomb Iran

  1. Bill Michael
    March 28, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    About a dozen cruise missiles should get the ball rolling.

    • incontinent reader
      March 28, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Right- but aimed at Bolton and his dirty dozen.

      • Zak
        March 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

        Bomb first on 300 nukes of Israel. That is the need of the hour.

        • Vivek Jain
          March 31, 2015 at 2:00 am

          the US and Israeli intelligence agencies have known that Iran does not have and is not pursuing nuclear weapons.

          The hysteria about Iran’s (non-existent) nukes must be exposed.

          Also, re: Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program. As a signatory to the NNPT, Iran has the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. In fact, most Americans don’t know that Iran’s nuclear program was launched at the urging of Washington.

          see this piece from 2012:
          “U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb”
          http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/us-agencies-see-no-move-by-iran-to-build-a-bomb.html?_r=1

          Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program was started half a century ago at the encouragement and with the help of Washington (under Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program).
          see this piece from 2007:
          U.S. Tells Iran: Become a Nuclear Power
          http://fpif.org/us_tells_iran_become_a_nuclear_power/

          Did you know that Israel is NOT signatory to the NNPT?

          Washington’s (and Israel’s) aggression toward Iran’s civilian program is a violation of the NNPT (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Non-Proliferation_of_Nuclear_Weapons).

          The US has signed and ratified the NPT, but Washington’s policies of both developing and acquiring newer nuclear weapons and waging propaganda and cyberwar against Iran are in violation of the NPT.

          The US and Israel are and have been the greatest threats to peace in the Greater Middle East.

          While imperialists insist that others submit to and comply with unilateral demands, even if another state wanted to develop weapons, aggression and terrorism from Washington and Israel is in violation of Article 2 Section 4 of the UN Charter ( http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml )
          http://fpif.org/us_tells_iran_become_a_nuclear_power/

          • John E. Reuter Esq. (Ret.)
            April 1, 2015 at 9:30 am

            Excellent comment Vevik Jain, with citations supporting your observations. Thank you.

      • March 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

        EXACTLY!

        All of the fundamentals are “non-issues,” just as Dr. James Petras says:

        “All those Zionist ‘wise-guys’ of both genders, who think they have been so clever using their high office to serve Israel, are fooling themselves. More and more citizens are becoming aware that Israel’s espionage, its dictates to the US Congress and its manipulation of Executive powers are harming America. At the present, highly placed Zionist officials hold sway over the Obama Cabinet, but in the future they may find themselves facing charges of being agents of a foreign power, and a threat to US national security. They may find themselves sharing a cell block with Jonathan Pollard!”

        http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2015/03/31/516667who-spies-for-israel-in-washingtons-nuclear-negotiations/

        Solve all of the rest of the “problems” and don’t resolve the Zionist issue in America, and nothing changes.

        Sometimes we stand too close to the fire to detect that the entire forest is burning.

    • March 28, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Response to op-ed on bombing Iran. Better yet, Iran could hold out for Israel’s deal: Lots of nukes, no international agreements on building or using them, and USA’s complete support/blind-eye.

      Rick Littleton

      • Nibs
        March 31, 2015 at 4:22 am

        I guess the problem there is the uncertainty (or rather, certainty) of the US elections: über hawk Israeli-firster Hillary or ultra-neocon Jeb.

    • Mary
      March 29, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      In the summer of 2000, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think tank riddled with soon to be Bush administration officials and advisers, issued a document calling for the radical restructuring of U.S. government and military policies. It advocated the massive expansion of defense spending, the re-invasion of Iraq, the military and economic securing of Afghanistan and Central Asia, increased centralized power and funds for the CIA, FBI, and NSA, among a slew of other policies that would, in the near future, be enacted upon their asscension to power. In the same document, they cite a potential problem with their plan. Referring to the goals of transforming the U.S. and global power structure, the paper states that because of the American public’s slant toward ideas of democracy and freedom, “this process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”

    • Leo Strauss
      March 29, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      Those dozen cruise missiles will surely get the ball rolling-the clusterf*ck ball of another middle-eastern war that it is totally not necessary. Let’s agree that all of the neocons can form into a brigade, (similar to the Americans in the Spanish Civil War) and get the funds and materiel from donors, (that should be a walk in the park) and go fight the war that they are drooling over themselves. Getting them to actually face danger, and to get off of their fat asses is highly unlikely.

      Look for Israel to start a conflict with Saudi military cooperation. And presto!!! The United States will instantly get pulled into another war in the middle east.

      • OH
        March 30, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        If they had to sit in a regular chair like the soldiers it would probably kill them.

    • RPfromRC
      March 30, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Use some of those cruise missiles to destroy Israel’s submarine capability to threaten Iran with nuclear attack, which it has been doing for over a decade by patrolling those weapons off Iran’s coast. Use some of the rest to destroy those in (or retired from) the US Navy responsible for assisting Israel in doing this. (Those Israeli missiles also threaten people in USA; remember the Liberty.)

    • Jen
      March 31, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      The real problem is The Chosen People Syndrome=> http://wp.me/p4OZ4v-1CZ

  2. pablo Diablo
    March 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Bolton is one of the most dangerous of the neocons. They and their corporate sponsors make money off of war. LOTS of money. We pay with our lives and our taxes. W.Bush and his handlers (like Bolton, Cheney, Gates, etc) have pissed off our friends and fueled our enemies to keep the cash flowing into their coffers. Our “friends/allies (Germany, France, Italy, England)are joining the Chinese Bank or BRIC. They are refusing to support our demands for war any more. All we have left is a Congress demanding more money for the military. Obvious signs of a collapsing empire. WAKE UP AMERICA. Take back “our” government.

    • Nexus789
      March 28, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      We might all be playing with our lives. There is some thought that this is a game being played out and that nuclear war would never be considered. It only needs a small miscalculation and civilisation is terminated.

      • OH
        March 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm

        And the global warming consequences of a war bigger than Iraq with or even without nuclear weapons going off.

    • Roberto
      March 29, 2015 at 12:58 am

      Fascism.

    • OH
      March 30, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      John Bolton proved that Bush Juniors personal likeability was never going to have any positive affect on Americas image.

  3. Boom Boom
    March 28, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    The debate is over.
    One tail wags all the dogs.
    So, chop that tail

  4. March 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Yes was it not the times who sold us the Iraq war?

  5. Jay
    March 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Irony, in the original Bolton piece online at the Times, a Times editor had inserted a link to this 2012 Washington Post OpEd entirely undermining Bolton’t point.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/opinions/an-israeli-attack-against-iran-would-backfire–just-like-israels-1981-strike-on-iraq/2012/02/28/gIQATOMFnR_story.html

    Credit to The Intercept for pointing this out:

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/27/phantom-new-york-times-staffer-undermines-
    paper/

    Many of the comments on the Times Bolton piece are near vile, even coming from self identified “liberals” and Times comments are moderated.

  6. Tom Welsh
    March 28, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    “The New York Times’ star neocon columnist Thomas L. Friedman ventured to the edge of madness as he floated the idea of the U.S. arming the head-chopping Islamic State…”

    Oh, be fair to Friedman! After all, the USA has been arming the head-chopping Saudi Arabian state for decades – and on a far heavier scale.

    These people may be criminally insane, but at least they’re consistent.

  7. Randal Marlin
    March 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Propaganda for war is prohibited in international law under Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. John Bolton and the New York Times should be prosecuted. They are unlikely to be convicted, but it will direct attention to the nature of this discourse.

  8. doray
    March 28, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks again, Mr. Parry, for more insight into the lies the farking bastages keep getting away with. You’re a gift to the truth-seekers of the world.

    Think the Times would publish this article as an opinion piece? Is there a way to link it to any kind of comment section?

    We can only hope the aggressive, ignorant, arrogant nation destroys itself before it destroys any more of the planet. It IS heartening to know that Latin America, as well as the nations of Europe are forming allies to help prevent total global domination by the patriarchal capitalist extremists.

  9. Brendan
    March 28, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Previous allegations by NYT contributor John Bolton about another Middle Eastern country’s nuke program:

    “Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq’s procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand. We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material — whether from a foreign source or by securing the materials to build an indigenous fissile material capability — it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year.”

    John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
    Remarks to the Second Global Conference on Nuclear, Bio/Chem Terrorism: Mitigation and Response
    The Hudson Institute, Washington, DC
    November 1, 2002
    http://2001-2009.state.gov/t/us/rm/14848.htm

  10. whateverittakes2
    March 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    The neocons are not just aberrational; they are stark raving mad. Amazing that they think we are all so stupid, that we haven’t forgotten Iraq and Libya, that we protested loudly and in huge numbers in 2013 again bombing Syria… These are the people who go out into the world and talk about American democracy? I want to protest that they are completely unhinged from reality, but I think it’s something far more serious. There is evil in the world; and when you look at some of these people who have no reservations about telling/writing the most outlandish lies, then isn’t it necessary to acknowledge that one is looking directly into the face of evil? When we get past these terrible days, the first company I hope to see shut down, dismantled completely, is the NYT.

  11. Eddie
    March 28, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Once again another excellent, rational realistic opinion piece Mr. Parry, which of course means that it won’t find any place in US politics (unless you could somehow link it’s content to people making a buck from it). I’ve come to believe that most US citizens ONLY want to make money and entertain themselves endlessly — international politics is just something they candidly do not want to be bothered with. How else do we explain the elections of people like Reagan and W, for instance? (The only thing I didn’t like about the article was how you had to remind me about that idiot John Bolton — I still maintain that one of the most insulting, non-military things W did was appoint HIM to the UN!?!! The organization setup to ostensibly work for world peace! How obviously destructive was that?)

    • Anonymous
      March 29, 2015 at 2:28 am

      ED-
      At the time of collapsing of the Rome Empire the idea was to simply supply its people with: “Bread and Circuses” !!
      In France the Queen suggested “Cake” for the masses who said they had “no Bread”.
      In one case an Empire disappeared. In the other “heads” disappeared – but the state survived.
      Is the USofA an Empire (about to implode) or like the peasants of France (about to destroy the enemy within).
      It seems to me (and possibly a few others) that the ‘lines are drawn’ and only the one%’ers can save themselves from the guillotine; can they be so stupid as to risk life for the Greeenback?
      ricknyc

    • March 29, 2015 at 2:29 am

      ED-
      At the time of collapsing of the Rome Empire the idea was to simply supply its people with: “Bread and Circuses” !!
      In France the Queen suggested “Cake” for the masses who said they had “no Bread”.
      In one case an Empire disappeared. In the other “heads” disappeared – but the state survived.
      Is the USofA an Empire (about to implode) or like the peasants of France (about to destroy the enemy within).
      It seems to me (and possibly a few others) that the ‘lines are drawn’ and only the one%’ers can save themselves from the guillotine; can they be so foolish as to risk life for the Greeenback?
      ricknyc

  12. Peter Harnton
    March 28, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    These criminal idiots and their media should be brought to justice. I.e. crushed.

  13. Stefan
    March 28, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    So then, I suggest Israel go ahead and does what it claims it “can” do and do it without US interference.

    Just her, against Iran.

    That, will take care of the problem, not just for many countries, but for the Palestinians as well.

  14. Stefan
    March 28, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    So then, I suggest Israel goes ahead and does what it claims it “can” do and do it without US interference.

    Just her, against Iran.

    That, will take care of the problem, not just for many countries, but for the Palestinians as well.

  15. March 28, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    @ Randal, I am unrelenting in my opposition to war except as a matter of self-defense (I’m a combat veteran of the Viet Nam War) and I have no affection for belligerent cowards like Mr. Bolton.[1] However, the section of the Covenant you cite is unenforceable in the U.S. because it conflicts with the First Amendment right of free speech and because of the Senate’s ratifications that gutted the Coventnant’s enforceability in the U.S.

    The Senate’s reservations on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights include the following:

    “I. The Senate’s advice and consent is subject to the following reservations:

    “(1) That Article 20 does not authorize or require legislation or other action by the United States that would restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

    “III. The Senate’s advice and consent is subject to the following declarations:

    “(1) That the United States declares that the provisions of Articles 1 through 27 of the Covenant are not self-executing.

    “IV. The Senate’s advice and consent is subject to the following proviso, which shall not be included in the instrument of ratification to be deposited by the President:

    “Nothing in this Covenant requires or authorizes legislation, or other action, by the United States of America prohibited by the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States.”

    https://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/usdocs/civilres.html

    Under Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 23 May 1969), Article 46:

    “1. A State may not invoke the fact that its consent to be bound by a treaty has been expressed in violation of a provision of its internal law regarding competence to conclude treaties as invalidating its consent *unless that violation was manifest and concerned a rule of its internal law of fundamental importance.”*

    http://goo.gl/kQhONi (PDF).

    The Constitution including its First Amendment being manifest, the U.S. would almost certainly be permitted to raise the issue of Covenant Article 20’s conflict with the First Amendment should the U.S. find itself in a tribunal of international law being charged with violating Article 20(1).

    Moreover, under the Vienna Convention’s Article 19:

    “A State may, when signing, ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to a
    treaty, formulate a reservation unless:

    (a) The reservation is prohibited by the treaty;

    (b) The treaty provides that only specified reservations, which do not include the
    reservation in question, may be made; or

    (c) In cases not falling under sub-paragraphs (a) and (b), the reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of the treaty.”

    The International Covenant contains no limitation on the right to express reservations. See Covenant text at http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx

    Here, the U.S. raised a reservation regarding the conflict between Article 20 and the First Amendment right of free speech.

    To complicate matters further, the “not self-executing” reservation language under U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution’s Treaty Clause means that the International Covenant creates no enforceable rights in the U.S. There are other issues with enforceability. Wikipedia has a fairly good overview with that problem as applied to the International Covenant. http://goo.gl/jmtpvD

    And finally, to top it off, the U.S. has expressed the same or similar reservations on every international human rights treaty I’ve looked at, with the exception of Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (4th Geneva Convention). That treaty was ratified by the U.S. in 1949, when memories of atrocities committed during World War II were still fresh. It was not until the early 1950s that the U.S. began tacking on reservations that gutted the effectiveness of human rights treaties within the U.S. (There are still several that the U.S. simply has not ratified.)

    Our Congress, unfortunately, collectively believes only in creating new corporate rights by treaty, not human rights.

    [1] Bolton, to his credit, later fessed up to his cowardice and having maneuvered his way around serving in Viet Nam by service in a National Guard “champagne unit,” saying, ” “by the time I was about to graduate in 1970, it was clear to me that opponents of the Vietnam War had made it certain we could not prevail, and that I had no great interest in going there to have Teddy Kennedy give it back to the people I might die to take it away from.” http://goo.gl/Dlxb9D (Wikipedia). But of course as a high-ranking member of the Bush II Administration, he was all too willing to inflict the same risk on other American soldiers in the unwinnable wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Randal Marlin
      March 30, 2015 at 10:17 am

      I was aware of all the points you mention, and it is why I thought a prosecution would be unlikely to succeed. But U.S. jurisprudence has more than once put limitations on the First Amendment protection of free speech. All I am asking is that the attempt be made, based on international law. See Michael G. Kearney, The Prohibition of Propaganda for War in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2007).

    • Randal Marlin
      March 30, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      I would like to add a quotation from Michael Kearney, the last sentence in the book I cited: “…[P]ropaganda for war is an invariable factor in the build-up to wars and acts of aggression, and for the international community to continue to permit Article 20(1) of the Covenant to lapse in the recesses of the international human rights framework, or to exclude an inchoate crime of direct and public incitement to aggression from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, will be contradistinctive to the progressive development of international criminal justice and the cause of peace.”

  16. Nexus789
    March 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    What the NYT is promoting is disgusting. It is no more than the promotion of genocide. The other thing to note is that Iran has a mutual defence pact with Russia and China (signed in 2008 I believe).

    Taking on Iran will nothing like Iraq. Iran will have Russian S300 and S400 missile batteries in place. They have crafted a military doctrine that is asymmetrical and designed to incur the maximum cost to an attacker – military and economic. There is no way that the US could invade and subdue Iran. The costs would be enormous and would require conscription. Iran also has an extensive land border with Russia.

  17. Antiwar7
    March 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    The people writing those op-eds are not insane or idiotic. They’re bloodthirsty, genocidal, wanna-be murderers. They’re Bibi’s willing executioners.

  18. sulphurdunn
    March 28, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Referring to Chickenhawk John as a scholar is comical in a depressing sort of way.

  19. Victoria Christine
    March 28, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Our penchant for this illicit game of acquisition and control began with our false flag of 1898 led to war with Spain – becoming a shadow of 20th century things to come. By 2015 the United States has become what the scriptures call her, ‘The hammer of the whole Earth’ – launching wars, inciting conflicts, initiating intrigues, assassinations, regime changes, leadership deposals, revolutions, uprisings, and fomenting riots that have destroyed lives, uprooted cultures, decimated nations, and killed so many people, that we are guilty of no less than genocide. That we have called this ‘making the world safe for democracy’ with no sense of irony fits perfectly with our habit of self aggrandizement all the while accusing selected enemies of ‘acts of aggression’. VIZ: The recently passed House Bill (H Res 758) in which the US Congress accused Putin of ‘aggression towards neighboring countries’, writing themselves a permission slip to bomb Russia. That Iran is on our hit list, a nation that poses us no threat whatsoever, and which has not attacked another nation in 300 years; is in keeping with our time tested format. Where is it all leading? God is not mocked; we will reap what we have sewn; The inevitable denouement is when the grisly reality of war comes to our home towns, and the United States mar making machinery grinds to an eternal halt. What our home towns will look like at that point, is anyone’s guess.

  20. m s 57
    March 28, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    If there is one thing the US can do to guarantee the regime never changes, it is to attack Iran. Many Iranians like and respect Americans, want a freer government and more personal freedom than the regime offers, but attack them and every Iranian in the country will spit whenever they mention the US again. Iranians have a deep pride in themselves and their country.

    Who are these people — like Bolton, who is in it up to his neck — to even contemplate attacking a sovereign state in order to bring about “regime change”? And how did that “regime change” work out last time they tried it?

    An unprovoked act of aggression is the supreme war crime. It was established — chiefly by the US, as it turns out — after WWII in judging that that monstrous event began by Hitler (and Stalin) attacking Poland without provocation. W, Cheney, Wolfowitz, et al., were they tried by the US prosecutors at Nuremberg would be hung.

    • OH
      March 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      Yes, attacking Iran is so absurd that intentional sabotage of the USA is the most probable motive.

  21. Joe Tedesky
    March 29, 2015 at 12:51 am

    When news outlets such as NYT, and WaPo put in print how the USA should do such things as Bomb Iran, one could only hope that this kind of rhetoric would strengthen the USA’s negotiating position. Add to that, have 47 congress people write a letter to the ayatollah’s telling them that Obama is a lame duck paper tiger. Then, if sounding all bad ass were a good thing we would be getting our way at the bargaining table. Yet, reality is quite different. Instead all this hawkish talk has weakened America’s hand. And for what? Tabloid politics!

  22. Joe Tedesky
    March 29, 2015 at 12:55 am

    When news outlets such as NYT, and WaPo put in print how the USA should do such things as Bomb Iran, one could only hope that this kind of rhetoric would strengthen the USA’s negotiating position. Add to that, have 47 congress people write a letter to the ayatollah’s telling them that Obama is a lame duck paper tiger. Then, if sounding all war hawk were a good thing we would be getting our way at the bargaining table. Yet, reality is quite different. Instead all this hawkish talk has weakened America’s hand. And for what? Tabloid politics

  23. kn tlt
    March 29, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Bolton admits that Israhell has neukes. If US law is applied, all aid to Israhell should be ended.
    That is if the shadow government of our country follows the law.

    Bush 1 = Iraq 1
    Bush 2 = Iraq 2
    Bush 3 = WW3.

  24. March 29, 2015 at 2:37 am

    [blockquote]Both articles called on the United States to mount a sustained bombing campaign against Iran to destroy its nuclear facilities and to promote “regime change” in Tehran.[/blockquote]
    Bombing a country to “encourage” a citizenry to change its leaders didn’t work in WWII, it didn’t work in Vietnam, it won’t work in Iran. The same can be said for sanctions; the tactic won’t work in Russia nor has it worked in Iran.

    When will these people ever learn?

  25. John
    March 29, 2015 at 5:34 am

    The countries and people who are bankrupt of ideas always come up with aggression and war!
    US Media seems to be targeting people with IQs of >40.
    The US is one of the most corrupt and aggressive countries in the world, but media and politicians “sanitize everything” to hide these.
    The American public is being brainwashed to see everything as a “video game” where they can do anything they want against any other country with no consequences!
    As US is being “dumbed down” the rest of the world is moving on, which is why US is no longer providing the thought leadership it once did and it will almost certainly get worse!

  26. John
    March 29, 2015 at 5:35 am

    The countries and people who are bankrupt of ideas always come up with aggression and war!
    US Media seems to be targeting people with IQs of >40.
    The US is one of the most corrupt and aggressive countries in the world, but media and politicians “sanitize everything” to hide these.
    The American public is being brainwashed to see everything as a “video game” where they can do anything they want against any other country with no consequences!
    As US is being “dumbed down” the rest of the world is moving on, which is why US is no longer providing the thought leadership it once did and it will almost certainly get worse!

  27. John
    March 29, 2015 at 5:38 am

    The countries and people who are bankrupt of ideas always come up with aggression and war!
    US Media seems to be targeting people with IQs of <40.
    The US is one of the most corrupt and aggressive countries in the world, but media and politicians "sanitize everything" to hide these.
    The American public is being brainwashed to see everything as a "video game" where they can do anything they want against any other country with no consequences!
    As US is being "dumbed down" the rest of the world is moving on, which is why US is no longer providing the thought leadership it once did and it will almost certainly get worse!

  28. jer
    March 29, 2015 at 7:15 am

    In the America of today, people like Bolton (and his like-minded cavemen brethren) so clearly thirsting extremely deeply for the blood of ‘lesser humans’ are truly nothing but only a plain throwback to the dark fascist era of the 1930s where the world first witnessed the phenomenon called ‘terror bombing.’ Terror bombing, or the bombing of defenceless cities, was visited on cities that were fully unable to defend their inhabitants, cities such as Chongqing, Shanghai, and of course, the peaceful town called Guernica ….

  29. onno
    March 29, 2015 at 7:20 am

    It’s scary but it is to be expected by a US government that believes that ALL Differences can only be solved with military force instead of negotiations with the opposition and acknowledge them to be equal. But of course the Defence Lobby is pushing for wars to hell with the people.

    Although USA is theoretically bankrupt ( Debts of $18 trillion equals 120% GDP) and kept alive with Fed credits it uses its scarce Dollars to finance coups, murder presidents, invading sovereign nations against the will of the people and when it escalates into an uncontrollable civil war they skip town like in Vietnam and now Iraq, Syria, Yemen. US Foreign Policy’s objective is to dominate this planet. But like previous comments already indicate Washington Neocon’s like Brzezinsky, Nuland/Kagan and McCain don’t realize that USA already lost its global hegemony and nations like Russia, China, India, Egypt and now even Israel are turning their back against USA. America and Europe have lost their power in the world and this process CANNOT be reversed. Even a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a political scheme without any chance for success. They are only signs of the last convulsions of 2 lost trading blocks.
    Finally, Western bombing in the Middle East will speed up this process since youngsters growing up during these hostilities will turn out to be fanatic anti-western extremists willing to offer their lives. No western army can stop them even with the millions of Dollars USA/CIA invest in financing student protests and uprisings. US claims of bringing democracy is an empty promise since people realize that all USA wants is control and dominance and the people and their future is of no consideration.
    Proof is that all USA Embassies overseas are built like Fortresses.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 29, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      More proof of US concern over blowback is noted ever time we go through the TSA inspection line at our airports. Onno your comments are always spot on.

      C-span aired a conference discussion between David Rothkopf and Dov Zakheim. Zakheim made a big deal, that if Iran goes nuclear that every country in the Mideast would also so go nuclear. Although, I also believe that over the next ten years many Middle Eastern nations will acquire nukes, I would not blame this arming up solely on Iran. Instead I only need point to the 800 pound gorilla in the room, namely Israel. To boot, in 2009 the US did everything in it’s power to not allow the UN/IAEA to probe into Israel’s nuke arsenal. How does this hypocracy help the USA foreign policy? It doesn’t. So let’s talk about all the enemies America may create…now go get your luggage checked!

  30. March 29, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    This should hearken back to a similar story written by Judith Miller in the NYTimes (following the Washington Post) where her reporting on WMD motivated public opinion to launch the US invasion of Iraq following 9/11.

    Shame on the New York TImes.

  31. Brendan
    March 29, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Another attempt to post this after nearly 24 hours, and some editing to avoid it being blocked as a duplicate comment. What NYT contributor John Bolton previous said about another Mid East country’s alleged nuke plans:

    John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
    Remarks to the Second Global Conference on Nuclear, Bio/Chem Terrorism: Mitigation and Response
    The Hudson Institute, Washington, DC
    November 1, 2002

    “Iraq, despite UN sanctions, maintains an aggressive program to rebuild the infrastructure for its nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile programs. In each instance, Iraq’s procurement agents are actively working to obtain both weapons-specific and dual-use materials and technologies critical to their rebuilding and expansion efforts, using front companies and whatever illicit means are at hand. We estimate that once Iraq acquires fissile material — whether from a foreign source or by securing the materials to build an indigenous fissile material capability — it could fabricate a nuclear weapon within one year.”

  32. Dave Johnson
    March 29, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    In 1946 a German publisher named Julius Streicher who had advocated an illegal war of aggression in his newspaper–the Voelkischer Beobachter– was hanged at Nuremburg for committing war crimes. Advocacy of mass murder is a crime. Perhaps the journalists at the New York Times and other neocon rags should be reminded of Julius Streicher’s fate.

  33. bfearn
    March 29, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    He’s not called “bonkers” bolton for nuthin’.

  34. Mike Bolton
    March 29, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our mustaches messed up, but we are probably talking 200-300 million dead at the most after the Russkies step in.

  35. Andrew Nichols
    March 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I realize the New York Times and Washington Post are protected by the First Amendment and can theoretically publish whatever they want. But the truth is that the newspapers are extremely restrictive in what they print. Their op-ed pages are not just free-for-alls for all sorts of opinions.

    This kind of advocacy is still a war crime. Several germ,an newspaper men went to Nuremberg Gallows for exactly this crime. Having said that – we all know war crimes are only those atrocities committed by the losers. Loonies like Bolton and Muravchik and the sick editors that published their rantings will face the judgement of God alone. The Exceptional Nation will never allow their prosecution.

  36. Cassandra
    March 30, 2015 at 3:04 am

    It was Bolton who announced Cuba had biological weapons.

    Colin Powell was out of town and had to retract it when he returned.

    Wouldn’t you think that would be a career ender for a diplomat? Not for Bolton.

  37. Peter Clement
    March 30, 2015 at 9:43 am

    We should bomb NYT!!

  38. OH
    March 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    More blowback is the tactical pivot.
    More war is the strategic pivot.
    Lower wages is the prize.

  39. Miatadon
    March 30, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Obama’s policies are just a continuation of Bush. What a sad disappointment he has proven to be.
    Bombing Iran may just ignite WW3. Whether in the Middle East or on Russia’s borders, there will eventually be a critical point where US aggression does create world war. Nazi Germany’s overreach was what finally brought their empire down. The US and Third Reich both consider themselves to be blessed with some type of “exceptionalism.”

  40. R.J. MacDonnell
    March 30, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Israel is not our friend; bomb their nuclear program. The NeoCons and their Republican shills should be tried for treason and hanged in the public square.

  41. R.J. MacDonnell
    March 30, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Israel is not our friend; bomb their nuclear program. The NeoCons and their Republican shills should be tried for treason and hanged in the public square.

  42. R.J. MacDonnell
    March 30, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Screw Israel, screw the NeoCons, screw the traitorous Republicans! Take our nation back from the International Jewish Conspiracy.

  43. JayGoldenBeach
    March 31, 2015 at 4:21 am

    From Latin America to the Middle East, U.S. military aggression continues to spill rivers of innocent blood, wreck economies and shatter societies.

    May God have mercy on our souls.

  44. March 31, 2015 at 7:10 am

    These are some of the perks that come along with being an exceptional nation. You decide what country operates nuclear technology, which nation gets bombed and sanctioned on trumped up charges, you cry foul on threats to national security from nations like China and Russia while you possess enough Ohio subs to change the earth structure as we know it and spend billions on defence. Its madness.
    The earlier people like John Bolton and papers like NYT reassess their roles the better it will be for them when the currently changing world power structure is completed.

  45. Defiant
    March 31, 2015 at 10:52 am

    I think it’s HILARIOUS that just because Consortium doesn’t agree with what the Old Gray Lady published…they call her “Neocon!” I mean…it’s LITERALLY hilarious!

    Calling the NYT a Neocon (wich, by the way, simply means “new conservative”) is like calling Bill Maher a Neocon! Or Nancy Pelosi! LOL!

    I know authors with a forum LOVE to lash out…but this just tips us off that Consortium is out-of-touch.

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