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The Race for Iran

Obama’s Secret War Against Iran Dooms Diplomacy and Imperils American Interests

In May 2009, we published an op-ed in The New York Times, see here, in which we argued that “President Obama’s Iran policy has, in all likelihood already failed”—largely because “Obama is backing away from the bold steps required to achieve strategic, Nixon-to-China type rapprochement with Tehran.”  Indeed,

“The Obama Administration has done nothing to cancel or repudiate an ostensibly covert but well-publicized program begun in George W. Bush’s second term, to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to destabilize the Islamic Republic.  Under these circumstances, the Iranian government—regardless of who wins the presidential elections on June12—will continue to suspect that American intentions toward the Islamic Republic remain, ultimately, hostile.” 

Now, in an article by David Sanger, “Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran,” see here, The New York Times informs that

“From his first months in office, President Obama secretly ordered increasingly sophisticated attacks on the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities, significantly expanding America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons, according to participants in the program.

Mr. Obama decided to accelerate the attacks—begun in the Bush administration and code-named Olympic Games—even after an element of the program accidentally became public in the summer of 2010 because of a programming error that allowed it to escape Iran’s Natanz plant and sent it around the world on the Internet.  Computer security experts who began studying the worm, which had been developed by the United States and Israel, gave it a name:  Stuxnet.”

The article goes on to describe multiple details about Stuxnet and the President’s decision-making as to its use.  We, however, are most interested in the report for what it confirms about Obama’s approach to Iran—in particular, that Obama’s aggressiveness toward the Islamic Republic extended to a significant expansion of “America’s first sustained use of cyberweapons.  Consider what Sanger writes about the motives for Obama’s decision-making in this regard:    

“Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade.  He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons—even under the most careful and limited circumstances—could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.

‘We discussed the irony, more than once,’ one of his aides said.  Another said that the administration was resistant to developing a ‘grand theory for a weapon whose possibilities they were still discovering.’  Yet Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.

If Olympic Games failed, he told aides, there would be no time for sanctions and diplomacy with Iran to work.  Israel could carry out a conventional military attack, prompting a conflict that could spread throughout the region.”

The perceived imperative “to dissuade the Israelis from carrying out their own preemptive strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities” also reportedly motivated the Administration to have Israel “deeply involved in every aspect” of Olympic Games. 

Two things strike us as significant here.  First, our May 2009 analysis was right on the money.  If anything, we may have underestimated the degree to which Obama was prepared to let half-baked schemes undermine any chance he might have had, at least in theory, to pursue serious diplomacy with Iran.  Obama apologists, see for example here, want us to believe that the President meant well on engaging Tehran, but that what they describe (with no evidence whatsoever) as the Islamic Republic’s “fraudulent” 2009 presidential election and the resulting “disarray” within the Iranian leadership stymied Obama’s benevolent efforts.  This is utterly false. 

Second, the Sanger article makes undeniably clear—if it were not sufficiently evident already—that the reason for the President’s hostility toward Iran has nothing to do with American security.  Rather, Obama’s aggressiveness—which carries with it a willingness to put significant long-term American interests at risk—is motivated by a perceived imperative to prevent the Israelis from doing something that they cannot credibly do in the first place:  namely, strike and destroy Iran’s nuclear program. 

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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161 Responses to “Obama’s Secret War Against Iran Dooms Diplomacy and Imperils American Interests”

  1. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    June 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    “Why do you think it is important for Iran to stockpile more 20 percent uranium? This does ZERO for the wealth and power of Iran. ZERO.”

    You too should listen to Mousavian’s talk linked below. You might get a few answers to the premiss of your question.

    Mousavian explains complete with chronology of to-and-fro how Iran can neither be coerced by depriving her of wealth/power nor incentivized with additional wealth and power to forgo the nation’s rights.

    You really want 20% stopped? Then urge P5+1 to accept Iran’s rights.

  2. BiBiJon says:

    Mousavian unplugged: http://d2tjk9wifu2pr3.cloudfront.net/2012-06-05-Mousavian.mp3
    ==================

    Especially Arnold should listen to the whole thing :http://www.carnegieendowment.org/2012/06/05/inside-iranian-nuclear-crisis/aw7j

  3. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Future would tell, wouldn’t it?

  4. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I am not sure whom these Arabs are that you are referring to.

    Please be more prceise.

    As it stands now, there is no “Arab” pressure on Israel.

  5. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I believe that American Jews in fact harm Israel, by giving support to Israel no matter how much damage Israel does to the national security interests of the American people.

  6. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I see ZERO chance of any “backlash” against Jews in the US resulting from the encouragement American Jews give to Israel, even if Israel is injuring the national security interests of the American people.

    To what extent should Iran be blamed, for helping Israel to continue its oppression of the Palestinians in the West Bank? Yes, Iran assists Israeli oppression by attacking Arab countries that want Israel out of the West Bank.

  7. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Why do you think it is important for Iran to stockpile more 20 percent uranium? This does ZERO for the wealth and power of Iran. ZERO.

  8. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Clearly Iran must announce a suspension of enrichment to 20 percent. With no preconditions. Even if this is difficult politically. Iran has enough 20% U to fuel TRR for many years.

  9. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you pay insufficient attention to the problem posed by Iran’s undercutting Arab efforts to pressure Israel into getting out of the West Bank. Iran should be supporting Arab countries trying to end the Israeli occupation of the WB.

  10. fyi says:

    Castellio says: June 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Yes, sectarian am I.

    I mean, God Foribi, I am not going to state that the late Hermann Goering was exercising a moral choice that made perfect sense in his mental universe.

    Or Mr. Charles Manson and members of his ganag….

    My aim has been to point out the religious dimension of the confrontation between the Axis States on the one side and others on the Muslim side.

  11. BiBiJon says:

    A leap of faith?
    ===============

    Clinton today is saying if Iran comes to Moscow with concrete proposals on 20% issue, the P5+1 are ready to to take commensurate steps.

    Debka, as reliable a ‘source’ as myself, says US/EU are preparing for an air and sea sanction on Iran. Starting in Fall, “Any national airline or international aircraft touching down in Iran will be barred from US and West European airports.”

    http://www.debka.com/article/22057/Obama%E2%80%99s-air-sea-blockade-plan-for-Iran-delays-Israeli-strike-Hormuz-at-stake-

    ———–

    Question is without an explicit acceptance of Iran’s full set of rights under NPT, what is to stop the West from pocketing the 20%, and still plying more sanctions, such as above, insisting on Iran’s full adherence to UNSC’s demand for full suspension?

    And, even acceding to full suspension, the language of US sanctions legislation which muddies the issue with human rights, missiles, and support for Hezbollah and Hamas, make it pretty clear nothing short of reconstitution of IRI to an unIslamic Unrepublic of Iran (a long name for th elatest US colony), will suffice.

    While it is clear that (livid) David Sanger (anger) leaks about ‘Olympic Games’ and Debka’s promise of “heavy music” in fall is all designed to undermine any possibility of a Moscow compromise, Iran would be foolish to compromise anyway, whether or not it pleases Israel. Iran’s best bet is to up the ante and demand maritime inspection of ships passing the straights starting on July 1st, if Iran’s rights under NPT are not explicitly endorsed by P5+1.

    Such an announcement will lead to the Solstice surprise.

  12. fyi says:

    Neo says: June 7, 2012 at 7:55 am

    About 30 years ago, there was the screening of a German movie in Paris made by a German woman.

    It was about how a German family (mother, daughter, etc.) suffered through World War II – in effect being victims.

    At the end of the screening, there was a discussion session with the director.

    A member of the audience, whom I knoew, a French Jew, got up and asked: “Then who was responsible?”

    And the entire hall went silent.

    That is the problem that I have with views expressed by Mr. Castellio and Mr. Canning.

    Who is responsible?

  13. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I think you are not saying anything different that I have stated.

    America has been good to Jews.

    Yet, those American Jews that advance the cause of Israel, against the interest of the United States, are clearly making a moral choice on behalf of a foreign state.

    Theirs and theirs will be the consequences of their support for Israel against America.

  14. Kathleen says:

    Marcy Wheeler (Emptywheel.net) has a zinger up.
    http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/06/07/gang-warfare-to-protect-israels-secrets/#comment-352798
    Gang Warfare to Protect Israel’s Secrets
    Posted on June 7, 2012 by emptywheel

    Easily the most overlooked line in David Sanger’s story on StuxNet is this one:

    Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.

    If Olympic Games failed, he told aides, there would be no time for sanctions and diplomacy with Iran to work. Israel could carry out a conventional military attack, prompting a conflict that could spread throughout the region.

  15. Neo says:

    Castellio says: June 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Castellio,

    Thanks for the detailed response. I only just saw it btw, and I find your position quite convincing, especially from Washington, or more generally, from an American point of view.

    But I also find your position to be somewhat passive, as in there being some kind of victimisation of the American polity by AIPAC or zionists in general. This latter part is the hardest to accept in the fashion you present.

    It is true that USA has a lot of resources and power, and that much of this is closely aligned with Israel. There is also cultural and political ‘fusion’ of some kind.

    But in the final analysis, it is the wider trends that matter, not the static picture of today or yesterday. Moreover, I was happy to note that you clearly agree that neither country wants to attack Iran. But you still hold that they are/may be planning to, almost inevitably, without acknowledging that this should have happened already, if it was going to.

    To argue my position on this (and it’s not related to ‘fyi’, tho I have full respect for his/her positions), let me start with some wider trends: USA today represents close to a quarter of the global GDP while holding around 4% of the world’s population. This is an impressive and empowering achievement.

    But in 1985, USA’s share stood at one third of the global GDP. Since then there has been a gradual fall in US’ economic power. In 2008, the US GDP fell by 5%.

    Regardless, since the fall of the Soviets, America’s economic decline has accelerated, and this fall is only getting more and more pronounced in time. Structurally too, the American economy today is almost 80% services rather than manufacturing (20%) or agriculture (1%), and the trend is toward more services.

    While the US has the most impressive and powerful military machine in the world, the only reason it has been so powerful is related to its economic power. With the gradual loss of the economic power, the military power also wanes.

    Grenada and Panama aside, I cannot think of a single case of an outright American military victory in recent decades. Can you?

    And among all those that America has fought in recent decades, I cannot think of a single worthy adversary that would be in Iran’s league, the Vietnamese included. Can you?

    So what is all the noise about war with Iran really? Were there to be a war with Iran fighting Both USA and Israel, two outcomes are most likely:

    1. Israel would be destroyed, and
    2. USA would undergo a regime change.

    This explains both the American and Israeli military’s shared reluctance to go to war with Iran.

    So for all the Congress theatrics and laws (as if they ever cared about laws; and btw, is it effective to legislate so blatantly against the Constitutional rights and duties of a President? I think Obama or any President can just ignore such unconstitutional laws.) and talk of religious and cultural and political ‘fusion’, the Israel/USA double act is unconvincing. Beyond propaganda and obfuscation (the stuff of standard political discourse), no serious student of the ‘realism’ school would take their threats against Iran seriously.

    And regarding Syria, this is surely a good example of how American power is limited, particularly against Iran in the region.

    One final point: the Israeli military is literally owned by America. Whatever Pentagon says, Israel will follow, especially when there is a serious threat involved.

  16. BiBiJon says:

    Jim Lobe on CNAS report http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NF08Ak01.html

    “The CNAS study sets forth four conditions before a military strike either by Israel or the US would be justified, including the exhaustion of all non-military options; a clear move by Iran toward weaponization; a reasonable likelihood that Iran’s nuclear program would be significantly set back; and the existence of a sufficiently large international coalition to help manage the destabilizing consequences of such a strike and to work together in its aftermath to contain Iran and hinder any effort to rebuild its nuclear program.”

    “But it also asserts that a containment and deterrence policy toward a nuclear Iran was feasible. “[T]here is a high probability that nuclear deterrence between Israel and Iran would operate much as it did for the superpowers during the Cold War,” it says.”

  17. Rehmat says:

    Lieberman: ‘Israel cannot apology for its crimes’

    On Monday, Israel’s radical Jewish foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told an accountant’s convention: “Sometimes, even to best friends, you must say NO. Otherwise, no one will respect you“…..

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/07/lieberman-israel-cannot-apology-for-its-crimes/

  18. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    June 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Apparently Lady Ashton likes to go to these talks since she can were and test her Halloween costumes before October Halloween party, the American negotiator she likes these talks since she gets a free flight and extra millage for the pilgrimage to Israel after the talks, the Iranians go to these talks to just tell the world that America can do no damn thing, the Europeans come to these talks to show that they are truly the American puddles and can standup on their back paws when asked, Russian and the Chinese come to see lady Ashton’s amazing wardrobe of costumes and laugh at this ball masque. And Amano, ha, he plays the joker and the whole world gets entertained.

  19. Castellio says:

    FYI, you are ascribing guilt due to moral choice, but you do so solely in a sectarian framework, and the nature of the moral choice you define is not the moral choice as those who make it perceive it. I understand you will call me a relativist, but all I can say in response is that your absolutes imprison you, and there is no reason to disdain a clearer understanding of what is evolving and why.

    For you sociology, if it exists at all, is either an impediment or an excuse for a lack of moral clarity. I understand that, so I don’t expect my comments to move you. However, when it turns uglier, for it is ugly now and, I agree, will get worse, do accept your share of the blame for insisting on a framework that willfully misrepresents the beliefs, hopes and values of many millions.

  20. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    In your comments to Castellio you fail to take into account the takeover of American foreign policy in the Middle East by Jews. Israel can continue to scr*w the American people because powerful Jews largely control the portrayal of Israel that is delivered to the American people. Aipac (and Winep) largely control the US Congress. Both are Jewish organisations.

  21. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    I think Obama would have responded to the Iranian overtures made in the wake of “9/11″.

    Obama appears to be willing to accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower. But he cannot come out openly and say this.

    Condoleezza Rice was an eager dupe of Israeli leaders, especially Netanyahu. Obama dislikes Netanyahu.

  22. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I have a very good understanding of the depth of Muslim or Arab resentment, hatred, etc,. for Israel and Israel’s continuing oppression of the Palestinians – - aided and abetted by the US.

    Yes, the world should know that the “9/11″ attacks were largely the direct result of American encouragement of Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. In other words, “protecting” Israel has cost the West trillions of dollars. This fact is suppressed in American newspapers etc.

  23. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You are being too quick to assume the P5+1 will not accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or lower.

    And you did not mention that the P5+1 will allow Iran to buy the TRR fuel if it stops enriching to 20% and exports existing stocks of 20% U.

  24. Karl says:

    Bibijohn,

    Iran have according to news urged pre-talks to atleast tried to pave the way for success in moscow, the rejection by EU prove that EU are not keen nor eager at all. This proves atleast 2 things. The “threat” from Iran (as EU and US like to call it) is not a threat according to EU, if it were, they would put down all their time to solve this “threat” diplomatically, now they reject it thus proving their propaganda against Iran to be false.
    Second how often dont we hear in conflicts involving EU and US, “We have exhausted the diplomacy”, “diplomacy havent worked” and so on? With these rejection of talks there is no way for EU or US to use these soundbites again. Of course nothing new but its getting more and more obvious.

    Although I think EU want to talk to Iran but cant due US and israeli pressure. Israel and US want the France, UK, Germany, US, EU to be united and therefore they wont let their henchmen in this relationsship – EU, do any dialogue that could break the unity. Thus EU, Germany, UK, France and even US participation in this issue is unecessary since Israel have the ultimate power over this group.

    At the same time, its great these western states show its true rejectionists colors because then Iran very well know what kind of people they are dealing with.
    Also all these rejectionist steps by western states just add to the notion that these states seek regime change, nothing less.

  25. BiBiJon says:

    Apparently, P5+1 no loger are interested in technical ‘talks’. They just want political talks. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1206023/1/.html

    I guess the gist of Ashton’s position is this.

    Iran must accept a halt to 20%, mothball Fordow, ship out stockpiles, and the west continues sanctions and will not accept Iran’s right to any enrichment, but Iran will get some booby traps, and unlimited access for spies and saboteurs disguised as aircraft spare parts, and help with nuclear safety.

    Iran will cancel Moscow, methinks.

  26. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    The late Osama Bin ladin, according to his own mother, cared deeply about Palestine.

    I think we should accept that the late Mr. bin Ladin and his mother knew his mind better than us.

    I think that you do not understand the depth of hatred for Israel and support for Palestinians among the Arab – and indeed Muslim – people.

    You can go anywhere among the Arabs and ask for donations for Palestinians and the money would flow.

  27. fyi says:

    Castellio says: June 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    All your questions are answered by the observation that the people in question have all made moral choices.

    Some of these moral choices were based on expediency and some based on conviction.

    I suppose you are claiming that the bulk of these moral choices, that have caused over several decades, US to be indentified as an enemy of Islam (if not THe Enemy) by tens of millions of Muslims; were expedient and opportunistic ones and not those of conviction.

    I have come to the opposite conclusion; that the bulk of these decisions, made by thousands or millions of Americans over decades, were based on conviction.

    The conviction of the Righteouseness of the Cause of Israel (the Fatansy Jewish project in Palestine) by these largely Protestant Americans.

  28. Arnold Evans says:

    James Canning says:
    June 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Gareth Porter’s important piece underscores the astonishing incompetence of George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice.

    What, if anything, do you think Obama has done or would have done differently from Bush?

  29. Castellio says:

    FYI writes: “You offer “the actual and current sociological trends within the United States” as an explanation for the behavior of US vis a vis Israel. That is an empty (fake/devoid of contect” verbiage. What, pray Sir tell me is a “Socilogical trend”?

    Who is employed in what bureaucracy? How did they get there? What position of power do they represent and how is that power sustained? How are they affecting the next generation of hires?

    Who is determining policy? How were they chosen? What education did they have specific to the area of interest? What financial interests do they have in the policies they develop? What family interests?

    Who is contributing to campaigns? How much? What are they asking for in return? Have their contributions been effective?

    Answering those questions (and others) in terms of personnel in American government structures (note the plural, structures) and understanding those changes over time is understanding the sociological trends in American government.

    I am certainly not trying to pretend that individuals don’t make a difference, quite the contrary, I am asking that we look at the differences they make, and how they came to be there to make those differences.

    What I don’t do is pursue sectarian generalizations as the greatest truth.

  30. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Osama bin Laden wanted to punish the US for encouraging Israel’s slaughter of Lebanese civilians in 1982.

    Osama bin Laden wanted to overthrow the government of Saudi Arabia.

    Many Saudi leaders see Israel as the primary national security problem in the Middle East.

  31. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    A key fact for all of us to bear in mind is that one baby out of three, born in Israel last year, did not have “Jewish” parents.

  32. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Gareth Porter’s important piece underscores the astonishing incompetence of George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice. Sadly, Tony Blair tended to amplify the incompetence of Bush and Rice.

  33. James Canning says:

    Scott McConnell hleps to explain why most American Jews support Israel “right or wrong”, even if that “support” injures the US.

    “Peter Beinart, Reviled and Revisited” (June 5th)

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/peter-beinart-reviled-and-revisited/

  34. Karl says:

    Appaling comments by Obama.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/the-honest-broker-comes-clear-obama-admits-the-us-is-more-attentive-to-israel-than-palestinians.html

    1. He say hes pro-jewish and not pro-palestinian.
    2. He say its palestinians fault that there is no state
    3. He indirect say there will maybe never be a palestinian state and indirectly “says” with a shrug, who cares?
    4. He like other statements repeat the strong bounds to Israel.

    These comments are of course a result of the election year however US cant lead the peace process after these comments since they have always portrayed themselves and unbiased.

  35. Karl says:

    James,

    If you are not pro-sanctions, why then do you keep justify them all the time with statements like “Iran blundered” etc? Thus proving Iran made a “misstake” and that the response (sanctions) are thus legitimate and legal. Your stance is very similar to netanyahu, obama, cameron and other proponents of sanctions and warmongering in general.

  36. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela… Contributions, not quibbles.

  37. James Canning says:

    I recoommend all who post on this site, to read Jonathan Tirone’s piece linked by BibiJon. (Bloomberg, June 5th)

  38. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Thanks for linking the June 5th report (Bloomberg), that Iran has produced fuel plates for the TRR from 49kg of the 145kg of 20 percent uranium produced so far.
    Will this fact get reported in The New York Times? Washington Post?

  39. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I opposed sanctions against Iran’s energy production, exports, etc etc. Iran simply blundered badly when it stepped up production of 20 percent uranium. This blunder was a huge gift to Bibi Netanyahu and other haters of the Iranian government.

    Curiously, you appreat to encouraqe further blunders by the Iranian government, and further gifts to Bibi Netanyahu and other enemies of the government of Iran.

  40. fyi says:

    Mr. Castellio:

    You offer “the actual and current sociological trends within the United States” as an explanation for the behavior of US vis a vis Israel.

    That is an empty (fake/devoid of contect” verbiage.

    What, pray Sir tell me is a “Socilogical trend”?

    Are we to believe that men are victims now of impersonal “social” forces; aking to gravity?

    Rubbish!

    I have demonstrated the religious content of US policy; that she is viewed by many tens of millions – if not hundreds of millions – of Muslims as a co-belligerent against Islam in support of a (Jewish) religious fantasy in Palestine. That she was attacked precisely because of that.

    Things will get ugly; no doubt but do not blame me.

  41. hans says:

    Is this your next Vice President oh people of the USA? God help us
    Rubio: “We Need To Prepare People” For War With Iran
    P J Watson, Infowars, Jun 5 2012

  42. Arnold Evans says:

    A account of the negotiations during Iran’s 2003-2005 suspension of enrichment. Nothing really new but notable in how consistent both sides are in their positions to this day, except that there are now sanctions and a stockpile of low enriched uranium in place.

    http://consortiumnews.com/2012/06/06/bush-blocked-iran-nuke-deal/

  43. Rehmat says:

    A must read article by British blogger, Dr. Lasha Darkmoon.

    The Mad Dog’s Days are Numbered

    http://www.darkmoon.me/2012/the-mad-dogs-days-are-numbered-by-lasha-darkmoon/

  44. Rehmat says:

    After Israeli defeat, Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, admitted in his testimony to the Winograd commission that his government had planned the invasion of Lebanon to destroy Hizbullah – four months before Hizbullah killed eight Jewish soldiers and took two as PoW on Lebanon’s side of the Lebanon-Israel border. Obviously, the Zionist regime used the Jewish soldiers as ‘a bait’ to make it an excuse to get ‘green light’ from Washington to attack Lebanon.

    Israeli war planners have always considered Hizbullah as the ‘first line defense’ against Israel’s military attack on Iran since 2000 when Jewish army and its Lebanese Christian collaborators (Philangists) were force to withdraw from South Lebanon after 18-year occupation.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/06/33-days-israel-hizbullah-war-film/

  45. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio says: June 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Comprehensive but depressing comment to Neo.

    Two quibbles:

    “there is a kind of fusion current between the US and Israeli governments”

    – not only the governments but also the populations. If my ‘sampling’ is correct, the American population is ‘fused’ to Israeli interests and goals, which Americans have been convinced, over the years, to believe parallel their own beliefs and interests. The access points -institutions- for the propagation of that fused belief system are the Bible, churches, and film/television/infotainment.

    Beginning in the mid-19th century, the Bible was systematically re-framed to support zionism. The Hebrew Bible Reborn: From Holy Scripture to the Book of Books: A History of Biblical Culture and the Battles over the Bible in Modern Judaism by Shavit and Eran; and The Making of the Modern Jewish Bible: How Scholars in Germany, Israel, and America Transformed an Ancient Text, by Alan Levenson, provide a thorough guide to the process. A key part of the agenda of revising the Hebrew bible was the fusion of Judaic beliefs with Christian beliefs and values.

    Scholars who advance this agenda today are prominent in religious departments in colleges in the U.S. Bible belt.

    You also wrote:

    “Where the Israeli influence has been less, is in the military. This is due to the rigid structure of the traditional military and rising of personnel through the ranks. They have not been vetted by AIPAC. And its not surprising that the American military has been the part of the US government most reluctant to do Israel’s bidding.”

    Israeli influence may be relatively less in the fighting military, but Israel’s interests are massively represented in military-related government offices and related private institutions where it counts most and bleeds least — weapons procurement.

  46. Karl says:

    James,

    Do you think the sanctions are legal and legitimate?

  47. Castellio says:

    Neo: there is a kind of fusion current between the US and Israeli governments, most obvious in the Congress, both in the House of Reps and the Senate. It is the case that AIPAC has more control over legislation and it being passed than the President’s office. While Netanyahu gets united bipartisan support in Congress, the President does not. There are numerous examples of how this effects legislation, the most recent being HR 4133. This foreign control, or fusion of interests, however you want to spin it, is stronger now than it ever has been.

    Within the administration, the fusion is very strong in the Secretary of State, Treasury and Department of Justice. The MEK situation is a good example, both the DOJ and SecState are ignoring the terrorism of MEK, and members of both are openly campaigning for its legal restitution. There is much conversation on this site about Dennis Ross, Feldman, Mukasey, Greenspan/Bernanke/Summers et al, but they are (have been) but the tiny apex of a much broader pyramid of neo-con influence within the bureaucracies.

    Where the Israeli influence has been less, is in the military. This is due to the rigid structure of the traditional military and rising of personnel through the ranks. They have not been vetted by AIPAC. And its not surprising that the American military has been the part of the US government most reluctant to do Israel’s bidding.

    You argue, perhaps taking your cue from FYI, that America has entered the current negotiations having given up on a military strategy and simply hoping for a prolonged ceasefire during which time it can figure out how to back down and save face, and that although Israel wants to bomb Iran, the US won’t give in to it.

    The assumptions here are, I believe, false. If Israel wanted a war right now between Iran and the US it could get it. It simply needs to initiate, and both by law and leaning the US will be drawn in. Face the difficult news, if there is no bombing of Iran right now it is because both the US and Israel don’t want it. However, the push for war has been extremely beneficial for Israel. First, the Palestinian issue has, on the international level, disappeared. Secondly, the American public is increasingly buying into, not distancing itself from, the idea of a war against Iran. It is becoming ‘inevitable’. Third, there are increasingly tight sanctions on Iran. And fourth, the ‘crises’ has led to a much stronger position for Netanyahu within the Knesset (and within Congress, for that matter).

    You may say that the sanctions aren’t working, but from the Israeli point of view they are much, much, stronger than they were before.

    Lets talk Syria briefly. The American, Saudi, French, British and Israeli plan continues, mercenaries are paid to create a civil war. Russia and China have blocked UN action, but just this week Susan Rice was talking about finding “other channels” for direct action. RHS’s calendar might be on target, actually. A proxy war against both Iran and Russia is now “on” in Syria. Put all the talk of the collapse of the financial economy of the US aside, its not going to make a stick of difference to the anti-Assad strategy, which is based on wearing the government down while supporting a range of oppositional groups, including the Salafi.

    As for the Golan, does anyone remember? Does anyone care?

    The American Empire will certainly collapse. I, too, am aware of some of the reasons for why that is the inevitable case. But it is now in a process of consolidation. Much of central Asia is open to the US in a way it hasn’t ever been before. Ever. And the US challenge in Africa is just gearing up. Canada, the UK, Australia, can hardly be called sovereign. For that matter, much of the EU is now integrated into the American financial system. Collapsing or not, European governments are being “led” by Goldman-Sachs executives. I agree that the Japan-China direct trade is big news, but lets not exaggerate the current situation. Japan is still not sovereign from the US, in fact it remains occupied, and China is still dependent on its economic relations with the US for a great deal of its economic activity.

    There is, right now, no international pressure on Israel to give up the territories, and they have a unified government that has no intention of moving in that direction. The Israeli influence on the US is unparalleled. Germany has given them (as a gift, for all intents and purposes) nuclear weapon capable subs.. not just one or two, but a fleet.

    When FYI asks why should the US support Israel, a country with no strategic value to it, as if its somehow obvious therefore it must be a war between Protestants and Muslims on religious grounds, he is simply attempting to dismiss the actual and current sociological trends within the US, its government, and its media, where at least some of the answers can be found. It’s easier to deal with sweeping sectarian generalizations in a fixed vision of “religions at war”, harder to fathom the shifting sociology and historical values active within current American history.

    The Leveretts analysis (above) is essentially correct, if very disheartening. They are not writing from a vacuum, but from Washington, DC. Not yesterday’s Washington, DC, but today’s.

  48. Dan Cooper says:

    In pushing for U.S. military intervention in Syria — arming the insurgents and using U.S. air power to “create safe zones” for anti-regime forces “inside Syria’s borders” — The Washington Post invokes “vital U.S. interests” that are somehow imperiled there.

    Exactly what these vital interests are is left unexplained.

    For 40 years, we have lived with a Damascus regime led by either Bashar Assad or his father, Hafez Assad. Were our “vital interests” in peril all four decades?

    In 1991, George H.W. Bush recruited the elder Assad into his Desert Storm coalition that liberated Kuwait. Damascus sent 4,000 troops. In gratitude, we hosted a Madrid Conference to advance a land-for-peace deal between Assad and Israel.

    It failed, but it could have meant a return of the Golan Heights to Assad and Syria’s return to the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee.

    We could live with that, but cannot live with Bashar?

    Comes the reply: The reason is the Houla massacre, where more than 100 Syrians were slaughtered, mostly women and children, the most horrid atrocity in a 15-month war that has taken 10,000 lives.

    We Americans cannot stand idly by and let this happen.

    That massacre was indeed appalling, and apparently the work of rogue militia aligned with the regime. But in 1982, Bashar’s father rolled his artillery up to the gates of Hama and, to crush an insurrection by the Muslim Brotherhood, fired at will into the city until 20,000 were dead.

    What did America do? Nothing.

    In Black September, 1970, Jordan’s King Hussein used artillery on a Palestinian camp, killing thousands and sending thousands fleeing into Lebanon. During Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990, more than 100,000 perished. In the 1980s, Iraq launched a war on Iran that cost close to a million dead.

    We observed, content that our enemies were killing one another.

    In 1992, Islamists in Algeria won the first round of voting and were poised to win the second. Democracy was about to produce a result undesired by the Western democracies. So Washington and Paris gave Algiers a green light to prevent the Islamists from coming to power. That Algerian civil war cost scores of thousands dead.

    If Arab and Muslim peoples believe Americans are hypocrites who cynically consult their strategic interests before bemoaning Arab and Muslim victims of terror and war, do they not have a point?

    As for the Post’s idea of using U.S. air power to set up “safe zones” on Syrian soil, those are acts of war. What do we do if the Syrian army answers with artillery strikes on those safe zones or overruns one, inflicting a stinging defeat on the United States?

    Would we accept the humiliation — or escalate? What if Syrian air defenses start bringing down U.S. planes? What would we do if Syria’s Hezbollah allies start taking Americans hostage in Lebanon?

    Ronald Reagan sent the Marines into Lebanon in 1983. His intervention in that civil war resulted in our embassy being blown up and 241 Marines massacred in the bombing of the Beirut barracks. Reagan regarded it as the worst mistake of his presidency. Are we going to repeat it because Bashar has failed to live up to our expectations?

    Consider the forces lining up on each side in what looks like a Syrian civil war and dress rehearsal for a regional sectarian war.

    Against Assad’s regime are the United States, the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Turks and Saudis and Sunni states of the Persian Gulf.

    On Assad’s side are his 300,000-strong army, the Alawite Shia in Syria, Druze, Christians and Kurds, all of whom fear a victory of the Brotherhood, and Russia, Iran and Hezbollah.

    The question for our bellicose interventionists is this:

    How much treasure should be expended, how much American blood shed so the Muslim Brotherhood can depose the Assad dynasty, take power and establish an Islamist state in Syria?

    “Tell me how this thing ends,” said Gen. David Petraeus at the onset of our misbegotten Iraq War. If we begin providing weapons to those seeking the overthrow of Assad, as the Post urges, it will be a fateful step for this republic.

    We will be morally responsible for the inevitable rise in dead and wounded from the war we will have fueled. We will have committed our prestige to Assad’s downfall. As long as he survives, it will be seen as a U.S. defeat and humiliation.

    And once the U.S. casualties come, the cry of the war party will come — for victory over Assad, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia! We will be on our way into another bloody debacle in a region where there is no vital U.S. interest but perhaps oil, which these folks have to sell to survive.

    Before the religious and ethnic conflicts of Europe were sorted out, it took centuries of bloodletting, and our fathers instructed us to stay out of these quarrels that were none of our business.

    Syria in 2012 is even less our business.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31506.htm

    By Pat Buchanan

  49. Dan Cooper says:

    War Drums for Syria?

    By Rep. Ron Paul

    War drums are beating again in Washington. This time Syria is in the crosshairs after a massacre there last week left more than 100 dead.

    As might be expected from an administration with an announced policy of “regime change” in Syria, the reaction was to blame only the Syrian government for the tragedy, expel Syrian diplomats from Washington, and announce that the US may attack Syria even without UN approval.

    Of course, the idea that the administration should follow the Constitution and seek a Declaration of War from Congress is considered even more anachronistic now than under the previous administration.
    It may be the case that the Syrian military was responsible for the events last week, but recent bombings and attacks have been carried out by armed rebels with reported al-Qaeda ties. With the stakes so high, it would make sense to wait for a full investigation — unless the truth is less important than stirring up emotions in favor of a US attack.

    There is ample reason to be skeptical about US government claims amplified in mainstream media reports.

    How many times recently have lies and exaggerations been used to push for the use of force overseas?

    It was not long ago that we were told Gaddafi was planning genocide for the people of Libya, and the only way to stop it was a US attack.

    Those claims turned out to be false, but by then the US and NATO had already bombed Libya, destroying its infrastructure, killing untold numbers of civilians, and leaving a gang of violent thugs in charge.

    Likewise, we were told numerous falsehoods to increase popular support for the 2003 war on Iraq, including salacious stories of trans-Atlantic drones and WMDs.

    Advocates of war did not understand the complexities of Iraqi society, including its tribal and religious differences.

    As a result, Iraq today is a chaotic mess, with its ancient Christian population eliminated and the economy set back decades. An unnecessary war brought about by lies and manipulation never ends well.

    Earlier still, we were told lies about genocide and massacres in Kosovo to pave the way for President Clinton’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. More than 12 years later, that region is every bit as unstable and dangerous as before the US intervention – and American troops are still there.

    The story about the Syrian massacre keeps changing, which should raise suspicions.
    First, we were told that the killings were caused by government shelling, but then it was discovered that most were killed at close range with handgun fire and knives.

    No one has explained why government forces would take the time to go house to house binding the hands of the victims before shooting them, and then retreat to allow the rebels in to record the gruesome details.

    No one wants to ask or answer the disturbing questions, but it would be wise to ask ourselves who benefits from these stories.

    We have seen media reports over the past several weeks that the Obama administration is providing direct “non-lethal” assistance to the rebels in Syria while facilitating the transfer of weapons from other Gulf States.

    This semi-covert assistance to rebels we don’t know much about threatens to become overt intervention.

    Last week Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said about Syria, “I think the military option should be considered.” And here all along I thought it was up to Congress to decide when we go to war, not the generals.

    We are on a fast track to war against Syria. It is time to put on the brakes.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31513.htm

  50. Pirouz says:

    Well, I voted today. As a democrat, I left the Obama box empty in protest.

    I left the boxes empty for Congressperson, as well. There were only three candidates and all three are in favor of economic warfare being applied to Iran. I did wish the incumbent good luck in an email, telling her if not for her stance on this issue I’d of voted for her. She sent a nice reply back.

    Fortunately, there were a dozen or so candidates for Senator, and I voted for a Peace and Freedom candidate. She was the one I felt best about, in voting. I’m thinking she’ll come in somewhere near the bottom.

    There were no Greens on our ballot for this election. I read a couple of weeks ago actress Rosanne Barr is one of their leading spokespersons, which might tell us something of their lack of current prospects.

    Sure wish their were more than two viable political parties in our country.

  51. Kathleen says:

    http://www.barrettforwisconsin.com/media/blog/2012-06-kris-and-i-voted-can-you-make-5-gotv-calls

    Make a few phone calls for the people of Wisconsin, for unions, for Tom Barrett

  52. Kathleen says:

    sorry to distract but..Huff Po is reporting that Walker is ahead by a slim margin. Two more hours for Wisconsin voters to vote. Your phone call could be the one to convince a voter to go to the polls
    Folks the Tom Barrett campaign can use your help. The polls in Wisconsin do not close for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Let’s push. Let’s surge. Make some phone calls. The GOTV campaign makes it so easy. Just follow the directions.

    PUSH
    link to barrettforwisconsin.com

  53. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Israel does not “control” the actions of the US. But Israel obviously is able to block any improvement in US relations with Iran. By using intermediaries like Dennis Ross.

  54. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Are you arguing that Iran can continue to stockpile 20 percent uranium, and avoid being attacked?

    Israel apparently is already discussing with the US a further round of sanctions.

    I think you seriously underestimate the degree of control Aipac has, over the US Congress. And the signficance of that control.

  55. Castellio says:

    Neo, thanks for your question, which I think pertinent. I will get to it.

  56. Castellio says:

    Is Bibi vetting the Vice-Presidential candidates of Mitt Romney?

    “[L]ast Tuesday, [Ohio Senator Rob] Portman boarded a commercial jet in his hometown of Cincinnati and flew to Tel Aviv. The purpose? Back-to-back meetings Thursday with the two most powerful politicians in Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    No other senators were present in the meetings. No members of the U.S. House.

    The only American to accompany Portman was the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

    And though Portman and his staff did not announce the visit until after the meetings, the Israeli government went out of its way beforehand to leak the news that the meetings were on the prime minister’s schedule.

    Each story written in advance prominently noted that Portman is under consideration by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to be his vice presidential running mate.

    …That type of speculation prompted Portman’s people to reply that they are shocked — shocked! — to hear that anybody would think he made the trip because of vice presidential politics.”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/netanyahu-vets-possible-romney-vp.html

  57. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    For Iran to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, for the prestige of “standing tall” or showing defiance, obviously came at the expense of directing that investment into althernative channels.

    My understanding is that Iranian goods are not highly regarded even in next-door Iraq.

  58. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    The Financial Times reporteed this week that the US dollar makes up 60% of the reserves of central banks internationally. The euro is 25%. All other currencies total the remaining 15%. The euro had been at 40%.

  59. James Canning says:

    Philip Giraldi in the June 2012 issue of the American Conservative notes that the Obama Justice Department has decided to take no action against the vigorous supporters of the MEK terrorists even though they meet the clear definition of providing “material support” for terrorism. What a surprise.

  60. Karl says:

    Neo,

    Actually the preoccupation with Iran in congress and the pro-israeli bias have probably never been stronger and obvious. Sure there are bigger opposition, people know more and are critical of israeli politics. But this dissent are often outside of congress/without political power.

    Also the redeployment to asia was about the year 2020.

  61. Karl says:

    IDF chief denounces Israeli officials’ public statements on Iran as baseless

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel-s-eye-on-iran/latest-news-on-iran/idf-chief-denounces-israeli-officials-public-statements-on-iran-as-baseless-1.434596

    -

    While this chief no doubt is a warmonger itself, its interesting to note that the top shelf of people with power (like this cheif) in this question reject the warmongering from netanyahu and american warmongering lobbygroups. So even when world hear it from the highest post (military chief in Israel) there is nothing that could break off the warmongering or the notion that Iran is a threat and must be dealt with. I guess only obama could end it by stating the same thing publicly.

  62. Rehmat says:

    A few months before the planned June 5, 1967 aggression against Israel’s Arab neighbors – the Israeli leaders claimed that its Arab neighbors have become an “existential threat” to Israel. A similar lie they have been propagating against Iran to fulfil Zionists’ remaining dream of Eretz (Greater) Israel.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/05/israels-1967-war-of-aggression-against-arabs/

  63. Neo says:

    Castellio says: June 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    “Japan-China bypassing US currency in direct trade.”

    Castellio,

    To me, this was one of the most important news of this year. It’s hardly been mentioned in the media, but it is another major nail in the coffin of US hegemony. China and Russia had a similar deal tho in a much more limited form last year. Iran too is proactively sidelining the dollar with various trade partners. A few more deals like this, and it’s bye bye greenback…

  64. Neo says:

    James Canning says: June 4, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    “Iran would be richer and stronger today if it had not re-st[a]rated enriching uranium.”

    James,

    I’m not sure about the veracity of your claim, but I would suggest to you that the matter is quite irrelevant to today’s situation.

    Still, if you want to go down that hypothetical road, you should consider opportunity costs associated with succumbing to foreign pressure, and political capital gains that can be turned into economic returns in the longer run. For example, almost every citizen in every emerging and developing nation looks up to Iran today. They may even admire Iran’s mastery of an exclusive and complex technology. This translates into a healthy economic reputation for the country, as well as an emotional attraction to its products. Iranian goods, therefore, might be in higher demand as a result. So what is your calculation based on exactly?

  65. Neo says:

    James Canning says: June 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    It is simplistic to conclude that just because the power of AIPAC has increased in Congress in recent years, this is going to necessarily be reflected in US foreign policy. Fact is that both the US and Israel have lost much of their power in recent years. They both need to tread carefully. Moreover, Congress is right now about a million miles away from the American public, and has in recent years sidelined itself more and more. AIPAC has had an important role in this, as have the neocons in general. None of this means that the US is going to launch a suicidal war against Iran. If anything, the opportunity is there for an American president to ‘side with the people’. Regardless, we see today that the US fleet is being redeployed to Asia. This does not look like a war being planned in the middle east.

  66. Neo says:

    Castellio says: June 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Castellio,

    Thanks for the video links. I watched them both. Let me ask you this: Doesn’t the fact that the US and its allies have deliberately created a superficial negotiation process that is understood by all sides to be a measure to avoid war (rather than resolve the issues at this juncture) while at the same time Israel is and has for a long time been screaming for an attack on Iran, which is obviously Not going to happen, prove to us all that Israel is Not in control of the US’ actions?

  67. Rehmat says:

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khameini, has warned the western powers that a military action against Syria will put the Zionist entity on the receiving end too. Khameini said that “Israel is more vulnerable than ever“. Watch a video below.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/05/usrael-and-the-regime-change-in-damascus/

  68. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Rubbish!

    Mere excuses.

    Iran can stockpile as much U235 enriched to 20%, there will not be any attacks.

    That game is over.

  69. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    And Obama was most definitely virtually entirely lacking experience and confidence, so Dennis Ross easily could wreck Obama’s effort to reach out to Iran.

  70. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The scenario you draw might obtain, provided Iran suspends enriching uranium to 20 percent. If Iran continues to stockpile, there will be more sanctions. If sanctions don’t stop the stockpiling, there virtually certainly will be an attack.

  71. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Let’s remember the grotesque display of servility toward Israel and Netnayahu, put on by the US Congress in May 2011 after Obama said the Green Line would be the border of an independent Palestine. Standing ovations for Netanyahu from senators and congressmen, showing contempt for Obama’s programme.

  72. Castellio says:

    Japan-China bypassing US currency in direct trade.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/NF02Dh01.html

  73. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Are you claiming Iran’s “unstoppable” nuclear programme is building nukes and delivery systems. Or generating electricity? India, Chian, Brazil, Russia, Japan, Turkey, etc etc do not want Iran to build nukes. And they have long supported Iran’s domestic nuclear power programme.

  74. fyi says:

    hans says: June 4, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    The aim of both sides is to prolong the meeting so long that everyone looses interest.

    “How is the Nuclear situation with Iran?”

    “They are negogiating.”

    This is the face-saving way for Americans and Europeans to have an effective cease-fire with Iran.

    And for Iran, it avoids a war which they do not wish to fight unless forced on them.

    Sanctions will remain and with it a tense stand-off across the Persian Gulf.

    [Levant will belong to Iran and her allies - just like Mesopotamia.

    Afghanistan will be shared with Paksiatn.]

  75. fyi says:

    Don Bacon says: June 4, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    No chance of Iran having moved India toward herself and away from US.

    India is squarely on US side; with such juicy friends as the Arabs of the Southern Persian Gulf and with an uncle with nuclear goodies.

    And another (anti-Muslim) friend called Israel; a country whose strategic powers has awed Hindus for quite sometime now.

    Strategic relations of Iran and India is finished for now and I am not sure it can recover anytime soon (think decades).

  76. Don Bacon says:

    There’s no doubt in my mind that Iran has been a brilliant player of ‘the great game,’ and its nuclear program has been the foremost component of this success. The program is legal, it’s monitored and it’s unstoppable.

    The U.S. military moves, assassinations, cyberattacks and sanctions applied against Iran because of its nuclear program have made it stronger and have gained it support from other countries which has subtracted from U.S. support.

    Recently at the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China & SouthAfrica) summit in New Delhi, the world’s major developing powers handed Iran a ‘threefer,’ which in this zero-sum game was also a triple defeat for the U.S., and it all derived from Iran’s nuclear program.

    1. There was recognition of Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear program.

    2. The BRICS delegates declared that while they are bound by UN sanctions, they are not bound by unilateral national sanctions. China, India and South Africa were very clear on this.

    3. BRICS development banks agreed on a proposal to extend credit in local currency for trade, project financing and infrastructure projects. This has been called a “game changer.” Iran and India are currently working out plans to implement a currency swap or barter arrangements for the Iran petroleum that India requires, and this mechanism may serve as a model for BRICS plans in this direction. These moves are a major assault upon the US dollar as the world’s currency and upon the U.S.-controlled World Bank.

    While India has been courted as a U.S. ally, Iran’s playing of this ‘great game’ has been superior, moving India toward Iran and away from the U.S. India needs Iran’s petroleum and it needs India as a gateway to central Asia, Russia and Europe.

    So Iran’s in the cat-bird seat, a result of its brilliant use of its nuclear program to stymie the U.S. which can not win on this issue.

  77. Castellio says:

    Neo, you might watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe1d32I_wUY&feature=related

    You might also want to watch: ,//www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIonSelcsaI&feature=relmfu

    What many on this board don’t understand is how the American government actually works. There is no sense of the fusion of the US/Israeli governments that has occurred, why it has occurred, and how that integration works in practice.

  78. hans says:

    @fyi says:
    June 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    An interesting take on negotiations with Iran
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/iranian-nuclear-talks-time-ticking

    Why should Iran who holds all the aces rush for a settlement?

  79. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Mr. Obama lied to the Iranian leaders and the Iranian people.

    That much must be understood.

    He might yet be able to negogiate some sort of cease-fire with the Iranian leaders.

    But US is now committed, quite explicitly, to the goal of regime change in Iran.

    There is now a struggle over Levant; I expect Iranians and their allies to prevail there.

    There will be a frozen conflict between Axis States and Iran for the foreseeable future.

    A frozen conflict is acceptable to both sides; Americans will Pivot to Asia (for all its worth – while Mexico burns) and Iranians will consolidate their power on the adjacent areas. The Southern Persian Gulf states will be reverting to type – despising whomever is not as wealthy as them – buying estates in UK, investing here and there.

    Pakistan and Iran will carve out their spheres of influence in Afghanistan.

    Trade with all neighbours’ will continue to increase.

  80. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Mousavian makes very good sense in his comments you linked. I am glad Mousavian underlined the fact Iran has offered to limit its enrichment to 5% provided fuel for the TRR is sold to Iran by the West.

    Netanyahu obviously wants to prevent any deal. So, the numerous agents of Netanyahu in the US help him block any deal.

    What is curious is why Iran would continue to stockpile 20 percent uranium when this does such heavy damage to Iran’s credibility.

  81. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    My assessment of the power of the Israel lobby in the US is as reality-based as possible. Aipac’s power in the US Congnress actually has grown in recent years.

  82. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Iran would be richer and stronger today if it had not re-strated enriching uranium. Therefore, Iran’s ability to act as an “independent power” in the Middle East would be much greater today if Iran had not re-started enriching uranium. Not a single kilowatt hour of electricity has been produced in Iran, thanks to Iran’s enrichment of uranium. Not one.

  83. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What was “winning”, by Obama? Obama clearly wanted better relations with Iran but did not want to be overly exposed politically. Obviously Obama came into the White House with nearly ZERO foreign policy experience.

  84. Fiorangela says:

    Judy says: June 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Jusy –

    This article by Sharmine Narwani might help you translate Obama’s diplomatique English into real politik English — Going Rogue: America’s Unconventional Warfare in the Middle East

  85. fyi says:

    Judy says: June 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    He lied in his video message to the Iranian people and he lied to the President of Brazil and President of Turkey.

    He thought he could win against Iran.

    When Iranians confronted his coercive diploamcy with the threat of war, he back-tracked.

    Deplorable.

  86. Neo says:

    Judy says: June 3, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Judy,

    Totally agree. That video was worm-like, just like Flame & Stuxnet. Ugly stuff.

  87. Neo says:

    James Canning says: June 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    “Where do you even get the notion there is even the slightest chance the US will not continue to support Israel, no matter who is in the White House and no matter how much damage Israel does to the national interests of the American people?”

    James,

    Good question. This is the crux of the matter, and the source of our mutual disagreements on this issue.

    The notion comes from a simple commonsensical analysis that I admittedly am not certain to be correct. The uncertainty is linked to a suspicion that many Western leaders do not necessarily act rationally. However, assuming that they are rational about their own long-term national interests, then I would expect that the “damage Israel does to the national interests of the American people” would necessarily have a limit before America decides to drop Israel. If this is Not the case – as you seem to suggest – then you may be correct. I tend to err on the side of reason. You, on the other hand, appear to take a more emotional stance when it comes to Israel. Not that Israel isn’t highly infuriating, but to treat it as ‘special’ and somehow operating outside of national interest parameters would be to their advantage. They may be ‘chosen people’ in their own heads, but that’s the limit of its veracity. Outside of their own imagination, they are subject to the laws of physics and geopolitical realities, one would assume.

  88. Neo says:

    James Canning says: June 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    “re you arguing that neocons and other “supporters” of Israel are determined to overthrow the government of Iran, so that Israel can crush the Palestinians?”

    James,

    You’ve lost me there. I can’t see what you are trying to say. Israel does not need to overthrow the Iranian government to crush the Palestinians. It’s crushed them already. If not, where is the Palestinian struggle then?

    The conflict between Iran and Israel is more of a regional struggle over power and influence, rather than the Palestinian issue alone. Only, Israel is so weak (like most other client states of the region) that it needs Uncle Sam’s protection, while Iran has the support of the region’s population, including the Palestinians, who see such regional actors as useful allies. But Iran is not Palestine. Same way that USA is not Israel.

  89. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Apparently the Qur’an has something to say about playing chess with the 800 lb. gorilla. If I may be so bold as to summarize in one word how, Quranically speaking, one is to play at such a game: gingerly (and to the death)!

    *

    The concern of Islamic government for the establishment of an order (based on) law and the commitment to one’s undertakings and respect for one’s pledges and contracts arises from the desire to enable society to benefit from the security and freedom which follows in the wake of this commitment, and which itself is a necessity for civil society and a principle of the Virtuous City; a society in which one cannot rely on others to respect their commitments will see security and freedom and the other benefits of civil society disappear shortly thereafter. The Noble Qur’an has a vivid demonstration of this point using the analogy of the creation of man: [49:13] O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him; no person or group is given permission to consider themselves superior to their fellow man, and arrogance is considered an important element responsible for the disruption of the balance and order of society, and consequently, the Qur’an considers resisting it to be an imperative, for the propensity to arrogance is equated with the propensity to breaking one’s promises: [9:12] But if they break their solemn pledges after having concluded a covenant, and revile your religion, then fight against these archetypes of faithlessness who, behold, have no [regard for their own] pledges, so that they might desist [from aggression]; the most important reason for fighting arrogant powers is the inability to be able to rely on their word. The Noble Qur’an considers fighting these types of people necessary not because of their unbelief, but because of their (inherent) unreliability; hence: لَآ أَيۡمَـٰنَ لَهُمۡ: they have no [regard for their own] pledges, i.e., their oaths are nothing to them, and so, they are untrustworthy. (The lesson here is that) one can coexist with a (community of) faithless unbelievers, but coexistence can never be possible with the forces of faithless arrogance, as arrogance is (ultimately) untrustworthy; when an opposing party is not bound by his word and has no respect for his prior commitments, and can be depended on to break his treaty or contract whenever he feels (this would put him) at an advantage, it will never be possible to coexist with him (and he must, therefore, be fought and subdued).

  90. Mohammad says:

    A short, fact-based primer on Iran’s nuclear case, from India:
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/ColumnsOthers/Testy-with-Tehran/Article1-865456.aspx

  91. Photi says:

    kooshy says:
    June 3, 2012 at 11:06 am

    here you go kooshy, here is the english version:

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1638

  92. Judy says:

    I honestly don’t understand why that video Obama made for ‘the Iranian people’ while bypassing a reasonable and fair conversation with their government can be construed as good will. It was just more of the same arrogant obnoxious attitude that separates the people from the government, either under the assumption that the government is not representative of the people (this was before the 2009 election) or in an attempt to lay the groundwork for dividing the people from the government.

  93. masoud says:

    Note to Leverrets:

    One option at your disposal vis-a-vis moderation of the comments sectio is to white list regular contributors, whose identeites can be determined by email. Unfamiliar emails can go through the current process of manual approval you currently have in place.

  94. masoud says:

    Djavad Salehi Isfahani posts quite irregularly with on his blog, but he doesn’t post empty filler. His most recent post discusses the impat and future of the subsidy program

    http://djavad.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/irans-subsidy-reform-survives-crucial-hurdle/#more-1623

  95. Fiorangela says:

    A new Anthony Lawson video includes Hillary Leverett

    International Bureau of Double Standards

  96. James Canning says:

    “Stuxnet, Flame, and War by Other Means”, by Philip Giraldi (June 2nd)

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/stuxnet-flame-and-war-by-other-means/

  97. Karl says:

    A concerned citizen,

    That thsee german submarines could carry nukes/will be used to carry nukes is not something that should be called news, its well known.
    Actually I think the news will just add more exposure to the fact what a genuine threat Israel project.
    Alot of people, especially in the west doesnt even know Israel have nukes, many people think that it is Iran that will introduce them, but obviously they have already been introduced. More people will use the notion that a total denuclearization must occur in the middle east, thus more news about israeli nukes will I think ease the obsession with Iran’s non existing today and get a more rational understanding of Iran’s position.

    Either way, does Germany really want to have this on it conscience? Namely the fact that Israel not only trigger nuclear race in the region but could also start a war with the use of german material, including use of nukes?

  98. James Canning says:

    In January 2011, Richard A. Falkenrath was promoting US cyber-warfare against Iran.

    This is the same man who claimed the other day that having Iran stop enriching to 20 percent will not slow up Iran’s development of nukes.

    Council of Foreign Relations, anti-Iran propaganda.

    “From Bullets to Megabytes”:

    http://www.cfr.org/iran/bullets-megabytes/p23901

  99. James Canning says:

    In 2011, one-third of babies born in Israel were of non-Jewish parentage.

  100. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Where do you even get the notion there is even the slightest chance the US will not continue to support Israel, no matter who is in the White House and no matter how much damage Israel does to the national interests of the American people?

  101. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Are you arguing that neocons and other “supporters” of Israel are determined to overthrow the government of Iran, so that Israel can crush the Palestinians?

    And are you urging Iran to make it easier for the neocon conspiracy to proceed?

  102. James Canning says:

    Concerned,

    Military experts agree Israel will not arm the Dolphin-class submarines with nukes. as a matter of common sense.

  103. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Bravo for drawing attention to comments by Dennis Ross. Mort Zuckerman works with Ross to advance the interests of Israel as those interests are perceived by Bibi Netanyahu. Blocking any improvement in US relations with Iran is a core object.

  104. Rehmat says:

    Yesterday, addressing tens of thousands of mourners at Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum in Southern Tehran, Iranian president Dr. Ahmadinejad reminded the audience that Imam Khomeini was against injustice to all people and nations.

    “Imam affirmed that we revolted and stood firm to claim the rights of nations and establish justice, and it was for this very cause that he took a stand against the Zionist regime that was obvious injustice and an insult to nations and humanity“.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/03/june-3-world-remembers-imam-khomeinis-passing/

  105. kooshy says:

    Can anyone provide a link to Ayatollah Khamenei’s yesterday speech?

  106. A concerned world citizen says:

    As if the Middle is not f**ked up enough..The Germans have now decided it’s good idea to donate subs capable of firing nukes to Israel..And they have to nerve to preach to Iran about nuclear non-proliferation???

    Now I don’t know what to make of this but it’s as if the Germans want to give the Zionist extremists(Bibi and his gang) enough rope to hang themselves – making another “never again” a sure certainty. How exactly this latest German move encourages Israel to seek peace with her neighbors is anyone’s guess but I’m not holding my breath.

    Europe will come to regret this move.Not even the US has gone this far in donating deadly weapons to their fanatical rabbinical friends in occupied Palestine.A nuclear capable sub in the hands of the chief blackmailer in world’s history will spell the doom of Europe..Gunter Grass was right..The politics of guilt/blackmail that the Zionists and their apologists in Germany/Europe have used to pummel Germans into submission will not end well.

    ;http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/report-german-officials-confirm-submarines-sold-to-israel-can-fire-nuclear-tipped-cruise-missiles-1.434080

  107. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Either the Brothers in the Egyptian hood have been able to convince Uncle Weasel that they are players and will play ball, in which case the army will be told to allow his votes to carry him to victory, or, the Brothers have deviated from their instructions from the leaders of the Islamic world and planted the seed of doubt in the Weasel Mind, in which case the army’s Shafiq will win. I predict the latter, at a vote of around 57% (which will be no less believable than the absurd impossibility of the 25% that he is supposed to have mustered). I lean this way not because of any sort of empirical analysis (as usual), but because methinks the Screenwriter has decided it is time the somnolent slobs of Egypt wake up, and that is the way He has chosen to go about effecting His will. If the Brothers get in, it means that the 21st century is *really* going to drag out and the Awakening is going to be moving along at a glacial pace.

  108. Rehmat says:

    Last week, South Africa joined the growing list of world nations in boycotting Israeli goods produced inside illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The West Bank along with Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem was occupied by Jewish army in 1967 with the help of military aid provided by the United States.

    Since the Islamic Republic’s support for the African National Congress (ANC) during the apartheid era, Iran’s relations with South Africa have been strong. The bond is reinforced by South Africa’s dependence on Iranian crude oil, which makes up a quarter of its imports. Amid efforts by the United States to wean South Africa off Iranian oil, Tehran has moved decisively to shore up relations, announcing it will invest billions into South Africa’s beleaguered power-generation sector. South Africa, as a prominent member of NAM – supports Iran’s nuclear program.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/03/south-africa-boycotts-made-in-israel-goods/

  109. Neo says:

    Don Bacon says: June 2, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Don,

    “the U.S. can’t deal with any country as a partnership, it must control.” Precisely, and especially in the case of those that mean to disturb the balance of power.

  110. Neo says:

    James Canning says: June 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    James,

    you didn’t make the connection with the next clause. I wrote: “a genuinely independent country like Iran as a regional superpower in an oil rich region”. I should have said ‘the oil rich region’.

  111. Neo says:

    Karl says: June 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Karl,

    I appreciate your points. There is genuine Zionist power in the US, and I would not deny it. But I think you would also agree that Israel will for the foreseeable future remain totally dependent on its links with the US, and will not bite the hand that feeds it. Israel is not economically or militarily viable without US support. In such a scenario, it is a bit of a stretch to believe just how much of a victim the US is against Israel. This unlikely story is then further stretched to claim that Obama launched cyber terror attacks on Iran simply to stop Israel from attacking Iran! Seriously?! Perhaps the message is that Khamenei should send a thank you note? Or are they play-acting for the electorate to disguise their latest form of terrorism as humanitarian compassion for the safety of Iran and Iranians against Israeli aggression?

  112. Fiorangela says:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/30/obamas_iran_charade/

    “the U.S. knew going into the negotiations that they were not going to succeed. The entire process was an elaborate ritual whose dual purpose was to inoculate President Obama against charges that he was “soft on Tehran” and to make it impossible for Netanyahu to go postal.”

    Agree – partially.
    First part: ~Two weeks ago Dennis Ross said in a panel discussion chaired by Mort Zuckerman that Iran had to be offered options so that it will be Iran’s fault when US has to attack Iran. :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Inans Anyone who was paying attention knew that the negotiations were designed (by Ross, in 2008 if not earlier) not to succeed.

    Second part: Playing to Netanyahu’s “stop me from going postal” is a fool’s errand. Bibi enjoys the game and has no ‘skin’ in it; Obama cannot win it and risks everything, no matter the outcome.

    “But despite Congress’s lockstep support for Netanyahu and anything he decides to do, up to and including an attack on Iran, it would be far too risky for Netanyahu to actually do it. The American people, unlike their bought-off, coerced and/or ideologically myopic political representatives, are sick of Middle East wars. Many, including increasing numbers of American Jews, are growing weary of Israeli intransigence and extremism. They’re also broke. An Israeli attack on Iran would draw in the U.S. and plunge the world into a depression – and the American people would hold Israel to account. Netanyahu may, as the former head of Israel’s spy service said, be “messianic,” but even he knows better than to jeopardize his country’s relationship with America.

    Disagree.

    1. The American people have been trained over several generations to hate Iran. Christians are taught in their Sunday schools to conflate Iran with the “whore of Babylon.” Judging from calls to C Span Washington Journal (admittedly unscientific, self-selecting, and every other mark of lack of genuine representativeness), most Americans think cyber warfare against Iran is a jolly good thing — Obama gets credit for “taking care of the evil guys” who “want to kill Americans” and “impose Sharia law on the whole world,” without “anybody” — meaning any American — getting killed, and without the need for “boots on the ground” or for “our fine American soldiers” to be “in harms way.” God Bless America.

    2. Netanyahu is a zionist’s zionist. Plunging the world into a depression for the sake of Israel is, to quote Madeleine Albright, “worth the price.”

  113. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Neocons and other supporters of Israel promote American hegemony in the Middle East, as part of their programme to “protect” Israel.

  114. Humanist says:

    Pirouz,

    You say ”It makes me sad when I see IRGC T-72 tanks rolling over a painted rendering of ““Old Glory”” on the pavement during military parades. And it makes me sad when they refer to us, America, as ““the enemy””. But then I read of acts of war such as these and it just shake my head.”

    That is a touching thought. You are not alone. I can imagine all over the human history, so many who had affiliation and affections towards both of the belligerent tribes, have also suffered from the same pains.

    I sort of feel lucky thinking about the home I was brought up in Iran. My parents were illiterate but had big kind hearts. I also feel lucky the high school I attended had two thoughtful, intelligent and ‘culturally evolved’ teachers who were very influential in shaping my curious mind. In that high school I learned stuff such as — hatred poisons our souls, — as Saadi says all humans are made from the same essence, — peaceful coexistence is a ‘beautiful’ way of living this baffling life which at times appears so pointless or nonsensical..etc etc

    You feel attached to both Iran and US. In a way I can feel the same yet I am thinking why not extending our feelings towards all tribes, all traditions and all cultures? Is this a naive idealistic thought? I don’t think so. I believe now such attitudes of universality are badly needed since they potentially can bring about remedies for all of our inter-tribal problems?

    I believe humanity is bound to advance towards the point where peaceful coexistence is the norm and wars are looked upon as the most extreme form of savagery, especially if such wars are instigated on the basis of bogus supremacy of one tribe over the ‘others’.

  115. Humanist says:

    html>

    Not often we come across the revealing info and ensuing essays like this post’s subject that boggles the mind and arises so many questions such who are behind this ‘leak’ and why?

    I think volumes can be written about so many assumptions, assertions and allegations discussed in Sanger’s monumental article but regarding the space in RFI this concise analysis by Leveretts and the one written in May 2009 are paradigms of the power of analytical thinking.

    I was especially affected by the strength and assertiveness expressed in the following paragraph:

    Second, the Sanger article makes undeniably clear—if it were not sufficiently evident already—that the reason for the President’s hostility toward Iran has nothing to do with American security. Rather, Obama’s aggressiveness—which carries with it a willingness to put significant long-term American interests at risk—is motivated by a perceived imperative to prevent the Israelis from doing something that they cannot credibly do in the first place: namely, strike and destroy Iran’s nuclear program.

    Are we talking here about ‘poor judgment’ or something more sinister?

    In my view future historians might have a feast time disclosing the motivations behind Mr. Obama’s ‘aggressive’ decisions on Iran all happening in an unprecedented, unique and pivotal period of American history.

  116. Don Bacon says:

    Tehran Times today
    Ahmadinejad said according to the International Atomic Energy Agency regulations countries which produce uranium to the purity of 20 percent “were obliged to unconditionally” deliver this fuel to Iran to power its medical research reactor but they refused to do so and set “political conditions” in this regard.

    However, the president asked: “If some want us to forgo this right they should first give their reasons (for this) and secondly what they will give the Iranian nation instead.”

    The president also said Tehran has not yet received any proposal by the West to provide 20 percent enriched nuclear fuel to Iran.

    “So far we have not received such a proposal,” the president said when asked will Iran stop 20 percent enrichment if the West gives the needed fuel to Iran.

    The president said, “The presentation of such a proposal will be of great help and shows that there is trust.”.
    http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/98420-trust-will-be-created-if-west-sells-20-enriched-fuel-to-iran

  117. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    June 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    “Israel will continue to be a “bully”, even if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium.”

    James, you appear to have had an epiphany. Congratulations.

  118. James Canning says:

    I recommend “Obama’s Iran charade”, by Gary Kamiya (May 30th):

    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/30/obamas_iran_charade_?source=newsletter

    Quote: “Iran made it clear that it was prepared to stop enriching to 20 percent. . .”

  119. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama would never have become president without crucial support from rich and powerful Jews in Chicago.

    Obama would be removed from the White House if he failed to keep the support of a crucial core block of the richest and most powerful Jews in the US.

  120. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Israel will continue to be a “bully”, even if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium.

  121. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    what do you mean by “genuinely independent”? Are you claiming China is not “genuinely independent”? Russia?

  122. James Canning says:

    khurshid,

    Aipac controls the US Congress and Obama cannot stop the US Congress from giving Israel billions of dollars every year.

  123. Karl says:

    James,

    To your last repetetive response in the earlier thread/post by Leveretts.

    If you dont have anything to say that move the debate forward you dont have to say anything. Now you are just repeating stuff that have been refuted countless of times.

  124. Fiorangela says:

    Voice of Tehran, I have listened to the Benjamin Freedman radio broadcast, then read a transcript of it. It is extremely controversial, needless to say.

    The best way I can think of to evaluate Freedman’s claims is by assessing them one by one: Can the claims that he made be supported by the evidence? Does he distort the evidence, or present his case fallaciously? etc.

    Without using this forum to analyze the entire broadcast point-by-point* but merely summarizing, I have to conclude that most of what Freedman said is verifiable and valid.
    I would interpret some facts differently from the way Freedman did; for example, the ‘Khazar thesis’ — the notion that zionists are not Jews at all but are a band of vicious warriors that adopted Judaism — is not fully credible. My understanding is that a Khazar king DID adopt Judaism for his tribe; Judah Halevey wrote about the arguments he would have made to persuade the king to make that conversion. But that is only one group of Jewish people; as David Biale emphasized by the very title of his landmark book, “Cultures of the Jews,” the Jewish people enjoy numerous cultural legacies, among them, the Khazari. (One amazing coincidence is that, assuming I have the history and geography right, the Khazar region is very near to the region from which the ancient Aryans emerged, on the Scythian plateau.)

    * working on it here

  125. Fiorangela says:

    Pirouz, I didn’t mean that Iran should not have weapons or be fully prepared to defend itself and its people. I was trying to convey that Iran already has the moral high ground — in my estimation — and that Iran, perhaps uniquely, is in a position to, paraphrasing something Norman Finkelstein said, “shake America back to her senses” but –departing from Finkelstein’s prescription– NOT by mimicking the American and Israeli ‘might makes right’ posture. Iran defeated Lydia by being clever and using its unique resources, against all odds; Iran has the weapon of moral authority that could undermine US and Israeli belligerence more convincingly than tanks, bombs, and computer viruses.

  126. fyi says:

    Neo says: June 2, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I agree.

    Since direct armed conflict and war is not affordable for a variety reasons, US restored to proxy war (via Iraq and Taliban), and later sabotage and assasinations.

    When those failed, US and EU resorted to economic siege warfare.

  127. Don Bacon says:

    @ Neo
    I agree — blaming Israel for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is like saying it’s a nuclear issue. The issue is hegemony, Iran has it and the U.S. wants it, and has for fifty years.

    This is also where U.S. foreign policy is totally misguided because Iran is in the cat-bird seat, and should be an ally not an enemy. But the U.S. can’t deal with any country as a partnership, it must control. This doesn’t work with Iran, to Iran’s credit.

    To its west Iran has gained the friendship of Iraq, a new Islamic republic the gift of the U.S. To Iran’s east, the U.S. is getting pushed out of Afghanistan giving space for Iran influence in industrial west Afghanistan. Iran also has increasing partnership with India, which needs Iran for petroleum and as an entry point in the developing trade corridor to central Asia, Russia and Europe.

  128. Rehmat says:

    The United States engages in terrorism through a variety of terrorist groups it controls or manipulates either directly or indirectly. As was reported in Foreign Policy magazine, the CIA and Mossad compete to control Jundallah, an important fact because it shows the way in which the Western imperialists use Balochistan, the base of Jundallah, to wage covert war on Iran, including the assassination of scientists, terrorist bombings aimed at critical infrastructure, and targeted killings of ethnic minorities.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/02/israels-proxy-wars-against-pakistan/

  129. Karl says:

    Neo,

    Also..

    In part why US cant tell Israel is also because US dont trust Israel, US know that their words dont matter for Israel and Israel know that they could, in the end of the day, act in any way and still get american support.

    If US dont accept an Israel attack, Israel will force them to get involed. Serious declaration that US will not aid Israel on war or sanctions would of course end this mess but Obama have no guts whatsoever to do so.

  130. Karl says:

    Neo,

    Obama cannot of course say such a thing, I think you underestimate various things,

    1. The strongs bonds between Israel and the U.S. (regardless if its really strong or mere an image).
    2. The lobby.
    3. The zionist ideologic basis for politicians, media, well people in general.

    The conclusion from Levetts arent really new neither, that Israel blackmail american and europeans to take a harder stance against Iran is pretty obvious too. Last year when Israel began to vent plans to strike Iran, it an obvious attempt for americans and europeans to do something, every time there is a renewed period of threats from Israel, it is very often followed by a western response in form of harder stance against Iran, sanctions.

    When Israel warmonger it gives especially americans the notion that the threat is imminent and that they must again, do something about Iran.

    Not to mention Obama cant afford to get a deal (I doubt he even want this ever) during election year, that would be too much of an negative impact for him.

  131. Neo says:

    This is the first time I have found the Leveretts conclusions unconvincing: “… Obama’s aggressiveness—which carries with it a willingness to put significant long-term American interests at risk—is motivated by a perceived imperative to prevent the Israelis from doing something that they cannot credibly do in the first place: namely, strike and destroy Iran’s nuclear program.”

    There are many problems with this line of reasoning. For a start, what would be Obama’s reason for risking America’s long-term interests? Second, why would Obama worry about Israelis doing something that they cannot credibly do? All he has to do is to tell them plainly that USA would not get involved, and this would stop the Israelis (assuming that Israel is ‘serious’, which it isn’t given the strong likelohood that Iran would destroy Israel in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran with or without US support for it). Third, since when has USA or Obama cared about stopping yet another war? In fact, USA is most keen on war after war, as its history shows – such is the grip of the military-industrial complex.

    There is only one real reason behind American hostility toward Iran: America cannot stomach the rise of a genuinely independent country like Iran as a regional superpower in an oil rich region. It prefers to bolster subservient regional powers like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

  132. Karl says:

    New today tells us that court gives Clinton 4 months to either keep M-E-K on the terror list or delisting it. So when the presidential election come we will definately know.
    Will a delist mean a continued warfare being brought on Iran?

  133. yaran says:

    Now days you have proxy war and etc… hence cyber war is another new way of attacking your enemies. Thus, whomever is better in cyber technology has the upper hand.. i rather see cyber war than see people die for stupid political lust!

  134. Fiorangela says:

    Pirouz says:
    June 1, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    “It makes me sad when I see IRGC T-72 tanks rolling over a painted rendering of “Old Glory” on the pavement during military parades. And it makes me sad when they refer to us, America, as “the enemy”. But then I read of acts of war such as these and it just shake my head.”

    Iran would be far wiser to put away the IRGC T-72 tanks and instead of smashing their boots on the American flag and calling USA “the enemy,” holding conferences or perhaps a prayer vigil, calling upon the wisdom and grace of the gods to grant USA the power to stop stomping its own “old Glory” into the dirt.

  135. Rehmat says:

    Tehran: ‘Ottawa has become Israel’s ‘lap poodle’

    “It seems your government has completely failed to understand the passage of time, it’s still living in the Bush era. Canada is still following in the Bush footsteps and remains under the influence of the Zionist regime,” says Ali Asghar Khaji, Iranian deputy foreign minister and Tehran’s representative at the EU.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/06/02/tehran-ottawa-has-become-israels-lap-poodle/

  136. Anon says:

    So we did this to appease the our “mad dog” ally whereas our DNI and SecDef say Iran has no weapons program right now.

    How does this make sense?

  137. Rehmat says:

    The 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is scheduled to be held in Tehran during August 26-31, 2012. Iran will assume the rotating presidency of the movement for three years during the Tehran summit.

    NAM is comprised of some 120 member states and 17 observer countries.

    Iranian President, Dr. Ahmadinejad has invited several head of states to whome Barack Obama and his Israeli backers are very allergic. The list includes presidents of Syria, Sudan, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Ecuador. Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and Iraqi prime minister Al-Maliki have also agreed to attend the summit.

    On Thursday, 100 NAM ambassadors issued a five-page statement in Vienna, voicing their support for Tehran’s peaceful nuclear energy activities.

    “I appreciated NAM’s valuable support and once again assured that all nuclear activities of our country will continue for peaceful purposes and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” said Ali Asqar Soltaniyeh, Iranian representative to the IAEA assured the ambassadors.

    Both the US and Israeli intelligence agencies agree that they have no proof that Iran is pursuing neculear weapon. But both the US and Israeli politicians are affraid that once Iran achieve a “nuclear capability” – Israel will lose its bully posture in the region.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/nam-summit-in-tehran-sure-rubs-us-nose/

  138. fyi says:

    khurshid says: June 1, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    As I said before, as long as US planners do not admit certain brutal facts – that they themselves helped create – we will see more of these acts.

    Business as usual.

  139. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 1, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Rubbish!

    Mr. Obama personally intervened in the last 2 Israeli shennanigans to protect them.

  140. khurshid says:

    “Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.”

    Obama does have other choice. He can stop funneling billions of dollars of US tax payers’ money to Israel. He can impose sanctions on transfer of US military hardware and software to Israel. He can also sanction sharing any intelligence and doing any military exercise jointly with Israel. If Obama does even one of these actions it will tame Israel. But will he do it? Definitely not. If he does, Israel will kick Obama out of White house using its strategic assets – AIPAC, Congress, policy makers and thinks, republicans, pentagon, state department, even Obama’s own fellow Democrats etc.

    Obama, in order to save his presidency, has to do tango with Israel. This goes for past and future US presidents. Unless off course by some miracle US gets a president like Ron Paul!! (which is an impossible event). So US will continue its self destructive policy and systematically damage its strategic interest. However, this dysfunctional US Iran policy is good for Iran itself in the long run – current US economic quagmire, global economic turmoil, mayhem in Europe, and fast shifting sand in Middle East due to Arab spring; in 20 years time Iran will have complete upper hand in Middle East.

  141. Pirouz says:

    It makes me sad when I see IRGC T-72 tanks rolling over a painted rendering of “Old Glory” on the pavement during military parades. And it makes me sad when they refer to us, America, as “the enemy”. But then I read of acts of war such as these and it just shake my head.

    I filled out my ballot for the June 5th election the other night. I’m a Democrat and voting for state and local offices is easy. But when it comes to the Senate and House, this time I reluctantly drew the line over the Iran issue. Both incumbent democrats are anti-Iran hawks and wrote me back stating their support for economic war against Iran even though it also provides adverse economic effects here in California at the gas pump– which they didn’t address directly in their replies. As a protest vote, I voted Peace and Freedom for national level offices.

  142. A concerned world citizen says:

    If this new revelation is true(and I hope not), Obama has just opened a big can of worms that he’ll live to regret..His actions has now put the entire US in danger of cyber attack by any party that may have a grudge with the US..Whoever revealed this news probably thought he was doing Obama a propaganda favour but the consequences will be far reaching..

    And we were made to believe Obama was the “smart” one compared to Bush..At least with Bush, we’re knew he wasn’t exactly bright and could be forgiven for some of his blunders but Obama??? Man!!!!! This is below the belt and it’s not something he should be bragging about..So, with this revelation, could he also have ordered the assassination of Iranian scientists or he did those with the Israelis???

    God save us….

  143. kooshy says:

    In light of this new report that the US has initiated cyber-attacks on Iran and possibly other countries industrial computer control systems

    The Americans people will need to hold Mr. Obama and his administration responsible for possible retaliation on US’s infrastructure industrial control systems.

    Undoubtedly like other past terrorist acts that US has ordered or performed around the globe, infected countries will retaliate with their on attack on US’s systems regardless of how much noise America and the Americans raise.

    At this point I think the whole non-western world will agree that the American tyranny no longer can be tolerated and as a result, informal cooperative efforts to further reduce danger of the US to the world will be sharply elevated in near future, sadly we all will pay, for this new war that the Obama administration has started.

    Just imagine how many more small and large industrial sites vulnerable to cyber-attack exist in the US than they exist in Iran, and unfortunately if attacked what kind of damage they may cause to neighboring communities, imagine what will happen if China or Iran attack the water levy control system in Louisiana, if so what would be Mr. Obama’s response to the people of Louisiana “Brawny you did a good job” unfortunately he is more stupid and more desperate than the last president.

  144. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You don’t have to listen to Democratic senators and congressmen who threaten Obama if he does not toe the line of the Israel lobby.

  145. Jay says:

    Dear Leveretts,

    although your conclusions are plausible, they are not the only plausible conclusions.

    Mr. Sanger’s history suggests a colorful use of White House served-on-a-dish material to paint a narrative that the President’s man are unable to do credibly. Mr. Obama’s policies has nothing to do with stopping Israel from attacking Iran. As you state: “.. the Israelis from doing something that they cannot credibly do in the first place…”

    Mr. Obama knows this. This is a cover for a blown intelligence operation and a misdirection. “The Israeili’s made me do it” excuse.

    Here is another plausible reason. Since early February of this year, Iran’s cyber warfare division has been engaged in increasingly more sophisticated attacks. In late April, DHHS gave a briefing to congress discussing Iran’s potentially capabilities to attach the US grid. Although estimates vary, a majority of cyberspace hackers believe that Iran has learned a great deal through US attacks and is now capable of creating significant havoc without leaving a fingerprint.

    Mr. Obama and the White House want to bring this matter to the fore. Thus, NYT and Sanger. Mr. Obama will then want to go on the offensive by saying that he had good reasons to do it but if anybody else does this it means war.

    This is simply a step to manufacture a reality for the public. Mr. Obama’s cyberattack directives were his own decision. The Israelis were just happy to help – to project the image of all powerful.

    Mr. Obama has committed what he himself has called an act of war and now he wants to get ahead of the PR!

  146. James Canning says:

    Did Obama actually think the US could attack Iranian computers, while Obama tried to improve relations with Iran?

    I still think Obama was sincere. But obviously naive and utterly lacking in the experience necessary to get the job done. (But Mitt Romney would be even worse!)

  147. Karl says:

    edit, new president for France of course.

  148. Karl says:

    Syria is in need of reforms, but here we see the new president of Hollande being a clone of sarkozy when it comes to the middle east.

    news.yahoo.com/no-solution-syria-unless-assad-goes-france-200414435.html

  149. fyi says:

    The Leverett:

    You wrote:

    “is motivated by a perceived imperative to prevent the Israelis from doing something that they cannot credibly do in the first place…”

    That is not it.

    He is enamored of Jews and Israel; you only need to look at the way he has personally intervened to get Israel’s chestnuts out of fire at UN, for example.

    The irony of Mr. Obama is that in spite of all that he has done for (US) Jews and Israel, they despise him.

  150. Karl says:

    The last bold phrase tells the absurd truth. Israel know exactly what buttons to push to scare americans and europeans and dupe them to attack Iran.
    Classic blackmailing by Israel.

    So US dont want to attack Iran but are scared Israel will do it and therefore US must do it.

    Sounds like a bad b-movie script, too bad its reality and much worse than any b-move producer could ever produce.