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Fanatics urge US to confront Iran


Mark Stapleton
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http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/1219-10.htm

This article makes for scary reading. It seems the Christian Right in America's south has been fully infiltrated by a Zionist mindset, intent on seeing the prophesies of Ezekiel fulfilled.

These fundamentalist Christian nutcases, as well as fanatical supporters of Israel--sprinkled across America's intellectual and political terrain, are eagerly urging the US to confront Iran--with a pre-emptive strike if necessary. Fortunately, cooler heads in the Pentagon are unlikely to support such psychotic ramblings but if the US Military were ever to fall victim to this type of diseased thinking, the aforementioned prophesies may well come to pass.

I recently heard an interview on Australia's Radio National conducted by Geraldine Doogue with some recently retired Israeli military chief--I forget his name--who repeatedly chanted "The West must confront Iran, the West must confront Iran". Naturally, the faint-hearted Ms. Doogue failed to obtain satisfactory answers to the obvious questions like "Why?" and "How is Iran a threat to the West?", and, er, "Have you done any line and length work on what the consequences of a military confrontation might be?". Here in Australia, as in much of the Western media, an icy fear of insulting Israel and being branded anti-Semitic causes many a good reporter and journalist to freeze in the headlights. Maybe the same could be said of certain people here on the Forum.

As a resident of 'the west', I am compelled to offer 'General Whatever your name was' some free advice:

IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IRAN WHICH IS SO DIRE THAT IT REQUIRES THE URGENT USE OF MILITARY FORCE, THEN YOU AND YOUR FELLOW ZEALOTS IN THE US GO OVER TO IRAN AND FIGHT THE BLOODY WAR YOURSELF. LEAVE 'THE WEST' OUT OF IT, IF YOU DON'T MIND.

GUTLESS GLOVEPUPPETS LIKE BLAIR AND HOWARD HAVE PASSED THEIR USE-BY DATE.

THAT IS ALL, GENERAL.

DISMISSED.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/1219-10.htm

This article makes for scary reading. It seems the Christian Right in America's south has been fully infiltrated by a Zionist mindset, intent on seeing the prophesies of Ezekiel fulfilled.

These fundamentalist Christian nutcases, as well as fanatical supporters of Israel--sprinkled across America's intellectual and political terrain, are eagerly urging the US to confront Iran--with a pre-emptive strike if necessary. Fortunately, cooler heads in the Pentagon are unlikely to support such psychotic ramblings but if the US Military were ever to fall victim to this type of diseased thinking, the aforementioned prophesies may well come to pass.

I recently heard an interview on Australia's Radio National conducted by Geraldine Doogue with some recently retired Israeli military chief--I forget his name--who repeatedly chanted "The West must confront Iran, the West must confront Iran". Naturally, the faint-hearted Ms. Doogue failed to obtain satisfactory answers to the obvious questions like "Why?" and "How is Iran a threat to the West?", and, er, "Have you done any line and length work on what the consequences of a military confrontation might be?". Here in Australia, as in much of the Western media, an icy fear of insulting Israel and being branded anti-Semitic causes many a good reporter and journalist to freeze in the headlights. Maybe the same could be said of certain people here on the Forum.

As a resident of 'the west', I am compelled to offer 'General Whatever your name was' some free advice:

IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IRAN WHICH IS SO DIRE THAT IT REQUIRES THE URGENT USE OF MILITARY FORCE, THEN YOU AND YOUR FELLOW ZEALOTS IN THE US GO OVER TO IRAN AND FIGHT THE BLOODY WAR YOURSELF. LEAVE 'THE WEST' OUT OF IT, IF YOU DON'T MIND.

GUTLESS GLOVEPUPPETS LIKE BLAIR AND HOWARD HAVE PASSED THEIR USE-BY DATE.

THAT IS ALL, GENERAL.

DISMISSED.

I personally could not agree more, but I can think of an even better? methodism; Harken back to 2003 pre-Iraq Invasion, and instead of having the now succinctly recorded litanies of dead, wounded. infrastructure eviserated....and all the rest; simply have the United Nations referee....in one corner Pres. Dubya and in the other Saddam Hussein, mano o mano.....15 rounds no boxing gloves.....Sure would have been more preferable than what we all have been witnessing since then, and nobody would have died. The adage....Countries don't start war's, politicians do..is what comes to mind to me, in retrospect.

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An interesting scenario, Robert. It would have saved thousands of American and Iraqi lives.

However, a proposed boxing match between these two would have had only one possible result--a win for Saddam Hussein by forfeit. Bush was too yellow to even accept Ahmadinejad's challenge to a free and open debate on the issue of Iran's nuclear capability.

So much for 'the leader of the free world'.

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According to the following piece by Robert Parry, intelligence sources are saying President Bush--along with Israel's PM Olmert and the UK's Tony Blair--are weighing the possibility of Israeli-led attacks on Syria and Iran in early 2007, with the US providing logistical support.

The three leaders have held a series of meetings in November and December with no ostensible purpose. The 'strategy' is a last ditch effort to secure regime change in Syria and damage Iran's nuclear programme, while simultaneously restoring the coalition's credibility in the wake of the Iraq fiasco.

Too dangerous, bizarre and wacky to be taken seriously? Apparently, the Bush Administration thinks not. If this article has any truth, surely the time has come for Bush and Blair to be removed from office, for humanity's sake:

http://www.alternet.org/story/45852/?comme...=410613#c410624

The blogs are interesting, too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Article in today's Sunday Times (January 07, 2007)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,20...35310_2,00.html

Revealed: Israel plans nuclear strike on Iran

Uzi Mahnaimi, New York and Sarah Baxter, Washington

ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.

Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.

Under the plans, conventional laser-guided bombs would open “tunnels” into the targets. “Mini-nukes” would then immediately be fired into a plant at Natanz, exploding deep underground to reduce the risk of radioactive fallout.

“As soon as the green light is given, it will be one mission, one strike and the Iranian nuclear project will be demolished,” said one of the sources.

The plans, disclosed to The Sunday Times last week, have been prompted in part by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad’s assessment that Iran is on the verge of producing enough enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons within two years.

Israeli military commanders believe conventional strikes may no longer be enough to annihilate increasingly well-defended enrichment facilities. Several have been built beneath at least 70ft of concrete and rock. However, the nuclear-tipped bunker-busters would be used only if a conventional attack was ruled out and if the United States declined to intervene, senior sources said.

Israeli and American officials have met several times to consider military action. Military analysts said the disclosure of the plans could be intended to put pressure on Tehran to halt enrichment, cajole America into action or soften up world opinion in advance of an Israeli attack.

Some analysts warned that Iranian retaliation for such a strike could range from disruption of oil supplies to the West to terrorist attacks against Jewish targets around the world.

Israel has identified three prime targets south of Tehran which are believed to be involved in Iran’s nuclear programme:

Natanz, where thousands of centrifuges are being installed for uranium enrichment

A uranium conversion facility near Isfahan where, according to a statement by an Iranian vice-president last week, 250 tons of gas for the enrichment process have been stored in tunnels

A heavy water reactor at Arak, which may in future produce enough plutonium for a bomb Israeli officials believe that destroying all three sites would delay Iran’s nuclear programme indefinitely and prevent them from having to live in fear of a “second Holocaust”.

The Israeli government has warned repeatedly that it will never allow nuclear weapons to be made in Iran, whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has declared that “Israel must be wiped off the map”.

Robert Gates, the new US defence secretary, has described military action against Iran as a “last resort”, leading Israeli officials to conclude that it will be left to them to strike.

Israeli pilots have flown to Gibraltar in recent weeks to train for the 2,000-mile round trip to the Iranian targets. Three possible routes have been mapped out, including one over Turkey.

Air force squadrons based at Hatzerim in the Negev desert and Tel Nof, south of Tel Aviv, have trained to use Israel’s tactical nuclear weapons on the mission. The preparations have been overseen by Major General Eliezer Shkedi, commander of the Israeli air force.

Sources close to the Pentagon said the United States was highly unlikely to give approval for tactical nuclear weapons to be used. One source said Israel would have to seek approval “after the event”, as it did when it crippled Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak with airstrikes in 1981.

Scientists have calculated that although contamination from the bunker-busters could be limited, tons of radioactive uranium compounds would be released.

The Israelis believe that Iran’s retaliation would be constrained by fear of a second strike if it were to launch its Shehab-3 ballistic missiles at Israel.

However, American experts warned of repercussions, including widespread protests that could destabilise parts of the Islamic world friendly to the West.

Colonel Sam Gardiner, a Pentagon adviser, said Iran could try to close the Strait of Hormuz, the route for 20% of the world’s oil.

Some sources in Washington said they doubted if Israel would have the nerve to attack Iran. However, Dr Ephraim Sneh, the deputy Israeli defence minister, said last month: “The time is approaching when Israel and the international community will have to decide whether to take military action against Iran.”

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From today's UK Telegraph comes this piece which seems to imply that Israel has no option but to attack Iran because the rest of the world sat idly by while Iran developed nuclear and missile technology. There's no byline so I assume it's an editorial. A typical Murdoch editorial:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jh...1/08/dl0801.xml

Doing nothing over Iran risks leaving Israel to act

Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 08/01/2007

By a series of stumbles and lurches, we have come closer to a nuclear conflagration than at any time since the bombing of Nagasaki. Although Israel has - thank Heaven - disavowed reports that it is planning a direct strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, there can be little doubt that Tel Aviv would authorise such attacks if the only other option were a nuclear Iran.

From an Israeli point of view, the ayatollahs are not a putative threat but a proven aggressor. They have armed terrorist proxies in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Iraq, Lebanon and even Argentina, where a bombing at a Jewish community centre in 1994 killed 100 people.

Iran's Shahhab-3 missile has a range of 1,500 miles, but why worry about delivery mechanisms when you have paramilitaries? We have seen Teheran's readiness to equip Hizbollah with rockets.

Can we be confident that they would not, if they could, tip these devices with nuclear warheads?

It is now too late to prevent Iran from acquiring the know-how and materials it needs. Ten years were wasted in futile discussions with the EU, which believed that it could talk the mullahs out of their nuclear ambitions.

Nor is Iran's programme vulnerable to a clean strike in the way that Iraq's was. Its reactors are dispersed and buried under tiered layers of earth and concrete.

As Michael Burleigh wrote in these pages on Friday, it may be that President Ahmadinejad's talk of wiping the Jewish state from the map, and his sponsoring of Holocaust denial, are deliberately designed to provoke an Israeli strike.

If this strike were nuclear - which Tel Aviv may judge the surest way to disable underground facilities - Teheran would have the perfect justification for a nuclear counterstrike. This would guarantee the ascendancy of the ayatollahs, not only within Iran but throughout Araby, too.

The international community, bitter after Iraq, is in no mood to listen to arguments about weapons of mass destruction. But if we do nothing, we encourage Israel to act, so bringing calamity on the region.

In between the present policy of passing milk-and-water UN resolutions and the nuclear option (for once the expression is apposite) is an escalating scale of pressure: targeted sanctions, asset seizures and, in extremis, the kind of armed siege that paralysed Saddam during the 1990s.

Above all, we should be sponsoring Iranian dissidents: students, secularists, monarchists, non-Persians. The mullahs have harried their neighbours ever since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

It is time to replace them with a regime that is capable of dealing with other states on the basis of territorial jurisdiction, human rights and international law.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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  • 1 month later...

Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, the Middle East ... the contours of our crisis in foreign policy could hardly be clearer. Last month, nearly 2,000 people died in Iraq, the worst toll yet. Two million have left as refugees; the same number are internally displaced. In Afghanistan, spring is expected to bring heavy fighting in an inconclusive war now entering its sixth year, while western efforts at nation building have failed to combat drug production or produce an effective government. On the narrow measure of our own security, there can be little doubt that today we are less secure than before these adventures began. Meanwhile, the human suffering in these countries is on our account.

The conventional scapegoat for all this is an extremist and incompetent American administration, to which our prime minister has foolishly hitched his policy. I think this is only part of the story: the malaise is deeper. My own experience of making and effecting policy in these areas is that the system itself is bust - not fit for purpose. And in allowing it to continue in its current form, we the public are also culpable. Through habit and traditional deference to the foreign-policy elite, we permit these mistakes in our name.

The abiding feature of foreign-policy making is its closed, secretive and circumscribed nature. Information is reduced and filtered to a very small group of people, these days concentrated mainly in No 10, who make decisions based on abstractions many removes distant from reality. Even on the ground, the strictures of security prevent diplomats from all but the briefest contact with the everyday reality of Afghans and Iraqis.

When I helped negotiate UN security council resolutions on Iraq, I claimed knowledge of that country - from reports, intelligence and so forth - but with no experience whatsoever of the place itself, its air, its people, its reality. After the invasion of Afghanistan, when I was posted to Kabul, I found myself writing reports about the "political situation" in Afghanistan based on brief forays outside the high embassy walls for meetings surrounded by bodyguards with sympathetic Afghans, conducted through interpreters. I may as well have been a Pashtun trying to understand the Highlands of Scotland without English.

I did my best, but the temptation is strong and irresistible to bend this scant knowledge to our preferred version of events - for instance that Afghans want democracy (when in fact their overriding message, still not fully heard, is the desire for security, development and freedom from the warlords, many of whom we helped place in power). Back in the capital, greater is the need for officials and ministers to reassure the public that they understand what is "really" going on in Iraq or Afghanistan. Officials rush about, ever more busily feeding the machine of endless meetings and briefings, but with all too little time to stop and think. Even the press prefer western "experts", usually located thousands of miles distant, to explain these places, rather than those with most at stake. We all love to project our own designs and prejudices on the distant "other".

We are stuck in old habits of making and talking about foreign policy. We want our diplomats and ministers to take care of the world, so we can get on with our lives. This is an unaffordable luxury. In the 21st century, everything and everyone is connected - whether climate change or violence in Somalia, which can through myriad paths contribute to terror attacks in London. In international forums, diplomats are arbitrating more and more of our business, while we have little or no idea of what they are doing, or even who they are. The existing mechanisms of scrutiny leave much to be desired. In parliament, no one reads the toothless reports of the foreign affairs committee, which is led by a government loyalist. Full debates, even when so rarely permitted, are a party political knockabout.

Consideration of foreign policy needs to find much more room for the reality of those affected by our decisions. Only they can speak with authority on what is "really" going on in their countries. As I found in my work at the UN security council, all too often they are left out. At the other end, there must be more consultation of those in whose name policy is made: us, the public. This is not just an idealistic call for more accountability and democracy in foreign policy, it is deeply practical. We cannot always know what policy is right, what is really going on. Only through the closest possible encounter with the facts - the people - on the ground, through open debate, through scrutiny, can we hope to make better decisions in future.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...2016128,00.html

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