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Is Bush planning an attack on Iran in March?


Douglas Caddy
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What evidence is there that Israel made such a threat? One wonders how any country would react if the president of another was developing nuclear weapons and threatened to "wipe it away" and attended military parades where banners calling for its "death" and for it to be "wiped away" were hung from missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads to any point in its territory and other government officials called for its annihilation.

Len - no matter how many times I post detailed, documented material from Juan Cole indicating that the 'wipe off the map' comment was a blatant mistranslation of the Iranian President's words - and despite your apparent inability to rebut Cole on this - you continue repeating the same old scare story.

Oh well, I guess if I too held a 'my country right or wrong' approach to life - and 'my country' was menacing it's neighbours with, among other things, REAL nuclear weapons, I might also be desperate to hang onto this particular lie.

Without it, Israel's threats to Iran are more clearly seen for precisely what they are: outrageous, dangerous, aggressive bullying that attempts to enforce egregious double standards in Israel's favour.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is and always has been a secular spokesman for the true power in Iran, the Clerical leadership, who has spoken for the obliteration of Israel so pervasively that it has become the stuff of slogans and banners.

Juan Cole’s credentials as an expert in Iranian policy are not impeccable.

For example:

http://www.slate.com/id/2140947/

“Cole is a minor nuisance on the fringes of the academic Muslim apologist community.”

It would be better put to say that in the light of international scrutiny over what is obviously Iran’s goal of uranium high enrichment, President Ahmadinejad has been told to lower the tenor of his anti-Israeli rhetoric by his handlers.

The evidence that Iran is in pursuit of nuclear weapons is convincing. Unless Iran is in pursuit of advanced nuclear research (that they are only developing peaceful nuclear power capability for electricity generation is laughable) on their current course (unless the recent stall in enrichment work indicates a more permanent diplomatic shift) they should have a nuclear weapon(s) within two or three years.

Would military action against Iran prevent a limited nuclear war in the Mid-east or could it cause one? The effect of a military strike against Iran could have the effect of polarizing Arabic speaking nations against Israel and possibly the US, resulting in a much more dangerous situation than would otherwise exist, even with Iran having nuclear weapons capability.

The effect of any overt military action against Iran could easily backlash. The war in Iraq and the bombing of the Iraqi Osirak reactor should have taught us that.

Peter

You write:

It would be better put to say that in the light of international scrutiny over what is obviously Iran’s goal of uranium high enrichment, President Ahmadinejad has been told to lower the tenor of his anti-Israeli rhetoric by his handlers.
Why?

That statement grossly misrepresents the facts.

Ahmadinejad made a statement that was mistranslated. The mistranslation was probably deliberate; certainly, incessant repetition of the mistranslation has been a deliberate act of deception.

As he NEVER threatened to "wipe Israel off the map" in the first place - he can't tone down a statement that he never made.

Is that too hard to grasp?

I checked to see what sage wrote "Cole is a minor nuisance on the fringes of the academic Muslim apologist community.” which you quoted to bolster your case."

Imagine my astonishment when I discovered it was none other than the 'formidable' Zionist shill Chris Hitchens, whom, I suppose, has had it in for the Mullahs ever since they closed down his favourite bars in Tehran.

Hitchens... now I really must look up what Hitchens wrote in the lead up to the Iraq invasion of 2003...

I presume he was urging caution and querying the "intelligence" reports of Iraqi WMDs, LOL.

Anyhow, at least Slate, in this instance, has the decency to publish Cole's response to Hitchens, so here it is for the record:

Mr. Hitchens has quoted my unpublished email without permission, which is bad enough. But worst of all, he has done so incompletely and so given an inaccurate impression of the discussions in which I was engaged. Since he wishes to make that discussion public before I was ready to do so, I am helpfully sending along the final message in the exchange.

Mr. Hitchens asks why I did not cite other parts of the Ahmadinejad speech. The answer is that I was only talking about the one phrase in this discussion, and was unfortunately not taking direction from Mr. Hitchens on how to read Persian texts. Perhaps he would do us the honor of subscribing to the private discussion list so that he could make these helpful suggestions in context rather than taking snippets of them and publishing them against the author's will.

The email he leaves out is as follows:

Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2006 15:34:18 -0400 From: "Cole, Juan"

The speech in Persian is here:

Sorry that I misremembered the exact phrase Ahmadinejad had used. He made an analogy to Khomeini's determination and success in getting rid of the Shah's government, which Khomeini had said "must go" (az bain bayad berad). Then Ahmadinejad defined Zionism not as an Arabi-Israeli national struggle but as a Western plot to divide the world of Islam with Israel as the pivot of this plan.

The phrase he then used as I read it is "The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] from the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad)."

Ahmadinejad was not making a threat, he was quoting a saying of Khomeini and urging that pro-Palestinian activists in Iran not give up hope-- that the occupation of Jerusalem was no more a continued inevitability than had been the hegemony of the Shah's government.

Whatever this quotation from a decades-old speech of Khomeini may have meant, Ahmadinejad did not say that "Israel must be wiped off the map" with the implication that phrase has of Nazi-style extermination of a people. He said that the occupation regime over Jerusalem must be erased from the page of time.

Again, Ariel Sharon erased the occupation regime over Gaza from the page of time.

I should again underline that I personally despise everything Ahmadinejad stands for, not to mention the odious Khomeini, who had personal friends of mine killed so thoroughly that we have never recovered their bodies. Nor do I agree that the Israelis have no legitimate claim on any part of Jerusalem. And, I am not exactly a pacifist but have a strong preference for peaceful social activism over violence, so needless to say I condemn the sort of terror attacks against innocent civilians (including Arab Israelis) that we saw last week. I have not seen any credible evidence, however, that such attacks are the doing of Ahmadinejad, and in my view they are mainly the result of the expropriation and displacement of the long-suffering Palestinian people.

It is not realistic for Americans to call for Iran to talk directly to the Israeli government (though in the 1980s the Khomeinists did a lot of business with Israel) when the US government won't talk directly to the Iranians about most bilateral issues. In fact, an American willingness to engage in direct talks might well pave the way to an eventual settlement of these outstanding issues.

cheers

Juan Cole

Regarding the question whether Iran is following Israel's lead and is developing nuclear weapons in secret, opinions differ on that. It seems eeriely like a replay of the debate within the US "intelligence" community over Saddam's alleged WMDs.

In late November, the BBC told us: The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has not found conclusive evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, a US magazine has reported.

But I suggest we keep this simple.

You write: "Would military action against Iran prevent a limited nuclear war in the Mid-east or could it cause one?"

Whether or not Iran is developing nuclear weapons, military action against Iran that involved the use of Israeli or US nuclear weapons would, in fact, start a nuclear war - because nuclear war is war in which nuclear weapons are used.

To claim that by attacking Iran (possibly with nuclear weapons) the Israeli-US war machine would be acting to prevent nuclear war is to succumb to - or deliberately perpetrate - uni-directional Zionist spin.

It's the kind of logic that allows Israeli politicians to openly threaten and incite attacks on Iran while claiming to be the victim.

It's 'logic' that rest on foundations of lies.

You seem remarkably determined to uphold those lies.

Sid,

From the IRANIAN PRESS SERVICE, Dec 14, 2001

RAFSANJANI SAYS MUSLIMS SHOULD USE NUCLEAR WEAPON AGAINST ISRAEL

TEHRAN 14 Dec. (IPS) “One of Iran's most influential ruling clerics called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapons against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them "damages only".

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world", Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran..."Jews shall expect to be once again scattered and wandering around the globe the day when this appendix is extracted from the region and the Muslim world", Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani warned, blaming on the United States and Britain the "creation of the fabricated entity" in the heart of Arab and Muslim world..."

Some critical reviews of Mr. Juan Cole:

http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/007273.php

Dan Darling at August 3, 2005

“I'm with the commenter over at Michael Totten's that the more Juan gets involved in these "blog wars," the more strained and unhinged his personality becomes. When it comes to the war on terrorism, Prof. Cole fluctuates between al-Qaeda being a major threat to US national security that was galvanized by our invasion of Iraq or anything resembling US support for Israel, and it being an insignificant threat on par with the threat posed by violent cults or the nuttier militia movements of the 1990s.

I've always regarded this as a fairly disingenuous approach determined more by what he thinks is most likely to hurt SATAN (err, Bush) on any given day. As I've written about time and time again, my main problem with Cole is not so much the fact “

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/2544

Juan Cole, a professor of Middle East and South Asian studies at the University of Michigan, is at the center of acrimonious and highly personal disputes roiling the worlds of academe, politics and blogging. Reportedly under consideration for a professorship at Yale, Cole has charged prominent journalist and blogger Christopher Hitchens with being drunk and violating his privacy when he wrote a critique of Cole's linguistic apologetics for Mahmound Ahmedinejad, president of Iran.

Critics charge that Professor Cole has forsaken a scholarly approach (his expertise is on nineteenth century issues) in favor of politicized angry writing on the contemporary Middle East. They may have a point.

http://www.mererhetoric.com/archives/11272991.html

“Juan Cole Is So Incoherent That We Have To Believe He's Doing It On Purpose - Global Wave Of Moderate Islam Edition

This guy gives us a headache.

Juan Cole's got an insufferably smug roundup purporting to demonstrate that moderate Muslims are rushing to the front lines in the battle against Islamic extremism. It's very typical Cole stuff on all three typical Cole levels: cherry-picked examples in the service of flawed analysis, with the purpose of providing liberal terrorist apologists ammunition in the form of ostensible erudition. As of this post going into the MT backend, the post is nearing 400 diggs, which reflects tens of thousands of hits for that one post. This is what he's good at - allowing DKos Denizens to talk about how learned scholars are on their side against the ignorant warmongers supporting Bush and Israel.”

These are just a few of the criticisms of Mr. Cole. He has been branded an anti semite by more than a few journalists.

If by “Lies” you mean that consideration given to theories that Iran has been disingenuous about its goals for uranium enrichment or that the evidence that they are manufacturing weapons grade nuclear material are “Lies”, than I would say that you are making statements that are supported by the thinnest of (actually no evidence), and that from disingenuous sources. Investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indicate that Iran has, at the very least, lied, and indicate that they are enriching uranium to levels much higher than peaceful pursuits would necessitate.

I am not upholding any Lies or taking sides, but merely trying to draw conclusions based upon legitimate and unbiased information. Can you make that claim?

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Sid,

From the IRANIAN PRESS SERVICE, Dec 14, 2001

RAFSANJANI SAYS MUSLIMS SHOULD USE NUCLEAR WEAPON AGAINST ISRAEL

TEHRAN 14 Dec. (IPS) “One of Iran's most influential ruling clerics called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapons against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them "damages only".

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world", Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran..."Jews shall expect to be once again scattered and wandering around the globe the day when this appendix is extracted from the region and the Muslim world", Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani warned, blaming on the United States and Britain the "creation of the fabricated entity" in the heart of Arab and Muslim world..."

Some critical reviews of Mr. Juan Cole:

http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/007273.php

Dan Darling at August 3, 2005

“I'm with the commenter over at Michael Totten's that the more Juan gets involved in these "blog wars," the more strained and unhinged his personality becomes. When it comes to the war on terrorism, Prof. Cole fluctuates between al-Qaeda being a major threat to US national security that was galvanized by our invasion of Iraq or anything resembling US support for Israel, and it being an insignificant threat on par with the threat posed by violent cults or the nuttier militia movements of the 1990s.

I've always regarded this as a fairly disingenuous approach determined more by what he thinks is most likely to hurt SATAN (err, Bush) on any given day. As I've written about time and time again, my main problem with Cole is not so much the fact “

http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/2544

Juan Cole, a professor of Middle East and South Asian studies at the University of Michigan, is at the center of acrimonious and highly personal disputes roiling the worlds of academe, politics and blogging. Reportedly under consideration for a professorship at Yale, Cole has charged prominent journalist and blogger Christopher Hitchens with being drunk and violating his privacy when he wrote a critique of Cole's linguistic apologetics for Mahmound Ahmedinejad, president of Iran.

Critics charge that Professor Cole has forsaken a scholarly approach (his expertise is on nineteenth century issues) in favor of politicized angry writing on the contemporary Middle East. They may have a point.

http://www.mererhetoric.com/archives/11272991.html

“Juan Cole Is So Incoherent That We Have To Believe He's Doing It On Purpose - Global Wave Of Moderate Islam Edition

This guy gives us a headache.

Juan Cole's got an insufferably smug roundup purporting to demonstrate that moderate Muslims are rushing to the front lines in the battle against Islamic extremism. It's very typical Cole stuff on all three typical Cole levels: cherry-picked examples in the service of flawed analysis, with the purpose of providing liberal terrorist apologists ammunition in the form of ostensible erudition. As of this post going into the MT backend, the post is nearing 400 diggs, which reflects tens of thousands of hits for that one post. This is what he's good at - allowing DKos Denizens to talk about how learned scholars are on their side against the ignorant warmongers supporting Bush and Israel.”

These are just a few of the criticisms of Mr. Cole. He has been branded an anti semite by more than a few journalists.

If by “Lies” you mean that consideration given to theories that Iran has been disingenuous about its goals for uranium enrichment or that the evidence that they are manufacturing weapons grade nuclear material are “Lies”, than I would say that you are making statements that are supported by the thinnest of (actually no evidence), and that from disingenuous sources. Investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency concerning Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indicate that Iran has, at the very least, lied, and indicate that they are enriching uranium to levels much higher than peaceful pursuits would necessitate.

I am not upholding any Lies or taking sides, but merely trying to draw conclusions based upon legitimate and unbiased information. Can you make that claim?

Peter

Your Rafsanjani quote, of course, is NOT from the OFFICIAL Iranian News Agency.

It's from a 'news agency' vehemently opposed to the current Iranian Government. CIA funded? It wouldn't be the first time.

Even so, the DIRECT Rafsanjani quote in the that agency's report is: "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world"

That seems to me no more or less than a statement of fact.

Does it indicate support for nuclear weapons programs in the Islamic world? Given continued possession of nukes by the Islamic world's self-proclaimed enemies, yes it does. Does it call for Iran to start a nuclear war against Israel? Not on my reading.

In any case, I can (and have) quoted senior Israelis openly calling for attacks on Iran. It would be amazing indeed, in this over-heated political environment, if you couldn't find some threatening quotations by some senior Iranians.

No-one seriously believes that Iran would start a nuclear war against Israel - or the USA. To do so would, in the present world, be an act of suicide.

tThis is clearly about maintaining Israel's military dominance in the middle east and upholding its one-sided possession of WMDs - not only nukes, but a large range of vile biological and chemical weapons as well.

Israel never talks straight about the WMDs it possesses... but its apologists regularly claim that Israel needs these WMDs so it can feel secure. But how valid is that argument?

Israel has had nuclear weapons since 1966/7.

Has Israel's exclusive possession of WMDs in the middle east - and consequent regional military dominance - made it less warlike? Its track record of armed agression against neighbouring states suggests not.

What's worse, in this new century, Israel demands support for attacks on any countries that might be seeking to level the playing field.

I have advocated unilateral nuclear disarmament all my adult life... and find it bizarre to be pushed into qualified support for 'deterrence'.

However, Israel's incessant bullying behaviour and frequent attacks on neighbours, its manipulation of the west into wars against its perceived enemies, it's repeated use of false-flag black ops, its record of political assassinations, its imposition of a system of apartheid that makes South Africa look benign - against such a rogue State, well-armed opposition may not be such a bad idea after all and 'deterrence' may, indeed, be necessary to limit its agression.

What we really need to do, of course, is outgrow the anarchy of current international power politcis and negotiate phased, worldwide nuclear disarmament along the lines proposed by JFK and his administration.

Unfortunately, that agenda is antithetical to the supremacist ideology of the dominant (Zionist) paradigm.

Regarding Cole, I'm sure you can find people who don't like him and say so. I am not Juan Cole's apologist.

But on that single crucial issue of the oft-quoted remark by the Iranian President that, mistranslated, appears to threaten Israel with military destruction (and therefore allegedly 'justifies' pre-emptive action against Iran)... on that one issue, Peter, I have a lot more respect for Cole's analysis than for yours - or any of the other 'critics' you've adduced so far, many of whom don't even appear to speak Farsi at all.

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Sid you really need to pay better attention I referred to the Iranian president as wishing to “wipe (Israel) away” I based that on this excerpt from Wikipedia which YOU posted and classified as “Critical comments that are well-founded - and grounded in documented, factual information”

A synopsis of Mr Ahmadinejad's speech on the Iranian Presidential website states:

He further expressed his firm belief that the new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away. [14]

If indeed we go to Ahmadinejad’s site* we see that is exactly how they paraphrased him in English. Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Cole. He is still the ONLY expert you could find disputing that he called for Israel’s destruction; I already acknowledged that he didn’t use the word for map.

* http://www.president.ir/eng/ahmadinejad/cr...8/4/index-e.htm

I already pointed this out in message #28 of this thread.

As for the Rasfenjani quote it’s true that the Iran Press Service is not government run but it fits the allegation of a senior fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies: that “Some members of the government have even boasted how they would use them: to destroy Israel. "Islam could survive the retaliation," they insist, "but Israel would be gone forever." (post 28)

The part about "Jews shall expect to be once again scattered and wandering around the globe the day when this appendix is extracted from the region and the Muslim world" doesn’t seem to leave much doubt. And fits Iran hanginging banners with the slogans: “Death to Israel” and “wipe Israel away” from missiles capable of striking Israel with nuclear warheads.

As to whether or not Iran is developing such weapons you seem to be the only person here in denial regarding this, even Mark Stapleton said he thought they were.

Your analogy of comparing calls by Israelis (wrongheaded as they maybe) for destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons production capability with (apparent) calls by leading Iranian government officials for Israel’s destruction is a laughably false one.

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It seems that other sentences have been carried out, re former Iraqi official's.

The botched hanging of

Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan on Monday aroused Arab suspicions of foul play and malice, deepening the divide between the Iraqi government and Arabs in other countries.

The noose pulled off Barzan al-Tikriti's head as he fell from the gallows, suggesting that the hangman had misjudged the length of rope needed just to break his neck.

Government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said there was no "violation of procedure" in the hanging of Barzan and fellow convict Awad Hamed al-Bander, Saddam's former chief judge, for crimes against humanity over the killings of 148 Shi'ites.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070115/wl_nm/iraq_arabs_dc_1

CNN also is reporting on the story of course.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq hanged two of Saddam Hussein's aides early Monday, and one of the men was decapitated in the process.

The official video of the hangings showed Hussein's half-brother lying headless below the gallows, his severed head several yards away, The Associated Press reported.

Iraqi authorities, eager to prove that the decapitation of Barzan Hassan was an accident, showed the video to a group of journalists, according to a government official.

Hassan, the former chief of Hussein's secret police, and Awad Bandar, the chief judge under the former regime, were hanged side by side about 3 a.m. Monday (7 p.m. Sunday ET), said Basam Ridha, the spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/01/15/...ions/index.html

I for one, hope for the sake of all that is good that, the current imbroglio in Messopotamia [misspelling intentional] does not continue to escalate into one big geopolitical game of "chicken."

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Dan Plesch

Monday January 15, 2007

The Guardian

The evidence is building up that President Bush plans to add war on Iran to his triumphs in Iraq and Afghanistan - and there is every sign, to judge by his extraordinary warmongering speech in Plymouth on Friday, that Tony Blair would be keen to join him if he were still in a position to commit British forces to the field.

"There's a strong sense in the upper echelons of the White House that Iran is going to surface relatively quickly as a major issue - in the country and the world - in a very acute way," said NBC TV's Tim Russert after meeting the president. This is borne out by the fact that Bush has sent forces to the Gulf that are irrelevant to fighting the Iraqi insurgents. These include Patriot anti-missile missiles, an aircraft carrier, and cruise-missile-firing ships.

Many military analysts see these deployments as signals of impending war with Iran. The Patriot missiles are intended to shoot down Iranian missiles. The naval forces, including British ships, train to pre-empt Iranian interference with oil shipments through the straits of Hormuz.

Having been given so much advice on what to do in Iraq - most notably by the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group - the president went with the recommendations of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). So much for the idea that the Iraq debacle marginalised the neocons.

The political context as seen from inside the White House and Downing Street is that we are in a war as serious as the second world war. John Bolton exemplified this outlook when he compared US problems in Iraq with the fighting with Japan after Pearl Harbour.

Donald Rumsfeld and the AEI have developed a strategy for regime change in Iran that does not involve a ground invasion. Weapons of mass destruction will provide the rationale for military action, though it won't be limited to attacks on a few weapons factories. It will include limiting Iranian retaliatory capability, using bombers to destroy up to 10,000 targets in the first day of any war, and special forces flying in to destroy anything that's left.

In the aftermath, the US will support regime change, hoping to replace the ayatollahs with an Iran of the regions. The US and British governments now support a coalition of groups seeking a federal Iran. This may be another neocon delusion, but that may not be the point. Making Tehran concentrate on internal problems leaves it unable to act elsewhere.

Bush has said he will destroy the Syrian and Iranian networks in Iraq. These may include Moqtada al-Sadr's militia, but are also likely to target the Iranian-created Badr brigades, now wearing Iraqi police uniforms. In the south, the withdrawal of British troops to Basra airport looks more like a preparation to avoid a Shia backlash than a handover to the government of Iraq.

The US director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, explained that the threat to launch Hizbullah against Israel was the main deterrent to a US attack on Iran. Although politically Hizbullah scored a major victory in holding off the Israeli army last summer, in fact it was badly damaged.

The Iranian regime seems prepared for confrontation, perhaps confident Washington is bluffing. Next month Iran celebrates its completion of the nuclear-fuel cycle, in defiance of UN sanctions. Expect Bush and Blair to ask what the world will do to prevent a new Holocaust against the Jews. In his Plymouth speech, Blair told us that we could not pick and choose our wars. He may have been telling us more than we realised.

· Dan Plesch is a research associate at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...1990463,00.html

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Dan Plesch

Monday January 15, 2007

The Guardian

The evidence is building up that President Bush plans to add war on Iran to his triumphs in Iraq and Afghanistan - and there is every sign, to judge by his extraordinary warmongering speech in Plymouth on Friday, that Tony Blair would be keen to join him if he were still in a position to commit British forces to the field.

"There's a strong sense in the upper echelons of the White House that Iran is going to surface relatively quickly as a major issue - in the country and the world - in a very acute way," said NBC TV's Tim Russert after meeting the president. This is borne out by the fact that Bush has sent forces to the Gulf that are irrelevant to fighting the Iraqi insurgents. These include Patriot anti-missile missiles, an aircraft carrier, and cruise-missile-firing ships.

Many military analysts see these deployments as signals of impending war with Iran. The Patriot missiles are intended to shoot down Iranian missiles. The naval forces, including British ships, train to pre-empt Iranian interference with oil shipments through the straits of Hormuz.

Having been given so much advice on what to do in Iraq - most notably by the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group - the president went with the recommendations of the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI). So much for the idea that the Iraq debacle marginalised the neocons.

The political context as seen from inside the White House and Downing Street is that we are in a war as serious as the second world war. John Bolton exemplified this outlook when he compared US problems in Iraq with the fighting with Japan after Pearl Harbour.

Donald Rumsfeld and the AEI have developed a strategy for regime change in Iran that does not involve a ground invasion. Weapons of mass destruction will provide the rationale for military action, though it won't be limited to attacks on a few weapons factories. It will include limiting Iranian retaliatory capability, using bombers to destroy up to 10,000 targets in the first day of any war, and special forces flying in to destroy anything that's left.

In the aftermath, the US will support regime change, hoping to replace the ayatollahs with an Iran of the regions. The US and British governments now support a coalition of groups seeking a federal Iran. This may be another neocon delusion, but that may not be the point. Making Tehran concentrate on internal problems leaves it unable to act elsewhere.

Bush has said he will destroy the Syrian and Iranian networks in Iraq. These may include Moqtada al-Sadr's militia, but are also likely to target the Iranian-created Badr brigades, now wearing Iraqi police uniforms. In the south, the withdrawal of British troops to Basra airport looks more like a preparation to avoid a Shia backlash than a handover to the government of Iraq.

The US director of national intelligence, John Negroponte, explained that the threat to launch Hizbullah against Israel was the main deterrent to a US attack on Iran. Although politically Hizbullah scored a major victory in holding off the Israeli army last summer, in fact it was badly damaged.

The Iranian regime seems prepared for confrontation, perhaps confident Washington is bluffing. Next month Iran celebrates its completion of the nuclear-fuel cycle, in defiance of UN sanctions. Expect Bush and Blair to ask what the world will do to prevent a new Holocaust against the Jews. In his Plymouth speech, Blair told us that we could not pick and choose our wars. He may have been telling us more than we realised.

· Dan Plesch is a research associate at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, School of Oriental and African Studies

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...1990463,00.html

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Thanks for posting that Doug. I agree that Bush will increase troop numbers in Iraq and that he will give Israel the go-ahead to bomb Iran. The timing of this is going to be very important. Bush will want to do it before Blair leaves office. It is also significant that Blair moved Jack Straw from the post of minister of defence. Straw had already made it clear that he was opposed to taking military action against Iran. When Blair made this decision in May, 2006, I posted on the forum that this was a sign that he was willing to go along with Bush over his military plans concerning Iran.

Interestingly, the reason why Clinton refused to sanction a US invasion of Iraq was his belief, that if he did so, the US would eventually become involved in a war with Iran. Ironically, this judgment was based on intelligence provided by the CIA.

Major investment bank issues warning on strike against Iran

01/15/2007

Filed by Michael Roston

www.rawstory.com

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/Major_in...ng_on_0115.html

Warning that investors might be "in for a shock," a major investment bank has told the financial community that a preemptive strike by Israel with American backing could hit Iran's nuclear program, RAW STORY has learned.

The banking division of ING Group released a memo on Jan. 9 entitled "Attacking Iran: The market impact of a surprise Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities." ING is a global financial services company of Dutch origin that includes banking, insurance, and other divisions. The report was authored by Charles Robinson, the Chief Economist for Emerging Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He also authored an update in ING's daily update Prophet that further underscored the bank's perception of the risks of an attack.

ING's Robertson admitted that an attack on Iran was "high impact, if low probability," but explained some of the reasons why a strike might go forward. The Jan. 9 dispatch, describes Israel as "not prepared to accept the same doctrine of ‘mutually assured destruction’ that kept the peace during the Cold War. Israel is adamant that this is not an option for such a geographically small country....So if Israel is convinced Iran is aiming to develop a nuclear weapon, it must presumably act at some point."

Sketching out the time line for an attack, Robertson says that "we can be fairly sure that if Israel is going to act, it will be keen to do so while Bush and Cheney are in the White House." He further suggests a February-March 2007 time line is possible for several reasons. First, there is a comparable time line with Israel's strike on Iraq's nuclear program in 1981, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's political troubles within Israel. Second, late February will see Iran's deadline to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1737, and Israel could use a failure of Iran and the UN to follow through as justification for a strike. Finally, greater US military presence in the region at that time could be seen by Israel as the protection from retaliation that it needs.

In his Jan. 15 update, Robertson points to a political reason that could make the assault more likely - personnel changes in the Bush administration may have sidelined opponents of attacking Iran. Bush recently removed General John Abizaid as commander of US forces in the Middle East, and John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence, both of whom have stated that attacking Iran is not a priority or the right move at this time. The deployment of Patriot missile batteries, highlighted in President Bush's recent White House speech on America's Iraq policy, also pointed to a need to defend against Iranian missiles.

The ING memo was first sent to RAW STORY by an anonymous tip and confirmed Monday by staff on the bank's emerging markets office, who passed along the Jan. 15 update. A screenshot of the first page is provided below.

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/Major_in...ng_on_0115.html

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Sid you really need to pay better attention I referred to the Iranian president as wishing to “wipe (Israel) away” I based that on this excerpt from Wikipedia which YOU posted and classified as “Critical comments that are well-founded - and grounded in documented, factual information”
A synopsis of Mr Ahmadinejad's speech on the Iranian Presidential website states:

He further expressed his firm belief that the new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away. [14]

If indeed we go to Ahmadinejad’s site* we see that is exactly how they paraphrased him in English. Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Cole. He is still the ONLY expert you could find disputing that he called for Israel’s destruction; I already acknowledged that he didn’t use the word for map.

* http://www.president.ir/eng/ahmadinejad/cr...8/4/index-e.htm

I already pointed this out in message #28 of this thread.

As for the Rasfenjani quote it’s true that the Iran Press Service is not government run but it fits the allegation of a senior fellow in the Center for Strategic and International Studies: that “Some members of the government have even boasted how they would use them: to destroy Israel. "Islam could survive the retaliation," they insist, "but Israel would be gone forever." (post 28)

The part about "Jews shall expect to be once again scattered and wandering around the globe the day when this appendix is extracted from the region and the Muslim world" doesn’t seem to leave much doubt. And fits Iran hanginging banners with the slogans: “Death to Israel” and “wipe Israel away” from missiles capable of striking Israel with nuclear warheads.

As to whether or not Iran is developing such weapons you seem to be the only person here in denial regarding this, even Mark Stapleton said he thought they were.

Your analogy of comparing calls by Israelis (wrongheaded as they maybe) for destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons production capability with (apparent) calls by leading Iranian government officials for Israel’s destruction is a laughably false one.

Len

First, you provide a general link to the Iranian President's website, but not a specific page ref that proves your point. I've just wasted minuites trying to verify your claim. I can't. But that's not's to say it's incorrect.

Please provide an exact web reference for your claim that Ahmadinejad’s site upholds your (mis-?) interpretation of his words.

You say my "analogy of comparing calls by Israelis (wrongheaded as they maybe) for destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons production capability with (apparent) calls by leading Iranian government officials for Israel’s destruction is a laughably false one."

Please explain why.

Incidentally, I understand that Israel's new deputy PM - Avigdor Lieberman - seeks a Zionist State that is 100% 'Jewish'. Even The Jewish Forward expresses some shock at the rantings of this grotesque bigot:

Lieberman makes Bibi Netanyahu appear moderate. In an address to the Knesset five months ago, he unblushingly had this to say to Arab members of Israel’s parliament: “World War II ended with the Nuremberg trials and the leaders of the Nazi regime were executed; not just them, but also their collaborators. Just as [Pierre]Laval in France was executed, I hope that this will be the fate of the collaborators in this house [the Knesset]. Just as they knew to mete out justice to Laval, thus should justice be meted out to you, in precisely the same way.”

His grand proposal is to slice off of Israel an area of dense Arab population, trading it for parts of the West Bank where Jews have settled. The idea of stripping a fifth of your citizens of their citizenship, in effect exiling them without requiring them to move (never mind that it would be a clear violation of Israel’s Declaration of Independence, a document of constitutional status), has a populist appeal. Lieberman is bright, clever, even charming; where the late Meir Kahane was a bothersome carbuncle, Lieberman is a bad dream on its way to becoming a malignant nightmare. While there’s debate about whether he can fairly be classified a fascist, there’s no debating his demagoguery. A fantasy is only a fantasy, no? So what if Lieberman wants a divorce from Israel’s Arabs? Most Israeli Jews, even the moderates among them, might wish the same. But in the end, they know the difference between idle wishes and public policy.

What really matters here is not Lieberman, it’s Olmert. Prime Minister Olmert, whose popularity in Israel is… well, let’s put it this way: It isn’t. In an effort to slow his free-fall, he now seeks to entice Lieberman into joining the governing coalition, perhaps as minister for strategic affairs.

Olmert, five months ago, was the new Olmert, the one-time civilized right-winger who had allegedly seen the error of his ways and had realized that moderation and negotiation are Israel’s only sustaining alternative. But as it turns out, while Olmert’s voice was the voice of a statesman, his hands were and now are again the hands of a conniver, an unprincipled political cheat.

The Palestinians doubtless harbor the same fantasy of disappearance, wishing the Israeli Jews would simply cease to exist. Altogether too many of them seek to help that disappearance along, cause it to happen not through magic but through menace and murder. But the issue here is not who walks the moral high ground, who the low. The issue is that both sides have to grow up and disavow magical thinking, whether its content be benign or malignant. History has tricked Arabs and Jews, in Israel and across its nebulous boundaries, into cohabitation. That, for better or worse, is their common destiny. Lieberman’s denial and Olmert’s mendacity are simply efforts to evade that destiny. Inevitably, they prolong the conflict. Magic can be a pleasant diversion from reality, but in the hands of charlatans, it is a clear and present danger.

Notice that I provide a PRECISE web link reference, Len? I don't just link to The Forward and expect you to find the page.

It's not very hard to do.

You should try it yourself (on those odd occasions when you have the facts on your side). :help

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There'sa fascinating new article by James Petras, entitled Who rules America?

Petras sees a fundamental contradiction between the interests and goals of US finance capital as a whole and the war plans of the Israel Lobby.

The picture is highly complex, because the two are so closely intertwined.

Petras concludes:

The Future of the Financial Ruling Class

What is abundantly clear is that one of the main threats to world markets – and the health of the financial ruling class – is an Israeli military attack on Iran . This will extend warfare throughout Asia and the Islamic world, drive energy prices beyond levels heretofore known, cause a major recession and likely a crash in financial markets. But as in the case of the relationships between Israel and the US , the Zionist Lobby calls the shots and its Wall Street acolytes acquiesce. As matters now stand, the Jewish Lobby supports the escalation of the Iraq war and the savaging of Palestine , Somalia and Afghanistan . It has neutralized the biggest and most concerted effort by big name centrist political figures to alter White House policy. Baker, Carter, former military commanders of US forces in Iraq have been savaged by the Zionist ideologues. Under their influence the White House is putting into practice the war strategy presented by the ‘American’ Enterprise Institute (a Zioncon thinktank). As a result parallel to Bush’s appointment of Paulson and Wall Streeters to run imperial economic policy, he has appointed an entire new pro-war civilian military-security apparatus to escalate and extend the Middle East wars to Africa ( Somalia ) and Latin America ( Venezuela ).

Sooner or later a break between Wall Street and the militarists will occur. The additional costs of an escalating wars, the continual ballooning debt payments, huge imbalances in the balance of payments and decreasing inflows of capital as multi-national repatriate profits and overseas central banks diversify their currency reserves will force the issue. The enormous and growing inequalities, the massive concentration of wealth and capital at a time of declining living standards and stagnant income for the vast majority, gives the financial ruling class little political capital or credibility if and when an economic and financial crisis breaks.

With foreign investors owning 47% of all marketable US Treasury bonds in 2006 compared to 33% in 2001 and foreign holdings of US corporate debt up to 30% today, from 23% just 5 years ago, a rapid sell-off would totally destabilize US financial markets and the economic system as well as the world economy. A rapid sell-off of dollars with catastrophic consequences cannot be ruled out if US-Zionist militarism continues to run amuck, creating conditions of extended and prolonged warfare.

The paradox is that some of the most wealthy and powerful beneficiaries of the ascendancy of finance capital are precisely the same class of people who are financing their own self-destruction. While cheap finance fueling multi-billion dollar mergers, acquisitions, commissions and executive payoffs, heightened militarism operates on a budget plagued by tax reductions, exemptions and evasions for the financial ruling class and ever greater squeezing of the overburdened wage and salary classes. Something has to break the cohabitation between ruling class financiers and political militarists. They are running in opposite directions. One is investing capital abroad and the other spending borrowed funds at home. For the moment there are no signs of any serious clashes at the top, and in the middle and working classes there are no signs of any political break with the two Wall Street parties or any challenge to the militarist-Zionist stranglehold on Congress. Likely it will take a catastrophe, like a White House-back Israeli nuclear attack on Iran to detonate the kind of crisis which will provoke a deep and widespread popular backlash of all things military, financial and made in Israel.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Len

First, you provide a general link to the Iranian President's website, but not a specific page ref that proves your point. I've just wasted minuites trying to verify your claim. I can't. But that's not's to say it's incorrect.

Please provide an exact web reference for your claim that Ahmadinejad’s site upholds your (mis-?) interpretation of his words.

You say my "analogy of comparing calls by Israelis (wrongheaded as they maybe) for destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons production capability with (apparent) calls by leading Iranian government officials for Israel’s destruction is a laughably false one."

Please explain why.

Incidentally, I understand that Israel's new deputy PM - Avigdor Lieberman - seeks a Zionist State that is 100% 'Jewish'. Even The Jewish Forward expresses some shock at the rantings of this grotesque bigot:

<snip>

Notice that I provide a PRECISE web link reference, Len? I don't just link to The Forward and expect you to find the page.

It's not very hard to do.

You should try it yourself (on those odd occasions when you have the facts on your side). :rolleyes:

Sid your research skills impress me the quote is from the linked page! :lol::lol::lol:

Look at the “Ahmadinejad: Supporters of Israel will face wrath of Islamic ummah” article it’s just over half way through (I’d tell you the exact line but that will change with browser settings). If you still can’t find it try using your browser’s “Find (on this page)” (or equivalent function). :D

Why isn’t calling for destruction of a counties nuclear weapons production facilities analogous to calling for the destruction of an entire country? Is that really a serious question?

As for the Petras essay, political and economic analysis from a sociologist who doesn’t cite any sources [Yawn] how compelling! It's basiclly just an update of his usual "Jews run America diatribe"

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Len

First, you provide a general link to the Iranian President's website, but not a specific page ref that proves your point. I've just wasted minuites trying to verify your claim. I can't. But that's not's to say it's incorrect.

Please provide an exact web reference for your claim that Ahmadinejad’s site upholds your (mis-?) interpretation of his words.

You say my "analogy of comparing calls by Israelis (wrongheaded as they maybe) for destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons production capability with (apparent) calls by leading Iranian government officials for Israel’s destruction is a laughably false one."

Please explain why.

Incidentally, I understand that Israel's new deputy PM - Avigdor Lieberman - seeks a Zionist State that is 100% 'Jewish'. Even The Jewish Forward expresses some shock at the rantings of this grotesque bigot:

<snip>

Notice that I provide a PRECISE web link reference, Len? I don't just link to The Forward and expect you to find the page.

It's not very hard to do.

You should try it yourself (on those odd occasions when you have the facts on your side). :rolleyes:

Sid your research skills impress me the quote is from the linked page! :lol::lol::lol:

Look at the “Ahmadinejad: Supporters of Israel will face wrath of Islamic ummah” article it’s just over half way through (I’d tell you the exact line but that will change with browser settings). If you still can’t find it try using your browser’s “Find (on this page)” (or equivalent function). :D

Why isn’t calling for destruction of a counties nuclear weapons production facilities analogous to calling for the destruction of an entire country? Is that really a serious question?

As for the Petras essay, political and economic analysis from a sociologist who doesn’t cite any sources [Yawn] how compelling! It's basiclly just an update of his usual "Jews run America diatribe"

Ah! Thanks, Len.

So you did refer to the phrase:

He (the Iranian President) further expressed his firm belief that the new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away.

Trouble is, Len, that is in absolutely NO way equivalent to "Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map"

So it doesn';t make your case. Sorry for being slow on this. I thought you must have found something else on his site that actually made the case he's threatened Israel with annihilation. Apparently not.

Why isn't it equivalent?

Back to the schoolyard. It's about the level of analysis appropriate to this grotesque, war-justifying 'beat-up'.

Imagine Jonny says to Jimmy "if you keep on picking fights and stirring trouble, you'll get beaten up!"

Imagine then Jimmy tells the rest of the playground "Jonny just threatened to beat me up. Let's get him before he gets me!".

Can you - Len - spot how Jimmy is trying to pull a swift one?

I can.

I wonder about the rest of the kids in the playground, who get most of their news from TV stations and newspapers contolled by little Jimmy's dad and uncles.

Will they figure it out too?

Edited by Sid Walker
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Len

First, you provide a general link to the Iranian President's website, but not a specific page ref that proves your point. I've just wasted minuites trying to verify your claim. I can't. But that's not's to say it's incorrect.

Please provide an exact web reference for your claim that Ahmadinejad’s site upholds your (mis-?) interpretation of his words.

You say my "analogy of comparing calls by Israelis (wrongheaded as they maybe) for destruction of Iran’s nuclear weapons production capability with (apparent) calls by leading Iranian government officials for Israel’s destruction is a laughably false one."

Please explain why.

Incidentally, I understand that Israel's new deputy PM - Avigdor Lieberman - seeks a Zionist State that is 100% 'Jewish'. Even The Jewish Forward expresses some shock at the rantings of this grotesque bigot:

<snip>

Notice that I provide a PRECISE web link reference, Len? I don't just link to The Forward and expect you to find the page.

It's not very hard to do.

You should try it yourself (on those odd occasions when you have the facts on your side). :rolleyes:

Sid your research skills impress me the quote is from the linked page! :lol::lol::lol:

Look at the “Ahmadinejad: Supporters of Israel will face wrath of Islamic ummah” article it’s just over half way through (I’d tell you the exact line but that will change with browser settings). If you still can’t find it try using your browser’s “Find (on this page)” (or equivalent function). :D

Why isn’t calling for destruction of a counties nuclear weapons production facilities analogous to calling for the destruction of an entire country? Is that really a serious question?

As for the Petras essay, political and economic analysis from a sociologist who doesn’t cite any sources [Yawn] how compelling! It's basiclly just an update of his usual "Jews run America diatribe"

Ah! Thanks, Len.

So you did refer to the phrase:

He (the Iranian President) further expressed his firm belief that the new wave of confrontations generated in Palestine and the growing turmoil in the Islamic world would in no time wipe Israel away.

Trouble is, Len, that is in absolutely NO way equivalent to "Iran threatens to wipe Israel off the map"

So it doesn';t make your case. Sorry for being slow on this. I thought you must have found something else on his site that actually made the case he's threatened Israel with annihilation. Apparently not.

Why isn't it equivalent?

Back to the schoolyard. It's about the level of analysis appropriate to this grotesque, war-justifying 'beat-up'.

Imagine Jonny says to Jimmy "if you keep on picking fights and stirring trouble, you'll get beaten up!"

Imagine then Jimmy tells the rest of the playground "Jonny just threatened to beat me up. Let's get him before he gets me!".

Can you - Len - spot how Jimmy is trying to pull a swift one?

I can.

I wonder about the rest of the kids in the playground, who get most of their news from TV stations and newspapers contolled by little Jimmy's dad and uncles.

Will they figure it out too?

Yeah Sid the sentence was written exactly as I said it was, is that what confused you? That was obviously referring to the disputed sentence from the speech. Stop BSing you were simply unable to find it!

Yeah, I think ‘wiping a country away’ sounds pretty close to annihilating it. Note in the President’s official translation it didn’t say anything about “wiping the regime that occupies Jerusalem from the pages of history” just “wipe Israel away” this coupled with banners bearing the same phrase and “death to Israel” slung from nuclear warhead capable missiles and senior Iranian government officials ‘making the observation’ that nuclear war would lead to Israel’s destruction but merely “damages” to Islamic countries all reinforce a rather ominous interpretation of his words.

Why is calling for attacking a WMD production facility that would only result in property damage and perhaps a few casualties not equivalent to calling for the killing or expulsion of the entire population of a country (totaling millions of people)? Perhaps if you think real hard you can figure it out!

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Why is calling for attacking a WMD production facility that would only result in property damage and perhaps a few casualties not equivalent to calling for the killing or expulsion of the entire population of a country (totaling millions of people)? Perhaps if you think real hard you can figure it out!

For the nth time, Len, no-one in the Iranian Government has called for "the killing or expulsion of the entire population of a country" (Israel, or any other country).

At least, you and your chums have been unable to present evidence to that effect.

When you find some evidence, please do get back to me.

You further say, referring to the Zionist plans to attack Iran in an illegal first strike, "attacking a WMD production facility... would only result in property damage and perhaps a few casualties "

Care to share with us the analysis, or better, the evidence on which you base such marvellous optimism?

Remember the cakewalk?

One final thing. In an earlier reply, you attacked James Petras as follows.

As for the Petras essay, political and economic analysis from a sociologist who doesn’t cite any sources [Yawn]how compelling! It's basiclly just an update of his usual "Jews run America diatribe"

Now it's true that Petras doesn't use footnotes in that article, Len.

But here's a hint. Check what's inside the brackets. They look like this ( )

You'll find reference after reference - mostly to the Financial Times :rolleyes:

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Why is calling for attacking a WMD production facility that would only result in property damage and perhaps a few casualties not equivalent to calling for the killing or expulsion of the entire population of a country (totaling millions of people)? Perhaps if you think real hard you can figure it out!

For the nth time, Len, no-one in the Iranian Government has called for "the killing or expulsion of the entire population of a country" (Israel, or any other country).

At least, you and your chums have been unable to present evidence to that effect.

When you find some evidence, please do get back to me.

You further say, referring to the Zionist plans to attack Iran in an illegal first strike, "attacking a WMD production facility... would only result in property damage and perhaps a few casualties "

Care to share with us the analysis, or better, the evidence on which you base such marvellous optimism?

Remember the cakewalk?

One final thing. In an earlier reply, you attacked James Petras as follows.

As for the Petras essay, political and economic analysis from a sociologist who doesn’t cite any sources [Yawn]how compelling! It's basiclly just an update of his usual "Jews run America diatribe"

Now it's true that Petras doesn't use footnotes in that article, Len.

But here's a hint. Check what's inside the brackets. They look like this ( )

You'll find reference after reference - mostly to the Financial Times :rolleyes:

It's obvious Colby isn't really trying to contribute to this thread.

He's just doing what he's best at---troublemaking.

There's no chance Iran would use a nuclear weapon to 'wipe Israel of the map'. Colby and his ilk are fully aware of this but want to use the spectre of this 'threat' to justify blatant acts of war against Iran and its allies.

Question for Len Colby (please don't ignore): Why would Iran use a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel when such an act would poison the whole region with fallout and almost certainly WIPE THE PALESTINIANS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Question for Len Colby (please don't ignore): Why would Iran use a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel when such an act would poison the whole region with fallout and almost certainly WIPE THE PALESTINIANS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH?

Perhaps Len, with his amazing ability to limit the human toll of aerial agression, could design a strike on Israel that would destroy only its WMDs (Dimona, Nes Ziona and the rest) "and perhaps a few casualties".

The mullahs might be interested in that, Len.

But I doubt they'd believe you, either.

Edited by Sid Walker
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