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14 November 2010

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Jake

Ok what am I not getting here? What is Sarkozy's gain in all of this? Does Sarkozy think that the $1.5 Million Muslims in France will just sit by and watch the raid on TV?

What makes him think that the French people will do the bobble top?

Sarkozy is a right winger but is the man that certifiable?

Patrick Lang

Anthony

"broadcasting this information for all to hear."

What part of this are you missing? It is only I who am "broadcasting" it. pl

Anthony

Pat,

that is my point. you are not the one who is doing it. You hear from Harper who heard form an Israeli source who heard from...

This sounds like PR campaign to ratchet up the next round of sanctions on iran. yes, even amongst the anti-war advocates.

FB Ali

Several comments have suggested that this could be just a ploy. It may well be. For example, in order to put some more pressure on the US administration so that they tighten the screws on Iran even more. Or, to try and scare the Iranians (all that talk about his “being completely irrational”).

Several illogical and unlikely aspects have also been pointed out. The whole France bit is rather over the top. “Sarcozy”, whatever else he may be, isn’t nuts. He would have to be to do what the report says he has agreed to do. The Brits are up their eyebrows in s**t; the last thing they want is another global economic crisis.

Considering all the blowback that the report mentions as likely to follow an Israeli attack, the whole Israeli top political and military command would have to have lost their senses to contemplate such an action. Especially since the attack would only succeed in delaying the acquisition of a nuclear capability by Iran. Maybe, that’s what has happened ‒ they’ve all lost their minds.

If you can be irrational enough to convince yourself that letting Iran continue its current program (whatever it is: electricity or weapons) will inevitably, indubitably, inexorably result in the certain destruction of Israel, then you could devise a plan to start this war with such an attack, and let the US handle the consequences and the blowback, as it will have to. And, believe that this gives Israel a better shot at survival.

If that be so, then is Galant the world’s only hope (for Obama isn’t, for sure)? Is that why Hillary is offering N’yahoo everything for a 90-day delay, just to let Galant the saviour step up to the plate?

Jackie

Jake: I'm wondering if Sarkozy has a Napoleon complex.

Jake

Anthony

Lets stop kidding ourselves. Sanction just do not work. The word "sanction" is just duckspeak.

IMHO... we need to stop the bullshit and get into direct talks with Iran. Screw Bibi if he has a cow.

Clifford Kiracofe

1. The Israelis, British, and French persuaded themselves that the new "Hitler" (as he was called) meaning Nasser and his Egypt were an existential threat to their interests. Thus, Suez 1956.

See, Donald Neff, Warriors at Suez (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1981) and Keith Kyle, Suez Britain's End of Empire in the Middle East (London: Tauris, 2003).

2. The Iraq War did happen and we are still in it thanks to the Neocons etal. and their strategic projects in support of Israel which include war(s).

3. Three-quarters of the House and Senate voted for the Iraq War. The incoming Congress could be counted on to do same if not more, IMO, per US supporting Israel in a war against Iran.

4. Again, what would Russia do? China? EU? Pass and let the US take the hit I would expect. What sort of asymmetric response from Iran?

5. I do have some problem with the French scenario, however. In 1956, France had Algeria in mind and the French public could be led along on this basis perhaps. But today??? What are French interests which would lead them into such a war now???

Fred

Jake,

Sanctions don't work? We better tell Castro. Oh, never mind. (But it does got the right wing re-elected in South Florida)

As to France, I think many of thier citizens (not just the Muslim population) won't be happy with a war on Iran.

R Whitman

I think the Hisbollah reaction to this will be to advance into Northern Israel(where the population is already majority Muslim) and try to pour the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon into Israel as soon as possible. I also think that Hesbollah has enough long range rockets to make a temporary mess of every airfield in Israel except those in the southern part of the Negev.

The rush of visitors and tourists to get out of Israel will jam everything up. We may also get concerted action in the form of demonstrations and riots from the Arabs in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza which may not be able to be contained by civil and military authorities.

Here in the US, if oil goes to $200/bbl, gasoline to $7.50 a gallon and the stock markets drop by half, we may see the spectacle of a lot of American Jews deciding they are no longer Israel supporters.

Roy G

I don't see Turkey mentioned in this scenario. Given their new regional role, fallout with Israel, and presence within NATO, I think they would need to be accounted for. Otoh, I can see why Israel is keeping mum about them, since they prefer to pick on the little guys.

Also, in re France, I foresee more and even bigger strikes if Sarkozy pulls them into this stupid aggression. What a novel concept!

The beaver

Why did Sarko replace his foreign and defence ministers today this morning?
Bernard Kouchner , a pro-Israel ( Jewish Socialist lefty)is replaced by Michele Alliot-Marie as Foreign Minister and Hervé Morin by the former PM Alain Juppé ( also involved in a corruption scandal)

A

Good point made by "Lysander" above, about the Lebanese ambush at Ansariyya. This it not news, it was actually brought up by HA themselves in Nasrallah's anti-Hariri trial speech recently.

The only investigation into that event that may or may not be going on is whether the ambush succeeded because (as Nasrallah claimed) Israeli drone transmissions were leaking information. Those are the revelations that may be new to Israel and may require investigation.

Either there is a misunderstanding on the part of someone here, or there's been a new raid (seems unlikely), or the text/source is deliberately confusing things by bringing up an old attack as if it was 'secret' information.

Medicine Man

I don't understand what Sarkozy would stand to get in return for helping Bibi with this; or is his party getting strong-armed into it by foreign lobbies?

walrus

To borrow a phrase; "Follow the money".

It's about economics. Irans GDP is around $280 billion. Israel around $200 billion.

The case for supporting Israel instead of Iran comes down to simple commercial opportunity. Unless Irans GDP can be reduced by bombing, or its growth retarded by sanctions, then ultimately Iran is a better investment proposition for Western funds than Israel.

Iran is coming from a low base. There is money to be made there. The ultimate nightmare for Israel is an economic, not military existential threat.

The second that becomes obvious, then God help Israel, for American businesses will beat a path to Irans door, and screw AIPAC.

The irony of this is that Iran, with its educated younger middle class, is uniquely situated to benefit from American friendliness.

toto

The French will provide top of the line jets to Israel for these operations. The French are also going to provide mid-air refueling for the dozen planes

No, they bloody won't. See below.

Why did Sarko replace his foreign and defence ministers today this morning?

There's been a major government reshuffle. The reason is that there is a presidential election in 2012. Sarkozy and (prime minister) Fillon have passed through unpopular reforms over the last few months; now they want to build a new, gentler, carefully controlled government to carry them smoothly to the elections.

Helping Israel bomb Iran would make Sarkozay unelectable even if he offered a gold-plated Renault to every Frenchman.

I believe "Harper" should be more cautious in picking his "reliable" sources.

William R. Cumming

Will there be a "who lost Turkey?" discourse sometime soon? Who lost Iraq?
Who lost Afghanistan?

The premise always being of course that these nation-states were some political party's protectorate for the US to lose!

What portion of a nation-states defense budget has to be tied to US contractors and funding before it is a de facto protectorate? Is Israel? Is Egypt? Is Saudi Arabia? Is the EU generally? Is India? Is Pakistan? Well you catch my drift! Is there any open source ranking of nation-states based on US funding of their military or para-military forces?

Out of the blue so to speak President Obama signed an Executive Order placing the Department of Homeland Security in a leadership on foreign tech transfers? Does this make any sense? How does this relate to foreign assistance and foreign military sales, if at all? Is there a reason US military sales always require expensive maintenance and upgrade contracts? Does the NSC weigh in on foreign military sales? If so exactly how?Assuming a foreign military sale goes through, should dissents to that sale from Executive Branch organizations be made public?
By the way is the H block of B-52 production the end of that series?

David Habakkuk

F.B. Ali

The Brits are up their eyebrows in s**t; the last thing they want is another global economic crisis.

Certainly we have problems enough, without compounding them by another foolish venture in the Middle East – and I would suspect that David Cameron is mindful of the way in which Blair's Iraq misadventure wrecked what had until he embarked on it appeared a very successful premiership.

But what also needs to be taken into account are ongoing shifts in British opinion. Following the Gaza flotilla incident, Cameron described what had happened as 'completely unacceptable', and said that Britain 'should do everything we can through the United Nations to end the blockade and open up Gaza.' And on a visit to Turkey in July, he described Gaza as a 'prison camp'.

Also worth noting is the speech at the Labour Party Conference by the new leader, Ed Miliband – the first ever Jewish leader of the party. From a discussion in the Jewish Chronicle by Geoffrey Alderman, a well-known Anglo-Jewish academic:

Apart from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Anglo-American alliance, the only other international issue on which Ed deemed it necessary to address conference was "the conflicts of the Middle East" – by which he meant the conflict between Israel and its Palestinian Arab neighbours. Defending the right of Israel to live "in peace and security", Ed demanded nonetheless that Israel "accept and recognise… the Palestinian right to statehood"; condemned - without qualification - the interdiction of the Gaza flotilla; and called for the blockade of Gaza to be lifted.

But not one word did he say about continuing rocket attacks upon Israel. From Ed's lips there fell not one word of condemnation of the recent murders of Jewish civilians on the West Bank. Nor was there any mention of the crimes of Hamas - I mean here primarily its crimes against the population over which it rules in Gaza and which it terrorises, tortures and slaughters in complete disregard of the basic norms of civilised behaviour.

So why did Ed Miliband, who now leads Her Majesty's Opposition, choose to dwell on Israel, and to present the Jewish state in such a negative light?

I suggest that it was because he wanted to tell the comrades of the Labour party what they wanted to hear. Let's cut to the chase. There is simply no room for Zionism or for any even vague expression of sympathy for Zionism in the party Ed Miliband now leads. Elected leader through the block votes of the party-affiliated trade unions, the last thing Ed was going to do was to challenge the deep hostility to Israel of which the union bosses are now so proud.

(See http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/39343/proud-jew-ed-strong-israel. )

If indeed Ed Miliband's speech was simply the product of opportunism, that would suggest a dramatic change among certain sections of gentile opinion in Britain. However, Professor Alderman may be doing Ed Miliband an injustice. His mother, Marion Kozak, who came here from Poland as a child in flight from the Nazis, is a signatory of the founding statements of both Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Independent Jewish Voices – which claims that British Jewish organisations do not reflect the Jewish community as a whole.

Patrick Lang

toto

That may be a little harsh. There may be a causal connection between the French government re-shuffle and the course of action that his ministers had set for Sarko. pl

Patrick Lang

All

One thing that should be included in the picture (correct me if I am wrong) is that the US had loaned the Israelis the use of some F-22s during the Bush Administration. These are stealth fighters. these were withdrawn by Obama and the IAF is now without a stealth fighter. pl

J

Colonel,

Consider the F22 tech 'compromised' if the Israelis were allowed to have their mitts on it 'alone' (which they were). The same thing will happen when they get their grubby mitts on the F35s (which have already been compromised thanks the the 'flash drive' affair. Don't discount the Israelis having been actively pursuing their own 'stealth development' from their stolen U.S. tech.

Sidney O. Smith III

Still don’t understand why the Jericho III is not factored into the analysis, particularly when the strategic objective of the GOI is to have the Iranians retaliate against US forces. As Cheney made clear a few years ago, the GOI objective is not exclusively to knock out Iranian capability to manufacture nuclear weapons but also to trigger an Iranian response directed against US military and assets. Just takes one Jericho III to accomplish such an objective.

Also don’t see why the GOI would hesitate to launch the Jericho III later on in a such a conflict, particularly if it escalates rapidly. From their thinking, they may not have a choice but to do so.

FB Ali

David Habakkuk,

Yes, there does seem to have been a significant shift in public opinion in the UK on this issue. And, Ed Miliband appears to be different enough from Tony Blair to lead one to think that he was expressing his beliefs.

I wonder if you’d like to express an opinion on the likelihood of the Israeli leadership deluding themselves into believing that launching such an attack on Iran (in order to involve the USA in a war against that country) would provide the best solution for Israel in its current dilemma. You know and understand that country much better than I do.

Jane

1. Iranian security is of no more direct interest to the Pakistanis than Israel's is to the United States.

2. We have treaties and face involved in our stance.

3. Iran is Shia and Pakistan is largely Sunni.

4. Iran opposes the Taliban who oppressed the Shia in Afghanistan while the Pakistanis support the Taliban Movement seeing it in part as a counterweight to India.

So under what conditions would Pakistan attack Israel on Iran's behalf and why?

OTOH, why on earth would Israel choose to depend on the French talking the Pakistanis out of anything they wanted to do?

Patrick Lang

Jane

Like most people who are firmly in the Israeli camp you lack a basic understanding of the culture of the Islamic World. The application of shallow "political science "and "international relations" based analysis to that civilization is predicated on a basic lack of respect for Islamic people and the higher motivations that you probably don't think they have. I am not going to try to answer your question. Life is too short and you would not believe me anyway. pl

Jane

In part my question was predicated on the notion that 'higher motivations' -- morality, cultural affinity, and promises -- motivate our support for Israel and to point out that you credited the Muslims with such motivations despite demanding that we view our relationship with Israel only in the realpolitik of our interests and that if Pakistan's actions are judged solely on realpolitik interests there is very little cause for them to intervene.

Since you see the insult and the sacrifice to the Muslim peoples of being the unwilling hosts to an obnoxious Jewish homeland as undercutting the morality of the existence of Israel, you discount the impact of morality in generating support in the United States for Israel.

The United States has accepted multiple waves of immigrants -- some graciously and some not. The desire of the Moslim lands to remain free of all such incomers is not a value I share.

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