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04 June 2011

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Stanleyhenning@mac.com

If we support or participate in this insanity then all bets are off for America's future.

William RAISER

The games we play with people's lives! As Seymour Hersh's recent New Yorker article points out, there is no justification for such an attack. Even if Iran were developing an atomic bomb, that would not justify an attack. Iran is not so stupid as to bomb Israel knowing that would be the end of Iran.

William R. Cumming

WOW! Having failed to stimulate any peaceful change now Israel and USA hoping bombs will modify the future and make up for long corrupted
foreign relations?
CORRUPTION here means driven by elites and not popular democracy!

arbogast

Increasingly, I think you have to follow the money. Billions and billions of dollars are being made (stolen) by defense contractors and their whores in Congress. Winding down Iraq and Afghanistan represents a big, big hit to them.

In addition, there are over 44 million people in the US on food stamps, and the economy is turning down. The appetite of the US public for war is exceedingly thin. They want food, not war.

Congressional Republicans have questioned the authority of Obama to wage war in Libya.

It all points in one direction: Israel strikes Iran, and the US "to protect Israel" becomes involved... big time.

And all this in the face of measured, responsible, strong opposition in the Israeli intelligence community.

It's not about money? Congress isn't a brothel run by AIPAC and defense contractors? Obama isn't the Madam?

Walrus

Since America will be virtually bankrupt by September, such an action would have a certain appeal.

Force majeur is a wonderful thing to invoke.

dan

Oh good grief, this the howmanyeth iteration of this story?

If anyone seriously still thinks that there is any prospect of Israeli military action against Iran ( and they've been threatening to do this since the mid-1990's ) then it really is proof positive that the Friedman unit is the default measure of American historical amnesia.

To the author - perhap you could go back to your source and ask him whether he seriously thinks that the US, which has the casting vote over the whole affair, would entertain the concept of military activity re Iran whilst heading into the peak of Gulf of Mexico hurricane season, and its attendant potential negative impacts on US crude production, especially at a time when one major source of global crude exports is already offline, the US economy is already faltering on the back of the current level of higher oil prices, the 2012 election campaign is revving up, and there is a debilitating debt-ceiling catfight in Washington that mmight, just might, be sucking the air out of everything else as the US heads to the late-July/early August crunch point on this matter.

steve

Unfortunately, as the article implies, Obama lacks the spine and the leadership to squash this, even though I suspect he has the intelligence to know what a disaster this could be.

I have no doubt that the American public would wholeheartedly endorse an attack--initially. But Nov., 2012 is a long way from Sept., 2011, and by that time, the repercussions and blowback might not be so positive for Obama's re-election strategy.

If Israel is subject to retaliatory attacks, I suspect the Palestinians will, as usual, bear the brunt of any Israeli domestic backlash.

Basilisk

Wars, and rumors of wars. I'm with you, dan.

Redhand

I note that the idea is also not popular in certain Israeli circles: "Former Mossad chief: Israel air strike on Iran 'stupidest thing I have ever heard'".
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-israel-air-strike-on-iran-stupidest-thing-i-have-ever-heard-1.360367

Fred

The IDF ground forces are already busy.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/06/world/middleeast/06mideast.html?_r=1&src=twrhp

Fiorangela

dan, you fail to account for the deep antipathy towards US that Bibi reflects. Israel does not need US anymore; the question is not If but How Soon Israel will completely kick US in the groin then under the bus. Be assured it will happen.

arbogast, linked to that deeply felt antipathy of Bibi's Israel toward the US, and linked to the necessity of maintaining revenue streams to defense contractors, are israeli natural gas production and the involvement of US corporation Noble Energy in developing Israel's Mediterranean gas fields. Noble's website reports that one of those fields, Leviathan, "represents the largest exploration success in the Company's history, with gross mean resources of 16 Tcf of natural gas. We are actively studying multiple export options, including both LNG and pipeline scenarios. The Company anticipates returning to appraisal drilling at Leviathan in mid 2011." http://www.nobleenergyinc.com/fw/main/Israel-128.html

In comments on a US visit in 2010 (iirc) Bibi said Israel would soon not need to concern itself with Egyptian gas deals since it would control far greater NG resources than anyone in the region.

Think about that: Israel which thumbs its nose at international law, has nukes, has biggest army in region, has access to much of US military info and intel, will have an unlimited source of revenue to bully its way around the world.

Israel would attack Iran simply as a way of flipping the bird in US's direction.

Palestinians? Who are they?

If you understand the way Bibiite Israelis and Israel advocates in US think; namely, that their rhetoric is a projection of Israeli internal mental dialog, and apply that notion to David Brooks' Sacramento Bee column in which he says that Arabs in the region are "depraved," then you recognize that Brooks is revealing what Gilad Atzmon calls "the terror within." www dot sacbee dot com/2011/06/04/3676055/there-wont-be-peace-in-mideast dot html

Israel has become a monster. Israel is on its way to becoming the smallest political entity in the world that controls a huge revenue resource. Iran and even Saudi Arabia need to worry about husbanding their resources to feed very large populations; Israel needs only divide billions of dollars in NG revenues among 7 million people.

US has served its purpose; it has killed or destroyed all of Israel's enemies -- or all of the civilizing and restraining forces that might rein in Israeli megalomania -- save for Iran; that project can be completed by Fall 2011 -- same time as Noble plans new explorations in Mediterranean.

Israel doesn't need the US anymore, and Israel can complete, on its own, the destruction of Iran that AIPAC began in 1995 with economic sanctions.

confusedponderer

basilisk, dan,
Netanyahu, Barak and Liebermann may just be sufficiently ideological and paranoid enough and engage in group think to the extent that they are beyond your petty reality based concerns. Hurricane season? Crude prices? Why should they care?

Who says they are rational and have a strategy other than kicking the can down the road in hope there will be a better tomorrow if they kick real hard, now? The Israelis have done that for decades.

In the view of Netanyahu, Barak and Liebermann nothing less than the existence of Greater Israel is at stake. Clearly, Iran being able to enrich uranium to any degree is tantamount to them already having nuked Tel Aviv. That conflation is decidedly frivolous and irrational, but that doesn't keep Israeli hard-liners from holding it.

If Bibi's latest visit to the US has shown anything then that the GoI can count on US support. Bibi may just count on Obama yielding and order that the job be finished under massive domestic pressure. That outcome isn't even not improbable. The Armageddonite approval they will get. These folks will perhaps be shaking with rapturous excitement but they will vote. And they are not just Republicans. And the old AIPAC men will rally behind them as well.

I think that is one thing that Dagan's vocal criticism suggests. It isn't exactly quiet or subtle. And he is perfectly right: The idea is stupid in the extreme. And Bibi is probably serious about it.

ting

I don't see an attack by Israel on Iran as having any upsides for Obama.

If Israel attacks and the US sits out, Obama might be accused of looking weak, abandoning poor little Israel etc, and forget about any aipac support.

If the US does follow up, the anti war crowd will dump him after the initial surge of patriotism. Oil prizes would become unbearable, the US economy would tank, the budget would be in even deeper problems etc.

This is how I think it would play in the US. I'm Norwegian so I apologize for any errors.

Come to think of it the least worse option seems to me for Obama to sit out an attack. The US population seems generally tired of anything to do with war at the moment.

The question is if the Israelis are crazy and stupid enough to attack Iran just to try to divert attention from the Pals?

eakens

Time to put up or shut up.

All Iran would have to do to win is simply not respond to any military action taken against the nuclear facilities.

dan

Fiorangela

You're dreaming. The Israelis cannot do anything with regards to Iran without massive support from the US - do you actually believe that the Israelis are flying home-made aircraft, weaponised with home-made bombs that are guided via their own military satellites? Do you think that Israeli aircraft can just dematerialise above Iran via a wormhole? Or are they actually going to have to fly 3000km round-trips against well-defended airspace, necessitating mulitple aerial refuellings in third-party territory - the perennial favourite fantasy option being the beneficent "loan", in violation of its international agreements (so no possible nasty consequences there ), of US controlled Iraqi airspace?

In 2006, it took a poxy couple of days of bombing Lebanon, right across the border and not exactly a long or dangerous round-trip, for the IAF to run short of key military stocks, including aviation fuels, and require re-supply from the US.

For the record, my dad was born in Haifa ( Ottoman and then British - he didn't stick around after the post-48 dispensation for that long ), I've got loads of family there, and I'm pretty sure that I understand them way better than you do - they're having kittens about the sudden lack of Egyptian gas and the prospect of steeply rising bills. I wouldn't take the corporate guff from a third-rank outfit like Noble too seriously - especially as their first Leviathan appraisal well came up dry - the Israelis have a looming energy problem and everybody knows it.

Confused

The Israelis might not care about those things, but the US, which, and this cannot be overstated enough, has the deciding vote on such matters, absolutely does.

zanzibar

It looks like we periodically get this Israel will attack Iran and then to save their bacon we will have to get involved in another war that will continue to bleed us dry and serves no national strategic purpose.

Who is leaking such information? What is their agenda? Are we so far gone that we can't even control our own destiny?

On another topic, I am very curious about what is happening in Syria. The protests are very persistent even with all the repression.

VietnamVet

Bombing Iran is crazy. First, conventional bombing of the buried nuclear sites won’t work. Second, the Iranians will try to shut of the flow of oil out of the Persian Gulf. A full blown sea battle at the Gulf of Hormuz will skyrocket the price of oil. Gas lines and energy shortages will collapse the world economy. An Israeli nuclear attack on Iran would destroy the nuclear sites but also would invoke a Middle East War and risks nuclear retaliation as the fallout drifts over Pakistan.

Yet, this nightmare keeps coming back to haunt us. The problem is the kooks imbedded in the USA and Israeli governments whose ideology dismisses Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). They have the same intellectual heritage as the nuts who pushed for a nuclear attack on China and then bombing North Vietnam back to the Stone Age which would have starting World War III.

They don’t have the intelligence to recognize the inherent weakness of their enemies and that waiting and containment works. The Soviet Union has disappeared into history. Radical Islam will evaporate with democracy, education of women, and the overthrow of the neo-liberal economic policies.

Fiorangela

confused ponderer, Gary Marx of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom coalition (successor org to Christian Coalition) was on C Span Wash Journal this morning to talk about the convention in DC that his group hosted and that is just wrapping up.

Marx said evangelicals have three litmus tests for upcoming election: anti-abortion; unconditional support for Israel: "what you do to Israel you do to the United States;" and jobs & the economy.

anybody know if Gary Marx is linked to Father Paul Marx (dec), godfather of the pro-life movement and Human Life International (HLI)?

Fiorangela

dan, I see your Haifa kittens and raise you 1350 Jewish lawyers/lobbyists in Texas.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Greenberg_Traurig

you may know Israelis who are having kittens over oil supplies, but they're not calling the shots; American Jews are, and the stakes are not cat food, they're billions, trillions.

Basilisk

All y'all (that's southern for everybody) take two aspirins and call me in September.

I have been through these psycho mind-bending scenarios so many times I have just lost my capability to suspend disbelief.

Think about all the magic that makes the idea of conventional air attacks against deeply-buried targets even thinkable, and realize the keys to that magic are not in Israeli hands.

This story has no more legs this time than it did the last time it surfaced in the waning days of Bush 43. I still have the fine champagne I won from a colleague who drank the Israeli Kool-Aid.

If wishes were horses, beggars might ride, but this is fantasy...again.

Patrick Lang

Basilisk

Glad to see you are making progress on vocabulary selection. You never did this but I remember hearing some kid in the deep North ask a group of elderly women, "How's you guys?" Arghh! BTW I ordered that Henry .17 HMR. pl

Basilisk

PL,

Sounds like another road trip, to me. If you like, I will take you to a range where I shoot out beyond Berryville--400 yards.

One hundred yard ranges are no challenge to the .17 Hummer.

dan

Fiorangela

Sorry, but 1350 Texas lawyers ain't gonna make a damn bit of difference to the physics/politics of gas supplies in Israel, or, for that matter, anywhere else.

The brute reality is that Egypt was supplying 40-45% of Israel's supply - current supply levels are zero; the remainder of Israel's supplies come via an offshore gas field that is on its last legs and is predicted to become inoperable in the next 2 years.

If we assume that Egypt is now a bust, this means that the Israelis have to replace the ENTIRETY of their supply by 2013, cope with a 45% supply cut in the meantime, and hope that a thinly-capitalised consortium of minnows can get the Tamar field up and running by the end of 2012, a target they may prove, like many deepwater projects with uncertain field pressure profiles, to be hopelessly optimistic.

It's also worth noting that the the Israeli gas shortfall will partly be met by recourse to oil-burning power stations - the raw material for which can be reliably expected to skyrocket. That's gonna do wonders for the Israeli economy and its current account deficit.

Walrus

.17 HMR? Hmmmmm, since the rains we have had a rabbit plague, a mouse plague and now a fox plague.

Phil Cattar

In my comments on May 30th about the "Strike on Iran could be necessary" article, I also made the prediction that a strike might occur before the 2012 election .As I wrote then, Netanyahu did everything but tell the entire US Congress something would be done.It was definitely a "Don't say you were not warned moment "for all to see and hear.He was setting the groundwork .

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