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17 November 2011

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eakens

Iran will do nothing until after our troops leave Iraq and congregate in Kuwait. They will also probably be waiting for a confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah first.

Nobody appears to mention the fact that in July a Cypriot military base incurred a similar explosion which originated from containers of Iranian armaments that were intercepted n 2009 by the UN and being held at the base there.

confusedponderer

I wonder how Israel and the US would react if the Iranians would conduct such operations in these respective countries.

Just imagine for a second: Iranians blowing up a missile in Vandenberg, knocking off a senior general? Killing the head of research at Los Alamos laboratory? Attacking Lawrence Livermore with a computer virus, destroying or rendering useless key machinery? What would the US do?

What if something similar happened in Israel?

These are indeed acts of war. The Iranians have been remarkably restrained, and I think far more so than America and Israel would have.

Richard Silverstein thinks these black ops are a surrogate for a coherent policy:

... this black ops strategy will be ineffectual, just as a frontal military assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be futile. The Mossad (and likely the CIA) are collaborating on a policy which is designed as a “filler.” The U.S. and Israel know that with all their bellyaching about the Iranian menace to civilization, they’d look like fools unless they did something. They refuse to put together an offer that would be attractive enough to Iran to get it to divert from its current path. Which leaves the west with no choice but to engage in various forms of sabotage in an effort to plug the wholes in the dyke that is Iran’s possible headlong rush toward nuclear status.

Maidhc

There is no hard evidence that Iran was responsible for the AMIA bombing. The US ambassador at the time has said they found nothing. Like the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy, eyewitness accounts say the explosion came from inside the building. The Shin Bet security were lucky enough to be out for lunch at the time.

Ken Halliwell

Harper wrote: "The base was the cover for one of Iran's most important missile R&D facilities, and the commander of the entire Iranian missile program, Brig. Gen. Hassan Moghadam, was killed in the blast, along with another IRGC general and a number of leading Iranian rocket scientists."

How do we (the public) know that all of this is true? Is there any direct evidence that's not from Iranian or Western intelligence sources? In other words, perhaps this incidence was a grand deception by the Iranians -- meant to lead others to believe their missile development program has been seriously harmed. Likely, the Iranians are as capable of waging war through deception as others who practice the art.

Babak Makkinejad

It is politically impossible for the United States to put forth an attractive offer to Iran. US policy on Iran cannot be positive.

graywolf

You sound like Ron Paul.
National interest loses to moral equivalence.

securecare

We are all locked inside a house of mirrors full of thick smoke with the lights off.

turcopolier

graywolf

Are you sure that you don't mean "immoral equivalence?" pl

confusedponderer

Ron Paul is IMO a loon on economic policy, as far as foreign policy is concerned he is the only Republican candidate who is not a damned fool.

People need to understand that actions have consequences. If the Israelis and their MEK allies keep this going there are at one point going to be consequences. There is no free lunch.

What the Israelis do is to kick the can down the road. That's not a policy. That's just action for the sake of not having to have a sustainable policy towards Iran.

They don't want that because that would inevitably involve them having to make concessions, and they are loathe to do that. By default, they appear to expect surrender from their negotiating partners.

I am not fully persuaded that the Israelis don't see the prospect of an Iranian reaction to Israeli provocations as an positive thing, and that they are actually fishing for a pretext, as it may force the US hand if they play an according incident right.

confusedponderer

All,
what do you make of Avigdor Liebermann apparently getting cut out?

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/11/10/shin-bet-withheld-iran-secrets-from-lieberman-as-security-risk/

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2011/11/17/lieberman-severs-ties-with-mossad/

William R. Cumming

IN a share the pain effort I would ask all citizens owning Persian rugs of any age to turn them in and the US could sell them on the world market there helping the deficit and destroying the hard currency market for those rugs internationally. And of course have BCE of DHS enforce a ban on all new imports.

This would also help fund the USA's UW in Iran.

And all the out of work rug merchants after this effort could be recruited for UW in Iran since most left after 1979 revolution there anyhow and most hoped to return someday.

Besides China and India make wonderful Persian rugs for USA market.

eakens

How is ending the FED a loon policy? The Treasury orders up funds from the FED, who in turn receives bonds, bills, and notes which the taxpayers have to shoulder the interest on, and this cycle goes on and on.

This money that gets wired over to Treasury originates out of thin air backed by nothing more than the "confidence of the American people". If that's the case, why not just pay interest to yourself? Why is the FED needed?

The FED, from the taxpayer's perspective, is the height of lunacy.

Medicine Man

Isn't it Liebermann and his crew who torpedoed Israel's relationship with Turkey? Maybe the intelligence-security establishment in Israel is just more interested in doing something practical than Avigdor is.

Richard Silverstein

I wonder if Pat could give my e mail to Harper. I'd love to talk to him about this piece & my own work on the Israeli side of this issue.

Jane

It is quite possibly politically impossible in another sense: Is there any possible offer which " would be attractive enough to Iran to get it to divert from its current path?"

What would such an offer contain?

Jane

"What the Israelis do is to kick the can down the road. That's not a policy. That's just action for the sake of not having to have a sustainable policy towards Iran."

If the Israelis view is that Iran is currently a theocracy in which the rulers distract the ruled by focusing anger against Israel on an irrational basis (See Holocaust denialism) and believe that there is a prospect that Iran may become a functioning democracy in a reasonable time frame, kicking the can down the road makes eminent sense.

Andy

There's also no evidence that the explosion near Tehran was anything more than an accident. The Iranian's are saying that they don't think there was any Israeli or US involvement.

barry lando

Meanwhile, while the U.S. and Israel have been trying to isolate Iran, the Chinese, in their own inimitable have only benefited. Please check out my latest blog at barrylando.blogspot.com

Retired (once-Serving)Patriot

Thanks Harper for your report from the inside. Done well -- and rings very true to my ears. Sadly, one side or the either has to "lose big" before there is enough softening of hard hearts to make the breakthru that restores relations. There will be no Obama to Iran (a la Nixon) in any near future. And that is what's needed more than anything.

RP

confusedponderer

If that's the Israeli view then it is probably a hysterical delusion.

And as for holocaust denial in Iran - in a sense, Israel's constant and ongoing utilisation of the Holocaust for foreign policy ends feeds nuts like the Holocaust deniers. Since Israel draws some legitimacy from the Holocaust, opponents try to delegigitmise it by denying the holocaust. While that is just as stupid as it is historically false, it is also somewhat predictable.

Personally, I am pretty much fed up with Israel's utilisation of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is a poor justification for, say evicting Palestinians. The Holocaust is a factor only insofar as the Israeli and Jewish angst is concerned. It is that factor alone that gives it great significance.

Iranian restraint compared to the utter lack thereof in Israel may suggest to a fair minded reader that the more rational actor in this charade sits in Tehran.

Also, if one puts his mind to it, one can easily make the argument that Israel is doing just what you accuse the Iranians of doing. Iirc the streets protests in Israel keep going.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Israeli_social_justice_protests

So, so what?

confusedponderer

My problem with him is more general about his faith in the quasi-magical powers of the holy market to regulate itself well, fairly and efficiently.

That's IMO just as inane as building a system based on the collective wisdom of the working class. Indeed, as if to complete the analogy, the Republican Party, well beyond Paul, nowadays clings to that creed with a devoted fervour that would many any member of the sclerotic old guard in the Kremlin pale in envy.

I have come to see capitalism as a system of governance that includes beyond the market laws and regulations and enforcement of these regulations. The market cannot exist without that. To deny that, and to reduce it on the market alone, is IMO both irresponsible and foolish.

I frankly don't see the wisdom behind abolishing the various regulatory bodies that put, in the US inevitably limited, checks on the worst excesses of the market participants.

Except for that I have great sympathy for the man, and I think that the way the US media ignores him is appalling. He deserves to be heard.

Babak Makkinejad

All:

I think it would be useful if any and all on this forum could sketch out a framework and a work-plan for US-Iran rapprochment.

Is it even hypothetically possible given the US laws on Iran?

William R. Cumming

Are Israeli/Iranian relations a one-way or two way mirror?

confusedponderer

Andy,
from what one reads the Israelis have been quietly bragging about it to the media. This was no accident.

I recommend Richard Silverstein's reporting on the subject.

Target of Sabotage Attack Against Iran Were Sajjil-Ghadr F Advanced Missile Prototypes

Missile Blast Disrupted Research on New Iranian Weapon Designed to Counter Israel

In Eulogy of ‘Martyred’ Revolutionary Guard Commander, Tehran Mayor Concedes Enemies Killed Him

Former Iranian Official Confirms Mossad Sabotage Behind Missile Blast

Iran Missile Base Blast: Annals of Israeli Terror Redux

Mossad-MEK May Have Bombed Iranian Missile Base, 40 Dead and Wounded

Judging by that you're apparently wrong on all points regarding Israel.

Allen Thomson


About that base where the explosion occurred: I looked 30 miles west of Tehran, where there is a village called Bid Kaneh. That seems close enough to the reported Bid Ganeh considering the well-known transliteration problems. And just to the west of the village there is a facility next to a modest mountain, complete with two adits accessed via roads with wide curves: 35.628 N, 50.907 E. I don't know if this is what blew up, but it's interesting in its own right.

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