« "Tough Senate Bill Takes Aim at Iran" The Forward | Main | Everglades Challenge 2012 »

29 February 2012


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.



You posted this 3 times. Once is enough.

All. As for McCaffery's motivation. Is not venality bad enough? pl

Sean McBride

A worst-case scenario: some of them could be sitting on American and European territory -- think false flag tool, insurance policy or Samson Option.


Col. Lang:

Wonderful word venality. "The prostitution of talents or offices or services for reward." Not used often enough anymore. Perhaps because we've forgotten that sin can have more than one meaning?





How about "venery?" pl



Have all of the Rational Actors have exited the World Stage?

In the old days General McCaffery would have been called a saber rattler and a kook. But, the world is turning up side down. NATO’s expensive little war is ending. The neo-liberals grab for all available assets is stirring unrest around the Middle East and in Greece; with lots more to come as the middle class disappears.

Israelis may well believe that their existence is in doubt with the rise of religious fundamentalism and shrinking western economies. But, nuclear weapons that collapse deeply buried bunkers by their nature will release dirty fallout that will kill millions from Iran through Pakistan to India. These states will assure that Israel suffers equally.

“Fail-Safe” is just as applicable today as 1964. Only nowadays there are more nuclear players. The propaganda seems to downplay the reality of how MAD it is to use nuclear weapons. The rising gasoline prices, the unhinged weather, and the agitprop beating in background sure makes it seem like something big is going to happen this Summer/Spring.


Col. Lang:

Interesting. Which definition? Venus or veneri?

I don’t think McCaffery’s consulting business is defined well by either as neither hunting nor the pursuit of sexual pleasure can legitimately be called out as a sin in the same way venality can.

William R. Cumming

Is it perhaps strange that at Nuremberg the NAZI leadership was tried and convicted largely for committing an act against civilization of "aggressive war", not primarily the HOLOCAUST, although the latter was a related charge?

A first strike using NUKES by any nation-state is not yet part of the LAW of WAR--meaning international norms concerning its legality.

Personally I believe annunciation of a NO FIRST USE policy is the basis of holding any nation-states nuclear arsenal.

Does Israel know how Pakistan, China, and Russia would react to a nuclear attack on Iran? Or even the USA?


"I doubt the Iranian air force can shoot one down"

Israel would lose planes if they tried a raid. Iran's Air Force is rusty, but it would have home field advantage (ground-based radar, no need for tankers). Iran is well stocked with modern surface to air missiles, which would likely be more of a threat to the raiders than its air force. They have known for years exactly what the target of the raid would be and have prepared accordingly. Among the many reasons why the Israelis would rather have the Americans do it.

Nukes? Quite apart from the diplomatic consequences of an unprovoked nuclear sneak attack (would anyone object to an Iranian weapons program after that?), imagine the possibility of an Israeli plane getting shot down and depositing an unexploded nuclear weapon on Iranian soil.


If one looks at all the usual suspects that cheerled getting us to occuppy Iraq -Gen McCafferty was the head cheerleader - followed by other retired General Officers that were being paid by the soon to be rich war profiteers . IMO the overlooked actor in this rush to war is the "silent majority " of we the people who now clearly see the misbegotten Iraqi occupation as an illegal disaster. Furthermore - though President Obama is a young leader he appears to be maturing in the role . I do believe that this current administration can withstand the Likuds agitprop - I am told by former IDF members that now do business here , that there are a good number of Israelis that also do not support the Iranian Big Adventure. The sheeple - at least when it comes to long bloody costly and illegal occupations are becoming very informed -and do not want another elective war.



"Venery" is a good old English literature word from the Rennaissance. I'l have to figure out how to use it in something. I did not mean to imply "venery" on BM's part. Heavens, no! pl


Col. Lang, I've followed Gen. McCaffery's 'analysis' for years and there are consistencies. First, nothing about his analysis couldn't be accomplished with more than a weekend of open source analysis (including his NBC slides)by moderately intelligent college student. His field trips to Iraq and Afghanistan never produced much enlightenment. Second, the timing of his pronouncements are always scheduled, usually by the folks paying his fare. He certainly carried the water for the Pentagon, especially when they were paying him. He has a great sense of timing. Third, he chases the headlines and the television studio for his own self importance. The last point seems to be most consistent. You know, a man of his capability and experience could have made a real difference in the national debate a decade ago, but when real civic courage was required he was quiet.


Col: Is this agip-prop? See http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-has-military-plan-should-iran-conflict-erupt-says-air-force-chief-1.415734

I assume we have lots of war plans, that is not the same thing as a decision.

Morocco Bama

I am told by former IDF members that now do business here , that there are a good number of Israelis that also do not support the Iranian Big Adventure. The sheeple - at least when it comes to long bloody costly and illegal occupations are becoming very informed -and do not want another elective war.

This could be used to support the insane notion that a nuclear blitzkrieg by Israel is the only option to a non-nuclear Iran. It avoids a long and costly occupation, if you can ride out the initial world condemnation. What are Russia and China going to do? Vaporize the Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians and Syrians by nuking Israel? I don't think so. They're rational actors and no that such a act is counterproductive. It would be an opportunity fro the world community to come together and dismantle Israel once and for all. It would be a chance for the U.S. to remove the undue influence and menace of the Israeli lobby, and hold them to account for their complicity in barbaric war crimes.

Considering all of that, I'm not sure of McCaffrey's motivation on this. I agree that his assessment as to what Israel may do is plausible and there is a significant probability associated with it. Is it for sure. Not by any means. So much could and will happen. I don't agree with him about Iran being the threat he believes it is. I do agree with him that Iran is in the process of developing, and will ultimately develop, nuclear weapons, but would extend some of his time scales.

However, by his bringing this to light, and exposing the notion on a major network, it serves as a deterrent to Israel to use nukes from a public relations standpoint. Prior to, it's merely been whispered in the corridors outside the studio, or around the coolers adjacent to the newsrooms. Now it's out in the open and a public discussion can be had about its possibility, and perhaps that will make its likelihood less possible. I don't think that's what the general intended, but it may be the serendipitous result.

All that being said, if Israel is as insane as some of us think it is, none of that will matter and they will proceed....its existence as a nation-state or public relations be damned.

Time will tell, and that time is fast approaching.


Re: the rise of religious fundamentalism

Is that really such a significant change of novelty? I think that from an American perspective it is 9/11 that suggests that. Still, IMO the assumption that Israel is being particularly imperilled by religious fundamentalism per se is dubious.

Israel's problem is Arab and Palestinian grievance - and that grievance expressed itself in contemporary language. In the sixties to eighties it was expressed in terms of secular language of Baathists and and Marxism, whereas it is now being addressed in religious terms. The different ideology then didn't make the resistance any less fervent.

The underlying problem is that Israel occupies Palestinian land, has driven away Palestians and holds Gaza, and to a somewhat lesser extent the West Bank, under siege. What's not to dislike from a Palestinian point of view?

One doesn't need Islam as an explanation for why Palestinians are pissed off.


The tribal loyalty trumps reason and morals... Nothing is more disgusting than the hysterics and histrionics of the ethnocentrist convinced of his/her choseness. AIPAC is coming closer to getting finally the thunderbolt over its head.



What is missing in your analysis is the idea of religion as group identity. Trligion can be a belief system that promises salvation. Thst is not the part that kills. It is the groupidentity that kills. you sound like someone committed to the idea of the existence of social progress. Too bad. there is no such thing. Man is man. He does not evolve socially in the very short time spans involved in tecorded history. pl

Charles I

Um, there are Christian and Jewish Fundamentalists with hands on the levers of power, far more consequential to Israel's existential condition than any Islamist could ever hope to be.


@PL Is this the sense of venery you mean?

In earlier use it may have been felt as a play on now obsolete homonym venery "practice or sport of hunting, the chase" (early 14c.)

was thinking more than money likely to be motives might be vanity + avoiding the challenges and privations of retirement: aimlessness, anomie, out of the action.

Pirate Laddie

Being G*d's chosen must be a heavy burden. I imagine the tension would manifest, from time to time, in a situation that absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part. Masada comes to mind.
I hope alinaustex' assessment of Obama's style is correct; a cool hand in the days after the excrement hits the fan (false flag episode, unleashed Israeli nucs, even a "broke back" conventional attack on Iran's facilities) might buy the US enough wiggle room to diminish Bibi's media minions, allow the 'murrican people to actually, you know, reflect on what they might be about to step in, and maybe even give the Rapturites pause (remember, pie in the sky is only AFTER you die).
As noted, this spring/summer (Hell, this month, as I read the entrails) should be quite a bumpy ride.



Lovely. I had forgotten that meaning of "venery." pl

dan bradburd

To pick up on the side thread. James Lipton wrote a wonderful book, An Exhaltation of Larks. I think he subtitled it "the venery game." In any event it listed the wonderful variety of mass nouns used for animals: a gaggle of geese, a random of crows (I think).

dan bradburd

Make that a rumor of crows.

The beaver


According to Jim Lobe: Only about one in five Israelis (19% ) favor a unilateral strike without US support, according to the poll, released at a briefing at the Brookings Institution here Wednesday.


With the upcoming AIPAC conference in DC and the elections in Iran this week, wonder what Bibi would demand from his "congregation" of firsters and their pressure on the administration.

Medicine Man

I agree with much of what you say, Alinaustex. Its just a question of a few key people in Washington having the sack to defy some terrifyingly monied interests shortly before the general election.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad