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03 February 2012


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"Joined" or "fallen for"?

Roy G.

Just wait till next week when FM Lieberman comes to DC to meet with Madame Clinton.

g. powell

Thank you for talking sense about this issue.

Are we headed for another Suez moment? Because I think Israel misjudges the desire of the American public to enter yet another conflict.

Phil Giraldi

Which is why I don't watch NPT...they should have included David Brooks to complete the Israel first troika. If Ignatius is correct that the US would "defend" Israel if an Iranian retaliation would hit a "population center" that is game, set, and match for Israel no matter what Dempsey and Panetta are saying. It would be hard to avoid a population center in any retaliation. This site is completely correct in maintaining that the president must speak out publicly saying that the US will not under any circumstances support an Israeli attack on Iran. That is the only thing that might stop them.

r whitman

I watched this program. I heard Ignatius emphatically warn the Israelis not to go it alone. I heard no equivocation in Ignatius' statements that US permission and support was not forthcoming at this time.


War is not exciting or entertaining news....


Hi Pat,
None of the current Newshour crew is on the same level as Jim Lehrer was. At least one never will be remotely close. The others are a work in progress and some will improve over time. Eventually one may emerge as the program's main voice or be brought in from the outside. I saw the same program and agree with your post. You may have other good news alternatives in the DC area. In RI CNN is the alternative and it has at most 2 people I will actually listen to. My friends here mostly believe the Iranians are building a bomb and that they should be prevented from doing so.


CNN just reported... "Unnamed American Official"... "paraphrase" Iran in dangerously close to the Israeli benchmark for enrichment. This unnamed sources crap needs to really stop.... The MSM is complicit, not joined or fallen for, but complicit, in this going to war crap with Iran.


What I am not getting in all of this is that Israel knows it does not have the conventional capabilities to take out completely the Iranian enrichment facilities. Israel knows that it cannot go it alone. Israel knows that retaliation will be very costly in terms of human lives both civilian and military. Israel knows that any direct action against Iran will cause a major ME conflagration.

Knowing all of this. They still want to go? What am I missing here?

Ken Halliwell

This was not one of Newhour's or Ray's greatest moments.
(Maybe pledge month is near and PBS doesn't want to alienate potential big $ donors?)

Generally, over the past 10 years, the quality of Newhour interviews seems to be deteriorating -- becoming more and more like the talking-head shows on the commercial "news" programs.


Ditto Phil Giraldi. I stopped watching Newshour and listening to NPR in 2003, when they proved themselves nothing more than cheerleaders for jingoism. Sadly, most international TV news (BBC and France24) is no better. It's as if they are all reading from the same script. Anyway, it keeps down costs...

The only time I watch all this disinformation is when I get curious about how the propaganda is getting presented.


It is shame to see the Robert Macneil's otherwise professional journalism news program has now turned into a typical prostitute journalism by the current crew and their corporate supporters.

This may be a more accurate statements on the issue;

“In 2007, in a closed discussion, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that in her opinion “Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel.” She “also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears.” 1

2009: “A senior Israeli official in Washington” asserted that “Iran would be unlikely to use its missiles in an attack [against Israel] because of the certainty of retaliation.” 2

In 2010 the Sunday Times of London (January 10) reported that Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam, war hero, pillar of the Israeli defense establishment, and former director-general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, “believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons.”
Early last month, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” 3

A week later we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that “three leading Israeli security experts — the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz — all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel.”

Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:

Question: Is it Israel’s judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?

Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now … in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.

Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a report to Congress: “We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. … There are “certain things [the Iranians] have not done” that would be necessary to build a warhead. 4"


FB Ali

If Israel attacks Iran the US is bound to get dragged in, whatever may be the administration position now.

Iranian hotheads may attack US forces in the region. Or, Israel will get hit, with civilian casualties. Or, Iran may attack Arab oil facilities in the region. These (plus other possible similar events) are bound to force a wobbly Obama to join in the attack on Iran. The US military will then try to seek "victory" -- and we are in for another Iraq/Afghanistan!

The venality (and stupidity) of the ruling class in the US apparently knows no limits.


Is it FB Ali’s estimation that the Iranians may not be able to control the scenario if this was just a unitary Israeli aggression?

Morocco Bama


Morocco Bama

And that's by design. Public broadcasting has been steadily co-opted and usurped for a couple of decades now. Like others have indicated, I don't pay it any attention any longer.

Charles I

Somebody, working for Somebody's agenda will creep up to the border(s) at the appropriate time and loose off a couple of rockets, minicam at hand.

The game is set. All that's needed is the match.

Tony C.

Rd. hit the right note. Robert MacNeil's departure was the beginning of the end of true journalism at The News Hour. Lehrer's interviews of Administration figures feature the bite of a Golden Retriever puppy.

Charles I

Salami tactics they cannot eschew that never consider ultimately ending up with just that little nub at the end & a bit of heartburn, domestic politics as nutty as any, proven political resources yet to be defeated on US soil, they have ulterior motives we aren't thinking about, ie, more demolition, expansion, assassination, colonial consolidation, a Berber relocation/solution or two, some general wants his munitions cycled because variant IIIJ just came off the rack in the US, breaking organ or sex traffic story etc etc etc.

Charles I

Charlie Rose is still good.

Charles I

Its gonna be out of control. Israel is gonna be shot at from the OT's & Lebanon. Maybe from Syria. Some kinda Settler Hoedown as the planes fly over no doubt.

Gonna be chaos once it gets touched off, too many agendas, too many opportunities, too many crooks and cretins and victims to control any of it.

Dan Gackle

"It is the position of the US government that Iran DOES NOT have a nuclear weapons program"

It is also the position of the Israelis:

"The intelligence assessment Israeli officials will present later this week to Dempsey indicates that Iran has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear bomb. The Israeli view is that while Iran continues to improve its nuclear capabilities, it has not yet decided whether to translate these capabilities into a nuclear weapon - or, more specifically, a nuclear warhead mounted atop a missile. Nor is it clear when Iran might make such a decision."


This consensus ought to be common knowledge. Even local commenters who make plain their contempt for the Americans and their worship of "superhuman" Israeli intelligence are paying no attention (in their haste to gobble propaganda) to what the "superhumans" actually believe.


Fox News is banging the war drum as usual.It is saying that "the Iran nuclear program" directly threatens the United States because Iran is developing a 6000 mile range ICBM.

Morocco Bama

Who can forget Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street Week. Here's a blast from the past. Rukeyser looked like he stepped out of the pages of a History Text covering 18th century France or Germany.




Spot on FB. The Israelis know that all they have to do is get the ball rolling. The US will not be too far behind as the hysteria and propaganda here ratchets up to defcon 1 levels.

Assuming that this erupts into the next Middle East conflagration, what are the implications strategically, militarily and politically? Can the House of Saud and the Iranian mullahs survive? What happens to the tenuous coalition in Lebanon? Will Israel pay any price? Do Russia and China insert themselves or remain passive as they did during the last Iraq invasion?

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