« Celebrating Liberation Iraq Style | Main | "Coriolanus" a review by Alan Farrell »

20 March 2012


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

Medicine Man

How heartening that the Israeli cabinet is taking into account the best-case scenarios about the consequences of an attack on Iran.


And then we have the day after.

Our President can sit back and watch the Zionists tube our economy. And he will lose the election. Or he could man up and shoot down the IDF planes if they enter American-controlled airspace.

Of course that won't happen. We have had only one Eisenhower. But hope springs eternal.

Medicine Man

While I respect your judgment, Col. Lang, I find myself considering the possibility that Mr. Goldberg is simply doing his part to re-transmit/amplify the Israel party line in this instance. There are a lot of anonymous sources and speculation in his piece, all of which happen add to the "mad dog" Bibi narrative.


More good news!




back on Carrier Watch:


CVN-65 Enterprise
departed Norfolk on the final deployment
to the 5th and 6th fleet areas of operations,
in support of maritime security operations.
11Mar-20Mar2012, Lant

...the phrase "final deployment" scares me. Yeah, it's due for retirement (aren't we all), but it's the ideal target for a false flag op.

Remember the Maine! Most important, remind people how the Hearst papers played that one. Murdoch is the new Hearst.

Roy G.

Ludic Fantasy = Ludic Fallacy.



MM: The only scenario they consider is, "How do we get the Americans to do something this stupid for us?"


Goldberg is full of crap. In his Bloomberg column last week, he came to the conclusion Bibi was bluffing. Here is the link:


In one week's time he did a 180. Campare this link to the one Pat provided on yesterday's column. This is ridiculous - Israel uses Goldberg as a mouthpiece and Jeffrey has no longer has any idea of what's true and what is fiction.

FB Ali

jdledell’s recent (18 March) post on the earlier (Haaretz) thread on this subject is quite persuasive that Israel doesn’t have the military capacity to launch a serious attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. Based on that, Goldberg’s piece can be interpreted to mean:

It is Israeli propaganda, designed to keep up the pressure on the US, or

It isn’t the Iranian leaders who are crazy, but the Israeli ones, or

Israel will launch the attack, even if likely to be ineffective, because it will lead to US involvement, either because the Iranian response will hit US targets, or a ‘false flag’ operation will make sure that happens.

If Col Lang’s gut feeling is correct, then it will be the third scenario above that will play out. US Central Command is not at all happy with such an outcome. They looked at the military impact only; the political and strategic effects will be much worse for the US.

In my opinion it would be crazy for the US to let this happen (but then, as Zanzibar said in the follow-up to Ledell, all US policy seems to be made based on domestic imperatives).


Is Goldberg trolling?


My local paper has dramatically changed its Iran coverage. For three straight days it has printed stories, all supplied from mainstreams sources, that ran counter to last week's narrative.

On Sunday, it ran Stephen Walt's FP piece noting that the media was failing in its coverage of Iran. Yesterday it ran a piece saying that the US and Israel agreed that Iran is not developing a nuke. Today it ran a piece about recent Pentagon war games that concluded that an attack could create big problems.

It's as if somebody flipped a switch and turned on a new Iran narrative. Other stories, such as the investigation of prominent American supporters of the MEK terrorist organization, suggest that there may be some shift in how the US is approaching Iran. If so, Bibi's time has run out (finally!)

My guess is that Goldberg (and Bibi) are desperately trying to keep the old attack Iran narrative alive.


I agree jdledell, Mr. Point-of-no-Return delivers a confused story.

On the one hand Netanyahu expect Iranians as a result to overthrow the regime. On the other people won't even notice that anything happened since it will be covered up. So all these experts don't know that basically even the critics of the regime support Iran's rights to develop atomic technologies?

This seems the central point:
Another theory making the rounds was that Obama has so deeply internalized the argument that Israel has the sovereign right to defend itself against a threat to its existence that an Israeli attack, even one launched against U.S. wishes, wouldn’t anger him. In this scenario, Obama would move immediately to help buttress Israel’s defenses against an Iranian counterstrike.

But yes, maybe Bibi himself is a member of a “messianic, apocalyptic cult”?

So Obama didn't dare to mention the Palestinians, well why not Cast Lead II then, this time a little harder. He did his best to start it, once he was back. Set back Gazans another couple of years? Are we to expect wars on several fronts in the next couple of month?

http://www.biu.ac.il/Besa/>The Opportunity in Gaza

Prof. Efraim Inbar and Dr. Max Singer
Perspectives Papers No. 167, March 15, 2012

Israel has to respond to the attacks from Gaza with a large-scale military operation. If no such action is taken, the attacks against Israel will surely increase. Gaza is small enough so that Israel can destroy most of the terrorist infrastructure and the leadership of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other organizations. The goal would be to restore deterrence and to signal Israeli determination to battle the rising Islamist forces in the region. By acting now in Gaza, Israel will also greatly reduce the missile retaliation it would face if and when it strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. Political conditions seem appropriate as Hamas is divided, most of the Arab world is busy with pressing domestic issues, and the US is in the middle of an election campaign.


Ayatollah Khamenei...

...In the face of aggression from the United States or Israel, Iran will attack to defend itself, Iran’s most powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday.

“We do not have nuclear weapons and we will not build them but in the face of aggression from the enemies, whether from America or the Zionist regime, to defend ourselves we will attack on the same level as the enemies attack us,” said Khamenei in a New Year speech broadcast live on television.

Americans are making a grave mistake if they think by making threats they will destroy the Iranian nation,” he said in the address to thousands at the Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad.


Goldberg has to strike a balance between being a mouthpiece of Israeli misinformation and earning a living - the Bloomberg article is the later.

I read with deep cynicism his blog at The Atlantic, because the interest he serves to advance is not in the best interest of this country.

I still believe Israelis will not be so foolish as to go down this path - there is very little appetite for it the world over. They will pay a huge price. I'd wager on it.

Robert C.

Goldberg has no credibility. I simply do not trust him. His column may be true, or propaganda. I just don't know.



Watching CNN just now, the chiron reads "Ayatollah says we will attack to defend," and the dreadful Erin Burnett intros the segnpent saying something similar yet their own voice over translation on the Ayatollah's statement was "We do not have nuclear weapons. If the enemy gets aggressive with us, either the US or the Zionists, we will respond with reciprocal force."

Not quite a threatened attack ...


As for Obama having "deeply internalized the argument that Israel has the sovereign right to defend itself" - he says that a lot lately, IMO probably because he has to in order to placate the Israel Lobby and to not open himself to Republican attack, but that doesn't mean that he means it the way it is represented.

Looked at narrowly it first of all means simply this: Israel is a nation state, of course they have the right to defend their sovereignty. That is a truism, and it isn't challenged or questioned seriously by anybody, including Obama. Obama's remark does not mean they have a right to pre-emptively attack Iran, and Obama didn't say that. Of course Israel's fanboys and girls claim differently. Their spin on the remark is inevitably that Obama gave Bibi a green light, but that take is just that, spin. I don't quite buy it.

When was the last time the Israelis have "defendet themselves", in the classic way against a ccurrent, ongoing attack? The latest pround of missiles at Israel were the result of one more of Israel's "targetet (i.e. revenge or pre-emptive) killings", against which the Palestinians retaliated. The Palestinian reaction to that attack was predictable.

The point is that as long as Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and their control (by walling in, controlling movement ands supply, control from the air, etc) over the remaining Palestinian enclaves persists, and as long the Palestinains refuse to sbumit, Israel will always be under 'threat'.


There are IMO major differences in this agitprop run up to a possible armed conflict with Iran vs an impending armed conflict with Iraq . The neocons at the time for the ramp for war with Saddam Hussein had all the necessary real time ingredients to conflate the al Qaida attack on New York with the supposed WMD that Baghdad allegedly had in some kind of grand threat against the Continental United States. This time many of the neo con mouth pieces such as Ms Miller have been discredited and marginalized - and even some of the more virulent voices for neocon world domination re Mr Hadley are saying do not allow Israel to start a war with Iran .Finally the biggest difference in this current contretemps for War in the greater ME is that We the People are paying attention this time to the agitprop - we are war weary . And we know now that the Baathist in Baghdad had nothing to do with 9-11 , and that the one who did Shiekh Usama bin Laden is dead.
As to false flags carried out by the Likud - I would hope the US Government has enough capabilty and capacity to stop the Likuds & the neo cons from from sinking one of our retiring aircraft carriers & then - successfully blaming that on Tehran .
I still believe that War with Iran is not inevitable , or even probable.


I firmly believe Bibi is bluffing. As I indicated earlier, the IAF has a problem with reliable refueling aircraft. To put it bluntly there is no way that the IAF is going to risk their most strategic and expensive assets on this iffy mission. Israel only has 25 of the F-15 Strike Eagles which are the planes needed to drop the bunker busters. In addition, they would have to use half of their latest F-16 Sufa planes for escort and anti-air suppression.

Can you imagine what would happen if a couple of their 707 refuelers had mechanical problems and/or were shot down while thirsty IAF planes were on their way back from Iran? Where would the planes go? Incirlik? Kurdistan? Al Udeid? Any way you look at it, this has high potential for disaster for the IAF with the potential to lose, or have impounded, their most important assets.


A Forbes business blogger reported last month that an arms-dealer contact was reporting that the Saudis have agreed to Israeli use of one of their bases and that a June date for the Israeli strike has been set:


There is an air base at King Khalid Military City which is good to go and which supported B-52′s and KC-135′s in the 1991 Gulf War. If the IAF has use of that as a staging and recovery facility, then the F-15′s and F-16′s could strike the Iran target set at will. The base at King Khalid is in the desert and offers air-tight op-sec, if the Saudis close it off and lock it down. There aren’t any civilians around; the place is exclusively military. The IAF wouldn't have to base out of it, just use it as a place to get fuel, the way SAC B-47s used the ring of forward bases after 1957, when they were within range of the Soviet medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. I'm sure that if Bibi seriously means to go, that the refuelling issue hasn't been solved and I'm with Col. Lang: I don't think Bibi's bluffing this time.


Can't they rely on the US replacing their losses, more, probably subsidise them? Making the armageddonites and ziocons happy aside, this would be a bonanza for the 'ailing' US defence industry, even more so at the time of 'Obama's crippling cuts'.

Morocco Bama

I think we'll have to invent a new term if this goes down as I suspect/expect it will. Let's call it Bibicide.


Oops. Meant to say that the refuelling issue has been solved. Not enough coffee.


John - Those rumors float around periodically in Israel. I simply cannot see the Saudis' agreeing to this. If they did do it:
1 - It would not remain a secret from the Saudi or Arab street. If nothing else, Israel will blow the cover with their egotism and bravado.
2 - The Saudi oil fields and shipping is in the Shite area of Saudi Arabia and those people will revolt. This puts in danger the Saudi oil economy.
3 - The Wahhabi Imams will go ballistic. While they hate the Shites, the depth of their hatred for Israel knows no depths. They will incite the Saudi street ferociously.
4 - While the Saudi royal family might like to cooperate, they are very cautious people and with everything going on with the Arab Spring, they will NOT be reckless.

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