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A Shifting Narrative on Iran
Iran will always be the enemy
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For more than twenty years the world has been hearing from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his friends in the United States that Iran is a global threat because it is developing nuclear weapons. Netanyahu’s warning has been framed around his repeated prediction that if nothing were done to intercede in the process the Mullahs would have a weapon of mass destruction in their hands within six months or a year. Since that time numerous time spans of six months or a year have passed and no weapon has appeared, even though Israel did its best to provide forged intelligence to muddy the waters about what was actually occurring. In a notable scam, a lap top prepared by Mossad and delivered by an Iranian dissident group half convinced the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran was up to something. Israel has also been adept at floating false “intelligence based” allegations that the Iranians were carrying out uranium enrichment in hidden, secret facilities.

But alas, the accepted narrative proved to be a bit creaky. In 2007 the United States intelligence community issued a joint assessment based on reliable information indicating that Iran did not have a nuclear weapons program, so the threat that was being described as imminent suddenly became purely speculative and speculative threats are a dime a dozen, paling before the reality of actual North Korean nuclear weapons and fifty or more nukes in the hands of an unstable Pakistan.

When the threat of Iran actually building a bomb in the near term became less credible, the narrative perforce shifted its focus. It became no longer a question of Iran actually constructing a nuclear weapon. The central bone of contention became their having the capability to do so at some future point. This became known as “breakout capability,” which was defined as the ability to use stockpiled low enriched uranium, enrich it to weapons grade, and engineer it into a weapon. Inevitably, the breakout time for Iran was again often described as six months to a year, demonstrating that no good phony narrative detail element should ever go to waste.

Netanyahu and a number of American congressmen then continued to tinker with their warning, still complaining about breakout but emphasizing that it was actually the capability part that was most troubling. Iran, though a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which nuclear armed Israel is not, should have no right to enrich any uranium at all and ought to be forced to get rid of any uranium in its stockpile. It would also have to dispose of the centrifuges and other equipment used for enrichment and shut down the Fordo facility which, it was alleged, might be able to secretly produce weapons grade enriched uranium.

Ironically, the demands of both Israel and Congress made no sense as Iran and at least fifty other countries already possessed “capability” to make a nuclear weapon as there are many trained engineers able to understand the technical information that is already publicly available to those who know where to look. And the narrative became even more suspect when, in 2010, U.S. intelligence reexamined its previous finding and stated again that Tehran was not developing a weapon at all, an assertion that was actually confirmed by Israel’s Mossad, making it even more difficult to maintain the fiction that Iran was a danger to world peace.

Other intelligence assessments suggested that even if Tehran were able to obtain one or two crude nuclear weapons the threat could easily be contained, all of which produced yet another reset among the anti-Iran claque. The new focus was on delivery systems. Reports that Iran was developing or possibly buying from North Korea a new longer range missile for its arsenal became a key issue and the Obama administration wasted considerable time and energy in first correctly asserting that the missiles were not part of the discussion before folding and including mentioning them in talks as a sop to Israel. The new missiles, per Netanyahu, could allegedly hit parts of Europe and might be improved to the point where they could become intercontinental. And if Iran could acquire a bomb from somebody or develop its own through breakout it would threaten the entire world. The fact that Iran had neither the missile nor the weapon was seemingly irrelevant.

So now we arrive at 2015 and a former Israeli intelligence chief has openly said what most of the rest of the world has long known: Netanyahu is a liar when he talks about Iran. Concurrently, the P5+1 group of negotiators have concluded a marathon 18 months negotiation by achieving a framework agreement with Iran which will substantially diminish its ability to enrich uranium at all, will greatly reduce its stockpile and will also subject all of its research facilities to intrusive inspections. In return sanctions on Iran will slowly be lifted, but it should be observed that most of the major concessions were made by the Islamic Republic, where there is considerable pressure from the public to make Iran again a normal member of the international community.

It is a good agreement for all parties, guaranteeing that Iran will not go nuclear in a bad way and offering a substantive reward for cooperation to the country’s people and government. Unfortunately, details of how an agreement will actually be implemented have yet to be worked out, meaning that a final document is not anticipated until the end of June. That means the troublemakers still have time to create mischief.

Of course Netanyahu and a large number of American Congressmen might be singled out as the aforementioned troublemakers and it has to be reported that they are clearly not happy with the Obama framework. As an agreement will basically eliminate the short term threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, the initial kibitzing from the usual critics focused on what might happen after the ten years covered by the agreement. Netanyahu has averred that it would virtually guarantee an Iranian bomb after that point, but as his prescience is questionable and he has been wrong about everything else that argument did not obtain much traction, not even in the Washington Post or Wall Street Journal.

Sensing defeat, Netanyahu and his tame congressmen clearly decided a sharp change in direction would be necessary and, presumably guided by the warm and friendly hand of AIPAC, a new approach was concocted combining two essential elements. First, it was claimed that Iran cannot be trusted to abide by any agreement because, as Chief U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman put it “deception” is in the Iranian leadership DNA. That would mean that Iran might appear to be going along with the agreement but it would secretly be manufacturing a weapon. Just exactly how that would take place under an intrusive inspections regime is not clear, but the idea is to plant the seed that Iranians are intrinsically deceitful and dangerous.

The second argument, which began to evolve before the framework agreement was announced and which not surprisingly has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, is that Iran is threatening and dangerous by virtue of its behavior beyond its nuclear program. Congressmen and pundits have begun to bleat that Iran “now dominates four Arab capitals” and it also “supports terrorism.” One op-ed writer who should know better has described the development of a new Persian Empire.

The first argument is sheer fantasy and racist to boot but the second argument, intended to shift the narrative in a new direction, is actually the more ridiculous. Iran has a struggling economy, a relatively weak military, and much of its outreach to Shi’a communities in neighboring states is in response to the hostility surrounding it engineered by the U.S., Israel and the Sunni ruled regimes in the Persian Gulf. Creating and exploiting a limited sphere of influence as a defensive measure is far from uniquely Iranian.

And the assertion that Iran is controlling four Arab capitals – Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus and Sanaa – is breathtaking in its audacity. Iran has friends and allies in all four states but it does not determine what the government does or does not do in any one of them. The close relationship of Iran with Syria and Iraq is largely defensive and can indeed be described as derived from the instability in the region that came about because of reckless American intervention against Saddam Hussein followed by Washington’s support of a roadmap to remove Bashir al-Assad.

As for the terrorism issue, one might reasonably argue that Iran has been on the receiving end more often than not. It has been subjected to bombing and shooting attacks carried out by armed separatists supported by Tel Aviv and Washington, its scientists and technicians have been assassinated by Israel and its computer systems have been attacked with Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame viruses. According to the annual State Department Countries Report on Terrorism, Tehran’s actual support of what the U.S. and Israel claim are terrorists consists of continuing “…support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and for Hizballah. It has also increased its presence in Africa and attempted to smuggle arms to Houthi separatists in Yemen and Shia oppositionists in Bahrain. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its regional proxy groups to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad. Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Hizballah, its primary beneficiary.”

The meddling by the Revolutionary Guards would appear to be small potatoes, largely defensive in nature and focused on specific regional interests and concerns, relatively minor in comparison with what the United States does globally. The two Palestinian groups cited by name later in the report, the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), plus Hizballah in Lebanon, would be considered resistance organizations against Israeli occupation and aggression by many. None of them threatens the United States.

The sad reality is that the pro-Israel crowd wants a war with Iran to be fought exclusively by the United States no matter what Iran does to avoid an armed conflict and they will twist the narrative so that Tehran always represents a serious threat. Remember the lies that were concocted to justify invading Iraq? Iraq allegedly had weapons of mass destruction, it threatened the entire region, it supported terrorism…does that sound familiar? Even complete surrender by Tehran might not be enough to satisfy the hawks in Congress and in Israel because the fact that Iran is in terms of geography, resources and population a regional power is what disturbs psychopaths like Benjamin Netanyahu and his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Hopefully the American public has finally developed enough savvy to see through the barrage of war talk and lies that it will be subjected to over the next two months. Hopefully Israel and its Lobby and its friends will go down in defeat one more time, perhaps a defeat decisive enough to convince them that their narrative shifting is not any longer working. Hopefully.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iran, Iranian Nuclear Program, Israel 
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  1. Don Nash says:

    The Israel firsters in Congress and their AIPAC pimps SHOULD be held to account for treason. That might shut them up. For a while anyway.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @mass immigration
  2. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    “Netanyahu’s warning has been framed around his repeated prediction that if nothing were done to intercede in the process the Mullahs would have a weapon of mass destruction in their hands within six months or a year.”

    Give Netanhayu the Sabrina-Rubin-Erdely award for Truth.

  3. Hopefully the American public has finally developed enough savvy to see through the barrage of war talk and lies that it will be subjected to over the next two months

    ‘Hope springs eternal’ is the cynicism of folk wisdom. Asking the American public to be informed is like asking someone to look up a word they don’t know how to spell. Thank our media for that.

    • Replies: @Realist
    , @moi
  4. Thanks, Mr. Giraldi, for another fine piece.

    Two days ago, Israeli officials acknowledged that Bibi’s greatest fear is not that Iran will break a future nuclear deal, but that the Iranians will probably fully implement it!

    The real animosity against Iran has nothing to do with a nuclear weapons program it does not have, but everything with regime change and/or containing Iran with criplling sanctions, viruses, terrorism …

    Iran is no saint in the region, far from it, but there’s not a single reason why the US shouldn’t normalise relations with Iran again to balance off the likes of Saudi Arabia and Israel, who have really gone barking mad in the past 15 years.

    • Replies: @Bill
  5. George says:

    Very insightful article, particularly this: “Even complete surrender by Tehran might not be enough to satisfy the hawks in Congress and in Israel because the fact that Iran is in terms of geography, resources and population a regional power is what disturbs psychopaths like Benjamin Netanyahu and his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.”

    Surrender won’t satisfy these proto-fascists (let’s call them by their correct name) because nothing less than total destruction of the entity being attacked, in this case, Iran, is sufficient for the fascist mind as they require total dominance. More “resistance” groups are necessary against these fascists, with the highest need in the U.S. Congress.

    • Replies: @solontoCroesus
  6. @George

    “proto-fascists (let’s call them by their correct name) ”

    First of all, fascism is frequently used recklessly and with consequent lack of precision. Fascism was a political movement forthrightly crafted by Benito Mussolini, with the vision and goal of unifying and creating greater security and prosperity for the Italian people. For all that he is caricatured as a buffoon and ‘dictator,’ Mussolini was deeply steeped in Roman and Italian political philosophy; he wrote extensively and developed his plans in those writings. Most likely, Mussolini based his vision and actions on theories advance by Niccolo Machiavelli (properly understood). Vladimir Jabotinsky was a great admirer of Mussolini but unfortunately focused on Il Duce’s showy muscularity, not his disciplined steps to political and economic advancement.

    Regarding psychopath — that term seems to more concisely define the phenomenon.

    Avigail Abarbanel diagnosed Israeli psychopathology in January 2009 even as Israel was pounding Gaza —

    Israel’s Trauma Psychology

    “An Israeli friend told me in disgust the other day, that there is an atmosphere of ‘national orgasm’ in Israel about the prospect of attacking Iran. While people are being bombed in Gaza, all Israelis can talk about is the coming attack on Iran. But there is a link between the two. . . .

    Israel’s response to trauma was to arm itself to the teeth, and to become an incredibly aggressive country while perpetuating inside and out the myth of victimhood and goodness. . . .

    Unfortunately this isn’t a good or wholesome way to live. This is a way of life that perpetuates inner conflicts, leads to isolation and invites animosity from others. It’s hard to spread good will and kindness in the world when one’s inner world is based on an adversarial foundation. What is true for individuals can also be true for whole societies. Israel had a chance to heal its traumatised Jewish past but instead chose to perpetuate the trauma and pass it on to subsequent generations.”

    A month later, in February 2009, Abarbanel quoted Benzion Netanyahu’s endorsement of his son, Benjamin, candidacy, and explained how the trauma psychosis he evidenced is baked into Jewish Israeli identity; that is to say, zionist Israel was created on a psychotic foundation; detachment from reality is essential to maintain Israel’s Jewish identity.

    Abarbanel wrote:

    At some point in the interview Professor Ben-Zion Netanyahu said,

    “Today we are facing plain and simple, a danger of annihilation. This is not only the ongoing existential danger to Israel, but a real danger of complete annihilation. People think that the Shoah (Holocaust) is over — but it is not, it is continuing all the time” (My translation from the Hebrew).

    The views of Netanyahu Senior do not represent a lunatic fringe, but the Israeli mainstream. . . .

    Fear of annihilation is at the heart of Jewish, not just Israeli culture and it pre-dates the Holocaust. But the climate in Israel today is far more extreme than it was in my time, as Israel on the whole moves further and further to an irrational fanatic position.

    When a person’s perception of reality is completely out of touch with reality itself, we begin to get an uneasy feeling that something might be wrong with his or her mind. . . .

    This is insanity. Someone is indeed facing a risk of cultural, economic, political and even physical annihilation, but it’s not Israel or Jews, it’s the Palestinians, and the annihilator is Israel itself. To ignore Israel’s psychology is dangerous because it means that any intervention based only on political considerations, will miss the mark and risk being irrelevant. . . .

    If Israel’s actions lead to an increase in fanaticism and in anti-Jewish sentiment, this is because this is what Israel wants to achieve, albeit unconsciously. But why does Israel need more fanaticism and antisemitism? An increase in real anti-Semitism and attacks on Jews would bring current reality into line with the outdated imaginary reality, and would help keep Jewish identity unchanged. The reality is that Jews have not been victims, certainly not of a genocidal regime for over sixty years—the Holocaust is not happening now and there is no attempt by anyone to annihilate the Jews.The fact that Jews live in safety everywhere and are not persecuted makes Israel uncomfortable. If the Jews are doing well everywhere, then Jewish identity is being put to question, and so is the very reason for the existence of Israel.

    Last week at the Second Annual National Summit to discuss the U.S. – Israel Lobby entanglement, Gideon Levy, a journalist with Haaretz, a major Israeli newspaper, echoed Abarbanel’s assessments and observed that the psychopathology is only getting worse:

    Israeli society today is by far too brainwashed. life in Israel is by far too good. . . . Israel today is a society let’s face it that lives in denial, totally disconnected with reality.
    Would it be a private person I would recommend either medication or hospitalization because people who lose connection with reality might be very dangerous either to themselves or to society. [applause]
    And the Israeli society lost connection with reality. It lost connection with reality in its back yard, it’s totally lost connection with the international environment.

    Really, to believe that 5 million Jews know better than 6 billion people of the world?

    Really believe that 5 million Jews will continue to be able to live on the sword forever? . . . Really believing that in the twenty-first century it is acceptable to ignore the international law in such a way, to ignore the international institutions? . . .

    Most of Israelis but not all of them DEEPLY believe that we are the chosen people and if we are the chosen people we have the right to do whatever we want.

    There were more brutal occupations in history, there were longer occupations in history, even tho the Israel occupation gets to quite a nice record.
    But there was never an occupation in which the occupier presented himself as the victim. Not only the victim the Only victim around. This also enable any Israeli to live in peace because we are the victims.

    But the third set of values is the most dangerous one: this is the systematic dehumanization of the Palestinians which enables us Israelis to live in peace with everything. Because if they are not human beings like us then there is not really a question of human rights. and if you scratch under the skin of almost every Israeli you will find it there: Almost no Israeli will treat Palestinans like equal human beings like us.

    Mussolini’s fascism did not have as a core value the systematic dehumanization of the Other.

    Israeli zionism does.

    That is structural psychopathology.

    • Replies: @Wally
  7. Remember that Muammar al-Gaddafi had a nuclear weapons program. In 2003, he agreed to end it and then “made nice” with the West, even allowing a trial – in a Scottish court – of the suspect in the infamous Lockerbie bombing.

    Fast-forward to 2011. He is overthrown in a US-sponsored “Libyan Civil War” (with a special pull-out full color section, “Humanitarian Air War over Benghazi”) ending in his gruesome death, in Sirte, by being sodomized to death by a bayonet by the “rebels”.

    The witticism that then made the rounds of the cocktail parties inside the Beltway: “We came; We saw: He died.” (Authoress unknown).

    And we blame the Iranians for their lack of trust? Inshallah, we shall strive to be worthy of their trust.

    • Replies: @Chet Roman
    , @noizpots
  8. Of course Bibi and AIPAC’s “breakout” rationale, in the ever shifting sands of their truculence towards Iran, makes no sense in that ANY country with the requisite materials and expertise will be suspected by the Israeli hegemon of working in secrecy to build the bomb…with or without the aid of the nuclear proliferators on Sibel Edmond’s Rogue’s Gallery. Containment by sabotage and assassination of nuclear industry specialists works only until the security services wise up, and damn if those Iranian graduate students in the hard sciences don’t keep popping out of the fortified concrete. Hence, the Iranophobes’ desperate hectoring about Persia’s alleged perfidy and its virulently contagious case of enrichment acne. Poor Bibi, would it surprise anyone if he and his Amen Congress were to call for a ban on teaching physics to Iranian students?

  9. Realist says:
    @Don Nash

    “The Israel firsters in Congress and their AIPAC pimps SHOULD be held to account for treason.”

    By whom?

    • Replies: @Don Nash
    , @JustJeff
  10. The details and merits of the deal are irrelevant to the ZioWhores in Congress. If AIPAC instruct them to shoot it down they will. It really is that simple.

  11. @Eustace Tilley (not)

    The “witticism” was spoken by our new corporate/neocon-lite presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

  12. Don Nash says:

    Exactly. There is no accountability in these here United States of America. Not any more.

  13. Perhaps a bit off topic but, I was struck by Netanyahu’s reference to Haman, enemy of the Jews in the court of Persia during his address to his dupes in our House of Representatives.

    Bibi, or his speechwriters, must assume that Americans are biblically illiterate. I say this because every child who studied the Old Testament knows that had it not been for the munificence of the old Persian (Iranian) empire, there would be no Jews in the world today.

    If the Bible bears any relation to historical truth, the Jews were captives of Babylonia, a Semitic empire. They lost their kingdoms and were forced to living as disposed captives in Babylon. They were pressure to assimilate into the mass population of that empire. This certainly would have happened if Cyrus the Great, Iranian Arian ruler of the Persian Empire had not crushed Babylon. He then found the Jews useful, setting them back up in their old neighborhood, Palestine.

    I’m not one to commingle biblical themes into current events. That said, it’s breathtakingly insulting for any Israeli leader to throw a bogus misrepresentation of a bible story at our faces while trying to gull us into fighting a war against our own interests. That is, the very people who set them free.

    In fact, this might be a better reading of the Haman story. Haman was not of Iranian blood but sought to enflame the Iranians into attacking a third party for his own gain. If this isn’t a perfect description of Netanyahu himself, I don’t know what is; a conniving foreigner inciting violence among people not his own.

    If the Old Testament Bible is their guide to righteous action, shouldn’t all those Christian-Zionists understand that were it not for the Iranians, Zion would not exist?

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  14. JustJeff says:

    Ideally by the military but unfortunately they have no tradition of independence like in Turkey, Chile, or formerly Spain.

  15. @Thomas O. Meehan

    ” were it not for the Iranians, Zion would not exist?”

    Americans are an exceptional people.
    we won’t hold it against you, Iran.

  16. @Don Nash

    Iran is a distraction to divert attention from mass immigration to Europe and america.

  17. It’s not precisely true that other occupation forces in history didn’t see themselves as victims. The genuine Nazis played heavy on the grievance theme of a victimized German volk suffering unfairly from the victor-imposed Versailles Treaty with its heavy economic punishments to last until 1989.

    Couple that with a weak and indecisive Weimar government, a Wall Street manufactured worldwide depression, runaway inflation and unemployment destroying the middle class and the theme of grievance contributed to a form of political psychosis, complete with easy targets of domestic and international Jewry becoming the scapegoats to particularly blame, as well as outsiders in general.

    Yet a whole people doesn’t become psychotic, but more its particular leaders who act as demagogues leading the rest into their own perdition.

    Israeli influence isn’t going to go completely away, unless some psychotics who blame Jews for their own ills were to fatally implement a Fourth Reich style worldwide pogrom. All of humanity would have bigger much problems then, than worrying about Tel Aviv’s self interested manipulations.

    It is necessary to take Jewish sensibilities and opinion to heart, no less than any other peoples’. Fairness demands no less, in light of past genocide. Whatever is done in our own interests ought to take into consideration those of all our neighbors in this world, including Israel’s. That does not mean the tail has to wag the dog of course – but the dog’s tail ought to wag in a friendly manner.

  18. Art says:

    For more than twenty years the world has been hearing from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his friends in the United States

    Does the Zionist Netanyahu have any friends or are most all of those who sycophantically support him, victims of the Stockholm syndrome – are those who reflexively support Israel, victims of terror themselves.

    The Stockholm syndrome works like this. A peoples freedom is taken from them by a group that threatens them, the threatening group proclaims that they themselves are victims. Those who are threatened, begin to identify with those who are coercing them. The coerced defend the coercers. Doesn’t that describe every American politician and media person in America? Hasn’t their freedom be taken from them by Zionism? Are they not threaten with political obscurity if they speak up against Israel? Hasn’t the “holocaust” be shoved down America’s throat? Hasn’t the West been terrorized by the word “holocaust”?

    Aren’t we being treated to the greatest scam in human history?

  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Fran Macadam

    5 out of 7 federal reserve board are Jews. Yellen is. Stanley Fischer was Israel central bank’s head!

    Also, how r they scapegoats when they unleashed Weimar hyperinflation? Austrian hyperinflation?

    It is europeans who r the scapegoats and victims. 120 million were slaughtered 1914-1945.

  20. Tom Welsh says:

    I wonder what the range of Israel’s 100 or more thermonuclear missiles might be? Europe? USA?? No one knows, do they? Odd that the American security people don’t care about whether a potentially hostile power, which has already tried to sink a US Navy ship and kill all its crew, might have the wherewithal to devastate the USA’s cities. Funny that there is no talk about the need to occupy Israel to make sure it gives up its WMD…

    • Replies: @James
  21. Israel is not going to “nuke” the U.S.A. Realistically, no state in the Middle East is. But having an ultimate weapon on hand does seem to act as a brake on occupations against those who have them, and give more of a free hand to act unilaterally against those who don’t.

    • Replies: @solontoCroesus
    , @Tom Welsh
  22. noizpots says:
    @Eustace Tilley (not)

    I believe the quote may attributed to Hillary, with due moral credit to her predecessor, “we think it was worth it” Madeleine Albright.

  23. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factor"] says:

    The biggest anti-Semite must be God because He’s bashing Jews constantly in the Old Testament.

    He chose them but also judges them and kicks their arse more times than we can remember.

  24. @Fran Macadam

    Alright Fran Macadam; let’s stipulate that all that you say is true: Germans were “psychotic” and complained without rhyme or reason about suffering that, I gather from your comment, you believe was not borne out by the facts. So stipulated.

    You state that

    “It is necessary to take Jewish sensibilities and opinion to heart, no less than any other peoples’. Fairness demands no less, in light of past genocide.”

    I assume you are referring to the genocide of Jewish people.
    We dispensed with the suffering of German people above.

    For how long is it “necessary to take Jewish sensibilities and opinion to heart?”

    In the link at the beginning of this comment Lindsey Graham and other influential persons declare that waging war against Iran is looking like the only option.

    Should the sensibilities of the Iranian people be taken to heart, no less than the Jewish people?

    How about the Palestinian people: should their sensibilities be taken to heart, no less than the Jewish people?

    In you estimation, which of those three groups, Iranian, Palestinian, Jewish, is being subjected to the greatest threat to their existence?

    When will they have suffered enough?
    When shall we be able to stop “taking their sensibilities to heart?”

    Do you think the Iranian and Palestinian people can survive as long as it takes for the Jewish sensibilities to be sated?

    One more thong Fran — look again at the three “values” that characterize the Israeli “psychosis” (abarbanel’s and Levy’s term, not mine). Do those three values characterize the Iranian people? or the Paestinian people? For that matter, did they characterize the German people (if the entire story were told)?

  25. Certain commenters keep on playing games, constantly changing their names in order to pretend to be a large number of different people. Trying to trick people this way is totally unacceptable. Commenters should pick one handle and stick to it. Individuals who stubbornly continue to change their names will probably have all their future comments summarily trashed.

  26. @Fran Macadam

    “no state in the Middle East is . . .going to “nuke” the USA.”

    Daniel Pipes just said that Iran is going to attack USA with a nuclearized Electro-Magnetic Pulse that will leave 90% of Americans dead.”

    Benjamin Netanyahu has been warning US legislators for ~10 years that Iran is “just 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 year away from developing a missile to attack the USA.”

    What do you know that Pipes and Netanyahu don’t know?

    • Replies: @hbm
  27. Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    “The reality is that Jews have not been victims, certainly not of a genocidal regime for over sixty years—the Holocaust is not happening now and there is no attempt by anyone to annihilate the Jews.”

    Getting facts the straight means getting the facts right.

    Simply put, there was no genocide of Jews ‘over sixty years ago’. Exposing that lie is what it’s going too take to bring down the world’s biggest nuclear threat. The world’s biggest advocates of violent ethnic cleansing, aka: “that shitty little country”.

    This is not just opinion, it is scientific and physical fact. The ridiculous religion of ‘6M & gas chambers’ does not withstand rational scrutiny. It is part of an unbroken history of lies contrived by the racist and ever so dangerous Chosen Ones.

    See where the mythical number of ‘6,000,000’ was planned / promoted in the 1800s’:

    All just a coincidence.

  28. Any people can be demagogued into war – yes, even Americans, if there is enough underlying financial stress. The only exceptional thing about us is the vastness of and destructive power of the arsenal.

    I think it is well understood now that World War I was not the war to end all wars, but the further impetus for most since. And it is well understood now that the Versailles Treaty was excessively punitive to Germany, exacerbating the hardships of defeat. It was really over the top in 1919 to require punitive war reparations payouts from Germany to last until 1989 – the very year that the Berlin Wall fell.

    Without such inflictions, no Hitler Chancellery.

    Pernicious creation of enemies, is an enemy to peacemaking.

    Even many influential Americans justified the Iraq War as payback to someone – anyone – for our own victimhood of September 2001. United by the grief of all, some decided on revenge on the guilty and non-guilty alike – mostly the non-guilty. Millions of them.

    Victimhood intensified through nursing it into permanent grievance tends to justify the excessively bad things you want to do in revenge to those who have wronged you. It can be manipulated for profit by those in a position to receive windfalls. You may have noticed that greed, and even greed among bankers and others associated with military proft sharing, suspiciously dovetails with narratives of victimhood sold to populations. It is interesting to note that greed is totally Politically Correct – it does not afflict Jews in any different way than the Gentiles who equally stand to benefit financially by the destruction and suffering of war.

    If ever there was a people who agreed on a culture of Greed is Good, it is our own American one. That Pledge of Allegiance to the materialistic American Dream comes from the majority in our nation, who aren’t even Jewish.

    But all things considered, all nations justify their own violent actions by invoking victimhood, to which there is always at least some truth.

    • Replies: @KA
    , @Tom Welsh
  29. “What do you know that Pipes and Netanyahu don’t know?”

    Those guys are masters of the unknown knowns.

  30. ” that shitty little country”

    Hey! As reported by Barbara Amiel, who used to be my anti-communist friend as editor of a major metropolitan newspaper, till she went all royalist, morphing from populist conservative to High Tory consort to now-deposed media aristocrat Lord Conrad.

  31. KA says:
    @Fran Macadam
    Ameican foray to Tripoli in 1800 was the forerunner of what would follow later very predictably. The past is the prologue .A weak,reluctant,and utterly blameless nation was forced into conflict ,subjected to blockade,naval siege and later land invasion to satisfy the churches,war profiteers,and consolidate more militarized central authority . It also ushered the citizen into a new realm of abuse by calculated use of distortion,suppression,and creation of the realities so to get things done that wouldn’t be possible in the context of the free flow of the information.
    America really hasn’t won a war against a more befitting well equipped enemy. Its victims had been enemy for simple reason of America deciding to turn them into enemies.

  32. geokat62 says:

    “…some decided on revenge on the guilty and non-guilty alike…”

    Care to take a stab at identifying who these “some” are?

    Here are a few clues:
    Who had a ready-made proposal to remedy the situation? Who put forward the idea of remaking the ME by draining the swamp? Does PNAC ring a bell?

    Why not call a spade a spade and say it was the Israel Firsters who called for the U.S. military to take out 7 Muslim countries in 5 years to make the jungle a little safer for the villa?

  33. @Wally

    Coincidence, no. Cherry picking by pseudo-scholars is more like it.


    “Dalton” asked me to check the New York Times and find references to six million Jews vs. references to other sums of millions. He suggested a date range from 1900 to 1945. I thought it more wise to end my search on August 31, 1939 — one day before World War II began.

    These are standard Boolean searches and can be replicated on the ProQuest NYT Historic databse. Here are the results:

    5 documents found for: (“6 million Jews”) OR (“six million Jews”) AND PDN(>1/1/1900) AND PDN(1/1/1900) AND PDN(<8/31/1939) AND NOT ("six million Jews") AND NOT ("6 million Jews") Not to put too fine a point on it, this is five references in the Times to six million Jews before the war began vs. 220 references to other sums in the millions. I.e., there are over forty times as many references to other figures. I think I made my point.

    Do you ever get tired of being so demonstrably wrong? No wonder you moderate your own debates. No wonder.

  34. KA says:

    There is always someone out there always at Zionist’s beck and call . If not Fabius from France,it has to be some one else to fill in ,to enter into the place holding spot. Different jargon,different emotion different reason but the purpose remains same .

    What does unity mean Ms Merkel? Those unities were the expression of some lying lips coming together .Those coordinations were the results of the respnses of some greedy racist weakened sheep to the unified command put out by the Zionism Central.

  35. Tom Welsh says:
    @Fran Macadam

    You may honestly believe that Israel is not going to nuke the USA, Fran. But how can you be utterly certain? You should know that military strategic planners do not concern themselves with the intentions of other nations – which are unknowable, and may change abruptly as, for instance, in Ukraine last year. They are interested solely in capabilities. The fact is certain, and unchallenged, that Israel has the capability to destroy much of Europe (and possibly the USA) while Iran has no such capability, and cannot for several years at least.

    In April 1967, you might also have believed that Israel was not going to attack a US Navy vessel and attempt to destroy it and exterminate its crew. But that happened.

    You might not believe that Saudi princes conspired to shoot down Air Force One and kill the President of the USA. But that happened too.

    It’s an uncertain world.

  36. Tom Welsh says:
    @Fran Macadam

    “Any people can be demagogued into war – yes, even Americans, if there is enough underlying financial stress”.

    Very amusing. Of the 239 years since 1776, the USA has been at war for 218 years. That’s 21 years of peace! Additionally (direct quote from the URL below):

    * Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.

    * No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president. Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.”

    * The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.

    * The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

  37. @Fran Macadam

    “Israeli influence isn’t going to go completely away, unless some psychotics who blame Jews for their own ills were to fatally implement a Fourth Reich style worldwide pogrom.”

    Man, seriously, don’t talk about that. Its never going to happen, but if Jews think Gentiles imagine such an outcome to be plausible, that’s just going to add fuel to the fires of their own paranoia. Some hypotheticals are better left unexplored.

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  38. Patriot says:

    It’s not really about nuclear bombs. It’s about Israel having America attack, destroy, destabilize or “regime-change” Israel’s enemies.

    Israel (like Nazi Germany) wants to eliminate its many, many enemies. Israel much prefers that American soldiers fight and die and that Americans pay for these endless wars, instead of Israeli boys dying and Israelis paying.

    It is important for Israel to have America undertake this evil, so that Israel can continue to genocide Palestinians and steal their land.

    • Replies: @Orville H. Larson
  39. @Kevin O'Keeffe

    Given the last few millenia, while past performance is no guarantee as Wall Street likes to say, it’s the best indicator we have for the future. I would say, Israel is not considering that leaving their defense to the goodwill of gentiles, is a secure course. I don’t object to that. However, we have our own interests at stake, which they, like any other nation, will not consider as important as their own. When a majority of one party considers, as polls just did, that they and many Americans are willing to be more loyal to the Israeli government than the wellbeing of other Americans, something is really out of whack, as the consideration is not going to be reciprocal.

  40. @Patriot

    No doubt you’re right.

    Israel looks at the U.S. the way a dog looks at a lamppost–as something to piss on.

  41. hbm says:

    John Hagee has been frightening his flock of morons with tales of an Iranian EMP for quite awhile.

  42. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    End-timers – like Michelle Bachmann – say they believe the U.S. will be punished if it ‘turns its back’ on Israel. She doesn’t know how; but I do: false flags. So, strangely, the end-timers may be right!

  43. Bill says:

    The jews will get Giraldi. Mark my words. Foxman is already hard at work.

  44. James says:
    @Tom Welsh

    Spot on, but honestly I believe the west must be tracking all those weapons otherwise they would be suicidal. The Israelis are talking openly about the Samson option to go down and take the world with them, and i can tell you for sure, Israel is no more in 10-15 years. No amount of power and money can sustain this monster anymore.

  45. @Wally

    I am too young to have known the truth about the Holocaust, but I am certainly old enough to be aware of what is happening in Palestine. Similarly, it is too late for us to stop the mistreatment of the innocents by the Nazis, but we are right on time to stop the mistreatment of the Palestinians by the Zionists.

  46. “The sad reality is that the pro-Israel crowd wants a war with Iran to be fought exclusively by the United States no matter what Iran does to avoid an armed conflict”

    True, I agree.

    But why?

    I think I know some of it, but I’d love to see Giraldi expand on that at article length. It is the real core of the “problem with Iran.”

  47. moi says:

    The best outcome would be if Congress were to kill the deal–then the P4+1 could have normal relations with Iran while US businesses look on hopelessly.

  48. moi says:
    @Ronald Thomas West

    Yup, that’s the state of affairs back in the “homeland.”

  49. moi says:

    don’t forget former Sen. Leiberman 🙂

  50. geokat62 says:

    “The best outcome would be if Congress were to kill the deal – then the P4+1 could have normal relations with Iran while US businesses look on hopelessly”

    You’re forgetting that killing the deal is just the prelude to going to war!

    • Replies: @solontoCroesus
  51. @geokat62

    You’re forgetting that killing the deal is just the prelude to going to war!

    “Going to war” on what basis, geokat62?

    Principles of Just-War Theory

    1. Last Resort

    A just war can only be waged after all peaceful options are considered. The use of force can only be used as a last resort.

    2. Legitimate Authority

    A just war is waged by a legitimate authority. A war cannot be waged by individuals or groups that do not constitute the legitimate government.

    3. Just Cause

    A just war needs to be in response to a wrong suffered. Self-defense against an attack always constitutes a just war; however, the war needs to be fought with the objective to correct the inflicted wound.

    4. Probability of Success

    In order for a war to be just, there must be a rational possibility of success. A nation cannot enter into a war with a hopeless cause.

    5. Right Intention

    The pirmary objective of a just war is to re-establish peace. In particular, the peace after the war should excede the peace that would have succeeded without the use of force. The aim of the use of force must be justice.

    6. Proportionality

    The violence in a just war must be proportional to the casualties suffered. The nations involved in the war must avoid disproportionate military action and only use the amount of force absolutely necessary.

    7. Civilian Casualties

    The use of force must distinguish between the militia and civilians. Innocent citizens must never be the target of war; soldiers should always avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are only justified when they are unaviodable victims of a military attack on a strategic target.

    The American people should be demanding that their representatives offer to the Citizenry comprehensive and compelling responses to each of these principles, with special attention to

    #1. Last resort:


    #3. Just cause:

    The US Congress enjoys the confidence of only 16% of the American people.

    In matters of war and peace a more trustworthy opinion seems essential. Put this on your nightstand and review it before rushing off to war:

    lets assume for the moment that there really is a serious potential for either a U.S. or Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, purposed in degrading Iran’s nuclear program and its ability to develop nuclear weapons. Would such a strike be lawful under international law?

    . . . I and many others have written on the topic of the legality of preemptive international uses of force as against WMD threats in much longer, and more detailed form in books and law review articles. For example, in my 2009 book International Law and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Chapters 6-9 are primarily devoted to this and related counterproliferation legal questions. For a much shorter treatment on the web, see my 2008 ASIL Insight on Syria’s Al Kibar reactor site, and the 2007 bombing of the site by Israel (

    Basically, the only legal grounds available to the U.S. or Israel to justify this international use of force would be Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which recognizes the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense.

    And this is only if one accepts, as I and most international lawyers do, that there is still a limited right of anticipatory self-defense that is included in the customary law foundations of Article 51. However, this right of anticipatory self-defense is extremely limited, and can only be used when there is a necessity of self defense that is



    leaving no choice of means, and

    no moment of deliberation …”

    And even in such a “necessity of the moment,” the attacking force may do nothing which is “unreasonable or excessive.” (Quotes taken from the Caroline correspondence of 1837, between U.S. and British officials)

    The international lawyers out there may be thinking that this statement of the law, if true even ten years ago, might now be in need of updating in light of state practice through such incidents at the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the 2007 attack by Israel against Al Kibar. And there are arguments to be made here. My own view is that there have been far too few instances of state practice, coupled with an opinio juris seeking to change the underlying rules of use of force law relative to anticipatory self-defense, and far too little evidence of a generalized acquiescence to such a change by the international community, to find that such a substantive change has indeed occurred. It may be in the process of occurring, but my sense is that from a legal perspective, it would be a very risky gamble at this point to rely on the justification potentially afforded such an act through arguing that it was an attempt to progress an emerging rule of customary law. For one thing, I don’t think that either the U.S. or Israel would make such an argument because, at the end of the day, neither one wants the general rules on the use of force to change in that direction. This is one reason why the U.S. official arguments regarding the 2003 invasion of Iraq were not based on counterproliferation-oriented self-defense, but rather on UNSC Resolutions.

    Ok, back to the analysis. The sort of imminence of threat posed by the target of an anticipatory use of self-defense, as required by the Caroline test quoted above, is going to be a very high bar for either the U.S. or Israel to meet under anything like the current circumstances. Iran has at present made no threats to use nuclear weapons against either the U.S. or Israel. In fact Iran consistently denies it has a nuclear weapons program. And there is no credible evidence that such a nuclear weapons development program currently exists – at least not one that is objectively likely, under current conditions, to lead to the actual manufacture of a nuclear weapon. So with this as the factual context, and again unless something quite radically changes about this factual context, the high bar of the Caroline imminence test will not be met by any U.S. or Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    In the specific context of international uses of force against nuclear facilities, there are also a number of resolutions adopted by the IAEA General Conference – the highest policymaking body of the IAEA, comprised of representatives from all IAEA member states, today numbering 154 states. In a number of resolutions, the IAEA General Conference has explicitly declared that attacks against peaceful nuclear installations are prohibited under international law. These resolutions include GC(XXVII)/RES/407 (1983); GC(XXIX)/RES/444 (1984); and GC(XXIX)/765 (1985). . . .

  52. KA [AKA "block"] says:

    Mr Giraldi
    Can the Senators and Congresspersons be charged with illegally procuring and possessing the classified information? Can the source of the exposure of the secret information or classified discussion be charged with the espionage?

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
  53. KA [AKA "block"] says:

    ‘Yet judges at the Lebanon tribunal have ruled that disclosures by Al Jadeed and other news organizations undermined the court’s work and scared off witnesses. The tribunal named a special judge and a prosecutor to investigate the journalists.

    ”If witnesses are too frightened to come to this tribunal, then this tribunal is finished,” the prosecutor, Kenneth Scott, told the court.”

    Its time for US to bring charges to the media and the personalities that often by selective leakage,distortion of existing information,or pure lying sabotage the government either in such situation as was the case of Rosen-Franklin spying or falsification of the existence of WMD,or securing falsehood as news of impending threat to US interests that have been the hallmark of the war efforts by the Neocons against Syria and Iran.

  54. @KA

    Difficult to say – revealing classified information is a felony under the Espionage Act for whomever is custodian of the information and shares it. But it is not necessarily a felony for the recipient. The failure of the recent court case of two aipac officials suggests who received classified information suggests that it is impossible to win the case without actually revealing what the information is, which the government normally will not do, so they go after the person who had custody of the information and who had signed a secrecy agreement, who, in the aipac case was Larry Franklin.

  55. geokat62 says:

    “Going to war” on what basis?

    On the basis of pure unadulterated power!

    If you recall, the Kabuki of adhering to principles of international law by seeking a UNSC Resolution sanctioning an attack was dispensed with during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The hypocrisy of the U.S. condemning the Germans after WWII for committing the supreme international crime by initiating a war of aggression when they did the exact same thing in invading Iraq was made plain to see for all those who have eyes.

    Notwithstanding all the protestations to the contrary, the question we have to ask ourselves is: should we resign ourselves to the fact that the real purpose of international law is that it be applied by the strong against the weak?

    • Replies: @solontoCroesus
  56. KA says:

    ” In 2013, former IAEA chief Olli Heinonen warned an Israel Project conference call that Iran was two weeks away from a bomb (Two weeks!). Lindsey Graham criticized the interim agreement, calling it a giveaway to Iran. Similarly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it “the deal of the century” for Iran.”

    Oily y man has been oiled so much by Israel that he even chairs a department in Harvard . But he is an expert that is touted by FOX. Cotton then goes to the floor (or one day will do saying “Harvard educator,ex IAEA deputy chief knows something abut bomb and timeline Mr President! Sorry Mr President ,I will trust Mr Heinonen and not your judgement ” ) Mr cotton will forget to add that Heinonen is a member of FDD or some other reborn rightwing anti Iran body like UANI but he will add how Obama has traveled whole ME ,how he has undermined US and how he has cozied up to Iran by sending messages ,by greetings “death to Israel” Iranians on New Yrs day.

  57. @geokat62


    Max Boot, of all people, gave my Sunday morning a big boost and the awareness that Pres. Obama IS cognizant of the mistakes of history and IS seeking to define a different, more just, more respectful policy toward nations in the Middle East, including Iran and Iraq.

    Boot, “senior fellow at Council on Foreign Relations,” was on C Span to talk about Pres. Obama’s “misguided and immoral” shift in US foreign policy that [gasp] evidences a de facto alliance with Iran! which has been the US’s enemy since 1979! and which has helped Iraq chase ISIS out of Tikirt! and appears to be in compliance with the requirement that foreign assistance recognize Iraq’s sovereignty and work only through Baghdad “but that is a bad thing! (spluttered Boot) because it gives Iran power in the region! “It will not work!” Boot insisted.

    The C Span host played a minute or two of Pres. Obama’s statement of the USA’s perspective on Iraq’s relations with Iran; the host asked Boot to comment.

    Obama said:

    We expect Iran to have an important relationship with Iraq, as a close neighbor. And obviously, the fact that Iraq is a Shia majority country means that it will be influenced and have relations with Iran as well.
    And at the point at which DAISH or ISIL was surging and the Iraqi government was still getting organized, at that point I think the mobilization of Shia militias was something that was understood to protect Baghdad or other critical areas.
    Once Prime Minister Abadi took power, once he reorganized the government and the security forces, once the coalition came in in a —at the invitation of and in agreement with a sovereign and Iraqi government then our expectation is that from that point on, any foreign assistance that is helping to defeat ISIL has to go through the Iraqi government. That is how you respect Iraqi sovereignty.

    Holy rolling barrel-bombs, Batman; Boot nearly burst a blood vessel braying his outrage: “Why was the President not angry with Iran? Where was Obama’s anger with Iran? Obama is changing everything! He’s trying to make nice with “an unelected leader who is afraid to face his own voters.”

    Funny statement, that, about elections in Iran. In 2013 Boot opined about the election of Rouhani. He fulminated that the West was “delusional” in believing in the “myth of ‘moderate mullahs’ .” Boot concluded —

    “There is scant cause to think that Rohani’s election now will change Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons–except to make it easier by dragging the West into further fruitless negotiations that will buy time for the mullahs to produce an atomic bomb.”

    Benji Netanyahu and Danielle Pletka are scared witless that Iran will abide by a deal, even as Boot is doing yeoman’s work for them in trying to convince the world that a deal cannot be done.

    Rouhani HAS made a difference.
    A deal CAN be accomplished.
    A level of comity and mutual respect CAN break out between Sunni and Shia, Iran and Iraq, even Iran and KSA — IF the sh*t-stirrers like Bibi and Boot will butt out.

    Bibi and Boot are the buggy-whip manufacturers of discord in a world that envisions hi-tech interrelatedness.

    Mr. Boot, the times they are a-changing.

    Boot has appeared on C Span numerous times, extending back to 1993, when he had hair.

    What are the possibilities that in 2037 a toothless Max Boot, roused from his nap and energized after gumming his Cheeri-Os, will appear on C Span to mumble, “Anger! Immoral! Terror!”

    Crawl back into your 1950 fallout shelter, Boot; the world has moved on.

    Anger sucks.
    Respect works.
    Rules rule.

  58. And It’s purely coincidence that Iran doesn’t have a Western style Central Bank.
    That makes two with North Korea.

  59. KA says:

    “That pressure is the result of several years of news media coverage that has treated allegations that Iran carried out research and development on nuclear weapons, published by the IAEA in 2011, as established fact. The media have constantly repeated the theme that Iran has been “stonewalling” the IAEA to cover up its past nuclear weapons experiments.

    The IAEA has never revealed that Israel was the source of the latter set of documents. The IAEA justified its decision to keep the identity of the member states that provided intelligence secret by citing the alleged necessity to protect “sources and methods.” The decision to maintain silence on the source has served to shield both Israel and the IAEA itself from questions about the obvious political motives behind the purported intelligence.

    A popular Israeli history of the most successful covert operations by Israel’s Mossad, originally published in Hebrew in Israel, asserts that Mossad provided some of the documents to the MEK that later become the centerpiece of the case against Iran.

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