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August 14, 2012

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What I wonder most is, how much effect does Netanyahu think a strike on Iran would have on the US election? And in which direction?

We know that he seriously dislikes Obama. And that Romeny has been at pains to make clear his support for Netanyahu's government and its policies. I'm not sure Netanyahu would strike just to damage Obama's reelection chances; or not strike just to avoid helping them. But in a close decision, I suspect it could tip the scales.

Personally, I think that Obama refusing to be drawn in would play well at home. The enthusiasm for yet another war in the Middle East is, outside the far right, pretty minimal. Not to mention that foreign crises tend to create a rally-'round-the-flag effect, which helps the incumbant. But does Netanyahu see it that way? Because his perception, not the reality, is what matters.

an Israeli military strike on the nuclear facilities in Iran will take place in these coming autumn months, before the US elections in November

Boy, that would make things rather, uh, interesting. The could be bluffing to force the U.S.'s hand (which I guess means getting the U.S. to attack Iran on Israel's behalf, as we could do a better job and the fallout, while it would be terrible, might be a little less terrible than if Israel did it).

OTOH, they might just do it themselves in say, mid-October, knowing that (i) they would get the full support of Romney, in the hopes that (ii) this would force Obama to be equally supportive, lest he risk his reelection chances. That way, no matter who wins, Israel has the US locked into maximal support of whatever Israel wants to do, as it's hard to see Obama walking back things after openly supporting an act of war (as opposed to the whole coyness with stuxnet).

Just insane.

While the situation Syria will take its course without much influence by the West, a Persian Spring in Iran and the killing of the radical conservative mullahs and their political wing, and a military coup in Israel and the arrest of the radical, conservative Right, including the radical conservative rabbis who inform the current radical conservatism in Israel is what is needed.

"conservative" is used here in the new sense of the alien scourge that has overtaken too many countries and societies over the past 30 years.

The conservative Putin in Russia and the Chinese leaders need to be deposed too.

Then the conservative scourge in this country will be dealt with accordingly.

Count, are you sure you aren't being just a bit . . . piecemeal here? Surely there are bits you are leaving out by not proposing something more . . . comprehensive.

True, I left out Grenada.

What do look like, Henry Kissinger?

"Then the conservative scourge in this country will be dealt with accordingly."

Except that the gun control nuts are handicapping that plan. Oh well.

But seriously, Israel would want to attack just before the election so as to ensure US involvement because, quite frankly, Israel is incapable of finishing the job; some first strikes against dubious targets and then they've shot their bolt.

Israel and it's supporters own (figuratively to some extent and literally to another) the US media. They would use that ownership to force the candidates to pledge support. Romney is already there any how. Obama would have to go along.

The media influence on the eve of an election is the key ingredient.

Of course the whole idea is pure madness that probably will herald WW3 if not the apocalypse itself.

IMO, we should just pulverize Israel with 48 hours of non-stop B52 and surface to surface missile attacks and be done with the whole problem once and for all. Any Jews in this country who raise a ruckus over that should be arrested and deported as the traitors that they are. Dual citizenship my arse; especially when one of the countries is trying to lead the other, by its nose, into disaster. Just to be fair, any US citizens that gripe about the destruction of Israel on religious fundi grounds should also be arrested and set adrift at sea with their "Chosen People" buddies.

I believe in Israeli self-determination, so they should take care of their own internal problems without benefit of our expensive arsenal laying waste to their internal enemies.

You know, it's tough being the crazy one around here when Av(ed)is is trying harder to be the Number One Whackjob.

I should add justification to my thinking outside the box approach.

1. If nuclear weapons development (or plans for thinking about development) is justifaction to attack and destroy middle eastern countries with oppressive governments that wage war on their neighbors, then an actually nuclear armed Israel should be a ligitimate target.

2. Costs versus benefits. The benefits of destroying Israel are huge. By destroying Israel we eliminate a malignant state that metastize war. Also, the opportunity for friendship with other ME countries - read oil producing - is immense. We'd even become heros to them as opposed to the great satan. Supporting Israel only leads to continued idslike of the US and associated terrorist activities, etc. against the US and its interests.

3. It is said that friends don't let friends drive drunk. Well, Israel is like a "friend" that is not only serving the US booze with willful and wanton indescretion, but one who then intends to hand us the car keys and ask us to drive down a winding mountain road partly because this "friend" has taken a life insurance policy out on us. With friends like that..........

4. The road to peace in the ME - rather, the express lane - starts with the elimination of Israel. Why is an Isaeli life worth more that a Palistinian life? An Iranian life? An American life?

"I believe in Israeli self-determination, so they should take care of their own internal problems without benefit of our expensive arsenal laying waste to their internal enemies."

Agreed. However, we will take the heat because we are seen as allies.

The benefits of destroying Israel are huge. By destroying Israel we eliminate a malignant state that metastize war.

just let those two sentences roll around in your head for a while.

Personally, I think that Obama refusing to be drawn in would play well at home.

1st) Does Iran counterattack Israel? Probably have to, but I m not positive they would/will.
If Iran does send missiles west killing Israelis, then I can't quite see Obama staying out. Florida.

2nd) Understanding that attacking Israel will bring the US in, does Iran then pre-emptively take out a nearby carrier (I think they can do it.? A lost carrier with thousands of casualties would, just before the election, force Obama to either declare for a ground war or look terribly weak, maybe even impeachable.

And a ground war with Iran would destroy the US.

I think Balckhawk has gone over the edge and taken the edge with him. The fact that I am sitting in a Haifa hotel room is diminishing my sense of humor regarding his utter nuttiness

Do you have to declare a ground war, or can you just "bomb" the living sh1t out of them? The public seems to like that mode of aggression.

My idea for years, two squirrels with one rock: Move Israel to Cyprus, send the Cypriots to Greece/Turkey respectively. Then have the Chinese (ideologically neutral) unload several megatons of the dirtiest stuff they have in their arsenal on the Temple Mount removing any trace history has left there and making the area uninhabitable for several generations.
What about the Palestinians? There are vast areas of practically uninhabited land in Eastern Germany (and a lot of those still living there are Nazis). Maybe add a stretch of Western Poland too. A land in need of people for people in need of land. Given the German-Polish antagonism (fostered by the RWers in both countries) a nice new buffer state would solve quite a few problems (and anger some that need be angered).
---
Should the Israeli leadership light the fire they should be forced to put it out themselves. Should they go nuclear in case of Iranian retaliation, they should be treated as pariahs (at least until the sane Israelis lanternize those responsible).
---
As for Obama, I think he would not lose much (and may gain something), if he would answer an unprovoked Israeli first strike with strict neutrality in the face of the loudest part of the political class beating the drum of 'solidarity' and war. But he would need to prepare the ground a bit (by declaring at least once that he does not condone an unprovoked first strike, emphasis on unprovoked. Those that would denounce him for not joining a war of aggression would not vote fot him anyway but many (for lack of an alternative) would stay at home on election day out of disgust, should he US go to war again. But I have my doubts that Obama would have that strength of nerves (although I assume that he genuinely dislikes the RW Isreali leadership and with good reasons).

Good God, Balckhawk from his command center forgot to notify the U.S. Consulate in Haifa to airlift our people out of there before the bombing started.

Not even a leafleting campaign.

This is what we get when we leave our national defense to the amateur egalitarian anti-elitists in the Department of Yelp.

Slart, you're in the missile game. Don't you carry a brief case full of countervailing measures?

I just saw the "Bourne Legacy", and the new guy pwned the drone missiles by wrestling a wolf to the ground in the wilds of Alaska and shoving a beacon down its throat.

What's the wolf situation in Haifa?

Slart, get under a bed and hide until I can find my way in to save you.

I think the Iranian leadership (however despicable) has a huge sense of self-preservation. The idea that they would do a first strike against Israel or a big US military asset like a CV seems preposterous to me. They will, I think, go for indirect methods when directly attacked by Israel only and only use their own armed forces when they are directly threatened (i.e. launch the missiles immediately before they get destroyed). Their only chance is to successfully play the part of victim long enough. But once ground troops go in, all bets are off.
I think a hot war between Israel and Iran started by Israel will make Israel's position untenable longterm. In a way Israel would directly play into the hands of its enemies by open aggression. On the other hand, should the GOP win in November (Romney's foreign policy team is almost completely Boltonized) and do Israel's dirty work (as the Yahoo from Netanja clearly hopes) this could not just endanger Israel but be the match for the really big conflagration.

"The benefits of destroying Israel are huge. By destroying Israel we eliminate a malignant state that metastize war.

just let those two sentences roll around in your head for a while."

Yeah it's scary, isn't it? By is it less scary if we substitute into the same statement Iran for Israel?

People have no problem 'rationally' discussing destroying Iran, Iraq, etc describing these countries as malignant, evil, ect.

"The fact that I am sitting in a Haifa hotel room is diminishing my sense of humor regarding his utter nuttiness"

Yeah, well I am sure there are people sitting in Tehran hotels that think Israel's leadership is at least as nutty as I am, I mean I'm just some jerk on the internet. Israel actually has wmd and is, apparently, itching to use them.

Again I ask, why is a Jew worth more than a muslim?

Why is it "sane" to talk about wasting Iran, but "insane to talk about wasting Israel?

Mere predjudice and political correctness gone off the deep end.

It used to be that if a country executed naked agression against another it was considered the "bad guy" by the free world.

Apartheid bad in SA, but good in Israel.

like I said, the zionist lobby has infiltrated our media and our mindset. If they slaughter a few hundred thousand Iranians many people here will urge the US to jump in and make it a million or two or three. They're just F'ing wogs anyhow, right.

"Not sure how this plugs in with Romney's comments in his trip to Israel but it is certainly depressing."

Any how, to answer that question is easy. No one gets elected in this country without the Zionist lobby (e.g. AIPAC) backing. Anyone who defies Isreal won't get relected. Israel itself boosts of this power.

Romney is already on board with the neocon nuts who think that bloody revolution across the middle east is a good thing - you know, the same guys that brought us the Iraq adventure, occupy A-stan, support the Muslim Brotherhood in Sysria, Egypt and Libya. Mostly jews, but also some other brilliant think tank paid for by the arms industry types.

Obama less onboard, yet finding himself needing to ride the fence for fear of running afoul of the zionist lobby pre-election.I'd say that I respect Obama's carefully maintaining the middle road, except I'd really only truly respect him if he told Israel that there would be no US backing for a war of agression against peaceful Iranian nuclear power generators and that, if such a war were commenced by Israel, that Israel would be considered a rogue state and would be sanctioned. Let the election chips fall where they may. Perhaps even sacrifice himself to expose the US Israel lobby as the seditious non reciprocal parasites that they are.

So Romney is just whoring himself to Israel as all politicians above the very local level in this country must. Easier for him because he actually enjoys it.

I'm a crazy guy, right? Remember there are guys at least as crazy as me and they have the the wmd and have used it in the past. And will use it again.

Ok. I'll leave you be. Have a nice rational chat gaming the manner in which huge numbers of people are to die and who gets to be the killer and the who gets to be the killed.

Bye bye

Bye bye

You'll be missed.

Does Iran counterattack Israel? Probably have to, but I m not positive they would/will.

Bob, I think a more salient question is could Iran counterattack Israel? Directly -- not just a flury of rockets from Hamas or Hezbollah, but an actual Iranian military operation. Frankly, I don't think that they have the capability. Certainly not anything very quick (or effective).

Now they might decide to hit American targets, which are closer and they have a better shot at. Or they might try interdicting oil traffic thru the Strait. But those simply guarantee America will get involved. And I think that the mullahs are a bit too fond of power to set themselves up to get smashed that way. A few token suicide runs at American ships with small poats full of explosives? Sure -- emphasis on the suicide, not on actually taking the strike home. But nothing that the US would feel forced to respond to by taking off the gloves.

And I think that the mullahs are a bit too fond of power to set themselves up to get smashed that way.

The problem is that America will not stop.

Read today that Bush in 2002 made a list:Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Iran (I'd include Mali). How's that going?

Qaddafi tried to get along, Assad tried to hide.

But if you look at Iraq and Afghanistan, and what has happened in Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Libyait is obvious that the objective, the real goal, is to create a bunch of failed states. Technology is unstoppable and we want the resources.

So we want to create permanent conditions in these places where the social and political resources and organization is not available to create a threat. Failed states, endless horror.

Iran and the mullahs cannot wait us out. For one thing, this has less to do with Israel than SA, Bahrain, the states with oppressed majority or dangerous minority Shia populations.

And we, and our allies, overt or quiet, will just screw with Iran til dogs are howling in their streets and the living envy the dead. Chaos and anarchy, terror and paranoia, is our method.

So, how does Iran survive? Not by accommodating or waiting...we want a failed state.

I think they try to make the costs of the policy really hit back home in America. Not a 9/11, a huge social and economic cost like the mid-late-60s. Overextend us, and hope those for whom the horror is costless start complaining

"Bob, I think a more salient question is could Iran counterattack Israel? Directly -- not just a flury of rockets from Hamas or Hezbollah,...."

If this is your opinion, does this not then beg the question of why Israel has the right and/or need to attack Iran?

An Israeli - with or without American support - attack on Iran will not invoke a response limited to Iran. It will invoke a response from all Muslim countries, particularly Iraq and Egypt, but also from Lebanon and Syrian elements. There will also be a response that negatively impacts our troops in Afghanistan (remember them).

The Israelis do not know where all nuclear related targets are.Their own intelligence says so and so does ours (of course same intel also says that Iran has no nuclear weapon capability and is years away from it should they decide to pursue it). An air attack won't even achieve its cover objective. Furthmore, the Israelis don't have the resources to sustain the air attack long enough even if they did know the location of all nuclear related targets. That is why they need the US.

Make no mistake, the people behind this want a ground war. What is being discussed now is a false flag op. - a fuse. Realistically a ground war is the only way to secure objectives and to remove the current regime (the real objective).

Remember we had friendly states all over the place...like the Shah and Saddam, like Vietnam. Friendly and powerful states can flip.

We no longer want friendly states in dangerous places.

We want total subserviance, or chaos.

Did COINTELPRO send us an agent provocateur?

"We want total subserviance, or chaos."

That is correct. Someone on this blog has a clue.

I figured Slart's vacations were like my Japanese vacations, 5 or 6 days and then rush back to whatever thing someone in the family cannot possible miss and so I figured he was back. Sorry about that.

Iran (Shiite and not Arab) has never been very popular with the other states in the area(Sunni majority or at least rule and Arab or related*). If anyone but Israel attacks Iran, these states will at best stay neutral and at worst support the attack. Should the US go in, the specific reaction will be mixed (protests in the street, theatrical grumbling by the rulers but for the most part hostile neutrality).
But Iran has lots of means to create unrest in these states when threatened.

*exception: Turkey, also with a less than stellar history with Persia

Blackhawk whatever your number is, if you mean your crazy statements as a mirror image of how many Americans and Israelis think, fine. But that sort of thing doesn't go over well here when people think you're serious. In fact, I'm not sure if you're serious or not. You'd scare me a bit if you were serious, but if you're just contrasting your pretend nuttiness with the real nuttiness of some of the Very Serious People, then my only criticism is over your method of making your point.

There's a nice long list of double standards that the US and Israel have when it comes to who gets to be sanctioned, bombed, or live under occupation, but it all boils down to this--what we allow ourselves to do them would be barbaric if applied to us. And if we attack them they are only allowed to respond in certain ways. Oh, hell, they're only allowed to respond by giving in.


"I think a more salient question is could Iran counterattack Israel? Directly -- not just a flury of rockets from Hamas or Hezbollah, but an actual Iranian military operation. Frankly, I don't think that they have the capability. Certainly not anything very quick (or effective)."

There was an implied claim by unnamed Obama officials in an August 2 NYT article where they spoke of an Iranian counterattack killing "thousands" of Israelis. I have no idea if that's realistic. Barak (see the link below this) seems to think it is exaggerated.

link

There was also an article last March which discussed US war gaming about what might happen in a war with Iran. Barak is quoted as saying that Iranian retaliation would be no big deal as far as Israel was concerned--less than 1000 dead.

link

I screwed up the first NYT link. Try again here--

link

Here is the Barak quote--I might as well put it here. It's at the end of the second page on the second NYT link.


“A war is no picnic,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israel Radio in November. But if Israel feels itself forced into action, the retaliation would be bearable, he said. “There will not be 100,000 dead or 10,000 dead or 1,000 dead. The state of Israel will not be destroyed.”

I imagine that the fact that Iran seems to be sticking its fingers in Syria, (here, here and here) factors in here. Do Netanyahu and Barak think Iran is overextended? My understanding is that the US is really being hands-off supporting the rebel forces in Syria, though the talk about potential WMD use against the rebels seems a way to start presenting reasons for intervention. There were also some articles about how the Syrian rebels are not going to be very happy with the US lack of support. I'm not sure what all that means (rebels angling for more support, US officials trying to give cover for participation, something else?)

To add another (probably off the wall) notion to the mix, I wonder how the Romney camp reacts. I had thought that the Romney speech in Israel mentioning capability was just a gaffe (that's the google search, it seems there was a walkback, but I read all this just before my hospital visit, so I'm not sure which one I saw) as well as the fight over whether Ryan's pick lost the Jewish vote along with Romney's friendship with Netayanu. Interesting times.

This morning's (mine, not yours) Guardian section on Syria is pretty interesting. This article highlights what is happening in Lebanon and has several links to articles from other media sources. This one is about Western nations rethinking what they should do in Syria.

Western influence with the FSA is limited by a continued refusal to supply arms because of the uncertainty of where the weapons would end up. Barack Obama is reported to have issued a "presidential finding" (a secret executive order) earlier this year, stepping up CIA activity in and around Syria, but that too stopped short of arms supplies.

According to reports from Washington and the Turkish-Syrian border, the main US intelligence role as been to act with the Turks in stopping arms reaching groups they view as undesirable.

This last one is a comment is free piece, so take that into account.

Also, separately, the Guardian editorial states what I was trying to get at in this post, but couldn't really get into words:

Loud talk of an impending airstrike could be no more than an attempt to twist Washington's arm. If it is, nothing should stiffen Barack Obama's resolve to prevent it happening more than the thought that Netanyahu is not just playing politics in his own country but in America too. Netanyahu foolishly dares Obama not to cast his veto, because if he did, Mitt Romney his Republican challenger would make hay with the idea that the Democat in the White House endangers Israel's security. This lever will no longer work after the election, hence the November deadline. Even as bluff it is dangerous, and eminently combustible in a tinder-dry Middle East.

Diabolical.

If I were Dr. Evil, I place my pinkie against my lips.

So if Slart travels to Teheran and the bombing commences there instead of Haifa, who should Slart be frightened of and who gets blamed --- Netanyahu? Romney? Avedis?

Obama, I'll bet. I see it all now.

But really, this is f8cking sickening.

Wouldn't a tactical nuke via drone strike at the Republican National Convention solve this diabolical traitor problem and so many others?

You know, I'm a kidder, but I feel strongly that the United States will be the first civilization to expire with a laugh track accompaniment.

So, no tactical nuke at the Republican Convention. Silly of me.

That's too easy, too quick. Too photogenic.

Something much longer drawn out and very much more painful for the traitorous Republican filth and the fellow travelers in the Democrat Party.

Free the Israeli people from Netanyahu and the radical vermin Right in the United States.

Will all the people calling for reducing Iran to a smoking rubble please claim a door prize?

The muzak in the hotel restaurant has just juxtaposed a jazzy rendition of "What Child Is This" with a happy-go-lucky flute rendition of Pink Floyd's "Time". Surreal. Almost as surreal as comments, here, of late.

Every successive election in America gets more and more interference from Israel. Where will things be 2 elections from now?

Nobody in this thread is calling for Iran to be turned into smoking rubble. Given what happened in Iraq, though, which was supposed to be a nice clean little liberation where we'd be greeted with flowers and candy, I think it's fair to say that anyone in the US or Israel who calls for war with Iran is implicitly willing to gamble that it won't end up the same way or worse, with hundreds of thousands dead and millions of refugees. Nobody is calling for ground troops, but a serious campaign to eliminate anything that might be used in a nuclear program will call for a lot of bombing and that could easily escalate. There are people who've talked about regime change and that would involve either ground troops or support for some force within Iran. A war with Iran would likely spread to other places and God knows how it would all turn out.

So no, Slarti, nobody in this thread is actually calling for turning Iran into smoking rubble the way blackthread wanted us to do for Israel. Instead, we merely have serious discussion in this country less than ten years after the beginning of the Iraq catastrophe of maybe starting another war with a country three times larger than Iraq. Anonymous Obama administration officials (in the NYT link above) mention the possibility of thousands of Israeli dead and how we wouldn't stand by and do nothing if Iran retaliated in that fashion. Nothing surreal about any of this, I suppose. It's just business as usual.

Also, I should note, bombing has been known to produce rubble, even if carefully aimed at a nuclear program supported by many Iranians (including opponents of the regime) in places that are probably not run exclusively by robots, which means some actual humans might be hurt. I'm sure nobody would seriously object or react in an emotional fashion to serious widespread discussion in other countries about bombing US munition plants or military installations or nuclear facilities or Israeli military installations or taking out their stockpile of nuclear weapons or ours. We would assume that given our record of launching assaults on other countries for bad reasons, that these politicians in other countries were entirely within their rights to sanction us, bomb us, send in computer viruses and if there was bipartisan support in another country for some anti-US terrorist group (is there any other kind?)link we would just accept this as perfectly normal.

Meanwhile, the retooling of the Russian military to the north is underway as the United States undertakes the imposition of subservience and chaos in the Mideast (McManus), helped along by American Second Amendment afficianados retooling for the violent overthrow of a second Obama Administration, though I'm hoping Romney/Ryan understand that what is good for the goose is sauce on the bib of the gander.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48670593/ns/business-us_business/#.UCugTKDe_JY

America --- where totalitarian fascists, from Israel to Russia to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, go to finance their murder.

I'm not so sure Slart is going to be safe back in the States either.

Note to self: make sure MckT can bed down the entire OBWI crew for the duration.

People have no problem 'rationally' discussing destroying Iran, Iraq, etc describing these countries as malignant, evil, ect.

Insane people have no problem saying shit like that.


le oops

An Israeli attack on Iran this fall seems unlikely. The American default is to rally around the president when something calamitous happens. Romney will have to defer to a sitting president and cannot be seen to undercut the commander in chief in time of crisis. The Israeli leadership knows this and, assuming it would prefer a Romney administration to an Obama administration, would not want to give Obama such an advantage.

make sure MckT can bed down the entire OBWI crew for the duration.

That would be a hell of a slumber party.

"Also, I should note, bombing has been known to produce rubble, even if carefully aimed at a nuclear program supported by many Iranians (including opponents of the regime) in places that are probably not run exclusively by robots, which means some actual humans might be hurt."

Donald Johnson is a voice of reason here. However, he doesn't go far enough. Of course there will be thousands of civilians killed. There will be thousands of Iranian military personnel killed too and I'm not entirely sure why that is ok since Iran hasn't declared war against Israel.

It needs to be understood that neither the US nor Israel knows where the appropriate targets are (assuming there even are appropriate targets). Many of the targets that will be bombed are *suspected* targets and will turn out to be other things like condensced milk factories. Other targets will be radar stations and many of these are in civilian areas. Airports will be targets. Anything that could be used by Iran as an asset in primary or secondary defense against the airstrikes will be destroyed along with the infrastructure that might support defense, like electric power generasting stations. Water mains will be destroyed. A ceertain number of bombs - no matter how smart - will go off target and kill women and children, hit schools, hospitals, etc (they always do).

This idea of nice clean surgical strikes against targets only directed connected to nuclear bomb production is a myth that is used to help sell the attacks. This thing has been war gamed, repeatedly, and the destruction necessarily extends well beyond the kind of targets non-military people here are imagining.

Incidentally, a US Naval/air and limited ground attack has been war gamed and sometimes the US loses, spectacularly so in some notable instances.

The American default is to rally around the president when something calamitous happens.

Well, let's hope they see this such an attack as calamitous, I have my doubts.

Romney will have to defer to a sitting president and cannot be seen to undercut the commander in chief in time of crisis.

I don't think so. Romney will be out there with "I'm with Israel 100%" no matter what line the President takes. If Iran retaliates, and the President takes a more neutral line, then Romney can go out there with "See! The Israeli's were right! Why won't the President of the United States support our most important ally in the Middle East when it's being attacked by terrorists!"

That would be a hell of a slumber party.

The bar better be well stocked.

This idea of nice clean surgical strikes against targets only directed connected to nuclear bomb production is a myth that is used to help sell the attacks.

I don't disagree, but I do wonder whose thinking you are trying to correct on this subject on this blog (if anyone's - maybe you're just expositing).

"Donald Johnson is a voice of reason here."

Um, thanks. I hope though, that if you stick around you do more posts like your latest (August 15 11:00) and none of that opening variety where you did the Jonathan Swift thing of proposing that we roast us some Israeli babies.

"Many of the targets that will be bombed are *suspected* targets and will turn out to be other things like condensced milk factories. Other targets will be radar stations and many of these are in civilian areas. Airports will be targets. Anything that could be used by Iran as an asset in primary or secondary defense against the airstrikes will be destroyed along with the infrastructure that might support defense, like electric power generasting stations. Water mains will be destroyed."

That's a point I should have made, though I don't know if the US would do it that way again. I assume so, since once a war starts military necessity along with a compliant press corps will allow the justification of anything short of actual massive carpet bombing. It happened that way in the 1991 Gulf War, where the US deliberately targeted electrical plants.
Chapter 4 of this Human RIghts Watch Report goes into this--

gulf war

Barton Gellman wrote about this in a June 23 1991 Washington Post article reproduced here as a pdf file

Note that well known grownup widely praised for his wisdom Dick Cheney says he'd do the whole thing over again.

The bar better be well stocked.

There are few constants in this world, but you can take it to the bank that the status of my bar is one of them.

Okay, trying again with the link to Barton Gellman--

link

I don't buy the idea that Americans rally around PResidents during time of war. I think that oly works for Repubican Presidents and only works during the early sgtages of the war when it all looks so exciting, like cheering for a football game when your team is winning.

And no matter what Obama does, the entire Repubican party will oppose his action vociferously.

Laying the groundwork:

"They also planned to blow up the Israeli Embassy, my embassy in this town," Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren confirmed in an exclusive interview with WTOP. Oren says there additionally was a plan "to blow up a restaurant not far from where we're being interviewed in Washington."

Now, as I noted when this "plot" was first revealed, apparently Foxnews was reporting that the plot involved attacking the Israeli embassy as well. I wonder who told them that when the country wasn't identified in the amended complaint? Hmmm....

More fun things:

On Tuesday, Israel sent a strong ultimatum to Iran's Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei warning him to shut down the country's nuclear weapons program or face the possibility of widespread destruction that might affect him personally. Oren says he can "shut it down and remain in power."

Oren adds that Israel is considering a massive, crippling attack on Iran before it can move its nuclear facilities to safety deep underground. His comments leave little doubt that Israel is willing to bomb Iran if it comes to that.

Until this open war - which the Israeli government suggests could begin in a matter of months...

What's the over/under on Oklahoma City-style truck bombings in the United States in the 6 months after Israel attacks Iran? I'd put it at around 9.

What's the over/under on Oklahoma City-style truck bombings in the United States in the 6 months after Israel attacks Iran? I'd put it at around 9.

We'll have to see how things pan out, assuming there is an attack in the first place. If the US piles on with Israel, your prediction is probably in the zone. If the US holds back, I'd look for Iran to do the same. If the US holds back, and Iran does a couple of car bombs here, school is out. There would be a state of declared war.

"That's a point I should have made, though I don't know if the US would do it that way again."

They have to do it that way. It's air attack 101. If they just fly planes to the nuclear target areas, the planes will be shot down - or at least they will be so busy dodging incoming AA fire that they will not be able to focus on the target. Critical infrastructure used in the anti aircraft defenses must be destroyed first. This would include Iranian aircraft themselves, preferably as they sit on the ground, but if they are in the air then destroying airports that can support landing, refueling and take-off. Electricity must be shut off. Computer systems must be shut off. Water systems (cooling and fire fighting) must be shut off.

"I hope though, that if you stick around you do more posts like your latest (August 15 11:00) and none of that opening variety where you did the Jonathan Swift thing of proposing that we roast us some Israeli babies."

Well, I'm going to ask again why a Jewish life is worth more than an Iranian life or a US life. If it's ok to blast Iran into the stone age ostensibly in the interest of mid east peace, why would it not also be acceptable to blast a nuclear armed Israel into the stone age - esp. when doing so would seem to have a higher probability of achieving the stated goal?

We have "serious" politicians doing the J. Swift thing regarding Iran. We had them doing it regarding Iraq, heck we them doing it regarding VN.

Mostly I am genuinely disturbed that Israel, this little piss ant state full of well connected money grubbers, has so much control over our govt and our military. We should not be allowing these people to force us into wars that end up costing us blood, treasure and political capital - yet Jewish money and right wing christian fundementalism puts us right there in the passenger seat.

Anyone who thinks that an attack on Iranian anything by Israel won't have grave reprecussions is smoking some better sh!t than I've ever gotten my hands on. It's right up there with Iraqis greeting us with flowers and candy and - not so coincidentally, it's brought to us by a lot of the same people.

I think it's indicitive of something - what I'm not sure, but it aint good - that folks like those here can sit around having a nice chat about whether or not ww3 will start in Oct or Nov......it's so surreal.

Mostly I am genuinely disturbed that Israel, this little piss ant state full of well connected money grubbers

Enough of this vitriol. It's ok to be stupid, but this?

McKinney, vitriol?, Stupid? Why? Because you say so? I do not see where you have contributed anything intelligent to this thread.

I imagine that you are familiar with these guys:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby

They are vitriolic and stupid too?

I can post a number of links to similarly minded and well credentialed scholars.

Or is that your thinking is permanently confined to the limits of political correctness where as the big old world that's really out there isn't?

But maybe you can enlighten me. Explain how I am wrong about the Israel first lobby's influence on US politics. Please. This should be easy since you must have already studied the topic intently to be hurling "stupid" and "Vitriol" at people who just don't understand things as you do.

blackhawk12, you seem to be incensed that we want to 'chat' about this. So how about this. I agree with Donald that more of the August 15 11:00 would be nice, but as an alternative, why don't you give us a link, something to some information that might help us understand. The Guardian article that I gave in the post was the first I had heard about this (partly because of my being in the hospital), so any information would be appreciated. Thanks.

I imagine that the fact that Iran seems to be sticking its fingers in Syria, (here, here and here) factors in here.

lj, I expect it does play into the discussion. But on which side? Syria under Assad has been a pain, but basically a nagging one. And the Israelis show some signs of thinking that a (possible, but far from certain) Islamist replacement would be worse.

To the extent that is true, it might be a factor in favor of letting Iran alone for the moment. That way, Iran could focus on supporting Assad and holding back the Islamist threat to Israel.

I'm not saying that Netanyahu would look at things in that light. But it does seem a possible view of the situation.

And no matter what Obama does, the entire Repubican party will oppose his action vociferously.

Oppose it, but in different ways. If he holds back from wading in on the side of Israel, after Israel attacks, they will carry on about not supporting an ally. If, on the other hand, he were to attack Iran himself (which I consider wildly unlikely, but just suppose), they won't attack him for doing so. Rather, they will trash him for not doing more . . . no matter what action he took. If just a bombing, then there were not enough bombs, and troops on the ground are needed. If a full scale invasion, then he is putting troops at risk because he hasn't over spent on defense enough in the past 4 years. But ever and always, no matter what he does, it won't be enough.

That does have one upside. If you know that whatever you do will be opposed, you no longer have to consider whether you can do something differently in order to get cooperation and support. You are free to do whatever you think best -- since it won't matter anyway to the amount of opposition you will get. (And Obama can be certain that, even if he took the Republican platform verbatum and, the week after the convention, proposed it to Congress, it would abruptly become totally wrongheaded and inadequate to the needs of the moment.)

McTx: If the US piles on with Israel, your prediction is probably in the zone. If the US holds back, I'd look for Iran to do the same. If the US holds back, and Iran does a couple of car bombs here, school is out. There would be a state of declared war.

I guess it depends on if Iran thinks the U.S. is involved (and possibly whether they could prove it). Hard to see Israel pulling off an effective attack - and the almost certainly necessary future attacks - all by itself. OTOH, perhaps they know even if the US was openly involved and they launched some big terrorist attacks in the US, it would be game over for them, so they wouldn't do it.

I also wonder if the Israeli's have thought about what the reaction might be in their major trading partners other than the U.S. (U.K., Germany, Belgium, Hong Kong, Switzerland, from a quick google), not to mention the rest of the world. Do they think the U.S. would apply sufficient pressure to keep a lot of the world from cutting Israel off?

So many things going on.

OK, thank you for the link. If you could add the html next time, I'd appreciate it. An explanation on how to do it is here

However, I was hoping for something that hasn't been discussed here already that is perhaps a little fresher. I think everyone who is commenting here is familiar with the Walt and Mearsheimer piece and the discussion it engendered. Thanks.

Upthread LJ supplied us with this link--

how ryan will motivate Jewish voters

The gist of it is that Ryan will drive away most Jewish voters, but about the role that Israel will play in the election the writer says this--

"Romney’s effort to make Israel a partisan wedge issue in this campaign is overrated. Jews will still vote overwhelmingly Democratic again this year and it is questionable whether the GOP can draw off enough of their votes to make a difference in battleground states like Ohio, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Medicare-sensitive Florida. His real goal isn’t really votes anyway. It’s big bucks from conservative, deep-pocket donors who put Israel at the top of their agenda."


Adelson and a few others, I take it.

Well, I'm going to ask again why a Jewish life is worth more than an Iranian life or a US life. If it's ok to blast Iran into the stone age ostensibly in the interest of mid east peace, why would it not also be acceptable to blast a nuclear armed Israel into the stone age - esp. when doing so would seem to have a higher probability of achieving the stated goal?

Who are you arguing with? I honestly don't get it. Can you quote someone you're responding to?

Explain how I am wrong about the Israel first lobby's influence on US politics.

I would guess that McKTx's dismissal was more focused on this little piss ant state full of well connected money grubbers, which is not really worthy of a scholarly dismissal, but might have been well received by the scholars of the Third Reich.

Ugh--If Iran is under attack by Israel only, assuming prudent leadership on Iran's part, it would be unwise to attack the US on its own soil and virtually guarantee a state of war.

I think Israel has a lot more punch than many here credit. We'll find out or we won't. It's all guess work right now. For sure, they will go through a lot of their inventory trying to roll back Iran's nuke program. How they plan to make good on that is a fair question.

Blackhawk or whoever you are, your bigotry is sickening. I haven't engaged you on the substance of your positions because they are so ridiculously beyond the pale.

Who are you arguing with? I honestly don't get it. Can you quote someone you're responding to?

^This.

Now, I get that Donald is (possibly justifiably) thinking that the US war machine is gearing up for its next major distraction, but I don't think anyone here, not even Balckhawkxx, is calling for a rain of death on any part of Iran.

Now, a digression. I have been chatting with some of the Israelis I have been working with over here, and based on my limited sample (comprised of a decent cross-section of former fighter pilots) none of them think a hit on Iranian sites by Israeli forces is in the offing. Things are rather different now than when Israel hit the Iraqi reactor back in 1981; one major difference is that Iran is further. Another major difference is the Iranian processing centers are distributed rather widely, and so a compact, direct strike is not possible. And yet another difference is that absolutely everyone will be watching for it.

None of which is to say that it cannot be done, just that it will not be quite so much of a cakewalk as the attack of more then three decades ago.

Slarti - thanks, and yes clearly not as easy as Osirak.

And my have the times changed. From wiki on Osirak:

"The world was outraged by Israel’s raid on 7 June 1981. “Armed attack in such circumstances cannot be justified. It represents a grave breach of international law,” Margaret Thatcher thundered. Jeane Kirkpatrick, the US ambassador to the UN and as stern a lecturer as Britain’s then prime minister, described it as “shocking” and compared it to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. American newspapers were as fulsome. “Israel’s sneak attack...was an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression,” said the New York Times. The Los Angeles Times called it “state-sponsored terrorism”

"Now, a digression. I have been chatting with some of the Israelis I have been working with over here, and based on my limited sample (comprised of a decent cross-section of former fighter pilots) none of them think a hit on Iranian sites by Israeli forces is in the offing."

What I've read more or less agrees with that in the sense that it seems to be Netanyahu and Barak who are pushing for war, with most of the Israeli political and military establishment distinctly unenthusiastic about Israel trying to attack Iran on its own. Here's a link making that point--

link

I guess that, if the Israeli leadership decides to attack Iran, it will be in the hope that Iran will try to retaliate thus bringing the US in to finish the job. Btw Saddam Hussein tried the same in reverse, hoping that his Scud attacks on Israel would provoke retaliaion that in turn would lead to the instant dissolution of the anti-Saddam coalition.

As for foreign reactions to an Israeli first strike, my bet is that the German government would disapprove in public but otherwise try to stay out of it. If there is one thing both the German population and the political class do not want, it is involvement in a ME war. Going after Somali pirates is one thing (low risk and the navy gets some excercise and good PR). Even in Afghanistan the name of the game is keeping the heads low waiting for a face-saving way to get out. There is also that old joke that Germany does not like to send troops where it has earlier exported weapons to (which includes Iran btw).

There is also that old joke that Germany does not like to send troops where it has earlier exported weapons to

Hadn't heard it, but I like it.

There is also that old joke that Germany does not like to send troops where it has earlier exported weapons to

we should try that

we should try that

But if we can't blow up what we just sold them how can we sell them more?

And my have the times changed. (...)

Thanks for that, it's good to be reminded once in a while how batsh@t crazy things have become in the US/Israel relationship -

AIPAC has done a wonderful job ...

Wow. Never realised this excellent blog had so many mental readers.

The Zionist entity is merely posturing (I give then an 8.9 on the Brezinski-Kissinger International Blustering Index).

Well played!

I don't buy the idea that Americans rally around PResidents during time of war. I think that oly works for Repubican Presidents and only works during the early sgtages of the war when it all looks so exciting, like cheering for a football game when your team is winning.

It's really that people rally around the President during major international crises. Wars that don't scare Americans sufficiently to get attention (Clinton) or have already been dragging on forever when the guy takes office (Obama) don't do it. So there's relatively little recent data for Democrats.

That said, I think the longer-term evidence is that it certainly does work for Democrats. Believe it or not, it even worked for Jimmy Carter: the Iran hostage crisis gave him an approval bounce that brought him from the basement to above 50%, and only dissipated months later when it was clear nothing he was doing was working.

(This fact has some small contemporary relevance, because it was how, earlier this year, it was possible to tout that Obama's job approval had dropped below Carter's at the same point in his administration.)

"AIPAC has done a wonderful job ..."

Not so good a job for Yoder. AIPAC supplied Russian prostitutes and the usual bribes were not enough for him (BTW, that's what the "sea of galilee" is all about these days - a famous high end R&R spot). They let one of their puppets so far off the strings that the FBI had to get involved.

Guess it could have supplied some good blackmail material for the zionist entity to hold over yet another US govt official, but sometimes black ops go south, especially during election years when the subject is of the competing party to the incumbent.


http://agonist.org/michael_collins/20120820/just_read_the_craziest_thing_house_republicans_party_skinny_dip_in_sea_of_galilee

And here I thought that only Balckhawk's moby could unembarrassedly whip out the "Zionist entity" appellation.

Some things are apparently beyond ridicule.

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Whatnot


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