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FEBRUARY 22, 2012 1:41AM

Between Hell and a Handbasket

Rate: 16 Flag

Things heated up a notch at midnight, Tehran time yesterday.  The International Atomic Energy Agency team inspecting Iran's nuclear facilities left the country, issuing a report that Iranian authorities had denied access to the IAEA team for inspection of an explosives testing facility at Parchin, where presumably Iran might be designing and building a soccer ball of plastic explosives that would surround an atomic core.

The powers that be in Tehran appear to be doing everything that they can to  provoke an attack.  Ignore  Ahmadinejad's threat  today that Iran can take pre-emptive action against the Israelis.  That is a total non-starter.  It's foolish to think that Hezbollah in Lebanon is a  merely a puppet, just waiting for orders from Tehran. Also, Tehran has absolutely no military capability to directly attack Israel with the exception of a few missles, which if launched would  insure massive retaliation. But the IAEA impasse is one of those things that starts the machinery of war revving up.

What's even more tragic is, that lately Israel has been throwing roundhouse curves against Tehran, and it's been missing. The recent New York Times article to the effect that Israeli game theorists have put forward the proposition that an Israeli pre-emptive strike would elicit little response from Iran is sheer hooey, designed for the manipulation of of American public opinion and not reality based . 

When coupled with the radio statement given by Ehud Barak on the 'far away' nature of an Iranian threat, along with the previous protests by former heads of the Israeli Cheif of Staff, Mossad, and Shin Bet -- it should be clear that Avigdor Lieberman and Benyamin Netanyahu have up until now been encountering serious resistance from those parts of the Israeli government that are reality and not ideology based.

 Coupled with the remarks of General Martin Dempsey and Admiral Mike Mullen among other US spokesmen, all of these forces have acted as brakes on rash Israeli behavior.  But, the failure of IAEA yesterday should be taken as a sign that in fact, Israel and Iran may now be doing everything they can to insure a confrontation in the March through June timeline for Israeli action that Leon Panetta indicated.

As before, an Iranian response to Israeli military sorties is almost a no-brainer.  It's logical to assume that Iran will launch missle attacks against the major Saudi refinery complexes and attempt some blockage of the Straits of Hormuz, probably by scuttling Iranian ships to block the navigation channels. And it's easy to see the greater response from Arabs when the shit hits the fan.  Egypt will seal off its borders while protestors riot in Tarhir Square.  Lebanon will explode as Hezbollah reacts to an Iranian attack by lobbing shells and missles at the Israeli populace. And it's likely that the Palestinians will erupt with a new intifada. 

Unknowns at this time include what the responses from Syria, Jordan, and Iraq will be, but we know it won't be pretty.  At the very least, there will be a huge uptick in civil unrest and violence in all of these countries.  Shiite forces in Baghdad may very well attack the humongous American embassy there in an attempt to draw the United States into the conflict.In any event that would mean -- $2oo a barrel oil, ready or not.

And if America is drawn into the conflict, the operational saying in the Pentagon is, "Don't forget to pack your lunch."  In other words, be prepared for a massive, prolonged, and unpredictable military operation on the ground with Iran, most likely with hundreds of thousands of troops.

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As bad as the situation may appear I am fearful that the macho Israelis may feel confident enough to lob a nuclear bomb or two, since they have so many, and perhaps initiate a reaction from Pakistan that may have a supply. The immense and unnecessary stupidity of the whole dynamic only indicates the future of humanity is in the hands of total idiots.
I agree. Between the German et. al. cavalier and sadistic treatment of the Greeks to satisfy bondholders, the American GOP primary, and Israel-Iran, it appears to me that the buffoon scale has gone off the charts. As far as the eye can see, all I see is stupid.
I still don't understand the goal in all of this. Maybe I haven't delved deeply enough, but who is trying to accomplish what? And to what end?

Can we just not agree to play? (Rhetorical question.)
As eternally, the goal is Iranian oil. As with Libya, the oil interests are pissed that they do not control all sources. As oil dwindles the whole machinery of western economics is tearing up the world, economically and politically to grab this treasure which is increasing immensely in value. The Iranian nuclear capability is in the same class as Iraq's WMDs
But what I don't get is what's in it for Iran to provoke an attack? It's hard to deny that is what they are doing. Are the mullahs trying to accelerate Armageddon to prove some theological point?

BTW, very nicely done post.
[r] Here's part of an interesting commentary from Mark Gaffney of the REAL story behind the bullshit phony crisis of nuclear bomb building of Iran when the US has 2000+ and Israel has 200+ nuclear bombs and Iran not even close to building one, though paranoid AIPAC is pressuring Congress & Obama to DO SOMETHING STAT TO PUNISH IRAN!!!! I had not heard this theory but it certainly is compelling!:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30606.htm

"The real issue is the fact that Iran has upgraded its medium range conventionally-armed missiles with GPS technology, making its missiles much more accurate. This means Iran can now target Israel's own nuclear, bio and chemical weapons stockpiles, located inside Israel, as well as the Dimona nuclear reactor."

"

In short, Iran has achieved a conventional deterrent to Israel. Therefor, statements by Iranian officials that Iran has no nuclear weapons program are in my view probably correct. Presently, Iran does not need nukes to deter Israel. It can do so with its GPS-guided medium range missiles. The Israelis are no doubt gnashing their teeth over this, because they now find themselves threatened by their own WMD stockpiles, and by their own nuclear reactors, especially Dimona, all of which have become targets."

" 

A few direct hits by Iran could cause a toxic plume, killing thousands of Israelis. A worst case might signal the end of the Jewish state.

"

"It is important to realize that Iran would never launch a pre-emptive strike on Israel because the Iranians know that the US/Israeli response would be devastating. However, if Iran comes under attack first, all bets are off. Iran will defend itself. A counter attack on Israel cannot be ruled out because Iranian leaders understand clearly (even if the American people do not) that the crisis has been manufactured, on Israel's behalf.

"

"From the Israeli standpoint, the present Iranian deterrent (though conventional) is simply unacceptable. Israel's military strategists have always insisted on total freedom of movement. This is why Israel refused a US offer many years ago to sign a defense pact with the US. Such a treaty would have limited Israel's freedom of movement, and this was unacceptable. Israel's leaders preferred to remain independent. Israel has always insisted on the "freedom" to intimidate its neighbors, whenever and howsoever it chooses. Iran's conventional missiles now curtail that "freedom." Israeli officials probably worry, for example, that Iran's conventional missiles would limit its freedom to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, in a future conflict. Hezbollah is closely allied with Tehran."

"

I believe the present crisis has been manufactured to create the pretext for a US air campaign to take out Iran's conventional missile sites. The US will also target Iran's nuclear facilities, but the primary target will be Iran's conventional missiles. The US will be doing Israel's bidding. The Zionist tail will be wagging the servile US dog."

"Obviously, you can't generate public support for such a bombing campaign, on Israel's behalf. Hence the cover story about nukes and the alleged Iranian threat to wipe Israel off the map, all of which is untrue but very effective propaganda nonetheless.

"
It's an interesting theory but if Iran puts its missiles on hair trigger launch if attacked all hell will break loose. There is sufficient insanity on both sides to activate this.
Yes indeed. We need to start a pool as to what day the war begins; my pick is April 19th. Maybe a bit sooner, maybe a bit later, but rest assured my friends, war is coming.
I worry Jan Sand may be wise and discern these kooks.

The stockpile of weaponry is getting old as *old new lefty*

The killer-stock-brokers need a few more $ - billions of lucre.
`
And this is while children around the world go to bed early to:
`
block their hunger`
`
at 6.00Pm Frank VanderSloot
and
Mitt Romney go to bed early,
hoping to block their belly growl
huh
Hunger growl is (Homer) within
That hungry beast growls if hungry
`
the fourth grader (editor) pokes
a peer with a thumb,
and is accused of stabbing mate
`
the Manhattanite street beggar
screaming at passerby in a taxi
to, at least, be able to meet her
`
the smiling rabbi
greeting a Chinese woman
surnamed Jiu
`
Thanks for news updates.
News makes me crankier
than being treated crappy.
`
Peace . . .
I'll read sane stuff
But, thanks for your stomach
`
`
I am building a stone sculpture today to try and prevent this...
❤.•*`*•(¯`••´¯)
(¯`••´¯)°•.¸.•°❤•(¯`´¯)
.°•.¸.•°❤ PEACE ❤°•.¸.•° •.¸¸.•*`*•❤
If the Israelis were to lob a nuclear weapon toward Teheran they'd have to be as self-destructive as some would like Israelis to be. The winds run west there.

r.
dé·tente (d-tänt, -tät)
n.
1. A relaxing or easing, as of tension between rivals.
2. A policy toward a rival nation or bloc characterized by increased diplomatic, commercial, and cultural contact and a desire to reduce tensions, as through negotiation or talks.




(:
I personally think the entire situation will be resolved by way of special forces and covert action, mixed with diplomacy and economic sanctions.

Personally, I think that Iran is further away from developing nuclear weapons than is being reported. I could be wrong, but we heard this all before, prior to the invasion of Iraq and I am loathe to use this argument as a justification for a newfound American military operation until there is multilateral verification of the same.

The fact remains that Iran is currently being monitored by the UN and countless third party watchdog agencies who say the nation is years away from a bomb.

Am I wrong? If I am, I would love to be corrected.
you didn't mention Russia. They are the most important player in this game and you completely left them out.

It might also help to mention that Iran is ramping up to sell oil and NOT use US Dollars as the means of exchange for the commodity, which would significantly weaken US Financial interests worldwide and is likely what this is all about in the 1st place.

Iran is flexing its muscles because it knows that no one is dumb enough to attack them (because, in the end, the only way to not get drubbed is to use nukes, which means Russia would use nukes against the country that nuked Iran).

When you know the dog you're taunting is on a leash, continuing to taunt them isn't crazy. It's just kinda douchey.
“But the IAEA impasse is one of those things that starts the machinery of war revving up.”

That’s like blaming the alcohol for a sex crime and not the perpetrator of the assault.

What do think Israel should do about Iran’s nuclear program?

Before you answer, I concede the scenario you presented in your last 3 paragraphs if Israel attacks preemptively. I would also consider the fact that Iran doesn’t need missiles to start war. They could develop a bomb, put it on some ship and sail it to wherever they please. I know the left feels they are the party of peace while the Republicans are war mongers, but allowing Iran to develop a weapon is a recipe for war.
Except reliable reports indicate Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon.
A few weeks ago I was speaking to someone who usually seems astute about Israel's next move. He said that it's now a question of when, not if and was confident repeated bunker-busters could do the trick. Odd how in both countries it's unclear who is really calling the shots. I still lean to thinking that the awful consequences you've outlined will be enough to dissuade such action, but as a betting man I never get out the wallet when it comes to the Middle East.
Evidently carrying a sign seems to disturb the war mongers not a bit. Perhaps a few dozen screaming people yelling that bullshit about Iran is not justification for murdering Iranians and American soldiers and the money is better spent saving swindled homes and feeding the hungry people at home.
Sorry. Missed a vital word there. Should read:

Evidently carrying a sign seems to disturb the war mongers not a bit. Perhaps a few dozen MILLION screaming people yelling that bullshit about Iran is not justification for murdering Iranians and American soldiers and the money is better spent saving swindled homes and feeding the hungry people at home.
So when was the last time the IAEA inspected the US and Israeli nuclear programs? Just wonderin'. Of course, we and our Israeli friends would invite the inspectors in with a brass band and champagne all around, wouldn't we?

I mean, wouldn't we...?

Rated.
I don't think even Avigdor Lieberman is stupid enough to launch a preemtive nuclear strike, as one of the commenters theorized.

Israel might be stupid enough to launch a conventional strike. I certainly hope not.

I don't know whether anyone in the US government is manipulating this because someone thinks hostilities would gain us oil. As to whether Israel is manipulating the US in this, that's basically ridiculous. As influential as anyone thinks the Israelis are in Washington, not influential enough for this. The conjecture that Washington is Jerusalem's puppet is conspiracy theory on the scope of the Trilateral Commission.

There's something missing from this entire calculation:

Why, other than worrying about nukes, would Israel care about Iran?

Someone theorized that Israel is worried that Iran's conventional capabilities limit Israel's absolute freedom to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. That might be credible except that the last time Israel and Hezbollah fought, Israel had stayed completely out of Lebanon for six years and Hezbollah initiated hostilities anyway. If the contention is that Israel wants the freedom to retaliate against Hezbollah in the event they're attacked, I can't say I blame them.

Perhaps a more interesting question would be: Why is Iran behaving like it wants to draw a preemptive Israeli attack? What is it looking for an excuse to do? I'm mystified by this because I can't imagine what the answer to such a question would be but Iran's behavior lines up with this question better than any other model I can come up with. The Iranians have sponsored local attacks on Israel, had multiple people in power comment multiple times about how the Israeli government should be obliterated, held international antisemitic conferences, and worked on nuclear technology while preventing international inspections. If Iran were actually embarked on a campaign of provocation, it would look a lot like this.

But it doesn't go the other way. The Israelis worry about Iranian sponsorship of local attacks and terrorism and more about nuclear capabilities accompanied by bellicose and apocalyptic rhetoric, but they don't talk about obliterating regimes or getting Muslims out of power in Iran or any of the rest of the crap that goes the other way. Israel has precious little interest in Iran that isn't based on defense, while Iran's interest in Israel hasn't had anything to do with Iranian defensive concerns until now, and the Iranians brought those defensive concerns upon themselves.

I cannot discount the possibility that the current Israeli administration is stupid enough to strike Iran. However, I think that too many here think that if you go into the woods and poke a hornets' nest with a stick ten or fifteen times and eventually get stung, you should blame the hornets.
Jan:

If Iran wasn’t developing a nuclear weapon, why would they kick-out weapons inspectors? Why would a country sitting on huge reserves of oil need to develop an alternative energy source? Please don’t rack your brain trying to answer these questions, with the exception of the ultra-left, everyone already knows the answer. Look, we would all like to believe that Iran is a peaceful country looking to save the environment by ending their use of fossil fuels. But the facts clearly don’t support this wishful thinking. BTW, still looking for someone, anyone, to answer the question: What do think Israel should do about Iran’s nuclear program?

Nothnagle:

Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Prolfication Treaty thereby agreeing to allow weapons inspectors’ access. Israel did not sign the treaty.
Once again, kosh is guilty of footmin the mouth disease: "As to whether Israel is manipulating the US in this, that's basically ridiculous."



"Scratch a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. government and they'll tell you that Israel is not a friend to the United States.

This is because Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S.. The fact of Israeli penetration into the country is not a subject oft-discussed in the media or in the circles of governance, due to the extreme sensitivity of the U.S.-Israel relationship coupled with the burden of the Israel lobby, which punishes legislators who dare to criticize the Jewish state."

http://www.alternet.org/world/130891/breaking_the_taboo_on_israel's_spying_efforts_on_the_united_states/

Maybe kosh has caught johnny's fever.
I was talking with my wife last night, and she asked me why events have transpired the way they have lately. I had a few answers. One was that Leon Panetta's 'March to June' statement about Israel attacking Iran was a self-fufilling prophesy. The other is that the Iranians may have just taken the attitude of git 'er done. In other words, they figure that if war is so likely, they might as well do everything they can to speed it up. The last hypothesis is that Nutanyahu finally corralled enough of the realists in the Israeli government to drink the Kool Aid. One sign of this is the former head of Mossad who protested so loudly against the Israeil insanity has now gone to ground for some weeks, remaining silent. He feels that all the ducks are lined up, getting ready to go, and he's powerless to prevent it.

Any Israeli strike will be catastrophic for the world economy. Here we come, double dip "recession."
You blessed to be able to talk to someone who's descent.

`
I had a lousy sleep . . .
`
last eve a world-renowned,
depraved, sell-out on the payroll
researches how good are 'Milk Duds'
"There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth"

"He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind"

"And you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction"

What you don't seem to understand is this is all part of God's plan. Israel will start a nuclear war, fearful Americans will elect the Anti-Chirst (Santorum), Armageddon can proceed thanks to religious nutjobs, Israel will be wiped out in retaliation -- killing millions of Jews who won't have to be converted, and True-Believers will go to Heaven -- that's only 144,000 of the truly righteous according to some accounts (which surely will not include Newt Gingrich, and I suspect will not include Rick Santorum either). Billions of the rest of us -- including Gandhi -- will be cast into a lake of fire to burn for eternity.

This is exactly why God whispered in men's ears about how to build The Bomb. Don't you just love God's executive decisions and sense of fairness and justice? I offer this as proof the God IS a Republican.
As always with the Middle East, one must follow the oil to make sense. Russia and China are supporting Iran because
Strangely, my comment was chopped. It should read:

As always with the Middle East, one must follow the oil to make sense. Russia and China are supporting Iran because Iran oil supplies 20% of the Chinese economy and this outside the dollar economy. That was Ghadaffi's "crime" as well as he was organizing African oil outside the American dollar system. The international oil monsters will not permit an economy outside the American dollar financial system to exist and that is the basis of the whole vicious event. The Iranian nuclear business is absolute pure bullshit to distract the world from the economic impact of an attempt to construct an oil economy outside the control of the US dollar but the gullibles are buying it as they bought the Bush lies about the weapons of mass destruction.
Well put, Jan. The situation in Iran is not unlike the JFK assassination. To quote CIA pilot and co-conspirator Dave Ferrie, "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."
"lesser of evilism" being used for US hegemony. Demonize the other country's leadership, straighten the faux-white hat on the faux-good ol ' USA, present only the proxy REBELS struggle in defiance of reality, the forest instead of the immediate group of trees slice of reality easily twisted especially now when some west martyrs enter the media scenario, and you've got the MANUFACTURE OF CONSENT for further genocide. I just clicked off the NewsHour because the ramp up to war is so painful to watch. Profits uber alles.
We don't yet have an answer, or even a decent hypothesis, for why Iran should be apparently provoking a confrontation by building a "peaceful" enrichment facility hundreds of meters underground and barring IAEA inspectors. The "realist" analysts such as John Mearsheimer (see Jan/Feb Atlantic Monthly) consider the possibility that China is exerting its considerable influence over Iran, with the ultimate aim of diverting the US's attention from northeast Asia, where the real east-west conflict is ramping up. I don't find this too much of a stretch, just trying to figure out where Russia fits into it.
Iran is not provoking confrontation, it merely refuses to be shit on by the USA and it's yapping mad dog Israel. The USA and British Petroleum have been after Iran oil ever since Eisenhower sent in the CIA to overturn the democratically elected government and installed the brutal Shah. Of course the country is pissed off at the USA and with good reason. But it has offered to negotiate many times and been ignored by the USA who wants to merely control and dominate.
Jon, I don't disagree with what you said (except for whose yapping dog is whose), but times have changed and China is now the big resource-hog on the planet, and is militarizing at the quickest pace.
Of course, China is militarizing on all sides. With america's propensity to invade any and all countries on a whim, and with america surrounding nearly all Chinese borders, they'd be crazy not to.

Other than their own recalcitrant "territories," when was the last time China launched an unprovoked invasion upon another country


From my vantage point on these kind of the world, everyone knows that for centuries, China has viewed war as a last option, as opposed to america's shoot first and wonder what to do next "policy."

Even the thoroughly disgraced ms. o'hehir from her perch in Beijing was forced to agree with me on that one.
See http://cdnews1.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/demystifying-china%E2%80%99s-militarization/

The Chinese militarization is pitifully insignificant in comparison to that of the USA which has become a voracious monster devouring much of the nation's necessary funding for its basic necessities so that the idiotic blundering military maniacs in charge of the USA can screw up the entire world incessantly inflicting useless vicious brutalities in failed military enterprises to enrich the US armaments industries and inciting universal hatred of a country that screams about its freedoms while installing repressive dictatorships abroad and violating all the basic freedoms claimed in its founding Constitution and subverting all criticism of its steady moves towards totalitarianism. the wages of the repressed Chinese people are steadily rising while, in contrast, the economic situation of the general population of the USA is being devastated by the swindling financial sector and the reductions of the super rich contributions to the general public good. I am no advocate for the repressive Chinese government which is censoring free information exchange but the USA is no less destroying freedom of information with its absurd government classification system and corporate control of the media and spreading total lies as to the nature of its international operations.
As I said, I share much of your thoughts about the militarization of the US and how we should have listened closely to Eisenhower when he warned of the military-industrial complex. The USA has been screwed over by Wall Street and the Pentagon, no question there, but blindfold yourselves to China at your own risk:
Wars of the PRC, since 1949
http://www.zum.de/whkmla/military/china/milxchina.html
and maybe the next one:
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/Walker/2011/10/03/Walkers-World-War-in-South-China-Sea/UPI-23491317637140/
And from the article you cited before ("cultural diplomacy"... maybe they are a bit confused):
"Regardless of China’s motive, the potential uses of its growing armed forces should be considered. China has threatened to take military action against Taiwan if they claim political sovereignty from China and could use their growing military to facilitate an attack on Taiwan. They have no prevailing threats on other countries; however, India might be concerned as border tensions exacerbate. Also worth considering is how Chinese interests, and a diminishing American influence, will affect the Asia Pacific region. In early June 2011, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that he did not believe that China would try to compete with the US across the full range of American military capabilities, but China’s military expansion would provide them a considerable freedom of action in Asia and the opportunity to extend their influence.”
As much as I despise much of the policies of China there is very little if anything to admire in the current and past history of the USA and its policies. If nothing else the USA is surrendering much of its technological and educational magnificence to the rising enterprise and energies of China. Any glance at significant scientific progress rarely is absent of a Chinese contributor. I do not mean to demean other contributors but there is much more to China than economic growth and intelligent financing. Power of any nation grows out of the fertility of its population intellectually and economically and it is very sadly obvious that the USA is in the decline and China is in the rise. As an American this depresses me since the brilliance of the population has not changed, merely the power to enhance and develop and properly utilize it.
There is some hope for the US though Jan: look through the names of science contest winners, national merit scholarships, elite US institution science and engineering PhDs, tenured professorships, etc etc. You will see mostly immigrants from China and India. Formerly, many would have remained in the US but now many if not most, are returning to their own countries. An exception is Indian-Americans, who are starting to dominate American finance and politics.
A general look at social culture throughout history seems to indicate that whatever brilliance has been inherent in the population needs finance to develop. In the Middle ages it was the church that had the money and the wonders of the artistic geniuses bloomed under church sponsorship. The US government sponsorship of scientific genius was the driving force behind much of he birth of technological progress in the country. Just look at the recent NASA budget and see how projects are being aborted and abandoned. The reverse is happening in China. When American trained PhDs start migrating to China to get their ideas realized you will see how badly the situation has become.
The military spending is not only excessive, it is wildly out of control and not even held to account for the excesses enriching the armaments swindlers on government contracts producing inferior and useless military hardware.
Mark,
You criticize me for stating that I don't think Israel is in a position to set American policy, and your evidence for this is that Israel has practiced a great deal of espionage on the US. That would be roughly the equivalent of arguing that the Soviet Union controlled American policy because it spied on the US.

Read me more carefully. I don't make generic arguments. I haven't argued that Israel's policies vis-a-vis the US are justifiable or that the relationship is always a sensible one. If you want to point out that there are faults in the relationship, fine, but make those points on your own, not as answers to an argument they don't address. I'm responsible for what I say, not for every pro-Likud argument that comes down the pike, particularly when I don't even like Likud.

Everyone else,
I get the impression that most of the commenters and the blogger think that America and Israel are in some sort of a puppeteer/puppet relationship but I'm not remotely clear as to what the consensus is on which country occupies which role. Given that there is strong antipathy between the leaders of both countries, I find the theory odd.

Jan,
I agree with you about China. The US is still way outspending China militarily and the US has way more history of international military involvement. I don't see China as the greater aggressor here. I also agree with Mark here.

However, your statement that "Iran is not provoking confrontation" strikes me as propagandizing if only because you've got way too much brains to say that with a straight face. I made that case in my first comment above. If you have answers, fine, but a dismissal is simply inadequate, particularly when Iran's target is one of the only nations on Earth that is blatantly obsessed with its survival. And, incidentally, has plenty of reason to be, as it came into existence amid efforts to obliterate it, three years after word got out that one out of every three Jews on the planet had just been murdered. I don't like bringing the Holocaust into discussions about Israel because I think the Holocaust is overemphasized as an explanation for Jewish behavior but this case is different because Iran hosted at least one Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. To put that in perspective, Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany.

No provocation? I don't think I've ever used this word to you before, but that's bullshit.
@koshersalaami

Fascinating that my so-called intellect is used against me. I try to look at the facts, not wave any intellectual superiority.

That anyone denies the Holocaust is grounds for suspicions about sanity but the automatic response of anyone defending Israeli policy to immediately run to the Holocaust to justify anything is a bit worn out these days. I expect to be accused as a "self hating Jew" next in the standard propaganda reaction.

I in no way am in love with the idiotic theocracy in Iran or any of the other Middle East countries and Israel is not exempt in this.

But the accusation that Iran is intent on wiping Israel off the map is based on a purposely misinterpreted statement. See:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/did-ahmadinejad-really-say-israel-should-be-wiped-off-the-map/2011/1

Iran is presently pursuing a legal process of refining material for nuclear power. This has been verified by experts. There is no actual indication it is making nuclear armaments.

In reaction to this legal process the USA and Israel are ramping up emotions and sending military equipment and forces to areas surrounding Iran which looks very much like preparations for military action. For anybody to claim Iran has no right to threaten reaction to this buildup to this and to the economic pressures extended to damage the Iranian economy strikes me as rather strange. Both Israel and the USA have long histories of exerting aggressions without cause. Iran has not. And it certainly has no sensible reason to openly militarily attack Israel whose consistently paranoid policies are well backed with nuclear armaments to destroy much of the Middle East and probably itself as well in the process.
apology?
I almost 'bumped' into Jan Sand.
I try to remain apolitical. I do care.
I was sad to hear about Syria too.

Yesterday babies and journalist died.
One 29- year old journalist was killed.
Flashback . . .
On and on . . .
After (drafted) `
`
Vietnam - I said "never underestimate Evil folk.
The darkest of Evil-Perdition lodges in Evil folk.
Sometimes - I feel like I just crawled from battle.
I always remember that blood-puddle I flopped:
`
I mean I almost 'butchered' to death in a jungle.
Two GIs who hauled me to a chopper died later.
LT from West Point and PFC shot their skulls.
They could not stop the bloody slaughter images.
Sad/sigh . . .
Suicides
One suicide was while I was in a DC VAMC. Sad.
One PFC 'blew' his head wide-open in the 70's.
I'll go nap.
Flashback
Jan,
I'm not using the Holocaust to justify Israeli policy. I'm using Holocaust denial to justify Israeli policy. That's like Iran putting a big sign on their embassy saying "We're after you. We care about the Holocaust for the simple reason that many of you use it as a justification for your existence." You can't know anything about Jews and think that Holocaust denial won't be perceived as a threat. How many reasons do you think there are for the Iranians to host such conferences? Why would the Iranians care? We know why. So does Israel. So do the Iranians. What on Earth can be construed as innocent about this?

Yes, there has been one statement whose translation is in question concerning physically destroying Israel. That Iranian officials have called for the obliteration of the Israeli regime is not in question, nor was it done only once, nor was it done by only one official. (At least three, possibly four, including the President, at least one Muslim cleric - I don't remember if an Imam or Ayatollah, and at least one general.) That Iran backed Hezbollah in their last battle with Israel isn't in question. That Israel hadn't set foot in Lebanon for six years when hostilities were initiated by Hezbollah in that instance is not in question. That Iran has hosted at least one Holocaust denial conference in Tehran is not in question.

I don't claim that Iran has a sensible reason to openly attack Israel. I don't think any of this is sensible. As far as Israel is concerned, Iran wouldn't have even been relevant. Israel did not seek out conflict with Iran. Why would they? There was no motive in that direction until Iran became bellicose in other ways and then worked on nuclear technology.

You say that Israel has a history of aggression without cause. Sure, in 1956, when Israel joined France and England in the Suez Canal attack. You'd be hard pressed to find instances of aggression with no obvious cause since. I'm not stupid enough to claim that all instances of Israeli aggression are what I'd consider justifiable or proportional, but cause for most of them is obvious. And no, I am not an apologist for Likud; I detest Likud. I think they're terrible for Israel and terrible for the peace process.

As are the stakes. No one is interested in ejecting the Iranians from Iran, emphatically including Israel. If your argument is that Israel shouldn't exist, make that case in general rather than claiming that Israel can exist but it's illegitimate for it to defend its existence.
Jan,
1. I'm not saying you're claiming intellectual superiority, I'm saying that I've seen enough of your intellectual capabilities to notice that you don't appear to be applying some of them here.

2. I don't do the Self-Hating Jew routine. I don't do too many routines. The fact that you have Jewish ancestry is completely irrelevant to this discussion.

3. Paranoia is only paranoia when people aren't out to get you. Israel has sufficient experience with terrorism, Hamas (including their charter and missiles), Hezbollah, and a ton of rhetoric from most surrounding countries to understand that yes, people are absolutely out to get them. Some of that is based on policy but some of it is based on identity. A lot of it is over the top and really sick; for example, after Israel sent medical teams to Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake, Syrian state television claimed the Israeli teams were there to steal organs. Try to imagine how you'd react if you heard Israel making a claim like that about a neighboring country. It's Syria, so most people will say "Yeah, it's the Syrians. What do you expect?" What I expect is such propaganda to foster paranoia among the Israelis, an expectation which is, let's face it, more reasonable than the propaganda triggering the paranoia.

By the way, though Israel certainly has a nuclear arsenal, I have never heard of their threatening anyone with first use of it. Given how long they've had it, that's a telling detail.
Look guys and gals, this is a no-win, major gray area. I agree totally with koshersalaami (salaam!) and also mostly with the others. I lived in Jerusalem during the first Netanyahu administration and it was clear that he was out to dismantle the Oslo Accords that were at the time making a two-state solution look likely. (The Palestinians helped him immensely with the second intifada0. So I also agree with Jan Sand and libby: Bibi's nuts, as are the ultra-Orthodox settlers. When I loived there it was a few short years after Iraqi Scuds had rained down on Israel, so I heard that side of the story as well. Anyone who has not huddled in a shelter should be careful about projecting opinions, so with the perspective of real-life history, I do not blame Israel's offensive posture on mere paranoia and the Holocaust is a fall-back position that I feel is usually unfairly played. But I believe the conventional wisdom is, "the best defense is a good offense", rather than vice versa.
I lived in Israel during and after the six day war. I am not totally unfamiliar with the place but to deny Israeli aggressive behavior is, frankly, to be totally aware of history.

If you are to credit Iran's foreign policy to the statements of the religious crazies in the country is to take seriously the recent statement by an Israeli rabbi that all non Jews are fit only to be Jewish slaves or judge US foreign policies on the basis of the rather plenteous religious idiots in the States.

"The best defense is a vigorous offense" in a country which still shivers over the Holocaust and the underlying panic that all non-Jews are set at a moment's notice to initiate a pogrom.
That was the philosophy that got the USA into Iraq and Afghanistan and what a total mess that turned into.

Considering the hugely generous random distribution of anti-personnel mines throughout Lebanon after the last action there I have no regard for Israeli cautions about using nuclear weapons in regard to humane considerations. To say they haven't used it yet is proof the maniacs in the government won't use them is is bit too ludicrous for even my sense of humor.
Wow! Sorry about that first paragraph.
Should read:

I lived in Israel during and after the six day war. I am not totally unfamiliar with the place but to deny Israeli aggressive behavior is, frankly, to be totally unaware of history.
I never read a book ref:
`
Arthur James Balfour
`
1948
`
I was on a Kibutz in 1973
I had no idea ref: Zionism
I got the heck out of Israel

I went to study Yiddish etc.,
I loved the experience though
I traveled to the old city, and
lived in a dormitory room
It was a very confusing era
I left just before the 1973
Yom Kippur War. Sigh
I have many Memories.
It was sorta to hop into
another war frying pan
`
A Canadian wrote a book.
It's ref:
The Balfour Declaration
I read a review and hear
the author interviewed

It was an eye opener.
All went awry astray.
Israel was beautiful.
I Loved the doves.
A morn coo coo.
I recall that coo . . .

(I'm just listening. Learn)
In 73 the land was stolen.
I am glad I went there tho
I was so wandering about
I still try to process my life
`
In regard to the Yom Kippur War there is an interesting article at http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/22/what-really-happened-in-the-yom-kippur-war/
"The conjecture that Washington is Jerusalem's puppet is conspiracy theory on the scope of the Trilateral Commission."

This sounds like a statement that the idiot, apisa, would make.

When we give them ~ 3 billion in aid per year, and they turn around and export ~5 billion in arms, at the same time refusing to curtail illegal settlements, as demanded by the potus (and the rest of the world) who's the puppet, kosh?

Furthermore, it seems you turned a blind eye to this part of my statement: " . . . coupled with the burden of the Israel lobby, which punishes legislators who dare to criticize the Jewish state."

Are you seriously ready to deny the undue and malevolent influence of AIPAC and other organizations that essentially bribe Washington to intervene in a one-sided way in the mideast?

Finally, it seems that you guys in the amen lobby are unwilling to do the homework necessary to even offer a credible defense of your positions.

I doubt that you even cut and pasted the link and read the whole thing through. Had you done so, you would have seen this tidbit which is only one of many cited which illustrate the height of malevolence and hypocrisy isreal exerts towards its benefactors.

"Other deep cover operations included the penetration of a U.S. company that provided weapons-grade uranium to the Department of Defense during the 1960s; Israeli agents eventually spirited home an estimated 200 pounds of uranium as the bulwark in Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program."

If you have a response to this, don't bother addressing it to me, as I am through with your hasbara. I should have terminated civil discussion with you when you tried to conflate whether it was the actions of the Palestinians or Ariel Sharon, which precipitated the first intifada, a point you eventually conceded you were wrong on.

Your contentions may fly on AOL jewish chat, but they ring hollow, here.

My mistake in attempting civil discourse with you, but I am truly done with your disingenuousness NOW.
Excellent article, Old New. I just hope diplomacy can keep everybody in check. My life has been completely rearranged because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Enough already! Another war and I just might launch a WMD myself!
Jan,
In regard to the religious crazies in question, the difference is that Iran is a functioning theocracy. The people I'm alluding to are high up in government actually setting policy. The rabbi in question is closer to being equivalent to Pat Robertson here - a dangerous idiot, but not anyone who has anything to do with authorizing military action.

We know why Ahmedinejad takes a public anti-Israel stand. That's a convenient path to Middle Eastern leadership, and it has the further advantage of strengthening fundamentalist movements throughout the region, at least to the extent that the governments of their countries don't match Iran's current bellicose rhetoric. It's also a way of showing independence from the West, particularly the US. It's basically the reason why Turkey got involved in the whole flotilla episode and its aftermath - taking on Israel gave them street cred. So, we know that Iran is posing as an anti-Israel champion. What I don't get is why anyone expects Israel not to react to that. What I Really don't get is how you can say that this doesn't constitute provocation, which is in essence what you said. Seriously?

You want to find fault with Israel, fine. I'll join you. My core issue with these arguments, and they're basically different forms of the same arguments over and over, is how when anyone else in the area threatens Israel, talks about sending Israelis back to Auschwitz (Antisemitism? Perish the thought!), lobs missiles at Israel, broadcasts unbelievable lies about Israel (like the aforementioned Syrian report about Haiti or like Egypt serializing the Protocols as an allegedly factual TV series), attacks Israel after Israel hasn't violated an undisputed border for six years, it doesn't count, it shouldn't be taken seriously, it doesn't constitute an actual threat, it doesn't constitute provocation. Sorry, but that doesn't wash. The only way to make that argument stick is to argue that what justifies asymmetrical standards is that the fundamental problem is not Israel's conduct but Israel's existence. If that's your argument, post on it. If it isn't, knock off the asymmetrical standards.

I don't appreciate being put into a position where I constantly feel obligated to defend the actions of a country whose actions I often disapprove of. Though there are a whole lot of levels this analogy doesn't work on, there are times I feel a little like an ACLU lawyer defending a Klansman. (The main level it doesn't work on is how badly the surrounding populations typically behave - i.e. the Klansman would have to live in a neighborhood where the Klan was a comparatively minor offender. However, the point about defending people I don't want to defend stands; that part of the analogy is accurate.)

I will, per his request, not address Mark, which I'm happy not to do. I take one of his insults personally; I'll leave it to him to figure out which one.
Right. Let's say that Mossad assassination of Iranian scientists is a perfectly acceptable way for a nation to carry out international relationships. After all, if the USA can get away with multiple drone killings of both innocents and merely suspected enemies, why not Israel? It might prevent another Holocaust. And then again...
Jan,
I'm not arguing that Israel isn't guilty, I'm arguing that Iran isn't innocent. You argued that Iran is not guilty of provoking Israel. I called you on it. You replied that Israel is guilty of XYZ. I tell you that the issue isn't that Israel is innocent, it's that everyone else is getting a free pass and that this phenomenon is what drives me to defend Israel, even when I don't want to. I tell you if you don't insist on giving the opposition a free pass, I'll join you in criticizing Israel. You replied that Israel is guilty of ABC.

"Israel is guilty. Beep."

"Sure, but Israel is getting provoked. Overreacting, but..."

"Not provoked. Israel is guilty. Beep."

"On what grounds do you insist that none of these actions by Iran or anyone else should be taken seriously?"

"Israel is guilty. Beep."

You want to play Billboard, that's your business. I only talk to people who actually answer me.
Jan, I noticed that you are living in Finland now. I'm curious if the Finns carry any collective memory of being a small nation that was aggressed upon and fought bravely but lost territory and a lot of its people. Since it is still surrounded by powerful neighbors (friendly for the moment), it must still maintain a fairly strong defensive and offensive military capability. Or am I drawing an incorrect analogy?
Update: A brief scanning of Iranian state media shows that Iran is still insisting that there are no problems with the IAEA, and that they are still in discussion about setting up a new round of talks. There is only a one line mention in Iranian reports buried deeply about the IAEA having left after trying to visit a "key Iranian military installation." Press TV is highlighting Israeli President Shimon Peres' call to Netanyahu to tone down his rhetoric, while at the same time more or less crowing about how oil prices will go to the moon if Iran is attacked. And a self-selected public opinion poll shows 86% feel that Iran needs to communicate to the EU that it is extremely dependent on Iranian oil sales.

Meanwhile, Iran is being hopeful about continued 5+1 negotiations with the Iranians continuing. Looks like they want to have their cake and eat it too. Looks like douchebag behavior to me. The Iranians are feeling pretty full of themselves, at least publicly.
This is a very personal point of view and I understand the the sheer sustained panic of Jews in general after thousands of years of rabid persecution and the ultimate horror of the Holocaust. But the creation of Israel, once one becomes well acquainted with the history previous to the realization and the current agendas in all their callous brutality and undercurrent of disdain for non-Jews is not a tale of innocence and humanitarian compassion. I do not put much on lineage and tradition but there is, within the traditions of the Jews, a marvelous respect for intelligence and skill and deep feeling for humanity as a whole which has resulted in the production of marvelous creative individuals within the community that has devoted much to humans in general. Being of a community without a country seems to have done something quite interesting an cosmopolitan and admirable for the Jews and the creation of Israel, if anything, has destroyed a good deal of that wonderful universalism and evoked the basic meanness and selfishness and disregard for basic human feeling and the blowback has done, if anything, nothing to improve the security of Jews in general. Israel frightens me as a Jew and as a human being and as time progresses it looks to get even much, much worse. Something inherent in Jewish culture has been tragically lost in Israel and the brash arrogance it displays is in no way admirable nor a worthwhile replacement.

I do not deny that Iran has basic objections to Israeli behavior but much of their anti-Israeli statements are a reaction to Israeli projected aggression and the history of US frightful interference in Iran affairs out of determination to dominate the area. It is a tit for tat situation and beyond the concern of who started it.
Libby, I try not to be too full of myself. Iran is conforming to the adage of never losing an opportunity to lose an opportunity. And as for douchebag behavior, it's my observation that being a douche is almost a requirement for relations between countries in the Middle East.
lefty - could it be that the Iranians are sending their best and brightest for training at the Kim Il Sung School of Advanced Nuclear Diplomacy? They seem to be learning the same moves.
The rather swift retreat of the US agenda to make offensive moves towards North Korea once they have demonstrated nuclear capability, whatever you might think of the government, is a lesson not to be ignored. Israel, after all, demonstrated the same acute perception and why indeed should they be alone in possessing this deterrent medicine? All indications are that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons and obviously using them would cause disastrous results but I can appreciate the motivation.
Lefty,
Thank you. All I ask from anyone is an inherently evenhanded assessment.

Jan,
I don't like at least some of where Israel is going either. The mixture of government intolerance and tendencies among the Orthodox establishment toward what I might call Jewish Talibanism isn't exactly endearing.

I'm not sure I see the point in painting America with an Israeli brush or painting Israel with an American brush. They each have their own faults and responsibilities. In Israel's case, territorial aggression is pretty much limited to areas within the 1973 borders, which is to say conflicts with Palestinians and to a more limited extent with Syria over the Golan Heights. (That's certainly not true of my own country, the United States.) The only relatively recent major exceptions I can think of have all been involved with slowing down or stopping nuclear weapons development among countries avowedly hostile toward Israel.

Yes, Iran could conceivably be developing nukes so as to make itself far less vulnerable to foreign invasion. However, a lot of that rhetoric isn't aimed at the United States, which could pose a threat in a variety of conventional ways, but at Israel, which isn't likely to pose any kind of threat unless threatened. Let's face it: If the Iranians were really all that concerned about the Palestinians and weren't interested in posing a threat to Israel, they could have offered themselves as negotiators, which could conceivably have given them all sorts of leverage and increased their standing. If, under those circumstances, they'd worked on nuclear weaponry, we wouldn't be looking at the same panicked reaction from Israel. They chose an extremely different path. I will continue to insist that they are responsible for the path they chose.
If you have followed the long history of Israeli negotiations you would be well aware that the whole thing has been a charade to merely carry forward the ultimate aim of Zionist agenda to take over the entire area.
Jan, now I really think you have to back up that assertion with proof or references, or withdraw from the discussion.
Re the preceding comment, Jan, I did not really mean you should shut up, but that your assertion is beneath the already low level of integrity that has so far been exhibited. You can do better, one hopes?
Use Google to find the link to Ilan Pappe, Israel The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappé
I have tried a couple of times to post the link and this site refuses the post.
Before anybody here criticises Jan in a way that is insulting,one should do more recherche on the subject.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaen.wikipedia.org/.../The_Ethnic_Cleansing_of_P...Im Cache - Ähnliche Seiten - Diese Seite übersetzen
Sie geben hierfür öffentlich +1. Rückgängig machen
According to Ilan Pappé, the 1948 Palestinian exodus consisted of the forced ... The details of the "ethnic cleansing strategy" are fully described in an Israeli
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. By Ilan Pappe - YouTube

► 59:59► 59:59 www.youtube.com/watch?v=buhpHTGAlTE
http://youtu.be/buhpHTGAlTE
Well Heidi, I thank you for the references to Ilan Pappe, which I will check when I can. (Especially the YouTube - I read German, but ethnic cleansing would be difficult even with an online dictionary.) That's what I expected from Jan and I'm sorry if it sounded disrespectful. I certainly did not understand that he was making reference to pre-Independence events when he pitched his brief incendiary. You and Jan might be surprised at my pro-Arab credentials, but I can never declare myself as an anti-Zionist. In any case without Zionism we'd have little to discuss about middle eastern politics, because what was left of the Six Million would have been efficiently dealt with by the Poles and Soviets. Maybe we would all be happier if the idea of Zion in Uganda had come to pass, but look how that white colonial concept in Africa worked out. A desert island would have done nicely too.

Where there is shadow, there must also be light. I guess I'm cursed with the ability to see both sides of most pictures.
@ordinaryjoe

It is not unreasonable to request reference.
I have bookmarked several links on an analysis of Zionist history but they have strangely vanished. Below is an excerpt from a February 17 2012 article on Zionist agenda from the site Counterpunch. It too has no current link so I am forced to paste it in.
" A STATE OF TERRORISM, BY TERRORISM, FOR TERRORISM
It is no secret that the state of Israel was created through the expropriation of the Palestinian land by terrorizing and evicting them from their homes—750,000 in the initial 1948 raid alone. Nor is it a secret that Israel has since its creation held to and expanded territory also through terrorism. It is equally clear that militant Zionist leaders of Israel base their future policies of occupation and control on sheer military force and terrorizing strategies—hence, Israel a state of, by and for terrorism.
In an article titled, “The Israeli Terrorist State and its Mossad Assassins,” the late professor Israel Shahak, a Holocaust survivor, and chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights from 1970 until 1990, famously wrote: “There is nothing new in the fact that Israel is a terrorist state, which, almost from its inception, has used its intelligence service (the Mossad) to assassinate people on foreign soil with any violence or terror it considers necessary for its

Of course, the Palestinian people bear the bulk of the brunt of the Israeli carnage. The policy of violent obliteration of “existential threats,” real or perceived, to the expansionist plans of Israel, however, goes beyond Palestinians and their supporters in the Arab/Muslim world; it also includes targets in other parts of the world, including the United States, Israel’s most generous benefactor and staunchest ally.
The following is a small sample of instances of Israel’s acts of violence against targets viewed as threats to its existence or interests (there is no chronological or any other type of order in the list provided below).
• One of the most notorious acts of Israeli terrorism occurred in the immediate aftermath of its surprise invasion of Palestine in 1948, when Jewish forces, members of the LEHI underground (also known as the Stern Gang) assassinated Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, a U.N. appointed mediator. Bernadotte was killed on September 17, 1948, a day after he offered his second mediation plan which, among other things, called for repatriation and compensation for the Palestinian refugees [1].
• There is also “evidence that in 1991 an Israeli undercover team planned to assassinate a U.S. president. The intended victim was George Herbert Walker Bush.” The plot was planned to be carried out when President Bush “went to Madrid for the opening day of the peace conference to be held that year.” Bush’s sin was that he had attempted to pressure Israel into ending its illegal settlement expansion on confiscated Palestinian land by withholding loan guarantees to Israel until it ended this practice. The planned assassination was not carried out, however, presumably because Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent, who had written a book exposing Israel’s spy agency, had given it away [2].
• Iranian scientists are not the first to fall prey to Israeli-orchestrated targeted killings. Israel has over the years “assassinated a number of scientists of various nationalities.” For example, “In 1990 a Canadian-American scientist and father of seven, Gerald Bull, was assassinated in Belgium. All indications are that it was an Israeli Mossad hit team that drilled five bullets into the back of his head and neck” [2].
• In a similarly cold-blooded fashion, a number of US peace activists have in recent years been “intentionally killed, maimed, and injured by Israeli forces, including 23-year-old Rachel Corrie, 21-year-old Brian Avery, 37-year-old Tristan Anderson, 21-year-old Emily Henochowicz, and 21-year-old Furkan Dogan” [2].
• In 1967, Israeli air and sea forces perpetrated an almost two-hour assault in which they tried to sink a U.S. technical Navy ship (USS Liberty) with a crew of 300. While the attack failed to sink the ship, it succeeded in killing 34 Americans and injuring 174. Analysts have conjured that this was a false-flag operation, intended to blame Egypt for the attack, had the ship gone down and the evidence of Israeli culpability was not discovered [2].
• In 1954, Israeli secret agents planted explosives in the U.S. diplomatic and “cultural” centers in Cairo and Alexandria in an effort to create animosity between Egypt and the United States by blaming the plot, known as the Lavon Affair, on Egyptians. A premature detonation of one of the devices undid the plot before it could cause horrendous death and destruction. Israel later honored the perpetrator, Marcello Ninio [3].
• The first known act of deliberately shooting down a civilian airline was carried out by Israel in February 1973. “Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 was a regularly scheduled flight from Tripoli to Cairo via Benghazi. . . . The aircraft was piloted by a mostly French crew . . . under a contractual arrangement between Air France and Libyan Arab Airlines.” On the orders of the then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, the plane was shot down by Israeli fighter jets, killing 107 of its 113 passengers, including the entire French crew [4].
• Zionist terror did not even spare Jews. In 1940, Menachem Begin’s Irgun Zwei Leumi terrorist gang bombed the ship Patria in Haifa harbor, killing 240 Jewish refugees, so as to put the blame on the British for political gain. And in 1950-1951, Israeli agents were dispatched to Iraq where they tossed hand grenades into the crowded Massauda Shem-Tov synagogue, causing numerous deaths, in order to blame it on the Iraqis and encourage reluctant Iraqi Jews to immigrate to Israel [3].
THE ORIGINAL SIN
Horrendous as these crimes are, they do not mean that radical Zionist planners and/or perpetrators of such offenses are born with terrorist genes. They are rather indicative of the fact that their perpetrators are captive to a selfish and self-inflicted ideology of apartheid that aims to build an exclusive or predominantly Jewish state in the historical Palestine that would stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean coasts, the so-called “greater Israel.” It should not be difficult to see how a plan of creating and maintaining an unlawful state in the homes and lands of other people might create a siege mentality of paranoia proportions in the minds of the occupiers, reacting violently to any questioning of the legitimacy of such a state. Writer/researcher Ronald Bleier has aptly called the ideological foundation of the state of Israel, Zionism, the “Original sin”:
“Israel’s Original sin is Zionism, the ideology that a Jewish State should replace the former Palestine. At the root of the problem is Zionism’s exclusivist structure whereby only Jews are treated as first-class citizens. In order to create and consolidate a Jewish State in 1948, Zionists expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland and never allowed them or their descendants to return. In addition, Israeli forces destroyed over 400 Palestinian villages and perpetrated about three dozen massacres. In 1967, the Israelis forced another 350,000 Palestinians to flee the West Bank and Gaza as well as 147,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights” [1].
Terrorism is a logical outcome of this “Original sin,” or radical Zionism, since a major component of the scheme of establishing and maintaining the state of Israel is removal (including physical elimination) of any and all threats, real or perceived, to this plan. Elimination of any and all threats—this is key to a better understanding of Israel’s policy of terrorism, whether it is wholesale terrorism carried out by unilateral wars and aerial bombardments, or retail terrorism and targeted assassinations. It also helps explain the brutal assassination of Iranian scientists, as part a well-established pattern of targeted killings.

CONCLUSION
The well-documented pattern of Israel’s policy of targeted killings shows that the assassination of Iranian scientists is neither the first nor the last of Israel’s acts of terrorism. It also shows that the claim that Iran’s nuclear program presents an “existential” threat to Israel is no more than a harebrained excuse to deflect attention from the real threat to Israel: hardline Zionism, or the ideology of colonization and occupation by military force.
As long as this poisonous ideology (which is dangerous not only to the Palestinian people but also, ultimately, to the Jewish people) persists, so would resistance and opposition to it—hence, eternal “existential” threats to Israel. Today that threat is said to come from Iran and Hezbollah, yesterday it came from Nasser’s Egypt and the PLO, tomorrow it would be from other sources of anti-occupation in the region … and the day after it would be from anti-apartheid forces worldwide, including many among Jewish people, just as it happened in South Africa.
Many well-intentioned critics, including a large number of far-sighted Jews, have long warned against the inherent limits and dangers of occupation and rule by military force. Such concerns are perhaps best expressed by these sage yet simple words of Albert Einstein: “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Radical Zionist leaders have responded, in a patronizing fashion, that while Einstein was a good scientist, he was politically naive. The logic of things, the history of Israeli relationship with its neighbors, as well as its uncertain future show, however, that Einstein’s warning is indeed prophetic.
Ismael Hossein-zadeh is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. He is the author of The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave – Macmillan 2007) and the Soviet Non-capitalist Development: The Case of Nasser’s Egypt (Praeger Publishers 1989). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press.
References
[1] Ronald Bleier, “In the Beginning There Was Terror,” The Link, Vol. 36, No. 3 (July-August 2003): http://desip.igc.org/InTheBeginning.html
[2] Alison Weir, “Israeli Assassinations and American Presidents,” http://original.antiwar.com/alison-weir/2012/01/24/israeli-assassinations-and-american-presidents/
[3] Ismail Zayid, “A Short History of Israeli State Terrorism,” http://www.canpalnet-ottawa.org/Israel%20state%20terrorism.html
[4] Wikipedia, “Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Arab_Airlines_Flight_114 "
Well, its taken me a good three hours to read this post and all previous comments as thoughtfully and attentively as I can. Most everyone here is someone I feel I know; "ordinary joe" being the (for me any way) newcomer. [Hi, Joe!] As I found this thread kind of ?"by accident"? when checking recent activity and not at a time I was prepared to be here for three hours, I can't yet post anything substantively relevant but I hope to soon. Maybe tomorrow? Meanwhile, THANK YOU, all of you! Just when some of Open Salon policies about Editors Picks and all that are leaving me despairing of finding serious, informed discussions, I find something like this and my courage (such as it is?) returns. Hope this thread will stay open and active for a good long time!

R+
Incidentally there is a current article at http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/24/the-israeli-plot-to-murder-a-former-us-senator/ verifying the exorbitant use of vicious threat and dominating power of the Israeli lobby over US government legislatures. The prolific use of threat and actual assassination as a standard agenda against opposition to Israel is, of course, nothing unusual in the agendas of powerful countries. The behavior of the USA itself has a long trail of such instruments in South America and elsewhere and there is currently even an exhibition of pride in the current presidency in its use of "black operations" to evade lawful procedures and execute anyone even remotely suspect of government opposition.
Ordinary Joe:
Thank you for your response.
Yes,where there is light,there is shadow.
I am aware of it as much as you are.For you to hold credentials in Arab,does not surprise me at all,and I am sure Jan accepts anything under the sky as he is the most tolerant person I know.
I like to find out more about you and for this I have to go to your blog,if you have any postings there.
This much for now.