Aug 262015

One has to choose: Benjamin Netanyahu is either incredibly shrewd or incredibly foolish.

Take his Iran policy. Actually, there is little to choose from. Netanyahu has no other policy to speak off.

According to him, Iran constitutes a mortal danger to Israel. If it obtains a nuclear weapon, God forbid, it will use it to annihilate Israel. It must be stopped by any means, preferably by American armed intervention.

This may be quite wrong (as I believe). But it makes sense.

So what did Netanyahu do?

For years, he alarmed the world. Every day the cry went out: Save Israel! Prevent the destruction of the Jewish State! Prevent a Second Holocaust! Prevent Iran from producing The Bomb!

The world did not take any notice. It was busy with many other matters. There are crises galore everywhere, all the time. Economic depressions. Plagues. The warming of the earth.

But Netanyahu did not let off. He used every rostrum, from the Knesset to the United States Congress, to shout his message.

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Jul 202015

Am I the only one who is really tired of all this Iran nuclear stuff year after year after year? Israel has at least 100 nukes and Iran knows this.

And by the way, neither the Ayatollah nor former Iranian President Ahmadinejad stated that Israel should be “wiped off the map,” or that there should be another Jewish genocide or holocaust. The propagandists have been making good use of the mistranslations of those top Iranians’ utterances for political and fear-mongering purposes. What those Iranian leaders actually were referring to was the Israeli government, the “regime occupying Jerusalem,” to be specific.

And while Iran never threatened to nuke Israel, Israel has sure threatened to nuke Iran, as have certain prominent Americans. But the propagandized American public will unquestionably believe what their government and its fear-mongering sycophants tell them, as repeated by the stenographers and useful idiots in the mainstream media.

I can’t believe just how ignorant and propagandized so many people are in the 21st Century. It’s like pre-Enlightenment times, or so it seems.

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Nov 192014

How do you like the Journal’s war?”

So boasted the headline of William Randolph Hearst’s New York flagship that week in 1898 that the United States declared war on Spain.

While Hearst’s Journal, in a circulation battle with Joe Pulitzer’s World, was a warmongering sheet, it did not start the war.

Yet the headline comes to mind reading the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial pages seem to have concluded that on Nov. 4 America voted for new wars in the Middle East, and beyond.

On Nov. 13, the Journal’s op-ed page was given over to Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Assuming nuclear talks with Iran conclude unsuccessfully by the Nov. 24 deadline, they write, we have four options.

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Jun 162014

Way back in the summer of 2009, when the US withdrawal from Iraq was being touted as yet another great triumph by the Obama administration, we wrote in this space:

“Was withdrawal from Iraq just another campaign promise, made to be broken – like Obama’s pledges on government secrecy and other civil liberties issues? The president’s record, so far, does not bode well for an answer in the negative.

“This administration of self-proclaimed ‘pragmatists’ has no problem dispensing with principles and promises when it’s convenient. And it is decidedly inconvenient to be getting out of Iraq at the very moment we are ratcheting up pressure on our new adversary in the region: Iran.”

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May 022014


“Israel is a rapist enemy that we will continue to fight until the raped land is returned to its rightful owners” declared Hezbollah in the 1980’s, and initiated a violent struggle that would begin in 1982 and persist to this very day.[1] It was a struggle that would claim thousands of Lebanese and Israeli lives and eventually force Israel out of Lebanon after 18 years of occupation.

It is a struggle that has been and still is subject to much scholarly work. Most of the literature, however, revolves around Israeli responses to Hezbollah’s guerrilla war and its failures in defeating the group.[2] Another significant part of the literature deals with the shifts in Hezbollah’s ideology and its variant of political Islam.[3] Conversely, this essay will assess Hezbollah’s strategy to liberate south Lebanon from Israel, in the period 1982-2000.

While there are many explanations, I argue that Hezbollah’s strategy was successful in liberating south Lebanon mainly because of its ability to secure a strategic relationship with a patron and arouse and maintain popular local support, as well as its novel methods of fighting the IDF in Lebanon and manipulating the Israeli public. I set out by defining the concept of strategy and place it in a Guerrilla context. I then proceed to analyse the three distinct phases; 1982-1985, 1985-1990, and 1990-2000, and ultimately draw conclusions on my main findings.

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Feb 282014

The investigative reporter and author Gareth Porter has recently published a book entitled A Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. An impressively written and researched work, it is also frightening in its implications. For if Porter’s allegations are accurate, it is not Iran that the American people should fear – it is their own politicians, bureaucrats and an “ally” named Israel.

According to Porter, there has never been a serious nuclear weapons programme undertaken by Iran. By the way, this is a conclusion that is supported by the heads of all American intelligence agencies reporting annually to Congress. Unfortunately, this repeated determination has been scorned by the politicians and poorly reported by the media. As a result, the American people lack the knowledge to independently judge Iranian actions as regards nuclear research, and so can be led to erroneous conclusions by those pursuing their own political or ideological ends or, as in the present case, the intrigues of a foreign government.

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Feb 052014

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
(Photo Credit: AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On January 29, 2014, the Times of Israel published what seemed to be some truly alarming news.

“Iran now has all the technical infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons should it make the political decision to do, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in a report to a Senate intelligence committee published Wednesday,” reported the paper’s Marissa Newman.
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Dec 042013

If you want to understand the U.S.-Iran controversy, know this: It is not about nuclear weapons.

You’re thinking: Of course it’s about nuclear weapons. Everyone says so.

Well, not everyone does. But it isn’t a numbers game. As William O. Beeman points out in the Huffington Post,

There is a strange irony in President Obama’s announcement of the temporary agreement. He mentioned the term “nuclear weapon” multiple times in his announcement, implying that Iran was on a path to develop such a weapon. One wonders if he actually believes this or if his repeated implied accusation was a rhetorical device designed to placate his hard-line critics.

The president must know by this time that there is no evidence that Iran has or ever had a nuclear weapons program. Every relevant intelligence agency in the world has verified this fact for more than a decade. Two U.S. National Intelligence Estimates that were made public in 2007 and 2011 underscored this. The International Atomic Energy Agency has also consistently asserted that Iran has not diverted any nuclear material for any military purpose.

Even Israeli intelligence analysts agree that Iran is “not a danger” to Israel.

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Oct 072013

Iran’s new foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared on ABC‘s “This Week” and addressed a number of the same questions every Iranian official is asked again and again in interviews by the American media.

George Stephanopoulos, who effectively conducted the same interview with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad three years in a row, asked Zarif about possible concessions Iran is willing to make over its nuclear program. By doing so, however, he revealed that he knows very little about Iran’s domestic enrichment program and the consistent findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In response to Zarif’s comment that, for negotiations to be successful, Iran’s inalienable right to enrich uranium be recognized and sanctions begin to be lifted, Stephanopoulos countered, “I understand that’s your demand. But in return, is Iran prepared to stop enriching uranium at the levels they are now enriching it?”

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Oct 022013

On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to the White House and subsequent speech at the UN General Assembly, it once again appears appropriate to recall the great geopolitical wisdom he displayed almost exactly 11 years ago when he appeared before Congress to bang the drums of war against Iraq with a confidence fully equal to that of the neoconservatives whose arguments he echoed (and may have helped shape). He subsequently drew heavily on his testimony in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal’s neocon editorial page (September 20, 2002) and in an interview with the Washington Times a month later (October 23).

Of course, he is now coming to our shores under very different circumstances. His use of the phrase “hinge of history” in his testimony below sounds particularly ironic in the sudden sprouting of hope for détente, if not rapprochement, between Iran and the U.S. following this week’s visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a visit that probably dashed Netanyahu’s hopes of banging those drums on this occasion, as opposed to injecting scepticism about the likelihood of reaching a verifiable nuclear accord with Iran and raising as many other issues regarding Iranian skullduggery in Syria, Lebanon, etc. and why it can never be trusted as he can.

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