Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 10, 2012

McClatchy On Israel's Nuclear Iran Scare Campaign

McClatchy has a great three part series by Sheera Frenkel on Israel and its nuclear Iran scare campaign. There are at least three major points to take away from it:

  • The systematic campaign to incite war on Iran started, more or less secretly, immediately after Iraq was defeated in the first Gulf war.
  • When in 2006 the U.S. was on the verge of defeat in Iraq the anti-Iran campaign was turned into a public one.
  • Israel's plans are political, not military. Israel will not attack Iran but wants the U.S. to do the job.

But the piece is missing the strategic points why the nuclear issue is played up at all:

  • The nuclear issue is not the real issue. The real issue is to achieve regional hegemony in the Middle East for the U.S. as much as for its junior partner Israel.
  • That requires to destroy Iran's military and economic capacity (see Iraq) or regime change towards a U.S. friendly dictatorship.

Here are some excerpts from those pieces:

Part 1: Israel push on Iran included a steady dose of media leaks

Shimon Stein, a former Israeli ambassador to Germany and former head of arms control at the Foreign Ministry, said that Israel slowly developed its outreach and media efforts on Iran over more than two decades.

"We were diplomatically actively pursuing the Iranian issue for decades," he said. But the Israeli campaign moved into the public sphere five years ago when the Israelis decided they needed public opinion to also drive Iran policy. "Now it is a new ballgame," Stein said. "Now we added extra resources to mobilize our government and also world opinion."
As Israeli diplomats were working to convince governments of the Iranian nuclear threat, other organizations, such as the Washington-based Israel Project, were pressing the Israeli position with journalists and others.
Israeli officials also said it was no coincidence that a flurry of reports on Israel's imminent strike on Iran filled the press last fall just ahead of a report from the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Guzansky said the possible Israeli strike leaks to the media were "an important tool" for the government.

"It is psychological warfare. You leak to get the enemy or your friend to think X or Y," he said.

Part 2: After years, uncertainty still colors talk of Iran's nuclear capability

On the morning of May 9, 2006, Amos Yadlin, Israel's head of military intelligence, walked away from his parliamentary committee meeting with a sense of triumph. He knew he had successfully shifted Israel's national agenda.
Yadlin's statement that morning was calculated to garner the most attention possible, and it did. The next day, it was on the front pages of all of Israeli's daily newspapers. Within months, Israeli politicians would pick up the refrain and begin routinely referring to Iran as an "existential threat." It is an expression Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is particularly fond of.

Six years later, concern over that threat has reached a fever pitch, even as the date predicted for Iran's having built a nuclear weapon has slipped. Israeli officials who once talked about 2010 now talk about 2012. The existential threat line has moved from Israeli politicians to the United States, where it is repeated by nearly all the Republican presidential candidates as well as politicians of all stripe.

Part 3: Still no certainty on how, or if, Israel would strike Iran

On a drawing pad in his office, Alon, a senior Israeli military intelligence officer, sketches out the possible scenarios facing Israel and Iran.
"Maybe once a week someone calls me wanting to know the possibilities. How would we launch a military strike on Iran? What type of aircrafts would we use? What kind of bombs? Would we alert our allies in advance? Would it work?" he said. "Lately it has been more than once a week."
[But r]ather then a detailed military plan, Alon's drawing pad contained a series of flow charts on possible diplomatic and political initiatives that could be carried out as alternatives to a direct military confrontation with Iran.
Other military experts predict that the U.S. and other Western allies would lend their military might to an attack on Iran.

"In the end, Israel is the most nervous about doing this on its own. I would say, in fact, that it is impossible Israel will act without the support of the U.S.," said one official in the foreign minister's office.
"Israel is smarter then the rest. It saw the risk of Iran a long time ago and it has done its job and convinced the world to help," he said. "We are a small country but smart."

He then added, as an afterthought, "Iran is a smart country, too, maybe that is the problem. They are both countries who think they are smarter then the rest."

Posted by b on March 10, 2012 at 18:26 UTC | Permalink


the Iron Drome success count is getting worse ...

Israel is completely stupid ...
"The Guttman Center has conducted public opinion surveys in which numerous questions were posed concerning the desire to remain in Israel. An analysis of the Israelis' responses to the question, “Do you or do you not wish to live in Israel in the long term?”, was published in an article on this website. The findings revealed that immediately following the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006, there was a dramatic decrease in the percentage of young Israelis who wished to remain in Israel, although with time, the trend changed, but only among veteran Israelis. Among the youth who had immigrated from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), there has been a significant decrease in the rates of those committed to remaining in Israel since 2006: from 63% in February 2006 to 46% in 2008. It was noted that this finding should be correlated to the fact that the immigrants left the Soviet Union because of an intense sense of insecurity and instability and with the desire to find a stable and secure environment in Israel"

Posted by: somebody | Mar 10 2012 19:24 utc | 1

Too bad western politicians are either conspiring, or threatened and controlled by AIPAC and other zionist lobbyers, or illiterate or ignorant - at least the majority don't read on foreign affairs and geopolitics.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 10 2012 20:12 utc | 2

"Israel is smarter then the rest."

Such a revealing statement from an Israeli official in the Foreign Ministry. First thing that comes to mind is Hubris. Reminds me of Netanyahu's famous quote "I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won't get in our way." Just the smug disdain and the idea that they are invincible.

Second thing that comes to mind is the racism of it. This is where it gets interesting. If you have Israeli media constantly informing you that Muslims are primitive and backwards eventually you will end up believing you are smarter then them. This then contains the seeds of your own destruction because if you think they are backwards, then you will underestimate them in battle.

Probably played a factor in the 2006 Lebanon war. The Israeli military had spent the last 25 years fighting Muslims that throw rocks and petrol bombs and home-made rockets that they would have been shocked when they found themselves facing Hezbollah with their bunkers built into mountains, latest military equipment and swarming tactics. Also is a factor now when Israel boasts that the next Hezbollah war Israel will suffer under 2,000 casulties, or when they boast that they can take out Irans nuke facilities. They just believe they are smarter than everyone, so we have a nation the size of New Jersey thinking they can boss around a US President and threaten a major world power like Iran.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 10 2012 20:26 utc | 3

Yeh, Colm O'Toole, I can't see Israelis wanting to be Spartans, if given a choice ..., I mean the people not the politicians.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 10 2012 21:03 utc | 4

The wonderful thing about this approach is that the more preesure from the outside, the more we strengthen the hand of reactionary forces in Iran and weaken the position of any progressive, moderate movement that might be trying to develop or at least increase its influence on their politics.

It is a self-enhancing downward spiral.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 10 2012 21:08 utc | 5

I've never thought Netanyahu's campaign for a war on Iran was honest. Both his own experts, and those of the US, have said that Iran is not an existential threat.

So what is the real point? Something concealed, no doubt.

You can imagine what you like. Me I think tha

Posted by: alexno | Mar 10 2012 22:50 utc | 6

To resume:

I've never thought Netanyahu's campaign for a war on Iran was honest. Both his own experts, and those of the US, have said that Iran is not an existential threat.

So what is the real point? Something concealed, no doubt.

You can imagine what you like. Me I think that it must be to create mayhem. Under the cover of which, he will move the Palestinians out, over the river into Jordan, on some pretext. A few Israeli pilots lost, will be worth it for him.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 10 2012 23:01 utc | 7

Israel's plans are political, not military. Israel will not attack Iran but wants the U.S. to do the job.

That idea is receding, I think. But the Israelis still have the option open to attack, and expect the US to come to their rescue

Posted by: alexno | Mar 10 2012 23:31 utc | 8

This shithole little wad of sand, Israel, has become a dangerous threat to mankind's future. Events and policies that have unfolded these last two decades tells me that Israel and its neocon co-conspirators in the United States are capable of grave crimes designed to influence policy. I have no doubt that these ghouls like Netanyahu, Obama, Clinton, Santorum, Romney, ETC are perfectly capable of sacrificing the lives of Israeli and American non-combatants in order to pursue their agenda. Such crimes are not dependent on the consent of either entity, although it seems that a conspiracy between elements of the two governments is a very real possibility.

I tend to think that Israel will engage in yet one more "trifecta" event such as the 9/11 criminal conspiracy, aided by neocon elements here, such as the satanic and murderous piece of shit, Dick Cheney. If Israel wants us to attack Iran, they WILL get their way. If it means committing a false flag crime of epic proportions against United States' interests, there is no doubt that they will employ such a strategy. It is obvious that Israel means to stop Iran from achieving any sort of technological, societal, or economic success, and that any means will be employed to achieve this end. They NEED us to engage in war with Iran, because they cannot do it themselves unilaterally and hope to survive. The easiest, most economical, and sure fire way to achieve this is by staging an event, blamed on Iran, that so enrages the citizens of the United States, that our government will have no choice than to retaliate. This IS what is going to occur.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 11 2012 1:11 utc | 9

I'm sure some top officials are plotting in the way you outline, but I hope the notion that probably most Americans now know 9/11 was a false flag operation to go after Iraq, that plans for a new operation to go after Iran will be scrapped. But the striking resemblence between the chargeup to Iraq and now Iran, makes me qute worried.
Anyhwo.. Americans better start protesting before a new war gets clubbed thru. That a lot of top politicians worship satan, wouldn't surprice me one bit, given the selfdestructive ways, or rather, the total disregard for their fellows lives.

One thing that is a selfevident fact is the weapons-manufacturers and the pentagon always make sure the weels keep turning, otherwise a lot of people would loose their income. I bet Obama is pressured a lot by those guys.
And the emotionally damaged Israeli maniacs in the Likud-party have a very strange strategy that is hard to understand. But certainly Israel will not go after Iran without US help. Obama better say, no - we will not help. And that's pretty much what he said at the AIPAC meeting. ( - Israel has a right to defend itself, by itself.)

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 11 2012 1:31 utc | 10

Thanks, b. The McClatchy series is very good.
It demonstrates how and why the Jews always end up being their own worst enemy. Apart from making stuff up and telling porkies every time they open their mouths, the only thing they're really any good at is outsmarting themselves.
Anyone wanna try and guess who they'll blame for their next Holocaust?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 11 2012 2:49 utc | 11

@3 "Probably played a factor in the 2006 Lebanon war."

True story: on the very first day of that war the Israeli ambassador to Australia was being interviewed on tv, and he made the point that the IDF was intent on destroying Hezbollah.

The reporter asked if that might not be, you know, a tough nut to crack.

Ambassador: we know Hezbollah are good, but we are better.

Next up was a cut to Beirut, and the reporter introduced his next guest: Robert Fisk.

Reporter: The Israelis say they are intent on destroying Hezbollah.
Fisk: Well, I don't think they can.......

One of those two dudes was suffering from Hubris.
Care to pick which one?

Posted by: Johnboy | Mar 11 2012 6:16 utc | 12

there is also the game that Israel is a useful military ally in threatening the neigbourhood.

once the controllers go through the budget files and ask: what are we funding that for the game is up.

once the US military is asked to save but the budget for Israel is not changed things will get tense.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 11 2012 6:35 utc | 13

the Iron Drome success count has been stopped now for some reason

Posted by: somebody | Mar 11 2012 6:37 utc | 14

Iron Dome never had a snowflake's chance in Hell of protecting Zion. Like it's big brother, Anti-Ballistic Missile defense, ANY and EVERY defensive missile system can be overwhelmed by sending in a big flock of missiles and decoys at the same time. And that's assuming the system can produce a 100% kill rate when dealing with one incoming missile at a time - and the system which can do that hasn't been invented yet.

But Iron Dome has an extra problem. It was created to protect Jewish Occupied Palestine from home-made rockets fired from Gaza in retaliation for acts of Jewish cowardice and bastardry. Those rockets only burn for two minutes so there's not enough time to track them and launch interceptors.
On the subject of the imaginary Israeli Nuclear arsenal, here are some factoids to keep in mind when trying to persuade one's self that Israel has one.

1. None of today's nuclear powers built nukes before they had a viable delivery system. And no-one ever will.

2. No-one goes to the trouble and expense of building a 'secret' nuclear arsenal. And no-one ever will. The whole idea of a nuclear arsenal is to tell everyone about it so it can fulfill its role as a deterrent. Stanley Kubrik underlined this point in his "How I Learned to Love the Bomb" movie in the Doomsday Machine scene.

3. In order to believe that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to the world one would also have to believe that Iranians are more insane than Zionists. The major problem with this presumption is that all the evidence was Made in Israel and everyone knows that pro-Israel Jews have been batshit crazy for 60 years - at least.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 11 2012 7:46 utc | 15

that's how the financial times sees it

Israel is in a ridiculous position, playing the attack do that has to be restrained. They risk people telling them "ok. do it. jump"

as Obama tries to be Reagan, the US assumedly tries a repeat of this
including supporting Freedom Fighters ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 11 2012 8:06 utc | 16

jews have been their own worst enemy since they appeared as such in early islamic texts

Posted by: brian | Mar 11 2012 8:50 utc | 18

Good insight in this Haaretz OpEd U.S. won't save Israel from hanging itself

According to the new folklore, the prime minister "dictated the Americans' agenda," as if Israel's strength weren't built by the Americans precisely for this necessity - the carrot and the stick of control in the Middle East. The stick is a direct Israeli threat, like the one against Iran. The carrot is "an Israeli withdrawal," "a comprehensive settlement" or "the United States will restrain Israel." The neighborhood thug will not attack because the U.S. will not allow him to.

This is a structure in which different forces act. The United States is a coalition of interests, sometimes even opposing interests, of those who support and those who oppose terrible wars - in the administration, in the economy and in politics. But the U.S. continues to act as it always has acted. Hans Morgenthau's doctrine dictates that they rely on the existing balance of power in regional conflicts.

There's no doubt that the United States has never been interested in the sources of the conflict with the Palestinians, but rather tries to benefit by nurturing it, fanning its flames, paying for it and "conducting negotiations" via the strong side to gain control in the region. There's no better example than the scuttling of the agreed-on solution by the two superpowers after the Yom Kippur War, in favor of a partial agreement that ensured control over the Palestinians and the extension of the settlements.

Within this structure, Israel's permanent role is to fix "an agenda," and the Americans' role is to say that "Israel has the right to defend itself" - and also to say the exact opposite.

Posted by: b | Mar 11 2012 15:19 utc | 20

Good read on Iran, wish more Americans would read it:

Posted by: ben | Mar 11 2012 15:56 utc | 21

False flag;How about our governments now totally forgotten attempt to imply Iran was going to assassinate that Saudi ambassador in Washington and collaterally kill Americans,a ludicrous and obvious wag the dog that might be the most evil attempt by American pols in our history in ushering another disastrous war against overmatched and under threatening people.
These criminals deserve a firing squad.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 11 2012 16:47 utc | 22

"U.S. won't save Israel from hanging itself"

Of course not. These criminal pieces of shit in DC are perfectly willing to share the gallows with their co-conspirators in Israel.

We will hang together.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 11 2012 16:49 utc | 23

@15, so true. I therefore propose the snowball-war principle:

It will always be simpler cheaper and easier to produce more snowballs than it will to produce machines that knock down snowballs

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 11 2012 16:51 utc | 24

7 Me I think that it must be to create mayhem. Under the cover of which, he will move the Palestinians out, over the river into Jordan, on some pretext. A few Israeli pilots lost, will be worth it for him.

i agree. for israel it's about capturing more land and power.

Posted by: annie | Mar 12 2012 2:07 utc | 25

The death tolls in Gaza are starting to compete with Syrian.. at least 21 since friday.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 12 2012 10:12 utc | 26

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