FT Also Sees Pentagon Opposition to Iran Attack

Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service’s Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.

In my last post, I argued that the release by the U.S. military of nine Iranians, including two of the five officials seized in Irbil last January, suggested that Pentagon chief Robert Gates and the administration’s “realist” wing was making progress in wresting control of Iran policy from resurgent hawks led by Vice President Dick Cheney. In addition to the release, I cited as evidence the public assessments by Gates and senior military officers that the alleged flow of EFP’s (explosively formed projectiles) and other weapons from Iran to Shi’ite militias in Iraq had declined in recent months. Now comes the estimable Financial Times with a front-page article and a thorough back-page analysis that strengthens the case, quoting, among others, Centcom commander Adm. William Fallon at length as to why war with Iran is not an attractive option. It even quotes Patrick Clawson of the hawkish Washington Institute on Near East Policy (WINEP) — the same group that last month provided the forum for Cheney’s strongest war hoop against Iran — who is close to Cheney’s national security adviser, John Hannah, as saying: “The national intelligence director is saying we have time before the Iranians get the bomb, the secretary of state is saying diplomacy still has a chance, the secretary of defence is saying the military is at breaking point and the [White House] political advisers are saying another war would probably not be a good idea.”

I would add that the last week’s events in Pakistan — not to mention the continuing rise in oil prices and rapid decline in the U.S. dollar — have also probably set back the hawks’ hopes of confrontation with Iran. Not only is the crisis necessarily displacing Iran in the media spotlight, but it is also diverting the time and energy of key policymakers within the administration, including the vice president’s staff and deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams, who is also in charge of the White House’s badly tattered “Global Democracy Strategy.” And it gives Iran another card to play in the high-stakes regional poker game that is being played out. I personally don’t know whether long-standing reports of covert U.S. support for Iranian Baluch nationalists in Iran are true or not, but impoverished Pakistani Baluchistan (whose capital, Quetta, serves as the headquarters of the Afghanistan’s Taliban under the protection of Pakistan’s military) has long been restive. Indeed, riots broke out 15 months ago after the death of an important Baluch leader, Nawab Mohammed Akbar Khan Bugti, in a battle with federal forces. If Tehran wishes to add to Washington’s regional headaches in Afghanistan and Iraq, Baluchistan offers it a new opportunity (although one that could easily blow back across the border, too). In any event, nuclear-armed Pakistan’s suddenly apparent fragility once again underlines the importance of Iran as both a relatively tranquil island in an expanding sea of turbulence and as a potentially critical player in determining whether the region stabilizes or explodes further.

Author: Jim Lobe

Visit Lobelog.com for the latest news analysis and commentary from Inter Press News Service's Washington bureau chief Jim Lobe.

  • RICHARD DAVIS

    ALTHOUGH I WAS ONCE A HAWK AS TO IRAQ, I WAS WRONG. LET US GRADUALLY DISENGAGE FROM THE MIDDLE EAST AND COME BACK.
    ALSO, TO BABBLE ON ABOUT IRAN IS RIDICULOUS, WE DONT CONTROL THAT SITUATION, ISRAEL DOES. TO ATTACK IRAN, THEY WILL HAVE TO USE NUKES TO DO ANY DAMAGE. AND WE CANT STOP THEM. THE TAIL ON THE DOG.

  • Fallon is known to be against starting a war with Iran.

    He, however, is replaceable just as General Shinseki was.

    So if Gates, for that matter.

    The real question is how tight is the hold Cheney has on Bush, and also can Cheney get the Israelis to start the war for him.

    Pakistan is a problem which could indeed delay matters, especially if the situation is worse than it seems and the Pakistani nukes become at risk.

    But the facts are that there is no sense to the rhetoric from Israel and the US unless they intend to put pedal to the metal at some point. All the military preparation to attack Iran, all the covert ops being run, all the manipulation of the NIE that’s been held up – all of this is not being done just to “scare Iran into diplomacy.”

    By now, it’s clear that simply hasn’t happened and won’t happen, despite Iranian comments last week and this week that Iran should take the threats seriously. Iran will not give up enrichment or its overall nuclear energy program. It can’t.

    So that means either Bush and Cheney and Israel have to back down and accept it – or they have to go ahead. There really is no third option. Unless of course they’re counting on the next President to do it anyway – which I doubt, since they can’t be sure the fix is in on the Democratic side – unless, of course, the fix really is in on the Democratic side.

  • Mig

    There is still the Israel option:

    Isreal may launch an attack on suspected nuclear sites, and when Iran retaliates, the US has an excuse to attack massively, probably with a favorable public opinion.

  • Poeple talk about nuking this, attacking that as though they were talking about going to do the shoppng. Excuse me, we are talking crimes aganst humanity and war crimes here, even genocide which is what is happening in Iraq. The same crimes that Hitler committed. And the people who propose these things are criminals and racists. Let’s make this perfectly clear. All these thngs go against the laws, both international and US.

  • Sketchely:

    You are right. Unfortunately, too many people treat this whole war thing as if it were a video game…you just blow them up and start again. No one really gets hurt. It’s all play.

  • robbie

    Jim, i seem to recall that the FT stood against the Iraq war before it began,little good that accomplished.

  • John Lowell

    Fallon’s opposition to possible aggression against Iran has been well known for some time. If we are, in fact, spared the horror of war we will have him to thank. One can imagine the entirely different prospect had synchophant, Betrayus, been given overall command in the Middle East. We’ve come about as close to the edge of the abyss as one can. Some day history may accord Fallon statesman-like status.

    John Lowell

    • Tim R.

      Mr. Lowell, the horror of war as you put it, is already upon us. Need I remind you that almost 3,000 Americans were murdered on 9/11/01? More Americans were killed in a single morning by the Islamic Fascists then ever in the history of our country. More Americans were killed at the Battle of Antiem in the Civil War, but they were not civilians, they were soldiers.

      The horror of war is already upon us! The greater horror will be if the Muslims set off a nuclear device in an American city, God forbid, and instead of three thousand dead Americans, we are talking about three MILLION.

      And by the way, correct me if I’m wrong but Senator John Kerry in 2004, at one of the debates, said the greatest threat we are facing as a nation is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Well, was Senator Kerry wrong to say that?

      • John Lowell

        You'll excuse me the observation, of course, that the tried and true salesman's technique of interpreting your prospects comments in terms of your own intended objectives is more than a little out of place in this context, Tim? Text-book execution, no doubt, but utterly meaningless in the circumstances. Try another pigeon.

        John Lowell

      • May I also point out, TR, that over 3,000 Americans, and tens of thousands of Iraqis, have been killed in an unnecessary war started, and continued, by the US. The fact that Iraq had nothing to do with with original 3,000 killed in NY will probably forever escape you…

      • Michael

        Oh, God, we’re still playing the 9/11 card? Really?

        There is no such thing as an Islamic fascist if you have any familiarity with either term and IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. Why is it only a horror when it comes to AN AMERICAN city?? Why is AMERICANISM what differentiates between “pre-emptive” (i.e. a horrible murderous attack on civilians ‘somewhere else’) and terrorism (i.e. a horrible murderous attack that occurs in America). Why is AMERICA (and of course Israel) the ONLY place on the face of the Earth where people are entitled to live in safety?

        PRE-EMPTION = TERRORISM.

        Read it. Learn it. Let it sink in between all of the lunatic apocalyptic hysteria. Violence to enforce a political view = terrorism = pre-emption. Stupid white men in suits seated in governments CAN BE TERRORISTS just as much as Arabs sitting in caves. Some of you people cannot see the forest for the trees. IF YOU WANT TO END WAR, START BY NOT STARTING ALL (YES, ALL) OF THEM.

      • Kyfho Myoba

        Yes, 3000 Americans were murdered, but not by whatever the hell Islamic Fascists are. Look to Mr Cheney for responsibility there. The behavior of the US govt before, during and after the events of 9/11 is not that of an innocent. And no, the “muslims” aren’t going to set off a nuke here, not any time in the next 20 years. And if we can get Ron Paul elected, maybe not ever.

  • Carol Watson

    Worst of all though, the threatened invasion of Iran may not end with Bush/Cheney next year. All of the front-running candidates for the presidency — Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Giuliani, McCain and Romney — have declined to take a military preemptive attack on Iran off the table. They are all willing to do a rerun of Iraq.

    You have to look to Ron Paul to find a presidential candidate who unequivocally states he will not order preemptive attacks on any country, including Iran.

    • justaguy

      Ahem, and Dennis Kucinich.

      • G5

        Kuninich is no longer credible. The UFO’s and trying to force the impeachment measure,which Paul and Democrats even opposed while Reps supoported, should make this clear.

        • justaguy

          Sounds like your a slave to the mainstream media implants then.

          Impeachment is not a credible policy? That’s preposterous guff.

          And, the last time I checked the U in UFO stood for unidentified. Hardly sinister or crazy unless your a really easily led sheep.

  • mason

    Even with all the cheerleading from the U.S. corporate-controlled media, I do not believe Israel will do anything, nor us. Israel can’t even fight Hezbollah next door to them. They don’t have enough planes to hit Iran with. Have they ever done a Nuke test? I bet they don’t even have the bomb. If they did, a test would have been publicized. Besides, reading articles from the Jerusalem Post or other Israel newspapers suggest their staregy is to “Get Someone Else to Do It” or as they say it, the world needs to be involved. Look around your community here at home. Unless you belong to one of those whacked out churches praying to kill us all for God, like Bush does, you can see no one wants another war. We want the current ones shut down. Asking for too much from us is a good way to push us toward revolution/3rd parties here at home. How reactionary/violent will we become as we suffer the DTs while being forced to alter(REDUCE) our consumption patterns for another war. Which segments of our severely fragmented society will suffer most?
    CAVEAT – Fear Hillary. She is surrounded by the same overzealous Israel supporters that Bush has. And remember, it was a Democrat Johnson who escalated Vietnam. It was the Rupublican Nixon who pulled us out. The money floods both sides of the aisle America. Wish the reporters camera and microphone were around when the lobbyists representing the cash were speaking to our elected officials, we’d have a clearer picture then.

  • Tim R.

    So let’s have the Muslim radicals in Iran get nuclear weapons. Oh yes, that will be just grand! Iran has a maniac for a President who denies that 6,000,000 Jews were murdered in a genocide and who has openly called for the destruction of the Israel. His military has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States Senate. The US Dept of State has labeled Iran as a sponsor of terrorism for many years. They fund Hezbolluh and other such radical Islamic groups. Iranian arms are being sent to Iraq to kill American soldiers. Iran is controlled by the Islamic Fascists and you folks want to let them get nuclear weapons? Are you guys suicidal? Do you have a death wish?

    You know, when we were attacked on 9/11/01, as I watched the buildings fall and tried desperatly to get uptown and out of manhattan, I thought the world would now wake up. I figured that surely decent and civiliized people all over the world would realize that threat we are up against. But, alas, you guys still have your heads in the sand! If, heaven forbid, the next “9/11” happens and you wake up one morning to find the Emergenyc Broadcast System operating to tell you about a mushroom cloud over Chicago or some other American city, and instead of 3,000 dead Americans, there are 3,000,000, will you wake up then? Or will you still talk about Islam as this “peaceful” religion and how America’s imperialistic foreign policies are to blame?

    Don’t you understand we are fighting an IDEA? Terrorism is just a tactic. Radical Islam is the idea that we are fighting and I don’t care if it is the Sunni/wahabi brand in Saudi Arabia or the Shia brand in Iran, it is all the fruit of the same poisonous tree. These people are just as dangerous as the Nazis were, even more so because the Nazis wore uniforms,could be easily identified and were not suicidal. A radical Muslim is happy to die in order to set off a nuclear bomb, he gets 72 virgins in paradise! And yet you want to sit back and let these Islamic Fascists get their hands on nuclear weapons? You people don’t want war and you want peace and I admire that about you, I really do. But the problem is the Jihadists don’t care if you’re liberal or conservative, pro war or anti war, they will kill you on sight! And to allow Islamic radicals and the nations that support them to get their hands on nuclear weapons is insane!

    • justaguy

      Tim R. Do yourself and the rest of us a favour and stop repeating these silly lies.

      Hasn’t GIYUS upgraded the Megaphone(TM) talking points lately?

      You Likudniks are pathetic. These falsehoods are stale.

    • R. Nelson

      Tim my man, how can you be so wrong? Let me count the ways. Since even you acknowledge that we had peace with all of Arabia until we took sides in the Mideast, perhaps if we were neutral again even a nuclear-armed Iran (of which we have zero evidence, by the way) wouldn’t be concerned about us. Not that they would pull a nuclear stunt anyway, their destruction being assured.

      But check out Pakistan, which we have aided, coddled, and allowed for years to spread its nuke technology. The place crawls with al-Qaida and is about as stable as thirty-year-old dynamite. How’s this for U.S. hypocrisy and sheer stupidity? Put a smackdown on Bush before you spew the Levin/Hannity/Limbaugh pap about repeating our Nuremberg infractions in Iran.

      We had the same debate when China was about to go nuclear. Here was a country of strange, lunatic murderers who’d done away with 60 million of its own people. Fortunately sanity prevailed and we didn’t end up slaughtering millions of innocents for a hypothesis.

  • Carol Watson

    mason, Johnson did more than just escalate Vietnam. He was the one who sent in the first combat troops, less than two months after he took office.

  • Carol Watson

    To be clear, I am speaking of when Johnson was elected and sworn in as President in Jan 1965, rather than when he assumed office after Kennedy was assassinated.

    • Stanley Laham

      Clarification for carol and mason:

      First Carol: Johnson escalated to full war way before his 1965 mandate. as a matter of fact the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution which started the murderous “Rolling Thunder” bombing of North Vietnam dates of 1964. American soldiers were in full combat since.

      Now Mason: Israel did test 2 nuclear devices in cooperation with the apartheid regime of South Africa. Both Soviet and American satellites detected the blasts in remote areas of the Kalahari. If you remember, the South African nukes were supposedly disassembled before the handing of power to Mandela. The more probable scenario is that they were also transferred to Israel to add to its arsenal. A great account of Israel’s atomic weapon development can be found in Seymour Hersh’s great book “The Samson Option”.

  • jon

    Vice-President Dick Chaney On Iraq
    In a private meeting in September 2002, Chaney tried to convince Dick Armey, the Republican House majority leader, who was skeptical about a war in Iraq. Here is Chaney’s prediction:
    “We have great information. They’re going to welcome us. It’ll be like the American Army going through the streets of Paris. They’re sitting there ready to form a new government. The people will be so happy with their freedoms that we’ll probably back ourselves out of there within a month or two.”
    Nothing needs to be said. Just quote the fool and wait for the reaction.

    I found some great material on this subject at a website called http://www.howtotalkback.com

    • Marycatherine Barton

      Thanks for telling about this great howtotalkback.

  • Frank W

    When I read comments from people like Tim R. and others who agree with the neocon argument I can’t help but sense that the underlying reason for their position is that they are bigots.

    There is no sense to be made that democracy can be forced at the point of a gun, or by bombing them. It is nonsense.

    They lump all muslims into the same category. Tim R, do you realize, that Iran is Shite and OBL was Sunni? They are ancient enemies.

    Even Bush gets confused over the details.

    But you, like Bush, have such hatred and fear that you are willing to make world war a surety (bomb Iran) rather than do what you can to prevent it (diplomacy).

    You guys are either crazy, stupid or bigots.

  • Jack Lambert

    Tim R:

    You keep on watching the corporate media. You’re even smart enough to repeat their talking points. Just one thing: (everybody say it now): Iraq and September 11th are not f***ing related!!!

    Islamofascism…what a joke. We create their anger, legitimately, by our foriegn policy and unbending/illogical support for Israel.

    At one point during the blather, you stated, “Don’t you understand we are fighting an IDEA?”

    Well, last time I checked: Ideas are Bulletproof.

    Good luck with that. Thanks for “defending” my freedom.

  • Tim R.

    Many of you made points that I’d like to respond to, and if we can keep the conversation civilized, and we can actually listen to each other, I think thats a wonderful thing.

    First point: The Israel issue. Jack Lambert says that if we stop supporting Israel, more Muslims would like us and perhaps not want to kill us. He is probably quite right. Most Muslims in the middle east, though not all, hate the fact that a Jewish state exists to begin with. It eats them up to no end that Jews, rather than Muslims, control Jerusalem and sites they consider holy. It all goes back to religion. But even if the muslims will like us better, does that mean we should abandon Israel? A tiny country of five million Jews, surrounded by over 200 million Arabs Muslims who want to eat her alive? You can disagree if you want but I say we should do the right thing, like each and every President since Truman has, and continue to support Israel’s right to exist, even if it makes the Muslims hate us all the more.

    And isn’t it funny, the Muslims use this one issue to justify relentless suicide bombings and terrorist attacks. Even if the Palestinians have legitimate grievances and have suffered, and I will admit to that, does that in any way, shape or form justify the relentless terrorist attacks by the the Islamic extremists?

    2nd Point: Colin is right, Iraq had nothing directly to do with 9/11/01. We probably made a big mistake by diverting our attention there. So how about we pull all our troops out of Iraq and send reinforcements to Afghanistan and we invade Saudi Arabia? Ok? The Saudis have fomented strict Wahabist beliefs for many years, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudi, Bin Laden is a Saudi, so I say we declare war on Saudi Arabia and pull out of Iraq. I’m sure you would go along with that right? OR is your plan to just pull out of Iraq and then do nothing?

    3rd Point: Tell me Frank W, how am I a bigot just because I point out the truth? The truth is that the vast and overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks against our country and western civilization have been committed by Muslims. That is a fact. It is also true that substantial minorities, and in some cases majorities, of Muslims in some countries support suicide bombings and terrorism. (See for example, the Pew Global Attitudes Research Project.)

    4th Point: Michael, pre-emption does not equal terrorism. If someone is breaking into your home to kill you and your family and you pre-emptively kill them, is that a crime? The law calls it self defense. The Muslim radicals have explicitly stated that they want to kill us and will do all in their power to accomplish their objective. However, I do agree with you that we should never target civilians, even if there is a military reason for it. We should not stoop to the filthy level of the terrorists and we should never target innocent people.

    Last point: Look up the word fascism. I think the Muslim radicals today are a form of fascists and the term fits. Also, where did the term “Islamo Fascist” come from? Hint: It was not made up by neo-conservatives and David Horowitz does not have the copyright to it!

    • richard vajs

      The main irritant in the Mid East is Israel. If you must use the term “fascist” please use it for Israel as in “Judeofascist”. Look at the evidence – Gaza, an area of a scant 100 square miles is crammed with 1.5 million Palestinians constantly harrassed by Israel. Israel has destroyed their electrical power generating stations, blocks all roads in and out not permitting any exports out, is threatening to cut off all electricity and food from coming in. It reminds me of the way the Nazis treated the Warsaw ghetto. The “settlers” have stolen most of the West Bank. The Israeli Government turns its eyes away from the cruelty visited upon the West Bank Palestinians. They are harrassed daily, denied employment, free trade or even free movement within what should be their own country. The 5 million Jews in Israel/Palestine actually control 93% of the land, all of the water, all of the airspace, and all of the military. The 4 million Palestinians (in their own land) have virtually nothing except the support of most of the World. The United States will someday be deeply embarrassed by our support for this nasty, apartheid government of Israel. Hopefully, a lot of Americans are feeling disgust for the way that Israel-First Americans are corrupting our Congress and media into going along this Judeofascism.

      • Tim R.

        Richard, let me remind you: The enire West Bank was controlled by the Kingdom of Jordan until Jordan ATTACKED Israel in June 1967. King Hussein decided to team up with Nasser of Eygpt and he wagered that Israel was going to lose. Well, he lost his wager, big time. Israel siezed the West Bank while in the course of defending herself. People never seem to mention that.

        • richard vajs

          Tim R,
          Give it up, Pal. Even the Israelis admit that they struck first in the 1967 Mid East War. They landed a sucker punch. They sucker punched the USS Liberty, also. In any case, how does military victory entitle retention of land? If you remember, Saddam won Kuwait fair and square. Weren’t we supposed to let him keep it? You mentioned Jordan in a not-so-clever move to try to deny the original existence of Palestine and Palestinians. You know as well as everyone else reading these posting that Israel/Palestine was originally the Palestinian Mandate of Great Britain. The land was supposed to be held in trust for the natives (read Palestinians and a colony of Zionist Jews). The Jews through the action of their own terrorist organizations (e.g. Irgun, the Stern Gang) attacked the British, while the British had their hands full with a crumbling empire, to seize more than their fair share of the Mandated area. Israel has permantly alienated every single one of its neighbors. As such, Israel has as much long term potential as the Boer republic of South Africa. I just wish America would cut off all aid to Israel and open its doors to the Jews leaving there. Better to admit that Israel was a flawed concept than have WWIII. Of course, that would screw up Rev Dobson’s plans to exit Earth, headfirst.

    • sam dundas

      Werent the foundind fathers of Israel members of the Stern Gang which was a terroist organisation

  • Mig

    OK Tim, I’ll bite and answer your points in detail. Please note that I’m not an American, but I hope that it does not invalidate the points I’m about to make.

    Point 1: Do you agree that the US should defend it’s national interests first ? I suppose so, because of what you stated earlier. So what is the rational, down-to-earth national interest of the USA in the Middle East ? Allign with Israel, who as you stated has been pissing off every Arab in the region for the last 60 years, or align with the Arabs against Israel, who have the oil, who control the region, and who ultimately can reign in the terrorists ? What is the national interest of the USA in protecting Israel and making ennemies of all arab countries ?

    Point 2: Yes, Saudi Arabia is the main sponsor of wahabism in the world. But do you know what would happen if you invaded it the number one oil producer in the planet ? Oil prices would skyrocket to $200 or more. The impact on the global economy would be tremendous. BTW, the same argument applies to Iran, but neoconservatives, just like they did for Iraq, do not seem to be concerned by what happens the day after the attack. Try to imagine the consequences of your actions. And I’m not even trying to consider the consequences of having Mecca occupied by a Christian army.

    Point 3: Terrorism is the warfare of the weak. Even President Bush has stated that the way to defeat terrorists is political, not military. As long as the political reasons for rebellion and terrorism are met, terrorism will continue. See Point 1 for solving the political problems.

    Point 4: I’ll keep your analogy. What you did in Iraq is the following: you kept calling the police (the UN) every day for several months, claiming the your neighbour (Iraq) was about to invade your home and kill your family. Every time, the police went to search your neighbour’s house and said they had not found any weapon with which they would attack you. Every time, you said the police had not looked well enough or were just corrupt. Eventually, you took the law in your own hands, stormed into your neighbour’s house, killed half of the family, found no weapons at all, and decided to stay and live there for a while. Now, you want to do the same with your other neighbour, Iran.

    Point 5: Islamofascism is a silly epiteth. The problem with your post in general, is that you rely so much on emotions and canned thoughts. Think for yourself. Imagine the consequences of your actions in a rational way.

  • very nice thank you

  • Tim R.

    Richard, I dispute the veracity of your historical references. If I am wrong please show me specific source materials to the contrary.

    1) Gamel Abdel Nasser of Eygpt in 1967 called for the destruction of Israel and said they would drive Israel into the sea, correct? Just prior to the June 1967 war Nasser closed the straits of Tiran, is that not correct? Under international law, a naval blockade is considered an act of war, correct? Nasser also forced all UN peacekeepers out of the Sinai, correct? Nasser also massed his army on Israel’s southern border, correct? Given these facts, your telling me Israel did not have a right to pre-emptively strike? Are you really making that arguement? Or, if you dispute my historical facts give me specfics sources.
    2) King Hussein of Jordan signed an alliance treaty with Eygpt and basically put the Jordanian military under Egyption control, correct? Nasser told Hussein that Egypt was in fact winnning( a lie) during the early hours of the war and told Jordan to attack, correct? Israel wired Jordan and told her to stay out of the conflict, correct? Jordan, at Egypt’s behest began shelling Israel and attacked first, correct?

    I am tired of distortions and outright lies on historical facts. You are entitled to your own opinion on Israel or anything else, but your not entitled to your own facts.

    Your Kuwait analogy, by the way, does not hold water because Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. Israel did not invade anyone, she was attacked FIRST and siezed land in the course of defending herself.

    And by the way, the United States siezed much of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California from Mexico between 1846 and 1848. By most accounts, the United States was the aggressor in that war, do you believe we should give back most of Texas, New Mexico and California to Mexico? If you believe Israel should give back the West Bank (which they siezed while defending themself) surely you contend that the US should give back all land siezed in a war of aggression against Mexico, correct?

    • Peter Klimon

      Your counterpoints are so full of holes it amazing you can make such statements with a straight face. Your explanation of the events leading up to the 1967 war is a classic example of pure neocon propaganda. The plain and simple fact is Isreal preemptively attacked Egypt, Syria and Jordan! This attack was not born of noble self defense but of pure unequivicol aggression against it’s neighbors. It was planned years in advance and executed with the implicit help of the United States in spite of the deplorable attack on the USS Liberty. Given the heavy price we have paid for our support of the Israeli government why on earth successive US administrations continue to help what is an obvious joke of a “Democracy” I will never understand.

      Isreal never was and never will be a legitimate government in the middle east due to the nature of it’s inception by brute force terrorism. The original leaders of that government played on the collective guilt of the US and it’s allies for not doing anything to stop the holocast during World War II and for not allowing Jewish immigrants into the US after the war. The vast majority of Jewish settlers in Isreal are from every area of the world except the middle east! They have no more right to live there than you or I and to continue to foster the impression that they are a poor little country faced with such overwhelming odds is foolish pandering at best.

      This constant bickering as to who attacked who and when is at this point utterly pointless. The fact is the Isrealis are certainly not going to give back what they stole from the Palestinians and the Palestinians are certainly not going to go anywhere else either.

      It is quite obvious to me that the only truly just solution at this point is a two state solution where the Palestinians are allowed to have their own country totally devoid of any meddling from Isreal or the US. The territories should be drawn from the 1967 borders and Isreal should be made to pay reperations to the Palestinians for the lands they stole from Palestinians prior to the 1967 war and the untold damage they have inflicted on Arabs since then. They should be made to give up all weapons of mass destruction and the US should immediately stop any and all future military aid. This would give Isreal all the incentive it needs to learn how to get along with their neighbors on an equal footing which is something it currently has no hope of doing because they know that whatever they do the US will back them if needed. Ever since the 1967 war they have postured with their Arab neighbors with an arrogance that is truly disgusting to watch.

      I have no doubt that if you were put in the same situation as millions of Arabs are currently living in Palastine you would be singing a different tune…

      • Tim R.

        You are making grand statements and pretending they are facts. Telling falsehoods loudly does not make them become true. You said as follows:
        “The plain and simple fact is Isreal preemptively attacked Egypt, Syria and Jordan! This attack was not born of noble self defense but of pure unequivicol aggression against it’s neighbors.”
        Can you please cite any SPECIFIC evidence you have to back up that contention? Newspaper articles, magazine articles written around the time of the event? Television news reports?
        You know,either one of us is very ignorant of the facts or one of us is lying. So I defy you to back up your statements with specific documentary evidence.

  • George Kurian , India

    The basis of the present state of Israel was that the Jews lived in those lands many centuries ago. God, BTW, had presented it to them.He helped them overcome their many enemies because the enemies were idolators and the Jews were God’s chosen people.A less known fact is that the Jews ruled that land for something like 600 years only.Of course, the Israelis claimed, like the Boers before them, that the land was empty when they were arrived. Golda Meir said that there were no Palestinians.

    The people of Palestine were forced to give up their land because the good Christians of America and Europe and Churchill( who believed that the Jews were superior to the Arabs who lived and farmed the land there) decided that they would continue Yahweh’s work.It was the good Christians in these countries who treated Jews as scum , of course. When my Dad lived in America for two years in the late 40s, he found that Jews could not get promoted to being professors because they were Jews!

    By the same measure of previous ownership, America should certainly hand Texas and California back to Mexico. Incidentally, your American forefathers too believed that God gave these bits of Mexico to them except that they used more modern terms like “Manifest Destiny”. The Americans too thought that they were bringing civilization to lesser breeds.

    The story of Israel being a land that has swelled to protect itself is a lie. I have met people from Palestine who still have the keys of the houses they were asked to vacate by Israeli soldiers holding guns. These are the people that the Arabs of the surrounding countries use when they want and hate when they want. Again, by the way, the Arab countries that your government protects and supports do not practice Democracy – Kuwait, Jordan, Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf States.

    Tim,
    The first thing I would like America to do is to accept that what they did in the North American continent was wrong. If they did that perhaps the Mexicans and the world would treat them with more respect. Such an apology may start the climb back to ackowledging that bringing african slaves to America was wrong and needs to be compensated, to acknowledging that establishing a theocratic state in Palestine was wrong (why not a bit of Texas instead?) and that the present evil in the Middle East is the result of American and European policies there. But all this is like asking for the moon.
    George Kurian

  • Tim R.

    George, thank you for your comments. First of all, I will admit that what America did on the North American Continent was terribly wrong in many respects. What we did by promoting the slave trade and enslaving Africans was wrong and inexcusable. Similarly, what we did by oppressing and taking land from the Native Americans was also wrong and inexcusable. These are things that I, as an American, admit and feel remorse for. We should,indeed, deeply regret our past mistakes.

    However, what country has not made mistakes? What country is perfect? I am still a very proud and patriotic American because, despite the things we have done wrong, we have also done a lot of things right. Millions of people from all over the world have yearned, and continue to yearn, to come here. On balance, we have been a force for great good in the world.

    Lastly, your point about Israel is wrong. The Jewish people first entered Israel over 3,300 years ago and at least some Jews have been continuously present in Israel ever since that time. Of course they were displaced by the Romans in 70 AD but some Jews have always remained. And ever since the year 70AD Jews all over the world have prayed for the ability to return to their land. It is in every single Jewish prayer book. Jews have never, for 3,000 years, relinquished their rights to Israel.

    Also, you never addressed my specific points about how Israel got control of the West Bank in June of 1967. She was attacked and was defending herself. You can’t compare that to Mexico. The US basically invaded Mexico in 1846. Also, how come you and other people are not screaming and yelling and putting pressure on the US to give land back to Mexico? Why is Israel held to a higher standard?

    • Mig

      You can justify it all you want, but Israel attacked Egypt without warning or a declaration of war in 1967. Just like in 1948, just like in 1982, and just like in 2006. The only war Israel has not launched itself is the 1973 conflict.

      Concerning the invasion of Mexico in 1846: there was this thing called decolonization after World War II. You might want to look it up. Since 1945, only two countries have invaded, occupied and stolen the land of a neighbour successfully: Israel and China (in Tibet).

    • richard vajs

      Tim R,
      If the Jews are so fond of that particular patch of land, then why in Hell, in this 21st Century, don’t they just BUY it? What inflames the Arabs (and all other reasonable people) is this constant nickle-dime, chintzy theft of the Palestinians’ land by those thuggish “settlers” backed by Israeli military (paid for by U S taxpayers). Also, why does Israel have to act so tribally racist to the Palestinians? Israel has laws prevent Arabs from marrying Jews, buying land from Jews, and serving in the military. Add to that the prevailing social discrimination, the purposeful denial of higher education, the daily harassment of free movement, the spiteful desruction of crops and orchards, and the overall attitude that the Palestinians need not be accorded human rights and you a picture of a disgusting inhumane regime.
      It may be too late to correct some outrages that have happened, but this outrage is ongoing. And none of it benefits America which is paying in money and reputation for it. As an American citizen, I want America to cut all ties to Israel – it is dragging us down morally.

      • Tim R.

        Richard, first of all you dodged all of my questions regarding your assertions that Israel was the aggresor in the 1967 war. I asked you for specific documentary evidence to refute what I wrote in my previous post. Your silence is an indication that you have no such evidence. You continue to think of Israel as the aggresive party in the June 1967 war despite the enormous weight of evidence to the contrary. I guess no matter what the facts you will believe what you want. I suppose you also believe it was Israel that attacked Egypt and Syria on Yom Kippur in 1973?

        Second, as to the plight of the Palestinians, we have some common ground here. I agree with you! Believe it or not, I recognize that they have indeed suffered and Israel has not treated them as well as they should have. The Arab inhabitants of the west bank and gaza should be treated with kindness, compassion, and dignity,as should all human beings, and Israel should do a much better job of helping them build up their infrastructure.

        However, many of the Palestinians are radical Muslims who believe in suicide bombing and teach their children to hate all Jews. It is most difficult to make peace with people who teach their children to hate you and that suicide bombing of innocent people is a noble cause. While in the west bank and east Jerusalem I, personally, have feared for my safety and have had bottles and other objects thrown at me. For what? I did absolutly nothing to them. But that is what they are taught, they are taught to hate Jews.

        But back to the main point: You never responded to the issues I raised concerning the fact that Israel siezed the West Bank and Gaza while in the course of defending herself from Egypt and Syria in 1967. Also, you never addressed my analogy about the US and Mexico. How come you are not screaming and yelling for the United States to give Texas and California back to Mexico but tiny little Israel is held to a higher standard?

  • phil

    Why is it a Holocaust when it happens to Jews but self-defense when they do it to others? And on top of it, having gone through it, they should know better!!

    • Tim R.

      Excuse me Phil, I know you have a lot of seething Jew hatred but try to put that aside for just a second. The holocaust killed over 6 million Jews. The entire Jewish poplulation in the world at that time was 18 million so it wiped out 1/3 of the Jewish people. That would be the equivalent of 100 million Americans. Now are you telling me that Israel has killed 6 million palestinians? Come on, get real!

      • justaguy

        Tim R, how many military actions have occurred on Israeli soil? If Israel was “attacked” in 1967, how was the air force of Egypt destroyed ON THE GROUND? How were theses “massed troops” (actually just 2 divisions) of Egypt surrounded close to the Suez, quite some distance from Gaza.

        You see Tim, the proof is in the events themselves. Many Israeli functionaries of the time have openly admitted to the undeniable fact of Israeli aggression to seize all of Palestine.

        Further, the Ashkenzis running Israel these days have no ethnic or historic link to Palestine whatsoever. These are white Europeans Tim. They’ve killed off and driven out most of the semitic jews and the few that remain are treated as second class citizens.

        The original zionist plan was to invade Madagascar. Palestine came later.

  • Tim R.

    Justaguy, you are just repeating yourself. I defy you or Richard or anyone else on this blog to provide specific source material such as press reports at the time, newspaper articles or television reports to support your position. I will refer you to my above-mentioned comments at 2007-11-15 09:04:08 and I ask you to provide specific sources to refute points 1) and 2)

    You are entitled to you own opinion, not to your own facts.
    It seems like you already have your emotional feelings about this issue and you could not care less about the actual facts. Well, that is not a smart postion.

    Also, I suppose Israel was also at fault in the Yom Kippur War of 1973? I suppose they attacked Egypt and Syria at that time too?

    • justaguy

      This is the usual wingnut desperation play. Clearly, my point doesn’t need supporting evidence and you’ve made false allegations.

      With your version of the conflict, the actual events (and you can look this stuff up) couldn’t have happened. This is called reasoning Timmy. Please answer the points rather than attempt to play silly wingnut games with me.

      The facts are as stated. They are not mine, yours or anybody else’s. They are a part of the historical record. Egypt’s airforce was destroyed on the ground.

      The Yom Kippur war was launched by the arab armies against the zionist occupation forces on Palestinian land siezed in a war of aggression in 1967 AFTER Israel had rebuffed Egyptian peace initiatives, and not on Israel.

      This followed a period of zionist brutality, mass murder, expulsions and extreme repression of the civilian population including against refugees left homeless and expelled during the ethnic cleansing (which included biological and chemical warfare against a civilian population) of 1948.

  • Tim R.

    Yes, Eygpt’s Air Force was destroyed on the ground. BUT, you failed to address any of my points with historical sources of evidence, which means you probably have none! Again, I defy you to answer the following:

    Gamel Abdel Nasser of Eygpt in 1967 called for the destruction of Israel and said they would drive Israel into the sea, correct? Just prior to the June 1967 war Nasser closed the straits of Tiran in violation of international law, is that not correct? Under international law, a naval blockade is considered an act of war, correct? Nasser also forced all UN peacekeepers out of the Sinai, correct? Nasser also massed his army on Israel’s southern border, correct? Given these facts, your telling me Israel did not have a right to pre-emptively strike? Are you really making that arguement? Or, if you dispute my historical facts give me specfics sources.

    • justaguy

      There is no such thing as a “right” to pre-emptively strike Timmy. And Nassar never said that he would drive Israel into the sea. The UN peacekeeper issue is also unclear. Nassar most certainly did NOT mass his army on Israel’s southern border (nor did the Syrians “mass” their army in the Golan Heights).

      As mentioned above Egypt had two divisions in the Sainai much closer to Suez than to Gaza. Israeli forces reportedly had a devil of a time finding them only to then massacre most of them after they’d surrendered.

      This revisionism will only end in tears for you Timmy.

      • Tim R.

        Just a quick analogy.

        Let’s say every single state in the United States teamed up and attacked New Jersey, for example. And this tiny little state of New Jersey is somehow able to repel the assault. Now the other 49 states cry about how New Jersey is oppressing them.

        Israel is a tiny country the size of New Jersey. Surrounded by over 200 millon Arabs who want to destroy her. She has been attacked and under threat of attack ever since May of 1948. Yet I am suppossed to believe that this tiny little country of 5 million Jews,completly surrounded by over 200 million Arabs in much larger and more numerous countries is supposed to be the bad guy?

        You know, Josef Geobels said “If you tell enough lies, enough of the time, to enough people, soon they will believe you.” I guess the Arabs learned well from his playbook.

  • thanks for the GREAT post! Very useful…

  • To be clear, I am speaking of when Johnson was elected and sworn in as President in Jan 1965, rather than when he assumed office after Kennedy was assassinated.
    thanx.

  • Excuse me Phil, I know you have a lot of seething Jew hatred but try to put that aside for just a second. The holocaust killed over 6 million Jews. The entire Jewish poplulation in the world at that time was 18 million so it wiped out 1/3 of the Jewish people. That would be the equivalent of 100 million Americans. Now are you telling me that Israel has killed 6 million palestinians? Come on, get real!

  • This is the usual wingnut desperation play. Clearly, my point doesn’t need supporting evidence and you’ve made false allegations.

    With your version of the conflict, the actual events (and you can look this stuff up) couldn’t have happened. This is called reasoning Timmy. Please answer the points rather than attempt to play silly wingnut games with me.

    The facts are as stated. They are not mine, yours or anybody else’s. They are a part of the historical record. Egypt’s airforce was destroyed on the ground.

    The Yom Kippur war was launched by the arab armies against the zionist occupation forces on Palestinian land siezed in a war of aggression in 1967 AFTER Israel had rebuffed Egyptian peace initiatives, and not on Israel.

    This followed a period of zionist brutality, mass murder, expulsions and extreme repression of the civilian population including against refugees left homeless and expelled during the ethnic cleansing (which included biological and chemical warfare against a civilian population) of 1948

  • very nice thanks