Should the Israelis Arrest Benny Morris?

As Justin Raimondo points out in his article this morning, “A Brazen Evil,” noted Israeli scholar Benny Morris wrote an op/ed in Friday’s New York Times, “Using Bombs to Stave Off War,” in which he advocated that the U.S. government or the Israeli government attack Iran. In his op/ed, Morris wrote, “if the attack fails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war — either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or a nuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb.”

Why is this quote so striking? Because Morris implicitly admits that the Israeli government has nuclear weapons, even though that government has never so admitted. In 1986, Mordecai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear technician, revealed that fact and for his troubles, was kidnapped by the Israeli government, tried for treason in secret, and forced to spend 18 years in prison, 11 of them in solitary confinement. His treason? Revealing Israel’s nuclear weapons program. It’s true that he violated a non-disclosure agreement, but that’s not treason. Presumably the treason is that he revealed Israel’s nuclear weapons program, with the non-disclosure agreement being irrelevant.

Guess what? In last Friday’s New York Times, Benny Morris revealed Israel’s nuclear weapons program. So shouldn’t he be charged with treason too?

Preparing the Battlefield: Scott Horton Interviews Seymour Hersh

An Antiwar Radio exclusive!

[audio:http://dissentradio.com/radio/08_06_30_hersh.mp3]

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, author of the book Chain of Command and many important articles about the Bush administration’s Iran policy, discusses his new one for The New Yorker magazine, “Preparing the Battlefield,” Secretary Gates’s warning about long term consequences of an air attack, the turning over of much of America’s covert action under the control of the Joint Special Operations Command to avoid oversight, the backing of Sunni radicals in Iran, Baluchistan, Kurdistan etc. in order to try to provoke the Iranian government into escalating as an excuse for war.

MP3 here. (6:18)

Iran War Resolution May Be Passed Next Week

Introduced less than a month ago, Resolution 362, also known as the Iran War Resolution, could be passed by the House as early as next week.

The bill is the chief legislative priority of AIPAC. On its Web site, AIPAC endorses the resolutions as a way to ”Stop Iran’s Nuclear Program” and tells readers to lobby Congress to pass the bill. In the Senate, a sister resolution, Resolution 580, has gained co-sponsors with similar speed. The Senate measure was introduced by Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh on June 2. It has since gained 19 co-sponsors.

The bill’s key section “demands that the president initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program.”

“Imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran” can be read to mean that the president should initiate a naval blockade of Iran. A unilateral naval blockade without UN sanction is an act of war.

Resolution 362 has already gained 170 co-sponsors, or nearly 40 percent of the House. It has been referred to the Foreign Affairs Committee, which has 49 members, 24 of whom, including the ranking Republican, are co-sponsors. The Iran Nuclear Watch Web site writes, “According to the House leadership, this resolution is going to ‘pass like a hot knife through butter’ before the end of June on what is called suspension – meaning no amendments can be introduced during the 20-minute maximum debate. It also means it is assumed the bill will pass by a 2/3 majority and is non-controversial.”

Our national legislators deem it non-controversial to recommend to a president known for his recklessness and bad judgment that he consider engaging in an act of war against Iran. Those of you who consider this issue controversial can go to the Just Foreign Policy Web site and tell your representative to oppose this resolution.

Thanks to Geoffrey V. Gray for this submission.

Anti-Terrorist Raids

Any given day in Iraq includes a distressingly long list of casualties, but what about the stories behind those incidents? Here’s one from today which I thought warranted some expounding on:

Under the headline Terrorist hideout destroyed, a military press release touts the raid of a suspected “terrorist hideout”, the killing of a “terrorist” and the capture of 15 men.

How do we know it’s a terrorist hideout? Surveillance determined that the building contained “stockpiled food”, 12 bedrolls, and perhaps most damning of all, “men’s clothing”. How do we know the slain man was a terrorist? Well he was “near the target building” and made an unspecified sudden movement before being killed. Oh, and those 15 men who were captured? Well 3 of them were actually “wanted” for some crime or another. That would imply the other 12 were “unwanted”, wouldn’t it?

Here’s something conspicuously absent: weapons. Nowhere in the report is it alleged that this vitally important terrorist hideout, the destruction of which would, according to the story, “further degrade al-Qaeda’s terror network”, contained any IEDs, or explosive components, or the dreaded Iranian EFPs. Not one of these hardened al-Qaeda members was reported to be armed, and the story contains not one mention of a weapons cache, or even a single round of ammunition being present in the house: just food, and clothing.

And that “threatening” man somewhere near the building, the one so ably gunned down by Coalition forces? There is nothing in the story to suggest that he had a gun, or a suicide belt, or even a really pointy-looking stick. Just a guy, standing somewhere in Mosul, who made a sudden movement after being accosted by an unknown number of foreign troops. Now and forever though, he is a “killed terrorist”.

Says MNF Spokesman Major Hall “Our pursuit of these terrorists will continue to disrupt their ability to hinder the security, stability, and growth that Iraqi citizens are entitled to” Yet one must wonder how 15 unarmed guys in a building containing food and clothing posed such a dire threat to the citizenry of Iraq.

War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think

Former CIA officer and Antiwar.com columnist Philip Giraldi has a new scoop at the American Conservative blog.

There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action. …

Read the rest.