- "In my view, our first president's words apply only
too aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government.
As responsible citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing
this issue, lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information
neglected or distorted in our domesticated media." - former Senior
- "It's not too much of a stretch to say that along
with one of Sharon's top Ministers, Natan Sharansky, Ariel Sharon is, however
incongruous to many, one of the guilding spirits for Bush and his largely
Jewish Zionist Neocon minions."
- As for the above quote which concludes long-time CIA-man
Ray McGovern's article below, we could say something like "Gee CIA
guys, where have you been all these years and why are you only speaking
out like this now after the Neocons have shafted you. It's pretty late
in the day!"
- Having had that important say, we'll quickly escalate
to the present and the future, though always cognizant of the past.
- After considerable delay another face-to-face meeting
between Ariel Sharon and George Bush is on the calendar, one which had
been put off 'for political reasons' for some time, though of course Sharon
and Bush are in constant contact all the time in many ways. Indeed, it's
not too much of a stretch to say that along with one of Sharon's top Ministers,
Natan Sharansky, Ariel Sharon is, however incongruous to many, one of
the guilding spirits for Bush and his largely Jewish Zionist Neocon minions.
- These two crusading warriors, however different
in background, were already friends before they each took in their own
countries; and they at first met rather often face-to-facet, at least 9
- Indeed, well-aware George Jr. was being groomed for
power Ariel Sharon personally gave him a helicopter tour of Jerusalem and
the West Bank years ago when they could only have dreamed of being so much
in control of world affairs so jointly.
- But even so political imagery takes on different imperatives
at different times. It was best for Bush during the worst of the Intifada
years that their policies brought about, during the height of the invasion
years about which they jointly conspired, and then during the election
year now history, that he not appear so intimately connected to Sharon
personally and not so co-conspiratorial with Israel. But of course this
is another case where imagery did not conform to reality.
- They are an odd couple indeed. One a born-again
Jesus-loving American corporate evangelist whom non other than Billy Graham
showed the way and the light. The other a hard-driving secular Zionist
of the Jabotinsky neo-fascist mold who has been a ruthlessly cunning and
killing soldier and strategist his whole long life.
- But now at this critical historical time they are each
using each other for their own purposes as the New World Order Crusade
(from now on we dub it NWOC) proceeds masked with escalating deceptive
mind-numbing terminology of 'freedom' and 'democracy'.
- Soon they and their top lieutenants will gather at the
Texas Ranch to further plan the current and upcoming wars, especially the
disarming (or destruction) through carefully coordinated strategic, political,
economic, and military policies of Israel's enemies in the Middle East,
especially Iran and associated Islamic movements their own policies have
done so much to create and to enrage.
- * Israel, U.S. begin military exercises eyeing Iran*
- * Israeli Defense Forces and anti-aircraft units from
the U.S. army started extensive joint air-defense exercises in Israel on
- Israeli security sources said that the operation is aimed
at preparing the Jewish State to defend itself against possible Iranian
- The month-long operation, codenamed Juniper Cobra, will
test the extent of coordination between U.S. and Israeli forces in several
- It will also examine air defense systems at different
heights, with Israel's Arrow II missile-killer system providing protection
at great heights and the U.S.-made Patriot missiles at lower heights.
- Israeli and U.S. officials described the exercise as
a routine operation.
- "There is absolutely no connection with this exercise
and any event in the region," U.S. Army spokeswoman Connie Summers
told the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes.
- But Israeli security sources said that the operation
is aimed at tackling Iran's most advanced Shahab-3 missiles, which they
say could reach anywhere inside Israel.
- "These war games always take a real enemy into consideration,"
said a source. "Last time, it was Iraq's Scud missiles. This time
around, it's the Iranian Shahabs."
- The Arrow is the only system capable of intercepting
missiles at high levels, a capability considered crucial to prevent devastating
fallout from non-conventional warheads.
- In the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq fired 39 Scuds with conventional
warheads at Israel, killing one person but causing extensive damage in
residential areas mainly on the Mediterranean coast.
- Patriot missiles in Israel were not effective in intercepting
the Scuds at the time but now they are more developed.
- Experts estimate the Arrow's effectiveness at 95 percent
but some say that it might not succeed in facing the Shahab-3s, which are
four times faster than the Scuds.
- Fears of military attacks between Israel and Iran have
risen in recent months.
- Israel and the United States accuse Iran of covertly
developing an atomic weapons program and want to refer its nuclear file
to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
- Both countries didn't rule out using force against Iran,
which insists that its nuclear program is strictly for the peaceful generation
- The Islamic republic also insists that the Shahab would
only be used as a deterrent, especially against Israel's atomic arsenal.
- Iranian officials vowed to retaliate if the U.S. or Israel
attack its nuclear facilities.
- Last week, the chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary
Guards warned that the 190,000 American forces based in neighboring Iraq
and Afghanistan will be targeted if his country is attacked.
- -- Aljazeera - 3/10/2005
- Attacking Iran - I Know It Sounds Crazy, But...
- By Ray McGovern*
- Former Top CIA Analyst
- *Why Would Iran Want Nukes?
- So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons?
Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was
asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a
senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied,
"Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself
and abruptly stopped.
- Recovering quickly and realizing that he could not just
leave the word "Israel" hanging there, Lugar began again: "Well,
Israel is alleged to have a nuclear capability."
- Is alleged to have? Lugar is chair of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee and yet he doesn't know that Israel has, by most estimates,
a major nuclear arsenal, consisting of several hundred nuclear weapons?
(Mainstream newspapers are allergic to dwelling on this topic, but it is
mentioned every now and then, usually buried in obscurity on an inside
- Just imagine how the Iranians and Syrians would react
to Lugar's disingenuousness. Small wonder our highest officials and lawmakers
-- and Lugar, remember, is one of the most decent among them -- are widely
seen abroad as hypocritical. Our media, of course, ignore the hypocrisy.
This is standard operating procedure when the word "Israel" is
spoken in this or other unflattering contexts. And the objections of those
appealing for a more balanced approach are quashed.
- If the truth be told, Iran fears Israel at least as much
as Israel fears the internal security threat posed by the thugs supported
by Tehran. Iran's apprehension is partly fear that Israel (with at least
tacit support from the Bush administration) will send its aircraft to bomb
Iranian nuclear facilities, just as American-built Israeli bombers destroyed
the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. As part of the current war
of nerves, recent statements by the president and vice president can be
read as giving a green light to Israel to do just that; while Israeli Air
Force commander Major General Eliezer Shakedi told reporters on February
21 that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran "in light
of its nuclear activity."
- US-Israel Nexus
- The Iranians also remember how Israel was able to acquire
and keep its nuclear technology. Much of it was stolen from the United
States by spies for Israel. As early as the late-1950s, Washington knew
Israel was building the bomb and could have aborted the project. Instead,
American officials decided to turn a blind eye and let the Israelis go
ahead. Now Israel's nuclear capability is truly formidable. Still, it is
a fact of strategic life that a formidable nuclear arsenal can be deterred
by a far more modest one, if an adversary has the means to deliver it.
(Look at North Korea's success with, at best, a few nuclear weapons and
questionable means of delivery in deterring the "sole remaining superpower
in the world.") And Iran already has missiles with the range to hit
- Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has for some time appeared
eager to enlist Washington's support for an early "pre-emptive"
strike on Iran. Indeed, American defense officials have told reporters
that visiting Israeli officials have been pressing the issue for the past
year and a half. And the Israelis are now claiming publicly that Iran could
have a nuclear weapon within six months -- years earlier than the Defense
Intelligence Agency estimate mentioned above.
- In the past, President Bush has chosen to dismiss unwelcome
intelligence estimates as "guesses" -- especially when they threatened
to complicate decisions to implement the neoconservative agenda. It is
worth noting that several of the leading neocons - Richard Perle, chair
of the Defense Policy Board (2001-03); Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of
Defense for Policy; and David Wurmser, Middle East adviser to Vice President
Dick Cheney -- actually wrote policy papers for the Israeli government
during the 1990s. They have consistently had great difficulty distinguishing
between the strategic interests of Israel and those of the US -- at least
as they imagine them.
- As for President Bush, over the past four years he has
amply demonstrated his preference for the counsel of Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon who, as Gen. Scowcroft said publicly, has the president "wrapped
around his little finger." (As Chairman of the President's Foreign
Intelligence Advisory Board until he was unceremoniously removed at the
turn of the year, Scowcroft was in a position to know.) If Scowcroft is
correct in also saying that the president has been "mesmerized"
by Sharon, it seems possible that the Israelis already have successfully
argued for an attack on Iran.
- When "Regime Change" Meant Overthrow For Oil
- To remember why the United States is no favorite in Tehran,
one needs to go back at least to 1953 when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew
Iran's democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan
to insure access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power
who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in cruelty.
The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can build up over a whole
generation. His regime fell like a house of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah
Khomeini rose up to do some regime change of their own.
- Iranians also remember Washington's strong support for
Saddam Hussein's Iraq after it decided to make war on Iran in 1980. U.S.
support for Iraq (which included crucial intelligence support for the war
and an implicit condoning of Saddam's use of chemical weapons) was perhaps
the crucial factor in staving off an Iranian victory. Imagine then, the
threat Iranians see, should the Bush administration succeed in establishing
up to 14 permanent military bases in neighboring Iraq. Any Iranian can
look at a map of the Middle East (including occupied Iraq) and conclude
that this administration might indeed be willing to pay the necessary price
in blood and treasure to influence what happens to the black gold under
Iranian as well as Iraqi sands. And with four more years to play with,
a lot can be done along those lines. The obvious question is: How to deter
it? Well, once again, Iran can hardly be blind to the fact that a small
nation like North Korea has so far deterred U.S. action by producing, or
at least claiming to have produced, nuclear weapons.
- Nuclear Is the Nub
- The nuclear issue is indeed paramount, and we would do
well to imagine and craft fresh approaches to the nub of the problem. As
a start, I'll bet if you made a survey, only 20% of Americans would answer
"yes" to the question, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?"
That is key, it seems to me, because at their core Americans are still
- On the other hand, I'll bet that 95% of the Iranian population
would answer, "Of course Israel has nuclear weapons; that's why we
Iranians need them" -- which was, of course, the unmentionable calculation
that Senator Lugar almost conceded. "And we also need them,"
many Iranians would probably say, "in order to deter 'the crazies'
in Washington. It seems to be working for the North Koreans, who, after
all, are the other remaining point on President Bush's 'axis of evil.'"
- The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all
nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive
global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding
up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to
bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?
- A Nuclear-Free Middle East
- How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make
that happen? We could if we had moral clarity -- the underpinning necessary
to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for
example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, "Of
course such a pact would include Israel, right?" The issue is then
dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral
clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue,
courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated
by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.
- The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East
is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult
to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience
written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by
perceived threats to the fledgling state's existence, wanted the bomb.
And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with
self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will
have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have
as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and
protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part
of the deal.
- That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable
is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything
would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel's
nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate
fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire
nuclear weapons of their own.
- A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness
to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective,
and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their
- Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear
weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety -- the more
so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and
keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal.
Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture
passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that
the speck be removed from another's.
- Lessons from the Past...Like Mutual Deterrence
- Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some
40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by
any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons? The point
is simply that, while engaging the Iranians bilaterally and searching for
more imaginative nuclear-free proposals, the U.S. might adopt a more patient
interim attitude regarding the striving of other nation states to acquire
nuclear weapons -- bearing in mind that the Bush administration's policies
of "preemption" and "regime change" themselves create
powerful incentives for exactly such striving. As was the case with Iraq
two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans
-- or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability,
there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike
on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it
works both ways.
- It is nonetheless clear that the Israelis' sense of insecurity
-- however exaggerated it may seem to those of us thousands of miles away
-- is not synthetic but real. The Sharon government appears to regard its
nuclear monopoly in the region as the only effective "deterrence insurance"
it can buy. It is determined to prevent its neighbors from acquiring the
kind of capability that could infringe on the freedom it now enjoys to
carry out military and other actions in the area. Government officials
have said that Israel will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon; it would
be folly to dismiss this as bravado. The Israelis have laid down a marker
and mean to follow through -- unless the Bush administration assumes the
attitude that "preemption" is an acceptable course for the United
States but not for Israel. It seems unlikely that the neoconservatives
would take that line. Rather
- "Israel Is Our Ally"
- Or so said our president before the cameras on February
17, 2005. But I didn't think we had a treaty of alliance with Israel; I
don't remember the Senate approving one. Did I miss something?
- Clearly, the longstanding U.S.-Israeli friendship and
the ideals we share dictate continuing support for Israel's defense and
security. It is quite another thing, though, to suggest the existence of
formal treaty obligations that our country does not have. To all intents
and purposes, our policymakers -- from the president on down -- seem to
speak and behave on the assumption that we do have such obligations toward
Israel. A former colleague CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial
Hubris, has put it this way: "The Israelis have succeeded in lacing
tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to Israel and its policies."
- An earlier American warned:
- "A passionate attachment of one nation for another
produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates
the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common
interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays
the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without
adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted,
or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility
to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." -George
Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
- In my view, our first president's words apply only too
aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government. As responsible
citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing this issue,
lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information neglected
or distorted in our domesticated media.
- Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years --
from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush.
During the early 1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's
Daily Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior advisers.
He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In January 2003, he and
four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
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