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Iran and Israel: Only Half the Story

Posted on Feb 7, 2012
White House / Pete Souza

In the brief interview he gave NBC before the Super Bowl, President Obama declared, “I’ve been very clear that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and creating an arms race, a nuclear arms race, in a volatile region.”

Sounds like a very laudable goal, right? Except for the fact that, as I recently blogged, the nuclear arms race in the Middle East is already under way. It began almost 50 years ago when Israel developed the bomb.

According to a 2007 study by the Federation of American Scientists, “Estimates for Israel’s nuclear weapons stockpile range from 70 to 400 warheads. The actual number is probably closer to the lower estimate. Additional weapons could probably be built from inventories of fissile materials.”

In other words, as I previously wrote, “One of the most uncommented on ironies today is that Israel is threatening military action to prevent Iran from continuing the same clandestine route to nuclear weapons that Israel took; just as Israeli planes destroyed nuclear reactors in Syria and Iraq to prevent those countries from following Israel’s lead.”

Indeed, Israel probably has more nuclear weapons today than either India or Pakistan. Speculation is that they could be fired from long-range artillery, dropped as bombs or delivered as warheads from Israeli submarines or via Israel’s Jericho 1 and 2 missiles. There has also been conjecture about nuclear land mines and suitcase bombs.

A parallel irony is the fact that, for the past 50 years, every American president has refused to publicly acknowledge Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Obama kept the tradition intact. Of course, so did NBC News and reporter Matt Lauer who let Obama’s statement go unchallenged. But, hey, that’s what the mainstream media have done for years.

Whatever your views on this crisis, how are we supposed to discuss it—never mind resolve it—with such a political blind spot?

Think about the missing issue yourself as you follow the breathless coverage of the current crisis.

Barry M. Lando spent 25 years as an award-winning investigative producer with “60 Minutes.” He has produced numerous articles, a documentary and a book, “Web of Deceit,” about Iraq. Lando is just finishing a novel, “The Watchman’s File.”

—Posted by Barry Lando.

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By heterochromatic, February 13, 2012 at 2:25 am Link to this comment

ardy====Israel attacked Gaza and killed a lot of unarmed people, but not a
thousand of them. between 500 and 700 were armed men.

and it was a fair amount of force, ardy. horrific force employed in such a small
area doesn’t kill less than 1/10 of 1% of the population.

not that I like what the Israelis did, but horrific force is the firebombing of Dresden
or the Battle of Stalingrad.

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By ardy, February 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Israel attacked Gaza with horrific force killing over a thousand unarmed Palestinian men, women and children during an election cycle in the U.S. There were no consequences to Israel except a few comments from world leaders that “Israel is isolating itself…”. That was a test. Now we are faced with predictions Israel will bomb Iran in November which is another election cycle. Israel is counting on the President, The US Congress, and Presidential contenders (sic) to do nothing about it….just like last time. Israel is good at marketing the institutionalization of the holocaust. Who will stand with Israel in a war with Iran?, think NDAA.

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By Doubtom, February 9, 2012 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Government’s lie routinely and repeatedly, there’s no reason to suppose that
governments aren’t lying when it comes to the existence of nuclear weapons. 

Idiots abound!  There’s always been enough idiots around to spread the
government propaganda; idiots like ‘felicity’ and ‘ted’ are at least brief and simple
in their pronouncements which contain just enough material to establish that
they’re incapable of thinking much less clear thinking.  Propaganda is worthless
without ‘repeaters’  and damn near invincible with them.  Take heart ‘ted’ and
‘felicity’, you serve a useful purpose even if it is a totally destructive one and
serves an agenda which you can’t begin to decipher.  We favor idiots; look at the
current Republican candidates.  Didn’t we twice elect a total idiot (IdiotBush) as

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, February 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Here’s a hint to anyone who may actually believe the propaganda emanating from Empire/Israeli/Sunni alliance, don’t answer that email from the Nigerian Prince.

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By John G, February 8, 2012 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People should stop with the BS, “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map”. Nobody ever said that; it was a deliberate misinterpretation of Ahmadinejad’s speech that has been corrected many times by people who understand the language.

But anybody like Ted or felicity who continues to spout this lie is revealing they are either an idiot or a troll.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

Crash of Cargo Plane in Holland Revealed Existence of Israeli Chemical and Biological Weapons Plant

by Victor Ostrovsky

“On Oct. 4, 1992 a Tel Aviv-bound El Al cargo aircraft crashed into an apartment complex in Bijlmermeer, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Amsterdam a few minutes after takeoff from the nearby Shipol airport. The crash of the Boeing 747-200 killed 39 people on the ground and all four crew members.

The plane’s cargo was the subject of wide speculation for the next six years. The local media suspected something was not right when the crash site was cordoned off and access was limited to non-Dutch search teams in space suit-like protective gear.

At first the rumor was that there were radioactive materials on board, and radioactive traces continued to send Geiger counters off their scales long after the site was cleaned up. The Dutch government accepted the Israeli government’s explanation that radioactive counterweights were present in all early models of the 747s.

After the crash El Al representatives handed over to the Dutch authorities a revised cargo manifest which, sources now admit, included a variety of materials previously not disclosed. For some unexplained reason, the Dutch officials agreed to keep Israel’s secrets.

For years following the crash, however, residents of the surrounding neighborhoods displayed a uniquely high number of unusual ailments. But when they took to the media their inquiries as to whether the plane’s cargo could have contained health hazards, both the residents and the media were brushed off. Even though Dutch authorities knew what was on that plane, they preferred to lie to their own citizens rather than confront Israel.

<i>Finally, on Oct. 1 of this year, the Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad reported it had obtained documents confirming that when the El Al flight crashed six years ago it had on board 190 liters of dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP), a chemical used to produce Sarin, the nerve gas used to deadly effect by members of a religious cult on the Tokyo subway system.

The following day a spokesman for El Al, the Israeli national airline, confirmed that “the documentation states that DMMP was on the plane, that it was packed in accordance with the international regulations governing uplift of this material, and the document was signed by the captain stating that everything was in order prior to departure. All of these documents were turned over to the Dutch authorities after the accident.”</i> It was further learned that the chemical in question was ordered by the Israeli biological institute in Nes Zionna. Finally, the jig was up.

Pre-Emptive Face-Saving


Click on link for the rest of details:

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By Robert, February 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Which country in the Middle-East has undeclared stockpiles of “WMD”?

Which country in the Middle-East has undeclared stockpiles of chemical & biological weapons?

Which country in the Middle-East has NO outside inspectors/inspections of its “WMD” stockpiles/warehouses/facilities?


Our AIPAC/Zionist controlled MSM stations have refused to air this film. LINK-TV had the guts to do it.

You’ll get the chance to see Shimon Peres , as well as, others being interviewed. The zionists & many in the US administration(s) avoid discussion on the topic…etc…

Click on link to watch this great BBC Documentary:

“Israel’s Secret Weapon (Secret Nuclear Weapons)”

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, February 8, 2012 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment


Yes, Deliberate Ambiguity.  The world has clearly seen how Israel’s Deliberate Ambiguity has acted as an effective deterrent to attack.  With that in mind all but one country, Syria, desires to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon status.

Iran will feel less threatened after three things happen. 1. Iran must end its persistent meddling in it’s neighbors affairs - 2. Recognize Israel’s right to exist - 3. If the first two can be accomplished the world may have a chance to see Israel disarm itself of its nuclear weapons if, in fact, Israel currently holds those capabilities.

If Iran succeeds, even in “break-out” nuclear weapon capabilities, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan will feel compelled to follow very quickly.  There will then be a near zero chance of Israel disarming.  And all of this will be taking place in the most volatile region on the planet.  I can scarcely imagine a more frightening future.

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By Oceanna, February 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment

I found the statement on the US being in lockstep with Israel disconcerting, too. 
If that is the case and they’re working very closely together, then the Obama
admin is actually not discouraging Israel from making military threats and
Netanyahu has received assurances of backup for an attack. 

As confusing and conflicting the admin has been on the Israeli/Iranian issue,
the lockstep announcement may be one of the few clear and honest messages
the public is receiving.  Either Iran has NO nuclear weapon and plans to make
one as Panetta asserted earlier, or they do as Israel insists.  Either signatories
like Iran to the NPT and regular inspections by the IAEA serve as effective
deterrents or they don’t.  Either Obama wants a diplomatic resolution as he
claims, or there are plans for military aggression against the country. 

Options are choices whether they’re all on the table as with Bush on Iraq 8 years ago, or
none are off of it like in Obama’s present rhetoric on Iran.  Nor are they (choices) in any
way “existential.”  There’s nothing non-concrete or immediate with the executive choice to embargo grain and corn to Iran, anymore than an empty stomach is an existential problem.  Nor is there anything remotely theoretical about the massive naval and combat-ready troop positioning near Iran. It also looks like both administrations will give international treaties and inspections little to no respect.  So much time has passed, but with very little change.

I’m anticipating a reaction from a provocateur going by the name of “hetero”
even though I’ve told him in no uncertain terms to leave me alone and he’s on
my “invisible list,” an option TD offers to commenters and readers which
apparently has not been working.  I’d would like to be pleasantly surprised

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By felicity, February 8, 2012 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

IMax - The ‘difficulty’ in determining the nuclear
weapon count in Israel is because Israel’s nuclear
policy, stated by her, is a Policy of Deliberate
Ambiguity.  It passed UN muster as a legitimate policy. 
Perhaps Iran could adopt the same policy?  Be
interesting to see Israel’s reaction should Iran do so.

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By IMax, February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

When discussing these matters it seems worth keeping in mind that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and the UAE have begged the United States to act to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.  It’s also worth remembering that over 200 nations on the planet do not want to see Iran become a nuclear weapon state.  This is a global issue.

To prevent miscalculation, to prevent a full-on nuclear arms race in the Middle East, to prevent the passing of nuclear capabilities to Hezbollah or Hamas Iran must be prevented from achieving nuclear break-out capabilities.

Iran will feel less threatened after three things happen. 1. Iran must end its persistent meddling in it’s neighbors affairs - 2. Recognize Israel’s right to exist - 3. Disarm Israel of its nuclear weapons if, in fact, Israel currently holds those capabilities.


Here’s an interesting rub.  Those who insist Israel currently holds nuclear weapons do so armed with even less information than the world currently possesses on Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities.

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By felicity, February 8, 2012 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Iran’s president may be a civil engineer, but has
anyone checked if he’s also suicidal? 

Iran’s president said that he’s going to wipe Israel
off the face of the earth.  Do we believe him?  Well,
we went to war (Iraq) based on the ‘testimony’ of a guy
called Curve Ball by intelligence agents who had
interviewed him.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, February 8, 2012 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

US Iran Policy in ‘Lockstep’ with Israel?
President Obama Risks Becoming a Major-League War Criminal

By Dave Lindorff

“February 07, 2012 “This Can’t Be Happening. ”—It’s a relief to know that President Obama’s “preferred” solution to dealing with disagreements with Iran is diplomacy, as he said yesterday in an interview on NBC TV, but at the same time, it’s profoundly disturbing that he is simultaneously saying that, as an AP report on the interview put it: he would “not take options off the table to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons.”

Equally disturbing are the president’s mutually contradictory statements that, on the one hand, he feels that “Any kind of additional military activity inside the Gulf is disruptive and has a big effect on us,” and that on the other, he will “make sure that we work in lockstep” with Israel in dealing with Iran and its nuclear program.

Lockstep? With Israel?

Didn’t the US just send Gen.Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Israel to tell that country’s leaders that the US does not want Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. And wasn’t Israel also told that the US would not support it in any attack on Iran, at least if the US was not warned well in advance? Israel, of course, is continuing to threaten to attack Iran—using the very planes and bombs that the US provides it with. So how exactly is opposing an attack by Israel and having Israel continuously threatening to attack in any way to be construed as working in “lockstep”?

And anyhow, what kind of a country moves in “lockstep” with any other country, except for a puppet regime?

The US does not have a treaty with Israel requiring the US to go to war when Israel goes to war. It doesn’t even have a treaty to go to Israel’s defense if Israel is attacked. There is a treaty like that with Taiwan, but not with Israel. US interests are clearly not congruent with Israeli interests, especially where Iran is concerned (just ask any veteran of the USS Liberty about how congruent US and Israeli policy really is).

There were other problems with the president’s interview on television yesterday too. The biggest one is that his own military chief, Leon Panetta, has stated that the US does not have evidence that the Iranians are building a bomb.”

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By Big B, February 8, 2012 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

When the USSR got the bomb, it was going to be the end of the world. Then China followed, world was going down the tubes again. India can’t figure out birth control, but they have the bomb. And when those evil muslims got the bomb in Pakistan, well hell, we were all about to go up in a ball of flames. But we didn’t did we?

Even the neo-cons that run Israel realize that if they drop just one tactical nuke that whole house of cards would come down. Or do they? When someone starts to believe in their own invincibility(the USA) that’s usually when house collapses. And if this house goes down, it may take evertbody with it.

Won’t have to worry about global warming anymore though.

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By thecrow, February 8, 2012 at 7:09 am Link to this comment

And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.

- Judges 16:28

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By Steve E, February 8, 2012 at 3:06 am Link to this comment

And Hillary mentioned something about “obliterating” Iran way back when.

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By gerard, February 7, 2012 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Once upon a time—the United States invented and produced nuclear weapons and dropped not one, but two totally disastrous bombs on Japan. Naturally, Russia and other nations wanted some bombs, too, because of their power to threaten. Now the entire world is captive to nuclear destruction. 
  The United States is primarily responsible, being the first. The United States should have known better, could have, was warned,yet went ahead anyhow.
Therefore, the United States has a moral obligation to take leadership (for as long as it takes) to get rid of its nukes and to convince all other possessors to do the same.
  Once the initiative is taken, probably the people of the world will demand the conclusion of total elimination on all sides, and total fluture renunciation.
  It can’t be done with present attitudes of rivalry and confrontation.  Only total cooperation will succeed.
  Any and every individual who has the least bit of power and conviction should be engaged in this effort ceaselessly until completion if they care about the future of the human race.
  Should, should.  Could, could. ... Will .....? The primary obligation is in the hands of the United States of America. That will never change, no matter what excuses are used.

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By Ted, February 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I notice there is no mention in Lando’s article of
Iran’s threat to wipe the state of Israel off the map.

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