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Posted on Jul 7, 2009
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Iraqi national police stand guard at a checkpoint in central Baghdad two days before U.S. troops withdraw from the city, as a sandstorm blankets Iraq’s capital.

By Scott Ritter

(Page 2)

Many in the West continue to delude themselves into seeing progress—and therefore “victory”—when in fact the situation in Iraq has only regressed. It is in vogue for Western journalists, pundits and government officials to compare and contrast conditions in Baghdad today with those that existed in 2007, when the U.S. began its “surge” of military forces into the urban areas of Iraq in an effort to quell violence that had reached epidemic proportions. There is no debate over the fact that the level of violence in Baghdad and elsewhere throughout Iraq has dropped dramatically since the surge was instituted. But the cost paid by Iraqi society, shredded by ethnic cleansing and segregation, raises the question of whether or not the alleged “cure” is any better than the “disease” it purports to address. One thing is certain: Iraq remains a very sick patient. The U.S., in designing a surge that addressed only the most visible symptoms of the problems which ravage Iraq in the post-Saddam era, has created a false sense of accomplishment when in fact the underlying conditions that caused the violence prior to the surge still exist. It’s like a cancer temporarily stunned into remission by a drug that weakened the body and now is being withdrawn without actually curing anything. The Shiite-Sunni schism has only worsened, and there is increasing risk that the Arab-Kurd disagreement over oil rights will escalate from a war of words into something more violent.

The absolute failure of the surge is even more evident when one considers conditions inside Iraq before the U.S. invasion in 2003. There is simply no serious benchmark by which one can make a viable argument for improvement. Even the Bush administration stopped the pretense that we had brought democracy to the country. Stability is now the term of choice, and when one compares the situation in Iraq circa February 2003 to today, the facts scream out loud and clear that Iraq is far more unstable in its present condition than when governed by Saddam Hussein.

Take oil, the commodity that was going to pay for the invasion and guarantee the political and economic future of Iraq. Not only is the Iraqi government divided on how to move forward with a new legal framework designed to encourage foreign investment in Iraq’s oil sector, but the billions of dollars already spent on Iraq’s oil industry since the U.S. invasion have actually produced less oil per day than when Saddam was in power—and one must keep in mind that Saddam’s Iraq suffered under crushing economic sanctions.

The number of Iraqi refugees has more than quadrupled since the invasion. Some 500,000 Iraqis had fled the abuses of the Saddam regime, while today more than 2 million Iraqis have been compelled to leave the country as a direct result of the U.S.-led invasion and subsequent occupation. Another 2 million have been forced from their homes and are internally displaced.

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Unemployment is rampant. Iraq’s health care system is in tatters, as is its education system. But apparently these figures are meaningless in the face of the one major statistic the Twitter-crazed Western media seems to have fallen in love with: There are nearly 18 million cell phones in use in Iraq today, up from a mere 80,000 when Saddam Hussein governed. The fact that most of these phones operate with intermittent or nonexistent service is irrelevant. Iraq has cell phone coverage. God Bless America.

It is wishful thinking to believe that the Iraqi military and paramilitary forces under the government of Prime Minister al-Maliki will be able to hold the ruins of Iraqi society together without major U.S. intervention. The sad reality is not only that Baghdad is a far more militarized city today than at any time under Saddam Hussein, but the United States has assumed the role of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard. American soldiers are now an iron fist lurking on the edges of the city, waiting to be called in to crush any sign of rebellion or insurrection. That our role has so readily transformed from liberator to occupier should come as a surprise to no one.

In 1999 I warned Americans that a war between Iraq and the United States would appear on the surface to be deceptively easy. I predicted that a force of no more than 250,000 troops (we actually did it with less—about 200,000 troops deployed either in Iraq or in theater) would require less than a month (the U.S.-led attack began on March 19, and Baghdad was occupied on April 9), and would result in relatively few casualties (139 American military personnel died in action from March 20 through May 1, 2003). The easy part, I noted, would be getting rid of Saddam Hussein. The hard part would be securing victory in the aftermath of Saddam’s demise. And this task, I warned, would be made even harder, indeed virtually impossible, by the fact that the U.S.-led invasion would lack any justification under international law, especially if a case for war were to be cobbled together using U.N. weapons inspections and Iraqi WMD as an excuse. The U.S. did invade, and the rest is history.


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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Marshall

“you’re so eager to start name calling that you’re not paying attention to what i’m saying.”

I have followed your twisted logic in two forums now, though you deny having been at ‘CommonDreams’ you certainly were. You slip a lie carefully between two truths far to often to be anything but a right wing propagandist. Sorry if that offends you , but you offend the truth so often and that is a far worse crime than my silly insults.

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By KDelphi, July 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Marshall—Pure speculation that “Saddam’s Iraq” would be “genetically worse” (we should know, his being US fav son) and, it is neither here nor there to the issue of wherther invading Iraq drastically increased Iran’s power in the ME.

By that logic one could say that everyone on the planet wanted nukes because the uS has nukes, which is probably true, but not an excuse for the west to keep building more..

Saddam was “bad”, but , certainly not
“the worst”.

Anyone who still think Iraq was not a mistake is simply mistaken.

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By Marshall, July 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

By KDelphi, July 10 at 4:38 pm #

<<if Iraq was still ruled by “Saddam in power with nukes”, Iran would be no threat at all.>>

An assumption I would disagree with.  First, Iraq with nukes might well have been even worse than an Iran with nukes; imagine Saddam’s bad behavior/genocidal/chemical habits backed by the power of fission.  Second, neighboring Iran would consider it an imperative to obtain nukes to counter Iraq’s.  Bad all around.

By ardee, July 10 at 3:51 pm #

<<our own intelligence sources repeatedly note that Iran had ended its nuclear program in 2003.>>

i’m aware of that ardee.  my point was that Iran denies it ever had one despite our intel. claiming it had one until ‘03.  This means it’s lying according to our intelligence.  you’re so eager to start name calling that you’re not paying attention to what i’m saying.

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By Sepharad, July 10, 2009 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Marshall, I agree that the question remains why Iran wants nuclear weapons so badly. Obviously it’s not because they are afraid Israel will nuke them first. Even the most rabid anti-Zionist has to admit that if Israel has had nuclear capability for many many years, it has never once threatened to use them and certainly has NOT used them, despite provocations and despite the relentless hate-Israel-hate-Jews rhetoric flowing from many of the regional powers, who are regularly encouraged by American-Euro left-leaning fascists.     

Also, contrary to what some of the subsequent comments by anti-Israel truthdiggers imply, the Ahmadinejad adminstration’s parading missiles through the streets shouting “Death to Israel” are enough to convince me that once he had a weapon to use, Ahmadinejad would use it. IF his masters would let him.

I still think there is reasonable hope that more rational Iranians will dump Ayatollah Khameini and his stooge Ahmadinejad. Their successors may not approve of Israel, but they also would not be eager to launch a nuclear weapon at Israel, or give Hezbollah or Hamas tactical nuclear weapons, because they know Israel can and would launch nuclear strikes at Iran in reprisal. The Moussavis and their ilk are too rational to see their nuclear capacity as anything but a deterrent to Israel. Israel obviously doesn’t need being deterred.

All that said, Israel should immediately improve their early warning systems and have anti-missile defense systems deployed so that if and when Iran decides to launch a nuclear weapon for Allah, it will be shot down before it leaves Iranian skies.

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By KDelphi, July 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Marshall_Yes and if Iraq was still ruled by “Saddam in power with nukes”, Iran would be no threat at all.
The US and Israel made Iran what it is today. (and to deny that Israel has nukes is like Ahdaminehad denying that Iran has “gays”! ridiculous)

Israel lied about it’s purpose for buying nukes. Maybe that is why they suspect everyone else.

That has always been a problem with the West—we never learn history and ignore the law of unintended consequencs. (I include Israel herre)

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Do not be fooled , folks.

“Iran still denies it ever had a nuke program, which means its lying according to our intel.  This fact raises major suspicion.”

Au contraire my agendized neocon, our own intelligence sources repeatedly note that Iran had ended its nuclear program in 2003.

Nefesh
You state that Israel has nuclear weapons. You should say it would be a reasonable assumption that Israel has nuclear weapons, but you do not have proof. Israel is undeclared nuclear power, at most, as far as we know, and cannot be reliably verified to have even tested.

Not according to Mordecai Vanunu, as noted already in a previous and apparently ignored response….

Do you think Israel’s perpetual aggressor neighbors would be emboldened by such a huge regession of deterrence or more likely to finally accept Israel’s permanent presence as the sovereign Jewish nation it actually is?

I think it reasonable to believe that these “perpetually aggressive” neighbors might be less inclined to such hostility if Israel refrained from its perpetual slaugher of helpless Palestinians. Further I think the attitude towards the Israeli State might be different if Israel actually reached out and helped those it is responsible for exiling and keeping stateless.

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By nefesh, July 10, 2009 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, July 10 at 10:48 am #

Actually since Israel has nuclear weapons it is a destabilizing influence on the region and a nuclear Iran would give it that balance. Also if Israel became nuclear free would also perform the same function. The fear would be gone and the motivation with it.

You state that Israel has nuclear weapons. You should say it would be a reasonable assumption that Israel has nuclear weapons, but you do not have proof. Israel is undeclared nuclear power, at most, as far as we know, and cannot be reliably verified to have even tested.

Assume Israel did have nuclear weapons capability, and then unilaterally disarmed. Aside from the fact that it would be an unprecedented act for any nation to make in the 64 years since the first practical application of nuclear weapons technology (and therefore all the more unlikely), it is foolish at best to think this would create a more stable regional situation. Do you think Israel’s perpetual aggressor neighbors would be emboldened by such a huge regession of deterrence or more likely to finally accept Israel’s permanent presence as the sovereign Jewish nation it actually is? The former is what would occur, and not the latter. History has shown us, time after time, that when Israel (or any embattled nation) faces existential threats, perceived weakness always increases the likelihood of war. It is naive in the extremem to believe otherwise.

Finally, Iran’s unelected Islamist regime is not seeking nuclear weapons because it fears Israel - there is nothing to fear from Israel. Israel is almost a thousand miles away, has never had any historical reason to be an enemy of Iran, has a population 1/10th the size of Iran and a land mass even smaller than that, has never attacked Iran, and has never in history even threatened to do so. On the other hand, Iran has been routinely threatening Israel with annihilation - witness the parades with long-range nuclear-capable missiles festooned with “Death To Israel” and “Wipe Israel Off The Map” banners, in addition to the incessant torrent of antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric from the regime and its violent terror proxies - Hamas and Hezbollah.  Iran does seek nuclear weapons, for certain in order to become a dominant power in the region - essentially a hegemon. What is debatable, but seems likely to me, is that they are also driven by a radical apocalyptic vision of Islamic supremacy, and may actually want to vaporize millions of Jews. Their huge material and financial support of Hamas and Hezbollah certainly makes that argument plausible. In either case, a nuclear-armed Iran is bad for everyone in the region.

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By Marshall, July 10, 2009 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, July 10 at 10:48 am #

<<Unlike Israel, Iran is following a treaty they signed and have had regular inspections.>>

Except for the very important Additional Protocol, which they refuse to implement.

<<There has been no evidence found since 2003 (when the Supreme Ayatolla decreed that the Koran said nuke power is okay but not nuke weapons)>>

Iran still denies it ever had a nuke program, which means its lying according to our intel.  This fact raises major suspicion.

The significance of the Ayatolla’s supposed fatwa against nukes is exaggerated.  First, it was allegedly issued in 2005, not 2003.  Second, it has only been alluded to - never publicly released.  Thirdly, even if it does exist, fatwas can be reversed.  And finally, previous statements by Iranian clerics support the use of nukes; as in ‘03 when Rafsanjani called for the use of nukes by muslim states against Israel.

<<I can see if they might try to create them for protection from an unprovoked Israeli attack.>>

Iran is not afraid of an unprovoked Israeli attack, but the opposite is certainly true.

<<since Israel has nuclear weapons it is a destabilizing influence on the region and a nuclear Iran would give it that balance.>>

I disagree.  It would increase the likelyhood of their use (there is virtually none now) and encourage other states afraid of Iran, like SA, Egypt, Lebanon, even Iraq to develop nukes of their own.  Is this the “balance” you support?

<<Also if Israel became nuclear free would also perform the same function.>>

I’m all for it, but it’s unlikely; which is certainly no reason to support Iranian nukes.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 10, 2009 at 7:48 am Link to this comment

“And I think that using comparisons to Iraq to dismiss the Iran threat is simplistic and short sighted; each should be judged on its own merits.  Had we applied that logic to Iraq in 1991, Saddam might now be in power with nukes.”Marshall

Unlike Israel, Iran is following a treaty they signed and have had regular inspections. The only comparisons I was making concerning Iraq and Iran was in how the propaganda storm was being brewed against them by the USA. There has been no evidence found since 2003 (when the Supreme Ayatolla decreed that the Koran said nuke power is okay but not nuke weapons) and that is a fact. There are plenty of unknowns so I can see if they might try to create them for protection from an unprovoked Israeli attack. Which can still happen now that VP Biden said it was okay to.

Iraq was our ally till it was made our enemy, by us, and Saddam didn’t have to lift a finger or change his spots for it to happen. He further made the mistake of not understanding that when the USA says, “we have no interest in what is going on,” it means the opposite.

Actually since Israel has nuclear weapons it is a destabilizing influence on the region and a nuclear Iran would give it that balance. Also if Israel became nuclear free would also perform the same function. The fear would be gone and the motivation with it.

PS Iraq only had the weapons and technology he did because of generous USA help and European aid. The UN inspectors trashed the last of his nuclear technology in 1998. There was no doubt. But then the whole war against Iraq starting in 1990 was a lie because the PTB here decided they wanted a different dictator in charge of their “ally” anyone but Saddam. No other real reason except as a base of operations to influence the Middle East and its supply of oil and strategic location.

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By Robert, July 10, 2009 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

Israel’s Secret Weapon (Secret Nuclear Weapons

“Mordechai Vanunu, Israel’s nuclear whistleblower, was jailed in 1986 for publishing photographs of Israel’s nuclear bomb factory at Dimona. Olenka Frenkiel reveals the extent of Israel’s nuclear gagging. The Sunday Times Revelations hit the press in October 1986. Vanunu has spent 17 years in jail, a11 of which were in a minute solitary confinement cell - and he has just had his appeal for parole denied. He will stay in jail until 2004, when his term is expected to end. Sunday Times journalist Peter Hounam heard rumours in 1986 that an Israeli whistleblower was offering proof of what the world had long suspected. His revelations confirmed that Israel was building advanced nuclear weapons. After the Sunday Times published this scoop, Vanunu was kidnapped in London by Mossad agents and illegally smuggled back to Israel. He was tried in secret and convicted of treason and spying.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This BBC Documentary will NOT be seen on CNN, FOX News & the rest of the zionist/AIPAC controlled media. It was aired on LINK TV.

Watch this BBC video and see the deceptiveness of Shimon Peres, Douglas Feith & others.

Watch the details about the crash of an Israeli military transport plane in the Netherlands and what it was carrying and why we did NOT hear the details?

Click on link below for your answers:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-234685330662058240&q=israel+secret+weapon&total=107&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=1

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By rancone, July 10, 2009 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

OK I’m out.
We have to fear Iran because of fear.
or is it we have to fear the feared of our ally Israel.
Whatever, fear as a driver of foreign policy is not anything I can reason with or about. If fear is a driver fear is a driver - that cannot be changed only recognized as an underlying motivator - and one of the very strongest motivators. My focus is to point out to others that this choice of building an international community is not the only choice. There are other ways where fear is not the prime motivator.
Thanks all.

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By nefesh, July 10, 2009 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

By Ed Harges, July 10 at 3:14 am #

The answer is: no, of course not. And that is because this is not about protecting Israel from a future unprovoked nuclear attack. It’s about preserving and enhancing Israel’s nuclear and military dominance. This is about preserving Israel’s ability to continue bullying everybody else in the region with total impunity.

And that, of course, doesn’t explains why the Arabs, with all their trillions of dollars, have never felt threatened enough by the Jewish neighborhood bully to develop or buy their own nukes.

Quaint how the Islamist regime in Tehran routinely parades those Shihab-III IRBMs emblazoned with “Death To Israel” and “Israel Must Be Wiped Off The Map” all over them, isn’t it? Those wacky cut-up mullahs - never a dull moment. Nothing to look at here, folks, move along, move along….....

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/mrl-iran.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/sep/23/iran

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By ardee, July 10, 2009 at 2:48 am Link to this comment

Innuendo, half truths, distortions and outright lies comprise the foreign policy Marshall puts forward. Do not be fooled people, this man is a propagandist of the first water.

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By Marshall, July 10, 2009 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

By rancone, July 9 at 11:36 pm #

<<Direct threat to whom?  ...There is no Iranian army to mass on the border.>>

Unless you count Iran’s proxy armies, Hamas and Hezbollah whom Iran directly supports and uses.  Which I do.

Of course if Iran wanted to attack Israel with nukes, it would not use an army but would likely prefer missile delivery, which it is developing (based on NK designs it procured). 

<<stepping back to what is real - not speculative.>>

Well it’s all speculative to some extent.  Formulating policy is about balancing our intelligence, Iran’s public statements, regional geo-politics, etc… to get a picture of Iran’s intentions and the potential outcomes of those intentions.

And as I said, without greater Iranian transparency, we’re left to judge Iran’s intentions on the information we have.

By Ed Harges, July 10 at 3:14 am #

<<if these leaders were sure that a nuclear Iran would never launch a first strike at Israel…would these Israelis be any less determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability?  The answer is: no>>

Correct, but not for the reasons you state.  It’s primarily because the ensuing regional arms race would turn a region often characterized as a “powder keg” into a “fissile uranium keg”.  The goal is to keep that region as stable as possible and there is no status quo after a nuclearized Iran.

By Night-Gaunt, July 9 at 11:18 pm #

<<The whole point Marshall is that they don’t. It is the same marketing arm of the USA and Israel promoting it to a fever pitch, and following the same pattern as what happened to another western Arab country namely Iraq.>>

Whether they do or don’t depends on who you choose to believe, and no one has proof either way.  So personally I also try and consider Iran’s behavior, its rhetoric, the groups it’s involved with, the way it treats its populace, and the circumstantial evidence. 

And I think that using comparisons to Iraq to dismiss the Iran threat is simplistic and short sighted; each should be judged on its own merits.  Had we applied that logic to Iraq in 1991, Saddam might now be in power with nukes.

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By Ed Harges, July 10, 2009 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

Israeli leaders claim to fear that a nuclear-armed Iran would launch a first strike at Israel.

But just ask yourself: if these leaders were sure that a nuclear Iran would never launch a first strike at Israel, but would only retaliate with nukes in response to an Israeli nuclear attack, would these Israelis be any less determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability?

The answer is: no, of course not. And that is because this is not about protecting Israel from a future unprovoked nuclear attack. It’s about preserving and enhancing Israel’s nuclear and military dominance. This is about preserving Israel’s ability to continue bullying everybody else in the region with total impunity.

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By rancone, July 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment

“But ultimately, a nuclear Iran is a potential direct threat, a proliferation danger, as well as an almost certain precursor to a regional arms race that could see the likelyhood of nuclear conflict increase dramatically.  This is why Iran must be stopped.  The problem is that I believe it has no intention of stopping.”
“the most militant and ambitious Muslim regime “
Direct threat to whom?
Most militant and ambitious against whom, there is a world of difference between “I don’t like you and massing an army on the borders.” There is no Iranian army to mass on the border. If there was what border?
Give me a break the above quoted comments simply do not meet the test of an iota of stepping back to what is real - not speculative.
The citizens of the US have a responsibility to the US - all of this is to be observed at arms length.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 9, 2009 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

The whole point Marshall is that they don’t. It is the same marketing arm of the USA and Israel promoting it to a fever pitch, and following the same pattern as what happened to another western Arab country namely Iraq. See what we did to it.

The Iran we know was created by the USA policy in 1953 and this was an outcome of it. Research history and marketing. Edward Benaise especially.

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By Marshall, July 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

By Sepharad, July 9 at 8:48 pm #

This is where I have to concede I don’t know how the current ruling Mullah’s dedication to Islam compares with their survival instinct.  Perhaps a MAD approach would prevent a direct attack on Israel. But it seems that logic would advise against introducing nuclear weapons to the most militant and ambitious Muslim regime in a highly factionalized and conflict-driven region.  Iran’s recent behavior towards its people along with its failure to implement the NPT additional protocols undermines the assumption that its government is concerned about achieving pariah status.  Freedom of thought would also lately appear to be a devalued commodity among the ruling elite.

I’m not convinced the problems that could result from radicalizing Iran’s populace would be worse than a nuclear Iran; after all, even a radicalized country without nukes is limited in its ability to control the region.

And since U.S. intelligence believes Iran possessed a covert nuclear program through at least 2003 and continues to lie about it, suspicion about Iran’s intentions will remain high until Iran adopts complete transparency about its nuclear program which it shows no signs of doing.

So the question remains: given the huge cost and danger of developing a nuclear weapons capability, why does Iran seem to want one so badly?

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By Sepharad, July 9, 2009 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

Marshall, you might be correct about the ultimate danger of a nuclear Iran, but don’t you think that an Iran no longer interested in being a pariah in the world—even with a nuclear weapon—would be a safer circumstance for Israel, the region as a whole and the West? Remember these guys are Persians, and except for the more benighted religious extremists are interested not just in modernization but in more freedom of thought and speech as well as gender equality. The Iranians I know are mostly ones who fought to overturn the Shah, then realized the devil they’d deposed was better than the devil they unleased. They aren’t uniformly in love with Israel, and we wrangle about specific issues and politics vis a vis Israel and the Moslems, but none of them have said or implied that the world would be better without Israel. If we manage to turn the entire Iranian population into Ahmadinejad clones then we WOULD have a problem. From the way the mulllahs are behaving, even the ones who back Ahmadinejad, they are not in a suicidal frame of mind, at least not for themselves though I’m sure they’d be glad to see as many martyrs die for Islam as possible, if it involved no physical risk to themselves. But I do understand and respect Israel’s fear of the Ahmadinejads and Hezbollah, none of whom would hesitate to nuke Israel if they could get away with it and live to gloat about it. But I don’t think the mullahs would let them: they have their lives and their power and position and Tehran to lose, and when it comes down to it I think that would trump their hatred.

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By ardee, July 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment

Ed Harges, July 9 at 6:13 pm #

Then we are even.

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By Ed Harges, July 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

By ardee, July 9 at 6:13 am:

Ardee, I listed “cultural, political, and economic factors” as among the things facilitating Israel’s huge degree of influence over US foreign policy. Evidently you can’t tell the difference between saying that and claiming that “Israel controls the economy”. Ardee, if you’re this dense, then I don’t care very much what you think. And if you’re only pretending to be this dense, then I really don’t care what you pretend to think.

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By ardee, July 9, 2009 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

rancone, July 9 at 3:09 pm #
The “fear” of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is more a propaganda tool I think than an actual reality. There seems no reason to disbelieve their claim to be building an electric generating facility, and Russia is supplying the technology and the uranium, it is also supposedly taking possession of the used rods thus making the enrichment procedure impossible, if true.

I believe that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are a great deal more of a threat to this world given the instability of that nation, the presence of Taliban forces within that nation and the danger of those weapons falling into their hands.

The real question I would ask is by what moral authority does a nation possessing the most nuclear weapons in the world seek to forbid another from obtaining them? This is what Nelson Mandela called “nuclear apartheit”.

Iran, in case we have forgotten, loves the USA. They held candlelight marches in Tehran after 9/11 to show solidarity with us. They are not an Arab nation, to be villifed by the peanut brained as such, they are Europeans all. Despite the really bad way we have handled relationships with Iran, despite the President being a despot and dillhole, the people of Iran are our friends, far more than is the govt of Israel I fear.

But what do I know, after all I am a Zionist according to some, those who care not for reality or fact, only their own agendized opinions. Perhaps, if I was a wild eyed anti semite I would gain acceptance, but that is far too high a price ....

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By rancone, July 9, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Let me try again. Why does the US MSM and US political persons repeat the “fear of Iran” getting a nuclear weapon? The point I am trying to make this is not a rational statement in the interest of the US. Any discussion beyond this appears pointless. Iran will never have a first strike and done capability - thus it will never use the nuclear weapons - any time anywhere. Our ally Israel may lose the fear and intimidation factor - but this should not drive our conversations or foreign policy.  This discussion should not be about who Israel is or is not but about rational self interest reality behavior of the US.

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By Marshall, July 9, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

By Sepharad, July 9 at 2:03 am #

I agree that an attack runs a real risk of galvanizing Iran by changing the focus from their internal discontent to a unified hatred of Israel.  This is why the only way a surgical attack is warranted, in my view, is if we can come up with a plan that has a very high likelihood of successfully destroying or setting back Iran’s weapons program.  Unfortunately, I suspect no such plan exists.

There is an option whereby we instigate an all-out war with Iran and let the PR chips fall where they may.  This would give us the time we need to comprehensively dismantle Iran’s weapons program.  In that scenario, US/Israeli popular support within Iran would be sacrificed on the alter of non-proliferation.  It’s ugly, but perhaps effective at preventing a nuclear Iran.

<<I see a much greater risk of an Al Quaeda-like groups getting their hands on a Pakistani nuclear weapon.>>

From what I’ve heard in the press, this doesn’t seem likely short of a Taliban coup.  I think I worry more about a destitute NK selling nuclear technology that finds its way into the hands of an AQ-type group.  They’ve proven their delivery tech is for sale already.

But ultimately, a nuclear Iran is a potential direct threat, a proliferation danger, as well as an almost certain precursor to a regional arms race that could see the likelyhood of nuclear conflict increase dramatically.  This is why Iran must be stopped.  The problem is that I believe it has no intention of stopping.

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By Folktruther, July 9, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

You know, Ed, although it is true that Zionist lemmings and Ziofascists set up strow men to argue against, this being Inherit’s speciality, I think also that at least some of the distortion is unconscious.  Ardee seems to me to argue honestly, and he simply ignored or misinterpreted a long post arguing that Zionists are used by the ruling class to support American foreign policy.  Zionists are in a subsidary position, but do a lot of harm supporting the imperialism of both countries.  But he still seems to think that we are saying that Jews rule the world or whatever.  And he seems to really beleive it.

If this is so, I wonder how one would go about changing Zionist death ideology.  Israeli policy is not only murderous, it is sucidal, it’s ethnic cleansing and war against a billiion and a half people bound to lead historically to distruction.  Only a few Zionists seem to know that, although it may be sensed by the majority.  How could one make this conscious to Zionists like ardee, who still has an attachment to reality based truth.  Of course it may not be possible, zionists prefering Israeli domination to common decency, but on the other hand, it may.

Israeli emmigration, for example, is now greater than Israeli immigration, so some Jews are getting out of Israel.  there is no reason why Zionists can’t develop a real two state strategy instead of the fake one they now espouse.  But this would require that they OPPOSE the Israeli power structure that they have been indoctrinated to support.  this doesn’t seem to occur becuase of US money to the present power structure, but if this money was threatened to be cut off, an alternative Zionist ideolgy might develop. 

Inherit, for example, says he is for Obama cutting off funds to enforce a two state solution, but I don’t know how serious he is.  The problem is that Zionist ideology is so corrupt and the arguements so deceitful that zionists may not know what the reality based truth is, let alone accept it.  But if they do, ardee would be the kind of person who would.

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By Night-Gaunt, July 9, 2009 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Rancone you appear to know nothing of the region or its history. I would recommend research on it but here is some helpful information to start you off.

Israel is afraid of losing its nuclear monopoly in the region. It allows them to dictate to the other countries in the area. They don’t need diplomacy when they respond to Syria or Iran.

Why do you think Israel attacked Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007? Nuclear reactors generate power, further refinement of the fuel can produce fissile material for warheads. [That is much more labor and technology intensive and costly.]

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By rancone, July 9, 2009 at 10:01 am Link to this comment

It is more of the fear of Israel losing its nuclear monopoly and threats on the other countries if Iran gets one.

“fear of Israel losing its nuclear monopoly” why is this a fear?
“threats on the other countries if Iran gets one” What other countries how and why?

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By Night-Gaunt, July 9, 2009 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

It is more of the fear of Israel losing its nuclear monopoly and threats on the other countries if Iran gets one. [There is no evidence that Iran is working on nuclear weapons at this time.]

It becomes confusing when they speak of the “balance of power” being upset if Iran, or any other in the region, obtain nuclear capability for defense. When the nuclear elephant in the room, Israel, is ignored by-and-large by the CMSM especially here.

Now Israel didn’t sign the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) unlike Iran. Yet Iran is following it and it is treated with a long term propaganda media blitz from the USA portraying them as aggressors and nihilists. [They say they want to launch a suicide nuclear attack on Israel.] Also as international criminals while the USA protects Israel from UN sanctions for their militarism. Does that help?

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By rancone, July 9, 2009 at 7:56 am Link to this comment

Please explain what the fear of Iran getting a bomb is?

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By coloradokarl, July 9, 2009 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

This is what happens when you have a bunch of draft-dodging deferment junkies led by a senile old man at DOD try to go to war. The neo-cons are invested in the Industrial Military Complex and care less about life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness…....

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By ardee, July 9, 2009 at 3:13 am Link to this comment

As for your first sentence: I defy you to find that I have ever claimed that “Jews and Zionists run the U.S. and world economy.” I have never written that, nor do I believe that. Stop setting up straw men. It’s called arguing in bad faith - a specialty of the pro-Israel crowd, I’ve noticed.

Israel is able to exert a high degree of control over US foreign policy because it is able to leverage a peculiar set of cultural, political, and economic factors which together constitute a gigantic force multiplier favoring the implementation of Israel’s policy initiatives by the US government.

...and only two posts apart.

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By Sepharad, July 8, 2009 at 11:03 pm Link to this comment

Marshall, you’re correct in saying Saudia Arabia and Syria are so afraid of Iran and it’s proxies. In fact, they mave have suggested that Israel might use their airspace. (That was a bit of information on ArutzSheva online, which is a very conservative broadcast group. That’s the only place I’ve read that, however, so until I see it in Ha’aretz or Ma’ariv I’ll take it with a grain of salt.) Egypt and Jordan are also afraid of Iran. But that doesn’t mean that, if Israel were to carry out air strikes in Iran, that the Saudis, Syrians, Egyptians and Jordanians would get in line to congratulate Israel because many Moslems would be killed in at least several of the strikes. It’s one thing for Sunnis to kill Shiia, but quite another for Israelis to do it. The facilities are in many different places, some very deep under mountains, others under several highly populous areas, cities and towns, whether inadvertently or by design. Destroying the Iraqi reactor and the nascent Syrian one were easy, relative to the scattered sites in Iran, and did not involve civilian casualties.

A similar principle would seem to be operative in Iran. There is now a deep schism between Ayatollah Khameini/Ahmadinejad and a large portion of the population as well as other powerful mullahs. Any attack on Iran might set the reformist elements back so far they could never reemerge, whereas now, even if the less isolationist elements are intimidated by the Revolutionary guards and Basilij and will go underground they will not go away. But an attack on Iran could unify the country and prop up Khameini and Ahmadinejad’s demonization of Israel and the West, validating their paranoia to an extent that would keep the people who want to be more part of the world and less isolated from making any further headway.

Israel, America, the Europeans and the Sunnis have every reason to want the Iranians to not get their own bomb—and I agree with you that the Iranians with their fingers on the button are almost certainly not as rational as, for instance, Khruschev. I love Israel, people I love live there,  and I want it to survive. If I thought there was the remotest chance that air strikes 1)could successfully stop the present Iranian government from ever getting their bomb and 2) that the international outcry against Israel would not make it a pariah, complete with crippling boycotts, embargos, world court condemnation and all the rest—you see what many truthdiggers, who see themselves as progressives, already think of Israel—I’d be all for it. Israel would of course try to minimize the casualties but certinly couldn’t keep a number of innocent people from getting killed.

However, I do not live in Israel and they surely know what to do or not do better than I do. For Israel, I see a much greater risk of an Al Quaeda-like groups getting their hands on a Pakistani nuclear weapon.

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By rockinrobin, July 8, 2009 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Victory is ONLY in the hands of the SAME group of criminals known as “Congress” in the USA and the Pentagon Parasites & pirates who have looted the USA for years; and of course the Shiite-Sunni schism is deeper than ever; it is the TACTIC well used in the USA known as “divide and conquor”; cuz DIVIDED you FALL; the corruption & graft there via Halliburton (interchangeable with ANY member of Congresses name & any politicians name folks) Govenors, etc: all are in on the CRIMINALLY RUN “so called” democracy which TARGETS and HARMS the PEOPLE and the ENVIRONMENT; and JUSTICE fled the SCENE when the USA went in & set up Saddam; same as it fled the FORMERLY KNOWN as USA WAY BACK in the 1900’s; when Woodrow Wilson lamented we were no longer the land of the free nor even majority vote; but rather under the dictates & rules of a handful of dominent men.
WHY: do our lawless leaders claim “violence breeds violence” etc, citing 30 years of “documentation” failing to let you know it is as FALSE as the “freedom” they claim we have: yet they continually weapon up & send men/women known grown to be used as cannon fodder & throw away as rubbish? THIS is the way “freedom” looks?
Victory for WHOM? is the question; not the PEOPLE; the EXACT SAME criminals & crooks who have gotten away with it in Nicaragua, Congo, Mexico (who at least is FIGHTING), Canada, Puero Rico, & more; LOOK at whom 9 hundred trillion dollars is like 50 cents; Rumsfeld, Rockefeller, Bush, Clinton, Kissinger, etc;

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By Sepharad, July 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm Link to this comment

ardee, some Jews do view Israel as Catholics do the Vatican and Muslims Mecca, but many of us who are not religious Jews view it as the place where we, as a people, were born (culturally speaking). An Arab whose family lived for generations in, say, England or the U.S., would doubtless feel a similar kinship to Arabia.

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By Virginia from Virginia, July 8, 2009 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Ardee: “We are so screwed, and ,sorry to say, rather easily manipulated as well. That there are not tens of thousands in the streets of our cities demanding justice, demanding a return of our governance to the people, demanding an end to usurious health care that abandons you when you need it most, and end to pointless and doomed wars and a restoration of our democracy, makes me so sick at heart.”

Well, I was thinking about asking for justice, health care, democracy, peace but I was too busy flipping from “news” channel to “news” channel viewing round-the-clock coverage of Michael Jackson’s death.  I guess nothing else important has been happening in the whole wide world of late.

Note to Scott Ritter: L.Paul Bremer ordered the Iraqis to NOT count their dead.  The state of Iraqi democracy is that they still comply with Bremer’s order.

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By Ed Harges, July 8, 2009 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad writes:

”...You’ll never convince Ed or Folktruther that Jews and Zionists don’t run the U.S. and the world economy. Or that Israel and its champions don’t want us out of Iraq but do want us in Iran….”

Sepharad, the second sentence must be a mis-write. No one would have any trouble convincing me “that Israel and its champions don’t want us out of Iraq but do want us in Iran”!

As for your first sentence: I defy you to find that I have ever claimed that “Jews and Zionists run the U.S. and world economy.” I have never written that, nor do I believe that. Stop setting up straw men. It’s called arguing in bad faith - a specialty of the pro-Israel crowd, I’ve noticed.

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By Marshall, July 8, 2009 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

By Sepharad, July 8 at 9:15 pm #

Agreed Sepharad that an attack on Iran could have serious regional consequences, and this severely complicates the metric used to weigh such an attack.  However, to the extent that it could be used to destabilize the cleric-run govt., there could also be potential to assist in reform.

As to increased hatred of Israel: I’d argue that there are numerous states in the region - SA and Egypt for example - that are threatened by Iran’s nuclear buildup and would benefit from a de-fanged Iran.  Israel has already taken out reactors in Iraq and Syria in the past without triggering a regional conflagration.  So that potential might be exaggerated.


<<If the Iranians want a nuclear bomb they are going to get one.>>

I think you may be giving in to a sense of inevitability.  But there are historical examples of targeted strikes which successfully prevented a country from going nuclear (the two mentioned above for example).  The big problem is that we believe the window of diplomatic opportunity is closing rapidly, so we either find such a solution now or we may soon be making the choice between accepting a nuclear Iran or making a military strike.

<<If both sides are rational, no reason it shouldn’t work again.>>

Yes - the BIG question.  Theocratic rationality often seems very different than secular rationality.

Not arguing for a strike here; only pointing out some of the potential upsides in addition to the obvious downsides.

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By Ed Harges, July 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

re:By ardee, July 8 at 6:00 pm:

To those who refuse to comprehend how “tiny Israel” could possibly be in charge of the Mideast policy of the mighty United States, I offer an analogy.

I am a person of ordinary physical strength, yet I am able to hurl tons of metal down the highway at 65 miles per hour. This may sound implausible, unless you understand how the internal combustion engine works. Then it becomes perfectly understandable how I am able to exert a modest amount of pressure on a gas pedal and send my car rocketing forward wherever I want it to go.

Israel is able to exert a high degree of control over US foreign policy because it is able to leverage a peculiar set of cultural, political, and economic factors which together constitute a gigantic force multiplier favoring the implementation of Israel’s policy initiatives by the US government.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

Ooops , hit the submit instead of the preview button…clumsy software here at best anyway, no edit function or much of any real options…

It is true that many Jews view Israel the way Catholics view the Vatican, or Muslims, Mecca or imbeciles, Yankee Stadium ooooh .

This incessant belief that Jews influence our foreign policy is right down there with the belief that there are twelve rabbis who rule the world…. If one finds oneself at a Klan rally one might consider the path one took to get there.

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By Sepharad, July 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

ardee, nice to hear from a Mission District homey. (The Roxie is still there, hanging in if not wildly thriving. Still an art house but also a lot of documentaries. Saw a Polish one Friday night based on the double-whammy they suffered in WWII. Nazis on one side, the Russians on the other (who first liberated Krakow then killed all the cavalrymen, the teachers, the priests who objected, the intellectuals and their families). This was a surprise to me: I thought the Communists were more or less the good guys in that war after the pact was broken, but apparently not always. An elderly Catholic Hungarian linguist we know has wild tales of escaping first the Germans and, years later, the Russians. Complicated world we live in.

You’ll never convince Ed or Folktruther that Jews and Zionists don’t run the U.S. and the world economy. Or that Israel and its champions don’t want us out of Iraq but do want us in Iran. Realize there are differences of opinion in and out of Israel—spend much time in other virtual as well as physically present forums reasoning and arguing; there’s much more in-your-face dissent with the government in Israel than there seems to be in our country at the moment. I cannot conceive of anything stupider than Israel attacking Iran. Such a thing would make it hard for the clerics and citizens who want a little more freedom, a litte more say. They already have an uphill battle. Why make it harder? Not to mention that an Israeli strike would increase the hatred of Israel that already exists. If the Iranians want a nuclear bomb they are going to get one. The less confrontational the clerics and officials, the more likely it will be a deterrent but not unleashed against Israel or Europe. Cold war strategy worked fairly well, mutually assured destruction. If both sides are rational, no reason it shouldn’t work again. (I think our biggest worries are North Korea nuclear instability and the potential for non-state actors to capture Pakistan’s nuclear weaponry.)

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 8 at 7:54 pm #

It is true, Ardee, that I don’t think jews run this country, thank God, or it would be even worse than it is.  Look how bad Israel is where they do.  At one time I thought they did, following Petras, of whom there is nothing smelly whatever, but I changed my mind.

Israel is run by a government, and not by the Torah, thus you sound more than a bit foolish in this. When one cannot separate religion from politics, blaming the former for the mistakes of the latter, one should really use introspection….seriously.

The ruling class, in a choice between money and ethnicity, always chooses money.  In Iran, for example, they are more concerned about oil than nuclear weapons, which the Zionists are more concerned about Irani weapons that would nuetralize Israel’s nuclear arsenal.  the US, under the guise of preventing the spread of nueclear weapons,are doing the opposite, and helping by their policies to spread them.

Yup, and that is why I believe Iran is building nuclear energy facilities, husbanding their oil for sale. Of course, the more we isolate and alienate them the more attractive the nuclear option becomes….As to the ruling class, they are still, here in America, white anglosaxon Protestants who exclude Jews from their boardrooms and their clubs…

But you keep alluding to the fact that there aren’t that many Jews, and therefore they couldn’t be that powerful.  Let me just say this: foosh.  The ruling class that owns the means of production is only 1% or so of the population, and they can destroy humanity if they wish.

If foosh is related to swoosh, Nike wants a word with you. See above comments re: ruling class…

In order to be powerful, collective power must unite, and it is easier, as Adam Smith pointed out over two centuries ago, for a few monied people to unite than the great mass of unmonied people.  That is the great tragedy of eathpeople, and why the few rule the many.  If one person like Adelson has 25 billion dollars, he has much more power than a combination of 25 persons with a billiion each, who have difficulting uniting on policy.

And Adelson, Saban, Soros and others are Jewish billionaires who are part of the American ruling class.  Not because they are jewish but because they are rich.  they are powerful and they support power, noatably Israeli power.  But not to the exclusion of their own.  If it is a choice between their money or Israel, they will choose money, because that is what their power is based on.

Buffet, not, Gates, not, Carlos whatshis name the Mexican guy, third richest man in the world, not…C’mon FT use that brain.

that said, they have built up a Zionist power structure that supports the very worst of not only Israel but the US.  Wolfowitz is not a billionaire but he was instrumental in invading Iraq and the head of the IMF.  Dershiwitz is not a billionaire, Summers is not a billionaire, but they still manage to do lots of harm anyway.  Ed Harges, to his credit, continues with Robert and many others to point it out.  In doing so they are right and you, a Zionist enabler, are wrong.  I know you taught me how to drive a semi backwards,and I am grateful, but truth is truth

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By doalive, July 8, 2009 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NO RESPONSE @ broadcast only internet web com brainwash surprise brain matter media,,, only with the 5th estates co-operation(5th column-main line),except when feedback and comments take over the broadcast only(saturation & bombardment media)the main prioriaty seems to push it farther and farther to the miniscule and minaturized, to the point where all concerned are merely what,victims of the trons of ram,meanwhile back at the war,tiny paragraphs are being stuffed into a plastaciene injecto mold,until the rights to you are sold un”,uh what ya do for a living $$(carrer politician) concealed behind the wall of eschaellon of tiered instincts and insect horde security,land hoh,lake of fyre dead ahead,die cronie die,any one seen the key to the run away train or better yet whair its’ bound,hell,not them,oblivion their exsclusive domain,GD over educated chicken sh_t idiots

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

It is true, Ardee, that I don’t think jews run this country, thank God, or it would be even worse than it is.  Look how bad Israel is where they do.  At one time I thought they did, following Petras, of whom there is nothing smelly whatever, but I changed my mind. 

The ruling class, in a choice between money and ethnicity, always chooses money.  In Iran, for example, they are more concerned about oil than nuclear weapons, which the Zionists are more concerned about Irani weapons that would nuetralize Israel’s nuclear arsenal.  the US, under the guise of preventing the spread of nueclear weapons,are doing the opposite, and helping by their policies to spread them.

But you keep alluding to the fact that there aren’t that many Jews, and therefore they couldn’t be that powerful.  Let me just say this: foosh.  The ruling class that owns the means of production is only 1% or so of the population, and they can destroy humanity if they wish. 

In order to be powerful, collective power must unite, and it is easier, as Adam Smith pointed out over two centuries ago, for a few monied people to unite than the great mass of unmonied people.  That is the great tragedy of eathpeople, and why the few rule the many.  If one person like Adelson has 25 billion dollars, he has much more power than a combination of 25 persons with a billiion each, who have difficulting uniting on policy.

And Adelson, Saban, Soros and others are Jewish billionaires who are part of the American ruling class.  Not because they are jewish but because they are rich.  they are powerful and they support power, noatably Israeli power.  But not to the exclusion of their own.  If it is a choice between their money or Israel, they will choose money, because that is what their power is based on.


that said, they have built up a Zionist power structure that supports the very worst of not only Israel but the US.  Wolfowitz is not a billionaire but he was instrumental in invading Iraq and the head of the IMF.  Dershiwitz is not a billionaire, Summers is not a billionaire, but they still manage to do lots of harm anyway.  Ed Harges, to his credit, continues with Robert and many others to point it out.  In doing so they are right and you, a Zionist enabler, are wrong.  I know you taught me how to drive a semi backwards,and I am grateful, but truth is truth

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By hippie4ever, July 8, 2009 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment

I’d say the verdict on Vietraq is still out, and I doubt their…viability. I give them about four months before the U.S. comes back, too late to save their corrupt “democratic” charade. Saddam II.

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By Marshall, July 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

By Night-Gaunt, July 8 at 11:32 am #

“...it is their business to defend themselves as they see fit. I wonder if that applies to the Iranians too? How about the Palestinians? Or is it only our allies that get that ability?”

I’m continually amazed by those who fail to understand the realities of political alliances.  The undercurrent of this convenient ignorance is really the philosophy that condemns any U.S. ally for simply BEING an ally (guilt by association), and automatically vaults adversaries to the moral high ground (exoneration by opposition).

Under this logic, any defensive (and certainly, preemptive) action by an ally is a blatant aggressions, while any attack by a non-ally on the U.S. or its allies is a justified defensive move in response to aggression; even when that attack is committed by an entity publicly sworn to the destruction of its target.

No country is blameless - all have dirty hands.  But the reality of the school yard is that a) some groups have better intentions than others, and b) alliances improve chances of survival.  So OBVIOUSLY we favor our allies - that’s why they’re allies and its why we sign binding treaties with them to provide mutual defense, trade, political and humanitarian assistance, it’s why we have NATO and the UN and it’s how we keep from degenerating into every man for himself.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, July 8 at 1:57 pm #

Ardee, what Ed Harges says is perfectly true.  In my opinion Zionist operatives and truthers are being used by American Imperialism, but Zionists have their own agenda different from the US agenda and they pursue it.  Ed is courageous enough to say so despite all the Zionist sleaze and repression to silence people like him and all the Zionist propaganda in the US learned and mass media.
...........................

Then you do not agree with Mr. Harges in fact. He says, again and again, that Jews run this nation, you apparently do not. Of course Zionists have their own agenda, just as do communists, conservatives, capitalists, liberals, leftists and every other thinking person.

The difference is that there is something smelly at the bottom of an opinion that Jews run our country. They are a small minority, do not even agree within their own circles ( trust me I know) and are still pretty much excluded from the inner circles of policy making ( at the highest levels). Just because Rham stands at the door of the Oval Office only means that he opens that door to the rich white anglo protestant that tells Barack what to do….OK, overly dramatic.

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By KDelphi, July 8, 2009 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

ardee—I agree. Everything Bush did, the Dems had potential to stop it. They didnt.

Now, they have super majorities and could stop Obama. They dont want to.

Had enough yet, Dems? Apparently not.

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By Folktruther, July 8, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Great post, Robert.  It is public record now that the US used Israeli intellignece agents to infiltrate and spy on Arabic suspects bucause they did not have enough Arabic speakers.  A Mossad agent was also involved in the 1993 attack on the Towers.  And the Dancing or High-Fiving Israeli’s who were set up BEFORE the planes crashed into the towers to film it, and latter arrested and held by the US, have also been documented.  Apparently Israeli agents were used in other places as well.

Ardee, what Ed Harges says is perfectly true.  In my opinion Zionist operatives and truthers are being used by American Imperialism, but Zionists have their own agenda different from the US agenda and they pursue it.  Ed is courageous enough to say so despite all the Zionist sleaze and repression to silence people like him and all the Zionist propaganda in the US learned and mass media.

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By Robert, July 8, 2009 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

How the FBI and 9/11 Commission Suppressed Key Evidence about Hani Hanjour, alleged hijack pilot of AAL 77

By Mark H. Gaffney

July 07, 2009 “ICH”

“So, Who is Eddie Shalev?

The record compiled by the FBI for the purpose of to authenticating Hani Hanjour‘s flight skills fails to provide convincing substantiation. Notice, for this reason it also fails to support the testimony of the other flight instructor, Eddie Shalev, who certified Hanjour to rent a Cessna 172 from Congressional Air Charters just three days after Marcel Bernard, the chief instructor at Freeway, refused to rent Hanjour the very same plane. The 9/11 Commission Report makes no mention of the incident at Freeway airport, nor does it discuss Eddie Shalev, other than alluding to Hanjour’s certification flight in a brief endnote. This is curious, since it now appears that Shalev’s testimony was crucial. By telling the commission what it was predisposed to hear, Shalev gave the official investigation an excuse to ignore the preponderance of evidence, which pointed to the unthinkable.

So, who is Eddie Shalev? His identity remained unknown for more than seven years, but was finally revealed in one of the files released in January 2009 by the National Archives. The document, labelled a “Memorandum for the Record,” is a summary of the April 2004 interview with Eddie Shalev conducted by commission staffer Quinn John Tamm.[32]  The document confirms that Shalev went on record: “Mr Shalev stated that based on his observations Hanjour was a ‘good’ pilot.” It is noteworthy that Tamm also spoke with Freeway instructors Sheri Baxter and Ben Conner, as revealed by yet another recently-released document.[33] Although I was unable to reach Tamm or Baxter for comment, I did talk with Conner, who confirmed the conversation.[34] Conner says he fully expected to testify before the commission. Perhaps not surprisingly, the call never came.

But the shocker is the revelation that Eddie Shalev is an Israeli and served in the Israeli army. The file states that “Mr. Shalev served in the Israeli Defense Forces in a paratroop regiment. He was a jumpmaster on a Boeing C-130. Mr. Shalev moved to the Gaithersburg area in April 2001 and was sponsored for employment by Congressional Air Charters…[which] has subsequently gone out of business.”

The memorandum raises disturbing questions. Consider the staffer’s strange choice of words in describing Shalev’s employment. What did Quinn John Tamm mean when he wrote that Shalev “was sponsored for employment”? Did the commission bother to investigate Congressional Air Charters? It is curious that the charter service subsequently went out of business. But the most important question is: just how thoroughly, if at all, did the commission vet Eddie Shalev?Does his military record include service in the Israeli intelligence community?

Real people have known addresses. But the whereabouts of Eddie Shalev has been unknown for years. As reported by David Griffin, a 2007 search of the national telephone directory, plus Google searches by research librarian Elizabeth Woodworth, turned up no trace of him.”

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22999.htm

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By Night-Gaunt, July 8, 2009 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

One of the ‘benefits’ to the Cabal is that with the economy so bad. [Worse than their CMSM tell us.] That the military is getting plenty of people on their own joining. With lax regulations gangs too are joining up to ‘fight the good fight’ or kill Iraqis and other ‘rag heads’ for God and Country. The tactics and weapons training can only enhance their capabilities on our increasingly mean streets.

VP Joe Biden yesterday (7/7/2009) said that if Israel needs to attack Iran it is their business to defend themselves as they see fit. I wonder if that applies to the Iranians too? How about the Palestinians? Or is it only our allies that get that ability?

The joys of our particular kind of external empire visited upon Iraq is marked in this article that everyone should read. Don’t they feel blessed by our generosity? Listening to the fascist pundits on Fox News, they are ingrates for not appreciating our largess. When will that same largess be turned on us next? It could be anytime with any increase in disaster whether natural or artificially produced can trigger it.

I believe that the set-up in Iraq is what the planners wanted all along. Let the locals do most of the strong arming and subjugation of the populace with the stormtroopers of Christ held in reserve. living in their massive bases and embassy enclaves, island forts in the Indianland wilderness.

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By Quinty, July 8, 2009 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Abdo -

I can try to understand your pain. But actually, it wasn’t “me” who invaded Iraq. I was against the war and out on the street, in fact, protesting. I understand that you meant “you” as in the United States. But actually we are many and quite diversie here.

I just wanted to complain about being lumped in with GWB and the like….

Have a good day, Quinty

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By hark, July 8, 2009 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We could solve our domestic problems, develop alternative energy on a massive scale, if we ended these crazy wars and cut our military budget in half, and still be the world’s only military super power.  What a colossal tragedy.  And the American people remain utterly clueless.

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By rancone, July 8, 2009 at 7:32 am Link to this comment

“there are not tens of thousands in the streets of our cities demanding justice,”
The devils bargain was no draft no resistance.
Revolutions are led by the sons and daughters of the not quite rich but well educated - the young ones near enough to the prize to see it but knowing they will never be allowed to reach the prize.

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By godistwaddle, July 8, 2009 at 4:21 am Link to this comment

I differ with the headline of this story: only one way out.  To steal and modify Gen. James Gavin (about Viet Nam):  How do we get out of Iraq?  By plane or by truck.

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By ardee, July 8, 2009 at 3:22 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, July 8 at 12:41 am #

Thank you for the kind words. I was a “Day Street Boy” many , many years ago. Married in a house on that street, had my first daughter there too. I always loved the Mission ( Nicador?) for its vibrancy, cultural mix and energy. The ennui you note is not confined only to that district, nor that city either, it permeates our nation.

I wish there wree some way to get through to Mr. Harges, who, it seems, still plays his one note samba of Israeli control of US policy.

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By abdo, July 7, 2009 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

quinty , you are callus when you invaded Iraq and all the other countries. Empires are callus when they send their own children to kill and die in foreign places to expand the hegemony and wealth of few ruling thugs.

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By rockinrobin, July 7, 2009 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment
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Lest ye forget: the USA set up Saddam Hussain: weaponed him up; TOLD him how to “rule” keeping lots of $ for him & friends, & family: (just like they do) and helped him overthrow the democratic Gov of Iran: and set up the SHAH: just like they always do: dictators, bullies & tyrants, made in their image; and then comes the “regime” of torture, etc; no wonder the Iraqi’s say they NOW have 90 Saddam Hussains! (WAKE UP AMERICANS!)
Shatter the “image” of what our forefathers dream was; this is the REASON that democracy has become the most despised word on the planet!
“exploitation” is the TARGETING and HARMING for PERSONAL GAIN & PROFIT: it is a CRIME; yet “this is the way” THIS USA is “run”; backed up by a so called “judicial” system thats judges are more criminal than any appearing before them! cuz they CALL to find out “how to rule”: laws are changed, creatively IGNORED; like USURY LAWS, etc;
Yet THE PEOPLE of the USA keep forcing nation after nation after nation into the SAME corrupt criminally run TYPE of “government”; I say that in parenthesis cuz GOVERNING is MEETING SOCIAL NEED: doing what is the MOST POSITIVE BENEFIT for the COUNTRY: which is the PEOPLE, the LAND, the AIR and the WATER. The USA gets an F- in ALL AREAS; now going globally;

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By Ed Harges, July 7, 2009 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Just read what the Israel-first pundits say on Iraq. The “American” intellectuals who are concerned first and foremost with Israel’s grand conception of its “security” would consider a true US withdrawal from Iraq a catastrophe for Israel. Their counterparts in Israel agree. And it is politically impossible for the US government to do something which Israel considers a dire threat to its “security” ® ™.  Obama must know that if he tried to do such a thing, they’d get rid of him faster than you can say “Yitzhak Rabin”.

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By Sepharad, July 7, 2009 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment

ardee, great summation of the situation. (Only point of disagreement is that it might not be a bad thing for the Kurds to have some oil if it makes them feel more secure and less disinherited. If they are more content, the Turks will have less to worry about. I trust the Turkish government to keep its head. Of course all these suppositions could be wrong. But remember the Kurds already had their own little civil war and could become an island of stability.) 

Your last paragraph is especially true and affecting. Friday night, walking around down in San Francisco’s Mission District (or Nicador, as some call it these days) with my husband, there were so many homeless people, so many protest graffiti scrawls, so many walking wounded, so many hustlers, but no notices re organized protests of any kind (except for a bike-in) that I felt armless. We raised kids around here, joined protests, helped friends bootstrapping their Spanish tapa place while we planned then bootstrapped our history magazine, always a lot of energy, but now even the gangs seem to be half-hearted. Except for the dotcom bubble period, life in the Mission was never plush but always vivid. That’s all been sucked dry and everyone’s tired-looking (including people half our age). What I wonder is why there were no angry people crowding the streets.

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By Folktruther, July 7, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

I don’t see how Obama CAN leave Iraq, now that he has abandoned progressives and gone with neoliberals.  there are huge bases and a Vatican size Green Zone in the heart of Bagdad that would be attacked without US military or mercenaries.  And what about all the western oil companies bidding on the oil.  Are they going to leave it to the Chinese?

It’s a quagmire.  There is no way to win and Obama will lose the election if he withdraws having ‘lost’ Iraq.  It will be most likely an Obama solution: say we have withdrawn and keeping troops there.

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By yours truly, July 7, 2009 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment
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The maxim don’t agonize, organize has never been more applicable.  Granted right there’s no mass movement but that could change overnight if only we take advantage of the Internet and put out a call online for all those who want a say as to what sort of world to get ready for a one day general strike, the exact date also to be decided online.  If that fails, there’d be a call for another general strike, this time to last 2 days, with a three day general strike to follow if necessary, and so on & so forth until the government caves to our demands.  Impossible?  Yeh, and it was impossible for the Soviet Union to collapse, wasn’t it?  Who’ll lead?  As in every popular movement, everyone who participates will lead.  Anything else?  Yes we can.

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By Ed Harges, July 7, 2009 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Israel does not want the US to leave Iraq. So we won’t leave Iraq.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, July 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

The military and intelligence bureaucracies do not want to leave Iraq - ever!  Ditto for Afghanistan.  Obama, surrounded now by pomp and gold and obsequiousness and apparently totally cowed and corrupted by power, will oblige.  If the Iraqis and the Afghans want us out of their countries, they’ll either have to make nice and pretend for an extended period of time that everything is hunky-dory, or push us out on their own.

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By JimBob, July 7, 2009 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

You gotta love W., who thinks history is going to vindicate this cruel, unjustified and profoundly misguided military adventure.  The guy will die never having “got it.”  We knew better than to elect him and yet we did.  He isn’t to blame for being a putz; we’re to blame for letting a putz run our country.

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By Quinty, July 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Very good comment Ardee…..

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By Quinty, July 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

The enigma leaps beyond human wisdom.

The tar baby has the mighty US in its grasp. How can the nightmare finally end? How can the “most powerful nation” in the world settle this? Finally?

If we leave, then we become indifferent, callus about the messes we make. We demonstrate to the world that we don’t care how many die, how much destruction there is resulting from our mistakes. For we have washed our hands of it.

If we stay, then we are self defeating fools, prolonging an unpopular war. Creating more destruction, death, and folly at a great cost to both us and the Iraqis.

Unless sanity settles over all of us, and peace appears to be the best option, there is no decent way out. No decent end. For only the desire for peace is our best hope.

Thank you George W. Bush.

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By ardee, July 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm Link to this comment

Of course Ritter is correct, and things are just as George H.W. Bush suggested they would be when he refrained from taking out Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War.

From 1990-91, the U.S. and a United Nations Coalition were sent to Kuwait to remove Iraqi invading forces.  When the Iraqi forces were removed from Kuwait, Bush stopped all military activity and did not pursue deposing Saddam Hussein.

When asked why he did so he stated that to occupy Baghdad and depose Hussein would keep American military forces there for at least a decade. The father definitely had more brains that at least one of his sons!

I fear Iraq is doomed to disintegrate into Kurdish , Shiite and Sunni provinces and the Kurds have much of the oil. Of course the Turks will find much discomfort in an independent or even semi-independent state on the border….

Thank you George and Dick, the gift that keeps on giving.

One additional note, by not progressing with investigations and prosecutions where warranted, into war profiteering, into constitutional violations as well, the Obama administration allows the GOP to maneuver far more freely, speak to a distortion of history, and place all blame for the economy and the war on Obama.

Thank you Democrats, the gift that keeps on giving.

We are so screwed, and ,sorry to say, rather easily manipulated as well. That there are not tens of thousands in the streets of our cities demanding justice, demanding a return of our governance to the people, demanding an end to usurious health care that abandons you when you need it most, and end to pointless and doomed wars and a restoration of our democracy, makes me so sick at heart.

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