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(Yahoo)   Iranian military photoshops out U.S. drone   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 260
    More: News, Revolutionary Guards, United States, Iranians, British Embassy, isotope separation, Santa Ana winds, reconnaissance, oil exports  
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29273 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Dec 2011 at 10:50 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-12-04 02:42:43 PM  

DarnoKonrad: Somebody sure wants to go to war with this country.


yeah, but then again they like to slide on snow. So that's something Link (new window)
 
2011-12-04 02:59:38 PM  
dl.dropbox.com
Jetman. Jetman. Jetman.
 
2011-12-04 03:04:35 PM  

Porous Horace: Amos Quito: Shlomo Brom, who was a senior Israeli military intelligence officer and is now a researcher with Israel's top strategic think tank.

And who WILL believe the lying little narcissistic bastards THIS time?

If the "lying little narcissistic bastards" (nice bit of hate seeping out there, btw) are lying, then who's lying here? Those you're against or the one guy who "proves" your point?


He said Israeli intelligence "badly overestimated the Iraqi threat to Israel and reinforced the American and British belief that the weapons existed."

Yeah, I'd be gun shy and overcautious too if that same country had successfully lobbed missiles into mine.



Gun shy? The Israelis intentionally lied to dupe the US public into supporting an unjust war. They knew Saddam didn't have the capability to strike Israel, but they wanted him out, and didn't want to do the dirty work themselves.


Porous Horace: Also, the US didn't go to war solely on the basis of Israeli intelligence, did it?
Weren't other countries involved? Doesn't the US have an extremely good intelligence network of its own?



Yes, the US government intentionally lied to its own citizens in collusion with the Israelis and the Brits. Of the three, Israel was the primary (if not the sole) beneficiary - just as they will be with Iran. It is now widely known that the whole war was based on lies, yet these asshats have the balls to try the same ploy again.

Talk about chutzpah...


Porous Horace: And who benfitted more from the outcome? I'd say the US (esp. the Cheney/Halliburton types, none of which, iiuc, are Jewish) or Israel?



Oh yeah. The US lost thousands of soldiers, trashed its world credibility, permanently lost the "moral high ground", and spent itself into bankruptcy fighting that war.

What did Israel lose? An enemy named Saddam - and without spending a single shekel or shedding drop of Israeli blood.

And you have the nerve to claim that the US was the primary beneficiary?

LOL!
 
2011-12-04 03:26:47 PM  
I like the "logic - Israel is the sole beneficiary of taking out a country that had no capability of doing anything to Israel.

Internal consistency is for pussies.
 
2011-12-04 03:38:01 PM  
www.asjewelers.com

And they shot down a few of our kitten bombers too.
 
2011-12-04 03:42:22 PM  

vygramul: I like the "logic - Israel is the sole beneficiary of taking out a country that had no capability of doing anything to Israel.

Internal consistency is for pussies.


From my post above:


Amos Quito: Brom told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that "Israeli intelligence was a full partner with the United States and Britain in developing a false picture of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction capability."

He said Israeli intelligence "badly overestimated the Iraqi threat to Israel and reinforced the American and British belief that the weapons existed."

Brom said the Israeli assessment may have been influenced by politics. "Israel has no reason to regret the outcome of the war in Iraq," he wrote, noting Saddam was an implacable enemy.



Link to the USA Today source article (new window)

Yes, Israel was the primary national beneficiary, while the US (and to a lesser extent Britain) incurred enormous costs. No doubt there were numerous corporate and financial institutions that benefited as well.

And Iran poses no more a "threat" to Israel today than Iraq did then, but Israel is a paranoid neurotic and vengeful little POS, so "facts" are only a minor inconvenience in their never ending drive to kill off their enemies at the expense of others.
 
2011-12-04 03:45:08 PM  

ksobby: I hope that poor pilot in Colorado is ok and we get him back to his family soon.

/ like at the end of his shift


And this is why drones are so damn useful. No dead American pilots, or pilots paraded around on Iranian state TV and used as political leverage.
 
2011-12-04 03:49:25 PM  

Amos Quito: Israel was the primary (if not the sole) beneficiary


So you're backing off this claim?
 
2011-12-04 03:51:06 PM  

vygramul: Amos Quito: Israel was the primary (if not the sole) beneficiary

So you're backing off this claim?



What ever gave you that idea?
 
2011-12-04 03:59:34 PM  

Watson 749: I love watching all you Tom Clancy fanboys jerk off into each others faces in these threads.


Don't just be a voyeur - get that little face of yours into the mix. Put your mouth where, uh, your mouth is.
 
2011-12-04 04:26:23 PM  

Amos Quito: vygramul: Amos Quito: Israel was the primary (if not the sole) beneficiary

So you're backing off this claim?


What ever gave you that idea?


So you want it both ways: Israel benefited, and Israel did not benefit, depending on which one suits your argument for that particular post?
 
2011-12-04 04:35:30 PM  

vygramul: Amos Quito: vygramul: Amos Quito: Israel was the primary (if not the sole) beneficiary

So you're backing off this claim?


What ever gave you that idea?

So you want it both ways: Israel benefited, and Israel did not benefit, depending on which one suits your argument for that particular post?



I don't know what you're reading (or smoking?), but I never said that Israel did not benefit.

Izzy wanted Saddam taken out - even though he posed no immediate threat, so they made up lies about his capabilities to trick the US public into supporting a war that would take him out for them.

In the meantime, the Israelis just sat back and mocked us for being stupid enough to believe them.

And here we go again.

Maybe we should take out Izzy's nukes instead?
 
2011-12-04 04:46:31 PM  
We should help Iran by photoshopping what a crashed drone might look like.... I'm sure that thread would have plenty of lulz.
 
2011-12-04 05:15:20 PM  

Amos Quito: vygramul: Amos Quito: vygramul: Amos Quito: Israel was the primary (if not the sole) beneficiary

So you're backing off this claim?


What ever gave you that idea?

So you want it both ways: Israel benefited, and Israel did not benefit, depending on which one suits your argument for that particular post?


I don't know what you're reading (or smoking?), but I never said that Israel did not benefit.


So Israel DID benefit from the US taking out someone that posed no threat nor had any means to hurt Israel. That's your contention? Saddam couldn't hurt Israel, so Israel benefits from Saddam being removed?
 
2011-12-04 05:25:06 PM  

vygramul: Amos Quito: vygramul: Amos Quito: vygramul: Amos Quito: Israel was the primary (if not the sole) beneficiary

So you're backing off this claim?


What ever gave you that idea?

So you want it both ways: Israel benefited, and Israel did not benefit, depending on which one suits your argument for that particular post?


I don't know what you're reading (or smoking?), but I never said that Israel did not benefit.

So Israel DID benefit from the US taking out someone that posed no threat nor had any means to hurt Israel. That's your contention? Saddam couldn't hurt Israel, so Israel benefits from Saddam being removed?



Well, that's pretty much what the Israeli general quoted in the USA Today article I cited earlier said, isn't it?

The "logic" of Izzy is dizzy from my perspective.

If you want an explanation, I suggest you ask General Shlomo Brom.
 
2011-12-04 05:44:41 PM  

Amos Quito:
Well, that's pretty much what the Israeli general quoted in the USA Today article I cited earlier said, isn't it?
If you want an explanation, I suggest you ask General Shlomo Brom.


What about the opinions of Yuval Steinitz and Efraim Inbar, also quoted in the article? Or do you only like opinions that fit your narrative? "Israelis lie except when they say things that support my anti-Israel viewpoint."
 
2011-12-04 05:48:25 PM  

Porous Horace: Amos Quito:
Well, that's pretty much what the Israeli general quoted in the USA Today article I cited earlier said, isn't it?
If you want an explanation, I suggest you ask General Shlomo Brom.

What about the opinions of Yuval Steinitz and Efraim Inbar, also quoted in the article? Or do you only like opinions that fit your narrative? "Israelis lie except when they say things that support my anti-Israel viewpoint."


Ding!
 
2011-12-04 05:54:28 PM  

Porous Horace: Amos Quito:
Well, that's pretty much what the Israeli general quoted in the USA Today article I cited earlier said, isn't it?
If you want an explanation, I suggest you ask General Shlomo Brom.

What about the opinions of Yuval Steinitz and Efraim Inbar, also quoted in the article? Or do you only like opinions that fit your narrative? "Israelis lie except when they say things that support my anti-Israel viewpoint."



Efraim Inbar: "Intelligence has to warn of the worst-case scenario," Inbar said. He also questioned Brom's conclusion that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. "They haven't found Saddam, either, but does that mean there was no Saddam Hussein?"


We now have the advantage of eight years of hindsight.

I believe the one who was correct, unlike the others, who had obvious motives to try to spin the story to help Israel save face.

So what say, should we attack Iran tonight? Or maybe order pizza instead?
 
2011-12-04 05:55:23 PM  

vygramul: Porous Horace: Amos Quito:
Well, that's pretty much what the Israeli general quoted in the USA Today article I cited earlier said, isn't it?
If you want an explanation, I suggest you ask General Shlomo Brom.

What about the opinions of Yuval Steinitz and Efraim Inbar, also quoted in the article? Or do you only like opinions that fit your narrative? "Israelis lie except when they say things that support my anti-Israel viewpoint."

Ding!


Bat!
 
2011-12-04 06:00:30 PM  
My god, what a shiat fest in this thread.

Israel after Saddam was weakened in the first gulf war, went after Iran.
Israel went with the neoconservatives, where the Saddam invasion plan originated - not Israel, once they knew Iran was on the larger table. They were also key in influencing Bush and Cheney to this effect.

All this arguing of Israel/ not israel is dumb or deceptive - depending on who is talking here.
 
2011-12-04 06:03:23 PM  

Amos Quito: .


You need to read more. Your comments lack the nuance needed.

vygramul: .


From our previous discussions, you should read more as well. Maybe get past the first couple of pages.
 
2011-12-04 06:13:41 PM  
Persian Cats = F-14s, they still fly them.

Well sort of.
 
2011-12-04 07:11:50 PM  

Party Boy: Amos Quito: .

You need to read more. Your comments lack the nuance needed.



I welcome constructive/instructive criticism.

The above wasn't.

Tits or GTFO. :-)
 
2011-12-04 07:52:46 PM  

Party Boy: Amos Quito: .

You need to read more. Your comments lack the nuance needed.

vygramul: .

From our previous discussions, you should read more as well. Maybe get past the first couple of pages.


So, you got nothin' then.

Check.
 
2011-12-04 07:58:55 PM  
Great... now they have intercontinental missiles and our stealth drone technology.
www.thepeoplescube.com
 
2011-12-04 08:08:37 PM  

apachevoyeur: Great... now they have intercontinental missiles and our stealth drone technology.
[www.thepeoplescube.com image 448x298]


Aww shiat... does that mean they're going to have stealth intercontinental drone missiles now?
 
2011-12-04 08:26:52 PM  
I find it funny all of the ill informed anti-Israel windbags... no power to do anything other than to vetch and make uninformed conclusions based off of mass media BS.
 
2011-12-04 08:53:02 PM  

Amos Quito: I welcome constructive/instructive criticism.


I'm not in the mood right now. its my opinion you should read up on this subject. Regarding Iran, go read Trita Parsi's work. It should bring up up to about a 7 out of 10. Well beyond a simple construction of just looking at Israel.

vygramul: So, you got nothin' then.


My opinion of your capacity, so far, is formed by our last discussion, where you've admittedly dismissed a work with 5 pages of reading. Thats just pathetic.

Lets be clear, I'm not sure you are actually worth the time. Reading this thread hasn't helped that image.
 
2011-12-04 08:54:00 PM  

Eshkar: I find it funny all of the ill informed anti-Israel windbags... no power to do anything other than to vetch and make uninformed conclusions based off of mass media BS.



Where as YOU have the power to adjust the volume on your TV set with the touch of a button...


/You misspelled "kvetch"
 
2011-12-04 08:58:30 PM  

Amos Quito: Eshkar: I find it funny all of the ill informed anti-Israel windbags... no power to do anything other than to vetch and make uninformed conclusions based off of mass media BS.


Where as YOU have the power to adjust the volume on your TV set with the touch of a button...


/You misspelled "kvetch"



...not really big on TV... I prefer to put boots on the ground.

/sorry I'm Sephardic not big on Yiddish; though I do like the word kvetch
 
2011-12-04 09:16:09 PM  

Party Boy: Amos Quito: I welcome constructive/instructive criticism.

I'm not in the mood right now. its my opinion you should read up on this subject. Regarding Iran, go read Trita Parsi's work. It should bring up up to about a 7 out of 10. Well beyond a simple construction of just looking at Israel.

vygramul: So, you got nothin' then.

My opinion of your capacity, so far, is formed by our last discussion, where you've admittedly dismissed a work with 5 pages of reading. Thats just pathetic.

Lets be clear, I'm not sure you are actually worth the time. Reading this thread hasn't helped that image.


Yes, because if a math proof has "1+1=3" at line three, I still have to read the entire proof before deciding it is wrong.

I've also written many posts on Fark about Israel, but you haven't gone and read all of them before deciding I am wrong. So you're just a hypocrite.

Or a moron.
 
2011-12-04 09:39:25 PM  
Saddest part is Iran is on a nation-wide manhunt for the pilot... who is possibly hiding out in a homosexual's house.
 
2011-12-04 10:00:38 PM  

vygramul: Yes


Thread is linked. You presented a broken representation of the work, which isn't surprising considering a whopping 5 page reading.
Worse, you couldn't present a cited and conextualized counterargument. Its easy. Look at this summary, since you are fond of short readings.
Specifically, Professor Mearsheimer and I made it clear in our article and especially in our book that the idea of invading Iraq originated in the United States with the neoconservatives, and not with the Israeli government. But as the neoconservative pundit Max Boot once put it, steadfast support for Israel is "a key tenet of neoconservatism." Prominent neo-conservatives occupied important positions in the Bush administration, and in the aftermath of 9/11, they played a major role in persuading Bush and Cheney to back a war against Iraq, which they had been advocating since the late 1990s. We also pointed out that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli officials were initially skeptical of this scheme, because they wanted the U.S. to focus on Iran, not Iraq. However, they became enthusiastic supporters of the idea of invading Iraq once the Bush administration made it clear to them that Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of "regional transformation" that would eventually include Iran.
Though, I feel this is too brief. More details are needed.
When you want to get serious about it, you'll need to read the work and handle it like an adult.


vygramul: "1+1=3"


Math is, frankly, a terrible analogue for a work on a historical event and its context. Its a major mistake that reflects a broken understanding on how you study people.
Using a dismissive mathematical analogue to represent human culture, something with zero (0) causal laws is just bad form.

Perhaps one day you can present an understanding of the subject. Feel free to do so.
 
2011-12-04 10:21:30 PM  

Party Boy: vygramul: Yes

Thread is linked. You presented a broken representation of the work, which isn't surprising considering a whopping 5 page reading.
Worse, you couldn't present a cited and conextualized counterargument. Its easy. Look at this summary, since you are fond of short readings.Specifically, Professor Mearsheimer and I made it clear in our article and especially in our book that the idea of invading Iraq originated in the United States with the neoconservatives, and not with the Israeli government. But as the neoconservative pundit Max Boot once put it, steadfast support for Israel is "a key tenet of neoconservatism." Prominent neo-conservatives occupied important positions in the Bush administration, and in the aftermath of 9/11, they played a major role in persuading Bush and Cheney to back a war against Iraq, which they had been advocating since the late 1990s. We also pointed out that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli officials were initially skeptical of this scheme, because they wanted the U.S. to focus on Iran, not Iraq. However, they became enthusiastic supporters of the idea of invading Iraq once the Bush administration made it clear to them that Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of "regional transformation" that would eventually include Iran.
Though, I feel this is too brief. More details are needed.When you want to get serious about it, you'll need to read the work and handle it like an adult.


vygramul: "1+1=3"

Math is, frankly, a terrible analogue for a work on a historical event and its context. Its a major mistake that reflects a broken understanding on how you study people.
Using a dismissive mathematical analogue to represent human culture, something with zero (0) causal laws is just bad form.

Perhaps one day you can present an understanding of the subject. Feel free to do so.


Mearsheimer built his entire career on the foreign affairs theory that leaders and special interest groups have no effect on a country's actions. He calls the Israel lobby the exception. In science, we tend to see "exceptions" as proof of being "wrong". It's also wrong in formal logic. Offensive realism theory even adequately explains why the US behaves as it does.

And again, how many pages of blatant lies and cherry-picking must one read? Half the book? Quarter? Can't stop until the last page of the notes? Do I need to read ALL of Dick Cheney's book before deciding he's lying to me?

And you're lying to yourself and to your audience if you insist otherwise, and I bet you even know it.
 
2011-12-04 11:06:29 PM  

b2theory:
A nuclear armed Iran has greater implications beyond Israel's fears and the unlikely senario where they hand one to a terrorist organization. If Iran tests a nuclear weapon you will have the other gulf states start similar weapons programs.


A well armed country is a polite country.
 
2011-12-04 11:07:27 PM  
First

Party Boy: Amos Quito: I welcome constructive/instructive criticism.

I'm not in the mood right now. its my opinion you should read up on this subject. Regarding Iran, go read Trita Parsi's work. It should bring up up to about a 7 out of 10. Well beyond a simple construction of just looking at Israel.



And then...


Party Boy: Specifically, Professor Mearsheimer and I made it clear in our article and especially in our book that the idea of invading Iraq originated in the United States with the neoconservatives, and not with the Israeli government. But as the neoconservative pundit Max Boot once put it, steadfast support for Israel is "a key tenet of neoconservatism." Prominent neo-conservatives occupied important positions in the Bush administration, and in the aftermath of 9/11, they played a major role in persuading Bush and Cheney to back a war against Iraq, which they had been advocating since the late 1990s. We also pointed out that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli officials were initially skeptical of this scheme, because they wanted the U.S. to focus on Iran, not Iraq. However, they became enthusiastic supporters of the idea of invading Iraq once the Bush administration made it clear to them that Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of "regional transformation" that would eventually include Iran.
Though, I feel this is too brief. More details are needed.



You chide me for focusing on Israel, then proceed to post a quote stating that Neoconservatives were behind the war scheme, and emphasizing that a primary tenet of Neoconservatism is "steadfast support" for the Zionist State.

Obviously this brings us full circle, and we're back to my initial contention: That the war primarily served Israeli (Zionist) interests.

The most powerful and influential figures in Zionism aren't to be found in Israel - let alone in the Israeli government. Israel is nothing without outside support, and far more important work is carried on in diaspora - where the games of political and financial skulduggery are played.

And in turn, the interests of Zionism reach far beyond the borders of Israel, don't they?

I've seen some of your posts here, you seem well informed, and have posted many valuable cites - but frankly you come off as a bit stiff - like a nerdy, virgin 7th grade science teacher trying to lecture a class on sex while being scrutinized by the local garden club's Decency in Education Committee.

You seem afraid to call a spade a spade. I'm guessing you're an academic or have career issues that you feel may be jeopardized if you dare say or imply the "wrong thing".

Amirite?
 
2011-12-04 11:08:45 PM  
In related news, everyone on FARK is an asshat who doesn't believe in the golden rule or reciprocity because:

a) They think Iran's oil ought to be in their gas tank

b) They're mooooslims

c) We need to finish the job we started in 1953. Omelets, eggs, etc.

d) Iran can't fly drones over the USA. But that's OK because we already do thanks to the INS! No hellfire missile attacks against wetback....yet
 
2011-12-04 11:22:30 PM  
First of all - no response with context.

vygramul: He calls the Israel lobby the exception. In science, we tend to see "exceptions" as proof of being "wrong".


Party Boy: Math is, frankly, a terrible analogue for a work on a historical event and its context. Its a major mistake that reflects a broken understanding on how you study people.
Using a dismissive mathematical analogue to represent human culture, something with zero (0) causal laws is just bad form.


Its as if you walked right into that one.



Amos Quito: You chide me for focusing on Israel, then proceed to post a quote stating that Neoconservatives were behind the war scheme, and emphasizing that a primary tenet of Neoconservatism is "steadfast support" for the Zionist State.


Correct. Neoconservatives can feel this way. In the case of the Iraq war, its different from Israel calling the shots. Quite different as Israel had been focusing on Iran and wasn't directing the actions like a marionette. This level of deeper contextual understanding on issues beyond this one is the source of what is getting you tripped up. Specific people, specific actions. Understanding this will require more reading. I suggest Parsi's book for both, really when concerning Iran. Though, I am sure both of you would consider yourselves knowledgeable of M&W, when that work should be reread.
 
2011-12-04 11:27:29 PM  

strobe: We need to finish the job we started in 1953


There are massive foreign policy changes from 1953.
Explain how dual containment differs from the 1950's and how it lead into ILSA.
 
2011-12-04 11:38:19 PM  
We've had our hand down Iran's pants for years now. It's got me hard, it's got Israel hard, and it's time to drop trou and f*uck her.
 
2011-12-04 11:50:27 PM  

Dalrint: I hope this isn't considered off topic, but all this is stemming from nobody wanting Iran to have nukes. I like and agree with that concept, but...

I've been sort of wondering, what's our authority for telling another nation what they can't build? Is Iran a non-nuclear proliferation country or anything and they're violating that? I mean, they're an awful example of a country but they are a country. Can't they pretty much do what they want?


They're batshiat insane and we're scared of them.
 
2011-12-04 11:50:28 PM  
Obama never released his real birth certificate because it would prove he's a Lemba Jew.
 
2011-12-04 11:56:33 PM  
"Irgunner"?

www.thejc.com

What an Irgunner might look like.

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org

What an Irgunner might do.
 
2011-12-05 12:09:42 AM  
Iraq's proven oil reserves of 112 billion barrels are the world's second largest, behind Saudi Arabia.

This data point gets lost in the debate. Al Qaeda forced the US out of Saudi Arabia. For those old enough, the US removed Saddam from Kuwait to protect that oil supply. "No blood for oil" was the bumper sticker in the early 90s.

Having a stable, friendly government in Iraq, with US bases there would have been a good result for the US. Now, the government there is unstable and the US has pulled out. I don't know what the oil companies are doing or how they are interacting with the Iraqi government. Oil is a hundred dollars a barrel.

So - did we go in solely to improve Israel's strategic position? Saddam was a tough mofo. He did launch a few SCUD missiles at Israel during Gulf War I.

Oil, Israel, transforming Iraq into a stable democracy - these were all probably factors in the decision to invade Iraq. Was there one reason? Or was there the perception that we could reshape the Middle East to quell the anti-western sentiment that led to the global jihad?

I try to base my conclusions about the world on evidence. I won't deny that Israel-related concerns were likely A factor. But recall that Iran and Iraq had recently fought a war that resulted in around million dead. A million dead from that war. That provided a strategic balance, Iraq (Sunni) versus Iran (Sunni). They were implacable enemies and held each other's focus. They would have never united against Israel. Israel is merely a political tool for both of them. Israel is useful as an existing bogeyman, not a resolved issue.

The truth was stumbled on earlier in an exchange between Amos Quito and vygramul - Iraq was an irritant to Israel, not a severe threat. Taking out Iraq would have pleased the Israelis and the American supporters of Israel, but it wasn't a critical issue.

But the massive oil fields, the reshaping of the Middle East - these were the kickers it would seem to me. It's speculation. I have no access to the inner thoughts of Bush and Cheney and the national security team.

Vietnam flashed over into a shooting war because of the Tonkin Gulf incident. It was also a false casus belli, as were the WMD claims. Israel had nothing to do with Vietnam. The US became involved because of a strategic mindset of "If we don't fight the communists "over there", we'll be fighting them on the beaches of Santa Monica." I think the driving factors in Iraq were also strategic calculations, namely securing vast oil reserves and reshaping the Middle East to undermine the anti-US sentiment which peaked in Al Qaeda and the global jihad.

My best guess is that flawed strategic thinking for the US persuaded the policy makers to invade Iraq, as they did in Vietnam.
 
2011-12-05 12:11:47 AM  
Typo: reads "That provided a strategic balance, Iraq (Sunni) versus Iran (Sunni)"; should read "That provided a strategic balance, Iraq (Sunni) versus Iran (Shia)"
 
2011-12-05 12:18:37 AM  

Party Boy: Amos Quito: You chide me for focusing on Israel, then proceed to post a quote stating that Neoconservatives were behind the war scheme, and emphasizing that a primary tenet of Neoconservatism is "steadfast support" for the Zionist State.

Correct. Neoconservatives can feel this way. In the case of the Iraq war, its different from Israel calling the shots. Quite different as Israel had been focusing on Iran and wasn't directing the actions like a marionette. This level of deeper contextual understanding on issues beyond this one is the source of what is getting you tripped up



Kid, I've been observing this shiat for 30 years. Unless specifics are called into question, I write to my audience, because there is much that is meaningless without context, and trying to do otherwise just puts people to sleep. Am I aware of every detail of every backroom deal and cloak and dagger scandal? No, but I learn more every day, and allow my perspective to adjust as new information becomes available.

And as for you, there you go again. You imply that you have relevant information that might add to the discussion, but rather than distilling that information into a salient summary, you tell me to "go read a book", which is usually the last resort of those that have just lost an argument and need a fire escape.

Why should I read it? Give me a reason, provide a teaser. I read the reviews at your link, and it does look interesting, but YOU must feel that facts contained therein are relevant to the topic at hand. Why not share that perspective?

Do you fear the "Scarlet Letter"?
 
2011-12-05 12:24:30 AM  

Amos Quito: Kid, I've been observing this shiat for 30 years.


You need to do a better job at looking at specific actors and actions. You are, quite clearly, conflating Israel here to a variety of groups.

Amos Quito: Why should I read it? Give me a reason, provide a teaser.


Bill Clinton administration to focus not on Iraq as a menace,but on Iran. "Iran has to be identified as Enemy No.1,"Yossi Alpher,at the time an ad- viser to Rabin,told the New York Times four days after Clinton's election vic- tory. 46 Rabin repeatedly presented this message to U.S.officials to pressure Washington to take action against Iran."Iran as part ofthe threat became part ofIsrael's strategic presentation,because this was certainly the view that Rabin was presenting in Washington in the early 1990s," page 163
The Israeli campaign caught the Clinton administration offguard.Is- rael's advice did not fit Washington's agenda;the Clinton White House was focused on Iraq,not Iran.And contrary to the mid-1980s,Israel was now sending out feelers to Iraq while urging the United States to isolate Iran. page 164
Iran was more prominent on the Israeli radar not because it had become more antagonistic toward Israel but because all previous threats had more or less evaporated. 166
The defeat ofIraq and the disappearance ofthe dreaded "eastern front"caused Israel's eyes to turn to Iran. 166
Israelis need existential threat - worst case scenario 167
In spite ofIraq's defeat,many in the Israeli military continued to worry about Saddam's chemical and nuclear weapons program."Iran wasn't an im- mediate threat.Iran was never an immediate threat.Iraq was,however,"Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak explained.Israeli academics and security experts were equally critical.Israel Shahak pointed out that the Labor government depicted Iran as a threat at the height ofIran's weakness. 168
Shai Feldman ofthe Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies wrote that Israel's need for a new "boogey man"lay behind the exaggeration ofIran's military power. Anoushiravan Ehteshami and Raymond Hinnebusch argued that Peres and Rabin turned Iran into a modern day Golem-a mythical figure of fear and loathing in Israeli folklore. 168
Perhaps most importantly,the alarmism over Iran reinforced the message that Washington needed Israel.The strategic significance Israel had enjoyed during the Cold War could be regained through the common threat ofIran and Islamic fun- damentalism-instead ofbeing a friendly bulwark against Soviet expan- sionism,Israel would now be a friendly bulwark against Iran's regional am- bitions in a unipolar world."There was a feeling in Israel that because of the end ofthe Cold War,relations with the U.S.were cooling and we needed some new glue for the alliance,"Inbar said."And the new glue... was radi- cal Islam.And Iran was radical Islam." 170
pro-Israeli think tank that Indyk helped found in 1985.It was a major policy declaration,originally slated to be given by National Security Advisor Anthony Lake himself. The policy was a major shift in America's approach to the region.Traditionally,Washington sought to balance Iran and Iraq against each other to maintain a degree ofstability. Now,Indyk argued,America's strength had reached such levels that it did not need to balance the two against each other-it could balance both with- out relying on either. 171
While winning praise in Tel Aviv,the new policy met with heavy criti- cism in Washington.Foreign policy experts inside the Beltway found the Is- raeli focus ofthe new policy disturbing.The Israeli origin ofDual Contain- ment "was pretty much accepted in Washington,"according to Assistant Secretary ofState Pelletreau,even though in public administration officials conceded only that the policy was "influenced or stimulated"by Israeli thinking. 171
The harshest critics maintained that the Israeli tilt ofthe policy produced undesirable consequences for American interests."It was a nutty idea,"Scowcroft complained.It was simply "crazy"to try to balance both Iran and Iraq with American power,he said. 171
Iran and Israel were two ofthe few countries in the region that were powerful enough to shape the new Middle East order.This alone put the two non-Arab powerhouses on a collision course.Israel rec- ognized this reality first,but the Iranians were quick to pick up on it. 174
In the new Israel-centric order that would be created,Israel would lead while Tehran would be prevented from "playing a role equal to its capacity and power." 176
For the first time,Iran began to translate its anti-Israel rhetoric into opera- tional policy. Contrary to the dictum ofAyatollah Khomeini,Iran would now become a front-line state against Israel,because ifOslo failed,so would the efforts to create a new regional order on the back ofIran's isolation. 176
Iran intensified its efforts to overcome differences with radical Palestin- ian groups.Oslo helped create a marriage ofconvenience between Iran and Islamic Jihad,but it would still take a few more years before relations with Hamas began to thaw. 177
Playing up the Iranian threat in Israel's domestic rhetoric,the Labor Party believed,wasn't necessarily very aggressive con- duct,particularly because the party believed that there was some truth to the allegation.Though exaggerated,"the threat was real,it wasn't invented," Rabinovich told me. And the exaggeration ofthe threat reinforced Israel's other objectives-it undermined any warm-up in U.S.-Iran relations,it compelled Washington to take stronger measures against Iran,it turned many pro-Western Arab states against Iran,and it became "the greatest threat to [Iran's] goal ofregional dominance." If Israel hadn't painted Iran as the main threat to peace and stability in the region and beyond,the inter- national community and the United States would not have sought to con- tain and isolate it. 180
The Israeli-U.S.-Iranian triangle had shifted remarkably in just a few years. In the 1980s,Israel was the unlikely defender ofand apologist for Iran in Washington,taking great risks to pressure the Reagan administration to open up channels ofcommunication with Iran.Now,Israel did the oppo- site.Israel wanted the United States to put Iran under economic and politi- cal siege. Shimon Peres's New Middle East and the American policy of Dual Containment that went into effect in 1993 after more than a year ofIs- raeli pressure would all but write Iran's isolation into law. 181
But the prevailing view in the Israeli government was that a U.S.-Iran dialogue would not benefit Israel because Iran was interested only in reduc- ing tensions with Washington-not with Israel."What the Iranians want is to have the U.S.recognize them as a regional superpower in the Middle East,"Israeli Gen.Amos Gilad argued. Just as it did in the Iran-Contra affair and the Lebanese hostage negotiations with Washington in the early 1990s,Iran would try to cut Israel out ofthe deal because Israel itself couldn't offer Tehran anything it needed. 181
But the prevailing view in the Israeli government was that a U.S.-Iran dialogue would not benefit Israel because Iran was interested only in reduc- ing tensions with Washington-not with Israel."What the Iranians want is to have the U.S.recognize them as a regional superpower in the Middle East,"Israeli Gen.Amos Gilad argued.Just as it did in the Iran-Contra af- fair and the Lebanese hostage negotiations with Washington in the early 1990s,Iran would try to cut Israel out ofthe deal because Israel itself couldn't offer Tehran anything it needed. 182

This was particularly true ifU.S.-Iran relations were put in a global context,in which Washington needed to maintain some influence over Iran and its gas and oil reserves in order to keep the United States'future geopo- litical rival-China-in check."A small state is always worried that a global ally will make a deal in which it takes a global view ofthe deal and forget about local details that for a local actor are very important,"Rabinovich ex- plained. Apprehension that Washington would "sell Israel out"and pur- sue its own interests in a U.S.-Iran dialogue weighed heavily on the minds of Israeli strategists. Because Israel viewed a U.S.-Iran dialogue as a greater threat than that ofIran itself,the optimal strategy was to prevent a dialogue from materializing in the first place. This provided the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC),the most potent pro-Israeli lobby group in the United States,with a new cause to rally around. 182
Rabin had always had a prob- lematic relationship with American Jewish organizations,partly because of his secular inclinations and upbringing,but mainly because ofwhat he per- ceived as repeated attempts by American Jewish leaders to sideline Israel's government (particularly its Labor governments) by approaching the U.S. administration on Israel's behalf.Lobbying the administration should be off-limits to AIPAC,he insisted,whereas Capitol Hill was fair game. "He felt that the community had become too big ofa part ofthe bilateral [U.S.- Israel] relationship," 183
Israel's new push against Iran pro- vided AIPAC with an opportunity to reinvent itselfin the Oslo era,when its traditional function ofcountering Arab influence in Washington had be- come obsolete."AIPAC made Iran a major issue since they didn't have any other issue to champion,"said Shai Feldman ofthe Jaffee Center for Strate- gic Studies in Tel Aviv."The U.S.was in favor ofthe peace process,so what would they push for?" AIPAC needed a new issue,and Israel needed help in turning Washington against Iran.It was a win-win situation. 183
By mid-1994,Israel and AIPAC turned the full force oftheir diplomatic and lobby power against Iran.Rabin's advisers requested that he ask the West to impose "some potent economic sanctions against Iran."75 This wasn't an easy task,because even though Iran wasn't a popular country in the United States,it wasn't considered a threat.But whatever challenges lay ahead,they could be resolved with AIPAC's help.Rabin held a teleconfer- ence with U.S.Jewish leaders in September 1994 to coordinate the strategy. His message was clear-Iran was the greatest threat to Middle East peace. "Behind [the Palestinian rejectionists] there is an Islamic country,Iran,that in addition tries to develop in the coming seven to fifteen years nuclear weapons and ground-to-ground missiles that can reach every part ofthe Middle East,"he said. 184
Knowing the Clinton administration's commitment to the peace pro- cess,Rabin used the Oslo agreement as a hook."You guys got to do some- thing about the Iranians,because they are killing us,"Israel told the Clinton administration,according to Ken Pollack,who served in the Clinton White House,suggesting that Tel Aviv couldn't pursue peace with the Arab inner circle unless the United States adopted a tougher line on Iran on the periph- ery.At the behest ofthe Israeli government,AIPAC drafted and circulated a seventy-four-page paper in Washington arguing that Iran was a threat not only to Israel,but also to the United States and the West."The pro-Israeli community turned strongly against Iran,influencing U.S.policy on Iran in an almost emotional way,"former National Security Advisor Brent Scow- croft recalled. 184
In late 1994,Rabin accused North Korea ofhaving supplied Iran with Scud ground-to-ground missiles with a range ofthree hundred miles- much less than the distance between Iran and Israel.A month later,citing unnamed American and Israeli officials,the New York Times reported that Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program was ahead ofschedule and could result in a preemptive Israeli strike against its reactors.Iran responded by issuing a stern warning to Israel."Should Israel commit such a blunder,we will teach her a lesson not to ever attempt another aggression against Iran," Iran Speaker ofthe Parliament Ali Akbar Nateq Noori told Iran News. But these Iranian statements only played into the hands ofIsrael,whose efforts to portray Iran as a threat benefited from Tehran's tough talk. 184
By October 1994,Washington started to adopt the Israeli line on Iran. In response to Israeli pressure-and not to Iranian actions-Washington's rhetoric on Iran began to mirror Israel's talking points.U.S.Secretary of State Warren Christopher told an audience at Georgetown University in October 1994 that "Iran is the world's most significant sponsor ofterrorism and the most ardent opponent ofthe Middle East peace process.The inter- national community has been far too tolerant ofIran's outlaw behavior.... The evidence is overwhelming:Iran is intent on projecting terror and ex- tremism across the Middle East and beyond.Only a concerted international effort can stop it." 185

But neither America's adoption ofthe Israeli line on Iran nor Dual Containment was sufficient.Having achieved these goals,Israel raised the bar and requested additional pressure on Iran. After all,while the Clinton administration had adopted Israel's rhetoric and hard stance on Iran in the political sphere,U.S.-Iran trade remained unaffected by Dual Contain- ment.Trade between the two countries totaled $3.8 billion in 1994,with an additional $1.2 billion in goods sold by U.S.companies through foreign subsidiaries,making the United States one ofIran's largest trading part- ners. 185
"Basically,more American money was being sent to Iran than any other country.That's what got us [AIPAC] interested in the economic side ofit."(Remarkably,throughout the 1990s,Israel never passed any laws prohibiting Iranian-Israeli trade.) AIPAC organized a campaign to bridge the gap between Washington's political and economic approach to Iran.Together with the Israeli government,it pressured the Clinton administration to lead by example,because American efforts to shut down Russian and European trade with Iran would fail unless America's political and economic policies were aligned. "The right,AIPAC,the Israelis were all screaming for new sanctions,"Pollack explained,adding that the Clinton administration saw Iran only through the prism ofthe Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 186 The campaign did not win much traction until the Rafsanjani government offered the American oil company Conoco a lucrative oil deal in 1995. In the midst ofthe Israeli campaign to impose sanctions on Iran,Rafsanjani made one last effort to improve relations with the United States.The repeated snubs from the United States had cost Rafsanjani dearly at home,but now the Iranians followed a double policy.On the one hand,they courted Washington when possible,and on the other hand,they supported Palestinian Islamists and took the lead against Israel in the Islamic world to strengthen Iran's appeal in the Arab street.This would make it more difficult to exclude Iran from regional affairs in the future,Tehran reasoned,because it would make Iran an even more potent spoiler. Because a direct political rapprochement with the United States remained unlikely,Rafsanjani chose to use Iran's economic ties with Washington to create areas of common interest that could later pave the way for a political rapprochement. American investments in Iran's ailing oil industry would be a winwin solution,Rafsanjani figured. 186 In his attempts to expand Iran's economic relations with the international community,Rafsanjani had for years fought to reopen Iran's oil industry to foreign companies.The symbolism ofthis move was significant. The oil industry had played a central role in the Iranian revolution and in the country's economic and political development earlier in the twentieth century.Iran opened bidding for production agreements for two ofits offshore oil fields to international companies in 1994.The first oil contract after the revolution,worth $1 billion,was expected to go to the French-owned Total.However,after having negotiated with Conoco,Iran announced on March 6,1995,that the contract would go to the Americans. 186 The deal was approved by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himselfand was intended as an olive branch to Washington,the Iranians say.To ensure the blessing ofthe White House,Conoco had kept the U.S.government closely informed ofits negotiations.The State Department had repeatedly reassured Conoco that the White House would approve the deal. 187 For AIPAC,the Conoco deal "was a coincidence and a convenient target." The organization went into high gear to use the Iranian offer not only to scuttle the Conoco deal,but also to put an end to all U.S.-Iran trade. In a report that it released on April 2,1995,titled "Comprehensive U.S. Sanctions Against Iran:A Plan for Action,"AIPAC argued that Iran must be punished for its actions against Israel."Iran's leaders reject the existence of Israel.Moreover,Iran views the peace process as an American attempt to legalize Israel's occupation ofPalestinian,Muslim lands,"it said. Pressured by Congress,AIPAC,and the Israelis,President Clinton swiftly scrapped the deal by issuing two executive orders that effectively prohibited all trade with Iran. 187
The decision was announced on April 30 by Clinton in a speech before the World Jewish Congress. A day later,Christopher told journalists that the controversial decision was motivated by Iran's "repugnant behavior"- Tehran still sponsored terrorism, opposed the Middle East peace process, and was trying to acquire nuclear weapons,he argued. But in reality,targeting the Conoco deal-which was a result ofTehran's eagerness to improve relations with the United States-was "a major demonstration of [American] support for Israel." Immediately,speculation in the U.S.media began on "where U.S.foreign policy ends and Israeli interests begin." 187

 
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With AIPAC and Israel lobbying against accepting Iranian olive branches,and with no major political campaign in favor ofa U.S.-Iran rapprochement,changing course on Iran had no political downside.(Conoco's efforts to reverse the decision were hopelessly unsuccessful.) "From a political standpoint,nobody pays a price to be tough on Iran,"Ross commented. 188
(it should be noted how oil companies fought against it, unsuccessfully my point)
AIPAC launched a formidable lobbying campaign and managed to win extensive support for the bill-the Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA)-on Capitol Hill. ILSA went beyond the executive orders that President Clinton had promulgated sixteen months earlier,because it targeted both American and non-American companies that invested $40 million or more in the Iranian oil and gas sector.The official aim ofthe bill was to deny Iran and Libya revenues that could be used to finance international terrorism and limit the flow ofresources necessary to obtain weapons ofmass destruction. The Clinton administration balked.Robert Pelletreau,assistant secretary ofstate at the time,testified in Congress against the bill, arguing that extraterritorial sanctions would be counterproductive by alienating countries whose cooperation the United States needed to cripple the Iranian regime."We want to isolate the Iranians,not become isolated ourselves,"he told the House International Relations Committee. But Clinton was no match for AIPAC's influence in Congress.The bill passed the House ofRepresentatives 415 votes to 0 and was reluctantly signed into law by the president in August 1996. 188
Though AIPAC's efforts had helped eliminate billions ofdollars worth of trade with Iran,the pro-Israel lobby felt that ILSA actually should be welcomed by American businesses because it primarily targeted foreign companies."We promulgated ILSA ...to level the playing field,"explained Weissman ofAIPAC."We wanted to show that we were not penalizing American business for foreign policy reasons....But nobody [in the busi- ness community] liked it.Maybe it was naïve ofus."Much ofcorporate America was infuriated by the bill.Even though the ILSA sanctions targeted foreign companies,they still posed a danger to American companies because ofthe potential threat ofcountersanctions by European and Asian governments.To make matters worse,even though it pressed for U.S.sanctions,Israel itselfcontinued to purchase Iranian goods through third countries."There were many times over the years that a few ofthe things Israel did vis-à-vis Iran admittedly allowed people to perceive that we [the United States] were harder-line than they [Israel] were,"Weissman admitted. 189
These contradictions aside,ILSA was a major success for AIPAC and Israel-not as a result offorcing a change in Iranian foreign policy,because it never did.In retrospect,Indyk admits that ILSA "was counterproductive to our efforts to try to change Iranian behavior because it split us from our allies,the Europeans." Rather,the success ofILSA lay in the almost irremovable political obstacle it created to any effort at improving U.S.-Iran relations-a critical objective ofIsrael as a result ofits fear that a dialogue between Washington and Tehran would come at the expense ofIsrael's strategic role."We were against it [U.S.-Iran dialogue] ...because the interest ofthe U.S.did not coincide with ours,"Israeli Deputy Defense minister Sneh admitted. 189

Several ofNetanyahu's advisers went so far as to argue that Israel and Iran shared mutual interests,beyond the disagreements between them.Israeli media sympathetic to the Likud government's shift on Iran argued that the previous Labor government was to blame for the escalation with Iran,citing Israeli envoy Lubrani's efforts to convince the Clinton administration to finance a coup d'état 197
But Netanyahu went beyond just lowering the rhetoric.He tried to reach an understanding with Iran through the help ofprominent Iranian Jews,he stopped Israeli attacks on Iran within international organizations, he arranged for meetings between Iranian and Israeli representatives at European think tanks,and he encouraged Israeli parliamentarians to reach out to their Iranian counterparts at meetings ofthe Inter-Parliamentarian Union.As usual,the Iranians later denied having participated in meetings with the Israelis. 197
Once in power,Netanyahu feared that a continuation ofthe terror could defeat him just as it had defeated Peres. By lowering Israel's rhetoric on Iran,Netanyahu sought to avoid any unnecessary provocation against Iran that he believed could lead to more terrorist attacks with unpredictable political consequences 198
The Likud government believed that the era ofDual Containment was over and feared that the United States would open relations with Iran.Israel had to reduce tensions with Iran to prepare itself for such a scenario. The lower the tensions were with Iran,the more the negative repercussions ofimproved U.S.-Iran relations could be minimized. Just like Labor,Likud's strategy was to oppose U.S.-Iran relations as long as it could,but Likud wanted Israel to be able to swiftly reposition itself if a political breakthrough between Iran and the United States was in the making. Once a U.S.-Iran dialogue was inevitable,Israel would be in a better position to influence the talks by making itselfa part ofthe process. 200
Netanyahu's efforts to open up to Iran did not mean that Israel would reduce the pressure on Iran in other areas.Israel continued to lobby the United States to pressure Russia not to cooperate with Iran in the nuclear field; pro-Israeli groups in Washington continued to lobby for economic sanctions;and Israel continued to seek Iran's international isolation. Israel was also careful not to repeat the mistake ofthe Iran-Contra scandal; any Iranian warm-up to the West had to include a change in Israeli-Iranian relations.IfIran wanted to improve relations with the United States,there should be no other way to do it than through Israel. 200
The Iranians preferred Likud over Labor for the same reason that Likud blamed the Palestinians and not Iran: An Israel that didn't pursue a peace based on Iran's isolation wouldn't need to turn Washington and the international community against Iran."In Iran, the perception was that Likud wasn't serious about peace [with the Palestinians],so they did not need a scapegoat,"an Iranian political strategist told me bluntly."Labor,however,needed a scapegoat."

Khatami's détente (important) 203-205
While Tehran and Washington's failure lay primarily in miscommunication,missed signals,and Iranian overconfidence,at every step Israel and the pro-Israeli lobby continued to put political obstacles in the path ofIran and the United States. Clinton's outreach to Iran worried supporters ofIsrael in the United States,particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC),which had made containment ofIran a priority and which lobbied against dialogue with Iran. To make its disapproval clear to Washington,the Israeli Foreign Ministry instructed its diplomats to boycott conferences in the United States addressed by Iranian officials. 206
Instead,by early 1997 Netanyahu started to use the same language and rhetoric against Iran as his predecessors did.He reversed his previous decision and indicated that Iran was more dangerous than Iraq because it "has global ambitions.It has an ideology." He told Jewish-American leaders that his government would "let the Russian government know in no uncertain terms"about Israel's opposition to Russia's alleged assistance to Iran's ballistic missile program. He also accused Iran oftrying to develop missiles that could reach the United States."We believe Iran is intent on developing ballistic missiles,first to reach Israel,then to reach Europe,then to reach a range of10,000 kilometers [6,000 miles]-meaning reaching the Eastern Seaboard ofthe United States,"he said. Even though the Iranian missile program was still embryonic,it posed a new type ofa challenge for Israel.Unlike missiles from Syria-a country Israel could easily retaliate 206
The Americans had already grown frustrated with Netanyahu's unwillingness to move the peace process forward and feared that the missile threat was a diversionary tactic."Some in the Clinton administration thought that his focus on the Iranian missile issue was a way ofchanging the channel from the problematic aspects of Oslo,"recalled David Makovsky ofthe think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy. The American suspicions were not unfounded-the Israeli right had traditionally sought to turn Washington's focus away from the Palestinian conflict."For everybody it was convenient that Iran becomes a major issue for the West because in that way we sort ofsubmerged into a wider issue and relegated to a secondary status our problem with the Palestinians,"explained Shlomo Ben-Ami,Prime Minister Ehud Barak's Moroccan-born foreign minister. 207
Turkey was the most important "old periphery"state,which like Iran was Muslim but non-Arab.India was the most important new periphery state-it was the new Iran.It was a majority non-Muslim,non-Arab country on the outer periphery ofthe Middle East that essentially replaced Iran in the Likud's strategic outlook.Other new periphery states were found in the Caucasus and in the central Asian republics. The emerging Israeli-Turkish-Indian connection was hardly unexpected.It marked the logical evolution ofa pair ofstrategic relationships that had charted similar trajectories for the better part ofthe 1990s. In fact,in the view ofmany Israeli strategists,it remained a mystery to the Jewish State why it took India so long before it recognized the common Indian-Israeli trajectory. 208
The greatest danger Iran posed to Israel after 1996 was its ability to emerge as a regional power that could challenge Tel Aviv's military and nuclear monopoly and limit the Jewish State's military and political maneuverability. 209
Under those circumstances,Israel could be forced to accept territorial concessions that it otherwise could avoid."It will give [the Arabs] the power ofnuclear black- mail.I don't want the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to be held under the shadow ofthe Iranian nuclear bomb 209
It is inconceivable that on the one hand Netanyahu should declare that Iran is our number one enemy and that his men should try to convince various countries to join the U.S.embargo,while on the other hand a senior minister should initiate a move to return the money.We are simply making fools of ourselves."After all,Israel had made itselfa major stumbling block preventing a U.S.-Iran rapprochement. 210
The contradiction between Israel's own policies on Iran and what it requested ofWashington had already caused some irritation in America.For example,the American pistachio industry was outraged that the Israeli market was flooded by Iranian pistachios at the expense ofpistachios produced in California. Though the volume ofthis trade was negligible $185 million in 1997 and $360 million in 1998-its symbolic value was significant because Israel had successfully pressured Washington to cut all its trade with Iran. It was later revealed that Israeli companies had traded not only nuts and other commercial goods with Iran,but also chemicals and military equipment. The Iranians,in turn,did not let ideology stand in their way. 210
Israel's failure to mend fences with Rafsanjani,its conviction that Iran would be hostile to Israel no matter what,its military doctrine that dictated that Iranian capabilities must be stymied,and its fear that the Clinton administra- tion might sacrifice Israeli interests to cut a deal with Khatami prompted Israel to dismiss Iran's changing attitude toward Israel under Khatami 210
The real threat was Iraq,he had said back in 1993,and he carried that view with him to some extent when he defeated Netanyahu at the polls on May 17,1999. As power shifted back to the Labor Party,ending the Lebanon occupation and addressing the Palestinian and Syrian issues became Israel's top priority once again,while Iran was downgraded to a lesser problem."Iran wasn't really on our agenda,"Ben-Ami told me."In those two years,I think the agenda zeroed in on these two particular questions,the Palestinians and Syrians.I don't remember one cabinet meeting-the reduced cabinet meeting,the so-called defense-foreign policy cabinet-where Iran was an issue." Still,Iran slowly crept back into Israel's radar for three key reasons. 215
More than anything,Israel feared that Washington would accept the legitimacy ofthe Iranian regime and its unique position in the region,which would come at Israel's expense.Such a deal would mean that the Iranians "could have a relative freedom ofaction,that America would take them offthe list ofcountries that support terrorism [and] ...that they could have a regional role." Iran would end up changing very little of its regional policies because it valued relations only with Washington,not with Israel.As long as Israel was excluded from the deal,there would be insufficient pressure to address Israel's concerns with Iran,that is,Iran's support for Hezbollah and Palestinian rejectionist groups,its missile program,and its alleged nuclear weapons program.Or,even worse,the Iranians sought talks only to reduce the American pressure,the Israelis feared 216
But with the Clinton administration signaling a growing eagerness to talk to Iran,Israel was getting nervous.Some in Israel's foreign policy circles argued that continued opposition to a development that seemed inevitable would only further weaken Israel's standing.A new reality had emerged that Israel couldn't ignore."Until now,Israel rejected every possible contact between the United States and Iran,"said David Menashri,Israel's most prominent expert on Iran and a supporter ofIsraeli-Iranian contacts while serving on the Israeli Iran committee.Now,he said,"I am not sure that we can oppose the process." 217
It was thought that a George Bush-Dick Cheney White House,on theother hand,could bring back the foreign policy approach ofthe elder George Bush-pressure on Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territories, greater sensitivity to the interests ofWashington's Arab allies,and an energy policy that wouldn't cut offAmerican oil businesses from major markets such as Iran.After all,Dick Cheney,George W.Bush's vice-presidential running mate,had as the CEO ofthe American energy service company Halliburton severely criticized the Clinton administration's economic sanctions on Iran.There was little doubt who Israel and Iran rooted for as they anxiously watched the ballots in Florida being counted and recounted. 223-224
Powell believed that he would have a harder time selling the idea ofa U.S.-Iran dialogue to the pro-Israel lobby in the United States than to the Israeli government itself. 224
"ifindeed the U.S.adopts a conciliatory approach to Iran... the implications are that we will need to face this threat alone"-Israel's allies in Washington were gearing up for a fight. The Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) was due to expire in August 2001,and the powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) feared that the Bush administration would try to terminate it.Instead ofwaiting for Bush and Powell to make their move,AIPAC took advantage ofthe disorganization in the White House that followed the election conflict. 224-225

"Indecision 2000"had deprived the Bush administration ofmore than six badly needed weeks to organize the administration and fill key posts in the State Department and elsewhere.More than three months into his presidency,Bush still had not found many ofthe people who would head his government agencies, including those who would be responsible for policies on Iran.AIPAC's machinery, however,was in great shape.The pro-Israel lobby began laying the groundwork for ILSA's renewal on Capitol Hill,and by mid-March-before Bush had even formulated a position on ILSA-AIPAC had gathered more than three hundred cosponsors in the House (the bill needed only 218 votes to pass).Though the sanctions had failed to change Iran's foreign policy,AIPAC still hailed ILSA as a great success.AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr urged the House International Relations Committee to renew ILSA because it had "met the test and proven its effectiveness over time"and because "Iranian behavior demands it." The pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy argued that ILSA's renewal would help Iran's "real moderates"and hurt the "so-called moderates"around President Mohammad Khatami,who shared the "anti-Israel policies set by Iran's hard-line clerical leadership." The Bush administration was quickly outmaneuvered; through its preemptive work on Capitol Hill,AIPAC checkmated Bush and saw the sanctions bill pass with overwhelming numbers in both chambers.Still,cautious optimism characterized Iran's approach to the United States during the first months of the Bush administration,and a lull reigned in the war ofwords between Tehran and Tel Aviv. All that was to change on the morning of September 11,2001. 225
On September 11,2001,America discovered that the real Islamic threat did not lay in Shia Iran-as Israel had insisted since 1991-but in extremist elements in the Sunni world. 225
But now,the Iranians were eager to offer their help to Washington and show America the strategic benefits ofcooperation with Iran."The Iranians had real contacts with important players in Afghanistan and were prepared to use their influence in constructive ways in coordina- tion with the United States,"recalled Flynt Leverett,then senior director for Middle East affairs in the National Security Council. The plan that had been prepared by Powell called for cooperation with Iran that would be used as a platform for persuading Tehran to terminate its involvement with anti-Israeli terrorist groups in return for a positive strategic relationship with Washington. The plan incensed Israel.Suddenly,much like after the end ofthe Cold War,events in the Middle East risked making Israel a burden rather than an asset to the United States,while giving Iran a chance to prove its value to America.Ifa U.S.-Iran dialogue was initiated,there would be "a lot ofconcern in Israel,"Yossi Alpher,an adviser to Barak and a former Mossad official,told me."Where are we [Israel] in this dialogue? Will the U.S.consult with us about our needs and fears? Will we be part ofsome package deal with Iran and ifso,what part?"Alpher's comment reflected Israelis'inherent fear about their relations with the United States: would the United States protect Israel's interests in geostrategic conflicts in which the interests ofthe two allies were not necessarily aligned? More specifically,Israel 226 feared that a U.S.-Iran rapprochement wouldn't entail Iranian missile disarmament or Iranian recognition of the Jewish State.American geopolitical interests,they thought-particularly the need to contain China's rise by controlling Beijing's access to energy through Iran-could prompt Washington to sacrifice its commitments to Israel. 227
forced all states to reassess their position and role in the post-9/11 era.With Britain as the go-between,Washington courted Iran while it kept Israel at arm's length.And just as the British government had done in 1991 regarding the Persian GulfWar,Britain Foreign Secretary Jack Straw suggested that Israel was partly to blame.In a statement that the Israelis called an "obscenity"and a "stab in the back,"Straw implied that terrorism and the festering Israeli-Palestinian dispute might be linked to the 9/11 attacks. 227

Israel and U.S.neoconservatives,who had found their way back to the corridors ofpower after Bush's election,had a different plan in mind.America should put all the actors it accused ofsupporting terror on notice-particularly Iran and the Palestinian Authority.In a letter signed by forty-one prominent neoconservatives,including William Kristol,Richard Perle, and Charles Krauthammer,Bush was urged to target not only al-Qaeda,but also Hezbollah and demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease all military, financial,and political support for that organization.Ifthey refused to comply,Bush should "consider appropriate measures ofretaliation against these known state sponsors ofterrorism." Starting a war with Iran and Syria could overstretch the United States,but it would also put America and Israel on the same side in the war and increase-rather than decrease-the United States'need for Israel. 227
At first,the neoconservatives made only modest progress.As the United States was beginning its military operations in Afghanistan,State Department and National Security Council officials began meeting secretly with Iranian diplomats in Paris and Geneva in October 2001,under the sponsorship ofLakhdar Brahimi,head ofthe United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The contacts were initiated by Ambassador James Dobbins, the Bush administration's special envoy for Afghanistan.Fully supported by Powell,Dobbins told Brahimi that he would like to meet with the Iranians, and within a few days officials from the Iranian Foreign Ministry contacted Dobbins to offer their assistance.In the initial meetings German and Italian 227 delegations also attended to provide Iran and the United States political cover.Their attendance gave the talks,which soon were dubbed the Geneva Channel,a multilateral appearance.In reality,however,the discussions were bilateral and the highest-level contacts between officials of the two countries since the Iran-Contra scandal. 228
The talks progressed better than expected.The discussions focused on "how to effectively unseat the Taliban and,once the Taliban was gone,how to stand up an Afghan government,"and the Iranians gave extensive assistance to the United States in the war,unaware ofwhat was about to unfold after the success in Afghanistan. The Iranian diplomats impressed their American and European counterparts tremendously with their knowledge and expertise about Afghanistan and the Taliban.And Iran's help was not negligible.The Iranians offered their air bases to the United States,they offered to perform search-and-rescue missions for downed American pilots, they served as a bridge between the Northern Alliance and the United States in the fight against the Taliban,and on occasion they even used U.S.infor- mation to find and kill fleeing al-Qaeda leaders. Though Dobbins's mandate was limited to talks on Afghanistan,a tight-knit group around Powell had prepared a secret comprehensive package ofcarrots on a stick to offer the Iranians.Unlike the Pentagon,the State Department favored a strategic opening to Iran,not just tactical discussions.The American diplomats realized that the cooperation over Afghanistan could be extended to cover al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The United States and Iran could expand their intelligence-sharing cooperation and coordinate more robust border sweeps to capture al-Qaeda fighters who were fleeing into Pakistan and Iran. 228
Nowhere was the common interest ofthe United States and Iran more clear than during the Bonn Conference ofDecember 2001,at which a number ofprominent Afghans and representatives from various countries,including the United States and Iran,met under UN auspices in the capital of Germany to decide on a plan for governing Afghanistan.The United States 228
and Iran had carefully laid the groundwork for the conference weeks in advance.Iran's political clout with the various warring Afghan groups proved to be crucial.It was Iran's influence over the Afghans and not America's threats and promises that moved the negotiations forward.It was also the Iranian delegation-and not Dobbins-that pointed out that the draft of the Bonn Declaration contained no language on democracy or any commitment on behalf of Afghanistan to help fight international terrorism.Curiously enough,Dobbins's instructions contained nothing about democracy. 229
For the Iranians,this was a moment oftriumph.Not only had a major enemy ofIran-the Taliban-been defeated,Iran had also demonstrated how it could help stabilize the region and how America could benefit from a better relationship with Tehran.Hinting at Iran's willingness to expand the discussions to include other areas,Zarifat one point told Crocker jokingly that now that the Afghan issue had been resolved,perhaps it was time to address the nuclear dispute that divided the two countries. 229
"I saw no glimmer ofinterest outside of State"for a strategic discussion with the Iranians,Dobbins recalled.In spite of Iran's central aid to the United States in Afghanistan,there was no real receptivity to Iranian goodwill measures in the Bush White House.It was 1991 all over again:There was no appreciation for Iran's strategic interest in a stable Middle East and the possibility that Tehran wanted to patch up relations with the United States. 230
Dobbins said."There was a disposition not to take Iranian offers seriously and not to give them any broader meaning."Moreover,Dobbins,argued,the administration's disinterest in a broader strategic opening was "because Washington largely focused on Iran's behavior towards Israel"rather than on its behavior toward America. 231
Israel was alarmed by Washington's cooperation with Iran.In an un- usually harsh rebuke ofBush,Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon publicly suggested that Bush was acting like 1937-1940 British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain,selling out Israel the way Chamberlain had sold out the Czechs by refusing to confront Adolf Hitler. Tensions between the United States and Israel already had begun before September 11.Powell had developed a new Middle East initiative envisioning Jerusalem as a shared capital between Israel and a Palestinian state-a noticeable departure from previous American positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 231
Neoconservatives in Washington and the Israeli government tirelessly sought ways to put a halt to the U.S.-Iranian cooperation.Through various means they tried to shut down the Geneva Channel and preempt any possibility that Bush would commit a Nixon-goes-to-China with Iran-that is, reach out and befriend a major U.S.foe.One approach was to manipulate the Iranians into closing the channel themselves.The idea was to encourage or provoke a radical ayatollah into criticizing the talks as a way ofcurrying favor with Iranian extremists,which would in turn force the supreme leader to back out ofthe channel.Ironically,neoconservatives who had played a leading role in the Iran-Contra scandal now attempted to sabotage the very political breakthrough they had fought for fifteen years earlier.After having been shunned from government for more than a decade,Michael Ledeen, the neoconservative friend ofIsrael former Prime Minister Shimon Peres who in the 1980s sought a U.S.-Iran dialogue together with the Israelis- and who was believed at one time by the CIA to be "an agent ofinfluence of a foreign government"-found his way back into the corridors of power after the Bush election in 2000. His access to the president was through Bush's top adviser,Karl Rove,with whom he met periodically.As the Freedom Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute,Ledeen began writing a weekly column for National Review in 2000 in which he repeatedly argued for targeting Iran.Ledeen expressed his dissatisfaction with the slow pace of Washington's march against Iran by concluding his articles with "Faster, please.Faster." 231-232
The collapse ofthe Soviet Union and defeat ofIraq in the 1991 Persian GulfWar had led to Ledeen's 180-degree turn.Just as Israel did,he now saw Iran as a rival that needed to be isolated and weakened rather than as a potential ally with whom to engage and strengthen 232
Larry Franklin,a Defense Intelligence Agency Iran analyst who would later plead guilty to spying for Israel in 2005 and who is currently serving a thirteen-year prison sentence;and Harold Rhode,a Middle East expert who played a key role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Franklin and Rhode were part ofa small,tight-knit group of neoconservative hard-liners on Iran favoring regime change in Tehran and were determined to put an end to Powell's diplomacy.Later on,their policy network at the Pentagon would include the Office of Special Plans,an alternative intelligence shop led by Douglas Feith that provided the American intelligence apparatus with inaccurate information that helped pave the way for the war with Iraq. 232-233

KARINE A AND THE "AXIS OF EVIL" This was the smoking gun the Israelis needed to halt the U.S.-Iran dialogue and put an end to Washington's pressure on Israel to deal with the Palestinians. It was a heavensent gift for Sharon,and it conveniently coincided with the visit to Israel of Gen.Anthony Zinni, Bush's new envoy to the Middle East.To many,it was almost too good to be true-so good that even Israel's allies began questioning the validity ofthe story. (more relevant stuff in text) 233-234
Washington never provided Tehran with any evidence for the Israeli claim,but it did respond to Tehran a few weeks later and asserted that the information it had was reliable and sufficient,effectively dismissing Tehran's denial. To the ever-suspicious Iranians,the entire affair was bogus. 234
In retrospect,even some Bush administration of- ficials have begun to question the affair.Some speculate that it was staged by the Israelis.Others argue that rogue elements in Iran may have been behind it.But no one in the Bush administration pursued the matter further;once the U.S.intelligence service corroborated the Israeli account,it became sacrosanct."But subsequently,we have all pondered on whether it was a hoax or not,"Wilkerson admitted. 234
Within a few days,Pentagon officials made a flurry ofaccusations against Iran,charging it with providing safe haven to fleeing al-Qaeda fighters in order to use them against the United States in post-Taliban Afghanistan. But the accusations rested on shaky grounds. 234-235
Then,on January 29,2002,in Bush's first State ofthe Union address,he lumped Iran together with Iraq and North Korea as dangerous and threat- ening states that formed an "Axis ofEvil." 235
(The phrase "axis of evil" was coined by Bush's neoconservative speech- writer, David Frum,)
For the Iranians,it was particularly bewildering to be lumped with Saddam Hussein,Iran's bitter enemy. 236
The Karine A story gave new life to Israel's long-standing campaign to have the international community declare Iran a state sponsor ofterror. 236
 
2011-12-05 12:28:34 AM  

Amos Quito: Why not share that perspective?


Because a "short" post is a brief overview to a book that itself needs even more context.

Thats a short post.

Want more depth, read some of the suggestions I make in the linked thread.
 
2011-12-05 02:26:41 AM  

Dalrint: I hope this isn't considered off topic, but all this is stemming from nobody wanting Iran to have nukes. I like and agree with that concept, but...

I've been sort of wondering, what's our authority for telling another nation what they can't build? Is Iran a non-nuclear proliferation country or anything and they're violating that? I mean, they're an awful example of a country but they are a country. Can't they pretty much do what they want?


The thread is over, but yes, they can do whatever they want as a Westphalian state. "Country" and "nation" are not the right terms, technically--for example England is a country but the United Kingdom is a state, and the Navajo are a nation... any "state," Iran being one of the 190-someodd states in the world, can do whatever the hell they please and don't have to yield to any higher authority because statehood is the highest level of sovereignty, so international affairs exist in a literal state of anarchy--which the UN tries but most often fails to counteract, however bureaucratically. "Breaking international law" just means you pissed off all five members of the UN Security Council and since they're powerful nations with loads of allies they can do something about it.

/poli-sci major with a concentration on int'l and comparative politics
 
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