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Old 02-03-2007, 09:26 PM   #1
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"Hysteria at Herzliya" (Buchanan)

http://antiwar.com/pat/
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:30 PM   #2
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http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=426

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"The “threat” from Iran is entirely manufactured, aided and abetted by familiar, compliant media language that refers to Iran’s “nuclear ambitions”, just as the vocabulary of Saddam’s non-existent WMD arsenal became common usage. Accompanying this is a demonising that has become standard practice. As Edward Herman has pointed out, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “has done yeoman service in facilitating this”; yet a close examination of his notorious remark about Israel in October 2005 reveals its distortion. According to Juan Cole, American professor of Modern Middle History, and other Farsi language analysts, Ahmadinejad did not call for Israel to be “wiped off the map”. He said, “The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the Asked about a US Senate resolution disapproving of the “surge” of US troops to Iraq, Vice-President Cheney said, “It won’t stop us.”

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"Last November, a majority of the American electorate voted for the Democratic Party to control Congress and stop the war in Iraq. Apart from insipid speeches of “disapproval”, this has not happened and is unlikely to happen. Influential Democrats, such as the new leader of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and would-be presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have disported themselves before the Israeli lobby. Edwards is regarded in his party as a “liberal”. He was one of a high-level American contingent at a recent Israeli conference in Herzilya, where he spoke about “an unprecedented threat to the world and Israel (sic). At the top of these threats is Iran . . . All options are on the table to ensure that Iran will never get a nuclear weapon.” Hillary Clinton has said, “US policy must be unequivocal . . . We have to keep all options on the table.” Pelosi and Howard Dean, another liberal, have distinguished themselves by attacking former President Jimmy Carter, who oversaw the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt and has had the gall to write a truthful book accusing Israel of becoming an “apartheid state”. Pelosi said, “Carter does not speak for the Democratic Party.” She is right, alas.

In Britain, Downing Street has been presented with a document entitled “Answering the Charges” by Professor Abbas Edalal of Imperial College, London, on behalf of others seeking to expose the disinformation on Iran. Blair remains silent. Apart from the usual honourable exceptions, Parliament remains shamefully silent."
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by financeguy
http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=426
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...As the American disaster in Iraq deepens and domestic and foreign opposition grows, “neocon” fanatics such as Vice-President Cheney believe their opportunity to control Iran’s oil will pass unless they act no later than the spring.
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...And is it not remarkable that North Korea has not been attacked? North Korea has nuclear weapons. That is the message, loud and clear, for the Iranians.
To the extent that his suspicions are founded, I think these are the key points here: resource access, and reserving the option to protect that access by invading, which you can't do once they've got the bomb. Iran matters to Washington because of what it has, what its neighbors have and who runs it; that much has been true for decades, and whichever concern dominates the rhetoric doesn't necessarily reflect the true desired goal. However, given that a targeted bombing campaign would only drive up oil prices, not to mention that Iran is hardly likely to respond compliantly to such an attack (from either the US or Israel), I think the current saber-rattling is more likely a bluff. Although bluffs can backfire, and that can lead to further escalation.

Obviously Israel's priorities there are different, but if those provide a nobler-sounding justification for US interests, so much the better for the neocons. Post-Revolutionary Iran has always maintained that a Jewish state in the Middle East is a priori illegitimate; that didn't prevent some amount of under-the-table diplomacy in previous decades but unsurprisingly, the heightened belligerence of Ahmadinajad's rhetoric (including the why-isn't-Israel-in-Europe stuff, Holocaust denial etc.), combined with the evidence of Iranian influence on Hezbollah and to a lesser extent Hamas, have pretty much put an end to that and made Israel far more anxious, which the usual qualifications of "I meant the Jewish state, not the presence of Jews in the region" have done little to pacify. However, the risks of a targeted bombing campaign are the same, if not worse in the effect they might have on the neighbors.

Incidentally Herzliya this year was organized by former Likud foreign policy advisor Uzi Arad, who's best known in the West for opposing the US invasion of Iraq on the grounds that it distracted from the more serious threat of Iran, and the foreign policy speakers' lineup and predetermined theme--balance of power in national security--noticeably reflected his influence. The conference didn't get anything like the coverage in the Israeli media it normally gets either, though that's probably more because everyone was focused on the Katsav case.
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Old 02-07-2007, 05:39 PM   #4
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Originally posted by yolland
However, given that a targeted bombing campaign would only drive up oil prices, not to mention that Iran is hardly likely to respond compliantly to such an attack (from either the US or Israel), I think the current saber-rattling is more likely a bluff. Although bluffs can backfire, and that can lead to further escalation.
It may well just be sabre rattling. I sincerely hope so.
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