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 Wake Up America!
Your Government is Hijacked by Jews
 
War Without End

MORE WAR FOR ISRAEL COMING WITH BOMBING OF IRAN

http://www.warwithoutend.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=39590

What a double standard when the rogue state of Israel has some 200-300 nuclear bombs and treacherously attacked the USS Liberty and murdered Americans in the process

(http://www.ussliberty.com):  - http://nomorewarforisrael.blogspot.com  - http://www.nogw.com/warforisrael.html


January 7 / 8, 2006

Them or Us
AIPAC on Trial


By JAMES PETRAS

 
In August 2004, the FBI and the US Justice Department counter-intelligence bureau announced that they were investigating a top Pentagon analyst suspected of spying for Israel and handing over highly confidential documents on US policy toward Iran to AIPAC which in turn handed them over to the Israeli Embassy. The FBI had been covertly investigating senior Pentagon analyst, Larry Franklin and AIPAC leaders, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman for several years prior to their indictment for spying. On August 29, 2005 the Israeli Embassy predictably hotly denied the spy allegation. On the same day Larry Franklin was publicly named as a spy suspect. Franklin worked closely with Michael Ledeen and Douglas Feith, then Undersecretary for Defense in the Pentagon, in fabricating the case for war with Iraq. Franklin was the senior analyst on Iran, which is at the top of AIPAC's list of targets for war.

As the investigation proceeded toward formal charges of espionage, the pro-Israeli think tanks and neo-con ideologues joined in a two-prong response. On the one hand some questioned whether "handing over documents" was a crime at all, claiming it involved "routine exchanges of ideas" and lobbying. On the other hand, Israeli officials and media denied any Israeli connection with Franklin, minimizing his importance in policy-making circles, while others vouched for his integrity.

The FBI investigation of the Washington spy network deepened and included the interrogation of two senior members of Feith's Office of Special Plans, William Luti and Harold Rhode. The OSP was responsible for feeding bogus intelligence leading to the US attack of Iraq. The leading FBI investigator, Dave Szady, stated that the FBI investigation involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that document the passing of classified information from Franklin to the men at AIPAC and on to the Israelis.

The Franklin-AIPAC-Israeli investigation was more than a spy case. It involved the future of US-Middle East relations and more specifically whether the '",neo-cons' would be able to push the US into a military confrontation with Iran. Franklin was a top Pentagon analyst on Iran, with access to all the executive branch deliberations on Iran. AIPAC lobbying and information gathering was aggressively directed toward pushing the Israeli agenda on a US-Iranian confrontation against strong opposition in the State Department, CIA, military intelligence and field commanders.

Franklin's arrest on May 4, 2005 and the subsequent arrest of AIPAC foreign policy research director Steve Rosen and Iran specialist and deputy director for foreign policy, Keith Weissman on August 4, 2005 was a direct blow to the Israeli-AIPAC war agenda for the US. The FBI investigation proceeded with caution accumulating detailed intelligence over several years. Prudence was dictated by the tremendous political influence that AIPAC and its allies among the Conference of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations wield in Congress, the media and among Fundamentalist Christians and which could be brought to bear when the accused spies were brought to trial.

The first blow was struck on August 29, 2004, when CBS publicized the FBI investigation just when Franklin confessed to have passed highly confidential documents to a member of the Israeli government and began cooperating with federal agents. He was prepared to lead authorities to his contacts inside the Israeli government. Subsequently Franklin stopped cooperating. The Anti-Defamation League's (a leading Jewish pro-Israeli lobby) Abe Foxman called for a special prosecutor to investigate "leaks" of the FBI investigation, because they were "tarnishing" Israel's image.

 Then Attorney General Ashcroft intervened to try to apply the brakes to the investigation, which spread into the neo-con nest in the Pentagon: Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle, and Rubin were "interviewed" by the FBI. Neo-con Michael Rubin, former Pentagon specialist on Iran and resident "scholar" at the American Enterprise Institute, blasted Bush for "inaction in the spy affair" and called the investigation an "anti-Semitic witch hunt" (Forward Sept. 10, 2004). AIPAC launched a campaign against the spy probe and in support of its activities and leaders. As a result scores of leading Congress members from both parties vouched for AIPAC's integrity and pledged their confidence and support of AIPAC.

Never in the history of the United States had so many leading Congress members from both parties pledged their support for an organization under suspicion of spying, based only on information supplied by the suspect and in total ignorance of the federal prosecutor's case. Contrary to the bipartisan Congressional support for AIPAC, a poll of likely voters found that 61 per cent believed that AIPAC should be asked to register as an agent of a foreign power and lose its tax exempt status. Only 12 per cent disagreed. Among American Jews, 59 per cent were not sure, while 15 per cent strongly agreed and 15 per cent strongly disagreed (Zogby International, Sept. 25, 2004). Clearly many Americans have serious doubts about the loyalty and nature of AIPAC activities, contrary to their elected representatives. The federal spy investigation proceeded despite Executive and Congressional opposition, knowing that it had the backing of the great majority of US citizens.
 
In December 2004, the FBI subpoenaed four senior staffers at AIPAC to appear before a grand jury and searched the Washington office of the pro-Israel lobby seeking additional files on Rosen and Weissman.

AIPAC continued to deny any wrongdoing, stating: "Neither AIPAC nor any member of our staff has broken any law. We believe any court of law or grand jury will conclude that AIPAC employees have always acted legally, properly and appropriately" (AIPAC December 1, 2004). Nevertheless a few months into the investigation and with the arrest of the two top leaders, AIPAC terminated their employment and after a few months cut off paying their legal defense bills. Likewise Israel's categorical denials of espionage, evaporated, as video and transcripts of their intelligence operative receiving classified documents surfaced.

A Grand Jury was convoked in early 2005. As the FBI's spy investigation extended into AIPAC-Pentagon's inner recesses, self-confessed spy Franklin's superiors Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith announced their sudden resignation from the number 2 and 3 positions in the Pentagon. In February 2005, Bush announced that former convicted felon, defender of Central American death squads and long-term Zionist fanatic, Elliott Abrams, would be in charge of Middle East policy in the National Security Council.

Abrams would serve as a channel for directing Israeli policies to the White House and as day-to-day source of the most essential policy decisions and discussions. Apparently Abrams was smart enough to keep his distance from the Franklin/Feith and AIPAC/Embassy operations and deal directly with Ariel Sharon and his Chief of Staff, Dov Weinglass. In April 2005, AIPAC dismissed Rosen and Weissman, saying their activities did not comport with the organizations standards. On May 4, Franklin was arrested on charges of illegally disclosing highly classified information to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group. On June 13, 2005 an expanded indictment explicitly named AIPAC and a "foreign country" (Israel) and its Mossad agent, Naor Gilon, who had, in the meantime, fled to Israel.

Despite AIPAC being named in a major espionage indictment involving Steve Rosen, head of its foreign policy department and Keith Weissman, head of its Iran desk, US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice gave the keynote address at AIPAC's convention (May 22-24, 2005). Leaders from Congress and the Republican and Democratic parties also spoke, declaring their unconditional support for AIPAC, Israel and Ariel Sharon. The list included Senator Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Republican) and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. Based on previous year's attendance, more than half of the US Senate and one-third of US Congress members were in attendance.

Clearly AIPAC, with 60,000 wealthy members and $60 million annual budget, had more influence on the political behavior of the US executive, political parties and elected representatives than a federal indictment implicating its leaders for espionage on behalf of Israel. Could there be a basis for charging our political leaders as "accomplices after the fact" of espionage, if the AIPAC leaders are convicted?

On August 4, 2005 Paul McNulty of the Justice Department formally indicted AIPAC leaders Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman of receiving and passing highly confidential documents via the Israeli embassy to the State of Israel. Their trial is set for April 25, 2006. Franklin's trial was set to begin on January 2, 2006 but has been postponed. Franklin has been co-operating with the FBI and Justice Department in its investigations of AIPAC and the Pentagon's 'Israel Firsters' in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and the further plans to attack Iran. The indictments are based on a prolonged investigation. AIPAC was targeted for investigation as early as 2001, while the indictment of Rosen and Weissman cites illegal activities beginning in April 1999.

After Rosen and Weissman came under intensive federal investigation as co-conspirators in the Franklin spy case, AIPAC decided to cut its losses and cover its backside by throwing them overboard: AIPAC fired them on March 2005, arguing that their "conduct was not part of their job, and beneath the standards required of AIPAC employees" (Forward, December 23, 2005). In effect AIPAC was making Rosen and Weissman the "fall guys" in order to shake off a deeper federal probe of AIPAC's activities. Moreover AIPAC stopped payments to Rosen's and Weissman's lawyers sticking them with almost a half-million dollars in legal fees. AIPAC does not intend to pay the fees before the trial is over - not for lack of funds (they raised over $60 million in 2005 and are tax-exempt) but for political reasons. AIPAC wants to see how the trial goes: if they are acquitted, it will be safe to pay their lawyers. But if they are found guilty AIPAC will refuse to pay (citing the organization's by-law technicalities) in order to avoid being implicated with convicted spies. AIPAC leaders are putting their organizational interests and their capacity to promote Israeli interests in Congress and the media over loyalty to their former officials.

Facing up to 10 years in federal prison, up against detailed, well-documented federal charges based on wiretaps, videos and the testimony of self-confessed spy and Pentagon contact Franklin, fired and denounced by their former colleagues and current leaders of AIPAC, Rosen and Weissman are striking back with unexpected vehemence.

The defense attorneys are expected to argue that receiving information from administration officials was something the two were paid and encouraged to do and something AIPAC routinely does (Forward, December 23,2005). In other words, Rosen and Weissman will say that pumping top US government officials for confidential memos and handing them over to Israeli officials was a common practice among AIPAC operatives. To bolster their case of "just following AIPAC orders", Rosen and Weissman's defense lawyers will subpoena AIPAC officials to testify in court about their past access to confidential documents, their contacts with high-placed officials and their collaboration with Israeli Embassy officials. Such testimony could likely bring national and international exposure to AIPAC's role as a two way transmission belt to and from Israel.

If Rosen and Weissman succeed in tying AIPAC to their activities and if they are convicted, that opens up a much larger federal investigation of AIPAC's role in aiding and abetting felonious behavior on behalf of the State of Israel.

In the almost two years since Rosen and Weissman came into the public limelight as spy suspects, AIPAC has successfully fended off adverse publicity by mobilizing leading politicians, party leaders and senior members of the Bush Administration to give public testimonials on its behalf. It dumped Rosen and Weissman and pushed ahead with lining up the US Congress with Israel's pro-war agenda against Iran. And then out of the blue, Rosen and Weissman threaten to blow their cover "as just another influential lobby" working to promote US and Israeli mutual security interests.

Rosen and Weissman's defense will certainly bring out the fact that AIPAC at no point informed their employees about what the law states regarding the obtaining and handing over of highly confidential information to a foreign power. Weissman and Rosen will argue that they did not know that receiving confidential information from administration officials and handing it over to Israel was illegal since everybody was doing it. They will further argue that their alleged spy activity was not a 'rogue operation' carried on by them independently of the organization, but was known and approved by their superiors - citing AIPAC's employee procedures for reporting to superiors.

According to one former AIPAC employee with connections to the organization's current leadership, Rosen and Weissman are perceived as acting "like Samson trying to bring the house down on everyone" (Forward, December 23, 2005).

"Everyone" that is involved in exploiting US wealth, power and military forces to serve Israel's expansionist interests. What started out as a small scale spy trial, no different from other recent cases, is growing into a major cause celebre, involving the most powerful lobby influencing the entire direction of US Middle East policy. If Rosen and Weissman are convicted and they effectively make the case that they were following orders and informing AIPAC of their felonious activities, it is possible that it will drive away many wealthy Jewish donors and activists, and perhaps put some shame into the politicians who kow-tow and feed at the AIPAC trough.

With a weakened AIPAC and its allies in the government wary of continuing to "liaison" with Israeli intelligence on Middle East policy, it is possible that a free and open debate based on US interests can take place. With a public debate relatively free of the constraints imposed by the Israel First lobbies and ideologues, perhaps the US public's opposition to Middle East Wars and occupations can become the dominant discourse in Congress if not the Executive. Perhaps the $3 billion dollars plus annual foreign aid to Israel - more than $5 billion, all told -- can be reallocated toward rebuilding all the industrially ravaged cities and towns of Michigan, upstate New York and elsewhere.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50 year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in brazil and argentina and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed). His new book with Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements and the State: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, will be published in October 2005. He can be reached at:
jpetras@binghamton.edu

 




January 14, 2006


Iran Air Strikes
 'Under Consideration'



By Sanjay Suri

LONDON - Western powers are already planning use of the military option in the face of Iran's insistence that it will go ahead with what it calls its nuclear research program, a leading expert says.

''The military option is being considered already, they are just not talking about it because it would be deeply unpopular,'' Dr. Ali Ansari a leading Iran expert at The Royal Institute for International Affairs in London told IPS.

''Certainly, what they are considering is air strikes, I don't think they will carry out an invasion,'' Dr. Ansari said. After the Iraq experience that is not likely, he said.

But air strikes will not win international support, and will not be an option that could be domestically popular either, Dr. Ansari said.

''I think it would be a mistake,'' he said. ''It will not achieve what they want to achieve, and I think it will make matters a whole lot worse in the Middle East.''

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that the military option is not being ruled out. He said the referral of the matter to the United Nations Security Council was only a first step. ''Then we have to decide what measures to take, and we obviously don't rule out any measures at all,'' he said.

Holding out such options puts Britain and the United States back in a position similar in many ways to that before the invasion of Iraq. If the Security Council fails to deliver what some Western governments want, they have held open the right to act on their own.

Any decision in the Security Council could be vetoed by China and Russia. Russia is in fact proposing delivery of nuclear fuel to the Iranian nuclear plant in Bushehr.

The chief diplomatic difference in the planning of an assault on Iran now is the stronger possibility that France and Germany which opposed the invasion of Iraq could back limited military action against Iran. Britain, France and Germany have come together as the "EU3" to restrain Iran's nuclear program over the past two years.

The military option is believed to have strong backing against Israel, which carried out an air strike on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq in 1981. Some reports suggest that Israel on its own may carry out an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, with tacit backing from the United States and Britain.

But an air assault is not likely to be a simple repeat of the Osiraq attack. Iran has at least 25 or so nuclear facilities that all would be potential targets. And in anticipation of an attack, Iran would be expected to have taken due precautions.

''But any military strike would be a disaster because it would only strengthen the conservatives within Iran and put an end to the reformist movement,'' Dr.. Zhand Shakibi from the London School of Economics and Political Science told IPS.

There is a real danger that such an attack will be carried out, he said. ''There are people in U.S. circles that will want to attack,'' he said. Sanctions may not be considered as an option because ''sanctions are not effective,'' he said.

The fundamental problem within Iran is a lack of trust in the United States ''because the U.S. has refused to guarantee the security of Iran,'' he said. The United States had made it clear last month that there can be no such guarantees, he said.

''Sitting in Tehran if you see the US going to war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, there are people who will think in Iran that you might want to build a nuclear defense,'' Shakibi said.

But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked alarm as much with his statements as his actions in ordering a resumption of Iran's nuclear program in defiance of conditions laid down by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He has called for Israel ''to be wiped from the face of the Earth.''

Iranian scientists have broken the seals at three nuclear installations that had been closed down in 2004 under an international agreement.

There are signs of political consensus in Iran over the decision. Former leader Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in a statement: ''Even if the Westerners destroy our scientists, their successors would continue to do the job. If they cause any disturbance they will ultimately regret it.''

But any military option is likely to be preceded by a phase of economic sanctions that could develop into sanctions as serious as those slapped on Iraq at the end of the first Gulf war in 1991.

But with some fears that Iran could develop nuclear weapons within as little as six months, the sanctions route may not be an available option.

(Inter Press Service)

 



  US fabricated case against Iraq 

now, for Israel they're

moving on Iran
 
By Justin Raimondo
January 13, 2006
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=8383

 

As the U.S. gets ready to move on Iran, under the pretext of a gathering Iranian nuclear threat, the news that the War Party got creative when WMD were nowhere to be found in Iraq should give us pause. According to a report in Raw Story by Larisa Alexandrovna, the Office of Special Plans (OSP) – a parallel intelligence agency set up by the neoconservatives to do an end run around the mainline U.S. agencies – was sent into Iraq in 2003 in order to cook up phony "evidence" of "weapons of mass destruction." As Alexandrovna relates:

"Three U.S. intelligence sources and a source close to the United Nations Security Council say that the Pentagon civilian leadership under the guidance of Stephen Cambone, appointed to lead Defense Department intelligence in March 2003, dispatched a series of 'off book' missions out of the ultra-secretive Office of Special Plans (OSP). The team was tasked to secure the following in order of priority: fallen Navy pilot Scott Speicher, WMD, and Saddam Hussein."

The Speicher mission was a pretext eventuated by Ahmed Chalabi and his Iraqi minions, who insisted that the downed American was alive and not so well in one of Saddam's prisons. In addition, authorized teams of operatives were sent in both before and after the invasion, further masking the "rogue" operation launched by OSP, the purpose of which one UN source described thusly:

"'They come in the summer of 2003, bringing in Iraqis, interviewing them,' the UN source said. "Then they start talking about WMD and they say to [these Iraqi intelligence officers] that 'Our President is in trouble. He went to war saying there are WMD and there are no WMD. What can we do? Can you help us?'

"The source said intelligence officers understood quickly what they were being asked to do and that the assumption was they were being asked to provide WMD in order for coalition forces to find them. 'But the guys were thinking this is absurd because anything put down would not pass the smell test and could be shown to be not of Iraqi origin and not using Iraqi methodology,' the source added."

Is it really possible that they would plant fake WMD, in order for the team of OSP operatives to "find" them? The answer, unfortunately, is undoubtedly yes. For this would cloud the issue, irrespective of whether or not the "find" was later debunked, and it would plant, in the public mind, the idea that there really were WMD to be found in Iraq, that Saddam posed a menace to the region and had to be stopped, and, above all, that Bush was right to invade. The news that the WMD had been "found" would be trumpeted from here to Kingdom Come, while critics and debunkers would be depicted as Bush-hatingterrorist-loving partisans. The truth, in this context, is irrelevant. What matters is the public relations effect of such a bold deception.

Well, then, what happened to the ersatz "evidence" of WMD? What became of the work of the small four-to-five man OSP "team" sent into Iraq under such extraordinarily murky circumstances? An article by Stephen Hayes in the Weekly Standard may represent the fruits of their labors. Hayes, a leading figure in the "Bush-was-right" cargo cult and a regular writer for the Standard, avers:

"Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to the Weekly Standard by eleven U.S. government officials."

Could these mysterious "documents and photographs" be the product of the OSP's creative postwar tactics in Iraq? It wouldn't be the first time the Weekly Standard had somehow gotten its hot little hands on discarded and highly dubious "intelligence" from the OSP's wastebasket.

Hayes' piece is a perfervid tale of raw "intelligence" vacuumed up by U.S. forces from various sites, including in Iraq, that supposedly documents Iraq's links to al-Qaeda. The secret of Iraq's connection to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. is allegedly contained in a veritable treasure trove of "raw intelligence," the Holy Grail of the neocons, described by Hayes as "photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps" that "come from a collection of some 2 million 'exploitable items' captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs, and computer hard drives."

The point of Hayes' piece is that these "secret" documents and other items are being suppressed by evil forces within the U.S. government who want to see Bush and the War Party discredited. All right then, let's release the hidden "evidence" of al-Qaeda's much-touted "links" to Saddam: I can hardly wait to see the videotape of the Iraqi dictator playing Risk with Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as the three of them chat amiably about how to nuke New York, Washington, and Crawford, Texas.

This is the fallback theory the neocons are pushing in light of the complete collapse of the case for WMD, which only the most die-hard cargo-cultists of Neoconland still uphold. It's much more fluid, and easier to "prove," if only in the minds of the president's supporters. Although an alleged Prague meeting between 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence agent turned out to be a crock, there is an infinite number of similarly tall tales on tap, and I'm sure Señor Hayes and other authors of the neocon school of docudrama will rise to the challenge.

Such a ploy illustrates the three cardinal rules of warfare, both political and otherwise: Buck up the troops and keep firing at the enemy. Above all, stay on the offensive.

This is precisely what the neocons are doing with the current campaign – now reaching a crescendo of righteousness – against Iran's alleged attempts to develop nuclear weapons. Although Israel doubtless has nukes aimed at Tehran, the Iranians are not allowed to defend against or deter the threat of an Israeli first strike – that would be committing the sin of "moral equivalence."

After all, what right have the Iranians got to defend themselves – isn't their newly-elected president a Holocaust-denier, and hasn't he expressed a strong desire to "wipe Israel off the map"? Never mind that he seemed to have mellowed out after due consideration and supplemented his remarks with a suggestion that perhaps Israel might be re-implanted somewhere else – say, in Europe, the scene of the greatest crimes against the Jews. The real point, however, is that once the Iranians get their hands on nukes, the worst thing in the world will have happened. Yet is this really so?

Insofar as it would make all-out war unthinkable, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Tehran would, ironically, stabilize as much as destabilize a volcanically volatile region. As it stands now, the entire Middle East lives in the shadow of a possible Israeli first strike against a perceived threat – as exemplified by a recent round of speculation about an imminent Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites. This is inherently destabilizing, as it means an increase in "fourth generation" terrorist tactics employed by Israel's enemies, and opens up the possibility that a future Israeli prime minister – perhaps an extremist elected by a radicalized Israeli majority – might one day really pull the nuclear trigger.

On the other hand, having leveled the playing field, the Iranians would render the Israeli first-strike strategy inoperable. A war between Israel and its adversaries in the Middle East, rather than ending in the nuking of Tehran, Mecca, and every major Muslim city in the region, would instead have to mean "mutually assured destruction" (MAD) – that old specter of the Cold War that the neocons found so insufferably irritating at the time, and which stood in the way of their dreams of "regime change." (It happened anyway, albeit without their intervention, but that's another story…)

In any case, the neocons, allied with Israel's amen corner in the U.S., are bound and determined that this will not happen, and they have considerable backing, not only in both parties but internationally: the UN Security Council is likely to take up the questions of sanctions soon, and the first notes of a long prelude to another war in the Middle East are now being heard. Rather than defend the indefensible, i.e., the veracity and integrity of the "intelligence"-gatheringmethods that lied us into war in Iraq, the War Party is simply changing the subject – while still employing the same old tried-and-true methods. After all, it worked the last time…

Yet another Raw Story scoop – Larisa Alexandrovna is one busy gal – gives us a preview of what the neocons might have in store for us:

"Several U.S. and foreign intelligence sources, along with investigators, say an Iranian exile with ties to Iran-Contra peddled a bizarre tale of stolen uranium to governments on both sides of the Atlantic in the spring and summer of 2003. The story that was peddled – which detailed how an Iranian intelligence team infiltrated Iraq prior to the start of the war in March of 2003, and stole enriched uranium to use in their own nuclear weapons program – was part of an attempt to implicate both countries in a WMD plot. It later emerged that the Iranian exile was trying to collect money for his tales, sources say."

The source of this neocon fantasy-fiction: Manucher Ghorbanifar, a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, a legendary fabricator, and a key source of much of the wheeling and dealing of phony "intelligence" in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The audacity of this fable is that it kills two birds with one stone – targeting both Iraq and Iran as aspiring nuclear powers deserving of "regime change."

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Penn.) became the tireless champion of Ghorbanifar's guff on Capitol Hill and even wrote a whole book on the subject, Countdown to Terror– a compendium of what amounts to neocon fan fiction, related in the breathless tone of a dime-store spy thriller. According to the official mythology, an Iranian informant code-named "Ali" had information that the Iranians had sent a team to Baghdad to make off with weapons-grade uranium from one of Saddam Hussein's many hidden stockpiles. As Ali tells it, the Iranians had penetrated Iraq before the invasion and filched Saddam's nukes, apparently in the nick of time and just under our noses – albeit not, according to Ali, without coming down with radiation poisoning in the process.

This story has everything: a secret informant, a mission seemingly impossible, and, in the end, a martyrdom. The only problem is that it isn't credible, given its source. As Laura Rozen revealed in the definitive debunking of the "Ali" myth:

"The Prospect has learned that the true identity of 'Ali' is Fereidoun Mahdavi, formerly the shah's minister of commerce and, more importantly, the close friend and business partner of Ghorbanifar, legendary arms dealer, infamous intelligence fabricator, and central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal that almost brought down the Reagan administration. It was 'Gorba,' as he was known back then to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, the rogue National Security Council officer, who lured the Reagan administration into secretly selling U.S. missiles to the Islamic regime in exchange for the release of Western hostages."

Yesteryear's serial liars are making their encore appearance, with an all-star cast of all-too-familiar neocons seeming to mock us, relentless and brazen. Iraq was yesterday, but Iran is today. So are Syria and Lebanon: the War Party is on the move. The sounds of their war cries are already rebounding, and are heard in that inner sanctum of "peace" and global togetherness, the United Nations.

The Security Council is due to take up the issue of Iran's bid to build a nuclear deterrent, and this time the Americans have their European allies, including France and Germany, on board. The Iranians, for their part, assert that they are acquiring a nuclear capacity purely for the purpose of power generation, and they are trying desperately to wriggle out of the UN inspections vise that once had Saddam in its grip.

Viewed from an Israeli perspective, of course, the existence of an Iranian nuclear deterrent is a strategic disaster and utterly impermissible. After all, those nukes won't be aimed at New York or Los Angeles: they'll be aimed at Tel Aviv – and, perhaps, any number of European capitals, which accounts for the "multilateralist" character of the latest Western crusade against menacing Saracens in the East.

From a purely American standpoint, however, the alteration of the nuclear equation in the Middle East takes on an entirely different aspect, one that is, at the very least, highly ambiguous. To begin with, proliferation of nuclear weaponry is bad in and of itself: we don't want another Pakistan on our hands, in which we nervously await an internal eruption to empower some Islamic nutball to launch a nuclearized jihad. On the other hand, we've endured the Pakistan situation for this long, and its potential consequences in terms of getting nuclear arms directly into the hands of Osama bin Laden & Co. are far more likely – and more horrendously lethal – than the prospect of Tehran acquiring nukes.

Secondly, as I've said above, the evening out of the Middle East playing field might not be such a bad idea after all. With the threat of an Israeli first strike removed, the process of general disarmament – starting with nuclear disarmament – can begin. Let the International Atomic Energy Agency – the UN's official nuclear weapons watchdog – inspect Israel's nuclear sites and make their findings public. Then the Security Council can deal with the allegations against Iran in context – and, perhaps, forge the basis for negotiating the general and complete nuclear disarmament of the entire region, setting in place safeguards and monitoring mechanisms that conduct surveillance on an equal basis.

The acquisition of a nuclear capacity is, for Iranians, a matter of national pride: even the more democratic opponents of the current regime, when asked, assert their nation's "right" to go nuclear. Yet it is also a matter of survival for any nation that takes seriously the American intent to preemptively attack anyone, anywhere, at any time, in order to prevent some alleged future aggression or the coalescence of some formless "threat." Another spoke in the axis of evil, North Korea, didn't need to be told this, and now the Iranians are learning it, too. To anyone who has ever looked at Uncle Sam cross-eyed, the lesson of the Iraqi invasion is that the failure to develop nuclear arms is an invitation for the U.S. to engage in a little "regime change." Our foreign policy of global aggression accelerates the natural inclination of states to arm themselves to the teeth, thus fostering the nuclear arms race: preemption precipitates proliferation.

Find this article at:
http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=8383




http://www.counterpunch.org/frank01032006.html
January 3, 2006


Entrenched Hypocrisy 

Hillary Clinton
AIPAC and Iran

 

By Joshua Frank

President Bush's position on Iran is disturbing and dangerous, reads a recent screed written by AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).
 

 

Not long ago the Bush administration accepted a Russian proposal to allow Iran to continue to develop nuclear energy under Russian supervision and AIPAC is downright pissed.

In a letter to congressional allies, mostly Democrats, the pro-Israel organization admitted is was
"concerned that the decision not to go to the Security Council, combined with the U.S. decision to support the 'Russian proposal,' indicates a disturbing shift in the Administration's policy on Iran and poses a danger to the U.S. and our allies."

Israel, however, continues to develop a substantial nuclear arsenal, and in 2000 the BBC  (British Broadcasting Corporation) reported that Israel has most likely produced enough plutonium to make up to 200 nuclear weapons.

So, it is safe to say that Israel's bomb building techniques are light years ahead of Iran's
dismal nuclear program.

Yet the major U.S. ally in the Middle East still won't admit they have capacity to produce
such deadly weapons.

And while AIPAC and Israel pressure the U.S. government to force the Iran issue to the
U.N. Security Council,  Israel itself stands in violation of numerous U.N. Resolutions dealing
with the occupied territories of Palestine, including U.N. Resolution 1402, which demands that Israel withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once.

AIPAC's hypocrisy is stomach-turning, to say the least.

The goliath lobbying organization wants Iran to be slapped across the knuckles while the crimes of Israel continue to be ignored.

And who is propping up AIPAC's hypocritical position? Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

As the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle thus far, pocketing over $58,000 as of October 31 last year, Senator Clinton now has Iran in her cross-hairs.

During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered on December 11, hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled, "I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israeli Defense Force] to discuss such challenges we confront.

In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia.

Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked  Israel's right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability.

During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the
threats that Israel faces every hour of every day ...

It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel ..."

As Sen. Clinton embraces Israel's violence, as well as AIPAC's duplicitous Iran position,
she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the recent shelling of the Gaza Strip.

Over the past weeks Israel continues to mark the occupied territories (they call 'buffer zones')like a frothing-mouth K9 on the loose.

Hillary Clinton's silence toward Israel's brutality implies the senator will continue to support
AIPAC's mission to occupy the whole of the occupied territories,

as well as a war on Iran in the future.

AIPAC's right -- even President Bush appears to be a little sheepish when up against Hillary "warmonger" Clinton.

Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out!
 




US senators say military
 strike on Iran must be
 option

 
15 Jan 2006
Source: Reuters


In WASHINGTON story headlined "CORRECTED-U.S. Senators say military strike on Iran must be option," please read in third paragraph ... Bayh of Indiana ... instead of Bayh of Illinois ... (correcting state to Indiana).

A corrected story follows:

By Carol Giacomo, Diplomatic Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic senators said on Sunday the United States may ultimately have to undertake a military strike to deter Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, but that should be the last resort.

"That is the last option. Everything else has to be exhausted. But to say under no circumstances would we exercise a military option, that would be crazy," Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said there are sensitive elements of Iran's nuclear program, which, if attacked, "would dramatically delay its development."

"But that should not be an option at this point. We ought to use everything else possible keep from getting to that juncture," he said on CNN's "Late Edition."

A growing nuclear fracas exploded last week when Iran, defying the United States and major European powers, resumed nuclear research after a two-year moratorium.

Iran says it aims only to make power for an energy-needy economy, not build atom bombs. But it hid nuclear work from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency for almost 20 years before exiled dissidents exposed it in 2002.

On Sunday, Iran said that only diplomacy, not threats to refer it to the U.N. Security Council, could defuse a standoff over its nuclear work and warned that any Western push for sanctions could jack up world oil prices.

The Security Council's five permanent members and Germany planned talks in London on Monday on a common strategy to tackle the controversy.

McCain called the nuclear standoff "the most grave situation that we have faced since the end of the Cold War, absent the whole war on terror."

"We must go to the U.N. now for sanctions. If the Russians and the Chinese, for reasons that would be abominable, do not join us then we will have to go with the (states that are) willing," he said.

While acknowledging that President George W. Bush has "no good option," McCain said "there is only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option, that is a nuclear-armed Iran."

"If the price of oil has to go up then that's a consequence we would have to suffer," he said.

Iran is the world's fourth biggest exporter of crude oil and the second biggest in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Experts and officials say it may be impossible to destroy Iran's nuclear program because much of it is underground and dispersed at numerous sites.

In addition, they have said an attack on Iran could further inflame anti-Americanism in the Middle East and prompt Tehran to interfere more in Iraq and encourage Islamist fundamentalist groups to launch new attacks on the West.

Another Senate Intelligence Committee member, Republican Trent Lott of Mississippi, said that despite a massive military commitment in Iraq the United States has the capability to strike Iran but it would be difficult and other options must be tried first.

Bayh accused Bush of undermining the U.S. national interest and creating what he called a dilemma by ignoring the problem of Iran for four years.


 


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