Israeli General, Formerly Head of Nuclear Weapons, Denies Iran as a Nuclear Threat

Needless to say, it isn’t often that a retired, well respected general disputes official policy. But war leader and “pillar of the defence establishment” Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam has gone public with his views that Iran is a very long way from having nuclear weapons capability. Eilam contends that the official view is “hysterical” and attributes it to political objectives on behalf of both the military and government leaders.

From the Times Online (hat tip reader Marshall):

A general who was once in charge of Israel’s nuclear weapons has claimed that Iran is a “very, very, very long way from building a nuclear capability”.

Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam…believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons…

Israeli forces have been in training to attack Iranian nuclear installations and some analysts believe airstrikes could be launched this year if international sanctions fail to deter Tehran from pursuing its programme.

Eilam, who is thought to be updated by former colleagues on developments in Iran, calls his country’s official view hysterical. “The intelligence community are spreading frightening voices about Iran,” he said.

He suggested that the “defence establishment is sending out false alarms in order to grab a bigger budget” while some politicians have used Iran to divert attention away from problems at home.

“Those who say that Iran will obtain a bomb within a year’s time, on what basis did they say so?” he asked. “Where is the evidence?”…

According to well-placed defence sources, Israel is speeding up preparations for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear sites…

But Eilam argues “such an attack [against Iran] would be counter-productive”.

“One strike is not practical. In order to delay the Iranian programme for three to four years, one needs an armada of aircraft, which only a super-power can provide. Only America can do it.”

Readers may have taken note of the fact that the US is now of the view that Iran’s long-term stability is in doubt and is more actively looking to back the opposition. But as we found with Iraq, reports from the opposition and/or exiles seeking US aid can be less than reliable (remember the claim that US troops would be welcomed with flowers? Since when has a foreign occupier been welcomed by the locals?). Moreover, efforts that are so open that the US newspapers are writing about them are likely to backfire. The opposition then can be portrayed as a tool of the US, and painted as serving the interests of Israel, not the Iranian people.

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  1. anonymous

    Well respected program (Leon Charney) had a guest on tonite. Iran is a threat, but the wild card is Iran’s own population which does not like it’s government. I’m no expert but believe the odds of an Iraq style attack are small as Iran has probably prepared for this. There’s way too much saber rattling to figure out what is real and what is disinformation.

  2. Russel

    The opposition in Iran has already stated that abandoning the nuclear program is not an option they will entertain – has as much to do with national pride as it does with deterrence. For once, maybe we can let a regime collapse on its own without our intervention?

    And how will the Israelis destroy the knowledge Iran has accumulated about nuclear programs?

  3. sangellone

    There are outliers in every military. In the US they tended to come from the Navy ( Gene Laroche, Noel Gaynor e.g.)who founded the Center for Defense Information ( or Disinformation as it was more accurately known) back in the days of the USSR. Of course John Walker and Jonathan Pollard also came of the Navy so we had a problem there at the time.

    Don’t know if Israel has a similiar problem but one brigadier doesn’t a consensus make and if he a ( retired) brigadier what does he know?

    1. K Ackermann

      There are a couple of things that back up the man.

      First, Iran has been around for 5000 years, and really haven’t show any suicidal tendencies.

      Second, it’s quite easy to know exactly how much bomb-grade material Iran has, despite what you hear in the media. It takes more electricity for us to make bombs that is used by all of New York City. It’s pretty easy to monitor massive electrical generation. Hell, they can do it with satellites.

      There is a good chance that Iran is seeking nuclear capabilities not to commit suicide, but to use in the same way as all nuclear countries successfully use. The chance is so high that it is not worth a preemptive strike, knowing what the consequences are. Iran has surface-to-surface missiles that are a nine-minute flight to the world’s larges oil loading terminal, and an 11-minute flight to the world’s largest refinery complex, which is also the terminal end of the Saudi overland pipe. Iran knows where all our bases are, manufacture their own missiles, and have 80 million people and a night-fighting capabilities.

      George Bush is their best friend. They never dreamed of the power he handed to them.

      One last point: we also know that the Israeli and US military lie like dirty rugs. That’s a proven fact, over and over.

      1. sangellone

        5000 years is not a useful timeframe.

        Easy you say!

        How much electricity was the Soviet Union using in 1949?

        I should listen to Ayatollahs about nuclear war doctrine?

        Dubya, an excuse that keeps on keeping on.

        The US and the Israelis lie like ‘dirty rugs’? Strange metaphor given we are talking about the original ‘rug’ merchants of the world.

        My conclusion: You are an idiot who has not a single bit of expertise on the subject. Don’t take offense. I’ve been in somewhat the same condition when the topic comes to synthetic CDO’s. That’s why I read Naked Capitalism and Yves.

        You might want to put the Koran down, shave the beard and try and think objectively about the real correlation of forces are. Israel isn’t playing around trying to build a 1945 type fission weapon. More likely they have the later ‘Edward Teller’ version of the ‘thermonuclear’bomb in their arsenal. Tel Aviv maybe small what you want believe how small Teheran will be when a fusion bomb goes off over it!

        1. Doug Terpstra

          “Tel Aviv maybe small what you want believe how small Teheran will be when a fusion bomb goes off over it!”

          This is nonsensical, (to quote you, “you are an idiot … don’t take offense”?) it’s like something from an AIPAC racist or a member of the American Evangelical Armageddon Lobby. War is never as easy and predictable as the chickenhawks declare, and the matrix of assymetric warfare can doom even the the most invincible, unsinkable empire, even chosen ones.

        2. Francois T

          If you’re to come here to be snarly and dismissive, on top of calling posters “idiots” I invite you to go to or Michelle Malkin’s web site.

          Beat it!

  4. anonymous

    “And how will the Israelis destroy the knowledge Iran has accumulated about nuclear programs?”

    By ground invasion, of course. The IDF ground forces shouldn’t have a problem invading…

    Oh, yeah…

  5. Ferruccio

    “””(remember the claim that US troops would be welcomed with flowers? Since when has a foreign occupier been welcomed by the locals?)””” — I wasn’t quite around (yet) at the time, but, from what I heard from my family, friends, and acquaintances, as well as history books and old newspaper arcives, the US occupation troops were very warmly welcome in 1945 by most of the Italian “locals” (of course not those who had strong ties to the defunct Fascist regime, or those who were waiting for _Stalin_’s troops to come and take over instead, but probably a strong majority). I guess that one historically rare occurrence has influenced generations of Americans’ views on the issue.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The US went to some lengths in World War II NOT to be perceived as occupiers. We made it very clear we were “liberators” and intended to restore some sort of democratic government. I do not know about Italy, but in France, we made sure it was French troops that led the march into Paris, to signal clearly what our intentions were.

      In Iraq, we’ve tried to pretend it’s a democratic process, but it’s clearly a puppet government. And even in the US, I’ve never heard the Iraq war presented as a war of liberation, so we seem to have been pretty inattentive to symbolism this time around. The interviews I saw of Iraqis immediately after the war (and these were of Iraqis who made it clear they supported the US invasion) saw the US as an occupier, said it was OK if the left soon enough (and they made it clear that meant in a matter of months).

    2. aet

      In the Italian campaign of WW 2, the Allies were fighting mostly German forces: that is, forces foreign to the Italians themselves.

      Even more so for the Allied campaigns in France and the Netherlands in that war.

      Compare and contrast Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iran, there’s no foreign occupier for the Americans to oust.

      “Liberation” does not come to mind as an accurate description of the latter: invasion, conquest and occupation would be more accurate.

      1. gordon

        In Iran, maybe the US/Israel are trying for a regime change by supporting internal dissidents, and not actually invading – as indicated in the linked newspaper article. That would be more like the US’ traditional South American strategy, used many times to destabilise regimes unpopular in Washington. In Iran the US doesn’t have the traditional internal military support for a pure South American strategy, so maybe the strategy will resemble the US-based support for the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Fun to watch – if you’re not Iranian.

      1. IF

        Actually, there were lots of Germans living in the Sudentenland, while there were hardly any Americans in Iraq. My grandfather was one of the Sudentengermans until his family got ethnically cleansed by Benes after 45. But lets not get into that. We are all a happy EU family now.

  6. Sud

    With due respect to the Hon. Retd General, my country’s (India) neighbor Pakistan acquired N-weapons from its sponsor China within a year.

    We’re talking about a country (Pakistan) that cannot indigeniously manufacture even a scooter engine suddenly acquiring missile (i.e. delivery system) and N-weapons capability. The deleterious effect on India’s already fragile security situation is all too obvious. Pakistan now regularly launches terror attacks on Indian civilians seeking to derail India’s economic growth and political clout, hiding behind Islamabad’s ‘nuclear umbrella’ confident that India cannot afford to escalate matters to N-war level.

    China, despite being a signatory to the NPT, gifted N-weapons tech to Pakistan in order to use the Pak proxy to contain, harass and stifle a rising India. And they have succeeded. It is no longer unthinkable, IMHO, that PRC might harbor similar designs of using the Iranian program as a proxy to constrain the western-Israeli block.

    In any case, all this is speculation and IMO, a retired general, since he is no longer updated with the latest in intell briefings may be quite unaware of the true extent of geopol developments.

    Again, just my 2 cents. I am as against baseless warmongering and resource squander (as in the Iraq war) as the next guy.

    1. K Ackermann

      Is that you, A.Q.? Nice bit of feeding the beast, and nice bit of revisionism.

      Let me guess: Iran never cloned sheep, nor have they designed some of the most sophisticated instruments for the new CERN supercollider. They’re just a bunch of piss-stained backwood rednecks all hopped up on God.

      1. Sud

        >>Is that you, A.Q.? Nice bit of feeding the beast, and nice bit of revisionism.

        Who’s AQ? Not me, for sure.

        Revisionism, sir? Where? Kindly let on.

        If nukes will be used next, then IMHO it is Pakistan’s nukes that are the ones most likely to go boom. And I fear it will be somewhere around the major cities of my country.

        1. K Ackermann

          Also, I hear what you say. I lived through a cold war here, and went to school in a designated nuclear fallout shelter. Deterrence worked in the case of the USSR and the USA.

          Only in the hands of a madman would India suffer an attack, but luckily it takes a hell of a lot more than a madman to let a missile fly. Any actual organized government would, no matter how brutal and stupid couldn’t help but realize the gains of having the missiles without setting them off.

          The Bomb can’t be uninvented, no matter what Israel thinks.

  7. snarkman

    Funny that you assume that someone who dares point out that Iran is not self-destructive, is already a force to be reckoned with ex nukes, and that, Israeli blustering to the contrary, it’s not hard to ascertain whether Iran is going the weapons route in its nuclear program must be Arab (and by implication a bad guy).

    Then you proceed to argue Israel should vaporize Tehran. So with that logic, tell me why it isn’t perfectly reasonable for Iran to get nuclear capability? Seems like it’s badly needed to maintain a balance of power.

  8. linda in chicago

    Isn’t all this American-Israeli hysteria over a potentially nuclear Iran several years down the road really just a way of deflecting attention from the slow ethnic cleansing of Muslim and Christian Palestinians from Israel-Palestine, which is happening NOW, 24/7??

  9. Doug Terpstra

    Yves, your last paragraph is a wise warning about how simplistic presumptions on the middle east can go terribly wrong. Recent US ‘strategery’ has not been so brilliant there. “Funny” how the “peace process” never gets anywhere.

  10. Paul Tioxon

    One point of reference for geopolitical analysis would be the recently published “A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon,” by Neil Sheehan. Neil worked with Daniel Ellsberg in publishing the Pentagon Papers in the NYT. His inside access is unmatched. Whether you have it or not the case of the Israeli general is another matter that I can not speak to, but the basic Cold War doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction was designed, according to this book, deliberately to assure peace. The Cold War is a great misnomer, if you count where my father fought in Korea, where I carried a draft card for, Viet Nam, but was not drafted and all of the other proxy wars up to Afghanistan where the Red Army met its first defeat, courtesy of the largest secret war conducted by the CIA, and funded by Congressional Democrats, as outlined in “Charlie Wilson’s War”. There were a lot of countries torn to pieces and million dead where ever we went eyeball to eyeball with the Soviets, don’t forget The Angolan War with Cuban Army troops. Iran, in pursuing the ultimate weapon, realizes that once it possesses it, other countries have to back off. Similarly, they have to as well, or America might go megadeath on them. The iron logic of Iranian pursuit, and Israel fear is following the pattern of most escalating arms races. It is unthinkable to actually use these weapons, that is why you have found the US and Russia decommissioning these arsenals by the tens of thousands. They aren’t really to be used, but to threaten to use. You can only strike a balance when your enemy has the same class of weaponry. The willingness to use is inherent in the commitment to develop and deploy ready to launch nuclear ICBM’s or the requisite nuclear delivery system. The expense and the technical feasibility can not be well understood, except when you look at the countries that do have the weapons, you are looking at very advanced Western countries, included is Israel and China, India and Pakistan, 3 of the largest countries in the world and as we now see, the first 2 nbe moving along in economic development for decades, with Soviet help as a contributing factor and now have exploded on the world scene. Iran does not quite fit that bill, and it does not look like they have a client relationship with Russia to be armed in short order. They are internally, unstable as we can see now, with the social order melting down completely twice since 1979. We know they import gasoline, wasting their petro power by trading crude for value added refined products. This does not look like a sustainable national economy and any program for nuclear armament is prohibitively expensive, not even factoring in redundant facilities buried deep underground to protect from Israeli or American air strikes. So can they get there soon? Or in 7 years or 15? I do not think anyone, including Russia is in any financial shape to hand them anything that will allow them to skip over much of the development process on their own. I do not see the Pakistani general wanting to share, even if they did not owe their life blood to the US Govt. So that leaves us with domestic Israeli politics. What is their problem? I don’t know, what was George Bush’s problem? Militarists have a disproportionate amount of power in both countries. They have too much money to do whatever they want. The end of the world according the Republicans stimulus package is not much larger than the annual military budget that gets passed without as much as a yawn in the press, $650b. And they are also given international missions that further drain the public treasury and are fiercely propagandized on the homeland front. Israel in Lebanon for some 15 years, we in Iraq since 1991 for the first invasion and since 2003 for the expanded invasion into Baghdad. Of course, Israel somehow manages to leave Lebanon and is still not safe from mortar and missile attacks from a country they spent almost 2 decades pacifying and we of course are still looking for WMD’s, Osama Bin Laden and a used Mission Accomplished banner that started the whole thing. The military in America along with the politicians have lied about the Gulf of Tonkin, The Soviet lead in ICBM’s, and Noriega, The Sandinistas, WMD’s etc. They just keep coming up with a war and enemy to fight, no matter what happens. Kind of like a the guy with a hammer who sees nails everywhere. So, it should come as no surprise, that some highly placed credible generals are making a radically different assessment of Iran vis a vis Israel. It may be too little too late. Israel will only survive when they strike a peace accord with the Arab world. They can not win every war indefinitely, only a negotiated settlement can do that. The problem will be to overcome the militarists, on both sides who no doubt will try to duplicate the death of any leader who moves toward peace, such as what happened to Sadat who is famous for saying that “Russians can get you weapons, but the American can get you a solution”. Even hard line Israel nationalist, Sharon, was subjected to assassination attempts for his willingness to cede land for peace.

  11. Kevin de Bruxelles

    We need to be careful here. No one really knows outside of Iran where they are on their weapons program. But we shouldn’t kid ourselves either; Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. As one of the top living military historians Martin Van Creveld put it (btw, an Israeli who called the invasion of Iraq the biggest military blunder in 2000 years):

    Obviously, we don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons and I don’t know if they’re developing them, but if they’re not developing them, they’re crazy.

    It makes perfect sense for Iran to want to possess nuclear weapons just as I suppose it makes just as much sense for Israel and the US to not want them to have them. Nuclear weapons immediately imply regional power status and make the calcualtions for an enemy land invasion very complex indeed. In fact since Iran is closely allied to North Korea, they may well already possess a few nuclear bombs that could be quickly publicly tested if events warranted. Possessing is not using though; for Iran to actually launch a first strike nuclear missile attack from their territory (or from Lebanon by means of Hezbollah) is absolute suicide; if not by means of a second strike from Israel then certainly from the US. MAD (mutual assured destruction) will still deter on open strike between States. Where things get much more dangerous is a “suitcase” nuclear attack; dangerous for all involved especially Iran. If Iran becomes an open nuclear power and a suitcase bomb goes off somewhere in the US, Europe, or Israel; there will be incredible public pressure for a nuclear retaliation against Iran. Is it possible that Israel would organize a black flag nuclear attack on say French territory in order to give the US the moral cover to wipe out Iran?

    In any case the military options to stop the Iranian program are very limited. The best one could hope for is an immoral (war is only moral in direct response to aggression, building nuclear weapons is not “agression”, otherwise we should attack Israel, India, Pakistan, North Korea, etc.) airstrike that would set back the program a few years. But the retired General’s statements that the Iranian program is still years away is not necessarily a reason not to attack. Military operations would likely have more of an impact against an immature program. An airstrike might be calculated to set Iran back ten more years if their program is still in the early stages. If they were six months away however, (of course no one can really know though) an airstrike against a mature program might only set them back only another year or so.

    I could easily see Obama launching such a strike in the early autumn of this year. A quick political calculation shows Republicans would enthusiastically support the attack (doesn’t mean they would then vote for his party though) while most Democrats would stoically support their President but at the same time manage to display some regret for the dead and injured. Progressives and true Conservatives would oppose, but who cares what these people think, they oppose everything from the invasion of Iraq, to the Wall Street bailouts, to the health care deform bill?

    From the Iranian point of view, I’m sure the regime would very much prefer to have Israel/US launch an airstrike. The would give them the moral imperative to become an open nuclear power; no one could deny that in response to Israeli and US aggression, Iran would earn a moral right to hold nuclear weapons in order to defend themselves from further aggression. But this would be disastrous for the American Indirect Empire (AIE) as nuclear weapons tend to some extent mitigate the overwhelming conventional arms domination the US holds over the world. It is already bad enough that North Korea is a nuclear power.

    I am pessimistic on this issue. I see a larger game where Iran, and her satellites Syria and Hezbollah, are some of the last major players on earth (along with North Korea; Russia is arguable) not indirectly under the control of the United States. The “West” in it many iterations (Greek, Macadonian, Roman, Christian, British, American, etc) has been battling “Persia” for the past 2500 years. Will Iran fall into the AIE’s orbit this decade? I think it will, but the question is whether it will by means of a war or internal revolution.

    1. IF

      “In fact since Iran is closely allied to North Korea”

      Is this a fact because Dubya said so or is there any information that escaped me?

    2. K Ackermann

      Think through the implications of an attack on Iran. When you really think about it, and realize the myriad retaliatory measures Iran would adopt in response, you will understand why airstrikes haven’t already happened.

      Would airstrikes kill the knowledge, too?

      1. kevin de bruxelles

        No, airstrikes would not necessarily kill the knowledge base. Like I said, the most an airstrike could hope to accomplish on any Iranian nuclear program is to delay it for an unknown period of time.

        If strikes were to be carried out, I would suspect the real motive would be one of empire, of bringing Iran back into the fold as a US client state. The fall of Iran would leave Syria and Hezbollah in a difficult position. That said, there is a potential revolution in progress in Iran. If the revolution ever proved to be successful and the new leaders took power and submitted to US supremacy, then just like Pakistan they would eventually be allowed nuclear weapons once the US and Israel were confident enough that these weapons would stay under control.

      2. DownSouth

        More than likely, airstrikes on Iran wouldn’t do diddly squat, other than, as Kevin points out, giving Iran “the moral imperative to become an open nuclear power; no one could deny that in response to Israeli and US aggression, Iran would earn a moral right to hold nuclear weapons in order to defend themselves from further aggression.”

        I’ve read extensively on this, but have since lost the links so am talking off the top of my head (sorry). But just think about it for a minute. Effective air strikes require effective targeting, which require reliable intelligence. If our pre-war intelligence on Iraq was so bad that we couldn’t even get it right about the very existence of their WMD program, how are we ever going to get good enough intelligence to pinpoint the exact location of WMD facilities, and especially in some black box like Iran (and the reading I mentioned earlier delves in great detail of just how bad our intelligence on Iran is. Sorry again for not being able to provide references.) ?

        Furthermore, didn’t Israel already target Iranian “nuclear facilities” once before? Are we to beieve the Iranians are so stupid as to have learned nothing? Are we to think the facilities are just sitting around now on the top of the ground with “Nuclear Weapon Plant” in huge red letters plastered all over them? Quite the contrary, the new facilities may be hidden away in fortified underground bunkers. And even on the highly unlikely possibility that we might get intelligence about their exact location, conventional firepower might not take them out. Has it occurred to no one that it would require nuclear attacks to penetrate these bunkers? And that under adverse weather conditions, the nuclear fallout could not only kill millions upon millions of Iranians, and countries adjacent to Iran, but the nuclear fallout could drift as far away as northern Europe?

        So all this talk about taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities is nothing short of blathering stupidity—24 carat propaganda to be sued against the American and Israeli people. Either that or the ravings of mad men.

        1. kevin de bruxelles

          I agree (of course!) but the only correction is that Israel actually attacked the Osiraq Nuclear Reactor in Iraq (not Iran) in 1981. What is interesting (and rarely mentioned) is that this reactor was first attacked by IRAN! in 1980 although the damage from the Iranian attack was not that extensive. But it was the first attack in history on a nuclear reactor and ironically enough the first pre-emptive strike in history to stall a nuclear program!

  12. Anonymous

    Sarkozy of France also believes the U.S. doesn’t take the Iran threat seriously. One only has to see what’s going on in Lebanon & Gaza to see a glimmer of what Iran has in store. When you look at their missile testing, it should be clear they are not trying to find an alternate way to power their homes.

    Iran has a highly educated and skilled population. They want it better at home. The protests in the street are not over and not an endorsement of the nuclear ambitions either. Nuclear energy might be a source of pride, but wars with non bordering countries is not something the average guy in the street wants.

  13. Brick

    What good would nuclear weapons do Iraq because if they used them then there would be retaliation on a scale not seen before. In reality Iran would face the prospect of living with the threat of nuclear attack just like the rest of the nuclear community. Would it serious deter the US who have all sorts of sophisticated weaponry to deal with nuclear arams before they were deployed I think not. If they really want to go down that route, let them get on with it.
    Since Israel has probably the best intelligence force anywhere in the world I rather doubt their knowledge on the subject is incomplete. Nor do I believe that israel is particularly concerned about the politicians in Iran seriously using nuclear weapons. What they most probably are concerned about is the fanaticism of the Iranian army and the somewhat weak control the politicians have over their army.
    It seems to me that Iran is split between the rural often misinformed communities and the better informed industrialiased communities while israel tends to misinform to bolster preparedness. Both these problems can be tackled with better information, education and time. As iran becomes more industrialised, I see the problem going away, in the meantime the worst thing we could do is to interfer. Maybe its a good time to invest in Iran instead of being afraid, there again maybe its time for Iran to start sorting out its human rights issues, and maybe they should ask themselves why they did nothing while moslem genocide occurred in the northern parts of Iraq back in 1988.

    1. Vinny G.

      A big part of the problem is the massive influence exercised by the Evangelical churches upon the foreign policies of the US. These evangelicals somehow believe that it is necessary to have a “spiritual”, religious, and military “brotherhood” with modern-day Israel.

      One reason for this is that the evangelicals believe that the reestablishing of the state of Israel is the fulfillment of a prophecy regarding the impending return of Jesus Christ.

      There is also a “spiritual” allegiance between the evangelicals and the state of Israel, which in fact is a one-way road, as the Israeli don’t really want to have much to do with the evangelicals. However, the evangelicals do contribute lots and lots of dollars toward various projects across Israel, and also they visit and revisit the Holy Land, thus sustaining a prosperous tourism industry. Therefore, the Israeli tolerate these intrusive and fanatical evangelicals.

      Most importantly, the evangelicals have direct access to the American political system. The US president and most Southern congresspeople and senators are generally owned by the Southern Baptists. The Southern Baptists were and largely still are behind these Middle Eastern wars, and many support the ongoing mistreatment of the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank. In fact, not only are they against a Two State Solution, but they are very much for the continued enlargement of the State of Israel to its original ancient boundaries. In this regard, the Zionists and the Evangelicals have a common vision.

      Evangelicals. This is an important factor to keep in mind when wondering why America’s policies toward Israel have been so irrational and against its own interests.


        1. Vinny G.

          K Ackermann:

          Please reread my post. I ended by stating, “this [evangelicals] is an important factor”. I did not state it is the only factor.

          Of course, the AIPAC is another factor, but that is not a topic I discussed in my post, now, isn’t it.


          1. DownSouth

            Vinny G.,

            You’re absolutely right.

            Read Kevin Phillips’ American Theocracy.

            Hell, I’ll bet even the Mormons beat the war drums louder than American Jewry.

          2. bob

            If you have a TV, one of the most enlightening things you can do with it is watch CBN. Pat Robertson TV.

            I’ve seen several different ifomercial type ads about how the american fundamentalists are helping send poor russian Jewish people back to the holy land. A few years ago it was only $2000. Seems a cheap price to not only not be ‘left behind’ but to also bring the day of reckoning closer.

            Zion oil and gas is another such scam, preying on the american fundamentalists.


            Look at the market caps to get an idea of the spending power.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Let’s see, you missed the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the Bolsehvik revolution, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the Chinese communist revolution…how can you write something so patently ridiculous?

  14. Mickey, Akron, Ohio

    Has any country with nuclear weapons been invaded by another nation? The US invasion of Iraq did more to promote nuclear proliferation than we would care to admit. After all it was WMDs that provided the pretext for that invasion by the WMD – White, Male Dummies – running this country. If Iraq had nukes, would we have liberated it? Then why haven’t we liberated North Korea? Seen in this light, Iran’s nuclear ambitions are reasonable, if not desirable. Indeed, nuclear weapons could be a stabilizing force intended to deter Israel. Remember the hysteria in this country when the Reds got the bomb, the bomber gap, the missile gap… all of which have been subsequently debunked as nonexistent as LIES used to justify the permanent war economy.

    This surreal Orwellian descent into fear and terror – LOVE IS HATE PEACE is WAR – of Big Brother that grips this country is deplorable. If not Al-Queda, the Taliban, the North Koreans, and now the Iranians, the religious-nationalistic frenzy marches onwards to Armageddon. It’s almost as if we had to invent an enemy once the Soviet bear crawled back into its cave. Next it will be the Chinese. Then the Klingons and the Romulans… The “masters of war” have made “fear and terror” at home the equivalent of “shock and awe” abroad.

    1. DownSouth

      Probably no one put it better than Gorbachev back in 1985 and 1986, during the early days of his leadership, when he delighted in saying:

      We are going to prevent you Americans with a terrible dilemma. We are going to deprive you of an enemy.”

      –Daniel Yankelovich, Coming to Public Judgment

  15. Old Soldier

    Israel will nuke Iran. That will put the end to Iran’s weapons program. Unfortunately, you need to use nukes to take out the fortified facilities used for the program. Once you use nukes, you will be a pariah state. So if you are going use nukes, you might as well use a lot of them.

    Israel is trapped. If the US doesn’t stop Iran’s nuke program, then Israel will be forced to turn Iran into glass. The most prudent course of action would be to nuke all of the major cities and the oilfields. That will leave Iran with nothing to rebuild. It will also serve as an example to Israel’s enemies. Arabs (and Russians) respect strength and no one will ever want to mess with Israel again.

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