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Airstrikes, Israel, and Iran

Is Israel preparing right now to bomb Iran? We get a provocative report.

Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits in the cockpit of an F-15i fighter jet at an airforce base in southern Israel, Aug. 11, 2009. (AP)

Writer Jeffrey Goldberg does not run from the sound of war drums. Before the Iraq War, he wrote that the U.S. invasion of Iraq would be remembered as an act of “profound morality.”

Now, Goldberg has talked with dozens of U.S. and Israeli officials and come out with an Atlantic cover story headlined “Israel is Getting Ready to Bomb Iran.”  To hit its nuclear program. Most likely, he writes, by next July.

The piece is big, scary, controversial. Some call it “propaganda,” some don’t.

We speak with Goldberg, and his Atlantic colleague Robert Kaplan, about the U.S., Israel, and an Israeli strike on Iran.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic. His new article is “Israel is Getting Ready to Bomb Iran.” His memoir about his time in the Israeli Defense Forces is “Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.”

Robert Kaplan, national correspondent for The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His new article is “Living With a Nuclear Iran.” His forthcoming book is “Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power.”

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  • Joshua Hendrickson

    Wow! What great choices!

    Choice 1: Israel attacks Iran, starting World War III!

    Choice 2: Iran attacks Israel, starting World War III!

    Given the madness and paranoia on both sides, I’m not sure that any saner choices even exist at this point. I dislike and distrust the governments of both countries, although I am quite fond of both the Jewish people and the Persians. Their governments are both dangerous. This is turning out to be a clash of fundamentalisms, and that can only lead to disaster.

  • michael

    “The Atlantic magazine’s Jeffrey Goldberg says Israel is preparing right now to bomb Iran”

    So by israel threatening to attack Iran brings no World condemnations but misquoting Iran president does? I’m sure if israel decided to attack iran they used the excuse that iran threaten it verbally which gave them the right to attack a sovereign nations based on there hyperbole and often illogical fears of everything other.

    Or is the Middle-East still a Nuclear free zone(oops disregard israel)

  • michael

    Ill proven anyone with the question and answer the bbc did and have been following about

    -Iran’s nuclear program which has not violated the NPT,

    -the change in the IAEA was in direct proportion to the change in it’s leadership and appoint of a Japaneses diplomat.

    -That the deal both Brazil and Turkey made with iran was close if not the same deal the U.S. offered to iran month back except for it’s mistrust of franch to keep it end of the bargain

    -not included in the link but worth noting is that is reducing it’s dependcy on forigen oil as well as trade with some U.S. companies have been growing in the past years not declining(of course in a round about way)

    -Israel SOD has stated over and over again iran is no threat to israel contrary to what is repeated in the U.S.

    - The second site was reported to the IAEA in the allocated about of time granted by the NPT even know the U.S., Franch and the U.K claimed to have exposed it.

    -Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a signatory state has the right to enrich uranium to be used as fuel for civil nuclear power. Such states have to remain under inspection from the IAEA.

    -There are fears that Iran is at least acquiring the know-how so that one day it has the option of going for a bomb. Fears do not equal facts(as we have seen in iraq and Afghanistan)

    -In September 2009, the then IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said in an interview that there was “no credible evidence” about an Iranian weapons attempt. He said: “I do not think based on what we see that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons programme.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4031603.stm

    I hope this help informs other Americans on how dumb it would be to allow or aid israel in attacking iran and quite frankly have no desire to be called back to fight israel war with iran.

  • michael

    “Ill proven anyone with the question and answer the bbc did and have been following about ”

    oops tried,

    I’d provided for anyone with the question and answer reporting done by the BBC who have been following Iran, IAEA, NPT(with it’s clear hypocrisy), and Sanctions.

  • Pan

    Looking forward to hear this on the morning commute. I am sure the guests will have some valuable insights.

    Israel and Iran both elicit strong emotions from people. I am definite that this latest threat will amp up the rhetoric even more.

    Let’s just hope that this turns out to be an ill-conceived posturing at worst.

    No matter how justified, the threat of violence is still the worst option.

    Peace and a genuine desire to reconcile, no matter how unpalatable in the vortex of emotional sways, will always be the right option.

    Let’s see what others think!

  • michael

    Also to point out, that if iran were to nuke israel it would have to kill 20% of it’s arab minorities, along with the far out effecting Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Jerusalem(which is holy to Muslims as well) Along with a tag that it was the one that did so. By israel attacking it may actually be killing minority Jewish Iranians along with Persians .

    So the fear of such is clearly illogical and even if you wish to say hamas or like could do so it still be affecting massive amounts of Arabs and Muslims and Hamas itself. But i can almost ensure that if israel attacks Iran no one will be safer, Iran will get a Nuke,the U.S. will be even more over stretched, that national debt will balloon and many people will die.

  • Not a Chance

    I hope President Obama and Congress avoid getting the U.S. involved in any way if Israel is stupid enough to bomb Iran.

    Israel and their PAC interests in the US have already done their worst to push for as much US entanglement in the middle east as possible, knowing that US involvement in middle eastern conflicts would make Israel all the more important to the western world as a buffer zone.

    If Israel pushes for any more conflict in the region, let them go it alone and let the US wash its hands of support for Israeli aggression once and for all.

    Alliance with Israel is simply costing the US and the western world far too much in blood and treasure.

  • Michael

    Lastly,

    The counterpunch had a piece of Jeff G. and his claim that Osama Bin Laden had links to Saddam, which as we know latter turned out to be false. When he talked to Mohammed Mansour Shahab,

    Than again on Feb 10th, after widespread cynicism about the Administration’s rationales for war, “The Unknown: The C.I.A. and the Pentagon take another look at Al Qaeda and Iraq. Turned out to be misleading and false as well.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn02282003.html
    As well

    A Neocon Preps US for War with Iran
    http://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2010/08/12/a-neocon-preps-us-for-war-with-iran/

    It’s worth remembering how Goldberg helped to make the case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. For instance, on Oct. 3, 2002, as America’s war fever was building, Goldberg wrote in Slate, the online magazine:

    “The [Bush] administration is planning … to launch what many people would undoubtedly call a short-sighted and inexcusable act of aggression. In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”

    I hope americans are not dumb enough to fall for his PR for war again.

  • jeffe

    If Israel attacks Iran that would be a disaster for both countries and could spell the end of Israel as a viable nation. The US should do everything in it’s power, and I mean everything to keep this from happening.

    The problem is that Israel is now ruled by some pretty extremist factions and they seem to think they can do what they want. This is not good situation. Iran is not Iraq and the consequences of this kind of attack would be so unpredictable and destabilizing the very thought of this seems like complete madness.

    The other aspect that should be apparent is the shipments of oil through the Strait of Hormuz. This could be shut down in quick order by Iran and this could cause an already shaky world economy to go over the edge into huge depression.

    I hope sanity prevails and that diplomacy prevails.

  • jeffe

    I meant that I hope sanity and diplomacy prevails.

  • Zeno

    More saber rattling from religious extremists. Is anyone surprised? Religion is the fuel of insanity and violence.

    I feel bad for those who live under the yoke of implicit and overt theocracies and want to opt out, but are carried forward toward conflict and death to please their respective Gods.

  • pw

    I agree with Joshua in the opening comment. Except for one small thing: the cause is slightly less fundamentalists and slightly more the lethal combination of greed and testosterone in the leadership of both countries.

  • Al Dorman

    Why don’t the Persians of L.A. have a lobbying arm in Washington? Is that what it takes to have a balanced view of this aggressor called Israel? Money flowing on BOTH sides?

  • cory

    We need a better approach to nations developing nuclear power and weapons than attacking them.

    Eventually this technology will truly proliferate, and we probably cannot militarily subdue them all.

    How about negotiation, arbitration, or any kind of talking at all?

    Remember, political despots want nothing more than power. Any nation using nukes will garauntee that it’s leaders lose their power.

  • Mark S.

    What Joshua said in post number one, especially the fundamentalism part. The power of belief in intangible, incoherent “truths” will ultimately be the undoing of humankind. Maybe then the Earth can heal itself.

  • Margaret Heitz

    Why are both guests from The Atlantic?

    Robert Wright on yesterday’s Bloggingheads suggested that The Atlantic promotes a virtual hug fest among its writers. Wright and Mickey Kaus also questioned Goldberg’s objectivity.

  • John

    I hope the American people are smart enough not to listen to and not allow the windbag and misinformed agitators in the media and blogsphere to frame the story. But, I’m not holding my breath either.

  • Mark S.

    Said Michael: “I hope americans are not dumb enough to fall for his PR for war again.”

    Yer kidding, right? Awash as we are in Tea Partiers, Birthers, End Timers and others all ripe fodder for the Neocon propagandists? On “Planet of the Wackos” anything is possible.

  • John

    I meant to say “US media and blogosphere”.

  • JP

    If Israel attacks Iran now, it has obviously been timed to the Iraq withdrawal… an implicit threat by Israel that the US is now free to be drawn into an Israel/Iran conflict if Iran retaliates against bombings.

    Israel is likely determined to draw the US into their fanatical ventures one way or another.

    America must NOT be conned into following Israel into this conflict!

    If they pursue this attack at all, it will likely be very soon, before organized opposition to the idea can arise in the US.

  • Rick

    I’m not sure Goldberg intended it this way, but the most compelling argument he makes in his Atlantic article is one AGAINST a military strike any time in the next year. As he says in the article there’s no way that Israel will get more than one chance to strike at the Iranian production facilities, because they’ll have to fly over Saudi Arabian airspace and the Saudis can only get away with sleeping at the wheel once, and that one strike is unlikely to destroy all of them, even if they manage to find all of them. It might FEEL righteous and effective for a short time, but Iran would quickly rebuild the fraction of the nuclear infrastructure that was damaged and resume their nuclear program with redoubled intensity and the tacit, if not overt, support of their neighbors. Total impact: a 1-2-year speed bump in Iran’s A-bomb development and an even more incendiary situation in the region.

    Unless we’re willing to entertain Kissinger’s 1950′s proposal that limited nuclear exchanges, this time with Iran instead of the U.S.S.R., are an acceptable card in our tactical deck, I don’t see any way this can turn out well for U.S. interests, or even Israel’s.

  • John

    Hmmm. This story comes out in the Atlantic. John Bolton is calling for the immediate bombing of Iran within 8 days and then changed it to 3 days as the danger is so great and imminent. Newt Gingrich is also on the airwaves with grave threats to US Security. The American public attention is yet again diverted to lesser issues. President Obama is to embark on his 10 day vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. Makes me wonder if something is indeed afoot…….

  • JP

    Widespread access to nuclear technology is an inevitable fact, as history has already proved.

    The only sane response is a determined and continued push for political stability, and the shifting of assets away from aggression and towards defensive security measures and intelligence.

    If we spent on domestic security anywhere near the amount we waste on military adventurism, we’d be infinitely safer from today’s real threats, and we’d likely be in a much better financial position to weather occasional inflation due to regional instabilities.

    Self-interested entities like Israel and the ever present “military industrial complex” conspire to prevent us from ever shifting to the sane track.

  • Rob

    This is definitely an issue with no good course of action, but in my opinion the risks of preemptive military action aganist Iran by either Israel or the US far outweighs the benefit of temporarily eliminating these reactors at this time. I would hope Tom can ask his guests to cover other diplomatic options available to the US and our allies and really push Bolton those pushing preemptive military action on why it has to occur right now when there is no support in the middle east or elsewhere for this action. I agree that nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is a huge concern, but a preemptive attack by Israel (with only perhaps limited US backing) would put the entire middle east into a state of chaos. We have successfully contained much larger nuclear powers in the past. Perhaps, the US and other nuclear powers who are allies could promise military protecion for certain allies from an Iranian nuclear attack in exchange for other nations dismantling their nuclear programs.

  • JP

    Why would anyone listen to John Bolton about anything?

    Hasn’t anyone tarred and feathered that idiot yet, and run him out of town on a rail?

  • Taylor

    Goldberg should be condemned by the entire world. He was wrong about Iraq, and he’s wrong about Iran. What ever happened to responsibility within Journalism. I sincerely hope the U.S. lets Israel know that if they attack Iran, then they will be completely on their own. I’m sick of fighting Israel’s wars for it.

  • http://info@wslr.org code b cool

    United nations must put an immediate airspace cordon on israel as a containment measure.All military arms capable of mass destruction face immediate embargo.Counter-intel, sharing israels movements/logistical facillitation; with all powers that have a stake in this region.Open source intel sharing of regional players to deter ANY agressive action on the part of Israel.If this takes place the world will avoid an end days senario.

  • http://www.anythinganywhere.com Bob Reis

    My analysis is that the Iranian nuke push is to balance Pakistan and by extension Saudi Arabia. Their great enemy is the Wahabi movement which swears genocide against the Shii “apostates.” Israel to Iran is just a bloody shirt Iran can wave at the Sunnis to claim solidarity. It seems possible that the Israeli government doesn’t get this and I think it is certain that the American government doesn’t.

  • John

    Slate.com published an article on August 11, 2010 entitled “Will Israel Bomb Iran?” which was a close reading of the Atlantic article that is being discussed. Can the guests discuss a revelation that Fred Kaplan found especially interesting and not much discussed is the Israeli Prime Minister’s relationship to his father. The following two paragraphs are taken directly from the Slate article:
    “100-year-old father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, a former secretary to Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of the most militant branch of Zionism and a firm opponent of any territorial concessions. A friend of the prime minister’s told Goldberg, “Always in the back of Bibi’s mind is Ben-Zion. He worries that his father will think he is weak.” Another said that as long as the old man is alive, “Bibi could not withdraw more” from the West Bank “and still look into his father’s eyes.”

    It’s a thunderbolt of historical revelation to muse that, no less now than in the time of Greek tragedies, the fate of the most ancient turbulent region might be guided less by rational interests or Realpolitik than by father-son psychodramas, first the Bushes, now the Netanyahus.

  • Ellen Dibble

    About three times in the last year or so — since Obama became president here — I have heard Israeli leaders (notably Netenyahu, but others) say that Israel would not attack Iranian nuclear targets WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE UNITED STATES. In short, if Israel attacks, we are assumed to be the motivators. Is that credible? If so, their war is our war.

  • Ellen Dibble

    One day I’ll figure out why Russia isn’t the one worrying about Iran’s nuclear potential. Apparently they are helping and profiting, and I’m thinking maybe that is good. Let them take responsibility for what unfolds.

  • Kris

    Jeffrey Goldberg and Robert Kaplan? Two war-mongering neocons from the same magazine? You couldn’t manage to find even one of those crazy “far left bloggers” Goldberg has already bashed for challenging his article to come on your show to provide a little balance? This is an incredibly important topic and I’m disappointed, Tom, you’re usually better than this.

  • David

    Jeffrey, this is a frightening hypothetical. I’m curious, even if Iran completes its nuclear program, does it have the means to deliver such weapons? Missiles, warheads etc? Thank you.

  • Taher

    The question I have is, where dose China stand on this? Since China needs Iranian oil and has large military and economic investment in that country.

  • Francisco

    That we’re having this discussion on the very day that the last “combat troops” leave Iraq highlights the grave strategic error committed by the Bush administration. While we’ve sacrificed seven years of blood and treasure bringing “democracy” to Iraq, Iran has been gathering strength.

  • Taylor – West Yarmouth, Mass.

    Great point, Kris.
    NPR’s silence on representing both sides of an issue, equally, is simply damning. And will Tom ask any truly relevant questions, and follow-up questions…? Probably not. Sometimes I question why I listen to this station.

  • David Seager

    Can someone at least bring up the fact that it is ILLEGAL for any nation to attack another except for defense when under attack or with UN approval? ALL wars absent these two conditions are illegal, and the leaders of offending countries should be tried for crimes against humanity.

  • Taylor – West yarmouth, Mass.

    David Seager, Great Point. I’m still waiting for charges to come down on the Bush administration.

  • RBP

    David Seltzer, in his screenplay and novel *The Omen* (1976), has Fr, Brennan utter this prophecy: “When the Jews return to Zion / And a comet rips the sky / And the Holy Roman Empire rises, / Then you and I must die. / From the eternal sea He rises, / Creating armies on either shore, / Turning man against his brother / ‘Til man exists no more.” I think Seltzer was onto something!

  • Ellen Dibble

    I worry about Iraq being overrun before Israel being overrun. If Iran is going to be aggressive I think it would be because of instability — economic problems — brought on by sanctions. (Is the United Nations helping or hurting?) (What is China doing…)
    And I think the populace in Iran is not exactly squarely behind the particular slightly simpering leadership. Are dictators always like that? North Korea for instance.
    They can be dangerous. Don’t provoke them.

  • Gareth

    How does hijacked Russian ship and the secret trip to Moscow by the Israeli’s PM play into this?

  • http://google lucille magnus

    I can’t believe what I am hearing on this show. Just as we draw down in Iraq (another war based on fear mongering and false information), well, what do you know? Another front — another “threat.” A Jeff Goldberg article.

    Humans are insane and I will stop contributing to this station. Why not present the behind the scenes stuff that goes on rather than beat the drums for war AGAIN?

    This is what the media did before…inflated rhetoric, our “sovereign” right to pre-emption. This will not stand. I do hope people are wiser this time and take this Israeli AIPAC strategy with a grain of salt.

    Why do you people who do, love war so much??? L.Magnus

  • JMc

    Can we find out who represents the population that is not crazy about following Israel down a pre-emptive war path? Can we operate with the view of not attacking based on “if”?

  • michael

    Why would anyone think Jeff G. is a neocon? lol
    so from his piece either the U.S. needs to back israel in attack iran and iran should do nothing or the U.S. should do the dirty work for israel.

    of course the mis quoated statement by the Iranian President to justify such.

    What the thing when someone calls someone else (this case Iran) a Nazi losses the debate?

  • Lawrence Rosenwald

    I’ve been listening to the discussion with great interest, and I found Jeffrey Goldberg’s remarks cogent and plausible. So thanks for that.
    What bothers me is something else: the refrain of, “I’m no peacenik,” “you’re no peacenik” etc. – it’s as if Tom Ashbrook regarded being a peacenik as a disqualification for participating in this discussion. Why not invite a thoughtful peacenik on the program and see what he or she actually thinks?

  • Richard Levins

    Why assume that Iran in fact has a military nuclear program, is this not Iraq over again? Could you not find a guest who challenges the assumptions of the establishment? And wouldn’t a nuclear armed Iran be a rational defensive choice for them faced with the asymmetry of world power?

  • jeffe

    Jeffrey, this is a frightening hypothetical. I’m curious, even if Iran completes its nuclear program, does it have the means to deliver such weapons? Missiles, warheads etc? Thank you.

    Yes, they do.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It is the FARTHEST thing from surprising that Israel has a precise plan for just what Goldberg is surprising. We have heard about this for YEARS.
    Why it is important now is not war-mongering on the part of WBUR. The reason for airing this is to try to PREVENT this sort of action, to bring up the reasons that better solutions are needed.
    Come on!

  • Robert

    I’m also a little disappointed that Tom has two highly biased voices on Israel and the middle east. Goldberg, in particular, is highly suspect and whatever Glen Greenwald says is about right.

    Also, a nuclear Iran makes some sense in regard to real politik.

    Jesus, every time Goldberg opens his mouth I cringe.

    He is a full on propagandist for zionism and the “jewish democracy” and yes, I’m jewish

  • JMc

    If democracy is what Israel puts forward then have a direct talks already.

  • jim thompson,fort mill,sc

    Tom:

    Very provocative show. I can see the fears of Israel and the US. However, even if the worse came about and we-or they, Israel(which would be considered the same as the US by many)attacked Iran I am concerned about the long term damage it would cause the west. A move like that could united many factions of Islam. After all Iran is the Islamic Republic. This could serve to destabilize many moderate Arab countries.

  • http://ontogenyandphylogeny.wordpress.com DAvid Formanek

    Don’t discount Iranian nationalist revanchism. It’s a few weeks short of 2500 years ago that the Persians lost the Battle of Marathon.

  • w bradford

    Common sense and truth are so distorted by shows
    like yours. Too bad in your so clear objective
    analysis you didnt include Chomsky as part of your discussion. News media and commentary have become nothing but propaganda.

  • Jean

    This is a discussion of the dimensions of Israel’s willingness to defend its aggression in Palestine and challenge to international law, rather than accept peace in the Middle East.

  • Harold MacCaughey

    Mr. Goldberg, who is a veteran of the IDF but not the U. S. armed forces, would have the United States bomb Iran. The thesis of his article is that it is a fait accompli that Israel will bomb Iran, so the United States should, instead.

    This is nonsense. Iran is not an existential threat to the United States. We SHOULD NOT GO TO WAR for the sake of the Israelis. Why should we???

    Goldberg is an Israeli apologist and propagandist and cannot be trusted.

    I am appalled that the On Point Show would let him broadcast his “need” for the United States to defend Israel. Why should we? Israel is NOT our ally, our relationship is a liability. Mr. Goldberg should understand that the American people have Israel-fatigue.

  • Kathryn

    Perverse worldview? This guy is an idiot…

  • BHA

    All too scary.

    The USA MUST NOT sanction this action by Israel.

    If Israel does attack, they MUST be put out on their own. We have unconditionally supported them and said nothing worse than “Gee, we wish you hadn’t don’t that”.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I don’t see a fight for hegemony between the USA and Iran. I see Sunni (most Arab countries) versus Shi’ia (Iran, parts of Iraq).
    I think Russia is a force over there as well.

  • David

    I’ve noticed, as others have, that Mr. Ashbrook appears to be very skeptical of what might be termed “non-mainstream” opinions. He seems in the thrall of mainstream ideology.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think I just heard Goldberg say that the administration here “understands” that the more extremist elements in Israel would prosper, gain in strength, after an attack on Iran’s nukes.
    If they “understand,” I think they would croak.

  • James Russell

    The US and Israel agree that Iranian nuclear plans are a threat because of Iran’s declared intentions and its support for terrorism. They seem to have hesitated to attack because a war will hurt everyone. Ahmadinejad may not care about that; but I have been in Iran and spoken with some officials in the Khatami period: they were not monolithic in their views. I’ve also lived in Israel. I teach Armenian at Harvard. It may be harder now; but how about a back channel line of communication to bring us back from the brink? Armenia has relations with all the players/adversaries, its people know what genocidal fears are; and behind the Armenians stand the Russians, who also have workable ties to Iran, Israel, and indeed the Obama administration. Maybe one should start thinking creatively in this direction? It won’t hurt while there’s still time: whatever one thinks, the two truths about war is that innocents get killed and the results of war are unpredictable. I’d appreciate it if Mr. Golberg could have these suggestions relayed to him: he evidently knows folks in high places, while I’m just a teacher & scholar, not a political or journalistic figure.

  • Geoff Barnet

    Could you supply some documentation from Muslim nations asking the US to take an aggressive stance against Iran?

  • Taher

    It’s illusion to think that the Iranian “regime’ is weak and ready to fall.

  • Levent

    I’m not crazy and I’m not a fanatik: how is the lady caller’s comment that Iran has not invaded any country in the last 100 years and that the United States has started numerous wars, in the words of your guest, “perverse?” I think she made a good point and that, even if there are historical and political complexities which have you disagree with her, to call her “perverse” and brush her comment aside as if it were made by some crazy person shows just how bent Goldberg himself is.

    Tom I have IMMENSE respect for you, more than anybody else on radio or television, but MORE AND MORE you’re losing it on shows where it comes to the middle east. Even your “objectivity” seems a little forced at times. You’re only human, but I thought you could have been a little less chum with Goldberg than you were. Please take note!

  • Michael

    The comment concerning the lady-caller who pointed out that Iran has taken no action on any threats that this is a “perverse worldview” was dismissive. She pointed out the facts, he sloughed it off as though it were ludicrous. He should have been challenged on this.

  • rob

    goldberg has made snide ad-hominem comments about a number of his critics during this hour. serious turn-off.

  • joe

    Saddam Hussein never gave up his hope of turning Iraq into a nuclear power … There is some debate among arms-control experts about exactly when Saddam will have nuclear capabilities. But there is no disagreement that Iraq, if unchecked, will have them soon … There is little doubt what Saddam might do with an atomic bomb or with his stocks of biological and chemical weapons.[10]
    -Jeffrey Goldberg

    This guy pretends to be presenting the facts,reporting on ‘what world leaders think’ and has no stake.Later he states a nuclear Iran is bad for America. He worked for the Israel defense ministry! 2 Jews discussing Israel and Iran. What propaganda. What a boring joke.I’m surprised at Tom et al,but NPR being NPR I shouldn’t be. Where’s the Iranian point of view? What about having 2 Iranian writers discussing the issue? Have some nerve.

  • Listener in Boston

    The female caller’s (Judy?) point of view made perfect sense to me. Jeffrey Goldberg labeled it as perverse — a classic example of projecting what’s within you on others.

  • sarah

    Why is there no guest with an opposing view? Someone against war in general, or perhaps against another war in the middle-east in particular. Someone who represents only the interests of the US and its people. (Goldberg’s perspective is so myopic and one-sided that I almost question his loyalties as an American.) Why is there no a voice representing the Iranian people, their worldview and fears? (I know this is a strange concept in the US, but it can yield valuable insight.) There is no evidence that Goldberg spoke to anyone who might defend Iran’s perspective; indeed, just now on the program he was scornful and dismissive of the very idea – perhaps because it’s easier to engage in preemptive, lethal bombing after you’ve dehumanized the target population. Can you imagine any public discussion in the US concerning Israel that had no pro-Israel participants or perspectives?

  • David

    The term “perverse” in this case should be taken to mean, “outside the realm of acceptable opinion,” or outside the mainstream ideology. Stay in the box and think like you’re supposed to.

  • http://info@wslr.org code b cool

    The one post by David Seager at 10:28am is to the point.In a world of 6.5 billion people,the United nations and the world criminal court have to be the final arbitrators.The problem is that the “King pin” nations have veto power-so in effect the UN is rendered powerless to world opinion.This needs immediate change.The UN should not be a defacto oligarcy.Whoever set up “Roberts rules of order” in the UN:needs to go back and have that text explained to them in simple speak.End major world military veto power in the UN before these reactionary powers destroy our world.Blessed be the peacemakers……Basic tenant of all religons.

  • Name Name

    This Goldberg guy called an American taking the side of Iranian government. He called a lady from Iowa that she had a perverse world view. How do we know that he is not paid by Mossad and Israeli government and his views are more perverse than any of the callers? If he is in the inside of Obama administration then God help America. May be Bush was better under Rove than Obama under Goldberg.

  • David

    Cool’s comment is also to the point. The UN was deliberately structured by the major powers to preserve their dominance. Thus, it is deliberately structured to fail.

  • Listener in Connecticut

    Within seconds after this show ended, I called the Atlantic and canceled my subscription. And I told them why. What an smug, arrogant, and vicious guest you had today!

  • http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/03/25/020325fa_FACT1 Joel Patterson

    Tom Ashbrook, Jeff Goldberg wrote big influential pieces in the New Yorker that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda.

    His credibility is suspect.
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/03/25/020325fa_FACT1

  • Muhammad

    First of all, the 1-3 year estimates for Iran having material for a bomb is for ONE bomb. You can’t do anything by using ONE bomb, with questionable targeting and deployment capabilities against a country that has over 200.

    Secondly, any use of nukes against Israel is guaranteed to kill Palestinians.

    Thirdly, Iran is not stupid. Ahmedinejad does a lot of talking, and that’s all.

    No one with any common sense really thinks that Iran would use a nuke against Israel. What this is really about is maintaining the balance of power in the region in Israel’s and the US’s favor, so that any middle eastern nation can be invaded or attacked at any time without fear of any major repercussions.

    Iran has every right to try to become a regional power. In fact, it has infinitely more right to be a power in the region than the US does.

    The only REAL solution to any of this is to have a Nuclear-Free Middle East, where no nation, including Israel, has a nuke. But of course, in the US there’s no political will to make that happen.

    Israel’s nukes are the BEST reason for Iran to have nukes.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Why aren’t there two Iranians in on this discussion, each representing a different Iranian point of view? I assume there are at least two Iranian points of view because that is a democracy, and they vote — right?
    Okay. For real, from what we hear, those Iranians, their children may thus be endangered, even if those debating here had a substantial contingent of private security. My impression.
    Second point about have a debate with two equal sides, or at least having Tom Ashbrook holding up the entire weaker side as well as “moderating”: Could it be that we get a fuller (more fulsome??? — sorry) presentation of the Goldberg variation without a vehement opposition?
    If you want to see a movie about the mafia, do you want the Quakers to have half the screen at all times? No, you want to steep yourself in the why and how of whatever you’re trying to understand. You can talk with the Quakers later.

  • coffeetree

    Let’s rewind history to the 1930′s. How many of you would ALSO feel indifferently about Hitler’s genocidal speeches?

    Arabs in Palestine never had to use violence. Diplomatic means were always an option. The Arab armies didn’t have to attack in 1948. The only reason people support the Palestinian armed struggle is because they want to see the Jewish state destroyed, too.

    To all of you anti-Zionists, you don’t deserve to have a cell phone or receive medical treatments that were all given to humanity by Israelis. You can keep yelling and shaking your fists. Go ahead, be angry. You love it.

  • Muhammad

    And yes, Mr. Goldberg was very smug, arrogant and just plain rude to anyone who criticized his view.

    To the woman from, I believe, Iowa who called and made a great point, only to have Mr. Goldberg insult her: I thought you were right on point and completely logical. Iran hasn’t invaded anyone, is surrounded by US forces and is implicitly threatened by the US and Israel constantly. It has every reason to build up its arsenal to defend itself and deter attacks.

  • Igal

    Israel is facing a decision similar to the one Kennedy had to face back in the sixtys during the cuban missile crisis. back then Kennedy risked a break of a war with Russia but was not willing to let the cuban to position balistic neuclear missils so close to the US. Today we all know he was right doing it.
    Israel can’t live with a neuclear Iran and it may have no choice but to try and prevent it by force!

  • Listener on Cape Cod

    As much as I have learned to dislike NPR, I’ve got to say that the majority of comments made on this issue, in here, give me hope that there are actually still intelligent Americans in this country. Thanks for rebuking the propaganda. I can’t wait to hear a couple of Iranians on the show discussing Israel….like THAT’s gonna happen.

    Goldberg and his “perverse…” statement was simply insulting.

  • Ellen Dibble

    David, your point about the United Nations set up to preserve dominance and therefore doomed to fail — good point!
    I don’t know if “therefore” is exactly it, but.
    I truly hope OnPoint and others have serious and wide-ranging discussions about new needs and solutions to international law, international security, international banking and monetary policy…
    We have more than the United Nations, but just for starters did the United Nations prevent Israel from developing nuclear weapons? On and on and on.
    Look at the kinds of global and existential challenges coming down the pike: destabilizing floods wiping out governments, crops, city upon city. Just for starters.
    Individual nations seem unable to mobilize to shift away from oil and address climate change. (Could it be because of oil profits and economic destabilization en route?)
    But in any case, we need someone to do that FOR us. So like getting a flu shot, you can close your eyes and someone ELSE inflicts the pain.
    As to atomic bombs, I see it as more an issue of control than of “having.” I worry more about Pakistan than Iran, actually, because that country seems less together, less grown-up, as some commenter put it yesterday.

  • Mark S.

    Joel wrote: “Tom Ashbrook, Jeff Goldberg wrote big influential pieces in the New Yorker that Saddam Hussein had ties to Al Qaeda.”

    Thanks, Joel. Proof enough for me to consider him just another chickenhawk, neocon propagandist. How much more misery will the likes of Kristol, Krauthammer, Goldberg, Cheney and the rest of the pansie, draft-dodging, armchair Rambos visit upon the rest of us before we give them the **** in the *** they deserve?

  • David

    Igal, in fact we’ve since found out that the US had at the same time stationed missiles in Turkey (and elsewhere) near the border of the USSR, so in fact the Cuban missile crisis was contrived as a means of preserving US dominance in the western hemisphere. And remember, if Israel attacks on the basis you present such an attack is ILLEGAL!!

  • http://www.gignouxphotos.com alan

    I feel sorry for the Iranian people who have been subjected to this theocracy of brutality and ideological emptiness. After thirty year, what do the Mullahs have to show, a country that can not even refine its own oil, the young are unemployed and uneducated (only in a Shia theology) The Iranian people never voted or demonstrated for this regime. The revolution in the demonstrators mind was to bring in a democratic Government that will respect human rights but the revolution was hijaked.

    Israel voted in Netanayhu who has called Arabs cockroaches and a cancer to Jewish society. Aspects of Zionism are as dangerous as the Shia 12thers theology. Netanahyu really does not care about US servicemen being killed, in fact looks at the Americans with contempt and almost disgust, let alone what he thinks of European civilians who will also be killed during the Iranian blowback as cities like London become the victims of Iranian sleeper cell reprisals.

  • David

    Coffeetree: Of course I’d condemn any call for genocide from any source. But I recall reading an interpretation of Iran’s comments on Israel that said that the comments were mistranslated or something. Anyone remember that?–the source now escapes me. Anyway, my memory is that the comment actually wasn’t a call for genocide but a “prediction” that in the normal course of history a zionist aggressive Israel would pass away.

  • Debbie

    If Israel’s about to invade Iran, it’s obvious that the United States will be bankrolling the operation. Please, please, PLEASE ask your guests just how they think this country will handle a third unfunded war.

  • David

    Alan: good points. We are responsible for Iran’s political situation. When Iran did have a democracy, we crushed it. Then years under the Shah eliminated coherent secular opposition. We created our own enemies.

  • http://info@wslr.org code b cool

    To say that anyone with a contrary opinion to reactionary nationalist Zionism is anti-zionist is no arguement.Its always the folks with “No” arguement that attact the person /not the factual subject.The old sayin from my grandpa doc was….Those that have a valid arguement discuss facts……and those that do not have a factual arguement simply “SCREAM AND SHOUT TO DISTRACT”.

  • Listener on Cape Cod

    To: Coffeetree,

    What call to genocide?
    We’re the kind of people that look at the dumping of White Phosphorus on an impoverished Palestinian people, bombing school buildings, a U.N. HQ, imposing a blockade based on “Economic Warfare” (and no legitimate security issues), killing people on an aid flotilla, killing naval personnel on the U.S.S. Liberty, shooting protesters with gas canisters, or mowing one of them down with a Caterpillar Bulldozer (Reachel Corrie), among other atrocities, with utter contempt. Get use to it. Seriously.

  • Ellen Dibble

    coffeetree, if Ahmedinijad is going to make an attempt at genocide he will have to take me out too, so I don’t feel like I have to keep saying I’m against it. For one thing, after he said that the Holocaust didn’t take place, I began to take what he said with a whole quart-ful of salt.
    But seriously, I think if Israel is a thorn in his flesh and not just a scapegoat for the failings of the Iranian economy to live up to its theocratic promise back about 1980 — if he plans on a strike on Israel that cannot be answered because Israel will be gone — that will not take out the Jews. Just the Israelis. There are thousands upon thousands in the United States, high and low, near and far. And by the way, if he “gets” all the Israelis, he’ll be taking out a lot of non-Jews as well.
    I am no scholar, not even a news-hound, and it’s exactly for that reason that I tell you my common-woman perspective, and add:
    It’s extremely presumptuous of you, coffeetree, to think the people in this forum are, by not stating otherwise, in favor of genocide against the Jews — or even the Israelis.

  • Michael

    An Israeli air attack on Iranian nuke sites has been forecast for years by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker. They have to get Obama to approve the USAF to provide air tanker refueling support, which I think is absurd. No matter what, a massive attack would inflame the entire Mideast, and we and the Israelis would be attacked in turn.

  • Scott

    Maybe the worst show of the year. A war with Iran would be insane, and there is reason to question the sanity, as well as the motives, of anyone advocating it. If Israeli bombs, or we do acting for them, it would an act of offensive war. The UN would be right to level sanctions against the aggressor(s).

    Here is what Goldberg wrote in a 2002 New Yorker story ginning up the case for war in Iraq: “I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”

  • Listener on Cape Cod

    To: Scott,

    I’ve come to learn that every NPR show discussing the Middle East is equally pathetic. “OnPoint” is just as off-point as any other show in our Mainstream Press pimping Zionist propaganda. And this is the reason why I don’t give money to NPR. I wish Ira Glass would stalk me for a donation. This is one of the reasons why I would refuse.

  • Jesse

    Mr. Goldberg addressed Judy’s point that Iran has not invaded anyone in over 100 years by saying that Iran and Israel are different, “Iran says they want to destroy Israel.” But he ignores the context of Iran’s rhetoric, which Judy laid out very well. Iran has a history of being victims of U.S. and before that U.K. aggression, Israel has a greater history of military aggression in the region than Iran does, and anti-israeli rhetoric has been the popular refrain of fundamentalist governments in the middle east for a long time! So Iranian anti-israeli rhetoric is understandable, and should not be overestimated. Judy’s point, again, is that U.S. military bases surround Iran. No rational person would imagine Iran could get away with launching a nuclear assault without assuring its own destruction. Goldberg’s idea that Iran’s highly typical rhetoric signifies irrationality is incredibly alarmist and shortsighted. Iran will back down in the face of mutually assured destruction, and it will change the character of Iranian leadership the way it changed Soviet Russia.

  • Marc Davidson

    Weak job of moderating, Tom!
    Jeffery Goldberg is a known propagandist disguised as a journalist.
    His parting shot about Glenn Greenwald was a lie. Greenwald has not retracted his criticism of Goldberg’s article in the Atlantic. Goldberg maintains in the article that Israel’s 1981 attack against the Iraqi nuclear facility at Osirak halted the Iraqi nuclear threat. As Greenwald correctly points out, Goldberg had previously written in 2002 that Iraq had, post-Osirak, in fact, redoubled it’s efforts. The current suggestion by Goldberg is that attacking Iran’s facilities now will have a similar effect. What ended Iraq’s nuclear program was the implementation of the inspection’s regime in the 90′s.
    The man is a known liar and propagandist. The fact that he’s given any credence at all is an indictment of our media.
    You’ve been duped, Tom, just as the media was duped by these same people in the build up to the war in Iraq.

  • Jesse

    Apology for double post, but this seems the most important point, made by a commenter above:

    Here is what Goldberg wrote in a 2002 New Yorker story ginning up the case for war in Iraq: “I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”

  • Rob

    Coffeetree commented “Let’s rewind history to the 1930’s. How many of you would ALSO feel indifferently about Hitler’s genocidal speeches?”

    There are huge differences. Every international crisis is not Munich in 1938. We really need to stop comparing everything to Munich 1938/Nazi Germany and evaluate each issue on its own merits. While Ahmadinejad does make hateful and anti Semitic speeches, he does not control Iranian foreign policy in the same manner as Hitler did over German foreign policy. Most state department and defense officials will tell you that Iranian foreign policy is controlled by the Islamic Council, which is far more predictable than Ahmadinejad (even though it is still anti Western). In addition, Nazi Germany demonstrated a clear intent and ability to expand militarily beyond its borders, whereas Iran has not demonstrated any such intent (or military capacity to do so. The national security issue in the case of Iran is more about preventing nuclear proliferation in a very dangerous part of the world and there are other options available. A well executed containment policy can work.

    While I am generally symapthetic to Israel’s right to protect its citizens against terrorists and those naions in the middle east that do not recognize her right to exist, a preemptive attack on Iran at this time with no international support would not be in best interests of Israel or the United States.

  • Listener on Cape Cod

    To: “Coffeetree”,

    I have no hatred for Jewish people, at all. I am against the United States behavior, as well – that doesn’t mean I hate Americans.

    I don’t want anyone shooting from rooftops, breaking into homes, or being placed under such dire conditions as to look at the prospect of martyrdom as a reasonable alternative to living under an oppressive occupation.

    I want the world to treat Israel like any other nation. If they break the rules they should be punished. If the Palestinians break the rules they should be punished. So far the punishments I’ve seen are heavily tipped against the Palestinians. Israel has been told to discontinue settlement construction. But Israel decided not to listen. Fortunately, America vetoed any effective action the U.N. could dole out. The only thing our government will allow the U.N. to do is make non-binding (ineffective) proclamations that go unnoticed by the international community.

    Israel invites its own disaster. I can only hope that its people will wake up and change that government to become a more peaceful nation. So far, however, Israel does not want peace. It wants land. Israel is dead wrong.

  • Henry Kissinger

    The only downside of a war between these two nations is that only one can lose.

  • Jesse

    “The only downside of a war between these two nations is that only one can lose.”
    - Posted by Henry Kissinger
    Obvious troll is obvious. They will both lose, and so will we.

  • Cape Cod Listener

    For the record, I view Palestinians as a “Semitic” people – too. And Israel’s oppression of those people makes Israel antisemitic – by its own behavior.

  • jeffe

    Goldberg lost all credibility after he started in with ad hominem attacks on people who disagreed with him.

    Israel should be told by the Obama administration as well as every European country that bombing Iran will mean serious financial set backs for it’s already weak economy. This talk of war with Iran is madness.

  • michael

    Does anyone have the stats on jews within Iran and if the last few years these jews have been ethically cleanse or genocide has been performed on such group?Or wall erected to keep jewish Iranians from living with Persian Iranians?

    ” Listener on Cape Cod”

    if you have not realize this coffetree comments are a common tatic to silience crtizism and label as killing all jews, besides the fact that not all jews are zionist and are not required to be nor are they one mind think Zionism is a political movement and have been distroted and twisted beyond what it wished to start.

    Not to mention that the Likud party states in there charter that it will not allow a Pally state and state they are revionist zionist meaning that all the west bank, Jerusalem is theres simply by being jewish.

    Again it would be illogical for iran to nuke israel which would result in many arabs and holy sites being destoryed as well and the fact that a missle would come back in return.

  • Listener on Cape Cod

    To: Jeffe,

    I agree with you, on your Goldberg comments.
    But after I witnessed Obama’s silence regarding “operation Cast Lead”, I knew he wasn’t going to do anything positive for peace between Israel and Palestine. I interpreted his silence as “To hell with the Palestinians”.

    Obama is a huge political disappointment. I’m sorry I voted for him. And I have absolutely no faith in the Democratic party. Green is looking pretty good, to me, right now.

  • Listener on Cape Cod

    To: Michael,

    I have begun to notice the same. Interesting point.

  • Jay

    “One day I’ll figure out why Russia isn’t the one worrying about Iran’s nuclear potential. Apparently they are helping and profiting, and I’m thinking maybe that is good. Let them take responsibility for what unfolds.”
    -Posted by Ellen Dibble

    Ellen, Russia isn’t worried because they know they have more than enough deterrence capability (as do we, for that matter) to make any threats from a nuclear-armed Iran a paper tiger. They help and profit because they like the idea of a grateful and indebted Iran on their border, and know their ability to annihilate the country in any nuclear exchange keeps them safe from any possibility of it happening.

    While disarmament is a laudable goal to be pushed for in the big picture, the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is not nearly as dangerous as people make it out to be.

  • michael

    Jeffrey Goldberg will be on all things considered later today but talking with a different viewpoint on iran, much more hostile(if you can call it that)

  • Diane Clark

    Way to go Judy from Iowa(?)…..It was worth suffering through the entire show listening to Goldberg’s rants about HIS opinions just to hear you speak the truth! Thanks!

  • Listener in Boston

    ISRAEL, AND THIS GUY GOLDBERG, HAVE VESTED INTEREST IN PUSHING OUR COUNTRY INTO ALL KINDS OF MILITARY INTERVENTIONS AGAINST ANY COUNTRY THAT HAS BEEF WITH ISRAEL.

    ISRAEL WANTS TO FIGHT ITS ENEMIES WITH AMERICAN LIVES AND MONEY. SICK OF IT! ISRAELI INTERESTS DO NOT EQUAL AMERICAN INTERESTS.

    JEFFREY GOLDBERG HAS NO CREDIBILITY. TOM ASHBROOK, WHY DID YOU GIVE HIM THE STAGE WITHOUT INVITING AN ELOQUENT GUEST WITH AN OPPOSING VIEW WHO COULD EXPOSE THIS GUY’S AGENDA?

  • michael

    Interesting as well since people are talking about war with iran and U.S. support. They had a study done by (one could clearly say) israeli supporters and found that…..

    “The survey was carried out by pollster and strategist Stanley Greenberg and sponsored by the American Jewish organization the Israel Project, which organizes and executes pro-Israel public relations campaigns with a focus on North America

    In August of 2009, 63% of Americans polled said that the U.S. does need to support Israel. In June of this year, 58% of respondents shared the same view; by July only 51% of respondents said the U.S. needed to support Israel.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-support-for-israel-is-decreasing-new-poll-shows-1.308855

  • Rodney Baryer

    Congress voted over $2 billion this year for military aid for Israel. So, if the present paranoid and reactionary government of Israel launches this insane attack we all know who the world will blame. When will our government have the courage to stop funding the Israeli war machine?

  • Dana Franchitto

    Once again an NPR program is giving a free ride to more pro-war propaganda. But I think “on Point” is taking the lead here in priming its audience for the next “war of choice”. And as long as the media serves as the Pentagon’s mouthpiece” The lessons of history will reamain marginalized

  • Salma

    Um, what about Iran’s right to defend itself?

    Like somebody asked once: Which is the other country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons?

    For those who do not know the answer, Israel follows a “neither accept nor deny” policy about it’s own stash of nuclear warheads.

    http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/

  • pat meaney

    The lady that just called in failed to get her question answered by the host or the moron guest. How many wars has Iran started? ZERO How many wars have the US and Israel started? Dozens, hundreds?
    Where was Jeffrey during the lead up to the Iraq fiasco? Pushing war with lies endlessly, just as he is now.
    Why is there no Glenn Greenwald ever on these idiotic shows? Why do idiot warmongers (who don’t fight in their wars) get all the air time? Why is someone who lied about and was dead wrong about everything regarding the Iraq massacre now being listened to as he pushes his next great adventure (in which he will not participate.?

  • Francisco

    In reading the comments, it occurs to me that many (most?) have not read the Atlantic article. I read it with a lump in my throat, and having read it, I can say (as Golderg himself said) that he is by no means advocating an air attack on Iranian facilities.

    What he does, and nicely, is outline Israeli thinking, and why Israel may soon decide that it is in its best interest (and its alone) to strike. In doing so, he does comment on how the US, Saudi Arabia and the smaller Gulf states would be affected, but his focus is on analyzing the conflict from an Israeli point of view.

  • coffeetree

    I hadn’t realized all your listeners who write on this blog are rank and file anti-Zionists and highly suspect of anything written in an Israeli newspaper or from an Israeli source.

    They feel in their hearts that the “Palestinian narrative” is the only version of the truth even though there is no freedom of speech in the West Bank or Gaza. Anyone saying anything positive about Israel is arrested or killed. Fathers may behead their daughters in public and when the Israeli police arrest them their neighbors protest. Mothers hand out candy when their children blow them selves and other up.

    Wake up and see, the Arab world is the biggest colonizer of the present day. How many countries are “Arab” outside of Saudi Arabia? Do you know who built two of the Muslim’s holy cities, Medina and Jerusalem? Not them. Jews did. The Prophet Mohammed ordered the 600 Jewish men of Medina murdered and they took their wives and children as slaves, benefited from their homes, orchards and fields. This is the so-called HOLY city of Medina.

    Anti-Zionists, you think you are morally superior to the Zionists who after WWI dreamed to revive their homeland like so many other ethnic groups breaking free from the Ottoman Caliphate.

    Palestine is the name the Romans called the Jewish homeland. Arabs had no interest and virtually no presence until the 1800′s when Jews fleeing from the pogroms started arriving. Palestine was inhabited by Christians and Jews and Beduins who ARE natives of Palestine. Arabs are natives of Saudi Arabia, NOT Egypt, NOT Lebanon. Arabs are not victims, they are colonizers.
    Israel is a tiny tiny piece of land. Give me a break.

  • cassandra

    How many of you have read the Atlantic article? It hardly advocates an Israeli attack on Iran: quite the contrary. It points out the devastating consequences of such an attack. If other nations may have nuclear power by explicit or tacit agreement (Israel, Pakistan, India) it is difficult to make a case that Iran may not and the last 8 years of posturing by the US and the UN don’t make a bit of difference. In fact, our war in Iraq has been the empowering force for Iran, by removing it’s own regional natural enemy. As for Israel, it is a sovereign nation and must decide for itself what is in it’s best interests. My hope is it will respond only in defense and not be initiator, though I understand that waiting for the “shoe to drop” requires tremendous fortitude. However, only by waiting and only be responding if attacked can Israel anticipate the support of a significant part of the world. It’s a terrible price to ask, but all options are bad.

    For those of you who appear to feel Israel is somehow the catalyst for all the Middle East’s problems, you’ve somehow ignored history. Arab nations were on the losing sides of both World War I and World War II. The battle between various factions of Islam and Christianity goes back almost 1500 years and Israel did not exist through much of that antagonism. While the Palestinians deserve better than they receive, their own leaders have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars send in aid, advocated the destruction of Jews in all of their school books, and more Palestinians have died at the hands of Jordanian and Lebanese forces than have died at the hands of Israelis.
    Nobody gets off scott-free from blame for the situation in the Middle East, including Israel. But let’s not romanticize any faction or ignore real history.

  • michael

    “Palestine is the name the Romans called the Jewish homeland. Arabs had no interest and virtually no presence until the 1800’s when Jews fleeing from the pogroms started arriving. Palestine was inhabited by Christians and Jews and Beduins who ARE natives of Palestine. Arabs are natives of Saudi Arabia, NOT Egypt, NOT Lebanon. Arabs are not victims, they are colonizers.
    Israel is a tiny tiny piece of land. Give me a break”

    yea if you dismiss all the crusades/history, and the time frame romans controlled Palestine. Even still you logic is faulty .

    “They feel in their hearts that the “Palestinian narrative” is the only version of the truth even though there is no freedom of speech in the West Bank or Gaza.”

    By all accounts the West bank is moderate far more than the likud government.

    “Anyone saying anything positive about Israel is arrested or killed. Fathers may behead their daughters in public and when the Israeli police ”

    this is clearly false and a attempt to demonize all Pallies as animals. Again i like to point out that not all Jews are Zionist and it is not required to be so or support so. Until the 1990 Zionist was considered a form of racism and to keep the goal of the Likud revisionist zionism they will have to expel or create apartheid to keep jewish control of the entire area.

    You get to bring anything of value to the dissuccion besided personal and ad hominem attacks against people who do not agree with the actions israel and Jeff G. are trying to present.

    Bringing up the bible is a strawman, and of course can be shown that any religion have done some nasty/evil things to other groups and races. It also state that the earth is 6k years old.

    “I hadn’t realized all your listeners who write on this blog are rank and file anti-Zionists and highly suspect of anything written in an Israeli newspaper or from an Israeli source.”

    Yea like haartez(an israeli newspaper)

  • coffeetree

    Michael, Didn’t you know that Sharia Law is practiced in all Muslim countries without government interference, West Bank included. Honor killings are acceptable under West Bank Law.

    If Zionists are racists then why is Israel filled with Africans, Asians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc who have equal rights while NO COUNTRY in the ARAB world has equal rights for non-Muslims. The entire Muslim world is an apartheid world where gays, lesbians, and Jews are not allowed.

    How do you have the nerve to say that Zionists are racist? Abbas just insisted that not one Jew will be allowed to set foot in the newly created Palestinian state!!!!!

  • michael

    “If Zionists are racists then why is Israel filled with Africans, Asians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc who have equal rights while NO COUNTRY in the ARAB world has equal rights ”

    U.S. state department on Human rights and israel.
    http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136070.htm

    Your mistaken again

    as for muslim/arabs israeli law state one can not come or be a citizen until 35 male and 25 female if arab, that children born to a isarel and non-israeli is not a citizen even if born in israel and more apply at the age of 12 to come back,

    “Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists” if there are jewish hidus,buddhist but if non-jewish they do not have the same right as a jewish hidus, buddhist does.

    “How do you have the nerve to say that Zionists are racist? Abbas just insisted that not one Jew will be allowed to set foot in the newly created Palestinian state!!!!!

    This is false again since a jew is and was elected in the fatah government

    Fatah, the Palestinian political party that governs the West Bank, elected its first Jewish-born government official last week

    http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/13624/fatah-elects-a-jew/

    “NO COUNTRY in the ARAB world has equal rights for non-Muslims.”

    Turkey? the # one tourist spots for israeli. The same with that turkey is a secular government and laws against such laws.

  • William

    There is no serious pressure from the Islamic countries to get Iran give up their dreams of having nuke weapons.

  • d m nolan

    An interesting detail in Goldberg’s article is that a part of what motivates Netanyahu is his fear of looking weak in the eyes of his father. Wasn’t this also an element in Bush’s decision to invade Iraq? Seems like an uncluttered mind would exclude such unresolved personal conflicts as justification to wage war.

  • Soubie

    I don’t care how many of these shows you do, you will not get the American people to support Israel in an attack against Iran.

    Israel is the terrorist. Look at they way they treat the Palestinians. Look at what they did to the people on the flotilla. I’d want the ability to defend myself against Israel if they were my neighbor.

  • BrettG

    1) There is no such thing as a safe air strike. Since there is no guarantee of actually bombing a nuclear site. There is also no guarantee that if a strike does hit a nuclear site, that it will not set off a accidental nuclear explosion.

    2) The commentators do not acknowledge that Israel can logically & geopolitically be seen as an existential threat by Iran because of the knee-jerk support by many US administrations.

    3) One of the commentators stated that the war for power in the area is between the US and Iran.

    Are we disobeying the UN Charter again, for the xhundreth time?

    I find both commentators oblivious to the counterproductive actions by Israel in Gaza, as well as earlier in Lebanon @ Sabra/Shatila.

    This visible prejudice & failure to see make it plain that if the US does bomb or assist Israel in bombing Iran, we’ll only kill more innocents and make more war on Islam, instead of the criminal terrorist threats that are our only real danger.

    Saddam Hussein kept saying he had a nuke program so that his neighbors would stop bothering him.

    As much as Ahmajinedad’s (sic) hateful speech is, we are faced with the Hussein problem. Are there any WMDs or are OUR goverments (and pundits) lying to us again as GWB did to force the Iraqi invasion in which Coalition forces killed at least 100K Iraqi civilians/non-combatantants.

  • jr galison

    Are you kidding me???? List of horribles??? This guy is lying . LYING!!!!!! Can he say Holocaust one more time?????? LYING! !!! Get- Glen Greenwald on board! Ashbrook has some guts. Please.

  • Joerg

    I am not sure if it is a good think to get verbal on a comment.
    No one need to wonder, if Israel will bomb Iran (surgical areas) that it does not has any consequences.
    For one i think Iran is a much bigger opponent than Irak was.
    Also this can lead to a wildfire which no one can stop. For America it will mean, to have a 2 front war.
    What might happen to an instable Irak.
    I agree that atomic weapons in the hand of a regime is not a desirable goal at all. But i really fear the hour we will hear that the israel airforce bombs.
    It will draw all Iranians together and the green movement will be crushed.

  • http://wfum Glenda

    Is there more information that we do not have in regards to this situation? Is this Israel just testing the waters or telescoping their plans to provoke an attack from Iran so they can come back on them? Crazy politics no mater which way you look at it and I get the Iranian instability. So maybe this is what the 2012 Mayan calendar meant? The World better open their eyes to this insanity. So why doesn’t the rest of the Middle East step up, instead this again set us up as the scapegoat as the evil US and the world stands at the sidelines, enough!.

  • jr galison

    Literally beyond belief that Ashbrook puts this clown on the show without opposition. 10 to 1 that Goldberg would not appear if there was opposition. And responsible journalists should tell their audience the conditions under which their guests appear. Glen Greenwald would eat this idiot/warmonger/Israel firster for a simple snack.

  • Wasim

    Why was Jeffrey Goldberg given a whole hour to push his agenda for war against Iran? It was people like him who got us into the mess in Iraq. Have we learned nothing? What about an hour with Chris Hedges or someone explaining the true costs of a future war with Iran. Some balance please.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 15, 2014
In this Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014 photo, Middle Eastern leaders stand together during a family photo with of the Gulf Cooperation Council and regional partners at King Abdulaziz International Airport’s Royal Terminal in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. (AP/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

President Obama says he will build a coalition of partners in the Middle East to combat ISIS. We’ll do a reality check on who’s really stepping up for what.

Sep 15, 2014
This Monday, Sept. 27, 2010 file photo shows hikers on the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz. (AP/Carson Walker)

Uproar over development plans for the Grand Canyon. We go to the Navajo Nation and the Canyon floor to see what’s at stake.

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Sep 12, 2014
In this May 23, 2014, file photo, Janay Rice, left, looks on as her husband, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, speaks to the media during a news conference in Owings Mills, Md. (AP/Patrick Semansky)

#WhyIStayed. We’re looking at women in and out of relationships of domestic violence.

 
Sep 12, 2014
President Barack Obama meets with Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, to discuss options for combating the Islamic State. (AP/Evan Vucci)

The President’s ISIS strategy. The Ray Rice video. Congress is back. Apple’s new watch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
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