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October Surprise?

Talk again of an Israeli strike against Iran, the US pulled in quick and a big October surprise in campaign season. We’ll ask what’s bluster and what’s real.

Iranian demonstrators burn an Israeli and British flag during a an annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, at the Enqelab-e-Eslami (Islamic Revolution) St. in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. (AP)

Iranian demonstrators burn an Israeli and British flag during a an annual pro-Palestinian rally marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, at the Enqelab-e-Eslami (Islamic Revolution) St. in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. (AP)

It’s not the first time we’ve heard Israel threatening, loudly, to go to war with Iran. To strike at Iran’s nuclear program. But it’s a special time.

The U.S. presidential election is just eleven weeks away. Israel is opening new gas mask distribution centers, fortifying schools and hospitals, testing a missile alert system. Talking military strike, with one line of thought being American leaders, the White House, could not deny support on the eve a national election. That an October surprise would guarantee US backing.

This hour, On Point: Israel, Iran, the US – and the October surprise scenario.

- Tom Ashbrook


David Rothkopf, president and CEO of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm. His latest column in Foreign Policy is “The Drums of August: Israel is not bluffing.”

R. Nicholas Burns, professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School and former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and ambassador to NATO for the U.S. Foreign Service.

Roger Cohen, columnist for The New York Times and International Herald Tribune. His latest column in The New York Times is headlined: “Israel’s Iran Itch.”

From Tom’s Reading List:

Foreign Policy “It is easy to be skeptical when the alarms start going off about a pending Israeli attack on Iran. They seem to come with the seasons, a geopolitical biorhythm that reminds us never to be too comfortable with one of the world’s most volatile relationships. But it is worth remembering that the punch line of the story about the little boy who cried wolf is that ultimately, the wolf shows up.”

New York Times “Hmm, it’s August, things are quiet, time for another wave of hysteria over an imminent Israeli attack on Iran. We’ve seen this movie for a decade — Israel’s “red line” on the Iranian nuclear program has proved of spandex-like elasticity.”

Al-Jazeera English “Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Lebanon-based Hezbollah group, has said that his fighters will make the lives of Israelis ‘a living hell’ if it is attacked.”

Reuters “Many thousands of Iranians shouted “Death to America, death to Israel” during state-organised protests on Friday and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told them there was no place for the Jewish state in a future Middle East.”

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    How is it possible for an average person to be minding their own business one minute and the next minute be a victim of a nuclear explosion ? The whole concept takes the phrase, “ … life isn’t fair” to a bizarre universe !

  • Ellen Dibble

    Sunday morning on NPR I heard that Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi is breaking an impasse with Iran that has lasted since 1979 — what did Iran do to Egypt in 1979 — and I’m thinking, wonders never cease.  I haven’t otherwise followed the news this weekend, my sense is the Middle East is hopping.  The China News takes note; the New York Times too.  Since Egypt is mostly Sunni, mostly aligned with Saudi Arabia and other predominantly Sunni countries, and Egypt has avoided Iran, whatever that means, opening any door suggests a thaw.  I get the feeling, once again, of a softening of Cold War rigidities, a tempering of hard lines — with all the danger and challenge such things entail.  “It’ll be worse, it’ll be worse!”  But a looming “worse” may be exactly what people like Morsi might be exercised about.  Time to talk turkey, so to speak.

  • AC

    this guy again. not getting enough attention, so here he comes with his nonsense loud-mouth…i think your avg iranian is prob embarrassed by him….

    • AC

      wait, did Isreal say something first this time?

  • Coastghost

    Shades of the glorious 20th century: the world slogs and trudges through the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression, by next summer Americans may well be facing a return of Dust Bowl conditions across the Plains (don’t think California will be so welcoming a destination this go ’round, either: “we might orta head to Oregon, Ma!” “Oregon, hell! We’re going to Seattle, I want some coffee!”), and another World War could break out any moment. Seriously, now: who REALLY believes in “change”? Specific differences: sure. But actual change? Nahhhhh! (“We now return to this week’s reading of Qohelet, already in progress.”)

  • Mouse_2012

    Face it folks,Israel(It’s rightwing racist leaders, not all Israeli) wants war with Iran but don’t want to risk there own citizens in military so both Israel and it’s Foreign Lobby is trying to pressure and force America to do the job. This also focuses the world away from it’s apartheid in the West Bank and it’s increased racism not only against Arabs and Israeli arabs but now it’s been focusing in on Africans and Jewish Africans in Southern Israel.

    Don’t believe the hype.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003176132796 Joe Makela

    Zionists and supporters chomping on the bit to test next gen weaponry. From the cradle of civilization to a crater of cinders…

  • Mouse_2012

    Notice that the absurd logic that some of the guest are going to use. Israel is comming close to bombing Iran so the U.S. must bomb it instead? or the U.S. must supply Israel with weapons to bomb Iran because Israel cannot successfully bomb Iran itself? What’s missed is it’s against international law for Israel to even talk about bombing Iran. What’s also missed is Iran right to “Self Defense”. Also notice that somehow it’s the U.S. responsability to either protect or provide for Israel.

    Go to the Israeli Newspapers and one would find far more critics of the Israeli Rightwing Racist government than one will find in U.S. media or U.S. politics. Israel 2nd and 3rd largest parties don’t even believe the Palesitains have a right to exist in the West Bank but should be forced to Egypt or Jordan don’t believe in a actual two state solution and believe that settlers can build where they want,build where they want and attack who they want. Not only but have settlements with “Jewish Only” excluding not only Palestians but Israeli Arabs as well.

    Israel maybe liberal but it’s a far cry from an Liberal Democracy but an Ethnocracy that openly promotes this, in it’s schools, immigration, Foriegn Policy, Housing permits, funding. One only needs to look at “Any” Human Rights group to prove the above as opposed to the U.S. who promotes multiculturalism(though we still have our flaws)and the above is not based on favoring one group over the others.

  • Mouse_2012

    The NYT is guilty of promoting hysteria over an imminent Israeli attack, it’s had on Dennis Ross promoting just that a few days ago,

    Also watch out for the word “Capacity”

    See the below from the NYT

    Israeli Leaders Could Be Dissuaded From Striking Iran(if only the U.S. bribed them)

    How America Can Slow Israel’s March to War

    Israeli Minister Asks Nations to Say Iran Talks Have Failed

    Will Israel Attack Iran?

    Israel’s Last Chance to Strike Iran

    Notice what gets little play

    Israeli Army Chief Says He Believes Iran Won’t Build Bomb-

    “What he said,” said George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in an Associated Press article, is “consistent with the views of the U.S. military leadership, the U.S. intelligence community. What’s interesting is why he said it out loud.”

    Now They Tell Us: Iran Didn’t Actually Threaten to Wipe Israel Off the Maphttp://www.fair.org/blog/2012/04/19/now-they-tell-us-iran-didnt-actually-threaten-to-wipe-israel-off-the-map/

  • Yar

    Those who fail to study history are destine to repeat mistakes of the past. Look at the Gulf of Tonkin and Iran hostage crisis, case in point of where the tail wages the dog.  Two elections at other polarizing points in American history, where acts war were used to sway the American electorate.  Are we that dumb?  I am afraid we “still” are.  
    Look at Mitt Romney’s braggadocio statement that if elected president, Iran wouldn’t get a nuclear bomb but if he isn’t they will.  This sets a stage for bad things to happen.  By increasing complexity and intervening in affairs of other countries covertly we make America the most hated country in the world.  How much hate is generated through “shock and awe”?Is this about Iran or Israel.  No, it is about American political power.  Follow the money, watch out for the military industrial complex. Because corporations are people, my friend, they will kill you or get you killed.  

  • Potter

    I recommend Trita Parsi’s article in The Forward:

    Israel Ups Iran’s Ante But Is It Bluff?


    US Punched Bibi, Barak in the Face

    (which I hope is so) 

    the name of this game is the US Elections and squeezing everyone- Iran and the US. …disgusting.  Israel should focus on the Palestinian issue if the powers in office there care about security.

    • Mouse_2012

      Try these

      Another reason the U.S. shouldn’t go to war with Iranhttp://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/08/16/why_the_us_shouldn%27t_go_to_war_with_iranWhy do people keep predicting war with Iran?http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/08/10/voices_prophesying_warWhat Americans outside the Beltway think about war with Iranhttp://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/08/07/the_maine_thing_you_need_to_know

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Israel, however justified, bombing Iran is an act of war. And I don’t how else Iran could respond except with officially declaring war on Israel. Which will force countries to make their own official declarations as well.

    This ain’t gonna be just another “military action” that we in the US have accepted as an alternative to war. It’s going to be real war – and it’s going to get ugly.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

      One scenario I could see is (the still strong) Syrian military allying with Iran and launching attacks as means of distracting from the current situation there.

    • Gregg Smith

      I agree, I don’t see a way around it. The last best chance was the 2009 uprising.

  • Mouse_2012

    How is Israel not considered the extremist in this? There openly admitting that they would force the U.S. to go to war for them(using what one could considered as blackmail). This does not sound like a ally or friend with “shared values”

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The comments here don’t show concern over what will happen if Iran produces nuclear weapons.  The Iranian leadership regularly expresses a desire to see Israel wiped off the map.  Just how would they go about fulfilling that wish?

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      It would take a wing nut with access to “the button” for Iran to launch a nuke on Israel. To suggest otherwise means one thinks the Iranians are just plain stupid. How many nukes do you suppose Israel has trained on Iran? How many in the USA? I bet it is a lot more than zero.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         I put the Iranian leadership into the “crazy, not stupid” category.  They’re smart enough to make a bomb and crazy enough to use it.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    No change in my opinion:

    IF Israel attacks Iran, they do it ON THEIR OWN. The USA should condemn, then stop all aid of any sort to Israel. Both Obama and Romney should say so publicly. I doubt either will. Obama to “keep all options on the table” while attempting other means and Romney because he has already said the US must block Iran’s nuclear “ambitions” and supports a strike.

    The “potential Iranian nuclear weapon” issue is one that should be handled by the UN, not war mongers.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Name one time that the United Nations has been effective in this kind of situation.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    deleted – was a reply to Greg Camp’s post that somehow came in as a “original post”

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Disqus does that.

  • Potter

    Don’t Israeli’s know that if they started a war they would hasten nuclear proliferation, not only in Iran? 

    What about Israel’s nuclear deterrence, not enough?On the other hand- how long CAN Isrel keep bluffing before it loses credibility– they are backing themselves into a corner! 

  • adks12020

    If Israel chooses to attack Iran they are making a dumb decision and the U.S. should not support it. I think they believe the US will automatically jump in to help but I don’t think the majority of the US would support that, especially after having been in a constant state of ware for a decade already.

    Isreal consistently tries to puff itself up to appear strong but without our support they aren’t nearly strong enough to take on Iran.

    I firmly believe jumping into a war between Isreal and Iran would be a last straw for many Americans and there would be demonstrations in the streets all over the country opposing it.

  • Mouse_2012

    Your guest just lost all crediability

    U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bombhttp://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/23/world/la-fg-iran-intel-20120224Michael Oren is a Israeli Hack(Rightwing one at that)An Israeli strike on Iran nuclear facilities could endanger Israel’s Dimona reactorhttp://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/an-israeli-strike-on-iran-nuclear-facilities-could-endanger-israel-s-dimona-reactor.premium-1.457359Even Israel’s President Peres is against it Netanyahu aides: In opposing Israeli attack on Iran, Peres forgot his placehttp://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-aides-in-opposing-israeli-attack-on-iran-peres-forgot-his-place.premium-1.458847Poll: Most Israelis oppose attack on Iran nuclear facilitiesSurvery conducted by Israel Democracy Institute and TAU Mediation and Conflict Resolution program finds only 27% of Jewish Israeli support strike, and most think it’s unlikely Israel will soon attack.http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/poll-most-israelis-oppose-attack-on-iran-nuclear-facilities-1.458743

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Since when do we not believe that Iran is working on nuclear weapons?  You may believe that, but don’t extend your belief to the whole nation.

      • Mouse_2012

        I would far rather believe the CIA than someone like yourself.

        Don’t extend your belief to the whole nation unless you can provide some proof to your claim other than “Due propose”

  • Potter

    All these preparations in Israel and threats can still be bluff… and of course we are hyperventilating. This is a game of chicken.

  • Mouse_2012

    2nd Guest loss his crediability

    Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor acknowledged on Al Jazeera English (4/14/12) that Iranian leaders have never called for Israel to be “wiped” off the map.Meridor agreed with interviewer Teymoor Nabili’s suggestion that the supposed remarks were never actually made; Iranian leaders, Meridor said,come basically ideologically, religiously, with the statement that Israel is an unnatural creature, it will not survive. They didn’t say “we’ll wipe it out,” you are right, but [that] it will not survive, it is a cancerous tumor, it should be removed.http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2012/04/2012413151613293582.html

    Watch him say it himself.

    He used the words cancer(which Likud calls it’s african immigrates)

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       A cancerous tumor that should be removed?  Now what could that mean?

      • Mouse_2012

        Ask Miri Regev

        Israel Legislator, Calls Sudanese Refugees ‘A Cancer’ Amid Violent Anti-Immigrant Protests

        Or Likud

        Netanyahu’s Likud Party Calls Africans as “Cancer”: New Israeli bill to bar deported migrants’ appeal until after expulsion


        Feel free to comment

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           And your sources say that these Israeli leaders wish to deport African migrants.  How exactly would Iran “deport” Israelis?

          • Mouse_2012


          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             You compared two different groups using the word cancer.  I’m asking you why you think that when the Iranians use it, it’s nothing to worry about.

          • Mouse_2012

            Wait. so if it’s directed against africans it’s okay but Israeli it’s enough to go to war over? I can provide links of Israeli using similar language against Iran. So should Iran go to war with Irsrael because of it?

            What do you have against Africans?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Don’t put words into my mouth.  You said that some Israeli politicians regard African immigrants as a cancer.  I didn’t doubt that.  You said that Iranian politicians used that language about Israel, as if that made things O.K.  I’m saying that the term is inflammatory in both cases.  I’m adding that in the case of a nation that is working on nuclear weapons, it’s a direct threat.

          • Mouse_2012

            Incorrect I ask you to ask the Israeli politicans who called africans cancer(including Likud)

          • Mouse_2012

            So Israel has no nukes?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MEHFQPVBIRQ2MFRUKAQQRR2XWI RinTinTin

    Why does Mr Rothkopf give no credence to the Israeli and American intelligence experts who all say that it is unlikely that Iran is even working toward a bomb right now. Panetta himself said it was unlikely. Not that this makes any difference to Netanyahu.

    • Mouse_2012

      I think you know the answer.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Nuclear technology is dual-use in many aspects.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/MEHFQPVBIRQ2MFRUKAQQRR2XWI RinTinTin

        Brutally dictatorial, yes. Irrational, no. 

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           This is replying to another comment, no?  Consider how fanatics act.  They don’t always do what rational people would regard as being in their best interest.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/MEHFQPVBIRQ2MFRUKAQQRR2XWI RinTinTin

      Maybe so, but I’m not convinced that the Iranian regime is irrational. I would think their interests would be best served by abstaining. 

  • Ellen Dibble

    Do the Iranian citizens hear “the drumbeat”?  Are they thinking there is no alternative to being driven off this cliff?  Don’t the sanctions tend to move a somewhat somewhat western, modern Persian, population towards psychological extremes and radicalism?  Who’s been hurting us lately?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    So what are the odds that Israel will, either as first strike, or in the middle of war with Iran, feel it necessary to deploy their own nuclear weapons?

  • Michiganjf


       Isn’t the sanctions regime showing more success and putting more pressure on Iran than ever before?

    If so, why in the world would the Israeli leadership want to go forward with a strike and all the resulting world turmoil and Islamic antagonism???!!

    The very idea seems INSANE, especially if sanctions are showing their intended effect… hard pressure on the ruling regime, turning their own people against them!!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    I’m waiting to hear a proposal that can prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons without requiring a war to do it.  So far, nothing has come up.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I suppose Ahmadinejad was demagoguing about there is “no place for the Jewish state in a future Middle East” exactly because the sanctions are having an effect, and Iranian politics demands this kind of “forward-leaning policy,” especially considering Syria.

  • Michiganjf

    Yes, and as your guest points out, a large portion of the Islamic world is now turning to the West… why alienate them with this sort of insanity???!!

  • kmh5004

    A big problem I see is Isreal’s lack of high ground these days because of their treatment of Palestine.  They have no desire and make no attempt to negotiate new borders.  If isreal was to negotiate new borders, and attempt to get Palestine as a amicable neighbor, it would go a long way toward improving their relations throughout the region. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Israel tried negotiation in the 90s.  The Palestinians refused to bargain.

      • kmh5004

        that was decades ago, they need to try again.  The occupation is too much for too long, and it loses them good will of people around the world.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Good will plus $1.25 buys you a Coke.

          • sickofthechit

             Obviously a McCain man, “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb bomb Iran…..

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Nope, I voted for Bob Barr in 2008.  But do you have another solution that will work?

          • kmh5004

            When you are depending on other countries for your defense, good will buys quite a bit more than a coke, it buys weapons and support.  If the citizens of the US lose patience with Isreal, they will lose some significant advantage in the world

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             That will require the support primarily of the United States, although the Israelis have developed a thriving arms industry.

      • Mouse_2012

        link? for a professor your not very well verse in ME history.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           I was paying attention to the news during the period.  Ehud Barak offered the best deal to Arafat that anyone had offered.  Arafat refused even to make a counteroffer and told his people to start throwing rocks again.  Look at the history.

          • Mouse_2012

            Link please?

          • Mouse_2012

            As you may already be aware of this. I don’t quite believe the stuff you say. I’d much prefer you to prove your claims than the “I was paying attendtion”

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp


            Look at the section on the Camp David negotiations.

          • Mouse_2012

            Doesn’t support your claim that Israel gave them the best deal.

            Try again.

            Unless this is what you based your views on they I fully understand why you know very little about ME history.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             That’s your interpretation.  We have access to the same facts.  You reach one conclusion.  I come to another.

          • Mouse_2012

            Again your link does not prove your point. It even states it

          • Mouse_2012

            See below

            Deeper and deeper mistrust grew on both sides. Palestinians accused Israel of failing to stop expanding Jewish settlements and stalling on agreed withdrawals from West Bank territory.

            From your link

  • Potter

    Yes the Middle East is in flux.  Does that mean that Israel has to light a match to this ?… or deflect each state from these internal revolutions to rise against Israel and the US? That would be great for dictatorships to arise or strengthen ( Iran)

  • Potter

    What about Israel’s own nuclear deterrent?? Isn’t this Iran threat about raising the fear level and postponing peace with the Palestinians.  This smells to me from the beginning. It started with Netanyahu pushing this fear; it’s not only about Ahmadinejad’s stupid taunts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003176132796 Joe Makela

    thank you roger cohen. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It’s so sad that we’re discussing a scenario of massive deaths and suffering in terms of a potential election issue. It’s disgusting.

  • Ellen Dibble

    What do these awesome panelists think about this, Secretary of State Clinton has said she is leaving at the end of this term.  The team Obama will change.  (Who would Romney choose for Secretary of State; who will Obama choose next…)  Here’s a nice recent photo of — it speaks for itself, if I can link it.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/imagecache/gallery_img_full/image/image_file/p081612ps-0045.jpg

    • DrJoani

      I have to think your use of the word “awesome” is ironic.
      I listened carefully as they decided for us all. Makes me ill.

    • sickofthechit

       Joe Biden!  Hillary for VP!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    We starved Iraq from the Gulf War until we invaded last decade – it didn’t work.

  • KazakFlea

    Why are we not discussing Iran as anything other than a single-minded threat?  Given the US’s expertise at overthrowing govts I’d figure that that would be the path most likely to use.  We’ve done it before in Iran…

    • Mouse_2012

      Iranian americans get very little say on NPR.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       And it has always worked out SO well. Time to get our noses out of everyone else’s business.

  • Thinkin5

    Would Israel bomb Iran if the U.S. refused to back them because they were to strike first? Or, are they emboldened because of the U.S.’s military might?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     So the conclusion that we’re coming to is that there is no way to stop Iran from getting the bomb?

    • sickofthechit


      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Disqus misfiled this comment.  What is it a reply to?

        • northeaster17

          That genie got out of the bottle a long long time ago. 

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Now I see which comment you were replying to.  You’d be comfortable with Iran having nuclear weapons?

  • Thinkin5

    How about Sheldon Adelson funding a mercenary war for Israel? He has the money, Mitt would kick in some from his foreign accts. and maybe a son or two. The zealots could go and attack Iran and deal with the consequences. 

    • sickofthechit

       Never a son or two, their “faith” won’t allow it!

      • ArlHtsMelissa

        What do you mean the ‘faith’ will not allow it? That would be a conflict with the presidential duties in the US Constitution and disqualify Mitt.

        US Constitution

        The President shall,
        at stated times, receive for his services, a compensation, which shall neither
        be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been
        elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the
        United States, or any of them. [or any of them, What does this mean?]


        Before he enter on
        the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:–
        “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office
        of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve,
        protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”


        Section 2. The
        President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United
        States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual
        service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the
        principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject
        relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to
        grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the Untied States, except in
        cases of impeachment.


        • ArlHtsMelissa

          I have a typo in there “Untied states”.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       “and maybe a son or two.”
      Not likely. No Romney has done military service. Not Mitt, not his sons, not his father. His father wasn’t of a proper age for WW1 or WWII conscription. Mitt slipped through the Vietnam war with LDS missionary and college deferments. There is no longer a draft and no sons volunteered for military service either during or between wars.

  • Mouse_2012

    Tom  F. is another hack job.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       F?  What you’re saying is that he doesn’t support your position.

      • Mouse_2012

        Nope, i’m saying he’s a hack. the F=friedman

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           You’ve said that about anyone on this program who holds a view different from your own.  I’ll take your remark for what it’s worth.

          • Mouse_2012

            Just as I’ll take your “” I was paying attention ” in the same light.

  • Coastghost

    An attack on Iran by anyone would necessarily entail attacks on their oil installations and port facilities, no? China wouldn’t take to well to that, however, would they? That could well be their cue to fire missiles at Taiwan, or anyone else. One match, id est, could light LOTS of separate fuses . . .

  • http://twitter.com/en_b ian berry

    It would be simple for Israeli provocateurs to do something drastic, leave Iranian fingerprints on it and bring the US to war with Iran before anyone could stop it. We are all at their mercy.

  • DrJoani

    Always great to listen to a group of male “experts” and former advisor(s) talk and scare the crap out of all of us. ANYOINE rememeber Herman Kahn and his “studies.”
    let’s not forget the millions of dollars we have given to Israel over the years, as well as our failure to take an active positive role in settling the more serious issues with that country and their neighbors.How come they have nukes and rockets and all the rest of the right items for war?

    It is absolutely insane to talk about this in terms of US involvement in war against Iran on the side of Israel because…why? because they MIGHT have or achieve a nuclear capability: LIKE ISRAEL and dozens of other countries have?

    I have a long memory and the BUSH/DICKWars on pretense, as Well as Johnson’s hot war based on a  phony attack are still fresh in mInd.

    So…give it a rest, please, Tom, and don’t add to the anger and confusion

    • sickofthechit

       Only thing I remember about Herman Kain is his 999 plan and my hope that SNL or the Daily show would show him holding a 999 sign up and it kept rotating to say 666.  I thought it would have been a great comedic moment. charles

      • DrJoani

        Uh huh, NOT KAIN, Herman KAHN, 60′s-70′s nuclear war proponent (“EXpert” like today’s stars that I heard predicting…”

  • cryptomorph

    Here’s my hope for an October Surprise… that the US finally realizes that our own policies in the Mideast have made the situation worst.

    What do we expect from a region where for the past 60 years US policy has been to install dictatorships that will guarantee us cheap oil our spoiled rotten public can waste in 10mpg Hummers? While we can all agree that the Iranian regime is despicable, what do we expect from ANY nation when US neocons make open threats against an “Axis Of Evil”, and then illegally invade one of those nations? That the other two nations on that list will allow themselves to be bullied? What does the US expect when it blindly supports the illegal theft of land and the repressions and humiliation of the Palestinian people? That Israel won’t become the object of hatred?
    We must abandon policies that insist there can only be peace on our terms… based on the continued humiliation of the Palestinians or total capitulation of Iran. That means putting the far Right wing of Israel on a choke chain… no more aid unless a fair peace agreement is reached with the Palestinians ASAP. We must bring Iran into a grand deal as was done between Israel and Egypt in 1977… only this time a grand peace pact between the US, Israel, and Iran… a pact based on the US renouncing the Bush Doctrine of aggression, the end of threats from Israel, the creation of a viable Palestinian state, and in turn Iran will give up its nuclear weapons program and end support for Hezbollah and other asymmetric threats against Israel.
    I can hope, can’t I?


    • sickofthechit

       Post this elsewhere.  I am afraid to few people will read it here.

      • cryptomorph

        It’s a sign of the underlying psychosis in US foreign policy and in the attitudes of many in the chattering class that unraveling an dangerous dynamic we’ve helped create and push for a fair peace seems in the realm of impermissible thought. Yet talk of a war that might kill hundreds of thousands, will solve NOTHING and only make matters worse, is so blithely discussed.    

    • brettearle

      Putting strained leverage, by the US, on Israel–to reach agreement with the Palestinians–presupposes that such a pact will be one that favors both sides.

      For any party, group, or country to negotiate, under such conditions, is laughable.

      What’s more, by offering such a peace agreement, as a bargaining chip to Iran–in order for it to capitulate–is patently naive….as if that’s the only thing that Iran cares about….  

      • cryptomorph

        What’s naïve… no dangerous, is the notion that a viable peace agreement can only be based on one side getting everything it wants, while the other side must capitulate and be humiliated.
        No one should have any illusions that the Iranian regime is despicable in the repression of its own people. But if we accept the assumption the Iranian leadership is so depraved they have NO rational, even moral, objectives such as security for their nation or a just peace settlement with the Palestinians… then we preclude the possibility of negotiating any grand peace plan and instead continue down that slippery slope to another pointless war… one that will solve nothing and is sure to bring down the world’s economy.    

        • brettearle

          No one is saying–certainly I’m not–that we should demonize both sides and see the other side as, “The Other”.

          But what I am saying is that Israel will not capitulate under pressure from the US. 

          That is what you were suggesting.

          And Iran has many “dogs in their fight” in the Middle East….a grand bargaining chip is not simply the Palestinians.

          You were suggesting that, for Iran, it would be a grand bargaining chip.

          In order for anyone to posit a cogent argument, one must be cognizant of the nuances.

          And I believe that there are many and that they are complex–beyond, I believe, our own understanding and awareness.

          There are, very likely, a number of things that we don’t…even know…that impact, CRITICALLY, on the situation.

          One thing I am in agreement with you on, however, is that a Middle East outbreak of war has the potential to destroy the world’s economy.

          But such a conflict also has the potential to destroy the world. 

          • cryptomorph

             B wrote: “…what I am saying is that Israel will not capitulate under pressure from the US.”Why not? The US enables and subsidizes Israeli intransigence. We are the enablers. We’ve blocked measures at the UN against Israel’s theft of Palestinian land. We also are the final guarantors of their security. And you want us to believe that if we stopped all this, the Israeli public would NOT boot their militaristic crazies out of power?

          • brettearle

            Sir, if you want to have a constructive debate, that’s one thing.

            But if you want to argue part of my point, based on your original comment, and NOT YOUR EDITED COMMENT, THAT IS ANOTHER.


            IT WAS NOT.


          • cryptomorph

            Hey, YOU sought my thread out, not the reverse. I was once a supporter of Israel but my patience ran out with the Settlement movement in the late 70s. So, no, I’m not interested in ramblings of yet another apologist for Israel’s policies. I already know your position. I’ve heard it all before and I REJECT it. I’m tired of the tail wagging the dog in the US-Israeli relationship. I’ve had it with the far Right in Israel pursuing the Jewish equivalent of Lebensraum in the occupied territories. I’ve had it with cowardly US politicians that can’t take on the Israeli lobby. And I’ve had it with rabid US neocons who believe war is the answer to every problem or Jewish neocons who believe repression is the answer to their security.

            Time is not on Israel’s side. There is no military solution to Iran’s nuclear program. An attack won’t stop Iran from getting the Bomb or other WMDs if they so desire. Their new facilities will just be deeper and hardened. An attack will humiliate Iran and certainly increase their determination to never let it happen again… as well as add a new desire to retaliate. You may find all this acceptable, I do not.

            The only way to break this deadly dynamic is if the US drags Israel, kicking and screaming if need be, to the bargaining table. It’s tough love time. Give Israel an ironclad security agreement… but otherwise cut off all aid, stop blocking justified sanctions in the UN, until Israel finds leaders of good faith who are willing to start unraveling the 60 years of tensions and hostilities. No, there may not be any immediate negotiating partners of good faith on the Palestinian side. They, too, may have to be cultivated. So be it. Let the US fund a “buy out” of the Palestinian “Right Of Return”. Go for the grand bargain with Iran… but if that stalls… at least start unwinding Israeli – Arab tensions over Palestine. Give Iran some positive reasons to come to the bargaining table instead of military threats and sanctions. Give them reasons to tone down the rhetoric. Maybe as with Egypt in 77, the parties will come through. What’s the alternative? Time is not on Israel’s side.

  • Dee


    I look forward to the day when the people of the Middle 
    East and the people of the US can wake up and say….

    “We did the right thing shutting down the land thieves 
    and war mongers in Israel–as a violent entity we will
    no longer live with…” 

    And let’s face it–Israel is no longer a moral imperative ,
    especially in this human rights world. In addition, Jews 
    cannot continue to grow and thrive on the backs of the 
    Palestinian people and at the cost of their neighbors in 
    the region. 

    David Ben Yair ,the former Attorney General of Israel 
    wrote about this in 2003 Op-ed in Haaretz (see URL) 


    The Courage to Refuse, David Ben Yair (2003) 

    • brettearle

      Let’s face it, Dee…..

      Israel is not surrounded by enemies or potential enemies, now is it?

      Let’s also face it, Dee….

      Leaders of the Persian State have never proclaimed, publicly, that the Jewish state will be eradicated, now have they?

      If your next-door-neighbor (or one living close by) were to threaten you physically, would you wait around to be shot, if you discovered that he/she bought some firearms, recently….and that the police can’t really do anything, until the first round is struck?

      So, basically, Dee….what you are telling us, is that Israel’s record, on human rights–as if the Arab/Islamic record is any more stellar–is so egregious that simply, as punishment, they should sit there and wait to be, potentially, eviscerated?

      That is what I would call a prudent and safe strategy.


      • Dee

        Re: Israel surrounded by enemies…

        I believe it was Churchill who said…”People will
        treat you as you treat them. It is no secret.” 

        Jewish settlers and leaders have been trampling on Palestinian rights and depriving them of their dignity as a people in their sovereign homeland for a long time to promote their Jewish tribe…

        in addition, Israelis have invaded their neighbors land in Syria and Lebanon…Thus is it any wonder the Israelis have only themselves to blame for the 
        enemies that surround them?  ( As Churchill said 
        people will treat you as you treat them…)

        And why their neighbors are out to arm them- selves against them today. Who can blame 

        Indeed, this is what I believe people in the US 
        and people around the World have been rising 
        up against Israel for a long time–this unGodly greed for Palestinian land and a A TOP GUN 
        status to sustain it. 

        Yet, today ordinary people like myself are adding our voices to the conflict and are saying to  Israeli leaders and settlers: “Enough” “Get Out!” or “We
        will shut you down” AIPAC or NO AIPAC…Dee 

        P.S. Here is the Israeli Historian Avi Schlaim
        pointing his finger to Israeli officials too….

        • brettearle

          Some of Israel’s behavior toward the Palestinians, and some of the actions by the IDF, could clearly improve.

          I said, as much, in my first comment to you.

          But most critics of Israel–such as yourself–completely ignore Israel’s existential security.

          You see things as black and white, all or nothing, or in a, “you’re either with us, or against us”, point of view.

          Many critics of Israel are one-trick-ponies.

          None of you ever take into account, the dimensions or nuances of the predicament.

          If you don’t think Israel has a right to exist in the Middle East, have the courage to say so….otherwise, prove your objectivity and lack of bias, by stating that Israel does have the right to exist in that part of the world.

          Being against settlements is one thing, getting Israel out of the Middle East, completely, is, another thing, altogether.

          If you decide not to respond to the challenge, in my comment, by your silence we will know ye….

          • Dee

            I believe Israelis have invalidated their moral right to remain 
            in the Middle East today by their own greed for Palestinian 
            land and lawlessness.  To begin with –let’s recall why Palestine was Israel partition in 1947–it had to do with Jewish leaders pleading with the world body of the UN for a gesture of great mercy… to grant them a homeland.Specifically, the UN body recognizing their people were de-vastated by the gross violations in their human rights and the confiscation of their land and property by the Nazi Regime…..Now, today Israeli soldiers & Jewish settlers have turned around & committed many similar human rights violations against the Palestinian people and have confiscated their land and property in the name of the state & Jewish right (actually Jewish supremacy). Thus they have negated theirmoral right to remain in Palestine today..Michael Ben Yairon this http://www.seruv.org.il/english/article.asp?msgid=77&type=articleIn addition, Israeli leaders have failed to abide by both terms of their UN membership: 1.) to accept a full fledged sovereign Palestine state alongside of Israel, and 2.) the return of Pale-tinian refugees “to their home” in Israel…Thus, Israeli leaders have further violated the borders of 1947 partition by razing by what some claim was over 500 villages on the Palestinian side of the UN partition before the British gave up the mandate in June, 1948 Lastly, , Israeli forces invaded the Palestinian territores in 1967 and failed to withdraw under UN Security Resolution 242 and Israel built illegal Jewish settlements and transfer-red part of its civilian population into the territories in vio-lated of the Fourth Geneva Convention & international law. (As the Israeli legal scholar David Kretzman wrote in his Harretz Op-Ed following the Israeli Supreme Court Decisionin 2004 to remove the Jewish settlers from Gaza –Israel cannot give the settlers land that is not sovereign Israel’s.)http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/clinging-hypocritically-to-civil-rights-1.146534Dee

          • Dee

            Here is David Kretzmer’s OP-Ed in haaretz , following the 
            Israeli Supreme Court’s to evict the Jewish settlers from 


  • TomK_in_Boston

    A little history: Iraq was Iran’s enemy. Reagan used his buddy Saddam to attack Iran, giving the green light for chemical weapons and providing intel. If we ever found the WMD, they might have read “Made in USA”

    W acted as an Iranian ally by removing Saddam and putting pro-Iranian Iraqis in power. Now Iran is empowered by W’s mistake and the Iraq-Iran alliance will be the biggest new factor in the ME.

    So, it’s typical of our mindless foreign policy and new Orwellian state of perpetual war that we strengthen Iran and then get all upset about it.

    We’ve been meddling in Iran for a long time. If I were an Iranian I’d sure be hostile to the USA and I’d sure want a nuke. I wish we could talk to them without screaming.

    • cryptomorph

      When in Dec 2002 Saddam handed over to the UN all the records of WMD activities… the US censored all US involvement. Have those records ever be released?

      • Mouse_2012

        What’s also been missed is at the time of the “Axis of Evil” the previous president actually did reach out to the U.S. and was rejected.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I think a lot of the info about Reagan’s support of Saddam’s attack on Iran is out there, and there’s that nice photo of  Rumsfeld and Saddam, but you would never know from the corporate media


          but I don’t know about “records of WMD activities”. I expect they are Top Secret.How would Americans feel about a nation that encouraged chemical attacks on US soldiers?

          • Mouse_2012

            Not sure if you read this?


            A few weeks after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, a strange document arrived in Washington. It came as a fax, on plain paper, from the Swiss ambassador in Tehran.The fax laid out the terms for a “grand bargain” — in essence a peace treaty between the U.S. and Iran. It put everything on the table: Iran’s support for terrorism, its nuclear program, even its hostility towards Israel. In exchange, Iran asked Washington for security guarantees, an end to sanctions and a promise never to push for regime change.Iran’s reformists were again trying to reach out to Washington, as they had after 9/11 (see Chapter 2 of the film). But the State Department thought Khatami’s reformist government was politically weak and promising more than it could deliver. And the White House, newly victorious in Iraq, saw no need to negotiate with Iran. The fax never received a reply.

            Imagine what the world would be now if the U.S. acted on such?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Thanks for the link….very sad, but unfortunately, typical.

  • Dee


    For those who may be unware of the bullying & war monger 
    of Israeli leaders in the region and especially on Capital Hill.

    Sen. Fulbright, Israel controls (corrupts) the US Senate 

    The Israel Lobby, in The London Review of Books http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby

  • MaximF

    I find it disconcerting that in this hour-long show, OnPoint panelists did not even mention the fact that an attack on Iran would be an act of aggression, which would violate the most fundamental tenets of international law. Perhaps, policy wonks, politicians, and voters need to be reminded that a war of agression was identified by the Nürnberg Tribunal as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

    • brettearle

      Since when have any countries–since time immemorial– not have acted from their own self-interests, by becoming militant, when it serves them to do so….whether it be on a small scale or a large scale?

      That doesn’t mean that any country should implement an act of preemptive aggression.  It doesn’t mean it would be wise for Israel to do so–at this time or any time.

      Nevertheless, there are times when the actual course of history, much less the sparing of millions of lives, might have been better served–from an act of pure aggression, by any country or group.

      It is not politically correct to make such a statement–but it is possible for one leader to be Curtis LeMay, in one situation and the Dalai Lama, in another.

      One…never…knows, what might have happened if one had not acted.  While, at the same time, one…never…. knows, what might have happened if one had acted.

      What country, if it ultimately felt mortally threatened, would take into account treaties, tribunals, or codes of conduct from the past?

      Which countries–because of these moral barriers–have stopped themselves in the past?

      To bring up the Nuremberg Tribunal is especially underhanded and manipulative–because the subtext of your comment, basically, claims that Israel should heed the dictates of an international body who held sacrosanct the genocidal parameters of War Crime….in the aftermath of the Jewish holocaust of WWII.

      And it is especially despicable, when one realizes that Israel’s enemy–on the verge of acquiring a nuclear weapon–has proclaimed not only a Holocaust revision of WWII; but has also proclaimed the proposal, essentially, of a new Holocaust.

      Your comments are truly beyond the pale.

      • Potter

         These threats from Iran that seem to get the Iranian leadership attention are, don’t forget, just words and taunts and it must be getting them the kind of attention that they want to keep it up. They also talk of Israel having nuclear weapons, which is a fair point. So there is a point at which you have to decide if the Iranians are suicidal. It is possible that these fears that they provoke in Israel and the reverberations here, are an end in itself with, for them, aside from the sanctions, have or had some benefits. Another game: Netanyahu neglects the Palestinian issue ( diverting attention-so obvious), Iran gets support in the Arab world for standing up to Israel. 

        • Potter

          I think the Iranians know the consequences, dangers of us starting a preemptive war (enormous). So this is brinkmanship and we need wise leadership both in Israel and the US. Do we have it?

          • brettearle

            You sound principled–Thank God–because there are so many who aren’t on this issue….

            It seems to me that saber rattling is  benign saber rattling only when you’re bluffing, obviously, and you don’t have the firepower to back you up.

            But if you have the firepower power, to back you up, who’s going to believe it’s a bluff?

            Would the Iranians truly move to the edge–and they may almost be there now, otherwise Israel would not be posturing behind the scenes–simply to see how far they could go to the point of near-provocation, without putting themselves mortally, in harm’s way?

            Someone’s going to have to blink–and, it’s an odds-on favorite, it’s not going to be the Israelis.

            If the Iranians are only doing this to get chits from the Islamic world and to posture for realizing more of its demands at the bargaining table, they are playing a most dangerous and masochistic game.

          • Mouse_2012

            Agreed, while some are complaining about demonizing they do just that in the regards to Iran. Excluding any claims to Iran “defending themselves” or violations in International laws with threats to attack it using claims of “what if” “could do”

    • Crosby1209

       I wonder if you would find it equally disconcerting for an Iranian mid-range missile to deliver even a modest-yield nuclear device to downtown Tel Aviv. Put another way… In the face of likely annihilation, when is military preemption justifiable? And would be it be alright for Israel to respond after, say, 200,000 of its citizens are immolated?

      • Mouse_2012

        Israel has a 20% non-jewish minoritiy, nearly half if you include the westbank and gaza which in your senerio would have to be targeted by Iran as well. Iran would have to kill just as many Palestinians and non-jews as Israeli jews  to accomplish such, not to mention the far out would effect all the surrounding nations killing even more while of course Iran would be nuked killing millions upons millions.

        • Crosby1209

          Doubtless a reasonable price for the mullahs to pay in return for removing Israel from the map. After all, to date, extreme Islam has murdered many more of its own than anyone else, yes? Why change SOP now?

  • Pingback: Israel, Iran, and the End of the World « Nolassalon

  • Dee


    Despite Netanyahu’s claim why Iran want the bomb –in reality
    the real reason may little to do with Israel but its own history
    and the current US build-up in the region. See the URLs below

    Why Iran wants the bomb,, Richard Reeves 

    Accusing Iran, Ignoring history , Ted Snider http://www.zcommunications.org/accusing-iran-ignoring-history-by-ted-snider

  • Mouse_2012

    Yep Dee should have balance like reporting on Slave holder vs the slave, An abuser and there victims.

    You pretend to be balance yourself but from your post your clearly not.And it’s fine to be such
    Dee post wants the U.S. to stop blindly supporting Israel. It seems in your translations that means “Israel doesnt have the right to exist” Such comment is a common tactic to shut down debate and as you noted “Israel’s Security” comes first and the U.S. punishing Israel for not doing what the U.S. wants wouldn’t work or help things. Yet the U.S. doing the same to Iran or the
    Palestinians is somehow will.

  • Mouse_2012

    I’m sure i’m not the only who believes that the U.S. should not blindly support Israel nor go to war for Israel’s Rightwing government Sake. I’m sure others would most likely agree that Israel stealing land from the Palestinian and preventing such would weaken Hamas and streghten the PLO. The Arab Peace Plan was presented in the early 2000′s if Israel stoped it’s theif of land. The Palestinians have there issues of course but in this Situation you have the occupied and Occupiers this is not a balance issue. One side clearly has the power and control and the other does not. Iran and the threat to attack Iran provides a few things for Israel. It help keeps it’s Racist Rightwing government in power, it helps Iran biogted President say in power because it gives both sides the boogyman they need. It also gets the U.S. to provide Israel with more arms(Obama gave a extra 70million on top when Mitt went to Israel) . It gets the focus off of the PA bid for statehood(Sept) and it gets the media talking about Iran instead of Israel.

  • Dee

    I believe Israelis have invalidated their moral right to remain 
    in the Middle East today by their own greed for Palestinian 
    land and lawlessness.  To begin with –let’s recall why Palestine was Israel partition in 1947–it had to do with Jewish leaders pleading with the world body of the UN for a gesture of great mercy… to grant them a homeland.Specifically, the UN body recognizing their people were de-vastated by the gross violations in their human rights and the confiscation of their land and property by the Nazi Regime…..Now, today Israeli soldiers & Jewish settlers have turned around & committed many similar human rights violations against the Palestinian people and have confiscated their land and property in the name of the state & Jewish right (actually Jewish supremacy). Thus they have negated theirmoral right to remain in Palestine today..Michael Ben Yairon this http://www.seruv.org.il/english/article.asp?msgid=77&type=articleIn addition, Israeli leaders have failed to abide by both terms of their UN membership: 1.) to accept a full fledged sovereign Palestine state alongside of Israel, and 2.) the return of Pale-tinian refugees “to their home” in Israel…Thus, Israeli leaders have further violated the borders of 1947 partition by razing by what some claim was over 500 villages on the Palestinian side of the UN partition before the British gave up the mandate in June, 1948 Lastly, , Israeli forces invaded the Palestinian territores in 1967 and failed to withdraw under UN Security Resolution 242 and Israel built illegal Jewish settlements and transfer-red part of its civilian population into the territories in vio-lated of the Fourth Geneva Convention & international law. (As the Israeli legal scholar David Kretzman wrote in his Harretz Op-Ed following the Israeli Supreme Court Decisionin 2004 to remove the Jewish settlers from Gaza –Israel cannot give the settlers land that is not sovereign Israel’s.)http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/clinging-hypocritically-to-civil-rights-1.146534Dee

  • USAishome

    Why the US supports Israel at all is beyond me!  They will drag us down with them and that is their intention.  It’s not a country, it’s a welfare case living off contributions from overseas and foreign aid.  Romney admires Israel’s culture; a culture that “thrives” with compulsory health care, a high-end tax rate on income tax of 40 some% and legal abortion – and all the donations it can take from overseas to make it look like an actual country.  Israel is everything Romney is against but he’s too stupid to know it.  I’m a stalwart democrat but – if anyone ran for the presidency with a  platform of cutting all ties with Israel, refusing Israeli visas and deporting all Israelis resident here, I’d vote for him/her!  Someone has to stand up to this bully in the Middle East and the best way to start is to close down all its PACs.  Good grief, they corrupted a Republican congressman to the point of his stripping off his clothes to wade into the Galilee! Surprised he didn’t insist he was actually walking on water!   

    • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

      It is simple. We supported Israel because they do our dirty work in the Middle East. Now 50 years later we realize that there are other countries in the region that hate us for that reason.

      We are now facing a conundrum. 

      The quote below summarizes the seventy year dilemma in the Middle East. “American policy recently had its own awakening after 60 years of support for autocratic rulers. The United States opted to embrace people power and electoral change in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Yemen. Yet Washington still embraces authoritarian Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia, tolerating their vague promises of reform and even pledging the United States’ might to protect them.Foreign policy should be nuanced, whether because of oil needs or to counter threats from Iran. But there is something dreadfully wrong with tying America’s future position in the region to the birthplace and bastion of Salafism and its warped vision of a new order.” Don’t Fear All Islamist, Fear Salafis, New York Times, August 19, 2012Some would say we sold our souls for oil.

      • http://freeourfreemarkets.org/ Steve Banicki

        Here is the link to the New York Times article. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/opinion/dont-fear-all-islamists-fear-salafis.html

  • brettearle

    Dee’s copious and zealous research has reached such a frenzied pitch that she wishes everyone to see it; she’s concerned that not everyone would see her full-fledged bias….if she only responded to me far below.

    Instead she did both:

    She posted her propaganda here AS WELL AS far below–in direct response to my comments.

    There is no arguing with someone who is so anti-Israel.

    As was said in a famous comedic film once, “your heroes and your villains are so clear to you”  that YOU SIMPLY CANNOT SEE SHADES OF GREY.

    Your distortions are very much mindful of how, since 9/11, the American Right Wing views Islam.

    You are part of the problem; not part of the solution.

    YOU are one of the reasons why there is such a breakdown in the Middle East.

    But I do have a series of questions–which, no doubt, you will either ignore or distort:

    The only people who will truly understand these questions are the ones who see that both sides at fault:

    Can we assume that every time there is a border skirmish, it is started by Israel?

    Shall we assume that every time there are innocent casualties, such tragedy is only perpetrated by Israel?

    Shall we assume that the only time people die–via casualty or actual combat–is because of Israeli aggression and Israeli miscalculation?

    Shall we assume that Israel has no historical claim to much of its land?

    Shall we assume that Israel is evil and Palestinians are nothing but fully blessed?

    Dee, you. basically, are full of toxic manure–in spite of your   shamelessly obsessive research.

    It is you who is practicing ideological apartheid.

    The real and raw fact is that both sides are at fault…..

    What’s more, the show was about Israel and Iran.

    I can assure you that regardless of Israel’s `perceived treatment’ of the Palestinians–and I have stated that Israel needs to improve its behavior and actions, as do Fatah, Hamas and Hezbollah, etc–unquestionably, Iran would still be calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state.

    You basically don’t know what you are fully talking about.  You leave out a noticeable chunk of the Truth.

    You only report those actions and policies that support your desire to deny Israel’s right to exist in the region.  

    Your bias and radical ideology is one the quintessential reasons why we are in the predicament that we are in today, in the Middle East…..

    Congratulations, we salute you….

  • DrJoani

    NOT Herman Kain,—-chit, Herman KAHN (Google him if you weren’t alive in the 60′s-70′s

  • bikengr

    Tom, I didn’t catch the entire show. But I think there is a big gap in the thinking. What do we ALWAYS DO when one country attacks another with nuclear weapons? Answer: there has been no prior example except our initial use against Japan. I expect that is because of a tremendous downside.

    Those who raise the specter of a nuclear attack against Israel seem to discount world determination not to legitimize nuclear war. Unless I am missing something, there is or should be a unified posture that a country undertaking nuclear attack would be dismembered by the world community, and perhaps none too gently. (Do you remember MAD?)

    The message to Iran should be that nuclear attack on Israel would be blamed on Iran and would elicit an immediate retribution. Then it would be in their interest to prevent any such attack….

  • Odilehh

    What about working for a middle east weapons of mass destruction Free zone instead of war

  • Odilehh
  • Dee

     Re: Israel painting its neighbors as hostile when it has been 

    the hostile force & terrorist infrastructure that must go today.

    People like myself are simply not accepting Israel’s bullying 
    of its neighbors and the portraying of them as irrational and 
    jihadist regimes today. Especially, when it has been Israeli
    forces that is responsible for shocking violence in the region 
    and 6-8 regional wars –since its creation over 60 yrs…

     And not to mention its fascist and violent occupation on Palestinian land and holding a whole young civilian Pale-
    stinian population under an Israeli gun and boot…..

    This is the other immorality and unacceptability of the Zion
    ist regime in Israel and in the Palestinian territories today.

    The bottom line there–Israel is simply not worth that kind 
    of cost today and must go. In addition, its ongoing regional targeting of Lebanon and Hizbollah, the Assad Regime in 
    Syria and the regime in Iran… 

    So I say “Enough” “Get Out” or “We will shut you down” 
    with so many others in the US and around the world to-
    day. There is that movement today to make this happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gra-Sim/100000360464223 Gra Sim

    Alas there is ample blame to be shared by both sides but what the west was thinking about when Israel was resurrected & given nuclear weapons in an area that was nuclear free I have NO idea.
    Needless to say that it was inevitable a major disagreement would eventually ensue because of this action, maybe it was always meant to fail but the way in which other nations including the west have used the Middle East for their own purpose is downright disgusting. There was total disregard for the people & cultures that inhabit there, mores the pity the entire Middle East lacked the mutual decisive political will that could have turned it into a truely dynamic bloc on the world stage where everyone was ensured of a safe & comfortable existance.
    I suppose I am over optimistic but I am still hopeful that common sense will prevail because I still believe the vast majority of people given a choice would prefer peace over war anyday but both sides must be willing to give & take othwise it truly is futile.
    It is such an important part of the world not just now but for thousands of years before people even knew what crude oil was, an area that has more history than the rest of the world put together, an area & peoples that have certainly earned their place in not just history but for the future as well.
    If this does go all pear shaped I am certain it will NOT be the fault of the average person, it will be from greedy egotistical people interfering & the leaders as a whole.
    I wish peace for ALL the Middle East & indeed the entire world, I just hope the powers that be are prepared to do the hard things needed to make it a reality.   

  • Pingback: When is the Iran problem going to peak? - Shooting Sports Forum

  • Dee

    Yes, an hour long show with no talk of a pre-emptive 
    strike being a gross violation of International law and 
    the US Constitution…(I believe,  article VI ) 

    Indeed, I have meant to tell Tom Ashbrook repeatedly 
    as I have told Charlie Rose and others– anytime they
    have flaming Zionist apologists on their shows beating 
    the drums of war –they discredits themselves & their 

    At least , in this case Tom should have Andrew Bacevich 
    a military scholar and a BU professor who addresses the 
    failed strategy and doctrine of pre–emptive war in today’s 
    world (following the Iraq war )in his new book , The Limits 
    of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism…

    Yet one wonders when Israeli leaders & their people are
    going to get it and wake up to the fact the world doesn’t 
    evolve around their obsession but it is governed by long established moral code of conduct and laws -and they will 
    pay dearly for violating such principles/laws with increased isolation and possibly the abandonment of their right to 
    stay in the Middle East –upping the ante and beating the 
    drums of war for a strike on Iran today…

    In addition, to painting their neighbors & those who speak 
    out against their own fascist aggression as connected to “terrorist structure” and “al Quada” when it is their own terrorist structure n the Palestinian territories and in the 
    Israeli Army which are the root cause of the Palestinian 
    conflict and other re-gional unrest today.  (of course, 
    along with US backed forces in the CIA & hawks in the 
    US Congress.) 

    Instead of accepting other people and states have rights 
    also and if they wish to have nuclear capability this must 
    be accepted as long as Iranian officials comply with the standards of IAEA which is more than what Israeli leaders
    have done today…failing to open its own nuclear arsenals 
    to IAEA inspections. Dee. 

    P.S. And it seems –Iran’s desire for nuclear capability 
    has little to do with Israel per se but more to do with 
    Israel’s collaboration with  US Corporate aggression
    and their own history to control their resources for 
    their people….Dee

    Accusing Iran, Ignoring History , Ted Snider

    Why Iran wants the bomb, Richard Reeves

  • Dee

    Re: International law and pre-emptive action 

    MaximF ,
     You make an important and it is too bad Tom Ashbrook
    didn’t have Andrew Bacevich from Boston University on 
    as he wrote in his latest book (The Limits of Power ) on 
    the failure of pre-emptive strategy & the Bush Doctrine.

    He could have added the rude awaking of the Zionist Drum 
    Beating today. Although, in essence people have seen this
    with their own two eyes in Iraq and won’t want to go there 
    again as the Joint Chief of staff, Martin Dempsey said…..

    Good for him! 

    However, I was disappointed to see President Obama 
    say after Iraq –the red line for him in Syrian was 
    chemical weapons. Yet, that was the very same false-
    hood the neocons played on Americans to get them to
    attack Iraq. No one is going to go with the President 
    on this now and he should have known better to ac-
    cept such another such off the wall claim….Dee

  • http://www.facebook.com/FlybyNews Jonathan Mark

    Manufactured wars are all around us. The problem is that the maniacs are in charge.. and the public is distracted by smoke and mirrors.

Sep 1, 2014
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