35 thoughts on “New ‘Moral Politics’ Video on Iran War Game Scenario – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Richard, I have just watched your video “Stop Israeli Madness” in your interview with Bill Alford. I have to say I disagree with almost everything you said, and I think Alford is a jerk.

    What on earth makes you think that the US would put pressure on Israel? The US actions in it’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are equally as bad as those of Israel in Gaza. What makes you think the Obama administration would act differently when it has passed laws approving assassinations of its own American citizens ? Wake up, Richard, Israel and the US are in this together, and whoever does the actually bombing, Iran will be bombed, just like Iraq and Afghanistan. Petreius’ warnings to the contrary. If anything is creating hatred of American forces in those countries, it is less Israel’s intransigence with Palestine than America’s presence and actions themselves. Petreius can make all the noise he wants – he’s preparing to run for president in 2012.

  2. There’s an adage “…Israel will fight until the last drop of American blood…”

    All was apt in your interview. How can Israel brim with nukes and cry foul! How can Israel parade as DOOM and not be checked by other nations!

    Facts always get twisted because Iranians should worry about annihilation not truculent Israelis.

    Richard, you didn’t question AIPAC imbecile mindset enough. They are “clear & present” danger to USA!

    Am I alone in this feeling?

  3. Israel’s and US’s interests the same? Well, it’s hard to imagine that Israel’s settlements serve any US interest.

    Israel wants to increase its territory. That is an Israeli interest. Clearly. Even if not all Israelis favor it, all recent Israeli governments have favored it. The settler community favors it. Some religious Jews favor it.

    But the US, by overlooking the illegalities and gross violations of Palestinian human and national rights inherent in the settlement process is more and more enraging Arabs and Muslims, including those who are willing to adopt violent measures against the US and Americans (and, of course, Jews and Israelis). Israel’s settlement program is not in the American national interest.

    Odd that no-one has spoken about that for 43 years, but there must be a start to anything, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the VietNam war was not stopped in a day, either.

    1. It may be hard to imagine, but the settlements are in the US interests, in that they increase more control of land for the continued establishment of hegemony in the area. Israel is a key player in US plans for the Middle East. Rather than opposing Israeli expansion, the US encourages it.

  4. just when I think I could never be more enraged, I review progressive Jewish websites and become more enraged.

    What in the name of all that is holy makes YOU PEOPLE — yes, YOU PEOPLE think that Americans want to spend their time and treasure “taking you to the woodshed.”

    This is my country, goddamn it; I worked to make a place for MY children, not to fight back the psychopathology of a zionist political system.

    I want my country back!
    Richard, not one stinking word from you that Israel bombing Iran would be bad for the IRANIAN people? Do you have to pull your punches to keep in good stead with some Israel community or other?

    There is no other moral alternative: harming Iran is hideously wrong, just as wrong, as immoral, as brutish as is the occupation and destruction of the Palestinian people.
    The woodshed is not where Israel needs to be taken, it is fit only for the crapper at this point. Flush the zionist experiment, expose the hideous nature of Jabotinsky’s Iron Wall.

    I’m really angry, Richard. Really angry.

    And Mr Shulman — you disgust me.

    1. You’re letting your passions run away with you. Everything I said should be considered an affirmation of the fact that attacking Iran would be an immoral act. Where in anything I’ve ever written on this subject have you gotten the impression I believe otherwise. The problem w. those on the far left is that they don’t understand that there is a tactical & strategic position. When I’m arguing tactics & trying to broaden the circle of those opposed to attacking Iran I’m arguing pragmatic issues. I’m trying to convince Israelis, American moderates, the vast center that now believes an attack might not be such a bad idea–that it WOULD be a bad idea. I’ll make use of any argument, any study to do so whether it argues the issue from pragmatic or moral pt of view. So if that isn’t adequate for you, I’m sorry. It doesn’t mean I don’t agree w. yr position. It means I articulate the arguments differently than you.

      Gene prob. agrees w. yr perspective more than you realize. Perhaps you haven’t read many of his comments here. He’s cynical, but far more hostile to Israel & U.S. policy than I am.

      1. Richard, I hear what you are saying, but what on earth has it to do with being on the far left or the medium left, or the middle? It is about recognizing priorities, and it’s about being first a human being who cares about other human beings. It’s about recognizing that the number one reason for not attacking Iran is that it is a horrible thing to do to a country and a people, not because it might be a threat to poor old Petraeus and his imperial missions in the Middle East. That is a human way of thinking, not a “far left” way of thinking.

        1. Not backing down on this one. I don’t owe you or anyone else anything regarding this issue. My bona fides are known. If you think my approach is wrong you’re entitled to yr opinion. I want to make my argument as credible as I can to as many as I can. I don’t need to persaude you since you already understand the issues. There is a multitude out there who don’t. And telling them it’s just plain immoral & wrong to attack Iran may not be the most effective argument to use with those people. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe that & I think my previous writing on the subject should confirm this. Not to mention many Iranians themselves who encourage the writing I’m doing on this.

          1. Please reread my comment. I wasn’t questioning your approach, I was challenging your characterization of Bessan’s outrage as “far left”.

          2. I was alluding to some of Bessan’s previous comments & his general tone when speaking about Israel & Zionism. I generally don’t have any problem w. it. But it’s farther to the left than I am. And there is a tendency among those on the farther left to divorce tactics from morality or ideology & to be quite purist about it. And again I don’t even have a problem w. that. But when someone tells me I don’t care about morality that’s when I take issue.

          3. It’s sad that the argument “Killing Iranians is wrong” is not enough for some people. Kind of puts an unfavorable spotlight on their moral compass, don’t you think? I hope you can convince them anyway.

    2. Bessan, the purpose of my commentary on Richard’s blog is not to disgust people like you, rather to open your eyes to the reality of what is happening. If that disgusts you, so be it. I can only tell it like I see it, and the seeing is not pretty.

      I certainly do not want anyone to bomb Iran. I certainly do not wish Israel to keep oppressing the Palestinians. I believe that, unfortunately, the US and Israel are in collusion to maintain the status quo, and continue their wars against a misperceived enemy in the Middle East.

      If you “want your country back”, you should open your eyes and fight for it. Like Richard has been trying to do through his blog.

      1. If you “want your country back”, you should open your eyes and fight for it. Like Richard has been trying to do through his blog.

        Thanks, Gene. We may disagree on a few issues even big ones, but thank God we agree on this one.

        1. True, I agree that it is immoral to wage war because as we all know that War is a hell on earth followed by anarchy. Many countless lives are gone with much destruction unaccounted.

          Two illegal wars are already proving disastrous, another war with Iran will be a blunder. Afterall it is the Working Class Americans who pay the price and not Congress, Bureaucrats or the millionaires.

  5. The tea-party folks are also fighting back. AIPAC is fighting back. The LOUD and IMMORAL and ILLOGICAL folks are fighting back vigorously.

    I never threw bombs, don’t plan to, and don’t accept it as a means of doing politics. I cannot throw the money-bomb because, well, no money to spare.

    We (we may have differences, even big ones, but my sense is of a community here) are out-gunned. At every point. Did I mention the large corporations and cartels? Including the “merchants of death”, one of USA’s biggest campaign-money/lobbying groups?

    So, if against ALL THIS, Petraeus says what he said, it REALLY MEANS SOMETHING! “We” have an important ally and should expect more from that quarter.

  6. You’re right, pabelmont, all those “IMMORAL” folks are fighting back, because they see a paradigm change taking place. They’re beginning to run scared. But please don’t think that Petraeus is suddenly on our side. His words mean nothing. That’s just his PR machine starting up his campaign for presidency. Don’t forget, for all his admonitions, he is the one who’s running the war that’s killing civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan (and soon to be in Iran). Aside from our collusion with Israel, that’s why the Arabs really hate us!

    Richard, we don’t disagree so much on the big issues, just on a few details. You’re right, though. I’m a bit more cynical than you.

  7. I suppose Gene Schulman is right, that Petraeus is not “on our side” in terms of anti-war, human-rights, etc.

    But I cannot believe that the Pentagon’s thoughts on the cost to the USA of USA pro-Israelism made it into PUBLIC discussion w/o the President’s being “on board”. generals still follow orders, don’t they? (Don’t know about the Marshall papers and 1948 Pentagon papers re: Israel — are they by now “public” ?).

  8. Richard, I hear you, I understand you, and Gene, likewise. I understand your strategy; I think Trita Parsi follows the same tactic: by all means, do what you must to retain your seat at the table, even if that means sitting on your moral outrage.

    As they say in my part of the country, y’ns don’t know me, don’t know how much time and effort I’ve spent networking and advocating for Iran, how many fora I have sponsored to provide a platform for advocates for Iran, how many years I have dedicated to the study of the issue, how many conferences, protests, political actions I have participated in, how many dishes of shireen berenji (Iranian rice pudding) I have taken to politicians’ and journalist’s offices to try to “open their eyes” to the Iran that I have come to know and love.

    “Open your eyes,” why yes, Gene, indeed. The blog that I started in 2007 is Iran thru open eyes.

    Yesterday, YNet published an article by an American Jew, Steven Goldberg, urging Jews everywhere to pressure Israel to drop a nuclear weapon on Iran. He wrote, “the world will condemn Israel at first, but that will be short lived. Eventually, the world will be grateful to Israel for ridding the world of the Iranian nuclear menace.”

    I think that man should be put in jail. That is a threat of the most heinous kind. What is worse, he speaks to a receptive audience that has the wealth and power to follow through on his suggestion.
    Yesterday a ‘regular’ on DKos, a pro-I advocate, wrote, repeatedly, “Israel has the power to destroy Iran and no one can stop us” (note, us). If Jerusalem is threatened, Israel will take down the entire Middle East, with nuclear weapons, but no Jew will back down.”

    So you’ll excuse me if I let my ‘passions’ run away with me.
    You keep doing what you do, Richard; keep your seat at the table and persuade as many as you can to inform and moderate their opinions. And I’ll keep doing what I can to try to make people pay attention. I think there’s a need for both tactics.

  9. Bravo Bessan. Yes, we must all be vigilant, and diligent. Thank goodness for people like Richard who put in so much time and effort to educate. I’m sure it is a sacrifice for him.
    So, I appeal to all of you out there who appreciate him as I do to make contributions when he requests them. We must keep these torches burning. As long as the MSM is failing us, the alternative media must be kept alive. We can be thankful for not only Richard, but sites like truthdig.org, http://www.counterpunch.org and http://www.commondreams.org, mondoweiss, bernardavishai, tonykaron, and all those others for whom there is not enough space to mention.

    Occasionally I get a sense of frustration that we are speaking only to the chorus, but I am heartened when I see an adversary mouthing off on these blogs change his/her mind, and begin to see the light. So, as Churchill admonished us: Never, never, never give up.

  10. Bessan captured best current American Dread in “…psychopathology of a zionist political…”

    Why is run amok Zionism tolerated! It is neither religion nor wholesome post-Holocaust brainwash.

    Zionists – traitorously blind for Israel – break God’s Covenant. They are damned!

    Americans – the 99% who are non-pathological Zionist – must arrest those who berserk with mouth or money.

    YNet and Daily Kos “nuke them” articles – and so much more high placed inflamatory utterances – belie morals of the Blind for Israel Zio fifth-column in America.

    Time to safeguard America from within. Time for Rabbis to embrace/preach virtues of old – before the train wreck of pathological Zionism.

    1. Richard,

      Did you get a chance to read the following piece by Uri Avnery?:

      “Hold Me Back!” by Uri Avnery


      Incredible how Norman Finkelstein doesn’t have the courage and honesty (that you do) to address the Jewish neocon push for the Iraq invasion in the following youtube:

      Norman Finkelstein on Israel, Palestinians and Iraq


      Additional via following URL:

      Impact of the Gaza war on Israel


      1. I sent a copy of Avnery’s article, with my comment attached to Richard, so I’m sure he has seen it. Re Finkelstein’s comments on Utube, I think he is right, notwithstanding Stiegoski’s book, which I have read, that the invasion of Iraq was not on Israel’s behalf. Actually, Israel (and the neocons) was pushing the US to attack Iran. They did not consider Iraq a threat, The book points that out. I don’t question Finkelstein’s courage.

        1. The U.S. would not have attacked Iraq on Israel’s behalf in any case. States do not expend billions and billions of dollars and put their militaries on the line for the sake of other countries, they do it when they must defend themselves, or in the case of empires, when they see benefit to themselves.

          If the United States attacks Iran, or aids and abets Israel in doing so you can be 100% certain that Israel is not the intended beneficiary of that action. Self-sacrifice for the benefit of others is not in the vocabulary of states, and it absolutely is not in the vocabulary of empires. On the contrary, empires are all about sacrificing everyone else for their own benefit.

      2. First, how dare anyone question Norman Finkelstein’s courage?! He didn’t back down even when it meant the loss of his career. How many of us could say the same?

        Second, that caller was full of processed bull food, and what Norman Finkelstein was absolutely correct in what he said. It is ludicrous to suggest that the U.S. would start a major conflict, and engage itself in an open-ended occupation, expending huge amounts of money, and American lives for the benefit of any foreign country, including Israel. Countries just don’t do that. The invasion of Iraq was about empire, and Obama’s continuation of an open-ended though downsized, lower-profile occupation are about empire, not helping Israel to get rid of the Palestinians or anything else, for god’s sake.

        Stop blaming Israel for everything the United States does, and wake up to the reality that the United States is capable of and willing to commit crimes and atrocities for its own sake and no one else’s.

        1. You’re right, Shirin. We can’t blame Israel for everything. But isn’t it curious that the US supports everything Israel does, and vice versa? I blame them for what is happening in Palestine and abetting what the US is doing in the Middle East and elsewhere (Georgia, for just one example). And, in turn, the US for abetting Israel’s ethnic cleansing and wars in Lebanon and Gaza. The fact is, they are in this together and each is responsible for the other’ aggressions. The Zionist lobby has made sure the US will hang with it. Even when it comes to Iran.

          1. the US supports everything Israel does, and vice versa

            That is not an accurate statement. Further, even if it were it would not support the spurious claim that everything the U.S. does in the Middle East is done at the behest and for the benefit of Israel.

        2. Shirin,

          I think the following blog entry by Phil Weiss really nails it when it comes to Finkelstein:

          Finkelstein, a Victim of the Israel Lobby, Denies That It Has Power


          You might also want to take a look at the following article (see the links in the comments section at the bottom as well) to get a reality check:

          The Lobby vs. America: Netanyahu’s lies-and-the-spineless-politicians


  11. The fact no one mention is that this is 21st century and not 20th Century was normal planes and tanks cannot do much against a well armed opposition as you can see in Alfganistan with such poorly armed and low numbers of Talibans.

    Look at Israel in Lebanon 2006 and even in recent Gaza Israeli attacks against the determined to die hamas all the time waiting for the cowards to fight them but instead prefer to kill children.

    These will you immediately if Israel is to attack Iran and If Iran is to fully support Hez, Syrians and Hamas with themselves attacking through Iraq .. Israel WILL be no more.

    Israel for one CANNOT STAND prolonged war .. she neither has the resource nor the manpower nor the guts to fight a protracted war.

    This similarly goes to US forces…. If Iran is to use Hezbollah tactics whom they taught .. US cannot fight even Iran. This is unlike in previous 20th Century wars where armies fight conventional wars..

    You finishe off the planes, you finish of the tanks then you finish of the soldiers who ran. This kind of scenerio will not happen any more. Nowadays as you have observed how Hezbollah and how Hamas fought you would know .

    They are not going to group in open for your F35s to bomb to smithereans. They disperse. How many bombs can the F16s or F35s carry and how many sorties if Iran is to go for a 10 year war?

    It would be the American lives that would be lost and lose good too.

    Try to catch a well concealed tanks team of say 4… well disperse…

    Use your tanks? or you willing to charge? Think again

    This is not 20th Century … this is 21st century where no nation can defeat another if it is determined to defend itselfl. Today wars do not need tanks and battleships… or planes to win wars. It is the determination of using asymmetric war that counts..

    Iran was ready to go and went through a 10 year war with Iraq (supported by so many nations including US) and won.

    Iran has prepared itself for decades … and God knows how many missiles they have in their inventory.

    …So try go to war by tiny little Israel and see if it can survive.

    Check it out… Israel ONLY went for quick wars.. they cant even defeat a force of 2,000 Hezbollah or even a few poorly armed Hamas let alone Iran.. Phew!!

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