48 thoughts on “Bibi’s Declaration of War (on Iran) – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. So I guess Iran can ‘reserve itself the right’ to attack Israel whenever it feels like it.

    That’s ultimately the message the West is sending – war is legal, and a valid response to your problems.

    1. Obama has said nothing regarding Israel’s right to self defense that he wouldn’t say to Spain, Mozambique, Bermuda or Iran too.

      Nothing strange or peculiar in the fact that all nations have the sovereign right to protect themselves from “threats,” not hostile words, fantasies or preventative wars, which are illegal under international law & norms anyway.

      Netanyahu has no green light. Should he launch an unprovoked, unilateral attack against Iran he’s doing it alone.

      1. But here we’re not talking about a ‘right to defend’, we’re talking about a ‘right to attack’.

        1. Just what does threats “mean.” Its all in the interpretation of what “is” – “is.”

          Some like yourselves prefer to imagine that Obama’s given Netanyahu a green light to attack, which he never said.

          Bibi and fellow zealous Zionists aren’t at all happy with the deliberate, public ambiguity in the message.

    2. So, let’s see, when exactly was the last time that Iran attacked any of its neighbors? Nothing immediately comes to mind. However, Israel on the other hand, has pretty much attacked all of its neighbors at one time or another. Israel even attacked the United States, in a sense, when it deliberately killed 34 American sailors aboard the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967. Please, let’s not have any nonsense about Iran attacking Israel.

  2. “Bibi will likely leave town believing that if he jumped off a cliff, Obama wasn’t going with him”
    This is the genuinely tough part for Bibi,he will go home an embittered man believing that Israel is alone.He feels that if he does not proactively act in defense of Israel he will have personally failed, as Chamberlain did.
    The question remains how will Bibi proceed,will he make an inadequate attack upon Iran,without the approval of the Israeli public or defense establishment with it’s grim consequences.
    Possibly but I think not.
    It is unfortunate that President Obama is unable to provide the leadership needed at this time.
    Bibi really needs a big brother who can sternly explain to him not only the dangers inherent in his pessimistic outlook but also how best to protect Israel in this new era.When President Obama promised vigilance to make sure that Iran’s civilian nuclear agenda did not turn into a weapons program he was not credible.His inability to clearly define the red lines beyond which the Iranians may not pass shows that he simply has no red lines.
    It appears that the only effective solutions now to hinder Iran are sanctions and containment.
    Iran will become a nuclear power and the world should think how best to contain that threat.
    Israel should think how best to defend herself technologically and covertly and remember that in such times, true friends are few and far between.
    This is no reflection upon the United States which has,over the years done a lot for Israel.
    It is a simple statement of fact that Israel’s interests do not coincide with those of the United States.

    1. “Iran will become a nuclear power and the world should think how best to contain that threat.”

      No, that is not at all inevitable.

      The 2007 and 2010 NIE insist that Iran has *not* made the decision to restart its nuclear weapons program, and Dempsey, Panetta and Petraeus have all said that they agree with those intelligence estimates.

      So if the Iranians *haven’t* made that decision then there is still an opportunity to strike a deal with them to prevent such a decision being made.

      But that requires DIPLOMACY, not threats and not sanctions.

      It won’t take much more than this:
      USA: What assurances do you need from me before you agree to sign the Additional Protocols?
      Iran: We want *this*, and *that*, and *those*
      USA: Done. You sign here, please, and I’ll sign there.

      That’s all it would take, but Obama is prevented from going there by an AIPAC-controlled Congress.

    2. Obama just did a ‘TR’, “talk softly, but carry a big stick.” The glum pervading the Obama/Netanyahu news conference was due to the ‘riot acts’ the Prez shoved down the PM’s throat. he will not march to Bibi’s war drums against Iran.

  3. Israel ‘wounded’ Iraq after attacking her nuclear plant at Osirak and nothing happened.

    Israel ‘wounded’ Syria after attacking her nuclear plant and nothing happened.

    Why is Iran a different animal?

    1. Did you forget about the accelerated WMD program Saddam began after Osirak precisely in order to ensure he wouldn’t be caught flat footed again? As for the Syrian reactor bombing, I’ve heard that Syria may be exploring resumption of that program. So what good did it do?

      Iran has 1.2 million men under arms with 400 powerful missiles capable of hitting any target in Israel. How many has Syria? Do you really think you’re dealing with the same animal here?

      1. “[Iran has] 400 powerful missiles”

        Iran probably has more than 400 missiles.

        “So what good did it do? ”
        Syria has not resumed its nuclear program and they will think twice before doing so.

        1. It has many more than 400 missiles. But it has 400 that can specifically reach Israel from Iran.

          Syria has indeed attempted to resume this program according to stories I’ve read. When a country wants something bombing it doesn’t uproot the will to do it. Only Israeli believe that.

          1. “When a country wants something bombing it doesn’t uproot the will to do it.”

            A stick/carrot can definitely affect the decision making of a country with regards to pursing a nuclear military program. In the case of Iraq and Syria the sticks were effective while North-Korea and Libya responded to the carrots.

          2. I guess during the past year Ghaddafi had some reasons to re-think his earlier decision to abandon the nuclear program…
            Not that I sympathize with the man.

    2. “…Israel ‘wounded’ Iraq after attacking her nuclear plant at Osirak and nothing happened…”

      Wrong, big time.

      After attacking Osirak the Iraqis pushed full steam ahead with a nuclear arms program. This effort was unknown and only destroyed after the massive international effort during and after Gulf War I in the early 1990’s.

      “…Israel ‘wounded’ Syria after attacking her nuclear plant and nothing happened…”

      The IAEA’s claims of low level nuclear material found at the site in the soil, were made long after the the bombing incident and a more pliable DG at the agencies helm than ElBaradei.

      Its been argued the nuclear materials found in the sites soil samples could just as likely be due to the Israeli weaponry used to destroy the targets.

      “Operation Orchard” is the lamest and most arguable excuse for justifying an attack against Iran. The truth may never be known.

      “…Why is Iran a different animal..?”

      You’ve got to be kidding? If you don’t know by now than its not worth the time explaining it to you.

      1. Yes. Iraq’s nuclear weapons program (built with oil profits) was eventually and completed destroyed and not restarted a second time.

  4. Israel should do what it does best: destroy few more villages, liberate TV frequencies from PA occupation, remove the nightmare of Arabic version of Sesame Street being broadcast next to the main airport of Israel etc.

    It is hard to focus on many things at once, and Iran is clearly an unnecessary distraction. Negev alone has 30 villages slated for destruction.

    More seriously, bilateral agreements between USA and Israel require American permission to use purchased weapons for other goals than defense. Israel may violate the agreement with impunity, perhaps, but then it will make a precedent for Turkey, not to mention blowback against USA. If UN charter is worth only because of its nice paper, then China can take Taiwan and Russia can take Georgia.

    This is not fully hypothetical. Russia promised to use Kosovo precedent, and so she did (Ossetia and Abhasia).

  5. Here’s a nice little conspiracy theory. I think that it passes the “smell test” but I admit that nothing here can be proved, but it’s still worth mentioning.

    The U.S. was left in a bit of a problem after Iraq. Most of us knew all along that there weren’t any WMDs there so it is safe to assume that the main reasons for toppling Saddam were to guarantee stability, jobs for Americans (rebuilding Iraq), billion dollar contracts for US companies and cheap oil back home.

    Problem was, when they came in, Americans thought that Iraq was a Sunnite country and would remain so, it took them some time to realize that democratic elections mean a Shiite majority. This would also mean that some time after the US troops leave, Iran and Iraq could unite into a huge Shiite country that would be hostile to the US and to US interests, and would control huge amounts of oil reserves.

    So the US is now faced with a triple threat of its own doing – American soldiers will have “died in vain” in Iraq, the war will be seen as a huge fiasco, and oil prices will be in the mercy of Iranian government. I think that this is a horror scenario for the US administration. If it does anything directly to counteract this scenario it could actually speed it up, so Israel is used and encouraged to intimidate Iran and force changes in its regime that could theoretically change the foreseen outcome. Worse case scenario in which Israel does attack Iran just means that less blame is placed on the US government for instigating the war, less US troops killed, same oil revenues and twice as many rebuilding contracts. Win-win situation for cynics and neo-cons.

    Problem is, if the people in power were clever enough to think all of this up, they wouldn’t have landed in this mess to begin with, would they? So maybe it is just stupidity after all. Maybe it’s just trying to find some logic in having the tail (Israel) wag the Dog (U.S.) yet again.

    1. Interesting theory . . . come to think of it, anybody seen Muqtada lately?

      He returned to Najaf in early 2011, and I believe his boys have control of the Iraqi parliament, and, by extension, Iraqi military. But that whole Sadr movement has sure been quiet.

      Has the US left behind any fighter jets? I mean, who now controls Iraqi airspace? Certainly not the IQAF. Wiki talks about them flying hellcat-armed Cessnas, if you can imagine such a thing. Sort of like entering a VW in a NASCAR race.

      The control of Iraqi airspace is a vital question in assessing Israel’s options vs. Iran. For years we’ve been told Israel was waiting until US turned control over to Iraq so Israel can have its way w/ Iraqi airspace. I can’t believe Sadr’s boys are flying US jets to protect Iraqi airspace. If Israel fly’s 100 F-16’s over Baghdad, who’s to stop them? The Cessnas?

      1. “Sort of like entering a VW in a NASCAR race.”

        Hey, check your history books: Herbie won that race, dude.

        But on a more serious note…
        “The control of Iraqi airspace is a vital question in assessing Israel’s options vs. Iran.”

        Nobody controls Iraqi airspace, though the SOFA between Iraq and the USA allows the Iraqis to request American help to defend its airspace, and the USA is obliged to consider that request.

        Before saying “err, no thanks”, of course…..

        But here’s something else worth thinking about: if the Israelis violate Iraqi airspace with impunity then that will drive the Iraqis into the arms of Iran, and that means a land conduit opens all the way from Iran -> Iraq -> Syria -> Israel.

        At which point it won’t *just* be the long-range missiles that Israel will have to worry about; it’ll be all the medium-range stuff that suddenly starts turning up in Syria.

      2. As far as I understand it, Nuri & Muqtada are busy to clean Iraq from American & Saudi agents like Tariq al-Hashimi & bring the northern part of Iraq back under control of Bagdad.

        But I wouldn’t find it far fetched to assume that Muqtada’s people also go for a bit training with the Mersad Air Defense System:


        I’m not overly optimistic that the Iraqi air defense will manage to shoot down some zionist fighter jets, but I think they have a good chance to shoot down some Israeli tankers.

        And yes, I agree, the attack route would probably be Israel-Jordan-Iraq-Iran. The Saudi route is prohibitive because Iran may retaliate against Saudi oil installations. I would assume that the Israeli jets have a good chance to reach Iran and drop some bombs or missiles there – but than problems start.

        How to come back home and what to do with the echo?

  6. The only attack by the Israelis which would make sense from an military point of view would be a substantial nuclear strike on Iranian sites. An attack with conventional weapons would be totally useless and would result in catastrophic failure.

    Only a nuclear attack would have the power to destruct or at least disturb the Iranian facilities and will be a strong enough deterrence to prevent or limit an Iranian counterattack on Israel.

    My guess is we will see Israeli atomic bomb explosions over Iranian nuclear sites in the near future on CNN.

    1. Tactical nukes actually make pretty bad bunker busters.

      There is a good reason why most nukes are designed to air-burst, but smack it against a mountain and it doesn’t actually do much; the blast goes upwards and outwards, not downwards.

      Bunker-busters have to penetrate BEFORE they go boom, and that’s problamatic for nukes, which are rather too delicate to be smacked against anything.

      OK, hydrogen bombs might do the job, but I don’t think israel has h-bombs.

    2. The US got away with nuking Japan simply because we were the only nuclear power in the world in 1945.

      Today, in this proliferated world of actual and unclaimed nuclear powers, should some brainless leader of an equally skull f****d country criminally use a nuke today, the next will likely find every nuclear arsenal in the world aimed at them. The subject of a global crusade waged with the fervor and fanaticism of a holy mission with a universal sanction to “terminate with extreme prejudice.”

      If Israelis are hell bent on being the author of their penultimate “holocaust,” than no better or more certain means can accomplish the “final solution” Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans and Nazis failed at achieving.

  7. Every time I come across Netanyahu declarations, I remember how Sarkozy described him. I cannot take the man seriously. Sorry.

  8. All the nails in the AIPAC coffin. Among them:

    1. On his last visit Bibi lectured the world from the Oval Office about how far Obama had to bend over backwards for him, to be followed by Obama’s famous “WHAT THE F WAS THAT??!!” response to his staff. This time ZERO lectures.
    2. No big Congressional demand for US action, while last visit there WAS.
    3. Obama dug in hard and fast on the ‘NO WAR NOW’ line, 100% OPPOSITE to what the so-called tough AIPAC guys were calling for.

    Don’t you posters dare tell me AIPAC remains as big and strong as it used to be. AIPAC has failed TOTALLY at getting its demand that the US take military action to block Iran from getting the bomb. Check the polls, too…they are screaming…

    AIPAC is very good at blowing green smoke like the Wizard of Oz. And terrifying the left with it. But even little Dorothy eventually found out the truth…just a little man…talking into an amplifier…

    1. AP just reported that “The EU said Tuesday that world powers have agreed to a new round of talks with Iran over its nuclear program, and Iran gave permission for inspectors to visit a site suspected of secret atomic work.”

      100% opposite of all the chatter from AIPAC.

      Answer me: Uh, why was this news item released now? Just in time to make AIPAC look even more like the boy who cried wolf? Is it because AIPAC is big and strong…

      …or…is it because somebody else is TIRED of all this war-with-Iran chatter and is throwing cold water on it big time?

      …and you think AIPAC is as strong as it used to be? No. Way.

  9. i hope the optimists are correct. i heard d.sanger of the NYT being interviewed this morning on ‘on point’, a local NPR talk show, and he even seemed more than a bit subdued in his hypothesizing. this is the same nitwit who published a rose-colored glasses ‘war exercise’, complete with a ‘map’ and big arrows indicating military movements, which concluded that not much of consequence would happen in reaction to a unilateral israeli air strike on iran. that, and he left out the important bits of how such a strike could be accomplished without US assistance. (in his scenario, the US is dragged into the fiasco after the fact). what a dope. why anyone would rely on the NYT for analysis of politics in the ME is beyond me.

  10. RS – I must respectfully disagree with your thesis that N will go to war unilaterally.

    Again and again we have been told that the primary concern of the Israeli electorate is that it has the full support of the US in any action that it takes – here not only is that unconditional support not present, but Pres. Obama has warned against any pre-emptive action. N will certainly understand that the Israeli electorate is aware of the absence of total US support and will do nothing to imperil his re-election prospects.

  11. Personally I think that Bibi will take military action before Israels election. Military action against whom, i do not know. But I’ve noticed in the last couple of elections that having strong security credentials is needed to win a election. Omert attacked Hizbullah to boost his. Livini attacked Hamas to boost hers. Will Bibi attack Iran to boost his?
    Instead of voting in a peacemaker ,Israels Spatan electorate preferr a leader with a war record. When are they going to realize that security comes through peace and not the other way around.

    1. 2 chronological mistakes:

      when Olmert attacked Hezbullah, it was a few months after the ellections, so it wasnt to boost his anything. in fact, he did whatever he can in order to keep that mini-war as a small operation – and that’s one of the reasons it failed.

      Livni was never PM.
      the attack on Hamas, op. Cast Lead was also during Olmert’s term.

      and you can add operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996 by Shimon Peres to that list.

      1. Livni was Kadima’s candidate for PM during Cast Lead, and thus had a clear interest in manifesting Israel’s military strength in that war, for the needs of internal propaganda. To some extent, it even helped her: in the February 2009 elections, Kadima got more votes than Likkud.
        As for the 2006 Lebanon war, Olmert did try to use it as a PR opportunity. Otherwise, there was no reason to escalate that border conflict into a full-scale war. Israel didn’t start a war in similar circumstances in November 2000, and the only substantial difference btw. 2000 and 2006 was Olmert’s need to position himself as a strong guy.
        BTW, he did the same vs. the settlers in Samaria a few months earlier (the Amona incident). And in that instance as well, his actions had no other purpose beside propaganda. During Olmert’s term as PM, the settlement remained where it was & nobody was going to evacuate it.

        1. “clear interest in manifesting Israel’s military strength in that war, for the needs of internal propaganda.”

          Wars in Israel tend to have disastrous political outcomes.
          Israel went to war because it has had enough of 8 years of rocket fire into its towns.

          “here was no reason to escalate that border conflict into a full-scale war”
          The Lebanon war brought an unprecedented calm to the north. Nasrallah admitted that had he known the extent of the Israeli response, he would not have kidnapped/killed the soldiers.

          “BTW, he did the same vs. the settlers in Samaria a few months earlier (the Amona incident). And in that instance as well”
          Basically, you are saying that everything Israel does is for “propaganda” purposes, even if that includes taking out terrorists that detonate themselves in nightclubs and buses. Unconvincing.

          1. Where did I mention detonating terrorists? You lose one point.
            Yes, much of what Israel does is propaganda. How to tell when it is? When you see that a certain act of Israel (i.e., of Israel’s government) is carried out on a larger scale that would serve the purely practical purpose, there are good chances it’s propaganda. Another option is sort of self-justification of the military-security apparatus (hey, you really need to cherish us, ’cause otherwise we won’t be able to do these great things).
            As for “wars in Israel,” prior to 2006 Israel had not fought a real war since 1982. That’s a lot of time, and it would be only natural for the Israeli government to lose sight of that point. On the other hand, they didn’t lose sight of it completely. The reason the Israeli government had initially tried to keep that 2006 thing an Air Force operation, without a ground offensive, was the desire to avoid military casualties and the negative public opinion in the wake of that. Not that it worked — wars cannot be fought entirely from air, and the “unprecedented calm” after August 2006 came at the price of Israeli casualties that Hizbullah would otherwise take decades to kill. And of course, the number of Lebanese casualties — many of whom had no relation to Hizbullah — was like 10 times higher. Sort of calm, isn’t it?

          2. Tons of Zionist nonsense.

            The Jewish warriors of 1948 who founded the state of Israel against all odds must be spinning in their graves. Their children aren’t worthy of the inheritance.

            Lebanon II and Cast Lead were stunning IDF failures. All other excuses or hasbura is to mask or minimize the embarrassing combat performance of Israels best and bravest.

            And the only reason there is an “unprecedented calm to the north,” is because Israel if terrified of an enemy who has learned how to fight and hit back.

          3. “Lebanon II and Cast Lead were stunning IDF failures.”

            Lebanon II is considered a failure from a military POV, but successful in providing security for North of Israel.
            Cast Lead is considered a military success and was partially successful in providing security for the south of Israel.

            “And the only reason there is an “unprecedented calm to the north,” is because Israel if terrified of an enemy who has learned how to fight and hit back.”

            Whatever the reason may be – the north is quiet, and I am grateful for that.

  12. “This is no longer political theater. This is straight from the kishke stuff. You don’t talk this way as a Jew unless you mean to act.”

    I think this is precisely theater, POLITICAL THEATER. It is not important if he feels what he suggests he feels. HE WANTS HIS LISTENERS to jerk-their-knees. And of course they do.

    Congress is the principal audience and it will pass his resolutions.
    The AIPAC $$$ men are the other audience, and its a long way til November, Mr. Obama.

    Will we have war as a result? Well, OBAMA is still CinC/USA.
    I think not. But WATCH THE MONEY.

  13. Richard, you have articulated every anxiety I have experienced over the last 24 hours. It’s really hard to know what Bibi’s plan is.

    “Alternately, if Obama has told him he can attack Iran but won’t get any help from the U.S., Obama’s goal may be to give Bibi enough rope to hang himself.”

    This is almost too much to hope for, but the idea has certainly crossed my mind too.

    What I hardly dare factor into the complicated equation is the fact that Bibi wants the defeat of Obama as much as the GOP does — and Bibi has far more influence in American politics than any or all of the four GOP candidates. Indeed, he is far more admired than any of them.

    1. And furthermore, if I were a lunatic-Left version of Fox News, I would be announcing that Bibi criticises the US for not giving Hitler a huge assist by bombing the Auschwitz camp full of Jews.

  14. RE: “Any reasonable political leader reading Bibi’s speech has to understand that the Israeli leader has driven himself and his country into a deeply delusional place.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: That is why I (not claiming to be reasonable) sometimes (only half-jokingly) refer to “The Dissociative State of Israel”!
    Dissociation (psychology) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissociation_(psychology)

    SEE: Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths, By Ira Chernus, CommonDreams.org, 11/11/11

    (excerpt). . . An essential motive of Zionism from its beginning was a fierce desire to end the centuries of Jewish weakness, to show the world that Jews would no longer be pushed around, that they’d fight back and prove themselves tougher than their enemies. There was more to Zionism than that. But the “pride through strength” piece came to dominate the whole project. Hence the massive Israeli military machine with its nuclear arsenal.
    But you can’t prove that you’re stronger than your enemies unless you’ve also got enemies — or at least believe you’ve got enemies — to fight against. So there has to be a myth of Israel’s insecurity, fueled by an image of vicious anti-semites lurking somewhere out there, for Zionism to work. Since the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran has gradually risen to the top of Israel oh-so-necessary enemies list. Iranophobia is rampant in Israel, as one Israeli scholar writes, because “Israel needs an existential threat.”
    Anyone who has grown up in Israel, or in the U.S. Jewish community (as I did), and paid attention knows all this…

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/11/11-2
    ALSO SEE – Iranophobia: The Panic of the Hegemons, by Ira Chernus, Tikkun Magazine, November/December 2010

    P.S. INTRODUCING MY NEW AVATAR, “NuttyYahoo” by ‘DonkeyHotey’ (JPEG) – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3322612500777

  15. RE: “Bibi pointedly said that Israel reserved the right to attack Iran.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the “Old Confederacy”, but when I heard Netanyahu say he “reserved the right…”, this is what immediately came to mind. – http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y159/devisi0n/sign.jpg

    P.S. On Seinfeld episodes with the “Soup-Nazi”, you can see a sign in the restaurant saying “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

  16. Extra thought on: “This is no longer political theater. This is straight from the kishke stuff. You don’t talk this way as a Jew unless you mean to act.”

    Sometimes you listen to Prince of Denmark and you cannot imagine a more authentic person, but nevertheless you know that you paid the ticket for a play.

    Perhaps you can find Tony Blair on youtube playing Prime Minister. I cannot imagine someone looking and sounding more sincere, at least with a tenor voice. For baritone performance, I recommend “Colin Powell at United Nations”. THAT was straight from kishkes! As we know, Colin complained that he was given a totally unbelievable script.

    I also recall the contrast between Powell and Condi Rice. Condi had this habit of twitching her head ever so slightly as if she thought “can anyone believe what I say?”. Perhaps Netanyahu is closer to Powell than to Rice in the stage craft.

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