Petri dish art by Klari Reis [The best part of the day is seeing which Reis piece will be featured here. See her site. She has 365 of these things!]
1. Do not cry. Do not grab your wallet. Do not write your neocon Congressman. These Syrian children are not necessarily dead.
The world gasps at yet another massacre from Syria, this one purported to be committed by Syrian forces, leaving hundreds dead, including women and children. And, of course, this sort of thing is just what the neocons want the world to see in order to justify attacking Syria and securing it for Israel. And of course, this sort of thing is just what the Syrian rebels also want the world to see, hoping the outrage will get them some air support.
But look at the gruesome pics run by the Daily Mail again. Every one of them could have been staged for all you or I know. I mean this photo of the kids was almost certainly staged. I say that b/c in my experience with transporting bodies to morgues, they rarely retain the red cheeks of the living. That my cheeks should be so rosy . . . and I’m white. Even their lips have good color. My best guess is that this is a staged photo and these kids got up and ran back to play in the park when it was over. When there are reasonable grounds for concluding that one of the gruesome photos is faked, there are, by necessary extension, reasonable grounds for concluding all of the gruesome photos are faked.
2. No offense intended, but there are really stupid Jews in this world, too
Normally we think of Jews as a demographic as having more brains than the average Homo sap, and there are plenty of good reasons for thinking that. But then again, ya’ gotta’ realize every demographic has its bell-shaped curve, meaning every demographic has its morons. The frightening thing is that an awful lot of the stupidest Jews are running and supporting Israel.
No evidence of this assertion could be more convincing than the total screw-up the world knows as “Bibi.” When Bibi Netanyahu got wind that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was planning to attend the summit of Non-Aligned Members in Terhan this week, Bibi, arrogant right down to the bone, got on the phone to Ban to demand that Ban cancel his trip. But, as reported today by Harretz blogger Barak Ravid, when Ban declined to bow to Bibi’s demands, Bibi went both ballistic and public. Bibi immediately put out a long press release describing his version of the private phone conversation and criticizing Ban for attending a meeting of an organization that comprises more than 1/3 of all the members of the UN. Bibi, and uber-Israel firsters like Uncle Abe Foxman, The World Jewish Congress, and the American Jewish Committee then tried to gang up on Ban and set off an avalanche of angry Emails.
Didn’t work. They just pissed Ban off. He’ll be arriving in Tehran on Wednesday, as I reported last Friday.
The scary part of this story is the abject stupidity of Bibi in trying to pull this stunt. This dolt controls hundreds of nuclear warheads. He is, presumably, making decisions about whether to preemptively strike Iran. Most of Congress have their heads so far up his ass he thinks of them as his week-old underwear. Obama follows him like a poodle. And so Bibi’s idea of diplomacy is to attack the head of the UN by using the MSM and social media b/c the head of the UN declined to follow Bibi’s orders? Scary.
3. Israel enters the world of MAD
Louis Rene Beres and John T. Chain are a team. The former is Princeton political scientist who writes extensively on nuclear war issues; the later is an ex-US Air Force General who as Commander-in-Chief of the Strategic Air Command was an integral part of the US “nuclear button.” In Jun.2011 they teamed up to write a Jewish blog article in which they conclude that it’s time for Israel to give up on its threats to bomb Iran and get its defenses and deterrence in order. Mutually Assured Destruction is the path of the future. Even if Iran does acquire a nuke, they reason, that is not the end of the world and it is not the end of Israel. The page has been turned and the new page is about nuclear deterrence. Paraphrasing Woody Allen’s famous quip, Israel is at the point where in one direction lies a nuclear-armed Iran and a never-ending policy of MAD, and in the other direction lies the opprobrium and isolation by the civilized world for sucker punching Iran, a certain retaliatory attack by Iran, the loss of many Israeli lives, and no guarantees of success. As noted above, a lot of us are less than confident that Israel’s leaders, having gotten the country in this predicament, have the brains to choose the best alternative.
Today, Beres and Chain have published in the Israeli press what is essentially the very same article they published in Jun.2011. Again, they are telling Israel that it is too late to be bombing Iran, the “window” is closed. Now is the time for deterrence-talk, aka MAD. But there is one striking piece of advice in today’s article that is not found in the Jun.2011 article: they tell Israel that it is time to stop jerking the world around with the policy of “nuclear ambiguity.” Everyone in the world with a working Internet connection knows that Israel is armed to the teeth with nuclear warheads. It is absolutely pathological for them to continue their “Who, me??” charade. According to Beres/Chain, deterrence works best if you flash your nukes at the enemy and you tell the enemy which cities are going to be vaporized if a retaliatory attack is ever launched. Along with this new advice Beres/Chain are still pushing their main point: the new status quo is here; learn to live with it.
These guys are not drum-thumpers. They seem, on the face of it, quite pragmatic. But it is quite alarming how twisted and incomplete their advice is given their stature and knowledge. For instance, they appear in some respects to be just another couple of talking heads drunk on Zionism. There is not a hint of political objectivity in what they say; just the old canards about innocent Israel and insane Iran. They keep referring to Iran as crazy or on the verge of becoming crazy if there is a regime change, while Israel comes across as the steadfast anchor of rationality in the insane seas of the Middle East. They apparently do not appreciate the fact that if the Middle East is insane, it is because, and only because, of Israel. The Middle East was civilized before Israel began destroying Palestine. Jews and Arabs in Palestine got along fine before the Cossack Jews and Eastern European Jews arrived, which, I believe, is the basis for Helen Thomas’ advice for them to go back from wherever they came from. It is not Iran that is insane, it is Israel.
Beres/Chain also conveniently ignore the historical point that Iran has not attacked another country in 500 years, while Israel in its 60 years has a deplorable record of unprovoked attacks on other countries and people on a regular basis, including the US. They refer to Israel’s threats of an unprovoked attack on Iran as “anticipatory self-defense,” which they conclude would be legal, although now too late. They don’t cite any international law for their legal conclusions. Under their thinking Pearl Harbor was “anticipatory self-defense,” too, but they don’t say that.
Beres/Chain seem to be working from the alarming assumption that Iran already has nukes, which they claim Iran has produced “illegally,” given that Iran is a member of the NPT. I don’t know where they get this idea that Iran has nukes. They cite no evidence. The assertion is dangerous and it is contrary to everything the US government has publicly said about Iran not currently having nukes and not currently producing them. So I don’t know where Beres/Chain are coming from here, but they have repeated this assertion more than once. Of course, like all good Zionists, having accused Iran of illegally acquiring nukes, they ignore the painfully obvious fact that Israel developed its own nukes under a cloak of deception and lies and has never taken the civilized step of signing the NPT. IOW, they ignore the indisputable fact that it is Israel, not Iran, that is the nuclear rogue state. And so it goes . . .
But what to me is most amazing about their articles is the way Beres/Chain completely fail to factor the US into the deterrence equation. Iran knows, and Iran has said it knows, that an attack on Israel would be suicide b/c of the retaliation that would come, not from Israel, but from the US. By insisting that Israel must have a fail-safe retaliatory option, and thus implying that Israel is on its own, seems rather bizarre coming from a former head of SAC. Israel’s primary retaliatory option is Obama’s promise — and the promise of every other US president since Truman — to retaliate against any country that would dare nuke Israel. One would think that a former SAC commander would be privy to that arrangement.
The other obvious and very relevant fact Beres/Chain completely ignore is the frightening geographical disadvantage Israel has. Israel is 265 miles stem to stern and 70 miles across. It is only about 8000 sq. miles, mostly flat. About like a postage stamp in size and elevation. But as a nuclear target, Israel sticks out like a two-day-old zit on Miley Cyrus’ nose. Surrounded on three sides by countries it has repeatedly attacked, and pressed up against water on the fourth, Israel is geographically isolated, militarily disadvantaged, and constantly exposed to reprisals for its decades of belligerence. No place in Israel, including Tel Aviv, is out of reach of any missile that has a range of more than 50 miles. Israel cannot possibly hide its 400 nukes; it would be like trying to hide billiard balls on a billiards table. It can’t hide its population, either. It is building bomb shelters and more bomb shelters, but the country is too small to hide a population of 8 million. With just 8000 sq. miles, you can run but you cannot hide. In a nuclear exchange with anybody, Israel is burnt toast.
I think it is good that Beres/Chain are softening the world to accept a nuclear armed Iran regardless of whether Iran is nuclear armed or ever will be. I think they are right to conclude that Israel must be prepared to maximize its nuclear deterrence position. But Beres/Chain miss the most important part of this new world order. Israel will no longer have the carte blanche freedom to bully its neighbors and attack them at will, or to continue its genocide of the Palestinians, or to bluster its way around the Middle East under threat of nuking its enemies, the way Golda Meir threatened to nuke Cairo in 1973. Most people believe that the US is the only country every to use its nukes. That is not true. One doesn’t have to explode a nuke to use it. If Iran becomes a nuclear power, the nuclear hegemony game is up for Israel. That is not a bad thing for the rest of the world.