The Passionate Attachment

America's unrequited love for Israel

Archive for October 2011

Territory of Lies: CNN’s sympathetic Jonathan Pollard biographer concerned about Iranian spies

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Pro-Israeli hawk urges U.S. to ‘induce some healthy fear’ in Iran

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Having recently urged the Obama Administration to “get tough” with Pakistan, Max Boot sees the supposedly credible “Iranian plot to use Mexican gangsters to kill the Saudi ambassador” as an opportunity to call for a tougher American approach to Iran too:

But the result of our hesitation has been that Iran continues to grow more dangerous. If it acts so recklessly while it is without nuclear weapons, imagine how it will behave if it becomes a nuclear-armed state. It is still not too late to head off such an eventuality, but it will require us to drop all illusions about the possibility of “moderate” mullahs coming to the fore or of a diplomatic breakthrough. The only thing the regime in Tehran understands is superior force, despite Khamenei’s show of bravado on Sunday. Unless we can induce some healthy fear in Tehran, expect more outrages and provocations in the future.

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm

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Why the Israel lobby wants the U.S. to protect the Syrian people

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In an October 19 Washington Institute for Near East Policy policy alert, Robert Satloff declares:

It is time for the Obama administration to take the lead in organizing international protection for the embattled Syrian people. Already, more Syrians have died at the hands of their despotic ruler than was the case in Libya when the United States endorsed the call for humanitarian intervention in that country. This fact — not the absence of Arab League endorsement or the inability to overcome Russian and Chinese vetoes at the Security Council — should govern the direction of U.S. policy.

But before anyone starts to think that Satloff will be calling for a no-fly zone over Gaza next, the executive director of the AIPAC-created think tank shows his hand:

And when this fact is combined with the strategic opportunity of contributing to the demise of Iran’s premier Arab ally, Washington should be working overtime to act in defense of the Syrian people.

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

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Pro-Israeli think-tanker calls for escalation of ‘war on terror’ against Iran over ‘sloppy’ terror op

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In his testimony to the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management joint hearing on “Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil,” Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former Middle East specialist in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, cited his authority on the subject to explain away the ludicrous Hollywood B-movie nature of the alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador:

I might make a slight digression and just say all intelligence services aren’t as good as you think they are. And the Iranians are no exception. They make a lot of mistakes. So it’s important to remember that as when you think about the Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force too is that these services largely reflect their domestic ethics.

Now, the way the IRGC works, the Pasdaran and the Revolutionary Guard Corps works inside of Iran is usually one of brute force and coercion. They are not a subtle organization. The ethos that you see inside the country is the same ethos that you see outside of the country. They do not have one body of very sophisticated folks who are the Persian version of James Bond working outside of the country, and then just the brutes — the thugs — inside. It’s the brutes and the thugs in both places.

So do not, for a moment, buy the argument from those who said it cannot be because this is too sloppy. This is the nature of the game. This is how it is done.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 31, 2011 at 10:16 am

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U.S. Defense Dept. paid Israel lobby’s think tank director $77,883 for one-day conference on Iran

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In his Truth in Testimony disclosure form submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee before giving testimony to its “Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil” hearing, Dr. Matthew Levitt reveals that he had received a

Contract from U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Army Directed Studies Office for $77,883 to conduct a day long conference on Iran in January, 2010.

Levitt is the director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism & Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank created by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, to “do AIPAC’s work but appear independent.”

Not only can Israel get the Pentagon to swallow its anti-Iranian propaganda — it gets them to pay through the nose for it too.

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 31, 2011 at 8:49 am

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‘Progressive’ advocate for notorious Israeli spy urges U.S. to use fake ‘Iran terror’ plot to strengthen sanctions

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In his testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence and Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management hearing on “Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil,” Lawrence J. Korb counselled against military action, recommending instead that

The Obama administration should use the Iranian plot to convince our allies to recommit themselves to enforcing the current sanctions on Iran. This plot provides evidence of continued hostile Iranian behavior, evidence that should be used to bolster the international coalition against Iran.

Moreover, the United States should strengthen its own sanctions regime and press for stronger international sanctions that can garner the support of our allies in this coalition. The sanctions on Iran draw legitimacy from the fact that they have been approved by the United Nations and even involve some of Iran’s former allies, such as Russia and China. Maintaining the support of this robust coalition should be one of the primary goals of the U.S. response.

Simultaneously, the United States should continue its efforts to engage with the Iranian government. As Adm. Michael Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted last month, “even in the darkest days of the Cold War, we had links to the Soviet Union. We are not talking to Iran, so we don’t understand each other.” Talking to Iran promotes stability in the U.S.-Iranian relationship and, to the greatest extent possible, denies the Iranian government the ability to use the specter of “evil America” as a means of unifying the Iranian people.

Concluding by saying that “Iranian aggression toward the United States cannot be tolerated,” the Center for American Progress senior fellow advised the Congressional hearing that “it is important that the U.S. response to the Iranian plot furthers our long-term goals: deterring Iranian aggression and protecting U.S. national security.”

Korb’s stated concerns for American national security, however, have to be weighed against the two decades the former assistant secretary of defense in Ronald Reagan’s administration has devoted to working for the release of Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy who “did more damage to the United States than any spy in history.” In a January 12 Foreign Policy op-ed, Korb revealed his role in Israel’s latest attempt to free Pollard:

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 31, 2011 at 8:01 am

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Congressional Hearing on “Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil” Dominated by Pro-Israeli Think Tanks

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On Wednesday, October 26, 2011 the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management held a joint hearing entitled “Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil.” Among the five witnesses, two were from “conservative” think tanks closely aligned with the Israel lobby, while a third represented a supposedly more “progressive” pro-Israeli position: Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht, Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Dr. Matthew Levitt, Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism & Intelligence, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Dr. Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow, Center For American Progress Action Fund.

The other two witnesses are also sympathetic to the Israeli line on the Middle East. General Jack Keane, United States Army (Retired), co-authored with Frederick W. Kagan the 2007 policy paper sponsored by the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute entitled “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq” which proposed the so-called “surge” beloved of America’s Israel partisans. Colonel Timothy J. Geraghty, United States Marine Corps (Retired), who commanded the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit in Beirut, Lebanon, during the suicide truck bombings on 23 October 1983, echoes all the standard Israeli propaganda against Tehran. While Geraghty doesn’t hesitate to blame Iranian-backed Hezbollah for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, the U.S. ambassador to Argentina at the time has said, “To my knowledge, there was never any real evidence [of Iranian responsibility]. They never came up with anything.”

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 30, 2011 at 8:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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