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When is a terrorist not a terrorist?

War with Iran or not?  By Alan Hart
The longer and complete form of the first question in the headline is – When is a terrorist not a terrorist in the eyes of the Obama administration (not to mention all of its predecessors) and the governments of the Western world?
Answer: When he or she is an Israeli Mossad agent or asset. In the case of the assassination of Iranian scientists, the Mossad’s assets are almost certainly members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) also known as The Peoples’ Mujahedin of Iran, which is committed to overthrowing the regime of the ruling mullahs. Many of its activists are based in Iraqi Kurdistan where Mossad has a substantial presence. It does the training there, selects the targets in Iran and provides the bombs and other weapons, and MKO members do the actual killing.
It’s reasonable to presume that Mossad is more comfortable operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan with Iranian MKO assets than it was when its own agents were posing as CIA officers to recruit members of Jundallah, a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization, to carry out assassinations and attacks on installations and facilities in Iran.
Some of the essence of that Israeli false flag operation has been revealed by Mark Perry in an article for Foreign Policy. His report is based on information he acquired about memos buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services which were written in the last years of President George “Dubya” Bush’s administration, plus conversations he had with two currently serving U.S. intelligence officials and four retired intelligence officers who worked for the CIA or monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government.
According to Perry’s sources, one of whom has seen the memos, the Mossad agents who were posing as CIA agents to recruit Jundallah operatives had American passports and were “flush” with American dollars.
The memos tell the story of an investigation which debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of covertly supporting Jundallah. The investigation apparently showed that the U.S. “had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah.”
The memos also gave details of CIA field reports on Mossad’s recruitment of Jundallah operatives, mainly in London and “under the nose of U.S. intelligence officials.”
Perry’s sources confessed to being “stunned by the brazenness of Mossad’s efforts.” And one of them said: “It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with. Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn about what we thought.”
I take issue with the first part of that statement. What is really amazing is not what Mossad and almost of Israel’s political and military leaders think they can get away with, but what they KNOW they can get away with because of the Zionist lobby’s control of Congress on all matters relating to policy for the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel.
And that in turn is why, generally speaking, Israel’s leaders don’t give a damn about what American administrations think, They come and go but the Zionist lobby’s control of Congress is a permanent fixture. (In private conversation with General Moshe Dayan when he was Israel’s defence minister, I once summed up Israel’s unspeakable but implicit message to the governments of the world in the following way. “We know we shouldn’t have done this but we’ve done it because we also know there’s nothing you can do about it.” Dayan didn’t comment but the look on his face said something like, “You’re right but I’m not going to say so.”)
Though Israel doesn’t usually comment on reports about Mossad’s activities, a senior government spokesman described Perry’s account of Mossad agents posing as CIA agents as “absolute nonsense.” As I was reading the denial I used a Jimmy Carter expression – “BS” (Bull Shit).
After the latest assassination of an Iranian scientist, Rick Santorum, the right-wing religious joker in the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls, said this: “On occasions scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead. I think that’s a wonderful thing.”
A different view was offered by Jewish American journalist Richard Silverstein. For his weblog Tikun Olam he wrote this: “These are shameful acts by a shameful Israeli government exploiting Iranian terrorists for their own ends.  I find it disgusting that Israel can get away with such acts with impunity.”
Disgusting it certainly is but there’s no mystery about why Israel can commit crimes including acts of naked state terrorism without fear of being called and held to account for them by the UN Security Council. When after the 1967 war it refused to label the Zionist state as the aggressor and require it to withdraw from the newly occupied Arab lands without conditions, it effectively created, at the insistence of the U.S., two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations – one set for all the nations of the world minus Israel and the other exclusively for Israel. That was the birth of the double standard which is the cancer at the heart of Western foreign policy.
Now let’s pause for a moment to imagine what the response would have been if Iranian agents or assets had assassinated an Israeli scientist (just one) in the Zionist state.
Led by America, Western governments would have bellowed their condemnation of the terrorism and pledged full support for all efforts to hunt the terrorists down and bring them to justice. And they would, of course, have blamed the government of Iran even if there was not one shred of evidence of its authorization. The assassination of an Israeli scientist might even have tipped the Washington decision-making balance in favour of the mad men who want the U.S. either to attack Iran or give Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu the green light to go, with or without nuclear tipped, bunker-busting bombs.
And Israel? How would it have responded? With or without a green light from President Obama it almost certainly would have bombed selected targets in Iran, even if doing so was likely to set the region on fire and do vast damage to Western interests in the region and the whole Muslim world. (As I note in my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, in the chapter headed The Liberty Affair – “Pure Murder” on a “Great Day”, the lesson of the cold-blooded Israeli attack on the American spy ship was that there is nothing the Zionist state might not do, to its friends as well as its enemies, in order to get its own way).
Now… At the risk of inviting a charge from some and perhaps many readers that I am naive in the extreme, I have to say I am inclined to the view that the Obama administration was telling the truth when it strongly denied any American complicity in the latest Israeli/MKO assassination. The New York Times put it this way:
“The assassination drew an unusually strong condemnation from the White House and the State Department, which disavowed any American complicity… ‘The United States had absolutely nothing to do with this,’ said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security Council. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to expand the denial beyond Wednesday’s killing, categorically denying any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran.”
The NYT report then quoted Mrs. Clinton as saying this:
“We believe that there has to be an understanding between Iran, its neighbours and the international community that finds a way forward for it to end its provocative behaviour, end its search for nuclear weapons and rejoin the international community,”
That in my opinion is code for something very like: “This administration is not completely mad. We know that an attack on Iran could have catastrophic consequences for the region and the world. Despite the mounting and awesome pressure we are under from Netanyahu and those who peddle his propaganda here in America, we know that the nuclear problem with Iran must be solved by jaw-jaw and not war-war.”
How catastrophic the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran could be for the region and the world has been put into words by Philip Giraldi, currently the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer. The scenario he presents under the headline What War With Iran Might Look Like takes us all the way to World War III. His article can be found at
So I believe NYT reporter Scott Shane was on the right track when he wrote that the statements by U.S. officials appeared to reflect serious concern about the (Israeli/MKO) assassinations of Iranian scientists because they could “backfire” and make Iran’s leaders less willing to talk. And, I add, more willing to give in to those forces in Iran, the Revolutionary Guards in particular, who might well be saying that Iran must possess nuclear weapons for deterrence.
My guess is that U.S. officials are also concerned by the possibility that more assassinations could provoke an Iranian response which would give Israel the pretext to attack. (It’s by no means impossible that the main purpose of the assassinations is to provoke an Iranian response to give Israel the pretext for an attack).
That brings me to my own speculation about what is really going on behind closed doors in the Obama administration. At executive level it is, I think, in a state of something close to total panic about what to do to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran if Netanyahu is not bluffing.
My reading of Obama’s latest turn of the sanctions screw on Iran is that it’s his way of not only putting more pressure on the ruling mullahs. It’s also his way of saying to Netanyahu something like, “Give me more time to solve the Iranian nuclear problem by all means other than war.”
Obama needs more time not only to try to get serious and substantive talks with Iran going but also to establish beyond any doubt whether Israeli threats to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities are a bluff (to put pressure on the U.S.) or not. In an article for Ha’aretz under the headline Israel and U.S. at odds over timetables and red lines for Iran, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel wrote:
“Do Barak and Netanyahu really intend to attack on their own, or is Israel only trying to prod the West into more decisive action? That is the million-dollar question. It has been discussed intermittently for the past three years and it seems that Washington does not have a satisfactory answer to it.”
In a few days time General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to arrive in Israel for talks with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chief of Staff Lt. General Benny Gantz and other senior Israeli defense and intelligence officials.
Dempsey knows that when U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta met with Netanyahu and Barak last November, they refused to give him a commitment that Israel would not attack Iran without informing America of its intention to do so.
If I am right about the panic in the Obama administration, my guess is that Dempsey will try to obtain the commitment Panetta failed to get. What if Dempsey does not succeed?
My guess is that whatever he may say in public after his meetings, Dempsey will tell the Israelis in private that if they go to war with Iran they will be on their own. The U.S., I can almost hear him saying, will not become engaged except to defend its own national interests if and as necessary “because the American people, most of them, are tired of war.” He could add “and we don’t have the money to pay for it.”
An interesting question for the coming days is something like this: What if Dempsey returns to Washington without being able to give behind-closed-doors assurance that Israel (despite what it might continue to say to the contrary in public for propaganda purposes) will not go it alone with an attack Iran?
In theory there is a card President Obama could play. He could put Israel on public notice that if it attacked Iran and if as a consequence America’s own bests interests were harmed, the U.S. would have to rethink its relationship with the “Jewish state”. A statement to that effect would imply that the days of America’s unconditional support for Israel right or wrong could be coming to an end.
But that’s not a statement Obama could make this side of November’s presidential election. So if Netanyahu is not bluffing, and if he was determined to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities before November’s election, there’s nothing Obama could do to stop him, even knowing that the end game could be, as Giraldi speculated, World War III.
My own view has always been that Netanyahu is bluffing to the extent that he even he is not crazy enough to order an Israeli attack on Iran without a green light from the U.S. and American cover and participation,
I hope I am right. If I am it could be that General Dempsey will return to Washington with the news Obama wants and needs – that without a green light from the U.S, Israel will not bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The Divergent Faces of Israel

An Analyses: By Lawrence Davidson

Part I – Zionist Reality

Last month Amira Hass, one of Israel’s best, bravest and most disliked journalists wrote a short piece in Haaretz entitled "When ‘fascist’ is not a rude word." Here she tells us that "in fascist regimes the state is above all" and then notes that the sort of fascist style bills pouring out of Israel’s Knesset would "make Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter [the leaders of the far right party of France] look like amateurs."

Could this be so? Could that singular country which, for 64 years made every effort to show but one face to the American public, the face of a Dr. Jekyl, be hiding the hideous features of a Mr. Hyde? Could it be that the "only democracy in the Middle East," the friend and ally that allegedly reflects American values, the mighty dam protecting the West from the flood of Islamic radicalism, the supposed champion of gender equality in the patriarchal East, and the reliable, if indirect, source of financial support for 99% of the U.S. Congress, is morphing into a fascist state?

 Deeply indoctrinated Americans are going to need more than Amira Hass’s word on this. They are going to need supporting evidence and so here are some other "experts" they might consult.

Your average pro-Israel Americans might look up Danny Danon, who is a good looking, clean shaven sort of fellow as well as a Likud Party member of the Israeli Knesset. Danon has been working very hard to pass laws that would root out all those who might not be loyal to his Jewish state. It seems that, in his efforts to be "just like us," he is following in the footsteps of Senator Joseph McCarthy. One can hear the echo when Danon proclaims, "there are many people who act against the State that protects them. Anyone who is not faithful to the State should not be a citizen." He mainly has in mind that quarter of the population who are not Jewish, but he would also throw into this category those Israeli Jews audacious enough to stand up for political equality for all citizens. In other words, Danon’s aim is to manufacture statelessness. And as both 20th century European history and Israel’s 45 years in the Occupied Territories attests, statelessness is a one-way road to physical and cultural destruction.

When our figurative American supporters of Israel are done talking to Danny Danon, they might move on to consult Benni Katzover. Katzover is a major figure in the Israeli "settler movement" and a supporter of the terrorist activities of the Zionist "price tag" campaign, a bunch of "patriots" who attack Palestinians and Israeli peace groups whenever the government frustrates their helter skelter expansionist activities on the West Bank. Katzover may well have the same ends as Danon, but he is much more out front about them. "I would say that today, Israeli democracy has one central mission, and that is to disappear. Israeli democracy has finished its historical role, and it must be dismantled and bow before Judaism." All those leftists who find this proposal frightening are just "against anything that smells of holiness, and…act against the foundations of Jewish faith." One wonders what American Zionists who see Sharia law undermining the foundations of democracy make of Benni Katzover?

While estimates vary, it is not unreasonable to assume that Danny Danon and Benni Katzover together command the support of at least 25% of the Israeli Jewish population. Otherwise the Israeli Knesset would not look and act as it does and the settler movement would not be so openly aggressive. And this category of Israelis are nothing if not aggressive. According to a recent survey the Danon-Katzover types are mostly young and express their opinions in an "open and unabashed" racist way. They express open hatred for Arabs and a wish that those under Israeli control would die.

Part II – Jewish Humanitarians

Of course, there are other Israelis who represent the opposite point of view. Thus, our figurative American supporters of Israel might also want to interview some of them.

First they should look up Uri Avnery. Avnery is a founding member of Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc. Avinery has solid Israeli credentials: he was a heroic fighter in the 1948 war, a well known journalist and was a distinguished past member of the Knesset. However, he has also always asserted that Israel evolved along the wrong path. It should not be a "nationalistic, theocratic ‘Jewish State’" but rather a "modern, liberal state belonging to all its citizens irrespective of national or religious roots." This position earned him a lot of enemies including Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and his successor Golda Meir. Both considered Avnery a "public enemy." Subsequently there was an assassination attempt and the office of his newspaper, Haolam Hazeh, was bombed. Avnery is a shining light of humanism in Israel’s dark corner, but he is not the only one.

After talking to Avnery our figurative inquirers should move on to Rabbi Arek Ascherman, the Director of Special Projects for Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel. Ascherman’s position is that the only legitimate way you can have Israel be a Jewish place is by having its institutions uphold Jewish values. For Ascherman that means getting in the way, as best one can, of the "ugly side" of Israeli behavior and policies such as standing against the house demolitions, land confiscations, settler encroachments, arbitrary arrests, beatings, and killings of Palestinians, etc. For his efforts Ascherman and his organization have suffered the same sort of attacks as has Avnery. Asherman’s car has been stoned (by Israelis), he has been arrested and beaten up. His fate reminds one of the treatment received by civil rights workers in the 1960s U.S. This seems to be another way that Israel is "just like us."

Avnery and Ascherman are but drops in a very shallow bucket. They and the other Israeli Jewish men and women who fight for human decency in the a country falsely rumored to be "a light unto the nations" probably command the support of, at most, 15% of the Israeli Jewish population.

Part III – The Indifferent

And what of the rest of Israel’s Jews? Well the survey mentioned above found that the other 60% are indifferent to the Palestinians, but in a generally negative way. For instance, many in this category (up to 46%) "would not be willing to live next door to them." It is actually the negatively tinged indifference of this majority of Israeli Jews that allows the more assertive and aggressive 25% to gain power and assure the country’s status as a truly apartheid state. The 15 % that may support Avnery and Ascherman essentially become social mistakes within the Israeli milieu. They have somehow escaped the full impact of Zionist education and ideology. They have broken free of the conformist pressures of family, community, army and media propaganda. And, having freed themselves from what Gabriel Kolko calls "enforced consensus," they collectively become a fringe element.

Part IV – Conclusion

It is strange, all countries have such self-aware and active humanitarians and all of them probably have these people in the same relative proportion–about 15%. This is just large enough to remind us of what good humanity is capable of, but just too small to help us realize that good.

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