David Seaton's picture

    Julian Assange and Wikileaks, a warning: How to hide an elephant

    AssangeThe reports make it clear that the lethal contest between Iranian-backed militias and American forces continued after President Obama sought to open a diplomatic dialogue with Iran’s leaders  New York Times

    It seems to me that the most significant revelations from the massive WikiLeaks document dump is the apparent extent of Iran’s nefarious role in Iraq. Toby Harnden - Telegraph

    Famous riddle: "How do you hide an elephant in the middle of 5th avenue? Answer: In a parade of elephants."

    Most of the present discussion about Wikileaks and its founder and leader, Julian Assange, centers around whether he is a hero or a villain. I would tentatively offer an alternative view based entirely on intuition, that Assange is a vain man, now world famous, who is being manipulated by a party or parties unknown, in order to help create public opinion favorable to the United States joining Israel in an attack on Iran, or the United States facilitating an Israeli attack on Iran.


    What do I base this alternative view of mine on?


    It goes like this:

    Israel's oft stated maximum priority is to stop Iran from developing an atomic bomb and they have made it perfectly clear on innumerable occasions  that they will stop at nothing to prevent this happening. I believe them.


    On the contrary, at this point in time, the American people are obsessed with the economy, with debt and especially unemployment. At the same time, the Obama administration is trying to extricate US armed forces from two wars that rival each other for the longest, most expensive and most inconclusive conflicts in the nation's history. The consequences of a third war, this time with Iran, would be hard to calculate, but the most predictable would be an enormous rise in the price of oil, which might send the economy off into the abyss. 

    I don't think that it is exaggerating to say that there is a certain divergence in US and Israeli priorities at this moment.

    Suddenly, like the "ghost of Christmas past", we are confronted with all the Bush horror again.

    This particular Wikileak consists of an enormous "dump" of uncorrelated data, some 391,832 documents, much of which simply confirms atrocities and crimes that we already knew about. Things that we have been hearing and reading about for years. In the midst of this unmanageable flood of data incriminating American troops in war crimes, are new incidents incriminating Iran.

    What better wrapping for an Iranian "smoking gun", than an endless flood of confirmable stories of Americans torturing and killing Iraqis? What better place to "hide an elephant". And what more willing and ingenuous tool for disseminating the package than the newly created, world superstar, Mr. Julian Assange. If he hasn't been manipulated yet, he is certainly ripe for it.

    The most difficult question to answer would be if the right wing coalition that governs Israel is crazy enough use agents of the Mossad or rogue elements in the US intelligence community to deliberately blacken Israel's best friend's world reputation in order to create hostile opinion against Iran in the USA?

    I don't know the answer, I only know that it is difficult for Americans, obsessed with the economy to realize how obsessed the Israelis are with Iran's atomic program and it is even more difficult for most Americans to understand how entirely and obsessively self-referential much of Israel's ultra right wing is.

    Israel is torn right now between very sane people like Shlomo ben Ami and dangerous extremists like Avigdor Lieberman and there is no sign that the ben Amis of Israel are winning the argument.

    All we can do is wait and see if this story stops being about Americans torturing and killing and turns into a story about Iran.

    Cross posted from: http://seaton-newslinks.blogspot.com/


    The Iranian involvement in Iraq is old news so I don't believe that will go very far very fast as an argument for invading Iran.  (It should have been one of the many arguments for _not_ invading Iraq.) The thought that Israel is responsible for the leaks is a little too conspiratorialish for my taste, but intriquing nevertheless.  It has been hard for me to imagine that someone in the US would both have access to the material and be willing to dump so much into the public domain - too big a chance of getting caught.  Surely the military and/or covert agencies have a good idea who that might be.  The bigger the dump, the narrower the list of people who would have access to that much data, right?

    that's stupid.

    I wish Obama was trying to extricate us from Afghanistan, but we're actually still in Iraq, and I suspect we will officially be in Pakistan before too long.

    I'm afraid I missed the connection somewhere. Are you saying that the leaked documents are intended to goad Iran into making a move, so Israel and its vassal state, the USA, has justification for attacking Iran?

    This is a terrible analysis, please think a bit more before commenting on the Internet

    I agree. Did you start with your conspiracy theory first, and make your proofs after?

    Well I started with my nose telling me that all of this is very fishy, that and the face of Julian Assange, whose eyes are the most disreputable I remember ever having seen anywhere except on actors that play perverts in police-procedural thrillers.

    What we have is a massive dump of unsorted, unverified and uncorrelated documents. And what we have seen up till now, except for the first mentions of Iranian involvement, is old hat, it may destabilize Maliki in Iraq, but I doubt if Bush or Blair are going to fall on their knees and beg forgiveness and I doubt even less if these documents are going to send them to be tried in the Hague, which is where they belong. So where is this leading? It would seem to me that the objective would be to redirect American opinion to the war in Iraq and create more hostility toward Iran, who has been the big, the only, winner in the conflict.

    So if this is fishy and leading somewhere that involves Iran, who could be interested in that?

    We have been living the horror of Iraq for many years now and all the principal players are known: the neocons, big oil, the contractors and the Israelis. You'll remember that the neocons stated objective in invading Iraq was to move then to regime change in Iran. The Israelis are obsessed with Iran as well they should be. I think the Israeli are the prime suspects, just as they are in the computer virus thing.

    Is Assange. in on the gag? I am sure that he thinks he is getting all this from antiwar activists, but in intelligence work spy masters take on any coloring they have to. If the agent they are running is antiwar they are show up dressed and talking accordingly, if he his prowar, they show up with a shaved head, if he is a transvestite, the spymaster shows up it drag, whatever it takes. Anybody that thinks that anything is really what it seems to be when dealing with this kind of information is terminally naive.

    We can only wait and see what happens next, but if suddenly this becomes a story about Iran, then my hunch will have been proved correct.

    David, the molding of public opinion in this country with respect to invading Iran is a very real issue. There is very little acceptance by many in the main stream of the religious beliefs of 25% of our voting population, including many of those who are voting for Angle and O'Donnell, who think the 1000 year reign of Christ is near at hand and would be abetted by conflagration in the Middle East.  Who in their right mind would have predicted that Neocon propaganda could convince 60 percent of our population that the attacks of 9/11 were caused by Saddam Hussein? Apparently molding public opinion with respect to war is no problem in this country, particularly if it forecasts what fundamentalists already believe. God forbid, what would the hysteria be like in the wake of a domestic attack of some kind? I spend time in the hinterlands of red states. Here is a sample of recent sermons in an evangelical church nearby. Will there be human sacrifices duing the end times? What will life be like under the 1000 year reign of Christ? These are very real predictions in the minds of a large percentage of our voting population and they are made to order for conflict with Iran.

    Hey, these are the subjects of my most recent discussions with my Mum! Maybe she's moonlighting as a preacher? 

    Assange is a completely self-absorbed asshole.

    A lot of people thought the "coalition that governs (the US under Bush) (was) crazy enough use agents of the Mossad or rogue elements in the US intelligence community to deliberately blacken the reputation (of  Muslims) in order to create hostile opinion against (Iraq) in the USA, and start a war.

    Along this line, ten years and a couple guys trying to blow up their shoes on planes, or a car in Times Square, does give the impression the evil terrorist organization is under new management and is almost totally lacking in potency, at least from its heyday on 9/11.

    ...and vain is spelled like that, not like the one on the roof.

    Thanks for the spelling tip. As a product of a progressive American education, I never could spell to save my soul and the homophones (words that sound alike, not gay Nokias) like "there" and "their" that the spell checker doesn't catch, often do trip me up.

    Your Jew-hatred, cloaked in age-old stereotypes about conspiratorial Hebrews, is neither unique nor praiseworthy.  But you do have a very fancy pen.   And I love the good Jew/bad Jew cloak at the end.  How eminently original. 

    God, what a disgusting comment.  Do you deny there are powerful political forces in Israel that are advocating military strikes against Iran, or is that simply "Jew-hatred" with no basis in fact as well? 

    If you said that Amira Hass, Shlomo ben Ami or Illan Pappé form part of a great conspiracy, or Noam Chomsky or even Woody Allen for that matter, simply because they are Jewish you would be an antisemite for sure. But, to deny that Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman or Paul Wolfowitz are up to no good simply because they are Jewish would be extremely foolish.


    Show some balls and stop hiding behind every Jewish person you can think of who is a good Jew in your curious mind.  This is about your latest Hebe conspiracy sans something we call evidence.  And should you choose to ignore age-old stereotypes about Jewish conspiracies behind every international crisis over the past millenia, and given that we know that you're not stupid or intellectually challenged and in fact appear to have received a good education somewhere along the line, then the thing speaks for itself.  Amira Hass didn't write about this unfounded conspiracy theory, and neither did Woody Allen--you did.  Stop hiding behind your annointed good Jews.

    Bruce S. Levine

    New York, New York

    I agree with Bruce here, David. You base everything on the fact that some in Israel want war with Iran. This fact, however, is a base upon which you can place any of 10,000 possibilities.

    • If something happens to push the price of oil up, or down, you could claim a linkage back to Israel and the desire for war with Iran.
    • If something caused a more rapid retreat from Iraq or Afghanistan, or a deeper commitment, you could spin a storyline about how it was actually Mossad and Israel and misinformation and the Jews.
    • You could do the same for national financial and economic decision-making, any move of which could put pressure on the President to seek a foreign policy solution. 

    In short, you can connect the desire of some (powerful) Israelis for war with Iran to any of dozens and dozens of wider events and decisions.

    Which means, as an explanation, it fails. An idea that explains everything explains nothing.

    Beyond this, you rely on facts such as that you don't trust this Julian's "eyes."

    Yeah. Ok. That's pretty sound.

    What has become worryingly more obvious as you do this (and do it again, and do it again) is that you repeatedly suggest that wider global decisions are wrapped in cloaks of mystery, and the only possible people who could be hiding under that cloak are... the Jews. 

    So let me try a little something different. You live in the most anti-semitic nation in the Western world. Spain. You know the polls, with 35%-45% being pretty much outright anti-semitic. I'm sure you've got loads of explanations for this. How you're all concerned with Palestine. How you had a Jewish girlfriend once. How you enjoy Woody Allen.

    Whatever. The fact is your opinions have become a bit weak in the old evidence department of late. Your routine needs varying, because right now, it's fairly predictable:

    1. Describe big world problem, or big world event, in most apocalyptic terms posible

    2. Add mystery, cloaks, unknowns.

    3. SHAZAM... THE JEWS! 

    P.S. Oh wait. I'm probably being unfair. I left out your "how to hide an elephant" argument. There. Just so no one can say I wasn't fair to your argument.

    Julian's Shifty Eyes + Hidden Elephants = JEWS! 

    P.S. Why did the Jews allow Spain to win the World Cup? Hmmm. I smell tomorrow's column.

    When I lived in Israel it was shortly after the Six Day war and Israelis were generally euphoric, but I remember a conversation late one night in a sidewalk cafe on Dizengoff square, a few thoughtful people at the table could see that if Israel couldn't get out of the West Bank, that it would finally destroy the country as a democracy... That is would lead inevitably to apartheid... some people said they had no problem with apartheid (Israel and South Africa were allies then) the conversation, in English for my benefit, was quite heated... It has all come to pass.

    All I'm saying with this is that I have been thinking about  this business for a long time, done my homework and paid my dues,  and anybody that wants to call me a simple antisemite is welcome to osculate my fundament.


    I don't want to dwell on this but there were many people in 1967 who knew and there are far more who know now--yours truly included--that Israel cannot sustain itself as a democracy for all of its citizens, and as a homeland for the Jewish People (warts and all on a good day), with an occupied West Bank.  That is hardly profound.  But that simple truism has absolutely nothing at all to do with your latest conspiracy theory which I continue to object to and strenuously so. 


    And I didn't call you a "simple antisemite."  You are anything but simple.


    The Jewish people (many in Israel, more in America) that fully realize that Israel cannot be a democracy and maintain the occupation are not governing Israel right now and don't show much sign of governing it in any foreseeable future. I wish you could understand that when I talk about conspiracies and such I am not talking about "THE" Jews, I am talking about specific Jews and what Mao would have called their "running dogs", the Christian Zionists, for example. Really, in the long and not so long, run this is more of a problem for Jewish people than for the goyim... and I think you are more aware of that than most people. If you want to do your therapy with me, cool, what are friends for? Smile

    But have you fully accounted for the Hidden Elephant Factor, Bruce?

    I have indeed quinn, and I have to tell you, because it's a well-known true fact, that nobody can hide an elephant like the Jews can.  In fact, my hunch is that your own Jewish component caused you to hide one or two in that alfalfa field back when.

    I thought they hid in a strawberry patch. Of course the Jewish elephants stick out because of their big noses.

    Those aren't noses.

    And they're VERY sensitive.

    Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Paul Wolfowitz are Jewish?

    Who knew? Wink

    Sorry, David, but I think bslev and Quinn pretty much got your number here.

    The reason I joined this site is to see opinions and "theories" by people who think and have the fortitude to put their ideas out there.  IMO, on this one,  David is "out there" re the linkage of events. But that's o.k. with me, it's better than listening to main stream media idiots. And, frankly, ideas which at first seem off the chart can generate insights which lead to positive steps forward. 

    I think your descriptive term "jew-hater" is way out of bounds. Playing the victim card is unattractive when a Christian right winger does it and it is unatrractive as a defense of Israel.

    Oxy Mora:

    Respectfully, telling me I'm "plaiying the victim card" for calling out Seaton is probably not exactly the way you want to put it.  In particular, I'm going to assume that you didn't choose to use another stereotype about the Jews--you know the perpetual victim gig--because you yourself told us that you came here for open-minded discussion.

    Here's the thing--I've been around the block a bit, and I can be an arrogant motherfucker and a compassionate nice guy.  And I'd like to think I have a mind as open as anyone here.  But just because there are Jews who decry every negative thing written about Israel as anti-semitism, that doesn't mean I have to defer to the notion that every filthy piece of magma using age-old stereotypes has to be treated as some kind of worthwhile food for thought.  That dog just don't hunt.

    Bruce S. Levine

    New York, New York

    Thanks. Very well stated. I'm new here and don't have the history of the site. I understand that "victim card" is in it's own another stereotype, point taken.

    Do you deny there are powerful political forces in Israel that are advocating military strikes against Iran, or is that simply "Jew-hatred" with no basis in fact as well? 

    I really hate answering your question because it implies that I have to show my bona fides, i.e. one can't call out bigotry when it comes to the Hebrews unless he or she recognizes that there are many, many folks in Israel who favor a military incursion into Iran.  Oy vey, a litmus test/

    But you've asked me your non-sequitur twice in this thread and it's annoying.  So yes, I recognize that there are "political forces in Israel advocating military strikes against Iran."

    Now tell us what the fuck that has to do with this blogpost that I've responded to?  On second thought, please don't think you should do so on my account.

    Brew, do you deny that you - like David - suffer from "Jew Fatigue?" 

    Or did you miss that chapter in the collected works of "Jews Causing Mysterious Social Diseases and Political Afflictions?"


    Please read my algebra problem below.

    If, by that question, you mean do I think that Israel has far too much influence over our foreign policy in the Middle East, then yes, I have "jew-fatigue."

    And it's nice to see you jumping on the "Any Critic of Israel is an Anti-Semite" bandwagon as well.  But, honest discussion has never really been a priority of yours, so I can't say I'm surprised.    

    So. I guess this is what passes in your household as an "honest discussion." You know... Israel hates Iran... therefore... given Assange's untrustworthy eyes... and Invisible Elephants = JEWS! 

    Because MY My MY, wasn't it just a fine, reasonable, deep and humane piece of work, eh?

    You ARE a fool, Brew. No matter what anyone says, or how they say it, as long as it lines up with the direction you want to breathe fire.... it's ok.

    Anyway. Also amused that you're outraged over Bruce's use of the term "Jew Hatred" --- but share David's "Jew Fatigue."

    A man of standards, you are. Poor standards, but standards.

    Final advice? Go back to lighting your farts, my friend. They're stinking up the joint.

    Reminds me of my favorite song, "Jew ya wanna dance"

    Where's the link? Bad cop, no bischotti....


    Romantics. "That's What I Like About Jews."



    P.S. How could you take the bait on this comment, and pass up the Smegma debate that followed?

    Wow. You've changed.


    Because another blogger told him that 'he and Seaton hold up the world of extra-American political discourse' ....or something like that.   ;o)

    So, you won't engage me directly, but you'll take potshots behind the comments of two or three others?  And you wonder why I find you absurd?

    Brewmn says: "So, you won't engage me directly, but you'll take potshots behind the comments of two or three others?  And you wonder why I find you absurd?"

    One of the reasons I find you absurd, Brewmn, is that I was not speaking of YOU, but snarking about another commenter above, concerning which threads he was visiting, which not.  One other reason I find you impossible to deal with, Brew, is that you have a hair-trigger for assumptions of all sorts, including mind-reading your perceived enemies in the blogosphere.  That you bring up your petty conspiracy theory that there is some secret club of Obama critics, and we make a pact to support each other's ideas on threads, and call each other to see what we should all wear the next day to the web (well; actually that part IS true, but don't say I told you) is another reason I think you are paranoid and delusional. 

    I've tried to stay out of your way, both here and at FDL so that we don;t have to replay the dreck of our past at TPM.  But here you are again.  Here's a thing, brewmn: Look at the indents.  They will try to tell you which comment is directed toward which commenter.  I think I was commenting to Quinn about decider, but you were nowhere in the mix. 

    In closing, may I ask you to get offa my cloud?  And stay off?

    So, we'll attack Obama 24/7, for failures real and imagined, but Lieberman and Netanyahu are off-limits?  Interesting.  Apparently, your dislike of certain bloggers trumps any issues you might have with forty years of brutal, illegal  occupation and warmongering.

    Are you daft? I hate Netanyahu and Lieberman. And I haven't wasted one breath defending what I regard as the brutality going on toward Palestinians.

    But neither am I a fan of the way Seaton keeps going on about "Israel," and then managing to spread that to "Jews." He ties in Israel and the Jews to our financial issues, foreign policy issues, media issues, etc. - then that's your call. You have to be rabid at this point to read past the way Seaton finds his first and best answers to problems in... the Jews. 

    Meanwhile, well done dragging Obama in. It's when you make comments like this that I know you're off your meds. I don't spend 24/7, not even 1/7, attacking Obama. It's YOUR mania, your obsessive "defense" that's worrying. 

    Shorter: Your brain doesn't work anymore, Brew. 

    "But neither am I a fan of the way Seaton keeps going on about "Israel," and then managing to spread that to "Jews." He ties in Israel and the Jews to our financial issues, foreign policy issues, media issues, etc..."

    Of this I am unaware.  Unfortunately, I am all-too-familiar with charges of anti-Semitism being thrown around whenever criticism is leveled against Israel's behavior regarding it neighbors.  Those charges are an attempt to stifle that criticism, and nothing more.

    David's comments over several posts may show an unhealthy preoccupation with Jewish influence in multiple areas of political life.  Or, they may not.  In any case, they did not in this particular post, taken by itself.  And the initial leveler of the anti-Semitism charge also has his own history on the blogosphere; and this would not be the first time he's leveled bogus charges of anti-Semitism against a blogger or commenter.

    Just so we don't overly flame each other Brew, a more serious comment. ;-) I like Seaton. Because of where & how I've lived & been educated, I likely share more of his Old World Leftie attitude than many. And I think you know I wasn't a regular in the Israel/Palestine wars over at TPM. That's not my gig.

    But Seaton has, in recent months, shifted his more inflammatory takes from Obama and over toward the Jews as the baddies for a whole range of problems. You may have missed the blog many people felt was anti-semitic, but in identifying his tiredness with the issues around Israel, he dubbed it, perhaps jokingly in his mind, as Jew Fatigue. But the shift from Israel to Jew which he makes, and the expansion of the related problems he sees, from foreign policy issues to financial and media domination as well, is a bit of a marker.

    And the fact that - to me - he lives in the country widely identified as having the highest % of anti-semitic attitudes, Spain, also says that maybe the tone of the debate around David lends itself to these shifts.

    The thing is, when Seaton pulls away from his more inflammatory anti-Obama stuff, and anti-Israel/Jew stuff, I often enjoy reading him. So, I'm here trying to poke him here, to see if he's gonna "get" it.

    As for this blog, let's face it, if you had to sit down with a pencil and sketch his "logic" out, there really wouldn't be much to it. Israel dislikes Iran and the Wikileaks dump of hundreds of thousands of stories had some on Iran. That's about it. The rest really was just an elephant story and his "gut instinct." As he says in his comment above, "I started with my nose telling me that all of this is very fishy, that and the face of Julian Assange, whose eyes are the most disreputable I remember ever having seen anywhere except on actors that play perverts in police-procedural thrillers." I mean.... really? The guy seemed like a disreputable pervert, so naturally that line of thought ended up with... Mossad?

    I don't think Spaniards are more antisemitc than other people, quite the contrary, about 20% of Spanish DNA is Jewish according to latest EU wide sampling. Spanish people will always tell you that their last name, like "Toledo" or "Franco" is of Jewish origin. I think they score high on the test because they answer frankly the question that is supposed to infallibly define and identify an antisemite if they answer yes to it: "do you think Jewish people have too much influence for their numbers?". Most Americans know better than to answer yes to that one. Spaniards are more innocent.

    Do you even bother listening anymore David, or at this point in your life is it just easier to make shit up along the lines you want? 

    Or maybe I need to speak more bluntly. You're a goddamn fathead. You think you know it all. And nowadays, you don't even bother listening. Because no, actually, the question Pew uses in their ongoing survey - IS NOTHING LIKE THE MAGIC ONE YOU MADE UP. Nothing about "too much influence" at all. The question (10e in the Survey) was simple,

    "Please tell me if you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Jews." 

    And the favorable/unfavorable result in Spain was 37/46, against. Yes, the USA was 77/7. But France was 79/20. Even Russia was 47/34. 

    Spain's got a problem. Has had for a long goddamn time. And for you, who knows the situation and the history quite well, to try to spin it as Spaniards being more "innocent?" Farce.


    "And the initial leveler of the anti-Semitism charge also has his own history on the blogosphere; and this would not be the first time he's leveled bogus charges of anti-Semitism against a blogger or commenter."

    I honestly don't have much respect for you brewmn, but still I choose not to leave your slanderous allegation against me untouched.  Your allegation that I level bogus charges of anti-semitism is both cheap and false.  Perhaps I am more sensitive to people on the left whom I believe choose not to understand how historical predicate does not become immaterial with respect to matters concerning Israel or Jews, and I make no apologies for calling things as I see them.  But you have lied here about me, and you have done so in a futile attempt to scrape yourself off the floor from which you have been so comprehensively mopped in this thread--and not by me, because I tend to ignore you--and I do so because I think you offer so little in terms of substance. 

    Brewmn, Seaton and I have a history, and in a warped way we remain friends and blogospheric colleagues.  Like Quinn, I read his stuff, and some I find to be out of this world.  I will continue to read him, and call him on an area about which  he and I have  a profound disagreement.  And if I believe he crosses a line, I will tell him so, whether it's groovy to do that or not in the minds of simplistic alleged progressives like yourself.

    Bruce S. Levine

    New York, New York

    Not having read much analysis on the "new" Iranian connections, there may be more info, but there was also plenty of "old info" for the first six years or so of the war.  We were often treated to photos of IED parts with symbols that we were told proved they were Iranian made.  But then we would also here from Petraeus or other Generals who backpedaled or minimized those connections.

    What info is presented to the public is highly political, so it's hard to know what any of the changing messages meant.  Parenthetically, I liked to know when it was that Generals became politicians.  That they are now even or especially when involved in  occupations really muddies the water, and makes taking what they say as factual impossible.

    Part of the piece you are basing your theory on is Toby Harnden's.  He says this:

    "A couple of things to say about the detainee abuse. Clearly, a legacy of Saddam Hussein’s regime was a culture of astonishing brutality in Iraq. To expect that indigenous forces would somehow adhere to Western standards of due process is unrealistic. Also, the effort entailed, in the middle of a war, to investigate every allegation and suspicion of abuse by Iraqis would have been a mammoth, and probably impossible, task.

    The files show there were occasions recorded when morally courageous US troops did intervene and the blind-eye policy was eventually and rightly changed."

    Clear evidence, IMO, that his moral compass is non-existent, making anything other tropes he offers pretty suspect.  Have you read "the new Iranian connections" info?  I can't even think any of it would change Israel's course, or the US's course, for that matter.   


    At this moment we are very close to a war in the Middle East with Israel attacking Iran, perhaps even with tactical nuclear weapons and then all hell breaking loose with blowback that is impossible to calculate. Any information blitz that possibly touches Iran at this moment (today we hear about Karzai receiving money from them) has to be viewed in this context. This is not about ethnic slurs this is about war and peace.

    How many times has that war (or tactical nuclear strikes on Nataanz) seemed imminent, though?  I've been ginned up a couple times myself.  I read at Haaretz for a while this morning, and Lieberman's Day After plans are in the news, but so were plenty of comments saying the world just won't countenance that sort of strike.  I pretty much doubt that any of this if off Obama's screen because of the economy or the elections.  That he's okayed the $20 billion's worth of arms systems and fighter jets being sold to Saudia Arabia, it's clear that his administration's talking to Israel (as well as ginning up the arms race in the ME).

    I calculate that many nations are issuing warnings to Israel, including Turkey, and I think they carry some weight.  And I just don't get your 'smoking gun' thinking here. how it provides any further ammuinition for any of the players, except maybe the neo-cons who would rather kill anyone who doesn't look or talk like they do.


    If I'm right or wrong will become clear as more documents show up. I would really be glad to be wrong. This is just a hunch of mine based on my taking very seriously the fears of the Israelis and the basic precariousness of Israel's position in the Middle East. For me personally it is difficult to believe that anything important that touches the Middle East at this moment is simply spontaneous, a coincidence and unrelated to what Israel sees as a totally existential threat.

    Rest easy, David. In this case, you're wrong. (Details below.)

    Chicken Little should read:


    and do not skip the last two paragraphs. Far from "at this moment," there's not much possibility for years.

    And a tip for those who aren't aware of it--Juan Cole is not exactly known as beloved by Zionists--so don' bother with classic continuation of the conspiracy via "oh, well, he's a tool or Zionists" or "he's been fooled by Zionists."

    I didn't need Juan Cole to tell me that, but it was nice to see it anyhow. I always knew Bush wasn't going to do it, and also that he was not going to allow Israel to do it. All you had to do was read the newspapers and the blogs that specialized in foreign policy, and ignore most of the American political blogs on topic.  Sometimes it seemed the latter had too much invested in the whole Iraq war story and trauma, that they needed another similar war/trauma/fearmongering to continue  to fulfill the same best-selling narrative about the Bush adminstration that "made" many blogs. Fortunately the liberal political blogosphere delusion of "believe it hard enough without much evidence and it will come true" did not happen as far as war with Iran.

    If you want to do fearmongering on this issue with me, you'll get farther convincing me that our CIA is trying to destabilize Iran, than about anyone going to war with it or even doing a hit on its nuke development facilities. I will say that the latter has a smidgen of chance of happening, but only if it can be done ala the hits on Osirak or the 2008 job in Syria. with nary a squeak from the targets because they don't really want to admit to anything worth being targeted, but simply set about rebuilding.

    I was sure it was not going to happen when Larry Johnson types were doing the Chicken Little about it years ago (it was always going to happen "in six months" with him.) Not to mention the infamous blog commenter Richard Steven Hack who shows up on that Juan Cole's thread, who has his life invested in warning about the war with Iran next week, which he has been doing for the last 6 or so years, week in, week out.

    I was sure because I kept up with reading the actual goings on at the IAEA and other related diplomacy circles, with an open mind, not with one seeking proof of my fearful beliefs. Kicking the can down the road, that's what the Iran nuke story is all about. By the way, both sides like all you fearmongerers playing the game, you keep the other side guessing just a smidgen, you're playing a useful role if one of a fool. It aids status quo. The status quo, like with Saddam before Bush decided to invade Iraq, is all about pestering the bejusus out of Iran; it's considered a win for the west's side to make them have to evade, equivocate, lie and hide, just delay them, just keep 'em guessing. To this day, I'm not even sure which hard core "let's go to war with Iran" neo-cons are/were role playing to assist the status quo and which really believe we should do it. But I am certain some are of the former group and I suspect some of those are the ones who purposefully misfed info. to people like Seymour Hersh in the past.

    Not to mention there's probably someone at the U.S. State Dept. whose full time job is to regularly put out the "leak" that we or Israel are going to war with Iran; it's probably even in his job description to make sure it's done every six months.

    Edit to add: Here's a Sept. post by Laura Rozen summarizing episode 928 of "When It Sounds Like There Will Be a War with Iran, Here's What's Really Going On":


    The game is always the same-- she could save herself a lot of time by just copying and pasting the same thing over and over, only having to change the names of some characters.

    Seems like the "Chicken Little" meme you like so well has been hashed out before. I consider it a derogatory slur when used broadly against anyone who hasn't become confident in your reading of the situation and still worries that war mongers might actually get their war. 

     It is, in fact, likely that the "Real Men" have figured out they can't go to Teheran the way they expected to because Iraq and Afghanistan have shown them that they don't have enough pawns to pave the road. The fact that they might well not be planning a conventional attack because it would be crazy doesn't mean they won't do anything crazy. While you try to be rational, there are others who "Think Big".


    Lulu, thanks for that link. Very chilling words indeed. Hey, you kill 100 thousand, or even 200 thousand people, pretty soon you're talking some real numbers.

    Zap!  That was an eye-popper of a video, Lulu.  Dave and most people are, I think, meaning that the Israelis would strike the sites with tactical nuclear bombs, the dudes that can drill down a zillion feet underground (bunker-busters).  A year or so ago, I looked a bit into the technology, and the effects above ground.  The military down-played the effects, scientists not so much. 

    Dave says if the story from the Wikileaks becomes Iran (past the neo-cons), then he'll be proven right.  I'd say he might be proven a little bit right if Israel hits the sites soon, but even that timing wouldn't prove causality.  Lieberman's Morning After was dependent on Israeli Intelligence knowing for sure that Iran had X amount of centrifuges operating at X capacity to enrich at X purity, or whatever the metric is.

    Let see if I can state this in a sort of algebraic way.

    Obi-Wan Kenobe is a Jedi. Darth Vader is a Jedi too.

    Obi-Wan is a good Jedi, the Force is with him.

    Darth Vader has gone to the Dark Side... he is a bad Jedi... a very bad Jedi.

    Although both are Jedis, they are very different... One is bad and the other is good.

    Being able to distinguish between a good Jedi and a bad Jedi does not make us "antijedic"... it only means that we are able to distinguish bad from good and prefer the good to the bad no matter who it is that embodies these traits.

    Soooooo.... If I understand your argument, the Jedi control the media. 

    And the banks.

    I can see that.

    And Luke Skywalker, he'd be like Mossad, eh?

    Some Jedi do some things and some Jedi do other things. You cannot talk about "the" Jedi, that would be antijedic, but it would be stupid to ignore certain individuals and groupings of Jedi that justify all their actions by their "Jediness", thus implicating all the other Jedi in their dubious (to say the least) activities.

    So one cannot catch Jedi Fatigue, then?

    I got tired of Star Wars years ago, how about you?

    David, I love a good conspiracy theory, and I truly fear the catastrophic war with Iran that right-wingers are jonesing for. But this is not a good conspiracy theory.

    I followed your link back to Harnden's "analysis." The Iran reference is one paragraph at the tail end of his article. What, no smoking gun? If you are going to the trouble of releasing half a million documents, it seems to me you should be getting more bang than that for your buck.

    True, the Telegraph, the Washington Times and some neocon pundits are playing up any mention of Iran in the leaked documents. But that's a rearguard action, an attempt to blunt the release's overall message to Americans: Don't get involved in stupid foreign wars!

    Where the Iran "revelations" aren't old hat, they are mostly thin conjecture and guesswork. Take the Telegraph's article about Iran devising a new high-tech suicide vest "for Al-Qaeda:"


    Set aside the laughable idea that the Iranians and Osama bin Laden have anything but hatred for each other; the U.S. military report it cites is pure smoke and mirrors. After speculating about Iran's nefarious role, the newspaper's anticlimactic conclusion is: "It is not clear how credible the intelligence cited is considered, and there are no reports of camera-equipped suicide vests being found."

    Doh. This is not the stuff that is going to tip the balance in favor of going to war with Iran. Mossad can do much better than this.

    Assange may or may not be a vain man. But he is playing a crucial role for the organization. He hasn't been involved in technical mechanics for quite some time - his every move is closely watched which pretty much prevents him being involved in protecting the anonymity of sources.

    His high profile is creating operational space for those actually doing the work. Don't forget that Wikileaks is not just releasing documents about America. Public identification of those who work for the group have lead to assassinations in Kenya, for example. Assange being the shiny object keeping the eye of a fickle press is literally a matter of life and death in some instances for those support the organization.

    And you have to bear in mind. They don't have a political agenda vis-a-vis helping/thwarting Israeli objectives or whatever. Wikileaks as a group exists with the sole mission of revealing confirmed documents that have been withheld from the public. Their agenda is to shine sunlight into every corner where they are given an opportunity. As long as the documents are confirmed genuine, they don't care why the leaker disclosed them. As you point out, that indeed attracts those who have a personal reason for wanting the information out there. But then, the same goes for traditional journalists as well - "Deep Throat" had an axe to grind because he was passed over for a high-ranking position in Nixon's administration.

    But you do bring up a very interesting thought in regards to possible sources of this information. It seems rather apparent that the information held by Wikileaks is more extensive than what was provided to them by Manning. But doesn't this seems like kind of a scatter-shot way to do it considering Wikileaks would also have released a smaller subset of documents more geared to ensuring the media narrative took the information in the direction you propose? I mean, does a group that blatantly carries out assassinations in Dubai really seem like they are trying to do much hiding? Subtlety is not their hallmark. I get the impression pulling off high-profile operations with zero repercussion seems to be a part of their strategy to increase fear of becoming a target - much like the old-school Mafia.

    I dunno. Again, interesting thought.


    "Assange may or may not be a vain man." Well, he was very convincing as Lucius Malfoy.

    Amy Goodman felt that there was a strong antiwar movement among the troops themselves, which would tend to indicate a possible source for all of these documents. From her show today:

    Despite US claims to the contrary, the war logs show the Pentagon kept tallies of civilian deaths in Iraq. The group Iraq Body Count says the files contain evidence of an additional 15,000 previously unknown Iraqi civilian casualties. The number is likely far higher as the war logs omit many instances where US forces killed Iraqi civilians, including the US assault on Fallujah in 2004.


    DAVID LEIGH: That’s exactly the point. The helicopter crew don’t seem to have been trigger-happy at all. They were pretty concerned. They radioed back to base: "These men are trying to surrender. What do we do?" And they’re told more than once, "They can’t surrender. You should go ahead and kill them." So what we see is orders coming from a high level.

    And that plays into the third new aspect in these documents, which is that they detail literally hundreds of times—I think there’s more 900 incidents of what they class as detainee abuse of people being tortured. And they’re largely tortured by Iraqi security forces, but with the United States forces standing by or, in some cases, turning detainees over to people they know are going to torture them. And those orders seem to come from a high level. Again, you’re not looking at individual rogue sadists in the US military; you’re looking at orders.


    Simply good for someone to recognize that in the age of government scooping up millions of phone calls to graze through, the guy who's "telling it like it is" might not be. Yeah, seems to be bad publicity for the bad guys, but if they get some stink on them and better achieve their goals, I know their choice.

    No I think the reaction should be after some days of wading through tons of boring, repetitive stuff, on of the readers does a double take and shouts eureka as he stumbles on the plant. This is the "hiding the elephant" technique: making the plant not look like a plant.

    The JPost has an article that expresses Israeli hopes that the "revelations" will boost the American appetite for dealing with Iran. Given the emphasis on Iran's supposed nefariousness (lead by the NYT) by the usual suspects, that meme, rather than US complicity and cooperation in war crimes is being highlighted. In fact, the co-author of the seminal NYT piece, one Michael R Gordon, was General Judy Miller's NYT partner in perpetuating the Saddam has WMDs! bullshit. He informed the world via "Washington Journal" that he had the documents for 4 months. Same old shit, new target of opportunity.

    In an oddly amusing coincidence, both a rightwing Israeli MK and an Iranian spokesman agree that the US should be investigated for the war crimes we have been abetting and/or carrying out in Iraq. The Israeli MK threatens to take the case to the UN.

    Whatever the case, we are actively involved in practicing to defend Israel from retaliatory missile/rocket strikes from the neighbors and Iran. From Arutz Sheva:



    "IDF, US Troops in Missile Exercise


    Reported: 07:29 AM - Oct/24/10
    Follow Israel news briefs on Twitter and Facebook


    During military exercises that concluded last week, IDF and U.S. Army troops simulated a major rocket attack on Israel from nations in the area, including Iran. IDF and U.S. officials said they were pleased with the outcome of the exercise. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said that the exercise advanced the capabilities of both armies."


    The above exercise, "Juniper Falcon 11", involves virtual interoperability re command and control portions of the EUCOM-led mobilization of American military assets to be deployed in Israel's defense.(Last fall's extensive "Juniper Cobra 10" exercise practiced the actual deployment of US men and military assets that would be actively involved if Israel, with our cooperation, lights up a regional conflagration).

    Here's an officially approved version of whatsup re "Juniper Falcon 11"





    U.S.-South Korea sea exercise will go on as planned, U.S. military says
    By Erik Slavin
    Stars and Stripes
    Published: October 25, 2010

    ...the two nations will continue the ongoing series of military exercises agreed upon in July as a deterrent to North Korea...Chinese leaders spoke out strongly against earlier U.S.-South Korea exercises in September, which they said effectively put missiles within striking distance of Beijing....

    Bui wait, there's more, as they say on late night teevee:

    China mounts air exercise with Turkey, U.S. says
    By Jim Wolf
    Reuters Canada Fri Oct 8, 2010

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The air forces of China and Turkey have carried out a joint exercise, the U.S. Defense Department said on Friday, in what appeared to be the first such drill involving Beijing and a NATO member country.

    Turkey assured the United States it would take the "utmost care" to protect sensitive U.S. and NATO technologies, said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Tamara Parker, a department spokeswoman....


    India-Russia joint exercise concludes

    Special Correspondent, The Hindu, October 24

    NEW DELHI: The strike infantry units from India and Russia on Saturday concluded the joint military exercises whose thrust was terror attacks. The 10-day exercise was held in the Kumaon Hills near Ranikhet in Uttarakhand....

    And though I could go on and on with the results of a google news search for "military exercises," I think I'll just top it off with this:

    Greece and Israel on Thursday wound up a joint military exercise which had been postponed after a deadly Israeli assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May.

    An Israeli army statement said late Thursday "the maneuvers comprised flight and landing exercises in a mountainous area and under various weather conditions."

    The Greek defense ministry said last week that the two countries would stage four days of joint aerial training maneuvers around the island of Crete and the western Peloponnese peninsula.

    Combat helicopters took part in the drills....

    Myopia can be a real handicap in more ways than one.

    There's a lot of pissing matches going on all the time, and yes, the intent is to scare others. The concept, whether one agrees with the logic or not: piss and scare them away from fightin' with some of that old time macho grandeur. When actually planning to do something, they usually don't like to advertise it so boldly.

    Really Art, in view of Iran fueling its first nuclear power station at Bushehr, the Israel US maneuvers seem a tad more ominous than the others you mention.

    In fact, nearly everything that Israel does right now seems rather ominous... They, and we with them, are sitting next to the abyss and dangling our feet off the edge.

    Bluff is always a component of "advertising" joint military exercises. But to compare the vast array of worldwide wargames we play with others to the massive deployments of assets as in Juniper Cobra 10 is silly unless you can also make the case(s) that a potential catastrophic regional war is also "on the table" in each case.

    BTW, I'm *surprised* that you missed another potential and very reasonable assumption about the "unprecedented" military cooperation between the Obama administration and Israel; that it is "reassurance" of total American commitment to Israel's security designed to bolster Bibi should he agree to extend the settlement freeze for 2 more months.



    A few months ago, some <egg & spam> young children, to the <spam, eggs, bacon & spam> family, and parents to tonsured happened last, some of the family ethics father to the "hard" <spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans n' spam> might "lost" children, some shed tears, the mother pain ran to let the tears streamed ran out <spam, egg, sausage n' spam> earrings sale, soften the child.

    I guess one has really arrived when one's posts getted spammedCool

    Assange is a  Jew.  That's all you need to know.  That's all anyone needs to know.

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