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Intro: "It is not easy to escape from one's skin, to see the world differently from the way it is presented to us day after day. But it is useful to try. Let's take a few examples."

The war drums are beating ever more loudly over Iran. Noam Chomsky asks us to imagine the situation in reverse. (photo: Daniel Simpson)
The war drums are beating ever more loudly over Iran. Noam Chomsky asks us to imagine the situation in reverse. (photo: Daniel Simpson)


Why America and Israel Are the Greatest Threats to Peace

By Noam Chomsky, AlterNet

04 September 12

 

Imagine if Iran - or any other country - did a fraction of what American and Israel do at will.

t is not easy to escape from one's skin, to see the world differently from the way it is presented to us day after day. But it is useful to try. Let's take a few examples.

The war drums are beating ever more loudly over Iran. Imagine the situation to be reversed.

Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel with great-power participation. Its leaders announce that negotiations are going nowhere. Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done. Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region. Throughout, Iran enjoys the support of its superpower patron.

Iranian leaders are therefore announcing their intention to bomb Israel, and prominent Iranian military analysts report that the attack may happen before the U.S. elections.

Iran can use its powerful air force and new submarines sent by Germany, armed with nuclear missiles and stationed off the coast of Israel. Whatever the timetable, Iran is counting on its superpower backer to join if not lead the assault. U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta says that while we do not favor such an attack, as a sovereign country Iran will act in its best interests.

All unimaginable, of course, though it is actually happening, with the cast of characters reversed. True, analogies are never exact, and this one is unfair - to Iran.

Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will. It persists in illegal settlement in occupied territory, some annexed, all in brazen defiance of international law and the U.N. Security Council. It has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext.

Thirty years ago Israel destroyed an Iraqi nuclear reactor, an act that has recently been praised, avoiding the strong evidence, even from U.S. intelligence, that the bombing did not end Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program but rather initiated it. Bombing of Iran might have the same effect.

Iran too has carried out aggression - but during the past several hundred years, only under the U.S.-backed regime of the shah, when it conquered Arab islands in the Persian Gulf.

Iran engaged in nuclear development programs under the shah, with the strong support of official Washington. The Iranian government is brutal and repressive, as are Washington's allies in the region. The most important ally, Saudi Arabia, is the most extreme Islamic fundamentalist regime, and spends enormous funds spreading its radical Wahhabist doctrines elsewhere. The gulf dictatorships, also favored U.S. allies, have harshly repressed any popular effort to join the Arab Spring.

The Nonaligned Movement - the governments of most of the world's population - is now meeting in Teheran. The group has vigorously endorsed Iran's right to enrich uranium, and some members - India, for example - adhere to the harsh U.S. sanctions program only partially and reluctantly.

The NAM delegates doubtless recognize the threat that dominates discussion in the West, lucidly articulated by Gen. Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command: "It is dangerous in the extreme that in the cauldron of animosities that we call the Middle East," one nation should arm itself with nuclear weapons, which "inspires other nations to do so."

Butler is not referring to Iran, but to Israel, which is regarded in the Arab countries and in Europe as posing the greatest threat to peace In the Arab world, the United States is ranked second as a threat, while Iran, though disliked, is far less feared. Indeed in many polls majorities hold that the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons to balance the threats they perceive.

If Iran is indeed moving toward nuclear-weapons capability - this is still unknown to U.S. intelligence - that may be because it is "inspired to do so" by the U.S.-Israeli threats, regularly issued in explicit violation of the U.N. Charter.

Why then is Iran the greatest threat to world peace, as seen in official Western discourse? The primary reason is acknowledged by U.S. military and intelligence and their Israeli counterparts: Iran might deter the resort to force by the United States and Israel.

Furthermore Iran must be punished for its "successful defiance," which was Washington's charge against Cuba half a century ago, and still the driving force for the U.S. assault against Cuba that continues despite international condemnation.

Other events featured on the front pages might also benefit from a different perspective. Suppose that Julian Assange had leaked Russian documents revealing important information that Moscow wanted to conceal from the public, and that circumstances were otherwise identical.

Sweden would not hesitate to pursue its sole announced concern, accepting the offer to interrogate Assange in London. It would declare that if Assange returned to Sweden (as he has agreed to do), he would not be extradited to Russia, where chances of a fair trial would be slight.

Sweden would be honored for this principled stand. Assange would be praised for performing a public service - which, of course, would not obviate the need to take the accusations against him as seriously as in all such cases.

The most prominent news story of the day here is the U.S. election. An appropriate perspective was provided by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who held that "We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both."

Guided by that insight, coverage of the election should focus on the impact of wealth on policy, extensively analyzed in the recent study "Affluence and Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America" by Martin Gilens. He found that the vast majority are "powerless to shape government policy" when their preferences diverge from the affluent, who pretty much get what they want when it matters to them.

Small wonder, then, that in a recent ranking of the 31 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of social justice, the United States placed 27th, despite its extraordinary advantages.

Or that rational treatment of issues tends to evaporate in the electoral campaign, in ways sometimes verging on comedy.

To take one case, Paul Krugman reports that the much-admired Big Thinker of the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, declares that he derives his ideas about the financial system from a character in a fantasy novel - "Atlas Shrugged" - who calls for the use of gold coins instead of paper currency.

It only remains to draw from a really distinguished writer, Jonathan Swift. In "Gulliver's Travels," his sages of Lagado carry all their goods with them in packs on their backs, and thus could use them for barter without the encumbrance of gold. Then the economy and democracy could truly flourish - and best of all, inequality would sharply decline, a gift to the spirit of Justice Brandeis.

 

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+64 # walthe310 2012-09-04 08:49
Vote for Romney/Ryan
If you want to live
In Ayn Randistan
Gold is the standard
In Ayn Randistan
Taxes are taboo
In Ayn Randistan
Government loots job creators (1%)
To support moochers (99%)
In Ayn Randistan
Atlas Shrugged
McConnell shrugged
Boehner shrugged
Norquist shrugged
Romney/Ryan shrugged
It's not our fault
Social Darwinism rules
In Ayn Randistan
You're on your own
In Ayn Randistan
No safety nets
No entitlements
It's survival of the fittest
In Ayn Randistan.
 
 
+49 # LeeBlack 2012-09-04 12:19
TMC showed "The Fountainhead" this week end and it had been decades since I had read the book so I decided to see what all the excitement was about.

I was amazed at the sophomoric ideology, especially dividing the world into creators and parasites, which says all workers are parasites.

It does seem to represent the GOP view.
 
 
+53 # songtale 2012-09-04 09:21
The world situation may be summed up quite succinctly:

MALICE IN BLUNDERLAND
 
 
-80 # RSNlaz 2012-09-04 10:09
Does someone need an editor???
"Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel " ??? Sounds like he's justifying Israel's bellicosity. What gives?
 
 
+54 # noitall 2012-09-04 10:28
Quoting RSNlaz:
Does someone need an editor???
"Iran is carrying out a murderous and destructive low-level war against Israel " ??? Sounds like he's justifying Israel's bellicosity. What gives?

That was a reverse scenario.
 
 
+2 # robcarter.vn 2012-09-05 01:50
Noam says "If Iran is indeed moving toward nuclear-weapons capability - this is still unknown to U.S. intelligence".
That makes no difference ti US or UK refer the TuTu call for Bush/Blair to face ICC war crimes of lie "WMD's in Iraq" without USA Shar in charge Iran has WMD capability. They can even say Sadam gave them to Iran just before the UN inspectors arrived. Romney/Ryan are up to GWB standard to have a War to sell Corp America gear, to end their 22% real unemployment they call an 8%, because USA can't be seen as bad a Spain's 25%.
 
 
+36 # motamanx 2012-09-04 11:18
Better read the whole article RSNlaz, before commenting.
 
 
-25 # tahoevalleylines 2012-09-04 14:36
Center for Strategic and International Studies war scenarios for the Iran/Israel mixup coming our way soon- Eventual attack on Israel yields likely results, to wit:

Likely scenario: Israel is attacked with WMD and receives mass casualties. Iran is most likely instigator and most obvious target of reactive action, bringing in usual suspects: Syria, Egypt maybe Libya, yielding to Muslim sentiments.

Israeli disavowal of Masada role this time around gives assailants back extensive military and infrastructure damage in the case of Iran and Libya.

Egypt and Syria, sharing border with their victim, because they should have learned to leave Israel alone and didn't -receive more decisive sudden impacts- end of Damascus as world's oldest metropolitan complex, and as for Egypt, a gaping hole in the Aswan Dam?

Noam Chomsky has earned his stripes in academic circles, but his "peace" theme works only in the imaginary world of atheism. In our fallen world of spiritual warfare (George Grant: The Blood Of The Moon), there really is a battle of "Good Vs. Evil. We are reminded of what is going on when we see replay of Howard Cosell's reporting of the 1972 Munich Olympics... Followed by the 1976 airplane hijacking to Idi Amin's Africa. Airplanes changing NYC skyline puts George Grant's book into stark clarity... Mr. Doctor Chomsky is in a reverie.

DEBKAfile is at hand for further discussion!
 
 
+10 # David Starr 2012-09-05 13:16
This sounds once again like that "evildoer"-WILL -attack-the-goo d-guy-at-any-mo ment scenario. Knowing how U.S. propaganda works in its foreign policy over the years-and to a lesser extent of Israel's version-I'm really tired of the theme. Naturally, you would leave out some significant info. While I wouldn't support Iran's government generally-speak ing, but I would its sovereignty and the Iranian masses, we have: Israel's Right-wing, ultranationalis t stance against Palestine, etc; especially its religious fanaticism, at least among the Right, to justify its' "Chosen People" fallacy. And of course, from what I suspect, you would NEVER tolerate any criticism against Israel, labeling the "culprits" anti-semite. (I'm also tired of this theme. Israel, like anyone/anything , is NOT exempt from criticism.) I notice the "good vs. evil" cliche. I would like to hope that this infantile, and potentially dangerous, outlook would be abandoned. Life/the world is B/W and shades of gray. To deny this is to reveal that the denier is realistically disabled. O.K., Munich 1972. You left out a rather long history of Israeli agression, and I dare say a degree of terrorism, against its neighbors. The "Holy Land" has violated more than one UN resolution relating to this. Atheism? Frankly, what's wrong with it? As opposed to religious-relat ed violence, past and present, by all denominations, especially of the montheistic strains? You're in quite a utopian frame of mind.
 
 
-1 # David Heizer 2012-09-07 22:10
It's confusing because items 3 and 4 of that paragraph do appear to be a slip-up on Chomsky's part. "Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferati on Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done" and "Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons -free zone in the region" are the actual state of affairs, not the mirror-image Chomsky is suggesting.
 
 
+114 # Cynthia 2012-09-04 10:15
Maybe we should designate Israel as our 51st state so they'd have only 2 representatives .
 
 
+33 # zonaman 2012-09-04 11:36
Good One Cynthia!!
 
 
+19 # Phlippinout 2012-09-04 13:16
Move israel to Florida, Problem solved!
 
 
+1 # silenus 2012-09-06 02:08
If that ever happens, I'd hate to live in Georgia.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-09-05 15:28
Very good hypothetical solution. Perhaps "the unltimate solution" since Israel is like a "spoiled dependent" of U.S. aid, especailly militarily.
 
 
+75 # carurosu 2012-09-04 10:22
I am not an Iranian. I am not jewish.
I sincerely congratulate the author on a brilliant aricle. (and true)
 
 
+38 # noitall 2012-09-04 10:26
"It is not easy to escape from one's skin, to see the world differently from the way it is presented to us day after day. But it is useful to try."

How many Americans would have the courage to do this, to step out of their world of make believe? Belief in this country's tenets is akin to the faith that one must have in order to believe in the fundamentalist christian doctrines. Its quite a leap out of the security blanke...theref ore, the nation of lemmings. "We're the greatest" although research puts us WAY down across the board.
 
 
-23 # Kiwikid 2012-09-04 18:35
The problem is that while Chomsky has switched the characters in his effort to get out of his own skin, he has failed to switch the spectacles/worl d views through which the respective characters look. I cannot support Israel in its treatment of the Palestinian people - their treatment of them is indefensible. On the other hand there is little doubt that the threat to Israel of a nuclear armed Iran is existential. Ahmadinejad has made it clear often enough that his goal is to wipe Israel from the face of the earth. Numerous failed attempts have been made by Israel's Arab/Muslim neighbours. There can be little doubt that Irans's quest to acquire nuclear weapons is so that thay can be used against Israel, not for them to act merely as a deterent.
 
 
+1 # oneofshibumi 2012-09-09 00:30
[quote name="David Heizer"]It's confusing because items 3 and 4 of that paragraph do appear to be a slip-up on Chomsky's part. "Israel refuses to sign the Non-Proliferati on Treaty and allow inspections, as Iran has done" and "Israel continues to defy the overwhelming international call for a nuclear-weapons -free zone in the region" are the actual state of affairs, not the mirror-image Chomsky is suggesting.[/quot

Actually, there has never been any evidence of bomb building plot. In fact, when the U.S. stop selling components to their enrichment program, they bought it from others. Of course, with all the threats by Israel and the U.S. against Iran, they would be kind of foolish not to build a bomb. U.S. already has invaded the "wrong country" should be disqualified for at least a decade about identifying "threatening nations."
 
 
+4 # swordfis 2012-09-04 10:26
I believe you mean Laputa rather than Lagado. Other than that I agree with you, unfortunately.
 
 
+4 # CAMUS1111 2012-09-04 12:07
He meant Lagado...
 
 
-123 # egoldman45 2012-09-04 10:34
The world according to Chomsky would have been better off if the Nazis had succeeded in exterminating the Jews (including Chomsky himself). He has no sympathy for the Jews of Israel who want to have the right to live, hopefully in peace, a possibility that has been denied to them by the Arabs ever since the creation of Israel in 1948.
 
 
+80 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 10:55
Quoting egoldman45:
The world according to Chomsky would have been better off if the Nazis had succeeded in exterminating the Jews (including Chomsky himself). He has no sympathy for the Jews of Israel who want to have the right to live, hopefully in peace, a possibility that has been denied to them by the Arabs ever since the creation of Israel in 1948.


Only someone who has never read Chomsky (or heard him speak for that matter) could make such a statement. Chomsky has consistantly opposed fascism no matter where it comes from). He has also never called for the "destruction of Israel" or the right for Israel to exist and while he may believe that ultimately the "single (secular) state" solution is the most viable he has always supported the two-state solution (along the lines of the pre-67 borders) so to say that he "has no sympathy for the Jew of Israel" is simply wrong (not to mention that Chomsky has talked for years about the difference in how sephardic (i.e., "indigenous" jews) are treated in Israel vs. Ashkenazy Jews).

So, before (or along with) such wild accusations (such as he wanted the Nazi's to succeed) please provide some evidence (of which there is none) for such a ludicrous charge.
 
 
+25 # Observer 47 2012-09-04 12:33
Saying that the Israelis can't live in peace if there's such a thing as a space for the Palestinians is the same thing as saying that a heterosexual couple is threatened if a gay couple lives down the street. The first situation has nothing to do with the second in each case; the existence of one does NOT mutally exclude the other.
 
 
+10 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-04 12:37
Live in Peace Where will that be. The only way that would happen is if they were on an island with no neighbors to harass.
 
 
-24 # Phlippinout 2012-09-04 13:17
Jews seem to be doing just fine, Is this one of those zionist propaganda comments, again? YAWN
 
 
+29 # engelbach 2012-09-04 13:53
The creation of Israel itself by the British was an act of aggression against the Palestinians who only wanted to live there in peace.

But that's in the past. And Israel is no longer a nation of helpless refugees, but a superpower with a nuclear arsenal that gives it more military power than all the other countries of the Middle East combined.

Chomsky isn't talking about Jews as Jews, but about the government of Israel.
 
 
+4 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 21:36
Quoting engelbach:
The creation of Israel itself by the British was an act of aggression against the Palestinians who only wanted to live there in peace.


How does that work, exactly? Was the creation of Palestine an act of aggression against the Jews who had lived in the West Bank since literally thousands of years BC and had no interest in whichever political entity claimed the area?

Britain's big sin in the area was the same one they pulled all over the Empire (and they're not the only ones who pulled that trick), i.e. benefiting themselves by making conflicting promises to both sides. Heck, before the Revolution, even Connecticut and Pennsylvania began a shooting war over the British Crown having promised the same territory to both of them.
 
 
-5 # ER444 2012-09-04 14:18
HEH RSN. How did this one get through your censors. This is the most disgusting comment I have ever read here.
 
 
+5 # angelfish 2012-09-04 19:06
SaQuoting egoldman45:
The world according to Chomsky would have been better off if the Nazis had succeeded in exterminating the Jews (including Chomsky himself). He has no sympathy for the Jews of Israel who want to have the right to live, hopefully in peace, a possibility that has been denied to them by the Arabs ever since the creation of Israel in 1948.

Sadly, as the RePublicans have morphed into ReTHUGlicans, some Jews in Israel, who once DID seek only peace and a safe haven after the Holochaust, morphed into the very thing they hated most. They are EVERY bit as fanatical as the Nazi's EVER were in there merciless quest to remove Palestinians from the homeland they've historically shared for Millenniums. What RIGHT does some Brooklyn Hasidim have to ANY Palestinians Land? WHERE was any effort made to engage the Palestinians in a Fair, Equitable arrangement when the State of Israel was created? The authors of all their misfortune, the British, brushed the sand off their clothes and walked away. Netanyahu is itching for a War, and if Romney gets in, we'll be IN one before you can say "GOTCHA"! The current regime in Israel makes it HARD to understand WHY, and what they're doing and have done to the Palestinians. WHY can't they live in PEACE? Until we they look at themselves, Warts and ALL, it's not likely to change. If you don't SEE a problem, HOW can you fix it? I think the time is ripe for Peace if they will ACTIVELY seek it. I hope they find it soon.
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-05 13:24
Again, the knee jerk, reactionary labeling, in this case implying, of ANYONE who is critical of Israel. I actually find this unreal. Do the, at least frenetic supporters, really think that Israel is perfect? If so, and it's implied, you've got to be kidding. It appears necessary that some have to get over certain illusions of perfection. Perfection does not exist because everyone/everyt hing is imperfect; and will probably remain so. Do I dare say that Israel has been/is embracing a myth of superiority, but based on mainly religious fanaticism, at least among the Right? I think the frenetic believers are once again loading their "anti-semitic" labeling barrel.
 
 
+3 # MidwestTom 2012-09-04 10:42
I have no ideas if this is in any way true, but it sure offers some interesting insights. If true this confirms Noam;s ideas. Remember that virtually all US media is in very few NYC hands. Visit this: http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/fukushima1.html
 
 
+15 # reiverpacific 2012-09-04 11:41
Quoting MidwestTom:
I have no ideas if this is in any way true, but it sure offers some interesting insights. If true this confirms Noam;s ideas. Remember that virtually all US media is in very few NYC hands. Visit this: http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/fukushima1.html

You are partially correct but not just NY. check out, http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/who-owns-the-media-the-6-monolithic-corporations-that-control-almost-everything-we-watch-hear-and-read
 
 
0 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 21:38
OK, that's nutso....
 
 
+34 # tomtom 2012-09-04 11:27
Nuclear weapons won't protect anyone; they are tools to punish innocent civilians by murderous, bully, tyrants. No Nukes, no Nukers, no Nukees. Only solution, "I'll show you, mine, if you show me, yours;" arsenals, that is!
 
 
+42 # walt 2012-09-04 11:29
The proof has been and will continue to be in observing the Israel Lobby pushing the USA into an attack on Iran as they have repeatedly tried to do. Chomsky is right in his reverse comparison. Israel has nuclear weapons and refuses to allow inspectors see them.

Netanyahu knows our elections are in the making and will try and use that to his advantage.

A look too at Sheldon Adelson's nearly $100 million contributions to candidates mainly to support Israel's causes can help see things a little better, especially as Romney and Ryan rattle sabers against Iran. Next scene will be Romney and Obama at the Wall in Jerusalem proving their support at all costs.

It never seems to end. Why not peace instead of war and bullying?
 
 
+8 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 21:48
If you've been reading Chomsky, you'd know that he isn't a believer in the "Israel Lobby" pushing the US into anything. As he makes clear in the article above, with phrases like "Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will," Chomsky sees the US long history of projecting force overseas, often through proxy states and forces, as being part and parcel of the situation in the Middle East vis a vis the US/Israel alliance. As many point out, if the US would reduce its political and military support for Israel, the chances of Israel making peace would increase; but what they don't understand is that is exactly why the US won't do that; they want a dominant regime in the area they can deal with, and with the shah's demise that leaves Israel only. The political clout of the oil industry far outstrips that of a few ultrarightwing Jewish billionaires whose political positions are opposed by 80% of American Jews who consider themselves just as pro-Israel as the kill-em-all lobby.
 
 
+31 # Old Man 2012-09-04 11:31
Nit-wit-yahoo is bent on war, let him fight his own.
We need to get Israel off the U.S. welfare system and worry about our own. Israel is like a redheaded stepchild, a real pain in the ass.
 
 
+30 # zonaman 2012-09-04 11:33
I am 66 years old, and these two countries have been the greatest threats to world peace for my entire life. This is nothing new...
 
 
+9 # Phlippinout 2012-09-04 13:18
Mine too!
 
 
-1 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 21:49
Quoting zonaman:
I am 66 years old, and these two countries have been the greatest threats to world peace for my entire life. This is nothing new...


You lived through the tail end of WWII and the entire Cold War and the Israel/Iran conflict has been the greatest threat to world peace in your life????
 
 
+9 # reiverpacific 2012-09-04 11:34
I've known this for years -not being a smarty-pants- just reading almost anything but the Owner-media.
One thing Chomsky doesn't mention that if Iran is attacked by the zealot-Zionist LIKUD/US -and has already murdered several Iranian scientists via MOSSAD/CIA collaboration-, Russia and China and perhaps India, may just have something to chip in by way of support.
Either way, everybody loses in the aftermath implications and the huge blowback potential, which we are still feeling from the US/UK/BP interference in the former Persia in 1953.
Again, I keep being reminded of King Lear's statement in so many current contexts: "Handy-Dany, which the justice, which the thief?" (Or, it depends which side your are viewing the situation from, which I think is the point of the inverse section of the article).
 
 
+21 # Activista 2012-09-04 11:39
About time somebody normal in Obama administration:
"...General Martin Dempsey, told reporters in Britain last week that the United States did not want to be "complicit" in an Israeli attack on Iran.
He also warned that go-it-alone military action risked unraveling an international coalition that has applied progressively stiff sanctions on Iran, which insists that its ambitious nuclear project is purely peaceful.
Dempsey's stark comments made clear to the world that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NETANYAHU was ISOLATED and that if he opted for war, he would jeopardize all-important ties with the "..USA
news.yahoo.com/analysis-chastised-israel-seeks-way-forward-u-over-152725950.html
 
 
+11 # Observer 47 2012-09-04 12:36
Well, there goes Dempsey's career....
 
 
+1 # CandH 2012-09-05 14:40
Somebody better tell Dempsey what the US Navy is actually doing now off the coast of Iran:

"Back in early July we wrote that contrary to expectations, veteran Middle Eastern aircraft carrier CVN-74 Stennis would end its shore leave far earlier than expected, and be redeployed back to its usual stomping grounds just off Iran months ahead of schedule. As of days ago, the Stennis has quietly departed Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerto n and is off. It will join CVN-65 Enterprise (which is doing its last tour of duty ever before being decommissioned) and CVN-69 Eisenhower in the Arabian Sea, aka off the coast of Iran. This will be one of the only times in history when the US has had three aircraft carriers in close proximity to those evil Iranians who are hell bent on global domination. Expect Stennis to reach Iran (and be available to support an Israeli attack of Iran) in the last third week of September. Then determine when the next full/new moon is following the arrival of Stennis at its destination, and buy Brent calls just ahead. Finally, profit." http://www.zerohedge.com/news/us-aircraft-carrier-stennis-now-en-route-join-enterprise-and-eisenhower-just-iranian-coast
 
 
+24 # dick 2012-09-04 11:46
Noam needs to build an Ark. I want on. Psychopathic Americans & psychopathic Israelis plunge the world into deeper madness every day. The zealots WE CREATED in Iran are not good guys either. History is catching up with US. The seeds sewn by U.S. BASED GLOBAL corporations & their CIA (Where were they on 9-11?) will produce devastating results for US, with massive collateral damage. All that's needed now is a spark. We escaped nuclear Armageddon by SHEAR LUCK; energy catastrophe looms.
 
 
+11 # Observer 47 2012-09-04 12:37
On 9/11, the CIA was watching the catastrophe it had engineered.
 
 
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-04 14:56
CIA were sitting watching it like OB and Hilary did of Osama. Everyone loves to watch killing. Too bad we were the ones who died thanks to Bush and Cheney.
Bin Laden if there was such a person...either was already dead due to his illness or is still groveling somewhere the CIA put him... I always Question Authority, they usually need to be.
 
 
+1 # grandma lynn 2012-09-06 00:00
How We Live in This Nuclear-Weaponi zed World

Alas, the little domain of mouse fur and red fluids,
tail splayed, feet stopped,
lies quite close to the road’s center.
Mother fly with eggs to put somewhere – she wants her progeny
though she could not elucidate! – finds this just right.
Here her eggs can come to fruition. Every Mom thinks this way.
My children need certain things to grow!
Then to live. Well, they will be on the move.
She knows how it goes. A rotting tomato in a garden is something else.
Rotting mouse-mass – perfect! She settles there.

Of course, from my elevation I look down at her buzz of energy
and know that sometime today or tomorrow or Friday
cars and trucks will run through her host creature’s remains, realize
that the fly family will not be as she had pictured, planned,
alas.
 
 
+19 # Peace Anonymous 2012-09-04 12:09
Thank you Noam for once again shining a light on the truth. Nowhere in any of this however, does it mention Iran's oil. In Iraq the American taxpayer shouldered the cost, which almost broke the country, but where is the profit going?
Hitler attempted to destroy the Jews in his attempt to rule the world. It was an unacceptable act. Today Israel, supported the a handful of well connected US corporations and government representatives are playing a dangerous game and for what?? It looks a lot like world domination to me. Isn't it time for all of us to put a stop to this nonsense?
 
 
+4 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 21:54
The US has have had the choice many times to reduce its dependence on foreign petroleum and thus its insatiable need to dominate the Middle East; and it has never done more than a few halting steps towards automobile efficiency and overruling ecological restrictions on domestic fossil fuel production, which was more a handout to energy companies than any sort of answer to reducing our need to own the Middle East to keep the economy running.
 
 
+18 # Activista 2012-09-04 12:09
Chomsky article and sarcasm is brilliant. Could be confusing for some accustomed to 10 sec one liners from mass media.
Good news is that Americans are not eating US-Israel war propaganda in spite of any criticism of Netanyahu CENSORED by most of the media. Iran war propaganda is not getting ROI given the millions invested.
Obama should replace Clintons with Chomsky .. or at least read Chomsky article.
 
 
-4 # MidwestTom 2012-09-04 12:11
People forget that Franklin D. Roosevelt turned away boat loads of European Jews after WII, stating that they were trouble makers. The original plant was for a Jewish colony to be setup in Brazil, but the Jews went instead to what is now Israel.
 
 
+24 # Observer 47 2012-09-04 12:40
Small problem with your statement, Tom: FDR was dead before the end of WWII.
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 13:43
Quoting Observer 47:
Small problem with your statement, Tom: FDR was dead before the end of WWII.


Observer 47, while you are absolutely correct that "FDR was dead before the end of WWII" MidwestTom is also correct in that FDR did little to nothing to advocate for opening the US to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany (just as he did nothing to support the democratically elected government in Spain that was also under assault by the Spanish fascists). There is much to praise about the Roosevelt administration but we should not mythologize it either (and this includes the New Deal).
 
 
+4 # Observer 47 2012-09-04 16:51
Oh, yes, I'm quite well aware of FDR's refusing to allow Jewish refugees asylum in the U.S. That's a shameful blot on our history. The important point is that this country ignored the stories coming out of Europe in the early years of the war, when there was a chance to have saved so many Jews and others who died in the camps. That's the reason I made my comment in the first place---it was during the critical period when the camps were ramping up that disallowing Jewish immigrants was such a cruel policy.
 
 
-5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-04 14:51
Irony that the Nazis went to Brazil. I am glad the Jewish people did not. With how so many countries get exploited....So America would have already been depleted of everything and for slave labor cost.
Instead the Industry was Coffee, Farms, Winery all to blossom as it has in past twenty years with more to come.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-09-05 13:46
Quoting KittatinyHawk:
Irony that the Nazis went to Brazil. I am glad the Jewish people did not. With how so many countries get exploited....So America would have already been depleted of everything and for slave labor cost.
Instead the Industry was Coffee, Farms, Winery all to blossom as it has in past twenty years with more to come.


Sorry to burst your bubble but we have been in Brazil since the 16th and 17th centuries...we should have remained anti-capitalist pirates fighting both the out and out anti-semites throughout Europe (as well as "the new world") as well as the emerging "liberal" bourgeoisie and the later fascist variety

for Jewish pressence in 16th/17th century Latin America see: http://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Pirates-Caribbean-Swashbuckling-Freedom--/dp/0767919521/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346873580&sr=8-1&keywords=jewish+pirates+of+the+caribbean
 
 
0 # grandma lynn 2012-09-06 00:03
I learned about this, the boatloads returned to European holocaust, at the Holocaust Museum in D.C. I didn't know. I was a baby at the time. I wonder if my Upstate NY parents knew. How could they know and not protest, being the humanitarian types they were?
 
 
+22 # hjsteed 2012-09-04 12:25
Since Israel apparently has the right to defend itself with nuclear weapons, doesn't Iran have the same right?
 
 
+3 # grandma lynn 2012-09-06 00:06
A pox on the nuclear weapons industry. A pox on the profiteers of weapons delivery systems. What a travesty, that for U.S. communities to have jobs, people wear blinders and don't scrutinize the products that they make for their paychecks.
 
 
+15 # grouchy 2012-09-04 12:32
Anyone want to speculate on how this will come out if the Republicans totally take over Congress? Scary as hell (as are many more potential factors).
 
 
+4 # grandma lynn 2012-09-06 00:07
I always think that contemporary Republican candidates should be asked, "What to you think of the Rapture?" We need to know the full extent of their skewed views for life on this planet.
 
 
+17 # D.J. Scholtz 2012-09-04 12:37
Throughout my decades as a teacher, Dr. Chomsky's courage to tell the Truth has been a frequent source of inspiration, both morally and intellectually. The message I get from this article is that we all (especially Republican policy folk) should be reading a lot more from the international press. Given what appear to be increasingly mainstream European views on the Israel-Iran issue, if it really came to a war with Iran I wonder how many of our international allies would support U.S. alignment with a nation that continually ignores U.N. resolutions and practices oppression and apartheid.
 
 
-4 # egoldman45 2012-09-05 01:27
Quoting D.J. Scholtz:
I wonder how many of our international allies would support U.S. alignment with a nation that continually ignores U.N. resolutions and practices oppression and apartheid.


As a teacher, I would expect you to know better about the term "apartheid". This is one of the most absurd, albeit oft repeated, lies about Israel, and could only be propagated by folks who have never been there or otherwise have an anti-Israel agenda to advance. Israel's Arabs are fully integrated into Israeli society. There are no "Arab bathrooms" nor "Arab water fountains". Israeli Arabs are free to come and go as they please, get an education, own land, operate businesses, and even serve in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) if elected (and there are indeed a number of Arabs who are in the Knesset). This is what you call "apartheid"? An Israeli Arab sits on Israel's Supreme Court. An Arab General served as a leader in the Israeli armed forces. An Israeli Arab was the official Israeli entry in the Miss Universe beauty pageant. This is what you call "apartheid"? By misusing and abusing the term, you insult the memory of those who suffered the burden of actual apartheid in South Africa when it was under the control of whites, or even the southern United States before the civil rights movement. It is time to put this lie to rest.
 
 
-12 # egoldman45 2012-09-04 12:41
Chomsky writes: "Israel resorts to violence at will." This is totally one-sided. He ignores that the Arabs have resorted to violence at will ever since UN partition plan was adopted in 1948. That plan, rejected by the Arabs, was a two-state solution, creating an Arab state alongside Israel. Of course, the Arab state wasn't called a "Palestinian" state since at that point in history, the term "Palestinian" referred to the Jewish population under the British mandate, and there were no identified Arab "Palestinians" until after the 6-day war in 1967.

Chomsky writes: "[Israel] has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext." Again one-sided, ignoring all the rocket attacks against Israel from Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the South. Also, hyperbole and exaggeration: the people of Gaza are not "imprisoned", and were not even before Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. As for the number of casualties, even the the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported 1,314 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza conflict (a great many of whom were combatants), not Chomsky's "tens of thousands".
 
 
+14 # engelbach 2012-09-04 14:12
The point, as you yourself say, was that the UN partition plan was rejected by the Arabs. Their land was forcibly taken from them to satisfy British interests in the Middle East.

The ratio of Israelis killed to those the Israel government has killed is appalling. In its indiscriminate response to shelling by Hamas and the PLO, Israel has committed war crimes.
 
 
0 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 22:19
Quoting engelbach:
Their land was forcibly taken from them to satisfy British interests in the Middle East.


Forcibly taken from whom? The Jews marched in and with British backing evicted the Arabs from their homes without compensation? Although I'm sure that's the picture in the minds of many Israel-bashers, it sure is not correct. As they themselves point out, there were few Jews in the area prior to WWII and they sure didn't have the power of violence; anybody familiar with the history of Israel from the begging of the 20th century through the Intifada, even after the partition in 1948, knows that vast quantities of cash were collected by Jews overseas specifically for purchase of land from Arabs. This is neither illegal nor immoral. The changing face of the country led to numerous instances of Arab violence against Jews all through the period prior to WWII, when the Jews were not numerous enough to defend themselves, let alone "forcibly take their land from them". Of course, you may take the more philosophical position, that the residents at the time were entitled to live under a feudal regime of impoverished tenants and vastly wealthy landlords rather than a European-style democracy and economy, even if that required violence against the interlopers; after all, that is more or less the position taken by the US anti-immigratio n movement with their "Take our country back!"
 
 
0 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 22:20
By the time the Jewish presence in the area was large enough that both sides were able to engage in hostilities, the battle lines had already been drawn. Many Arabs were forced to flee by violence, actual or threatened; many more fled from fear; others remained in what would become Israel. Some of those who fled applied for compensation for lost properties; properties; others did not, whether from lack of documentation or threats from other Arabs regarding "selling out". But every single Jew in the West Bank and Gaza, whose families had mostly lived there since biblical times in places like Hebron and Nablus and Jerusalem were forced to flee without any compensation at all, despite their having no political interests. And thus it stayed until 1967, when the West Bank and Gaza were lost to the Israelis by the military failure of Egypt and Jordan (as did the Sinai) and the Arabic countries agreed in the Khartoum Resolutions to eschew the normal post-hostility practice of signing a treaty and the return of capture territory. (Of course, when Egypt finally did sign a treaty, they got the Sinai back; they refused Gaza).
And this of course led to the practice of the Israeli government buying votes in exchange for land in the captured territories. Although the military administration of the area insists that private property is hardly ever stolen, it's pretty clear that that's not really the case.
 
 
0 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 22:23
And that pattern of real theft is now used to justify Arabic violence which transpired a century previous, against legal immigrants who purchased property on the grounds of racism as pure as that infesting the US' antiMexican immigration movement today.

To emphasize once again: confiscation of private property from individuals is a crime, no matter what the ethnicities of the individuals involved may be. However "theft of our country" in the sense of a shift in ethnic composition, form of government, or economy is not, and the conflation of the two is even more dishonest that the American anti-immigrant movement's honestly racist bias.
 
 
-6 # egoldman45 2012-09-05 01:35
Quoting engelbach:

The ratio of Israelis killed to those the Israel government has killed is appalling. In its indiscriminate response to shelling by Hamas and the PLO, Israel has committed war crimes.


Oh, and what do you call the shelling by Hamas and the PLO (not to mention Hizbullah)? These aren't war crimes in your book? You fail to distinguish between the perpetrator of violence, and the responder to that violence. If there were no shelling, then there would be no military response by Israel (and no "war crimes" in your lexicon). The fact of the matter, ignored by you and Chomsky and too many others, is that Israel's actions are in self-defense. Remove the violence against Israel and you would have nothing done by Israel to criticize (now, wouldn't that be boring).
 
 
+17 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 14:58
Your comments keep referring to "the Arabs". Iran is not an Arab country.

You also state that there were no Palestinians until after the 6-day war. if so, then how could the PLO have been founded in 1964?

Can the people of Gaza leave Gaza? If no, they are indeed "imprisoned."

And, his casualty figures come in a sentence when he refers to both Gaza and Lebenon so at the very least both need to be included if you want to challenge Chomsky's numbers.

Finally, Chomsky has consistantly condemned attacks on civilians no matter who commits them...he is one of the few on the planet that has taken this principled "one standard for all" approach to his critiques.
 
 
-3 # egoldman45 2012-09-05 15:34
Quoting dkonstruction:

You state that there were no Palestinians until after the 6-day war. if so, then how could the PLO have been founded in 1964?

Can the people of Gaza leave Gaza? If no, they are indeed "imprisoned."

Finally, Chomsky has consistently condemned attacks on civilians no matter who commits them.


The founding of the "PLO" only concerned the so-called "liberation" of Palestine from the so-called Jewish "occupation". It had nothing to do at the time with "Palestinians", who were not recognized as a separate ethnic entity until after the 6-day war (when it became politically convenient to create that identity). Something you and others always seem to ignore is that up until 1967 the West Bank and Gaza were under Arab control. Have you ever asked yourself the question why a Palestinian State was not created prior to 1967, when those areas were under Arab control? The answer is that the Arabs did not (and still do not) accept the right of Israel to exist. That is the fundamental root of all the problems between Israel and the Arabs.

And yes, the people of Gaza can leave Gaza, which has NOT been under Israeli control since 2005. Here's a URL for air flights out of Gaza: .

Finally, you assert that Chomsky condemns attacks on civilians no matter who commits them. Do you have a source showing that Chomsky condemns the rockets and shelling of Israel, and the terrorist attacks on Israelis?
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 08:17
1) The founding PLO charter (1964) begins with: We. The Palestinian Arab people

so much for your claim that there were no "palestinians" prior to 1967

2) The Arab regimes did not want the Palestinians becuase their movement was secular and democratic (the Palestinian National Council) and was a threat to their religious-based dictatorships.

See unlike most on this board (and like Chomsky) I have one standard for all and so criticize both the dictatorial arab regimes as well as the oppressive (regarding palestinians as well as sephardic jews) Israeli government (note: i said gov't not the country or people of Israel).

3) To believe that Gaza is "free" and anyone can travel freely in and out is simply not true.

4) Chomksy on suicide bombings: "Those who defend suicide bombing, and there are very few, don't have a leg to stand on"

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Chomsky_DV-HotType.htm

Chomsky on the rocket attacks: "he stated that although Hamas rocket attacks have been criminal, the Israeli use of force in the ongoing conflict has not been justified because there are alternative options."

So, Chomsky clearly says that the rocket attacks are "criminal" actions.

http://tech.mit.edu/V128/N63/chomskytalk.html
 
 
-1 # brux 2012-09-04 16:18
I agree with you.
Chomsky, a very smart man, is irrational on this subject.
 
 
-19 # egoldman45 2012-09-04 12:47
Chomsky writes: "Why then is Iran the greatest threat to world peace, as seen in official Western discourse? The primary reason is acknowledged by U.S. military and intelligence and their Israeli counterparts: Iran might deter the resort to force by the United States and Israel." Chomsky apparently missed the public threats from Iran's leaders to wipe Israel off the map. They don't even care about the millions of Arabs that would be killed when they attacked Israel, having declared that this would be their service to jihad. Much better to prevent a holocaust than to lament over it after the fact.
 
 
+12 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 13:48
Quoting egoldman45:
Chomsky writes: "Why then is Iran the greatest threat to world peace, as seen in official Western discourse? The primary reason is acknowledged by U.S. military and intelligence and their Israeli counterparts: Iran might deter the resort to force by the United States and Israel." Chomsky apparently missed the public threats from Iran's leaders to wipe Israel off the map. They don't even care about the millions of Arabs that would be killed when they attacked Israel, having declared that this would be their service to jihad. Much better to prevent a holocaust than to lament over it after the fact.


Iran has not attacked another country in over 200 years (when it was still Persia). Can the US say the same? And as for the possibility that Iran migh "deter the resort to force by the United States and Israel"?...woul dn't any country defend itself if attacked?

Finally, please cite a credible source in which Iran threatens to "wipe Israel off the map" (unless Israel attacked first). I do not believe such a source exists.
 
 
-1 # egoldman45 2012-09-04 14:46
Quoting dkonstruction:

please cite a credible source in which Iran threatens to "wipe Israel off the map" (unless Israel attacked first). I do not believe such a source exists.


The site below even includes photos expressing the intent to wipe Israel off the map. I will need to look back to find the quote from Ayatolla Khameni about Arab deaths in Israel (following a nuclear return attack) as their service to jihad. But I remember it quite well because it was so striking and so horrific. Khameni also said that they would readily trade 15-20 million Iranian deaths in a return strike by Israel if they succeeded in wiping Israel off the map. If the world learned anything from Hitler (Chomsky apparently didn't), such demagogues need to be taken seriously.

http://www.jcpa.org/text/ahmadinejad2-words.pdf
 
 
+1 # brux 2012-09-04 16:17
you might want to watch rick steves travelogue to iran. while he is there he shows that inside the mosques where neighborhood people go to worship there are posters saying death to israel - all over the country.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 08:19
Quoting brux:
you might want to watch rick steves travelogue to iran. while he is there he shows that inside the mosques where neighborhood people go to worship there are posters saying death to israel - all over the country.


that's like saying that because you can find skinheads in the US with pictures of Adolph Hitler on their walls that the US is a nazi country. I never said there weren't anti-semites in Iran but rather that the government has not said it wants or intends to attack Israel unless it is attacked first.
 
 
0 # brux 2012-09-10 19:34
No it is not at all, and that is about the most dishonest statement i have ever read here.

These posters are posted officially in every mosque and public square, they are institutionally embedded into the Iranian society now ... not so with skinheads at all.

That was really dishonest to say that.
 
 
+3 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 16:36
Given that this organization states:

"Israel’s corresponding territorial requirements, particularly in the strategically vital West Bank, that Israel must maintain to fulfill its existential security and defense needs"

which shows it does not even believe in the two-state solution nor the principle of international law that no country is allowed to take over "occupied territory" (something which already effectively been violated) how is this in any way a credible source? Was not familiar with them but after seeing their positions (not to mention the presence of Eliot Abrams listed as one of their authors) this can hardly be called "objective"
 
 
-4 # brux 2012-09-04 19:40
There can be no 2 state solution with a group that even with the world's eye's on them still has it in their charter that their solution is to destroy Israel - are you crazy or what - this is a war.

I don't blame Israel one bit. The Palestinian state was supposed to be Jordan, but when Palestinians went there they even tried to kill King Hussein and take over the country to make war on Israel.

You cannot make peace or even let your guard down when someone is trying to kill you. And it is getting worse in the whole area, the Muslim Brotherhood is stirring up anti-Israel trouble in Egypt.
 
 
0 # dkonstruction 2012-09-05 09:59
Quoting brux:
There can be no 2 state solution with a group that even with the world's eye's on them still has it in their charter that their solution is to destroy Israel - are you crazy or what - this is a war.

I don't blame Israel one bit. The Palestinian state was supposed to be Jordan, but when Palestinians went there they even tried to kill King Hussein and take over the country to make war on Israel.

You cannot make peace or even let your guard down when someone is trying to kill you. And it is getting worse in the whole area, the Muslim Brotherhood is stirring up anti-Israel trouble in Egypt.


This is tired, worn out propaganda and its amazing that it still circulates as gospel.

First: "The Palestinian state was supposed to be Jordan"...um, according to whom? Palestinians are not Jordanians and the Jordanians did not want them nor did the Palestinians want to relocate to anywhere other than where they had been living for generations if not hundreds or thousands of years (along with the indigenouse sephardic jews). Even, according to Israeli Historian Bennie Morris (who is now a rabid right winger) still says that nealry 3/4 of a million palestinians were expelled from their land/homes in '48.

Second, the Palestinians (through both the PLO and later the Palestinian National Authority) have supported the two-state solution along the pre-'67 borders with mutual recognition of both Israel and Palestine.
 
 
-2 # egoldman45 2012-09-05 14:07
Jordan IS in fact a Palestinian state, if you look at the population which is majority Palestinian. Regarding your assertion that Palestinians had been living for generations if not hundreds or thousands of years, most of them immigrated to the region in the late 19th - early 20th century from neighboring Arab countries, seeking a better life due to the prosperity brought into the region by the influx of European Jewish immigrants. Bennie Morris never said that 750K Palestinians were expelled -- that would account for the entire Arab displacement in 1948. Morris documented tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands, of Arabs that were expelled. A much greater number of Arabs fled the war both from fear of the approaching combat, and as a result of Arab leaders exhorting them to leave the area so that the Arab armies could mop up the Jews without worrying about Arab civilian casualties. There is documentary evidence of this. Also you and others completely ignore that nearly a million Jews were expelled from neighboring Arab countries, from land and property they owned for generations. These refugees only had Israel to go to, thus there was a population exchange similar to Hindus and Muslims in India around the same time. Finally, your comment that the Palestinians have supported the two-state solution with mutual recognition is a fantasy. I wish it were true, but as I wrote elsewhere in this discussion, Arafat rejected just such a solution at Taba in 2001.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 08:28
If the Palestinians were "Jordanians" then why did they not want to go to Jordan? Answer, they were not Jordanians and the Jordanians didn't want them. the west bank was only formally annexed by Jordan in 1950...does this somehow magically make Palestinians Jordanians? that's like saying the French became Germans when the Nazis occupied France.

From Wikipedia: The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947—1949 (1988)
In his first The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947—1949 (1988), Morris argues that the 700,000 Palestinians who fled their homes in 1947 left mostly due to Israeli military attacks; fear of impending attacks; and expulsions."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Morris

Now it's your turn to back up your claim that "most" palestinians immigrated to the region in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

As for Arafat rejecting the "two-state" solution proposed at Taba, please show me where the Israeli's ever offered a two-state solution based on the pre-67 borders which was the basis for the original camp david accords. It simply did not happen. Another myth spread by Israeli right-wingers and their allies.
 
 
0 # brux 2012-09-10 19:36
When the refugees went to Jordan they tried to kill the kind of jordan and take over the country in a violent revolution - sound familiar.

You are drastically lacking in everything but provocative opinions try keeping quiet until you really understand the whole history or at least can look at both sides fairly and objectively.
 
 
+10 # engelbach 2012-09-04 13:57
Political rhetoric should never be taken for reality. Iran hasn't a prayer of wiping Israel off the map; any attempt to do so would result in the nuclear destruction of Iran.

Violence from Israel against Iran is 100% more likely than the reverse.
 
 
0 # Activista 2012-09-04 16:00
Aug 17, 2012 – Khamenei has declared that nuclear weapons are immoral and Iran will never acquire them.
 
 
0 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 22:34
And Pat Buchanan said he believes him.
 
 
0 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 22:27
Quoting engelbach:
Political rhetoric should never be taken for reality. Iran hasn't a prayer of wiping Israel off the map; any attempt to do so would result in the nuclear destruction of Iran.

Violence from Israel against Iran is 100% more likely than the reverse.


You were doing so well up till the second paragraph. Given that Israel hasn't had any battles with Iran since its formation, has no common borders with Iran, has never even threatened Iran with these nuclear weapons that everybody's so upset that they AREN"T threatening anybody with, how exactly do you see them as a giant threat? To look at it another way, if they haven't nuked any of their actual shooting war enemies, why exactly is Iran in particular going to get nuked?
 
 
+9 # Peace Anonymous 2012-09-04 14:28
Quoting egoldman45:
Chomsky writes: "Israel resorts to violence at will." This is totally one-sided. He ignores that the Arabs have resorted to violence at will ever since UN partition plan was adopted in 1948. That plan, rejected by the Arabs, was a two-state solution, creating an Arab state alongside Israel. Of course, the Arab state wasn't called a "Palestinian" state since at that point in history, the term "Palestinian" referred to the Jewish population under the British mandate, and there were no identified Arab "Palestinians" until after the 6-day war in 1967.

Chomsky writes: "[Israel] has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext." Again one-sided, ignoring all the rocket attacks against Israel from Hizbullah in the north and Hamas in the South. Also, hyperbole and exaggeration: the people of Gaza are not "imprisoned", and were not even before Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. As for the number of casualties, even the the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported 1,314 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza conflict (a great many of whom were combatants), not Chomsky's "tens of thousands".

Please read "The Hour of Sunlight" Any attempt by the Palestinians to resolve the issues have been thwarted by the Israelis. They have gone so far as disrupting even peaceful associations between groups of Israeli and Palestinain youths. Israel does not want peace!
 
 
-6 # egoldman45 2012-09-05 00:22
Quoting Peace Anonymous:

Israel does not want peace!

We know for certain that prior Israeli governments have pushed hard for peace, only to be rejected by the Arabs. The most notable instance was in the waning days of the Clinton administration, at Camp David, and even more so, at a resort called Taba in 2001. Israel offered a package that was so generous at the time, there was concern that the Israeli public might not even ratify it. The offer, which was documented in the newspaper Ha'aretz at the time (the article was removed from it's website archives a few years ago) included a return of most of the West Bank and Gaza (about 95%) to a new Palestinian state, with land swaps to cover any reduction in territory. Guaranteed safe corridor between the West Bank and Gaza. Division of Jerusalem, with the Arab section (Al Quds) becoming the Palestinian capital and the rest of Jerusalem remaining as the Israeli capital. Financial compensation to Arabs with legitimate claims for land lost when their ancestors fled Israel during the 1948 war. Resettlement in Israel of a limited number of Arabs whose families were split by the 1948 war. In return, the Palestinian state was to be demilitarized and would renounce terrorism and accept Israel's right to exist. Yet, to his eternal discredit, Arafat said "No." So don't tell me "Israel does not want peace". The Arabs have to accept Israel's right to exist before peace is possible. You are blaming the wrong side.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-09-05 15:48
I'm sure, as matter of human necessity, that all, or most, involved want peace.

Your claim, "We know for certain that prior Israeli governments have pushed hard for peace, only to be rejected by the Arabs." We do, eh? Who's "we"? Ultranationalis t, Israeli supporters? It's a damn shame that I have to clarify that I'm not against ALL Jews/Israelis. I AM against the Right among them. So it doesn't exactly make sense to call me an anti-semite, when, e.g., I support Left/Progressiv e Jews/Israelis. So the Arabs are always the "bad guys," the "terrorists,"? Keep in mind that Israel, with its arsenal, and aided by the U.S., has caused far more destruction in its attacks against its neighbors. What do you think dropping bombs would do as opposed to a suicide bomber? Truly, you don't think that the latter is worse. Besides, some of the "great deals" Israel offered to Palestine weren't all that great, where, e.g., Israel would still occupy land it previously, illegally took. Sounds like Palestinian options for land is getting rather small, particularly considering the continuance of ultranationalis t settlements. And for the primary sake, on the surface anyway, of the myth of "the Chosen People." Who says one group of humans is more "chosen," thus more worthy, than other groups of humans? Doesn't make sense, does it? It's too bad you don't see B/W and shades of gray, as your "with us or against us" Bushite B/S reflects your last statement about the "wrong side."
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 08:30
Before simply making such claims provide one shred of evidence that the Israeli's have ever offered a two-state solution based on the pre-67 borders that was the basis for the original camp david accords. You can't because it never happened.
 
 
+2 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 09:18
Convenient to refer to an article (as if it is the only source) that has now been "removed" from the online archives.

The reality is that Israel has never offered a two-state solution along the pre-1967 borders which was the basis for the original camp david accords.

Israel continues to offer the palestinians a non-viable "state" made up of south african style bantustans that are not contiguous and continue to be broken up by "bypass" roads that can only be used by Israeli settlers.

If i were the Palestinians i wouldn't accept this either.

Besides continuing to repeat the rhetoric that Israel made an offer that was "so generous at the time" provide any evidence that Israel has ever offered the palestinians a viable contiguous state along the lines of the pre-67 borders. you can't because it never happened.
 
 
-21 # jaycee 2012-09-04 13:36
This was one of the most disturbing articles that RSN has printed. I found many of the comments offensive too. However ones like egoldman45 are more than acceptable.
 
 
+8 # dkonstruction 2012-09-04 14:29
Quoting jaycee:
This was one of the most disturbing articles that RSN has printed. I found many of the comments offensive too. However ones like egoldman45 are more than acceptable.


Just today, RSN has published two articles ("Enormous quantities of Russian Radioactive Waste Dumped In Artic Seas" and "GOP Defends Marianas' Sweatshops) both of which are far, far more "disturbing" than a "what if" piece that asks the question what if the Iranian government did the same thing as the Israeli government.

While some of the comments surely lack a certain subtlety and nuance (e.g., understanding that there is in fact a split even within the Israeli ruling class -- just as there is one amongst the US -- over whether or not to launch a "preemptive" strike against Iran mostly because, as some Israeli military and intellignece figures have admitted there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program) i would hardly call them "offensive"
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-05 15:51
Another knee jerk reaction reflecting the Israel-can-do-n o-wrong crowd. The implication here is that Israel is TOTALLY innocent, and in turn perfect. A lack of reality does affect some fervent Israeli supporters like a one track mind.
 
 
+6 # janie1893 2012-09-04 14:44
#1-there never was a country called Israel that was meant as a Jewish homeland. That myth was exploited by a group of people who happened to be Jewish and took advantage of the fact that post war Jewish refugees neededa place to settle. Since the western allies did not want the Jews, we were happy to perpetuate the lie and pronounce a big piece of Palestine to be Israel.

#2- not all of the planet's Jews are in agreement with the concept of Israel. Ergo, it is foolish to accuse all Jews when discussing this folly. One should always differentiate between "Jews" and Israel. They are not synonamous.

#3-The real winners of this mess in the mid east are the ones Eisenhower warned us of, the military-indust rial complex.The arms industry is fat due to our fears and all militarys have one reason d'etre---war.

#4- Humanity has not been able to evolve re alternatives to outright war because industrial and military interests keep us on the horns of fear.
 
 
+1 # brux 2012-09-04 16:15
tell me what country was "meant" to be anything? Countries are artificial entities.
Israel needs to exist because the people who live in the area want to kill them or dominate them - which they have been doing for hundreds of years ... and not just over Jews either.

True, there is dissent in Israel about what to do ... but there is not in the Palestinian terrorizes ... if someone speaks out against destroying Israel they are branded as a collaborator and dragged through the streets behind a truck while people beat them.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 09:14
Quoting brux:
tell me what country was "meant" to be anything? Countries are artificial entities.
Israel needs to exist because the people who live in the area want to kill them or dominate them - which they have been doing for hundreds of years ... and not just over Jews either.

True, there is dissent in Israel about what to do ... but there is not in the Palestinian terrorizes ... if someone speaks out against destroying Israel they are branded as a collaborator and dragged through the streets behind a truck while people beat them.


The leader of the Palestinian National Authority (to name just one but i could go on and on naming others) has openly called for the two-state solution and Israel's right to exist. I must have missed the news the night he was "dragged through the streets behind a truck while people beat" him.

Saying it doesn't make it so though i know the republican theme this year is to dredge up Reagan's line about how "Facts are stupid things"
 
 
-2 # brux 2012-09-10 19:38
that's cause he said that publicly to the western media and then turned around and DID NOT CHANGE THE PALESTINIAN CHARTER TO AGREE.

Why do you make up for your wrong made us history by tacking an insult onto the end of everyone of your pathetic posts?
 
 
-1 # Observer 47 2012-09-04 16:58
Outstanding comment, janie! Especially true about the military!
 
 
-2 # egoldman45 2012-09-05 01:05
Quoting janie1893:
#1-there never was a country called Israel that was meant as a Jewish homeland. That myth was exploited by a group of people who happened to be Jewish and took advantage of the fact that post war Jewish refugees needed a place to settle. Since the western allies did not want the Jews, we were happy to perpetuate the lie and pronounce a big piece of Palestine to be Israel.

Part 1
This is NOT historical truth. The "country called Israel that was meant to be a Jewish homeland" dates back to biblical times, long before any modern-day countries existed. (There is plenty of archaeological evidence for the existence of that ancient Israel.) Further, Jews have always lived in the land that is now modern Israel (and the West Bank). In the late 19th century, a European Jewish leader, Theodore Herzl began to advocate for a return by Jews to ancient Israel. Significant immigration of Jews to what was then part of the ottoman empire began at that time. The Jews bought land and set up businesses, which led to an economic revival of the region. With this new prosperity, Arabs also began to immigrate to the region. Before Herzl's advocacy, the region was mostly of interest to religious Christians. Mark Twain visited the region in 1867 and published a description of the land as rather desolate. After World War I, the British took control of the region and issued the Balfour Declaration, promising a Jewish homeland in what was then called Palestine.
 
 
+1 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:00
To quote: "This is NOT historical truth. The "country called Israel that was meant to be a Jewish homeland" dates back to biblical times, long before any modern-day countries existed."
I do feel compelled to agree with this, being that several tribes existed side-by-side in what is now called the Middle East, Jewish, etc. But what I oppose is the line in the Old Testament where the Israelites, comprising what amounted to be a cult, claimed that their god told them to slaughter neighboring tribes because they believed the wrong way. This is clearly stated in the "holy book," in the Old Testament. That's some "merciful" god. It states that he/she/it is a jealous and vengeful god; thus, human flaws. Doesn't sound like perfection.
 
 
-3 # egoldman45 2012-09-05 01:09
Part 2
The UN partition plan in 1948 was a crazy-quilt patchwork of Jewish neighborhoods in the Jewish state, and Arab neighborhoods in the Arab state, trying as much as possible to reflect actual population demographics and land ownership. Jewish leaders accepted the partition, the Arabs did not, and the neighboring Arab countries invaded, promising to wipe Israel off the map (sound familiar? It's been the same ever since). Against all odds, Israel survived within the boundaries referred to as pre-1967, i.e., before the 6-day war (another war initiated by the Arabs). Regarding the Arab refugees, most fled to avoid the fighting and at the urging of their leaders, who promised them a quick return once the Jewish state was destroyed. Those who stayed became citizens of Israel, with full economic and political rights. What is often forgotten is that a roughly comparable number of Jews were forced out of the neighboring Arab countries, with no place else to go but Israel. So what happened was a population exchange, similar to India and Pakistan. The difference is that the Arabs kept the Palestinian refugees isolated, for political purposes, rather than integrate them into their societies.
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2012-09-06 08:34
Again, as thoroughly documented by Israeli historian Benny Morris (who, even though he has become a rabid right winger whose position is Israel's "mistake" was in not kicking out all of the Palestinians) approximately 700,000 Palestinians forcibly expelled....to call this a "population exchange" is to simply use Orwellian language to justify ethnic cleansing.
 
 
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-09-04 14:59
Israel...Peace. I read nothing thru Bible to our History where Israel has ever wanted Peace. They talk a good talk but..
I personally believe they all should go to Israel as they pray to do and fight their own battle. Israel's battles are not ours nor should they be.
People want to Play Risk...It is Time we started a whole new game...not share the rules with them. Take back America.
 
 
-1 # brux 2012-09-04 16:11
Funny, Israel has given up land.
They have released tens of thousands of prisoners.
Instead of fighting and violence they tried to bulldoze house and still get crapped on for it.

On the other side you have terrorism, constant war mongering. A charter than says Israel must be destroyed ...

and yet somehow it is Israel that does not want peace?

Wow.
 
 
+1 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:08
Well, a significant concession on the part of Israel is obvious, and would greatly help ease tensions: Stop occupying the land of your neighbors. What about those who want the "death" of Israel? I would think that with the concession, they would be more hard-pressed to justify their "goal." This concession would be so significant that Israel's enemies know they would be taken to task, or worse, if they even tried it. And the world would be watching. The unforunate reality: Israel still refuses to stop occupying; worse it continues to expand settlements. BUT, the Right especailly can be blamed for this. I am aware of Jews/Israelis who support Palestinian self-determinat ion.
 
 
+3 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 21:28
Unfortunately for your position, the US very definitely hired Israel to be their military proxy in the area versus the Arab nations who represented the Soviets, that line-up being more natural than the opposite alignment given the types of governments each featured. The Soviets may have crumbled, but the regional conflicts the Cold War engendered live on in the Middle East, and it is self-serving but not truly moral for the US to just wash its hands of the effects of its past imperial conflicts, much as Britain left the Middle East to work out the tensions it created in the area during its imperial ownership.
 
 
-5 # brux 2012-09-04 16:09
I like and respect Chomsky, but in this kind of nonsense I disagree with him. All countries are imperfect, all use violence to control their people and operate in the world.

If you really cannot see a different between the US. Israel and Iran there is probably not much to be said.
 
 
+4 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:17
To quote: "All countries are imperfect." Exactly. Which is why none is exempt form criticism, including, even Israel. What I see ideologically-s peaking with the U.S and its dependecy Israel is a tradition of belligerence and imperialism, despite even the positives. What I see with Iran is, unfortunately, a religously, fanatical theocracy, which isn't any better. BUT the key differnce is that Iran would be yet another target, and yes, victim of this imperialism. And Iranians will defend their country, based simply on national pride. Plus, most Iranians shouldn't be terrorized because of a government theocracy. I will add that about 1 million Iraqis died in Bush Jr.'s war of lies. And, historically-sp eaking, that's only the "tip of the iceberg."
 
 
+1 # grandma lynn 2012-09-06 00:13
Would you say this about violence and control, in the case of Norway?
 
 
-5 # NIKHILANANDA 2012-09-04 16:20
ALOHA:.... though mostly well-thoughtout and written, the MAJOR item missing from chomsky's analysis, as per usual, is that iran's leaders, as most of the gulf and arab countries, want the DESTRUCTION of israel!... PERIOD!.... so thought israel can and must be held accountable for many extreme policies, they are surrounded by many countries that want it destroyed!.... tell me which countries israel is wishing for destruction?; and before you say palestine, yes, there must be an independent country of palestine; but NOT by destroying israel.... of course, even my analysis above is subject to alterations and more clarity.... oh well.... as alwayz, from chomsky, a provocative and excellent piece; just not totally true nor complete.
 
 
+5 # Activista 2012-09-04 23:12
Map of shrinking Palestine - search and argue who is destroying whom. Chomsky has facts - but facts could be shocking for masses being brainwashed by US-Israel mass media propaganda day and night.
ifamericansknew.org/about_us/4maps.html
 
 
+1 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:23
The destruction theme has already been mentioned; it's been mentioned more than Israeli/Right-w ing occcupation. That's tragically ironic. I don't think Israel will lose much if it simply deoccupies. That will put the political ball w/in the other side's court. Meaning, the process will be watched worldwide. For Israel's enemies to carry out the dectruction scenario after this concession would be total suicide, and they know it. And no, I sincerely don't think they'll be willing to have their nations totally destroyed, one reason being is that it'll simply destroy them.
 
 
-11 # rockerjones 2012-09-04 17:23
Chumpsky's cranium is in his anus.
 
 
+2 # David Starr 2012-09-05 16:25
Very "intelligent" comment political dimwit. You've proven that you talk through yours', and thus with your brain being in the general location somehwere w/in your posterior.
 
 
+7 # Shea Brown 2012-09-04 17:57
Anyone wanting to read a thoughtful and stimulating account of the creation of Israel, read David C. Holly's "Exodus 1947." Holly was a U.S. Navy Captain during WW2, and then an intelligence officer, and the Naval Attache' in our London Embassy, before retiring and teaching International Relations. The Jews of this world were very divided on their opinions about creating an Jewish homeland. I have met and spoken with many educated Iranians, and every one of them wishes that they could rid their country of the whacko fundamentalist leaders who currently rule their nation. The media,, in fact almost ALL media, never mentions the moderates, the truth seekers They all seem to dwell on the radicals, the fundamentalists , and the war mongers,, and the fact is, that these war seekers are the small minority. The ones who are profiting from war ( the mil/ind/complex ) are now the ones with vast media influence, as well as vast military and intelligence agency connections, who actively spread lies and misinformation about our current affairs. This is no "conspiracy" now,, it is in plain view. When weapons manufacturer GE owns the network NBC,, it is right there for all of us to see. Peace is very possible,, we just have to chop our way through all the lies to make it happen. Wars exist because of one simple reason. Too many folks believe lies,, and too many folks spend their time spreading them. It is indeed just that damn simple.
 
 
+2 # gzuckier 2012-09-04 21:20
"If Iran is indeed moving toward nuclear-weapons capability - this is still unknown to U.S. intelligence"

At least Chomsky does not join the many who actually deny that Iran is seeking or would week nuclear weapons. Without taking sides or adopting a moral stance, why would Iran NOT seek nuclear weapons? Particularly after the lesson of the Bush years, which is that if you were close to nuclear weapons capability the US would give you a pass, whereas if you were actually toothless like Saddam's Iraq, we would accuse you of having nukes as an excuse to invade. Heck, given that history, I'd try to develop nukes myself.

Iran and Israel are, after all the vilification on both sides, just two regional powers vying for local superiority in an area where military power still speaks. The real loser in this scenario is going to be the Arab/Shiite countries, in particular their most prominent example, Saudi Arabia who will be forced with the scenario of having to make their tacit second-hand alliance with Israel via the US more explicit, after years of using the Israel/Palestin ian conflict to distract their oppressed citizenry, in order to avoid the greater threat of Iran.
 
 
+1 # JetpackAngel 2012-09-05 02:46
Now that Iraq is the beaten-down victim we want to walk away from and never speak about again (hopefully before they can knife us as we're leaving), America has become the schoolyard bully setting its sights on a new target, which so far refuses to shout "America rules, I drool!" no matter how many swirlies we give them. I can understand why Iran would feel threatened, and I find it perfectly reasonable that they're trying to add themselves to the list of countries you don't want to piss off due to Mutually Assured Destruction.

We have more guns than we know what to do with. Big, big guns. Maybe they'd be able to take deep breaths and calm down if they had something that didn't make America so intimidating anymore.

(Or they might go guano and become the bullied kid who shows up to class with firearms, like what happened at my high school.) Either way, I have a feeling that they're going to get their nukes, and I recommend that we stop shaking the baseball bat at them and instead try to make friends with them so they don't want revenge later.
 
 
+2 # CandH 2012-09-05 14:24
"Like its patron, Israel resorts to violence at will. It persists in illegal settlement in occupied territory, some annexed, all in brazen defiance of international law and the U.N. Security Council. It has repeatedly carried out brutal attacks against Lebanon and the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing tens of thousands without credible pretext."

Chomsky hasn't heard yet.

"Last month, the California State Assembly passed a resolution urging state educational institutions to more aggressively crack down on criticism of the State of Israel on campuses, which the resolution defines as “anti-Semitism. ” […]

"…the bulk of the resolution is dedicated to defining criticism of the state of Israel as “anti-Semitism. ” It lists the following as examples of “anti-Semitism” :

(continued below because of symbols limitations...)
(http://www.globalresearch.ca/california-passes-resolution-defining-criticism-of-israel-as-anti-semitism/)
 
 
0 # CandH 2012-09-05 14:25
"…the bulk of the resolution is dedicated to defining criticism of the state of Israel as “anti-Semitism. ” It lists the following as examples of “anti-Semitism” : 

• “language or behavior [that] demonizes and delegitimizes Israel;”

• “speakers, films, and exhibits” that indicate that “Israel is guilty of heinous crimes against humanity such as ethnic cleansing and genocide;”

• describing Israel as a “racist” or “apartheid” state;

• “student-and faculty-sponsor ed boycott, divestment, and sanction campaigns against Israel;”

• “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination;”

• “applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation;” and

• “actions of student groups that encourage support for terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/california-passes-resolution-defining-criticism-of-israel-as-anti-semitism/
 
 
+2 # thoreau 2012-09-06 00:10
I am disappointed to find that this site is censoring content.

It was here a few hours ago...now gone, and so am I..goodbye~!!
 
 
0 # Activista 2012-09-07 12:43
.. making the world TOTALITARIAN begins with censorship
 
 
-3 # JGross001 2012-09-06 08:02
Noam does indeed get a lot of respect from democrats. Even so, most American Jews vote for democrats. This is amazing to me. In their efforts to maintain that Jewish vote, democrats have to talk out of both sides of their mouths. Of course we support Israel, they say. Yet their actions say otherwise.
 
 
0 # RobertMStahl 2012-09-06 12:47
Without perspective, what do we do about Bernard von NotHaus, the architect of Hawaii's competing currency, constitutional of course, and/or the liberty dollar? Or, does not one person know of the $50 million dollars the FBI confiscated from him for the Liberty Dollar? Yes, I agree, to get past Darwin will take an education in music bordering on accepting Atlantis, at this point. Is it an actual point that going off the gold standard was good, as if no calibration mattered, or could be dealt with by a species untethered to anything at this point?
 
 
+2 # America 2012-09-10 05:56
Good job by Chomsky providing this reality perspective.

Hard to believe that in 2012 with better communcations people are not in uproar against the rediculous logic which America supports with regards to foreign polcy.
Israel the untouchable: dropping bombs against people who retaliate with rocks.

Why is there this imbalance re nuclear weapons ownership... Why should rogue nations like Pakistan that in a sense has murderous intentions against the USA by harboring Bin Laden living like a king in their own country for years, allowed nuclear weapons? How is this justified?
 
 
-1 # Abi 2012-09-12 07:56
How do we expect Israel to feel secure when it's Arab neighbours refer to it as the Zionist enemy?? The truth is Israel was willing to give land back to the Arab countries in exchange for peace. Jewish settlements were dismantled and Gaza was given back to Egypt So Palestinians can start planning their future country living side by side with Israel Sadly Gaza was eventually used to launch daily attacks on Israeli citizens and even the president who championed the peace treaty was assassinated by those who would accept nothing less than the destruction of Israel!
 

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