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Excerpt: "Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have launched a vicious attack on US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, an American war hero, saying his recent statements 'served Iran.' They objected to his statement on Sunday, on Fareed Zakaria's GPS, that 'I don't think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran ...'"

Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (photo: US Army)
Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (photo: US Army)

Netanyahu Attacks Gen. Dempsey As Servant of Iran

By Juan Cole, Informed Comment

22 February 12


sraeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have launched a vicious attack on US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, an American war hero, saying his recent statements "served Iran." They objected to his statement on Sunday, on Fareed Zakaria's GPS , that

"I don't think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran…"

He also said such a strike "would be destabilizing" and "not prudent." He added,

"…we are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor. And it's for that reason, I think, that we think the current path we're on is the most prudent path at this point."

Prime Minister Netanyahu, who in the past has called for expulsion of Palestinians from their West Bank home and boasted of derailing the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords, accused Dempsey of "serving Iranian interests," according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz ("The Land"), which wrote:

"We made it clear to Donilon that all those statements and briefings only served the Iranians," a senior Israeli official said. "The Iranians see there's controversy between the United States and Israel, and that the Americans object to a military act. That reduces the pressure on them."

Likely officials of the far right wing Likud Party were especially angered by Dempsey's assessment that the Iranian leadership is made up of "rational actors." Israel and its media agents in the United States have expended enormous resources in attempting to convince the US public that the Iranian leadership is made up of mad mullahs obsessed with the end of the world who would gleefully light the nuclear match that brought about an apocalypse. (All this completely untrue and mere racist pablum.) To have the top military man in the United States undo the work of millions of dollars worth of propaganda must have been galling indeed.

Netanyahu's charge that Dempsey is "serving Iran" is completely unacceptable and deserves a stern rebuke from the Obama administration if it is not going to make itself look like a complete set of wusses.

Dempsey served in the Gulf War and deployed twice to Iraq during the Iraq War. "General Dempsey’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Distinguished Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device and Oak Leaf Cluster, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge."

If it is the fact, as the Israeli right wing kept loudly insisting, that Saddam Hussein was a dire threat to Israel, then they might show a little gratitude and respect to a man like Dempsey, who deployed to Iraq to take down that regime and build a new one.

It is not OK that Netanyahu and Barak spoke this way about this man.

Why Barack Obama continually lets Netanyahu humiliate him is completely beyond my understanding. He should call off the March 5 meeting now planned with Netanyahu and let him cool his heels till he apologizes.

And, I'll bet you that the supposedly super-patriotic Republican candidates won't dare so much as say "boo" to Tel Aviv over this insult to Dempsey- in fact, the chicken hawks are likely to pile on him on behalf of their Christian and Jewish Zionist donors.

Israel receives on the order of $3 billion a year from US taxpayers, roughly on average $1000 a person in the last few decades that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has dragooned us all into paying into Netanyahu's coffers. It includes civilian aid. This, despite Israel's status as a middle income country better off than a lot of European states. If we count indirect US support for Israel, including trade concessions, the sum is much greater. And if we count US military costs policing the Middle East to keep it safe for Netanyahu, the price would skyrocket. Israel is the biggest recipient of American foreign aid. It has never been clear to anyone over here what exactly we get in return for that.

All that fancy military equipment Israel is brandishing at Iran and threatening to use to shanghai American servicemen into military engagement with that country? We paid for it.

It is, of course, Netanyahu who serves the purposes of the Islamic Republic of Iran. His saber rattling has gotten Iranians' back up and killed what was left of the protest movement. Iranians are very nationalistic and won't risk a division in their ranks when they are under the gun from an outside power. your social media marketing partner


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+46 # bluepilgrim 2012-02-22 11:17
Regime change in Israel is overdue.

When a puppet of the empire starts raving and goes out of control, that is the standard response, after all (as with Saddam Hussein).

When an attack dog goes mad and bites it's master, you put the dog down.

What's happened to masters of the universe? Have they gone soft with Israel? What next -- are they going to let peace break out? This is a hell of a way to run an empire!
+3 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-02-23 08:13
Quoting bluepilgrim:
Regime change in Israel is overdue.

Be careful what you say: last time Ahmadinejad quoted Khomeiny saying something actually milder ("The regime in Jerusalem will fade from the pages of time") he was quoted as having said he wanted to wipe Israel off the map.
+4 # bluepilgrim 2012-02-23 12:23
I am careful in what I say, and I say what is needed is the one-state solution and the disolution of Israel as a state.

It was never legitimate as nation, imposed by an imperial power (England) by cleansing the land of the people already living there. Even the promise it may have at the very beginning idea is long lost and it has gone downhill into a rogue and terrorist state ever since, starting with the nakba.

Legitmate and moral states are not founded on genocide -- and that is as true of the US as with Israel. The Holy Lands area should be returned to an area similar to what it once was, where all people can live in true democracy, with human rights for every person.

I would no more regret the end of the Israeli state than I do the end of fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, or Stalinist Russia -- or the imperialist US, for that matter. I should like to see the end of all imperialist, fascist, despotic, and terrorist states, with human rights, justice, and peace for all, and I hope the people of the world finally educate themselves and organize enough to ensure that happens.

If the gangsters shoot me for wanting that and saying it, then so be it: I shall be in good company.
+2 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-02-23 13:53
Don't get me wrong: mine was a satiric comment on the political incorrectness of questioning Israeli politics.
We might not agree completely on what would be the best solution (Oslo sounds pretty good to me) but I am right there with you to resent the occupation of Palestine.
Some people conflate Israelis with Jewish people with haredim with likud supporters.
For these people anyone questioning the Israeli government policies is antisemitic.

As for the regime in Qoms, the last real chchance for piece was with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres in 1993 - witht he caveat I expressed in another comment on truthout:
+14 # Guy 2012-02-22 11:46
Give them more rope ,they will surely hang themselves.The Middle East problem will solve itself.
+27 # mjc 2012-02-22 11:49
One only hopes that this kind of direct and harsh criticism of our leaders and our policy is a glaring red light to any of the sycophants in Congress who believe that Israel is our best and only hope for peace in the Middle East. Wish that Clinton or Obama or anyone with high level importance in the State Department or in the immediate White House would remind Netanyahu that he does not make US foreign policy, for Iran or any other nation including Israel Comments like his and those of Barak will do serious damage to our relationship with Israel. What a foolish man Bibi is to believe he can take down one of our most important military leaders, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At the least let Israel stew in its own financial need. We do not need to be providing them with a damn bit of military technology.
+25 # reiverpacific 2012-02-22 11:55
This is yet another reason for selective tax revolt. Every tax cent that goes to Israel's death machine (and quite a bit of the US's as well) sticks in my craw at ANY time but especially when so much is needed to be put to work productively here at home.
+18 # ncporcaro 2012-02-22 12:01
Who the Emperor and who the Puppet?
+23 # HPB 2012-02-22 12:56
They got away with what they did to the USS Liberty, so they feel they can get away with anything. As for the billions of dollars we give them every year, they need that money to buy our, I mean their representatives , in Washington.
+8 # barbaratodish 2012-02-22 13:46
Iran may just be the beginning. Israel may be going after all countries that begin with the letter "I", because using that same letter existentially threatens Israel!
0 # RLF 2012-02-26 06:18
+27 # DurangoKid 2012-02-22 13:54
Netanyahu probably knows just how far he can go in chiding US politicians and military leaders. There is a significant number of crazies in Congress and elsewhere that would love to show Iran just who’s boss. Fortunately, cooler heads still prevail. More importantly, Netanyahu also knows that without US support, Israel cannot attack Iran. So, occasionally he runs out to the end of the leash to see just how firm the grip is at the other end. Everyone with more than a few functional brain cells knows Iran is not an existential threat to Israel or anyone else for that matter. Even if Iran is working toward an atom bomb, which they aren’t, or even has an atom bomb, which they don’t, the net effect would be an Iran that can’t be bombed, invaded, or pushed around. That’s what really irritates Netanyahu and the crazies on this side of the pond. My answer to them? Grow up.
+20 # Majikman 2012-02-22 14:08
I'm sputtering with rage. How DARE that vile, rabid little man attack our top military and US policy with his tantrum that we kowtow to his irrational demands to embroil us all in Armageddon.
The administration removes and silences generals who publicly disagree with it. It now needs to support those generals who carry out US policy by sanctioning Bad Bibi.
"Support our troops"? It's about time we put our money where our mouth is and take it out of Israel.
+13 # BradFromSalem 2012-02-22 14:30
in the US an assumption that can be made about anyone who identifies themself as a Leftie is that they oppose not only the policies of the American Neo-cons, but also their mindset. A mindset of fear equals respect and overpowering force settles disagreements in favor of overpowering force.

Except for the majority of American Jews that identify themselves as Lefties. Bibi would be despised by the Liberal Jewish community if he came from any other nation. So when Netenyahu calls an American General as being pro Iran, they do not question whether the Prime Minister of Israel is rational himself.

The only player that is keeping the Israel/Iran issue from blowing up literally, is President Obama.

Mind you, these are the Israeli neo cons in action. Just imagine the power that the US neo cons would have here if the US had just 1 more large terrorist attack after 9-11.
+3 # WFO 2012-02-23 16:02
Quoting LiberalLibertarian:

The only player that is keeping the Israel/Iran issue from blowing up literally, is President Obama.

The players keeping the US/Israel from a 1st Strike on Iran are China and Russia:

Major General Zhang Zhaozhong said,

“China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third world war,”

Russia has also said it would veto UN authorization of military action against Iran.

Netenyahu talks to Obama everyday, whether he wants to talk to him or not. Unbelievably, the US government is subservient to Israel because of the tentacles of power that are represented by Zionist Jews around the world - Banking, Media, Security, MIC,etc - control money (debt) and you control everything that springs from it. That is the power we are dealing with.

Nevertheless, there is always resistance, and China and Russia are drawing the line.

I hope sanity prevails.
+4 # CandH 2012-02-22 15:18
"Israel and its media agents in the US have expended enormous resources in attempting to convince the US public that the Iranian leadership is made up of mad mullahs obsessed with the end of the world who would gleefully light the nuclear match that brought about an apocalypse."

Um, I'm no expert, but it does sound like Cole is saying IS has Mossad agents infiltrating our medias and openly disseminating Hasbara messages to Americans for IS own purposes. Uh, that's gotta be illegal and worthy of criminality somehow, right?

"It has never been clear to anyone over here what exactly we get in return for that."

Really? What about those "Christian and Jewish Zionist donors" that dote the landscapes around this country, fomenting religious zealotry, intolerance, and hatred to shove nickels into the slot machines of our supposed democracy? I mean, without the religious right, there is no debate, no two parties, no differences between the 99%. Game over. The 1% loses. Gotta keep that "democracy game" well greased. Thank IS for that "return paid postage" ponzi scheme of a democracy they got set up here, and apparently, openly set up in our Fourth Estate.
+2 # RMDC 2012-02-23 09:15
The really wierd thing about the coalition of Christian Zionists and Jewish Zionists is that they really hate each other. The Christian Zionists are hoping for a war in Israel that will touch off Armageddon and the Rapture when all Jews will either have to convert to christianity or go to hell. And the Jewish Zionists think they are God's chosen people and that christians are dogs.

Both groups are manipulated by the imperialists who want to control Muslim nations and their natural resources. Both groups are useful idiots of the American empire. A war against Iran may just cost them a lot of lives -- the christian American soldiers who go to fight the infidels and the Israelis who may bear the brunt of the Iranian defensive response.

These two groups are dragging the world into a much bigger war than Iraq or Afghanistan were. Iran has 75 million people who will not be defeated easily. I doubt if they will ever give up. They will back their government and military. But for Israel, the Likud government will likely collapse and the military will take control of the nation in the chaos that results.
+16 # walt 2012-02-22 15:54
Netanyahu is a fascist and should be removed.

How dare he slander an American senior officer with a good record.

Israel is bleeding the USA and always wants us to do their dirty work. Watch now as this becomes a political hot potato in an election year, something carefully intended by Netanyahu.

And watch the congress as they trip over themselves to cater to the Lobby!

It's so pathetic!
+5 # RMDC 2012-02-22 16:58
The polite media like the Washington Post has a phrase for dealing with underlings like Netanyahoo who say things that are completely out of line. They might say "Obama needs to take him out to the wood shed." I assume that they mean he needs a good spanking for his misbehavior.

But I can't see any US politician with balls to challenge any Israeli leader. The Israelis made a conscious decision to take over the USG. They did it by campaign financing. In short, they bought our politicians. Every candidate for president must go to AIPAC and promise to do Israel's bidding. Any candidate who did not do this would fail in the election. It is the same for Congress.

It is hard to imagine how Israel believes that a war with Iran would help anyone. Iran just might be able to hit Israel with missiles that would do serious damage and kill a lot of people. That may bring down the Likud government. A regime change in Israel is more likely than a regime change in Iran. But I just don't think Netanyahoo cares. He is really insane. He is driven by a race hate -- he only wants to kill Arabs, Persians, and Muslims. He like many Israeli zionists thinks they are dogs and need to be kicked or brutalized.,
0 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-02-22 20:42
It’s generally Not Done to accuse your ally of Treason without a smidgeon of evidence....
+2 # freeportguy 2012-02-22 23:36
Usually, your best friends are those who will also you the stuff you don't want to hear, having your best interests at heart.

In this case, given that the US would have to get heavily involved in any mess ignited by Israel, the US then HAS a say in what goes on in Israel.

Maybe after all, Sarkozy was right about Netanyahu...
+4 # RSN rocks 2012-02-23 01:11
Cut off aid to Israel NOW!
+2 # seeuingoa 2012-02-23 01:28
Reply to DurangoKid:

Netanyahu cannot attack Iran without the
support of US.
Of course they can!
Because when Israel attacks, Iran closes
the Hormuz Strait and that means automatic US involvement.
0 # noitall 2012-02-23 02:16
Its WAR OR PEACE, take your pick. If Peace makes more sense, costs less, so much the better.
+3 # Valleyboy 2012-02-23 06:19
Great article except for this statement near the end: "It has never been clear to anyone over here what exactly we get in return for that."

The US elites get a proxy state in the middle of all the oil to help "keep the darkies down".

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