A Two-Edged Sword 72


There is a superficial attraction to resorting to assassination to prevent the development of a nuclear weapon. To take the heat of Israel/Iran out of the subject, it is tempting to think it would have been good if North Korea’s nuclear programme had been disrupted by such means.

But once you abandon the framework of legality, you have no grounds to complain if your opponent reacts in the same manner. The notion of “good terrorism” and “bad terrorism” is foolish. It reminds me that the media are very anxious actively to spread the idea that bombs in Syria are false flag operations by President Assad, but were scoffing when my on the spot investigation of the actual evidence immediately on the scene revealed that the so called Islamic Jihad Union bombings in Uzbekistan were almost certainly a false flag operation of President Karimov – very probably with the connivance of the CIA.

To start a competition in assassinating scientists seems to me an extraordinarily foolish thing for Israel, with its large and widespread scientific community. There are reasons to worry about Iran’s nuclear intentions, though nuclear armed and militarily aggressive Israel has no moral standing to be the country asking the questions. But street assassinations are not going to do anything but make the problems worse.

Of course, if war is the intention, these murders are entirely rational.


72 thoughts on “A Two-Edged Sword

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  • Quelcrime

    Jon
    .
    As John Lennon said when asked about his wealth, in a capitalist society you have to be a capitalist to survive. Likewise in a world with aggressive nuclear-armed powers you may need to have nukes to survive. Now we see the consequences of disarmament in Iraq (involuntary) and Libya (voluntary), we can’t expect any country to do it unless they are happy to be protected by a powerful friend.
    .
    Nuclear disarmament has to start with the US. Obama made the right noises but they were just noises.
    .
    Having said that I don’t see why the UK needs them, though if we ever have an enlightened government we may be glad of them when talking to the Americans about Diego Garcia, and Lakenheath, and Mildenhall and so on.

  • Quelcrime

    I’m sure North (and South) Koreans remember this:
    .
    While estimates of Korean War deaths are mainly guesswork, the three-year conflict is widely believed to have taken 3 million lives, about half of them civilians. The sizable civilian toll was partly due to the fact that the country’s population is among the world’s densest and the war’s front lines were often moving.
    .
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-we-ignore-the-civilians-killed-in-american-wars/2011/12/05/gIQALCO4eP_story.html

    (For context, the population of Korea in 1950 was about 30 million.)

  • writeon

    I wonder how Israel, or the United States, would react if Iranian agents where killing their scientists on the streets of Washington or Tel Aviv?

    The war against Iran has already begun. One could argue that the war between Iraq and Iran was part of a failed attempt to topple the Iranian Islamic Revolution of behalf of the West, an attempt that failed, yet it did stop the revolution spreading, and had the secondary advantage of severely weakening Iraq, if one ever needed to change the regime there.

    Increasingly the West is attempting to strangle the Iranian economy and promote unrest in the country that way. This is clearly a form of economic warfare which is often and usually the precursor to a military conflict.

    It’s seems that Israel and the US want to force or provoke Iran into war so they can launch a massive military attack on a “lawful” and “legitimate” basis. Will the Iranians swallow the bait? It’s hard to tell. They would be very unwise to do so.

    But if they are attacked anyway should they retaliate against the US fleet in the Persian Gulf and US interests in the region? They could cause severe damage to the Americans and kill thousands of US servicemen in response to an attack, but would this be wise? Isn’t it better to take their punishment and the lesson it provides; that independence and confrotation with the West is counter-productive and compliance is a better strategy if one wants to avoid levels of destruction comparable to those in Iraq and Libya. But the Iranians are an old and proud people, abandoning their independence and bowing to foreign diktats is a high price to pay for peace and prosperity.

    But the regime has to retaliate in some way to an attack on its territory. It cannot be seen to be totally impotent, but how much retaliation will the Americans accept without launching a devastating onslaught on Iran in return? How does one make that calculation? What’s acceptable in Iran may not be acceptable in Washington.

    But if the Iranians think the US is going all-out for regime change and not just a ritual punishment to set an example, what does it have to loose if it sees its survival threatened?

    This is where things could go very wrong indeed and lead us towards full-scale war and it spreading out wider perhaps dragging in Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, India, China, and even Russia. Is it really worth it? Why even risk WW3 to combat a non-existant nuclear threat from Iran?

    But the “prize” of cutting Iran down to size is very tempting. Rolling back the “threat” of radical Islam. Control of the Middle East’s oil and gas reserves with no powerful opposition left standing. Securing Israel for decades. Undermining the last vestages of resistance to Israel across the region. Isolating Pakistan even further. Cutting off 20% of China’s oil imports if needed. Teaching the Russians a lesson. Moving further into the Asian heartland. Preparing the ground for an eventual conflict with China, which is seen as the Big One in Washington… the list goes on. Sure, it’s a gamble, but hey, who dares… wins?

  • Mary

    Good news John about your petition. I am trying to get a transcript of the Nicol’s ‘judgement’ as those of us who were put in the gallery, up a narrow winding stone staircase even though some people were disabled, could not hear or see a thing. A large court had been requested apparently but only the legal teams and about 20 members of the public could sit in the court. Talk about justice being seen to be done. What about hearing it done too?
    .
    IMHO the Royal Courts of Justice, a neo Gothic pile, is in urgent need of demolition when I compare the facilities offered to Leveson for his enquiry to those of Court 3. A farce and a shambles worthy of the Victorian era.

  • Mary

    O/T but important

    .
    RIGHTS
    West Turns Blind Eye to Torture in Uzbekistan
    Jim Lobe
    .
    WASHINGTON, 13 Dec (IPS) – Despite its formal adoption of due-process reforms in 2008, the government of Uzbekistan under President Islam Karimov continues to practice torture routinely, and the situation may be worsening, according to a major new report released here and in Berlin Tuesday.
    .
    But western governments are turning a blind eye to the abuse, in large part due to Uzbekistan’s strategic importance as a transport hub for supplies and troops that NATO is sending to neighbouring Afghanistan, according to the 104-page report.
    .
    The report, among other recommendations, urges the West to impose sanctions against specific government entities and individuals responsible for abuses.
    /..
    http://ipsnorthamerica.net/news.php?idnews=4012

    As if Obomber and Cameron are going to impose sanctions on Karimov.

  • craig Post author

    Quelcrime

    It is a recurring theme with you that even the most vicious of tyrants are somehow redeemed by being anti-American. It is not a sensible approach, unless your objections to America are not based on opposition to vciousness or tyranny. Those are the US policy traits I deplore – and are well exemplified in North Korea.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Writeon,
    .
    Yes, it is New Cold War plus Israeli lobby in Washington. But the real target is China (Chinese economy). And on the other hand let’s face it, in the Middle East Iran is not liked by few others and not only Israel. Most of the Arab nations do not trust Iran and Saudis in particular see Iran as adversary and not as an ally. Sunni – Shia division in Islam is yet again proving to benefit those who first against Muslim nations.
    .
    I would not bid on that possible war with Iran will drug Russia and China. Russia will be bought off (promised some future concessions or acceptance of Putin’s new presidency as legitimate) and China will unlikely risk its economic development at this stage (China is not yet ready for open confrontation with the US). China has few other ways of getting needed energy resources and not at least from Central Asia. Both Russia and China will rather wait and see how US is drugging itself in yet another unwinnable conflict spending yet more borrowed money.

  • John Goss

    Mary, thanks for your comment. I am in contact with some of those who helped put the case together, and they don’t think justice was seen to be done. I am also getting messages that people have tried, and are trying, to sign the petition without success (one person tried three times before eventual success). Those who complain receive a message saying that it can take up to 7 days to receive a confirmation email. The email contains this text.
    .
    “In cases where confirmation e-mails have not been received, you may find the following steps helpful.
    .
    1) Check any spam or junk mail folders
    2) Attempt to resign the petition. The site should give you an error message which states that your address has already been used if the confirmation e-mail has been sent. Occasionally e-mail addresses are entered incorrectly, which can be the cause of not receiving a confirmation.
    3) Allow up to 7 days to receive the confirmation e-mail. In some rare cases when there is a technical problem sending the e-mail, the automated system will attempt to resend the e-mail.”
    .
    This is an epetition the Attorney General’s office does not want to succeed. Because of disbelief from some quarters that there are so few signatures (currently 427) I intend to write to find out what auditing takes place. If the confirmation email is directed to a junk mail box (and believe me they have that capability) not everyone will complain.

  • YellowPearl

    Writeon. You are advocating Yellowness. Far better than Iran (or the next victim on the list) to just sit there and accept all the skullduggery done upon it is for the damn lazy citizens in the US UK etc to get off their asses and sac the places of power that is bestowing these dirty wars and assassination with impunity.

  • writeon

    Dear Yellowpearl,

    I’m not actually advocating anything in relation to Iran. I’d prefer the Iranians to be left alone to sort out their own internal affairs, and I’d rather the US and Israel didn’t attack them, based on a pack of lies, distoritions, and exaggerations about Iran’s non-existant nuclear weapons building programme. Even Panetta, the American defence minister recently stated that Iran was not building nuclear weapons, but that it was developing a “potential” to possibly build such weapons at some in the future. So clearly, based on their own words, the American leadership is preparing to go to war with Iran premptively, attacking them for something they might do in the future.

    This kind of war is sickeningly illegal and an international crime. The international community should be criticising the US and Israel and threatening them with economic sanctions, not Iran. Why can’t we consider economic sanctions aimed at the US, stopping them from going to war, as WW3 would have terrible consequences for the whole world and not just Iran and the surrounding area.

    The question for me is, what is Iran’s best and most rational strategy for survival as an independent and unified state, what should it do if it’s attacked by the Americans and Israel? Remember both Israel and the United States have hundreds of nuclear weapons in the region, and Iran has none. In an all out war Iran cannot defeat the Americans if they begin to use nuclear weapons, which is what they would do if their forces were in danger of losing.

    So Iran has to be careful, very careful. It’s no use being brave and standing up for your rights and national pride, if that means your country is destroyed and cut into pieces, like the Americans have done in Iraq. The American rulers are totally ruthless and have utter contempt for human life in Iran. If they had to slaughter millions of Iranians in order to topple the Islamic regime, they would do it without a second thought, like stamping on an ants. Iranians are like ants to them.

    I think the Americans will try to provoke Iran into a war, one way or another. Provoke Iran into firing the first shots, somehow, then they’ll blast them to pieces in reply, and if the Iranians resist and defend themselves, which they have a right to, the Americans will attack and bomb them even more viciously.

    The Iranians are in a difficult position. Iraq is under seige. The Americans and their empiral provinces are attempting to slowly strangle Iran through economic sanctions, also known as economic warfare. When Iraq is really weak, like Iraq, the Americans could invade the country and topple the regime. So what should Iran do wait until it’s so weak it won’t be able to fight off foreign intervention, or does it attempt to break the blockade now while it still has strength left and force a confrontation with the US? Either way the Iranians are in a difficult situation, no?

  • Passerby

    Dehumanising the enemy state, is with a view to paving the way for the impending destruction of the enemy nation/towns/cities/society. This step is in aid of suppressing and quelling the outrage of the values; decencies and sensibilities of the constituents of the aggressor nations.
    ,
    The vile anchors of “regime”, “undemocratic”, “targeted killing”, etc. having been set in place then homilies of; “although I disagree with ….. (fill in as applicable) regime, I must say …..bla, …… Bollocks, … etc.”
    ,
    All the while in fact condoning the mass murder and slaughter of innocent human beings in far away places. The inaction of the good men, and their silence is an all too apparent collusion in mass murder by the way of joint enterprise, ie they were there , and they did nothing to stop it.
    ,
    In Iran a young man going about his business is murdered in cold blood, by getting blown apart, and there ensues the pontification, with none outraged at the inhumanity and cowardice of such criminal conduct.
    ,
    However these people can be rest assured that sooner than later someone will be pissing on their corpses too , criminal conduct once set as standard will hardly discriminate between friend or foe.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Writeon,
    .
    The deception of falling towers, the massacre in Iraq, the torture of girls and boys in Abu Graib, the genocide in Palestine and the complicity by the Western powers with states that boil people alive has ensnared Britain and America into an inevitable and ruinous departure from power and control. This by the power of intention of their own populace, a commonality of enlightened societies whose power resides in community and communication as witnessed here and a million more weblogs.
    .
    I was visibly shaken by this enlightenment when addressing +16yrs students from Walton High. By a mix of pragmatism and ideology, a strange oxymoron, their minds have mastered the transparency of Western plots, webs of deception and government denials of torture, false-flag and illegal wars.
    .
    The stark reality they has remained with me from that debate was that the students believed without exception that war is inevitable, a cutthroat execution to destroy so called ‘enemies’ of the Western farcical and perverted egalitarianism.

  • writeon

    Wahsington’s overall imperial strategy seems to be very simple on the surface, and incredibly ruthless, bloody, hypocritical, and destructive.

    They want to smash every possible nuetral, or independent, or potentially competive, rival, source of power, to pieces; thereby weakening them and making them far easy to control. It’s known as devide and rule, and is as old as imperialism itself.

    The strategy in the Middle East appears to be to start a regional war between the Sunis and the Shia.

    Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq have been partially dismembered already and the map of the region is being redrawn once more by the powerful, Western, imperialist, powers. Whether Washington will succeed in this endevour is debatable, as nearly every person from the Middle East I’ve talked to is perfectly aware of what’s happening.

    Iran is all that’s standing in the way of virtual total American dominance of the Middle East, and as this “prize” is of incalcuable value and stratgic importance, changing the regime in Iran, one way or another, would seem to be a forgone conclusion.

    Funnily enough I read a purported interview with Henry Kissenger today, where the old war-criminal quipped that if one didn’t hear the banging of the war drum, one must be deaf!

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Well put Writeon – The ‘awareness’ you describe to me is key to unraveling this ruthless deception of divide and rule before it has a chance to consolidate. Already I have uncovered that Iranian dissidents in the UK are being convinced that Iran’s leaders are murdering it’s own scientists, or those that have failed to sell themselves to Western intelligence.
    .
    Some senior Iranian dissidents who arrived in the UK to escape the brutal SAVAK are now members of ‘The National Council of Resistance of Iran’ and some are engaged with British intelligence. The UK group however has been infiltrated and we know (much like Ahmed Chalabi and the INC) are exaggerating or making up stories of WMD and diversion of enriched uranium to make bombs as well as fabricating stories of the ‘mullah’ regime assassinating Iranian nuclear experts.
    .
    http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/ncri-statements/iran-resistance/11613-acknowledgement-of-the-head-of-irans-atomic-energy-organization-to-discontent-among-nuclear-experts-and-khameneis-order-for-eliminating-them

  • Young One

    One can tell what a mickey mouse nuclear project Iran is running byt the way they have arranged security for their staff. Even me working for a bank is expected to take precautions when going to/from work, answering phoine at home, and driving. I also have a special number to call if I suspect that I am under “unfriendly” surveilance i.e vehicles following me etc.

    Iran government should take itself serious and protect their civilian workers.

  • Mary

    12.01.12
    Israel is pushing U.S. toward Iran war, Russian official says
    Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Kremlin’s Security Council, warns Iran could retaliate by blocking oil shipments from the Gulf.
    By Reuters and Eli Shvidler
    .

    Russia fears Israel will push the United States into a military conflict with Iran which could retaliate by blocking oil shipments from the Gulf, a confidant of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
    .
    “There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans,” Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Kremlin’s Security Council, told Interfax news agency.
    .
    He also said he believes Western countries are getting close to launching a military intervention in Syria, in an attempt to undermine Iran’s regional standing.
    .
    Patrushev, a former head of the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said Tehran could respond by blocking the Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, through which 35 percent of the world’s seaborne traded oil passes.
    .
    /…
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-is-pushing-u-s-toward-iran-war-russian-official-says-1.406963

  • Fedup

    Young One,
    Your name and details have not been passed onto IAEA, so you can rant as much as you like. Whence the whole regimen of “oversight” of “IAEA Inspections” is an extension of the US et al foreign policy apparatus. Compounded with the disgraceful behaviour of the current head of IAEA; Yukiya Amano, that is bordering on criminal. No amounts of security will save the lives of the innocent civilians who are going about their lawful business.

  • Azraltd

    Uzbek in UK : I never suggested that Iranian government kills its own scientist! what I was referring to that at time the so called revolutionaries whether in Iran or elsewhere, act just like security forces (ie a bomb here and there) and then blame the other party.
    Mark Golding : the group you mentioned I believe now have quite few of MKO people in there. They are absolutely despised by majority in Iran, (pro and anti government). Some of these people were the one who fought for Sadaam and butchered the Kurds and Shia in Iraq, and fought on side of Iraq during Iran/Iraq war. Not only Iranian but I believe many in ME, do not trust these kind of organizations who are outside and want to change things from afar, specially as we all know they collaborate with western spy agencies.
    When things change they will change from within. I believe the son of old Shah Reza Pahlavi already given up on the idea that he is going to be the next ruler and these morons in UK should take note too.

  • Abe Rene

    The assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientists reminded me of Frederick Forsyth’s novel “The Fist of God”. If the portrait it paints is true, such assassinations are approved by the Israeli government, but every case a clear verbal warning has to be given; hints like postcards with drawings coffins on them won’t do. Perhaps a Persian-speaking agent gave such a warning to the Iranian scientist, who responded in a manner that caused the warner to answer, ‘What have I done, that you should speak to me so disrespectfully?’ And the rest, as they say, is history.

  • Abe Rene

    PS. I wonder if Mossad would use Iranian anti-regime elements to do their dirty work for them.

  • Fedup

    Abe Rene,
    What fist of god and warning? These cowards go around killing the civilians for no other reasons than going about their business.
    ,
    Isreal has 400 nuclear and thermonuclear ie hydrogen bombs and delivery systems that include; aircraft, missiles with (sort/long/intercontinental) range, cruise missiles, and submarine born secondary retaliatory capability, ie after Isreal is dust it can still strike back with the nukes from submarines.
    ,
    US has no less than umpteen thousand nukes tactical and strategics ie small enough to hit/strike/use in Fallujah as well as big enough to turn a city into rubble and a dust pile.
    ,
    Now these lunatics are so afraid of a couple of would be/could be/possibly nukes in Iran? IN fact so afraid, they are killing their scientists. Give me a break this is yet another act of war, and an obvious attempt in intimidation of the Iranians. However, when this game gets out of hand and WWIII kick starts, where will the Isreali settlers will be running to? How will US cope with the bombs falling around their cities and towns? So far no one has even mentioned the miserable and none existent; preparations, infrastructures, systems for a big shindig, because everyone is so confident that the weak shall get a kicking and bullies will get away with it.
    ,
    The lunatics who dare win is their motto, have so far got away lucky, so pushing their luck is a mandatory, without so much as a hint of thinking; how long will their luck hold?

  • opit

    This should be unproductive, as you are operating from a patently false premise used for decades to pose those hosting nuclear disarmament conferences and subjecting their civilian power facilities to outside inspection.
    What part of getting fuel and technical support from Russia escapes your attention ? Didn’t the Cuban Missile Crisis establish their credentials as people who knew how to deal with nuclear threats in their back yard ?
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/bushehr.htm
    The nuclear facility at Bushehr was the focus of a considerable amount of controversy, especially in the United States. The reactor was being built under an agreement between the Russian and Iranian governments for $800-million. Although originally intended to be the location of a German-built reactor in the 1970s, the new reactor was to be built to Russian design specifications, though the original reactor buildings exterior appearance would remain essentially the same. There were two reactors at Bushehr, one was in an advanced stage of completion the other had not been worked on for some time and was not scheduled to be completed as of 2006.

    Iran was a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), though it had not ratified two ADDITIONAL protocols
    ( Signed the treaty – and was not interested in being flim flammed out of the meagre consideration it had afforded )
    The Leon Penetta link debunking the tale has already appeared on this thread.
    Here are the Talking Points
    http://www.transcend.org/tms/2010/05/the-npt-and-the-nuclear-power-trap/

  • writeon

    As to the identity of the assassins, or terrorists, who planted the sophisticated magnetic bomb that killed the Iranian scientist and his unlucky driver, one can probably narrow it down to elements from the Kurdish minority inside Iran who have a dream of creating a free Kurdistan.

    It’s relatively well-known that there are thousands of American mercenaries and military personel in the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq who are training the fledgling nation’s military. What’s perhaps less well-known is that there are many Israeli advisors there too. It would make sense to use, and pay, Kurdish assassins as they would blend in more easily than using Israelis, which, if they were caught, might prove embarrassing.

    I’ve a hunch that many of the “terrorist” outrages which are happeining inside Iraq, in order to distabilize and cause ethnic tension and strife between the Sunnis and Shia, also have the same orgins and backers.

  • Fedup

    “Kurdish minority inside Iran who have a dream of creating a free Kurdistan.”
    ,
    This is simply not true. Turkish Kurds and Iraqi Kurds did/do not have the same autonomy as the Iranian Kurds.
    ,
    However, Iraqi Kurdistan has been a base for various Isreali operatives posing as “natives” buying up tracts of lands, and playing host to clandestine operation against; Iran, Turkey, Syria.
    ,
    Have you read about the arrests of four US personnel implicated on “terror” attacks in Baghdad?

  • Fedup

    Can anyone verify how many foreign Jewish zionist ambassadors are there in Tel Aviv?

    So far we have;
    Mat Gould of Tel Aviv from UK
    Dan Shapiro of Tel Aviv from US

    “We’ve said and I say again that all options are open … President (Barack) Obama clearly and consistently says that he will do everything and resort to all necessary means to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons, and he means every word,” Shapiro said in an interview with the Hebrew-language daily Ma’ariv, Xinhua reported.
    ,
    Every option includes; murdering Iranian university lecturers, scientists, as well as Nuking a none nuclear Iran.,
    ,
    Lunatics running the asylum are running a mock.

  • boniface goncourt

    Check the Girlyman ‘cif’ website, where a creepy tory apparatchik named Cummings celebrates this terrorist murder as ‘bold and creative’. Must remember that soundbyte next time the Iswailis blub about twopenny squibs from Gaza landing in their bagel plantations. I suppose Cummings won’t mind if, next time he starts his car, he is boldly and creatively despatched to Holocaust Heaven.

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