Israeli PM Netanyahu attacks Gen. Dempsey as Servant of Iran

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…”

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | 74 Responses | Print |

74 Responses

  1. netanyahu has devoted his life and identity to a point of view. if he were to change his mind it would be equivalent to suicide of that identity.

  2. Netanyahu is loyal to Israel, General Dempsey serves the interests of the United States.

    Israel Firsters will follow Netanyahu’s lead.

  3. Excellent points Dr. Cole, thanks. I hope that the MSM also denounces the insult to our Military.

  4. Ah…Gen Dempsey I would like to thank you for having the bravery to make that statement. Too bad. We hope you will be happy in retirement, which is certainly your destiny.

    Look for Andrea Mitchell/Chris Wallace/ David Gregory to invite an AEI representative on their programs to smear you as an anti-semite.Then your record will be turned upside down and you will be made to look soft on terrorism, you “servant of Iran.”

    Remember Gen.Zinni was denied a position in the Obama administration because hysterical neocons (Rahm Emmanuel among them) pointed out that Zinni, a man who served his country for 30 years, made pre-war statements about Iraq being contained by the no fly zone, which was in direct opposition to Israeli foregin policy.

    Gen Dempsey, I fear another general said it best…Old soldiers never die…they just fade away.

    • “…We hope you will be happy in retirement, which is certainly your destiny…”

      Won’t happen.

    • And it’s an unfortunate corollary, that many or even most of them deserve to. That was certainly the case for MacArthur and a lot of the McClellan-class “fight the last war-do stupid crap with troops and materiel” stars like Westmoreland and Abrams and all those guys who “managed” Shock’nAwe and the Notagainistan Follies. It’s not even the case that the winners write the history any more: link to

  5. University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and Harvard University Kennedy School of Government professor Stephen Walt. In the working paper and resulting book they accuse AIPAC of being “the most powerful and best known” component of a larger pro-Israel lobby that distorts American foreign policy. They write:
    AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and to punish those who challenge it. … AIPAC makes sure that its friends get strong financial support from the myriad pro-Israel PACs. Those seen as hostile to Israel, on the other hand, can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to their political opponents. … The bottom line is that AIPAC, which is a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on the U.S. Congress. Open debate about U.S. policy towards Israel does not occur there, even though that policy has important consequences for the entire world.

  6. Question – has Iran, or anyone, ever made this proposal: “We agree to stringent inspections of our nuclear programs if Israel does the same” ? What would be the response if Iran did so? My own opinion is that it would be politically brilliant.

    Also, since it seems we’re pledged to provide for Israel’s defense (I hate it, but that’s the sad, infuriating reality of the situation) why don’t WE propose building US military bases in Israel instead of just giving them that $3billion in cash every year? We’d have that military presence in the region we so covet, and that way any attack on Israel would really be an attack on us. There’d be no hostile local populace to deal with, so logistics/supply lines/communications/etc wouldn’t be subjected to the nightmare scenarios we see so often in Pakistan/Afghanistan as but one example. Off-duty military personnel wouldn’t have to worry about being murdered or kidnapped and could spend their own money back into the local economies of Israeli cities if they so chose. Let Israel provide for their own defense, with the US supplementing them not with free no-strings-attached cash payments, but with our OFFICIAL cooperation and presence instead of the UNOFFICIAL manner we see now. In a related note, Israel would also have to pay for their own socialized medicine, education system, legalized abortions/contracteption, and all the other things that are forbidden for American citizens because of our fundamentalist rightwing.
    I think it’s a brilliant political move as well – if Israel declines, or their AIPAC allies refuse, then they are exposed for what they are – more interested in US taxdollars and their own influence over us than any real defense concerns.

    • “Why don’t WE propose building US military bases in Israel instead of just giving them that $3billion in cash every year?”

      Very interesting idea.

    • Answer: yes, Iran has repeatedly pointed out the insane position of the u.s. regarding Israel, its nukes etc. but he may as well have said it in his backyard to his gardener for all the scrutiny it received in the MSM.
      Obama will never call out Israel or speak truthfully about its grip on American politics because a) it would be political ( and possibly literal) suicide and b) he doesn’t really care (inho).

    • :\“Question – has Iran, or anyone, ever made this proposal:”

      Yes, but all the MSM reported was the misstatement that Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map. Iran does not threaten to wipe Israel off the map, only to wait until the sands of time remove the Zionist regime. Their sands of time, my evaporation. Same concept.

  7. While it grieves me that Israel’s reaction to everything is belligerent, it is also grievous that the US supports such behavior. We can”t change Israel, but we can stop funding this madness.

    If their enabler no longer helped feed this rage, Israelis might learn to get along with their neighbors. Bringing nations to the table for talks without being able to give ultimatums will change how diplomacy is achieved.

  8. Obama should keep the meeting with Bib, then on live international TV point out to the world that Bibi is a crazy warmongering idiot and the Israelis need to have regime change within 24 hours. Then Obama should announce the end of all ties between the US and Israel because Americans do not want to die for Israel.

    Sure, the bought and paid for US congress critters would scream, but the deed would be done and Israel would be hanging out to dry.

    I suspect the reaction in Israel would be complete shock and fear causing many Israelis to flee and the rest to want to lynch Bibi.

    If congress tries to impeach Obama all he has to do is ask Americans how many want to die for Israel and tell those that don’t want to die for Israel to tell their congress critters.

    It would permanently shatter the US/Israel relationship but should prevent the war and protect America.

    Sometime bold action is needed to stop catastrophe.

  9. Oh, I don’t know — a lot of the world’s worst “leaders” put on a nice show for the crowd, for decades and even generations, a show that turns out to be just Rube-o-vision. So many of them then go on to nice comfy quiet retirements, in places like Argentina and Belize and Costa Rica and small, idyllic South Pacific and Caribbean islands. Or maybe in the service of one “great power” or another, teaching their skill sets to new generations of host-killing parasites?

    I bet Yahoo has got a lot in common, from an Erik Erickson perspective, with Yasir Arafat, and I toss out one of my pet bits of reportage here: link to

    Interesting, the rather more “complicated” nature of the relationship, and similarities, between Arafat and various global and local Experienced Players.

    And I do know it’s anathema to put certain pairs of things in the same block of text, but how many Third Reich Patriots showed their true colors, their base nature, in zipping out of Europe, with stacks of Great Masters and tons of tooth-gold, for far horizons and “comfortable retirements?” Leaving, as Arafat did, a giant FUBAR mess for ordinary people to try to live with, sort out, and get beyond?

    Any wagers on whether Bibi and Lieberman and their cohort would hang around to go down with the ship they are so assiduously steering for that well-charted reef? To really stretch the analogy, that LNG carrier they are sending, full-tilt, into the great Open Port of our commercial Flat World, built six-deep with petroleum and gas storage facilities, headed for a fuel-air explosion to beat any possible comparison?

  10. The NYT had an article by Elizabeth Bumiller yesterday questioning whether Israel has the military capacity to do the job by themselves, assuming conventional weapons are used. Presumably the NYT will now be attacked, too.

    Netanyahu may conclude that Romney is his best bet, and start insinuating himself into the US elections.

    • Well, Israel supposedly doesn’t have the resources to do the job THE WAY THE US WOULD – with massive redundancy, overwhelming overkill, and zero risk of failure.

      That doesn’t mean they can’t – or won’t – do it “their way.”

  11. Spanking Netanyahu for intemperate remarks would be offer only short term satisfaction. The American right wing would use it as evidence to support the work they have done to portray the President as covertly representing Islamic values. President Obama has larger issues to deal with at a critical time. For example, protecting the American people from being reduced to a condition of vassalage by the right wing economic royalists.

  12. Here’s what Haaretz says Netanyahu’s office told the Americans:

    “”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.”

    Frankly, this is normal discourse between allies when they disagree. Whether Dempsey is a “war hero” or not is immaterial. Israel doesn’t think his public diplomacy is wise and has a right to express its displeasure to Washington.

    Second point: Despite all the hand-wringing by some, the public pressure campaign looks to be working. The Iranian statement about taking preemptive steps – gee, those same peace-loving Iranians – shows more cracks. (“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.” )

    • Iranians cracking from “public pressure?” Dream on!

      The generals remarks are warning shots across Netanyahu’s bows and an unofficial message to the Iranians that the US is not in lockstep with the maniacs in Tel Aviv.

      US and Israeli policy on Iran is diverging and the Israelis and their front groups can do nothing about it.

  13. No use looking for a “Profile in Courage” moment from Obama.

    He’s troubled that his actions to destroy the Iranian economy, and cause misery to the 80 million Iranians, has not satisfied Israel. Not enough hurt?

    “I don’t think a wise thing at this moment is for Israel to launch a military attack on Iran…” So, if Dempsey is the servant of Obama, the message is that there is no moral objection to attacking Iran, just tactical considerations like timing. And implicit in that statement is: if the timing is right, we’ll be there to help – because then it would be wise. To paraphrase – “War, me worry?”

    The all volunteer military is being corrupted into a palace guard, and the palace is in Jerusalem.

    • I wonder if the sanctions are there to appease the hawks and saber-rattling crowd here and in the ME . Election year politics as usual. Why else would Obama rhetorically and otherwise push for it, sacrificing our own economic interests in the midst of a jobless recession, where the intelligence report does not support an Iranian nuke in the near future? Either we want a nuclear-free ME, in which case “all options should be on the table” and everyone should be around the same table, or we do not. Obama sounded better in 2008, but this is 2012. The similarities between Clinton’s compliant continuation and expansion of Bush(41) Iraq sanctions with the current state of diplomatic conduct are rather disturbing.

      • Until 6 November next Obama HAS to play a double game. I would lose all respect for the man if he didn’t.

  14. While I agree with your analysis, I am culturally puzzled at the “war hero” part.

    Heroism is admittedly subjective, yet I have a hard time understanding what actions would count as “heroic” in the context of enforcing an occupation against the will of a population.

    • The word “hero” in the USA has become so debased that someone only has to put on a uniform of any kind to be lauded a “hero.”

  15. AIPAC’s success is due to its ability to reward legislators
    What a joke if this is US aid coming back full circle
    Just a rip off kick back distribution system

  16. Minister Binyamin Netanyahu needs to stay out of American politics and trying to take down American Generals who do not agree with him. Netanyahu should look towards corruption within his own country and people.

  17. “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.”

    What have these Israeli save-the-world-from-apocalypse fellas got to say about the USA’s end-times evangelicals who support Israel IN ORDER to bring on the end of the world?


  18. “…deserves a stern rebuke from the Obama administration if it is not going to make itself look like a complete set of wusses”

    It’s either be viewed as a complete wuss or as a raving anti-semite who wants to “kill all the Jews” (a trademark of the reactionary right). There’s no in between in American political discourse.

    More’s the pity.

    • “Nuance” and “subtlety” have been added to the Hate-A-Commie-Pinko-Liberal Daily Word List, started by GOPAC Gingrich, who some evangelicals say is one of the Anti-Christs you can read about in Revelation, and thus a harbinger of the Rapture, HOORAY!

  19. The sane verses the insane with the insane extremists winning most of the time. In the mass media news on TV or in print the inflammatory extremists get the headlines with the highest ratings. Leaving little time and front page room for the moderates in the middle. Whether it is the rhetoric from the extreme right or the extreme left they get the most coverage that inflames the people in the middle as well as the people on the other side. This is true all around the world. It is part of human nature. It unites people and divides the people creating the different sides.

    Just look at how fast and how high our federally elected leaders in Washington D.C. move up the ladder to powerful positions by being for more wars. Then look at our federally elected leaders that stand-up speaking out against more war. For the most part they are sidelined and shunned by the establishment often made out to being misfits. Just look at these members of Congress such as Senator Bernard Sanders, Congressman Denis Kucinich and Congressman Ron Paul as good examples of this. Then look at the Congressional leaders of the House and Senate and how much money they have received from the supporters of the military industrial complex and the militarization of the State of Israel as well as the Middle East region. David Global Crier

  20. Saw it coming! As soon as I heard Dempsey saying so (The Real News interview with Max Blumenthal), I expected an assault on him.
    I wondered if he was selected to take the hit. The Obama admin is trying to drop hints on both sides (as IIRC Gareth Porter was suggesting): Panetta says one thing one day, pleasing Israel; then another the next, p-ssing them off — ditto with the rest of the lot. So I wondered if Dempsey pulled the short straw for dropping this Israel-angering cue.

    • I’m sure somebody in that room said, “They wouldn’t pick on a baby-faced war hero, would they? … _Would_ they?” And then Panetta said, “I’m not gonna go out there again; they’re gonna call me a flip-flopper!”

  21. The US does not police the Middle East on behalf of Israel but for the oil companies. It does Israel no good to have US troops, aircraft carriers, etc., in the Middle East because the threats to Israel (suicide bombings, Hezbollah rockets, etc.) are not deterred or stopped by American military power. The only possible exception would be if American drones performed reconnaissance or attack missions for Israel, but as far as I know that is not happening.

    • How long have you been asleep? Suicide bombings were abandoned more than six years ago (always assuming, of course, that giving up one’s own life is less brave than ensuring only others are killed).
      The acceptance by the USA of Israeli paranoid foreign policy and cruel domestic illegal occupation of Palestine is a disgrace.

      • You ought to read the paper or listen to the radio. Suicide bombing hasn’t worked too well since the construction of the fence, but it hasn’t been “abandoned” and it hasn’t been six years since one succeeded. Wikipedia lists one in 2007 and two in 2008–and those are only the successful ones. Other attempts at suicide bombing have been stopped.
        Why in the world would you assume that the tactic has been “abandoned?” Has Hamas or Islamic Jihad made any such claim?
        In any case the original claims stand: the US does not police the Middle East on Israel’s behalf, and the weapons and capabilities available to the US military are not of any use against the military threats that face Israel.

    • The policy of the United States is to enforce regional hegemonies by backing a “friendly” dictator. The Shah of Iran was to serve that purpose in the region, but you saw the consequences. That left America falling back on the insane and impossible goal of making both Saudi Arabia and Israel the dominant powers. The oil lobby wanted the former and the Israel lobby the latter. But Saudi Arabia is founded on Wahhabism and obligated to use its wealth to expand it, while Israel wants all faithful Moslems stripped of any political power. Thus it’s a zero-sum game between them and any help we give to either makes it worse.

      As the Israel lobby grew in Washington, ex-Defense Secretary Cheney and his mad Neocons attempted to surmount this contradiction in both America and Israel by creating a single, far-right capitalist warmongerer ideology. They created the Clean Break manifesto for the Likud Party, and the matching Project for a New American Century for the GOP. The plan was to go to war on Moslem countries, install friendly govts in Iraq and Iran, and thus bypass those fundamentalist crazies in Saudi and transfer Big Oil’s loyalties to these new regimes.

      It was a total disaster. Now we’re stuck keeping the mess from exploding.

      The biggest military favor we perform for Israel is not exposing its open secret nuclear arsenal or treating it as a fugitive from nuclear arms control, while treating Iran as if it is. Our other favors consist of not treating its invasions and occupations as we would treat them if anyone else were perpetrating them.

  22. Prof. Cole has reached a new low in his intentional distortion of what Israeli officials say, in an effort to support his warped version of what’s going on in the ME.
    I’m no admirer of Netanyahu, but your warping of what Israeli officials have said is beyond belief. They *did not* say that Dempsey is a “servant of Iran”, but rather that certain statements might serve Iranian interests.

    In any case, it’s also important to burst your pathetic bubble about how everyone is ignoring the US sanctions on Iranian oil exports. From Reuters this morning:
    Exclusive: China, India plan Iran oil cuts of 10 percent or more
    link to

    Iran’s bid for new crude buyers falls short in SE Asia
    link to

    • No admirer of Netanyahu???? distortion of israeli voices??
      You might like to have a look at the interview on CNN international with Mark Regev on the hunger strike saga.

    • MK: Some discussion has it that India and China are cutting back on Iran oil due to caution (not USA pressure); caution because the madness of USA-Israel might bring about a war or otherwise cut off, even briefly, the normal flow of Iranian oil.

      Maybe that’s what the “war talk” is for, anyhow, to scare buyers of Iranian oil. But, isn’t cutting down on buyers for Iranian oil the equivalent of reducing world oil supply and driving prices up? (BIG-OIL might like that, of course, but who else?)

      • “…BIG-OIL might like that, of course, but who else..?”

        Nobody of course, and as the game plays on ‘big oil’ won’t much like it either.

        The EU is barely surviving economically with fuel costs skyrocketing, and the US is already caving on exemptions with Japan, China and other far east countries importing Iranian crude.

        Loss of production from Yemen, Sudan and Syria on top of banned Iranian crude is causing market fears driving speculation, higher prices and jeopardizing the US recovery. No one believes Saudi Arabia and the Arab gulf states has the capacity to make up the global shortfall.

        Despite the jingoism, Iranians are unified against buckling under what they consider illegal and unjust pressure against their country, besides believing they have a right to enrich uranium under the non proliferation treaty. The Iranians have unilaterally stopped oil shipments to England and France 4 months ahead of the EU import ban, and are threatening to terminate supplies to other European states.

        The genius’s who dreamed up this oil embargo sold it as having little impact on the global economy, but the game has only started to play and the pain is already being felt at the pumps and in the markets. It comes down to who will scream ‘uncle’ first.

  23. Some more encouraging news for you to fret over:
    Japan, U.S. near deal on Iran oil import cut
    link to

    FYI, the next time you want to prove your point that Iran and China are close to a deal on more Iranian oil exports, you’d be wise not to use an Iranian source like the Mehr news agency. A supposed expert on the Mideast should know better.

    • Hooray! We’re starving Iranians for a non-existent weapons program!

      Mark, I’d have one tiny iota of respect for you if you were enough of a man to admit that your goal is illegal regime change. The second iota burned up in Iraq when we destroyed the place for its non-existent nuclear program.

  24. This is an hysterical reaction by Cole. Bibi didn’t actually say these things. Public discord among allies DOES serve the interests of the enemy. No one said Dempsey was ‘serving Iran’ only that the language serves their interests. If you want to be credible to more than just the knee-jerk anti-Israel and anti-American rabble that likes to cite guys of Walt’s ilk while blathering about US troops dying for Israel (which they haven’t), you need to present a more rational analysis. The world needs more rational discourse on these issues not more inflamed and inaccurate hyperbole.

    • Which reality are you living in, RC?

      Not any one that as far as I can see, from the tiny little bit of information about your Weltanschauung that can be gleaned from the structure and content of your comment, leads to a world I would be comfortable consigning to my grandchildren and their offspring. Speaking of credibility and hysteria and jerking knees. And the patent dearth of “rational discourse.” And the subtle toxins of tribalism and fragile identity.

    • I agree with RealityCheck we need more “Rational Discourse” but the more discourse we have the worse Israel looks. Why is Israel pushing the US to bomb Iran when there is no evidence that Iran is building, or has any intentions of building a nuclear arsenal. Can the same thing be said of Israel.Shouldn’t we discuss what bombing Iran would do to world oil prices, as well as the fragil economies in Europe and America.

      A rational discourse has been long in coming on the Krakow like conditions the Israelis are forcing the Palastinans to endure. Limited food and medicine, no building materials allowed the list goes on.

      I suggest you not get on your high horse when discussing “Rational Discourse” while anyone with an opposing view to war with Iran is not allowed to voice their opinion on any national news outlet.

    • Iran isn’t my enemy. Any Moslem who refuses to bown down to arbitrary demands, attacks and invasions from Israel is your enemy. Your boys have hundreds of nukes and it’s time to admit it – meaning that you admit you don’t really need to put settlements on stolen land as a “buffer zone”.

  25. Guys like Dempsey don’t speak off the cuff. That was a public message by the US, and Obama is all that’s standing between us attacking Iran on the behalf of Israel, for the reasons noted. Not a happy situation, but we all know what’s going on here and faced with the CURRENT power of the Lobgy, not alot we can do. However, things will inevitably change.

    There was a clarification of that mistranslated “wipe israel off the face of the map ” comment by Iran, to something like “to see the current regime go the way of the Soviet Union.” Its an apt analogy. The USSR was riddled with what political scientists call “internal contradictions” that made the regime’s continued existence a matter of time. Israel is in that same quandry.

    Israel has to fundamentally restructure its attitude and way of doing business, with the Palestinians and the world, if it wants to have peace, or in the long run, survive. It doesn’t seem correct to totally lay this all at the feet of the Likud, since the rest of their polity gives a degree of implicit endorsement to their behavior, even if they voted against Bibi etal in a given election. (I will similarly accept complicity in the Iraq debacle, despite having voted against Dubya. Fair is fair, and that’s the nature of assuming responsibility).

    So. Israel has backed itself into a corner. Its clout in the US is peaking pre-election; afterwards Iran will acquire a degree of latency and Israeli hegemonic prerogatives will be compromised, which is what this is impending conflict is really all about. If they cannot buffalo the US into neutering Iran for them (if for only a few years), they’ll have to do it themselves to keep up their jailbird street-cred, however half-a**ed or catastrophic the consequences.

    Those infamous “internal contradictions”, which exist along a number of different dimensions in Israel, are not going to just go away. A resolution through regime change is a matter of time and how many people are going to have to die first.

    • Excellent point. It is very unlikely that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs spoke without the knowledge and at least the tacit approval of the Secretary of Defense and the President.
      Given what happened to General McChrystal and Admiral Fallon, it is doubtful that anyone as smart as General Dempsey was “winging it.”

    • History is full of exactly these “half-a**ed or catastrophic” consequences! WWI, WWII German/Italian/Japanese side especially, Vietnam, Iraq I on Iraq side, Iraq II on the US side…etc. I agree with the Soviet analogy, but how would have one made a prediction at the height of Stalin’s supercharged(and talk about “internal contradictions”) and cruel power? What is puzzling is not that Israel seems to operate with many blind spots no matter who the PM or FM-many nations have, do , and will-it is that wholesale loyalty of the US-google US UN vetoes of the past 6 decades-does not seem to take any of these spots away! What can explain this? Religion?

      BTW South Africa ran for quite awhile with lots of these “internal contradictions.”

      • Sorry I did not mean to write religion per se. I meant what religion can lead to: a supernatural rationality that is beyond worldly reason! Most of it can be harmless, but the little that is not has not been easy on the world! Soviet rationality did not have a supernatural force behind it…

  26. Certainly Bibi has no obligation to agree with US policy, publicly or otherwise, as he is first to declare. Yet even his own senior officials have said publicly what Gen. Dempsey has said. If Bibi thinks it unwise to differ with a major ally in negotiations with Iran, it would behoove him to talk less and listen more.

  27. Poor General Dempsey.

    The problem with trying to take away your drunk friend’s keys when he staggers out to his car swearing to “Kill dat bitch” after doing a few shots is that he tends to punch you in the face.

  28. “He should call off the March 5 meeting now planned with Netanyahu and let him cool his heels till he apologizes.”

    Is that actually a punishment, though? This meeting looks an awful lot like Nethanyahu being called on the carpet, after the administration jerked the chain a bit. I think that canceling the meeting would be just the opposite.

  29. Not to nitpick, but,

    “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.”

    There are about 311 million people in the US. $3 billion/311 million ~ $9.60 per person.

    • Frankly, I’d like to see that $3B going to CPB: public radio and teevie, rather than supporting Israeliarrogance and intransigence. Hey, it’s only $9.60/head!

    • Wow. By your math, that would appear to be a real steal! Maybe even a Doorbuster, in the American commercial lexicon.

      On the other hand, there’s only 7.8 million people in Israel, 75% of one degree of Jewishness or another, 20% Arab. “Dec 29, 2010 – 75.4 percent of Israeli are Jews, 20.4% are Arab; 16000 immigrated to Israel in 2010; 28% of population under age of 14.” link to

      $3 billion in direct money dump into Israeli coffers — how much in “indirect support” in keeping “our own” Ring of Fire up and running all over the Mideast? Maybe another $10 billion, in “covert ops” and various carrier groups and other deployments that “secure” that area? Maybe more?

      Assume a total of $13 billion, ignore the money disappeared into the Fog of War, divide that by (round it up) 8 million, and what do you get?

      My Microsoft calculator says $1,625. All assumptions are subject to infinite attenuation and argument, of course… Like all of this stuff.

      “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Stay glued to our convenient, so easily manipulable Mythhandles… It’s so much SAFER that way.

    • Conservative estimate of total *direct* aid to Israel, roughly $115 bn. through 2012

      Divide by number of taxpaying workers in US, and it is close enough to $1000 per. That doesn’t count indirect support such as favorable trade agreements, much less losses from Israeli industrial and military espionage, nor does it count the bribes in the form of $1.3 to $2 bn a year since 1979 paid to Egypt to make nice with Israel, nor US military expenditures in support of Israel’s position in the Middle East. The true cost per taxpayer is much, much, greater.

      I am not arguing that the US shouldn’t help Israel out. I am arguing that if we do so, they should have the decency not to accuse us of treason every time we suggest they not go on a self-defeating rampage.

  30. It boggles my mind that so many anti-Zionists (disclosure: I am one) reduce the capture of the US legislative branch for the Israeli cause to an infusion of campaign money (pennies in the large picture). There are more fundamental reasons that need to be explained, hopefully without rancor.

  31. Whenever foreigners criticize a conservative official in our government, our far right fanatics are immediately ready to go to war for him, to kill, to destroy, to terrorize everyone else into silence.

    So now that foreigners have criticized an American general and his vaguely liberal boss for not being pro-war enough, will American peaceniks, pacifists, leftists, and Occupiers take to the streets to back them up?

    No chance in Hell. And Obama gets the message from that, which us idealists will never understand. Politicians will go where the loyalty is, even if it’s blind, bland, centrist loyalty. And that is why the Right gets away with its extremism and no one else does.

  32. Mitchell Bard, a former editor of AIPAC’s Near East Report,” Though the Jewish population in the United States is roughly six million, or a little over 2 % of the U.S. population, almost 90 percent live in twelve key electoral college states. “These states alone,” writes Bard, “are worth enough electoral votes to elect the president.”

    Admiral Thomas Moorer, former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has spoken with blunt exasperation about the Jewish-Israeli hold on the United States:
    “I’ve never seen a President — I don’t care who he is — stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles the mind. They always get what they want.

    So a Loony attack on Iran is likely being on the Israel menu

  33. Most of the decorations listed for GEN Dempsey are just what Generals get for not quitting.
    But the Bronze star with a “V” device for valor in combat, that’s the real deal.

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