Crying wolf over Iran

The Christian Science Monitor has published a timeline of all the ‘imminent’ nuclear threats supposedly posed by Iran since 1979. One can also see this headline from an Israeli paper in 1984 stating that “Iran in final stages of production of nuclear bomb”.

While the western media dwells heavily recycles these claims by these governments, they tend to ignore the repeated open threats by the US, UK and Israel to attack Iran, even going to the extent of saying that ‘nothing is off the table’ and ‘everything is on the table’, implying that even the use of nuclear force is not ruled out.

Yet despite this never-ending bellicose language from these countries, and the draconian sanctions that have been imposed by them, much of the media still manages to speak as if Iran is the sole aggressor in this war od words.


  1. Al Dente says

    much of the media still manages to speak as if Iran is the sole aggressor in this war od [sic] words.

    We’re the Good Guys™ wearing the white hats. They’re the black hat wearing Bad Guys. Ipso facto that makes them the aggressors, regardless of who is doing the aggression.

  2. colnago80 says

    Of course, one has to wonder if Iran’s inability to develop nuclear weapons thus far owes as much to assassination of their nuclear scientists, computer viruses like Stuxnet, and other such activities designed to undermine their program as to the usual technical difficulties. Had these activities not been undertaken, Iran might well have had nuclear weapons a long time ago. Of course, Prof. Singham opposes these activities, perhaps because he thinks that Iranian development of nuclear weapons is perfectly AOK as long as other countries have them and that the Government of Israel should dismiss Iranian promises to wipe Israel off the map as so much hot air. Just like his fellow travelers in the 1930s dismissed Frankenberger’s rhetoric as hot air. How did that work out.

  3. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Can you tell me that since 1984, Iran has not been trying to get the bomb? Or has not been the crazy eddie and financier of much of the terrorism in the middle east?

  4. colnago80 says

    Don’t you know that to the Israel bashers on this blog, if its directed at Israel, its not terrorism.

  5. Frank says

    Iran is guilty of human rights violations.
    Israel is guilty of human rights violations.
    Palestinians are guilty of human rights violations.

    Palestinians have a right to a state. Israel has unlawfully occupied Palestinian territory.
    Israel has a right to exist as a state.

    Israel possesses nuclear weapons.
    Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.
    Palestinians do not possess nuclear weapons.

    The US has regular diplomatic relations with Israel.
    The US does not have regular diplomatic relations with Iran.
    A move toward regular diplomatic relations between the US and Iran is a positive for both countries, and potentially, for Israel and the Palestinians.

    Based on the above statements, do I fit your definition of an “Israel basher”?

  6. kraut says

    “Yes, Saddam was a bad man, in case you’re wondering.”

    And he was our bad man…for a while.

    And our Aipac representative as usual…any critique of Israeli politics is antisemitism, right in line with the Simon Wiesenthal centre etc. where even Jews criticizing Israeli politics are anti semites. Go figure.

    “But the Israeli conviction that the Iranians are cheating is based on a more robust foundation: our own behavior. When Israel started in the 1950s to build up its own nuclear program, with the help of France, it had to deceive the whole world and did so with stunning effect.

    By sheer coincidence – or perhaps not – Israel’s Channel 2 TV aired a very revealing story about this last Monday (just two days after the signing of the Geneva accord!) Its most prestigious program, “Fact”, interviewed the Israeli Hollywood producer, Arnon Milchan, a billionaire and Israeli patriot.

    In the program, Milchan boasted of his work for Lakam, the Israeli intelligence agency which handled Jonathan Pollard. (Since then it has been dismantled). Lakam specialized in scientific espionage, and Milchan did invaluable service in procuring in secret and under false pretences the materials needed for the nuclear program which produced the Israeli bombs.”

  7. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Saddam WAS a bad man, we can probably both agree the war was idiotic, but thank you for confirming what some idiots are eager to swallow.

    Regardless, um, gee, this is Iran we’re talking about, not Iraq.

  8. colnago80 says

    As per usual, the Hun is seriously in error. I am not a member of AIPAC, I have never been a member of AIPAC, I have no interest in joining AIPAC. I have no authority to speak for AIPAC. Any relationship between my views and those of AIPAC is purely coincidental.

    The notion that the whole world was deceived by Israel’s nuclear program is certainly nonsense. The US was well aware of it and the Kennedy Administration agreed to look the other way if Israel would agree not to use nuclear weapons without the permission of the POTUS. AFAIK, that agreement is still in effect.

  9. colnago80 says

    Correction, Iran does not possess nuclear weapons as we sit here today, AFAWK but they are making strenuous efforts to develop them.

    Comparing Israeli human rights violations with those of Iran is like comparing the fellow who steals some silverware at a restaurant with the fellow who sticks up a bank.

    The Palestinians could have had a state in 2000 which would consist of 100% of the Gaza Strip and 95% of the West Bank. They turned it down because they would have to give up the demand that Palestinians living in refugee camps be resettled in Israel. Until such time as they give up that demand, their chances of getting a state are slim and none and slim is on the bus headed out of town.

  10. sailor1031 says

    Jesus H Murphy – will you get off that fucking “Frankenberger” kick? WTF is the matter with you?

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    Recent glaring and criminal examples of warmongering bullshit about ‘imminent threats’ , from the same states, are irrelevant because Iraq is not the same country as Iran? Are you joking?

  12. sailor1031 says

    Iran, Irak. Whatever! – the modus operandi is the same. Oh gee – the lights are on but…..

  13. says

    Comparing Israeli human rights violations with those of Iran

    He wasn’t comparing them. He was simply observing that both parties had engaged in human rights violations.

    You appear to not understand that human rights violations are serious crimes, whether they involve one individual being harmed, or millions. Ethics don’t work that way, unless you want to dismiss The Holocaust as irrelevant because it wasn’t as bad a human rights violation as Genghis Khan’s invasion of China? The point is that if you want to say something is wrong, it’s wrong independent of scale. Scale is different from degree – perhaps we can agree that kicking someone in the knee is a wrong that is of a lesser degree than gouging their eyeball out.

    Thus: if I gouge out 1 eyeball or 10,000,000 I’m a bad person and should not have done any eyeball-gouging. I don’t get a pass on my eyeball-gouging just because I only gouged 5 eyeballs.

    On a related but different point: What the nazis did to the jews does not excuse the Israelis doing the same thing to the palestinians.

    These things ought to be obvious to anyone with any ethics or morals. I know we keep having to explain them to you; you ought to be wondering why, by now.

  14. says

    the Kennedy Administration agreed to look the other way if Israel would agree not to use nuclear weapons without the permission of the POTUS

    Can you point to anywhere where that claim is documented? In all my studies of nuclear proliferation I’ve never come across that particular one before.

  15. sailor1031 says

    Actually much of the support for terrorism (and even more for islamic radical fundamerntalism) has come from Saudi-Arabia. You know – America’s great “ally”. Our best friend (and they hate us…..)

  16. Frank says

    No correction needed. I stated nothing about Iran’s intentions for a nuclear weapons program. I only stated that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.

    My question stands: Do I fit your definition of an “Israel basher”?

  17. thewhollynone says

    Why do we need to normalize diplomatic relations with Iran? What advantage is that to us? I wouldn’t consider it unless the Iranians abjectly apologize for past transgressions and guarantee the safety of all American embassy personnel. There are still Americans imprisoned in Iran on trumped up charges; the Iranians should release them.

    I remember the Iranian Hostage Crisis; any fool but Jimmy Carter would have interned the Iranian ambassador and his family, plus all the Iranians at the UN, until our citizens were returned unharmed. I don’t know exactly what Reagan threatened them with to get those people back, but it’s the only good thing he did as President.

    The only way to treat a Persian is to step on his toes until he apologizes. They are incredibly arrogant and still living on the delusion of their past history of ancient greatness in war. Iran is a dictatorial religious fascist state that can never be trusted; if they get nukes, they will try to blackmail the world.

    Note: I am not Jewish, and I am not a supporter of present Israeli policy.

  18. says

    We need a new word for lumbago, and I have it: bananity, a portmanteau of two words:

    bananas – slang for crazy
    inanity – total lack of meaning or ideas

    Mano is clearly a patient man. PZ Myers would have banned him by now. Lumbago makes Dennis Markuze seem rational by comparison.

  19. colnago80 says

    Re Marcus Ranum

    It’s too bad that the Government of Israel doesn’t take a page out of the Assad playbook in their treatment of the Palestinians; that would give the Pennsylvania pinhead something to really whine about.

  20. Rob Grigjanis says

    You remember the hostage crisis, but do you remember Mosaddegh, the Shah, and SAVAK?

    The US has a talent for creating its own enemies, and making very bad friends. I can only conclude that its own incredible arrogance is a result of selective amnesia.

  21. colnago80 says

    I read about this a long time ago, as I recall, in an article in Time Magazine written a year or so after the 1973 war between Egypt and Syria on one side and Israel on the other side. The article claimed that the IDF head, one General Elazar, ordered 6 F4 Phantom jets to be loaded with one Hiroshima sized nuclear weapon each and to attack the Aswan Dam. Fortunately, Prime Minister Meir found about it before the jets got off the ground and ordered them to stand down. Shortly thereafter, Elazar was given the heave ho. Supposedly, then Secretary of State Kissinger found out about the episode and called Meir, reminding her of the agreement between Ben Gurion and Kennedy as to the usage of nuclear weapons.

  22. Frank says


    Please end this game with the silly names. As best as I can tell, “Frankenberger” is Adolph Hitler. Am I the “Pennsylvania pinhead”? I am originally from Pennsylvania, and I’m sure I’ve been called a pinhead, but I’m certainly not important enough to deserve such a title. So who are you actually writing about?

    As far as the Assad regime goes, it is guilty of gross human rights violations against several groups. It would really be a shame if Israel started acting like the Assad regime toward anyone.

    Again: based on the statements I’ve made, am I an “Israel basher” by your definition?

  23. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @sailor1031 : Funny that you focus only one one not really relevant word of what colnago80 has written whilst completely ignoring the actual substance of his argument there.

    @left0ver1under : :Lumbago? Oh. You’re trying to be funny as well as abusive towards another commenter here at a schoolyard insults level. Just how old are you? Surely old enough to know better by now.

    Again I’ll point out your total failure to address the actual arguments and logic and evidence presented here by the commenter named colnago80 in any way other than irrelevant , silly name-calling. Oh & hints that you think this commenter should be banned for presenting his opinion rationally and with good supporting logic.

    I take it that means you concede the validity of colnago80’s case and are unable to address it in any other way?

  24. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ 3.2 Frank :

    Based on the above statements, do I fit your definition of an “Israel basher”?

    Let’s go through your statements -“above’ is now below – and see shall we?

    Iran is guilty of human rights violations.
    Israel is guilty of human rights violations.
    Palestinians are guilty of human rights violations.

    Correct at some basic level I suppose but ignoring the level and number of such violations and also the motivations. It hints at a false moral equivalence which ignores reality and context.

    Iran is an oppressive goverment harming its own people and the world by sponsoring terrorism and Islamist ideology.

    Israel is trying to defend its people from this terrorism and the terrorism of the Palestinians both others are motivated by the desire to commit genocide again against the Jewish state.

    Palestinians have a right to a state.

    Do they?

    is their right the same or less than that of West Papua Tibet or the Chagos islanders for instance?

    Is the original UN resolution still to be considered valid in light of subsequent events? I’m not so sure gthis statement is true or useful or that it is being applied consistently.

    Israel has unlawfully occupied Palestinian territory.

    Dubious. What “law” are we talking about here? The UN which is notoriously a dictators debating club?

    In any case Israel has unilaterally handed back captured lands obtained at a very high cost in Israeli blood sweat and tears – and lives. Gaza and the West Bank / Judaea &Samaria are in many places already nolonger occupied and in Palestinian hands.

    Israel has a right to exist as a state.


    Israel possesses nuclear weapons.

    This is unclear because it isn’t officially confirmed but it probably does.

    Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.

    Yet. And not for want of trying.

    Palestinians do not possess nuclear weapons.

    Yes – thankfully for the world!

    The US has regular diplomatic relations with Israel.
    The US does not have regular diplomatic relations with Iran.
    A move toward regular diplomatic relations between the US and Iran is a positive for both countries, and potentially, for Israel and the Palestinians.

    Potentially. In reality, its a lot less clear and depends on a whole range of factors such as Iran’s subsequent behaviour and approach to Israel and the wider world.

    So “Israel basher”? I don’t know. But based on these statements you do seem to fall into at least a couple of popular misconceptions common to the Israel bashers notably the false equivalence one and the ignoring Middle Eastern history and regional context errors.

  25. colnago80 says

    Re Frank

    Pennsylvania pinhead refers to Marcus Ranum who currently resides in Pennsylvania.

    As far as I can see, you appear to be a reasonable critic of Israel’s policies. As a matter of fact, I consider myself to be a critic of certain Israeli policies and have no use whatever for Bibi Netanyahu who is not only a liar (as pointed out by former Prime Minister Sharon and former French President Sarkozy) but a clumsy bull in a china shop. His lobbying Congress and sending Naftali Bennett, who is a loud opponent of the administration’s two state policy, to do the same is utter stupidity. It is guaranteed to anger the administration for no purpose.

    As for calling ole Adolf Frankenberger, I have expounded on this previously on this blog and Ed Brayton’s blog. Manure by any other name would stink as badly.

  26. colnago80 says

    I call that rascal the Vancouver vampire (he allowed as how he resides in British Columbia in a comment earlier on; I assume that he probably lives in Vancouver). By the way, I get a laugh every time someone objects to referring to Adolf as Frankenberger. Who the hell cares whether he would be annoyed by it. It would be equally appropriate to refer to him as Schickelgruber, or Heidler.

  27. colnago80 says

    I know it is de rigeur for the lefties to beat up on the Shah, who was not a nice man, but the unfortunate fact is that most of the other dictators in the Middle East then and now are even worse. As a matter of fact, for the women of Iran, the current regime of the mad mullahs is considerably worse then the Shah and the religious extremists who have taken over the Iranian military are no better then the SAVAK.

  28. colnago80 says

    By the way, I can’t prove this but it is my speculation that then Egyptian president Sadat found about about it and, having dodged a bullet (barely, 20 minutes later there would have been mushroom clouds over the remains of the Aswan dam), decided that war with Israel was a no win proposition, which made him decide to seek another option.

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