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Drumbeats of War: Israel says Iranian Missiles Aimed at US

'Fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me... You can't get fooled again.'

Common Dreams staff

Iranian missiles “aimed at America,” said Israeli Deputy PM Moshe Yaalon, Thursday, February 2, 2012.

The war drums for war on Iran grew louder today.

Israel is counting on the influence of right-wing extremist views in US politics to bring pressure to bear on Obama to fall into line with a possible Israeli attack during the election campaign this fall.

In Israel, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said that Iran is “getting ready to produce a missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers... That's the Great Satan. It was aimed at America, not at us."

And, the Israeli IDF Intelligence Chief Aviv Kochavi said Iran already has enough uranium to build 4 nuclear bombs and could build one within a year.

Also today, Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR) blasted ABC News for "a blatantly propagandistic report on the supposed threat from Iran."

Just yesterday, a "bipartisan" task force of conservative Democrats and neo-conservatives who served in the Bush administration urged President Obama to prepare for an "effective surgical strike against Iran's nuclear program."


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See (below) a comparison of today with the 2002-2003 propaganda campaign preceding the US war on Iraq.

* * *

Gareth Porter is reporting at Inter Press Service today:

Dempsey Told Israelis US Won't Join Their War on Iran Without Prior Agreement

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Israeli leaders Jan. 20 that the United States would not participate in a war against Iran begun by Israel without prior agreement from Washington, according to accounts from well-placed senior military officers.

Israel is counting on the influence of right-wing extremist views in U.S. politics to bring pressure to bear on Obama to fall into line with a possible Israeli attack during the election campaign this fall.Dempsey's warning, conveyed to both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak, represents the strongest move yet by President Barack Obama to deter an Israeli attack and ensure that the United States is not caught up in a regional conflagration with Iran.

But the Israeli government remains defiant about maintaining its freedom of action to make war on Iran, and it is counting on the influence of right-wing extremist views in U.S. politics to bring pressure to bear on Obama to fall into line with a possible Israeli attack during the election campaign this fall.

Obama still appears reluctant to break publicly and explicitly with Israel over its threat of military aggression against Iran, even in the absence of evidence Iran has decided to build a nuclear weapon.

Dempsey's trip was highly unusual, in that there was neither a press conference by the chairman nor any public statement by either side about the substance of his meetings with Israeli leaders. Even more remarkable, no leak about what he said to the Israelis has appeared in either U.S. or Israeli news media, indicating that both sides have regarded what Dempsey said as extremely sensitive.

* * *

The New York Times is reporting today:

Israel Warns Iranian Missiles Might Threaten U.S.

A senior Israeli official said on Thursday that the missile testing site near Tehran that was destroyed in a huge explosion three months ago was developing missiles with a range of some 6,000 miles aimed at the United States.

The official, Moshe Yaalon, a deputy prime minister and minister for strategic affairs, said the explosion, at a Revolutionary Guard missile base, hit a system “getting ready to produce a missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers.”

“That’s the Great Satan,” he said, invoking the term Iran often uses to refer to the United States. “It was aimed at America, not at us.

* * *

The Jerusalem Post reports:

IDF Intelligence Chief: Iran has Uranium for 4 Nuclear Bombs; Can Make Bomb Within a Year

Iran has created a stockpile of enriched uranium that could be used to manufacture four nuclear weapons, head of the IDF's Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi said on Thursday.

Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, Kochavi said that once Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the decision to go to the so-called "breakout stage" and begin enriching uranium to military-grade levels, it would take the Iranians a year to make a crude device and another year or two to manufacture a nuclear warhead that can be installed on a ballistic missile. [...]

"Iran's motivations are: to create hegemony in the region; deterrence; and to become an international player," Kochavi said. "They claim that they are developing the program for peaceful purposes but our intelligence shows without a doubt that Iran is continuing its work on developing a nuclear weapon."

* * *

A Timeline of our recent coverage of the US/Israel threat to aattack Iran

  • 2/1/2012 - The neocon Bipartisan Policy Center calls on the US do "whatever it takes" to stop a nuclear Iran: "Iran could develop nuclear weapons capability in 2012."
  • 1/31/2012 - US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced that "Iranian officials... are now more willing to conduct an attack in the United States"
  • 1/31/2012 - Israeli President Shimon Peres: "Iran's "evil" leaders cannot be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons"
  • 1/29/2012 - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned "time was running out" for an attack on Iran.
  • 1/28/2012 - Pentagon Seeks Mightier 'Bunker Buster' Bomb vs. Iran
  • 1/27/2012 - The largest-ever joint military exercise with the United States and Israel scheduled.
  • 1/26/2012 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "They have this excuse that Iran is dodging negotiations while it is not the case."
  • 1/11/2012 - Iran Accuses Israel, US of Assassinating Nuclear Scientist
  • 12/31/2011 - Obama Signs New Iran Sanctions Into Law
  • 12/27/11 - Iran Threatens to Stop Gulf Oil If Sanctions Widened
  • 12/4/2011 - Iran Military Shoots Down US Drone: State TV
  • 11/21/2011 - The Obama administration declared the Islamic Republic of Iran a "primary money laundering concern"
  • 11/6/2011 - Israel's Peres Warns Attack on Iran Getting 'Closer'
  • 11/5/2011 - US Military Official: We Are Concerned Israel Will Not Warn Us Before Iran Attack

* * *

A Reminder: The propaganda campaign that preceded US war on Iraq.

  • 11/26/2001 - GW Bush declares, "Saddam is evil."
  • 12/9/2001 - VP Dick Cheney on Meet the Press: "Well, the evidence is pretty conclusive that the Iraqis have indeed harbored terrorists." Also claims 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi spy in Prague.
  • 3/24/2002 - Saddam "is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time."—VP Dick Cheney on CNN
  • 8/26/2002 - "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends…and against us." — VP Dick Cheney
  • 9/7/2002 - GW Bush claims a new UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report states Iraq is six months from developing a nuclear weapon.
  • 9/8/2002 - Page 1 New York Times story by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon cites anonymous administration officials saying Saddam has repeatedly tried to acquire aluminum tubes "specially designed" to enrich uranium. "The first sign of a 'smoking gun,' they argue, may be a mushroom cloud."
  • 9/8/2002 - Tubes "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs…we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."—Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice on CNN
  • 9/8/2002 - "We do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon."—VP Dick Cheney on Meet the Press
  • 9/10/2002 - Dept. of Homeland Security issues 'Orange terror alert.'
  • 9/13/2002 - VP Dick Cheney tells Rush Limbaugh: "What's happening, of course, is we're getting additional information that, in fact, Hussein is reconstituting his biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs."
  • 9/18/2002 - GW Bush calls Saddam's offer to let inspectors back into Iraq "his latest ploy."
  • 9/19/2002 - Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld tells Congress that Saddam "has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, and mustard gas."
  • 9/24/2002 - Britain releases dossier to public saying Iraq could launch biological or chemical attack within 45 minutes.
  • 9/25/2002 - "You can't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror."—GW Bush
  • 9/25/2002 - Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice says: "High-ranking detainees have said that Iraq provided some training to Al Qaeda in chemical weapons development."
  • 9/26/2002 - In a Rose Garden speech, GW Bush says: "The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons."
  • 9/27/2002 - Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld calls link between Iraq and Al Qaeda "accurate and not debatable."
  • 9/28/2002 - GW Bush's address to nation: "The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more, and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given."
  • 10/7/2002 - GW Bush delivers a speech in which he says, "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof—the smoking gun—that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." Also says Iraq is exploring ways of using drones to target the US, although Iraq's drones have a reach of only 300 miles.
  • 10/11/2002 - Congress—including all serious Democratic contenders—votes to grant GW Bush power to go to war.
  • 11/8/2002 - UN Security Council passes Resolution 1441 offering Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations." Iraq agrees and UN weapons inspectors return.
  • 11/27/2002 - Weapons inspections begin in Iraq.
  • 12/7/2002 - Iraq submits a 12,200-page declaration to the UN documenting all its unconventional arms. US discredits the report because it does not mention the tubes or the Niger uranium.
  • 1/9/2003 - Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the U.N.'s IAEA, echoes DOE's view that the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq are likely for artillery rockets, not centrifuges. A senior Bush official responds, "I think the Iraqis are spinning the IAEA."
  • 1/9/2003 - After nearly two months, UN's Hans Blix says his inspectors have not found any "smoking guns" in Iraq.
  • 1/28/2003 - In State of the Union, GW Bush says "the 16 words": "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Bush adds Saddam has "tried to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production" and has "mobile biological weapons labs."
  • 1/29/2003 - "Iraq poses a serious and mounting threat to our country."—Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld
  • 1/31/2003 - Notes of meeting between GW Bush and Tony Blair make clear Bush intends to invade Iraq even if UN inspectors found no evidence of WMD. Bush told Blair he'd considered "flying U2 reconnaissance planes…over Iraq, painted in UN colors" to tempt Iraqi forces to fire on them, which would constitute a breach of UN resolutions. [Date the details of this meeting became public: 2/3/2006]
  • 2/5/2003 - In UN speech, UN Ambassador Colin Powell says, "Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence." Cites accounts of mobile weapons labs; that Saddam's son Qusay has ordered WMD removed from palace complexes; that key WMD files are being driven around Iraq by intelligence agents; that bioweapons warheads have been hidden in palm groves; that a water truck at an Iraqi military installation is a "decontamination vehicle" for chemical weapons; that Iraq has drones it can use for bioweapons attacks; and that WMD experts have been corralled into one of Saddam's guest houses.
  • 2/6/2003 - GW Bush says an Iraqi drone loaded with bioweapons could strike US mainland.
  • 2/7/2003 - Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld ups war length estimate: "It could last…six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
  • 2/7/2003 - Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge warns of Al Qaeda "credible threats" and raises the terror alert level to orange.
  • 2/8/2003 - In radio address to the nation, GW Bush warns that "firsthand witnesses have informed us that Iraq has at least seven mobile factories" for germ warfare.
  • 2/10/2003 - Department of Homeland Security advises Americans to stock up on plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect themselves against radiological or biological attack.
  • 2/14/2003 - Hans Blix again tells UN Security Council that Iraq appears to be cooperating with inspectors.
  • 2/15/2003 - Largest demonstrations in history. In 600 cities worldwide, millions protest war.
  • 2/23/2003 - "UN weapons inspectors are being seriously deceived…It reminds me of the way the Nazis hoodwinked Red Cross officials."—Bush adviser Richard Perle
  • 2/27/2003 - US diplomat John Brady Kiesling resigns, citing the "distortion of intelligence" and "systematic manipulation of American opinion."
  • 2/27/2003 - Deputy Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz tells congressional hearing: "I am reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators…the notion of hundreds of thousands of American troops is way off the mark."
  • 3/16/2003 - VP Dick Cheney on Meet the Press: "We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
  • 3/20/2003 - 'Shock & Awe': US launches disastrous "Operation Iraqi Freedom" war on Iraq. No WMDs are ever found. Over a million Iraqis die; nearly 5,000 US troops die, 100,000 wounded.

(Timeline adapted from Mother Jones)

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