March 5th, 2012
11:17 AM ET

The Iran threat: Separating fact from fiction

By Reza Sayah, CNN

Many U.S. politicians and Israeli leaders call a nuclear-armed Iran the greatest danger to world peace.

“An Iranian nuclear weapon is one of the most frightening things we have to confront,” Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich told his supporters in Iowa earlier this year.

In his speech to the U.S. congress last year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The greatest danger of all could soon be upon us – a militant Islamic regime armed with nuclear weapons.”

The narrative by those who fear Iran most goes something like this: Iran is ruled by mad mullahs and a deranged president who are secretly building nuclear bombs and could be crazy enough to use them - therefore they must be stopped, even if it means attacking Iran first.

But top U.S. military officials and leading analysts say the frightening rhetoric about Iran doesn’t always match the facts.

One of the most alarming claims is that Iran poses an “existential threat” to
Israel. This view has been called into question by top U.S. officials, including the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, General Martin Dempsey.

“I also understand that Israel has national interests that are unique to them. And, of course, they consider Iran to be an existential threat in a way that we have not concluded that Iran is an existential threat,” Dempsey told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria last month.

Neither Washington nor the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog have accused Iran of actually building bombs. U.S. officials say they believe Iran is trying to develop a nuclear capability that could lead to production of a nuclear bomb. Iran’s leaders have called nuclear bombs “un-Islamic” and insist their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, powering plants to generate electricity. However analysts say the conflicting claims create an atmosphere of uncertainty that serves as a deterrent in a “keep them guessing” defense strategy.

But what if Iran had nukes?

Many U.S officials and analysts say they don’t believe the regime’s leaders are trigger happy.

“I've been confronting that question since I commanded Central Command in 2008,” Dempsey told Zakaria. “And we are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor.”

“They haven't shown themselves to be suicidal,” says Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “What's paramount for Iran's leadership is to remain in power and so if you're a suicidal regime you usually don't survive for 33 years.”

Former senior advisor to U.S. President Barak Obama, Vali Nasri, said Iran’s leaders “have ambitions of grandeur, not ambitions of destruction.”

But hasn’t Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly said he wants Israel “wiped off the map”? Despite widely held perceptions and his often confrontational tone, neither he nor other Iranian leaders have threatened to directly wage war against Israel.

Analysts and Farsi speakers - the Iranian language - say Ahmadinejad’s initial statement in a speech in 2005 was misinterpreted. They say he was not calling for an attack against Israel, but the ouster of its government in favor of one Palestinian state, with Israel no longer recognized as a nation.

“Iran has consistently rejected Israel's existence since 1979,” Sadjadpour says. “They have supported groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah who agitate militarily against Israel and for that reason Israel fears were Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, it would embolden Iran to double-down and support these rejectionist groups it has supported for all these years.”

“When he [Ahmadinejad] said ‘wipe off the map’ - that there would be an explicit military operation to do that - that’s not…what he said,” Nasr explains. “But the political intent of what he said is unambiguous, which is to deny Israel’s right to exist and to encourage the Arab’s to do so as well.”

An Iran with the capability to build nuclear bombs could also lead to a major shift in the balance of power, creating instability in what is already one of the world’s most volatile regions.

And that’s enough, analysts say, for Israel, the U.S. and their allies to be very worried.

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Topics: Iran • Israel • Military • United States

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soundoff (380 Responses)
  1. jim

    That Iranian PM should either shave or grow a proper beard. He looks like a street person. Thats all we need- a wino with a hydrogen bomb.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Reply
    • Neko

      hehehe...
      So funny.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  2. Truth_Sayer

    Only thing that worries me about US is Rush Limbaugh's Radio show is number 1. So many People keep on hearing irrational and evil talk. Vladimir Putin, Bashar Al Assad, George W Bush, Karl Rove, Ahmadinijad, Rush Limbaugh, Pakistan's ISI, Burmese Regime, Hamas, North Korean leaders should all be isolated from rational human civilization.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  3. HorseCentz

    President Obama wants it to appear to be the GOPs fault when we go to war with Iran. He authorized the Stuxnet virus attack on Iranian centrifuges, and he is well aware that Iran would not be in such a hurry over a power plant.

    If Iran only wanted nuclear power why would they invoke economic hardships on themselves? Why be in a huge, dangerous hurry to build a power plant when they have 100-200 years of natural gas reserves?

    So considering the consequences, which are real and immediate why is Iran in a big hurry? Same reason they are building warplanes, warships, missiles, and especially ICBMs.

    They intend to produce military power and a detente umbrella using nuclear weapons under which they can exert their negative influence to destroy Israel and the USA.

    No doubt about it.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • Neko

      There cannot be an understanding of ideas that promote killing of people who's ideas differ from your own. The French expression "Vive la difference" is what will make human beings better human beings.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • bob

      in the late 60's the us was pressuring iran to build 27 nuclear reactors and but a plutonium extraction plant from the united states so they could produce their own nuclear fule in house. This was back when oil was THREE DOLLARS a barrel. back thent he logic is they should free up as much oil production as possible to sell ont he open market.

      if they dont need nuke power now with oil over 100$, why did they need it then?

      March 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  4. Bruceboy

    To all those who state that Israel is genocidal and destroys Palestinians in their camps it is time for a realty check. Ask the Palestinian leadership, President Abbas and the Hamas,who govern the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,directly if they would accept Israel as a sovereign nation. Perhaps when you hear their response "Absolutely Not" you will give pause to your inaccurate and wildly wrong statements.Israel does not occupy Gaza but has to defend itself from indiscriminate Iranian supplied rocket attacks from Hamas. If Israel was genocidal how do these naysayers deal with the fact that almost 20% of Israels' population of 7 million (1.4 million) are Israeli Arabs who live in complete freedom,have meaningful jobs, are judges and members of the israeli Parliament. That can hardly be described as "genocidal "and apartheid. Perhaps some reality checks are in order and a step off the anti-semitic and anti-zionist crazy train is due. Israel is the only democratic country in the Middle East. They do not stone adulteresses. They do not hang Gays. They do not beat women for not covering their heads and faces in public. They accept all colours races and creeds in their country, but they will not accept threats to their national security and those that do so threaten them should take note.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • HorseCentz

      Israel has never been the problem. The problem is clear but our media and some of our politicians have been playing PC games for so long they have forgotten how to tell the truth from a lie. Persians care about some portion of one Arab tribe? No. Pakistanis? No. Iraqis? No. Egyptians? No. Yemen? No. Bahrain? No. Afghanistan? No. All of these nations have their own huge problems yet they are obsessed with hatred for Israel and the USA. Why?
      One reason only, we are not Muslims.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  5. Joe M.

    Anyone who thinks the threat to Israel comes from an overt Iranian attack, or thinks that the lack of such a threat is reassuring, doesn't know what they are talking about or is intentionally skewed in favor of non-confrontation at all cost. The threat from a nuclear Iran comes from its myriad connections to proxy terrorist groups. You will not see a missile trail coming from Iran if a nuke or dirty bomb goes off – and it is counting on that plausible deniability.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • HorseCentz

      You are correct that is a huge issue and threat.
      However, the conventional ICBM is also a threat. We feared when the Soviets launched Sputnik because that is a step toward global reach missiles. Iran has launched three satellites into orbit. That base that blew up in Iran late last year was an ICBM development site.

      March 6, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  6. VinceRN

    So we are supposed to believe the word of Iran's supporters that Iran meant things like "wipe from the map" in the nicest possible way. OK.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  7. Neko

    Would all Islamists on this site please register using your own names intead of hiding behind "Caucasian" names.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • saywhat?

      @Neko
      The Quran specifically states that all Jews should be killed

      Where does it specifically say that? If you are going to quote the Quran then @Listening is better than Talking is right on.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • Neko

        Qur'an 59:6
        "What Allah gave as booty to His Messenger, He has taken away from the Jews. Allah gives His Messenger Lordship over whom He will. Whatever booty Allah has given to Muhammad and taken away from the (Jewish) people of the townships, belongs to Allah and to His Apostle."
        Tabari VII:94 "The Prophet said, 'Who will rid me of Ashraf?' Muhammad bin Maslamah, said, 'I will rid you of him, Messenger of Allah. I will kill him.' 'Do it then,' he said, 'if you can.'"
        Bukhari:V4B52N270 "The Prophet said, 'Who is ready to kill Ka'b bin Ashraf who has really hurt Allah and His Apostle?' Muhammad bin Maslama said, 'O Allah's Apostle! Do you want me to kill him?' He replied in the affirmative."
        Ishaq:365 "'Who will rid me of Ashraf?' Maslama said, 'I will deal with him for you. O Apostle, I will kill him.' Muhammad said, 'Do so if you can.'"
        Ishaq:365
        Tabari VII:94 "Muhammad bin Maslamah said, 'O Messenger, we shall have to tell lies.' 'Say what you like,' Muhammad replied. 'You are absolved, free to say whatever you must.'"

        March 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Neko

        Tabari VII:97 "The next morning, the Jews were in a state of fear on account of our attack upon the enemy of Allah. After the assassination, the Prophet declared, 'Kill every Jew.'"
        Bukhari:V1B1N6 "Just issue orders to kill every Jew in the country."
        Tabari VII:97
        Ishaq:369 "Thereupon Mas'ud leapt upon Sunayna, one of the Jewish merchants with whom his family had social and commercial relations and killed him. The Muslim's brother complained, saying, 'Why did you kill him? You have much fat in you belly from his charity.' Mas'ud answered, 'By Allah, had Muhammad ordered me to murder you, my brother, I would have cut off your head.' Wherein the brother said, 'Any religion that can bring you to this is indeed wonderful!'"

        March 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
      • Mohammad A Dar

        Nothing is wrong to end hindu Judaism, criminal self center ism and hindu Jew's, criminal self centered in defiance of truth absolute, living not by truth but hinduism criminality of Jewish hinduism, racist self center ism to deny humanity their equality. al, the La. the limit, H most high, absolute rules the world and a hindu Jew, criminal self centered of Persian and Egyptian origin, pretending to be Israelite has no knowledge of it. Be a humsn, "HIS" desire not a hindu Jew, criminal self centered.

        March 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  8. STLBroker

    Does the fact that Iran's leader has publicly stated that he would like to wipe Israel off of the map count for anything? Wake up people! Iran will build them and they will most definitely use them.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
    • Heydecka

      Hey...there's an election going on ...Now, if the guy in Iran was an American citizen we could just drone him but unfortunately, he isn't one of us and we have to wait until the big day.

      March 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  9. C

    His rhetoric is toxic, but that doesn’t mean he's willing to start a nuclear war. I think he's quite rational in this respect and will never make the first move. What's the point, his country would be destroyed too. It's like a new cold war, but between Israel and Iran.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Neko

      And barring any historical references to the nutbar, you know how that "he's quite rational in this respect and will never make the first move"?

      March 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  10. hmmm...

    Loser: Israel: no political clout during this election year...the bus is rolling...oooops...watch out. The silver medal goes to USA. Really nothing to lose on this one going along with Irans game plan and may just put off the fireworks until after the election is over. Pulling up on the shot will not win the game but sits pretty for the 2nd place purse. And the winner..........Gold goes to IRAN. Yes....Use of weapons grade materials production just in time for an embattled presidents re-election campaign and controlling the game...BRILLIANT.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  11. Eric

    My largest concern isn't with Iran's government. It's with Iran's security. There are many radical organizations over there with many different radical views. It would be impossible for us to list the possibilities that could occur should a nuke be overtaken. The US and Russia probably aren't extremely secure about their nukes either, but I can't imagine what it would be like to have your nukes surrounded by well armed extremist groups and have much less security and little to show of an intelligence organization that tracks these groups. I don't worry about Ahmadinejad with nukes as much as Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, or some other sole purposed militant group.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  12. Heydecka

    Ok...good. After reading these posts I think we are getting really close to resolving this issue. See, talking it out is good.

    March 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  13. MeMelvin

    Permit me to present a discussion why Iran will never nuke Israel.

    Israel is a very small country with a territory of only 20,700 square kilometers (7,992 sq mi),
    Israel has a population is 7,798,600 inhabitants
    About 5,865,300 Jews
    About 1,597,300 Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians
    About 318,200 Others

    Israel is home to various religious shrines for a dozen different, but historically related faiths.
    Included in those shrines is the Dome of the Rock. The third holiest place in Islam.

    Iran would not be able to “wipe Israel off the face” of the Earth without killing many of their fellow believers, destroying the Dome of the Rock and leaving the territory uninhabitable. Very counter-productive, if the goal is to give Palestinians back their "home land".

    If that were to happen, it would be the other Islamic nations which would be the first to rise up against Iran. Non-Muslim nations wouldn’t have to lift a finger in retaliation or revenge.

    However, in the Greater Metropolitan New York/Northeast area there is a population of 22.2 million people. And 3.5 million of them are Jewish (more than half of Israel’s population):

    Imagine for the moment that you are Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, where would you most likely want to detonate a nuclear device to kill the most of your "enemies" possible; Jewish or otherwise? Hmmm?

    America, it ain’t Israel which is in danger. It’s us!

    March 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  14. Dmitris12

    Iran is harmless, let's not touch it!.
    The responders don' know history how Nazi's came to power. Europe and US were appeasing Hitler until the war broke out and the 6 millions of jews and another several millions of other nationalities were exterminated in the camps. Everything was done to prevent that war including giving up on Czechoslovakia. some ignorant dumbheads here say that Israel is committing genocide without knowing a damn thing about Israel, how democratic and humane is this country and its people. How about Palestinians rejoicing the release of their serial murderers from prisons, or 9/11?
    Why people are so hypocritical (or ignorant) or purely antisemitic? What is happening in Syria, anyone gives a sh... in this forum?

    March 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  15. Mercenary For Hire

    It's time to take out the nuclear reactors in Iran before they decide to plant "mushrooms" in our own backyard; and while I do not necessarily support full-blown war with Iran, as we just cannot afford more conflict thanks to the trillions of $$$$ our ex-president, GW Bush, wasted in Afghanistan and Iraq, I still think we need to prevent Iran from further enriching their uranium to weapon-grade level. As a previous commentor wrote on a different post, arming Iran with nuclear weapons is like giving al Qaeda a nuclear warhead to do with as they please. It's not an option – Iran is a Terrorist sponsoring nation that needs to be stopped.

    March 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  16. Adam

    There's soo many people out there saying attacking Iran would be catastrophic. There are many that say Iran hasn't even decided to acquire nuclear weapons. People who believe Iran's leaders are wanting to start Armageddon by setting off a nuke and then waiting for the Mahdi to come are conspiracy theorist morons. The same idiots who think Barack Obama was born in Kenya. You guys are soo stupid... After all this you still won't learn...

    March 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • bob

      attacking iran WOULD be catastrophic. Their enriched urnaium is located in the middle of tehran. a city the size of new york. to bomb the facility to deny them access to this uranium would be an environmental disaster akin to purposefully causing chernobyl in midtown manhattan.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  17. mattc1981

    What a nauseating piece of "news." Yes, let's defend Iran even though they burn our flags, wish 'death to America' and want Isreal wiped off the face of the Earth. I am so sick of this country and the media having no freaking backbone and being wrapped up in political correctness. They would be dancing in the street if they killed you or I, but we feel the need to be 'holier than thou' and that's going to screw us.

    March 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Reply
    • Socrates

      What are you talking about? Burning American flags and wishing death to America? That describes more than 3/4 of the planet. Typical American...expert on everything, knowledge of nothing.

      March 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Reply
      • mattc1981

        Um. Does that 3/4 of the planet include Iran? Which I was talking about? If so, I thank you for leaving the most pointless response in internet history.

        March 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • bob

      how would you feel about iran if they managed to depose the democratically elected president of the united states, and then installed a brutal military dictatorship? what if they goaded mexico into war with the us and supplied mexico with chemical weapons that killed 100,000 americans? what would you think of iran then? because thats EXACTLY what the us has done to iran. i think they have the RIGHT to burn our flags and wish death to the great satan.

      March 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  18. GD

    MAD worked fine, if tensely between the 2 largest superpowers for decades. Containment of Iran is a non-issue. Attacking a former puppet-State by presuming their unproven intent is irresponsible, and would further destabilize world petroleum markets among other U.S. interests, let alone further erroding any moral credibility we might hope to have in the Muslim world. Come on GOP, pay attention!

    March 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  19. Neko

    Qur’an:9:5 – “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

    Qur’an:9:112 “The Believers fight in Allah’s Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed.”

    Qur’an:9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”

    Qur’an:8:39 “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”

    Qur’an:8:39 “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”

    March 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • Mohammad A Dar

      Nothing is wrong to end hindu Judaism, criminal self center ism and hindu Jew's, criminal self centered in defiance of truth absolute, living not by truth but hinduism criminality of Jewish hinduism, racist self center ism to deny humanity their equality. al, the La. the limit, H most high, absolute rules the world and a hindu Jew, criminal self centered of Persian and Egyptian origin, pretending to be Israelite has no knowledge of it.

      March 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  20. IRAN IS EVIL

    Here's my take on the Iranian Nuclear

    Q: FIRSTLY, are we willing to trust Iran with Nuclear weapons?
    A: No way! Else risk having a volatile ME brimming with nukes in tha hands of unstable Islamic radical regimes!
    and they will send the nuc to syrian thugs and killers and we saw what the shiia killers can do as they kill there own people

    Q: Can we let diplomacy go on right until the point Iran gets nukes?
    A: No way, we need to stop them right at their tracks! we must attack iran and syria now and keep israel and middleast safe and keep the world safe from the evil shiia and iranian thugs

    Q: Is a war in the ME now more disastrous than after Iran has developed nukes?
    A: Clearly NOT!

    Q: Will a war with Iran now cause major upheaval, increase terror against Americans all over the world incl. terror right here in America from homegrown Islamic radicals?
    A: No . But it may just be necessary to prevent potential major catastrophe or even a WW3 later on. iran is a paper tiger they do have more than 45 opposition groups we can use them to attack iran from the inside among them the arabestan province , the sunni in iran, the kurdish in iran, the lures and turks, the assyrians, the stuudents and women movments, the bahaii and persians egtc.....we must help the iraqi sunni to destroy the iran interests behind the lione.

    Q: Is war the only answer to stop them?
    A:yes! as diplomacy will never work with iran and syria or any shiia , they are an evil liers, they call lies taqeya, there god called ali and hussain!!!
    dont allow iranians to come to usa canada or any where for any reason that include the iraqi shiia and syrian shiia thuygs.

    Q: Is it time to strike Iran?
    A:yes 100% as the arab spring rising and the sunni arabs will help to attack the shiia interests, saudi arabia and gulf states will pump more oil 3 time more to offset iran oil problem so no worry about oil flow and price.

    Q:What do we mean by Iranian compliance?
    A: STOP enrichment beyond 3.5% and surrender in a verifiable manner all stocks of enriched Uranium above 3.5%
    Dismantle their underground enrichment plants in Qom and other places. Allow IAEA inspectors unfettered access to all facilities. THEY WILL NEVER DO THAT MARK MY WORDS DONT BE FOOL ATTACK NOW....OBAMA WILL NOT ATTACK THE REASON BECAUSE HE HAS A NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE AND HE WILL KEEP THAT IMAGE OF PEACE , BUT THAT WILL DESTROY THE WORLD....WAKE UP OBAMA

    DONT TRUST IRAN AND THE SHIIA

    Until we do all these the world can never be safe from ISLAMIC NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL !!!!!

    March 6, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • bob

      why should iran stop enrichment beyond 3.5%? they have a legitimate, verifiable, civilian need for 19.75% enriched uranium.

      Why should iran dismantle underground facilities?

      Iran DOES allow the IAEA unfettered access to ALL NUCLEAR facilities.

      March 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  21. bribarian

    100% fabricated by AIPAC and their zi0nist minions

    March 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  22. IRAN AND syria shiia are EVIL

    The world waited while Germany rearmed itself...all in the name of self-defense and national self-esteem following the Armistice in 1918. The result of waiting was more than six million innocent jews murdered by a fanatic who wrote his plan years earlier. Iran has made it clear through words and its ongoing sponsorship of Hamas and Hezbollah (not to mention the murderous Assad regime) that they are without honor, cannot be trusted, and will kill as many Jews (and Americans) they can. I can never forgive them for the Iran Hostage crisis. There support of terrorist acts through the 80's and 90's including the killing of an American in a wheelchair is a testament to the evil of the Iranian government.

    March 7, 2012 at 4:39 am | Reply
  23. IRAN AND syria shiia are EVIL

    all you need to attack and finsh syria are 50 uman aircraft drawn attack syrian president pallace his army base and provide cover to homs and let the free syrian army do the rest, attack syrian weapons safe houses and the supplies root it is very easy you can let these fighters fly from saudi , jordan turkey and the med sea .....days and night 24 hours round the clock destroying radars and soft target

    March 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  24. Ivan

    The only country that is a significant threat on the Middle East is Israel.

    Israeli attack on Iraq´s Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981 was unprovoked

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/june/7/newsid_3014000/3014623.stm

    The only ones that have any issues with Iran are the Israelis and their American puppet president.

    So tell me why should Israel be the only one to have Nuclear capability in the region and no one else?

    So here Israel is the aggressor just like in all the other wars they have started.

    Oh and then they come crying to the USA.
    oh please come help us we are being picked on and attacked.

    We have No business helping Israel in any way.

    I Hate to tell you the bad news “We have NO friends in the Middle East”

    Where was Israel during 9/11, did they try to stop it?

    Did our friends the Israelis help us after?

    Were they there with us in Afghanistan?

    Israel.does not care about the consequences of their actions.

    They care only about their own survival and only their own.

    They do not care who else their actions will harm.

    On June 8, 1967 Israeli forces attacked USS Liberty with full knowledge that this was an American ship, they killed 34 brave men.

    So once again I say “We have NO friends in the Middle East”

    March 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  25. Norman Elliott

    Reality! Israel's militarism and Israel's nukes have destabilized the Middle East. A nuclear armed Iran would restore a semblance of balance of power. That would have a stabilizing influence on the whole region.

    The Israeli scare mongering that Iran would nuke Israel is no more than self serving balderdash. They wouldn't dare. Israel has some 300 highly sophisticated deliverable nuclear warheads.

    The reality is that Israel is desperate to preserve their ability to romp stomp bomb and terrorize at will in what they see as a hostile neighborhood.

    And guess what? Their neighbors ARE hostile to them. The Israelis aren't just paranoid, they are right. Their neighbors would like to annihilate them.

    And guess why? Why are their neighbors hostile to them and why do their neighbors want to annihilate them.

    Answer: Because they have a proclivity to thieve land and bulldoze down peoples homes. Then when people object to that injustice, they respond with targeted killing and oppression of dissent.

    When that dissent spreads to their neighboring states, they respond with romping stomping and bombing, terrorizing their neighbor states. Yes, Netanyahu may be a paranoid delusional, but he is right too. They want to destroy Israel.

    You say that, well, then Israel must just start behaving normally. But not so fast, they behave that way because that is their nature. People or states cannot just simply change their nature. That would be to change and become a different person or a different state. Peope or states cannot change who or what they are.

    But the problem is that when Israel goes to romping and stomping and bombing a neighboring country, emotions run high and sanity goes out the window. In that case, against a backdrop of high emotion an otherwise sane Iran might very well loose a volley of nukes at Israel.

    No, Netanyahu is right, to prevent another holocaust, Israel has to preserve it's ability to romp and stomp and bomb their neighboring countries without fear that one of them might loose a volley of nukes at them.

    Israel must destroy Iran's ability to threaten Israel. And they cannot do it by themselves, the American soldiers must do it for them.

    Gird thy loins my fellow Americans, for the task ahead is arduous and it is dangerous. No greater love hath a man, than that he lay down his life for another. My fellow American, our love for Israel is being tested. Will we be found wanting?

    March 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • Case

      "Why are their neighbors hostile to them and why do their neighbors want to annihilate them"
      Because the Kuran tells all Muslims to kill all those who do not believe in Allah, that is why. If these people are allowed to wipe Israel from the face of this earth, then they will go after others until Allah's will has been accomplished. Thanks for asking Abdul. Good question.

      March 8, 2012 at 6:09 am | Reply
    • Case

      "Gird thy loins", so funny.

      March 8, 2012 at 6:10 am | Reply
  26. fair_is_fair

    “I've been confronting that question since I commanded Central Command in 2008,” Dempsey told Zakaria. “And we are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor.”

    If you trust him to command your military trust his judgement. This is all hype to put political pressure on Iran.

    Does anyone really think iran will use nuclear weapons? Even I will then support an all out attack, regime change, whatever on Iran, because this would be intolerable. The entire world will not only put sanctions but will refuse to talk to them at all.

    Israel is less than 60km across. Think about it. How do you contain an attack to affect only Israel and not the Palestinians? Might as well nuke the the Palestinians and all the surrounding countries as well. Fukushima created a 30 km unsafe zone, imagine a nuclear weapon?

    Iran would be mad to launch a nuclear attack, and anyone who thinks they will is mad, anyone who says they will is playing politics.

    March 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  27. Schmoogalicious

    “But the political intent of what he said is unambiguous, which is to deny Israel’s right to exist and to encourage the Arab’s to do so as well.”

    What is actually meant by the phrase "Israel's right to exist" is, in its complete form, "Israel's right to exist as a Jewish supremacist state that denies rights to non-Jews and commits ethnic cleansing and other human rights abuses in order to establish and maintain an overwhelming Jewish majority." Leaving aside the fact that governments don't actually have "rights to exist", few would challenge the existence or morality of an Israeli state whose government respected human and legal rights regardless of religion or ethnicity.

    March 8, 2012 at 1:32 am | Reply
    • Case

      what kind of proof do you have, or can you quote from valid reliable sources that Israel has ever committed ethnic cleansing?

      March 8, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
  28. Lex

    Your are delusional if you think the Iranian leadership is not delusional. These are religious fanatics who are in-charge of a country with billions of dollars. In that environment, its easy for them to be delusional.

    March 8, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
  29. 15 usa soldiers ra pe 2 afgani women before killing them

    the afgani investigation and the international lab proved now that 15 usa soldiers was involved of killing more than 16 children and women, and that 15 soldiers ra pe 2 afgani ladies young ladies ra pe them repeatdley and then shot them dead and burned there bodies , exactley as it happened in iraq when usa soldiers ra ped 14 years old girl then shot her and shot her parents and brothers and burned there bodies ...usa did that in vitnam ,korea and many other places they are murderous thugs ra piest killers and OBAMA say soyy all the time!!?/while leaving evil iranians and evil syrian bashar al asad killing more civilians obama is a cowered president if obama want to fix this problem he must attack syria now and remove bashar al asad to show to the muslim world that he mean it, remove the evil in syria now and prove your point OBAMA.......why you are silent...SILENCE IS A CRIME.

    March 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  30. easy meditation

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    April 20, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Reply
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