"Israel has drawn up plans for a combined air and ground attack on Iranian nuclear installations if diplomacy fails to halt Tehran's atomic program..."
- Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005
Last month, amid the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, accomplished lunatic Louie Gohmert, a Republican congressman from Texas, took to the House floor and called for Iran to be attacked.
After insisting it is "time to cut off every dime of American money going to anyone who has any kind of relationship with Hamas or those killing in the Middle East, and especially in Israel," Gohmert added, "It is time to bomb Iran's nuclear capabilities. It is time for the United States, if we are not going to stop Iran's nukes, then let Israel do it. A friend will not put another friend in this kind of jeopardy."
Never mind that Iran has no "nukes" for anyone to "stop," since it's not actually making any and never has made or acquired any. Never mind that Iran has been consistently complying with the prescriptions of the multilateral deal agreed to last November by Iran and six world powers. Never mind that a number of recent articles in widely-read media outlets have addressed the myriad falsehoods and myths responsible for the past three decades of fear-mongering and propaganda about Iran's civilian nuclear program.
Still, the persistent false narrative that military strikes by either the United States or Israel may follow any potential failure to reach a deal continues to be repeated in the press. Of course, the fact that any such attack would be unequivocally illegal under international law is rarely noted in these assessments. Indeed, even the "threat" of attack is itself expressly prohibited under the terms of the United Nations Charter.
Pronouncements that Iran is close to having a nuclear bomb, or close to being bombed, are ubiquitous in the media. Threats against Iran - by both the United States and Israel - have been made for decades, despite routine Iranian dismissal of such rhetoric as mere bluster.
The frequency of such threats - always reported with fever-pitched alacrity by a dutiful and prostrate press - is alarming.
Not only is an American or Israeli attack on Iran always just around the bend - regardless of the state of diplomacy or intelligence assessments - but the media consistently provides fantasy scenarios by which its audience can imagine, replete with maps and graphics, just how such war crimes would take place.
Over twenty years ago, a report in the Independent (UK) published on June 23, 1994 revealed that the Pentagon had inked a deal to provide Israel with advanced F-15I fighter jets, designed to "enable the Israelis to carry out strikes deep into Iraq and Iran without refuelling."
Three years later, on December 9, 1997, a The Times of London headline screamed, "Israel steps up plans for air attacks on Iran." The article, written by Christopher Walker, reported on the myriad "options" Israel had in confronting what it deemed "Iran's Russian-backed missile and nuclear weapon programme."
Such reports have been published ever since. Of course, neither the United States nor Israel will attack Iran, regardless of the success or failure of negotiations, but such reports (often the result of strategically timed "leaks" by anonymous government officials) serve to not only to intentionally torpedo diplomacy but also mislead the public into believing the absurdly false narrative surrounding the Iranian nuclear program; that is, either Iran must be bombed or it will acquire a nuclear arsenal. This is nonsense.
Below are some of the constant headlines we've seen over the past dozen years promoting such propaganda. When will this madness - this pathological obsession with the false necessity of dropping bombs and the righteous inevitability of killing people - stop?
The Times of London, November 5, 2002:
AFP, October 11, 2003:
The Scotsman, November 22, 2003:
New York Daily News, November 23, 2003:
The New York Times, August 21, 2004:
Los Angeles Times, October 22, 2004:
The Atlantic, December 2004:
CNN, January 17, 2005:
The Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2005:
The Independent, January 27, 2005:
Toledo Blade, March 14, 2005:
Associated Press, December 4, 2005:
The Straits Times, December 17, 2005:
Associated Press, January 22, 2006:
The Washington Post, April 9, 2006:
Raw Story, April 16, 2006:
The New Yorker, April 17, 2006:
The Weekly Standard, April 24, 2006:
Fox News, June 4, 2006:
Ha'aretz, September 17, 2006:
Los Angeles Times, November 19, 2006:
The Telegraph, February 24, 2007:
Associated Press, March 21, 2007:
International Security, Spring 2007:
The Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2007:
Wired, August 14, 2007:
Esquire, October 18, 2007:
Newsweek, December 19, 2007:
The American Conservative, May 9, 2008:
The Daily Star (Lebanon), May 30, 2008:
USA Today, June 6, 2008:
The Telegraph, June 7, 2008:
The Age, June 9, 2008:
Fox News, June 20, 2008:
The Telegraph, June 23, 2008:
ABC News, July 1, 2008:
Ha'aretz, July 2, 2008:
AFP, July 30, 2008:
Associated Press, August 7, 2008:
CBS News, August 7, 2008:
Talk Radio News Service, September 2, 2008:
Center for Strategic & International Studies, March 14, 2009:
Wired, April 2, 2009:
Slate, April 9, 2009:
Salon, April 14, 2009:
The Times of London, April 18, 2009:
The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2009:
The Washington Post, July 2, 2009:
CBS News, July 27, 2009:
The Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2009:
Bloomberg, July 31, 2009:
Fox News, August 4, 2009:
Los Angeles Times, August 30, 2009:
Talking Points Memo, August 31, 2009:
Fox News, September 21, 2009:
Huffington Post, September 28, 2009:
Ynet, October 9, 2009:
The Washington Times, October 22, 2009:
Ha'aretz, November 6, 2009:
The New York Times, December 23, 2009:
Newsmax, April 2, 2010:
The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2010:
AFP, June 12, 2010:
TIME, July 15, 2010:
The Weekly Standard, July 26, 2010:
Christian Science Monitor, August 12, 2010:
The Spectator (UK), August 12, 2010:
Christian Science Monitor, August 13, 2010:
The Weekly Standard, August 14, 2010:
The Week, August 17, 2010:
New York Daily News, August 17, 2010:
The Atlantic, August 18, 2010:
Daily Mail, August 18, 2010:
Talking Points Memo, August 31, 2009:
The Atlantic, September 2010:
Newsmax, September 2, 2010:
The Atlantic, November 28, 2010:
The Guardian, November 28, 2010:
AFP, November 29, 2010:
The Australian, November 30, 2010:
The Washington Times, December 3, 2010:
The Australian, January 13, 2011:
Associated Press, May 30, 2011:
Ha'aretz, September 28, 2011:
Associated Press, November 2, 2011:
The Daily Beast, November 2, 2011:
The Guardian, November 2, 2011:
The Telegraph, November 6, 2011:
Associated Press, November 8, 2011:
Reuters, November 9, 2011:
Foreign Affairs, November 9, 2011:
Commentary, November 9, 2011:
Arutz Sheva, November 10, 2011:
Chicago Tribune, November 13, 2011:
Daily Mail, November 17, 2011:
Tablet, November 18, 2011:
Arutz Sheva, December 1, 2011:
Truthout, December 8, 2011:
The New York Times, January 25, 2012:
The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2012:
Foreign Affairs, January/February 2012:
The Washington Post, February 2, 2012:
Reuters, February 3, 2012:
Arutz Sheva, February 3, 2012:
Foreign Affairs, February 23, 2012:
Associated Press, February 27, 2012:
The Nation (Pakistan), February 28, 2012:
The Washington Post, February 29, 2012:
U.S. News & World Report, March 2, 2012:
U.S. News & World Report, March 2, 2012:
The Times of Israel, March 6, 2012:
Congressional Research Service, March 27, 2012:
Ha'aretz, March 28, 2012:
CNN, March 30, 2012:
Yedioth Ahronoth, April 22, 2012:
Salon/GlobalPost, May 9, 2012:
The Telegraph, May 17, 2012:
CBN News, May 24, 2012:
The Blaze, July 8, 2012:
Tablet, July 11, 2012:
Reuters, August 10, 2012:
The Times of Israel, August 11, 2012:
The Daily Mail, August 21, 2012:
The Jewish Chronicle, August 27, 2012:
Ha'aretz, September 17, 2012:
Forbes, September 30, 2012:
National Journal, October 9, 2012:
The Telegraph, October 9, 2012:
The Telegraph, November 4, 2012:
Voice of America, December 19, 2012:
The New York Times, January 26, 2013:
The Times of Israel, March 14, 2013:
Newsmax, April 13, 2013:
The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2013:
Ha'aretz, May 3, 2013:
The Times of Israel, May 9, 2013:
Mother Jones / TomDispatch, May 13, 2013:
The Atlantic, May 28, 2013:
The Algemeiner, May 29, 2013:
Ha'aretz, June 18, 2013:
Al Jazeera English, July 17, 2013:
The Atlantic, August 1, 2013:
Washington Examiner, September 18, 2013:
Gatestone Institute, October 7, 2013:
The Jerusalem Post, October 24, 2013:
WorldNetDaily, November 3, 2013:
Financial Times, November 17, 2013:
The Times of Israel, November 17, 2013:
CNN, November 19, 2013:
USA Today, November 25, 2013:
The Times of London, November 26, 2013:
Defense News, December 4, 2013:
CBS News, December 6, 2013:
The Wall Street Journal, December 11, 2013:
Crooks and Liars, December 29, 2013:
ThinkProgress, January 2, 2014:
Foreign Affairs, January 7, 2014:
Ha'aretz, March 19, 2014:
Associated Press, March 21, 2014:
Jewish and Israel News (JNS), April 14, 2014:
The National Interest, April 16, 2014:
Iran Times, May 16, 2014:
The Spectator (UK), May 17, 2014:
Defense News, June 8, 2014:
Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), June 12, 2014:
The Raw Story, July 23, 2014:
August 30, 2014 - Like clockwork, yet another headline asking the question everyone already knows the answer to.
Al Arabiya, August 29, 2014:
h/t Matt Diaz
September 10, 2014 - There's a lot wrong with Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry's latest analysis, a lot of which is taken to task by the American Conservative's Daniel Larison. False premises ("Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is still one of the most dangerous threats to the West," begins Gobry) breed misguided conclusions ("Given the Iranian mullahs' incentive matrix, there is no course for them other than developing a nuke as fast as possible," he writes, before adding that Israel really has no logical choice but to commit the supreme international crime of initiating a war of aggression against Iran), and this piece is a perfect test case. Nearly every single point Gobry makes springs from a complete fallacy or ignorant presumption.
This kind of utter nonsense needs to stop immediately.
The Week, September 9, 2014:
November 22, 2014 - As the latest deadline for nuclear negotiations draws near, the same panicked - and utterly predictable - threats are emerging once again in the Israeli press. Today, the Jerusalem Post's Michael Wilner published this:
Based on the claims of an unnamed "Israeli official," Wilner writes that, with a deal possibly in the works and set to be signed by Monday, "Israel has issued a stark, public warning to its allies with a clear argument: Current proposals guarantee the perpetuation of a crisis, backing Israel into a corner from which military force against Iran provides the only logical exit."
Responding to the suggestion that Israeli has no capacity to conduct such an attack on Iran, or destroy Iranian nuclear infrastructure completely even if it did, the anonymous Israeli boasted, "People have underestimated Israel many, many times in the past, and they underestimate it now."
This is all chest-thumping horseshit by an aggressive settler-colonial state, built upon war crimes and the ruins of a brutalized indigenous people, terrified by the notion of losing its monopoly on power in the Middle East.
Don't believe the hype. Israel will never attack Iran, despite what they want us all to believe.
November 24, 2014 - Seriously, this is nonsense.
December 14, 2014 - Aww, this stupid jackass:
And this other stupid jackass:
And these other stupid jackasses:
Oh yeah, and her:
February 12, 2015 - In case you thought Israeli officials might have something original to say about anything, think again. This just - and always - in:
February 24, 2015 - Another day, another mountain of bullshit. This just in from The Jerusalem Post!
March 2, 2015 - Yawn.
March 3, 2015 - Dun-dun-duuuuuuuuuuuun.
March 13, 2015 - Career propagandist and anti-Iran extremist Joshua Muravchik has taken to The Washington Post opinion pages to make a terrible case for the United States to commit the supreme international crime: that is, the initiation of a war of aggression. Muravchik has been crossing his fingers for an attack on Iran for years now, writing in the Los Angeles Times that "We must bomb Iran" as far back as 2006 and issuing the same urgent message in USA Today in 2011.
Here's his latest dreadful appeal:
How many more appalling appeals to violence and clear disregard for basic precepts of international and humanitarian law must we endure? It will come as no surprise that, especially in the coming weeks, the answer is: a lot.
March 20, 2015 - One of Congress' most moronic members has again issued a call to arms against Iran. Louie Gohmert, whose bellicose buffoonery precipitated this very post last July, is at it again:
March 26, 2015 - War-crazed, neocon nutjob John Bolton has published a new call for war crimes in the New York Times:
Bolton's rationale is disturbed and delusional, built upon an ideological obsession with bombing Middle Eastern people to death in the name of American power and Israeli hegemony. The oped is rife with outright lies, deliberate distortions, and long-debunked myths about Iran's nuclear program.
It is shameful that the Times would find this fit to publish, rather than merely suggesting Bolton be evaluated for severe emotional problems.
March 31, 2015 - Former Israel diplomat and Ministry of Foreign Affairs staffer Dan Arbell, now a fellow at the Brookings Institute, writes for CNN that Israel isn't currently in a position to attack Iran. He's clearly disappointed in his own assessment, one that never once addresses the obvious criminality of such a military operation or any potential casualties.
April 8, 2015 - Enough, you psycho, enough.
April 27, 2015 - When will this deranged obsession with committing war crimes stop?
July 15, 2015 - Just one day after the announcement of an historic multilateral agreement between Iran and six world powers that severely restricts Iran's uranium enrichment program in return for the lifting of sanctions, Mitch Ginsburg, military correspondent for The Times of Israel publishes this load of garbage:
Oh, did you think a negotiated deal that should end the phony nuclear crisis would actual quiet the bloodthirsty screams of the certifiably insane? Think again.
Yesterday, right after the deal was announced, Joel Pollak, editor in-chief and lawyer for Breitbart, posted this nonsense:
July 20, 2015 - Scott Walker, one of the human right-wing talking points running for president, suggested today on the campaign trail that in his effort to blow up the Iran deal, he'd eagerly blow up a lot of Iranians on his imaginary first day in office that will obviously never occur.
Remember folks, Scott Walker's the guy who not only despises labor unions so much he equates them with ISIS, finds it politically advantageous to pretend he doesn't believe in evolution, and thinks Jesus talks to him, he also says he's "100% pro-life." Obviously that doesn't mean pro-Iranian life. No, it means totally anti-abortion, always, for anything, ever. Like, even in cases of rape and/or incest.
No wonder that even a top Republican operative once called Walker "kind of a dumb ass."
July 26, 2015 - Law professor and former five-term Republican congressman Tom Campbell has published an opinion piece in the Orange County Register arguing that, once President Barack Obama leaves office in early 2017, Israel will launch a military attack on Iran shortly thereafter.
Obviously, this is not going to happen. Also, such an attack on Iran by Israel would be uncontrovertibly illegal. But that doesn't stop Campbell, now the dean of the Fowler School of Law at Chapman University, from dreaming his little murderous dream. The fact that he served on the House International Relations Committee during his five terms in Congress and was chairman of the World Affairs Council of Northern California is a horrifying reminder of what kind of awful people all too often hold positions of power and influence.
July 28, 2015 - Leave it to neoconservative dinosaur Norman Podhoretz to call for Israel to launch an illegal attack on Iran in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. Can we get any more cliche than that?
The "upshot," Podhoretz writes of the consequences of the Iran deal the parameters of which he clearly does not understand, "is that if the objective remains preventing Iran from getting the bomb, the only way to do so is to bomb Iran." Barely able to contain his glee at this prospect, Podhoretz explains that, because Iran would never conceivably agree to any deal that he and his fellow warmongers insist upon (the kind of deal that abrogates all international law, Iranian sovereignty, self-determination and self-defense, and turns Iran into a new American or Israeli vassel state), the only possible alternative is war.
Podhoretz, in his extreme ignorance and demagoguery, declares that, with this deal, the Obama administration is "allowing Iran to get the bomb" and "setting the stage for a nuclear war between Iran and Israel." Fewer stupider things have ever been written and published.
Poking holes in Podhoretz's shamefully absurd screed is easy. Believing that he is alone in his brainwashed delusions is far more difficult.
August 5, 2015 - Oh look, Tom Cotton's back. And he's still interested in committing war crimes against Iran.
Speaking to Israeli reporters at his office in Washington, Senator Tom Cotton suggested that the United States should pretend it's going to bomb Iran's legal, safeguarded, guaranteed-by-international-treaty-and-multilateral-accord nuclear energy and uranium enrichment program, or just go ahead and do it for some reason.
"You can destroy facilities. I don't think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the US military is not capable to setting Iran's nuclear facilities back to day zero," he said. "Can we eliminate it forever? No, because any advanced industrialized country can develop nuclear weapons in four to seven years, from zero. But we can set them back to day zero."
Ok, so any country can get nukes if it wants them in four to seven years, he says. And still suggests it makes sense to bomb Iran, which doesn't even have a nuclear weapons program, even though the strict limitations on Iran's nuclear program agreed to in the deal last anywhere from ten years to a quarter century to infinity.
But hey, for Tom Cotton, unprovoked, murderous bombing raids seem like the way to go.
August 6, 2015 - Right-wing nutjob Joel Pollack, of Brietbart, is really distraught over this Iran deal. After regurgitating Netanyahu's talking point about how "the Iran deal guarantees war," Pollak fantasizes about how and when Israeli war crimes might be carried out.
August 21, 2015 - The New York Times' Jodi Rudoren has published an article claiming Israel was on the brink of attacking Iran at least three times between 2010 and 2012, according to recordings released publicly by biographers of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who also served for years as Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu's Defense Minister.
Here's the headline:
The broadcast of taped recordings of Barak, which aired on Israeli television to the alleged chagrin of Barak (who claims he tried unsuccessfully to prevent their release), appears to be one more desperate tactic of those opposed to the recently-agreed nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers to make Israel seem ready and willing to conduct illegal airstrikes against Iranian nuclear and military facilities and infrastructure. All Israel needs, the report would have us believe, is the right opportunity and a longer leash from Washington and bombs would blissfully fall on Iranian buildings and humans.
reported on a Channel 2 investigation that exposed a rift in the Israeli leadership over any potential strike on Iran that had occurred in 2010. According to the story, while Netanyahu and Barak were eager to prepare the military for a potential strike on Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Mossad director Meir Dagan were not, with Ashkenazi referring to an Israeli attack on Iran as a "strategic mistake." During a May 2011 appearance, Dagan, who had retired in September 2010, famously called the idea of bombing Iran "the stupidest thing I have ever heard" and "patently illegal under international law."
Furthermore, it should be noted that, though no stranger to alarmism and warmongering, Barak himself was actually actively undermining the supposed move toward war at the same time he claims he was advocating for it.
Back in September 2009, Barak, who was then head of Israel's Labor Party, told Yedioth Ahronoth that "Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel," adding later, "Right now, Iran does not have a bomb. Even if it did, this would not make it a threat to Israel's existence." Countering Netanyahu-inspired rhetoric that absurdly conflates Iran with Nazi Germany, Barak said plainly, "I don't think we are on the brink of a new Holocaust."
Speaking at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the AIPAC-spinoff think tank, in February 2010, Barak stated, "I don’t think that the Iranians, even if they got the bomb, they are going to drop it immediately on some neighbor. They fully understand what might follow. They are radicals but not total meshuganas." He further noted his belief that Iranian leaders "have quite sophisticated decision-making process and they understand realities."
The next year, Barak repeated the assessment that even a nuclear-armed Iran would pose very little threat to Israel. In May 2011, he told Ha'aretz that "[i]f Iran succeeds in developing nuclear weapons, it is unlikely to bomb Israel," and said that "Israel should not spread public panic about the Iranian nuclear program." When asked directly whether he believed Iran would ever launch a nuclear attack on Israel, Barak replied: "Not on us and not on any other neighbor."
Later that same year, Barak told Israel Radio that the Israeli leadership "has not yet decided to embark on any operation," and dismissed as "delusional" that constant media speculation that he and Netanyahu were about to launch an attack.
Granted, such denials in the media could always have been just a political and strategic gambit to reduce attention on Israeli military machinations and set the stage for a surprise assault. As former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told a Labor Party meeting in late 2011, "Every citizen in the country has to be worried that these two fools, Netanyahu and Barak, are planning an attack on Iran."
More likely, however, is the fact that no Israeli leader - not Netanyahu, not Barak, no one - will ever actually attack Iran through air strikes. The reports, the denials, the predictions, the investigations are all part of Israeli theatrics meant to scare American and European leaders into applying pressure on Iran through sanctions, sabotage, assassinations and military threats in an effort to stave off the hypothetical Israeli attack that will never actually happen.
August 23, 2015 - USA Today's Tom Vanden Brook reports today that an American attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would set the program back about two years, and would have to be carried out "with as many as 1,000 aircraft sorties over several days to a week" and employ the constantly-hyped Massive Ordnance Penetrator, a 30,000 pound bunker buster bomb designed to destroy heavily-fortified underground facilities, according to a couple of anonymous "senior officers involved in planning potential Iran attacks."
Vanden Brook seems to have a curious understanding of the Iranian nuclear program. He writes that one of the unnamed officers told him that "[t]he location of Iran's nuclear facilities are not much of a secret" and that "[s]py satellites and other means, including monitoring of social media, result in an assessment known as 'all-source fused intelligence.'"
The reason Iran's nuclear facilities aren't a secret isn't because of U.S. surveillance or someone in the Pentagon scouring Facebook and Instagram - it's because all nuclear facilities in Iran are declared and safeguarded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). You can find them all on Google Maps. There's a public bus stop in Natanz called "Atomic Station." The IAEA routinely reports on all of these facilities and affirms consistently that they have no military dimension whatsoever. Nevertheless, Vanden Brook writes, There are about 20 nuclear facilities in Iran that would need to be attacked, some with as many as 60 individual strikes."
Buried at the tail-end of his article, Vanden Brook notes that "airstrikes in Iran make little sense — and could be counterproductive," according to retired Air Force General David Deptula. But even this admission is marred by bad analysis. Deptula tells Vanden Brook that unless Iranian leaders' "desire for a bomb" is changed, "a U.S. attack is a temporary solution at best."
The problem here is that is putative "desire" doesn't actually exist. For decades now, Iranian leaders have condemned and prohibited the manufacturing, acquisition, and stockpiling of nuclear arms on religious, strategic, ethical, legal and political grounds. There is historical precedent for Iran's serious opposition to building and using weapons of mass destruction, even in the face of war and suffering.
United States intelligence community and its allies, including Israel, have long assessed that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and that its leadership has not made any decision to build nuclear weapons, despite the technical capacity to do so inherent in having a functional nuclear energy program.
More than anything else, Vanden Brook's own desire to boost bellicose voices and further promote long-debunked propaganda is undeniable.
August 25, 2015 - The Times of Israel cribs a Walla report today stating that the Israeli military is adapting its intelligence and capabilities in light of the recently inked Iran deal. Here's the headline:
But as tough and confident as that sounds, the actual story doesn't quite line up with the claim. While vague, anonymous statements from some military official note that "every year that passes, the IDF improves," Israel will soon have more machines that carry bombs and missiles, and that "intelligence is improving as well," nothing specific about launching an assault on Iran is said.
According to the paper, the unnamed government source apparently also pointed out that "Israel's defensive capabilities against Iranian retaliation were also constantly improving." This is hardly a chest-thumping endorsement of a pending attack on Iran. Quite the contrary, in fact when you read further:
But the news site noted that the military option had essentially been suspended in recent years and would not be easily reinstated unless there is a fundamental change in the political landscape, or a serious development in Iran’s alleged progress towards a nuclear bomb.
A strike is looking increasingly unlikely following July's nuclear accord between Iran and world powers — the US, EU, Russia and China.Put simply, Israel isn't going to do anything any time soon. Or ever.
But that doesn't stop the Israeli press from pushing the lie that war is just around the corner.
September 1, 2015 - The Times of Israel is back at it: pretending an Israeli attack on Iran is imminent and that Iran is scared about it.
The report, which regurgitates claims made on Israeli television, says that the Iranian government "is particularly concerned by the threat of attack in the current period between July's finalizing of a deal with the P5+1 world powers on its nuclear program and the approval of the deal by the US Congress."
For the millionth time: Israel won't be attacking Iran. Not in the next few months, not in the next few years. But the illusion of such a threat sells papers, earns page views, and entrenches the politics of fear and violence in our media and beyond.
September 5, 2015 - Defense News' Barbara Opall-Rome, writing from Tel Aviv, published a Lockheed Martin press release and pretended it was a news story.
The "story" - about Israel obtaining new F-35 stealth fighter jets - mentions Iran in both its headline and lede, but absolutely nothing in the report actually has anything to do with Iran.
The piece opens this way: "With an eye on Iran and other complex, heavily defended theaters, Israel is building up the infrastructure and indigenous capabilities needed to begin operating its first F-35 Adir (Awesome) stealth strike fighters by the end of 2017."
Iran is never mentioned again in the following 24 paragraphs' more than 1000 words. In essence, there's no there there.
All this shows is the media's desperate desire to force the public into believing a military conflict between Israel and Iran is just around the corner. It's not.
September 25, 2015 - This is hardly a serious report - some obscure website posting a fear-mongering propaganda video - but the headline is just so authoritative that I couldn't resist adding it here:
October 23, 2015 - Business Insider's Armin Rosen, whose affinity for Israel and antagonism toward Iran is often reflected in his reporting, recounts the findings of a recent Wall Street Journal report by Adam Entous, which revealed an alleged Israel plan to send commandos into Iran in either 2011 or 2012 to sabotage the Fordow enrichment facility.
Rosen traffics in the same fantasy war games that have been seen all too often in the press, even returning to Jeffrey Goldberg's infamous 2010 Atlantic cover story predicting an Israeli attack on Iran that never happened.
Such speculation is obviously titilating to Rosen. "Until the Iran nuclear deal was signed this past July, an Israeli strike on Iran was one of the most intriguing — and perhaps terrifying — hypothetical scenarios in global politics," he writes. "Israeli officials often argued the country was capable of launching an attack that would destroy or severely disable many of Iran's facilities."
Much to his chagrin, however, "Israel hasn't attacked Iran yet, and the Iran Deal substantially raises the costs of a future strike for Israel. The deal signed this past July may or may not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. But it effectively removes an Israeli strike against the country from the realm of possibility into the foreseeable future."
Rosen's disappointment is almost palpable.