Very interesting…guess we’ll see what they do.

Full Article

In early July, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen visited Israel to discuss the Iranian nuclear program with his Israeli counterpart, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, and other Israeli officials.

During the talks, Adm. Mullen cautioned that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967 is the type of incident that should be ‘avoided in any future military actions’ in the Middle East, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The USS Liberty, a $40m state-of-the-art surveillance ship, was ‘inadvertently’ attacked by Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats in international waters north of the northern Sinai Peninsula coast.

Although there are many conspiracy theories as to why Israel committed such a ‘mistake’ against its closest ally, former US seamen who served on Liberty claim authorities are guilty of a cover-up.

American Free Press quoted Adm. Mullen as saying that it is very ‘important’ at this time that ‘history not repeat itself’, referring to increasing speculation that Israel might stage another such scenario to push the US into a war with Iran.

Israel is reportedly lobbying the Bush administration to launch a joint attack on Iran before President George W. Bush leaves office in January 2009.

In an Aug. 2 interview with the USS Liberty radio show, former army intelligence officer and CIA analyst Ray McGovern claimed Israel is planning a scenario similar to that of the 67 Liberty incident.

“It is obviously something bigger. The name of the game is to ‘decapitate the Iranian nuclear program’ whether it is aimed at a weapon or not,” said McGovern.

The war threats and speculation come despite the UN nuclear watchdog declaring that Iran is enriching uranium to 3 percent, a rate consistent with electricity generation.

The most recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report conceded that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and the ‘alleged studies’ of weaponization attributed to Iran.

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This is why I hate the expression: “The ends justify the means”. No…They don’t. Ever!

The Guardian: Children of Conflict

Fifteen-year-old Nour Aidi has hardly spoken in seven years since Israeli soldiers bulldozed the olive trees around his home, barricaded his family in a room and turned the house into a base, fortified with sandbags, camouflage netting, barbed wire and machine guns.

The soldiers stayed 12 months and then moved into barracks next door where, for another four years, they continued to control when Nour and his family could leave and enter the house.

Israel withdrew its army and settlers from Gaza in 2005, but the soldiers still occupy Nour’s life. Nour is introverted, angry, sometimes violent, and without friends.

In the Israeli border town of Sderot Raziel Sasson, 13, sleeps huddled next to his mother and father. Raziel retreated to his parents’ bed four years ago after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza exploded in a playing field, knocking him from a tree. He eventually returned to his own bed only to later move with the entire family into the lounge downstairs where they have slept for the past year, sheltering from the escalating attacks.

Raziel has watched rockets fired into his front yard and seen explosions cause serious injury. He has nightmares about the rockets and lately he has taken to sleeping in the reinforced steel box that his brother built in the living room for added protection.

The distress of living under military rule in Gaza caused Nour’s younger sister to stop eating. Now 12, she has the body of a six-year-old. His mother developed a stomach disorder that activates when she is nervous, and his eldest brother is clinically depressed.

As a result of Israeli army ground invasions and air raids the average child had experienced 13 traumatic events. Thirty-four per cent had been threatened with a gun, 30% had witnessed a close relative die and 62% had seen someone killed by a missile. Many had seen their homes demolished, suffered injuries or witnessed the kidnapping of a friend or relative.

Iran Shows Its Cards
by Scott Ritter

There can no longer be any doubt about the consequences of any U.S. and/or Israeli military action against Iran. Armchair warriors, pundits and blustering politicians alike have been advocating a pre-emptive military strike against Iran for the purpose of neutralizing its nuclear-related infrastructure, as well as retarding Iran’s ability to train and equip “terrorist” forces on Iranian soil before dispatching them to Iraq or parts unknown. Some, including me, have warned of the folly of such action, and now Iran itself has demonstrated why an attack would be insane

I’ve always pointed out that no plan survives initial contact with the enemy, and furthermore one can never forget that, in war, the enemy gets to vote. On the issue of an American and/or Israeli attack on Iran, the Iranian military has demonstrated exactly how it would cast its vote. Iran recently fired off medium- and long-range missiles and rockets, in a clear demonstration of capability and intent. Shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, regional oil production capability and U.S. military concentrations, along with Israeli cities, would all be subjected to an Iranian military response if Iran was attacked.

Everybody has heard the news: Iran has demonstrated its ability to attack Israel with by testing long range missiles.

Breitbart.com

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles Wednesday during war games that officials said aimed to show the country can retaliate against any U.S. or Israeli attack, state television reported.

Oil prices jumped on news of the missile tests, rising US$1.44 to US$137.48 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The military exercise was being conducted at the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway at the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which about 40 percent of the world’s oil passes. Iran has threatened to shut down traffic in the strait if attacked. It was not clear, however, whether the missile test also took place near the strait.

Gen. Hossein Salami, the air force commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, said the exercise would “demonstrate our resolve and might against enemies who in recent weeks have threatened Iran with harsh language,” the TV report said.

Once again, we have Iranian officials stating that their intent isn’t to offensively attack anyone, but that their motives are defensive. The US and Israel keep talking about attacking Iran, Iran responds by saying they will do all they can to defend themselves. Wouldn’t we do the exact same thing? Don’t they have that right?

Then there’s this:

“They should also refrain from further missile tests if they truly seek to gain the trust of the world,” he added, speaking from Japan where President Bush is attending the Group of Eight summit.

But the missles display seemed to be a response to an Israeli military exercise aimed directly as a show of might against Iran:

Israel’s military sent warplanes over the eastern Mediterranean for a large military exercise in June that U.S. officials described as a possible rehearsal for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, which the West fears are aimed at producing atomic weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is geared only toward generating electricity, not weapons.

The Israeli exercise was widely interpreted as a show of force as well as a practice on skills needed to execute a long-range strike mission.

Shaul Mofaz, an Israeli Cabinet minister, set off an international uproar last month by saying in a published interview that Israel would have “no choice” but to attack Iran if it doesn’t halt its nuclear program.

I’m sure I’ll be branded a terrorist at the most and a terrorist sympathizer at least by those who chose not to logically think about this whole situation, but it seems to me that when Iran vehemently denies trying to create nuclear weapons and our intelligence supports it, UN inspectors say it’s true; but we keep threatening to attack them and Israel demonstrates it’s ability to do so, isn’t it perfectly logical for Iran to do the same?

It seems like all we have to do is accuse a country of wanting to blow the world up and it justifies us starting a war. But what happens if we tell them to stop doing something they aren’t even doing? How will they ever be seen as complying? Do we teach our children that if someone SAYS they are going to hit you it’s okay to hit them first whether or not they intend to follow through?

As in my previous post regarding the similarities between the lead up to the Iraq war and the rhetoric going on about a possible war with Iran and a post regarding a statement that Israel could attack Iran by the end of the year, the beating of the war drums is getting louder and louder!

The US and Israel are banging the drums and the rumbling can be heard across the continents. There is even proof that congress approved the use of $400 million of our tax dollars to go ahead with a plan to try to overthrow the Iranian government from the inside.

The Israeli media stated that President Bush “told Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he could not trust America’s intelligence community and preferred to rely on Israeli intelligence.”

That alone says it all. War with Iran will happen whether or not all the intelligence that can be gathered says that Iran is NOT using it’s nuclear program to build weapons. Once again, Bush is going against the intelligence community in order to further his own personal agenda.

The American people are being duped all over again. It’s truly unbelievable.

Referenced Article: New War Brewing

ABC News

Senior Pentagon officials are concerned that Israel could carry out an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities before the end of the year, an action that would have enormous security and economic repercussions for the United States and the rest of the world.

A senior defense official told ABC News there is an “increasing likelihood” that Israel will carry out such an attack, a move that likely would prompt Iranian retaliation against, not just Israel, but against the United States as well.

Sometimes I wonder if this is all a bluff in the hopes that Iran will attack first and the US will have a (supposedly) justifiable reason to go to war with Iran. This way the public can’t cry foul like we did in Iraq (well, some of us) since Iran actually did attack first.