On August 3, 2010, 7 members of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) wrote to President Obama to alert him “…to the likelihood that Israel will attack Iran as early as this month”, and that this attack would probably lead to a wider war.
Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research appeared on Russia Today (RT-TV) to discuss the situation. Chossudovsky says:
“It is technically impossible, from a military standpoint, for Israel to actually launch a war on Iran without the green light from the US. This is not strictly an Israeli military project. The US from the mid-1990s in fact has indicated Iran as a possible target,” Chossudovsky evaluated.
The RT video…
More beneath the fold…
The VIPS contend Israel calculates that once the battle is enjoined, the U.S. will be forced to go along, and they caution Obama to be careful about his trust of Netanyahu.
This can be stopped, but only if you move quickly to pre-empt an Israeli attack by publicly condemning such a move before it happens.
We believe that comments by senior American officials, you included, reflect misplaced trust in Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu.
…the tone you struck referring to Netanyahu and yourself in your July 7 interview with Israeli TV was distinctly out of tune with decades of unfortunate history with Israeli leaders.
“Neither of us try to surprise each other,” you said, “and that approach
is one that I think Prime Minister Netanyahu is committed to.”
You may wish to ask Vice President Biden to remind you of the kind of surprises he has encountered in Israel.
Blindsiding has long been an arrow in Israel’s quiver.
Netanyahu believes he holds the high cards, largely because of the strong support he enjoys in our Congress and our strongly pro-Israel media. He reads your reluctance even to mention in controversial bilateral issues publicly during his recent visit as affirmation that he is in the catbird seat in the relationship.
During election years in the U.S. (including mid-terms), Israeli leaders are particularly confident of the power they and the Likud Lobby enjoy on the American political scene.
Netanyahu’s attitude comes through in a video taped nine years ago and shown on Israeli TV, in which he bragged about how he deceived President Clinton into believing he (Netanyahu) was helping implement the Oslo accords when he was actually destroying them.
The tape displays a contemptuous attitude toward – and wonderment at – an America so easily influenced by Israel. Netanyahu says:
“America is something that can be easily moved. Moved in the right direction. … They won’t get in our way … Eighty percent of the Americans support us. It’s absurd.”
Israeli columnist Gideon Levy wrote that the video shows Netanyahu to be “a con artist … who thinks that Washington is in his pocket and that he can pull the wool over its eyes,” adding that such behavior “does not change over the years.”
The power of the Likud Lobby, especially in an election year, facilitates Netanyahu’s attempts to convince those few of his colleagues who need convincing that there may never be a more auspicious time to bring about “regime change” in Tehran.
And, as we hope your advisers have told you, regime change, not Iranian nuclear weapons, is Israel’s primary concern.
The article goes on to discuss the various NIEs and other intelligence which have shown that Iran discontinued it’s nuclear weapons program in 2003, but that it is unclear what has happened since 2007. They analyze their best suggestions (diplomatic, of course) for proceeding to interact with Iran and conclude with this cogent reminder:
We VIPS have found ourselves in this position before. We prepared our first Memorandum for the President on the afternoon of February 5, 2003 after Colin Powell’s speech at the UN.
We had been watching how our profession was being corrupted into serving up faux intelligence that was later criticized (correctly) as “uncorroborated, contradicted, and nonexistent” – adjectives used by former Senate Intelligence Committee chair Jay Rockefeller after a five-year investigation by his committee.
As Powell spoke, we decided collectively that the responsible thing to do was to try to warn the President before he acted on misguided advice to attack Iraq. Unlike Powell, we did not claim that our analysis was “irrefutable and undeniable.” We did conclude with this warning:
“After watching Secretary Powell today, we are convinced that you would be well served if you widened the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”
We take no satisfaction at having gotten it right on Iraq. Others with claim to more immediate expertise on Iraq were issuing similar warnings. But we were kept well away from the wagons circled by Bush and Cheney.
Sadly, your own Vice President, who was then chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, was among the most assiduous in blocking opportunities for dissenting voices to be heard. This is part of what brought on the worst foreign policy disaster in our nation’s history.
We now believe that we may also be right on (and right on the cusp of) another impending catastrophe of even wider scope – Iran – on which another President, you, are not getting good advice from your closed circle of advisers.
They are probably telling you that, since you have privately counseled Prime Minister Netanyahu against attacking Iran, he will not do it. This could simply be the familiar syndrome of telling the President what they believe he wants to hear.
Quiz them; tell them others believe them to be dead wrong on Netanyahu. The only positive here is that you – only you – can prevent an Israeli attack on Iran.
In my deepest being, I do not want to believe that, once again, this horror is possible. But my experience has shown me, unfortuantely, just how possible is the insanity of a spreading Middle East war in Iran.
Tomorrow is August 6, the 65th anniversary of our atomic bombings in Japan! How sad that we are still discussing possible war!