8 juillet 2009
Une attaque militaire d’Israël contre l’Iran, pourrait avoir des conséquences graves et imprévisibles, a averti mardi le chef d’état-major des armées américaines, l’amiral Mike Mullen.
« La riposte d’un pays attaqué m’inquiète beaucoup, » a dit Mike Mullen. « C’est vraiment une direction vers laquelle ne pas aller, si nous pouvons l’éviter par tous les moyens possibles ».
L’Iran pourrait se doter de l’arme nucléaire d’ici une à trois années, a déclaré, Mike Mullen, ajoutant que l’option d’une attaque s’éloignait avec le temps et insistant sur les efforts diplomatiques menés par le président américain Barack Obama.
Dimanche, le vice-président américain Joe Biden avait déclaré que les Etats-Unis ne feraient pas obstacle à Israël, si l’Etat hébreu jugeait nécessaire une action militaire.
Le président américain Barack Obama a affirmé mardi que les Etats-Unis n’avaient « absolument pas » donné leur feu vert à Israël pour attaquer l’Iran afin de l’empêcher de se doter de l’arme nucléaire, dans une interview à la chaîne de télévision CNN.
Interrogé sur le fait de savoir si les Etats-Unis avaient donné leur feu vert à Israël pour une éventuelle attaque contre l’Iran, M. Obama a répondu « absolument pas. C’est très important, je suis aussi clair qu’il est possible de l’être » sur ce sujet.
This much we do know: On June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel surprisingly launched a deadly attack upon a lightly armed American spy ship cruising off the coast of Egypt, Israel’s enemy at the time. When the attack ended, 34 of the USS Liberty’s crew were dead and 171 others were injured, many of them critically.
Here’s what we don’t know, and may never know: why the Israelis decided to mount the attack. The Liberty was clearly marked, flying the American flag and behaving in a completely benign manner. Moreover, it bore almost no resemblance to the much smaller Egyptian freighter some Israelis said they thought they were attacking. Israel’s explanations ranged from lame to downright unbelievable.
Nor will we ever know, for certain, why the United States government’s response was so uneven, unless we simply credit those who believe that the pro-Israel lobby in Washington is so all-powerful that American politicians felt too vulnerable to risk its wrath.
We do know that the attack on the Liberty came when the war in Vietnam was going badly and President Lyndon B. Johnson was almost paralyzed by a fear of failure.
James Scott’s father was the damage control officer aboard the Liberty, so he had exceptional access to the inside story of the attack. But he didn’t simply rely on tales told around the family dining table. He conducted prodigious research to document every aspect of the story, a story that only briefly made headlines before fading into historic obscurity.
Unfortunately, the lessons that should have been learned from the Liberty episode didn’t prevent the United States from putting another spy ship, the USS Pueblo, at risk. Seven months after the Liberty was attacked, the Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans in international waters and held hostage, with its crew, for almost a year.
As a former newspaper reporter, Scott knows how to dig for facts, and his book resonates with the results of his relentless search for the truth. Unfortunately, it would appear that the Israeli government was either unwilling or (for reasons that defy logic) unable to conduct its own investigation in such a way that the findings would be credible.
In fairness, Israel did apologize for the attack, but its inability, or its refusal, to provide a plausible explanation for it remains an insult to the victims and their families, not to mention the United States government (which didn’t exactly cover itself with glory in its own investigation).
Anyone reading Scott’s account of the encounter that occurred 42 years ago may be infuriated by the diplomatic and military blunders (or deceit) on both sides, and yet the most compelling passages of his narrative are those that describe the horrors of the attack and the dreadful consequences for those aboard the Liberty. It is high time someone drew our attention to this tragedy, and Scott has done it in magnificent fashion.
Al Hutchison of Citrus County, Fla., is a freelance writer. His father was a skipper aboard Liberty and Victory ships in World War II. This review originally appeared in The Tampa Tribune.
The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel’s Deadly 1967 Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship by James Scott (hardcover, 384 pages, #LLB, $30; reduced to $27 for members of the AFP READERSHIP COUNCIL). Free S&H; inside U.S. Call FAB toll free at 1-888-699-NEWS to charge to Visa or MasterCard. ORDER ONLINE HERE.
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Wed, 08 Jul 2009 16:10 UTC
Ramat Hasharon, Israel – In the late 1990s, a computer specialist from Israel’s Shin Bet internal security service hacked into the mainframe of the Pi Glilot fuel depot north of Tel Aviv. It was meant to be a routine test of safeguards at the strategic site. But it also tipped off the Israelis to the potential such hi-tech infiltrations offered for real sabotage.
« Once inside the Pi Glilot system, we suddenly realised that, aside from accessing secret data, we could also set off deliberate explosions, just by programming a re-route of the pipelines, » said a veteran of the Shin Bet drill. » So began a cyberwarfare project which, a decade on, is seen by independent experts as the likely new vanguard of Israel’s efforts to foil the nuclear ambitions of its arch-foe Iran.
The appeal of cyber attacks was boosted, Israeli sources say, by the limited feasibility of conventional air strikes on the distant and fortified Iranian atomic facilities, and by U.S. reluctance to countenance another open war in the Middle East. « We came to the conclusion that, for our purposes, a key Iranian vulnerability is in its on-line information, » said one recently retired Israeli security cabinet member, using a generic term for digital networks. « We have acted accordingly. » (Read the rest)
Israel Attacks America
Insiders and Angry Survivors Speak Out On The Deadly Assault On A U.S. Naval Vessel
U.S. Almost Fooled Into Attack on Egypt in 1967
Paul Craig Roberts
On Iran Needed
By Willis A. Carto
Isn’t it amazing to see and hear all of the television experts on Iran who have suddenly sprung up like poison ivy? They’re all there. Blond beauties reading their lines, dimple-cheeked boys and of course, Mr. Ugly himself, Charles Krauthammer, a spokesman for a chronic national troublemaker.
They know everything there is to know about the internal situation in Iran, except, it seems, the fact that Iran is currently in a recession, with 30 percent unemployment and double- digit inflation.
Think that might have something to do with the demonstrations?
We have not witnessed any of these talking heads saying what is important, which is that we have no business telling the people there what to do. We should keep our dirty hands off their problems, exactly as they should not tell us what to do.
Judging by history, it is a sure bet that the CIA and its brains, Israel, are involved up to their snouts in fanning the flames of discontent.
Remember what happened the last time our genius CIA controllers messed around in Iran? We ousted Mohamed Mossadeq, put in the corrupt shah and many Iranians and Americans were killed. Now—following the law of unintended consequences—we are faced again with fundamentalist Islam.
Answer this. Can Americans in our polluted democracy conduct our own affairs any better than the Iranians conduct theirs?
Iran (Persia) has been around 10 times longer that the U.S. What do we have to teach them other than hypocrisy, arrogance, corruption and vainglorious folly?
As our country careens toward a worthless dollar, national bankruptcy and anarchy, maybe it’s time to follow the advice of George Washington (remember him?) and mind our own business before it’s too late.
Expect Disastrous Consequences
if U.S. Attacks Iran
By Willis A. Carto
Iran says that Israel controls the media in America. Well, anyone with reading ability or who watches TV knows that. Following the instructions of the Israel lobby, the corporate media doesn’t like Iran one little bit, and they seem to be doing their best to rouse the lust in the American media for Persian blood.
Yes, Israel wants the American people to give their democratic OK to a nuclear attack on Iran.
Should American policy makers follow this suicidal advice, it would be, of course, good for Israel because it would be a hit on Iran. But it would create the worst mess for the United States in our history. And considering our previous international misadventures, that’s saying a lot.
It’s time for patriots to wake up to this possible disaster before it’s too late.
For openers, it would be a war we could not possibly win. A mere air and naval bombardment (which is all we could possibly do) would satisfyingly murder lots of Persians, but that’s all.
It could not be decisive, no matter how many men, women and children we’d kill.
Numbskull armchair strategists do not realize that only a ground army capable of destroying the belligerent’s army and occupying the country can ever win a war. This is as true today as it was 3,000 years ago. And it must be evident to every American planner that a ground war against Iran and occupation of that country would be totally impossible. It would take a well-equipped army and navy of a million men. Men, not girls and fairies.
“A U.S. attack on Iran would
create the worst mess for America
in our history. And considering
our previous international mis-
adventures, that’s saying a lot.”
In short, to attempt it would be insane.
That’s some of the reasons why it would be an American disaster—the worst disaster ever that senseless American intervention into the problems of other countries has created since 1917.
And such wanton aggression would rightly find every country in the world except Israel opposed, be doing their best to rouse the lust in the American meaning that American prestige—already at an historic low—would plummet further.
George Washington said it: America should never intervene in the wars of other nations. Our true policy is to stay here, mind our own business and improve America. And to hell with the financial and ethnic lobbies that want war.
God knows we can’t run the world when we can’t even properly run the space we now occupy.