At the Crossroads of War: Do NOT Say You Were NOT Warned

by Eileen Fleming


Last week The New York Times published an opine by Ronen Bergman, who answered his own question in “Will Israel Attack Iran?”

“After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012. Perhaps in the small and ever-diminishing window that is left, the United States will choose to intervene after all, but here, from the Israeli perspective, there is not much hope for that. Instead there is that peculiar Israeli mixture of fear — rooted in the sense that Israel is dependent on the tacit support of other nations to survive — and tenacity, the fierce conviction, right or wrong, that only the Israelis can ultimately defend themselves.” [1]

And only Israel can save itself or destroy itself, for as a Hebrew prophet once warned that those who live by the sword will die by it too.

Bergman began his oped with the missed opportunity to educate the reader with the failure to respond with facts to Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak after he said, “The Iranians are, after all, a nation whose leaders have set themselves a strategic goal of wiping Israel off the map.”

In 1948, Israel began to wipe Palestine off the map by ethnically cleansing over 500 Palestinian villages and towns.

Palestinian Loff of Land 1946 - 2011

In 2006, Virginia Tilley, Professor of political science explained:

“In his October 2005 speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad never used the word ‘map’ or the term ‘wiped off.’ According to Farsi-language experts like Juan Cole and even right-wing services like MEMRI, what he actually said was ‘this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.’

“In this speech to an annual anti-Zionist conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad was being prophetic, not threatening. He was citing Imam Khomeini, who said this line in the 1980s-a period when Israel was actually selling arms to Iran, so apparently it was not viewed as so ghastly then.

“Mr. Ahmadinejad had just reminded his audience that the Shah’s regime, the Soviet Union, and Saddam Hussein had all seemed enormously powerful and immovable, yet the first two had vanished almost beyond recall and the third now languished in prison.

“So, too, the ‘occupying regime’ in Jerusalem would someday be gone. His message was, in essence: ‘This too shall pass.'”

Bergman instead mentions “to Barak the opinion voiced by the former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and the former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi — that the Iranian threat was not as imminent as he and Netanyahu have suggested and that a military strike would be catastrophic (and that they, Barak and Netanyahu, were cynically looking to score populist points at the expense of national security), Barak reacted with uncharacteristic anger. He and Netanyahu, he said, are responsible “in a very direct and concrete way for the existence of the State of Israel — indeed, for the future of the Jewish people.”

In 1986, Israel’s Nuclear Whistle Blower, Mordechai Vanunu, acted on conscience to alert the world about Israel’s clandestine seven-story underground weapons of mass destruction facility in the Negev Valley so as to avert a nuclear holocaust and ‘for the future of the Jewish people’ as he wrote in his first of 18 years in prison for telling the truth:

I Am Your Spy

by Mordechai Vanunu

I am the clerk, the technician, the mechanic, and the driver.

They said, Do this, do that, don’t look left or right, don’t read the text. Don’t look at the whole machine. You
are only responsible for this one bolt. For this one rubber-stamp.
This is your only concern. Don’t bother with what is above you.
Don’t try to think for us. Go on, drive. Keep going. On, on.

So they thought, the big ones, the smart ones, the futurologists.
There is nothing to fear. Not to worry.
Everything’s ticking just fine.
Our little clerk is a diligent worker. He’s a simple mechanic.
He’s a little man.
Little men’s ears don’t hear, their eyes don’t see.
We have heads, they don’t.

Answer them, said he to himself, said the little man,
the man with a head of his own. Who is in charge? Who knows
where this train is going?
Where is their head? I too have a head.
Why do I see the whole engine,
Why do I see the precipice–
is there a driver on this train?

The clerk driver technician mechanic looked up.
He stepped back and saw — what a monster.
Can’t believe it. Rubbed his eyes and — yes,
it’s there all right. I’m all right. I do see
the monster. I’m part of the system.
I signed this form. Only now I am reading the rest of it.

This bolt is part of a bomb. This bolt is me. How
did I fail to see, and how do the others go on
fitting bolts. Who else knows?
Who has seen? Who has heard? — The emperor really is naked.
I see him. Why me? It’s not for me. It’s too big.

Rise and cry out. Rise and tell the people. You can.
I, the bolt, the technician, mechanic? — Yes, you.
You are the secret agent of the people. You are the eyes of the nation.
Agent-spy, tell us what you’ve seen. Tell us what the insiders, the clever ones, have hidden from us.
Without you, there is only the precipice. Only catastrophe.

I have no choice. I’m a little man, a citizen, one of the people,
but I’ll do what I have to. I’ve heard the voice of my conscience
and there’s nowhere to hide.
The world is small, small for Big Brother.
I’m on your mission. I’m doing my duty. Take it from me.

Come and see for yourselves. Lighten my burden. Stop the train.
Get off the train. The next stop — nuclear disaster. The next book,
the next machine. No. There is no such thing. -1987, Ashkelon Prison

The New York Times gave print to Barak’s alarm and also provided an opportunity I seize!

Barak said if the world waits to act on Iran, “It will not be possible to use any surgical means to bring about a significant delay. Not for us, not for Europe and not for the United States. After that, the question will remain very important, but it will become purely theoretical and pass out of our hands — the statesmen and decision-makers — and into yours — the journalists and historians.”

And well war should be in the hands of historians and journalists who act in the interests to avoid it for the sake of ALL people and Mother Earth.

“I would never have become an historian if I thought that it would become my professional duty to go into the past and never emerge, to study long-gone events and remember them only for their uniqueness, not connecting them to events going on in my time.”-Howard Zinn

A little history of US-Israel nuclear insanity as understood by Lewis Mumford:

“You cannot talk like sane men around a peace table while the atomic bomb itself is ticking beneath it. Do not treat the atomic bomb as a weapon of offense; do not treat it as an instrument of the police. Treat the bomb for what it is: the visible insanity of a civilization that has ceased to obey the laws of life.”-1946

This August 6th and 9th will mark the 67th anniversary of the most brutal acts of terrorism upon innocent people; America’s atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On Armistice Day, 1948 General Omar Nelson Bradley warned, “We live in a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, in a world that has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We have solved the mystery of the atom and forgotten the lessons of the Sermon on The Mount. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about dying than we know about living.”

In 1995 and still in Ashkelon Prison, Vanunu noted: “A radioactive cloud consumed rubbed out Hiroshima…A live nuclear test sentenced you. A nuclear laboratory…children women trees animals in and under a nuclear mushroom…burning… burned…flattened to ground radioactive ash-Hiroshima…Nuclear weapons gamblers win against you…Hollywood doesn’t know you – you are not a Jewish Holocaust.” [2]

Barak went on: “The moment Iran goes nuclear, other countries in the region will feel compelled to do the same. The Saudi Arabians have told the Americans as much, and one can think of both Turkey and Egypt in this context, not to mention the danger that weapons-grade materials will leak out to terror groups…And if a nuclear Iran covets and occupies some gulf state, who will liberate it? The bottom line is that we must deal with the problem now.”

Israel is a nuclear state that covets and also occupies other gulf states properties so, why NOT deal with THAT problem which is the root cause of WHY Israel feels so insecure.

And as Vanunu explained, “Many journalists come here to the American Colony, from CNN and NY Times. They all want to cover my story, but their EDITORS say no…CNN wants to interview me; but they say they can’t do it because they don’t want problems with the Israeli censor. BBC is doing the same thing.

“Sixty Minutes from the United States from the beginning they wanted to do a program, but because of the censor situation they decide not to do it. Also big media from Germany, France, Italy, Japan. None of them wants problems with the Israelis.”

Bergman also wrote, “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed this explicitly when he said that Iran would be able to reach nuclear-weapons capabilities within a year.”

Speaking on “60 Minutes” on January 29, Panetta said it would probably take Iran another two to three years to produce a missile or other vehicle that could deliver the weapon to a target.

Iran’s leadership denies any effort to make a nuclear weapon and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that international inspectors will be allowed to visit any site in Iran that they wished.

Currently there is a team of inspectors from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Iran and on Sunday, Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said the IAEA’s visit is a “test” for the agency, adding that Iran would cooperate if the IAEA acted “professionally” and not as “a tool of the West.”

In his State of the Union Address last week, President Barack Obama warned Tehran, “Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal” and he reiterated America’s commitment to Israel’s security.

The only option conscience can allow is to demand of Israel what is demanded of Iran and to work for the establishment of a Nuclear Free Middle East and World.

  1. Will Israel Attack Iran?
  2. Hiroshima – 50 Years
  3. The “Big Get” Don Hewitt and “60 Minutes” Didn’t Get

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6 Responses to "At the Crossroads of War: Do NOT Say You Were NOT Warned"

  1. ricohands  February 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    “In 1948, Israel began to wipe Palestine off the map by ethnically cleansing over 500 Palestinian villages and towns.”

    Never a truer word spoken

  2. Eileen Fleming  February 1, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Thank you for that recollection-and BTW I was BLOCKED and thus unable to post @ Time Magazine’s Mid East Blog for many years now, so you really have a great memory!

  3. The Rahnameh  January 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm


    I’ve been reading your stuff since I first read it on Time Magazine’s Mid East Blog. In Vanunu’s infinite darkness, there exists yet an angel making his honor known. Keep up the great work!

  4. DaveE  January 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    The zionists have justified themselves in their own “minds” by spreading their evil among many, many players. Each of them does their small part, serving the collective evil of the whole syndicate.

    So many say, “It wasn’t ME….. I only drove the getaway car…….” or similar denials. Not just Jews, either. So many “Christians” feel no remorse whatsoever about supporting war in Iraq, even if they later changed their “minds.”

    Instead of begging for forgiveness, they merely shrug it off as, “Oh, I was misled….”

    No, you willingly helped the cause of evil, by not standing against it, at minimum. YOU were the problem. Many still are.

    I suspect that Vanunu’s time in prison is his earthy repentance. At least he had the decency and courage to admit he was wrong to work for the bad guys in the first place. For many Jewish and Christian hypocrites who so willingly serve the cause of evil, even if only in a small way, I suspect that 18 years in prison will seem like a Carnival Cruise, in the very near future.

  5. Eileen Fleming  January 31, 2012 at 11:52 am

    As the proverb goes-it ain’t over til the fat lady sings, so I feel YES WE CAN and YES WE MUST avert any more misery and death and “with the fierce urgency of now” when it comes to “scores of millions” and that is why Vanunu did what he did 25 years ago.

    Now, Vanunu does NOT accept the mantle of ‘prophet’ but I say he is and all a prophet is- is one who points out danger ahead and provokes those so inclined to think about God-to THINK!

    In 2005, Vanunu and I had this actual conversation, but as I was writing fiction at the time, I gave my words to ‘Jack’ in “KEEP HOPE ALIVE”

    At 5:40 p.m., Jack met Vanunu at the American Colony. They both walked as fast as any New Yorker and maintained silence. It was not until they had scaled the high hill to the Mount of Olives and the stoned tombs of many Jews came into view that Vanunu spoke. “Those are the Jews expecting to be resurrected first when the Messiah comes.”

    Jack retorted, “When I was in rehab, I got hold of a very bad book. It was called Left Behind. What got left behind was the gospel of peace and love. These books are bad theology and poor literature. Did you know that in America there are Christians who actually want Armageddon? They believe they will escape the nuclear holocaust because they are now the new chosen ones. They think they will be raptured; they think they will be lifted out of the world. They believe a theology of escapism and they ignore that Christ promised that ‘The peacemakers shall be called the children of God’ and that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.”

    Vanunu replied, “The time has come for the United States to see the truth of Zionism. It began as a secular nationalist movement, not a religious one. Then some Christians believed that when Israel became a nation, it was the beginning of the second coming. They are deluded if they believe peace will come through atomic weapons. Atomic weapons are holocaust weapons. Christians should be the first people against them. The Christians in America should be helping the Christians here. America needs to wake up to this fallacy that Jesus will come back by nuclear war. America needs to wake up to the fact that the Palestinian Christians here have no human rights. Aren’t Christians supposed to be concerned about other Christians? Aren’t Christians supposed to be concerned about all the poor and oppressed?”

    Jack had become agitated. “It is non-negotiable: all of that stuff Jesus said about doing for the least and the oppressed. It is non-negotiable for Christians; we must forgive our enemies, and we must love those who hate us. Whatever we do or do not do, we do it unto God. Every time I went through a checkpoint, saw the wall, or heard a story of oppression, I wondered how God can stand this situation. I can’t.”

    At the summit of the Mount of Olives, there is a lot of pavement, but not many trees. Jack found one cradling a few stone steps and sat down while Vanunu wandered about. When Vanunu appeared, Jack immediately asked, “How was it–being crucified for telling the truth?”

    “My human rights have been denied me because I am a Christian. When I was on trial, I was treated just like a Palestinian: no human rights at all, and cruel and unusual punishment, all because I told the truth. The government spread slander about me, that I was a homosexual, that I hated Jews, that I wanted fame and money. What I did was sacrifice my life for the truth. In prison, I really began to feel like Jesus and Paul. When Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple, it was like me in Dimona, exposing the Israelis’ dirty secrets. I felt like Paul, being thrown in prison for speaking the truth.

    “The only real way to worship is in loving one’s enemies. It was not easy to love my tormentors; it was only because I felt so much like Jesus crucified on the cross, and as if I was crucified in prison, that I could do it. It was not ever easy. I have forgiven but not forgotten anything, and I never will. In Israel, a life sentence is twenty-five years. Even murderers go free after seventeen. They imposed the same restrictions on me that Palestinians receive: no human rights at all; no phone; no visitors, except family, and only through an iron grill; no vacation; no holidays; and no gifts. Even murderers get out for vacations! I was locked up for eighteen years and still cannot go on vacation; I cannot leave, and that is all I am asking for, just to leave here. For eighteen years in prison, they even attempted to control my thoughts on paper. I would write exactly what I wanted and they would censor words like kidnapped and atomic bomb. They would show me how they chopped up my letters, but I continued to write exactly what I wanted. They held my body, but never my spirit or mind.”

    Jack asked tentatively, “Have you ever considered the idea that the anti-Christ may not be a man at all? I keep thinking how nuclear weapons are promoted by governments as instruments of peace, but they only bring destruction. I can’t imagine that God intended for man to blow up this planet, but instead, to learn how to share it.”

    “The only way to peace is peace; the only way is nonviolence. The only answer to Israeli nuclear weapons, their aggression, occupation and oppression, and the wall and refugee camps is to answer them with truth and a peaceful voice. When I became the spy for the world, I did it all for the people of the world. If governments do not report the truth, and if the media does not report the truth, then all we can do is follow our consciences. Daniel Ellsberg did, the woman from Enron did, and I did. The United States needs to wake up and see the truth that Israel is not a democracy, unless you are a Jew. Israel is the only country in the Middle East where America can right now find WMDs. America can also find where basic human rights have been denied Christians: right here in Israel.”

    “In America, we are assured inalienable rights. That means they are God-given rights that governments cannot take away, such as the right to worship where and how we choose. When I read that you were not allowed to go the few miles on Christmas Eve to celebrate mass at the Church of the Nativity, I wondered, what kind of democracy is that? I cannot understand how a democracy could haul anyone to jail because they wanted to go to a church in the next town. American democracy ensures citizens the right to think and to speak out the truth as we see it. American democracy understands that everyone has the right to a life and to liberty–which means freedom from captivity and any arbitrary controls. Last night, at the Interfaith Conference, I remembered what President Bush promised at his second inauguration, and wondered if he had thought about Palestinians when he delivered it.

    “He promised, ‘There is no justice without freedom. There can be no human rights without liberty…All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for liberty, we will stand with you.’”

  6. PhilipShahak  January 31, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Barak reacted with uncharacteristic anger. He and Netanyahu, he said, are responsible “in a very direct and concrete way for the existence of the State of Israel — indeed, for the future of the Jewish people.”

    If Israel is going down and launches just one nuke, I think that will settle the Jews hash. These creatures have a death wish and it looks like we’re too late to stop them taking scores of millions down with them.

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