Iranian Scientists Die as Bibi’s War Looms


by James M. Wall


On Friday, January 13, Eli Lake posed a question on Newsweek’s web site, The Daily Beast:

Has Israel Been Killing Iran’s Nuclear Scientists?

Lake does not have hard evidence to answer his question. But he speculates, using the old reliable “circumstantial evidence”, to point to Israel’s Mossad,”for a string  of slayings of Iran’s nuclear experts”.

The most recent Iranian to die is nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, killed in his automobile  in Tehran Thursday.

Eli Lake writes, “at the very least Israel’s defense establishment would like its allies to believe its spies have pulled off these ‘events that happen unnaturally’”. To take credit for their dark deeds, Israel’s narrative shapers put out the word in their usual sly fashion:

Six weeks ago in Washington, on the sidelines of a major U.S.-Israeli meeting known as the “strategic dialogue,” Israeli Mossad officers were quietly and obliquely bragging about the string of explosions in Iran. “They would say things like, ‘It’s not the best time to be working on Iranian missile design,’” one U.S. intelligence official at the December parley told The Daily Beast.
Consider the arrogance of this scene: Saber-rattling Israeli experts, joking about the “danger” of working on Iran’s nuclear sites.  They know deaths have been arranged. In their best tough-guy, B-movie swagger, they find the death of relatively low-level Iranian scientists to be a source of amusement.
These saber-rattling Israel nuclear experts are higher in rank than those US Marines who were caught on Youtube urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. Disdain toward a perceived enemy–and laughing and bragging about it–is despicable, inhumane, and reprehensible, regardless of rank.

Michael Adler reports on the anti-Iran campaign in his Daily Beast report.

While no one will confirm that a covert campaign is being waged, many see such a strategy as just the sort of thing one would want to use against an Islamic Republic believed to be seeking the bomb.

The campaign would include the Stuxnet computer virus, allegedly unleashed in 2009 to destroy about a fifth of the centrifuges turning at Iran’s main uranium-enrichment plant in Natanz, and booby traps on equipment Iran buys abroad that ensure the equipment malfunctions once put to use.

And then there are assassinations. The facts from Wednesday: 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan (pictured below with his son) was killed when a motorcyclist attached a magnetized bomb to his car as he was driving to work. Roshan was director of commercial affairs at the Natanz plant. The attack was the fourth of its kind on an Iranian scientist in two years, with three of the men killed and the fourth surviving to become the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization.

These attacks–past and future–are designed to intimidate and provoke.  They are not intended to impede any serious progress or nuclear design or production process.
Many experts have concluded that Israel’s claim that Iran is creating a nuclear arsenal is as empty and false as the Bush-Cheney  ”mushroom cloud” warning that justified the US attack on Iraq in 2003.
Israel is obviously doing its best to push for a war with Iran which it wants to  be “provoked” by Iran.
Israel wants absolute hegemony over the region, which is why it developed its own nuclear arsenal decades ago, and it is also why it insists it will not tolerate nuclear arms in the hands of its neighbors.

From at least one surprising corner, support for this Israeli war scenario has slipped. At the New York Times, reader complaints poured in after the Times and other media outlets promoted the Israeli reading of an assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran’s nuclear program had a military objective. The Israeli reading of the report was a distortion of the facts.

The Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane agreed that the complaints about this distortion were legitimate. He called on his own paper to “correct the story”.

Robert Naiman reported on Brisbane’s response to the complaints in his Truthout news analysis:

I think the readers are correct on this. The Times hasn’t corrected the story but it should because this is a case of when a shorthand phrase doesn’t do justice to a nuanced set of facts. In this case, the distinction between the two is important because the Iranian program has emerged as a possible casus belli.

In other words: it’s important to get this right, because getting it wrong unjustly promotes the cause of war.

After serving as a major cheerleader for the 2003 Iraq “shock and awe” invasion, the Times appears to have learned its lesson.  Perhaps, finally, it has discovered how US centers of power have moved into foreign hands.

MJ Rosenberg writes in Intifada Palestine that Israel. AIPAC and its US congressional hasbara troops are fighting back:

Wasting no time after its success in getting the administration to oppose Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, and still celebrating the UNESCO funding cut-off, AIPAC has returned to its #1 priority: pushing for war with Iran.

The Israelis have, of course, played their own part in the big show. In the last few weeks, it has been sending out signals that it is getting ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities (and embroil the United States in its most calamitous Middle East war yet).

But most observers do not believe an Israeli attack is imminent. (If it was, would Israel telegraph it in advance?) The point of the Israeli threats is to get the United States and the world community to increase pressure on Iran with the justification that unless it does, Israel will attack.

Naturally, the United States Congress, which gets its marching orders on Middle East policy from the lobby which, in turn, gets its marching orders from Binyamin Netanyahu, is rushing to do what it is told. (If only Congress addressed joblessness at home with the same alacrity and enthusiasm.)

Accordingly the House Foreign Affairs Committee hurriedly convened this week to consider a new “crippling sanctions” bill that seems less designed to deter an Iran nuclear weapon than to lay the groundwork for war.

These “crippling sanctions” are intended to remove foreign policy decisions involving Iran from the White House to the US Congress.

The sanctions have been pushed through the House by a bi-partisan pair: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA). (Shown here.)

Rosenberg explains how this would work:

It means that neither the president, the Secretary of State nor any US diplomat or emissary may engage in negotiations or diplomacy with Iran of any kind unless the president convinces the “appropriate Congressional committees” (most significantly, the House Foreign Affairs Committee which is an AIPAC fiefdom) that not engaging with Iranian contacts would present an “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the vital national security interests of the United States.”

To call this unprecedented is an understatement. At no time in our history has the White House or State Department been restricted from dealing with representatives of a foreign state, even in war time.

On May 20, 2011. Prime Minister Netanyahu came to Washington for a victory lap around Barack Obama’s track.

Philip Giraldi described Netanyahu’s May 20, 2011 visit for the website Uprooted Palestinians (see the photo at the top):

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives in the United States today for a much anticipated visit. He will do a little fund-raising, will speak before Congress and at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual conference, and will meet with President Barack Obama.

Netanyahu can expect the visit to go smoothly, with an adoring joint session of congress rising to its feet to applaud him and more adulation from the AIPAC gathering.

The “adoring joint session of congress” outdid itself with thunderous applause and 29 standing ovations.

The revealing picture of the Prime Minister of Israel smirking in triumph at the President of the United States, was taken during Netanyahu’s visit with President Obama in May, 2011. It was taken by Jim Watson for Agence France-Presse. And this is the man who expects President Obama to join him in his war against Iran.

In the video below, Mark Perry is interviewed by Al Jazeera. The interview focuses on a column Perry published this weekend for the Foreign Policy web site. The report describes CIA memos from 2007 and 2008 that accuse Israel of running a “false flag” operation against the US. A “false flag” operation is an action in which Israeli agents pretend to be CIA agents conducting attacks against Iran.

The Firedoglake web site reported on Perry’s column:

A provocative article in Foreign Policy magazine suggests that Israeli Mossad officers recruited members of the Pakistani terrorist organization Jundallah to aid in the covert operations against Iranian targets, including bombings in the Baluchistan region and potentially the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists.

The Mossad officers, according to Mark Perry, posed as American intelligence agents during the recruitment, using US passports.

In his Foreign Policy column, Perry expressed a special concern for the damage a “false flag” can do to the US:

The report sparked White House concerns that Israel’s [assassination] program was putting Americans at risk,” the intelligence officer told me.

“There’s no question that the US. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we’re not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians”

Iran claims to have proof that this was not a “false flag” operation. Rather, Iran accuses the US of actually engaging in assassinations. The US “categorically”–to use Hillary Clinton’s term–denies the charges.

Perry’s interview suggests that if there any merit to the “false flag” operation,  Bibi Netanyahu may have finally pushed Barack Obama too far by employing a”false flag” operation against the only friend Israel has left in the community of nations.

As Chris Matthews finally acknowledged on his MSNBC program, the role of Israel as a deceptive partner could emerge as a political issue during the 2012 presidential campaign.

The picture above of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and his son, is an Iranian Fars News Agency Photo.

Editing: Debbie Menon

Sun Country fills seats with Groupon; Even with lots of restrictions, buyers scooped up discounted airfares on domestic travel.(BUSINESS)

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) June 2, 2011 Byline: DAVID PHELPS; STAFF WRITER Sun Country Airlines hooked up with the popular Groupon phenomenon Wednesday, offering discounted fares of $180 on domestic flights and flights to Mexico for $320.

“This is the first time I’ve seen an airline do this,” said Terry Trippler, an airline expert and owner of Groupon discounts, often for 50 percent or more, are more typically offered at restaurants and spas.

“It’s a great marketing idea,” Trippler added. “It’s new, it’s different.” The promotion comes with several restrictions — no travel on Fridays or Sundays, departure out of Minneapolis only, good beginning June 6, with travel completed by Nov. 21. Buyers also had to sign up for travel in a particular month, with a different number of tickets available for each month. site groupon boston

By late afternoon, discount tickets to domestic destinations were sold out for July, August, September, October and November. More than 400 tickets sold for each month, except September, in which Sun Country sold 860 tickets. Only three tickets had been sold for Cancun or Cozumel in July, with more available.

Wendy Williams Blackshaw, the airline’s vice president for marketing and sales called the promotion a success. “We believe doing this promotion will allow us to reach new travelers who might not have tried Sun Country in the past,” she said.

In a typical Groupon arrangement, Groupon and its client, in this case Sun Country, split the discounted price. So each party gets $90 for each $180 fare, although terms of the Sun Country deal were not disclosed. Cheap fares are often loss leaders for an airline to gain customer loyalty or to fill seats in off seasons. see here groupon boston

But Blackshaw said Sun Country expects to make money with the Groupon arrangement.

Sun Country, which has been on the auction block in recent months as the estate of its previous owner, Tom Petters, is slowly liquidated in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, is profitable.

Still, the Groupon idea makes sense, Trippler said.

“It puts seats in the seats. It gives the airline exposure,” he said. “This is typical Sun Country. ‘Let’s try something new. Let’s give it a shot.'” Taxes and fees still apply.

David Phelps – 612-673-7269


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