Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Israeli Terrorist Activities:
Is the US Providing Cover for Israeli Attack on
By Alan Hart
Redress, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 18, 2012
When is a terrorist not a terrorist – and war with Iran or not?
Alan Hart views the USA’s traditional tolerance of Israeli terrorist
activities – and abuse of the alliance with the US – and wonders whether
this tolerance will extend to providing cover for an Israeli attack on Iran,
even if this is not endorsed by Washington.
Israeli agents recruit terrorists
The longer and
complete form of the first question in the headline is – “When is a
terrorist not a terrorist in the eyes of the Obama administration (not to
mention all of its predecessors) and the governments of the Western world?”
Answer: When he or she is an Israeli Mossad agent or asset.
In the case of the
assassination of Iranian scientists, the Mossad’s assets are almost
certainly members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), also known as
the Peoples’ Mujahedin of Iran, which is committed to overthrowing the
regime of the ruling mullahs. Many of its activists are based in Iraqi
Kurdistan where Mossad has a substantial presence. It does the training
there, selects the targets in Iran and provides the bombs and other weapons,
and MKO members do the actual killing.
It’s reasonable to presume
that Mossad is more comfortable operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan with
Iranian MKO assets than it was when its own agents were posing as CIA
officers to recruit members of Jundallah, a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist
organization, to carry out assassinations and attacks on installations and
facilities in Iran.
Some of the essence of that Israeli false flag
operation has been revealed by Mark Perry in an
article for Foreign Policy. His report is based on information
he acquired about memos buried deep in the archives of America’s
intelligence services which were written in the last years of President
George “Dubya” Bush’s administration, plus conversations he had with two
currently serving US intelligence officials and four retired intelligence
officers who worked for the CIA or monitored Israeli intelligence operations
from senior positions inside the US government.
“It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get
away with. Their recruitment activities were nearly in the
open. They apparently didn’t give a damn about what we
US intelligence official
According to Perry’s sources, one of whom has seen the memos, the Mossad
agents who were posing as CIA agents to recruit Jundallah operatives had
American passports and were “flush” with American dollars.
The memos tell the story of an investigation which debunked reports from
2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA, at the direction of the White House, of
covertly supporting Jundallah. The investigation apparently showed that the
US “had barred even the most incidental contact with Jundallah”.
One rule for Israel, another for the rest of the world
memos also gave details of CIA field reports on Mossad’s recruitment of
Jundallah operatives, mainly in London and “under the nose of US
Perry’s sources confessed to being “stunned by the brazenness of Mossad’s
efforts.” And one of them said: “It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they
could get away with. Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open.
They apparently didn’t give a damn about what we thought.”
issue with the first part of that statement. What is really amazing is not
what Mossad and almost of Israel’s political and military leaders think
they can get away with, but what they know they can get away with
because of the Zionist lobby’s control of Congress on all matters relating
to policy for the conflict in and over Palestine that became Israel.
And that in turn is why, generally speaking, Israel’s leaders
don’t give a damn about what American administrations think. They come
and go but the Zionist lobby’s control of Congress is a permanent fixture.
(In private conversation with General Moshe Dayan when he was Israel’s
defence minister, I once summed up Israel’s unspeakable but implicit message
to the governments of the world in the following way. “We know we shouldn’t
have done this but we’ve done it because we also know there’s nothing you
can do about it.” Dayan didn’t comment but the look on his face said
something like, “You’re right but I’m not going to say so.”)
Israel doesn’t usually comment on reports about Mossad’s activities, a
senior government spokesman described Perry’s account of Mossad agents
posing as CIA agents as “absolute nonsense”. As I was reading the denial I
used a Jimmy Carter expression – “BS” (Bull Shit).
“These are shameful acts by a shameful Israeli government
exploiting Iranian terrorists for their own ends. I find it
disgusting that Israel can get away with such acts with
Richard Silverstein, US journalist
After the latest assassination of an Iranian scientist, Rick Santorum,
the right-wing religious joker in the pack of Republican presidential
hopefuls, said this: “On occasions scientists working on the nuclear
programme in Iran turn up dead. I think that’s a wonderful thing.”
A different view was offered by Jewish American journalist Richard
Silverstein. For his weblog Tikun Olam he wrote this: “These are
shameful acts by a shameful Israeli government exploiting Iranian terrorists
for their own ends. I find it disgusting that Israel can get away with such
acts with impunity.”
Disgusting it certainly is but there’s no
mystery about why Israel can commit crimes, including acts of naked state
terrorism, without fear of being called and held to account for them by the
UN Security Council. When after the 1967 war it refused to label the Zionist
state as the aggressor and require it to withdraw from the newly occupied
Arab lands without conditions, it effectively created, at the insistence of
the US, two sets of rules for the behaviour of nations: one set for all the
nations of the world minus Israel and the other exclusively for Israel. That
was the birth of the double standard which is the cancer at the heart of
Western foreign policy.
Now let’s pause for a moment to imagine what
the response would have been if Iranian agents or assets had assassinated an
Israeli scientist (just one) in the Zionist state.
Led by America,
Western governments would have bellowed their condemnation of the terrorism
and pledged full support for all efforts to hunt the terrorists down and
bring them to justice. And they would, of course, have blamed the government
of Iran even if there was not one shred of evidence of its authorization.
The assassination of an Israeli scientist might even have tipped the
Washington decision-making balance in favour of the mad men who want the US
either to attack Iran or give Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the
green light to go, with or without nuclear tipped, bunker-busting bombs.
And Israel? How would it have responded? With or without a green light
from President Barack Obama it almost certainly would have bombed selected
targets in Iran, even if doing so was likely to set the region on fire and
do vast damage to Western interests in the region and the whole Muslim
world. (As I note in my book
Zionism: The Real
Enemy of the Jews, in the chapter headed “The Liberty Affair – Pure
Murder on a Great Day”, the lesson of the
cold-blooded Israeli attack on the American spy ship was that there is
nothing the Zionist state might not do, to its friends as well as its
enemies, in order to get its own way.)
Now, at the risk of inviting a
charge from some and perhaps many readers that I am naive in the extreme, I
have to say I am inclined to the view that the Obama administration was
telling the truth when it strongly denied any American complicity in the
latest Israeli/MKO assassination. The New York Times put it this
The assassination drew an
unusually strong condemnation from the White House and the State
Department, which disavowed any American complicity... “The United
States had absolutely nothing to do with this,” said Tommy Vietor, a
spokesman for the National Security Council. Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton appeared to expand the denial beyond Wednesday’s killing,
categorically denying any United States involvement in any kind of act
of violence inside Iran.
The New York Times report then quoted Mrs Clinton as saying
We believe that there has to
be an understanding between Iran, its neighbours and the international
community that finds a way forward for it to end its provocative
behaviour, end its search for nuclear weapons and rejoin the
That in my opinion is code for something very like: “This administration
is not completely mad. We know that an attack on Iran could have
catastrophic consequences for the region and the world. Despite the mounting
and awesome pressure we are under from Netanyahu and those who peddle his
propaganda here in America, we know that the nuclear problem with Iran must
be solved by jaw-jaw and not war-war.”
How catastrophic the
consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran could be for the region and the
world has been put into words by Philip Giraldi, currently the executive
director of the Council for the National Interest and a former CIA
counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer. The scenario
he presents under the headline "What
war with Iran might look like" takes us all the way to World War III.
So, I believe New York Times reporter Scott Shane was on the
right track when he wrote that the statements by US officials appeared to
reflect serious concern about the (Israeli/MKO) assassinations of Iranian
scientists because they could “backfire” and make Iran’s leaders less
willing to talk. And, I add, more willing to give in to those forces in
Iran, the Revolutionary Guards in particular, who might well be saying that
Iran must possess nuclear weapons for deterrence.
“At executive level it [the Obama administration] is, I
think, in a state of something close to total panic about
what to do to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran if Netanyahu
is not bluffing.”
My guess is that US officials are also concerned by the possibility that
more assassinations could provoke an Iranian response which would give
Israel the pretext to attack. (It’s by no means impossible that the main
purpose of the assassinations is to provoke an Iranian response to give
Israel the pretext for an attack.)
That brings me to my own speculation about what is really going on behind
closed doors in the Obama administration. At executive level it is, I think,
in a state of something close to total panic about what to do to prevent an
Israeli attack on Iran if Netanyahu is not bluffing.
My reading of
Obama’s latest turn of the sanctions screw on Iran is that it’s his way of
not only putting more pressure on the ruling mullahs. It’s also his way of
saying to Netanyahu something like: “Give me more time to solve the Iranian
nuclear problem by all means other than war.”
Obama needs more time
not only to try to get serious and substantive talks with Iran going but
also to establish beyond any doubt whether Israeli threats to attack Iran’s
nuclear facilities are a bluff (to put pressure on the US) or not. In an
article for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz under the headline
"Israel and US at odds over timetables and red lines for Iran", Avi
Issacharoff and Amos Harel wrote:
Do [Israeli Defence Minister
and Netanyahu really intend to attack on their own, or is Israel only
trying to prod the West into more decisive action? That is the
million-dollar question. It has been discussed intermittently for the
past three years and it seems that Washington does not have a
satisfactory answer to it.
In a few days time General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint
Chiefs of Staff, is scheduled to arrive in Israel for talks with Ehud Barak,
Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz and other senior Israeli
defence and intelligence officials.
“My guess is that whatever he may say in public after his
meetings, [Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin]
Dempsey will tell the Israelis in private that if they go to
war with Iran they will be on their own.”
Dempsey knows that when US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta met with
Netanyahu and Barak last November, they refused to give him a commitment
that Israel would not attack Iran without informing America of its intention
to do so.
If I am right about the panic in the Obama administration, my guess is
that Dempsey will try to obtain the commitment Panetta failed to get. What
if Dempsey does not succeed?
My guess is that whatever he may say in
public after his meetings, Dempsey will tell the Israelis in private that if
they go to war with Iran they will be on their own. The US, I can almost
hear him saying, will not become engaged except to defend its own national
interests if and as necessary “because the American people, most of them,
are tired of war”. He could add “and we don’t have the money to pay for it”.
An interesting question for the coming days is something like this: what
if Dempsey returns to Washington without being able to give
behind-closed-doors assurance that Israel (despite what it might continue to
say to the contrary in public for propaganda purposes) will not go it alone
with an attack Iran?
In theory there is a card President Obama could
play. He could put Israel on public notice that if it attacked Iran and if
as a consequence America’s own bests interests were harmed, the US would
have to rethink its relationship with the “Jewish state”. A statement to
that effect would imply that the days of America’s unconditional support for
Israel right or wrong could be coming to an end.
But that’s not a
statement Obama could make this side of November’s presidential election.
So, if Netanyahu is not bluffing, and if he was determined to bomb Iran’s
nuclear facilities before November’s election, there’s nothing Obama could
do to stop him, even knowing that the end game could be, as Giraldi
speculated, World War III.
My own view has always been that Netanyahu
is bluffing to the extent that even he is not crazy enough to order an
Israeli attack on Iran without a green light from the US and American cover
I hope I am right. If I am it could be that
General Dempsey will return to Washington with the news Obama wants and
needs: that without a green light from the US, Israel will not bomb Iran’s