Saul Singer at PostGlobal

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer, a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, Moment, the New Leader, and bitterlemons.org (an Israeli/Palestinian e-zine). Before moving to Israel in 1994, he served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. He is also on Twitter. Close.

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post. more »

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Bureaucratic Mutiny May Backfire

The report is a bureaucratic mutiny - an attempt to determine policy by tying President George Bush's hands - but it may backfire.

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All Comments (64)

BobL-VA:

I feel so much better now that you have shown me the light on how facts don't mean anything anymore. The last I knew Israel was sitting on somewhere between 20 and 200 strategic thermo-nuclear weapons and Iran zero. I'm sorry, but again another fact we don't want to talk about. Afterall, facts mean little to nothing when they conflict with an agenda.

That Iran probably wants to drive Israel out the ME is more then likely a true statement. That all of the Arab countries would like Israel out of the ME is also probably true. That Israel doesn't want to leave would also probably be true. So pray tell why is this the US's problem? Why should we intervene and continue to commit our treasure and lives so Israel and the Muslims can fight what has amounted to a religous war?

I certainly understand it is within Israelis best interest to have the US beating up on the Arabs, but I'm sorry because I'm feeling used by Israel.

Go fight your own war and I sincerely wish you luck.

off the cliff:

Using Singer Logic (!!!), any one that has a knife in his kitchen is a murder suspect and any one that drives a car is a potential drunk driver!!!

Absurd psychosis describes it.......!

Mike Fleishman:

Mr. Singer sees a vast conspiracy behind what is a rare instance of truth telling by US intelligence agencies. The iranians are quite correct in asserting that they have every right to master the nuclear fuel cycle to low levels for power generation and Singer can point to no evidence that the iranians are doing anything else.

If Mr. Singer is genuinely interested in de-escalating the danger of nuclear conflict in the Middle East he would be wise to start with his own government, which has, entirely illegally, developed and deployed an arsenal of nuclear weapons aimed at its neighbors.

michael4:

Well, assuming a "bureaucratic mutiny" is in effect, perhaps the rest of the world can solve the Iran problem. Why is everything always the responsibility of the USA? Why do American taxpayers always have to pay for the salvation of foreigners? You do it...

michael4:

Well, assuming a "bureaucratic mutiny" is in effect, perhaps the rest of the world can solve the Iran problem. Why is everything always the responsibility of the USA? Why do American taxpayers always have to pay for the salvation of foreigners? You do it...

Robert Stanfield:

To: Red Queen

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Alice in Wonderland.

Such beliefs when acted on can have catastrophic consequences. The intelligence community tried to tell us in 1996->2003 all kinds of things. However, you had beliefs that "must" not be denied. You told us "Common Sense" must prevail- Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein were connected - the world is flat.

You sir, were and still are incredibility ie lack credibility. Your kind have cried "Wolf" too many times. If perchance your message is true, it will have to find another messenger. We can not survive another "hair brained" scheme. The intellegence community is far more credible than you.

Alice

What the F****?:

Since when can an Israeli citizen pass judgement on whether American spies acted in interest of their own nations interests? Is Israel not a foreign, independent country?

Steve:

Maybe this article would have some credibility if it was not written by a citizen of a rogue nuclear state that has insisted upon its right to nuclear weapons.

Anonymous:

The writer appears to be mentally unstable and ill-informed. His delusion is that the rest of the world revolves around Israel--a tiny fabricated country. He also forgets that it was the Persian King Cyrus that rescued them. Ungrateful describes the state of Israeli mind.

cnmarchant:

i 'If not, we are headed for a nuclear Iran and eventually for the war that the bureaucratic mutineers were attempting to prevent.'

What a hollow protest. Implementing Article VI of the NNPT would do more to stop threatened states securing atomic protection than sanctions. An even better way would be to stop provoking states with threats.

This article definitely passes the 'Does it provide a horse(that you can lead to water)laugh' test.

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves:

Spelling geeks have noticed that too many here spell the word "hypocrisy" as "hypocracy".
A hypocracy, one would think, is more likely to be a government or idealogy based on hypocrisy
...
oh, I get your point.

So anyway, with all the different agenda being pushed by the Americans, Israelis, Arabs and Jews and Christians, Pakistanis ... right wing nutjobs and Bushies ... what is one to think?

I feel a bit confused when I hear people claiming that bush's war is "for oil". We could buy Venezuela several times for the cost of this war, or we could defeat them in a much less bloody war with fewer consequences ... why would we fight a war in the middle east for oil?
Maybe to make profits for Halliburton, hmm, that's an idea. Corporations which make money supporting warfare need warfare to make money, now that's not too complicated is it?

Is that what it is? All these religious and historical and political and personal clashes between all those who disagree, are we all being taken advantage of by the halliburtons out there just so they can make money?

Leon E:

Discussions of Iran's nuclear program in the West continue to ignore the legal and historical context for this analysis. The legal context is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is short and anyone can read online. One pertinent paragraph is this in Article IV:
1. Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.
So what is here called "the critical, obstacle between Iran and a bomb", namely "obtaining" (although "producing" is the real sticking point) nuclear fuel, is one item the Iranians correctly claim they are legally entitled to do.
The legitimate treaty criticism is of Iran's lack of transparency about its program and intentions, not the existence of a civilian program, including fuel production. When the West votes sanctions that go beyond restoring safeguards and transparency, we are making up our own "international law" to suit ourselves-- that is behaving as an essentially lawless band of nuclear-armed bullies who have commandeered international organizations to serve their own interests, not to create a global social contract that other countries can subscribe to.
Is it realistic, however, to think that Iran's intention is to develop technology and know how it can quickly put to use to produce nuclear weapons? Perhaps so but that doesn't mean we are therefore entitled to use unilateral force to stop in the name of the kind of uninformed "realpolitik" that has come back to bite us time after time after time. Here is where the historical context is essential, starting at least with the CIA overthrow of the Iranian prime minister Mossadegh in the 1950s, and including US support of their then pet dictator Saddam Hussein in the bloody and costly war with Iran in the 1980s, the grandstanding and saber-rattling of the famous "axis of evil" doctrine (lumping 3 completely unrelated and, in the case of Iran and Iraq, mutually hostile countries), through to the unilateral and illegitimate invasion of one "axis" member, Iraq, on a wave of "Big Lie" deceptions not seen since the heyday of Stalin and Hitler. Add the fact that Iraq is a next door neighbor with the only majority Shiite population outside Iran itself, and containing that sect’s major religious sites, and that our invasion, while eliminating Iran's foe Saddam Hussein was explicitly aiming to create a pro-American bulwark against Iran as well, and Iran's concern of the American threat to *them* clearly appears far more urgent and credible than any supposed Iranian threat to the West. Other than self-defense, and the ever intractable Palestinian issues that all Middle Eastern peoples have a stake in, there is actually NO plausible reason why Iran should ever be a threat to Europe or America even if nuclear armed.
Instead, in the light of this context, it is well worth considering Article VI of the NPT:
Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
The nuclear bullies club has conspicuously flouted this requirement and reveled in their elevated status, while zealously barring the door to new members. This makes the nuclear powers including the United States the worst violators of the letter and more importantly the spirit of the NPT. And it is exactly this attitude of nuclear bullying and exclusivism that makes *joining the club* so attractive to other countries, particularly ones that have reason to feel threatened by a nuclear bully-- such as Iran vis a vis the United States.
It doesn't help when the United States *has* advocated adding India to the nuclear Old Boy's Club, not based on any tenet of the NPT or other instrument of international law, but simply because India is a buddy at the moment. When cronyism and (misguided) judgments of national self-interest are the only criteria in international relations of the most powerful country on earth, what could any other rational country do except look to their own interests?
And Iran's military would be irresponsible NOT to have at least contingency plans for nuclear weapons, given the hostile, uncompromising and unilateralist "our way or the highway" attitude that the United States continues to display towards Iran. For heaven's sake, the US military has had contingency plans for invading *Canada*-- are we to expect Iran's military not to take seriously the very real threat of more Western hostile actions towards them?
Regardless of our opinion of the current regime (and mine is that it would be swept away if we could defuse the situation and bring Iran into the mainstream of global commerce), the wrongs here start with us, not Iran, and it is up to us to take the lead in finding peaceful ways out. The reasonable way to start is something that for some reason Americans-- particularly this presidency-- seem congenitally unable to do, which is to try to look at things from the other side’s point of view, as I just did. Having done that, it is clear that we have a lot of work to do to address Iran's very real security concerns and take them seriously as important players in the Middle East, rather than constantly trying to build coalitions that exclude and isolate them. Beyond that, it is time that the United States stepped up to its own NPT obligations and started working for a world in which nuclear weapons would cease to be the powerful attractant they are now and can begin to be drastically cut back, even by the US, as the NPT originally envisioned.

Anonymous:

PETER MURRAY
So, what? Religious fanatics control Israel. Ditto for Iran.
That is why the Israelis are so nervous because they are under a delusion that their "secret formula" of religion-laced democracy is duplicated by Iranians and that, given the difference in size of the two countries and given Iran's superior strategic position (economically too), it is a guaranteed disaster for Israel. What they don't get is that the entire concept of Israel is a failed disaster--it is the only place where Jews have been killed since WWII......just a bad set of calculations, I guess!

pete murray:

I should first asure you that France and Britain feel not in the least angry or betrayed. They feel quite relieved. The pretext for a disasterous US airstrike against Iran has been undercut. A window has opened for meaningful diplomacy. By "meaningful" I don't mean a continuation of the recent negotiations on nuclear inspections. These were seen by the same Britain and France as primarily a means of delaying a strike against Iran until Cheney was safely out of office. Meaningful diplomacy would need to address BOTH Western and Iranian security interests and the raison d'etre for an Iranian bomb - the threat of a US military strike or invasion. Of course Israel has its own agenda. The principal local consequence of an Iranian bomb would be to neutralize the Israeli nuclear arsenal. Not even Israel really believes that the present Iranian prime minister is anything more than a paper tiger, despite all his bluff and bluster. The mullahs control Iran and they have no interest in seeing their nation incinerated in a spasm of mutually assured destruction. Assertions that the Eurpeans are worried about a missile strike from Iran is pure wishful thinking by those who would like to insinuate a shared interest between Israel and the European powers, and those in the present US administration who are trying to foist "star wars" on the Europeans.
Iran is most certaintly pursuing its own nuclear deterrent despite what is asserted in this intellegence report. So what?
The key to Middle East security is not further invasions and air-strikes, it is adressing the real issues which are giving rise to insecurity and the perceived need by countries such as Iran and Israel to possess nuclear deterrents.

IRanian taxpayer in USA:

It is a pleasure to read most of the comments posted as much as it is amusing to see the true colours of the hollow Israeli spin machine, with no air left in its tires, leaking oil as it putters and puffs out poisonous smoke. The aim is nothing except a desperate attempt to pollute the climate and keep reality in a filthy fog.

Most amusing, if not realistic, point in the article is that a washed up AIPAC has been is writing from a tiny nation of 6m people to tell the president of a superpower of 300m what to do!

Hey, chap, game is over. Enough Already!
You Israelis wanted your own independent country. You got it. Now you have to live with the facts and the naked truth. As purported adults, you ought to behave like responsible adults. Can you do that, for once in history of mankind? You aimlessly fooled America to attack Iraq for your short-term benefit and now you object to America learning from its past mistakes? How ungrateful can your lot really be?

Even it is a bureaucratic mutiny, let it be. I hope it is a bigger awakening and an actual coup that will arrest every damned spy working for the Israeli lobby in Washington.

Checks and balances, transparency, concensus are real democratic ingridients that make up a nation. Bureaucrats shy of war? Nothing with that. I don't want my tax Dollars to be spent on psychotic fantasies of Israel.

ithejury:

Good Grief, the WaPo's editorial minion is at it again.

But at least this column's fulmination over the recent NIE and the possibility that a secretive Middle East nation is engaged in unacknowledged and surreptitious nuclear WMD programs does meet what its author, Saul Singer, likes to call 'the laugh test.'

The column begins with a modest chuckle: "Readers of this blog may have noticed that Yossi Melman and I, though we are both from Israel, often don't agree. But in this case, I would refer readers to Yossi's excellent post on the new US National Intelligence Estimate. I would only add that an "intelligence" report should not be held immune from scrutiny by the light of an even higher authority: common sense..."

ho ho -- Saul got us there; we had thought he was about to advertise Hebrew National franks.

Then, after horsing around a bit on the perfidy of the US intelligence community, Saul turns serious: "..While some might dispute this attribution of motives, the results remain the same. America's main allies in the attempt to isolate Iran – Britain and France – feel bitter and betrayed...

[ed. boy, Saul got that right -- and not just Britain and France; howsabout the US electorate?]

..The Arab states that the U.S. proudly gathered in Annapolis ..

[ed. yes that Annapolis meeting was a pip, wasn't it; it was too bad that no one ever agreed on an agenda before, during or after -- leaving only Tony Blair's (and Iran's) missing footprints in the sand as a beacon of hope for the future]

..now question, even more than before, America's will and ability to prevail in the open contest with Iran...The question now is whether Bush can correct the damage done by those supposedly serving America's elected leader and U.S. interests...

[ed. well, it might look like a tall mountain to climb, but our little george has proven himself to be a high stepper, eh?]

...A press conference or two obviously won't do it...

[ed. if press conferences won't do it then we're finished and may as well throw in the towel -- press conferences are what our lil george does the best]

..Maybe if Bush went to London, Paris, and Berlin and personally pressed for tightened sanctions, the tide could be turned. If not, we are headed for a nuclear Iran and eventually for the war that the bureaucratic mutineers were attempting to prevent..."

Whew -- that DOES sound serious. But Saul is absolutely right; perhaps if george PERSONALLY went to world leaders and pressed them for some tighter sanctions (or renditions or preemptive strike), then maybe this rustic self-proclaimed cow-tipping wannabe emperor answer to King Canute could turn back the tide.

But hey Saul, why send sir george out there to slay the dragon of world opinion all by himself? In order to impress world leaders as to just how dangerous and destabilizing it could be to allow some whackadoodle belligerent Mid-East extremist nation to get its hands on atomic weapons and to then kick off some new nuclear arms race, why not send someone along with lil george who can tell it like it is in a more believable way than cheney, hadley, rice, powell? and everyone else whose credibility was tarnished by association with the past seven years of bush administration wolfcries? Since you're right there in Israel, why not arrange to send Mordechai Vanunu along to help george convey to world leaders the danger of allowing Mid-East belligerents to get their claws on nuclear weapons to wave around in neighbor's faces?

[wikipedia: Mordechai Vanunu (Hebrew: מרדכי ואנונו‎) is an Israeli former nuclear technician who revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986. He was subsequently kidnapped in Rome by Israeli agents and smuggled to Israel, where he was tried and convicted of treason. Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including 11 years in solitary confinement. Vanunu was released from prison in 2004, subject to restrictions on his speech and movement. Since then he has been arrested several times for interviews with foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. In July 2007, Vanunu was sentenced to further six months imprisonment for speaking to foreigners and for traveling to Bethlehem...Vanunu is not allowed to meet with foreigners or contact them by phone or e-mail, enter or approach any embassy, visit any port of entry, or come within 500 metres of any border crossing...]

those perfidious persians, they ARE the naughty ones -- but if Saul and lil george give them a good stiff sanction, betcha they and Fidel will snap into line pretty damn quick!

---

Thanks WaPo for another nice companion piece to that Bolton column last week; but why don't you print something by billy kristol or hadley or henry k or from AEI or Heritage or the recently resuscitated wolfowitz over at State so that we see all sides of this issue? Or are your hands guided by "an even higher authority"?

kotzabasis:

Indeed, it's a "bureaucratic mutiny" against "common sense".

Whenever Intelligence fails to find the truth logic comes to its rescue. The theocratic leadership of Iran is concerned solely with its LUNGE for power in the region. And the acquisition of nuclear weapons is a necessary component of that power in the eyes of the mullahs.

It's in this logic that the answer to the conundrum whether Iran has stopped or not its nuclear program lies, and NOT in the uncertain estimates of the NIE.

This calculus of COST-POWER analysis about Iran's geopolitical ambitions compels the Bush administration from NOT taking the option of a strike off the table.

kotzabasis:

Indeed, it's a "bureucratic mutiny" against "common sense". Whenever Intelligence fails to find the truth logic comes to its rescue. The theocratic leadership of Iran is concerned solely with its LUNGE for power in the region. And the acquisition of nuclear weapons is a necessary component of that power in the eyes of the mullahs.

It's in this logic that the answer to the conundrum whether Iran has stopped or not its nuclear program lies, and NOT in the uncertain or politically deliberate estimates of the NIE.

This calculus of COST-POWER analysis about Iran's geopolitical ambitions compels the Bush administration from NOT taking the option of a strike off the table.

ghostcommander:

Making peace with the Palestinians would solve a big problem in the Middle East. The issue is a radicalizing force to other countries in the ME. Remember what Gorbachev told the west-" We are going to do a horrible thing to you, we are removing ourselves as your enemy" We all seem to like to have somebody to hate or dislike--we need an enemy. The first step to Peace is to remove that useless emotional coat. If not Peace, how about an armistice for 18 full years just to let one generation of children laugh, play, and enjoy life? How about it?

Michael Mery:

I take the author's point re Iran - we have good and sufficient reason for concern. Similarly, for Israel, the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons. The 'mutiny' he refers to may have come from an inappropriate source, but the point is nonetheless well made. the prior discussion of "World War III" and the threats to invade under the cover of 'regime change' required countering. The foreign policy horse Mr. Singer is riding should be seen clearly and that horse should be viewed with skepticism.

Hondo:

Ah gang: My, you are strident. Now up front, I am red, white, and blue, and a Zionist too. So what ? I think having a Jewish state as a safe haven for Jews is terrific! You may not, but thats why a safe haven is necessary. Now, anonymous and fellow travelers Please tell tell where I can find information that AIPAC controls congress;that Jews want war with Iran(by The USA);that no other nation gets money and arms, only Israel ?; and The USA fights for Israel. I know also that it was Israel and Sharon that surrounded Egypt's armies;and not the other way around. Russia however rode to the rescue and threatened war.Now, I would like the clown Phoenixresearch to give us his research on the USS Stark. Well, I am going to Iran now to see if they still want to wipe Israel off the map,or if their kidding.

hannes:

You sir and Yossi Melman and 10.000 other Israeli agents and spin doctors must soon understand! It is over! No one believing your lies anymore! Intellectually your arguments sound precisely like what you are educated and trained for: Telling lies and selling not-truth and half lies. Morally you are bankrupt. You represent a nation who gave up moral for expansion. Just to grab more water and more land from others. The rest is just theater and lies. No one believes you. You lied 4000 Americans, 500000 Iraqis to death. Morally you have more blood on your hands than soldiers you lied into war. Now doctor Singer, can you let America and Europe keep what is left of their dignity? Or is it more blood you want?

BostonBlacky:

Saul assumes that the only Iranian use for enriched uranium is bomb making. Saul also assumes that Iran has no legitimate nuclear power program. Finally, Saul assumes that Iran has only one real purpose: create as many glow-in-the-dark Jews as possible. He rejects any Iranian use of nuclear power for domestic energy or self-defense as ill-disguised sophistry. These are a lot of assumptions - but as Churchill once quipped "There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world and the worst of it is that they're true.".

And what about a "nuclear" self-defense? Certainly, Saul must concede that Israel refuses to discuss this subject. Instead of 'laughable', perhaps Iran's fear of attack is very real. After all, Iran need look no further than its neighbor Iraq. Iraq attacked no western country, nor did it threaten any western defenses. Yet, unprovoked, a western coalition slaughtered its citizens, plundered it country, demonized its patriots and tortured its defenders. In many Iranian eyes, the west could (and may) attack Iran with much less justification and far greater slaughter.

Then the example of north Korea can hardly escape Iranian planners. They learned from the Koreans that it is unnecessary to "deliver" a nuclear warhead any where. The mere fact of possession pre-empts enemy occupation of your country and because you possess the power to incinerate an occupying army - you naturally leave the weapons "in-place". They need not be delivered anywhere because you have raised the butcher bill to such an unacceptable level that no civilized nation or coalition of nations is willing to pay the price. Fait accompli. La fin de la guerre.

This then, I believe, is the true Iranian objective.

CG:

Allegedly, there is a decades-long battle between the CIA and the Office of the President of the US. This battle waxes and wanes, but recall that JFK was on a path to de-charter the CIA as a result of the Bay of Pigs- when some say they got him first.

The CIA was "demoted" by Bush's National Security reorganization after 9/11. We will not get the truth on this transparent "release" of the NIE just as we won't know why this crowd pulled such a sophomoric stunt in the Plame case. The CIA and the POTUS have not been behaving as one team for 15 years, as many believe that the life and death struggle continues between them.

And now, an Israeli commentator tells us that Iran is a danger. To whom- to Israel? I doubt it. Iranian hard liners have litle time before their own people get rid of them - or lose interest in the saber-rattling which they now realize doesn't help them at all. Iran, as others, will move on. Israeli intelligence knows this better than we do.

So, as the most pro-Israel president in US history clearly doesn't control his own intel, we're hearing from an Israeli that Iran is dangerous because they talk tough? Bring back Menachem Begin -who would never tolerate from Mossad what Bush (out of weakness) has to tolerate from the CIA- or stop bellowing.

comment:

bah humbug

surfer-joe:

It is long past time for the United States to pull our money home from Israel, along with our military aid of all sorts.

Israel sinks or swims on it's own. If it can not hold out, than it was not meant to be.

What is real is that America has for too long supported states and governments that natural selection, plus our support, just can not sustain.

It's time for us to end this, and take care of the massive problems we have here at home. Over sixty years now, and we are further behind than when we started. Enough!

Munir:

The Israelis are at it again- just as they did with Iraq. They, and their friends the neocons, will try to drag us into another war in the Middle East because they believe in bombing anyone they don't like or agree with. Solutions for such issues are political and require skilled diplomacy. Fear tactics and creating another Hitler in Teheran, as they did in Baghdad, should not mislead the US into further blunders in the Middle East.

Bob Munzenrider:

"Bureaucratic Mutiny" or not, I think the latest NIE is a fabulously great check on the Bush Administrations' rush to war with Iran. Remember, Bush raised the specter of World War III if we didn't stop Iran's nuclear development. I was waiting for Condoleeza Rice to start talking about Mushroom Clouds and for Dick Cheney to tell us how the Iranians would strew flowers in the path of invading American troops. I think it's just fine that the NIE stopped the Bushies' dead in their tracks.

H. S. Dugan:

Bush can't correct anything. He needs to be corrected. And then all the damage he's done will have to be cleaned up, and paid for, by those who come after.

brian:


Two Questions :

1.) Does Israel have a couple hundred nuclear bombs stashed somewhere ?

2.) Does Iran being a threat to Israel mean that the US has to start another war ?

JKF:

I am a bit surprised by some of the rethoric in a few of the posts, it sounds familiar, like 1939 Nazi Germany, "blame the Jews, the gypsies, the blacks etc.. for failed policies... "

It is too bad some people just do not have the intelect to make their points by sound arguments.

Please make your points with out resorting to racist calls. Note that your IP address is fully traceable right off your post. So potentially you are a racist and also a bit stupid, because you are easily identifyiable, especially when using your employer's server to access the net .......

Doubting Thomas:

Dear Saul,

Yes, it would be a shame if the security situation in the Middle East continued to deteriorate.

You don't mention Israel's nuclear weapons. But we know why Israel developed these weapons - it felt its national security and the lives of its people were at stake.

Without forgiving Iran's attempts to spread Islamic revolution, please think about their own perception of national security - Saddam is gone, Israel has nukes and "common sense" tells us that they are willing to attack; the US administration has invaded two neighboring states and the administration wants to destroy our government, to overthrow our revolution and install a new Shah.

The new NIE doesn't say Iran is not a problem, it says that nuclear weapons are a few years down the road. We have time for diplomacy. If that is disheartening to Europe or the Arabs, I have yet to hear it from the horses mouth. I've heard it from Israelis and Arab-phobes such as John Bolton.

Now, you want the international community to back Iran further into the corner. Is that going to encourage milder behavior?

So lets imagine we propose a nuclear-free Middle East with international security guarantees for all states? Would Israel be willing to give up the false sense of security based on nuclear superiority (it doesn't have much to do with the rreal threats to Israel's people from terrorism and asymetric war, does it?) for stability and real security?

Anonymous:

Superman is a pathetic figure, living in a country that is not viable, flexing his muscles daily in front of a mirror, pretending to belong to a superior, God chosen people, while suffering painfully, in fact, from an inferiority complex, that of the perpetual victim.

newageblues:

It ain't 'neocons and Jews' that is our problem, steelwheel, it's neocons and rightwing Jews. Big difference, and the failure to make it has your post sounding anti-Semitic to me.

phoenixresearch:

Wizclique,

Your pathetic lies and distortions only prove out what others here have said about Israel's undue influence on U.S. policy. Others have noted your distortions, I'm addressing your willfully ignorant, bald-faced lie, to wit ...

You state "None of those defeats involved one single American GI. Any questions?"

How about the USS Liberty, which suffered 34 dead American sailors and 174 wounded at the hands of your precious IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) ? Here are the details ...

After surveilling USS Liberty for more than nine hours with almost hourly aircraft over flights and radar tracking, the air and naval forces of Israel attacked in international waters without warning. USS Liberty was identified as a US naval ship nine hours before the attack by Israeli reconnaissance aircraft and continuously tracked by Israeli radar and aircraft thereafter. Sailing in international waters at less than five knots, with no offensive armament, our ship was not a military threat to anyone.

The Israeli forces attacked without warning and without attempting to contact us. Thirty four Americans were killed in the attack and another 174 were wounded.

"Any questions?"

OK, you arrogant tool, did you think we're dumb enough to fall for all that Zionist Superman propaganda you tried passing off as credible ?? Get a grip on reality instead of looking at it through that blue-and-white filter of yours.

David Walters:

It's hypocracy for an Israli to criticize any country for wanting or having nuclear weapons when the Isralis have hundreds of them, all developed clandestinely and outside of the NPT.

David

Utopia:

It is interesting to note only two groups are pushing for reassessment of the NIE. The first neocons who see their fearmongering war cries washed away with the release of the NIE after months of graphic retoric by the same chikenhawks who felt the could "shock and awe" Iraq into docile submission.

The second group(s) tends to be a pro Isreali lobby who once wisly cautioned against provoking the middle east the way we have so far done.

No one is doubting that Iran does not play a dangerous role and should not monitored, however doomsday scenarios of mushroom clouds do not help anyone except driving weak minded neurotics further under their covers of fear crying "bomb them first before they bomb us". Way to go folks war to date has accomplished nothing except to decimate our military.

Utopia:

It is interesting to note only two groups are pushing for reassessment of the NIE. The first neocons who see their fearmongering war cries washed away with the release of the NIE after months of graphic retoric by the same chikenhawks who felt the could "shock and awe" Iraq into docile submission.

The second group(s) tends to be a pro Isreali lobby who once wisly cautioned against provoking the middle east the way we have so far done.

No one is doubting that Iran does not play a dangerous role and should not monitored, however doomsday scenarios of mushroom clouds do not help anyone except driving weak minded neurotics further under their covers of fear crying "bomb them first before they bomb us". Way to go folks war to date has accomplished nothing except to decimate our military.

Curious:

Why should Iran halt uranium enrichment when it has the right to do so for a nuclear energy program under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty? Oh, and by the way, how come Israel never signed this treaty?

SteelWheel:

Have it occurred to you that these so called Bureaucrats do not want to have blood on their conscience again.???? Of course it hadn't occurred to you!!! It is obvious to everyone except the blood thirsty NeoCons and Jews that George Bush was ramping up for another unnecessary Muslim bloodbath. You are so full of crap!! Why don't YOU use your common sense!! I'm sure if the same estimate was being made about Israel you would be crying antisemitism.

I think the real issue here is you are mad that the bureaucrats kept W. from slaughter yet another Muslim nation, something you Jews are too delighted to see happen.

Diplomacy and sanctions is the right way to go. The sanctions that were applied to Iraq WORKED!!!
And they will work against Iran. The world is not ignorant about Iran's ambitions nor is the world ignorant about Iran's desire to do harm to Israel and to any nation that is sympathetic to Israel. But looking for any excuse to kill is just plain WRONG!!

almaden:

Mr. Singer sings in the chorus of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby and the neoconservative losers who avidly want a war with Iran and don't hesitate to play the Joe McCarthy card against the analysts of the American intelligence community (all 16 agencies) who have decided to tell the truth this time, i.e., Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program and isn't an imminent threat. Let's applaud the analysts and send Mr. Singer home to devise more fraudulent schemes for warmaking.

Dee Dee:

How long are you guys going to play the martyr card and continue to pull the US into your ugly inability to get along with others.
The world must stop paying the price for the Holocust. Until we start making decisions/policies based on circumstances that are happening today and could affect the future, we will continue to dump billions of taxpayer dollars into a country that should and could fight their own battles.
Grow up and keep your guilt to yourself.

linda:

not content with one catastrophic war based on lies propelled by the neocon fanatics and their enablers...

perhaps it would be useful to the reader to consider the most recent post at col. pat lang's blog:

However, it is both true -- and important -- that many of those who are commonly called 'neocons' do not argue in good faith: that they prefer, rather than confronting the arguments of others, to use smear tactics, and also that they are remarkably unwilling to consider evidence that calls into question their preferred theories. This is a crucial fact about them which is still very inadequately appreciated -- not least because of the deference which has been paid to their views in the mainstream media. So, on the many occasions when they are clearly either in bad faith or plain wrong, it is important to point this out.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/

Ian:

Mr Singer is disingenuous and his comments betray his bias. The NIE admitted that Iran was enriching uranium but it is still a significant difference that Iran has ceased attempts to construct a delivery system. Moreover, as I understand it there was new evidence, partially derived from a high level defecto,r as well as a consensus by the 16 agencies participating in the NIE. This is hardly a "bureaucratic mutiny" but rather the intelligence community doing a proper job rather than being intimidated by Bush and Cheney.

Mike Spehar:

So, everyone heaves a great sigh of relief because Iran supposedly suspended a weapons program back in 2003.

If Iran decides tomorrow to restart their weapons program, should we expect it to take four years for us to find out about it?

Ross Garcer:

The CIA has morphed into a monstrously large, closed, entity. Like any organism, its main misson is its survival: it's one "product" is its annual funding. The CIA has long ceased the laborious, often dangerous mission to unearth facts. Why should they, when fabrications, parsing, and equivocating are more "efficient" influencers of policy. The difference between the CIA and the WPA is that the latter's make-work at least got us a whole slew of ugly buildings, whereas the CIA is a whole slew of sedionist uglies barricading themselves in ONE building. Think of roach-motel.

AngryGentile:

The zionist propaganda machine just keeps on a' rollin'..... IRAN CAN NEVER GET A BOMB, says the mighty warrior. That SAME BOMB that kept the US and USSR from destroying each other, for years.

Cold war is MUCH better than hot war. I hope Iran gets a bomb. No, I hope Iran HAS a bomb. No wait, I hope they have LOTS of bombs, like Israel already does. What else is going to counter-balance the zionist threat? Certainly not the US. We'll keep endlessly fighting Israel's wars until the radiation kills everything (including us), without someone like Iran forcing us to think twice.

Anadromous2:

Saddam was not the only leader in Asia determined to get nuclear capability. Especially after the US gave the nuclear bomb to Israel.
India, Pakistan, Syria, Iran.... to not look like patsies in a rough neighborhood, these countries have to reserve the right of self determination.
No matter how hard the Jews push American presidents and Congress to deter Israeli enemies from getting nuclear technology, they had better face the fact that as long as America keeps Israel afloat, like a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the desert, these other nations will seek deterrents and counter-measures. HERE'S ANOTHER FACT: the machinations of Israeli PACs and Israeli intelligence have actually weakened American influence in the Middle East.
It may well be that for America to become a fair arbiter, we will have to cut ourselves loose from Israeli governments run by hardliners like Netenyahu (sp) and Sharon. As long as you keep electing these Likkud characters, there is little we can do except to attack your enemies outright; and that option is as dead as Sharon, who I believe was a major architect and mentor of the Bush/Cheney post-911 Middle East policy

Anonymous:

Singer talks about common sense – what about a sense of shame? Israel refused to sign the NPT and illegally developed nuclear weapons – not just fuel but actual warheads -- using technology partly acquired from its apartheid National Party pals in South Africa, and partly stolen through espionage on its “ally” the United States.
Now Singer wants us to start another war for Israel, a country that refuses to make an honourable peace with its neighbours, in order to prevent Iran from doing the same.
We cannot even sustain the current troop levels in Iraq past summer of ’08. And you want us to attack a country bigger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, with a modern well-equipped military. And for what? So that Israelican-Ameraeli hybrids like Singer can continue to take other peoples’ homes without paying for them.
Singer is right to say there has been a bureaucratic mutiny. It’s a revolt by patriotic Americans who are determined to prevent their country being used again by people who have foreign agendas. What really annoys Singer is that these US public servants have dared to put America first, refusing to help cook up another war against Israel’s enemy du jour.
Things are changing in the Middle East and in America, but one thing stays the same: the willingness of people like Singer to “defend” Israel to the last American GI and the last US dollar. The sense of presumption and entitelement is unbelievable, and more and more Americans are getting tired of it.
Face it: the nuclear cat is out of the bag and there’s nothing you or we can do to put it back. You should start working with the one thing that will protect you from nuclear attack – the fact that you live in extreme physical proximity to the Palestinian civilian population. Luckily for you, your Army already has plenty of experience using them as human shields.

Anonymous:

wizclique, Israel is the mouse that roared. LOL

Cut that chest pumping crap out, you idiot!

Where do Israel get its money? The U.S.

Where do Israel get its weapon? The U.S.

Without the U.S., Israel won't exist in the Middle East.

denis:

wizclique:

The fact is that the US armed Israel and shouldered its burdens through all those crises, and continues to do so today to the tune of $3 billion per year. You'll recall that the US called a nuclear alert when the Egyptian army surrounded Israeli forces in Siani. THAT'a a big brother action, which threatened the US popluation's safety over this "ally."

Your list is a tale of Israel's continuous trouble-mongering, bankrolled by the US. Eventually, the Israelis will provoke a response even bought-off Daddy can't fix, and will eliminate themselves from the world stage. The defeat in Lebanon is a foretaste, these people are certifiably crazy and will eventually destroy themselves, and we will both live to see that.

denis:

wizclique:

The fact is that the US armed Israel and shouldered its burdens through all those crises, and continues to do so today to the tune of $3 billion per year. You'll recall that the US called a nuclear alert when the Egyptian army surrounded Israeli forces in Siani. THAT'a a big brother action, which threatened the US popluation's safety over this "ally."

Your list is a tale of Israel's continuous trouble-mongering, bankrolled by the US. Eventually, the Israelis will provoke a response even bought-off Daddy can't fix, and will eliminate themselves from the world stage. The defeat in Lebanon is a foretaste, these people are certifiably crazy and will eventually destroy themselves, and we will both live to see that.

Joe M.:

I agree that the release of this NIE may be an attempt to influence Policy and tie the presidents hands, and that's exactly what I want to see. Bush lied to take us to war in Iraq, claimed it would be easy, and now claims that we can't leave. Bush has shown himself to be an incompetent leader not-worthy of the public's trust. I will take anything that keeps this criminal and cronies at bay. And not that it hasn't already been said, but fundamentally, why should the US be able to possess WMD while no-one else can? Surely WMD, and Nukes specifically, are a deterrent to foreign aggresssion, and without Nukes nations can't defend themselves.

1) a fundamental Religious leadership
2) known to, without provocation, attack sovereign nations
3) known to lie to the international community
4) known to propagandize
5) known to torture and commit other nefarious acts?

Washington or Tehran?

Impeach!

wizclique:

Hey DENIS,

It is painful to you to watch Jewish state alive and well, is not it?
You are at disadvantage: this pain will not disappear for the rest of your life.

And here are some historical facts for anybody to consider (not you, of course):

1948 Arab’s attempt to eliminate Israel: crashed.
1956 terror campaign from Sinai: crashed.
1967 attempt by the Hero of The Soviet Union, Naser to eliminate Israel: crashed.
1973 another take by Arabs and their Soviet friends: crashed.
1981 Saddam’s nuclear program: crashed.
1982 Arafat’s gangs terror from Lebanon: crashed.
2000 terror war by comrade Arafat: crashed.

None of those defeats involved one single American GI.
Any questions?
Oh, does anybody remember Arabs “liberating” their brothers in Kuwait without Americans?

M. Stratas:

Bush and Cheney have exhibited mostly contempt and disrespect for the CIA. They set up their own analysts and shadow CIA, and had no qualms about outing a CIA operative. Bush and Cheney have abused their positions.

JBE:

Gee goys you're such experts did you ever want to look at the truth is that middle eastern governments are loath to look weak (as they actually are) out of embarrasment that Arab and persian lands are in the shadow of Israel?

Perhaps that tribal folly and ignorance that ALL middle eastern countries are prey to (yes including Israel) is keeping the Iranian regime full of bluster?

Remember Saddam's ways? He KNEW he didn't have WMDs, but he sure acted like he did out of pride and fear of looking weak!

I'm saying we should keep a lid on Iran's nutjob government, criminally corrupt mullahs, and hypocritical thought police.

But do it diplomatically because we DON'T have another army to ruin.

Anonymous:

What is the laugh test is your photo. Wipe that insincere smile off your face, Saul Singer.

We Americans must end Israel's apartheid and occupation of Palestine. Just as South Africa, Israel's apartheid will not last forever.

You said:"America's main allies in the attempt to isolate Iran – Britain and France "

How convenient you left out Israel. What are you trying to hide? The Israeli lobby in Washington hijacked the White House's foreign policy and started the Iraq War to serve Israel's national interest.

You said:"This [NIE] simply does not meet any standard of basic common sense."

So the White House manipulated NIE that provided cover for Bush to launch the Iraq War met [your] basic common sense? If not, why didn't you write a piece about it?

Saul Singer you have no credibility.

Joseph:

Is there any technology beside that of nuclear weapons that was first discovered over 60 years ago and that is not broadly available around the globe?

Pakistan, by most accounts, has nuclear weapons now. So does North Korea. One day Iran will, as will Syria and a dozen others. We might be able to delay some of this a little bit, but it won't be stopped unless we plan on eradicating huge swaths of population. And even then, we'll have created more enemies whom we cannot "afford" to "allow" to have nukes.

Common sense would tend to dictate that preparing for the inevitable is a better course of action than putting all energies into preventing its arrival. You're pissing into the wind, Mr. Singer.

JKF:

Have you seen anyone fired, or many resignations over this issue? The Pres is in charge.
Alternative explanation to what the NIE means:
A paradigm shift in the Pres' standing on the issue; a realigment of US policy, at least under this Pres, of the US Government (USG); and a shift from a democracy/ Human Rights building and supporting USG to an Middle East (ME) oil/energy primacy oriented USG.
Why the slant of my opinion:
1. Forcing Israel to make peace with terrorists, something the US would not do itself (deal with Taliban/BL/Assad/...;
2. Military build up of ME dictatorship's;
3. A lessening in the effort to stop the genocide in Darfour;
4. Failure to put in place a program to rapidly develop alternative sources of energy, thus continuing US reliance on ME oil;
5. Failure to support and suscribe to carbon emission cut backs, this would require the reduction of oil consumption, thus globaly impact ME oil suppliers;
6. Allowing a free hand to oil speculators in the market, which greatly enriches the ME oil potentates;
7. Developing great personal, one on one relationships with the ME potentates; and on and on and on...

In my opinion the new policy is if you got oil, you are our great friend irrespective of the fact that human rights are being put aside.....


tarquinis:

The really strange thing about such as Saul Singer is that they still regard the Palestinians as an existential threat to Israel, whereas in a most obvious reality, they are the ONLY route available for Israel's existential security.

Would or could Iran or any Arab state threaten Israel if it were to conclude a SC 242 peace with the Palestinians? It would be impossible for many reasons. But rather than peace with full evacuation of the West Bank etc., Israel continues apace with the annexation and colonization, with most recently an expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem. And he wants war with Iran. Great.

jsmith:

And your point is exactly? Pakistan has nukes. Israel has nukes. Iran feels threatened by the US policy in the middle east. It is common sense for Iran to seek nukes based on the United States current position toward certain middle eastern countries. After all, we did invade Iraq. We have been leaving the impression that Iran is next. Would it not be in Iran's interest under current circumstances to launch a highly public campaign to develop nukes? It is curious that many prominent neoconservatives (who pushed us into Iraq) seem to be associated with and looking out more for what is good for the nation of Israel than what is good for the United States and the World. I am no longer certain that it is in the interest of the United States to take such a pro-jewish position in the middle east. The boy has cried wolf. When the wolf actually appears, no one listens. It is now up to the boy to deal with the wolf alone. The United States should support any reasonable position that does not have the use force at its foundation. This may be Israel or it may not.


the1magician:

The so called 'bureaucratic mutiny' Bush brought onto himself.
One: The Bush administration, with the outing of the Valerie Plame Wilson, got whole networks of agents blown and the foreign agents within those networks killed.
Two: Because those networks were blown, methods of American Intelligence Operations were revealed to the opposition, whomever that opposition might be.
Three: The Iranian Threat isn't nuclear. It's Iran's consistant and constant support of Hezbollah and Hamas. Those two organizations have done more to distabilize the Middle East than anyone in recent memory. That's where Iran needs to be called to task on, not its nuclear program.
Four: Bush's policies in the Middle East have also distabilized the region. Invading Iraq was a huge mistake and every time he was called on that mistake, the Republican spin doctors have tried to cite another reason for that invasion.
All of those reasons have been nullified.
Five: The only reason to invade Iraq was to take revenge for 1993 assassination attempt against his father and to conduct the Bush Piracy, a six years plus fundraiser for Bush's family and friends.
Six: Bush's actions have done more damage and hampered investigations. He hasn't called Saudi Arabia to task for not allowing the American Intelligence Community to interview the families of the 9/11 hijackers. (See Robert Baer's Sleeping With The Devil).
By taking us into Iraq, Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are back up to their pre 9/11 strength. (See the US intelligence NIE released this year, no thanks to Bush).
Your article is, at best, naive.
Do your homework!

denis:

Tell you what, Saul, why don't you Israelis stop trying to get other people to fight your battles for you. Go ahead, attack Iran. Afraid, little boys, to fight someone without your paid bodyguard on duty?

LeszX:

What fails the laugh test is that our supposed ally, Israel, is a non-signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty. Iran, on the other hand, is a signatory of the NPT - and under the provisions of that treaty has the right to peaceful development of nuclear technology. So why the sanctions on Iran? Mr. Singer apparently is not satisfied with the blood of thousands of Iraqis. He desires a war with Iran now. For once, the intelligence community has asserted the truth against the political manipulations of the Bush administration and its Likudnik fellow-travelers. The authors of the new NIE should be commended. If we are lucky, they might have just prevented another needless war.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.