14/2 Another War on the Cheap

Another War on the Cheap

“As a former intelligence officer, I am acutely aware of how easy it is to create and spread disinformation. Journalists are frail creatures with big egos who want to get an important story that no one else has.”

… by Philip Giraldi

There has been altogether too much stuff in the media lately about how Iran is not really a threat to anyone and how even some prominent Israelis don’t really believe that they have to go to war (or have Washington go to war on their behalf).

It was perhaps inevitable that there would be some pushback to again stoke the fires and make the case that Iran is indeed evil incarnate and on the verge of obtaining an apocalyptic weapon.

Not surprisingly, some of the latest pushback comes from the redoubtable Ethan Bronner of The New York Times in his article “Israel Senses Bluffing in Iran’s Threats of Retaliation,” which appeared on the paper’s front page on Jan. 26.

Bronner, whose son has served in the Israeli Defense Forces, is the Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief and covers much of the Middle East. He lives in Israel, and his objectivity has often been questioned, but the self-proclaimed newspaper of record has refused to consider replacing him with someone less openly tied to Israel and its interests.

As a former intelligence officer, I am acutely aware of how easy it is to create and spread disinformation.

Journalists are frail creatures with big egos who want to get an important story that no one else has.

What could be better than to get something fresh from a well-placed, unnamed government source? Who cares if it is phony?

Bronner, who has been in Israel for four years, is no doubt a confidant of a number of Israeli officials who perceive value in the careful cultivation of a New York Times journalist willing to hew closely to the Netanyahu government’s line.

When Mossad sees Bronner walking their way, it’s like Hanukkah coming early.

All of that said, Bronner’s current agenda is clear right from the get-go, as reflected in his apparent endorsement of the view that Iran “has called for Israel’s destruction and … finances and arms militant groups on Israel’s borders.” He reports that:

“Israeli intelligence estimates, backed by academic studies, have cast doubt on the widespread assumption that a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities would set off a catastrophic set of events like a regional conflagration, widespread acts of terrorism, and sky-high oil prices.”

Thanks to Bronner’s report, the whole world can no doubt breathe a sigh of relief. Attacking Iran will produce few or no consequences. And who is telling us that?

No less than Israel and The New York Times, one an interested party in minimizing concern over the damage that such a war would cause and the other a newspaper that prints all the news that fits its point of view.

Israeli Fear-Mongering about Iran Faces a Barak-lash. Sometimes Ehud Barak has trouble staying on message. — Nima Shirazi
Bronner actually cites one source by name to make his case. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a November speech that “the retaliation [from Iran] would be bearable.”

And then Bronner is off to the races with “eight current and recent top Israeli security officials” who are, alas, unnamed.

One opines, “Take every scenario of confrontation and attack by Iran…” before delivering his judgment that Tehran having a nuclear weapon would greatly complicate Israel’s possible responses.

Excuse me, but even Bronner and his Israeli friend should realize that Iran has not been talking about attacking anyone — the threats to attack have all been coming from the Israeli side for the past five years and more recently from a gaggle of American presidential wannabes.

Any “confrontation and attack” by Iran would be retaliation.

And then there is the support provided by the article about to be published by the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. An advance copy was graciously given to Bronner.

The piece argues that the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz is a bluff. Bronner does not mention that Tel Aviv University is state-run, and the Institute he cites advertises itself on its own website as having “a strong association with the political and military establishment.”

The paper is the work of the former head of military intelligence and the ex-Iran expert from Israel’s National Security Council. So we have government and still more government confirming what the Israeli government itself apparently wants everyone to believe.

Why would Iran not retaliate in the strait? To avoid a confrontation with the U.S. Navy, according to Bronner’s Israeli experts. But what if Iran did not agree with that assessment? Bronner does not go there, but he does cite another think tank, the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

Begin-Sadat is government-funded and is based at state-supported Bar-Ilan University. The Center conducts “policy-relevant research on strategic subjects, particularly as they relate to the national security and foreign policy of Israel.”

Its non-nonpartisanship is reflected in its current promotion of a “recent important new study by Prof. Haim Gvirtzman, based on previously classified data, [that] refutes Palestinian claims that Israel is denying West Bank Palestinians water rights.”

It has also published an article titled “Palestinians: Invented People” by Professor Michael Curtis.

The Begin-Sadat Center obligingly argues that “The threat to Israel of missile warfare is somewhat exaggerated, and public discourse on this issue should reflect realistic assessments. At this stage, missile attacks would be able to inflict only limited physical damage on Israel.”

Bronner quotes an anonymous retired official who adds that Iran’s reaction “will be nothing like London during World War II.”

That was the German blitz that killed 20,000 Londoners, so it is perhaps reassuring to believe that it will not be like that, but the analysis is based on what Saddam Hussein did in 1991 and the effectiveness of the 4,000 primitive Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah in 2006.

The United States and Israel have both been claiming that Hezbollah now has nearly 40,000 rockets and missiles, including sophisticated Grads, that can reach any target in Israel with considerable accuracy, so who is fooling whom?

To be fair to Bronner, he does note here and there along the way in his article that some officials and “experts” disagree with the conclusions he is reporting, but the piece overall seems intended to promote yet another war that can be fought on the cheap.

The underlying premises are that Iran can be attacked, that its nuclear program can be seriously damaged, and that Tehran will either not opt to or be unable to retaliate in any meaningful way. And even if it does retaliate, it will not be too bad for Israel, and the United States would be impacted even less.

To say that this is very dangerous thinking would be to understate the case, particularly as Bronner demonstrates that it appears to be what is driving the Netanyahu government.

Fear-mongering is the name of the game when citing the underlying concern that Iran might be about to obtain a nuclear weapon and might then be tempted to use it, a “what if” piled on a “maybe” to justify a preemptive war.

It is not merely coincidental that Bronner cites Netanyahu’s apparent belief that the so-called Iranian threat is equivalent to “the Nazis who tried to eliminate the Jews.” And the piece concludes with the Israeli prime minister speaking on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, saying,

“I want to mention the main lesson of the Holocaust when it comes to our fate. We can only rely on ourselves.”

Someone should remind Bronner that while he is promoting an Israeli viewpoint he is writing for an American newspaper and audience and should address the serious question of what Washington’s options might be if Netanyahu does take action. Israeli self-reliance is a wonderful thing, if only it were true.

The United States has been tied hand and foot to Israeli policies and would be drawn inexorably into anything that Tel Aviv starts. The confident assertion that Iran would be unable to retaliate effectively might prove as reliable as the claims made in 2002 that there would be a “cakewalk” in Iraq.

Source : The Council for the National Interest Editing: Debbie Menon and Jim W. Dean


Philip Giraldi
Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counter terrorism issues. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain.

He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support. Since 1992 he consulted for a number of Fortune 500 corporate clients.

Mr. Giraldi was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in European History and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish.

His columns on terrorism, intelligence, and security issues regularly appear in The American Conservative magazine, Huffington Post, and Antiwar.com. He has written op-ed pieces for the Hearst Newspaper chain, has appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, National Public Radio, and local affiliates of ABC television.

He has been a keynote speaker at the Petroleum Industry Security Council annual meeting, has spoken twice at the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC convention in Washington, and has addressed several World Affairs Council affiliates.

He has been interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, Britain’s Independent Television Network, FOX News, Polish National Television, Croatian National Television, al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, 60 Minutes, and other international and domestic broadcasters.

An exclusive interview with Philip Giraldi, former CIA officer:


February 14, 2012 – 3:27 pm
note the zi in nazi

Log in to Reply bahmi
February 14, 2012 – 3:31 pm
If CIA is in bed with the NYT, then so is Israel. It’s a slamdunk. Any agent of Israel realizes his/her job is to take a bullet or two every so often, verbally speaking. One either supports Israel or not. Greed is good, there is no gray area here. Every American with a pulse must realize that propaganda is not always obvious, not always spontaneous, and is usually part of a long term mind-alteration process that rides over rough terrain at times for the betterment of the selected party. Stupid Americans often value the diktat emanating from the Kardashians rather than the truth machine. Students fed the pablum puke from the educational pundits that infest this country’s schools are perpetually lost in a fog and can be expected to vote a candidate’s thousand dollar suit before ten cents of truth.

Log in to Reply DaveE
February 14, 2012 – 3:58 pm
Yep. More double-reverse inverse propaganda from the Masters of Lying.

Log in to Reply Ann
February 14, 2012 – 8:05 pm
It is impossible to reason with those whose brains are structurally and chemically different than ours. They simply cannot think the way we do, they do not hear or feel what we do, they meet the definition of psychopath and might even possibly be a sub-species or category of pyromaniac. Seriously.

This is why they can discuss widespread destruction with such recklessness. Their minds are gone.They are truly criminal mental defectives and are certain that they will get away with it. All criminals think so, and until faily recently they did, at the expense of millions of lives. They have made plans for the safety of those around them but everyone else is expendable. This needs to stop. There is no good reason we need to go on paying homage to kooks. It’s enough that they control power, they should not control the good works and efforts of everyone else.

There should be some kind of medical and legal parlance just for them, since they do not fit into the range of known deviant conduct, even for criminals. They will have to be analyzed as such for the have gone to great lengths to demonstrate that they have no intention of operating inside the law at any level, ours or anyone else’s. Instead of operating within their constructs, which are in fact nothing more than traps, more thought should be given as to ridding ourselves of them, if only in the form of forced retirement on a Polynesian island designated for that purpose.

For now we are hostages and they have the upper hand. That’s bad enough. But the worst ever is to try working with or around them by trying making sense of their ramblings which are babbled only as a distraction while they secure each progressive step. That is a classic street con artist, ask any cop.

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February 14, 2012 – 8:27 pm
Almost every ancient culture, everywhere, from every corner of the earth, has evidence or “serpents”, dragons, reptilian “gods” or other smart, but evil, serpent-like entities.

Expecting the “people” Christ called “children of the serpent” to behave like human beings is like expecting crocodiles to behave like goldfish.

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The Rahnameh
February 14, 2012 – 9:05 pm
That’s Ehud Barak’s lisp making the TTHHHHHSSS snake hiss noise. He does look like a reptile, but if you can conceive a child with his daughter then you are equals.

I think you went off the deep end, though your other points are generally right. Don’t reduce people, individuals, groups, etc. to caricatures, it’s the very same reason people don’t believe you when you speak to them about truthful things.

There is very little intentional complicity in the things you know about. A very huge information disparity. For instance, I knew victims in 9/11. I felt an emotional sensitivity to it many close to the event did not. I questioned why people were saying it was an “Inside Job”. I did not hear the Israeli angle then and none of the other gaps were filled in really. For years, I thought the truthers were loons — now I am one

In the same way, Jews who have average lives – holidays with family, a pet, gf/bf/wife/husband/children, etc. – do not understand how you could possibly be right about a “worldwide conspiracy”. Certainly, they were taught the same story you see in the papers on a daily basis. Why would they believe you? Especially when you don’t spell out details and make blanket statements like that. Stay out of the David Icke stuff, read more into how the current power environment has been HUMANLY achieved. Then replicate for the cause of good.

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February 15, 2012 – 8:49 am
Sorry, but David Icke provides a lot of EVIDENCE for his theories, he’s not just ranting. Maybe you should examine his writings. You may find out that it is YOU who is asleep at the wheel, like you have already admitted to with regard to 911 truth.

Maybe not, but either way, you can’t write him off as a looney, because he’s not.

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The Rahnameh
February 15, 2012 – 1:00 pm
I didn’t say he was a looney, he certainly rationalizes everything he says. He just doesn’t check out on the biology or rationale of a reptilian race. The bloodlines/family conclusion has some truth to it. Why? It’s true. Rothschilds, etc. But he is off on the scope of that theory as I would have to be reptilian then, for instance (I have lineage with an Iranian king that was actually defensible – not a stooge to foreigners – and is provable and direct). He does plant the seed of doubt into the mainstream, but in a bad way – the repitilian theory sounds appealing, but it’s best left as a metaphor. I gave the evidence there a good level of scrutiny. If I could shape shift, I would definitely turn into something cool like a dragon rather than a hooman. just sayin.
February 15, 2012 – 8:15 pm
All Jews put tribal loyalty above everything else; if they didn’t, they simply wouldn’t be Jews. Thus it’s fair to say that Jews act as a collective.

Unfortunately, the Jewish collective happens to be engaged in an aggressive race war against the non-Jewish balance of humanity. At stake is the world and perhaps the life of every living thing in it.

Even the Jews with “average lives” (whatever that exactly means) most certianly do understand the basis for the charge of “worldwide [Jewish] conspiracy”.

If you want to convince me (or any other reasonable person) that Jews are human beings “just like everybody else”, then please provide some other examples where a whole “race” of people is not only lying about their own origin, but also lying about everything else, e.g., “the Holocaust”.

Show me another ethnic group on this planet that even comes close to pathological Jewish ethnocentricity. Show me another ethnic group on this planet whose whole existence and cultural psychology depends on lies and deceptions, as it is with Jews.

Log in to Reply Excalibur
February 15, 2012 – 2:43 pm
Ann, as ever I find myself agreeing with you entirely – and unlike some I see no exaggeration or misinformation in what you say whatsoever. Perhaps this is part of the problem – one which was identified by Hoover. When one comes up against such an incomprehensible evil – it is difficult for the right minded person to digest it – let alone believe it. It is only with many years of constant researching to get to the bottom of why events took place that one sees an unmistakable pattern. Then another clear pattern showing the cover-up and destruction of incriminating information.

Incidentally – you might be interested in a ‘discovery’ that was recently released (very quietly indeed) about the origins of white Europeans. This information has been known for decades but was hushed up by the Marxists in the machine – who were concerned that it would debunk their “We are all the same under the skin” routine – needed to enforce the politically correct subversion virus.

This discovery is the reason why the much vaunted ‘Genome Project’ suddenly went very quiet – when they found that it did NOT confirm Marxist dogma. In fact white Europeans are a very successful hybrid cross species of Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal man – and the Neanderthal signal markers are in our genes to prove it. The Neanderthal only lived in Europe – and so even this attached article is slightly disingenuous by saying that ‘all non-Africans’ are part Neanderthal. In fact it is only indigenous Europeans. (Cro-Magnons assimilated with different species of hominids in east Asia and Australasia) :


You might be pleased to know that the Neanderthal was very in tune with nature and the seasonal changes, had a larger brain, learned to be highly industrious to survive three ice ages – and acquired exceptional cohesion and teamwork skills in doing so. Some of these traits are seen in Europeans today – which is of course entirely natural. These teamwork skills sometimes annoy non-Europeans intensely of course!

You can probably see how this information horrified the great and the good! Especially as it explained the medical reality that organ transplants from different races were often unsuccessful. Although this should never affect a persons manners and decorum towards other peoples of course – it does introduce medical, scientific and archaeological evidence of differences greater than those put about by the Marxists – and indeed would point to profound physical, psychological, mental and emotional differences in approach to life in general. Once again we have been sucked into a big lie for decades – in order to suit the zionist destruction of regional traditions and natural differences – to make way for their bland and all powerful world dictatorship.

Log in to Reply
February 15, 2012 – 9:32 pm
Yes, we only know a fraction of our origins, and the Marxists of course pounce on anything that contradicts their iniquitous plans and twists it beyond recognition to serve their purposes. They have made considerable progress but they are not really smart, just deceitful and duplicious, which means the truth always resists their fetters and wafts just beyond their reach, so they live in constant fear of being found out for the criminals and dunces they really are.

Complete control of education and information systems has bought them some safety but that won’t last forever, either. They’re too stupid. I suspect that what they really fear is culture, which is why they spend so much time degrading beauteous arts and promoting vulgarity.

Anthropology is fairly new but teaches how complex and adaptive we have been since primitive times. For example, Eskimos have an extra layer of fat over their lungs and have several words for snow as a result of ages living in such extreme conditions. This is repeated differently everywhere, it really is amazing, these natural variables being Nature’s way of protecting us. Any discovery or even discussion of genes, human origins, etc., strikes fear among Marxists for the reasons you stated. They need to control others in order to survive so attacking identity at the most primal level disorients ethnocentricity and culture.

It works the same way on a social level, but Europe is unique for a number of reasons. It is the end result of a confluence of various events over thousands of years – not something to be taken lightly. The solid foundation is built on the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations and the Fertile Crescent, which the Romans brought as far north as Scotland and Germany and would have spread into Poland had they not been stopped by Germanic tribes.

They brought a common language and culture which survives to this day although the Marxists are doing all they can to destroy it. Latin united them but their individual languages survived and developed, so even with differences they could communicate. Language allowed a certain amount of insularity which in turn allowed for cultural development and differences, along with the basic commonality. With every passing year their identities became more distinct within the whole.

Yes, there were dreadful battles and wars, but they were settled more equitably than anything churned out by the central banker Marxists during the 20th century. The four distinct seasons forced them to adapt quickly with the weather, so architectural, agricultural, etc., advances kept improving. The presence of rivers great and small brought commerce and trade everywhere. The English army was second only to the Romans in formation, precision, and success – one reason it was coveted by the central bankers to do their bidding and not England’s.

All told, the various nations and or empires on the continent were very strong and getting stronger and could not be controlled except by top down. Upon seizure of England and execution of the King, followed by the other Monarchs as the opportunities arose, Europe was to be changed by the central bankers, year by year, decade by decade, century by century, until here we are now still stuck with them running wild, infecting money supplies, destroying everything, and happy only with piles of ashes, which leads me to suspect that they really have some sort of pyromania issue.

One way to defeat this is head on, but start small. Celebrate the feast day, holiday, Monarch, etc., of your choice in your own way, and if someone asks, share what it is. If someone complains and says it’s “offensive” remember it’s a ploy and suggest to the offended one to join a nursing home/ get a life/ rain on someone else’s parade, etc. Once the “offended” alibi proves ineffective the whining will stop. Underneath all the threats, guns, degradation, and terror, they’re cowards. With the slightest resistance they will turn tail and run like street rats.

Log in to Reply The Rahnameh
February 14, 2012 – 8:44 pm
The scaffolding of lies is so complex that I give kudos to the media arm for effectively shaping reality. However, the light switch that was WWW was flipped oh so many years ago, and now the lights (or internet) are on! We can see youuuu.

The age of populism is here. But the battle is just beginning in fact. As we speak, the rule of law in the United States no longer exists. Men and women of great known criminality remain unpunished. Ask Americans to define these terms: 1- Citizens United; 2- NDAA; 3- Habeas Corpus; 4- 4th Amendment; 5- Bicameralism and Presentment. We need to go back to School House Rock just to start with a proper foundation sadly.

Technology needs to be democratized because it is a medium for information that can remain forcibly uncontrollable in self-sustained, fragmentable, peer-to-peer environments. Call this, the technology wars. The elite soldiers exist and they are not phony “Al Qaedas of the Internet” like Anonymous either. DDOS attacks, btw — not real hacking. I wonder at times if Anonymous is merely bait to the e-intelligentsia.

Put a “video book” compendium in each person’s hands and bypass illiteracy. Use old devices that can run the video and picture navigation menu on Java. Knowledge is power!

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The Rahnameh
February 14, 2012 – 8:49 pm
technologies to overcome big brother’s technology, in other words. the above was an example useful for the long game and certain scenarios.

Log in to Reply James Robertson
February 15, 2012 – 8:18 pm
Thank you for a fine article Mr Giraldi. I just read on haaretz that Ethan Bronner is stepping down as jerusaem bureau chief of NYT. He probably wasnt pro israel enough.

Log in to Reply 60sstreetpunk
February 16, 2012 – 2:44 am
Yes, thanks Mr Giraldi and thank you Ann for reminding me about the psychopaths. There are all grades of these deviants -from the ones that steal and lie to the ones that smile when they see people harmed. Unfortunately, most of the people I run into believe what the mass media and Israel proclaim on a daily basis.



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