Iran: Watch the Skies


In this month’s Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg has a major article about Israel, Iran, The U.S., and an almost inevitable strike by Israel on the Iranian nuclear facilities.

Those who have been reading Seraphic Secret recognize our belief that the current Iranian regime—genocidal yearning theocrats—is an existential threat to the Jewish State. Further, we believe that Israel has an obligation to attack Iran before she crosses the nuclear red line.

The Iranian leadership has denied the Holocaust even as they promise a new Holocaust.

If there is one lesson easily derived from Jewish history it is this: every single time an enemy of the Jewish people has threatened to annihilate the Jewish people they have tried to make good on this promise. This holds true from Haman to Hitler.

There are no exceptions.

And every time we publish a story about the Iranian nuclear threat I receive a blizzard of private emails from either lawyers or academics—always, sigh, Jewish liberals—in which they argue in tedious detail why the Iranians really don’t mean what they say.

Please, no more emails. Frankly, I’m out of patience with those who are so generous with Jewish blood. Especially when, in the back of their minds, is the assumption that their blood will not be shed.

Once again, let me quote Herr Hitler’s favorite Latin proverb:

Mundus volt decipi, ergo decepiatur.

The world wants to be deceived, therefore let it be deceived.

It is possible that at some point in the next 12 months, the imposition of devastating economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran will persuade its leaders to cease their pursuit of nuclear weapons. It is also possible that Iran’s reform-minded Green Movement will somehow replace the mullah-led regime, or at least discover the means to temper the regime’s ideological extremism. It is possible, as well, that “foiling operations” conducted by the intelligence agencies of Israel, the United States, Great Britain, and other Western powers—programs designed to subvert the Iranian nuclear effort through sabotage and, on occasion, the carefully engineered disappearances of nuclear scientists—will have hindered Iran’s progress in some significant way. It is also possible that President Obama, who has said on more than a few occasions that he finds the prospect of a nuclear Iran “unacceptable,” will order a military strike against the country’s main weapons and uranium-enrichment facilities.

But none of these things—least of all the notion that Barack Obama, for whom initiating new wars in the Middle East is not a foreign-policy goal, will soon order the American military into action against Iran—seems, at this moment, terribly likely. What is more likely, then, is that one day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran—possibly by crossing Saudi Arabia, possibly by threading the border between Syria and Turkey, and possibly by traveling directly through Iraq’s airspace, though it is crowded with American aircraft. (It’s so crowded, in fact, that the United States Central Command, whose area of responsibility is the greater Middle East, has already asked the Pentagon what to do should Israeli aircraft invade its airspace. According to multiple sources, the answer came back: do not shoot them down.)

In these conversations, which will be fraught, the Israelis will tell their American counterparts that they are taking this drastic step because a nuclear Iran poses the gravest threat since Hitler to the physical survival of the Jewish people. The Israelis will also state that they believe they have a reasonable chance of delaying the Iranian nuclear program for at least three to five years. They will tell their American colleagues that Israel was left with no choice. They will not be asking for permission, because it will be too late to ask for permission.


The Netanyahu government is already intensifying its analytic efforts not just on Iran, but on a subject many Israelis have difficulty understanding: President Obama. The Israelis are struggling to answer what is for them the most pressing question: are there any circumstances under which President Obama would deploy force to stop Iran from going nuclear? Everything depends on the answer.

The answer is simple. There is no way Obama will attack Iran. His temperament is that of a glorified community organizer. He does not understand geo-politics and his reflexive hostility to Israel is evident to everyone except Jewish liberals who overwhelmingly support him.

The Israelis argue that Iran demands the urgent attention of the entire international community, and in particular the United States, with its unparalleled ability to project military force. This is the position of many moderate Arab leaders as well. A few weeks ago, in uncommonly direct remarks, the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba, told me—in a public forum at the Aspen Ideas Festival—that his country would support a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also said that if America allowed Iran to cross the nuclear threshold, the small Arab countries of the Gulf would have no choice but to leave the American orbit and ally themselves with Iran, out of self-protection. “There are many countries in the region who, if they lack the assurance the U.S. is willing to confront Iran, they will start running for cover towards Iran,” he said. “Small, rich, vulnerable countries in the region do not want to be the ones who stick their finger in the big bully’s eye, if nobody’s going to come to their support.”

Several Arab leaders have suggested that America’s standing in the Middle East depends on its willingness to confront Iran. They argue self-interestedly that an aerial attack on a handful of Iranian facilities would not be as complicated or as messy as, say, invading Iraq. “This is not a discussion about the invasion of Iran,” one Arab foreign minister told me. “We are hoping for the pinpoint striking of several dangerous facilities. America could do this very easily.”


Negotiating with the Iranian leadership is not just futile, but dangerous because these are not rational actors:

[The hatred of Israel and Jews is] in a line of Shia Muslim thinking that views Jews as ritually contaminated, a view derived in part from the Koran’s portrayal of Jews as treasonous foes of the Prophet Muhammad. As Robert Wistrich recounts in his new history of anti-Semitism, A Lethal Obsession, through the 17th and 18th centuries Shia clerics viewed Jews variously as “the leprosy of creation” and “the most unclean of the human race.” I once asked Ali Asghar Soltanieh, a leading Iranian diplomat who is now Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, why the leadership of Iran persistently described Israel not as a mere regional malefactor but
as a kind of infectious disease. “Do you disagree?” he asked. “Do you not see that this is true?”

Full article here.
H/T Israel Matzav

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  1. Sammy Finkelman
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    >> Gog and magog
    Gog is the name of a ruler – Magog is his country (believed to be Scythia = Ukraine)
    It’s not for now.

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  2. Robert J. Avrech
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    We thank your father for his service.
    Unfortunately, it, war and conflict, never ends because evil is real and good men must fight or be annihilated.

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  3. fritos56
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Great all we need is another world war.
    recall my late father saying that if World War 3 starts, it will start in the Middle East.Gog and magog. Unlike Obama, he spent 33 years un the mitliary(1942-1975) working mainly in military intelligence.He understood Geopolotics and hated FDR and couldn’t stand Jimmy Carter, thought Carter botched the who thing way back when.
    We have enough problems now with what’s going on over there. Then to have to worry about this,when will it end?

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  4. Sammy Finkelman
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Israel wants the United States to do this.
    Furthermore Israel has come up with a plan for the United states to do this and reversed opinion in the Pentagon to the idea that it is practical. At least they have targets. Mayeb they could be the wrong targets but they have targets.
    “What is more likely, then, is that one day next spring, the Israeli national-security adviser, Uzi Arad, and the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, will simultaneously telephone their counterparts at the White House and the Pentagon, to inform them that their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has just ordered roughly one hundred F-15Es….
    What actually is more likely, is, if the United States and Israel don’t comne to an agreement,
    that one day this fall, not next spring, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak will telephone the United States and say they will go ahead with a an air strike within two or three weeks, unless the United States does it first, and then Obama will beg for a little more time, and he’ll get it, and really try to ramp up the sanctions and wait for signs that Iran is – not giving up, not that, but really not liking the sanctions, crisis meetings and the like, so there’s hope they’ll give in not too long from then, – but nothing will seem to work, or not enough.
    And then Obama will give the orders to go ahead before the end of December.
    You probably think that’s all wrong.
    Chances are some of his advisers (Hillary Clinton probably among them) have told him it is much much better for Middle East peace and Middle East stability and world peace for the United States to do this, not Israel, and the United States will be blamed anyway if it doesn’t shoot down the Israeli planes, and also a one-time raid won’t work. You need to promise to repeat as necessary. That’s what worked with Iraq. There were periodic bombing raids all during the period 1991-2003.
    And also if any massive missile shootings from Lebanon starts an Israeli raid that maybe doesn’t even work will follow, or the United States will have to do then, but doing it then would clearly have the United States engaged in a war on the same side as Israel is AND IT IS MUCH BETTER TO DO IT BEFORE.
    Obama has probably already decided to do the raid, and more than half expects it to happen and that’s why he was so anxious to get peace talks started. He is now so anxious that he, or the stgate department, has even starting blaming Mohammed Abbas for not starting them. He, or the State Department, thinks peace talks will limit the fallout from a raid.
    The only thing that can prevent a raid by December is a Middle east war starting in September. There are definitely signs that Iran is preparing for a war. They are trying to make it look like an escalation.
    Iran wants to use a bomb – because they think israel is such a pariah state that whatever happens, it will ened teh nuclear taboo. Or ratehr I shouild say China thinks that and they are tryingt get iran to be the guinea pig.

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  5. john
    Posted August 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    A very insightful commentary indeed!
    and this quote has proven itself true throughout human history:
    “Hitler’s favorite Latin proverb:
    Mundus volt decipi, ergo decepiatur.
    The world wants to be deceived, therefore let it be deceived.”

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  6. Posted August 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Funny thing about FDR. My mother says that when she was younger, she was ashamed that her father didn’t vote for FDR. She was apparently the only student in her class whose parents were voting for Dewey.
    She’s convinced now that my grandfather z”l knew something.

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  7. Bill Brandt
    Posted August 12, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    David – the whole concept of city bombing of civilians started in, I believe, 1940. Prior to an incident Hitler and Churchill had a tacit understanding that neither would bomb the other’s cities. Hitler’s Luftwaffe concentrated on the RAF airfields and the British were in complete defensive mode.
    However one foggy night a squadron of Heinkels was coming back from England with a bomb load, unable to bomb because of the weather. The squadron leader asked his navigator where they were to jettison the bombs (they never landed with them for safety) and he was told “out in the country”.
    They were over London. The attack so angered Churchill that he ordered some Lancasters to bomb Berlin. This so enraged Goring and Hitler that they shifted their entire strategy of bombing the RAF, and concentrated on London.
    The RAF was given a chance to breath and rebuild, the Messerschmidt 109s had only about 20 minutes over London due to fuel and the RAF was able to shoot down a lot more Heinkels due to little fighter protection.
    Britain was saved due to an error of a Luftwaffe squadron commander.
    But you are right about the city bombing; some of it was necessary (Max Hastings said that Dresden was a storage and transportation hub) but as in all wars a lot of senseless killing.

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  8. Posted August 12, 2010 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Indeeed, the 2 recent attacks on Israel from Sinai and on the Lebanese border were a signal from Tehran about the ramifications of attacking Iran.
    That would be a mistake for Iran tho to think that Israel would act the same as it has in the past 2 wars.
    Usually what has happened is that, Israel is forced to hit civilians and infrastructure, due to the terrorists firing from those areas, and after a while enough civilian casualties and damage, with world pressure bring the terrorists to stop and Israel as well.
    In an attack in Iran, if the 2 fronts opened up,
    Israel would have no choice but to use the knock out punch immediatly imo. But also a lot depends on how the Iron dome anti missle shield works out. Israel is probably waiting for that to be fully operational perhaps within a few months.
    Israel perfers to limit civilian casualties as much as possible but this policy doesn’t work that well really. A more devatating approach, get it over with would be better imo.

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  9. Posted August 12, 2010 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    “had we continued to concentrate on bombing the Nazi’s fuel supplies – and refineries – WW2 could have been over in 1944″…the selection of bombing targets during WWII was *extremely* politicized. The dominant scientific advice, blessed by Churchill’s scientific advisor, Frederick Lindemann, was that massive city-bombing, by destroying a sufficient level of worker housing, would demoralized the enemy and bring the war to a rapid close. Another leading scientist, Henry Tizard, challenged the official numbers, believing they were too high by a factor of *five*. Churchill went with Lindemann, despite the fact that Tizard had been right on the earlier debate concerning radar. According to C P Snow, who had been involved in these discussions, the Lindemann numbers in the end turned out to be wrong by a factor of TEN.

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  10. Posted August 11, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that some other of the multiple options that are quoted above will occur – as opposed to Israel “taking out” Iran’s nuclear capabilities via an air attack.
    The problem with predicting the future is that it NEVER happens remotely as “those in the know” predict.
    I also suspect that if Israelis were to do teshuvah and turn towards G-d, then both Iran and the Arab world would also change.
    This is what I suspect.
    In any event, based on past historical events, the prospect of Benjamin Netanyahu ordering roughly one hundred F-15Es, F-16Is, F-16Cs, and other aircraft of the Israeli air force to fly east toward Iran in order to take out their nuclear capabilities seems the least likely event that might take place.

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  11. Bill Brandt
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    To paraphrase Hitler I believe the world believes – and sees – what it wants to believe and see.
    As I have become older, I believe the most profound indicators of the near future aren’t on page one – or the leading news story – but 25 pages back.
    I remember reading some 2-3 years ago that Israel bought 5,000 bunker busting bombs. On page A25 or thereabouts.
    I enjoy military history, as much for the actual facts as the “what ifs” has we pursued a slightly different course.
    Max Hastings wrote a great history of WW2 in Europe – and one of the things he mentioned – that had we continued to concentrate on bombing the Nazi’s fuel supplies – and refineries – WW2 could have been over in 1944.
    If only we’d known.
    Simulaily – to all the apologists for dropping the “Bomb” on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – had that not been done – WW2 in the Pacific was planned on continuing until Nov 1948 based on the causalities on Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
    Read up on Operation Coronet and Olympic – the planned invasion of Honshu – with beaches not named Omaha and Sword but Cadillac and Packard…
    Iran could be brought to its knees just by a blockade of gasoline – she has virtually no – or no refineries despite all of her oil.
    But like so many wars by the time the realization comes as to the necessity the easier solutions are gone.

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  12. Posted August 11, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    The same force behind Haman to Hitler and now the leader of Iran is, I believe, Satan – Lucifer. Satan, more than any other created being, hates Israel and the Jewish people because he hates God and anything God cherishes and loves. That’s why Robert is correct. When a person or nation threatens to exterminate Israel, you can count on it. They will try to do it.

    Just take what was said in the above paragraph:
    “Shia clerics viewed Jews variously as “the leprosy of creation” and “the most unclean of the human race.” It’s an outright lie and Satan is the father of lies. He knows that God, the Creator of the Universe, has chosen to bless the world through Israel and, according to Scripture, He will do so and will not be thwarted.

    Satan is doing all He can to obstruct God’s plan and destroy what is precious to Him, but he will not succeed.

    I am reading a very interesting book right now called “The Spear of Destiny” by Trevor Ravenscroft. When Hitler saw this spear for this first time (it is supposedly the spear that pierced the side of Jesus Christ after He died on the cross), at that moment Hitler totally gave himself over to the powers of evil — Satan — so that he could be empowered to conquer the world. When the SS were initiated they made an irrevocable oath to Satan. These and other Jew haters were and are some of the most evil people that ever have and ever will walk on this planet and were totally devoted to Satan and his will.

    To Abraham and his descendants: “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2 & 3

    To Israel: For thus says the LORD of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye. — Zechariah 2:8

    For more on this, you can check here:

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  13. Johnny
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it sickening how Jimmy Carter originated this mess?
    I remember when Carter thought it was such a great idea to get rid of the Shah in the belief that the muslims would look on the U.S. kindly. Sort of how our current president thinks making a speech in Cairo to the muslims of the world will make everyone love us.
    Every time I see Carter’s NSA on MSNBC being fawned over by his daughter and Joe “I’m the only real conservative in this country” Scarborough I want to throw up. Few Americans are more responsible for the muslim mess in the world today than Carter and Brzezinski. Those two are straight out of Anti-Semite Central.

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  14. James Just
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Israel has a more modern and powerful military force than iran.
    However Israel will have to fight a four-front war against Hamas-Hizbullah-WesternMSM.
    Surprise- surprise! Look for the opening battle against Iran to come from a different direction other than from Israel.
    On another topic, considering that Israel is always mired in an existential threat its tiring putting up with all of the Blah from Jews who hate Jews.
    Isn’t it sickening how Jimmy Carter originated this mess?
    When the war clouds gather keep in mind that all of the good Angels are Jewish.

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  15. Johnny
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I think the lesson Bloomberg et al want us to take away from the NYC mosque is that if Israel would just disarm enemies like Iran will see the error of their way and renounce their nuclear program. Moderates in Iran will assume power and the mullahs will slip away to their luxury condos in Paris.
    Well, maybe instead of totally disarming itself Israel should withdraw from disputed territory, oh, lets say Gaza. That will show all those moderates in the muslim world that those evil Joooos aren’t so bad after all. I mean, what could be a better example than the Israeli government forcibly removing their citizens from Gaza in the name of peace. That will show everyone and … oh right. Forget that. Iran will never respect a paper tiger. Just ask Jimmy “the chump” Carter.

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  16. kishke
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    This makes me very nervous. I have many close relatives, including two children, in Israel.

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  17. Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    “And every time we publish a story about the Iranian nuclear threat I receive a blizzard of private emails from either lawyers or academics—always, sigh, Jewish liberals—in which they argue in tedious detail why the Iranians really don’t mean what they say.” Lawyers live in a universe of *words*, and so do academics outside the hard sciences. And while it is theoretically possible for a word-person to understand that there are things in the world that are impervious to verbiage, such understanding is the exception rather than the rule.
    It’s questionable whether a society dominated by word-people to the extent that ours is can long survive.

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  18. Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The parallels are eery.
    Jews voted for FDR in overwhelming numbers, and yet he wouldn’t approve of the relatively easy plan to bomb the tracks to the death camps.
    Now Jews vote overwhelmingly for Obama, and he won’t approve of the bombing of some Iranian weapons sites which “could be done very easily.”
    Let’s say this very plainly: Jews who oppose an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites are either horrifically naive or traitors to Israel, Judaism, and the rest of decent humanity.

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  19. PCD
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Culturally, Obama is a Muslim, and Obama will never initiate a new attack on a Muslim country, especially one that hates Israel, the UK, and the US as Iran does.

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