Bulgaria terrorist attack live thread

Iran Bulletin is publishing a live thread of ongoing reports from the terrorist attack on a busload of Israeli terrorists in Bulgaria…It is very significant that this attack comes exactly 18 years to the day of an Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah attack on a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_AMIA_bombing

1. The Times of Israel has some details on the attack:

7 die in attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria

Over 30 wounded in explosion on bus carrying Israelis inside Bourgas airport; Netanyahu says, ‘All signs point to Iran’

At least seven people were killed in an attack on an Israeli tour bus at the Sarafovo International Airport in the Bulgarian vacation city of Bourgas on Wednesday afternoon. Some news reports put the number of fatalities as high as 10.

According to initial reports, a bomb was placed in the bus, detonating to murderous effect. The impact was so strong as to damage two other buses nearby, also with Israelis on board. Some initial reports said the attack was a suicide bombing, but the preliminary investigation pointed to the bomb having been placed in a suitcase in the vehicle’s luggage hold.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/explosion-rocks-israeli-tour-bus-in-bulgaria/

2. From Fox News, Prime Minister Netanyahu is providing complete clarity as to who Israel believes is responsible for this barbaric attack:

Israel blames Iran for deadly bus explosion targeting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising a strong reaction after an attack on Israeli tourists that he says was carried out by Iran.

A bus carrying mostly Israeli youth in a Bulgaria exploded near an airport Wednesday, killing at least six people and wounding at least 32 others, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said. Witnesses told Israeli media that the huge blast occurred soon after someone boarded the vehicle.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/18/bulgaria-bus-explosion-kills-3-israeli-tourists/

3. Here are the excellent Jerusalem Post stories on the attack, along with analysis:

7 dead in bombing of Israeli bus in Burgas

32 injured after attack on Israeli tour bus at the Burgas Airport in Bulgaria on 18th anniversary of Iran-sponsored bombing of Jewish center in Argentina; Bulgarian FM in touch with Liberman, headed to site.

In January, a suspicious package found on a bus carrying Israeli tourists from Turkey to Bulgaria led Israel to request boosted security for its citizens traveling in the country.

Israel has been concerned Hezbollah would try to attack Israelis overseas in connection with the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughniyeh, attributed to the Mossad.

http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=277989

PM: All signs point to Iran in Bulgaria attack

Netanyahu vows powerful response; Defense Minister Barak promises to find perpetrators of attack.

“All the signs lead to Iran. Only in the past few months we have seen Iranian attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Former head of Israel’s Counterterrorism Bureau Brig.-Gen. (res.) Nitzan Nuriel said that Hezbollah and Iran could have recruited operatives from within Bulgaria’s Muslim community or crossed into the country from Turkey.

“Hezbollah has a presence in Bulgaria and there have been attempts that were thwarted there before,” Nuriel, who stepped down from his post earlier this year. “They could have relied on the local Muslim community or crossed into Bulgaria from Turkey. It is quite easy.”

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=278001

Analysis: Attack recalls Argentina, but not quite

The attack on Israelis in Bulgaria has hallmarks of the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah, but some differences as well.

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=278008

Barak: We will find perpetrators of Bulgaria attack

Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed that Israel will find the perpetrators of Wednesday’s terrorist attack against Israeli civilians in Bulgaria.

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=278013

4. Bulgaria’s President says that there was no advance warning of the attack, including no warning from Israeli intelligence…

Bulgaria President: No Advance Intelligence by Mossad on Attack

Bulgarian authorities had a meeting with Israel’s intelligence service Mossad a month ago, but there was no warning of an expected attack, the president has said.

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=141432

5. Now it is being reported that the suspect in the attack used a Michigan driver’s license…possibly a false ID, but given the extensive Muslim presence in Michigan, this should indeed raise questions…note also that authorities are still trying  to determine if the attack was a planted bomb or a suicide bombing…

Bombing suspect in attack that killed 8 on bus of Israeli tourists was carrying Michigan driver’s license, Bulgaria says

…the suspected attacker was carrying a Michigan driver’s license that was being sent to the FBI for authentication.

The Jerusalem Post reports that authorities believe the identification to be fake.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/18/bulgaria-bus-explosion-kills-3-israeli-tourists/?test=latestnews

6. Security Video of Bulgaria Islamikaze bomber

http://news.ibox.bg/news/id_2003650236

7. Now it turns out that the bomber had a fake ID from Michigan with a Baton Rouge, LA address. This seems like a pretty unsophisticated forgery, but, then again, a Bulgarian security agent is unlikely to know that Baton Rouge isn’t in Michigan…

Report: Suspected suicide bomber carried fake license with BR address

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov said a Michigan license carried by the suspected suicide attacker in the bombing of a bus carrying Israeli tourists was a fake. Reports indicate there was a Baton Rouge address on the license.

http://www.wafb.com/story/19065506/report-suspected-suicide-bomber-carried-fake-license-with-br-address

8. Worst of all: The Islamikaze bomber was a former Gitmo detainee that the US released…POLICY does matter. Bad policy results in dead good guys. The Jihadi, Mehdi Ghezali, should still be in prison in Gitmo awaiting nothing but death by old age. Instead, the PC crowd forces America to release these monsters and, of course, they return to Jihad and kill…It’s too bad that there is no mechanism for prosecuting the Swedish authorities who enabled this monster to commit these murders. Sweden should be ashamed…

Bulgarian press names bomber: Mehdi Ghezali

Terrorist said to have been a Swedish citizen with a history of Muslim extremist activities

Ghezali reportedly arrived in Bulgaria five weeks before the bombing and arrived at the airport via taxi, Channel 2 reported. He was also reportedly given the bomb by someone else, but no further details were provided.

He had been held at the US’s Guantanamo Bay detainment camp on Cuba from 2002 to 2004, having previously studied at a Muslim religious school and mosque in Britain, and traveled to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, it says. He was taken into custody on suspicion of being an al-Qaeda agent, having been arrested along with a number of other al-Qaeda operatives.

Following a lobbying effort by Swedish prime minister Göran Persson, Guantanamo authorities recommended Ghezali be transferred to another country for continued detainment, and he was handed over to Swedish authorities in 2004. The Swedish government did not press charges.

A 2005 Swedish documentary about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp starred Ghezali, who detailed his experience in American custody.

He was also reportedly among 12 foreigners captured trying to cross into Afghanistan in 2009.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/bulgarian-press-names-suicide-bomber-who-killed-israelis-as-mehdi-ghezali/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=cheatsheet_afternoon&cid=newsletter%3Bemail%3Bcheatsheet_afternoon&utm_term=Cheat%20Sheet

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A Truly Horrible Article on Israel and Iran from Catholic.org

Catholic.org has published a truly horrible article on the conflict between Iran and Israel: Israeli War with Iran May Be More Costly Than Believed.

In that article, the author makes specious assertions about what the Israeli government is telling its people and advises naively that Israel and the West can negotiate with the Iranian regime in good faith to find a peaceful settlement.

Has the person who wrote this article calculated the possible cost of a nuclear armed gang of Mullahs in Tehran? And if war with Iran is costly now, what would the cost be once Iran goes nuclear? Does anyone with a serious view really believe that it is possible to negotiate in good faith with the Ayatollahs after all these years?

To lump the democratically elected government in Israel with the despotic, terrorist regime in Iran as being equally “devil may care,” as the author explicitly states in the article, is totally irresponsible.

The article falsely asserts that the Israeli government is telling people that they have little to fear from a war with Iran. That is a total fabrication. No one in Israel has any illusions about war; they’ve lived it non-stop for decades, in all its forms, and no one is telling anyone that there is nothing to fear. On the other hand, the Israelis know that they have MORE to fear from a NUCLEAR Iran.

As a Catholic I am ashamed that this article appears on Catholic.org. Given the church’s shameful record in facilitating Nazi war criminals making their escape after World War II, it is highly disturbing to me to find an article on Catholic.org essentially equating the two sides-Israel and Iran–with one another.

Finally, when making up your own minds about whether or not Israel or other nations need to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power, consider that Iran considers Israel the Little Satan. America is the Great Satan. Iran has a national holiday called “Death to America Day.” Maybe that’s why they armed, trained and supplied Jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan who killed US GIs. I for one am not comfortable with an Iran armed with atomic bombs.

http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=45504#.T3cgk_mHv3w.twitter

Report: Iranian Unit 400 terror squad targeting Jewish, Israeli and Western targets in Turkey

Sky News is the UK is reporting that a special unit of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps al Quds Brigade has been deployed to Turkey with the intent of targeting Jewish, Israeli and Western targets for terrorist attacks.

The name of the special unit is “Unit 400.”

It would certainly not be the first time that Jihadists have used Turkey as a battleground for terrorist attacks on Western targets. And because Turkey has a large Islamist community, is essentially ruled by an Islamist party and has become decidedly anti-Israel since the Islamists came to power, a terrorist force like Unit 400 can find clandestine support and blend in to the landscape almost effortlessly.

Note also that Unit 400 has been named as plotting terrorist attacks in European nations and also in the USA. The US plot involved cooperation with Mexican drug cartels.

According to the report, the Iranian regime wants to use the Unit 400 attacks to send a signal to the West that Iran is highly capable of waging irregular warfare in the West should Iran be attacked over its nuclear program.

Unit 400 is a serious threat. These are highly-trained, professional operatives, not young Jihadis who have been duped into going Islamikaze by an Imam in some hell-hole mosque in a bad neighborhood.

http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16199713

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Too Much, Too Little, Too Late: IAEA Finally Points Finger At Iran

This week the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency released a 15-page report which essentially amounts to a “smoking gun” that Iran is working to build nuclear weapons. Among the more significant findings in the report:

• Iran is clandestinely acquiring equipment and data needed to make nuclear weapons.

• Iran has been conducting high explosives testing and developing detonators designed to trigger a nuclear explosion.

• Iranian scientists have been using computer modeling to design the core of a nuclear warhead.

• Iranian military personnel have been doing work consistent with preparation for a nuclear weapons test.

• Iran is working on mounting a nuclear payload onto its Shahab 3 intermediate range ballistic missile

For its part, not surprisingly, Iran denies that its nuclear program is a weapons program. The Ayatollahs maintain that their nuclear program is a peaceful energy program.

But the UN IAEA report points out that there is activity associated with Iran’s nuclear program that can only be categorized as weapons activity. In other words, there would be no reason to conduct these activities if the Iranians were not working on a nuclear bomb. If you want to view this evidence yourself, here is a link to the report itself:

http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/IAEA_Iran_8Nov2011.pdf

All of this comes as no surprise to sober Americans, Israelis and other Westerners. Only fringe politicos have been in denial as to Iran’s sinister intentions for its nuclear program. Nevertheless, those in the West who have denied the true nature of Iran’s nuclear program have served the Ayatollahs’ purpose as “Useful Idiots” for years. For decades in fact, the Iranians have bought time through denials, lies and theatrics designed to conceal their nuclear weapons program. And their friends, vendors and customers in nations such as Russia, Red China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, India, the United Arab Emirates, and, yes, the United States of America, have played a supporting role in this theater of the absurd.

Nor is the UN itself blameless. Recall that the IAEA was once headed by a man from Egypt named Mohammed El Baradei. El Baradei had a terrible reputation among the Western arms inspectors assigned to the IAEA as someone who went to great lengths to give Moslem nations the benefit of the doubt when it comes to nuclear inspections. It was while El Baradei was heading the IAEA that Iran was expanding its nuclear program with huge underground facilities as places like Natanz equipped with advanced centrifuges used to enrich uranium in violation of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty). It is difficult to believe that all of the revelations in the latest IAEA report couldn’t have been gleaned during the El Baradei years.

Mohammed El Baradei

All of the delays have helped the Iranians grow closer to achieving their goal of arming themselves with nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, at the forefront of those whose incompetence and professional neglect enabled the Iranians to advance their nuclear weapons quest was none other than the US intelligence community. Recall back in November 2007 that the Office of National Intelligence published a National Intelligence Estimate that stated that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program back in 2003.

Here is a link to that infamous document:

http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20071203_release.pdf

Within two years, that horribly flawed and politically biased report had been discredited as flat wrong:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574447412969599476.html

No single document helped the Iranians more than the 2007 NIE. It paralyzed the Bush administration, Congress, Israel and some of our NATO allies for months, even though the Israelis and some of the Europeans knew the report to essentially be a work of fiction.

There can be no doubt that Iran is much closer to being armed with nuclear weapons now than they were before the DNI published the 2007 NIE. And the NIE gave them cover.

One of the things that is so infuriating about all this is that there were mountains of physical and circumstantial evidence pointing to an Iranian nuclear program years before the latest IAEA report was published.

Consider these anecdotes:

• In January 1994, the Clinton administration’s Undersecretary of State for International Security, Lynn Davis, told USA Today that “Iran’s actions leave little doubt that Tehran is intent upon developing nuclear weapons capabilities.” Davis went on to say that “Iran’s nuclear acquisitions are inconsistent with any rational civil nuclear program.” This statement was made nearly 18 years ago. EIGHTEEN years ago, we knew what the Iranians were up to, but the Clinton administration did next to nothing to stop them.

• In February 1987, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini uttered these words in a speech before his country’s Atomic Energy Organization: “Regarding atomic energy, we need it now. Our nation has always been threatened from the outside. The least we can do to face this danger is to let our enemies know that we can defend ourselves. Therefore, every step you take here is in defense of your country and your revolution. With this in mind, you should work hard and at great speed.”

• An even more overt statement came a year later. In a broadcast over Tehran radio in October 1988, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Hashemi Rafsanjani, made this chilling declaration that called for the development of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons: “We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, bacteriological and radiological weapons.”

• A lot more evidence of Iranian nuclear intentions surfaced during the 1990s. German and French security officials reported that, from 1992 to 1995, they foiled several attempts by Iranian intelligence agents to purchase equipment needed to create an atomic bomb. But perhaps the clearest evidence spilled out in January 1995 in a nuclear deal signed between Iran and Russia. After the U.S. strongly protested the agreement, Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged that the agreement did in fact contain a military “component” and he announced that he was voiding that portion: “But it is true that the contract does contain components of civilian and military nuclear energy. Now we have agreed to separate those two. In as much as they relate to the military component and the potential for creating weapons grade fuel and other matters-the centrifuge, the construction of shafts-we have decided to exclude those aspects from the contract.”

• There is even more evidence. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, who served from 1994 to 2005, was quoted as saying that Iran was seeking help from his nation to build nuclear weapons: “We need oil from Iran because Russia is strangling us. We have no intention of responding to the repeated request by the Iranians to share with them know-how on nuclear weapons, or to sell them any equipment in this field.”

What all this obviously means is that no one should be surprised by the findings in the latest IAEA report. This leaves two main questions:

1. How close are the Iranians to having nuclear weapons?

2. What can be done?

The answer to the first question is as elusive as the wind itself. Estimates range all over the place. But keep in mind that Western intelligence agencies have provided estimates ranging from 5 years to 15 years since the 1990s. Heck, at one time, for a short period, the CIA even told President Bush that they thought Iran already had one nuclear weapon, but eventually backtracked from that statement. The fact is, if you look at the history of estimates from Western sources, it becomes clear that no one knows how close the Iranians are to having nuclear bombs. They could even already have a nuclear bomb. Or they could be years away.

But one thing we must remember is that the Iranians are awash in petrodollars, so they have been able to purchase expertise and components from the likes of AQ Khan of Pakistan and North Korea, in addition to former Soviet and South African nuclear technicians. Being able to afford to buy existing knowledge and equipment “off the shelf,” provides a real short-cut to completing a nuclear weapons program. Given that the Iranians are not idiots and they have been working on this project since the late 1980s, it would be a mistake to assume that Iran is many years away from having an atomic bomb.

This leaves us with the last question: what is to be done?

It is most unfortunate that Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have not exhibited any of the political will necessary to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power–and we MUST acknowledge that preventing Iran from going nuclear is an absolute necessary vital national security issue for the United States. All of the good options are gone.

Had we imposed meaningful sanctions back in January 1994 when the Clinton State Department declared Iran’s nuclear program a weapons project, and worked to compel our NATO allies to do the same, there could have been a meaningful impact on Iran’s economy and ability to acquire nuclear technology. But Clinton lacked the political will to defend America.

Unfortunately, President Bush displayed little additional political will to target the Iranians with meaningful sanctions. Bush continued the Clinton policy of issuing waivers for foreign companies in violation of the Iran Sanctions Act. Big firms such as Siemens, Total SA, GE, BP, Thyssen-Krupp, Royal Dutch Shell and Alcatel-Lucent were given a free pass to provide corporate life support for the Ayatollahs. Each of companies, and others, has done hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars of business with the Iranians while the Iranians have built nuclear weapons.

The Obama administration has continued the waiver policy. In other words, since the mid 1990s when the Iran Sanctions Act was signed into law, we have failed to enforce the Act and have had n0 tough sanctions on Iran, despite the fact that Iran has armed our enemies on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan and have supported Al Qaeda in its war against America.

If the United States decided to suddenly start enforcing its existing sanctions policies, would there be enough time for the sanctions to make themselves felt in Iran, before Iran got nuclear weapons? That is the great unknown–but we DO know that we cannot trust anything coming out of our intelligence community on the subject.

That leaves the military option, something that the Obama administration almost certainly has no stomach for. I believe it is safe to say that Obama would rather allow Iran to go nuclear and let the next president deal with it than take any forceful action to prevent the Ayatollahs from going atomic. Moreover, Obama’s policies of withdrawal have weakened our ability to threaten Iran and strike at its nuclear facilities. US forces are almost completely withdrawn from Iraq and Obama is seeking to accelerate their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Whereas, not long ago, the US had large formations of forces bracketing Iran, including, most importantly, massive air assets and special operations forces, soon there will be few if any of those assets on hand to launch a campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities, which have been dispersed and hardened. This will make the planning and execution of any military operation against Iran much more complicated.

Which is exactly what Obama and his hard left, Soros-funded allies want. Like Ron Paul on the right, they’re just fine with Iran getting nuclear weapons. It’s an insane policy, unless your goal is to see the United States substantially weakened in the world and Israel threatened.

Speaking of Israel, it appears that it will be up to that isolated and abandoned republic to defend itself and rid the Free World of the Iranian nuclear menace. Are they up to it?

They certainly have the political will that America’s leaders have lacked, but they lack pure numbers of suitable weapons and geography.

Iran has at least 15 significant nuclear sites. While some observers maintain Israel would not have to destroy every site to cripple Iran’s program, Israel’s intelligence would have to be extremely good to skip over any known sites, much less sites that are not widely known. Iran has been secretive about its nuclear program for nearly two decades and it is possible that crucial activities are hidden in unknown areas and sites.

Israel would not want to leave any aspect of Iran’s nuclear program intact, therefore, to suggest that an attack would need to destroy 15 sites may be conservative.

Israel used 16 aircraft just to destroy Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear facility in June 1981. Osirak was relatively poorly defended and was only approximately 570 miles from Tel Aviv. By contrast, Iran’s largest nuclear site is 1,000 miles from Israel. The furthest Iranian nuclear site is in Tabas, in the eastern end of the country, some 1600 miles from Israel. The other 13 nuclear sites are widely dispersed.

The Iranians are very aware of what happened at Osirak. Their nuclear sites are hardened—often built underground—and are heavily defended by Russian-made surface to air missiles and anti- aircraft artillery. Israeli planning tends to be very good, but with so many targets, follow-up strikes would almost certainly be needed. This makes the fact that the Iranians have gone to great lengths to defend their nuclear facilities a problem. Even if the initial strikes get by Iranian defenses, the Iranians will be that much more alert for follow-up strikes. And Israel does not possess stealth aircraft or large numbers of long- range cruise missiles to conduct such missions. The Israelis would need to be uncannily accurate in their initial strikes to ensure success and this is not the same Israeli Air Force that existed in 1981. Today, many Israeli pilots have not seen true combat, have not had to deal with sophisticated air defense systems and have never flown long-range precision strike missions.

Iran’s nuclear facilities are not the only problem. Iran’s Shehab-3 ballistic missile has the range to hit Israel. It is not certain how many of these missiles Iran has (though some published reports give a number of 15, with no acknowledged source), nor is it known if any are equipped with chemical or biological warheads.

So, Israel would also have to try to account for potential Iranian missile sites in any strike. There are at least 8 known sites throughout Iran capable of launching ballistic missiles: Tehran, Bakhtaran, Garmsar, Karaj, Mashhad, Qom, Semnan, and Shahroud,

This means that Israel would be faced with having to strike no fewer than 23 separate targets, all more than 1,000 miles from Israeli air bases and it simply does not have the number of long-range aircraft necessary to do so. Israel has 100 F-16I and 30 F-15I capable of carrying out this mission profile.

What this means is that Israel would have to do more than just launch air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Perhaps this is why Israel has recently tested a new, extended range version of its Jericho ballistic missile, equipped with a larger warhead.

Jericho Ballistic Missiles

Additionally, Israel has a number of cruise missiles installed on its German-built Dolphin class submarines, with which it could strike Iran from the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Sea.

Israeli Dolphin Class Submarine

Given all its weapon assets, special operations forces and intelligence capability, Israel may very well be capable of setting Iran’s nuclear program back by a number of years, but in the process Israel will be subjecting itself to unrestricted warfare at the hands of Iran’s terrorist allies around the globe, as well as other forms of retaliation from Iran’s ballistic missile forces.

We can’t help but wonder if all of this would have been necessary if the US had fulfilled its proper role as world leader and enforced robust sanctions against Iran 18 years ago…

Wishful Thinking on Nuclear Iran from Soros Stooge Matthew Duss in Foreign Policy Magazine

nn

A political alliance between the Libertarian/Neo-Isolationist wing of the Republican Party and the hard Left of the Democrat Party is attempting to prepare America for a nuclear Iran with what can only be described as a snow job.

The meme from these strange bedfellows maintains that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is no big deal, not any different, but of a lower magnitude, than the Soviet nuclear threat of the Cold War.

In an article published this week in Foreign Policy magazine, Matthew Duss, who works for the Soros-funded, radical Leftist Center for American Progress, tries to articulate this flawed position. But there are key flaws in Duss’s argument.

Duss scoffs at assertions by Newt Gingrich and others that Iran might be willing to sacrifice large numbers of Iranians in a nuclear exchange. In so doing he ignores two important pieces of evidence that contradict his position:

• Iranian leaders themselves have stated outright that in a war with Israel, Iran could absorb a large number of casualties–a number that would virtually wipe out Israel.

• During the Iran-Iraq War, the Iranians sent large numbers of young boys into minefields and ahead of combat formations to clear the way as cannon fodder.

So, despite what Duss may falsely declare, the Iranians do indeed have an extensive, recent history of using martyrdom to fight their enemies.

Duss also points to episodes in which President Ahmadinejad was–or was rumored to have been–rebuked by the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or other clerics. But what Duss fails to explain is that Ahmadinejad essentially serves as the pleasure of Khamenei. If Khamenei did not want Ahmadinejad  to be president of Iran, he wouldn’t be. So, dismissing Ahmadinejad’s ranting about state martyrdom and the return of the Mahdi is in fact reckless. The inescapable conclusion is that Khamenei must have some level of approval of Ahmadinejad’s philosophy.

As Iran gets closer to achieving nuclear power status, we can expect 5th columnists and useful idiots, such as Matthew Duss, to generate these smoke screens to try to convince us that Iran is nothing to worry about. It is very important that Americans realize that these smoke screens are terribly misguided and harmful.

http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/08/23/the_martyr_state_myth

Only several days remain for Israel to strike Bushehr

Israel has until the weekend to launch a military strike on Iran’s first nuclear plant before the humanitarian risk of an attack becomes too great, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Tuesday.

A Russian company is expected to help Iran start loading nuclear fuel into its plant on Saturday, after which an attack on the Bushehr reactor could trigger harmful radiation, which Israel wants to avoid, Bolton said. So unless the Israelis act immediately to shut down the facility, it will be too late.

“Once it’s close to the reactor … the risk is when the reactor is attacked, there will be a release of radiation into the air,” Bolton told FoxNews.com. “It’s most unlikely that they would act militarily after fuel rods are loaded.”

“Until that time, the position of the government of Israel — as the position of the Obama administration — is that all options will remain on the table,” he said, without commenting directly on Bolton’s remarks.

Though Iranian officials insist the reactor is for peaceful purposes, Bolton warned about the danger of the up-and-running reactor.

“What this does is give Iran a second route to nuclear weapons in addition to enriched uranium,” Bolton said. “It’s a very, very huge victory for Iran.”

He noted that the reactor gives Iran something that both Iraq and Syria were never able to achieve because their facilities were destroyed.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/17/israel-weeks-end-strike-iran-nuclear-facility-bolton-says/

Poll shows majority of Arabs view nuclear Iran in positive light

A new poll shows that the percentage of the Arab world that thinks a nuclear-armed Iran would be good for the Middle East has doubled since last year and now makes up the majority.

The 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll found that 57 percent of respondents not only believe that Iran’s nuclear program aims to build a bomb but also view that goal positively — nearly double the 29 percent who thought so in 2009. The percentage of those who view an Iranian nuclear bomb negatively fell by more than half, from 46 percent to 21 percent.

But the Arab Public Opinion Poll’s findings on Iran stand in marked contrast to the stances of most Sunni Arab leaders, who fear the regional implications of an Iranian bomb.

“In my view, the Arab public position on Iran is largely a defiance vote or an ‘enemy of my enemy’ vote,” Mr. Telhami told the Washington Times.

Last month, The Times reported on unusually blunt remarks from the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S., who said he favored airstrikes on Iran’s nuclear sites by U.S. or Israeli forces despite the consequences for the region.

“If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with [the fallout from military action] versus living with a nuclear Iran,’ my answer is still the same: ‘We cannot live with a nuclear Iran,’“ Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba said during a conference in Aspen, Colo.

A day earlier, the Times of London reported that Saudi Arabia had given Israel tacit approval to use its airspace in the event of an aerial attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. Officials from the kingdom vehemently denied the report, but most observers suspect that some Arab leaders would quietly cheer an Israeli attack, even if it generated riots in their capitals.

Iran repeatedly has denied that its nuclear program is devoted to anything but producing energy.

“There is no love for Iran in most of the Arab world,” Mr. Telhami said. “They fear Israel and U.S. foreign policy, so when we ask them, ‘Name the two countries that are most threatening to you personally,’ they identify first and foremost Israel and second the United States, and Iran is down on the list.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/aug/6/poll-majority-of-arab-world-views-nuke-armed-iran-/