Swiss-American prof urges attack on Iran

Louis-René Beres, a professor who teaches international law at
Purdue University (but not in a law school there) had a very warmongery
op-ed piece
in yesterday’s Christian Science
, titled The
case for strikes against Iran:
Diplomacy alone won’t stop Iran’s
nuclear ambitions

Beres has been a pro-Israeli ultra-hawk on nuclear issues for a long time. I came across his name when I was
first researching Israel’s massive and already very “mature”
nuclear-weapons program back in the 1980s.  (See, for example,
footnote 6 in this
(be aware: that’s a large PDF file there)
1988 article of mine
titled Israel’s Nuclear Game: The
U.S. Stake

Well, Beres is stilll going strong. In 2003-04 he was Chair of
something called the “Project
Daniel Group
that gave strategic advice about nuclear issues to PM
Sharon.  E.g., this:

The Group recommended to the Prime
Minister that “Israel must
identify explicitly and early on that all enemy Arab states and Iran
are subject to massive Israeli reprisal in the event of a BN
[Biological or Nuclear] attack
upon Israel” We recommended further that “massive” reprisals be
targeted at between 10 and 20 large enemy cities…and that the
nuclear yields of such Israeli reprisals be in
the megaton-range
. It goes without saying that such deterrent
by Israel would be very compelling to all rational enemies, but — at
the same time — would likely have little or no effect upon irrational
ones. In the case of irrational adversaries, Israel`s only hope for
safety will likely lie in appropriate acts of preemption — defensive
acts to be discussed more fully in the next column of my ongoing
Project Daniel series.

A policy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) which was obtained
between the United States and the Soviet Union, would never work
between Israel and its Arab/Iranian enemies. Rather, the Project Daniel
Group recommended that Israel MUST prevent its enemies from acquiring
BN status, and that any notion of BN “parity” between Israel and its
enemies would be intolerable…

So anyway, I thought it might be helpful for me to annotate Beres’s
recent piece in the CSM:

Beres’s text My commentary
1. Iran’s latest defiance of the International
Atomic Energy Agency
says it all: Further diplomacy has no
chance of stopping Iran’s nuclear program. Neither will UN sanctions
have any effect.
Oops!  Too bad for his
argumnent that it appeared on the same day as this
report from IAEA headquarters in Vienna that told us that: “Iran
agreed Tuesday to a compromise on the agenda text of a global
conference called to consider ways to strengthen the Nuclear
Nonproliferation Treaty, taking a surprise turn under pressure from
allies to end a weeklong deadlock preventing talks.”
2. Unless there is a timely defensive first strike at
pertinent elements of Iran’s expanding nuclear infrastructures, it will acquire nuclear weapons.
The consequences would be
intolerable and unprecedented.
a. “Defensive first
strike”???  In terms of stretching the rationale for an act of
aggression this goes ways further than “pre-emption” or even, as far as
I can see, “prevention.”
b. Iran “will” acquire nuclear weapons?  Where is Beres’s evidence
for this?  Why does he expect us to accept his assertion without
c.  Consequences “intolerable and unprecedented”?  Well, I
would say that Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear-weapons capability would
be very deeply regrettable… but it would hardly be
unprecedented.  Already, four states have acquired this capability
outside of the formal, international NPT framework: Israel, Pakistan,
India, and North Korea.  Why would Iran’s acquisition of the
capability be less tolerable than it was when those nations acquired it?
3. A
nuclear Iran would not resemble any other nuclear power. There could be
no stable “balance of terror” involving that Islamic Republic. Unlike
nuclear threats of the cold war, which were governed by mutual
assumptions of rationality and mutual assured destruction, a world with
a nuclear-armed Iran could explode at any moment
. Although it
still seem reasonable to suggest a postponement of preemption until
Iran were more openly nuclear
, the collateral costs of any such
could be unendurable
a. Why would, say, an
Iranian-Israeli balance of nuclear terror be any less stable than the
old Cold War one, or the one that has subsequently built up between
India and Pakistan?  Does Beres believe that the Iranian
government is uniquely “irrational”? He must, anyway, know that we all
know that Israel certainly has the means to destroy Iran (and perhaps
most of planetary life) if it is directly threatened by anyone else’s
nuclear weapon.
b. And  near the bottom there, note the sly wording in which he
rejects the idea of waiting until Iran is “more openly nuclear”– which
handily conveys the assumption that it already is, in a military way,
“nuclear”, but also conveys the sense that those ever-shifty Iranians
have been hiding this fact…
4. Ideally, a diplomatic settlement
with Iran
could be taken seriously. But in the real world, we must compare the
price of prompt preemptive
against Iran with the costs of both:
(1) inaction; and (2) delayed military action. To be sure, all
available options are apt to be injurious.
a.  Ah!  So now he is
claiming that the military strike he is urging would be “prompt”
preemptive action.  Since the concept of pre-emption involves the
high assuredness and high imminence of the threat that is being
“pre-empted”, he wants people to just stretch that concept of imminence
to make the strike happen sooner…
5. Iranian president Mahmoud
maintains that his country’s nuclear program is intended only to
produce electricity, but there is no plausible argument or evidence
support this claim
. Meanwhile, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s genocidal intentions
toward Israel
are abundantly clear.
a. Well, there is a whole history
of IAEA inspections in Iran
(unlike in Israel).  And though
there are some concerns about some nuclear materials that were not
declared to Iran in the past, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei
is still very strongly urging
negotiations to resolve the remaining issues.  What’s
more, he noted that, “the intelligence,
the British, intelligence, the American intelligence, is saying that
Iran is still years, five to
ten years away from developing a weapon
.”  And Beres’s
desire to rush this pre-emption he is urging stems from what, exactly?
b.  Yes, Ahmadinejad spoke very hatefully about “wiping Israel off
the map.”  That is of great concern– though it has more to do
with politicide than genocide.  Meanwhile, he is clearly NOT the
central “decider” rgearding Iran’s nuclear program.
6. Iran must be stopped immediately
acquiring atomic arms, and this can only be accomplished through
self-defense.” Precise
defensive attacks
against Iran’s
nuclear assets would be effective – and they would be entirely legal.
a. See 5 (a) above.
b. for one of his writings on “anticipatoiry” self-defense, see this.
c. “Defensive attacks” are already an oxymoron– whether they claim to
“precision” or not.  Imagine if everyone in the world felt
entitled to launch such attacks!
7. They would be effective because
the US has
at its disposal the “McInerney Plan” (after
Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney,
USAF/ret.). It calls, in part, for an immediate strike force to hit
Iran’s nuclear development facilities, command and control centers,
integrated air defenses, selected Air Force and Navy units, and its
Shahab-3 missiles, using more
than 2,500 aim points.
Operationally, the
United States Air Force is best configured for such a complex task, but
it would not necessarily be
impossible for the Israeli Air Force to
a. McInerney published that
version of the plan at the end of April.  In his view, it was
something the USA should be prepared to do on its own, though a
“coalition of the willing” including ” Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt,
UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, France, and Germany” would be
preferable.  (What, no mention of feisty little Israel?)
  “The objective would be, first and foremost, to destroy or
damage Iran’s nuclear development and production facilities and put
them out of commission for at least five years. Another aim would be to
destroy the Iranian air defense system, significantly damage its air
force, naval forces, and Shahab-3 offensive missile forces… The air
campaign would also wipe out or neutralize Iran’s
command and control capabilities.”  Yeah, right.  Just like
Dan Halutz was able to achieve that purely with standoff weapons, in
Israel last year?
b.  Also, McInerney’s version spoke only of “more than 1,500 aim
points.”  Why did Beres feel the need to expand on that? 
Anyway, check that Weekly Standard article there for the massive
destructive capability of the bombs McInerney mentions, too.
c.  Of course it would be impossible for the IAF to execute any
such plan without substantial help from the US.
8. It would be lawful because the
US and/or
Israel would be acting in appropriate
. Both countries
could act on behalf of the
international community
and could do so
lawfully without wider approval. The right of self-defense by
forestalling an attack has a long and authoritative history in
international law. In the 1625 classic “On the Law of War and Peace,”
Hugo Grotius expresses the
enduring principle: “It be lawful to kill
him who is preparing to kill….”
a.  “Appropriate”
self-defense!  Don’t you just love this guy’s jargon?
b.  The US and/or Israel acting “on behalf of” the international
community?  How on earth could anyone think they’d have the right
to arrogate to themselves this right?  (And if they had it, why
shouldn’t anyone else?)
c.  Yeah, Grotius wrote a bunch of things, some of which were
innovative and some less so. One of the other things he wrote was that
it is always prefereble to take a dispute to the relevant court if
there is time to do it.  H’mm, do you think “five to ten years”
might be enough time to find a non-military resolution of this issue?
  Above all, though, Grotius was working hard to try to figure out
what a “rule of law” would look like in the relations among
nations.  Of course, the absolutely fundamental principle of the
“rule of law” is that the one single law applies to all parties who
come under it, quite equally.
9. Today, some scholars say that
Article 51 of the UN Charter overrides that right. But international
law is not a suicide pact.
This sounds eerily like
Dershowitz’s (torture-condoning) argument that the US Constitution “is
not a suicide pact”.  No-one is asking Beres to subscribe to a
suicide pact.  However, the warmongering course he is urging in
this article certainly would, if pursued, bring horrendous consequences
for Americans; and it would therefore be more immediately and evidently
“suicidal” than the steady, continued pursuit of diplomatic options and
10. We (a)
must act very quickly
on Iran. Many critics will argue that the
expected consequences of any prompt preemptive strike would be
overwhelming, including (b) greatly
expanded terror attacks
assorted Western targets, and perhaps regional or even global war.
Although such dire prospects should not be dismissed, (c) there is
certainly no reason to believe that an American or Israeli preemption
would make them more likely
. On the contrary, it seems far more
plausible that (d) defensive
strikes would suppress Iranian adventurism and
. Iran’s foreign policy is animated by very rigid
expectations, and (e) these
expectations won’t diminish if Iran is allowed
to acquire nuclear weapons.
a.  See 5 (a).
b. Risk of “expanded terror attacks against West targets”: 
Certainly possible, though we should note that the terror attacks that
Western targets have experienced until now have overwhlemibngly come
from Al-Qaeda-type extremists not allied at all with Iran.  Israel
has suffered terror attacks from Iranian allies, but is a Middle
Eastern state.
c.  “No reason to believe” an attack on Iran would make these
other forms of conflict more likely???  What is this guy smoking?
d.  Worked for Israel with Hizbullah last summer, right??
e.  It’s hard to see what he’s getting at with this reference to
“religious expectations”.  Both Pakistan and Israel are theocratic
states that have nuclear weapons.  Does that make them more
irrational?  Possibly…
11. A more important reservation
preemption involves tactical difficulties. Due to delays, the success
of strikes against certain key Iranian targets may already be in doubt.

Worse, such strikes would
probably entail high civilian casualties

because Iran has deliberately placed sensitive military assets amid
civilian populations – an
international crime called “perfidy.”
a. Here, his argument becomes
extremely sly.  He’s trying to claim that the US has to attack
Iran sooner rather than later because, darn them, those pesky Iranians
have started building even high defenses over and around their nuclear
b. What’s more, delayed strikes would also lead to higher civilian
casualties?  His argumentation is extremely unclear here.The issue
of civilian casualties seems unrelated to the broader argument he’s
trying to make that the attack should be launched sooner rather than
c.  No, “perfidy”
in international law
is when, for example, you disguise an ammo
train as a hospital train protected by a Red Cross emblem.

Well, anyway, readers might want to contribute some of their own
comments regarding Beres’s writings. 

For my part I’ll note simply that his article represents a textbook case of the fact that human aggression and violence nearly
always stem from a deep well of fearfulness.  Now, the fears
entertained by a person like Prof. Beres are most likely a mix of fears
that the rest of us might consider rational and those we might
consider irrational.  But at a certain level that doesn’t really
matter, since they are all seem to be very deeply held by him.  It wouldn’t be very productive to devote too much time to trying to persuade him that, say, half or one-third of the fears he entertains are quite irrational.

I’ll note, too, that it’s a widespread phenomenon of human psychology
that excessive fearfulness can frequently itself addle rationality.

And elsewhere in the Middle East, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s aggressive rantings most likely also stem from a
mixture of rational and irrational fears.  But at least he–
unlike Beres’s friends in the Israeli leadership– is not in any
position to back up these rants with any threats to loose on his
enemies “nuclear yields… in the megaton range.”
(Remember, the
bomb detonated over Hiroshima in 1945 had a yield of just 12

It therefore strikes me that the rest of us in the world community need
to deal very carefully– with both sensitivity and firmness– with both
these men. Most importantly, we need to work hard and
effectively to establish a Middle East Zone Free of all WMD’s, and to
ensure that Israel retreats to within borders that are secure,
recognized, legal, and lasting and builds strong relationships with
everyone else in the region based on mutual recognition and respect,
and solid, well-monitored, and reciprocal commitments of
non-aggression.  That will provide the regional context in which
radical demilitarization has a good chance of taking place. 

until we can arrive at a regional peace, the agressive acts of the
hatemongers, the fearmongers, and the warmongers will only continue to

24 thoughts on “Swiss-American prof urges attack on Iran

  1. Bevin

    Let’s be honest: Ahmadinejad did not call for “Israel to be wiped off the map.” That is surely well established. Nor have I seen any evidence of Iran being inclined to genocide. The idiocy is all on one side here. The article which you parse is utterly dishonest and malicious. Its author, who undoubtedly does deserve the sympathy of sane people, is proposing actions which are nothing less than diabolical.
    The sheer evil involved in a public proposal to attack a civilian population with nuclear weapons is not to be compared with the, perfectly reasonable, observation that there can be no just solution to the terrible situation in Palestine without dismantling the apartheid structure of the state of Israel. Whether this is right or wrong is a matter for debate among sane and honest people: it cannot be construed as justification for murdering a cat leave alone the killing of millions.
    No civilised society can tolerate the cheapening of life implied in these insouciant invitations to carry out multiple holocausts. Soberly considered, this author is telling the world that violence on a scale never before seen is permissible; and that the sloppiest kind of special pleading and logic chopping is sufficient to con the sovereign people into underwriting the greatest crime ever proposed.
    That individuals without conscience entertain violent fantasies is a sad but familiar fact. What is puzzling is how such evil plotting comes to be published. When one considers the relatively narrow range of public debate in the mass media, debate which excludes, for example, most anti-capitalist points of view, it can only be concluded that a significant part of the rulers of the United States regards nuclear strikes upon undefended civilian populations as being within the parameters of moral discourse.
    They are not. Without the assistance of newspaper publishers Mr Beres’ thoughts would have been left to rot where they belong. Instead they poison our discourse and pollute our polity. Perhaps naively I am surprised that the CSM is the guilty party here.

  2. adrian

    After looking into this man’s background, it appears another case of one person’s own affiliations leading him into overvaluation of his own affinity group combined with, or even leading to, demonization of and vulgar disdain for other groups.

  3. Daniel Pourkesali

    Below was my letter to professor Beres followed by his response:
    Dear Professor Beres,
    In your article ‘The case for strikes against Iran’ published by Christian Science Monitor [1] you declare Iran in defiance of International Atomic Energy Agency and call for an end to any ‘further diplomacy’.
    I’m afraid your argument is typical of every other fear-mongering calls for mass murder and genocide based on perceived threats and assumptions which are totally detached from any facts or reality while promoting hateful and nihilistic pathology in the name of preserving peace.
    Your assertion that ‘a world with a nuclear-armed Iran could explode at any moment’ is based on two unsubstantiated assumptions — First, that Iran’s nuclear program is producing nuclear weapons. According to IAEA, the very U.N. nuclear watchdog agency quoted in the first sentence of your essay has repeatedly confirmed [2][3][4] that Iran has not diverted any of its nuclear materials to prohibited activities.
    Second, that Iranians are irrational, unpredictable, or suicidal and can not be trusted with such weapons. No explanation whatsoever on what past behavior has gained Iranian people such a unique distinction among those in the region.
    You then declare that such a ‘defensive attack’ against Iran would not only be ‘effective’ but ‘entirely legal’. Effective because the ‘United States Air Force is best configured for such a complex task’ which by the way you also believe is not ‘necessarily impossible for the Israeli Air Force to execute’; and legal because ‘the US and Israel would be acting in appropriate self-defense’.
    Is it really hard for a so-called ‘professor of international law’ to comprehend that by the very same reasoning, those irrational, unpredictable, or suicidal Iranians would also be acting legally if they were to launch a preemptive strike against U.S. and Israel now?
    At the end you admit that an attack on Iran ‘would probably entail high civilian casualties’ but rationalize and qualify that insane call to genocide by claiming that ‘further delay will only multiply the number of casualties from any future operation’.
    Professor, your lack of concern for massive civilian casualties which will undoubtedly create instant sympathetic backlash in form of solid support for the Iranian regime, and the ensuing chaos that will dwarf the ongoing catastrophe in Iraq, is quiet palpable.
    Daniel M Pourkesali
    [3] [4]
    On 5/8/07, Louis Rene Beres wrote:
    Thank you for taking the trouble to write. It is precisely to avoid genocide and massive civilian casualties that I propose a preemption strike that is consistent with long-standing international law.

  4. Daniel Pourkesali

    Reading Mr. Beres’ chilling response above, one can only deduct that he does not consider mass murder of innocent Iranians as genocide. In his twisted mind and those of many like him currently running the asylum in Washington, those lives are reduced and simplified to collateral damage worth inflicting.

  5. Professor Pirouz Azadi

    Professor Beres’s calling for a pre-emptive irrationled and illogical in-justification for annhiliation agianst anotehr nation is absured and racists and agianst all the principled laws of the US and international statutes. His tenure has to be seriously reviewed for imminnenent termination. Pack him to Israel where he belongs. How could he carry two passorts, earn monies from several governments, and then vote in three national elections? May God save these United States from such evil forces….
    Middle Eastern? You are presumed Guilty for life-and you can not exonerate yourself either since you don’t know what the charges are-so, live with it… see a recent article at ( )
    It was a refreshing joy to read the incisive article by a European Moslem scholar, expostulating the perspectives regarding the current dilemma existing between the U.S./West and the Islamic world. Professor Ramadan’s main thesis of the positive (social and political) ramifications of the three generations of western (US-Europe) Moslems residing in the West since the mid-20th Century, on their native homelands, is meritoriously valid. The struggle for modernization, socio-religious and cultural reformations is being increasingly facilitated through grassroots independent media like the Internet, satellite radio and TV, as well as frequent visits to native homelands by expatriates and their offspring. By the same token, there remains an indigenous, independent struggle for religious reformations, socio-cultural and political reforms in the so called, “Middle Eastern” countries. These processes have been impeded in the region by Western countries hegemonic meddling, especially the U.S. military, due to the pursuit of geopolitical (read Oil) strategic interests. This dynamic has been in place for the past one hundred years and has exacerbated since 2001.
    Western myopia and selective amnesia overlooks the great many historical contributions of the diverse peoples of the region before the renaissance era. As eluded to by Ramadan, scholars as exemplified by the past Persians, Avicenna, Biruni, Farabi, Ghazzali, Nahavandi, Omer Khayam, Rhazes, Rumi and Tabari have not only safeguarded the treasure troves of knowledge at their era, but that they each have immensely contributed toward its expansion during the one thousand years of European dark ages. One can, therefore, speculate as to the main ulterior motives behind the [selective] omission of such contributions in the modern periodicals as they do not for the most part appear in the World History textbooks in the West.
    Paradoxically, such collective reform in the region has been deeply rooted in the Shiite sect of Islam albeit Iran not only since its inception in the 7th century, but particularly during the past two hundred years. The principle of shiism is anchored on justified deviation from the source, re-interpretation and adoption of decree developments in time and place. This contrasts to Sunnism that literally means traditionalism-that is to ensure every aspect of life at a juncture is consistent with how the Prophet Mohammad and his apostles lived over 1400 years ago. This is particularly self evident in the Vahabi/Salafi Sunni practice of the Saudis.
    It is understandable to note that Ramadan has primarily built his argument revolving around his own visa denial to teach in the U.S. It must, however, be emphasized that according to the U.S. Census and independent analyses, there are currently up to ten million American Moslems in the U.S. Who mostly trace their origins to the countries in the misnomer region, the Middle East, or more appropriately referred to as South or Southwest Asia and North Africa. Their personal and professional aspirations have measurably been undermined or impeded at best, especially since September 11 and the subsequent of hastily enacted Patriot Act. Ironically, many have lived in the U.S. For decades they have not been able to visit their native countries for fear of persecutions, imprisonment and even death. After bearing enormous financial burdens, their close family members instead, have not been granted tourist visas to visit them in their U.S. homes, again, no reasons given, whatsoever, as the State Department Visa Counselors are deemed above the law. The notion of an American citizen deprived of family visitation, as ludicrous as it seems, could only bring the painful memories of a not so distant past of the fascist or communist systems.
    One can hardly identify a college, a university or a high-tech enterprise where the eminent presence of such patriotic Americans can not be recognized. And yet, they are very rarely represented in federal or state governments, or in the upper echelons of the academic leadership for that matter. This is due in part to their own low self-esteem and inhibitive psyche as adversely impacted by the constant barrage of media bashing and brandishing Moslems and in essence perpetrating xenophobia against “them vs. us,” thereby leading to self-restraints. It also has to do with an implied sense of discouragement by the respective government agencies and the executive management not to expect someone from such otherwise invaluable, law abiding and immensely contributing populations to apply for leadership positions. For instance, despite the manifestly qualified and technical competency of an applicant, under the current federal government guidelines, especially since post September 11 and the enactment of the Patriot Act, even if one dares to apply for such leadership or management positions in the academe and government, it is almost impossible-no reasons given whatsoever-for an American of Middle Eastern heritage with an “exotic” name to acquire security clearance, a pre-requisite necessary for taking on senior executive directorship in federal agencies under the pretext of national security. In other words, one is deemed guilty by association, perceived religion and national heritage, and there is no avenue to know the basis for denial in order to disprove such allegations (alleged violation of due process). Again, despite a considerable number of university professors of Middle-Eastern heritage, their equitable representations in the mid- to upper academic university leadership is rather sporadic at best. In rare circumstances, if one dares to express his professional opinion on a sensitive subject, tenure, academic freedom and thus sustenance of such American is jeopardized into oblivion.
    These Moslems are not, therefore, fully accepted as equals by their adopted lands in the West albeit in the U.S., nor are they fully received by their motherlands as the by and large repressive governments there consider them as having sold “cheaply” and betrayed their people. Consequently, to a mainstream American, a Sikh is mistaken for a clerical Moslem and harassed or discriminated, or a man by his exotic name is taken for a woman and vice versa, a Persian is mistaken for an Arab, or any name “kh”, “gh” “zh” sounding like a derivation of “Mohammad” is immediately deemed as a threat, or many non-Moslem American from that region (agnostic, Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Zoroastrian) are treated as ‘threatening’ Moslems…..
    Notwithstanding the many gravely mis-guided domestic and international policies by the current administration and as implemented by the zealot bureaucrats in the government, that take the law into their own hands and interpret it far beyond its maximum intent, the Moslem Americans in particular could play a pivotal role to help regain our moral authority, admirations and respect that we once exercised globally. As stated by the author, the Europeans and Americans of Middle Eastern and Moslem heritage clearly understand the Western and Eastern cultures and in fact revere selectively the many noble aspects of such both in their own daily lives. Accordingly, given the opportunity they serve with honor as the stewards of reconciliations for a better World for ALL in which the American principles of freedom and justice, equality and equity, and security and prosperity should apply to humanity as a whole. When fully empowered with no fear of persecutions and retributions for things they not only have had nothing to do with, but that in most cases they renounce, they could bring the world the much needed sanity, harmony and tranquility.
    And finally, it is incumbent upon the learned and professional societies like AAUP, AAAS and teacher unions, government agencies such as the Justice Department Office of Civil Rights, the NGOs like ACLU, and the media like the Chronicle of Higher Education to thoroughly investigate the plights of Americans Citizens of Middle Eastern heritage and to devise substantive prescriptions of ensuring that their civil, constitutional, legal, natural and universal rights-to realize their personal American dreams and professional aspirations-are duly realized.
    By Professor Pirouz Azadi

  6. Fariborz Behzadi

    Well done Helena Cobban. It is a shame how some people advocate war and distruction so easily, it might look like a game of Age of Empires for Louis-René Beres, but the reality is that another war in that region will lead in another Iraq disater.
    I believe the best way to resolve the nuclear concern that some might have with Iran’s rightful pursue of Nuclear enegry is to keep an open mind and open dialog with Iranian governmnet.
    Imposing a war on Iran catapults the country back 100 years, in terms of pursuing democracy, and causes thousands of innocent civilain lives. Shame on you Louis-René Beres.

  7. Parthian

    Shame on the institutions that have provided this mad man with his so called qualifications.
    There is a Persian saying: “It is much easier to become a Professor or Doctor than to become a true Human Being”.
    Judging your words; advocating war and destruction, you sir, HAVE NEITHER.

  8. doris

    Hey Pirouz,
    Guilty by association has an empirical basis. I was in the UK a few weeks back when an official report came out indiacting that of all the anti-terrorist work and leads in England, none was based on help from the UK moslems. Get it? None, nada, zippo.
    Want to be perceived differently? Change your behavior. The picture is clear. Islam ain’t a religion, it is a political movement, and one largely aimed against us.

  9. Siavosh R

    Hey doris,
    you don’t get it. we do not talk about Islam, we are talking about a moron with degree and an idea of genocide against Iranian people!
    It seems that Fox,CNN and BBC are doing a great job by Brain washing people like you.
    good luck Lady

  10. David

    Thanks for the post. I beg to differ with your “fear” tangent though. I don’t believe that the mad “professor” or any of his masters in the US (read AIPAC) or “back home” (like Bibi who always trembles when he talks) actually believe the fear that they try to inject into the public discourse. Fear and religion are the two best tools you can use to make people embrace war, and they are using both. I think you are being naive here; Dick or Condi were never really concerned that Saddam will raise mushroom clouds over US cities when they were spewing out that drivel. They say it ’cause they knew it would work.
    Bevin, thank you for your good comments, as usual.
    Doris, another thing that has empirical basis, is having prior knowledge about something before commenting on it. Since you have wowed us all with your incisive “The picture is clear. Islam ain’t a religion, it is a political movement …” I would suggest a simple exercise. Try listing all you know about Islam on a piece of paper, and see if it goes over 4 average paragraphs. I said ‘know’, and that does not include opinions, pro or con. Things like : Jesus was born in Nazareth; his father was …. ; he lived in …. ; 10 of his most quoted lines are …. ; his closest disciples and followers were …. Drop a line later to tell us how it went. Have fun!

  11. Day2

    Ah, it’s Doris again, the clearance sale Joan Peters of our benighted times.
    “Does ‘benighted’ mean what I think it means?”
    Hey kid, you got it in one: we live in fallen times.

  12. Doris

    Hey Siavosh et al, the professor talks about preemptive attack not genocide. You are letting your imagination run based on your own biases. He didn’t say nuclear attack. Was the Osirak attack genocide? Please!
    Hey David, how about addressing the premise instead of questioning credentials. Islam ain’t about just the beliefs and behavior of individuals and families. Are you locked in a basement with no windows? Show me another religion where the spiritual leaders have militias at their command!
    Are the suicide bombers motivated by greed? Have
    you heard the word jihadi? As we speak the 6 muslim mofos in New Jersey went to court. The first religion/culture to come to the melting pot of the US to turn it into a blowing pot. Moslems blowing up in sympathy the world over, Bali, Marocco, Madrid, USA, London. I understand from Helena cause she married an Arab and had progeny with him before her divorce, but what about you, are you blind or also have family ties?

  13. Jonathan Edelstein

    You know, Doris, I don’t always agree with Helena on Middle East matters – all right, make that “I usually disagree” – but that last comment of yours was far beyond offensive. “Had progeny?” For heaven’s sake, you’re talking about two human beings, one of whom I’ve met personally and neither of whom deserves to be talked about like an animal.
    As for spiritual leaders with militias, you might want to look up “Shiv Sena” or “Lord’s Resistance Army.” You may also want to look into who’s running the hate-radio stations in Cote d’Ivoire. Militant religion isn’t a Muslim-only trait by any means.

  14. Tony

    It sounds very likely that Doris and the Mad Professor might be related.
    Don’t mean to be rude but Doris you sound more disturbed than your relative; The Mad Professor.

  15. Nola G

    Don’t be so hard on poor Doris, she obviously needs help. I think the solution is to refer The Mad Professor and Doris to an experienced Psychiatric Doctor.

  16. Bijan

    You are extremly ill informed, sick and hatefull in your comments.
    I strongly suggest that you take up the offer from Nola and see a Psychiatric Doctor.
    I know a few good ones in Iran!!?? Should I make a referal for you and the Professor?

  17. Aryana

    This is comment is for Doris!
    I do not advocate of any faith or religion, but if you are branding only one, and give the impression that others are good or better, this is not fair.
    Think about ultra Judaism, or the right evangelists. Do you really think they are better than other religious?
    If you have any doubt, check, for instance, these links and let us know if Christianity is a religion or not:
    The Middle East in Bible Prophecy
    The Middle East in Bible Prophecy !!!

  18. Professor

    Hi everyone,
    My name is Professor Joon.
    I am here to let you know that Doris and the Mad Professor are currently in my care at the advanced Psychiatric Hospital in Tehran, Iran.
    I will do my best to make them normal again, however it is begining to look like a daunting task.
    I may need to keep them here for a long time – for their own good offcourse!
    Professor Joon.

  19. Helena

    It seems like you haven’t recently read the guidelines for commenters here, which lay out very strongly that this site is not to be used for hate speech and that commenters should strive in all other ways to be courteous, constructive and friendly. When you write things like Islam ain’t a religion, it is a political movement, and one largely aimed against us. or refer to “Muslim mofos”, that is hate speech of a very inflammatory kind.
    I’m leaving that– and other various hate-inciting pieces of writing that you’ve contributed so far– here on the blog mainly as an example of the (not well-informed) kind of hate-incitement that some people bring to this topic.
    Also, I’m kind of intrigued by your reference to the “us” against whom you allege that “Islam” is aimed? Also, your contention that Muslim immigrants to the US were the first who sought to blow up the existing order here. I can tell you many of my native-American friends have a very different take on that! (Motto: “Defending homeland security since 1492.”) Also it is just plain not true about Muslims who are US citizens– I have many, many friends and neighbors here who are model citizens.
    Indeed, the evidentiary basis for your other contentions and innuendos is similarly flawed or absent.
    Propagators of hate-incitement of the kind that you have contributed here may sincerely believe in the truth of what they’re saying– and I’m inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt on that– or they may just be retailing the hate-speech for manipulative political ends. But whichever of those is the case, such hate-incitement is nearly always also intended to stifle or crowd out rational discussion of the issue at hand.
    I therefore think it’s best if we return to a discussion of the topic of the main post rather than of “Doris” as such, though we can perhaps note in passing that this person’s contributions might be seen as providing a vivid example of my observation there that excessive fearfulness can frequently itself addle rationality.

  20. Maryam

    Regardless of the rhetoric used by people such as Louis-René Beres, the reality is that the best way to resolve the disputes between Iran and the United States is through negotiations.
    Given the central role of the U.S. in Iran’s nuclear issue, it seems that the only way to resolve it, is to hold talks between Tehran and Washington without intermediary; other efforts are secondary routes.
    Iran should reach a fundamental conclusion on its relations with the U.S., and engage in negotiations without intermediary for resolving all issues, including the nuclear one.
    Eventhough there are certain camps on both sides that would like to see a confrontation, however, it appears that logic has prevailed to some degree and in the current situation it seems that Tehran and Washington have reached the conclusion that they should resolve their disputes at the negotiation table and not in battle field.
    The starting point is the situation in Iraq which the date of the meeting will be announced this week or sometime soon.
    In nuclear disputes, Iran’s opposing party is the U.S., and not European countries, China or Russia.
    Europeans have not fulfilled their obligations or promises to Iran and they basically don’t reflect the messages of each side exactly to the other, it would be better for Iran and the U.S. to enter direct talks. No middle man needed by either Iran or the US.
    Today, it is ironic that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America mutually need each other. It is hard to believe that both sides have the same interests in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the war against global terrorism. The US may control the sky in Iraq or Afghanistan but Iran controls the ground.
    The U.S. knows well that sanctions against Iran are inefficient and completely unproductive, however, it tries to use internationally legitimate tools to prepare the ground for imposing international sanctions on Iran. In addition, harsh rhetoric against Iran by U.S. official and articles by such people as Louis Rene Beres are a mere psychological warfare campaign against Tehran that may provide some assistance to the position of the US in its negotiations with Iran.
    So far almost all the pressure on Iran have come from the U.S. and it will surely welcome the next UN Security Council resolution against Iran in order to push ahead with its plans against Iran.
    In negotiations one may have to give a concession to the other side in order to win some concessions; it means that in certain situations you should take a step back, but make up for it with two steps forward.
    I only hope that people who advocate war on both side could be moved a side and eventually fade away and for logical and progressive politicians to continue to prevail so that through negotiation all issues separating the two sides could be resolved.
    It may sound a bit naive!! As I have not taken into consideration factors such as; world domination, energy resources, oil companies and their interests in the middle east, etc.
    It is not as simple as it may appear, but make no mistake, war with Iran will only complicate the situation even more to the point that even people like Louis Rene Beres would perhaps say; only if we had tried a bit harder.
    Lets try for peace and give it a chance.
    Iranian from Iran.

  21. Scott

    Amen (so be it) on all counts Maryam…. FYI, you may be seeing similar sentiments from former President Khatami, commenting from Norway today:;_ylt=AhyMTxuqoGr4Wbt1UWSAY8xSw60A
    I’m hoping to find Khatami’s formal remarks….
    I share too your recognition that many will brand what you suggest as “naive” — but perhaps others will recognize it as “realistic.” (as per Jim Lobe’s report from yesterday)
    Scott (Charlottesville amrika’i )

  22. Scott

    I’ve refrained from turning this into a comment on the Monitor’s oped page…. save simply to post a link to the Monitor’s own link about the “Monitor difference:”
    “Its founder, Mary Baker Eddy, explained the object of the paper this way: “To injure no man, but to bless all mankind….”
    We’re also free to be an independent voice, devoid of the corporate allegiances and pressures that critics say too often skew today’s media.”
    One wonders lately….

  23. John K. Cooley

    Bravo, Helena. I’ve avoided blog territory up to now, but have just discovered yours on the Monde Dip website. My special greetings to you and Bill. If you wish, you could post following from me:
    “Drawing on my own 45 years of covering the Mideast and North Africa for the CS Monitor and others, I have to heartily endorse my former colleague Helena Cobban’s views on Israel and the Palestinians, and on the clear and urgent dangers in current Israeli (and uninformed AMerican) lobbying for an attack on Iran (as there was for the 2003 assault on Iraq)…As I’ve argued over the years, Israeli can only live up to the more idealistic principles of its founders if it converts the intolerable military occupation to co-existence with a viable (geographically, economically and politically) Palestinian state, living in peace beside it.
    “When the late General Yehosafat Harkaby, former chief of Israeli military intelligence during the 1967 war (and earlier the author of drastic Israeli counter-terrorist measures against Palestinian guerillas and terorists),in 1969 voiced the view to me in a record Monitor interview in which he called ‘coexistence with our Palesinian neighbors the fundamental, ‘existential’issue in Israel’s future, scores of abusive comments from lobby organziations in the US, cancellations of ads and subscriptiosn followed, although the Monitor and myself stuck by the accuracy of his quotes and the autheticity of the interview,both of which which many of the commentators had questioned.
    “Of course, we’ve come a long way since then: our mainstream media publish many thoughtful commentaries with the same message adn are not abused (except verbally by some) as a consequence.
    “There’s still such a long road to travel before peace in the region and understanding in the US can be reached, that it’s often discouraging. That’s no reason for any of us, espcially the Helena Cobbans of this world, to let up on any of our efforts for even a minute.”
    -John K. Cooley

  24. John R

    It was a pleasant surprise to see a new post by another real expert here! Looking forward to seeing many more knowledgeable comments.

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