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FOX All-Star Panel Ratchets Up the Rhetoric. Fatalistically Accepts Full-Scale Mideast War

Reported by Marie Therese - September 19, 2007 -

Yesterday (9-18-07) during Special Report, the All-Star Panel - Charles Krauthammer, Mara Laisson and Mort Kondracke - raised FOX views anxiety level quite a bit. Using gossamer suppositions with no corroboration - not even the ubiquitous "anonymous sources" - they engaged in frightening speculation about the future actions of "tiny" Israel against it's Islamic neighbors. On September 5th Israeli planes attacked targets in Syria, possibly using unauthorized information leaked by rogue elements within Turkey's intelligence community (Source: . In late August Juan Cole's blog Informed Comment reported that Vice-President Cheney's office authorized the post-Labor roll out of a campaign aimed at creating support for an attack on Iran. As this blog has documented, FOX News has dutifully participated in Cheney's insane scheme. With video.

On August 29th NYU professor and Afghanistan expert Barnett Rubin wrote:

They ... have "instructions" (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don't think they'll ever get majority support for this--they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is "plenty.

At that time Rubin was merely speculating based on a trusted source and wrote his post with many qualifiers.

However, it would seem that his source was 100% right.

The ever-increasing drumbeat for war with Iran has been unrelenting since the day after Labor Day - eerily reminiscent of the post-Labor Day 2002 campaign to manipulate Americans into a war against Saddam's Iraq.

In the video below the All-Star Panel, in essence, argues that Israel has carte blanche to drop bombs - nuclear or otherwise - on Syria or Iran.

They also interpret the "silence" of their trusted sources on the topic of Israel's as yet un-admitted Syrian air strike as an indication that the strike must have been made to take out nuclear weapons delivered to Syria by North Korea, disguised as "cement." (Aside: Naturally, no one jumped in to say that there is an equally valid argument to be made that the silence indicates that Israel acted precipitously when it bombed Syria and is embarrassed to have been caught.)

Prior to the panel discussion, in a departure from its usual format, FOX News aired a brief report by Mike Tobin about the alleged North Korea-Syria nexus. Tobin reported that Israel and Syria, who have not fired shots at each other since 1973, are in a tense stand-off over the Golan Heights (source of 15% of Israel's water supply and one of the disputed territories it acquired through war).

Tobin reported: "One side made that move and changed the dynamic. Reports say that 13 days ago Israeli fighter planes destroyed a nuclear facility or equipment in Syria supplied by North Korea, the bombs aimed by commandos inserted on the ground." Tobin went on to say the "Israel won't confirm the reports." An Israeli analyst claimed that Ehud Barack, Prime Minister of Israel and the new Israeli Defense Minister, might have been trying to flex their macho muscles by making a "statement" to show the Israeli people - who were shocked and frightened by the robust and successful resistance mounted by Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War - that Israel can still strike at Muslim neighbors with impunity.

During the Special Report segemnt, Mort Kondracke seemed surprised that Syria reacted so mildly to the attack. (Newsflash, Mort! Maybe Syria doesn't want to go to war and won't let itself be bullied into fighting one!)

Kondracke went on to say that "supposedly the North Koreans and [the U.S.] have just made a deal where they're gonna shut down their nuclear facilities and behave themselves and we're gonna give them fuel aid and money as well. Now, if they start taking their nuclear technology and selling it to enemies of our friends or our enemies, that deal is off and is gonna be off, so this has got implications all over the world."

Brit Hume noted that although the United States is not threatened by such possible, alleged,supposed, hypothetical, unsubstantiated attacks, "tiny little Israel" would be.

Krauthammer then noted how "easy it would be to utterly destroy and wipe out Israel in a genocidal attach. "A few bombs and Israel is gone," he said, before launching into the latest GOP taling point, i.e. that President Ahmadinejad of Iran is such a madman that it would be impossible to negotiate with him.

In an interesting side note, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Israel and will be attending a U.S.-led conference on the Middle East shortly.


In my opinion, the real issue with Iran is the "Pipeline for Peace" that that country is currently building in partnership with Pakistan (which has also been "demonized" in the news) and India. In my post of September 14th, I outlined my belief that there are significant reasons why Iran would want to use nuclear energy for domestic needs. In one stroke Iran could guarantee its energy independence, free up huge natural gas reserves for sale on the open markets, increase its national wealth and weaken the ability of the U. S. to influence Iran's future through sanctions.

I believe that the whole "nuclear" story is a cover for a plan to commit an indefensible and illegal act, i.e. bomb the natural gas pipeline that Iran has begun constructing. Of course, the destruction of the pipeline will be called an "unfortunate accident." Additionally, there is the issue of who owns the water, which is a far more important commodity in the Middle East than either oil or natural gas.

The bottom line is that the Bush-Cheney machine is trying to justify another war.