I would like to ask Michael what happened with Israel’s weapons industry. I seem to recall that Israel had a large industry in exporting weapons, they used to build them and were noted for this. How then did Israel allow itself to be dependent upon other countries for weapons? I am really puzzled by this.

Expand full comment

Watching US Foreign Policy unfold since Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran in 1979 has been arduous. The Iranian drive toward tactical nuclear weapons places an expiry date on all Israeli cities and Sunni Arab cities with economic or defense value. Those of us outside the inner sanctum of US Dept of Defense, US State Dept, and US Central Intelligence could be left to conclude that Israel and Sunni States are expendable pieces on the chessboard. The evolution of US-NATO/Russian-Chinese tactical nuclear weapon use seems to have rendered historical family roots (be they in Ukraine, the Middle East) obsolete. Apologies if this seems overly pessimistic, but nuclear strategy/policy is driven by major nuclear powers' survival goals.

Expand full comment

With regard to President Biden trying to re-instate the JCPOA, don’t forget this. The Biden Admin was negotiating with Iran via a mediator. And that mediator was: Russia.

Expand full comment

I would quibble with the statement that the Bush administration did not act against Iran as the Stuxnet worm is believed to have been the product of a collaboration between the US and Israel that originated in 2005.

Expand full comment

It's puzzling that the author advocates for a direct war between the US and Iran. Certainly most Americans have no interest in such a turn of events.

Expand full comment

I'm responding to M. Oren's podcast interview (perhaps there is a better blog?) where he comments on the numbers of reported Palestinian deaths since October 2023. As a school teacher I would love to be able to provide my students weblinks and data points that come from trusted, even neutral sources that can help demystify and possibly discredit mainstream media's insistence on the validity of their figures.

Can you provide the backup to your data points so we can better disseminate this information?

In particular, it would be helpful to start with the source itself: the number 32,000 dead is reported by the Palestinian Health Authority, I believe, which is clearly a branch for the Hamas government (which I have never seen reported so). What justification is being provided by the UN and other authorities for their parroting these figures, given the data's origin?

Next, the 14,000 dead Hamas militants you mentioned are mixed in this number; can you verify these numbers?

Next, 78% of the dead are women and children; can you explain, link to data, that shows this is "statistically impossible" as you say? Or is that simply the math of 18,000/32,000; but could the 78% refer solely to the percentage dead of the 18,000? Can we shed more light on this percentage?

Then, the 32,000 dead includes deaths from natural causes; what kinds of statistical data support this notion and how can they be cleanly sourced? (I sounds logical but I'm looking for some statistical assurance.) What percentage of the known casualties would have died of natural or at least non-war-time causes? Do we even have data other than PHA data to rely on?

And the important mention of the many -- 1/3 perhaps -- missiles launched unsuccessfully by Hamas, which ended up killing Palestinians: can we know more precisely these data, where they were launched from and where they actually landed, and resulting in how many -- actual or otherwise knowable -- Palestinian deaths? Are there sources that tracked these wayward missiles and can confirm their providence?

Again, all of these data provided in O.W.'s interview seem reasonable in such a conflict, and in a 'fog of war' some things must ultimately be unknowable. But can we know better your sources?

Finally I have another question I was hoping M.O. would help to contextualise a bit, which is: Why -- how is it possible -- that 18,000 civilians remained in harm's way when prior to Israel's retaliatory military bombing in October, they were warned to leave Gaza City? To my mind, it doesn't seem likely that so many people would have stayed behind after being warned to leave to avoid an imminent strike against the military infrastructures believed -- now known -- to exist under civilian neighbourhoods, in particular within the triangular areas beneath mosques, hospitals and schools, which I had read some weeks back. The size of the infrastructure (tunnels) was reported to be in some large proportion equivalent to the London underground: locals must have been aware of where they were, I imagine. If it is true civilians had actually remained there, why did they? What intelligence is known to shed light on why so many (32,000-14,000= 18,000 civilians) actually remained within the range of Hamas and Israeli military operations? Or were they struck miles away by wayward missiles?

Thank you.

Expand full comment

Mr. Oren makes the point crystal clear! Obama, like his wife, and mentor Jeremiah Wright, was / is anti America. Now Biden, his puppet, is carrying on as Obama intended.

Remember, it took Obama 2 or 3 days, after October 7th, to make a brief statement condemning the Hamas attack. Ultimately, he followed up with his true feelings, by blaming EVERYONE, saying, “We ALL have blood on our hands”

I suppose Obama thinks HE is insulated & isolated from the “Death to America” Iranian battlecries!

Expand full comment

“They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.” Absolutely true. I appreciate everything in this report and it shines a light on why I will vote for Trump over Biden. I cannot stand the persona of the Orange man, but his policies made America stronger. I was infuriated when Biden began dismantling all the good Trump had done. It is still infuriating and although Iran reflects a huge portion of my discontent, the border crisis and the shut down of the Alaskan pipeline are two other concerns. Right now, for me, Israel remains center stage. That’s one of the reasons I turn to The Free Press over and over for honest and thorough reporting on the issues Israel continues to face and the pitiful American official response. I do not believe any entity will succeed in destroying Israel or ridding the world of Jews. However, I do believe America is in peril of losing its soul over the issue. I find this appalling on so many levels! Yes indeed, the problems began to escalate with President Obama. Those of us who lived through the hostage crisis of the Carter Administration followed by landmark international successes of the Reagan Administration were appalled by Obama. No one seemed to care. And now look where we (and Israel) are. It is a disgrace.

Expand full comment

Nothing to add here. Michael is right. We have no choice. There are NO political solutions that will bring it all at piece. Absolutely NONE.

They came to kill.. And Middle East has always been that way - they do not celebrate weak, they eliminate them. Only demonstration of higher power will stop it- we either demonstrate it or succumb to their power.

Words of reason are useless here.

Expand full comment

Know the players

Anthony Blinken and Robert Malley went to high school together. Class of '80 at the elite École Jeannine Manuel in Paris. Small class. Do you think they knew each other?

Blinken. Our current secretary of state, and JCPOA proponent and former Obama asst-sec-state and security advisor.

Malley. JCPOA lead negotiator(!). Son of anti-colonialist activists. Caught sharing classified documents and currently suspended.

Why are two high school buddies who were not raised in the US running the Iranian show for Obama and Biden?



Expand full comment

Launch already... and arrange for Sleepy Joe to have an "accident".

Expand full comment

The JCPOA was when I left the Democrat party. I could not believe grown adults could be so stupid and naive.

Expand full comment

For most of the time since 2009 I thought Obama and the people around him were simply naive and incompetent in their conduct of foreign policy, and blind to the essential evil and ruthlessness of the Iranian mullahs. Joe Biden has always been incompetent, and is surrounded by those same people as Obama. But their recent actions suggest that the truth is far worse, far more dangerous. Whoever is actually in charge, Obama, Rice, Jarratt, Blinken, Soros, is actively aiding Iran's campaign to destroy Israel, exterminate the Jews, and undermine America. Simple incompetence can't explain this level of destructive and malign behavior.

Expand full comment

Regarding voting for Biden in November---DON'T

Expand full comment
Apr 15·edited Apr 15

I don't feel this is an accurate depiction as far as JCPOA goes whatsoever. JCPOA wasn't some neutered progressive partisan policy, unless you're John Bolton, but it was basically the only means of getting any accurate intelligence and influence whatsoever in Iran. And for better or worse, beyond actual war, there weren't really any other options that presented a better solution to Iran and their uranium enrichment program (stuxnet???).

But this is a situation of everyone making bad decisions, Trump withdrawing from JCPOA actually gave Iran a lot of clout because they at least seemingly adhered to the regulations which fed into this progressive victim ideology, and Biden's administration which has all but completely abandoned Israel was basically the accelerant for Iran to test the waters on how much to Western countries actually have Israel's back, which unfortunately in this administration seems to be very little. The concerted effort in the recent defense of Israel makes me at least question some of the actual vs. public policy to appease the Israel hating progressives, but we'll see, I was not thrilled to see the immediate US response as basically, we'll not help you retaliate or respond. So like, we're still pandering to ideologies who think the Iranian government is just benevolent and misunderstood, but off the books, we're going to defend Israel, something like that...

But, JCPOA was a bad solution yet better than nothing unless outright military intervention was in play, and has been made far worse by decisions of every administration since it was passed. I think direct military intervention should be in play at this point, and this is coming from a veteran who in every way despises human coalescence to violence. But what Iran just displayed crossed a line that cannot be ignored and has been demonstrably proven that apathy has consequences.

Expand full comment

Thank you. You cannot cure a rabid dog. You cannot cure the regime in Iran. They have to be treated like rabid dogs, and put down.

Expand full comment