Well, that sucks…

Hubby just lost his job. If anyone out there knows of anyone that needs a great C, C++ programmer, email me at terresa AT noisyroom.net. He is the best at what he does and he programs in other languages as well – specializes in databases.

If you feel so inclined, feel free to donate a little to keep us alive until he can find something. You can donate here… And it would mean the world to us right now. We can’t stay afloat long without him finding a job. Sign of the times.

Off to try and cheer hubby up. Tomorrow he looks for work. 🙂


DSA Marxists Take Over the Occupy Movement: Plan “Spring Offensive,” With Widespread Occupations of State Capitols, Schools and Workplaces

By: Trevor Loudon
New Zeal

The US’ largest Marxist organization Democratic Socialists of America is moving to infiltrate and direct the Occupy Wall Street Movement into a more organized and socialist focused protest movement.  DSA is working hard to sustain ‘Occupy’ over the winter in readiness for a major “spring offensive” largely directed at Republican controlled state capitols as they struggle to address massive budget problems.

DSA, Occupy Wall Street, Day One

Joseph Schwartz

Writing in the latest issue of Democratic Left, DSA leader and Temple University political science professor Joseph Schwartz, explicitly calls for DSA to connect “Occupy” more to the mainstream left in order to use their combined muscle against responsible state governments come spring.

The Occupy movement forced the media talking heads to take a break from their obsessive concern with a recession-induced budget deficit to acknowledge the devastating social effects of 30 years of rampant  growth in inequality…

But will this shift in political focus continue? Only if DSA activists and other progressives help Occupy sustain itself over the winter. Come late winter and early spring, the fight over proposed state and local budgets will reinvigorate the disastrous elite narrative that we must “cut” our way out of the recession.

As brute state force, combined with harshwinter weather, forces Occupy out of its public encampments, the move inside may give it time for self reflection and to plan a spring offensive. ..

In the coming months, Occupy will have a unique opportunity to link up with community groups and state and local employees fighting another vicious round of budget cuts.

Occupy has implicitly advanced another big demand: that the economy serve human needs rather than human beings serving the needs of economic elites.  As federal, state, and local budgetary policies reflect the contours of power in society, if Occupy this spring joins the fight for humane state, local, and federal tax, spending, and investment policies, it will be challenging the distribution of power in our society…

This spring Occupy should move to the front lawns and rotundas of state capitol buildings to demand a change in state budget policies – and to demand federal government aid to states and localities.

“Occupy” has been a huge focus of DSA activity in recent months, a commitment that shows no sign of waning.

At DSA’s November 2011 biennial conference in Washington DC, delegates passed a resolution confirming their commitment to the OWS movement, while “suggesting in the spirit of solidarity,” a slate of “political demands” for the anarchic movement – all conveniently in line with current DSA policy.

The first offered direction on how DSA should support the Occupy Wall Street movement. Delegates approved continuing to embrace the movement, as DSA members have done without hesitation nationwide, while suggesting in the spirit of solidarity a series of political demands that could give the movement a coherent political orientation.

These included a public jobs program; bank nationalization; Medicare for all; the forgiveness of student debt; an end to foreclosures; substantial investment in clean energy; a progressive income and corporate tax structure; a tax on all speculative financial transactions; and the immediate enactment of worker-friendly labor law reform legislation.

Joslyn Williams

Metropolitan D.C. Central Labor Council President and longtime DSA member  Joslyn Williams, told the assembled comrades that “the principles of Occupy America are the principles this organization espouses… America is just now catching up to the Democratic Socialists of America.”

Maria Svart

Writing in the latest issue of Democratic Left, new D.S.A. national director Maria Svart re-affirmed her organization’s commitment to the “Occupy” movement.

Winter has set in. Police have dismantled the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York and raided encampments around the country…

DSA and our allies need to hunker down for the winter and plan for the long haul. Now is the time to organize! Occupy must sustain its amazing energy, perhaps in a different form, and build toward a spring offensive that will take the fight straight to the 1%.

DSA will do its part by engaging in a number of activities in the coming months. Locals around the country will fight state and local budget cuts supported by Republicans and far too many Democrats.I call on every DSAer to take responsibility for recruiting at least one new member, and to participate in whatever Occupy actions might be happening in your community this winter (if there isn’t one, organize it!).

Chris Maisano

DSA understand that social movements do not grow in a linear fashion. OWS leader and DSA “economic crisis group” member Chris Maisano quotes socialist icon Frances Fox Piven in the latest Democratic Left:

It’s also true that when I say I think we may be on the cusp, at the beginning of a another period of social protest and [Occupy Wall Street] is the sign, I don’t think that social protest works as a little explosion and gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. It doesn’t happen that way. It’s much more interrupted, dispersed, there are periods of discouragement – 1959-1960 the civil rights movement people thought it was over, after 1962 in Albany, Georgia – this movement is going to be like that too.”

Maisano then goes on to propose the “next phase of the struggle“:

As mayors and police forces move in an apparently coordinated fashion against Occupy encampments in cities around the country, we would do well to keep Piven’s sage advice in the back of our minds. It would be easy to interpret the wave of evictions as a defeat, as cause for depression, demoralization, and demobilization. But such a pessimistic assessment couldn’t be more misguided.

The Zuccotti Park encampment in lower Manhattan and its offshoots around the country were enormously successful. They served their purpose, and it’s time to move on to the next phase of the struggle. In a certain sense eviction from the park may be a good thing, particularly if it forces the movement to continue and expand its community outreach efforts; take up specific demands and deepen its involvement in local struggles (particularly around foreclosures/evictions); and establish new occupations in institutional settings like college campuses or – dare we hope? – workplaces…

While the 1% and its political allies may take heart in the wave of evictions, the genie is out of the bottle and it won’t be jammed back in. The processes that began in and around the encampments will not come to a halt, especially when we consider the fact that most of the important organizing is now done by working groups operating primarily outside those specific physical spaces.

If unions and community groups continue to offer activists spaces and staging areas to use over the winter, then we will almost certainly see a resurgence of the movement in the spring, when states and cities around the country will propose another round of massive cuts to education, health care, and other critical public services that will put masses of people into motion. The occupation and defense of public spaces will be complemented by the occupation and defense of public services – schools, libraries, firehouses, community centers – a turn which could have the added benefit of broadening the social composition of the movement and giving it deeper roots in local communities.

Maisano goes on to invoke the name of Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, as he reveals that “Occupy” is destined to become a much broader social movement – one that may be around for decades and one that most certainly has socialist revolution as its goal.

Occupy” does not signify a specific encampment or even a specific tactic to be used in the course of mass struggle. Here, we should take inspiration and guidance from the writings of Rosa Luxemburg, who analyzed the nature of popular movements in The Mass Strike, her classic (and highly relevant) essay on the lessons of the first Russian revolution of 1905.

It is absurd to think of the mass strike as one act, one isolated action,” she writes. “The mass strike is rather the indication, the rallying idea, of a whole period of the class struggle lasting for years, perhaps for decades.”

Change the phrase “mass strike” to “occupation,” and it becomes difficult to determine whether these words were written in 1906 or 2011. The interlocking political, economic, and social dynamics that summoned the occupations into existence and fuel the movement’s grievances will not, and cannot, be solved within the parameters of the present state of affairs.

The cause of the 99% is the rallying point for a generation, a movement worthy of our commitment, our struggle, and even our joy.

Our problems aren’t going away any time soon. Neither are we.

The mass protests of the 1930s and 1960s did not rise and fall in a year. They were grown, sustained and nurtured over several years by the communist and socialist’s movements of the day. They were directed at achieving certain social reforms and were relentlessly expanded by a core of committed Marxist cadre, until the bulk of their demands were met.

OWS will follow the same pattern. This is just the beginning. The big difference is that today’s activists will not be satisfied with liberal social reform. These people believe they can achieve full blown socialist revolution – the end of capitalism is within their grasp. Unless they are treated as the serious national security threat that they are, they will have a very good chance of achieving their goal.


New York Times Promotes Freedom for Terrorist

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Sara Bennett, an attorney for convicted communist terrorist Judith Clark, is optimistic that her client will benefit from a New York Times Magazine article advocating her release from prison. “Did I think they did a good job for my client? Yes I do,” she said in a telephone interview. She said she is hoping for a meeting with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to ask for clemency for Clark.

A member of the Weather Underground and its May 19 Communist Organization spin-off, Clark was involved in a terrorist assault that left Nyack, New York Police Sgt. Edward O’Grady, Patrolman Waverly Brown and Brinks guard Peter Paige dead. A website, memorial and scholarship have been created in their honor.

The Times story, “Judith Clark’s Radical Transformation,” was written by Tom Robbins, a former Village Voice writer now at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism who visited Clark in prison and apparently became smitten with her. Clark, he writes, “is a model for what’s possible in prison.”

Attorney Bennett insisted that Clark has shown “genuine remorse,” a theme of the New York Times Magazine story, which also emphasizes her attendance at Jewish services in prison.

Incredibly, the Times story confirms that Clark earned educational degrees in prison, courtesy of “tuition aid” provided by the taxpayers. These degrees are also said to be proof of her turnaround behind bars.

Today, Clark claims to be a “writer and poet” who is “working for personal and social transformation of herself and others.” The Times piece was the cover story in the magazine and showed the convicted killer to be a gray-haired old lady who wants to be free from prison to be with her daughter.

But former FBI informant Larry Grathwohl, who infiltrated the Weather Underground and knew Clark, is among those urging strong opposition to her release.

“Here’s another 60s and 70s terrorist who has found God and has changed her life,” he says sarcastically. “The New York Times article contains very little in the way of repentance and only lightly touches on the families and children of the officers killed that day. Mostly it’s a story about her and the path she chose that resulted in the deaths of two police officers and a Brinks guard.”

The assault, carried out under the name of the Revolutionary Armed Task Force, included members of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) and occurred during a Brinks truck robbery of $1.6 million on October 20, 1981. For her role, Clark was sentenced to three consecutive terms of 25 years to life, totaling 75 years in prison, for three murder convictions. She is currently in state custody at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.

Grathwohl added, “Note that this was a planned action with weapons and details that were meant to net this group of terrorists a million and a half dollars. When caught she chose to play the role of the political captive and the result was a 75 year sentence. Now she and her associates expect that a Master’s degree and poetry are enough to get you out?”

But while it may seem absurd, it has to be remembered President Clinton pardoned two members of the Weather Underground, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans, and another member, Kathy Boudin, was granted parole from New York state prison in 2003.

Evidence of Clark’s ideological change, if any, is lacking in the piece, which wonders, “Why three decades of exemplary behavior behind bars have not earned Judith Clark her freedom.” The fact is that she remains a militant lesbian who had a daughter through a “fellow militant” serving as the “surrogate father,” according to the article. A so-called red diaper baby, Clark’s father, Joe Clark, was a prominent figure in the Communist Party USA. As a child, she lived with her family in the Soviet Union for three years. There is no indication that she has renounced communism.

Homosexuality still seems to be one of the causes for which she has dedicated her life. “Governor Cuomo,” Clark says in her letter for clemency, “I have watched in awe at all that you have accomplished in your first year, from marriage equity to the new and fairer tax code. I’ve witnessed your strength and willingness to do what you believe is right. I turn to you as my only hope for release.” The reference to “marriage equity” is the homosexual marriage bill that Cuomo championed.

The pressure on Cuomo is building. “I’d love to sure get clemency from the governor of the state of New York,” Bennett said. “I’m always hopeful for my clients—that at some point there will be an appropriate review. For somebody like Judith Clark, that’s exactly what clemency is for.”

But Grathwohl counters: “I knew Judith Clark and in my opinion she is just as cold and dedicated to the overthrow of this country as Bernardine Dorhn and Bill Ayers. As Ayers said, his only regret was that they didn’t do more.”

Ayers and Dohrn largely avoided responsibility for their crimes, primarily because the Carter Justice Department indicted FBI officials and charged them with violating the civil rights of terrorists and their associates. President Reagan would later pardon the FBI officials.

Ayers and Dohrn went on to become academic activists and professors. Their association with Barack Obama when he was a community organizer and state senator from Illinois became a controversy when Obama ran for and won the presidency in 2008.

Clark has tried every possible legal maneuver to get out of jail, even having her lawyers file appeals based on inadequate legal representation when she had represented herself. The push for clemency, on the grounds that Clark has somehow changed, appears to be the latest ploy.

The effort includes a website asking people to write a letter urging Governor Cuomo to grant her clemency. Hollywood support comes from Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, and Steve Buscemi, who have performed “dramatic readings” of letters on her behalf.

But Tina Trent, an advocate for crime victims, writes that Clark’s “transformation” is “more of the usual claptrap about radical chic criminals” and that the former terrorist is another example of “talentless scum” who get “fake degrees” in order to facilitate their release from prison.

Trent says the claims of rehabilitation do not square with the evidence on Clark’s own website, where one can find still find appeals on her behalf claiming she is a political prisoner. What’s more, she adds, Clark’s published writings carefully avoid taking personal responsibility for acts of terrorism.

David Horowitz, the former communist turned conservative thinker, writer and activist, argues that if Clark were a “truly remorseful terrorist” she would expose her former comrades “and who their networks are, and what they actually did—not just what they got caught doing.” He adds, “This kind of truth-telling is an authentic form of atonement and would protect others—and particularly young radicals just starting out who may become involved in criminal ventures just as Clark did when she was young and the tragedies she caused were still in front of her.”

But Bennett said it should be sufficient that some people who are aware of her prison life believe she should be released. Bennett said, “Clemency is an executive power and it’s one that any governor has—and the president has as well—and they make the decision based on the person who is standing before them.”

Bennett did not think it would be appropriate for Clark to be forced to tell all that she possibly knows about fugitives from justice, such as Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, a convicted cop-killer who fled to Cuba after escaping from prison with the help of the Weather Underground. She killed a New Jersey State Trooper and the FBI is offering $1 million for information leading to her apprehension.

The New York Times article confirms that “Clark’s radical crew was known for plots like the 1979 prison breakout of Assata Shakur, a Black Liberation Army leader.”

Interestingly, the Times writer confirms that Clark was plotting her own escape from prison, noting that letters from Clark describing the layout and operations of one of the prisons where she was incarcerated had been found in the possession of fugitives.

Clark attorney Bennett is not one of the most prominent left-wing lawyers and, when reached by telephone, said her telephone number was unlisted.

But she has a left-wing background of her own, confirming that she used to work for Liberation News Service (LNS). “It was a news service that started in the 60s and ended in the 80s,” she said. “It was a news service that provided news to independent newspapers and magazines.”

In fact, LNS was “inspired” by the National Liberation Front (NLF) of South Vietnam, according to David Armstrong’s book, A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America. The NLF was established by the government of Hanoi, North Vietnam, to pave the way for the eventual communist conquest of South Vietnam.

Armstrong wrote, “…LNS often romanticized foreign revolutionaries, making them into larger-than-life superheroes with qualities that American radicals hoped they, themselves, would have someday.”

According to the book, The Underground Press in America, LNS had an “alliance” with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the forerunner to the Weather Underground. “In its early days, LNS shared a house with the…Students for a Democratic Society,” confirms the Armstrong book.

A photographer for LNS, David Fenton, is today a high-powered public relations representative for the radical left, including such organizations as the AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org and figures like billionaire George Soros. His photos from “The Eye of the Revolution” were on display and the subject of a discussion at the Steven Kasher gallery in New York in 2008 that featured what The New York Times called “1960s radicals” such as Bernardine Dohrn.

  • Governor Cuomo can be contacted by phone: (518) 474-8390 or mail:
    The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
    Governor of New York State
    NY State Capitol Building
    Albany, NY 12224

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].


Reid Threatens Senate Republicans and Tea Party in ‘Goodwill Message’

By: Jeffrey Klein, Political Buzz Examiner

It shouldn’t strike anyone as unusual that immediately upon Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) returning to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, he rounded up the media, who are at his beck and call, in order to simply record his walking the perimeter of his domain–“barking” like the Obama regime guard dog that he is, and pretty much “treating” each of its’ four corners accordingly…in order to clearly “mark” his territory.

Under the “banner” of ‘rebuilding America by [coming together and] creating jobs, he was preparing everyone for Congress’ return to Washington this week, which included a thinly veiled warning to Republicans to leave Tea Party “extremism” behind and “learn what legislation is all about,” according to a Sunday FOXNews article depiction of the event.

“I would hope that they understand that everything doesn’t have to be a fight. Legislation is an art of working together, building consensus, compromise. And I hope that the Tea Party doesn’t have the influence in this next year that they had in the previous year,” Reid said.

Three times he repeated that Republicans are engaged in “obstructionism on steroids,” and said that for two and a half years President Obama “bent over backwards” reaching out to Republicans–only to find a fist rather than a hand to shake.

“I don’t think … anyone can question or they [should] question our having reached out to Republicans,” Reid said. “We’ve done everything we could to work with them. We’re going to continue to do that. In spite of the obstructionism, we have been able to accomplish a lot of good things in the last Congress.

The mainstream media continued their coverage without interruption, as though it were a family home movie, like “Harry Goes to Washington”–obediently refraining from making a single, substantive challenge to any statement Reid was making,

Obviously the media marching orders were to ‘keep the narrative simple and pure’–so Reid’s statements could be easily and accurately replicated by every media talking head this coming week.

“I think we can build upon that. This Congress isn’t over. All I ask is for the Republicans to understand what legislation is all about.” Reid said since last September Democrats in Congress have forged ahead alone pushing the president’s jobs bill and demanding tax hikes on millionaires.

The president also managed to upstage Republicans at the end of last year by forcing their hand on a two-month payroll tax cut extension–rather than the year-long legislation the House GOP passed.

“I hope that the Republicans will understand, as they learned in the last week in the last year, that they can’t be led over the cliff by this extremism,” he said.

We commend Sen. Reid for Democrats taking ownership of the ‘impossible to functionally implement,’ “two-month” payroll tax extension, destined to become one of the most well-known legislative “farces” of this Congress.

And, to correct Reid’s statement, it was actually not ‘the president’ who “upstaged” House Republicans at the end of the year, but rather a handful of Senate Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

As Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said recently, the House Republicans were neutralized by ‘having the rug pulled out from under them, by their Republican Senate colleagues–who will no doubt be faced with the consequences of their deeds this November.

Then, regarding Obama and Democrats reaching out to Republicans–only to find a ‘fist, instead of a handshake,’ it is clear that there can be no compromise with Liberal fiscal irresponsibility, in the form of their “extremist” obstruction to entitlement reform.

Obama, Reid and the Democrats steadfastly refuse to acknowledge that our own, out-of-control entitlement programs have created unsustainable budget deficits and a national debt that threatens our very existence–just like the fiscal and social calamities caused by failed socialist experiments are crushing the entire European Union.

Just last week, S&P downgraded the debt of nine member-countries, according to Dunstan Prial’s FOXNews article Friday–and we will suffer another downgrade if we do not act decisively.

Now, after just three months since the last $900 billion increase in our own debt ceiling that Sen. Reid is impliedly trumpeting as a Democrat success, Obama is calling for yet another $1.2 Trillion rise, claiming that we are within $100 billion of our borrowing limit.

This, in the shameful shadow of the colossal failure of the Super Committee, and the beginning point of the Democrat’s new ‘class warfare’ reelection gambit.

Here is my challenge to Sen. Reid: if he really wants to demonstrate Congressional courage and cooperation, and thereby truly exemplify “what legislation is all about,” he should retrieve all 30 of the House bills submitted to the Senate last year, specifically designed to ‘rebuild America and create [private sector] jobs immediately–and bring them promptly to the Senate floor for an up or down vote.

In the meanwhile, we obstructionist Tea Partiers will be monitoring the sky for flying farm animals.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Jeffrey Klein


Patriotic Assimilation is as American as, well, as Broncos Football!

By: Tom Tancredo
Gulag Bound

I confess I am not a zealous football fan, and until a month ago, I hoped Tim Tebow would don a Colorado Rockies uniform so I could get really excited about him. But like the other five million residents of Colorado, I have come to love the amazing Broncos quarterback who does not hide his evangelical Christian faith.

According to a poll by a national sports magazine, Tebow is today the most popular American athlete, ahead of Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, and (no surprise here) Tom Brady.

Tim Tebow has made believers out of millions in more ways than one. Add to the list three devout Muslim brothers in north Denver.

Tariq, Ali and Mohammad Suleiman are such huge Tim Tebow fans they are using their company’s huge electronic billboard at a prominent Denver intersection to blast out their support for Tebow and the Denver Broncos. They have put up a new message after each game. Last Sunday after the Broncos ran over the Pittsburgh Steelers, their message read: “Now Do You Believe?”

The three Suleiman brothers believed in Tebow early on. Back in September, when the Broncos were one-and-three under starting quarterback Kyle Orton, their billboard’s message was, “Bronco fans to John Fox: Play Tebow!” The billboard was a big hit. Radio and television stations took notice, and people began showing up in their parking lot to have pictures taken in front of the billboard.

The fact that Tim Tebow is a devout Christian who kneels in public to thank Jesus Christ at the end of each game — win or lose — does not dampen their enthusiasm one iota. You see, to these American-born Muslims of immigrant parents, it’s all about football, not religion.

“We do like the fact that he practices what he preaches,” says Mohammad, the youngest of the three Suleiman brothers. That’s about as American as you can get, whether Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Rosicrucian. “E Pluribus Unum”? Yeah, thank God, we’ve got a lot of that in Colorado.

There is some irony in the Muslim Suleimans’ public support for evangelical Christian Tim Tebow. Contrast their respect for Tebow’s sincerity with the crescendo of secular media criticism and snickering. A large segment of the American sports establishment appears to think Tebow is violating some unwritten axiom of “celebrity sports.” The unspoken secular commandment is, “Thou shalt not mix religion and commerce in a multi-billion dollar business devoted to selling beer, sex and automobiles.”

The Suleiman’s devotion to Broncos football also stands in sharp contrast to the political branch of Islam, which subordinates every aspect of life to the Jihadist dream of a worldwide Muslim Caliphate. Can you imagine Iranian President Ahmadinejad cheering any American team or champion in any sport? That’s about as likely as Mexican-American soccer fans in Los Angeles cheering the U.S. team in a contest with the Mexican national team.

The Suleiman family operates a wholesale import business, evidently a very successful one if they can devote their billboard space to a sports controversy. If they are not season ticket holders, I hope Broncos Coach John Fox has sent them four tickets to this weekend’s playoff game with the New England Patriots.

One hundred years ago, in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, this kind of enthusiastic participation in American culture was called “patriotic assimilation.” It was expected of every immigrant family and especially their American born children. Today, sadly, it is so unusual it makes headlines.

It is our distinct honor to now carry the commentaries and reports of Tom Tancredo, former Representative to Congress of the State of Colorado and 2008 candidate for U.S. President. His CongressmanTomTancredo.com regularly features his articles, as does WorldNetDaily.

Former Congressman Tancredo currently serves as chairman of Rocky Mountain Foundation, co-chairman of the anti-illegal immigration Team America PAC, and honorary chairman of Youth for Western Civilization. He speaks frequently on cable news, talk radio, and on college campuses – where his mere presence has led leftists to riot on multiple occasions. His book, In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security was published in 2006.


Obama To Israel: Don’t You Dare Attack Iran!

By: findalis
Maggie’s Notebook

For the last few weeks President Obama and members of his Cabinet have been ordering Prime Minister Netanyahu NOT to attack Iran. In fact they have been angry that Israel might have assassinated another Iranian nuclear scientist. But the United States is not facing destruction by nuclear weapon owned by Iran. Israel is.

WASHINGTON—U.S. defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over U.S. objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard U.S. facilities in the region in case of a conflict.

President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Stepping up the pressure, Mr. Obama spoke by telephone on Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv next week.

The high-stakes planning and diplomacy comes as U.S. officials warn Tehran, including through what administration officials described Friday as direct messages to Iran’s leaders, against provocative actions.

Tehran has warned that it could retaliate to tightened sanctions by blocking oil trade through the Strait of Hormuz. On Thursday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to punish the perpetrators of the assassination—blamed by Iran on the U.S. and Israel—of an Iranian scientist involved in the nuclear program.

The U.S. denied the charge and condemned the attack. Israel hasn’t commented.

The U.S. and Iran, however, have taken steps in recent days apparently designed to ease tensions. Iran has agreed to host a delegation of United Nations nuclear inspectors this month. The U.S., meanwhile, has twice this month rescued Iranian sailors in the region’s seas.

Covert efforts by Israel’s intelligence service to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons have been credited with slowing the program without the high risk of military conflict that could be sparked by an airstrike. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful uses.

But Israel has declined to rule out a strike, as has the U.S.

“It is the policy of the Israeli government, and the Obama administration, that all options remain on the table. And it is crucial that the ayatollahs in Tehran take this policy seriously,” said Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S.

Mr. Netanyahu said in a recent interview that Iran has begun to “wobble,” a signal some U.S. officials believe suggests he is willing to follow the current U.S. strategy, which seeks to avoid a military confrontation with Iran.

“Recent comments by the Israelis show they understand how tough the sanctions we’ve put in place are and are giving them time to work,” said a senior Obama administration official.

The U.S. military is preparing for a number of possible responses to an Israeli strike, including assaults by pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq against the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, according to U.S. officials.

The U.S. believes its embassy and other diplomatic outposts in Iraq are more vulnerable following the withdrawal of U.S. forces last month. Up to 15,000 U.S. diplomats, federal employees and contractors are expected to remain in Iraq.

In large measure to deter Iran, the U.S. has 15,000 troops in Kuwait, and has moved a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf area.

It has also been pre-positioning aircraft and other military equipment, officials say. Arms transfers to key allies in the Gulf, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, have been fast-tracked as a further deterrent, officials say.

Israeli officials said Mr. Netanyahu’s government continues to closely coordinate with the U.S. in responding to the Iranian threat. “Israel believes that heightened sanctions combined with a credible military threat may dissuade the Iranian regime from developing nuclear capabilities,” Mr. Oren said.

Mr. Panetta and other top officials have privately sought assurances from Israeli leaders in recent weeks that they won’t take military action against Iran. But the Israeli response has been noncommittal, U.S. officials said.

U.S. officials briefed on the military’s planning said concern has mounted over the past two years that Israel may strike Iran. But rising tensions with Iran and recent changes at Iranian nuclear sites have ratcheted up the level of U.S. alarm.

“Our concern is heightened,” a senior U.S. military official said of the probability of an Israeli strike over U.S. objections.

Tehran crossed at least one of Israel’s “red lines” earlier this month when it announced it had begun enriching uranium at the Fordow underground nuclear facility near the holy city of Qom.

The planned closing of Israel’s nuclear plant near Dimona this month, which was reported in Israeli media, sounded alarms in Washington, where officials feared it meant Israel was repositioning its own nuclear assets to safeguard them against a potential Iranian counterstrike.

Despite the close relationship between the U.S. and Israel, U.S. officials have consistently puzzled over Israeli intentions. “It’s hard to know what’s bluster and what’s not with the Israelis,” said a former U.S. official.

Inside the Israeli security establishment, a sort of good cop, bad cop routine, in which Israeli officials rattle sabers amid a U.S. scramble to restrain them, has assumed its own name: “Hold Me Back.”

Some American intelligence officials complain that Israel represents a blind spot in U.S. intelligence, which devotes little resources to Israel. Some officials have long argued that, given the potential for Israel to drag the U.S. into potentially explosive situations, the U.S. should devote more resources to divining Israel’s true intentions.


I believe that the Obama Administration is holding back an attack on Iran unless they need one to boost the President’s ratings. Imagine an October surprise the last week of October. An attack that date on Iran would boost Barack Obama over the top in re-election.

My advice to Binyanmin Netanyahu is if you are planning to attack Iran, do so before the summer. Otherwise either Iran will test a nuclear device or Obama will attack Iran for an October Surprise.