American and Israeli officials constantly warn us that Iran is only a short time away from developing nuclear weapons. The world should be worried if Iran intends to launch an offensive, nuclear attack on Israel.

For example, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in his book, Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat the International Terrorist Network, “The best estimates at this time place Iran between three and five years away from possessing the prerequisites required for the independent production of nuclear weapons. After this time, the Iranian Islamic republic will have the ability to construct atomic weapons without the importation of materials or technology from abroad.”

Fighting terrorism:
how democracies can defeat the international terrorist network

Unfortunately for Mr. Netanyahu, he wrote that in 1995. So Iran should have had a nuclear capability 10-12 years ago. Netanyahu’s over exaggeration fits into a pattern of propaganda emanating from Israeli and US leaders.

If Iran was hell-bent on destroying Israel and killing the Jews, why haven’t they attacked Israel with conventional weapons? Iran’s Army and Revolutionary Guards have plenty of planes and missiles. They don’t attack because Israel and the U.S. would flatten Iran and kill its leadership. The people running Iran are evil, repressive, human rights violators, but they are not crazy. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration policy is a continuation of George Bush’s: Exaggerate the threat about weapons of mass destruction, get people very scared, intensify sanctions and, if all else fails, threaten military attacks. Does any of this sound the slightest bit familiar?

In other news… 34 Mapuche Indians in Chile have endured almost 80 days of

a hunger strike against being unjustly imprisoned. They are held under the anti-terrorism laws first promulgated by the Pinochet dictatorship. The Mapuche, for example, face both civilian and military trial for their alleged terrorist actions, which mostly consist of demonstrating for indigenous rights.

An open letter on behalf of the prisoners appeared in the Santiago Times (English version) opinions/19890-mapuches-send-open-letter-to-chiles- president-sebastian-pinera

Reese Erlich is a freelance foreign correspondent and author of the new book,
Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and
Empire. He is now on a national book tour. For more info, visit He will be contributing a weekly blog to The Real News.

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Reese Erlich is a best-selling book author and freelance journalist who writes regularly for the Dallas Morning News, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio and National Public Radio. He has won numerous journalism awards, including the prestigious Peabody (shared with others). He is the author of several books, and is currently touring across the country promoting his most recent one called: Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and Empire, published in September 2010. Reese Erlich received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for his reporting from