back to article Israel and US fingered for Stuxnet attack on Iran

The US and Israel jointly developed the infamous Stuxnet worm before using the sophisticated malware to sabotage key components of Iran's controversial nuclear program, according to an investigation by the New York Times. Stuxnet selectively infects industrial control (SCADA) systems from Siemens, establishing a backdoor that …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Works for me

    All means to stop terrorisim is OK with me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Works for me

      Of course Israel terrorising the people of Palestine doesn't count as real terrorism does it. As long as it's the "good" people against the "bad" it's fine with you, right?

      This is a classic case of the tail (Israel) wagging the dog (USA), but the sheep (You) are too ignorant/brainwashed to even realise it.

      1. amehaye
        Flame

        Here we go again

        Israel is a terrorist nation, Palestines are innocent farmers. Up is down, left is right. Heard that already, please give me something new.

        Small reminder. Israel sent suicide bombers to kill innocent Palestine men, women and children. No, wait. It was the other way around. The Palestines sent suicide bombers to rip apart young unsuspecting children not 300 yards from where I live. And there were many, many others.

        There, now it sounds more like reality.

        1. zanto
          Unhappy

          amehaye

          you get an up vote from me.

          having said that, i also believe that even one Palestinian killed in one too many as is the case for even one Israeli killed. judging who is worse by numbers killed or who started it first is futile and childish. in the end, we all lose.

          i do wish that we all could one day just learn how to get along.

          life's to short to waste it on hate.

          just think, even one of those kids killed could have one day found a cure for cancer or aids. now we just never will know. like i said earlier, we *all* lose.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Zanto

            You might as well blame the British Government on how they handled the Palestinian question to begin with.

            But lets not gloss over the fact that Hamas doesn't want peace, they want the death of anyone who doesn't agree with them. Including their own Palestinians who aren't members of Hamas. Can you say war(s) between Fatah and Hamas?

            What's sad is that you probably don't know anyone from the Middle East who can tell you what Beirut looked like in the early 70's. It was a very beautiful city and a tourist destination.

            The more you know...

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Grenade

          @amehaye

          Don't let reality hit you between the eyes...

          How many Hamas rockets have indiscriminately fallen on Israel before Israel acted? How many civilian casualties?

          Remember when Israel went in and started to attack Hamas positions? There was one film shot showing Hamas shooting at Israeli positions and then running in to a school that was filled with civilians. They were using their own people as human shields.

          I'm not saying that collateral damage doesn't happen but that Israel did their best to limit civilian casualties and even dropped leaflets and made automated phone calls to warn civilians about their impending arrival.

          With respect to the use of a computer virus to disable a foreign country's nuclear ambition? Works for me. Much less fallout than the alternative of dropping multiple bunker penetrating bombs to ensure that these things go offline.

          And of course the NYT doesn't offer any real proof. For all you know, the Chinese could have done it too.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @amehaye

          Problem is that Israel has done pretty shitty stuff by themselves as well. Bombing the crap out of Lebanon to root out Hezbollah, even when the Lebanese Army does not harbor Hezbollah was an incredibly boneheaded idea. Under that thinking, Israel should bomb the crap out of Germany because they harbor Neo-Nazis, who totally terrorize Jews around the world.

          No, I don't think Israel is a terrorist nation. But the IDF does seem to do pretty bad stuff every now and then.

          1. Wild Bill

            @Ian Michael Gumby

            Did you actually read amehaye's post? You're preaching to the converted

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

              @Wild Bill

              Sorry for the confusion. My @amehaye was really @ac @amehaye.

              The original Huh? was in the response to a post up the food chain.

        4. Matt Hawkins
          Flame

          Zionist Malware For All !

          @amehaye

          "Palestines are innocent farmers"

          Not the ones who've had their farms stolen by force. What's funny is that people who moved into the stolen land complain when a rocket flies through the kitchen window. The owner of the property is labelled a terrorist simply for wanting his house back. Over here we call them "victims" and the other person is known as a "criminal".

          It's a bit like a burglar complaining he banged his toe while he was removing your electrical appliances.

          Good to know that the Israeli-US club is happy to infect us all with malware just so they can play politics. Anyone does the same to them ... we'll they're just plain terrorists.

          Can we have an icon depicting a pot sitting next to a black kettle please?

          1. amehaye
            WTF?

            Stolen land

            Israel is not a stolen land. You can check the facts, it is written in the history books. Let me summarize it for you:

            Before the state of Israel was formed, Jews bought land from inhabitants of then (pre 1948) Palestine. In 1948 Israel was announced and immediately attacked by all neighboring (and some non-neighboring) arab nations. 'Palestinian' arabs attacked Israel as well. As things went Israel won this war.

            Later a similar course of events happened in 1967 in the war known as the six days war. Israel won again and obtained more areas of the land which used to be known as Israel in ancient times.

            Then again in 1972. Israel was in bad shape in that war but prevailed in the end.

            Now the way I see it, if you buy land it belongs to you. If you win it in a war which was forced(!) on you, it belongs to you. Aggressors should know that when they attack you they might lose.

            All this land belonged to the ancient Israelites of which we are the descendants. We were expelled from our land about two thousand years ago and the land was taken from us. So we actually bought and defended a land which was our land to begin with.

            ----------------

            Now just to clarify. I do not like violence. I do not hate the Palestines. In fact I would be very happy if we had peace and could build a nice place to live in, for all of us.

            My sister, who is a medical doctor, saved the life of countless Palestinian children. Many of them come to Israel to get decent treatment. A Palestinian doctor is working with her at the hospital. Three of his daughters were killed in the last confrontation in Gaza. I wish they were not.

            You can blame the IDF for accidentally shooting them down. You can blame the Hamas for starting this whole deal. In fact Hamas accidentally killed more than a few Palestinians in that war. In war things like that happen all the time. This is the situation we live in. Now deal with it.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Selective Memory

          Don't suppose you remember the white phosphorus shells fired on a Palestinian playground or the cluster bombs dropped over south Lebanon, ready for children to be picked up. War is bad whoever is evolved but Israel always manages to kill a lot more civilians than the Palestinians do.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Actually

        I'll think you'll find its the Palestinians who are terrorising innocent Israeli's...

        If you actually knew anything you'd know that the Palestinians have been bombarding civilian areas in Israel for decades with all manner of weapons...recently using unguided rockets...the gutless muslim cowards using their own people (usually hospitals) for cover...

        So forgive us for now giving a shit about them...the Israelis didnt start this...and they actually do their best to limit civilian casualties...unlike Hamas, Hezbelloah, the PLO...

        You are another left wing moron with less knowledge of what is actually happening in the world than a one celled amoeba

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Hasbara propaganda

          GTFO MOSSAD

      3. Scorchio!!

        Re: Re: Works for me

        "Of course Israel terrorising the people of Palestine doesn't count as real terrorism does it."

        Classic non sequitur. The OP might as well respond by referring to the massacre at a school in Beslan. The rules of civilised discourse require inclusion of relevant, connected facts, not non sequiturs chosen for the convenience and sake of argument for its sake. Oh, wait a minute though, "weeeee!", a Palestinian dog just screamed down the road outside. That's proof of Israel's innocence.

    2. Chad H.
      FAIL

      Nothing to do with terrorism.

      What exactly does an attack on one nation states nuclear facilities have to do with stopping terrorists?

      Quick, op, give me your wallet and all of your pin codes. It's to stop terrorism.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        WTF?

        Huh?

        Hmmm.

        Iran supports internationally recognized terrorist organizations and its a known fact that terrorists would love to get their hands on nukes or nuclear material for a dirty bomb. Since some dolt mentioned Israeli policy of dealing with Palestinians... one should mention that Hamas has known and proven links to Iran's security forces and is funded by them. (Where do you think that they get their rockets and military supplies?)

        Stopping Iran from producing nuclear material that goes beyond 'peaceful means' is in fact a very good thing.

        Stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons should be something we all must agree upon.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huh?

          And Israel was set up as a direct result of the actions of Zionist terrorists (+ hundreds billions of $ of funding from the US). Your point?

          What gives Israel and the US the rights to decide who can and cannot have nuclear material? Also, if you're concerned that Iran might initiate WW3, please look up the number of times Iran has been the aggressor in a conflict during the past 100 years and now check Israel and the US's record. An objective observer would most certainly come to a conclusion opposite to yours. But of course you're not objective but rather a shill posting on behalf of the apartheid regime known as Israel.

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: Huh?

          "Stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons should be something we all must agree upon"

          Add to that the very important but not very oft discussed fact that Iran is one of the countries given nuclear technology by AQ Khan, the 'father' of the Pakistan, or 'Muslim', nuclear bomb:

          http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/abdul_qadeer_khan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

          This was not for the purpose of peace. It is a dangerous act to put nuclear weapons in the hands of people like Ahmadinejad, who said:

          "Israel must be wiped off the map … The establishment of a Zionist regime was a move by the world oppressor against the Islamic world . . . The skirmishes in the occupied land are part of the war of destiny. The outcome of hundreds of years of war will be defined in Palestinian land."

          October 26, 2005

          (In an address to 4,000 students at a program titled, 'The World Without Zionism')

          "Soon Islam will become the dominating force in the world, occupying first place in the number of followers amongst all other religions."

          "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces.... Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: Is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem? If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe."

          December 8, 2005

          (While speaking to journalists at an Islamic summit in Mecca)

          Oh what an interesting perspective.

          "The wave of the Islamist revolution will soon reach the entire world."

          Not .. a .. terrorist .. .. no.

        3. thecakeis(not)alie

          @Ian Michael Gumby

          "Its a known fact that terrorists would love to get their hands on nukes or nuclear material for a dirty bomb."

          [Citation needed]

          Seriously, are you on drugs? Every terrorist out there knows that the use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons crosses the line. The use of an actual weapon on mass destruction (no, a 747 does not count) will result in a level of retaliation never before seen. There isn’t a terrorist out there who doesn’t know that.

          The US is viewed as a bit of a wimp because it consistently gets involved in wars against “insurgents” of one flavour or another and then gets its ass handed to it. It only gets its ass handed to it because it spends a spectacular amount of time and money trying very hard /not/ to kill civilians. Nuke a Western city (or use a dirty bomb, what-have-you) and you will find that the entire might of NATO will grow some political will tout-de-suite.

          The western powers would find their ass and then turn them – and everything else for a hundred or so square kilometres – into a sheet of glass. Casualties be damned. I want to see actual proof that terrorist organisations actually want to get their hands on and use nuclear material. I don’t believe it for a second.

          You don’t win a damned thing for your cause if you and everyone else that believes in your cause have been converted into plasma by the avenging shockwave of a fuel air bomb. Terrorists want to create TERROR. They want to give their enemies the feeling that they can be hit anywhere, at any time, for any reason. They need to keep their attacks limited in scope so as to create sympathy, debate and win over converts.

          They do not under any circumstances want to step over the line so far as to have half the world howling for their blood. Use a nuke on a western city and you officially sign and seal a deal whereby NATO governments can slaughter millions of civilians in that far off land in order to get at the bad guys and the majority of the western voting populace will /cheer them on./

          We aren’t talking about giving G.W.B limited permission to launch a ridiculous, costly and ultimately ineffective ground war against Iraq. We’re talking the kind of carte blanche that would have allowed G.W.B. to turn Iraq into a smoking cinder. Never ever forget for a moment that NATO has /never/ brought to bear the full might of it’s capabilities since its inception. To suggest a terrorist group out there actually wants them to is sheer madness.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Dubyah, is that you?

      Your buddy, Charon, called...

    4. Chris Harden
      Troll

      Youuuuuuu

      Trollin!

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Dubyah, is that you?

        "Your buddy, Charon, called..."

        If indeed you mean Charon (or Kharon as he is known to English speakers), then I expect the ferryman of the river Styx wishes to thank Dubya for the trade, and Toni Poodle Bler.

        ITYM Arial Sharon though, didn't you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Pint

          Actually, no

          It was by way of a rather feeble pune, or play on words, innit?

    5. Big-nosed Pengie
      FAIL

      Including...

      ...terrorism?

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    What would the USA say ...

    if some other country had developed something to target some of its infrastructure or industrial plant ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Title

      If I were Iran (I'm not), I would be thinking exactly that. They already have the Siemans kit to practice on, and the original Stuxnet worm - just a matter of developing another version that targets American facilities (or everyone4 else if you cannot target that accurately) - and I doubt they would bother with nuclear when you could take out great swathes of American industry as an alternative.

      Stuxnet is proof of principle. Now the terrorists really know what to do.

      1. Anton Ivanov
        Thumb Down

        Fixed that for you...

        Quote: "Stuxnet is proof of principle. Now the terrorists really know what to do."

        Now the _governments_ really know what to do - fixed that for you.

        As a first of its kind Stuxnet was a complete overkill (4 zero days and a stolen cert). There will be tens of less sophisticated (but no less effective) copycats for many years to come. There are plenty of countries out there which will have no qualms to give it as a present to their neighbour even the worm hits half of the world as collateral damage after that. I bet that there are hundreds programmers coding away at that all over the world right now.

    2. F111F
      Black Helicopters

      Already Happens on a Daily Basis

      China, especially, and other nations try (and succeed in some cases) to hack the commercial and defense businesses, as well as government systems of the US and other Western nations to gain significant leaps in technology and science. Now, what pray, is the difference between actions to slow one nation down and those to speed the capabilities of another up? Nada, it's just the flip side of the same coin.

  3. Dan Hall

    Ah, the N.Y. Times...

    When investigative reporting leads nowhere, just making stuff up since 1851.

    Barring someone who was directly involved coming out and saying "We did it" all this speculation is just... dare I say it... speculation. The N.Y. Times (as always) just collected up all the conspiracy theories and random stories about this off the net, made up facts where it had no information, and then cobbled it all together into a "hard-hitting investigative report." What's next? A timely story on the "All your base belong to us" meme? An undercover investigation into the realities of Time Cube?

    Why does anybody still bother with that rag?

    1. Steen Hive
      Thumb Up

      @Ah

      "Barring someone who was directly involved coming out and saying "We did it" all this speculation is just... dare I say it... speculation."

      It's known as the WMD/"9/11" excuse. If it's good enough for murdering countless civilians, it's good enough to out some in-house terrorists.

      1. Turtle

        On the other hand...

        You do know, don't you, that C.O.S.I. states that the U.N.-supported sanctions again Iraq were costing the lives of 25,000 children a year, right?

        When you do your arithmetic, you take that into account, right? Or does it not matter?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Dan Hall

      "When investigative reporting leads nowhere, just making stuff up since 1851"

      That explains a lot. I read the NYT article and it just reeks.

      First there's this 'Mr Langner' whose small team managed to continue running their company while achieving all the same results as the Symantec team. Except that they did it in private, with no outside help (Symantec made public calls for expert help) and didn't tell anyone that they'd cracked Stuxnet at all until the NYT magically found them to talk to. Long after the Symantec documents were published and the results presented at a security conference natch. No links to any of Mr Langners papers or even his company anywhere in the report. It's like a Dan Brown penned historical 'fact' based movie plot. All the work of an international group of experts working in cooperation over months is jazzed up, extrapolated and attributed to one small team (of no doubt quirky but lovable geniuses) over a few days.

      Then there's this bit:

      "Another part, called a “man in the middle” in the computer world, sends out those false sensor signals to make the system believe everything is running smoothly. That prevents a safety system from kicking in, which would shut down the plant before it could self-destruct."

      There is a technical term for a safety system that takes its values from a DCS, it's called a door stop (or room heater). Safety systems have their own instruments otherwise they are pointless. So either there was a systems design fail of gargantuan proportion at Nanatz' foreign contractors (Russian iirc) or the article is spouting utter BS*. Personally I doubt there even was a safety system on these centrifuges, there's no point as they are not inherently dangerous. They are the equivalent of the mills and lathes in a gun factory.

      * There is a grain of truth this steaming pile is built on, it's called a root kit not a "man in the middle" and it is there to deceive humans looking for the reasons the machines are failing. If the DCS reported false readings to the SCADA then that part it is neither root kit nor MITM.

  4. smegged
    Boffin

    who

    Which ones are the terrorists, Israel or Iran, always getting those two mixed up...

    1. maclovinz
      Happy

      Raises Hand.

      That would be us. As in: U.S."

      Sigh.

    2. kissingthecarpet
      Black Helicopters

      Exactly

      The problem with negative news items about Iran is that you can't really believe any of them without independent verification(& how likely is that?) because they are the subject of so much propaganda. Its like the USSR - when the Cold War ended it became clear that the US was by far the larger aggressor - the USSR were shit-scared of what the Yanks might do (e.g. Nixon's "Madman Theory" - he wanted the Soviets to believe he was capable of anything, i.e. batshit insane). Iran is afraid of Israel & the US for good reason - they are the aggressors.

    3. Turtle

      Right, because...

      Right. Between Israel and Iran, you can't tell which one is the terrorist because it's pretty obvious that if one nation (Iran, if you don't know) wants to destroy another nation (Israel, if you don't know) and that other nation (Israel, if you don't know) not only does not want to be destroyed, but takes energetic measures to prevent it, then there must be a moral equivalence between the two!

      Or maybe not.

      1. raving angry loony

        See, that's the problem

        Turtle writes "if one nation (Iran, if you don't know) wants to destroy another nation (Israel, if you don't know)"

        Ah, yes, you see, that's the propaganda working there. Iran never said they wanted to destroy Israel. They said they wanted to end the Israeli REGIME - as in, put an end to a government that is itself a terrorist - by ANY definition except the one that says "if we do it, then it isn't terrorism". However, the Israeli government deliberately created a mistranslated version of the statement and passed it on to the US and the (very obedient) western press. The rest, as they say, is history.

        Meanwhile, Iran hasn't actually attacked anyone, anywhere. It also hasn't been "harbouring terrorists". There is NO evidence that Iran is developing "nuclear weapons". NONE.

        Meh, forget it. Trying to correct the massive propaganda the US and Israel have cooked up vis-a-vis Iran seems pretty futile at this point. After all, similar efforts didn't stop the (illegal) invasion and occupation of Iraq after all. Even AFTER the US government admitted they lied, people were STILL saying that "there were no lies" and "there were weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq.

        I guess if the USA and Israel want a confrontation with Iran, they'll get one. I just hope that this time the "coalition of idiots" doesn't start something that gets us all killed.

        1. maclovinz
          Happy

          Fox?

          Fox News anyone?

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: See, that's the problem

          "They said they wanted to end the Israeli REGIME - as in, put an end to a government that is itself a terrorist"

          Uhuh:

          "A new Middle East will prevail without the existence of Israel."

          August 4, 2006

          (as quoted by Malaysian news agency Bernama website)

          As an atheist I find most of the waffle is boring, but threats to wipe out Israel are indeed ... dramatic.

        3. Tom 13

          @raving angry loony

          It's not propaganda when the words come from the President of Iran himself in a speech to televised to his nation.

      2. Scorchio!!

        Re: Right, because...

        Agreed. It also merits noting that this kind of quotable material doesn't emanate from Israel:

        "The wave of the Islamist revolution will soon reach the entire world."

        "We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world."

        "By the grace of Allah, we (will be) a nuclear power."

        "Soon Islam will become the dominating force in the world, occupying first place in the number of followers amongst all other religions."

        I wonder how many homosexuals the Israelis will string up from a crane today, how many children forcibly prostituted they will hang today. Oh the savage cruelty of the Israeli terrorists:

        http://www.iranfocus.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1840

        http://www.gvnet.com/childprostitution/Iran.htm

        How *ignorant* we westerners are of the truth about the gentle rulers of Iran.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Israel and US fingered for Stuxnet attack on Iran

    Iran today, ? tomorrow. Perhaps this is why Russia is moving to Linux. No MS/Apple, no backdoors.

  6. Richard Porter
    Grenade

    What you have to ask

    is why on Earth the Iranians were using Micro$oft Windows PCs to control their centrifuges?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @ What you have to ask

      They don't. Its merely a vector for transmission.

      You're either trolling or extremely ill-informed.

      1. Big-nosed Pengie
        FAIL

        What?

        They don't - it's merely a vector for transmission?

        Transmission to what?

        It's a Windows worm. That means it runs on Windows.

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          @Big-nosed Pengie

          A garage might plug a Windows laptop into your car to interrogate the engine management system. Does that mean Windows controls your car's engine every time you drive it?

          The centrifges are controlled by Siemens S7 controllers which run a proprietary operating system but are programmed using software called Step 7 that runs on Windows.

        2. Robert E A Harvey

          No

          Vultures passim.

          It's a plc-based virus, with a windows based delivery system exploiting the programming environment.

        3. Scorchio!!

          Re: What?

          Transmission to the AQ Khan designed centrifuges themselves, within which they become resident.

      2. Daniel B.
        Boffin

        @Craiggy

        Actually they are kind of controlling the centrifuges. The Siemens WinCC manages the PLC's that are actually controlling the centrifuges; the Stuxnet worm takes over WinCC and uses it to alter the Step7 code on the PLCs. Sneaky sabotage!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Gates Halo

      they ALL use microsoft...

      all. of. them... OK most stuff built in the last 10/15 years anyway...

    3. peter_dtm
      Pirate

      because

      the IT industry used to foam at the mouth when Industrial Control engineers used bespoke computers instead of the horrible M$ crap. - Just because so many of them did not understand that van Neuman machines do not need WIndows as an OS

  7. ztorage
    Flame

    Are you f*ing kidding me?

    Does anyone of you seriously think that messing with Iran's nuke program is wrong?

    Especially when this is a non-violent intervention, aimed only to harm equipment.

    No matter how liberal you get, Iran is still an evil dictatorship. And if 'evil' is too harsh, let's just say it's an oppressive regime with no regard to any kind of freedom. You (no matter who you are or where you live) don't want them with nukes.

    Stuxnet might just be a necessary evil, and considering the fact it didn't hurt anyone, it's not much of an evil too.

    1. multipharious

      Iran is in complete defiance of the UN

      ...yet we have some folks in this forum that wholeheartedly and deludedly think that protecting the sovereignty of a State with some nasty stated intentions and objectively defined relations with terrorists will prevent a nuclear exchange. A State whose vitriolic rhetoric ought to get anyone's attention when they claim (as an oil rich country) that they need nuclear power for peaceful reasons. They think that defensive action is unnecessary and unwarranted.

      No the folks in this forum believe that it is OK for Iran to have nukes. They actually believe it.

      @Idealists-

      The aftermath of a nuclear device on CNN or BBC (or your channel of choice because it would be on all of them) is too horrible to imagine. The world as you know it would be in absolute turmoil and you would very likely lose your job since global business would probably grind to a halt. If you were a betting man with those stakes, would you bet your future on Ahmadinejad and categorically support Iran in their goal of attaining a position at the nuclear table? There are a lot of world leaders that don't.

      A nuclear device has a radioactive signature, and the stated nuclear policy is complete retalliation in kind. That means that if Iran or any of the miscreants they supply pop a nuke in a shipping container or who knows where, and it is determined that it came from Iran then they will be hit harder than you can imagine. That is how it would work.

      When you are done crying for them, you might think of the potential innocent dead on all sides, how Stuxnet might slow things down to give diplomatic channels a 2000th chance, and rethink your position on this matter.

      1. Steen Hive
        FAIL

        @Iran is in complete defiance of the UN

        I know a state that is defiance of more UN resolutions than any other. A political entity that is xenophobic by design and that was created by nothing but gerrymandering by colonial powers and pure terrorism against the wishes of every single neighbouring state so that foreigners could kick people out of their homes with impunity and never let them return.

        That aside, those same colonial powers, their corporations and their allies have fucked up another country with no modern history of aggression continuously for decade after decade, supporting military coups, dictatorships, removal of democratically-elected governments, invasions by neighbouring countries at the cost of a million lives, chemical weapon attacks and continuous destabilization of neighbouring states. All to a greater or lesser degree in support the above mentioned political entity.

        Iran may or may not be in violation of it's obligations under the NPT, it remains to be seen. Those are the only obligations it is truly bound by to the UN itself. The rest is mere "Security" Council FUD, as usual.

      2. EnricoSuarve
        Black Helicopters

        At first I thought you were enlightened

        "yet we have some folks in this forum that wholeheartedly and deludedly think that protecting the sovereignty of a State with some nasty stated intentions and objectively defined relations with terrorists will prevent a nuclear exchange. A State whose vitriolic rhetoric ought to get anyone's attention when they claim (as an oil rich country) that they need nuclear power for peaceful reasons. They think that defensive action is unnecessary and unwarranted."

        I got to this point and still thought you were talking about the US - I see my mistake now, the US never actually state their evil objectives.

      3. Andus McCoatover

        Huh? Which state???

        A State whose vitriolic rhetoric ought to get anyone's attention when they claim (as an oil rich country) that they need nuclear power for peaceful reasons.

        Are you on about Iran, or USA??

        At least, Uncle Sam doesn't even claim peaceful reasons.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: Are you f*ing kidding me?

      "No matter how liberal you get, Iran is still an evil dictatorship. And if 'evil' is too harsh, let's just say it's an oppressive regime with no regard to any kind of freedom."

      The same could be said about Saudi Arabia but I bet we'll never hear you whining about them building a nuclear power station.

      The only difference is that Iran refuses to kiss Americas arse so they must be evil.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      The West Loves Dicatorships

      @ztorage

      "Iran is still an evil dictatorship"

      So is Saudi Arabia and it funds most of the World's terrorism. Strangely enough I haven't heard many Western Governments calling for us to attack it. Why? Because they don't give a stuff about suppressive regimes unless it suits them.

      and don't forget Iran is only a dictatorship because WE, THE WEST, helped destroy the democratic government of Iran.

      We only support democracy when it suits us. Any politician who claims otherwise is a liar. In general politicians like dictatorships because they are predictable. Unlike nasty democracies that have elections and don't vote in the people you want to get rich with.

    4. MnM
      WTF?

      voting

      15 upvotes, 25 downvotes? Amazed, I don't see what's to disagree with.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Israel and US fingered for Stuxnet attack on Iran

    Errr?

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/15/openbsd_backdoor_claim/

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Being in denial doesn't change reality

    The haters can keep hating but it don't change reality.

  10. CmdrX3

    What's wrong with this picture

    So Gary McKinnon hacks (and I use the word advisedly) into US networks, has a quick nosey around, leaves them a your security is crap note and he is labelled a cyber-terrorist who deserves the extradition and the full weight of the american justice system (again used advisedly). Yet on the other hand it's perfectly acceptable for the US to help develop and deploy sophisticated virus attacks to hinder or destroy another countries computer systems without any retribution. If we are talking state sponsored terrorism, I think the US should check out their own back yard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      I suspect you'll find that there isn't an extradition treaty between Iran and the USA or Israel. Also, there is the slight matter of the "elected" leader of Iran publicly stating on more than one occasion that he wants Israel erased from the map.

    2. Oninoshiko
      Dead Vulture

      They PAID for this story?

      You forgot one little matter, EVIDENCE. Something this story was sevearly lacking in. McKinnon admitted to doing it. AFAICT noone has admitted to this, or even has any real credible evidence to who did it. The BEST the NYT could come up with was (for all I know) The Lone Gunmen (Mulder's 3 buddies from "The X-Files"). Seriously, and they wonder why noone buys papers anymore.

      Might as well have titled "NYT pulls quotes out of it's arse, and half of elReg's commentards fall for it."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        "McKinnon admitted to doing it"

        What's your point?

        Yes, he did, but at a time when it was not illegal and the extradition treaty being using with such malice against him did not exist.

        I freely admit to doing many things which are not illegal, just unpopular. The law should not be retrospective, ever, otherwise they'll just make something up to get you on eventually. This is not justice.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    regardless

    Regardless of who you think is right or wrong, the potential conflict between Iran and Isael could be a lot worse than some malware holding up the nuclear desires of Iran. Irael having nuclear weapons is bad enough. And if only one country over there has them, they are not likely to be used.

    Isael is not claiming that Iran does not have a right to exist. Iran is claiming that about Isael.

    You got deplomacy. You got malware. Or, you got war. It would appear that malware is not worth the trouble. And deplomacy does not appear to have much hope either.

    So either countries agree to get along or there is going to some people getting killed. And if nuclear weapons get involved it could be a lot of people.

    In my mind it is very likely that convential weapons will come into play before Iran fully develops its nuclear capability. Malware aside. At least that region will be much better off if it does.

    If you need to pick sides, focus upon which people are being targeted, threatened or killed. What kind of people. Are they the solders? Or, are they innocent civilians. Do they care who gets killed?

    Keep in mind that even the US targeted civilians in WW II. With nuclear weapons. So it is not a time to get all hollier than thou. But, perhaps we can all learn from the mistakes of the past.

    Iran has the opportunity not to turn the middle east into the killing fields. But, when a country continues to claim that others do not have the right to exist, you can expect a war to settle the differences.

    The same is true between Israel and the Palistinians. Palistinians kill some if they can and get put down. And that is likely to continue until both sides agree that living in peace is preferred.

    Along wants to come Iran and the stakes could be a lot higher. If Iran does develop nuclear weapons and continues to claim that Isael does not have the right to exist, all hell will break out. It is only a matter of time.

    Then whoever has the biggest stick will win. I guess Iran wants to build a big stick before it tries to force others to kneel. But, if Iran continues to claim that it is only interested in domestic power production rather than nuclear weapons, no one in the international community will care what it later claims.

    Just remember the civility of nations depends upon their willingness to allow others to live.

    And some individuals and nations only seek to kill others if they possibly can. Those are the individuals and nations that need to be constrained at all costs.

    Sounds biased?

    Think about it.

    Who is willing to let others live in peace? And who is dead set upon killing others or denying their right to exist? And you can answer that by looking at who dies. Are civilians being threatened and killed without care or choice? Or, is it the military capability that is being attacked?

    The big stick always wins in the end. So not having a strong military is not an excuse to just kill anybody who somehow comes along. Targeting civilians just so somebody gets killed is a dead giveaway. (pun intended and appropriate)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Need a new version of godwins law

      One about the Israel scenario.

      Sadly though, reading the history of the area, Israel sounds very much like how the US ended up with so much of north america. Exploitation with the odd bit of ruthless hostility.

      1. amehaye

        "Exploitation"

        Dude you need to look at the maps. Seriously. Do it now. Do you see Israel? Do you see our neighbors? Cut away the Palestinian territories from the Israel area. Check how much land Israel has and how much land the Arab countries have.

        Now tell me who exploits who.

        1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

          RE: Regardless

          "Irael having nuclear weapons is bad enough. And if only one country over there has them, they are not likely to be used."

          I think your logic is deeply flawed - the nukes are much more likely to be used if only one of the quarreling countries has them.

          Conversely, there have never been a (direct) war between 2 nuclear nations. Not even between India and Pakistan, after the latter demonstrated its possession of nuclear weapons.

          @amehaye: "Check how much land Israel has and how much land the Arab countries have."

          Lebensraum want much?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course not

    Why would anyone think that Iran would use nuclear weapons against their enemies or be a base of operations for terrorism? Perish the thought... or pull your head out of your arse and get in touch with reality.

  13. muttley
    Alert

    realpolitik

    Iran will not be allowed to continue developing its nuclear program under any circumstances.

    Stuxnet + the assassination of the two nuclear scientists has set the program back years.

    The alternative - military strike on the facilities right now - guarantees considerable loss of life right now and massive instability in the region right now.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    WWIII

    Yeah, the Stuxnet worm was the opening salvo of WWIII.

    By the time the dust settles on this one, the only PC's working will be 486's and anything with non-Flash based BIOS's.

    It gets worse, the latest doomsday device is the botnet hidden in FW v3.50 on the PS3.

    Once its on there there is no way to disable it and the activation key can be hidden anywhere.

    Overrides the power circuitry so you can't shut the console down and uses every available channel to DDoS the chosen sites even hacking nearby weak encrypted wireless to get more bandwidth using the internal Cell CPU to generate the rainbow codes.

    AC, but I can be reached on IRC under "roswell1947"

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Erm?

      "Overrides the power circuitry so you can't shut the console down..."

      Riiiight. This doomsday device stops you pulling out the plug?

      1. Scorchio!!

        Re: Erm?

        '"Overrides the power circuitry so you can't shut the console down..."

        Riiiight. This doomsday device stops you pulling out the plug?'

        Ah, but did the poster not give us an additional clue:

        "AC, but I can be reached on IRC under "roswell1947" "

        It's a konspiraceee you seeee.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        No, that's what the

        orbital mind control lasers are for.

        Do try to keep up.

    2. Steve Roper
      Terminator

      ...so you can't shut the console down...

      Ever hear about a simple technique frequently referred to as "pulling the plug out of the wall socket"? Or are PS3s secretly armed with lasers that'll zap your hand off the moment you reach for the plug?

    3. EnricoSuarve
      Heart

      Awesome powers of crazy

      Full marks, seriously dude I'm in awe of your l33tness ;0)

    4. nichomach
      Troll

      Awesome troll!

      I abase myself before your wind-up talents...

  15. Martin Usher
    FAIL

    Win the battle, lose the war

    Like funding Islamic Jihadists in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union this is another of those policies that might work in the short term but will cause big problems in the long run. Windows and Windows based applications are big business in industrial control. They're entrenched for historical reasons, and once entrenched it will take an event of monumental proportions to get people to change. Stuxnet is just that. Its effectively killed Windows as an industrial platform. Obviously the death won't happen overnight but nobody's going to use this platform for new product, especially if the product is at all sensitive.

    OTOH, this is a big opportunity for some.....thanks......

    1. peter_dtm
      Grenade

      sorry - unfortunately not (yet) true

      I wish - however too many of the big automation houses are wedded to Mr Gates's wonderful product. Not enough people (managers and Finance directors) understand or care about the risks - most have not even heard of Stuxnet; so they see no reason to change their automation layer out for some horribly expensive bespoke alternative. The IT guys spent years telling them how much cheaper Windows machines were - despite TOTAL Cost of Ownership turning out to being considerably more over the 10 - 20 years most large Automation projects expect to run - they then expect to get another 10 - 20 years of service from the kit.

      SO since there is NO perceived need to invest in proper computer equipment to control the factories; there is no money or will to do anything other than continue (mis-)using Windows.

      Unfortunately.

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    such a *clever* idea

    So humane

    So discrete

    So unidentifiable.

    So impossible to duplicate or or be turned against its developers.

    What could go wrong with this plan?

  17. peter_dtm
    Grenade

    well

    lets think about this - apart from Israel - which Iran has promised to blow of the face of the earth who else would be uncomfortable (if not brown corduroy scared) with a theocratic regime having armageddon weapons ?

    Well just about all their neighbours; starting with Iraq (no love lost there) the Kurds (even less); the Saudi's - oh pretty much anyone if the region.

    And then we have the likes of Russia & China- who may not be actually too pleased to have a mentally suspect 13th Century Imam controlling nuclear weapons either.

    So apart from the religious angle (the version of Islam practiced by Iran is radically opposed toother version practiced in the region - on a level that makes the old Protestant/Catholic rivalries look like friendly meetings) the local geo-politics would also indicate lots and lots of people apart from the US & Israel (or even with; co-oporation in these things tends to be on the my enemy's enemy is my best friend basis).

    Note that almost any half way decent university would be able to back engineer the controller (already have copies in Asia being churned out by the normal culprits), And those things are not hard to program (though Siemens makes horrible machine code; and ladder logic is a bit worse than working in Fortran 78) so the control side is easy; as is a reasonably intelligent coder managing to hide the block (that is possibly documented in some high level training book - you'd be surprised at what can be done - or may be not...)

    No; far too many different people with a very urgent interest; enough money and skills to hatch this with out the need for any of those Israeli & American types needing to be involved.

    Mm - I wonder - US/Israel/Iraq/Saudi/Russian/Indian - that would work - US & Israel being optional extras (Indian ? - well they have enough nightmares with the Pakistani bomb; imagine what they think of MORE Islamic bombs ?)

    1. Rattus Rattus

      "uncomfortable" ... "with a theocratic regime having armageddon weapons"

      Are you talking about Israel's stock of nukes in defiance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (which they continue to reject)?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nope.

      That kind of cooperation and proof that it had happened would surely have made Wikileaks.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    credible or not

    I think the New York Times is about as credible as MAD Magazine and am surprised they didn't blame the worm on alien snakes. The Times has long been going down hill. Anyone could have written this article based on simple facts. There are only a few countries in the world with superb computer security talent. Israel is one, the US is another. So putting the two together is a no brainer. Israel alone would not create as much controversy in the world, so the US had to be added. How can you start a war with lies and innuendo if you don't hype up the hate list! I'd LMAO when someone worms the NYT and prints the list of mistresses for its reporters on the front page and a picture of Barack snorting coke!

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    On the other hand ...

    I don't know if it is a true comment but I heard somewhere that the nation spying most on Germany is France?

    Market forces

    If it is good enough for most of the world employment prospects and salary rates to be dictated by market forces perhaps we should adopt a market forces analysis to conflicts around the world?

  20. James Woods

    the old ny slimes

    it's hard to say which side of the fence I want to be with this issue.

    on the one hand it's good that a wrench was thrown into the nuclear program of a country for whom has vowed to attack another with nuclear arms.

    on the other hand I wonder if the ny slimes would report the same way if the shoe was on the other foot. What if iran had did this to israel; would the ny slimes be reporting on it like this?

    I doubt it; they hate israel as much as they hate america.

  21. jaduncan

    Heh.

    "Overrides the power circuitry so you can't shut the console down"

    Suggestion in these situations: Removal of plug.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. asdf Silver badge
    Flame

    keep in mind

    The yanks you are hearing from on this page do not represent all of us. For one thing the IT industry is famously conservative and Republican (those that defend the system the most are the house slaves on a salary thinking how much better they have it than the field slaves). Iran is evil. Israel is hardly much better and sadly neither is our government. its all about self interest and it seems both Iran and Israel don't do a whole lot for Americas interests (Israel is the US what North Korea is to China). Still the UK can hardly preach on the topic. Funny how some oil money from Libya made your government forget about the concept of justice.

  24. Robert E A Harvey
    Go

    Get evidence

    I hope enough evidence emerges to let Siemens sue the arses off whichever government agency was responsible for it.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Many people on this forum have a reality distortion

    Based on the misguided pro-iranian sentiment in recommendations.

    Here's the simple truth in 5:59 minutes, if you can deal with it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63hTOaRu7h4

    Thanks heavens for Stuxnet. Given a choice between being liked by TheReg commentators and staying alive, I'd chose to stay alive. Sorry if this offends anyone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Many people on this forum have a reality distortion

      Hmmm... It's always best to check the source of your propaganda, sorry, information before claiming it to be the "simple truth". In this case the video originates from Prager University. Never heard of it? Well I wouldn't be surprised, because Prager University happens to be the internet soapbox for a Mr Dennis Prager (quite an ego wouldn't you say?).

      "Dennis Prager (born August 2, 1948) is an American syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for conservative political and social views emanating from Judeo-Christian values. He defines the latter as E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, and Liberty (which includes small government)."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Prager

      That's all anyone really needs to know about this particular Zionist and why his views about the middle East are more than a little one-sided, to put it mildly.

  26. Jaap stoel

    More wikileaks anyone?

    I don't suppose there might be a few cables about joint operations between Israel and the US?

    Those would be the really interesting leaks.

  27. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    No title requirements

    Would be great if Wikileaks knew anything about this...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting article from 2009

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine

  29. cannon
    Big Brother

    Terrorists

    USA, Israel & the UK are global terrorists. Keep giving up your liberties ppl as owning an id card, submitting your DNA ect will defo stop terrorists......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-ZqHdykS3Y

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP7Km_waRRI

    1. william henderson 1

      and what....

      are the islamists offering as an alternative?

      1. Tom 13

        There is no alternative.

        Only death to the infadels.

  30. Spicy McMarsbar
    Grenade

    'nother angle

    Iran creates virus, patches its own systems, claims Israel/US are attacking it and that its nuke programme is now years behind schedule because of it. Step 4: profit??

  31. Yotam
    Megaphone

    Israel can only pray

    Israel can only pray that the rest of its enemies are as fools as those arab shills calming israel is terrorism and apartheid with ages old anti-jewish propaganda, while israel is developing super computer viruses and who knows what else.

    I have recently seen a couple of studies checking the correlation between origin,religion and israel-hate, and guess what were the results ~93% of those who had 'critical opinion' on israel(it being apartheid state etc) were from arab origin and 91% were muslim.

    So same you didn't need to discover America to know israel has something to do with stuxnet, you dont need Columbus to know that israel haters are ARAB shills.

    1. Steen Hive

      WTF?

      The only way one can confuse an argument against the makey-uppy, racist, ethnic-cleansing nation-state of Israel as anti-Jewish propaganda is if one maliciously conflates the existence of the state of Israel with the existence of Jews - a magical sleight-of hand, if it weren't so totally transparent and vile - and hadn't cost so many their lives, land and livelihoods .

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Steen Hive

        Interesting how any criticism of the Israeli state policy, or Zionist policy, is trumpeted as anti-Semitism. I thought the Palestinians were Semitic, so are not Israel and Zionists in general actually betraying an anti-Semitic bias?

        I only ask the question - (waiting for flame - where's the fire extinguisher icon?)

  32. smegged
    Boffin

    Idea?

    All these problems started when the UN decided to create a new state right on top of Palestine, smack bang in the middle east. None of it neighbours wanted it then or now.

    How about the UN moving the whole state of Israel? The US love them, They could occupy one of the states in the middle, one that you never hear of, Nebraska maybe? Ok you might get a few refugees and a few bulldozed homes, oh maybe the odd f16 strike if anyone complains, but who cares.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      @smegged

      Actually, it all started with the Balfour declaration.

  33. FreeTard
    Happy

    So much hatred

    It's hilarious! OOh Israelis/jews are bad, OOh muslims/arabs are evil etc etc.

    Chill out lads, your getting way off the point on this article.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, they aren't.

      Because the article reference the NYSlimes, and the intent of that article was precisely to evoke this kind of anger and hatred. The technical bits are only the back drop.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twelver

    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the beliefs that are largely unique to Iran, i.e. that they hope to "quicken the coming of the apocalypse in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi, the prophesied future redeemer of Islam".

    There might be many evil regimes in this world but surely you can't allow one that wants to start an apocalypse to have nuclear weapons.

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hojjatieh

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Ideals v intentions

      "quicken the coming of the apocalypse in order to hasten the return of the Mahdi, the prophesied future redeemer of Islam"

      It may come as a surprise to you but the official Soviet ideology called for world-wide violent revolution to overthrow the yoke of capitalism and convert every country to one true communist way of life where there will be no exploited and exploiters, no money, no trade, no rich and poor divide.

      Sometime. Eventually. In the far away future.

      For the more practical immediate future, though, the Politbureau members and the Party elite enjoyed the spoils of the capitalist industry and preferred to keep their personal money in Western banks, which they were in no rush to destroy.

    2. Michael Dunn
      Badgers

      Twelver?

      I believe Israel is also awaiting the arrival of a Messiah. There are those actively expecting the birth of a red heifer without blemish as a sign of his/her imminence. (Must the Messiah be a man, in this Harriet Harentity century?)

      (Sorry, I have to explain: If we say HarMAN, that's sexist, and contrary to that persons stated beliefs. However,. if we say HarPERSON then we are being speceisist; if we say HarBEING we are being livingist or sentientist. The only truly neutral word we can use is entity, as that which exists.)

      (On a totally different note, why do Muslims use a Latin word to describe non-Muslims? Surely this is totally against the very sentiment being propounded?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: twelver

        I don't have a problem with anyone waiting for a Messiah.

        I have a problem with people who think that starting an apocalyptic war is a good idea and with those same people having nuclear weapons. Means, motive and opportunity.

        Such beliefs cannot be compatible with owning devices that could cause an "apocalypse", surely.

        These appear to be the beliefs of Ayatollah Yazdi who was a mentor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

  35. damocles
    Grenade

    Simple Game

    Set up

    1. Form two teams, number of players is inconsequential for the purposes of the game.

    2. Each team shall then be installed in underground bunkers.

    3. Each player has a number of options:-

    (1) "Nuke 'em all"

    (2) "Nuke 'em all (I didn't vote, it's not my fault)"

    (3) "Let's do this with tanks instead"

    (4) "I don't want to play any more, can I go home"

    Playing the Game

    4. Each player on each team MUST vote for one of the above options in each round.

    5. At the end of each voting round any player selecting option 4, for the second time, is excused from the game (does not apply to team leaders).

    6. After each round the option with the lowest number of votes is removed.

    7. Voting continues until one option receives 90% of the votes. This is the winning option.

    Winning the game

    8. Once both teams return a winning option proceed as follows:-

    Option 4 - release all team members

    Options 1,2 & 3 - detonates nuclear devices in their own bunker

    So pick your team and go outside and play, leaving the rest of us free from angry rhetoric, propaganda, politics, religion and childish "but so and so did X first" finger pointing.

  36. Cool
    Thumb Up

    So many racists

    Im shocked that seemingly educated people who read theregister harbour such racist views.

    Israel is such a small country but has the balls to act when needed. A mad person such as the Iranian president shouldnt have neclear capabilities. They dont need it for power reasons.

    And for those who dont know, Israel was given back to the Israelis by the previous owners (the British) after the war, just as Hong Kong was given back by us in 2002.

    The palestinion people arnt welcomed in any other surrounding arab state by their own kind. Israel lets them work and live there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      playing the race card are we?

      It's the old "if you don't agree with Israel you must be anti-semitic or racist".

      What a load of crap.

      Also, some facts :

      1) Hong Kong was subject to a legally binding land lease, unlike Palestine.

      2) Hong Kong was given back to China when the lease expired in 1997, not 2002.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re:Idea?

    The UN recommended the creation of a Jewish state along side one for Palestinians from the remains of the Ottoman Empire. Which various European powers had been administrating since its collapse. It wasn't like the UN carved a chunk out of a viable Arab state and handed it over.

    That said, they (the UN) never followed through with their partition plan to finalize the plan and establish borders. Both sides had resorted to violence up to this point to acquire or defend territory. But the Arabs ended up losing more land than they would have had they come to the negotiating table. And the new state of Israel defines it's creation based upon the territory gained at the outcome of that war in 1948, not the peaceful UN initiative of 1947. And its been war or violence ever since.

    Recent leaks of State Department documents tend to indicate that moderates on both sides of the conflict as well as public sentiment supports a peaceful solution. But neither side dares anger their own lunatic fringes. Lest anyone forget, the Palestinians are not the only ones with such a fringe. The closest we've come to a solution, worked by Rabin and Arafat ended up with Rabin getting assassinated by an Israeli extremist. And the response of Israel's political machine was to kowtow to their fringe elements rather then sending in tanks to clean them out (like the US did in Waco, Texas). This wasn't seen as a hopeful sign by the Palestinians, along with the subsequent election of Sharon (the Butcher of Beirut).

    Neither side is willing to stomp out its own crackpot fringe, so they all get what they deserve. If Iran builds a bomb, let them use it. Soon to be followed by smoking craters in Tehran and Mecca. As long as they all have short range missiles, its their problem.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Options?

    Option #1

    Choose a side, give it lots of billions of dosh. Watch the other sides make contacts and gain lots of billions of dosh. Invest more heavily still and watch the harm, hurt and horror continue for decades, centuries or millennia.

    Option #2

    Be equally pleasant to all parties and when the strife has ended be pleasant to the winning party, commiserate with the losing party and hope that all will be magnanimous in defeat or (not exclusive or) victory.

    Why fund further misfortune by the misfortunate on the equally misfortunate just in order to maintain European borders (UK & France?) set up a long while ago and amended more recently still?

    Option #3

    Let then sort it out in either UN, courts of international authority, blood letting and spilling whatever they choose really knowing that we will be understanding in the aftermath.

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