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25 February 2011


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William R. Cumming

Does the Papal Nuncio have some kind of special status at the UN? Islam?
Helene Van Damm followed Lauder as Ambassador to Austria after serving as the first head of WH personnel for Prsident Reagan. I only mention this because the US stood aside as the complicity of Austria in the NAZI empire was thoroughly documented during the 80's but not of course by the US. And interesting of course that the ecumenical GERMANS allowed the Austrian Greifrieter of WWI to lead them into disaster and destruction.

An odd little country Austria and interesting that is where Lauder wanted to be AMBASSADOR. Now of course again absorbed into the large GERMAN condominium called the EU!

Clifford Kiracofe


1. You gave me an idea for a piece in which I could take a look at some of Obama's political ambassadors, big campaign contributer types, etc.

2. Not sure what you mean about US policy toward Austria in Nazi era.

Some years ago, I looked over some of our diplomatic despatches coming out of Vienna (and Berlin) for the period. The ones I saw reflect concern about Nazism and Fascism. Our people in Munich very early on spotted Hitler for what he was.

Interestingly, the US Ambassador at Berlin was understandably incensed by the support of certain US Big Business circles for the Nazi regime.

The reports of our military attaches in the 1930s from Berlin are also of interest.

William R. Cumming

My point was the 80's when although no "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" as in S. Africa the Austrian government was no longer able to maintain the fiction that it had not cooperated fully with Hitler and the NAZI regime. It of course was the first official member of the "Greater Reich"!

Phil Giraldi

I believe that the US has several times discussed with Israel the possibility of a security arrangement, but Israel has been the reluctant party. Security pacts require mutual support in the event of an enemy attack or invasion. Since Israel does not have fixed borders it is impossible to determine when and if it has been invaded. It will have the same problem if it tries to join NATO.


"Meanwhile we await developments in the melodrama led by the Draq Queen of the Desert in Libya."

It is always refreshing a hear good sense of humor. I guess if Little Richard and Liberace had a baby he may look like Qaddafi.

More humor: David Frum is now arguing that Israel needs more financial aid from the US because of their increased insecurity vis-a-vis the turmoil in Egypt.

Now, keeping straight faces, we will hear appeals from Congressmen about the need of the American people to increase their aid to our friends in Israel. After all, along with defense spending, they do have a universal health care system to maintain.

You have to laugh at the irony. A sense of humor does help to keep sanity.

Patrick Lang


So far as I can recall, Israel has always resisted any sort of mutuality of obligations with the US. We owe them (God set that up according to Huckabee). They do not owe us. After all, who are we? NATO membership would be impossible for them unless the charter is re-written. NATO is inherently a mutual security pact. pl

Clifford Kiracofe

PG and pl,

Whether the concept of NATO including Israel one way or another is viable, prominent Zionists, academics, and others have floated the idea.

For example, here is what Ron Lauder had to say recently as reported by the Jewish Chronicle online:

"The president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has called for Israel to be admitted into NATO in order to guarantee its survival in the future.

Ronald Lauder, writing in German newspaper Die Welt, said: “Israel needs real guarantees for its security.

“European NATO member states – including Turkey – must admit the state of Israel into the Western alliance.”

Mr Lauder referred to the anti-government uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and said they were reminders of how “unpredictable” developments in the Middle East were.

But he said that NATO membership “would send a strong signal to other countries not to take on Israel”.

“Not to send such a signal or to discard it as totally unrealistic or counterproductive [would] be perceived by the enemies of the West as an encouragement to further intensify their assault on the Jewish state.”

The story ran 8 February at the time of the Herzliya Conference.

I saw an "academic" piece on this topic several years ago in a publication by the now Neoconnish Hoover Institution at Stanford.

William R. Cumming

Are there any secret protocols between the US and Israel over the 1948 recognition of Israel by US?

Clifford Kiracofe

1. Lauder's demand for NATO admission for Israel has some background.

For example, this floated by Asmus at the Washington Post circa 2006:

"The best way to provide Israel with that additional security is to upgrade its relationship with the collective defense arm of the West: NATO. Whether that upgraded relationship culminates in membership for Israel or simply a much closer strategic and operational defense relationship can be debated. After all, a classic security guarantee requires clear and recognized borders to be defended, something Israel does not have today. Configuring an upgraded Israel-NATO relationship will require careful diplomacy and planning. But what must be clear is that the West is prepared to match the growing bellicosity against Israel by stepping up its commitment to the existence of the Jewish state.

There are growing signs that Israel is interested in such a relationship with NATO. About two years ago I was approached by a group of Israelis and asked to help facilitate a closer Israeli-NATO dialogue. At the time, the idea seemed a bit far-fetched to many. Since then, however, a real debate has emerged in Israel over building closer ties to both NATO and the European Union. Israel has also presented the alliance with a plan for a step-by-step upgrade in bilateral cooperation. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has paid his first visit there, and talks on closer cooperation are underway.

Talking with my Israeli interlocutors two years ago, I asked them how they envisioned the circumstances under which Israel might one day seek NATO membership. They laid out two scenarios. The first was one in which Israel was moving toward a final peace settlement with Palestinians and an upgraded relationship with NATO became a key element in a package to persuade the Israeli public to opt for peace. The second was a scenario in which Iran acquired nuclear weapons and posed a real and growing threat to Israel. Having lost its own extended deterrence, Israel would turn to the West and NATO to help guarantee its very real security needs."

2. Madeleine Albright (I know) has been in charge of the "Group of Experts" advising NATO on the new strategic concept. For more on all this:



Ouch. It's 'Gefreiter', an equivalent to lance corporal or private first class.

Sam Will

Phil, PL, CK, WRC,

I am absolutely baffled by what is "omitted..." when you all talk and analyze the Middle East, US Foreign policy, NATO etc. Is it an omission...? or lack of what really goes on behind the scenes in the Greater Middle East....????
I would like to tell you ALL, that Israel has never ever stopped talking Directly to Iran since 1979...In fact I know that they are in daily contact...
I will give you one glaring example with full names here...Last fall, in the month of November, David Yaakov from Mossad was meeting with Ali Larijani in his office in Tehran...:) Should I go any further....?
Is the good old US of A not doing the same...? Or is it that Israel does those things behind the back of the USA....:)????

Sam Will

PL, Phil, WRC, CK,

DAVID YACOOV from MOSSAD calls himself in IRAN.....: DAOUD YAACOUB...., using an Arab sounding name...:)


As far as I can tell, NATO membership is inconsistent with Israel's human rights record.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Oberst Confused Ponderer!

And Sam Will after all Iran-Contra was an Israeli op to some extent. Some indication of Israeli officers at Iranian Battlion level in war with Iraq?

Patrick Lang


"Some indication of Israeli officers at Iranian Battlion level in war with Iraq?"

No, nothing like that. i think that would be too much war for them.

They were content to shop for materiel for Iran on the grey and black arms markets. pl


Given Russian recent immigration into Israel wouldn't it be more prudent of them to have an security agreement with Russia?


Maybe instead of referring the MQ as the Drag Queen of the Desert, we should just call him "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert".

The beaver

@Clifford Kiracoffe

Another person to keep in mind: Marc Rich
1. Why did Bill Clinton pardon him?
2. Why did the King of Spain and Ehud Barak ask for his clemency?
3.Why is he the toast of Tel-Aviv these days? getting honorary degrees and awards?
IDC Herzliya is the answer.

Patrick Lang


Rich was handling Israeli government money in the oil market when he got in trouble. pl

Clifford Kiracofe


as usual, you are in good form here.

don't know the answers to the questions you raise.

however, some argue that that Marc Rich is in some way at a nexus of: US organized crime, Russian organized crime, Israel, and certain international financial intertests.

Thus he is no small fish or penny ante crook.

Didn't "Scooter" Libby persuade Clinton the give him a pardon?

William R. Cumming

Libby was involved in the Rich pardon and perhaps even sex. Holder also.
Tracing the Rich and Madoff connections might find a surprising turn?

Patrick Lang


Yeah, sure... pl

William R. Cumming

Did not mean Libby and sex although apparently he was smitten with Judith Miller.
No referring to a higher holder of office but will let you guess?

If you are referring to MADOFF the suicide of a Eurpoean finance middleman between Russian mafia and Madoff is well documented!


@Fred: Given Russian recent immigration into Israel wouldn't it be more prudent of them to have an security agreement with Russia?

Don't even joke about this.

Security pacts? To whom would Israel not be a liability? Georgia? pl

For a "weak" party perhaps agreements and treaties aren't nearly as reliable as, say, [homage to Hobbes] a firm grip on the short hairs of The Bodye Politick ... or other more critical institutions and controls.

William R. Cumming

How many former Russian Jews in Israel and how many left in Russia?

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