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23 March 2012


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Babak Makkinejad

That is fine & thank your for your comments.

However, you do not need a conspiracy; in Germany there has been strong anti-Islam sentiment for decades. The depth of prejudice in that country against Islam is truly astonishing; for a country that has not had any historical experience with Islam and Muslims.

One neuro-scientists was telling me that - in effect - Sikhs were also Muslims.

I would like to know your opinion, would the EU coercive diplomacy against Iran be there if there peace between Palestinians and Israelis?

Babak Makkinejad

OK, so you admit 30% is the US policy is attributable to the Jewish Lobby.

Good, we are getting somewhere.

I would like to know your opinion, would the US coercive diplomacy against Iran be there if there were peace between Palestinians and Israelis?

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

The question of 'coercive diplomacy' is not a yes or no matter. What characterises the current version is a combination of 1. objectives which are probably unachievable by any means, 2. means which are likely to be inefficacious, but at the same time not only inflict massive suffering on the Iranian population, but are self-destructive in terms of U.S. interests.

Sceptical media coverage of the talk about moves to get away from dollar-based systems of exchange at the meeting of BRIC leaders, based upon their lack of common interests or perspectives, partly misses the point.

If exclusion from the SWIFT system can not only be used as a weapon against Iran, but as a threat against India, then any power which may be involved in a confrontation with the U.S., directly or indirectly, has to question the wisdom of dependence on the dollar trading system.

(See http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonmatonis/2012/03/27/the-payments-network-as-economic-weapon/ )

Given the other powerful pressures undermining the traditional role of the dollar as the global reserve currency, this is borderline lunacy.

If you ask whether this abortion of a strategy would have been adopted, absent the pressure of the Israeli lobby, I think it highly unlikely.

On the question of prejudice in Britain, incidentally, one thing of which you can absolutely acquit both Blair and Cameron is anti-Semitism. The notion that either man would seek to scapegoat Israel or Jews for actions they take for sinister 'realpolitik' motives is simply wrong.


However, you do not need a conspiracy; in Germany there has been strong anti-Islam sentiment for decades.

No, you do not need grand conspiracy tales, but these tales may have the power to sneak into consciousness by circumventing reason and may in fact be more effective than crude anti-foreigner paroles, it adds the idea of imminent danger and fear. At least that is my suspicion, as long as you can connect them with bits of reality, offered by 911 on a plate. It surely is well received on the far right over here, that was my fear from the moment I watched it develop in the US.

I obviously am aware of terror against Muslims, which in Germany would be mainly Turkish Germans. They may well be the top target group of the far right over here. The recently caught, or killed national-socialist-underground terror cell targeted with one exception only Turkish shopkeepers over the last decade.

When here in North-Rhine Westphalia Turkish homes burnt and people were killed in the 90s, I went to one of the few demonstrations I attended in my life. A more experienced friend, as far as demonstrations are concerned, tried to hold me back suggesting it might get dangerous at specific sectors of the crowd. But I was curious about the really mixed crowd, and tried to decipher their banners and find out who they were, if need be, by asking them. I met the People's Mujaheddin there the first time, with their self-made folders and documentation and horrible photos of 12 year old girls supposedly hanged for not wearing the shador. What do you think about them? Were they involved in the assassinations of Iranian scientist? I don't support them anymore, and advised the friend mentioned above against doing so when they contacted him via phone recently. They collected the addresses and phone numbers of everyone that donated something. ...

Call me an antisemite, but I can't ignore a strong nexus between an emotional tie to Israel and Arabophobia. You think we should simply accept the Jewish/Israeli expertise on the Arab mind in the West? That's part of my struggle, facing the new ideological realities post 911.


How else can one understand that two Jewish Germans, one a prominent survivor and author, I highly respected, the other a missionary of the "axis- of-good" against the Arab threat warrior, a journalist, are suddenly on the side of the extreme right over here in their polemics against a Turkish mosque with statements like this? Not particularly worried about siding with the encestors of their former enemy. They have a new one now.


The prominent author Ralph Giordano stated that he opposed the project as the mosque would be “an expression of the creeping Islamization of our land”, a “declaration of war”,[and that he wouldn't want to see women wearing headscarfs on German streets, likening their appearance to “human penguins”. Henryk M. Broder, a journalist, disagrees with Giordano's metaphor but said that “A mosque is more than a church or a synagogue. It is a political statement.” Giordano's remarks have turned the local dispute into a national debate about the place of Islam in Germany, and other prominent Germans criticized the project as well. District mayor Uckermann stated that Giordano's comments “broke down the wall. Before if you criticised this monstrous mosque you were a Nazi. But we have a problem with the integration of Muslims. It's a question of language and culture.”

You think, we should ignore this, not ask questions? We call this: "geistige Brandstifter", intellectual/mental arsonists. They argue Turkish Germans aren't well enough integrated. Many, many are already. Many Turkish employees, shopkeepers, businessman, contribute to the wealth of Germany for several generations now. We also have scientist, lawyers, actors, filmmakers, authors, musicians among others by now.


One neuro-scientists was telling me that - in effect - Sikhs were also Muslims.

I do not understand neuro-science in the context, and since I don't understand that, I don't get "in effect" "also Muslim" either. Do you mean genetically, or culturally related?

We have Sixth here, i heard about the trouble, the clashes, but don't really understand the conflict.

Are you Indian? Iranian? Or American with the respective background?


I would like to know your opinion, would the EU coercive diplomacy against Iran be there if there peace between Palestinians and Israelis?

Can you explain to me why this suddenly feels like a parallel to the Israeli argument, even if Israel was gone, "the West" would still have a problem with "the Arabs"? Or a variation thereof?

One very simple point, I think if the US would manage to help to bring this about, it would be a huge signal to the Arab world. The better the more fair the Palestinians are treated. But Pat knows this far better than I do. But it surely runs counter to the ideologies above, appeasement of an enemy.

If one considers that politicians seem a species that does not learn from their own wrong decisions or disasters--while in every any other human enterprise one necessarily has to learn from mistakes and catastrophes to avoid them in the future--its quite possible the process has already developed its own dynamics and is very, very hard to stop or reverse. Iraq all over again.

It feels as if Israel pushes for war to avoid looking at its own problems, or diverting other's attention, and as it is, the situation is not sustainable. The world starts to pay attention to a much larger degree, not only the Arab world or Iran.

The constant delay tactics Israel uses towards the Palestinians are somehow mirrored in their expected outcome of such a war enterprise--people's lives of course never matter--a delay of four or five years now justifies war. Attacks every five years from now on? That is simply crazy. Israel likes to leave ruins and distruction around itself. It's always about delaying and while delaying and diverting people's attention shrinking a possible Palestinian state out of existence, while never really deciding what in the end should happen to them. Push them over the borders again?

But is it a rational confrontation? Wether it's Iran versus Israel, US, EU or "the West" against "the Muslim world". It doesn't feel so to me. Do you honestly think Europe and the US want to control Iran? Doesn't sound like a 21th century scenario to me, just like the last sentence in the paragraph above.They probably are more interested in access to the market. Security cooperations maybe, if the decisions were based on rational considerations.

The core problem seems to be can the US support the glaring double standard that the country that obviously ardently wants this war and thinks that Iranians should not even have the facilities/or abilities to develop nuclear technologies, while constantly pushing for a war against it, and while it has its own undeclared and uninspected nuclear weapon arsenal. But this same country doesn't want Iran to even study or develop nuclear technolgies for peaceful usage, since one never can be sure, how can it be they do not ultimately want the same thing Israel alreay has, in the game on the grand military power chessboard? it shouldn't even have nuclear scientists.

The whole scenario is somehow reminiscent of the ideological construct "Arab village", inspired by Western Orientalism. "A backward, undeveloped society", not an ancient culture mind you, that should be kept that way, versus a successful modern Western settler state.


That's only one of the double standards Israel pulls the US in. If it were a real Ally, would it only use the US strenght to save it from harm against the rest of the world? E.g. at the evil UN? A new getting votes for Israel at the UN task force. What exactly does Israel give back to the US for all the support? That they are allowed to celebrate Netanyahu, as if it was their own president? One little demand, please stop the settlements for a few month so talks can be done without Palestinian representatives loosing face. Remember?

American Jewish International Relations Institute

Norman Finkelstein's running gag must have gotten under some people's skin:

It’s just the U.S. and Israel, and then there are five other countries every year: Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.

The ultimate aim, no doubt, should be nuclear disarmament. Remember Obama invited Netanyahu, but he didn't show up?

Merkel by the way would have supported Bush's countries of the willing, she visited him before her elections. My favorite cartoon shows her in full riot gear in front of the Oval Office, a secretary opens the door announcing her: the German voluntary forces, Mr. President. She is something we called "Atlantiker" over here, someone who supports close relations between Europe and the US, and in Europe that always means, the president leads the Atlantiker follows. That is exactly what she is doing now.



Your comment greatly exceeds my guideline for length. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Iran was one of the only 4 nominally independent Muslim states in 1910- Egypt, Ottoman Empire, Iran, Afghanistan.

In 2012, she remains the only Muslim state with strategic autonomy - and close to where there is lots of oil.

Thus US-EU doing all they can to limit her strategic autonomy after the the destruction of the Ba'ath state.

In regards to Germany, I think her problem with Turks is to a dgree self-made; for decades German government denied them and their children citizenship while any Russian with tenous connection to Germany could move there and settle there.

But there is also this Germanic Volk - how many centuries did it take for Swabians to be considered part of the Volk? And they were Christians.

I think, that EU states have very very poor historical record of dealing with minority religions. There was a massacare of Jews in 14-th century all over Europe. There was the campaigns of Spaniards against Muslims and Jews during the reconquest of the Iberian Penninsula, and Sicily used to be a Muslim island; what happened to the Muslims there?

Many years ago, in this forum, I cautioned against the course of action that Mr. Bush and some other NATO states were taking; that they were dangerously skirting a religious war with Islam.

I think now we are closer than that time and I think you have the same concern.

I cannot answer your questions about Israel, the United States, etc. I do think that Israelis only care about Israel and the Jews elsewhere are a distant second to them.

They clearly do not care one whit about what happens to the 25,000 Jews in Iran.

The Orientalist were not completely wrong - I think most of the non-European world lived in poverty, illiteracy, squalor, and cunning stupidity in 1900.

Fortunately, Europeans, Japanese, Russians, and Americans came along and rudely awakened them. Since that time, these non-European people have been assimilating Western Techniques and Sciences and reforming, while, at the same time, pushing back and alien political control.

Merkel and others like Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy know that all of that EU as an independent geopolitical force is a delusion.

That without the United States, EU cannot forcefully participate in the World Affairs; especially after the Libyan War that became quite evident.


sorry, Pat, I realized I was stressing your patience. I allow me one last note.

But there is also this Germanic Volk - how many centuries did it take for Swabians to be considered part of the Volk? And they were Christians.

What is the German Volk? The German question is a result of the French revolution, with the Western south more influenced by French ideas than the military power Prussia.

First there was there was "German "national" Question", then there was "The Jewish Question".


The Wartburg festival:
A key event was a book-burning of reactionary literary works, and symbols of Napoleon like a corporal's cane. This act was used in 1933 as a justification for the Nazi book burnings.


I am not a fan of Helmut Kohl, I never trusted him, not without reason.

The Southern States could have followed the example in Switzerland, which didn't consider "Volk" or language the most important matter. From a Southern (born) perspective this would have saved us much harm. But Prussia due to its military power had a tendency to be expansive.


You have misinterpreted my percentages. The 30% was the strategic component - to dissuade Bibi from striking; the 70% - was to triangulate relative to the ziocon/Republican position which is to bomb Iran to rubble after an ultimatum like Bush gave Saddam.

Let me answer your other question differently. If Israel has no beef with Iran, then the US would not be pushing "coercive diplomacy". Remember that Ronnie the patron saint of the Republicans was quite happy to trade Israeli arms with Iran to finance the covert "red menace" war south of the border. Iran's strategic autonomy as you call it did not bother the Republican foreign policy crew then - they were too busy fighting the soviet bogeyman.

IMO, the Republicans set the boundary condition and the successful Democrats triangulate to that. Recall the welfare queen rhetoric and how Clinton triangulated with his sista Souljah moment. In US politics currently, only Ron Paul has an independent direction but notice he can only garner a very small percentage of the vote.

In any case please take my views on political matters with a grain of salt. It's just an opinion from a layman with no real insight.

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