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23 September 2012


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You are correct, drama seems to be the fitting association for the taste and feel of these pieces. Reminds me of Karl Kraus' one man fight against celebration of war with artful (feuilleton style) imagery in the papers of his time, before and during WWI.

"- Tel Aviv. Natanyahu is depicted as masterful, deeply insightful, profoundly wise and decisive."

Reality Check, Jim Lobe

Let’s All, For a Moment, Remember Bibi’s Wisdom on Iraq 10 Years Ago


Nima Shirazi, via Mondoweiss

Iraq/Iran is ‘feverishly working to develop atomic weapons’ — Netanyahu 2012 echoes Netanyahu 2002



Random quote:

Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.
Karl Kraus


I think it's already too late to prevent war. Saudi seems to be flooding the market with cheap oil. We will know for sure if Lloyd's acts on war risk insurance for the gulf this week.

Anti semitism is about to become fashionable again.

FB Ali

Apart from trying to undermine Obama, the Washpost seems to be also trying to undermine opposition in Israel to such a risky adventure by predicting that the Iranians will not retaliate, and thus the cost-benefit equation would be hugely favourable to Netanyahu's action.

It may also be trying to reduce opposition to such a harebrained scheme within the US.

I continue to be amazed at how many influential quarters in America are willing to support hard-right Israeli Zionism even at the cost of their own country's interests.



Literature is so dead in my country, the country of Emily Dickinson, Melville, Faulkner et al, that I was embarassed to make the reference. pl


Undermine Obama?

The Post - and the rest of the media - is an extension of the Obama campaign.

William R. Cumming

A "Free" press should not be confused with lack of bias!

My deepest concern is the failure of the MSM to understand
the ravages caused by the conduct of armed violence by the USA since 9/11/01 on the sinews of its democracy!

For an analysis of Iranian targeting suggest Paul Bracken's [Yale Univ. Prof.] 1999 book "Fire In the East"!

Pirate Laddie

Van Riper lives!
A world of foreseeable but suppressed outcomes is once again looming into sight. But wouldn't it be great if this marvelous adventure brought low Bibi and not the USofA? Ever the Romantic....


The news out of Iran that Iran assumes that any attack by Israel will have the support of the US and hence they will respond against both Israel and the US is a gift to Bibi. He can attack with certainty the US will be drawn in. The remaining question is whether those surrounding Bibi that are only reluctant because of uncertaintly of US support wee that as a bluff. I hope they do.


More mindless pseudo-serious posturing. Its pernicious real world effects stem from the sad reality thatwe have become so accustomed to accepting the absurd as normal that nothing seems absurd. Similarly, you cannot deep freeze your critical intelligence for a decade and then expect it to spring to life just because we're on the brink of a disaster even greater than those we already have cavalierly invited and complacently accepted. Moreover, what we are experiencing is a multi-faceted propoganda campaign with no countervailing, alternative view being presented (SST notwithstanding) to the public or the political class.

Alba Etie

I will still state this as clearly as possible - We the American People are bone weary of war . The right wing neocons and the Likudniks are making a huge error in not judging how poorly an unprovoked strike against Persia will end for the State of Israel . It will not be anti semtism when the American public demands that we not go to war in the MENA theater again, even in support of Israel - unless we ourselves are directly attacked . The USA is bone weary of war .(I also wonder who the new Judith Miller poster child will be at the Washington Post -and whose Aspen roots therein are intertwined ? )


Those who make a living with a crystal ball frequently end up eating broken glass. I certainly hope that enough people in leadership positions in Israel realize how much they can lose by such a blatant political action.

I know that it is fashionable among some on the right to consider most (other) Americans to lack intelligence. Should this fantasy become reality, I suspect the backlash will be swift and powerful. There is a reason why some of the same people act as if George W. Bush never existed but he did and his legacy is still commonly felt.

I have long held that this election will eventually come down to war or peace. The American public is largely tired of wars that seem to never end or accomplish anything worthwhile.


These are two excellent essays in a row. America will not attack prior to the election. The only chance for a joint strike is if Mitt Romney becomes President.

Will the Likudites unleash an air attack all by themselves? It seems a possibility. The Neo-Cons, War Profiteers and the Post editorial writers are all stove piping American involvement. It is like the Iraq Invasion all over again; another war of aggression. But, conventional air strikes against Iranian buried nuclear sites will be ineffective. To conquer Iran a million plus army is required.

Iran will not strike first but will retaliate if attacked by first intensifying the current unrest. No Nation can attack one and a half billion Muslims. The question is the escalation of responses. Turning Iran nuclear sites into glass assures an equivalent blow back here sooner or later. The reality is that America cannot afford the costs of this never ending Crusade to annex the West Bank and make war profits.

Containment worked against the likes of Stalin and Mao. It will also work against the Mullahs. To say otherwise and to attack is to project your own irrationality onto others.


Would any of the Arab states view an Israeli attack on Iran as a favorable event? Because it would enhance their own position? Or, because it would hasten the ultimate end of Israel?


With the election gradually sliding away from Mitt, Bibi will have to be Mitt's savior. I keep thinking Israel will launch on late Friday, October 12 (US time). The right wing id will explode with joy. The last three weeks of the election will ring with cries of "Treason. I say, Treason. Lynch him." against Obama. The voters? Who knows? It will be ugly.


WRC, their continuing
G salaries depend on them not understanding it.


C. Wright Mills called it Crackpot Realism:

"In crackpot realism, a high-flying moral rhetoric is joined with an opportunist crawling among a great scatter of unfocused fears and demands.The expectation of war solves many problems of the crackpot realists; it also confronts them with many new problems. Yet these, the problems of war, often seem easier to handle. They are out in the open: to produce more, to plan how to kill more of the enemy, to move materials thousands of miles . . . So instead of the unknown fear, the anxiety without end, some men of the higher circles prefer the simplification of known catastrophe...They know of no solutions to the paradoxes of the Middle East and Europe, the Far East and Africa except the landing of Marines. ... they prefer the bright, clear problems of war as they used to be. For they still believe that 'winning' means something, although they never tell us what..."


"Containment worked against the likes of Stalin and Mao. It will also work against the Mullahs. To say otherwise and to attack is to project your own irrationality onto others."

Folly! Them Ayatollahs are just too irrationally wicked for that assumption to be true! If we hesitate now, they will get a nuke and inevitably, compulsively, wipe Israel off the map, and in doing so invite nuclear devastation! They don't mind that because they are messianic and just can't wait for the Shiite equivalent of Armageddon*! After all, they suffered a million casualties in the Iran-Iraq war and kept fighting - that only proves how oblivious they are to losses.

/snark - and that's about what the nutters will reply to your argument.

* Presumably particularly plausible for many Christian Zionists, who can't wait for Armageddon themselves. Target audience for that 'meme'?

former 11B

So then according to your theory the Obama campaign painted itself as dithering and feckless by proxy.



Senate has adopted Netanayu's red line: 90:1. One veto by Rand Paul. What exactly was your question a while ago?

Considering the famous 99% vote in non-democratic political systems this is much more sad than crazy. Remember bipartisan, democratic senators voting against Obma.

Ali Gharib:

hat tip to Phil Weiss:


What should American voters think about the fact that not even democratic voters support their own party's president?

As to American literature, for several years now, I tell myself I should return to the arts, mentally, and ignore the games of the power players (cool-aid-servants, in our context), as I have done most of my life. But it is really hard to do; 911 and the aftermath has somehow politicized me.

I am absolutely not up to date concerning US literature, admittedly.


The WaPo editorial page is not in complete unity. Ignatius recently rang the bell on how posturing could quickly lead to a shooting war: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/david-ignatius-lessons-from-an-iranian-war-game/2012/09/20/8feb6010-0364-11e2-91e7-2962c74e7738_story.html.



Ignatius and Pincus are not part of the editorial page staff. pl





William R. Cumming

Is a high tolearnce for ambiguity a characteristic of leadership?


The Washington Post piece is so simplified and incomplete that it does seem like propaganda.
An Israeli attack could open the window to unexpected consequences rather immediately. What would Assad do that he is constrained from at present? While foreign leaders and media might follow the US lead, what would the public in the ME and Europe demand?
The big question is, what would Russia and China do if nukes are used, and the conflict spreads to Pakistan?

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