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08 November 2013

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MM

Does this axis of a**holes (Israel/Saudi Arabia) have the ability to pull off a 9/11 type event on the USA without leaving any fingerprints and place the blame on Iran?

Or are we past the fingerprints requirement since the last 9/11 was sluffed off on Iraq through propaganda...No "proof" needed

The beaver

However, when we have a Foggy Bottom lead negotiator using thuggish language to describe the Iranians, I guess Bibi believes that he has the upper hand:

http://swampland.time.com/2013/10/24/the-comment-that-offended-iranians-more-than-a-nuclear-threat/

and in addition :
"The US will inform and consult with Israel about any nuclear deal world powers arrive at with Iran before it is carried out, because the Jewish state’s security is paramount, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman said in an interview with Channel 10 on Sunday."

I guess she must get her pay check from Israel.

Matthew

Cl: An interesting question is what can Congress actually do. It's been reported that America's unilateral sanctions actually violate WTO rules. If the Europeans refuse to "obey," the sanctions will unravel.


confusedponderer

Netanyahoo is a nut, simple as that.

I dare say that, should it ever come to that, people will find in retrospect that Israel's undoing came at the hands of the demented lunatics who proclaim to defend it most - with maximalist demands and their tribal vision of a Greater Israel at anybody else's expense.

The Israelis are fond of making a big stink about alleged Iranian non-compliance with the NPT, a treaty they value so highly that they aren't even a party to it themselves?

Likewise the Israelis aren't a party to the US-Iranian talks either, and would it not be to Israels profound influence in the US, nobody would consider their meddling as a third party called for.

Most of the time, that is. The exception to that rule would be Schroeder holding talks with Putin on gas imports, with the chancellor flying from Berlin to Moscow without stopping in Warsaw to hold the hand of one of the Kaczynski brothers to dispel vague fears of imminent encirclement. Alas, apparently there are some special needs children in every class.

Phil Weiss just recorded another Likudnik fanatic, Sheldon Adelson, notable Republican donor (iirc he donated several hundred million dollars to Republican candidates) and funder of settlement projects, proposing that the US nuke some piece of desert in Iran, and utter the ultimatum 'submit, or be next', not exactly an action within America's prseumable self image, but I digress - and Adelson did that to the applause of his American audience.

http://mondoweiss.net/2013/10/adelson-nuclear-negotiate.html

Thankfully, America now only has Obama in office - and not a certified neocon lunatic like Gingrich, Giuliani or McCain, to whom Adelson's way of making policy would perhaps appeal and who'd be beholden to loons like Adelson. I.e. rejoice, it could be so much worse.

JohnH

Why isn't someone marketing a Netanyahu bobble head whose sole function is to cry "Wolf!"?

Fred

So when will the EU and the US start demanding that Israel sign the NPT?

Petrous

A text book example of tail wagging dog(s), specially for the past 4 decades or so ....

Laura Wilson

Love it! Of course, at some point, he could be correct…you would think he would be more careful so as to build his credibility when it is needed.

DC

I watched the full clip -- Netanyahu segued right into his refusal to make concessions to "the palestinians." As if Iran and Palestine are related in his mind. I have not read anywhere the outlines of a deal he WOULD be willing to make with the palestinians, or with Iran. I think Israel's stance has been for a long time that it will not make any concessions to any party, about anything.

confusedponderer

"if Iran and Palestine are related"

Are they not? They're all 'the other'. To Bibi that apparently suffices.

twv

How many of you want/don't care if Iran develops a nuclear weapon?

confusedponderer

Afterthought: It is beyond me why Adelson does not recommend his preferred course of action to Israel - they have nukes and missiles, they could do it, at a price. They'd have no friends left after that, but, they could do that.

Apparently Adelson shares Podhoretz preferences.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGa9Ejs4_e4

Podhoretz famously hoped and prayed that the US bombs Iran already, unleashing "a wave of anti-Americanism all over the world that will make the anti-Americanism we’ve experienced so far look like a lovefest", the idea being apparently that the worse relations between the US and Arab or Muslim countries are, the better for Israel as it binds the US to the "only Middle Eastern Democracy" (Democracy of course only as long as you're Jewish).

The Middle East is the new Balkans, and the locals are a volatile bunch. Their infighting, in which they try to drag in as many outsiders as possible to tip the balance of power in their favour, is an open invitation for trouble. Thanks, but no thanks.

Bibi's vision for Greater Israel is lunacy. Israel's founders fled Europe's and Russia's ghettos. Today they could see Bibi and his troupe build themselves a supersized ghetto of their own in Israel. And Bibi and the lunatics in his coalition delight in pointing out how beautiful walls it has. Obliviously, for some people the glass is always half full.

Immigration from Israel is not an accident in light of Bibi's vision. What does such a country has to offer to Israel's best and brightest? A life in a religiously dominated Sparta in which reform Jews are not Jewish enough? It speaks volume, when, to my delight, Jews see a better future for them in the US, and Germany. Welcome.

mac

All countries are duty bound to provide for their national defense (I can hear Colonel Lang chuckling at the poli/sci nature of this statement and he would be right to do so). Iran certainly could choose to include a nuclear deterrent as part of its own defensive posture.

At this time, given the state of region however, a nuclear deterrent, I believe, would not strengthen its defensive posture and actually worsen it's strategic position.

turcopolier

twv

I don't really care. If Iran becomes an actual threat to the US as opposed to Israel, that would be another matter. pl

Charles I

How dare you.

David Habakkuk

CP,

Not long before he died, which would have been in the early 1990s, I heard Sir Rudolph Peierls talk at a Pugwash meeting about the circumstances in which he and Otto Frisch wrote the March 1940 memorandum which was the first demonstration of the feasibility of an atomic weapon small enough to be delivered by aircraft. The authors of what became the intellectual basis of the Manhattan Project were both Jewish refugees to Britain, Peierls from Berlin, Frisch from Vienna.

The only reason he wrote the memorandum, Peierls stressed, was out of concern that Germany might develop such a weapon. And indeed, he spent a great deal of effort in the remainder of his life trying to put the genie he had helped unleash back in the bottle.

He would have been appalled by Adelson’s nuclear bluster against Iran, and by the indulgence of it by ‘America’s rabbi’, Shmuley Boteach. So too would have been the Polish-Jewish refugee Sir Joseph Rothblat, who followed the same trail as Peierls, from working at Los Alamos to becoming a pivotal figure in Pugwash.

The history is also relevant to what you say about Israel as ghetto, and the unlikelihood that it can be sustained as such.

Before Hitler, European Jews had little in common – the gulf between, for instance, Boteach’s mentor, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and someone like Peierls was absolutely unbridgeable. And indeed, an element in the tragedy of German Jewry had to do quite precisely with the fact that many of them had identified so strongly with German culture that they were psychologically defenseless when the country they thought of as their ‘homeland’ turned on them.

But the notion that the Holocaust can be used as an instrument in a kind of power-putsch by what are essentially ghetto Jews to assert the notion of some kind of unified ‘Jewish people’ whose spiritual home is Israel, and of whom they are the natural leaders, is stupid, and is liable to end disastrously.

While ‘tribalist’ tendencies both among American and British Jews seem to be much stronger than they were, I think that, as you suggest, the problem Netanyahu faces in keeping the ‘best and brightest’ in Israel is liable to be insuperable. For one thing, the notion that Israel can be a ‘safe haven’ for Jews has become patently preposterous – indeed, it is in part because he is engaged in an impossible attempt to sustain the unsustainable that Netanyahu is so dangerous.

Moreover, tribalism may be less attractive, if you actually have to live in the ghetto and hanker after a wider and more stimulating world. The only Jew I ever knew who had spent time in a concentration camp, incidentally, went back to his ‘homeland’ – Germany. For many of those who roots are in the ‘yekke’ tradition in Israel, is not contemporary Berlin going to be a far more exciting place than than Tel Aviv? And may not their families’ roots in German culture be more interesting than those in the Middle East?

Moreover, more and more British Jews are both much more uneasy about the directions in which Israeli society has been moving than is apparent on the surface, and also increasingly aware of the dangers of the route down which Boteach and his like are trying to take them. His uncomprehending resentment at these facts is vividly apparent in an article Boteach has just published in the ‘Times of Israel’, under the title ‘The uncomfortable silence of British Jewry’.

(See http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-uncomfortable-silence-of-british-jewry/ )

Babak Makkinejad

I think that Adelson's remarks establishes the veracity of my position regarding nuclear weapons.

No such journalistic threats are ever uttered against nuclear-armed states.

QED

Babak Makkinejad

You wrote:

"...would not strengthen its defensive posture and actually worsen it's strategic position.."

Then you would be believing wrong.

Fred

Possession of even one nuclear weapon would put an end to Israel's pre-emptive war log rolling.

Charles I

They are related for Israeli politicians raise the oen as beard of the other domestically and internationally. Who cares, who can care, about Palestinian suffering - or Israeli criminality - when there are Iranians to be feared. The whole Iran bogeyman plays many roles in the Israeli's Palestinian calculations, see Juan Cole's item on Top Reasons to reject any deal:

http://www.juancole.com/2013/11/reasons-israels-nuclear.html

The beaver

So it seems that it is Fabius (France) who has be the real $--t disturber during the Iran's nuclear deal this WE. I guess Quai D'Orsay and its cognoscenti from the 16th arr. want to get even for the Syria fiasco wrt Chemical weapons of two months ago. Now France wants to replace the US as far as being the pourvoyeur of arms and nuclear technology to the Saudis...If one remembers how Israel got its nuclear tech ( good old de Gaulle and tonton afterwards)

confusedponderer

Add to that: "Israeli Intelligence Sources Contradict Bibi, Congress on Iran"

http://www.lobelog.com/israeli-intelligence-sources/

David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad, mac,

It has for some considerable time seemed to me likely that the Iranian objective is to attain a state of what is termed ‘nuclear pregnancy’ – that is, a situation in which without actually having a nuclear weapon, they would have the capacity to make one relatively quickly. This, of course, is quite within their rights under the NPT.

That is the assessment of Peter Jenkins, the former British Ambassador to the IAEA, who is a strong believer that a serious Western attempt to achieve a compromise is long overdue – and his view appears to fit with the estimates from the U.S. intelligence community. From the piece on ‘LobeLog’ to which CP links below, I understand it is also the position of the head of Israeli Military Intelligence, Major General Aviv Kochavi.

My own view is that it the least worst option for Iran, in an extremely difficult strategic situation, might very well be to seek to keep its options open in this manner.

The Likudniks and their American fellow-travellers, and also the Saudis, overreached themselves disastrously over Syria: failing to appreciate the depth of the resistance among the American public to being dragged into yet another futile military entanglement. This may have helped create a real opportunity for the new Iranian President, who appears eminently well-qualified to take advantage of it. Any indications that Netanyahu was right in his accusations of Iranian duplicity, and the advocates of a negotiated settlement wrong, would play into Netanyahu's hands.

Babak Makkinejad

You do not seem to have grasped what just happened - or did not happen - in Geneva over this weekend.

France made sure that war with Iran is the only real possibility by destroying the foundations of negotiated settlement.

confusedponderer

Yesterday, I heard a commenter remarking wryly on Kerry's silence on France scutling the Iran deal on friday: "pointing at their obstructionism wouldn't help mend divisions betwen the P5+1"

I wonder, were the French being lured away by Saudi offers, or are the French finally beholden to Israel also? What is the French vision for the Middle East? I am quite curious about the French motives.

To me the failure of the US-Iran talks is quite depressing. The problems the US faces here are largely selfmade.

The US have put themselves in an obvious dilemma here:

They tried for over a decade to get everybody on board to REALLY screw the Iranians, and have largely succeeded at that and have invested the Europeans in their endeavour, and carry the issue into the UN security council. Now that they are trying to walk away from that because the policy doesn't work - they find to their chagrin that they can't extricate themselves on their own anymore. It was US policy enabled the French to be the spoiler internationally.

I wonder whether the US could, if the French remain obstructionist, just exclude them from the talks because it is after all, first of all about US-Iranian relations, and not the pretext for its isolation, the nuclear issue (on which everybody could agree on?).

Add to these difficulties the demonstrated ability and inclination of the outsiders to the P5+1, Israel and Saudi Arabia, to play foul, and Israels ability to activate their American surrogates to torpedo the deal.

If Obama overcomes the French and makes the deal, he will still have to veto execution of all the numerous sanctions bills Israel's supporters have heaped upon him to tie his hand (I'd welcome Obama doing that, since foreign policy is a realm of te executive branch). He'll have to expend a considerable amount of enery and political capital to succeed. Given his record I am sceptical that he will do that.

Maybe the US should have kept their quarrel with Iran bilateral instead of insisting that everybody must hate whoever they hate also? I'd sure wish the Izzies and Saudis would keep it that way. Bibi in his histrionics tops everybody at that.

Alas, on the plus side: The US and Iran have talked more in the last weeks than in the last thirty years, and that has to cound as a positive development, even more so since ultimately the alternative is war.

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