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12 December 2013


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And pistachios. Iran is a leading producer and one of its biggest buyers is Israel interestingly enough. I seem to recall a story some years back that Israel buys theirs over those grown in California.


Here you go. Nuts going nuts about nuts.

"US asks Israel to stop importing pistachio from Iran"


Babak Makkinejad

US & EU do not care about that - it is their way or highway.


They don't have 'way' anymore. Empty rhetoric, total oligarchy masked as "democracy", neocolonialist resource extraction and endless finger-pointing for averting attention and cognitive dissonance neutralization. Lies in public, lies in private.. meaningless treadmill.

Babak Makkinejad

I think you need to pay special attention to the following:

In 2003, a military historian, Martin van Creveld, thought that the Al-Aqsa Intifada then in progress threatened Israel's existence. Van Creveld was quoted in David Hirst's The Gun and the Olive Branch (2003) as saying:

"We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: 'Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.' I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under."

My recommendation to you, if you be a European, is to do your best to disarm Israel lest Rome go up in smoke.

Norbert M Salamon

My father was a scholarship student in Germany in 1933-4 [paid in gold species]. The residence had only one cup of milk for 8 students for breakfast [all on similar scholarships] - indicative of the economic short comings of post Versailles Peace treaty [Hungary lost 2/3 of its area due to the same Peace Treaty. interesting prognostications by Lord Keynes: the Aftermath of Versailles.

David Habakkuk

William Fitzgerald, walrus:

This is a history I find hard to understand, but one curious story may be worth inserting into the ‘mix’, as it were.

The Abwehr hand ciphers were originally identified and the first decoding done not at Bletchley Park but by the Merton College (Oxford) physicist, E.W.B. Gill, a veteran of First World War wireless intelligence in the Middle East, and Hugh Trevor-Roper, a young historian he had taken into the Radio Security Service with him. This was partly because Trevor-Roper had some knowledge of German.

Building on this, Dilwyn Knox cracked the Abwehr machine codes at Bletchley. As a result, by November 1942 Trevor-Roper – who for his sins had been transferred into MI6, largely useless then as now – had grasped the depth of the tensions between the Abwehr and the General Staff, and the Nazi Party and the ‘Sicherheitsdienst’.

Accordingly, he understood that the overtures from Admiral Canaris for a meeting in Spain with the head of MI6, Stewart Menzies, were not a manoeuvre intended to produce a new Venlo incident.

The attempts by Trevor-Roper to send the information up the chain of command were, initially, frustrated by a collaboration between his inept superior Felix Cowgill and Kim Philby. However, as is now known, he circumvented these obstacles, and the information was presented to Churchill, who ignored it.

Whether had there been a serious exploration of the overtures from Canaris it might have been possible to do a ‘butcher’s cleaver’ move, and engineer a successful plot to assassinate Hitler, is one of the great imponderables of the Second World War.

On the one hand, the assassination attempts came close to success – and had they enlisted more high level support among the senior army commanders, they might very well have succeeded. On the other, such overtures would have been known to Stalin, through Philby. It could be that, had the matter been handled with sophistication, there would not have been a risk of a premature rupture in relations with the Soviet Union.

But two things have to be remembered. One is that Stalin, unlike Roosevelt or Churchill, was in a position to make rapid and drastic changes in strategy. This ability could have been used to ensure that, once the Allied bridgehead in Normandy was secure, the energies of the Wehrmacht were shifted to the West.

Another is that Roosevelt’s blatant buttering up of Stalin, and determination to distance himself as much as possible from Churchill, who the Soviets greatly admired by comprehensively distrusted (with reason), paid dividends.

All the evidence suggests that, contrary to what George Kennan suggested, at the end of the war Stalin believed that he could maintain some kind of modus vivendi with the United States into the post-war period, and had strong interests in doing so.

It is not clear to me whether, had this not been so, Stalin would not have found means of slackening off his offensives in the East, so that the could calibrate policy to ensure that the Germans and the Western Allies did each other the maximum amount of damage.

Looking at the matter in purely Machiavellian terms, however, it seems to me that this could well have been a more sensible strategy for Stalin to have pursued than that which he did actually pursue.


I am absolutely with you on that larger strategic outlook. Even the sanctions against Iran me angry.

One little point I have to look at again: As you know the seamless shift from Nazi Germany to the cold war was one of my main scapegoats, connected to my encounter with my headmaster in English, from my very limited perspective it made it far too easy for the easily aligned to survive into the new era. In this context the soldier only feels as the peak of a larger social iceberg, the too easy well-adjusted no matter what. I can see it's different on the larger political plain, where it is not about my own traumas but about the larger social benefit, but then politics was never one of my interests. The political microcosm was, everyday people and resentment, the political microcosm always was. Where exactly to things start?

In the seventies I was admittedly puzzled about the left's collective grasp of US soldiers as enemy, which felt peculiarly similar to the prejudice against foreign workers, as they were called at that time. People expected them to be "guests" only, apparently. The attacks on the US military from the left wing terrorists on the American military over here in the 70s felt misguided to me and pretty similar to the prejudice I had witnessed before. Somewhat reminiscent of right wing thought. But then I was never interested in politics pre 911, only in the he "microcosmic political level" The "collective prejudice" against soldiers as earlier that against other "foreigners", it felt similar: Talk to or be friends with American soldiers, same effect as talking with the Greek or Italian workers in the little town I wound up with 15, you were suspected of being a whore.

Two points though:
Without the shift to the "cold war" and the fact that it was easily surviving former Nazis, why not pick out the prominent German Nazi careerists like the later the American Wernher Magnus Maximilian von Braun, maybe there wouldn't have been German terrorists?

"The change was heralded by Restatement of Policy on Germany, a famous speech by James F. Byrnes, then United States Secretary of State, held in Stuttgart on September 6, 1946."

It would be interesting what effect this speech had on high school curricula politics and the larger context.

More on your line of thinking, and I think I agree:
There would have been no Nazis and no WWII without the repressive regime post WWI. And that had much to do with the harsh post war regime that Nazis could far too easily exhibit for their own designs.

Why do you think that the execution of Saddam Hussein made me think of the South African truth commission? Why did he have to be dead so fast? Maybe the truth would have been more important than punishment in the long run? But I guess that is lost in secrecy? And our law, the only thing we have, does not really guarantee it. Or do you really think? As I realized once I studied it in my limited post grad ways, law may in fact be exactly the point where our democracy is deficient. But there is nothing better unfortunately. Some know it and can adjust their tales accordingly and some don't.


the 1848 German refugees contributed much to America. Carl Schurz was a civil war general and later interior minister. The German "gymnasts" guarded Lincoln. Many Union outfits in the Civil War were all Germans. The Germans of St. Louis headed off secession.

What a pity they became considered quasi "Enemy Alies" in world War I. Wilson is cast as an idealist but it he was half English (thru his mother) and that's why he entwined us in that war among the three cousins (George, Wilhem, and Nicholas), all of them Queen Victoria's grandchildren.

Don't understand how the British became estranged from the Deutsch. They were allies against Napoleon. And the first World War set the stage for the Second.

Babak Makkinejad


Comparisons to Germany - beyond some doubtful historical analogies are not useful.

I think the only European country that one could usefully compare Iran with is Spain, followed (distantly) by Italy.

Germany is too new, too raw, too precise, and too controlled to suit the Iranians' tastes.

Iranians like Spain - without a doubt, specially Barcelona (from hearsay).

And they like the Hispano-American culture; so many married Puerto Rican women - that is also well-known (in Puerto Rico) which puzzled the Puerto Ricans.

Babak Makkinejad

JP Morgan had loaned money to France.

He got US in that war so that his loans would be paid back.

I do not know if he ever got his money back though.

Babak Makkinejad

I think you and others are looking for rational or semi-rational explanations, all the while discounting what C G Jung had observed: "Wotan inside every German".

The will to war that required democracy to be abandoned for war to have a chance.

And before you dismiss me (and him) recall that in the US Civil War, the Abolitionists could have issued bonds (through their control of the US Federal Government) to buy all the slaves and to free them.

But they wanted war and so did the South; in my opinion.

Babak Makkinejad

You are probably right; judging but what they did to Syria....

Norbert M Salamon

It does appear that further sanctions by USA are counterproductive, as can be observed by Iran walking out of meeting [and going home] since the USA Treasury decided to punish Third Parties for dealing with IRAN.

 Larry Kart

Just to be clear -- the Morgenthau Plan was the bright idea of Secretary of Treasury Henry J. Morgenthau, not political thinker Hans Morgenthau:



There were many people of German decent in America before the war for independence; 1848 was only an additional period of immigration.


We Germans sure are sure collectively afflicted by our heritage - spiritual, historical and gentic. Jonah Goldhagen sees in the Germans that unique "eliminatory anti-Semitism" that only we are privvy too. And now, we are being possessed by Wotan, too!

Now, Goldhagen is an idiot, we can cut it short and leave it at that.

And while I take Jung serious, I don't know what he saw. Let me imagine then: So maybe Jung before WW-I heard the sentiment that Imperial Germany was an aspiring nation denied its place in the sun - the various crises about colonial possessions were about that. After WW-I he may have perceived a sense of (unjustified?) grievance and a desire to right it in Germans?

Maybe Jung just didn't get out much, or listened to too much Wagner. Such sentiment is probably simply something that militarism, or an unfair peace, does to people.

I fail to see how any of this that would be something peculiarly German.

The French certainly had it in them, if Chauvinism or General Boulanger - mind his nickname "General Revanche" - are any indication. Were the French ridden by Mars then?

The Israelis appear to have it in their blood, too, considering their demonstrated inclination to use force wherever practically or impractically possible. Is the thunder and brimstone face of Yahweh behind that?

What do the numerous interventions of late by the US tell us about them, that they, the victors of the Cold War, are ridden by Nike? Or Nemesis, posing as Nike?

Curiouser and curiouser ...


Exactly so, David. Thanks.


CP et al

As you know I have been absent in SC for HF Guggenheim foundation board meeting and only partly paying attention to what has been occurring bit I'm back. I must say that the level of consternation and Teutonic wearing of sack cloth and ashes that resulted from my fairly casual comparison of the Merganthauing of Germany and Iran surprises. Evidently a lot you Tchermans are really still gripped with shame and are grateful to Morgenthau and Roosevelt for seeking the destitution of your country as punishment for the wickedness of your collective character. I didn't think that calvinism had that firm a grip on the German souls. For C----t sake! You didn't do it! Let's see. If we are going to play that game, then all the sins of the fathers should be visited upon the heads of the children unto generation X. pl


They didn't do it by themselves, Col. Let's not forget that certain people used the blame game as a mean to extract concessions an impunity for their own misbehavior. Same old game of hmm.. "politics", even during the last few years.


Re: the "wickedness of your collective character"

My very point was that this notion is nonsense.

That is why I think Goldhagen's inane assertion of some innate murderous train in us Germans as idiotic as Jung's observation that there is Wotan residing in our souls. It's BS, all of it.

And I wholeheartedly agree that I, born in 1974, bear zero responsibility for WW-I, WW-II and the holocaust, and owe nothing, least of all deference, to Israel for that matter.

David Habakkuk


In trying to find a way out of the current shambles, German Holocaust guilt is actually peculiarly unhelpful. The former Labour Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, pointed this out recently – and unsurprisingly found what he had said totally misrepresented by stupid and hysterical Zionists.

The report in the Jewish Chronicle is extremely revealing:

‘Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub has said comments made by former British foreign secretary Jack Straw follow a “very troubling tradition” of familiar tropes about “sinister Jewish power”.

‘The ambassador was speaking after a row over Mr Straw’s remarks in a Parliamentary debate on diplomacy in the Middle East.

‘The former Labour minister dismissed claims that his comments had been “antisemitic”, following earlier criticism from ex-Knesset member Einat Wilf.

‘She had appeared alongside Mr Straw on a panel in Westminster last week.

‘Following the Round Table Global Diplomatic Forum event, Ms Wilf posted a message on Facebook claiming she “nearly fell off my rickety British chair” while listening to Mr Straw.

‘He had spoken about Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, Germany’s support for Israel within the EU, and the work of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac).

‘Ms Wilf claimed: “He said ‘unlimited’ funds available to Jewish organisations and Aipac in the US are used to control and divert American policy in the region and that Germany’s ‘obsession’ with defending Israel were the problem.

‘“I guess he neglected to mention Jewish control of the media.”

‘Her comments were picked up by Israeli newspapers, which interpreted Mr Straw’s remarks as an “antisemitic diatribe”. One British website said he had “peddled [a] ‘Jewish control’ trope”.

‘Mr Taub said Mr Straw’s comments “fall in a very troubling tradition of attributing support for Israel to a sinister exercise of Jewish power.

‘“Particularly striking is the refusal to consider that support for Israel may arise, not as a result of pressure from some mysterious cabal, but simply from the recognition that, within the current turmoil in the Middle East, Israel remains an island of stability, irrevocably committed to democracy, free speech and the rule of law. “

‘Mr Straw had earlier hit back at Ms Wilf, denying that he had “embarked on an antisemitic rant”. He said there was “no justification whatsoever” for the claims made in Israel.

‘“I am not remotely antisemitic. Quite the reverse. I have all my life strongly supported the state of Israel, and its right to live in peace and security,” said Mr Straw.

‘The former Labour minister, who announced on Friday that he would be retiring as Blackburn MP at the 2015 general election, offered an explanation for his comments.

‘He said one of his concerns related to the “theft of Palestinians’ land” as a result of Israeli settlement building.

‘Mr Straw said he believed one of the difficulties in getting the EU to agree on taking a tougher stance towards Israeli activities in the West Bank was “the attitude of Germany, who for understandable reasons have been reluctant to be out of line with the government of Israel”.

‘He added: “I spoke of the problems which faced President Obama from Aipac and the ‘Israeli lobby’ more generally. I pointed out that Prime Minister Netanyahu was a player in domestic US politics, on the Republican side, and that under US political funding rules, huge sums were spent by Aipac in support of some elected politicians and against others.”

‘Mr Straw concluded: “None of this is ‘antisemitic’. There are plenty of people in Israel who take a similar view to me — not least because they believe that the current approach of the government of Israel will weaken Israel’s position.”

(See http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/112781/storm-over-jack-straw-hate%E2%80%99-remarks )

To add a personal note. One of my late mother’s lifelong friends, the daughter of a Russian Jewish émigré lawyer, is also a close friend of Jack Straw’s mother – I heard her singing his praises some years back. Like me, Straw is a classic British philosemite. The sheer self-destructive stupidity of Israel’s apologists, both in the United States and in Britain, never ceases to amaze me.

Babak Makkinejad

C G Jung had stated that he did not see the World War I coming, but he was certain of World War II since he could then see Wotan inside every German.

I do not think by that he meant there was Wotan inside every German all of the time.

different clue

I remember reading somewhere that Captain of Artillery Harry Truman, serving in Europe up to the time of Armistice, said something about how if the war was not kept going and the German Army was not forced to admit its own defeat within Germany itself; that there would be another war with Germany in twenty years. He didn't invoke Wotan to predict that.

And Keynes predicted that the punitive and predatory peace following the Armistice would in itself drive Germany to another war at some point.
When did Jung make his prediction?

Babak Makkinejad

You are not going far enough in your conclusions; that sane men like Jack Straw have no place in common Western position on Israel and the broader Middle East.

The absence of sanity is clear: US and EU engaged in essentially a religious war in the Middle East against both Shia and Sunni.

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