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06 March 2015

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Ex-11B

The indignity of it is we send them(Isreal) quite large sums of money, and then they turn around and buy our cheap whore politicians with it. How does that work?

Make me dictator for a day and I would take all the Isreal-firsters and AIPEC management and let them experience the joys of HALO directly over Tel Aviv. Except without the opening part.

Imagine the look on Bibi's face when he realizes the implications of that.

BabelFish

And this reminds me again that we get the government we vote for. With the MSM simpering about poor threatened Israel and congress believing they will be turned out by political attack during reelection if they don't drink and sell the kool-aid, the average voter seems not to care that a runt nation of no strategic benefit to us is leading our government around by the nose. We have elected a collection of craven turds.

William R. Cumming

P.L. Pretty much agree completely with this POST [which needed posting IMO] with the exception of the sentence extracted below:

"IMO Natanyahu is a racist who fervently believes that Israel can manipulate the world through cleverness based on racial superiority."

What is clear is that Bibi does not believe in separation of church and state and that Israel is and should be a THEOCRACY!

Being Jewish is religion IMO only and not a racial definition. The founders of Israel definitely wanted a safe and secure homeland for the Jews but were often secular in outlook although many Zionists.

If Israel was clearly identified by US FP as a theocracy US support would rapidly dwindle IMO. That is why I have suggested the 1st Amendment to the Constitution as the basis of US FP together with EQUAL RIGHTS FOR WOMEN.

LeaNder

"the "Citizen's United" decision ..."

shaping the minds of the American sheeple according to your own desires ... "the best democracy money can buy".

Imagine

"Iran's Ever-ticking Nuclear Clock: Countdown to Nothing"
http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2014/11/iran-nuclear-ticking-clock.html

Richard Perle for Netanyahu in 1996: go on the offensive:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Clean_Break:_A_New_Strategy_for_Securing_the_Realm

mbrenner

I wish to make a highly irregular yet serious recommendation. It is that we curb our preoccupation with Bibi Netanyahu - especially his speech to Congress, and above all its content. I fear that we are losing perspective on the event and thereby contributing to the impact of a phenomenon that could have historic consequences. By 'we," I am referring to the media, the commentators and the politicians - be they expert or otherwise. In being carried away by this singular development, we are inflating both its intellectual and political significance. Indeed, image and public relations is what it has been about from the outset.

I urge that we disregard its content for two reasons. First, there is absolutely nothing new in the criticisms of a conjectured agreement's terms. Why must we critique and contradict those theses simply because they are repeated by the prime minister of Israel? To treat their presentation as demanding a response is to say that Mr. Netanyahu and the country he represents have a rightful claim to have their concerns satisfied. Indeed, that has been the gist of more than one analytical story in The New York Times as well as an editorial - and elsewhere. The imperative that we reject that supposition is the other reason for refraining from yet another point by point refutation.

The overriding truths of what happened this week are these. The leader of a foreign country assumed the right to play a direct role as a protagonist in the making a crucial foreign policy decision. One political party, with the tacit acceptance of many in the President's Party, cynically collaborated in that unprecedented trespass. As a consequence, the President was humiliated before the world. The media and the punditry once again failed in their duty to hold our leaders to minimum standards of proper conduct by their either voicing approval, turning a blind eye, or expressing just tepid criticism. The post-speech commentary subordinated the core diplomatic and constitutional questions to concentrate on Netanyahu's argument. Thus, he was able to hijack the country's public discourse as well as to give a boost to critics in and out of Congress of the administration's policy direction.

The other cardinal lesson is that Barack Obama once again demonstrated that he lacks critical traits of leadership: true political instincts, and the courage to confront squarely an enemy. It is embarrassing in the extreme that the President of the United States should reduce himself to the status of a sideline commentator in dashing to a microphone to offer an off-the-cuff response to Netanyahu. It is still more embarrassing that he should hasten to reassure the Israelis that America will always hold them in dear embrace no matter what -thereby reducing the chances that anxious Israeli voters will dump Netanyahu in the elections. Obama seems not to have considered, much less acted on a recognition that he was being presented with a golden opportunity to strike a decisive blow against the Israelis, their American lobby and his Republican attackers by calling them out - the former on the issues of presumption and dependency, the latter on issues of loyalty and respect for American independence. That failure may well haunt us for a long time. I fear that the rest of us only add to the danger by a failing to see that the prudent thing now is to stop the music.


William R. Cumming

I know your recommendation was made in good faith but let's await outcome of the Israeli election!

Castellio

I have long leaned against "the religious war" analysis of the Middle East, not because I am unaware of sectarian divisions or historical communities; but due to the generality and laziness in the argument that can render conclusions facile and meaningless.

Also, the people pushing for the "religious war" interpretation are, often, seeking to benefit from a group identity being marshaled against "the other", rendering any serious negotiation of shared reality as simply unthinkable and not to be pursued. (see Bibi)

However, what happened in Washington has taken on precisely the configuration of a religious war: the country's most important pulpit was given to one who, claiming to speak for the world's Jews, essentially claimed that there is an enemy of the Jews who is irredeemably bad and must be destroyed sooner or later, if not by the US then by the state of Israel alone.

This is prophecy, not analysis, and those who sit and stand at his command agree to be acolytes of that vision. And Obama, rather than telling the truth about Israeli nuclear capabilities, intentions and history, as well as clarifying the appropriate role of the American government, has ceded the high ground of moral suasion.

What I am trying to say is this: those who want to position a war against Iran as a trans-national religious duty and moral obligation have taken another bold step forward; and those who oppose such actions were, essentially, proud to be in hiding.

Trying to establish the falsity/truth of Bibi's claims is one way of trying to turn him back from prophet to politician: it is critical that happen.

turcopolier

Castelio

"but due to the generality and laziness in the argument that can render conclusions facile and meaningless." Insulting, but I will let that go for now. You are yet another sucker for the economic deterministic laziness that lets you escape from learning anything important about the ME and to ignore the deep cultural and social divisions among peoples in the ME. pl

JerseyJeffersonian

Seemingly OT, but perhaps not, considering the person who is the object of this news item has been unstinting in his efforts to throw a spanner into the ongoing negotiations with Iran on behalf of his tribalist pals:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/06/politics/robert-menendez-criminal-corruption-charges-planned/

One of my two US Senators, both of them feckless. I would not be at all sad to see this one get picked off.

Larry Kart

While I agree with this from Mr. Brenner’s post:

“I urge that we disregard its content for two reasons. First, there is absolutely nothing new in the criticisms of a conjectured agreement's terms. Why must we critique and contradict those theses simply because they are repeated by the prime minister of Israel? To treat their presentation as demanding a response is to say that Mr. Netanyahu and the country he represents have a rightful claim to have their concerns satisfied.”


It seems to me that if Obama had done post-speech what Brenner says he should have done:

“Obama seems not to have considered, much less acted on a recognition that he was being presented with a golden opportunity to strike a decisive blow against the Israelis, their American lobby and his Republican attackers by calling them out — the former on the issues of presumption and dependency, the latter on issues of loyalty and respect for American independence.”

that would have furthered the already too prevalent notion that the POTUS and the Israeli P.M. are equivalent figures who are obliged to get into the ring and duke it out rhetorically about the obvious differences between U.S. and Israeli interests.

I don’t want to harp on Brenner’s use of the phrase “golden opportunity to strike a decisive blow,” but given that we’re only taking about verbal acts for the moment, what words would have sufficed to "strike that decisive blow," what words would not have stirred up an even bigger and longer-lasting political and media fuss than that which was aroused by the actual b.s. of Netanyahu’s speech and by the GOP invitation to him to give it? To me the more or less dismissive, “now it’s time for responsible people to get serious" tone of Obama’s response was just what was called for.

Castellio

I am surprised by your response.

I wasn't at all thinking of your analysis with that line. I apologize if it seemed so.

I find you continuously try to break down groupings into historical particulars, specific tribes, areas, times. That is the opposite of generality.

But many who assume the "religious war" model do so to use the broadest brush: We are at war with "Islam".

For the record, I agree that there are deep cultural and social divisions among people, and that they have abundant motivations which go well beyond material considerations.

Babak Makkinejad

So, finally the masque is off and one can see a major protagonist admit that he is waging a religious war.

And there are like-minded people in US who are comfortable with a religious war; I suppose that they believe there is a margin for them and for US in a religious war.

Good - the first step is to admit reality and use words that describe it.

Once we call things by their true names, we can start restoring order to the realm - as Confucius said.

Omonaija

A bit hash on Obama don't you think? A republican congress was actively complicit in undermining the Foreign policy of its government by offering Netanyahu a platform to address both houses akin to a State of the Union without consulting either the Presidency or State Department. As a thought experiment can you think of any other country that could have pulled this off?

Fact is the entire US polity is subordinate to Israeli interest. Nobody, be it a civil servant or a democrat/republican in government or actively seeking office will deviate from the script - fealty to Israeli interest. Leadership on Israeli influence in US politics is lacking not only with Obama but with huge sections of current, previous and future Presidents and congressmen. The expectation that Obama (or any of those currently haggling for office) will buck that trend is fantasy better suited to a House of Cards script.

Frank criticism of Israeli influence in the US takes place at the margins. No major media outlet will actively pursue stories or publish anything that openly discusses the tail wagging the dog. Why is that? Many have attempted that and find themselves tarred as antisemites or careers up ended. Prof Mearsheimers was derided for pointing out the obvious.

This is a much complex issue than you've attempted to paint by a focus on the Presidency and Obama in particular. For someone who reads the Cols writing that should be obvious.

Castellio

But Babak, I am not waging a religious war. I do agree a "religious war" is being pushed. I am trying to undermine that push, not to advance it.

Castellio

I know I, for one, am hoping you are right.

MRW

William R. Cumming,

You wrote that you didn’t agree with PL’s statement, "IMO Natanyahu is a racist who fervently believes that Israel can manipulate the world through cleverness based on racial superiority.” I thought it was the one comment (and observation) in his post that nailed it.

I realize *you* may think that being Jewish is merely a religion, but it ain’t what the Israelis or a lot of American Jews believe. There are atheistic Jews, Buddhist Jews, and secular Jews. And these guys will still belong to a synagogue, or to one for the high holidays. A woman on NPR two or three days ago who was being interviewed on a touchy Jewish subject (I forget), said she was an atheist but had to call “my rabbi” on the way over in the cab to discuss the issue with him.

True, Bibi doesn’t give a shit about separation of church and state, but he’s a flat-out racist creating a white-man theocracy under the guise of rescuing Holocaust survivors and their progeny, a crusader. Palestinians aside, he hates schwartze Jews (e.g. Ethiopian Jews), Arab Jews, and anything that can’t define itself as an Ash-can-nazi, with European roots. His disdain for non-rightwing American Jews mirrors his disdain for American non-Jews--according to an Israeli on Mondoweiss who willingly reports it from Israeli sites.

The founders of Israel no more wanted a safe and secure homeland for the Jews than fly to the moon. They were revolutionaries and terrorists who wanted to escape Bialystock and run a country. They blew up what they could in Palestine, and massacred or ethnically-cleansed the rest; 750,000 pushed into the sea. My Jewish sister-in-law's mother was orphaned during the war with her brother. They went to a Zionist Jewish charity for help (their parents were Jewish partisans). They took her older brother because he would be useful picking oranges in Palestine. They left her to die. She was 11. Nuns found her in a barn near death, and raised her in their orphanage and protected her until the war ended. She eventually married a Jewish man herself, but she had a visceral hatred for Zionist co-opting of Judaism and the use of the 'racial and intellectual superiority' argument to justify any complaint or any action against persecution for a purported 2,000 years. It stayed with her until she died two years ago. According to my sister-in-law, her mother carped from her earliest memory ‘what ruler or king kicks workers and taxpayers out of a country without a good reason’, ‘they were evil, just like they were to me’.

turcopolier

Castelio and Babak

To clarify - For me human existence is complex, but many seek to simplify it so much as to rob it of its richness. Economics, historical memory, ethnic identity, demographic geography, etc. These are all components of identity, but in the ME, unlike in such places as China and most of Western Europe today religion is probsably the most important element, not so much religion as philosophy and theology leading hopefully to salvation but rather religion as sect, a form of tribalism with great potency. This "mixed model" of ME identity leads to an endless variety of groupings, everything from various Israeli religio-political parties (including the anti-religious ones) to the wahhabi soaked world view of IS. In the particular case of IS the predominance of its brand of Islam can be seen in the willingness to destroy such valuable captured assets as the contents of the Mosul museum and the site at Nimrud. All that in pursuit of devotion to the notion of "shirk." The collection of simpletons whom you rightly denounce for calling for "religious war" are not so much wrong as they are inadequate in their thinking. For IS and Nusra this IS a religious war, a jihadi struggle that they justify in the writings of Qutb, Taimmiya and the like. Unfortunately, these wahhabi jihadis are, IMO, irreconcilable. they are something like the Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonics in the Crusade wars. They gave little quarter and asked none. The knights, and sergeants of those orders refused ransom when captured believing that to accept ransom was to strengthen the enemies of God. Is this not like the jihadis? The difficulty for those seeking a rational policy to combat such people as IS and Nusra is that there are those who in one way or another have a "dog in this fight," i.e., those evangelicals who are waiting and hoping for Armageddon to bring down the rapture and their friends, the Likud/WNEP crowd who wish for the Arab states and Iran to be neutered and Morgenthauized into brown pastures unable EVER to threaten Natanyahu's vision of Zion. We are, at this moment trapped between the American Christian Zionists, many of whom are in the Republican Party, the extreme partisans of Israel here and there and Obama's inability to comprehend ME realities and to control his own people in State and the White House. What we are reduced to just now is hoping for a PM in Israel who is other than a nationalist fanatic. pl

turcopolier

MRW

"I thought it was the one comment (and observation) in his post that nailed it." What part of my comment on Porter's article did you not agree with? pl

Amir

Mr Brenner's statement about "we placing too much importance in this singular event of Nitin Yahoo's presentation in front of both houses" is not completely correct.

Through public relations, the Israelis and their American lobby, have basically presented - be it true or false - to the world that THEY are the masters in the US government.
By definition, this vicious circle, enhances their position as the goto party, if one wants to get things done in US.

optimax

Our political discourse has reached a new low. Candidates will spar over who loves America and Israel more. Americans will be sucked into this vortex of emotional battle and voting for the perceived winner. It more patriotic when it was just God and babies.

Our new voting machines.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Nintendo/Nintendo-LoveTester.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Nintendo/LoveTester.htm&h=492&w=700&tbnid=ebuVx79UjcPf6M:&zoom=1&docid=iN-P9TN6_rrL6M&ei=2oH6VJ-fEIKYoQSv0YGIAQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CDIQMygCMAI">http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Nintendo/Nintendo-LoveTester.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Nintendo/LoveTester.htm&h=492&w=700&tbnid=ebuVx79UjcPf6M:&zoom=1&docid=iN-P9TN6_rrL6M&ei=2oH6VJ-fEIKYoQSv0YGIAQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CDIQMygCMAI">http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Nintendo/Nintendo-LoveTester.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Nintendo/LoveTester.htm&h=492&w=700&tbnid=ebuVx79UjcPf6M:&zoom=1&docid=iN-P9TN6_rrL6M&ei=2oH6VJ-fEIKYoQSv0YGIAQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CDIQMygCMAI

MRW

Nothing, "Nailed it" meant emphasis.

MRW

Brenner, then, is a liar.

Babak Makkinejad

I am in full agreement with your comments.

turcopolier

MRW.

Thanks. I couldn't quite sort that out. The story about the nuns and your aunt touched me. I am curious if they tried to evangelize her while she was in their care. pl

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