23 August 2015


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The Beaver


Have you read about the letter Pres Obama sent :
"Laid out in a letter dated August 19 to US Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the president promised to increase American military aid for Israel."



The Beaver

Whatever we give them will be calculated so as to not be useful in attacks on Iran. pl

Margaret Steinfels

Nadler is my Congressman. I've written to thank him (and Senator Gillibrand) for doing the sane thing and the right thing. I've written to Senator Schumer too telling him it's too bad he's done the wrong thing.

Nadler's statement has its good points and its somewhat defensive ones; he'll get re-elected. http://bit.ly/1JpxFq4


This was predictable. It never was in the cards that any significant number of American Jews would question their overriding identity as Americans and primary loyalty to the US. Nor would they put themselves in the position where others might do so. The former is grounded in instinctive feelings; the latter in acquired historical memory. This is not to say that attitudes and public positions reflect a calculated instrumentality. It is simply that the subliminal awareness of vulnerability is ingrained in the collective consciousness.

Netanyahu et al badly miscalculated on this. By pushing American Jews to do things that brought them closer and closer to that implicit danger zone, there was a natural recoiling. Matters went this far for two reasons. First, the irresponsibility of Obama in tolerating Netanyahu's outrages which had the effect of legitimizing the blurring of the American/Israeli emotional boundary line. The other was the equal irresponsibility of so-called opinion leaders, the editors of The New York Times above all, who have been complicit in this dubious and dangerous enterprise. Those people have a lot to answer for.

Nancy K

Thank goodness saner heads seem to be prevailing.

The Beaver


OT (c'est mieux en Français) : Ça brasse à Beirut (Liban)

ex-PFC Chuck

I was deeply disappointed to see that Jim Webb came out against the deal a few days ago. I had hoped he was too smart to be neoconned. Sadly, no. That leaves Long Shot Lessig as the only as the only announced legacy party candidate I'd consider voting for, and that would depend on who received the VP nomination. Until last week Webb seemed to be a good choice.


"implicit danger zone"? Can you please elobatate? Netanyahu's audience was not in my opinion the Jewish community but the evangelical Christians and Christians who feel there is a special connection with Israel. Iraq, Afghanistan, Economy and ISIS have sobered those individuals. The Jewish community has tepidly reproached Netanyahu, so this narrative of a pushback is overblown.

A lot to answer for? Nah. Did anyone answer for Iraq?

old man

Does this mean that the default spokesman for the Jewish community in the USA will no longer be AIPAC. Will J-Street assume the mantle??


"Hopefully, wiser people among American and Israeli Jews will have ameliorated long term reactions to what Bibi has tried to do. "

I share that hope, and pray you're right.

Alas, the nutters hope and pray for war with Iran, as expressed most candidly by Podshoretz in 2007. It is interesting to re-read that article because in esence it is the same argument the Izzies make today, sans the bogeyman Ahmadinejad, conserved in amber.

“Well, if we were to bomb the Iranians as I hope and pray we will,” Podhoretz says, “we’ll unleash a wave of anti-Americanism all over the world that will make the anti-Americanism we’ve experienced so far look like a lovefest.”


Ok, so who in his right mind would want that, and how is it that bombing Iran would be a good thing then, and to whom and why?

"The only thing worse than bombing Iran, McCain has declared, is allowing Iran to get the bomb."

The entire premise of the maximalist Israeli argument is that Iran is up to bombmaking, a notion that US intel and the Mossad both deny.

Put simply, the nuke issue is a fiction that serves as the fig leaf for Israel for not having to say that they want the Iranians be kept down forwever lest they have to restrain themselves.

Under that fig leaf the Izzies are stark naked and everybody sees it. No histrionics on the part of Israel or its partisans can make up for that.


robt willmann

Off topic, but there was a large explosion at a U.S. Army depot in Japan, outside Tokyo--



The article quotes a spokesman as saying that there was no ammunition stored at the depot. If the video is of the event, then what was exploding in the multiple explosions the video shows?

robt willmann

Talk has increased recently after a story by the Associated Press that Iran will be able to inspect its Parchin facility itself, which story was based on an allegedly leaked document. Criticism of the AP story that it was not correct caused the AP to release what it said were the contents of the leaked document. However, that document was questioned by Tariq Rauf as to its authenticity. Rauf was, "From 2002 to 2011 [the] Head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reporting to the Director General, in which capacity he dealt with high-priority verification cases involving Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, South Korea and Syria."


He made some annotations to the alleged document which showed, in his opinion, that the document might be fake, along the lines of the Niger yellowcake forgeries used to help promote the 2003 invasion of Iraq--




The evidence is that Netanyahu's main audience was the Jewish establishment. Their power resides less in votes than in campaign money. The evangelicals provide a nice ecumenical element and help mobilize the uber-patriots.

By "danger zone," I am referring to the line where American identity and loyalties meet dedication to Israel's welfare. Netanyahu and Obama together pushed/allowed American Jews to move dangerously close to the point where they would have to choose one or the other. N knew and wanted this. O was, and is, clueless as ever.


I should have made clearer two points;

1. Since Evangelicals are overwhelmingly Republicans, they would oppose Obama and the Iran deal as a matter of partisan principle. So no great need to target them.

2. By uber-patriots, I am referring to those circles who want to see the United States rule the world and use military force to crush whomever we identify as an enemy, e.g. Iran


While doing yard work today, I was listening to a financial podcast; the guest was Leslie Gelb, and the podcast was released 14 August 2015. Most guests are from the financial industry or business, so Gelb is a fairly unusual guest on this podcast.

I expected Gelb to be an apologist for Israel, but decided to leave the podcast running while I clipped and weeded.

I was surprised by several things Gelb said, including:
1. The Iran deal is a good thing
2. Israel (i.e., Likud) overplayed its hand and there will be longer term ramifications for this interference in US politics
3. Obama has the votes for the Iran deal
4. The Saudi's have been funding ISIS, the Taliban, and untold madrases -- i.e., the Saudi's are not necessarily good allies (I was so shocked to hear Gelb's comments that I had to rewind and listen two more times)
5. The Saudi's are keeping the price of gas low as a means of keeping the financial pressure on Iran (i.e., if the price rose, Iran would share in the higher profits)

Granted, these are my fleeting impressions -- as I was hauling, clipping, and chipping. Nevertheless, I was frankly astonished that Gelb seemed to state quite frankly that Bibi has overreached, including mention of his antics in coming a third time before the joint session of the US Congress.

Given that Ritholtz's listeners are probably mostly either in the finance industry, or else interested in financial topics, Gelb's comments were quite likely transmitted in large part to the same kind of audience that AIPAC seeks to reach.

Personally, I tip my hat to the old timey spooks involved in garnering support for diplomacy.

However, the last place that I expected to hear support for the Iran deal, as well as a frank mention of Netanyahu's meddling and its insidious consequences was on a finance podcast hosted by Bloomberg. I thought it worth a mention here at SST.

The podcast is here for anyone interested in the shorter, Bloomberg version: http://www.bloomberg.com/podcasts/masters-in-business/

The iTunes links, which included an extended conversation of after the Bloomberg radio portion is completed, is here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/masters-in-business/id730188152?mt=2


I get the feeling that Iran (both people and government) is making a real (rather than rhetorical) pivot to the east. That is where important trade and cultural relations will rapidly develop. There is no reason for them to get more engaged in the maniacal middle east. Rather, they want to take a measured step back.

Israel continues to believe that Iran's foreign policy is fixated upon them. The fact is that Iran has been seeking a deal like this for many years now.



May I suggest right wing jingo-nationalists as an alternative to uber-patriots.

Babak Makkinejad

As a practical matter yes but just like Russia, they remain conceptually fixated on Western Europe - trying to emulate it the best they can.

The only Asian country that Iranians admire is Japan - for over a hundred years.


Respectfully disagree. There is an odd, for me, spiritual connection between American Christians and Isreal. It is this connection that has been the source of the Lobby's power and not money.

Why would Netanyahu expose the Jewish establishment to such a charge? I don't think he anticipated the pushback from American Christians who were and are tired of war and a struggling economy. He overplayed the spiritual connection. The loyalty agrument is also overblown. It gives the impression that the Jewish establishment had the last word on Iran deal. It didn't, but the narrative perpetuates the false omnipotence of the lobby, even in defeat.



"It is this connection that has been the source of the Lobby's power and not money" IMO you got it half right. AIPAC illegally puts decisive amounts of money into congressional elections both pro and con candidates. pl


Yes - a much better term. Those people do view themselves as super-patriots.

different clue


Are you confusing "the" Israelis with the Likudists and Revisionists? Because the Military and Security Leadership Israelis, among others, have been disinvesting themselves from that figleaf for over a year now. Are you including them in among "the" Israelis even though they have been involved in removing the figleaf?

William R. Cumming

Based on nothing in particular WH now hopes NO VETO necessary on the deal since it will fail in the Senate. I disagree.


different clue,
no, I am not confusing them, I exclude them because these folks are to the best of my knowledge out of goverment.

Whatever they say, and however reasonable they are on this point, they are not speaking for Bibi's troupe, and it is Bibi's troupe that runs the government.

That isn't to say that the dissent of the military and security leadership Israelis is unimportant, to the contrary. It is IMO vital for public opinion in the US and Israel, and I welcome it. But at the end of the day, Bibi is still prime minister and his cabinet is full of whackos.

You will recall that there was dissent by military and security leadership Americans about Bushes invasion of Iraq in 2002/2003 and it couldn't prevent the monumental blunder the US made by invading that place. Voices of reason are always welcome, they may only count for so much.

alba etie

Col Lang
Wonder whatever became of the DOJ 's looking into Adelsen's casino operations in Las Vegas and in Macau ? And is it true that former Senator Webb came out against the Iran nuclear deal ?

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