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06 August 2015

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Matthew

"Natanyahu seeks permanent hegemony in the Middle East, hegemony for an Israel that would be the only modern state in a region filled with pastoralists, makers of sandals for tourists, secular and religious tourism and sheikhly fat cats in the Gulf who care for nothing but themselves." PL

I love this sharp blunt, clear-eyed writing. Absolutely no fake sentiment or sophistry.

Ted Buila

Bingo!

505thPIR

The President of The United States via the organs of the state should name domestic names and the foreign dots that connect them instead of the traditional grey area free pass.

In the case of improper interfering agents of the "minor client state", he should have them briskly escorted off of the premises of the United States of America with much fanfare and transparency regarding their deeds.

This may actually:

1) Chasten some in Congress

2) Be a once in a half-century window of opportunity to shine some serious light on a lot of bad actors.

This is the perfect time and opportunity to "out" and vet all presidential hopefuls/their allegiances and intents in the process. Real policy and actions would be beyond ignoring and the congressional clown car/bulk of GOP presidential hopefuls would be compelled to exercise something behind the usual talking point vomit, straw man arguments and tangental drivel.

If a Walker should gain office and take the US to war, at least he would not get to such a place via obfuscation and the usual rhetorical distractions. Mrs. Clinton and her peeps would have to take a clear and firm stand as well.

What does President Obama have to lose by doing this?

Deep breath of air, a sigh and off to observe the trials and travails of minks and muskrats while the world burns some more.

Matthew

Should be "sharp, clear-eyed writing."

Ursa Maior

A possible veto and the recent Hague jury decision which forces Russia to pay 50 billion USD to ex oligarch Khodorkhovsky or face dire consequences makes a really dangerous mixture.

Swami Bhut Jolokia

PL, you say: To achieve that goal Bibi will stoop to any lie, subvert any institution and play the carrot and stick game with all who are available in the media.

I concur. Here's another take on Bibi's recent webcast organized by the Jewish Federations of North America (at the end of this link):

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/08/more-signs-that-the-iran-deal-is-going-through/400508/

my.comment

what is so infuriating watching this play out, is that for months preceding the announcement of the deal, americans were overwhelmingly in favor of the negotiations.. via cnn from march:

Direct diplomatic negotiations with Iran are broadly popular, 68% favor them, while 29% oppose them. That support cuts across party lines, with 77% of Democrats, 65% of Republicans and 64% of independents in favor of diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran in an attempt to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/17/politics/iran-negotiations-gop-letter-poll/index.html

but after the concerted effort of media disinformation conducted on behalf of aipac (funny how that organization is rarely, if ever, mentioned) and uninterrupted airtime provided to netanyahu and assorted israeli firsters, the numbers have turned against it.

Jack

Sir

The part of the speech by Obama that you excerpted is the truth. I applaud Obama for providing that history. Why does he not hammer that home to the American public and note all the fifth columnists that through obfuscation & propaganda are really agents of foreign powers working against the interests of the US? What has Obama to lose by showing the American people who Bibi really is? Bibi is never going to like him.

BabelFish

From the NY Times:

""Mr. Obama also used the address to indirectly confront pro-Israel groups, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, which are sending hundreds of activists to lobby lawmakers to reject the deal and are planning to run more than $25 million in television advertising to rally opposition to it. The struggle is playing out this month as members of Congress leave Washington to face voters in their home states and districts.""

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/06/us/politics/obama-urges-critics-of-iran-deal-to-ignore-drumbeat-of-war.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

A mere $25 million? Congress is coming cheap these days if that's all they spend.

Lord Curzon

Colonel,

Further to your comment above, Gary Sick's answers on World Policy Blog are worth listening to:

http://www.worldpolicy.org/blog/2015/07/31/world-policy-air-ep-26-deal-or-not-deal

optimax

Obama delivered his best speech ever yesterday at American University. He missed becoming a great president be not having the moxie and clear thinking he shows with the Iran deal in dealing with Russia and Syria. We need to realize we are part of a community of nations that works together when our interests align with other nations, not just Israel's, which in many ways conflict with ours. Hell, it was Nixon and Reagan that began dialogues with China and Russia, which eventually brought them to our side of the negotiating table with Iran. Obama, at least in this instance, is trying to lead our country from the self-destructive Cheney/Bush doctrine of preemptive war towards diplomacy based on self-interest and recognition of other country's sovereignty.

I will watch the "warmongers" debate and return to my normal cynicism. I am interested in finding more about Kasich. He has turned Ohio around economically. He. like Webb, isn't a blowhard and won't leave a lasting impression on those assimilated by the Borg.

Before WWI the US was admired for staying out of European wars and for being a manufacturing powerhouse. After WWII we had a legitimate role of keeping the USSR in check and protecting a weakened Europe from their aggression. Europe was grateful. The same with Asia and China.There is no reason to spend our treasure on being the dominant protector in a world that is strong enough to protect itself, or being the toady of a little country that uses us to destabilize its neighbors. Weakness is staying a course even when you know it's a circle.

walrus

Breath of fresh air for a change. The next step should be an FBI raid on AIPAC.

Stueeeeeeeee

The Iran deal will pass, and I think war is more likely because of it. The economic entanglements that will develop or are developing due to the deal are minor obstacles if and when the Israelis and the Sunnis decide a confrontation is necessary. The deal will give them and the international community more reliable intelligence (political, military, and infrastructure) on Iran. The Iranians will try to abide by the agreement, but noncompliance due to a mere technicality will be more than just grounds for war for warmongers. Imagine the media regurgitating the we told you so and the we tried to avoid war rhetoric. It will be convincing for a gullible public that once believed and sadly some still believe that Hussien had anything to do with 9/11.

The Beaver

Colonel,

Two articles from across the pond caught my eyes t0day:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/11768136/Saudi-Arabia-may-go-broke-before-the-US-oil-industry-buckles.html
http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21660490-emirates-move-improve-its-federal-budget-day-reckoning-fuel-prices-gulf?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/adayofreckoning

"The relaxing of fuel subsidies—which in 2013 cost the government some $7 billion—puts the UAE at the vanguard of a long delayed reckoning in the Gulf. With falling global oil prices, the Arab Gulf states will miss out on an estimated $380 billion in export earnings this year, the International Monetary Fund estimates. Only Kuwait and Qatar will scrape by without a budget deficit, and all the region’s petrol states are being forced to look at cost-cutting."

Food for thought as to how long and much those "Sheikly fat cats" will be able to spend billions on weapons and wars .

turcopolier

stueee

"Stueeee" Hog calling sound? All the "Sunnis" with the exception of Pakistan would be inconsequential in the context of war with Iran. None of them have power projection or sustainment capabilities. further, the Israelis do not have the military "weight" to do this. That is why they have not done so. For them to have such abilities they would need; 1- use of nuclear weapons or 2 - To have the US provide them with strategic bombers (as Dennis Ross has demanded)and the really big bunker buster bombs. pl

Babak Makkinejad

There are only two Sunni states capable of waging war against Iran; Pakistan and Turkey.

The first one has bigger fish to fry with respect to her domestic security as well as concerns with India.

The second one will not as it would be political suicide for any government in Ankara.

Pakistan is a vassal of China and Turkey that of US; they will not attack Iran on their own.

turcopolier

Babak

IMO Turkey does not have the ability to sustain an air-ground campaign against Iran. Numbers of troops mean nothing. Logistics means everything. Turkey has no sustainment capability for an attack across its border with Iran. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Thanks for correcting me - I thought they were stronger.

Matthew

Col: Why is that? Do most countries only have true defense capabilities?

turcopolier

Matthew

Most countries have armed forces designed for internal us or within support range of their permanent basing. We, France, increasingly China, Russia, maybe a few more to a limited extent. Britain, hardly has such a capability any longer. They dumped it. This why the first thing that comes to the fore in any military intervention is "American Support." that is what we get for all that money every year. pl

Croesus

Why did Obama devote so much of his speech to validating Israelis and promising them the sustained capacity to attack Iran?

William R. Cumming

From the speech: "Nearly a trillion dollars was spent."

Why do both DEMS and Republicans keep low-balling this expenditure even mostly after the fact?

A new consensus seems to be arising that perhaps $6 Trillion spent on warfare and related effort by U.S. since 9/11/01!

charly

Kurdish mountain area without a lot of roads & rails makes logistics a nightmare. The way the British/Soviet invasion force took during WWII is easier but Armenia helping Turkey doesn't sound right and is still logistically difficult


ps to travel from Istanbul to Tehran by train you need to take a boat trip on lake Van

steve

I suspect he was well aware that the first debate of GOP hopefuls was taking place tonight and that they would mostly talk about how tough they are and how they would re-invade Iraq or make sure we end up at war with Iran. I would just think of this as kind of pre-rebuttal.

Steve

William R. Cumming

I may be wrong but believe Senator Cruz also has lined up with warfare as his key option from the first day of his Presidency.

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