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10 November 2015

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different clue

This would be a good time for thousands or maybe millions of individuals to write or call the White House with short little messages indicating that we won't hold it against Obama the least little bit in any personal way if he decides to refuse or even obstruct and prevent each of Netanyahu's demands. In case Obama is motivated by feelings about what citizen letterwriters and phonecallers may think.

Then too, if any Machiavellian political operatives or advisers with contacts to Obama or his people are reading this . . . if Obama said no to Bibi, and enforced every no, then Clinton might be tempted to base her campaign on turning every Obama "no" into a "yes" if she is elected. If she were to do that, it would give Sanders an opportunity to promise to uphold all the "no's" or at least some of them, if he were elected. That might lead some primary voters to move from Clinton to Sanders in the primaries, which might attrit Clinton's numbers going into the convention. If Obama dislikes the Clintons, that might be a falling-dominoes way to act on it.

MartinJ

It would appear Bibi is softening up the presidential candidates and laying out his demands of them. "In return for my generous support" goes the unspoken but implied words of Bibi, "I would like to have this shopping list fulfilled."

Or perhaps Im wrong, he simply wishes to make noise to his constituency in order to shield himself from the disaster that has been his Syria regime change policy.

Someone here mentioned James Baker. I recall when US displeasure actually meant something to the Israeli public and would be voiced at the Israeli ballot box. Yitzhak Shamir was booted out in exchange for Rabin. I fear no longer that is the case.

William R. Cumming

Perhaps the voluntary extradition of Israel organized crime bosses [some in the Israeli government] to the US for trial for proven crimes against the law in the US would be a starter for US preconditions. And no funding of US elections by Israel and/or its citizens.

Charlie Wilson

Wishful thinking and daydreaming, boys!

SAC Brat

Sounds like a good time for the US to announce that Israel has nuclear weapons. If I remember correctly that starts a lot of things into motion. What would be the negative aspects of the US announcing this?

S Wood

I have always considered Bibb to be an arrogant bastard and Col. Lang's take on the Haaretz article reinforces my opinion. Time for the American public to wake up.

jdledell

I can see Obama yielding on the increase in aid from $3 billion/year to $5 billion but not to Bibi's other requests. First, Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 and not a single country nor the UN has recognized the Golan annexation. The US cannot unilaterally recognize the Golan annexation without really upsetting our allies in the EU. In addition, Russia will not recognize the annexation and could make life difficult for Israel by declaring a no fly zone over the Golan, Syria and Lebanon. That would increase Iranian aid and weapons that get to Hezballah.

Can anyone believe the uproar in this country if it got out that the US has officially subcontracted our foreign affairs decisions regarding Syria. If Obama were the President who did this, the Republicans would have a field day tearing democrats apart, despite their supposed support of Israel. I have some problems with Obama's decision making but in this instance he is not dumb enough to give Bibi anything more than an increase in our ineffective bribe money.

oofda

Actually the results would be positive for the US in the long run- There would be pressure for Israel to joint the NPT and likely sanctions if it doesn't. The U.S. wouldn't have to spend diplomatic currency protecting Israel's 'secret'.

The Golan Heights are part of Syria- Israel could not annex them under international law; if they attempt to do so, it would mean some serious diplomatic issues for all. We should not cover for them on this- the costs would be too great for the U.S.

Nancy K

I can't imagine there would be much of a reaction since everyone knows they have them.

annamaria

"...if he decides to refuse or even obstruct and prevent each of Netanyahu's demands." That would be suicidal, considering the might of the international Lobby.
The US government is in a sorry need of the principled, fearless, and highly intelligent individuals. An image of America as a substrate for parasites is not a pretty one.

Imagine

There was an article that Israel is a settlement nation, composed of tough settlers running on chutzpah alone who don't mind ethnic cleansing against natives. In this way they are comparable to the Boers and the Prussians. I found it compelling.

IMO Bibi would not be asking for such if he did not think that there's a pretty good chance he should get some eventually. It means he thinks his subversion of America is strong enough to eventually pull this off.

readerOfTeaLeaves

Oh, I want extra butter on my popcorn for this one.

Bibi apparently expects that his syncophants in the US Congress are going to be able to get him what he wants. Reminder: Congress has a lower than 10% credibility rating.
As power metrics go, that's not an optimal figure.
It's doubtful that paying homage to Bibi's demands is going to improve that tepid credibility.

Bibi can whine to whichever Presidential GOP candidate the Casino Moghul Adelson and Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer are bankrolling at the moment. But in a perverse form of Finance Karma Boomerang, the very act of bankrolling candidates sabotages their chances of obtaining the genuine consent of the unwashed, unruly, irate, and increasingly outraged American governed.

So Bibi can demand all he wants; whether the future President (Billary, or Mario, or Jeb!) will have enough real power left to meet Bibi's obnoxious and unreasonable demands remains an open question. Indeed, the very act of giving Bibi whatever he wants degrades the power of the giver in direct proportion to the amount of Bibi's extortionate demands. Note to parasites everywhere: it's really, really stupid to eat your host. Yet once again, we are treated to a redux of Bibi the Brainless.

It's going to be something of a challenge this year, given the public sentiment, for American politicians to explain to voters why we are continuing to bankroll Israel -- instead of helping students pay off college loans, or reducing the 15% 'carried interest' tax loophole for hedge funds that are so advantageous to people like Paul Singer. Obtusely, Bibi apparently thinks none of this matters.

He also seems oblivious of how much the world has changed in 50 years.

Briefly revising 50 years ago for a little context to simpler, more quaint world:
--------------------
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1965
The US was in VietNam, 'The Sound of Music' was premiering, 'My Fair Lady' was winning Academy Awards, the Intelsat communications satellite was launched, nations in Africa were finally emerging from colonial rule, the Beatles played in Shea Stadium, civil rights marches were taking place in the Southern US, Sandy Koufax was pitching for the Dodgers, de Gaulle was re-elected in France, and Tokyo became more populous than New York City. Russia's Sholokov won the Nobel Prize for Literature, largely for "And Quiet Flows the Don*".

The world's population was less than half its present total, and in 1965, Israel was just establishing diplomatic relations with West Germany. In a quantum leap for scientific integrity, Lysenko was *finally* removed from the Soviet's Academy of Sciences (his bogus genetics had contributed to famine in Russia and the Ukraine in earlier decades).
--------------------------

I'm left thinking that Hauser and Bibi have not thought carefully about how much the world has changed in 50 years.
For starters:
-- the population has more than doubled, increasing resource pressure throughout the Near East and across the globe
-- the Internet now means that if American politicians cave to Bibi's demands, they will be ridiculed, humiliated, excoriated, and become the butt of endless jokes on cable, streaming video, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. (Karma is even bitchier on the Internet ;-)
-- the world has bigger problems than the Golan Heights, and with refugees daily streaming into the EU from Syria, a whole lot of people are stretched too thin to have any patience with Israeli whinging
-- given the international energy expended on the Iran Agreement, who has much patience with Bibi wailing that now Israel needs more -- as Tyler might say -- 'gimme dat's' (i.e., 'extortionate greed') for playing nice about The Inevitable Agreement With Iran?

But Hauser seems to think the moment is ripe for legitimizing a land grab.
Well, golly - that makes about as much sense as expecting Julie Andrews to twirl around the Golan singing 'The Hills Are Alive' while we all dance to "Help! (I Need Somebody)" and hope that Sandy Koufax pitches a no-hitter (and yes, I do realize that baseball season is over -- my point, precisely).
Lunacy!

What Lysenko was to genetics, Bibi is to statesmanship: a fraud that has caused untold damage.

---
* Fantastic read.
Lysenkoism was the absolutely disastrous rejection of Mendelian genetics (including rejecting the very notion of the gene) by Soviet agronomist Lysenko, which led to tragic agricultural policies based on bogus data and ideological pseudoscience. It was one of the most destructive science frauds of human history.

Walter

Col Lang, please do not tell me this has nothing to do with BiBi's desire for Golan
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Industry/2015/10/09/Major-reserve-discovery-confirmed-in-Golan-Heights/6461444389373/

LeaNder

CW, unfortunately my reality check/lived experience during the last decades tells me it may not remain a daydream. If one, then simply another daydream come true. ;)

Both really, the increase from $3 to $5 billion and a partial exception of Israel's frontiers by Israel itself at least on the Golan Heights. ...

What's Barak Ravid's interest in spreading this tale? As I seem to remember some suspect him to be the spokesperson for the Israeli army, beneath his official job description.

"Sources briefed about the details of the meeting between the two leaders said that the issue was not discussed at length, but was briefly mentioned by Netanyahu during a more general discussion about the situation in Syria and the international efforts to bring about a political resolution to end the civil war.

According to the sources, who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue, Netanyahu said he is doubtful Syria could be reunited into one, functioning state. He added that one of the consequences of the current situation is that it "allows for different thinking" about the future status of the Golan Heights.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.685267?date=1447238724948"

jld

LOL, even for the uninformed like me this sounds more like Rube Goldberg than Machiavelli.

Gesine Hammerling

Didn't Israel annex the Golan Heights on December 12, 1981?

confusedponderer

I'm with MartinJ and think that Bibi is putting down his demands to the various US presidential contenders, and setting goals for his congressional allies.

I agree with Pat that these demands are unrealistic as far as the Obama administration is concerned.

I also think the US, Israel, the Gulfies and Turkey probably conspired in bringing into being the Syrian revolution into being - "riding the Tiger", err, Arab Spring, in an attempt to steer it in some way - each in pursuit of its own goals, overlapping only to the extent that Syria was the common target, and given the drought and economic situation 'doable' and thus ripe.

Gene Sharp, in his book 'From dictatorship to democracy' (emphacising, in fairness, nonvilent means) speaks clearly of the helpful effect for a revolutionary effort that coms from having the inevitable martyrs from regime use of force, and that it galvanises an inert population into nonviolent action.

I always found it striking that at the Maidan and in Syria pivotal events all involved shooting into crowds which then was been blamed on the regime, tweeted that way (never mind the chaos and ambiguity - the guilt was asigned to the Ukrainian and Syrian governments immediately. This rush to judgement suggsts as the working formula that governments that lie successfully, lie first (and stick to it).

Kerry explicity and disingenuously referred to content on social media (for the Maidan shootings, the violent ptotests in Syria, Ghouta, MH17) as proof of the tyrannical nature of the governments in question and why regime change was the only responsible option.

I have my doubts, whether it ever was so clear. Recently I saw a video of a liberal South African professor teaching at King's College London speaking on Human rights and the friction between conservatives and liberals in how to best pursue them. The clip was from when the situation in Syria was fresh. He quipped that the Syrian people had a right to demonstrate in peace. Inded they do.

But is that the whole story? What if the protesters, or outsiders, are not so benign as to only protest, but try to provoke an overreaction which they then can build on? If you need martyrs, why not create them? If you need an atrocity, why not stage it?

At the Maidan there was reason to believe that it was anti-government people who shot at the protesters and police alike, creating chaos, killing many - and Minsk I - in one swoop. It was reported, albeit quietly, that in Syria, too, security organs had been shot at, triggering a violent government response. It is a nasty gambit that is thus proposed: Do nothing in face of violence directed against the government and appear weak, or react and have all blame for the violence directed at you anyway. The Ghouta chemical attack, if Sey Hersh is right, was apparently also not comitted by the Assad governmet. It was immediately blamed on it, with Kerry again citing social media accounts as evidence.

Sharpe notes that there is no alternative to the downfall, of the tyrannical regime. If hat is so, then negotiations are a distraction and the end - Freedom™ - justifies the means, if not for the US themselves then surely for its allies. And indeed, if folks are hardnosed enough to topple a government of another sovereign country with subterfuge they won't have qualms about a few bystanders having to walk the plank.

For a decade now the US has been killing folks by the dozen with their drone strikes in pursuit of terrorists. I am disinclined to believe hat they hold themselves to a higher standard on the preservation of human life when it comes to regime change, which arguably involves higher stakes. That goes double for the Israelis, Gulfies and Turks who really just give a damn.

If regime change requires an energizing event like an atrocity or outrage to mobilise an inert poulation int a general uprising, why not generate such events if they don't come by themselves, and shape the narrarive assigning blame?

Mind you, the US need not do any of the nasty bits by themselves. They can comfortably 'lead from behind', deputising locals - be they, I speculate, Qatari special forces, Turkish MIT, their Islamist allies or mercenaries - or, in the case of Ukraine, right sector thugs or some oligarch's militia.

Consider for a second what the outsiders put the Syrian government through ... take the July 18, 2012 bombing that killed a number of **cabinet** officials of the Syrian government: The defence minister; deputy defence minister; head of the intelligence service; head of internal security and Assad's cousin wounded; Assad's younger brother, a general, lost a leg. That operation IMO very likely had outside expert help.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18_July_2012_Damascus_bombing

In the US there would be very justifyable anger and probably rank hysteria about a decapitation attempt claiming the lives of the Secretary of Defence, his deputy or the head of DHS and the CIA. Arguably the US would have gone to war against whoever did such a thing. That never was an option for Syria (retaliating against Turkey, and NATO? Unwise) given its relative weakness and the deniability of the operation.

What I want to stress is that we are speaking about a quite substantial level of violence unleashed against the Syrian government in pursuit of regime change.

Had protester violence risen to the level seen at the Maidan, or had anyone shot at police in Ferguson or during the occupy protests at Zucotti Park, we would have experienced a very different US police reaction to these protests, at least similar to the invasion of Boston in pursuit of he Chechen Boston Bombers, or worse, something like Kent State.

The west adresses this through spin and propaganda: American and western use of force is judicious and discriminate, wheras Assad, that animal, simply engages in savage butchery. End of story, never mind that it is less than half told.

There is, for all practical purposes, a Western monopoly of interpreting events (through IO i.e. Propaganda directed at the own populations), with avid media complicty and self-censorship thanks to the dictates of political corectness.

Arguably, in the age of globalisation and the information age, with everybody being able to access US domestic news sources, it is no longer practical to separate legal IO directed at foreign countries from illegal IO narratives directed at the own populations. Propaganda has become the default mode of communication.

That, coupled with secrecy, is a great peril that poisons the heart of democracy - open debate on discernable reality - since it will inevitably lead to a distorted domstic debate over foreign policy in which participans are not fully or outright misinformed.

It means that foreign policy becomes essentially arbitrary and unchecked for western governments and no longer adresses discernable reality. The utter unreality of congressional debates stands out as exemplary in that regard.

It is one of the bitter ironies of the recent violent liberal attempts to regime change that the deception and subterfuge required to promote democracy abroad, subverts it at home.

People do realise that, consciously and unconsciously, and that is what has led to the current, deep crisis of confidence into media in West, so well described by David Habbakkuk in many of his posts.

turcopolier

Gesine Hammerling

Their unilateral annexation of the Golan has been accepted by nobody. pl

oofda

Concur with that, Colonel.

Matthew

Jdledell: The amount requested is really chump change considering the money wasted annually by the US government. This is actually the paradox of Zionist lobbying: They are all powerful so long as the stakes remain small enough.

LeaNder

jdledell, I checked your challenge to the comment section on Phil's blog, Mondoweiss, earlier here. Admittedly mainly, if due my admittedly slightly choleric temperament, I may have left a web-trace that should regret by now.

But since you allude to international law more indirectly via national interests, at least it feels, if you allow me to use this latter shortcut:

"First, Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 and not a single country nor the UN has recognized the Golan annexation. The US cannot unilaterally recognize the Golan annexation without really upsetting our allies in the EU. In addition, Russia "

Did my friend Hostage, who seems to have thrown in the towel by now, ever have an encounter with you in the comment section? I wondered, but did not check.

http://mondoweiss.net/profile/hostage


Never mind, emotions based on trauma, and trauma resulting in a national take of history, I am quite open to that. Including the resulting emotions passed on, at least to the extend they aren't used for special interest pressure. ...

But pray tell me, how could we improve international law, beyond its given national frames, to make place for the necessary exceptions to the rule? Jewish trauma...

And isn't the real problem, there is more then simply the Golan Heights, since it always was about seizing the moment? Notice, I respect certain moments in time more than others.

confusedponderer

Imagine,
"There was an article that Israel is a settlement nation, composed of tough settlers running on chutzpah alone who don't mind ethnic cleansing against natives. In this way they are comparable to the Boers and the Prussians"

I think the part about Prussia in this is nonsense.

Where again did the Prussians settle ever since, say, 1800 and 1932? Because that is the relevant time frame when we speak about Prussian and eventually German nationalism. Prussians living in non-Prussian parts of the united Germany after 1870 were hardly settlers, they were Germans moving within Germany, amongst Germans and understood themselves that way.

That "Lebensraum im Osten" thing was not so much a Prussian idea, but a post-Prussian one. And given the fact that the Westbank is to the east of Israel proper, the Godwinian analogy suggests itself, but I digress.

I also must have missed the part in Prussian history where the Prussians systematically disfranchised non-Prussians the way the Israelis do, cleansed the locals, and creepingly expanded territory at their expense. Yes, there was the Kulturkampf in the Rheinland, but that was by and large a protestant-catholic conflict (about "popery", that should be familiar ground to Americans and Brits). In Alsace-Lorraine, or in East Prussia and Silesia they certainly Germanised, but with the goal of assimilation of the locals. Jews were assimilated in Germany.

I do not see Israel moving towards assimilation of the Arabs, to the contrary, and as for Apartheid South Africa, well, the blacks stayed black and under apartheid they were segregated.

It is beyond me why anyone would call Prussia a settler nation. It clearly wasn't. Unlike the Israeli settlers of today, the Prussians were also cultured. They achieved something in the 19th century that has been called a third European renaissance. Comparing the Prussians to the Israelis, just because the Israelis are assertive militarists, too, does the Prussians injustice and unduly flatters the Israelis.

alba etie

All
We need to make sure that this extortion by AIPAC /BiBi for our tax dollars continues to be a national campaign issue for 2016 - full stop ...

Babak Makkinejad

Choleric?

Have you tried determining your MBTI?

Please see here: http://persoenlichkeitstest.plakos.de/

LeeG

There is a common misrepresentation/misunderstanding that identification of oil bearing earth automatically implies a viable reserve. Google up Monterey shale for an example.

From the article: " Genie said it lacks evidence to determine if the reserves in the Golan Heights can be technically or economically produced."

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