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25 June 2019


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God help us.

Ishmael Zechariah

In Agricola, Tacitus describes how the vanguished Britons were made "civilized : "...paulatimque discessum ad delenimenta vitiorum, porticus et balinea et conviviorum elegantiam. Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset. .", translated as "...Step by step they were led to things which dispose to vice, the lounge, the bath, the elegant banquet. All this in their ignorance, they called civilization, when it was but a part of their slavery." (https://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/ag01020.htm )
Same offer is now on the table. The response of the Persians will be that of Calgacus.
Ishmael Zechariah


"That statement should be taken seriously." To dispute it you need to come up with a motivation for conducting bargaining with people who don't keep their bargains. I have no trouble understanding why they might prefer a hostile standoff with both sides up front about the damage their opponents can inflict and the limits of their willingness to accept such damage.

As an American, I would like to consider this unique in our history. But ask any descendant of an Indian tribe. (No. I am not one.)

Eric Newhill

A meeting of the immovable object and the unstoppable force is definitely on the horizon given current trajectories. The Palestinians' rejection of the cool rationality of a generous cash offer, with Iran backing that decision, is going to be played up in the West to justify what follows (just analyzing; not advocating).

I am curious as to what the average Palestinian in the street thinks about all of this. Is it just the more militant factions that reject the deal outright? Or is the rejection more general? Could a moderate faction emerge that splits Palestinian unity? The CIA and State Dept should have assessed this dynamic (if it exists) by now.


Your post is spot on point with respect to the personal characters of Trump and his immediate acolytes and the perilous situation our country is in. Trump, Kushner, Kushner's father were made in a NY/NJ business environment where the prevailing ethic was to offer enough to get to 'yes' and pay only so much as you must. It is all that they know. They are incapable of putting themselves in the other person's place beyond calculating how much money it will take to move him - the Art of the Deal.
The country, I should say our Government is at loggerheads simultaneously with three cultures, two of them with nuclear capabilities, that our "decision maker" knows little to nothing about and the trajectories are all down, not up; meanwhile political unity in our country, legislatures, courts, executives, media, already stressed, completely sundered on the results of a Presidential election. We won, you lost and if the other side had won, it would be the same, if not worse. Blame it on the Russians; blame it on the Chinese; blame it on Iran, Putin, Assad, Khomeini, who will be the next in line for obliteration! What could possibly go wrong?


I don't understand how those pushing for war/treating war as an acceptable risk on the American side expect this to play out. Does the US even have sufficient troops for a full-scale invasion of Iran without resorting to a draft, which would be political suicide for anybody proposing it? Or is the idea that a large-scale air campaign would be sufficient to cause the collapse of the current Iranian regime? To be replaced by what - those MEK crazies Bolton likes to pal around with, but who probably have zero support within Iran?
And then there's the risk of a general conflagration in the region, since Iran isn't nearly as isolated as Iraq was in 2003. I suppose Hezbollah in Lebanon would get involved and launch missile attacks on Israel. Syria and Iraq might become battlefields as well. Maybe even Russia could enter the conflict in some way. Taking such risks seems crazy, how could this end well?

ted richard

I am more and more convinced that Trump and his crew (Kushner, etc.) are not equipped intellectually to comprehend or deal with men for whom some things are not for sale.

in my own life at it concludes pat the things and memories i cherish the most were gotten through love or blood.

money never figured into anything approaching the value from the other 2.

so we are ruled by merchants who know not the value or anything as they tabulate its price.

blue peacock

"War is likely. pl"

Col. Lang

This post is why every US administration needs you as their advisor.

The ziocons along with Bibi & MbS have convinced Trump that the Palestinians are for sale. That there are "moderate" factions, meaning factions that will acquiesce to their permanent slavery. If there was a referendum in Palestine on their permanent Bantustan status it would be firmly rejected by a landslide margin. What Trump doesn't get is that this would require a betrayal of the sacrifices of many generations who have suffered under Israeli occupation. Additionally can they trust Trump to actually get MbS to pony up the dough?

With the sanctions on Khamenei personally and Iran responding that the door to diplomacy is over, I agree with you that war is a high probability. With that war will be the end of the Trump presidency, as Tucker Carlson notes. I believe Trump misreads not only the situation in the Middle East but also the domestic political environment. Hostilities with Iran which would become a broader ME conflagration will become a lightning rod for domestic opposition to Trump. We may top Hong Kong in the turnout in the streets. It will likely become the top item on the Democrats campaign debates with Bernie's unequivocal stand against it. This ain't 2003.


Peace loving nation? In my lifetime the US has been at war with someone all the time.


Barbara Ann

Golden guillotines all round. In Trumpian terminology it is clear that reaching a "deal" is synonymous with achieving the abject capitulation of your opponent. I cannot even bring myself to comment on Kushner's abomination. I will instead quote from Alastair Crooke's piece on it today:

"This is the heart of ‘the deal’. Not just political normalisation for Israel into the region, but the making of economic dependency of the Egyptians, Palestinians, Jordanians (and possibly – but not so likely – Lebanon) on the US East-Med gas ‘hub’."

On Iran: Sanctioning their top diplomat is not a good sign. My guess is that among other things they want Zarif's Twitter account shut down in order to suppress the counter narrative for when hostilities begin. Then again, since the drone shoot down Iran has so far refrained from exerting additional pressure of its own. I pray this means some diplomacy is taking place behind the curtain. It is either that or the calm before the storm. We will surely know soon enough.


“It will be a quick sharp, surgical operation with maximum force concentrated in a very small but strategic area. The operation will be successful and complete before the enemy and financial markets even wake up to what we have done.” - with apologies to Gen. Von Moltke the younger, 1914.


I think you are correct about the probability of war Colonel. Trump has put himself in a bind between two extreme factions, and face-saving outs have evaporated. I just hope Khamenei can show patience and wisdom


'''I am more and more convinced that Trump and his crew (Kushner, etc.) are not equipped intellectually to comprehend or deal with men for whom some things are not for sale.''

Well you would be 110% right.
Here's the Kushner Plan. It's a high school desktop glossy brochure for a term paper written in a effort to mimic 'business speak'.
It's pathetic. What went thru my head while reading it was ..'is this a joke'?
What is even more pathetic is the money offerings are for things that Trump has totally cut off for Palestine already so the plan basically just gives it back. And then there's the billions that don't really go to Palestine but go to Egypt and Jordon....a payoff for 2 reasons I guess....one to bribe them to support the plan ...another in the case of Jordon to bribe them into agreeing to keep the Palestine refugees so they wont return to Palestine.


Eric Newhill

Playing the devil's advocate here - fatwas against nuclear weapons aside, Iran has violated nuclear agreements. Ahmadinejad publicly boasted that Iran had enriched to 20% and that he could, and just might, go higher as well as start a second enrichment site. It wasn't just the US/Israel that were alarmed by that.

The US is not a uniquely bad actor on the world stage. The US happens to be the biggest actor from a resources standpoint. So all the ankle biters yap bite ankles. That doesn't make them better. Give them the Big Stick and just see what the world looks like in a few years. It won't be paradise.

frankie p

And the clincher, in my view: the plan calls for the development of the Palestinian tourism sector. Too rich!

"Come, global citizens, come visit us in beautiful Palestine! Please make sure to plan your vacation around the annual Israeli mowing of the lawn with high-tech armaments."

Roger Spenser

Yes, God help us. It has come to only that left to hope for.



"achieving the abject capitulation of your opponent"

That doesn't strike me to be Trump's objective with respect to North Korea. He would already be much further along without Bolton and company's interference.



"Hezbollah in Lebanon would get involved and launch missile attacks on Israel." What would Nasrallah and the Lebanese gain by that?

Barbara Ann

"Unique and exciting characteristics give the West Bank and Gaza the
potential to transform into a successful global tourism destination."

Did you see the promo video for Gaza? Benny Gantz used it to launch his election campaign against Bibi. I was wondering where to vacation next year.


blue peacock


IMO, this will be an act of solidarity not for any personal gain. Lebanon will suffer immensely. Iran has paid a lot of dues that Nasrallah will not so easily forget. And he has made statements to that effect recently.


IDK, a Trump hotel in Gaza would be nice, no?


Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb, Siri & Abu Musa, four Iranian sovereign islands controlling exit from the Persian Gulg via the Straits of Hormuz. Two have civilian populations and two just military garrisons. How vulnerable would any combination of the four be to a classic Marines assault landing ? They also have a disputed claim of sovereignty from the UAE arising from British Colonial days.

Oscar Peterson

So what if Iran enriched up to 20%? That's the conventionally accepted boundary between LEU (low-enriched uranium) and HEU (high-enriched uranium.) The point is that Iran deliberately never crossed the boundary into HEU.

Having looked at a few other of your comments, I observe that you consistently exhibit an cloyingly insinuating style--a sort of faux-naif, implicitly anti-Iran simpering that reeks of disingenuousness, like some itinerant peddler pawing passers by and trying to sell them his schlock at exorbitant prices.

You say you are playing the devil's advocate, and I can well believe it. You do indeed give the impression of advocating on behalf of something dark and unwholesome.


There are easier ways to start a wR


Evidently they think they can entice Palestine with the money and get them dreaming about it and then in Part 2 slide in the political part of the plan in which Israel will still control everything.
In addition Israel would no doubt make money off building all of the promised infrastructure since they don't even allow Palestine to get materials like concrete.

If the Zionist's promised land in 1948 had been some US state and they moved in and did the same things they did in Palestine we wouldn't be having this conversation .....they would all be dead and a Jewish State would be the shortest footnote in the dustbin of history.

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