Joy to the world, David Broder says Obama can rejuvenate the economy by going to war with Iran

Israel/Palestine
on 158 Comments

“The war recovery?” by David Broder in the Washington Post. Is this a Zionist trojan horse?

Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.

 

158 Responses

  1. seafoid
    October 31, 2010, 10:29 am

    Here we go again. Zionists promising the world if a Middle Eastern rival is taken out. The Herzliya conference 2002 papers make fascinating reading. Haven’t they learnty anything after Iraq? Oh, I forgot. The chickenhawks sent others to do the dying.

  2. potsherd
    October 31, 2010, 10:54 am

    Where is the voice who will call BULLSHIT on this meme of the “Iran threat.”

  3. lareineblanche
    October 31, 2010, 11:01 am

    What a vapid and contentless article. Impressive…

    …a showdown with the mullahs…

    Here’s your “showdown” :

  4. Colin Murray
    October 31, 2010, 11:12 am

    war·mon·ger
    [wawr-muhng-ger, -mong-]
    –noun
    a person who advocates, endorses, or tries to precipitate war.

    Origin:
    1580–90; war + monger
    Dictionary.com Unabridged
    Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.
    ***

    neoconservative warmonger
    -noun
    a person who advocates, endorses, or tries to precipitate the United States into war for Israel based on the belief that Americans owe their lives and money to support racist Jewish colonists murdering, torturing, terrorizing, and stealing from helpless civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

    Through conflict and poverty, students in the Occupied Palestinian Territory struggle to learn, UNICEF

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 31, 2010, 5:32 pm

      FROM IMDB: Memorable quotes for Gone with the Wind (1939)

      Brent Tarleton: What do we care if we *were* expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is gonna start any day now, so we’d have left college anyhow.
      Stuart Tarleton: Oh, isn’t it exciting, Scarlett? You know those fool Yanks may actually want a war?
      Brent Tarleton: We’ll show ‘em!
      Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides… there isn’t going to be any war.
      Brent Tarleton: Not going to be any war?
      Stuart Tarleton: Why, honey, of course there’s gonna be a war.
      Scarlett: If either of you boys says “war” just once again, I’ll go in the house and slam the door.
      Brent Tarleton: But Scarlett…
      Stuart Tarleton: Don’t you want us to have a war?
      [she gets up and walks to the door, to their protestations]
      Scarlett: [relenting] Well… but remember, I warned you.

      SOURCE – link to imdb.com
      P.S. Miss Scarlett knows her stuff. She learned it all from her Mammy: “It ain’t fittin’… it ain’t fittin’. It jes’ ain’t fittin’… It ain’t fittin’. “

  5. Antidote
    October 31, 2010, 11:15 am

    “Is this a Zionist trojan horse?”

    Was Teddy Roosevelt’s war against the Philippines a ‘Zionist trojan horse’?

    It’s American imperialist war for profit, and it’s been going on for more than a century. The Zionists have been riding on the coat-tails, to further their own agenda. They do what they can to keep the US on their long established course, and oppose any President and member of Congress who may want to embark on a different course

  6. matter
    October 31, 2010, 11:16 am

    BULLSHIT, Broder.

    By going to war, the bipolar “Obambi/Bushama” creature we have now will be all Bushama, all the time.

  7. Dan Crowther
    October 31, 2010, 11:24 am

    The best thing about being an Iranophobe is that you don’t need ANY facts to support your argument; just throw something out there, it will be conventional wisdom in no time. The most spectacularly absurd part of the article is David Broder assuming things on behalf of “the people.” David Broder: Common Man.

    Broder also makes pretty plain who he is thinking of when he mentions “people” – and it ain’t you and me. Yes, “people” have rallied around presidents as they “prepare for war” – namely, you David Broder, and the rest of the “villagers” – as for the rest of the population, we were hotly divided about going to war in Iraq- there was NEVER majority support for the war. But again, who cares, right?

    • Dan Crowther
      October 31, 2010, 11:28 am

      hahaha- wow, oops -where i said “people” i meant “nation” i read the post and commented without looking back to the text- and got nation and people screwed up in my head- my bad.

    • Kathleen
      October 31, 2010, 12:57 pm

      “The best thing about being an Iranophobe is that you don’t need ANY facts to support your argument; just throw something out there, it will be conventional wisdom in no time.”

      Heard Chris Matthews allow John McCain to repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran during the 2008 campaign. No challenge

      Bob Schiefer of Face the Nation allowed Obama to repeat nuclear weapons program. No challenge

      Have heard numerous guest on the Diane Rehm show repeat the “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” hooey along with referencing Iran as all ready have a “nuclear weapons program” Reuel Marc Gerecht and many other warmongers on her program.

      Terri Gross has allowed guest after guest repeat these false claims and does not challenge. But Terri takes it over the top and repeats this hogwash herself.

      Have heard Scott Simon repeat these unsubstantiated claims about Iran.

      NPR’s Neil Conan has had John Bolton numerous times and Neil has allowed Bolton to repeat the Iran hooey over and over again with no challenges.

      Rachel Maddow repeats the “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” hogwash along with ripping into the Iranian President based on unsubstantiated claims.

      Dylan Ratigan, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman at Democracy Now ask the hardball questions about the validity of these repeated claims. they dig, question and try their best to supply us with accurate information about Iran.

      And thank thank goodness for the efforts of Hillary and Flynt Mann Leverett at Race for Iran to supply us with clear headed and fact based information in regard to the situation with Iran.
      Race for Iran
      link to raceforiran.com

      Along with Professor Juan Cole at Informed Comment
      link to juancole.com

  8. Citizen
    October 31, 2010, 11:45 am

    I wanna puke. This so utterly transparent. They must think most Americans are really easy to manipulate. Iraq was not bad enough, now we’re gonna do Iran, and with us killing innocents in Afghanistan via drones and the nearly non-border with the nuclear-armed Pakistan, not to mention getting ourselves nice and dirty in Yemen, etc. I predict the Demos, Repubs, and Tea Partiers will all fall for it. Christian Zionists? O course; they will be in bliss. Who’s left who is actually somewhat in the average mind’s eyes, but Stewart and Maher? They are already on board, and for the same reason. Arrggh. Uncle Sam and his heartland kids deserve what’s coming down the pike. I hope they enjoy the next World War, and their kids too.

    • Citizen
      October 31, 2010, 2:41 pm

      WW2 did end the USA economic problem according to many experts; the draft was a great employer because thousands were called up, leaving job openings for others. So far, our two current wars have been going on for eight plus years yet our economy is really hurting. If anything will eventually result in a war akin to the Great War, it would be an attack on Iran. Rally around the flag, kids. Of course the increasingly crippling sanctions on Iran, a required step to show the American masses the Iranians are so stubborn only war will do, will insure the Iranian folks will rally around their flag too. Perfect.

    • seafoid
      October 31, 2010, 3:11 pm

      If you add up the costs of Zionism to the US since 1948 the costs are impressive. USD 140bn in direct aid. The war in Iraq cost USD 3 trillion. It would have been easier to just flush the money down the toilet.

      • Max Ajl
        October 31, 2010, 3:42 pm

        While from 2003-2010 profit margins for oil and weapons companies have skyrocketed far above the average for the S&P 500. Flushing the money down the toilet would be easier, as does speaking in terms of Zionism’s cost to the US. But it looks like a lot of people with ties to the Bush administration–high technology weapons firms, oil firms–made a lot of money of the 3 trillion dollar war. Iraq War was class war, a massive transfer from the taxpayers and Iraqi civilization to those at the top of the income ladder. Power is more powerful when invisible, and Zionism helps that along by keeping us talking about Zionism when the problem is Zionism as a component of imperialism. And all of the criminals, Lobby or no Lobby, laugh all the way to the bank.

      • Keith
        October 31, 2010, 4:08 pm

        MAX AJL- Good observation.

      • Avi
        October 31, 2010, 4:20 pm

        Power is more powerful when invisible,

        Doesn’t that apply to The Lobby (AIPAC and Co.), as well?

      • Max Ajl
        October 31, 2010, 7:35 pm

        Yes, of course it does. For that reason M-W was an important intervention. Or rather, only for that reason, their analytical framework is terrible. But they brought the Lobby out into the open. I have never once written that the Lobby is meaningless, ineffective, or powerless. I just think it’s important to talk about what it does do.

      • Avi
        October 31, 2010, 10:19 pm

        Or rather, only for that reason, their analytical framework is terrible.

        How so?

      • Keith
        October 31, 2010, 10:28 pm

        MAX AJL- “Power is more powerful when invisible, and Zionism helps that along by keeping us talking about Zionism when the problem is Zionism as a component of imperialism.”

        That’s it in a nutshell. The attempt by certain Mondoweissers to disassociate the “Lobby” and Zionism from empire and geo-strategy. This was most evident on David Green’s post when any mention of non-Zionist causation of US Middle East policy was met with extreme hostility, even though those advocating for a structural perspective identify the lobby as a significant factor. Why would this be? My only explanation is that those who focus exclusively on the lobby to the exclusion of other factors are, in effect, trying to shift total responsibility onto the lobby in order to avoid discussion of the underlying system of power. In short, a liberal perspective (in the current meaning of the term “liberal”).

      • Avi
        November 1, 2010, 4:53 am

        That’s it in a nutshell. The attempt by certain Mondoweissers to disassociate the “Lobby” and Zionism from empire and geo-strategy. This was most evident on David Green’s post when any mention of non-Zionist causation of US Middle East policy was met with extreme hostility, even though those advocating for a structural perspective identify the lobby as a significant factor. Why would this be? My only explanation is that those who focus exclusively on the lobby to the exclusion of other factors are, in effect, trying to shift total responsibility onto the lobby in order to avoid discussion of the underlying system of power. In short, a liberal perspective (in the current meaning of the term “liberal”).

        Keith,

        Until the United States started supporting Israel with military hardware, financial aid, and diplomatic cover, the US was seeking a balanced policy toward the countries of the region. Recall for example JFK’s nuclear-free Middle East policy.

        When Egypt’s Nasser was growing in popularity throughout Egypt and the Middle East, the US was at first supportive of him. In fact, the United States was committed to fund the construction of the Aswan dam. Relations were good. Then the Zionist lobby intervened and lobbied the US government to support IT instead as an outpost to sandbag the expanding influence of the Soviet Union.

        In turn, the US dropped Egypt and backed Israel. Egypt then sought assistance from the former Soviet Union for the construction of the dam, and later on for weapons and political clout.

        Why do you ignore that history?

        As an aside, why do certain persons confuse passive aggressiveness with civility?

        The attempt by certain Mondoweissers to disassociate the “Lobby” and Zionism from empire and geo-strategy.

        Why not name those “certain” Mondoweissers?

      • Citizen
        November 1, 2010, 8:25 am

        The USSR fell nearly two decades ago, so why continue to give such a huge chunk of cash to Israel every year? Is that the only way our loans to Israel for its military purchases will get “paid back?” JFK favored a nuclear-free Middle East, more of a balance of power in the region. Why are we gifting Israel the latest air strike jets, the very expensive F-35s? That was a joint development project with some of the EU countries, Germany and France, for example, and it was mostly produced by the US at great cost; the US is in economic trouble when Israel is doing fine and is now a member of the chosen group of wealthy countries (having had its application approved despite 4 million Arabs left off its charge role, which skewed the proper wealth statistics, and by ignoring its negative humanitarian record).

      • Citizen
        November 1, 2010, 8:30 am

        I’ve never seen a comment on this blog favoring, for example, Bush Jr’s war on Iraq. I’ve seen many that included, and often gave historical details supporting, an anti-US imperialism POV.

      • Max Ajl
        November 1, 2010, 8:52 am

        It relies on a national interest that does not exist. There is no national interest; that national interest is determined by people with power. In a capitalist economy, power is largely determined by ownership of capital. So capitalists determine our national interest. Much as in Palestine, there is no “national interest,” hence why collaborator-elites in Ramallah are happy with one set of “national interests,” peasants living on the outskirts of Gaza, quite another. The differences are class differences. M-W inability to see class and the way class manifests in policies makes their book effectively worthless as causal analysis. As research into Lobby operations, it is excellent. As research into how the Lobby affects foreign policy in the Middle East, it has no almost no value whatsoever.

      • lareineblanche
        November 1, 2010, 2:44 pm

        It relies on a national interest that does not exist. There is no national interest; that national interest is determined by people with power.

        Exactly. The idea of some vague, undefinable “national interest”, aside from its rather troublesome patriotic and nationalistic undertones, is to by put away next to the tooth fairy. To pretend that Boeing, GE, Intel and others are acting in the “national interest” is naïve at best.
        It’s difficult for some to make the distinctions between the lofty concept of “country/nation”, the governments and corporate elites in control of it, and the people actually living inside its geographical borders, but they can be very separate things which need to be separated in order to have a clear picture of reality.

        At the same time, Max, I think you also need to make room for the irrationality in even stupidity in human behaviour which can make them do very strange things, and for purely ideological reasons, and not only cynical ones. I’m sure many of the Christian Zionists and Jewish right-wing ones in the States really do believe that they must support Israeli expansionism at all costs (not necessarily for the same reasons), and will do anything to put pressure on our “representatives” in order to get what they want. As we all know, the best way to do that is to slip them some cash, or promise them a reelection…

      • Avi
        November 1, 2010, 4:06 pm

        It relies on a national interest that does not exist. There is no national interest; that national interest is determined by people with power. In a capitalist economy, power is largely determined by ownership of capital. So capitalists determine our national interest. Much as in Palestine, there is no “national interest,” hence why collaborator-elites in Ramallah are happy with one set of “national interests,” peasants living on the outskirts of Gaza, quite another. The differences are class differences. M-W inability to see class and the way class manifests in policies makes their book effectively worthless as causal analysis. As research into Lobby operations, it is excellent. As research into how the Lobby affects foreign policy in the Middle East, it has no almost no value whatsoever.

        Your analysis is spot on regarding social classes. It’s true that elites set the tone for the rest of society and that most capitalist societies have been hijacked by corporate interests, however.

        Tragically, on issues of nationalism, both the working class and the elite agree on what has been defined as the National Agenda.
        Nationalism invokes in people emotions and behaviors that are often in conflict with the interests of their social class. Specifically, to your argument, the Israeli lobby in the United States — in addition to corporate interests — has at the top of its priorities a tribal loyalty to the State of Israel.

        For that very reason the lobby is often willing to sacrifice capitalist and corporate interests in favor of what it perceives to be the “national interests” of Israel.

      • Keith
        November 1, 2010, 4:30 pm

        AVI- Following World War II, the US made a well planned, concerted effort to expand US control of the “Grand Area,” which included all those parts of the planet not controlled by the Soviet Union. The Middle East was a core area of concern due to its enormous energy reserves. The US eased Britain out as it assumed primary responsibility for the global capitalist system, securing Third World resources to feed the First World economies. Different tactics were employed as circumstances dictated to achieve these strategic ends. The US doesn’t seek balance, the US seeks domination and control, adopting policies which work toward that end. Nasser was always seen as a threat to US control with his emphasis on non-alignment and, more significantly, pan-Arabism. A united Arab Middle East would have been a catastrophe for US imperial ambitions. I only vaguely recall the Aswan damn situation, however, I think it is safe to say that the US wasn’t considering pursuing this out of the goodness of Uncle Sam’s heart, rather the decision was based upon cold realpolitik. Likewise, any change in policy would be a change in tactics, not overall strategy. The 1967 war smashed Nasser and secular pan-Arabism, and was a huge victory for US Middle East objectives.

        JFK’s nuclear-free Middle East policy? I am unaware of any instance where a US president has taken substantive action to restrict the presence and use of US nuclear weapons in the Middle East, the essential first step in making the Middle East a nuclear free area, which Iran supports and the US rejects for obvious reasons.

        You seem to be suggesting that even in the pre-1967 period US policy was significantly influenced by a powerful Israel lobby, not based upon imperial geo-strategic considerations. Planning documents tell a different tale. I don’t do original research, relying instead on secondary sources. A valuable recent addition to the scholarship is “Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East,” by Gregory Harms, in case you are interested.

        Finally, I referred to certain Mondoweissers because I sensed a group dynamic at play which was consonant with the Mondoweiss operational philosophy. I am not particularly concerned with the individual commenters.

      • Max Ajl
        November 1, 2010, 4:43 pm

        Well, yes, the Lobby does corral nationalist/tribal sentiments into “supporting” Israel, but once again, we have to break down how that tribal nationalism operates across different social classes, one of many reasons that the Lobby, like all clumping terms, obscures rather than clarifies analysis. Certainly many middle-class Jews from Long Island and much of the Jewish upper-class “supports” Israel. But one frequently gets a return from that “support,” and one does not, because the upper-class is frequently invested in Israeli companies. Thus tribalism functions as a hegemonizing ideology; and precisely for that reason it is relevant to try to break that ideology, precisely for that reason it is noteworthy that liberal Zionism is on life-support, and precisely for that reason does this website exist. (I speak in general terms and with hedges because this is a research program, not the results of research).

        Now, the Lobby very generally does not have the “interests” of the state of Israel as its interests, because the state of Israel has no interests. It has a melange of interests that are manifested in policies that there, too, ultimately benefit the upper-class. Nationalism is a binding ideology here, and it’s a binding ideology there. But whose interests is it binding to whom? In both cases (again, in broad strokes; there are important exceptions, of course, there always are) it is binding lower- or middle-class social support to upper-class interests that they justify under the banner of nationalism.

        But that only gets us so far. We absolutely have to ask, why doesn’t the remainder of the capitalist class crush the Lobby? We can’t simply stipulate an imagined political economy of American capitalism wherein the corporate class would benefit from the end of occupation, and then say they are being yanked around by the Lobby. There are certainly cases of the Lobby winning frontal confrontations with other segments of capital (The Lobby only is significant because it has capital, too). But more recently, that has not been the case. Mostly the ruling class has compliantly gone along with Lobby policies regarding Israel (regarding the larger Middle East, I don’t take the arguments seriously). Now, you can say this has gone against their interests, but they don’t seem to agree, and they are under legal obligations to maximize profitability, that’s what a corporation is. Not only that, but a belligerent Israel serves at least two major sectors of capital, the military-industrial complex and the oil industry, the former, by providing continuing rationale for profit-intense arms exports, and the latter, by keeping the ember of tension flaring softly and thereby offering excuses to keep oil prices elevated. That’s an objective appraisal of their interests. It by no means follows that they always get what they want, or that the system always works the way they would like it to work. But that doesn’t mean there’s no system and no interests. And none of it means there’s no Lobby, and none of it means confronting both Israel through BDS or the Lobby through exposure and agitation is gratuitous. Those are vital tasks. But they are not the only tasks.

      • Antidote
        November 1, 2010, 5:38 pm

        “JFK’s nuclear-free Middle East policy?”

        summary p 145:

        link to books.google.ca

        “As I [A. Hart] document in some detail in Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy went to great lengths to try to stop Israel developing nuclear weapons. They were thwarted not only by bare-faced Israeli lies and deception on the ground in the Zionist state, but also by the influence on Congress and the White of the leader of the 30 Jewish millionaires who funded the initial development of Israel’s first atomic bomb. This gentleman’s name was Abraham Feinberg. Who was he?

        The financial godfather of Israel’s atomic bomb, who planned and plotted from his suite in New York’s Hotel Pierre, made his fortune in the hosiery and clothing business. His battle with President Kennedy and his top advisers was intense. Feinberg himself once confessed: “I fought the strongest battle of my career to keep them from full inspection. I violently intervened not once but half a dozen times.” (Source notes in my book).

        In their efforts to stop Israel developing nuclear weapons, Eisenhower and Kennedy were driven by the same consideration and fear. Both were seriously committed to preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. And both were fully aware that the credibility America needed to play its necessary leading role in turning hope into reality on this front would be gravely damaged and probably destroyed if the U.S. could not control developments in Israel.”

        link to payvand.com

        see also:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        “Jeffrey Blankfort July 10, 2010 at 2:00 am
        There has been a great deal written about JFK designed (and I used that term deliberatedly) to make it appear that he was as soft on Israel as those presidents who succeeded him. First, that JFK was serious about preventing Israel from obtaining nuclear weapons is revealed in declassified documents available in the national archives as is his seriousness in supporting Res. 194, the Palestinian right of return which gave the Palestinians, as individuals, the right to choose whether to return to what had been Palestine or receive compensation […]”

      • Max Ajl
        November 1, 2010, 9:38 pm

        LRB–
        There is no doubt that you are correct, and the extent to which that irrationalism prevails may be the difference between letting Israel do whatever–the Likud/right-Zionist line policies–and the imposition of a two-state Bantustan “solution.” But in the broader scope, analyzing governmental policy means not only asking who is pushing for a certain policy. It also means asking who is and who isn’t pushing against it. That question is scarcely asked here, unfortunately.

      • Avi
        November 1, 2010, 10:40 pm

        Keith,

        That is true to the extent that US-Soviet rivalries used Egypt. The US attempted to cozy up to Egypt during the Nasser era, but didn’t want to commit itself. Similarly, Nasser didn’t want to get entangled in the Soviet-US bloc, and instead allied himself with India.

        Then when Nasser got tired of waiting on the Americans for their weapons shipments, he allied Egypt with the Soviets. The US panicked and offered to build the dam.

        In the process the US dragged its feet due to Israeli pressure and ended up losing access to Egypt. Nasser had gone with the Soviets.

        Alarmed at the prospect of Russia providing Egypt with weaponry, Israel move in, militarily.

        (SH*) Page 94: “In Egypt the arms package looked like the dawning of a new day. For the first time the Western monopoly on arms sales to the Arab countries had been broken. That monopoly had always been exercised in such a away as to rub in Arab dependency and inferiority. Soviet arms, however, came with no strings attached. There was no requirement to join a Soviet sponsored-security pact, and no restriction on the deployment and the use of arms.

        (W&M)

        […] when an Israeli attack on an Egyptian army base in Gaza in February 1955, killed thirty-seven Egyptian soldiers and wounded another thirty-one, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was forced to return to the Soviet Union for arms instead. […] The raid also led to Nasser to shut down a secret negotiating channel with the Israeli government and to shift from modest efforts to limit Arab infiltration [into Israel] to active support for it.

        (SH)

        By the end of October 1955, the Israeli General Staff had been ordered to prepare a plan to occupy the Sinai Peninsula. International conditions did not permit Ben-Gurion to act immediately, but he was willing to bide his time until an appropriate opportunity came along.

        * Mearsheimer and Walt (M&W)

        (SH) Stephen Humphreys’ Between Memory and Desire: The Middle East in a Troubled Age.

        So the bottom line, Israel forced the United States’ arm, and the US abided.

        In the end, this entire topic requires far more space than a few back-and-forth exchanges.

      • Keith
        November 2, 2010, 11:19 am

        AVI- The US has been spectacularly successful in achieving its goals of planetary dominance. In the Middle East, a core area of concern, things seemed to worked out to Uncle Sam’s advantage. Nasser is gone, Mubarak is a US satrap, Iraq has been taken out of the picture, and Iran is under the gun. None of this is a consequence of a blundering giant being led astray by an Israeli lobby to work at cross purposes to its imperial designs. Of course, the Zionist lobby does have tremendous influence in shaping policy which serves Israeli/Zionist elite interests as well as US elite interests. The acquisition of nuclear weapons by Israel alters the dynamic in unpredictable and dangerous ways. Arguably, the only threat to US Middle East hegemony is Israel, our somewhat uncontrollable “ally” with ambitions of its own. Surely Israel has the military capability of seizing a major oil producing area, or of replacing US troops occupying Iraq, thereby securing substantial oil revenues and freeing itself from dependency on US economic support. Of course, this would be a direct threat to US imperial control, at which point we would find out just how much the tail wags the dog, assuming, of course, that any of us would survive.

        An additional consideration is the current state of the US empire, which appears to me to be on the verge of a massive realignment. In brief, the financialization of the planet known as neoliberal globalization appears to be at the stage where various nation states, including the US, are going to be “shocked” into economic/financial collapse with the intent of establishing a sort financial oligarchy involving financial interdependencies and debt servitude controlled by the corporate/financial oligarchy. This whole process of economic warfare is crazy in the extreme, with unpredictable outcomes. It is occurring now because of a rapidly closing window of opportunity due to the economic non-sustainability of the American empire. If any of this comes to pass, the impact on Israel/Palestine will be profound, but impossible to predict. I think it safe to say, however, that the fate of the Palestinians will not be a high priority for the planetary oligarchs.

    • Keith
      October 31, 2010, 4:16 pm

      CITIZEN- I think that the evidence is massive and overwhelming that most Americans are easy to manipulate.

  9. Chris S
    October 31, 2010, 12:04 pm

    Another Military Keynesianism Cultist that doesn’t understand the broken window fallacy.

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”
    -Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Broder really seems to grasp what Eisenhower was saying, doesn’t he?

    • Antidote
      October 31, 2010, 12:43 pm

      The reason why Americans (and Israelis) keep falling for the broken window fallacy is that they have not yet suffered any military retaliation that is even remotely comparable to the loss of human life and the destruction of cities and infrastructure they have caused far away from home. Europeans in general and the Germans in particular get it: when German President Köhler recently answered the question: ‘Why is the Bundeswehr still assisting the pointless war in Afghanistan’ by citing German economic interest, the public uproar led to his resignation. This doesn’t solve the problem, of course, but at least you can’t just come out and say it or dupe the public that easily and repeatedly.

      Try this in the US or Israel. If it’s good for their economy, why not destroy other people? And if they attempt or support any efforts to retaliate against the US and its citizens and threaten their security – all the more reason to do so. The national trauma of 9/11 is the spitting image of the Israeli focus on suicide bombers and the ‘thousands of rockets’ that have been fired into Israel

      • Psychopathic god
        October 31, 2010, 1:43 pm

        Gideon Levy talked to a group at Columbia Univ ( The Punishment of Gaza ).

        He was pretty pessimistic, overall, only demonstrating a spark of hope at the very end of the discussion when he acknowledged the number of young people in his presence who were able to see through the warmongering.

        But in the middle of his comments — and pessimism — Levy observed that the only times that Israel has grated any concessions or made any moves toward granting Palestinians some small modicum of humanity, were after people had died and things had been destroyed. He enumerated the situations in which Israel had, ie. loosened the blockade on Gaza — after international furor over IDF killing civilians on Mavi Marmara.

        The thoughts that ran through my mind as Levy explained his thesis were that OTHER people’s blood is the blood that was shed, not Israeli blood.

        Norman Finkelstein has said that Israel needs “a major defeat” in order to bring it to its senses.

      • Antidote
        October 31, 2010, 4:11 pm

        I’m not sure I agree with Finkelstein on the possibility of a military solution – in Israel or the US. One major difference between Germans public during WW II and Americans/Israelis today is that the former were to a large extent unaware of the enormity of the crimes committed in their name, esp. outside the borders of the Reich. Nobody ever claimed the Third Reich was a democracy, Goebbels had a fairly tight control over the media, and anything that contradicted the official and deliberate deceptions could be attributed to enemy lies and propaganda. No TV, no WWW, no Tube etc, and no years or even decades for investigation and reflection between one war/crime and the next: 6 yrs of continuous war, stunning economic growth and military victory, hidden horror and crushing defeat. The crimes of USrael are, comparatively speaking, common knowledge already. Nobody will recoil in any transformative horror about them for having their own cities and lives blasted into bits and pieces. What shocking new revelations could there be? That Israeli prisons were run as extermination camps for Palestinians? That 9/11 was an inside job? No, it would just feed the sense of victimhood and patriotic defiance in either country: they hate us for being Jews, they hate us for our freedom etc.

        An alternative model is what brought down and liberated the USSR and Eastern Europe/East Germany: economic collapse and massive, peaceful protest. That would certainly be my preference, so perhaps there’s more wishful thinking than a realistic assessment of the situation (Levy, Finkelstein) behind it

      • potsherd
        October 31, 2010, 5:01 pm

        The US and Israel have in common the fact that they now fight all their wars on someone else’s land. Terrorism is only the way to bring the death home to the perpetrators.

      • Antidote
        October 31, 2010, 8:06 pm

        “Terrorism is only the way to bring the death home to the perpetrators.”

        That’s what the German Baader-Meinhof gang was, eventually, after: fight imperialism/fascism/corporatism by blowing up shopping malls to give complacent and complicit Germans a taste of how it feels to be Vietnamese or Palestinian. It didn’t work, and only backfired, as with the Intifadas.

      • potsherd
        October 31, 2010, 9:19 pm

        Very true, Antidote. People have a lack of perspective on these matters when it comes to being bombed.

      • Antidote
        November 1, 2010, 8:44 am

        re BM-gang/RAF – movie tip/review:

        link to vanityfair.com

      • tommy
        November 1, 2010, 9:01 pm

        Unconditional defeat is the best thing that ever happened to the Germans and Japanese. Not only did they obtain a long lasting peace by renouncing war, they become liberal social democracies.

      • Antidote
        November 1, 2010, 9:57 pm

        Best thing that ever happened? Millions of civilian deaths, millions expelled, vast amounts of cultural and architectural heritage destroyed? Hiroshima? Germany was already a liberal democracy from 1919-1933, and most historians agree that the Versailles Treaty contributed considerably to the failure of the Weimar Republic and Hitler’s rise to power. And how about the Zionist view: Unconditional defeat is the best way for Palestinians ‘to obtain a long lasting peace by renouncing war/terrorism and become a democracy’ and live in peace with their neighbor Israel – the victim of their aggression. Was the Holocaust ‘the best thing that ever happened’ to the Jews because they ‘obtained Israel and renounced the Diaspora’? Do the ends justify the means?

      • livingbridge
        November 2, 2010, 7:13 am

        “That’s what the German Baader-Meinhof gang was, eventually, after”

        No doubt you’ve heard of Operation Gladio. Same pretext of “terrorism everywhere”, then as now. It’s soo good for bottom lines.

  10. Jim Haygood
    October 31, 2010, 12:05 pm

    And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

    History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes. In the Fraudclosuregate issue, the pressure for foreclosure moratoriums echoes a populist theme of the 1930s.

    As the Obama administration mirrors Roosevelt’s New Deal in imposing radical but counterproductive economic fallacies (such as Bernanke’s insane QE2 program due to be announced next Wednesday afternoon), thoughts will turn toward extricating the moribund US economy from its post-Bubble malaise via the same route employed in the 1940s: war.

    Broder’s hyperbolic claim that ‘Iran is the greatest threat to the world’ is utterly preposterous. Even the far more modest claim that Iran is the greatest threat to Israel is debatable. Israel seems to be its own worst enemy, as its fanatical zionist agents such as Broder poison the well of US goodwill by agitating for a destructive war on Israel’s behalf.

    The US would actually be better off having Iran as an ally than Israel, a false friend which subverts US policy, politics and public debate in a comprehensively toxic manner.

    • Psychopathic god
      October 31, 2010, 1:52 pm

      The US would actually be better off having Iran as an ally than Israel . . .

      Not to mention that the US would actually be better off having Iran as a trading partner and market and commercial friend, than Israel: Iran hasover ten times the population; it’s younger, and has pent up demand for consumer goods, in contrast to super-sated Israelis. Iran has decades of experience of developing unique conservation strategies and is one of the most environmentally-aware cultures in the world — of necessity: Iran occupies challenging desert and mountain terrain, is home to over 70 million people, and has a tremendous investment in educating its people and developing technologies to function with a very small carbon footprint.

    • Citizen
      October 31, 2010, 2:05 pm

      Worthy of repeating, even though only people on this blog will see it has more than a little validity: “The US would actually be better off having Iran as an ally than Israel, a false friend which subverts US policy, politics and public debate in a comprehensively toxic manner.”

      Recall that Iran helped us when we first went into Afghanistan. And this despite our Shah fiasco and 8 grueling years of supporting Saddam against Iran.

  11. lobewyper
    October 31, 2010, 12:23 pm

    Broder finally jumped that shark…

  12. bijou
    October 31, 2010, 12:36 pm

    How utterly vile. Words really can’t do this justice.

  13. MRW
    October 31, 2010, 12:36 pm

    Another aging white fart with pre-Elvis ideas of economic policy.

  14. Kathleen
    October 31, 2010, 12:45 pm

    Cheney, Bill Kristol, Micheal Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerect, John Bolton, the Wurmsers, Terri Gross, Scott Simon, and many more have been helping set the stage for an attack on Iran. Repeating and allowing repetition of unsubstantiated and inflammatory claims about Iran.

    This has gone on since the invasion of Iraq. They have helped set the stage for an attack.

  15. Oscar
    October 31, 2010, 1:03 pm

    What a cynical, pathetic, transparent puddle of puke WaPo just served up. Notice the condescending tone of Broder, calling Obama “smart” and providing him with just the formula to get re-elected — fight a third war in the name of Israel, providing more American blood and treasure to insure the rapidity of this once great nation’s demise.

    The vile, traitorous Zionist Broder spews a basic lie — that expanding our nation’s endless wars in the Middle East to include Iran is GOOD for our economy — that is completely unsupportable, given our trillion commitment to the last decade of war and our country’s continued need to print money to stave off bankruptcy.

    Note that WaPo editorial page chief hasbaraist Fred Hiatt was smart enough to ban viewer comments on this hasbaraic tripe. You can bet that Broder would have been flamed with 20-to-1 comments against his hateful, intellectually fraudulent “formula” for Obama to be re-elected and “go down in history as one of the great presidents.”

  16. Shafiq
    October 31, 2010, 1:05 pm

    True 1984 style.

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected.

    That’s exactly what it sounds like

  17. Richard Witty
    October 31, 2010, 1:16 pm

    “A Zionist Trojan Horse”?

    A thief only sees pockets.

    Iran destabalizes the whole middle east. Israel is in the middle east and towards antipathy towards the west.

    • Citizen
      October 31, 2010, 2:50 pm

      It’s the other way around, Dick Witty, Israel destabilizes the whole Middle East.
      Obviously you’ve not been paying attention to all the information indicating so that’s been presented on this blog for years. The Iranian people have a right to self-government; and most especially, a right to defend itself against the predators. It’s been attacked internally and externally yet has never opted for preemptive war.

      • Richard Witty
        October 31, 2010, 3:53 pm

        Pick your head up and see the world, Citizen.

        Among even the most “realist” thinkers, they describe Iran as unstable, destabalizing, aggressive, threatening.

      • Richard Witty
        October 31, 2010, 3:54 pm

        I haven’t taken Broder seriously for a long time.

      • Shingo
        October 31, 2010, 5:47 pm

        “Among even the most “realist” thinkers, they describe Iran as unstable, destabalizing, aggressive, threatening.”

        Realist is just a code word for realpolitik, not realism. The way in which Iran is destabilizing, aggressive, threatening is towards US/Israeli hegemony.

        Destabilizing, aggressive, threatening is what best describes Israel.

        We haven’t taken you seriously for a long time either Witty.

      • MarkF
        October 31, 2010, 8:39 pm

        Pick your head up? We backed Iraq in a war against Iran where we provided Iraq with some pretty bad stuff that was used on Iranians. How many Iranians died as a result?

        Was that to help Stabilize the region? Or maybe selling arms to Saudi Arabia and giving arms to Israel is stabilizing the region?

        After Iran provided help for us and we branded them as part of an axis of evil, did that help stabilize the region?

        When we tell Iran to stop making nuclear weapons it isn’t making otherwise all options are on the table, is this not aggressive and threatening?

        When Iran gets involved in the politics of it’s now Shiite neighbor, is this an act of an unstable country?

        Unbelievable. I’m sure you’d agree that if you’ve kicked a dog for as long and as hard as we’ve kicked Iran, Iran’s been pretty restrained in it’s response.

        Take the glasses off and see what we’ve created. It’s in OUR image.

      • Psychopathic god
        October 31, 2010, 9:17 pm

        well said MarkF.
        I draw your attention to an intriguing new perspective on negotiations with Iran, written by Eric Brill, a Harvard-trained lawyer and participant to the Leveretts’ Race for Iran blog.

        Brill applies a lawyer’s analysis to the question of the legal capacity of the UN Security Council to make decisions or take actions regarding IAEA matters and the matters of NPT participants.

        Brill’s strong-suit is his capacity to get into the weeds and examine every specimen he discovers there, in exhaustive detail. He had earlier applied his skills to an examination of the 2009 election in Iran, concluding that Ahmadinejad won the election in a process reasonably free of evidence of overwhelming fraud.
        Detail, as we all know, is where the devil resides; Brill’s volunteer efforts arise from his determination, at the onset of the Iraq war, that NEVER AGAIN would that same charade of Perception Management see his country march off to an illegal and immoral war.

      • Citizen
        November 1, 2010, 8:41 am

        Which “realist thinkers” are you referencing, Dick Witty? Mearsheimer, for one, sees Iran’s nuclear ambitions as mostly defensively motivated; it does not seek to invade its neighbors.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 12:51 pm

        Which “realist thinkers” are you referencing, Dick Witty?

        Steven Walt. In his summary comments on Iran, he describes their actions as provocative.

        The difference between provocation that originates with a defensive rationalization and those that originate with a greedy offensive rationalization, are not all that different in practice.

        Certainly Israel must exemplify that. All of Israel’s aggressive policies are defensive in origination (at least to the Zionist converted).

        Its been the case forever. Russia, Germany, Serbia, US, Japan, Iran, Iraq, all rationalized their aggressions on the basis of defensive need, all exagerated.

        That is the critical point that requires judgement (as in thought, not as in authoritative punishment), that of exageration of defense, rather than moderation of defense.

        The opposition to Israeli exageration is NOT to rationalize Iran’s. That’s a child’s formula.

        Moderation is what is needed, NOT increased zeal of ideology.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 4:08 pm

        “Steven Walt. In his summary comments on Iran, he describes their actions as provocative.”

        Aside from teh fact that you said al realists (you only names one) Walt doesn’t say that at all. You obviously don’t spend much time reading Walt, or if you do, only peruse the headlines.

        “The difference between provocation that originates with a defensive rationalization and those that originate with a greedy offensive rationalization, are not all that different in practice.”

        They are polar opposites. Any action that stems from defensive rationalization cannot by it’s very definition, be considered provocation. Provocation implies actions or policies intended to create further conflict, not prevent it.

        “ All of Israel’s aggressive policies are defensive in origination (at least to the Zionist converted).”

        Correction. All Israel’s aggressive policies are marketed to the public as defensive, while in reality, being offensive (in every sense of the word). The US military is called the Department of Defence, when it should be called the Department of Offense.

        “Its been the case forever. Russia, Germany, Serbia, US, Japan, Iran, Iraq, all rationalized their aggressions on the basis of defensive need, all exagerated.”

        You forgot to include Israel.

        “The opposition to Israeli exaggeration is NOT to rationalize Iran’s. That’s a child’s formula.”

        So what you’re saying is that Iran have no right to respond to Israel’s aggression. It’s funny how you’re only to happy to embrace the child’s formula in regard to Israel and to demonize and exaggerate Iran’s actions.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 4:36 pm

        Shingo,
        I said among the most realist thinkers, not “all”, that was your imagination at play.

        The nature of Iran’s involvement in Lebanon and Gaza, is not defensive.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 6:10 pm

        Witty.

        You referred to “thinkers”, implying more than one, and even then, you falsely presented Walt’s position.

        “The nature of Iran’s involvement in Lebanon and Gaza, is not defensive.”

        The involvement is to support defensive capabilities of groups in those territories.

        You might have notice Witty, that neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are occupying and stealing anyone’s land.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 7:08 pm

        Walt is the only self-defined realist that I read regularly. In readings about realists, most define that term by cool analysis of power relations, relative to US position. The shift to liberal idealist realism, endorsed by Walt and Mearsheimer is new, in balance likely still realism for Walt, I’m not sure about Mearsheimer.

        I don’t believe that many realists look at Iran and states that they are merely “defending”, as you wishfully or intentionally misrepresentatively describe.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 8:03 pm

        “In readings about realists, most define that term by cool analysis of power relations, relative to US position.”

        Like I said earlier, the term “realists” simply means those committed to the status quo of realpolitik and US Empire. The realists you are referring to see the world through the prism of US power and domination, and regard any hindrance to that position and “destabilizing”.

        “I don’t believe that many realists look at Iran and states that they are merely “defending”, as you wishfully or intentionally misrepresentatively describe.”

        As stated above, realists are proponents of US domination and Empire, which is maintains that the US has a right occupy states by military force and maintain over 700 military bases throughout the world. Those realists ultimately believe that the US controls the world and has he right to, thus will not recognize resistance as legitimate, nor anyone’s right to defend themselves against our ambitions.

        It reflects your belief that Palestinians, like Lebanon, and Iran, have no right to defend themselves.

      • yonira
        October 31, 2010, 7:57 pm

        Obviously you’ve not been paying attention to all the information indicating so that’s been presented on this blog for years

        Who are you trying to kid Citizen. This is an anti-Israel/anti-US blog. Any information that has been presented is biased towards that agenda. Much like Camera and Memri are biased towards Israel.

      • Shingo
        October 31, 2010, 9:09 pm

        “This is an anti-Israel/anti-US blog.”

        And your point? Does information become less valuable or less valid when presented on an blog that is critical of Israel?

        Should the judges at Nuremberg have excluded themselves from proceedings on the grounds they didn’t love Nazism?

        Information is not subject to bias. It remains information. You’re simply confusing (or conflating) information with lies, but then, it comes as no surprise that you can’t tell the difference.
        “Any information that has been presented is biased towards that agenda”

        Really? Is that why you’re ass is handed to you every time you present your pathetic and lame rebuttals?

      • Keith
        October 31, 2010, 10:54 pm

        YONIRA- Let us start with some truisms. There is no such thing as a good empire, nor a good regional hegemon. They both do nasty, despicable things. Particularly the US empire. Any honest critique of the facts regarding either the empire or the hegemon will inevitably be critical of both. Both rely on force and other forms of coercion to achieve elite objectives. Both are fundamentally immoral, hence, concerned citizens have a moral obligation to oppose imperial and hegemonic policies and actions. Is that clear? And if not, why not?

      • MarkF
        November 1, 2010, 7:40 am

        I would argue that at the least, this is very much a pro-U.S. blog. This blog points out the devastating effects the so-called “pro-Israel” lobby and it’s supporters have had and continue to have on our country. And this is not to mention the sheer financial drain as well.

        Wouldn’t you agree that a blog opining to change that is doing a great service to our (or I guess I should say my since I don’t know if you are an American) country?

        So if this blog is also against policies that have been nothing but harmful to Israel, I would think it’s very much a pro-Israel blog. Stopping a friend from commiting suicide seems like a pretty darned good friend.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 7:12 pm

        “A pro-US blog”.

        Not a descriptor so much as a slogan. How many posters here would describe themselves as patriots as a primary motive, and not moralists or humanists?

        It is a great service to persuade those in power to act prudently and skillfully.

    • Avi
      October 31, 2010, 4:39 pm

      Richard Witty October 31, 2010 at 1:16 pm

      “A Zionist Trojan Horse”?

      A thief only sees pockets.

      And Mark Regev only sees Human Shields because the IOF uses Human Shields.

      Israel sees existential threats because it destroyed an entire nation, including physical structures, personal property, intellectual property, culture and heritage.

      • seafoid
        November 1, 2010, 7:44 am

        I think that is why Israel is so reluctant to yield anything to the Palestinians, Avi. They are afraid of what they did to the Palestinians being revisited on Israel. If historical narratives are meaningless then what value does the Zionist historical narrative ultimately have?

        I think this is why they are so anal about placenames. If you engage the Palestinians the people may stop believing. Zionism ultimately is more a cult rather than a national liberation movement.
        There appear to be strong parallels with Scientology.

    • MarkF
      October 31, 2010, 4:42 pm

      Richard, the U.S. has invaded two countrues on both sides of Iran, created over 2 million refugees, and murdered over 100,000 civilians.

      Maybe set up a ledger account and compare.

      • bijou
        October 31, 2010, 6:16 pm

        Maybe set up a ledger account and compare.

        Actually this is a brilliant idea. Can we do it?

      • Citizen
        November 1, 2010, 8:48 am

        Mark, Richard Witty only looks at the countries surrounding Israel; he’s never given one indication he’s looked at the borders of Iran–complete with the US military bases in them, nor has he ever looked at the fact that Iranians are aware of the historical US direct and indirect operations against them, including the CIA’s Shah installation (which led to the reign of the mullahs) and the 8 year war defending against Saddam, the US proxy at the time.

    • Shingo
      October 31, 2010, 5:07 pm

      “A thief only sees pockets.”

      The pockets happen to ours and Israel continues to empty them.

      “Iran destabalizes the whole middle east.”

      By not attacking or invading anyone in 270 years. And yes, by attacking everyone of it’s neighbors and committing endless war crimes, Israel is indeed demonstrating  antipathy towards the west.

      • Richard Witty
        October 31, 2010, 6:26 pm

        What is change?

        Revolution, in the US? You must be joking.

        So, the ONLY game is reform, change from one norm to another slightly different one.

        The shift in attitudes that result in changes in policy can obviously affect the change from communicated support or opposition to was.

        The communication is very nuanced, as indicated by the “example” of Saddam Hussein perceiving a reserved letter from the US state department towards their claim to Kuwait, as permission to invade.

        It could happen with Israel obviously. Maybe that is why Phil and other as so hyper-sensitive as to the nuances say of Goldberg’s form of objection to unilaterally attacking Iran.

        The current Congressional races are telling. Among the tea party advocates there is a great divide between those that insist on an isolationist approach (political, military, economy) and those that insist on a muscle-bound increase in military involvement in the world.

        Phil has ignored the current election, I would say negligently.

      • Shingo
        October 31, 2010, 9:19 pm

        “So, the ONLY game is reform, change from one norm to another slightly different one.”

        It’s obvious why you are so devoted to the term “reform” because in your tribal mind, you think it means allowing Israel’s crimes to go by unpunished.

        There is no shift in attitudes that result in changes in policy Witty. The only shift in attitudes in Israel is the shift further to the right and to the extreme fringes of nationalism. There’s no pint pretending that a sudden shift towards respect for democracy and human rights is going to magically take place.

        “The communication is very nuanced, as indicated by the “example” of Saddam Hussein perceiving a reserved letter from the US state department towards their claim to Kuwait, as permission to invade.”

        What is nuanced about it Witty? It wither happened or it didn’t. There’s nothing nuanced about it.

        “Maybe that is why Phil and other as so hyper-sensitive as to the nuances say of Goldberg’s form of objection to unilaterally attacking Iran.”

        There are no nuances is Goldberg’s war mongering diatribes. The guy is incapable of nuance. He certainly doesn’t demonstrate any nuance when he falsely alleges that Iran has a nuclear weapons program or is a threat to Israel.

        You’d simply conflating (confusing) nuance with lies and propaganda, but then, you’re a Zionist, so it’s to be expected.

        “Among the tea party advocates there is a great divide between those that insist on an isolationist approach (political, military, economy) and those that insist on a muscle-bound increase in military involvement in the world.”

        And how is that any different to the status quo that has existed in Washington for decades? The same “divide” can be found through the political spectrum. In fact, it is abundantly evident within every political party.

        “Phil has ignored the current election, I would say negligently.”

        No, he’s simply able to identify that nothing has changed, while deluded extremists like yourself are incapable of realizing it.

      • MarkF
        November 1, 2010, 8:03 am

        Actually, I would argue a bit of the hyper-sensitivity comes from statements that are pretty much “untruths”:

        …Iran as unstable, destabilizing, aggressive, threatening.

        “Iran destabilizes the whole middle east.”

        Our country has destabilized it’s border neighbors. If Iran invaded and bombed the hell out of Mexico and Canada and then claimed that the U.S. destabilizes North America, wouldn’t you consider such a statement and outright lie?

        Search yourself. Why would you make such an absurd claim?

        No country is an angel. They work withen the framework of their sphere. We are now in THEIR sphere and we are threatening them. They aren’t stupid. They saw the influences that lead us to invade Iraq and they see it ramping up for a possible repeat performance.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 4:00 pm

        “Search yourself. Why would you make such an absurd claim?”

        Go easy on him MarkF. It’s not like he has many choices.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 4:32 pm

        “No country is an angel”.

        Finally, an acknowledgement.

        Iran’s destabalization is relative to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and directly to Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Egypt, everywhere they promote and arm “resistance”.

        They are containable so doesn’t justify armed assault, but does require open eyes, not denial eyes.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 6:07 pm

        “Finally, an acknowledgement.”

        But Israel is no angel either, which must mean that Israel is a destabilizing influence to right Witty?

        “Iran’s destabalization is relative to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and directly to Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Egypt, everywhere they promote and arm “resistance”.”

        False, it is not relative to anything. Iran has no presence or influence in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Kuwait, so that part of your post is a lie.

        Iran supports resistance groups in Lebanon and the occupied territories. That does not make it destabilizing to the region, it makes it a thorn in the side of Israel’s hegemony.

        “They are containable so doesn’t justify armed assault, but does require open eyes, not denial eyes.”

        Yes Witty, the denial eyes are yours and yours alone.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 7:15 pm

        If you’ve ever interpreted my comments as “Israel is an angel”, then you misinterpreted.

        Shingo,
        You really think of Hezbollah as ONLY a resistance movement, resisting against what exactly? 40,000 rockets to defend Shabaa Farms?

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 7:52 pm

        “If you’ve ever interpreted my comments as “Israel is an angel”, then you misinterpreted.”

        No I am simply extrapolating. Your “Iran is no angel” position means that Iran is a destabilizing influence in the region. Conversely, either you agree that Israel is also a destabilizing influence in the region or it’s an angel.

        “You really think of Hezbollah as ONLY a resistance movement, resisting against what exactly?”

        Israel of course. Who else is Hezbollah resisting?

        “40,000 rockets to defend Shabaa Farms?”

        40,000 rockets to defend Lebanon against hundreds of thousands of missiles, bombs and millions of cluster bombs.

        But I take your point, Hezbollah needs to be far better armed to do the job adequately.

      • Richard Witty
        November 2, 2010, 11:02 am

        You really mean to promote an arms race on the Lebanon/Israel border?

        The question is what is Hezbollah resisting? There is no occupied territory on their border, and the arms race there is of heat within a pressure cooker only.

        Perhaps with the side drama of validating themselves by the measure of the extent they can stick it to Israelis.

        You have read of the threat that Hezbollah will undertake a coup in Lebanon if the indictment of their cadre in the Hariri murder reaches indictment?

        Israeli settlement expansion is destabalizing, and driven by intoxicated ideologs.

        The 67 borders have never yet been stable, and although they are a critical basis of achieving a just partition, to establish them as boundary still requires thought and action to make sustainable.

      • MarkF
        November 2, 2010, 3:17 pm

        “They are containable…”

        By us? At what cost, armed or not? For what? You honestly think, Iran, through proxy or otherwise, is capable of destabilizing any of the above countries relatively or directly? If so, billions have been poured down the toilet for naught. Iran is not a rich country and if they are achieving destabilizing effects, they’re pretty cost effective.

        Looking over the countries you list, it seems that they all have another destabilizing influence – us!

        I’m not the type to say we are the source of all the ME’s problems, but they are simply trying to rid their neck of the woods of a country almost half a world away with one footprint to their left and one to their right.

        Do you honestly think that if we pulled out of the ME influence game the whole region collapses? If you don’t know how to fix something, wouldn’t the next best option be to do no more harm?

        Again, it’s the inability to see, with open eyes, that we’re making the situation worse for both the region and ourselves, and I would think a “humanist” goal would be to stop doing harm.

    • Shingo
      November 1, 2010, 5:28 am

      “A thief only sees pockets.”

      And a victim of theft sees a thief comming a mile away.

      • eljay
        November 1, 2010, 11:53 am

        >> RW: A thief only sees pockets.
        >> Shingo: And a victim of theft sees a thief comming a mile away.

        And a “humanist” watches the thief assault the victim and steal his property, sees the victim retaliate in self-defence and to regain his property, steps in and tells both parties to put the past behind them and to the future, and then smugly pats himself on the back for having upheld “justice” for both parties.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 1:01 pm

        You seem to have a “Pavlovian” invocation from the word “thief”.

        You seem to think that it only refers to Israel and Israelis.

        The phrase I used was to describe a habit of analysis, that a “thief” doesn’t see beyond what he/she is looking at. It refers to any ideolog, anyone that has stopped seeing in favor of selective seeing.

        Phil is the author of this blog. His comments are not in reaction to comments, not forced by any outside party, they are his own writing on his own blank slate.

        I’m sure his comment of “Trojan horse” was referring in some way to my comment that BDS associated with single state advocacy is a trojan horse to Israel remaining Israel.

        He and Palestinian solidarity apparently don’t regard that as relevant in the modern world. He may be right, or he may be tragically wrong.

        ALL national states have a tension between their national identity (France, Russia) and their democratic method. Israel is no different. Single bi-national states are no different. (Yugoslavia, USSR)

        The balance of that tension is acceptable, if democracy is prevalent over the national. So, the criticism of the prevalance of the national over democracy in Israel is important.

        The presence though of the national is a distraction, a reaction (the root of the term reactionary), and the root of ideological excess in defense of a good principle.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 3:56 pm

        “You seem to have a “Pavlovian” invocation from the word “thief”.”

        No Witty, it is what it is. You see the word thief and in the case of Israel, immediately decide there’s been a misunderstanding.

        You admitted as such. When the Goldstone Report came out, you attacked it and dismissed it repeatedly without ever having bothered to read it. You also admitted that you reject many of the allegations of crims against Israel on the grounds that they were too over the top for your taste.

        In the case of land theft in Palestinie, theft does indeed only refer to Israel and Israelis.

        ” It refers to any ideolog, anyone that has stopped seeing in favor of selective seeing.”

        Yes Witty, by that definition, you would certainly qualify as an ideologue.

        “I’m sure his comment of “Trojan horse” was referring in some way to my comment that BDS associated with single state advocacy is a trojan horse to Israel remaining Israel.”’

        There’s no evidence that BDS is associated with single state advocacy, and you’ve never been able to demonstrate that, so in essence you’re like Broder in that you are more than prepared to spread lies to serve your agenda.

        “The balance of that tension is acceptable, if democracy is prevalent over the national. So, the criticism of the prevalance of the national over democracy in Israel is important.”

        Israel can do whatever it wants with it’s nationality within the bounds of it’s borders. Outside of those borders, it is a matter of concern for the international community and BDS is most appropriate in that case.

        “The presence though of the national is a distraction, a reaction (the root of the term reactionary), and the root of ideological excess in defense of a good principle”
        You never did answer Witty whether you were for or against the boycott of apartheid South Africa. Did you support the boycott or were you in favour of apartheid?

        A simple yes or no will suffice.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 3:57 pm

        Also Eljay,

        The “humanist” will insist that any offorts on behalf of the victim to regain his stolen property is a a violation of the rights of the thief.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 4:33 pm

        The word that I responded to was “Trojan Horse”, to which I responded that Phil is fixated on Iran’s “innocence”, seeing only pockets.

        You and Eljay exagerated that to a commentary on the word “thief”.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 4:39 pm

        BDS is not promoted as associated with single-state advocacy, but everyone that I’ve heard prominently advocate for it, Omar Barghouti, Abunimeh, Anna Balzer, does advocate for a single state.

        Hence the term “trojan horse”, undisclosed, a danger.

      • eljay
        November 1, 2010, 5:01 pm

        >>Also Eljay,
        >> The “humanist” will insist that any offorts on behalf of the victim to regain his stolen property is a a violation of the rights of the thief.

        Yes, that’s part of the “humanist” code of “justice”. It’s a great code…if you’re the thief or the “humanist”.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 6:02 pm

        “The word that I responded to was “Trojan Horse”, to which I responded that Phil is fixated on Iran’s “innocence”, seeing only pockets.”

        Phil never used the word innocent, but why let the facts get in the way of a Witty post? As has been pointed out, it is absurd to accuse Iran of being the greatest destabilizing influence in the region when the US is occupying and bombing 2 states that share Iran’s borders and Israel is issuing daily threats to attack it.

        “You and Eljay exagerated that to a commentary on the word “thief”.”

        NO, we simply pointed out your repugnant hypocrisy. No need to exaggerate anything.

        “BDS is not promoted as associated with single-state advocacy, but everyone that I’ve heard prominently advocate for it, Omar Barghouti, Abunimeh, Anna Balzer, does advocate for a single state.”

        Another lie. Barghouti, Abunimeh and Balzer have always supported the concept of a 2 state solution, but unlike you, do not live in perpetual denial. They realize that the 2 state solution is dead.

        Now that you’ve admitted BDS has nothing to do with a single state solution, let’s hope this is the last time you post that lie Witty.

        “Hence the term “trojan horse”, undisclosed, a danger.”

        Hence why you should stop lying about it.

      • Richard Witty
        November 1, 2010, 7:23 pm

        You are stretching Shingo.

        The two state solution is only dead when the population of the two regions are close to 50-50 in each.

        In Palestine, there are 10% Jews. In Israel, 20% Palestinians.

        Partition as a solution is very very much alive. And, because it is alive and the single-state approach is further than remote, as uncomfortable as it is to continue at it, it is the only viable approach currently or in the foreseeable future.

        The trick for those outside of power, is to make it fair and viable.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 7:55 pm

        “The two state solution is only dead when the population of the two regions are close to 50-50 in each.”

        Wrong again Witty. The two state solution is only dead when there is no land left for a second state. We passed that moment years ago.

        “In Palestine, there are 10% Jews. In Israel, 20% Palestinians.”

        Irrelevant. In Palestine, Israel controls 60% of the territory, In Israel, Israel controls 100% of the territory.

        Partition as a solution is dead and buried. As single state solution is all but finalized. You’re simply playing a game of self deception to preserve your ethnocentric, tribal ideology.

      • Bumblebye
        November 1, 2010, 8:16 pm

        Richard, have you failed to notice that for 43 years there has been a single state? That while Palestinians may have the PA, the Israelis have always over ridden it at will, or smashed it to smithereens on a whim? That Israeli Jewish usurpation of land and property, Israeli Jewish crimes of property destruction, theft, injury and even murder are almost never punished? This will not end. Israel is manipulating the US into giving it more time – decades – to consolidate their hold. All the “incrememtal steps” you mention in many of your comments are in the preferred Zionist direction, as they have been for over 100 years.

        The Israeli apartheid state is almost full-blown. And you persist with a romanticized totally unreal mental image of the place.

      • eljay
        November 1, 2010, 9:09 pm

        >> That Israeli Jewish usurpation of land and property, Israeli Jewish crimes of property destruction, theft, injury and even murder are almost never punished?

        “Humanists” don’t believe in accountability or the application of real justice. They believe that criminals should be allowed to profit from their crimes, that victims should forfeit what was rightfully theirs and that both parties should look to the future and create “new narratives”.

        Israelis are frightened, they “Remember the Holocaust!”, they are but a microscopic blue dot in a sea of green olive groves. Israeli “crimes” – no, that’s too harsh a term; let us say Israeli “activities” – are in the past. Please, just “live and let live”.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 9:15 pm

        “That Israeli Jewish usurpation of land and property, Israeli Jewish crimes of property destruction, theft, injury and even murder are almost never punished?”

        Is it any wonder that Witty is rejecting any and all means to halt these activities on the grounds that such action might harm Israel? Is spite of his empty rhetoric, Witty doesn’t want this to end, thus he rejects the one strategy that could put an end to it by alleging it’s true agenda is something completely different.

        Of course, while he admits he can’t prove that BDS is driven by a single state agenda, he hides behind this argument because he’s too honest to admit he’s perfectly happy with the status quo.

      • Shingo
        November 2, 2010, 1:37 am

        ““Humanists” don’t believe in accountability or the application of real justice. ”

        Not when it applies to Israel.

      • Richard Witty
        November 2, 2010, 3:59 am

        Its a misrepresentation that I seek to halt equal rights on the ground.

        I just believe that Israel is valid and important self-governance of the currently Jewish majority in the region, that needs reform to sustain itself.

        If the effort is to reform how Israel functions is taken seriously, then it can realize a very high standard of equal rights relative to other national entities (the vast majority of the world).

        If the effort is to eliminate Israel as a self-governing state, then I very much understand the resentment towards that effort, and the suspicion and raw defensive fascist impulses towards that. (I personally believe that the best way to defend ones validity is by clarity of equal due process and kindness, not suppression, you know a “golden chain” to those that will rant against equal rights and kindness).

        To those seeking revolution, “the darkest hour is before the dawn”, when from a state of increased oppression, contradictions unwind and radical change occurs.

        That of course is a horrible gamble, and inviting a collective martyrdom as well as willingly impose from without onto the majority, of course stated in the name of opposing US military external imposition (even as an externally imposed military occupation has more likelihood of success than an externally imposed fascist-like political one).

        There is radical hubris as well as state hubris.

      • Shingo
        November 2, 2010, 5:25 am

        “Its a misrepresentation that I seek to halt equal rights on the ground.”

        No, it’s very accurate and there are mountains of paperwork (in the form of your posts and rampant racism) which confirms it.

        The fact that you carry on about self-governance when we are clear not talking about Israel proper (ie. Within the 1967 borders) only confirms the fact that you regard Israel’s subjugation of Palestinians are part and parcel of Israel’s self governance. No other nation in the world is permitted such standards of behaviour.

        There is no point taking the idea of Israeli reform seriously when even you can’t. If you were confident that Israel had the capacity to reform itself, you wouldn’t be so threatened by BDS, which could be entirely diffused by Israeli reform.

        “If the effort is to eliminate Israel as a self-governing state, then I very much understand the resentment towards that effort”

        No matter how many times you have received assurances that this is not the aim, you repeat this mantra and insist on re introducing this defunct argument, which again reveals you are not the least bit interested in an honest discussion.

        “I personally believe that the best way to defend ones validity is by clarity of equal due process and kindness”
        That is demonstrably false, given your support for extreme Israeli aggression and the denial of Israel’s victims to respond. What you mean by due process and kindness” is what you want exclusively to be applied to Israel.

        “To those seeking revolution, “the darkest hour is before the dawn”, when from a state of increased oppression, contradictions unwind and radical change occurs.”

        Racial change is what is required. You know it as well as anyone else, which is what frightens you so.

      • Richard Witty
        November 2, 2010, 6:33 am

        You don’t have a clue.

        Do you mean “racial change is required”, or did you mean “radical”?

        I believe that Israel needs to affirm its democratic features, so that they are predominant, in preserving Israel as Israel, including as haven for Jews globally.

      • Shingo
        November 2, 2010, 7:14 am

        “You don’t have a clue.”

        Really? What am I missing?

        Yes I meant radical not racial. It was a typo.

        And stop conflating democracy with the policy of ethnic cleasing, mass murder and land theft, because we all know that is what you mean when you refer to self governance and Israeli democracy.

      • Richard Witty
        November 2, 2010, 11:08 am

        Democracy is the policy of self-determination, and in a form that can sustain (most if fair and agreed as fair).

        Simple.

        Either you support it, or you oppose it.

        Settlement expansion is not it. Aggression on Israel by individuals, factions, or states is not it.

  18. Kathleen
    October 31, 2010, 2:16 pm

    Broder has clearly always been on the war train.

    Recovery would mean acknowledging the serious mistakes and crimes committed during the 8 years of the Bush administration and holding the war thugs accountable. If accountability for the hundreds of thousands dead, injured and misplaced in Iraq was focused on a real transformation could take place. Not holding my breath.

    Hopefully Obama and his administration will have the wisdom to focus on the verifiable facts about Iran and not the false and inflammatory claims that Broder and team keep repeating about Iran.

  19. Citizen
    October 31, 2010, 2:23 pm

    Broder must have talked with Daniel Pipes and Sarah Palin sometime since last February when they both said the same thing: link to spectator.org

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 31, 2010, 5:05 pm

      ALSO SEE – Pipes: Obama Must Bomb Iran To Save His Presidency, By Justin Elliott, TPM LiveWire, 02/04/10

      (excerpt) Daniel Pipes, whose previous interest in Barack Obama centered on his belief that the president was Muslim, is now offering free advice on “how to save the Obama presidency.” To wit: bomb Iran.
      “He needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a light-weight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations,” writes Pipes in a piece for National Review.
      “Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity.”
      Pipes also warns of Iran launching “an electromagnetic pulse attack on the United States, utterly devastating the country.”
      According to Pipes, a war with Iran would also be quick and easy job. “[I]f the U.S.limited its strike to taking out Iran’s nuclear facilities and did not attempt any regime change, it would require few “boots on the ground” and entail relatively few casualties…

      SOURCE – link to tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com

  20. Les
    October 31, 2010, 2:42 pm

    Nutty as a fruitcake! But we live in a world not unlike Germany in the late 1930’s in which the Chicago Tribune publishes Corporal Goldberg’s death threat against Julian Assange as an op-ed. No fooling!

    link to salon.com

    • Antidote
      October 31, 2010, 6:54 pm

      I saw that and it’s as shocking as the fb page in the news a while ago which called for prayers or something to bring about Obama’s death. 1930s Germany or 1990s Israel?

      ____________________

      Leah Rabin said, she could never forgive [Rabin’s] successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, for creating and using the hostile climate that led to her husband’s assassination in 1995. ”I hold him responsible for creating the very hostile climate which eventually led to his murder, so how can I ever forgive,” she said in an interview on the CNN program World View. Mrs. Rabin described a photograph of Netanyahu leading a demonstration in which people were carrying a coffin bearing the sign ”Yitzhak Rabin – the murderer of Zionism.”

      ”He bears the responsibility for creating a politically horrible climate against my husband, saying this man doesn’t know where he’s taking us, he’s misleading us, he is really destroying our future,” she said. Asked if she could ever forgive Netanyahu, Mrs Rabin replied: ”I don’t believe so. I really don’t believe so.”

      Bibi Netanyahu, leader of the nationalist-conservative Likud Party, was elected prime minister, five months after Rabin was shot dead by the right-wing Israeli Student of Bar-Ilan University, Yigal Amir.

      link to hagalil.com

  21. yourstruly
    October 31, 2010, 2:51 pm

    Once again the truth is the opposite of what Broder & fellow-traitors are saying. Which is to say that President Obama can ensure his reelection. not by taking us into a war against Iran, but by taking on Israel and its U.S.-based Israel-firsters. Anti-Zionists (inluding those of us who are of the Jewish persuasion) can hasten this turnabout by holding protests outside the headquarters of Zionist organizations, challenging their loyalty to America, demanding that they stop usuing American soldiers as sacrificial lambs on the shrine of Zionist conquest and mass-murder. What’s more, there is no alternative (TINA), because the U.S. makes war upon Iran, there goes any chance of our preventing the unthinkable, which raises the question as to whose child or grandchild will it be who’ll have to answer the call for the last one out to please turn off the lights?

    • Psychopathic god
      November 1, 2010, 9:24 am

      a spokesman of Club for Growth was on C Span Washington Journal this morning discussing the philosophy of the CfG and how various candidates reflect those goals.

      The CfG rep argued, several times, that US founders established interactions among states in the federal union in such a way that they could trade freely with each and every other, in order to achieve the greatest degrees of prosperity for all. Similarly, the CfG rep said, the US seeks free trade with all its international neighbors, so that all could achieve prosperity by fulfilling each the others needs and wants. Further, he said, trading and commercial partners are far less likely to engage in aggression toward a nation-state with whom it has worked to establish ties of economic mutual interest.

      Most interviewees, all moderators, and absolutely every caller/participant in Washington Journal discussions acts more like a football fan at a football game, mouthing, even shouting the cheers the cheerleader frames for the audience, his only exercise of unique personal involvement being which side he cheers for. Mobs/crowds/stadiums full of fans and media audiences cuaght up in the Perception Management game, seldom break out of the frame to think for themselves.

      Thus, it is not surprising that the obvious question was not addressed to Mr. Club for Growth: rather than interacting with Iran in the way Broder suggested — by killing Iranians — in order for Obama to win re-election by pulling the US out of its economic slump and creating new employment opportunities for Americans, what if Obama followed the philosophy and logic of the Club for Growth and established extensive trading, commercial, and cultural ties with Iran and the Iranian people?

      Isn’t that the ultimate win-win scenario?

      What — or who — stands in the way of enacting that win-win scenario?

  22. traintosiberia
    October 31, 2010, 3:19 pm

    Why didn’t WaPo check with the recent opinion polll from US citizenry that overwhelmingly does not want a showdown even if Iran goes neuclear or if even if it attacks Israel?
    His lying ( of David Broder. Heading to future Nuremberg for war mongering ) should have disqualified him from getting this published and should have earned him a lifetime ban from the building of WaPo office.

    -Here is another guy–“Pipes: Obama Must Bomb Iran To Save His Presidency | TPM LiveWire
    Feb 4, 2010 “…

  23. Kathleen
    October 31, 2010, 3:22 pm

    Broder a “gasbag”
    link to huffingtonpost.com
    “Mr. Broder has moved with ease from the elite comfort of the University of Chicago to the smug confines of Arlington, Virginia. And so he looks down at a man who rose from among the hard-rock miners and hard-luck hookers of Searchlight, Nevada to be the most consequential senator of his time. While David Broder was thinking great thoughts at his elite university, Harry Reid was working his way through Utah State. While David Broder was pontificating, Harry Reid was working his way through law school as a cop on Capitol Hill.

    His arrogant, elitist, condescending attack on Reid is just the latest Broderian baloney. As Eric Alterman points out in What Liberal Media? “Back in 1968 [Broder] felt the anti-war activities of the likes of Robert Kennedy and Gene McCarthy were ‘degrading…to those involved.'” Prof. Alterman further notes that Broder “frequently dressed down” the critics of Ronald Reagan as “quick-lipped liberals” who “pop off in opposition.”

  24. Kathleen
    October 31, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Response to this same article

    David Broder – Dumber And Nuttier Than Any Crazy-Ass Dude In Pajamas

    31 Oct 2010 02:01 pm
    link to andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com
    I thought George Friedman was pushing the envelope on this meme for Obama’s political revival, but then David Broder enters the lunatic circus-ring:

    Look back at FDR and the Great Depression. What finally resolved that economic crisis? World War II.

    Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

    I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.

    There is so much clinically nuts about this, one doesn’t know where to start. Friedman, at least, did not pretend that war is like some kind of tax cut or electoral gambit to be toyed with. Then there’s the notion that Republicans would in any way support this president for anything (notice their deafening cheers on bombing the living crap out of Afghanistan yet? Or for the remarkably successful and increasingly tough sanctions on Iran?) Blake Hounshell helps out with the economics:

  25. traintosiberia
    October 31, 2010, 3:25 pm

    Ongoing and current wars are not helping the economic recovery ( Bush told a South American political leader that war was good for economy).Why another war will help?

    Boreder has reason to think US public is so overwhelmed with access to meager and dwindling resources for basic survival ,that this contradiction wont be noticed.

  26. Kathleen
    October 31, 2010, 3:28 pm

    Over at Think Progress
    link to thinkprogress.org
    “Leaving aside the ridiculous idea that we can just ramp up the war machine, whip America into an anti-Iran frenzy and then shut it all down once the economy’s back on track, there’s the question of basic human decency. Especially in light of what has just occurred in Iraq, what kind of moral degenerate seriously suggests we get ready to do it again in neighboring Iran, just as a way to spur job growth?

    The kind who writes a regular column in the Washington Post, apparently.”

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 31, 2010, 5:10 pm

      RE – Broder: ‘As We Accelerate Preparations For War [With Iran], The Economy Will Improve’ ~ By Matt Duss, TPM, 10/31/10
      PERMALINK – link to thinkprogress.org

    • Psychopathic god
      October 31, 2010, 8:18 pm

      last month’s march on Washington rally in which progressives demonstrated in Washington, demanding jobs, struck me as particularly vacant and a-moral.

      regardless of one’s allegiance to this or that mythological deity, it seems to me the laws of nature and of nature’s karma hold: Einstein said, You cannot simultaneously prepare for war and seek peace; a corollary is, you cannot simultaneously support a government –the US government with its congressional acts whose stated purpose is to destroy Iran’s economy, cause widespread unemployment, and the US Treasury and Stuart Levey, whose mission is to economically strangle Iran and isolate it from the possibility of participation in the world’s financial and commercial life– a moral peopole cannot simultaneously support with their tax dollars and their citizen’s allegiance such a government that seeks the economic destruction of another, while demanding or expecting that that same government will be attentive to its own citizens’ need for productive employment. per Einstein, It is not rational.

      Moreover, American actions seeking to harm Iran, at the behest of Israel, are harming American interests and have been doing so since the first AIPAC-driven sanctions on Iran were imposed in 1995. THE DAMAGING EFFECTS OF IRAN SANCTIONS—FOR THE UNITED STATES

  27. traintosiberia
    October 31, 2010, 4:29 pm


    The most obvious justification would be to claim that Iran is about to construct a nuclear device. Whether or not this is true would be immaterial. First, no one would be in a position to challenge the claim, and, second, Obama’s credibility in making the assertion would be much greater than George W. Bush’s, given that Obama does not have the 2003 weapons-of-mass-destruction debacle to deal with and has the advantage of not having made such a claim before.”-U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran. George Friedman in link to stratfor.com

    To get the best result from one’s lies , one should not lie before. Well not so clear cut. Past lies shuld not be as obvious as one that got reexposed repeatedly before getting reinterpreted. And also who is going to challenge you( Obama ) when we neocons are guarding your rear as we did for Bush.

    • Antidote
      October 31, 2010, 5:58 pm

      What would also help Obama’s credibility is that the Israel-firsters have loudly and for apparently irrational reasons denounced him as anti-Israel, despite massive evidence to the contrary. But who cares about facts? Israelis, AIPAC, Shumer, Koch etc — their hyperbolic fits will come in handy when protests come in against the Americans fighting Israel’s wars rather than acting only in their own vital interest.

      “Unhappily I believe in a war with France before long – her vanity, hurt by our victories, will drive her in that direction. Yet, since I do not know of any French or German interest requiring a resort to arms, I do not see it as certain. Only a country’s most vital interests justify embarking on war – only its honour, which is not to be confused with so-called prestige. No statesman has a right to begin a war simply because, in his opinion, it is inevitable in a given period of time. If foreign ministers had followed their rulers and military commanders into the field, History would record fewer wars. On the battlefield – and, what is far worse, in the hospitals – I have seen the flower of our youth struck down by wounds and disease. From the window I can see many a cripple hobbling down the Wilhelmstrasse, looking up and thinking to himself if that man up there had not made that wicked war I would be at home strong and well. Such memories and sights would leave me without a moments peace if I thought I had made the war from personal ambition or national vanity…You may rest assured that I shall never advise His Majesty to wage war unless the most vital interests of the Fatherland require it.” -Otto von Bismarck, March, 1867

      France attacked in 1870

      “The conflict was a culmination of years of tension between the two nations, which finally came to a head over the issue of a Hohenzollern candidate for the vacant Spanish throne, following the deposition of Isabella II in 1868. The public release of the Ems Dispatch, which played up alleged insults between the Prussian king and the French ambassador, inflamed public opinion on both sides. France mobilized, and on 19 July declared war on Prussia only, but the other German states quickly joined on Prussia’s side.” (Wiki, Franco-Prussian War)

      Reminds me of the recent high tension /border shootings over a tree pruning incident at the Lebanese border. It probably doesn’t take much more than that to start a major regional war.

    • Kathleen
      November 1, 2010, 8:28 am

      “The most obvious justification would be to claim that Iran is about to construct a nuclear device. Whether or not this is true would be immaterial. First, no one would be in a position to challenge the claim, and, second, Obama’s credibility in making the assertion would be much greater than George W. Bush’s, given that Obama does not have the 2003 weapons-of-mass-destruction debacle to deal with and has the advantage of not having made such a claim before.”-U.S. Midterm Elections, Obama and Iran. George Friedman in link to stratfor.com

      Complete hooey. While the warmongers/war criminals Bill Kristol, Cheney, Condi “mushroom cloud” Rice, Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Thomas Friedmann, the Wurmsers, Gaffney all those directly involved and all of those directly complicit in spreading and reinforcing the “pac of lies” or pre invasion lies have been able to repeat the lies about Iran over and over in the MSM without challenging questions asked by Neil Conan, Diane Rehm, Chris Matthews, RAchel Maddow etc just do not think the American public will get behind the lies.

      The push back will be substantial. The facts may get in the war criminals way this time.

  28. DICKERSON3870
    October 31, 2010, 4:50 pm

    RE: “David Broder says Obama can rejuvenate the economy by going to war with Iran” – Weiss
    FROM HARPER’S, 05/28/10:

    …Bush may have had a very different understanding of his role as a “war president.” In an interview with former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner, Oliver Stone learned that Bush claimed that waging war was a formula for economic growth. Here’s the key exchange:
    Kirchner: I said that a solution for the problems right now, I told Bush, is a Marshall Plan. And he got angry. He said the Marshall Plan is a crazy idea of the Democrats. He said the best way to revitalize the economy is war. And that the United States has grown stronger with war.
    Stone: War, he said that?
    Kirchner: He said that. Those were his exact words.
    Stone: Is he suggesting that South America go to war?
    Kirchner: Well, he was talking about the United States: “The Democrats had been wrong. All of the economic growth of the United States has been encouraged by wars.” He said it very clearly.

    SOURCE – link to harpers.org
    VIDEO (01:25) – link to youtube.com
    P.S. NEWLY AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING FROM NETFLIX:
    South of the Border, 2009, NR, 78 minutes
    Eager to investigate how the U.S. media has depicted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, director Oliver Stone journeys south to interview the man himself and speaks with several other South American presidents in the process. Among the distinguished subjects in Stone’s probing and controversial documentary are Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Brazil’s Lula da Silva, Argentina’s Nestor Kirchner and Cuba’s Raúl Castro.
    Format: DVD and streaming (HD available)
    NETFLIX LISTING – link to netflix.com

  29. Avi
    October 31, 2010, 5:11 pm

    The problem with Broder’s argument is that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    If the US attacked Iran, the US economy could very well come to a standstill. Iran will attempt to shutdown the Hurmuz Straits and oil prices will skyrocket. The dollar would certainly take a nose dive.

    Besides, Iran’s response will most likely stretch over an extended period of time given the fact that unlike the US, Iran doesn’t have the military capacity to engage in symmetrical warfare and would have to resort to asymmetrical warfare.

    And just like in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, asymmetrical warfare tends to be protracted and turn into a war of attrition; Israel withdrew out of southern Lebanon for that very reason after a 22 year occupation.

    So to recap, Broder is an idiot.

  30. LanceThruster
    October 31, 2010, 5:13 pm

    Well…if it will rev up our flagging economy, what’s the big deal with a few dead foreigners?

    As long as our bestest buds in Israel think it’s a good idea. They always have our best interests at heart.

    They’re so thoughtful. What ever would we do without friends such as these? I hope we *never* get on their bad side. Why G_d H_mself would smite us!

    And we’d deserve it!

  31. Shingo
    October 31, 2010, 5:15 pm

    These neocon slimeballs never fail to invert reality.

    This week, the following article appeared in the Daily Beast:

    How the Wars Are Sinking the Economy
    link to thedailybeast.com

  32. MHughes976
    October 31, 2010, 5:42 pm

    I still don’t think it’s going to happen, though. Obama may be weak but he isn’t a complete idiot and neither are his economic, diplomatic or even military advisers. He knows that many politicians, journalists and academics are calling for war but that the public is not and would not support him in a military adventure.
    That said, do you think that the Cargo Bomb Plot is going to send people crazy before election day?

    • Psychopathic god
      October 31, 2010, 8:52 pm

      That said, do you think that the Cargo Bomb Plot is going to send people crazy before election day?

      the bin Laden family, best buds of the US and especially of the Bush family, is spearheading a massive development project in Yemen — a bridge across the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aden, connecting the Arabian and African land masses. New towns would be constructed at either end of the bridge, promoting economic development and trade between the two continents. Major US corporations are heavily invested in the design and construction of the bridge as well as of the towns.

      So ask yourself a few more questions about this Yemeni cargo bomb plot: is it a US CIA black op? A Mossad provocation? or maybe Osama striking out at his own family once again, this time with a two-fer: disrupt the Yemen project AND set Americans and international shippers on edge regarding the safety of their cargo holds, now that TSA has rolled out new plans to double as proctologists at airport checkin gates. The bombs were said to be quite sophisticated — does that strike you as the work of a couple of pissed off Yemeni widows, eager to vent their rage at the imperialist pig that drone-bombed their families, or something more devious, something with “Perception Management” fingerprints carefully wiped away?

      • Avi
        November 1, 2010, 6:10 am

        So ask yourself a few more questions about this Yemeni cargo bomb plot: is it a US CIA black op? A Mossad provocation?

        It was actually Saudi Intelligence (or lack thereof) that was behind the ink cartridge charade. I’m quite certain.

        I find it instructive, also, that the various media are saying that Al-Qaeda “is probably” (direct quote) behind the attack. Who cares about facts, anymore? Right? They just assume it’s al-Qaeda, or worse yet, Al-Awlaki (whatever his first name is)….that guy who’s a US citizen, on a US assassination list.

        It’s all convenient for Obama. He gets to justify his assassination program of US citizens and the Saudis show their thanks for that arms deal (even though THEY paid for it) by staging this latest false flag charade.

        Why of all places, Chicago synagogues?

      • RoHa
        November 1, 2010, 6:40 am

        They started off by saying the toner of mass destruction was on a UPS flight from Yemen to London.

        The Yemeni authorities have pointed out that there are no such flights.

        The aim is clearly to make Yemen the next set of bad guys.

      • yonira
        November 1, 2010, 9:09 am

        What are you trying to say Roha? That UPS doesn’t operate in Yemen?

        When did Mondoweiss become a conspiracy site anyways? Basically anything bad that happens in this world is a ‘black-ops’ operation from a foreign government trying to smear the good name of Al-Qaeda, isn’t it.

      • Shingo
        November 1, 2010, 6:15 pm

        “What are you trying to say Roha? That UPS doesn’t operate in Yemen?”

        There are no UPS aircraft flying in and out of Yemen, which is why the story has been changed to assert that the package came via Qatar airways.

        link to zawya.com

        UPS own website (from before the so-called terror incident) does not list Yemen as one of their service regions.
        link to upslogisticstech.com

      • lareineblanche
        November 2, 2010, 5:53 am

        Sorry to correct you Shingo (this is probably the only time that will ever happen), but UPS has contacts in Yemen :
        link to ups.com

        From your link :

        “Qatar Airwayscan confirm that a recent courier consignment was carried aboard one of its aircraft from Sanaa to Dubai via Doha International Airport,” it said in a statement.

        Sana’a is the “capital” of Yemen, I think

        WSJ
        link to tinyurl.com :

        Allowing the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command units to operate under the CIA would give the U.S. greater leeway to strike at militants even without the explicit blessing of the Yemeni government. In addition to streamlining the launching of strikes, it would provide deniability to the Yemeni government because the CIA operations would be covert. The White House is already considering adding armed CIA drones to the arsenal against militants in Yemen, mirroring the agency’s Pakistan campaign.

        and :

        Yemen has allowed the U.S. military to carry out a series of strikes on al Qaeda targets over the past year. But in some cases, Sana’a has delayed or objected to U.S. operations. A shift to the CIA would streamline U.S. decision-making, giving the White House more direct control over day-to-day operations.

        – in other words, “screw off, we do what we want”.

      • Shingo
        November 2, 2010, 6:48 am

        Fair enough lareineblanche, but the point is that the UPD flight did not take any parcel from Yemen to London.

        The official story changed – as it always does.

      • Shingo
        November 2, 2010, 6:49 am

        Sorry, that was meant to read UPS and indeed lareineblanche, my argument is that there are no UPS aircraft flying out of Yemen.

  33. bijou
    October 31, 2010, 6:19 pm

    the public is not and would not support him in a military adventure.

    Are you really so sure about that?

    And are you really sure that it still matters?

    I don’t think Obama is a complete idiot, but I increasingly believe that he is not the person he led us to believe.

    • Citizen
      October 31, 2010, 11:08 pm

      There are millions of heartland Americans, Protestant Christians living outside the major metro areas, who would support Israel in a heartbeat if it attacked Iran–because they have been convinced Israel is our outpost pal out on the perimeter, our defender of Christians against the Muslims who want nothing more than to prevent the poor Christians from following Jesus. You cannot change their minds. They also will quickly show you that Muslims stone women, make them ride in the backof trucks, and would force all women to wear the Muslim “canvas prison” garb.

      • Todd
        November 1, 2010, 10:47 am

        Citizen, I don’t believe that heartland Protestant Christians are the driving force behind U.S. policy in the Middle East, or even a force that is taken seriously by policy makers. This is a group that loses on every other major issue it supports, so I doubt that it drives foreign policy.

        To be honest, I don’t even believe that many small town Protestants even care about Israel. I see the type of people you mention every day, and I don’t see the concern for Israel. Sure, I come across an occasional brain-washed nut job, but I doubt that many heartland Christians would actually fight for Israel. I don’t think many would even willingly donate money to Israel’s defense.

        I’ve known a few kids who joined the military recently, and each one stated economic, educational or career reasons rather than ideological reasons for joining. As a matter of fact, when the military recruiters visit the local schools, they talk money, careers and education rather than ideology.

        I do know that “Jewish outreach” is extensive, and have personally seen examples of Rabbis and Israeli officials visiting churches in small towns in order to drum up support for the Israel’s cause. But this appears to be a mission to sell ideas rather than outreach to natural allies.

  34. Patrick
    November 1, 2010, 2:03 am

    One has to wonder if this a case of advancing dementia. Broder is, after all, quite old (81). Nevertheless, he should be asked to explain himself. We need to hear him flesh out his ideas.

    I wonder just what kind of war he actually has in mind. Is it having the US Air Force dropping bombs on Iran’s nuclear facilities for a few days? Is that the sort of thing he sees as precipitating a US economic recovery, the oil price notwithstanding? Or does he envision a full scale invasion complete with regime change, i.e., a new quagmire for the US military. Is that how the US turns itself around and Obama gets re-elected?

    For our edification, he needs to elaborate on this great idea that he’s putting forward.

    • lysias
      November 1, 2010, 9:32 am

      An 81-year-old would have been 16 years old in 1945. I’m reminded of Laurence Olivier saying in The World at War that Hitler launched the Battle of the Bulge in lat 1944 because he wanted to relive the glory days of the successful offensive through the Ardennes in 1940.

    • Antidote
      November 1, 2010, 11:51 am

      He’s been ‘quite old’ for a long time. Flashback:

  35. RoHa
    November 1, 2010, 6:45 am

    Before I agree or disagree, let me just check to see how many defence industry shares I’ve got.

  36. traintosiberia
    November 1, 2010, 7:25 am

    Now the RFE/RL(Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. ) “reporter” Jamie Kirchick is urging attack on Iran basing his justification on the limited US responsibility to Iraq turmoil and paltry number Iraq deaths .Apparently Iran was causing most of it. –www.antiwar.com 11/1/10

    It is clear that we are entering a new different kind of propagnda..

  37. potsherd
    November 1, 2010, 8:11 am
  38. MRW
    November 1, 2010, 9:49 am

    Yeah, Mr. Broder, the economic revival you propose worked so well with our Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

  39. Kathleen
    November 1, 2010, 9:57 am

    Seems like Broder was studying at the Univ of Chicago in the political science Dept during the years that Leo Strauss taught there.( Broder continued to work part-time while at the University of Chicago. Broder earned a M.A. in Political Science in 1951. While at the University of Chicago,)

    link to anastaplo.wordpress.com
    “Leo Strauss, who was born on September 20, 1899, left the country of his birth in 1932. His principal “house” thereafter was the University of Chicago, where he spent his most productive years. After leaving Germany (never to return except, in 1954, primarily for a visit to his father’s grave) he lived in France and England before settling permanently in the United States, becoming an American citizen in 1944. In this country he taught principally at the New School for Social Research in New York from 1938 to 1949, in the Political Science Department of the University of Chicago from 1949 to 1967, at Claremont Men’s College in 1968-1969, and then at St. John’s College in Annapolis (where he was reunited with his fellow student and old friend, Jacob Klein) until his death there on October 18, 1973.1

    During his two decades at Chicago he took leaves which permitted him to visit Israel (in 1954-1955) and to visit the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto (in 1960-1961). On a couple of occasions during his Chicago years he was incapacitated somewhat by major illnesses, brought on in part perhaps by a neglect of his health related to his single-minded pursuit of his studies. He was notorious for a schedule that kept him at his desk through much of the night.”
    ——————————————————-

    Many of Leo Strauss’s students went onto lie our nation into an unnecessary and immoral war in Iraq. They believe in the “noble lie” (means justify the end results even if hundreds of thousands die)

    link to counterpunch.org
    As Hersh points out, the neocons (just about a dozen officials—including Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Bolton, Abrams—operating in concert with the oil-baron contingent in the administration-Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Bush—and providing them with intellectual guidance) refer to themselves (with smug amusement) as a “cabal” (a word with an interesting etymology). They have contempt for the masses, and feel utterly justified in wisely misleading those masses into a roadmap for global peace on their terms. That meant, initially, using 9-11 to produce support for the seizure of Iraq. That seizure is still in progress, messily, untidily, brutally and illegally, and with results no cabal, however wise, can really predict. Among the results might be a growing revulsion among the American people themselves at the neocons’ misanthropic arrogance, and perhaps (much though it should be regretted and fought) anti-Semitism. The latter might be provoked by the fact that persons inclined to embrace the most extreme factions in the Israeli political apparatus are disproportionately represented in the neocons’ cabal, and while the general movement of U.S. foreign policy is driven by broad geopolitical concerns, rather than the alliance with Israel, the neocons’ allegiance to what they perceive to be the interests of Sharon’s Israel is highly conspicuous.

    Broder’s early life
    link to en.wikipedia.org
    “Early Life

    Broder began his journalism career after earning a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago. [3] in 1947. He served as Editor of The Chicago Maroon [4] and at the Hyde Park Herald [5]. Broder continued to work part-time while at the University of Chicago. Broder earned a M.A. in Political Science in 1951. While at the University of Chicago, he met Ann Creighton Collar. He married Ann in Crawfordsville, Indiana [6] in 1951, then Broder was drafted to serve in the US Army[7]. While in service, he wrote for the newspaper U.S. Forces Austria (USFA) Sentinel [8], until Broder was discharged in 1953.”

    Broder studied in the Univ of Chicago’s Political Science Dept when Leo Strauss was teaching

    link to counterpunch.org
    August 2, 2003
    “My Alma Mater is a Moral Cesspool”
    Neo-Cons, Fundies, Feddies and the University of Chicago

    By FRANCIS A. BOYLE
    Professor of Law, University of Illinois School of Law
    “These pro-Israeli Neo-cons had been schooled in the Machiavellian/Nietzschean theories of Professor Leo Strauss, who taught political philosophy at the University of Chicago in their Department of Political Science. The best expose of Strauss’s pernicious theories on law, politics, government, for elitism, and against democracy can be found in two scholarly books by the Canadian Professor Shadia B. Drury: The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss (1988); Leo Strauss and the American Right (1999). I entered the University of Chicago in September of 1968 shortly after Strauss had retired. But I was trained in Chicago’s Political Science Department by Strauss’s foremost protege, co-author, and literary executor Joseph Cropsey. Based upon my personal experience as an alumnus of Chicago’s Political Science Department (A.B., 1971, in Political Science), I concur completely with Professor Drury’s devastating critique of Strauss. I also agree with her penetrating analysis of the degradation of the American political process by Chicago’s Straussian cabal.

    Chicago routinely trained me and numerous other students to become ruthless and unprincipled Machiavellians. That is precisely why so many neophyte Neo-con students gravitated towards the University of Chicago or towards Chicago Alumni at other universities. The University of Chicago became the “brains” behind the Bush Jr. Empire and his Ashcroft Police State. Attorney General John Ashcroft received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1967. Many of his “lawyers” at the Department of Injustice are members of the right-wing, racist, bigoted, reactionary, and totalitarian Federalist Society (aka “Feddies”), which originated in part at the University of Chicago.”

  40. Kathleen
    November 1, 2010, 10:40 am

    amazing how many of the warmongering liars studied at the Univ of Chicago with political science Professor Leo Strauss. Broder studied under this man

    So di
    Wolfowitz
    Wolfowitz attended the University of Chicago where Leo Strauss was teaching. He completed his PhD dissertation under Albert Wohlstetter. In the summer of 1969, Wohlstetter arranged for his students Wolfowitz, Wilson, and Richard Perle to join the Committee to Maintain a Prudent Defense Policy which was set up by Cold War architects Paul Nitze and Dean Acheson.

    From 1970 to 1972, Wolfowitz taught in the Department of Political Science at Yale University, where one of his students was I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.[18] In 1972, Wolfowitz earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, writing his doctoral dissertation on “nuclear proliferation in the Middle East”.[19]

    Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neo-cons, and Iraq. AND IRAN
    link to informationclearinghouse.info

    Danny Postel: What is the relevance of Strauss’s interpretation of Plato’s notion of the noble lie?

    Shadia Drury: Strauss rarely spoke in his own name. He wrote as a commentator on the classical texts of political theory. But he was an extremely opinionated and dualistic commentator. The fundamental distinction that pervades and informs all of his work is that between the ancients and the moderns. Strauss divided the history of political thought into two camps: the ancients (like Plato) are wise and wily, whereas the moderns (like Locke and other liberals) are vulgar and foolish. Now, it seems to me eminently fair and reasonable to attribute to Strauss the ideas he attributes to his beloved ancients.

    In Plato’s dialogues, everyone assumes that Socrates is Plato’s mouthpiece. But Strauss argues in his book The City and Man (pp. 74-5, 77, 83-4, 97, 100, 111) that Thrasymachus is Plato’s real mouthpiece (on this point, see also M.F. Burnyeat, “Sphinx without a Secret”, New York Review of Books, 30 May 1985 [paid-for only]). So, we must surmise that Strauss shares the insights of the wise Plato (alias Thrasymachus) that justice is merely the interest of the stronger; that those in power make the rules in their own interests and call it justice.

    Leo Strauss repeatedly defends the political realism of Thrasymachus and Machiavelli (see, for example, his Natural Right and History, p. 106). This view of the world is clearly manifest in the foreign policy of the current administration in the United States.

    A second fundamental belief of Strauss’s ancients has to do with their insistence on the need for secrecy and the necessity of lies. In his book Persecution and the Art of Writing, Strauss outlines why secrecy is necessary. He argues that the wise must conceal their views for two reasons – to spare the people’s feelings and to protect the elite from possible reprisals.

    The people will not be happy to learn that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior, the master over the slave, the husband over the wife, and the wise few over the vulgar many. In On Tyranny, Strauss refers to this natural right as the “tyrannical teaching” of his beloved ancients. It is tyrannical in the classic sense of rule above rule or in the absence of law (p. 70).

    Now, the ancients were determined to keep this tyrannical teaching secret because the people are not likely to tolerate the fact that they are intended for subordination; indeed, they may very well turn their resentment against the superior few. Lies are thus necessary to protect the superior few from the persecution of the vulgar many.

    The effect of Strauss’s teaching is to convince his acolytes that they are the natural ruling elite and the persecuted few. And it does not take much intelligence for them to surmise that they are in a situation of great danger, especially in a world devoted to the modern ideas of equal rights and freedoms. Now more than ever, the wise few must proceed cautiously and with circumspection. So, they come to the conclusion that they have a moral justification to lie in order to avoid persecution. Strauss goes so far as to say that dissembling and deception – in effect, a culture of lies – is the peculiar justice of the wise.

    Strauss justifies his position by an appeal to Plato’s concept of the noble lie. But in truth, Strauss has a very impoverished conception of Plato’s noble lie. Plato thought that the noble lie is a story whose details are fictitious; but at the heart of it is a profound truth.

    In the myth of metals, for example, some people have golden souls – meaning that they are more capable of resisting the temptations of power. And these morally trustworthy types are the ones who are most fit to rule. The details are fictitious, but the moral of the story is that not all human beings are morally equal.

    In contrast to this reading of Plato, Strauss thinks that the superiority of the ruling philosophers is an intellectual superiority and not a moral one (Natural Right and History, p. 151). For many commentators who (like Karl Popper) have read Plato as a totalitarian, the logical consequence is to doubt that philosophers can be trusted with political power. Those who read him this way invariably reject him. Strauss is the only interpreter who gives a sinister reading to Plato, and then celebrates him. “

  41. Kathleen
    November 1, 2010, 10:47 am

    Broder studied at the Univ of Chicago in the political science dept when Leo Strauss was there training.

    link to counterpunch.org
    Just recently the University of Chicago officially celebrated its Bush Jr. Straussian cabal, highlighting Wolfowitz Ph.D. ’72, Ahmad Chalabi, Ph.D. ’69, Abram Shulsky, A.M. ’68, Ph.D. ’72, Zalmay Khalilzad, Ph.D. ’79, together with faculty members Bellow, X ’39 and Bloom, A.B. ’49, A.M. ’53, Ph.D. ’55. According to the June 2003 University of Chicago Magazine, Bloom’s book “helped popularize Straussian ideals of democracy.” It is correct to assert that Bloom’s rant helped to popularize Straussian “ideas,” but they were blatantly anti-democratic, Machiavellian, Nietzschean, and elitist to begin with. Only the University of Chicago would have the unmitigated Orwellian gall to publicly claim that Strauss and Bloom cared one whit about democracy, let alone comprehended the “ideals of democracy.”

  42. Kathleen
    November 1, 2010, 10:48 am

    Broder “we accelerate preparations for war” Just who is this “we”?

  43. Colin Murray
    November 1, 2010, 12:46 pm

    Steve Walt’s response to David Broder’s warmongering reek …

    What was David Broder smoking?

    I love the smell of napalm, err, Ziocaine™, in the morning.

    • seafoid
      November 1, 2010, 4:40 pm

      The last warmongering

      link to guardian.co.uk

      • potsherd
        November 1, 2010, 5:23 pm

        the massacre, which was carried out by al-Qaida-aligned gunmen, some of whom claimed to be avenging a foiled move by a small-town US pastor to burn the Qur’an.

        Not that this sort really needs an excuse.

  44. piotr
    November 1, 2010, 7:51 pm

    “Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran’s ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.”

    It is kind of beyond creepy. The phrase “orchestrating the showdown” suggests to me that the showdown is to be based on phony reasons by design. Why? Because we can do it. Because Iran is there. I guess that the missing ingredient not mentioned here is that we must elevate Medism to the highest internal threat, with salubrious effects of enhancing national unity, the spirit of sacrifice and vigilance, the sense of national purpose, martial spirit, discipline and what not.

    By the way, don’t we live in blessed times? If “Iran is the largest global threat”? How afraid are we supposed to be? The army of the King of Kings will cross Atlantic to Venezuela and the march through Colombia, Panama, etc. but 300 Marines will stop them, for a week, at the Canal Zone? Will we be able to prevail the combined hordes of Republican Guard, Bolivarian circles and Sandinistas, coalescing with all Mexicans who dream about regaining Texas and California and combining with 5th column across the border (Chicanos and Mondo-Weissers). Mark my words: Canadians will stab us in the back.

    If this is not credible, what kind of threat Iran really is?

    On the other hand, while Iran has rather pitiful capabilities of projecting forces into our hemisphere, it does not make “getting rid of the mullah” particularly easy. At best, it is 3 times harder than controlling Iraq. That by sheer population count. And they have better weapons than Iraq had, and more difficult terrain. And quite a bit better relationships with neighbors. Of which they have plenty.

    Broder and his ilk should go back to the drawing board. Dig the truth about Tuvalu!!! Identify the threat, orchestrate the showdown, and conquer the sinister archipelago. Who knows, may be they will greet us with flowers? But even if they will be tossing coconuts, we shall overcome.

    But perhaps I misread Broder. The beauty of Iranian threat is that we can be orchestrating the confrontation for years and years, while improving the economy and national spirit in the process. War is optional, and perhaps, avoidable. Although “Tuvaluans” sound perhaps even better than “the mullahs”, with proper elongation, “mooolahs” are sinister enough.

  45. MRW
    November 2, 2010, 1:25 am

    Pat Buchanan had one of the most logical responses to Broder’s insanity:
    link to original.antiwar.com

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