44 Senators, including many Democrats, sign AIPAC letter to Obama against Iran negotiations

US Politics
on 217 Comments

Obama Letter P5+1 Final

A terrifying letter, signed by nearly half the Senate, Democrats and Republicans, pushing Obama toward war with Iran– and let’s see who is telling us about it.

MJ Rosenberg a few days ago:

AIPAC is still worried that there might be a breakthrough in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Accordingly, its staff drafted a letter to President Obama that will be circulated by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). Its goal is to have the entire Senate endorse the hardest possible line to kill the next round of negotiations which is slated to convene in Moscow next week.

The letter demands the following as “the absolute minimum steps” which Iran “must take immediately.”

1. Shutting down the Fordow facility

2. Freezing enrichment above 5%

3.Shipping all uranium enriched above 5% out of the country.

In return the AIPAC/Senate letter tells the President to offer NOTHING except the continuation of negotiations. In other words, AIPAC proposes a negotiating framework under which Iran makes tangible concessions in return for our agreeing to… more negotiations. Any easing of sanctions is specifically ruled out.

Foreign Policy yesterday, with no reference to the Israel lobby:

Nearly half the Senate told President Barack Obama today that unless Iran gives three specific concessions at this weekend’s talks with world powers in Moscow, he should abandon the ongoing negotiations over the country’s nuclear program.

“It is past time for the Iranians to take the concrete steps that would reassure the world that their nuclear program is, as they claim, exclusively peaceful,” wrote 44 senators in a Friday bipartisan letter organized by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). “Absent these steps, we must conclude that Tehran is using the talks as a cover to buy time as it continues to advance toward nuclear weapons capability. We know that you share our conviction that allowing Iran to gain this capability is unacceptable.”..

The letter is also signed by Charles Schumer (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), James Risch (R-ID), Ron Wyden (D-OR), David Vitter (R-LA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), John Boozman (R-AR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Scott Brown (R-MA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Jeff Merkeley (D-OR), Daniel Coats (R-IN), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Mike Lee (R-UT), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dean Heller (R-NV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark Warner (D-VA), Carl Levin (D-MI), and Mark Begich (D-AK).

“The message of this letter is that Congress’ patience is running out when it comes to meetings that don’t yield results,” said a senior Senate aide. “The Iranians have been given every last opportunity to demonstrate their good faith and step back from the brink. Instead, they keep pushing forward with their nuclear program, and we keep asking for yet another round of talks. This is not sustainable.”

Trita Parsi, in the New York Times, deploring the Congress’s role, but with scant reference to the Israel connection:

For three years, Congress has prevented a sensible American policy on Iran. It was largely Congressional pressure that turned Mr. Obama’s Iran policy in 2009 into “a gamble on a single roll of the dice,” in the words of one senior State Department official. Diplomacy had to work right away or not at all.

Then, in 2010, it was again domestic politics and the activities of Congress that ultimately caused the Obama administration to reject a nuclear breakthrough brokered by Brazil and Turkey, which would have cut Iran’s uranium stockpile in half and deprived it of any pretext for enriching uranium to higher levels.

In Baghdad, Congress succeeded in depriving American negotiators of the political space necessary to reciprocate Iranian concessions. The Iranians focused on what they could get. Mr. Obama had to focus on what he wouldn’t give.

For the sake of peace, Congressional obstructionism must end.

Eli Lake on MSNBC, some weeks back, explains what’s going on:

The one place where there’s less criticism of Israel is in the United States Congress, and that’s because there is a very strong lobby that lobbies Congress–and this is not true for the executive branch– that’s pro-Israel.

Thanks to Alex Kane.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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217 Responses

  1. traintosiberia
    June 16, 2012, 11:21 am

    Carl Levin from Michigan has signed this letter drafted by AIPAC. He at one time wanted to explore,bring charges,and indict the Iraq war architects . Now I see why. He, an equally Iraq hater saw that Iraq war was done deal and any amount of hand wringing, real or pseudo will not put the horses back again.He saw a pseudo hand wringing will help him to position as an anti war, genuine American,a follower of ethical,honest,and just foreign policy advocate. He can hide his hatred against Iranain people behind this pseudo truth seeking agenda. he has done it.He has gained mass media driven cultural endorsement of being a “liberal,anti-war”.For the great unwashed uneducated American , this will count as evidence of ongoing Iranain threat to US pointed by AIPAC. How can’t that be so,when a guy like Levin supports the effort of AIPAC?
    For AIPAC it works in a different way. They cant use Feith, Pearle,Wurmser,Kagan,and Adelman,Wolfowitz any more .They have been linked irreversibly to the anticipated calamities that would follow Iraq war as the chief anti-American architect of that war. So they need new faces. The new faces are ample in Israeli closet.

    • mudder
      June 16, 2012, 2:41 pm

      Carl Levin is a citizen of Israel. His brother (and my U.S. congressman) Sander is a citizen of Israel too. Perhaps it’s too much to expect our representatives in Congress who are citizens of a foreign nation to put the interests of their own constituents first. Sigh.

      • American
        June 16, 2012, 5:29 pm

        Does Levin actually have Israeli citizenship?
        Like he applied for and officially received it?
        Or do you mean just in the sense that all Jews are considered as or can get Israel citizenship?

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 2:38 am

        I’m from California, I’ll point out that while both of my senators are Jewesses, neither one of them signed this letter.

        One of the curious aspects of the whole Israel situation is that increasingly, it’s having remarkably little to do with Judaism. I mean, considering…

      • pabelmont
        June 17, 2012, 6:55 am

        It is important that half the Senate did NOT sign the letter!

        And it is important that NYT (or at least the international HT) printed the Trita Parsi op-ed, which said, inter alia, “Of the 35 states that have made the transition from authoritarianism to democracy since 1955, only one did so under the weight of an embargo: South Africa. Twenty states endured limited sanctions, and the remaining 14 found the path to democracy without any sanctions.” The suggestion here is that sanctions have ONLY been thought appropriate against non-democracies, and don’t work in such cases. That idea supports the idea (or at least does not contradict the idea) that, to the contrary, civil society BDS (and the more robust idea of nation-state sanctions and boycotts) against a democracy DO make sense (presumably because the voters, who will feel most of the pain, are in a position to correct the government’s bad behavior).

      • mudder
        June 17, 2012, 7:30 am

        American–upon searching the web I would call the evidence anecdotal and not definitive. See, for example, here: link to examiner.com

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:19 pm

        Such an important point

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:26 pm

        If folks have never seen one of the most incredible take downs of the U.S. Senate by George Galloway over the sanctions and the U.S. invasion of Iraq..it is a must. Senator Levin did not look like a happy camper. Of course the endlessly smug ass hole Norm Coleman looked like the fool and hate filled warmonger that he is.
        Do your self a favor and watch the whole thing. You will feel better (well maybe) all day.
        George Galloway Vs The US Senate (Full Video)

      • American
        June 17, 2012, 2:40 pm

        “it’s having remarkably little to do with Judaism. I mean, considering”…Colin

        None of it has anything to do with Judaism that I can see, except the sense that Zionism has invaded a lot of Judaism.

      • traintosiberia
        June 17, 2012, 11:44 pm

        Apparently Canadian has seen the debate.It was not allowed in US by the media.Later the US media claimed that Hitchens demolished effectively all the accusations and responses of Gallaway.

      • American
        June 18, 2012, 12:03 pm

        thanks Kathleen……I needed that reminder.
        I actually watched his testimony that day in the senate on c-span….love that guy.

  2. justicewillprevail
    June 16, 2012, 11:27 am

    Absolutely ridiculous. These people aren’t US senators, but Israeli senators. Their letter is utterly misinformed, boilerplate propaganda straight from AIPAC, with zero knowledge or understanding of the situation. It is a parrot squawk from people who are clueless about politics outside Israel and the US, and have no qualms whatsoever about yet another useless, endless war which will have no benefit for the US, exept billions of dollars wasted and more lives needlessly lost. They should be ashamed of their feeble gullibility and their willingness to be used in exchange for ‘contributions’, but they have no shame, just a craven desire to appease Israel.

  3. Citizen
    June 16, 2012, 12:01 pm

    Very frustrating, these guys are like old inert, comfy crappy Roman senators who fiddle while Rome is burning. I see my Senator on there–he’s up for reelection. I will definitely vote against him even though I despise the GOP contender(s).

  4. Denis
    June 16, 2012, 12:12 pm

    It’s a de facto declaration of war. It is also a usurpation of congressional power by Israel.

    If I had to decide between A) a nuclear-armed Iran or B) Israel/AIPAC being in charge of the US government — “A” wins by a factor of 50.

    It raises an interesting Constitutional question. Only Congress can declare war, and the historical problem has been a president wanting to wage war and Congress dragging its feet. But what if the situation is reversed? Can Congress/AIPAC declare war w/out the Commander-in-Chief’s cooperation? Who’s gonna’ send the troops in?

    Other than the circumstantial evidence evident in its tenor, what do we have connecting the letter to AIPAC? Who actually wrote it? My first guess would be not AIPAC, but Michael Oren.

    When this whole thing blows up in America’s face b/c Israel drags more US troops to their deaths, at least we have a written record, with signatures, of the responsible senators.

    • Denis
      June 16, 2012, 12:40 pm

      Sorry about the 2-part diatribe, but it’s Saturday morning on the left coast and I don’t do Shabbat.

      I believe the letter has a verifiable lie embedded in it. It reads as if it is saying the IAEA has reported since the Istanbul and Baghdad meetings. “. . .while the meetings held earlier this year in Istanbul and Baghdad unfortunately failed to produce positive progress, Tehran has continued to expand and accelerate uranium enrichment, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.”

      Has there been a report from IAEA since Baghdad and Istanbul?? I don’t think so. Baghdad was, like, May24.

      I thought the latest IAEA report was last Nov. If so, then that cannot be a finding that Tehran has continued to press forward after Baghdad. In fact, I don’t even know what the outcome of the Baghdad meeting was. I can’t remember seeing and can’t find any reports on the outcome. The last I heard was that Amano reached an agreement w/ Tehran 2 days before the meeting.

      I think my point is that these 44 senators should have done some fact-checking before signing this letter. “American,” “citizen” and the other pit bulls on this blog will make mince-meat out of this gang of 44.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 16, 2012, 12:57 pm

        the result of the baghdad meeting was they agreed on nothing(as i recall, i can find a link). iran said it was willing to negotiate but the US was unwilling to even consider backing down on sanctions if iran agreed to certain conditions, iow, the US offered nothing in return for iran complying w/IAEA rules.

        the letter also references, in capital letters btw, “Additional Protocol.”

        does anyone know what that refers to? something formal?

      • Denis
        June 16, 2012, 6:03 pm

        Thank you, AR. Maybe my browser has been hijacked by stuxnet, but I don’t know when I’ve ever searched for info on a recent event and found so little.

        I did find a report on Plowshares website that summarizes the Baghdad meeting outcome — or non-outcome: link to ploughshares.org

        It includes a link to an IAEA report released May25, which was before the Baghdad meeting but could still be the report referred to in the we-wanna-bomb-Iran letter.
        link to isis-online.org

        I still don’t know whether the Amano-Tehran agreement is in place now, or Zionist-backed Hilly managed to undo the deal. I believe it was never signed. Just media hype.

        From the May IAEA report it seems that even if Iran is never able to detonate a nuke, it has enough spent fuel rods etc that it could make a “conventional” bomb that is so dirty it would kill as many people as a nuke without all the mushroom cloud yada yada. A former Japanese ambassador is saying there are enough spent rods ready to cook-off at Daiichi that they would end civilization if ignited.

        I’m going back to New Zealand. . .

      • AllenBee
        June 16, 2012, 6:55 pm

        Eric Brill who participates at Race for Iran has studied “Additional Protocol” thoroughly. link to brillwebsite.com

        Basically, Additional Protocol is

        ” a legal document granting the IAEA complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. A principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared activities. Under the Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites [by means of these measures:]
        -State provision of information about, and IAEA inspector access to, all parts of a State’s nuclear fuel cycle . . .
        -IAEA short-notice access to, all buildings on a nuclear site. . . .
        -IAEA right to audit accounting records, etc. . . . link to iaea.org

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 2:29 am

        denis, what i meant by US was unwilling to even consider backing down on sanctions if iran agreed to certain conditions

        here: link to nytimes.com

        The major powers are expected to renew their list of demands that Iran suspend the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, ship out its stockpile of this uranium, and cease operations at Fordo, an enrichment facility buried in a mountain near Qum that alarms Israel because it could soon be immune to an airstrike.

        “Both sides had false expectations about how little they had to give to get the other side to move,” said Colin H. Kahl, a former Pentagon official who is a professor at Georgetown University. “The question going into Moscow is: Has either side recalculated?”
        …..

        The major powers are unlikely to accept a delay in the sanctions. And President Obama is not likely to recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium, another of the Iranian leadership’s cherished objectives. Granting that concession, in an election year, would open Mr. Obama to criticism from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, who has staked out a hawkish position on Iran.

        ……..

        Iranian officials blame Israel for the American change of heart, noting that the chief American negotiator, Wendy R. Sherman, stopped in Israel on her way home from Baghdad to brief the government.

        “Why do the Americans rush off to Jerusalem after every time they have spoken to us?” said Hamid Sheikholeslami, an adviser to Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani. “The U.S. is clearly under pressure not to seriously negotiate with us.”

        Administration officials dispute that, and say they have never recognized Iran’s right to enrich uranium in the talks. While the West is reluctant to delay the broader sanctions, analysts said the major powers would probably be open to suspending a European Union ban on insuring Iranian oil tankers.

        the US is not negotiating,just making demands offering nothing. what is the point of iran making concessions if the US is unwilling to backdown on sanctions?

        same MO as syria, they want regimes change.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 3:02 am

        denis, i went to our archives. from may 23rd, the day of the talks in baghdad:

        link to mondoweiss.net

        a few links posted there. from the bloomberg/sfgate:

        Sanctions won’t be lifted as a result of the Baghdad meeting, Mann said. While the P5+1 group is “hopeful” that Iran will respond positively to the offer, it doesn’t expect an outcome to this round of negotiations, he said.”

        see? what offer?

        “We did not receive any new proposal,” Mahdi told reporters in Arabic after the sides adjourned. “Until now there is no indication of anything optimistic or of positive progress.

        Talib Mahdi, a member of the Iranian delegation in Baghdad, told China’s official Xinhua news agency that Tehran wasn’t offered any deal to cut back on uranium enrichment in exchange for a reduction in sanctions.

        “Such proposal could be accepted by Iran because it would be a clear international recognition that Iran has the right to obtain nuclear energy,” he was quoted as saying.

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:29 pm

        Ah Race for Iran the best place to go if you want to access accurate information about Iran and other critical foreign policy issues. MSNBC etc to afraid or not allowed to have the Leveretts on. MSNBC etc will not touch the truth about Iran…selling the I lobbies views

        link to raceforiran.com

      • Denis
        June 17, 2012, 4:02 pm

        Thank you, Annie. I should know by now to search MW first, and then the rest of the blogosphere.

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:22 pm

        link to raceforiran.com

        Keep in mind that as a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty that Iran has the right to enrich uranium up to 20% for peaceful purposes. That the International Atomic Energy Agency has not found any verifiable evidence to prove that Iran is enriching beyond the legal limit permitted as a signatory to the NPT. Also keep in mind that the very nation pushing the U.S. and other nations to stand behind unsubstantiated claims about Iran is Israel the very nation who sits on huge stockpiles of nuclear biological and chemical weapons and has and continues to refuse to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty and open up to inspections by the IAEA. That the last President to demand that Israel open up to inspections was President Kennedy

      • CloakAndDagger
        June 17, 2012, 4:38 pm

        Keep in mind that as a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty that Iran has the right to enrich uranium up to 20% for peaceful purposes.

        They have the right to enrich even 100% for peaceful purposes – including the 97% required for the submarine they are designing.

      • Denis
        June 17, 2012, 5:00 pm

        raceforiran.com A very helpful website, Kathleen. Organized. Thanks.

        Their page on IAEA reports is incomplete — it only goes back to May 2010. Wonder why.

        These Leverett folks who run that site are impressive.

        You state: “Keep in mind that as a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty that Iran has the right to enrich uranium up to 20% for peaceful purposes.”

        This is certainly Tehran’s line, but I cannot find that specific statement in the NPT. There are generalities about peaceful uses, but it doesn’t seem to specify any particular permissible levels of enrichment of HF6. Seems to me there would have to be a verifiable nexus to a peaceful purpose, and that’s where the hang-up is. I guess if Iran could prove a peaceful purpose, under NPT they could enrich to 100%.

        Iran has 6000 kg of 5% enriched and 150 kg of 20%, so it’s easy to see why folks would conclude that Iran is waaay over the “peaceful purposes” threshold. I mean medical or diagnostic uses of radioisotopes only takes micrograms, and you only need 3% enrichment to run a power reactor.

        The pro-Iran crowd seem to be arguing that under NPT Iran can enrich as much UF6 to 20% as they damn well please. But unless Iran can show a peaceful purpose, that is clearly not so. They can’t enrich to ANY level without a peaceful purpose. Not sure I’ve ever heard Iran’s argument as to why then need 150 kg or more of 20%.

        Before concluding that Iran has a right under NPT to enrich to 20%, it seems that Iran is obligated to answer the double-question: What peaceful purposes requires 20% enriched HF6 and how much does it require? The adequacy of the answers is strictly a technological issue, but the continued failure to answer could become a military issue.

        I would love to be straightened out on this, if you have other information.

      • Sumud
        June 17, 2012, 9:54 pm

        Denis ~ it is the Tehran research reactor that uses ‘highly enriched uranium’ ie. 20% or more. I recall hearing about this just a few days ago, I think it was an interview at Antiwar Radio but can’t remember who it was with sorry.

        EDIT: I’ll take a guess it was the June 7 interview with Gareth Porter, available here:

        link to antiwar.com

        Anyway, details of the facility are on wikipedia, overview:

        After the Iranian Revolution in 1979 the US cut off supply of this uranium and and the reactor was shut down for some years until more 20% uranium was obtained from Argentina in the 1990s.

        When this supply began to run out Iran again cast about for a supplier but none was forthcoming so they decided to produce their own. The reactor itself uses about 30kg or uranium at any one time and the supply from Argentina was 115kg – much more than the grams you mentioned.
        Nuclear facilities in Iran / Tehran

        So 150kg of 20% stock doesn’t sound too unreasonable to me.

        Oh yeah – it is the US that originally supplied Iran with the Tehran reactor…

      • Sumud
        June 17, 2012, 10:15 pm

        Denis ~ a little more information on the Tehran Nuclear Research Centre (TNRC).

        The United States cut off the supply of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel for the Tehran Nuclear Research Center, which forced the reactor to shut down for a number of years, until Argentina’s National Atomic Energy Commission in 1987–88 signed an agreement with Iran to help in converting the reactor from highly enriched uranium fuel to 19.75% low-enriched uranium, and to supply the low-enriched uranium to Iran.[58] The uranium was delivered in 1993.[59]
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        TNRC:
        • Argentina and Iran negotiated for the supply of a pilot-scale heavy water production plant, but the deal was cancelled in 1992 by Argentine President Carlos Menem.[21]
        • In 1988, Argentina’s Nuclear Energy Commission signed an agreement to supply 115.8kg of 20%-enriched uranium to the TNRC. The uranium was delivered in 1993.[22]
        • In 1987, Argentina’s INVAP concluded an agreement to convert Iran’s 5MWt research reactor from using 93% enriched uranium fuel to using 20% enriched uranium fuel.[23]
        • During 1967-79, the United States supplied Iran’s 5MWt research reactor at TNRC with highly enriched uranium fuel.[24]
        • In 1967, the United States supplied a 5MWt pool-type research reactor.[25]

        link to cns.miis.edu

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2012, 10:34 pm

        The reactor itself uses about 30kg or uranium at any one time and the supply from Argentina was 115kg – much more than the grams you mentioned.

        It should also be mentioned that research reactors like the TNR also have a short fuel cycle, so the reactor fuel may have to be replaced 2-4 times a year.

        Oh yeah – it is the US that originally supplied Iran with the Tehran reactor…

        Not only that but the reactor that the US supplied required much more highly enriched fuel (up to 90%). It was the Iranians who decided they did not need such a reactor and had the reactor modified to accept 20% fuel.

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2012, 10:39 pm

        • In 1987, Argentina’s INVAP concluded an agreement to convert Iran’s 5MWt research reactor from using 93% enriched uranium fuel to using 20% enriched uranium fuel

        The significance of this move by Tehran cannot be ovrstated. If they were serious about wanting to produce nukes, this move would be utterly counter intuitive. Had Iran stuck with the Robinson spec, they could now be making a legitimate argument for needing to enrich to 93%, it they decided they didn’t need such a highly spec’d reactor.

      • Sumud
        June 17, 2012, 11:42 pm

        Shingo ~ but, there is a lot of water under the bridge since 1987, so it’s a stretch to say conclusions can be made in 2012 about a potential nuclear weapons program because of something Iran did 25 years prior. And – there was evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program active until 2003, then stopped, with no evidence of any program since then.

      • Denis
        June 18, 2012, 1:06 am

        Sumud and Shingo, thanks for that info and those leads on the peaceful purposes for enriched U.

        This is such critical information for understanding Iran’s position – wonder if Obama knows this or whether the Zionists have been able to hide it from him, too. lol

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 10:57 am

        20%

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 10:58 am
    • traintosiberia
      June 16, 2012, 1:27 pm

      AIPAC has written a lot of bills on used “napkin” paving the way for showdown with Iranian,Iraq,Syrian, and Libyan people ,always naming the Bill “as Accountability Act”. Getting signature on a piece of Napkin was never a problem per AIPAC.

    • American
      June 16, 2012, 2:14 pm

      ” at least we have a written record, with signatures, of the responsible senators.”……Denis

      Yes we will, but we had a record on Iraq also and none of them really paid a price for that either.
      I hate to have keep sounding like a wild eyed revolutionary or anarchist with my Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over rantings, but ‘clearly’ as they say,
      Americans are going to have to use unconventional means to get rid of this foreign controlled US congress.
      My advice to everyone , without sounding like a loony survivalist fanatic, is to try to insulate yourself financially and other ways to cope with any big events, even if we avoid a war on Iran as long as Israel is in control of our government they won’t quit pushing for some apocalyptic Zionist showdown of Isr’merica power against their many enemies and sooner or later it will happen.

      • tear-stained uzi
        June 16, 2012, 3:41 pm

        I hate to have keep sounding like a wild eyed revolutionary or anarchist with my Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over rantings…

        Sadly, American, I think you sound like a patriot.

        This latest genuflecting dreck is extremely discouraging. There’s “no daylight” between the two parties when it comes to serving their Israeli masters. None. Nor is there any daylight being shed by the vaunted Fourth Estate on the issue, just a generous daily drenching of hasbara gravy to help the sheeple more easily swallow the atrocities.

      • Daniel Rich
        June 16, 2012, 6:59 pm

        @ American

        Q: I hate to have keep sounding like a wild eyed revolutionary or anarchist with my Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over rantings

        R: If you happen to look over your shoulder you’ll see I’m covering your back. You do not stand alone in this. Absolutely not.

      • pabelmont
        June 17, 2012, 7:22 am

        There is only one way to “Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over”. And that is to change the constitution (or its interpretation) to [1] disallow any but American citizens to take “political action” in the USA and, equally important, [2] to put a cap on the amount of money any American can spend in any year cumulatively on “political action”.

        “Political action” needs to be comprehensively and carefully defined. It should include support for litigation except by parties to the litigation.

        Gifts to PACs (political and litigation advocacy groups) by human beings would be allowed subject to the annual cumulative cap. PACs — alone among groups — would be allowed to take political action.

        If the very rich are prevented from buying political power, and the non-human-beings — corporations and other groups (labor unions, bowling clubs, literary societies, chartered non-corporation banks, trusts, etc., blah-blah) — are prevented from taking ANY political action — then there is a chance for democracy to be re-established in the USA. There is (IMO) no chance otherwise. (This, reversing “Citizens United” is not enough, not by a long chalk.)

      • wisemanw1
        June 16, 2012, 10:57 pm

        So we have people advocating anarchy and terrorist threats on here and nothing is done?

      • Sumud
        June 17, 2012, 2:10 am

        wisemanw1 – please quote the text you think is “advocating anarchy and terrorist threats”?

      • edwin
        June 17, 2012, 7:02 am

        Wisemanw1 – here is a list of Jewish Anarchists:

        A

        Jacob Abrams[1]
        Paul Avrich[2][3]

        B

        Aaron Baron[4]
        Fanya Baron[5]
        Julian Beck[6]
        Alexander Berkman[7]
        David Bernstein[8]
        Walter Block[9]
        Abe Bluestein[10]
        Mykel Board[11]
        Dmitry Bogrov[12]
        Murray Bookchin[13]
        Martin Buber[14]

        C

        Noam Chomsky[15]
        Selig Silberstein (Selig Cohen)[16]
        Daniel Cohn-Bendit[17][18]

        D

        Sam Dolgoff[19]
        Eric Drooker[20][21]

        E

        David Edelstadt[22]
        Carl Einstein[23][24]

        F

        Senya Fleshin[25]
        David D. Friedman[26][27]
        Abraham Frumkin[28]

        G

        Allen Ginsberg[29]
        Emma Goldman[30]
        Paul Goodman[31]
        Abba Gordin[32]
        V. L. Gordin[32]
        Philip Grosser[33]
        Iuda Grossman (Grossman-Roshchin)[34]
        Mark Gunnery[35][36]

        H

        Abraham Hartenstein[37]
        Paul Hefeld[38][39]
        Julio Herschenbaum[8]
        Hirsh Hershman[40]
        Abbie Hoffman[41]

        K

        Franz Kafka[42]
        Pablo Karaschine[43]
        Maria Korn (Marie Goldsmith)[44]
        Tuli Kupferberg[45]

        L

        Hyman Lachowsky[1]
        Gustav Landauer[46]
        Bernard Lazare[47]
        Jacob Lapidus[38][39]
        Philip Levine[48]
        Samuel Lipman[1]
        Sofia Lisichsky[43]

        M

        Albert Meltzer[49]
        Ida Mett[50]
        Mark Mratchny[28]
        Erich Mühsam[51]

        P

        Rose Pesotta[52]
        Jonathan Pollak[53]

        R

        Simon Radowitzky[54]
        Maksim Rayevsky[55]
        Murray Rothbard[56]
        David Rovics[57][58]

        S

        Alexander Schapiro[59]
        Sascha Schapiro[60]
        Jacob Schwartz[1]
        Sholom Schwartzbard[61]
        Bernardo Sernaguer[8]
        Karl Shapiro[62][63]
        Moishe Shtarkman[64]
        Daniel Sieradski[65]
        Toma Sik[66]
        Mollie Steimer[25]
        Vladimir Striga (Vladimir Lapidus)[67]

        T

        Olga Taratuta[68]
        Moishe Tokar[69]
        Alexander Taranovsky[70][verification needed]

        V

        Volin[71]

        W

        Chaim Leib Weinberg[72]
        José Weisman[8]
        Rose Witcop[73]
        Milly Witkop[74]

        Y

        Saul Yanovsky[75]

        Z

        Yankev-Meyer Zalkind[76]
        Howard Zinn[77]

        Just saying.

      • pabelmont
        June 17, 2012, 7:34 am

        See: this essay. copying my remarks above. This does not advocate anarchy or terrorism, though it is silent as to how the people can seize democracy from the oligarchs.

      • Danaa
        June 17, 2012, 12:32 pm

        I have the same forebodings as you and others here, American. That Abigail Abarbanel pieces you linked to the other day,was quite on the mark. Trauma is a nice word psychologists use to explain killing sprees. Unfortunately, explanation in this country – and amng the European establishment – has turned into an excuse. Alas, neither explanation, nor excuse constitute a cure. Avigail was of the opinion that when dealing with the addicted absuser – propelled by deep trauma – outside intervention is needed. That’s not likely to happen with the US congress brought as low as it has by a system of politics based on the highest bidder.

        Another disturbing thought – many who operate for a mafia, its consiglieri, can also be considered traumatized people. I am sure those who work for the mexican drug cartels are quite traumatized by all they have seen and all they had to do. All of which only add to further escalation in the brutality of their actions. Does anyone think they’ll just stop on their own and call it a day after a couple of weeks of talk therapy?

        What I agree with you on American, is that even if Israel got their carte blanche to bomb Iran and pull Syria asunder, they wouldn’t know how to stop. They would simply escalate. I believe israel has now taken over the entirety of America’s foreign policy – the China and Russia desks included. Sometimes that happened by just pushing competent people out of the way – as realists on the ME were pushed their fellow realist thinkers on all matters were pushed out as well. And what takes the place of the realist is not necessarily the ideologue (not enough of them around). More often than not, it’s the incompetent. The current muscle flexing towards China is, for example, stupid beyond belief. But in Israel they love it – and so McCain does too. and Romney.

        The big worry we all should have is what happens when the really stupid takes over. In Israel that has already happened. Which means the great Stupid is coming here. Quite soon, too.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 12:58 pm

        another great comment danaa. but i do think it’s morethan stupid takingover in israel. ithink their are some very intelligent yet derangedminds behind the madness. here too. stupid footsoldeirs work just fine for a deranged-ness at the helm. all the better to mask ones criminality under the shroud of ‘mistakes’. like brenner in iraq. disguised as ‘we didn’t know all hell would break loose’ when in fact they were completely banking on it.

      • American
        June 17, 2012, 2:31 pm

        @ Danaa

        Totally agree with everything you said.
        Particularly the fact that Israel does not know when to stop, they are totally gone, have become “legends in their own minds”, their fantasy vision of being a ‘power’ on par with the big 5 of the world.

        pabelmont is accurate in saying what should be done…
        ”There is only one way to “Burn Washington to the Ground and Start Over”. And that is to change the constitution (or its interpretation) to [1] disallow any but American citizens to take “political action” in the USA and, equally important, [2] to put a cap on the amount of money any American can spend in any year cumulatively on “political action”.

        But the problem with that, why it won’t work, and the hopelessness of our political situation is this can’t be done because it would have to be done by the same people and system that created it to begin with…it’s like expecting the criminals to enact laws that would put them behind bars.

        That’s why I say ‘unconventional means’ will have to be used to change anything. Voting and political activism isn’t going to do it, won’t change
        ” the system”, or corruption therein, will only change who is part of it from time to time.

        I don’t think all violence could be avoided in even in some peaceful uprising by the population caused by some event, even if 150 million Americans, half our population, showed up in Washington in a peaceful protest, I think police violence would be used against them, that the sheer number of the discontented Americans wouldn’t matter to government powers, that’s how far gone our politicians are.

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 2:41 am

      If Congress/AIPAC do try to push this too hard, they’re going to find they’ve blown it.

      If we wind up in a war we obviously started with Iran, that’ll be bad for us, and bad for Iran. It’ll be worse for Israel. US support for her will evaporate — and that’ll be that.

  5. yourstruly
    June 16, 2012, 12:37 pm

    How about billboards in each of the states so badly represented by these 44 senators? The message carried could go something like —

    New Yorkers (Pennsylvanians, etc. etc.)
    Israel threatens to attack iran
    Iran poses no threat to America
    yet your U.S. Senator ____ backs Israel’s warmongering
    which nation does he/she represent?

  6. Oscar Romero
    June 16, 2012, 12:45 pm

    When writing a letter to Senator Merkely to complain about his signing the referenced letter, I got to wondering if he is a Jew or a supporter of Israel. I know that it is pointless writing to my other senator, Wyden, because he does not waiver from AIPAC’s line.
    I was surprised (maybe I shouldn’t be) to find the following website:
    link to secure.actblue.com

    I have contributed through ActBlue to some candidates that I consider progressive. I know some of the candidates they support I would not consider progressive, but I contributed several times recently to Norman Solomon, for example, someone whose Jewish identity does not prevent him from being open minded and justice oriented.

    So I wanted to ask if you know about Act Blue. The website I have cited indicates to me that they have a section that is aimed at Jews. As far as I know, the NJDC has pretty warmongering positions regarding Iran.

    Shouldn’t somebody be alerting progressives to the fact that Act Blue is working in apparent concert with NJDC? I don’t know anything else about NJDC but I am hoping that someone at Mondoweiss does and might be able to publicize what to me is a scandal. Digby promotes Act Blue, for example. Do progressives realize that NJDC works together with NJDC?

    • Philip Weiss
      June 16, 2012, 12:58 pm

      interesting, thanks

    • Annie Robbins
      June 16, 2012, 1:02 pm

      i had to look up NJDC, didn’t know the acronym. National Jewish Democratic Council.

      Shouldn’t somebody be alerting progressives to the fact that Act Blue is working in apparent concert with NJDC?

      yep, someone should.

      • MRW
        June 16, 2012, 6:29 pm

        Add Avaaz.

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 2:50 am

        I think this is to some extent a red herring.

        There’s an intuitive perception that US support for Israel is based in the Jewish community — and indeed, at a guess, most of the posters here are from communities with a significant Jewish population, so it might in fact look like most of those who vehemently support Israel are Jewish. That could be the case where the poster lives.

        However, while it would be going too far to say most Jews oppose Israel, their support is decidedly equivocal, as a rule. My analysis is that there are a few loudmouths — and a silent majority who just wistfully wish Israel would make nice.

        The real heartland of uncritical US support for a belligerent, aggressive Israel lies among Evangelical Christians. Next time one of those round robin ‘we love Israel’ letters circulates, check out which Congressmen feel they can risk abstaining.

        By and large, they’ll be from districts with substantial Jewish constituencies. NONE will be from districts with big evangelical constituencies.

        This is all about Jeebus. It has increasingly little to do with Judaism.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 3:22 am

        colin, NJDC doesn’t stand for National Judaism Democratic Council.

        the support may not be coming from the ‘jewish community’ but it’s sure coming from the israel lobby. and the legislation pushed by the lobby comes from israel. i agree with you most of the american support comes from christians, because there are more of them. but the powerhouses in the lobby, the ones who make the big decisions, are jewish.

        like this: link to mondoweiss.net

      • traintosiberia
        June 17, 2012, 9:48 am

        Most Jews ( here in US and in Israel )do support Israel. They support Operation Cast Gold,murder in Gaza Flotilla, 2006 unprovoked attack on Lebanon and Gaza.Overwhelmingly supported Iraq war and support war on Iran ,supports apartheid ,buys pathetic Israeli lies on peace process . To make it look like American issue, the Zionist use the cover of otherwise impotent Evangelics ( What have the Evangelics achieved? Did they achieve their stances on abortion, gay rights, school prayers,maintainance of Christian nature of the Christian holidays?)Evangelics are given crumbs on the big table where they kowtow to the demands of Israelis and corporatist.They earn some visibility and they get accredited .They enjoy their 5 minutes glory and sunshine under the glaring eyes of the Zionist and corporate deity.

      • Danaa
        June 17, 2012, 12:52 pm

        trainstosiberia,

        I agree with you regarding the christian evangeleists being a red herring – or a cover. The vast majority of real evangelsts in the heartland – usually know next to nothing about israel and what automatic support they give to israel due to some pastor entrities, is paper thin. Both their knowledge and level of commitment are extrem;y shallow. About the only way evangelsts contribute to israelis by donating to their church, which then does what it does. Funny that we never hear from the actual real living and breathing Christian fundamentalists. just from supposed “leaders”. yes, they are for sure deeply conservative about social issues, and certainly despise Obama. But they are also not so keen on anything “foreign”.

        Then there’s another factor that you never ever see talked about. Underneath what ever support the evangelist flock may or may not give for returning jews to zion so the great Gog and Magog battles can happen, there’s a deep suspicion and even dislike of most things jewish. In fact, the so-called love-for-great-israel does not translate into love for Jews. The followers of evangelist and fundamentalist religions in the US are usuall in the heartland, where the money worshipping east Coast elites and west Coast hedonists are held in deep suspicion. And guess who is most closely associated in the minds of the devout with these odious – to them – cultures?

        The neocon excusers should not try to scratch too deep under the surface of the mythical israel-loving evangelist. They may be a bit surprised by what they find……

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 3:30 pm

        ‘…but the powerhouses in the lobby, the ones who make the big decisions, are jewish…’

        That’s entirely possible. Nevertheless, the actual power of the Israel lobby lies in the body of voters it can marshal. That is why it can influence, intimidate, and coerce congressmen and presidents.

        Most of the voters in question are evangelicals — as the distribution of congressmen who dare to abstain from those near-to-unanimous letters of support indicates. I remember once looking at who the ’26’ were in some letter which all but 26 congressmen signed. Without exception, they were NOT from districts with big concentrations of evangelicals.

        So whoever the ‘powerhouses’ might be, the actual power comes from evangelicals. Absent evangelicals, the ‘Israel lobby’ would be a pale shadow of what it is now.

        Now this is where we get to the point. If one wishes to fight the Israel lobby, the battleground is not in the synagogue, but in the storefront church. And that battle can be fought and won by pointing out the very selective reading from the New Testament and misapprehensions about the nature of Zionism that lies behind evangelical support for Israel. You may or may not believe the Good News, but they do — and among other things, ‘the Good News’ rather clearly says that the Jews have forfeited their claim to Israel. Look up the Parable of the Evil Husbandmen.

        It’s a question of identifying who one’s opponent actually is and identifying what arguments will sway him. Seeking to ‘convert’ American liberal Jews who are ambivalent to begin with is beside the point. They aren’t the enemy.

        The key to American support for Israel lies in the Evangelicals. And their support for Israel rests on a number of beliefs. And all of those beliefs are vulnerable to attack. Realize where the battle is, and you might win it.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 4:25 pm

        the actual power of the Israel lobby lies in the body of voters it can marshal.

        hmm, not so sure about that. the people are not even aware of these aipac letters. they don’t follow israel ‘wipe away palestinian refugee’ legislation. they really don’t vote on it.

      • ColinWright
        June 18, 2012, 12:03 am

        ‘Most Jews ( here in US and in Israel )do support Israel. They support Operation Cast Gold,murder in Gaza Flotilla, 2006 unprovoked attack on Lebanon and Gaza.’

        I don’t think that’s true. Of course, I may be looking at a skewed sample, and of course generalizations like the one I’m about to make oversimplify matters, but my feeling is that most Jews feel about Israel about the way one would feel about one’s ne’er do-well younger brother with his miserable wife and his mounting criminal record.

        You certainly don’t like to hear others attack him, and he IS family, but you dearly wish he’d shape up. This contrasts with the American Evangelicals, who like Israel precisely BECAUSE of its crimes.

      • traintosiberia
        June 18, 2012, 12:10 am

        The way Palin was anointed by the Alaskan cruise passengers consisting solel y of some neocons ,show the power of the lobby . The way the debate is shaped in the media from the very outset ,shows that it follows a neocons script of bringing nonexistent issues to the fore ,cloud the mind of the voters and channel their thinking then in one direction.Otherwise a country reeling under the infamy of the unresolved wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan would not have started pumping the war rhetoric against Iran as the sole election plank by the Republicans in 2008.

      • traintosiberia
        June 18, 2012, 12:26 am

        Long ago anyone suspected the religion of Obama , it was Daniel Pipe who started the canard that Obama was muslim and went on to suggest he might be called an apostate by Muslim!
        Long ago anyone talked about the age of Ron Paul, it was the media ( israeli friendly ) who started questioning his electability based on made up premises. Voters fell in line pick
        ing that line of thinking. In 2004 election , a feisty cameo by Dean was used to question his electability by the media who had earlier denounced his “even handed approach ” to Israel as non-starter.Stability of his mood became an issue and it gained wide currency ,thanks to the efforts of the media.

    • Phil Perspective
      June 16, 2012, 3:37 pm

      How is ActBlue working with the NJDC? Can’t anyone put up an ActBlue page? Now, a better complaint might be that ActBlue is profiting off NJDC’s actions.

      • Philip Munger
        June 16, 2012, 4:52 pm

        I have set up Act Blue pages for candidates, and have conducted “Blue America” sessions on-line for the benefit of candidates with their own Act Blue pages – in 2006, 2008 and 2010. I haven’t done any on-line fundraising this cycle, but that might change soon. I moderated a kick-off event Friday evening for four of the five Democratic Party candidates competing to run against Don Young, so the season has begun here in earnest:

        link to progressivealaska.blogspot.com

        Pretty much anyone can put up an Act Blue page, and many organizations like the National Jewish Democratic Council have niches there for candidates they support. This is nothing new.

        Perhaps the most assiduous progressive organizer behind Act Blue since its inception has been Howie Klein, whose blog is Down With Tyranny! He studiously avoids I/P at his own blog, and has backed many Zionist candidates who are PEP – progressive except for Palestine. Howie is awesome, and probably has the most encyclopedic knowledge of each U.S. House district of anyone on the left.

        Act Blue is a great fundraising tool for liberal and progressive candidates. There is no fundraising collection site out there that I’m aware of that does not support some candidate or another who is pro-Israel in one way or another.

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:39 pm

        I think Jane Hamsher was deeply involved with Act Blue in the beginning and then there was some split I believe

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 3:15 pm

        i think it was over the health care i believe. can’t recall exactly but i remember many were criticizing her at dkos. can’t remeber the details or maybe i never learned them.

      • Philip Munger
        June 17, 2012, 8:26 pm

        Annie and Kathleen,

        The split didn’t involve Act Blue, it was about the direction of the Act Blue niche, Blue America. I think Hullabaloo, Crooks & Liars and Down With Tyranny! are all still involved in Blue America, which seeks to have at least one interview-on-line session with a fairly progressive candidate every week. The session is also usually a fundraiser for that candidate, sometimes raising thousands of dollars over a two-hour period.

        None of those three blogs delve very far into any issue regarding the strength of the Israel lobby, the insanity of the push for war with Iran (Digby is sometimes courageous on this, though) or Palestinian rights.

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:02 am

        Crooks and Liars has serious roadblocks up when it comes to discussing or posting anything about the I/P conflict. Serious roadblocks…blog clog over there. Netroots conference last I checked. Not sure about this year

    • tear-stained uzi
      June 16, 2012, 4:16 pm

      Fascinating find, Oscar. Definitely worth investigating further. I will be writing Merkley, too (along with his PEPpy colleague, Wyden, futile as it will be). These “representatives” of ours need to get a clue about their constituents. For starters — and I know this will come as a shock to them — we are not Israelis.

      Some disturbing excerpts from the link you posted:

      Help Senator Jeff Merkley continue the fight for our shared Jewish and Democratic values by making sure that he has the resources to serve another term! [my bold] — Er, what?!

      He has consistently stood with Israel and supports Israel’s right to self-defense. During the conflict in the Gaza Strip in 2009, Merkley said, “As a stalwart advocate for Israel’s security, I understand Israel’s need to defend itself from terrorism.” — I wasn’t aware of this statement, particularly revolting and monstrous given the timing. “Operation Cast Lead” was a mistranslation of the Hebrew for, “Operation Shoot the Arabs in the Barrel.”

      And this gem:
      NJDC PAC

      Repairing the world one election at a time, The NJDC PAC is the voice for Jewish Democrats to support Democratic candidates who support continued US support for Israel, who stand up for the separation of church and state and who support a woman’s right to choose. NJDC PAC supports candidates without regard to their religion. — Hilarious take on tikkun olam: “pack the govt with PEPs!” BTW, what? No mention of Teh Gayz? Somebody missed a fabulous pinkwashing opportunity…

    • Kathleen
      June 17, 2012, 2:38 pm

      I was just looking for Solomon’s voting record on anti Palestinian legislation etc to see what his record is and of course since he is new not much of a record yet. Will look more. This is what Glenn Greenwald has to say about Solomon
      link to salon.com
      “Norman Solomon

      The long-time anti-war activist, co-founder of the great media criticism group FAIR, and author of “Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State” – a critique of America’s decades of militarism and the role which its media plays in perpetuating it — is about as close to a perfect Congressional candidate as it gets. He’s written 11 other books, including “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”: the title speaks for itself. He’s running in the heavily Democratic California district being vacated by the retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey. A newly released poll from an independent Democratic pollster shows him with a serious chance to win (there is an open primary in June, and the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will then face each other in a November run-off).

      In 2002 and 2003, Solomon led three trips to Iraq to try to avert the war (trips that included former and current members of Congress), and was one of the most widely featured media voices during that period opposing the attack on moral, legal and prudential grounds. Though he was an Obama delegate to the 2008 DNC convention, here’s what he told us about President Obama’s civil liberties record, including the Awlaki assassination and the President’s signing of the indefinite detention bill (NDAA):

      I am opposed to the expansion of White House authority to detain without charge or assassinate on presidential order. Here we have President Obama extending presidential power even beyond Bush. Many had expected Obama – a constitutional law professor – to rein in presidential authority, but that hasn’t happened. This is not the country we believe in. I would have voted no on NDAA, vehemently explaining my vote in a wide range of public venues. As for the Holder speech, it was deservedly mocked by Stephen Colbert: That “due process” doesn’t have to be a “judicial process” — just any “process that you do.”

      Regarding the Obama war on whistleblowers, WikiLeaks and the treatment of Bradley Manning, Solomon proudly touted the vigorous support he’s received from Manning supporter Daniel Ellsberg, who lives in his district, telling us: “The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all previous presidents combined. That is sad.” He added:

      I was outraged but not surprised to see so much of mainstream media focused more on Julian Assange and the “rightness” of WikiLeaks’ release of documents, rather than the explosive revelations about U.S. overseas abuses (war crimes, interfering in the judicial processes of democratic countries, etc.) contained in those documents. I was appalled to see the literally “naked” mistreatment of Bradley Manning. In Congress, I intend to speak out for the due process rights of all, including those being tarnished as traitors and terrorist-abettors by the right wing. Dan Ellsberg was called every name in the book and was prosecuted – but now he’s widely seen as an American hero.

      Solomon demands diplomacy, not threats of military force, to resolve the current disputes with Iran. He decries the lack of criminal prosecutions for Wall Street defrauders and Bush torturers as a violation of the rule of law: “I thoroughly reject the convenient notion that we can’t look forward if we are also looking back to prosecute official crimes committed in the previous administration. On the contrary, our nation cannot move forward unless we address the crimes and abuses of the past.” He supports the legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage,”significant” military cuts, and vocally opposed the Wall Street bailout before it happened. Simply on principle, he has refused to take a dime of corporate PAC money or accept contributions from lobbyists.

      When it comes to Congressional candidates, it just doesn’t get any better than Norman Solomon. If you have any residual doubt, just look at this remarkable 2007 TV appearance he did on CNN with Glenn Beck, which he wrote about here, when he used the opportunity to detail and denounce the effect of corporate ownership of America’s establishment media (including CNN). He’s been doing this for 30 years and there’s zero chance he will change or compromise any of it if he wins. I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to have Norman Solomon in Congress, but I’d certainly like to see it. You can — and, I hope, will — support his campaign here.”

      • traintosiberia
        June 18, 2012, 12:31 am

        Feingold from WI and Norman Solomon should challenge Obama in 2012 Nov.Its too late though.

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:03 am

        Feingold is in step with the I lobby.

  7. pipistro
    June 16, 2012, 1:13 pm

    Pandering Aipac & Co., these 44 cronies signed a letter in order to sink any negotiation with Iran. Worth of note, they say this is “based on Iran’s history of deceptive and illicit behavior.” If there were the Nobel Prize for chutzpah, these guys would be in a notable position.

  8. Phil Perspective
    June 16, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I am disappointed that Senators Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley signed this letter. I’m glad that neither Al Franken, nor Bernie Sanders did. And both of them are Jewish. Anyone ever ask Al or Bernie their thoughts on AIPAC, or at least find out why they, unlike a lot of other Democrats, don’t seem to fear AIPAC?

    • DICKERSON3870
      June 16, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Bernie Sanders is on Thom Hartmann’s radio program every Friday for the first hour and they take telephone calls. Sometimes I get the feeling that Thom (with the best of motives) tries to shield Bernie from difficult questions about Israel that might get him into trouble (like being targeted by AIPAC).
      As to Al Franken and Bernie Sanders:
      • They are more principled than most politicians.
      • They are more courageous than most politicians.
      • They are more knowledgeable than most politicians.
      • They are from Minnesota and Vermont, respectively.
      • And yes, they are Jewish and that does provide them with a little bit of protection (but not much) from the wrath of AIPAC.

    • sciri21
      June 16, 2012, 5:11 pm

      I don’t know what they think about AIPAC, but Franken and Sanders voted for the Kirk-Menendez Amendment, so I bet they too are constrained by pressure from the pro-Israel lobby.

    • Kathleen
      June 17, 2012, 2:41 pm

      Just wrote to Senator Brown who bends over to the I lobby over and over again. He has the Aipac “Made in Israel” brand stamped on his ass.
      link to brown.senate.gov

  9. DICKERSON3870
    June 16, 2012, 4:26 pm

    I SENT THIS EMAIL (BORROWING HEAVILY FROM MJ ROSENBERG’S POST) TO SENATOR JOHNNY ISAAKSON (R-GA):

    The Honorable Johnny Isakson
    United States Senate
    131 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510-1006

    Re: Your letter to President Obama concerning the P5+1 negotiations with Iran

    Senator Isakson:

    I am one of your constituents residing in the Smyrna/Vinings area of Cobb County, and I was disappointed to see that you recently signed a letter to President Obama concerning the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. This letter was circulated by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), most likely at the behest of AIPAC.

    The final paragraph of the letter indicates its real purpose: to shut down negotiations in favor of getting ready for military action. It reads:
    “If the sessions in Moscow produce no substantive agreement, we urge you to reevaluate the utility of further talks at this time and instead focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists. As you have rightly noted, ‘the window for diplomacy is closing. Iran’s leaders must realize that you mean precisely that.”

    This letter is pure AIPAC/Netanyahu! It offers the other party nothing except negotiations themselves which are viewed as a concession to the other side. The offer is designed to be rejected. Why would Iran give up something for nothing?

    It distresses me greatly to see that you and many of your fellow senators have apparently chosen to obstruct diplomatic efforts to resolve our disagreements with Iran. The consequences of your actions might well end up being yet another disastrous war in the Middle East.

    Sincerely,

    P.S. I am baffled by Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) not being shown as having signed the letter since he is on the The Israel Project’s Board of Advisors, and in the past has been a steadfast member of Israel’s “amen chorus”. Of course, he is 68 or so and it may be that he does not plan on running for reelection, thus being free to not necessarily follow the “diktates” of the pro-Israel lobby. I have been very surprised lately to see him take more responsible, principled positions than in the past.

    P.P.S. I used the FCNL website to send my email to Senator Isaakson. – link to capwiz.com

    • Citizen
      June 17, 2012, 7:41 am

      Have things changed significantly, especially in Congress, since Moran made his remark about AIPAC? link to articles.cnn.com

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 10:44 am

        “Rep. Moran suggested that the reason that the president was thinking about using force in Iraq was because of the influence of the Jewish community. Those remarks are shocking. They are wrong and they should not have been said,” White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said.

        pretty clear as day we’re going after iran because of israel and the lobby.

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:42 pm

        Rep Moran has stood up against the I lobby etc numerous times.

  10. American
    June 16, 2012, 4:36 pm

    Fools & Cowards. I think by 2016 being a public AIPAC stooge will hurt politicians more than help them.

    Thinking of the other post here about whether AIPAC is defeatable I went back to Jim Moran and his famous 2003 slamming of Israel firsters over the Iraq war:

    “”Protest” against Moran ”
    Meanwhile, protests continue against U.S. Rep. James Moran of Virginia, who said last week that Jews were behind the buildup toward war with Iraq. Six fellow Democrats in the House of Representatives said that his comments were “offensive,” “ignorant” and “grossly irresponsible,” and that if he seeks another term, they would not back him. The six, all of whom are Jewish, are Henry Waxman of California, Martin Frost of Texas, Tom Lantos of California, Sander Levin of Michigan, Benjamin Cardin of Maryland and Nita Lowey of New York. The Washington Post also came out strongly against Moran, saying that his remarks perpetuate anti-Semitic views and “confirm our opinion that he is unfit to serve in Congress.”

    Well the six Jews in congress and the ADL, and AIPAC, and the Washington Post and every Jewish org who vowed to unseat him lost big time…Moran got reelected with 68% of the vote and got re elected again in his last race with 61% of the vote in a three way race with a republican and Green candidate. And it’s interesting that his district is northern Virginia right across the river (Alexandria-Arlington-etc ) from AIPAC. Evidently Virginians pay no attention to the power of AIPAC or the Washington Post…it might even have helped him. lol
    Go Irishman, take no sh@t from those cretins.

    • ColinWright
      June 18, 2012, 12:48 am

      ‘…Well the six Jews in congress and the ADL, and AIPAC, and the Washington Post and every Jewish org who vowed to unseat him lost big time…Moran got reelected with 68% of the vote and got re elected again in his last race with 61% of the vote in a three way race with a republican and Green candidate…’

      Sounds like he has a lock on his district — as most congressmen have. There’s nothing wrong with this — if you’ve got your constituents figured out, you push the line they like, you pay attention to their needs, and you’re able to walk and chew gum at the same time, once you’re in, you’re in. You’re doing your job — you’re representing your constituents. And barring getting caught with the preacher’s son and there being photos, no one’s ever getting you out.

      The PROBLEM is when a district is up for grabs — or when there isn’t a formula that will guarantee you victory. Then you’d best toe the AIPAC line — and having toed it, you’d better keep on toeing it. AIPAC is good at its job — you can’t deny that.

  11. Citizen
    June 16, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Hey, let’s trade the guy who spilled the beans on the Israeli nuke weapons for the guy who gave away the whole US missile defense system against the USSR during the height of the cold war! And make sure it gets all over the American mainstream media!

    • Kathleen
      June 17, 2012, 2:45 pm

      I have thought about that. Mordechai Vanunu an international hero! I have had friends who spent time with him. They have reported that he is so wonderful, kind, aware and clearly has a humanitarian conscience.
      link to vanunu.com

      Video’s
      link to vanunu.com

  12. American
    June 16, 2012, 4:50 pm

    BTW…..big shout out to MJ (and Phil-MW)…keep on rolling.
    My idiot senator signed it too but she isn’t up for re election for another 2 years, there will be a load of ammunition to use on her by then. She has signed everyone of these AIPAC missives and if I can believe what others tell me she’s had a lot of complaints from the district…people here pay even more attention to the Iran war drums because we have several huge military bases as well as lots of retired military.

  13. Talkback
    June 16, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Only 44? Blasphemy!

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 3:21 am

      It is kind of a low count. Usually almost everyone can be blackmailed into signing these things.

      Is it possible AIPAC’s hold is slipping?

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:06 am

        One would think after two top Aipac officials were caught red handed passing highly classified intelligence about Iran off to Israeli officials…Even though Jane ‘waddling” Harman and others were able to shut that investigation and trial down.
        Selected Aipac espionage case files
        link to fas.org

  14. atime forpeace
    June 16, 2012, 6:10 pm

    So who governs in Washington, and why?

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 3:49 am

      ‘So who governs in Washington, and why?’

      Lately? Strictly speaking, I would say no one ‘governs’ any more (apologies to the great capitalist conspiracy theorists).

      It’s just a lot of little men, scrambling over each other to say things they think will garner votes and placate powerful and dangerous interest groups. You don’t screw with the NRA, you don’t screw with AARP, you do as AIPAC tells you, and you tell everyone else exactly what they want to hear. It’s got nothing to do with ‘governing.’

      It’s always been that way to some extent — but now it’s worse than ever.

      • atime forpeace
        June 17, 2012, 10:25 am

        Yeah sure, but and a big butt it is, whose agenda moves forward? because therein you will find the answer of who governs in Washington.

        If the agenda is the same, then someones’ agenda is more forceful and, since it is the same agenda non stop over and over of bigger and more expensive government and stupider and stupider wars pushed by the power of the lie machine (msm) then the unavoidable answer stands alone like the elephant in the room.

        The agenda remains the same, regardless of which party is in power.

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:49 pm

        When Corporations rule the World.. Love David Korten
        link to amazon.com

        Economist David Korten….Vets for Peace

  15. Ellen
    June 16, 2012, 6:30 pm

    Some of those Senators are completely ignorant: i.e. Testor or Klobucher.

    Call their offices, and raise hell. Get angry. Let them know they are on watch and that they are traitors pushing the country into a disaster. It works.

    They deserve it.

    • Kathleen
      June 17, 2012, 2:50 pm

      call call call keep contacting…hammer them. Set up a meeting with them when they come home to their states about this letter and the I/P issue.

  16. MRW
    June 16, 2012, 6:41 pm

    Foreign policy is the purview of the President exclusively. He is not only President (head of government), he is Head of State. I think we’re the only major country that has that arrangement.*

    I see a few constitution terrorists on that list: they ought to read the document sometime. Their job is domestic policy within the government. Technically, they have nothing to do with the Head of State, and cannot dictate to him (or her).
    ________________
    * In France, the President (HoS) is more powerful than the Prime Minister. In Germany the Prime Minister (Chancellor) is more powerful that the President. In Canada, the Prime Minister runs the government but is answerable to the Governor General who represents the Head of State, the Queen of England; that’s why they call Canada a constitutional monarchy. Netanyahu is Prime Minster and head of government; Peres is President and Head of State. That’s why he got an audience and pictures taken.

  17. Daniel Rich
    June 16, 2012, 6:52 pm

    Let’s call a spade a spade here:

    In return the AIPAC/Senate letter…

    I’d never thought I’d say this, but I really think the time has come to purge congress from these traitors to the country and the American people.

  18. Shingo
    June 16, 2012, 8:09 pm

    This is colle five insanity unlike anything we’ve seen since WWII.

    One has to wonder what it is that AIPAC hold over these guys to make them act so adversely to the interests of the world and the US. Is holding in to their jobs that important?

    Israel could nuke Chicago to tomorrow, and these guys would be lining up to defend Israel’s actions.

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 3:23 am

      ‘Israel could nuke Chicago to tomorrow, and these guys would be lining up to defend Israel’s actions.’

      That is kind of an interesting hypothetical. Just what would Israel have to do to get Americans to wake up?

      • Danaa
        June 17, 2012, 1:07 pm

        ColinWright: ” Just what would Israel have to do to get Americans to wake up?’

        Hit them in the pocket -book. Oil at $5.00/Gal won’t do it, because that can still be “handled’ and the blame can be shifted to whichever party is not in power, or diverted to some Muslim (or Russian) culprit abroad. But $10./gal would cause people to cast around as bit. Maybe it’ll even cause people to read (while waiting in the unemployment lines) . Nothing short of that will do, I fear. A recession can be turned into politics-as-usual. But a depression is another story. That, IMO, is what it’d take.

        I guess what I am suggesting is that 10,000 unemployed auto workers or idle farmers or pink slipped teachers will not do it – as we’ve seen. But 1000 newly unemployed lawyers, couple with another 2000 furloughed hi-tech whizzes can produce miracles.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 1:14 pm

        But $10./gal would cause people to cast around as bit.

        that’s the election gambit vice the neonuts are scrunching obama with. damned if you do damned if you don’t. his options are make war or high gas prices or both.helllllo romney!

      • American
        June 17, 2012, 1:42 pm

        Another oil embargo like 73 would do it but it would have to be coupled with linking it directly to Israel as they did in 73…. and the media having to report it as such.
        The time is perfect …it would cripple not only the US but the world economy, particularly right now with Europe on a tightrope, countries like Greece on the edge of a cliff, Germany being expected pull the euro out of the ditch. I doubt the OPEC Arabs are entertaining that idea…yet anyway.
        The Arabs would get their share of the blame but it certainly would blow the whole situation wide open and clear the air.

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Mm.

        I suspect that when people cast around for whom to blame, that they’ll settle on ‘the Arabs.’ That’s more or less what happened after the first oil embargo.

        So while ‘hitting them in the pocket book’ may be gratifying, it’s questionable if it will be constructive. So far, the price of gas has kept climbing — and the result has simply been increasing belligerence towards the Muslim world. I fail to see why if gas goes from $1 a gallon to $4 a gallon and people simply start hating ‘Arabs’ more, they’re going to fall in love with them if it goes to $10 a gallon. I think more likely we’d rationalize a ground invasion of Iran.

        That’d teach ‘em all — but it wouldn’t do anyone any good.

      • American
        June 17, 2012, 1:52 pm

        “That is kind of an interesting hypothetical. Just what would Israel have to do to get Americans to wake up?”…Colin

        Probably have congress pass a law that requires all non Jews to wear a scarlet letter arm band in public and tithe 50% of their income on monthly automatic bank draft to AIPAC or Israel.
        LOL …..actually not too far fetched, the zionist are the only ones who don’t think the Protocol of the Elders is a forgery.

      • ColinWright
        June 18, 2012, 12:50 am

        ‘Probably have congress pass a law that requires all non Jews to wear a scarlet letter arm band in public and tithe 50% of their income on monthly automatic bank draft to AIPAC or Israel.’

        There are evangelicals who would actually get off on this. You need to understand their mindset.

      • AllenBee
        June 18, 2012, 9:50 am

        If Israel nuked Chicago tomorrow, Iran would be blamed; Foxman would say it was an attack on Jews, another sign of growing antisemitism in US; Benj. Netanyahu would appear before congress and demand that US provide more aid to Israel since Israel is obviously target of attack; Homeland Security would be called upon to beef up protection of Jewish sites; Iranian-Americans would be targeted by US Law enforcement; Iranian American advocacy groups would be shut down/sued/leaders imprisoned/assets expropriated; US Congress would declare war on Iran.

      • American
        June 18, 2012, 11:56 am

        Allenbee,

        All of that has already happened and Chicago hasn’t even been attacked.

  19. piotr
    June 16, 2012, 8:50 pm

    This letter is sent from Fantasy Land where the course of world events is determined by lobbying in Washington. But it is not. The fate of sanctions is determined by the countries who find American policies reasonable. If not, then not: Reuters,
    link to reuters.com
    Japan lower house passes bill to insure Iran oil imports

    The more unreasonable US position will be, the more sanctions will be circumvented. And after a string of declaration against an attack on Iran, I am sure that China and Russia will respond with sanctions, probably ban on NATO transit through Central Asia. NATO forces in Afghanistan will be under siege. (Pakistan already bans NATO transit).

    The larger American or Israeli action can be, the larger retaliation. China’s card is economic: USA cannot sanction major Chinese financial institutions without financial chaos. Russia can do a lot more directly, including supply and installation of invincible anti-ship missiles that can reach across Persian Gulf. And if Russian forces are attacked, Russia can nuke Diego Garcia.

  20. wisemanw1
    June 16, 2012, 9:52 pm

    Beautifully stated by the Senators! Now let’s hope Obama the moral coward follows suit… I highly doubt it though. Obama is too much of a pansy and weak leader to do any leading. Let’s hope Mitt Romney is elected come November. This regime must go and it seems as if Obama is too much of a moral coward to do anything about that as he has allowed the blood of the Syrian people too spill without any action for so long. Only time will tell. Let’s see..

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 2:59 am

      ‘Obama is too much of a pansy and weak leader to do any leading. ‘

      You’d be surprised to what extent I agree. I even oppose most of the policies Obama so weakly fails to implement. I’m pretty right wing, in a lot of respects.

      However, Romney will lead us straight into moral and actual catastrophe. There’s a distinction between foolish and ineffectual government and policies that are actually EVIL. I feel like my choice in November is going to be between Billy the nice boy who can’t stand up for himself and the Antichrist.

      Have to stick with Billy, I’m afraid.

      • Avi_G.
        June 17, 2012, 3:21 am

        Colin,

        Billy is a manipulative liar.

        I recommend reading Glenn Greenwald’s informative articles on drone warfare and how the Obama administration has manipulated language to make the killing of innocent civilians more palatable to the American public.

        When the president sits with his staff, in a secret meeting (Not so secret after leaks to journalists), and decides who to add to the secret Kill List, without any oversight, transparency or trial, then it doesn’t get any more evil.

        So if Romney is evil and therefore unelectable in your view, then Obama is unelectable either.

        I’m not giving my vote to someone who has appointed himself judge, jury and executioner.

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 3:28 am

        ‘Billy is a manipulative liar. ‘

        You’re not going to get me to go to bat for Obama. I think he’s the weakest president we’ve had at least since Hoover — and I only draw the line there because I don’t know enough about Millard Fillmore to say for sure. It’s just that the alternative is worse still.

        I feel like a German Social Democrat looking at my choices for the 1932 presidential election. Hitler or Hindenburg?

        Hindenburg, of course. Doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly become a monarchist reactionary.

    • Shingo
      June 17, 2012, 5:01 am

      Now let’s hope Obama the moral coward follows suit… I highly doubt it though.

      In other words, Wiseman wants the US to go to war with Iran to placate Israel’s baseless collective paranoia.

      Wiseman wants American to die so that ethnocentric supremacists like himself can sleep easier at night.

    • MarkF
      June 17, 2012, 9:42 am

      “Obama is too much of a moral coward to do anything about that as he has allowed the blood of the Syrian people too spill without any action..”

      And I’m sure you’ll have your children enlist so they can be on the front lines. Nah, neocons don’t fight, they send others to do the dirty work while they beat their chests talking about morality. A moral neocon? No such thing.

    • Kathleen
      June 17, 2012, 2:51 pm

      When will you be serving in the Israeli military? Go put your own ass on the line or go play in the pansies

  21. wisemanw1
    June 16, 2012, 10:04 pm

    For people to make the narrative that it is an “aipac letter” it is disingenuous. This letter is for the security of world peace and our national security interests. For someone to claim it is an “aipac letter” distorts the narrative and the truth from the outset.

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 3:15 am

      ‘This letter is for the security of world peace and our national security interests. ‘

      We’ve degenerated to the point where we make statements that are the opposite of the truth.

      Stalinist Russia developed the atomic bomb in 1945-49. We didn’t bomb her. Israel — an nation with a decidedly dangerous outlook on reality — developed the bomb. We did nothing. Pakistan is quite a piece of work. When she developed the bomb, we looked calmly on. North Korea is literally a certifiable homicidal lunatic. We fuss about her nebulous success in developing a bomb — but don’t BOMB her.

      So why Iran? It’s a pretty distressing country, and manages to make a nuisance out of itself from time to time — but her outlook is essentially defensive and regional. What’s more, her technical ability to actually successfully build a bomb is questionable. This is all the truer since we happen to be rather successfully sabotaging her efforts in this direction.

      Iran is not remotely a serious threat to us. She’s literally on the other side of the planet, and can barely fire a rocket five hundred miles, for Chris’ sake!

      So why bomb her? There’s only one answer.

      Because Israel wants us to.

      And why does Israel want us to? Because then she’ll have us all to herself.

      Post-bombing, it’s just going to be us and Israel. We’ll be all alone in the world. Israel won’t have to worry about any of those other girls ever again. She’ll have us all to herself.

      This is why Israel doesn’t want to bomb Iran herself so much. She wants US to bomb Iran. For very good reason.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 3:26 am

        iran is a beautiful country

        link to beautifydesktop.com

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 3:31 am

        ‘iran is a beautiful country.’

        Iran’s regime isn’t too beautiful. I actually thought the Islamic Republic was kind of interesting, conceptually. However, it decidedly didn’t pan out.

        However, that’s hardly a reason to bomb the place. Greece has a lousy government. It doesn’t follow that we should bomb it.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 3:43 am

        the regime isn’t too beautiful here either, our track record for screwing with others is hella worse than iran’s.

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 3:56 am

        ‘…the regime isn’t too beautiful here either, our track record for screwing with others is hella worse than iran’s…’

        I’m inclined to disagree.

        Iran really is pretty awful. They stone women to death, crush dissent, presumably oppress every ethnic minority in the country, forge our currency, and have a massively corrupt political system. Their ability to ‘screw with others’ is decidedly more limited than ours, but they do what they can. They’re hip-deep in both Iraq and Afghanistan, for example. I don’t fault them for it — but I don’t see them as somehow nobly restraining themselves where we don’t.

        However, none of that will be helped by bombing them. It also won’t be particularly relevant if you reply by listing all OUR sins. We could engage in the eating of human flesh. If it was actually right for us to bomb Iran, it would remain right.

        It’s just that it’s not right. Independently of the respective virtues of the United States and Iran.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 4:56 am

        hip deep in afghanistan? how intriguing. do tell.

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2012, 5:15 am

        Iran really is pretty awful. They stone women to death, crush dissent, presumably oppress every ethnic minority in the country, forge our currency, and have a massively corrupt political system.

        So with the exception of stoning women, they’re like us, only not as bad. Mind you, while we don’t stone women, we have the biggest prison population and kill thousands of innocent men women and children with drone attacks – plus we support dictators that do.

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2012, 7:00 am

        “Iran really is pretty awful.”

        Looks awful here. Women’s roller blade competitions, water pistols, Christmas decorations.

        link to theatlantic.com

        ” They stone women to death,”

        It is a death sentence for a crime. How often does it happen?

        “presumably oppress every ethnic minority in the country,”
        Keep presuming. It’s not perfect, and there is some discrimination, but its far from “oppression of every ethnic group”. The Supreme Leader, Khameini, is an Azeri.

        ” forge our currency,”

        Any actual proof that Iran has been forging any currency. (I’ve certainly never heard of them forging our currency. Forging Australian dollars is very difficult, because the notes are made of plastic.)

        “and have a massively corrupt political system.”

        Who doesn’t?

        “They’re hip-deep in both Iraq and Afghanistan,”

        Proof? (And since so many countries -including Australia, the US, and the UK – are up to their necks in those two countries, they are showing considerable restraint.)

        But I do agree with you that bombing Iran just isn’t right.

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 3:47 pm

        ‘hip deep in afghanistan? how intriguing. do tell.’

        Whilst we loudly clomp around the country, Iran quietly lines the right pockets. Karzai is as much their man as he is ours.

        For some background, Afghanistan is very closely linked to Iran. They were part of the same empire as recently as the eighteenth century — and the merchant class in at least part of Afghanistan speaks Farsi. I doubt if Iran is any fonder of the Taliban than we are — and as in Iraq, they’re getting us to do their dirty work for them while they come in and pick up the pieces. Notice that in Iraq, we overthrew Saddam Hussein for them, while in Afghanistan, we’ve been doing all we can to wipe out Sunni fundamentalism on their behalf.

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 3:51 pm

        Well, Shingo and RoHa’s responses to my remarks pretty much lead firmly into an argument over ‘who is better? Iran or America?’

        That’s a topic on which I’m tempted to continue — but I will note that it is above all irrelevant. We could be worse, or we could be better — neither position would affect the rights and wrongs of our bombing Iran.

        The Polish state of 1939 had many, many shortcomings. Even if Nazi Germany had been a paragon of moral virtue, it still wouldn’t have had the right to invade.

        Whether the US or Iran is somehow ‘better’ is simply beside the point.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 4:11 pm

        colin, i have linked a few times to a long congressional querie with some top US generals. they seemed to think iran could be a positive wrt afghanistan. i will see if i can find it for you.

      • piotr
        June 17, 2012, 6:33 pm

        This is not accurate. Stoning was abolished. It is hard to tell if “dissent is crashed” or “they are mildly authoritatian”, but the security forces kill fewer protesters than Israel. Sunni’s rights are somewhat curtailed, and Bahai are screwed, other minorities of which there is plenty are doing OK. Note that religious minorities in Israel do not as fully participate in political life as the majority.

        As far as ‘screw with others’, it is highly debatable if they do what they can. What is clear that Obama manouvered us into a very precarious position in Afghanistan and Iran once on “war footing”, Iran can screw totally Americans in Afghanistan. Our troops can be low on fuel, low on ammo, low on tickets home. The siege.

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2012, 8:19 pm

        Colin, I should stress that I agree with you not only on the wrongness of bombing Iran, but also with your point that the wrongness does not depend on the respective virtues and vices of the Iranian and US governments.

        The aim of my post was to question some of the ideas you have about Iran.

      • RoHa
        June 17, 2012, 8:30 pm

        “in Iraq, they’re getting us to do their dirty work for them while they come in and pick up the pieces. Notice that in Iraq, we overthrew Saddam Hussein for them while in Afghanistan, we’ve been doing all we can to wipe out Sunni fundamentalism on their behalf.”

        “Mr President, phone call for you, from the President of Iran.”
        “I’ll take it. Hello? Aaamad?”
        “Hi there, Bushie Boy. How’re things?”
        “Same old, same old. The New York thing has just pushed Chandra Levy off the news, but that’s about it.”
        “Great. Look, do think you could do us a couple of favours?”
        “For you? Anything. What’d you like?”

      • ColinWright
        June 18, 2012, 12:55 am

        ‘This is not accurate. Stoning was abolished. It is hard to tell if “dissent is crashed” or “they are mildly authoritatian”, but the security forces kill fewer protesters than Israel. ‘

        Being better than Israel isn’t exactly sufficient.

      • eljay
        June 18, 2012, 8:08 am

        >> Being better than Israel isn’t exactly sufficient.

        Hear, hear!

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:10 am

        How many people are dead in Iraq as a direct consequence of the Bush administrations invasion? Oh did you say no one is sure or Lancet Reports get swept under the rug…yet our MSM keeps showing images of who is being killed in Syria and how many have been “massacred” …oh yeah when the U.S. kills or creates and environment for decades long anger to run wild those “massacred” are referred to as “collateral damage”

    • Shingo
      June 17, 2012, 4:44 am

      This letter is for the security of world peace and our national security interests.

      The majority if the world regard Israel as a greater threat to security and peace than Iran.

      • ColinWright
        June 18, 2012, 12:57 am

        ‘The majority if the world regard Israel as a greater threat to security and peace than Iran.’

        Israel really is a menace, when you think about it. There are several nations with large nuclear arsenals. There are also several nations which are almost pathologically hostile towards the rest of the world.

        Israel is the only nation that falls into both sets. In my view, the whole game is about making it go with a whimper rather than a bang.

    • Kathleen
      June 17, 2012, 2:54 pm

      Aipac has been writing U.S. foreign policy legislation when it comes to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, foreign policy with Iran etc for decades. decades

    • AllenBee
      June 18, 2012, 10:07 am

      Sassan, having caused havoc at RaceforIran you’ve come to plague Mondoweiss?

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:11 am

        What?

      • AllenBee
        June 18, 2012, 12:02 pm

        the comment was not directed your way, Kathleen, but to Wisemanw1 who sounds like a reincarnation of Sassan. “I am an Iranian-American, born Islamic but now atheist” rang a bell.

        apologies for even dabbling in that form of avatar-outing; it’s creepy when it’s done on DKos and doesn’t really contribute to overall agenda — liberating Palestine; reforming US foreign policy; preventing war against Iran.

  22. wisemanw1
    June 16, 2012, 10:07 pm

    To those on here who erroneously think they express public opinion. Recent survey by Pew Research indicated through its findings that 63% of Americans would support military intervention to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons along with over 50% of Europeans. See the findings here: link to pewglobal.org

    People on message boards like these DO NOT express public sentiment/feeling. Just like Ron Paul supporters who are quite vocal with their views.

    • American
      June 17, 2012, 1:35 am

      wiseman…you not too wise.
      First, Pew isn’t exactly known for the accuaracy of it’s polls, it’s more know for supplying the results it’s client wants…those polls are commissioned by someone you know. Google around on Pew and it’s Think Tank.
      Second, MW’ers are a little more educated on the Israel and ME issue than the run of the mill cause we have some very astute and well informed members — I won’t name all of them cause I might leave somebody out– but go to any site, any msm on line site, the WP, any of them and look at the comment responses on articles about Israel and on Iran…they are all overwhelming negative on attacking Iran and negative on Israel.
      You’re whistling thru the graveyard …..

    • Sumud
      June 17, 2012, 2:33 am

      You’ve skipped a step wiseman1 – there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and they remain in full compliance of their obligations under the NNPT.

      Doesn’t matter how many times it is repeated (or how many people the media blitz on Iran manages to convince – think Iraq WMDs) you’ll always be pulled up on the ‘Big Lie’ about Iran’s fabled nuclear program.

      Israel wants to spill American blood and further drain American taxpayers in war with Iran, one that will make Iraq look like a picnic, because it is a cowardly war-mongering nation that can’t conceive of itself as a country at peace with the region. A bully hiding behind a big brother.

      And – Israel continues to want to get rid of the Palestinians and control 100% of mandate Palestine, which is incompatible with peace with the neighbours.

      • Inanna
        June 17, 2012, 5:11 am

        And – Israel continues to want to get rid of the Palestinians and control 100% of mandate Palestine, which is incompatible with peace with the neighbours.

        That’s the point Sumud. The reason for the beat-up re: Iran is precisely to deflect from the Palestinian issue, from settlement construction, from the slo-mo ethnic cleansing and from anything approaching justice for the Palestinians.

      • Sumud
        June 17, 2012, 7:31 am

        Right you are Inanna ~ the whole dog and pony show is about deflecting attention from Israel’s crimes.

        It’s just so utterly disgusting that the opinion of a covertly nuclear power like Israel is taken seriously on Iran’s nuclear activity.

      • ColinWright
        June 17, 2012, 4:00 pm

        ‘The reason for the beat-up re: Iran is precisely to deflect from the Palestinian issue’

        I think it’s more than that. I think that for all the arm-waving about Jewish identity, Israel simply doesn’t have a sufficient basis for nationhood. Witness the vast schisms that persist and even grow worse between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, between secular and ultra-orthodox, between Russian and…

        The only way to overcome this is to have an external enemy. Everyone has to be endlessly called to the ramparts. Witness last summer or so, when there was that rapidly rising tide of social discontent. Suddenly there was a rather suspicious ‘terrorist attack’ — and all the discontent evaporated as everyone rushed to defend the walls.

        The Palestinians no longer suffice. If anything, they’re just too quiescent. Egypt’s out. So’s Jordan. Iran is simply the most plausible available target at the moment.

        If Iran didn’t exist, Israel would have to invent her. There has to be a ‘threat’ — or Israel starts to fall apart. My guess is that absent Iran, Israel would be fomenting hostilities with Turkey.

        I can’t resist pointing out that this mechanism makes Israel quite impossible as a neighbor. She’ll always be picking fights. She has to.

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:36 am

        I don’t know if Mondoweiss covered Israel’s report on the Mavi Marmara killings? Turkey was rightfully furious about the killings. The Obama administration rolled over. Chris Matthews showed the same Israeli released clip of Israeli soldiers getting beat up 9 times in five minutes just after the Israeli execution of those on the Mavi Marmara

        “http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5grC67pHOQSBhceRZQF64ngaRFWYQ?docId=8d9ae6544f1f4041b3391b067260b165

        Report criticizes Israel PM over 2010 naval raid

        By AMY TEIBEL, Associated Press – 5 days ago

        JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision-making was badly flawed as he oversaw a deadly Israeli naval raid on a Gaza-bound ship two years ago, according to a government report released Wednesday.

        The harsh findings were an embarrassing assessment of Netanyahu’s handling of a military operation that sent Israel’s relations with once-close ally Turkey plummeting and drew widespread international condemnation.

        But it is unlikely to hurt his domestic standing. Netanyahu is popular and leads a powerful coalition that controls three-fourths of parliament’s seats. Moreover, many Israelis think naval commandos opened fire in self-defense after pro-Palestinian activists attacked them and believe Israel has a right to keep ships from reaching the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas militants.

        Eight Turks and a Turkish-American were killed on May 31, 2010, after the commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara, which had set out from Turkey at the head of a six-vessel flotilla trying to breach Israel’s Gaza blockade.

        “Substantive and significant deficiencies were discovered in the decision-making process … that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu led and oversaw,” State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss wrote in the 153-page report.

        “The prime minister’s decision-making process took place without orderly, coordinated and documented team work, even though the senior political, military and intelligence ranks were aware that the Turkish flotilla was different from other flotillas,” it said.

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 2:55 pm

        bingo

    • Avi_G.
      June 17, 2012, 2:38 am

      Well, public opinion is meaningless because the public can be manipulated by the media and by politicians to believe whatever the latter want it to believe.

      If a child grows up on a fenced in ranch and his parents teach him that there are monsters on the other side of that fence, then the child is more likely to never leave the ranch. Ever seen the movie The Village (2004)?

      As for Obama or Romney, it really makes no difference who is elected president as either one will have to acquiesce to the Israeli lobby’s pressure and influence.

      [...] that as he has allowed the blood of the Syrian people too spill without any action for so long. Only time will tell. Let’s see..

      [...]

      This letter is for the security of world peace and our national security interests.

      So you care about the bloodshed in Syria, but want to attack Iran for “world peace”. That makes perfect sense. And somehow bombing Iran is good for “our national security”. Whose national security?

      I typed up this response while I was half asleep. Can Hasbara Central send more challenging ‘representatives”?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 3:12 am

        Can Hasbara Central send more challenging ‘representatives”?

        doubtful

      • atime forpeace
        June 17, 2012, 10:59 am

        Good job Avi, these guys that try to conflate Israel and Americas interests are as see through as a sparkling clear window with the sun shining through.

        Just remember that the only thing that keeps Israel firsters here in the U.S from running for the hills is the fact that the American people are mainly unawares of the shenanigans that the Israeli gov’t with the aid and support of a mainly ignorant jewish american population lends to the cause, a fact that those who push this agenda including yourself ought to be very aware off regardless of how much of a tool you are.

        Beinart is an example of someone who used to be an ardent supporter even an apologist for zionism and is now expressing his concerns for an ideology he was led to believe stood for something else.

        You can only be either a complete tool or very misinformed, both of which could be a possibilty.

        Roll Tide.

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:40 am

        The public is waking up. Callers into Washington Journal questioning U.S. foreign policy and the unbridled support for Israel is happening more and more. The anti truth group Camera is tracking phone calls. They object to any fact based phone calls about the conflict or Israel and the I lobbies roll and control over U.S. middle east foreign policy. Go through some of the statements and questions. Camera’s Cspan Watch objects to all questions about the conflict
        link to camera.org

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 3:04 am

      If everyone in America felt it was a good idea to run off a cliff, I wouldn’t feel the least inclination to join them. We have no good reason to bomb Iran, it’s morally wrong, there’s no real potential gain, and the possible consequences range from damaging to catastrophic.

      The whole thing is a piece of vile, morally degenerate pandering to the most vicious qualities of our nature. It’s foolish, repulsive, and makes me embarrassed to be an American.

      …and I didn’t always feel this way. Just lately.

    • talknic
      June 17, 2012, 3:27 am

      wisemanw1

      It’s a pity for the stupid war mongers and equally stupid Hasbaristas that folk can read the actual IAEA reports

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 4:29 am

      ‘To those on here who erroneously think they express public opinion. ‘

      If we expressed public opinion, there’d be no need for these posts. I, for one, would be looking at fishing reports.

      ‘63% of Americans would support military intervention to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons along with over 50% of Europeans’ is a regrettable fact, not an argument.

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:42 am

        When U.S. MSM outlets have been repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran for a solid 10 years what would one expect?

    • Shingo
      June 17, 2012, 4:48 am

      63% of Americans would support military intervention to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons …

      The question posed was whether they supported military intervention if it was necessary to prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. What was not asked was if there was evidence it was necessary, seeing as all US and Israeli intelligence agencies agree Iran is not producing nukes or even trying to.

      Most Anericans believed Saddam had nukes too, that doesn’t prove the public knew the truth.

    • Danaa
      June 17, 2012, 2:24 pm

      wisemanw1 – you almost make me yearn for the triple e. Has hophmi been disabled or something? and OlegR – you the reinforcement? didn’t they tell you about MW at the headquarters? want some tips (for a price, of course…)?

    • AllenBee
      June 18, 2012, 12:43 pm

      fascinating moment in a Crosstalk the other day —

      Norman Finkelstein, Daniel Pollack, political director of ZOA, and Mouin Rabbani, of Al-Shabaka, discussed whether American Jews are falling out of love with Israel.

      Finkelstein started out, saying that American Jews are liberal but increasingly do not support Israel.
      Pollack countered, questioning the scholarly merit of Finkelstein’s polls and offering (unsourced) polling results of his own. He embellishes his counterargument by claiming that “Israel has rule of law and complies with international norms.”
      Rabbani took exception to those last two claims and laid out facts and reasons that undermined Pollack’s “rule of law/international law” thesis.

      Instead of grappling with Rabbani’s assertions, ZOA’s Pollack pivoted BACK to claiming “polls show . . .” — i.e. arguing the case he WANTS to argue rather than the 800 # gorilla, then tosses in an thinly-veiled charge of anti-semitism, for good measure; diversion, ad hominem and ad baculum all in a bit over 50 words.

      I have come to regard such evasions as a tacit admission that there IS no good defense against the argument that Israel routinely violates rule of law & international norms.

      Farewell Israel? Crosstalk, Published on May 16, 2012 by RussiaToday

      Pollack: “Israel is a country where the rule of law is present; where respect for international norms is present, far more so than any of its neighbors. Finkelstein’s entire premise, his thesis is wrong. the support for israel among American jews is quite high. I strongly respect any knind of scholarship and I’m sure finkel is aware of the polls that say that 90% of Jews agree that Israel is the spiritual center of the jewish people. They’re far more sympathetic to israel than to the Palestinians. There’s really no evidence, at all, no hard scientific evidence . . .

      Moderator interrupts
      Moderator: Regarding the rule of law, international law, as a Palestinian, do you think Israel does that?

      Mouin Rabbani, Al-Shabaka, Palestine: “Well not just as a Palestinian but as a human being I think that the evidence is overwhelming that certainly when it comes to international law, Israel has become world-renowned for its systematic violation of international law, the law of occupation. Just yesterday we had the conclusion of an unprecedentedly long hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners. One of the key demands of which was ending detention without charge or trial for six-months periods indefinitely renewable, without providing any evidence in a court of law or any of the rights associated with due process. So Israel has certainly been more observant of the law when dealing with its own citizens, at least most of its own Jewish citizens, than with its minorities, and those that it illegally occupies. But the idea that Israel is somehow the paragon of observing the rule of law strikes me as simply absurd.

      Pollack interrupts: “I guess the real point here is, What do American Jews actually think about it? What American Jews think is that the vast majority of American Jews have a great deal of sympathy for Israel. They know that it’s a country at war, that there are people around it, perhaps even guests on this program, who wish to destroy it or to no longer see it exist.

      • American
        June 18, 2012, 1:39 pm

        From what I observe in comments elsewhere on the net and Jewish publications most Jews support Israel— but it’s divided between those who live and breathe Israel and the zionist dream, and others who aren’t necessarily obsessed with Israel but when asked or called on reflectively support it just because of their Jewish identity.

  23. atime forpeace
    June 16, 2012, 10:25 pm

    Phil, I was wondering, how long before you draw heavy fire from the Zios, what will it take for them to come gunning after you? cause we all know that there is a point which once crossed will draw heavy fire.

    Graduation Day.

    • American
      June 17, 2012, 1:38 am

      I have also wondered how Phil is escaping attack….and why Israel lets him in the country…they are bound to know who he is.

      • Kathleen
        June 17, 2012, 3:03 pm

        You can bet he has been attacked personally.

      • Frankie P
        June 17, 2012, 7:55 pm

        I think the methodology is more subtle with Phil. He’s already totally marginalized as far being in the “Mainstream”, but he has strong ties to his Jewishness, a vulnerable spot that can be exploited. Therefore, the ranks of Chabad and Tokyo Benny will continue to call and invite, plying our man with booze and serenading him with traditional monikers and songs about “his people.” We know that Phil has their number though, and we are certain that he will stand up for all humanity and continue the struggle.

        Frankie P.

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:46 am

        “We know that Phil has their number though, and we are certain that he will stand up for all humanity and continue the struggle.”

        As Phil has admitted right here on his own website this ‘standing up” for the Palestinians is new for him. As welcome and incredibly effective that it is. New for him and he admits it. Whether it is from a truly humanitarian place in him or whether it is all about saving Israel…I don’t really care. His newly discovered awareness or willingness to talk out loud about the conflict and creating this website was a much needed and used political breakthrough

  24. piotr
    June 17, 2012, 1:36 am

    wiseman1 does not show a poll how many people would support a military intervention to prevent Iran from having a peaceful nuclear program.

    Importantly, Pakistan opinion actually supports Iran having nukes! And Russia and China are opposed increasing sanctions that EU is implementing now, and Japan also. A small attack on Iran is a small disaster, a larger attack, a major disaster, absurd sanctions will break down. If West will not offer any concession, the relevance of the West will diminish.

    • Shingo
      June 17, 2012, 4:50 am

      Importantly, Pakistan opinion actually supports Iran having nukes!

      So does public opinion innthe Arab world, with 59% in favor of Iran having nukes and only 10% opposed.

      • piotr
        June 17, 2012, 4:41 pm

        There goes the strategy of isolating the Shiah from Sunnis.

  25. dbroncos
    June 17, 2012, 1:45 am

    American support grows for Israel’s increasingly fascist, nationalist impulses. Truly mind bending. I have the impression that this ongoing tragedy, including the motives behind 9/11, the subsequent wars in Afganistan and Iraq, and now Iran, won’t end anytime soon. Israelis, Palestinians, Americans – all big losers. China is the big winner. A titanic failure of leadership in the US.

  26. ColinWright
    June 17, 2012, 2:21 am

    I note neither of my senators (Feinstein and Boxer) signed this act of grotesque demagogery. I’m reassured regarding Feinstein — pleasantly surprised by Boxer. I guess I’ll go write them each a letter of support.

  27. talknic
    June 17, 2012, 3:20 am

    There’s plenty of evidence Iran is intending to build a vast power transmission network internally and to it’s neighbours far and wide. Quite in keeping with their rhetoric

    link to google.com.au

    There’s no actual evidence they are seeking nuclear weapons

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 4:24 am

      ‘There’s no actual evidence they are seeking nuclear weapons’

      I have little doubt that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. I’ll even go so far as to say I’d just as soon they were frustrated in that endeavor. There’ll be all sorts of unpleasant fallout (pun serendipitous). It’s worth noting that Israel’s imaginary fears notwithstanding, the one thing an Iranian bomb will NOT do is free Palestine. How’s it supposed to do that? Iran’s not interested in committing national suicide. Israel could wipe her off the map.

      However, there is the rather obvious point that endlessly threatening to bomb someone is going to make them more inclined, not less inclined, to seek a deterrent. If you want to keep me from going out and buying a handgun, repeatedly threatening to kill me is not the way to go about it.

      If the goal is indeed to stop Iran from developing a bomb (which I don’t think is actually the goal here at all), then sanctions and cyber-sabotage are probably the best bet. Whether we SHOULD do this is an interesting but distinct question.

      The point is that we should neither bomb them nor threaten to do so. It’s wrong, the threats are actually counterproductive, actually bombing them is very likely to have disastrous consequences, and in the long run, it’ll make Iran more determined than ever to acquire a bomb, or demonstrate its great new nerve gas, or whatever.

      I think it’s questionable if Iran CAN develop a bomb — particularly in the face of our determined and effective efforts at sabotage. It’s certainly questionable if they can deliver it half-way around the planet or would ever be inclined to risk the consequences of doing so. However, I’m fairly confident Iran can come up with all sorts of nasty chemical and biological agents, and if we force them to, probably will.

      This is, aside from everything else, just stupid.

      • Sumud
        June 17, 2012, 10:34 pm

        I have little doubt that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

        Based on what though? If not evidence, what?

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 11:53 am

        Because NPR’s Terri Gross and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tells the public so. And most U.S. MSM outlets have been allowing Reul Marc Gerecht, John Bolton, Cheney, Condi “mushroom cloud”Rice, Barbara Slavin, Yoghi Dreazen (who also promote myths that diplomacy has been exhausted) and others who have persistently been repeating unsubstantiated claims about Iran for a solid 10 years. All of these claims go unchallenged.

        Well I did hear Flynt Leverett challenge Charlie Rose when he repeated the debunked claim that the Iranian President said “wipe Israel off the map”

        Flynt challenged his inaccurate and debunked claim
        link to charlierose.com

      • AllenBee
        June 18, 2012, 11:17 pm

        “then sanctions and cyber-sabotage are probably the best bet. ”

        your comment is riddled with confused thinking. i.e. “there’s no actual evidence,” but “you think Iran is trying to build a bomb.”

        “It’s wrong to bomb Iran or threaten to bomb Iran” but it’s NOT wrong to threaten to starve them or actually starve them, or to actually engage in cyber war that has the potential for causing a Fukushima-like disaster.

        You are “fairly confident Iran can come up with all sorts of nasty chemical and biological agents, and if we force them to, probably will” but appear to be fairly oblivious to the fact that when Saddam used chemical weapons against Iran in 1980-1988, Iran did NOT retaliate with chemical weapons.

  28. Annie Robbins
    June 17, 2012, 3:51 am

    in a few decades from now when historians are compiling data on the fall of the superpower this letter will be part of the evidence. maybe even more of a turning pt than we know. enter china..the BRIC countries. faster please.

    i’m trying to look on the bright side.

    • ColinWright
      June 17, 2012, 4:02 am

      China’s not exactly the bright new hope for a happy future.

      I read something interesting the other day. The seventy five richest members of the Chinese Congress of People’s deputies or whatever have an average net worth of 1.2 BILLION dollars. The comparable figure for Congressmen — in what is still a far richer country — is about ten million dollars. That is to say, less than one percent of the figure for your Chinese representative.

      China has become — rather ironically — perhaps the most perfect plutocracy ever to have been formed. If that’s your brave new world, I want no part of it.

      • ritzl
        June 17, 2012, 1:29 pm

        I think Annie was pointing out that a multilateral world of shifting coalitions is better than one superpower running amok.

        It’s hard to take “China has a better political system” from what she said.

        But you’re right about the perfect plutocracy. That may well be the shape of things to come. The Supreme Leader in Iran and several of the Supreme Council are also billionaires. In the US the elected pols aren’t the leaders, it’s the oligarchs. Russia as well. Probably India too.

        The world does seem to be settling on a preferred/default type of government, unfortunately. That will probably lead to more enforced stability/less adventurism which is bad for Israel, but at one hell of a cost. I wish someone could figure out how to pierce the info cloak on this and give mutual, transnational, popular benefit some sunlight.

      • Citizen
        June 17, 2012, 2:20 pm

        ritzl, MSNBC, and the liberal mainstream press has been shouting to the rafters, along with some parts of Obama’s campaign elite, saying we have to do something about the Supreme Ct decision and superPACs, but they limit their protest, and sales campaign to obvious domestic issues where they are contra to the GOP, e.g., implied in the Democratic campaign’s sequential attacks on the GOP as 1) anti-female; 2) anti gay; 3) anti Latino; 4) anti labor/union. Obama’s gambit to give the offspring of illegal immigrants a way to gain US citizenship is just the latest. But nowhere do I see the Democrats pushing for that other domestic issue, Israel (ever since Truman made it so via Clifford and Niles) in any way different from what the GOP wants a la Mitt. Given the drumbeats for the next war for Israel, that is, war on Iran, only fellows like Sheldon Adelson think Obama is not on the same page as Mitt (or Newt before him).

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 5:27 pm

        thank you ritzl. when i read that comment earlier i had just finished responding to another strawman, so i ignored the comment.

        In the US the elected pols aren’t the leaders

        i never elected sheldon adelson, that’s for sure. listening to romney get up and swear allegiance to israel and have bibs vet his VP? the new aipac legislation? yuk.

      • ritzl
        June 18, 2012, 12:24 am

        You’re right of course, Citizen. The info is out there, so maybe I misspoke in that sense. Maybe a better way to say it is that the pols don’t act on this info by staking out energized positions and acting upon them. Pols on the left anyway.

        My problem with the Dems is that they cave more often than not (common knowledge). When they cave, they discredit the very points they are trying to say are important. When that happens enough (it has) people, and I count myself as one, don’t believe a word of it. People stop listening and the speechifying (or the odd beneficial action around the political periphery) from the left goes unnoticed, good points or not. Point (after point after point) to the loony right. There’s a motivational reason they shout and fold (money), so maybe I should have said pierce the cloak on the very specific mechanics/process that generates that motivation, not so much that something’s very wrong out there. People are feeling that, across the political board.

        Markos just wrote a piece at dKos lamenting the Adelson millions to Romney and wondering how Dems could get their billionaires to pony up like that. Not one mention of Israel. Not one mention of the fact that for many Dem bigs, Israel is also a major factor in how much to contribute and they too, arguably (but it’s never discussed so who knows), view Obama as weaker than Romney on “support” for Israel (probably correctly, thank God, so I ever so slightly disagree with you there). It’s a limiting fundraising factor. Maybe even a self-limiting factor on Obama’s part. If Obama was to say he was going to bomb Iran (slight exaggeration, but only slight as he’s flirting with it) tomorrow his contributions would bump up noticeably because then they would have a biz friendly, more or less socially conscientious around the edges, oratorical genius who could define change to fit the moment/agenda, who now was also a rabid supporter of Israel RoW. i.e. the perfect Dem candidate/operative.

        American has been posing extraordinary methods of change in this thread. I think one such method would be for a President to go all “Bullworth” on us. Expose the promises and the quid-pro-quos. Maybe even be a govern-by-plebiscite President.

        I hope I responded to your good points. It’s a big subject.

      • ritzl
        June 18, 2012, 1:12 am

        np, Annie. You all, this site, are crafting and honing a point of entry, seam really, in this debate. MW is what I once thought J Street might be.

        Please keep it up.

  29. ColinWright
    June 17, 2012, 4:35 am

    Ironically, the only gain I see from bombing Iran stems from the fact that I happen to want to see Palestine free from the river to the sea. I don’t think Israel should exist at all.

    Bombing Iran would have many, many immediate and secondary consequences — almost all of them regrettable. However, it should ultimately help to bring about a free Palestine somewhat sooner than it would happen otherwise. There are cheaper ways of accomplishing this end, but…

    • Kathleen
      June 18, 2012, 11:57 am

      “I don’t think Israel should exist at all.” But it does based on a manipulated UN vote. Israel does exist based on the internationally recognized 48/67 borders. The U.S. has no right to exist. But it does. Israel has no “right to exist” but it does. They would be very wise to start moving towards that 67 deal before there is not other choice than a one state solution. And the U.S. would be wise to push Israel in that direction

  30. piotr
    June 17, 2012, 4:59 am

    Actually, as pro-AIPAC actions go, 44 Senators is rather slim.

    • Kathleen
      June 17, 2012, 3:04 pm

      I think this is important to keep pointing out. And contact the Senators who rolled over…again

      • ColinWright
        June 18, 2012, 1:04 am

        ‘I think this is important to keep pointing out. And contact the Senators who rolled over…again’

        It probably does make them feel less warm and fuzzy to realize that only 44 signed rather than 94. And contacting them should at least help them to realize the virtues of waffling the next time.

  31. wisemanw1
    June 17, 2012, 7:17 am

    It is too late to respond to every single post directed at me and I will do so tomorrow (with blatantly false assertions made); but I will say one thing to the ad hominems: I am not Israeli, Hasbara, or Jewish. I am Iranian-American technically born muslim and an atheist. I was born in Iran and have spent considerable amounts of time in Iran as of recently. That kind of takes the narrative out from your personal attacks on me wanting U.S. to “bomb” Iran “because of Israel”. Anyhow, I will respond to the other false assertions and blatantly incorrect data cited later during the day.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 17, 2012, 11:12 am

      I am Iranian-American technically born muslim and an atheist. I was born in Iran….That kind of takes the narrative out from your personal attacks on me wanting U.S. to “bomb” Iran “because of Israel”

      this is the internet. people can claim anything. did you know that? it would only change the narrative for those inclined to believe, the kind of people who already agreed with you anyway.

      explaining or justifying israel is hasbara. if the shoe fits..

    • Danaa
      June 17, 2012, 2:32 pm

      “I am not Israeli, Hasbara, or Jewish. I am Iranian-American technically born muslim and an atheist. I was born in Iran and have spent considerable amounts of time in Iran as of recently.”

      Now, does that remind anyone of something? one particular Robert Werdine comes to mind, a shiite atheist from Lebanon, last I recall. Complete with place, time of birth and parentage. wanna bet we’ll soon hear the wiseman’s tales of towns in Iran, with name dropping and cause propping galore?

      Also notice the MO – A whole bunch of posts – first in line. With promises to return with rebuttals, too.

      Hope people can give him something to return to – remember that google is your friend, wisemanw1,

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 3:23 pm

        a shiite atheist from Lebanon, last I recall. Complete with place, time of birth and parentage.

        say it isn’t sooooo!!!

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2012, 8:35 pm

        The same alibis are appearing over at Steven Walt’s blog – so called Iranians who profess love for Iranians but who simultaneously hate Islam and reel off talking points as if they were written by Likud itself.

        So he’s either a liar or a MEK supporter.

      • ColinWright
        June 18, 2012, 2:43 pm

        There’s also the possibility that there are authentic Iranian Iran haters.

        I don’t mean to denigrate anyone, but there are certainly authentic American America-haters. Why can’t there be Iranian Iran-haters?

        Iran’s a big boy. I see no need to patronize him.

      • talknic
        June 18, 2012, 5:09 am

        “a shiite atheist “

        Shiite and Sunni are branches of Islam, can either be atheist?

    • ColinWright
      June 18, 2012, 1:08 am

      ‘I am Iranian-American technically born muslim and an atheist. I was born in Iran and have spent considerable amounts of time in Iran as of recently. That kind of takes the narrative out from your personal attacks on me wanting U.S. to “bomb” Iran “because of Israel”. ‘

      I knew a Pole who was a slave laborer in Germany during World War Two — and who thought Adolf Hitler was a great guy. Takes all kinds.

      You can claim you’re an Uigher shepherd for all I care. It won’t make your views correct.

  32. wisemanw1
    June 17, 2012, 7:28 am

    And to those who make false assertions as Israel being seen as a bigger perceived threat, here is the recent GlobeScan Global Attitudes survey..: link to bloomberg.com

    “Attitudes toward U.S. influence on the world have improved in the past year, according to an annual survey of people in 34 countries. Iran scored worst in the poll.”

    • Annie Robbins
      June 17, 2012, 10:56 am

      w1, interesting results of the poll wrt to israel:

      Negative views have also increased among Americans (39%, up from 33%), so that now views are nearly evenly divided (43% positive, 39% negative).

      only a 4% spread.

      and check out canadian views on israel. 16% positive vs 61% negative. ouch.

      anyway, your pt, wrt the US, 35 percent up from 31 is not much to brag about.

      • wisemanw1
        June 17, 2012, 7:17 pm

        Ooops! That was the 2008 or 2009 poll, not the most recent one! My mistake. I will be back on tonight and I will post the more recent 2012 survey and respond to others on here as well.

      • Shingo
        June 17, 2012, 8:39 pm

        Let’s see if your poll actually cites which state is perceived as the biggest threat to world peace, as Israel has repeatedly polled since 2003.

        link to jewishfederations.org

      • Annie Robbins
        June 17, 2012, 8:39 pm

        not a problem. i found the 2011 results. 41 positive and 41 negative for US views on israel. so negative views are going up. it’s neck and neck for last year. i suppose this year israel will take another hit.

        link to globescan.com

      • wisemanw1
        June 17, 2012, 9:10 pm

        Here is the 2012 survey: link to globescan.com

      • wisemanw1
        June 17, 2012, 9:13 pm

        The Pew Research poll cites this very issue, here is the full report: link to pewglobal.org

      • Shingo
        June 18, 2012, 2:17 am

        Neither of those polls show that Iran is seen as a bigger threat to world peace than Israel.

        As for the poll itself, none ask the respondents if Iran is entitled to a peaceful nuclear program.

        As we know, all US and Israeli intelligence agencies have concluded Iran in not producing nukes.

        It would be equally ingesting to see what the polls would say about Israel’s nuclear weapons.

      • Shingo
        June 18, 2012, 2:24 am

        Here is the 2012 survey: link to globescan.com

        So contrary to your claim, the opinion of the US has fallen 2% and is only slightly better than China. Israel’s is in the gutter only a few points better than Iran’s.

        So nothing you’ve presented has changed.

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 12:04 pm

        Now this is a very interesting document
        link to iaea.org

        More on non proliferation
        link to iaea.org

        Israeli capabilities
        link to iaea.org

      • Kathleen
        June 18, 2012, 12:11 pm
    • ColinWright
      June 18, 2012, 1:09 am

      “Attitudes toward U.S. influence on the world have improved in the past year, according to an annual survey of people in 34 countries. Iran scored worst in the poll.”

      Great. So it would be right for us to bomb Iran. We’re more popular than she is.

    • Citizen
      June 18, 2012, 6:27 am

      Globescan Poll Results: 5-10-2012: “The most negatively rated countries were, as in previous years, Iran (55% negative), Pakistan (51% negative), and Israel and North Korea (both 50% negative).” link to globescan.com
      Poll also shows world view of USA is nearly the same as prior year.

  33. eGuard
    June 17, 2012, 9:17 am

    This policy will rise oil prices. Will these 44 tell their voters?

  34. pipistro
    June 17, 2012, 10:40 am

    According to Abraham Foxman (ADL), “two-thirds (66 percent) of Israelis would support an Israeli military strike on Iran. Of those supporting Israeli military action, 71 percent would continue to support such action even if the American government opposed an Israeli strike.”
    link to adl.org (I quote from Ali Abunimah)

    I did some calculation.
    66 : 100 = 0,66
    0.66 x 71 = 46.86

    “According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2008, of Israel’s 7.3 million people, 75.6% were Jews of any background.” (Wikipedia)
    7,300,000 x 75.6% = 5,518,800
    5,518,800 x 46,86% = 2,586,110

    So there’s some 2,586,154 people (including children, and 44 US senators) that want to wage war on Iran at any cost and thus make a hell of the Middle East.

    Well, since the population of the world is about 7 billions people, I think the world as a whole doesn’t give a damn on the opinion of these warmongering barbarians.

    Without mentioning the opinion of 74 million iranians. Including children, of course.

  35. Citizen
    June 17, 2012, 11:34 am

    Since Truman himself said so in 1948, the I-P issue has always been treated by US presidents and US Congress as a domestic issue (Jewish votes in key states like NY, Zionist moneybags, Zionist-influenced man media); State Dept & Diplomatic Corps were seen by Clifford and Niles as simply anti-semitic because they insisted it actually was an international issue and following Clifford & Niles & Eddie’s advice would result in endless wars in the ME. The recent AIPAC letter to Obama reminds me of the one a bunch of Congressmen sent to Truman just before he signed the letter recognizing the state of Israel. So what’s new?

    War with Iran will spell the future of the USA and the world every bit as much as Truman’s decision in 1948.

  36. Kathleen
    June 17, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Check this out. Israel ended up on the top 10 least peaceful countries in the world. oh yeah and remember everything is a ok in Iraq. You know that country that your military invaded almost 10 years ago
    link to 247wallst.com
    1) Somalia
    2) Afghanistan
    3) Sudan
    4) Iraq
    > GPI: 3.192
    > Political terror scale: 4.5
    > Access to small arms: 5
    > Relations with neighboring countries: 2
    > Likelihood of violent demonstrations: 4

    In 2012, Iraq became the least peaceful country in the Middle East, the IEP’s least peaceful region. With the body count at 4,087 civilian deaths this past year, the Iraqi people are subject to high levels of political terror and atrocities from organized internal conflict. Iraq also has one of the most dysfunctional governments in the world and has a high level of perceived corruption. Last December, Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq’s vice president and most senior Sunni Arab politician, was arrested for allegedly funding attacks against the government. Opponents of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused him of using the judicial process against al-Hashemi to consolidate power. As a positive, many Iraqis were able to return home in 2011, reducing the number of refugees and internally displaced people to 9.4% of the population.

    5) Democratic Republic of the Congo
    6) Russia
    7) North Korea
    8) Central African Republic
    9. Israel
    > GPI: 2.842
    > Political terror scale: 4
    > Access to small arms: 3
    > Relations with neighboring countries: 4
    > Likelihood of violent demonstrations: 3

    Peace continues to be a problem in Israel, even though its ranking has decreased in the past three years. The most pressing issues are its political terror scale and relations with neighboring countries, both of which have a 4 out of 5, nearly the worst possible score. That means that a large part of the population experiences political violence and that Israel has open conflicts with neighboring countries. According to the IEP, “Israel remains in a formal ‘state of war’ with its northern neighbours, Syria and Lebanon, and relations with much of the Arab world and Iran remained highly strained.” Paired with this conflict, Israel has the least peaceful score for heavy weapons and military capability

    10. Pakistan

  37. ColinWright
    June 18, 2012, 1:12 am

    ‘Check this out. Israel ended up on the top 10 least peaceful countries in the world.’

    I recall realizing some time ago that Israel is one of the few nations that has invaded EVERY SINGLE ONE of its neighbors in the last sixty years. Even Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia can’t top that. Nazi Germany missed Switzerland, and Stalin never got around to Turkey.

  38. eGuard
    June 18, 2012, 8:46 am

    I’m glad Germany is at the negotiating table too. They know about reducing nuclear threats in the Middle East. link to spiegel.de

  39. Kathleen
    June 18, 2012, 12:08 pm

    And the incredibly valuable work and website of Grant Smith. What a resource
    link to irmep.org
    link to irmep.org

  40. Kathleen
    June 19, 2012, 10:39 am

    Here is my communication with Senator Sherrod Brown about signing the letter to President Obama. Clearly his response is an automatic response of some kind because his staff clearly did not read my letter to him:

    My statement to him sent from his contact link:

    Senator Sherrod Brown,

    I was deeply disappointed that you signed the letter from 44 Senators to President Obama encouraging President Obama to stop negotiating with Iran There are many things in that letter that are unsubstantiated, extremely dangerous and a terrible way to approach this situation with Iran. You may be aware that Iran is a signatory of the Non Proliferation Treaty and has the legal right to enrich uranium up to 20% for peaceful purposes. That the Iaea has not found any evidence to back up the Israeli lobbies and Israel’s claims that they are enriching beyond the legal limits that they are legally able as signatories of the NPT. You may also be aware that the very nation Israel that is pushing the U.S. into another military confrontation based on unsubstantiated claims has and continues to be unwilling to sign the very important Non Proliferation Treaty. That Israel sits on massive stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that go un inspected. That many nations have written to the IAEA for decades about the threat to peace in the middle east that these weapons continue to pose.

    Senator Brown you and your staff need to spend more time reading the IAEA reports link to iaea.org

    Would also recommend that you and your staff spend more time at Flynt and Hillary Mann Leveretts website Race for Iran. Hillary and Flynt were both officials in the Bush (43) administration. Hillary has directly negotiated with Iran. Flynt quit the Bush administration just before the invasion of Iraq because he disagreed with the invasion. Their website is filled with accurate and fact based material on Iran. In fact I would hope that Senator Brown and his staff would invite the Leveretts to your DC office and consult with them about this critical situation.
    link to raceforiran.com

    Senator Brown your willingness to sign this letter is deeply troubling. I am alerting many people about this very serious mistake on your part.

    SENATOR SHERROD BROWN’S RESPONSE
    “Dear Ms. Galt:

    Thank you for getting in touch with me about efforts to prevent the Islamic Republic of Iran from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.

    The government of Iran must not be permitted to develop weapons of mass destruction. As a steadfast supporter of Israel and a member of the Senate Banking Committee — which has jurisdiction over sanctions — I repeatedly have supported and called for strong sanctions against Iran.

    In December 2011, I cosponsored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring the President to prohibit transactions between U.S. and Iranian financial institutions. This amendment also bars foreign banks from opening or maintaining bank accounts in our nation if the President determines that the institution has knowingly conducted financial transactions with Iran’s central bank.

    While we have imposed stringent sanctions on Iran in the past, I believe we need to do more. In February 2012, I voted, in the Senate Banking Committee of which I am member, to submit legislation increasing sanctions on Iran to the full Senate. This legislation, the Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act — which I cosponsored — would broaden the list of punitive sanctions, restrict joint ventures in the development of energy and uranium products, and stem the tide of weapons that flow into Iran. I also cosponsored a recent resolution to affirm that it is in the interest of the United States to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

    While we must restrict the government of Iran’s ability to obtain weapons of mass destruction, we must also remain open to working with Iranian citizens who seek peace, freedom, the rule of law, and the preservation of their culture. The Iranian government’s suppression of human rights and freedoms is unacceptable. President Obama has taken important steps in developing a diplomatic strategy to address this issue, and his leadership on this effort will be crucial as we move forward.

    After a decade of heroic efforts by our troops, we are finally in the process of withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan in the same manner as we extricated our forces from Iraq. No one wants to provoke a conflict with Iran while we are in the middle of withdrawing troops from the longest war in our country’s history and watching closely the democratic process take root in Iraq.

    I will continue to press the Administration to work with the international community to ensure that Iran adheres to democratic policies and respects the rights of its citizens. Should legislation concerning Iran come before the Senate for a vote, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.

    Sincerely,

    Sherrod Brown
    United States Senator

  41. Citizen
    June 19, 2012, 2:41 pm

    The Obama regime is stalling its way to war on Iran: link to thenation.com

  42. Reality Check
    June 24, 2012, 12:03 am

    There are a lot of intelligent informed people who comment here. But the real battlefield to raise the consciousness of the American public are the Yahoo news articles that are read by thousands of people every day. I and some other regulars post there (on the Yahoo home page news listings) daily in an attempt to bring awareness of what you and I already know.

    We’re not going to change the opinions of twenty million Evangelicals nor the 7 million Jews. They are NOT the target audience. The 250 million MSM disinformed and uniformed fence sitters are the target audience.

    Please get out there and share what you know. Join the fight. Enough ruminating and preaching to the choir. We, (and America) need you THERE!

    • Annie Robbins
      June 24, 2012, 12:10 am

      The 250 million MSM disinformed and uniformed fence sitters are the target audience.

      i agree completely

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