Was Obama bluffing on Syria all along?

US Politics
on 150 Comments

1378757433000-AP-United-States-Syria-AP-Poll-001What a difference a day makes. In the last 24 hours the Senate vote, originally set for Wednesday to authorize a strike against Syria, has been postponed. Obama undercut his speech to the nation tonight, originally intended to ramp up support for the strike, by making the rounds on networks news shows and announcing he’d be exhausting “all avenues of diplomatic resolution.”

“We will pursue this diplomatic track….I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way…. explore and exhaust all avenues of diplomatic resolution to this.”

President Obama has now agreed to a UN Security Council-led discussion on Russia’s proposal for Syria’s chemical weapons. According to AP “Obama has said the proposal marks a potential breakthrough that could halt plans for a U.S. military strike”.

Much has been made of Kerry’s gaffe, opening the door for Russia to swoop in and snatch victory from the jaws of imminent congressional defeat. But in a recent series of interviews on network news shows Obama didn’t seem disappointed by the Russian victory in the least. He said Assad agreeing to surrender control of its chemical weapons was potentially a positive development.

Predictions of how it would be a major blow to his power and influence and “shatter his presidency” if he couldn’t sway congress have not been roundly embraced over the last few days. Here’s Forbes weighing in, Why Obama Wins If He Loses,

[I]f he loses the vote he will win over the long run by escaping the distractions and drawbacks of an action that he himself is reluctant to take.  Since he is in fact highly likely to lose the congressional vote and almost certain not to act unilaterally once he does, let’s look at all the benefits that will accrue to him when legislators reject his risky plan.

What kind of benefits? Syria has always been about isolating Iran and the road to Tehran runs thru Damascus. Relentless goading to attack Iran marked his first term from the get go and stalked him throughout the election cycle, pressuring him over declarations of red lines as well as sanctions he warned against that pitted him against Congress. Who could forget a little over a year ago Israel demanded a statement from Obama about setting a red line for attacking Iran? This incessant nagging whining lobby pressure has dogged him his entire presidency.

And last Friday Amy Davidson asks about a plan in The New Yorker, Can Obama Win by Losing in Congress?

The problem, as has become clear in a week of interviews and committee hearings, is that there isn’t really a plan, in the sense of figuring out what happens when the Assad regime reacts to the air strikes in any one of a half dozen ways. The Administration has done a decent job of persuading people that Assad used chemical weapons. It has done a very poor job of explaining why military strikes are the right way to react, beyond being a grand gesture. There has been a lot of talk about “degrading” forces; but what does that mean beyond breaking equipment and killing soldiers?

What if we’ve been bluffed? What if Obama never cared if he looked like the loser? What if taking it to Congress was intended to provide him with a mandate NOT to invade Syria all along, and not to set our country up for a war with Iran? It’s pretty slick marketing if this was his agenda, sticking it to the lobbyflushing them out and pitting them against the American public . Obama can really really win big by losing Congress, is it worth wondering if that was always in the cards? Only if you’re a dreamer like me.

Before discarding the possibility we’ve all been bamboozled consider this. When Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin requested an assessment for U.S. Military Force in Syria last summer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff responded thus:

Control Chemical Weapons.    This option uses lethal force to prevent the use or proliferation of chemical weapons. We do this by destroying portions of Syria’s massive stockpile, interdicting its movement and delivery, or by seizing and securing program components. At a minimum, this option would call for a no-fly zone as well as air and missile strikes involving hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers. Thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces would be needed to assault and secure critical sites. Costs could also average well over one billion dollars per month. The impact would be the control of some, but not all chemical weapons. It would also help prevent their further proliferation into the hands of extremist groups. Our inability to fully control Syria’s storage and delivery systems could allow extremists to gain better access.

………..

All of these options would likely further the narrow military objective of helping the opposition and placing more pressure on the regime. We have learned from the past 10 years; however, that it is not enough to simply alter the balance of military power without careful consideration of what is necessary in order to preserve a functioning state.    We must anticipate and be prepared for the unintended consequences of our action.    Should the regime’s institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.
I know that the decision to use force is not one that any of us takes lightly. It is no less than an act of war.    As we weigh our options, we should be able to conclude with some confidence that the use of force will move us toward the intended outcome.    We must also understand risk-not just to our forces, but to our other global responsibilities. This is especially critical as we lose readiness due to budget cuts and fiscal uncertainty. Some options may not be feasible in time or cost without compromising our security elsewhere.    Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid. We should also act in accordance with the law, and to the extent possible, in concert with our allies and partners to share the burden and solidify the outcome.

After reading Dempsey’s assessment the options appeared narrower indeed. “No less than an act of war,” over a billion a month, an inability to control the outcome and extremists possibly gaining access to Syria’s chemical weapons. Obama is either just plain crazy or skillfully manipulative. My hunch is we’ve been bluffed.

So, what’s he going to say to us tonight?

150 Responses

  1. amigo
    September 10, 2013, 3:28 pm

    ” Assad could try to emulate Saddam and create ‘linkage’ between Syria and Israel
    Obama is saved by a Russian bell; Moscow may grow an ambition to succeed; Assad will try to rebuild his image; Israel and its supporters risk being seen as the last warmongers standing.”Haaretz Headline.

    Interesting article by Chemi Shalev.Worth Reading.

    link to haaretz.com

    • marc b.
      September 10, 2013, 3:52 pm

      it was well worth reading amigo. points out, intentionally or otherwise, for example, some of the contradictions bound up in the ‘Obama as strategic genius’ theory.

      Jerusalem, of course, will keep a wary and suspicious eye on the diplomatic maneuvers that will take place over the next few days. First of all, with the Administration embracing a diplomatic dialogue, Israel and its supporters and lobbyists are in danger of being stranded and depicted as frustrated warmongers.

      ha.

  2. marc b.
    September 10, 2013, 3:32 pm

    i had been thinking along similar lines, annie. I guess the proof potentially is what happens next, meaning after the chemical weapons disarmament dance is successfully completed, assuming it is, and that horse’s ass Kerry hasn’t cocked things up. the neoconnish elements would seem to have exposed themselves as they’ve shown their hand for a plan of managed chaos and decomposition in Syria. not a plan that appeals to anyone outside of SA/Turkey/Israel, the backwards cerberus.

    • Krauss
      September 10, 2013, 6:24 pm

      Never underestimate the vanity and the incompetence of those leading the nation.
      Don’t forget. Kerry’s blurt was called a ‘major goof’ in a CNN story where a senior admin official spilled the beans. Then they saw that Russia baited, unexpectedly, and all of a sudden it was a plan all along, right? Even Obama’s plan!

      The truth is, Putin saved Obama from a humiliating Congressional defeat. But now they are starting to see that Putin’s gamble(take away the WMD’s but massively increase the conventional support) isn’t really working in their favour as Assad grows ever more powerful. Putin also wants a guarantee that no force will be used at all.

      If someone came out winning it was Putin, who played Obama like a tool by using his biggest weakness; his vanity. For Obama, it’s a whole host of face-saving measures but ultimately, Assad will be strengthened, Putin will be seen as standing up for an ally while at the same time behaving like a responsible member of the international community. He hits three targets with one stone.

      Obama merely goes from a horrible position to a less worse one; where he is now letting the initiative go to his Russian counter-part.
      If this is a ‘plan’ then Obama needs new planners.

      • just
        September 10, 2013, 6:57 pm

        I think you might be wrong, Krauss. The biggest “winners” are the Syrian people who are enduring unimaginable suffering even now with the complicated process of interference from the outside/inside forces.

        I hope that this is the beginning of some kind of turning point for our world. That’s truly what I hope. I would very much like to live in a world in which countries and their leaders and citizens are not judged by their strength (war making) nor by their weakness (backing down), but by their collective humanity and empathy– showing by example how to find common ground & using compromise and diplomacy always first.

      • marc b.
        September 11, 2013, 3:07 pm

        krauss, you make some valid points. for instance, my opinion of Kerry based on years of observation as a US senator in New England, is that he is a pompous buffoon who never tires of his own voice. (he is known as ‘live shot’ because of his skill for putting his mug on live TV.) also he has no diplomatic background, he’s primarily lived his life as a professional, publicly elected official, so he lacks the instinct for discretion that a diplomat or intelligence official would have. in other words, if his lips are moving, his natural inclination is toward self promotion or auto-erotic excitation. I don’t happen to think what he said was a ‘gaffe’. he’s not nearly as clever as some people give him credit. having said that, i’ll now contradict myself.

        it is also possible that the intent of this diplomatic flourish is to ultimately undermine the possibility of a diplomatic solution, as the evil intransigent Putin and Assad are played off as the impediments to peace. if the ‘two weeks’ that I heard David Gergen allow for a diplomatic effort passes, and the lap dog press is able to successfully paint Russia as the reason for its failure, I think that it’s more likely, not less likely as some has said, that Obama could get the votes he needs in the house.

        unfortunately, I don’t think anyone can unequivocally tease out the motivations here until events unfold. if we wind up bombing Syria three weeks from now, we’ll know that that was always primary goal of the administration.

      • marc b.
        September 12, 2013, 9:10 am

        ope. I meant is ‘was a gaffe’.

  3. just
    September 10, 2013, 3:47 pm

    “My hunch is we’ve been bluffed.”

    Annie, I think so too.

    And I don’t think that Kerry makes “gaffes”. I think that both of them have been threatening the big stick wrt Syria, but the implications are huge……..it is, after all, a diplomatic tool available to real diplomats. General Dempsey is a welcome and different kind of General, imho. I am quite sure that our military are proud to serve with him, and are breathing a sigh of relief.

    I think that the I Lobby, the loathsome Congress and the mainstream media just got spun so hard that their collective heads are spinning.

    (Israeli leaders must be spinning like a dreidl out of orbit! After all it’s used in games of chance/ gambling……… they might have bet on the wrong Administration and Congress and American people this time around.)

    • marc b.
      September 10, 2013, 4:20 pm

      the only disagreement i’d have with your summary just, is that the only reason to engage in this charade in the first place would be deep opposition to the diplomacy track within the administration somewhere. unlike the ‘surgical strikes’, there is no requirement, disputed or otherwise, that Obama consult Congress before engaging in diplomatic negotiations with the Syrians through Russia.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2013, 4:31 pm

        Israeli leaders must be spinning like a dreidl out of orbit!

        lol. gee ya think. there’s just been so much synchronicity these last couple days, are a bunch of stars lined up?

      • hophmi
        September 10, 2013, 4:40 pm

        “Israeli leaders must be spinning like a dreidl out of orbit!”

        It’s wishful thinking.

        It’s always funny when all of you assume that Israel lives and dies by every decision the United States makes. It is a sovereign country that is more than capable of taking care of itself.

      • just
        September 10, 2013, 4:56 pm

        ” It is a sovereign country that is more than capable of taking care of itself.”

        So why don’t you, hophmi? Why doesn’t Israel do peace? Why does Israel always advocate for war? Why does Israel continue to kill, oppress and jail the indigenous Palestinians? Why, hophmi? And why do you continue to take billions of US money? Would you be ok if the US withdrew its’ billions and its veto and unconditional support?

      • just
        September 10, 2013, 9:14 pm

        hop– Mr. Obama agrees. He just said that Israel can take care of itself.

        Yee- hah!

      • RoHa
        September 10, 2013, 10:17 pm

        So no more free weapons for Israel? No more promise of US support no matter what? No more billions of dollars for Israel? No more guaranteed, subsidised oil? No more vetoes in the UN? No more US pressuring other countries on Israel’s behalf?

        Great news.

      • just
        September 10, 2013, 11:01 pm

        Hopefully(!!!)

        “And our ally Israel can defend itself with overwhelming force, as well as the unshakable support of the United States of America.”

        link to npr.org

        I think our “unshakable support” just had an earthquake. There’s much said ‘between the lines’.

      • amigo
        September 11, 2013, 6:33 am

        “It’s always funny when all of you assume that Israel lives and dies by every decision the United States makes. It is a sovereign country that is more than capable of taking care of itself.”Hoppidy hop.

        Well get on with it then???.

        Reject all those billions and billions of money from those anti semite yanks and give them the finger when they use it to save your zio asses on the UN veto button.

        Clod.

    • crone
      September 10, 2013, 7:09 pm

      I don’t think for one minute that we’ve been bluffed…

      Russia saved Obama’s face, possibly breathed a little life back into his presidency. Obama has not only surrounded himself with Neocons since he stepped into the Oval Office, but I have come to conclude that he himself is of that persuasion.

      Believe me, I have evolved to this position. I not only voted for Obama both times, I worked, campaigned for and donated to him first go-round. By the 2nd campaign I was more than disappointed, but I voted for him, reluctantly.

      No, Congress – pushed by the American people who are beginning to see that this was a 2nd war for Israel – was about to hand him a mighty defeat. Russia deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for its diplomatic move… we may yet avoid WW3.

      Obama? A puppet on a string, unfortunately.

      • just
        September 10, 2013, 7:41 pm

        crone– I also worked hard for Mr. Obama. Before that I worked hard for Mr. Kerry and before that for General Clark in the primary and also Dr. Dean. And before that………….

        I have also been disappointed, but I know this is a long, hard slog to get back to what we profess to be and even why we exist as Americans. Sadly, in my experience, the American people are only now waking themselves from their complacence and acceptance of Israel’s agenda and our long complicity with it. I constantly encounter Americans that ‘wonder’ why we are not appreciated by Iraqis and Afghans………

      • Taxi
        September 11, 2013, 12:42 am

        I agree with crone. There was no bluff. There was aipac and saudi pressure to go to war and Obama had no other choice but to push for war, being a foreign ‘Lobby’ president, and not a president for the American people.

        Putin threw a life-jacket at Obama while the ‘foreign war-lobbies’ held his head underwater.

        There are no evil geniuses in our political theater, but we sure as hell have plenty of evil idiots.

    • Theo
      September 12, 2013, 8:15 am

      ” I don´t think Kerry makes gaffes”.

      After watching the congressional hearings for hours and seeing the performance of Kerry, in my opinion he is far from being in control of his words and do not have the necessary skills required for his position.
      After spending decades interviewing people and making decisions based on their reactions, I dare to say that Kerry made that statement about Assad and his chemical weapons without ever thinking of the consequences that may follow.
      He is a very bad salesman, repeating the same rhetoric and consequently boring his audience to death. Would you buy a used car from him?

      Other countries have diplomats who study 4-5 years those skills and several foreign languages required for the job, our ambassadors are chosen according to their financial contributions to the president and his party.

  4. RudyM
    September 10, 2013, 4:49 pm

    Couldn’t Obama have defused the situation early on by saying something like: “We aren’t going to go to war until we the UN has been allowed to thoroughly investigate the chemical attacks. Some would want us to jump to conclusions and go to war based on incomplete intelligence, but that’s not what we’re about.” He could also have used this to rein in the jihadi militants in Syria, by bringing up evidence that they have used chemical weapons in the past, so I don’t see where he is very interested in doing anything about our little CIA/western-friendly intelligence agency terrorist network problem.

    Granted, that wouldn’t have undercut AIPAC, etc. in the same way. Maybe he really does just resent Zionist power, while still being quite comfortable with western imperialism, a la Brzezinski (though he’s been hard to pin down lately).

  5. ivri
    September 10, 2013, 5:11 pm

    Was Obama bluffing all along? The answer cannot be definitive. Leaders sometimes go by instinct without a complete game-plan. He certainly saw an advantage in making a big issue of the chemicals knowing that he can always change course and not bomb – as he in fact did when he went to Congress. It`s a long game here with many moves and we have just witnessed an episode. If indeed he succeeds in neutralizing Assad`s chemicals you can say he already scored in this last episode.
    Kerry`s gaffe? Not at all. Getting Russia on board is an American strategic goal – the US does not play Putin`s game simply because Russia is “the challenger” and the US is the one that runs the show, so strategies must be different.

    • Theo
      September 12, 2013, 8:28 am

      Kerry´s Gaffe

      If you did watch the body languages of the actors in this drama, especially Obama and Kerry, you could see they were lost and not sure what to do next.
      In other words they were into something above their competence.
      The WH and DoS is doing everything to sell this as their original plan, so please do not support this false claims. The russians got it before anyone else and were intelligent enough to act on it, catching our government with its pants down.

  6. Annie Robbins
    September 10, 2013, 5:19 pm

    Kerry`s gaffe? Not at all. Getting Russia on board is an American strategic goal

    so you do not think kerry misspoke?

    • ivri
      September 10, 2013, 5:43 pm

      In fact, no. It may yet turn out to be the brightest move in the process – even if most likely Kerry did not anticipate the Russian move. Bombing was already dead given the little enthusiasm in the US so now instead of suffering an embarrassment the Obama team will be seen as playing it tough and scoring big, without actually risking anything, in 2 big ways: neutralizing the chemicals and getting then Russians on board. If you ask me Annie, Obama must be thrilled now and I am sure next time he meets Kerry there will be a big hug.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2013, 7:06 pm

        i don’t think he misspoke either.

      • just
        September 10, 2013, 7:19 pm

        Here’s part of the exchange between Hank Johnson and John Kerry today.

        link to politico.com

        (fun fact– Mr. Johnson is a Buddhist. Very soft- spoken, indeed.)

    • Bandolero
      September 10, 2013, 5:48 pm

      “so you do not think kerry misspoke?”

      RT: Putin: Syria chem arms handover will work only if US calls off strike

      Putin confirmed that he and President Barack Obama had “indeed discussed” such a possibility on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg last week.

      It was agreed, Putin said, “to instruct Secretary of State [John Kerry] and Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov] to work together and see if they can achieve some progress in this regard.”

      SST: HARPER: BEWARE OF FALSE FLAG INCIDENT

      The proposal, contrary to much of the media chatter, was discussed between Putin and Obama in St. Petersburg last week, and was also discussed between Lavrov and Kerry. All of the talk about a Kerry “slip of the tongue” was media confusion.

      • traintosiberia
        September 10, 2013, 7:01 pm

        Yes,you are right. Israel has staged a lot of those in the past to stop and undermine and reverse any detente between US and LIbya,Egypt,Palestine,Syria,Lebanon and Iran .They have sometimes attacked US,sometimes they have supplied US with false information, sometimes they have forced the media to do that job from Lavon affairs to all the way until now .

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2013, 7:09 pm

        Bandolero, and that is why..as i mentioned earlier, “Obama didn’t seem disappointed by the Russian victory in the least.” it all went off like clockwork.

      • Hostage
        September 11, 2013, 11:04 am

        Bandolero, and that is why..as i mentioned earlier, “Obama didn’t seem disappointed by the Russian victory in the least.” it all went off like clockwork.

        Well the President’s resolution outlined a token strike to deter further use of the weapons, while claiming that the armed conflict can only be resolved through a negotiated political settlement pursuant to the US-Russian Geneva process. So it’s not surprising that Putin and Obama may have hatched a plan to end the sabre rattling by floating a trial balloon the Syrians could accept without admitting to any wrong doing.

        But in most cases you just can’t know what’s going on behind the scenes one way or the other. Some commentators tend to rely too much on inferences. For example, both the President’s and the Senate’s draft resolutions said “Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.” The War Powers Act itself has always contained an explicit prohibition against the use of the armed forces based upon inferences drawn from any law or treaty:

        (a) Inferences from any law or treaty

        Authority to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances shall not be inferred –

        link to law.cornell.edu

        Despite that fact, many of us can’t resist the temptation to look for “Easter eggs” hidden in between the lines of an authorization to use military force.

    • Rusty Pipes
      September 10, 2013, 6:02 pm

      Two years ago, Obama let Hillary grandstand about Libya and Syria to assuage the Lobby’s push for war, to bolster her tough-guy image for public consumption (as some women Presidential hopefuls believe they must) and to help Democrats’ (including Hillary’s) relations with major Zionist donors. When she said Assad had to go, he backed her up — his administration, including Kerry, has been stuck with that policy ever since, even as the facts on the ground in Syria have shifted.

      Obama will never criticize Israel in public at this point; in order to satisfy the congresscritters’ major donors, he will go above and beyond in reading from AIPAC’s script. On the other hand, he has just managed to get Israel and the Lobby to display their warmongering agenda to the American public — relying heavily on Israeli-supplied intelligence, he has pushed for a war the American public does not want, no one but the Israel Lobby and Netanyahu is pushing congress to authorize this war and the MSM has been forced to slip that fact into its wall-to wall coverage of Syria.

  7. Justpassingby
    September 10, 2013, 5:23 pm

    Bluffed? He blundered, although so will Syria if they agree to this deal (Syria should call out chemical and other wmd weapons in Israel), bc obama wont stop warmongering against Syria.

  8. DICKERSON3870
    September 10, 2013, 7:06 pm

    RE: “What a difference a day makes. In the last 24 hours the Senate vote, originally set for Wednesday to authorize a strike against Syria, has been postponed.” ~ Annie Robbins

    MY COMMENT: We owe a great deal to the woman (a U.K. reporter, I assume) who asked during Kerry’s stop in London whether there was anything Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government could do or offer that would stop an attack.
    Why is it that the mainstream press/media in the U.S. never asked the Obama Administration this simple, obvious question? Is it because they feared offending the “gatekeepers”, and consequently losing their “privileged access” to the gates? [See the “Sourcing Mass Media News” filter below.]

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media]:

    [EXCERPTS] “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media” (1988), by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, is an analysis of the news media, arguing that the mass media of the United States “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry out a system-supportive propaganda function by reliance on market forces, internalized assumptions, and self-censorship, and without overt coercion”.*[1] . . .

    Editorial bias: five filters

    Herman and Chomsky’s “propaganda model” describes five editorially distorting filters applied to news reporting in mass media:
    Size, Ownership, and Profit Orientation: The dominant mass-media outlets are large firms which are run for profit. Therefore they must cater to the financial interest of their owners – often corporations or particular controlling investors. The size of the firms is a necessary consequence of the capital requirements for the technology to reach a mass audience.
    The Advertising License to Do Business: Since the majority of the revenue of major media outlets derives from advertising (not from sales or subscriptions), advertisers have acquired a “de-facto licensing authority”.[4] Media outlets are not commercially viable without the support of advertisers. News media must therefore cater to the political prejudices and economic desires of their advertisers. This has weakened the working-class press, for example, and also helps explain the attrition in the number of newspapers.
    Sourcing Mass Media News: Herman and Chomsky argue that “the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access . . . acquiring […] and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become ‘routine’ news sources and have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers.”[5]
    Flak and the Enforcers: “Flak” refers to negative responses to a media statement or program (e.g. letters, complaints, lawsuits, or legislative actions). Flak can be expensive to the media, either due to loss of advertising revenue, or due to the costs of legal defense or defense of the media outlet’s public image. Flak can be organized by powerful, private influence groups (e.g. think tanks). The prospect of eliciting flak can be a deterrent to the reporting of certain kinds of facts or opinions.[5]
    Anti-Communism: This was included as a filter in the original 1988 edition of the book, but Chomsky argues that since the end of the Cold War (1945–91), anticommunism was replaced by the “War on Terror”, as the major social control mechanism.[6][7] . . .

    SOURCE – link to en.wikipedia.org

    * P.S. REGARDING “WITHOUT OVERT COERCION”, SEE THE WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE ON SHELDON WOLIN’S “INVERTED TOTALITARIANISM” - link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Tuyzentfloot
      September 11, 2013, 3:47 am

      Nice one , Dickerson. But I probably disagree about causes. The propaganda model suggests there’s a big gap between the media and intellectuals in general. All too often I notice that is not the case. And I was much surprised that Chomsky himself also thought the propaganda model is a smaller factor than general conformism among intellectuals. The kind of conformism that Orwells article “The Freedom of the Press” was about.
      As such events often do, this renewed my appreciation of Chomksy.

  9. Kathleen
    September 10, 2013, 7:37 pm

    I have followed everything that Dempsey has been saying about Syria , he has never supported an attack. I have wondered about the bluff possibility Annie but then think why the f–k would Obama yank Americans chains they way he has…threatening,stirring up people’s heart rates…why? Why not in the very beginning tell Syria either sign the Chemical weapons free agreement or else the U.S. will drop a few 1000 pound bombs. Why go with we’re going to bomb first?

    I was with a dear friend the other night who is a Vietnam Vet pilot and officer who flew in the Gulf of Tolkin charade and not proud that he dropped bombs on Vietnam. He thought my same thoughts of a bluff were redongdiculous.

    Either Obama has been caught being stupid or a genius..11th dimensional chess player.

    Barbara Boxer was just on Hardball claiming Obama had a lot of votes for….does she think we can not count. Then she went on and on claiming it was Assad who killed these Syrians with sarin gas. Crocodile tears for the Syrian people…not sincere at all

    • MRW
      September 10, 2013, 8:17 pm

      Why not in the very beginning tell Syria either sign the Chemical weapons free agreement or else the U.S. will drop a few 1000 pound bombs. Why go with we’re going to bomb first?

      The vote in congress, which hasn’t happened yet and needs to. The vote against bombing Syria reins in the ability to bomb Iran.

      Obama called Netanyahu Saturday morning before he told the country he wanted congress to vote. O told him he was going to need his help. I’ll bet N got off the phone and jerked [………………………] for an hour, he was so goddam happy. Bomb Iran, here we come, right? With congressional approval. I’ve been a 50% bluffer person since the beginning of this from the moment I heard Glenn Beck on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. I am convinced without evidence that Beck was informed by an insider pentagon intel guy–called making Beck feel important–that we wouldn’t survive hitting Syria, WWIII. That’s why Beck was so emphatic. That’s why he was so we-have-to-band-together-with-all-good-republicans-and-liberals to defeat this. Beck said this the day the 64 (?) neocons wrote the letter to the Weekly Standard begging for war with Syria…which went nowhere as a result. Beck’s cri de coeur overrode it. Hannity said the same thing that night on Fox. It was not an accident. The country erupted starting that night. Obama was supposed to bomb on Thursday, two days later. Within another two days, Obama announces the vote. Actually, it was when I heard Obama call for a congressional vote on Saturday morning that I became a 50% bluffer person. This guy loves his poker. And he’s known for having no tells.

      I wrote all this elsewhere two weeks ago. I’m not making this up now.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 10, 2013, 9:41 pm

        I wrote all this elsewhere two weeks ago. I’m not making this up now.

        i have a witness, in an emailed w/phil last week. ;)

      • Kathleen
        September 10, 2013, 11:04 pm

        ok poker player…11th dimensional chess

    • seafoid
      September 11, 2013, 12:50 am

      Obama made a horse’s ass of his healthcare reform. The notion that he is some sort of strategic genius is for the birds .

  10. irishmoses
    September 10, 2013, 7:46 pm

    ***”It’s pretty slick marketing if this was his agenda, sticking it to the lobby, flushing them out and pitting them against the American public.”***

    Annie,
    I think AIPAC cleverly dodged a bullet on this. I’ve seen nothing in the MSM in the last four days that keeps AIPAC in the spotlight as a major mover in the war vote. I suspect AIPAC decided early on that the vote was going down so they are not applying their normal devastating pressure on individual congress folks. I think they also put the word out that AIPAC and the lobby’s role should not be mentioned again. Hence, the discussion quickly has changed to other issues.

    I think AIPAC will use this incident as evidence of how little power it actually has and have selected congress members talk about how they were not pressured by AIPAC and voted solely on the merits. AIPAC may be devious and perhaps unpatriotic but they’re not dummies. They will turn these lemons into lemonade.

    • MRW
      September 11, 2013, 1:16 am

      I agree with you, irishmoses. But one thing happened that will have a consequence. This is the first time in waaaay over a decade when the ‘voice of the people’ spoke. The point isn’t that the voice of the people works. It’s that they piped up. Piped up in real anger that had been plastered over by the MSM following Iraq when the protests and speeches and complaints were ignored.

      It’s a stirring. I don’t know where this is going. But I can easily see a President Rand Paul in 2016. Americans are going isolationist.

      • W.Jones
        September 11, 2013, 11:14 am

        You’re an optimist. The people spoke in that Obama decided to go to Congress. Haven’t there been times when the president didn’t do that?

        Same thing with your optimism over R. Paul. The corporate media shut him down, and they would do it again. I’m not saying it’s not possible.

      • irishmoses
        September 11, 2013, 1:29 pm

        I agree MRW, it is very stirring to see the American people suddenly wake up and say “No way, not again”. I wish there was a leader out there, and Rand Paul ain’t the guy, that could harness that public enthusiasm and power into an effort to deal with several other issues: corporate and big money lobbying, making any organization advocating for a foreign power register as an agent of that foreign power, returning our taxation policy back to Bill Clinton levels, etc.

        Until this last couple of weeks, that idea was mere fantasy. Now I’m not so sure.

      • Kathleen
        September 11, 2013, 2:22 pm

        I can see the “going isolationist” development. Chris Matthews has placed verbal bets on Rand Paul being the Republican candidate…and with Clinton’s vote for the Iraq war, support for Israel no matter what, and her militaristic warmongering comments about Iran…Paul could be a real threat, Chris Christie too

    • MHughes976
      September 11, 2013, 10:49 am

      But it must be a bit worse for the lobbyists than you say, IM. If they saw that the vote ‘was going down’ inevitably they must also have seen that even their ‘normal devastating pressure’ would not have worked and that is a serious setback for them.
      I’m not sure about ‘isolationism’, it may only be prudence and good sense.

      • irishmoses
        September 11, 2013, 1:31 pm

        Good point MHughes. They saw they were going to lose which must have been a real shock to them.

    • W.Jones
      September 11, 2013, 11:12 am

      I agree. AIPAC was not mentioned in the media.

      • American
        September 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

        No but Israel was.

      • W.Jones
        September 12, 2013, 12:29 pm

        American,

        I don’t think it was mentioned alot, but I would be glad to be shown wrong.

      • American
        September 12, 2013, 1:46 pm

        @ Jones

        It was in the ‘new’ I-Firster “talking points”.
        The Lobby couples it now with– ‘our allies, Israel, Jordon and Turkey’—-the other two ‘allies’ thrown in for a bit of cover for Israel.
        So it wouldnt sound like ‘just’ Israel they were concerned for.
        Heard it a hundred times.

      • Kathleen
        September 11, 2013, 2:23 pm

        This past Saturday six times while I was listening to MSNBC. The “hill blitz” was mentioned

      • W.Jones
        September 12, 2013, 12:39 pm

        The hill blitz? I don’t know that Americans are going to associate that with the Lobby.

  11. James Canning
    September 10, 2013, 7:58 pm

    I think Kerry’s so-called “gaffe” was simply good sense. We need to see more of it. Even if Aipac objects. Or, especially since Aipac objects?

  12. dbroncos
    September 10, 2013, 8:21 pm

    I don’t see Obama with any secret plan here. I see him backing down to strong opposition, as he’s done in the past on many issues ad nauseum. If anyone is playing games here it’s Putin. He sees an opening to take advantage of a weak President i.e. now he’s asking for a guarantee that Obama will not attack Syria now or at any time in the future. Putin understands that Obama is over a barrel with the American electorate and he’s offering him a way out that’ll work to the advantage of both Russia and Assad.

    I won’t give credit to Obama for outfoxing his opponents, however, if he does wiggle his way out of attacking Syria, he’ll do so, inadvertantly, at the expense of AIPAC, leaving them exposed without any payoff and having established a precedent of sorts against a war on Iran.

  13. Danaa
    September 10, 2013, 8:40 pm

    Is there a chance that the Nobel committee can just take that dork Obama’s thoroughly undeserved prize and hand it over to Putin? who will no doubt be ever so gracious and let obama keep half of it. credit, you know, is cheap. It’s life that’s expensive

    I think the “bluff’ concept is probably what the Obamabots will be running with now. They already started the great celebrations on DailyKos, complete with 3D chess sets. that dailyKos, BTW, which had a pathetic count of 2 articles on Grayson in the past few days.

    What IS likely is that the US armyy chiefs that have been looking for a way out, brokered something with their Russian counterparts. lit may have been presented to kerry as a possibility, hence the “gaffe”. But the speed with which it was adopted by Obama does say that he has been warned that he better find a way to climb down. this CW guardianship has “military” style agreement written all over it. Cut the Gordian knot style.

    The real heres in all this? the American people. for once we can be proud of them. they did what they needed to do – give spine to their elected officials. And garayson, who sure seemed presidential material in his spinefulness. And we can’t forget rand paul, who didn’t get blown over in the senate.

    The losers? Kerry, Rice, whose speech was so badly delivered in her infamous staccato style that 10 more no votes materialized at the end of it), Power with her red hair off to one side, conjuring – what? fierce femininity a la the new cartoon heroine styles? hagel who looked clueless, Pelosi who looked like an enforcer whose troops were ready to desert at a drop of a hat, Durbin, Schumer McCain, Graham et al in the senate, WH dodgy dossier, Syrian takfiris, AIPAC the newly defanged lobby, jewish people in the US for allowing themselves to be associated with AIPAC ever, Israel, for shilling selfishly for the break-up of Syria, saudi Arabia for being what they are, and not to forget – cameron who got his head handed to him plus Hollande, whose french mandate went poof! like french smelling vapor.

    Alas, too soon to celebrate though. Those who planned this CW false flag are not about to give up. What, of what will they be up to next?

    Stay vigilant, people!

    • Bumblebye
      September 10, 2013, 9:58 pm

      It may be too soon to celebrate, but a musical interlude wouldn’t go amiss!

      Nigel Kennedy and Moustafa Saad, Melody in the Wind, Last Night of the Proms.

    • MHughes976
      September 11, 2013, 10:04 am

      Whether there was an element of bluff over Syria I don’t know. We shouldn’t forget one element of cynicism, which was the need to divert attention from Egypt.

      • Danaa
        September 11, 2013, 1:13 pm

        MH976 “the need to divert attention from Egypt.”

        And from the vaporware that are the israeli Palestinian talks.

        And, of course, from the all too meaty, escalating NSA revelations. Keep it off the front page…

  14. flyod
    September 10, 2013, 9:19 pm

    “the united states doesn’t do pin pricks”

    at least obama doesn’t need to face an embarrassing no vote now

    • just
      September 10, 2013, 9:59 pm

      I don’t find it “embarrassing”. I find it exhilarating when finally we, via the do-nothing-but make war Congress, do not kill more people and we have an Administration that is not afraid to appear contemplative while carrying ‘ a big stick’. I don’t claim to know the truth, but tonight I feel somewhat relieved. Perhaps our own sordid past will bring a new present and future to countless millions and to us as well.

      • flyod
        September 11, 2013, 7:39 am

        that same administration that has been arming outside forces engaged in attacks on a sovereign nation?

  15. gingershot
    September 10, 2013, 9:41 pm

    “What if taking it to Congress was intended to provide him with a mandate NOT to invade Syria all along, and not to set our country up for a war with Iran? It’s pretty slick marketing if this was his agenda, sticking it to the lobby, flushing them out and pitting them against the American public .”

    This is what I am LOVING –

    Whether Obama consciously knew what he’s been doing or not – (I’m thinking 60/40 not) – Obama has done a historic service to the US by taking the US military OUT OF THE HANDS OF ISRAEL AND AIPAC by putting any attack on Iran in the hands of the US House and American people

    It’s historic and AIPAC/Israel is fuming over it… it takes nearly all power out of their hands

    Even better – Apartheid is dead if Israel doesn’t get a war with Iran and/or Syria

  16. W.Jones
    September 10, 2013, 10:46 pm

    While it probably slows the moronic attempt to attack Syria directly, it doesn’t solve the problem that their country is getting torn up by foreign Al-Qaeda “rebels”.

    It doesn’t really call out the Isr. Lobby, although it slowed their attempt. The attempt a year or two ago to attack Iran did a better job of calling out the Lobby, IMO. The media portrayed it as if it was Obama who was gunning to attack Syria – that was my impression. The other big story was 60 minutes’ story on treating Christians there IMO., but it was a one time show.

  17. dbroncos
    September 10, 2013, 11:01 pm

    It’s relieving to see that an attack on Syria is out of the picture in the near term. The debate goes forward, however, with Putin and Obama negotiating the terms of removing chem weapons, with Putin having the upper hand. If AIPAC and the Isreal firsters don’t like the terms, with implications for negotiating a settlement with Iran, they’ll be stomping their feet, throwing a tantrum and attracting the attention they’ve earned in being the most vocal constituency in favor of war. AIPAC will remain in the spotlight in the weeks ahead.

    • ivri
      September 11, 2013, 6:17 am

      I don`t think AIPAC is a big factor here, simply because Israel was at two minds about the attack. Perhaps saw at as a lesser of two evils but no more than that – the fear of anarchy in Syria with Al Queida forces taking advantage is real. Playing it cautiously is not a bad idea even from Israel`s angle. Also the implications of this episode in regard to Iran are unclear. It still depends mainly on what strategy Iran will adopt – whether it truly decides to back off having recalculated the odds of success for its past goals, or continue the same path as before, just sugarcoat it with better PR.

      • dbroncos
        September 12, 2013, 1:31 pm

        @ivri

        “Also the implications of this episode in regard to Iran are unclear.”

        I agree that its unclear whether or or not Obama’s willingness to attack Syria will translate into a willingness on his part to attack Hizbollah or Iran. However, AIPAC has made this connection very clear in their support for war on Syria. As they see it, Obama’s willingness to enforce his “red lines” in Syria increases the likelihood that he’ll do so wrt Iran’s “nuclear weapons program”.

        Since the Syrian civil war began, AIPAC has been satisfied to see one of Israel’s enemies self destruct without having to advocate for another American campaign for regime change. However, all that changed when Obama balked at enforcing his “red lines”. AIPAC is panicking about the prospect of an American deal with Iran. The results of resloving the nuclear issue diplomatically, ending the sanctions, and restoring diplomatic relations with Iran would be to decisively bury the Clean Break/Securing the Realm fantasies of the Israel Uber Alles crowd. AIPAC is throwing everything they have at preventing this outcome.

  18. Kathleen
    September 10, 2013, 11:09 pm

    Annie,all On MSNBC’s Lawrence O “Donnells program he just finished the most honest assessment about the nerve of the U.S. to call out other nations about the use of Chemical weapons, killing innocents. A wing dinger. The clip is not up yet….but when it does a must watch. Ripped through all of these fake crocodile tears, humanitarian hooey about Syria. Ripped right through it

    So going to be worth watching again. Folks are going to want to hear this one

    • just
      September 10, 2013, 11:30 pm

      Watched it, and agree Kathleen.

      (I loved his um, conversation with The Tony Weiner last pm and his mention of AIPAC as well.)

      • Kathleen
        September 11, 2013, 8:10 am

        It’s up now. Rip roaring honest. But of course left out US support for Israel while they used white phosphorus, U.S.drone killing of innocent people or any real details on how many Iraqi people we are responsible for killing or creating an environment to be killed by in fighting that Doug Feith, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Brenner knew would take place because of disbanding Iraqi military etc They knew what they were doing…Sabra and Shatilla strategy.

      • American
        September 11, 2013, 10:03 am

        Kathleen says:
        September 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

        It’s up now. Rip roaring honest. But of course left out US support for Israel while they used white phosphorus, U.S.drone killing of innocent people or any real details on how many Iraqi people ”…>>>>>

        Looking at major news sites comment sections these opinions seem to be most representative of the news reading public:……the ‘hypocrisy’ of the US–Israel—it’s regime change —all most oft cited….

        ‘Some 1400 civilians, mostly children were killed during the Israeli onslaught of Gaza, many by white phosphorous shells. Why was there no intervention by the US?
        A Like Reply Today 02:01 AM 5 Likes Report Abuse

        ALittleMore2TheWritePlease 1 comment collapsed
        Collapse Expand The article states:
        David Butter, a Syria expert with the British think tank Chatham
        House…
        “To build a case that Assad had no role
        in the use of chemical weapons, we’d need a lot more evidence,” he said.
        “And, of course, as head of state, if a war crime has been committed by
        his regime, he is ultimately responsible.”

        Two words for you Butters: Abu Ghraib
        Funny how those standards of yours don’t apply to the West.

        Trippin McZoink 2 comments collapsed
        Collapse Expand No contrary evidence shall be considered, just like Iraq.
        This isn’t about chemical weapons in the first place. It’s about tipping the balance in favor of the Sunni rebels in a proxy war against Iran.

        Read more here: link to mcclatchydc.com

    • RoHa
      September 10, 2013, 11:50 pm

      Got a link?

      • MRW
        September 11, 2013, 1:22 am

        You’ll find it here tomorrow-ish, RoHa.
        link to tv.msnbc.com

      • just
        September 11, 2013, 6:07 am
      • RoHa
        September 11, 2013, 7:36 pm

        There’s a lot of stuff there. Which bit is the relevant one?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 11, 2013, 7:50 pm
      • Sammar
        September 12, 2013, 1:53 am

        I watched it too. He presented what should be obvious but is often obfuscated: During wars or armed conflicts people are killed and maimed. Indiscriminately – soldiers and civilians, old people, women and children.
        They may be directly targeted or be “acceptable calculated collateral damage”. Killing people in itself is “inhumane” – and yes, war is the breakdown of civilization.

        Every single nation in the history of warfare – including those who consider themselves “civilized” – has committed atrocities and warcrimes when at war ( and at times even when not).

        Obama’s red line was not about the use of chemical weapons per se – it was about WHO is allowed to use them and who isn’t.

  19. American
    September 11, 2013, 1:24 am

    I dont think this “started off as” a bluff by Obama—although Kerry’s continuing push for a strike may be “part bluff” now. And I dont see Obama playing 11 demensional chess either.

    I think Obama was presented with the ‘limited missile strike plan’ by his advisors when the CW attack occured and adopted it as a way to ‘make a statement’ about his CW red line:
    link to warincontext.org
    “Architect of plan for cruise missile strikes against Syria”
    “In July, Harmer authored a widely-circulated study showing how the U.S. could degrade key Syrian military installations on the cheap with virtually no risk to U.S. personnel. “It could be done quickly, easily, with no risk whatsoever to American personnel, and a relatively minor cost,” said Harmer. One of the study’s proposals was cruise missile strikes from what are known as TLAMs (Tomahawk land attack missiles) fired from naval vessels in the Mediterranean.”

    I think the lib hawks like Powers jumped on this plan to overcome Dempsey’s dire warnings about the complications and cost of military strike and convinced Obama this was the way to go.
    What made Obama decide to go to congress.. who knows….maybe the public outcry, maybe his own ideas about the war powers and the constitution.

    Now I think it has become ‘part bluff”.
    In this sense— Obama still wants the yay vote on this from congress to keep in his back pocket in the event the Russian plan doesnt satisfy his (his advisors) demands.
    So I would also bet Kerry has been passing the word to congress that this ‘is a bluff’ they need to go along with by voting for it so it can be held over Assad’s head to make him get on the Russian plan.
    Now if Obama does get a yay vote and the removal of Assad’s CWs doesnt go like he wants he’s got the bomb vote.

    This has been far too messy to have been some ‘chess game”—-and remember Obama’s first intention (as far we know) wasnt to go to congress—I dont think Obama or anyone in DC expected the uproar they got from the public so I lean toward that being the main thing that shocked Obama and made him think twice.
    That was the first game changer and the Russian manuvering was the second game changer in this process and the way it’s playing out.

    As far as AIPAC is concerned—could be wrong, but I think it was Jeffery Goldberg that started in the press that ‘Obama had gone to AIPAC’ for help—-and we can think of the reason Goldberg did that—to cover AIPAC’s a** and entry into the fray and make it appear Obama ‘invited’ them in.
    So to say that Obama ‘lured’ AIPAC into this to expose it I think is a real stretch.

    • aiman
      September 11, 2013, 8:28 am

      Great comment, American. I don’t believe it started out as a bluff either. Hawks like Samantha Power were itching for war. Obama did not expect the public outcry. The public is the winner here. Congratulations everyone!

    • Hostage
      September 11, 2013, 10:31 am

      “Architect of plan for cruise missile strikes against Syria”

      That plan almost certainly went out the window when Putin started sending signals by dispatching Russian guided missile cruisers to the Med and warning the US and UK that any action without Security Council authorization would amount to illegal aggression. That was enough to give the British second thoughts on going back to the UN and waiting on the results of its investigation.

      The cruise missle attack was almost guaranteed to fail in any event. Dempsey was being optimistic when he testified about the limited degree of success you could expect using that in combination with special forces on the ground. The military has to have contingency plans like this, including many that would never be used as anything other than a last great act of desperation to keep known stockpiles from being captured and falling into the wrong hands.

      If Obama really only wanted to deter further use of the weapons and bomb the Syrians into a round of negotiations in Geneva, then asking for a Congressional resolution that said as much, allowed him time to keep up the pressure with the sabre rattling, while horsetrading with Putin and others behind the scenes at the G20. In the meantime, the substitute resolution adopted by the Senate Committee explicitly requires the President to certify in writing that all diplomatic avenues for a negotiated solution have been exhausted. That’s obviously not the case at this point.

      I don’t think there is much that can be inferred beyond that. Obama may have only been trying to shore-up the legality of a strike by going to the Congress. The lack of a resolution may have caused him to drop the idea, but it would not have tied his hands.

      • crone
        September 11, 2013, 11:18 am

        wrt Obama going to Congress…

        iirc, there were loud noises about impeaching Obama as a war criminal if it attacked Syria without first going to Congress… rumblings that Libya had been the first instance, this would be the second.

        I truly think Obama heard that message loud and clear.

      • Hostage
        September 11, 2013, 2:29 pm

        iirc, there were loud noises about impeaching Obama as a war criminal if it attacked Syria without first going to Congress

        I don’t think there was much danger of that, but it would have caused too much political fallout to simply launch the attack first. By submitting a draft resolution to the Congress, Obama satisfied the legal requirement for initial consultation. He doesn’t have to wait for their answer and can veto any law they might adopt anyway and force them to go through the motions to override. link to law.cornell.edu

        So going to Congress gives him political cover. On the other hand, it does nothing to cure the violation of international law that would result from acting without the consent of the UN Security Council.

      • American
        September 11, 2013, 11:37 am

        @ Hostage

        I think you are missing my point- Iwas addressng the bluff theory–which was that imho—this did not ‘start out’ as a bluff.
        But can now 1)’be used as a bluff’ –2) even though it might not be a bluff ‘in the final solution’ of this—if the Putin-Assad plan fails to satisfy.
        iow—this isnt over—-there is stll potential for it to go either way down the road.

      • Hostage
        September 11, 2013, 2:06 pm

        I think you are missing my point- Iwas addressng the bluff theory–which was that imho—this did not ‘start out’ as a bluff.

        No I don’t think it was either. I think Obama was initially just reacting to events.

  20. Taxi
    September 11, 2013, 1:35 am

    What is astonishing to me, is how the israeli Knesset and American aipac were willing to sacrifice tel aviv and its residents just to hit Syria, or even Iran.

    The israelis have been warned time and time again, not just by hizbollah, but now by Iran and Syria, that the next war between them will be a war of ‘equality': “an airport for an airport, a hospital for a hospital, and a capital for a capital” – and they sure as hell have the military capability and reach to do this.

    Everyone in the region has now adopted their own version of the “Dahya Doctrine”. There are three simultaneous checkmates on the chessboard and it’s israeli military power that’s been checked.

    It behooves the israeli policy hell-makers to inform their public of the personal risks they’d be taking with their warmongering from here on.

    Putin’s svelte maneuver, it seems, has actually not only saved face for Obama, but saved tel aviv as well.

    Some people in the south of Lebanon were somewhat disappointed that the ‘big’ war wasn’t gonna start after all, not yet at any chance. They believe that the next regional war would destroy israel and finally bring peace to the Levant. They wanted to see israeli F-16’s getting shot down in great numbers over Lebanon (hizb has the capability to do this now). They wanted to see the smoking ruins of tel aviv and the mass exodus of foreign colonialists through the gates of Jordan: tel aviv aiport runways being pot-holed with missiles and the mediterranean sea being a watery war zone in itself. The longer it takes for the big war to erupt, the more the Levant people suffer, and especially in occupied Palestine. And everyone around here knows that a big war will happen eventually, that peace with zionists is a grand illusion that when they’ve pursued it, has cost them the lives of their loved ones and the destruction of their villages and cities. So they think: ‘we buried our dead and rebuilt our cities a few times over already, we can do it again with gusto, especially if it means the destruction of the criminal zionist state.

    • ivri
      September 11, 2013, 6:33 am

      The problem is Taxi, that these fantasies, which have been around for decades now, had actually resulted in what we see now in the Arab region. At some point somebody in the Arab world will rise up and ask (as the boy that said that the king is naked) – was that little piece of land worth it? And we are talking here also about the period BEFORE the takeover of the West- Bank by Israel. Pushing the fantasy further with hallucination about Hezbollah shooting down en masse technologically cutting-edge aircrafts and world class pilots are unlikely to make things better. Got to begin to think positively before it`s truly too late

      • Taxi
        September 11, 2013, 1:14 pm

        ivri,

        Your brainwashing by the israeli state is noted. On the one hand, and behind closed doors, the isreali military takes the powers of hizbollah very, very seriously; yet, on the other hand, in public, the israeli military PR machine constantly downplays the ‘actual’ and growing threat posed by hizbollah.

        Since the 2006 war and israel’s defeat against hizbollah, it’s not been surprising to watch the israeli public still pathetically believing in their invincibility – so complete is their brainwashing – while the israeli army honchos sweat all night trying to figure out how to out-maneuver hizbollah with the limited intelligence they have on them.

        Hizbollah has all the weapons it needs to face the israeli military. If you think this is a “fantasy” and a “hallucination”, then I feel sorry for you. Remember this:
        link to youtube.com

        And remember: you will never have peace in israel. I’m not saying this to be mean, I’m stating a fact. A fact that would serve your life to know.

      • Hostage
        September 11, 2013, 2:42 pm

        Pushing the fantasy further with hallucination about Hezbollah shooting down en masse technologically cutting-edge aircrafts and world class pilots

        It doesn’t take all that much to shoot down F-15s, F-16s, and Apache helicopters. That’s why Netanyahu went into Holocaust mode shreying about the danger posed by Putin’s sales of S-300s to Syria, even though they are only conventional weapons. He correctly noted that Syria could use them to declare a No-Fly Zone over Palestinian or Israeli airspace.

        The news today says that: “Russia confirms sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Iran”

        You can just about kiss the prospect of a US or Israeli strike goodbye after those become operational.

      • RoHa
        September 11, 2013, 9:40 pm

        “after those become operational.”

        If they ever do. I have a sneaking feeling that Putin uses the promise of the system to both keep Iran and Syria on side, (“Stick with me and you’ll get them”) and to use the threat of them as a lever against the US. (“Don’t piss me off or Syria and Iran get the s-300s.”)

      • Hostage
        September 11, 2013, 11:48 pm

        Frankly the Iranians have the expertise to design and manufacture their own missile defense system if Putin doesn’t want to make the sale. The notion that he shouldn’t, because it would make it more difficult for Israel or the USA to launch illegal attacks on nuclear facilities is nonsensical. We are talking about conventional weapons.

        The reports have been denied, but he is meeting with the new President next week, so there may be an announcement then.

      • RoHa
        September 12, 2013, 12:46 am

        I see reports that Putin has denied that he has agreed to the sale, but that might just be some fiendishly cunning diplomatic ploy.
        Iran is actually in the process of manufacturing its latest missile system. I have no idea whether it will be as good as the s-300, but it will probably be good enough make things sticky for any attacker.

        The Syrians are reported to have been trained in the use of s-300s. All they need is the full starter kit and they are ready to go.

    • seanmcbride
      September 11, 2013, 10:44 am

      Taxi,

      Regarding your wishes for and vision of the future of Israel — is this what you predict is actually going to happen?

      Some people in the south of Lebanon were somewhat disappointed that the ‘big’ war wasn’t gonna start after all, not yet at any chance. They believe that the next regional war would destroy israel and finally bring peace to the Levant. They wanted to see israeli F-16’s getting shot down in great numbers over Lebanon (hizb has the capability to do this now). They wanted to see the smoking ruins of tel aviv and the mass exodus of foreign colonialists through the gates of Jordan: tel aviv aiport runways being pot-holed with missiles and the mediterranean sea being a watery war zone in itself. The longer it takes for the big war to erupt, the more the Levant people suffer, and especially in occupied Palestine. And everyone around here knows that a big war will happen eventually, that peace with zionists is a grand illusion that when they’ve pursued it, has cost them the lives of their loved ones and the destruction of their villages and cities. So they think: ‘we buried our dead and rebuilt our cities a few times over already, we can do it again with gusto, especially if it means the destruction of the criminal zionist state.

      Your quotes:

      1. “the smoking ruins of tel aviv”

      2. “the mass exodus of foreign colonialists”

      3. “the destruction of the criminal zionist state”

      Or is this is a revenge fantasy?

      What do you think Israel would do with its large arsenal of nuclear weapons if it were faced with the situation you predict?

      • hophmi
        September 11, 2013, 1:58 pm

        I think Taxi is delusional if that’s what he believes.

        Taxi thinks Israel will never have peace. They already have most of it, and the military arsenal to defend it. Making peace with the Palestinians would just make it more secure for the long term.

        But Israel will not be destroyed, because anyone who tries is signing their own death warrants and the death warrants of lots and lots of others.

      • libra
        September 11, 2013, 7:05 pm

        hophmi: But Israel will not be destroyed, because anyone who tries is signing their own death warrants and the death warrants of lots and lots of others.

        hophmi, aren’t you the sort of Zionist that equates Israel with the ‘Jewish State’ and thus views a single, democratic state as the destruction of Israel? In which case your optimism may be as misplaced as Israel’s borders. And your death threats just hollow chest beating.

      • Taxi
        September 12, 2013, 1:32 am

        hopz,
        “Taxi thinks Israel will never have peace. They already have most of it…”

        Yeah sure, like a female can be ‘mostly’ pregnant, right? And like we didn’t see tv footage of panicked israelis fighting each other in public over gas masks two weeks ago.

        Keep taking the ziocain. How nice to be so “comfortably numb” with your weird ideas on what peace looks like.

        Man, you can destroy all the cities in the Arab world, but that won’t stop the Arabs from utterly flattening tel aviv and burying it for once and for all. There will still be Arabs around to rebuild their cities, but will there be israelis around to rebuild tel aviv etc? Never mind israeli cowards like you will be the first to run frantic to the creaking gates of Jordan.

      • Taxi
        September 11, 2013, 2:05 pm

        “Revenge fantasy”?

        An inevitability Mr. Watson, an inevitability.

        If you want to know if hizbollah is defensively capable of destroying tel aviv, why don’t you go and get educated on hizbollah instead of asking me all them 101 questions?

        But you probably won’t go read up, cuz you think the bricks and mortar used in tel aviv are indestructible, right?

        You think israel can nuke Lebanon if they go to war again? LOL! The distance between tel aviv and Beirut is 131 miles, deary.

      • seanmcbride
        September 11, 2013, 4:15 pm

        Taxi,

        Serious question about this:

        You think israel can nuke Lebanon if they go to war again? LOL! The distance between tel aviv and Beirut is 131 miles, deary.

        Are you sure that Israel can’t hit the capital cities of all the nations in its region with WMDs? That’s not what I’ve been told.

        I understand the ferocity of the anger that people in the region feel towards Israel — it’s no wonder — but Israel’s opponents in the past have shown a tendency to underestimate Israel’s military capabilities — with calamitous results for themselves — not to mention its political abilities to enlist Americans and Europeans (often against their will) in its projects.

        Sun Tzu in the Art of War has said several useful things on the topic of the value of understating, not overstating, one’s military power in conflicts.

      • Donald
        September 11, 2013, 5:00 pm

        “You think israel can nuke Lebanon if they go to war again? LOL! The distance between tel aviv and Beirut is 131 miles, deary.”

        Most people more than a couple miles from ground zero at Hiroshima and at Nagasaki survived. There’s a bit of a difference between 13-20 KT nukes and, say, the 15 megaton monster the US detonated at Bikini or the Russian 50 MT “Tsar Bomba”. And even with those the danger 131 miles away depends on which way the wind blows.

        Anyway, this is a ridiculous conversation, but there’s no reason why Israel couldn’t nuke a target 1oo or so miles away, especially if they’re not downwind. One wouldn’t want to do a multi-megaton bomb that close with the fallout danger, but using something in the Hiroshima or somewhat larger range would be feasible if your revenge fantasy of Hezbollah triumphant were coming true. Hopefully Nasrallah is smart enough to know this.

      • Walid
        September 11, 2013, 10:42 pm

        Taxi, you are probably right about Hizbullah being ready for the next war but you’re wrong in making it sound as if they are actually anxious to get into it. Nasrallah has said that he would never fight Palestine’s war in Palestine on its behalf and that he would attack Israel only if it attacked Lebanon. So it’s doubtful Hizbullah would have attacked Israel for the sake of Syria. Those that you say are disappointed about the no war probably don’t have much to lose or aren’t serious people. I’m sure there was a big sigh of relief by mostly everyone in Lebanon at the news that there probably won’t be an attack on Syria or Lebanon. People including Hizbullah still haven’t gotten over the war in 2006 and they are surely not anxious to have another one.

      • Taxi
        September 12, 2013, 1:09 am

        @ Donald,

        You’re upset to think of tel aviv in smokey ruins? Tel aviv standing IS the freaking revenge fantacy realized with my tax dollars! The “revenge fantasy” is the zionists’ bloodthirty vision of Damascus and Beirut and Cairo and Baghdad, the oldest Arab cities in the region, laying in smokey ruins. The zionist’s intentions were always to STEAL Arab Jerusalem and destroy the rest of the grand Arab cities. And as to your “there’s no reason why Israel couldn’t nuke a target 1oo or so miles away, especially if they’re not downwind”, well, I gotta laugh out loud here at your ridiculously naive assertion. Only an idiot would rely on the ‘wind’ for their defense in wartime.

        @Walid,
        From Nasrallah’s last speech, some five weeks ago, regarding Palestine:
        link to youtube.com
        “Israel poses a danger on all people of this region…including Lebanon, and removing it is a Lebanese national interest. Some might think that the elimination of Israel is a Palestinian interest. Yes, it is a Palestinian interest but not just that. It is in the interest of the entire Islamic world, it is in the interest of the entire Arab world and it is also in the national interest for every country in the region. We want to say to every enemy and every friend: we the Shi’ites of the world will not abandon Palestine, the Palestinian people or the sacred sites in Palestine.”
        The Palestinian cause IS hizbollah’s cause too. The Palestinians can take comfort that at least one of their Arab brethren is standing upright and capable in their defense.

        Walid, Nasrallah would never fire the first bullet, he’s made this much clear. But hizbollah is ready to defend your country 100%, even if it means trashing out tel aviv and liberating the Galilee, which is what Nasrallah has promised will happen when israel attacks Lebanon again. The man doesn’t have the habit of making promises he can’t keep. Fact is, there is very little intelligence known about the Hizb’s military capability, except that they are today by far more capable than they were in 2006.

        Israel fully intends on destroying your country, by hook or by crook, and the only force stopping it is hizbollah. For people in the south of Lebanon, who are on the front lines of defending your country, whether the war happens tomorrow or next year, it’s all the same to them, cuz it’s going to happen anyway and they’re ready for it. Some feel that an American strike on Syria would have ignited a regional war and that would have given them the opportunity to lay tel aviv to smokey ruins for once and for all. Why is this such a ‘wild and provocative’ thought to you and to others? This is war, my dear – active attacks are on hold, but it’s still wartime in the Levant. And by the way, Lebanon has already recovered from the 2006 attacks, everything has been rebuilt several times over – what they’re dealing with now is stopping not just israel from overrunning their country, but also with liquidating takfiri and mosad car-bombing agents in Lebanon, wanton zealots sent by saudi arabia and israel.

        And just so you know, in the village where I am, both christian maronites and shias live, and actually, it’s the christian villagers, trained by the resistance, who were expressing to me their regret at the loss of opportunity to go to war with israel. The war against israel is not just a shia war, Walid, it is a LEBANESE war through and through.

      • Walid
        September 12, 2013, 4:46 am

        Taxi, in the video, all Nasrallah said was that he and all Shias would stand with the Palestinians, he didn’t mention anything about crossing the border and fighting the Israelis on their behalf. In the video, he asked for the restitution of the 1948 lands that even the Palestinians aren’t asking for. Both Hamas and Fatah have accepted the 67 borders and then some and now Nasrallah is saying they should go back to the 1948 borders? You have to take some and leave some out of every political speech that’s made. The Lebanese are generally more interested in making business than in making war. The one that wants wars all the time is Israel because with every war or uprising, it’s grabbing more land.

        That speech was at this year’s rally for Palestinians known as Yom al-Quds. There’s a similar rally every year on the last Friday of Ramadan and every year you have a similar rallying speech that is all about Palestine. For the rest of year and every year, speeches are only about Lebanon.

      • Taxi
        September 12, 2013, 5:09 am

        Walid,

        “He didn’t mention anything about crossing the border and fighting the Israelis on their behalf”.

        I already said that he won’t fire the first bullet, but he’s prepared to take the fight right into the heart of israel, and he’s ‘vowed’ this in other speeches quite a few times. Plus it’s no secret that he IS a huge believer and supporter of the Palestinian cause, that he sees the liberation of Palestine as part and parcel of Lebanese national security.

        link to dailystar.com.lb

        And how can the Lebanese spend their time and energy on their preferred “business” practices, with israel working 24/7/365 to destroy their homes, their businesses, their bodies and their country. They by far prefer to do business, yes, but they are still in an unfinished war with israel and that is one MAJOR business they have to deal with first and foremost. Just because the bombs aren’t falling on the Lebanese today, doesn’t mean that they’re not in a state-of-mind of war. This is a fact, Walid, please don’t try and dilute it. The Lebanese have no other choice but to be constantly prepared for another war of aggression by the zionist state.

      • Walid
        September 12, 2013, 8:12 am

        Taxi, The Daily Star article said he’d attack if Lebanon was attacked, so we’re in agreement on that, so as long as Israel stays on its side of the border, Lebanese have nothing to worry about. There is no doubt that the Lebanese have to be constantly prepared for aggression by Israel and in that regard, Hizbullah is what’s keeping the Israelis on their side of the fence. But other than that, you have to accept that the average Lebanese are not a warring people and they are more concerned about going about their lives and not having any bombs falling on them than they are of teaching Israel a lesson. It’s bad enough Israelis believe that their country is the navel of the world without others adding to it. It’s obvious that Israel doesn’t want peace because it’s not willing to give up the Golan, Chebaa Farms and Ghajjar because of the abundance of water its drawing from there. As long as the conflict persists, Israel will continue having access to lots of free water and now there is the added disincentive from talk of finding oil on the Golan and on the West Bank.

      • Taxi
        September 12, 2013, 9:07 am

        Walid,

        Hope we’re not gonna go round and round in circles here. Quintessentially, the Lebanese are bankers and traders and farmers; not warmongers. When did Lebanon ever use force to invade and colonize a neighbor? Never. We agree on this. What you’re neglecting to take into account though, is that while to the north of Beirut’s Dahiya, people are under less pressure to be wary of an israeli attack, and they do indeed get on with their “businesses”, however, Lebanese living south of Dahia and stretching towards south of Saidon and Tyre, well, people there are in a more dangerous location, closer to the enemy, and therefore are in a different frame of mind too. Yes the Lebanese southerners wake up every morning and industriously get on with their “businesses” too, but simultaneously, they’re wired up some about israel, more than their northern brethren.

        Some Lebanese southerners are acutely aware of the inevitability of another war with israel, and they would rather have it sooner than later. I don’t interpret it this as ‘warmongering’. I interpret it as them having a preference in timing of war. No more and no less. And how they perceive the outcome of another war with israel, ie: tel aviv being in smokey ruins etc., well they have the military capability to do this now so why shouldn’t they be talking about it? I mean, are Lebanese living on the borders with israel supposed to say ‘nice’ things about their enemy just to please a western liberal sensibility? I’m telling it like they say it: they intend to make the next war with israel the last one, and they intend to be the victors. Again.

        It puzzles me how every time I report on the south Lebanon pulse, I get a huge response of ‘whoah, now hang on there a minute!’ Walid, it’s a grittier reality being on the ground than reading it from another continent. All I’m doing is passing on the vibe that I’m coming across. And I can assure you, EVERYWHERE you go in south Lebanon, all the main cities and all the small and obscure villages, the presence and popularity of the ‘resistance’ is undeniable. The whole of the south is a united and active collective for the resistance, Walid. Does that make them warmongers? No. It makes them people who are vigilant and very knowledgeable of their vicious enemy.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 11, 2013, 3:49 pm

        Or is this is a revenge fantasy?

        you and irvi should streamline your messaging on this sean. when he wrote At some point somebody in the Arab world will rise up and ask (as the boy that said that the king is naked) – was that little piece of land worth it? And we are talking here also about the period BEFORE the takeover of the West- Bank by Israel. it very much reminded me of the point you were hammering home the other day and how arabs should learn some lesson from the more evolved zionists. (pardon the paraphrasing).

      • seanmcbride
        September 11, 2013, 4:26 pm

        Annie,

        I get Taxi’s anger — but those images of “the smoking ruins of tel aviv” and “the mass exodus of foreign colonialists” — problematic on several levels (practical, moral, etc.).

        I realize that deep down I am still hoping, as irrational as it might be, that Israel will be able to find a way to integrate itself into the Mideast in a peaceable and productive way without any more people on either side being killed, injured or uprooted. Call me a fantasist.

      • libra
        September 11, 2013, 6:18 pm

        More to the point annie, do you share Taxi’s view that the Palestinians will be liberated through the ‘defensive destruction’ of Tel Aviv?

      • Annie Robbins
        September 11, 2013, 7:22 pm

        i get your anger sean. there’s a difference between what we hope for and what’s realistic. obviously palestinians are continually uprooted everyday (checkout kate’s list) so it requires more than a fantasist to hope that israel can “integrate itself into the Mideast in a peaceable and productive way without any more people on either side being killed, injured or uprooted.” it requires a state of denial.

        libra, no, i think it’s more likely they’ll have a civil rights movement akin to what we had in this country. but instinctually, i don’t believe the zionist regime will remain in place indefinitely, i think it’s days are numbered.

      • Bing Bong
        September 12, 2013, 6:10 am

        You would like to see Tel Aviv a smoking ruin I think.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 12, 2013, 12:17 pm

        I think

        oy vey, whatever floats your boat.

      • Taxi
        September 12, 2013, 12:26 pm

        That’s rich coming from the colonialist mister Bong who probably sat on a deck chair, drinking a cocktail and watching white phosphorous rain on Gaza’s children.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 12, 2013, 12:52 pm

        i don’t even try to figure out where comments like that come from taxi. maybe it’s aimed to get a rise out of me. as if the idea of bodies burnt to a crisp turns me on. what.ever.

      • Taxi
        September 12, 2013, 1:43 pm

        Zionists are on a mission from god to smear all BDS supporters by painting them as antisemitic lovers of terrorists and violence – and you’re a vocal one, annie, therefore a target.

  21. gingershot
    September 11, 2013, 7:48 am

    Annie’s post from a couple of days ago regarding the question of whether or not Obama would abide by the US House vote AGAINST the Syria Strike is relevant to this argument of whether Obama possibly is ‘The Man who Killed the Israeli Lobby’, the man who chose to engage the SINGLE most important aspect of American political life and foreign policy – the domination of AIPAC/Israel of these key elements of American life – and fundamentally permanently remove this monkey from America’s back

    The greatest man always is the one who attacks the greatest problem. Greatest man – greatest problem.

    Could Obama be such a transcendent genius that he has decided to do the one thing that changes everything – forgive me in advance – to verily snatch the One Ring back from Israeli Prime Minister Sauron and this Israeli Lobby and throw it back into the pits of Mordor?

    Is that what just happened? – that AIPAC will NEVER get Iran or Syria and because of that, Apartheid is moribund and with it, AIPAC itself?

    I actually argued that the Hagel nomination – in the face of the avalanche of crap from the Israeli Lobby – was DESIGNED to drag the Lobby out into the sunlight (heck – even the un-aired SNL donkey-joke skit made the rounds on viral youtube) and defeat it. I distinctly had the feeling he had welcomed AIPAC into the kill zone for that act of this play.

    This in your face denial of the Israeli Lobby over the Syria Strike makes 3 big ones in a year, counting from last Sept to this Sept:

    1- Denying Israel an attack on Iran: the full-administration mobilization to tell Netanyahu to STOP his in motion Sept/Oct attack plan to mousetrap the US into war with Iran (with the Palestinian status upgrade with access to the ICC immediately following that catastrophe for Netanyahu/Israel). Dempsey said he would not be complicit in an Israeli attack, and every major figure in the administration (Hillary, Biden, Amb Shaprio, Dempsey, etc) was trotted out to make sure Bibi could lie his way into saying he didn’t get the bullhorn message
    2- the Hagel nomination in the face of major AIPAC mobilization and the spectacle of McCain and Graham at the Senate Confirmation Hearings
    3- though ‘reluctantly’ deciding to do a Syria Strike, his last minute walk in the woods counter-intuitive decision at the very last moment, just before pushing the red button for Tomahawk launches a day or so before Labor Day weekend, to all of a sudden CLEAVE TO THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION and seek the war-making approval of the US Congress. This drove a stake into the very heart of AIPAC/Israel/Apartheid

    At the time I actually argued that the Hagel fight (point #2) was a masterstroke to drag the Lobby out and force the Hagel nomination down their throat in the face of a major AIPAC effort.

    Now there’s the possibility that the ONLY WAY – or the best way – for Obama to drive the wooden stake into the heart of his Daily Waking Nightmare (Netanyahu/AIPAC) was to pit the Lobby against what might be the ONLY THING that could stop it – the American Constitution’s incredibly prescient delegation of war-making power NOT TO THE ISRAELI LOBBY but to the American people/US House

    Obama has drug AIPAC and Israeli warmongers screaming for war from their holes and had the American people tell them NEVER AGAIN will they be drug into the ‘Next Iraq’ (Syria) or the ‘Next Iraq after Syria’, IRAN

    Now it’s the hated and despised AIPAC against the American people, with LITTLE interference from the bribed/’lobbied’/intimidated US elected officials who want to keep their jobs. Now it’s the Amercian people actually becoming educated enough to justifiably hate AIPAC and Israeli false flags.

    What a miracle! – it’s almost as if it was planned! Like there is an organizing power like Sarah and her Fundies’ ‘Creative Design’ in the Universe, rather than an messy assemblage of cobbled-together random mutations that onlygive the appearance of an All Seeing Organizing Intelligence.

    It’s almost as if God exists after all and he has been revealed as Barack Obama.

    Despite having been raised as an atheist, and considered many other things in the course of life, am I ready to finally GET RELIGION? Is returning the war-making powers of the US to the American people/US House a sign that Obama, rather than being the Anti-Christ, is God himself? The Grand Benign Puppetmaster of All?

    I know one thing – the smartest man on the planet would tackle the hardest job, the most important job, the ONE JOB that needs to be done – and that is REMOVING the consummate gaming of the American political system from the hands of Bibi ‘the US is easy to manipulate’ Netanyahu and the rest of the Israelis and AIPAC

    In his speech last night, as Annie was exploring in her other post, of the key question of whether Obama would abide by a US House/(Congressional) negative vote – I think Obama answered that last night in the AFFIRMATIVE, that he would, like PM David Cameron, abide by the will of Congress and the people. He basically said so

    Here’s the transcript from last night – tell me Obama not just SOUNDS like he would abide by the US House vote, but that he indeed is PLANNING to do that:

    ‘That’s my judgement as Commander-in-Chief. But I’m also the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. So even though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress. I believe our democracy is stronger when the President acts with the support of Congress. And I believe that America acts more effectively abroad when we stand together.

    This is especially true after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the President, and more and more burdens on the shoulders of our troops, while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force.’

    Whether Obama is God, Frodo, Zen Puppetmaster, JuJitsu Expert, or just a smart guy that pivoted at the right instant in a basketball game he was losing – I think there ARE some threads that Obama might go down in American history as ‘The Man Who Did the Impossible’, ‘the Man Who Killed AIPAC’

    If AIPAC is dead, in that it can no longer staave off the dismantling of Apartheid by igniting a war with Iran and Syria, then the Miracle has Happened. With the death of Apartheid comes the death of the Israeli Lobby/Neocons to determine the fate of America

    As the farmer said to Babe in the movie – ‘That’ll do, pig’

    • hophmi
      September 11, 2013, 1:07 pm

      The AIPAC-is-dead stuff here is really amusing.

      “Could Obama be such a transcendent genius that he has decided to do the one thing that changes everything – forgive me in advance – to verily snatch the One Ring back from Israeli Prime Minister Sauron and this Israeli Lobby and throw it back into the pits of Mordor? ”

      No.

      “Is that what just happened? – that AIPAC will NEVER get Iran or Syria and because of that, Apartheid is moribund and with it, AIPAC itself?”

      No. If anything, it is much more likely that Iran will happen if the US stays out of Syria. It’s much easier to explain why stopping Iranian nukes is in the national interest.

      “I actually argued that the Hagel nomination – in the face of the avalanche of crap from the Israeli Lobby – was DESIGNED to drag the Lobby out into the sunlight ”

      You may have been right, except that the lobby didn’t get involved lobbying against Hagel in any organized way.

      “2- the Hagel nomination in the face of major AIPAC mobilization and the spectacle of McCain and Graham at the Senate Confirmation Hearings”

      There was no “major AIPAC mobilization” against Hagel. You’re misinformed.

      “- though ‘reluctantly’ deciding to do a Syria Strike, his last minute walk in the woods counter-intuitive decision at the very last moment, just before pushing the red button for Tomahawk launches a day or so before Labor Day weekend, to all of a sudden CLEAVE TO THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION and seek the war-making approval of the US Congress. This drove a stake into the very heart of AIPAC/Israel/Apartheid”

      Except that AIPAC and Israel deliberately stayed out of the debate over Syria until the President asked them to get involved.

      “to pit the Lobby against what might be the ONLY THING that could stop it – the American Constitution’s incredibly prescient delegation of war-making power NOT TO THE ISRAELI LOBBY but to the American people/US House”

      In your world, if a boxer is 117-0, and loses a match, does that make him 117-1 or 0-1? Because you seem to think that if some constituency loses a debate, they’ve lost for all time. That’s a silly perspective.

      “Obama has drug AIPAC and Israeli warmongers screaming for war from their holes and had the American people tell them NEVER AGAIN will they be drug into the ‘Next Iraq’ (Syria) or the ‘Next Iraq after Syria’, IRAN”

      I don’t know what you think screaming is, but remaining silent, and then half-heartedly lobbying members of Congress to do something they didn’t care much about in the first place is not it.

      “Now it’s the hated and despised AIPAC against the American people, with LITTLE interference from the bribed/’lobbied’/intimidated US elected officials who want to keep their jobs. Now it’s the Amercian people actually becoming educated enough to justifiably hate AIPAC and Israeli false flags.”

      Don’t count on it.

      “Whether Obama is God, Frodo, Zen Puppetmaster, JuJitsu Expert, or just a smart guy that pivoted at the right instant in a basketball game he was losing – I think there ARE some threads that Obama might go down in American history as ‘The Man Who Did the Impossible’, ‘the Man Who Killed AIPAC’”

      LOL. I can’t get enough of this. Build AIPAC into Godzilla, shoot it in the foot with a pellet gun, and then claim you “killed” Godzilla. That’s pretty much what you’re doing here.

      “As the farmer said to Babe in the movie – ‘That’ll do, pig’”

      He meant it in a good way.

      Oh yeah, and not a single word in this ridiculous post of yours for the 100,000 dead in Syria. It’s all about Godzilla/AIPAC for you. That’s obsession. And moral blindness.

      • just
        September 11, 2013, 4:35 pm

        “moral blindness”???????? Boy, did you get that one wrong!

        ” If anything, it is much more likely that Iran will happen if the US stays out of Syria. It’s much easier to explain why stopping Iranian nukes is in the national interest.”

        Nope again. Declare and disarm Israel first, dude. Their nukes are the greater security threat– they exist and the Israeli government cannot be trusted. Oh, and Israel might want to stop using their chemical weapons on people too.

        (in case you have not heard, Iran does not have, nor is pursuing nuclear weapons)

  22. Walker
    September 11, 2013, 10:14 am

    To me President Obama and John Kerry seemed dead serious about going to war with Syria. If not, it was a terrible risk for them to have relied on uncertain Russian intervention.

    David Sirota’s Salon article has a trenchant comment on the “Obama was bluffing” theory:

    As President Obama apparently submits to domestic and international pressure to back off his plan for an immediate war with Syria, prepare to hear the standard Multidimensional Chess™ talking point.

    You’ve heard this one before — it’s the one from partisans that pretends every good idea their preferred politician opposed but is then forced to embrace was always that politician’s idea all along. As the Atlantic’s James Fallows put it, it portrays Obama as “a chess master who always sees several moves ahead of his opponents.” In that chess game, seemingly stupid moves are actually brilliant calculations designed to create a chain reaction. We are thus asked by these partisans to believe that every dumb, corrupt or misguided position their preferred politician takes is really just a secretly brilliant plot to achieve that politician’s real goal of driving the policy debate to a better place.

    It goes on in the same vein. Note – I don’t think Annie is a blind supporter of the President.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 11, 2013, 1:34 pm

      you’re right walker, i am not a blind supporter of the president. i am an optimist and as i mentioned in the article above is it worth wondering if that was always in the cards? Only if you’re a dreamer like me.

      sometimes, it does occur to me obama is more like a chauncey gardner, which allows people to infuse whatever their own beliefs are into his actions and speeches.

      but primarily i remember he’s a regular human being which means his thought process is not that different than me and most people (even very smart people are basically the same emotionally). and although people do transform most people do not change or flip their political opinions often.

      because obama won a second term he doesn’t have to run again but when i think about the pressure he’s come under as a result of the lobby and israel i can’t help thinking he’s flushing them out. keep your friends close and your enemies closer. he’s keeping them very close. and he’s probably not stupid. it is not even one year into his second term. next year this time we will be heading into the congressional elections. hopefully more constituents will have an understanding of how or if their representatives are beholden to constituents, or the lobby. when it comes to syria, it cannot be both. when it comes to iran it cannot be both.

      so this push push push from israel to attack iran? with each push, the lobby tightens a noose around it’s own neck.

      so we can asked ourselves, is that a coincidence? obama said early on, one of his more famous statements, ‘make me do it’. so now he is taking an action, or proposing an action very much against the will of the american public and in line with israel/lobby. certainly he’s aware from his own military advisers this could start a regional war. what kind of response to war at this time do you think is completely predictable from the american public?

      obviously i disagree w/sirota’s theory: So the Multidimensional Chess argument selectively appropriates credit for turns of events in order to make sure the masses — in this case, the antiwar masses — never get to feel so empowered in the first place.

      i fail to see how sirota’s theory applies here. if one was a believer in this chess player theory then isn’t the opposite actually occurring? don’t the masses feel empowered right now? and notice how sirota links back to himself when he claims the anti war movement has been weakened. but i followed that link and what he’s describing is political insiders. i think what we just found out, very clearly, is there is strong support for anti war. we already knew that from the popularity of ron paul from the last election, his candidacy crushed by the elites (publicaly at the gop convention).

      it was extremely predictable the american public would reject the idea of another ME war. it doesn’t take a master chess player to see that.

      • aiman
        September 11, 2013, 1:58 pm

        “sometimes, it does occur to me obama is more like a chauncey gardner, which allows people to infuse whatever their own beliefs are into his actions and speeches. ”

        Yes, Chris Hedges has called Obama a brand: “Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.”

        link to truthdig.com

      • Kathleen
        September 11, 2013, 2:33 pm

        the bluffing possibility definitely passed through my mind awhile back Annie especially following everything Dempsey had been and was saying which was consistent…don’t do it. Had to keep wondering who the hell is he listening to and why? Had mentioned this one of my Vietnam Vet pilot friends and he told me I was “redongdiculous” Especially when I suggested that maybe Obama did not give a rats ass about how he came out looking. But just don’t know why he and Kerry would have threatened so loudly first and not just said to the international community from the beginning “demand Syria give up all of their chemical weapons” Why do this dance? Syria knows the U.S. can pummel them why go to such extremes to demonstrate that?

        But as you so clearly point out the debate is healthy just why stir people up so much? Start with the international community in the beginning.

      • Walker
        September 11, 2013, 4:49 pm

        Yes, exactly. If President Obama had been antiwar to begin with, why did he assert so deafeningly the lies that the US had legal authority to attack Syria on its own, and that legally he didn’t even need support from Congress? He laid on the “national security” trope heavily (though unconvincingly), and I think that he expected more domestic support. After all, when have Americans last refused to give it?

        At this point I think he’s just relieved by such an incredibly unexpected reprieve.

      • RoHa
        September 11, 2013, 8:01 pm

        “redongdiculous”

        I like that word. Hope it gets into the OED.

      • Kathleen
        September 11, 2013, 11:47 pm

        Another Vietnam Vet friend in Ohio came up with “redongdiculous” Have used it enough other friends use it. I am always fascinated by Vets who are incredibly anti war after they have been there done that. Not too hard to understand

      • seanmcbride
        September 11, 2013, 4:21 pm

        Annie,

        I like your references to Chauncey Gardiner — Being There is one of my favorite movies. My own take on Obama is that he is incredibly smart and cunning — certainly capable of playing sophisticated political chess and concealing his real objectives from his opponents.

        From the beginning of the latest crisis, I began to speculate that Obama might be laying a trap for certain parties (including AIPAC) — “don’t throw me in that briar patch.” I doubt that he has ever had any serious intent to attack Syria.

        I used the image of throwing head fakes — which AIPAC fell for with full force — completely off its feet and in the air.

      • irishmoses
        September 11, 2013, 6:35 pm

        seanmcbride said:
        ***”My own take on Obama is that he is incredibly smart and cunning — certainly capable of playing sophisticated political chess and concealing his real objectives from his opponents. From the beginning of the latest crisis, I began to speculate that Obama might be laying a trap for certain parties (including AIPAC) — “don’t throw me in that briar patch.” I doubt that he has ever had any serious intent to attack Syria.”***

        I’m sorry, while I wish it were true (I voted twice for him), I think you’re deluding yourself. In my view, it has become painfully obvious that Obama is in way over his head. He is certainly bright and articulate but brains and a facility for words do not an effective executive make.

        The man came into office with NO executive/managerial experience and suddenly found himself in the highest executive office in the world. Good executives learn from experience that their job is to make tough, often unpopular calls. Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that he is uncomfortable with confrontation even when he says an issue involves a vital national security interest.

        The perfect example of this was his verbal raising of the I-P issue at the very beginning of his administration. He appoints George Mitchell on day one, declares the issue to be a vital US national security interest, gives a great speech in Cairo but then, when faced with Lobby and Israel pushback over Chas Freeman, settlements, etc., he gets wobbly in the knees and backs off. He allows himself, his office, his vice president, and his nation to be humiliated by a second tier nation and says and does nothing, despite the fact that he said resolution of the I-P issue was a vital US national security interest. He never once went public to take the case to the American people, a la Eisenhower. He never once confronted and rebuked Netanyahu in public.

        I could give you a list of other examples of the same behavior in critical national policy issues, including the Syria issue which was perhaps his most inept performance, but I’ll spare you. It has become painfully obvious that the man is unqualified for the position and may ultimately do more damage to this country than even the Bush administration. I think he has lost the confidence of the public and that his next three years will prove a long, slow embarrassment as he tries to muddle through with pretty rhetoric while continuing to duck the tough calls.

        I wish you and Annie were right, but I think your wishful thinking ignores the hard truth of his pattern of behavior. The man is an inexperienced wimp. What were we thinking when we supported him over Hilary?

        Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying he should have attacked Syria. He used his clever tongue to set red line then got caught up in his own rhetoric. From what I’ve read, he made the decision to get permission from Congress on his own against advice. I’m glad he did, and I’m delighted to see the American public still listens and can act when outraged by a stupid decision, but he did so because of his indecisive ineptitude, not the cleverness you so desperately hope for.

      • ritzl
        September 11, 2013, 7:58 pm

        @IM Superbingo! Sadly.

      • RoHa
        September 11, 2013, 10:44 pm

        “found himself in the highest executive office in the world”

        Why do you think the US Presidency is a higher office than other heads of governments?

      • irishmoses
        September 12, 2013, 11:37 am

        Fair question. I guess because of size of GDP, military budget, trade, foreign policy interests and responsibilities, etc. This is not to say these responsibilities are well-managed or moral, only that they are larger than all or at least most. There is a lot going on and a lot of ways for a president to screw up not only the US but a good portion of the rest of the world.

        On the other, the US and its presidency are only an equal among equal nations so from that standpoint my comment was too US-centric, and disrespectful of the sovereignty, dignity, and importance of its fellow nations and their leaders. That arrogant attitude has caused many US presidents to ignore the wise counsel of smaller allies. e.g. de Gaulle telling JFK and Johnson to stay out of Vietnam.

        I would have preferred that Obama do an apprenticeship in say Iceland before we turned the reins of the US presidency over to him. Unfortunately, Iceland would have paid a very high price.

      • Walker
        September 11, 2013, 5:08 pm

        If President Obama proclaimed the need for war but really never wanted one, then he’s like Kurt Vonnegut’s Howard W. Campbell, Jr., “a man who served evil too openly and good too secretly, the crime of his times”.

        it was extremely predictable the american public would reject the idea of another ME war. it doesn’t take a master chess player to see that.

        I don’t buy this. For 12 years the American public has been all too consistent a supporter of American aggression when the flag is waved.

        I do like that you’re a dreamer though.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 11, 2013, 1:45 pm

      and one more thing..however the chips fall on this, whether we end up invading or not..it will likely be long and drawn out and create a loud national dialogue. i don’t even care if it’s chauncey gardener at this point, i want that dialogue, just like hagel’s nomination process worked in our favor. i really do not think attacking syria will work in our favor, but it would definitely expose the lobby, for there is no other logical reason the reps would vote against the will of the american public.

      • aiman
        September 11, 2013, 2:05 pm

        “however the chips fall on this, whether we end up invading or not..it will likely be long and drawn out and create a loud national dialogue.”

        I don’t think you meant it like that. America should not have national dialogues at the expense of illegal invasions. Neither should America’s civil rights battles – first black president, first woman pres. etc. – be at the expense of the world.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 11, 2013, 3:41 pm

        of course i don’t want to make war on syria! but i don’t know what you mean by ‘like that’. it seems to me to be a fact that however the chips fall on this, whether we end up invading or not.. it will likely be long and drawn out and create a loud national dialogue. that’s an inevitability. the very idea of us engaging in war with iran, which would be horrible, is more cemented in people’s minds as a war for israel. israel keeps pressuring and pressuring, and should be held accountable for that. the pushback, which was from obama during the campaign (see link i provided in article) is now firmly coming from the american public as it should be.

      • aiman
        September 11, 2013, 9:15 pm

        Sorry for the misunderstanding. Good points.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 11, 2013, 10:02 pm

        no worries aiman, nor need to apologize.

  23. Woody Tanaka
    September 11, 2013, 10:33 am

    I don’t buy this “bluff” idea. Obama grossly overextended himself and was facing the possiblity of limping through the next 3 years. If Kerry’s statement wasn’t a blustery gaffe, he wouldn’t have added the qualifier that Syria had to hand over the weapons by the end of the week. That, like similar demands which the US has been issuing since the First Gulf War, at least, (see, e.g., demands on Iraq to exit Kuwait, for the Taliban to hand over bin Laden, for Saddam to flee Iraq) is not intended to be followed, but to give the US the cover to pretend that it is not a barbaric state. But this time, they got trumped by a better politician in Putin, who is now masterminding this whole thing for his benefit. The notion that the UN Security Counsel will pass a resolution on this is a fool’s wish. Putin and Assad are now in the driver’s seat. They will decide the how and the what. And if Obama doesn’t like it, he will have to take it because he knows that he couldn’t get a resolution before they agreed to this, so there’s no damn way he’ll get one now.

  24. gingershot
    September 11, 2013, 12:37 pm

    Great Israeli cartoon on the New York skyline on this Anniversary of 911

    Shows a new tower – the ‘Fed Up with War Building’ ‘ – as HIGHER than the ‘Freedom Tower’

    Perfect – the Tower could also be called the A’nti-AIPAC’ or ‘Anti-NeoconTower’

    link to cartoonkronicles.com

  25. piotr
    September 11, 2013, 2:16 pm

    The discussions about the goals of Obama remind me a discussion about various bizarre aspects of the pricing of airline tickets (and other charges you may get from an airline). To make a long story short, the pricing often makes “no sense” except for what matters most: maximizing the revenue.

    So one would have to ask what matters most to Obama. What is his “revenue”? My impression is that he looks for ways of looking good whatever happens. This requires a bit of elaboration who is the arbiter in this “beauty contest”, but this is quibbling.

    From this perspective, given a clamor about how nasty it is to be oblivious to the plight of oppressed Syrian (coming from both neo-cons and progressives), “Red Line” was an elegant solution. Obama was resolute, considerate and not a lunatic. Then “red lines were crossed” and Obama had to do SOMETHING. First, a resolute announcement. Then a lateral pass (a punt?) to Congress, allowing for some degree of wait and see while maintaining resolute posture. Dependent on the development, he could order an attack or not, while both the boss and his crew are utter opportunists who can proceed with either course of action (or inaction, if you will) with equal aplomb.

    For the issue of Palestinians that gives mixed prognosis. As it is hard to see how it can be advanced without ruffling some feathers (and looking at least somewhat bad), the best solution has the form of secret peace negotiations where nothing happens. The same applies to various other international issues and it is hardly an optimistic observation. However, Obama also sizes an opportunity at occasion, and additionally he is a master of strategically ineffectual actions, so some cautious optimism is warranted.

  26. Kathleen
    September 11, 2013, 2:37 pm

    So will Syria’s chemical weapons stock pile(4th largest in the world) open up the debate as to what is and is not on the banned chemical weapons list? Is napalm on that list? As Wilkerson pointed out the other day on Chris Hayes he would rather die from sarin gas than napalm. Faster. Not that any of this would be the desired way to die. But will this open up a discussion about what the U.S. has, what Israel has in the way of chemicals and what is and is not on the banned list?

  27. amigo
    September 11, 2013, 3:06 pm

    Anyone know what AIPAC is doing behind the scenes??.

    Apart from licking their wounds.

    Hopefully the Russian,s will drag this process out Israeli style.Making promises and then reneging , then stalling and demanding compromises etc etc.

    Of course I do not want ordinary Syrians to suffer as a result of delays in resolving the CW issue.

    Just saw John hero Mc Caine being interviewed on AJ. Funny how he and Obama are openly accusing Assad of firing those CW,s.No discussion about proof and it is amazing how EU media has climbed aboard that wagon.

  28. crone
    September 11, 2013, 6:06 pm

    It will take a long time to destroy Syria’s stockpile of CW… first, it’s dangerous to move/transport it very far, so a facility will have to be built, probably in the desert. Some countries have been working on the destruction of CW for over a decade.

    Kerry’s comment that it should be handed over in a week is totally misleading, intentionally so, imho. This gives wiggle room for moving forward with an attack. I no longer see Obama as a good guy… so, from my pov he is unpredictable.

    There has been a lot of discussion on this matter at MoA and many there believe that Putin checked Obama here… the CW will have to be guarded until such time as it is destroyed. US military estimates on this was about 75,000 boots –

    Syria is a sovereign state and has right to say who can and who cannot come onto their soil for the express purpose of guarding the CW. It probably will be Russia. Bingo! Russian boots on the ground in the ME!

    And I don’t see that short of going to war, there is anything Obama can do about this.

  29. Taxi
    September 12, 2013, 3:11 am

    A friend in LA pointed out to me that this September 11th, Bashar was killing alqaida and saving christians in Syria. “And what the eff was Obama doing? Praying at the memorial in public with his wife dressed in bright purple while everyone around her was dressed in black.”

    Boy was he mad at Michelle’s vanity on such a somber day, mad at Obama for threatening to attack Bashar who was actually confronting alquida on the battlefield and killing them on 9/11.

  30. kalithea
    September 12, 2013, 9:12 am

    No, drone lord, snooping Obomba was not bluffing and I’m weary of those who just can’t accept that the biggest con Obama actually DID pull off is fooling everyone into believing he was different from the shrub on matters of war and foreign policy. This was ready to become the biggest blunder of his career, and he’s blundered quite a bit until Putin took his ass out of the frying pan. The man, Obama that is, looked really scared and alone headed for resounding defeat, albeit stubbornly defiant. His new-found love for bomb-Iran McCain was sickening to witness. He EVEN called the “yahu” in Israel to get him to call his friends in Congress on the right to convince them to support his war effort. Never have I seen someone who was revered before he took office stoop so low trying to defy the will of the people. He is despicable in every way and nothing he does surprises me anymore, and I’m so, so weary of people hanging on to the last thread hoping that maybe he still could be who they imagined he was even after he watched Gaza’s children burn and turned away, Bradley Manning tortured for exposing a war crime, after he escalated in Afghanistan, after he had countless people killed with drones, after he diminished civil rights with increased surveillance and threatened the whistle-blower Snowden with Manning’s fate and considering what happened on 9/11 and the Boston tragedy, sides with the Saudis who have unleased and armed a gang of thug extremists on Syria and tacitly allows for Al-Qaeda including foreign fighters from Libya and Chechnya who altogether killed thousands of Americans to run rampant in Syria destroying everything in sight and slicing up Christian clergy, kurds and other Syrians and summarily executing Syrian soldiers in a brutal way and all to indulge his Aipac masters. SHAME ON HIM!

    Never mind chemical weapons and who did it. The worst moral crime that is still taking place in Syria is tacitly supporting Al Qaeda in their bloody rampage and campaign to spread terror and destruction across Syria!

    • ritzl
      September 12, 2013, 7:30 pm

      @kalithea It wasn’t just shrub that Obama was [perceived to be] different from, it was Hillary as well. To me, the only thing that got Obama elected, by winning the primaries, was his very marginal opposition to war as a first resort. Even in 2008, Dem voters at least, were tired of war without end and chose based on that weariness. I think that war-weariness has spread much more broadly now.

      Your comment is a great bookend to irishmoses’s upthread. Taken together, Obama is in over his head, but by being over his head he inadvertantly crystallized and gave direction to that weariness. It’s tough to see us getting militarily involved in Iran from this point forward, if only from a public outrage PoV/dynamic. But the outrage has given reasonable people in govt a chance to assert themselves. So probably not from a policy PoV either. Hopefully, anyway.

      Following in that vein, this Syria debacle (from the Israel-via-AIPAC PoV) has congealed and given voice to loud, strong, and broadly held opposition to future US wars in the ME, imvho. That blocks Israel-via-AIPAC/neocon’s principal political agenda and machinations in the US. They’re powerful, but not that powerful, again hopefully.

      AIPAC was transcendent, politically, in the US while the post-9/11 “they hate us” hysteria was transcendent. It was a highly manipulable condition. But now war-weariness appears to be transcendent. Israel-via-AIPAC is not finished, but certainly greatly diminished in power and influence. Their message is no longer a first principle. That’s gotta sting. Maybe it will sting/stun long enough for sane people to get their feet under them and start moving more aggressively toward a, well, sane policy in the ME.

      Someone posted this Ha’aretz op-ed the other day. Chemi Shalev: link to haaretz.com Buried in that piece was this instructive graf:

      Israel will also be unhappy with Assad suddenly being cast as a legitimate interlocutor rather than an ostracized dictator, with the “constructive” role that Tehran might suddenly play in defusing the Syrian crisis and with the risk that Russian success in Syria may lead it to seek a greater role in other peacemaking endeavors as well. “With the food comes the appetite”, as a famous originally French saying goes.

      Maybe that’s the perfect place to start a sane policy going forward. Remove the sneer quotes from “constructive” and actually make/implement a policy that IS constructive. Move past the mockery, as Putin did with Kerry’s remark, and actually look for diplomatic solutions. With this Syria furball in recent memory, there’s plenty of raw diplo material there to work with, grass-roots political pressure to do so, and a huge potential upside to success. Means, motive, and opportunity, as they say on TV. Motive has always been completely missing.

      Anyway, though-provoking comment and a really great thread.

      Thanks to Annie for instigating it.

      • irishmoses
        September 12, 2013, 11:59 pm

        Ritzl said:
        ***”Maybe that’s the perfect place to start a sane policy going forward. Remove the sneer quotes from “constructive” and actually make/implement a policy that IS constructive. Move past the mockery, as Putin did with Kerry’s remark, and actually look for diplomatic solutions. With this Syria furball in recent memory, there’s plenty of raw diplo material there to work with, grass-roots political pressure to do so, and a huge potential upside to success.”***

        Zbig Brezinski was saying yesterday that it was a perfect opportunity for a Middle East trifecta. A grand solution for Iran, Syria, and I-P. I think the ingredients you spoke of are there, particularly with AIPAC on its heels, and the dozing American public now awake looking like a raging tiger to feckless US Congress.

        This could be a perfect time to package all three as there is clearly incentive on the parts of all participants (except the Israel-Jabotinsky crowd) to work out a grand bargain in which everyone gets credit for being reasonable and diplomatic. If the 2002 Arab Initiative deal is framed as the solution everyone will accept (no settlements, no settlers, pre-67 borders with very minor modifications, return of Golan Heights, full peace treaty, all surviving 47 and 67 refugees get full right of return, etc.) then Israel looks like the greedy, recalcitrant bad actor in the eyes of the aroused American public and attempts at political pressure by AIPAC and Israel create more anger on the part of everyday Americans for their manipulation and refusal to be reasonable.

        I am such a dreamer.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 13, 2013, 12:18 am

        thanks for great comments ritzl and irish. i’m such a dreamer too! and i’m reminded of helena’s great win-win article. maybe the stars are lining up in a positive way.

      • ritzl
        September 14, 2013, 6:52 pm

        @im dreamer… And you’re not the only one… What’s that bumper sticker, “Visualize Peace!” A lot of “dreamers” here and “out there.”

        On Brezinski, there’s a lot of openings that exist today that didn’t exist a week ago. He may be too optimistic in the simultaneous sense, but to me, solve any one of those three and the other two [relatively] quickly follow. Syria’s the most straight forward of the three.

        Independent of anything the US might choose to do, Israel sure seems to be “solving” the I/P issue on its own terms and in real time by annexing the WB (or assimilating, to avoid the terminology debate). Their actions are taking Palestinian statehood off the table, internationally and diplomatically speaking, imho. Two down?

        Keep dreaming (Annie too). Right there with you.

  31. just
    September 12, 2013, 9:23 am

    I can’t believe my own eyes a lot of the time:

    “U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels”

    link to washingtonpost.com;

    And then there is the op-ed from Putin:

    ” Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

    Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all. ”

    link to nytimes.com

  32. just
    September 12, 2013, 9:27 pm

    Just watched again a very brilliant documentary about John Hunter teaching the “World Peace Game” — it’s illuminating from the experiences of students given power, money, resources, and the ability to decide war or peace, or both– and identifying the worst and best in us all among 4th graders– they get it, to many adults don’t:

    link to ted.com

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