United States takes a ‘new path’ forward in the Middle East!

on 169 Comments
Foreign Minister Zarif and Secretary of State Kerry shake hands

Foreign Minister Zarif and Secretary of State Kerry shake hands

An historic deal, a giant shift in the US relationship to the Middle East, and there is jubilation around the world.

The Iranian President is proud, restrained, but sees a new way opening for his country.

The White House put out this photo of the president announcing the deal.

Obama announces the historic deal

Just now on MSNBC Chuck Todd said this could be a “crowning achievement” of the Obama administration, though the domestic fallout will be a big problem. Domestic fallout means: the lobby.

The Obama administration is releasing the president’s statement in tweets that are aimed at the skeptics, emphasizing that this is a deal to stop Iranian nukes. But also, joy:

A sense of the moment here:

Kerry just spoke in Geneva.


Gharib tweeted this photo of Zarif hugging France’s Laurent Fabius, the strongest advocate for Israel at the talks.

Zarif hugs Fabius

Zarif hugs Fabius

Netanyahu’s twitter account is silent.

Ambassador Ron Dermer, crickets.

Here’s the joint statement from Zarif and Catherine Ashton of the EU. Bland. Though: “Today’s agreement is a significant step towards developing our relationship in a more constructive way.”

Other reaction on twitter:



A lot of talk about the lobby’s failure

Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation says to “ignore Israel’s warnings” (but to trust and verify). She is also jubilant:

  More cracks at the lobby:

Ari Fleischer is going nuts.

More rage from Ari Fleischer.

Jubilation from Zbig Brzezinski:

And a foolish response to Brzezinski from Jeffrey Goldberg:


But Goldberg is afraid to criticize the deal. Josh Block of The Israel Project isn’t.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is being judicious, uncritical.

More lobby laughs.


More jubilation, from Scott Roth, who wrote, This is MOMENTOUS:


More about the historic moment:

Omri Ceren says that Parsi’s organization should be registered as a foreign agent, and Jeffrey Goldberg retweets.

This is a calumny. Why? Because unlike AIPAC and the AJC and the ADL, the National Iranian American Council are critics of the Iranian regime.

Now here is a statement from the National Iranian American Council’s Trita Parsi, warning about the opposition that will now arise in the U.S. to the deal. Notice the reference to human rights in Iran.

“Diplomacy has delivered the U.S. and Iran from the brink of a disastrous war and placed the two countries at the beginning of a brighter, more sustainable path forward. NIAC congratulates Presidents Obama and Rouhani, Secretary Kerry and Minister Zarif, and all of the diplomats involved in breaking the paradigm of enmity that have undermined both country’s interests…

“Ultimately, it is the Iranian people and the American people who deserve the most credit. Both are responsible for this initial victory by rejecting defeatists who said that a brighter future was not possible, diplomacy could not succeed, and that the only viable options were antagonism, rejectionism, threats and military contingencies.

“This is the beginning, not the end of the process. The U.S. and Iran must continue vigorously pursuing a long-term agreement that can put the two countries on a sustainable path forward to peaceful relations. Many obstacles and potential spoilers remain. Hardliners in both countries will work harder than ever to sabotage this pivot towards a diplomatic path. Those whose only currency is confrontation will search for any opportunities they can find to undermine and sabotage this interim deal.

“In the U.S. Congress, there are threats to move forward with sanctions that would unravel the delicate diplomatic process and, ironically, likely unravel the international sanctions at the same time. It is imperative that moderates in the U.S. and Iran prevail, and it will take the continued strong support of the American and Iranian people for compromise and negotiation to succeed.

“If this path continues, the biggest winners will be ordinary Americans and ordinary Iranians….

“Iranian Americans, who overwhelmingly oppose war and broad economic sanctions, and who have suffered under the standoff between the two countries, want to see a future in which the U.S. enjoys positive relations with an Iran that truly represents its people. Today, that future appears more possible than ever.

“It is critical that, with negotiations progressing, human rights are made a priority and that meaningful dialogue on human rights is made a centerpiece broader negotiations. Iranian Americans want peace and diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran, but such a relationship must also not turn a blind eye to the plight of ordinary people at the hands of their government. Just as is the case with resolving the nuclear issue, diplomacy remains the best tool for advancing human rights.”

J Street, the Israel lobby group that pushed the deal, celebrates it too, and doesn’t mention the hardliners. It’s trying to sell the deal to lovers of Israel:


J Street welcomes the agreement reached today in Geneva by the P5+1 and Iran as a significant first step in efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon…

Secretary of State John Kerry, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and their negotiating partners deserve our thanks for their clear-eyed pursuit of a diplomatic resolution, which remains the most desirable way to achieve the shared goal of the US, Israel and all parties with a stake in the security and stability of the Middle East…

We urge Congress to get behind this agreement and continue to give our negotiators the time and space they need to complete a comprehensive and verifiable agreement with Iran that will lift the nuclear threat from the region and the world. Congress should heed President Obama’s call to hold off from enacting new sanctions now so that the international community can test Iran’s sincerity and work to reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran that will lift the nuclear threat from Israel and the world.

About Philip Weiss

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

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169 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    November 24, 2013, 12:01 am


    Secret US-Iran talks set stage for nuke deal

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Iran secretly engaged in a series of high-level, face-to-face talks over the past year, in a high-stakes diplomatic gamble by the Obama administration that paved the way for the historic deal sealed early Sunday in Geneva aimed at slowing Tehran’s nuclear program, The Associated Press has learned.

    The discussions were kept hidden even from America’s closest friends, including its negotiating partners and Israel, until two months ago, and that may explain how the nuclear accord appeared to come together so quickly after years of stalemate and fierce hostility between Iran and the West.

    President Barack Obama personally authorized the talks as part of his effort – promised in his first inaugural address – to reach out to a country the State Department designates as the world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism.

    The talks were held in the Middle Eastern nation of Oman and elsewhere with only a tight circle of people in the know, the AP learned. Since March, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Jake Sullivan, Vice President Joe Biden’s top foreign policy adviser, have met at least five times with Iranian officials.


    laura rozen: Burns led secret US back channel to Iran

    Deputy Secretary of State William Burns has led a secret U.S. back channel to Iran going back to shortly before the June election of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, U.S. officials exclusively told Al-Monitor.

    The U.S. bilateral channel to Iran was established after the exchange of letters between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Rouhani in early August, US officials told Al-Monitor. Led by Burns, the US’s second highest ranking diplomat and a former lead US Iran nuclear negotiator, the US effort to establish the direct channel with Iran also includes two officials from the Obama White House: Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, and Puneet Talwar, the National Security Staff senior director for Iran, Iraq, and Persian Gulf affairs, US officials confirmed. Talwar’s role in back channel discussions with Iran was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal.

    Following the exchange of letters between Obama and Rouhani in August, “Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns met bilaterally with Iranian counterparts,” several times over the past few months, starting before the UN General Assembly opening session in September and in Geneva multiple times in recent months, a senior U.S. Administration official told Al-Monitor in an interview late Friday.

    (big cut…)

    White House press officials have previously deflected queries from Al-Monitor about possible, rumored meetings involving US and Iranian officials. An NSC official suggested to Al-Monitor last week, for instance, in response to a query, that Sullivan could not be part of a meeting with Iranians because he was last week traveling with Biden in Mexico and Panama. Sullivan did not respond to a query from Al-Monitor Saturday.

    Similarly, the State Department’s official public schedules have regularly dissembled about Burns’ whereabouts. During both the second and current round of P5+1 Iran nuclear talks in Geneva this month, the State Department schedule said Burns was attending meetings at the White House and State Department, when Al-Monitor has confirmed that he was in fact in Geneva, even in advance of the rest of the US delegation. Those were apparently the instructions of his office to the State Department press officer who puts together the schedules, the official said.

    We thought it important to have these discussions [with the Iranians] discreetly, given the amount of ground we had to cover, lots of it very complicated,” the US official said Friday.

    However, the official added, “while in some respects” the US-Iran channel “had to be secretive, it is not a surprise.”

    discreetly, as in officials not running back and forth to tel aviv at every turn in the road.

    • ToivoS
      November 24, 2013, 3:53 am

      iAnnie, It has been clear to some of us that the US was involved in these discrete discussions with the Iranians for some time. In order for these discussions be fruitful it was essential that they be done without the Israelis knowing what was going on. It was so important for Obama to get Dennis Ross out of the picture. It was also important to get Hillary out of the way. I also think that the removal Ann Marie Slaughter was part of this.

      I am not sure how the Obama admin pulled this off with Samantha Powers and Susan Rice so close to the discussions. Maybe they were cut out of the loop or maybe they were thrown out there to deceive the lobby. It will be some time before we know what role they played.

      Whatever back room deals and deceptions were needed we all have to rejoice at today’s outcome.

    • Dan Crowther
      November 24, 2013, 2:14 pm

      “discreetly” as in a guy named Burns and a guy named Sullivan. Ha. Says a lot – Burnsey and Sully to the rescue

      • Citizen
        November 26, 2013, 11:59 am

        Should I notice they are of Irish, not Jewish extraction?

  2. DICKERSON3870
    November 24, 2013, 12:09 am

    RE: “An historic deal, a giant shift in the US relationship to the Middle East, and there is jubilation around the world.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: OMG! OMG! OMG! I hope this disastrous news doesn’t cause Senator Kirk to have another stroke.
    On second thought . . .

    FROM opensecrets.org (10/28/13):

    Pro-Israel: Money to Congress

    • Senators (top 10)
    • All cycles
    Candidate ////// Amount
    Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $2,281,424
    Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,706,933
    Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,661,835
    Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,376,605
    Obama, Barack (D) $1,371,325
    McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $1,339,348
    McCain, John (R-AZ) $1,303,682
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,234,741
    Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,058,857
    Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $954,203

  3. DICKERSON3870
    November 24, 2013, 12:37 am

    RE: “An historic deal, a giant shift in the US relationship to the Middle East, and there is jubilation around the world.” ~ Weiss

    HASBARA RESPONSE: Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! Chamberlain! Munich! 1938! [CONTINUED AD NAUSEAM LIKE A BROKEN RECORD]

    • Shingo
      November 24, 2013, 4:42 am

      Brilliant Dckerson.

    • MRW
      November 24, 2013, 7:14 am

      That’s because they’re ignoramuses, Dickerson.

      The excellent former UPI international reporter Richard Sale describes on Colonel Lang’s site the real and strategic purpose of Chamberlain’s Munich appeasement: “The secret British policy was to secretly play for time,” and “Chamberlin [sic] had secured peace for 12 months, just in time for the British Air Ministry to introduce the fast, eight-gun Spitfire fighter into squadron service.”

      Once again and again and even again, the term “Munich appeasement” is being used by people who should know better, using the phrase as a vulgar tool to attack any American effort to achieve an agreement with Iran on its nuclear enrichment program. Unfortunately, much of the popular understanding of Munich Agreement is entirely mistaken. “Munich appeasement” is a mere label plastered on a bottle that had in most cases never been opened much less tasted.

      In the late 1930s, Germany had clearly rearmed, its intentions were clearly aggressive, and clearly, the British, like the French, had not. Their countries had no heart for rearmament. But before the meeting with Hitler, Prime Minister Chamberlin in fact had set in motion a secret policy to confront Hitler, the object of which was to “inject resisting power” into those states neighboring Germany that Hitler clearly wanted to turn into “vassals.”

      Chamberlin’s design was to increase financial and economic aid into possible “vassal states” that would make them less dependent on Germany aims. Its goal was to “ensure that Germany’s style was “cramped in every way possible, with a minimum of any provocation” that might be a cause for war. This secret intent to increase anti-German resistance would be buttressed by the public declaration that the French and British were united in resisting Hitler’s designs.

      This of course was false posturing. The French generals were muddled and confused and wanted to avoid war at all costs, and the British were basically unarmed.

      The secret British policy was to secretly play for time. It is to Chamberlin’s credit that he did this. Why then all this footwork? At his meeting with Hitler on Sept. 29, Chamberlin permitted the German reoccupation of the Sudetenland, and the agreement enabled Chamberlin to return to London and announce he had secured “peace in our time.”

      But the reality was far different. Chamberlin had secured peace for 12 months, just in time for the British Air Ministry to introduce the fast, eight-gun Spitfire fighter into squadron service. A biographer of British intelligence said, “That stay of war proved to be decisive in the defense of the United Kingdom –the Battle of Britain which took place in the summer of 1940 and which resulted not only in victory but ended Hitler’s plan for an invasion.

      The lesson of course, was to stall in the face of military weakness until you had gained some position of strength. John Kennedy took that lesson to heart – that without military strength you could do little in foreign policy.

      • RoHa
        November 24, 2013, 7:54 pm

        “The secret British policy was to secretly play for time. It is to Chamberlin’s credit that he did this. ”

        I have read analyses that suggest that this was a mistake. They argue that if Chamberlain had stood firm against German annexation of the Sudetenland, Hitler would have had to either pull his head in or try to invade the Sudetenland. The German Army would then have got hung up on the Czech defences there (allegedly very strong) and been unable to deal with a British/French attack from the West. (Or even, at a pinch, just a British attack.) The German Army was still far from the strength that drove across Belgium and into France.

        And the RAF already had Hurricanes.

    • thetruthhurts
      November 28, 2013, 12:56 am

      you forgot the holocaust

  4. DICKERSON3870
    November 24, 2013, 12:50 am

    RE: “An historic deal, a giant shift in the US relationship to the Middle East, and there is jubilation around the world.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Over the coming months, look for Israel to attack (temper tantrum-like) either Gaza or Lebanon (or possibly both)! That’s the way Israel operates. It’s some kind of a mental problem.*

    * FROM WIKIPEDIA [Megalomania]:

    [EXCERPTS] Megalomania is a psychopathological disorder characterized by delusional fantasies of power, relevance, or omnipotence, “Megalomania is characterized by aninflated sense of self-esteem and overestimation by persons of their powers and beliefs.”[1] Historically it was used as an old name for narcissistic personality disorder prior to the latter’s first use by Heinz Kohut in 1968, and is used these days as a non-clinical equivalent.[2][3] . . .
    . . . A quotation by Bertrand Russell gives his interpretation of megalomania: “The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved. To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history.”[5]
    Russell’s near-contemporary, Sigmund Freud, freely used the same term in a comparable way. Referring with respect to an adult neurotic to ‘the omnipotence which he ascribed to his thoughts and feelings’, Freud reckoned that ‘this belief is a frank acknowledgement of a relic of the old megalomania of infancy’.[6] Similarly Freud concluded that ‘we can detect an element of megalomania in most other forms of paranoic disorder. We are justified in assuming that this megalomania is essentially of an infantile nature and that, as development proceeds, it is sacrificed to social considerations’.[7]
    Edmund Bergler, one of his early followers, considered that ‘as Freud and Ferenczi have shown, the child lives in a sort of megalomania for a long period; he knows only one yardstick, and that is his own over-inflated ego….Megalomania, it must be understood, is normal in the very young child’.[8] Bergler was of the opinion that in later life ‘the activity of gambling [“all or nothing” in the case of Likudnik Israel – J.L.D.] in itself unconsciously activates the megalomania and grandiosity of childhood [i.e. the mythical/Biblical “Land of Israel”* – J.L.D.], reverting to the “fiction of omnipotence”.[9]
    Otto Fenichel states that, for those who react in later life to narcissistic hurt with denial, ‘ a regression to narcissism is also a regression to the primary narcissistic omnipotence which makes its reappearance in the form of megalomania’.[10] . . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalomania

    * SEE: “The Invention of the Land of Israel by Shlomo Sand – review”, By Donald Sassoon, The Guardian, 4/18/13
    In this second volume of his trilogy of Jewish studies, Sand explores how the ‘Land of Israel’ was invented, and debunks popular nationalist mythology
    LINK – http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/18/invention-land-israel-shlomo-sand

    • Walid
      November 24, 2013, 1:44 am

      Dickerson, you imply that Israelis suffer from magalomania, Sand says they’re an invented people, seafoid sees them as a train about to go over the cliff and 101 articles are written on their collective suffering from PTS disorder.

      Sounds like a mentally disturbed country that paradoxically comes out with so many innovations; must have something to do with the borderline closeness of the creative-genius and the mentally disturbed.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 24, 2013, 2:05 am

        walid, dickerson should not have cut this segment from wiki’s opening paragraph:

        is used these days as a non-clinical equivalent.[2][3] It is not mentioned in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)[4] or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD).

        iow, officially it’s not a mental disorder. and i am not so sure i would attribute most innovation to ‘genius’. as an example, yrn is on another thread taking credit for an israeli inventing drip irrigation that set off a ‘revolution’ (repeating company advertising). it just so happens 2 years earlier an american came up w/the hosing and lots of innovation after ww2 was improving an idea that had been around for centuries. but the israeli did patten his idea on a nozzle and bought out the competition.

        but this was an era when plastics were sweeping many tech industries so this particular innovation was very much a matter of time thing.

      • DICKERSON3870
        November 24, 2013, 3:11 am

        Although I generally like the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it is held in low esteem by many professionals in the mental health field. It is sometimes viewed as “cookbook psychology” (close enough for government work). Other times it is seen as “revisionist psychology”. There was quite an uproar when in 1980 it completely did away with the neurosis and psychosis categorizations.
        What’s more, the DSM-5 (2013) differes from the DSM-IV (1994); which differed from the DSM-III-R (1987); which differed from the DSM-III (1980); which differed from the DSM-II (1968); which differed from the DSM-I (1952). And in the not to distant future, the DSM-6 (2???) will differ from all of them!
        At any rate, I do not think it is important whether of not “megalomania” is currently considered to be a “clinical diagnosis” (even though many psychiatrists and psychologists use the term), because I’m not qualified to make a “clinical diagnosis” (even though I personally think that Netanyahu is a narcissistic megalomaniac). It still provides a a useful framework for trying to make some sense of The Dissociative State of Israel™!

      • just
        November 24, 2013, 3:20 am

        As it currently exists, Israel is both dissociative and psychotic.

        More troubling, it’s also sociopathic.

      • American
        November 24, 2013, 1:17 pm

        I havent read the details of the Israeli’s ‘drip’ innovation but I cant figure how that is such a ‘new’ innovation when 55 years ago all the bushes, ect on our lawn were watered by running copper tubing ‘hoses with tiny holes in it thru the plantings areas that ‘dripped’ water to keep them watered.
        I dont get the excitment over all this…what am I missing. Nothing new about it.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2013, 11:04 pm

        Drip irrigation was invented by the Chinese.

      • MRW
        November 24, 2013, 7:23 am

        paradoxically comes out with so many innovations

        Yeah, once the Russian scientists got there after the breakup of the USSR and brought their technical knowhow with them. Avrum Burg was smart enough to let them all in whether they were Jewish or not, and half of them weren’t.

  5. Walid
    November 24, 2013, 1:13 am

    AIPAC’s Blitzer isn’t the only journalist that appear to be crying over the agreement. Their reactions show which ones were on America’s side and which are the Israel-firsters.

    One of the important things about the agreement s the indication that the US has broken its reliance on the help of Muslim fundamentalists to get its ways.

    Sara Sidner, CNN’s journalist in Abu Dhabi just shifted the distressed look on her face and is now appearing a bit more upbeat about the agreement; must have received a call from Atlanta. Now she has been babbling about Israel’s insecurities and how some Israeli ministers have already come out to say this is a bad deal for Israel.

    Regrettably, the US can’t give Israel another “good-for-Israel” one that Netanyahu crowed about when 9-11 happened.

  6. Taxi
    November 24, 2013, 1:21 am

    האויב אוכל חתיכת חרא שלום ענקית כרגע = the enemy is eating a giant peace turd right now!

    הצלחה היא הנקמה הכי מתוקה = success is the sweetest revenge.

    (LOL that was my first ever hebrew posting!)

    • MahaneYehude1
      November 24, 2013, 1:46 am


      (LOL that was my first ever Hebrew posting!)

      Well, for the first time in Hebrew, I would say it is not bad at all for first grade student, but the English…, Taxi?

      the enemy is eating a giant PEACE turd right now!

      But, if I wrong and you really mean “peace”, so I am sorry and thanks for the blessing.

      • amigo
        November 24, 2013, 8:22 am

        Mahane , you claim you are the only poster using that name.So how do you explain the following??.

        “First, I think I didn’t miss any point. If you believe in the Hadith says that Al-Aqsa is in Al-Quds and if you believe the Prophet specify the place in Al-Quds – I respect your beliefs. In the past I had a long debate with several people here about the history of the Jewish people, and I claimed that what is important to me is the people memories, whether the story is real or mythology. So, I expect others to respect our beliefs too and if Jerusalem or Rachel Tomb are regarded holy places for Jews, we must respect them too. Please, read the following comment:”Mahane.

        Then this,

        “But, if I wrong and you really mean “peace”, so I am sorry and thanks for the blessing.” mehane.

        I await your explanation with unfettered curiosity.

      • MahaneYehude1
        November 24, 2013, 11:41 pm


        Don’t understand the connection between the two comments. Could you, please, explain?

      • amigo
        November 25, 2013, 5:54 am

        “Don’t understand the connection between the two comments. Could you, please, explain?”mahane

        Your right, there is no connection.They were written by two different people.

    • just
      November 24, 2013, 2:07 am

      Taxi– you are such a gem. Thanks for that.

  7. dbroncos
    November 24, 2013, 1:22 am

    Great news! I read it here first. Nice work Phil, done in the wee hours too : – )

  8. DICKERSON3870
    November 24, 2013, 1:35 am

    RE: “An historic deal, a giant shift in the US relationship to the Middle East, and there is jubilation around the world.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Over the coming months, look for Israel to attack (temper tantrum-like) either Gaza or Lebanon (or possibly both)! That’s the way Israel operates. It’s some kind of a mental problem*, most likely “narcissistic rage”**.
    Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

    *FROM WIKIPEDIA [Narcissism]:

    [EXCERPTS] Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. . .
    Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism.[6]
    • Shamelessness: Shame is . . .
    • Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking . . .
    • Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
    • Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority . . .
    • Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person [or perhaps an “anti-Semite” ~ J.L.D.]. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.
    • Exploitation: Can take many forms . . .
    • Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries . . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

    ** ALSO FROM WIKIPEDIA [Narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury]

    [EXCERPTS] Narcissistic rage is a reaction to narcissistic injury, which is a perceived threat to a narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth. Narcissistic injury (or narcissistic scar) is a phrase used by Sigmund Freud in the 1920s; narcissistic wound and narcissistic blow are further, almost interchangeable terms.[1] The term narcissistic rage was coined by Heinz Kohut in 1972.
    Narcissistic rage occurs on a continuum from instances of aloofness, and expression of mild irritation or annoyance, to serious outbursts, including violent attacks.[2] Narcissistic rage reactions are not limited to personality disorders and may be also seen in catatonic, paranoid delusion and depressive episodes.[2] It has also been suggested that narcissists have two layers of rage. The first layer of rage can be thought of as a constant anger (towards someone else), with the second layer being a self-aimed wrath.[citation needed] . . .

    . . . Kohut explored a wide range of rage experiences in his seminal article ‘Thoughts on Narcissism and Narcissistic Rage’ (1972).[15] He considered narcissistic rage as one major form among many, contrasting it especially with mature aggression.[16] Because the very structure of the self itself is enfeebled in the narcissist, their rage cannot flower into real assertiveness;[17] and they are left instead prone to oversensitivity to perceived or imagined narcissistic injuries resulting in narcissistic rage.[18]
    For Kohut, narcissistic rage is related to narcissists’ need for total control of their environment, including “the need for revenge, for righting a wrong, for undoing a hurt by whatever means”.[19] It is an attempt by the narcissist to turn from a passive sense of victimization to an active role in giving pain to others, while at the same time attempting to rebuild their own (actually false) sense of self-worth. It may also involve self-protection and preservation, with rage serving to restore a sense of safety and power by destroying that which had threatened the narcissist.[19]
    Alternatively, according to Kohut, rages can be seen as a result of the shame at being faced with failure.[20] Narcissistic rage is the uncontrollable and unexpected anger that results from a narcissistic injury – a threat to a narcissist’s self-esteem or worth. Rage comes in many forms, but all pertain to the same important thing: revenge. Narcissistic rages are based on fear and will endure even after the threat is gone.[21]
    To the narcissist, the rage is directed towards the person that they feel has slighted them; to other people, the rage is incoherent and unjust. This rage impairs their cognition, therefore impairing their judgment. During the rage they are prone to shouting, fact distortion and making groundless accusations.[22] In his book The Analysis of the Self, Kohut explains that expressions caused by a sense of things not going the expected way blossom into rages, and narcissists may even search for conflict to find a way to alleviate pain or suffering.[23] . . .

    SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_rage_and_narcissistic_injury

    • Bandolero
      November 24, 2013, 2:28 pm

      Over the coming months, look for Israel to attack (temper tantrum-like) either Gaza or Lebanon (or possibly both)! That’s the way Israel operates.

      I disagree. That won’t help Bibi to turn the tides in the US.

      I do expect now in Israel plans are made for:

      – a huge false flag terror attack in the US conveniently blamed on Iran, Syria and Palestine
      – the murder of Obama, which, of course, Bibi would then blame on Iran

      If successful that might help Bibi to turn the tide.

      “I heard that Kerry dared to disagree with the Israeli prime minister,” Olmert said. “Poor guy. I hope he’ll come out of this alright.”

      Well, Kerry could be Obama. How can he dare to disagree with the Israeli prime minister? It’s just like daring to disagree with the mafia. Poor guy. I hope he’ll come out of this alright.

  9. Taxi
    November 24, 2013, 1:45 am

    What is clear is that the big shot USA has finally and quietly agreed with Russia to share influence in the middle east. Their first and foremost shared goal is not the promotion of the interests of either isreal or saudi arabia, but the global war on terrorism.

    Thus begins the ‘real’ war on terrorism era, a terrorism that for decades has been manufactured and exported by the terrorist states of israel and saudi arabia – saudi and israeli state sanctioned terrorism that has for decades destabilized the region (and the world) by creating brutal oppression, regression, misery and death for millions.

    Now it is USA, shoulder to shoulder with Russia, versus mideast terrorists!

    But fasten your seatbelts, folks, the terrorist buggers will be showing the world their displeasure at the Iran peace deal soon enough. Actually they already started with the carbombs outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut four days ago.

    BTW I really think it should be called a peace deal and not a nuclear deal.

    • Shingo
      November 24, 2013, 4:45 am

      Great post Taxi.

      I am truly impressed that the Iranians did not allow the terror attack on their embassy in Lebanon to derail the talks. Now expect Saudi Arabia and Israel to attack US targets and pin it on Iran.

    • Chu
      November 25, 2013, 12:26 pm

      Also beyond the terrorist buggers, were going to see some treachery from AIPAC and it grudge holders with the Obama Admin and anyone that helped to helped to nuture this agreement with Iran.

      Bitter losers always will exact their revenge – if they can’t achieve their ends.
      It’s a cornerstone of Zionism – revenge and more revenge.

  10. piotr
    November 24, 2013, 1:48 am

    My reading of the situation was that Administration was basically forced to make a deal. Once Iran was demonstrably reasonable, China and Russia would break the sanction regime with very little diplomatic fallout, and get effective support from a slew of Asian countries that could use cheaper oil and Iranian market, starting from India, and quite possibly including Japan and Korea. Congress can pile sanctions week after week but USA cannot send state banks of China and Russia to the doghouse, and afterward we cannot go after India and allies like Japan. So it is better to smile, show leadership, seriousness and make a deal.

    The reaction in Israel seems to be anger, recriminations and disbelief. What went wrong? Lobbying was performed correctly and yet it failed to make an effect. And the big puzzle: how could China, Russia, UK etc. put financial gain above the security of Israel? This is a very interesting puzzle.

    A back of the envelop estimate is that with sanctions and “war premium” crude oil stood at 110 per barrel. Now there is no war premium and price is about 94. When Iran’s export are restored, the price could dip to, say, 70. USA consumes ca. 20 million barrels per day, so the savings that can stimulate non-oil economy could be 800 millions per day, 250 billion per year. West Europe, oil consumers in Asia etc. could save at least as much. Half a trillion dollars (per year) against the perception in Israel and Saudi Arabia that their security can deteriorate. How would you bet?

    Another aspect is that this Summer western countries belatedly realized the consequences of power disequilibrium resulting from the weakening of Iran. Saudia Arabia and Gulf monarchies, with crucial cooperation from Turkey took at as the golden opportunity to eliminated the heretical government in Syria (and try to argue that Saudis prefer a democracy there). With Iranian help flagging and crippling sanctions, and the river of weapons, money and volunteers coming through Turkey the rebels took over a large part of Syria. Very nice, tyrannical regime in Syria can be toppled at long last. Except that those volunteers are extremely scary folks, resorting to banditry, mass mayhem etc., and their victory would be very scary indeed. Also, the same folks wreck mayhem in Iraq and want to spread jihad elsewhere as well. I think that that was the main reason why there was such massive conservative opposition to a “punishing attack” on Syria. What happens is that without some checks and balances, our own dear allies can wreck havoc.

    And on a lesser scale, the same refers to Israel. Israelis figured long time ago that Palestinian problem could be solved to the most of their satisfaction if only Palestinians were not getting any outside help. Iran, with nukes or without nukes, was deemed a key source of the most dangerous type of outside help, so its regime should be isolated and eliminated. As long as that looked like a realistic policy, any concession to Palestinians would be foolish. Any attempt to explain that this is not a realistic policy was a Chamberlain impersonation, as Dickerson3870 observed.

    It will be very interesting how it will play out.

    • Ellen
      November 24, 2013, 7:42 am

      Piotr, astute comments. Thanks. No doubt that the absolute necessity to make a deal ( which is really a deal to make a deal) was/is a major factor.

      Taxi’s comments above are an interesting insight. One of the motivations of the US to support building an Israeli state was to have a foothold in the ME to try and stop the spread of the Red Threat. So that that could be — in Alexander Haig’s words — our aircraft carrier. The world has moved on.

      And now we are at a place in history that the US and Russia have shared interests in the ME — or at least not opposing interests.

      Meanwhile, Israel will not garner support by whining that the US has “abandond ” them. That is narcisstic rhetoric of weakness. Increasing cooperation and normalized relations over the next years/decades with Iran can only make the region safer for all, especially Israel.

      • seafoid
        November 24, 2013, 9:08 am

        “A back of the envelop estimate is that with sanctions and “war premium” crude oil stood at 110 per barrel. Now there is no war premium and price is about 94. When Iran’s export are restored, the price could dip to, say, 70.”

        I think this is really important. With all due respect to Israel the world economy is more important than Zionism. Each $10 increase in the oil price reduces GDP by 0.25% in the US. A $40 cut could increase economic growth by 1%.

    • lyn117
      November 24, 2013, 12:16 pm

      Regarding oil prices: I guess we should cry about global warming. But anyway war just uses that oil up faster.

      Gasoline has been coming down in price for the last month. Maybe the oil companies had an inkling of the agreement, or indeed, were behind it?

      • RoHa
        November 24, 2013, 11:33 pm

        “Regarding oil prices: I guess we should cry about global warming.”

        There is no empirical evidence that oil use or oil prices have any effect on global warming.

      • Woody Tanaka
        November 25, 2013, 10:39 am

        “There is no empirical evidence that oil use or oil prices have any effect on global warming.”

        Except for the whole global-climate-change-being-driven-by-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-which-is-released-from-the-burning-of-oil thing. Of course, that’s just the consensus of scientists studying the issue. The oil companies and Republican activists have a different view.

      • seafoid
        November 25, 2013, 11:53 am

        I used to like it when we had seasons

      • RoHa
        November 25, 2013, 7:24 pm

        “the whole global-climate-change-being-driven-by-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide-which-is-released-from-the-burning-of-oil thing.”

        You left out coal and natural gas. That is the “increased CO2 -> increased Water vapour -> warming” hypothesis. But there is no empirical evidence that is the way the climate system actually works. The warmists refer to computer models based on that theory, and they are all useless at predicting what actually happens. CO2 has increased, but for the past 17+ years temperatures have not risen in the way the computer models predict.

        Right now the warmists are trying to add epicycles to explain why their predictions have failed.

        “Of course, that’s just the consensus of scientists studying the issue.”
        Appeal to consensus is a propaganda tactic used by the English majors piotr mentioned.* Science is not democratic, and the consensus (the Earth is the centre of the Universe, burning releases phlogiston, the continents do not move, stomach ulcers are caused by stress) counts for nothing. It is the data that is important. If hypothesis and data conflict, the hypothesis is wrong no matter who does or doesn’t believe it.

        Of course, scientists who have committed themselves to a particular view are reluctant to abandon it. Right now the warmists are trying to add epicycles to explain why their predictions have failed, though without much success so far.

        “The oil companies and Republican activists have a different view.”



      • Woody Tanaka
        November 25, 2013, 11:03 pm

        ” But there is no empirical evidence that is the way the climate system actually works. ”

        And virtually every climatologist in the world has heard and rejected your conspiracy-theorist/denialist ramblings. And rightly so. I’m sure there are some flat-Earthers, creationists, Holocaust deniers, etc. you can exchange your fairytales with.

      • piotr
        November 25, 2013, 11:21 pm

        Consensus may be overrated, but one has to bear in mind that at any time at least 1% of the population has significant mental problems, and thus when the minority of scientists on some issue drops to ca. 1% then one may have doubt about the validity of their opinions.

        On a large scale of changes the effects of CO2 on temperature are well understood, Venus being the ultimate example — a lot of CO2 and the planet is boiling hot, or the periods in Earth history following huge discharges of CO2. In the small scale we have a number of factors working in different directions, e.g. sulphur dioxide has cooling effect and CO2 has warming effect.

        A modest proposition is that either we do not have to worry about global warming and cheaper oil is simply better for our economy (this is quite verified), or we should worry but then carbon tax is a better tool to address the problem, as it can be redisributed toward infrastructure investment or deficit reduction, instead of “war premium” that is collected by Saudis, Russians etc.

      • RoHa
        November 25, 2013, 11:46 pm

        “And virtually every climatologist in the world has heard and rejected your conspiracy-theorist/denialist ramblings.”

        Still appealing to consensus instead of evidence. (I know you haven’t got any since it isn’t there.) And I see you add a bit of name-calling as well. This is terribly impressive science.

        But since you are not prepared to use your own brain on the evidence, try this

      • RoHa
        November 26, 2013, 12:27 am

        “then one may have doubt about the validity of their opinions.”

        You should always have doubts about the validity of the opinions of scientists, no matter how many scientists hold the opinion. Base your ideas on the evidence, not opinions.

        “Venus being the ultimate example — a lot of CO2 and the planet is boiling hot,” And the evidence that the one caused the other is …? (Remember, Venus is a lot closer to the Sun and has a much denser atmosphere – and thus far higher pressure – than the Earth. The Venusian climate system is quite different from the Earth’s. It does not include water vapour, which is the most important part of the Man-made Global Warming Hypothesis.)

        “the periods in Earth history following huge discharges of CO2”

        Which periods do you mean? On geological time-scales, the evidence shows that rising temperatures are followed by, and thus cannot be caused by, increase in CO2.

        “A modest proposition is that either we do not have to worry about global warming”
        It stopped 17+ years ago, and warming is usually beneficial, so don’t worry.

        “and cheaper oil is simply better for our economy (this is quite verified)”

        Especially for the poor countries. Millions of people in the world do not have access to clean water, abundant food, or decent medical care. The only way these things can be delivered is through cheap, abundant energy. So far, the only ways of providing sufficient energy are through combustible fuels, nuclear power, and hydroelectric power. But the warmists want to restrict the use of fossil fuels on the basis of a hypothesis that does not have empirical evidence to support it. The actual evidence goes against the hypothesis, a fact recognized by the way the supporters of the hypothesis are struggling to find ways to accommodate the evidence.
        (You do know what epicycles are, don’t you?)

  11. just
    November 24, 2013, 2:02 am

    I am so happy! Thank you Phil and MW for bringing this great news!

    I especially love this:

    “Zbigniew Brzezinski ✔ @zbig

    Obama/Kerry = best policy team since Bush I/Jim Baker. Congress is finally becoming embarrassed by Netanyahu’s efforts to dictate US policy.”

    Ari Fleischer remains a neanderthal & bloviating embarrassment. All of the toads are outing themselves and it is a wonderful thing to behold. I give a big bravo to Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry for meeting with the Iranians in “secret”. This is the new way forward– The Netanyahu has finally been marginalized and self-exposed. The Palestinian people might indeed and finally have an honest broker in us………

    Yes, the naysayers will scream. At the end of the day though, how silly will they appear when they scream and protest against PEACE?

    Zarif and Rouhani– a historic team as well. I look forward to a great relationship with the Iranian people.

    • MRW
      November 24, 2013, 7:33 am

      I look forward to finally getting some of those fabulous Iranian pistachios; the California version is tasteless and bland by comparison.

      • Philip Weiss
        November 24, 2013, 9:20 am

        great line. this could be a campaign

      • hophmi
        November 24, 2013, 8:53 pm

        Zbig is not a guy I’d trust on Iran. He’s been wrong before. I hope this deal works. It would be a tragedy if it did not.

      • seafoid
        November 25, 2013, 11:46 am

        Zbig is on the ball. It is a delusion to think 5m Jews can police the region indefinitely.

      • Citizen
        November 26, 2013, 12:15 pm

        Well credentialed Zbig is absolutely the one to most trust in the matter. Americans, listen to him, mot this Zionist cipher hophmi.

      • just
        November 24, 2013, 10:47 am

        Yep. Some dates, figs and many, many more beautiful fruits.

        Mostly I look forward to dialogue with the smart and eager Iranian people.

        (sharing some fragrant rice, naan, and tea together would be most welcome!)

      • bintbiba
        November 24, 2013, 11:16 am


      • just
        November 24, 2013, 12:23 pm

        Pomegranates are always welcome– inside their web of nutrition are amazing jewels.

      • Taxi
        November 24, 2013, 2:06 pm

        Pomegranates: the only fruit on the planet that the worm cannot penetrate.

      • bintbiba
        November 24, 2013, 3:01 pm

        Taxi, Taxi, you are a fount of knowledge!
        We await the book….

      • Walid
        November 24, 2013, 3:28 pm

        Hi Taxi, careful with the pomegranates; like mostly everything else about Lebanon, they don’t abide by established general rules.

      • MRW
        November 24, 2013, 4:38 pm

        Re: the worm,

        But the birds make up for it on my pomegranate tree. Little bastards.

      • Walid
        November 25, 2013, 11:11 am

        “But the birds make up for it on my pomegranate tree. Little bastards.”

        MRW, the birds are landing on your tree and appearing to be pecking away at the fruit are actually doing you a favour as they are pecking on one or several of the 22 different bugs, aphids, worms and so on that infest the fruit. Get rid of those and birds would stop visiting:

        Full report on various bugs involved and how to get rid of them:

      • piotr
        November 25, 2013, 11:26 pm

        I am familiar with pistachios. Iran is the home of pistachios and produces a large variety, from crappy to exquisite. California pistachios are extemely uniform, decent but just that. Lately, retail prices of pistachios in USA increased quite sharply, so Iranian competition could help. Iran and USA are both producing ca. 40% of the world crop.

        For a year I lived next to a Turkish supermarket in Germany which gave me familiarity with cheap Iranian pistachios and pomegranate juice. Once I got Iranian pistachios as a gift — this is like comparing French vin rouge ordinaire with the premium wines, the difference is very, very obvious.

      • RoHa
        November 25, 2013, 11:40 pm

        “Iran is the home of pistachios”

        So the threat is Iranian nuclear pistachios?

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 12:38 am

        When in season (mid summer in Lebanon), street vendors push their carts carrying a small mountain of raw pistachios, home grown. The raw pistachios have a truly beautiful pink and greeny-beige skin, that when peeled, exposes the inner hard shell. A good raw pistachio crop is one where the shell is already cracked when the soft pinkish skin is peeled. The flavor of raw pistachios is delightfully mild with a slight milky aftertaste. Very addictive. I once bought a kilo of raw pistachios from a street vendor and ate the whole damn thing like a fiend in one sitting.

        I hear Syrian pistachios are pretty exotic and spectacular too.

        Nice picture of raw pistachios:

  12. piotr
    November 24, 2013, 2:07 am

    I disagree with Dickerson3870, namely I do not view Israeli politics and policies as pathological (narcissist and what not), but normal. Well, what passes for normal, a British study suggested that 50% of the politicians are sociopaths (and the remainder are mostly opportunists, I suspect). To wit, it is a patriotic duty of a politician to get as much for his/her folks as the state can get away with. This will be solemnly promised to the voters and it has to be visibly pursued.

    What is much less normal is the level of indulgence Israel is getting in USA, Canada and to a large degree, in Europe. But whatever mechanism is behind that indulgence, there is a limit. Just today I was in a store and I have seen a quite amusing scene, a seven year old princess was negotiating necessary purchases with her father; my impression was that while very doting, the father simply did not have enough cash.

    • RoHa
      November 24, 2013, 2:42 am

      “British study suggested that 50% of the politicians are sociopaths”

      So few?

      “(and the remainder are mostly opportunists, I suspect). ”

      Not that they can’t be both.

    • DICKERSON3870
      November 24, 2013, 5:01 am

      RE: “What is much less normal is the level of indulgence Israel is getting in USA, Canada and to a large degree, in Europe.” ~ piotr

      SEE WIKIPEDIA [Codependency]:

      [EXCERPT] Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another.[1] It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.[2] Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships.[2] Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.[2] Narcissists are considered to be natural magnets for the codependent. . .
      . . . Narcissists, with their ability to “get others to buy into their vision and help them make it a reality,” are natural magnets for the “‘co-dependent’ … [with] the tendency to put others’ need before their own”.[9] Sam Vaknin considered that codependents, as “the Watsons of this world, ‘provide the narcissist with an obsequious, unthreatening audience … the perfect backdrop.'”[10] Among the reciprocally locking interactions of the pair, are the way “the narcissist has an overpowering need to feel important and special, and the co-dependent has a strong need to help others feel that way. … The narcissist overdoes self-caring and demands it from others, while the co-dependent underdoes or may even do almost no self-caring.”[11]
      In psychoanalytic terms, the narcissist “who manifests such ‘omnipotent’ behaviour and who seems to be especially ‘independent’ exerts an especially fascinating effect on all … dependent persons … [who] struggle to participate in the ‘omnipotent’ narcissist’s power”:[12] narcissist and codependent “participate together in a form of an ego-defense system called projective identification.”[13]
      Alan Rappoport identifies codependents of narcissists as “co-narcissists.”[14] According to Richard Rappaport, “the codependent narcissist gives up his or her own needs to feed and fuel the needs of the other.”[15] . . .

      SOURCE – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency

      • DICKERSON3870
        November 24, 2013, 5:17 am


        FROM The Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org):

        ● Pro-Israel: Money to Congress
        • SUMMARY
        • All cycles

        Dems: $70,969,618
        Repubs: $39,958,026
        Other: $1,546,917
        All Candidates: Total to All Candidates: $112,474,561
        Incumbents Only: Total to Members: $91,696,169

        # of Members / Avg. Contribution / Total
        Democrats 1,468 $17,787 $27,119,594
        Republicans 973 $14,977 $15,500,766
        Independents 2 $1,181 $15,350
        TOTAL 2,443 $17,452 $42,635,710

        The US House of Representatives has 435 members and 5 non-voting delegates.
        Totals may exceed 440 due to mid-term replacements.

        # of Members / Avg. Contribution / Total
        Democrats 377 $82,141 $31,227,126
        Republicans 301 $53,446 $16,379,493
        Independents 5 $102,324 $1,381,590
        TOTAL 683 $71,725 $48,988,209

        The US Senate has 100 members.
        Totals may exceed 100 due to mid-term replacements.

        The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more.

        All donations took place during the -1-All election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Sunday, August 18, 2013.

        SOURCE – http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?ind=Q05&cycle=All&recipdetail=A&sortorder=U

      • MRW
        November 24, 2013, 7:35 am

        About all that campaign cash. I like Warren Mosler’s idea: you can give as much as you want to any candidate. Gazillions if you prefer. But 40% has to go to the opposition.

  13. just
    November 24, 2013, 2:28 am

    Finally, some photos without the Israeli flag front and center…….

    A good thing.

    Can it be true that they really don’t tell us what our foreign policy / national security should look like?

    I hope so.

    • W.Jones
      November 24, 2013, 2:39 am

      Depends on what you mean by they, I guess.

    • Hostage
      November 24, 2013, 4:21 am

      Can it be true that they really don’t tell us what our foreign policy / national security should look like?

      The first good sign is that the White House put out a Fact Sheet that has been published verbatim in most of the mainstream media sites in Israel and the US. It cuts-off opponents at their knees.

      The details, like full time IAEA on site inspections and surveillance, shutdown of all the centrifuges, an interim halt to all enrichment or reprocessing, a permanent agreement to limit future enrichment to 5%, elimination of existing stockpiles enriched to higher levels, and agreement to neither commission nor fuel the Arak reactor simply can’t be described as “a bad deal”. Here are a few examples:
      * Read full interim deal with Iran
      * White House releases ‘fact sheet’ on Iran deal
      Full document: ‘First Step Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program.’
      * Read the White House fact sheet on Iran nuclear deal

      Even Netanyahu isn’t crazy enough to bomb facilities with full time IAEA inspectors put there by the P5.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2013, 4:49 am

        Even Netanyahu isn’t crazy enough to bomb facilities with full time IAEA inspectors put there by the P5.

        Perhaps not, but the MEK, Jundulla might be.

      • amigo
        November 24, 2013, 6:34 am

        “Even Netanyahu isn’t crazy enough to bomb facilities with full time IAEA inspectors put there by the P5.”Hostage.

        Wanna bet.

      • HarryLaw
        November 24, 2013, 6:41 am

        Thanks for those link’s Hostage, In my opinion the key to the agreement is here..Iran has committed to halt progress on the growth of its 3.5% stockpile:
        • Not increase its stockpile of 3.5% low enriched uranium, so that the amount is not greater at the end of the six months than it is at the beginning, and any newly enriched 3.5% enriched uranium is converted into oxide.
        Iran can enrich uranium to 3.5% but only to replace used fuel, so that it can never increase it’s stockpile, in my opinion this is a good deal, since it was never Iran’s intention to build nuclear weapons, only to fuel it’s reactors. I hope the US does not try and move the goalposts over the final deal.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2013, 7:15 am

        Iran can enrich uranium to 3.5% but only to replace used fuel, so that it can never increase it’s stockpile

        Not necessarily. Even though the Busherh reactor takes 3.5% enriched uranium, the fuel for it is actually provided by Russia. Iran’s enrichment for that reactor has been largely symbolic, so that it could not be held to ransom by the blockade of fuel supplies.

      • Ellen
        November 24, 2013, 8:41 am

        Hostage, a question and perhaps niave:

        But why is it that Israel and KSA are not members of the P5+1? Other than Iran itself, no other countries of the region are involved in the negotiations. Israel and KSA with huge interests are not involved in the talks. How can that make sence? It seems like pre-programed problems well into the future.

        Did Israel have the opportunity to be part of the negotiations? Or did Israel choose to leave it up to others? If so this meant they would either accept the outcome — that is understood when you allow others to deal on your behalf — or be in the position to reject any outcome with the stance that they are not part of the negotiations and thus not bound to anything.

        Meanwhile, I read that Israel’s FM, Lieberman is calling for new strategic partners. Apologies for the snark, but what partners could they be? Moldovia? Cyprus? …..Transnistar?

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2013, 8:46 am

        But why is it that Israel and KSA are not members of the P5+1?

        Why on earth would the KSA or Israel, neither of whom are even signatories to the NPT – let alone members of the UNSC – be involved in the negotiations? How can it make sense for Iran’s arch enemies to be involved, especially when they themselves refuse to sign the NPT?

        Israel’s grand standing that they are not bound by the agreement is just hot air. There are 188 other states who were not part of the negotiations either, and you don’t hear them sounding off do you? And seriously, what are they going to do?

      • piotr
        November 24, 2013, 9:12 am

        Yes, Ellen, it is naive (actually, you slyly provoke us to answers? Nice job, Ellen. By the way, it is Transnistria)

        5 members of the Security Council and Germany, of the most economically powerful countries in the world only Japan was missing, but I think that Japanese are not displeased with the deal. The world can be multipolar, but between formal power, permanent seats on the UNSC, military power and economic power of those 6 countries, what can other countries do if the 6 agree in a course of action? Kvetch etc.

        However, it is not all that bad. Ordinarily, the six have very divergent interests and they are connected by a complex web of dependencies with almost all countries in the word. Israel and KSA had ample opportunity to present their case. And so did Brazil, Turkey, India, Pakistan and Japan. Quite possible, Israel and KSA would find themselves isolated in top 20 countries too. How much deference two small to medium countries can get?

        Of course, we can also go to General Assembly of UN. Would Israel and KSA fare better there?

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2013, 9:46 am

        But why is it that Israel and KSA are not members of the P5+1?

        Other than the result of 6 + 2, there is no bar to them bringing a proposal to the table. In fact the original negotiations were only conducted by “the EU3”: Britain, France, and Germany.

        The USA, Russia, and China subsequently joined-in the talks. http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Iran_Nuclear_Proposals

      • Ellen
        November 24, 2013, 10:25 am

        Thanks, Hostage…and excellent link to more information on the background.

        Well, if there were no bars to Israel formally bringing a proposal to the table, what are they moaning about now? Israel was then incredibly foolish (I do not think so) or this was part of a tactic.

        Will that tactic work? Sure does not look like it.

      • Ellen
        November 24, 2013, 10:32 am

        Shingo, why? Because not talking to your “enemies” is a looser’s game. You know the saying, hold your freinds close and your enemies even closer. Or something like that.

        If they were interested in influencing the negotiations, they would have been at the table in some form. They were not.

        Istead we have deranged press conferences by the Israeli PM and AiPAC stooges pulling their hair out and spewing fear over the air waves.

      • Ellen
        November 24, 2013, 10:41 am

        Thanks piotr. This is what I am trying to flush out: Did Israel have the opportunity the be part of the negotiations. Looks like they did so for a number of years. As Hostage pointed out, there was nothing to bar them.

        In light of all their screaming now after the fact when they could have been at the table — they have discredited themselves.

        If the Sunday morning talking heads do their job, they will be asking these questions.

        And yes, Transnistria. Thanks. Will the Moldovian FM of Israel recognize it in search of new partners?

      • American
        November 24, 2013, 10:58 am

        “”If they were interested in influencing the negotiations, they would have been at the table in some form. They were not.”…Ellen

        They thought they could be ‘at the table’ with the Lobby’s US influence.
        But didn’t work.
        But anyway Isr was not in the P5 and is not a ‘world power’ who gets a power seat—much as they want to think of themselves as world power.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2013, 3:58 pm

        Because not talking to your “enemies” is a looser’s game.

        That’s a game Israel and Saudi Arabia have been playing for decades and have shown no inclination to stop.

      • MRW
        November 24, 2013, 4:42 pm

        Ellen. Sabotage.

      • Hostage
        November 24, 2013, 8:30 pm

        Thanks, Hostage…and excellent link to more information on the background.

        The links above are to the White House fact sheet. Here are some links to the actual text of the Geneva “Joint Plan of Action” adopted by the parties:
        * http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/nov/24/iran-nuclear-deal-joint-plan-action#document/p1
        * http://www.ft.com/cms/d0fa3682-5523-11e3-86bc-00144feabdc0.pdf

      • Citizen
        November 26, 2013, 12:22 pm

        @ American

  14. Justpassingby
    November 24, 2013, 3:01 am

    I must say that I am often surprised by Phil’s optimism in many articles here, there is no proof that US is taking a new path at all and contrary, the agreement seems to be negative from Iran’s view.
    A deal is something that benefit US and Iran. This benefit America, Israel only.

  15. Marco
    November 24, 2013, 3:34 am

    I’m happy that war with Iran has been seemingly pushed off the immediate agenda…

    but, I worry about the Palestinians.

    When Egypt made peace with Israel, it was at the expense of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine.

    If Iran and Syria are removed from the picture, then the Palestinians are left with no allies. No nation will be left to even broach the issue of refugees and the right of return.

    The Iran issue may be an intra-Zionist debate over how best to maintain the conquests of the ’67 war.

  16. ToivoS
    November 24, 2013, 4:56 am

    This is such good news. The obvious point is that war with Iran is now more unlikely than it has been for decades.

    A secondary victory is that Netanyahu and his supporters in the US have been seriously wounded. AIPAC has just suffered a major defeat and this following their defeat two months ago in trying to get the US to attack Syria. The lobby is not as powerful as many of us believed so recently. This is a message that should resonate through Washington.

    Netanyahu has been threatening the world that if this agreement went through then Israel would have to act on its own and attack Iran. His blustering has been going on for years. Well Mr Bibi, your bluff has been called. What are you going to do now? Obviously nothing. Once the people of Israel realize that he can’t do anything about it they might just begin to realize that the beloved leader is nothing but a bull pucky artist. He is nothing. His standing in the world will have to fall and it is hard to imagine him surviving as PM in Israel.

    The other good outcome is that the current regime in Saudi Arabia will be a big loser. Internationally their influence will take a big hit. I do not understand internal Saudi politics, but it is hard to imagine those who so openly challenged the Obama over his Iranian policies will not be seriously damaged by this agreement. Hopefully Bandar’s days are numbered.

    We can count the winners. The people of the world who just want peace are number one. The Islamic Republic of Iran and its current leadership will have to be in the winners circle. With the weakening of Netanyahu and the Saudis this has to be good news for the Palestinians and the current government of Syria. Obama and Kerry will emerge with their stature enhanced. Russia, China and Germany will find their positions in the world stronger. Many words will be written in coming days and months assessing the outcome.

    • Justpassingby
      November 24, 2013, 6:54 am


      You cant be serious? So when Iraq disarmed in the 90s that was also good for peace?

      • piotr
        November 26, 2013, 12:14 am

        Iran needs conventional weapons that can actually be used and thus form a credible threat and deterrent, and they actually invested a lot in improving domestically produced arms, notably missiles. They also claim to copy the stealth drone presented to them by Obama as serial production.

        Iran is obviously intimately familiar with Hezbollah tactics deployed in the last war with Israel. I suspect that in the mountains near the Strait of Hormuz you also have plenty of deep shelters with tunnels that can resist bunker thrusters and store missiles, with nests of positions for infantry equipped with small missiles and thus forming tough targets for Marines. Longer range missiles can convert entire Gulf into a kill zone, and that zone would include key American military installations, key oil ports and refineries of KSA and Gulf states and so on. No state has a strategic location with similar advantages.

      • RoHa
        November 26, 2013, 1:27 am

        Add to that the lesson learned in 1991 in Iraq. In spite of the best efforts of the British and American Air Forces and special forces, the mobile SCUD platforms kept operating. By the end of the war comparatively few had been detected and eliminated.

        I suspect the Iranians will have a large number of mobile platforms near the Straits, and that a lot of those will be equipped with ferocious anti-ship missiles.

    • seafoid
      November 24, 2013, 8:49 am

      “Well Mr Bibi, your bluff has been called. What are you going to do now?”

      Who’s gonna tell you when, it’s too late
      Who’s gonna tell you things aren’t so great
      You can’t go on thinkin nothin’s wrong
      Who’s gonna drive you home tonight

      Who’s gonna pick you up when you fall
      Who’s gonna hang it up when you call
      Who’s gonna pay attention to your dreams
      Who’s gonna plug their ears when you scream

    • American
      November 24, 2013, 9:25 am

      ”Well Mr Bibi, your bluff has been called””…ToivoS

      Yes!..finally…only way to handle Isr.
      Let’s see what they do now.

      Next up Palestine?
      I dont see any clues, except the latest bill in the house to give Isr more money, that any quid pro quos for Iran-Palestine have been made by Obama/Kerry…..yet anyway, we will see.
      They should go for it, be relentless while Netanyahu is reeling on Iran, keep him reeling.

      • MRW
        November 24, 2013, 4:44 pm

        Bibi: Freier Tuck.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2013, 11:25 pm

        Bibi: The Crud character from the Croods who’s motto is:


  17. amigo
    November 24, 2013, 6:32 am

    It is 11 am In Ireland and I have spent the last 30 mins watching CNN.Notably but not surprising , more than half the 30 mins were dedicated to what Israel thinks.

    The announcer keeps saying–“Israel is a democracy” (ad nauseum) and there is internal opposition to Netanyahu,s approach.Yeah, like who.

    CNN is just another AIPAC mouthpiece.Sickening, when this agreement is welcomed by the rest of the world and all these stooges at CNN can offer is Israel,s opinion.

    I do not have Fox , that is probably worse.

    Anyway, this is a good day and especially if the zios have their proverbial panties in a twist.

    • seafoid
      November 24, 2013, 9:30 am

      It’ll be even better if Ireland beat the all Blacks.

      • Shingo
        November 24, 2013, 9:32 am

        Hmm, that’s going to be a long shot seafoid.

        Me, I had a great day. The Ozzies beat the poms by 381 runs in the first test and then this wonderful news.

      • seafoid
        November 24, 2013, 10:11 am

        It was a great start and would be a real shocker if they won but you never know.

      • Tobias
        November 24, 2013, 11:32 am

        Ah bollocks, so close, great game. Next time maybe, Ireland are getting closer all the time. If only Sexton hadn’t missed that penalty. Nigel Owens is such a drama queen.

      • amigo
        November 24, 2013, 2:33 pm

        “It’ll be even better if Ireland beat the all Blacks.”seafoid.

        We did win.We only lost by 2 points in the last minute.

  18. yonah fredman
    November 24, 2013, 7:33 am

    Is this better (less permissive to Iran) than the deal proposed two weeks ago? It seems that it is. Then all the cursing of France two weeks ago was about what? It was about being against a better deal or not accepting the idea that a better deal might emerge.

    • Shingo
      November 24, 2013, 7:42 am

      Is this better (less permissive to Iran) than the deal proposed two weeks ago?

      No, it’s pretty much the same.

      The deal with the Arak reactor is inconsequential

      • Not fuel the Arak reactor.
      • Halt the production of fuel for the Arak reactor.
      • No additional testing of fuel for the Arak reactor.
      • Not install any additional reactor components at Arak.
      • Not transfer fuel and heavy water to the reactor site.
      • Not construct a facility capable of reprocessing. Without reprocessing, Iran cannot separate plutonium from spent fuel.

      This is all moot since the contruction of the Arak reactor won’t be completed for another year – well after the 6 month period.

      The enrichment cut backs are the same from what I can see.

      It seems that it is. Then all the cursing of France two weeks ago was about what?

      If it’s so much better, then why is Israel’s amen corner still screaming like Banshees that it’s a bad deal?

    • amigo
      November 24, 2013, 8:08 am

      “Is this better (less permissive to Iran) than the deal proposed two weeks ago? It seems that it is. Then all the cursing of France two weeks ago was about what? It was about being against a better deal or not accepting the idea that a better deal might emerge.”yf

      Yonah, left to Israel there would never be an agreement.

      Suck it up, it,s a done deal.

      Now they can get down to the next stage and do so hopefully without interference from the worlds real threat and tedious pest.

      The Occupation Nation.

    • Hostage
      November 24, 2013, 9:02 am

      Is this better (less permissive to Iran) than the deal proposed two weeks ago?

      If less permissive is better, then this is better. Under the published terms of this deal, the $100 billion in frozen assets remain frozen, and all of the onerous sanctions on oil, banking, and trade remain in place:

      In return for these steps, the P5+1 is to provide limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible relief while maintaining the vast bulk of our sanctions, including the oil, finance, and banking sanctions architecture. If Iran fails to meet its commitments, we will revoke the relief. Specifically the P5+1 has committed to:

      • Not impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, if Iran abides by its commitments under this deal, to the extent permissible within their political systems.

      • Suspend certain sanctions on gold and precious metals, Iran’s auto sector, and Iran’s petrochemical exports, potentially providing Iran approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.

      • License safety-related repairs and inspections inside Iran for certain Iranian airlines.

      • Allow purchases of Iranian oil to remain at their currently significantly reduced levels – levels that are 60% less than two years ago. $4.2 billion from these sales will be allowed to be transferred in installments if, and as, Iran fulfills its commitments.

      • Allow $400 million in governmental tuition assistance to be transferred from restricted Iranian funds directly to recognized educational institutions in third countries to defray the tuition costs of Iranian students.

      In total, the approximately $7 billion in relief is a fraction of the costs that Iran will continue to incur during this first phase under the sanctions that will remain in place. The vast majority of Iran’s approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings are inaccessible or restricted by sanctions.

      In the next six months, Iran’s crude oil sales cannot increase. Oil sanctions alone will result in approximately $30 billion in lost revenues to Iran – or roughly $5 billion per month – compared to what Iran earned in a six month period in 2011, before these sanctions took effect. While Iran will be allowed access to $4.2 billion of its oil sales, nearly $15 billion of its revenues during this period will go into restricted overseas accounts. In summary, we expect the balance of Iran’s money in restricted accounts overseas will actually increase, not decrease, under the terms of this deal.

      Read full interim deal with Iran

      • American
        November 24, 2013, 9:42 am

        My sense is Iran will fufill the requirements to the letter and after 6 months some of the sanctions will be dropped.
        Then another phase to fulfill and more sanctions dropped.
        It will be in increments.
        The Persians will/can do the long haul.

      • LeaNder
        November 24, 2013, 11:29 am

        Is this better (less permissive to Iran) than the deal proposed two weeks ago?

        Whatever it was, it was done well. Although no doubt, some of us would have loved to see an even better deal. This is the most important political event in the post 911 universe. I do not care the least how it worked out. Well done.

        Seems to be on some minds: History (in this case Iraq) does not necessarily need to repeat itself. Full Stop. This is a chance, the Obama administration still has some time to make this more solid, he also has to keep the hawks at bay, if Americans take care, whom they elect in the future this could look different in the end.

        The Anti-Germans over here, I would prefer to call them the German Euston Manifesto left, or American empire pro-Israel left, or the SPME section Germany, wears mourning under the headline: The Geneva Genuflection.. Now ironically this triggers the image of Brandt in Warsaw to me. Do they still have cold war viruses in their blood, incidentally?

        But just as Goldberg above they kvetched, and first linked to the elegy of a soldier who complained, soldiers are not respected and honored in Germany. I respect soldiers a lot, but soldiers that have to obey according to the whims of armchair generals I only feel pity for. It has always been like that.

        But odd choice anyway, another group of armchair generals fighting with pens?

    • Donald
      November 24, 2013, 9:26 am

      “Then all the cursing of France two weeks ago was about what?”

      It is taken for granted in the West, not even questioned except in fringe lefty circles, that imposing harsh sanctions that hurt ordinary Iranians is perfectly fine. Nevermind that the sanctions make it difficult to import medicine (the humanitarian exception doesn’t work too well and probably isn’t meant to work well.) If sanctions of the same severity were placed on Israel, the people who brag about the tough sanctions on Iran, or who even call for tougher ones, would be screaming “antisemitism” or even “genocide”.

  19. Shingo
    November 24, 2013, 8:22 am

    This is getting sweeter by the hour.

    Bibbi is now suffering a political hit back home for his idiocy. All that chest beating, arrogance and bravado has come back to bite him in the ass.

    Of course, he is responding the only way he knows how – with threats.

    And as others have pointed out, it turns out that Obama secured this deal by bypassing Israel and Congress and talking directly to Iran. I guess it turns out Obama really wasn’t just going to sit there at tolerate Bibbi humiliating him in public.

    • Citizen
      November 24, 2013, 10:49 am

      @ Shingo
      “… Obama secured this deal by bypassing Israel and Congress and talking directly to Iran. I guess it turns out Obama really wasn’t just going to sit there at tolerate Bibbi humiliating him in public.”

      Also, notice the precise guys picked to go through the back door to Iran and negotiate in advance. Very unusual.

  20. Talkback
    November 24, 2013, 8:27 am

    Netanyahu’s twitter account is silent.

    He’s too busy drawing new pictures for the UN.

  21. seafoid
    November 24, 2013, 8:46 am

    “All you neocon fucks having a hissy fit, tough shit.”

    All you bots who think the world revolves around you – welcome to the reality based community.

    • Shingo
      November 24, 2013, 8:50 am

      All you bots who think the world revolves around you – welcome to the reality based community

      Even some of the necons are softening. Having attacked the deal since it was announced, Omri Ceren just Tweeted that:

      More I read about #Iran deal, more it becomes clear anybody knocking it didn’t really want agreement

      • seafoid
        November 24, 2013, 11:01 am

        “More I read about #Iran deal, more it becomes clear anybody knocking it didn’t really want agreement ”

        Fr Alec Reid died last week. He was one of the people who got the sides in northern Ireland talking to each other. The Unionists just had one word: “no”.


        “Rev Good said Fr Reid had done what others had failed to do and helped people hear each other and to trust themselves.
        He said he would remember Fr Reid for his patience, unique ability to create trusting friendships and for being prepared to go into the no-man’s land of the Northern conflict.
        “Through persistent endeavour, to taking time with people, to helping to understand that they could no longer go on saying no and could no longer closing doors that the time had come for people to actually listen to each other and to hear each other “.

        Israel has one word too: “no”.

        And the world is sick of hearing it.

  22. seafoid
    November 24, 2013, 9:00 am

    Israel spent $5bn IIRC getting ready for the jihad al yahudi against Iran.

    Ma sha Allah.

    • Inanna
      November 25, 2013, 10:26 pm

      seafoid, Israelis have been cleverly playing kabuki with the peace process but Netanyahu will be remembered as the incompetent one who couldn’t maintain the kabuki on Iran. But it’s not really his fault – there’s only so far a client state can push a superpower against its interests but Netanyahu and his fellow freiers don’t appear to know that. Thus lies their problem.

      I think in response, Israel will work more closely with the Jordanian and Saudis to try to get at Hizbullah/Syria. They’ll try to destabilize the region even further in a petulant spitting of the dummy. And of course they’ll pound on the Palestinians even more than they normally do.

      • Taxi
        November 25, 2013, 11:02 pm

        Don’t worry, Inanna, after the coming battle of Qalamoun in Syria, it’s going to be very hard for israel to strike willy-nilly at Syria; and we know very well that israel can’t touch Lebanon, unless it wants tel aviv in smoking ruins.

        Just sit back and watch israel’s slow suicide.

      • Shingo
        November 25, 2013, 11:34 pm


        What coming battle of Qalamoun? What is it’s significance and how is it going to affect Israel’s ability to attack Syria?

        What significance does it have for Hezbollah?

        Fascinating stuff.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 26, 2013, 12:49 am

        11/19 The coming ‘battle for Qalamoun’



        The influx of refugees, the cross-border shelling, intensified clashes in Tripoli, hard-line Sunni armed groups and Hezbollah’s pro-Assad stance has dangerously polarised Lebanon along sectarian lines.

        “This week’s suicide bombing of the Iranian embassy is directly related to the attack that is waged by the Syrian regime and Hezbollah on the Qalamoun area,” said Sami Nader, a professor of international relations at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. …..

        Control of Qalamoun is one part of the wider picture. “Whoever controls Qalamoun can control the Lebanese border, and the Sunni presence in the Bekaa Valley and in the north,” said Nader.

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 1:34 am


        First, thank you for your questions and thanks to Annie too for the link.

        Regarding israel and Qalamoun:

        Israel struck at Syria this year under the guise of “targeting weapons headed for hizbollah”. This is total BS, otherwise israel would have maximized its strike by hitting the alleged weapons upon delivery to hizbollah in Lebanon, killing a few hizbollah in the process and destroying hizbollah arms depots. Israel doesn’t really dare strike directly at anything Lebanese or hizbolla-ish anymore for a simple reason: assured retaliation against tel aviv. Israel struck at Syria to help Alquaida in Syria move their hired killers trapped by the Syrian army. Israel struck at Syria also in the (non-existant) hope that Syria would retaliate when it’s hands are busy killing Alqaida mercenaries, thus dragging Syria further into weakness and chaos while its army is attempting to regain strength and balance. After the Battle of Qalamoun is concluded, which will take a good couple of months probably, the Syrian army will not have the restraint of dealing with Alquaida ‘armies’, and therefore will be fully ready to retaliate against israel if israel strikes it again. But israel won’t be striking Syria after Qalamoun because the response will be for Syria AND hizbollah to hit back at israel, backed by Iran (and Russia and China), thus igniting a regional war that israel has no chance of winning. Israel cannot win a missile war that would reduce it’s cities and infrastructure to rubble in under seven days. Even if USA sends hundreds of thousands of troops to help israel, the destruction of israeli cities is a foregone conclusion in a missile war – and this little-mentioned fact, the israeli and American military strategists are fully aware of.

        Hizbollah and Lebanon will make huge gains against terrorism once the Battle of Qalamoun is concluded because that would seal off one of two remaining gates where Alquida is slipping into Lebanon and setting off car bombs etc. (the other and last gate is north-east of the Bekaa Valley, on the northern borders with Syria.

        For months now, the Syrian army has been retaking control of its territory, always leaving a narrow escape-corridor for alqaida, and all these escape-corridors have been designed to lead to Qalamoon. The Syrian army has practically gathered up most alquida survivors in Qalamoon by now, and I’m told by a retired Lebanese army general that there will NOT be an escape-corridor out of Qalamoon for them. The end of Alqaida’s ‘army’ in Syria will be in Qalamoon.

        Also, the results of this battle will affect/determine the negotiating powers of both sides when Geneva 2/Syria takes place.

        More info and specifics on the Battle of Qalamoun:

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 1:51 am

        Ooops I re-posted Annie’s link by accident – I meant to add the following link regarding hizbollah and Qalamoun:

        p.s. the battle info in the link are correct, but most of the quotes cited are part and parcel of desperate saudi propaganda – well what else do we expect from a saudi propaganda tool like Alarabia News?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 26, 2013, 2:24 am

        For months now, the Syrian army has been retaking control of its territory, always leaving a narrow escape-corridor for alqaida, and all these escape-corridors have been designed to lead to Qalamoon. The Syrian army has practically gathered up most alquida survivors in Qalamoon by now, and I’m told by a retired Lebanese army general that there will NOT be an escape-corridor out of Qalamoon for them. The end of Alqaida’s ‘army’ in Syria will be in Qalamoon.

        very interesting taxi. question if, as u say, the army has “gathered up most alquida survivors in Qalamoon by now” why do you still think this will take a couple months to resolve. is that how long you anticipate this battle for Qalamoon, into spring/summer?

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 2:43 am

        It will take a couple of months, Annie, because Qalamoon is a region and not a village/town/city. The terrain is very hilly and will take time for the Syrian army to efficiently ‘comb’ it inwards. The Syrian army has thus far operated with patient precision on the battlefields instead of wild abandon. This is part of the reason for the Syrian army’s many tactical victories.

      • Shingo
        November 26, 2013, 3:15 am

        Thanks Annie and Taxi,

        I was especially interested in hearing Taxi’s perspective, given her inside knowledge of events. This stuff doesn’t get reported that often.

        May I ask Taxi, what makes you think that Russia and China would get involved? They seem to be playing things very close to their chest. I noticed that they both appeared to bite their lip in Geneva.

        Also, before the US are to send troops to help Israel, wouldn’t we expect them to first begin with missile and aircraft attacks?

        Also, what can you tell me about the missiles getting through to Hezbollah. Has Israel really been able to stop the longer range missiles getting through or was the BS for PR reasons?

      • Annie Robbins
        November 26, 2013, 3:24 am

        I was especially interested in hearing Taxi’s perspective

        yes me too shingo. and notice i didn’t add any analysis up there with those links.

        but wrt israel’s strikes on syria and the assertion they were related to ‘arms getting to hezbollah’, that is just total BS as far as i am concerned. just an open ended excuse to pound syria any time under the pretext of protecting itself from hezbollah. they just pounded some coastal town on syria a couple weeks ago, right after (the day after as i recall) assaf completed a CW timeline requirement of the UN that was agreed upon.

        there was something really retaliatory and ugly about the attack, as if they were so pissed the US didn’t slam syria they just did it themselves. and it was supposed to go unnoticed but it didn’t.

        we didn’t cover it here.

        and thanks taxi!

      • Shingo
        November 26, 2013, 3:25 am

        Will Hezbollah take part or will the Syrian army be able to do this alone?

      • Shingo
        November 26, 2013, 3:49 am

        And thank you Annie,

        I appreciated your input too. To be honest, I have been completely neglecting Syria, so this is all a major eye opener to thank you both.

      • Walid
        November 26, 2013, 4:16 am

        Annie, Ya Libnan is a pro-US/Saudi source that was founded (and funded) in 2005 to pin the Hariri assassination on Syria.

        As to those guys cornered and being stacked up for the final settlement in Qalamoun, a good many of them are already in Lebanon where crossing between Syria and Lebanon is even easier than crossing from Canada to the USA and vice versa.

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 4:41 am


        Syria and Iran are now newly and openly acquired mideast client states for Russia, and to a quieter extent, China. Any issues with war and peace for Syria and Iran will from here on involve both Russia and China. Yet another reason why israel will not be launching full-throttle attacks against either Syria or Iran; also a reason too for USA to maintain an even-headed stance with regards to both Syria and Iran. Syria, with the backing of Russia and China, has the upper hand in the Geneva 2/Syria negotiations, simply due to the uninterrupted and continuing victories of the Syrian army on the ground.

        Regarding direct military assistance to israel in a regional war:
        Yes, Shingo, USA will send its missiles and military aircraft before putting boots on the ground, but this STILL does not guarantee the protection of tel aviv et all in israel as it will be impossible to stop ALL 40,000 multi-directional missiles that will be falling on israel per day. Not forgetting the newly S300’s that Syria has recently obtained from Russia. Also, Russia is adding S400 to Syria’s arsenal as part of the ‘carrot’ for Syria to give its chemical weapons.

        Moreover, ALL stories about hizb missiles coming out of israel is total BS. They have an ‘idea’ on what the hizb has, missile-wise, but they have zero intelligence on hizb’s sophisticated armory. According to the hizb itself, they already had medium range missiles back in 2006 that they never needed to use. They do also have many, many drones – altogether, according to Nasrallah, they have everything they need to hit back hard at israel “all the way from kiryat shamona to eliat” – the full length of israel, in other words. Not forgetting here that all ‘important’ arms coming from Syria/Iran to hizbollah arrive to Lebanon mostly through Beirut International airport, which is under the control of hizbollah, and not through the risky route of worn-torn Syrian land (duh israel!)

        By the way, regarding the China-Russia alliance in the world, I personally think that they have already decided between them that Russia will take the lead in the mideast with the ‘backing’ of China, while China will take the lead in Indo-China with the ‘backing’ of Russia, ostensibly creating two mega ‘forces’ in both regions for USA to contend with, instead of just one in each region.

        In other words, Russia and China are forcing USA to ‘share’ influence in strategic parts of the world with this, their current unified strategy. And having over-extended itself in mideast wars, America now has no other option but to accept their ‘sharing’ of influence.

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 4:45 am


        Have you personally recently tried crossing the border between Syria and Lebanon? It’s no “duck walk” I assure you. Probably the most dangerous border-crossing in the mideast right now is the Syria-Lebanon border.

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 5:03 am


        Hizbollah fighters are already in Qalamoun and yes they’ll be fighting alongside the Syrian army.

        Hizb has to be in Qalamoun, in key border areas, to stop any alqaida leaks into Lebanon.

      • Annie Robbins
        November 26, 2013, 5:08 am

        walid, thanks. yes i assumed Ya Libnan site was compromised because they pushed a sectarian angle/framing to the lebanese perspective (” dangerously polarised Lebanon along sectarian lines.”). and i just don’t think lebanon would be easily sucked into another civil war after what they went thru. nor do i think what’s going on in syria is primarily sectarian in nature.

        also, i’m not surprised a good many syrians are already in Lebanon because i read blog post earlier today interviewing syrian opposition supporters in a lebanese town near the border of syria. so it seems a lot of syrians are waiting it out in lebanon.

        even easier than crossing from Canada to the USA and vice versa.

        i got stuck for a couple hrs there last time i tried to cross. it’s happened to me several times actually. oh canada! mexico is much easier.

      • Shingo
        November 26, 2013, 5:25 am


        Thanks for that amazing summary.

        As an anecdote, I was in a Taxi with a Lebanese driver not long ago, and spoke to him about Hezbollah. He knew a few members and he was telling me how Israel simply cannot defeat them. Even with Israeli and US satellites watching every square inch of Southern Lebanon, they figured out simple ways to move around and defeat the satellites – covering vehicles in aluminium foil for example.

      • Walid
        November 26, 2013, 5:31 am

        Not lately, Taxi, it’s surely as dangerous as you said but keep in mind that over a million refugees have already flocked across the mostly unguarded 350 km border separating the 2 countries. It’s said that among the refugees, there are already over 10,000 armed rebels on standby to begin making a mess out of Lebanon.You probably heard that for political reasons involving other regional players, these border areas are off-limits to the Lebanese Army leaving them easily accessible for the transfer of arms and foreign fighters. There’s only a small section of the border that’s policed by Hizbullah and absolutely nothing passes through there.

      • Shingo
        November 26, 2013, 5:38 am

        Sorry to pick your brain Taxi, but this stuff is like cocaine to me ;-)

        So speaking of Lebanon, what’s the inside scoop on the bombing of the Iranian embassy? I take it the Saudis were behind it, but what about Israel? Do you think is was all about Syria or was there an attempt to sabotage Geneva?

      • Walid
        November 26, 2013, 5:38 am

        Annie, crossing became a mess only after 911. For years, most people crossing weren’t even asked to provide an ID, which when they were, a driver’s license was good enough. And this was at official border crossings. How many times were pick-nickers surprised to learn that they had inadvertently drifted into the neighbouring country across the 6,000 km of unguarded borders? 911 spoiled a lot of good things.

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 6:16 am


        Since the Battle of Qussair, the Lebanon-Syria border in east Lebanon has been pretty much sealed off, apart from the Qalamoon stretch bordering the two countries. The number of 10,000+ alqauida fighters you cite is very doubtful (Saudi propaganda?) – why would they be using ‘Lebanese’ sleeper cells otherwise, as just happened in the Iran Embassy bombing in Beirut? Granted it takes only one terrorist to create mayhem and misery for thousands, but the Lebanese army and intelligence services are surprisingly performing exceptionally well lately, no doubt due to accurate intelligence they’ve been collecting on Alquida in Syria, and also on Alqauida in Tripoli and Saidon in Lebanon. Every time alqaida bombs in the name of Sunnism in Lebanon, killing mainly innocent unarmed civilians in the process, the more Sunnis in Lebanon abandon the Sunnism of Saudi Arabia and Alqaida. Saudi and israel are finding it harder and harder to stir up sectarianism en mass in Lebanon, all thanks to Lebanese wisdom and the lessons learned from the last civil war, and all thanks too to Hassan Nassrallah who has time and time again called for the restraint of the resistance supporters, despite continuing acts of terrorism against them. If there really was 10,000+ alqaida fighters from Syria in Lebanon, there surely would be a deadly explosion in Lebanon every day of the week. I’ve also heard that many alqaida fighters who sneaked into Lebanon last year, have had to find their way back to Syria cuz they’re more needed now in Qalamoun.

        There isn’t enough alqaida fighters in Syria to defeat the Syria army, and there ain’t enough of them in Lebanon to turn Lebanon into a sectarian hellhole.

      • Walid
        November 26, 2013, 6:21 am

        The main reason Hizbullah entered the war in Syria was to protect the 30,000 Lebanese Shia living in 14 villages on the Syrian side of the border. These Lebanese ended up being on the wrong side of the border due to the errors of Sykes and Picot an eternity ago that inadvertently penciled Lebanese villages to appear inside Syria while at the same time, penciled other purely Syrian villages to have them as part of the Greater Lebanon. The French wanting to leave their Christian wards in Lebanon in good company with an increase of Christian citizens in a surrounding sea of Muslims, expanded Lebanon’s area 3-fold by chopping off areas from historic Syria and incorporating them into the new Greater Lebanon. What the French did not know at the time, was that the areas they added to Lebanon were mostly Muslim, so in the end they didn’t really help Lebanon’s Christians.

        Getting back to Hizbullah, these people have all the rights to be in Syria to help their own because no one else was going to do it. Furthermore, Syrian rebels had served notice that as soon as they’d take down Assad’s forces, they’d immediately move into Lebanon to attack Hizbullah, so Hizbullah headed them off at the pass. Anyone that complains about Hizbulah being in Syria doesn’t know what is going on.

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 6:25 am


        “aluminum foil” – LOL! I haven’t heard that one yet. But I have heard that the hizb purposely lets israel see them ‘moving’ missiles every now and then – except they’re empty decoy shells :-)

        I’ve also personally been witness to several middle of the night speeding trucks, charging maniacal across country roads with no headlights – sometimes several trucks together as a caravan.

        Recently, this was released by the israelis:
        “Israel does not know how to beat Hezbollah,” said Giora Eiland, an army ex-general who served as national security adviser to former prime ministers Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert.”
        Of course the israelis are using this statement to threaten/justify an attack on the whole of Lebanon and not just on hizbollah strongholds.

      • Shingo
        November 26, 2013, 7:40 am

        Great link Taxi,

        That concurs with DOD estimates that Hezbollah fighters are as effective as 5 IDF and that in the next war, Israeli troops will remain inside armored AV’s.

        Sorry if my account of the chat with the Taxi driver sounds trite, I think I am probably leaving some more vital details out, but the thing that is clear is that they know how to outsmart the Israelis at every turn.

      • Taxi
        November 26, 2013, 11:25 am


        Apparently its 1 hizb fighter = 10 idf soldiers:

        And as to the Iran Embassy bombing whodunnit, well the Iranian ambassador in Lebanon immediately pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia, believed to be in collaboration with the israelis (this was several days after western media leaked articles on the “secret meetings” between israel and the oil sheikdoms: a new collaboration between them to block a Geneva/Iran deal).

        So who bombed the Iranian embassy in Beirut? The darn Israbians, that’s who!

        I’ve also heard, from local and astute analysts, that although the bombing tragically caused some 23 deaths and injured over 150 outside the embassy, the terrorist operation itself was actually a failure militarily: because the intention of the double suicide-bombing was to bring down the whole building that housed the Iranian embassay, killing everyone in it from ambassador to janitor. That didn’t happen because the security gate guards had acted swiftly and stopped the terrorist vehicles from getting too near the embassy building and exploding.

        Can you imagine, Shingo, what would be happening right now if the terrorists had actually succeeded in killing the Iranian ambassador while the Geneva/Iran talks were being concluded?

      • Citizen
        November 26, 2013, 12:37 pm

        @ Taxi
        Yes, your POV on the two mega forces seems to be happening. Nothing on this in the US mainstream cable TV news shows.

      • Taxi
        November 27, 2013, 2:14 am
      • Taxi
        November 27, 2013, 2:16 am


        China Analysis: The end of non-interference?

        “Non-interference may have hampered Chinese diplomacy by preventing nimble responses and protecting stodgy thinking. But moving to a more committed policy that is not afraid to take sides and favour particular domestic outcomes opens up a gulf of doubts and different answers. Little by little, China’s strategists are discovering the dilemmas of an imperial power” – François Godement


      • Citizen
        November 27, 2013, 8:47 am

        @ Taxi

      • Citizen
        November 27, 2013, 9:08 am

        @ Taxi
        Looks like the geriatric SA regime clan is screwed by Obamacare in the ME. Maybe they will start shouting from the roofs of their intent to get nukes, trying to give “rabid nuclear proliferation” ammo to Israel & AIPACed US Congress to keep dissing Iran Deal, and striving for more sanctions on Iran?

      • Shingo
        November 27, 2013, 5:40 pm

        Yes the whole threat of buying nukes is a joke. If they were serious, it wouldn’t be reported in the MSM. This is just a PR ruse.

        As though we are to accept that the US would just sit on the sidelines and llow this to take place.

  23. Ramzi Jaber
    November 24, 2013, 9:00 am

    congratulations to president obama, secretary kerry, lady ashton, and all the negotiators including the iranian delegation. this furthers the cause of peace in the world while protecting the regional powers from nuclear war and a nuclear arms race. you all deserve the nobel peace price.

    let’s move on next to bringing peace in the holy land. yes we can!!! president obama is on his way to be one of the greatest presidents. i venture to say he will be added to mount rushmore. $10 on it ;-)

    yes we can!!!

    PS: really hilarious to see the long faces and the tweets of all the zionists, including the liberal kinds, who are talking against this deal. of course, the neocons and zionist christians have already started to look for bridges to jump… lol.

    • just
      November 24, 2013, 9:07 am

      Well said, Ramzi.

      It feels so good and right this bright morning. Peace– what a concept!

      • seafoid
        November 24, 2013, 9:15 am

        Can’t wait to hear president Peres.

        He did the full passive aggressive monty last Nowruz

        “Peres opened his greeting in Farsi, wishing Iranians wherever they may be a happy Nowruz. “I wish the Iranian people a real, true holiday, in which they may taste freedom, dignity and human honor,” he said. “It is not too late to replace the corrupt regime and return to your glorious Persian heritage, a heritage of culture and values, not of bombs and missiles.
        “At times I ask myself how such a civilized nation, with such a rich history, has allowed such a radical, blind and hate-filled group to dishonor its historic legacy. How does a people permit a regime to sow fear, rob people of their freedom and horrify the younger generation, which is looking for a way out of dictatorial Iran?” Peres asked.””

      • MRW
        November 24, 2013, 4:50 pm

        How does a people permit a regime to sow fear, rob people of their freedom and horrify the younger generation

        He should talk to the IDF soldiers in the Ukraine bragging about killing the younger (Palestinian) generation for that answer.

    • Shingo
      November 24, 2013, 9:17 am

      Ashton definitely deserves a mention. Earlier in the week, the talks we going nowhere and the main diplomats hadn’t bothered to turn up – she managed to get them on track.

      I think the Iranians deserve credit for not allowing the attack on the embassy to stop the deal.

  24. American
    November 24, 2013, 9:13 am

    Score one for the US! And the world!

    I take back every not nice thing I have said about Obama.
    Eat dirt and die I-Lobby!

  25. Citizen
    November 24, 2013, 9:25 am

    CNN now:

    Rep Engle & Rep Royce )both of foreign affairs committee) : We shouldn’t “go squishy” on sanctions, even during the 6 mo timeline of the Iran deal. Iran will end up with nukes as N Korea did.

    Rep Engle: Supreme Leader of Iran just last week called Israelis “dogs.” Nobody in Iran leadership is a moderate.

    Rep Royce: “We are going toward reestablishing Iran as the hegemony in the region.

  26. Taxi
    November 24, 2013, 9:29 am

    Livni: I told you your acme cartoon bomb-scare won’t work.
    Bibi: I know I know – should have worn my Batman suit instead.
    Livni: No you should have worn a kaffieh.
    Bibi: Huh?!
    Livni: I’m saying buzz off, scram, RESIGN! I’m saying pack your bags looser – you’ve so badly damaged israel’s security, you might as well start wearing a kaffeh!
    Bibi: You’re the one who’s been wearing a kaffieh and cheap perfume since 2006! You’re the loser who started the ’06 war and lost – so you and your looney left cowards can frack off! I’m the ballsy prime minister! Me! Me! ME! And I’m staying right here in my office!
    Livni: Not for long–
    Bibi: STFU I’m the king of the jews! I’m the savior of the jews! Benjamin Netanyahu is the leader of ALL jews!
    Livni: Now you’re scaring me.
    Bibi: Aaah you see you seeeee! If I scare an ogre like you, I can easily scare a skirt-wearing Rohani.
    Livni: Oh just step down you moron! I’m going home now to get my boxing gloves.
    Bibi: Watch out for the stick of dynamite in them – meep meep!

  27. Citizen
    November 24, 2013, 9:35 am

    More CNN now:

    Re Iran’s claim of right to enrichment for peace uses, which should be part of any agreement now and in future.

    Rep Mike Rogers, Republican) : Iran’s the world’s leading sponsor of terror in the world. We may encouraged more violence in future than in the past. US has rewarded bad, dangerous behavior. Dangerous to plead not to have increased round of sanctions. Real Iran today is a very dangerous place. They went into the deal without support of most in congress, or of SA, or Israel. We made this mistake in Pakistan and N Korea. Why repeat this mistake?

    • MRW
      November 24, 2013, 4:54 pm

      Why repeat this mistake?

      We’re not. It was the Republican congress that did those Pakistan and North Korea deals, Mike.

  28. Citizen
    November 24, 2013, 9:47 am

    More CNN now:

    Former CIA Director M Hayden:
    This is hitting pause, not delete. Will know how important in 6 month. We’ve been broadly aligned with Israel and Saudis, Gulf states; now they feel abandoned. Need more hand-holding with these countries. Real Iran shown by its conduct, that is by Supreme Leader, who has allowed “moderate” Iranian President significant authority.
    Don’t know if leopard has changed its spots.

    John Negroponte: What will this do to Iran hegemonic status, make Iran appear as a peer to US in ME? Fear is this interim deal will become permanent and Iran will emerge with the bomb.

  29. Citizen
    November 24, 2013, 10:00 am

    More on CNN now:

    Re opinion of Obama foreign policy-poll 56% approve.

    Alex Castellanos: We are seeing the reMcGovernization of the US govt, incl “give peace a chance.” Many think Obama has retreated from the world. So world is more uncertain, ME is afire; Latin America is less stable. We’re going to a 200 ship Navy. If Israel thinks it has to act more independently, this will destabilize the ME; others may go for nukes, etc. Weakness invites the wolves. Sen Cornyn says iran deal distraction from Obamacare.

    Bill Burton: Gives Obama a bounce, seen as real world leader. Al-Quaida doesn’t see US as becoming a peacenik nation. They’ve been hurt bad by US.

    A B Stoddard (The Hill assoc editor): Americans remain more anxious. We have to acknowledge the heavy US sanctions brought us to this point with Iran.

  30. Citizen
    November 24, 2013, 10:10 am

    More CNN now (Fareed Zakaria GPS):

    Geneva deal essentially freezes Iran activity for half a year, and Iran gets little sanctions relief for agreeing to it. This is not like Nixon deal with China, more like nuke arms deal with old USSR. It’s a step forward.

    Wolf Blitzer:

    Could be a potential first step. Kerry says, trust but verify. Bibi says “historic mistake.”

    Reza Sayah: Iranians approve by and large. But they are skeptical, wait n see over long run. Iranian people can benefit the most if it works. They’ve been demonized by the West but have suffered heavily from the West.

    Amanpour: Very modest, reversible sanctions relief for Iran. Heavy sanctions have not brought Iran to cry uncle. Iran wants to continue enrichment. All recognize former Iran president was contemptible. Real change is new Iran president is not like that at all; big change. US does not want another war in ME. A deal is the alternative.

  31. Citizen
    November 24, 2013, 10:43 am

    More from Blitzer on CNN:

    Israeli PM spokesman:
    Bad deal. No dismantlement. That’s the goal.

  32. American
    November 24, 2013, 11:08 am

    ‘ Jeffrey Goldberg ✔ @JeffreyGoldberg Follow
    Jews run America, suggests ex-national security adviser: https://twitter.com/zbig/status/402826354778832898
    11:44 PM – 23 Nov 2013”>>>>

    Another example of what dumb asses these people are…..they dont get that the more they do their little Anti-S implying and “link” it to what a US ‘national security adviser” said—-the more they bring it to public attention the more the perception can grow that Jews and US security mix about as well as oil and water.

  33. Taxi
    November 24, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Isreal just got politically nuked by Iran.

  34. Walker
    November 24, 2013, 12:06 pm

    The euphoria over this agreement seems premature to me. If you support it, tell your Congressman.

  35. jayn0t
    November 24, 2013, 1:00 pm

    “J Street welcomes the agreement reached today in Geneva by the P5+1 and Iran as a significant first step in efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon…”

    So… it’s a victory for Israel, right? And Israel’s posturing is just a show, making it look as if the Obama administration is showing unwonted independence…

  36. eljay
    November 24, 2013, 1:43 pm

    >> Ari Fleischer: … You can’t spell abandonment without OBAMA.

    So what’s your point, Mr. Fleischer? And are you also aware that you can’t spell:
    – “a Zionist” without NAZI;
    – “Jewish people” without SHEEP;
    – “Holocaust” without SLUT;
    – “Jewish State” without TESTES;
    – “Santa” without SATAN;
    – “doughnut” without HUG; and
    – “shovel” without LOVE?

    Good gawd, what does it all mean?! 8-o


  37. sandhillexit
    November 25, 2013, 10:07 am

    People who equate Iran and North Korea are relying on American ignorance.

    North Korea is a cyst, malign and isolated. It is a loony neighbor who periodically puts dynamite on the roof and threatens to blow up the neighbors unless they bring pizza. The Chinese suspect that a reunited Korea intends to be a nuclear power, that the money and technical know-how has not come exclusively from the workers’ paradise. NK is useful, because it provides a foil/a provider of “stuff” for nuclear mayhem in other regions. NK functions as “not China” “not Russia” “not the US” and “not France” “not Britain” and “not Israel.”

    Iran is a regional power, acting with effect in greater Kurdistan, Shia Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and India. It has just parlayed its way onto the table of top nations by acting supremely reasonable. Like Germany, it doesn’t need to go to nuclear weaponry if it keeps its edge in technology. It wants an agreement with inspections to prove to the world that it is not the source of all the nuclear skullduggery in the M.E. It wants a tough deal – because that is the deal that eventually Israel will be expected to sign. If Israel hadn’t thumbed its nose at the international agreements/inspections structure it would likely BE at the table too. But it didn’t want to play by the rules. Now it has to rely on Canada, who isn’t there either, to help complain from outside the door. As long as Iran stays there talking it can demonstrate its value in helping to bring about calm and progress across the region/and can make the case for staying at the top table.

    • Citizen
      November 26, 2013, 12:42 pm

      Whatever, does it matter as a practical matter when every cable TV news channel is repeating endlessly via their headlines, anchors, and selected pundits a conflate Iran with N Korea?

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