The epic season of spinning Iran deal begins!

Middle East
on 50 Comments

The epic season of spinning the Iran deal begins! Which side are you on? And what can you do to help Obama and Hassan Rouhani get back to Go? The world demands your participation!

The Iranian president is elated:

A day that will remain in the historical memory of the #Iranian nation.

Obama’s weekly address today– anticipating “a robust debate” about war. Not a word about Israel:

Here in the United States, I expect a robust debate. We’ll keep Congress and the American people fully briefed on the substance of the deal. As we engage in this debate, let’s remember—we really only have three options for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program: bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities—which will only set its program back a few years—while starting another war in the Middle East; abandoning negotiations and hoping for the best with sanctions—even though that’s always led to Iran making more progress in its nuclear program; or a robust and verifiable deal like this one that peacefully prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

As President and Commander in Chief, I firmly believe that the diplomatic option—a comprehensive, long-term deal like this—is by far the best option. For the United States. For our allies. And for the world.

Matt Lee of AP has been very good:

People seem to forget that the entire idea of negotiation is for both sides to walk away claiming victory.

The opposition in Israel and Iran are mirror images. AP:

Hard-liners in Iran and the Israeli government both condemned the framework deal on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program on Friday, from opposite directions but for the same reason: The agreement, they said, gives away too much.

How far do you have to read in this summary before you get the mustache-curling villain? Here is the Israeli Prime Minister:

This deal would pose a grave danger to the region and to the world and would threaten the very survival of the state of Israel… It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. Such a deal paves Iran’s path to a bomb…. It would gravely increase the risks of terrible war… Iran is a country that openly calls for Israel’s destruction and openly actively works toward that end… that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons. In addition, Israel demands that any final clear and ambiguous Israel’s right to exist.

And here is Bill Kristol. He sounds petulant and vituperative; but notice that he is appealing to Republicans.

Obamadeal like Obamacare: Should fight to stop it. If fail at first, keep on fighting. Can’t be fixed. Must be repealed and replaced.

Many arrows in Congress’s quiver: No sanctions relief unless go-anywhere, anytime inspections regime.

The State Department briefing yesterday addressed the Israeli PM’s demand that Iran must recognize Israel. Netanyahu got the brushoff.

One of the things that the prime minister said was that any final deal that’s reached in June, if that happens, needs to demand that Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist. Is that an appropriate thing to include in a deal of this sort, in the U.S.’s view?

[Spokesperson Marie] HARF: Well, this is an agreement that is only about the nuclear issue. We have purposefully kept that separate from every other issue. That issue is complicated enough to deal with on its own. No, this is an agreement that doesn’t deal with any other issues, nor should it, and that’s what we’re focused on.

Harf says that the Gulf Cooperation Council will get red carpet treatment from President Obama. But there is no invitation to Netanyahu to come back here after his appearance before Congress.

And are we to expect that prime minister of Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu, will come to Camp David as well?

MS. HARF: I don’t think that’s what the President announced, Said.

QUESTION: And I know he did not announce.

MS. HARF: I think he talked about the GCC.

QUESTION: Is that something to be expected?

MS. HARF: I would – I have no way to answer that question. I have not heard anything about that. I have nothing to read out in terms of possible meetings with Prime Minister Netanyahu. The President spoke with him. Our – his views on this are clear, but I haven’t heard anything indicating that he would be coming to the United States.

MJ Rosenberg says the Obama diplomacy will work:

I expect the Saudis to abandon Israel on , leaving Israel i its favorite position: Alone again, naturally. World’s stupidest Jews.

Here is a great/awful video from another neocon front org that states that Obama is Neville Chamberlain making deals with the Nazis, and also a bad golfer. Recommended for you today by Bill Kristol.The neocons are flailing, IMHO. Trita Parsi points out that Obama has won the left and the center with the deal.

AIPAC Dems on the Hill are twistin in the wind, for now. Says The Hill:

Several top Democrats are voicing grave reservations over the Obama administration’s emerging deal governing the future of Iran’s nuclear program.
Reps. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said they welcome a discussion on the framework agreement unveiled Thursday, but harbor deep doubts that the Iranians can be trusted to make good on their commitments.

Ben Cardin of MD, another AIPAC Dem, is not sure if he’s signing on to the Sen. Robert Corker legislation that could undermine the deal.

Democrats will have to decide whether they want to openly rebuke the administration’s diplomatic efforts.

The new top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ben Cardin of Maryland, sounded like he was still making up his mind.

Chuck Schumer is also layin low.

J Street Democrats are trying to solidify the support, says The Hill.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) is also voicing optimism the deal will preclude a nuclear Iran.
“I believe this is a deal worth supporting, but we must wait to ensure there is no backsliding on any parameters before a final agreement is signed. I commend President Obama and Secretary Kerry, as well as our global partners, for this breakthrough that holds the promise of a safer world and more stable Middle East.”

J Street is clear. This is about war. It takes Netanyahu on for his belligerent rhetoric.

And the alternative they proposed is…? : Israel’s Netanyahu says his Cabinet united in “strongly opposing” proposed Iran nuclear deal

Liberal Zionist Gershom Gorenberg is working to shore up the support.

Dems who at last criticize Bibi need public backing from liberal Jews, esp after Iran deal

Gorenberg cites a Prospect column, “The Insane Logic Underlying Republican Opposition to Iran Deal”.

This is funny. Matt Lee addresses a neocon:

: At this point the admin’s game on needs members of Congress to be LITERALLY ILLITERATE for it to work.”

So it could?

Jeremy Pressman of UConn spots the AIPAC Dems’ exit strategy, a tactic likely to be used by centrists, Mark Warner, Richard Blumenthal, and others:

Top Democrats express “great skepticism” over Iran nuclear deal: One scenario: rather than immediate embrace, some Democrats act skeptical & concerned but later say they r persuaded. Political optics

Where will the New York Times be? David Bromwich writes, “Take a look at the William Broad Broad piece on Fordo in the Times today, in which one MIT centrifuge expert is quoted–one. It doesn’t rise to the condition of a sketch for a fraction of an article, but they published it fast, to start the spoiling.” Broad in the NYT:

Many nuclear experts and American officials expected that the negotiations would end with Fordo’s complete dismantlement. David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington research group that monitors Iran’s nuclear program, wrote early last year that “a key demand will be that this site close down.”

But the preliminary deal announced in Switzerland on Thursday instead calls for the site’s conversion exclusively to peaceful research.

Gareth Porter seems hopeful but also points out how many details of the agreement are unresolved. At antiwar. com:

The US text thus seems to indicate that the Iranians won their demand that the Western powers give up their scheme for a “gradual” or “phased” withdrawal of sanctions. But the Iranians had wanted some of the sanctions removed each time they completed the implementation of a commitment, and instead the payoff comes only after the final step taken…

The Obama administration may well be inclined to facilitate the provision of early sanctions relief. But the political dynamics swirling around US and IAEA policies toward Iran suggest that the processes of IAEA assessment and delivery of sanctions may not go as smoothly as Iran would hope.

Looking even further ahead, Iran is certainly concerned about how a future US administration could and would implement the agreement. Iran was insisting that the UN Security Council resolution repealing previous resolutions with a new one reflecting the comprehensive agreement be passed before the change in administration in Washington in 2017, according to the source in contact with the negotiators. It remains unclear whether the P5+1 agreed to that demand.

Peter Beinart is very good.

The details of the Iran deal matter. But ending America’s cold war with Iran matters much more.

He links his article in the Atlantic saying that the deal will have great benefits across the region. I wanted to write that article! Pax Persiana.

When America’s relationship with the Soviet Union thawed, civil wars across the world petered out because local combatants found their superpower patrons unwilling to send arms and write checks.

Isolating a modern powerful nation like Iran forever is inefficient in countless ways. Rouhani:

Centrifuges have to spin and peoples lives, economy have to move forward. Today we have gotten closer to that objective.

More unexpected support for the deal. Matt Lee reports:

Must have woken up in an alternate universe. citing Bill O’Reilly in defense of framework.

 

About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

50 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    April 4, 2015, 12:44 pm

    “Chuck Schumer is still layin low.” That is to say, “Brer Schumer, he lay low.” Very low. And people are trying to “get” him on his close relation with — the banks! (Any AIPAC presence in the CEO-group for the banks?)

    • pabelmont
      April 4, 2015, 12:57 pm

      See the wonderful. and wonderfully vernacular, tar-baby story here: : http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/remus/tar-baby.html Glad it isn’t lost forever after the book-burnings attending (I suppose) the civil rights movement.

      • Mooser
        April 4, 2015, 6:21 pm

        “Glad it isn’t lost forever after the book-burnings attending (I suppose) the civil rights movement”

        Cite?

    • Kathleen
      April 7, 2015, 11:05 am

      A fair amount of talk about Schumer’s stance on Morning Joe. His support for the Corker legislation. One talking head on MJ tried to protect Schumer’s effort to undermine deal by saying Schumer wants congress to be able to weigh in (Corker legislation) not to destroy deal. Interesting to watch and listen to the so called lefts willingness to refer to the Senate 47’s willingness to undermine the deal as “traitorous, back stabbing” but not apply those same terms to Schumer’s efforts to undermine.

      Rachel Maddow had head U.S. Iran negotiator Dr. Ernest Moniz on. Great guest but the interview lacked depth and length.

      Last week Chris Matthews hammered Republican talking head Ron Christie who used the Neville Chamberlain comparisons quite easily. Hardest pounding I have seen yet out of Matthews.

      Netanyahu is not just demanding that Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist but the “right to exist as a Jewish state”

      Even Al Sharpton getting into the conversation. He seldom mentioned the Iran issue or the I/P issue. Salon’s Joan Walsh rolled over to Christopher Burns during a panel discussion on the Iran issue. Basically paying homage to part of Israel’s stance. Sad to watch Walsh get on bended knee

      Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Maddow, Washington Journal guest etc not even whispering about how absurd it is that Israel the very nation that refuses to sign the NPT is the very nation screaming about Iran’s capabilities. Iran a nation that signed the NPT.

      MSNBC Ed had Joe Wilson was on last week talking about deal. Wilson brought up an issue I have been bringing up for years. Why is it that the main steam gives any time to those that pushed the Iraq war based on lies. Why are they given a pulpit? Why did Obama give Friedmann the interview about Iran. Coddling the foreign agents for Israel once again. The Iraq war pushers.

      MSNBC’s Cycle has had Hillary mann Leverett on…finally. Melissa Harris Perry had her on for I think the fifth time this weekend to discuss Iran.

      On Monday morning CSpan’s Washington Journal did a segment on the Iran deal. Must have a new or more biased phone screener. Let 14 men through 1 woman (who had a bad connection. 12 of the men ranted incoherently about bad bad bad Iran. 2 men had questions. Generally Washington Journal has allowed people with opposing views on the Iran issue through. And on the Israel Palestine issue. Not Monday. Leaned heavily towards those opposed who were quite weak in the facts arena.

      Will we witness the MSM actually try to educate the public based on facts about the Iran deal? Only time will tell. We all need to keep pushing. Encourage friends, etc to contact their Reps in support for the P5+1.

  2. Sycamores
    April 4, 2015, 1:15 pm

    Israel demands that any final clear and ambiguous Israel’s right to exist.

    strange that why didn’t Netanyahu demand Iran to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

    when we are on the subject

    MS. HARF: Well, this is an agreement that is only about the nuclear issue. We have purposefully kept that separate from every other issue. That issue is complicated enough to deal with on its own. No, this is an agreement that doesn’t deal with any other issues, nor should it, and that’s what we’re focused on.

    Ms. Harf correctly states that Iran recognizing Israel right to exist (which the PLO already does) has nothing to do with the nuclear deal.
    maybe if they applied the same logic to Palestine /Israel peace deal and separate Israel demand to be recognized as a Jewish state from the establishment of the state of Palestine, the two sate solution would have work.

    • pabelmont
      April 4, 2015, 1:36 pm

      What a linguistic and grammatical scramble! Anyhow, since I concur about “ambiguous”, I’d prefer an ambiguous statement, if any statement, from Iran about Israel’s right to exist, something like, ‘Iran affirms Israel’s right to exist as a state, just as Palestine did 1923-1947, subject to modification by internal events and/or by supervening external events, just as was the case with Palestine-1947 and the events of 1947-present.’

      • amigo
        April 4, 2015, 1:55 pm

        “Israel demands that any final clear and ambiguous Israel’s right to exist.”sycamores.

        Heard recently from Zionist Hq.

        All non Jews wishing to visit Israel must sign a document recognising Israel,s right to exist.There will be a nominal admin fee of 1OO shekels .This policy is to ensure Israel,s security and it,s survival.It is hoped to expand this program later to include any non Jew wishing to purchase Israeli products.The admin cost yet to be decided.

      • Sycamores
        April 4, 2015, 2:07 pm

        Hi Pabelmont,

        Israel demands that any final clear and ambiguous Israel’s right to exist.

        What a linguistic and grammatical scramble!

        i see what you mean.

        try this

        He warned the deal “threatens the very survival” of Israel, and put forward a new demand, that any final deal include Iran’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

        http://m.apnews.com/ap/db_268777/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=TXz5Epdd

      • Dutch
        April 4, 2015, 7:10 pm

        Iran is a partner in the Arab Peace Initiative (2002), that offers full recognition of Israel as part of a comprehensive peace accord, based on the 2SS. The reality is that Israel hasn’t even been willing to consider the proposal.

    • Amar
      April 4, 2015, 2:58 pm

      strange that why didn’t Netanyahu demand Iran to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
      Next goal post.

      • Sycamores
        April 4, 2015, 3:43 pm

        Hi Amar,

        Next goal post.

        it only works on the Palestinians. the double standards of the US adminstration is infuriating.

  3. Krauss
    April 4, 2015, 1:23 pm

    The neocons will struggle in their “protect Israel” campaign.

    More democrats now view Mexico(!) as an ally than Israel.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/US-ally-Democrats-Canada-Great-Britain/2015/04/02/id/636106/

    (Would link to Rasmussen right away but they have subscription service)

  4. HarryLaw
    April 4, 2015, 1:45 pm

    One of my doubts about the agreement was the ability of the IAEA to find excuses not to give Iran the clean bill of health only they can give, and since the IAEA and its current head Amano are heavily influenced by the US, I could see problems down the road, however Gareth Porter said.. “Iran, however, was demanding that those sanctions be lifted immediately upon delivering on their commitments under agreement. And a source close to Iranian negotiators told Middle East Eye that Iran was confident it could deliver on all of the actions related to its enrichment program and Arak within a matter of months”. If that is the case we should know ‘in months’ rather than years, whether the deal will pan out.http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2015/04/03/iran-won-upfront-sanctions-relief-but-with-potential-snags/

    • HarryLaw
      April 4, 2015, 2:12 pm

      The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister seems to think ALL sanctions will be lifted, this from Press TV “All economic and financial sanctions as well as all resolutions issued by the UN Security Council (UNSC) against Iran will be null and void on the first day of the implementation of a final agreement to be reached between Iran and the six global powers, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said in a televised interview on Friday.”

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      April 4, 2015, 2:48 pm

      Yeah, although the deal looks good, there is a LOT of potential for ‘misunderstanding’ and manipulation by the IAEA, which is now little more than an American tool since the departure of El Baradei.

      My hope is that, just this once, big business will get its way. European and American companies must be salivating at the thought of all those lucrative contracts in a country more or less closed to Western investment for years. I’m hoping that pressure from big business will discourage Obama – or whoever – from keeping sanctions on Iran. From what I’ve heard, big business is sick and tired of being kept out of Iran to please Bibi, and wont’ take kindly to having to miss another chance at all those opportunities. Just for bibi and his cartoons.

      • Keith
        April 4, 2015, 3:37 pm

        MAXIMUS- “My hope is that, just this once, big business will get its way.”

        You’re joking, right? We live in a world of globalized capitalism effectively run by big business/big finance. The US empire has morphed into an American led transnational corporate/financial empire. US foreign policy is designed to promote Western business interests and to destroy any and all threats to Western hegemony. An independent Iran is a potential threat to global imperial control and will not be tolerated, if possible. If US foreign policy ever deviates significantly from the business/financial consensus on their perceived interests, the policy will be changed. An unlikely event in view of the enormous input the global elites have on policy formation. Is the Council on Foreign Relations upset? Wall Street? The Military-Industrial Complex? Big media? Etc, etc, etc?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        April 5, 2015, 9:01 am

        Keith,

        No, I’m not joking.

        Businesses the world over have long chafed under the Iran sanctions. They don’t see why they need to lose out on lucrative trade just to keep Bibi happy. How do oil companies, or any of the other businesses who stand to gain billions from access to an untapped market, benefit from having Iran isolated? They don’t. They lose, big time. And American companies will be especially peeved if congress finds a way to maintain or even increase the sanctions, while European, Russian and Chinese companies get all those juicy contracts.

        So in this one case, I would like to see big business prevail over political — ie AIPAC – concerns.

      • Keith
        April 5, 2015, 5:25 pm

        MAXIMUS- “No, I’m not joking.”

        I find that worrisome. We all understand that there are businesses that would welcome the lifting of sanctions for business reasons. What you seem to be saying, however, is that the business community writ large, and especially big business oppose the Iran sanctions, and that these sanctions represent a schism between US foreign policy and business wishes. Furthermore, that this schism is the result of AIPAC power and influence which has caused the US government to ignore the consensus opinion of the dominant transnational corporations and global finance. Furthermore, global capital needs to be more assertive concerning these sanctions in order to counter AIPAC, thereby permitting access to markets resulting in massive profits. That about it?

        Good Lord, Max, what have you been smoking? Is this what you have been reading in the business press? Fat chance. Here is how you can defend your position and show me up for a nincompoop. Simply quote some editorials in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the sanctions as bad for business and attacking AIPAC for interfering with the free market. Because, Max, if “Businesses the world over have long chafed under the Iran sanctions,” then this would be reflected in the business press. Also, The Council on Foreign Relations is the primary big business organized influence on imperial foreign policy. The US government is staffed with current or former members of the CFR. The major corporations and financial institutions are represented. Their flagship magazine is “Foreign Affairs,” check it out.

      • Kathleen
        April 7, 2015, 4:48 pm

        Wondering when Melissa Harris Perry etc will ask El Baradei to come on programs to discuss deal. MHP has gone out on the limb more than most the so called liberals by having Hillary Mann Leverett on I think it must be six times since last summer to discuss issues with Iran.

        Enough of having the same Iraq war pushers like Friedmann, Woodward, Cheney, etc on programs. I am so with Joe Wilson on this one. Why do any of the MSM outlets have these war thugs on? They were knowingly deadly wrong on Iraq. Who gives a rats ass what they think?

    • Shingo
      April 4, 2015, 6:07 pm

      The Iranians should have demanded that Amano step down from the IAEA. He is a corrupt and discredited hack who has been exposed as being a poodle of Washington and an ideological bias against Iran.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 7, 2015, 12:47 am

        i totally agree shingo, he’s massively compromised.

  5. joemowrey
    April 4, 2015, 2:07 pm

    I’m with you, HarryLaw. U.S. Influence on the IAEA is only one of the areas where our arm twisting and belligerence will make it nearly impossible for Iran to adhere to this or any other deal. As I’ve stated in comments on other articles here at MW, it’s likely this deal is being set up as a trigger to justify an attack on Iran.

    And as has been pointed out elsewhere, we probably don’t need a justification; we’ll do whatever we want, as always. But if we have triggers like this in place it will give our impending illegal war of aggression against Iran at least some air of legitimacy.

    It’s a con being implemented by the shepherds of Empire. Not the first. Not the last. With the U.S. track record of war mongering, deception, and instigation of illegal wars, it’s difficult, if not impossible (certainly not advisable) to believe any of this alleged diplomacy is sincere.

  6. Annie Robbins
    April 4, 2015, 2:59 pm

    phil, more out of the ballpark coverage!

  7. Taxi
    April 5, 2015, 5:30 am

    Fantastically well-knitted overview – good journalism, Phil!

    For those interested, here’s my assessment on the currents and undertows of what’s going on between America, Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia:
    https://platosguns.wordpress.com/

    • just
      April 5, 2015, 8:26 am

      Very impressive article, Taxi~ really super and interesting analysis! Your insights are always much appreciated, and it’s terrific that you are writing at length @ your new blog!

      Thanks for this great article, Phil.

      • Taxi
        April 5, 2015, 2:05 pm

        Thank you, just – you’re always supportive and super perky :-)

    • Annie Robbins
      April 5, 2015, 3:03 pm

      taxi, i posted a link and blockquote to your fascinating article here yesterday: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/compensate-netanyahu-propaganda#comment-759250

    • Shingo
      April 5, 2015, 6:39 pm

      Interesting article Taxi,

      My problem with your thesis is that you give far too much credit to the thinking behind US foreign policy.

      From what I can see, US foreign policy is now simply about sewing chaos since it has lost all control of the region. As has been pointed out everywhere but the main stream media, when Yanukovych was chased by a mob from his office in Ukraine, by leaving the country, the US government claimed he lost legitimacy. In Yemen, on the other hand, when president Hadi was chased by a mob from his office he retained his legitimacy and Saudi airstrikes were approved and coordinated by the US to put him back in office. Even more absurd is the claim that Saudi Arabia is trying to restore “democracy” in Yemen.

      That’s not to say your predicted outcome won’t eventuate. I might very well come to fruition, and I would be thrilled to see it.

      • Taxi
        April 5, 2015, 10:48 pm

        Thanks Shingo – (long time no seeyaz – hope it’s all going dandy with you in Oz land)

        About the Middle East: the USA has certainly lost influence in the ME but it’s still the top dog there – and actually that influence has been somewhat returned with the Iran deal.

        And yeah we can fill whole libraries listing USA hypocrisies – but that’s the nature of the beast of Empire.

        It will be interesting to see how it all develops in the Arabian Peninsula and how these developments effect israel – keeping my ear to the ground and reporting back to base!

        (Say, in case you didn’t know, MW bloggers can comment on my site without registration – and without moderation and censorship.)

      • Shingo
        April 6, 2015, 7:22 am

        Things are great here in Oz Taxi,

        I’d say the Iran deal tells us quite the opposite about the US. The isolation and sanctions against Iran were never about nukes, which all intelligence agencies knew were no issue. They were always a tactic for regime change, to keep Iran weak and unstable. This has failed and even more disastrous is that the ISIS Frankenstein monster that the US and Saudi Arabia created to weaken Hezbollah and Iran has backfired catastrophically. Not only has ISIS come back to bite the West, but Iran and Hezbollah have gained ever more status and strength by taking them on.

        I think your thesis about the US agenda to weaken Saudi Arabia sounds too clever by half. The Americans have never been good at chess, let along thinking that many moves ahead.

        But like I said, the outcome may well turn out as you predicted. The House fo Saud is clear vulnerable and perhaps it just needs a slight nudge to topple it. One can only hope.

      • Taxi
        April 7, 2015, 12:21 am

        Shingo,

        The House of Saud’s demise will not be overnight or even next year, but will slowly worsen the longer the Yemen war goes on. A Vientnamization of the Yemen is the slo-mo bullet heading towards the king’s third eye. It took Saddam some twelve years of Empire ‘shakedown,’ starting with his invasion of Kuwait, before he eventually met the noose.

        But I beg to differ on the level of Empire’s intelligence that you estimate. Though America is capable of terrific and devastating blunders, it is nevertheless the only superpower in the world and it didn’t become so, remains so, out of sheer organic dumbness.

      • Shingo
        April 7, 2015, 5:56 am

        Taxi,

        You could be right about the time it will take for the Saudis to be toppled. I have no idea. There were many that did not see Mubarak’s overthrow until it happened.

        As for America’s intelligence, it’s ascendancy to superpower was engineered by some brilliant but ruthless minds, but the US empire of today ain’t the one it used to be. It’s become the ageing rock star who has fried their brain on all the drugs they did during it’s prime. It continues to trash hotel rooms, demands the best seat in the restaurant or allowed entry into the coolest clubs, while those around them shakes their head in disgust and pity.

        It still playing it’s old tunes, but the talent, and originality are all gone and that terminal heart attack/drug overdose is just around the corner.

      • Walid
        April 7, 2015, 2:48 am

        “It took Saddam some twelve years of Empire ‘shakedown,’ starting with his invasion of Kuwait, before he eventually met the noose. ” (Taxi)

        Hi Taxi, I’m enjoying reading your blog. About Saddam, after the end of the war with Iran that left Iraq broke and indebted to the Arabs that had financed his 8-year war with it, he was practically baited into attacking Kuwait by Kuwait and the rest of the Arab OPEC mafia that refused to write-down his huge war loans or to raise the price of oil. Bush Sr allowing Sadam to take a small bite out of Kuwait is what triggered the whole thing, especially when he got greedy and took it all. He was super nasty with his Kurds and Shia, but still a far cry from today’s Sunni dictators. You can’t find many Iraqis today that don’t yearn for the good old days of Saddam. The noose incident was a shameful performance by the US especially as it was done on Islam’s highest of holy days, the Eid al-Adha. It’s highly doubtful the US would have hanged a Jewish criminal on Yom Kippur.

      • Taxi
        April 7, 2015, 3:55 am

        Thanks for visiting my middle east newsstand, Walid.

        The dynamics at play with the Saudis is different to that of when Saddam was shaken/taken down – ie it was easier and quicker to topple Saddam as he had little internal support. And in the case of Saudi Arabia, it will take longer than a dozen years as the internal dissent has to first be ‘manufactured’. The Yemen war is the first step to this end.

        And as to the the whole hanging of Saddam and the timing of it, it was definitely a wicked act on behalf of the Iraqi Shias.

      • Taxi
        April 7, 2015, 9:36 am

        Shingo,

        You’re absolutely right that the American star is waning – I see this as mainly due to lack of quality leadership. Obama, with all his disappointments, remains one of the smartest presidents we’ve had since Kennedy – he’s an intellectual who’s stuck in a political playground full of illiterate bombasts and weeds and therefore his progressive vision has been much beaten and hampered by internal philistine forces. His high level of intelligence is barely denting the wall of ignorance and corruption on Capitol Hill so I’m excepting this ‘dumb’ trend in American politics to continue for some time. But regardless of this abysmal picture, the world is going to have to live under the thumb of a dumb giant for some time as until Russia and China figure out how to rule the seas and oceans, dumb America will continue to be the only superpower and Emperor of the world.

        Just think: we have 12 aircraft carriers and direct access to most of the world’s waterways, while Russia has only one aircraft carrier with little direct access to water to project its powers further afield – (Oz has one carrier too btw). We will remain the only superpower, lowly as we culturally and intellectually are as a collective, till the Russians and Chinese figure out how to access and control more of the world’s waterways.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_carriers_in_service

        Really, it’s our navy boys who are keeping us afloat on top of the world, so to speak.

      • lysias
        April 7, 2015, 10:56 am

        Subtract one of those carriers. The Ronald Reagan was rendered inoperable due to radioactive contamination when it was stationed off Fukushima. Issues of Navy Times constantly report its location as “California”. I.e., it is docked there. The Navy and the U.S. government just won’t admit it is now unusable.

      • Walid
        April 7, 2015, 11:39 am

        “The Ronald Reagan was rendered inoperable due to radioactive contamination when it was stationed off Fukushima.” ( lysias)

        What became of the Ronald Reagan 5000 or so sailors; they were surely more affected by the radioactivity than the ship.

      • lysias
        April 9, 2015, 12:07 pm

        ‘Uncertain Radiological Threat’: US Navy Sailors Search for Justice after Fukushima Mission.

        As a commenter to this Spiegel article says, it’s shameful that the U.S. media have ignored the story of these sailors.

      • Walid
        April 9, 2015, 12:45 pm

        Thanks, lysias, I’m guessing they have been swept under the rug, the same one where the Iraq I and II vets were swept under from their exposure to radioactive munitions handling that the government keeps insisting never happened. Probably likewise for all those soldiers that were given the special goggles to observe the first testing of the atom bomb.

      • lysias
        April 9, 2015, 4:56 pm

        Fukushima Coverup: Sick US Navy Sailors’ Class Action Law Suit, US Government, Doctors Bury Truth about Fukushima Radiation.

        I was at the Pentagon when Gulf War Sickness from Gulf War I started to be investigated. I did some investigating for the chief civilian lawyer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. I spoke to the chief doctor in the Army. He pooh-poohed the whole matter.

      • lysias
        April 10, 2015, 5:51 pm

        I’m still angry about how that doctor misled me at the time. But he behaved like a typical bureaucrat: don’t make waves.

  8. eGuard
    April 5, 2015, 7:55 am

    MJ Rosenberg: Israel […]. World’s stupidest Jews. (again MJ is introduced as a smart argument).

    Never ever trust a commenter who does not distinguish between Jews and Israelis (there is a word for that). Really, Mondoweiss, muddying the discussion waters this way should be thrown out by intuition, by Pavlov or by sound thinking. BTW, has the tweet been deleted?

    Note that last month his profile said “I absolutely believe there must be a Jewish State in Palestine, but within ’67 lines” – As was pointed out here at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/netanyahus-consciousness-raising#sthash.txw0r78H.dpuf. He has changed that profile since, but not his leopard spots.

    • piotr
      April 5, 2015, 1:20 pm

      That reminds me a joke about bald men. Some lack hair in front, they think, some lack hair in the rear, they are very attractive for women, some lack hair both in front and in the rear, they think that they have very attractive for women (sorry for a bad translation).

      Of the multitudes of people who think that they are smart, some are actually smart. The average self-assessment of the intelligence in Israel is probably quite a bit higher than in the Exile. Genetic make-up is similar, but the outcomes like smart/stupid are caused more by the environment rather than genetics. In some environments it pays to be smart, in some, it does not.

      Sixty five millions years ago dinosaurs ruled the earth and made large dignified strides, while mammals were rat-like creatures skulking around and hiding in burrows. For the size of their bodies dinosaurs had remarkably small brains, which is exactly what they needed given the abundant resources. Then a comet hit the Earth and no amount of strength was sufficient to secure enough food for the huge bodies.

      Being in elite position or in a ruling majority approximates the conditions of the late dinosaurs. You get strength, strength translates into resources.

  9. eGuard
    April 5, 2015, 8:18 am

    Gershom Gorenberg: Dems […] need public backing from liberal Jews. No bell rung?

    Another Mondoweiss-supported commenter who tells Jews what to do because they are Jews.

    • Mooser
      April 5, 2015, 2:00 pm

      “Another Mondoweiss-supported commenter who tells Jews what to do because they are Jews.”

      Which may appear presumptuous of Gorenberg, but after all, many people may not know what they should do because they are Jews.

  10. eGuard
    April 5, 2015, 10:37 am

    Note that Netanyahu/Israel has changed their music: not Iran is dangerous for the World any more. It is reduced to Iran is dangerous for Israel.

    Good.

  11. Walid
    April 6, 2015, 1:13 pm

    Obama to Friedman in an interview in NYT about Saudia and other Sunni Gulf states: “The biggest threats that they face may not be coming from Iran invading. It’s going to be from dissatisfaction inside their own countries. “:

    “…As for protecting our Sunni Arab allies, like Saudi Arabia, the president said, they have some very real external threats, but they also have some internal threats — “populations that, in some cases, are alienated, youth that are underemployed, an ideology that is destructive and nihilistic, and in some cases, just a belief that there are no legitimate political outlets for grievances. And so part of our job is to work with these states and say, ‘How can we build your defense capabilities against external threats, but also, how can we strengthen the body politic in these countries, so that Sunni youth feel that they’ve got something other than [the Islamic State, or ISIS] to choose from. … I think the biggest threats that they face may not be coming from Iran invading. It’s going to be from dissatisfaction inside their own countries. … That’s a tough conversation to have, but it’s one that we have to have.”

    Interview and video:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/06/opinion/thomas-friedman-the-obama-doctrine-and-iran-interview.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

    • Kathleen
      April 8, 2015, 3:41 pm

      Why Obama provides such easy access to Friedmann (another Iraq war pusher) is beyond me.

      • Taxi
        April 9, 2015, 4:30 am

        Kathleen,

        Obama is using so-called liberal zionists as a buffer between himself and the Likudists. He needs to use liberal zionists to keep pushing for a 2SS inside the American jewish community. American zionists, including liberal ones, are the only people on the planet with any influence on israel and Obama is therefore now working in tandem with them/through them.

        Expect to see more of these kinds of interviews and liberal zionist articles pushing the 2SS in the msm.

Leave a Reply