Iran deal is still imperilled by deep state– hardliners, Israel lobby, Hillary Clinton

US Politics
on 36 Comments

Nearly a year after the Iran deal passed, it is still in treacherous waters. Hardliners in the American power structure want to capsize the deal. They include neoconservatives inside the Beltway who have the ear of administration officials, the Israel lobby, and Hillary Clinton’s braintrust too. And it’s all happening in plain sight. Because the mainstream press doesn’t care to hold these folks to account.

Here is a fine column at the National Interest by Paul Pillar on the unrelenting neoconservative efforts to scuttle the Iran deal:

Iran now has been in compliance for two and a half years with stringent restrictions on its nuclear program agreed to in multilateral negotiations.

Despite this record of compliance, efforts to destroy the agreement continue…. The main motivations for opposition to the agreement have had nothing to do with nuclear nonproliferation and instead have to do with not wanting to have any agreement of any sort with Iran.

That opposition has centered in two overlapping places. One is Republican determination not to let Barack Obama have a major foreign policy success. The other is the objective of the right-wing Israeli government—with everything such an objective customarily implies regarding domestic U.S. politics—to keep Iran permanently ostracized and not to have anyone (especially the United States) do any business with it, and thereby to keep Iran forever as a bête noire that is portrayed as the “real” source of trouble in the Middle East, to continue to use it as a distraction from any other troubles the Israeli government prefers not to talk about, to make sure there will be no competition to Israel as supposedly the only reliable U.S. partner in the Middle East, and to keep a major regional competitor to Israel weak and isolated.

President Obama can take on the Republicans, but he has to play ball with the Israel lobby because it is so powerful. It holds chairs in his administration, and Hillary Clinton is dependent upon it to mount her campaign.

The opposition has shifted its attack from alleged Iranian cheating– because Iranians are actually accepting the intrusive inspections regime — to Iranian wickedness throughout the Middle East, says Pillar:

Even before the JCPOA was adopted and implemented, opponents of the agreement had shifted much of their rhetorical energy to the notion that the agreement would somehow encourage more “nefarious,” destabilizing Iranian activity in the Middle East.

An example is a recent piece by the Washington Institute’s Mathew Levitt. Levitt’s item is titled, “Under cover of nuclear deal, Iran foments regional instability”. But look at the text and you will see that there is no connection whatever, either logical or empirical, drawn between the nuclear agreement and any Iranian actions in the region.

Pillar pulls apart Levitt’s argument.

A reference to Syria does not note that the Iranian activity that supposedly is “fomenting instability” consists of support for an incumbent regime that has been in power for decades. And a reference to Iraq fails to mention that in the biggest part of the conflict there—the fight against ISIS—Iran is on the same side as the United States.

Pillar says that Hillary Clinton has been recruited, out of pro-Israel inertia.

Hardliners in the United States and Israel are playing off hardliners in Iran in ways that imperil the future of the nuclear agreement, with the most likely scenario for the accord unraveling being that U.S. hostility and continued economic warfare against Iran would tip the balance of power in Tehran in favor of those who would declare that the accord is a bad bargain for Iran and should be scrapped. The hardliners motivated by the objectives mentioned above are being abetted by those in the United States who may not share those objectives but, out of habit or perceived political self-interest, go along with the mantras about Iran always being an enemy and a trouble-maker and deserving of our hostility. This includes presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, notwithstanding her declared support for the nuclear agreement.

Pillar links to an earlier piece at the National Interest stating that Hillary Clinton wants to undo the Iran deal. Amir Handjani and Ariane Tabatabai say that the Obama administration has undertaken off-shore balancing between Saudi Arabia and Iran in an effort to fight ISIS and stabilize the region, but influenced by hardliners, Clinton has other ideas.

Secretary Clinton’s Iran policy would reverse this. It would put America directly in the middle of the Saudi-Iran cold war and on the side of Arab Sunni states who have a vested interest in making sure that Iran and the United States never normalize relations.

Secretary Clinton should use the opportunity offered by the post–Iran deal opening to confront ISIS, tackle the Syria problem and stabilize Afghanistan and Iraq—all issues that require Iranian input to manage.

Notice that the spearhead of opposition to the deal, Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy — a spinoff of the Israel lobby group AIPAC — has expressed confidence in the anti-Iranian bona fides of an Obama appointee: Adam J. Szubin, the under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Szubin’s portfolio is managing and maintaining the Iranian sanctions inside Treasury. As we have reported, there has been an amazing continuity in his office. Founded in 2004, there have been three under secretaries for terrorism and financial intelligence, and all three were obvious nods to the neoconservative/Israel lobby base of the D.C. establishment, and all of little apparent interest to President Obama, asleep at the switch.

Szubin’s predecessor as under secretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence was David S. Cohen, whose predecessor was Stuart A. Levey. Cohen and Levey had been associates in the same law firm. Szubin had served as Levey’s counsel. It’s an unbroken chain.

Levey wrote his thesis at Harvard under Marty Peretz, about saving the Zionist “dream” from Kahanists. While David Cohen had the approval of Alan Dershowitz. Szubin’s ideology is not at all transparent, but his father was a Holocaust survivor, and AllGov notes his establishment and Orthodox Jewish credentials.

More worryingly, earlier this year, Szubin agreed to be in a lineup of speakers for a neoconservative outfit, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, alongside such ideological hacks as Elliott Abrams, Cliff May, Reuel Marc Gerecht, and Jonathan Schanzer. Virtually ever speaker is neoconservative and Republican; the only exception to be seen is Nancy Youssef.

Most government officials, at any time in any administration, would choose not to appear in so politically marked a company. But Szubin obviously only solidifies his status by doing so. And the Obamaites can do nothing about it, or maybe they approve it to throw bones to the lobby.

After the Iran deal was signed last summer, Szubin spoke to the Israel lobby group the Washington Institute in September 2015, laying out the policy that Iran is now complaining of, “secondary sanctions” that intimidate European firms and banks from engaging in any transaction with Iran.

You will see that in that speech Szubin parroted the Benjamin Netanyahu line that Iran is the largest sponsor of world terrorism, which is a necessary talking point in neoconservative and Republican circles but not the usual emphasis of the Obama administration. And he did so at the moment when he was tasked with defending the nuclear deal.

We know Iran for what it is. We know it to be the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, we’re keenly aware of its nefarious activities in the region, and we’ve invested years in devising intricate sanctions to frustrate its objectives. We are now redoubling those efforts, as I will detail in a few minutes. But, I argue, Iran’s relationship with terrorist groups is exactly why securing a nuclear deal was so important. I vividly remember sitting across the table with Israeli government officials in the mid-2000s—2006, 2007, 2008—and hearing that Iran posed a range of threats to the Israeli government and the Israeli people, but only one was an existential threat. It was the possibility that Iran could obtain a nuclear weapon—and with it, the nightmare scenario that the world’s leading sponsor of terrorist groups would have the world’s most destructive capability. It is, for those reasons, imperative in my view that we take that nuclear threat off the table, and then turn intensively to combating the remaining conventional threats that Iran poses.

It almost sounds like he was against the deal.

…If Iran cheats– we know the maxim if you give an inch they will take a mile applies very much in this case.

Here Szubin described his efforts to maintain “secondary sanctions,” which the Iranians have been complaining about:

Moreover, our whole range of sanctions authorities targeting Iran’s support for terrorism, destabilizing regional activities, missile proliferation, and human rights abuses remains in place. Under the JCPOA, more than two hundred Iranian-linked companies and individuals will remain designated, will remain on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list, including major Iranian firms in the military, defense, engineering, construction, and energy fields. And secondary sanctions continue to apply to all of these Iranrelated individuals and entities. Let me explain what I mean by secondary sanctions. What I mean is that a foreign bank—a German bank, a Chinese bank, a Singaporean bank—that does business with any of those companies or individuals that I just mentioned faces a total cutoff from the U.S. financial system. It is a very stark threat, and one that our foreign banking counterparts do not take lightly, I can assure you

He bragged about crunching down on a Lebanese construction firm that supports Hezbollah. And of course Szubin’s cheerleader Matthew Levitt is focused on Hezbollah.

Here are the effects of the sanctions bill passed in December 2015, after the Iran deal, on Hezbollah-subsidized social services in Lebanon, hospitals, doctors, and nurses:

Its network mainly serves impoverished areas, including three hospitals, 12 health centers as well as 20 infirmaries, according to a 2009 study published by the Middle East Policy Council. One company, Jihad Construction, is involved in rebuilding areas damaged by Israeli strikes or recent bomb attacks linked to the Syrian war. The depth of the group’s coffers is harder to estimate.

Salaries now have to be paid in cash. Recipients, including those with mortgages and loans, risk being cut off from the Lebanese banking system.

And Szubin speaks at neoconservative shops without anyone raising an eyebrow about it. The deep state doesn’t have to hide its hand because nobody is taking fingerprints. The New York Times has run a couple of stories on how the secondary sanctions are strengthening Iranian hardliners but it never asks: How aware is the president of all this? Who is executing the policy at treasury?

Thanks to David Bromwich, who understands the opponents’ long game better than anyone. 

 

 

About Philip Weiss

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

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36 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    July 17, 2016, 1:17 pm

    great article phil.

    • Keith
      July 17, 2016, 5:04 pm

      ANNIE- “great article phil.”

      I agree. This Zionist network of influence explains a lot about imperial policy and needs to be made visible. It is not possible to connect the dots if the dots are invisible. I have always objected to describing much of this as a Zionist Lobby because I don’t think that “lobby” correctly defines the phenomenon. The Lobby is but a part of a larger network of influence that includes a significant chunk of the imperial elite. We have reached the point where Israel and American Zionist Jews are thoroughly embedded within the imperial power structure. Perhaps this is why The Saker refers to the Anglo-Zionist empire.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        July 18, 2016, 9:47 pm

        Yet if you point this out to most people, you get called an anti Semite!

    • MRW
      July 18, 2016, 1:30 pm

      Agree. Excellent.

      • Citizen
        July 18, 2016, 8:32 pm

        Also agree.

      • Sulphurdunn
        July 19, 2016, 1:02 pm

        Hey, sticks and stones. There is a vast difference between the term anti-Semite being used to describe someone who hates Jews and someone who speaks truth to them. The latter is merely a form of ad hominem attack and should be treated with the contempt it deserves. That is the only way the epithet will ever lose its power to harm people who merely dare to disagree.

  2. Raphael
    July 17, 2016, 4:53 pm

    I think I read one article about how the politicians, don’t ever debate the fine print over anything that concerns Israel.

    If I was a lobbyist I would welcome that sort of negotiation. I would just have to put out a bill; that is worded in a way that does not really say much about anything… use many half truths, double meanings that would be put in it… then in the bill, in the fine print, that would probably never be read, put the actual details… also, in a way that a rocket scientist would have to understand i.e., lawyer speak, or architecture speak… then there would be another reason, why, it would not even be read; because only a specialist would be able understand it.

    The politicians would always keep the bill, if made law, because, they would have to admit they made a mistake; even if later on public attention was applied.

    I’m opposed the Iran deal because I think all nuclear power plants should be shut down, and any plans to build new ones in the future should be stopped. Mankind cannot handle technology. Mankind has become like a gorilla with a gun, especially with the use of military technology, the National Rifle Association, and with the current global conflicts in the news 24/7.

    I’m voting for Clinton, though. I think the dangers of Trump using the Pro-Israel Evangelicals, and Baptists to bully politicians, in the name of Christian Zionism would most likely happen… at first the tactic would be used behind doors to bully politicians in lobbying efforts, etc. Then it would spill over to the common people in the public. Beneath the mask of Christian Zionist Republicans is a rabid anti-semitic group.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      July 18, 2016, 9:52 pm

      huh? Christian Zionists are philo Semitic. And it is obnoxious. They actually send money not to Christians in Israel, but to Jews. Thinking a Jew needs Christ is not anti Semitic, not any more than it is anti Hindu, for a Christian to think Hindus need Christ. That is what Christians believe. It is what they do. Has nothing to do with hate. I don’t follow it, but wanting to “save” non Christians is not hateful, no matter how obnoxious it might be. And it is very obnoxious to me, but I just don’t see any hate in it. What would be hateful is if Christians truly believed non Christians need Christ, but gleefully salivated over the non Christian’s march to Hell.

      • Raphael
        July 19, 2016, 6:57 am

        Some of the Trump support with his pick for Vice President are Evangelicals, and Baptists; which, I think last time I read the statistics is 1/5 of all US voters. People can be anti-Semitic consciously, and sub-consciously. Read about the scapegoat mechanism by René Girard.

        Also, a Haaretz article:

        …anti-Semitic remarks posted by self-proclaimed Donald Trump supporters.

        read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.731920

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2016, 1:27 pm

        Well, well, “Raphael” glad to see you are starting to drop those ridiculous pretenses of being anything but a Zionist.

        “People can be anti-Semitic consciously, and sub-consciously.”

        But not Hilary Clinton! That’s one thing we don’t have to worry about.

      • Raphael
        July 19, 2016, 5:14 pm

        But not Hilary Clinton!

        I thought I had always said, or implied I was a Zionist.

        Now, that I’m a oleh citizen, I have a obligation that comes with the election, too at least define the sort of citizen I want to be, with my rights and responsibilities.

        My responsibilities is to the people of Israel; not to the nation, the nation being a idolatry of words and man. My election was from God. I have always thought of myself as a sort of liberal Zionist; so that would naturally make a antediluvian believer of Zionism… in Israel… which, is many years before even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

        Though, I do likely have a direct royal lineage to the line of King David and Leah; I renounce any current titles, or claims I may of had to Jerusalem, because, I renounce any empire, that comes with such titles of election; and accept my election by God to be a Israelite, to live in the actual land of Israel, or, mystical lands or worlds; with such biblical figures, and individuals and poets as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Melchisedek, Job, and Daniel of the Old Testament… and Jesus, and Catholic Christianity, in the New Testament.

      • Mooser
        July 19, 2016, 7:37 pm

        “Though, I do likely have a direct royal lineage to the line of King David and Leah; I renounce any current titles, or claims I may of had to Jerusalem…”

        You da’ man, “Raphael”! Of course you have a direct royal lineage to the line of King David and Leah, (Has anyone here ever doubted it? Heck, no!) and that makes your renunciation one the finest, and noblest acts in the history of the conflict.
        I mean, I could renounce Jerusalem, but I’m just the descendant of some Mittel-European latecomers to the faith, so it don’t mean a thing. In short, it ain’t got that swing.

        “and accept my election by God to be a Israelite, to live in the actual land of Israel…

        And one day, you might even travel to Palestine. It’s not that far away from there.

      • echinococcus
        July 20, 2016, 1:52 am

        I do likely have a direct royal lineage to the line of King David

        So you are the lost cousin of Jesus.
        You’re in trouble again.

      • oldgeezer
        July 20, 2016, 12:47 pm

        @Raphael

        Yes, no doubt you and 6 million other Israelis have a direct line of descent fron David.

        Don’t care to help the Arabs? How typically Christian of you.

  3. Kay24
    July 17, 2016, 6:09 pm

    It is frightening to even think that Hillary would show gratitude to her wealthy Jewish donors like Saban, and go against any common sense policies like avoiding a war with Iran, and bomb the hell out of Iran or any other Arab nation, if Netanyahu dictates. She has shown an unbelievable support for wars, and does not seem to have any remorse she voted for them. I recently saw part of an interview she had with Chris Matthews, where he asked her if she thought S.Hussein had WMD’s and she said she thought so. Many of us knew he did not have WMDs and at that time, we knew the intelligence was false, so either she was totally ignorant when she voted for the war, or she was lying. Unfortunately, we have bad choices to vote for this time, and the possibility of a Drumpf or Clinton Presidency, will be bad for this country.

  4. Abierno
    July 17, 2016, 6:27 pm

    This is an excellent article about the severe short sightedness of Israel centric Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Sanctions. The intense behind the scene arm twisting and double dealing (e.g. Ukraine Russian sovereign debt obviated by IMF rule changes) is becoming increasingly obvious. Also, the effects are being felt and understood by the U.S. Public. One recent example is treasury in concert with congress. cratering multi billion Iran airplane deals with Boeing and Airbus (which uses US technology and parts). This represents job loss of thousands of middle class jobs, and tens of thousands if you think of related service jobs. A financial stab in the back to all these affected Americans.

    The larger picture is even more grim. The political/financial world is fracturing with the help of our short sighted Terrorism and Financial Intelligence heads. The Bretton Woods accords which underlie international financial relations are dead, the petrodollar which contributed to the U.S. as the world’s reserve currency is dying and the BRICS have effectively built parallel infrastructures to exclude the U.S. , the IMF and the World Bank. Think SCO, ASIIB, Chinese Gold Fund, Asia Development Bank. Think about the massive One Belt One Road project integrating Asia, Russia and ultimately Europe. Reflect on China’s political/financial power base in Africa. All of this achieved with incentivized diplomacy. This trend in concert with our Israel centric foreign policy will leave the U.S. financially destitute, politically powerless with many enemies more financially powerful. The resulting asset sell off and privitization will leave this country ,Europe and Israel too – simply financial colonies of more prudent states.

    • gamal
      July 17, 2016, 7:03 pm

      “Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Sanctions”

      ‘The intense behind the scene arm twisting’

      doesn’t it
      remind you of Alexandre de Marenche, BCCI and the Safari club, plus ca change

      “The CIA’s Drug-Running Terrorists and the “Arc of Crisis” ”

      “n 1976, a coalition of intelligence agencies was formed, which was called the Safari Club. This marked the discreet and highly covert coordination among various intelligence agencies, which would last for decades. It formed at a time when the CIA was embroiled in domestic scrutiny over the Watergate scandal and a Congressional investigation into covert CIA activities, forcing the CIA to become more covert in its activities.

      In 2002, the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki bin Faisal gave a speech in which he stated that in response to the CIA’s need for more discretion, “a group of countries got together in the hope of fighting Communism and established what was called the Safari Club. The Safari Club included France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Iran [under the Shah].

      ”[1] However, “The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations. With the official blessing of George H.W. Bush as the head of the CIA,” Saudi intelligence chief, Kamal Adham, “transformed a small Pakistani merchant bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a world-wide money-laundering machine, buying banks around the world to create the biggest clandestine money network in history.”[2]

      As CIA director, George H.W. Bush “cemented strong relations with the intelligence services of both Saudi Arabia and the shah of Iran. He worked closely with Kamal Adham, the head of Saudi intelligence, brother-in-law of King Faisal and an early BCCI insider.” Adham had previously acted as a “channel between [Henry] Kissinger and [Egyptian President] Anwar Sadat” in 1972. In 1976, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia formed the Safari Club “to conduct through their own intelligence agencies operations that were now difficult for the CIA,” which was largely organized by the head of French intelligence, Alexandre de Marenches.[3]

      The “Arc of Crisis” and the Iranian Revolution

      When Jimmy Carter became President in 1977, he appointed over two-dozen members of the Trilateral Commission to his administration, which was an international think tank formed by Zbigniew Brzezinski and David Rockefeller in 1973. Brzezinski had invited Carter to join the Trilateral Commission, and when Carter became President, Brzezinski became National Security Adviser; Cyrus Vance, also a member of the Commission, became Secretary of State; and Samuel Huntington, another Commission member, became Coordinator of National Security and Deputy to Brzezinski. Author and researcher Peter Dale Scott deserves much credit for his comprehensive analysis of the events leading up to and during the Iranian Revolution in his book, “The Road to 9/11”,* which provides much of the information below.”

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-imperial-anatomy-of-al-qaeda-the-cia-s-drug-running-terrorists-and-the-arc-of-crisis/20907

    • Blownaway
      July 17, 2016, 11:08 pm

      The empire has been very busy getting its hands dirty all over the world from Iraq Iran Libya Syria the Ukraine Russia turkey and with China in the South China Sea. The lobby hiding in plain sight is stirring the pot. Clinton or Trump were in trouble. like a stumbling drunk on his way to the bottom it’s gonna be ugly

    • quercus
      July 18, 2016, 8:30 am

      With regard to your second parapgraph, I don’t think the picture is grim, rather if what you write is in fact true, I’m DELIGHTED by those developments. Change is inevitable in a dynamic and vibrant society, death is the end of change, and a society unable to change is one which is dying.

  5. yonah fredman
    July 17, 2016, 6:51 pm

    There is currently a struggle for power in the middle east between Sunni and Shiite. I suppose that the attitude expressed herein is that the US should be neutral in regard to this struggle. It is also that the US should be neutral in regard to the Assad regime. I have not formulated a position on these issues, but I think that they should be argued rather than assumed, which seems to be the upshot of this post, to assume what would be a good position regarding Iran rather than to argue the point.

    • Mooser
      July 17, 2016, 10:02 pm

      “I have not formulated a position on these issues…”

      Oh, you can assume the usual position, “Yonah”.

    • echinococcus
      July 17, 2016, 11:58 pm

      Sure, the Sunnis about whom you have no freakin idea are fighting the Zoroastrians who you know fuckall about, Jupiter is in the quarter of Venus and Nostradamus predicted next Macy’s parade,

      but what about giving some proof of your vile accusations of “antisemitism” and defining what you mean, eh?

  6. Boomer
    July 18, 2016, 10:43 am

    Another good article, another good reason to support this site. The “deep state” isn’t so deep, in part thanks to your efforts.

    The real threat in what you describe is to America’s democratic values and interests, not to Iran. As long as Iran stays away from nukes, Europe will be happy to deal with Iran, to say nothing of Russia and China.

  7. David Doppler
    July 18, 2016, 12:59 pm

    Apropos the “Deep State,” Will Mondoweiss be covering the 28 pages finally released on Friday, a “perfect” day to bury news? The 28 pages from the 9-11 Commission report suppressed since 2002, detailing evidence of direct Saudi government involvement in supporting many of the 9-11 attackers of Saudi origin, in moving to the US and, in some cases, securing training in flying Boeing aircraft?

    The suppression during the run-up to the Iraq War is exposed by Maureen Dowd as likely of a piece with the Bush Administration’s manipulation of evidence to justify an Iraq invasion: actual evidence of material support from various Saudi officials would’ve distracted the public from the phony evidence about Iraq then being pitched. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/opinion/sunday/w-borne-back-ceaselessly.html?_r=0

    Bush’s motives may be explained away as part of his failure as President, but what were Obama’s motives in continuing the suppression, and of downplaying their significance, even today? Dowd doesn’t touch that one.

    Why does our deep state government want to suppress inquiry into 9-11?

    • RoHa
      July 18, 2016, 11:00 pm

      I haven’t read the full 28 pages, but the little I have seen is full of “may” and “might” and “alleged by some to be”. Is there any hard evidence of direct Saudi government involvement?

      “Why does our deep state government want to suppress inquiry into 9-11?”

      I simply cannot imagine why your government would want to suppress inquiry into 9-11.
      No idea at all.
      Nothing springs to mind.
      Can’t think of any possible reason.

  8. James Canning
    July 18, 2016, 1:01 pm

    The idiotic US invasion of Iraq in 2003 did more to foster Islamic insurgency and terror, than anything done by Iran.

    I think fanatical elements of the Israel lobby want the Syrian government overthrown, so that Israel can try to keep the Golan Heights.

    Do we assume rich and powerful Jews are forcing Obama to keep “hardliners” like Adam Szubin on his team?

    • Citizen
      July 18, 2016, 9:24 pm

      @ James Canning
      It’s a rational assumption.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      July 18, 2016, 10:02 pm

      It goes much further than just a desire to hold on to the Golan Heights. Israel and Turkey both do not want Iran, Iraq and Syria to build that pipeline that would end the Israeli and Turkish pipeline monopolies. Plus, Israel wants Syria broken up to weaken both Iran and Hezbollah. It has always been a proxy war.

  9. Ossinev
    July 18, 2016, 1:09 pm

    As seems likely HC will be the next US President. Love to be a fly on the wall for the stream of “Emergency” White House meetings she will have eg

    Advisor ” Russia is threatening to invade Lithuania”
    Hillary Clinton First Question ” How will this impact on Israel ?”
    Advisor ” North Korea is threatening to invade South Korea ”
    HCFQ ” How ill this impact on Israel”
    Advisor ” An ocean tsunami is threatening to engulf most of the South Eastern states of the USA”
    HCFQ “How will this impact on Israel”
    Advisor ” The Ebola outbreak has resurfaced in California and most of the other Western States threatening hundreds of thousands of American lives”
    HCFQ “How will this impact on Israel”

  10. Atlantaiconoclast
    July 18, 2016, 9:45 pm

    I too have often been amazed at the numerous neocons within the Obama administration. Then I realized that Obama simply does not care, at least not more than he cares about the security of his power. How else to explain Obama putting Victoria Nuland, the warmongering wife of arch neocon Robert Kagan, in charge of European Affairs at the State Dept?

    I can only hope that once Trump is elected, that the anti War Left will come out of its freaking coma and make some noise about our ridiculous Israeli as_ kissing foreign policy. Obama has been and still is, a cruel hoax. Wake up people.

  11. Atlantaiconoclast
    July 18, 2016, 10:11 pm

    Can someone please explain what they are talking about when they call Iran the greatest state sponsor of terror in the world? Beyond Hezbollah, what terror group are they talking about? And since when is a resistance organization (which Hezbollah is) a terrorist organization? How is it terroristic to defend one’s home from occupation?

    • Kay24
      July 19, 2016, 7:21 am

      First they demonize, then they drop bombs. They did the same thing before the Iraq war. They exaggerate, lie, and even use fake intelligence, so that they can decimate yet another Muslim nation. Using the term “terrorism” is an easy way to convince the American people that Iran is dangerous and an imminent threat to us, and of course, Israel. After all, we HAVE to defend the only true ally in the Middle East don’t we? Forget the Left coming out of their coma, as long as the zionists and neocons have a say, as long as Netanyahu and Israel manipulates, and as long as Congress, the media, and other institutions are packed with zionist sympathizers, we will keep getting involved, interfering, and making our defense contractors rich, by waging unnecessary wars and killing brown skinned Muslims.

      The last decade saw the US dropping bombs, using drones to assassinate, and toppling governments in Islamic nations. If Iran waged wars, attacked neighbors, occupied, and stole lands from helpless civilians, we would have dropped those damn bombs on it long time ago.

      This is the sad situation we are in.

  12. ToivoS
    July 19, 2016, 1:37 am

    The fact that Szubin is allowed to defy Obama’s and Kerry’s stated foreign policy objectives is indeed puzzling. We should also note that Szubin visited Western Europe and threatened their banks that sanctions against were still in place and that pointed out the realities of the secondary boycott. Kerry a few days later reassured the European countries that the sanctions were being lifted and they were free to trade with Iran. Szubin subsequently repeated his threats of secondary boycotts. That has to be blatant insubordination and he should be fired. But Obama does nothing.

    However, I am not too worried that the neocons will upend the Iran nuclear deal. Germany, France and England also signed it. They would be seriously pissed if the US unilaterally tried to abridge it now. The UN also lifted their sanctions so the US would end up defying practically the whole world. Somehow, even that fool Hillary would hesitate to isolate the US from the rest of the world on this issue, I would imagine.

    Also it looks like Iran itself is not that interested in establishing normal trading relations with the US. It is those secondary sanctions that they are upset about since they do want to trade with Europe without having to pay in gold. Once the Iranians join the SCO and the Chinese trading bank they should be free to engage in normal trading relations with the rest of the world.

    • Egbert
      July 19, 2016, 3:43 am

      Perhaps Szubin should be called in to explain his department’s total lack of success in interdicting ISIS financing. The world and its dog knows about looted oil transported from Iraq and Syria to Turkey. Perhaps the rumors that an Israeli-Greek is an important middleman in the trade and that at least some of the oil is shipped to Israel has a bearing on it?

    • Rashers2
      July 19, 2016, 7:39 pm

      Good comment! The junior Under-Secretary in charge of “terrorism and financial intelligence” – igiK – seems, along with most who even bother to give the matter any thought in the USA, to be blithely oblivious to the extent which the United States’ extra-territorialism vexes foreign governments, the business community and the financial services’ industry; and what the obvious and only response to it will be, which runs something like this:
      “Dear Treasury Under-Secretary,
      For many years now – for the past fifteen with avengeance – your government has assumed the self-appointed rôle of policeman of the globe; and arbiter of business and financial transactions and practices in relation to any nation or group that you, the United States of America, dislikes/mistrusts/regards as inimical, obstructive or potentially unfavourable to whatever it perceives at the time to be its “interest” – whatever that may really mean. Specifically, your government has abused its position of the USA’s being the issuer of the world’s principal reserve currency, the once-almighty US dollar, in order to suborn its banking system into becoming an extension of foreign policy execution.
      Owing to the structure of the present international financial system, which is a legacy of when your country was the richest and most powerful on earth, your fiat has hitherto largely been able to run. Most commodities are historically denominated in $ and all $ must pass through money centre banks in New York; if you choose, you are able to prevent their transfer at will; or at whim.
      The world business community outside the USA, some individual members of which are today economically larger and more powerful that your country and which, collectively, is many times your size, does not appreciate the obstructions to doing business which your present policies represent.
      Irrespective of jurisprudential question marks over the legality of some of the measures you have introduced we, the undersigned, don’t enjoy an uninterested party being able to frustrate legitimate business between two or more third countries – particularly when this frustration is frequently not by any accepted measure of international law or of common sense reasonable or even justifiable.
      Lest you labour under the misapprehension that for the past decade-and-a-half we have been idly accepting of the status quo, please allow us to disabuse you. The leading economies of the old world and the more recently emerged economic Titans of global trade and wealth creation have come together to devise viable ways of avoiding themselves and their leading corporations being unreasonably prejudiced by your unilateral decisions masquerading as laws. You may therefore look forward over the coming decade to your country’s no longer being the clearinghouse for the bulk of international trade and financial transactions. Consequences of this will include the diminution of the stature of the $ as a reserve currency, significant losses to your country’s financial services’ sector of international revenues and the relegation of New York to a largely domestic financial centre rather than the world’s most important centre for international payments.
      Your illegitimate, arrogant and arbitrary abuse of the financial system as an instrument of your foreign policy will thus have opposite and unintended consequences; this will, of course, mark no change to the almost unbroken litany of opposite and unintended consequences which have attended what passes for your foreign policy since the Second World War.
      Congratulations, Mr. Under-Secretary! Swing on this.
      Very truly yours,
      The International Business and Financial Community”

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