Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 18 (since 2012-06-25 16:50:34)

Converted to Islam in 1998. Went to university in Seattle and lived there for fifteen years. Living back in my hometown of Wenatchee for a while now, a fairly red city in a fairly blue state. I try to stay current on national domestic politics and US Middle East policy. Licensed marijuana farmer in Washington.

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  • Democratic platform is more militant against Iran than it was before Iran deal
    • Emory Riddle, i didn't say anyone was pulling the strings of the Zionists, clearly they have their own agenda and they craft it to their liking. What i said is that the Zionists are not pulling the strings of the American elite. US strategy is one of seeking hegemony throughout the Middle East, throughout Eastern Europe, throughout Central Asia to counter Russian and Chinese power, and to prevent any autonomous, indigenous power in the Middle East from ever reaching the point where they can pose any serious threat to American power.

      Specifically concerning the Middle East, the Israelis (and Saudis) are quite useful in this regard, indigenous threats are more threatening to them than they are to US power, and since their power rests on American power, they are not a threat to American dominance. You take away US patronage, Israel (and the Saudis) are significantly reduced in power.

      Proof that the US is still in charge is in the Iran deal. Israelis and Saudis are strategic assets according to a certain US worldview. Change the worldview (as the Iran deal threatens to do) and you change the strategic importance of the Israeli and Saudi relationship to the US.

      What this means is real solutions to Palestinian oppression (and all the other horrors going on in the MENA) will be found in changing the strategic orientation of the United States. But no, Israel and its American agents are not in charge. If you want the more academic arguments, read some old blog posts on goingtotehran.com. The Leveretts haven't posted anything in the last year, but the strategic goals of the US vis a vis the Middle East are well documented there.

    • I think actually it's the US who has its fingerprints on almost every conflict in the world. I know the zionists of America like to think they are the center of the universe and all (narcissism does that), but in the end they are a bunch of useful pawns with advanced degrees and media connections. take away the Israel lobby and you still have a bunch of people at the top convinced of America's exceptionalism and divine decree to rule the world, and this mentality goes all the way back to the colonies. sorry i just don't buy it, the one big fluffy tail merely deflects from the rabid dog on the other end. the real people in power get much free PR and political cover from the Israel lobby, but the goals exist independently of it.

  • Freewheeling Trump has backed down on only one issue. Guess which one
    • Yes, you're right Mooser, implosion or wishing of it not the answer, there will be nothing happy about it. The fallout will fall on all the wrong people. The ethical armor needs buffing from time to time--peace means peace even in frustration.

    • I say that, but then i back away, knowing how many innocents will be wasted.

    • Actually, though i am sure you and me are quite opposite on our views toward the region, i do sometimes wish the US Republicrats would abandon any and all pretense to fairness regarding Palestine and Israel. US should greenlight Israel for any and all their twisted plans. I am more than happy to watch Israel implode.

  • Goldberg on Obama's Syria credibility 'crisis'
    • Dan, thank you for your comments. I went and read several articles on the subject of the sphinx, and after doing so now see what Krauss meant by saying there was nothing "mysterious" about Obama. The sphinx has at times symbolized the keeper of secret or hidden knowledge, mysteries of the universe etc. In fact, reading up on the sphinx it is clear its meaning has been interpreted and reinterpreted over and over again throughout history and cultures. This of course is natural if one accepts that symbols by themselves have no inherent meaning and instead have meaning only insofar as they activate archetypes from deep within the subconscious mind.

      When i associated Obama with a sphinx, it was what rose to the surface as i was typing the comment. Having gone back now to read up on the various meanings of the sphinx, had i done so prior to making the comment initially, i probably would have left it out, because sphinx as symbol has meant things that i didn't intend to attribute to the president.

      My own sense of the meaning of the sphinx was mainly formed by viewing pictures and videos of the Great Sphinx of Giza, as well as from watching History and Discovery channel type documentaries on ancient Egypt. The first layer of meaning then comes from merely seeing it, and even in pictures the statue is imposing and powerful, and senses of guardianship or protection are evoked. A second layer of meaning then comes from video commentary, which i don't even really specifically remember, but regardless faded memories would have still informed my sense of the meaning of the symbol of the sphinx as i typed. So mainly i was seeing the sphinx as a guardian or protector.

      Going back to the Iran deal, a war with Iran would have been catastrophic for all those involved and would have fully bankrupted America in multiple ways. Considering the power and skill of the warmongers who were trying to push us into this war, it took quite a bit of political skill and knowledge for Obama to get the JCPOA accepted in the US. Given my belief this war would have been catastrophic, and given my sense of the sphinx as guardian or protector from harmful forces, and finally given that symbols never really have precise meanings, i don't see much wrong in seeing Obama as an American sphinx.

      At any rate, here a few quotes from around the web regarding the sphinx and its meaning:

      " In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and both were thought of as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples."

      "We must also finally look at the Great Sphinx as a guardian of the necropolis at Giza from evil. Situated at the very entrance to the sacred cemetery, the Sphinx must have been a warning to dangerous forces."

      "The sphinx has no history of real living existence, but exists only in art and literature, representing human desire for that which is greater than themselves, both in terms of the body and the mind. Yet the sphinx also embodies paradox, beautiful and alluring, she is also dangerous even deadly; the guardian of knowledge and threat to evil, encountering a sphinx is described as confusing and destructive."

      Now, while the neocons may not be "destroyed," certainly their power has waned during Obama's presidency, the JCPOA representing that as good as anything else. Obama, through his political skill and willingness to know foreign policy viewpoints that are apart from the standard playbook in Washington, guarded/protected America from harmful domestic forces and a war that would have proved to be horribly catastrophic.

    • i didn't say anything about mystery. Even if the full meaning of the sphinx in ancient Egyptian culture is a bit of a mystery, that does not mean the sphinx itself symbolized mystery or mysteriousness.

      The president showed political fortitude, acumen and vision to, in the first place, negotiate the Iran deal and then secondly to make it all succeed domestically. Did you not see all the resistance and name calling that was going on? The rational, cynical thing for him to do would have been to forget about it all in the first place.

      Go back to 2011 or 2012, read a few old blog posts on the raceforiran.com, back then a war with Iran seemed inevitable. Hillary Leverett herself called Obama feckless on more than one occasion and warned repeatedly about the coming war. Without Flynt and Hillary Leverett, i believe America's Iran war would be underway as we speak. Flynt and Hillary argued the anti-war position from a national security point of view--and won.

      With the passage of the Iran deal, the trajectories have changed. The JCPOA pushed a war with Iran back a decade at least. By then Iran will be too powerful, too integrated into the global economy, that, barring any reckless decisions on Iran's part, a war with Iran will be impossibly foolish (as it has always been). Obama never wanted a war with Iran (he was being cornered into it) and i think he sees that by putting it off a decade or two he may have put that war off for good. His actions in Syria make all the rest of that even more so. The man has vision and through his political skill saved America from a treacherous, ruinous mistake. The man is a Sphinx.

      Passing healthcare was every bit the impossible deal and he won that too. These are serious accomplishments given a generally craven and stupid American political culture.

      So i guess i don't really understand your comment.

    • Obama is still a Sphinx, even if weathered. The Iran deal, healthcare, and not going all-in in Syria are amazing accomplishments, especially considering all the obstructionists and bullies the president has faced. He's a man with vision. I will remember him kindly even if i would have liked to have seen more (Gitmo) and don't agree with him on everything (drones). It's going to be interesting to watch his post-president career.

      Great commentary and collection of the links Annie. History cannot be whitewashed if it is not forgotten. I clearly remember these Zio militants pushing for war in Syria, while not wanting to be seen as pushing for this war in Syria. Liars and ingrates, all of them.

  • 'Untenable one-state reality' is taking hold, Kerry tells Israel supporters
    • I agree with the sentiments of JWalters, Eva Smagacz and John Douglas, in my opinion some amazing words by Secretary Kerry. I was surprised at the end where Weiss seemed to come down against Kerry (though thank you Phil for using "American street" to even up the language), I'm reading the speech thinking when did we last have a Secretary of State who could've possibly said these words? Colin Powell certainly could have, but his boss would have stopped him.

      Maybe it is true that Kerry is out of touch with the American street, but he's an establishment figure working within the establishment trying to persuade other establishment figures that the status quo cannot maintain. It is a tough job he has, i think he did a damn good job in that capacity. Israel should take this as one of the last warnings they are going to get, if something doesn't change for the better, soon life will become much tougher for all the parties involved.

      I also cannot help but think Kerry's and Clinton's speeches at Brookings were coordinated, in a 'bad cop, good cop' sort of way. Kerry's speech was saying "listen up bubs, or bibi, or whatever, here's the reality..." Whereas Clinton's speech was reassuring Israel they would be coddled for a while longer. Or, Kerry bruised the Israelis up, and Clinton performed triage. It is easy for those of us who have bucked the establishment on this issue to leave aside the diplo-speak, but as the current and former chief American diplomats, it is not so realistic to expect them to do so.

      Also, all you all who are mocking the Arab Peace Initiative, i would just like to say that even if a one state solution seems inevitiable at this point, it is not going to be certified as such until a whole lot of bloodletting occurs. I for one do not have any blood to lose, so if there's a chance with the Arab Peace Initiative, then how can anyone except the Palestinians mock or discourage it? The Saudis have billions to throw into the incentive package, surely some econmic benefit of this inititiative must be seen by Israel.

  • Obama administration will do nothing for Palestinians through end of term
    • Thank you Kay24. BDS and the rest of us are focused on the shadow on the ground, unaware or indifferent to the ball flying high above our heads. Sooner or later more people will have to begin contemplating the existence of the sun.

      A note to Israel and the KSA, imperial US never actually depends on any of its "allies" for nourishment, it may smilingly chew on the cuisine, but will always spit it out in the end.

  • Cotton's rise was fueled by pro-Israel money-- but 'NYT' and Matthews won't tell you so
    • everyone seems to be looking at this from the Zionist angle, but it seems to me that considering how much money pro-Israel donors are willing to give, it is good strategy for the Republicans to wrestle the Israel issue away from the Democrats. If they can show themselves better friends to Israel than the Dems, and NOT have to fight a war against Iran, all the better for the for those Republicans who are in the Israel game not because it is close to their hearts but because of all the money, both received and what no longer flows to the Democrats. Making Israel a partisan issue may not be good for the lobby, but surely it is good for the Republicans.

  • 'NYT' and Matthews warn that Netanyahu speech to Congress could lead US to war
  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
  • CNN headline: "100 people killed today in Israel, Gaza fighting"
    • American: "Israel is a threat to America –at least the America this group/generation thought they knew and sacrificed for—once they learn the truth about this they are incensed."

      I agree and believe this is a good tactic on which to focus limited energy. Convince the Tea Partiers, random patriots, and fly-over America of the threat that Israel is to the United States. Convince enough of them, and the discourse on Israel in America shifts from being dominated by Jews to one being dominated by patriots. Once they are convinced, they will provide the energy to move the rest of America. This will be good for America, good for the Palestinians, and, no doubt kicking and screaming the whole way, this will be good for the Israelis.

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • Donald,

      "Can you imagine how the US press and government would react if Israelis had trouble obtaining medicine? It’s a back page story for Iran–if it was done to Israel then the BDS movement would be the Second Coming of Adolf Hitler. "

      How do you extract general principles/guidelines out of an inequality in power among any set of activists? Palestinian request for sanctions against Israel is okay because the activists are not powerful and could never hurt Israelis enough to matter. On the other hand, Israeli request for sanctions against Iran is NOT okay because the Israeli activists (and their counterparts in the world at large) are powerful and can actually hurt Iranians. What i am hearing is that sanctions against one nation are only valid if those who desire the sanctions could never harm the target country to a considerable degree to begin with.

      In a free society, an activist can support whatever cause he or she wants. The problem though is that the success of that cause is not necessarily a function of the righteousness of that cause. Case in point: Zionists in America. Most here would say the cause is unjust, and yet look just how successful their cause is.

      If you want to limit the power of Zionist activism, then you have to change the paradigm for activism generally. If you want to prevent the ability of powerful groups within powerful governments to do injustice in the world, then you have to curtail the power of groups generally, not just the powerful ones. Activist groups calling for siege warfare against nations in my view is not the function of citizens, but rather the function of accountable officials within government deliberating on a clear and present danger to the country's security. There is no clear and present danger that Iran poses to the US, and so the sanctions against Iran (i.e. siege warfare) are unjust and Israeli friends in America should not be able to bring those sanctions about.

      The clear and present danger posed to America by Israeli actions towards Palestinians is a matter of fact to me, but to me that means American officials, not American activists, need to deliberate (with the voices of the citizenry allowed in that deliberation) what needs to be done about it. And yes, American officials are failing that deliberation, in no small part due to the corruption of the American system by rich and powerful activists. Activists got us into the Iraq war, activists have succeeded in their sanctions war against Iran and have almost succeeded in launching a hot war with Iran, and now those against the abuse of power that enables such warmongering are now trying to add on to that activist corruption through their BDS? NGOs (or even NG non-Os) have no business declaring war. The only check and balance in this set-up is defined by those who have money and those who don't.

      If an activist wants to encourage the international and Israeli recognition of Palestinian human rights, an act of war (sanctions) is not the way to go about that, it is just not the mandate of the citizenry.

    • Ali Abunimah, rather. typo, or dyslexia.

    • Ellen,
      The difference in various sanctions regimes then is in the amount of social, media, and political power any one group has towards their government? Where would the Iran sanctions be without the concerted efforts of the friends of Israel in the US media to demonize Iran? Where would those sanctions be if those same friends did not wield the undue influence they have in the US congress and State Department?

      If American supporters of BDS could influence the US government towards its own direction, would they do so? How harsh should those sanctions be if it could do so (gain official US support), and who in charge of BDS would temper the sanctions if a few punishing sanctions were passed against Israel? Should sanctions against only some Israeli imports/exports be enough, or would BDS supporters go full throttle with all sanctions conceivable until Israel capitulated? Which medicines should be sanctioned? Which banks should be sanctioned? Whose bank accounts frozen, what technologies halted, which foodstuffs prevented from entering Israel? Who determines when enough is enough, Ali Abuminah?

      The whole idea of economic sanctions rests on collective punishment--make a society hurt badly enough and eventually (so the theory goes) the domestic political pressure in that society will force the target government to change its undesirable ways (undesirable to this or that grass-roots group who may or may not have political power in their respective national governments).

      So to me the argument needs to be made why collective punishment is moral. Collective punishment is not okay against the Palestinians, so why is it okay against the Israelis? Why is it okay against Iran? Against Cuba?

  • Friedman prepares American Jews for a divorce from zealot Israel
    • pabelmont,

      Without American cover for Israeli crimes, without American billions pouring into Israel on a regular basis, without American Zionist media moguls dictating the MSM discourse, how effective would Israel's colossal bluff been all these decades? Take away the gun, and the Israelis have no more gun to shoot.

      Why not then sanction Americans for our necessary and sufficient support of the continuation of Israeli crimes? Aren't Americans, Zionist or not, every bit as culpable as Israelis themselves? Instead of supporting collective punishment in the form of BDS, why not direct all this energy to ending criminal American support, financial or otherwise, to the apartheid state? BDS is a short-cut to the real problem--mis-directed wealth and power, along with lies, lies and more lies, in the American social and political fabric. Without criminal American support, Israel is cut down to size and would be forced to make peace or die.

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