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Dennis Ross says US must undertake ‘new military deployments’ against Iran and support Israel if it strikes

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Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross and two former aides to George Bush take a hard line on negotiations with Iran in the LA Times. Reading this piece, it is astounding to consider that Ross was once the nerve center inside Democratic administrations, including Obama’s, for making American policy on the Middle East. Ross couldn’t be a more fervent advocate for the Israeli position. He says that Iran can’t be trusted and that preventing a nuclear-capable Iran is “the most pressing national security threat facing the United States;” he repeatedly calls for threats of military action and overlooks Israel’s own nuclear arsenal while criticizing Iran for threatening the international “nonproliferation” regime.

These American threats will serve a purpose, in Ross’s view: to “reassure Israel so it does not feel compelled to act alone.” And the U.S. will support “Israeli military action if conducted.” If conducted? I.e., we can’t tell Israel what to do. No wonder that as a negotiator Ross was called Israel’s lawyer.

Co-authors Michael Makovsky and Eric Edelman served in the Bush administration. Some of their argument:

In the few instances [Iran] has compromised, it has been because of the threat of force. The success of these talks will hinge on Iran understanding that there will be very real and damaging consequences if negotiations fail.

This will require at least these U.S. actions: Intensify sanctions and incentivize other countries to do the same, issue more forceful and credible statements that all options are on the table, initiate new military deployments and make clear the support for Israeli military action if conducted.

Ross again legitimizes the idea of Israeli military strike in this argument:

A deal struck for its own sake would still allow for a nuclear Iran; undermine the legitimacy of any subsequent U.S. attempts or, much more likely, Israeli attempts to arrest Iran’s progress by military action; discredit and compromise U.S. credibility; and weaken, if not destroy, the decades-old international nonproliferation regime.

Yes and what about calls on Israel to get rid of its nukes?


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69 Responses

  1. seafoid
    October 29, 2013, 11:38 am

    Israel’s status depends on 24/7 belligerence .

    The original Jewish kingdom came into being when the local empires all collapsed during a century long drought. The latest incarnation also requires continuing local weakness. Warmongering is no slam dunk, however. It breeds enemies. No state in the region that ran on war and had nothing to offer its captured peoples made it more than a few centuries.

    Judaism’s statecraft ur problem is the definition of who can be a Jew. Maybe a larger population base would have avoided the need for Uncle Sam to keep the show on the road. Or maybe a less paranoid Israel would have drawn more American Jews to Shangri La.

    • MHughes976
      October 29, 2013, 4:39 pm

      Yes, I noticed that Israel Finkelstein, a great man, has been promoting the drought theory in National Geographic. Mind you, I’m not sure why a drought and consequent shortage of food should favour small territorial kingdoms over either city states or large empires, particularly when it comes to small kingdoms in such comparatively dry places as Judaea, which you’d have thought would have suffered most and lost most population. Egypt still had the Nile, Assyria still had the two great rivers.

      • ToivoS
        October 29, 2013, 7:56 pm

        All big kingdom’s began as small ones — it takes time to build big ones. If small ones and big ones are equally susceptible to collapse, it only stands to reason they will be replaced by small kingdoms.

      • seafoid
        October 30, 2013, 5:28 am

        You could look at banking. Citibank and Lehman vs the small local banks that survived the 2008 crash.

        I presume trade would have collapsed even if the Nile was still flowing. Population movements into the mix- see what is happening in Lebanon right now . The theory seems plausible.

  2. Krauss
    October 29, 2013, 11:50 am

    I wonder how much of the Jewish vote the GOP would get in a national election if they took on a more moderate/Rockefeller Republican foreign policy approach? How many Jews vote for the GOP purely because of foreign policy? I’m sure quite a few do it because it helps their pocketbook, too. Still. If they went to the left of the Democratic party(which itself is fanatically right-wing on Israel thanks to donor pressure), what would their vote share be? 10%? Less?

    It’s also very instructure to notice that Dennis Ross wrote it with two neocons from the GOP.

    This is the old Zionist alliance we’ve been talking about, how “liberals” like Alterman, Goldberg, Dana Milbank, Chait and others all coalesce with right-wing neocons on matters Israel. Alterman has basically said the same thing that Dennis Ross does now: if need be, America “must” take a bullet for Israel(and sacrifice blood and treasure to fight the nation’s wars, too).

    I hope Mearsheimer and Walt make a second book, detailing how on earth we allowed these fanatics to run our foreign policy in the Middle East and get away with it because every critic got attacked as an anti-Semite/self-hating Jew. They should just call the book what it is: How Israel Firsters Took Over U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East.

    They should write it so as to make sure it (hopefully) never happens again.

  3. amigo
    October 29, 2013, 12:01 pm

    And this is the creep that conspired with Clinton to blame Arafat for the breakdown of the peace talks at Camp David.

    He is a war monger , a verifiable liar and basically a sleeze.

    The perfect Zionist.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      October 29, 2013, 3:29 pm

      “He is a war monger , a verifiable liar and basically a sleeze.”

      Well, he’s these things, but basically he’s an agent for an alien state whose finagled his way into power to alter the position and policy of the US government so as to favor that alien state, doing incalculable damage to the United States and its citizens in the process.

    • Walid
      October 29, 2013, 4:30 pm

      “The perfect Zionist.”

      In 2009 when Obama appointed him senior advisor on Iran, he was putting out a book with Makovsky in which they criticized Obama for linking the dialogue with Iran to talks between Israel and the Palestinians. That wasn’t very proper for a senior advisor on Iran but I guess the fault was Obama’s for having placed him in sucg a sensitive position knowing he hated Iran and his loyalty to Israel. He was quickly removed from this post and given an even more important one with the State Dept.

      • Kathleen
        October 30, 2013, 6:50 am

        Why Obama ever appointed “Israel’s lawyer” to any position in his administration was like shooting himself in his own foot. Was in shock when Obama appointed Ross.

      • Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 7:05 am

        Why Obama ever appointed “Israel’s lawyer” to any position in his administration was like shooting himself in his own foot. Was in shock when Obama appointed Ross.

        He didn’t appoint Ross. Ross was appointed to him, to keep a tight leash on Obama. Ross is one of those teflon characters, like Nixon, that manages to slip into circles of influence. He is Likud’s point man and was probably moved into that position as a quid pro quo to keep the lobby happy.

      • Kathleen
        October 30, 2013, 3:00 pm

        Obama could have and should have said no to Ross.

  4. marc b.
    marc b.
    October 29, 2013, 12:20 pm

    ross is a schmuck and a shill, but also a symptom of big-dumb policy. big-dumb resorts to military force, ubiquitous snooping and threats of widespread deprivation through economic blockade to get an ‘edge’ on the competition. if americans want to know ‘why they hate us’, it’s not because of jealousy or our freedom, it’s because of the likes of Ross, Cheney, Albright, etc. who conceive of themselves as clever states crafters, but are really just the coincidental beneficiaries of an unprecedented military hyper-power. the likes of ross and makovsky have good reason to be concerned about ‘negotiations’ with the Iranians, the reason being that the Iranians are more clever than they are, ross and his ilk being mentally incapable of constructive dialog. it’s not what he’s evolved into. iran can’t compete with the US-Israeli military axis, but they can run circles around them diplomatically.

    soundgarden has a song, ‘big dumb sex’. ross has a political ideology, big dumb diplomacy. rock on d-bag.

  5. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    October 29, 2013, 12:40 pm

    “Dennis Ross says US must undertake ‘new military deployments’ against Iran and support Israel if it strikes”

    And, no doubt, Julius Rosenberg and Kim Phiby would have counseled the US and UK, retrospectively, to pursue pro-Soviet policies…

  6. pabelmont
    October 29, 2013, 12:43 pm

    Well, it is no surprise that the American apologists for Israel are still in place. Has AIPAC vanished into the dew? Has neocon-ism disappeared? Is the USA still controlled by military imperialists? Do Americans supported by the Israel-industry, such as Dennis Ross, not have to eat? Would anyone else support them?

    And Israel has changed, but its American boosters have not. They are as much prisoners as the Palestinians.

    The current rising of the new “cream” to the top of the Israeli milk bottle reveals the interesting information that the “cream” is not the “leftie, formerly-socialist Ashkenazi elite” that Americans (and doubtless AIPAC, etc.) remember and usually imagine to be still in place, but a new class of vicious, ruthless, violent, hooligan-type open, notorious, unapologetic uber-nationalists, uber-territorial-expansionists, uber-racists. (Read almost any page of “Goliath”, Max Blumenthal, which Alterman tells us is mostly factually correct.)

    Now, it is theoretically possible that this new “cream” will become so dreadful that even the USA and EU (indeed, even Germany!) will not only be unable to stomach but will actually take action against. But you won’t hear that from Dennis Ross.

    And it is also theoretically possible that (for some reason I cannot imagine or predict) this new Israel, with its newly risen “cream”, will somehow “implode” into “civil war” or otherwise. But why should it? Did Nazi Germany “implode” after the Brownshirts installed Hitler? Not at all. If “lefties” are afraid to speak out in public, will they really oppose (and successfully!) the racists in the Knesset? No.

    No. As usual, unless and until a power OUTSIDE Israel presses upon Israel, things will get worse and worse. Dennis Ross will not go away. The war-mongers will not go away. AIPAC and ADL will not change their stripes.

    And Israel has 200 nukes and a philosophy of applying crazy force to enemies (and victims).

    • pabelmont
      October 29, 2013, 1:07 pm

      The take-over by “the right” is so complete that Avraham Burg says that the “left” has no chance whatever to repair matters, indeed he says they should not even try::

      The Right is there alone. All this dirt belongs to them and they must clean it up alone. That is what a right-wing party looks like when it doesn’t have a worn-out babysitter. This is their dream coalition – right-wing legislation, simplified nationalism and cruel economics. That is who they are. That is whom the nation elected and that is whom they got.

      We must not disturb them. Let them go all the way until the end. Until the end of their legislation and until the end of their political understanding. Let them rule. Not only is it forbidden to interfere, one must refrain from any kind of conversation with them. When they bring their idiotic laws up for a vote, one must not be a partner to the voting. Let them not say that they passed the legislation by a majority over a minority. One must not collaborate with this democratic act of pulling the wool over our eyes. Those votes in the Knesset must take place without any of the minority present, only the religious right-wing dictatorship.

    • lysias
      October 29, 2013, 2:33 pm

      Israel had 200 nukes when Vanunu made his revelations in 1986. Who knows how many they have now?

  7. Kathleen
    October 29, 2013, 2:06 pm

    Phil ” it is astounding to consider that Ross was once the nerve center inside Democratic administrations, including Obama’s, for making American policy on the Middle East.” Not astounding at all for anyone who has been following this issue for decades. Ross has played defense for Israel for decades. This is one issue that I totally agree with Gilad Atzmon on that so called liberal Dem’s on domestic issues like Ross, Hillary Clinton are a total nightmare when it comes to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Iran. When Obama chose Ross to be part of his middle east negotiating team those of us who had HOPED that Obama might operate differently on middle east issues. When Ross was chosen all of that hope was dashed. Dennis Ross’s stance are a threat to U.S.National Security. Israel is number one in his book. To hell with the U.S.

  8. Taxi
    October 29, 2013, 2:07 pm

    Somebody ought to tell ziowotshisface that American foreign policy in the mideast is already on a new course. The USA has accepted, nay finally realized that it’s in America’s interest for Bashar and hizbollah to run their own territory – there is no more talk of “regime change” there. Backing the winners: that’s how we do it, after all: it’s the American way – and Bashar, with the tactical help of hizbollah, have won the Syria war. Both these entities are supported by Iran, which makes Iran a winner too. The losers are saudi Arabia, Turkey and israel – notice how we’re NOT having cocktail parties with any of them the way we used to. Even (a pouting) Saudi Arabia is no longer depending on USA ‘protection’ any more, citing the Egyptian and Turkish military as current substitutes. And American policy strategists must agree with some mideast analysts when they ascertain that the aging King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, will be the kingdom’s very last king. Yes, expect major changes when he finally gives up the ghost – and America is already getting ready for that particular tumult, by not investing any further in its relationship with the Saudi kingdom.

    America is now withdrawing slowly from the mideast, except from israel (and even that’s looking more tenuous for the future). America is handing the ‘western reigns’ to the UK for the time being – read UK rapprochement with Iran, with USA blessing – a very significant maneuver. USA is also making further overtures to Iran, with Obama personally speaking to Rohani for the second time inside a month (unheard of since 1978!). America, it seems, is now making unilateral decisions, regarding it’s strategy with the major players there in the mideast – outside of the so-called security needs of israel. To drop israel right now would cause too much of a domestic toxic shock, so we’re holding onto the relationship for now, reluctantly.

    The main reason for this new direction is due to the desperate and dangerous economic hemorrhaging we Americans find ourselves in. In other words, this shift is due to realism and not idealism.

    That’s why the ziocons are freaking out and still talking a strike on Iran when in actual fact, even if israel preemptively strikes at Iran (not gonna happen folks), American public opinion will more likely move to stop America’s involvement in such a war, like they did with Syria; and China, our current creditor, will not facilitate any advances and loans that would be used in a war that threatens its massive investments in Iran.

    Read my lips: no more new American wars in the middle east for at least a decade: a much needed period of recovery for us.

    But do expect a regional war to ignite. An empowered Syria is going to want the Golan back – a legitimate pursuit. Egypt wants to tear up the Camp David agreement – a legitimate pursuit. And hizbollah wants the Levant free of zionism; and also wants isreal to keep its thieving paws off Lebanon’s newly discovered gas/oil fields – legitimate pursuits. These regional scores will be settled with israel, without the full-throttle support of the USA.

    We’re not exactly changing friends, but we’re taking a strategic sabbatical from the mideast. Our other strategic interests are also demanding that we focus more soberly and energetically on areas like the south China seas, where our economic and military competitors, Russia and China, are gaining ground there and pushing us out of the picture some.

    For the past two decades, we’ve busted our purse with mideast wars that we could not win or strategically benefit from. We’re broke. Very broke, while the BRIC countries are economically advancing at an alarming pace.

    Israel? That “sh*tty little country” is NOT the center of America’s universe. Aipac or not – a new era is rolling over, Rover.

    Don’t expect our zio senators, congressmen and media to change their tune anytime soon though – they’re still on the zio payroll and the endless whinning will continue. But since when do we depend on our politicians, CNN, Fox et all for truth or realism?

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      October 29, 2013, 2:47 pm

      funny that the Saudi misogynist degenerates are so prominently in the news. even on the bottom of the ‘news bar’ for my search engine. it’s not all that chummy, the US/Saudi relationship right now.

    • MHughes976
      October 29, 2013, 4:51 pm

      That for my money is a great analysis, Taxi. But maybe the moment of truth will be when the next President, probably Hillary Clinton or a Zionised Republican like Perry, comes along. There will have been a lot of campaign promises to neutralise Iran. At some point the reality of unsound public finances and massive fear of raising fuel prices by disrupting the Gulf will confront the political impetus to have one more round of the perpetual war.

      • Taxi
        October 30, 2013, 9:46 am


        Actually, I think it will take two more election cycles before the zionists’ outrageous fleecing of the country is fully exposed to the American public, and the masses begin to turn against their senators and congressmen who are self-professed zionists.

        But the issue of wars in the middle east, juxtaposed against our dire financial woes, will definitely be a major debated issue in the next elections. I believe the American silent majority now wants to actively weed out the warmongers through the ballot box.

        One thing’s for sure though: we will be hearing the name ‘aipac’ mentioned much, much, much, in the next two elections – heh heh heh.

    • pabelmont
      October 29, 2013, 5:01 pm

      Taxi, does your analysis mean that, within the American Establishment, some “BIG” (maybe BIG-BANKs) is putting pressure of F/P against the countervailing pressure from BIG-ZION (AIPAC), BIG-DEFENSE, maybe BIG-OIL (each and all of which have long been assumed to be promoters of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars)?

      My assumption is, as you see, that Obama (and any president for that matter) ONLY acts in concert with the balance of desires of the BIGs, and presumably they have heretofore been in substantial agreement (or not in substantial disagreement).

      • Taxi
        October 30, 2013, 10:07 am


        Even though we are a warring, aggressive nation, we are capitalists first and foremost. Empire decisions are not made by aipac, but by our capitalist eggheads. The Bottom Line rules us all in America. Aipac operatives abuse our system in order to indulge israel at the expense of treasury and taxpayer, but that abuse too has its limits – and we’ve now reached that limit. We simply cannot afford to go to war with anybody at the moment. A war of choice that is. Sad to think that we can’t even afford to go to war with the very petite country of Monaco. (NOT advocating war against the beautiful Monaco here, just using it as an example of our economic hemorrhaging ).

    • Shingo
      October 29, 2013, 8:06 pm

      I agree, great analysis, Taxi, though I have my doubts about your conclusions/assumptions.

      And American policy strategists must agree with some mideast analysts when they ascertain that the aging King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, will be the kingdom’s very last king.

      That sounds like great news Taxi, but where is the basis for that theory? And where is the evidence America is by not investing any further in its relationship with the Saudi kingdom?

      read UK rapprochement with Iran, with USA blessing – a very significant maneuver.

      Again, great news if it’s true, but where did you read this?

      America, it seems, is now making unilateral decisions, regarding it’s strategy with the major players there in the mideast – outside of the so-called security needs of israel.

      I would like to think so, but the failed war campaign against Syria was due to public pressure, not so much any strategic change in Washington.

      Egypt wants to tear up the Camp David agreement – a legitimate pursuit.

      Again, where is the evidence of this? The Egyptian military junta certainly has no interest in doing so.

      • Taxi
        October 30, 2013, 5:25 pm


        It is said that there are between 7,000 to 12,000 members of the Saudi family. An internal war over the appointment of the next king is currently at a new peak ( just imagine the number of daggers held behind their royal backs). King Abdullah has actually already appointed a successor, Defence Minister Prince Salman, back in 2011. The problem is, Salman is now 78 years old and so sick that he may die even before the king himself. The king chose Prince Salman instead of his son, Miteb bin Abdullah, Commander of the Saudi National Guard, as a compromise with other warring members of the Saud family. Here’s an article that gives a bit more info on the internal conflict of the Saudi family:

        Here’s a link that lists the top 10 candidates for the Saudi throne:

        Taking a good look at the candidates from the above link, you can see why America is not hedging its bets on having a deep, meaningful and reliable relationship with Saudi in the future. The USA has only ever dealt with 5 Saudi brothers who all became kings, and after king Abdullah, it will have to be a new generation of sons, a new untested crop. Not a very assuring endeavor.

        Shingo, there are currently active forces that are challenging the stability and longevity of the Saudi monarchy. The first one, as I mentioned above, is the internal family crisis over the successor – it is actually the deadliest and most immediate. The second force is demographic, is creeping up on Saudi’s status quo, and is unstoppable. It is referred to as the “Youth Bulge”. The link below explains it rather comprehensively, and gives a very good insight into current and future trends in Saudi society – the section on Saudi youth ‘Politics’ is well worth the read:
        The third force threatening the stability of the current Saudi monarchy is geopolitical and is connected to Saudi mismanagement of it’s foreign policies, especially regionally. Notable here are Saudi eff-ups in Libya/Yemen/Bahrain, its huge loses in the Syria, its inability to dominate the Lebanese political scene, and its failure to convince the west to attack Iran. So many failures in such a short time. All this indicating therefore Saudi loss of hegemony – as well as loss of popular regional support due to Saudi financing of islamist violence especially in Iraq, and its treasonous, warming relations with israel. America now sees Saudi as a mono-armed merchant who can no longer ‘deliver’.

        I’d like to add a fifth indicator, as told to me by a CIA expert on Saudi Arabia. Well, according to him, the USA has now become un-enamored by the weakening House of Saud and will cry no tears if the monarchy fell after Abdullah’s demise. My source says (which raised my eyebrows some, but still, he is privy to more insider info than me) – he says that America has realized, post Arab Spring eruptions and post Bashar’s victory, that unless it starts to actively support the spread of genuine democracy in Arab countries and stop supporting monarchs and dictators, it stands to lose the support of some 300+ million Arabs for many generations to come; 300+ million Arabs whom Russia, China and India are successfully beginning to woo with friendly trade and cultural exchanges. And the only way that the USA can effectively remain in the superpower club, remain in steady competition with the BRIC countries, is for it to increase its domestic productivity and exports, AND decrease substantially the number of its enemies: enemies that cost it a fortune and give it back no returns. Simply put, the fifth force against the Saudi monarchy is America’s growing detachment from Saudi Arabia, which in return will affect European support for the Saudi monarchy, as well as significantly diminish its regional political standing.

        Shingo, you asked for evidence of the UK-Iran rapprochement: well, here’s one of many articles on the event:
        Mindful here that a ‘charge d’affaires’ is just one notch below ambassador. And we know very well that the UK would never deign to make such a bold and sudden move without American approval/encouragement.

        Now, regarding Egypt and tearing up the Camp David Accords: a very sensitive subject for you and I, so allow me please to briefly explain, in the hope of not triggering a long discussion on Egypt, which would be suited to another thread dealing with this subject matter.

        The single Egyptian institution that loses the most out of the Accords is the Egyptian army, due to articles in the Accord that inhibit the Egyptian army from fully controlling its own territor: rules that impose restrictions on the army’s freedom of movement in its own territory, as well as restrictions on the amount and type of military ware that the Egyptian army is allowed to employ in specific areas in Egypt. The Egyptian army is truly the least pleased with the Accords. The Accords are a very complex set of legal articles, all favoring israel over Egypt, specially as regards military substance and strategy. I’m told by several experts that it’s legally impossible to actually break the accords, but that certain articles within it are legally open for review and reconsideration. Because the new Egyptian constitution is currently being written, therefore it is not publishable in full yet, therefore I cannot at the moment give you specifics of the articles to be reconsidered, or provide you with a description of the mechanism the Egyptians will be employing to implement their reviews. But suffice it for now to say that it clearly benefits the freedoms of both the Egyptian army and its civilian population at large, at this stage of their game, to revisit the Accords and make some beneficial changes – at least changes that will even the playing field with the israelis. Egyptian political and media society are regularly discussing this issue in public, so it’s an issue that is on everyone’s mind and not a fringe issue.

        Myself, I read the new emerging picture of the middle east like this: Under Obama, and not necessarily because of him (professional slitherer that he is), the American Empire is now acutely aware of fast needing to change course to preserve its remaining powers and revive its rebuilding abilities. This clarity seems to have been arrived at during the peak of the Syria crisis, and fast put into (slow) motion soon as the Syria crisis was over (the pace of change will eventually pick up). Considering the regressive and treacherous political culture of Capitol Hill, an open and direct announcement of ‘course-changing’ would be retrograde and invite domestic political chaos. Therefore Obama has been forced instead to establish what I would call ‘undercurrents’ for changing course with regard to our involvement in the middle east, which will eventually culminate in a re-defining of our relationship with israel (pulling the biggest thorn out last). This re-direction of our ‘interests’, by the way, will not change israel’s criminal behavior whatsoever. On the contrary, israel with its internal moral rot and its many external military challenges, its growing isolation around the world and also its fading luster in the eyes of the American population, will only drive it to make further self-destructive political and military decisions.

        Needless to say, I for one am happy to see signs of the ‘undercurrents of change’ because above all, it serves OUR interests: the American interests and not the interests of a small elite in several foreign countries. I do think that if America serves its own interests in a positive way, the world at large will indeed benefit. I do not think that America is the savior of the world, but I do think that it can make a substantial positive impact when it behaves righteously.

        Let’s hope the enemies of change don’t cause too much damage on their way out.

      • Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 10:18 pm

        Thanks Taxi,

        A very eye opening analysis. The diplomatic detente between Iran and the UK is certainly news to be, though maybe not surprising. Obama’s hands are very much tied as far as his options to lift sanctions, so perhaps he is going about it through the back door and actively weakening the sanctions internationally. Most of these are unilateral US sanctions which are enforced through the usual strong armed US tactics, but if Obama loosens the grip, maybe that will give other states the wiggle room they need to resume trade with Iran.

        I am still not at all trustful of Egypt’s military. They serve as a mini state, but as Egypt’s defense force and their windfall of Saudi money only heightens my suspicions. I cannot understand what is so legally binding about the Camp David Accords what makes the accords that legally impossible to break. Surely Egypt is free to break any treaty that disadvantages it.

        I do hope you are right about the Saudis, though it seems to be that the forces of change you describe as much slower moving than you suggest.

      • Taxi
        November 1, 2013, 7:26 am

        You’re right, Shingo, the forces of change are currently moving slow – I think I mentioned this up thread. But it’s promising news indeed that the signs for change are actually appearing here and there, when only several months ago, there was nothing but a vast and endless void.

        Also, I think I made a mistake up thread too when I mentioned that Saudi is now depending on the Turkish and Egyptian armies for regional protection – it’s actually the Egyptian and Pakistani armies that Saudi will be leaning on. Just to add here too that Egypt accepted Saudi money for economic reasons and not for ideological ones – this happens often in politics – realpolitik is a survival tactic. This money of course buys ‘influence’, but it’s really a limited influence and does not make Saudis the ‘owners’ of Egypt, especially with the current Egyptian zeitgeist being all about “independence from outside interference” – the most popular slogan in Egypt since Mubarak’s fall. With the way things are going for the House of Saud at the moment (downhill trend), Saudi Arabia actually needs Egypt more than Egypt needs Saudi. Egypt went from having no other options but the dictates of a single entity, a dictator, to now being wooed by several admirers who all want to please Egypt: Russia, Iran, Saudi, India, China, Venezuela and even the UK in attempting to put a foot in and make nice with Egypt.

        Regarding the Camp David Accords, I personally don’t understand the specifics of why it’s impossible for Egypt to break them too, but I’ve been told by two Egyptian legal experts on the Accords (who aren’t known to each other) that the articles were purposely phrased in such a way as to tie most articles to one another and seal them with a handful of trade privileges with Europe – making it impossible to break the treaty without sinking the Egyptian Pound with it. It seems that making a deal with israel is like a making a deal with the devil – in bondage for eternity.

    • MRW
      October 30, 2013, 5:54 am

      Great analysis, Taxi, and I agree with just about everything you said, except for this, “China, our current creditor, will not facilitate any advances and loans that would be used in a war that threatens its massive investments in Iran.”

      China is not our creditor. There is no factory in downtown China manufacturing dollar bills that we borrow. The US federal government is the only entity on planet earth that can make dollars. Only one, legally. And those dollars come in five flavors: coins, dollar bills, T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds. The federal government is the monopoly issuer of the US dollar bill, and it “borrows” zip. It is not revenue-constrained; it does not need taxes for revenue, see pg 4 of pdf (everyone believed Grandpa Reagan and his monetarist fool, Milton Friedman, and not one commenter on this blog, including me, had the accounting training at the time to know the difference once we became monetarily sovereign on August 15, 1971).

      We are not broke, can never go broke, as long as we can denominate our own debt in our own currency. (Unlike the poor EU countries that gave up their sovereign currencies to join the Euro.) What we have is a President currently who has been fooled into thinking the federal economy operates like a household or business, and his sequester and deficit reduction are going to destroy the economy as a result.

      The users of the currency are state and local governments, businesses, and households. None of these four, or you or I, can whip up dollars to pay their (our) bills. We have to earn it.These four are revenue constrained: they have to earn income before they spend (or go into debt, but not for long before disaster strikes).

      Want to know how it really works? The Federal Reserve has two kinds of bank accounts: checking and savings, just like your local bank. They have fancier names for them, but forget that. They are checking and savings. The only groups that can bank at the Fed are the US government, US banks, foreign govts, foreign banks. That’s it. When Walmart buys 10 million running shoes from China at a buck a pop, and has to pay for them, the settlement system works this way: Walmart’s 10 million dollars goes to China’s checking account at the Fed. (US dollars can never leave the US banking system, by law, and that includes US dollar accounts held by foreigners; the money physically never leaves the US.)

      China now has three choices: go on the open market, buy Yuan, and wire it home. Leave it in checking and earn zilch interest. Or buy the equivalent of a CD and earn some interest. It chooses the latter. It orders the Fed to move its $10 million from checking to savings and buys a T-bill, T-note, or T-bond. (T-bills mature within a year. T-notes mature in 2-10 years. T-bonds mature in 10-30 years.) This process does not have an official name. It’s usually referred to as China buying treasury securities, or China ‘buying our debt’.

      When the treasury securities come due, it can roll them over, or cash them out. Let’s say it wants to cash them out. It tells the Fed to cash in the treasury security and move the principal and interest back into its checking account. That is officially known as “paying off the National Debt.”

      That’s all there is to it. You and I don’t call cashing in our bank CDs as ‘paying off the bank’s debt’ even though, technically that is what your, or my, bank is doing. The bank is paying off what it owes us. But no one refers to it that way. We call it cashing in our CD.

      Because the federal government is the issuer of the currency—I mean, the dollar bill starts with them—and because since August 15, 1971, we are 100% monetarily sovereign with a non-convertible currency with a floating exchange rate, and because the federal government uses double-entry accounting to tabulate its monetary affairs, the term used for money at the federal level is ‘debt’. Every time you see the term National Debt, change the word ‘debt’ into ‘equity’ and you’ll be getting it right. Because the National Debt is not what we owe, it is what we, the people, own.

      • Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 6:55 am

        We are not broke, can never go broke, as long as we can denominate our own debt in our own currency.

        That’s where you are wrong MRW. The US does not denominate it’s own debt because it borrows money from the Fed, which is no more Federal than FEDEX. The Fed is a privately owned, foreign owned, bank.

        That’s why you are mistaken when you say that National Debt is what you own. The Fed owns it.

        The theory you are spouting is monetary alchemy – it’s an unsustainable fantasy. After all, if there is no need to raise revenue through taxation, why have taxation at all? To keep the plebeians in bondage?

        money physically never leaves the US.

        That too is false. During the Iraq war, there were reports of pallets of dollar bills flown in to pay contractors. There were so many of them, there were reports of contractors playing sports games with the large bundles of cash.
        Special flights brought in tonnes of banknotes which disappeared into the war zone

        Because the National Debt is not what we owe, it is what we, the people, own.

        That’s only true so long as the US dollar remains the international unit of currency. Once that ends, and it will, the dollar will be worthless.

      • MRW
        October 30, 2013, 8:53 am


        The US does not denominate it’s own debt because it borrows money from the Fed, which is no more Federal than FEDEX.

        The US does not borrow money from the Fed.

        But let’s deal with the “no more Federal than FEDEX” claim. You’re repeating the Eustace Mullins, Thomas Scharf, Gary Kah stuff that suffered from an opaque Federal Reserve not wanting to be transparent throughout the last half of the 20th C.

        The Fed is divided into 12 regional banks. There is no national Federal Reserve bank, only regional ones. The NY Fed is considered the chief bank since Volker stupidly gave away the control from DC to NYC in the late 70s and caused interest rates to go to 20% because he didn’t know what he was doing. Each bank is owned by the banks in its region, which buys shares in the regional Fed bank. No matter the size or number of branches of the bank, each bank in each regional Federal Reserve Bank has one vote.

        Each Federal Reserve regional bank is privately owned by its member banks, and the regional Federal Reserve Bank pays local property taxes. The ownership rights of Federal Reserve Bank stock are completely different than the common stock of typical corporations. Usually in regular private corporations, the number of votes a shareholder has is proportional to the number of shares he owns. However, ownership of Federal Reserve Bank stock entitles the shareholder to one vote when voting for its regional Federal Reserve Bank officials regardless of how many total shares the member bank may own. The vast majority of member banks (about 1,000) are US federal and state banks.

        Each shareholder bank–individuals and non-bank firms are not allowed to participate–is paid a dividend equal to 6% of the price of the original shares, not of the value of its shares to date. In 2010, for example, the Federal Reserve paid 1.56% of its earnings over all 12 regional banks to its shareholders. You can read this in the 2010 Annual Report here.

        After expenses, the remaining profits of the Federal Reserve are 100% returned to the US Treasury, and have done so since required by law in 1947. In 2010, the Fed Reserve earned $81 billion. It returned $79.xx billion to the US Treasury. Look at the Annual Report I linked to.

        Independent accounting firms conduct full financial audits of the Federal Reserve banks and the Board of Governors every year, contrary to the bullshit Ron Paul spouts. The Fed is also subject to certain types of audits from the Government Accounting Office. Congress conducts oversight twice a year, by law.

        Most of the 12 regional banks list their member banks on their websites. (I say most because I haven’t checked all 12, only a few.) Here is a 54-page list of the large commercial banks and the percentage foreign-owned:

        There is no national Federal Reserve bank that operates apart from the 12 regional banks that does all these nefarious things claimed by Eustace Mullins, Gary Kah, and Thomas Schauf.

        How do I know this shit? Because I have spent three years calling the Federal Reserve, investigating this document from the Congressional Research Service, and the US Treasury to verify this.

        That’s why you are mistaken when you say that National Debt is what you own. The Fed owns it.

        No it doesn’t. You are dead wrong. From former Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Frank Newman’s recent 87-page book, Freedom From National Debt:

        8.1 The Myth About Increased Taxes to “Pay off Debt”

        One key assertion often made in these debates, by those who argue against increasing the limit, is that an increase will force Americans to pay more taxes to “pay off the debt.” Chapter 3 explains why that assertion is unfounded. The U.S. has had Treasury securities outstanding every year since 1791, has never “paid off” the total outstanding, and will never have to. The U.S. financial system, including Treasuries, is always in balance, regardless of the amount of Treasuries held by the public; investors receiving U.S. dollars for maturing Treasuries must put the dollars in the U.S. financial system. As explained in Chapter 4, this is very different from securities issued by eurozone countries, where euros redeemed in one country can be reinvested in another country.

        8.2 There is No Budgeting to Pay Off the “National Debt”

        Although there are often comments about “the great burden” of past and current deficits, the people responsible for budget preparation do not actually plan for a process to “pay off” of all outstanding Treasuries.

        Newman, Frank N. (2013-04-22). Freedom from National Debt (p. 60).


        There is no good reason to use the term “debt” at all when referring to total outstanding Treasury securities. The expression “national debt” is really 100 years out of date for America, and does not reflect the modern U.S. financial system. U.S. Treasury securities are unique financial instruments issued by the government, bearing interest at rates reset to market periodically through a very special auction system. That realization leaves us free to explore the real nature of Treasuries, without the preconceptions of “debt” as most people think of it in a personal sense.

        In answer to this question

        After all, if there is no need to raise revenue through taxation, why have taxation at all? To keep the plebeians in bondage?

        Taxes at the federal level are used like a thermostat. When the economy is too hot, you raise taxes to reduce inflation. When the economy is ice cold, like it is now, you lower taxes (which are too high right now) and increase spending (which is too low and that’s why we are sliding into another recession)…the exact opposite of what they’re doing. Also, I gather you didn’t bother to read Fed Chair Beardsley Ruml’s Taxes for Revenue Are Obsolete that I linked to in the previous post.

        During the Iraq war, there were reports of pallets of dollar bills flown in to pay contractors.

        True. I said US dollar bank accounts.

        That’s only true so long as the US dollar remains the international unit of currency. Once that ends, and it will, the dollar will be worthless.

        Wrong. We are the reserve currency because people in other countries want to sell us stuff. The day they no longer want to net save in US dollars is the day that we no longer remain the reserve currency, and our trade deficit goes poof. It has ZERO to do with the value of our dollar to us in this country. Zip.

      • Taxi
        October 30, 2013, 10:13 am


        “Get your fiscal house in order: China warns US as Asia expresses concern for $1.3tn of investments”.

        “China, the biggest foreign creditor of the United States, has waded into the American budget crisis, warning Congress that it must resolve the political impasse over the debt ceiling without further delay.”

      • MRW
        October 30, 2013, 4:58 pm

        Yeah, I understand people think that, Taxi, but they’re wrong. The reporter does not know what he’s talking about. I used to think the same thing in 2009: we use China’s credit card. It’s taken me three years to undo the thinking and really find out how it works operationally. I’ve been doing it the old-fashioned way: digging. Even Krugman is starting to understand it. He wrote on October 24, 2013 in a post labeled Addicted to the Apocalypse:

        And I do mean fantasies. Washington has spent the past three-plus years in terror of a debt crisis that keeps not happening, and, in fact, can’t happen to a country like the United States, which has its own currency and borrows in that currency. Yet the scaremongers can’t bring themselves to let go.

        This person actually has it right. Said simply, too.

        The debt ceiling was enacted in 1917 to act as a belt and pair of suspenders on the gold supply in Fort Knox when we were on the gold standard. We went off the gold standard domestically in 1934, and internationally in 1971 after Nixon found out that Charlie de Gaulle was running over here with every 35 bucks he could get his mitts on asking for his ounce of gold. He was doing this for 10 years. So Nixon fixed his wagon, and took us off gold internationally. But it had the effect of making us 100% monetarily sovereign just like Britain, Canada, Japan, and Australia. The problem was the American citizens never found out the effect and consequence of it—unbelievable prosperity for middle America and not just high-end bankers (who do understand how it works), which hasn’t happened because Joe Six-Pack is in the dark–because our idiot media didn’t understand it and they were consumed in the three years that followed August 15, 1971, with: Nixon’s re-election, Watergate, the Yom Kipper War, the Oil Crisis, and Impeachment. Paul Volker didn’t understand how the new federal reserve accounting worked and fucked up the system so badly, interest rates soared to 20%. It was actually Carter deregulating natural gas in 1978, when oil was ~$15/barrel and climbing to $38 by the time he left office, up from $3/barrel in 1973–in other words 5X the cost–who reduced the inflation cost of oil that broke the back of the oil cartel (oil fell to $11/barrel by the summer of 1986). Natural gas in 1978 was $3/barrel, or whatever unit they use; however, it took well over two years for the power plants to retool to use natural gas instead of oil, and Reagan got the credit for bringing that inflation down, not Carter.

        The debt ceiling is phony. The only way we can default is if Congress in a profound act of self-immolation votes to default. We cannot go broke because we denominate our debt in our own currency. The National Debt is a record of every dollar created since 1791 minus the dollars destroyed (taxes). We are not ‘leaving debt to our children and grandchildren’, and the federal government can afford to pay social security and medicare without indebting anyone. We cannot become the next Greece. And the only people screaming to get rid of social security and medicare are people who want those dollars to go to Wall Street, like Pete Peterson and Drunkenmiller.

        Some punkins, hunh? Trust me when I say that Joe Six-Pack is going to know about this by the time of the 2016 election, and congressmen are going to be called on the carpet for the devastating hurt they have caused the middle class.

      • Taxi
        October 30, 2013, 5:52 pm

        I really recommend everyone watch this video that explains in a very simple manner, the shocking economic mess that we’re in:

      • eljay
        October 30, 2013, 7:15 pm

        >> link to


      • MRW
        October 30, 2013, 7:46 pm

        Correct, Taxi. And we lose $9 BILLION/day in lost output by failing to provide jobs for people who want work and can’t find it. There are 25 million people out of work, or doing part-time that want full-time work. They are the resources we’re not using, and whose skills we are letting die on the vine. The same situation, only worse, existed in 1934. But Roosevelt started the WPA and other programs to give people jobs. Obama? Nothing. We have a $3.4 trillion infrastructure problem in this country that must be fixed by 2020. Instead, we’re gutting medical and scientific research, education, and access to the ‘information superhighway’ for everyone (we’re a third-world country in terms of broadband). I could go on and on. We’ve ditched industrial capitalism for finance capitalism and it’s the rentier class, the 1%, who are raking it in because we’ve privatized everything (using bank credit money) that was previously provided by the federal government for free (real money). Including decimating our students with student loans that are worse in some cases than a house mortgage. Arrrgh. I’ll shut up. Makes me mad.

      • Shingo
        October 30, 2013, 11:00 pm

        We cannot go broke because we denominate our debt in our own currency.

        I’m sorry MRW, but while I am a big fan of yours, this is simply delusional. You can’t create something out of nothing. The dollar would cease to have any meaning the day other states stop using it as the basis of international trade, and they will.

        And when that day happens, and all those fake dollars land back in the US, people will need SUVs full fo cash to buy a loaf of bread.

        You can denominate your debt in our own currency, but so what if no one wants your debt of your currency?

      • MRW
        October 31, 2013, 12:36 pm

        I understand, Shingo. I thought it was delusional as well, at one time. ;-) James Galbraith wrote this in The Nation in 2010. A lot easier to read and clearer than my turgid stuff.
        In Defense of Deficits—A big deficit-reduction program would destroy the economy two years into the Great Crisis.

        And it’s happened. Obama is bragging that the deficit is the lowest in five years. Look at the consequence: the non-government surplus is down to 4.1% of GDP in FY13 vs. 6.8% in FY12. Think teeter-totter, because the US dollar is a ‘closed system’: US government sector vs non-government sector (domestic and foreign). As the government sector is in surplus, the non-government sector–as an accounting artifact, not my saying so–must be in deficit. And vice-versa.

        But I won’t bore you. Read Galbraith’s article. I promise you it isn’t boring. And for the record, Shingo, I think the economy should serve a public purpose, should serve society, not a bunch of financial indices. And it doesn’t right now.

      • MRW
        October 31, 2013, 12:49 pm

        Shingo, my friend,

        You can denominate your debt in our own currency, but so what if no one wants your debt of your currency?

        Don’t forget that when you write “debt of your currency,” at the federal level you’re talking about the money of your currency. Because what foreigners are buying–what they parking their money in–is US treasury securities, the safest asset on the planet. [US ‘currency’ is coins, physical dollar bills (11-12%), and treasury securities.] That’s why they sell us stuff: so they can net save in dollars.

        As this chart shows, we run no current danger of them not wanting our dollars. Click on the chart to see it larger.

    • Kathleen
      October 30, 2013, 7:02 am

      Thanks Taxi. Micheal Scheuer and others have talked a fair amount about the goal of Al Qeada when it comes to the U.S…..bankruptcy

  9. Kathleen
    October 29, 2013, 2:23 pm

    George Mitchell’s resignation had much to do with Dennis Ross interference in productive negotiations.

    “Ross’s history as a veteran peace negotiator under successive presidents from Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush gives him a record of experience in the region that few can match. But critics counter that this experience reflects a record of U.S. failure in the region, particularly with regard to the Oslo process that collapsed under his long-term role as its chief negotiator and strategist on the U.S. side.

    Nevertheless, Ross’ strong ties to Israel now make him indispensable to the administration. Those ties include his previous role as head of the Jewish People Policy Institute, a Jerusalem-based think tank founded by the Jewish Agency for Israel. His son, Gabe, is also married to an Israeli. These factors, together with Ross’s strong personal sense of Jewish identity, have gained him a reputation of being pro-Israeli.”

    Read more:

    Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East
    “5. Why did the efforts of former Senate majority leader George Mitchell to reignite Israel–Palestine talks as Obama’s special representative fail?

    They failed for many reasons. The first was that the political environment in Washington, especially in Congress after the Republican midterm victories of 2010, was simply not propitious for a break with the failed policies of the previous several administrations, which were upheld by a bipartisan consensus that was policed by the Israel lobby. The second was that Obama was unfortunate in coming into office just before Netanyahu again became prime minister. This meant that Israel’s leader was once again a man as fully committed to a Greater Land of Israel ideology as had been Begin and Shamir. A third is that Mitchell’s efforts were systematically undercut and sabotaged by Dennis Ross.

    Ross was and is a slick bureaucratic infighter. He is also utterly wedded to the failed “peace process” approach that — in keeping with Begin’s low ceiling on what could be offered to the Palestinians — has produced only process, but no peace. That framework is bankrupt and cannot produce peace; indeed it is not designed to. It is meant mainly to prevent friction between the United States and an expansionist Israel, and one of the things it has produced is a settler population that has ballooned from around 200,000 in 1991 to well over half a million. Facing these obstacles, Mitchell did not have much of a chance.”

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      October 29, 2013, 2:50 pm

      I agree with the assessment, but I wouldn’t give Ross any credit, Kathleen. anyone can f*ck things up. it’s easy to destroy, so much more difficult to build something positive.

      PS oh. I see that piotr made essentially the same point below, but more intelligently than me.

    • seafoid
      October 29, 2013, 3:50 pm

      Veteran procrastination negotiator.

  10. piotr
    October 29, 2013, 2:37 pm

    Our learned commentators want to preserve, among many other noble goals, “legitimacy of possible American or Israeli military action”. But how credible such a threat can be if Israel cannot even mobilize enough Hasbara trolls to produce more than one friendly comment for that article (while seven comments are distinctly hostile, I encourage you guys to add your views to that comment page)?

    Old think tankers never die, but they may fade away. They may moan about “isolationist sentiments” day in and day out, but however you call it — isolationism, realism, common sense — on somewhat related issue of intervention in Syria the imperialist (pro-engagement?) faction was pretty soundly defeated in opinion polls and in parliamentary vote counting.

    Dennis Ross by himself is somewhat original but quite slow thinker. He developed a 12 point plan to improve upon peace process between Israel and PA, and after half a year he expanded it to 14 point plan. I assume that this plan represents several Ross-years of hard thinking (one point per calendar quarter). Given swiftly changing international situation, the authors had to prepare the op-ed in a hurry, about a month, so there are many inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Like that Iran has no right to conduct uranium enrichment (actually, they do) but later they demand strict limits on the number or placement of centrifuges. And why they forgot to mention threats to obliterate Israel? If I had to grade them for quality of hasbara, that alone would deduct a full point.

    I am sort of alone in that, but I am a connoisseur of liberal shibboleths. This is a classic of the genre. It is nicely distinguished from radical spouting of isolationists etc., but it also has important marks of moderation. For example, far from demanding military action, they only postulate preservation of the credibility and legitimacy of such action. They deny the right to peaceful nuclear energy technologies in one place — dig against the radicals — but tacitly concede it in another. They demand to “intensify sanctions” but do not demand to “strangulate” or “change the regime”. The zigzag is perhaps not the most elegant, but I perceive the results of weeks of brainstorming by Ross, Makovsky and Edelman.

    Lastly, I was a bit puzzled why this piece was sooooo Jewish. The main authority cited is ” As we explain in a new JINSA Gemunder Center report, there are six such principles that should guide the negotiations with Iran.” For people who may be puzzled what is JINSA, it is helpfully explained that this is Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, chaired by Makovsky himself. Couldn’t they find some Heritage Institute or AEI reports to bolster their case? No, it has to be written by a tercet of Jews proudly working for Jewish institute and placing Israel in the closing coda “reassure Israel so it does not feel compelled to act alone.”

    The vision of Israel being unsure and feeling both alone and compelled had to shatter Ross’s nerves quite a bit, so at the end he informs the readers that he works for “Washington Institute for Near Policy”. Not quite policy, but almost, almost.

    • Peter in SF
      Peter in SF
      October 30, 2013, 3:30 am

      For people who may be puzzled what is JINSA, it is helpfully explained that this is Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, chaired by Makovsky himself.

      I assume it was the L.A. Times that added that explanation, because the authors neglected to include it in the text of their article. It might also have helped if they had included JINSA’s slogan, which is displayed at the top of every page on its website: “Securing America, Strengthening Israel“.

      It would also have been helpful if the editors had informed readers that before and after he was a senior Middle East advisor to Obama, Dennis Ross was, and is, co-chairman of the board of the Jewish People Policy Institute:

      The mission of the Institute is to ensure the thriving of the Jewish People and the Jewish civilization by engaging in professional strategic thinking and planning on issues of primary concern to world Jewry. Located in Jerusalem, the concept of JPPI regarding the Jewish People is global, and includes aspects of major Jewish communities with Israel as one of them, at the core.

      • Kathleen
        October 30, 2013, 7:12 am

        When are agents for another country (Israel) like Ross, Makovsky required to sign up under the Foreign Agents Registration Act(FARA). Who signs up under this act and who makes them sign up? What is that oath of office our Reps take to protect the constitution from enemies without and within our government and country. These fellas are serious contenders. Oh yeah where is Jane Harman these days?

  11. seafoid
    October 29, 2013, 3:54 pm

    War is Zionism’s Viagra. All of these elderly bots like Ross and Adelson have projectile dysfunction syndrome.

    • piotr
      October 29, 2013, 4:39 pm

      Sometimes when the blood is too sluggish you have to choose: direct more blood toward the brain, with caffeine or something, or somewhere else, with Viagra. Hre I perceive unsuccessful compromise with limp results in either direction.

      • pabelmont
        October 29, 2013, 5:15 pm

        piotr: I guess if one has mental limpness dysfunction, one does not need and probably also does not have premature publication syndrome. That, if so, would explain why Ross took so long to add two new points to his many-point negotiation scheme.

        By seeming contrast, Bush-shrub thought himself a “decider”, a decisive man who saw a problem, chose — somehow — a means to deal with it and went 200% with his decision, without waiting (e.g., for time for anyone to think it through and tell him he was nuts). By such manly decisiveness were we plunged into the Iraq war. Had he remained president today, we’d surely not have had to undergo all this shameful and unmanly dithering about Iran.

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 29, 2013, 5:58 pm
      • piotr
        October 29, 2013, 10:55 pm

        By the way, the pun “Institute for Near Policy” was corrected, “East” inserted.

        Now, if the 12-14 points produced by Ross were sensible, and the 6 principles he produced now were sensible too, one could judge the time being well spend. But it was not,

      • Kathleen
        October 30, 2013, 7:15 am

        I don’t know about Bush and Iran. Bush sure pulled away from Cheney and his neocon team during the second administration.

        But with Hillary Clinton getting in Ross and Makovsky can put that train to Iran right back on track.

  12. Justpassingby
    October 29, 2013, 4:25 pm

    “it is astounding to consider that Ross was once the nerve center inside Democratic administrations”

    Why is that astounding Phil?

    • Kathleen
      October 30, 2013, 7:18 am

      That comment jumped out at me too. Not astounding at all since the Dems are as radically wrong on this issue as the Republicans. Hell maybe more so. The majority of the so called “liberal Dems” have been owned by the I lobby and Israel for as long as the other party. Boxer, Feinstein, McCain, Graham whats the difference on this issue?

  13. radii
    October 29, 2013, 4:44 pm

    thank you, Bibi, for your continued belligerence on the Syrian and Iran wars you want the U.S. to launch for you – because you have pushed your main agents and operatives to out themselves even more as israel-firsters and the public is taking notice … for your next push maybe you can outfit them all in bright neon-green track suits to make it super easy to spot them

  14. David Nelson
    David Nelson
    October 29, 2013, 4:56 pm

    it is predictable that the ross solution is to increase pressure, essential as it is to “coercive diplomacy”.

    if the Ross trio are speaking for the Israelis, it appears a total end to enrichment is no longer an Israeli demand:

    “This will require limits on size and enrichment level of its uranium stockpile, number and type of operating and installed centrifuges, design of enrichment facilities and possible plutonium production at the Arak heavy-water reactor.”

  15. DICKERSON3870
    October 29, 2013, 5:39 pm

    RE: Dennis Ross and two former aides to George Bush take a hard line on negotiations with Iran in the LA Times. Reading this piece, it is astounding to consider that Ross was once the nerve center inside Democratic administrations, including Obama’s, for making American policy on the Middle East. ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: I don’t find it “astounding” at all. Not one bit.
    It’s called “pay to play”*! ! !

    FROM (10/28/13):

    ● Pro-Israel: Money to Congress

    • All cycles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 29, 2013, 5:45 pm

      A RELEVANT QUOTATION: “You can’t use tact with a Congressman! A Congressman is a hog! You must take a stick and hit him on the snout!” ~ From ‘The Education of Henry Adams’ (winner of the 1919 Pulitzer Prize), By Henry Brooks Adams, 1838-1918 (American journalist-historian-academic-novelist; grandson of President John Quincy Adams; great-grandson of President John Adams)
      The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams –
      The Education of Henry Adams: An Autobiography (Google eBook) –

      “You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is.” ~ Mark Twain
      (Meaning that one’s opinions can be told based on where that person got their bread/money.)
      SOURCE –

      “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” ~ Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh (in 1966), Speaker of the California Assembly from 1961 to 1968

    • DICKERSON3870
      October 29, 2013, 6:02 pm

      P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA [Pay to play]:

      [EXCERPT] Pay to play, sometimes pay for play, is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage (play) in certain activities. The common denominator of all forms of pay to play is that one must pay to “get in the game,” with the sports analogy frequently arising.[1]
      • In politics [See also: Political corruption]
      In politics, pay to play refers to a system, akin to payola in the music industry, by which one pays (or must pay) money to become a player.
      Typically, the payer (an individual, business, or organization) makes campaign contributions to public officials, party officials, or parties themselves, and receives political or pecuniary benefit such as no-bid government contracts, influence over legislation,[2][3] political appointments or nominations,[4][5] special access[6] or other favors.
      The contributions, less frequently, may be to nonprofit or institutional entities,[7] or may take the form of some benefit to a third party, such as a family member of a governmental official.[8]
      The phrase, almost always used in criticism, also refers to the increasing cost of elections and the “price of admission” to even run[9] and the concern “that one candidate can far outspend his opponents, essentially buying the election.”[10]
      While the direct exchange of campaign contributions for contracts is the most visible form of Pay to Play, the greater concern is the central role of money in politics, and its skewing both the composition and the policies of government.[11][12] Thus, those who can pay the price of admission, such as to a $1000/plate dinner or $25,000 “breakout session,” gain access to power and/or its spoils, to the exclusion of those who cannot or will not pay: “giving certain people advantages that other[s] don’t have because they donated to your campaign.”[13] Good-government advocates consider this an outrage because “political fundraising should have no relationship to policy recommendations.”[14] Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington called the “Pay-to-Play Congress” one of the top 10 scandals of 2008.[15]
      Incumbent candidates and their political organizations[16] are typically the greatest beneficiaries of Pay-to-Play. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been criticized for the practice. Many seeking to ban or restrict the practice characterize pay-to-play as legalized corruption. . .

      SOURCE –

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 29, 2013, 6:13 pm

        P.P.P.S. RE: “pay to play”

        FROM WIKIPEDIA [Haim Saban]:

        (EXCERPTS) . . . Saban has been a generous and consistent donor to the United States Democratic Party according to his mandatory Federal Election Commission filings. Mother Jones, in an analysis of the major donors to the campaigns of 1998 election cycle, ranked Saban 155th among individual donors.[21] Amy Paris noted that Saban’s Clinton-era “generosity did not go unrewarded. During the Clinton administration, the entertainment executive served on the President’s Export Council, advising the White House on trade issues.”[21] The New York Times reported that Haim and his wife “slept in the White House several times during President Clinton’s two terms.” Saban remains close friends to the former President. Clinton described Saban as a “very good friend and supporter.”[4] Saban contributed between $5 million to $10 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation.[22] . . .
        . . . In March 2008, Saban was among a group of major Jewish donors to sign a letter to Democratic Party house leader Nancy Pelosi warning her to “keep out of the Democratic presidential primaries.”[25] The donors, who “were strong supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign”, “were incensed by a March 16 interview in which Pelosi said that party ‘superdelegates’ should heed the will of the majority in selecting a candidate.”[25] The letter to Pelosi stated the donors “have been strong supporters of the DCCC” and implied, according to The Jewish Telegraphic Agency,[25] that Pelosi could lose their financial support in important upcoming congressional elections.
        On May 19, 2008, it was reported that Haim Saban had “offered $1 million to the Young Democrats of America during a phone conversation in which he also pressed for the organization’s two uncommitted superdelegates to endorse the New York Democrat.”[26] . . .

        SOURCE –

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 29, 2013, 6:15 pm

        P.P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “The man with the golden gut”, By Stephanie N. Mehta, Fortune senior writer, 5/01/07
        How Haim Saban, a flinty self-made billionaire, plans to turn Univision into the next great network – and put Hillary Clinton in the White House. Fortune’s Stephanie Mehta reports.

        [EXCERPT] . . . Saban wasn’t even interested in politics until he met Bill Clinton during his first term as President. The meeting was brief, but the friendship grew as Clinton made dozens of trips to California during his presidency. Clinton, Saban says, ignited his interest in using his resources to find solutions to strife in the Middle East. He soon became the Democratic Party’s largest single donor. “I don’t say this lightly,” says Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee at the time. “Haim Saban saved the Democratic Party.” . . .


      • DICKERSON3870
        October 29, 2013, 6:19 pm

        P.P.P.P.S. AND SEE: “Haim Saban”, by Matthew Yglesias, The Atlantic, June 10, 2007

        [EXCERPT] If you’re interested in the foreign policy views of major Hillary Clinton financial backer Haim Saban, there’s no need to follow the Atrios path of attempting guilt by association with Kenneth Pollack. He [Saban] discussed his views on the Middle East and Persian Gulf region in great detail in a reasonably recent interview with ‘Haaretz’:

        “When I see Ahmadinejad, I see Hitler. They speak the same language. His motivation is also clear: the return of the Mahdi is a supreme goal. And for a religious person of deep self-persuasion, that supreme goal is worth the liquidation of five and a half million Jews. We cannot allow ourselves that. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a religious leadership that is convinced that the annihilation of Israel will bring about the emergence of a new Muslim caliphate? Israel cannot allow that. This is no game. It’s truly an existential danger.” . . .

        SOURCE –

      • DICKERSON3870
        October 29, 2013, 6:25 pm

        P.P.P.P.P.S. ALSO RE: “pay to play”

        SEE: “Haim Saban, Bill Clinton to Host Fundraiser for Democratic Convention”, By Ted Johnson, Variety, 5/24/12

        [EXCERPT] President Bill Clinton is headlining a fundraiser to raise money for the Democratic National Convention at the home of longtime Democratic donors Haim and Cheryl Saban.
        The event is raising money for the Committee for Charlotte 2012. According to the invite, tickets are $100,000 per couple, which includes a photo and lunch, as well as a “convention package” of the donor’s choice. One offers two hotel rooms and four credentials, the other offers one “premier uptown hotel room” and two “premier credentials.” Other tickets to the lunch go for $50,000 and $25,000, offering credentials to the convention. . .

        SOURCE –

  16. ToivoS
    October 29, 2013, 8:19 pm

    It is not often to see someone remove their mask of deceit so completely as Ross has done. He obviously must realize that his future in any government is over. I think it means something else. The Zionists are getting desperate that peace might break out in the ME and some are pulling out all stops to keep that from happening.

    It certainly sounds desperate, but perhaps he thinks there is a chance to mobilize the big donors to the Democratic Party to force the US into another war. We saw last month that the US people when mobilized against a US war in Syria forced our Congress to ignore AIPACs wishes. I would think that AIPAC has learned that lesson.

  17. just
    October 29, 2013, 8:47 pm

    I gave Mr. Obama a huge pass on many things in his first term, realizing that obdurate and timeworn “mountains” needed moving. In his second term, seeing mountains in place and boulders like Ross, etc. once again firmly in place, is truly puke- worthy.

    Maybe Mr. Obama is super- intelligent by allowing the Zionists to expose themselves, but really and truly– the Palestinians have waited and suffered long enough. Honesty and a ridding of hypocrisy must be given our focused attention now. We can start by admitting our complicity, apologizing, and changing our craven ways.

  18. Shingo
    October 29, 2013, 8:55 pm

    The great thing about this article, as is so often the case these days, is he comments section. With maybe one exception, they all pretty much tell Ross and his sorry band of orcs to go forth and multiply .

    No one is putting up with these Likunik Israeli firsters. It makes sense why Ross left the government to work for an AIPAC funded think tank. He can ‘to get a job anywhere else.

    Maybe Martin Yndik can get a job there once the IP talks collapse.

  19. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    October 30, 2013, 5:24 am

    Yes and what about calls on Israel to get rid of its nukes?

    Back in 2007, I asked Dennis Ross that question, starting at 43:25 on this program:

    In response to my question, “Isn’t it in America’s interest to have a nuclear-free Middle East?”, he answered, “Well, it is in America’s interest to have a nuclear-free Middle East, but …” He continued that all the Arab leaders have long known about Israeli nukes but “none of them” felt compelled to build their own; but now they “all” feel compelled to have one because “they see Iran developing one”. Also, “the Israelis made it clear, when we were in the negotiating process, that they were in favor of a nuclear-free zone.” But this must come only after “real peace” is achieved. Oh, yeah, and there was stuff about how the Israelis feel it’s necessary to have an ultimate deterrent because of “the kind of neighborhood” they live in.

    • Shingo
      October 30, 2013, 6:45 am

      But this must come only after “real peace” is achieved

      Of course, they then define “real peace” to be something completely achievable and so vague that they can keep insisting it has not yet been achieved.

      Of course, if they were so obsessed with “real peace” , then why the nuclear ambiguity and why boycott all conferences that aim for a nuclear free ME?

  20. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    October 30, 2013, 5:28 am

    “Israel’s lawyer” will be speaking at UC Berkeley’s law school in two weeks:

    Lecture on “Prospects for Peace: An Assessment by Ambassador Dennis Ross”
    November 14, 2013 (Thursday)
    105 Boalt Hall, 4:00 pm
    Counselor, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
    Former White House Special Middle East Envoy
    Former Special Adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia

    There’s a link to a FLYER that says “Following his talk, Ambassador Ross will speak at a dinner open to all students, to be held at Berkeley Hillel.”
    Kind of an unusual locale for a dinner with students, for a person who is advertised only as being a member of a non-sectarian think tank and former U.S. government official. People might get the idea that, you know, Jewish students might be more welcome than gentile students in such a place, especially when the guest of honor happens to be Jewish. As a diplomat, Ambassador Ross should have thought of this.

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