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Rémi Brulin

Remi Brulin received his PhD at La Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris) in 2011. His dissertation is a historical analysis of the American discourse on "terrorism," and can be accessed and downloaded here. He has taught at New York University, George Washington University and, currently, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. You can follow him on Twitter here: @rbrulin.

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36 Responses

  1. MRW on November 22, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Ahh, M’sieur Brolin, wait until Mike Doran starts insisting that the output from gas centrifuges can make a nuclear weapon. Since the former is a gas, and the latter requires a metal, the alchemy of his Princeton PhD education in Near Eastern Studies should provide amusing tweets you can respond to.

    • RemiB on November 22, 2013, 5:21 pm

      I am afraid Michael Doran already made sure this would not happen: immediately after the discussion re-started on Twitter following my publishing of the Storify piece, he decided to block me. I was surprised, and disappointed: one would think (and hope) that a senior fellow from Brookings would welcome debate. Apparently not…

      • Krauss on November 23, 2013, 1:18 am

        I’ve just read several blog posts from him on the Brookings website. The guy is a total tool of the Israel lobby and/or a neocon. Remember who funds his think tank – Haim Saban, the Israel Firster.

        As for his tweets. He just throws out unsubstantiated claims, cannot back them up, gets outraged when called on his bullshit and then just blocks people and walks away from the discussion as he loses it.

        That’s not how you win a debate. That’s how you lose a debate AND come across as as slightly dumb douche at the same time who doesn’t know basic logic and reasoning. It reminds me of the Iraq war debate, strangely. Those who were against going in were accused of “supporting” Saddam. It was a really stupid argument, then as it is now, when Doran uses it but for the Iranian regime.

        But he is where he is not because he’s smart, but because he serves a useful role to be a tool of Haim Saban’s agenda. Too bad he can’t convince anyone of his importance as he comes across as an unreconstructed idiot over and over again.

        And then people like Saban don’t know why they are losing the debate when their moronic puppets like Doran perform spectacularly bad.

  2. PeaceThroughJustice on November 22, 2013, 4:31 pm

    Thanks to the internets, we can still read Doran in 2003 arguing that invading Iraq would be a good idea, and that all this Arab guff about oppression of the Palestinians is really just anti-Americanism and anti-Israelism. (To his credit he bit his tongue and didn’t actually say “anti-semitism,” and judging by his tweets up above that must have really hurt.) —

    (By the way, did you know that Prof. Doran is also a Tikvah Fellow? )

    • John Douglas on November 23, 2013, 9:17 am

      For most of my long life I’ve gotten my news of the world in the form of all the news that’s fit to print. But now, reading PeaceThroughJustice on Mondoweiss, I don’t have to wonder how Mr. Princeton PhD could be so stupid. He’s not, he’d just returned from lunch where he got his daily talking points from Eliot Abrams, William Kristol and Max Boot, his co-fellows at tikvah fellowship, known truth tellers all. Is there no end to the list of Neocon propaganda groups? But I still wonder what’s happened to the Brookings.

      • PeaceThroughJustice on November 23, 2013, 2:19 pm

        Brookings was literally purchased by Israeli-born billionaire Haim “One Issue Guy” Saban. Just as junk bond billionaire Bruce Kovner purchased the American Enterprise Institute during the run-up to the Iraq war. Pay enough and you get to be named chairman.

  3. Bumblebye on November 22, 2013, 5:21 pm

    And Kerry & Co are all winging their way back to Geneva right now. Scaremongers will pull double duty tonight!

  4. Justpassingby on November 22, 2013, 5:47 pm

    Nice to see you here Remi but you must go harder at these lying warmongers.

    • Krauss on November 23, 2013, 1:04 am

      Remi, you went a little soft on him.
      You had the intellectual upper hand from the get-go.

  5. American on November 22, 2013, 6:06 pm

    God, I miss JFK.

    I’ve been watching the Kennedy shows this week and I notice one significant Kennedy effort that never gets mentioned. He was the president to demand that Israel not develop nuclear weapons.

    This is how the Jerusalem Post described Kennedy’s actions which are inconceivable given the power of the lobby today.

    THE CLASH began in 1960, when the outgoing Eisenhower administration sought an explanation for the mysterious construction near Dimona. It was told that this top-secret activity in the middle of the desert was a harmless textile plant, and no, it could not come and visit. Classified spy photos were then published on the front page of The New York Times (yes, the CIA spied on the Jewish state, with or without forged passports).

    When president Kennedy took office in 1961, the disagreement became a full-blown crisis. Like Obama, Kennedy was not inherently hostile (unlike Jimmy Carter), but he did not have a special sympathy for the Jewish people. His advisers urged continuous pressure, assuming that Israel would have no choice but to accept US demands. Every high-level meeting or communication repeated the demand for inspection of Dimona. One form of pressure was to deny Ben-Gurion an invitation to the White House – his May 1961 meeting with Kennedy was a low-key affair at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, and was dominated by this issue.

    In some ways, Israel was far weaker than is the case today. Before 1967, the IDF was not seen as a formidable power, and the economy depended on massive aid from Diaspora Jewry. If the US government were to impose tax restrictions, the costs would have been very high. Ben-Gurion avoided saying no by dancing around them for two years.

    Finally, Kennedy had enough, and in a personal letter dated May 18, 1963, the president warned that unless American inspectors were allowed into Dimona (meaning the end of any military activities), Israel would find itself totally isolated.

    But then fate intervened and Kennedy was assassinated probably, in my opinion, because he got in the way of the mob, right-wing Cuban exiles and rogue elements of the CIA. The Israelis were off the hook. Not one of Kennedy’s successors ever even attempted to confront (or even acknowledge) Israel’s nuclear arsenal.

    For the record, here is JFK’s letter to Ben Gurion demanding inspection of the Dimona nuclear reactor. Was Kennedy our last president with any guts? Don’t bother answering.

    Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

    I welcome your letter of May 12 and am giving it careful study.

    Meanwhile, I have received from Ambassador Barbour a report of his conversation with you on May 14 regarding the arrangements for visiting the Dimona reactor. I should like to add some personal comments on that subject.

    I am sure you will agree that there is no more urgent business for the whole world than the control of nuclear weapons. We both recognized this when we talked together two years ago, and I emphasized it again when I met with Mrs. Meir just after Christmas. The dangers in the proliferation of national nuclear weapons systems are so obvious that I am sure I need not repeat them here.

    It is because of our preoccupation with this problem that my Government has sought to arrange with you for periodic visits to Dimona. When we spoke together in May 1961 you said that we might make whatever use we wished of the information resulting from the first visit of American scientists to Dimona and that you would agree to further visits by neutrals as well. I had assumed from Mrs. Meir’s comment that there would be no problem between us on this.

    We are concerned with the disturbing effects on world stability which would accompany the development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel. I cannot imagine that the Arabs would refrain from turning to the Soviet Union for assistance if Israel were to develop a nuclear weapons capability–with all the consequences this would hold. But the problem is much larger than its impact on the Middle East. Development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel would almost certainly lead other larger countries, that have so far refrained from such development, to feel that they must follow suit.

    As I made clear in my press conference of May 8, we have a deep commitment to the security of Israel. In addition this country supports Israel in a wide variety of other ways which are well known to both of us. [4-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

    I can well appreciate your concern for developments in the UAR. But I see no present or imminent nuclear threat to Israel from there. I am assured that our intelligence on this question is good and that the Egyptians do not presently have any installation comparable to Dimona, nor any facilities potentially capable of nuclear weapons production. But, of course, if you have information that would support a contrary conclusion, I should like to receive it from you through Ambassador Barbour. We have the capacity to check it.

    I trust this message will convey the sense of urgency and the perspective in which I view your Government’s early assent to the proposal first put to you by Ambassador Barbour on April 2.


    John F. Kennedy

    • Citizen on November 22, 2013, 8:30 pm

      Well, the day is winding to a close, the JFK memorial day, and I haven’t yet seen or heard a word about JFK’s attempt to keep Israel from getting the bomb. Meanwhile Kerry is off to Geneva to keep Iran from getting the bomb. Perhaps the Iranians will do what Israel did to thwart the American inspectors–the Israelis built a fake wall and hid everything they didn’t want detected behind it. Israel Firsters here stole nuke triggers from US supplies, didn’t they? But I meander… maybe Kerry will skim over this article on the way to Geneva tonight–it discusses, inter alia, how the US Army Corps of Engineers built nuclear bunkers to house Israel’s nuke bombs and for a strategic nuclear command and control center:

      US funding those nukes Israel always threatens to use, you know, the ones Israel doesn’t know if it has? Makes me wonder what exactly was, is the US “national security” interest, the threat of exposure which prevented the trial of those AIPAC spies.

    • on November 23, 2013, 7:22 am

      Right. Here are more useful things about JFK. First his famous quote

      1. John F. Kennedy : “Israel was not created in order to disappear – Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom. ”

      2. Kennedy initiated the creation of security ties with Israel, and he is credited as the founder of the US-Israeli military alliance (which would be continued under subsequent presidents). Kennedy ended the arms embargo that the Eisenhower and Truman administrations had enforced on Israel. Describing the protection of Israel as a moral and national commitment, he was the first to introduce the concept of a ‘special relationship’ (as he described it to Golda Meir) between the US and Israel.[22]
      Kennedy extended the first informal security guarantees to Israel in 1962.[23] Beginning in 1963, Kennedy allowed the sale to Israel of advanced US weaponry (the MIM-23 Hawk), as well as to provide diplomatic support for Israeli policies which were opposed by Arab neighbors, such as its water project on the Jordan River.[24]

      • annie on November 23, 2013, 8:30 am

        fnl, how come you took the time to link to brainyquote when the preceding paragraph of your wiki link said exactly the same thing? was it perhaps because wiki showed the source/date, unlike your first link? “Speech by Senator John F. Kennedy, Zionists of America Convention, Statler Hilton Hotel, New York, NY,” August 26, 1960

        funny what politicians say in the run up to elections.

      • Citizen on November 23, 2013, 9:10 am

        @Annie Robbines
        fnl forget to mention that JFK not only fought against Israel getting nukes; he also did his best to appoint folks who would stand up to Israel, and he’s on record as the first POTUS to state the US campaign finance laws had to be changed to be funded by the public in order to stop the Israel Lobby from taking over US foreign policy–this during his campaign, after he was told flatly by Zionists they’d give him donations lavishly as they did Truman–if only he gave them the say in US foreign policy:

      • NickJOCW on November 23, 2013, 9:50 am

        Annie, JFK was not alone. The perception of Israel was very different in 1960. It is scarcely believable now but the expectation that a child of hope and the home of the brave would emerge from the ashes of WWII as a beacon for humanity was so deeply engrained in the liberal intellectual psyche that it persisted against increasing evidence; some were still pacing beneath the station clock in 1969 although it was way past midnight. It was not until the early 70’s that a dark sense of dashed hopes became all but tangible.

      • American on November 23, 2013, 10:49 am

        fnlevit isnt bright enough to understand the difference in what politicans say and what they ‘do.’
        It’s part of the hasbara effort to cite what Presidents have ‘said’ as proof of how ‘everyone’ was/is dedicated to Israel. Particulary dead ones. LOL

        Kennedy was dead serious about cutting off Israel’s aid if they didnt open their nuke facilities for inspection.
        Thats all you need to know about his feelings/policy on Israel.

        There will be another Kennedy or someone like him in the US cycle—-what will you do then?

  6. on November 22, 2013, 7:02 pm

    Some professionalism, please. Just some homework before hitting the keyboard. For PEACEFUL nuclear energy one does not need the plutonium producing reactor in Arak. Plutonium is a direct route to a small nuclear device to fit on ballistic missiles already in possession of those fanatics. Also there is no need to enrich uranium to 20% level. Enriched uranium can be bought and power stations constructed like e.g. in Belgium.
    And why country which is a major export of oil needs nuclear power stations with all their complications of producing waste and long term dangers is totally unclear to any expert. All this is a “chess game” which Iranians are playing with the West to get to the so called break out point from which they could develop nuclear bomb in a very short time, too short for the West to respond.

    • Dutch on November 23, 2013, 10:57 pm

      @ fnlevit

      Arak again, right? You call that ‘homework’? The ‘plutonium producing reactor’ as you call it, the IR40, is a standard heavy water reactor, that does not produce plutonium at all. To produce plutonium from the used reactor fuel (distract and enrich it), Iran will need a state of the art facility, which is not present in Arak or elsewhere in Iran, for which is has no capabilities, nor the intentions.

      And why the hell should Iran be questioned for its intentions, which it has always been very clear about? They differ in nothing from the Dutch nucleair program, and for decades no one questioned us. Strange, as we have plenty of gas. Stranger even, as we are the reason that Pakistan has a nucleair bomb. That should scare the devil out of you.

      Your homework sucks, fnlevit, as do your intentions. Look at Israel if you’re interested in illegal plutonium production plants. Look at Holland if you want an outline of the Iranian program.

  7. NormanF on November 23, 2013, 3:40 am

    You have a totalitarian regime gang-pressing Jews into supporting a policy aimed at the extinction of the Jewish State. This leader of this regime just de-humanized Jews as “rabid dogs.” And we all know the fate of a rabid dog.

    Given the Nazi atmosphere of incitement and hatred of the Jews and Israel in Iran, the regime’s abuse of its Jews to justify its anti-Semitic policies is even more grotesque.

    • Shmuel on November 23, 2013, 12:17 pm

      This leader of this regime just de-humanized Jews as “rabid dogs.”

      No, that is how his remarks were reported by Netanyahu and Lieberman. What he actually said was that Israel is the rabid dog of the region (pretty much what Israel has been saying about Iran for years):

      Speaking of false accusations, you still haven’t apologised to Jeff Halper and Mondoweiss for yours.

    • eljay on November 23, 2013, 12:28 pm

      >> You have a totalitarian regime gang-pressing Jews into supporting …

      Yeah, the Zio-supremacist “Jewish State” regime sure does do a lot of that.

      >> … the extinction of the Jewish State.

      Partition-borders Israel as a secular, democratic and egalitarian state of and for all Israelis, equally, has a right to exist. Supremacist “Jewish State” does not.

    • braciole on November 23, 2013, 2:51 pm

      He was referring to Netanyahu who is pretty rabid in his comments about Iran. The regime in Tehran is not totalitarian, but given that you wrote “gang-pressing” rather than press-ganging, I doubt you even know what totalitarian means and you are just repeating a press release from the Ministry of Propaganda in Tel Aviv.
      As for the “Nazi atmosphere of incitement and hatred of Jews” in Iran, perhaps you care to explain why 25,000-35,000 Jews freely choose to live in Iran when they can leave any time they want to and receive substantial bribes from Zionist organizations for doing so. However, I do understand that it must be quite a shock to any Zionist to discover that Jews might have greater loyalty to the country of their birth than they do to Israel. The view that all Jews must support Israel seems to me to be both racist (anti-Semitic?) and encouraging of anti-Semitism which is why I don’t think very highly of the author of the original tweet, Mike Doran.

    • Stephen Shenfield on November 23, 2013, 2:54 pm

      Please substantiate your claim that there is a “Nazi atmosphere of incitement and hatred of the Jews” in Iran. (Stop conflating “Jews” with “Israel” just for once.)

      Is it not true that Iranian leaders make goodwill visits to the synagogue in Teheran? Did Nazi leaders do that in Germany?

      Has there been anything like “Kristallnacht” in Iran? Are Iranian Jews in fear for their lives? Are they publicly humiliated? Are they excluded from the professions, as Jews were in Nazi Germany?

      Have you read Haggai Ram’s book “Iranophobia”?

    • Dutch on November 23, 2013, 11:08 pm

      Let it be noted that the intentional de-humanization is all yours. You just showed how it works. Get out of here with this filthy propaganda and lies!

  8. on November 23, 2013, 7:13 am

    Another good reason to stop Iran – If the world legitimizes the Iranian demand to recognize its ‘right to enrich uranium,’ all the countries in the region will soon demand this same ‘right,’ and that will set off a nuclear race.

    • just on November 23, 2013, 9:02 am

      fn– Whatever “race” fuels your nightmares might just be because your country has done everything in the shadows, never signed the NPT, never admitted to their arsenal(s), never tried to make serious peace with ANYBODY. The only peace that you want is one-sided– everyone should grant you and yours peace, prosperity, $$$$$, and more, while Israel does nothing to stabilize the region with ACTION, other than using your arsenals to kill, threaten, steal resources– and all of this with the support of the US.

      Guilt is what fuels your irrational fears. The US and Israel are guilty. I’m hoping that we can first establish good relations with Iran and her people, and then set about making Israel live up to International Law(recognize and abide by them) and make a just peace with the indigenous Palestinians.

      This is my best hope for the new Israel.

    • Justpassingby on November 23, 2013, 9:14 am

      Another good reason to stop Israel– If the world legitimizes the israeli demand to recognize its ‘right to build,’ all the countries in the region will soon demand this same ‘right,’ and that will set colonial race.

      Folks fnlevit is one of those that gave Blumenthal’s book 1 star.

      • just on November 23, 2013, 11:09 am

        Just goes to show that being “educated” means not so much when one is a Zionist syncophant and hasbarian drone.

      • amigo on November 23, 2013, 11:10 am

        “Folks fnlevit is one of those that gave Blumenthal’s book 1 star.
        link to”Justpassingby

        You forgot to add;; “Without reading Max,s book”.

    • Dutch on November 23, 2013, 11:30 pm

      @ fnlevit

      What makes you think they do not have that right already? Please specify. What exactly is the difference between Iran and Saudi, and say European nations?

      And yes, countries like Egypt might use that very same right some day. But no, that does not set off a nuclear race at all. These are misleading connections.

  9. eljay on November 23, 2013, 8:43 am

    >> Another good reason to stop Iran – If the world legitimizes the Iranian demand to recognize its ‘right to enrich uranium,’ all the countries in the region will soon demand this same ‘right,’ and that will set off a nuclear race.

    1. Iran already has a legitimate right to enrich uranium.
    2. What kind of “nuclear race”? The race to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes? No problem. The race to enrich uranium for military purposes? The supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel has already won that race.

    For a perfesser, you’re really not very bright.

  10. piotr on November 23, 2013, 1:17 pm

    “all the countries in the region will soon demand this same ‘right,’ and that will set off a nuclear race.”

    This is silly. First, one has to list “all countries”, and try as you might, you have really only one candidate: Saudi Arabia. Then the obvious answer is “so what?” There is a “regional nuclear race” involving India and Pakistan, and it does not have any dramatic bed effects, if any. Saudi Arabia is clearly a sick puppy of the region, always paranoid, overspending on weapons and relying on mercenaries (I am not totally certain, but it is alleged that they relying on Pakistanis) and the bottom line is that the ruling prices do not trust their own people so they will remain paranoid regardless of the balance in weapons. And the lesser oil states of the Gulf do not have even the people to distrust: most of the population are imported workers with no rights.

    As we move from the Gulf to Mediterranean, we see states in the state of incurable paranoia with the same basic reason: controlling people whom you do not trust. Even if the helots do nothing much, there will be no sense of security that they will remain docile forever. And when they are not docile, the paranoia goes to overdrive.

    Ari Shavit who is cited in a parallel thread is but an example how that mindset pervades Israeli elite. Egyptian elite is another.

  11. Qualtrough on November 23, 2013, 10:41 pm

    Given the duplicity and deception by which Israel obtained its nuclear weapons capability it is certainly easy to understand why they refuse to trust Iran. People who lie, cheat, and otherwise deceive often do so because they believe everyone thinks like they do. I don’t know if Iran intends to follow the Israelis in that fashion, but it wouldn’t bother if that turns out to be the case. In the absence of any regional effort to ban nuclear weapons, which is a non-starter given Israel’s intransigence on that topic, I could not blame Iran at all for wanting some too.

  12. wondering jew on November 24, 2013, 11:07 am

    I wonder who had the idea for this demonstration? I think this demonstration is a symptom of the pressures that are placed upon the Iranian Jewish community to show their loyalty to the regime.

  13. subconscious on November 27, 2013, 10:47 am

    The photo shows 2 banners. A couple of the Persian words on the one on the left are blocked but it seems to read, “We believe in the Islamic Republic of Iran[‘s right] to peaceful use of nuclear energy and insist on this issue.” Can’t read the Hebrew. The one on the right is half cut off, but the slide show at the Haaretz link
    contains a full photo of that banner, which in English reads, “Iranian monotheists are proud of suprene [sic] leader fatwa for prohibition of mass killing weapons”, while in Persian reads, “Monotheist Iranians are proud of of the Supreme Leader’s fatwa on the prohibition on the production and application of weapons of mass slaughter.” That this crowd came to express support for the gov’t’s nuclear policies is more than likely gov’t initiated, but is not much different from other such rallies that the gov’t orchestrates. On many occasions, they also bring out school children, workers or other strata of society to participate in rallies. This sort of bring-out-the-right-crowd-for-the-right-occasion is common to authoritarian regimes. E.g., I haven’t heard of a similar rally by the Zoroastrian or the much-larger Christian minorities. Presumably, b/c the Jewish community expressing support for the nuclear program makes more of a statement.

    However, in Oct., a letter signed by the head of the Tehran Jewish Committee and addressed to Obama was posted at the Committee’s website,
    expressing support for the Islamic Republic in general and Rouhani’s initiatives in particular, rejecting Netanyahu’s claim that the recent elections weren’t free and that Iranians don’t have the right to wear jeans, and adding that the Jews of Iran have total freedom of worship. Was this the Committee head’s own initiative and does it fairly represent the community’s views? I don’t know. But some such coming-outs in support of whatever the regime likes are clearly based on demand. E.g., a few days ago was Shi’ism’s holiest occasion, Ashura, when large public expressions of mourning and self-flagellation take place across Iran. The state media put out clips of the “recognized religious minorities” participating in at least one such ceremony, expressing support for Shi’ism.

    Here are 2 such clips (in the 1st go to 00:40)
    where Zoroastrians & Christians are shown expressing envy towardsd the Shia and love and adoration for Shia holy figures. The announcer says that Jews are present at the ceremony as well (and a banner instructs that Muslims & non-Muslims should get their ceremonial free food from different areas). There are no political statements in these clips, purely religious (though religious is also used politically in Iran).

    • subconscious on November 27, 2013, 11:48 am

      Should add that part of the reason the Jewish community in Iran may prefer to participate in such rallies, is also to avert suspicion and accusation by the more radical elements that they may be Israel’s 5th column. Following Israel’s assaults on Gaza, e.g., they also held rallies denouncing the attacks. In such cases, they probably consider it more imperative to hold such rallies, to whatever extent these may be gov’t initiated.

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