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The best U.S. ‘strategy’ to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states

Opinion
on 96 Comments

Right now Barack Obama is probably bent over a legal pad scratching out ISIL and putting in ISIS then thinking that over and scratching out ISIS and putting in ISIL, as he figures out the U.S. “strategy” to combat the radical terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq.

Isn’t it interesting that our closest ally in the Middle East– Israel — is yet again of no use to the United States military or political establishment in this confrontation? As it was no use in the Gulf War of ’91. No use in the Iraq invasion of 2003 (except to help foment it in our “homeland”). No use in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, you name it.

In fact, Israel is one of the greatest impediments to our efforts to combat ISIS, because we can’t form a natural alliance with one of the strongest nation-states in the region, Iran. Israel wants to demonize Iran forever because it needs an existential threat, someone to blame for radical Islam. Just as Israel seems to like ISIS around, because it can then argue that the United States is at war with the same forces it is contending with; ISIS = Hamas, in the Israeli prime minister’s feverish imagination.

The Israel lobby makes sure these bizarre ideas contaminate our discourse. New York Congressman Gregory Meeks was on Chris Matthews’s show last night saying that he could support putting US “special forces” in Syria  And last week Meeks was in Israel assuring Netanyahu that the U.S. and Israel are brothers and sisters. He echoed Netanyahu’s nonsense that ISIS and Hamas are the same:

We come together in support with our friends, our only true friend in the Middle East, and that’s Israel. And we want to make sure that you know we will always stand side by side, because we understand that what affects you affects us.

Israel is useless to us in this confrontation not just because Arab and Muslim states want nothing to do with it, but because it demonstrates the complete hypocrisy of our point of view. How can we oppose the creation of a militant Islamic state that is regarded as an occupier when we are the leading backer of a militant Jewish state that occupies lands not its own? Why are we supporting a religious state in the region? As Harry Truman complained to his wife, when he was being pressured by the Zionist lobby to support Israel’s existence, people have worse arguments over religion than they do over money, and that’s why he respected a great democratic principle, the separation of church and state. He and FDR feared (as John Judis reports) that establishing a Jewish state in a region that opposed it was a recipe for World War III, and it’s hard to look at the unending unrest in the Middle East without fearing that it threatens global stability.

Barack Obama came into office aware of what a huge liability rightwing Zionism represented to U.S. interests, which is why he went to Cairo to declare that the settlements must end. The former professor of constitutional law is surely as convinced of this belief as he was five years ago, and so the best strategy he could announce tomorrow is that the United States opposes religious states in the region and it wants to help Israel move toward a democracy.

As Obama could explain to the American people in simple terms, Israel is a place where,

–Few Palestinians serve in the military, though they constitute nearly 20 percent of the population. The U.S. got rid of that discrimination in 1948.

–A Barack Obama could never be appointed Prime Minister; Palestinian political parties don’t count when it comes to forming governing coalitions. The U.S. got rid of that discrimination in 1964.

–About 5 million Palestinians live without rights in permanently occupied territories, right alongside Jews who do have rights. The U.S. got rid of that system with the end of slavery in the 1860s and then Jim Crow 100 years later.

All these forms of second-class citizenship and worse exist because Israel calls itself the Jewish state, and Jews are fuller citizens than non-Jews. That’s a religious distinction, and one that only helps ISIS, which can argue that Muslims need their religious state too that is ready to dispense violence to maintain its existence.

When Jews walk through the streets of Jerusalem saying Death to the Arabs, and when Israel grabs another 1000 acres of the West Bank to build a Jewish settlement, these aggressive acts come out of a religious ideology. And the failure to separate church and state.

If Israel and Palestine moved toward equal rights for all citizens, that would do more to cool the Middle East and defang ISIS than all the drone attacks to kingdom come. And I’m not talking about the two state solution. You could have three four forty states between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. But they should honor the principle of equal rights. As John Brown said when he acted to bring down slavery, the self-evident truth of the first line of the Declaration of Independence was no different from the Golden Rule: the principle that you do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you is the same as the principle that all people are equal.

That’s a real strategy: Affirming American democratic principles and seeking to hold up the U.S. and its allies as models not scourges. Obama has it within his power to end 70 years of support for religious nationalism inside the U.S. establishment and announce that henceforth we will abide by a core idea of democracy.

Yes, there’d be hell to pay in the U.S. But better to have it out here than overseas.

Philip Weiss

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

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96 Responses

  1. Bill in Maryland on September 9, 2014, 10:55 am

    Bravo, Phil! Now that would be leadership if Obama were to heed your sage advice.

  2. annie on September 9, 2014, 11:03 am

    great post phil, and it completely segues with an idea i’ve had brewing ..more on that later.

    and this is a tad OT (but not completely) and i think it’s really funny. it’s a palestinian parody of ISIS (with a punch line at the end)

    • just on September 9, 2014, 11:21 am

      “you’re welcome”.

      Parody/satire/irony is always powerful. Thanks Annie.

      • Susie Kneedler on September 9, 2014, 12:34 pm

        Phil, thanks for always seeing possibilities + for another witty finale: “Yes, there’d be hell to pay in the U.S. But better to have it out here than overseas.” Fab, sad satire of Bush-Obama acts.

        Speaking of end lines, Thanks for that bril spoof, Annie, + its scorching climax. Stunning, even with “hint”–and perfectly OnTopic :}

    • John O on September 9, 2014, 1:58 pm

      Ouch! That made me laugh out loud. Swiftian satire – reminded me of his “Modest Proposal” (that starving babies in c.18th Ireland made very tasty meals.

    • bilal a on September 9, 2014, 8:42 pm

      The religious bigotry of some blinds them to the reality of this conflict.

      The PA is secular and naturally colloborates with a mainly secular far right in Israel, who finds a natural ally in Sisi the secular leader of Egypt. All three are ruthless and violent in their suppression of the religiously inspired Palestinian resistance, the Muslim Brotherhood, Christian parties, and of course the religious anti zionist Jews. They are aided in this endeavor by ultra secularists in the EU and Anglospher

      But This is confusing as many of the most honest and courageous critics of Israel are ultra-secular (apparently). I would argue otherwise. They hold a view that some principles are so important to them personally, that they will risk injuring their time on this earth in order to promote these principles, this core spiritual essence inside themselves. Alterntatively we have Institutional Religiosity in the form of Religious Zionism (Christian and Jewish) wedded to Power while denying their core religious tenets insisting on Justice and Peace.

      So we have a religious-spiritual coalition arguing for Justice, and an extremist / Religious coalition , Religion with a capital R, opposing them.

      As in Israel, this is a civil war between two conceptions of humanity, Phil Weiss is arguing for making Palestine like the secular extremist states in a kind of EU one state solution.

      But Australia and Hawaii, New Zealand, and the soviet union, are/were unitary secular states.
      I dont think he wants Arabs to have the same status in Palestine as Hawaians do in their colonized Islands. He is making a mistake imo. radical secularists got us into this problem, as did one state suppression of minority cultures. It wont get us out of this global civil war.

      Israel’s Coming “Civil War”: The Haredi Jews Confront the Militarized Secular Zionist State
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/israels-coming-civil-war-the-haredi-jews-versus-secular-zionist-militarism/5323834

    • bilal a on September 9, 2014, 8:43 pm

      How do I edit a post after its been posted. Right click spell check behavior also seems to have changed ?

      • annie on September 11, 2014, 8:12 pm

        as far as i know the comment edit function is not set up yet. sorry.

    • Taxi on September 10, 2014, 6:17 am

      So funny you should post this vid, annie. My Syrian gardener had seen this video a few weeks ago and he shared it with me for a laugh – I mean he stood there in the garden and verbally described the video to me and recommended that I go watch it on youtube, which I never did at the time cuz, well, my gardener is a great guy but he’s not very good at telling jokes so I didn’t really get it at the time :-) … And here it is: turning up on MW – LOL! Now THAT’S funny!!

      Also, it seems that the ice-bucket challenge has morphed into all sorts of wild ideas:

      http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/09/05/in_lebanon_activists_nominate_everyone_for_the_burnisisflagchallenge

  3. just on September 9, 2014, 11:07 am

    Impressive and worthy post.

  4. on September 9, 2014, 11:11 am

    I do not need to think any more. Phil, you expressed in all in this article. I mean it. It is as clear as day. We are backing right-wing nationalist religious ideology in the Jewish State and scorning it in the rest of the world. It is a sign of moral decay and a recipe for failure. Superb article – best yet.

  5. Taxi on September 9, 2014, 11:36 am

    Please don’t call them ISIS, Isis is a lovely girl’s name. And just as importantly, NO ONE in the middle east calls them that – they’re known in the middle east as ‘Da-ish’. They are neither patriotic towards their country of origin, nor are they islamic by any normal measure.

    How to stop Da-ish, Al Nusra, etc? Get the following countries to stop financially supporting them and militarily training them: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, England,France, israel and the USA – all guilty of.

    Otherwise, once Da’ish and their paymasters have failed at the dastardly plan of ‘regime changes’ across the Levant, the armed psycho mercenaries are gonna come knocking hard on our doors.

    Yeah, a 9/11 redux.

    And in case you’re wondering who benefits the most from Da’ish and Al Nusra? Yeah, you guessed it: israel. And who loses the most, excluding the dead and their bereaved families, well, we do – America loses the most.

    Da’ish and Al Nusra were armed and trained and sent out to murder the Arab Spring in its infancy – sent out to stop the Arab masses from taking to the streets in every Arab city to demand democracy. Well they’ve succeeded so far in slaughtering the Arab Spring, but the Arab dream of democracy, universal rights and equality is not dead yet – and I don’t think it could die by hook or by crook.

    I mean the nerve of Obama et all telling us that Da’ish must be stopped when by moonlight him and his ‘moderate’ friends are arming and training Da’ish to the eyeballs! Is there a name for this criminal sickness?!

    Nobel peace prize, Mr. Obama? My ass!

    • just on September 9, 2014, 12:25 pm

      Taxi– your take is worthy of a headline post.

      Great truth.

    • ritzl on September 9, 2014, 2:14 pm

      Thanks, Taxi. Nailed it.

      This the penultimate theater of the absurd. We are wringing our hands, bombing, and then wringing our hands again about the people we are simultaneously giving arms to.

      What to do? What to do? Oh dear, what to do? Sheesh. What baloney.

      With the answers being so obvious, you have to wonder if the ferocity of the fretting isn’t directly proportional to the desire to destabilize the region (within “serious” Beltway policy-making circles).

      Or something. The meltdown is getting really hard to watch anymore.

      Books will be written on this. Libraries maybe even. This strenuous pursuit of glaringly obvious yet increasingly destructive nonsense will surely make for a gripping future-history read. (e.g. Why did they do that? Why did they do THAT? WHY did they do that? I can’t believe they DID that. etc.)

    • aiman on September 10, 2014, 6:33 am

      Excellent, Taxi. These facts are too uncomfortable to be published, particularly that of who has been funding and training the Da’ish army. In Afghanistan many of these same actors created the Frankenstein, now they’ve outdone themselves with the Khmer Rouge. No difference between the so-called IDF and the Da’ish army.

    • Shingo on September 10, 2014, 8:29 am

      Da’ish and Al Nusra were armed and trained and sent out to murder the Arab Spring in its infancy – sent out to stop the Arab masses from taking to the streets in every Arab city to demand democracy.

      So was El Sisi, which is no surprise, seeing as he’s now on the Saudi’s payroll.

      ut the Arab dream of democracy, universal rights and equality is not dead yet

      Except for Egypt.

      But you have a point about Obama.

    • Walid on September 10, 2014, 9:46 pm

      “Yeah, a 9/11 redux.”

      Taxi, there was a good essay on this here back in 2011 by Nu’man Abed al-Wahid during the hanky-panky on Libya by the US and NATO that in a nutshell details how Islamism had been used by the British to subvert its colonies’ populations since the turn of the 20th century until it gave it up after WW II when America started using itself for the same subversive purposes and how it ended up biting the US in the ass with 9/11 and would again do so in the future as you are forecasting.

      For those interested in the background of the US funding and supporting various Islamist parties that’s still ongoing with Da’ish, Nusra and other insurgents, reading this short essay would provide a good insight. It’s worth remembering that it was the US that actually helped the Egyptian Brotherhood reach power after the fall of Mubarak and that it dumped shortly thereafter.

      The essay “British colonial strategy and the 9/11 blowback”:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2011/09/british-colonial-strategy-and-the-911-blowback

      • Taxi on September 28, 2014, 10:17 am

        Walid,

        The gathering and training of the takfiris actually started in 2006 shortly after the Hizb’s victory over the israelis – with Al Nusra specifically trained to fight the Hizb. The world’s zioconery thought it best that suni jihadists fight the mighty hizb as clearly israel couldn’t defeat them.

  6. Dan Crowther on September 9, 2014, 11:39 am

    Not sure what to make of this post. For starters, the Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the US’s closest ally in the region, followed by the Fascist Dictatorship of Egypt. The US and Israel have no treaty between them, so Israel does not qualify as an “ally.”

    It seems, Phil, like you believe Israel to be the only religious state the US supports. Far from the truth. Why does the US support religious states? Because they’ve traditionally been anti-communist. It was only when Israel was firmly in the “western” camp that it got special treatment, if it had stayed a socialist country, friendly with the USSR, things would have gone differently. If anything, Israel has become more religious over the course of it’s relationship with the US.

    So, the real strategy to combat ISIS for the US should be: stop using religious fanatics to break up secular, multi-ethnic nation states in resource rich regions of the world. But this strategy only works if the goals are different, and right now the goals are domination and control of the entire world. Phil doesn’t believe those are the goals, and that’s why, in my opinion, he can’t be right about the remedy.

    • ritzl on September 9, 2014, 2:16 pm

      +1

    • Keith on September 9, 2014, 8:44 pm

      DAN CROWTHER- “Not sure what to make of this post.”

      How about that Phil is a totally inept strategic analyst and that the Mondo cadres are totally incapable of perceiving the situation for what it is. Phil can say some ludicrous things and get compliments. There is so much wrong with his “analysis” that it is difficult to know where to begin. I wouldn’t have even bothered to respond to this except for your comment. You are absolutely correct that support for groups like ISIS (yet another permutation of the US supported mujahedeen) is to destabilize any country which is a potential problem for empire. We no longer conquer other states, we simply destroy them if it facilitates imperial control. The same is true for the Ukrainian neo-Nazis we are using to destroy the Ukraine and drive a wedge between Europe and Russia. Phil’s post makes about as much sense as asking how can the US best combat the CIA.

      • Dan Crowther on September 10, 2014, 11:00 am

        Keith: hahaha! That last line was grrreat!!

    • Walid on September 10, 2014, 9:59 pm

      “the Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the US’s closest ally in”

      Dan, while the movement is rooted in S.A., this isn’t the only country where it’s thriving. You actually also have it in the ruling classes of UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman in varying degrees of passion and to a lesser extent in Kuwait. All these states are equally loyal to the US, so what you are describing applies to a large part of the ME.

      • Dan Crowther on September 11, 2014, 10:05 am

        Walid yeah I know I was only refuting Phil’s claim that Israel is the US’s closest “ally”

  7. David Doppler on September 9, 2014, 12:17 pm

    Great post, Phil: why not apply our founding principles?

  8. JeffB on September 9, 2014, 12:24 pm

    ISIS’s goals are to tear up a long term enemy of Israel in Syria and to tear up Iran’s most important colony in the Shia Iraq. Both of which are extremely valuable for Israel. What the Europeans are worried about, more Muslim terrorism in Europe, would also be something that likely would be in Israel’s interests. So I’d say the main value for the USA in their Israeli alliance in terms of ISIS that Israel is not on the other side: equipping, training, providing intelligence and air support of ISIS. For now the two share lots of common interests. Which is similar to their value during the cold war, when a country ran by a bunch of Eastern European Socialists wasn’t part of the Soviet axis.

    But in terms of value:
    better intelligence: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Israel-provides-satellite-imagery-other-intelligence-for-US-led-campaign-against-ISIS-374790

    Also Israel is extremely active in the Kurdish areas having trained and supported the Kurdish army that took back territory this month. That was Israel.

    Besides if America isn’t going to support religious states then, “forming a natural alliance with one of the strongest nation-states in the region, Iran” is not the way to do it.

    BTW Israel is not the reason Iran is not friendly to us. Israel didn’t make them take our hostages. Israel didn’t make them attack our ships. Israel didn’t make them destabilize Iraq over the last decade and put in place the Iraqi government that so alienated the Sunnis that they are supporting ISIS in the first place. That was all Iran.

    On the wall of our former embassy in Iran: http://www.newrepublic.com/sites/default/files/u180378/us-embassy-tehran-getty.jpg

    Israel didn’t paint that. Iran hates the USA all on their own.

    • lysias on September 9, 2014, 2:38 pm

      That was all Iran.

      No, it wasn’t. Iran was reacting to the U.S./British coup that toppled Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah’s rule, now in tyrannical form. And it was the U.S. which kept the Shah in power. With help from Israel, which trained SAVAK.

      Taking the U.S. embassy was a natural reaction, once the U.S. allowed the Shah to enter the U.S. After all, the 1953 coup was stage-managed out of that U.S. embassy. (The Brits had broken off diplomatic relations.) Read all about it in Stephen Kinzer’s All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.

      • JeffB on September 9, 2014, 3:01 pm

        JeffB: . Israel didn’t make them destabilize Iraq over the last decade and put in place the Iraqi government that so alienated the Sunnis that they are supporting ISIS in the first place. That was all Iran.

        Lysias: Iran was reacting to the U.S./British coup that toppled Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah’s rule, now in tyrannical form

        What? 1953 was 60 years ago. If we go to war with Iran in 2039 I hope our excuse isn’t a bad delayed reaction to the hostage crisis under Carter. I read (well actually listened while playing poker) Kinzer’s book. Mossadegh put the USA in a difficult situation, and got overthrown. Certainly the USA and Israel were allies with the Shah. But it was Khomeini that freely decided he wanted a bad relationship with the USA. And it is the current government that has freely decided to continue it. Leaders of other countries are capable of examining the current situation evaluating the plusses and minus and reacting rationally.

      • lysias on September 9, 2014, 4:48 pm

        JeffB, it was you that mentioned Iran taking U.S. hostages. And it was to that mention that I was responding.

      • lysias on September 9, 2014, 4:53 pm

        And just what was the diffficult position that Mossadegh put the U.S. in? The Truman administration didn’t see any problem.

        The change of position that occurred when the Eisenhower administration came in probably had a lot more to do with the business interests of the Dulles brothers and their Sullivan & Cromwell law firm than with any difficult position the U.S. was in. (On thiis read another book of Kinzer’s, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War.

      • chanes on October 17, 2014, 3:17 pm

        Homa Katouzian, an Iran expert at one of Oxford’s colleges, writes in his biography of Mossadeq that the US within very few years of returning the Shah to power were shocked by his brutality (and incompetence) and set about to remove him. Sadly, the Israelis and British got wind of the planned coup, and passed word on to the Shah. The coup become impossible.

    • Shingo on September 10, 2014, 8:38 am

      BTW Israel is not the reason Iran is not friendly to us.

      Not the only reason but a main one. The whole manufactured nuclear chrisis (which is 100% BS) is for Israel.

      Israel didn’t make them take our hostages.

      No, they just helped train the Savak who disappeared about 10,000 Iranians.

      Israel didn’t make them attack our ships.

      That’s funny seeing as Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty. I guess you forgot how the USS Vincennes downed an Iranian airliner in IRanian air space, killing 296 on board?

      Israel didn’t make them destabilize Iraq over the last decade and put in place the Iraqi government that so alienated the Sunnis that they are supporting ISIS in the first place. That was all Iran.

      Seriously, it boggles the mind the crap you power here Jeff. It was the US that destabilized Iraq not Iran. Iran actually supported the guy the US hand picked, Maliki. It was the US that created the civil war between the Shiites and Sunnis.

      That was all the US with Israel’s belssing.

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/strategy-supporting-religious/comment-page-1#comment-709007

  9. David Nelson on September 9, 2014, 12:34 pm

    Excellent post Phil. Israel is ISIS, ISIS is Israel.

  10. just on September 9, 2014, 1:04 pm

    Inane and insane.

    Thanks JeffB.

  11. Mooser on September 9, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Gosh, JeffyB, is there anything you don’t know about world affairs, law, and so many other things? Won’t it be wonderful when we can refer to your comment archives, and see how goddam right you are about everything!

    • ivri on September 9, 2014, 3:35 pm

      That`s an unfair comment Mooser. If you want to use a verification test then do that across the board. Didn`t I see a zillion times here people writing that this and that is where the game is “surely” over for Israel – only to see it becoming yet stronger. I think some even said so in regard to the recent Hamas “victory”.

      • amigo on September 9, 2014, 5:30 pm

        Didn`t I see a zillion times here people writing that this and that is where the game is “surely” over for Israel – only to see it becoming yet stronger. – ” ivri

        By stronger do you mean it has destroyed the 2SS and given birth to the BDS campaign not to mention reaching the dizzy heights of being the second least liked nation on the planet.

        It,s never been weaker .

        What are you going to do with the 5 million non Jewish ” Citizens ” of your all conquering Israel when you have taken all of Palestine.

        Do share.

      • Shingo on September 10, 2014, 8:42 am

        Didn`t I see a zillion times here people writing that this and that is where the game is “surely” over for Israel – only to see it becoming yet stronger.

        Stronger than what? They still can’t seem to win a war against softer and softer enemies.

    • JeffB on September 9, 2014, 4:03 pm

      Normally I’m busy and I just ignore you since your comments are nothing more than petty silly nonsense. You don’t really have anything to say and so aren’t worth talking to.

      But I’ll ask you a question. What worth do you think you have as a human being? Do you wake up in the morning thinking that throwing out petty insults that most children would have outgrown when they got past the poopyhead stage are a good use of your time? Is it just that no one likes you, and the “yeah Mooser your so smart XYZ really is a poopyhead” is best affirmation you can get? Are you really that pathetic?

      What do you contribute? I raise a family, I run a business. And I support the causes I believe in. What do you do that’s so special? For a guy who spends hours posting on hear you don’t say anything.

      • amigo on September 9, 2014, 5:20 pm

        “Do you wake up in the morning thinking that throwing out petty insults that most children would have outgrown when they got past the poopyhead stage are a good use of your time? – “Jeff B

        Now whose acting childish.

        “What do you do that’s so special?” Jeff B

        Well , he got your gander up and ain,t that so special.

      • Mooser on September 9, 2014, 7:31 pm

        “And I support the causes I believe in.”

        JeffyB, you’ve lost me. Are you trying to say you support Zionism? Gosh, I didn’t know that! I thought you were an anti-Zionist troll, trying to put Zionists in the worst light possible. I was playing along, why not.
        But now I’m getting the idea you think you really do support Zionism. That’s pretty scary.

        Sure JeffyB, I should probably just kill myself, being so useless and all. But then there would be one less Jew, and there’s so few of us left. I hope you don’t mind.

        I know you Zionists think there’s way too many Jews, but you never know, maybe I’ll get a reprieve.

      • Mooser on September 9, 2014, 7:34 pm

        ” What worth do you think you have as a human being? “

        Well, I learned to “squabble” this week, and I’m practicing and getting better at it.

      • Mooser on September 9, 2014, 7:52 pm

        ” I raise a family, I run a business.”

        Oh that’s nothing. I was married to two women at once and everybody said it was really big of me!

      • Shingo on September 10, 2014, 8:41 am

        Normally I’m busy and I just ignore you since your comments are nothing more than petty silly nonsense.

        I wish I had your discipline Jeff. I find it hard to ignore you nonsense.

      • Shingo on September 10, 2014, 8:46 am

        Do you wake up in the morning thinking that throwing out petty insults that most children would have outgrown when they got past the poopyhead stage are a good use of your time?

        Mooser happens to be a valued and respected contributor to this forum and brings a great deal of much needed comic relief to pretty much all of us, so he makes a great contribution and has a positive affect on many lives.

        The fact that your idiocy and diatribes provide such fertile fodder for him is just a bonus.

        I raise a family, I run a business.

        Wow, do you also defecate and pass urine?

      • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 11:19 am

        “and brings a great deal of much needed comic relief to pretty much all of us”

        “Comic relief”? I’m not trying to be funny. Dad, I’m serious!!

        (And he would always say “Great! I’ll be Roebucks, we’ll start a store.” Every time.)

      • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 11:25 am

        “Wow, do you also defecate and pass urine?”

        I hear the Moderators call JeffyB’s archive “the drainfield”.

    • Shingo on September 10, 2014, 8:39 am

      Won’t it be wonderful when we can refer to your comment archives, and see how goddam right you are about everything!

      Yes, it would rank right up there with Gary Larson’s body of work.

  12. Mooser on September 9, 2014, 1:08 pm

    Obama is such a chump. You don’t send a military which has absolutely no concern for you to the ends of the earth so they can screw you over.

    That’s it, Obama, you just work with Bush’s army, they’ll do you proud.

  13. jon s on September 9, 2014, 1:16 pm

    Phil says: Stop supporting religious states (meaning Israel) , but form an alliance with the mother of all religious states, Iran.

    • amigo on September 9, 2014, 2:01 pm

      Phil says: Stop supporting religious states (meaning Israel) , but form an alliance with the mother of all religious states, Iran. ” jon s

      Is Iran occupying someone ???.

      Is Iran committing War crimes on a daily basis and destroying the US,s image .

      Is Iran interfering in the policies of a Sovereign Nation .

      Please , jon s.If you must comment , then do so without insulting our intelligence.

      • JeffB on September 9, 2014, 4:08 pm

        @amigo

        Is Iran occupying someone

        Yes. The Arabs of Khuzestan, the Baluchis, the Kurds and the Azerbaijanis are all ethnic minorities in Iran whose lands are controlled by the central government by force.

        Is Iran committing War crimes on a daily basis

        Yes. They are. Right now in Syria primarily.

        Is Iran interfering in the policies of a Sovereign Nation.

        Yes Lebanon.

        Please , jon s.If you must comment , then do so without insulting our intelligence.

        That was me. The question was is Iran a religious state, not a long list of other things you hate about Israel but somehow don’t object to in other countries as the entries above show.

      • lysias on September 9, 2014, 6:54 pm

        I happen to know some Iranian Azeris. They are quite glad to be under Iranian rule. Azeris are well-integrated in Iranian society. There are many of them in the national capital of Tehran, which is very close to Iranian Azerbaijan and its capital of Tabriz. The Azeris primarily identify by their religion: Shiite Muslim.

        Did you know that Supreme Leader Khamenei is of ethnic Azeri background?

      • Mooser on September 9, 2014, 10:33 pm

        Say, JeffyB, you never told me what I should do. Being useless (but ornamental, nobody denies that) should I remain extant? Shall I continue to respire? Please let me know! Much depends on your answer.
        Shall I be permitted to exist merely to add to the world’s beauty, or am I too much of a burden to make up for any slight esthetic pleasure I may bring?
        I beg you to answer.

      • jon s on September 10, 2014, 4:37 am

        As to Iran’s criminal activities abroad, ask Argentina.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMIA_bombing

    • Mooser on September 9, 2014, 4:18 pm

      I’m sorry, “jon s”, but I don’t see the part in the article where “an alliance with… Iran” is suggested. Would you mind pointing it out?

      • amigo on September 9, 2014, 5:14 pm

        “Yes. The Arabs of Khuzestan, the Baluchis, the Kurds and the Azerbaijanis are all ethnic minorities in Iran whose lands are controlled by the central government by force. ” jeff b you will need to be more explicit!!.

        Do you have a UNSCR on that one Jeff.

        Ah , but wait , Israel could give a rats ass about UN resolutions , hmmm Jeff..

        Since when does Iran claim to be a light unto the nations and a beacon of light and a Liberal Democracy.

      • DaBakr on September 9, 2014, 11:18 pm

        1st sent., 3rd paragraph, funny guy.

      • jon s on September 10, 2014, 1:06 am

        Mooser, “…can’t form a natural alliance with one of the strongest nation-states in the region, Iran. “

      • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 11:13 am

        Ah, thanks, “jon s”! I missed it, but then, I can’t see every good idea.

      • just on September 10, 2014, 12:21 pm

        Perfectly said Annie.

    • annie on September 10, 2014, 1:55 am

      iran is not more of a religious state than israel

      but form an alliance with… Iran. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/strategy-supporting-religious/comment-page-1#comment-708977

      to get rid of isis? perhaps you forgot iran offered to help w/AQ after 9/11. if the US can align itself with saudi arabia and israel… we could align ourself with iran of course.makes much more sense than israel.

      i recommend daniel levy circa 09 http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/daniel-levy-boxing

      Daniel Levy’s current article at Foreign Policy, Maximum Bibi, breaks down Netanyahu’s urgent dilemma given the “diplomatic opening” created by the election of Rouhani as Iran’s president. Explaining why Netanyahu doesn’t want the US to cut a deal with Iran, Levy posits Netanyahu doesn’t want Iran powerful and independent, Israel likes its hegemony in the region, uncooperative neighboring regimes are ok if they’re considered “beyond the pale” by U.S. standards, nothing we don’t know. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/daniel-levy-boxing#sthash.wmrHch4s.dpuf

      more at the link.

      • jon s on September 10, 2014, 4:32 am

        What Phil seems to be saying is that an Islamic state is ok, even worthy of an alliance with the U.S. A Jewish state, on the other hand, is not ok.

      • annie on September 10, 2014, 4:55 am

        more precisely, what you seem to be extracting from phil’s comment about forming an alliance with a natural ally again ISIS (for your review):

        Israel is one of the greatest impediments to our efforts to combat ISIS, because we can’t form a natural alliance with one of the strongest nation-states in the region, Iran. Israel wants to demonize Iran forever because it needs an existential threat, someone to blame for radical Islam. Just as Israel seems to like ISIS around, because it can then argue that the United States is at war with the same forces it is contending with; ISIS = Hamas, in the Israeli prime minister’s feverish imagination.

        tells us more about you than phil.

        A Jewish state, on the other hand, is not ok.

        jon, maybe you have not noticed, but the ethnic nationalist jewish state you referenced, did jack shit wrt boots on the ground in iraq, for over 10 years. israel’s contribution extracting extremism from the ME, as an ally to the US, is worse than worthless. we don’t really need advisers thank you very much. iran has a real army.so if there was any military power in the region who could extract isis, it would be russia, syria hezbollah and iran. israel, you’ve got to be kidding me. israel specializes is massacring civilians, obviously. not armed militias.

        you need to unhinge your mind from this racist framework of identifying everyone thru their religion.”jewish state” vs “islamic state” bs. iran is there, get used to it. i would much prefer an american alliance with iran than israel, any day. for any number of reasons. and it has nothing to do with the religion of either state. it has to do with their morals and the way they conduct themselves as a nation of people. americans have much more in common with iranians than israeli jews. much more. if you were not so racist you could see that.

      • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 12:28 pm

        “What Phil seems to be saying is that an Islamic state is ok, even worthy of an alliance with the U.S. A Jewish state, on the other hand, is not ok.

        Wow, I’ve never seen a child’s pout so perfectly delineated in words.

        Anyway, if we want to think about it that way, there’s probably as many, if not more, Moslems in the US than Jews, or there will be. And all that yummy oil, too.
        Why shouldn’t we look to the future?

      • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 12:31 pm
    • Shingo on September 10, 2014, 8:40 am

      Iran is not the mother of all religious states by any measure ignoramus.

      • jon s on September 10, 2014, 2:57 pm

        Annie, you’re an American citizen, and you “prefer” an alliance with Iran, where the regime organizes rallies with the slogan “Death to America”. You prefer the regime that wants you dead.

      • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 7:43 pm

        Gosh, which regime has actually killed more Americans? You are at Liberty to answer.

      • jon s on September 12, 2014, 2:05 pm

        Annie, I abhor all forms of racism, and for many years I’ve tried to do my small part in countering racism, through education. So I would like to know where, in all my comments, have I ever expressed racism.

      • annie on September 12, 2014, 4:58 pm

        jon, in my comment above i said you need to unhinge your mind from this racist framework of identifying everyone thru their religion.”jewish state” vs “islamic state” bs. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/strategy-supporting-religious/comment-page-1#comment-709461

        that was in reference to your comment: Phil seems to be saying is that an Islamic state is ok, even worthy of an alliance with the U.S. A Jewish state, on the other hand, is not ok. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/strategy-supporting-religious/comment-page-1#comment-709461

        this is why i said to you , what you seem to be extracting from phil’s comment about forming an alliance with a natural ally again ISIS …. tells us more about you than phil.

        phil didn’t mention anything about “jewish state” or “islamic state”. because in the context of what phil was writing about, it is unimportant. when you pit ‘jewish’ against ‘islamic’, and focus on the religion of the people (and i used the term ‘racist’ as it is used in international law, making no distinction between race or ethnicity/religion) while implying one is a preferable alliance merely for the fact of the religion ignoring the point of the author, it becomes a racist insinuation. again, here is what phil wrote:

        Israel is one of the greatest impediments to our efforts to combat ISIS, because we can’t form a natural alliance with one of the strongest nation-states in the region, Iran. Israel wants to demonize Iran forever because it needs an existential threat, someone to blame for radical Islam. Just as Israel seems to like ISIS around, because it can then argue that the United States is at war with the same forces it is contending with; ISIS = Hamas, in the Israeli prime minister’s feverish imagination

        and i have deleted comments of yours that purposely merged isis and hamas. one is extremist radical islam, the other is not. it is a national liberation movement that uses acts of violence, defined as terrorism and for the most part no different than the very tactics and terrorism used by jewish terrorists who later became prime ministers of israel. so when you choose to use the same framing for your hasbara that the government of israel uses, using religious extremism as a tactic for propaganda against your palestinian enemy, it’s an immoral form of argument that justifies the slaughter of palestinians, both militants, civilians and children. that’s racist.

        if you want to know what i think is racist, especially recall your comments that do not get published. the way you claim not to dehumanize palestinians while claiming they teach hatred and “love death”. and you rationalize this by rhetorically making a distinction between palestinians and hamas (just as instructed by the israel project in WORDS THAT WORK*) whom you always reference as terrorist ignoring israeli terrorism completely. and you lump these characteristics into “hamas” during wartime implying militants fighting for their life and their people all love death. this kind of gross stuff.

        you dehumanize palestinians all the time and make up lies as you did here, as shmeul pointed out: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/headline-implicating-killings#comment-708038

        Moreover, Hamas now admits responsibility.

        That is not what Meshaal said.”

        you fight dirty jon s

        *””Clearly differentiate between the Palestinian people and Hamas. There is an immediate and clear distinction between the empathy Americans feel for the Palestinians and the scorn they direct at Palestinian leadership. Hamas is a terrorist organization – Americans get that already. But if it sounds like you are attacking the Palestinian people (even though they elected Hamas) rather than their leadership, you will lose public support. Right now, many Americans sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, and that sympathy will increase if you fail to differentiate the people from their leaders.” p.5″~TIP Hasbara Manual https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Hasbara_(2009_manual)

  14. piotr on September 9, 2014, 1:19 pm

    Clearly, supporting Israel or not supporting has a rather loose relationship with the fate of ISIS. Thus anybody drawing conclusion that the best response to the ISIS problem is to increase or maintain support for Israel (or a reverse conclusion) is simply proposing something that that person would propose in the absence of ISIS. And indeed, the “suspects”, be them our intrepid Congressmen (going to Israel again and again rather than flying to more fun places, like volcano watching in Iceland where they could voice their opinions how to deal with volcano problems that menace us all, this is what Congressman piotr would do!) or Phil Weis are on the record of proposing before what they propose today.

    On a more meta level, we should consider WHY we want to do something. Governments often have to do something to fulfill the expectations that they “care” and that blunt the criticism that they do not do anything. In the same time, actually solving the problem may be out of reach. One elegant solution was shown by Gov. Perry of Texas when his state (plus Oklahoma and few others) faced the problem of acute drought. He organized a day of prayer, inviting clergy from a variety of denomination. After few months it actually rained, so it was not a total failure, and best of all, the State of Texas did not waste to many resources on that action.

    Thus President piotr would concentrate on a prayer action. Even that is not that simple, so it would be preceded by a lively debate. Plan a: a breakfast prayer to bring thought of peace to the hearts of people in the Middle East and elsewhere. Plan b: a dinner prayer to the Almighty to smite the enemies of everything we hold precious. Plan c: capture some enemy warriors, and give them to appropriate priests to rip their hearts out and offer to Tezcatlipoca; later attack the enemy as soon as Venus is in the correct position (according to those priests). Some combination of the three plans may be a reasonable compromise.

    • jon s on September 14, 2014, 4:43 am

      Annie,
      I don’t recall ever “merging ” Hamas and ISIS, but if you say so, I’ll take your word for it. I think they are comparable . (Note that “comparable” doesn’t mean “identical”.) The similarities are in their fundamentalist-jihadi ideology and in their methods, namely terrorism. The difference is that ISIS is slaughtering all ” infidels” (meaning anyone who doesn’t share their ideology, Hamas focuses on trying to kill Jews (and the occasional “traitor”).

      I absolutely plead guilty to making a distinction between the Palestinian people and Hamas.
      I wrote that Hamas love death and teach hatred, based on their own words.

      I’m convinced that our friend Shmuel was wrong in maintaining that the kidnap/ murder of the three teenagers was not a Hamas operation.

      So far you’ve failed to cite a single racist statement on my part.

      • Shmuel on September 14, 2014, 5:02 am

        I’m convinced that our friend Shmuel was wrong in maintaining that the kidnap/ murder of the three teenagers was not a Hamas operation.

        My comments on the subject referred primarily to the lack of proof of the involvement of Hamas as an organisation, which Netanyahu claimed to have and promised to reveal (but never did), and which you claimed to have, based on an interview with Khaled Meshaal, to which you linked (but which did not actually materialise in the linked interview). Since over 2,000 people lost their lives and tremendous suffering was inflicted on Palestinians and, to a much lesser extent, on Israelis, as a result of this assertion, something more than vague allusions and guesswork would seem to be in order.

        The other thing I pointed out (citing Uri Misgav, and a report on the indictment of Hussam Qawasmeh – although I could also have cited Shlomi Eldar’s article on the subject), is that the operation has all the signs of a local initiative – a theory (which I have never maintained as absolute truth) based, inter alia, on the testimony of a Shin Bet officer involved in the case and statements by Hamas leaders to that effect.

        I don’t presume to know where the orders originated, if at all. Netanyahu (and you) claim to know. So where’s the proof?

      • Shmuel on September 14, 2014, 5:05 am

        It’s the kind of thing they would do, because “they love death”, simply doesn’t cut it.

      • Mooser on September 24, 2014, 3:13 pm

        Gosh, Schmuel, I’m convinced it was a love-triangle and a murder-suicide thing.

  15. eljay on September 9, 2014, 1:44 pm

    >> Barack Obama came into office aware of what a huge liability rightwing Zionism represented to U.S. interests, which is why he went to Cairo to declare that the settlements must end.

    After first validating supremacist “Jewish State”, Obama declared that “continued Israeli settlements” were not legitimate and must stop. He said nothing about existing Israeli settlements. The rest of his speech was a whole lotta sweet-sounding nuthin’.

    >> Obama has it within his power to end 70 years of support for religious nationalism inside the U.S. establishment and announce that henceforth we will abide by a core idea of democracy.

    I’d really like to see the U.S. abide by a core idea of international justice and accountability universally and consistently applied.

  16. amigo on September 9, 2014, 1:46 pm

    Stop funding a nation who,s leaders think that US Jews lead a “Humdrum ” life , unlike jews in Israel.

    “Israeli government urges young U.S. Jews: Leave humdrum life, study in Israel ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.614943

    There you go Obama, keep funding your bestest friends and most valued ally who believe you are President of a “humdrum ” nation.

    Go figure.

    • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 1:00 pm

      “Israeli government urges young U.S. Jews: Leave humdrum life, study in Israel ”

      This is very embarrassing. I wish they would get it straight. Are we a persecuted people needing refuge, or are we bored affluent elites, looking for an escape from the “humdrum”?

      Oh, that’s right, we can be both, if we do it in the right order! First, comes the affluence and elitism, so people know we are to be reckoned with and can pay for our pretensions. That way, when we appear in the costumes from “Fiddler on the Roof” no-one will make fun of us. They won’t get tipped if they do!

      • amigo on September 10, 2014, 2:18 pm

        “This is very embarrassing. I wish they would get it straight. Are we a persecuted people needing refuge, or are we bored affluent elites, looking for an escape from the “humdrum”? – ” Mooser.

        Mooser, Mostly ,the only people persecuting Jews , are the Zionists.I know , I am pointing out the obvious ,(please forward my medal to MW for collection ) but were it not for Zionism , Jews would be in a very comfortable position both in Israel and the diaspora.
        I am not suggesting there would be no antisemitism, but it would exist at a level far lower than that created by Zionist aggression and colonialism.

        When I was young a neighbourhood farmer showed me how to milk a cow .I soon got tired of her cleaning her tail using the back of my head.

        When will the POTUS get tired felating the zionist donkey who keeps kicking him in the head.How does he look his family in the eye.

      • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 9:12 pm

        “but were it not for Zionism , Jews would be in a very comfortable position both in Israel and the diaspora.”

        It is very hard not to think about what might have happened if a fraction of the effort, money, human lives, and persuasion utilized on behalf of Zionism was directed in more constructive ways. Since almost every way effort, money, human lives, and persuasion was utilized in behalf of Zionism was known to be a loser.

  17. American on September 9, 2014, 2:49 pm

    ” and announce that henceforth we will abide by a core idea of democracy.”

    We dont even have a core of a democracy any more and wont ever have one until we get rid of All special interest money in politics.
    Everyone can dream about what if this or that….but thats the bottom line.
    If we cant do that well then we just keep circling the toilet till we get flushed.

    • Citizen on September 9, 2014, 6:18 pm

      @ American
      Can’t get rid of special interest “bacon.” Why? It’s how US congress critters build, expand their power. Hence congress will never get rid of it.

  18. American on September 9, 2014, 3:44 pm

    Have another does of stupid.

    ”Obama pushes $5 billion counterterrorism fund to fight ISIS”

    snip…

    “This is a core component of the president’s strategy for dealing with this and other issues like it around the globe — that is, additional resources that can be used by the United States to build up effective partners so that when the United States has to confront threats like this, that we have well-trained, well-equipped, effective partners that we can work with to confront these problems,” Earnest said Monday.”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/216980-obama-to-push-leaders-for-5b-counterterrorism-fund#ixzz3CqZoveZN

    Humm….’well quipped and trained partners”?…now who would that be that we going share our 5 billion with to fight ISIS? Iraq?….they threw down their weapons and ran and are totally lacking in training for this. Egypt? Pakistan? Syria? Israel? What ME country is going to send their AF or military to fight ISIS? Saudi created the opening for ISIS by setting Syria on fire—let the Sauds pay for it.

  19. Citizen on September 9, 2014, 6:22 pm

    “Isn’t it interesting that our closest ally in the Middle East– Israel — is yet again of no use to the United States military or political establishment in this confrontation? As it was no use in the Gulf War of ’91. No use in the Iraq invasion of 2003 (except to help foment it in our “homeland”). No use in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, you name it.” -Phil

    Bears repeating. Can we duct tape it to every congress critter’s forehead? And to every Americans’ snail mail box?

  20. lysias on September 9, 2014, 6:46 pm

    Great piece by b of Moon of Alabama on the U.S.’s nonsensical policy of backing so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria at the same time we are going to war against their ISIS confederates: Why Fight ISIS? And How Fight ISIS When There Are No Allies?

    (Even Eugene Robinson’s column today takes it for granted that we cannot seek the help of Assad’s supposedly “murderous” regime.)

  21. JeffB on September 9, 2014, 11:35 pm

    @lysias

    I happen to know some Iranian Azeris. They are quite glad to be under Iranian rule. Azeris are well-integrated in Iranian society.

    Agreed. The question was about whether Iran had people under occupation not whether it was benign or not. The Azeris are good citizens of Iran, serve their nation, identify with its goals and live happily. That doesn’t change the fact that during the Russo-Persian War their land was conquered.

    Did you know that Supreme Leader Khamenei is of ethnic Azeri background?

    Not till you mentioned it and I looked it up. But yet again a good example of how benign an occupation can be when the occupied people agree to join the society that wins their territory.

    • amigo on September 10, 2014, 11:41 am

      “But yet again a good example of how benign an occupation can be when the occupied people agree to join the society that wins their ” Jeff B

      Maybe Israel should take a leaf out of Iran,s book.

      Btw , Israel did not win Palestine, it stole it.

      Just what purpose do you serve here, except to provide fodder for derision.

      Mooser is worth 100 of you.

    • just on September 10, 2014, 12:31 pm

      How does it feel to be a serial ‘poopyhead’ abuser, JeffB?

      All comfy on your holier-than-thou high horse?

    • lysias on September 10, 2014, 5:58 pm

      There was a series of Russo-Persian Wars. Which one do you mean? I believe the tendency of those wars was to move the Russian boundary gradually southwards, as Russia absorbed more and more previously Persian territory. I don’t know enough about those wars to be able to deny confidently that it is not true that, in one of them, there was a Persian recovery, and Russia lost Persian Azerbaijan, which it had previously occupied. But, if this happened at all, I believe it would have been exceptional.

      But through most of history what is now Persian Azerbaijan was an important province of Persia. e.g.,

      It was out of Ardabil (ancient Artavilla) that the Safavid dynasty arose to renew the state of Persia and establish Shi’ism as the official religion of Iran. After 1502, Azerbaijan became the chief bulwark and military base of the Safavids. It was the chief province from which the various Iranian empires would control their Caucasian provinces, all the way up to Dagestan in the early 19th century.

    • lysias on September 11, 2014, 9:54 am

      Note that the most recent of those Russo-Persian wars ended in 1828, with the Treaty of Turkmenchay, under which Persia lost territory.

  22. John Salisbury on September 10, 2014, 5:49 pm

    Yes Phil a great piece.
    ISIS seeks to set up a state in The Middle East based on ancient religious precepts.
    Has familiar ring to it..!!

  23. wondering jew on September 10, 2014, 9:58 pm

    I really think this post is a mess and contributes zero to an understanding of the Middle East. I accept that Israel complicates the Middle East and that it is impossible to gauge what the middle east would be like if Israel had never been born, but this simplistic: Israel is the source of all the troubles of the Middle east. I don’t buy it. and I bet you that nobody on this planet would call up Phil Weiss for an assessment of Isis, Iran or anything to do with an analysis of the middle east- other than Israeli and Aipac perfidy and Palestinian suffering. Yes, these topics are important. but no, they are not enough to understand Iran and Isis, to name the two major players that are the subject here. This column is ignorance masquerading as knowledge. It is empty.
    there are those on the side of Israel who try to obfuscate by saying: it’s complicated. but here we have obfuscation by saying: it’s simple. Obsession and single minded opposition to Israeli perfidy has its place, but an attempt to understand the middle east deserves better than this sophomoric crap.

    • Mooser on September 10, 2014, 10:10 pm

      Another county heard from. Good ol’ Yonah, Er macht zack nisht visindicht.

  24. subconscious on September 11, 2014, 2:25 am

    The author should have worked out some of the glaring inconsistencies in the article more attentively. To argue that the US needs to “stop supporting religious states” and then to recommend forming “a natural alliance with one of the strongest nation-states in the region, [Islamic Republic of] Iran,” seems inconsistent. If the author has a “natural alliance” in mind which doesn’t amount to “supporting” the theocratic state, it requires elaboration, as it is not evident. Israel is more of an ethnocratic and racist state, while Iran is more of a theocratic and religiously-ruled/religiously-intolerant state. (In this comment, by Israel is meant w/in the Green Line, excluding the occupied territories.) Saudi Arabia, US’s first and foremost MidEast ally, is even more theocratic than Iran.

    That “Israel wants to demonize Iran forever because it needs an existential threat” is only part of the story. Whatever one thinks of Israel’s belligerence and aggressions, there is a case she can make that Iran at least wants to act as an existential threat to her. That the Islamic Republic should do its utmost to bring an end to the “Zionist regime” has been part of Islamic Republic’s rhetoric since its inception. During Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, Iran’s Supreme Leader prescribed armed struggle to commence in the West Bank, as well. The main reason, though he didn’t explicitly state it that way, is that Iran would then be in a better position to gain a foothold in that territory, as it would be a natural source of arms and related support, while w/ peaceful (on the part of the Palestinians) resistance, Iran wouldn’t have much of an influence to exert. Iran’s ideological vision of a “just solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict, envisions the majority of immigrant and immigrant-descended Israeli Jews to be expelled from that area (although in international venues Iran typically votes w/ majority nations in support of the 2-state solution, while denouncing the latter). While Israel grossly exaggerates the Iranian threat as nuclear & Nazi-like in character, a threat nevertheless exists. Of course, Israel also poses a threat of aggression to Iran. Much of IRI’s official enmity towards the US (“world arrogance”) and Israel (“international Zionism”) is for the same reason that any ideological state, including the US & Israel, would posit official enemies to “demonize forever.” The only obstacle to the “natural alliance” between US & Iran is not from Israel. Iranian propaganda also excludes such a possibility. Even though Iran & the US already have an at-least-tacit alliance in fighting the Islamic State, IRI propaganda states that ISIS is a creation and tool of the US, UK & Israel, and, therefore, no such alliance can take place. The Rouhani administration has been under constant attack from Iranian hardliners, who view themselves as foremost devotees of the Supreme Leader, for attempting detente w/ the US, w/ Khamenei himself engaging in double talk. The Israeli gov’t & US radicals are not the only significant obstacles to a US-Iran rapprochement.

    To say that Iran is of more relevance in fighting ISIS than Israel, is true. But on the flip side, Iran has been more of a factor in creating ISIS than Israel. The IRI is perceived to have supported, perhaps tacitly, the Maliki gov’t and various Iraqi Shia militias in repressing and ethnically-cleansing the Iraqi Sunnis. Iran is perceived to be the main state actor supporting the Alawite Syrian regime in attacking its mostly-Sunni protesting and then rebelling population. Internally, the IRI has many issues involving human rights violations against the Sunni minority, mostly concentrated in the peripheral ethnic regions, and suppression of their political activists, even though Iranian propaganda claims that she seeks Shia-Sunni unity.

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