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It’s not about nukes, it’s about the US shifting the power balance — Parsi

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Just in time for The Speech, Dena Takruri skewers Netanyahu in this zinger of a video from Al Jazeera’s video news network, AJ+.

Covering lots of quick paced territory, Takruri mentions the recent leaked intelligence files, Netanyahu testifying before Congress in the runup to our invasion of Iraq, the omission of the fact that Israel has nukes, and a fun clip of WH press secretary Josh Earnest calling out Netanyahu. The zinger, (2:42) “It’s not about the nukes” comes when she interviews Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, querying why Netanyahu was so dead set on coming to Washington:

Parsi: The nuclear issue never really was the primary concern of the Israelis. Because the nuclear issue is actually getting resolved.

Takruri: What was the issue then?

Parsi: The issue is the geopolitical balance of power in the region; the fear that the United States striking a deal with Iran will legitimize Iran as a regional player and that it will reduce the United States’ commitment to the security of Israel, to the security of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other states that have been traditional allies in the region.

Yep, the balance of power. And if there’s any doubt in your mind this is the truth, this old video from that bastion of neocon analysisThe American Enterprise Institute (AEI) should erase all doubt. Danielle Pletka, AEI‘s Vice President of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, spilled the beans:

The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it’s Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don’t do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, “See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you that Iran wasn’t getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately…” And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem.

Whoa, now wouldn’t that be scary? And don’t miss AEI defense analyst Thomas Donnelly’s fixation on Iran and the balance of power here.  Warmongers, the whole lot of ’em.

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is a mom, a human rights activist, and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area and likes to garden. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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49 Responses

  1. pabelmont on February 28, 2015, 2:06 pm

    Well, yes. It’s “let’s have fun with Bibi” time. But AIPAC is always in the background. Let’s see which way Clinton (is she in Congress?) and Liz go. Maybe they’ll both have urgent dentist appointments when the Israeli PM comes to Congress (and to AIPAC).

    Something about all this is as fun as pulling teeth.

  2. HarryLaw on February 28, 2015, 2:56 pm

    Iran will be the dominant state in the region, that is why the arc of resistance Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah are being attacked by the mercenaries of Islamic State and Al Nusra paid for by rich Saudi and other Gulf state individuals and on a sectarian basis, facilitated by Turkey and the US training so called moderates to fight the low hanging fruit of the arc in Syria and Lebanon. This strategy is not going well, even in Lebanon Harari’s March 14 group of Sunni muslims who are formally opposed to Hezbollah are now in talks with them in order to thwart attacks on Lebanon from the organ eating monsters. An attack on Iran is not going to happen, because Iran is too strong, and in military terms, Israel and US bases in the Gulf could be targeted with at least 150,000 rockets from both Iran and Hezbollah. The US fleet would be extremely vulnerable since Iran has so many of the latest anti-ship missiles [bought from the Chinese]. A land invasion like the Iraq debacle, would need an army of one and a half million men to try to secure the nuclear sites, in other words US conscription. With a population of nearly 80 million most of whom would fight to the death to kill any invader, [remember the Shia take their shrouds into battle]. Any aggression against such a proud and independent state would be far too costly, and Obama and his chiefs of staff know it.

    • MHughes976 on February 28, 2015, 5:29 pm

      However, I think that in one way recent events have been very good for the Zionist project, in that the Islamic State crowd seem able to draw on a strong vein of anti-Iranian sentiment in western Iraq. This is a serious setback for Iranian plans to create and lead an anti-Israel front and gives IS and Israel certain common interests.

      • Walid on March 1, 2015, 1:54 am

        “This is a serious setback for Iranian plans to … ” (MHughes)

        Actually no. The exact opposite is happening in Iraq and whatever gains Iraqis including the Kurds are having over ISIS, are not being attributed to the American-led coalition cosmetic bombings of ISIS locations,but to arms and munitions sent to help them by non other than Iran.
        There’s even a Hizbullah force there helping out with either the training or the actual fighting and this too is of course instigated by Iran.

        What goes unreported in the West is that Iraq since a while back had ordered and prepaid hundreds of millions’ woth of arms and munitions from the US but is not receiving them under one ppretense or other while ISIS is slowly chewing up the country. What unclear is why the US is refusing to arm Iraq . For now, Iraqi lives are actually being saved with Iranian help while the US and the 80-country coalitiion take out the odd ISIS Toyota pick-up here and there in the desert every other day or so. The blocked shipments of arms may have something to do with Iraq’s reticence in granting the US the rights to air bases and perhaps help them realize how much they need the permanent presence of the US in Iraq.

      • MHughes976 on March 1, 2015, 9:25 am

        Thanks for information, Walid, very helpful as always. I still think that Iranian plans have been at least complicated, at least for a time, by the activities of these people whom you have described as ‘Israel’s pals’. But I think you’re explaining that they have a good chance of sorting the complications out and making strong headway once that is done.

    • Walid on March 1, 2015, 1:32 am

      “remember the Shia take their shrouds into battle” (Harry)

      Harry, the shroud stuff is show business intended to spook the enemy; shrouds are not worn but are white sheets in which the naked body is wrapped in for burial..

      • HarryLaw on March 1, 2015, 4:26 am

        Thanks Walid, I didn’t say they wore them. It may be show business, but if I was the enemy, It would sure spook me, look what happened when a couple of thousand Islamic state head choppers invaded Iraq, 30,000 heavily armed Iraqi troops dropped their weapons and ran for their lives, I think they are still running. Strange how losing your head concentrates the mind.

      • Walid on March 1, 2015, 1:01 pm

        “… look what happened when a couple of thousand Islamic state head choppers invaded Iraq, 30,000 heavily armed Iraqi troops dropped their weapons and ran for their lives..” (Harry)

        Harry, final verdict on what really happened there is still not in. An army of 30,000 trained soldiers and their commanders fleeing in the face of 2000 terrorists and abandoning all their arms, 1200 tanks, troop carriers, canons, surface to air missiles and even the uniforms on their backs is too much “hollywood” as Taxi would say. Believing in UFO’s is easier than believing this absurd scenario of what we are told happened.

        To make the situation more complex, last week the Pentagon in a video-conferencing statement to the press announced for all to hear that it intends invading Mosul with a ground army of Iraqi soldiers to take back Mosul from the barbararians in March or April of this year. Even more perplexing, the Pentagon announced that it will do it with 20,000 soldiers. The only thing not announced is the exact date and hour of the assault. This must make sense to someone with miltary training, which I don’t have.

        A couple of days or so back, the Washington Post quoted a retired US general that really knows the situation in Iraq as saying that this planned March or April mission is bound to fail as ISIS must have by now started booby-trapping the whole city. Of course this wouldn’t have any effect on US miltary people as the Pentagon’s participation in the assault will be to provide the air cover.

      • philadelphialawyer on March 1, 2015, 7:49 pm


        “An army of 30,000 trained soldiers and their commanders fleeing in the face of 2000 terrorists and abandoning all their arms, 1200 tanks, troop carriers, canons, surface to air missiles and even the uniforms on their backs is too much ‘hollywood’ as Taxi would say. Believing in UFO’s is easier than believing this absurd scenario of what we are told happened. ”

        I quite agree, Walid. But is the lie in the Iraqi forces running away, or in that there were 30 thousand of them, that they were well armed, that they were trained, and so on? It seems pretty clear that the Iraqi army DID run away. And, according to Cockburn, etc, that is because there were NOT thirty thousand of them, they are NOT well armed or well trained, and they don’t really have “commanders” at all, but rather kleptocrats and villains who buy their positions for the corruption potential, know nothing about military affairs, and don’t care to learn, and certainly not on the front line, with the lesson coming from ISIS! Moreover, the Iraqi forces are, when it comes to the “grunts,” more or less reluctant, dragooned, everyday Sh’ites, who have no desire to die fighting against ISIS Sunnis in the Sunni north for the benefit of alleged “moderate” Sunnis, for the Kurds, for Turkey, or the for pro American regimes in Jordan and Egypt, or even for the Sh’ite regimes in Baghdad and Iran, but who lack the family money or influence to stay out of the Iraqi army. So, they begrudgingly go along with their conscription, but flee if they are sent into combat against committed enemies.

        As for the announced “Spring Offensive” to retake Mosul, reporters on the ground are intimating that the US plans to use as many US forces (overt and “covert”) as possible, with, as you say, as big a US air (and artillery and missile) umbrella as possible. Expect to see some “mercs” there too. With the Iraqi forces being relegated to use as cannon fodder for dealing with those booby traps you mention (to the extent they don’t run away again) and posing for pictures in the town center (a la Fardus Square in Baghdad in 2003) if and when the city is ever “liberated.”

      • seafoid on March 1, 2015, 8:06 pm

        The Iraqi army is impossibly corrupt.
        The Shia regime in Iraq just takes money out of the country and kills Sunnis who get uppity.

        Daesh last year was all about momentum and the soldiers were defending a bigoted Shia government that did nothing for the Sunni minority north of Baghdad. Popular local support for
        the govt was very low,. Throw in ex Baathists in Daesh and it all makes sense.

        The political issue is how to come to a settlement that recognizes Sunni rights.

      • philadelphialawyer on March 1, 2015, 8:06 pm

        I should also have added that ISIS is hardly a mere couple of thousand of terrorists (or “head choppers”) either.

        ISIS’ numbers have been consistently underestimated, and what it is has been consistently mischaracterized. Leaving entirely to one side what one thinks of them, their methods, their ideals, etc, nevertheless, they have, quite effectively and quickly, put together a strong, guerilla force, one capable of keeping half a dozen or more better armed and more numerous enemies at bay, and have cut, and defended, a rather sizable swath of territory with a large population out of at least two countries. Cockburn, among others, points all this out.

      • philadelphialawyer on March 1, 2015, 8:12 pm


        I agree, in general, with your analysis.

        But Cockburn also points out that the more extremist Sunni groups (AQ in M, groups like AQ, and then proto ISIS groups and ISIS itself) were not entirely innocent either. They killed large numbers of Sh’ites with bombs outside of mosques and in market places in Baghdad and other Sh’ite areas, in an effort to produce just the kind of backlash from the Sh’ite government (and militias and general population) that would, in turn, keep the Sunni population sufficiently radicalized to reject any notion of pan Iraqi-ism.

        In other words, in the failed State situation brought about by US state-destroying intervention (in Iraq, in Syria, and in Libya), just this kind of sectarian extremism flourishes, without any one group being either entirely in the wrong or the right.

        “The political issue is how to come to a settlement that recognizes Sunni rights.”

        Indeed, and Kurd, and other minority rights as well. Not to mention other, non sectarian, non group rights. But doing so is well nigh impossible in the failed State situation. Without an existing government that possesses some quantum of national legitimacy, all you have are competing factions, which then further fragment into sub factions, disparate leaders, militias, territorial units, families and clans, tribes, gangs and so on. With outside forces backing their various favorites. And all sides playing against the middle.

      • philadelphialawyer on March 1, 2015, 10:35 pm

        Should update that the just-announced “Spring Offensive” against Mosul has now, due to the incapacity of the Iraqi Army, been postponed to Autumn, or, perhaps, to the Twelfth of Never!

        And that ISIS has attacked the Sh’ite militias and Iraqi forces gathering to attack THEM in Samarra:

      • Walid on March 1, 2015, 11:03 pm

        Philadelphialawyer, accepting what Cockburn said about the bogus numbers of soldiers and that Sunni rights are being trampled as seafoid is saying, how to explain why when the Kurds’ Erbil was threatened, the US sent in the 7th cavalry to save the day but when Mosul was equally threatened, the US simply made popcorn and watched the show? And where does Israel fit in all of this chaos since it has been firmly installed in the Kurdish Iraq since the establishment of the northern no-fly zone in 1992. At one point, there were 500 Israeli companies doing business there.

      • Walid on March 1, 2015, 11:32 pm

        “… “Spring Offensive” against Mosul has now, due to the incapacity of the Iraqi Army, been postponed to Autumn, …” (Daily Beast)

        Another great announcement by the Pentagon; now the ISIS guys have been given a break to go on breaking things until the fall. Makes you wonder who it is really that the Pentagon is trying to spook with these announcements, the ISIS, or the Iraqi Government to make it reconsider its refusal to allow permanent US bases in Iraq. If this doesn’t work, the US could always use the old horse-head-in-the-bed tactic.

  3. Mooser on February 28, 2015, 2:56 pm

    “…it it will reduce the United States’ commitment to the security of Israel,”

    Not to in any way slight Mr. Parsi, or imply anything about his well-spoken words, but when some people say “the security of Israel” I never know whether they mean “the security of Israel” or ‘protecting Israel from the consequences of its own intransigence and lawbreaking’.
    And I still don’t know where the dividing line is. If there is one.

    • pabelmont on February 28, 2015, 3:51 pm

      Thanks, Mooser. Since Israel never says anything without saying “security”, I’d insist that there is a difference between what Israel wants (“security” cream puffs for breakfast, perhaps, or an OK to assassinate people all over the earth on claims of “security”) and what Israel actually needs in order to avoid being damaged by an attack in a serious way.

      Of course, given Israel’s refusal to end the occupation or, failing that, to end the settlement program in every aspect, if it were up to me I’d formally end the USA’s promises of security help (much less guarantees) to Israel.

      • Bandolero on February 28, 2015, 7:24 pm

        Mooser, pabelmont

        “…it it will reduce the United States’ commitment to the security of Israel,”

        … if it were up to me I’d formally end the USA’s promises of security help (much less guarantees) to Israel.

        It can’t happen. Since the US is a colony of Israel disregarding Israel’s security against the law in the US – even for the president. The US president is bound by law to regularly report “the extent to which Israel possesses a qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel” to Israel’s stooges. The “Naval Vessel Transfer Act of 2008” states about the US president’s obligation regarding Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME):

        … The President shall carry out an empirical and qualitative assessment on an ongoing basis of the extent to which Israel possesses a qualitative military edge over military threats to Israel. The assessment required under this subsection shall be sufficiently robust so as to facilitate comparability of data over concurrent years. … In this subsection, the term `qualitative military edge’ means the ability to counter and defeat any credible conventional military threat from any individual state or possible coalition of states or from non-state actors, while sustaining minimal damages and casualties, through the use of superior military means, possessed in sufficient quantity, including weapons, command, control, communication, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities that in their technical characteristics are superior in capability to those of such other individual or possible coalition of states or non-state actors.’. …


        The law was updated since then a bit, but only to place even more burdens on the US president regarding reporting on Israel’s QME to Israel’s stooges. And, since the US Congress is Israeli occupied territory and only Israel’s selected stooges can get seats there, the law cannot change – so the US is legally bound to make Israel win any war of aggression Israel wants to wage while sustaining minimal damages and casualties.

        Of course, the best way to comply with that law is to use cheap US soldiers to wage wars of aggression desired by Israel to fulfill the Zionists’ racist dream of Eretz Israel. And so is it done.

      • piotr on February 28, 2015, 11:43 pm

        I do not object to your major claim that US is a colony of Israel (in the sense that UC student government is “colonized” by SJP), but this particular example is not convincing at all.

        Number one, reporting does not oblige any actions. Even more importantly, the government is obliged to report a lot of stuff, but it is not oblige to report things as they are, but as they are determined to the best ability of government workers and consultants, and there is no legal requirement that they should be bright, brave, knowing languages, knowing subject matter etc.

        Finally, there is a systematic reporting bias. What should be reported about armored vehicles of Israel after they have shown their vulnerability to “tandem projectiles”? What should be reported about IDF prowess in martial arts after member of their special forces were beaten up by amateurs on Mavi Marmara, or when Lt. Col. Eisner tried to beat up some bicycling protesters and broke his finger in the process? I read reports from that region regularly, but the only occasion that I recall that IDF beat up folks who were not restrained were retired ladies from Minnesota. Yes, IDF can shoot, including body and head shots with gas canisters, but when faced with unruly Israeli Jews, and then they are reluctant to shoot, IDF ends up beaten up.

      • Bandolero on March 1, 2015, 12:21 am


        If you really think that the law only requires to report on Israel’s QME you are wrong. the law stipulates an obligation to maintain Israel’s QME and the reporting is to verify that the US president is fulfilling this obligation. It’s not a joke, and it’s not only about reporting, sorry.

        Just have a look yourself:

      • ziusudra on March 1, 2015, 5:41 am

        Greetings Bandelero,
        many, many tks for the info.

        When serendiperty comes & it always does, Israel won lose militarily, they’ll implode due to their many unsolvable fantasies & fronts between themselves. No one owes them a living.
        PS There are many reasons that Rome fell, even though it took 400 yrs. Why the colonial ‘Munchin States’ fell is easy, just like Rhodesia & So. Africa. Israel just where are you going with 350 mn people surrounding you where in only 65 yrs, you’ve made only enemies?
        Superior weaponry is ultimately useless.

    • MRW on February 28, 2015, 7:26 pm

      but when some people say “the security of Israel” I never know [what] they mean

      Neither does anyone. The reflexive phrase for ‘I must be safe’ generation, ‘the who cares if I fuck you to get it’ crowd.

  4. HarryLaw on February 28, 2015, 3:37 pm

    There have been three game simulations of war with Iran, the US has been defeated in all three. In one such encounter the US blue forces took on the Iranian red forces led by tough US marine Lt General Van Ripen [the millennium challenge 2002]. The US fleet was sunk by Van Ripen who used unconventional warfare, hundreds of small craft attacked the US fleet which succumbed to the sheer weight of numbers As Jack Straw former UK Foreign Secretary said not so long ago, an attack on Iran “would be nuts”.

    • piotr on February 28, 2015, 11:53 pm

      In my opinion, the war of 2006 was a practical simulation of US war with Iran. In case of an attack, Iran would declare nearby waters as war exclusion zone, and that would stop tanker traffic out of Persian Gulf. Would the tankers dare to go, they would be treated with missiles (or a combination of mines and missiles directed at mine sweeping vessels). The question is: could US stop Iran doing that?

      The answer is that if Iranian military is armed, trained and prepared as well as Hezbollah but more numerous, then no. Not from the air as they would have prepared many tunnels where they could hide the missile units. Not from the ground as they can make short work from units attacking fortified positions, and USA would not have a better weapon and manpower advantage that IDF had over Hezbollah.

      • Walid on March 1, 2015, 1:03 am

        “The answer is that if Iranian military is armed, trained and prepared as well as Hezbollah but more numerous, then no. ” (piotr)

        Who do you think trained, armed and funded Hizbullah’s military force? Think back to 2006 and the land-to-sea cruise missile that immobilized Israel’s modern frigate, the Hanit. It missed the Hanit’s critical point that would have sunk it by a few meters but it still succeeded in killing 5 Israeli sailors, injuring several and keeping it in dry dock for repairs for 2 years. Since then, Israel has been under threat by Hizbullah that if it tries blockading Lebanon’s coast again, Israel’s incoming and outgoing shipping would be totally shut down as Hizbullah’s missiles have a range of about 300 miles. In 2006, Hizbullah also stopped about 80 supposedly invincible Merkavas with their TOW missiles. And that was 9 years ago, so that should give an idea of what both Iran and Hizbullah could have up their sleeve.

  5. JWalters on February 28, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Power is definitely what this is all about, and especially the power of the war profiteers to manufacture war. The reason the Israelis, the Republicans, and so many in the mainstream media are hammering to label the problem radical “Islamic” extremists is to deflect attention away from the radical Jewish extremists who have been slaughtering Muslims and stealing their land throughout the “Zionist project”, all financed by war profiteering banks.

    The fact that 100% of the 1000’s of members of the mainstream press have so completely ignored this reality can not possibly be a coincidence. It is solid evidence of the Israeli power that controls the mainstream press. There is no other rational explanation, especially in a country with freedom of the press guaranteed in its Constitution. And that is the second tragedy of the “Zionist project” – the destruction of press freedom and democracy in America and Western Europe.

    Only independent news outlets like Mondoweiss are keeping the flame of truth alive. If Obama had not managed to keep Big Money from controlling the internet, that flame would also have been gradually snuffed out. This is truly a struggle to determine if a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that ALL people are created equal shall not perish from this earth.

  6. Pixel on February 28, 2015, 5:21 pm

    Annie, this is a great share.

    AJ+ is like Newsy — concise, easy-to-digest video newslettes – a winning format for the young.

    I think Mondoweiss should create it’s own version.

    I mean, seriously, who has time to read blogs, anymore?

    Well, except

  7. sawah on February 28, 2015, 7:40 pm

    Annie, you are amazin…like the way you put this together

  8. piotr on February 28, 2015, 8:47 pm

    To understand why it is of paramount importance to keep Iran in the doghouse (sanctions etc.) forever, one should go back to often cited reason for the removal of Saddam Hussein. To wit, there is no possibility for stable peace in the region unless Palestinians reduce their unreasonable expectations. And the regime of Saddam Hussein was alleged of doing exactly that, and the list of culprits included also Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. North Korea was included in the “axis of evil” for a good measure (Venezuela somehow was not, but was placed in the target list even so).

    Governments and movements on the target list have to be eliminated, but if that is impractical, isolated and their capabilities reduced to the maximum extend. All of that could be achieved but, alas, the Empire also has some goals of its own that necessitate picking fights with Russia and having rather frosty relationship with China, so Syria and Iran could not be isolated as much as desired (hard to imagine a deal: carte blanche in Ukraine for you, carte blanche in Iran and Syria for us, and to make it more of an equal deal, how about Latvia and all the islands on South China Sea?).

    For a long time, that Israel-centric policy was fine with USA, although the Iraq war made a big dent in the popularity of this approach. In my mother tongue there is a saying “do not check teeth of a gift-given horse”, but if the horse costs you more than a trillion dollars, an irresistible urge emerges to check if the nag can chew, amble, pull or trot, and the discovery that it can’t leads to some dismay. However, of late, the things got seriously wrong and one reason is the dreaded balance of power. We have to fear more from our allies that our erstwhile enemies, and the basic reason is that Iran is to feeble to make our allies afraid of consequences.

    Saudis, Qataris, Emiratis, Jordan, Israel and Turkey all support taqfiris, alumni of Syrian war drift back to their home countries and the West has little stomach for occasional little havoc that those alumni can wreck. Happy projections that Syrian war can continue forever and the West (including Israel) will enjoy the consequences are largely gone, few view the consequences as enjoyable. Yet, hard to see a resolution without Iran being stronger.

    With Iran out of doghouse, first of all, it will be able to do more against the taqfiris. Secondly, perhaps more importantly, it will be possible to calibrate the level of cooperation with Iran, and that will give leverage on our Iran-hating allies to behave more like we wish.

    To recap, normalization with Iran will embolden Palestinians (in Israeli thinking, but I think that they truly believe in that and the fear is not fake, unlike the fear of the nuclear program), and to “add insult to the injury”, will give a level to squeeze Israel with very little effort. Hard to see that the West, least of all, American Administration, will do much for the Palestinian, but they can do a little. So far, Israel could scoff at that “little”.

  9. Kay24 on February 28, 2015, 8:52 pm

    This is an unprecedented show of arrogance, and disrespect for any nation. To deliberately play one side against the other, like Bibi has, using the dysfunctional Congress, and a vindictive Boehner, to stick it to the President, is ugly, and goes with the image Bibi already has, as a lying trouble maker.

    The posters on the buses, should emphasize the fact that Bibi/Israel/Boehner/Congress wants to send our kids to die for wars that can be easily prevented. That is a fact that cannot be disputed. These war mongers are trying hard to sabotage peace efforts, and are getting away with it. ONLY TRAITORS WILL SIDE WITH AN ALIEN LEADER WHO IS CALLING OPENLY FOR WAR, AND OPPOSE THEIR PRESIDENT WHO WANTS TO AVOID IT.

    • Citizen on March 1, 2015, 1:30 pm

      I’m waiting for a main media pundit to bring up the sequential question to demanding boots on the ground–where will they come from? Maybe someone will then bring up how we lost Vietnam war? The current 1% US military force is a spent force. What will happen if conscription becomes an issue? I don’t know a single soul who would willingly volunteer to become a boot on the ground in Iran. Those pushing for war on Iran, and boots on the ground there–live in a fantasy world. American culture only wants a Hessian military. But that’s worn out. Imagine a conscription of females? LOL. Being cannon fodder is no longer attractive in USA, not even for males. Maybe a few woman would volunteer to become snipers through.

      • Mooser on March 1, 2015, 3:04 pm

        “I don’t know a single soul who would willingly volunteer to become a boot on the ground in Iran.”

        Aren’t there already a huge number of people, already enlisted, or obligated by post active obligations (the “ready reserve,” I think it’s called) who will have much, much less choice in whether they go to Iran or not? Their choice would be pretty much, go or disobey an order, and bear the penalties. Wasn’t that a lot of how they manned Iraq, by calling people back with post-active obligations?

        That’s plenty of people, along with those active now, to get us way deep into it. By the time they start conscription (selective service) and are drafting small numbers, everybody will know why those draftees should be ready, hell, eager to go.

      • Kay24 on March 1, 2015, 11:55 pm

        The bottom line is, Netanyahu makes big plans for bombing Islamic nation in his neighborhood, but he will NOT risk a single life of his own people. American blood, American resources, and American tax payer money, every time. We must look like the biggest dupes in the world,
        and the pro Israeli war mongers in the US who pretend they care for their own country, first, should be exposed for what they are doing.

      • Walid on March 2, 2015, 1:12 am

        “We must look like the biggest dupes in the world,” (Kay)

        Not necessarily, Kay, while so true that Israel is undeservingly riding the gravy train, you have to account for some of that American benevolence actually working itself back into the American economy. A lot of those arms that Israel gets for free help the American arms industry that employs a lot of people and keeps some Congress people in Congress, which makes foreign aid also an indirect subsidy to congressional districts. Whatever route the American aid takes, it always ends on the backs of the American taxpayer. Look at all the expensive weaponry in the hundred of millions that the US supplies to Israel for free every time Israel decides to give its neighbours a beating and take into consideration all the free fuel supplied to the Israeli military for its land vehicles, tanks, and aircraft. When missiles and bullets cost nothing, Israel can go on shooting people as there is no cost and when gas costs nothing, you can go on taking joy rides all the time thanks to American taxpayers. It’s like the host and the parasite that feeds off it; they both benefit but in varrying degrees.

        Israel is the only one benefitting from Amercan generosity. Hundreds of Humvees were supplied to the Lebanese military to replace its Korean vintage Jeeps and the internal security services that received over 1000 Dodge Chargers to replace their 15-year old Nissans. Both these gifts were awful horrible gas guzzlers but the Lebanese were not in a position to look a gift horse in the mouth; the US made those grants when GM and Chrysler were in deep doo-doo, so the help was also directed at the ailing American automakers.

      • annie on March 2, 2015, 1:33 am

        A lot of those arms that Israel gets for free help the American arms industry that employs a lot of people and keeps some Congress people in Congress, which makes foreign aid also an indirect subsidy to congressional districts.

        why not just skip the middle man? the US gov doesn’t have to give israel money to buy arms that in turn feed the weapons industry. the US could just hand the money to the weapons industry and they could give it to their employees and tell them to take the month off. then those employees would take that money and buy other stuff with it just like they would if they had made the weapons. the US gov could just dump money on whatever district in whatever state it wants. instead, it dumps it on israel and israel gets to decide which congress district it buys from. take israel out of the equation.

      • Walid on March 2, 2015, 2:28 am

        Annie, that would appear the most logical way of doing it, but there must be some economical twist that doesn’t make it as attractive as we’d see it on the surface. As an example, you have to account for Israel acting as America’s pit bull in the whole region and is always on the ready to attack, such as with what was done at Osirak or Syria’s alleged nuclear site, which I’m sure was done mostly for the account of the US. As one senator referred to Israel, it acts as America’s permanent carrier in the region. Factor-in the cost of alternatively maintaining 70,000 soldiers , 500 aircraft, missiles and nuclear arms to safeguard America’s interests in the region and you’d come up with an annual cost that would 3 billion. In only a few months of sparadic bombings and destroying a few ISIS pickups, the US has already billed Iraq the cost of $250 million.

  10. ramzijaber on March 1, 2015, 11:20 am

    Talking about shifting of power…… TOI just reported that President Obama THREATENED nutnyahoo TO SHOOT DOWN ZIONIST PLANES heading to attack Iran. WOW if true.

    It seems the warmonger zionists (nutnyahoo, yaalon, liberman) decided last year to attack Iran and zionists planes had in fact penetrated Iranian airspace as part of final practice drills. liberman passed the info on to Kerry and then Obama made the threat. So the whole thing stopped.

    Really WOW if true.

    Three BIG questions:
    1) Is this story true?
    2) If true, how did zionist airplanes enter Iranian space without detection? Where is the Iranian radar system?
    3) If true, who were the accomplices to get them there? Jordan? Saudi? Turkey? Iraq? Azerbaijan? Kazakhstan?

    With Rice’s speech to aipac on Monday and nutnyahoo’s speech to the zionists’ American agents (aka, Congress people) on Tuesday, looks like things are reaching the end-game of the current phase.

    We’ll soon see the outcome of all of this.

    • Kay24 on March 1, 2015, 12:18 pm

      That is an unbelievable story. If true, it must have got leaked out deliberately at this time.
      It also shows how unhinged and dangerous Netanyahu really is. The irony of it is, he accuses
      Iran of being a threat, but it seems he is the lunatic in the area, and he has nuclear weapons to play with.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on March 1, 2015, 12:49 pm

      Personally, I don’t believe this story, and reckon that the Israelis ‘leaked’ ie, invented it.

      Why? Because, having ‘threatened’ to bomb Iran’s ‘nuclear facilities’ for at least a decade now, with nothing to show for it, the Israelis want to give the impression that, contrary to what is being said, they are not in fact too scared to attack Iran. No, they are gung ho about attacking Iran – and their equipment is so sooper dooper that they even managed to enter Iranian air space without detection – but big bad Obama put a spanner in the works.

      But how would American jets shoot down Iran-bound planes? They’d have to detect them first – over Turkey? Jordan? Saudi? – get orders from Washington and then violate the sovereignty of a foreign state – not that the Yanks have ever had problems with that of course – all in the few hours it would take for a plane to leave Israeli airspace and enter Iran.

      Sounds like a crock to me, to restore Israel’s wounded macho pride and reestablish the myth of ‘deterrence’.

      • Kay24 on March 2, 2015, 3:45 am

        You have made good points. If it was true this story would have found some traction in the media. Plus, chances of the US shooting at Israeli planes, is slim to NONE. However, there is also a slight chance of the two parties playing good cop/bad cop.

    • piotr on March 1, 2015, 9:19 pm

      I guess it is a tall tale.

      As far as technical capability of American forces to shoot down Israeli planes, they are predicated on knowing where those places are. Consequently, if Americans COULD shoot them down, they would know about Israeli planes already, and that makes the narrative highly problematic.

      Where does USA have radar systems? Surely in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Bahrain and Cyprus, perhaps in Jordan and Iraq too (there is a base there still in use by our forces). The chief problem of Israel is that Iran’s nuclear sites are tad far, just beyond the normal range. That requires that bombers fly high to save fuel — making them visible in 200 mile radius, and are refueled on the ground or in the air.

    • Walid on March 2, 2015, 1:25 am

      I think it’s a combination of true and false affecting parts of the story but more on the true side. This probably happened at the time when there were a lot of rumours going around on how Saudia had consented to allow Israel an air corridor to reach Iran. The false part I’m guessing is about Israeli planes having actually penetrated Iranian air space; they probably reached the border and for that they would have had to go through Iraqi air spce which is controlled by the US, which probably gave its consent for the practice run, the refueling and so on. Another probably true part was about the American threat but not necessarily as drastic as it was made out to sound.

  11. seafoid on March 1, 2015, 1:08 pm

    The US recently brought Cuba in from the cold, much to the chagrin of older Cuban Americans who hate the Castros. But time has moved on and Cuba needs economic growth after the Venezuelans got hit by the fall in the price of oil and business is business.

    Maybe Iran will be the same. With the bots as the equivalent of those old hate drenched but bypassed Cuban Americans

  12. Citizen on March 1, 2015, 1:47 pm

    I fail to see how an Iran war would survive the fact US military conscription is dead in the water. Thank you feminism. I am not being ironic.

  13. David Doppler on March 1, 2015, 5:43 pm

    I’d encourage Hillary and Liz and every other progressive and centrist member of Congress to consider whether they’d rather deal with Netanyahu or Isaac Herzog as Prime Minister? Do they identify with his Neocon politics? with his settlement policies? Do they like his chief funder, Sheldon Adelson? Isaac Herzog is running neck and neck, and Netanyahu is desperate to use the US Capitol as a stage prop in the closing weeks of his election. Why would these Dems help him? Just tell those hysterical AIPAC pressurers, I’d rather work with Isaac Herzog. Come back when he’s in office.

    Is the Congress half full of Neocon dittoheads? or half empty because members would like to deal with a more reasonable, less megalomaniacal prime minister.

  14. PofTarsus on March 1, 2015, 11:16 pm

    Perversely… wouldn’t it be more beneficial for the U.S. and other world players to actually ENCOURAGE Iran to develop nuclear weapons — as a deterrent to Israel’s deadly arsenal of 80-150 nukes that now threaten all of the Middle East with near-instant annihilation?

    The current situation, in which Israel is the only nuclear power, is inherently unstable. With a nuclear Iran, Israel would be checked. And isn’t this, as Dena Takruri discloses in her video, especially with the quote from Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council, the real issue — Netanyahu’s dread of changing the power equation?

    Parsi: “The issue is the geopolitical balance of power in the region; the fear that the United States striking a deal with Iran will legitimize Iran as a regional player and that it will reduce the United States’ commitment to the security of Israel, to the security of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other states that have been traditional allies in the region.”

    Iran is actually following the Japanese model of nuclear development — a peaceful program for electric power, medical uses and research… but with the potential for a bomb. But there is one important difference: Iran is being inspected by the IAEA every step of the way.

    Let’s help Iran develop the bomb, and reshape the interplay of forces in the region so that there is a standoff in the nuclear “balance of terror,” and everyone has a commitment to the security of everyone else, not just to Israel. This will give Israel a strong incentive to finally get serious about peace.

    • annie on March 2, 2015, 12:19 am

      so that there is a standoff in the nuclear “balance of terror,”

      did you mean to write “balance of power” ?

      • gamal on March 2, 2015, 5:01 am

        “balance of terror,”

        Do many people know of the 1916-19 Iranian “famine” in which 40% of the population, some 7 to 9 millions or so are reputed to have died, the British blamed the Turks and Russians, you can still read polemical articles on Jstor and such where scholars argue as to responsibility for the catastrophe, the figures are not disputed just the blame.

  15. Kay24 on March 1, 2015, 11:35 pm

    Sometimes Israel reminds me of the old town Hag, who gossips, prods, and makes trouble for the others.

    “Senior official on Netanyahu’s plane: Congress must be made aware of Iran deal concessions
    ‘We know about details regarding the agreement with being put together with Iran, and we feel that Congress members are unaware of these details,’ says senior Israeli official in the prime minister’s entourage.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived on Sunday night in Washington D.C., where he is scheduled to deliver a speech before Congress on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters during an in-flight briefing, a senior official in the prime minister’s entourage said Israel holds a significant amount of trustworthy information regarding the deal taking shape with Iran that points at concessions agreed to by the world… Haaretz

    Why, how nice of Netanyahu and his loyalists to care about the US Congress and what they should and should not be told. How considerate of them, as usual. If this is not making Congress turn even more against Obama, then I don’t know what will. This is ugly, divisive behavior by Nutty and his band. So unbecoming for a leader, but not surprising for him.

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