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Netanyahu’s accomplishment: Consolidating support for negotiations with Iran

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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last week has blown up on him in one huge way: it is consolidating support for President Obama’s negotiations with Iran. Today’s news is the outrage over a letter to Iranian leaders signed by 47 Republican senators seeking to undermine the Obama deal. The president just blasted the senators who signed, saying they had made an “unusual coalition” with “hardliners in Iran” who are trying to break up the agreement. And he expressed confidence in the US public’s support.

I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran.  It’s an unusual coalition.  I think what we’re going to focus on right now is actually seeing whether we can get a deal or not.  And once we do — if we do — then we’ll be able to make the case to the American people, and I’m confident we’ll be able to implement it.

A former AIPAC staffer says that the letter has all the earmarks of a letter drafted by AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the leading Israel lobby group. Let’s see how many media go after this angle. (Matt Taibi is the latest to ignore the lobby angle in the MSM.)

The good news is that Netanyahu’s attempt to interfere in U.S. policy was so shocking that leading Democrats and liberal Zionists are stating their support for the Iran negotiations. Yesterday Senator Dianne Feinstein cut down Netanyahu in stating we “have to do a nuclear agreement” on Meet the Press:

I think we have to do a nuclear agreement to protect from a breakout, and I think that, you know, what Prime Minister Netanyahu did here was something that no ally of the United States would have done. I find it humiliating, embarrassing and very arrogant because this agreement is not yet finished. To trash it before you have the final period on it, before you know what it is, I think is a huge error in judgment for our number one ally in that area.

Politico has a piece by former Iran negotiator Gary Sick savaging Netanyahu’s appeal to Congress as irresponsible and leading to war:

The entire U.S. intelligence community and most of our allies — apparently including Israel — have concluded with high confidence that Iran has not made a decision to build a bomb. The second round of multilateral negotiations with Iran is approaching the finish line. The details have not been announced, but the outlines of an agreement seem to be emerging. Netanyahu’s cartoon bomb has been drained. It is now empty of 20 percent enriched uranium, and all indications point to the fact that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium will be severely limited for the foreseeable future…

[I]f this agreement is rejected, as the Israeli prime minister and many in Congress are proposing, we go back to the early days of 2013: heavy sanctions, a rapidly increasing Iranian nuclear program and a looming threat of war. That is surely something no responsible statesman or politician would wish to see.

The issue only got more rancorous with the release of the letter from 47 Republican senators to Iran’s leaders instructing them that President Obama’s word is meaningless. Any deal he makes is “nothing more than an executive agreement,” subject to approval of the Congress, the senators said.

The Israel lobby is divided over the letter. The Emergency Committee for Israel loves it.

Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now says the letter violates the Logan Act and urges journalists to look into that. “A United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994,” per Wikipedia.

The National Jewish Democratic Council says the Republicans should be “ashamed” of their attempted “sabotage,” and that the letter hurts the US relationship with Israel.

The Hill reports that the letter is generating outrage on Capitol Hill and at the White House:

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was unusually blunt in ripping the Senate GOP, saying “it’s surprising to me there are some Republican senators who are seeking to establish a backchannel with hardliners in Iran to undermine an agreement with Iran and the international community.”

At Salon, Jim Newell writes that the  letter is the work of the Tea Party (no lobby in sight) and Netanyahu only solidified Dem support for a deal.

we can largely thank Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for inadvertently knocking Democratic Senators back to their senses. The Obama administration and fellow P5+1 negotiators can now spend the next couple of weeks tidying up that framework without having to worry about meddling from “the most important legislative body in the world.”

A realist site says the letter is reckless:

It is clear: When the hawks that are steering congressional Iran policy try to derail the talks, they are consciously and intentionally guiding the United States towards another preventive war in the Middle East.

While George Perkovich of Carnegie says the results of this letter could be isolation of the U.S. and Israel:

“[I]f there is no deal, there will be a contest over who is to blame. If Iran wins that contest among key audiences, by blaming Israel and the U.S. Congress, the situation could become more dire than it has been in many years.”

Some will blame the Jewish organizations for this letter. “No one would have dared writing treason letter without AIPAC,” says former AIPAC staffer M.J. Rosenberg. He put up a blogpost on why he believes AIPAC wrote it.

The purpose of the letter is to sabotage negotiations, enabling Israel to proceed to consider other ways to deal with the possibility that Iran will develop nuclear weapons, i.e. through war not diplomacy.

Because the letter seems at least borderline treasonous, some question whether AIPAC was involved in drafting it. After all, the 47 Republican senators will, we know from experience, do anything to harm President Obama’s initiatives without regard to niceties like the law or the Constitution. But AIPAC? Would they go that far.

The answer is simple.

On all matters relating to Israel and the Middle East in general, AIPAC writes the legislation, letters, resolutions, etc., which are then handed over to legislators to drop in the hopper, gather cosponsors, and get it passed. Not only that, the ideas for these laws come out of AIPAC rather than (as is usually the case with lobbies) starting with the Member of Congress who then asks the lobby for help with drafting. AIPAC does it all, from soup to nuts.

Of course famously in days gone by, AIPAC could get 70 Senators’ signatures on a napkin inside of 24 hours. So we should be pleased that this one has only 47 signatures. Weekly Standard:

Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas who led the effort on the letter, invited all U.S. senators and presidential candidates (including Hillary Clinton!) to sign the letter to the leaders of Iran.

Let’s see who does the lobby angle. Jews continue to play an outsize role in the domestic politics of the issue. That is the achievement of the Netanyahu speech: Jewish Democrats are supporting their president bigtime. Eric Yoffie at Haaretz says the speech has alienated American Jews because Netanyahu “bullied” the president:

Had it ever happened before, [a Jewish friend] asked, that a foreign leader spoke to our Congress and launched a direct attack on the American administration? I told him that, to the best of my knowledge, it had not.

A couple I know with more or less the same Jewish commitments and political views responded similarly. They had watched the speech and felt that members of Congress were being bullied by a foreign leader. True, the leader in this instance was from a place they love dearly, have visited often, and advocate for vigorously. And yes, they are concerned about the dangers posed by an Iranian bomb. But Netanyahu’s high-handed reprimand seemed out-of-place to them and the adoring responses more political than sincere. They saw the whole spectacle as an affront to American dignity. An American Congress with any self-respect, they said, should not tolerate being lectured in this manner.

And these were the Republicans. The Jewish activists who are Democrats that I spoke to – and most Jews are Democrats – were much tougher…

Yoffie says that American Jews worry about “severe” repercussions.

The organized Jewish community is desperate to move beyond the speech and the divisions it generated. As noted by the Forward, Jewish organizations now want to unite the community by focusing on the substance of the Iran deal, rather than the breach of protocol that marred Netanyahu’s visit.

But, from all that I have seen and heard, American Jews are not yet ready to move on. They are unsettled, uneasy and personally distressed. They are worried that the speech will generate repercussions that have yet to be felt and that could be severe. They are especially concerned that the partisan atmosphere that the speech has sparked and legitimized will drive away Democrats and progressives who have always been a mainstay of the pro-Israel coalition.

I think Jews are not just worried about the breakup of the Democratic coalition for Israel, but worried about the ways that dual loyalty issues could hurt Jews. A year ago a liberal Zionist rabbi raised just this issue, of the Iran negotiations and dual loyalty, at a Washington Jewish panel. Melissa Weintraub said it was important to raise the issue:

Are Israeli interests and American interests actually aligned here? If our American interests do diverge from Israeli interests, what then for us as American Jews, how do we navigate that?… There are several positions that have been articulated in the American Jewish community around this agreement, one of which is that this was the ultimate dual loyalty test actually because what arose here was actually a divergence between American and Israeli interests, in which the agreement helped America avert a war and did place Israel in existential danger. I think it’s a very important question whether the phrase itself is repugnant because it brings up anti-Semitic slurs around our loyalty…

The importance of the phrase [dual loyalty] is that it gets at something that has been articulated in those terms by many Jews whether we use those terms or not, which is a sense of real competing interests….a real sense of being torn. Because there are those who think that American and Israeli interests don’t align here.”

Most Jews want nothing to do with such a charge. That is what Netanyahu catalyzed last week; and that’s why the Iran deal looks stronger than ever.

 

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

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

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54 Responses

  1. Pixel
    Pixel
    March 9, 2015, 6:52 pm

    IN RE: Violation of the Logan Act

    :: Petition to File Charges against the 47 ::

    Petition
    ___

    (reposted here)

    • Blownaway
      Blownaway
      March 9, 2015, 10:29 pm

      Thank you for the link the petition has 6500 signatures so far A/O 7:30 pst. If it was an AIPAC petition it would be 10 times that please everyone sign and send to your friends. Nothing will come of it but what great publicity. These guys should not think that their actions go unnoticed

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        March 10, 2015, 2:18 am

        I hope the actions of these traitors does not go unpunished. If the Iranians have any doubts about making any kind of deal with the US, they can’t be faulted considering the treason by the signatories of this letter. Every time I’m sure they’ve gone as low as they can go, I have to once again lower the bar. Apparently there is no line they won’t cross to undermine and humiliate this president and their constituents and all Americans, to do obeisance to a foreign government. They must think they’re Israelis and above the law.

      • Marnie
        Marnie
        March 10, 2015, 5:18 am

        Just a question – wasn’t inviting N’Yahoo to address congress an act of sedition too?

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        March 10, 2015, 9:30 pm

        That petition sign up is speeding up. Keep sharing

        Thanks Pixel

    • steven l
      steven l
      March 10, 2015, 3:14 pm

      The following must be contra-intuitive!!!
      The greater the number of nuclearized countries the greater the chance for peace and safety of humanity!!!
      Forty seven senators warn Iran to be very serious otherwise they will have no deal must decrease the the chance of peace and safety for humanity!!!
      The Pr. platform was based on decreasing the number of warheads on the planet; that must decrease the peace and safety for all of us!!!
      Supporting fanatics must be good for the safety and peace of humanity!!!
      Ignoring terrorism must increase the chance of peace and safety on the planet!!!
      Many positions adopted initially by the President turn out to be exact opposite!
      Some call that DECEPTION! A fundamental Islamic principle.

      • annie
        annie
        March 10, 2015, 3:21 pm

        here’s the deception: The Pr. platform was based on decreasing the number of warheads on the planet

        obviously the 47 senators do not support that because they don’t support decreasing ours or israels. it’s about the balance of power steven, everyone knows that by now.

        Ignoring terrorism must increase the chance of peace and safety on the planet!!!

        like your ilk does when it comes to slaughtering palestinian children. surely you jest.

      • eljay
        eljay
        March 10, 2015, 3:34 pm

        || steven l: The following must be contra-intuitive!!! The greater the number of nuclearized countries the greater the chance for peace and safety of humanity!!! ||

        You’re right: Iran doesn’t have nukes and Israel does, so Israel must be pressured to get rid of its nukes because they represent a greater chance of danger to humanity.

        || Forty seven senators warn Iran to be very serious otherwise they will have no deal must decrease the the chance of peace and safety for humanity!!! ||

        Those forty-seven senators are about as clueless as you appear to be!!!

        || Supporting fanatics must be good for the safety and peace of humanity!!! ||

        You’re right: The world should not support any fanatics – not even Jewish fanatics (a.k.a. Zio-supremacists).

        || Ignoring terrorism must increase the chance of peace and safety on the planet!!! ||

        You’re right: The world should not support ay terrorism – not even Jewish terrorism.

      • RockyMissouri
        RockyMissouri
        March 10, 2015, 4:04 pm

        WTF….??

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2015, 9:39 pm

        “Some call that DECEPTION! A fundamental Islamic principle.”

        As it says in the Koran: “By deception you shall do war!” Isn’t there an Arabic word for it: Hasbara?

        Remind me not to follow you through a cow-pasture, “steven l”

      • just
        just
        March 10, 2015, 10:58 pm

        steven l: “Some call that DECEPTION! A fundamental Islamic principle.”

        Amazingly ill- informed.

        bye.

    • RockyMissouri
      RockyMissouri
      March 10, 2015, 4:02 pm

      THANK YOU!

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        March 10, 2015, 6:39 pm

        Rocky, have you called the offices of your treasonous, bought off Senator, Roy Blount? He is one of the paid off and packaged Zio cheerleaders in the Senate. He should be gone and this latest buffoonery just might do the clown in.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      March 10, 2015, 9:50 pm

      Just inked at Huffington Post, Informed Comment, Going To Tehran, Facebook pages of Hardball, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton, The Cycle, Lawrence O’Donnells and on my own fb page.

      The signature goal was 100,000 by April 8th. All ready at 111,000. Bets that it will reach a million in a week. Keep sharing. People are sick and tired of this warmongering bullshit

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      March 10, 2015, 10:28 pm

      The goal of that petition was to have 100,000 names by April 8th. All ready at 114,000. Linked it over at Huffington Post, Informed Comment, Going to Tehran, FB pages of Hardball, Rachel Maddows, Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton, Lawrence O’Donnell’s I’m placing a bet that there will be a millions sign ups within the week. People are sick and tired of this warmongering bullshit.

      At 7:50 petition stood at 111,354. At 8:25 there were 114,227. Keep sharing this petition please. Thank you Pixel. Symbolic and important

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      March 10, 2015, 11:08 pm

      Comments down below for you. That petition grew by 7000 signatures in one hour. Goal was 100,000 by April 8th. All ready at 118,201 by 9;00 pm

    • Marnie
      Marnie
      March 11, 2015, 2:09 am

      Thank you for posting this Pixel – as of 1 a.m. 03/11 there are over 132,000 signatures – in 2 days! Any chance MSM will notice this? Awesome!

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        March 11, 2015, 10:10 am

        Sure are letting them know. The sign up is increasing quickly. I think the speed indicates how sick and tired Americans are of this incessant warmongering by Netanyahu and team based on false claims. Negotiations can work

  2. Sycamores
    Sycamores
    March 9, 2015, 8:00 pm

    Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded to the letter

    Zarif expressed astonishment that some members of US Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration. He pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.

    http://en.mfa.ir/index.aspx?siteid=3&fkeyid=&siteid=3&fkeyid=&siteid=3&pageid=1997&newsview=330948

    priceless the Iranian FM had to explain international law and the US Constitution to 47 dunderheads

  3. Blownaway
    Blownaway
    March 9, 2015, 9:33 pm

    These guys are really dangerous. Now we know that at least 47 senators ( their names should be published broadly) are a clear and present danger to America

  4. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 9, 2015, 9:49 pm

    I am glad there are calls for these traitors to be charged with the Logan Act. It truly describes exactly what they have done, the perfect example:

    “The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 30 January 1799, currently codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953) is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.

    The Act was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments.[1]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

  5. David Doppler
    David Doppler
    March 9, 2015, 10:10 pm

    I think filing charges under the Logan Act makes a lot of sense. Against the 47 senators, and John Does 1 through 100, identities to be clarified through extensive discovery, under search warrant, subpoena and penalty of perjury. There are certainly constitutional questions that might nullify the Logan Act, as applied to some of the defendants, but each type of defendant would present different legal questions, and it would be well worth the effort to litigate these issues fully. The potential results: 1) the entire Logan Act is nullified, severely limiting the President’s “unitary executive power,” greatly magnified under Neocon Dick Cheney’s interpretation; 2) it is nullified as applied only to the Senators who signed it, on the theory that they are exercising their legislative power, checking the executive power (also limiting the latter), but at the same time, possibly exposing the Lobby and its individual actors to criminal liability; 3) Logan Act is nullified as to everyone, expanding both the legislative power and the First Amendment rights of every individual, at the expense of Cheney’s vaunted Executive power, or 4) all of the signatories and those who worked to make it happen get convicted of crimes.

    The process could take years to fully litigate, and, if pursued aggressively, would be a likely case to go to the Supreme Court. I’ve always thought of Obama as a Judo Master, someone who uses his opponent’s strength and momentum to throw him. Here, Netanyahu has made his full charge, through his Lobby, and Obama has just met the charge by grasping his lapels firmly, rolling backward, while kicking his feet hard into Netanyahu’s middle as he rolls backward, sending the Likudniks/Neocons flying into a legal void.

    Obama’s understated but elegantly incisive comment describing the 47 as making alliance with Iran’s hardliners is the same sort of coup de grace he used against McCain (“what economy is he talking about?” in response to McCain’s “the fundamentals remain strong” as the economy went off a cliff)

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      March 11, 2015, 5:11 am

      I suppose the 47 senators (cf: 47 Ronin can say they were merely chatting with Iran, mot negotiating, nothing wrong with chatting. And the AIPAC initiators (or whoever outside the Senate initiated this: Israelis even, perhaps) can say they were merely talking to their senators (the meaning of “their” being a bit ambiguous, possibly indicating ownership). So, no laws broken. Did the senators negotiate or merely try to inform the Iranians of USA politics?

      I like the idea that the senators (they alone signed the letter, right?) were “doing” foreign policy and violating Logan. But it seems to me that just as high-level “leakers” of official secrets are never prosecuted (whether or not the secrets they leaked were ever and in-advance formally de-classified by persons having the official power to perform the de-classification), so too I doubt the Logan prosecutions will ever happen.

      After all, Congresspeople travel the globe all the time and talk to leaders wherever they go. Who can say that these conversations do not violate Logan?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        March 11, 2015, 5:17 am

        “After all, Congresspeople travel the globe all the time and talk to leaders wherever they go. ”

        Usually doing immense harm to US relations with the country, as they reveal the true breadth of American ignorance and the depth of American craziness.

  6. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    March 9, 2015, 10:11 pm

    Here is what I posted on MJ’s web site. I will be amazed if it passes moderation:

    MJ – here is what I don’t understand. While at AIPAC you acted in a way that was detrimental to your country in the service of Israel. Even discounting that you may have not been aware of your actions being unpatriotic at that time, why didn’t you come clean in all the years since then and help prosecute AIPAC and force them to register as agents of a foreign nation?

    I don’t minimize the articles you have published against the Israel lobby since then. But, your obligations don’t end with that. Having materially participated in acts against this nation, you have to be instrumental in dismantling these vipers in our midst by turning state evidence. What say you?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      March 10, 2015, 11:34 am

      I always think of MJ as a gate-keeper who got caught in the revolving door.

      • Ellen
        Ellen
        March 10, 2015, 6:33 pm

        Right , the door is spinning and he is not quite sure where to make his exit.

        Basically, and in his core a very good man, but it is like all the brainwashing he grew up,with is holding him from making his exit from that spinning door.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        March 10, 2015, 9:36 pm

        “Right , the door is spinning and he is not quite sure where to make his exit”

        And he is caught spinning in the door, shouting “Don’t go in, I mean out, whooops I mean in, I mean, I am in control of this door! And who gets in, I mean out.”

    • CloakAndDagger
      CloakAndDagger
      March 12, 2015, 12:25 am

      My post on MJ’s site did not pass moderation. I am not surprised. At least he got to read my message, and hopefully had a twinge of conscience.

  7. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    March 9, 2015, 10:54 pm

    Chris Matthews opened up his show with this issue tonight (Monday) Hillary mann Leverett has a great interview up over at Going To Tehran. She thinks BB (big bullshitter) shot himself in the foot.

  8. Susan Johnson
    Susan Johnson
    March 9, 2015, 11:59 pm

    It’s difficult for me to find a glimmer of sanity or hope in Mondoweiss posts and comments over the past few weeks. Hey, it’s not the fault of those writing. I am left feeling depressed and angry and hopeless; our congress is comprised of ignorant nitwits..next they’ll be running around in the emperor’s new clothes. ha, ha

    We offer comments, suggestions, debates and demonstrate our opposition to the injustice placed on the Palestinian people ….are we actually a moving in a positive direction?? Right now I am afraid not.

    I keep seeing faces of Palestinians looking older, more worn but still trying to eek out an existence, while living in rubble. And they have nothing, yet always offered tea and hospitality. How can they even begin to hope? Since I was there in 2009 they’ve endured another Israeli bombing….longer and greater than “cast lead.” What has the world done in response? Has it said, “Stop!” Has it made sure aid money they sent has gotten to Gaza? Well, “NO” And why not? I think it’s because they (other countries and leaders) are afraid of
    Israel and its leadership (I use the term lightly)

    Face it folks, we have done so little. All the Gazans asked was that we tell people about their circumstances; what was being done to them; what Israel was doing to them. It makes sense! Wrong, Susan MONEY is what talks and brings about change and money I don’t have.

    And then we have the congress of the united states It seems they in their misguided thinking, (though I can’t quite give them credit for engaging in thought.) How has our government become a pitiful ignorant, example of government? I’m ashamed of congress. (I began working on political issues and elections a LONG time ago,1959 to be exact.)

    My hope is evaporating before my eyes. I have moved and need to register to vote from the new address. I don’t know if I want to be a part of the process

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      March 10, 2015, 12:13 pm

      Do not despair. The wheels are turning. Zionism is rotting from within and with each passing day more and more people around the world, including Americans and Jews everywhere, are seeing Israel for what it is – an abomination. While it may yet be preceded by two states, in the long run, one state between the River and the Sea brought about by peaceful means is inevitable.

      • bintbiba
        bintbiba
        March 10, 2015, 2:04 pm

        Misterioso … I agree . In the end , there can be no other remedy to the gaping wound !

  9. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 10, 2015, 12:13 am

    It is absurd that these backstabbing members of congress, which includes McCain and Lindsey Graham, are aligning themselves with the hardliners of Iran. Most of all, it seems, the butcher of Gaza, also does. The only difference between the hardliners and Beebs, is that he wants a war very badly, so far I have yet to hear the hardliners say they want a war in this matter, because most probably they want to avoid one that will cripple their nation. Whereas the Beebs knows if it comes to war, most probably the Americans will once again bear the brunt of it, with their kids dying and deficits growing bigger. It must be easy to push for war when you know your nation will not feel the repercussions of it.

  10. Kay24
    Kay24
    March 10, 2015, 12:45 am

    With such a blasting from VP Biden, it is a shame that these traitors do not have the conscience to feel ashamed of what they have done, only defiance. The have gone over the line, on to the dark side. Iran has responded with an equally stern tone, and ridiculed these ignorant American leaders, schooling them in international laws. These GOP leaders have embarrassed themselves.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/09/joe-biden-iran-letter-republicans_n_6836146.html

    Apparently Cotton (who follows Netanyahu’s lead on arrogantly going over the heads of colleagues/officials) does not give a sh*t.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/09/tom-cotton-letter-iran_n_6834850.html

  11. Tuyzentfloot
    Tuyzentfloot
    March 10, 2015, 6:51 am

    To put any display of outrage in context, I’m sure quite some representatives have a record of being staunch supporters of Israel because they considered it career suicide not to do so.
    The act of Netanyahu overstepping then becomes an excuse, an opportunity for jumping ship wihtout suffereing too much consequences. Any display of indignation or outrage then makes the excuse more powerful.

  12. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW
    March 10, 2015, 7:13 am

    This untidy politicking makes a bad impression on the rest of the world where it tends to diminish respect for US authority. The appearance of Israeli meddling may also contribute somewhat to loosening restraints that hitherto confined latent antisemitism to its kennel and largely kept BDS related preoccupations off the front boiler. Many ‘ordinary’ Europeans, particularly those involved in manufacturing and agriculture, are far from happy about the effects of sanctions on Russia, and are already disgusted by Israel’s oppressions of Gaza. We’ll see as the year unfolds.

  13. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    March 10, 2015, 10:10 am

    Last night on WNYC (the On Point program: http://www.wnyc.org/story/the-battle-for-tikrit-and-the-fight-against-isis ) was a discussion program about the fight against ISIS and the (new and big) role of IRAN in it. Discussants mentioned fears of Iran gaining preeminence in the region, hegemony ?, power over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Gulf nations, etc. USA seeming to OK this or even make an alliance with Iran (at least as to ISIS).

    Two things were conspicuously never mentioned while I was listening at least:

    Israel was not mentioned. And the Iran nuclear-sanctions-negotiations were not mentioned. Amazing compartmentalization there. Israeli military help to a faction in the Syrian war was not mentioned.

    The apparent cooperation (or non-interference) between USA and Iran on ISIS ought to make the sanctions-negotiations go easier and quicker and also should be making Israel (or BB) wet its pants.

  14. Rodneywatts
    Rodneywatts
    March 10, 2015, 10:16 am

    During World War 1 General Erich Ludendorff, followed by others, referred to British infantry as lions led by donkeys. Whilst historians have debated the facts of the military leadership at that time, we know that there were certainly some donkeys in charge, and the musical ‘Oh, What a Lovely War ‘ (1963) along with TV comedy series ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ (1989) were based on those facts.

    My mind boggles at what pantomime/show might be written concerning the donkeys (sorry to all donkey lovers who feel I am insulting the donkeys) who are trying to ensure that more American lions will die in the disgusting cause of zionism.

    Fortunately I think the Lobby and Netanyahu have way overplayed their hand, but it will be the American people, and most importantly those of the Jewish community who will need to bring the donkeys to heel. Those of us on the other side of the pond are, by and large, not impressed by the GOP or indeed much of the Democrat Party.

    In the UK, whilst some of us are on the streets getting signatures to save our National Health Service or campaigning for corporations to pay fair taxes or against bank fraud in the run up to our general election, we are still looking at what goes on with the US/Israel /Palestine/Iran situation. Is it not time that a new political party emerged in the US? Surely People power can now outweigh neocon money.

  15. lysias
    lysias
    March 10, 2015, 10:25 am

    Walter Pincus’s column in today’s Washington Post details just how Israel got its nuclear arsenal, and all the secrecy and chicanery involved. Another nation blazed the trail for Iran in developing a nuclear program. I assume this is because his defense and intel sources have been feeding him all the necessary information.

    • concernedhuman
      concernedhuman
      March 10, 2015, 3:20 pm

      Interesting.

      So israel has been lying to American politicians since the beginning of Israel.

      No wonder N’yahoo feels it is easy to move Americans.

      • lysias
        lysias
        March 10, 2015, 6:44 pm

        But this is the first time I’ve seen the details spelled out in the Washington Post. The politicians presumably already know what’s been going on, but finally the rest of Americans are starting to be told.

    • JWalters
      JWalters
      March 10, 2015, 7:35 pm

      Speaking of secrecy, Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty may not have been the worst attack by Israel on the US, in the minds of some in the US military. Perhaps some people are getting nervous and desperate.

  16. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    ThorsteinVeblen2012
    March 10, 2015, 1:20 pm

    Netanyahu’s first speech before Congress:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOv-Ncs7vQk

    I can’t make out exactly what he’s saying but I get the gist of it.

  17. seafoid
    seafoid
    March 10, 2015, 3:15 pm

    Taibbi was the one who called Goldman Sachs

    “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.’

    Funny he won’t go near Israel .

    : http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      March 10, 2015, 6:48 pm

      Forget Tabbi and Rolling Stone. That is not reporting, but sophomoric blathering decorated as “journalism.”

      And besides, the owner is Jan Wenner, another gate keeper. Remember entertainment (and RS is an entertainment rag) is a vehicle of propaganda.

      • lysias
        lysias
        March 10, 2015, 6:56 pm

        Remember entertainment (and RS is an entertainment rag) is a vehicle of propaganda.

        As was neatly illustrated by the fact (detailed in the current Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair) that that The Interview movie was made with the input and approval of the U.S. government.

  18. concernedhuman
    concernedhuman
    March 10, 2015, 3:53 pm

    Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday a letter from Republican senators to Iranian leaders on nuclear negotiations was “out of step” with tradition.

    Clinton, a likely Democratic presidential candidate speaking at the United Nations, questioned the purpose of the letter and said the senators were either trying to help Iran or hurt President Barack Obama amid negotiations.

    Neither !!! They were just trying to help AIPAC and israel.

  19. ritzl
    ritzl
    March 10, 2015, 6:38 pm

    A bit OT, but is the Cotton “translation” in Arabic or Farsi? I’m not literate enough to tell.

    http://t.co/NVWL4PSFi1

    • ritzl
      ritzl
      March 10, 2015, 6:41 pm
      • Teapot
        Teapot
        March 11, 2015, 3:57 am

        It’s in Farsi.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        March 11, 2015, 2:23 pm

        Thanks so much, Teapot. There was a 50-50 chance it was buffoonery of an even higher order, so I had to ask.

      • Teapot
        Teapot
        March 11, 2015, 5:42 pm

        You’re welcome, ritzl.

        (Although I cannot say whether the translation is accurate. It’s been almost ten years since I took some Farsi lessons.)

  20. lysias
    lysias
    March 11, 2015, 10:53 am

    Hillary Clinton said in her press conference yesterday that the letter from the Republican Senators could only have had one of two purposes: either to be helpful to Iran, or to be hurtful to Obama. She was careful not to mention the obvious possibility of being helpful to Israel, or at any rate to Netanyahu.

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