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Kristol frets that he walked into Obama’s ‘trap,’ and Rubio says he’ll demand Iran recognize ‘Israel’s right to exist’

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President Obama appears to have won another round in the high-stakes domestic battle that is the Iran deal. The Bob Corker-Ben Cardin bill that passed Senate Foreign Relations the other day giving Congress the ability to review the deal once it’s cut seemed like a victory for opponents of the deal; but by the end of the weeks neoconservatives were scrambling, because they sensed the legislation doesn’t give opponents much power to stop a deal.

As J Street’s Dylan Williams said, there’s

growing realization that opponents of were outmaneuvered on Corker bill compromise

They’re figuring it out!

Bill Kristol suggests the bill is a trap and says Republicans have to do more to block the deal now:

[T]he fact that the legislation allows action only after the deal is signed, and then for a short period of time, makes it of questionable effectiveness.

What we do know is that the Corker-Cardin legislation is unlikely to be enough. In fact, it can be a trap, if it encourages Congress to otherwise back off until a deal is signed—and then sets up a process arranged to make it difficult to disapprove a bad deal once signed. The key is to work to stop the deal from being signed. This requires putting pressure on the weak points of the framework agreement and introducing into the legislative equation other unacceptable aspects of Iranian behavior.

His battle cry for Republicans:

In such circumstances, a great political party has to have the courage to oppose, to obstruct, to delay .  .  . and defeat the deal.

Jim Lobe has a post saying that neoconservatives are “clearly unhappy with the Corker bill.”  He relates that the Wall Street Journal “exuded disappointment even in its sub-head: ‘Congress will get a vote but the President still has a free hand.’” While J Street’s spokesperson says The Journal is saying that Obama “snookered” the Republicans.

Lobe reports that when the bill comes to the floor, Republican senators are likely to push aggressive amendments to the legislation aimed at killing the Iran deal now, not later. One of those measures is Marco Rubio’s demand, echoing the Israeli Prime Minister, that Iran recognize Israel’s “right to exist.”

Will [Marco] Rubio and [Ron] Johnson offer their amendments when the Corker bill comes to the floor? Certainly, Kristol and the Journal appear to be calling for that. It was one thing for Corker to persuade them not to do it in committee. But can Mitch McConnell restrain them, especially given the likely encouragement of Kristol and wealthy donors like [Sheldon] Adelson and Paul Singer who appear to stand behind him? Rubio already suggested after Tuesday’s committee vote when he sat on his hands that he would take it to the floor: “I wanted there to be an amendment on this where the president has to certify to Congress that Iran’s leaders have publicly accepted Israel’s right to exist at a minimum. This is an issue that we’re going to have to talk about on the floor as we move forward beyond this place today.”

Of course, any such attempt could garner solid Republican support ensuring its approval, but, because it’s clearer than ever that the supporters of such an effort want to kill the deal a la Kristol protégé Tom Cotton (and not just try to get a “better deal”), fence-sitting Democrats are much more likely to rally behind Obama. And that may mean that the bill, as amended, could be successfully filibustered, and Obama would never even have to cast a veto.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post says the bill is so focused on Congress’s reviewing sanctions after the deal is cut in the wummer, and the chances are so good that Obama will be able to veto a Congressional rejection of the deal then, that the neocons’ only hope is that the bill might derail the negotiations now.

[T]he main threat to a deal from Corker is at the front end: It risks derailing a deal before it happens. That is a real threat. But if the deal does happen, under the new Corker framework, Congress probably won’t be able to stop it.

The crucial additional point, however, is that this Corker process is supposed to preclude Republicans from doing anything else to block the deal. It is meant to lock in a single process for determining Congress’ will towards an Iran deal. If Congress fails to stop it with that second vote under the Corker framework, that’s it: The deal moves forward for now, until a much-later Congressional vote to make the lifting of sanctions permanent. That is really significant.

Kristol is trying to reverse that mistake by having Congress obstruct the deal now– making so much trouble that the Iranians walk away:

Congress has to spend the next weeks and months urgently raising questions, demanding clarifications, requesting reports, and trying to insist on various conditions for a deal. Even if such legislation doesn’t become law, it can make a bad deal more difficult for the administration to achieve (perhaps by inducing the Iranians to walk away), or to sell to Congress and the public.

Here is Rubio speaking in New Hampshire on Friday and harshly denouncing the deal:

Our president should never have entered into these negotiations… This president wanted the deal worse than they [Iran] did….

We may have to decide at some point… What is worse, war, a military strike against Iran or a nuclear-armed Iran?… I am not cheerleading for war.. But a nuclear [Iran] is an unacceptable risk for the region and the world.

As for the co-sponsor of the Corker bill, Senator Cardin is not all that much better than the Republicans. He has “sent a letter to President Obama criticizing the administration for suggesting they might circumvent direct negotiations with Israel regarding the deal,” according to Maplight, and he has gotten a lot of money from the Israel lobby.

During Sen. Cardin’s (D-MD) 2012 reelection campaign, contributions from pro-Israel interests totaled $277,042. Pro-Israel interests were his fifth largest contributor during that six-year cycle, 2007- 2012.
During Sen. Cardin’s (D-MD) initial bid for Senate in 2006, contributions from pro-Israel interests totaled $421,923.
Pro-Israel interests were his fourth largest contributor from 2005 – 2006.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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46 Responses

  1. ramzijaber on April 18, 2015, 6:28 pm

    Note to zionist entity and supporters: look in the mirror before talking about Iran!

    How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program

  2. Boomer on April 18, 2015, 7:16 pm

    “How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program”

    Thanks for the link. Good to see this getting more attention.

  3. pabelmont on April 18, 2015, 8:04 pm

    And the P5+1 is more than merely the USA and beyond the power of the crazies in Congress to push around, even if they succeed in pushing the USA around. If 5/6 drop sanctions, then perhaps the USA will keep its sanctions and the world will have to live with the readily apparent reality of a loco USA (but that’s not so new; USA’s support to Israel all this while has also been readily apparent and if not quite loco then at least vastly immoral).

  4. Citizen on April 18, 2015, 8:47 pm

    Who’s more insane, Kristol or Netanyahu? And, my oh my, look at Rubio–can a person be more greedy, more thirsty for power purely as a selfish motive? Some day the public will wake up to the fact their “4th estate” kept them ignorant when their government capitulated totally to agents of a foreign government that had only its own interests in mind, and those interests saw USA as nothing but a tool to use and abuse. And my God–the GOP is now the Likud Party.

    • CigarGod on April 20, 2015, 9:32 am

      I don’t know, Citizen. Maybe the only real 4th Estate is the equivalent of people/groups like MW posting handbills on telephone poles? Does the public ever wake up, or do they just run from programed slumber to manufactured mob?
      I am amazed even our educated people think polls are meaningful, when they really only gauge how effective propaganda is.

    • Boo on April 20, 2015, 1:40 pm

      Rubio’s photos always remind me of the frozen-faced-drunk college kid glaring down the bar at the guy he’s gonna go call out to the parking lot after just one more drink. And his rhetoric unfailingly bears that out. Don’t worry, he’s just one of the first clowns to pop out of the 2016 clown car. We aren’t clueless enough to elect a bully like him.

  5. Shingo on April 18, 2015, 9:02 pm

    I cannot get over how these right wing inbreds repeat the same crap over and over again, in spite of all 17 US intelligence agencies reporting since 2007 that Iran is not pursuing a bomb and has no intentions to do so.

    Talk about rewriting history. Rubio is so shameless and in such a bubble that he had no hesitation in bringing up Iraq as an example of how inspectors were outsmarted, when no WMD existed there anyway.

    It’s lucky the Rubio will not even make it past the primaries.

    • Kay24 on April 18, 2015, 9:20 pm

      They must be the new recruits brainwashed and sent to spew that crap.
      Israel is getting isolated and more nations are starting to boycott their products from the illegal territories.

      “Prime Minister’s Office recruiting students to wage online hasbara battles
      PMO and national student union to create covert units at universities to engage in diplomacy via social media; unit heads to receive full scholarships.

      The Prime Minister’s Office is planning to form, in collaboration with the National Union of Israeli Students, “covert units” within Israel’s seven universities that will engage in online public diplomacy (hasbara).

      The students participating in the project, who would post on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter on Israel’s behalf, will be part of the public diplomacy arm of the PMO, but would not identify themselves as official government representatives.

      About a week ago, the outgoing deputy-director general of the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, Daniel Seaman, sent a document to the government tender committee seeking to exempt the national student union from being chosen as the partner in the project through a public bidding process.

      The PMO is looking to invest close to NIS 3 million to recruit, organize and fund the activities of hundreds of university students, as part of the country’s public diplomacy effort.”

      What a “wonderful” education system in Israel ….you spew lies and propaganda and get a scholarship. The lies and deceit starts at high school. You can get paid $2000 to lie for dear ole Israel

      • Mooser on April 19, 2015, 3:50 pm

        “The lies and deceit starts at high school. You can get paid $2000 to lie for dear ole Israel”

        And the one who ‘breaks’ Mondoweiss gets a 4-year full-ride scholarship and a new car from local boosters.

      • Kay24 on April 20, 2015, 7:41 am

        Mooser, “And the one who ‘breaks’ Mondoweiss gets a 4-year full-ride scholarship and a new car from local boosters.”

        Then they are fighting a loosing battle. Looking at the great responses here to the lies and propaganda, they end up looking even more uninformed, and by now they should have just given up. Maybe they do it for stolen olive trees too, who knows.

      • Mooser on April 20, 2015, 5:25 pm

        “Then they are fighting a loosing battle. Looking at the great responses here to the lies and propaganda, they end up looking even more uninformed, and by now they should have just given up.”

        That’s very true, but what I find absolutely chilling is the way they expose their own characters.

    • Blownaway on April 18, 2015, 10:29 pm

      Fascinating that Rubios slogan is A New American Century. With all of his neocon backers lime Bill Kristol this harkens back to PNAC. Here is the link to a interesting article linking the two from zerohedge

  6. Karl Dubhe on April 18, 2015, 9:33 pm

    Speaking of traps…

    If you demand that Iran recognizes Israel’s ‘right to exist’, would you accept that you need to recognize that Iran also has a ‘right to exist’?

    Why are we only talking about the right of only one nation to exist at all? What about the other ones, what about the other ones that also used to exist. Do they have a right to be restored too?

    • oldgeezer on April 20, 2015, 2:01 am

      “If you demand that Iran recognizes Israel’s ‘right to exist’, would you accept that you need to recognize that Iran also has a ‘right to exist’? ”

      Diplomacy is based on reciprocity. Israel has never done diplomacy. It only knows how to whine and demand. Someday it become a proper state but for know it’s the poorly behaved juvenile delinquent in the neighbourhood.

  7. Bandolero on April 18, 2015, 11:26 pm

    What I find interesting is that it so long for Netanyahu’s guys to figure out that the Iran bill in Congress meant a defeat for them in the agreed form.

    I have said that four days ago, very explitcitely here in a comment on Mondo Weiss, directly after news of the deal on the bill was going around:

    I think it’s a pretty good victory for Obama. Here’s why.

    Obama and the P5+1 can now go on and terminating the deal. I expect the deal have the following parameters: Iran is committing to some overviews and limitations of it’s nuclear programm, while P5+1 commits to drop all UNSC and unilateral sanctions regarding Iran’s nuclear programme. In the negotiated contract there will be something like a clause, like when US Congress blocks lifting of US sanctions, other P5+1 will go ahead anyway and regard US secondary sanctions as sanctions against them and fight back, while Iran has fewer nuclear commitments to fulfill, if congress blocks US sanction relief. …

    Why did the Israel lobby and the neocons needed so much time to fgure this out? It sounds to me that they had to wait for an order what to do, but Netanyahu was somewhere partying and generating more empty bottles that his wife can return to receive some money from that, and as long as Bibi was partying, the neocons were on hold.

  8. David Doppler on April 19, 2015, 10:57 am

    I thought the process was highly interesting – it happened so fast and Obama surprised everyone by agreeing to agree. Despite the canned rhetoric, most of those Congresspersons don’t enjoy having their puppet strings pulled one bit. Now that Netanyahu has put support for Israel out there in such stark partisan fashion, on an issue threatening involvement of US troops, it’s nearly impossible for anyone who’s not a true Kool-Aid lover to see this as anything other than naked politics, an extension of Netanyahu’s divisive campaign in Israel into the Republican presidential primaries. Republicans can remember when AIPAC worked primarily thought the Democratic Party, and are unlikely to harbor any illusions.

    Those Republicans will now welcome the campaign money promised for voting as instructed, and they’ll feast on the excuse to bash Obama, but do they really want to succeed in preventing the Iran deal, which could lead to another catastrophic war? Some of them are likely to welcome the opportunity to make Bill Kristol and the Neocons look like suckers.

    • Citizen on April 19, 2015, 12:31 pm

      @ David Doppler
      What you say makes logical sense, assuming the public gets involved at the grass roots in a big way, e.g., as they did when Obama-Kerry were going to bomb Syria–only saved at last moment by a very smart Putin. But I see] no evidence at the moment that the GOP isn’t lock-stepping with Israel to kill the Iran Deal–Rubio, perhaps wanting to take his chance before he grows more balding, is even running for POTUS on a ticket that would require Iran to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

      • Citizen on April 19, 2015, 12:33 pm

        I think both parties count on the mainstream media keeping the wool pulled over grass roots eyes, and they have good reason to feel confident about that. I mean how hard is it to manipulate public opinion in a democracy by Fear? Check out the memo Goering left us all at Nuremberg.

      • David Doppler on April 20, 2015, 1:59 pm

        That was Netanyahu’s last-minute demand, so Rubio is plainly pandering. What all those Congresspersons hear when they’re briefed by the Pentagon on the prospects of going to war in Iran is not the same Kool-Aid. Even John McCain acknowledged sending Corker’s letter to Iran was maybe not a good idea, given that it undermines much of US diplomacy for decades. It’s like Zionism is being dumbed down by Netanyahu, as he struggles with the consequences of decades of Neocon ideology, the need to keep the fear level fresh, despite a real world out there that no longer is receptive, whose patience has worn thin. Netanyahu wants to kill the deal, while I believe most Republicans would be happy to settle for claiming credit for making the deal better than that weakling Obama could’ve negotiated on his own without Congress’s help and bold action. Even George W. Bush lost enthusiasm for more wars.

  9. HarryLaw on April 19, 2015, 3:16 pm

    On Friday, former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton also claimed that Israel has speeded up its decision to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities following Russia’s move to sell S-300 missile system to Tehran.
    President Barack Obama “says all options are on the table. Nobody believes him. The Iranians don’t believe him. The Israelis don’t believe him. He doesn’t believe it,” Bolton said in an interview with Bloomberg.
    “So, the spotlight is on Israel as twice before in their history they’ve struck nuclear weapons programs in the hands of hostile states,” he added.
    Meanwhile Senator Graham is warning of the dangers of attacking Iran, claiming blow back would be enormous, closing the Strait of Hormuz etc, he seems to be distancing himself from those whack jobs Cotton and Bolton.

    • Blownaway on April 19, 2015, 3:45 pm

      Boy if Lindsey graham thiks bombing a Muslim country is s bad idea you know it has to be bad!! If Marco Rubio wants to be president of the US why is he only talking about Israel

      • annie on April 19, 2015, 4:04 pm

        The strongest disagreement came from Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who argued that although the U.S. would prevail in any conflict with Iran, such a course of action would be dangerous. “I think a military attack on Iran opens up pandora’s box,” said Graham. “You’ve got to assume the worst, not the best. They could attack our bases in the region. They could cause disruption in the Gulf of Hormuz [sic — the Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman]. It would be a messy affair.”

        Former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina said, “I think a bombing campaign would be very difficult … as you may well know it’s not clear we could even reach a lot of the facilities.” Fiorina stressed that she would prefer increased unilateral sanctions over a military strike. Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared that, “I don’t think anything is quick and easy there but to me this deal is unacceptable.”

        In addition, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal asserted that while he is “a strong supporter of Senator Cotton,” when “it comes to this specific issue, I don’t know what the military believes in terms of how long it would take them,” emphasizing that such a call would be determined by classified intelligence.

        Most military experts disagree with Cotton’s assessment, and believe an attack on Iran would carry “significant costs and dangers.” In 2009, the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that “Any strike on the Bushehr Nuclear Reactor will cause the immediate death of thousands of people living in or adjacent to the site, and thousands of subsequent cancer deaths or even up to hundreds of thousands depending on the population density along the contamination plume.”

  10. HarryLaw on April 19, 2015, 4:20 pm

    Over at “Informed Comment” there is a commentator called ‘Spyguy’, who gives very good opinions on the middle east, here is part of a comment of his several weeks ago which I think is excellent. Hope he does not mind me repeating it.
    – HOW many dead Americans are they OK with when the USA attacks Iran?
    – HOW soon will they authorize a draft to triple the size of the USA military so it is comparable to Iran’s current active military? (this ignores the 25 million military capable humans in Iran that have a 50:1 advantage over the USA)
    – HOW soon will they triple the taxes for the wealthiest Americans to pay for the war with Iran? For example, Bibi’s interview this weekend was basically an uncontested rant full of lies.
    – HOW soon after the USA loses the war will they apologize for being so stupid?
    Basically the republicans are delusional about the real world. They appear to think all we have to do is snap our fingers and the world will obey blindly, whereas in the REAL WORLD countries like China, Russia, India, Japan and even many in Europe will do what they want, when they want and will defy the USA and there is ZERO the congress critters can do about it.
    Journalist should do their job and point out how delusional republicans are, but given how meek most journalists are, I do not expect very much. For example Bibi’s interview this weekend was basically an uncontested rant full of lies.

  11. amigo on April 19, 2015, 5:33 pm

    So let,s assume that Iran agrees to Israel,s right to exist , (I am not sure they ever said it does not have that right) what,s the inevitable next demand?.

    That Iran agree to Israel,s right to attack Iran.

    Insanity reigns supreme amongst these wack jobs.

  12. traintosiberia on April 19, 2015, 6:01 pm

    America has become the refuge of the stupidities. The cabal – instilled fear adds to the impotence of accepting any lie,any distortion,and conspiracy .
    Kristol is asking to kill the deal . Doesn’t offer for the murder lover doesn’t have any reason to offer.
    But he openly expresses his modus operandi knowing that the sheeple will not dare to notice his conspiracy- ” inducing Iranian to walk away”

    Again the conspiracy theory raises it’s head to be pooh poohed by Zionist. But isn’t that what happening. Israel doesn’t want Iran become a diplomatic partner . It doesn’t want any meeting or deal . Its supporters pour money on those who can keep it that way. Those money are never allowed to be interpreted in those words ,cant and phrases to American voters . The reservations of the bought and paid legislators are then echoed ,rehashed,re emphasized and presented as valid concern of the constituencies . Facing certain uncertainty ,the court jester suggest to make the deal bad enough so that Iran doesn’t take it. The clown knows that it is bad enough for Iran but since his master doesn’t want any deal ,he has to devise or support some stupidest non sequitur like ” Israel’s right to exist” or promote the conversation to the worst kind of fanciful demand .

    • Citizen on April 19, 2015, 10:34 pm

      Israel doesn’t care about Iran getting a bomb, what worries Israel is the US applying some Kissinger balance of power in the Middle East–somewhat normal relations between US & Iran would do the trick nicely, would rock Israel’s world, the current one of its regional hegemony and easy expectation of knew-jerk US support of its whims. Truth is, US benefited from somewhat normalizing relations with the Soviet Union and China, both of whom were ideological opponents to a high degree. Its in US strategic interests to end automatic support of Israel and automatic demonization of Iran.

    • Shingo on April 20, 2015, 1:44 am

      I turned on the news to some amazing developments. I am so tuned out these days to domestic news and never turn on the television, but I did 2 nights ago and learned that Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, was in Tehran, meeting with the leaders there. She had been invited by Tehran and accepted the offer, 12 months since the last time an Australian diplomat had set foot in Iran.

      I couldn’t believe my eyes. Witnessing the diplomacy and mutual respect shown by both sides, and their mutual agreement on maters of the Islamic state, I found it hard to imagine there had been so much hostility and animosity between Iran and the West. It was as if diplomatic relations had never ceased.

      In my eyes, this is a truly historic event. This meeting could not and would not have taken place without Washington’s approval.

      Still, I was amazing and proud to see our otherwise pathetic government taking such a positive and bold initiative.

      It’s no surprise that the likes of Bill Kristol are in such a panic. The speed at which events are moving has left the old guard, Israeli firsters and necons completely baffled and outpaced and they have no idea how to respond.

  13. chuckcarlos on April 19, 2015, 6:05 pm

    bunch of bullshit from the leading cowardly rat of all times, Kristol…

    Russia has stated they would sell Iran even more sophisticated technology than the 200/300…

    Russia and China have all but signed off on Iran…and what in the hell is Russia getting out of this deal? It’s much like the USA selling Libya West Texas Crude…

    bunch of horse shit from the GOP and Israel

    “Many U.S. defense officials from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps agree that the Russian missile system effectively renders entire regions no-go zones for conventional jets like the F-16 or Navy F/A-18 Hornet. Currently, only high-end stealth aircraft like the $2.2 billion B-2 Spirit—of which the Air Force has exactly 20—and the high-performance F-22 Raptor can safely operate inside an area protected by the S-300 and its many variants. The Pentagon’s $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will eventually be able to operate inside those zones, too. But according to multiple sources within the Pentagon and defense industry, no warplane now operating can remain inside those well-defended areas for long.”

    • RoHa on April 19, 2015, 9:08 pm

      Not that the F35 will be able to do anything inside the zones other than injure people with the bits that fall off.

      • eGuard on April 20, 2015, 2:30 pm

        And provided that it doesn’t rain.

    • MRW on April 20, 2015, 7:56 pm

      The Pentagon’s $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will eventually be able to operate inside those zones, too. But according to multiple sources within the Pentagon and defense industry, no warplane now operating can remain inside those well-defended areas for long.

      And that’s just the S-300, the unit they sell to others. The Russians themselves are up to S-500.

      Our military knows we have nothing to match it. That kind of smarts (Russian) only comes from insisting that your scientists must study all the hard sciences to get a PhD in one of them.

    • Shingo on April 21, 2015, 8:39 pm

      F-22 Raptor can safely operate inside an area protected by the S-300 and its many variants.

      Yeah right. The F-22 is such a lemon that not only is it discontinued, but the DOD would be too scared to actually send one of these things into battle. The only time they have used them was against targets armed with nothing but Kalashnikovs.

      The Pentagon’s $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will eventually be able to operate inside those zones

      They can’t even get the F-35 off the ground.

      • RoHa on April 21, 2015, 10:27 pm

        “They can’t even get the F-35 off the ground.”

        Yes they can. They prop it up on the pile of money Australia is paying for it.

  14. traintosiberia on April 19, 2015, 6:22 pm
    Kristol ,Netanhu,Steinitz,former IAEA deputy former UN envoy or domestic presidential hopefuls from GOP simply don’t want any deal.
    Their collectively agreed refrain is – how can you trust Iran.
    When faced with reality,they make a dash for escape to fantasy held with religious conviction that doesn’t ask for use of brain but depends on faith . It is like medieval religious order is asking its flock not to talk to the other side . It is like Stalinist communist asking the citizen not to get near to any understanding of the people on the other side of the Wall.
    It is reminiscent of an earlier known behavioral pattern of the Israeli firster. Zionism’s approach to the possibilities of US reaching out to PLO in 1980 was marked with overt and covert threat,fear mongering,and trustworthiness of the PLO.

  15. Citizen on April 19, 2015, 10:53 pm

    Did NYT accidentally tell its readers that there is no longer any Israeli occupation? Check out this article on a Zionist web site:

    • Walid on April 20, 2015, 6:58 am

      Algemeiner is pretending that since it’s the PA refusing to hold elections and is not allowing Palestinians any leeway, you have to conclude that their occupation is actually at the hands of their Palestinian leaders. Twisted Zionist reasoning, nothing more.

  16. HarryLaw on April 20, 2015, 4:12 am

    Justin Raimondo has it right with this piece at ‘Our enemies the Saudis’

    • Walid on April 20, 2015, 6:55 am

      Raimondo is off-base in paralleling the current Sunni-Shia clashes in the Middle East with the Hundred Years War of the 15th and 16th centuries between Catholics and Protestants. Today’s wars are purely political and the current war on Yemen (where the Shia population is closer in its beliefs to the Sunni than it is to the Shia of Iran) is stemming from the Yemenis refusing Saudi and American dominance over them.

      • HarryLaw on April 20, 2015, 7:53 am

        Walid, you may well be right, but there are groups trying to make it it a purely sectarian issue.
        The Saudis who back some of the Islamists, and who want to cut off the head of the snake [Iran]. Also GW Bush wanted to back the Sunni against the so called ‘arc of Resistance’ as explained by Seymour Hersh some years ago. It is to be hoped the majority Sunni population in the middle east reject the Medievalists, ISIS, Al Qaeda and other assorted head choppers, or the Sunni, and everyone else in the middle east, as well as ourselves have a huge problem.

      • Walid on April 20, 2015, 12:54 pm

        Harry, for the Saudis and Americans that are in it together in Yemen, al-Qaeda are the now the good guys. In the last 3 days, al-Qaeda has made substantial gains in Yemen. From SF Gate:

        “Yemen weapons depot falls to al Qaeda fighters

        Associated Press

        Updated 3:05 pm, Friday, April 17, 2015

        SANAA, Yemen — Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch routed government forces from a large weapons depot in the country’s east on Friday, seizing dozens of tanks, Katyusha rocket launchers and small arms, security officials said, as air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition intensified in the capital, Sanaa, and also in Yemen’s second-largest city.

        The seized depot is located in Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt — Yemen’s largest province where al Qaeda has been consolidating its control. Only the day before, the militants captured a major airport, an oil terminal and the area’s main military base.

        The gains highlight how al Qaeda has exploited the chaos in Yemen, where Shiite rebels are battling forces loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The Saudi-led air campaign in support of Hadi, now in its fourth week, has so far failed to halt the rebels’ advance.

        Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemeni affiliate is known, is widely seen as the global network’s most dangerous franchise and has been linked to several failed attacks on the United States. The group claimed responsibility for the attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris earlier this year.

        However, the Saudi-led air campaign has not targeted areas with an al Qaeda presence, including Hadramawt, where the militant group has long been implanted despite U.S. drone strikes and Yemeni counterterrorism operations. The coalition says the air strikes are aimed at the rebels, known as Houthis, not al Qaeda.

        On Friday evening, hundreds of al Qaeda supporters and fighters gathered at a theater in Mukalla to celebrate their victories in the Hadramawt region, singing war songs and chanting slogans.

        Pro-Hadi forces gained some ground elsewhere in Hadramawt on Friday, with fighters capturing the province’s Masila oil field, the country’s largest, commander Ahmed Bammas said by phone..

        … Thick plumes of smoke rose high above Sanaa as weapons stores in mountains overlooking the city exploded and burned, while local residents continued to flee the violence, said the officials.

        In Taiz, the rebels clashed with army units loyal to Hadi, with tanks and heavy machine guns firing throughout the day and air strikes hitting a military base of the Houthi-allied Republican Guard, the officials said.

        … Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Friday said his country had deployed naval and air forces as part of the coalition’s efforts in Yemen, saying that anything else would require him to tell the public.

      • gamal on April 20, 2015, 2:25 pm

        “Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Friday said his country had deployed naval and air forces as part of the coalition’s efforts in Yemen, saying that anything else would require him to tell the public.”

        right I’m telling….even Mu “la vache qui rit” Barak is not as hilarious as this guy,

        Harry AQ and Isis mainly kill Sunni’s, mainly and destroy their stuff, just like Americans, we of course are devoted to both.

        Medievalists? not really if you knew anything about Medieval Islam, I think they are unprecedented, or what era would best represent them I cant say, perhaps something from the future.

        “or the Sunni, and everyone else in the middle east, as well as ourselves have a huge problem”

        Sunnis already have a myriad, a few anti-deluvian headchoppers, sure we’ll hardly notice, it has been decreed, the MENA is going to burn, anyone permitting Egyptian troops to join their depredations had better dig a grave, Egypt we would be bad… if we weren’t useless.

        But tell me Harry why would Insane Sunni sectarians inconvenience “ourselves”, haven’t we relied on them for generations? Sponsored, armed and protected them? Now you saying there is something wrong.

      • Eva Smagacz on April 20, 2015, 3:15 pm

        Walid, I think he said Thirty Year War. And to be fair, a somewhat similar argument has been made by Ray McGovern, if I recall correctly.

      • Walid on April 20, 2015, 5:04 pm

        You’re right, Eva, it was the Thirty and not the Hundred. Should have caught it since the Hundred had nothing to do with religion. Thanks for the correction.

        Explaining the whole mess as simply a rumble between Sunni and Shia is really oversimplication of the situation.

  17. Lillian Rosengarten on April 20, 2015, 10:05 am

    These people are such stupid lunatics !!

  18. Citizen on April 20, 2015, 4:09 pm

    Recall the recent wide panel discussion on Israel-Palestine-US relations? It took place recently and was ignored by the mainstream press, rejected by CSPAN? Well, now there’s another , smaller one, coming up fast, sponsored by the Jerusalem Fund : Washington’s evolving policy towards Israel-Paletine–panel discussion:

  19. Citizen on April 21, 2015, 8:11 am

    Who are the 2016 Republican presidential candidates’ Jewish donors?

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