Trending Topics:

Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu

on 160 Comments

In the last 24 hours, it has become clear that President Obama is going to win his Iran deal inside the American government, maybe overwhelmingly; that the Congress is going to fail to veto it by a large margin. And that the fencesitters will fall into line with the president. Here are the reasons for my confidence:

1. Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama is now running against Netanyahu on this deal and it is a winning strategy. He uses his name again and again. Chris Matthews said the other night that Americans don’t like him. Opposition to the deal is now firmly associated with Netanyahu, and this is a great thing for the battle. “Can you imagine the politics of this deal if Israel had a sophisticated, attractive, eloquent leader?” James North said to me today.

2. Barack Obama. The late bloomer is in the springtime of his presidency. His confidence, his sense of the moment– the way he took on the critics of the deal in his press conference on Wednesday may have changed everything. Give me everything you got, he said, and two or three times mentioned Netanyahu in shooting the questions down. The anger he showed when Major Garrett said he was “content” to leave four American prisoners in Iran– and the intelligence he showed when he explained that linking the prisoners to the deal would have been a mistake — we are seeing Obama in full, and he is becoming a great leader. (Also did you see the way he turned on a reporter’s question in the El Reno prison in Oklahoma yesterday to say, There but for the grace of God go I, and many of you reporters too, because we made the same mistakes as these prisoners did, but had a support system they lacked– incredible).

3. The American people. It is obvious to anyone who has their ear to the ground that a large majority of the American people want this deal, want a new chapter in the Middle East that does not include drone assassinations and people they know coming home with brain injuries and prosthetic limbs. Here is J Street’s appeal.

Call your Congressperson. We are the majority! Opponents of the deal – many of whom are the same people who brought us the invasion of Iraq – are already hard at work.

CNN says 53 percent of Americans supported the deal in April, it’s bound to be higher now.

The deal represents the US zeitgeist. Charleston, prison reform, Cuba; the belief that people can change, the people’s rage against war as an answer. Shapeshifter Matthew J. Dowd, George W. Bush’s former pollster, speaks for many when he says we need to turn the page on a broken policy:

i am surprised by GOP who advocates for change, but thinks a 50 yr old Cuba policy and 30 yr. Iran policy should still be in place.

why do some require more data and verification on the path to peace than on path to war? difference in approach to Iraq and Iran is amazing.

i will find it astonishing if bipartisan majority votes against Iran deal, and voted for Iraq War. less trustworthy intelligence on Iraq.

4. The establishment. Dianne Feinstein is going to support the deal, according to a well-placed friend. Nancy Pelosi supported it strongly last night. The National Jewish Democratic Coalition came out strongly for it today. Diplomats and nuclear experts are lining up to support it. Ambassador Power has been outspoken, spending some capital. The Carnegie Center and the Atlantic Council have held events extremely supportive of the deal.

Just look at the politics as laid out by the LA Times.

The political dynamic is once again forcing some lawmakers to choose between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is leading opposition to the deal.

But Democratic senators are also displaying a reluctance to support a vote that might weaken the U.S. and Obama on the international stage. Even if a resolution of disapproval is approved by Congress, it would ultimately be vetoed by Obama. And Republicans lack the two-thirds needed to override it without some Democratic support.

Meanwhile, some Republican senators may support the accord, making it even harder for leaders of their party — which holds 54 seats in the upper chamber — to muster the 60 votes needed to advance a resolution that would unravel the deal.

5. Hillary Clinton. She’s as shrewd as they come, and she figured out she can survive supporting the deal.

6. Chuck Schumer. This is anticlimactic: The central figure in the potential opposition is bound to support the deal. The National Jewish Democratic Coalition tipped his hand for him today.

In fact, it is now dangerous politically for Schumer to oppose the deal.  Reread his remarks to that Orthodox Jewish audience in June warning them that when it comes to dual loyalty, he has to put aside the interests of the Jewish people and support the interests of the American people. Well, you cannot have a clearer expression of the American interest than we are seeing right now. Hillary Clinton has done the spadework for him. Jonathan Chait, neocon-lite, is a bellwether of Jewish establishment support. Schumer will defer to the political moment that Barack Obama has created. He will come out for the deal with many giant reservations.

Former Obama Pentagon official Ilan Goldenberg said at the Carnegie Center event yesterday that Israel had all these fearful reasons why it’s against the deal, but the US government is not going to “let the tail wag the dog.” Hearing a Jewish former Pentagon official even suggest that the tail can wag the dog and that’s a bad thing– that’s Iraq War Redux, it means that the cat is out of the bag. Schumer won’t go near this. He can’t be seen to embrace Netanyahu.

7. The left is rising. Look at the fantastic coalition that the National Iranian American Council put together to support the deal. It’s impressive. Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, Peace Now, AFSC, ADA, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Win Without War, the Friends Committee on National Legislation. This is our answer to neoconservatism, a multicultural coalition that is for peace not war. I guess J Street couldn’t be seen with this mob, too bad for them.

Notice the frank rebuttal of dual loyalty in the appeal to me from Jewish Voice for Peace:

Tell Rep. Sean Maloney, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: you work for me, not for Netanyahu. Support diplomacy, not war.

And notice the open acknowledgment of Israel’s nuclear defiance:

Our opponents are getting desperate, Philip….  Israeli leaders, AIPAC, and other opponents of the deal are whipping up fear to try and prevent any kind of diplomatic deal. But here’s the thing: while they shout about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Israel has quietly maintained a nuclear program without signing any international treaties.

8. American Jews. The deal is causing them to turn openly against the Israel lobby and the identification with the warmongering state.

J Street is leading establishment Jewish opinion. It put out a poll showing that 59 percent of American Jews support a final agreement like this one. They are demonstrating an old political principle that Schumer stood up for: if you are going to test us on dual loyalty, we are going to pull out our American flags.

Now look at the portrait that the Wall Street Journal offers of Jews in this article about the political pressures on Democrats over the deal. They are caught between two competing urges.

“Liberals view the pact as preferable to the risk of war with Iran, which Obama has painted as the stark alternative. On the other hand, pro-Israel constituents, some of whom are big campaign donors, worry that lifting sanctions will make Israel vulnerable and leave Iran flush with cash to support terrorist activities.”

Do American Jews want to be on the side of those conservative warmongering donors? No. But the WSJ says that Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bob Menendez and Bill Nelson of FL all have lots of Jews in their constituencies, and even more serious is the case of Jon Tester of Montana, who is head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; he must worry about how his vote on the issue will affect his fundraising abilities.

Again, the Iran deal reveals the fact that Jews who support Israel support war. The curtain of Iraq has been pulled back. What a moment for Jewish identity; and I tell you: young Jews are going to run away from this identification with their hair on fire, Jewish public opinion is shifting before our eyes.

9. The Israel lobby. AIPAC has told its employees to forget their summer vacation and fight this deal, but Ron Kampeas also reports that they know they’re going to lose.

AIPAC insiders say they know they might lose this time, too, but say they have little choice given the existential threats they believe the deal poses to Israel.

Wolf Blitzer and Ilan Goldenberg have both said in recent days that the greatest danger of all to Israel is the continued fraying of the special relationship between the countries, and the ways that Israel is becoming a partisan (Republican) issue. A lot of us love that this is happening, but smarter heads in the lobby are going to realize they have a doubly losing hand and are going to stop fighting the president, soon, and turn to the real problem, #1.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Mondoweiss today.

Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .

Posted In:

160 Responses

  1. just on July 17, 2015, 12:23 pm

    Thanks for this really fascinating piece, Phil. I think the aftershocks of the “earthquake” are continuing apace~ the cracks are here, and I hope, will widen.

    “But the WSJ says that Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Bob Menendez and Bill Nelson of FL all have lots of Jews in their constituencies”

    OK, they “all have lots of Jews in their constituencies”. But are they American or Israeli Jews? It’s time to get serious about this~ finally! These Senators need to talk straight to all of their constituents.

    “On the other hand, pro-Israel constituents, some of whom are big campaign donors, worry that lifting sanctions will make Israel vulnerable and leave Iran flush with cash to support terrorist activities.”

    That money BELONGS to Iran and the Iranian people. That’s a huge leap and a smear by “pro- Israel constituents”.

    “Iran has around $150 billion frozen in international banks, which when sanctions are lifted will begin filtering into the domestic and international economy.”

    • Citizen on July 17, 2015, 4:08 pm

      No question, the US-led financial and trade blockade of Iran is seriously harmed the average Iranian; no question Bill Nelson of Florida is a slimy asshole. I live in Florida; he’s the worst kind of corrupt cracker.

      • Pippilin on July 18, 2015, 12:13 pm

        I agree, Citizen. I live and vote in the Tampa area. Bill Nelson’s baby face covers a Republican in disguise. Term limits, anyone?

    • RoHa on July 18, 2015, 3:01 am

      $150 billion?

      Um, Mr. Ayatollah, sir, could we … er … talk a bit about exactly what terrorist activities you require? Do you have some sort of set payment scale? I’m not really into the blowing people up side of things, but I could, say, write some slogans on a wall, or something like that.

  2. Krauss on July 17, 2015, 12:27 pm

    After whining and nagging about unsubstantiated overoptimism from your side for some time now I duly submit to this hammering of well-argued points.

    The recent NYT story of pro-Israel billionaires trying to save the corrupt Menendez because he can be counted on to do their bidding in Congress on matters of war and peace(read: invade Israel’s enemies no matter what the cost of American blood and treasure) is telling.

    Wouldn’t have happened even a few years ago. When the lobby goes for Obama, it will discover it isn’t the 90s anymore. No president is going to lose the domestic battle because of insufficient slavishness to an agressive and militarist Zionist state, like Bush the elder.

    And the NYT is surely taking sides here, Obama vs Netanyahu, just as Obama wants to, because he understands the exact same thing – the same thing that Hillary doesn’t understand – namely that the rules on Israel have changed in American domestic politics. We’re there.

    • Citizen on July 17, 2015, 4:11 pm

      “…the same thing that Hillary doesn’t understand – namely that the rules on Israel have changed in American domestic politics. We’re there.”

      I sure hope your are right. Even if so, Hillary will be he next POTUS–female vote.

      • a blah chick on July 17, 2015, 7:04 pm

        “Even if so, Hillary will be he next POTUS–female vote.”

        She’s not getting THIS female’s vote!

      • Rusty Pipes on July 18, 2015, 12:05 am

        Hillary has name recognition, a war chest so huge it has scared off most of her well-known potential rivals and lots of political chips to call in (but politicians already offered endorsements in 2008, they may not feel as obliged to publicly back her in this race). She can still rely on the elderly female voters who want to see a woman president before they die. But with many months to go before the first primary, her negatives will weigh increasingly for other women voters as they will for men.

    • Pixel on July 17, 2015, 6:59 pm

      “…the same thing that Hillary doesn’t understand – namely that the rules on Israel have changed in American domestic politics.”

      I’m not so sure.

      “5. Hillary Clinton. She’s as shrewd as they come,”

      • michelle on July 17, 2015, 10:35 pm

        more like transparent
        she would puff anyones cigar for elect support
        she stands for no one not even herself
        the first female POTUS will not be such a toy
        G-d Bless

      • CigarGod on July 18, 2015, 10:27 am

        Ha, Michelle!
        I wouldn’t let Hillary near any of my cigars…let alone…
        Unfortunately, The Machine is her’s to command…and lose.

  3. just on July 17, 2015, 12:39 pm

    Eid Mubarak to all those celebrating here, in Palestine, in Iran, in all the camps, and everywhere!

  4. Mooser on July 17, 2015, 12:41 pm

    “young Jews are going to run away from this identification with their hair on fire”

    You don’t want to set their hair on fire, you just want to start a flame in their heart.

    • just on July 17, 2015, 12:46 pm

      +1, mooser!

      Krauss~ thanks for your comment @ 1227!

    • Pixel on July 17, 2015, 7:02 pm


      Mooser, after Shmuley you’re my main man.

      • RoHa on July 18, 2015, 9:39 pm

        Yep, Mooser knows his Ink Spots.

  5. just on July 17, 2015, 1:01 pm

    This man gone completely & irretrievably mad:

    “Former Obama adviser: Send B-52 bombers to Israel

    In wake of Iran nuclear deal, Israel’s security should be bolstered with means of delivering bunker-busting munitions, says Dennis Ross.

    A former top adviser to United States President Barack Obama has called on Washington to provide Israel with B-52 bombers, following the nuclear agreement reached last week between Iran and six world powers, according to the Defense News website.

    “To have a credible military option, it’s not enough to say all options are on the table. We have to be much more blunt,” said Dennis Ross, a former senior diplomat and adviser to several presidents, in an interview on Thursday.

    The B-52 Stratofortress bomber is outfitted to deliver 30,000-pound (15 ton) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators, also known as bunker-busters. Professional opinion holds that such weapons would be needed to destroy Iran’s heavily-fortified, underground nuclear facilities.

    Delivery of the bombers to Israel would bolster its deterrence and the credibility of its so-called military option, should Iran opt out of its commitments in the agreement reached last week, Ross said.

    “Deterrence becomes a very important question as we move toward implementation,” Ross said.

    Israel has never publicly requested B-52s. “Intuitively, I don’t believe this is the right answer or even relevant to the Israel Air Force,” said Giora Romm, a former deputy commander of the Israel Air Force. “It’s like buying a pair of shoes many sizes too large.”

    Also interviewed on Thursday, Romm said that receiving B-52s would necessitate building new runways and establishing an entirely new concept of operations and training that would be enormously expensive and of limited operational value. …”

    • Citizen on July 17, 2015, 4:13 pm

      Yes, Yes, let’s give our whole Military to Israel!

      • JWalters on July 17, 2015, 6:40 pm

        LOL! Or maybe that should be – let’s take our military back from Israel.

        Watched Dennis Ross and Nick Burns discussing the deal on Charlie Rose the other night. Virtually no mention of Israel. Apparently Israel has nothing to do with all this in the minds of Dennis, Nick, and Charlie. Grotesque, I couldn’t watch the whole thing.

      • Blownaway on July 17, 2015, 8:48 pm

        YesNetanyahu will lose but he will win in the long run its already being spun that but for Netanyahu Iraninas would have got a much better deal from the weak Obama as if it was only the U.S. Negotiating. 2) another price will e paid by the Palestinians because now is not a good time to lean on the Israelis because they are insecure which brings us to the last point Ass Carter will be going to Israel bearing gifts of death and mayhem taht the Israelis already spurned so he will sweeten the deal until they accept the entire defense budget.

    • JLewisDickerson on July 17, 2015, 8:07 pm

      RE: “30,000-pound (15 ton) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators, also known as bunker-busters”

      REPLY: G-d, I really love those Massive Ordnance Penetrators! They get me so excited I almost . . .
      Damn, now I have to change my Depends™! ! !

      • just on July 17, 2015, 8:17 pm

        LOL, John~ Ross is letting it all hang out, and it’s really a cesspool!

        Thanks for all the info, the links, and Patsy, too!

    • ckg on July 18, 2015, 1:48 pm

      Nuclear weapons can also bust bunkers.

      • ckg on July 18, 2015, 1:57 pm

        O/T. When Dem hopeful Martin O’Malley recently praised Harry Truman for quickly recognizing Israel, he also praised Truman for quickly ending WW2, without a word about how he accomplished it.

    • biggerjake on July 19, 2015, 7:22 pm

      Yes, let’s send the B-52s to Israel…and bomb it into oblivion. We’ll hit the schools and the hospitals first…and then we will start in on the settlements in the occupied territories….after that we can hit all of the apartment buildings in Tel Aviv, Netanya, Petah Tikva, Rishon LeZion, etc.

      And as a nice finishing touch we can try out a few of our new bunker-busters on Dimona…

      Then maybe Israel will know what it feels like in Gaza and the West Bank during an Israeli attack…

  6. wondering jew on July 17, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Now that there is a deal, a veto of the deal by the Congress would not only be against the interest of the United States, but possibly against Israel’s as well, because the net result of a total kibosh on the deal would be the unraveling of the sanctions which is not in the interest of Israel. In fact a total kibosh is not possible and in fact, there is now a deal, with or without the united states’ participation. so leaving a lasting legacy of the united states being cut out of the action and being deprived of world leadership, where the world has agreed to the deal, but the US congress defies the deal, this is not a good result. Rather than being able to point to the tension between Netanyahu and Obama as a rough patch of history, the actual kiboshing of US participation in the deal will be a constant reminder of this contentious period in US-Israel relations, and for those who want to put this contention into the past, such a reminder would be bad news.

    Bibi has been compared to a gambler in Vegas who having lost his pants, now bets his underwear. I read that this week in Haaretz. It amazes me that the rest of the Likud has not tossed him out yet. I do not understand the secret of his strength and possibly this spells his end. This 60 day period is his last burst of energy, possibly, although I don’t understand the weakness of the rest of Likud and Bibi’s strength, so maybe I’m missing some knowledge here. But where is the Likud and when will they grow some brains and realize that Bibi bet it all against Obama and Obama has beaten him?

    Is it such a bad deal for Israel? Ten years is a very short time. Ten years is a very long time. History keeps moving on. Israel can now put its focus nearer to home: Hezbollah and Hamas and Da’esh (ISIS). Innovation in regards to the West Bank seems to not be on the immediate horizon, but innovation in regards to Gaza, although dependent on both skeptical sides, is not so distant. maybe the strengthening of Iran means more stubbornness from Hamas vis a vis an agreement with Israel regarding Gaza. Maybe this ascendancy of Iran is bad news for the Palestinians. But whereas regarding the west bank there is no light at the end of the tunnel, regarding Gaza, the resolution is quite near, only lacking will. (The Palestinians are ill served by Abbas. Abbas’s policy of cooperation with Israel may be in the Palestinian interest, but his lack of charisma is a killer. He’s been there forever, he’s old, Fatah needs to put somebody new in charge. Oh, by the way, I don’t know what is in the best interest of the West Bank Palestinians. It could be that an occasional dead settler is in their best interest, an occasional dead soldier might be in their best interest. No one has proven the efficacy of nonviolence in this situation and no one has proven the efficacy of violence either. Of course I do not want dead Israeli soldiers or dead settlers, but that is not the point, rather a question of strategy. But aside from strategy, I am saying that Abbas is old and tired, and there needs to be a new leader of Fatah. That I am saying.)

    The real question is how will the ayatollahs of Iran behave? How will the war in Syria and in Iraq play out? These questions are for experts, but responsible amateurs have a duty to at least raise these questions. Is there anything to suggest that Iran will play a positive role in the region? The US goal vis a vis China by the Nixon move in 72 was aimed in removing China from the Soviet influence and to play China against Russia. An opening with a very specific goal and a readily apparent cause and effect. The fall of the Soviet Union was accomplished mostly by the failure of the communism, but also by the burden that competing with the US militarily put on the weak Russian economy. Very unlike the sudden visit of Nixon to China the collapse of the soviet union was the result of decades of effort by the US. If we wish to compare Iran to the Nixon visit to China or to the collapse of the Soviet union, we have to ask: Is there any plan in how democracy will replace the ayatollahs? Is there any vision in how the strengthened Iran will make the Middle East a less tumultuous region or a more democratic region? I assume that most people recognize the nondemocratic nature of Iran’s regime, should a plan for the future US Iran relationship include some ideas regarding the freedom of the Iranian people? If not, and it is probably not an American priority, please come right out and say it: We don’t care about democracy in Iran. It’s none of our business.

    The US does not care in a consistent manner about the freedom of the Chinese people, nor does it care about pollution in China either. Thus caring about the freedom of the Iranian people is not a primary American concern. At least some comment should be made to that effect that we Americans really don’t care about the Iranians. (We have failed at exporting our values. Something to that effect. but the bottom line is: we are having trouble at home, why waste energy or dollars on trying to improve the lives (as in freedom rather as in dollars) of the Iranian people? We cannot afford to care for foreigners half a world away when we are hurting at home. I hear you, but just say it and don’t pretend that the ayatollahs will change their stripes after this amount of time in power. Ask the people in China whether commerce has made their lives freer? Has made their air more breathable?)

    • Mooser on July 17, 2015, 1:58 pm

      “Yonah” I do believe that all of you are becoming as valuable a commenter as Richard Witty, and there was only one of him.

      • wondering jew on July 17, 2015, 3:22 pm

        “Three Faces of Eve” was one of my favorite movies at one point in time. I think Lee J. Cobb, a full 100% fellow tribesman, was in that flick.

      • wondering jew on July 17, 2015, 3:24 pm

        I am not sure that commenter is a word. It gets the red line treatment here. commentator sounds so pompous, but that appears to be a real word.

      • just on July 17, 2015, 4:19 pm

        It’s a word:

        n. 1. One who makes or writes comments; a commentator; an annotator.
        Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.

      • RoHa on July 17, 2015, 8:12 pm

        According to the real dictionary, it’s a respectable word.

      • CigarGod on July 18, 2015, 10:37 am

        Yonah, the Three-headed Octopus. Just the other day this shy creature used all 8 legs to run away. Now he appears with a new head and is attempting to adopt the pattern and color of his surroundings. He must have prey in his sights.

      • on July 18, 2015, 10:39 am

        I think Lee J. Cobb, a full 100% fellow tribesman, was in that flick.

        I thought it was anti-Semitic to call someone a member of the tribe, or a tribesman?

        So hard to keep up.

      • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 11:44 am

        “Yonah, the Three-headed Octopus..”

        Yes, he has, or rather, ‘they have’ already admitted that is what they are doing. Tag-teaming.

      • CigarGod on July 18, 2015, 3:45 pm

        I was thinking it was a family…but Jon s just fell too far from the tree for that to be true.

      • wondering jew on July 18, 2015, 5:41 pm

        We want Mondoweiss to be a place that everyone feels comfortable visiting, to read and comment, regardless of political perspective. People might not always like what we post, but everyone should feel invited and encouraged to join the discussion, share their opinions, and engage in debate. – See more at:

        4. No personal attacks. We encourage spirited, passionate debate, but if you have to resort to vicious personal attack, you’re not advancing the discussion. Stay on the issues. – See more at:

        The question is: why does mw have a comments policy. maybe you should add #8. Please disregard these rules. these are a joke to be applied haphazardly whenever it tickles our fancy to get serious, but we are not. This is a joke. we hope to entertain and we encourage discourtesy if it is entertaining. we also hope to discourage Zionists from participating. go to your own web sites if you don’t like being attacked.


      • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 11:49 pm

        Yonah, I’m pretty sure the Moderators will show everybody else the same consideration they have shown you. Gee, I could do a word search, and come up with the quotes, but you have already proclaimed in several places you won’t be bound by the commenting rules.
        As far as “personal attacks” go, I won’t waste everybody’s time with quotes from your archive. You are pretty much a known quantity.

      • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 11:52 pm

        “I thought it was anti-Semitic to call someone a member of the tribe, or a tribesman?”

        Anti-semitism is the briar patch of Zionism.

      • dgfincham on July 21, 2015, 10:04 am


        In my version of the OED (which I got free with my Kindle some years ago) ‘commenter’ is not listed as a separate word. It appears under ‘comment’ as a derivative noun, but with no definition.

        I looked into this a few years ago when someone talked about ‘commentating’ on a web side, which did not seem right. Originally the verb was ‘to comment’, and someone who commented was a ‘commentator’. Then the verb ‘ to commentate’ was coined as a back-formation from ‘commentator’, but used specifically to mean ‘making reports on an event as it occurs’. As a result, the word ‘commentator’ tended to become associated specifically with sports commentators.

        I remember suggesting at the time that the word ‘commenter’ be used for people making comments on websites. Perhaps I was the first person in the world to think of this, perhaps not. Anyway, I am pleased that the OED website has caught up with us, even if the MW edit box has not.

        P.S Live bloggers are of course commentators, not commenters. Much more pompous than we are.

    • annie on July 17, 2015, 4:04 pm

      yonah, lots to chew on in that comment. – thank you.

      Is there any plan in how democracy will replace the ayatollahs?

      generally speaking, i’m not really convinced “democracy”, other than a catch phrase, is a priority for american foreign policy. so i wouldn’t imagine there would be a plan for democracy in iran in conjunction with the iran deal.

      Is there any vision in how the strengthened Iran will make the Middle East a less tumultuous region or a more democratic region?

      do you mean as an alternative to a nuclear armed iran? i would imagine this deal would synchronize with the idea the Middle East would be a less tumultuous region as a result of the iran deal -yes.

      I assume that most people recognize the nondemocratic nature of Iran’s regime, should a plan for the future US Iran relationship include some ideas regarding the freedom of the Iranian people?

      no, i trust the iranian people to be the best option to work out , democratically and within their own society, their freedom. and on that note i don’t really expect the iranian people to be intervening in the american people protesting our government on our freedoms (or continued loss of them ever since the partriot act passed congress)

      come right out and say it: We don’t care about democracy in Iran. It’s none of our business.

      you could start with an “I” don’t care yonah. speaking for myself, “caring” about iran’s democracy is not on my front platter. i’m not so sure iran’s democratic process, as is, is that different that what the majority of iranians want.

      Thus caring about the freedom of the Iranian people is not a primary American concern.

      i think the sanctions imposed by congress for the last few years sent a clear message what america’s primary concern was wrt iran, and it wasn’t their freedom.

      At least some comment should be made to that effect that we Americans really don’t care about the Iranians.

      so make it if that’s what you think. howl it from the rooftops. but i don’t think you or any other american can speak for the america public regarding whether or if or how much americans “care” about iranians. i know i care about rapprochement. i’d like our countries to be friends. i think american and iranian unity would go a long way in stabilizing the middle east.

      • just on July 17, 2015, 4:15 pm

        +1, Annie.

        “But whereas regarding the west bank there is no light at the end of the tunnel, regarding Gaza, the resolution is quite near, only lacking will.”

        What the heck is this fecalith?

      • catalan on July 17, 2015, 4:19 pm

        “i think american and iranian unity would go a long way in stabilizing the middle east. -”
        Totally agree. I hope it’s a first step towards a political union, and hopefully, the adoption of the Iranian constitution here.

      • Citizen on July 17, 2015, 4:19 pm

        “i think american and iranian unity would go a long way in stabilizing the middle east.’

        Yes, it would.

      • annie on July 17, 2015, 6:03 pm

        and speaking of not caring yonah, you’ve got to watch this video..starting at 3:25 “they did not care”. truly horrendous.

        British Complicity in the Iranian Holocaust:

      • just on July 17, 2015, 6:31 pm

        Thanks for bringing that here, Annie.

        Horrendous, indeed.

      • JWalters on July 17, 2015, 6:45 pm

        “Is there any plan in how democracy will replace the ayatollahs?”

        Perhaps it could start with America apologizing for overthrowing the democracy the Iranians already had. (And who was behind that, by the way?)

      • Keith on July 17, 2015, 7:18 pm

        CATALAN- “…and hopefully, the adoption of the Iranian constitution here.”

        Article 19
        All people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong, enjoy equal rights; and color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege. – See more at:

        How does this compare with the Israeli constitution? What, Israel has no constitution? Why not?

      • just on July 17, 2015, 7:30 pm

        +10, JWalters & Keith!

      • wondering jew on July 18, 2015, 2:45 am

        annie robbins- reactions:
        this first: i’m not so sure iran’s democratic process, as is, is that different that what the majority of iranians want. – See more at:
        this is a very rich sentence. if the majority of people want a dictatorship, is that copacetic with you. Does that turn a tyranny into a democracy because currently most of the people support tyranny?

        and on what do you base your assumption that the people are satisfied with a system where the ayatollahs have to approve candidates.

        there was a decision by the supreme court of the united states in brown versus board of education of kansas. that decision was undemocratic- against the will of the majority of americans in 1954. lucky for us, the approval of the majority of americans was not written into the us constitution and american institutions were able to aid in moving the country to a more perfect union. i am not sure what challenges there are in iran, surely no domestic challenges comparable to the challenge that the history of american slavery had left on the agenda for america in 1954. but a country controlled by the ayatollahs will not be able to meet any challenges that require something beyond their own thinking and to be so apathetic about democracy in iran leaves me wondering.

        people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. israel’s control of the west bank, its psychology of “demographic problem” and its history of exiling vast populations does not win any democracy awards from me.

        but the progressive mindset (i like that word better than liberal) is aiming for a better world and that involves a consciousness of the difficulties of increasing democracy. democracy is not the end all. american democracy is hurt by the economics of haves and have-nots, although that is more a question of the interaction of democracy with other concerns. and hats off to you for trying to figure out how to undo the after effects of 9/11 regarding american freedoms. the balancing act between security and freedom was not protected by Vice President Cheney and by the congress and president that followed his lead. i’m no expert on how to balance that act, but hats off to you for that assertion.

        but please, the situation in iran is extreme. the country is controlled by a college of cardinals. they approve candidates. they control the judiciary. this is a severely backward situation and “oh, the people really want it that way” is so condescending and somehow seems to be lowered expectations for people of color or something. “their culture is like that and they like it.” this is condescending.

        it should not necessarily affect US foreign policy, but a progressive attitude should not be so laissez faire regarding Iran’s lack of democracy.

      • wondering jew on July 18, 2015, 3:06 am

        annie- In regards to: american and iranian unity would go a long way in stabilizing the middle east. this is a hope rather than a strategy. hope is important. Good. But I really need more than your hope. I need some understanding of the dynamics on the ground. It’s not enough to say, oh I think white will win this chess game. You have to point to some alignment of forces that show white’s strength compared to black’s weakness. I am not even sure of what the goals are regarding stability. I am quite clear regarding Israel’s desires in the region certainly vis a vis Egypt, Hamas and Hezbollah, but I am not sure what Israel wants in Syria. I am not so clear on Iran’s desires in the region and I don’t think America is clear what its desires in the region happen to be.

        I don’t know what the populations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, want or need, but their unelected leaders consider the Iranians to be troublemakers and subversives and representing a current of history against the Sunni populations and power. This is part of the dynamic of the tumult. How does Iranian American unity fit into that dynamic?

        The Assad regime was one of the most repressive in the world when the Arab Spring brought thousands of brave unarmed civilians into the street who were met with extreme violence. the nature of the armed rebellion that occurred afterwards, where they get their guns and support, I don’t know. I know Assad gets his support from Iran. How does that civil war get solved? I think short term it doesn’t. I think long term the rebels win. I don’t see Iran being a help on this issue.

        The situation in Iraq is quite different than in Syria, if merely in cause and effect. In Syria, there was a dictator who repressed his population and then foreign money aided rebels to take over half the country and the rulers got money from Iran and soldiers from Hezbollah to fight off the rebels. That is pretty clear.

        In Iraq, the status quo of decades was destroyed by the first gulf war, and a new status quo lasted a bit more than a decade until the second gulf war. the cumulative effect of the two wars was the overthrow of a tyrant, leading to the assertion by the Shiite majority of their democratic will and a conflict or war with the Sunni populations who feel neglected and repressed now that democracy has been expressed. The removal of Saddam Hussein resulted in a vacuum which was filled by sectarianism and violence. And thus the birth of ISIS. Much more complicated dynamics than the Syrian situation merely in the birth of the crisis involving an invasion by the US and the creation of a vacuum by the removal of a tyrant. How does Iran and American unity solve this problem? Whereas in regards to Syria I see American and Iranian interests clashing, it could be in Iraq they have common interests and then I could begin to understand an optimism regarding stability. but the dynamics in Iraq are foggy to me compared to the dynamics in Syria, so I have no way of judging your optimism in that sector.

        So: regarding Syria I think your optimism is foolhardy. Regarding Iraq, I have no way of judging your optimism. and given the clash between Iran and the Sunni countries, I don’t see that American and Iranian unity does anything to stabilize the middle east. Until you can delineate what the new stability looks like vis a vis Iran versus the Sunnis, you are using the word stability independent of any analysis of the dynamics and your statement becomes empty optimism.

      • Kathleen on July 18, 2015, 10:30 am

        The Leverett’s are always pointing out how “democracy” based on alleged U.S. standards do not apply in Iran etc.

      • subconscious on July 19, 2015, 4:13 am

        @Annie Robbins

        This “truly horrendous” so-called “Iranian Holocaust” perpetrated with “British complicity” is alleged by Mohammad Gholi Majd in his book “The Great Famine and Genocide in Persia, 1917-1919.” Fortunately, according to historians inside and outside Iran, it is mostly a figment of the author’s shoddy scholarship.

        Take, for instance, this report on the “Roundtable to Examine the Great Famine” held in 2013 in Tehran. It was a session on a scholarly project started the previous year examining 4000 documents from the National Library and Archives of IRI, and the archives of Iran’s Foreign Ministry and parliament. Dr. Elham Malekzadeh, chair of the session, said that, contrary to common perceptions, during the relevant period, there is essentially no significant evidence of looting or attack on the population by the British, and a preponderance of evidence of looting and attacks perpetrated by the Russians and the Ottomans, mostly in western Iran. She indicated that various documents put Iran’s population at no more than 13 million at the time and the number of deaths at no more than 1 million, in contrast to the 8 to 12 million deaths alleged by Majd. Furthermore, much of these deaths were not due to famine, but causes such as contagious diseases and various ethno-religious strifes.

        Majid Tafreshi, another scholar at the session, while agreeing that there was famine at the time, mentioned that Majd, whether deliberately or unknowingly, makes the mistake of counting any reduction in population in various areas of Iran as deaths, whereas much of those population reductions were the result of migrations within Iran. Dr. Ali Tetri, manager of the Documentation Center of the Iranian Parliament, indicated that 80-90% of the relevant documents at Iran’s parliament regard complaints of Russian practices, while there are no complaints of British looting or attacks during the relevant period. There were also complaints of Ottoman behavior, while the Germans were the most popular.

        Mahmood Taher Ahmadi, another historian at the session, ridiculed the figure of 8-10 million deaths at the time, putting the figure at below a million and mostly due to Cholera and Influenza. He addes that, in contrast to significant documentation on “Mongol-style” attacks by the Russians in northern Iran, there are no documents in the National Library and Archives of IRI indicating forceful grain confiscation by the British.

        Historians outside Iran have also been dismissive of Majd’s claims of an Iranian genocide. E.g., in an interview with the Iranian monthly Kheradnameh in 2007, Mohammad Tavakoli Targhi, Professor of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto, is quoted as “There’s no doubt in the existence of famine and deaths. But how can it be believed that in the era following the Persian Constitutional Revolution 8 million Iranians are killed and in Persian papers there are no news of that “genocide”? Due to the worldwide importance that public health had attained since the beginning of the 19th century, even if that number of Iranian cows and sheep had been killed, we would have certainly found news of that in Persian documents and publications. Believing in an era of ignorance is the presumption of such a strange account.” Encyclopaedia Iranica, a project of Columbia University, in its detailed “Famines in Persia” entry, only refers to “serious episodes of famine … during the two world wars” with no reference to Majd. Under “Demographic consequences,” the article makes no reference to the alleged 1917-1919 “genocide.”

        As for the term “Iranian Holocaust,” it shows poor judgement, given the background of Holocaust denial and anti-semitic propaganda that became an industry in the Ahmadinejad years. Many of the Iranian radicals, while dismissing the Nazi Holocaust as a myth, would claim that “real Holocausts” have been perpetrated by Jews throughout history against Iranians and others. But, semantics aside, this alleged “Iranian Holocaust” is a myth.

      • subconscious on July 19, 2015, 4:32 am


        The Leverett’s are always pointing out how “democracy” based on alleged U.S. standards do not apply in Iran etc.” That’s b/c much of the Leveretts’ views on Iran are at the level of Orientalist morons.

    • Boo on July 18, 2015, 7:14 pm

      The only question left unraised is “Who put the overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder?”

      I’ll venture to say it wasn’t the Grand Ayatollah.

    • traintosiberia on July 19, 2015, 10:20 am

      It is all about money . The ” start up nation” can’t get started without the morning bowl of money as first thing for breakfast.

      Israel attacks Gaza and builds settlement . America says ” stop it at least for few months” Israel gets free 40 billion dollars of arms . Saudi has to pay though.
      Iran is removed as nuclear threat of ‘ Israeli kind” to Israel and Israel asks for compensation to protect itself from the fallout of the deal?
      WSJ and FOX and CNN see an arms race building in Middle East and blames the deal ( or blames Hamas and Hizbullah depending on the year Israel is attacking Lebanon,Syria or Gaza)
      Words and sentences don’t make sense . They are not meant to make sense. They are the perfect vehicle to hid the track of the thought .

    • dgfincham on July 21, 2015, 9:20 am

      “Is there any plan in how democracy will replace the ayatollahs? ”

      Iran may not be the type of democracy you would prefer, but with an elected parliament and an elected president it is certainly a democracy of some sort. Although Khamenei has the last word on questions of Islamic morality and law, he is by no means a conventional dictator. (And remember, he can be sacked by the Council of Guardians: one of the checks and balances in the system). He rarely intervenes in questions of day-to-day government. The majority of the population do not feel oppressed by their government. Indeed, the parliament seems to be more ‘hardline’ than Khamenei and the present government.

      • lysias on July 21, 2015, 9:51 am

        The chief limitation on democracy in Iran is that candidates have to be approved by the religious authorities before they can run. So there is a religious veto on their democracy.

        In the U.S., candidates have to win the money primary before they can run effectively. So there is a plutocratic veto on our democracy.

        Given the choice, I think I like the idea of religious authorities having a veto on policies better than the idea of plutocrats having it.

      • CigarGod on July 21, 2015, 10:07 am

        Glad to read your comment.
        Have been contemplating our separation of Church and State versus separation of Money and State.

      • lysias on July 21, 2015, 10:22 am

        There’s an easy way to separate money and politics, which the ancient Athenians found and adopted. They chose legislators and most officials randomly, by lot, from the whole body of adult male citizens. (They excluded women and slaves, but there’s no reason why the system of choice by lot can’t be adopted without the objectionable features of the Athenian system.)

      • CigarGod on July 21, 2015, 10:31 am

        I wonder how one qualified to be a citizen?
        Presumably, something more than not being a woman or a slave.

      • lysias on July 21, 2015, 10:40 am
      • hophmi on July 21, 2015, 1:14 pm

        “Iran may not be the type of democracy you would prefer, but with an elected parliament and an elected president it is certainly a democracy of some sort. ”

        A very, very limited one. It’s pretty much a textbook theocracy with a couple of vestiges of parliamentary democracy. Legal system based on Islamic Law, high ranking officials are clerics, etc. When the Establishment is challenged at the ballot box, the Revolutionary Guard cracks down, as they did in 2009.

  7. David Doppler on July 17, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Great list, Phil. And interesting to contrast your take with Rush Limbaugh’s rants over the last couple days, which included ridiculing liberal “orgasms” over how strong and confident Obama was in his press conference, ridiculing Obama’s taking on Major Garrett, demanding to know a single foreign threat Obama had undermined during his term – ticking through them as a list of Obama failures – then concluding that the one foreign leader he has undermined is Netanyahu.

    So hasbara central is trading the NYTimes for Rush Limbaugh as their weapon of choice. Smart move.

    • JWalters on July 17, 2015, 6:53 pm

      Very interesting. We’re starting to see clearly who is on the payroll of the war profiteers, and the diverse channels they use to stir anger and confusing chaos. Not surprising it includes the more obvious dregs of society.

  8. hophmi on July 17, 2015, 1:18 pm

    J Street supports Israel and supports the Iran deal, and most American Jews support Israel and support the Iran deal. I’d say a majority of Jews, and certainly a majority of Jewish Democrats, who may not support the deal certainly do not support war either, so it is demonstrably untrue that “Jews who support Israel support war.”

    • piotr on July 17, 2015, 3:32 pm

      “Supporting country X” is always a vague statement, but clearly, those who support the current government and the views of the majority of the opposition, Zionist Union and Yesh Atid, support “war option”. The majority “Galut” position is that Israel as a country, and as a population which has some objective indicators of well-being, regardless of the currently predominant opinions, gets their support. A kind of view that drives people like Oren to conniptions. A kind of support that disregards common wisdom of Israeli elite and Grand Poobahs of “organized Jewish community, not counting minor Jewish organizations”.

      So, those who support Israel, as the word is usually understood, on the subject of Iran do support a war, more specifically, a war with Iran. Of course, most of the people who oppose a war with Iran were (im)perfectly happy with a war in Gaza etc., an obvious difference being the military and political prospects. But Israeli establishment is like Exxon Valdez on the issue. On a wrong course, with a wrong crew, and damn hard to turn or to stop.

      • hophmi on July 20, 2015, 12:37 pm

        “So, those who support Israel, as the word is usually understood, on the subject of Iran do support a war, more specifically, a war with Iran. ”

        That’s untrue. Most Jewish supporters of Israel, at least, do not support a war with Iran.

        “Of course, most of the people who oppose a war with Iran were (im)perfectly happy with a war in Gaza etc”

        That’s also untrue. Most supporters of Israel were not “happy” about the war in Gaza.

        The Israeli political establishment appears to be against the deal. It’s not clear to me how much people like Herzog oppose the deal on principle versus how much they oppose it for political reasons because they can eventually spin it as a grave diplomatic failure on Netanyahu’s part. There are a number of Israelis in the security establishment who think the deal is quite good, actually.

    • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 12:30 pm

      ” …most American Jews,…I’d say a majority of Jews…”

      Gosh, Hophmi, you are such a lucky guy. Is there anything the Jews won’t do for you? It’s like they know what you want before you even ask.

  9. just on July 17, 2015, 1:22 pm

    Good piece by Shalev:

    “The Israel/AIPAC war on Iran accord is unwinnable and its aims are unachievable …

    In the fierce transcontinental contest over who depicts the Iran nuclear deal in more cataclysmic terms, the Republican Party seems to be winning. True, Israel had some formidable contenders, including Miri Regev’s “Iran got a license to kill,” Naftali Bennett’s “one of the darkest days in world history” and of course Benjamin Netanyahu on Iran’s wish to “take over the world.” But these ominous warnings are no match for Lindsey Graham’s “death sentence for Israel,” Dick Cheney’s “nukes just got closer” and Glenn Beck’s prediction that the deal would cause another Holocaust “perhaps bigger than the last.” Munich, it seems, was child’s play.

    The letter sent this week by AIPAC President Robert Cohen, on the other hand, is disciplined and sober. He explains why the pro-Israel lobby had come “to the unfortunate conclusion that this agreement does not achieve the minimum requirements necessary for an acceptable deal.” An AIPAC statement attached to Cohen’s letter went on to detail lax restrictions, inadequate inspections, speedy sanctions relief and $100 billion, among other things, that Iran will use “to spur deadly conflicts throughout the region.”

    Carefully worded as it was, however, the bottom line of AIPAC’s clarion call to its members was just as over-the-top as the unbridled rhetoric of the politicians. It amounts to a declaration of all-out war against President Obama that is virtually unwinnable, for an objective that is most certainly unattainable. …

    … And can any right-thinking person persuasively deny that under such circumstances, Israel and the Jews would be blamed? Or that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer would be owed a retroactive official apology?

    Generals always prepare for the last war, as the saying goes, but the pro-Israel masterminds are doing so in an environment that no longer exists. “We strongly believe that the alternative to this bad deal is a better deal,” AIPAC asserts, but only if they can enlist Arnold Schwarzenegger to travel back in time to terminate the Vienna deal before it is signed. On earth, on the other hand, the die is cast, the train has left the station and this is the only deal in town. If there was ever a “better deal” to be had, it is long gone by now. The choice is between making the best of the Vienna agreement or assuming responsibility for the mayhem that will inevitably ensue from its rejection by Congress, including the possibility of armed conflict. Perhaps this is what Israel and AIPAC have in mind, but then they should come out and say so.

    The GOP, at least, is consistent. They have been waging a scorched earth, take-no-prisoners campaign against Obama ever since his election six years ago. Even after the U.S. Supreme Court dashed hopes that the Affordable Care Act would be crippled, they are still vowing to gut it the first chance they get. It’s no coincidence, after all, that among 54 Republican Senators and 246 Representatives not a single one has found anything remotely positive to say about a nuclear deal that has been praised by a substantial number of professional experts: for the GOP, sabotaging Obama is not only a matter of politics and ideology – it is a religion in which heretics are doomed. Though they have learned to keep it to themselves, many Republicans still wonder about the very legitimacy of Obama’s election: their all-out assault on his polices is their way of venting frustration.

    Republicans are increasingly bewildered by Obama’s recent string of achievements; they view the destruction of his Iran deal as one last chance to deal him a lethal blow. Israel and AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups will be their Iron Dome, providing them with political cover for the war they would have launched even if the Vienna deal was foolproof and tamper-free. Netanyahu will be cast as the Republicans’ authoritative counterweight to Obama’s assertion as Commander in Chief’s that the nuclear deal is in America’s national security interest.

    It’s far from clear if the planners of the campaign against Obama and his Iran dealings have internalized his remarkable string of achievements in recent months: perhaps they are still relying on their predictions that he had turned into a lame duck following the Democratic debacle in last Novembers elections. It’s also far from clear whether anyone anticipated that Hillary Clinton would make such an early and unequivocal endorsement of the Iran deal, effectively shutting down hawkish Democratic legislators. And it’s far from certain that anyone has devoted enough time to consider the potentially destructive ramifications for the already polarized Jewish community, which is about to be split down the middle by the fierce fight between Israel and the administration: J Street and AIPAC are already slugging it out for all to see.

    One could accept collateral damage to the Jewish community or to Israel’s standing if this was a war that could actually be won. One could even live with it if it’s only a tactical ruse aimed at extracting advantage and concessions elsewhere. But the main cause for concern is that this is simply a continuation of the same kind of failed policy of confrontation, fueled by inherent mistrust of Obama and possibly by ulterior political motives, that brought us to this low point in the first place. It could cause untold damage to the standing of Israel and to the cohesion of the Jewish community, with absolutely nothing to show in return.”

    more @

    • Citizen on July 17, 2015, 4:33 pm

      What do you mean essentially, that despite AIPAC & jewish solidarity and the Israel First megadonors, and the Congress whores, in the end, what’s left is still 98% of the US population, more each day, saying to themselves, “fool me once, fool me twice”?

    • Kathleen on July 18, 2015, 10:34 am

      ““The Israel/AIPAC war on Iran accord is unwinnable and its aims are unachievable”

      Israel and the I lobby demanded that Iran drop their nuclear program all together. Of course those in the MSM never bring up that as a signatory to the NPT Iran has the legal right to enrich up to 20% for peaceful purposes. That they have given up a great deal by lowering enrichment down to 4% I believe.

      Not one talking head ever points out how absurd it is that one of the very nations (Israel) who “cheated” their way to nuclear weapons is demanding that Iran a signatory to the NPT stop their nuclear program all together.

      • Jabberwocky on July 19, 2015, 12:55 am

        Actually the NPT does not place a limit on the purification level. It is focused on the peaceful use of nuclear technology; so, for example, 90% enrichment for a nuclear power plant for a ship would be within the bounds of the treaty. Signatories only limit themselves to not manufacture a nuclear weapon – so legally they could even do research as long as they don’t make a bomb.

        It should also be mentioned that Israel stole large amounts of purified uranium from the USA via a front company, NUMEC. Leaving a site in Pa. heavily contaminated and requiring hundreds of millions of dollars for clean up. No one has been prosecuted, which shows the penetration of the Israel lobby into the US government.

  10. ckg on July 17, 2015, 3:01 pm

    On #9. The Israel Lobby now is more than AIPAC. It’s CUFI too. And that addition alone will alienate many Democrats. Fox News has a report, Pastor Hagee calls Iran nuke agreement ‘historic, bad deal for the world’. Hagee is toxic to almost everyone who doesn’t abide by his armageddon preaching.

    • Citizen on July 17, 2015, 4:34 pm

      Hagee is a reliable SNL sitcom always waiting to be aired.

      • ckg on July 18, 2015, 2:08 pm

        It’s ominous that six top-tier GOP presidential candidates spoke at Hagee’s conference last week when just a few years ago GOP nominee McCain felt compelled to throw Hagee under the bus.

    • retired on July 18, 2015, 12:37 pm

      Watch what Huckabee says and does concerning this issue. He is the most prominent christian zionist in the present Republican pack, and has marked influence over a solid plurality of Republican primary voters. If he doesn’t pick up the fight in the next week or so, it will be because he judges it a losing cause he doesn’t want to be seen leading.

      • ckg on July 18, 2015, 2:24 pm

        Huckabee, I think, is the least politically pragmatic of the passengers in the clown car. He may not give two hoots about whether the fight is winnable. In this respect, he’s the anti-Hillary.

  11. piotr on July 17, 2015, 3:42 pm

    It is quite possible that the new strategy of AIPAC is to dispel the anti-Semitic stereotype that Jews rule in USA by offering a string of examples to the contrary. In this way, supporters of Israel on college campuses will become idealistic, supporting politicians will become courageous rather than bootlickers and so on. That could explain copious donations to the defense fund in the case that was summarized by CNN with the following headline:

    Menendez indictment: 3 girlfriends, 7 lavish trips, more than $750,000

    By the way, this is indeed a great, amusing and extremely topical story where the description how Menendez secured visas for three models who were “girlfriends” of his devoted political donor is followed by “Menendez was also the most vocal opponent of White House foreign policy …. Iran …”.

    • JWalters on July 17, 2015, 7:01 pm

      It seems corrupt people have difficulty confining their corruption to only one part of their life.

      • piotr on July 17, 2015, 10:43 pm

        Actually, CNN was a bit mischievous, because the “girlfriends” were his donor’s; Menendez helped him in more mundane endeavours, like bilking Medicare or obstructing foreign policy on Iran, and more refined, like collecting models from diverse countries, so he served as a one-stop shop for all needs of his chief sponsor (I guess he would offer fellatio, but clearly Dr. Melgen preferred young ladies).

        On edit: Melgen paid hotel bill of Menendez so he could entertain HIS girlfriend in Paris, so the title should really mention FOUR GIRLFRIEND.

  12. piotr on July 17, 2015, 3:56 pm

    More on Menendez. It is actually pretty simple for an ordinary citizen who is not destitute to secure a visa, you have to issue an invitation and vouch for living and health expenses. However, the donor in question is married, and perhaps his spouse was not supportive.

  13. annie on July 17, 2015, 4:09 pm

    fantastic article phil! yeah!!!!

  14. ritzl on July 17, 2015, 5:35 pm

    Just bolster a few of those points, the most watched (by far) TV station in my arch-conservative, military R&D town, Huntsville AL, aired a local arms “expert” as their one and only take on the deal. The expert’s view?: the choice is NOT between this deal and some hypothetical better deal, it’s a choice between this deal and no deal.

    That’s the brief, but completely sane rationale for approval of the deal. This station is a reliable dispenser of feel-good, conservative cognitive resonance here. For them to make this their sole, on-air take on this was remarkable. If that editorial view/community reflection percolates up here, I can only imagine what’s going on in the rest of the country.

    PS. As I mentioned a few days ago, Sen. Richard Shelby, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, probably the third or fourth most powerful politician in the US, has close advisors here. The WHNT news report wasn’t presented in a vacuum, nor did it evaporate, unnoticed, out into the ether.

    • JWalters on July 17, 2015, 7:03 pm

      Thanks for that welcome report. Reminds me of Rachel Maddow’s recent report that 74% of people in Oklahoma support the deal.

    • ritzl on July 18, 2015, 2:20 am

      Correction: Shelby is NOT SAC Chair, Cochran still is. Shelby is #3 in the majority, full committee and SAC-D.

      Still powerful, more top 20ish, but not like I made him out to be above.

      Sorry. My bad.

  15. ritzl on July 17, 2015, 5:38 pm

    Good article. Personally, #3 is a distant #1. The rest are all fuel for that macine.

    • ritzl on July 17, 2015, 5:39 pm

      * macine=machine

    • ritzl on July 17, 2015, 9:43 pm

      If Netanyahu is the main reason Obama wins, doesn’t if follow that if pretty-boy/nice-guy Herzog had won there would be no deal?

      That’s a scary thought. Maybe true, but scary as heck.

      • Kathleen on July 18, 2015, 10:37 am

        Dr. Zbig Brzezinski gave BB a sophisticated pounding on Morning Joe this week. Dr. Zbig “he is not a very serious person? Said that twice about BB.

  16. Jasonius Maximus on July 17, 2015, 5:57 pm

    Great piece, Phil!

    You left out the Reason Number 10. Which would have made it a nice round number.

    Reason 10: Barack Obama is holding a fifth Ace up his sleeve!
    Quite elegantly put, Chemi Shalev likened Netanyahu in a recent Haaretz article to a compulsive gambler that has just lost his shirt and is ready to throw his underwear onto the roulette wheel. In this analogy shalev is more right than he knows. Only the game is poker, not roulette, and Pres. Obama is holding a fifth ace up his sleeve and that ace happens to be the ever notorious U.S. veto at the UNSC that has ALWAYS gone in Israel’s favor!

    Bibi probably thinks he can barge his way into yet another speech to Congress (and will more than likely try) within the next 60 days and bet big on Congress coming to his aid in the biggest bluff in political history. If he dares to place a bet this big, the landing gear on Bibi’s executive airliner will not even have left Ben Gurion Airport’s runway and Barack will be on the phone to Samantha Power reminding her that she has appointment with her hairdresser on the day France’s impending UNSC resolution on Israel/Palestine, the end to the Occupation and Palestinian statehood comes up for a vote later this year.

    If Bibi is too caught up in his little “gambling addiction” to see this coming, he deserves to lose more that his underwear…

    • JWalters on July 17, 2015, 7:05 pm

      I like your thinking!

    • Jasonius Maximus on July 17, 2015, 8:35 pm

      I stand corrected! The Haaretz article I made reference to above was in fact penned by Yossi Verter and not Chemi Shalev. My deepest apologies to the author in question!

  17. JLewisDickerson on July 17, 2015, 6:44 pm

    RE: “why do some require more data and verification on the path to peace than on path to war?” ~ Matthew J. Dowd

    ANSWER: Some require more data and verification on the path to peace than on path to war because for some (including most Congressmen) war is a ‘money maker’, whereas peace is a missed opportunity for making money! ! !

    • JWalters on July 17, 2015, 7:05 pm

      Exactly! That’s the true bottom line behind all this.

      • Mooser on July 17, 2015, 8:23 pm

        I feel very much the same. The way the US works now, it takes much more political power, much more, to stop a war or prevent a war from starting than it does to start a war.

      • Citizen on July 21, 2015, 1:14 am

        That’s one of the benefits of having a commercial military, no conscription.

    • ritzl on July 17, 2015, 9:39 pm

      Love ya, JLD, but I think that peace is a vastly bigger, longer-term, more broadly-distributed money maker. War profits (via destroying everything in sight) are a less-than-zero-sum game (there are only so many things you can destroy before nothing gets rebuilt and you run out of big-ticket enemies/targets/opportunities) but it has the vastly simpler and more visceral explanation to move the masses to support the quick cash-in (by people not them).

      As you imply, broad, peace-based prosperity requires an honest explanation and pols are poorly equipped and/or motivated to do that.


      • JLewisDickerson on July 18, 2015, 2:09 am

        RE: “peace is a vastly bigger, longer-term, more broadly-distributed money maker” ~ ritzl

        REPLY: Probably so, but the elite of this country who have most of the influence to determine policies profit very handsomely from war. They don’t give a damn about “broadly-distributed” ‘money makers’ like peace!

      • RoHa on July 18, 2015, 2:38 am

        “the elite of this country”

        Which county? Don’t make us guess.

      • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 11:48 am

        “Probably so, but the elite of this country who have most of the influence to determine policies profit very handsomely from war.”

        Yes, the “broken window fallacy” doesn’t apply when you own the glass company, and you get paid to break windows, too!

    • JLewisDickerson on July 18, 2015, 1:55 am

      P.S. SEE: “Private Defense Contractors Need War to Keep Profits High”

  18. JLewisDickerson on July 17, 2015, 7:00 pm

    RE: “Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu”

    AU CONTRAIRE: “He [Binyamin “King Bibi” Netanyahu] is one of the most veteran leaders in the world. In the United States they say that if he had been born in the US, he’d have been elected president there.” ~ Queen Sara
    SOURCE: “Phone transcript reveals Sara Netanyahu rant at political rival’s wife”


    Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman
    Giving all your love to just one man
    You’ll have bad times, and he’ll have good times
    Doin’ things that you don’t understand . . .

    • JLewisDickerson on July 17, 2015, 7:47 pm

      P.S. PHOTO: Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) and his wife Sara, who described him as ‘a giant of a leader’.


      . . . I fall to pieces
      Each time someone speaks your name (speaks your name)
      I fall to pieces
      Time only adds to the flame . . .

      • Mooser on July 19, 2015, 7:10 pm

        JL Dickerson I simply remind you that Patsy Cline also sang “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?” ‘Nuff said?

      • JLewisDickerson on July 20, 2015, 7:34 pm

        Which doggie in the window? The one with the waggly tail?

        . . . I read in the papers there are robbers
        With flashlights that shine in the dark
        My love needs a doggie to protect him
        And scare them away with one bark . . .

      • Mooser on July 20, 2015, 8:22 pm

        That’s right Patti Page. I shoulda checked. I was talking about the cute Chocolate Lab which used to be your avatar. Looked just like my Dora. I’m always worried she’ll be mistaken for a red heifer. There’s a teeny weeny white ‘star’ on her chest but I haven’t counted the hairs.

  19. JWalters on July 17, 2015, 7:27 pm

    An excellent article which will add momentum to the avalanche of public awakening.

    I don’t, however, see Obama as a “late bloomer” here. He had these capacities since the start of his administration, but has always waited for the right timing to act.

    For instance, early on he debated the entire Republican caucus and demolished them so badly Fox cut their coverage in mid-debate.

    Also, his early speech to the graduating West Point cadets was a model of a commander in chief explaining to his troops the reason for the coming fight in Afghanistan (block the Taliban and prevent the spread of Pakistani nuclear weapons). He took the slings and arrows of shallow, fantasyland lefties like Jane Hamsher and Arianna Huffington, who enabled tools like Joe Scarborough to falsely state that absolutely no reasons were given for putting troops into Afghanistan, while the panel sat by silently. But now we don’t have the Taliban controlling Afghanistan with nuclear weapons.

    And his speech to the Nobel prize committee was masterfully realistic, despite all the shallow, unrealistic carping by anti-war fantasylanders.

    Now we are seeing he has been pushing pragmatically for peace all along, with most people obvious to the bigger picture and the longer game he has been playing, even though he told us numerous times he was playing a long game.

    The “Zionist project” is collapsing because, due to the long and strenuous efforts of many people, including the staff and contributors to Mondoweiss, and Obama’s deft resistance, the public is waking up to the criminal nature of the Zionist project, and seeing that it’s about war, not religion after all. Obama is launching his ships with that tide.

  20. JLewisDickerson on July 17, 2015, 7:32 pm

    RE: “Do American Jews want to be on the side of those conservative warmongering donors? No… [E]ven more serious is the case of Jon Tester of Montana, who is head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; he must worry about how his vote on the issue will affect his fundraising abilities.” ~ Weiss

    IN OTHER WORDS: How will Haim Saban react.

    SEE: “Haim Saban”, by Matthew Yglesias, The Atlantic, June 10, 2007

    [EXCERPT] If you’re interested in the foreign policy views of major Hillary Clinton financial backer Haim Saban, there’s no need to follow the Atrios path of attempting guilt by association with Kenneth Pollack. He [Saban] discussed his views on the Middle East and Persian Gulf region in great detail in a reasonably recent interview with ‘Haaretz’:

    “When I see Ahmadinejad, I see Hitler. They speak the same language. His motivation is also clear: the return of the Mahdi is a supreme goal. And for a religious person of deep self-persuasion, that supreme goal is worth the liquidation of five and a half million Jews. We cannot allow ourselves that. Nuclear weapons in the hands of a religious leadership that is convinced that the annihilation of Israel will bring about the emergence of a new Muslim caliphate? Israel cannot allow that. This is no game. It’s truly an existential danger.” . . .

    . . . Saban was the largest overall contributor to the Democratic National Committee during the 2001-2002 cycle, when the party leadership was backing the Iraq War and Terry McAuliffe was DNC chair, and if Clinton becomes president, they’ll be back in the positions of influence they enjoyed back then. I doubt this all means that Hillary Clinton’s secretly itching for war with Iran, but it’s yet another illustration of the fact that her views on national security policy are too neoconnish for my tastes.

    SOURCE –

    P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Haim Saban):

    [EXCERPTS] Haim Saban (/səˈbɑːn/; Hebrew: חיים סבן‎; born October 15, 1944) is an Israeli and American media proprietor, investor, philanthropist, musician, record, film & television producer.[2] An accomplished businessman primarily involved with business interests pertaining to financial services, entertainment, and media, and an estimated net worth of $3 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 143rd richest person in America.[1] . . .

    . . . • Political views and fundraising

    Saban says his greatest concern is to protect Israel. At a conference in Israel, Saban described his formula. His three ways to influence American politics were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.[22]

    Saban became involved in politics in the mid-1990s when he felt that support for Israel was slipping in the United States.[5] . . .

    . . . Saban has been a generous and consistent donor to the United States Democratic Party according to his mandatory Federal Election Commission filings. Mother Jones, in an analysis of the major donors to the campaigns of 1998 election cycle, ranked Saban 155th among individual donors.[23] Amy Paris noted that Saban’s Clinton-era “generosity did not go unrewarded. During the Clinton administration, the entertainment executive served on the President’s Export Council, advising the White House on trade issues.”[23] The New York Times reported that Haim and his wife “slept in the White House several times during President Clinton’s two terms.” Saban remains close friends with the former President. Clinton described Saban as a “very good friend and supporter.”[5] Saban contributed between $5 million to $10 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation.[24]

    During the 2000 presidential election, Saban increased his rank to 5th among individual donors with a combined contribution of $1,250,500.[23] Matthew Yglesias wrote that “Saban was the largest overall contributor to the Democratic National Committee during the 2001–2002 cycle.” [25] Saban’s donations during that 2001–2002 period exceeded $10 million, the largest donation the DNC has received from a single source up to that time.

    In September 2004, Hillary Clinton described Saban as a very good friend, supporter and adviser: “I am grateful for his commitment to Israel, to a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and to my foundation’s work, particularly on reconciliation issues.”[5] In May 2007, Haim publicly declared his support for Clinton in 2008 presidential election.[20] In June 2007, Saban and Steven Spielberg co-hosted a Hillary Clinton fundraiser at the house of Peter Chernin, the President of News Corporation.[26] According to the Los Angeles Times,[26] the fundraiser brought in over $850,000.

    In March 2008, Saban was among a group of major Jewish donors to sign a letter to Democratic Party house leader Nancy Pelosi warning her to “keep out of the Democratic presidential primaries.”[27] The donors, who “were strong supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign”, “were incensed by a March 16 interview in which Pelosi said that party ‘superdelegates’ should heed the will of the majority in selecting a candidate.”[27] The letter to Pelosi stated the donors “have been strong supporters of the DCCC” and implied, according to The Jewish Telegraphic Agency,[27] that Pelosi could lose their financial support in important upcoming congressional elections.

    On May 19, 2008, it was reported that Haim Saban had “offered $1 million to the Young Democrats of America during a phone conversation in which he also pressed for the organization’s two uncommitted superdelegates to endorse the New York Democrat.”[28]

    Saban has also made donations to members of the Republican Party including a 2003 contribution to George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign.[5] . . .

    SOURCE –

  21. michelle on July 17, 2015, 9:25 pm

    Cuba …. check
    Iran …. check
    North Korea ….

    Michelle readied for run …. a perfect fit
    G-d Bless

  22. RoHa on July 17, 2015, 10:30 pm

    “Michelle readied for run…”

    You mean you are going to run for President?

    • michelle on July 17, 2015, 11:50 pm

      hello and haha RoHa
      i hope your day was Blessed with the many wonders of life
      if not than hopefully tomorrow
      G-d Bless

  23. hardteachings on July 17, 2015, 11:09 pm

    wholeheartedly agree with the optimism on display here and i truly appreciate the painstaking research and subsequent detail the author and commenters build into
    their opinions.
    i’d like to add my thoughts from the perspective of an ‘intj personality’.
    folks like myself tend to simplify situational assessment and in this case that looks something like this:

    there have only been two major arbiters of human destiny on this planet; property and power, and usually one procures the other either directly or through the diplomacy of an advocate. in the current kerfuffle, property has won; which is to say (very big business)
    has advised power (the u.s. military) that iran is key to to a me power shift that
    provides stability and more potential revenue than the neocons offer.

    i’m cautiously celebrating the possibility that this new rubric will also provide the palestinians a new lease on life. just say’n…h

  24. JLewisDickerson on July 17, 2015, 11:23 pm

    RE: “Nine reasons Obama is going to win on Iran. The first: Netanyahu”

    MY COMMENT: Netanyahu seems to be acting as an espontaneo. (Espontaneo is a bull-fighting term for a member of the audience who leaps down into the ring, pulls out a concealed cape and attempts a few passes with the bull before he is dragged out of the ring.)
    Being an espontaneo can be quite risky.

  25. eGuard on July 18, 2015, 1:32 am

    Oh dear: Netanyahu calls Abbas for Eid greeting and says Israel wants peace.

    That’s called a Charm Offensive. I call it cynical. Of course no MSM will report this unchallenged — Oh wait.

    Last time was five years ago:

  26. just on July 18, 2015, 7:27 am

    “Lapid: Knesset must investigate Netanyahu’s failure to thwart Iran deal

    Yesh Atid chairman accuses Netanyahu of the greatest foreign policy failure in Israeli history; ‘no nations are ready to listen to Netanyahu, or even talk to him.’

    … Lapid, speaking at an event in Rehovot, said “This Sunday, I’m going to submit a written request to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to convene an investigative commission that will write a public report on Netanyahu’s foreign policy failures. It shouldn’t just be an internal investigation by the foreign affairs and defense committee, but a public report on how we reached this situation should be published.”

    Lapid also said “Netanyahu’s actions constitute the greatest foreign policy failure in Israeli history. For years and years, his stated foreign policy goal was to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program. His failure is so large, that not only the U.S., but also Russia, Germany, France, the EU and China – all doors are now closed to him. At the moment of truth, when we needed to thwart this bad deal, no one was ready to listen to Netanyahu, or even talk to him.”

    Earlier on Saturday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke about the nuclear deal during a speech marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and said that Iran’s policy toward the “arrogant” U.S. government will not change, and that the Iran still sees the United States as its enemy.

    The Iranian leader also said that his nation’s Middle East policy is in direct contrast with that of the United States, which according to Khamenei labels Hezbollah as a terrorist group “but supports the child-killing Zionists.””

    Really? You need a commission? LOL.

    • just on July 18, 2015, 7:54 am

      O/T, but again with cows:

      “Jews bent on rebuilding ancient Temple seek missing link
      Will try again to birth red heifer, which they see as key to building third Temple in Jerusalem where mosques now stand.

      Some unsuspecting cow could soon become for Judaism more or less what Mary was for Christianity: A messianic mom. Or so Temple Mount devotees fervently hope.

      In about a month and a half, the faithful, whose ultimate aim is to build a third Jewish Temple on the Jerusalem’s Temple Mount – where the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque now stand, and which Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary – will be implanting red-cow embryos in the wombs of cows in the south. These surrogate mother cows will be meticulously monitored and cared for until they give birth nine months later. If one of the newborn bovines is a heifer, and is totally red, as those running the project expect, and as long as no more than two black hairs are found on its body, it will be declared the first authentic red heifer since the days of the Second Temple.

      After that, the heifer will be slaughtered and burned after reaching the age of two years. Its ashes will be mixed with water and finally, after 2,000 years, believing Jews will be able to purified from the ritual impurities associated with coming into contact with the dead, and will then be free to ascend to all parts of the Temple Mount. At least, that’s what the people at Jerusalem’s Temple Institute believe, and that’s why they’re supporting the project.

      This is not the first time that Temple Mount activists have tried to find and raise a truly kosher red heifer. Their reason for doing so is that the lack of red heifer ashes is one of the most serious halakhic obstacles to building the third Temple on the Temple Mount. According to Jewish law, every Jew is currently ritually impure from having been near a dead body or gravesite. This kind of impurity can only be vanquished by water mixed with the ashes of a truly red heifer.

      Getting serious

      This time around, however, the efforts to raise a red heifer seem more serious, complete with a crowdsourcing campaign that raised over $15,000 in four days, meant to fund an extensive in-vitro fertilization process aimed at producing the long sought bovine. …”

      believe it or not, there’s more @


      • just on July 18, 2015, 8:19 am

        “Iran’s supreme leader said on Saturday that the historic nuclear deal with world powers struck this week would not change Iran’s policy towards the United States.

        Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech that US policy in the Middle East was not in line with Tehran’s strategy. Iran would continue to support its allies in the Middle East including the Lebanese Hezbollah, Palestinian resistance groups and the Syrian government, he said.

        Iran’s direct talks with Washington were limited to the nuclear issue, Khamenei said, and that there could not be any dialogue with Washington over other issues. However, he has said in the past that the door to other issues could open if the US carried out its obligations under the deal in good faith. …”

        more @

  27. HarryLaw on July 18, 2015, 7:44 am

    We know from the former French Presidents overheard conversations with Obama that Obama cannot stand Netanyahu, that’s a given. But what about the US National Security advisor Susan E Rice. here is what Shmuley Boteach wrote in a full-page ad published by him this year in the New York Times saying that Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice condones genocide against the Jews. Huh? Because she “attacks” and “scolds” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his concerns about the Iranian negotiations, thereby dismissing his desperate pleas for Israel’s existence in the face of the perceived threat from Iran. Followed by a picture of Susan E Rice alongside many human skulls. Not something any normal human being would like to be accused of. Beware a woman scorned.

    • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 10:31 am

      “Beware a woman scorned.”

      That’s what scares me about Hilary. And we scorned her. I think she’s got it in for us.

  28. RobertHenryEller on July 18, 2015, 8:15 am

    Netanyahu, AIPAC and the rest of the Zionist Zombies are the greatest threat to Israel.

    And frankly, they are also the greatest threat to Jewish life and Judaism in the United States.

    Zionists have just about destroyed Judaism in Israel. Don’t let them do the same in the U.S.

  29. RobertHenryEller on July 18, 2015, 8:30 am

    Don’t count out the Zombie Zionist Psychos until they’re done.

    I wouldn’t trust a single opponent of the P5+1/Iran nuclear deal to honestly telegraph either their honest intentions, or their assessment of their chances of winning.

    These weasels are not done fighting.

    Please, do not celebrate too soon! Ain’t over till it’s over.

    In the end, it’s all going to be about money, same as it ever is. I.e., what are Chuck Schumer’s and Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street and Corporate backers telling them, versus what are the Israel-Firster moneybags telling them, versus what are the Military Contractors demanding?

    This is one giant bidding war, and don’t forget it.

  30. Bandolero on July 18, 2015, 8:41 am

    Has anyone read Slate recently? I usually avoid zionist hasbara outfits where I can, but this article in Slate caught my attention. Quote:

    Why Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Neocons Hate the Iran Deal

    Hint: It has nothing to do with the deal.
    By Fred Kaplan

    … What Netanyahu and King Salman want Obama to do is to wage war against Iran—or, more to the point, to fight their wars against Iran for them. That is why they so virulently oppose U.S. diplomacy with Iran—because the more we talk with Iran’s leaders, the less likely we are to go to war with them. Their view is the opposite of Winston Churchill’s: They believe to war-war is better than to jaw-jaw. … Netanyahu is sure to lobby against this deal on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks, just as he lobbied against the negotiations in his dreadful but politically potent speech before Congress in March. Republicans—keen to cheer the Israeli prime minister and to pummel their own president—probably won’t realize that they’re being played as pawns in someone else’s game. …

    I bet the US public is not keen to be used as proxy for other nations fighting their stupid and selfish wars, even if they are allies and best friends. I think if that will become a main discussion narrative in the US during the next months AIPAC and their pawns may be finished soon.

    • Kathleen on July 18, 2015, 10:27 am

      Thanks for the link. So tired of the Israel is our “best friend” label being repeated over and over again. Not sure about others but I avoid individuals who are willing to stab you in the back to move their own agenda forward. Oh and then ask you to partially pay for the destructive agenda. Illegal settlements etc

  31. gosmoboleet on July 18, 2015, 8:50 am

    “It is obvious to anyone who has their ear to the ground that a large majority of the American people want this deal, want a new chapter in the Middle East that does not include drone assassinations and people they know coming home with brain injuries and prosthetic limbs.

    Still, having the Americans in this is evidence that the colonial mindset is not gone completely. The weaponry Iran needs to survive they will get. Obama and the other Countries are still trying to put the imperial stamp of approval on the Middle East with Kerry as a sort of ‘sad-sack’ Picot, shows that they simply cannot let these people solve their own issues.

    The ME is shaking off the last 100 years of the same meddling that drew a crazy quilt of pseudo borders splitting ethnic and tribal boundaries. The IS is being instrumental in trying to adjust this anachronistic configuration and instead of looking at it as a way of shaking off the colonial stain, they’re bombing them. This has finally got the sleepy Saudis to wake up. and Iran is looking for a way to assure the survival of the Shia in an increasingly Sunni hegemon. The least America can do is butt-out. Iran is going to get the weaponry it needs to stave off the ISis good for the area. There is no American “win” here except for the old reasons…wait for it….oil.

    The meddling Bush lanced this boil and a ham-handed Obama helped facilitate the pus to run into Egypt and Libya. At least have the grace to get out now. We know you ‘feel bad’ about it all but you’re now the proverbial ‘turd in the punchbowl’.

  32. just on July 18, 2015, 8:51 am

    Quite interesting piece by Eric Margolis:

    “Barack Obama is the first American president to stand up to the Israel lobby since Dwight Eisenhower ordered Israel to withdraw from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in 1956-57.

    Freed of re-election concerns and the need for vast amounts of cash, President Obama finally made the decision to put America’s strategic interests ahead of those of Israel by making peace with Iran. This was a huge accomplishment: the United States has waged economic and political warfare against the Islamic Republic since its creation in 1979.

    Iran now looks likely to join Cuba in getting paroled from prison. Both refused to bow to Washington and paid a very heavy price that left them semi-crippled economically and isolated. …

    … It’s now time to begin dispelling the miasma of lies about Iran promoted by neoconservatives and their house media.

    First, Iran has never had nuclear weapons, though polls show many Americans believe they did. The same fib factory that spread lies about Iraq’s non-existent nuclear weapons has churned out a steady stream of disinformation about Iran that was as shameless as it was false. Back in 2007, combined US intelligence concluded that Iran was NOT working on a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s intelligence services came to the same conclusion.

    But this did not stop Israel’s bombastic prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu, from waging a hysterical, doomsday campaign claiming that Iran was determined to destroy Israel with nuclear weapons – Holocaust II. Americans, and particularly Jewish Americans, swallowed this nonsense promoted by Netanyahu and much of the US media – the same liars who marketed the US war against Iraq.

    If Iran indeed had a few nuclear weapons and all-important delivery systems why would it attack Israel? Israel has an indestructible nuclear triad: missiles, aircraft, and most lately German-supplied submarines with nuclear-armed missiles on station in the Arabian and Red Seas. If Iran attacked Israel, its nuclear forces would wipe Iran’s 70 million people off the map.

    The idea promoted by Israel that fanatical mullahs in Tehran would commit nuclear hara-kiri just to attack Israel is absurd. The real fanatics with nuclear weapons are more likely found on the outer fringes of Israel’s coalition government who believe God has given them Biblical Israel that they must expand.

    As this writer has long said, the real conflict between Israel and Iran was not over nuclear weapons, which Iran does not have, but Palestine. Iran championed the Palestinian cause and demanded Israel quit the occupied West Bank and return the Golan Heights to Syria.

    Israel’s foes, Syria and Iraq, had been crushed by American power, as Israel cheered from the sidelines. Egypt had long ago been bought and is now run by a brutal military dictator who is secretly allied to Israel. So too the Saudis, who are petrified their people might ask for the same semi-democratic government that Iran has. Iranians sneer at Saudis as “ignorant Bedouin.”

    That leaves Iran as the last significant supporter of a Palestinian state. If Netanyahu could have convinced the US to attack and crush Iran, Israel’s last impediment to annexing the West Bank and Golan, and perhaps expanding into Syria, would have been removed.

    We will now see gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson’s fully-owned Republican Party and its media allies, like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, mount a noisy campaign to block the Vienna deal with Iran. Americans will again be deluged with apocalyptic nonsense about secret Iranian nukes.

    Remember George W. Bush’s ludicrous claims about the dangers of supposed Iraqi “drones of death?” Well, here we go again. The same fools who thundered about the dangers of an Iraqi nuclear attack on the US will be trotted out again. A new crop of rented know-nothing Congressmen will warn of the wicked Iranians. Sheldon Adelson’s billions will work wonders.

    No one will stop to consider that the oft-cited but rarely read Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 that called for the rapid elimination of ALL nuclear weapons in exchange for allowing a few nations to retain nuclear arms for a short period. …

    …The Vienna deal may well reshuffle the Mideast deck. A return by Iran to economic life will aid and stabilize the region. As America found during the Nixon era, Iran is a natural US ally (or policeman). Washington needs Iran to help stop ISIS, which has the Saudis petrified. Syria is another natural ally for the US. Washington’s self-interest is to shore up the Damascus government rather than trying to destroy it.

    Iran is not a supporter of “terrorism,” as Israel’s allies claim. It backs Lebanon’s resistance movement, Hezbollah, that was created, as I witnessed, by Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Hamas is no more a terrorist movement than was Israel’s self-defense forces in 1948. Iran’s current role in war-torn Yemen is minor.

    Burying the hatchet with Iran is one of the Obama administration’s most sensible moves. The Mideast today is a horrifying mess. The Vienna agreement is hopefully a first step in correcting the monumental errors made by the Bush administration and restoring some sanity to the tortured Mideast.”

    • ivri on July 18, 2015, 9:25 am

      This talk, by Margolis, of “standing up” to Israel`s lobby is pretty banal. Obama did that with Cuba too – that`s his philosophy. He actually has a point in trying to give chance to apparent “lost cases” since if they don`t stand up to standards things can always be revered. In his case, since he is near the end of his presidency, it will be somebody`s else task to follow up on things.
      Clinton was also pretty indeterminate in regard to the apparent rising threat of Al-Queida during his presidency term and it was left to Bush to deal with that in earnest.

      • Boo on July 18, 2015, 8:23 pm

        And Dubya dealt with Al Qaeda so “earnestly” that 9/11 happened on his watch, he then invaded the wrong country, and left bin Laden for Obama to squash.

  33. ivri on July 18, 2015, 9:05 am

    My feeling is that some people here don`t understand that this is just the first chapter in a long saga. Please let History speak.
    Something from history: after the annexation of part of Czechoslovakia in 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the UK PM (and at those time the UK was still a sort of leader of the West), arrived in Munich justifying Hitler`s claims over that annexed region and signed an agreement that was hailed by him, upon his return to the UK, as historic and the start of a period of “lasting peace”. The resenting Czech leader was brushed aside as a war mongers and was seen widely as a loser.
    About 7 years later Germany lied in ruins.
    Many will wish in the future to have a chance to swallow their words now.

    • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 10:35 am

      “Please let History speak.”

      “Irvi” you are so right! Why can’t “some people here”
      understand that History proceeds inexorably towards the past, and since we already know what happened in the past, we should pay attention, cause that’s where we are headed!
      Yes, every minute, the clock counts down the seconds as we proceed into the past! So pay attention to History!

      • Mooser on July 18, 2015, 11:52 am

        Yes, history is a process of time proceeding ever backwards, but don’t worry, it always stops in the 1930s!

        Oh wait, I get what “Irvi” is trying to tell us! He’s telling us how dangerous it is to appease Israel in it’s quest for “Greater Israel”, just as it was dangerous to appease Hitler when he demanded Germany’s “Lebensraum”! Good point, “Irvi”!

    • RoHa on July 18, 2015, 10:46 am

      I’m guessing that you intend to claim that the deal with Iran is analogous to the Munich agreement, and that you are suggesting that Iran will meet the same fate as Germany.

      If so, I can’t see the similarities.

      Hitler claimed a slice of another country on the basis of the “ethnicity” of the people living there.

      Iran has made no such claim.

      Hitler was allowed to have that slice, with no penalty and no requirement other than a promise that he would not do it again.

      Iran has not actually done anything wrong, but has been subjected to penalties to stop it from doing what it wasn’t doing. Nor does the agreement permit Iran to do it now.

      How, then, are we to apply the lesson of the Munich agreement to the agreement with Iran?

      The only similarities that I can see are:

      (A) Hitler threatened war, and the U.S. threatened war,
      (B) an agreement was made to avert the threat of war,
      (C) concessions were made by Czechslovakia and Iran.

      But if we are to despair of all agreements that include concessions to avert war, then we might as well not bother attempting to make any agreements at all, and simply start a war straight away.

    • annie on July 18, 2015, 12:14 pm

      hops already tried this using the logical fallacy / false equivalent of the munich agreement #Fail.

      scroll >

    • traintosiberia on July 20, 2015, 1:04 pm

      Yes,that’s why I will caution Saudi Arab and Kuwait against trusting or relying on Israel.

  34. Kathleen on July 18, 2015, 10:06 am

    Phil let’s hope, pray that your reading of the signals comes to be.. We all need to keep pushing hard for the deal . Bet you will be making an appointment with Schumer to push for the deal with other individuals in support. Town hall with Schumer?

    MSNBC Kornacki interviewed him about the deal. On this morning (Saturday) Full interview at Kornacki’s site. Many keep referencing Schumer as the “lynchpin” vote. Schumer said he had not read the deal yet. Too busy this week with other important issues. Schumer said that he will sit in his comfy chair and read the report this weekend. That he will do what is “good for America” and “good for Israel.” He said once again that he will go through the report with a “fine tooth comb.” Of course many of us fear that that comb belongs to BB. Schumer’s vote s in regard to anything having to do with Israel always support Israel, I lobby no matter what.

    Phil “if you are going to test us on dual loyalty, we are going to pull out our American flags” Although as you have pointed out now that the support for what Israel wants that Dem’s and Republicans have almost always voted for over many decades has been under a magnifying glass the last few years. So many us believe this deal is constructive for U.S. Iran relations, the rest of the world and for Israel.

    Curious to hear what you think Israel will negotiate for the deal?

    On the other hand over the next 2 months we are going witness the heavy hand of the I lobby pounding the public with misleading commercials etc about the deal.

    A reporter on Kornacki’s this morning said “The White House has its work cut out for them” You can say that again and again. What I keep wondering and posting on MSM outlets is will mainstream outlets do everything they can do to provide the American public with accurate facts about the deal and have guest on (Leveretts, Scott Ritter etc) who really understand the deal?

    Huge misperceptions have all ready been embedded by the warmongers over the last 12 years in the non thought processes of the American public about Iran. That they should give up their nuclear program all together. Not one pundit, reporters on any of the outlets I watch (Cnn, MSNBC sometimes Fox) or in any NYBloody Times etc start by saying that Iran has the legal right to enrich up to 20% for peaceful purposes. That they have given up a great deal (Dr. Zbig did point this out on Morning Joe this past week)

    Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Dermer kept repeating on Morning Joe that this deal “would pave Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.” No one talking about the possibility that this deal may pave the way to a middle east nuclear free zone. Or at the very least move the international community towards really pressuring Israel, Pakistan, India to sign the NPT.

    Sure hope you are right Phil. Also hope folks continue to contact their Reps in support of the deal. Even hoping folks make appointments with their Reps when they are in their home states during the August recess.

    • traintosiberia on July 20, 2015, 1:07 pm

      Israel is getting the money for a deal that it doesn’t support and his minions in GOP and among Democrats don’t support ( in reality they want to scupper the deal) .
      Interesting times!

  35. Les on July 18, 2015, 10:10 am

    Elsewhere, one commentator issued this warning to those who would vote against the pact, “senator spells treason.”

    • Kathleen on July 18, 2015, 10:11 am

      Where was this Les? Who?

    • traintosiberia on July 20, 2015, 1:25 pm

      ““The AIPAC statement was rather carefully worded,” said Dr. Edward Levine, referring to its initial reaction to the nuclear agreement, which was released Tuesday. “I think that if AIPAC were, in the end, to sit this one out, that would send a strong message that a Democrat who is sort of a known Democrat can vote with the Democrats and get away with it.”
      From your Huffingtonpost link

      The pattern of vote,the consequences for voting,and the desired responses for vomiting in certain way by a democrats have to be approved by AIPAC.
      ( in another context if Levine were reminded in future of this paragraph,he would term it as Antisemitic expression)

  36. Kathleen on July 18, 2015, 10:24 am

    Phil “we are seeing Obama in full, and he is becoming a great leader.” Totally disagree with the “becoming” Can you say Affordable Health Care getting through. While he did have the wind at his back from decades of efforts by congress folks, Hillary Clinton lay folks working their asses off to stack the congress in 2006 with even blue dog Dems to get the health care vote moving on its path etc Obama and team (Pelosi who I can’t stand for taking impeachment “off the table” pushed the health care deal through. Only going to move forward if another Dem gets in. Single payer millions of us hope to eventually witness.

    Senator Bernie Sanders knocked it out of the park last night in Iowa. Knocked it out of the park. Love that man except for his get in line votes for Israel no matter what they do over the years. However he has stood firm in his support for the Iran deal. Will the MSM really cover his speech as well as they should? I felt bad for Chaffee he is terrible at speeches. I would have hammered Hillary on her Iraq vote. Can’t stand when speakers (at the dinner in Iowa last night) pundits always describe Hillary as a defender of “human rights.” Talk to the injured and displaced folks in Iraq and the family members of those dead in Iraq? Talk with the family members of U.S. soldiers who were killed in Iraq. Those injured…50,ooo or more. Ask them if they think Hillary Clinton should be given a slap on the back for “human rights” votes. Find this over board flattery of Clinton disgusting.

  37. Sibiriak on July 18, 2015, 10:39 am

    “we are seeing Obama in full, and he is becoming a great leader.”


    Indeed, a great neoliberal, capitalist-militarist leader.

    • just on July 18, 2015, 12:53 pm

      Who else did one damn thing?

      Answer: Nobody.

      • Keith on July 18, 2015, 4:21 pm

        JUST- “Who else did one damn thing?”

        Unfortunately, most of what he (his administration, actually) has done has been terrible. He has become the very embodiment of a neocon foreign policy (endless war everywhere) and neoliberal domestic policy (money to the banks, privatization for the peons). The world is in flames, the environment in tatters, the empire running amok. In regards to the well-being of the 99%, the Obama administration is easily the worst administration ever, continuing a trend begun after World War II. He is not the lesser evil, he is the more effective evil, even now risking a nuclear holocaust in order to destroy Russia to secure absolute imperial hegemony. Had he not done “one damn thing,” the world would be in much better shape. TPP anyone?

  38. just on July 18, 2015, 12:33 pm
  39. amigo on July 18, 2015, 3:43 pm

    OT but republican candidates sniping at each other.

    Trump says Mc Cain is a dummy and is no war hero.

    Nice people.

    • traintosiberia on July 20, 2015, 1:29 pm

      Yes his not,never been. He was a great collaborator inside N Vietnam prison.

      • Citizen on July 21, 2015, 4:14 am

        He also was a leader in the grand coverup of some 500+ POWs who never came back from IndoChina.

  40. TRG-42 on July 19, 2015, 3:07 am

    Americans on the move to save their nation. Way past due since Vietnam and Iraq, and it was/is getting dangerously close to WW3. Plenty of work to be done to oust the military-industrial complex from US government.

  41. Tonyrn on July 19, 2015, 6:17 am

    #1 reason neocons don’t want this deal………Iran oil competition. That’s it. See through that and you will have a vision of clarity.

  42. JohnWV on July 19, 2015, 10:57 am

    Israel has an abundance of nuclear weapons, sophisticated delivery systems, and increasingly threatens Iran. Iran has obvious need and right to have nukes, but mutually assured destruction is probably beyond Mideast thinking. Solution: Nothing less than an internationally imposed and enforced nuclear free Mideast including Israel.

    • traintosiberia on July 20, 2015, 1:35 pm

      There is a reason Israel doesn’t want this deal. It undercuts its argument of having more muscle,more militaryowers,more nukes to confront Iran . Those ” fears” every year generate a lot of freebies ,dough,and gadgets for that country . It also doesn’t want the deal since it may not be able to attack Syria or Lebanon whenever it wants
      Above all Israel doesn’t ant Iran sit down with American or German or French one to one and enter into any understanding or sharing .

      Americans wonder why Israel is afraid of Iran and then looks for answer from those who manufacture the fear .
      Zionist can claim” we got your back”
      Americans can smile and say”Israel is our only ally”

  43. Vera Gottlieb on July 19, 2015, 12:09 pm

    Boy…am I naive. I thought we are out to prevent any more wars in the world. Instead we seem more concerned in pacifying Netan-yahoo by promising him more weapons.

  44. David Doppler on July 20, 2015, 10:19 am

    The Netanyahu-Oren introduce-partisanship-into-American-Israeli-relationship “strategy” has made it onto Maureen Dowd’s “rhymes with bucket list.” Dowd’s liberalism, sharp wit and fashionable pen have always seemed to flaunt her Philo-Semitism almost as much as her Irish heritage. But that changed in today’s [July 20] column, Hi Ho Lone Ranger, all about the New Obama’s strength, confidence, and bold pursuit of a long list of important policy achievements, letting his passion take the reins, as in “Mr. Cool has left the building.”

    She ends with Iran.

    “Obama has always reflected the smug air that he was right and any other positions were illogical. But it is gratifying when aimed at the obnoxious Republicans and more obnoxious Bibi.

    “Republicans were never going to go for the Iran deal. Their apocalyptic statements were written well in advance and they just had to hit ‘Send’ followed by a fund-raising appeal to Jewish donors.

    “Obama is gambling that he won’t hurt his party and that in 10 years Iran will be a better member of the international community. But he can’t do worse as an oracle of the Middle East than the conservative warmongers who ravaged the region.”

    Netanyahu is alienating American Jews, and much of the Philo-Semitic American establishment, along with them. He’ll keep doubling down until thrown from office. I’d like to suggest branding the Netanyahu-Oren partisan push as Israel’s Rush Limbaugh strategy, because you cannot find a better purveyor of that venom than on Rush’s radio program. Bibi & Rush: made for each other.

    • Mooser on July 20, 2015, 12:41 pm

      “He’ll keep doubling down until thrown from office.”

      Oh, I bet you’re right. You know Israel swings like a pendulum do, sure, it swings a little to the right, but should correct itself with a swing to the left. All the basics are sound, but some political vacillation is to be expected.

      • RoHa on July 20, 2015, 7:28 pm

        Bombing Palestinians two by two.

      • RoHa on July 20, 2015, 7:41 pm

        Sitting in lawn chairs and cheering when
        Looking at the shreds of the little children.

    • traintosiberia on July 20, 2015, 1:37 pm

      Wasn’t she called antisemite for suggesting the neocons were fomenting war against Iran?

  45. Citizen on July 21, 2015, 8:45 am

Leave a Reply