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Iran Deal Latest: AIPAC lies and, in a first, Schumer runs from the cameras

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Oh boy, so much is happening on the Iran deal. The stakes in the political battle keep rising and reputations and careers are now at risk, maybe even regimes.

First, Senator Chuck Schumer runs from the cameras! He cancelled his media availability today. The White House may have blown his storyline by leaking the news of defection last night to foul him up.

Greg Sargent of the Washington Post says Schumer’s betrayal doesn’t likely affect the outcome one way or another.

Right now I count 14 Senators as genuinely possible votes against it: Heitkamp, Blumenthal, Donnelly, Bennet, Menendez, Reid, Coons, Cardin, Manchin, Booker, Carper, Peters, Casey, and Wyden.

Opponents need 13 Dems to side with them to override the veto. With Schumer, they now need 12. That means opponents need 12 of the 14 remaining Dems to side with them. Carper is now leaning towards the deal. So is Joe Manchin. So that’s a tall order.

To be clear, I am absolutely not saying it is impossible for opponents to sink the deal.

Mike DeBonis of the Post agrees; tanking the deal is a “monumental” task, and Schumer isn’t up to it. And he will still get to be Democratic leader in the Senate because he’s signaled he won’t lobby against the deal.

But Carol Giacomo at the Times says Schumer has cast his lot with Israel’s PM benjamin Netanyahu, and he should pay a price.

Given Mr. Schumer’s wrong-headed and irresponsible decision, Democrats may want to reconsider whether he is the best candidate to be their next leader in the Senate, a job he desperately wants.

Schumer did it for political reasons, Walter Shapiro says. He’s up for reelection next year and wants the donations:

This all about Schumer wanting a no-sweat reelection so he can campaign for Dem senators nationally.

The group leading the opposition to the deal, AIPAC, has lied to the New York Times about its support for the Iraq war. Its spokesperson Marshall Wittmann tells the Times, “To remove any misinformation or confusion, AIPAC took no position whatsoever on the Iraq war, nor did we lobby on this issue — this is an entirely false and misleading argument.”

But Eli Clifton blows AIPAC up:

In January 2003, The New York Sun’s David Twersky reported:

“According to Mr. [Howard] Kohr, AIPAC’s successes over the past year also include guaranteeing Israel’s annual aid package and ‘quietly’ lobbying Congress to approve the use of force in Iraq.”

And that’s not the only instance in which AIPAC’s support of the Iraq War has been reported.

In April 2003, Nathan Guttman reported for Haaretz:

“AIPAC is wont to support whatever is good for Israel, and so long as Israel supports the war, so too do the thousands of the AIPAC lobbyists who convened in the American capital.”

That same April, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank reported that AIPAC’s Steve Rosen, serving as a panel moderator during the group’s annual conference, exclaimed, “God willing, we’re going to have a great victory in Iraq.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s career is also on the line. Pat Buchanan says that Obama should channel Eisenhower and make his friends and enemies respect him, and bring down the Netanyahu government for lobbying against his signal foreign policy achievement:

The president should declare [Ron] Dermer persona non grata and send him packing, then tell the Israeli government we will discuss a new arms package when you have a prime minister who understands that no nation interferes in the internal affairs of the United States. None.

That could bring Bibi’s government, with its single-vote majority, crashing down. And why not? After all, Bibi was a virtual surrogate for Mitt Romney when Mitt was trying to bring down Obama. Obama and Kerry are never running again. Deep down, they would surely relish taking Bibi down. And they could do it.

Back to Schumer. The “venom” is flowing online, the Washington Post says. You betcha. Will someone primary Schumer next spring? Zephyr Teachout who ran for governor and lost to Andrew Cuomo tweeted today that he’s out of step with the public:

Senator Schumer is wrong to oppose the Iran deal. I hope he listens to New Yorkers and changes his position.

Here’s Schumer supporting the Iraq war back in 2002. Big mistake.

I have searched my mind and my soul and cannot escape this conclusion: Saddam Hussein left unfettered will at some point create such a danger to our lives that we cannot afford to leave him be.

He searched his soul this time too! “after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement.”

Obama’s ad guy from previous campaigns, Mark Putnam, is abandoning him on the Iran Deal. Dana Milbank reports he’s gone to work for the AIPAC front group, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, which is raking in millions:

“I am more grateful to President Obama than I can ever express for being able to help him in two presidential campaigns,” Putnam told me via e-mail. “I have strongly supported every other initiative he has undertaken. On this issue, however, I, like other Democrats, have a heartfelt position against the agreement.”

For Obama, it probably brings to mind the old adage: If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

The Jewish community is in turmoil over the deal and organizations are rising and falling. The National Jewish Democratic Council supported the deal. Here’s some of the vitriol directed at them, per Dylan Williams of J Street.

National Jewish Democratic Council hate mail for supporting Iran Deal

National Jewish Democratic Council hate mail for supporting Iran Deal

Classy. Here’s a more hopeful story. The Jewish Federation of LA blew it; the execs opposed the Iran Deal in the name of Jewish safety worldwide! Jews in LA rose up in outrage. Now it’s changing its line, “following public outcry.”

Stating that the Iran Agreement is “complex, ” [the latest] email acknowledged a variety of opinions within the Jewish community on the deal, in contrast to the first email, which asked recipients to lobby Congress, saying “it is imperative that our elected officials hear our voice.”

Three weeks ago this is what the LA Jewish Fed said in urging Jews to oppose the deal.

The proposed agreement with Iran is not a partisan issue; it impacts the security of the United States, the stability of the Middle East, the future of the State of Israel and the safety of every Jewish family and community around the world. This Iran deal threatens the mission of our Federation as we exist to assure the continuity of the Jewish people, support a secure State of Israel, care for Jews in need here and abroad and mobilize on issues of concern.

Speaking of Jewish safety, USA Today reports that Iran’s Jewish community, of as many as 30,000 souls, is behind the accord:

“There was lots of joy for us,” said Horiel, a Jewish customer who declined to give his last name. “It was not only the Jewish community that was happy. The nation was happy.”

Most Iranian Jews strongly disagree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s denunciations of the accord.

The New York Times columnist David Brooks has made a “fanatical case” against the Iran Deal, says Daniel Larison in American Conservative:

[A] major diplomatic success for the U.S. and its allies that comes at remarkably low cost for us is classed as a “strategic defeat” by some of the same people that urged the U.S. to launch a ruinous, costly war that also happened to be the biggest strategic blunder of the last forty years. Brooks’ argument is full of tendentious and faulty analysis, which is just what we would expect from someone that enthusiastically endorsed the Iraq war.

Here’s Brooks’s column: “3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran.” Obama shouldn’t have taken the military option off the table. We had Iran squirming, but they’re tougher than we are. You go to war to get someone to do something they don’t want to do. Not a word about Israel, but Brooks’s portrait is informed by Israel:

Iran is a fanatical, hegemonic, hate-filled regime….

What if it isn’t? What if it’s a society of 80 million mostly educated people trying to maintain its end of a regional power struggle?

War is coming later, Brooks says. “Iran will use its $150 billion windfall to spread terror around the region and exert its power.” More Israel propaganda there.

Finally, Ali Abunimah on twitter keeps saying that I’m leaving out the cost to Palestinians of the deal. Yes; I think the lobby’s at the root of the problem and we are defeating the lobby. Abunimah wrote about the extra weapons Israel is extorting from America in the White House’s effort to sell the deal. Obama gave Israel another $1.9 billion in arms in the spring and that was just a downpayment…

Those who believe that the Iran deal is likely to open a breach in US-Israeli relations that might even be beneficial to the Palestinians are therefore likely to be disappointed…. Netanyahu too must know he cannot stop it, but what he can do is extort more concessions and handouts from the United States.

Israel’s tactic is always to scream and cry in hopes of getting more of what it wants. And it works.

About Philip Weiss

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47 Responses

  1. just
    August 7, 2015, 5:27 pm

    Love the graphic.

    All of the Dems against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and this President and his administration should be “primaried”. They are all rats following the grim reaper of Tel Aviv and his acolyte in DC, Ron Dermer. I’ve just finished voicing my own disgust with these Dems in conversations with Senate and House staffers~ I named their names and included Netanyahu’s and Dermer’s.

    Thanks for the complex and comprehensive article, Phil.

    So, will there be “public outcry” on the National Jewish Democratic Council for its foul hate mail?

    I predict there will be plenty of blowback. This may finally be a bridge too far.

  2. MRW
    August 7, 2015, 6:24 pm

    Buchanan’s article is great.

    • K Renner
      August 8, 2015, 2:48 pm

      He has his problems, but he’s generally good when it comes to things like the Israel lobby.

  3. just
    August 7, 2015, 6:27 pm

    Dan Roberts in The Guardian:

    “White House warns Chuck Schumer: disapprove of Iran deal at your own peril

    Spokesman Josh Earnest calls Democrat’s defiance on nuclear deal ‘not particularly surprising’ and says it may cost him party leadership in Senate

    The White House fired a shot across the bows of New York senator Chuck Schumer on Friday for defying its position on Iran, warning that fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill may remember his voting record when deciding who to elect as their next leader.

    Though Schumer’s announcement that he would vote in disapproval of the nuclear deal – which leaked mysteriously during the middle of the Republican debate on Thursday – is unlikely to derail the process, it represents an embarrassing rift with a senior Democrat who had once been one of Barack Obama’s staunchest allies.

    Schumer is expected to take over as leader of the party’s caucus in the Senate when Harry Reid, currently the minority leader, steps down after the next presidential election.

    But he has defied the president before on a critical issue, questioning last year whether it was right to expend so much political capital pushing through Obama’s signature healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. …

    … Nonetheless, the White House and its allies appeared to be trying to drive a wedge between Schumer and the rest of the caucus on Friday in a none-too-subtle dig at his credentials to lead the party after Harry Reid’s retirement.

    “I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if there were individual members of the Senate Democratic caucus who would consider the voting record of those who want to lead the Democratic caucus,” said Earnest when asked about Schumer’s leadership ambitions.

    Former Obama advisers and allies on the left of the party were less guarded, calling the decision a betrayal.

    “We’re going to get the Iran deal done with or without Senator Schumer or anyone else who insists on being trapped in the past when it comes to conflict resolution in the Middle East,” said Democracy for America executive director Charles Chamberlain.

    “Senator Schumer was wrong when he voted to back the war with Iraq, and he’s wrong to work with Republicans to kill this nuclear deal with Iran, period.”

    Earnest denied the White House had been involved in the leaking of the decision during the GOP debate, but sources close to Schumer told reporters that Obama was the only one who had been informed of the pending announcement at the time.”

    • Rusty Pipes
      August 7, 2015, 7:30 pm

      There’s a reason a Friday News Dump is made on a Friday afternoon. Schumer’s move has been all over the news today — right alongside the Republican debate and Jon Stewart’s last show.

    • Kay24
      August 7, 2015, 10:23 pm

      Interesting article.
      If you read the comments you will know that many people are furious about Schumer’s betrayal to the President, and that more and more people are disgusted at Netanyahu/AIPAC and the interference into our political system.

      • inbound39
        August 7, 2015, 11:25 pm

        It is long overdue that AIPAC was declared a Foreign Agent and outlawed in the US. America needs to reclaim its Government and purge those politicians on the Israeli payroll. It is costing America far too much Statuswise.

  4. Les
    August 7, 2015, 8:22 pm

    “Thanks for the complex and comprehensive article, Phil.”

    I couldn’t agree more and add that i appreciate your links, especially to Buchanan and to the American Conservative.

  5. yonah fredman
    August 7, 2015, 8:52 pm

    What if it’s a society of 80 million mostly educated people trying to maintain its end of a regional power struggle? – See more at: This hypothetical ignores the power of the imams in Iran. I know that after the revolution khomeini or the students had moderates killed for being insufficiently anti west. I know that was a while ago. i don’t know exactly what role the passage of time plays, but i think this “maintain its end of a regional power struggle” really ignores the history. of course the history of US 1954 intervention and Shah imposition gets mentioned over and over again. but is the influence of Khomeini dead? what is this new iran? who are these new imams and what credibility do they possess? I read that the capital punishment in iran went through the roof recently. is this true? if so, what is this talk about 80 million educated people. it is not a stable administration there and this is not analysis it is belief in hope for the sake of hope.

    i am not opposed to the nuclear deal with iran. I would vote in favor of it if i were a congressman. i really oppose defeating this deal. it looks to me like a stupid move on bibi’s part. he is not thinking ahead to the day after. i must aver that i am not a rocket scientist and lacking the evidence to prove the efficacy of Obama’s deal i do not argue its virtue. it is in the context of the sweep of history and my gut reaction that i oppose those who would stop this deal. i believe that it will go through and i believe that it should, given american history.

    it is feasible that the imams are really powerless and the will of the people of Iran is being accomplished and except for their hatred of israel which i oppose and which others here favor, the current imams are essentially merely regional power players, rather than heirs of a dangerous ideology. I know little about the specifics of Khomeini-ism. I do know that Bani Sadr and Ghotzbzadeh were on day one on nightline every night and less than two years later had been executed by the revolutionaries. i do not trust a revolution as bloody as that. if it has evolved to harmlessness… no. i do not believe that.

    • irishmoses
      August 8, 2015, 8:11 pm

      Ghotbzadeh was tried and convicted of attempting to overthrow the government by force. He was executed. Banisadr was impeached. He then attempted a coup with others but then fled the country. He was not executed. In the chaos of revolutions, executions are often commonplace. e.g. Irish revolution and civil war. Same for Russian, Chinese, and others.

      By your standards, we should never have become allies with Stalin, nor should Nixon and Kissinger have attempted a rapprochement with Communist China. God knows why we ever considered diplomatic ties with the terrorist thugs that had just thrown 750,000 Palestinian Arab civilians out of their homes and country.

      I would never have trusted a revolution/civil war/ as bloody as that even if it has evolved to harmlessness. Oops, no, I don’t believe Israel has evolved to harmlessness.

      You are indeed not a rocket scientist.

    • talknic
      August 10, 2015, 11:28 pm

      Propagandists for Israel never tire

      ” and except for their hatred of israel which i oppose and which others here favor “

      Attempting to have Israel abide by the law is not hatred

  6. JLewisDickerson
    August 7, 2015, 9:01 pm

    RE: “Schumer did it for political reasons, Walter Shapiro says. He’s up for reelection next year and wants the donation . . .” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: But . . . but . . . but, I thought money only bought “access”, not votes! ! !


    Pro-Israel: Money to Congress
    • All cycles
    •Top 20 Members
    • Pro-Israel

    Candidate /// Amount

    Obama, Barack (D) $2,224,126
    Lieberman, Joe (I-CT) $2,036,124
    Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $1,832,119
    Levin, Carl (D-MI) $1,609,085
    McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $1,548,271
    Berkley, Shelley (D-NV) $1,405,855
    McCain, John (R-AZ) $1,252,932
    Specter, Arlen (D-PA) $1,231,995
    Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) $1,204,816
    Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $1,164,061
    Wyden, Ron (D-OR) $1,028,407
    Durbin, Dick (D-IL) $999,362
    Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana (R-FL) $903,144
    Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $881,919
    Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) $831,765
    Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) $814,399 ✔ ✔ ✔ “That’s real money!” ✔ ✔ ✔
    Lowey, Nita M (D-NY) $778,484
    Cardin, Ben (D-MD) $775,915
    Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) $767,893
    Harkin, Tom (D-IA) $756,560

    The numbers on this page are based on contributions from PACs and individuals giving $200 or more.
    All donations took place during the -1-All election cycle and were released by the Federal Election Commission on Monday, March 09, 2015.

    SOURCE –

  7. Kay24
    August 7, 2015, 10:17 pm

    The Huffpost headlines said “Consequences” and the article was about and others refusing to give millions to Schumer’s campaigns. It also warns other members of congress they will face the same consequences if they go against the Iran deal:


    They should have done this long time ago. These groups could have changed the entire dynamic by warning the no good congresspeople, that accepting campaign donations from alien nations and their anti-american lobbies, will disqualify them from receiving donations from American groups. It is time they answered to Americans and do what is good for the nation, not some parasitic nation thousands of miles away, whose primary interests are not for the good of the US.

  8. Kay24
    August 7, 2015, 10:48 pm

    A very interesting article. It seems Schumer’s decision has made quite a stir. It was no “soul searching” that made Schumer make this erroneous decision, his soul was already sold to Netanyahu and his band of zionists, through AIPAC and other lobbies, that honestly, should have that “A” taken off their name. There is no American interests in these lobbies, all they want from America is endless aid, weapons, and a host to feed off, ALL for the benefit of a mean, interfering, dangerous nation called Israel. True allies do not treat us like this, nor do they try to insert themselves into our affairs and decisions, like we do not interfere in theirs. I doubt any American President would manipulate the knesset, and defy their PM, by inviting himself to speak in the knesset. Talk about underhand and conniving. Schumer and his ilk need to stop taking donations with dangerous strings attached to win elections – because when they return the favors, it seems to go against their own country.

    The hate mail from the National Jewish Democratic council, or whatever they call themselves, is vicious, and so typical of zionists.

    Iran is no saintly nation, neither is Israel. Iran has been demonized and made into the bogeyman by zionists and pro war hawks in the US, just like Saddam Hussein and Iraq was before.
    Americans are tired of manipulated and unnecessary wars, and Schumer has made a huge blunder backing the only nation that wants no deal with Iran, only war. He will now be fighting hard for his career, and would have lost his credibility with many Americans, and he can thank Beebs and the zionists including the lobbies for that.

    • inbound39
      August 7, 2015, 11:34 pm

      What is utterly loathsome and drags America down the most is the weaponry and ammunition America gives to Israel is predominently used for one thing only….maintaining the Occupation and illegal settlements. It is used for despicable actions like Protective Edge and Cast Lead and that does serious harm to America. It serves only to undermine and drag America and its citizens through the mud. Aid needs to be suspended until Israel withdraws from the West Bank and ceases preventing a Palestinian State. That is the correct thing to do and will put America on the right side of History.

      • Kay24
        August 8, 2015, 8:22 am

        I do agree, and am ashamed that it is our leaders who keep aiding and arming this ruthless occupier, and that it is our weapons that help these murderers kill women and children, and wipe out entire families, and naive Americans wonder why we are hated!

    • RoHa
      August 8, 2015, 4:35 am

      “True allies … like we do not interfere in theirs.”

      [Cough, cough] Gough Whitlam [cough]

  9. yourstruly
    August 8, 2015, 1:27 am

    the Jewish Federation of L. A. opposed the nuclear deal in the name of Jewish safety worldwide.

    except making war on Iran is what will endanger Jews worldwide.

    the purpose of the nuclear deal is to prevent such a war.

    so by its opposition to said deal the Jewish Federation of L. A. puts Jews at risk worldwide.

    putting Jews at risk is an act of antisemitism.

    therefore the Jewish Federation of L.A. is antisemitic.

    • inbound39
      August 8, 2015, 5:23 am

      The person creating the biggest contribution to anti semitism globally is Netanyahu Almighty.

      • RobertHenryEller
        August 8, 2015, 9:36 am


        Aided and abetted by all of Likud, Netanyahu’s coalition in the Knesset, AIPAC, the GOP, Sheldon Adelson, Chaim Saban, Norman Braman (Rent Boy Rubio’s Sugar Daddy), Ron Dermer, and churn-alists like David Brooks, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Frum.

      • Misterioso
        August 8, 2015, 11:53 am

        To quote a Jewish friend of mine: “Real anti-Semites love Sheldon Adelson, he makes it so easy for them.”

    • ritzl
      August 8, 2015, 6:49 am

      ?, yourstruly.

  10. Kay24
    August 8, 2015, 8:25 am

    I thought accepting donations from foreign entities was not allowed in our political system.
    I think if it is one of our laws, it must be strictly adhered to, and if it isn’t time we passed such a law, which of course will not be done by those who are shamefully being bought by these alien nations and who sell their loyalty by accepting this filthy money.

  11. RobertHenryEller
    August 8, 2015, 9:17 am

    “The president should declare [Ron] Dermer persona non grata and send him packing, then tell the Israeli government we will discuss a new arms package when you have a prime minister who understands that no nation interferes in the internal affairs of the United States. None.” – Pat Buchanan.

    Holy Feces, Batman! I agree with Pat Buchanan! Apparently, I’ve lived longer than I ever expected to.

    Now here’s something I’d like to hear the Republican Presidential candidates saying, if they want to sound tough.

  12. RobertHenryEller
    August 8, 2015, 9:20 am

    “I have searched my mind and my soul and cannot escape this conclusion: Saddam Hussein left unfettered will at some point create such a danger to our lives that we cannot afford to leave him be.”

    He searched his soul this time too! “after deep study, careful thought and considerable soul-searching, I have decided I must oppose the agreement.”

    Translation: Schumer made two visits to his proctologist.

  13. Kay24
    August 8, 2015, 9:30 am

    A very interesting article by David Bromwich. He articulates very well what we are all thinking and saying regarding Iran and Netanyahu’s arrogance:

    “Dianne Feinstein has spoken with well-earned disgust of Netanyahu’s “arrogant” presumption that he speaks for all Jews.

    Reactions of this sort are likely to intensify among those (including the present writer) who feel the disgrace of a foreign leader singling us out in a speech carried in US media, which was addressed peculiarly to Jewish Americans and implicitly separated our interests from those of other Americans. The gesture embodied by such a speech bears a family resemblance to incitement to treason. Imagine a leader of India puffing himself up to deliver a special address to Americans of Indian descent, asking them to subvert the authority of the president who signed a trade deal the Indian prime minister judges to be disadvantageous. And yet, the relations today of Netanyahu to many of the biggest American Jewish donors, and of the same donors to the Republican Party — these linkages are so extended and tangled that lesser actors can barely tell which are the strings and which the fingers.”

    Well said.

  14. RobertHenryEller
    August 8, 2015, 9:45 am

    Regarding the David Brooks article, “3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and now Iran,” in Friday’s New York Times:

    Brooks cited as authority for his position “The Foreign Policy Initiative,” but conveniently failed to explain what this entity is:

    “FPI’s Board of Directors consists of former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric S. Edelman, Dan Senor, Editor of The Weekly Standard William Kristol and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Robert Kagan. The latter two were project directors of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century.”

    Eric S. Edelman
    Dan Senor
    William Kristol
    Robert Kagan

    So that’s Brooks Brain Trust: One pro-Iraq War Zionist Neo-Con citing four more pro-Iraq War Zionist Neo-Cons.

    How do they know the Iraq War was a success? Simple. None of them lost their jobs, their money, their lives, their health, and no harm came to their own families.

    And no harm came to Israel.

    So, the Iraq war was a big success! And an Iran war will be a big success! For all the same reasons.

  15. RobertHenryEller
    August 8, 2015, 9:58 am

    Perhaps President Obama should communicate to Netanyahu and AIPAC: “Shut down your opposition to the P5+1/Iran deal, or there will be no additional assistance to Israel.

    • Bandolero
      August 8, 2015, 11:46 am

      Robert Henry Eller

      As tempting as that may sound that wouldn’t be a clever thing to do in the current circumstances. Money for US arms is in the short term not critical for Israel and, since Congress controls the budget, cutting off the aid is out of Obama’s power. If Obama tried Netanyahu would just order his puppets in congress to impeach Obama if he tried that – on the grounds of violation of the US law to guarantee Israel’s QME.

      However, the US president has some other powers where he can hurt Israel. For example, the US president directs foreign policy, he is the Commander in Chief of the US armed forces and he is quite influental on forming the global Zeitgeist. That’s the powers the US president can use to confront Israel. As the director of foreign policy a US president can do a lot of things to hit Israel, if he has sufficient public backing. The Iran deal sealed by UN security council vote is just one example of this power. There are more votes possible in the UN security council a US president can use to hit back at Israel. Also, a US president can punish third countries, especially allies, for aligning with Israel, or use incentives to drive other countries away from Israel or even uniting against Israel. Obama did this with Bibi’s ally France and seems to be trying that now with Bibi’s Saudi allies, too. As Commander in Chief a US president cannot wage war as he likes, for example directly attacking Israel without a congressional mandate would likely lead to his impeachment, but a Commander in Chief and his SecDef have huge influence on who gets what part big money from the Pentagon. Also, the Commander in Chief can choose his officers and use them to sway public opinion. Also, and that’s the likely the most devastating power in the case of Israel, the Commander in Chief can greatly influence who will win wars between third parties by granting a party military support or withholding support. So, Obama could try to influence the outcome of the wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and so on, all in a way that the outcome is most disliked by Israel – for example by quietly helping Iran to win all these proxy wars driven by Israeli desire for hegemony. There are some hints that in the case of Syria Obama is now doing exactly that – let Iran’s ally Assad win and displease Israel by that.

      And then the US president has great influence on forming the zeitgeist. The ability to form the zeitgeist is likely the most potent weapon in the arsenal of a US president. A zeitgeist can destroy very powerful structures and movements. George W. Bush for example formed a global zeitgeist of conflict and totalitarism with speeches like “Either you’re with us or with the terrorists.” But in forming a zeitgeist a US president could for example also help to form a global zeitgeist which is against apartheid, colonialism and occupation, regardless of race or religion, and when that zeitgeist is established than the US president could single out Israel as colonial occupier and racist apartheid state. Such a zeitgeist could destroy Israel.

    • Kay24
      August 9, 2015, 6:56 am

      We made the monster, we have to now keep feeding it, even though it keeps biting the hands that feed it. :))

  16. James Michie
    August 8, 2015, 10:51 am

    Zionist Israel’s “screaming” and “crying” stretches far beyond CHUTZPAH!

  17. unverified__5ilf90kd
    August 8, 2015, 12:23 pm

    I am delighted that you mentioned Pat Buchanan. For 20 years Pat has been saying milder versions of these facts about Israel but was finally excommunicated by the MSM a few years ago. He has been one of the more eloquent and incisive critics of Israel. They call him a racist but he is more factual than Trump. They excuse Trump perhaps because he praises prominent Jews, which Pat never did. I call them the MSDJM (Mainstream disproportionately Jewish media). This occasionally avoids labeling me instantly as an antisemite. Pat has always been exactly right about AIPAC even when he was severely punished for his scorn. His treatment is an excellent example of the way the MSDJM have gamed the system for Israel. In addition to such blatant and inappropriate suppression there are other examples of Gentile and Jew bashing by the liberal Zionists and anti-ZIonists. Take for example the recent witch-hunt and removal of Alison Weir by JVP and USCEIO for consorting with white supremacists. She is clearly not a white supremacist and was an early pioneer (and victim) in doing what we all have achieved in recent weeks of agitating. The bile (and antisemite label) against Gilad Atzmon by well-know contributors is another anomaly in our midst. Even our hero John Mearsheimer thought that Gilad’s last book was “fascinating and provocative” and he reviewed the book positively. Then Mearsheimer too was widely labeled as an antisemite and had to defend himself on Stephen Walt’s blog. Mearsheimer stood by his endorsement of Atzmon’s book even though he was scorned by a number of prominent commentators, among them Jeffrey Goldberg etc. Many people now think of all these victims as subhuman antisemites but they are not being treated fairly. I am fed up with the sickening spin, including such words as “dog-whistling”, “canard”, “antisemitic tropes” etc Because the Israeli partisans abuse these words as well as the word antisemitic, all we can do is use their words to describe “them” – that will dilute the impact of their slurs or canards or their trope and dogwhistles.

    What a shame and embarrassment for rational people to bear, and for so many years. Is the enlightenment coming? Ron

    • Boomer
      August 8, 2015, 3:48 pm

      unverified, you make some good points. People have been unfairly attacked. As to whether enlightenment is coming, we can only hope. I won’t count on it, but hope remains.

    • Cal3bg
      August 10, 2015, 5:39 pm

      Actually Pat Buchanan is a well known white supremacist and evangelical Christian. Just because he made a few good points about Israel and Netanyahu doesn’t mean it’s time to just forget about the man’s history and portray him as some sort of victim of the Israel lobby. Unlike the mainstream racists in today’s American culture, Pat is in the same camp as David Duke who see Jews as eternally being non-white and therefore their dislike for Israel is actually for once rooted in traditional anti-semitism as opposed to any genuine concern for the plight of Palestinians.

      • unverified__5ilf90kd
        August 10, 2015, 9:54 pm

        Dear Cal3bg – you inveigh against acting to “portray him (Buchanan) as some sort of victim of the Israeli Lobby”. But my position would be that there are many examples of such people victimizing Buchanan as an anti-Semite and on very flimsy grounds. The use of this word anti-Semite has been completely delegitimized and degraded in recent times by the indiscriminate labeling of Israel’s critics as anti-Semites. Here is a glaring example of how innuendo is used to fuel this perception.

        It is a piece in Salon in 1999 by Jake Tapper – ““There’s no doubt he (Buchanan) makes subliminal appeals to prejudice,” says conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, one of the few members of the news media willing to speak out about Buchanan’s bigotry. “He tries to be subtle, the comments are not direct appeals to prejudice, which is one of the reasons he gets away with it.” But the subtle appeal, Krauthammer argues, “is very much heard by his audience.” Subtle, but not too subtle. You knew who Buchanan was talking about, for example, during the week of the Iowa straw poll when he blamed the farm crisis on “New York bankers” and “the money boys up in New York.” He didn’t say “money-grubbing kikes,” but it was there, lurking in the subtext.””

        Is this the evidence for the “traditional anti-Semitism” that you say accounts for Buchanan’s dislike of Israel? Many claim that a significant proportion of modern anti-Semitism is caused by Netanyahu’s behavior and Israel’s violent pathology. This has little to do with white supremacism, Pat Buchanan or David Duke.

  18. piotr
    August 8, 2015, 1:35 pm

    Wikipedia: Charles Ellis “Chuck” Schumer (/ˈʃuːmər/; born November 23, 1950) is the senior United States Senator from New York …

    Political style[edit]
    Schumer’s propensity for publicity is the subject of a running joke among many commentators. He has been described as an “incorrigible publicity hound”.[25] Bob Dole once quipped that “the most dangerous place in Washington is between Charles Schumer and a television camera”,[26] while Barack Obama joked that Schumer brought along the press to a banquet as his “loved ones”.[27][28][29][30]


    To see the day when Charles E. “Chuck” Schumer runs AWAY from cameras is astounding. What next? All nations of the Middle East joining their hands together and sing of harmony and peace? Is there ANYTHING impossible?

  19. RayJosephCormier
    August 8, 2015, 3:12 pm

    Netanyahu addresses Congress July 10, 1996, 19 years ago, with same message he delivered to Congress on March 3, 2015

    Netanyahu to US Congress, September 12, 2002, six months before the invasion:
    “If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I GUARANTEE YOU, that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region, The reverberations of what will happen with the collapse of Saddam’s regime, could very well cause an implosion in a neighbor regime like Iran”

  20. traintosiberia
    August 8, 2015, 8:04 pm

    Fear mongering can lose steam. It can get drowned by those who are the target of the fear mongering . Proof is here . But only if they decide to look,hear,observe,analyse,and be honest .
    LA Jewish group has achieved this . It has forced the drwonings of the Jewish agency’s polemic and fear mongering
    . But woud it have done so unless it hadn’t felt the cross currents and the direction of the wind is blowing?

  21. Casey
    August 8, 2015, 8:41 pm

    The question is this: Which country have you been elected to represent? I was sick to my stomach that the U.S. Congress allowed an (unelected in America) foreign leader Netanyahu to openly speak about Iran, and unchallenged at that.

    When the U.S. and yes, Israel were allies with the Shah of Iran, they sent this tyrannical leader weapons as if they were drunken sailors. I never saw Israel object to all the atrocious weapons the Shah of Iran received.

    Everyone always talks about the human rights abuses by the Mullahs of Iran. Well, the Mullahs of Iran are just as “fair” in their “treatment of criminals” in Iran as the Shah was in his day.

    Perhaps, if the United States, Israel and Great Britain held the Shah of Iran in contempt for his abuse of power and human rights abuses and religious oppression, in that time period, there would have been no overthrow of that pro-American, pro-West regime.

    It’s not like the Shah of Iran was ever elected either. The Shah of Iran was installed to power after the CIA coup d’etat of 1953, which overthrew the duly elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. Iranians never forgot that.

    The West, the United States and Israel obviously forget that part of History.

    I give the Iranians and the Mullahs much credit for standing up to the bullies in the United States and its allies. The truth of History has always been a weakness of the power elite in America along with its allies in the West.

    Both Israel and the USA have much in common though. Both nations are adept and sophisticated in playing the victim card as it carries out vicious attacks on innocent people, day and night, and knows it will not be covered by the disgusting media.

    Neither the United States nor Israel are innocent when it comes to state violence, and for that matter, are the Iranians. But, the double standards and hypocrisy are tragic. I believe the power elite and by extension, the sophisticated lobby groups, play the masses for fools.

    And, in some cases, the masses are fools. For, they continue to elect war mongers and anti-peace candidates, who prefer the war state over humanity.

    • just
      August 8, 2015, 10:31 pm

      +1, Casey.

      Nice to ‘meet’ you.

    • Kay24
      August 8, 2015, 10:40 pm

      Good comment. I totally agree that the US and Israel have much in common. Both are bullies, and attack other nations based on lies and exaggerations. Both seems unable to learn from past mistakes and keeps making the same ones over and over again. They are both waging wars or provoking some around the world. They are both arrogant.

    • just
      August 9, 2015, 1:35 am

      wrt the sale/sending of weapons, here’s a Q&A:

      “‘Israel Would Be Embarrassed if It Were Known It’s Selling Arms to These Countries’

      Itay Mack, a Jerusalem-based human rights lawyer and activist, seeks greater transparency and public oversight of Israel’s military exports.

      Israel is known to be a powerhouse in military exports, but what does “military exports” actually mean?

      It’s a very broad term, encompassing arms and security equipment, as well as know-how, such as that involving combat doctrines or the training of militias and regular forces.

      As I understand it, we’re among the top 10 in the world in this regard.

      All countries engage in military exports. The problem is that Israel is involved in places that the United States and Europe decided to avoid exporting weapons to. We know Israel is selling arms to Azerbaijan, South Sudan and Rwanda. Israel is training units guarding presidential regimes in African states. According to reports, this is happening in Cameroon, Togo and Equatorial Guinea – nondemocratic states, some of them dictatorships, that kill, plunder and oppress their citizens.

      What is clear is that military exports are perhaps identified with Israel, but it’s not just government companies that are involved.

      There are a few huge government corporations that are active in this field, such as Rafael [Advanced Defense Systems]. The others are completely private companies, created to make money. There are more than 1,000 firms and more than 300 individuals licensed to deal with sales. All the companies are under the umbrella of the Defense Ministry, which must authorize their activity. …

      … But that will all change now, won’t it? I understand that in December, Israel signed an international treaty to regulate the arms trade.

      Israel signed the treaty, but hasn’t ratified it, so all it has to do is not breach the spirit of the treaty. When [Meretz MK] Tamar Zandberg and I urged the Defense Ministry to join the treaty, they told us the implications of signing are less cardinal for exports but could be damaging for imports.

      In other words, countries that sign the treaty will not be able to sell arms to Israel.

      Yes. I think this is the first time the Defense Ministry admitted to feeling threatened. A group of American senators and congressmen objected to the treaty and told Secretary of State Kerry that under its conditions, the U.S. would be limited in terms of arms sales to Israel. We saw that during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer, Britain and Spain declined to supply certain types of arms to Israel. Theoretically, if it’s determined that Israel is perpetrating war crimes, the countries that are signatories to the arms treaty, such as France, Germany and England, will not be able to sell us arms. …

      …In the overall ranking of military exports, we are in sixth or seventh place, but in proportion to our size we are actually first, right?

      Correct, and in terms of our involvement in human rights violations and aid in war crimes, the amounts are not relevant – in Africa, for example, even a few rifles can cause tremendous damage. In the Central African Republic, a civil war marked by horrific crimes erupted because a group of rebels obtained machine guns, mounted them on jeeps and attacked the capital.

      Since 2008, Israeli military exports have soared, from $3 billion to somewhere between $7 billion and $8 billion.

      Yes, that’s the average since Operation Cast Lead, in Gaza.

      Israel, then, can sell battle-proven weapons.

      Yes. There are some who maintain that Israel carries out certain operations in order to test weapons. That’s my opinion, too, though there is no proof for it. If I’m asked how I have the gall to think that Israel is conducting weapons tests in the territories, I reply that the allegation is not that Israel initiates wars to test weapons, but that the industries ‘hitch a ride’ on them and profit – it’s the arms exporters who market the weapons as battle-proven. That’s what they tell people at the international fairs. I heard it with my own ears: “It’s Cast Lead battle-proven,” “It’s Defensive Shield battle-proven.”

      The leap in sales after Cast Lead was also due to the cynicism of the international community, which first condemned the operation and then came here to learn how Israel conducted it. [Maj. Gen. (res.)] Yoav Galant, who was then the head of Southern Command [and now housing minister] made an amazing remark in this connection: “They came to see how we turn blood into money.”

      Every such war is utilized for a massive introduction of new technologies. In the West Bank, too, in the regular areas of demonstrations – Bil’in, Kadoum, Qalandiyah – we constantly see new or upgraded weapons and means of crowd dispersal. The military industries also exploit Israel’s activity in the territories, especially in the Gaza Strip, to promote sales.

      How, for example?

      There were reports about the use of the Tamuz missile [a long-range anti-personnel and antitank weapon] against Syrian positions. Complete technological specifications were made available. Reporters noted that such information is usually censored. But a few months later, a report noted that Israel was going to display the Tamuz at the Paris Air Show. Sometimes the information is in the background of an article about Israeli and Palestinian casualties – they report on what types of shells were used – and there are also articles that are pure promotion. …”

      Much more that might produce puking @

      I don’t think that “Israel would be embarrassed” at all. Look what they’ve done and are doing to Palestinians in Palestine!

      “A group of American senators and congressmen objected to the treaty and told Secretary of State Kerry that under its conditions, the U.S. would be limited in terms of arms sales to Israel.”

      Absolutely sickening. The US has also signed the treaty, but has not ratified it.

      BDS and more!

      • just
        August 9, 2015, 11:16 am

        Corbyn discusses much, including arms sales to Israel and a call for embargo.

        Asa Winstanley:

        “Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran left-wing rebel, is running for the leadership of the UK’s Labour Party — and has surprised everyone by emerging as the frontrunner.

        Corbyn has gathered such impressive momentum in part because of grassroots campaigners’ long familiarity with him and the many peace, justice and equality campaigns he has been involved with over the years. He is particularly known for his support of the Palestinian people.

        I sat down with him last week and they discussed how he first became active around Palestine, his views on the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, the right of return of Palestinian refugees and more.

        “The three areas of Palestine that have got to be addressed are: one, settlements and occupation of the West Bank; two, the siege of Gaza and three, the issue of now fourth-generation refugees living in camps in Lebanon and some still in Syria. They deserve their rights too, they deserve their right to return home,” Corbyn said.

        “That’s got to be the key to it. Whether they want to return or not is another matter,” Corbyn added. “The rights have to be there.””

        listen to the full 16 minute podcast @

  22. John Fearey
    August 9, 2015, 10:06 am

    Ditto the “Thanks for the complex and comprehensive article, Phil.” –

    I especially appreciated your reference to Schumer’s soul searching. I have it on good authority that his soul searching on foreign policy goes something like this: A. is it good for me?? (scale of 1 to 3, 1 being “no” , 2 “who knows?” and 3. being “You bet!:”): B. what does Bibi want me to do ? (scale of 1 to 3, 1 being “he hates it”, 2 “he won’t return my call” and 3 .”he loves it;”; C.. is it good for the US (scale 1 to 3, 1 being “Bibi says no,” 2 “who knows?;; and 3..”Bibi says yes.” It generally takes him a few minutes not a few weeks. Naaa, just kidding, that’s probably too harsh. But I recommend he use his brain and not his soul.

    And “Kapos”??? (D. Williams of J Street, whoever he is) Wow…That is so hateful!

    Thank you Phil. It takes me hours to learn what I learn here in a few minutes.


    PS. And don’t ever, ever kiss me again, even on the cheek. Cheers ::-)

    • RoHa
      August 9, 2015, 11:20 am

      “But I recommend he use his brain and not his soul.”

      Assumes two facts, neither of which are in evidence.

  23. John Fearey
    August 9, 2015, 10:18 am

    I was just wondering if sanctions hurt Iranians, since most of them are not in the Revolutionary Guard. Guess what…they do! Here’s a piece from the (ugh) NYT. But they’re just Persian, right?

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