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The neoconservative push for war with Iran is not in the American people’s interest

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One of the frustrations in writing about foreign policy over the last 15 years is that the words “neoconservative” and “Israel lobby” are both considered somewhat outside the line, as anti-Semitic. The neocons like it that way, not being in the spotlight. Many years ago Paul Wolfowitz turned the word neoconservative back on a questioner at the American Enterprise Institute, Oh you mean Jewish. That identification has been reissued lately, as a weaponized charge: You seem to think there’s a problem with Jews playing a role in foreign policy. The same charge is leveled against those who speak openly of the Israel lobby: You are talking about Jewish influence.

So the U.S. discourse has been unable to process a simple and critical idea: Rightwing Israel supporters who seek to topple foreign governments that threaten Israel have too much power in US policy-making. And once again we are shaking and juddering our way toward a possible war in the Middle East with Netanyahu cheering us along from Israel, and those who oppose war can’t speak of the Israeli interest or the neocons without being accused of fostering anti-Semitism.

But a conflict with Iran is not in the American people’s interest, however you define that interest: in realist material/competitive terms, in leftwing universal human-rights terms, in populist terms. That needs to be stated emphatically.

Today Trump all but threatened war with Iran. “I’m hearing little stories about Iran,” he said in the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly… They’re not going to be happy… they know what I’m talking about.”

There is not an American interest in another war in the Middle East. It may be in Israel’s interest– that’s not for me to determine. But it’s not in my country’s or people’s interest to be “baiting” Iran, as Chuck Hagel said on NPR, or indeed doing much else than acting as an off-shore balancer of what is a regional power struggle between Israel/Saudi Arabia and Iran that we can’t sort out and shouldn’t try to.

But of course we do try to sort it out. And we are totally on Israel’s side. Last week at the U.N. the foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority said the same thing re the Americans’ much-anticipated peace plan. “I felt I was listening to an Israeli speaker. I didn’t see or hear an independent American position. The role of the US administration is … to be a servant to Israeli interests and defend Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinians.”

It is impossible to look on the works of the Trump administration in the Middle East without considering the claim that it is a servant to Israeli interests. He moved the embassy, he tore up that historic multinational agreement the Iran deal, he threatens more sanctions and action against Iran, he defunded UNRWA, he recognizes the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. And remember that one of the instances of alleged Russian collaboration by the Trump team in 2016 was when it scrambled all hands to get foreign nations to block the Obama White House’s decision to abstain on a Security Council resolution against settlements. Trump lately accused John Kerry of violating the Logan Act by just talking to Iranian officials. What kind of violation was it that “multiple members” of the Trump transition team reached out to foreign governments to try to undermine a U.S. policy?

And all this goes unremarked upon, except by independent voices. The press is still not allowed to raise the question too directly.

Lobelog has led the way on reporting the influence of rightwing Zionist billionaires– notably Sheldon Adelson, who is far and away Trump’s biggest donor and also one of Netanyahu’s biggest backers, including in his Israeli newspaper. But even Lobelog doesn’t put the word Zionist in its headline about the billionaires. And Jim Lobe notes other influences beside Netanyahu’s on our Iran policy. The Gulf States, and Saudi Arabia. The Iranians say the same thing constantly: we are working for what the Foreign Minister calls the “B team” of Bolton, Bibi, bin Zayed of the UAE, and bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Christian Zionists surely also play a part in making this policy, but the care and feeding of neocons is a Jewish problem Jews need to argue over. The original impetus for this website was my own great disturbance by my brother’s telling me in 2002 that while we’d demonstrated against the Vietnam War, his Jewish newspaper was saying that this war would be good for Israel. Neither of us had been to Israel, and I found the distortion of the idea of a homeland confusing and not just metaphysically. The Israel lobby has always caused confusion about community allegiance for thoughtful Jews (from Joe Klein to Melissa Weintraub to Douglas Rushkoff…). But you’re not allowed to talk about that. When Ilhan Omar made her famous comment about wondering about people’s allegiance, at Busboys and Poets, she was compelled to apologize.

Democrat Elaine Luria meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu following her election to the House last year. From JNS.

More important than any motivation is the effect of neocon policies; but our opinion journals/programs don’t like to go near the argument that Zionism, or at least right wing Zionism, is not in the American interest. I mistakenly thought that had become a legitimate argument after the publication of “The Israel Lobby” in 2006. But then Dennis Ross and David Makovsky wrote a book aimed at showing that American fortune is tied to the struggles in the Middle East, and they are insiders, and theirs is the conventional wisdom. So Israel defenders were offended when Ilhan Omar dared to suggest that AIPAC leverages politicians by raising money– as if AIPAC is only urging pols to do what is right for America, which they wouldn’t be able to figure out on their own…

One good thing J Street has done — in addition to its valiant organizing against an Iran war — is to split the Israel lobby into a liberal-Zionist wing in the Democratic Party and a rightwing AIPAC lobby that operates in both parties. That ought to make it easier to take on the neocons on Iran: they’re AIPAC and everyone to the right.

There are still a bloc of Democratic neocons. Congresspeople Josh Gottheimer and Elaine Luria, for instance, were both against the Iran deal. Luria took a trip to Israel on AIPAC’s tab after she was elected. Gottheimer is now a centrist force in the party; and as Ryan Grim reported in the Intercept, Gottheimer and Luria recently met with Rep. Rashida Tlaib to rein in her criticisms of Israel:

Luria began by saying that she had met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu six weeks earlier, and Tlaib tried to break the ice with a joke: “How’s the two-state solution going?”… [Gottheimer says he] and Luria “sat down with Congresswoman Tlaib to have an open, honest discussion about anti-Semitic comments on dual loyalty and other anti-Semitic tropes that the Congressman and many other members of Congress found deeply disturbing. As requested by leadership, the Congressman brought copies of statements that he found disturbingly anti-Semitic.

Obviously, Gottheimer regards the Israel lobby and its donors as key to Democratic victories. Lately he sought to make the historic resolution to end support for the Saudi war on Yemen “a referendum on support for Israel” and against BDS, Grim reports.

I don’t think you can win against Gottheimer and Luria without talking about the rightwing Israel lobby. Whether you call it the Greater Israel Lobby or the Likud lobby (as Andrew Sullivan and Peter Beinart have done), or blame the “Jewish establishment” for its half century of supporting occupation, as IfNotNow does, the neocons need to be held to account, because they are powerful.

And yes, Jews have a special role to play here. Neoconservatism began inside the Jewish intellectual community as an appeal to Jews to support a militant U.S. foreign policy as being in the Jewish interest because Israel needed the U.S. to be strong, as Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz put it back in the ’70s in the wake of the ’67 war. Neoconservatism attracted many non-Jews  (from Bolton to Doran), but Israel as a Jewish homeland remains a central concern. This is not ideological sport for neocons: At the heart of neoconservative ideology is a belief about history, and the dangers of powerlessness revealed in the Holocaust. Important rightwing actors like Doug Feith and Hart Hasten base their politics in the genocide/ethnic cleansing that targeted their families in Europe. They speak to a sacralized Jewish trauma that has had vast political consequences, and that Jews must heal if U.S. policy is going to bend toward human rights.

Neoconservatism has been in our politics for more than 40 years, going back to the rise of Scoop Jackson. It has been well-funded and it has jumped from one party to another depending on the hospitality (Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush gave it the brush) and it has had disastrous results. Whoever decided to invade Iraq– neocons had a lot to do with the decision. And now neocons have taken up residence in the Trump administration and they are pushing for a war with Iran without a thought for what they have achieved in the Levant.

You can’t effectively fight such a force without saying what they are. They should be called out as militant Zionists who have never had a critical word to say about Israel or its rightwing leaders; and their plans should be denounced as ones that don’t serve the American people.

 

Philip Weiss

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

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28 Responses

  1. Donald on May 13, 2019, 4:35 pm

    Ilhan Omar’s comment at Busboys is here—

    https://ips-dc.org/what-did-ilhan-omar-say-heres-the-full-transcript-of-her-response-to-a-question-about-anti-semitism/

    Phil’s weirdly inaccurate summary is this —

    “When Ilhan Omar made her famous comment about wondering about people’s allegiance, at Busboys and Poets, she was compelled to apologize.”

    Not what she said. She asked why it was okay for people to pressure for allegiance to a foreign country. That was presumably a reference to all the laws passed against BDS.

    I can get weirdly inaccurate summaries of what Omar said in the NYT if I want them.

    • eljay on May 13, 2019, 5:13 pm

      || Donald: Ilhan Omar’s comment at Busboys is here …

      Phil’s weirdly inaccurate summary is … ||

      I hope the inaccuracy was unintentional and will soon be corrected.

  2. Rusty Pipes on May 13, 2019, 6:29 pm

    As in so many things, Trump’s Middle East policies are based entirely in Narcissism — initially as crapping on Obama’s legacy and subsequently as ingratiating himself with Republican insiders to hold onto power. Early in the primaries, when Trump was deriding “little Marco” for being Adelson’s puppet and saying that he wanted to be open-minded about Israel and Palestine, he loudly denounced the Iran Deal — because it was Obama’s signature Foreign Policy achievement. As the primaries progressed, politicians dropped out and Trump needed new sources of revenue (and sought to court Republican constituencies that distrusted him, like Christian Zionists), his rhetoric on Israel came more in line with right-wing Zionism. The louder that Democrats have criticized him, especially post-2018 election, the more closely he has pandered to the Republican right, including Zionists, as an attempt to secure their loyalty against impeachment (which would be bad for his brand).

  3. Keith on May 13, 2019, 6:50 pm

    PHIL- “But a conflict with Iran is not in the American people’s interest….”

    Phil, for gosh sake look around. The empire is on a rampage clearly supported by a preponderance of the imperial elites as evidenced by the virtually unanimous bi-partisan political support for sanctions and war, and by the overwhelming media support for this. We are effectively in World War III employing various elements of full spectrum dominance. We are being subjected to full-blown wartime propaganda, the NYT blaming Putin and Russia for opposition to the potentially unhealthy 5G networks. Hegemony or death. No negotiations. No compromise. It ain’t going to be over until it ends one way or another. Seriously. And the focus on Trump detracts from Pompeo, Bolton, Abrams, the Democrats, and the policies themselves. Virtually none of these imperial policies and objectives is in the American people’s interest.

  4. umm al-hamam on May 14, 2019, 5:40 am

    “But a conflict with Iran is not in the American people’s interest….”

    I think this depends on how you define interest, but it’s certainly true that most of the American people consider the American consumer lifestyle to be in their interest & that lifestyle would be impossible to maintain without American military hegemony. Lifting sanctions and ending wars on all the US’s official state enemies would have indirect but strong effects within a few years on things like consumer prices, oil prices, etc, and the American “middle class” would undoubtedly feel these effects.

    Of course, is it truly “in the interest” of Americans to drive two cars, order cheap goods from Amazon, have the newest smartphone/tablet/laptop/etc, eat vast quantities of inexpensive food, hire a cleaning lady, own a tumble dryer, enroll their children in dozens of after-school activities, play war-themed video games, etc? Probably not—all of that is a product of capitalist alienation—but Americans, especially those in the >$50,000 income bracket, are materialistic enough that they will instinctively revolt over anything that makes their commute or climate-controlled living room or new barbecue grill or Samsung Galaxy 19 more expensive.

    • James Canning on May 14, 2019, 10:19 am

      Trump’s foolish hostility toward Iran in fact raises energy prices.

      • RoHa on May 14, 2019, 9:08 pm

        Petrol prices have jumped up in Australia.

    • Sibiriak on May 14, 2019, 11:37 am

      umm al-hamam: …it’s certainly true that most of the American people consider the American consumer lifestyle to be in their interest & that lifestyle would be impossible to maintain without American military hegemony.
      ————————————————————

      I very much liked your well-written post and agree on many points, but it could still be argued that war with Iran might be detrimental to American hegemony, not supportive of it.

      • James Canning on May 14, 2019, 7:36 pm

        Indeed, the idiotic US war with Iraq begun in 2003 seriously ,eroded American power. Libya disaster has also inflicted substantial damage on US interests.

  5. RoHa on May 14, 2019, 7:53 am

    And who gives a tuppeny [moderated] about the American people’s interest?

    Certainly no-one in the US Govt.

  6. James Canning on May 14, 2019, 10:17 am

    Incisive comment. Neocons promote endless war in the Middle East, at fantastic expense to the US, as means of “protecting” Israel. Criticism of such idiocy is suppressed, with bogus “anti-Semitism” charge. Didn’t Nixon & Kissinger see an issue of conflict of interest?

  7. Misterioso on May 14, 2019, 10:50 am

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/bolton-is-spinning-israeli-intelligence-to-push-for-war-against-iran/

    “Bolton Is Spinning Israeli ‘Intelligence’ to Push for War Against Iran” by Gareth Porter, truthdig, May 11/19

    “John Bolton has gotten away with a dangerous deception. The national security adviser’s announcement Sunday that the Pentagon has deployed air and naval forces to the Middle East, which he combined with a threat to Iran, points to a new maneuver to prepare the ground for an incident that could justify a retaliatory attack against Iran.

    “Bolton presented his threat and the deployments as a response to alleged intelligence about a possible Iranian attack on U.S. targets in the Middle East. But what has emerged indicates that the alleged intelligence does not actually reflect any dramatic new information or analysis from the U.S. intelligence community. Instead, it has all the hallmarks of a highly political case concocted by Bolton.

    “Further underscoring the deceptive character of Bolton’s maneuver is evidence that senior Israeli national security officials played a key role in creating the alleged intelligence rationale for the case.

    “The new initiative follows an audacious ruse carried out last fall by Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, detailed in Truthdig in February, to cast the firing of a few mortar rounds in the vicinity of the U.S. embassy and a consulate in Iraq as evidence of an effort by Tehran to harm U.S. diplomats. Bolton exploited that opportunity to press Pentagon officials to provide retaliatory military options, which they did, reluctantly.

    “Bolton and Pompeo thus established a policy that the Trump administration would hold Iran responsible for any incident involving forces supported by Iran that could be portrayed as an attack on either U.S. personnel or ‘interests.’

    “Bolton’s one-paragraph statement on Sunday considerably broadened that policy. It repeated the previously stated principle that the United States will respond to any alleged attack, whether by Iranian forces or by what the administration calls “proxy” forces. But it added yet another major point to Trump administration policy: ‘a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.’

    “That language represents an obvious move by Bolton to create potential options for U.S. retaliation against Iran for a real or alleged attack by ‘proxy forces’ on Israeli or Saudi forces or ‘interests.’ Such a commitment to go to war with Iran over incidents related to Israeli or Saudi conflicts should be the subject of a major debate in the press and in Congress. Thus far, it has somehow escaped notice.

    “Significantly, on a flight to Finland on Sunday, Pompeo repeated the threat he made last September to respond to any attack by ‘proxy forces’ on U.S. ‘interests.’ He made no reference to possible attacks against ‘allies.’

    “Bolton and his staff claimed to the news media that what he characterizes as ‘troubling and escalatory indications and warnings’ are based on ‘intelligence.’ Media reports about Bolton’s claim suggest, however, that his dramatic warning is not based on either U.S. intelligence reporting or analysis.

    “Citing ‘U.S. officials,’ The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the alleged intelligence ‘showed that Iran drew up plans to target U.S. forces in Iraq and possibly Syria, to orchestrate attacks in the Bab el-Mandeb strait near Yemen through proxies and in the Personal Gulf with its own armed drones.’

    “But in the very next paragraph, the report quotes an official saying it is ‘unclear whether the new intelligence indicated operations Tehran planned to carry out imminently or contingency preparations in the case U.S.-Iran tensions erupted into hostilities.’

    “A Defense Department source said the intelligence showed ‘a change in behavior that could be interpreted to foreshadow an attack on American forces or interests,’ according to The New York Times’ story on the matter. But the source didn’t actually say that any emerging intelligence had led to such a conclusion or even that any U.S. intelligence official has come to that conclusion.

    “The timing of the alleged new intelligence also suggests that Bolton’s claim is false. ‘As recently as last week there were no obvious sign of a new threat,’ The Wall Street Journal reported. The New York Times similarly reported that ‘several Defense officials’ said ‘as recently as last Friday they have had not seen reason to change the American military’s posture in the region.’

    “Normally, it would require intelligence from either a highly credible source within the Iranian government or an intercept of a sensitive communication from Iran to justify this kind of accusation. But no news outlet has brought word that any such spectacular new intelligence has found its way to the White House or the Pentagon.

    “The Journal’s report revealed, moreover, that Bolton has only a ‘fresh intelligence assessment’ rather than any new intelligence report. That ‘assessment’ is clearly not a product of the intelligence community, which would have taken at least several days to arrive at such a fundamental reinterpretation of Iranian intentions. The mysterious new ‘assessment’ was evidently unknown outside Bolton’s office before Bolton swung into action last weekend.

    “We now know, in fact, that the sources behind Bolton’s claim were Israel’s national security adviser and intelligence agency. Axios published a report Monday by leading Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, who covers national security for Israel’s Channel 13, revealing that a delegation of senior Israeli officials had given Bolton ‘information’ about ‘possible Iranian plots against the U.S. or its allies in the Gulf’ two weeks earlier.

    “The Israeli delegation, led by national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat, met with Bolton and other unnamed officials in the White House, according to Ravid, to discuss possible Iranian plans. Bolton himself tweeted on April 15 about his meeting with Shabbat:

    “Israeli officials told Ravid that they understood that ‘intelligence, gathered by the Mossad intelligence agency, was part of the reason for Bolton’s announcement.’ What Ravid’s official sources told him reveals, however, that what the Israelis provided to Bolton was not really new intelligence at all. It consisted of several scenarios for what the Iranians might be planning, according to one Israeli official.

    “’It is still unclear to us what the Iranians are trying to do and how they are planning to do it,’ the Israeli official told Ravid, ‘but it is clear to us that the Iranian temperature is on the rise as a result of the growing U.S. pressure campaign against them, and that they are considering retaliating against U.S. interests in the Gulf.’

    “That revelation explains the lack of evidence of either genuine U.S. intelligence reporting or proper assessment to support Bolton’s statement.

    “Bolton is an old hand at using allegedly damning intelligence on Iran to advance a plan of aggressive U.S. war. In 2003-04, he leaked satellite photographs of specific sites in Iran’s Parchin military complex to the press, claiming those images provided evidence of covert Iranian nuclear weapons-related experiments—even though they showed nothing of the sort. He then tried to pressure International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to insist on an inspection of the sites. When ElBaradei finally relented, he found nothing in that inspection to support Bolton’s claim.

    “Bolton’s deceptive maneuver has the effect of increasing the range of contingencies that would trigger a U.S. strike on Iran and represent a major advance toward his long-declared intention to attack it. More alarmingly, however, some media outlets have reported his claims without any serious questioning.

    “Given the violent struggles in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Israel itself, Bolton and the Netanyahu government will be able to portray an incident as an attack by Shiite militias, the Houthis or Hamas on Israeli, Saudi or U.S. ‘interests,’ just as Bolton and Pompeo did last fall. That, in turn, would offer an opportunity for urging Trump to approve a strike against one or more Iranian military targets.

    “Even more alarming is that both acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and new CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie have signed up for the Bolton initiative. That means that the Pentagon and military leaders can no longer be counted on to oppose such a war, as they did in 2007, when Vice President Dick Cheney pushed unsuccessfully for a plan to retaliate against a future Iraqi militia attack on U.S. troops in Iraq.

    “The United States is in danger of falling for yet another war ruse as malignant as those that led Congress and the mainstream media to accept the invasion of Iraq or the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.”

    • James Canning on May 14, 2019, 7:39 pm

      Bolton is a lying warmonger, no doubt. And he of course gets help from Israel in his effort to dupe the American people into supporting yet another insane military adventure in the Middle East.

    • RoHa on May 14, 2019, 9:24 pm

      ” Iran drew up plans to target U.S. forces …”

      If the Iranian military haven’t drawn up plans to deal with a US attack, they aren’t doing their job, and are even more lackadaisical than the Iranian nuclear scientists. (The scientists still haven’t got round to making a nuclear bomb, even though they’ve been on the verge of it for years.)

      “It is clear to us that the Iranian temperature is on the rise….”

      Maybe so, but it seems to me that the Iranians are trying to play it as cool as possible.

  8. Cabe on May 14, 2019, 1:39 pm

    The American people certainly don’t want to rock the boat of their material prosperity, and the fear of losing their stuff is largely what has made them so politically supine and allowed the deep-state imperialists to ensconce themselves, with help from the MSM propaganda machine. The people in general have no idea what policies might protect or harm their prosperity or whether military force is counterproductive or not. But to me it seems that the world is already integrated into a single political-economic system ruled by the almighty dollar, so that as long as the dollar stands, American domination stands, and if the dollar falls, that is the end for American hegemony and for the bloatedness of the American military establishment. In this situation, the American military’s exercise of power through intervention is thus 100% useless, simply being a drain on resources of the capitalist machine better spent elsewhere, not to mention being indeed massively counterproductive. Mostly, the military intervenes when long-distance nationalists of other countries try to sic the US military on their perceived enemies. Obviously Israel is the paradigmatic example of this, but it is far from alone. Consider Ukraine, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, etc. I would think then that those who call for interventions are certainly working against the interests of most Americans, as American domination would not be reduced one iota by stopping and banning all foreign interventions by the US military. The other way in which foreign wars and interventions harm the US is that world imperialism will inevitably lead to the economic ruin of the American people and their loss of their special, exceptional status, because the imperialist elite will eventually find it easier to rule if they end that status, equalizing the American public with the rest of the imperium.

  9. Kay24 on May 14, 2019, 5:39 pm

    Time for other nations to speak out against the Bolton/Netanyahu/Bin Salman/UAE plan to attack Iran.
    The drums of war are being beaten by the war mongers. Expect false flag operations and fake intelligence.
    Trump wants to be re-elected, so waging a war will also help him.

    “US claims of Iran threat to coalition forces in Middle East rejected by British general”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-threat-us-coalition-forces-middle-east-a8914191.html

    • RoHa on May 14, 2019, 9:12 pm

      The Americans are pushing the line that it was Iranian agents who sabotaged the ships in the Gulf. Don’t ask how they can be so sure.

      • Kay24 on May 15, 2019, 7:20 am

        Feels like a false flag, which we know one particular country in the ME are masters of. Even journalists who reported this seems very doubtful about these reports and the fingers pointing at Iran.
        I say “how convenient”.

    • RoHa on May 14, 2019, 9:37 pm

      And I note from the article that the US is rejecting the Major General’s assessment. They say he can’t tell a mamelon from a ravelin, and doesn’t know what “commissariat” means.

  10. wondering jew on May 14, 2019, 6:04 pm

    I believe that this is brinksmanship on the part of president trump. i don’t know what the endgame is, so it is dangerous.

    the war against iraq, which seems to have been geopolitically ill advised, pushed iran into ascendancy in the region and as such a natural enemy to saudi arabia and a whole slew of oil interests. i blame netanyahu for testifying on behalf of the iraq war. i consider iran a bad player, insofar as I consider hezbollah a bad player and assad a bad player. the war against isis was a war of bad player versus worse player.

    • RoHa on May 14, 2019, 9:13 pm

      “I consider hezbollah a bad player and assad a bad player.”

      Because they won’t lie down for Israel?

      • wondering jew on May 14, 2019, 10:35 pm

        If I need to explain to you why Assad is a bad player, then you must feel that democracy is the cultural choice of white people, whereas brown people sometimes prefer autocracy. As for Hezbollah, they are the proof that Lebanon is a failed state. A state has a monopoly on force and the Lebanese army has no such monopoly due to Hezbollah. When I ask, “Where in the Arab world is there a multi religious society that works?” and people point to Lebanon, Hezbollah refutes them before their argument even escapes their mouths.

      • RoHa on May 15, 2019, 1:30 am

        Don’t be silly. I was asking why you thought they were bad, not suggesting that they weren’t.

        But you don’t clearly say why Hezbollah is bad. Is it because the Lebanese army has no monopoly on force? Well, since the Lebanese army has not had sufficient force to resist the Israeli attempt to gain monopoly on force in the region, I can’t see that it is so bad for Hezbollah to have a go.

      • eljay on May 15, 2019, 7:32 am

        || wondering jew: If I need to explain to you why Assad is a bad player, then you must feel that democracy is the cultural choice of white people, whereas brown people sometimes prefer autocracy. … ||

        That’s a cute little lecture coming from a Jewish supremacist (Zionist) who feels that brown people deserve:
        – to be second-class citizens in a colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist “Jewish State” carved out of as much as possible of their geographic homeland; or
        – dumped into an enclave (or two) cobbled out of whatever scraps of their geographic homeland Zionists have tossed to them.

    • Brewer on May 15, 2019, 12:44 am

      “i consider iran a bad player, insofar as I consider hezbollah a bad player and assad a bad player”

      I can say with considerable confidence that you know nothing about these “players” apart from what you have learned from Israeli propaganda and the echo chamber that forms the mainstream U.S. and British media. I would venture further – you do not even know what the game is.

      National leaders should be judged by the outcomes they achieve for their people, given the resources they command, not the headlines in the media of states that have declared intent to destabilize them.

      The blinkers are off WJ. There is one “bad player” in the region. One that, at its very inception, massacred, raped and pillaged. One that used wars of choice to expand its territory. One that prides itself in deception and created a plan to have its allies destabilize the surrounding states.

      The “game” hasn’t changed but the spectators have. Those of us who stood up on the bleachers and cheered the gallant Israelis in sixty-seven went home and read a few History books. Probably time you did likewise.

  11. Brewer on May 15, 2019, 2:00 am

  12. Frankie P on May 15, 2019, 6:24 pm

    “Christian Zionists surely also play a part in making this policy, but the care and feeding of neocons is a Jewish problem Jews need to argue over.”

    Can the rest of the Americans argue about it as well?

    Christian Zionists have proven so effective at getting legislation passed on the issues important to Protestant Christians, such as abortion, school prayer, gay marriage, etc. What? Oh. They only have massive clout when it comes to foreign policy and Israel.

    Frankie P

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