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  • Privacy and the GDPR at Mondoweiss
    • Please allow me not to be excited about the GDPR.

      For simple people running a website in Germany that law bears a high probability of four or five figure Euro costs for lawyers, court proceeding and stuff like that until the right words of what has to be said in a new disclaimer have been found.

      Internet giants like Facebook, Google and Co probably won't have such problems with the GDPR. For them the costs to find the right formula for their disclaimers are ridiculous.

  • NYT fails to report that Netanyahu started air war over Syria as corruption probes close in on him
    • I think the headline of this MW article is a very bad choice.

      The NYT did an amazing propaganda job to whitewash Israeli aggression, but not mentioning corruption probes against Netanyahu I don't see as a major problem with the NYT here.

      Just see what happened:

      Israel bombs Syria routinely whenever Israel wants to. Israeli Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said half a year ago Israel bombed Syria about almost a 100 times in the last five years.

      And that's what Israel did on Saturday: Israel just routinely bombed Syria, because Israel sees it as Israel's right to bomb any country in the region whenever Israel wants to bomb that country. The only major difference with previous Israeli aggressions on Saturday was that an Israeli attack jet was downed, so Israel routinely committed the crime of aggression and got a little bit of a bloody nose, though Israel did not suffer casualties in that routine act of aggression.

      The whole rest of the Israeli and NYT story is story telling, from fiction to fairy tales, just to somehow justify routine Israeli aggressions against Syria and other countries, eg Lebanon. An Iranian drone violated Israels air space, Israel and the NYT claimed. The NYT failed to say how ridiculous that is as a pretext for bombing runs. And really, was it Iranian? Where is the proof? There is no proof. New reports say Israel recognised the drone as a copy of a US recon drone that the US used to intrude into Iranian air space.

      And after that the US complained that Iran downed it and wanted the drone back, because, as the US argued back then, mistakes of drones flying accidentally into other countries can just happen, and should be no cause for military escalation.

      And still, no one in Israel died due to that Israeli aggression, because Syria put up a very limited response, without any retaliatory strikes. But, according to Israel, Israel hit hard, and it's likely people in Syria were killed in this Israeli aggression. And still, the NYT put up a story making Iran the aggressor, though there is absolutely no proof that Iran had anything to do with that clash. The NYT will likely see that propaganda piece as example of laudable chutzpah, when indeed it's just another ridiculous example of "Israel, my country, right or wrong."

      Israel routinely committing the crime of aggression is the far bigger and more important story behind that incident than just Netanyahu doing war for domestic reasons.

  • An ominous warning: 'Netanyahu needs a war with Iran. And he needs it soon'
    • pabelmount

      It's more than that. Many U.S. allies of the U.S. were in Syria on the side of Al Qaeda - which is the only declared war that the U.S. has going on - and that since more than 16 years. That long duration of war raises the question if the U.S. can win that war, and if not why. One of the clear answers to that question is, that Al Qaeda can't be defeated as long as it is supported by major U.S. allies and by political forces close to these allies inside the U.S.

      While there is not much that the U.S. government can do about these powerful political forces inside the U.S. in the short term, externally the U.S. government has some critical influence it can use to advance a policy neccessary for defeating Al Qaeda. And so it is done. But while U.S. allies like Qatar and Turkey stopped their policy of supporting Al Qaeda a while ago, when they also managed to set up better relations with Russia and Iran, some U.S. allies, primarily Israel and Saudi Arabia, seem to stick to their policy of supporting Al Qaeda.

      Israel's head of government had even publicly opposed an agreement struck by the presidents of the USA and Russia and the king of Jordan to get rid of Al Qaeda and associated jihadis in South Western by bringing peace to south western Syria. And that is while it is an undisputed fact that Al Qaeda linked ISIS terrorists rule since years over a border strip of land in south western Syria that can only be feeded and supplied by Israel or Jordan. At whatever map one looks, in the South Western corner of Syria is a strip of ISIS territory that cannot be militarily supplied any other way than via Jordan or Israel.!Syrian_Civil_War_map.svg/1280px-Syrian_Civil_War_map.svg.png

      Jordan struck a deal with the USA and Russia, but Israel opposes that. And that is while high ranking Israeli figures clearly said time and again that Israel prefers Al Qaeda's rule over the rule of Iran. See here Michael Oren for example, in the Israeli paper Jpost:

      And that Israeli persistence on supporting Al Qaeda and associated jihadis to counter Iranian influence continues to this day, though Israel clearly understands that the U.S. is at war with Al Qaeda and not at war with Iran - while other major U.S. allies like Turkey and Qatar stopped their support for Al Qaeda and associated jihadis already a while ago.

    • What I find interesting is that Syria says that Israel this time used ground to ground missiles to attack a Syrian military base.

      The Syrian president Assad long ago claimed that the IAF is acting as Al Qaeda's air force.

      But now, weeks after the Israeli military said one of it's F35 stealth jets was grounded due to being hit by a bird - while Syria hours before said it had hit an Israeli attack plane, Israel seems to use no manned jets anymore to help Al Qaeda by attacking Syria, just missiles.

      And the Syrian journalist Wael said, Syria manged to intercept 3 of 5 incoming Israeli missiles yesterday:

      It seems that Israel didn't manage to cause much damage with the latest aggression:

      If that information all proves true in the next days, that would mark a dramatic development: Israel lost the total air superiority it had for several decades in the region.

  • Dangerous signs that Trump, Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince are planning wider Mideast war
    • James

      Béchir Ben Yahmed's article is fine, but when published on November 16 it was already a bit outdated.

      On November 16 even Time published this: The Saudi Crown Prince's Plot to Reshape the Middle East Backfires

      On November 17 Alastair Crooke illuminated the background a bit brighter: Trump’s Saudi Scheme Unravels.

      My comment: destroying Hezbollah and/or Iran with a new big war is a wet dream of Bibi and MbS. MbS wants to use Israel to do the fighting, Bibi wants the Saudis to do the fighting, and both of them want to use the US military as their proxy, but the US military doesn't want to be used as a proxy of Bibi and MbS. Bibi and MbS want war, but both are afraid of fighting it themselves. And that's why the Bibi-MbS plan to destroy Hezbollah and Iran stayed now after years of brutal war in Syria, Iraq and Lebenon what it it was from the beginning: a wet dream.

  • The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel
  • The Russiagate farce, or how the Russians corrupted our pristine democracy
    • Donald

      You write that the Saudis are "evidently trying to destabilize Lebanon and pick a fight with Iran." So true. But the Saudis are not alone. They have two powerful and popular allies in doing so: Trump and - drumbeat - Israel:

      I think that's kind of a winning coalition all over the world, and especially in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia, Trump and Israel are teaming up to destabilize the arab world to punish Iran for destabilizing activities in the region like "propping up" the Syrian government and helping Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda. I'm sure liberals in the western world, from New York to Berlin, and surely in the arab world, will soon cheer the team.

      Could anyone imagine a more popular dream team than Saudi Arabia, Trump and Israel working together on destabilizing the world and sparking more middle east wars?

      Too bad, when the "grown ups" in Trumps cabinet, like Mattis, McMaster and Tillerson, will tell Trump that this is nuts and he should leave the Saudi-Israeli axis alone in the fight, just like the US left the Israeli-Kurdish axis alone. And then the world will eagerly await the mighty and globally popular Netanyahu-Salman team to take on the alliance of Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Russia and China, supported with valuable US lip service by Kushner given to Bibi and MbS.

  • Trump plays to the neocons and Netanyahu to get some establishment support
    • Elizabeth

      Yes, it's disgusting. Trump lies so much, he even seemed to have lied about that he loves Israel.

    • Phil

      Trump and his guys are really doing a good job so far. They are giving the neocons and the Israeli war lobby a lot of lip service while facts on the ground go exactly the other way.

      T-Rex made a superb joke on Sunday: "Tillerson: Iranian militias need to leave Iraq." Of course, Tillerson knows full well that the only Iranian militia operating in Iraq is the "Peshmerga" militia led by Hussein Yazdanpana, under the command of israel's darling Barzani - though - since they are priding themselves to continue attacks in Iran while receiving US training - terrorists would be a better word for them, I suggest. Seth Frantzman - educated at at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya - just reported that he was hanging around with that Iranian militia in Iraq.

      Of course, these bunch of terrorists are not the Iranian militias T-Rex was allegedly speaking about. Instead he referred to parts of the Iraqi security forces as Iranian militias - just because they have ties to Iran. I'm sure, T-Rex knew that. And he also must have guessed that the only thing his remarks would achieve in Iraq was sparking a debate of all foreign forces go home from Iraq - and of course, that's primarily US forces. Also, the joke he says he's building a coalition of Iraq and Saudi Arabia to counter Iran. Iran welcomed these efforts, because improving Iraqi-Saudi relations helps Iran countering malign Israeli influence in the region.

      But the greatest thing is Trump saying he does not take sides as Israel's stooge Barzani is crashed. Barzani held a referendum which Israel supported, but the US opposed, and now, as Barzani is crashed for that, Trump and the US military do nothing to help him. Though not reported in mass media so far, latest reports from the ground seem to indicate that Iraqi forces are already very close to the Iraqi-Syrian-Turkish triangle border point. That Trump didn't help Barzani likely means that all Israeli designs to partition Iraq and Syria have fallen flat, and US troops have no other option than leaving Iraq and Syria for good. The next big step in this developing situation is likely to get rid of Israel's puppet Barzani in Kurdish-Iraqi talks.

      The neocons following the situation on the ground are enraged. Michael Weiss, who wrote almost six years ago the first plan of the "Syrian opposition" to get the US to do a military intervention in Syria, just published on CNN: How America sided with Iran over Iraq's Kurds. The Weekly Standard has just published a similarily lined editorial: 'Not Taking Sides' in Iraq Is Really Just Taking the Wrong Side.

      They are not happy, but we can be happy for this. These are very promising and crucial developments on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

  • The real reasons Trump is quitting Unesco
  • Trump's speech on Iran deal is an orgy for Israel and its US friends
    • It's hard to see how Bibi and his Congress could win their battle to nix the Iran deal.

      The point is that the JCPOA is not only a P5+1 deal with Iran, but also binding international law codified in UN security council resolution 2231.

      So, to nix the Iran deal in a lawful way, Bibi and his Congress basically need a new UN security council resolution nixing it. It means Bibi and his Congress need not only support from Trump for doing this, but also from the veto powers Russia, China, Britain and France. It's hard to see that Bibi and his Congress could be successful in lobbying Russia to agree to nix UN security council resolution 2231.

      To "slap back" globally binding UN sanctions, Bibi and his Congress could also use the mechanism defined in the JCPOA to do so. The procedere here would be that the US officially complains that Iran is acting in violation of the JCPOA. Then there would be a several weeks long court like process in listening to both sides complaints, and at the end there will be a vote among the 8 signatory powers of the JCPOA, ie the US, the EU, Germany, France, UK, China, Russia and Iran. If the majority of these 8 signatory powers votes that Iran has violated the deal and sanctions should be slapped back, UN sanctions are slapped back. It means, if Iran, Russia and China vote against and the Western block unanimously votes for reinstating UN sanctions, UN sanctions will be slapped back. Of the western signatory powers the toughest nut to crack for Bibi and his Congress is likely the EU. The EU commission is very immune to media campaigns or threats of not being reelected.

      As per Reuters EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday in reaction to President Donald Trump’s decision not to certify the accord: "We cannot afford as the international community to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working ... This deal is not a bilateral agreement ... The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place."

      The key power Bibi and his Congress has to get to make the EU change it's stance is the EU's economic powerhouse Germany. If Germany would fold, it may have enough influence to change the stance of the EU. However, the situation in Germany is that the government, all opposition parties and a big majoriry of the people are strong supporters of the deal. One may consider the stance of Merkel - which reflects her CDU party:

      Merkel reiterates Iran deal should be model for solving North Korea crisis

      Foreign minister Gabriel from the SPD party is even more explicit. As per German state run DW:

      "It's imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue," Gabriel told Germany's RND newspaper group. "We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA."

      It may be the end of the close transatlantic partnership, NATO included.

      So, there is no way, Trump, Bibi or the US Congress can terminate the Iran deal. What Trump and Bibi's Congress can do, is violating the Iran deal and international law by reneging on the US obligation to lift nuclear related sanctions. If these sanctions would only affect US individuals and companies, nobody would care much about it. It would mean, Iran would need to buy more Airbus planes instead of buying Airbus and Boeing planes, and that's it.

      But what Trump and Bibi's Congress could do again, would be to re-impose secondary nuclear-related sanctions, meaning giving foreign companies a binary choice of either doing business with the US or with Iran.

      That would be a clear US violation of international law and WTO rules, though the WTO has little teeth to defend it's rules against US breaks. But as a huge trade power, the EU has some muscles it can flex when it comes to trade and sanctions. As per HuffPo:

      If the U.S. pulls out of the nuclear agreement ― known as the JCPOA ― and reapplies sanctions that target not only Iran, but other countries who do business with Iran, the European Union could take advantage of a statute dating back to the mid-1990s that would protect European companies from being penalized under the sanctions, EU ambassador to the United States David O’Sullivan said Monday.

      So, it would be completely nuts if Bibi's Congress would slap nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, thereby breaking international law and likely starting a US-EU trade war, while the very same Congress could slap the same sanctions on Iran on a non-nuclear pretext legally.

      Anyway, as the US has already put in place a myriad of non-nuclear-related secondary sanctions against Iran, Iran has learned to live with them, by doing more business with Chinese and Russian companies who choose the Iranian over the US market. These secondary sanctions hurt Iran, but unlike UN security council sanctions, they don't really strangle Iran.

      So, what Bibi and his Congress need to be successful in strangling Iran are UN security council sanctions on Iran, but there's no way to get them. That Trump speech yesterday doesn't help them, just the opposite. More people will suspect that when Trump and Bibi's Congress slap non-nuclear-related sanctions on Iran they are doing this out of frustration that they can't destroy the nuclear deal.

      And: Trump is very unpopular in Germany, and being associated with Trump does Bibi no good for his image in Germany.

  • From Greta Gerwig to NYU, Israel has deep reservoir of cultural support in U.S.
    • What I find interesting that there just happens to be a case out there where the progressive bigotry of the "cultural elite" is in full display. Here is a quote from the Hollywood reporter, 2015:

      ... "We're gonna have to get as organized as the mafia," the mogul told the audience at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's national tribute dinner, where he was introduced by friend and competitor Jeffrey Katzenberg as "a really nice Jewish boy."

      ... Weinstein, 63, then went off-script to speak about his father, who was a sergeant stationed in Cairo during World War II. The elder Weinstein aided the Haganah (the precursor to the IDF before Israel was a state) and later taught his sons about anti-Semitism. Weinstein emphasized his concern about anti-Semitism around the world, which Wiesenthal Center studies indicate is at its highest levels since the end of World War II.

      ... "I'm upset when I read The Atlantic Monthly's headline that says, 'Should the Jews leave Europe?' — a resounding 'no' on my end — and [New York Times columnist] David Brooks today talking about how to combat anti-Semitism," Weinstein said. "It's like, here we go again, we're right back where we were [before the Holocaust]. And the lessons of the past are we better stand up and kick these guys in the ass."

      ... Earlier in the evening, Weinstein was described as "a larger-than-life personality" but also "a really nice Jewish boy" by Katzenberg. The emcee pointed out that Weinstein and his brother, Bob, named their first company, Miramax, after their parents, Miriam and Max, asking — to laughter and applause — "In all the thousands of years and annals of dutiful, nice Jewish boys, how many of them named their company after their parents? C'mon, this is like the ultimate mitzvah!" He also described Weinstein as having "an outsized personality" and "an outsized heart," and also being "an extraordinary and dedicated philanthropist."

      ... Tuesday’s gala featured the surprise announcement that an additional $50 million has been raised toward construction of a sprawling Museum of Tolerance complex in Jerusalem. Katzenberg announced the new donation, which he said had come together “over the last few months” and gives the center 87 percent of the new campus’ projected cost. ...

      And now compare that to a quote from the The Gurdian, 2017:

      “We’re all fucking complicit, and it has to stop,” said Best, who said the accusations against Weinstein were an “open secret” in Hollywood. “The industry at large,” she alleged, “provided shelter for his bad behavior directly and indirectly” by staying silent.

      Will this high-profile case of Zionist bigotry in the cultural sphere make any difference? And, if not, what then? As far as I remember, even the case of Roman Polanski made no difference. Lot's of people seem to prefer to continue living in a dream world until reality knocks at the door and there's no way the door can stay closed anymore.

  • In decertifying Iran deal, Trump caves to Israel. But who will say so?
    • Annie

      No need to excuse. I think what Trump calls for is a tough political battle. I think we can win this battle. And I think we will see Trump go along with us if we win. But I agree, I may well end up proved wrong.

      And have a look. On the other side, the lobby not seem to be that happy with what they expect from Trump neither. Have a look what Fred Fleitz from the infamous CSP just wrote on Fox news:

      Under the dumb and dumber options being promoted by McMaster, Tillerson and other Trump advisers, this farcical situation will continue as the United States remains in the nuclear deal while engaging in pointless talks begging the Iranians for a better one. The middle ground that these options supposedly represent is an illusion – their sole purpose is to ensure that President Trump never withdraws from an agreement he has correctly called an embarrassment to the United States.

      Fred Fleitz, always like the spear tip of the lobby, already now starts battling for stopping talks. But I doubt he's very optimistic of winning a battle against a group including McMaster, Tillerson and other Trump advisers, eg SecDef Mattis.

      His a more restrained role playing figurative brother in arms, David Harris from AJC, seems not to be all that upbeat about the upcoming battle in the Huffpo neither:

      Only maximum collaboration in Washington and among our allies is likely to produce workable answers.

      Regrettably, however, the chances for reaching that goal don’t look very promising at the moment.

      When the calm before the storm is over and the battle of the lobby and it allies against the rest of the world will ne in full swing, I wonder whether the lobby will call again for the Israeli PM to speak before Congress to rally his forces against the US president. I think Bibi would find that a difficult thing to do this time: whom he will rally against the US president this time? Last time he rallied the Republicans against a Democrat President. Would Bibi now try to rally the Democrats against a Republican president? Would Bibi now try to rally the Republicans against a Republican president?

      I think Trump's decertification is more a problem for the lobby than a chance. But, yes, I may well be proved wrong.

    • Annie

      Let me try to explain it again. I completely agree that nixing the Iran deal could well be catastrophic and should be prevented whatever it takes. It was so hard-fought for.

      But I think, if Trump "decertifies" the deal it would probably not lead to nixing the deal. So what do I think why is Trump doing this? When you said: "Trump has already stated (repeatedly) he does not think the deal was in US interests while at the same time recertifying the deal." And while Trump publicly claims the Iran deal is not in US interests, in the recertification Trump has to state every 90 days to congress that the deal is in America’s national interest - else it would be not a valid recertification. See here NYT writes it this way:

      Certification was required by Congress, which passed a law mandating that the president decide every 90 days whether Iran is fulfilling its commitments and whether the deal is in America’s national interest.

      That stark difference between his public statements to his base and his regular recertification statement to Congress is a huge problem for Trump. It weakens him and opens the door widely for renewed pressure from the Israel lobby every 90 days. Just switching his position from being against the deal to supporting Obama's signature deal could be politically as poisonous for him.

      But, if Trump manages to amend the deal, then, of course, he could support the deal, that would than be his deal, and so, of course, he would have to switch and support it. If amendment negotiations would be held while the current deal maintains intact then why not have the P5+1 talk with Iran about amending the deal? Some even more strict inspections, even harsher penalties for violations and some longer terms for the full sunset would something Iran could possibly swallow.

      But, of course, Iran would never agree to swallow any such amendments if it does not get something valuable in return. I tried to lay out what I think Iran would want to have in return: better investor confidence. See here what CNN wrote a couple of weeks ago about the Iranian problem:

      Iran hoped that agreeing to curtail its nuclear program would encourage foreign firms to pour tens of billions into the country.

      But a flood of major investment has not materialized -- and that's largely because of the United States.

      More than two years have passed since Iran signed a landmark nuclear agreement with six world powers including the U.S. The deal allowed Tehran to get a handle on rampant inflation that resulted from years of crippling sanctions, and the country has dramatically boosted its oil production and exports.

      Iran has been certified as being in compliance with the nuclear deal.

      But foreign companies are still reluctant to invest because they fear the agreement could collapse.

      "The train has left the station but its not moving at the pace that people expected," said Raul Heraud, head of financial services at strategic advisory firm Solidiance. "It is important to have a clear picture in terms of strategy of entering the market."

      The U.S., which kept other sanctions on Iran in place even after the nuclear deal was signed, is the source of much of the investor anxiety.

      The picture I get from Iran is similar. The deal has had positive effects for the Iranian economy, but the performance could be much better. Investor confidence is a huge problem. Investors worry not only about Trump, but as well about the US congress pushing every couple of months new sanctions on Iran on various non-nuclear pretexts. Big companies fear when they do big investments in Iran, the US will punish them for that using non-nuclear pretexts. So, how to solve that?

      Iran could for example want, that if it would agree to amendments to the nuclear deal, the US Congress should agree not to impose sanctions on Iran using non-nuclear pretexts. And, knowing US doesn't abide by it's words, Iran could also want that the EU guarantees "indemnification" for EU companies punished by the US for doing business in Iran. And, maybe, before entering amendment talks, Iran may ask the EU first to finalize some big investments currently on hold.

      I think Iran could likely get a lot of what it wants, more than at the original deal, because the geopolitical situation has changed a lot in Iran's favor. I'm quite sure, if the P5+1 and Iran manage to amend the Iran deal, Israel would like the amended deal even less than the original deal. And, yes, as I said, having the P5+1 and Iran talk and chatter at the coffee machine, could be very valuable for itself because there are really a lot of things where they do agree on regarding world affairs. And Israel would - again - not be present in the talks and end up on the menu. Be sure, Israel will not like the talks and soon switch position from "fix or nix" to stop talking on fixes. But I don't think Israel will get it's way then.

      By the way, did you remember, that the P5+1 and Iran met in New York last month for what Rouhani described as "very important" talks? I could well imagine that they already made plans together what should happen after Trump rejects recertification of the deal.

    • Anni

      I do think that Trump will not recertify that the deal is in the US interest. But I don't think the outcome of that has to be bad. I think the outcome could also become a good one.

      Michael Oren has just made Israeli ambitions clear:

      ... Israel’s position on the Iran deal was and remains clear. “Fix it or nix it,” Prime Minister Netanyahu recently told the United Nations. If canceled, the deal must be replaced by crippling sanctions that force Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons capacity. Fixing the deal would include conducting stricter inspections of suspect Iran nuclear sites, imposing harsher penalties for Iranian violations and, above all, eliminating the “sunset clause.” ...

      As far as I understand it there will be neither a majority in congress nor an international consensus for nixing the deal. So what will follow? I think it will be an attempt to what Oren calls fixing the deal. When changing the wording from eliminating the “sunset clause” to a longer period of time until sunset my understanding is that Iran may well be willing to negotiate over the issues Oren lists there: conducting stricter inspections of suspect Iran nuclear sites, imposing harsher penalties for Iranian violations and, above all, eliminating the “sunset clause.” Why not talk about that with Iran? But, of course, Iran would only agree to talk about these things when Iran also gets something in return. As far as I understand Iran would want to acquire more investments in some key sectors like oil and gas, but also in it's automotive & manufacturing industry and acquiring such investment is hard for Iran because companies fear that congress may decide to outlaw these investments and leave investors in Iran out in the cold.

      So why not try to talk on making a better deal - meaning a deal both the US and Iran are more comfortable with? I'ld see nothing wrong with that. Just the opposite: getting the USA, Iran, Russia, China and the EU all talking with each other on high levels on a regular basis I would find very valuable for itself. And while these countries talk with each other and with Iran, by chattering while standing at the coffee machine they may find out that there exists very many other issues where they do agree a lot and coordinated action could be good for all.

      I think for example about:
      - eliminating ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq
      - keeping Iraq together and thwarting Barzanis independence bid
      - getting peace and rid of Al Qaeda in Yemen
      - ending the war in Afghanistan and eliminating Al Qaeda, ISIS and poppies there
      - getting peace to Palestine

      Naturally, since Israel is not a participant of the P5+1 with Iran talks. Israel would likely end up on the menu of such talks. Much of such informal, but hopefully meaningful chatter, may end up dealing with how to defeat the Israel lobby, just as it has been, when the original deal was concluded.

  • How Kurdish independence underpins Israel’s plan to reshape the Middle East
    • Paranam Kid

      And one more. You said:

      The Yinon plan not in use today? Here are a couple of quote from it:

      Iraq, whose dissolution should be a strategic Israeli aim, and he envisaged the emergence of three ethnic centres, of Shiites governing from Basra, the Sunni from Baghdad, and the
      Kurds with a capital in Mosul, each area run along the lines of the administrative divisions of the former Ottoman Empire.
      That is exactly what is happening.

      This quote is a good example. It shows a world view driven by sectarian and ethnic criteria. Take dividing the population of Iraq into Shiites, Sunn and Kurds. Such dividing thinking would be laughable if it wasn't to be heard nowadays oftenly from Israel, the Israeli lobby and the associated western main stream media.

      However, it is not an established fact that dividing Iraq into such parts was the primary goal of Israel in instigating the US-led war on Iraq. The primary Israeli goal for bringing the US to invade Iraq seems to have been to conquer Iraq as a whole and make the whole of Iraq voluntarily completely subservient to Israel and the lobby, what would then be called by western mainstream media a true democracy. However, things didn't work out like this.

      Today Basra, Baghdad and Mosul are all under control of the national Iraqi army and even more Iranian-backed PMU, who work well together. The Israeli-backed "Sunni" powercenter Mosul failed to last, and the Israeli-backed Barzani-Kurdish power center is still in Erbil and making risky moves to accomodate it's Israeli backers.

      So, things developed quite different than any "Yinon" could ever foresee at his time and I expect the Israeli strategic planning division, doing lot's of secret planning, but only very limited public planning, to adopt their plannings according to real events happening. That's normal practice.

      However, I do think there's a lot of evidence suggesting that Israel is indeed following the militarily not very illogacally, but morally very wrotten principles of divide et impera laid out in the Yinon plan as blueprint for Israeli foreign policy. And I do also think this Israeli policy played a large role in the deaths of millions of people. And that, I think, is not normal practice.

      I, eg, remember well, that the attempt of regime change in Syria was at first described in Western mass media as all the people rising up against a dictator. That was a non sectarian narrative, despite some Arab media were following a sectarian narrative. But in summer 2012, suddenly the narrative in Israeli-influenced Western mass media changed. As the people on the ground seems to have stayed the same, suddenly the Israeli-influenced western mass media reported what was happening in Syria was a Sunni majority insurgence against an oppressive Alawite-Shiite minority regime. That was suddenly a completely sectarian storyline, the Israeli-influenced western mass media told.

      But the thing striking me most was were I found the sectarian narrative first in the western world: it was not Reuters, but the homepage of AIPAC. AIPAC since deleted that message, but I remember it was there, and it was there, where I found it first. Most people didn't pay attention on how Western narratives changed regarding Syria, but I did. Some people laughed about me when I said in 2012 that Israel is supporting Al Qaeda in Syria.

      But in 2013 came this from Michael Oren:

      “The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran,” he said.

      This was the case, he said, even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated to al-Qaida.

      “We understand that they are pretty bad guys,” he said, adding that this designation did not apply to everyone in the Syrian opposition. “Still, the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. That is a position we had well before the outbreak of hostilities in Syria. With the outbreak of hostilities we continued to want Assad to go.”

      And that is while Israel all the way pretended to be neutral to the war in Syria.

    • Paranam Kid

      Don't get me wrong. As I said I do think that Israel's strategy in the region is based on the core thinking laid out in the Yinon plan: “fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord” to keep neighbors weak, thereby making Israel comparatively strong. I think the evidence for that is everywhere: firing up Hamas against the PLO, support for firing up sectarian takfirism against minorities in secular states, firing up kurdish separatism against Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, trying to partition Iraq and Syria using the US military as proxy force and so on and on. Almost everywhere, where there are forces spreading hatred, terrorism and disrupting unity and peace in the region, one can almost be sure Israel supports them. However, I don't think Israel follows, or ever followed the Yinon plan in detail. I think the Israel government follows a similar strategic plan, a secret one, permanently modified and updated in accordance with to latest developments, but not the Yinon plan.

      For example while I think Jonathan Cook is spot on regarding Israel's motivations in supporting Barzani's secession moves, I doubt Israel is today working on destabilizing the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. The Hashemite ruler could hardly be more subserviant to Israel. Jordan is today de facto Israel's ally - breaking it may just bring Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians, along with their toys like S-400 air defense systems, to that side of the de facto border, too. Sure, getting rid of the Palestianians is still the Israeli priority, but they don't need to be put into Jordan, when they could be dumped to Europe or into Saudi Arabia, too, for example.

    • Maghlawatan

      I don't think such Israeli plans and policies are laughable. They kept them the strongest power in the middle east for about 50 years now.

      While I don't think the Yinon plan is in use today, "fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord" to keep neighbors weak, thereby making Israel comparatively strong, looks to me very well like being a central element of regional Israeli policy.

      I think such Israeli policies of "fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord" are a key factor in the death of millions of people.

  • Why the split inside the Democratic Party over BDS needs to happen
    • Jeff

      I'm not saying Jews don't have an Israeli centric foreign policy, it's their homeland.

      Wow. And I thought the homeland of US jews was the USA.

      Of course Jewish hawks are going to focus on that area. Every ethnicity has hawks.

      Enthnicity? And I thought judaism was a religion. You sound a lot like Richard Spencer.

      Your theory has to explain why 73% of Americans supported the Iraq war prior to the invasion. Jews don't own a magic convince Christians to think stuff wand.

      Since "hawkish jews" focused on Israel and the mideast also dominate the MSM there is no magic wand needed. It's easy to whip up support for war for "hawkish jews" when they dominate the donor class, the MSM and via AIPAC the US congress.

      You also have to explain why if there is this level of Jewish control that we can move the USA army

      Well, that one the hawkish US jews focused on Israel and the mideast lost. While they succeeded in moving the US army into disastrous wars on Iraq, Libya and Syria, they failed to make the US army win these wars, and they also failed with their projects to start even more horrific wars, on Iran and Ukraine, just to name a few.

      I think in the end the effect of these wars will be quite the opposite of what Israel and the "hawkish US jews focused on Israel and the mideast" - as you call this group of super influential US warmongers - wanted. Instead of expanding Israel's power with the aim of creating Greater Israel instead of having to strike a peace deal with the Palestinians, this group of super influential Israeli and US jews is just turning large parts of the world population - including in the US military - against Israel.

      But while we totally disagree as how to see Israel and powerful jewish-American warmongers, I want to say that in one point I agree with you: pulling the US military back from the middle east would be a good thing to do for Trump. I just support the for different reasons than you do. I think without having the US army permanently fighting proxy wars for Israels expansionist wishes in the region, Israel can't sustain the aggressive and expansionist policies. Maybe we will see such a move soon. US president Trump recently said, he has nothing to do with Syria except killing ISIS terrroists there. Iranian major general Qassem Soleimani just said he expects ISIS to be completely defeated in Iraq and Syria in about two to three months. So the stage could be set for the US military to completely pull back from Syria and Iraq. I expect the usual "hawkish US jews" to go mad about this possibility.

    • Jeff

      "The Israeli-backed Barzani-KRG was at the forefront of supporting the Iraqi insurgency what later morphed into ISIS."

      I’m missing this step...

      Let me help you out. The leaders of the "salafi insurgency" in Nineveh and Anbar all was based in Erbil, as well as their so called mufti of Iraq, and they made absolutely no secret about that they were plotting together the armed overthrow of the government of Iraq, and this while welcoming ISIS. They even held conferences in Erbil to coordinate and motivate their ISIS-linked fighters on the ground to conquer Baghdad. See here for example a report from Al Monitor on such a conference of the Iraq’s Revolutionary Tribal Leaders:

      Much of the western MSM had ignored Erbil collusion with the salafi forces that morphed into ISIS, but people in the region remember.

      . So the Yezidis became enemies with the Israeli-backed Barzani-KRG, and today they lay in opposing trenches – literally. the Yezidis fled from ISIS to KRG territory for safety. Sorry but simply not true.

      It may not be what the western MSM reported at theat time, but it's just what the Yezidis say.

      Clashes between Yezidi YBS units and Barzanis Peshmerga were widely reported. See here Al Jazeera, eg:

      For the reasons why they clash, you may have a look at this documentation from 1st German state TV for example:

      The Yezidis explain there why they fight Barzani's Peshmerga. Barzani's Peshmerga did nothing to help them from being massacred by ISIS, just sitting together with the ISIS backers in Erbil, gleefully happy. That is while PKK helped them from being massacred by ISIS. And that attitude of Barzani to the Yezidis didn't change yet.

    • Jeff

      I understand your premises. However, I think they are demonstrably false, and more important, more and more people, Democrat and Republican, don't accept them anymore as true.

      "The most military aggressive group of people towards the middle east are female evangelicals. Jews, including Jewish donors, are some of the least. "

      You sound like joking. Just as if the people don't remember the "Project for the New American Century" and their goals, participants and donors.

      "We don’t have that much juice."

      Challenge for you: name the top non-jewish donor to the Clinton campaign. Hint: here is the top donor list:

    • Jeff

      "Someone interested in ending discrimination would want a system where Israel gets good press for doing good and bad press for doing bad."

      I agree.

      "the rescue operations involving the Yazidi Kurds and backing the Kurds in general over the last 20 years"

      I disagree. The Israeli-backed Barzani-KRG was at the forefront of supporting the Iraqi insurgency what later morphed into ISIS. And when ISIS tried genocide against the Yezidis the Israeli-backed Barzani-KRG did nothing. So the Yezidis became enemies with the Israeli-backed Barzani-KRG, and today they lay in opposing trenches - literally. And what's the general good in Israel stoking seperatism, Kurdish or whatever, among it's neighbors? It just breeds conflict, where Israel then cries, US troops shall deal, fight and die for the regional mess Israel created.

      Regarding the ISIS genocide against Yezidis, I found little evidence that Israel tried to prevent this, but lot's of evidence, that Israel supported - and still supports - the terrorism of Al Qaeda, ISIS and similar comrades:

      So, as you said, and I agree, Israel should get good press for doing good and bad press for doing bad. But somehow, the main stream media press seems to hold back in reporting that Israel is in bed with ISIS, Al Qaeda and similar terrorists commiting crimes like the genocide against the Yezidis. Well, I think that has to be changed. Israel should be called out for the crimes Israel is doing. How about making a documentary for the MSM:

      How Israeli support for Al Qaeda and ISIS helped to cause the genocide against the Yezidis

      I'm sure if it was Iran, Hezbollah and comrades, who did commit such a horrible crime, the western MSM were full of it.

    • Jeff

      I think that American jewish voters may switch partly to the Republican party if the Democratic party would go with human rights and the Palestinian point of view. However, I think that would be a minor issue. What would be more important is where American jewish donors would go.

      Jews are a wealthy group of white voters, and more important, donors, but I doubt this wealthy group of white donors will be all welcome in the Republican party if they don't abandon meddling in US foreign policy for the Near East, especially pushing the US to engage in wars in that region.

      There may come more articles like Philip Giraldi's recent "America's Jews driving America's wars" and I think such arguments find fertile ground in Trump's base. This time it was just Valerie Plame who retweeted this argument, and she apologized later for that. But next time this argument may be forwarded by someone from team Trump, or Trump himself, and without a following apology.

      I think Pat Buchanan and his way of thinking is quite popular with Trump's base. And it's no long way to remember this statement from Pat Buchanan:

      “Neocons say we attack them because they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon.”

      So, even if more rich jewish donors will switch from Democrat to Republican, they may meet a lot of opposition inside the Republican base, even more than in the Democratic base.

      The only way rich jewish American donors can come out of that hole, may be to stop lobbying for the support of Israel. And that's what democratic BDS and Republican Buchananist's are all about: putting pressure on Israel to strike a peace deal, and stop Israel using the US military as a proxy force for Israel's wars.

  • Rachel Maddow's lineup of crazy U.N. speeches spotlights Arafat-- and leaves out Netanyahu!
  • Read Netanyahu's UN speech, which praises Trump to the skies and matches his North Korea hyperbole on Iran
    • I think Netanyahu with all his warmongering against Iran and Syria while applauding Trump did a good job to underscore what Philip Giraldi just wrote in The Unz Review:

      America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars
      Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?

      If that trend of calling out Israel firsters in the US continues Israel may soon find out that it has to stand on her own feet without sugar daddy holding her upright.

  • 'Regime instability' in Iran is aim of leading Israel advocate's memo to White House
    • RoHa

      'The Iranians should reply “We’ll show you ours if you show us yours.”'

      Well, just imagine if Iran demands the UN should inspect Israel's military bases. Iran could argue chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons could be hidden somewhere there.

    • Oh yes. And while Goldberg makes an argument for publicly suggesting that Iran violated the deal, Netanyahu had just said this about the deal:

      “I said in the past that the biggest problem I see isn’t if Iran violates the agreement, but if it upholds it,” he said.

      So gross Israeli duplicity is again openly on public display, but almost no one cares to notice.

    • If Trump would go with this plan that could become a major embarrassment for the US. I think it would lead to the complete international isolation of the USA.

      Virtually nobody is going to comply with another round of US secondary sanctions on Iran, neither the EU, nor China, and of course not Russia. Is the US really willing to cut off all it's trade with the EU and China? That would be big, big fun.

      And while the US would impose secondary sanctions targeting the EU, China, Russia and others, Nikki Haley will sit in the UNSC begging China and Russia to help the US with the DPR Korea, because the DPRK has nukes so there is no military solution for Korea.

  • New York TV stations smear Roger Waters-- who praises BDS as 'one of most admirable pieces of resistance world has seen'
    • I think it may have to do something with the fact that Jordan has an Israeli puppet government, aka King Playstation.

  • Deja vu: Israeli Labor pol urges U.S. to take on 'axis of evil'
    • What I find most amazing is that Erel Margalit praised Donald Trump. It seems to indicate to me, that at least a faction of Israeli labor supports Trump. The big question is to me why. Margalit said he supportsTrump for getting it: for visiting Saudi Arabia and laying the framework for Israel being part of a regional economic partnership...

      And in Haaretz I very recently read: Analysis Trump and Putin Are the Real Targets of Israel's Alleged Strike in Syria

      So, what is it? Is Trump just "getting it" - or is it that Israel is in need to use airstrikes to try to make Trump "get it"?

      And when Erel Margalit is praising Trump "for visiting Saudi Arabia" I wonder whether Erel Margalit mentioned how well Trump managed to form a unified Saudi arab coalition - with the exclusion of Qatar.

      To me the whole picture of Trumps accomplishments in the middle east and even worldwide looks more like that he is a boon for the resistance.

  • Changing the narrative, from BDS to antifa
    • uh...clem

      "When two or three Palestinian rights supporters began asking him why Antifa doesn’t appear to resist Zionism or Zionists, he simply banned us from his website."

      That's quite the norm here in Germany with Antifa. Sometimes it's still possible to get a bit of a pro-Palestinian point of view into Antifa, but these are rare exceptions. Eg, when a BDS group got a place in the annual Antifa demonstration at 1st May in 2016, that was such an exception.

      That a BDS group took part in this Antifa demonstration was a novum. The mass media expressed anger: Left Anti-Semitism gaining ground was for example a typical headline for that event:

      And that BDS activist group positioned itself even a strong critic of Iran:

      But the norm is that Antifa is very difficult terrain for BDS, because of mostly strong pro-Israel views in Antifa here.

    • Annie and all

      Since about 25 years the far left here in Germany is split between so-called Anti-Imperialists and Anti-Deutsche. While the Anti-Deutsche faction - which is basically supporting everything US neocons support, but solidarity with Israel being clearly their number one issue - appeared to be fringe at first, it has grown since to be similar strong as the more traditional pro-Moscow left - and in some regards even stronger. The main bastion inside the radical left that the Anti-Deutsche faction conquered I'ld see as Antifa groups, while the Communist party of Germany is a stronghold of the Anti-Imperialists. The more mainstream German left party "Die Linke" is deeply devided, more or less in camps of the Anti-Deutsche and Anti-Imperialist factions, with an advantage of the Anti-Deutsche faction in leadership positions I'ld say.

      That very pro-Israel Antifa elements in Germany coordinate with Antifa elements in the US I was made aware of in discussions regarding the Antifa manhunt on Luke Rudkowski at the recent G20 events in Hamburg. So, since Antifa groups in Germany developed into something ardly more than an oftenly violent pro-Israel-lobby painted in lefty colors, and they coordinate with US Antifa groups, I wonder if the trend in the US goes the same - ie Antifa being transformed into a kind of a brand of pro-Israel street fighting lobby groups painted in lefty colors.

    • The “antifa” are the ones who put their bodies on the line in Charlottesville, Boston, and Berkeley, to defend the actual and potential victims of fascist violence.

      I don't trust the people usually using the antifa flags here in Germany not for one inch. In Germany, if we go protest in solidarity for Palestine, the counter demonstrations look usually something like this:

      Antifa is clearly in the racist Israeli camp, quite openly in bed with the Jewish Defense League, Kach & Kahane supporters. The main slogan from "Antifa" & friends I heard from the counter demonstration this year was:

      Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, zuviel Stau, unterstützt den Siedlungsbau!

      Translated into English it means: Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, too much traffic jam, support settlement construction!

      As far as I understand German Antifa closely coordinates with the Israeli embassy and Antifa in the US.

  • Both political parties are fighting openly over Israel's role in our policy-making
  • McMaster solidifies power at NSC -- and supports Iran deal, sees Israel as occupier
    • JTA has something which looks to me like a follow-up on this story:

      Was Stephen Bannon good for the Jews? A review

      ... The agenda plus: Bannon has worked closely with the pro-Israel right, which says he has been particularly aggressive within the White House in advocating for scrapping the Obama administration deal they most revile, trading sanctions relief for Iran’s rollback of its nuclear program. Undoing the Iran deal featured on Bannon’s famous whiteboard, where he checked off Trump’s “to-do” list. (The deal has yet to be undone, but not for lack of trying by Bannon.) Whatever one thinks of the Iran deal, Bannon’s opposition to it comported closely with the current Israeli government, whose officials appreciated his advocacy. ...

    • Citizen

      I don't expect anything special in the handling of Kushner. He follows orders and fights for the team or he's out. I cannot see any middle ground on these requirements in a battle.

      Regarding the battle I'ld see it globally as the multipolar forces against the unipolar hegemony. The multipolar forces are led by the governments of China, Russia and Iran, their opponents include the governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia, and behind them there line up various forces of state actors, non state actors and political forces inside states, with the political line of conflict inside states often transcendenting traditional political organisations like parties. The most violent theaters of this global struggle can be seen in Syria and Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, Afghanistan and soon - I fear - in Venezuela, too.

      Inside the US, I see the surprising lines of the global struggle ran mainly between the military - commanded by the president - helped by Big Oil on the one side and money and media, or more specific, Wall Street and the Israel lobby including their stooges in Congress, on the other side. The US military seems to me - I follow especially Syria closely - since a couple of years quite helpful to the forces of the multipolar world. But also Afghanistan seems to be on a good way, since key to ending this war is getting Pakistan in line with the forces of the multipolar world.

      The begin of this specific struggle inside the US I would date to Democrat Obama's unusual decision to make the Republican Chuck 'I'm not an Israeli senator' Hagel his SecDef. Since then there is quite continuity in this struggle in the US, with the main hollow difference being that the US Presidency is now colored red instead of blue as it was before. But the struggle of Presidency and military against Wall Street, Israel lobby and their Congress continues similar to what was before, and the helpful role of the US military at the side of the multipolar forces in the hot wars continue, just as it was under Obama. And even key figures didn't change. Obama's pick Brett McGurk continues to lead US forces in the war in Syria and Iraq and Obama's pick General John Nicholson does it in Afghanistan, while these wars continue to go in the direction the multipolar forces prefer it.

  • Russian meddling is Watergate-worthy, but Israeli meddling is hunky-dory
    • Just my 2 cents:

      1st) I can't get what's wrong in the eyes of Americans with meddling in other countries' politics. The US does it all the time, everywhere, even up to full scale war to make a success of such meddling. So when US people think US-led regime changes elsewhere are OK, why is regime change in the US not OK for them?

      2nd) I think to brand the current stuff as a Watergate replay is quite a fine metapher. If I remember history right, Nixon back then also privately understood, that a jewish cabal - how he branded what today is known as the Israel lobby - wanted to take him down. And, as history repeats itself, today all the jewish donors who gave most of big ticket donations to HRC and their propaganda stooges try the same with Trump.

      By the way, I was surprised to learn that there are in the US still different media. This one I found especially interesting:

      Donald Trump just kept his most important promise on the Mideast | Mulshine

      ... If you`re wondering why the establishment is so desperate to impose regime change on the Trump administration, wonder no more. It`s because he is defying them on their efforts to get even more involved in the Mideast.

      In other words: the whole stuff being thrown around against Trump is in reality all about his withdrawing from regime changes wanted by Israel in the mideast. I couldn't agree more with this.

  • When it comes to Syria, our press is full of moralizing and propaganda, and short on analysis
    • Harry

      I agree with you. Repeating the frame of western MSM "Assad dictator/monster" BS like ‘yes he is a dictator, but’ just plays into the hands of the actual criminals and mass murderers. In Syria there was a time when many people didn't understand what was happening because they watched too much Al Jazeera BS and saw little with their own eyes. Many people failed to understand that the usual modus operandi of the US-zionist empire of evil is to support with one hand peaceful human rights activists and with the other hand terrorists who shoot these activists, just to blame the false flag killings on the government, so that blood starts boiling for the desired goal of regime change. That time is long gone in Syria.

      Scores of people were killed and kidnapped by these criminals to produce false flag propaganda videos to blame the government or just to rob them and extort money from their families. It's hard to find a family in Syria which had not experienced the US-led false flag terror campaign first hand now. So now the NATO-GCC-campaign of false flag terror, terror and systematic mass media fake news to support the terrorists by blaming the government for the terrorists' crimes is laying open for the people in Syria to see through the western/GCC propaganda fog. And of course, don't forget Al Qaeda's airforce, which is what the IAF is popularly called in Syria, because whenever Al Qaeda and ISIS are under duress, one can bet there will soon be Israeli airstrikes against the Syrian army to try to help Al Qaeda and ISIS out of troubles.

      Though, with a bit of knowledge about history and logic it was possible to see through all of this from the very first day of that cruel war of aggression. The same mass murderous fake news mass media permanently singing the deceptive song of a needed regime change in Iraq due to weapons of mass destruction there are now permanently singing the song of a needed regime change in Syria - because the head of state is a "dictator" or "killer." It's basically the same bunch of people who justified their killing of 500.000 children in Iraq by saying that is a high price but a price worth to put pressure on a head of government they didn't like.

      My comrades on the left here - who still look to the mass media BS for guidance and like to discuss the question of "guilty Assad" - I like to ask whether it was Assad who said the following?

      "The truth is, one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the Middle East and the Soviets won't stop us. We've got about five or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran, Iraq – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us."

      And was it Assad who said the following?

      "We’re an Empire Now, and When We Act, We Create our Own Reality"

      And was it Assad who said the following?

      "This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran."

      I don't think that it was Assad who did make these daring admissions of guilt of an unimaginable scale. And, before I forget it, here is one more interesting dialogue on guilt:

      Hasan: You are basically saying that even in government at the time you knew these groups were around, you saw this analysis, and you were arguing against it, but who wasn’t listening?

      Flynn: I think the administration.

      Hasan: So the administration turned a blind eye to your analysis?

      Flynn: I don’t know that they turned a blind eye, I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision.

      Hasan: A willful decision to support an insurgency that had Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood?

      Flynn: It was a willful decision to do what they’re doing.

      I think that's what happened in Syria, a giant crime, where very clearly guilt could and should be assigned, but since Assad was not the perpetrator of that giant crime it should not be him being blamed but those who really did plan and execute that giant crime in Syria.

    • Keith

      I find the guilt of Assad discussion kafkaesque. It misses the point: Assad is guilty of what?

      From what I hear from Syria quite a lot of people blame Assad. Here's for what:

      - Bashar Al Assad wasted too much money on unimportant civilian stuff instead of strenghening the military as it should have been in face of continued war ambitions by the Israeli empire
      - Bashar Al Assad removed most of the mines from borders - even from the border to Turkey, a country under occupation of hostile NATO forces - and made Syrian borders insecure
      - Bashar Al Assad opened the country all kind of extremists from NATO and GCC countries thereby making the country vulnerable to their wahhabi-zionist false flag terror agitation
      - Bashar Al Assad didn't assemble an effective deterrent against the war ambitions of the US-Israeli empire like the Kims did it in the DPRK, so unlike the DPRK Syria was not safe from US-Israeli-led fascism
      - Bashar Al Assad had a blind eye for the revival of the treacherous sectarian terrorist group Muslim Brotherhood instead of crushing them

      So, if Bashar Al Assad would have to contest an election against someone displaying more responsibility for the Syrian people, like for example Suheil al-Hassan, Bashar Al Assad could well lose such an election. But on the other hand, other Syrian people credit Bashar Al Assad for that while he didn't manage to deter the catastrophic war of aggression by the Zionist empire, he has at least managed to put Syria on the path to win that horrific war.

  • President of settler group who called left-wing Jews 'kapos' confirmed as US ambassador to Israel
    • A good match.

      I think Trump made a good choice because David Friedman is a good match for the Zionist settler state. He's quite in the middle of the mainstream of how people think over there.

      I'm hopeful he'll be better in revealing this than professional diplomats, as he will likely act a little bit more unconventional than professional diplomats trained to sweep differences under the carpet would manage to do it.

      It will be interesting to see the reaction of liberal Zionists when they find out that David Friedman is a good match for the mood in the Zionist settler state over there.

  • Trump says he's 'happy' with one-state outcome, ringing in a new era
    • Ramzi, echinococcus

      I'm not naive. Of course, the EU is an informal colony of the US and Israel, and especially Germany. However what I currently see is the greatest disconnect ever between Germany and the EU on one side and Trump's America and Netanyahu's Israel on the other side. More and more people here see Trump's America and Netanyahu's Israel as their enemy, and Palestinians as their allies. It's big shifts here going on in public opinion, rigth now. Merkel responds carefully so far, but even she was forced to react:

      There is more beyond the ground. The old Nazis, which were the most important basis of Israel's successful coercion by shame strategy in Germany, are dying one after the other. Now, the first time in many decades, it looks like Germany can gradually break free from Zionist dominance. If that happens more and more, that's would be just all good for Palestine.

      To support this process, no more is essential than Palestine fulfilling it's legal 2SS obligations, quite formally, and continue to blame Israel for not keeping hers. It's completely OK for Palestine to resist in many ways against occupation and apartheid. But abolishing the PA would let Israel off the hook to fulfill her unfulfillable promises regarding a 2SS, thereby taking lot's of pressure off of Israel. But I think, to win, the opposite is needed: more pressure on Israel, in any promising way possible.

      So, reducing the PA to what's permitted by the agreements is fine, the PA doing little else than advocating for BDS and free speech and against apartheid is fine, but abolishing the PA altogether would be a big mistake, since that would let Israel off the hook of her failure to realize the 2ss solution. Make no mistake in my intentions, I'm for a a 1SS on Palestinian terms, completely abolishing the racist project of Israel due to it's inherent racism, and my advocating is for keeping open the impossible 2SS is only to keep more pressure points against Israel.

    • echinococcus

      I know well that most of arab leaders were little more than US-Israeli puppets since decades, and the Palestinian leadership was usually no exception there. However, some things have unmistakenly changed recently.

      Sympathies with Palestinians grow in Western countries, and Israel is ever-more seen not as a little David, but as bullying Goliath. Israel's close alliance with the polarizing US president Trump is bound to further these tendencies, and Israels now openly declared will to continue clearly illegal settlement building is a strategic blunder in international diplomacy which Palestinians can capitalize from, if, and only if, the Palestinian side sticks to international law and agreements made to prepare for the 2SS. If Palestine would now dismantle the PA it would give Israel every excuse to bury the 2SS and do whatever Israel wants credibly claiming the Palestinian side broke the 2SS agreements, (too).

      If the Palestinian side sticks to the 2SS, while Israel builds settlements and avoids steps to realize a 2SS, it will be clear for all to see that Israel is grossly violating international law while being a bully and having no desire for peace.

      While it is not clear yet, whether Trump and Netanyahu will soon start fighting each other, which may well happen, Trumpism will anyway not last forever, and when a liberal backlash occurs in a couple of years in the western world, there will be no western liberal love lost for Israel anymore, opening all international doors to put pressure on Israel including UN sanctions and the Palestinians can win. But a major point here is, to make that happen, the Palestinian side must stick to the international 2SS agreements, demonstrating to the world, that Palestine behaves lawful, while Israel violates all laws in the book and behaves contrary to any moral or ethic standard.

      I'm not arguing that Palestinians should abandon their right to resist, but to use it in clever ways. And clever mean in my opinion, challenge Israel with the law and non-violent tactics like BDS where Palestine can win, because Israel permanently violates all the laws and behaves immoral, while avoiding violent tactics whereever possible, because Palestinian violence gives Israel pretexts for the use of more violence against Palestinians, and a violent struggle against the highly armed IDF the largely unarmed Palestinians can't win at this time. To have at least a realistic chance of winning a violent struggle against the IDF, Palestinians must first manage to get Israel placed under an international arms boycott, and that can only be accomplished by a diplomatic non-violent struggle.

    • Ramzi

      It would be a Palestinian blunder of epic proportions if the PA would be abolished now. The Palestinian side should do just the opposite: keep all agreements and insist on Israel to fulfill her part, too.

      The apartheid state that Netanyahu and Trump just agreed on has absolutely no legal basis and Israel will come sooner or later under immense international pressure for that, including from the EU states and from liberal US zionists. If than, Israel urgently wants a one-state-deal with the Palestinian side to end the international pressure without dismantling whatever Israel built over time on occupied Palestinian territory, than Palestinians can offer a one state deal - but one on Palestinian terms. If Israel doesn't agree, insist on that Israel fulfills all legal obligations for the two state solution and continue to increase pressure by singling out Israel as a willful violator of international law with illegal settlement building and greedy de facto apartheid state.

    • Maghlawatan

      Great link. Tom "Electing such a man would be insanity" Friedman.seems not to understand that Donald Trump is the president of the USA and not the president of Israel. I think if Mr Friedman is so worried the continued existence of his beloved colonial racist apartheid regime in Palestine is in danger due to it's own colonial behavior, he should petition Netanyahu, not Trump.

      But regarding his analysis I largely agree:

      ... Can you appreciate the corrosive impact on Israel’s democracy of what it’s now doing in the West Bank? I ask because you may be the last man standing between Israel and a complete, self-inflicted disaster for the Jewish state ...

      I think Trump sees it almost the same way, just that he doesn't want to be "the last man standing between" Israel and a complete, self-inflicted disaster for the Jewish state. I think Trump deliberately prefers to stand on the side line and watch the preposterous "Jewish state" self-destruct.

      And then Tom Friedman wrote:

      This is about right versus wrong. ... That debate will tear apart virtually every synagogue, Jewish organization and Jewish group on every campus in America, and around the world. Israel will divide world Jewry. There is only one person who can now stop this disaster — you.

      I largely agree, and I think Trump privately does so, too. Just one word I wouldn't use in that description: "disaster." I think it's better described as a "jackpot."

      Why should any decent person describe the prospect of the self-descrution of the zionist power structures, which hold Palestine, the U.S. and many more countries in the world in a chokehold and inflicted untold suffering on the people of the world by starting one proxy war after the other, as a disaster?

  • Rand Paul warns neocons will 'scurry in' with Abrams, and Kristol says that's anti-Semitic
  • Why Trump is even thinking about naming pro-Israel apparatchik who opposed him to high position
    • So Elliot Abrams got an interview for the state dept no 2 job? Fine. Rudy Giuliani got one for state, just as John Bolton has and James Woolsey hoped to become DNI.

      But, surprise, surprise, despite the usual fake news sites from NYT over CNN to WaPo listing them as "top contenders" none of them got a relevant job. James Woolsey even stepped down as "advisor" after he noticed he got out empty, saying he doesn't want no longer pretend to belong in any way to Trumps inner circle where things that matter are discussed.

      Now Elliot Abrams. If he wants to be a contender for a job he has to praise Trump first. He has to make a fool of himself to do that. And, then, of course, someone else will get the job.

      As per Breitbart, who are usually well informed on US politics nowadays:

      Exclusive — Rand Paul to Oppose Elliott Abrams for State Department Slot

      Paul’s decision to come out against Abrams strikes a damaging blow against his chances... With 21 members—11 Republicans and 10 Democrats—if the Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hold strong against Abrams should Trump select him, Paul’s vote would be the deciding vote and he would fail in Committee. ... Given how difficult Paul’s decision here would make it to get Abrams through the Senate to confirmation should he be nominated, it’s unclear if Trump and his White House would want to go to such lengths to fight for someone who disagrees with the president on so many core policy visions. Abrams does not believe in an “America First” foreign policy vision, is from a wing of the GOP that Trump regularly criticizes, and has significant disagreements with Trump’s stated vision on core matters...

      So, despite of the fake news sites all reporting his chances are good, fuggedaboutit. Of course, an interview is fine, so to make people see that he pays Trump due respect, but the job will be very likely for someone else.

      The bigger question I see is who advised Elliot Abrams to apply for the job and make a fool of himself?

  • Israel has had a 'Muslim ban' from the start
    • catalan

      "No doubt millions of American women would pick up their leggings, tight jeans and colorful shirts in order to display them in the cheerful atmosphere of Tehran."

      Yes, I hope so many would do that, though I doubt it would be millions. But what next? What would happen if lot's of "American women would pick up their leggings, tight jeans and colorful shirt" and then find out that many Iranian women dress even more sexy, with smaller leggins, tighter jeans and more colorful shirts?

      I think that would be a very good exercise in destroying prejudices.

    • I just wonder whether liberals in the US would like if Iran would do what 72 professors from Iran’s prestigious Sharif University of Technology just proposed their government to do:

      The academics suggested that the Iranian administration issue two-week tourist visas for US citizens upon arrival at airports over the next 90 days, allowing them to “travel to Iran and closely experience the hospitality of the peace-seeking Iranians and Muslims.”

      I think the fact that Press TV is reporting this means that some people in the higher Iranian echolons are just contemplating to do it. I think the contrast to US and Israeli policies could hardly be starker if Iran does this.

  • Leading Clintonite worries that Trump will sell out Israel in forging deal with Russia
    • mooser

      You're surely right that Iran can't help the US fighting abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and sythetic drugs and illegal drugs grown in Latin America. And you're also right that my shot-from-the-hip number of 95% world heroin coming from Afghanistan was way too high.

      Here is this producer list it looks like the number of world poppy coming from Afghanistan may be down to 70% or so.

      But at Mint Press News they said the number to be 90% for example.

      What ever it is, more interesting may be that at Mint Press they said, there is a connection by market substitution between poppy growth in Afghanistan and heroin from Latin America flooding the US.

      And it's anyway still quite logical that without draining the global top poppy producer swamp dry, the fight against heroin - in the US and elsewhere - will hardly be ever won. Otherwise, if Latin America would after a hrad fight be brought down to zero poppy production, Afghanistan would just replace it as heroin source for the US market, and if the wall to Mexico would stem the smuggling, the heroin would come via Canada or other air and sea traffic to the US. So, to get rid of the heroin epedimy in the US it's - among other things that need to be done - still neccessary to drain the Afghan poppy swamp.

      And the point that Iran can help there is still valid. Iran is already really fighting hard against opium and heroin. One may call Iran easily the world's leading force in the fight against opium and heroin, see here:

      From what I know from Iran is the Ayatollahs hate poppy because it destroys the society they are spending their lifes to nurture. And they would like to fight the poppy cross-border in Afghanistan, too, but the Taliban poppy cultures are effectively protected by US soldiers preventing Iran to go there and finish them off. The very most of Afghan poppy cultures are in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, right across the Iranian border.

      If Trump defines as aims of America in Afghanistan eradicating terror and the global heart of the world drug epidemy - which is very much in line with the American interest outlined by Trump, co-operation with Iran might really help reaching these goals. I can easily imagine Iran sending the IRGC into Afghanistan to eradicate the world's largest poppy production there, if an understand with the US can be reached to do this.

      So far, it seems to me objections from a tiny middle eastern state with a huge lobby prevented US-Iranian cooperation to fight poppy. But serving the American interest I think Trump may overcome these objections.

    • I don't get it. Michele Flournoy said she's worried that Israel’s interests aren’t even considered by Trump in the process of fighting ISIS in Syria. Didn't she notice the fact that the US is now in the "America first" age.

      Hasn't she listened to Trump's inauguration address:

      From this moment on, it's going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

      This was a hugely popular message, with something like a 65 - 22 positive rating.

      See "Poll: Voters liked Trump’s ‘America first’ address"

      And Trump defined America's foreign policy andAmerica's interests abroad in detail:

      We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.

      That's it, period. That was the foreign policy mission statement of Trump's campaign and he won with that.

      So, instead of claiming that Trump's fight against ISIS in Syria may not consider Israel's interests, Flournoy should have made a case on how considering what she calls Israel's interests while fighting ISIS in Syria would "benefit American workers and American families" - but she did not even try.

      Regarding Iran I don't share Philip Gordon's worries that there is a great deal to worry about confrontation and escalation. First and foremost is Iran very much against terrorism, be it Radical Islamic Terrorism or whatever terrorism. And Iran is the foremost power fighting against Al Qaeda and ISIS in the middle East. Trump's generals will surely inform him and the public about that soon.

      But there is more where Iran can help Trump. Trump said in his inauguration address:

      But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system, flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

      95% of world heroine come from southern Afghanistan right across the Iranian border. Iran would love to help eradicate that because that problem is not only wrecking the US, but Iran, too. The US objected Iranian help, effectively protecting the source of the drug carnage in parts of the US from Iranian-led destruction. Trump's "America first" policy may well change that.

      So, putting American interests first there's a great potential for respectful cooperation between a Trump-led US with Iran.

  • Israeli gov't doesn't really want US to move embassy to Jerusalem -- Foxman
    • The "whisper of some Jews" - as Abe Foxman puts it:

      Hear the ZoA - a member organization of the Conference of Presidents describes the whisper:

      ZOA Concerned: Trump Refused to State Jerusalem is Undivided Capital of Israel

      ... “Do The Right Thing”: The fact that President Obama and other past presidents have ignored (waived) the requirements of the Jerusalem Embassy Act has been a constant source of friction and outrage. Donald Trump often speaks about “doing tbe right thing” in other contexts. If elected president, Mr. Trump needs to do the right thing here. Mr. Trump should pledge to recognize undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move our U.S. embassy to Jerusalem – as several other presidential candidates have already pledged to promptly do if they are elected (including Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor George Pataki – we apologize to any candidate inadvertently left off this list).

      And that's how the NYT described Trumps address at the RJC:

      Boos Overtake Laughs as Donald Trump Stumbles on Jerusalem Before G.O.P. Jews

      ... Matthew Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, raised the subject with Mr. Trump and questioned his commitment to Jerusalem as the undivided Israeli capital.

      Mr. Trump avoided answering the question, saying instead that he would be visiting Israel in the coming weeks and would meet there with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “You know what I want to do? I want to wait till I meet with Bibi,” he said, but a chorus of boos erupted from the audience. ...

      So, the lobby put out a stick, and Trump changed his stance and promised to move the embassy. As it turns out the stick was fake, a bluff, and now it's become Trump's stick. Netanyahu will come under pressure from his own fake stick.

      Everytime Trump says he'll move the embassy because Israel wants it so much, the lobby will get more and more panic. And Netanyahu is fluttering, because saying the truth, that Israel didn't and doesn't want the US to move the embassy to Jerusalem will expose him and the lobby as the dishonest liar they always were.

  • Obama's failure, and achievement, in Palestine
    • Annie

      "the way he tasked the lobby ... with getting congressional support to bomb syria"

      Oh, yes, I remember, and I agree. Do you remember the wording of the exceptionally broad AUMF Obama drafted for this?

      (a) Authorization. -- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria in order to --
      (1) prevent or deter the use or proliferation (including the transfer to terrorist groups or other state or non-state actors), within, to or from Syria, of any weapons of mass destruction, including chemical or biological weapons or components of or materials used in such weapons; or
      (2) protect the United States and its allies and partners against the threat posed by such weapons.

      The key words were: "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" and he could have gone against anybody and any state in the world he would have determined to pose a threat due to the CW use in Syria. What would have happened, if the President would have determined after he got the AUMF that it was a false flag attack - executed with the help of regional allies? Obama's propsed AUMF would have given him authority to start any military action against them!

      And guess which regional ally was involved in the CW attack. Remember, Obama's weird "Government Assessment of the Syrian Government’s Use of Chemical Weapons on August 21, 2013" contained the words: "On the afternoon of August 21, we have intelligence that Syrian chemical weapons personnel were directed to cease operations." That was Israeli signal intelligence allegedly collected from a German ship given to the US by Israel as proof for the Syrian CW attack. But laboratory analysis done in Britain found out the CW attack was done with homebrew CW weapons, not Syrian state weapons. What did it mean? It meant the Israeli intel was fake, an Israeli involvement in the CW plot, deliberately designed to mislead the US and make the US bomb Syria.

      If Obama concluded this - as he determines - , the AUMF would have given Obama legal authorization to bomb Israel.

      And with that proposed AUMF - which would have given him authority to bomb Israel - Obama then went to AIPAC and asked them to get a majority in Congress for it. No wonder AIPAC failed to get that through Congress.

    • Citizen

      Obama could not dismantle The Fed or Wall St or the MIC or the Insurance Oligarchy or Big Pharma because he would have had no majority in Congress for it - and he might as well have been impeached for trying it. Had Obama given teeth to a settlement resolution the Brits and French would have vetoed it.

      The true accomplishment of Obama in his second term is that he deliberately destroyed the US empire by being the worst imperator possible. All what he did in his second term was creating a giant storm of blowback, and there's no way out of that consequence. It's like Obama read the policy proposals of the mighty lobby, just jumped to the risk paragraph, and if the risk of the policy was high for the well being of the empire, he chose exactly that policy. Take his murders by drone as an example: due to that policy the US will not be able to get the favor of hundreds of millions of people anymore for generations.

      The giant mess Obama created in Syria and the middle east is just tearing the EU colony of the US empire apart, Brexit has already been voted on, and more may well follow this year. And that is, while the US under Obama facilitated good cooperation between Russia and China, - and India, too, Pakistan goes into the SCO, Egypt to Russia, the Philippines go to China, and so on and on.

      Can you see what I mean? And now comes Trump, who is surely looking like even more poison for the US empire. And, in the end, I'm quite sure, without an US empire, there can't be any Israel neither, at least not an Israel which behaves so irresponsible that it is loathed by the rest of the world.

    • Kathleen

      I won't disagree with you, especially regarding Libya. That didn't need to be. To his credit, Obama already acknowlegded that he made a grave mistake there.

      However, on the other hand, democratic US president Obama had to work on an extraordinary long list of enemies of the US and world peace. The worst of those enemies are named in this list, and the 38 worst of the worst are marked by the letter D in the last column:

      The letter, which that list of enemies of the US and world peace is referring to, can be read here:

      A bit more than five years later, and a lot of hard work from Obama inbetween, the length of the list of names of these worst of the worst US enemies and world peace marked by the letter D was down from 38 to 4:

      Now, let's wait and see how his successor Trump will work on the list of names of these worst of the worst US enemies and world peace marked by the letter R when the time will come. I'm quite optimistic that Obama did a good transition.

    • Phil,

      if I my add my opinion to this, which is not unsimilar to yours, but gets it from a diffrent point of view:

      In his first term Obama was an abysmal failure, culminating in the needless murder of the African hero Muamar Gaddafi and so many more poor people, but in his second term Obama nevertheless proved to be a true son of Africa. Obama came back and fought and will surely be remembered as the one who dismantled the American Empire to the benefit of all oppressed people, whether they be in Africa, in Palestine and other parts of Asia or elsewhere. And I'm quite convinced, throwing the succeeding Presidency to Trump, and thereby securing to make the dissolution of the American Empire to be permanent, will once in a time be regarded as his masterstroke in the books of history.

  • Israeli diplomat schemed to 'take down' UK's Deputy Foreign Secretary because he slammed settlements
  • New poll shows sharp partisan divide on UN settlements resolution, and between Jews and African-Americans
    • What I find most striking is the gender gap at the question whether people support or oppose the UN SC resolution. While the resulting support is +4 for men and +9 for women in total, meaning the difference is quite small, there seems to be a huge gender gap in the "Don't know/No opinion" answer: Men: 26%, Women: 46%.

      I find this really stunning. Does anyone have an explanation for this?

  • Alan Dershowitz has threatened to leave the Democratic Party if Keith Ellison becomes chair
    • I'ld advise Alan Dershowitz to open up his own party.

      He could call it "The 1% party" and make it's main slogan "The party of the 1% - 100% pro Israel Lobby, 100% pro Neocon and 100% pro Wall Street."

      When running in elections he'ld soon figure out how popular that would be - The Dersh could soon become President then.

  • Wikileaks emails did a tremendous public service, revealing how government works
    • While I agree with that "whoever got into those emails did" the public "a tremendous public service" I disagree with the notion that if a newspaper had managed to publish these emails on its own, documenting these practices, its reporters would be in line for the Pulitzer Prize.

      I believe Pulitzer Prizes are not given to people doing a "a tremendous public service" but to people writing nothing important enough to suppress. See what Gary Webb, Pulitzer Prize winner of 1990, had to say in 2002, a couple of years after publishing his world moving series Dark Alliance:

      If we had met five years ago, you wouldn't have found a more staunch defender of the newspaper industry than me ... And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job ... The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress ...


      So that's the insight of a Pulitzer price winner: Pulitzer Prizes are given to people writing things not important enough to suppress. And Gary Webb paid dearly for writing something important enough to suppress. People writing and publishing important stuff are not given Pulitzer prizes, but harassed, just like Gary Webb was in his time, and Wikileaks and Julian Assange are nowadays.

      It's logical: just have a look who is donating the Pulitzer Prizes. It's the same people who regularly suppress the truth, on war and peace, on Israel and Palestine, and on most other important matters.

  • Making David Friedman ambassador to Israel is a boon for ISIS
    • King Abdullah II of Jordan is a bad liar.

      People in the region know very well that the king of Jordan is in bed with Israel, and that ISIS is supported by both Jordan and Israel. One only has to look to a map of Syria on Wikipedia to understand this:

      ISIS in the south-western corner of Syria sits directly on the border with Jordan and Israel. The only way ISIS can get weapons and ammo there is from Jordan and Israel. And that's how it is.

      So Brownfeld's argument holds more water in the opposite direction: if more people in the region were to become angry with Israel due to Friedman, they would less likely join ISIS because they know ISIS is in bed with Israel.

  • Hell just froze over: the New York Times runs an article saying Zionism is racist
    • Gumpricht

      You say:

      Any ‘agreements’ or representations made by Jews with / to the Nazis in post 1933 Germany were made in a murderously oppressive socio-political environment. To my mind they have as much validity as a forced confession.

      Lenni Brenner cites in his "Zionism in the age of the dictators" an account from rabbi Joachim Prinz that sounds a bit different to me. Let me quote some words from "Zionism in the age of the dictators":

      In 1937, after leaving Berlin for America, rabbi Joachim Prinz wrote of his experiences in Germany and alluded to a memorandum which, it is now known, was sent to the Nazi Party by the ZVfD on 21 June 1933. Prinz's article candidly describes the Zionist mood in the first months of 1933:

      Everyone in Germany knew that only the Zionists could responsibly represent the Jews m dealings with the Nazi government. We all felt sure that one day the government would arrange a round table conference with the Jews, at which —after the riots and atrocities of the revolution had passed-- the new status of German Jewry could be considered. The government announced very solemnly that there was no country in the world which tried to solve the Jewish problem as seriously as did Germany. Solution of the Jewish question? It was our Zionist dream! We never denied the existence of the Jewish question! Dissimilation? It was our own appeal!... In a statement notable for its pride and dignity, we called for a conference.


      I think for the majority of jews in Germany these agreements were indeed forced confessions, but for the zionist minority of jews in Germany, it was a celebrated congruence of the Zionist dream with the racist Nazi rule.

  • Israel's free ride on the F-35
    • I think it would be illegal for the US to suspend the F-35 programm and the free delivery of F-35s to Israel.

      Like all colonized countries, the US has a legal obligation to fulfill it's duties in serving the colonizer. And the clear-cut legal duty is that the US President must guarantee Israel's Qualitative Military Edge, also known as QME. There is no way for a US president to fulfill his legal duty of guaranteeing Israel's QME but by regularly sending top notch military equipment worth billions of Dollars and especially delivering F-35s for free to Israel.

      And, that's how it has to be. What other raison d'etre has the US if not serving Israel? Nobody has any idea what America could do with all it's riches and the blood of the young men serving in it's army, if it wasn't clear that it's all to serve Israel. So, instead of complaining, Americans must thank Israel for giving them a reason to be.

  • Trump pick for ambassador to Israel supports Israeli annexation of West Bank and calls liberal Jews 'kapos' (Updated)
    • Who could be a better US ambassador to Israel than David Friedman, especially in these difficult times?

      As you are surely all aware Israel's very existence is under threat. Inside Israel radical Palestinians challenge not only the legitimacy of Israel's capital Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, but the very existence of the jewish state, so the US ambassador will face the challenge to play a role as neutral mediator working with moderate Palestinians like Mohammed Dahlan to marginalize the Palestinian extremists.

      To the north of Israel, after winning the war in Iraq, Hezbollah, the Assad regime and the mullahs of Tehran just scored their biggest military victory in Syria. Partnering with Russia and stronger than ever they now rule from the Hindukush to the Mediterranean Sea, being the most formidable military threat Israel ever faced. Further to the north Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood firmly rule Turkey and start heavily tilting toward Putin. To the south of Israel General Sisi in Egypt, while so far being a good friend of Israel, is also partnering more and more with Russia. So, the friends of the US and Israel in the region are just holding out in the east, especially in Jordan and the GCC. The US ambassador to Israel therefore has to play a big role in making unmistakenly clear to the people of Jordan and the GCC, that the US is a great friend of arabs and muslims, and a neutral mediator interested in nothing else than being friend to all and mediating a just peace between Israel, Palestians and Arabs.

      On the global level, especially in Europe and the US, Israel faces a daunting challenge from anti-semites who single out Israel for human rights and even claim that the only democracy in the middle east is an apartheid state, running a life threatening global campaign of boycotts, divestments and sanctions against Israel. A main task of the next US ambassador to Israel will be to make the case to the world, that Israel is a beacon of justice, human rights and equality for people of all heritage and sects. The next US ambassador to Israel has to unify the world, Westerners and Arabs, right and left, conservative and liberal, jewish, christian and muslim behind Israel,the human rights champion, against the threat of the Iranian anti-semites. At the very least the next US ambassador to Israel should unify the western nations left and right, so Israel is defended on the internatonal stage.

      So,who will be better up to these tasks needed to be accomplished to secure the very existance of Israel than true friend of Israel David Friedman? Nobody. And the Israelis see it this way, too, so Trump's choice David Friedman is very much lauded in Israel.

      So let's all have a hopeful view on the future.

  • Stephen Cohen calls out liberal media for demonizing Russia, slurring Tillerson and stigmatizing all dissent
    • The whole "Putin manipulated US elections with information warfare and installed his puppet Trump at the presidency" is one of the most ridiculous claims I ever heard.

      The US does such things routinely since decades, from dozens of colour revolutions to terror, false flag terror and coups up to open warfare. Most of that meddling is accompanied by peddling false information like Milosevich's horse shoe plan, Saddams WMDs, Libyan viagra or Assad's sarin, Yanukovich shooting protestors on institutka and this US information warfare cost millions of lifes around the globe. And, of course, the US meddled with billions of GONGO dollars, propaganda and fake news on election fraud in the Russian presidential elections 2012. The US GDP is about ten times the size of Russia's and the US corparate propaganda machine is almost as much worth as the whole Russian economy.

      And now this little innocent country USA complains that Russia meddled in US elections using methods of information warfare? It's just ridiculous, and even if Russia did that, Russia would have been just applying some of the nicer US standards for handling foreign affairs. And then, to top it, the corporate mass media even peddle the notion that Trump is a stooge of Putin. So, then, if that was true, Trump would have had installed lot's of Putin's agents close to him and in his government to guide him. So, what kind of people does Trump take for his government?

      Trump called people like Mike Flynn, James Mattis, John F. Kelly into his government. Are these Putin's puppets? To me they look more like US generals. I'ld look here to understand what kind of powerful backing Trump had. Some influential people in the US military - and in the US electorate - seem to like Trump because they hate fighting senseless and bloody wars oversees on behalf of "allies" with special relationships with nothing to win for the US, and Trump all but promised to stop that.

      The reality is that the US elections were a fierce competition between two camps, which had both their national and international supporters and which both worked with peddling false or half true information. And this time the camp in favour of endless foreign meddling and fighting senseless wars oversees on behalf of some so-called allies lost that competition. That's what really happened.

  • Tulsi Gabbard's screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement
    • andrew r

      For the sake of better argument, let's just examine the first half sentence of the AP fake news from 31.5.2011:

      "Until now, the opposition against Assad has taken the form of peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators"

      It's clearly a lie. For example on April 10, 2011, what AP describes as "peaceful protests by unarmed demonstrators" killed 10 military personnel in an ambush in Banyias. Find a short report in that here:

      Years later, the terrorists even celebrated the anniversary of that murderous ambush.

      Some other incidents of these 4th generation warfare tactics are a bit harder to prove, like terrorists massacering peaceful demonstrators in false flag terror attacks with the intention to blame the government, but since I have now proven that the AP report you cite already starts with a big lie, the onus is now on you to prove that anything in that AP fake news is true. And, be aware, citing even more fake news is not a proof.

    • andrew r

      No, that khaleejtimes AP article is just proof that the mass media, the UN and associated western NGOs did spread lot's of fake news regarding Syria and Libya, just like they did it regarding Iraqi WMDs, babies throwns out of incubators and so on. Probably nothing is true in that report except that foreign-backed terrorists killed four Syrian soldiers. I personally debunked dozens, if not hundreds, of such baseless hasbara news reports targeting Syria.

      Such PSYOPs are a typical element of 4th generation warfare, the main method used by the US-led coalition to attack Syria.

    • andrew r

      No. The historical CIA Operation Cyclone against Afghanistan was quite similar to the current CIA program Timber Sycamore.

      And it had similar devastating effects - which last until his very day.

    • Jon66

      You said "It’s a dichotomy because it’s based upon the question of whether or not the US has achieved a change for the better."

      I agree with you, that this is the important question. And the answer in Eastern Germany is more and more "no." What I hear more and more is the opinion that when we did this in 1989 we thought we would end up better off, but in fact life got worse. And that's on the left and on the right, old and young.

      It wasn't always that way since 1989, earlier there was a clear majority in the East for "the western way" but it changed a lot since. Who is currently the majority is difficult to say since that depends how you ask in a poll.

      But for a hint here a fact, where that public opinion currently goes: three of five Eastern German regional presidents have publicly come out to be against sanctions on Russia despite that there is huge western elite pressure for the opposite position. From what I hear I think a clear majority of people in East Germany seems to be against sanctions on Russia. And many of those are quite the same ones who say in hindsight that under Soviet rule life was better than under US rule, only their number grew a lot.

      At the same time ever more western German - and western Berlin - people seem to be fine with having annexed the GDR. So see, what I said before, your simple question whether the regime change in Eastern Germany 1990 was good in the view of the people is quite complex to answer from a Berlin point of view.

      I wouldn't wonder if next year the Russia friendly parties strong in Eastern Germany, especially the AfD, but also The Left, get majorities in Eastern Germany while the classical transatlantic parties SPD and CDU/CSU continue to rule due to their western dominance.

    • Maghlawatan

      I don't disagree with you if you are saying that Syria had a lot of problems, including sectarian tensions. I also do agree with you that a lot has to be done to improve that. However I strongly disagree with you that the Assads - or how you seem to call the Syrian presidency, the Allawite regime - are worse than that, what is billed as "the opposition." Part of my preference is that I think Basher Al Assad has proven to be a hero of the axis of resistance, but besides that I also believe he is the best choice Syria can find now for internal politics for the presidency.

      So what I do think what must be done regarding Syria is make a deal or deals for peace with the political opposition whereever possible, with the government giving concessions regarding most of what all oppositions could agree on, then defeat terrorism, meaning Al Qaida and all others who want no peace without their undemocratic grabbing of full power what so ever, and then hold democratic elections for the parliaments and the presidency, inviting all and everyone, terrorist or not, to participate active and passive. Whomever the voters put in charge then shall rule.

      And, as I am decided as I wrote above, I may add that I think Bashar Al Assad, if he centends, will win those elections big time and those who claim to be opposition will come out very weak. But if Syrian voters would prove my opinion wrong, I would agree those shall rule - so whomever the Syrian people voted for shall rule. I understand it's difficult to think people like the Kurdish PYD/YPG/SDF and "Sunni" fighters favoured by Erdogan agree on anything, but to live peacefully in one country, which is both their home country, they must do that. In other regions problems are similar, say for example with Druze people and the figthers preferred by Saudi Arabia and Israel. And as far as such a political solution doesn't happen, I think the Syrian army must fight terrorism, meaning those who don't want no peace whatsoever.

      You say "it (apperently Syria) could be doing a lot better."

      Would you please by so kind to explain how and who has to be doing what to make it happen?

    • Maghlawatan

      "Saudis push wahhabi filth but you do not get traction on a war without compelling local grievances."

      I don't believe that. I believe the petro-dollars of the Saduis get traction everywhere spreading wahhabism where there are Sunnis.

      Where there are grievances, like, say economic hardship due to political differences with Israel and the US empire, draughts due to climate change or a quadrupling poplation the Wahhabis try to exploit that. But where there are no such problems they invent problems of their own making and get traction anyway. Just have a look to the "Islamischer Zentralrat der Schweiz." If there are sectarian grievances the Wahhabis exploit them, if there are none, they go on killing sprees anyway, saying they purify the land, just look at Pakistan.

      But I agree with you that when there is peace in Syria and Iraq there will be another iteration of Sunni nihilism - like you call it, or sectarian frustration, like I would call it. This time, however, I think it's likely to turn against the Wahhabi masters who are responsible for the unsuccessful sectarian carnage they created, and I'm not sure the Saudi-wahhabi regime will survive that. But that fills me with hope for Palestine because the Saudi regime is Israel's most important Arab ally.

    • Jon66

      As I live in Berlin you may believe me that I have spoken with many, many people who lived in Eastern Germany in Soviet times - and also quite some people who lived in the USSR, but for the sake of argument, let's stay in Germany for now.

      What I can say it's that was that regime change was good became a complex question for many people. I would confidently say that many would reject your argument as a false dichotomy. Really many people in Eastern Germany wanted some really serious change in their incrusted Soviet-socialist dictatorship, but today many of those people regret they ended up with what they see as kind of a US-neoliberal dictatorship. Many I know say they wanted a better economy, more products in the shops and cleaner air, but not the kind of elbow society and predator regime they ended up with.

      In the East of Germany the rejection of the US-led world order and US-style FRG capitalist system today is much stronger than in the West. And in elections the transatlantic parties combined get hardly their 50% together to govern in East Germany on the local and regional level.

      Believe it or not, given the current state of affairs, there are quite many people in Eastern Germany who have kind of nostalgia for the GDR. It's even kind of hip for youngsters, with bars in GDR style, food, stores, furnitures etc, and there is a German word for it: Ostalgie. Sure, not a majority, but it's quite popular here in Berlin.

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