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A New Year Just Like the Old Year
Jennifer Rubin Wants More War
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Israel’s friends frequently claim that critics hold Tel Aviv to a higher standard than they do other countries that have similar or worse records on human rights. Actually the truth is quite the reverse, with Israel frequently able to escape censure for actions that would normally result in the imposition of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and condemnation by other international bodies. I am of course referring to the continued brutal Israeli occupation of much of what remains of Palestine and the ongoing colonization of land that is being appropriated illegally, activity that is only allowed to continue because of Washington’s willingness to protect Israel no matter what cost to other American interests.

Some of the gyrations that Israel’s supporters engage in would be describable as comic if the consequences of their obfuscation were not so serious. And there is no one better at throwing mud than Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s designated “Right Turn” blogger who is one of those folks who believe that being in love with Israel is a core conservative value. Rubin can hardly write about any current issue without somehow turning the discussion to poor little Israel, or, alternatively, to evil Iran.

On January 5th, Rubin produced what for her might be considered a ruminative piece entitled “What mattered in 2013.” She found “two developments…more significant” than anything else that happened in the past year, namely gay marriage and the continued perfidy of those danged Muslims. Leaving the gay marriage issue aside, Jennifer sees “Iran and its junior partner Syria in ascendancy” while Bashar Al-Assad of Syria “murdered more than 130,000” of his own people and crossed red lines with “near impunity,” a “monstrous event [that] Elliott Abrams tells us, has ramifications far beyond Syria.”

Abrams, a convicted felon and notorious liar but true blue for Israel, believes that inaction in Syria “has been noted in Jerusalem” and will send a signal and encourage Moscow and Beijing to challenge Washington.

Hezbollah meanwhile has “expanded its missile cache” and obtained “a strategic victory” together with Iran and will win in Syria while the US president “thinks up reasons not to act.”

Iran is behind all the instability, benefitting from “advanced centrifuges” and “international acquiescence” it is “on the cusp of obtaining a nuclear arms capability” even as it “pursues terrorism.” Rubin notes that “Sanctions have not dislodged the regime nor caused it to rethink its nuclear arms ambitions” but then goes on to recommend that “Congress can pass sanctions over White House objections and thereby force Iran to capitulate” because “If Congress finds a nuclear-armed Iran horrifying and wants to avoid a Middle East war it will need to pass a final sanctions bill, the last chance to peacefully disarm that mullahs.”

In another blog item posted on the following day, Jennifer is at it again, describing “Middle East bedlam.” She excoriates Secretary of State John Kerry for his eminently sensible suggestion “that Iran might join Syrian peace talks in Geneva” which she describes as “rewarding bad behavior” before stating that Washington has “no will to check Iranian hegemonic ambitions in the region.”

Three hours later, Rubin was at it again explaining how “Iran sanctions opponents [are] desperate,” noting that as of that time 49 senators had signed on to the new Iran bill, which would put an end to talks intended to resolve outstanding issues relating to the Iranian nuclear program. Interestingly, she observes that four “traditionally pro-Israel democrats” had yet to sign, suggesting that she appreciates very well that all the rationalizations about how Iran is a threat to the US are bogus and that it is all about Israel, just as it always is for her.

Rubin observes that the “anti-sanctions crowd remains a gaggle made up of far-left activists, State Department sycophants and reluctant Democratic chairmen dragooned into opposing the measure by the White House.” The lefties, apparently, have been suborned into opposing the measure by a “hit squad and consistently anti-Israel gang” in the progressive media while the “small cadre of ex-State Department and intelligence community hacks” fill out the roster of those who hate American National Security, apparently a subset of American Exceptionalism. Thank God true American heroes like Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Cardin and Menendez are “showing fortitude on sanctions” and doing what it takes to “dismantle [Iran’s] illegal nuclear weapons program.”

Three days later Rubin again describes how “Obama Iran gambit is unraveling.” She describes the negotiations in Geneva as “a giant stall by Iran to allow it to progress with its nuclear weapons program while getting sanctions relief.” How does she know that? She quotes no less an authority than Mark Dubowitz, a Canadian who claims to be an expert on the Middle East because he lived there but it turns out that he only resided in Israel. He is currently president of the neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies and heads a staff of 32 dedicated to finding more punishing ways to sanction Iran. Dubowitz claims that “Iran is building an industrial-size nuclear infrastructure that will give it multiple overt and covert pathways to a bomb.” Rubin adds that “either president Obama was snookered or he is snookering us” before quoting Josh Block, a former AIPAC communications director currently heading The Israel Project, who claims that “the ‘interim deal’ is actually just another stalling tactic by Iran… [but] Congress is not fooled. The American people are not fooled. Iran is playing us for the fool.” Block, for what it’s worth, is an Israel Firster who believes that anyone who uses the expression Israel Firster is a “borderline anti-Semite.”

Rubin concludes by warning that “…Congress needs to step forward and exercise leadership. If not, Iran will have gotten the bomb, relief from sanctions, encouragement for its hegemonic ambitions and a nuclear blackmail card. In fact, it’s most of the way there.”

First of all, it is perhaps not surprising that everywhere one turns with Jennifer Rubin Israel comes up, but she lacks the integrity required to appreciate that most of the criticisms she levels against the feckless Arabs and Iranians would apply equally or even more to Israel’s behavior. I sometimes think that it would be a wake-up call for her and her associates if one were able to arrange for all 100 Senators to vote anonymously, without fear of being exposed, on whether or not they really think that Iran threatens the United States. I would bet that an overwhelming number would indicate “no.” But, unfortunately, congress does not vote secretly. A veto proof majority of Senators now appear to be willing to vote for new Iran sanctions, the result of “a massive phone campaign by Concerned Women for America (CWA), a 500,000-member Christian and Zionist conservative group” and by the Emergency Committee for Israel. The White House is correctly warning that voting for new sanctions equates to voting for war.

So the question becomes “Why is the United States inching away from a possible agreement with Iran, a country that has been unfairly designated enemy number one since 1978?” I would suggest that Jennifer Rubin and the hacks (her term) that she assembles to say what she wants to hear have been a major element in pressuring congress and the rest of the media to line up squarely behind Israel, no matter what the issue and no matter what the genuine US interests might be. Rubin proudly reports that former Senator Scott Brown recently e-mailed her “One of the things I miss most [since leaving the Senate] is not being able to fight for Israel.” One has to wonder why any American Senator should be saying anything like that, but the irony apparently eludes Rubin.

And Jennifer is not above repeating over and over again her basic themes: that Iran wants to destroy Israel, that it has a nuclear weapons program, and that its intentions are both aggressive and hegemonic. Unfortunately all of her power points are either flat out false or not demonstrated by available evidence. According to the US intelligence community, Iran abandoned plans for a nuclear weapon in 2003 and does not currently have a program to develop one. Even Israeli intelligence agrees that is so. And Iran has never actually threatened to attack Israel. In fact, it hasn’t attacked anyone since the seventeenth century.

When Rubin launches her diatribes, she assumes that the reader agrees that Iran has a nuclear weapons program and that it is a somehow a threat to the rest of the Middle East as well as to Europe and the United States. She piles surmise upon innuendo while making no real effort to explain how Iran with its miniscule military budget and surrounded by enemies is actually a threat, possibly because it is an impossible case to make. And as for poor beleaguered Israel, with its more than 200 secret nukes and delivery systems, she certainly must know that Iran could be destroyed in a matter of hours if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should choose to give the order. Given the fact that the breathtakingly belligerent Netanyahu is far nuttier than anyone running around loose in Iran, he is the real threat to peace that comes out of the Middle East, but it is a tale that Jennifer Rubin is unlikely to tell.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Iran, Israel, Jennifer Rubin 
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  1. Philip Giraldi falsely claims that “Iran has never actually threatened to attack Israel”:

    http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/128150

    “Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned the US about severe consequences of any military intervention in Syria, and stressed that the possible war in Syria will result in imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel.”

    Giraldi then states that Iran “hasn’t attacked anyone since the seventeenth century.” This is misleading as Iran is an active state sponsor of terrorism (Hezbollah, Hamas, etc) and is intimately involved in the Syrian civil war:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_and_state-sponsored_terrorism

    Regarding Giraldi’s claim that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program, the UN-affiliated IAEA does not share Giraldi’s confidence. Here is a recent IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program:

    http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2013/gov2013-40.pdf

    “While some of the activities identified in the Annex have civilian as well as military applications, others are specific to nuclear weapons….The Agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program me…The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device…Between 2007 and 2010, Iran continued to conceal nuclear activities…”

    “As stated in the Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report, information provided to the Agency by Member States indicates that Iran constructed a large explosives containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments; such experiments would be strong indicators of possible nuclear weapon development. The information also indicates that the containment vessel was installed at the Parchin site in 2000. The location at the Parchin site of the vessel was only identified in March 2011, and the Agency notified Iran of that location in January 2012.”

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  2. Also, despite Giraldi’s claim that a “veto proof majority of Senators now appear to be willing to vote for new Iran sanctions,” I predict that a veto override isn’t going to happen:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/01/15/push-for-iran-sanctions-bill-losing-momentum/

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    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    Thank you for straightening me out Nurit. First of all, whether or not a veto proof majority of the Senate actually emerges is at this point uncertain but it is definitely within reach. It should be enough to observe that 58 Senators have signed on to a bill that is a roadmap to war. Second, read your own citation from the IRGC General - he is not threatening to attack Israel. He does not speak for the Iranian government in any event, but no Iranian government has ever threatened to attack Israel. Third, Hamas and Hezbollah are groups that are resistance to Israeli occupation. Whether or not they are terrorists is a judgement call and many countries do not consider them to be terrorists. Israel meanwhile is a demonstrated state sponsor of terrorism with its assassinations of Iranian scientists and Palestinians. Fourth, both the CIA and Mossad agree that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program. Your citing "concerns" by the IAEA does not change that.
  3. “She piles surmise upon innuendo while making no real effort to explain how Iran with its miniscule military budget and surrounded by enemies is actually a threat…”, good one Mr. Giraldi. Speaking about Rubin the shrike of course.
    The whirling twirling histrionics of the Israel firsters is banal as it is immoral. Disingenuous would fit in there as well. As for the Imperial US Senate, they are a disgrace and should have to explain their unAmerican stance to the American people.

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  4. @NB
    Also, despite Giraldi's claim that a "veto proof majority of Senators now appear to be willing to vote for new Iran sanctions," I predict that a veto override isn't going to happen:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/01/15/push-for-iran-sanctions-bill-losing-momentum/

    Thank you for straightening me out Nurit. First of all, whether or not a veto proof majority of the Senate actually emerges is at this point uncertain but it is definitely within reach. It should be enough to observe that 58 Senators have signed on to a bill that is a roadmap to war. Second, read your own citation from the IRGC General – he is not threatening to attack Israel. He does not speak for the Iranian government in any event, but no Iranian government has ever threatened to attack Israel. Third, Hamas and Hezbollah are groups that are resistance to Israeli occupation. Whether or not they are terrorists is a judgement call and many countries do not consider them to be terrorists. Israel meanwhile is a demonstrated state sponsor of terrorism with its assassinations of Iranian scientists and Palestinians. Fourth, both the CIA and Mossad agree that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program. Your citing “concerns” by the IAEA does not change that.

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  5. The only reason to click a Rubins piece is to look at the comments people post.

    The new head of the IAEA supposed to be more of a propagandist: http://www.theguardian.com/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2010/nov/30/iaea-wikileaks

    Also here is the story about how the Israelis recruited terrorist while pretending to be Americans: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/13/false_flag

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  6. I agree with most of your analysis, Mr. Giraldi. Your reply to the comment that:

    Fourth, both the CIA and Mossad agree that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program.

    is specious, however.

    If the Mossad and CIA claimed that the Iranians did indeed have a nuclear weapons program my suspicions would be the same (and I suspect yours as well). The motivations of the Mossad and CIA for admitting or denying an Iranian nuclear weapons program aren’t clear to me but I doubt very much what Iran is actually doing plays much of a part.

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  7. Nurit Baytch,

    Your arguments are absolutely pathetic. I now see how you work. Your modus operandi is to ignore the main elements of the valid—and rather restrained—criticisms of Israel, its eliminationist policies, and its fifth column in the US made by Phil Giraldi and others here at UR. You have no ability to address, much less rebut, Giraldi et al. The best you can do is to quibble about secondary issues and hope to muddy the waters and obfuscate the larger arguments being made. You are the very epitome of all that is so deeply repulsive about the Israel Lobby, its legion of shills, and the insidious Hasbara project it pushes relentlessly.

    The real crime here is that the Washington Post fashions itself as a lair for the likes of the odious and obsessed Jennifer Rubin. Her disloyalty to the US is palpable in everything she writes. She advocates increasing the sanctions on Iran that are cruelly depriving poor Iranians of proper nutrition and medicine just as we did to Iraqis in the 1990s no matter the consequences—humanitarian and strategic–for both Iranians and Americans in the long term.

    Of course, even Harry Truman provided his unvarnished perspective on this phenomenon in 1947:

    “The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog.” Yes, and they don’t care how many Iraqi or Iranian children go without food and medicine as long as Israel is contented, fat and happy.

    Rubin argues that “If Congress finds a nuclear-armed Iran horrifying and wants to avoid a Middle East war it will need to pass a final sanctions bill, the last chance to peacefully disarm the mullahs.” Of course, she phrases her advocacy carefully to make it appear analytical rather than prescriptive—kind of like you, Nurit Baytch. We will pay the price for this vicious, self-destructive, Israel-induced policy. Obama may not be the sharpest tool in the drawer, but his inclination to start rebuilding a relationship with Iran is spot on. The question is whether he has the will and political power to make it happen in the face of the disgusting Schumer and the rest of the scheming Israel Firsters in the “Knesset” AKA the US Senate. They couldn’t care less about the long-term strategy of the US and future well-being of the Americans in their obsequious haste to please Massa Bibi.

    As for the substance of your “criticism” of the article, well, there really is none. Whatever rhetoric the IGRC commander may use to warn off Israel (and the US) from attacking Syria is utterly beside the point. It has absolutely no bearing on any potential real use of force, which is based on strategic considerations. And don’t waste my time by giving me your usual “I’m just correcting misinformation about Jews and Israel” spiel. I’ve got it committed to memory at this point.

    Giraldi’s point about Iran’s peaceable stance over the last several centuries is spot on and should always kept in mind. Compared to the global wars generated by the West in the last several centuries and the invasion and seizure of Arab land by European Jews backed by world Jewry and imperial fiat, Iran’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah—entirely in response to that seizure–is barely a blip on the radar screen. Giraldi’s point is in no way misleading. Rather than launching invasions, Iran has itself has been subjected to quasi-imperial domination by the Russians and British and then to the imposition by the US of the corrupt, vicious, Israel-friendly regime of the Shah. What is amazing is how relatively restrained the Iranian responses to all this have been.

    Finally, let’s be clear about the IAEA. It is an organization led by a US-imposed Japanese stooge, Yukiya Amano. He’s just the kind of meek, tractable technocrat that the Israel Lobby loves to see in charge of international organizations, as it helps obscure US and Israeli fingerprints on the absurd campaign against Iran. A highly revealing 2010 Guardian article entitled “Nuclear Wikileaks: Cables show cozy US relationship with IAEA Chief” described Amano telling the US Ambassador to Austria that “he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.” The article is worth reading in its entirety as it shows the US diplomats plotting to get rid of IAEA personnel deemed unhelpful to the anti-Iran campaign—what a sad commentary on the state of our diplomacy. This information plus the frequent use of nebulous language and weasel words in the report you cite should make us extremely leery of any of its claims and prescriptions. Giraldi is absolutely right: The CIA’s contrary findings—which the Israel Lobby and its servants prefer to evade—are a much more solid foundation for gaining a perspective on Iran’s nuclear program.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/julian-borger-global-security-blog/2010/nov/30/iaea-wikileaks

    Your serial attempts to cloud issues and undermine valid arguments being made here at UR have, once again, failed, Nurit Baytch. Back to the Hasbara drawing board for you. See if you can concoct something that has at least THE APPEARANCE of truth about it. So far, you seem utterly unable to succeed even in that modest goal.

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  8. Can you perhaps just block the NB posts? He is plainly an Israeli (or Israel-firster) shill, perhaps even drawing a paycheck to monitor Phil’s writings. On second thought, I suppose it is good to stay abreast of how the other half thinks… and the latest arguments being made to support firm action against Iran. Funny how these folks can so blithely ignore the flaming, brazen hypocrisy of a nation that bitches about someone else maybe wanting a pitbull, while it retains an arsenal of 200 dragons, expecting no one to notice.

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    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    Let her run with it Lorraine as it is easy to see through what she is doing - I have noticed that she pops up on a number of other sites whenever Israel is criticized. It must be her full time job.
  9. @Lorraine
    Can you perhaps just block the NB posts? He is plainly an Israeli (or Israel-firster) shill, perhaps even drawing a paycheck to monitor Phil's writings. On second thought, I suppose it is good to stay abreast of how the other half thinks... and the latest arguments being made to support firm action against Iran. Funny how these folks can so blithely ignore the flaming, brazen hypocrisy of a nation that bitches about someone else maybe wanting a pitbull, while it retains an arsenal of 200 dragons, expecting no one to notice.

    Let her run with it Lorraine as it is easy to see through what she is doing – I have noticed that she pops up on a number of other sites whenever Israel is criticized. It must be her full time job.

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  10. Philip Giraldi states: “read your own citation from the IRGC General – he is not threatening to attack Israel. He does not speak for the Iranian government in any event, but no Iranian government has ever threatened to attack Israel.
    The leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned that if the US launches a military strike against Syria, Israel will face “imminent destruction.” I fail to understand how that is not a threat to attack Israel, nor why the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is not considered to speak for the Iranian government. If the US Defense Secretary or the Secretary of the US Army threatened the “imminent destruction” of a country, I would certainly consider that a threat made by the US government to attack said country.

    Third, Hamas and Hezbollah are groups that are resistance to Israeli occupation. Whether or not they are terrorists is a judgement call and many countries do not consider them to be terrorists.
    You are correct – many majority Muslim countries do not classify Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups, and if you don’t consider Hamas and Hezbollah to be terrorist groups, you are entitled to your opinion. However, such an opinion would put you at odds with most of your countrymen, esp as Hezbollah is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans.

    Some people don’t consider Al-Qaeda a terrorist group either – after all, bin Laden wanted to liberate Muslim holy lands from US occupation.

    Israel meanwhile is a demonstrated state sponsor of terrorism with its assassinations of Iranian scientists and Palestinians.
    Sure, but the same argument can be made about the US too (see: Anwar al-Awlaki). In fact, Iranian state TV has called the US “the world’s number-one terrorist state.”

    Fourth, both the CIA and Mossad agree that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program. Your citing “concerns” by the IAEA does not change that.
    Are you privy to the CIA’s and Mossad’s current opinions on this matter? The IAEA has noted that aspects of Iran’s nuclear program are “specific to nuclear weapons.” In addition, you are misleadingly characterizing the intelligence regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The consensus, as I understand it, is that Iran is looking to achieve “critical capability,” which gives Iran the ability to build a nuclear weapon without detection in a matter of weeks once the decision is made to do so. This “breakout” time has been steadily decreasing over the past couple years:

    http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/critical-capability/8

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  11. Ha, I wish I were paid for this!

    It’s no accident that Unz concocted his theory that Jews are preferentially admitted to Harvard and also regularly publishes anti-Israel pieces based on misleading and false information.

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  12. Oscar Peterson, the editor and publisher of unz.com has himself stated:
    “Science largely runs on the honor system, and once simple statements of fact…are found to be false, we cannot trust more complex claims made by the particular scholar.”

    http://www.unz.com/article/race-iq-and-wealth/

    By demonstrating false and misleading statements made by Unz, Giraldi, et al, I am simply following Unz’s own rubric for discrediting “scholars.”

    However, since you believe that the IAEA, which is clearly the most credible source on Iran’s nuclear program, is not in fact credible due to the fact that the current director happens to agree with the US on various issues, here’s an IAEA report from 2009, when Mohamed ElBaradei was the director of the IAEA:

    http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2009/gov2009-35.pdf

    “there remain a number of outstanding issues which give rise to concerns, and which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.”

    “Contrary to the request of the Board of Governors and the requirements of the Security Council, Iran has neither implemented the Additional Protocol nor cooperated with the Agency in connection with the remaining issues which give rise to concerns and which need to be clarified to exclude the possibility of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. Unless Iran implements the Additional Protocol and clarifies the outstanding issues, the Agency will not be in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”

    So how is Giraldi in a position to declare that Iran has no nuclear weapons program?

    I find it fascinating that now folks are arguing that we should listen to CIA reports from a couple years ago and not the IAEA’s current reports. I have always regarded IAEA as the most credible source on such matters. Anyone who read IAEA’s reports on Iraq in 2003 would not have supported the invasion of Iraq. Should we have listened to the CIA in 2003 too? I’m merely being consistent, as I form my opinions on the basis of the most authoritative sources.

    I’m not sure what position you think I’m arguing anyway – I oppose the Kirk-Menendez bill; however, one’s opposition to it should not be based on the mistaken belief that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, as there are credible concerns that Iran’s nuclear program has military dimensions.

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  13. I find Jennifer Rubin’s neocon diatribes unworthy of notice except for this. By publishing her as a spokesperson of the right, The Washington Post pertpetuates the image of conservatives as unbalanced, war mongering Israel-bots. If the Post was honest it would offer legitimate conservative thinkers a chance to counter the destructive and deeply dishonest dominance of the neoconservatives.

    As you know Phil, DC is a very parochial town and many supposedly intelligent opinion leaders there are as ignorant of what normal Americans think as the Dowager Empress’s eunuchs knew of the furthest reaches of the Middle Kingdom. Putting someone like Rubin up as a reflection of the right just confirms the warped views our own eunuch mandarins.

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  14. correction on my previous comment: one’s opposition to [the Kirk-Menendez bill] should not be based on the unsupported belief that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, as there are credible concerns that Iran’s nuclear program has military dimensions.

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  15. Iran is being monitored and no smoking gun has been found:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/06/06/110606fa_fact_hersh?currentPage=all

    I think whatever is provided should be carefully evaluated, and that there are vested interest that want a war with Iran without a hint of concern how it will end. I think past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior unless someone like Thomas Finger comes in and fixes what is broken. David Albright has an agenda. I think everyone does. I think it is important to ask yourself what is the motivation of these people who provide this information and why they present it in the way that they do. Diplomacy is long over due and the alarmist actions of people like Kirk and Menendez are not helpful in my opinion. This is real life with real people who have real failings. People aren’t robots.

    Check this blog discussion that David Albright took a part of, including the comments:

    http://armscontrollaw.com/2012/10/05/david-albright-responds-to-my-post-and-shows-why-he-epitomizes-everything-thats-wrong-with-the-u-s-nonproliferation-epistemic-community/

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  16. Before Hasbara, indeed before Leo Strauss chopped down his first cherry tree, there were these men called Jesuits, of whom it was said, if they were accused of killing three men and a dog, would invariably produce the dog, alive and well.

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  17. Hmmm—pretty weak, Nurit Baytch. Let’s go point by point:

    1. “By demonstrating false and misleading statements made by Unz, Giraldi, et al, I am simply following Unz’s own rubric for discrediting ‘scholars.’”

    You have demonstrated nothing whatsoever. Giraldi’s central point is that Jennifer Rubin is a disloyal Israel Firster and that her insidious attempts to promote an Israel-first agenda with regard to Iran (and in general) are deleterious to welfare of the United States and Americans. You have done absolutely nothing to diminish the force of that argument.

    2. “here’s an IAEA report from 2009, when Mohamed ElBaradei was the director of the IAEA”

    The passage from the 2009 IAEA report you quote does not contradict the view of the US Intelligence Community (IC), which Giraldi is citing. The IAEA says that they can’t confirm the absence of a nuclear weapons program. The IC assesses that Iran ended any nuclear weapons program they once had. Neither asserts that Iran has a nuclear weapons program currently. What is it about Giraldi’s analysis that you find so hard to grasp?

    The bit about the Additional Protocol deserves some explanation. Iran voluntarily complied with the Additional Protocol allowing more intrusive instpections for a period of time although they never ratified it. The key point here is that it is VOLUNTARY. It is not part of requirements under the NPT provisions itself. When the Iranians suspected Amano of leaking secret data to the US, they stopped complying with it. They have broken no law or agreement in doing so.

    3. “the mistaken belief that Iran has no nuclear weapons program”

    In this statement, you are positively asserting that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons program. Substantiate this claim, because you have shown nothing to this point that does so.

    4. “Anyone who read IAEA’s reports on Iraq in 2003 would not have supported the invasion of Iraq. Should we have listened to the CIA in 2003 too?”

    Again, what is so hard for you to understand here? In 2003 the CIA under Tenet allowed itself to be pressured by the Bush administration and the neoconservatives/Israel Lobby into, in effect, supporting the neoconservative war against Iraq.

    The IAEA under ElBaradei was relatively independent and refused to kowtow and support the war. This is why the US, under Israeli/neocon influence tried to deny ElBaradei a third term at the head of the IAEA in 2005. But things change. The IC learned its lesson and has demonstrated a renewed integrity and increasing immunity to Israel Lobby pressure resulting in the NIE of 2007 and subsequent analyses. The IAEA has come under increasing pressure to support an aggressive stance towards Iran. The Guardian article that I linked to above in which the incoming Amato obsequiously assures his support for US objectives regarding Iran is very illustrative of differing trajectories of the IC and the IAEA. So I don’t know what it is you find so “fascinating” except perhaps the ability of the neoconservatives/Israel Lobby to find ways to distort and/or debase the analysis of various organizations inside and outside the US government at different points in time.

    5. In any case, Nurit Baytch, why don’t we address the one known nuclear weapons program in the Middle East: Israel’s? It’s ironic that Israel is guilty of doing precisely what it is accusing Iran of doing. During the Kennedy administration when the US was trying to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and insisting on inspections of Dimona, Israel used every possible maneuver to disguise its nuclear weapons program from US inspectors. Bob Gates among others has publicly acknowledged the existence of Israeli WMD. Do you think we should levy sanctions and cut off aid to Israel until they agree to abandon their WMD? What is your position on Israel’s WMD? If we’re OK with a state founded on eliminationist principles possessing WMD, then why not Iran as well?

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  18. Rubin is not the 1st to salivate and pray simultaneously for a war initiated by Israel.
    Occupying similar position in WaPo, Krauthamer asked for American attack on Iran. Kristol was reminding of the similar ( Iraq type) danger US was facing from Iran in Weekly Standard. Michael Ledeen was opining that regime change was required in Tehran to establish security in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was lumping the region from Pakistan to Gaza border as one battlefield. He was essentially regurgitating the lies assembled and sanitized by Wolfowitz who in 1991 and 2001 in a different nuances under American flag called for same type of intervention. Ledeen was angry with Rice and with Bush for thinking of diplomacy with Iran.

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  19. Sorry for the mistake – it should be — for a war for Israel initiated by US

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  20. NB
    El Bareid was not doing the Israeli bidding . Israel went out of its perverted racist bigoted self to something much worse to demonized him accusing him of not supporting Israel version of realities out of his Muslim faith.
    El Baredi as recent as last year stuck to his claims that there was no diversion of nuclear enrichment to military or bomb production during his time and he did not see any evidence of it even today.

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  21. NB
    Syria invasion has been one of the aims of the Zionist as prelude to attack to Iran. It has been repeatedly aired by Kristol, Leden,Perle, in the past, and by Israeli leaders . This argument is still being made by Zionist and AIPAC. This is the reason AIPAC was pressurizing Congress to attack Syria.
    Iran has every right to see an attack on Syria through the US proxy as an attack on Iran by Israel.
    So the comment of the Army Major make perfect sense.

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  22. NB
    Blaming the Bulgarian attack on Hizbullah was one of the ways Israel was trying to get Europe declare Hizbullah as terrorist organization.
    Hamas participated and won election , an election that was demanded and supported by US. Under Israeli pressure , US then ,reneged and labeled it as terrorist organization.

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  23. In reference to the quotation from Harry S. Truman about the character of “the Jews,” one might point out that there is no victimized or aggrieved group among humanity that is not capable of the worst behavior, with victims becoming perpetrators. However, this never defines the character or predicts the behavior of any individual. Not all Jewish people are Zionists nor want to be and most are not Israelis nor want to be, for that matter.

    The current government of Israel doesn’t speak for World Jewry, whatever the meretricious claims, but it would like to be able to, or at least appear to. The Likudnik faction intends to increase polarity – running psyops programs against Jewish people outside Israel that seek to turn them against their own national interests, wherever they were born or reside, making them reflexively foreign lobbyists for the current Israeli government’s own mistaken and ultimately self-destructive policies. In this, they callously betray their fellow Jews, incidentally but intentionally fanning the flames of antisemitism against them.

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  24. Another useful and very timely article dated two days ago from the Guardian entitled “The truth about Israel’s secret nuclear arsenal.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/15/truth-israels-secret-nuclear-arsenal

    Some highlights:

    “In fact, US involvement went deeper than mere silence. At a meeting in 1976 that has only recently become public knowledge, the CIA deputy director Carl Duckett informed a dozen officials from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the agency suspected some of the fissile fuel in Israel’s bombs was weapons-grade uranium stolen under America’s nose from a processing plant in Pennsylvania.”

    “The timing [of the US discovery of Israel's weapons program] could not have been worse. The NPT, intended to prevent too many nuclear genies from escaping from their bottles, had just been drawn up and if news broke that one of the supposedly non-nuclear-weapons states had secretly made its own bomb, it would have become a dead letter that many countries, especially Arab states, would refuse to sign. The Johnson White House decided to say nothing, and the decision was formalised at a 1969 meeting between Richard Nixon and Golda Meir, at which the US president agreed to not to pressure Israel into signing the NPT…”

    “The list of nations that secretly sold Israel the material and expertise to make nuclear warheads, or who turned a blind eye to its theft, include today’s staunchest campaigners against proliferation: the US, France, Germany, Britain and even Norway.”

    “Israel had few qualms about proliferating nuclear weapons knowhow and materials, giving South Africa’s apartheid regime help in developing its own bomb in the 1970s in return for 600 tons of yellowcake.”

    “’There was a tendency to try to export [nuclear weapons technologies to Israel] and there was a general feeling of support for Israel,’ Andre Finkelstein, a former deputy commissioner at France’s Atomic Energy Commissariat and deputy director general at the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Avner Cohen, an Israeli-American nuclear historian.”

    “The Israelis admitted to having a reactor but insisted it was for entirely peaceful purposes. The spent fuel was sent to France for reprocessing, they claimed, even providing film footage of it being supposedly being loaded onto French freighters. Throughout the 60s it flatly denied the existence of the underground reprocessing plant in Dimona that was churning out plutonium for bombs.”

    “Somehow the kabuki goes on,” Weiss says. “If it is admitted Israel has nuclear weapons at least you can have an honest discussion. It seems to me it’s very difficult to get a resolution of the Iran issue without being honest about that.”

    *****

    So, boatloads of US taxpayer money as well as help in covering up its nuclear weapons program for Israel. Sanctions and suffering for Iran which is assessed by the US intelligence community no longer to have a weapons program. Makes me proud to be an American.

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  25. “The Israelis admitted to having a reactor but insisted it was for entirely peaceful purposes.” So that’s why the Israeli’s assume the Iranians are lying about their nuclear program,….projection. This is Beyond parody!

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  26. Good discussion, especially Phil, Fran, and Oscar. It’s always noteworthy that America’s #1 recipient of political and financial largesse (or you could say, its principal obsession) is a nation which at its core and in its behavior is exactly antithetical to America’s founding principles. It’s so unlikely, and yet so untouchable a topic, that you couldn’t make it up–no one would believe you.

    BTW, the billions of taxpayer dollars rained down upon this one tiny country pale in comparison with the megabillions extracted from the American economy by the likes of Madoff, Schultz, Ellison, Merkin, and Adelson, and used to finance the worst crimes committed in that part of the globe. Congress, in its endless wisdom, finds fit to implement no controls whatever upon these megatransfers of American wealth.

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  27. I posted a correction retracting my use of the word “mistaken.” The correct term is “unsupported.” Giraldi attacked Rubin’s integrity for making the unproven assertion that Iran has a nuclear weapons program when he made an equally unsupported claim: that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. There are two problems with Giraldi’s claim:
    1. They are based on reports that are 2 years old and thus are questionable assessments of the current state of Iran’s nuclear program.
    2. The US intelligence consensus in early 2012 was that Iran is laying the groundwork for building nuclear weapons in order to give Iran the capability to assemble a nuclear weapon fairly quickly if the Iranian govt decides to do so. Thus, it is misleading to simply declare that Iran “does not currently have a program to develop nuclear weapons” full stop.

    Oscar Peterson claims: “The passage from the 2009 IAEA report you quote does not contradict the view of the US Intelligence Community (IC), which Giraldi is citing.”
    It contradicts Giraldi’s misleading characterization of the 2012 US intelligence consensus. The 2009 IAEA report cites possible evidence of a nuclear weapons program (i.e. nuclear activities inconsistent with a peaceful nuclear program); it in no way asserts that Iran has no nuclear weapons program as Giraldi claimed.

    When the Iranians suspected Amano of leaking secret data to the US, they stopped complying with it. They have broken no law or agreement in doing so.
    Even ElBaradei asserted that Iran had broken the law: “Iran broke a transparency law of the U.N. nuclear watchdog by failing to disclose much earlier a nuclear plant being built for uranium enrichment, agency director Mohamed ElBaradei said in a televised interview.”

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2009/09/30/idINIndia-42812320090930

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  28. Fran Macadam, you are correct regarding Truman’s anti-Semitic quote (approvingly cited by Oscar Peterson, of course). However, most Jews are Zionists; most American evangelical Christians are Zionists too, so in fact, most American Zionists are not Jewish. However, some unz.com commenters use the term “Zionists” to refer to “the Jews.”

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  29. oh, look, more lists of Jews from unz.com commenters! Warren Buffett has injected more money into the Israeli economy than Larry Ellison and likely some of the others you mentioned. But, of course, Buffett won’t get a mention from you.

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  30. Hello Nurit,

    There are varying definitions of Zionism and using the several of them you could make the case you do; but my assessment remains accurate too. Statistics are all over the place, depending on the definition, but most Jewish people are not “Zionist” in the sense that they want to give up their own nationality to relocate to Israel.

    In the sense that Israel has a right to exist, equal to that of any other country, most westerners would support that, making the majority “Zionists” of a sort.

    However, to conflate that kind of Zionism with supporting the more extreme variations that trample on other human beings’ own rights is not something most people, Jewish or Gentile, will support once they are aware of the realities.

    See the first paragraph of the Wikipedia definitions of Zionism.

    The real difficulty for radical Zionism, though it was born out of a sincere and worthy longing that emerged from a crucible of experiencing persecution, pogroms and genocide, is that it is a in practice a profoundly illiberal political philosophy that ironically emerged from a people who in world history have defined the modern development of liberalism. The contradiction is that it is out of step with modernism to have a state whose basis is discrimination on the basis of religion or national origin. This is as sure to lead to ethical and moral violations by Jews as it does when practiced against Jews.

    The only possible justification is the one that lurks mostly unspoken, because it sounds so bad: that there can be no moral equivalence with gentile perfidy, until equal numbers of them have suffered as much at Jewish hands. This is a throwback to the appeal of ancient state revenge religions of an eye for an eye, something that while all too human, particularly afflicts the Middle East.

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  31. They have not made the decision to create a nuclear weapon according to Clapper and Petraeus in early 2012. That is why we have diplomacy to deal with ambiguity instead of fretting over weasel words like “possible” followed by some horrible description.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/us-agencies-see-no-move-by-iran-to-build-a-bomb.html/

    I agree with Fran. I don’t want to see the caring, respectful Jews that I have known in life be mistreated as a result of antisemitism created by Israel’s actions. All the pieces are there for a horrible backlash.

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  32. Nurit Baytch,

    Your latest set of comments are ludicrous. Once again, let’s go through them and make the needed refutations:

    1. “I posted a correction retracting my use of the word ‘mistaken.’”
    Yes—so you did. Glad to see you are finally starting to confront your error-prone ways.

    2. “The US intelligence consensus in early 2012 was that Iran is laying the groundwork for building nuclear weapons in order to give Iran the capability to assemble a nuclear weapon fairly quickly if the Iranian govt decides to do so.”

    First of all, interesting to note that nowhere in your post do you dare mention Israel’s program—and after I spent all that time providing rather damning evidence of just how it was acquired. Well, of course, a pro-Israel shill wouldn’t want to confront any of that, would she?
    As to the substance of your unsupported allegation, let’s look at the evidence (same article linked to by Johnny Ive):

    The NYT said in its February 23, 2012 article, “U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb,” elaborating that, “the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead — a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003 and which would be necessary for Iran to build a nuclear bomb.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/us-agencies-see-no-move-by-iran-to-build-a-bomb.html?_r=0

    The LA Times article also of February 23, 2012 on the subject was entitled “U.S. does not believe Iran is trying to build nuclear bomb,” and asserted that, “As U.S. and Israeli officials talk publicly about the prospect of a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, one fact is often overlooked: U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb. A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.”

    I mean, good God, Nurit Baytch, what more do you want from the US Intelligence Community? How much more explicit do the findings have to be before you halt your obsessive jihad to further Israel’s unrighteous and iniquitous campaign against the Iranians.

    3. “Even ElBaradei asserted that Iran had broken the law: ‘Iran broke a transparency law of the U.N. nuclear watchdog by failing to disclose much earlier a nuclear plant being built for uranium enrichment, agency director Mohamed ElBaradei said in a televised interview.’”

    So, let’s keep things straight here. Iran has done two things that the IAEA objects to. First, as I stated above, it stopped adhering to the voluntary Additional Protocol that it had never ratified after leaks of information from IAEA to the US. Second, and the focus of the article you cite, it reverted from the modified version of Code 3.1 (changing the requirements for facility design information provided to IAEA) to the old 1976 version. Iran had accepted but also NEVER RATIFIED the change to Code 3.1. While I generally respect ElBaradei for his independence, he was wrong in this case. If the US had not, under pressure from the Israel Lobby, increased sanctions on Iran, Iran would have we would never have gotten to this point—which is the main point.

    But since you are so concerned about breaking the law, Nurit Baytch, what are your views on Israel’s violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (one of many violated by Israel) which demanded Israel respect the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and communities following the end of fighting in 1948? To this day, though Israel is a signatory of the Convention, it has refused to allow the return of the vast majority of those refugees. Of course, the reason that these refugees are not permitted to return is that it would compromise “the Jewish character” of the Israeli state. What sanctions do you think we should slap on Israel to force them to comply?

    4. “Fran Macadam, you are correct regarding Truman’s anti-Semitic quote (approvingly cited by Oscar Peterson, of course).”

    Fran Macadam has made useful and hopeful points about the nature of the relationship between Jewry at large, on the one hand, and the viciousness of Israel, its Lobby in the US, and its supporters towards the Palestinian people they are ethnically cleansing and the Iranians they want to starve into overthrowing the their government. It’s unclear just what percentage of Jewry supports Israeli brutality—openly or tacitly—and so some caution is perhaps advisable.

    First of all, let’s re-quote Truman to refresh our memory:

    “The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial or political neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the under dog.”

    So where did Truman get these ideas? Just as Obama, now trying, in his semi-competent way, to move toward ending the sanctions on Iran and rebuild our relationship with it, is under tremendous pressure from the vicious Israeli state and the dual loyalists, Truman faced a similar problem as he tried to deal with the post-war chaos of the late 1940s. As he tried to confront many problems simultaneously, he was obviously importuned by Zionist Jews of every description who demanded that he give them what THEY wanted and deal with THEIR problems to the exclusion of the suffering of others and of many other issues. Why would he have made the statement otherwise? Notice that he does not make similar complaints against the Finns, et al. Why not? His complaint may have been worded over-broadly and may have been meant to apply to Jewish Zionist leadership rather than all Jews, but he certainly didn’t just pluck it out of thin air.

    Of course some people never learn. Just as Zionism was uninterested in any suffering but Jewish suffering at that time, the same is now true of the established state of Israel and its shills. In their view, Iranians simply must go without until they submit. Palestinians must simply accept the theft of their land by Eastern European Jews “chosen” to possess it.

    It’s not clear how many Jews are actual dissidents from these disgusting Israeli policies, but what IS clear is that YOU are the successor of those Zionist Jews whom Truman had to deal with and who led Truman in frustration to make the remarks that he did. You spend your time whining on behalf of one group and one group only. You are part of the PROBLEM, not part of the solution. So, while one can look as critically at Truman’s statement as one pleases, don’t think for a moment that you can dismiss it merely as “anti-semitism.” It deserves much closer consideration than that. As alway, your attempts to evade the critical issues in connection with Israel and its lobby are a colossal failure.

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  33. I don’t believe we can ignore the reality of a pernicious antisemitism in the past, that although not rising to the level of that of those willing to kill over it, nevertheless contributed to effectively allowing it, elsewhere, by overlooking it. There is no doubt that some American Presidents of the past, with no more morality than politicians often have, or even that which coursed through society, have held these same prejudices. At one time in America, Jewish people couldn’t live in certain neighborhoods or hold certain jobs, on the grounds of a general unsuitability attributed to some supposedly immutable defect of a universal “Jewish” character. It is attitudes like these and the policies that have stemmed from them that contribute to Jewish paranoia, causing the very reactions that perversely seem to confirm the prejudices against Jewish people in general.

    But again, it is a fallacy to assign any supposed generic propensity to any specific individual, absent evidence of his own behavior. Every behavior and attitude that is found among Jews will be found among human beings who aren’t Jewish, for good or ill. That includes the xenophobia that finds its expression in distrust, fear and even loathing of “the other.”

    The terrible events in Europe last century and earlier didn’t happen in a vacuum and neither did the reactions to that, leading to Zionism’s ascendancy. The current problems that stem from that only confirm that violence begets violence and that the means taken to carry out pursuit of any ideal, will corrupt that end, rather than being justified by it. This is a universal lesson and it applies to what is happening in America, too, as the Constitution and American governance are betrayed, supposedly in support of them, but through means inimicable to their essence.

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  34. Interesting points by Fran Macadam. No doubt there are some broad truths in what she says. But where does all that leave us in in respect to our current problems in the real world? The United States has allowed itself to become attached—and in some sense subordinated—to a Jewish State the goal of whose core leadership is almost certainly to complete the cleansing of the Arab population begun at the founding of the state. This naturally enrages those tied to the Palestinians—especially other Arabs and to a lesser extent other Muslims–and will in the long term allow our competitors–China in particular–to wait for the strategic fruit to fall from the tree into their hands.

    Israel is a strategic albatross around our collective neck that threatens our position in the Middle East and elsewhere. As the US declines at least on a relative basis, we can no longer delude ourselves that an Israel Uber Alles policy is affordable (not that it ever was as General Marshall predicted.) The lobby that pushes the US government to self-destructive policies vis-a-via Iran and much else is a cancer. It’s that simple. We can debate the relative responsibilities of Jewish and Christian Zionists for getting us into our current predicament, and we can debate where the preponderance of Jews actually are on the question of Israeli eliminationism. Certainly, these questions are not insignificant.

    In any case, I am quite frankly unwilling to make excuses for Israeli apartheid and its support by those—Jewish or otherwise—whose loyalty to this country is highly suspect or to explain away the “paranoia” of those who demand our servitude to their destructive aims. Zionism is an unfolding strategic disaster for this country (just as it was for Britain—only worse now as the global population can now witness in near real time the depredations of the Israeli government.)

    Ultimately, this isn’t merely an academic debate. Those who relentlessly promote the goals of the Jewish apartheid state are making Americans less secure and less safe and helping to drive us over a strategic cliff. What should we do about that? I categorically reject any argument that suggests I must tolerate a systematic threat to my security and prosperity because of what happened “in the last century” or at any other time. That’s just a non-starter and should be a non-starter for any thinking American. Talking about universal lessons is all well and good but it simply does not address the problem we face.

    Nurit Baytch and those like her need to be met head-on, and their attempts to obfuscate the truths that people like Phil Giraldi are telling need to be forcefully rejected.

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  35. Fran MacAdam – Zionism is simply the belief that Israel has the right to exist as the Jewish homeland; being a Zionist in no way implies that one supports all of Netanyahu’s policies, the occupation of the West Bank, etc (I, for one, do not).

    Oscar Peterson – nothing you have posted contradicts my argument that it is misleading for Giraldi to simply declare that Iran “does not currently have a program to develop nuclear weapons” full stop. Once again, you are citing 2 year old reports – there’s a reason things have come to a head now and not 2 years ago; I’m not going to countenance your choice to ignore the most credible source on the matter – the IAEA’s updated reports on Iran’s nuclear program – simply b/c the current IAEA director happens to be in greater agreement with the US than ElBaradei.

    However, both articles you cited buttress my argument that the US intelligence consensus in early 2012 was that Iran is laying the groundwork for building nuclear weapons in order to give Iran the capability to assemble a nuclear weapon fairly quickly if the Iranian govt decides to do so (despite your claims otherwise). The NYT article you cited includes the following quote: “James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon.” It also details criticism of the US intelligence assessment, as well as gaps in our intelligence capabilities in Iran, so it is certainly a helpful source for this discussion. In addition, the LA Times article you cited states: “The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.” The LA Times article also notes that “some developments have bolstered the view that Iran is secretly pursuing a weapon” and quotes Michael Hayden, the former CIA director: “They are doing everything they can to put themselves in a position so that they have a clear and fairly quick route to a nuclear weapon.”

    Oscar, I’m not going to engage with you on a number of diversionary points that you raise that are irrelevant to the discussion at hand, which is Giraldi’s article that makes the unsupported and misleading assertion that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, as well as my interest in demonstrating that unz.com is, to a significant degree, an anti-Semitic enterprise designed to attract anti-Semitic readers (like you!).

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    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    Nurit, I am not going to tit-for-tat with you because it is obvious that you are resistant to any evidence that does not fit neatly into your viewpoint. Iran has no weapons program. Period. But you must be challenged when you refer to us as an anti-Semitic enterprise. Not wanting to go to war for Israel is not anti-Semitism, it is pro-Americanism. Israel is, in my view, the central foreign policy problem that has hamstrung US ability to act in its own interests in a large part of the world so it must be discussed in some detail and frequently, which clearly makes you uncomfortable. If you cannot see that you are being deliberately obtuse. Unz.com has a great deal of material posted on it that has nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East so I have to believe that you are using the anti-Semite label to discredit the site, an all too typical response from the Netanyahu/neoconservative crowd which you presumably adhere to.
  36. @NB
    Fran MacAdam - Zionism is simply the belief that Israel has the right to exist as the Jewish homeland; being a Zionist in no way implies that one supports all of Netanyahu's policies, the occupation of the West Bank, etc (I, for one, do not).

    Oscar Peterson - nothing you have posted contradicts my argument that it is misleading for Giraldi to simply declare that Iran “does not currently have a program to develop nuclear weapons” full stop. Once again, you are citing 2 year old reports - there's a reason things have come to a head now and not 2 years ago; I'm not going to countenance your choice to ignore the most credible source on the matter - the IAEA's updated reports on Iran's nuclear program - simply b/c the current IAEA director happens to be in greater agreement with the US than ElBaradei.

    However, both articles you cited buttress my argument that the US intelligence consensus in early 2012 was that Iran is laying the groundwork for building nuclear weapons in order to give Iran the capability to assemble a nuclear weapon fairly quickly if the Iranian govt decides to do so (despite your claims otherwise). The NYT article you cited includes the following quote: "James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon." It also details criticism of the US intelligence assessment, as well as gaps in our intelligence capabilities in Iran, so it is certainly a helpful source for this discussion. In addition, the LA Times article you cited states: "The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so." The LA Times article also notes that "some developments have bolstered the view that Iran is secretly pursuing a weapon" and quotes Michael Hayden, the former CIA director: "They are doing everything they can to put themselves in a position so that they have a clear and fairly quick route to a nuclear weapon."

    Oscar, I'm not going to engage with you on a number of diversionary points that you raise that are irrelevant to the discussion at hand, which is Giraldi's article that makes the unsupported and misleading assertion that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, as well as my interest in demonstrating that unz.com is, to a significant degree, an anti-Semitic enterprise designed to attract anti-Semitic readers (like you!).

    Nurit, I am not going to tit-for-tat with you because it is obvious that you are resistant to any evidence that does not fit neatly into your viewpoint. Iran has no weapons program. Period. But you must be challenged when you refer to us as an anti-Semitic enterprise. Not wanting to go to war for Israel is not anti-Semitism, it is pro-Americanism. Israel is, in my view, the central foreign policy problem that has hamstrung US ability to act in its own interests in a large part of the world so it must be discussed in some detail and frequently, which clearly makes you uncomfortable. If you cannot see that you are being deliberately obtuse. Unz.com has a great deal of material posted on it that has nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East so I have to believe that you are using the anti-Semite label to discredit the site, an all too typical response from the Netanyahu/neoconservative crowd which you presumably adhere to.

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    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    Nurit - I should also have pointed out that many of the most effective and vocal critics of Israel and its policies, to include its criminal treatment of the Palestinians and its incitement to war with Iran, are themselves Jewish. Do you consider them to be anti-Semites or are they self-hating Jews?
  37. @Philip Giraldi
    Nurit, I am not going to tit-for-tat with you because it is obvious that you are resistant to any evidence that does not fit neatly into your viewpoint. Iran has no weapons program. Period. But you must be challenged when you refer to us as an anti-Semitic enterprise. Not wanting to go to war for Israel is not anti-Semitism, it is pro-Americanism. Israel is, in my view, the central foreign policy problem that has hamstrung US ability to act in its own interests in a large part of the world so it must be discussed in some detail and frequently, which clearly makes you uncomfortable. If you cannot see that you are being deliberately obtuse. Unz.com has a great deal of material posted on it that has nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East so I have to believe that you are using the anti-Semite label to discredit the site, an all too typical response from the Netanyahu/neoconservative crowd which you presumably adhere to.

    Nurit – I should also have pointed out that many of the most effective and vocal critics of Israel and its policies, to include its criminal treatment of the Palestinians and its incitement to war with Iran, are themselves Jewish. Do you consider them to be anti-Semites or are they self-hating Jews?

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  38. Nurit Baytch,

    1. The phrases that you desperately cling to in order to preserve your foundering argument are meaningless. What does “Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon” actually mean? What does “Iran is pursuing research that could put it in a position to build a weapon” mean? Neither one is an assertion of a nuclear weapons program. That you are reduced to this sort of parsing to cobble together the appearance of an argument is tantamount to admitting your intellectual bankruptcy.

    2. “Oscar, I’m not going to engage with you on a number of diversionary points that you raise that are irrelevant to the discussion at hand, which is Giraldi’s article that makes the unsupported and misleading assertion that Iran has no nuclear weapons program…”

    No, Nurit Baytch, that is simply YOUR attempt to frame the “discussion at hand” in a way conducive to your aims. You hide behind “anti-semitism” because you cannot defend your own agenda: Israel First and all else in support of that aim. The REAL issue here how the US should approach the issues of Israel and Iran so as to promote its own welfare (as opposed to Israel’s aims–or at least the Israel Lobby’s understanding of Israel’s aims). Because your Israel First goals so clearly conflict with the precepts of sound US policy in the Middle East, this is an intensely uncomfortable topic for you. Not once have you actually articulated what you think US policy should be or how we should deal with the region. You merely snipe at Giraldi’s arguments in an attempt to undermine criticisms of Israel and its lobby without owning up to your Israel Firster inclinations by making positive arguments that would force you to bring your agenda out in the open.

    And telling us that you “don’t support the occupation of the West Bank” tells us nothing. It’s easy to make a claim like that when you don’t have to support it in any meaningful way. What should we do to compel Israel–the state we subsidize and the state that is clearly planning the long-term elimination of the Palestinians–to desist from its repellent actions? I think you are quite happy to claim to oppose the occupation of the West Bank while actually biding your time as the Israeli state gradually eliminates the Palestinians, at which point you will breath a sigh of relief and celebrate the realization of Eretz Israel. Such hypocrisy, Nurit Baytch!

    When the suffering of Iranians under sanctions is raised, you refuse to address it. When the Israeli policy of eliminating the Palestinians is raised, you refuse to address it. When the question of what is good and bad for US strategy in the Middle East is raised, you evade the discussion.

    You condemn yourself with each Israel-centric post you make. And the problem–for you–is that you are losing the fight. And I think you know this. That is why you and others who think like you grow more desperate by the day.

    If you don’t want to engage with substantive arguments, that’s your business. But I will be looking for your posts and attacking their mendacity relentlessly. Whine all you want. Your dual loyalism (well, for you, dual loyalism would actually be an improvement) will get you nowhere.

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  39. The quotes are speculative.
    “James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials [b]believe[/b] that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon.”

    believe != know.

    “The most recent report, which represents the consensus of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, indicates that Iran is pursuing research that [b]could[/b] put it in a position to build a weapon, but that it has not sought to do so.”

    could != is.

    “Much nuclear know-how and technology is dual use and can be used for peaceful or military purposes. Under the NPT, it is not illegal for a member state to have a nuclear-weapons capability: if a nation has a developed civilian nuclear infrastructure—which the NPT actually encourages—this implies it has a fairly solid nuclear-weapons capability. Just like Iran, Argentina, Brazil, and Japan also have a nuclear-weapons capability—they, too, could break out of the NPT and make a nuclear device in short order. [b]Capabilities and intentions cannot be conflated[/b].”

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/eight-ways-youre-wrong-about-irans-nuclear-program-9723?page=show

    I’m glad she came clean on her motivation. Is there a new free beacon article on Unz in the works?

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  40. “Zionism is simply the belief that Israel has the right to exist as the Jewish homeland.”

    I would say, rather, that a normal country can be “a” homeland, in the same way that American-born citizens who happen to be English, but weren’t born there, can consider England the homeland of the English. Or Nisei Japanese consider Japan the homeland of the Japanese. But it doesn’t mean, per se, that they have to consider it their own homeland which then demands their loyalty over against the interests of their own birthplace – often in a “my country, right or wrong” paradigm of suppression of conscience.

    Moreover, no one, in my opinion, ought to be compelled to act against conscience in order to satisfy someone else’s demands for group solidarity. I think it was Twain who said in regards to patriotism that it is too bad that in order to love one’s own country, one is then compelled to be an enemy to the rest of mankind.

    I think it is very valuable in resolving conflict, rather than fomenting it, to try to place yourself in an opponent’s place, trying to see why from his point of view there is reason for how he sees a conflict. It is highly unlikely that entire populations are legitimately implacable enemies.

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  41. Philip Giraldi claims: “Iran has no weapons program. Period.”
    See, the problem is your full stop, as I have repeatedly demonstrated. Anyone seeking to accurately characterize Iran’s nuclear program would not end that statement with a full stop. “Mr. Panetta said: ‘Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability. And that’s what concerns us.’…In saying that the United States did not have any evidence that Iran was seeking to develop a nuclear weapon, Mr. Panetta was hewing closely to the conclusions the often fractious American intelligence agencies agreed upon in 2007 and again in 2010. Two National Intelligence Estimates, designed to reflect the consensus of the intelligence community, concluded that Iranian leaders had made no political decision yet to build an actual weapon. Instead, they described a series of steps that would take Iran right up to that line — and position it to assemble a weapon fairly quickly if a decision to do so were made.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/world/middleeast/iran-will-soon-move-uranium-work-underground-official-says.html
    “Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Iran is laying the groundwork for making nuclear weapons someday, but is not yet building a bomb”

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2012-01-08/iran-nuclear-weapons/52451620/1

    I will now repeat the same statement that I’ve made twice, which strings together almost verbatim the two phrases I bolded: US intelligence consensus in early 2012 was that Iran is laying the groundwork for building nuclear weapons in order to give Iran the capability to assemble a nuclear weapon fairly quickly if the Iranian govt decides to do so. My statement is correct, and nothing that you or other unz.com commenters have posted refutes my contention.

    “Not wanting to go to war for Israel is not anti-Semitism, it is pro-Americanism.
    Ah, the straw man fallacy. I have not only never expressed support for war in Iran, I explicitly stated above that I oppose the Kirk-Menendez bill but that one’s opposition to it should not be based on misinformation. There are credible concerns that Iran’s nuclear program has military dimensions, as opposed to your misleading, unsupported assertion that “Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Period.”

    But you must be challenged when you refer to us as an anti-Semitic enterprise. …Unz.com has a great deal of material posted on it that has nothing to do with Israel or the Middle East
    I’m well-aware that unz.com publishes material not relating to Israel or the Middle East, which is why I was careful to say that “unz.com is, to a significant degree, an anti-Semitic enterprise designed to attract anti-Semitic readers.” Interestingly how you omitted any reference to one of Unz’s signature writings: his Myth of American Meritocracy piece, which indeed has nothing to do with Israel but everything to do with “the Jews.” And I wouldn’t know who Ron Unz is (or even The American Conservative!) if it weren’t for that piece.

    so I have to believe that you are using the anti-Semite label to discredit the site, an all too typical response from the Netanyahu/neoconservative crowd which you presumably adhere to.
    Straw man, once again, especially ironic given that I stated that I don’t support Netanyahu’s policies in the previous comment. And if you think I’m a neoconservative, then I suspect that would make me the only neocon who opposed the Iraq War from day one and even participated in the Cambridge/MIT anti-war protest on March 20, 2003.

    Despite my staunch opposition to the Iraq War from day one, I find odious the attempts to blame the war on “the Jews,” by focusing only on the role played by, say, Feith, Perle, and Wolfowitz and not the many other non-Jewish agitators for war (esp since American Jews opposed the war to a greater degree than Americans in general).

    I should also have pointed out that many of the most effective and vocal critics of Israel and its policies, to include its criminal treatment of the Palestinians and its incitement to war with Iran, are themselves Jewish. Do you consider them to be anti-Semites or are they self-hating Jews?
    According to the US State Dept’s definition of anti-Semitism, “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic,” and I certainly agree with that. Surely, there is much to criticize about Israel and Netanyahu’s war-mongering, settlement expansion, etc.

    In any case, I knew that my reference to unz.com as an anti-Semitic enterprise would elicit censure and accusations that I’m pulling the anti-Semitic card in order to discredit unz.com. Of course, the first time* you (Philip) ever responded to my criticism of your writing was with anti-Semitic personal attacks, claiming that “Your fundamental problem is that you place your tribal interests above the broader national interests that most of the rest of us hold dear. The people you are attacking on this site are loyal to the United States while you define yourself in terms of your ethnicity and are passionately attached to a foreign interest.” (See the last item under “Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism” in the State Dept’s definition of anti-Semitism.) You had no basis on which to accuse me of placing the interests of Jews above the interests of my country, and my interest in combating anti-Semitism in no way suggests that.

    *At least, I believe that was the first time.

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  42. Nurit Baytch,

    Since you are fixated on the alleged Iranian nuclear program and insist on regurgitating the same memes no matter what facts are presented to you, tell us what course of action are you proposing with respect to nuclear weapons programs real and imagined in the Middle East.

    You say that you are against Kirk-Menedez. This tells us little.

    1. Do you support the existing sanctions against Iran that have caused so much suffering? Do you support the goal of these existing sanctions which is to generate sufficient hardship among Iranians as to destabilize the Iranian government?

    2. Which countries do you think are entitled to have nuclear weapons programs? If Iran were to leave the NPT, as is its right, would you then support a hypothetical Iranian nuclear weapons program which would no longer be governed by the NPT? Do you support the Israeli nuclear weapons program? Do you support a nuclear free zone agreement for the Middle East?

    3. Do you support sanctions against countries like Israel that have DEMONSTRABLY violated the agreements under international law that they have actually signed such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and a host of UN mandates? Or do you just support sanctions against Iran which is NOT in violation of international law in respect to the NPT?

    Your hypocrisy is stunning, Nurit Baytch. You seek surreptitiously to promote the policies of Israel while incessantly whining about UR and everyone who refuses to accede to your psychotic attachment to the only remaining apartheid state in the world no matter what it costs the US in the long term.

    But that’s OK. Your true loyalties are entirely transparent. Personally, I couldn’t care less whether you think UR or any other site or publication is “anti-semitic.” That judgment coming from you has no meaning whatsoever.

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  43. Speaking of MIT, it seems that two researchers at that institution have grave doubts that the infamous Syrian chemical attack was in fact carried out by the Syrian regime.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1006045/possible-implications-of-bad-intelligence.pdf

    These fellows must be anti-semites or something.

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  44. My “bold” html tags did not work in my previous comment, so it’s a bit screwed up.

    Fran MacAdam – yes, I agree that Israel is the/a Jewish homeland in the same sense that Japan is the homeland of the Japanese or Italy is the homeland of Italians, etc.

    Johnny Ive – the National Interest piece that you cite does not strike me as credible; the author clearly has an agenda, as should be obvious from reading his discussion of Meme 8 and his references to “Iran’s allegedly ‘covert’ behavior,” which he even seems to justify! (see here) Also, he does not appear to cite any IAEA reports, which detail credible concerns of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.

    Oscar Peterson, I have no interest in engaging with you on issues unrelated to Giraldi’s article; needless to say, you’ve made a number of false accusations about me based on various anti-Semitic assumptions. Anti-Semites rarely acknowledge that they’re anti-Semitic, so your reaction is entirely predictable, despite that you’ve made several statements that are clearly anti-Semitic according to the US State Dept’s definition of anti-Semitism.

    Thomas Meehan, by [sarcastically?] implying that I would consider Postol and Lloyd anti-Semitic, you are engaging in the disingenuous argumentation tactic of attributing false arguments to your adversary. According to the State Dept’s definition of anti-Semitism, it is abundantly clear that there is nothing remotely anti-Semitic in the report published by Postol and Lloyd (and, unsurprisingly, that you have made anti-Semitic statements). btw, here is some commentary on their research, which has been mis-characterized by some media sources:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/29/world/middleeast/new-study-refines-view-of-sarin-attack-in-syria.html

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/01/15/214656/new-analysis-of-rocket-used-in.html

    ““I honestly have no idea what happened,” Postol said. “My view when I started this process was that it couldn’t be anything but the Syrian government behind the attack. But now I’m not sure of anything”…Both said they were not making a case that the rebels were behind the attack, just that a case for military action was made without even a basic understanding of what might have happened.”

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  45. “Zionism is simply the belief that Israel has the right to exist as the Jewish homeland.”

    First of all, Israel is a state, not simply a homeland. Homeland was the term of choice of Balfour who was trying to hide from the Arabs that Britain was planning to give Arab land to Eastern European Jews. Perhaps Balfour half-believed that the Zionists would be content with a homeland inside a British imperial framework, but the Zionists themselves never believed that.

    I like Nurit Baytch’s bait and switch on this point. It’s quite cleverly done. Fran Macadam said that the “Nisei Japanese consider Japan the homeland of the Japanese,” i.e., Japanese-Americans see Japan as an ancestral homeland. Nurit Baytch feigned agreement while slyly changing the thrust by asserting, “yes, I agree that Israel is the/a Jewish homeland in the same sense that Japan is the homeland of the Japanese.” In NB’s rendering, the focus becomes not Japanese American perceptions, but the Japanese themselves and Japan as a “Japanese” piece of land. This subtle change is made in order to–you guessed it–justify Israel as a “Jewish” piece of land.

    The problem is that as of c. 1900 90% of the population of Israel-Palestine was Arab, not Jewish and so an ethnic cleansing project had to be initiated in order to create a Jewish state, a process which continues to this day and whose ultimate goal is an Eretz Israel from the Jordan to the Med.

    Of course, it might be pointed out that Japan was not always “Japanese.” The Ainu were the original inhabitants and were gradually ethnically destroyed by Japanese invading from the Korean peninsula, leaving a small rump Ainu population on the northern-most island of Hokkaido. This is what the Jewish state is doing in real time to the Palestinians, though in the media glare of modernity, the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians must be done with subtlety.

    The destruction of the Ainu is thus perhaps more analogous to the quasi-historical destruction of the Canaanites. In any case, few hands among modern states are unbloodied in this respect, as the Cherokees, Iroquois, and many others can attest. In that sense, the supporters of Israel can–and do–assert that “everybody has done what Israel is doing today. Why are you picking on Israel?”

    Objections to the pro-Israel line of argument fall into two categories:

    1. Moral: i.e., just because it happened in the past doesn’t mean we should continue to allow it to happen

    2. Strategic: i.e., regardless of what has happened elsewhere and at other times, the calculated displacement of the Palestinians by Jews in the 20th and 21st centuries in the aforementioned harsh glare of modernity enrages those who feel closest to the Palestinians, to wit other Arabs and the Islamic world in general. Given the importance of the region in other respects (like energy) this creates a severe strategic problem for those countries that support this Jewish displacement of the Palestinians, the primary supporter being, of course, the United States. In a competitive state system with a rising China, this support to Israel’s eliminationist policies is like supporting Jim Crow or Apartheid policies during the Cold War competition with the USSR. Bottom line: It’s a losing strategy!

    Thus, the supporters of Israel like Nurit Baytch are in essence demanding that the US play a losing strategic game by systematically alienating a large portion of the global population and paving the way for Chinese influence in the future. Make no mistake: Americans benefit tremendously from the US world primacy that was built by past generations. When the autopsy is eventually performed on US global predominance decades from now, one of the key causes of death will be its self-destructive relationship with Israel.

    The imperious demands made by Nurit Baytch and the Israel Firsters should outrage all Americans who care one bit about the world they will leave their children and grandchildren.

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  46. “Oscar Peterson, I have no interest in engaging with you on issues unrelated to Giraldi’s article…”

    Yet, you seem quite willing to engage with Fran Macadam on the topic of Israel as a Jewish “homeland” which had no part in Giraldi’s article. I think you just don’t like it when your inclination to mendacity is challenged.

    But don’t worry, you don’t need to engage with me, because I will take the initiative and engage with you.

    “…needless to say, you’ve made a number of false accusations about me based on various anti-Semitic assumptions.”

    Such as?

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  47. I think everyone has an agenda, especially on politicized issues. Everything would be better if the arrogant Bush Administration took seriously Iran’s overtures before this mess got so big. I agree there is concern about break out capability if Iran ever chose to pursue a nuclear weapon, but from my understanding the diplomatic deal with Iran will deal with this concern along with issues regarding inspections. The development of a nuclear capability leads to a groundwork for a weapon. I suppose that could be what Panetta is referring to. The American intelligence community says that a nuclear weapons program does not exist. They have not bet their credibility and their careers on Iran having a nuclear weapons program. It is in their self interest to get it right. I think time will reveal Iran’s ultimate intentions. It would take years for Iran to produce a weapon if it chose to from my understanding, and during this time it will be monitored by the IAEA and intelligence agenices, including Mossad.

    The author of the article, Dr. Yousaf Butt says (in the comments), ‘There can be no “threat to the peace” when the US DNI confirms with high confidence the absence of a current nuke weapons program.’

    http://armscontrollaw.com/2014/01/17/reforming-un-security-council-nuclear-sanctions-practice/#comments

    I’m tempted to see if I could drag them into the discussion because they are obviously far more knowledgeable than me. I’m also curious about your opinion on the regional Sunni insurgency that is making Assad miserable right now.

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  48. The State Department definition is straightforward:

    “‘Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.’ –Working Definition of Anti-Semitism by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia”

    But, there are some problems with a few points further on that are said to be evidence of anti-semitism, because some leaders in Israel, in pursuit of their own policies that are by no means held by all Jewish persons either in Israel or worldwide, seek to pressure or at least encourage Jewish people in other nations to put Israeli government policies first, including through outreach programs that are explicitly admitted to be for that purpose:

    “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.”

    One could agree that the second part of the above statement “or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide” seeks to conflate paranoia that sees a “worldwide Jewish conspiracy,” which can be associated with anti-Semitism, with the reality that some Jewish people really do express a primary loyalty to Israel (see Pollard and his defenders,for instance) and that the current Israeli government encourages this – obviously, it is in their interest.

    Here is another evidence supposed for anti-Semitism that really doesn’t hold water, because in Israel, Jewish politicians often make such accusations against one another, and surely they are not anti-Semitic:

    “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis”

    The situation in regards to this is so bad that Israel is now considering banning such inflammatory talk by its own leaders.

    While we need not have laws about this here, I think that we should keep the conversation on addressing the facts, rather than diverting off into accusations of anti-Semitism, which verges on accusing others of Nazism. If something is incorrect, let that be revealed by further discussion of the facts.

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  49. If NB is genuinely interested in combatting anti-Semitism, as she claims, she should be joining the ranks of those at UR. One does not have to be a Nostramdamus to predict that if the Lobby gets its way and fulfills the Zionist objectives (as outlined in the “Clean Break” and “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”) by getting the US to do its bidding, the potential backlash against those that perpetrated this calamity on the US could be unprecedented. In light of this, NB should be spending more of her time trying to defeat the Lobby than ensuring its success!

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  50. Fran MacAdam, I agree with you that we should keep the conversation on addressing the facts rather than diverting off into accusations of anti-Semitism; however, let the record show that my original responses to Giraldi’s pieces on unz.com have done exactly that, while Giraldi, Oscar Peterson, et al have replied to me with anti-Semitic personal attacks, smearing me as a hasbarist and Israel-firster (when I have never advocated policies that harm the US in order to benefit Israel). What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…
    (Also, to be clear, my remark about Thomas Meehan was in reference to our interactions on other unz.com stories; he did not post any anti-Semitic comments on this piece.)

    Oscar Peterson, here are a few examples of false accusations you’ve made about me based on various anti-Semitic assumptions:
    You claimed that I’m on an “obsessive jihad to further Israel’s unrighteous and iniquitous campaign against the Iranians,” when I explicitly stated that I oppose the Kirk-Menendez bill and Netanyahu’s warmongering. Quoting the IAEA in no way implies I’m advocating war against Iran. (In fact, Netanyahu has been dismissive of the IAEA’s findings as insufficiently harsh on Iran.)

    You stated: “YOU are the successor of those Zionist Jews whom Truman had to deal with and who led Truman in frustration to make the remarks that he did…” i.e.
    The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered…
    It is outrageous for you to suggest that I don’t care about the lives of non-Jews. Nothing I have posted has even remotely implied that.

    Your true loyalties are entirely transparent.
    Pointing out misleading and/or false statements made about Israel and Jewish people on unz.com in no way implies I’m more loyal to Israel (or to my “tribal interests,” as Giraldi put it) than the US.

    Also, my discussion with Fran regarding Zionism started in response to her comment on your approving citation of Truman’s explicitly anti-Semitic remark. Also, note that my replies to her were very brief, whereas you are interrogating me about my opinions on a slew of unrelated issues that would require a significant time expenditure for me to detail.

    I will also briefly respond to another misleading statement you made: “The problem is that as of c. 1900 90% of the population of Israel-Palestine was Arab, not Jewish and so an ethnic cleansing project had to be initiated in order to create a Jewish state
    The Jewish partition in the 1947 UN Partition Plan two-state solution, which was rejected by the Arab leadership, was majority Jewish.

    Johnny Ive stated: “It would take years for Iran to produce a weapon if it chose to from my understanding, and during this time it will be monitored by the IAEA
    I just wanted to clarify something: I’ve noticed that the discussion of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program has often not made clear the distinction between Iran’s ability to assemble a crude nuclear bomb and Iran’s ability to assemble a nuclear missile. The latter would take at least a year; the former could take as little as a few months:

    http://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Albright_Testimony.pdf

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  51. LOL at geokat’s comment: anti-Semitism is the Jews’ fault.

    in any case, I already said that I predict that a veto override of the Kirk-Menendez bill won’t happen. i.e. I’m not concerned that AIPAC is going to prevail on this issue.

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  52. Who said anything about the Jews? I merely stated the obvious: that as a direct result of the actions of the Lobby (comprised of Zionists, both Jew and Gentile), the chickens will one day come home to roost. If you think that these actions (all of which are meant to remake the ME so that the villa can exist within a smaller jungle) will not produce anti-Semitism – as most Americans will be hard-pressed to distinguish between good jews (who subscribe to Judaic principles, even if they involve Israel) and bad jews+gentiles (who subscribe to Zionist and Machiavellian principles – i.e., the end justifies the means) – you’re in for a rude awakening! That’s why I invited you to join those on the right side of history who are trying to prevent this scenario from unfolding… and who are genuinely interested in combatting anti-Semitism.

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  53. I don’t believe that Philip Giraldi has made anti-Semitic comments here.

    As per the State Department release that was referenced regarding anti-Semitism,

    “However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”

    Certainly Philip has been very critical of Israeli government policies, and has given logical reasons why, which don’t have anything to do with denigrating the Jewish people, but have to do with what he believes are destructive policies and deceptive statecraft – and why he believes they are contrary to the interests of those in the United States, which happens to also mean they harm the interests of Americans who happen to be Jewish, which is a larger number than even in Israel.

    Such is no more than any number of people have often leveled, in their critiques of government policies of any other foreign nation. In the political climate where one such foreign lobby with an extremist agenda, that doesn’t even mirror Israeli public opinion, wields unprecedented influence over elected officials in the United States, such criticisms are likely to meet with denunciations by those whom they reveal as perhaps most influenced. Most especially, if they are accurate, are they likely to be met by insult and pejoration rather than reason. When a situation is of longstanding duration, there is always resistance to those who would rock the boat and make waves against the status quo, even when current policy has proven counterproductive to peace, freedom and prosperity. Instead of allowing open discussion, counter efforts are often made to keep the lid on and appeals to emotion are made in order that certain policies remain off limits, with some people of good will finding themselves self-censoring. Since any decent person despises what occurred during the Holocaust, there are those who will try to use that to get an unexamined free pass on current policies, from those same persons who feel deeply sympathetic, who would otherwise not countenance similar behaviors to go uncriticized if practiced by other nations.

    Seeing unpopular criticism of a particular administration as being anti-Semitic, is as wrong as characterizing unpopular domestic criticism, such as Martin Luther King made against U.S. racial policies and militarism of his time, as treason against the United States.

    It is better to practice fealty to the truth, rather than blind prejudice, but as Thomas Szasz noted, it won’t likely make you popular at just the time it is most needed.

    Shalom.

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  54. geokat – if the Israel Lobby is perceived as comprised of both Jews and Gentiles, as you claim, then why should its actions cause anti-Semitism any more than anti-”Gentilism”? More to the point, why should a small number of members of a minority group be blamed for those who harbor bigotry against said group? The blame rests on the bigot.

    Fran, I accused Giraldi of leveling an anti-Semitic personal attack against me. He claimed: “Your fundamental problem is that you place your tribal interests above the broader national interests that most of the rest of us hold dear. The people you are attacking on this site are loyal to the United States while you define yourself in terms of your ethnicity and are passionately attached to a foreign interest.” According to the US State Dept’s definition of anti-Semitism, it is anti-Semitic to accuse “Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.” Giraldi had no basis on which to accuse me of placing the interests of Jews above the interests of my country, and my interest in combatting anti-Semitism in no way suggests that.

    I first started reading The American Conservative when I learned of Ron Unz’s “Myth of American Meritocracy” piece in the NYT a bit over a year ago. I saw Giraldi’s anti-Israel [Lobby] articles, and I rarely, if ever, commented on them b/c he did not employ anti-Semitic tropes (as opposed to, say, Scott McConnell), and I did not notice any obvious misinformation in them. I have no problem with legitimate and proportionate criticism of Israel, and I certainly encourage it. However, my opinion of Giraldi changed when I read his “Quitting over Syria” piece. Giraldi claimed that “whether the victims of the attack [in Ghouta, Syria] suffered symptoms of Sarin was also disputed” when, in fact, the UN “confirmed, unequivocally and objectively, that chemical weapons have been used in Syria,” as the UN team “had been able to determine objectively that Sarin was used.” Giraldi mentioned that “no autopsies were performed to confirm the presence of the chemical [sarin],” which sounds suspicious, but in actual fact, “85 per cent of blood samples from the sites in Ghouta tested positive for Sarin” according to the UN. So why did Giraldi mention that no autopsies had been performed? Obviously there was no need to perform autopsies when multiple survivors had blood tests to confirm sarin exposure. Giraldi also claimed that “traces of Sarin were not found in most of the areas being investigated, nor on one of the two rockets identified” when sarin was actually “recovered from a majority of the rockets or rocket fragments,” and sarin and its byproducts “were observed in the majority of the [environmental] samples” according to the UN.

    Giraldi was trying to sow doubts that a sarin attack had occurred (when the UN unequivocally confirmed it had); if a sarin attack had indeed occurred, Giraldi then suggested that the notion that Assad’s regime perpetrated it was based on intelligence “widely believed [to] have been fabricated by Tel Aviv.” This led me to conclude that Giraldi’s apparent goal was to lead readers to believe that the notion that Assad’s regime ordered a chemical weapons attack on his people is a fabrication of the Mossad. I have asked Giraldi to explain his intentions, why he would mention that deceptively suspicious fact that no autopsies had been performed, etc, but he has never addressed this. Obviously he’d rather take the time to accuse me of placing my “tribal interests” above the interests of my country – which is deeply offensive.

    Hence, I regard Giraldi’s intentions as suspect.

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  55. So, you feel put upon, do you, Nurit Baytch? You dislike being called out on account of your consistent attempts to justify Israeli behavior that is antithetical to the national interest of the United States? Well now that’s a sad situation.

    You claim that your mission at UR—and elsewhere too, I guess—is to “point out misleading and/or false statements about Israel and the Jewish people.” Tell me, Nurit Baytch, do you ever have any concerns other than “Israel and the Jewish people?” Because if you do, you certainly didn’t make it evident in this comment string. Let’s recall the subject of Giraldi’s article: A critique of an article in the Washington Post by Jennifer Rubin entitled “What Mattered in 2013” that made the case for further aggressive action against Iran. Giraldi’s piece is an overall assessment of the three-way relationship of Iran, Israel, and the US whose main theme is what policies towards Iran are best calculated to advance US interests.

    Even on a topic fraught with complex issues impacting on current and future US strategy in the Middle East, not once in the entire comment string—though you made many comments–did you take up the issue of US interests. Not once did you ponder what might be the most productive approach to shore up the declining strategic position of the US in the region or what policy might be most conducive to the welfare of a struggling American people.
    No, Nurit Baytch, you retained your single-minded focus on “misleading and/or false statements about Israel and the Jewish people.”

    And yet, you did depart from that mission statement in one respect. You expended much effort in attacking Giraldi’s assessment that Iran has ended any nuclear weapons work. But how is attacking an assessment of the Iranian nuclear program consistent with your stated mission of “pointing out misleading and/or false statements about Israel and the Jewish people?” Since you never came close to framing the Iran nuclear issue in terms of US interests, I guess we can infer that you understand the issue entirely in terms of Israeli interests—not in terms of the welfare of the AMERICAN PEOPLE (has that phrase ever passed your lips?), not in terms of impacts on the Iranian people, not in terms of a broader Middle Eastern tableau, not in terms of morality or US strategy but only in terms of “Israel and the Jewish people.”

    And you have the temerity—or is it psychosis—to complain that you are being “smeared?”

    OK, let’s looks at your specific complaints:

    1. “I explicitly stated that I oppose the Kirk-Menendez bill and Netanyahu’s warmongering.”

    And I explicitly stated that asserting opposition to Kirk-Menendez tells us nothing. I asked you whether you supported the existing onerous sanctions on Iran already in effect, and you refused to answer. By implication, then, you DO support those other sanctions, which deprive Iranians of food and medicine and undermine long-term US strategy. You are consistently evasive. Why??

    I also asked pointedly whether you support sanctions for countries that violate the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which mandates, among other things, the right of war refugees to return to their homes and which Israel has been in violation of since 1948 despite being a signatory. Once again, you refused to answer.

    You claim to “oppose Netanyahu’s warmongering.” Frankly, given your documented biases, I doubt it. But in any case, what does that actually mean? You won’t say what the US should actually do about it, which leads to the logical inference that you prefer to wield a rhetorical pseudo-opposition to a few vaguely defined Israeli policies but are totally unwilling to see the US use the stick, as ultimately it must, if we are to regain control of our Middle East policy. Does your “opposition” mean that you would support cutting off aid to the Israeli government until Bibi comes to heel? Should we impose sanctions to force him to withdraw settlements from the West Bank? You won’t say, but I’m quite sure what the answer is.

    The Middle East is a complex set of overlapping problems, but your concern is to attack criticisms of Israel while studiously ignoring all else and parrying all attempts to get you to disclose your positions on key issues. Your posts ARE obsessive and, in their relentless one-sidedness, can quite aptly be described as a jihad, albeit an utterly inept one.

    2. “You [Oscar Peterson] stated: ‘YOU [Nurit Baytch] are the successor of those Zionist Jews whom Truman had to deal with and who led Truman in frustration to make the remarks that he did…’ i.e.
’The Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered…’”

    Yes, I certainly did say that. Truman was outraged (so it seems you and he have something in common) that the Zionist leadership pursued its aims without regard for issues external to its concerns in the chaotic, misery-ridden world of post-World War II Europe and the Middle East and that, more importantly, they had the ability to pressure him to support Zionist desires to the prejudice of other policy goals.

    That is exactly what the Israel Lobby and YOU are doing today. The frustration that Truman felt is the frustration increasingly felt by those who understand the insidious ways in which our policy-making is being distorted to our great detriment. Happily, the tolerance for your kind of behavior is diminishing, because so many people now have the chance to understand it and judge it for themselves and because the cost of our Israel-induced policies is now manifesting itself.

    So get used to being criticized for it!

    3. “’Your [Nurit Baytch’s] true loyalties are entirely transparent.” 
NB: “Pointing out misleading and/or false statements made about Israel and Jewish people on unz.com in no way implies I’m more loyal to Israel…”

    This complaint is essentially a restatement of item 1. I’ve already pointed out that in the long comment string of an article on a complex of subjects fraught with issues of great import to the US, you never saw fit to do anything other than correct mostly imaginary “false and/or misleading statements about Israel and the Jewish people” and that, though you addressed the question of Iran’s nuclear program, it’s clear, based on your mission statement and your lack of any focus on a US perspective, that you did it only through the prism of Israeli interests—as you conceive them.

    Well, that just doesn’t work for me. So yes, I’ll say it again: Your true loyalties are entirely transparent.

    *******

    4. “I will also briefly respond to another misleading statement you [Oscar Peterson] made: “The problem is that as of c. 1900 90% of the population of Israel-Palestine was Arab, not Jewish and so an ethnic cleansing project had to be initiated in order to create a Jewish state”
The Jewish partition in the 1947 UN Partition Plan two-state solution, which was rejected by the Arab leadership, was majority Jewish.”

    You must be joking, Nurit Baytch. Do you actually think any sane individual could possibly consider that non sequitur to be a rebuttal of my point? I won’t even bother to make any further comment on it.

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  56. I have come across those arguments from Albright before. Every time I look up his claims I find people who make fun of him for his lack of credentials and because of his speculations. He is a politicized figure whose supporters believe Iran is seeking a bomb and whose detractors disagree. This is why I prefer learning the American intelligence community’s opinion over individual experts.

    Scott Ritter said, “Albright, operating under the guise of his creation, ISIS, has a track record of inserting hype and speculation about matters of great sensitivity in a manner which skews the debate toward the worst-case scenario.”

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080626_the_nuclear_expert_who_never_was

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  57. I don’t think it’s a crime for a person, in terms of expressing their own opinions based on their sincere beliefs, to “point out [what they believe are] misleading and/or false statements about Israel and the Jewish people.”

    Even if they are deceptive, that’s not something we arrest people for. (Although it would be nice to see some mendacious officials censured for lying to Congress.)

    So it’s not illegal, nor should it be, for an American (or anyone else) to be an advocate for Israel, even to the extreme point of the “Israel-Firster” who defends that loyalty with the zeal of a very American flaw, “my country, right or wrong.”

    But that doesn’t mean the behavior shouldn’t be seen for what it is, and that requires challenging it on the basis of investigation of the facts.

    The various Hasbara clubs on campus openly claim to be advocates for Israel – and they are often aggressive and vocal, seeing themselves as righteous fighters against pernicious anti-Semitism – which practically speaking, they conflate with criticizing Israel government propaganda. But as enthusiastic as they are in their zeal, it remains a fact sincerity and passion have never been guarantors of truth – and emotion often swamps reason. Does our politics reflect reality, or our politics warp our grasp on reality?

    Let’s examine again this statement in its entirety: “it is anti-Semitic to accuse ‘Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.’”

    But what does one do about the fact that there are some people who are loyal to other countries more than America, by their own admission? Is the truth about that off limits to discussion? Perhaps some find that convenient to disposing of an inconvenient truth, but it doesn’t satisfy the criteria for anti-Semitism, for if the accusation is confined to those individuals that can reasonably be proven to be doing so, it is not an accusation against Jewish people as a group, nor does it represent a libel against world Jewry. It pertains only to a criticism of Israel’s government policies and those who reflexively support what can fairly be challenged. Moreover, the government of Israel could change, or those in power could change their policies, and the critiques would end. But even then, those who blindly follow and support every reverse are not behaving reasonably, just as those Communists who opposed Nazism in 1938, who abruptly changed course along with Stalin when he allied with Hitler, lost credibility. They were putting loyalty to a foreign country, the Soviet Union, not only above that of their own country, but worse, above principle and conscience.

    None of us ought to be obliged to accept government propaganda on its face, whether it emanates from Washington, Tel Aviv or Tehran – or anywhere else. The truth is the essential beginning to be able to solve any real world problem, while governments are notorious for trying to hide it from their publics. As long as they are allowed to get away with it, accountability is lost and the conflicts will remain intractable.

    It is true that no cause is so just it does not attract a few cranks. But that applies, all around.

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  58. Oscar Peterson, I’m only responding to the part that’s actually relevant to Giraldi’s article (and not your repetitive personal attacks based on unfounded assumptions): “You expended much effort in attacking Giraldi’s assessment that Iran has ended any nuclear weapons work. But how is attacking an assessment of the Iranian nuclear program consistent with your stated mission of “pointing out misleading and/or false statements about Israel and the Jewish people?”
    b/c Giraldi is implying that Rubin and AIPAC are engaging in warmongering over nothing, which was actually the case wrt the Iraq War but is not the case wrt Iran since Iran’s nuclear program is far more advanced than, well, Saddam’s nonexistent nuclear program, for which there was no credible evidence according to the IAEA in 2003. Simply declaring that “Iran has no nuclear weapons program full stop” is not a credible rebuttal of Rubin’s arguments in support of the Kirk-Mendendez bill. To be clear, there are plenty of valid reasons to oppose the bill, and she did overstate the evidence for Iran’s [alleged] nuclear weapons program.

    Johnny Ive, I haven’t seen any “breakout” estimates from the US intelligence community; can you post a link? I’m not sure it’s fair to say that Albright over-hypes threats. In fact, he was skeptical of the evidence Bush presented in support of invading Iraq:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/oct/09/iraq.usa

    As a side note, I do agree with Ritter (who is a controversial figure, I might add) that individuals with only an MS in physics (including, coincidentally, Ron Unz and me!) should not call themselves physicists.

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  59. Nurit Baytch,

    “b/c Giraldi is implying that Rubin and AIPAC …”

    OK–I think I understand. If I’m Jennifer Rubin or AIPAC or anyone or anything else that you connect to “Israel and the Jewish people,” you’re on patrol, and you’ve got my back. If I’m just, you know, some random American goy, I’d better make my own arrangements.

    Thanks–a more concise self-condemnation on your part would be hard to conceive of.

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  60. The US government is keeping the specifics of the new NIE to themselves along with estimated breakout scenarios from my understanding. However, Clapper said, “Despite this progress, we assess Iran could not divert safeguarded material and produce a
    weapon-worth of WGU before this activity is discovered. ”

    http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/130312/clapper.pdf

    “The fact is that the United States has a very, very sophisticated sensor system that we’ve put up, just as we also had in Iran, which helped us to conclude — I wrote about this for years at The New Yorker — that we pretty much were pretty sure there was no secret underground facility in Iran, even though the press still talks about that possibility.”

    http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/9/seymour_hersh_obama_cherry_picked_intelligence

    “The US intelligence community’s assessment continues to be that Iran is at least a year away from building a nuclear explosive device should it decide to do so.”

    http://armscontrolcenter.org/publications/factsheets/fact_sheet_irans_nuclear_and_ballistic_missile_programs/

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  61. NB writes:
    “if the Israel Lobby is perceived as comprised of both Jews and Gentiles, as you claim, then why should its actions cause anti-Semitism any more than anti-”Gentilism”? More to the point, why should a small number of members of a minority group be blamed for those who harbor bigotry against said group? The blame rests on the bigot.”

    Oh, really? Then explain this comment from MJ Rosenberg from the comments section to an article entitled, Why I am using ‘Israel firster’ again?:

    “I don’t care about the ‘Jewish narrative’ whatever that is. I oppose war with Iran, and sanctions too. I favor ending the occupation on terms acceptable to Israel and Palestine’s elected representatives, including Hamas. And I want to see the lobby’s influence collapse because its influence is dangerous and also because, along with the politicians it owns, it will ultimately produce an anti-Semitic backlash. In fact, people like me, Phil, Max Adam, etc are anti- anti-Semitism machines — reminders to Americans, Palestinians and others that neither the lobby nor Israel’s government speaks for us.”

    So, tell us all NB, does the lobby or Israel’s government speak for you? If you truly consider yourself to be an anti- anti-Semitism machine, as you keep reminding us, you should be on the same side as Philip Munger, Max Adam and MJ Rosenberg and fight against the lobby to prevent the backlash. Which raises an important question: why aren’t you?

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  62. geokat62, you are justifying anti-Semitism by saying it is the fault of Jews, and thus, to combat anti-Semitism, one must change the behavior of Jews. see “Blaming the Victim” by William Ryan for further discussion of such ways of thinking. You have a lot of chutzpah to tell me how I should combat anti-Semitism. MJ Rosenberg was not absolving anti-Semites of blame for their bigotry, as far as I can tell; he’s worried that anti-Semites will blame Jews as a collective for the actions of a small number of Jews (i.e. AIPAC).

    Furthermore, I am the only person who discovered the fatal flaws in Ron Unz’s statistical methodology in his “Myth of American Meritocracy” piece, in which he argued that Jewish students are preferentially admitted to Harvard (b/c their brethren “control” Harvard); I am also the only person who has pointed out the specious nature of Philip Giraldi’s “Quitting over Syria” piece. There are plenty of Jews who criticize AIPAC without the use of anti-Semitic tropes (like J Street and Peter Beinart), so adding my voice to the chorus would have no impact (not that I’m arguing my comments on unz.com have any impact; however, my rebuttal of Unz’s meritocracy piece has had some impact).

    I have also stated that I don’t support Netanyahu’s policies, that I opposed the Iraq War from day 1 (and participated in an anti-war protest on 3/20/03), that I oppose the Kirk-Menendez bill, etc. Hence, I’ve made it clear that Netanyahu and AIPAC don’t speak for me.

    Fran stated: “if the accusation is confined to those individuals that can reasonably be proven to be doing so, it is not an accusation against Jewish people as a group, nor does it represent a libel against world Jewry.
    The accusation was made against me, and it cannot reasonably be proven that I place the interests of Jews and/or Israel above those of my country. Also, you said earlier that we should keep the conversation on addressing the facts rather than diverting off into accusations of anti-Semitism; why not apply the same standard when discussing, say, Sheldon Adelson? Instead of smearing him with anti-Semitic slurs, one can criticize his arguments and actions on their merit. For example, last night, the football player Richard Sherman went on a bizarre postgame rant; many racists on Twitter then attributed his behavior to his race. One can legitimately criticize Sherman’s behavior w/o resorting to racist tropes, just as one can legitimately criticize Adelson w/o the use of anti-Semitic tropes.

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  63. Nurit Baytch,

    “The accusation was made against me, and it cannot reasonably be proven that I place the interests of Jews and/or Israel above those of my country.”

    You have convicted yourself of the charge by demonstrating an unvarying and obsessive focus on what you claim to be “false and/or misleading statements” about “Israel and the Jewish people,” and, in consistently demonstrating, by contrast, a lack of any concern for the interests of the United States and the American people in your comments in this thread and others. You even managed to define your discontent with Giraldi’s assessment of the Iran nuclear issue in your last response to me exclusively in terms of individuals and organizations–Rubin and AIPAC–that fall within the parameters of “Israel and the Jewish people.”

    You have no cause whatsoever to whine.

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  64. NB, wrote “MJ Rosenberg was not absolving anti-Semites of blame for their bigotry, as far as I can tell; he’s worried that anti-Semites will blame Jews as a collective for the actions of a small number of Jews (i.e. AIPAC).”

    I agree with this statement.

    I personally think this is the narrative that is evolving with the bigots:

    “Other articles argue that Judaism is an exclusivist “racial credo,” and that American Jews staged the 9/11 terrorist attacks for their own financial gain and to induce the American people to “endorse wars of aggression and genocide on the nations of the Middle East and the theft of their resources for the benefit of Israel.”

    http://www.adl.org/combating-hate/domestic-extremism-terrorism/c/rense-web-site-promotes.html

    Here is the military/CIA point of view from my understanding:

    Petraeus said: “Insufficient progress toward a comprehensive Middle East peace. The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.”

    http://www.lobelog.com/petraeus-confirms-link-between-israel-palestine-and-u-s-security/

    James Mattis, former centcom commander said, ““I paid a military security price every day as the commander of CentCom because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel, and that moderates all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians.”

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-us-general-we-pay-a-price-for-backing-israel/

    “Violence between Israelis and the Palestinians, moreover, is making Sunni extremists more willing to participate in attacks.”

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/368971-2001-02-06-sunni-terrorist-threat-growing-senior.html

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  65. I’m getting kind tired of this, as it seems to be tilting at windmills:

    “Fran stated: ‘if the accusation is confined to those individuals that can reasonably be proven to be doing so, it is not an accusation against Jewish people as a group, nor does it represent a libel against world Jewry.’

    “The accusation was made against me, and it cannot reasonably be proven that I place the interests of Jews and/or Israel above those of my country. Also, you said earlier that we should keep the conversation on addressing the facts rather than diverting off into accusations of anti-Semitism; why not apply the same standard when discussing, say, Sheldon Adelson? Instead of smearing him with anti-Semitic slurs …”

    Why a defense of Adelson?

    If someone hates donorist Adelson because he is Jewish, that would be anti-Semitic. I don’t think, as a matter of principle, that I should “hate” anyone, regardless of how mistaken they are, in Adelson’s case, espousing himself vitriolic opinions of violence and hatred and seeking to make them American policy, by purchasing politicians.

    It’s not anti-Semitic to say that Adelson places parochial Israeli interests before American ones, by his own admission. He says, among many other things, he’d rather have served in the Israeli army than the American. His peculiar take on what constitute Israel’s interests are an especially extremist off-the-wall variation on the Likudnik. He’s an advocate for pre-emptive nuclear strikes to further what he thinks are in Israel’s interests – and, incredibly, receives applause for saying so in some circles here in America similarly inclined – even from Boteach. And all this mad warmongering is irreproachable, because to think otherwise, is “anti-Semitic?”

    It’s not an anti-Semitic slur to question whether Nurit de facto places what she feels are Israeli or even Jewish interests above loyalty to what is a majority goyim country. It might even be she believes it is in America’s best interests to defer to policies made in Tel Aviv, much like the theologically mistaken evangelicals who think that the scripture about “I will bless those who bless you” means subservience. It’s an open question that is useful to determine how objective she is being as she seeks to convince others her views are correct. It’s incumbent upon her to stop using anti-Semitism to shut down contrary opinion over policy and to engage without that on the basis of reason.

    No doubt Nurit doesn’t hold her views because she is Jewish, but because of what she may think her responsibilities are for being Jewish. What is one’s responsibility to the group one belongs to, if any? How would Spinoza, for instance, excommunicated from Jewish membership in Amsterdam by some others, have thought? These are questions she could answer – ones that are uniquely hers to choose, and whatever they are, certainly aren’t illegal – but it is just too convenient to engaging in discussions on the merits, to have to get drawn into blind alleys over allegations of anti-Semitism.

    Moreover, historically leading Jewish thinkers and moralists have always advised that individuals ought to think about how their own statements and actions might bring either favor or disrepute to their fellows, as well as themselves. This is good advice for individuals of any race, religion or nation. It is cannot be anti-Semitic to say what is universally acknowledged as common sense, by Jew and Gentile of goodwill alike.

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    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    Let this be the last word on this. I am not going to approve any more comments.-Phil Giraldi
  66. @Fran Macadam
    I'm getting kind tired of this, as it seems to be tilting at windmills:

    "Fran stated: 'if the accusation is confined to those individuals that can reasonably be proven to be doing so, it is not an accusation against Jewish people as a group, nor does it represent a libel against world Jewry.'

    "The accusation was made against me, and it cannot reasonably be proven that I place the interests of Jews and/or Israel above those of my country. Also, you said earlier that we should keep the conversation on addressing the facts rather than diverting off into accusations of anti-Semitism; why not apply the same standard when discussing, say, Sheldon Adelson? Instead of smearing him with anti-Semitic slurs ..."

    Why a defense of Adelson?

    If someone hates donorist Adelson because he is Jewish, that would be anti-Semitic. I don't think, as a matter of principle, that I should "hate" anyone, regardless of how mistaken they are, in Adelson's case, espousing himself vitriolic opinions of violence and hatred and seeking to make them American policy, by purchasing politicians.

    It's not anti-Semitic to say that Adelson places parochial Israeli interests before American ones, by his own admission. He says, among many other things, he'd rather have served in the Israeli army than the American. His peculiar take on what constitute Israel's interests are an especially extremist off-the-wall variation on the Likudnik. He's an advocate for pre-emptive nuclear strikes to further what he thinks are in Israel's interests - and, incredibly, receives applause for saying so in some circles here in America similarly inclined - even from Boteach. And all this mad warmongering is irreproachable, because to think otherwise, is "anti-Semitic?"

    It's not an anti-Semitic slur to question whether Nurit de facto places what she feels are Israeli or even Jewish interests above loyalty to what is a majority goyim country. It might even be she believes it is in America's best interests to defer to policies made in Tel Aviv, much like the theologically mistaken evangelicals who think that the scripture about "I will bless those who bless you" means subservience. It's an open question that is useful to determine how objective she is being as she seeks to convince others her views are correct. It's incumbent upon her to stop using anti-Semitism to shut down contrary opinion over policy and to engage without that on the basis of reason.

    No doubt Nurit doesn't hold her views because she is Jewish, but because of what she may think her responsibilities are for being Jewish. What is one's responsibility to the group one belongs to, if any? How would Spinoza, for instance, excommunicated from Jewish membership in Amsterdam by some others, have thought? These are questions she could answer - ones that are uniquely hers to choose, and whatever they are, certainly aren't illegal - but it is just too convenient to engaging in discussions on the merits, to have to get drawn into blind alleys over allegations of anti-Semitism.

    Moreover, historically leading Jewish thinkers and moralists have always advised that individuals ought to think about how their own statements and actions might bring either favor or disrepute to their fellows, as well as themselves. This is good advice for individuals of any race, religion or nation. It is cannot be anti-Semitic to say what is universally acknowledged as common sense, by Jew and Gentile of goodwill alike.

    Let this be the last word on this. I am not going to approve any more comments.-Phil Giraldi

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  67. I think the world will realize that she have been deceived by sweet way by Israel. But all too late, so bad. A Wonderful Israeli Deception. That is just so deadly boomerang for Israel because, wisely, Israel can not stop USA, Europe, and The World off course.

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  68. […] Jennifer Rubin Wants More War BY PHILIP GIRALDI […]

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  69. People like Jennifer Rubin says critics of Israel are antisemites. Arabs are Semites too. That makes Jennifer Rubin, Charles Sourpuss Krauthammer and many other neocons and neolibs antisemites. Saying critics of Israel are antisemites is like saying black people can’t be racist. Many neocons say black people can be racist but say critics of Israel are antisemites.

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  70. […] Israel’s friends frequently claim that critics hold Tel Aviv to a higher standard than they do other countries that have similar or worse records on human rights. Actually the truth is quite the reverse, with Israel frequently able to escape censure for actions that would normally result in the imposition of sanctions by the United Nations Security Council and condemnation by other international bodies. I am of course referring to the continued brutal Israeli occupation of much of what remains of Palestine and the ongoing colonization of land that is being appropriated illegally, activity that is only allowed to continue because of Washington’s willingness to protect Israel no matter what cost to other American interests. Some of the gyrations that Israel’s supporters engage in would be describable as comic if the consequences of their obfuscation were not so serious. And there is no one better at throwing mud than Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s designated “Right Turn” blogger who is one of those folks who believe that being in love with Israel is a core conservative value. Rubin can hardly write about any current issue without somehow turning the discussion to poor little Israel, or, alternatively, to evil Iran. http://www.unz.com/article/a-new-year-just-like-the-old-year/ […]

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  71. […] are terrorists is a judgement call and many countries do not consider them to be terrorists.” http://www.unz.com/article/a-new-year-just-like-the-old-year/#comment-61454 If you think that a militant group that is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans is […]

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Personal Classics
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.
Pay no mind to the Mossad agent on the line.