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I receive hundreds of emails each day, a volume that is not that unusual and is probably experienced also by many readers of this website. As I have been actively involved in the debate over national security policies since 2003, much of the material I receive is partisan in nature. It’s a regular smorgasbord but not always nourishing. As Monty Python once upon a time might have put it, the spotlight is on loonies, a tendency that has increased as more and more Americans begin to lose their moorings after becoming frustrated over the inability to change the direction of their government no matter whom one supports or votes for.

This has driven many people around the bend seeking for new ways to express dissent. People that I once upon a time respected in the Ron Paul movement are now giving away “Second Amendment” semi-automatic rifles and shotguns in a desperate scheme to raise money while libertarians twist and squirm as they try to reconcile their selfishness and lack of any sense of community with “freedom.” Traditional conservatives, meanwhile, have largely been mugged by the neocons in terms of both policies and access to the political class and are resentful as hell over it but continue to go on their way timidly while hoping desperately that someone or something will restore them to power. Some believe that Jesus will do it when he comes around for a second visit. And then there are the true blue loyal Democrats that surface in The Nation, Salon and Daily Kos who somehow can speak no ill of America’s first black president Barack Obama even when he kills American citizens without any due process.

Inevitably all of these strident voices that share common ground in that they are normally engaged in asking for money otherwise speak at cross purposes. But there is one critically important group I sometimes find difficult to comprehend. That is the self-designated “progressives,” which is a relatively new political nom de guerre even though it has quite different nineteenth century roots. In the United States today’s progressives used to be called liberals until the “L-word” was somehow construed pejoratively during the 1980s. In a political environment in which no one wants to have anything to do with anyone else progressives are nevertheless exceptional in their tendency to speak only to themselves, possibly because they are actually more ideological than other political alignments. They buy into a whole fixed package of ideas and principles and can be very morally smug about what they claim to believe. Is there a progressive who does not embrace multiculturalism? Illegal immigration? Bilingual education? Affirmative action? Big government welfare programs? LGBT rights? “Choice”? Globalism?

To be sure, my own recent experience with conservative and libertarian groups has been little better. Once upon a time, however, it was not so. When the Bush Administration was still doing its warlike strut and everyone was onboard the occupation of Iraq I attended a number of Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) annual conventions and spoke on panels expressing antiwar and anti-Islamophobic sentiments. Constant war and hating Muslims is just not good policy no matter what else anyone believes. Some friends and I also had a sponsors’ table in the exhibition hall and were able to pass out literature, talk to attendees and be interviewed by the media. I knew many other dissidents who did likewise and the situation was even better with the various groups supporting Ron Paul, which welcomed debate on foreign policy. I cannot claim I was always received enthusiastically when speaking and handing out brochures, but the audience and recipients were unfailingly polite. Surprisingly, students from places like Liberty University in particular appeared to be listening.

But I have recently found that many conservatives and even libertarians now tend to shy away from serious debate on national security issues. They have become particularly nervous about discussing Israel’s role in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy for reasons that I can only guess at. CPAC had only one foreign policy panel in its most recent iteration and the various libertarian gatherings have become comfortable with anodyne anti-war bumper stickers as a substitute for any serious probing of the issues underlying America’s downward spiral.

There is currently little genuine discussion of foreign policy from a conservative and libertarian perspective except at websites like the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, here at Unz, at antiwar and at The American Conservative, which is unfortunate as what the United States is doing overseas shapes what is going on domestically. Neocon sounding boards like the National Review, Weekly Standard, Washington Post editorial page and The Wall Street Journal inevitably do not so much discuss options as lay down a policy best described as persistent bellicosity overseas combined with always supporting Israel.

But compared to the feeble efforts emanating from the political right and center, I find that progressive events tend to be commendably much more focused and even aggressive but also aimed almost exclusively at the choir with little attempt to reach out to a broader audience. I have a recent email that illustrates what I am talking about. It is from the “U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation” which is holding its annual conference in Atlanta in September. The email advises that “This year’s conference, Advancing a Mass Movement for Palestine, will focus on how we can push a mass movement for Palestinian rights through education, engaging with progressive forces, and being in solidarity with other struggles for justice, including the growing uprising against police brutality and mass incarceration.” The conference will also present an award to an “activist.”

Initially I thought it would be interesting to participate in the gathering as the objective is admirable. But having attended similar events in the past the loaded language of the invitation warned me that it would be an essentially pointless exercise in feeling good about the bundling of characteristically progressive causes with little accomplished at the end of the day. I thought to myself how refreshing it would be if End the Occupation were to include some speakers expressing a conservative point of view in an attempt to gain some perspective on the type of message on Palestine that would appeal more to Middle America. It is not as if such an argument does not exist. The Israeli relationship does grave damage to United States interests and costs a great deal both in lives and in treasure. But End the Occupation will undoubtedly press its message of “freedom, justice and equality” for Palestinians, which reaches a certain audience but completely misses other constituencies that might actually lead to real change.

CODEPINK is another progressive group self-described as a “grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities.” And the lion will lie down with the lamb, no doubt. Regarding the Middle East, “CODEPINK has endorsed the Divest from War online petition, and we urge peace-loving people around the world to sign it, pledging to boycott Israeli products and divest from Israeli government bonds if Israel carries out a preemptive military strike on Iran. Let’s prevent the next war in the Middle East by nonviolently raising the cost to the Israeli government of a preemptive military attack on Iran.” Note that the “peace” message is somewhat conditional. Israel has to actually attack Iran before anyone at CODEPINK does anything about it. This is a characteristic of many progressive groups, which frequently talk tough about Israel for its human rights violations but fail to do anything that would actually pressure it into changing its policies. It is so common that it has a label, “Progressive except for Palestine.”

Why is all of this important? This wrapping oneself up in language that limits any broader appeal and weasel wording issues that one would rather not deal with is characteristic of both those on the left and on the right. But the inability to reach across the aisle has serious consequences in that it ironically effectively preserves the uniformly horrible status quo in those areas where most damage is being done, namely in foreign policy and so-called national security. Advocates of the war state can point to progressive protests and the few critical conservative websites and claim that it is all a misguided fringe movement.

In reality, however, the demand for a foreign policy reset is far from a minority view. I believe that there is a failure of imagination, with progressives, conservatives and libertarians all thinking that they own certain issues, making them unable to grasp that they are not to the only ones who view such policies with dismay, though admittedly for different reasons.

Consider this: Most Americans are opposed to U.S. soldiers getting involved in Syria/Iraq, yet our progressive president has done just that with a growing number of trainers and advisers that seems to be at odds with a shrinking number of Iraqis who want to be trained and then advised. Most Americans would like to see a deal with Iran but our president continues to dance the dance, speaking particularly to Jewish groups and leaders who do not want an agreement and will never be convinced. Most Americans are leery of the Trans Pacific Trade agreement that the president is promoting as it is likely to be an American jobs hemorrhage as was NAFTA, but it continues to be advanced primarily to “block China.” And as for my particular bete noir, the Middle East, most Americans would like to see the Palestinians have their own state and do not want to go to war on behalf of Israel but doing Tel Aviv’s bidding has unfortunately become part of the Washington DNA. And so it goes on.

In other words, a voting majority actually exists to challenge current policies but it has to come together. Organizations that wrap themselves in ideology are, please pardon my French, pissing in the wind, but start talking to and including in your program more politically moderate Americans who are less self-consciously activists or true believers and you just might have the basis for a shift in the political dynamic. If you want an end to the continuous global warfare syndrome and also pari passu want to get Israel out of our politics it is past time to start communicating those interests unambiguously and with everyone who is willing to listen.

 
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  1. Don Nash says:

    I think that Americans are hopelessly mired in partisan bulls*@t and there are no viable alternatives to the status quo. That also would apply to the few that pay any attention whatsoever. Medea and her cohorts like to play ‘shock-and-awe’ kabuki protest and accomplish nothing. My opinion only.
    Democrats are lost, Republicans are morally bankrupt, Libertarians are trapped in ‘strutting peacock’ syndrome, and hope for a sane American future is a waning hope at best.
    However should Barack the Obama continue to lose his game of chess chicken with Vlad Putin and makes one bonehead move too many, we’ll all be facing a nuclear winter that no one wants but that nuclear winter seems almost an inevitability.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Phil,

    As usual, what you propose sounds eminently reasonable and self-evident. What disturbs me is why your perspective is relegated to what you describe as the “Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, here at Unz, at antiwar and at The American Conservative.”

    Since you argue, quite reasonably, for a broader policy discussion, why do we not find your perspective in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and other policy wonk journals? Have you or your perspective been blacklisted out of those outlets despite valiant attempts or have you just given up on a wider audience?

    I really do not mean for this to sound unduly challenging. I’m just trying to get a reality check of why opinions and analyses that I agree with seem to be doomed to a certain online ghetto.

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
  3. Phil, if I can see my way to make common cause in this with Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul and Ralph Nader, while being neither a leftist nor rightist, then it has to be possible. I think what I heard Ron Paul had opined, that first let’s end the Empire and wars, then we can discuss what kind of democratically accountable government and society we want here at home, is the way to go. I have to think that whatever political opinions are otherwise held, that expression reveals persons of good will. Those spending so much effort on public deception, spying, financial chicanery and political donorism, who are at the same time fomenting endless war I can’t say the same thing of. I do note that gradually our understanding is gaining more credibility, even if it’s happening one column and one expose news story at a time. I would add that The Intercept and https://twitter.com/ggreenwald are especially informative and effective in almost everything we all are trying to accomplish in this primary common cause. It might even be that patriotism can be recaptured from those for whom it’s the last refuge. Yeah, those dogs are howling out there, but the caravan really is on the move.

  4. Philip Giraldi never fails to make important observations. This one is no exception. But there may be more here than meets the eye, and I suspect that he knows it.

    It’s been discovered recently that the far-Left, hyper-progressive ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ (JVP) has had its sights set on one Alison Weir, a heroic and near-saintly peace activist (and colleague of Mr. Giraldi’s) who devotes herself to focusing America’s attention on the tragic, US-subsidized displacement of Palestinians–not to mention the lethal and ongoing wars and policies that have blackened our nation’s reputation.

    Weir does this without demonizing Jews or even the vast–sometimes ruthless–multi-headed lobby that operates in their name. Yet Weir has been targeted for banishment. Incredibly, this kind of blacklisting is not as unusual as one might suppose.

    JVP has been outed for trying to subvert Weir’s pro-peace and pro-American efforts by denouncing her as a racist! This–from a ‘pro-peace’ (and pro-Zionist) organization no less.

    Why would a self-described Jewish peace group–one that claims to be adamantly opposed to Israel’s cruel occupation of Gaza and the West Bank–try to ruin Alison Weir? Is it ‘peace’ or something else that JVP truly works for?

    Take a look at Gilad Atzmon’s brilliant examination of this phenomena. It’s groundbreaking.

    see: http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/6/18/jvp-alison-weir-and-the-hatred-of-the-white

    • Replies: @Moi
  5. guest says:

    What does it mean to be more or less ideological? If more ideological means more ideologically rigid, or in other words more dogmatic, then surely the “extreme” positions tend to be “more ideological.” They sorta have to be, by definition, because we define who’s extreme based on their ideological self-identification. If they don’t identify with any movement or school, or if they fall between the stools, we call them eccentric, cast them out of polite society, ignore them, etc. (Or they rise above and get to be philosophers, or something, in which case they’re not part of this discussion.) Maybe they get lumped into catchall groups, like Conspiracy Theorists. But mostly we take professed for real ideology.

    I hear more and more about how increasingly polarizing is politics, how the extremists are taking over, and so forth, and I never have any idea what people are talking about. Then I remember that they’re probably watching people in nice suits yelling at eachother in Washington and New York on cable, or they’re reading websites with lots of exclamation points and scary pictures. Don’t go by how mad people seem, nor what they say. There’s a lot of puffery and nonsense, and a whole lot of irrelevancy. Back in reality, there’s way the hell too much common ground.

    Problem isn’t coalition building. It’s that the ruling class is having its way and the intellectual class it owns goes along with it even when it doesn’t. Which is to say, it doesn’t even know how to go against it if it wanted to, which it doesn’t anyway, and not because it agrees with it. Everybody yelling from the outside in, the “extremists,” don’t matter one way or another. The damn Bolsheviks were as sectarian as can be and they came from nothing, from outside of the outside of the outside (outside in their own country, or adopted country, that is, though they were supported by insiders from other countries), and they ran a giant country for decades. No, the thing is they don’t matter either way.

    Not unless they can capture the castle. You can die waiting for the great popular tide. The Supreme Court couldn’t care less in the face of the overwhelming, laughably overwhelming opposition to forced busing, which every everybody despised, for instance. Plus, that had race hatred to back it, which is a whole hell of a lot better than Bush- or Obama-hatred. And if ignoring us doesn’t work, they could always kill or let die enough of us. That’s how they overcame probably the greatest mass political movement in U.S. history, and the widest majority on any major national issue ever, which was the anti-WWII coalition: Pearl Harbor.

  6. Where is a Ross Perot when we need one?

    • Replies: @MisterCharlie
  7. @MisterCharlie

    Is it okay to answer my own question: “Where is a Ross Perot when we need one?”

    I went from reading this issue of Unz Review to check out other news and opinion sources and I found Donald Trump’s speech announcing his candidacy.

    Donald Trump just might be our Ross Perot in this century – our second chance to break free of the grid-locked political-apparatchik-lobbyist class.

    But Trump probably would not meet the criteria proposed by Phil Giraldi, because he (Trump) in his speech said that we (USA) must “protect Israel.” And he also follows the line that Iran is very dangerous because, if unrestrained, Iran could lead to the end of Israel. I don’t think that is what Giraldi has in mind when he writes: “If you want an end to the continuous global warfare syndrome and also pari passu want to get Israel out of our politics it is past time to start communicating those interests unambiguously and with everyone who is willing to listen.” But maybe I’m reading too much into Trump’s apparent extreme pro-Israel position. Maybe it analyzes down very differently, such as, by USA being Israel’s protector, Israel would no longer have any cause to infiltrate and dominate our politics. That is, perhaps Israel’s people and leadership can advance out of their intense paranoia in a world where USA returns to our former unchallenged pre-eminence. Or maybe Trump’s plan is to negotiate a real and lasting solution to the Israel-Palestine dispute. Certainly, he indicates that he could and would negotiate with Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia – and probably other Arab countries – much better than the USA has done in a long time.

    Anyway, it seems to me reasonable to suppose that Trump can become the Republican nominee and even the next POTUS. He is a great populist speaker, that’s for sure. And he is like Perot in that he is financing his campaign entirely out of his own money. Also, like Perot, he promises to turn around the disastrous trade imbalances. Unlike Perot, Trump is quite willing to muck up his hands with the tar baby Middle East mess, whereas Perot said almost nothing about any of what we today call “global security” policy. In any event, Trump is an impressive candidate – maybe the next POTUS.

  8. @Anonymous

    Thanks Northpaw – I only cited a handful of the websites that I frequent. There are certainly others doing good work. The mainstream foreign policy sites eschew this type of discussion and don’t welcome critics even if they have the stature of an Andrew Bacevich, Chas Freeman or Paul Pillar, probably due to where they get their money and access from, i.e. donors who are part of the MIC in one way or another. If you go to those sites you will see the same contributors basically making the same arguments in support of the status quo year after year. As always is true, follow the money.

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The polarization is so extreme now.

    The ‘progressive’ left have become so shrill and self-righteous, I’m actually afraid of them. I avoid interacting with them wherever possible.

    They have a deep, deep hostility to western civilization. They’ve been taught this from childhood, so it’s only logical. It turns out this vaunted ‘diversity’ is not such a ‘strength’ after all.

    I see so many parallels with Europe in the 30’s. People no longer have anything in common, nothing to say to thier opponent. There aren’t any basic shared assumptions to even build a conversation around. Eventually there will be nothing left to do but fight it out.

    If we get another serious economic downturn, or many more of these tit-for-tat racial attacks, the whole thing may burst.

  10. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Great Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    Which raises the following:

    There is great enthusiasm these days for banning the Confederate Flag….and no doubt later on:the Tea Party Gardsen Flag. However, consider this:The majority nonwhite Democratic Party headed by a highly racialized Kenyan is responsible for the extermination of over two thousand Conservative Orthodox Christian Russian Speaking Ukranians…how’s that for violent racial hatred.

    Ban the American Flag(The Democratic Party Flag) because it is a symbol of racial violence.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  11. SFG says:

    You’re basically hoping for a Left-Old Right alliance against Israel, which I don’t think is a strong enough issue for most people. (I’ve been wishing for it for years on economics, which has a much huger influence on people’s everyday lives.) People are worried about unemployment and taxes; rotten as Israel’s behavior is, all it does is waste money and get a small fraction of the US population killed. You’re not going to get Medea Benjamin to lie down with Pat Buchanan on this one; they’re too split on race, and a thousand other things.

    I actually think the Left has the advantage here; if they can make Israel’s human rights violations common knowledge, the general public will just get disgusted with them, even if the people initially telling them are nutbars. The Right…the guys like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan have lost too many points on the race thing. Yeah, I basically agree that America’s foreign policy should reflect America’s interest, but lots of people think that human rights violations are bad. Realpolitik has a narrower fanbase. Easier to show people pictures of Palestinians’ houses being bulldozed than to convince people the Iraq War was an Israeli plot (even though it kind of was).

  12. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Great Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    Jesus Christ…we are on the verge of a Military Confrontation with Russia. And the war against Russia is draped in the language of the Blessings of Diversity(social and cultural filth).

    The Racist Democratic Party is waging a war of extermination against Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia and The Historic Native Born White American Majority simultaneously.

    The Democratic Party=The American Flag+the Israeli Flag=symbols of violent race hate!!!!!!! Ban the these two Flags!!!

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    “There is great enthusiasm these days for banning the Confederate Flag”

    Is there? There may be great talk about it, that is, not about banning it but about removing it from certain public buildings. No doubt there’s great sentiment in the direction of removing it from public consciousness, except as an object of scorn and ridicule. But I don’t regard the push to get rid of if, nor whatever popular support underlies or better yet has been dragged along with the push, to be meaningful. It’s merely a symptom of the Do Something syndrome, and a weak one at that.

    I’m almost glad that so much time has been eaten up by an issue so phony and so irrelevant. (Phony in the sense both that the push is coming from interested parties, or the top down if you will, and that its connection to the case at hand is laughably tenuous.)

    • Replies: @dahoit
  14. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    One problem that I have with the various political factions is that everything is always regarded as a package deal. If you buy into one viewpoint on something then you’re expected to accept a certain viewpoint on an entire range of issues with which a person might not feel entirely comfortable. I’ve decided that there’s no law of physics that states various issues come bundled together and can never be separated. I just try to be pragmatic about things as they come up but that leaves me with no particular group to identify with. People calling themselves progressives these days seem to have morphed into some sort of domestic Red Guard. Labels just don’t mean anything these days if they ever did.
    Most people grow up being constantly told what’s right and what’s wrong. This is societally reinforced through the usual institutions of schools, religious institutions, organizations, etc. Well and good. Then people grow up and slowly discover that things like foreign policy are run along the lines of competing mafia dons and that a large portion of the ruling classes are in it for themselves only, many exhibiting traits of sociopathy. The mass of the population is regarded by the elites as being just cattle and cannon-fodder. War is bad and violates most people’s humane instincts and yet the war drums have been pounding without letup for most of their lives. Most people, I think, would like an element of morality to be observed when policy is being made. Hopelessly naive, I know

  15. Sam Shama says:

    Most Americans would like to see a deal with Iran but our president continues to dance the dance, speaking particularly to Jewish groups and leaders who do not want an agreement and will never be convinced.

    How do we know this? Can you please point to any polls? What I see is that 78% of Americans are quite clear about preventing Iran from having any future nuclear capability, and a plurality disapprove of current negotiations.

    http://mclaughlinonline.com/2015/04/17/san-national-survey-results-american-attitudes-towards-obamairan-nuclear-negotiations/

    • Replies: @Philip Giraldi
    , @geokat62
  16. @Sam Shama

    Sam – Is two-to-one in favor of a deal good enough for you?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/poll-2-to-1-support-for-nuclear-deal-with-iran/2015/03/30/9a5a5ac8-d720-11e4-ba28-f2a685dc7f89_story.html

    Whether Americans would like to prevent Iran from having a nuke is a completely different question…but you knew that, didn’t you?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @Fran Macadam
  17. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Great Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    The racist majority nonwhite Democratic Party headed by a narcissistic Kenyan Foriegner …starting real soon….will be exterminating even more Conservative Orthodox Christian Russian speaking Ukranians in the coming weeks. Without a doubt this a racist hate crime supported by the SPLC.

    The RACIST nonwhite Democratic Party is attempting to start a war with Conservative Orthodox Christian Russia. How many exterminated Conservative Orthodox Christian Russian People will it take to provoke Putin? Does Putin have a red line?..If Putin does nothing…will Russian Nationalists in the Russian Military take Putin out?

    So it is obvious that the Democratic Party is a racist hate Party.

    Democratic Party=La Raza Race Power+Black Race Power+Asian Race Power Party!!!!….just stating the obvious Folks.

  18. They are teachers’ pets. PC drones. Nothing more.

    They are so predictable.

  19. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “How do we know this?”

    Again, do we need a poll to determine what is in the best interests of the average American?

    To address Mr 204’s concerns, I think the best approach going forward is to insert the word “informed” in front of Americans, as most informed Americans should welcome a deal with Iran.

    And pray tell us, why are you so opposed to a deal with Iran? If you are as informed as the rest of us, you should be supportive of a deal that is clearly in the national interest. Might it be that Iran is one of the three nations (Iraq and Syria, the other two) that are still supportive of the Palestinian cause? Is it because you are supportive of the special relationship that is meant to enhance the security of the villa in the jungle? Is that what drives your opposition to a deal?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @Sam Shama
  20. Sam Shama says:
    @Philip Giraldi

    Thanks Phil. Yes the 2-to-1 is certainly clear about having a deal versus none. Yet I would reiterate that in the end, what would matter to most is handing Iranians a free hand at deal expiry.

  21. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    I am not opposed to a deal at all. I am opposed to Iranians having a nuke. Period. Not now, not in 10 years.

    I am quite aware that you and your erstwhile batman would probably like to hand it over to the Iranians…

  22. @Philip Giraldi

    Sam will tell you we have de facto full employment, too, and the economy’s never been better.

    After reading the Guardian/Intercept’s latest revelations that our spy agencies now have sophisticated propaganda and population control efforts turned inwards against us, which involve vast numbers of false identities, employing sophisticated psychologists who create programs to manipulate public opinion and target opinion leaders and even their own political leaders, one wonders. How many commentators are what they claim to be? Everyone is entitled to their own mistaken opinions, but when the obviously false is stated in such a sophisticated manner, (according to the stated aims of agency spoofers to “disrupt, delay, deceive, discredit, dissuade, deter, denigrate, distrust, degrade” through phoney online forum identities) then there’s definitely some question as to the purpose of some comments and their origins.

    I don’t believe a person who promotes status quo policies that are so obviously failures for most of us is assured to not have affiliation with those they benefit. By one method or other, changing tactics when some tried are seen as ineffective, there is some probability Phil is viewed as having an effective growing influence that needs to be “deep-D’d” by all means possible.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  23. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “I am opposed to Iranians having a nuke. Period.”

    Fair enough… but are you also opposed to Israel having a nuke – i.e., are you in favour of a nuclear-free ME?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  24. I was reading a story this morning about ISIS destroying monuments in Palmyra and I thought “These extremists not only want to control everything you say and do, they want creative control of history as well.”

    Then I read a story about how opposed the social justice crowd is to the Confederate flag and I thought “These extremists not only want to control everything you say and do, they want creative control of history as well.”

  25. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    Sam will tell you we have de facto full employment, too, and the economy’s never been better

    Fran, it’s hardly a secret – and I did not embellish the economic environment – I observed that our UR is back to normal levels, though accompanied by lower participation rates, a trend observed in all of G7. Apparently the Federal Reserve agrees, and so do the data. I am afraid I cannot simply give a pass to champagne socialist assertions to the contrary.

    http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/2015-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2014-executive-summary.htm

    As for the rest of the bats in belfry, chilling, international espionage routine, I should like to encourage you to try your hand at fiction.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  26. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    It might surprise you to know that I am actually in favour of a de-nuclearised ME. Indeed the world for that matter. All NPT abstainers and opacity adopters should change their stance, and together with USA and Russia (which together have 94% of all nukes) move towards this goal.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @SolontoCroesus
  27. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    …….I think the best approach going forward is to insert the word “informed” in front of Americans, as most informed Americans

    awfully paternalistic don’t you agree?

    • Replies: @geokat62
  28. Flower says:

    You sound like Richard Nixon and his “Silent Majority”. Phil, I think you give too much credit where it isn’t due. You, we, us, all live in a world of shadows and dust. ( “Nothing is real” – The Beatles).
    Tell me, Phil, what can you believe today? The NY Times? (please, I just ate) The WaPo?
    Brian Williams? Alex Jones? Matt Drudge? Coast To Coast AM? Today’s conservative is tomorrow’s Libertarian, and next week will be a moderately conservative Liberal Progressive! What crap. The best description I’ve heard of our current situation is, we are “like waves upon the sea being tossed about by the wind. Never the same thing twice.” Why is that?

    Why do we need to protest? Why don’t we know where we are going, and what it is going to take to get there? The essence of navigation is to compare where you are with where you were, as this will tell you where you are going. But everything is a lie. And, as such, that certainly reduces, if not removes, any accurate knowledge of where we are. Further, our grasp of history is severely limited, as it is merely a composition of past lies. This eliminates any sense of where we were. Put this together and we have a bunch of people who have no idea what the f is going on.

    Back in “the day”, there existed a society-wide understanding (theory of operation?) of our ultimate destination, such that a common person (a member of the Silent Majority, perhaps) could tell, from a modicum of exposure to a relatively truthful news system, whether we, as a society, “were on the right track”. That society-wide understanding is/was known as religion, but we’ve outgrown it and thus flushed it down the, well, John. But we forgot to replace it with something. Darn!

    Go ahead, define “normal”, I dare you.

  29. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Sam Shama

    “As for the rest of the bats in belfry, chilling, international espionage routine, I should like to encourage you to try your hand at fiction.”

    The attempts to argue from ridicule notwithstanding (an immediate admission of being on ground that can’t be held by arguing the facts), an intelligent fellow like Sam can’t be unaware of this latest leaked top secret government document that sought and received official permission to break the law, in just this way. Forty two pages outlining massive covert propaganda and disinformation targeted inwards against the public, to influence through psychology and deceit, public compliance and obedience.

    “Spook,” applied to our public, has become “spoof” – in the government’s own words that we were never supposed to see.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2015/06/22/behavioural-science-support-jtrig/

    So Sam, is that fiction? I hadn’t considered before that so much effort would have been expended on keeping mere spy fiction from seeing public view.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @SolontoCroesus
  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Sam Shama

    “Sorta – maybe – probably not.”

  31. @Sam Shama

    The Middle East has been in favor (favour) of a nuclear-free ME since at least 1995.

    1995 is when nations of the Middle East, including Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, were promised that in exchange for their assent to extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), a conference would be convened to discuss denuclearization of the Middle East — including Israel, the only nuclear state in the region at that point.

    Israel and its enabler, the USA, have been dragging their heels all these years, and although the reaffirmation of NPT part of the bargain was accomplished, the promised conference has not taken place.

    see: http://elibrary.law.psu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1062&context=jlia

    and

    League of Arab States Council Statement on Postponement of the ME WMD FZ Conference

    and

    Egyptian Delegation Walks Out of NPT PrepCom Meeting Over Failure to Convene Middle East WMD Summit

    It is Israel, Israel and Israel that is deliberately eroding the second-most important treaty in the post-WWII era, and millions of lives have been lost or wasted, because of Israel.

    You’re “actually in favour of a denuclearized ME,” Sam Shama? Tell it to Israel.

    The rest of the region was on board two decades — and several million lives– ago.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Deconstructing “Sam Shama”

    America’s middle eastern client states: “Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs”

    Massive state sponsored disinformation : “Woolly bullies”

    Objective

    “That’s the thing to do. Get you someone really to pull the wool with you.”

    One, two, three, quattro.

    Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully. (repeat refrain)

  33. Sam Shama says:
    @Anonymous

    Perhaps I should have provided more contextual background for my remark – Joint Threat Research actions (and any related violations) notwithstanding.

    Fran had in an earlier post, implied that economic data in the United States are routinely manipulated by shadowy organisations such as the Bureau of Labour Statistics, Federal Reserve etc.

    e.g.:

    The employment participation level is at the lowest percentage of the population since the dirty thirties, showing that the way unemployment is calculated is faulty.

    which I had shown to be not quite the case,

    and,


    Maybe this is a bit like McNamara’s whiz kids who ran the Vietnam War in the sixties by statistics that became lies.

    It would have to be a conspiracy of unparalleled scope, one involving generations of statistical design, process authentication redundancy, modelling and public dissemination of results, and, – be it so noted – never challenged by thousands of private research organisations as such! The alternative, in which the converse applies, is the plausible as well as the rational.

    I would much rather call as fiction, than spend effort in delving into the detritus of echo chambers of conspiracy, which paint the Fed and the BLS as shadowy institutions!

    Also, according to Fran, I am equipped with a fountain pen which turns into a parachute when I exit tall buildings.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  34. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    You’re “actually in favour of a denuclearized ME,” Sam Shama? Tell it to Israel.

    The rest of the region was on board two decades — and several million lives– ago.

    The lives lost in the ME has had nothing to do with nukes. Or did the rest of us miss the mushroom cloud to which you were the solitary witness?!

    Also I have lent my voice for de-nuclearlisation. Which part of “yes” do you object to?

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  35. @Anonymous

    Iran has its own team dedicated to subverting it.

    Now ain’t that special?

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2015/06/22/behavioural-science-support-jtrig/

    “JTRIG currently comprises approximately 120 staff . . .in three operational groups (i.e. Rest of the World, Counter-Terrorism and Support to Military Operations), . . .

    1.4 The Three operational groups . . .subdivided into teams
    – Rest of the World
    ~Cyber crime
    ~Serious Crime
    ~Cyber coordination and operations
    ~Network Defence
    ~Iran
    ~Global (non-Iranian targets) “

    Recall when Benjamin Netanyahu appeared before Rep. Dan Burton’s congressional committee on September 12, 2002 http://www.c-span.org/video/?172612-1/israeli-perspective-conflict-iraq
    and urged it to go to war against Iraq, “the keystone of the terror network,” which network included Syria, Libya, Iran …., Dennis Kucinich asked Benji if “Iran would be second on the list” to attack.
    Netanyahu replied that The West should “beam in [Hollywood TV programming] and “make Iran’s young people want the big houses and fine clothes and swimming pools … That’s subversive.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  36. @Sam Shama

    It would have to be a conspiracy of unparalleled scope, one involving generations of statistical design, process authentication redundancy, modelling and public dissemination of results, and, – be it so noted – never challenged by thousands of private research organisations as such! The alternative, in which the converse applies, is the plausible as well as the rational.

    As you’ve revealed, 204, you’re biased toward what you probably think are the eeleetes, the mooovers and shakers, the brainiacs who do “process authentication redundancy, modeling ….” and all those highfalutin’ things that only a Ph.D could understand.

    But the data is gathered by lowly clerks.

    An army of clerks provides the raw data that is poured into the “process authentication redundancy” machine that you geniuses designed.

    Sometimes clerks get cranky.
    Or subversive.
    Or pissed off.

    No doubt your genius machine can correct for subversive clerks. They’re so dumb, and you geniuses are so smart.

    ===

    In Poland a bunch of dockworkers overthrew a regime that had oppressed them for generations.

    You know what Clerks and Dockworkers say about arrogant bastards who think their 204 IQ endows them with the status of superior beings?

    The bigger they are the harder they fall.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  37. @Sam Shama

    Lives lost in the Middle East have everything to do with Israel’s illicit possession of nukes, from the attack on the USS Liberty which cost 34 American lives (see Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets’ Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War );

    to the 1973 war when Golda Mabovitch used Israel’s illicit nukes to coerce the USA to pull Israeli bacon out of the fire,

    resulting in an OPEC boycott that crashed the British economy and

    lit the first embers of the blaze that erupted into the overthrow of Shah Pahlavi;

    to Israel’s attack on Osirak, which set off the concatenation of events that is still killing Iraqis and others today;

    to Qaddafi’s surrender of nukes in foolishly-placed trust that the West would not then rape-assassinate him and carry out on ongoing rape of his nation, Libya;

    to Israel’s assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists and Jewish lobby-incited and crafted measures to destroy Iran’s economy.

  38. “Also, according to Fran, I am equipped with a fountain pen which turns into a parachute when I exit tall buildings.”

    I am not the one speaking in terms of bat and belfry. I’ve never stated any such nutty thing as you now accuse.

    If this isn’t hasbara, it really is otherwise indistinguishable from the sort of online propaganda and disinformation objectives and methods outlined in the Snowden document cache.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/06/22/controversial-gchq-unit-domestic-law-enforcement-propaganda/

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  39. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    But the data is gathered by lowly clerks.

    An army of clerks provides the raw data that is poured into the “process authentication redundancy” machine that you geniuses designed.

    Sometimes clerks get cranky.
    Or subversive.
    Or pissed off.

    Data clerks are engaged in a conspiracy? To what end? (I am mystified thus far, but reading on….)

    In Poland a bunch of dockworkers overthrew a regime that had oppressed them for generations.

    You know what Clerks and Dockworkers say about arrogant bastards who think their 204 IQ endows them with the status of superior beings?

    And then the clerical revolutionaries are encouraged by you to overthrow the………wait for it….The Financial System? With cranky, spurious data!

    voilà la liberté!

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  40. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    Netanyahu replied that The West should “beam in [Hollywood TV programming] and “make Iran’s young people want the big houses and fine clothes and swimming pools … That’s subversive.“

    You have an objection to Iranian youth watching Hollywood output and aspiring to nice houses? Better than the typical “Qurban-e-shoma beram” insisted on by the Mullahs!

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  41. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    After reading the Guardian/Intercept’s latest revelations that our spy agencies now have sophisticated propaganda and population control efforts turned inwards against us,

    In the context of what we were discussing, Fran, The data from the BLS and Fed, how was the preceding applicable if not offered with a “bit of Fry and Laurie”? precisely what I did…you know the pen-that-turns-into-parachute, and all that ….

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  42. @Sam Shama

    October 23 2008

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Former Treasury Secretary John Snow, and SEC Chairman Chris Cox testified about the state of the economy, recent turmoil in the U.S. and global financial markets, and the role of federal regulators in the breakdown of the market on Wall Street. In response to sometimes partisan and pointed questioning Mr. Greenspan said that he may have been mistaken about the reliability of some financial instruments, such as insurance-like credit-default swaps, that were not yet common when he expressed his views about markets being able to police themselves.

    http://www.c-span.org/video/?281958-1/federal-regulation-financial-markets
    @ 47 min

    Alan Greenspan
    ONE. YOU HAVE TO. TO EXIST YOU NEED AN IDEOLOGY. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER IT IS ACCURATE OR NOT. AND WHAT I’M SAYING TO YOU IS, YES, I FOUND A FLAW — I KNOW HOW SIGNIFICANT OR PERMANENT IT IS. BUT I HAVE BEEN VERY DISTRESSED BY THAT FACT. BUT MAY I FINISH THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION? >> YOU FOUND A FLAW IN THE REALITY — >> FLAW IN THE MODEL THAT I PERCEIVED AS THE CRITICAL FUNCTIONING STRUCTURE THAT DEFINES HOW THE

    October 23 should be a national holiday in the United States.

    A day to remind ourselves not to trust ideologues with such enormous influence over the affairs of the nation.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  43. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “I am not opposed to a deal at all. ”

    So tell us Mr. 204, if you too favour a deal, why would you take issue with Phil’s assertion that most Amercans favour a deal?

    Something doesn’t smell quite right!

    My spidey senses are telling me that the M.A. in Physics wasn’t having a whole lot of success here at UR and the decision was made to replace her with someone with a PhD. Not like that is going to make a whole lot of difference!

  44. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “… awfully paternalistic don’t you agree?”

    I definitely would not agree. See one of my previous posts on how the steady diet of Hasbara the average American is placed on is distorting their perception of what is actually transpiring in the ME!

    So rather than being paternalistic, I’m being completely factual!

  45. @Sam Shama

    Not sure which mosque you were spying on when you picked up that phrase, Sam; online translators read it as either Indonesian or Azerbaijiani. Apparently it means something like, “live like a victim.”

    The homes that I visited in Isfehan, Kashan, Kang, and Shiraz were not the homes of victims; they were lovely: whether modest or grand, Iranians surround themselves with flowers and with spaces for people to meet and enjoy family and friends in an atmosphere carefully created to soothe the body and the spirit.

    Israel is precisely the opposite, as Eyal Weizman explains in Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation:

    From the tunnels of Gaza to the militarized airspace of the Occupied Territories, Eyal Weizman unravels Israel’s mechanisms of control and its transformation of Palestinian towns, villages and roads into an artifice where all natural and built features serve military ends. Weizman traces the development of this strategy, from the influence of archaeology on urban planning, Ariel Sharon’s reconceptualization of military defence during the 1973 war, through the planning and architecture of the settlements, to the contemporary Israeli discourse and practice of urban warfare and airborne targeted assassinations.

    Hollow Land lays bare the political system at the heart of this complex and terrifying project of late-modern colonial occupation.

    Nevertheless, it was my mistake to have paraphrased Netanyahu’s statement rather than posting a more precise quote. Benji mentioned two specific television series, Beverly Hill 90210 and another, similar representation of a lifestyle that only a very few, hedonistically-inclined families in the USA enjoy.

    You have an objection to Iranian youth watching Hollywood output and aspiring to nice houses? Better than the typical “Qurban-e-shoma beram” insisted on by the Mullahs!

    I have an objection, no, an aversion, make that a revulsion to just about anything Benji says.
    Much of Hollywood’s output engenders a similar reaction of revulsion.

    The congressmen who listened to Netanyahu propound that and other equally low-class and demoralizing comments seemed oblivious to the fact that American children have already been “subverted” by being bombarded with images of things that it is not likely they can obtain, and that represent vacuity and meaninglessness in any event–the essence of the consumer culture that eats on rather than feeds the spirit.

    I object, vehemently, to somebody of the degraded character of Netanyahu seeking to plant seeds of discontent–to play the role of the serpent-tempter– in the children of other people who do not share his debased values.

    • Replies: @SFG
    , @Sam Shama
    , @Sam Shama
  46. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    Mr. Greenspan said that he may have been mistaken about the reliability of some financial instruments, such as insurance-like credit-default swaps

    He was answering questions about the ability of markets to function in times of distress and the responsibility of the central bank during those periods. In that context he evaluated the role of MBS/CDOs/CDS.This has nothing whatsoever to do with unemployment statistics calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics!

    Who are the ideologues? Do you mean the people who profited from building pricing models and trading MBS? (Ron Unz, for one, did so. That makes him an ideologue?)

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  47. @Sam Shama

    This seems but one of the “Deep-D’s” – this time, distraction – to make obscurantist references apropos of nothing using the argot of inbred British comedy culture that almost no one in America will know.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  48. bobbiemac says:

    Mr. Giraldi
    Your comment about “bundling” reminded me of the Viet Nam war protest era. You were only considered to be “against the war” if you bought into all the progressive causes that were “bundled In” with the movement. As you say, the main goal was for everybody to pat themselves on the back and congratulate themselves on how morally superior they all were. There were always the N Viet nam flags, ho chi minh and chairman mao placards — tactics apparently done purposely to alienate those outside the university culture. –
    The boomer veterans of these protests like to think they were responsible for shortening the war. Frankly I think they prolonged it by needlessly polarizing the nation.

  49. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    Simply wanted to see the source of that poll. Also as I made abundantly clear, I am not opposed to a deal, but not one that hands over the bomb upon expiration of it!

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @geokat62
  50. SFG says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    Netanyahu’s no worse and no better than any other leader over there. The question is whether his interests are ours, and how his relatives are making us think they are the same.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  51. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    No. It means ‘I would sacrifice myself for you’ Qorban ->sacrifice. Mullahs want the youth to stand ready for self sacrifice.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  52. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    certainly apropos of you calling commenters spies. Also many in this country do have a sense of humour, so loqui pro temet

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  53. @geokat62

    You know, I was thinking just that. Speculation of course, but even if turning out fictional, not hard to create in the reader the requisite suspension of disbelief. But the plot is too predictable to buy.

  54. @Sam Shama

    Who are the ideologues? Do you mean the people who profited . . .

    Alan Greenspan proclaimed himself an ideologue.
    On the record.

    And it is generally understood that he and his wife, news reader Andrea Mitchell, are quite wealthy. Greenspan is said to be invested only in Treasury bonds.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  55. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    American children have already been “subverted” by being bombarded with images of things that it is not likely they can obtain, and that represent vacuity and meaninglessness in any event–the essence of the consumer culture that eats on rather than feeds the spirit.

    You don’t really like what laissez faire economies have to offer do you? How do you know what any given child can or cannot obtain, or achieve? How do you speak with such authority about the human spirit? This country happens to be the beacon of freedom, opportunity and justice, and I say that without any trace of irony.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  56. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    Ideologues in plural. Greenspan is a bit of a nutty Libertarian, but a great thinker nevertheless.

    and yes they are wealthy. What’s your point?

  57. Ron Unz says:
    @geokat62

    My spidey senses are telling me that the M.A. in Physics wasn’t having a whole lot of success here at UR and the decision was made to replace her with someone with a PhD. Not like that is going to make a whole lot of difference!

    Ha, ha, ha…

    I’ll admit I haven’t really read through this long foreign policy thread, but it sounds like we’re making major progess and that Sam Shama fellow has now endorsed Phil’s view on the major benefits of a nuclear deal with Iran.

    Even more importantly, Shama seems to be saying that the presence of nuclear weapons in the Mid East is a very dangerous thing, and therefore implying that America should take whatever *extremely* forceful steps are necessary to permanently eliminate Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal.

    It’s always very nice when individuals of initially divergent perspectives can eventually unite around a set of policy proposals that are so clearly in the American national interest…

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @Sam Shama
  58. Sam Shama says:
    @Ron Unz

    Read again carefully what I said. The opinions were not divergent in the least bit regarding the lethality or undesirability of nuclear arms, rather on matters discussed in previous articles, where your exclusive and large collection of jew haters seem to draw inspiration from. Once again, do read the entire thread. I endorse that all nuclear powers engage in simultaneous disarmament.

    Any objection to that?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  59. Sam Shama says:
    @Ron Unz

    btw do please shed a bit of light on this Physics M.A./ Economics Ph.D swap. Scouts honour I haven’t the foggiest what you talking about

  60. @Sam Shama

    Mullahs want the youth to stand ready for self sacrifice.

    Self-sacrifice for the State is a core element of neoconservative philosophy.

    Two or three days ago Mac Thornberry of TX presided over a hearing where participants, noting that “We have 35,000 forces postured throughout the region,” urged that the American people be made aware that its military is “at the beginning of a complex, nonlinear campaign that will require sustained level of effort over an extended period of time” in Iraq and Syria, and that “the security of Israel will always be one of our top priorities.” http://www.c-span.org/video/?326584-1/defense-secretary-carter-general-dempsey-testimony-us-middle-east-policy

    In other words, the American people should stand ready for long-term self-sacrifice on behalf of Israel.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  61. @Sam Shama

    How do you know what any given child can or cannot obtain, or achieve? How do you speak with such authority about the human spirit? This country happens to be the beacon of freedom, opportunity and justice, and I say that without any trace of irony.

    What any given child can or cannot obtain or achieve is the provence of that child and his/her parents and community, not the political football of a sleaze bag politician.

    I speak with such authority about the human spirit as a parent and a citizen who finds attempts to subvert the next generation of my and any family and community to be abhorrent. It is the lowest form of cowardice to attempt to topple a government by subverting its children.

  62. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “Also as I made abundantly clear, I am not opposed to a deal, but not one that hands over the bomb upon expiration of it!”

    So Mr. 204, you are not opposed to a deal with Iran, but you are in fact opposed to the deal with Iran that has been recently negotiated. That said, do you prefer going to war against Iran to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear capability over abiding by the deal?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  63. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    Well what do think Mr kat? should we? I say that its a hypothetical that requires much more information before we choose the war path,

    btw Unz didn’t answer, but perhaps you will on the question of the Physics/Econ swap? what is it?

    • Replies: @geokat62
  64. @Sam Shama

    No doubt whatsoever, that there are propagandists and manipulators who do just that. According to those leaked internal documents, some have trouble with the lack of ethics involved in domestic social engineering carried out against their own countrymen. Hopefully your conscience is clear. And not simply because Americans are not your own people, with your loyalties to another.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  65. KA says:
    @Sam Shama

    At least Iranain was not trying to shed American blood to win war aginst Iraq in 1980

    The most recent proposal from the Project for a New American Century has certainly struck a nerve among Americans—although that shouldn’t make us think it won’t sail through successfully, like the invasion of Iraq. In a recent press release, PNAC called on the U.S. government to institute the military draft, and induct U.S. servicemen and women directly into the Israeli Defense Force……..

    Writing in the New York Sun, Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz described the plan as “bold, candid, and Churchillian,” and urged President Bush to consider adopting it before “Islamo-fascist appeasers, isolationists, and anti-Semites” could rally their opposition. “These nativists will raise once again the tired old cry of ‘dual loyalty’, impugning our patriotism,” warned Podhoretz.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_u.s.-israeli_draft/print#axzz3dwewkgPR

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  66. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    I’m just Sancho Panza, remember? You’re the one with the 204 IQ… I’m sure you’ll figure it out!

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  67. KA says:

    Ignore Turkey and Brazil: Iran Sanctions Are A Go
    by Mark Dubowitz
    Forbes’ The Energy Source
    May 19, 2010

    But the war agisnt Iran started yeras ago aginst Iran.Perle admitted in Forward in 1998 that the Jeiwsh lobby was in the forefront of assault against Iran.
    Howard berman,Carl Levine,Wrexzler – so called moderate, liberal and democrats started pushing for war in 2007 against Iran . They still continue same tricks using same ploys,and cornering media debate with their conservative brethern. The conservative has been hijacked by the neocons “against their wishes” per the self disclosure by Kristol to advance non -economic and non -social but historical agenda. he gloated how the neocons have got rid of the “arabist” from the State Department. Same time Campus Watchwas getting rid of the ME scholars from the academia . They get Bolton ,Gingrich,Huckabee,Santorum, H Clinton,as gentile faces to articulate their positions .

  68. tuna says:

    Yes, engage in conversations with people of all stripes and not just with people who are identical to yourself. But let us be real here, too. The vast majority of Americans are locked into their little little mindsets and no amount of discussion alone is going to jar them into dealing with major reality. We are all a little like in the situation that Alice confronted, when she fell into the hole.

    In short, we are all essentially impotent and sectarian until the ruling class itself slips up and gets handed its crap back to them from abroad most likely, in a big and traumatic manner for all of us to be sure. Meanwhile the country will sadly enough, keep sleep walking towards that apocalyptic time ahead of us in the rather near future. We cannot really speed up the explosion by all that much…

  69. I think the war in Gaza and the election of a completely fascist government in Israel should have had the left howling and taking real action. There is no peace process. The Israeli emperor has no clothes. If the Palestinians got a state they would still get mowed periodically. No one seems to talk about that. Who is going to stop it? The UN is a joke. The lives of Palestinian children matter very little to it.

    Did you see the story that said the TSA does a very poor job of catching stuff? Its a jobs program and a method in which to condition people to accept intimidation. The spying on personal communications is the same thing. Its voyeurism and a jobs program. It didn’t prevent the Boston bombing and the Russians told them about it. Then there is 9/11, and the story of the moment that claims CIA analyst in Alec Station were stepping out into operations which they knew nothing about and didn’t deal with the terrorist that they knew about which could have prevented 9/11. Its been about 14 years and we still don’t know what exactly happened.

    China is expanding itself economically with mass industrial projects while the US is bleeding to death from militarism. Israel hides behind religion and hundreds of years of persecution. It gets goodies and protection and the Israel lobby supports the merchants of death and voyeurism. Libertarians assume that they can cut off all these addicts from their fix. The puritan work ethic which libertarians prescribe to doesn’t appeal to the left. The love of regulation and technocrats appeals to the left but not to the right. Pat Buchanan embodies everything libertarians and progressives hate about real conservatives. A new compelling vision is needed to overthrow militarism and provide the same intoxicating hit without the harm. I think change can only come from inventing a new and better narrative which knocks the current one off the radar. People need something else to focus on. Israel’s 15 minutes of fame needs to end. Why not compete with China by being productive too? The US wants to be #1 doesn’t it? Obama can give an inspiring speech on it.

  70. @KA

    That piece was a rather droll modest Swiftian suggestion.

    It only happened in the viagra-induced wet dream of one of les anciens.

  71. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    No doubt whatsoever, that there are propagandists and manipulators who do just that.

    Spies you mean? Yes, I reckon there are those, but then you swiftly assume that anyone whose commentary opposes your view is a spy, a flawed assumption!

    I could call some on this forum anarcho-Marxists, Nazi glorifiers, rejectionists of US culture; and I would be right. I could pick a random entry, follow their comments and easily demonstrate the hatred of Jews. I would be right again!

    My conscience is indeed clear, and a Celtic last name is no more American than Gonzalez, or Shama for that matter. So save the patriot act.

    Fran, you started the skirmish, when you quarreled with my position (which was backed by data) that the employment participation rate was back to the 1980s level, explained easily by demographic changes and obsolescence rendered through technological progress. I have not seen an objective counter argument from you, but rather indirect accusations such as :

    a person who promotes status quo policies that are so obviously failures for most of us is assured to not have affiliation with those they benefit

    most of us” i.e., Americans, have had median incomes go up from the crisis period, net worths have improved, home values have risen, unemployment has gotten back to pre-crisis levels and measures of consumer confidence risen above pre-crisis levels. Those are the facts. You called the data spurious and false. We are talking about economic data from the BLS, Fed, CBO, Federal housing authority etc. I called such allegations baseless. If for nothing, anyone thinking rationally , would realise that private enterprise vets and analyses that data to make crucial decisions, don’t you think that they would’ve smelled any tampering?!

    I still await an objective response.

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  72. @Sam Shama

    How [and Why] Israel Armed Iran [1980 – 1988]
    from: The Secret War with Iran by Ronen Bergman, 2007, 2008

    some background:
    Iran had been Israel’s best friend for decades, a key element in Israel’s periphery doctrine. Further, because Jews had dwelt in Iran for thousands of years, longer and more prosperously than any other place on earth, Jews were intimately involved at the highest levels of Iran’s government and its most influential institutions. When Jews left Iran, most of them voluntarily, they took with them planeloads of Persian treasure — rugs, gold, gems, even exotic animals.

    Israel and the USA had been Iran’s foremost arms merchants; thousands of Americans worked in Iran in the arms industry and even more Americans worked in US-based defense industries under contract to Iran.

    With the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, “the United States declared a general boycott of Iran.”

    When Saddam took advantage of the instability in Iran to initiate a war, Israel made the decision to ignore that boycott.

    “Operation Seashell was born. It puts the later Iran-contra scandal to shame.

    There were four main reasons why Operation Seashell went forward. First, Israel could not come to terms with the military, intelligence, and diplomatic losses that it had sustained with the disruption of relations with Iran after the revolution. Arms exports would at least give it a foothold in Tehran. In Israel’s defense establishment, the lesson had been learned from many cases over the years that swiftly supplying weaponry and military know-how to a totalitarian state will bring the supplier as close as possible to the rulers, because weapons are their means of holding on to power.

    Second, it was hoped that the infusion of weaponry would intensify the Iran-Iraq war and lead to the mutual destruction or, at least weakening, of two enemies.

    Third, Israeli officials feared a victorious Saddam.

    Finally, more than anything else, the weapons industry wanted to make money. As one Israeli Defense Ministry official, a key figure in Operation Seashell, recalls: “I do not remember even one discussion about the ethics of the matter. All that interested us was to sell, sell, sell more and more Israeli weapons, and let them kill each other with them.”

    That’s how Israelis regarded and treated the one nation on earth that has been “good for the Jews,” had been a friend and protector of Jews for thousands of years.

    USA take note.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  73. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    I’ll have to go through all of your’s, Unz’s, Mac Adam’s cached commentary searching for clues. Perhaps one could use a parsing and search algo……I’ll let you know 🙂

  74. I completely agree with Phil’s assessment of the many groups protesting the actions and policies of the current US government.

    In a similar effort to understand how these many groups operate I wrote to several of them asking the recipients to please tell me as to why don’t all of the various “progressive” and real “conservative” groups join forces to act in concert on one overriding goal; that of changing the structure of the US government. I never received an answer from a single organization.

    I surmised then that all of these groups have their own in-bred bureaucracies that have more interest in maintaining their own fiefdoms than in actually accomplishing anything significant.

    A number of years ago I read a paper by a sociologist who studied peaceful protest events in history and concluded that for the most part they were completely ineffective. While the people involved all protested faithfully policies and actions they were against people continued to suffer and die as a result of the very ongoing deprivations the protesters were acting against. And these same people continued to suffer after all the protests were done and a few ineffective policies and laws were passed… but never enforced.

    It is the same with current US protest movements and the reason they exist is simply because they cannot face one simple fact; to do what actually has to be done cannot be a legitimate answer to the problem. It would mean they would all have to unite and do what is right for everyone involved and this lack of action in this vein is exactly what governments count on to continue their endeavors as the populace is too divided to do anything more than make a lot of noise…

  75. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Good article, quite right. Anyone who accepts the label “Progressive” should not be trusted. For what are they progressing towards? They avoid saying because they don’t know. So the label is intellectually and morally dishonest. It is not possible to progress without knowing what you progress towards.

    Other Americans like the fog because they fear facing the real problems. If they did they would realize that the United States is already irrelevant unless the human race plans to annihilate itself. The real problems imply a massive strong willed mobilization to transform the human way of life into something that does not need industrial civilization, for that is going away. Democracy, notoriously unstable in its policies, and especially American democracy, set up to enhance an agon of policies, could never develop the single mindedness necessary for the task. Infrastructure, education, and much else has been crumbling away for years. We know it yet have been unable to do anything about it. How could we, under the present political setup, embark upon this monumental, and quite glorious if you think about it, task. The USA is a dead duck.

  76. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Phil you are a great heroic citizen and writer but it’s pretty simple why people don’t speak up. If you do you are blackballed, ruined in business and crushed in politics. It’s the most powerful mafia ever. People will whisper things about it to their Gentile friends but that’s about it.

  77. @Sam Shama

    But you’re not at all opposed to Israel having nukes. Am I wrong?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  78. @Sam Shama

    What is your purpose?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  79. Moi says:
    @Mark Green

    Have read Ms. Weir’s books and listened to hear on Youtube. A courageous lady who we all need to support. Weir tells uncomfortable truths, and I guess that’s what makes her dangerous in the eyes of groups like JVP.

  80. Moi says:
    @Sam Shama

    “I am not opposed to a deal at all. I am opposed to Iranians having a nuke. Period. Not now, not in 10 years.”

    Shama, do you know something our intelligence agencies don’t? BTW, how are you with Israel’s nuclear arsenal?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  81. @SFG

    I can’t think of any other “leaders over there” who makes periodic trips to the United States for the purpose of inducing ignorant Americans into financing and supporting wars against indigenous populations opposed to Israel’s theft of their homeland. The truth is that Benjamin Netanyahu is an arrogant bastard in a class all by himself.

  82. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    Ontologically speaking, to experience the Incredible Lightness of Being.

  83. Sam Shama says:
    @Moi

    If I didn’t know what they don’t know, or they didn’t know what I know, then we would not all, not know, what we don’t know.

  84. Sam Shama says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    you have definitely read a wide variety of material on the Jewish Diaspora. Iran has been more than welcoming to Jews for millennia, from the time of Akhashverosh/Esther and Mordechai. Khomeini was the beginning of trouble. btw Jews have been living in India for many hundreds of years very happily (originally Iraqi jews)

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  85. dahoit says:
    @Anonymous

    The Confederate flag,whom my great grandpa fought for in the Army of Tennessee,is a symbol of modern anti Americanism ,as its wavers hate the USA,and also seem hate everyone else.Fly it in the basement,but keep it off statehouses.
    If these idiots actually realized who their true enemy is,Zion.

  86. Mr. Shama can cite all the statistics he wants, but I’m afraid that for many of us, to believe him, we’d have to ignore what our “lying” eyes present to us, right here in our own neighborhoods, among our friends and community members.

    In this middle class neighborhood, on one street alone (this one) there are seven foreclosed single family homes. The bank, Wells Fargo, was certainly bailed out and both wrote off and profited. I guess that’s Mr. Shama’s full recovery and he can cite some balance sheet to prove that the wealth of banksters is the health of the nation.

    Food banks are under pressure as never before here, demand having grown exponentially. The number of homeless is a visible sight even in areas they weren’t seen before. There are homeless camps outside city limits.

    Inability for many to find employment, or any as good as they previously had, is endemic. Several middle aged men in this community committed suicide after long term unemployment.

    The companies that used to provide even high tech employment moved production offshore, and the skeleton crews were moved to become outsourced subcontractors with no benefits.

    So many university graduates we know moved back in with parents – no work in their field and often none at all. Underemployment at best.

    An answer for some I know has been becoming disabled and collecting social security that way. Sad because they could work, but there is no work.

    Savers all their lives now experiencing hardship because the bailed out banksters pay no interest on their savings while inflation to say the least is understated by Mr. Shama’s unchallengeable statistics.

    Public services from the city decline because with all the empty storefronts and foreclosures, the budgets just aren’t there from the shrunken tax base.

    I could add more, much more, but you get the idea. Of course, the real experiences are merely anecdotal and to be disbelieved, compared to Mr. Shama’s statistics, right there in solid black and white, backed by the full faith of the banking industry and its bureau of employees in government. Although there are competing statistical analyses.

    Why the self-styled genius of a boasted IQ of 204 is spending time to tell us we are really eating cake, and all is well with neocon control, Wall Street depredation is good for us and current endless war policy the cat’s meow, instead of engaging in more profitable exercises for himself, is a conundrum.

    It really does fit the bill for propaganda.

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @David
  87. @Sam Shama

    Iran has been more than welcoming to Jews for millennia, from the time of Akhashverosh/Esther and Mordechai.

    Fascinating.

    Sam Shama dates Iran’s “welcoming to Jews” to the events of Esther, who oversaw the slaughter of 75,000 innocent Persians in addition to Haman and his ten sons; Esther installed herself in the position of the queen and gained control of Persian treasure, while Mordechai supplanted Haman as Persia’s foreign minister — in other words, a coup d’etat of the Persian state by Jews Sam Shama termed the beginning of Iran’s “welcoming to Jews.”

    However.

    Torah records that Persia’s “welcoming to Jews” began much earlier (which seems to imply that Esther’s acts were those of gross ingratitude and treachery, at the very least).

    Centuries before the kingship of Ahasueras (Akhashverosh) Cyrus, king of Persia, liberated Jews from the control of Nebuchadnezzar; recovered the sacred vessels of Yehud (the Jews); the people of Persia contributed their treasure to assist Yehud to return to their keenly missed Zion — “If I forget thee o zion may my right hand be forgotten” (one assumes Esther was a south paw); supported the Jews financially and politically for 200 years to return to Jerusalem and rebuild it.

    Sam Shama failed to mention those several centuries of Persian friendship toward Jews.
    Rather, Sam remembered the events where Jews killed and stole from Persians and he used that as a reference point for Iran’s attitude of “welcoming to Jews.”


    Sam wrote: “Khomeini was the beginning of trouble.”

    Perhaps from the Israeli or Jewish point of view, but the Iranian revolution came about for reasons that were significant to the Iranian people.

    If Israel would stop meddling — for example, if Israelis had not abetted and profited while Iranians were dying in a war with Iraq but instead encouraged Iran to seek a graceful end to hostilities; if Israel had offered political support to Iran when Iran complained to the United Nations, numerous times, about Iraq’s use of chemical weapons against the Iranian people, including civilians; that is, if Israel had shown the spiritual and political maturity and generosity that Cyrus demonstrated rather than the greed and bloodlust of Esther, it staggers the imagination how much different today might be.

    Gilad Atzom noted in his book, The Wandering Who, that Esther wrote the template for the zionist project.

    The Biblical Book of Esther that was given to President Obama by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday was far from being a cryptic message. The Book of Esther is a genocidal recipe; It is there to educate Jews how to infiltrate into foreign administrations. In my latest book The Wandering Who I explore the role of The Biblical text in shaping contemporary Jewish political Lobbying and its open attempt to dominate American and British foreign policies.

  88. geokat62 says:
    @Fran Macadam

    “Why the self-styled genius of a boasted IQ of 204 is spending time to tell us…is a conundrum.”

    So… you smell a fish, too!

  89. “But compared to the feeble efforts emanating from the political right and center, I find that progressive events tend to be commendably much more focused and even aggressive but also aimed almost exclusively at the choir with little attempt to reach out to a broader audience. ”

    Maybe they are doing the smart thing for their interests. The progressive left wants these issues to themselves. They use issues like opposition to war to recruit.

    They have been very consistent and very clear that they will never collaborate with anyone on the dissent right. They consider all of us to be racists, bigots, scum etc.

    They will never give us credit for agreeing with them on some issues or decide that makes us less bad.

  90. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Sam Shama

    The opinions were not divergent in the least bit regarding the lethality or undesirability of nuclear arms

    Why exactly are nuclear weapons undesirable? They gave Europe an unprecedented period of peace. Maybe it was peace through terror, but then maybe that’s the only way to get peace.

    Perhaps there’d be a better chance of peace in the Middle East if there were more nuclear powers in the region. It would certainly reduce the chances of the US getting involved in yet another bone-headed war like the Iraq war.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  91. NoldorElf says:

    @Philip Giraldi

    I would disagree with the claim that the left has not criticized Obama. He’s regarded in many quarters on many mainstream progressive website as a liar and a sellout, because he campaigned in 2008 on a progressive platform and largely continued the abuses of power of the Bush Administration. The wars did not end, nor were the majority of Obama’s promises.

    I think that although far from perfect, the progressive left has one of the largest of the anti-war movements throughout the US.

  92. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Don Nash

    Scanned your comment prior to reading, spotted the word “Libertarians”, immediately go to next comment #lawgicTrap @stawpPoasting

  93. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “Simply wanted to see the source of that poll.”

    I don’t buy it. If you were so keen on seeing the source, you could have simply googled it yourself. As I said before, something smells fishy!

    And the dead giveaway is your statement: “I’m not opposed to a deal” without explicitly indicating you are, in fact, opposed to the current deal… very, very sneaky!

  94. Thanks for giving me something to think about. I’ll keep this in mind as I attempt to move minds towards the anti-war message myself. As a Libertarian/Anarchist I tend to get a little harsh with anyone who I see as overly devoted to the state.

    I think the biggest problem with regards to your ideas here are that people just love being part of a team and love to hate the other teams. It’s only gotten worse and worse in the last couple decades though. Really terrible and by far the worst I have seen is right now. Identity politics is such complete trash. You really can’t be part of any party and keep your morality in tact. It’s just impossible. It’s not just a matter of compromise either, you have to be able to completely toss out your own belief system and suspend logical deduction at the same time. It’s amazing these partisans’ heads don’t explode from all the cognitive dissonance.

    As for Progressives most of them do seem to believe their own line, but then they blow it by hating Republicans/Conservatives/Evangelicals so much that they will back anyone with a D behind their name. This allows anyone with a D to completely ignore them. They know they have their vote anyway.

    By the way, you missed the other Progressive platform point that turns many people off; Separation of Church and State. You will never find a Progressive that doesn’t hammer on that point. It’s not that other groups don’t also agree with this but it’s how they come across that is killing them. It’s like they believe Christianity belongs in the closet. Their motto could be Gays out Christians in. This turns off Christians by the millions. I wonder how many of them know the KKK had Separation of church and state as a top item on their list too, just in reverse, if you know what I mean? Not that I’m a practicing Christian because I’m not. But most Americans like myself do believe in God even if we don’t go to church or even give it a whole lot of thought. However, nobody likes to have their beliefs oppressed or even mocked as so many progressives seem to do. It’s one thing to demand that we never become a theocracy and it’s another thing entirely to demand that people keep their faith out of any public place as if it’s something to be ashamed of.

    If I had one word of advice for progressives it would be to dial this one back a notch. We get it! You can’t stand Evangelicals, most of us don’t care for them either. But don’t cross that line and make all Christians out to be bible thumping, gun hugging, cousin fornicating, no teeth trailer trash.

    Oh and I get the e-mails for the free guns too. I sign up for all of them, I really do. But I do cringe at this message. The Rand Paul supporting ones are coming off as way too right wing. So much so that I have a hard time taking him seriously as any type of libertarian. They just make me think of typical Republican nonsense. Obama gonna grab your guns!! Scare tactic nonsense, when they could be talking about a whole lot more important things, like foreign policy! I don’t know, maybe he thinks this stuff will steal enough votes from the right wingers to win the primaries. I hope so, but it still bugs me to get them. I don’t read them anymore at all, makes me feel dirty like I’m one of “them”.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  95. Sam Shama says:
    @dfordoom

    Perhaps there’d be a better chance of peace in the Middle East if there were more nuclear powers in the region.

    You could be right of course, yet I hesitate to extrapolate from European experience and apply to the Middle East. The ME is not the American MW! That’s not a flip remark, the ME and its instability is utterly unpredictable, and setting aside discussions about what the root cause is, we simply have to weigh the risks against benefits. If Iran gets the bomb, surely Saudi, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq will follow rapidly, perhaps in that sequence. The various sectarian divisions in the ME cauldron exist at very high base temperatures and it takes only a small spark to set off Armageddon.

  96. @Brad Smith

    By the way, you missed the other Progressive platform point that turns many people off; Separation of Church and State. You will never find a Progressive that doesn’t hammer on that point.

    Talk about crossing boundaries to achieve common goals — those goals being, in Phil’s words: “an end to the continuous global warfare syndrome and also pari passu
    to get Israel out of our politics,

    “a voting majority actually exists to challenge current policies but it has to come together. . . .” [also Phil’s words] — or in any event it has to be pieced together.

    One important and surprising piece of that “voting majority” exists in the Orthodox Jewish community. Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro has led a number of protest rallies and participated in interviews to protest, among other things, the denial of religious freedom to Orthodox Jews in Israel! In Israel, Jewish cemeteries are being bulldozed to make way for zionist “progress.”

    Rabbi Shapiro’s stump speech gets to the heart of the matter: just as zionism has supplanted American foundational values, so it has co-opted the essentials of Jewish religion:

    the most insidious crime that that state has committed against our people: the theft of our identity. WE ARE THE JEWISH people. We are Israel. Here. We have been around for thousands of years practicing our religion. . . . They have not been around long enough to collect Social Security. They are impostors!

    Everybody knows the history of zionism: they weren’t happy with the way Jews were. They had inferiority complex. They were not accepted by the religious Jews because they were not religious, and they were not accepted by the non-Jews because they were Jews. They thought, in their great brilliance, that in order to eliminate antisemitism and in order to protect the Jewish people we have to change what the Jewish people are, from a religion . . . to a nation of soldiers and warriors *.

    What in the world is a Jewish state, can you tell me? I know what a Jewish person is, I know what a Jewish philosophy is, but the adjective Jewish does not accommodate the noun state.
    It’s like saying a Jewish tree, a Jewish car. What does it mean?

    The only way the zionists were able to create a Jewish state — for the noun State to accommodate the adjective Jewish — is to change the definition of Jewish. The hate, the seething psychopathic hate that the zionist has for the Jew is not borne out of bigotry and it’s not borne out of ignorance, it’s borne out of fear — fear because they thought by now there would be none of us left. They thought that by now all the Jews in the world, or all that matter anyway would be remade in their image; that the world would be at peace with them; that they would be able to vanquish their enemies with their armies. And now they see that We Still Live! They see that we are rapidly expanding and they see that we raise our voices. They see that they are a failure and that’s why they hate us! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChQLH71HAo4#t=188

    Rabbi Shapiro struck both chords of “majority” discontent with US foreign policy and with zionist Israel’s disproportionate influence and impact on it: zionism knows only militarism; zionism’s founding ideology was based on violence and war-making.

    The zionist ideology has overtaken and subverted the US Congress and subsumed the principles on which the US was founded.

  97. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “The various sectarian divisions in the ME cauldron exist at very high base temperatures and it takes only a small spark to set off Armageddon.”

    In case you haven’t noticed… that spark has already been lit. Any idea by whom and for what purpose? Or is that something you’d prefer to sweep under the rug?

  98. @Sam Shama

    Sam Shama wrote:

    the ME and its instability is utterly unpredictable, and setting aside discussions about what the root cause is,

    The root cause is zionism, zionist Israel, and zionized US Congress and foreign policy establishment.
    If you are genuinely interested in solving the problem, isn’t it essential to discern the root cause rather than “set aside” the root cause?

    Sam Shama wrote:

    we simply have to weigh the risks against benefits. If Iran gets the bomb, surely Saudi, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq will follow rapidly, perhaps in that sequence.

    1. One major benefit might be containment of Israel’s freedom to act violently and with impunity against its neighbors who do not have anything approaching the capacity of Israel to deliver death and destruction.

    2. Speaking of delivering death and destruction, do you have the same concerns about proliferating other weapons to “Saudi, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq” ? USA and Israel are arming these states to the teeth. Isn’t it a fact that far more innocent people have been killed with non-nuclear weapons than with nuclear weapons?

    3. In any event, the nuclearization of other states in the Middle East has already begun, and the USA is supporting the project —

    Launched January 4, 2012
    The Mideast’s newest nuclear power plant is being built in the United Arab Emirates, just a few hundred miles from Iran. U.A.E. officials promise that the plant will be open to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international watchdogs. U.S. and European officials describe it a model project which stands in direct contrast to Iran’s secret nuclear push.
    Dig beyond the public statements, however, and U.S. officials acknowledge real concerns about the plant. . . .http://pulitzercenter.org/projects/united-arab-emirates-nuclear-program-weapons-arms-iran-iaea-middle-east

    With American support, the Emirati government is building the Arab world’s first—and, for the moment, only—nuclear-power plant. http://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/persian-gulf-nuclear-power-bomb-united-arab-emirates-iran-arms-race-braka

    Sam Shama wrote:

    The various sectarian divisions in the ME cauldron exist at very high base temperatures and it takes only a small spark to set off Armageddon.

    Isn’t it a fact that Arabs and Jews got along quite well together in Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Syria for hundreds of years until the zionist project inserted itself and stirred up the pot?

    Isn’t it a fact that despite their “sectarian” differences, the various Muslim sects intermarried and lived together in relative peace in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, etc., until the US invasion of Iraq, roundly endorsed & promoted by Bibi Netanyahu, turned the region into a cauldron of chaos?

    It IS a fact that Iran is home to at least seven diverse ethnic groups who all get along more-or-less peacefully — at least as peacefully as do groups in the multi-ethnic “immigrant nation” and multi-denominational USA; and that Islam as practiced in Iran is inflected with ineradicable core Zoroastrian habits of mind and culture.


    Sam Shama — save your boilerplate for a less informed audience; folks here eviscerated bogus arguments like yours years ago.

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @geokat62
  99. geokat62 says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    “Sam Shama — save your boilerplate for a less informed audience; folks here eviscerated bogus arguments like yours years ago.”

    I love it when someone calls a spade a spade!

    • Replies: @annamaria
  100. Another problem of the anti-war, anti-Israel- influence- over- US- foreign- policy sector is the way that it is atomized. There are many voices and small groups who do their best to gather information, inform themselves, educate others, and speak out, but they have not coalesced to form a body with enough heft to tip the balance.

    One such small group is the American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) http://iranprospect.blogspot.com founded by Ardeshir and Ellie Ommani.

    Sadly, Ardeshir has succumbed to a lung disease that he fought for several years, even as he and his wife fought for “peace through justice.”

    Rest in Peace Ardeshir Ommani, and condolences to his wife, Eleanor.

  101. geokat62 says:
    @SolontoCroesus

    “If you are genuinely interested in solving the problem, isn’t it essential to discern the root cause rather than “set aside” the root cause?”

    As Fran indicated, rather than solving the problem, he’s genuinely interested in “Deep D’d – disrupt, delay, deceive, discredit, dissuade, deter, denigrate, distrust, degrade,” despite his flippant response to her query: “What is your purpose?”

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  102. Sam Shama says:

    @SolontoCroesus
    I have been reading this thread, and it seems to me that having more nukes is worse than having fewer. Its pretty similar to when you have a bigger pile of 4th of July fireworks, the chances of an accident has to go up.

    I mean your position is also the same as giving a gun to everybody in the U.S. to lower gun related violence! How does that work? (Yeah I know all the NRA b*shit arguments)

    I’ve been to the middle east (Saudi, Dubai and Tel Aviv) and what I can say is that the cultures are pretty different.

    So I am with Sam Shama on this. Makes zero sense to put the bomb within the reaches of Iran. Did you forget what they did to our embassy?

  103. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    Not a bit.
    btw I think I have, within a fairly tight confidence interval, determined the issue and identity of the Econ/Physics swap. In the interest of keeping speculation within the confines of speculation, the person, Notare bene, has been jolly thorough in consigning to the proverbial dustbin, Unz’s article on the HYP admissions issue. (I am sure you got the Latin clue)

    Again, in keeping with traditions in this echo-chamber, I have not seen from Unz any objective work critiquing her analyses, rather only the fully expected ad hominem that seems to be directed at commentators who provide, in actual practice, “the alternative selection”, so boldly claimed in by UR on the very top line.

    On the other hand, if there is such an analyses, which does the objective needful, please inform me and I will retract my observation.

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
    , @geokat62
  104. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “So I am with Sam Shama on this. Makes zero sense to put the bomb within the reaches of Iran. Did you forget what they did to our embassy?”

    If the Israelis are not willing to disarm, just as Iraq, Syria, and Iran were and are required to do so, this would leave them as the sole nuclear power in the region, enabling them to lord it over their adversaries. If they do agree to disarm, that’s when the others should be required to disarm as well. Thus, the most stable scenario is if either everyone or no one has nuclear weapons in the region!

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  105. @Sam Shama

    The gentleman doth protest too much; no daylight between those two, perhaps literally as well as figuratively, dalliance and alliance both.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  106. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    Believe what you wish to satisfy personal needs, it still leaves rather unaddressed, the important issue of missing objective analyses, something you have clearly stated as anathema to you …

    ..Mr. Shama can cite all the statistics he wants…..

  107. annamaria says:
    @Sam Shama

    The cultures are indeed different. But the differences have been easily bridged when, for example, the US, Saudis (9/11?), and Israelis (USSLiberty?) see benefits of cooperation. (These benefits are not always mutual, though).
    Iran has been suggesting nuclear-weapon-free Middle East. Do you know any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons and does not want to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency? A hint: this country is not Iran.

  108. @Sam Shama

    Everybody’s entitled to his own statistics, just like opinions. Like MacNamara’s, ultimately they claim to say everything and prove nothing except to those who cite them selectively and inappropriately. In this way, they are much like the tautological arguments cited by “race realists,” Holocaust Deniers and those seeing the Jews as the source of all mankind’s ills, ideologies impervious to reason – for those with high IQ, colossally invincible ignorance. Like Jesuits or madmen do, they can be cited to offer irrefutable proof that the moon is made of green cheese, or even Cheez Whiz if necessary.

    Your political stance appears to be unreformed Likudnik neocon Wall Streeter. It may serve a policy purpose some may believe serves their higher cause, it is true, but that is about the truth of it.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  109. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    This makes little sense to me, again its like the gun debate, if every country in the world had nukes how is that safer in the long run? It just increases the chances that someone might use it, accident or otherwise. You can’t get US, Russia, China, India, Israel, South Africa, Pakistan, North Korea to disarm. So now you want EVERYBODY to have a nuke. Great!

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  110. @Sam Shama

    I don’t believe StoC advocated for more nuclear weapons in the ME; geokat62 expressed the appropriate position — either nobody has nukes or anybody is entitled to nukes.

    The current situation, with Israel the only unregulated and rogue nuclear weaponized entity in the region, is not sustainable.

    If you have been reading this thread you will have noticed that as far back as 1995 the other states in the region were promised a conference to create a Nuclear-Free Zone in the region, which was (obviously) aimed at disarming Israel, it being the only nuclear weapons state in the region, then as now. That promise has not yet been fulfilled because Israel and its enabler, the USA, would not permit it to be fulfilled.

    Refer also to the link to Israel’s Periphery Doctrine. Yossi Alpher states in bold letters that it is not likely that Israel will change its behavior: the original Periphery Doctrine held that Israel would partner with, among others, Iran. That partnership having failed, and Israel having not yet learned how to get along with its neighbors, Alpher stated that (rather than examining its own rogue behavior) Israel is forming a new Periphery Doctrine, this time by coordinating with, arming for, and carrying out violence and destruction with Egypt and Saudi Arabia against Iran and Palestine and any other indigenous people of the region that demand sovereignty and resist Israeli and US belligerence.

    In other words, it is not likely that the effort to bring rogue Israel out of the cold that has failed over the past 40 years will succeed, absent some dramatic event or, tragically, violence.

    The situation that exists, therefore, is as if Iranians and the Palestinians — and Libya, Syria, Lebanon — must remain the weapons-free Mother Emmanuel Church, and the Dyllan Roof/Israels of the world must be coddled and given “security guarantees” and more and more weapons.

    Does that make sense to you?

    How would you resolve that dire situation?

  111. @Sam Shama

    the important issue of missing objective analyses,

    While he was in his heyday, Alan Greenspan produced hours and hours of complex “objective analyses,” replete with esoteric convolutions.

    It was based on a flawed and Randy theory, as Greenspan himself conceded, not so much grudgingly as defiantly. Much of the US economy suffered; Greenspan and “too big to fail” banks did not.

    Given the choice between “objective analysis” based on what may well be another “flawed theory,” I’ll go with my own “lying eyes” — the evidence I (or Fran Macadam, above) see of what is happening on the street.

    Statistics have zero nutritional value.

  112. @Sam Shama

    The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is the most important treaty since the end of WWII. It’s tripart premise and promise was quite simple:

    Non-Proliferation:
    Non-nuclear-weapon States (NNWS) agree not to import, build or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. NWS are obliged not to transfer nuclear weapons or explosive devices to NNWS. Any group of states are permitted to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones in their respective territories. [USA has failed to appropriately comply with that requirement]

    Disarmament:
    Article VI of the NPT obliges all Parties to the Treaty to undertake “to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”. This is the world’s only legally binding obligation on NWS to reduce and ultimately eliminate their nuclear weapons. . . .

    Peaceful Uses:
    All State Parties to the Treaty agree to full exchanges of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for peaceful uses of nuclear energy. NNWS parties must accept and comply with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards as a condition for peaceful nuclear co-operation. The IAEA uses safeguard activities to verify that States honour their commitments not to use nuclear programs for nuclear weapons. IAEA safeguards are “based on an assessment of the correctness and completeness of the State’s declarations [to the Agency] concerning nuclear material and nuclear-related activities.” The NPT encourages international co-operation for peaceful uses of nuclear energy, from medical diagnostics and treatments to power production. Non-nuclear-weapon States (NNWS) agree not to import, build or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. NWS are obliged not to transfer nuclear weapons or explosive devices to NNWS. Any group of states are permitted to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones in their respective territories.
    http://www.international.gc.ca/arms-armes/nuclear-nucleaire/npt-tnp.aspx?lang=eng

    Israel has not signed on the NPT although it enjoys benefits of nuclear technology sharing — one more instance of Israel demanding treatment as an exceptional [read: rogue] entity all the while disdaining the minimum demands of every other civilized state.

    Iran has been a member of NPT and its nuclear facilities have been monitored by IAEA — on some occasions IAEA has betrayed the confidentiality required of it, resulting in the deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists.

  113. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Sam Shama

    You could be right of course, yet I hesitate to extrapolate from European experience and apply to the Middle East.

    I’m hesitant about the idea as well but I just don’t know what else would work. It’s worked with India and Pakistan – they haven’t exactly learnt to love one another but at least they haven’t had a major war for more than forty years.

    It’s worth considering that if Israel and Egypt had both had nukes in 1967 the Six-Day War would probably not have happened, and the Six-Day War was the first fateful step in the destabilisation of the region.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  114. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    Your political stance appears to be unreformed Likudnik neocon Wall Streeter. It may serve a policy purpose some may believe serves their higher cause, it is true, but that is about the truth of it.

    Dear Fran:
    I am surprised you did not add unrepentant!

    I ask in all seriousness: I see all these labels bandied about these days, and while I suppose I do understand the context in which some are applied, I strenuously object to the mischaracterisation of my analyses. Should you re-read my words,

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/global-financialization-2015-the-state-of-play/#comment-980185

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/the-fed-cornered/#comment-979054

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/global-financialization-2015-the-state-of-play/#comment-977257

    http://www.unz.com/mhudson/global-financialization-2015-the-state-of-play/#comment-976602

    you cannot fail to note that I was essentially analysing current economic conditions. You will further note that I have agreed with you that our system requires reform: for the issue of inequality cannot simply be brushed off! I have also said that I believe that regulatory changes and tax policies need to be revised. Allow me to be rather more concrete. It is perfectly clear to me that the tax rates applicable to dividends and long-term capital gains need to be increased to the marginal rates paid by any individual, i.e., a Mitt Romney or a Warren Buffet (and he agrees), should not pay 15% whereas an ordinary income earner pays on the average 40%!

    I suspect you took exception to my quoting the improving national income statistics that did not reflect the realities in many middle class neighbourhoods in the U.S., thus again underscoring the real urgency to tackle inequality. You also spoke of banksters; I say in this context, that this being a nation of laws, one can only prosecute when an alleged crime is prosecutable. I also provided a list of actions undertaken and successfully completed by the SEC. Again, one supposes that if a large scale change in common law is the goal, that ought to be the premise of elections. (on a bit of a sidenote, since you invoked the Wall Streeter pejorative, I do not work at a bank, but rather in a private capital enterprise, which does not socialise its losses! All of this is to say, that I firmly believe in what I say, and strive to practice what I preach. I do resent the labels!)

    To fold in some of what S2C said about Greenspan, I find entirely irrelevant. Greenspan is a bit of an extreme Ayn Randian, but that has no bearing at all in gdp and labour data! Here is a simple thought experiment for those who do not analyse Fed policies for a living: If you object to what the Fed has been engaged in since 2008, think what you would have done if banks failed, ATM transactions frozen, credit cards frozen, etc. etc. You might say that one should have allowed banks to fail en masse, thereby subjecting the “banksters” to poetic justice, you might have a point. Yet it would fail to save the citizen from incredible harm!

    anyway enough said!

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
    , @geokat62
  115. David says:
    @Fran Macadam

    Best Fran comment ever. Thanks for reminding us of the IQ. I’d forgotten that.

  116. Sam Shama says:
    @dfordoom

    I understand your hesitancy. Actually India and Pakistan came very, very close to a nuclear confrontation in 1999

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kargil_War

    Can you imagine what might have happened, if for example Iran and Iraq had nukes when they waged war during 1980-88?!

    The 1967 war was precipitated by Egyptian mobilisation in Israel’s southern border. Israel engaged in a pre-emptive strike and destroyed the Egyptian air force. This may not not have happened, as you say, if both parties were nuclear, then again witness what happened between India and Pakistan in 1999! (Actually from what I understand, and it is certainly NOT official, it was in 1999 that the USA took de facto control of Pakistani nuclear assets)

  117. geokat62 says:

    “The 1967 war was precipitated by Egyptian mobilisation in Israel’s southern border.”

    This is not factually true. This myth has been debunked years ago. As you well know, this was a pretext for going to war when the Israelis felt they were in the best position to defeat Egypt.

    Keep trying!

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  118. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War

    ok now why don’t you post the “facts” from your own exclusive vintage echo-chamber, you know the ones that are closed to open source edit!?

    • Replies: @geokat62
  119. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “ok now why don’t you post the “facts” from your own exclusive vintage echo-chamber, you know the ones that are closed to open source edit!?”

    Here you go, Mr. 204:

    In The Six Day War and Israeli Self-Defense: Questioning the Legal Basis for Preventive War, John Quigley, a professor of international law at Ohio State University, presents a clear and compelling case that the orthodox story is wrong. Quigley’s book draws on evidence recently declassified by the four main powers involved in the lead up to the war: France, Britain, Russia, and the United States. He concludes that, contrary to the orthodox story, Israel’s army substantially outnumbered the Arab troops at the borders, and that Israel did not expect an attack. In short, Quigley asserts that Israel’s invasion of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria in 1967 cannot be justified as self-defense; Israel seized upon an opportunity to wage a war of aggression in violation of international law and in violation of the commitment Israel had made by joining the community of nations under the auspices of the UN Charter. (emphasis added) http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/understanding-still-matters

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  120. @Sam Shama

    Basically the objection to the bankster label, first applied to that cabal of Wall Street Firsters by a government regulator in the wake of The Great Depression they caused, is that, being “too big to fail” no matter the otherwise criminal behavior, they were therefore “too big to jail.” But last time I looked, identified members of the Mafia are identified as gangsters, even if they’ve managed to evade being charged or convicted. It’s quite the protection racket to achieve immunity from being charged with crimes, with the excuse being it would hurt the little guy too much. The same little guys they already ruined. In reality, it’s donorism at work. As the President claimed when questioned why he didn’t even try the slightest as FDR had (who even convicted foreign capitalist and historian Conrad Black admits saved capitalism from itself), “I would have liked to have done something, but it would have pissed off too many powerful people.”

    You might claim your private firm doesn’t get losses socialised; so how would going after the big boys be bad for your company then? Does it at all invest in buying sovereign debt for pennies on the dollar, then dun the debtor nation for the full amount? How about the trick of austerity and suffering for populations, when ruinous loans were knowingly extended, just as destabilised a Weimar facing World War I debts that wouldn’t be paid off until 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell? The subsequent wreckage led to Hitler – and all the troubles thereby in the Middle East today from the fallout of that genocide.

    Banksters, indeed. A well deserved pejorative, although it’s not surprising that those with such hubris should feel offended. Blankfein doing God’s work, after all, even if he does say so himself. The Devil must be in the details.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  121. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “If you object to what the Fed has been engaged in since 2008,…”

    What we object to is what the Fed has been engaged in since the mid 90s – namely, cheap money that resulted in numerous asset bubbles that preceded and precipitated the subprime fiasco!

  122. Sam Shama says:
    @Sam Shama

    what S2C and geokat are talking about is easily rejected by anyone who recognises the situation at hand as essentially belonging to an elementary class of problems in maths of optimisation, where a search for the optimal leads to a multiplicity of trivial solutions. The trick is in imposing correct constraints, that will lead to what is termed a”corner solution”. They think quite so airily that they have “eviscerated” arguments, without any real comprehension of the objective function or constraints. The Kargil war I pointed to previously, is apropos.

    • Replies: @geokat62
  123. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    As I said at very start, your echo chamber does not extend beyond the “interpretations” of Mondoweiss and a few others. I am fully conversant with Quigley’s work, which was destroyed as a matter of international law & jurisprudence, as well as on factual basis by Rostow as well as Alan Dershowitz. btw, the Wiki article (the power of open source) discusses the controversy….

    Rostow:
    Israel’s action in June, 1967, was a reasonably proportionate defensive
    response to an armed attack. 2 The attack consisted in the first instance
    of the closing of the Straits of Tiran and a huge Arab mobilization all
    around Israel, backed by violent calls for a Holy War to destroy Israel. 3
    Given escalating guerilla infiltrations of increasing sophistication and
    intensity, and the location of the Straits of Tiran, the destruction of the
    Arab armies in the Sinai Desert by Israel was not only proportional to
    the Egyptian delict – it was the only possible military response.

    • Replies: @KA
    , @geokat62
    , @KA
    , @annamaria
  124. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “Again, in keeping with traditions in this echo-chamber,…”

    If you think UR is an “echo-chamber,” why do you bother posting comments here?

    This simply reinforces my suspicion that your presence here is not quite what it seems. I think your true motive for being here is identical to that of your predecessor, the M.A. in Physics – namely, to police the goy for their unseemly thought crimes!

    Why don’t you come clean and admit it? Otherwise, we have no choice but to conclude that you are obsessed with listening to echoes, echoes, echoes, …

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @Johnny F. Ive
  125. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “The trick is in imposing correct constraints, that will lead to what is termed a”corner solution”. “

    What makes you so certain that the imposition of “correct constraints” must yield a “corner solution,” and not an interior optimum?

  126. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    You might claim your private firm doesn’t get losses socialised; so how would going after the big boys be bad for your company then? Does it at all invest in buying sovereign debt for pennies on the dollar, then dun the debtor nation for the full amount? How about the trick of austerity and suffering for populations, when ruinous loans were knowingly extended, just as destabilised a Weimar facing World War I debts that wouldn’t be paid off until 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell?

    I claim it, for it is so. I have no problems with going after the “Big Boys” (the banks or their CEOs?). The issue becomes what is the exact nature of the crime they committed? Issuing loans that in hindsight the borrower could not pay? Perhaps, but that is impossible to prosecute!

    Nope, I don’t believe in buying Argentinian debt pennies on the dollar and then subjecting the country to a faulty interpretation of the law, handed by a cantankerous old judge! Same applies to the purchasers of the FNM/ FRE debt and then trying to soak taxpayers.

    I believe, nay I know, that austerity is rubbish from a macroeconomic perspective and has caused great harm to the U.S. economy, which can finance at very low rates. We should engage in (in my estimate) about $3tr financed at 2.3% on infrastructure in the U.S. over 5 years. This will add millions of jobs and has a projected return well over 9%!

    A very similar thing is happening in Europe, where Germany which immeasurably benefited from the adoption of the weak EUR currency, thus getting it out of the “sick man of Europe” condition to what has been termed Wirtschaftswunder, is entirely due to the magic of the weak currency that they could only have as a part of the Euro and suppressing wages in Germany for decades. Greece is now being subjected to insane conditions such as 50% unemployment and a 30% shrinkage in their GDP, as a sacrificial lamb to the illogical demands of austerity, which is neither socially sustainable nor economically smart!

    Balnkfein? Well he is a phenomenal trader, and taught Greece how to dress-up its balance sheet!

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  127. KA says:
    @Sam Shama

    “Nasser added that “your own State Department called in my Ambassador to the U.S. in April or May and warned him that there were rumors that there might be a conflict between Israel and the UAR.”

    U.S. intelligence had indeed foreseen the coming war. “The CIA was right about the timing, duration, and outcome of the war”, notes David S. Robarge in an article available on the CIA’s website.

    On May 23, Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms presented Johnson with the CIA’s assessment that Israel could “defend successfully against simultaneous Arab attacks on all fronts … or hold on any three fronts while mounting successfully a major offensive on the fourth.”

    In an document entitled “Military Capabilities of Israel and the Arab States”, the CIA assessed that “Israel could almost certainly attain air supremacy over the Sinai Peninsula in less than 24 hours after taking the initiative or in two or three days if the UAR struck first.”

    Additionally, the CIA assessed that Nasser’s military presence in the Sinai was defensive, stating that “Armored striking forces could breach the UAR’s double defense line in the Sinai in three to four days and drive the Egyptians west of the Suez Canal in seven to nine days. Israel could contain any attacks by Syria or Jordan during this period” (emphasis added).


    Neither U.S. nor Israeli intelligence assessed that there was any kind of serious threat of an Egyptian attack. On the contrary, both considered the possibility that Nasser might strike first as being extremely slim.

    The current Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael B. Oren, acknowledged in his book “Six Days of War“, widely regarded as the definitive account of the war, that “By all reports Israel received from the Americans, and according to its own intelligence, Nasser had no interest in bloodshed”.


    Four days before Israel’s attack on Egypt, Helms met with a senior Israeli official who expressed Israel’s intent to go to war, and that the only reason it hadn’t already struck was because of efforts by the Johnson administration to restrain both sides to prevent a violent conflict

    Yitzhak Rabin, who would later become Prime Minister, told Le Monde the year following the ’67 war, “I do not think Nasser wanted war. The two divisions which he sent to the Sinai, on May 14, would not have been sufficient to start an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin acknowledged in a speech in 1982 that its war on Egypt in 1956 was a war of “choice” and that, “In June 1967 we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

    Despite its total lack of sustainability from the documentary record, and despite such admissions from top Israeli officials, it is virtually obligatory for commentators in contemporary mainstream accounts of the ’67 war to describe Israel’s attack on Egypt as “preemptive

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/07/04/israels-attack-on-egypt-in-june-67-was-not-preemptive/

    a

  128. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    I simply love to listen to people as it helps me crystallise and criticise my own thoughts. UR has smart people commenting, unlike the WSJ……the echo chamber comparison is apt when it comes to Jews; its a montonic function of hatred

    • Replies: @geokat62
  129. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “… your echo chamber does not extend beyond the “interpretations” of Mondoweiss and a few others.”

    Does Yitzhak Rabin qualify as a member of the echoe chamber?:

    [A]ccording to even Yitzhak Rabin, who was then the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, “We did not think that Nasser wanted war. The two divisions he sent to Sinai on May 14 would not have been sufficient to launch an offensive against Israel. He knew it and we knew it.”

    “I am fully conversant with Quigley’s work, which was destroyed as a matter of international law & jurisprudence, as well as on factual basis by Rostow as well as Alan Dershowitz.”

    Could you be so kind and inform us as to which specific facts Prof. Quigley got wrong?

  130. KA says:
    @Sam Shama

    ” closing of the Straits of Tiran” is heard nowadays . But No one from Israel leadership made this claim as a reason. May be it was.
    Now one can understand that why an actual blockade imposed by Israel from all directions immidiayrly after the election on Gaza let alone just to the sea could generate the appropriate responses from Palestinian but which could never be understood by the neocons other than in the terms of labeling Palestinian as irrational,suicidal,fanatic,primitive sufferring from hatred and rage.

  131. KA says:

    “Britain’s ambassador to Israel, Michael Hadow, after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol reported to London that Israel agreed with the British assessment “that Nasser’s new posture posed no real threat.” Nevertheless, Israel responded with additional deployments of its own in the south.

    In connection with the increase of its troop strength in Sinai, Egypt asked the UN to withdraw its observer force from the area. However, says Quigley, Egypt, the UN and the United States all offered to Israel that the observer force could be stationed in the Sinai on Israel’s side of the line. Israel refused.

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/understanding-still-matters#sthash.wA1PFrsr.dpuf

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/06/understanding-still-matters#sthash.wA1PFrsr.dpuf

  132. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “… the echoe chamber comparison is apt when it comes to Jews; its a montonic (sic) function of hatred”

    Do you detect any hatred in any of my postings? If so, please provide evidence.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  133. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    Point taken. I certainly have not seen any from you, otoh I have not seen any obvious attempts to discourage or dissociate from the bilious and vitriolic either.

    Also for the record, I don’t really get overly bothered by words. (the “204” allusions are pretty funny, a point of pride in my 20s, sort of escaped in a moment of fractious debate. Again for the record, I believe that while initial human endowments might be different, due perhaps to a sprinkling of selection, most of achievement is simply a matter of persistence and efficiency)

    • Replies: @geokat62
  134. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “… otoh I have not seen any obvious attempts to discourage or dissociate from the bilious and vitriolic either.”

    Is this attempt obvious enough?:

    @Blurp

    Congratulations on another impressive splenetic diatribe!

    Buffoon? Ouch!

    Just for the record, since I’ve already denounced the racist comments of other posters on Unz,

    “Glad to see the kind of audience Unz and Giraldi are attracting:…”

    This Anonymous character is the exception, not the rule. Most posters on Unz are fair-minded and make responsible comments without any hints of racism. Knowing the MO of hasbarists, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was a zio-troll intentionally trying to damage the reputation of Unz by posting such repugnant comments!

    I’ll leave it to folks like you to do so in the future, given that you are being paid to “police the Goy” as another poster aptly put it.

    btw – do you mind responding to the Rabin quote?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  135. @Sam Shama

    http://www.unz.com/jpetras/pillage-and-class-polarization/

    Accurate. Too bad if the result is the last sentence, though.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  136. Sam Shama says:
    @geokat62

    OK. I hadn’t seen your previous words, and I hereby acknowledge without reservation an apology.

    Rabin’s words.

    Look, Rabin amongst many, had been trying to achieve peace (which later on he re-attempted with Arafat and paid for with his life). The unvarnished truth is a combination of the following: (1) the generals in Israel most certainly wanted to take full advantage of the un-coordinated, amateurish behaviour of Nasser and Jordan; Hussein himself was occupying theWest Bank violating armistice, played into the hands of the generals. (2) Quigley’s mechanistic interpretation of 242, ignoring the entire history and context, which should include in the least, 1957 and 1948, bypasses reality, one of which is that 2/3rds of the world’s populated area is child of wars fought by design and accident.

    Rather than rehashing, here is some of Rostow’s thoughts (Dershowitz I won’t post, since I know your feelings on the matter)

    http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1313&context=djcil

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @geokat62
    , @geokat62
  137. Sam Shama says:
    @Fran Macadam

    Thanks, hadn’t gotten to reading it, but just skimmed through it. Its a bit of a coincidence that I was emphasising inequality last evening…..

    Do mean the nationalisation or the outlawing derivatives, forex and “unnatural parasitic activities” (what are these?)

    I do understand the frustration. The world at large is changing very rapidly and he is trying to take on far too much, which will inevitably result in more frustration. I have some ideas that may be more achievable…

  138. Sam Shama says:
    @Sam Shama

    @geokat62
    Mean’t to write “issue an unreserved apology”. Don’t want you to think that I was accepting an apology from you!

  139. Ron Unz says:

    Well, in glancing over this seemingly endless comment-thread, it appears that our friend “Sam Shama” somewhere claimed to have a tested IQ of 204.

    Now this is certainly *possible.* As near as I can tell at least something like a couple of hundred Americans fall into the 200+ IQ range. However, just like some anonymous website commenter who claims to be 7’4″ tall, I’m somewhat skeptical…

    None of his comments seem particularly impressive or brilliant, mostly being the sort of standard “talking points” you can find everywhere on the web. On the other hand, he does seem to be a remarkably slippery and dishonest individual in his positions, so perhaps his alleged seven-sigma superiority actually is centered in those latter traits.

    In support of that hypothesis, he cites as an unimpeachable authority Alan Dershowitz, a notorious liar and plagiarist. Perhaps we’ll next see him suggest that his other personal role model is that renowned scientific genius, the late Stephen Jay Gould…

    However, a somewhat discordant note is his claim that he earns his living as some sort of financier. Freely volunteering the information that he exists as a harmful parasite in our severely infested socio-economic system is hardly an indicator of either dishonesty or intelligence, so the verdict is a bit unclear.

    As for the overall trajectory of our American society, here’s a link to an article I published on that subject a couple of years ago:

    http://www.unz.com/article/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @KA
  140. annamaria says:
    @Sam Shama

    “..Rostow as well as Alan Dershowitz..”
    You mean that these two gentlemen are known for their objectivity re Israel? Come on…
    Here is something on the international law by Mr. Rostow: “Israeli settlements are more than legitimate.” http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/24/challenging-the-long-held-notion-that-israeli-settlements-are-illegal/
    And here is something about Mr. Dershowitz the Lawyer: “The Jihad of Alan Dershowitz.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2004/09/30/the-jihad-of-alan-dershowitz/

  141. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    “The unvarnished truth…”

    Ever wonder why the advocates of the Zionist project are only prepared to proffer the truth on an exceptional basis – i.e., after being repeatedly challenged on a particular issue – rather than it being de rigueur from the outset? It would save a lot of time and effort… but I guess that’s part of their strategic thinking – grind it out until they’re too tired to continue!

    btw – do you have a response to annamarina’s post below regarding Rostow and the illegal settlements?

    • Replies: @annamaria
  142. Sam Shama says:
    @Ron Unz

    Priceless.

    Ron lashing out shines a spotlight on your own failings: hypocrisy, since you made your little pile working and then selling to Wall Street your tortured, user-unfriendly software; penning a pretentious “statistical” expose on the Ivies, rendered insignificant for its sophomoric measurement and specification errors, reduces you to hurling ad hominem attacks on those who objectively critiqued you!

    Bravo! Do run for office again.

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  143. annamaria says:
    @geokat62

    Here is a supplemental material for Rostow arguments.
    “The Children of Gaza’s Harrowing Cry for Help:” http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/26/the-children-of-gazas-harrowing-cry-for-help/

    • Replies: @geokat62
  144. @Sam Shama

    Rather a petulant dud, don’t you think, for the intellectual firepower of IQ 204?

  145. geokat62 says:
    @annamaria

    Thanks for the link, annamarina.

    Just wondering whether our friend, Mr. Shama, takes issue with how the author characterizes last summer’s assault on the Gazans:

    “… a war of a ruthless occupier against an almost defenseless people.”

    • Replies: @annamaria
  146. @geokat62

    Suspicion? I thought it was obvious: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

    I’m not one to talk though. I’ve aided in the ruin of many of a comment thread. The moderator probably hates me.

  147. annamaria says:
    @geokat62

    ethnocentricity is a brutal force that makes people blind and deaf to other peoples’ pain if these others present a competition.
    There has never been homogeneity among Jewish people and this is particularly true today, when many Israelis are the opportunistic newcomers from distant lands, which boast their Jewish identity for purely political and economic gains. The noble Jewish tradition is of no value for the aggressive lot. It does not help that among the leading neocons there is the number of influential Israel firsters that look upon the US as a useful tool for protecting their biblical rights and superiority and other childish dreams that infuse the tribalists with the sense of significance.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  148. @annamaria

    Some people will try to tell you that there are two kinds of “Jewish people”; The rather harmless, gentle Sephardic Jew who just wants to live and get along as best he can, and Zionist Jews who are responsible for the wars and financial havoc being wrecked on the world today. An argument I would tend to buy into, except for the fact that I am also happen to know (from reading history) that Jews, as parasites, were robbing, ruining and wrecking nations long before Zionism came into existence as a political force.

    • Replies: @Fran Macadam
  149. @Carroll Price

    “I am also happen to know (from reading history) that Jews, as parasites, were robbing, ruining and wrecking nations long before Zionism”

    Must have been authored by someone who decided that history would be unkind to the Jews, because he intended to write it.

  150. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    Apology accepted. Now that I have demonstrated that I condemn hate-speech, are you willing to do the same?

    Specifically, are you willing to condemn the vile hate speech propagated by the likes of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and the Clarion Fund, (a Zionist front group that produced the trilogy of films that inspired Anders Breivik to murder over 70 Norwegians) whose sole objective is to incite in the goy Islamophobia?

    In short, are you prepared to condemn the real haters who are intent on causing death and destruction or is your angst limited to those who call into question the morality of the actions of the Zionst project?

  151. KA says:
    @Ron Unz

    When Khatami ( Iran) visited USA, he was greeted by the neocon crowd with epithets and slurs reserved for criminal . Alan Dershowitz equated him to David Duke . Boston Herald taking advantage of American stupidity pertaining to secular and fundamentalism or Shia and Sunni and Arab and Iran blamed the invitation by Harvard extended to Khatami as the arrogant expression of Arab Lobby.

    ( John Walsh in Counterpunch . Sept 12 2006 )

  152. […] I have recently found that many conservatives and even libertarians now tend to shy away from serious debate on national security issues. They have become particularly nervous about discussing Israel’s role in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy for reasons that I can only guess at. CPAC had only one foreign policy panel in its most recent iteration and the various libertarian gatherings have become comfortable with anodyne anti-war bumper stickers as a substitute for any serious probing of the issues underlying America’s downward spiral. http://www.unz.com/article/the-politics-of-protest-is-literally-killing-us/ […]

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