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Playing the Long Game on Iran
The Neoconservatives, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Republicans Game the System
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Rumsfeld, Bush, and Cheney. Credit: GOP Stoppers
Rumsfeld, Bush, and Cheney. Credit: GOP Stoppers

“We’re going to push and push until some larger force makes us stop.”

David Addington, the legal adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, made that declaration to Jack Goldsmith of the Office of Legal Counsel in the months after September 11, 2001. Goldsmith would later recall that Cheney and Addington were the first people he had ever met of a certain kind: “Cheney is not subtle, and he has never hidden the ball. The amazing thing is that he does what he says. Relentlessness is a quality I saw in him and Addington that I never saw before in my life.”

Goldsmith did not consider himself an adversary of Cheney and Addington. He probably shared many of their political views. What shocked him was their confidence in a set of secret laws and violent policies that could destroy innocent lives and warp the Constitution. The neoconservatives — the opinion-makers and legislative pedagogues who since 2001 have justified the Cheney-Bush policies — fit the same description. They are relentless, they push until they are stopped, and thus far they have never been stopped for long.

The campaign for the Iraq war of 2003, the purest example of their handiwork, began with a strategy memorandum in 1996, so it is fair to say that they have been pitching to break up the Middle East for a full two decades. But fortune played them a nasty trick with the signing of the nuclear agreement between the P5+1 powers and Iran. War and the prospect of war have been the source of their undeniable importance. If the Iran nuclear deal attains legitimacy, much of their power will slip through their fingers. The imperialist idealism that drives their ventures from day to day will be cheated of the enemy it cannot live without.

Iran might then become just one more unlucky country — authoritarian and cruelly oppressive but an object of persuasion and not the focus of a never-ending threat of force. The neoconservatives are enraged and their response has been feverish: if they were an individual, you would say that he was a danger to himself and others. They still get plenty of attention and airtime, but the main difference between 2003 and 2015 is the absence of a president who obeys them — something that has only served to sharpen their anger.

President Obama defended the nuclear deal vigorously in a recent speech at American University. This was the first such extended explanation of a foreign policy decision in his presidency, and it lacked even an ounce of inspirational fluff. It was, in fact, the first of his utterances not likely to be remembered for its “eloquence,” because it merits the higher praise of good sense. It has been predictably denounced in some quarters as stiff, unkind, ungenerous, and “over the top.”

Obama began by speaking of the ideology that incited and justified the Iraq War of 2003. He called it a “mindset,” and the word was appropriate — suggesting a pair of earphones around a head that prevents us from hearing any penetrating noise from the external world. Starting in the summer of 2002, Americans heard a voice that said: Bomb, invade, occupy Iraq! And do the same to other countries! For the sake of our sanity, Obama explained, we had to take off those earphones:

“We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place. It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy; a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus; a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported. Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history. And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive, while dismissing those who disagreed as weak — even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.”

In this precise catalogue of mental traits, Obama was careful to name no names, but he made it easy to construct a key:

  • A mindset characterized by a preference for military action: President George W. Bush ordering the U.N. nuclear inspectors out of Iraq (though they had asked to stay and complete their work) because there was a pressing need to bomb in March 2003;
  • A mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld dismissing the skeptical challenge and eventual non-participation of France and Germany as proof of the irrelevance of “old Europe”;
  • A mindset that exaggerated threats: the barely vetted New York Times stories by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, which an administration bent on war first molded and then cited on TV news shows as evidence to justify preventive war;
  • Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war:Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz pooh-poohing the estimate by Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki that it would take 400,000 troops to maintain order in Iraq after the war;
  • Insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history: the bromides of Bush and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on the indwelling Arab spirit that yearns for American-style democracy across the Middle East.

Obama went on to assert that there was a continuity of persons as well as ideas between the propagandists who told us to bomb, invade, and occupy Iraq in 2003 and those now spending tens of millions of dollars to ensure that Congress will abort the nuclear deal. “The same mindset,” the president remarked, “in many cases offered by the same people who seem to have no compunction with being repeatedly wrong, led to a war that did more to strengthen Iran, more to isolate the United States, than anything we have done in the decades before or since.”

Those people have never recognized that they were wrong. Some put the blame on President Bush or his viceroy in Baghdad, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, L. Paul Bremer, for mismanaging the occupation that followed the invasion; others continue to nurse the fantastic theory that Saddam Hussein really was in possession of nuclear weapons but somehow smuggled them across the border to Syria and fooled both U.S. reconnaissance teams and the U.N. inspectors; still others maintain that Shiite militias and weaponry dispatched to Iraq from Iran were the chief culprits in the disaster of the postwar insurgency.

Bear in mind that these opinion-makers, in 2003, hardly understood the difference between Shiite and Sunni in the country they wanted to invade. To put the blame now on Iran betrays a genius for circular reasoning. Since all Shia militias are allied by religion with Iran, it can be argued that Iraq was not destroyed by a catastrophic war of choice whose effects set the region on fire. No: the United States under Bush and Cheney was an unpresuming superpower doing its proper work, bringing peace and democracy to one of the dark places of the earth by means of a clean, fast, “surgical” war. In 2004 and 2005, just as in 2015, it was Iran that caused the trouble.

Simple Facts That Are Not Known

Because the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has scorned the nuclear deal without any attention to detail, the president felt compelled in his speech to recognize candidly the difference of national interest that exists between Israel and the United States. Though we are allies, he said, we are two different countries, and he left his listeners to draw the necessary inference: it is not possible for two countries (any more than two persons) to be at once different and the same. Obama went on to connect the nations in question to this premise of international politics:

“I believe [the terms of the agreement] are in America’s interest and Israel’s interest. And as president of the United States, it would be an abrogation of my constitutional duty to act against my best judgment simply because it causes temporary friction with a dear friend and ally.”

The last affirmation is critical. A president takes an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States” — that is, to attend to the interest of his own country and not another.

The danger of playing favorites in the world of nations, with a partiality that knows no limits, was a main topic of George Washington’s great Farewell Address. “Permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded,” said Washington, because

“a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.”

There are Americans today who submit to a ruling passion that favors uniquely the interests of Israel, and the president had them in mind when he invoked his duties under the Constitution toward the only country whose framework of laws and institutions he had sworn to uphold. Genuine respect for another democracy formed part of his thinking here. Not only was Obama not elected to support Netanyahu’s idea of America’s interest, he was also not elected by Israelis to support his own idea of Israel’s interest.

In a recent commentary in Foreign Affairs, the prominent Israeli journalist and former government adviser Daniel Levy pointed out a fact that is not much remembered today regarding Netanyahu’s continuous effort to sabotage negotiations with Iran. It was the Israeli prime minister who initially demanded that nuclear negotiations be pursued on a separate track from any agreement about the trade or sale of conventional weapons. He chose that path because he was certain it would cause negotiations to collapse. The gambit having failed, he now makes the lifting of sanctions on conventional weaponry a significant objection to the “bad deal” in Vienna.

Obama concluded his argument by saying that “alternatives to military action will have been exhausted if we reject a hard-won diplomatic solution that the world almost unanimously supports. So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.” A measured statement and demonstrably true.

But you would never come within hailing distance of this truth if you listened to the numbers of Congressional Republicans who repeat the neoconservative watchwords and their accompanying digests of the recent history of the Middle East. They run through recitations of the dramatis personae of the war on terror with the alacrity of trained seals. Israel lives in a “dangerous neighborhood.” Islamists are “knocking on our door” and “looking for gaps in the border with Mexico.” Iran is “the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Barack Obama is “an appeaser” and “it’s five minutes to midnight in Munich.” Elected officials who walk on two legs in the twenty-first century are not embarrassed to say these things without the slightest idea of their provenance.

If there was a fault in the president’s explanation of his policy, it lay in some things he omitted to say. When you are educating a people who have been proselytized, as Americans have been, by a political cult for the better part of two decades, nothing should be taken for granted. Most Americans do not know that the fanatical Islamists, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, the Islamic State (IS) — the active and destructive revolutionary force in the greater Middle East at the moment — are called Sunni Muslims. Nor do they know that the Shia Muslims who govern Iran and who support the government of Syria have never attacked the United States.

To say it as simply as it should be said: the Shiites and Sunnis are different sects, and the Shiites of Iran are fighting against the same enemies the U.S. is fighting in Syria and elsewhere. Again, most Americans who get their information from miscellaneous online scraps have no idea that exclusively Sunni fanatics made up the force of hijackers who struck the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. They would be surprised to learn that none of these people came from Iraq or Iran. They do not know that 15 of the 19 came from Saudi Arabia — a supposed ally of the United States. And they do not know that the Islamist warriors who brought chaos and destruction to Syria and Iraq are bankrolled in part by members of the Saudi and Qatari elite who have nothing to do with Iran. It has never been emphasized — it is scarcely written in a way that might be noticeable even in our newspaper of record — that Iran itself has carried the heaviest burden of the fight against IS.

Throughout his presidency, when speaking of Iran, Obama has mixed every expression of hope for improved relations with a measure of opprobrium. He has treated Iran as an exceptional offender against the laws of nations, a country that requires attention only in the cause of disarmament. He does this to assure the policy elite that he respects and can hum the familiar tunes. But this subservience to cliché is timid, unrealistic, and pragmatically ill advised. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill did not denounce the Soviet Union when they took that country’s dictator, Joseph Stalin, as a partner in war in 1941, though Stalin’s crimes exceeded anything attributable to the Iranian mullahs. Ritual denunciation of a necessary ally is a transparent absurdity. And in a democracy, it prevents ordinary people from arriving at an understanding of what is happening.

Nuclear Deals and Their Critics, Then and Now

What are the odds that the neoconservatives and the Republicans whose policy they manage will succeed in aborting the P5+1 nuclear deal? One can take some encouragement from the last comparably ambitious effort at rapprochement with an enemy: the conversations between President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Washington, and Moscow in 1986, 1987, and 1988. At the same time, one ought to be forewarned by the way that unexpected change of course was greeted. The neoconservative cult was just forming then. Some of its early leaders like Richard Perle had positions in the Reagan administration, and they were unanimously hostile to the talks that would yield the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) of 1988. The agreement set out the terms for the destruction of 2,611 missiles, capable of delivering 4,000 warheads — the biggest step in lowering the risk of nuclear war since the Test Ban Treaty championed by President Kennedy and passed in late 1963.

But as James Mann recounted in The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan a narrative of the anticommunist president’s surprising late turn in foreign policy — all of Reagan’s diplomatic efforts were deeply disapproved at the time, not only by the neoconservative hotheads but by those masters of the “diplomatic breakthrough,” former President Richard Nixon and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; by the most widely quoted columnists of the right, George Will and William Safire; and by Timemagazine, which ran a story titled “Has Reagan Gone Soft?” The Reagan-Gorbachev talks were looked upon with suspicion, too, by “realists” and “moderates” of the political and security establishment, including Robert Gates and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush. Why Gates? Because he was deputy director of the CIA and the Agency was thoroughly convinced that Soviet Russia and its leadership could never change. Why Bush? Because he was already running for president.

The political and media establishment of that moment was startled by the change that President Reagan first signaled in 1986, as startled as today’s establishment has been by the signing of the P5+1 agreement. This was the same Ronald Reagan who in 1983 had called the Soviet Union “an evil empire.” At the end of his visit to Moscow in June 1988, Reagan was asked by the ABC News reporter Sam Donaldson, “Do you still think you’re in an evil empire, Mr. President?”

“No,” Reagan replied. “I was talking about another time and another era.” And he stuck to that answer at a press conference the next day, adding: “I think that a great deal of [the change] is due to the General Secretary, who I have found different than previous Soviet leaders… A large part of it is Mr. Gorbachev as a leader.”

By 1987, Reagan’s popularity had hit a low of 47% — largely because of the Iran-Contra scandal — but he still retained his reputation as the most irreproachable defender of the West against world communism. Obama for his part has done everything he could — short of emulating the invade-and-occupy strategy of Bush — to maintain U.S. force projection in the Middle East in a manner to which Washington has become accustomed since 9/11. He doubtless believes in this policy, and he has surrounded himself with adepts of “humanitarian war”; but he clearly also calculated that a generous ration of conformity would protect him when he tried for his own breakthrough in negotiations with Iran.

In the end, Reagan got a 93-5 vote in the Senate for his nuclear treaty with the Soviet Union. Obama is hoping for much less — a vote of less than two thirds of that body opposed to the Iran settlement. But he is confronted by the full-scale hostility of a Republican party with a new character and with financial backing of a new kind.

The U.S. military and security establishment has sided with the president. And though the fact is little known here, so have the vast majority of Israelis who can speak with any authority on issues of defense and security. Even the president of Israel, Reuben Rivlin, has signaled his belief that Netanyahu’s interventions in American politics are wrong. Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak has advised that, however reluctantly, Israel should accept the nuclear agreement and forge an understanding with the U.S. about what to do in case of its violation. To this remarkable consensus should be added the public letter — signed by 29 American scientists, many of them deeply involved in nuclear issues, including six recipients of the Nobel Prize — which vouches for the stringency of the agreement and praises the “unprecedented” rigor of the 24-day cap on Iranian delays for site inspection: an interval so short (as no one knows better than these scientists) that successful concealment of traces of nuclear activity becomes impossible.

Two other public letters supporting the nuclear deal have been notable. The first was signed by former U.S. diplomats endorsing the agreement unambiguously, among them Ryan Crocker, the American ambassador to Iraq after 2003; Nicholas Burns, who negotiated with Iran for the younger Bush; and Daniel Kurtzer, a former ambassador to Israel and Egypt who served under both President Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. A further letter carried the personal and institutional authority of dozens of retired admirals and generals. So close an approach to unanimity on the benefits of an agreement among the U.S. military, diplomatic, and scientific communities has seldom been achieved. Even President Reagan could not claim this degree of support by qualified judges when he submitted the INF treaty to the Senate.

Such endorsements ought to represent a substantial cause for hope. But Obama’s supporters would be hard pressed to call the contest a draw on television and radio. The neoconservatives — and the Republicans channeling them — are once again working with boundless energy. Careers are being built on this fight, as in the case of Senator Tom Cotton, and more than one presidential candidacy has been staked on it.

On the day of Obama’s speech, even a relatively informed talk show host like Charlie Rose allowed his coverage to slant sharply against the agreement. His four guests were the Haaretz reporter Chemi Shalev; the Daily Beastcolumnist Jonathan Alter; the former State Department official and president of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haass; and the neoconservative venture capitalist, Mark Dubowitz, who has come to be treated as an expert on the nuclear policies and government of Iran.

Haass, passionately opposed to the agreement, said that the president’s speech had been “way over the top,” and hoped Congress would correct its “clear flaws.” Shalev rated the speech honest and “bracing” but thought it would leave many in the Jewish community “offended.” Dubowitz spoke of Iran as a perfidious nation that ought to be subjected to relentless and ever-increasing penalties. His solution: “empower the next president to go back and renegotiate.” Jonathan Alter alone defended the agreement.

Planning to Attack Iran, 2002-2015

By now, the active participants in mainstream commentary on the War on Terror all have a history, and one can learn a good deal by looking back. Haass, for example, a pillar of the foreign policy establishment, worked in the State Department under Bush and Cheney and made no public objection to the Iraq War. Dubowitz has recently co-authored several articles with Reuel Marc Gerecht, a leading propagandist for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In a characteristic piece in the Wall Street Journal last November, Gerecht and Dubowitz argued that the P5+1 negotiations opened a path to a nuclear bomb for Iran. President Obama, they said, was too weak and trapped by his own errors to explore any alternatives, but there were three “scenarios” that a wiser and stronger president might consider. First, “the White House could give up on diplomacy and preemptively strike Iran’s nuclear sites”; second, “the administration could give up on the current talks and default back to sanctions”; third, “new, even more biting sanctions could be enacted, causing Tehran considerable pain.” The range of advisable policy, for Gerecht and Dubowitz, begins with “crippling sanctions” and ends with a war of aggression.

These scenarios typify the neoconservative “options.” Writing on his own in the Atlantic in June 2013, Dubowitz informed American readers that there was nothing to celebrate in the Iranian presidential election that brought to power the apparently rational and moderate Hassan Rouhani. “A loyalist of Iran’s supreme leader and a master of nuclear deceit,” Rouhani, as interpreted by Dubowitz, is a false friend whose new authority “doesn’t get us any closer to stopping Iran’s nuclear drive.”

Consider Gerecht in his solo flights and you can see what made the president say that these are the people who gave us the Iraq War. They were as sure then about the good that would follow the bombing and invasion of that country as they are now about the benefits of attacking Iran. Indeed, Gerecht has the distinction of having called for an attack on Iran even before the official launch of the Bush strategy on Iraq.

It is said that Dick Cheney’s August 26, 2002, speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars marked the first formal description of the War on Terror offered by a U.S. leader to American citizens. But Gerecht, a former CIA specialist on the Middle East, stole a march on the vice president. In the Weekly Standard of August 6, 2002, under the title “Regime Change in Iran?,” he declared his belief that President Bush was the possessor of a “revolutionary edge and appeal… in the Middle East.” The younger Bush had

“sliced across national borders and civilizational divides with an unqualified assertion of a moral norm. The president declared, ‘The people of Iran want the same freedoms, human rights, and opportunities as people around the world.’ America will stand ‘alongside people everywhere determined to build a world of freedom, dignity, and tolerance.’”

The analyst Gerecht took up where the evangelist Bush left off: the relevant country to attack in August 2002 — on behalf of its people of course — was Iran. Gerecht had no doubt that

“the Iranian people overwhelmingly view clerical rule as fundamentally illegitimate. The heavily Westernized clerics of Iran’s religious establishment — and these mullahs are on both sides of the so-called ‘moderate-conservative’ split — know perfectly well that the Persian word azadi, ‘freedom,’ is perhaps the most evocative word in the language now… Azadi has also become indissolubly associated with the United States.”

This was the way the neoconservatives were already writing and thinking back in August 2002. It is hard to know which is more astounding, the show of philological virtuosity or the self-assurance regarding the advisability of war against a nation of 70 million.

General prognostications, however, are never enough for the neoconservatives, and Gerecht in 2002 enumerated the specific benefits of disorder in Iraq and Iran:

“An American invasion [of Iraq] could possibly provoke riots in Iran — simultaneous uprisings in major cities that would simply be beyond the scope of regime-loyal specialized riot-control units. The army or the Revolutionary Guard Corps would have to be pulled into service in large numbers, and that’s when things could get interesting.”

That was how he had it scored. Bush, the voice of freedom, would be adored as a benevolent emperor at a distance:

“President Bush, of course, doesn’t need National Iranian Television broadcasts to beam his message into the Islamic Republic. Everything he says moves at light speed through the country. The president just needs to keep talking about freedom being the birthright of Muslim peoples.”

Such was the neoconservative recipe for democracy in the Middle East: beam the words of George W. Bush to people everywhere, invade Iraq, and spark a democratic uprising in Iran (assisted if necessary by U.S. bombs and soldiers).

For a final glimpse of the same “mindset,” look closely at Gerecht’s advice on Syria in June 2014. Writing again in the Weekly Standard, he deprecated the very idea of getting help from Iran in the fight against the Islamic State. “The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Enemy” declares the title of the piece, and the article makes the same point with a minimal reliance on facts. Sunni terrorists are portrayed as impetuous youngsters who naturally go too far, but it is too early to gauge their trajectory: the changes they bring may not ultimately be uncongenial to American interest. The Shiite masterminds of Iran, on the other hand, have long ago attained full maturity and will never change. Gerecht’s hope, last summer, was that substantial Iranian casualties in a war against IS would lead to the spontaneous uprising that failed to materialize in 2003.

“It is possible that the present Sunni-Shiite conflict could, if the Iranian body count rises and too much national treasure is spent, produce shock waves that fundamentally weaken the clerical regime… Things could get violent inside the Islamic Republic.”

The vision underlying this policy amounts to selective or strategic tolerance of al-Qaeda and IS for the sake of destroying Iran.

Will the War on Terror Be Debated?

How can such opinions be contested in American politics? The answer will have to come from what remains of the potential opposition party in the war on terror. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut has been a remarkable exception, but for the most part the Democrats are preoccupied with domestic policy. If almost two-thirds of Congress today is poised to vote against the Iran settlement, this embarrassment is the result of years of systematic neglect. Sherrod Brown, Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Ron Wyden, Tammy Baldwin, and a few others have the talent to lead an opposition to a pursuit of the war on terror on the neoconservative plan, but to have any effect they would have to speak up regularly on foreign policy.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party and its billionaire bankrollers are playing the long game on Iran. They would like to gain the two-thirds majority to override Obama’s veto of a Congressional vote against the nuclear agreement, but they do not really expect that to happen. The survival of any agreement, however, depends not only on its approval but on its legitimation. Their hope is to depress public support for the P5+1 deal so much that the next president and members of the next Congress would require extraordinary courage to persist with American participation.

In the Foreign Affairs column mentioned earlier, Daniel Levy concluded that the long game is also Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy:

”Netanyahu is going for a twofer — if he loses on the veto-proof super majority in Congress, he can still succeed in keeping the Iran deal politically controversial and fragile and prevent any further détente with Iran. The hope, in this case, is that the next U.S. administration can resume the status quo ante in January 2017.”

What we are seeing, then, is not simply a concentrated effort that will end with the vote by the Senate in September on the P5+1 nuclear deal. It is the earliest phase of a lobbying campaign intended to usher in a Republican president of appropriate views in January 2017.

One may recognize that the money is there for such a long-term drive and yet still wonder at the virulence of the campaign to destroy Iran. What exactly allows the war party to keep on as they do? Within Israel, the cause is a political theology that obliges its believers to fight preemptive wars without any end in sight in order to guard against enemies who have opposed the existence of the Jewish state ever since its creation. This is a defensive fear that responds to an irrefutable historical reality. The neoconservatives and the better informed among their Republican followers are harder to grasp — harder anyway until you realize that, for them, we are Rome and the Republican Party is the cradle of future American emperors, praetors, and proconsuls.

“Ideology,” as the political essayist and Czech dissident Vaclav Havel once wrote, is “the bridge of excuses” a government offers to the people it rules. Between 2001 and 2009, the U.S. government was run by neoconservatives; they had a fair shot and the public judgment went against them; but in a climate of resurgent confusion about the Middle East, they have come a long way toward rebuilding their bridge. They are zealots but also prudent careerists, and the combination of money and revived propaganda may succeed in blurring many unhappy memories. Nor can they be accused of insincerity. When a theorist at a neoconservative think tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies or the American Enterprise Institute, affirms that democracy is what the Iranian people will have as soon as the U.S. cripples the resources of that country, he surely believes what he is saying. The projection seems as true to them now as it was in 2002, 2007, and 2010, as true as it will be in 2017 when a new president, preferably another young man of “spirit” like George W. Bush, succeeds the weak and deplorable Barack Obama. For such people, the battle is never over, and there is always another war ahead. They will push until they are stopped.

David Bromwich, a TomDispatch regular, teaches literature at Yale University and is the author of Moral Imagination.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy, Ideology • Tags: Iran, Israel Lobby, Neocons, Republicans 
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  1. To paraphrase Madeleine Albright, What’s the sense of having the baddest military in the world if it doesn’t take care of the bad boys (and girls) that that threaten the American people?

    Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son
    A man had to answer for the wicked that he done
    Take all the rope in Texas find a tall oak tree,
    Round up all them bad boys hang them high in the street
    For all the people to see
    That justice is the one thing you should always find
    You got to saddle up your boys, you got to draw a hard line
    When the gun smoke settles we’ll sing a victory tune
    And we’ll all meet back at the local saloon
    We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing
    Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses
    We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds
    Too much corruption, and crime in the streets
    It’s time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground
    Send ’em all to their maker and he’ll settle ’em down

    You can bet he’ll set ’em down

    Long arm of the law or vigilante justice.


    Here are mug shots for the Most Wanted posters that ought to be in every US Post Office in USA

    “American power should be used to defend American interests” – Wm Kristol

    • Replies: @annamaria
  2. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    I’m for the Iran Deal, but let’s drop this nonsense about how Obama is for a sane and rational foreign policy.

    If anything, he’s been worse than Bush and Cheney. Bush, Cheney, and Neocons were at least honest in their foulness. They were nasty and aggressive and made a lot of noise about remaking the Middle East and sucking up to Israel. They said it, they acted it out.

    Obama pretends to be above all that, but his record in the Middle East and North Africa is much worse. Obama has been far more bellicose than Bush/Cheney, but he’s gotten away with it because he ‘led from behind’ and the Liberal media have been supportive of his ‘historic’ presidency.

    Take Bush and Obama on Israel. When Israel attacked Lebanon, Bush the whore loudly cheered it on.
    When Israel killed over a 1000 in Gaza, Obama didn’t cheer like a whore. But he said nothing and promised more aid to Israel!! He’s just as a much a whore of Israel but pretends to be otherwise.

    Also, despite all the damage done by Bush and Cheney, it was largely limited to Afghanistan and Iraq. The invasion of Afghanistan was inevitable following 9/11, and we can’t fault Bush too much for that. Even Gore as president would have done much the same. Bush went horribly wrong with Iraq, but the war failed, and US was too occupied with troubles inside Iraq to bother with rest of the Middle East. So, the fire was contained IN Iraq.

    But what did Obama and his EU cronies do? Obama didn’t pull out of Iraq to
    leave the Middle East alone. He did so in order to create more havoc in the Middle East.
    Obama and his EU cronies exploited the so-called Arab Spring to cook up some bogus case against Gaddafi and bring him down. Libya, the richest nation in Africa, has been turned into a total hellhole. Obama and NATO did that at the behest of Zio-globalists.
    As if that wasn’t enough, Obama underhandedly worked with Saudis, Turks, and Israelis to break Syria, turning that country into a hellhole as well.

    If Obama had adamantly refused to take part in the subversion of Syria, Assad would have suppressed the opposition in no time, and peace would have been restored.
    But Zionists wanted to destabilize Syria, and Obama did NOTHING to stop them from doing it.
    Bush and Cheney were at least honest gangsters because they obviously demonstrated the use of American force to undermine the Middle East. Obama messed up the Middle East and North Africa on an even greater scale by using proxies, drone strikes, and air power. He prevented American soldiers from getting killed, but his policies led to 250,000 deaths in the Syrian Civil War and untold numbers of deaths in Libya where the hellishness goes on. Obama could have prevented the fall of Gaddafi(who’d made peace with the West in good faith). Obama and EU gangsters betrayed Gaddafi. Obama, who said nothing about the slaughter in Gaza, made a big stink about Gaddafi and Assad putting down the opposition. Obama was also silent about Saudi’s crushing of Shia rebels. And look what Saudi-US foreign policy did to Yemen.

    As if Obama and his EU cronies didn’t cause enough problems in the Middle East at the behest of Zionists, they pulled another stinker in Ukraine, which is still embroiled in war. Obama’s Zio-agents subverted the political order in Ukraine, leading to massive tension and a civil war there. Also, Obama and his decadent Zionists waged a War on Russia over nonsense issues like ‘gay’ agenda. Somehow, we were supposed to see Russia as the Evil Empire because…. it doesn’t allow ‘gay’ pride parades. I mean even Bush wasn’t that retarded.

    So, we’ve had tensions in Ukraine, tons of bloodshed, economic ruin for Russia, belt-tightening for EU, and needless tension between US and Russia. But why did Obama do this? Because he really really personally feels that Russia must have ‘gay pride’ parades? No, it was because he’s a stooge of the globalist Jews who want to undermine Patriotic Russia that won’t bend over to the ‘gay agenda’ which is really a proxy of Jewish Imperialism.

    As for this Iran thing, it is actually great for the Jews. Jews have long worried that the people around the world see America in terms of “Jews control everything”. So, the spectacle of Obama disagreeing with Israel and AIPAC give the false illusion that the US government is truly independent of overbearing and pushy Jewish influence. But in fact, this Iran Deal is the product of Jews in the government. Obama didn’t come up with it. He’s just playing the role of US president who stands up to Israel.

    So, Jews kill two birds with one stone. They fool people into thinking US foreign policy is independent of Jewish influence AND they rally Americans to Israel’s side out of fear that the ‘secret Muslim president’ threw Israel under the bus.

    It’s all just a charade. I’m not fooled.

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @Rurik
    , @Biff
  3. annamaria says:

    The picture of three bloody clowns: three unrepentant American thugs and international criminals.

  4. geokat62 says:
    @Priss Factor

    I’m for the Iran Deal, but let’s drop this nonsense about how Obama is for a sane and rational foreign policy.

    Spot on.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  5. Marais says:

    Toxic wisdom from neocon ‘philiosopher’ Michael Ledeen:

    “Man is more inclined to do evil than to do good. So don’t fall for the liberal line that all people are the same. They are not. Societies with a majority of good people are rare, and are constantly threatened by the evil-minded world outside. Peace is NOT the normal condition of mankind, and moments of peace are invariably the result of war. Since we want peace, we must win the war. Since our enemies are inclined to do evil, we must win decisively and then impose virtue on their survivors…Don’t worry about how the world will judge your strategy. Just worry about winning…Strike decisively, get it over with. Don’t listen to your diplomats…You can lead by the force of high moral example. It has been done. But it’s risky, because people are fickle, and they will abandon you at the first sign of failure. Fear is much more reliable, and lasts longer. Once you show that you are capable of dealing out terrible punishment to your enemies, your power will be far greater.”

    -Michael Ledeen, ‘Machiavelli on Our War,’ National Review Online, 25 September 2001

    “First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the big three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with the Saudis…Once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been brought down, we will remain engaged…we have to ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution.”

    “Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.”

    “Creative destruction is our middle name. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace…we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”

    -Michael Ledeen, ‘The War Against the Terror Masters,’ 10 September 2002

    “All the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war…one of my favorite comments on American character…is Patton’s speech at the beginning of the movie, where he says, ‘Americans love war. We love fighting. We’ve always fought. We enjoy it. We’re good at it,’ and so forth.”

    -Michael Ledeen, AEI ‘Coffee’ 25 Mar 2003

    It’s a pity Ledeen didn’t study “The Battle of Algers” and “Dr. Strangelove” more closely.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  6. Biff says:

    Hitler ran Germany into the ground
    Mao ran China into the ground
    Stalin ran the Soviet Union into the ground
    Napoleon ran France into the ground
    The Neoconservatives will run the United States into the ground.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  7. Sam Shama says:

    I don’t follow the logic you chaps (Geokat, Priss and S2C) are using here. If you think that the Iran Deal is somehow a compromise that plays into the hands of the Neo-Zio complex, how can you then also support it?

    I, otoh, feel that this deal has the effect of introducing an entire reversal of, what appeared as an inexorable course for American foreign policy. It is very likely, the much needed imprimatur to change an awful state of affairs domestically as well. Isn’t it the time when we can actually start dismantling the power of lobbies, bring sanity to U.S. FP and focus on how to build a new era of detente?

  8. Rurik says:
    @Priss Factor

    The invasion of Afghanistan was inevitable following 9/11, and we can’t fault Bush too much for that.


    The Taliban (I’m no fan, trust me) agreed to hand Osama over if the US could supply at least some shred of evidence tying Osama to 911

    to this day there is zero evidence

    even the FBI admits it has/had no evidence

    a fake video of ‘Osama’ confessing is not evidence

    If the chimp had said we need to go into Afghanistan to blow the stone-age Taliban into Hades where it belongs, that’d be one thing

    but pretending like those people had anything whatsoever to do with 911 is beyond silly

    • Agree: Biff
    • Replies: @Anonymus
    , @Priss Factor
  9. annamaria says:

    “We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia… The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.”
    Mr. Ledeen, our home-grown cannibal. His ideology can successfully compete with “Main Campf.”
    It is curious that Mr. Ledeen’ s dissertation was about “Universal Fascism: The Theory and Practice of the Fascist International, 1928–1936.” What a practician!

    • Replies: @Marais
  10. annamaria says:

    More about Mr. Ledeen:
    “Ledeen was a founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and he served on the JINSA Board of Advisors.
    In 2003, the Washington Post alleged that he was consulted by Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s closest advisor, as his main international affairs advisor. … Michael Ledeen had been accused of being involved in the forgery which claimed that Saddam Hussein had bought yellowcake in Niger.”

    And here is something really interesting:
    “1981: Italian Neofascist Organization P-2 Banned; Had Ties to American Neoconservative Ledeen”
    “Propaganda Due,” or P-2, an informal, parallel Secret Service in Italy led by neofascist and Freemason Licio Gelli, is banned by the Italian Parliament, though the organization continues to function. It had a penchant for secret rituals and exotic covert ops against what it considered Communist-based threats. P-2 members swear to have their throats slit and tongues cut out rather than break their oaths of secrecy and loyalty. … It was also linked to Operation Gladio, a secret paramilitary wing of NATO that supported far-right military coups in Greece and Turkey during the Cold War. P-2 is banned by the Italian Parliament after an investigation found that it had infiltrated the highest levels of Italy’s judiciary, parliament, military, and press, and was linked to assassinations, kidnappings, and illicit arms deals around the world. …American neoconservative Michael Ledeen, who has long if murky connections with both US and Italian intelligence agencies, was a part of two major international disinformation operations in conjunction with P-2 and SISMI, the Italian military intelligence agency.”

  11. Surprising realism from the Paleocon retards about this Iran deal.

    Bibi is just engaging in some TJB regarding the Iran deal due to his own personality defects. The Iran deal really isn’t a set back to our plans for liberation of Greater Israel and regional (and eventually global) hegemony.

    This deal delays Iran from getting a nuclear weapon for at least another decade and drives a shiv right through the heart of the Arab world. Iran will use the extra money to further destabilize the Sunni Arab regimes and at the end of the day it is Sunni Arabs who are occupying soil that was promised to us by G-d, not Iranians. The Iranian people will be destroyed at a later time. Perhaps their then emptied lands can be used to settle the Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudis, Turks, Sudanese and Iraqis that we will eventually need to dispossess.

    In the meantime, however, their is no putting the genie back in the bottle in Syria which is no an irrevocably failed state. Extra Iranian money to Assad and Hizballah will only prolong the bleeding and create even more dead arabs (remember, both sides are our enemies no less than the other). A strong Iran is also a death warrant for the PLO, leaving the Palestinian struggle to be led by the totally incompetent Hamas who are easier for us to deal with. Although to be honest, neither movement really is capable of causing us much trouble.

    Paleocons can be taught!

  12. Marian says:

    It seems to me the Iran deal is less about an actual deal, and more like a gift to the Israelis and Neocons. Prior to the deal bombing Iran was just a dream looking for an excuse. Plus Americans, including the Amen lobby, are tired of endless wars. All is needed now is for Iran to violate the nuclear deal, and most will happily bang the war drums for the sake of Israel, who was “done wrong.”

    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
  13. Biff says:
    @Priss Factor

    Obama’s one job while in office was to sell the Bush doctrine to the left. He hardly broke a sweat.

    the invasion of Afghanistan was inevitable following 9/11, and we can’t fault Bush too much for that

    Saudi Arabia held more responsibility – they financed it.

  14. @Biff

    Hitler ran Germany into the ground

    Have you ever run that proposition thru a BSgrinder (BSGr™), Biff?

    The first crank of the BSGr™ would answer two questions that Sam Shama did not have the balls to answer, forcing him to resort to puerile expletives followed by avoidance. Refusal to answer a question is an answer.

    S2C started to gather some raw material for your BSGr™ , Biff —

    –>did a quick timeline, starting w/ ~1915, when Chaim Weizmann started sharpening the knife that he and the British plunged into the German back;

    —> including events and situations like the starvation blockade of Germany that the caused the deaths of 800,000 German civilians, a number that Edwin Black relies upon in “The Transfer Agreement,” but that the wikipedia entry for the starvation of Germans in WWI contests.

    Review of the “revisions history” of the wikipedia entry produced very confusing results: indexed entries that appeared on a first search — that fortuitously were captured in a screenshot — do not appear in a subsequent search. btw, ain’t it curious that wikipedia allows “revisions – history” but the high priests of holocaustism do not?

    S2C attaches tremendous importance to the starvation of (German) civilians in WWI. In one of his several appearances on C Span to discuss his career in writing histories of WWI and WWII, Max Hastings — make that Sir Max Hastings: the British gov. thinks so much of the way Max tells British history that they knighted him — mentioned Stalin’s starvation of Ukrainians and reflected, emotionally, “can you imagine watching your children die of hunger?”

    I’m guessing you have a mother, Biff. How would she react if you and your family did not have enough food to eat and she could only watch as your legs became rickety sticks and your abdomen became bloated with starvation edema?

    Now, I don’t know what your relationship is with your mother, Biff; maybe she hated you and would have been glad to see you starve to death. What if your 7-year old self outwitted her and did not die but merely suffered malnutrition; what impacts do you suppose that would have on your neurological development, Biff?

    On the other hand, what if you had a very close relationship with your mother; she loved you and you loved her. She loved you so much that she deprived herself of food so that you could be fed. She died. You watched her die. You became an orphan — your dad was off fighting in France or Belgium. When he returned, minus a leg and partially blinded due to gas attacks, he found you an emaciated, hollow-eyed little child, your 7-year old body the size of a 3-year old, your psyche haunted with the sight of your mother’s corpse, and not having a conscious memory of your father — he left when you were 2 years old — you shriek when he approaches you.
    Daddy’s Home, Biff!! Hooray!!

    Now I’m gonna toss in some heretical statements here that will cause people to declaim, Nazi lover!

    Here they come:

    NSDAP leadership, from Hitler to Goring to Goebbels, even Heydrich — they witnessed, first hand, that very scene, over and over again. They saw their country torn apart by the starvation of the wives and children of German soldiers who then returned to this devastated population. In addition, they witnessed, first-hand — hell, they were involved in the numerous street-brawls and routine violence as Bolshevik Communist agitators from Russia and Poland flowed into Germany and attempted to capture Germany for International Communism. Germany was the prize, if Germany could be drawn into the atheist Bolshevik Communist camp, Bolsheviks would have captured the Christian heart of Europe and could tap its wealth to expand Bolshevik Communism all over the globe.

    Hitler, Goebbels, Goring, etc. and NSDAP leadership up and down the line were opposed to that agenda as were a majority of the German population.

    (Incidentally, so were the British and the Americans opposed to an expansion of Bolshevik Communism. In 1917-18 Wilson’s administration even sent troops to the Russian borders in a bid to destroy Bolshevism but the plan backfired.)

    Hitler, Goebbels, Goring, etc. were incensed at the mob violence, the political turmoil, the financial devastation that dominated the Weimar era and they tried to do something about it. They used political means, and when NSDAP gained legal, political authority, they wrested the means of “violent enforcement” from groups like the Freikorps and from random gangs and concentrated it in the State — a basic tenet of statecraft. State-controlled enforcers imposed order on German society. That is what a sound system of government does.

    —-that’s just for starters, addressing just the first question that Sam Shama declined to answer, and to prime the pump of your BSGr™ .

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @KA
  15. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    I, otoh, feel that this deal has the effect of introducing an entire reversal of… American foreign policy

    This is what I’m skeptical of. As the PF pointed out, all of BO actions would suggest otherwise. I don’t think US FP will be restored to a more sensible footing until and unless the Israel Lobby is dismantled. And I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, especially after who the 2016 elections will bring into the WH.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  16. And now we have a “deal” where Iran polices it’s own nuclear program.

    Bushes fault ??

  17. Anonymus says:

    It just goes to show that even well meaning people who think themselves enlightened, may still be a little shortsighted.

    All I know is that America is evil ‘incarnate,’ which only wants world domination at ANY cost.

    Can anybody who is familiar with movies from US/UK/west (who isn’t?), point to one popular movie where the ‘good guys’ aim for total world domination? Yet, many (most) Americans in real life think they are the good guys, while pursuing such an evil goal.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  18. @Sam Shama

    S2C is not in favor of the Iran deal.

    The best outcome is for US Congress to gather a veto-proof vote against it.

    Women for Peace and Justice in Iran —-

    “The US-Iran nuclear agreement is a victory for US imperialism and a danger to the Iranian nation and people.
    This agreement affords the US its demand of limiting Iran’s nuclear-energy program and imposing draconian restrictions on Iran’s independence and territorial integrity. The only apparent advantage to Iran from the agreement would be the lifting of the sanctions; however, such lifting only figures in the agreement as a promise to be implemented in the future. Moreover, according to the US administration, removal of any sanctions is accompanied by a provision that will allow the sanctions to snap back into place as soon as a problem is perceived with Iran’s compliance with any of the many intricate requirements.

    . . .

    This agreement began covertly in March of 2013 with Nicholas Burns, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, acting as the undercover negotiator, with the Party of Moderation and Development [of which Rouhani is a member] . . .

    Rouhani represents the pro-global-capital, neoliberal class in Iran. From the beginning of the victory of the 1979 revolution, while the US used every tool, including the Saddam Hussein war on Iran, for regime change from without, it tried to find allies in the class struggle in Iran. The 1979 revolution was an anti-US-imperialism revolution that included the Islamists, the nationalists, and the socialist/communists. The Islamist forces, who had been the majority, eventually eliminated the others from the power structure. But within the Islamist forces, the class struggle has continued between the revolutionary, anti-imperialist, pro-working class forces (who wanted a welfare state independent of imperialist forces), and the wealthy classes (who preferred a more western type capitalist economy). Via the victory of Khatami in 1997, the pro-western, anti-welfare, neoliberal forces came to power. The Khatami government began the appeasement of the US, and in order to attract more investment, it forgave the monarchists, many of whom had fled Iran, and invited them to come back. Many went back and reclaimed lands that had been confiscated in the revolution. Despite all the overture, the US continued its sanctions and hostile rhetoric against Iran.

    . . .

    So, considering that this agreement does not change any US policies or strategic goals toward Iran, what are the possible outcomes for the Iranian people? . . .

    1- Increased probability of various degrees of military intervention by the US for the reasons explained above. This is coupled with increased vulnerability of Iran’s defense due to the compromise of its military secrets via IAEA inspections.
    . . .

    2- Increased probability of covert US operations in Iran resulting in revolts and chaos as is happening in many Arab and/or Islamic countries where the US has had access to do so. The opening of Iran to the US as a result of this agreement will make it easier for the US to support “pro-democracy” (neoliberal and pro-US) factions.

    3- Decrease in actual support by Iran for liberation movements in Palestine, Lebanon, Yemen, and military and political support for the governments of Syria and Iraq.

    Netanyahu’s and the Jewish lobby’s and its various segments “opposition” to the Iran deal are a sham; cheap theatrics — Bibi’s stock-in-trade. The Jewish lobby — and US neocons + neoliberals –are operating on the same tactics that Paul Warburg counseled the Jekyll Island banksters to employ to gain passage of central banking legislation in the USA 1910 – 1913.

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

    I don’t think US FP will be restored to a more sensible footing until and unless the Israel Lobby is dismantled.


    Subjecting them to the FARA, certainly holds the promise. (Although could it be a blunderbuss to deal with a mouse?)

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  20. “Staff General Eric Shinseki said that it would take 400,000 troops to maintain order in Iraq after the war;”

    As much of an idiot as he was in regards to insisting on giving the troops black berets to bolster morale and as ineffective as he was as head of the VA I still have to hand it to Shinseki for that advice. And because of that advice he was embarrassed and shuttled towards retirement with no one of major significance at his retirement.

  21. Sam Shama says:

    two questions that Sam Shama did not have the balls to answer,

    I applied homoeopathy. Works truly well for meaningless, psychosomatic illnesses.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  22. Sam Shama says:

    PF starts out by declaring “I am for the Iran deal”, and you click on the “Agree” button. What does that mean?

    You cannot endorse the deal and also think of it as a Trojan Horse. My own sense is that PF, S2C and geokat are over-thinking this one. The neo-zio boys are not that clever.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  23. @Sam Shama

    Say, Sam, How is your other project coming along, the tactic by which you will destroy the mouse-like power of the Lobby by clamping off donations from Jews-in-the-pews?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  24. @Sam Shama

    still no meaningful response, eh Sam, hence the resort to ad hominem.

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

    I’ve managed to show the light to about a dozen or so congregants, and I expect the effect to spread to some other houses. Who knows? I am also re-thinking the FARA route……

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  26. Sam Shama says:

    How is responding “Bollocks!” to “has the balls…” an ad hominem?

    Anyway, for me to really start pouriing into that material you tirelessly post, would be akin to self-flagellation. Ordinarily, I leave that practice to the Opus Dei or Carmelite nuns.

    Some day I might give it a try under suitable conditions.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  27. @Sam Shama

    S2C is charmed by your attentions, Sam, you tracking S2C’s “agrees” and all; didn’t know you cared so much for “meaningless, psychosomatically ill” and (per your pal Deduction) PTSD-suffering avatar-in-need-of-treatment.”

    To the context of your comment — perhaps you should address the PF regarding the dissonance between initial declaration and the rest of the comment.

    That’s part of the tactic by which the “neo-zio boys” plan to slide this deal down the American & Iranian gullet: make them think Americans insisted upon it, against the better judgment of the “neo-zio boys.”

    You’re quite right that the n-z b’s are “not that clever.” They have a very limited repertoire; they used pretty much the same tactics in 1913, 1917, 1919, 1933, 1938, 1940 – 1945, 1948, 1990, 2001 –> .

    There’s a reason holocaustism requires the enforcement function of the state to maintain its ‘sanctity’ — and secrecy.

    Say Sam, the wikipedia article about the starvation blockade of Germany in WWI and into Versailles negotiations period is divided on the number of Germans who died as a result of starvation.
    The 800,000 figure S2C quoted, that you refuse to respond to, is quoted by Edwin Black in “The Transfer Agreement” — Black is, as you surely know, an uber zionist; why would he lie?
    But the wikipedia says the number was only 424k + 200k who died of influenza.

    Which do you think is right?

    How many of those Germans who died of starvation were Jewish?
    If that number is zero, how did that come about?

    Are there memorials to Jews who starved to death in Germany during WWI?

    One of the anomalies in the “revision-history” of the wikipedia article is this statement:

    cur | prev) 18:08, 20 January 2009 (talk) . . (55 bytes) (-1,035) . . (←Replaced content with ‘The blockade was racial hate against Jews in the 1920s.’) (undo)

    The statement was subsequently changed, but still — someone apparently thought it was important for the researching public to know that the blockade of Germany between 1914 and 1919 was caused by ‘racial hatred against Jews in the 1920s.’

    If there was “racial hatred” and starvation was involved, then Jews must have died of starvation, even if those deaths occurred retroactively, right?

    Cycle back to, Are there memorials to Jews who starved to death in Germany during WWI?
    If so, where? How many?
    If not, why not?
    If it was important enough for someone to have posted on wikipedia that “the blockade was racial hatred against Jews in 1920s,” shouldn’t the world be aware of this fact?

  28. bunga says:
    @Sam Shama

    The negotiation is good for US business. It is bad for Iran . It is not good for Israel.
    It is like Oslo peace process. But if the world becomes more aware what Israel is from the exposure of Israel as an agent of counterfeiting entity that affects humanity negatively to the core ,then no one should object to this negotiation.
    Oslo did not bring justice to Palestinian but the world knows what Zionism is
    Iraq war did not bring any good but the world knows who damaged US from this war and knows only Israel benefitted from this war .

    Israel doesn’t like it doesn’t mean we have to love it . Israel doesn’t like because Israel loses the argument that Iran is chanting death to west . AIPAC cant keep on arguing that peace train in ME originates from Iran.
    Some philosophers ( Bernard Levy) some politician ( Liberman 1 and 2 , bouncer and devout ), some thieves ( Netanyahu) some murderer ( Bennet ) some liar ( Peres) some seeking handouts ( Huckabee,Graham,Rubio) cant rely on the war against Iran bandwagon to survive . They have to retrain themselves .

    Foreign Policy does not stay hostage to the camp of “bomb Iran” goons.

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  29. @Sam Shama

    I am also re-thinking the FARA route……

    What a coincidence.

    Today, Aug. 27, 2015, marks 53 years from the date of this Memorandum from American Zionist Council.
    Two months later, an Assistant US Attorney General who was also Director of Internal Security notified the US Attorney General that the Director of Internal Security was soliciting the registration of the [same] American Zionist Council under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    Fifty + years on and no parties or organizations that, in the words of Mitchell Bard, head of a prominent Israel lobbying organization, “take their marching orders from the Israeli government,” have yet registered under FARA.

    How much longer do you suppose it will take to get Israel lobbyists to comply with the law?
    Are you prepared to go the distance, or is this “rethinking the FARA-route” a passing fancy for you?

    Will there be any Palestinians left in Gaza or West Bank by the time Israel lobbyist comply with US law?

  30. Marais says:

    Ledeen’s dissertation is indeed curious: perhaps he was envious?

    I can’t decide whether he’s a messianic nihilist (“we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”) or just a depraved whack-job, but “cannibal” will also serve. A week after 9/11:

    “Analysts are suggesting that anyone who believes that Iraq, or any of the other terror states, are involved in the terror assault [9/11/01], are conspiracy nuts…the Manchurian candidate was run by a foreign government…Why should we believe that bin Laden is any different? If you believe bin Laden is the whole story, you will not persevere against Iraq, Iran, and the others.”

    “If you want to find the foreign-policy blunders that helped us reach the current crisis, look to our failure to destroy the evil regime of Saddam Hussein when we had him at our mercy.”

    -Michael Ledeen, ‘The Real Threat,’ National Review Online, 18 September 2001

    The Manchurian candidate???? It’s amazing people believe this guy and, even more, the tax status of his employer means we all subsidize his gibberish.

  31. @Sam Shama

    S2C has delicate skin and prefers Egyptian cotton rather than hair shirts next to it.

    It was from that comfort zone that S2C made the questions as simple as possible:

    How many Jews died of starvation in Germany in World War I?

    How many Jews died in Germany as a result of Allied firebombing of German cities in World War II?

    In January 2015 Robert Cohen posted this statement on the popular Mondoweiss website:

    Holocaust denial will remain a fringe issue. The documentation is secure in its veracity and overwhelming in its volume. If anything, today’s school children are in danger of thinking that Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin went to war against Hitler because of what was happening to the Jews.

    And we have become very good at remembering. We do it with great care and respect and afford enormous dignity to the survivors and their testimonies. This week’s marking of the Russian army’s liberation of Auschwitz proved this once again. So, we remember with no difficulty.

    The “documentation” of Jewish suffering is “secure in its veracity and overwhelming in its volume;” it is remembered “with great care and respect;” “survivors and their testimonies” — like your grandmother, Sam Shama, are afforded “great care and respect.”

    Surely that remembering, that veracity, that voluminousness, that care and respect extends to Jews who died of starvation in Germany World War I and to Jews who died in Germany as a result of Allied firebombing raids that killed 600,000 German civilians, destroyed 131 German cities and rendered 7 million German civilians homeless. N

    Norman Finkelstein said in a 2008 video that “Jews never forgive; Jews never forget.” Surely something as momentous as dying of starvation as a result of the British blockade of Germany, in a scheme in which Chaim Weizmann, the first president of Israel, played a significant role, is not a forgettable occurrence.

    Telll you what, Sam; I’ll give you the Egyptian cotton shirt off S2C’s back to help you get comfortable as you prod that 240 IQ and put that PhD analytic training to work —

    Answer the questions:

    How many Jews starved to death in Germany as a result of the Allied blockade of Germany in WWI?

    How many Jews died in Germany as a result of the Allied firebombing that killed ~600,000 German civilians?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  32. Rurik says:

    All I know is that America is evil ‘incarnate,’ which only wants world domination at ANY cost.

    …Yet, many (most) Americans in real life think they are the good guys

    Most Americans have as much to do with world domination as Mickey Mouse

    Their children come back in body bags or in pieces or sometime so spiritually shattered that the returning vets are committing suicide in droves.

    Most Americans are poorer due to these wars and they’re understandably hated the world over. We are borrowing trillions of dollars we don’t have and never will and bankrupting our future generations to fight other people’s wars. That’s hardly world domination. The best analogy I can give you is the silly caricature of Master/Blaster from that Mel Gibson movie where the little tyrant sat on the head of the big, stupid dolt who went around bullying everyone as the midget’s personal thug.

    You might say the guy sitting on America’s head (Zionists and corporations) is after world domination, and I’d agree. But that is hardly ‘America’. Another analogy is the Russian people during the Soviet Union. They too were massively fucked over for the benefit of the tribalists who ran the Soviet Union. They too were used by demons as cannon fodder for the Orwellian designs of a few. That’s the state of the American people today, who are as concerned with world domination as you or I. There is a world of difference between your typical lied-to American and the scum who’re fomenting and foisting these wars.

    • Replies: @Realist
  33. Art says:

    That picture shows a dolt flanked by two very evil bastards. W Bush is going down in history as an ill-advised fool.

    All three have their right hand over a star of david tattooed on their chest – below the tattoo it says “property of the state of Israel.”

  34. Realist says:

    “Most Americans have as much to do with world domination as Mickey Mouse

    Their children come back in body bags or in pieces or sometime so spiritually shattered that the returning vets are committing suicide in droves.”

    “Most Americans are poorer due to these wars and they’re understandably hated the world over. We are borrowing trillions of dollars we don’t have and never will and bankrupting our future generations to fight other people’s wars. ”

    “There is a world of difference between your typical lied-to American and the scum who’re fomenting and foisting these wars.”

    Yet Americans are so stupid they never learn.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  35. Sam Shama says:

    This essay is titled “Playing the long game on Iran”. For once, could you please respect the writer’s premise and refrain from polluting EVERY article in UR, with your deviant obsessions? You make it extremely unpleasant for me to read apropos comments, and I would hazard to guess that many others might feel similarly.

    Thank you

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  36. Sam Shama says:

    The deal is likely to be good for both Iranian and U.S. businesses.

    It isn’t the job of the the U.S. President to engage in a deal that somehow places the interests of Israel as the key objective. My sense is that most Israeli businesses are quite keen to resume commercial and other exchanges with Iranians. Bibi and the hardliners (both in Tel Aviv and Washington) just received a very real setback: a relief indeed and should be applauded by all.

    In my estimate Obama has had an incredibly difficult time during his tenure to deal with the neocon power and had to compromise on many of his deeply held positions, something quite evident in his FP, until the P5+1 deal. That deal reversed something enormously pivotal for the neocon-zionist axis. A real danger is the election to the office of POTUS anyone other than Trump or Sanders (on this issue). The question is how are we going to lend our collective forces to influence the correct outcome?

    • Replies: @Rurik
  37. Rurik says:

    Yet Americans are so stupid they never learn

    just like the Russians until Putin came along

    why do you think they hate him so much? He intrigued them out of power and beat them at their own game

    it isn’t that the Americans are particularly stupid- most people are

    it’s that the tribe has the ring (the Fed) and that gives them unimaginable power over especially the Americans, who live in an uber-corrupt information bubble and have been systematically dumbed down for generations .. not unlike the Brits and the Swedes and Euros and so many others who watch Hollywood movies and television shows to form their values and interpretation of their world (not to mention the government schools and universities)

    (that’s why the movie The Matrix was so popular, because people have the eerie sense we’re living in an artificial reality )

    • Replies: @Realist
  38. Rurik says:
    @Sam Shama

    Bibi and the hardliners (both in Tel Aviv and Washington) just received a very real setback

    the only reason I’d tend to agree with this is because Bibi and co. sacrificed some very real political capital by coming to DC and lecturing the US pres in the bowels of his own turf. The triumphal, Caesar-like reception he received by a groveling and sycophantic “leadership” of our own country must have been a calculated price they were willing to pay, knowing how it would ‘look’ and all. There can be no doubt in my mind that such a display was known to be dicey. They (Bibi and co) didn’t want this deal

    the reason to my mind that so many here and elsewhere are suspect is because we’re all so shellshocked by the bottomless depths of evil of this regime (Zionist Federal Reserve Bank owners) that runs America, England and other assorted quisling states like their own personal fiefdom.

    But I’m with you in hoping that this deal is some kind of reluctant willingness to go along with the rest of the world (perhaps kicking and screaming) and, at least for now, make a reasonable, if temporary deal.

    Of course the motivations of the US fecal gov are demonic. (what else could they be ; ) But I’m still hopeful

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  39. @Sam Shama

    Yes, the essay is about Iran, and the long game.

    Jewish leaders and many who are opposed to a deal that you, Sam Shama, endorse, routinely compare Iran to Germany in WWII era. The door has been opened to discuss those comparisons.

    Sanctions have been imposed on the people of Iran in an attempt to cause enough suffering among the populace that they will force a capitulation of their government. Ed Royce and numerous other US Congressmen are on record in videos in the C Span archive; they recite that it is the intent of sanctions on Iran to harm the ordinary people of Iran; they are well aware that the elites will not be harmed directly by sanctions.

    That was also the stated intent of the food blockade of Germany — to cause so much suffering among the German populace that they would riot and overturn their government. That’s pretty close to what happened.

    Jorg Friedrich was hosted by (the late) Carla Cohen at her shop, Politics and Prose, to discuss his book, The Fire: The Allied Firebombing of Germany, 1940 – 1945. He stated, and Cohen acknowledged, that the intent of the firebombing campaign and of the psychological operations that accompanied it, which included leafleting targeted towns taunting them to surrender or be killed, was not to directly attack the German government nor to confront the German fighting force head-on; the intent was to kill so many working-class German civilians that the government would be forced to capitulate.

    The Iranian people are routinely threatened with military attack. I have talked with Iranian villagers — carpet weavers, shepherds, shop owners, and their children. I have seen the photos of the young men from their village who died in the war with Iraq, a war that the US encouraged and that Israel profited from. Upon learning that I was American, one village woman asked if I would please ask my government to provide a few day’s warning before her village was bombed so that she could seek shelter for her children. These people have a present memory of war and death, and starvation. It is beyond cruel for the US government and the odious Israeli government and its lackeys to deliberately cause more suffering and fear among these people.

    There are frightening parallels between what Jews and US Allies did to Germany in WWI and WWII, and what Jews and US Allies did to Iraqis; and what Jews and US Allies threaten to do to Iran.

    I have stated that the facts and evidence make a strong case that the holocaust narrative is a lie.

    On the other hand, the facts of what was done to the people of Germany are real, verifiable and irrefutable. They compare in viciousness, immorality and illegality to what is being done in real time, today, to the people of Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc. and with what was done to Iran to force it to submit to the will of the imperial and ethnocidal agenda of racist and bigoted Jews and US foreign policy leaders.

    It is very much ‘on topic’ to discuss the crimes against humanity that Jews participated in committing; benefited from; but did not suffer in Germany in WWI and WWII.

    Because Jews — and Americans — have gotten away with mass murder for generations they think they can continue to rampage around the world killing with abandon.

    I say it has to stop.

    A drunk needs to hit the wall before he is ready to fully confront the harm he has caused to himself and to others.

    Jews, and the American people, need to hit the wall of their own reality — the reality that they — Jews among the vanguard, and Allied forces and monster Bolshevik troops — slaughtered Germans and they got away with crimes against humanity.

    Your refusal to attempt to answer two simple fact questions about Jewish complicity in crimes against the German people, and about the probability that Jews were not victims at all in Germany but in fact were the victimizers, suggests that you have not yet summoned the courage to look in the mirror on your own steam; you need to hit the wall.

    One way or the other Sam Shama, this situation is not sustainable: it has to stop. One way or the other, Israelis, Jews, and the American people have got to come to grips with reality — the reality of their complicity in crimes against humanity. They have to dig down deep and figure out what makes them think they can kill other people, in mass numbers; lie about it; and blame the victims, all the while profiting from their crimes.

    That’s no way to run a civilized society and it has to stop.

    • Replies: @geokat62
  40. geokat62 says:

    … it is the intent of sanctions on Iran to harm the ordinary people of Iran…

    The precedent for this has already been established in Iraq, where the sanctions resulted in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. When asked if the price was worth it, Madeleine Albright (born Marie Jana Korbelová) U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time, responded:

    “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  41. @geokat62

    The precedent for this has already been established in Iraq, where the sanctions resulted in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.

    Thank you geokat62,

    But the larger point that I am trying to make is that the precedent for this— terrorizing Iranian civilians thru sanctions and military threats — was established in Germany in 1914 and again in 1933 with respect to sanctions; and from 1940 to 1945 in the terror-bombing of German civilians.
    Jewish people were among the major drivers of all of those actions against Germany, and also against Iraq and Iran.

    Bringing life-threatening and outright lethal force to bear on innocent civilians has been a modus operandi of Jewish and American foreign policy makers for at least the past century.

    It’s been a week since Sam Shama was challenged to report the number of Jewish persons who starved in the WWI blockade of Germany or died in the WWII firebombing of Germany. Sam has so far failed to do so.

    • Replies: @Rurik
  42. Sam Shama says:

    coming to DC and lecturing the US pres in the bowels of his own turf. The triumphal, Caesar-like reception he received by a groveling and sycophantic “leadership” of our own country

    Quite. Whenever I recall that episode (and this is true of many, perhaps most Israelis as well) I am filled with detestation for Bibi. A German friend of mine taught me a word which seemed so appropriate. She called him Das backpfeifengesicht !. German’s do have a manner of industrial incisiveness in their insults!

    Anyway the intentions of the neocons remain the same in this country, and certainly in Israel. The ongoing settlements, the atrocities, are intolerable. Most people are aware of it in a very peripheral, vague sort of way. Greater awareness is the first order of business that must be achieved, mostly in the Jewish communities.

    Also I find it very difficult to paint a scenario, where a new POTUS would actually be able to start a war against Iran in 2 years. Public support for it is absolutely nil.

    • Replies: @Rurik
    , @SolontoCroesus
  43. Realist says:

    All that to essentially agree with me?

    • Replies: @Rurik
  44. Rurik says:

    Hello SC,

    terrorizing Iranian civilians thru sanctions and military threats — was established in Germany in 1914 and again in 1933 with respect to sanctions;

    Actually it goes back to the Boar war, where the Brits – on behalf of De Beers ..

    (Nathan Mayer Rothschild, Baron Rothschild, of the Rothschild family, funded the development of De Beers)

    .. and Oppenheimers (German Jew)

    invented concentration camps for the families of the Dutch farmers whose land and country was slated for theft by the gold and diamond merchants

    tens of thousands of Dutch South African women and children were systematically starved to death in these camps


    the food blockade of Germany — to cause so much suffering among the German populace that they would riot and overturn their government.

    With many cases of bombing or sanctions, like Serbia for instance or Iran today, the intent is to cause enough pain to get the people to rile up. But in post WWI Germany, after they had laid down their arms in a gesture of peace at Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the allies’ campaign to starve the German people do death- was intended to do just that. The Germans at the point of signing the Treaty of Versailles weren’t capitulating to demands so much as signing away their country and the German men, women and children to perpetual slavery just to be allowed to stop their wholesale genocide by starvation. They had no more strength to rise up against anyone. They were dying by starvation and signed away their future to the devil just to keep from being genocided.

    This act of incredible treachery by the allies was one of the main reasons Hitler came to power.

  45. Rurik says:
    @Sam Shama


    ‘face that should be slapped’ ; )

    mostly in the Jewish communities.

    I remember reading a Tom Friedman column once that urged the Palestinians to appeal to the kindness of the Israelis if they were ever going to advance their agenda. Do you suppose there are enough Jews like yourself who’re troubled enough by the treatment of the Pals to make significant concessions?

    How many Jews do you know that would agree to the right of return? Honestly

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  46. Rurik says:

    I wanted to make the point that Americans are not uniquely stupid

    they just happen to be under the thrall of the Beast today, like the Russians were yesterday during the Soviet madness

    (and for the same reason ; )

    also I’m a bloviater

    • Replies: @Realist
  47. Realist says:

    “I wanted to make the point that Americans are not uniquely stupid.”

    Certainly that is true, but the article is mostly Americans.

  48. @Sam Shama

    Also I find it very difficult to paint a scenario, where a new POTUS would actually be able to start a war against Iran in 2 years. Public support for it is absolutely nil.

    Who do you think will take power in 2017, Sam Shama —

    —> Hillary Clinton, client of Haim “Israel is my one issue” Saban?

    —> Donald Trump?
    The Assimilator: Intermarrying High and Low Cultures: How Jewish Family Values Keep Ivanka Trump Classy.
    (see below: Trump & Cruz will appear together at a rally to oppose the Iran deal)

    —> Joe “I am zionist” > Biden and
    Elizabeth Warren, who voted to send more US tax dollars to Israel in the middle of its slaughter of the people in Gaza

    —> Jim Webb? He opposes the Iran agreement.

    —> Bernie “Shut Up, You Don’t have the microphone” Sanders?

    If Bernie can get over his control-freak tendency, will he also be able to resist being Goldstoned?

    –> Ted Cruz would “Immediately tear up the deal.
    (Cruz & Trump will appear together in a rally to oppose the Iran agreement. )

    —> Carly Fiorina? “Even if Congress votes this deal down, and I sincerely hope they will, the rest of the world has moved on in terms of the money flow,” Fiorina said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Fiorina is willing to disadvantage American business interests in favor of a pro-Israel footing.

    —> Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley said on Sunday that ” a nuclear-armed Iran would present the gravest “man-made” danger to American interests.” Walker has little foreign policy experience, but he has tried to bolster that . . . with trips to Europe and Israel and signing on aides and advisers who can inform him on world affairs. He has repeatedly said the United States should . . . scuttle the nuclear deal with Iran backed by President Barack Obama

    —> Scott Walker? I will terminate Iran deal immediately

    —> John Kasich? who called the Iran deal “bogus” and said US would have “buyers remorse”.

    —> Ben Carson? He said the Iran deal makes Obama anti-Semitic

    —> Mike Huckabee? In a game of go-you-one-better, preacher Mike said the Iran deal would “take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”

    —> Rick Santorum defended Huckabee’s holocaust allusion (delusion?): “This is Iran’s intent” (to “march Israelis to the door of the oven”).

    —> Marco Rubio? He’s used his position in the senate to make his views known loud and clear, to Secretary of State Kerry himself, to his face: “The Iranian regime and the world should know that a majority of members in this Congress do not support this deal and that the deal could go away on the day President Obama leaves office,” a noticeably angry Rubio told Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.

    Have I left anybody out?

    Which one of these fine statesmen is going to listen to the vox populi that you purport to hear, Sam?

    According to wikipedia,

    Beginning in 2002, and continuing after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, large-scale protests against the Iraq War were held in many cities worldwide . . .
    Europe saw the biggest mobilization of protesters, including a rally of three million people in Rome, . . .According to the French academic Dominique Reynié, between January 3 and April 12, 2003, 36 million people across the globe took part in almost 3,000 protests against the Iraq war. . . .In the United States, . . . Gallup Polls updated September 14, 2007 state, “Since the summer of 2005, opponents of the war have tended to outnumber supporters. A majority of Americans believe the war was a mistake.

    . . . and still the leaders of “free and democratic” United States ignored their voices in opposition to war and instead agreed with Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the “only democracy in the Middle East.”

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @Realist
  49. Sam Shama says:

    Do you suppose there are enough Jews like yourself who’re troubled enough by the treatment of the Pals to make significant concessions?

    How many Jews do you know that would agree to the right of return? Honestly

    On the first question, my impression is most Jewish families would empathise and wish to redress the conditions faced by Palestinians. As I alluded earlier, their cognition of the ongoing tragedy is quite vague. So it really is a question of relentless pursuance of advancing that awareness.

    On the second issue, the situation is a great deal more complicated. I don’t believe that any more than a very small number would be supportive of RoR. However, in my opinion, this is coloured by the paucity of land and resources. Perhaps if RoR is understood as a legally fungible proposal, where a fund is set up for assistance and compensation of the affected families, it might very well be heartily welcomed.

    • Replies: @geokat62
    , @Rurik
  50. geokat62 says:
    @Sam Shama

    As I alluded earlier, their cognition of the ongoing tragedy is quite vague.

    This is not consistent with my understanding of the Jewish community, at large. They are typically very well educated and stay abreast of political events, especially as they relate to Israel, to which most have a passionate attachment.

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

    Well I can’t disagree with your estimation of each candidate. It presents a rather dark future, one which I prefer not to dwell on constantly.

    If in fact what you (and Rurik) seem to be convinced of, comes to be true, are we then condemned (and more tragically of course the Iranians), to another round of sanctions leading to war? If so, count me (and may others I know) to be among those who would vehemently oppose it and do our utmost to prevent it. So I do fervently believe that the Vox Populi can and should be engaged, not terminated, until the objective is achieved.

    I should still believe that Donald Trump would not go to war. The fact that Ivanka married and converted, in my opinion might be a net positive, for she is an avowed anti-war pacifist from what I hear (could be rubbish of course)

  52. Sam Shama says:

    Not as much as you think. Not in the United States. I keep repeating this point to my non-jewish friends (and actually to the jewish ones as well), that the communities are engaging in herd behaviour through the auspices and congregative efforts of synagogues etc.

    So here is the distinction; Jewish communities other than the “ultra religious” are really not tuned into the situation of the WB&Gaza. Certainly they are tangentially interested in the political developments in Tel Aviv and how the U.S. administration gets along with it, going on a trip to Israel and Egypt, but really not much interested in anything else. So sort of “write that check for $1000 at YE for the Israel effort” and forget about it after that. That is my impression.

  53. geokat62 says:

    … are really not tuned into the situation of the WB&Gaza.

    Sam, to be fair, isn’t it more accurate to say they don’t care about the situation in the WB&Gaza? Isn’t fair to say that the prevailing attitude is “compared to our suffering, this is a minor blip on the radar screen… C’est la vie?” That is my impression.

    • Agree: Sam Shama
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
    , @SolontoCroesus
  54. Sam Shama says:

    Its really a suspension of inquisitiveness of a situation that might lead to embarrassment or worse. One could call it comfortable cognitive dissonance, a condition that afflicts all Americans regarding the slings and arrows that Others suffer.

  55. Realist says:

    All you mentioned are whores for Zionism.

    Give me money baby!

  56. @geokat62

    Earlier this year Yossi Alpher published a book about Israel’s periphery strategy.
    He discussed it with Bruce Reidel at Brookings.

    Granted, the subject of the book and the talk is Israel’s periphery defenses.
    Nevertheless, and inevitably, the issue of Palestine came up — three times, to be precise.

    First, Alpher devoted his most expansive comment concerning Palestine to an explanation of why Israel demands that Palestinians “recognize” Israel. No part of that commentary touches on recognition of Palestinian rights.

    In the second instance, Reidel asks, “[You] argue that there may be a case for a new periphery, a different cast of characters, but a new periphery. What’s the case for a new periphery?”

    Alpher responds:

    If we can work with two sorts of alliances, one with the Arabs, I think, is
    far more important, just as peace with Egypt is 100 times as important as Trident ever was, we can be — we can hope to be a significant player in the region, even though there’s a Palestinian issue and it’s there in the background all the time. We’re all preoccupied with so many other much bigger and more ominous regional developments, particularly with militant Islam

    The Palestinians are background noise, largely unheard due to Israeli preoccupation with “much bigger and ominous regional developments.”

    Finally, Riedel asks outright,
    “[Y]ou raised the Palestinian question. To what extent did the periphery become not just an alternative to dealing with the core issues, but an escape message for avoiding core issues? And does that still — is that still part of where we are today?”

    Alpher devoted over 800 words to talking all around the matter of Palestine without once acknowledging that Palestinians have rights that Israel is infringing and that that sustained infringement of Palestinian rights is neither just, legal, nor sustainable. He begins this discourse by asserting that, in the beginning,

    “there was no Palestinian issue, okay? There was a refugee issue, obviously, but there was no Palestinian issue, there was no discussion of a two-state solution or direct contact between Israelis and Palestinians.
    . . . There was no PLO.”

    Only in “since ’77, the early ’80s [is] the Palestinian issue is front and center of Israel-Arab relations,” Alpher concedes, then in the very next breath he pivots to tensions between Arabs and Iran.

    Denial is not just a river.

    Here’s Alpher’s entire statement, for the reader’s convenience:

    ALPHER: You know, Bruce, I interviewed more than 50 people for this book and one of them was Marwan al-Muasher, former Jordanian ambassador to Israel, to Washington, Foreign Minister. He was the — and he’s not a Palestinian — he was the only person, and I talked to Palestinians, too — he was the only person who suggested that the original periphery doctrine was a way to get away from dealing with the Palestinian issue.

    I don’t buy it, because there was no Palestinian issue, okay? In those days, Egypt owned the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank was Jordan’s. There was no PLO. There was a refugee issue, obviously, but there was no Palestinian issue, there was no discussion of a two-state solution or direct contact between Israelis and Palestinians.

    Yes, the Turks would periodically remind us that we have to do something about the Palestinians, but they never let this influence them.

    Now, today, really, since Sadat, since ’77, early ‘80s, the Palestinian issue is front and center of Israel-Arab relations. And this attempt to link up with the Arab core in a kind of anti-extremist alliance against Iran, against the Islamic state, runs immediately into what every self-respecting Arab ruler says, which is, yes, we’re cooperating with the Israelis against these major threats, but this cannot develop, it can’t come into the open unless there’s significant movement on the Palestinian issue.

    What this does on the Israeli right is create — some creative rightists then say — Arab peace initiative. Arab peace initiative, we regionalize the problem, and we work with the Arab states on solutions that will enable us not to make the painful compromises in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This is a total illusion, and nobody in the Arab world is encouraging it. There is an Arab peace initiative, it’s a very rigid set of demands, and so this gets nowhere.

    But at the same time, there are real regional threats out there that can’t be ignored, and so we have really paradoxical situations. Our strategic military cooperation with Egypt has never been as detailed and elaborate with officers in one army talking on the phone daily to the other — all kinds of tactical issues and, you know, you want us to fire at them, you’re going to fire at them, we’re talking about terrorists in Sinai and occasionally even in Gaza.

    So, this is highly developed. We’ve set aside the Camp David peace with Egypt in order to let a large portion of the Egyptian army into Sinai, and we’re not worried. Okay?

    But at the same time, there’s no Israeli embassy in Cairo. There’s no Egyptian ambassador in Israel. Next month, the first guided tour of Israelis to visit Abu Simbel and Luxor is scheduled to go to Egypt, the first one in four years, because other than that, Israelis can’t get visas to visit Egypt.
    So, this is weird. This is paradoxical and weird, and we know that President Sisi has a lot of dilemmas to deal with, nor are we self-appointed guardians of human rights in Egypt. We leave that to others. We have pragmatic existential issues to deal with with our neighbors, and we’re proceeding in dealing with them, fairly successfully.

    Same goes for Jordan. It’s even more elaborate in the case of Jordan, because of the threats from Syria, so, at least according to some reports, our drones patrol the Jordanian-Syrian border, reconnoiter, and report to Amman what they’ve seen.

    You have fairly close — and that cooperation is not done because, depending how things develop in Syria, it can become even much more intimate and yet — and yet, the king severely limits other aspects of the relationship, because, by treaty, he’s responsible for holy places in Jerusalem, and he doesn’t like what’s going on there, particularly with all kinds of rightwing religious types who insist on praying on the Temple Mount and so on and so forth.

    So this is full of paradoxes.

    You can project a scenario in — which is sort of a worst case/best case scenario — you can project a scenario whereby the perception of the Saudis and the UAE of an Iranian threat and/or a “daesh,” an Islamic state threat becomes so acute that they drop everything and say, Israelis, out in the open, we’ve got to work with you in the open, we have no alternative.

    Not very likely and much more likely that they’ll keep up the pressure on the Palestinian issue, but they will nevertheless — I don’t think that the level of strategic cooperation we’ve reached with them, which is mostly clandestine, is going to recede and disappear. That’s a plateau, unless we make terrible mistakes like the famous assassination in Dubai with the guys with the tennis rackets and so forth.

    In other words, that Israel’s Arab neighbors still raise the issue of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is a tactical error on the part of Israelis who have failed to make a sufficient amount of distracting noise about the “threat” posed by Iran and about DAESH. It’s all about PR and nothing about the reality of Israel’s continued mistreatment of Palestinians, and the degree to which Israelis will keep up the PR and continue to maintain Palestinian rights as “background noise” is calculated to maintain an equilibrium of the “clandestine cooperation” Israel enjoys with Egypt and the other Arab states.

    • Replies: @geokat62
  57. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    The Taliban (I’m no fan, trust me) agreed to hand Osama over if the US could supply at least some shred of evidence tying Osama to 911.
    to this day there is zero evidence.
    even the FBI admits it has/had no evidence.”

    I see what you’re saying, but I think the US government and US people were looking for someone to hit after 9/11, and I think either Bush or Gore or any other president would have hit someone. It was either gonna be Afghanistan or Pakistan. They settled on Afghanistan. After an attack like 9/11, such retaliation usually follows.

    But the invasion of Iraq War was US cooking up nonsense to find an excuse, and it was all a mess thereafter.

    • Replies: @Rurik
    , @KA
  58. geokat62 says:

    … that Israel’s Arab neighbors still raise the issue of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is a tactical error on the part of Israelis who have failed to make a sufficient amount of distracting noise about the “threat” posed by Iran and about DAESH. It’s all about PR …

    To the extent this is true, I am surprised the deal with Iran will go through.

  59. Iran deal is a Zionist dictate and Iranian people are not going to accept it. Javad Zarif is a servant of the ‘world government’ and put the interest of Iran second. He has been educated and brain washed in the US educational system since he was 15 years of age. He lived in the US over 30 years. Rouhani was educated in England and like Zarif is in the service of the West.
    In 2003, Rouhani and Zarif in the Khatami Cabinet, an agent close to the west who has been invited to secret society including BUILDERBERG, offered to stop enrichment permanently to please the United States, but George Bush did not accept this offer and instead place Iran next to Iraq as axis of evil, Bush thought he will attack Iran after invasion of Iraq, but we know he was not able to.

    It was Ahmadinejad, a nationalist, who has the interest of Iranian nation at heart, not only started the enrichment program again – during Rouhani/zarif the enrichment program stopped to build confidence, but instead US placed Iran on the ‘axis of evil’ list written by a zionist Jew David Forum- but he increased the enrichment to 20 percent to make Iran independent of imperial and colonial power, therefore, Obama could not deny Iran its right of enrichment , instead he limits it to 3 percent. This bad deal is seeking destruction of Iranian nuclear industry to keep Iran down. Every Iranian knows that 3 percent is not the product of zarif ‘negociation’ with the zionist stooges, rather Ahmadinejad hard work to protect Iran’s rights against the war criminals.

    Thus, the plot against Iran has been slightly modified at this time, but both regime change and military action are still on the table and every day Obama or one of the occupiers are reminding the world about military attack.

    Only traitors, Zionists and imperialists are promoting this bad deal in order to have influence in Iran to bring regime change using the fifth column, CIA supported opposition called GREEN supported by the Iranian CIA assets in the United States, Trita Parsi, Akbar Ganji, Azar Nafisi, Dabashi, Akbar Atri, Afshari and more stooges who are all US citizens. Obama have asked all the phony ‘intellectuals’ pose as progressive to go after people to sell this bad deal. These phony intellectuals are doing the dirty work for a war criminal, Obama.

    The hysterical campaign launched against the Iran nuclear deal by the flag-waving militarist partisans in and around the US congress has terribly obfuscated the issues included in the deal.
    One such misconception is that the deal is, or must be, more advantageous to Iran than the US and Israel; otherwise, the simple logic goes, there would not be so much opposition to it. Such impressions, created simply by all the hue and cry on the part of the opponents of the deal are patently false.

    Even a cursory reading of the nuclear agreement reveals that, as I pointed out in a recent article on the issue, it is highly skewed against Iran. Not only does the agreement downgrade and freeze Iran’s peaceful nuclear technology, it also limit the scope of the county’s scientific research and development, jeopardize its national security or defense capabilities and, perhaps most importantly, undermine its national sovereignty.
    So, considering the fact the deal represents a big win for the US and its allies and, by the same token, a major loss for Iran, why all the uproar against it?

    A number of reasons can be thought of for all the war party’s feverish hullabaloo. The main reason, however, seems to be that while the deal obviously represents a fantastic victory for the US and its allies, it nonetheless falls short of what the war party projected and fought for, that is, devastating regime change by military means, similar to what was done to Iraq and Libya.
    The second misconception that the war party’s vehement opposition to the nuclear deal has created is that their ultimate goal vis-à-vis Iran is significantly different from that of the Obama administration and other proponents of the deal. In reality, however, the difference between the opponents and proponents of the deal is largely tactical; strategically, both factions pursue the same objective: regime change in Iran.

    Don’t be fooled by these pseudo intellectuals who are supporting a war criminal and his plot and are coming here to sell it.
    Iranian people are strongly opposed to this bad deal and will not compromise their sovereignty for zionists and their stooges. US must get out of the Middle East and Israel should dismantle its nuclear weapon at once before any agreement can be reached.

    • Replies: @KA
  60. Rurik says:
    @Sam Shama

    I don’t believe that any more than a very small number would be supportive of RoR

    because they actually believe that ‘God gave them the land’?

    or because they just think that, right or wrong, having Israel as a racially pure state is ‘good for the Jews’?

    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  61. Rurik says:
    @Priss Factor

    after 9/11, and I think either Bush or Gore or any other president would have hit someone. It was either gonna be Afghanistan or Pakistan. They settled on Afghanistan. After an attack like 9/11, such retaliation usually follows.

    But the invasion of Iraq War was US cooking up nonsense to find an excuse, and it was all a mess thereafter.

    well I see attacking Afghanistan as just as much ‘cooking up nonsense’ to find an excuse, because neither Afghanistan (or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia) had anything to do with that unprecedented crime, and Afghanistan (and Pakistan) is a mess as well, following our county’s criminal misadventures there.

    I’d rather we held the ones responsible for the attacks to account. Like the men in the picture at the head of this article.

  62. Obama and his Zionist friends are working hard to sell the “Iran Deal” to ignorant people. The following is the list of the Iranian traitors and CIA assets, mainly from GREEN, and pseudo intellectuals who pose as ‘progressives’, but all are supporter of USG and Obama, the mass murder.

    Noam Chomsky, Juan Cole, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Hamid Dabashi, Trita Parsi, head of NIAC a CIA funded organization and close to J Street, Nader Hashemi, Ahmad and Mahmoud Sadri. These pseudo intellectuals who are supporting Obama’s wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and ‘green revolution’ in Iran where tried to topple the Iranian government during election of 2009 based on lies, are close to USG and CIA. They have expressed their SUPPORT FOR REGIME CHANGE from within in Iran, Obama’s plan, using ‘Iran deal’ as a starting point, to spy on Iranian nuclear program, military sites, nuclear scientists, military personnel, to collect INFORMATION, similar to Iraq and Libya, to be used in the military action if is needed to bring the fifth column, Green, and its extension in Washington, NIAC – to power who are US citizens.

    Noam Chomsky, Nader Hashemi, Ahmad and Mahmoud Sadri, Juan Cole, Mehrzad Boroujerdi, Trita Parsi are OBAMA’s SUPPORTERS and have directed the ignorant people to vote for Obama AGAIN in 2012, Chomsky, Richard Falk and Juan Cole few to mention after so much crimes against humanity committed by Obama. These Iranian traitors have signed a petition directed to “dear President Obama” to erect NO FLY ZONE in Libya and supported bombing of Libya and then Syria. These pseudo intellectuals pose as ‘progressives’ but they give full support to Obama and have supported his action against Libya, Syria, Iraq and now Iran under ‘Iran Deal’.
    Only traitors, want this deal to be accepted, a ZIONIST dictate, to limit Iranian economic and technological advancement for ‘greater Israel’ to take shape.
    Iranians will not accept this ZIONIST PLOT and will expose every traitor, including the pseudo intellectuals, who are promoting this deal. Iranians who are involved in this promotion are US Citizens and CIA assets.
    The message from the Iranian people to these traitors is go to hell.
    The names of the pseudo intellectual’s supporter of Obama’s wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and now regime change in Iran American style are:

    {Having thus failed at its plots of “regime change” from without, a major faction of the US ruling class, headed by the Obama administration, now seems to have opted for regime change (or reform) from within; that is, through political and economic rapprochement with Iran—using the nuclear negotiations as a starting point, or transitional channel.
    What has made this option more promising in recent years is the rise of well-organized, Western-oriented neoliberal capitalist class in Iran whose chief priority seems to be the ability to do business with their counterparts in the West.
    Many of the once revolutionary leaders who successfully managed the 1980-88 war economy have now become business entrepreneurs and prosperous capitalists. Having effectively enriched themselves in the shadow of the public sector economy, these folks are now ready to do business American style, that is, follow the neoliberal/austerity model of economics.

  63. KA says:
    @Priss Factor

    “Islamic State cannot pose any serious threat to any western state, yet the media is happy to accept politicians who pretend it does. Eisenhower’s ‘military–industrial complex’ should today be renamed the military–industrial-media one. For all the condemnation of Blair over Iraq, it should be remembered that every daily paper (except the Mirror) supported his call for force, including initially the Guardian.”

    I don’t believe in the capacity of independent experiences of emotion by average Americans.
    Anger revenge,retribution,eagerness to embark on killing spree and expressing hatred against Muslim are beyond the conditioned mind of average American.
    They were guided to develop this emotion by the neocon. Very soon after the 911 , a theme started to emerge —- America is under attack,we would be attacked again,Israel our only ally has been experiencing this type of terrorism .Same terrorist are targeting US. It can’t be done without state involvement . State is Iraq . Don’t stop after Iraq. Syria,Egypt,Saudi Arab,Iran and Libya are also supported of terrorism .

    The same forces have shaped the recent surge in the support of ground troops against ISIS . The same forces are deciding why American should see IS as a threat to US.

    Ametican citizen didn’t possess the ability to develop that complex gyrations of informacial and sentiments . They were led down one path that was already chosen by the neocon ignoring and avoiding all other sober calculated more effective reonses after 911. Again they are being led . The sheep hasn’t been able to evolve even into an obstinate uncooperative donkey let alone into thinking creature.

  64. Sam Shama says:

    Its the primeval human instinct for land grab. There are many rationalisations: G’d given, previously unoccupied and fallow, purchased by Jewish money etc. Some of it is true, but perhaps no more than 10-15% of the occupied land.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  65. @Sam Shama

    Its the primeval human instinct for land grab.

    Rabbi Spero: “From Abraham onward the Jewish people have a unique mission in this world — to connect the world to god, to absolute meaning, to elevate the world morally and spiritually, to be light unto the nations, to take responsibility to teach the world values — spiritual values, ethical values.

    That’s what chosen people has always meant to the Jewish people.”

    Civilization developed as rule of law evolved and men governed their “primeval human instincts.”

    Given the rabbi’s bold claims for the Jewish people, one would have thought that the Chosen People would eschew the “primeval human instinct for land grab.”

    Zionism has gone the opposite direction:

    Humanitarian law and the law of war are arguably the supreme moral artifacts of Atlantic civilization. Jewish lawyers made a disproportionate contribution to the crafting of both. The resulting legal principles were intended to deter the kinds of injuries and injustices that European Jews and other minorities had long suffered and to protect occupied populations from persecution by their occupiers.

    Both objectives are very relevant to contemporary Palestine.

    It is, however, hard to find any principle of due process, the several Geneva Conventions, or the Nuremberg trials that has not been systematically violated in the Holy Land. Examples of criminal conduct include mass murder, extra-judicial killing, torture, detention without charge, the denial of medical care, the annexation and colonization of occupied territory, the illegal expropriation of land, ethnic cleansing and the collective punishment of civilians, including the demolition of their homes, the systematic reduction of their infrastructure and the de-development and impoverishment of entire regions. These crimes have been linked to a concerted effort to rewrite international law to permit actions that it traditionally prohibited, in effect enshrining the principle that might makes right.

    As the former head of the Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Legal Department has argued:

    “If you do something for long enough the world will accept it. The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries . . . . International law progresses through violations.”

    A colleague of his has extended this notion by pointing out that:

    The more often Western states apply principles that originated in Israel to their own non-traditional conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, then the greater the chance these principles have of becoming a valuable part of international law.”

    These references to Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the extent to which the United States, once the principal champion of a rule-bound international order, has followed Israel in replacing legal principles with expediency as the central regulator of its interaction with foreign peoples. Chas Freeman Shirabi Lecture 2011

    • Agree: geokat62
    • Replies: @Sam Shama
  66. KA says:
    @No Second Israel

    “Gary Samore, Obama’s adviser on WMD, had openly espoused the notion before taking that job that the United States should exploit an Israeli threat to attack Iran to put pressure on the Iranians over their nuclear program. At a Harvard University symposium in September 2008, Samore opined that the next administration would not want to “act in a way that precludes the [Israeli] threat, because we’re using the threat as a political instrument”.

    The Obama administration pretended to be alarmed about Netanyahu’s readiness to attack. But Obama was actually playing along with the Israeli strategy in order to line up support for a more aggressive regime of sanctions and then to put pressure on Iran to enter into negotiations aimed at closing down its enrichment program.”—

    Is Obama still playing same game? Is this combined Republican Zionist Neocon stance playing the part of the bad cop ? Was it playing towards the final months into the negotiation?
    But the reaction from AIPAC doesn’t support that possibility. Again it is possible that is exactly what is happening . An empire when forced into Byzantine type of conspiratorial behaviors both within and outside the core group ,is acknowledging the limit of its resources to survive .It is cheating itself and it enemies . It is lying to itself .

    Most of the empires before their death or disappearances whether ,Spainsh ,Moghol, British,or evn communist Soviet could not stop themselves from going down this type of path. They had to . Alternative was much quicker and more violent destruction. America has started just like those empires did ,developing too many inconsistencies and too many contradictions encompassing every realm of the power .

    It would be great to have some forethought from reliable analysts how Israel is going to influence the post deal environment.What is it’s game plan?
    It is though moving into Sunni heartland and minds on the broken back of the Saudi. Israel will damage and destroy Islam the way it did destroy Christianity.
    Shia possibly will survive for a while just the way Catholoc did for sometime long after Scofield Bible had shaped and altered the focus of Christianity within Protestantism.

    There is another angle- is Iran going to be more vulnerable than it was in 2003 in terms of nuclear capabilities? I don’t see that. Again Iran never wanted to pursue theweaponization of nuclear programme. So this deal is humiliating to Iran and is a slap on the face of the concept of sovereignty . But it also opens the possibilities of Iran getting linked to many powerful stakeholders who may not give in easily to future backtracking or future conspiracies hatched by the Ziocons in West or Israel as they had done over Iraq,Libya,and Syria.

    • Agree: SolontoCroesus
  67. annamaria says:

    Is it possible to separate Zionism from “neoconism?” How come that the specimen like Ledeen and Kagans, the avowal Zionists, are on a forefront of the mass-homicidal plans of the US empire?

    The Danger of Nuclear War. Michel Chossudovsky

  68. Sam Shama says:

    Civilization developed as rule of law evolved and men governed their “primeval human instincts.”

    Given the rabbi’s bold claims for the Jewish people, one would have thought that the Chosen People would eschew the “primeval human instinct for land grab.”

    Zionism has gone the opposite direction:



    YES completely.

    What I believe about Tikkun Olam, is that every Jew (and embracing the dynamic of social need based change prescribed by the Sanhedrin, every righteous person) is directed to “fix” the world, according to their individual capabilities. Obviously that is a tall order. So I prefer to choose my objectives within attainable limits, which at present is a reduction of the senseless and corruptive power of the lobbies. Any reduction is a move in the positive direction.

  69. KA says:

    You may like this comment-post from

    Just 29, 2015, 12:10 pm

    “I had to rub my eyes:

    “Israeli diplomat in Berlin: Maintaining German guilt about Holocaust helps Israel

    A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Berlin recently told Israeli journalists it was in the country’s interest to maintain German guilt about the Holocaust, and that it isn’t seeking full normalization of relations between the governments.

    Embassy spokeswoman Adi Farjon made the comments in a closed briefing session with journalists at the embassy.

    “We were all in shock,” said a female journalist present at the briefing. “The spokeswoman clearly said it was an Israeli interest to maintain German guilt feelings. She even said that without them, we’d be just another country as far as they’re concerned.”

    Others present at the event confirmed the journalist’s account.

    Some added that the Israeli ambassador himself, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, was present for some of the briefing, as were other embassy workers who don’t speak Hebrew. …

    …“I don’t remember saying that,” Farjon told Haaretz in response. “I can’t vouch for any particular quote, she added. “It was an off-the-record conversation, a briefing talk. The way I speak with Israeli journalists is a little different. These things aren’t intended to get out. I can’t reveal the principles I work by. For example, I don’t say who I go to in order to get good stories out here, or who I pay for things like that.”

    A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Farjon’s comments had been taken out of context. “These are tendentious quotes … from an off-the-record briefing for Israeli reporters who were visiting Berlin. At this briefing, there was an open and critical discussion in which the invited Israeli journalists took an active part, and it’s regrettable that someone decided to violate the rules of journalistic ethics and take selected statements out of their broader context and distort them in a way that alters their meaning.””

    link to

    – See more at: link to
    – See more at:

    Maintaining guilt pays a lot . Maintaining the terror threat or existential threat has been paying handsomely .
    Iran is that’s why Germany. Yes to the Zionist – it is Germany and it is always 1939 . It is not Gregorian Calender .It is in money calender .

  70. The US invades nations to the immediate east and west of Iran for contrived reasons, and some people can’t figure out what is the dirty deal?

    Does anyone here understand why it is important to shoot down missiles in the boost phase?

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