The latest attack’s proximity to a clearly American target (the embassy in Baghdad) was presumably what set Trump off and led him to switch to threatening Tehran directly. Nevertheless, his basic instinct still appears to be that it’s better to avoid unnecessary wars in the Middle East. For now, America’s moves appear to be primarily defensive.
In this conflict, Israel is hoping to have its cake and eat it too. Ever since Trump was elected president two and a half years ago, Netanyahu has been urging him to take a more aggressive line toward Iran, in order to force it to make additional concessions on its nuclear program and disrupt its support for militant organizations.
In a video clip aired Tuesday by Israeli television, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that Israel was responsible for US President Donald Trump’s decision to quit the Iran nuclear deal.
In the video, which the Kan public broadcaster said was filmed two weeks ago, Netanyahu can be seen speaking to activists and senior members from his Likud party.
Two weeks ago, I wrote for Unz.com an article entitled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.” It sought to make several points concerning the consequences of Jewish political power vis-à-vis some aspects of U.S. foreign policy. It noted that some individual American Jews and organizations with close ties to Israel, whom I named and identified, are greatly disproportionately represented in the government, media, foundations, think tanks and lobbying that is part and parcel of the deliberations that lead to formulation of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Inevitably, those policies are skewed to represent Israeli interests and do serious damage to genuine American equities in the region. This tilt should not necessarily surprise anyone who has been paying attention and was noted by Nathan Glazer, among others, as long ago as 1976.
The end result of Israel centric policymaking in Washington is to produce negotiators like Dennis Ross, who consistently supported Israeli positions in peace talks, so much so that he was referred to as “Israel’s lawyer.” It also can result in wars, which is of particular concern given the current level of hostility being generated by these same individuals and organizations relating to Iran. This group of Israel advocates is as responsible as any other body in the United States for the deaths of thousands of Americans and literally millions of mostly Muslim foreigners in unnecessary wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. It has also turned the U.S. into an active accomplice in the brutal suppression of the Palestinians. That they have never expressed any remorse or regret and the fact that the deaths and suffering don’t seem to matter to them are clear indictments of the sheer inhumanity of the positions they embrace.
The claims that America’s Middle Eastern wars have been fought for Israel are not an anti-Semitic delusion. Some observers, including former high government official Philip Zelikow, believe that Iraq was attacked by the U.S. in 2003 to protect Israel. On April 3rd, just as the war was starting, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz headlined “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.” It then went on to describe how “In the course of the past year, a new belief has emerged in [Washington]: the belief in war against Iraq. That ardent faith was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives, almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals (a partial list: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Eliot Abrams, Charles Krauthammer), people who are mutual friends and cultivate one another.”
And the deference to a Jewish proprietary interest in Middle Eastern policy produces U.S. Ambassadors to Israel who are more comfortable explaining Israeli positions than in supporting American interests. David Friedman, the current Ambassador, spoke last week defending illegal Israeli settlements, which are contrary to official U.S. policy, arguing that they represented only 2% of the West Bank. He did not mention that the land controlled by Israel, to include a security zone, actually represents 60% of the total area.
I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”
It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.
Most recently, some pundits, including myself, have been warning of an impending war with Iran. To be sure, the urging to strike Iran comes from many quarters, to include generals in the Administration who always think first in terms of settling problems through force, from a Saudi government obsessed with fear over Iranian hegemony, and, of course, from Israel itself. But what makes the war engine run is provided by American Jews who have taken upon themselves the onerous task of starting a war with a country that does not conceivably threaten the United States. They have been very successful at faking the Iranian threat, so much so that nearly all Republican and most Democratic congressmen as well as much of the media seem to be convinced that Iran needs to be dealt with firmly, most definitely by using the U.S. military, and the sooner the better.
And while they are doing it, the issue that nearly all the Iran haters are Jewish has somehow fallen out of sight, as if it does not matter. But it should matter. A recent article in the New Yorker on stopping the impending war with Iran strangely suggests that the current generation “Iran hawks” might be a force of moderation regarding policy options given the lessons learned from Iraq. The article cites as hardliners on Iran David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens.
Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative has a good review of the New Yorker piece entitled “Yes, Iran Hawks Want Conflict with Iran,” which identifies the four above cited hawks by name before describing them as “…a Who’s Who of consistently lousy foreign policy thinking. If they have been right about any major foreign policy issue in the last twenty years, it would be news to the entire world. Every single one of them hates the nuclear deal with Iran with a passion, and they have argued in favor of military action against Iran at one point or another. There is zero evidence that any of them would oppose attacking Iran.”
And I would add a few more names, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum; John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine; Elliot Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Meyrav Wurmser of the Middle East Media Research Institute; Kimberly Kagan of the Institute for the Study of War; and Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka and David Wurmser of the American Enterprise Institute. And you can also throw into the hopper entire organizations like The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) and the Hudson Institute. And yep, they’re all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives. And I might add that only one of the named individuals has ever served in any branch of the American military – David Wurmser was once in the Navy reserve. These individuals largely constitute a cabal of sanctimonious chairborne warriors who prefer to do the heavy thinking while they let others do the fighting and dying.
fficials at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee knew the odds were against them in the fight to block President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran from surviving a congressional vote. But the influential pro-Israel group threw itself into a nearly $30 million advertising and lobbying effort to kill the accord anyway.
On Thursday, the committee, known as Aipac, was handed a stinging defeat. After Mr. Obama mustered enough Democratic backing in the Senate to halt a vote on a resolution of disapproval against the deal, a group known for its political clout saw its power and reputation in Washington diminished.
“They failed — they couldn’t even get a vote,” said Clifford Kupchan, an Iran expert and the chairman of the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm, who noted that Aipac had gone “all in” and tried everything to stop the deal. “It’s among the biggest setbacks for Aipac in recent memory.”
The loss has raised difficult questions about the future of Aipac, a group formed in 1951 just a few years after the birth of Israel. Aipac has long drawn its political potency from its reservoirs of loyalty among members of both parties, but that bipartisan veneer all but vanished in recent weeks as the debate over the Iran deal became increasingly bitter.
Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson told a crowd at Yeshiva University in New York on Tuesday that the only proper negotiating tactic with Iran would be fire a nuclear missile at the country and threaten to wipe out the entire population of Tehran, the nation’s capital.
Adelson, the largest donor to the Republican Party and its affiliated groups, made the comments during a panel discussion hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens and Yeshiva University President Richard Joel. Adelson’s remarks were videotaped by Philip Weiss of the news site Mondoweiss:
What are we going to negotiate about? I would say “Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.” … You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, “OK let it go.” And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever. Then you say, “See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.”
* Slavery not racial.
* Bigger income gap between East / West Europeans, than Black / White Americans.
* Hispanic Household Income > Black Household Income, but Hispanic Individual Income < Black Individual Income. (Hint: Hispanic families are larger.)
* Black families more harmed by welfare than slavery.
* Racism is NOT discrimination.
The Vulgar Pride of Intellectuals
* “At the heart of the social vision prevalent among contemporary intellectuals is the belief that there are ‘problems’ . . . and ‘solutions’ . . .”
* “There has probably never been an era in history when intellectuals have planed a larger role in history than the era in which we live.”
* “Intellectuals give people who have the handicap of poverty the further handicap of a sense of victimhood.”
* Acknowledging that wealth is created (instead of arguing over its distribution) would devestate intellectuals’ world view.
* “[Although intellectuals pay a lot of attentions to inequality among racial groups], seldom . . . has this attention been directed . . . toward how the less economically successfull . . . might improve themselves by availing themselves of the culture of others around them.”
(For example, Scots embraced English language and culture to their great benefit in the mid 19th century.)
* “Black unemployment rates were lower than that of whites as long ago as 1890.”
* Minimum wage laws have wreaked havoc upon black employment.
* “Sweeping claims for the benefits of . . . diversity in innumerable institutions . . . have prevailed without a speck of evidence being asked for or given.”
* “At the same time you’re getting all this mouthing of diversity, there’s an extremely narrow ideological conformity that’s being enforced.”
* “In Chicago (unlike Harvard), economics was a full contact sport.” (HA!)
* “I was a Marxist when I went into Milton Friedman’s course. I was a Marxist when I came out. . . . [and then] I went to work for the government . . . . I realized other people’s well being would never be the priority of politicians and bureaucrats.”
* “The road to hell is paved with Ivy League degrees.”
* “I love the use [Obama’s] of the word opportunity. You know, I had just as much opportunity as Michael Jordan to become an NBA star. It just so happened that there was some difference in skill.”
The Difference Between Liberal and Conservative
Liberal premise: There is nothing in human nature that would cause us to be unhappy. It’s the fact that we have the wrong institutions.
Conservative premise: Man is flawed from day one and there are no solutions, only trade offs.
Most liberal ideas can be destroyed by three questions:
1. Compared to what?
2. At what cost?
3. What hard evidence do you have?
On Occupy Cry Babies
Argo provides the uninitiated Westerner with a crash course in the nature of the Iranian people as if out of some kind of hawkish fairy tale. Not just the regime, the people. In Argo, somewhere amid the exciting escape of six sympathetic American victims, we are treated to hordes of hysterical, screaming, untrustworthy, irrational, bearded and lethal antagonists. Some of them are pivotal characters that advance the plot. Others are just bystanders in seething crowds. It doesn’t seem to matter. The point is, these are the villains. Or more specifically, the Iranians. All of them. There is not one positive Iranian subject in the entire story.
When CIA operative Tony Mendez (the hero, played by Affleck) and the American escapees are trying to make their way through a bazaar in the crowded streets of Tehran, the omnibus nature of the hate-spitting Iranians is reminiscent of costumed characters from a professional wrestling league. In a subtler, earlier scene in which Mendez lands at the Tehran airport, the film makes it clear that every Iranian in sight – from an old man to a young woman – is to be treated with suspicion.
This is to say nothing of the more incendiary moments, such as that of a barking flock of Iranians stomping on an American flag. Scenes like that are clearly meant to arouse the emotions of a Western audience. And in a fiction-meets-reality kind of kismet, here’s a Hollywood movie that finds convenient kinship – and symbiotic validation – in today’s news cycle, as American politicians hammer away at the message that Iran and its people represent the greatest threat to global peace. (Read more)