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The Race for Iran


Last month, the New America Foundation and the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST) sponsored a conference in Washington, entitled “Cutting the Fuse, Moving Beyond the War on Terror”.  The conference was sparked by the publication of a new book by CPOST’s director, Robert Pape, and James Feldman, entitled Cutting the Fuse:  The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It (University of Chicago Press, 2010).  The book—as well as the conference it prompted—offers important if also politically inconvenient insights for U.S. policymakers seeking to revive America’s declining strategic position in the Middle East.     

Cutting the Fuse extends what is already a well-established body of work by Bob Pape assessing the root causes of suicide terrorism and drawing the implications of that analysis for U.S. policy in the Middle East.  In his 2005 book, Dying to Win:  The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, Bob analyzed a massive data base of suicide attacks perpetrated around the world between 1980 and 2003 to demonstrate that (in Pape’s words) “what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal:  to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland”. 

This insight is particularly relevant to the terrorist campaign that Al-Qa’ida launched against American interests in the 1990s, a campaign which culminated in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the American homeland.  It is politically easy to argue that Al-Qa’ida struck the United States because they “hate” our “values”, embodied in practices like religious toleration and letting women drive.  But, in reality, Al-Qa’ida couldn’t care less about what Americans do in their own homeland.  Al-Qa’ida is, among other things, a virulently anti-Shia movement.  With regard to the United States, what Al-Qa’ida cares about is American occupation of Muslim lands.  And, in the 1990s, what Al-Qa’ida cared about was what it characterized as American occupation of the Arabian peninsula—the Muslim holy land, the birthplace of Islam and the site of the two holy cities, Mecca and Medina—as a consequence of Washington’s decision to retain substantial U.S. military forces on the ground in Saudi Arabia after the war to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991.  Pape’s early work draws a discomfiting but clear line between that decision and the 9/11 attacks.             

To continue with this line of analysis, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Middle East—like pretty much the entire rest of the world—had no problem with a vigorous American response, including a robust military component, aimed at killing Al-Qa’ida and unseating the Taliban from power in Kabul.  As we and others have written and discussed, the Islamic Republic of Iran supported the United States in pursuing these objectives.  But the invasion of Iraq and prolonged occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have been deeply damaging to the perceived legitimacy of American purposes in the Middle East.  That America purports to carry out these occupations and the atrocities associated with them in the name of bringing democracy to populations that have long suffered under authoritarian rule is not a message that resonates with regional audiences. 

The invasion of Iraq and prolonged occupations of Afghanistan as well as Iraq have also been profoundly detrimental to America’s counter-terrorism goals in the broader Middle East.  In a 2003 memo, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously asked, “Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training, and deploying against us?”  By this point, nine years into America’s self-described “global war on terror”, the accumulated hard evidence is overwhelming that the answer to Secretary Rumsfeld’s question is, “No”. 

In their new book, Cutting the Fuse, Pape and Feldman examine a comprehensive data set on suicide attacks perpetrated between 2004 and the present to show that (as they put it) “far from declining, anti-American-inspired terrorism—particularly suicide terrorism—is more frequent today than before 9/11 and even before the invasion of Iraq…The more we’ve gone over there, the more they’ve wanted to come over here—and the absence of another 9/11 is due more to extensive American domestic security measures, immigration controls, intelligence, and pure luck than to lack of intent or planning by our enemies.” 

Thus, the major military campaigns mounted by the United States under the rubric of the “global war on terror” have turned out to be grossly counter-productive for achieving the ostensible goals of those campaigns.  (One of the many interesting findings in the data assembled by Pape and Feldman is that there are no known cases of suicide terrorism perpetrated by anyone from Iran.  Another is that, since Israel withdrew its occupation force from its self-declared security zone in southern Lebanon in 2000, the number of suicide attacks carried out by individuals affiliated with Hizballah is—zero.)       

Pape’s chief policy argument is that the United States needs to stop being an on-the-ground occupier in the Middle East and return to its previous “offshore balancer” role in the region, operating from an “over the horizon” military posture.  At the Washington, DC conference prompted by the publication of Cutting the Fuse, Flynt argued that such a shift in the U.S. military posture is essential, but is only one step in what needs to be a broader “reset” of American policy in the Middle East and Persian Gulf.  He appeared on a panel with Kori Schake (former member of the George W. Bush Administration’s NSC staff, adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign, and a professor at the U.S. Military Academy) and Seth Jones (a Chicago-trained Ph.D. who is an adviser to the U.S. military’s Special Operations Command). 

Video of the panel can be viewed clicking here.  Flynt’s presentation starts at 19:35 into the video, and runs for just over 16 minutes.  

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett       



  1. James Canning says:


    Do you regard China as a “capitalist” country?

  2. Pirouz_2 says:

    @Arnold, Eric, (and FYI, Persian Gulf and anybody else who may have made comments on this issue that I have not read)

    Arnold and Eric;

    I have been extremely busy the past two weeks and will be even busier in the next two weeks. As a result I have been deprived of the great pleasure of reading your wonderful and greatly enlightening comments the past 8-10 days. I earlier wrote two questions to Arnold in another thread, he was kind enough to answer back and then Eric also gave me his own perspective which was in agreement with that of Arnold. As I said before I am very busy these days so perhaps a more detailed reply will have to wait for two more weeks, however, I will try to write a short reply to make it somewhat clear as to where I stand on the issue of the role of Israel in the US middle east policies.
    Before I forget, I will try first to address some points which were made by Arnold and Eric and then will hopefully talk about some of my own views. Also I would like to say it before hand that if I use capital letters it is for emphasis since I cant seem to use italics on this site. Also I appologize right now if I cant get back to you when you write your replies to my messages. As I said I will be very busy in the next two weeks, I will get back to you some 14 days from now.

    First Arnold said that West Africa is oil rich -perhaps not as oil rich as ME but nontheless oil rich- but that we dont have an “Israel” in there.
    Please someone correct me if I am wrong, but so far as I have been able to findout from internet, ME has some 726.3 Billion barrels of oil reserve (together with north african ARAB countries this number rises to around 776.8 billion), but as far as I know Nigeria’s oil reserve stands around 35.9 Billion.
    In fact the amount of oil and gas resources in this region is so huge and disproportionate compared to the rest of the world that one can argue that he who has the hegemonic power in this region has a hegemonic power in the entire world!

    By the way, the fact that US buys most of its oil from elsewhere does not make much of a difference to my argument, we are talking about hegemonizing the world through a control over the global energy resources.

    However, it does not end there, it is not just about having the hegemonic control over the global oil reserves, and it is not just about a “steady supply” of cheap oil either, after all none of the oil rich countries is going to let that oil mature under the ground like a rare wine; they will all sell it; it is there to be sold anyway! In fact the number one customer of Venezuelan oil is USA, and yet the US-Venezuelan relationship is far from friendly.

    One of the very important aspects of the hegemony over an oil rich country which is often disregarded, is the HEGEMONY OVER THE WAY THAT THE OIL REVENUE WILL BE SPENT! Are those billions up on billions up on billions of dollars which goes into S. Arabia (and Kuwait, and Qatar and UAE and Iran before 1979) as the oil revenue, spent on technologic and scientific research and development so that these countries would have their own local industries which would rival IBM, Motorola, Shell, GM, Toyota etc.? Is it being spent on health care and education so that these countries would not have the dismal educational record that they have right now? Or is being spent on US and European millitary junk?!?!? Is it that S. Arabia has any meaningful production of its own (other than oil) or is it importing everything from cars, planes and medications to shoes, clothes and even perhaps tissue paper from the west?

    I had heard once that S.Arabia alone has 7% of the investments in the US industries (which serve the US economy of course), since I am not very knowledgable in economic matters (in fact I am some what ignorant in those matters) please correct me if I am wrong, but I think 7% of the investments in US should be a big percentage of the Saudi oil revenue (given the fact that Saudi economy is much smaller than that of USA).

    Eric and some others suggest that it is because of a “love affair” that US jews have that US supports Israel blindly. Well first of all I would like to remind everyone of how Israel was created in the first place: Balfour declaration and the Palestine mandate. I believe that it is obvious that Israel was CREATED by the west! So there is no doubt about it (at least not on my part, some people such as J. Canning and Alan would disagree) that Israel at the time of its insception was a British project.

    Then we come to the war of 1956 during which Israelies fought side by side by their creators against Nasser. And then in 1967 they defeated Nasser and hence made a great service to their masters. It is in no small part thanks to Israel that we have Mubarak in Egypt rather than a person like Nasser (who had nationalized Suez and whose equivalent would spend the Saudi oil money over the necessities of arabs and not importing useless Western luxury items and military junk). Is that not a service?!?!

    Another important point which is often disregarded is the fact that the US policy is really not all that different elsewhere in the world. As Arnold BRILLIANTLY (and very rightly) pointed out: “The United States is the single most active external anti-democratic force in the world today.” And this is not restricted to US middle east policy! It has been always that way ALL OVER THE OWRLD (and not just the ME)
    Was it for the sake of the Israeli security that Allende was over thrown in Chile? Was it for the sake of Israel that Batista was kept in power in Cuba? Was the bay of pigs planned by the Israeli lobby?
    Was it Israeli love affair which caused the overthrow of Lumumba in Congo by the western colonialsts?
    Was it for the sake of Israel that the coup against Chavez was planned? How about Honduras? What about Haiti and Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was that Israeli lobby and the zionists too? I can go on and go on….Indonesia (Sukarno’s deposal), Vietnam and the bloody war over there, Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico ….

    So it is not like USA had any different policy or that it was a democratic force else where in the world and then when it came to ME, it all of a sudden became an “anti-democratic force” just for the sake Israel. Or that US was in love with Israel just because of some unexplainable mysterious reason.


  3. James Canning says:


    Thanks. William II fired Bismarck in an act of great arrogance and stupidity. Bismarck had warned that, because of the foolish decision to take Alsace-Lorraine from France, it was imperative to keep on friendly terms with Russia. Sadly, the Kaiser was something of a fool. He did not want war in 1914 and only came to realise too late that his generals DID WANT WAR and had deceived him in order to get war.

  4. fyi says:

    James Canning:

    Yes, Bismarck was a great statesman and after he left the government everything started to fall apart.

    Sort of like after Stalin’s death in USSR.

    Prior to 1914, some of the French Army units at the border would venture into Alsace-Lorraine during the night and come back drenched in tears.

    About the US elections etc.: they (the American people) have to accept responsibility for their actions not just a few inflential Jews. The Christian Americans cannot hide behind Jews.

  5. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Concerning UK efforts to open dialogue with Hamas, Hezbollah, others, as long as British elites remain the junior parnter of the US in their dysfunctional “special relationship”, nobody will take any of their efforts to advance British interests as anything else but carrying water for the boss.

    Britain clearly has different interests than the US. Now please tell this to the politicians in all three major parties and the various academics, journalists and other opinion makers. Like the US relationship with Israel, the US-UK special relationship issue beyond rationl debate for UK elites. As Tony Blair said: “it is a matter of faith” regardless of whether it’s William Hague or Jack Straw or Nick Clegg or…

  6. James Canning says:


    As I recall, Bismarck opposed the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine by Prussia in the wake of the defeat of France in 1870 because it would make France the mortal enemy of Prussia (Germany) and determined to obtain revenge. This sort of thinking needs to be taken aboard by Israeli leaders.

  7. James Canning says:


    Let’s remember that George H. W. Bush wanted Israel out of the West Bank and the Golan Heights, and that the Jews did a great deal to make sure he lost his re-election bid in 1992, to esnure that did not happen. There has been a systemmatic erosion of American national security, by Jewish interests in the US who put the Zionist project higher in their esteem than the national security interests of the American people.

  8. James Canning says:


    Very few American politicians have the courage to speak up for the Palestinians, because they will be targeted and likely taken out at the next election. Only a few are safe. One of the few who can defy the Israel lobby is the Democratic Congressman from Seattle.

    Constant “pro-Israel” propaganda appears daily in major US newspapers, and of course on network TV news.

    As Arnold or Castellio remarked, those paying attention, in the US, to events in the Middle East, are primarily “pro-Israel”. In part this is because the Jews themselves are so media-savvy and so prominent in news media and of course entertainment.

  9. fyi says:


    Please supply an alternative explanation.

  10. Castellio says:

    FYI: you seem content to deal in huge generalities using a fixed sectarian sociology which you happily confuse with historical thought.

  11. fyi says:

    James Canning:

    US is a representative democracy.

    Pro-Israel senators and representatives are consistently elected or re-elected.

    You must then assume, in the absence of ballot-stuffing evidence, that the American people support Israel.

    Just like the Muslims – including the Iranian people – support the Palestinians.

    There is a war in Palestine and Muslims are one side and Jews and Protestant Christians are on the other side.

    Now, if we had statesmen with the caliber of Bismarck, Metternich, Richelieu, and with a lot of work and money and after a long time you could bring this to a manageable level.

    In the absence of that level of leadership on all sides, you just have to watch as the situation deteriorates further and further.

  12. James Canning says:

    Persain Gulf and fyi,

    Fyi is quite right, that the US derives little benefit from its “support” of Israel, right or wrong, and huge penalties. Corporate (or “Jewish-controlled”) do their best to keep this fact concealed from the grossly ignorant American public. Decades agom however, US foreign policy and security experts were quite open about the damage to US national interests caused by Israel and American support for Israel.

  13. James Canning says:


    And yes, I would be very confident that an expert panel of British Middle East experts (once known as “Arabists”) could develop American foreign policy far better for serving the interests of the American people, than anything put together in Washington.

  14. James Canning says:


    Are we talking about the great mass of the American people, who have scarcely a clue about what is going on in the Middle East? Or are we discussing the numerous stooges of the Israel lobby who do most of the policy making for the US regarding the Middle East?

  15. fyi says:

    James Canning:

    So you are suggesting foreigners know the best interests of the Americans?

    Surely, that statement is absurd.

  16. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf:

    Please believe that US Love Affair with Israel for essentially religious reasons. She derives no benefit from that association yet her leaders and her citizen are oblivious to the costs. It is their choice.

    The Iranian and other Muslims also are supporting Palestinians for religious reasons – the Quds, injustice against Muslims etc.

    For Iran, the Shia Fortress should have been naturally aligned with Israel, the Jewish Fortress – but for Al Quds.

    Likewise, the Americans, the New Jerusalem, the country dedicated to the avoidance of errors of prior states, should not have been involved in the sectarian quarrels of alien populations whom she does not comprehend.

    But this is the world in all its absurdity.

    What makes sense, for US, is to keep the mythical threat from Iran (like the one from UUSR during Cold War) and Terrorism alive to sell weapons to the Arabs. These weapon sales, now and in the future, will become very important indeed to US in order to keep her arms industry going as her own military will be cutting back on arms procurements. Yes, if Islamic Iran did not exist, US had to create her to have a credible threat to sell armaments.

    “Love”? Surely you cannot be serious.

    US leadership does not care if she is loved or not – although I think many people in US do. And I think it is not a consideration in any country’s foreign policy – and should not be. Using a more neutral word – let us use “Not Disliked” – one could argue that it would help US if she is not disliked among Muslims or, at the very least , is not hated. In my opinion, until and unless the war in Palestine is ended in either Hudna or in Peace, US cannot reach that goal. And I think they US leaders apparently are willing to accept this Muslim hostility for the indefinite future.

    I personally think that is a mistake to go around and pursue policies that have alienated hundreds of millions of people just because you think those people cannot do a damn thing. This course of action, again, is facilitated in the United States by the Protestant religions in that country. Many a Protestant claims a direct relationship with God – without the need for the assistance of any intermediary. This mindset, in my opinion, encourages a certain insensitivity and neglect towards the concerns of others since one is absorbed in one’s own conversation with God.

    From the policy point of view, this means that US is in a tremendous disadvantage in the world of Islam. She is supporting enemies of Islam, fighting Muslims, and cannot articulate any positive view of the future except more of the same. This is untenable, in my opinion.

  17. Castellio says:

    James, your comment that “Over time, I would expect equal rights for all Israeli citizens.” is as delusional as FYI’s comment that Americans know their own best interest.

    The momentum in Israeli society is completely in the other direction.

  18. Arnold Evans says:


    I agree with this statement. that’s why, like Pirouz_2, I also think America’s relationship with Israel should have strategic benefits. it can’t be a mere love affair. I can’t believe otherwise, specially from a capitalist mindset. what else the U.S can get from deteriorating her relation with Israel? what is the point for the U.S to be loved in the Arab streets especially when Arabs are boiling themselves? she gets almost whatever she wants from the Arab rulers. and Iran wants to be fully independent. the U.S will lose the reason to stay and sell arms in the ME. i mean, a radical shift would be too uncertain and unpredictable.

    If you think the US’ relationship with Israel must have some strategic benefits, then what do you think those benefits are?

    Clearly US policy sometimes seems mysterious and unexplainable from the outside. It is actually pretty simple. Israel cannot survive without, among many other things, a structure of countries in its region that are accountable to parties sympathetic with Zionism more than to their own people. I call it a colonial structure.

    The US political system allows motivated and resourceful parties to distort foreign policy in their favor and sympathizers with Zionism, particularly Jewish, are an unusually motivated and resourceful influence.

    Most Americans do not care about the Middle East one way or another. Most US oil does not come from the Middle East. Americans don’t care about the places the US actually imports oil from either. The few who are concerned with the Middle East are heavily over-represented by Americans with an ethnic identification with Israel.

    The dispute the US has with Iran is the dispute the US has with nearly all of the populations in Israel’s entire extended region and nothing broader.

  19. James Canning says:

    One of the leading propaganda organs of the Zionist movement in the US, the Wall Streer Journal, in an editorial today claimed Washington should regard continuing thefts of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, and illegal construction of housing of Jewish settlers, as normal.

  20. James Canning says:


    The GIGANTIC difference between South Africa and Israel/Palestine, is that the blacks outnumbered the whites by ten to one, and within a few more years, the advantage would be twelve to one, and then fifteen to one.

    Jews outnumber non-Jews in Israel/Palestine. In South Africa, marauding blacks could kill isolated white farmers etc almost at will. Nothing like this obtains in Israel/Palestine.

  21. James Canning says:


    I assume the disadvantages imposed on Israel’s non-Jewish population will diminish, if Israel accepts the 2002 Saudi peace plan and the 57 Muslim countries recognise Israel, open embassies, etc. Over time, I would expect equal rights for all Israeli citizens.

  22. James Canning says:

    Persian Gulf,

    The Lebanese PM, Rafiq Hariri, told the BBC the other day that the greatest threat to the peace of the Middle East is the continuing theft of Palestinian land etc in the West Bank, that is, the unresolved Israel/Palestine problem. The fantatical Jews oppressing the Palestinians and hoping to steal the entire West Bank have powerful Jewish financiers providing them support in the US, even though this is undermining the national security interests of the American people.

  23. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    The overwhelming power of the Israel lobby makes it difficult for the US to act intelligently in the Middle East, and the obvious course of accepting Hezbollah as an agent of stability in Lebanon is extremely difficult for US leaders even to discuss.

    The UK, however, is seeking better relations with Hezbollah, and I would not be surprised if the UK works out a way of dealing with Hamas in the interests of resolving the Israel/Palestine problem.

  24. Persian Gulf says:


    “Americans know their own best interests.”

    I agree with this statement. that’s why, like Pirouz_2, I also think America’s relationship with Israel should have strategic benefits. it can’t be a mere love affair. I can’t believe otherwise, specially from a capitalist mindset. what else the U.S can get from deteriorating her relation with Israel? what is the point for the U.S to be loved in the Arab streets especially when Arabs are boiling themselves? she gets almost whatever she wants from the Arab rulers. and Iran wants to be fully independent. the U.S will lose the reason to stay and sell arms in the ME. i mean, a radical shift would be too uncertain and unpredictable.

    the minimum terrorist treat is in fact advantageous for the U.S. America has to change severely if she wants to be loved in the ME.

  25. James Canning says:


    Your contention that “Americans know their own best interests” is surely one of the most absurd statements you have made on this site! This is precisely the OPPOSITE of what obtains!

  26. James Canning says:


    Much of the notion of “strategic competition” between the US and Iran is delusional neocon thinking, at best, or at worst an effort to distract American public opinion from the primary problem: continuing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.

    If the US did nothing whatever, Iran would not attack Qatar or Dubai or Saudi Arabia or Iraq or any other country. So, what is the “strategic competition”?

  27. James Canning says:


    A “senior official” in the Obama administration told the Financial Times recently that there appears to be a need to achieve a smaller deal with Iran, before attempting a larger one. Trying to do too much at once is too hard.

    I think Iran should proceed on the basis of expecting success for re-fueling the TRR reactor per the current IAEA application.

  28. fyi says:

    Dan Cooper:

    Of course, what do you expect?

    US and Iran are involved (some would say have been involved) in strategic competition.

    US will use any and all means to enhance her position.

    So will Iran.

    Which implies that – barring an Iranian surrender or a significan change in the geopolitical environment of either protogonist – there will not be any resolution of the Iranian nuclear case.

    In the mean time, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria will be working together – willy-nilly – to address regional issues; some political and some purely commercial and or technical.

  29. Dan Cooper says:

    The Obama administration is preparing the ground for tougher sanctions on Iran by pushing to revive last year’s ill-fated fuel swap deal.

    The renewed proposal to swap Iran’s low enriched uranium for research reactor fuel is not a serious attempt at engagement, as the Unites States knows it will likely fail.

    Instead, it is intended to depict the United States as a reasonable negotiating partner, and Iran as a duplicitous state bent on obtaining the bomb at all costs.

    The administration’s goal is to build support for harsher sanctions by making Iran appear recalcitrant, proposing a stillborn deal disguised as engagement.

    This could increase support for harsher international sanctions that are more strictly implemented.


  30. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji:

    Americans know their own best interests.

    It is useless to tell them otherwise.

    Furthermore, currently their allies are the anti-Islamists.

    They have to severe their relationship with one set and try to make friends with people with whom they have been at logger-heads for years.

    And the outcome will not be certain.

    Because of the asymmetry of power between US and all Muslim states, as well as US Love Affair with Israel, US planners do not have strong incentives to pursue alternative policies. They have to support Israel in perpetuity, and they are comfortable – intellectually and operationally – with containment policies against Iran. The one time that the US leaders chose a revolutionary policy was in regards to Iraq with well-known results.

    Personally, I do not find it profitable for US to try to choose winners and loosers among Muslims. On the other hand, sheer inertia and prior policies will keep US on her present course; for better or for worse.

  31. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    US interests would be best served by a normalization of relations with the anti-Zionist Islamist parties and movements in the Middle East- in whose hands the political present and future of the Muslim world lies. Domestically this is a difficult shift, but it is not impossible for a capable politician (which Obama is not, he is a capable candidate).

  32. Rehmat says:

    the so-called “suicide terrorism” was introduced to the Muslim world by the European Jewish terrorist militias, which are now part of Israel Armed Forces. King David Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed by Jewish terrorist Hagana under the orders of Menachem Begin former Israel prime minister and Nobel Prize winner, on July 22, 1946 – killing 91 civilians.

    Most of the suicide-bombing attacks carried out in Israel have been traced back to Mossad.

    “The term (terrorism) has virtually nothing to do with the act itself and everything to do with the identity of the actor especially his or her religious identity. It has really come to mean: “A Muslim who fight against or even express hostility towards United States, Israel and their allies….,” Glenn Greenwald in Salon.com, February 19, 2010.


  33. X says:

    Did it really take an analysis of a huge database to determine the outcome that THE way to stop suicide attacks on americans is to pack up and leave?

    Bin Laden stated it from the outset in his call to Jihad.

    The rest are freedom fighters acting locally, whose only intent is liberate Muslim land.

    The theory of “clash of civilization” was made in the west, to justify (not to explain) the clashes that would ensued from its continued imperialistic expansion in all spheres.

    No database analysis necessary. Just some common sense needed.

  34. Fiorangela says:

    fyi wrote: “There is a war between Judaism and Islam in Palestine.”

    The larger war is between Judaism and Zionism, a civil war of Jew vs. Jew but in which the casualties are all too often some Other “ram caught in the thicket.” The Hebrew people have always been a divided people and contentious among themselves; that has not changed in Jewry’s history in the West, despite Herzl repeated declaration in der Judenstaat, that “We are ONE people!”

    Israelis are profoundly at war within their own heads between their Eastern origins and their Western ambitions. This conflict is the core struggle of zionism; Herzl embodied it in his own life and writings, and, tragically, reified the conflict on real estate that belonged to another. Gertrude Stein saw the conflict as it evolved and warned against it:

    The Reverie of the Zionist, by -Gertrude Stein, 1920

    I know all about the war I have been in France ever since the peace. Remember what was said yesterday.
    We can think and we know that we love our country so.
    Can we believe that all Jews are these. . . .

    I saw all this to prove that Judaism should be a question of religion.
    Don’t talk about race. Race is disgusting if you don’t love your country.
    I don’t want to go to Zion.
    This is an expression of Shem.

    Stein also rejected key tenets of Jewish thinking at that time, and that has only become more pronounced today: the beliefs that Jews were a special people favored by god, and a people whose specialness was so precious that they must live “separate and apart.” The structure of Stein’s “Reverie” is a kind of dialogue: Gertrude maintained the belief that genius emerged from dialogue; she carried out that belief, and developed genius, in her life in Paris and her salon at 27 Rue de Fleures.

  35. Iranian@Iran says:

    Why say suicide terrorists? One should not lump Hezbollah and Hamas together with al-Qaeda or the Taleban.

  36. Castellio: From the article cited: “He knows where we need to go, he has a vision of what the future should look like in the Middle East, but he hasn’t a clue how to get there.”

    Which is precisely what I said all during his Presidential campaign.

    Now I no longer believe he is clueless. I believe he knows exactly what’s what. Learning about how dependent his political career has been on the Pritzer and Crown families pretty much puts paid to any notion Obama intends to do anything but support Israel to the hilt.

    And today Joe “I’m a Zionist” Biden says explicitly that US support for Israel “must go on forever.”

    Arnold thinks the price for that support will eventually be too high. That’s probably true, but the question then becomes: exactly how high for the US citizen is too high before something changes?

  37. Fiorangela: “And as practice has shown, if it is necessary to overthrow an elected government to do so, then that is what the US will do. Next year in Jerusalem!”

    This is precisely what the US should do – but politically rather than militarily (unless the Zionists want to go out the hard war). Stop all foreign aid to Israel, stop blocking UN resolutions against Israel, demand Israel disarm its nuclear arsenal under pain of UN resolutions enforcing an economic blockade (exactly as demanded against Iran), and go even further by demanding that the UN reverse its 1947 partition, declare Israel a non-legitimate state, and have the UN resume control of the region under the Palestinian Mandate, then construct a bi-national state with equal rights for all citizens.

    The Jews can keep the IDF and the police, needed to keep the Arab countries at bay, but the resulting bi-national state can integrate Palestinian forces into the police for use in predominantly Muslim areas, while Jewish forces continue to police Jewish areas.

    This is what SHOULD be done, but it will never happen. Nothing will change until someone nukes Tel Aviv with one of Israel’s own nukes.

    More on topic, the title of this post is “Can the US save itself in the Middle East?”

    Obvious answer: No.

  38. Castellio says:

    I have a lot of time and admiration for Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam. Here is his comment on Obama’s recent speech and Bill Clinton’s piece on Rabin.


  39. Arnold Evans says:

    That America purports to carry out these occupations and the atrocities associated with them in the name of bringing democracy to populations that have long suffered under authoritarian rule is not a message that resonates with regional audiences.

    If I can make another observation about this very interesting and understated sentence: It is not just regional audiences for whom this message does not resonate.

    Everybody who does not see the existence of a majority state for about 5 million Jewish people in Palestine as being more important than any aspect of the well being of any or all of the hundreds of millions of non-Jews in the region can appreciate the hypocrisy of US claims to advocate democracy.

    The United States is the single most active external anti-democratic force in the world today. China will do business with dictatorships but China does business just as easily with democracies.

    The United States has a high priority foreign policy objective in ensuring the safety of Israel. Sometimes that seems like the US’ only foreign policy objective. This foreign policy objective cannot be accomplished unless there are pro-US dictatorships in at least Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

    There is nearly no other country with an activist foreign policy and any national interest that requires dictatorships. Russia can get pro-Russian democratic victories in its bordering states by spending some money and thwarting whatever color revolution the West tries to apply, and by various economic and military levers of pressure it can apply to whatever government takes power.

    The United States can’t be seen as standing for democracy anywhere outside of Europe and majority-European countries that share the US’ prioritization of Israel. Everywhere else the United States is the most active and effective advocate of authoritarianism in the world.

  40. Arnold Evans says:


    Israel’s biggest advantage in United States politics is that very few people who are not already sympathetic to Israel know very much about the Middle East. So those sympathetic to Zionism are able to strongly influence the narrative that is told to US voters and policymakers.

    I feel like this advantage has declined in the short time I’ve been looking closely at these issues. One reason is that the United States has soldiers regularly dying in the Middle East. Attacking Iran would make that much worse.

    In 2006 100 US soldiers were dying a month in Iraq and the United States was sick of the Middle East. George Bush actually claimed then that Israel was not a motivating factor for the war, but the fact that he saw a need to do that was an indication that the narrative had escaped its usual boundaries.

    If that level had continued for longer, just the fact of fatal attacks on US soldiers being constantly in the news without a reasonable explanation of what they are trying to accomplish would bring the idea of the costs and motivations of US Middle East politics to the fore in the US national conversation.

  41. Arnold Evans says:


    I should add that if I thought the Jews would allow a democracy within Israel/Palestine, I would support the one-state idea. But in fact there is no chance whatever the Jews would give up control of the army, intelligence services, police, etc etc.

    First, I’ll point out that the same observation could have been made with the same strength regarding the White South Africans in 1975. It just turned out to be false.

    But about the Saudi proposal and two states in general:

    As I’ve said earlier, Saudi Arabia is led by colonial stooges but they are not the enemy of the anti-colonial camp. They’ve put together a proposal that on its face is unacceptable to Israel. Other Muslim countries are not wasting energy fighting Saudi Arabia over a plan that has no chance of ever being implemented. You’re very impressed by the fact that 56 Islamic states have not publicly disagreed with that proposal. That fact is less impressive than it looks.

    The US has a plan that Abbas will be kept in office undemocratically until he accepts Israel and a reservation for the Palestinians, inferior in every way to Native American reservations in the United States – especially inferior in that Native Americans can vote in US elections if they choose.

    After Abbas has accepted that plan, the US will tell the Palestinians that to reject that plan is literally to starve. (This is assuming Israel actually puts an offer on paper which at this point seems unlikely.) The plan will not meet the conditions of the 2002 proposal.

    Let’s say the Palestinians vote not to starve.

    Who is going to accept this as a legitimate expression of the will of the Palestinians? Essentially nobody who doesn’t already accept Israel.

    What that means is that nothing has changed. If Saudi Arabia recognizes Israel on that basis it will still be committing a betrayal of Islam and its legitimacy will suffer from that. The anti-colonial camp will continue to oppose Israel and to support Palestinian organizations that do not accept it. The populations of the US colonies in the region will agree with the anti-colonial camp.

    The United States will still be in a position that it has to shield Israel from the populations of its region by imposing or maintaining autocratic dictatorships. The populations of the region will still (accurately) see the United States as the far enemy.

    Assuming Abbas accepts the reservations Israel and Obama would offer, that would not mark the end of the conflict, or even in any important way a change in the conflict.

    The conflict will continue until the US runs out of gas, and is no longer able to continue imposing Israel on the region. The US stopped supporting Apartheid on its own, for moral reasons, but only because African Americans were able to shape the US moral/political landscape in ways Muslims have failed so far while sympathizers with Zionism are far stronger politically than sympathizers with Apartheid.

    But Jews in Palestine are just as human as White South Africans. They’d rather negotiate a graceful end to Zionism than lose it in a war. When US support is gone, they will accept one state and that will resolve the issue.

    If the US was to attack Iran, the major war that would follow would hasten the day the US runs out of gas. I think that is well enough understood in the US and in Israel that we can be confident that we will not see a US attack on Iran.

    If the US does not attack Iran, as the Holocaust moves further into the past, US voters will become more hesitant to provide the nearly unlimited support Israel needs to survive and the more hesitant to go against the US’ primary founding values as it acts as a colonial power in Israel’s region on Israel’s behalf.

    Between that and the fact that the anti-colonial powers are becoming more economically, industrially and technologically formidable as the US’ lead declines will mean that the two values will eventually cross, and Israel will cost more than the US is willing to spend.

    That is how the conflict will end. The “Saudi” plan, first seen in the New York Times advocated by ardent (borderline maniacal) Zionist Thomas Friedman if memory serves, will not mark the end or even an important development in the conflict.

  42. fyi says:


    Under common Muslim Tradition, everyone born a Muslim is a Muslim unless and until he publicly state so. Only God knows what is in the hearts of men.

    Under Shia Tradition, everyone is a Muslim since True Religion has always been one – the religions of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad have always been Islam.

  43. fyi says:


    Israel will never be accepted because it is Jewish.

    There is a war between Judaism and Islam in Palestine.

    There can never be Peace with Israel – only Hudna.

    If the area between the Jordan River and the sea is re-organized under a dispensation similar to the confessional system of Lebanon (as is apparently emerging, de facto, in Iraq) then there can be Peace.

    But for that, Israel, as the Jewsih state, will have to cease to exist.

  44. Castellio says:


    Arnold’s question remains. If Israel offers its Arab “citizens” a second class standing, effectively a Brahmin – underclass relationship … then it will never be accepted in the region without the defeat of the universalist dignity within Islamic thought… and it will always be working to degrade the capacities of the Arabic people, as it currently does, both within and outside its borders, for it perceives them as inherently inferiors and enemies.

    Much more could be written about this, obviously, but the very tentative belief that Israel had something to offer the “locals” other than a secondary status seems, today, mightily disproven.

    A commitment to one state with equal rights would be a step in the right direction. There are young non-Zionist Jews working towards that, and we should support them. But if that is not possible, then peace is not possible either.

    As Arnold has trenchantly asked many times: will the US stake its future on that constant war? The answer is, I believe, yes, without a doubt. Its not what the American people would choose if they had the facts, but they will never have the facts nor sufficient control over their government and their military.

  45. Fiorangela says:

    I should add that if I thought the Jews would allow a democracy within Israel/Palestine, I would support the one-state idea.

    Then the solution is staring us in the face, it is the US mission/policy: to bring freedom and democracy to states around the world. And as practice has shown, if it is necessary to overthrow an elected government to do so, then that is what the US will do. Next year in Jerusalem!

  46. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – Both Ayad Allawi told Fareed Zakaria are ‘Islamophobe’ and member of Israel Hasbara Committee. they’re no different than Obama, Clinton, McCain, Bernard Kouchner or Sarkozy when it comes to the Islamic Republic.

    However, when the real war come – as usual, all of them will missing to fight Iranians in the battle field.

  47. James Canning says:

    Ayad Allawi told Fareed Zakaria that Iran is trying to destabilise Lebanon and the entire region. Isn’t this neocon propaganda? Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran have been working together in the interests of stability in Lebanon.

  48. James Canning says:


    As proof of the pudding, isn’t it now illegal for a member of the Israeli parliament to visit Lebanon or Syria? How utterly absurd.

    But of course we see hundreds of US Congressmen shuttling back and forth over the Atlantic between Israel and Washington.

  49. James Canning says:

    Pape’s contention that the US needs to get its armies of occupation out of Iraq and Afghanistan clearly is correct. And I think it underscores the blunder of George W. Bush in 2006 when he rejected the advice of the Iraq Study Group (to make deals with Syria and Iran, and pull all US forces out of Iraq). This Bush blunder can be laid at the feet of General Petraeus.

  50. James Canning says:


    I should add that if I thought the Jews would allow a democracy within Israel/Palestine, I would support the one-state idea. But in fact there is no chance whatever the Jews would give up control of the army, intelligence services, police, etc etc.

  51. James Canning says:


    Thanks for the questions. While I think the creation of Israel was a very destabilising event in the Middle East, it seems hard to deny that a country called Israel, and controlled by Jews, exists. This is the point of view of the 57 Muslim countries that support the 2002 Saudi peace plan. How many decades longer do you wish to see the conflict continue, and its attendant damage to economic development in the region? How many tens of millions more young people will live lives of poverty or near-poverty, as a result of continuing instability?

    The Palestinians have made it clear that they will accept Israel within its June 1, 1967 boundaries. The rest of the world should support their quest for justice within this context. The althernative is decades more instability, and wars or near-wars.

  52. Arnold Evans says:


    I think you miss the boat when you argue that the actions of nation-states should be ignored, if it appears that the population of a nation-state does not support a given action. Have you heard of representative democracy?

    I asked a much deeper question than that. Saudi Arabia is not a representative democracy. Saudi Arabian leadership is more accountable to the US embassy than to any domestic constituency of the people it rules. Saudi Arabia is a colony.

    But regardless of that, why is it so important to you that there be a Jewish state? Why is it so unacceptable to you that most people in Israel’s region do not agree with you that Israel within the 1967 borders is legitimate?

    Erekat and his faction can not win a competitive electoral contest without extreme threats of duress from Israel and the United States. Erekat speaks for the constituency that supports him: Israel and the United States, rather than for the Palestinian people.

    Why do you want so hard to believe that Israel would be accepted in its region as legitimate within the 1967 borders?

  53. James Canning says:


    Sheer ignorance, stupidity and gross arrogance have brought the disasters down on the heads of the American people. This is being kind to the warmongers who conspired to set up an illegal war with Iraq on knowingly false intelligence. To “protect” Israel.

  54. James Canning says:

    Persian Gulf,

    In fact, the continuing Nato mission in Afghanistan is putting pressure on the alliance, rather than strengthening it.

  55. James Canning says:

    Persian Gulf,

    I think you are misreading the Nato mission in Afghanistan. In fact, many Nato countries doubted that the “9/11” attacks met the qualifiying definition of an “attack” on a member state that would trigger alliance response.

  56. Castellio says:

    Every time a nationalist in the US reads a statement like: “The decline of American power since the end of the Cold War has been dramatic” they don’t think of policy realignment, they think of muscling up and striking sooner.

  57. Charles Charlie Charles V says:

    I’d also add that it isn’t just the Arab and Muslim worlds that the US has been alienating.

    In a supermarket close to where I live, in northern England, I saw a packet of rice that had been mis-labeled as being produced in the the USA. There was a sticker on the pack that said “buyers please be aware that this product was NOT produced in the USA”. But for the sticker the rice would never have been sold, and that in England!

  58. Persian Gulf says:

    James Canning:

    “The “wild card” is always Israel”; not really. we all know that one of the many purposes of continuing Afghanistan war is to keep the unity of Nato as a whole apart from projecting American power. pushing the boundary of the war zone beyond Nato’s real borders to avoid division inside the participating nation states.

  59. Reza Esfandiari says:

    The decline of American power since the end of the Cold War has been dramatic.

    It is ironic that when you win something you are at more risk of losing next time round.

  60. James Canning says:


    All of us should bear in mind that the murderous Israeli rampage on Gaza, in 2008-09, HAD ZERO GROUNDS IN TERMS OF ACHIEVING SECURITY. It was totally political, and had everything to do with the Israeli elections.

  61. James Canning says:


    I heartily agree Israel poses a grave threat to Iran’s national security, due to the possiblity Israel will launch an insane attack on Iran – – for political reasons. Not military reasons.

  62. James Canning says:


    My understanding is that many, if not most, Israeli military and intelligence leaders DO NOT SEE IRAN AS AN EXISTENTIAL MILITARY THREAT. I repeat, DO NOT. This is not the say that the Israeli people themselves are not duped by warmongers in Israel and the US.

  63. James Canning says:


    I think you miss the boat when you argue that the actions of nation-states should be ignored, if it appears that the population of a nation-state does not support a given action. Have you heard of representative democracy? Do we have a referendum in the US about pulling US forces out of Afghanistan?

  64. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning wrote: “Is it not more true to say Israel PRETENDS Iran poses an “existential” threat, as cover for Israeli efforts to dupe the American public (with help from warmongering stooges in the US Senate like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman)?”

    No, it is not “more true to say Israel PRETENDS Iran poses an “existential” threat. . .”

    Israeli Jews are indoctrinated to fear Iran as an existential threat through a complex set of beliefs about themselves, and a system of psychological peculiarities that have characterized many of Israel’s and zionism’s leaders for over a century. (see the video that Dan Cooper and I discussed yesterday: The Antisemitic Side of Zionism . See also how a contemporary describes his upbringing in the American “Jewish bubble,”:http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/id/227942

    The peculiarities and non-reality-based beliefs are deeply ingrained. For all that the beliefs are not based on reality, a fundamental tenet of sociology is that “what men define as real is real in its consequences.” Israelis and many Jews teach and are taught that Germans, Arabs, and Christians hate Jews and seek to kill them. Many Israeli Jews, particularly Ashkenazi Jews, “define as real” their unique status as god’s chosen, with the mission to transplant the German high culture that they so enjoyed in Germany before the (in US Civil war terminology) unpleasantness. Israeli Jews believe this to be real. To Zionists, the belief that they are specially favored by god to westernize the benighted Middle East is real. To zionists, Iranians represent at one and the same time both the backward Oriental — the mizrahunt, the lowest-class being that mirrors to Jews the status they felt as Jews in Europe; and Iran also represents a society and culture that does not have to struggle to prove itself: Iran HAS a cultural legacy, it HAS monuments and institutions and legacies of culture that it can point to with pride; it does not have to prove to the world — and to itself — that it is worthy because it has monuments and a legacy that witness its cultural achievement. Israeli Jews bitterly resent this confidence and comfort that Iran can and does take in its long legacy.

    A tale that many of us learned in Sunday school, about how Solomon was called upon to decide which of two contesting women should be given a child that each woman claimed as her own. Solomon said he would cut the child in half and give half to each. The true mother loved her child so much that she surrendered the child rather than see him killed.
    Think about the non-mother: she risked nothing and was rewarded everything. Had the child indeed been slaughtered, it would have mattered little to her.

    Israel is in a psychological state in which it is keenly desireous of that which another possesses — Iran’s cultural legacy, confidence, oh, and by the way, abundant natural resources and a dynamic and educated population with vast economic potential — and Israel has little to lose if, in the process of claiming that to which it has no right, the thing, the child, is destroyed.

    This psychological state is very real, James, and very dangerous. Israel poses a very real existential threat to Iran, just as real as the threat of further destruction Israel poses to the Palestinian people.

  65. James Canning says:

    Saeb Erekat has called for recognition of Palestine as an independent state within its June 1, 1967 borders. Clearly this is the best way forward. Palestine can obtain recognition internationally, and the effort can then shift to how to achieve a total withdrawal of all Israeli troops, police, etc. from the West Bank.

  66. Arnold Evans says:


    57 Muslim countries accept Israel within its June 1, 1967 borders. If Israel ends the occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

    So the fact that every non-Jewish population in the Middle East does not agree that Israel is a legitimate state is an idea that you just cannot accept, huh?

    I’m sure you’ve seen polls by now, that all of the populations ruled by the countries in Israel’s region, contrary to the offers made by their rulers, do not consider Israel legitimate. You seem like you’re wishing them away.

    In your mind Israel should end the occupation, but there has to be a Jewish state – do you feel like you’d be anti-Semitic to feel otherwise?

    What makes the idea that there must be a Jewish state so important to you?

  67. James Canning says:


    Some analysts make a very large distinction between violence applied by nation-states as contrasted with voilence applied by non-state actors. The fact of the matter is that the non-state actors, operating within their own or sympathetic populations in another state, can inflict damage on state actors that is hugely disporportionate.

    The essential lunacy of the US military adventure in Afghanistan, is simply spending $1 million per year PER SOLDIER! Lunacy, and simply not sustainable.

  68. James Canning says:


    The Canadian PM often sounds like an American warmongering stooge of the Israel lobby.

  69. James Canning says:


    Most of the Nato contries have no desire to occupy any portion of the greater Middle East. And most Americans want US forces pulled out of Afghanistan.

    The “wild card” is always Israel, and the numerous stooges of the Israel lobby in the US Congress and elsewhere.

  70. James Canning says:


    You seem to forget the 2002 Saudi peace plan. 57 Muslim countries accept Israel within its June 1, 1967 borders. If Israel ends the occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

  71. James Canning says:

    Oman’s foreign minister, Yssuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, has been in Tehran calling for cooperation between Oman and Iran in the interests of regional stability. This message needs to be delivered to the idiot warmongers in the US Congress.

  72. Arnold Evans says:

    That America purports to carry out these occupations and the atrocities associated with them in the name of bringing democracy to populations that have long suffered under authoritarian rule is not a message that resonates with regional audiences.

    I want to write about why that is. In Flynt’s talk he describes the division in the region between those countries that accommodate US/Israeli hegemony or dominance of the region and those that resist it.

    The parties that accommodate the US are _ALL_ authoritarian dictatorships. None of the US allies in the region are accountable to the people they rule in any way, especially not as far as policy.

    The closest a US ally comes to having both power and democratic legitimacy is probably Abbas, who ran unopposed with his potential opposition in Israeli prisons and whose elected term expired without even an indication that he noticed.

    This is not a coincidence. The US is profoundly anti-democratic and pro-authoritarian in the region because every single non-Jewish population in the region disagrees with the United States on the question is Israel a legitimate state.

    Just as African support for the ANC and PAC resulted in the non-viability and ultimate dissolution of Apartheid White majority South Africa, despite not meeting the maximalist objectives of many members of both groups. Arab support for Hamas and other Palestinian groups, would – without vigorous, tremendously expensive and anti-democratic American intervention – render Zionist Jewish-majority Israel non-viable.

    US support for Israel means – fundamentally and not as an unfortunate coincidence – that the US must oppose the idea of governments in Israel’s region being accountable to the people ruled.

    The United States is not a democratic influence that is misunderstood and unappreciated. The United States in Israel’s region is an active opponent of accountability of government to the populations that are ruled.

    The cause is both an American moral system that starts and stops at Israel and an American political system that severely interferes with calculations and analysis of US interests in Israel’s favor.

  73. Liz says:

    “what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.”

    Suicide terrorists? You mean when Israel occupies Lebanon and a lebanese national attacks Israeli soldiers he or she’s a terrorist? The person “considers” Lebanon to be his “homeland”?

    Modern democracies = Modern plunderers and occupation forces

  74. James Canning says:


    A primary goal of US policy in the Middle East is to pander to the Israel lobby in the US, and endanger US national security, to advance the agenda of fanatical Jews in the West Bank who are intent on stealing more and more Palestinian land, water, civil rights, etc – – no matter how badly this injures the security interests of the American people.

  75. James Canning says:

    The FT has another report today (“Stability hostage to regional conflict and internal dispute”), Roula Khalaf writes: “Given Iran’s defiance of UN resoltuions demanding a halt to uranium enrichment. . . a looming threat is a military strike on nuclear facilities. This would probably be made by Israel, WHICH SEES TEHRAN’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS AND ITS ANTI-ISRAEL POLITICS AS AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT.”

    Is it not more true to say Israel PRETENDS Iran poses an “existential” threat, as cover for Israeli efforts to dupe the American public (with help from warmongering stooges in the US Senate like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman)?

  76. James Canning says:

    In a report in the Financial Times today (“US resists Israeli calls to take tougher line of Iran”), the FT reports that Netanyahu pressed Joe Biden and Bob Gates to be more aggessive in threatening military action against Iran. Netanyahu appears to be one of the greatest threats to the national security of the American people, to be found anywhere on the planet.

  77. James Canning says:


    Let’s remember that George Tenet also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for allowing Dick Cheney’s gang to engage in a conspiracy to set up an illegal war on knowingly false intelligence. Tenet was a stooge.

  78. James Canning says:

    Bravo! The US blundered badly when it retained military bases in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War. This huge mistake, plus foolish US support for Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, brought on the 1993 attack against the World Trade Center and of course the “9/11” attacks.

  79. paul says:

    Since our anti-terrorism strategy manifestly has not accomplished its ostensible goal, but instead has brought about opposite results, perhaps we could now begin to ask WHAT ARE THE REAL GOALS?

    Isn’t it, in fact, long past time to start asking this question?

  80. Castellio says:

    Listening to the Prime Minister of Canada yesterday, to the effect that “even today there are those wishing to unleash a new holocaust against Israel” (meaning Iran) and pushing hard to bring in legislation to criminalize the growing movement to boycott Israel in Canada, I would have to say that he is acting like the UK’s Blair, Australia’s Howard and Columbia’s Uribe leading up to the invasion of Iraq… well placed US allies being asked to build an ‘international alliance’ to justify illegal military actions.

    Blair, Howard and Uribe all won “Presidential Medals of Freedom” (sic) for their support of the invasion of Iraq.

  81. Cyrus says:

    “to compel FOREIGN COUNTRIES to withdraw military forces from territory that the FREEDOM FIGHTERS consider to be their homeland” would be more accurate. THe use of the term “democracies” and “terrorists” are loaded.

    Would the attack on the US marines in Lebanon constitute “terrorism”? Remember, the targets were armed, uniformed members of a foreign military force, not innocent civilians. How about Hezbollah attacks on Israeli occupation forces – terrorism? How about the deliberate US bombing of a Serbian television station that killed several journalists? Not terrorism?