We're posting new material at GoingToTehran.com. Please join us there.

The Race for Iran



Hillary appeared on Al Jazeera English yesterday to discuss the latest Wikileaks bombshell about U.S. government funding for anti-Assad groups.  You can see her analysis here. The story was first reported in the Washington Post

We, of course, warned back in May 2009, see here, that President Obama was making a serious mistake by not turning off overt programs for “democracy promotion” in Iran and covert initiatives to destabilize the Islamic Republic that he had inherited from his predecessor.  We argued that continuation of such programs would render his efforts to “engage” Tehran—such as those efforts were—incredible and ineffective.  The same argument applies now to Syria, as Hillary explains.  The story underscores how “incoherent, to say the least” Obama’s Middle East policy is.     

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett



  1. Kathleen says:

    Amazing to hear how many times MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Maria Schaivo Campo, Richard Engel as well as others continue to link Iraq to 9/11. On Monday I heard Scarborough say that “those who have lost family members in Iraq and Afghanistan and those who have lost limbs should be able to find comfort in this”

    On Monday MSNBC’s Maria Schaivo Campo blamed the deaths in Iraq on Osama.

    MSNBC’s Richard Engel compared the words used when Saddam was found “we got him” to the words used when Osama either killed himself or JSOC killed him “we got him” Again linking Iraq and 9/11.

    NPR’s Rami Kouri Beirut linked 9/11 and Iraq on Monday.

    Then today (Tuesday) Scarborough called Osama and KSM cowards for sending young men and women to their deaths. How fucking absurd. Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Feith, Rumsfeld, Clinton etc sent thousands of American soldiers to their deaths in Iraq as well as being very much the reason that hundreds of thousands have been killed and injured in Iraq.

    Monday evening Rachel Maddow kept pounding on Pakistan. She said Pakistan around 30 times in 15 minutes

  2. Kathleen says:

    Netanyahu will focus on bad bad bad Iran, releasing Pollard, repeating that the PA does not want peace, and cut the Palestinians off of aid.

    Interview’s over at Democracy Now on OBL killing. Scahill expresses my own feelings far better than I can
    “On the other side of this, though, I think there’s another reaction. I found it quite disgusting to see people chanting, like it was some sort of sporting event, outside of the White House. I think it was idiotic. Let’s remember here, hundreds of thousands of people have died. Iraq was invaded, a country that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. The United States created an al-Qaeda presence in Iraq by invading it, made Iran a far more influential force in Iraq than it ever would have been. We have given a grand motivation to people around the world that want to do harm to Americans in our killing of civilians, our waging of war against countries that have no connection to al-Qaeda, and by staying in these countries long after the mission was accomplished. Al-Qaeda was destroyed in Afghanistan, forced on the run. The Taliban have no chance of retaking power in Afghanistan. And so, I think that this is a somber day where we should be remembering all of the victims, the 3,000 people that died in the United States and then the hundreds of thousands that died afterwards as a result of a U.S. response to this that should have been a law enforcement response and instead was to declare war on the world.”

    The whole world is witness to the double standards placed on human life say for instance the innocent life lost in the 9/11 attack versus the loss of life as a direct result of the invasion of Iraq by our leaders?

    So absurd that Secretary of State Clinton or President Obama can say “grievous attacks on innocent people” with straight faces.

  3. James Canning says:


    I think you have Netanyahu’s pitch succinctly stated. And he likely will lobby for the release of the Israeli (Soviet) spy, Jonathan Pollard.

  4. Rehmat says:

    Benji Netanyahu during his addresses late this month at AIPAC conference and joint meeting of the US Congress is expected to include; 1) Bashing of the Islamic Republic for its support for Hamas and Hizbullah and country’s civilian nuclear program, 2) Warning against the dangers to “the peace process” of any PA-Hamas unity government, 3) Warnings about the threats to Israel from Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood – scraping peace-treaty and abandoning subsidary on gas supply to Israel, 4) the usual hasbara lie: “Israel has no peace partner to negotiate with and 5) Ben-Obama is too hard on Israel.

    Egypt-Gaza border opening scares Israel

  5. James Canning says:


    While it is true that Petraeus is careful to maintain good relations with the Israel lobby, I think the larger problem in Obama’s naming the general to head CIA is that this exacerbates the increasing control over US foreign policy by the Pentaqon.

  6. James Canning says:


    No confusion; Pollard spied for Israel, but Israel passed the secrets on to the Soviet Union.

  7. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – I think you’re confusing Pollard with the Jewish couple, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were executed at sundown in the electric chair on June 19, 1953.


  8. James Canning says:

    And in Seattle, apparently it is ‘offensive speech’ to call for equal rights for the Palestinians and a sane US foreign policy.


  9. James Canning says:


    The Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, stole the million or so secrets from the US so they could be delivered to the Soviet Union, at the time America’s greatest potential adversary.

  10. Rehmat says:

    On April 26, 2011, the neocon propaganda organ, the Foreign Affairs magazine published Israeli ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren’s rant entitled The Ultimate Ally. As a typical self-denial Israeli, Oren claimed that as result of the current protests against the US friendly regimes in the Middle East – The US needs Israel on its side more than ever before.


  11. James Canning says:


    Yes, by Deptember 2002, George W. Bush was the dupe and stooge of warmongering neocons, deceiving the American people to set up an illegal war to “protect” Israel.

  12. James Canning says:


    I think many of those who pushed hard for sanctions against Iran, did so in the expectation they would not produce the result that was claimed likely or possible.

    With Iraq, the sanctions did cause Saddam to destroy his WMD. The great scandal, to put it lightly, is that this fact was concealed from the American people by the warmongers who conspired to set up the illegal and idiotic 2003 invasion of Iraq. To “protect” Israel.

  13. Fiorangela says:

    Rehmat, the sanctions against Iran have “failed” — to bring Iran’s economy to its knees — because it was DESIGNED to fail and it was known beforehand that sanctions would fail.

    This was known from the regimen of sanctions that were imposed on Iraq, that failed to bring about the intended downfall of Saddam Hussein. In about 1990 National Defense University underwrote a study by Patrick Clawson, a leading anti-Iran hawk later on the WINEP dole, to assess the effectiveness of sanctions on IRAQ. Among the results of the study was the observation that Saddam had been able to distribute vital goods and services relatively equitably; that black markets and other extra-market methods provided work-arounds.
    Clawson published another essay at about that same time, assessing the morality of sanctions. His conclusions were ambiguous.

    In short, by 1995 when AIPACer Keith Weissman helped to author the first of the AIPAC sponsored sanctions against Iran, it was well known that they would be ineffective. As Weissman observed in a speech in Washington state in 2008, it was also known that those 1995 sanctions on Iran would harm US interests.

    The purpose of the sanctions, and the reasons proffered for imposing sanctions, which California congressman Ed Royce pronounced so succinctly: “To cause Iranians to riot and overthrow their regime,” and that Ephraim Sneh described so coolly: “To cause Iran’s rulers to worry about how they will feed their 70 million people,” were secondary — they were useful to stimulate the ghoulish juices of neanderthals like Royce.

    Their real purpose was to create a legalistic record of Iran’s offenses that could be presented to the public as a casus belli.

    On Sept 12, 2002, when George Bush spoke at the United Nations and declared that the US would use every means at its disposal including military intervention, to ensure that Saddam Hussein was removed from power in Iraq, the US Congress had been prepared for the importance and logic of the speech with this document, “A Decade of Deception and Defiance,” http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/iraq/decade/book.html :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Conflictw which Tony Blair echoed with this document, distributed to Britain’s Parliament: :http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/02/uk_human_rights_dossier_on_iraq/pdf/iraq_human_rights.pdf

    The documents list Saddam’s offenses against various UN sanctions, but the sanctions are the outcome of a kangaroo court process intended primarily to create a CYA rationale for carrying out a military attack that was planned years ago, as Jeff Gates spells out, by zionist agents planted in the US influence-shaping and decision making structure.

  14. James Canning says:

    I think Obama is blundering badly by putting General Petraeus into CIA. Failure of George W. Bush to follow excellent advice of Iraq Study Group (to make deals with Iran and Syria, and get out of Iraq) can be laid at the feet of Petraeus. How many hundreds of billions of dollars has Petraeus helped cause to be squandered in foolish military adventures in the Middle East? And is Petraeus at the heart of the effort to put the Pentagon into control of US foreign policy? Which is to say, to subvert the Republic.

  15. James Canning says:


    Bravo. And what a mantra: “We need to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here”! This neocon rubbish duped a good number of Republicans (and others) in the US, prior to idiotic US/UK invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  16. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, Jeff Gates includes in his overview of Israel’s game-theory the information that Haim Saban purchased German media–

    Germany offers a case study in manipulation of the public mindset in plain sight and under the banner of a free press. In 2003, Zionist media mogul Haim Saban acquired the second largest media conglomerate in Germany. Why? As Saban investment banker Steve Rattner explained his client’s motivation: “Because Germany is important to Israel.” Or, as Saban concedes: “I have only one issue and that issue is Israel.”

    By 2005, Saban had succeeded in electing Angela Merkel as German Chancellor. She quickly became the European Union’s most reliable and forceful advocate for Israel. By November 2009, she was prepared to sponsor in Berlin an unprecedented joint session of the German and Israeli governments. Following his political success in Germany, Saban acquired in 2007 a controlling interest in Univision, a Latino-focused network serving the fastest-growing voting bloc in the U.S.

    Media manipulation serves as an essential force-multiplier to wage intelligence wars from the periphery or, as with Haim Saban, in plain sight.”

    C Span’s Washington Journal producers and moderators are firmly under control of the zionist agenda. This morning, a guest from the Potomac Institute discussed shuffling of Leon Panetta, from CIA to DoD, and David Petraeus, from DoD to CIA. The guest, whose name is neither memorable nor worthy remembering, discussed all the interrelationships and agendas of the principals, and declaimed with practiced clarity that US foreign policy efforts were for the purpose of spreading freedom and democracy, and of protecting the Amurikun peeple from the threat of Islamic extremists — not the good Islams but the baaad Islams — who want to attack the US and who do bad things to women. “We need to fight them over there so we won’t have to fight them over here,” recited the nameless guest, right on cue.

    I thought that meme had been removed from the shelves along with last month’s stale donuts. C Span is becoming a joke.

  17. James Canning says:


    I thought the interview with Michael Luders was fairly good, and much better than what might be expected from many American questioners.

  18. k_w says:

    @Fiorangela: You’re judgement is very moderate. I think it’s a piece of crude propaganda. Not very sophisticated. Now you can imagine what German main-stream media look like :-).

  19. James Canning says:


    Great post, re: control of US Middle East foreign policy by the ISRAEL LOBBY, and how that control is enlarged and sustained. Conniff is an idiot. And sadly, the ISRAEL LOBBY is subverting the American Republic, in its insane effort to facilitate perpetual oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis. Meaning endless war or near-war in the Middle East.

  20. James Canning says:


    The US and UK took Libya away from Italy. However, even if Italy had not joined Germany in the Second World War, Libya would have been given up in any event, though probably a decade or so later.

  21. Fiorangela says:

    k_w, Neither Mr. Luders nor DW includes in the analysis the probability that Western agents are active in Syria, perhaps fomenting the rebellion.

    Luders had only one point to make: Syria’s minority government is using military force, just like 30 years ago.

    No mention of the concessions Assad has offered; no mention of the differences between Assad Junior and Assad Senior.

    In short, an incomplete analysis that seems intended to reinforce the same old rhetoric about those barbaric Muslims.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the link, k_w. When someone of intellectual and political heft writes a paper in a significant media that traces the turbulence — and human suffering — in the Arab and Islamic world to decisions made in 1913 and 1919; demonstrates ineluctably how Israel was the prime beneficiary and still prime agitator of the resultant turmoil; and forcefully asserts that western powers that were involved in those decisions — Great Britain, France, US, and Italy* — have much to answer for and should be making reparations for their deeds rather than further punishing the people of those lands, then we will be on the cusp of a MORAL revolution.

    *At least we can say this: Italy de-colonized Libya and made reparations to the Libyan people.

  22. k_w says:


    There’s an article about Syria and the current outbreak of violence at Deutsche Welle (English version):


    I would really like to know your thoughts about it.

  23. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning – spend a few minutes listening to Gilad Atzmon try to talk some sense into idiot Michael Conniff.

    Atzmon, an Israeli-born Jew, says he was at the meeting in Israel when Haim Saban told a Jewish audience that “what we have to do” is “control the means of communication and the think tanks in the US.” That is exactly what Jewish people in the US have done,** Atzmon tells Conniff.

    Conniff replies, “I don’t see any problem with that.”

    Atzmon presses the point: “Jewish people have taken over American media and think tanks to overwhelm the American people with a pro-Israel version of information. Information is the life blood of a democracy. . . .”

    Conniff argues with Atzmon, refusing to acknowledge that information sources that strategically shut out alternative views and overwhelm the American people with a version of events that is favorable to a foreign state, are a problem.

    At one point, Atzmon makes a gesture as if pulling his hair out in frustration; the camera quickly pans away.


    **Saban bought into the most prestigious think tank in DC, Brookings Institute; it now spouts the Israel line. Saban persuaded Hillary Clinton to move to New York and run for Senator from NY; he financed her campaign. He surrounds Hillary Clinton with advisors who support his agenda, and as he has said, “I’m a one-issue man and my issue is Israel.”
    Saban bought Univision, a media outlet at the top of the charts among Hispanics — Jews consider Hispanics the greatest threat to their dominance of US politics because they are predominantly Catholic. Thus, a three-pronged attack: 1. deride the Catholic church at every opportunity; 2. whip up anti-immigration sentiment through other outlets that Jewish media influences, such as Fox; and 3. appeal to Hispanics by means of Univision–propagandize HIspanics with the zionist line via Univision.

    The way that Saban and his agents function is NOT by mass campaigns; seldom will one see a mass rally/protest in Washington for a Jewish cause. I’ve been to training sessions where J Street members are coached on how to influence their congressmen and newspapers; it is emphasized that it only takes four or five phone calls or letters to the editor, repeating the same talking points, to sway the mind of a congressperson or to convince an editor to print the letter. But the ace in the hole is that there is usually a Jewish minder somewhere in the congressman’s staff or the editor’s staff, or an advertiser in the newspaper, who is looking over the shoulder of the congressman or editor, to ensure that the ‘right’ vote is taken and the ‘right’ letters are published. Or else.

    Campaign contributions are not the ONLY way that the Israel lobby ensures that an elected official will toe the party line, but it is one way. Other means are more or less subtle; for example, the ne’er do well son of a congressperson is employed by a Jewish-run business; sonny keeps his job as long as Dad stays on script.

    In an immigrant culture like the US, groups like the Jewish people may well have a longer history in the country — and know how to play the game — than later immigrant groups. Jews also manage to maintain group cohesion more tightly than some other immigrant groups. For example, Irish in US have a history of political activism in Ireland that they brought with them to the US; one frequently finds Irishmen working with Jewish persons on political issues– Paul Ryan is among the “young guns” that includes Eric Cantor. On the other hand, organizing groups like the Italians is like herding cats; have you heard of the Italian lobby in the US? Didn’t think so.


    It’s a fascinating sociological study. As Gilad Atzmon tries to tell Americans, they really ought to make the effort to figure out the impact organized Jewish groups are having on American society. It is astonishing not only that people like Conniff try to be “more Jewish than the rabbi” and dismiss Atzmon’s pleas and warnings, but that Conniff’s attitude is generalized. See, for example, the reaction of a commenter named John Foley to the Atzmon-Conniff discussion:


    “Michael Conniff was the only one that had a strong issue and showed the real character of Gilad Atzmon, as a program of “freedom of speech” it was a cover for Gilad Atzmon to push for his agenda and instead of an open discussion (till now I don’t know why Harvie Branscome (Moderator) and Steve Kaufman wasted thier time to show how useless they are).
    Michael Conniff who is the only one that understood where the direction of this program goes, just pointed out in a very creative way, the character of Atzmon (arrogant, no manners of speech and quite strange reactions) his inconsistent views that pushes only into one direction.

    As a conclusion, a very low program that showed why and what is the real Gilad Atzmon motivation when he speaks about free speech, I would recommend Atzmon to hide this program, as if he wants to push for freedom of speech that has a value for all, he should consider changing his tactics, as he exposed is real motives, that has nothing to do with freedom of speech in the USA .”

    From my point of view, Conniff was a jerk who persisted in distracting from the point that Atzmon was attempting to make; namely, that it is essential to have an accurate and thorough understanding of history in order to take the appropriate ethical lessons from it. Conniff was too stupid and ill-informed to understand that concept; he chose to hammer away on “free speech” and on reciting, catechism-like, the holocaust version that all Americans have been taught is the one and only truth.

    As for Foley’s criticism of Atzmon’s speech patterns, English is Atzmon’s second language. Would Conniff have been more comfortable conducting the discussion in Hebrew?

  24. James Canning says:


    So, is NPR conducting a propaganda exercise intended to discredit ElBaradei and Iran?

  25. Kathleen says:

    Fio so hoping that the Leveretts listen to that interview. Inskeep basically repeated the I lobbies Iran mantras. Hope folks let NPR know what you think about this interview.

    Talk about the invasion of Iraq, Iran. Inskeep brings up disappointment in the process

    The Age of Deception..Go to comments section

    Go listen to the whole interview but especially Inskeeps question at 2;59 “this Iranian regime”

    Oh many Inskeep keeps blaming bad bad Iran. Then Inskeep throws in “disputed election”

  26. James Canning says:


    Yes, the sad truth is that most Americans know almost nothing about Iran, other than the “fact” the Iranian leaders are “monsters”. The ISRAEL LOBBY has thousands of stooges in American news media.

  27. James Canning says:


    You might find interesting Gideon Rachman’s comments about the situation in Egypt, in the Financial Times today (ft.com). He talked to ElBaradei.

  28. fiorangela says:

    Kathleen, the Inskeep interview of ElBaradei was appalling.

    The tragedy is, it seems like there are only about 50 Americans who can see past the BS and understand what is going on. (Mondoweiss is only a partial solution: he bans and moderates to suit an on-again off-again elitist agenda.)

    But the need to speak out is great and increasing. I had a conversation with a cousin the other day, an intelligent woman who is very angry that her children vote Republican and are not aware of the Church’s encyclicals on the rights of labor, and who is upset that the Church does not speak out on any issue other than abortion.

    Then we got to Iran, and she, too, parroted the party line: “I’m not opposed to the people of Iran, but their leaders — oooh, that man is a monster!” My cousin knows nothing about Iran’s government other than what she hears on MSM, and does not have sufficient alternative information to challenge the relentless propaganda.

  29. Kathleen says:

    amazing how complicit the US MSM continues to be. It is all bad bad Syria now. 150 dead. Reprehensible to kill protesters. But if citizens in the US were protesting to overthrow our paid and bought for congress we would certainly be imprisoned if not shot.

    One would think that after the pathetic job that our the majority of the MSM did in the run up to Bush administrations illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq that they would ask tougher and more challenging questions dig deeper but they do not. They keep doing the governments work.

    Hope Hillary and Flynt listen to NPR Steve Inskeeps interview with El Baradei this morning

    Ok only heard the interview once. Will listen again. But Steve Inskeep did the job for the I lobby. Fed the myth that ALL experts agree that Iran has not been willing to negotiate. Inskeep then jumps to Iraq, Iran, Syria and never ever touches Israel’s massive stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that go uninspected by the IAEA. How Israel has and continues to refuse to sign the NPT and play by the same rules that they demand their neighbors abide by. Inskeep fuels the myths about Iran that Israel wants fueled. Pathetic. Telling.


  30. Rehmat says:

    The Wall Street Journal (April 25, 2011) has reported that Obama administration is weighing “targeted” (as was the case against Iranian scientists and government officials last year) sanctions against senior officials in Syria who are overseeing a violent crackdown as Washington and Europe suggest the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is increasingly fragile”.

    The Washington Post had claimed on April 17, 2011 that the US State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including the London-based Barada satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country. Barada TV (named after Syrian Barada River), began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s pro-Hamas and pro-Iranian ruler, Bashar al-Assad.


  31. James Canning says:


    Thanks. I too obviously see the harm done to the national security interests of the American people, by zalous “supporters’ of Israel. I expect the laws of demographics to play out, and to oblige Israel to pull all soldiers, police etc out of the West Bank over time. And at some point many decades ahead, it is conceivable that Israel/Palestine could function as a single economic entity.

  32. fiorangela says:

    James Canning, I agree with both paragraphs in your comment. Ideally, one state of Jewarabishchristianatheisthumans as full and equal citizens of one land, could emerge. I believe Arabs are willing and able to make that effort, and should signal that by declaring a Palestinian state at the UN.

    I do not believe Israelis can make that move without significant re-education.

    Gilad Atzmon again — in a discussion with Michael Conniff of radio KUUR in Aspen, Colorado, spoke passionately about his desire that Jews “revise” their historical narrative, and also that Americans confront their own history as well. Another Jewish person, ?? Kaufman, was also part of the conversation, and supported Atzmon’s point of view fervently.

    Conniff was a jerk. He consistently missed the point that Atzmon made in every way possible: that it is important to understand history in order to learn necessary ethical lessons from history. Conniff apparently felt he displayed Cronkite cool with his (embarrassing) rejoinders. He was eager and willing to support anything Israel does, even against the interests of the US. His part of the conversation — which he repeatedly declared a “good conversation,” displayed a smart-alecky attitude, and revealed an ill-informed (“I know this because I saw ‘Band of Brothers'”), ignorant, and disrespectful sense of the topic, his interlocutors, sound facts and logic. The All American radio jockey, heaven help us.

    It may be the case that the American Conniffs of the world are the greatest barrier to sound US foreign policy.

  33. James Canning says:


    I readily see the basis for your belief the Israelis will continue to oppress the Palestinians until they are rerstrained by brute force. And of course, their murderous instincts in perpetuating their scheme of oppression of the Palestinians seems obvious.

    I continue to believe the best way forward is Un recognition of independent Palestine, so focus can shift to ways and means of getting Israeli troops and police out of the West Bank. This will not be easy, and perhaps a very strong international effort to de-legitimise Israel will be necessary.

  34. fiorangela says:

    James, It’s not my argument but the facts of the past 43 years that Israel will not willingly surrender one inch of land, stolen or otherwise, nor grant one measure of human and civil dignity to Palestinians.

    No actions of Israeli zionists in the past 130 years have been motivated by anything other than the interests of the JEWISH people, seized and demanded from Europeans, Arabs, and Americans with no concern whatsoever for the niceties of international law or the moral constraints inherent in natural law.

    Jewish musician and pro-Palestinian activist Gilad Atzmon wrote that violence and terror are projections of the impulses one fears in oneself. When Israelis point to Iran and cry, “Terrorist!” one can easily interpret that Israel is looking at itself and seeing in itself all that it accuses Iran of doing or intending.

    Thus, when Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a House Committee on Sept 12, 2002, and said, “They [Iraqis, Iranians, AlQaeda — the terror network] respond only to power, they respect only force,” it is reasonable, in fact essential, that one understand that Netanyahu is telegraphing the deepest motivations and fears of Israeli Jews: Israeli Jews can be restrained — brought to conform to international law and respect the human rights of Palestinian Arabs — ONLY by overwhelming power and force.

  35. James Canning says:


    One of the biggest warmongering Republican idiots in the US Senate, well known as a stooge of the ISRAEL LOBBY (Lindsey Graham), has called on Obama to ignore the UNSC resolution on Libya. This fact alone argues strongly for ending US participation in the matter.

  36. James Canning says:


    I very much doubt that there has been ten seconds of thought, that “Christianity” will benefit from civil war in Libya, on the part of David Cameron, William Hague, and other British leaders.

    I think it quite likely that neocons pushing the Zionist agenda in the Middle East, may see the chance to attempt to install a government friendly toward Israel, in Libya.

    The Zionist agenda is very harmful to the interests of Christianity.

  37. James Canning says:


    The brother of the late King of Jordan thinks the Palestinians will be able to deal with the illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank, once all Israeli soldiers and police are withdrawn.

    Are you arguing that Israel will not withdraw its soldiers and police from an independent Palestine?

  38. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: April 24, 2011 at 9:14 am

    That is what the Iranians are saying as well.

  39. fiorangela says:

    forgive my laughter, James Canning. The failure of logic and information as to ‘facts on the ground’ that is indicating in this statement is mind-boggling:

    “James Canning says:
    April 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Disarming the illegal Jewish settlers would be a first order of business. Police can do this; no need for a Palestinian army (which Israel would not allow in any event).”

    1. The rump state of Israel has known since at least 1967 that settlements were illegal. The state requested a legal opinion of a trusted jurist; he wrote that settlements on lands captured in 1967 would be a violation of international law. Israel concealed the opinion. Jewish journalist Gershom Gorenberg pressured the Israeli government to gain access to archives and discovered the document. Israel has been knowingly violating international law regarding settlements since 1967.

    2. Yoram Peri is a Jewish military historian. The US Pentagon has an office of Peace something or other (it’s not worth the time to google its precise name since the use of the word ‘peace’ in something the Pentagon does is a cynical manipulation of reality and rhetoric at the outset). Under the auspices of that Office of Peace, Peri wrote a book about the extreme influence of military on Israeli political and government policy decisions. Among the examples Peri cited of the too-close and harmful relationship between military and government policy was a incident in 1972 when the Israeli military was called upon to dismantle illegal settlements. The military — Jewish young men who are conscripted, and their Jewish leaders — refused to undertake a military action against fellow Jews.

    Yoram Peri quoted the general who made the decision NOT to lead Jewish military forces to dismantle settlements: he said it was a profound mistake that had far-reaching consequences, in that it set a precedent that no Jew would wage battle against a fellow Jew.

    I attend a lot of meetings of Jewish groups. They do not perceive Palestinians to be the largest problem — Palestinian Arabs are invisible from a Jewish Israeli point of view, and, Israeli military AND civilians/settlers have been so thoroughly dehumanized and have dehumanized Palestinians that killing a Palestinian is a matter of little concern. The only problem is how to handle the public relations; killing an Arab is not the problem. The real concern, expressed over and over and over again by American Jews, is what to do about the ultra-orthodox Jewish religious settlers. They are heavily armed, are vicious, are determined to hold their ground, and are deeply committed to the notion that god gave the land to them and they have a right and even holy obligation to remove Palestinians from the land and “redeem the land” for Jews.

    Israelis have known for 40+ years that they did not have “clear title” to the land.

    Israeli “police” have refused since at least 1972 to raise a hand against a fellow Jew. The removal of Jews from Gaza was a major trauma for Israelis, assuaged only by hundreds of millions of US tax dollars pressed into Israeli palms.

  40. Rehmat says:

    “The EU has to understand that the age of ‘teacher and pupil’ has gone now,” First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov said Tashkent was tired of being lectured to by the European Union although it was prepared to work with individual states who showed respect.


  41. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Please note that the only Muslim state which is a member of NATO has been deliberately been excluded from discussions and decisions regarding Libya.

    This is another Christian War against another Muslim state with the Arab lackeys of Axis Powers serving as the token Muslim force. This is certainly how it will be precieved by very many Muslims.

    Next time, the Axis Powers best instruct their soldiers to stitch a cross to their uniforms.

  42. paul says:

    I suggest that anyone who wonders how sincere US efforts as ‘democracy promotion’ in ‘enemy’ regimes are should look at Venezuela. During Chavez’ time there, Venezuela has had plenty of democracy, election after election, most of which Chavez and his supporters have won handily, all of which they have won. What does the US do? Does it honor all that democracy? No. It poors millions and millions into ‘democracy promotion’. In other words, it’s all about subversion, NOT about democracy. This can’t be stressed enough. When the US is doing backflips to promote ‘democracy’ in one of the most democratic countries in the world, what does it mean by “democracy”? Of course, what they really mean by “democracy” is subversion, and what a lot of folks don’t get is that subversion is a win/win strategy for geopolitical strategists who only care about power. See, even if they don’t actually achieve ‘regime change’, they invariably force the government they are trying to subvert to defend itself with policies that invariably translate to crackdowns. Think for a moment about what it would be like to be a political leader who knows that your opposing faction is being heavily supported and funded by the US. How would you deal with that? In addition, of course, US subversion gives regimes that might want to crack down anyway an excuse to.

    Consider this too: if there were uprisings in America such as there have been in Syria, how vicious do you think the crackdown would be? Be honest now. Remember that the US has already put tens of thousands of HEAVILY armed cops in the field, using brutal tactics, against almost entirely peaceful protests of events like the g20, that only amounted to thousands of protestors. Think about that, think about it hard. Now ask yourself how the US would react to, say, one hundred thousand protestors shutting down NYC day after day?

    You know as well as I do that the response would be bloody, brutal, oppressive and very anti-democratic. Now imagine a million protestors in the streets of Washington Dc, determined to shut down DC, calling for regime change. How brutal would the US government reaction to that be? Remember, this is the government where a cop will tase you, possibly to death, for not being submissive enough.

  43. James Canning says:


    I think US failure to engage with Hamas has been stupidity on a large scale.

  44. James Canning says:


    Disarming the illegal Jewish settlers would be a first order of business. Police can do this; no need for a Palestinian army (which Israel would not allow in any event).

  45. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, truly truly Palestinians will be so much better off if they have no military. That way, they will be fully empowered to pursue the “obvious remedy” “down the road.”

    “The remedy is obvious: make clear that the housing being built, for illegal Jewish colonists, does not have clear title. Because it does not have clear title.

    Yer durn right! Rule of Law!! You do not have the right piece of paper, so give the property back. Your guns mean nothing to me; never have for the past 100 years, never will.

    “Palestine can deal with the interlopers down the road.”

    How far down the road? 100 more years?

  46. Kathleen says:

    One up about Syria by Steve Clemons

  47. Photi says:


    “The Palestinians do not want to be Egyptians. Israel would not allow Egyptian forces into the WB in any event. I think the assumption has to be that Palestine will not have an army, air force, or navy. The Palestinians will be the better for not having such things.”

    In your view, where does the resistance go?  One of the biggest mistakes the Americans make is the continued ignoring of Hamas.  Who actually thinks they are going to disappear?  Hamas is a home-grown nationalist struggle if ever there was one.  They show no signs of acquiescing towards Israeli servitude and considering Hamas’s legitimacy in the eyes of the Palestinians, their representatives cannot be excluded from any future peace talks *assuming the Western objective is peace*.

  48. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – Historically, more than 90% of Jewish population of Israel and the Occupied Territories – are illegal settlements. In 1914, the Jewish population of Ottoman Palestine was 5% and they owned 2.5% of the land. During British mandate period, British allowed Jewish immigrants from Europe because England, the US and Canada refused to accept them.

    The zionist narratives of Jews buying Palestinian lands is as much a fraud as the ‘Bible promised Jews the Holy Land’. Turkish records reased a few years ago prove the Jewish theft of Palestinians’ land.


  49. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I am stating that based on empirical evidence, the Axis Powers have only this for Muslims people: War, War, and more War.

    I would like them to leave the Muslims world.

  50. James Canning says:


    The Israelis try to create the impression they are succeeding in stealing land from the Palestinians, by building more housing for illegal Jewish colonists. The remedy is obvious: make clear that the housing being built, for illegal Jewish colonists, does not have clear title. Because it does not have clear title. Palestine can deal with the interlopers down the road.

  51. James Canning says:


    In view of John McCain’s visit to the rebel headquarters in Libya, one might suspect part of the reason for the war is to “protect” Israel by attempting to install a government friendly toward Israel, in Libya.

  52. James Canning says:


    Would you prefer that all support for the Libyan rebels come only from Muslim, or other non-Christian countries? Or simply that here be no support for the rebels?

    Are you arguing that because Muslims in Kenya are a minority, no support for any faction contending for power in Somalia should come from Kenya?

  53. James Canning says:


    The Palestinians do not want to be Egyptians. Israel would not allow Egyptian forces into the WB in any event. I think the assumption has to be that Palestine will not have an army, air force, or navy. The Palestinians will be the better for not having such things.

  54. Fiorangela says:

    In several ways the voluntary merger of Gaza AND West Bank with Egypt would be advantageous to Palestinians. I understand that Palestinians prefer to be independent; what is their real desire: to be in possession of their own land within a system of government that can ensure their security on that land, or to be in possession of their land under their own, sole control — and responsibility for their security? Israel will NOT allow and independent Palestine to have a military, and Israel has enough military–and viciousness– to enforce its perquisites in that regard. If Palestine — Gaza AND West Bank, merged with Egypt, the Palestinians could possess their own land and Egypt could help to ensure the security of the Palestinians. Israel would be a bit more hemmed in, in that way.

    Further, if Gaza seeks to develop its natural gas resources in the Mediterranean, Israel will make life miserable for Gazans. Egypt as a Big Brother might give Palestinians some back-up and a stiff spine in negotiations and enforcement of boundaries, etc. You KNOW that Israel will use every means possible to encroach and cheat on gas development. A Third party, Egypt, could be helpful against that eventuality.

    Israel’s expectations of two state solution really amount to reduction of Palestine to an Israeli vassal state, to provide cheap labor for Israel, a market for Israeli goods, and another field that Israel may exploit economically.

    Furthermore, Israel is pressing the case for inclusion in NATO. There are many legal reasons why Israel cannot become part of NATO; it might make more sense for Egypt-Palestine alliance to be made part of NATO: Egypt has the military, and inclusion in NATO could provide oversight and a check on Egyptian use of its military.

    If Palestine is to be denied a military, as is inevitable, her security will have to be assured in some way; having Egypt-Palestine under the NATO umbrella makes sense. Having Israel outside that umbrella — nowhere near alliance with NATO, is also extremely important for the security of the world.

  55. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 22, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    The fact is that Christains and Jews are fighting Muslims.


  56. Photi says:

    James, the final settlement can look like anything they want it to look like. To me, a two state solution seems impossible. I wish people will stop saying “peace process” until Israel makes a solid commitment to peace. Right now, it is a “Please wait while we steal and plunder more land because we are racists” Process. Clearly anti-peace so let’s call the peace process the War Process instead, because that is more accurately what it is.

  57. James Canning says:


    Although I personally had strong reservations about the merits of military assistance to the Libyan rebels, I do not see how this civil war can be termed a war on Islam. Both sides are Muslim. Various contending factions in Somalia are all Muslim. Where is the “war” on Islam?

  58. James Canning says:


    I think it highly unlikely Egypt would annex the Gaza Strip. Admittedly, this idea is promoted by the neocons and others hoping to prevent the emergence of a viable independent Palestine.

    There are millions of Palestinians who want their own country.

  59. Photi says:


    Just to add, the Egyptian absorption of the Gaza Strip would have to occur within a settled peace for Palestine. If Egypt absorbed Gaza prior to Peace in the West Bank, I think the Israelis would use the new scenario to undermine regional peace with the intent of one more push for the Zionist expansion.

  60. Photi says:


    I am probably not the one to ask about Egyptian public opinion towards Israel. If I was Egyptian i might lobby in favor of Egypt absorbing the Gaza Strip as a province. That way if Israel messes with Gaza, it messes with Egypt. This would also give Hamas international legitimacy by being incorporated into the hopefully newly emerging representative democracies in the region. In such a scenario, the idea would be to convince Israel that regardless of which version of the past one chooses to believe, the only way forward for Israel now is to concede and make peace.

  61. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: April 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

    The highest cost is the coming Axis Power war with Islam.

    Just how many Muslim countries does it take to be at war with before they will be, de facto, at war with Islam?

    Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Somalia have a combined population of close to 300 million souls. That is 1/5 of the world population of Muslims.

  62. James Canning says:


    What “restructuring” of the Egypt/Israel peace treaty to you think most Egyptians might favor? Are you thinking about the Rafah border crossing?

  63. James Canning says:


    Israel has no use whatever for the Old Testament “eye for an eye” equation. Israel tries to kill at least 100 Christians and Muslims for every Jew killed by Muslims and Christians. More of an “eye for an eyelash” proposition.

  64. James Canning says:


    The costs of American promotion of the Zionist project have been staggering, and US news media does a good job of concealing these costs from the American people. One might well ask if the Republic itself is being subverted, in order to facilitate endless war in the Middle East to “protect” Israel (meaning to foster continuing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians). How many trillions of dollars has “protecting” Israel cost the US taxpayers?

  65. James Canning says:


    At some point in future, Hezbollah may very well confine its activities to politics and social welfare matters. But surely Ban Ki-Moon can see that at this juncture, the threat from Israel can only be confronted adequately by Hezbollah.

  66. Kathleen says:

    When it comes to coverage of protest in Syria in our MSM…sure do not hear anything about Israels occupation of the Golan Heights
    Israeli Police Terrorize Prisoners – Press CC for English Subtitles

  67. Fiorangela says:

    Photi, It’s good that you watched the video of the House committee hearing on the Muslim Brotherhood — it’s information ‘straight from the horse’s mouth.’

    {please excuse me for using up so many pixels on RFI. there are too few fora where one can make an argument that is longer than 45 seconds in length. I hadn’t intended to delve so heavily into Gilad Atzmon’s writing, but it is balm for the soul on this Good Friday.}

    re Satloff: the most encouraging thing I heard him say is that he’s been “studying the middle east for 30 years.” That means he’s approaching the end of his shelf-life, a tiny ray of hope.

    On the other hand–

    A few days ago Mondoweiss was apparently in a pensive mood over the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni, and wrote an article about the cost in human lives of the zionist project in Palestine. Weiss named Robert F Kennedy, Rachel Corrie, etc. Others have attempted to count the vast wealth transfer from US to Israel that has taken place over the last 40 to 70 years.

    But there is another profound cost of the disproportionate zionist influence over American institutions, including government and military, but also of the universities. The history that American universities teach is zionized; no professor who challenges the zionist version of history maintains a career. History books that achieve publication must conform to the zionist template. Americans must conform their interpretations of American history to fit the narrative of a foreign state. The people of the United States have lost an entire generation, or maybe two generations, of thinkers, teachers, and writers who would have and should have devoted their creative energy to understanding the lessons of the history of the American people, because they have had to conform to the zionist narrative.

    Remember Croesus (a lesson from history): Seduced by the prospect of gaining great wealth, Croesus misinterpreted the oracle that assured him that were he to wage war on Persia, he would “defeat a mighty empire.” Croesus destroyed Lydia, his own empire, not Persia.

    These thoughts came to mind after listening to the first part of Prof. Robert Weiner’s lectures on “The Long 19th Century: Europe from 1789-1917,” then listening to Jonathan Alterman C Span this morning. I have learned enough about the history of the wars in Europe to be dangerous know when the narrative is being shaped to enhance a particular point of view, in the case of Weiner’s lectures, the fact that zionism was not a major thread in the history suggests to me that he is attempting to conceal as well as distort the reality of zionist influence on the events in Europe in the early 20th century. Why would an historian omit discussion of an -ism as significant as zionism? And what must such an historian think of his audience if he thinks he can get away with such a glaring omission? And if that glaring omission occurred in a set of lectures for the mass audience of American adults, what other glaring omissions and distortions of history are university students being taught? What does the omission and distortion suggest to us about the rest of Jewish historiography– are Weiner’s lectures anomalies or do they fit a pattern?

    Gilad Atzmon has brought courageous insight into Jewish historiography. In the first of two examples of Atzmon’s perspective, he displays his understanding of the continuum — or cycle — involving censored history, the projection of terror, and acts of mass killing:

    “the dynamic of projection is amplified once the subject of our terror is hopeless and defenseless. The reason is obvious. The more hopeless the subject of our terror is, the more we are inclined to face our relentless viciousness first hand.

    Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is a devastating example of the above. The more hopeless and defenseless the Palestinians are, the more vicious the Israeli becomes. And yet, the more vicious the Israeli is, the more he or she is horrified by ‘terror’.

    In reality, the Israelis are actually horrified by their own cruelty which they project onto others. The recent cold-blooded murder of 11 peace activists in the high seas by Israeli Navy commandos was nothing but a shocking exposure of that lethal dynamic. The more ethically transparent, innocent and harmless the humanitarian mission to Gaza is, the more lethal the Israeli becomes.

    The English Speaking Empire

    In fact, Israel is just a micro-cosmos of this kind of brutal vicious circle. The so-called ‘War Against Terror’ is in fact a war against the terror within. We attack, rob and plunder innocent people and innocent nations. Yet, the more pain we inflict on them the more terrorised we become by our own endless brutality.

    This next part is astonishing and opens a window into the “terror within” behind statements of people like Mark Braverman, who spoke of how he was taught to hate Christians, and of Phil Weiss, who wrote of his participation in the project of “de-Christianizing” the US. Back to Gilad Atzmon:

    “Jesus Christ Super Star

    Jesus taught us how to dismantle our vindictive projection. ‘Turn the other cheek’, he preached, in opposition to the infamous Old Testament’s ‘eye for an eye’. Turning the other cheek, is commonly realised as a means to counter an aggressor. However, it maybe the only possible measure to dismantle the ‘terror within’, that same aggression that brews inside us as we become vindictive. By turning the other cheek we may manage to defuse the violence within us. We replace it with acceptance, we disarm ourselves. We give peace a chance.

    From Promised Land to Promised Planet

    Zionism presented itself initially as a Jewish nationalist patriotic movement aimed at becoming both a homecoming and a dwelling. Zionism vowed initially to collect Jews from around the world and to bring them to Palestine. It was inspired by the idea of a national home in a ‘promised land.’

    This is definitely not the case anymore. Zionism took a different route. It actually expects the Diaspora Jews to mount pressure on Western governments and media. Wolfowitz was very productive in shaping America’s interests and desires, as was David Aaronovitch in championing ‘moral interventionist’ wars in The Times, David Miliband fulfilled his duty fighting to amend British Universal Jurisdiction within the British cabinet to allow Israeli war criminals to visit this Kingdom. Alan Dershowitz managed to transform the American academic world into a Yeshiva. Haim Saban, the Israeli American tycoon, bankrolls the Democratic party when he isn’t buying American media outlets or funding a new think tank.

    The Israelis realised a long time ago that it is far cheaper to buy the entire Western political system than buy a single tank.

    Zionism has become a global movement with global interests.

    It drifted from the discourse of ‘promised land’ into the politics of ‘promised planet’

    Consequently, British and American soldiers are dying in growing numbers fighting Zionist wars.

    More concerning is the fact that British and American people have been made complicit in a genocide driven by Zionists.

    However, the most troubling issue here is the fact that Brits and Americans are driven by an Old Testament vindictive ideology, namely an ‘eye for an eye’. “

    [if I were Atzmon, I would fine-tune the phrase, “Old Testament vindictive ideology.” Much of the Torah is mythology–bible stories in the chronology before the Babylonian exile cannot be independently verified. Furthermore, Judaism –the word is a variant of Yehud, the name applied by Persians to both groups of Hebrews — those who remained in Babylon-the Persian empire after Cyrus conquered Nebuchadnezzar, and those Hebrews who returned to the Levant under the protectorship and financial support of the Persian kings — Judaism did not become a “religion” with ethical dimensions until the era of the Babylonian exile and the works and writing of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechial.
    Zionism takes its quasi-religious foundation from the mythological elements of Torah, as do Christian nutters in the US; the Hebrew prophets place somewhat greater demands on the moral acts of Yehud. One of the most telling acts of Obama’s candidacy was his public denunciation and rejection of his Christian minister, Jeremiah Wright: no prophet is loved in his own country.}

    back to Gilad Atzmon:

    “One would have expected that considering the Christian foundation of Britain and the USA these countries would be inspired by compassionate Christian ideas such as ‘love your neighbour’ and ‘turn the other cheek.’

    The Open Society and Its Enemies

    Historians will have to find out at what point in time British and American political power and media gave up on compassion and peace.

    {I would argue that Christians in the US were invaded and overtaken by zionism, which vitiated Christianity’s vital force. Phil Weiss told us that was the zionist agenda, to “de-Christianize the US.” Max Blumenthal has filmed American Jewish teens in Israel who declare that Israel must be Jewish but America must not be thought to be Christian because that would place Jews in a minority status. If you develop ‘dog whistle’ sensibilities, you notice, for example, that the Jewish governor of a state shut down government on Yom Kippur but called for special sessions of the state’s congress on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.]

    returning to Atzmon:

    “Yet, in order to do so, historians must be free to think and to say what they think.

    We must, therefore, restore the respected notion of history and the notion of historical research. We have to make sure that every chapter in our past is academically accessible. We also must reinstate freedom of thought, speech and expression. These crucial and elementary human rights have been jeopardised in the name of political correctness and legislation.

    History is founded on the belief that a deeper understanding of the past may help us to shape our future. Such an idea is transparent enough to support the realisation that history can lead to peace and reconciliation. We can simply try to amend the horror of the past by adopting a peaceful thinking.

    To turn the other cheek is to some extent a product of proper historical realisation. It suggests that violence leads to more violence, yet, endurance and self control bring peace about.

    Devastatingly enough, Britain and America implement the opposite lesson. Rather than aim towards peace and reconciliation, we are actually committing more and more crimes in the name of the past. Like the Israelis who kill in the name of the Shoa, we kill in the name of ‘democracy’, ‘moral interventionism’ and even ‘coca-cola’. As if this is not enough, when we run out of reasons, like the Israelis we kill in the name of Jewish suffering.

    It doesn’t take a genius to gather that the proponent of these precepts in our midsts are devoted Zionists. It doesn’t take a genius to gather that Wolfowitz’s Doctrine lead to the war in Iraq. It is literally transparent that the ‘moral interventionism’ that is advocated by David Miliband, Aaronovitch and Nick Cohen is a pretext for violence. It is not exactly a secret that when Britain was taken into illegal Iraq war, Lord Levy, a Zionist by admission, was Labour’s No 1 fund raiser.

    Give History a Chance

    Our vision and re-vision of the past can shape our future, and yet, our vision of the future can also shape our past.

    12.1 I will try to enlighten this complicated idea through a simple yet devastating hypothetical and imaginary lethal war scenario:

    We, for instance, can envisage a horrific situation created by an imaginary hypothetical Israeli nuclear attack on Iran in which millions of innocent people die every day. I guess that amongst the few survivors of such a horrific reality, some may be so bold to insist that ‘the history of Jewish suffering might make sense after all.’

    Again the above scenario is a product of the imagination, it by no means justifies Jewish suffering, and yet, such a vision of a ‘possible’ horrific development should ideally stop Zionist enthusiasts from advocating a war against Iran or anyone else. However, the above fictional scenario should help us to grasp how a vision of the future can also amend or transform our comprehension of the past.”

    On C Span this morning, Jonathan Alterman evoked the usual imaginary vision of the threat posed by Iran. The seeming authority with which he couched his statements, and the enormous credibility with which C Span imbues its interviewees, creates a very dangerous aura of truth and power.
    THAT is how the US came to forget its Christian sense of compassion, dear Gilad: we have been brainwashed for nigh on a century by the Jonathan Altermans and Robert Weiners of zionism.
    Back to Gilad:

    At the moment our history books are sealed and cemented. We cannot engage in a real study of our most relevant past and we are therefore denied the right to consider its meaning. Consequently, we have failed to encompass the real ethical meaning of world war II and the holocaust in particular. Similarly, we are silenced when it comes to the events that led towards the 2nd Iraq War. We are supposed to wait for the current Iraq Inquiry with the almost absurd hope that rabid Zionist Martin Gilbert will be kind enough to show us the truth.

    With history being squashed it is hardly surprising that the same people who flattened Hamburg, Pforzheim, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki continued to do the same in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Similarly, the same lobbies that pushed Britain and America to a deadly confrontation with the Muslim world are now pushing us to flatten Iran.

    To save the world and to bring peace about, we must learn our past and we must be free to so. Revisionism is the means towards a better future.

    Give History a Chance.”

  68. Photi says:

    lol, and Satloff was definitely phased when the Rep Ruppersberger from Maryland more or less told him not to answer questions he was not asked (at about the middle of the questioning period).

    And what’s with all these “5 minute” initial presentations that last more than 10? Gutierrez made a comment about that.

  69. Photi says:


    I just finished watching the intelligence committee hearing. That was fascinating. Satloff got owned there at the end by Tarek Masoud where Masoud said the idea of restructuring the peace with Israel was a sentiment shared by most Egyptians regardless if they are ‘Islamist’ or not.

    Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago was impressive and likable.

  70. khurshid says:

    @ Mr and Mrs Leverett

    could you please post videos in Youtube instead of yousendit.com. I always seem to have trouble accessing videos from yousendit.com

  71. Paul says:

    Full text (in Persian) of President Khamenei’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly, 1987:

    Excerpts From the Address to the General Assembly by the President of Iran

    The New York Times
    September 23, 1987, Wednesday, Late City Final Edition

    BYLINE: Special to the New York Times
    SECTION: Section A; Page 14, Column 1; Foreign Desk

    Following are excerpts from the address to the United Nations General Assembly today by the Iranian President, Hojatolislam Ali Khamenei, as translated by the Iranian Mission:

    . . .Iran is located at one of the most sensitive spots of strategic importance.. . .The Islamic revolution in Iran was meant to be against a regime that had put all this at the service of the interests of the imperial-minded powers of the world and particularly the United States.

    The dominant thinking in the political world today believes that without reliance on one of the power blocs no movement may survive.. . .Our revolution proved that imperial-minded powers may be ignored, and that blackmailing may not be effective provided there is belief in a power more powerful, belief in God Almighty.

    The revolution had not yet reached its climax when hostile behavior, mostly by the United States, started to challenge it.. . .The Shah’s regime had to be safeguarded even if this resulted in the slaughtering of tens of thousands of people

    Today the leaders of these terrorist groups are given security and protection in the United States, France and some other Western countries. And the countries who patronize these terrorists accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran of terrorism.

    But the greatest and most painful act of hostility was the imposition of war on our revolution.. . .Today, it is quite clear that the invasion of Iran by the Iraqi army on 22d September 1980, was in fact aimed at defeating the revolution and the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.. . .

    What Iraq anticipated as a reward for this invasion, apart from stabilizing its internal situation, was to emerge as the dominant power in the region.. . .By an Iraqi victory, the imperial powers would also reach an important goal – the removal of a new system which had disturbed the existing political-economic balance and put an end to the influence of big powers.

    The head of the Iraqi regime had publicly announced that its agreement with the Iranian Government in 1974, known as the Algiers Agreement, was not binding or valid anymore, and invaded Iran a few days later.. . .This was a bitter but enlightening lesson for the iranian nation.. . .

    They decided not only to liberate the occupied territories, but to punish and remove the aggressor as a more important goal.. . .The Nuremberg trials have guaranteed some 40 years of peace and security for the war-addicted European states. Why should we discard the experience of Nuremberg?

    The Security Council did not show any reaction when Iraq invaded Iran.. . .The Security Council issued its first resolution on 28 September 1980. This resolution did neither mention any aggression or occupation nor made a request for returning to international borders but, astonishingly enough, called on both parties not to resort to force any further.

    After that a deadly silence fell upon the Security Council, up to the liberation of Khorramshahr that broke the back of the occupation army.. . .After that the Security Council called for a ”return to international borders.”

    Of course, the Secretary General’s independent initiatives went some way to help the U.N. in the realization of its objectives. The Secretary General’s trip to Teheran and the useful talks regarding Resolution 598 was another step in this direction. We consider those talks objective and instructive. Regretably, it seems that some influential members of the Security Council wish to ignore this fact.

    And now with the United States presence in the region and the presence of other countries who have followed as a result of the arch-Satan’s insistance and pressures, the Persian Gulf has turned into a dangerous powder keg.

    I must draw the urgent attention of the General Assembly and the people of the United States to the grave and immediate danger provoked by the United States Administration through its latest action in the Persian Gulf which is threatening not only the region but the whole world.

    Yesterday United States battle ships attacked the Iran Ajr, an Iranian merchant ship. They murdered four and wounded three people. The ship has been seized and its crew have been detained.

    American television stations announced yesterday that the U.S. ship fired at this ship while it was laying mines, and thereby as usual told a pack of lies to the American people.

    But I declare here the ship was a merchant vessel called Iran Ajr, not a military speedboat. This is a beginning for a series of events, the bitter consequences of which shall not be restricted to the Persian Gulf, and the United States as initiator of the trouble shall bear responsibility.

    Should we now believe the United States passionate claims for peace and tranquility in the Persian Gulf, or this open, flagrant and concrete measure to fan the flames of war? I declare here the United States shall receive a proper response for this abominable act.

  72. James Canning says:


    ElBaradei was loathed by the neocons, most Republican “leaders” in the US, and by many Zionist-inclined Democratic leaders in the US. So, was he oriented to the “West”? Didn’t ElBaradei seek the truth?

  73. Liz says:


    Bahraini forces rape, kill female poet

    A female Bahraini activist who has composed anti-government poems has been killed, after being arrested and raped by Manama forces.
    According to Press TV, Ayat al-Ghermezi, 20, had recited her poems, in which she slammed the ruling regime and Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifah Ibn Salman al-Khalifah, during protests in Pearl Square in the capital city.

    Shortly afterwards, Ghermezi received an influx of insulting and intimidating letters and emails, but when she referred to the police to report the threats, she was insulted and mocked by officers, her family says.

    In late March, security forces raided Ghermezi’s home twice, threatening her family to reveal Ayat’s whereabouts, otherwise they would “destroy the house over your heads, by the order of high-ranking officials.”

    After the security forces coerced Gehrmezi’s family into disclosing her hideout, the family heard no word from her, Ayat’s mother said.

    When the family started searching for Ayat, the police told them they have no information about Ayat and tried to force them to confirm through a letter that their daughter had gone missing.

    In mid-April, an anonymous call was made to Gehrmezi’s family, informing them that Ayat was in coma at an army Hospital.

    At the hospital, doctors confirmed that Ayat had gone into coma after being raped for several times.

    Eventually, the physicians’ efforts failed to save Ayat’s life and she died at the army hospital.

  74. James Canning says:


    Yugoslavia had collapsed before most of the “ethnic” slaughter took place. Croat Roman Catholics happily murdered Serb Orthodox Catholics. They are virtually identical “racially”. But different historical backgrounds.

  75. James Canning says:


    Almost every member of the Rothschild family opposed the Zionist project in Palestine, prior to the First World War. Arthur Balfour’s famous letter to Lord Rothschild was directed to one of the very few members of the family that encouraged the Zionist enterprise. The Rothschilds were thoroughly integrated into upper-class Britsh life. They same themselves primarily as Englishmen who happened to be Jewish by religion. (Not that all were Jewish by religion.)

  76. James Canning says:


    Just what we need, a militant Zionist (Jane Harman) in charge of the Wilson Center! She did enough damage to American national security while she was in the US Congress.

  77. James Canning says:


    I do not think Britain is part of a grand strategy to make war on Iran. I do recognise David Cameron was too quick to back Sarkozy’s desire to intervene in Libya. Max Hastings has some excellent comments on this in today’s Financial Times.

    The British are aware they were deceived by American neocons, to go forward with an illegal war in Iraq. They are wary, and quite rightly so, as a result. This does not mean that rich and powerful American Jews are not able to bring pressure to bear in various ways.

  78. Castellio says:

    Caroline Glick: Whither the ‘Arab Spring’? (It should be entitled, how to get everything wrong about Egypt, however…. )


  79. Fiorangela says:

    Rehmat, was that Committee hearing at which Robert Satloff and Nathan Brown waved bloody shirts about the dangers of “isslamists” taking over Egypt, the same one at which Tarek Masoud, of Harvard, said, “the Muslim Brotherhood is one group among many; it does not control sentiment. Egypt’s government WILL be Islamic. The Egyptian people who protested in Tahrir Square may well call for restructuring of Egypt’s relationship with Israel and of Egypt’s gas deal with Israel not because of the Muslim Brotherhood or of Islam, but because that is the sentiment of a majority of the Egyptian people.”


    “Dutch” Ruppersberger of Maryland and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois asked some questions that can give Americans hope in the possibility of reclaiming their government from zionist influence. nb. recognize what a difficult box American representatives are in — when you see a ‘good guy,’ give him/her your support.

  80. Fiorangela says:

    Whatever it is that’s among the documents in the Woodrow Wilson archive at the Wilson Center, it must be pretty important for Jane Harman to have surrendered her senate seat to take over Wilson Center.

  81. Fiorangela says:

    off topic

    so much to learn so little time.

    Chris Hedge’s speech from last October, on his newest book, “The Death of the Middle Class,” was worth listening to a second time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYCvSntOI5s
    Hedges thesis is that the liberal class (all four pillars — the churches, universities, unions, and Democratic party) has completely capitulated to capitalists and propagandists. The final nail in the coffin was hammered by Bill Clinton, with NAFTA, but it started with Woodrow Wilson. (I am intrigued that Hedges scrupulously avoids mention of Louis Brandeis in that regard.)

    -Hedges said (at 9 minutes) that although Wilson campaigned on the promise to keep US out of war in Europe, he soon reversed himself under pressure from bankers ho had made massive loans to Great Britain and France, and were concerned that if Germany won war in Europe, their loans would not be repaid.

    What Hedges did NOT say, but that Niall Ferguson’s two volumes on the Rothschilds and later biography of Siegmund Warburg make abundantly clear, is that the Rothschilds and Warburgs had more power than any head of state in Europe in that era, and by their yay or nay could decide whether or not a nation would go to war. Rothschild and Warburg were also the founding fathers of the Jewish colonization of Palestine. Pinsker wrote in “Auto-Emancipation” in 1891 that Jews would have to establish a colony, and that the financing for it should not be that difficult to accomplish. Draw your own conclusions; combined with the other histories and facts of what took place in this era, I conclude that Jewish sources drew the US into war against Germany as a means of financing zionist colonization of Palestine. The same forces also provoked the second world war, for similar and expanded purposes–to both ensure continued financial support for the zionist enterprise, and to induce European Jews to migrate to Palestine.

    -The second interesting thing that Hedges said is that to shape the attitude of the American people to participate in war, under the Creel Commission the most massive propaganda campaign in history was deployed, based on the theories of Freud, LeBon, and Bernays. The new film industry, print, radio, and every other means of communication was taken over for the purposes of generating anti-Hun, pro-war sentiment; in the US, Boy Scouts were used to distribute pro-war, anti-Hun literature, etc. At wars end, Bernays and other participants in the Creel Commission program migrated from ginning up war for death and profit to Madison Avenue, where their talents at preying on the emotional and identity/belonging needs of people were used to create the Consumer Society.

    What Hedges didn’t say is that the bankers had rehearsed the entire scenario in Germany, starting in the years immediately after the Franco-Prussian war. See :http://books.google.com/books?id=yIsXHHxGCP8C&pg=PA353&lpg=PA353&dq=1881+eclectic+jews+germany&source=bl&ots=zGmetkhRhy&sig=3AotODnbacgeWSPkkVRZ4IZqLvM&hl=en&ei=Qz2wTf2EA9GhtwfFk_j0Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

    I’m among those ill-educated white Americans (actually I have a rather ruddy complexion — pink American?) that Goodluck wrote about; I accidentally drifted out of the mainstream when it got polluted. Ill-educated as I am, I have only a hunch that Iran, which was watching events unfold in 1871, 1913, 1916, 1919, 1933, 1945, 1950s, 1967, 1973, 2001, has seen the predatory capitalist attack devastate Europe and now the US, and has been working diligently and relatively non-violently to resist that attack on the Iranian people and culture. I wish them godspeed.

  82. Liz says:

    A Bahraini female poet has been raped and murdered by the Bahraini regime:


    I wonder if the filthy American mercenary Scott Lucas will be starting a campaign for her?

  83. Photi says:

    Listening to the following panel, it strikes me that these people seem to be secretly wishing to turn the GCC into a Saudi Federation. Link then description.


    Political Unrest in Iran and Saudi Arabia
    April 20, 2011

    Jamestown Foundation

    LPANEL 3: 1- 2:30pm: The Impact on the Gulf Moderator: Ambassador Marcelle Wahba Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Babak Rahimi – Assistant Professor Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego Iran in the Post-Mubarak Era: The Impact on Tehran’s Domestic and Foreign Policy Alex Vatanka – Scholar, Middle East Institute The Impact of the Arab Revolutions on Iranian Strategy Toward the GCC Thomas Lippman – Senior Fellow for Middle East Affairs, Council on Foreign Relations Why Nothing Happened in Saudi Arabia

  84. fyi says:

    Rd. says: April 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Dr. Barzegar’s suggestion is eminently sensible.

    But it does not go far enough.

    The agenda ought to include the disposition of the entire Western Asiatic Muslim States, North African Muslim states, and Israel.

    That is, something whose outcome, like the Congress of Vienna, could lead to Peace and Stability for 4 or 5 generations.

    I persoanlly do not think that Axis Powers with be interested; they prefer war since Peace they find too expensive – just like Israel.

    And war and more wars we are going to get in Western Asia and North Africa until the last shred of Axis Powers influence is removed.

  85. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you.

    And it corroborates Dr. Khalilzad’s summary of US-EU Grand Strategy and its aims as they pertain to Iran.

    The demise of Yugoslavia (recall the lies of the European Union regarding thousands of civilians murdered in Kosovo), the destruction of the Ba’athist Iraq (US-UK lies about WMD in that country), and now the Mickey-Mouse operations against Mr. Qaddafi’s government in Libya are lessons for all independent-minded states in the world to absorb and assimilate.

    There are no No-Fly Zones over North Korea nor will there ever be such a thing.

  86. Rd. says:

    Iran’s Interests and Values and the “Arab Spring”
    Dr. Kayhan Barzegar

    “Enhanced bilateral relations could empower Egypt’s negotiating stance in relation to Israel, especially concerning the Arab-Israeli peace process and the comprehensive nuclear disarmament of the Middle East.”

    “One policy could be to initiate a regional conference in Tehran comprised of all concerned regional and international actors, such as Turkey, the United States, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar, etc., aimed at finding an immediate solution to stop the conflict in Bahrain.”


  87. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:
    “Bravo! ElBaradei obviously knows there was a conspiracy to set up an illegal war “

    More than likely, ElB knows the popular sentiment in the region is with the IRI and resistance. When he was the nuke chief, he played to the western tunes. Now he is dancing for the public opinions in Egypt.

  88. Rehmat says:

    On Tuesday, the spokesperson of the Iraqi defense ministry, General Mohammed al-Askari, said that the three former members of Iran’s anti-Islamic-regime terrorist organization, Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO), escaped from Camp Ashraf, the terrorist group’s headquarters in Iraq, and surrendered to the Iraqi security forces.

    The MKO was created to destablize the Islamic Revolution (1979) from within Iran. The terrorist group has been suppoerted by Saddam Hussein, Israelis, Americans, French and several other anti-Islamic regime groups (watch a video below).

    On 28 June, 1981, MKO terrorists bombed a powerful bombed the headquarters of the Islamic Republic Party of Iran in which 72 governmental officials, the members of parliament and the then Judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti were killed. Mohammadreza Kolahi, one of the low-ranking members of the MKO carried out the explosion project and immediately escaped to France without being extradited to Iran to be tried.

    After the occupation of Iraq by US and its allied forces, MKO was allowed to maintain its military training at Camp Ashraf, named after Princess Ashraf, the King Reza Shah’s twin sister, a once-sinister figure known as Iran’s “black panther”. Al-Maliki government in Baghdad had promised to shut-down the camp in the past as result of protests from Tehran but failed to do so under Washington’s (aka Jewish Lobby) pressure.

    The official said that the defected members have provided the Iraqi government with the evidence required to shut down the camp according to the international laws.

    The former members of the terrorist group say the residents of Camp Ashraf are completely cut off from the outside world, and are tortured and traumatized, but are also afraid to escape.

    Having lived in misery and under pressure for many years, Maryam Sanjabi, one of the MKO deserters, surrendered herself to the Iraqi forces deployed near the camp last week.

    “None of the residents of Camp Ashraf have the right to contact their families… The only thing that can separate a member from the MKO is death,” she said.

    “The leaders of the camp have spent millions of dollars to train the residents of the camp how to launch attacks and even encounter the Iraqi security forces,” Sanjabi added.

    Another former MKO member, Abdullatif Shadvari, who escaped from the camp two months ago, earlier said, “The punishment of those who try to escape from Camp Ashraf… is execution.”

    On April 8, 34 people were reportedly killed in clashes between Iraqi security forces and MKO members residing in Camp Ashraf in Diyala province.

    Iraqi forces say there is evidence that the people have been killed by the organization itself.


  89. TheDonkeyInTheWell says:


    “there will have to much more mainstream opinions on this site”

    Well, there’s Pak and Lucas… On occasions people like you drop by… There’s the 24/7 bombardment of western corporate/state media. And that’s more than I can take.

    Anyway, I think you’re not seeing the bigger picture here.

    From the stand point of the US, it really shouldn’t be about Iran and its “regime” anymore, but how to minimize damage to US interests.

    Iran is going strong (30+ years for f—s sake, against sanction, war and what not). As is the rest of the world more or less.

    The US is stuck in a vicious circle were people like yourself insist on “mainstreaming” any discussion so that any new venue is closed; making the US dig its own grave deeper and deeper.

    Bah, but what do I know. Please could you point me to some sites were there is a fair and balanced discussion?

  90. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Badluck (what was your tag name in the last thread again?),
    1. Who said the purpose of this site is to promote good relations between Iran and the US? Promoting good relations is the OPINION of some people on this forum and others have other opinions on this issue. Please feel free to add your opinion- but only if you are a clown…

    2. Storming the US embassy DID work like a charm- meaning no relations between the US and Iran for the last 32 years which has been excellent for Iran as explained in detail before (I know you are a bit confused right now, it’s called “cognitive dissonance”).

  91. Photi says:

    Thank you Arnold Evans and Firoangela and the others who put paid to his nonsense.

    Speaking only for myself, I think have a couple rational Israelis around might make for good discussion. Be forewarned Goodluck, this is a propaganda-free zone. Stick around and you might learn something, I know I am. Thanks to everyone on this site who says NO to bullshit.

  92. Arnold Evans says:

    Interesting Goodluck:

    And of course there are the confused ‘educated’ white Americans on this site who only hate dictators when they are ’stooges’ of the West (Egypt, Bahrain, etc), but cheer on the dictators when they aren’t (Syria, Libya, etc). These are the people who will shed tears when Castro dies but throw a party when Mubarak does.

    So how do you feel? Are you throwing parties for both Castro’s and Mubarak’s removal from power, for neither’s, or are you just projecting your own hypocrisy on others?

    I’ll throw a party when any dictator is removed, with minimal chaos and bloodshed, and replaced by a government that is accountable to the people ruled. Saudi Arabia just as much as Cuba.

    Unfortunately that is far, far from a mainstream American view. And far from the view of the leadership of the United States. If I was to guess, despite your little rant, that is also far from your view.

  93. Mohammad says:

    The link is not working.

  94. James Canning says:


    Of course no one has been punished for their shameless use of known forgeries (Niger docs) to set up illegal invasion of Iraq. Neocons closely associated with Israeli intelligence apparently arranged for the forgeries to be planted with Italian intelligence. But as soon as CIA station in Rome saw them, the fraud was ascertained. Yet several years later, the docs are used! And was Geoge W. Bush bamboozled by them? He was (and is) such a moron I think the answer is yes.

  95. Kathleen says:

    Fyi and Bravo. When El Baradei came out in early March of 2003 and confirmed that the Niger Documents were forgeries and bad ones at that. I thought the Bush administrations rush to invade Iraq based on lies would come to a screeching halt. What a naive soccer mom in southeastern Ohio thinking that facts would come into play. When the Iraq war resolution vote came up in the fall of 2002 I kept thinking how could this soccer mom have heard so many historians, CIA analyst etc giving solid reasons to question, Senator Durbin and 21 others who voted no. I could not get over Hillary Clinton and so many others going down that war path with the Bush administration After hearing former weapons inspector Scott Ritter on the Diane Rehm show numerous times before the invasion as well as former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Zinni, Scowcroft, Brezinski, Seymour Hersh, Carter and many others questioning the validity of the intelligence . Then El Baradei comes out and confirms. And the rest is a tragic part of history that not one person has been held accountable for. Did I miss it has someone been held accountable for those Niger Documents?

    The war thugs have been challenged by El Baradei as well as Israel. He is a brave man.

  96. James Canning says:


    Bravo! ElBaradei obviously knows there was a conspiracy to set up an illegal war with Iraq on knowingly false intelligence, and that many of the conspirators who carried out that great crime, have tried to repeat it with Iran.

  97. James Canning says:


    In making your call for more “mainstream” contributors on this site, did you have in mind those who support Israeli oppression of the Palestinians, and demonise Iran as part of this foolish “support”?

  98. fyi says:


    SPIEGEL: In your soon-to-be-published memoirs, you describe how you were deceived in your attempts to investigate.

    ElBaradei: I adhere strictly to the facts, and part of that is that the Americans and the Europeans withheld important documents and information from us. They weren’t interested in a compromise with the government in Tehran, but regime change — by any means necessary.

    See: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,757786,00.html

  99. Fiorangela says:

    my goodness Goodluck you must be new to the hasbara brigade.

    at 4:41 you plinked out on your keyboard: “To make progress on such a huge policy issue, there will have to much more mainstream opinions on this site. ”


    If we wanted to be DailyKos we’d type in orange. If RFI were intent on “mainstream” its authors would be called Foxy Lady and Flynt Limbaugh.

    But RFI aims to please; is this mainstream enough for you? —

    The Overton Window (Mackinac Center)
    “In addition to being dependent on the ideas that form the boundaries of the political climate, politicians are also known to be self-interested and desirous of obtaining the best political result for themselves.[2] Therefore, they will almost always constrain themselves to taking actions within the “window” of ideas approved of by the electorate. Actions outside of this window, while theoretically possible, and maybe more optimal in terms of sound policy, are politically unsuccessful. Even if a few legislators were willing to stick out their necks for an action outside the window, most would not risk the disfavor of their constituents. They may seek the good of those who elected them, and even the good of the state or nation as a whole, but in pursuing the course they think is best, most will certainly take into account their political future. This is the heart of the Overton window theory.

    So, if a think tank’s research and the principles of sound policy suggest a particular idea that lies outside the Overton window, what is to be done? Shift the window. Since commonly held ideas, attitudes and presumptions frame what is politically possible and create the “window,” a change in the opinions held by politicians and the people in general will shift it. Move the window of what is politically possible and those policies previously impractical can become the next great popular and legislative rage. “

  100. fyi says:

    Goodluck says: April 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Could you please take the trouble of articulating a number of these mainstream ideas that you have in mind as they pertain to Iran-US relations?

  101. Fiorangela says:

    Among the major incidents that caused me to become aware of the pervasive, negative influence of zionism on the United States were these two: first, a book by Mike Evans that urged Americans to hate “the sons of Ishmael” and embrace “the sons of Isaac.” And second, an appearance on C-Span by a man named Robert Lieber, an advocate for Israel, who first, told the audience that “Americans prefer Israel over Palestine — polls show it . . .the US and Israel have a ‘special relationship’ based on shared values, common history, and western guilt over Holocaust.” A few minutes later a member of the audience challenged Lieber’s assertions and said, “Many, many Americans support Palestinians. And many Americans do NOT share Israel’s values when it comes to oppressing people.”

    Lieber went nuts. He wagged his finger at the (television) audience and insisted that “Polls show that Americans prefer Israel over Palestine.”

    The Hasbara manual explains how a hasbarist goes about creating the “bandwagon effect:” Conduct a survey that will yield the results you wish, then use the results of that poll to “inform” your audience that “most people like Brand X — Israel, in this case.

    I hate being bamboozled. I just asked my cat, the parakeet, and a slug that was eating the new begonia: 66% of those surveyed agree: They hate being bamboozled.

    The purpose of Evans’ book –to induce Americans to hate Muslims, and the goal of Lieber’s message — to induce Americans to hate Muslims, presents us with a billboard with flashing lights indication of what Americans should do to counter the Israeli hasbara: Embrace Muslims. Elevate Muslims. Reach out to Muslims. Celebrate Muslims. In every way, on every occasion, from every perspective and location.

    In researching the first Jewish community in an obscure town in a Midwestern state, I came across an entry in the (secular) State archives about the 19th – 20th century Jewish community. It had two main categories, the first listed the most prominent members of the community; the second was titled, “Antisemitism:”

    “The type and intensity of the bigotry appears in differing degrees in personal recollections, from some not remembering it at all to vivid accounts. The variances speak to the many levels of covert and overt anti-Semitism present in XXXXXX over the last two centuries.”

    I searched for every other ethnic group that was present in this town. No other group mentioned being “overtly or covertly” hated, or remembering or not remembering being hated. Black people in the town who say their family members lynched did not survey for recollections of race hatred. Only the Jewish page did so. And it extrapolated “not remembering” at one point in time to “the many levels of covert and overt antisemitism present . . .over the last two centuries.”

    That is an irrational conclusion. But it is not an illogical conclusion: recently, Keith, a blogger, posted this comment to explain the distinction between rationality and logic:

    ” “It seems that wherever you go, people subconsciously pick and choose the information they absorb into their minds, based on their preconceived belief systems.”

    I like to refer to this widespread phenomenon as the logic of irrationality. Something is logical if it is consistent with relevant assumptions. Something is rational if it is consistent with observable reality. Assumptions which are not rational lead to irrational conclusions which are nonetheless completely logical within the framework of the initial assumptions. In other words, ideological assumptions have logical consequences even if these assumptions are irrational. That is, ideology tends to define reality even when irrational so that behavior is governed by the logic of the ideology, not by rational thought. Most people are followers governed by the logic of group cohesiveness and solidarity. Perceived outside threats tend to magnify the phenomenon as the group members tend to circle the wagons to defend the group. It recurs so frequently as to appear as a human trait.

    The fact that most humans willingly adapt their cognitive interpretations to be consistent with group ideology/mythology is very significant. The tendency for individuals in a group to evaluate situations from the perspective of a shared ideology creates a de facto internalized behavioral guidance system consistent with group objectives. It should be noted that group ideology and group objectives do not reflect the input of the various members of the group, rather they reflect the biases and objectives of the group elites, who basically control the overall thrust of group activity, and who are generally more concerned with personal ambition than group welfare.

    The implications of all of this are somewhat staggering. Discussions, debates and arguments influenced by ideology are not so much an attempt at evaluating the rational truth, but a defense of personal/group ideology. My irrational beliefs versus your irrational beliefs. The notion of a rational economic man or a rational political man are absurd. Most people are a bundle of bias and emotion waiting to be exploited. Faithful followers. Leaders are a bundle of bias and emotion waiting to exploit. Power seekers. Society may be thought of as individuals united in defensive solidarity whose actions are guided by the power seeking proclivities of the elite. Furthermore, the natural inclination of elites to engage in deception to achieve their goals means that society is, to a significant degree, a group of individuals united by fealty to fraudulent misrepresentations of realty.”

    I’m grateful to Keith for explaining what appears to be the accepted understanding in Israel of the use of the word logic, for example, in Haggai Ram’s “Iranophobia: The LOGIC of an Israeli Obsession.” I have argued with that title for 6 months, insisting that there is NOTHING logical about the hatred Israelis nurture toward Iran. Now I see the light: the hatred is IRRATIONAL, but in zionist dogma and mythos, it is logical.

    If you take a moment to read the linked comment and its followup conversation, you will note that Eva S. suggested that “the way to unseat an emotion is with a greater emotion.” I believe Eva S. applied that theory illogically. If one logically applied that theory, then one would say, ‘The way to unseat hatred of Palestinians is by greater hatred of Jews.’

    Keith corrected Eva, so that we in the US should not think that an appropriate way to resolve the very serious problem of over-influence of zionism on US culture is by expressing greater hatred of zionists. Here’s Keith’s refutation of Eva’s Spinoza-based thesis — it’s well worth the time to read it closely:

    “EVA- Thanks for the kind words! However, I disagree that one counters emotion with greater emotion. First of all, I think that the notion that people fall on some sort of continuum from “logical” at one end to “emotional” at the other is false, and part of the problem. My sense is that most people are basically quite logical, which is why mythology and propaganda are so effective. I am employing terms in non-standard fashion to differentiate between logical and rational. A key point is that individual well-being has heretofore depended much more upon being a valued member of a supportive, powerful group than on individual, rational problem solving, at least in those areas where group solidarity come into play.

    In discussing group ideology/mythology, we must keep in mind that in navigating the real world, humans rely much less on instinct and much more on cognitive interpretation than other animals. In order to cope with this higher level of complexity, it is necessary for humans to organize cognitive inputs through the use of simplifying paradigms and normal bias to identify patterns and provide a framework of order. This is done at the individual level and at the group level. For all or most of human history, being a member of a supportive group/tribe was an essential component of survival, hence, the majority of people willingly adapted their individual biases and simplifying paradigms to be consistent with the established group ideology/mythology so as to fit in and promote harmony/solidarity.

    For those groups that are primarily non-ideological, such as single interest groups, hobby groups, etc., internal cohesiveness and tribal solidarity are minimal. For groups united by a common ideology, however, a key point is that most people simply accept the assumptions of group ideology without rational verification, and that these assumptions form the basis of their logical interpretation of reality, and that this interpretation is usually not swayed by rational argument. The tendency for individuals in a group to evaluate situations from the perspective of a shared ideology creates a de facto internalized behavioral guidance system consistent with group objectives. These objectives are established by the group elites, and are always favorable to their goals and objectives. In the example provided by anonymous, a group objective would appear to be maintaining the power and privilege of the group, hence, the group ideology would support attacking any perceived threat to that privilege.

    Countering the irrationality of group mythology is very difficult in a highly cohesive group. I think it requires both an emphasis on the irrationality of the mythology alongside a more rational alternative. This needs to be accompanied by evidence that the group mythology is no longer serviceable and may be counterproductive to the well-being of the membership. No easy task. As for teaching, or even discussing any of this in a political science course, the nature of the system is such that the odds of that happening are effectively zero. Most university course work involving political economy (or scholarship for that matter), is designed to defend and promulgate official mythology, not debunk it. “

    Joseph Campbell would agree with Keith concerning the power of a deviant mythology. In “Myths To Live By,” Campbell wrote:

    “And so we have this critical problem . . .as human beings, of seeing to it that the mythology–the constellation of sign signals, affect images, energy-releasing and -directing signs-that we are communicating to our young will deliver directive messages qualified to relate them richly and vitally to the environment that is to be theirs for life, and not to some period of man already past, some piously desiderated future, or–what is worst of all–some querulous, freakish sect or momentary fad. And I call this problem critical because, when it is badly resolved, the result for the miseducated individual is what is known, in mythological terms, as a Waste Land situation. The world does not talk to him; he does not talk to the world. When that is the case, there is a cut-off, the individual is thrown back on himself, and he is in prime shape for that psychotic break-away that will turn him into either an essential schizophrenic in a padded cell, or a paranoid screaming slogans at large, in a bughouse without walls.” (“Myths to Live By: How We Re-create Ancient Legends In Our Daily Lives To Release Human Potential,” pp. 220-221)

    Those Jewish people who surveyed their extremely prosperous Midwestern community over 50 years ago and discovered “overt and covert antisemitism . . .over 200 years” had been miseducated to misread the “sign signals” of their surroundings in terms of an ancient past rather than its present reality. What is worse, as Ilan Pappe stated to Alan Hart in a series of interviews, Israel’s education system and many American Jews today are educating the next generation of Israeli Jews in the mythology of the Torah as if it were reality today. Tales such as the Exodus, already misconstrued beyond the rational (ie. Hebrews lived in Egypt for 480 years and were granted the most fertile land in the region, the land of Goshen; Hebrews prospered and multiplied in Egypt, from the single presence of Joseph to over 70,000 in his extended family; according to Israeli scholar Eric Cline, it is impossible to conclude that any more than 600 Hebrews fled Egypt in the Exodus, etc.) to the “psychotic break-away” rendering: “We were enslaved; we escaped,” without also acknowledging that in escaping, horrible punishments were called down upon the Egyptians. The next generation of Jews is being taught to see the world through eyes focused on finding hate and enmity.

    THAT is the great danger that Israel presents to the world.

    To express hatred of zionism as a means of “unseating an emotion with a greater emotion” feeds into the “logic” of this dangerous zionist mythos, and is counterproductive.

    Confronting zionists at every opportunity with the hideous and destructive outcomes of their irrational mythos is a long process that must be undertaken; that zionists know that confrontation with reality is the effective means of dispelling the zionist mythos is evident from the extreme sanctions against factual renderings of zionist history and reality that so many zionists — from Abe Foxman to Steven Spielberg to Hannah Rosenthal — have erected and maintain.

    In sum, to counter zionism in the US, accentuate the positive — with Richard Bulliet, make “The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization” — and eliminate the negative — confront zionism with the reality of the harm it has and continues to visit on the world.

  102. Kathleen says:

    NPR have been endlessly focused on the protest in Syria. But of course never a mention of decades long Palestinian protest that are still going on. Let’s see our MSM focused on Tunisia, Egypt, Libya a tiny bit on Bahrain, an even smaller amount on the protest in Saudi ARabia. And now Syria Syria Syria. At one point the wave of change coverage by our MSM jumped right over to bad bad bad Iran.

    Never do we hear even a whisper out of Rachel maddow, Chris matthews and the rest about Palestinian protest. Thank goodness for the internet

  103. Goodluck says:

    Photi and Nahid, thank you for making my point. This site has become a gathering site for keyboard clowns like yourselves. And Rehmat I see is carrying on his usual ways, the irony of his ridiculousness being lost on him.

    If the goal of this site is to improve relations between the US and Iran, then judging by the supporters of this site, it has failed miserably. That was the point I was trying to make. To make progress on such a huge policy issue, there will have to much more mainstream opinions on this site. I would hope the Leveretts have figured out that the path towards making progress on this issue does not go through these keyboard clowns.

  104. Rehmat says:

    If one is not duped by the Zionists’ media tactics – he should know that there is not much difference between the Wikileaks and the Washington Post. They are both ‘Israeli Project’. However, the bombshell, to Muslim readers would be that Al-Jazeer (English) is also PRO-Israel Arab channel. Many of its top officials are Zionist Jews.

    “I wish all Arab media were like Al-Jazeera,” – Gideon Ezra, former deputy head of Israeli General Security Service, quoted in ‘Foreign Policy (FP)’, July/August 2006 issue.


  105. Photi says:

    I was wondering when the Israelis were going to chime in with their ridicule and nonsense.

  106. fyi says:

    Goodluck says: April 20, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I think you have to work with supporters that you have and not with supporters that you wish to have.

    And even Rehmat has some useful tid-bits, from time to time.

    In regards to improving US-Iran relations, that is not possible while this economic/intelligence/propaganda/financial war is being waged by US and her allies – the Axis Powers.

    Once that war ends, improvements in relations can be attempted.

    But the current war cannot be ended through incremental and confidence building measures.

    Just like the war in Palestine that cannot be so ended.

    Wars end because one side defeats the other side (destroys the other side’s will to fight) or because both sides get exhausted.

    The latter could be the case here, leading to a cease-fire like the one on the Korean Penninsula.

    My sense is that US leaders are aware of this and actually think they can live with it.

  107. nahid says:

    Goodluck, goodluck to you and you are zionist jew I suppose, realy good luck to you,

  108. Goodluck says:

    The people who frequent this site are comical. You have people like Bussed-in-Basiji who advocate taking over another embassy in Tehran (great idea – it worked like a charm the first time around), Pirouz and Reza who are online cyber basijis most likely on the regime’s payroll, and my personal favorite: Rehmat, whose hatred for anyone who isn’t a terrorist radical wouldn’t be so sad and pathetic if he wasn’t living in the West himself. The ignorance of this Rehmat character is so beyond belief that I am surprised the more rational radicals on this site have not kicked him out already. He is the Islamic equivalent of a ‘Tea Partyer’, living on the handouts of his host Western government while trashing it at the same time.

    And of course there are the confused ‘educated’ white Americans on this site who only hate dictators when they are ‘stooges’ of the West (Egypt, Bahrain, etc), but cheer on the dictators when they aren’t (Syria, Libya, etc). These are the people who will shed tears when Castro dies but throw a party when Mubarak does.

    These are who the Leveretts are reaching out to? How can they claim to support improving US-Iran relations when these clowns are the only supporters they have? Outside of a few sites like this, these people would be laughed at the room in real life. If the goal is the truly improve relations between these two countries, you will need some more credible supporters. Finding some who aren’t insane would be a start.

  109. James Canning says:


    Yes, the ignorant and foolish American public in effect encourage crazed spending on unnecessary weapons, ill-considered military adventures, etc etc etc, while the industrial heartland of the US rots. What a spectacle! Trillions of dollars poured down a rathole. But it props up property values in Georgetown and other salubrious precincts in Washington.

  110. James Canning says:


    I of course have little confidence in the judgement of Robert Gates. That Obama would fail to push Israel to accept Syria’s peace offer is owed obviously to poor advice from his team.

  111. Castellio says:

    An interview with Franklin Lamb that is worth considering. At the end he discusses the influence of Islam and Iran on the Arab spring.


  112. fyi says:

    Rd. says: April 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

    The United States and in fact EU states cannot be great military powers, great economic powers and , at the same time, protect their populations from the ravages of the globalized economy.

    From appearances, US seems to have decided to be a great military power at the expense of the other two.

  113. Rd. says:

    CS Monitor – “Our ratings on the US rest on its high-income, highly diversified, and flexible economy, backed by a strong track record of prudent and credible monetary policy.

    Monetary policy is actually tongue and chick for military policy. Where US can attempt to attack other countries for their natural resources with a prudent track record. That mil policy is now in question regarding its effectiveness to bring home the bacon. Though, it is very effective in slathering innocent people. Hence its high ratings with the human rights groups for promotion of democracy!

  114. Iranian@Iran says:

    A senior Iranian official Mohsen Rezaee says that Iran and Iraq should warn the Saudis to leave Kuwait otherwise the two countries will start searching ships that go to or leave Saudi ports:


  115. M.Ali says:

    Offtopic, b ut I was doing a search on the gold prices news, and came across this article on America’s credit rating that I found interesting,

    “Why are the heavily indebted Greeks a junk credit while the heavily indebted Americans remain a triple-A credit?

    Hard to say exactly. But one very important difference comes to mind. The Greeks cannot print the euros they need to repay their debts, but Americans can, and do, print the dollars they need to repay their debts. A second important difference also comes to mind: Standard & Poor’s is not a Greek company; it is an American one.”


  116. Anonymous says:

    Does not download to my Mac. For how important your material is, it should.

  117. Pirouz says:

    Pretty obvious why US cable companies don’t provide Aljazeera, even though Comcast now has greatly expanded its for-pay south and far eastern Asian specific channel programming, as well as specific European channels.

    “Courage of conviction”? That’s really, really bending over backwards sugar-coating what is perhaps our weakest willed president in memory. But I guess for an analysts to do otherwise risks being branded a shrill or worse.

    Again, I think Malcolm X articulated it best:


  118. Rehmat says:

    Last month, US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, while in Israel – asked the Syrian military to depose President Bashar al-Assad and ‘enpower a revolution’. These remarks implied Obama administration’s frustration (on behalf the Zionist entity) over Bashar’s friendly relations with Iran, Hamas, Hizbullah, Turkey and Venezuela.

    President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has blamed Washington for stirring anti-government protests in Syria as “pretext for Libya-style airstrikes”.


  119. James Canning says:

    A bit off topic perhaps, but I will say again that Obama blundered by not telling Israel to accept Syria’s offer of peace. Who can doubt that part of the motive for Congressional funders of campaigns directed against the governments of Iran and Syria, is the hope Israel may be able to keep the Golan Heights if a different, more amenable government came to power in Syria.

  120. JohnH,

    “Naturally, the mainstream media, megaphones for the foreign policy mob, scoff at Assad’s allusions to outside agitation. Now we know it’s true.”

    It’s certainly nice to see details, but I’m not sure this disclosure will have much effect. The mainstream media probably will ignore it, and incurable skeptics like most of us have believed all along that the US was interfering. After all, if Congress has budgeted $400 million a year to disrupt Iran, it’s hard to imagine that a sizable fraction of that amount hasn’t also been set aside to disrupt Syria.

  121. Castellio says:

    I admire HML’s clarity and courage very much.

    However, I do think it’s time to leave for others the rather dated and weak argument that Obama “lacks the courage of his convictions”.

    Obama has proven his courage: he openly and knowingly lied to build a public constituency he had no intention of favoring. He has gone further than Bush in all of the important dossiers, and has done nothing to mitigate the foreign policy disasters or the incredible social injustice within the States. He is the puppet of his masters, and quite openly works for Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex and the corrupt Chicago cartel which surrounds him.

  122. JohnH says:

    The mainstream media, Washington’s propaganda outlet, is full of news about Qadhaafi using cluster bombs against civilians in Misrata. Conveniently, that appears to have happened just before the arrival of HRW, which was busy talking about it yesterday. It would be even more interesting if HRW could trace the source of those cluster bombs…

    Of course, there is NO news of depleted uranium used by those infinitely humanitarian NATO folks. Will HRW investigate that, too?

  123. Though I don’t agree with Alan Kuperman on Iran’s nuclear program, it appears we see eye to eye on the Libyan intervention, and he puts it very well in this Boston Globe article:


  124. JohnH says:

    Naturally, the mainstream media, megaphones for the foreign policy mob, scoff at Assad’s allusions to outside agitation. Now we know it’s true.

    Washington is caught telling yet another bald faced lie. When will people learn not to trust a thing that this gang says?