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The Race for Iran

THE NEW REPUBLIC’s BADGE OF HONOR

Earlier this week, The New Republic published its list of America’s Most Overrated Thinkers”, see here.  Among the luminaries included in this eclectic collection are:  Harvard’s Steve Walt, Newt Gingrich, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, columnist Frank Rich of The New York Times, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, Parag Khanna, Ayn Rand (who has been dead for 30 years), and…Flynt and Hillary Leverett.  For those of our readers who have not seen it, we provide below the citation explaining our inclusion in such an august gathering: 

“When this husband-and-wife foreign policy team left George W. Bush’s National Security Council in 2003, ostensibly over differences regarding the war on terrorism, it was predictable that liberals would leap at any expression of their discontent.  When, in 2006, they sought to publish a New York Times op-ed on Bush’s supposed unwillingness to meet and negotiate with Iranian officials, and the White House insisted on censoring it, the Times published the heavily edited version anyway.  An Esquire profile subsequently cast them as rebellious heroes.  But, in the aftermath of the troubling Iranian elections in 2009, the Leveretts practically turned into champions for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, becoming prominent voices arguing for his legitimacy.  “I think he’s actually a quite intelligent man,” Flynt told TNR in 2010.  “I think he also has really extraordinary political skills.” Apologetics is not analysis. They should be ashamed.”

Instead, we take The New Republic’s citation as a badge of honor:     

–We are proud of having stood up to a White House and politically appointed National Security Council officials who—in violation of their own oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States—sought to abuse the prepublication review process, on crass political grounds, after the relevant executive branch agencies had already determined there was no “classified” information in the aforementioned Op Ed draft. 

–We are proud of having been virtually the only Western-based Iran analysts who were right about the 2009 Iranian presidential election and how Mousavi’s fact-free challenge to the outcome and the Green movement that rose out of it would both fizzle out. 

–We are proud of our commentary on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a politician and President.  We fully agree that “apologetics is not analysis”; we have not been and never will be apologists for anyone.  Our analysis led us to the conclusion that Ahmadinejad is a talented but polarizing political figure who built up significant reservoirs of popular support in Iran.  (We think that analysis, too, is spot on.)  We would be apologists only if we refrained from publishing our conclusions when they might violate the parameters for “acceptable” discourse about the Middle East established by the likes of The New Republic’s publisher and editors.  (We really liked the first comment to the online version of the “Most Overrated Thinkers” list, in which the commenter noted that it would be better titled “a list of people who irritate the editors of TNR”.)        

The New Republic has had us in its sights for some time.  In January 2010, one of its regular contributors, Abbas Milani—an Iranian expatriate who has not been in Iran for decades but presents himself as having an acute grasp of political reality in the Islamic Republic today—devoted an entire column to denouncing an article we published in The New York Times as “the most infuriating Op Ed of the New Year”.  The Op Ed which so infuriated Professor Milani was the first high-profile piece to chart objectively the Green movement’s decline and to predict—accurately and in contradiction to the hyped expectations of Milani and many others—that it would not be able to generate significant protests on February 11, 2010, the anniversary of the Islamic Republic’s founding.  We stand by that piece, and remain proud of it; after the Greens’ dismal showing on February 11, 2010, even a few of our more intellectually honest critics began to acknowledge that we were right all along. 

In February 2010, The New Republic assigned one of its writers, Michael Crowley, to do the intellectual equivalent of a drive-by shooting on us.  His article ended up containing our personal favorite sentence ever written about our work:  after reviewing our assessments of Iranian political developments since the 2009 election, Crowley wrote, “It’s not obvious this analysis is wrong.”  That this sentence survived editing in such a tortured form says virtually everything one needs to know about The New Republic

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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83 Responses to “THE NEW REPUBLIC’s BADGE OF HONOR”

  1. Right Paddock says:

    “Abbas Milani — … presents himself as having an acute grasp of political reality in the Islamic Republic today”.

    “Political Reality” is just another word for “Denial”, “Radical Pragmatism” is always preferred – thanks for this just discovered blog

  2. James Canning says:

    MHF – - Ahmadinejad did win the election, did he not? Ergo, he is “legitimate”.

    John Bolton’s foolish comments in the Guardian should not be missed.

  3. James Canning says:

    Veteran neocon warmonger, JOhn Bolotn calls for “tough response” by US against Iran, for so-called assassination plot. In Guardian. What a surprise.

  4. MHF says:

    Leveretts-

    I had always suspected of Leveretts being Ahmadinejad’s supporter, but according to your own confession, “we take The New Republic’s citation as a badge of honor.”

    “… the Leveretts practically turned into champions for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, becoming prominent voices arguing for his legitimacy.”

    That says a lot!

  5. smith says:

    Do not be dishearted Leverrets. Infact that is cause for celebration. This is an old propaganda tactic. Banding some names together, some deserving and some not deserving for the title in order to bring down the level of non-deserving lot. The important thing is to see who they wanted to discredit, Farid Zakria? I highly doubt it. He was included in there as a cover. It was actually meant for Leverrets.

    When popular media tries to under-rate and discredit some intellectuals it means one thing and one thing only. That they are genius. History has repeatedly proved it.

    Just read through the comments on this site. They are so intelligent that they are several centuries ahead in intellectual maturity than you would find on other think tank sites or popular media including this New Republic thing. Since this site primarily is a think tank site for Iran, I quote an Iranian idiom which says: “The answer to the idiots is silence”.

  6. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Dmitry Rogozin’s comments (regarding Hillary Clinton’s very stupid and extremely poor taste comments on the death of Gaddafi), should stand as a warning.

    And Obama thinks Hillary Clinton is one of the best US Secretaries of State in history! Delusional thinking, promoted by rich and powerful Jews.

  7. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    China currently owns about $300 billion worth of stock and other instruments in “western” companies. In years to come, China’s stake in “western” companies will likely climb to $1 trillion or more. If China has a controlling interest in a given “western” company, is that part of the “capitalist” system controlling world finance?

  8. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Regarding the so-called “evidence” provided to Turkey, by US diplomats, to attempt to convince Turkey that there was indeed a “plot” to kill the Saudi ambassador, do we know what that “evidence” was? Some intercepted internal Iranian communications about taking control of some of the heroin that has been seized by Iranian officials?

  9. Unknown Unknowns says:

    It is people like Michael Rivera that prompt me to say that Noam Chomsky is obsolete. Rivera obviates the fact that Chomsky is from a past generation, and shares in that generations paradigm. The interview starts at minute 15 or thereabouts. The rest of the program is, of course, pure unadulterated Tehrangeles bullshit, served straight up, with no twist. VoT, I’m pretty sure you’ll like this guy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_3CTe0JL_k

    Michael Rivera’s website is

    ,http://whatreallyhappened.com/

  10. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Richard:

    It seems the source for a lot of the chatter a few days ago was the bullshitophile Debkafile.

    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27130

    (They guys from globalresearch.ca is just repeating the BS. I guess he doesn’t know about Debkafile being a Mossad mouthpiece).

  11. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Voice of Tehran:

    As part of your research on who / what controls the world, you will probably want to put this in your pipe and smoke it:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed–the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html

  12. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Good news from the free press in Israel. (If only the ?ew York Times was as responsible as Haaretz)

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/hezbollah-chief-nasrallah-next-war-with-israel-will-start-in-tel-aviv-1.391248

  13. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Studies suggest as many as one in three female soldiers are raped during their US military service.

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/09/2011916112412992221.html

    This is the face of the nation that sends a “UN Rapporteur” to investigate “HUman Rights” in Iran. Note to Uncle Weasel: Beebol who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  14. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitri Rogozin’s reaction to Daffy’s murder was slightly more muted than Hillarious’s “We came, We saw, We killed him” :

    “The faces of the leaders of ‘world democracies’ are so happy, as if they remembered how they hanged stray cats in basements in their childhoods,” Russian envoy to NATO and the leader of the Congress of Russian Communities, Dmitry Rogozin, wrote in his twitter status on Friday.

    The official added that Russia must make a conclusion from the existing situation. “We must bear in mind who we are dealing with in the face of Western democracies,” Rogozin said.

  15. Unknown Unknowns says:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29470.htm

    Footage of the lynch mob who murdered ‘Daffy. Chalk up another extra-judicial murder for NATO and its goons.

    God help the beebol of Libya now that these animals have taken charge of them.

  16. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Was the “Iranian plot” hatched in the USA?

    by Thierry Meyssan

    http://www.voltairenet.org/Was-the-Iranian-plot-hatched-in

    A masterful summary. Skip down to subheading “The Elusive Motive” to avoid the comprehensive reporting of the events and facts, and to start at the analysis.

    There are no fireworks in this piece. This is his take on the situation:

    “While everyone can see that the Obama administration invents or recycles false accusations to harden the tone vis-à-vis Tehran, it is also imperative to understand that it is a policy of containment, not war. Paradoxically, this sudden fever is a sign that the U.S. no longer have the capacity to confront Iran and prefer to press their partners to give up any relationship with Iran.”

  17. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty:

    To finish my thought and response to you: Just as masochists prefer to feel pain than not to feel anything at all (for at least they are *feeling*, feeling *something* rather than feeling nothing; similarly, it seems, these sociopaths need to feel the blood of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of innocent souls on their hands in order to feel alive – that is how terrifyingly empty their vacuous lives must be, devoid of all meaning – the abyss of nihilism into which Godless modernity has cast the leadership of the West.

  18. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty:

    Yes, I think the pathology is something akin to that. I was interested to note that an “inside the beltway” talking head on The Newshour today, talking about Obama’s “victory” in Libya, vindicated Richard’s position. He said that cooler heads such as Robert Gates didn’t want to proceed even with the no-fly zone, others wanted to limit it to a no-fly zone, but that was not enough for Obama, who insisted on using military force for effecting regime change (even though this not only did not have a UN mandate, but specifically went *against* the UN resolution. What a scumbag of a constitutional scholar. Give me Bork any day of the week compared to this sleazy self-serving unprincipled liar.

  19. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Photi says:

    “Would Gadhafi have been so quick to portend the extermination of the rats had he not recently kissed and made up with the Western leaders? He may have thought he was under immunity from western attack. In the absence of that perceived immunity he may have whispered much more softly, or at least waited for orders from those leaders.”

    *

    Yeah, you could say they pulled another April Glaspie on ‘Daffy. LOL.

  20. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    Good points. I must say I was surprised, and saddened, that Seif al-Islam was so intemperate (and unwise) in his own response to the uprising.

    The western military intervention need not have happened; serious blunders by Gaddafi and his sons brought catastrophe.

    I think a gradual transition would have been better for Libya.

    I agree Bashar al-Assad has been far more measured, and intelligent, in his response to the unrest in Syria.

  21. James,

    I agree with your comment on Gaddafi’s ill-advised aggressive public commentary in the beginning of the uprising. I’d add to that the belligerent words of his son, Seif, just before UNSC Resolution 1973 was adopted (March 19). If they’d been more “diplomatic” in their public pronouncements, and just “quietly” taken back control without a lot of sword-rattling, Gaddafi probably would still be in charge — agreeing to some (overdue) reforms, but still in charge.

    On this I’d contrast Gaddafi with Assad in Syria, who’s been much more “gentlemanly” than Gaddafi in his public speeches. If you say nice things to the outside world, and then make sure you keep nosy reporters out of your country so they can’t take too many embarrassing videos and photos, your prospects for dying peacefully in bed many years from you will be greatly increased.

  22. James Canning says:

    Fioangela,

    Jeffrey Feltman is at the heart of the conspiracy to use American power to “stregthen” Israel, even if the actions are contrary to the interests of the American people. And in fact are not even in Israel’s true best interests.

  23. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    John Hannah’s piece (in ForeignPolicy) about the return of Prince Bandar, from last April, was rather over-excited. Saudi Arabia is hardly likely to want Pakistan staging ballistic missiles armed with nukes, on Saudi territory.

    Hannah seems less interested in the fact Prince Bandar wants Israel out of the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

  24. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Sadly, in my view at least, Gaddafi rejected advice from British and other European diplomats to moderate his reaction to the uprising. Gaddafi was warned that if he continued to rant on TV, public pressure would build to have “western” powers intervene to “prevent a slaughter”.

  25. Humanist says:

    A personal consideration on ‘Badge of Honor for Leveretts’:

    I believe following a leader blindly, as for example Germans did during Hitler times or as Iranians followed Khomeini in late 70s is a characteristic of primitive human beings. I think culturally evolved rational persons examine each opinion on its merit and, in general, do not concentrate on WHO is the originator of that idea.

    Yet at times it is hard to ignore the space, time and the‘person’ who is expressing his/her thoughts.

    I remember when and how I discovered a new dormant sensation in the depth of my psyche when I was for the first time watching ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. The scene that moved me profoundly was when the shameful trial had ended, all the White folks had left the courtroom except Atticus Finch but still all the Blacks who were allowed only in the balcony were in the courthouse. When I saw blacks rising up as a gesture of deep respect for Mr Finch I felt being overtaken by a new very powerful insight, something that is so hard to explain.

    At that time, living as a student when Shah was in power I was a lost Kafkaist or Existentialist. I was viewing life as….. absurd …or moronic. But at that moment when I was watching how Blacks were respecting a white lawyer I realized maybe life, if for most soles is nothing but moronic, for a few like Atticus Finch is something different….maybe something worth of admiration..

    To make this short, whenever I notice respectable persons like Leveretts are under attack by ruthless warmongering type I am reminded of ‘To kill a Mockingbird’… reminded of the dark background of corrupt egos and very few who stand up for whatever is Wise and Just, inherently something that benefits all sides

    I have changed a lot since I saw that film.. I now see the above as delightful, satisfying, overwhelming, encouraging and also sort of beautiful.

  26. Voice of Tehran,

    I haven’t seen the clip of Hillary Clinton saying these words, but naturally will take your word for it:

    “We came, We saw, He died.”

    If that’s what she said, it’s an interesting twist on Julius Caesar’s “Veni, vidi, vinci” (“I came, I saw, I conquered.”). Julius Caesar wasn’t afraid to claim responsibility as the agent in the third phrase — “I conquered.” Hillary, by contrast, apparently prefers to leave it a bit unclear whether Gaddafi’s death was somehow connected to the US having “come” and “seen,” or instead was pure coincidence.

    Who knows? Perhaps the US (and other NATO countries) just happened to be in Libya and just happened to be watching as Gaddafi’s government was overthrown by others.

  27. Photi says:

    Kathleen,

    “Clearly this is the message that other dictators are receiving as they watch Gadhafi’s dead and bloodied body shown over and over again in the MSM. and hear one MSM hypocrite after the next gloat about the execution. Make a deal with the very country who used to in many ways support you and this is what you get. Richard Engel was sickening.”

    Would Gadhafi have been so quick to portend the extermination of the rats had he not recently kissed and made up with the Western leaders? He may have thought he was under immunity from western attack. In the absence of that perceived immunity he may have whispered much more softly, or at least waited for orders from those leaders.

  28. Fiorangela says:

    rd. @ 3:28 pm, thanks for the link to MoonOverAlabama/ then AsiaTimes article by Alastair Crooke (a colleague of the Leveretts, iirc).

    One wondered when Feltman’s presence would be revealed.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MJ22Ak01.html

    “In operational terms, Feltman and his team coordinate, Qatar hosts the “war room”, the “news room” and holds the purse strings, Paris and Doha lead on pushing the Transitional Council model, whilst Bandar [8] and Turkey jointly manage the Sunni theater in-country, both armed and unarmed.

    The Salafist component of armed and combat experienced fighters was to have been managed within this framework, but increasingly they went their own way, answering to a different agenda, and having separate finances. “

    This is the “Libya” model that, as is increasingly the case, the Creel Commission C Span’s Washington Journal was tasked to roll out to the American people this morning:
    :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/OpenPhones7501
    “Telephone lines were open for comments on a question related to President Obama’s collaborative effort with NATO in U.S. intervention in Libya: “Should this approach be a new model for war?” Mark Landler was interviewed by phone about his New York Times article on President Obama’s strategy.”

    Poor Susan Swain, they’ve even gotten to her. She has more intellectual integrity in her little finger than the entire State Dept.

    Back to Crooke’s piece in Asia Times, and the game “Turkey in the Middle,” Turkey is being forced to navigate treacherous territory, and is being used as a pawn by multiple State Department actors.

    In a July 2011 speech to Commonwealth Club of California, US State Dept. Undersecretary for Arms Control & Nonproliferation told the “smartest people in the world,” her California audience, that the US MUST partner with Russia to defend the US against the “Iranian future threat, which has not emerged yet, for long range missiles. . .” That pre-emergent future threat is a threat to the United States because Turkey is a member of NATO, and, Tauscher declared, “we’re protecting our European allies, because we can be held hostage at any moment by an Iranian missile, sitting in Iran, targeting Turkey.” [sometime in the pre-emergent future.]

    It’s curious that, on July 28, 2011 Mz. Tauscher was so concerned about Turkey being attacked by Iran after Ms. Tauscher’s boss (whom Tauscher referred to as “girlfriend”) on May 28, 2011, blasted Turkey for negotiating with Iran to resolve the nuclear issue.

    Further, if the State Department is so concerned about protecting Turkey, why did it take no action whatsoever to redress the murder, by Israeli military, of an American-Turkish citizen and eight other Turkish citizens, in international waters in the Mediterranean. After all, Tauscher explained to the “smart people” at the Commonwealth Club that:

    “[W]e’re at risk anytime anybody wants to hold at risk one of our European allies. And so President Obama said, We want to protect against this current threat, not just the old threat but the current threat of Iranian and Hamas and Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations who have short and medium range missiles and rockets. You can remember just a few short years ago what was happening from Syria and Lebanon into Israel; that kind of thing could be happening from the Middle East into Europe, and that would hold America at risk.

    And so Pres. Obama put the USS Monterey on station in the Mediterranean in March, it is an Aegis-capable ship and it has missile defense on it, and it says, ‘We are not an offensive system – it’s not an offensive system, but don’t think about it. And we’ve come now and we’re standing guard to make sure that you do not put us at risk.’ And I think that was very valiant of him.

    And so now we have two other pieces of it that will come in 2015 and 2018, uh, more capable system that will go in Romania and one that will go in Poland, and that will protect us against the emerging Iranian long range threat. And that caused NATO to be not only very appreciative but to change its mission for the first time in 27 years to include territorial defense of people and places with this new system. And uh it’s America’s gift to NATO but it also protects us, obviously.”

    :http://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/2011-07-28/ellen-tauscher-us-under-secretary-arms-control-and-international-security (see audio link; this clip in Q&A session, approx. 48 min –> )

    Tauscher has the same problem most of the Obama administration and foreign policy establishment has: because they fail to use facts, evidence, and logic but instead rely on ideology and the seductions of political expediency, they fail to assess and protect against the real and potential threats to American interests. Tauscher and her Aegis ships and her valiant president and her girlfriend Secretary of State fail to recognize the real enemy.

    The source of that distorted view of reality is revealed by Tauscher’s mention of Hamas and Hezbollah. They pose not threat to the United States. They pose no threat to Turkey. Hamas and Hezbollah pose no threat to any NATO ally. An intellectually honest undersecretary of State would recognize that Hamas and Hezbollah are resistance groups, defending their turf against the internationally unlawful and murderous incursions of Israel. THAT is the truth that no one in Washington will acknowledge, and the failure to acknowledge that truth has cost the lives of millions of people in the Middle East.

  29. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Or, “she kills therefore she is.”

  30. Empty says:

    The article Rd posted is an off-shoot of this one by Alastair Crooke:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MJ22Ak01.html

  31. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Greg:

    Thanks for posting that wonderful clip. The idiot from Faux News could be heard muttering, “You dindn’t answer my question…”, and the dittoheads that watch that organ of filth believe him, but better minds know that the question *was* answered, and the answer was,

    “Who in hell are *you*, with *your* record and standing, the blackest of the black, to be questioning the morality of *anyone*, mother#&%@er? Stop supporting the killing of millions of innocents abroad and the looting of the poor and middle classes in your own country, get your own house in order, and then maybe we can talk. Of course, by that time, I will be talking with a human being, or at least, with a human becoming, rather than the spawn of Satan that confronts me now.”

    Viva La Revolucion! Viva Chavez!! Viva El Magnifico Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!!!

  32. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty says:
    October 21, 2011 at 11:09 am
    RE: Hillary Clinton’s “We came , We saw , He died ” …
    So, does she think it’s not yet the right time to say “vici”?
    *

    No, it’s not that she does not think the time has come. The what the *bihayaa* [shameless bee-aatch] really wanted to say but was too dishonest to do so was (in the spirit of a man-hunter drunk on libidinal fluids):

    I spotted him, I killed him, I came.

  33. Rd. says:

    Interesting perspective on the Kurdish attack on Turkey and Turkey’s rebut on the Iran fony plot after Iran FM visit to Turkey!!

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  34. Greg says:

    Funny clip with Chavez, owning a typical anti-iranian reporter.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vNOBBB5FgY

  35. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    The terms of deals made by Gaddafi are going to be adhered to, and “greed” really did not (and does not) explain western intervention in Libay.

  36. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    There will be no “occupation” of Libya. Financial Times leader today called for avoiding putting any Nato troops into the country.

  37. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Yes, I am aware the so-called “programme” was a bit of play-acting.

  38. James Canning says:

    Mohammad,

    I agree, the New Republic should try to show why Ahmadinejad lacks political skill, or lacks intelligence. Didn’t Ahmadinejad go to New York in 2007 in hopes of improving Iranian-American relations? And din’t rich and powerful Jews in New York threaten Lee Bollinger, president of Columbia University, so he acted with great stupidity and appalling bad manners, when he introduced Ahmadinejad at his appearance on Columbia U’ campus?

  39. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – Qaddafi never had a ‘nuclear program’. What he had was a blue-print of North Korean nuclear reactor building. There are no welknown Libyan nuclear scientist. It was bogey created by US-Israel to demonize Qaddafi earlier as the latest one was ‘killing Libyan civilians’.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/libya-western-war-for-greed-and-occupation/

  40. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    I too was appalled at the words of Hillary Clinton, regarding the death of Gaddafi.

  41. James Canning says:

    paul,

    What makes you think Nato is getting ready to bomb Libya? Turkey’s foreign minister has called on the dissidents to refrain from violence.

  42. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    Gaddafi said that one reason for Libya’s nuclear weapons programme – - such as it was — was simply that at the time it was fashionable to have one.

    Gaddafi also said that nukes are dangerous for the country that possesses them. This clearly is quite right.

  43. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio:

    Yes, alas, I fear you are only too correct. And besides, I should have used nadir (from the Arabic نظير meaning opposite) rather than zenith.

  44. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Dear Flynt:

    You told me once in an email once that you read “all the comments” on RFI. Somehow I doubt that very much (though I know your heart was in the right place when saying it), but if you are in fact reading this, I too want to add my thanks to you and your good wife for the work that you do. You are doing God’s work, and may you both be rewarded by Heaven ever-lasting for it.

    Methinks The New Republic should change its name to The Old Empire.

    And by the way, the 30-minute odd audio clip that Richard linked the other day (your interview with Anti-War Radio I think it was) was absolutely brilliant: For someone to be able to give such an eagle-eye’s view of the nuclear dossier one must have complete and unassailable mastery of the subject, which you clearly demonstrated, together with a demonstration of your moral courage when you repeated your righteous avant guard charge that your president is a liar. Bravo!

  45. Castellio says:

    UU, hey brother, I’m with you. One small correction, it isn’t at its zenith. Not by a long shot.

  46. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nader Ghazi Hobballah says:
    October 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Don’t pay too much heed to me, I’m just the Class Clown here and am indulging my penchant for picking on people’s names, but I was just curious to know why you have chosen to transliterate your name as written rather than as pronounced? Surely ‘Hobbollah’ would convey the intended phonemes much less problematically? Unless of course you have another intention altogether :D

  47. paul says:

    Well done, Leveretts. This truly is a badge of honor.

    Meanwhile, Nato gets ready to bomb Syria, with Iran and Venezuela next, while Congo and neighboring states continue to be savaged by US foreign policy after resources.

    Hitler will welcom the ‘thinkers’ who justify these vicious foreign policies to Hell with big hugs. Thank God you are not amongst them.

  48. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I don’t know what’s going on here. If a jaded cynic like me can be “dazed and confused” by the two pieces posted by Castellio and VoT, then something is radically wrong. It is truly astounding to me how the Wilsonian dream is going up in smoke in front of our eyes. True, it was a dream and nothing more. But for the nation which gave birth to it and upon whose soil the United Nations building stands to mock its principles and values in such a radical U-turn in the span of less than a generation and to see it gain speed and reach its zenith during the tenure of a “black” American with Husain as a middle name is sobering even to me. In a sense it is a blessing, however, as the more black and white the struggle becomes, the more contrast obtains between the vision of the advocacy for a New World Order and its organic alternatives, the quicker the sheep will wake up from their deadly and reprehensible ignorance, inshallah.

  49. LOYAL says:

    Thanks Leveretts

  50. Kathleen says:

    And “we are proud” of the Leveretts honor and integrity when it comes to foreign policy. To your continued efforts to accurately inform the public about Iran and other middle east issues based on as close to the facts as you can. Thank you so much.

    Obamas drones try to kill Gadhafi the very dictator that a month before he said he was not trying to kill. Gadhafi then left to be executed by Libyan rebels. US MSM host gloat as they display gruesome bloody images of a live then dead Gadhafi with a bullet hole in his head. And this is called the birth of a democracy…civilization…killing for peace. All so absurd

    This is change I don’t believe in

    msnbc’s Richard Engel was gloating last night on Rachel Maddows as he described why Gadhafi had tried to make a deal with the US, had shared information after 9/11 with the US, paid retribution for Pan Am Lockerbie,broke down his alleged nuclear weapon program. Engel gloated as he said Gadhafi had had an epiphany when he saw Saddam Hussein pulled from a hole in the ground. Engel continued to gloat as he said that Gadhafi had been pulled from that drainage pipe. Gloating as he said Gadhafi was killed.

    But of course the US and other Nato nations did not want this because he would have pointed right at those who have supported this mad man for decades. Could not have that. So they allowed those he had committed crimes against to execute him for all the world to see.

    Clearly this is the message that other dictators are receiving as they watch Gadhafi’s dead and bloodied body shown over and over again in the MSM. and hear one MSM hypocrite after the next gloat about the execution. Make a deal with the very country who used to in many ways support you and this is what you get. Richard Engel was sickening.

  51. Castellio says:

    Eric, when I went to describe it, words wouldn’t come, so I moved to parody. Hers is an open and heartfelt call to genocide, explicitly including all children … from a member of the so-called conservative intelligentsia.

    Do not underestimate her and her ilk. They act upon their beliefs, and these beliefs are visible for all to see.

  52. Empty says:

    RE: Hillary Clinton’s “We came , We saw , He died ” …

    So, does she think it’s not yet the right time to say “vici”?

  53. Judy says:

    I, for one, am very glad you are out there. Your informed and reasoned discourse is a window in a darkened room. I am an unrated writer, by comparison, but I have noted that clarifying issues occurring within Iran tends to infuriate, even those who claim to defend Iran and Iranians.

  54. Fiorangela says:

    Voice of Tehran, everybody should view the video of Hillary Clinton laughing over the death of Qaddafi, “We Came, We Saw, He Died.”

    ___________

    more from NIAC on the Iran plot: <a href = "http://www.niacouncil.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7655&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=-1&quot; Does Obama Understand What's Been Unleashed? –

    “The Obama administration said it learned of the alleged Iran plot in June, and thus had three full months to plan its roll out to the American public and international community. Admiral Mullen was surely briefed at the earliest stages of planning. Was his overt public support for increased communication with Iran a thinly-veiled warning to the Obama administration and American people that forthcoming missteps would lead to an escalation of tensions and possibly a conflict? A month later, his words appear eerily prophetic: “We have not had a direct link – communication – with Iran since 1979. And I think that has planted many seeds for miscalculation. When you miscalculate, you can escalate and misunderstand.”

    The tools of statecraft are simple: military action or diplomacy. Anything else – whether it is called containment, dual track, or carrot and stick – is nothing more than a tactic that delays the inevitable choice between these two options. The inconvenient truth of statecraft is that every conflict – even war – ends via negotiations; and everything before negotiations – including war – is for leverage. The effort to presumably delay this inevitable choice has only added pressure to escalate towards the worst outcome.

    It is through this prism that we must view the trajectory of Obama’s Iran policy – and the administration’s curious reaction to the alleged assassination plot. His full-court press at the UN has raised the foreign policy costs of walking back the very serious allegations leveled against the Islamic Republic.”

  55. Castellio,

    I’d thought you were serious about the piece by Elliott Abrams’ wife, and was encouraged. But I see now you were kidding. Mr. Abrams’ piece reads as follows – quite a disappointment:

    “GILAD!!!!!!!!!!

    He’s free and he’s home in the bosom of his family and his country.

    Celebrate, Israel, with all the joyous gratitude that fills your hearts, as we all do along with you.

    Then round up his captors, the slaughtering, death-worshiping, innocent-butchering, child-sacrificing savages who dip their hands in blood and use women—those who aren’t strapping bombs to their own devils’ spawn and sending them out to meet their seventy-two virgins by taking the lives of the school-bus-riding, heart-drawing, Transformer-doodling, homework-losing children of Others—and their offspring—those who haven’t already been pimped out by their mothers to the murder god—as shields, hiding behind their burkas and cradles like the unmanned animals they are, and throw them not into your prisons, where they can bide until they’re traded by the thousands for another child of Israel, but into the sea, to float there, food for sharks, stargazers, and whatever other oceanic carnivores God has put there for the purpose.”

  56. Voice of Tehran says:

    Billary Clinton after Gadhafi’s death :

    “We came , We saw , He died ” , the most disgusting words , I have ever seen or heard. I think the endless joy in her words , derives from the fact that she sees the NWO near completion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

  57. Peter Erickson says:

    Truly a badge of honor. You know you’re doing something right if you irritate The New Republic.

  58. Castellio says:

    A must read, showing the maturity, peaceful nature and ecumenical best wishes of Rachel Abrams, wife of Elliot Abrams, ex-Under Secretary of State, who also happens to be on the Board of Directors for the Emergency Committee for Israel which is well known for its sincere atempts at peace and mutual assistance throughout the Middle East.

    http://badrachel.blogspot.com/2011/10/gilad.html?spref=tw

  59. Castellio says:

    What did Hussein, Bin Laden and Gaddafi have in common that, say, the leaders of the Gulf States did not share? Just asking…

  60. Castellio says:

    Eric, I suppose it’s worth repeating that North Korea’s retaliatory strength is not its nuclear weapons, but its massive missile capacity against Seoul, an urban conglomerate which is among the four most populous in the world.

    Most informed observers doubt that North Korea can deliver its nuclear weapons, assuming their operational existence.

  61. Castellio says:

    The New Republic has worked to undermine the actual Republic, and stands self-condemned and visible to all.

  62. Fiorangela,

    “One thing’s for certain: Iran will now be quite easily dissuaded from pursuing nuclear weapons capability.”

    I recognize you’re being facetious.

    You may be right in your prediction, but I doubt the Libya war would have played out differently if Gaddafi had not sworn off nuclear weapons development.

    Though there were reports, when that deal was struck, that Gaddafi had much more nuclear equipment (not nuclear material, as I recall) than the US had expected, it also appeared clear that he had very few people who understood much of anything about what he had. As I recall, quite a bit of it was just sitting in warehouses, much of it still in the packing crates. I got the impression he’d bought it simply because he recognized that the opportunity might not present itself in the future, and that maybe some day his people would be able to figure out what to do with it.

    Had Gaddafi continued this so-called nuclear development program, he might have been far enough along by this spring that the US would have hesitated. I doubt it, but I’ll concede it’s possible. What’s also possible, and more likely in my view, is that the US would have been quite confident that Gaddafi was still a long way from producing a deliverable bomb. That being their judgment, I suspect the US would have been more likely, not less, to attack Libya, since the US might well have seen the uprising as a convenient opportunity to put an end to Libya’s nuclear program before it had become too late. (I have the same worry about Iran, if the US ever gets some honest-to-goodness evidence that Iran is working on a nuclear bomb — and possibly even if it doesn’t.)

    North Korea is always cited, of course, as the prime example of a nuked-up mouse that roared. Possibly that was a factor in the US deciding not to press matters there, but I tend to think the US was influenced much more by the likely attitude of China, which, I suspect, made very clear to the US that it, China, was confident it could handle such matters in its own back yard without any help from the US being necessary, thank you very much.

    For a real-life, present-day test case, I suggest we pay attention to just how well Pakistan’s nuclear capability protects it from a sharp increase in US attacks over the next twelve months or so.

  63. k_w says:

    As we say in German: A crow can’t insult an eagle.

  64. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Al Khawasi Al Qatifi:

    Welcome, Shi’a brother from Wahhabi-occupied al-Qatif.

    I must say, it takes an awful lot of discipline to read this site for a year and withhold comment. I certainly hope that this, your first comment, will be the first of many, and that you will enlighten us as to the situations on the ground in the ancient city and region of al-Qatif.

  65. Fiorangela says:

    Off topic

    Stratfor reports that although film shows he was captured alive, Qaddafi was extrajudicially killed and his body dragged through the streets — shades of Hector.

    One thing’s for certain: Iran will now be quite easily dissuaded from pursuing nuclear weapons capability.

  66. Rehmat says:

    Hizbullah in Moscow

    In July 2007, Professor Hassan Nafaa (Cairo University) wrote in Al-Ahram weekly: “I would like to remind the young people in this country that Israel’s strategy was foiled only by the steadfastness of the Lebanese resistance, by the ability of that resistance to bring down the May 1983 treaty. Israel’s failure in Lebanon has saved the entire region from the partitioning“.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/hizbullah-in-moscow/

  67. Rehmat says:

    I must say, The New Republic do has its sense Zionazi humor. It honors Islamophobe like Newt Gingrich, who has divorced his two terminal ill wives and is sued by his third wife for adultery – Fareed Zakaria, a ‘sell-out’ Muslim from Mumbai and Ayan Rand, an atheist Jew.

    Eric Sapp, in an article, entitled GOP Must Choose: Ayan Rand Or Jesus, published in The American Value Network, a Christian Right Group, on May 27, 2011 – had called upon American Christians that they must choose between Jesus and Ayan Rand….

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/christians-must-choose-christ-or-anti-christ/

  68. Al Awami says:

    This is my first comment on this blog and I must say since I have been acquainted with this website about a year ago I’ve been astonished by the objectivity and honesty of the Leveretts. Their analytical skills amaze even a middle easterner (such as myself) and their unbiased assessments continue to illuminate those facts which are not spoken (yet still obvious) about the Middle East.

    I applaud you for your cause and hope you continue writing your exceptional articles,

    Regards from a Qatifi

  69. Mohammad says:

    I really don’t get the supposed “rationality” of this part:

    “But, in the aftermath of the troubling Iranian elections in 2009, the Leveretts practically turned into champions for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, becoming prominent voices arguing for his legitimacy. “I think he’s actually a quite intelligent man,” Flynt told TNR in 2010. “I think he also has really extraordinary political skills.” Apologetics is not analysis. They should be ashamed.”

    Am I missing something? So Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is so obviously unintelligent and lacks political skills that TNR doesn’t even bother citing the reason it thinks so? After all, it’s not obvious that the Leveretts are wrong!

    Apologetics is not analysis, but apparently, according to TNR, demonization is analysis.

  70. Fiorangela says:

    congratulations! you should be doubly proud: on the same list as Steve Walt, NOT on the list of People TNR LIKES, that includes Mark Kirk. TNR luvs them their Mark Kirk for his “mantle of sensible internationalism.” :http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/96140/our-favorite-people

    Presumably, “sensible internationalism” includes carrying on a policy our British motherland has used over the years — starving subject nations into submission as punishment for crimes for which no clear evidence has been presented, with which the accused has not been confronted, and which has not been adjudicated.

    Anyone notice that the Iran plot came to light just days after the underwear bomber’s trial — a trial at which al Awlaki could have been called as a witness, had not the US assassinated him first.

    Oh, and sayonara Qaddafi. He musta been guilty of something because he ended up dead. It’s the witching season, after all.

  71. James Canning says:

    Pirouz,

    The New Republic is an organ devoted to the welfare of Israel. Would anyone argue the contrary? This explains much.

  72. James Canning says:

    Familiar (with New Republic mag).

  73. James Canning says:

    For those not faqmiliary with the New Republic, Daniel Luban’s comment (March 22, 2010 on lobelog.com) is worth repeating: “For memebers of what we might call the liberal wing of the New Republic crowd (as opposed to the outright neocons who also populate its pages), some mild criticism of Israel is permitted so long as it is striclty confined within narrow limits.”

    No discussions of Israeli “ethnic cleansing” in the West Bank are allowed.

  74. Marty Peretz was such a screeching Johnny-One-Note that I’ve not taken the New Republic seriously for a very long time. I know he’s “gone” but I can’t help thinking his thinking lives on. His successors appear sufficiently cowed that they didn’t put him on their “over-rated” list, despite his legitimate claim to the top spot.

    If I were Flynt and Hillary, I’d be honored not to be on TNR’s “Best” list with such luminaries as Richard Cizik. And they should take comfort to know that they can make that list at any time, alongside Washington Nationals pitcher Steven Strasburg, if they can just develop a 98-mile-an-hour fastball.

  75. Pirouz says:

    I don’t get it. Is TNR objection based on the fact that it perceives the Iranian president to be unintelligent and lacking in political skill? Or is their real objection based on the fact that Flynt is not willing to contribute to the chorus that seeks to demonize the president and the IRI?

    A reliable analysis should be the goal. For that to take place, one must be objective. And you can’t be objective if you’re perpetually in demonize-mode. Need proof? Just take a look at the consistent track record of unreliability that characterizes Milani’s flawed analyses.

  76. James Canning says:

    Yes, truly a badge of honour! Bravo.

  77. Empty says:

    This piece reminded me of a translation/interpretation of one of Hafez’s poems:

    “If I told you the truth,
    you might think I was an idiot.
    If I LIED to you,
    You might parade me through the streets shouting,
    ‘this guy is a genius.’
    this world has its pants on backwards,
    It carries its values and knowledge in a jug with a big hole in it.
    Thus, having a clear grasp upon the situation,
    If I am asked anything these days,
    I just laugh.”

  78. yemi says:

    In the first place, what are the criteria for TNR assessment for THINKERS. Is it base on public opinion pool or what TNR felt it should be or the actual outcomes of analysis performed by a thinker. I don’t think this TNR is in the right position to judge any thinker.

  79. David says:

    Why isn’t Tom Friedman on their list? He’s a guy who never met a platitude he didn’t like.

  80. Huntly says:

    It’s just link bait; there are only 10 on the list? Cyrus is right to ask if anyone actually cares what TNR has to say anymore.

  81. Nader Ghazi Hobballah says:

    They nailed Zakaria though so this article isn’t a complete waste of time.

  82. Cyrus says:

    Does anyone really care about the New Republic’s little lists? I mean, seriously, talk about being insular and self-referential. BTW are Pollack and Takeyh on the list? Because you know, they’re always been oh-so right…