The Bomb Iran Lobby Gears Up for 2016

The billionaire gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson is among those bankrolling a scare campaign against U.S. diplomacy with Iran. (Image: DonkeyHotey/flickr/cc)

A tight-knit group of neocon dead-enders is pushing Iran to the forefront of the GOP’s foreign policy agenda.

By Sina Toossi

In a recent TV ad, a van snakes its way through an American city. As the driver fiddles with the radio dial, dire warnings about the perils of a “nuclear Iran” spill out of the speaker from Senator Lindsey Graham and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The driver then steers the vehicle into a parking garage, drives to the top level, and blows it up in a blinding flash of white light. Words shimmer across the screen: “No Iran Nuclear Treaty Without Congressional Approval.”

While diplomats from Iran and the “P5+1″ world powers work to forge a peaceful resolution to the decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, a well-financed network of “experts” — like the “American Security Initiative” that produced the above “Special Delivery” ad — is dedicating enormous amounts of time and energy to weakening public support for the talks in the United States.

These think-tank gurus, special interest groups, and media pundits have peddled a plethora of alarmist narratives aimed at scuttling the diplomatic process — and they’ve relied far more on fear mongering than facts.

So who are these people?

A Close-Knit Network

Despite their bipartisan façade, these reflexively anti-Iran ideologues are in reality a tight-knit group. Many were also prominent supporters of the Iraq War and other foreign policy debacles from the last 15 years. They work in close coordination with one another and are often bankrolled by similar funders.

Four GOP super-donors alone — the billionaires Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer, Bernard Marcus, and Seth Klarman — keep afloat an array of groups that ceaselessly advocate confrontation with Iran, like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Other groups forming the core of this network include the neoconservative Hudson Institute and the Foreign Policy Initiative, as well as more explicitly hardline “pro-Israel” groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Emergency Committee for Israel, The Israel Project, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

Several of these outfits also rely on right-wing grant-making foundations such as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the Scaife Foundations, which together funnel millions into hardline policy shops.

Hardline Senators

Together these groups have established what amounts to their own echo chamber. They’ve built an anti-Iran communications and lobbying infrastructure that enjoys substantial influence in Washington’s corridors of power, particularly in Congress.

One of this network’s more prominent beneficiaries has been Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), a through-and-through neocon disciple whose truculent opposition to the Iran talks has given pause to even conservative figures like Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who asked him what the “point” was of his infamous open letter to Iran last March that was signed by 47 Senate Republicans. Other prominent senators with close ties to this network include Cotton’s Republican colleagues Lindsey Graham, Mark Kirk, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain.

Cotton’s successful run for Senate last year came on the heels of massive financial contributions he received from key members of the anti-Iran lobby, including Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel, which spent roughly $1 million to get Cotton elected. Adelson, Singer, and Klarman, as well as the PAC run by former UN ambassador and avowed militarist John Bolton, also contributed significantly to Cotton’s campaign.

While some pundits and politicians say they’re looking for a “better deal” with Iran than the one the Obama administration has negotiated, Cotton has explicitly said that he’s looking for no deal at all. He’s called an end to the nuclear negotiations an “intended consequence” of legislation he’s supported to impose new sanctions on Iran and give Congress an up-or-down vote on the agreement.

Think Tank Warriors

In the think tank world, talking heads like the Hudson Institute’s Michael Doran and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz and Clifford May still prefer the more cautious “better deal” framing. But discerning readers will quickly realize that their motives are bent towards pushing the United States into conflict with Iran.

Doran — who in the past has compared the Middle East to a “disease” and argued that “a bias toward military action is the best way to treat” it — has been one of the leading purveyors of the idea that the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran are geared towards turning Iran into “a friend and a partner,” which he frames as essentially akin to the sky falling.

In April, he lambasted this supposed strategic aim of the Obama White House in hysterical terms, writing that détente with Iran “will deliver disequilibrium, the exact opposite of the effect intended. By negotiating an arms-control agreement, the president has shifted the tectonic plates of the Middle East order.” He added: “And for tectonic plates, it takes a move of just inches to level whole cities.”

Doran has also argued there are “many more options” than what he calls Obama’s “ultimatum” of an “Iranian nuclear program or disaster.” He told Vox in April: “If Ali Khamenei was put before a choice of ‘Your nuclear program or absolutely crippling, debilitating economic sanctions,’ he would think twice. I think if he were put before a choice of ‘Your nuclear program or severe military strikes,’ he would think twice.”

So Doran’s answer is either a disastrous war or somehow applying more sanctions on Iran. How he intends to apply these sanctions given the fragile nature of the current sanctions regime and almost certain opposition from the rest of the P5+1 remains a mystery. Perhaps more concessions to Russia? Doran surely also knows that outside of harming ordinary Iranian citizens, sanctions have been a resolute failure in getting Iran to cease its uranium enrichment or change its fundamental strategic calculations with respect to its nuclear program.

Doran’s doomsday preaching is in fact the modus operandi of the deal’s critics. Clifford May, the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), has posited that “Mr. Obama is prepared to accept a deal that will be dangerous for America and the West — and, yes, life-threatening for Israel.” He has also wildly claimed that Iran, were it to develop nuclear weapons, “might provide a bomb to al-Qaeda,” the Sunni organization that is its avowed enemy.

Mark Dubowitz, FDD’s executive director, appears frequently in the media and before Congress lambasting the nuclear talks. He’s called the framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 a “seriously flawed” deal and made no secret of his alternative to the tentative agreement: “Critics of Mr. Obama’s efforts are going to get lost in the technical details of this ‘framework’ agreement,” he wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed co-authored with fellow Iran hawk Reul Marc Gerecht. But “the ultimate issue remains: Are you willing to threaten war to get a better deal, and prepared to preventively strike if Tehran moves toward a bomb?”

The Republican Primaries

As the Republican primaries kick off for the 2016 presidential election, the candidates are doing their utmost to pander to these hawks — and especially to their donors.

Sheldon Adelson, whose massive spending on Republican candidates in the past has steered the foreign policy debate of entire campaigns, stands out in this regard. His annual gathering hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, which has become known as the “Adelson primary,” has seen Republican trying to out-hawk each other to win his support.

At times, the race for Adelson’s support has pushed the candidates into politically shaky territory.

Prospective candidate Jeb Bush, for example, fell out of favor with Adelson for appointing former Secretary of State James Baker — a foreign policy realist disliked by the party’s neoconservative wing — as one of the few non-neocons on his foreign policy team. Soon after, Adelson exalted former President George W. Bush “for all he’d done for Israel and the Middle East,” prompting the younger Bush to declare that he looks to his brother for advice on the Middle East — hardly a source of comfort to the non-Adelson wing of the party. Later, the former Florida governor even said he would have authorized the Iraq War even “knowing what we know now.”

“The Las Vegas mogul and Israel hawk,” Joan Walsh of Salon wrote of Adelson, “thus took Bush’s biggest political problem — his brother — and made him an asset.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, the aspiring Republican presidential nominee who’s been one of the Senate’s biggest critics of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran and Cuba, has been a major recipient of donations from Adelson and Singer. A recent report by Politico suggests that Rubio “has emerged as the clear front-runner” to win the “Sheldon Adelson primary.”

A Failed Strategic Vision

Of course, virtually all of the characters and organizations above were emphatic supporters of the Iraq War. In examining their work, it becomes clear that military force, particularly in the Middle East, is the default tool they advocate for to deal with real or perceived threats.

In the case of the Iran nuclear negotiations, this has proven to be the case even when more long-lasting alternatives exist — like diplomacy — that better secure U.S. interests.

If, as John Lewis Gaddis said, strategy is “the discipline of achieving desired ends through the most efficient use of available means,” and the desired end of this militaristic faction is to maximize U.S. national security, their recommended strategies have clearly been abysmal failures.

The Iraq War they so fiercely championed, for instance, was a debacle that greatly weakened the American position in the Middle East at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. Ironically, that war was in large measure responsible for strengthening Iran’s hand in the region — the very thing these hawks say a new war is necessary to address.

A nuclear deal with Iran presents the opportunity to avoid another catastrophic war in the Middle East and potentially opens the door to working with Iran on critical areas of mutual interest, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yet by so vigorously denouncing the Obama White House’s negotiations with Iran, these armchair warriors are pushing for a war that wouldn’t only be terrible for the region and the people who live there. It would harvest more lives and limbs from American soldiers, waste trillions more taxpayer dollars, and undoubtedly erode U.S. standing in the world even further.


© 2015 Foreign Policy In Focus

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  1. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    no one really wants to bomb Iran if a deal can be reached and they can be dissuaded from attempting to assemble nuclear weapons.

  2. bsbafflesbrains
    June 6, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    US foreign policy is dictated by Corporate interests first and political interests second. We have hundreds of military bases around the World to protect the Multi National Fortune 500. Iraq and the trillions of dollars distributed to the MICC was a success in the greed driven Corporate culture. Trying to make sense of US policy without first considering profit/loss and ROI is why it seems confusing or counter productive/inept.

  3. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Just a friendly question that gives me some trouble. Why are you worried about Iran having the bomb? Is it worse the North Korea, Pakistan, India or any of the others? What if Iran just became a signatory to the non proliferation agreement?

  4. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    The sanctions argument you make is fallacious.

    Sanctions that only damage the economy of a country moderately are likely to only encourage the country to accelerate, if only out of defiance and possibly for leverage.

    Truly crippling sanctions would throw the future of the regime in question if they persisted for too long, and by putting a countdown timer on the regime itself, it will negotiate in good faith if only out of concern for self-preservation.

    The fact that the Iranian regime has been willing to consistently extend negotiations means that the sanctions are not strong enough.

    Consider for example if we imposed a full classical siege on Iran, totally blocking all food and humanitarian supplies and attacking from the air. Either the population would starve and the regime would fall by way of having no people, or the people would rise up against the leadership, or the leadership would surrender to our demands.

    I’m not saying to do that (it would be totally immoral), but that is the logically extreme example of use of sanctions in tandem with force.

  5. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Sounds a little like Shock and Awe but that ended with ISIS. So it can’t be right.

  6. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Sigh. The Islamic Republic of Iran:

    Dismantled the nuclear weapons program supported by the US
    under the Shah

    Is a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty

    Adheres to IAEA constraints and inspections beyond those
    required by the treaty

    Has a religious decree issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah
    Ali Khamenei against development a d use of nuclear weapons

    Has been assessed by US intelligence year after year as not
    having a nuclear weapons program (Link: )

    It sure would be nice if a post criticizing the war-mongers
    would mention some of this.

  7. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    If the goal of shock and awe was to have Saddam Hussein relinquish control of the country, it was a smashing success.

    The problem was that there was no follow-up to that part of the war. The goal of occupying and democratizing was much much different, and to do that shock and awe was counterproductive.

  8. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    They had a army of democratizing young thugs under Bremer. Hell, they even came up with the wonderful idea of dismissing the army and outlawing those nasty Baathists. Problem is they all ran to Syria and such. So yeah counterproductive.

  9. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    The mosf recent IAEA report says that Iran is actually not allowing them full access for inspection.

    It’s one thing to be a skeptical patriot, and it’s a totally different thing to repeat the propaganda of enemy regimes.

  10. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 8:32 pm


  11. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Yes, but my point was that shock and awe was very effective as a tool to bend the Iraqi regime to our will. It was not effective to bend the people. You can’t bend a people, only break them, and that requires, in the words of General Sherman, forcing them to feel “the hard hand of war”.

    Shock and awe against a civilian population requires _pervasive_ damage of _private_ property or _intentional_ massive casualties among civilians.

  12. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Do you have a link? The most recent I know of relates to inspection of non-nuclear military sites, and would be beyond NPT requirements, but I would be interested to know if this isn’t accurate.
    If you consider the NYT discussing assessments made by US intelligence agencies to be propaganda for an enemy regime, well…..

  13. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I’m worried about Iran having the bomb because it will not only cause the Saudis to get bombs, (which will mean that two more vile and lunatic regimes will have them) but also will give the Iranian theocracy it step up its subversion of all the Arab countries.


    ” What if Iran just became a signatory to the non proliferation agreement?”

    Iran of course IS a signatory. did you mean to type non-signatory?

  14. June 6, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    S&A was a warcrime. WTF are you on about?

  15. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Because Iran has declared itself the implacable enemy of the United States. The end of the US as a world power is a raison d’etat in Iran.

  16. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    you would do well to go back and read the last assessments, mary…..

    there was only one assessment that gave Iran a clean bill…and that one was deliberately dishonest and meant as a snub to Cheney from CIA as retaliation for Cheney’s forcing them to change their assessment about Saddam’s Iraq not having an active nuke development program..

  17. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    War crime or not, it was effective in removing Saddam’s regime.

  18. June 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    For what purpose and to what superior end?

    Are the Iraqis better off today? The Libyans? The ME as a whole? Perhaps whomever doesn’t like you should just up and remove you, just because they can?!

  19. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    The NYT link is from 2012 and cites additional assessments in 2010 and 2007. Got any links?

  20. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Shock and awe was a tactic, not a strategy. It’s like saying that France’s use of Army corps was ineffective because France lost the Napoleonic wars.

  21. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Who declared what and when? Got any links?

  22. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Here is Iranian propaganda stressing it:

    The IAEA has repeatedly asked for access to the Parchin site to investigate Iranian nuclear possible military dimensions.

  23. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    it was effective in that but it and the follow on failed to pacify the country. If I recall didn’t Shinseki say we needed many more troops there to do it? That, though, seemed a bridge too far. And that is what is very likely to happen in another war, this time with Iran.

  24. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I did forget about the NPT. But they could withdraw whenever they like I would suppose.
    The argument about Saudis is one argument for negotiating an agreement with Iran, wouldn’t you agree?

  25. June 6, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    UN nuclear agency visits Sorek reactor, but Dimona out of bounds –

    a global poll finds that the country seen as representing the greatest threat to peace today is … the United States.

    Not only did the U.S. top the list with an aggregate of 24 percent, but the runner-up threat country, Pakistan, was way behind at eight percent. China was third at six percent, followed by North Korea, Iran and Israel at five percent each.

    The survey of opinions across 65 countries by pollster Win/Gallup International recorded some of the strongest anti-American sentiment, predictably, in countries widely regarded as rivals, led by Russia (where 54 percent of respondents said the U.S. was the greatest threat to peace) and China (49 percent).

    But the view that the U.S. poses the greatest threat to peace was also strongly held in some purported U.S. allies – such as NATO partners Greece and Turkey (45 percent each), and Pakistan (44 percent), which is also a top recipient of U.S. aid.

    Two other countries where strongly negative opinion of the U.S. was found were Bosnia, a candidate for European Union membership (49 percent), and, closer to home, Argentina (46 percent).

    Elsewhere in Latin America the U.S. topped the list of threats to peace for a significant number of respondents in Mexico (37 percent), Brazil (26 percent) and Peru (24 percent). —

  26. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    See my post below re Saudi

  27. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Again, the IAEA and everyone else can keep on adding requirements, but it is my understanding that the NPT and additional protocols signed by Iran in the past pertain to inspection of nuclear enrichment sites.

  28. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    It is part of the basis of the ideology of the Islamic revolution that there can never be good relations between America and Iran.

    If you follow the news, you can see various comments by the revolutionary guard citing khomenei on this.

  29. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    You can’t just withdraw from a treaty like the NPT after reaping the benefits. You will continue to be held to it, and expelling the inspectors basically gives the world license to attack you.

  30. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    That is irrelevant. The point is that shock & awe can force an enemy army and government to surrender.

  31. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    The point is that IAEA wants to see this site because they think that there is weaponization research taking place there.

  32. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Israel is not signatory to the NPT, nor are India nor Pakistan. Stop your whatabouttery.

  33. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    North Korea withdrew and the world yawned. It joined in 1985 and withdrew in 2003. but it never came into compliance. So…there is that. War is war no matter the excuse. If there were a strong sense to go to war around the globe it would happen. Do you really see that with Iran? I have this idea the world is all tired of endless war, license or not. Better to negotiate with Iran.

  34. June 6, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    So everything would be cool if Iran unsigned herself from the NPT?

  35. June 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    What were the benefits to Iran of signing the NPT? Could you please furnish some links?

  36. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    And then???? Doesn’t get us anywhere.

  37. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    You can’t “unsign” treaties because they are no longer to your liking. You are held in breach of a contract regardless of whether or not it is no longer to your liking.

  38. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    mary, you really fail to understand….

    ” American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.”

    that is NOT the same as saying that the Iranians are not actively working on a nuclear weapons development program……Iran certainly has an active weapons development program…..

    the statement merely says that the Iranians can’t be proven to have decided to assemble weapons when the program is complete and they can assemble them.

    I’ll did up some links for you a bit later. don’t have time right now.

  39. June 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    But the world does not want to attack Iran!

    If – judging by the poll (…) – the world wanted to get rid of the most dangerous actors, they’d first of off the US, then Pakistan, China, N.Korea, and Israel and Iran (both at 5%,) in that order…

  40. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    ok say that is true. Does that mean they will be dropping the first bomb they produce on NYC. If so I’m outta here.

  41. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    yes you can. nations can withdraw from the treaty at will.

  42. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Its withdrawal was based on the realpolitik calculation that China will protect them. They are still in breach of the treaty.

  43. June 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    It’s a raison d’etat for the world at large, pal.

  44. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    legally, yes.

    don’t know if that will be sufficient as a practical matter.

  45. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    The NPT gives a country access to nuclear power infrastructure. It is a treaty that opens up benefits at the cost of inspections.

  46. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    I’m entirely in favor of a negotiated agreement.

    while I despise the reactionary Iranian theocratic dictatorship, I have a good deal of respect for the Iranian people who are misgoverned by the regime.

  47. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    ape, I really don’t give a crap about attempts to provide misdirection. the Iranian regime has to be judged by what it does and says….and pointing at the faults of the other kids in the schoolyard is not for adults.

    either defend the Iranians on their own merits or find something else to write about, please.

  48. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    No, it means that they would use possession of nuclear weapons to damage American interests and intimidate our allies.

  49. June 6, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    The entire US Congress is awash in the self same mantra, but then, perhaps we should go back to the root of the conflict, initiated by the US/BP/UK in deposing the democratically elected socialist Mosaddegh, no?

    If we don’t come to terms with history, we’ll be repeating and perpetuating war crimes of self interested oligarchs, until someone will just press the button and, sayonara humanity…and, perhaps, good riddance?

  50. June 6, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Practical for the global western oligarchy. Certainly we, the respective publics, have no say in all of this… Western “democracy” is pure bunk.

  51. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Hardly. You’re speaking from ideology, not reality.

    Us “coming to terms” with what we did in the past does not mean giving our enemies license to undermine our interests.

  52. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I rather doubt that especially if we said so.

  53. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Then go and defect to an enemy state. I don’t know what you would have us do.

    Your mix of cynicism and defeatism was exactly the attitude of France before WW2 and largely the reason why France fell so quickly to Nazi aggression.

  54. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Why do you doubt our government more than the propaganda of our enemies?

  55. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    so much for retaliation. Should I feel safer the China is protecting them? I suppose Russia could protect Iran? My point is we have to pursue peace and not pursue a reason to start a war.

  56. June 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    It’s not misdirection, dub. The world perceives correctly that the US (the hucksters who represent the political class) is the most dangerous country in the world.

    It’s about rules/laws for all, or chaos, whimsy, flippancy and lawlessness of a bully which if it is allowed to persist will, sooner than not, consume humanity.

  57. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Highly doubtful. Iran has imperial ambitions of “spreading the Islamic Revolution” hot on Russia’s borders. Russia has no interest in Iran getting nuclear weapons other than embarrassing the USA.

    They will run diplomatic interference for Iran, but they won’t die for Tehran (nor Washington).

  58. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Kinda like saying “stop me if you dare.” Is that the same as the TPP?

  59. June 6, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    WTF, strawman?

    You support the self-centered sociopathy of oligarchy? Do you feel that the Cheney’s and other putative patriots have the interest of the American public in mind? Our security?!

    Are you really such a naive neocon nobody?

  60. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    The US and Israel are the targets of more negative propaganda around the world than anywhere. What’s your point?

  61. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    No, I think that you are talking like someone who would be happy to see the US and the Western democracies knocked down a peg.

  62. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    What am I doubting?

  63. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    You doubt something, especially if we said so.

    Why would you doubt it more if _we_ said so?

  64. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I doubt Iran could threaten any ally of ours. I mean it could be suicide?

  65. June 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    You’re living in this Reality-based mafia’s manufactured “reality”:

    “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

    – Whitehouse official

  66. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Uh, Iran frequently threatens our allies now, namely Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan.

  67. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I’m going to take that as an ad hominem attack on me (and a baseless and fraudulent one at that).

  68. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Since you seem to preface comments with accusations that the other commenter simply doesn’t understand, the links would be appreciated. Probably the IAEA and the US intelligence agencies would also appreciate your understanding of something the existence of which they can’t seem find.

  69. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Comparative history of countries attacking other countries

    Map of military bases surrounding Iran

    Who is more likely to drop a bomb on whom?

  70. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    That is the conspiracy theory of American history, correct answer!

  71. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I stand by my previous comment. Iran’s mistrust of the ever-moving bar does not seem unreasonable at this point.

  72. June 6, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    So where do you get all your information from, if not from the manufacturers of the reality which the global public is propagandized to suffer?

    Pakistan is a far more dangerous country, as is Zionist ruled Israel, than Iran.

  73. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    It is not an ever-moving bar. The IAEA has wanted to see Parchin since we picked it up on satellite photos.

  74. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    It seems unlikely that Russia is scared of Iran.

  75. June 6, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    That should put all this bull crap from the neocons to bed…

    That it doesn’t is an astonishing feat of the power of our dismal, bipartisan driven, propaganda.

    Iron law of oligarchy =

  76. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Neither Pakistan nor Israel have weakening America as a rasion d’etat.

    At its absolute worst estimate, Israeli territorial ambitions do not extend beyond the Jordan river in the east or the Litani river in the north.

    Its greatest regional ambition is to have its existence tolerated in the region.

    Pakistan at worst wants control of Jammu and Kashmir. The main threat it poses is a takeover of its nuclear weapons by fanatics.

    Iran has territorial claims in Iraq, UAE, all of Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. Its raison d’etat is the removal of American influence and power first in the middle east and later throughout the world.

    Why should we care who the rest of the world sees as a threat? Iran is a threat to America, not to them.

  77. June 6, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Because of the 200 years long record of the US’s government and MSM’s lying the public into consenting to wars of aggression?

    And Marym’s post above…

  78. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Geez you think Iran is not threatened? Do those countries believe they will be attacked very soon? Of course not. I have the feeling you want to build a case for war with Iran. That is exactly the problem with the hawks that surround us here and in Israel. It is also passing strange that Iran and us are taking on ISIS. Strange bedfellows.

  79. June 6, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Why on earth are these dismal, tyrannical, dictatorships “our” allies?!

  80. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Not right now, but Russia would not like to see a nuclear Iran hot on its borders.

    North Korea is a dependency of China. Iran would not be dependent on Russia.

  81. June 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    So you approve of the machinations of the most belligerent oligarchy on the face of this rock?

    I think, neocon, you are a a nasty piece of a sociopath.

  82. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Our record on propaganda is no worse than Russia’s record, lol. Soviet media published the most outrageously false stories of probably any regime besides Nazi Germany..

  83. bsbafflesbrains
    June 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Apparently if you are willing to use US made bombs to kill civilians you are an ally regardless of politics.

  84. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    I’m guessing no one wants to see Iran with a bomb. The question, failing an agreement the end of the month, what then? Do as you suggest and start a war? Because they are in violation of the NPT?

  85. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Because they are willing to work and live under a system of American alliances that promote American interests.

  86. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Who is that? Iran?

  87. June 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    “Iran is a threat to America, not to them.”

    What? How? WTF? How is this 21st century’s David a threat to Goliath?

    Begone and hide under your Mama’s skirts.

  88. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    They inspected in 2005. Not even Hans Blix gets why they decided to push for this in 2012.

  89. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I am saying that Russia would not defend them. Iran has no great-power ally willing to defend it.

  90. June 6, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Which Islamic Revolution?

    Russia’s enemies are Sunnis (ISIS), whom Iran is quite willing to resist.

  91. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    I just described how. By threatening our allies and the world supply of oil (controlling Bab-el-Mandeb off of Yemen’s coast and the Strait of Hormuz). Iran has the aspiration to hurt us and our interests, though it may not yet have the means.

  92. June 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    The failure to understand could not possibly be yours, dub?

  93. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Iran’s leaders frequently speak about expanding and spreading the Islamic Revolution, i.e. their own revolution. That’s what they call it, not me.

  94. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    But in the long run we are all dead. Best watch the moment.

  95. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    Provide actual links.

  96. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    That post, like the presstv link above indicates a great
    deal of mistrust of the US in Iran, and the Reuters post also indicates the political difficulties leadership faces when dealing in that environment. Similarly, to whatever extent Obama has been sincere in trying to make this deal he faces
    those kinds of domestic concerns. This hardly leads to the conclusion that nuclear deals, and other civilized relationships have been written off in Iran. They did, after all, offer help in the war in Afghanistan. I can’t speakauthoritatively about the ideological basis of the Islamic Revolution, but
    surely anti-US elements of ideology or rhetoric would be attributable to theevils of the US supported regime of the Shah, and the 1953 US supported overthrow of the Mossadeq government. There are also pro-US sentiments among the Iranian
    people, though sanctions and US aggression in the ME can’t be helping.

  97. June 6, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Absolutely yes! The reason, however, is that they are not democracies, but oligarchies!

    Gilens and Page, and The Iron Law of Oligarchy

    “Michels (1911) came to the conclusion that the formal organization of
    bureaucracies inevitably leads to oligarchy, under which organizations
    originally idealistic and democratic eventually come to be dominated by a
    small, self-serving group of people who achieved positions of power and
    responsibility. This can occur in large organizations because it becomes
    physically impossible for everyone to get together every time a decision
    has to be made. Consequently, a small group is given the responsibility of
    making decisions. Michels believed that the people in this group would
    become enthralled with their elite positions and more and more inclined to
    make decisions that protect their power rather than represent the will of
    the group they are supposed to serve. In effect Michels was saying that
    bureaucracy and democracy do not mix. Despite any protestations and
    promises that they would not become like all the rest, those placed in
    positions of responsibility and power often come to believe that they too
    are indispensable, and more knowledgeable than those they serve. As time
    goes on, they become further removed from the rank and file…

    “The Iron Law of Oligarchy suggests that organizations wishing to avoid
    oligarchy should take a number of precautionary steps. They should make
    sure that the rank and file remain active in the organization and that the
    leaders not be granted absolute control of a centralized administration.
    As long as there are open lines of communication and shared decision making
    between the leaders and the rank and file, an oligarchy cannot easily

    “Clearly, the problems of oligarchy, of the bureaucratic depersonalization
    described by Weber, and of personal alienation all are interrelated. If
    individuals are deprived of the power to make decisions that affect their
    lives in many or even most of the areas that are important to them,
    withdrawal into narrow ritualism (overconformity to rules) and apathy are
    likely responses. Such withdrawals seemed to constitute a chronic
    condition in some of the highly centralized socialist countries. However,
    there are many signs of public apathy in the United States, too. For
    example, in 1964 about 70 percent of those eligible to vote for president
    did so. In each of the succeeding national elections this figure has
    dropped, and in 1988 it was only 50 percent.”

  98. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    If France had reacted to Nazi German rearmament and remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1933-1936, or even Nazi aggression against Czechoslovakia in 1938, WW2 would not have happened. Daladier knew it at the time and wrote about it in his diaries.

  99. June 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Key term: Belligerent!

    Get your head outa the dark place, please.

  100. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Who would you like to see the world dominated by?? The US is the least-worst hegemon by far.

  101. June 6, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    You’re changing the subject, strawman.

    “No worse” is hardly anything worth defending or hanging one’s hat on.

    You appear to have the character of a good and useful authoritarian submissive. You would have bought Goebbels’ tripe whole.

  102. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Certainly you can’t mean Israel, lol. If you do, you live in an alternate universe dominated by Russian and Iranian propaganda.

    If that’s the case, leave America. I said before, there’s nothing wrong with being a skeptical patriot, but spreading hostile enemy propaganda is sedition.

    You may be within your rights to do so (I don’t advocate deporting or arresting you), but I call it like I see it.

  103. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Unlikely, because Goebbels’s propaganda appealed to emotion and indulged in conspiracy theories.

    The point I was making on propaganda was that you are buying enemy propaganda hook, line, and sinker.

    The US record on propaganda is not nearly as bad as Soviet propaganda. I was framing my statement conservatively so as to avoid you missing the point, which I evidently failed to do.

  104. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I have heard that about Chamberlain and even Roosevelt. I am not really sure what to make of it in this context, except that that seemed like an invasion. We are talking here about a pending agreement. I suppose you could say the same about Crimea, East Ukraine and Obama?

  105. June 6, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    How can I buy into something which I do not follow?

    OTOH, the record of US propaganda is not only fresh, and revealed almost daily, but quite exhaustive, exhausting, and well documented.

    Manufacturing Consent

    by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky.

    The Political Economy of the Mass Media–.htm

  106. Bluedot
    June 6, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Maybe peace will break out. So we hope. “Those to whom evil is done, do evil in return.” you would think we understood that by now. Maybe we do.

  107. marym
    June 6, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Are they in violation of the NPT?

  108. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    ape, you have to learn to distinguish between reality and your wishes….. western democracies are comprised of tens of millions of people….and 90% of them just don’t agree with your ideas and positions……and it aint undemocratic that you’re frustrated because of that.

  109. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    sorry, but it is misdirection when you refuse to look at Iran when discussing Iranian behavior

  110. dubinsky
    June 6, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    possibly, but not really.

  111. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    No. Missing the point. I was simpl saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    You don’t seem to mind the fact that Iran is trying to erode the US’s position as a world power because right now they are unable to do so or hurt us really badly.

    But my point is, since we know their intentions against this country and their intention to challenge us in the Gulf region, why should we take a risk on it? We should be doing everything we can to disable and thwart Iran.

    My main reason for opposing the war in Iraq on principle was that it disrupted the balance of power in favor of a state that is doctrinally and ideologically an enemy of the United States in a very important part of the world.

  112. jo6pac
    June 6, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    I’m so confused but is the new Amerika allowing Iran to inspect the bomb makers in Amerika. It seems far to me or how about the fun loving Israel nuke sites, I’m sure Iran would like to look at them and have monitors on site. Sound fare to me.

  113. jo6pac
    June 6, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Yes it did and I’m sure the 2 million refugees and million dead might not agree.

  114. jo6pac
    June 6, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    BSB the correct answer is 1000 plus bases around the world, sad isn’t but no money for the poor in Amerika.

  115. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Um, Saudi Arabian diplomatic cables indicated as early as 2008 how much they view Iran as a threat.

    They supported the coup attempt in Bahrain and are already hot on KSA’s borders with their Houthi proxies.

    Azerbaijan and Israel are also both threatened by Iran, Israel through Lebanon, and Azerbaijan through Armenia (supported by Iran) and Iran itself.

  116. dcomplex
    June 6, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Wishful thinking of this nature led to WW2. Iran, like Nazi Germany, sees itself as a revolutionary empire, or a revolutionary world power. Its policy is thoroughly driven by ideology.

  117. marym
    June 7, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Where do you get your information about how Iran sees itself?

  118. Bluedot
    June 7, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Actually some thought that quote was directed at Germany as a result of the first world war peace agreement. you would think we understood that by now, especially after Iraq.

  119. Tony Mac
    June 7, 2015 at 12:34 am

    We must elect people that will have nothing to do with John McCain. McCain is a old bitter and hateful outdated dangerous warmongering madman. That’s looking for a war to start, places to bomb and people to kill. A vote for McCain and anyone that he endorses is a vote for war and sending our children off to war.

  120. June 7, 2015 at 12:57 am

    I look at Iran and first see the consequence of repeated US actions reproducing themselves into abject paranoia, blowback; either or both.

    Iranian behavior does not exist in it’s own sauce. The US hegemon creates alliances and enemies at will. Those who do not care to submit their populations to the debauchery of western multinational corporate and financial interests, are declared enemies and once you do that you give birth to them.

    Effin Venezuela has been declared a grave national security threat… So was Grenada under Reagan. Somalia under Clinton, etc…. Ex allies, whenever they step out of line – one drawn by banking and corporate interests (the real “national interests,” WTF?!) – become sworn enemies and security threats, just like that.

    Take IS – supported by KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, etc – a major national security threat, yet it’s supporters and funders are considered our allies. The schizoid, paranoid and cognitive dissonance inviting foreign policies of our shyster filled government should give anyone with two brain cells generating some heat, pause.

    Yes. Really!

  121. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Sure, let’s just let everyone have nukes. We should pass them out like party favors!

  122. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:05 am

    Irrelevant. I am not defending going to war. You’re missing the point I was making.

  123. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:06 am

    From the writing and propaganda of the Iranian regime…

  124. June 7, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Hey dub. There are no “western democracies!” It’s a narrative that has no counterpart in reality, fer shit’s sake!

    What is being sold as agreement – I have no idea where you got 90% from – is the effect of the manufacture of consent, IOW, of propaganda, PR mills, MSM, and governments that censor everything that would inform us of their criminal misdeeds.

    In their propaganda model, Herman and Chomsky present a series of five “filters” to account for why the dominant U.S. media invariably serve as propagandists for the interests of the elite. Only stories with a strong orientation to elite interests can pass through the five filters unobstructed and receive ample media attention. The model also explains how the media can conscientiously function when even a superficial analysis ofthe evidence would indicate the preposterous nature of many of the stories that receive ample publicity in the press and on the network news broadcasts.

    The first filter that influences media content is that ownership of the media is highly concentrated among a few dozen of the largest for-profit corporations in the world. Many of these corporations have extensive holdings in other industries and nations. Objectively, their needs for profit severely influence the news operations and overall content of the media. Subjectively, there is a clear conflict of interest when the media system upon which self-government rests is controlled by a handful of corporations and operated in their self-interest. The second filter is that of advertising, which has colonized the U.S. mass media and is responsible for most of the media’s income. Herman and Chomsky review much of the evidence concerning the numbing impact of commercialism upon media content.

    The third filter is that of sourcing, where “the mass media are drawn into a symbiotic relationship with powerful sources of information by economic necessity and reciprocity of interest” (p. 14). The media rely heavily upon news provided them by corporate and government sources, which have themselves developed enormous bureaucracies to provide this material to the media. They have developed great expertise at “managing” the media. In effect, these bureaucracies subsidize the media and the media must be careful not to antagonize such an important supplier. Furthermore, these corporate and government sources are instantly credible by accepted journalistic practices. Anti-elite sources, on the other hand, are regarded with utmost suspicion and have tremendous difficulty passing successfully through this filter.

    Herman and Chomsky’s fourth filter is the development of right-wing corporate “flak” producers such as Accuracy in Media to harass the mass media and to put pressure upon them to follow the corporate agenda. This filter was developed extensively in the 1970s when major corporations and wealthy right-wingers became increasingly dissatisfied with political developments in the West and with media coverage. These flak producers have actively promoted the (absurd) notion that the media are bastions of liberalism and fundamentally hostile to capitalism and the “defense” of “freedom” around the world. While ostensibly antagonistic to the media, these flak machines provide the media with legitimacy and are treated quite well by the media.

    The final filter is the ideology of anticommunism, which is integral to Western political culture and provides the ideological oxygen which makes the propaganda model operate so vigorously. Anticommunism has been ingrained into acceptable Journalistic practices in the United States, to the point that even in periods of “detente” it is fully appropriate and expected for journalists to frame issues in terms of “our side” versus the communist “bad guys.”–.htm

    Whatever color your tinted shades, start questioning authority! Free yourself!

    All that shit around us? Big boys playing parlor games and selling realities they create any-which-way suits their interests. Here, there and everywhere. But the main player, the one that creates reactions – predictable once we understand the game – is our government; one blowback, after another, after another…cui bono is written all over Wall Street and the City.

  125. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:09 am

    Yes, Nazis and those taken in by their propaganda.

    The Nazi position in 1933 was “Aww, why can’t we have an army when everyone else can?”

    In point of fact the Versailles treaty was extremely generous to Germany. It was no worse than the treaty imposed by Germany on France in 1870.

  126. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 1:09 am

    sorry, but your view is flawed. if Iran doesn’t exist in isolation, it surely is more isolated that the uS has been ….and if you wish to wash away responsibility for Iran’s misdeeds on that basis, you can’t continue to hold the US accountable for its misdeeds.

    you might want to develop a worldview that’s based on some sort pf set of consistent principles.

  127. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:11 am

    IS is mainly funded by Qatar, Turkey, and ironically, Syria, which is buying oil from IS.

  128. June 7, 2015 at 1:15 am

    And KSA.

    Three “friends” and one enemy… it makes sense that Syria is an enemy because???

  129. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 1:16 am

    I read Chomsky when I was a philosophy student and he was a philosopher of language…his political hackery is second-rate.

  130. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Whether it’s a grand conspiracy or actual democracy, our system is better than either your hypothetical revolutionary socialist terror regime, Robespierre , or your revolutionary Islamist terror regime, Khomenei.

  131. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:16 am

    He’s a linguist, but I agree that his political stuff is delusional.

  132. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 1:18 am

    that and a lousy military that hadn’t learned anything in a hundred years

  133. marym
    June 7, 2015 at 1:20 am

    Specific references, please.

  134. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Because Syria and Iran supported the Iraqi insurgency, and, as I said, are hostile to the US (Iran more than Syria). To the extent that our Muslim allies support Al-Qaeda-like groups, it is clear that they are trying to do so to disrupt Iran’s plans for regional hegemony. You forget that Iran was behind almost a third of our soldiers killed in Iraq and was behind the murder of our Marines in Lebanon through its own proxy Hizballah.

  135. June 7, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Acquaint yourself a bit with Wallerstein’s World-Systems theory.

    What are Iran’s misdeeds that are not replicated by the US/West in triplicate?

  136. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:25 am

    No, that was mainly WW1. France could have held on far longer than they did (and if they didn’t have such terrible generals like Gamelin, who demanded his orders be received by courier). French tanks actually outnumbered German tanks.

  137. June 7, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Ok. You’re Dick Cheney. Got it.

  138. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:26 am

    Murder and oppression of Ba’hais, hanging gay people, idk there are lots of things…

  139. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:27 am

    Uhh no lol. I’m far too liberal…

  140. June 7, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Same thing that is done by our clients the Saudis, Bahraini’s, etc.

    Therefore, fickle, unprincipled, bullshit and none of our business, since whenever we make it our business we leave destroyed and failed states and seething hatred inviting blowback.

  141. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Um, our allies don’t try to undermine our system of alliances or have an ultimate goal of defeating America…

  142. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 1:40 am

    I’ve read Wallerstein. have you?

  143. June 7, 2015 at 1:41 am

    You’re conflating the US government and its definition of “national security” (markets for multinational corps and control of resources) with the interests of the public, neocon.

    Weekly Standard is home, bloody Bill Kristol,

  144. June 7, 2015 at 1:43 am

    No. You are a neoliberal/neocon centrist idiot who conflates his interests with those of the plutocrats who piss on you and yours.

  145. June 7, 2015 at 1:44 am

    Your authoritarian submissiveness and sycophancy are most definitely top shelf.

  146. June 7, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Yes indeed. But I understood what I was reading….

  147. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 1:45 am

    and Russian tank outnumbered German ones….but quality matters more than quantity…. and most of the Russian tanks were junk other than the T-34..and few of those had the correct cannon.

    the French tanks were good but they were rarely massed where the Germans were attacking

  148. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 1:47 am

    churlish to dismiss disagreement with your views as a product of submissiveness….also stupid and pointless.

  149. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 1:50 am

    yes, you clearly have an outstanding mind and an expansive grasp of the complexity of the world as well as a fine moral compass.

  150. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 1:51 am

    No, I am a Roosevelt-style liberal. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a neocon. There is an old phrase in French, “Les extremes se touchent”, the extremes touch.

    You would be surprised how much what fascists say sounds like what you say.

  151. June 7, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Surprise me. Link to some of those “fascists,” Dick Cheney.

  152. June 7, 2015 at 2:09 am

    You talk of democracy in spite of there being none, and you’re regurgitating the wisdom suffusing the MSM, and effectively saluting the establishment’s orders of what to think and say. As such you’re just another good and reliable soldier for the plutocrat run status-quo.

    It’s depressing to watch, but hey – carry on, soldier boy!

  153. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Just read Counterpunch. You’ll love it. They’ve got tons of fascists that they publish. Alison Weir, for instance. You’ll love her! You talk just like her.

  154. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Also Greta Berlin, of the Free Gaza Movement, you’ll adore her as well.

  155. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 2:23 am

    The far-left is just as antisemitic and anti-American as the far-right.

    George Lincoln Rockwell, in an essay I read by him, was just as vehement that Israel was evil incarnate as you are.

  156. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 2:28 am

    sorry to disappoint you, ape…. but I don’t think that defective democracy is no different from no democracy at all.

    sometimes I despair , but I’m not gonna join you at home in the slough of despond.

  157. marym
    June 7, 2015 at 3:01 am

    You do realize that if we destroy Iran like you and McCain and Cheney and other neocons recommend, that Ba’hais and gay people will also suffer?

    Claiming to be liberal in foreign policy while spouting the same things about Iran as the neocons, except claiming to care about particular marginalized demographics is like claiming to be liberal in domestic policy, while supporting wealth-transferring neoliberal economic policies, while claiming to feel bad if particular marginalized demographics suffer. It discredits whatever was formerly meant by liberal.

    Oh, whaddayaknow

  158. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 3:34 am

    I never said destroy Iran, lol. I was making a point that was glossed over in the article that if we somehow completely destroyed Iran’s ability to feed itself (the most extreme example of sanctions), it would have to give up nuclear weapons pursuits.

  159. marym
    June 7, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Starvation is destruction, lol with the neocons if you think it’s funny. You then went on to repeat every war-mongering neocon talking point about Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s role in the world, the US war in Iraq, and US (corporate hegemony) “interests.”

  160. marym
    June 7, 2015 at 10:15 am

    A third, how scientific. Where’d you find that number?
    There’s exactly one country responsible for the deaths of US soldiers in Iraq – the country that sent them there under false pretenses, and, within weeks, when the falseness was obvious to even the most gullible among us, left them there to kill, torture, destroy, dismantle, and cause chaos for the next ten years while filling the coffers of the war profiteers.

  161. June 7, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Neither anti semitic, nor “self-hating Jews,” from both sides of the libertarian/anti war spectrum, hasbara mule.

  162. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair reached a similar conclusion in his Annual 2010 Threat Assessment: “We continue to assess Iran is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons in part by developing various nuclear capabilities that bring it closer to being able to produce such weapons, should it choose to do so. We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons.”

    and more recently

  163. Hugh
    June 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    There seems to be a lot of hasbara on this thread. If the US could only negotiate with fine upstanding countries, we would have no foreign policy at all, because there aren’t any. And what do we even mean by fine upstanding countries (or whatever you want to call them)? Does this just mean countries that do what we tell them to do?

    Let’s just review a few facts. Israel is a brutal apartheid regime and is the only country in the region with nuclear weapons with an arsenal of 100-200 warheads, and an assortment of delivery systems for them. It is not a signatory to nuclear weapons treaties and does not allow inspections of its Dimona site which produces the fissionable material for its weapons. If such a state existed somewhere in East Asia or Africa, our government would have branded it a rogue state long ago. So if the US is worried about a nuclear Middle East, why has it not applied crippling sanctions on Israel? Why has it supplied billions in aid and armaments to a heinous anti-democratic state which has disenfranchized millions of its own citizens and confined them to bantustans in Gaza and the West Bank? And please spare me the drivel about a two-state solution. Arab Israelis are treated under law as second class citizens. Gaza is a ghetto and the West Bank is a piece of Swiss cheese with “Palestinians” confined to small, functionally unconnected enclaves.

    Then there are our other bestest buddies in the region: the brutal and kooky dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, the corrupt and sectarian regime in Iraq, the repressive military dictatorship in Egypt (and no, overthrowing the previous regime in a military coup and running for President with his opponents in jail and the army’s guns at his back does not qualify al-Sisi as legitimate.)

    Somehow the US is able to deal with any and all of these, even call some of them close allies, but suddenly with Iran, a religious theocracy and certainly no prize in the realm of human rights, yet still, comparatively, a lot stabler and saner than most of the region’s regimes, and all bets are off. There are so many double standards going on here. It’s hard to see how the hasbarists keep them all in the air at the same time. But then propaganda doesn’t have to be coherent, just repetitive and shouting down anyone who disagrees.

  164. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    You are stupid and don’t understand the point of hypotheticals in disproving claims.

    The claim was implicit that sanctions never work.

  165. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Bullshit. You act like the Iraqi insurgents were “freedom fighters”. We see now how asinine that is because ISIS is now a household name.

  166. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Oh, really, so a magazine like counterpunch who publishes Alison Weir and Greta Berlin and Gilad Atzmon, all of whom have now been disowned by electronicintifada for being fascist antisemites, couldn’t possibly be antisemitic because it’s left wing?

    The belief that left-wingers can’t possibly be antisemitic is the exact reason why you tolerate these people.

  167. June 7, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Hasbara-dog, shush… Anti fascist-Zionist ≠ anti semitic. Our hearts ache for the Zionists’ own Palestinian “Jews.”

  168. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Hahahahaha, lol, dude, what does saying Jews drink blood of Gentile Children have to do with Israel?

  169. dcomplex
    June 7, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    As I have shown, you are basically a fascist.

  170. June 7, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    I have no idea. You said it. You tell me.

  171. dubinsky
    June 7, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    ” There seems to be a lot of hasbara on this thread.”

    so write less.

    don’t accuse other commenters of being insincere propaganda agents

    and don’t keep writing dubious claims and try to call those things “facts”.

  172. dcomplex
    June 8, 2015 at 2:49 am

    No, your friends at counterpunch published it you damn fascist.

  173. dcomplex
    June 8, 2015 at 2:53 am

    Read the article, read Weir’s counterpunch article, and you tell me if you think Jews ritually murdered Gentiles in the middle ages.

  174. June 8, 2015 at 3:08 am

    What does that have to do with fact that today you live in fear of boogiemen and Israel murders Palestinians indiscriminately?

    There was a Warsaw ghetto rebellion…I guess they should have just taken it like fearful skirts?

  175. dcomplex
    June 8, 2015 at 3:22 am

    In the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, they found out about the extermination camps of operation Reinhard, where they were all going to be killed anyway. The uprising was because they had no other hope for survival do you understand the difference?

    Israel does not have a Treblinka where it sends hundreds of thousands of people to be gassed from Gaza. Are you mental?

    Read an article about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Get back to me and maybe you’ll understand why what you are saying is so offensive.

  176. dcomplex
    June 8, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Here is how Wikipedia describes it:

    The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (Yiddish: אױפֿשטאַנד אין װאַרשעװער געטאָ‎; Polish: powstanie w getcie warszawskim; German: Aufstand im Warschauer Ghetto) was the 1943 act of Jewish resistance that arose within the Warsaw Ghetto in German-occupied Poland during World War II, and which opposed Nazi Germany’s final effort to transport the remaining Ghetto population to Treblinka extermination camp.

    Treblinka was a tiny camp in the woods in Polamd where they killed a million Jews, most of whom were killed within an hour of arrival.

  177. June 8, 2015 at 4:03 am

    I’m Polish and do speak German….

    Your history makes it clear that resistance in Gaza makes them fit for extermination.

    You’re an odious Eichmann-like creature.

  178. dcomplex
    June 8, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Says the guy who endorses the magazine that publishes the blood libel.

  179. June 8, 2015 at 4:33 am

    Says the Zionist Eichmann wannabe.

    I’m partial to Finkelstein, BTW. And here:

  180. dcomplex
    June 8, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Hahahahhahaaha Neturei Karta is an insane religious cult made up of like a few hundred ppl

  181. dcomplex
    June 8, 2015 at 5:48 am

    They are basically the Jewish version of the Westboro Baptist Church.