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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bringing the crazy

This week's candidate for the position of America's Craziest Politician is Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois.
“This agreement condemns the next generation to cleaning up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf,” Kirk said. “It condemns our Israel allies to further conflict with Iran.”

Kirk added that he thought the agreement will yield “more nukes, and more terrorists, and more irresponsibility by the Iranians,” saying he thought Iran will now increase their influence in Iraq and Yemen.
Uh...Senator Kirk? Isn't there something you left out? It's pretty much mandatory in these situations...
“This is the greatest appeasement since Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler,” Kirk continued, saying he believed Obama only went through with the deal because he has a poor understanding of history and did not realize appeasement made war more likely.
Ah! There you go!

Now as it happens, I have a pretty good understanding of history, and I happen to know that every time right-wingers play the Chamberlain card -- which they do incessantly -- they are full of shit. Have been, are now, and will always be. Take the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example:
“This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.”

— Air Force General Curtis LeMay to JFK upon being told that the U.S. would respond to Soviet missiles in Cuba with a blockade, not an invasion.
LeMay said these words on Oct. 19, 1962. (If you click the link, you can hear his voice.) In fact, an invasion of the island almost certainly would have triggered World War III. The Soviets had already placed tactical nukes on Cuba, and the field commanders were authorized to use them against an invading force without first acquiring the go-ahead from Moscow.

That's just one example. Whenever the Chamberlain card has been played during the post-war era, it was brought out by some bellicose jackass who wanted war.

In the present instance, the Numero Uno bellicose jackass is a fella named Bibi. Robert Parry has his number.

When he spoke before Congress, Bibi accused Iran of aggression -- even though Iran has not invaded another country since the 1700s. (Israel's record is quite a bit worse. Ask anyone from Lebanon.)

Parry quotes Bibi's words on that occasion:
To repeated standing ovations from U.S. senators and congressmen, Netanyahu declared: “In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow. So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”
This statement is a masterpiece of lunacy.

Iranian forces are in Syria and Iraq at the request of those governments. Those brave soldiers are in harm's way for one reason: To fight ISIS and Al Qaeda. The Iranians are the ones fighting against those who practice conquest, subjugation and terror. If the Iranians left, ISIS would conquer both countries very rapidly -- an outcome which Bibi apparently desires.

Yes, there is now a Shiite-friendly regime in Baghdad. You know why? Because the US put it there. Saddam Hussein was not a Shiite and he was no friend to Iran. After the first war with Hussein's Iraq, Poppy Bush understood that toppling the dictator would bring the Shiites to power and increase Iranian influence. One can only presume that Israel desired that outcome. After all, they practically begged Dubya to invade Iraq in 2003.

I know that Americans have notoriously short memories, but does Netanyahu really think that we have all forgotten how Nouri al-Malaki (and now Haider al-Abadi) came to power?
The Israeli prime minister also mentioned Beirut, Lebanon, and Sanaa, Yemen, but those were rather bizarre references, too, since Lebanon is governed by a multi-ethnic arrangement that includes a number of religious and political factions. Hezbollah is one and it has close ties to Iran, but it is stretching the truth to say that Iran “dominates” Beirut or Lebanon.

Similarly, in Sanaa, the Houthis, a Shiite-related sect, have taken control of Yemen’s capital and have reportedly received some help from Iran, but the Houthis deny those reports and are clearly far from under Iranian control. The Houthis also have vowed to work with the Americans to carry on the fight against Yemen’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, which has benefited from a brutal Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi targets, an act of real aggression that has killed hundreds of civilians and provoked a humanitarian crisis.
Clearly, Bibi is bonkers and Kirk is krazy. In fact, America's entire foreign policy has been bug-brained for a long, long time. The Iran peace deal represents a rare return to sanity.
There should be a moratorium on invoking Chamberlain and appeasement, backed by escalating fines and reeducation camps if ultimately necessary. I believe the analogy has been invoked over Ukraine, Syria and Iran in the past few months alone, each successive invocation revealing ever higher levels of ineptitude and ignorance. If there was an appeasement at all in the 1930s it was in Spain, but all along the Nazis were not confronted so to prepare for the dirty work of destroying the Soviet Union.
Thank you, anon.

And need we add that the foremost proponents of Nazi appeasement were the pre-war right-wingers?
And it's Israel, not Iran, which is nuked up to the nines. And never mind who dominates Arab capitals; what about who dominates the US capital?

What's the next line going to be - that the regime in Teheran controls Hollywood?

The German Nazis of 1938 haven't got anything to do with this. No-one who supports the existence of the ethnic-supremacist regime called Israel should be listened to when they say an action in 2015 is bad because it's just like the ethnic-supremacist regime that prevailed in Germany between 1933 and 1945. And in any case an Iranian-controlled regime in Damascus would probably be a fuck sight preferable to an ISIS regime for most people who live in Syria. Can Netanyahu open his mouth without talking shit?

One interesting question is whether we are at the end of the Sharon-doctrine stage of the 'war on terror' (i.e. the line that the Zionists' problem with Iran is the world's problem). If so, what's it going to segue into? Today's shootings in Tennessee might provide a pointer.
Shhh, Joseph! You're not supposed to mention that!

Just like whenever wingnuts repeat the GOP wingnut talking point that the Southern segregationists of olden days were Democrats, you're not supposed to point out the obvious truth that the two major U. S. parties exchanged several of their constituencies in the 2nd half of the 20th Century, and so the "Dixiecrats" defected to the GOP when the GOP adopted the "Southern Strategy", and they and their descendants (literal and metaphorical) are Republicans now.

Chamberlain did screw up, though. Germany was far weaker in 1938 than in 1940, according to historian Williamson Murray.
Let's not forget that the Soviet Bolsheviks and German Nazis did a deal in August 1939 and then both invaded Poland within a month. Von Ribbentrop said that at the Kremlin he felt as if he were among "old party comrades".

'Appeasement' is a propaganda word now as it was in the 1930s. It presents the regime that's capable of choosing whether or not to 'appease' as having some kind of objective international duty, rather than being a gang of robbers just like the regime it might 'appease'. Funny how Switzerland stayed neutral.

Why isn't it used to describe the foreign policy of the many regimes in the world which have stood by and done nothing when the US military have attacked so many countries?

As far as the Middle East and southwest Asia are concerned, we can note the utter hypocrisy of the pathetic regimes in the US and elsewhere with regard to the Zionist advances since...well you can take it back to the 19th century, but best to keep the focus on how Israel has become the heavily nuclear-armed regime it is today (how did that occur?), and on how there is so little scope in the advanced west for calling Nazi-style ethnic supremacism by its real name where that shitty little regime is concerned.

The whole 'issue' of possible Iranian nukes is Zionist psychological warfare. It is based on a total lie about the balance of military power in the region.

Israel is not under threat from anybody - not from ISIS, not from Saudi, not from Iran.

The existence of Israel is not necessary to protect Jews from being massacred.

The Israeli regime does not by any decent human standards have the right to exist.

I mention that last point, because the opposite line is the message that's being pushed big time by the whole propaganda effort about Iran.

It's the really existing, actually stockpiled Israeli nukes that should be a big issue.

Has the US regime just stood up to Israel? Has the balance of power just changed in the western world? C'mon, let's be serious.

Talk of an imaginary threat from Iran in the media is by no means over, but I do wonder what the Sharon doctrine will be replaced with.
Eduard Stadtler
The father of all wing-nuts.
If the Zionists want to stop the Iran deal, surely they'll stop it at the US Congress? What with the Hill being occupied territory, that'd be easy-peasy.

I don't think that's on the cards. Public perception of Israel wouldn't be a problem (they could nuke Iran and it still wouldn't be), but public perception of US-European relations might be.

I'd like to know what kind of report the Israeli embassy in Berlin filed about Angela Merkel and the Palestinian refugee Reem Sahwil, whom the German authority plan to send back to a refugee camp. It might strike them the same way as the public murder of Muhammad al-Durrah: "We'll never let a story like that happen again."
I support the deal and hate the neo-conservatives, but I think they're right in a limited way (and I hate to say that). The deal is a bit weak. The reason it's weak is that America's weak. That's the dirty secret that's politically impossible for Obama to talk about. By attacking Iraq and blowing up the Middle East, we made an attack on Iran so risky - it could start a regional war - that we couldn't credibly throw around that option any more. We knew it and the Iranians knew it too. The only people who don't know it are the neo-conservatives.

So we had to give the Iranians more. We gave them this 15-year window, and we allowed them to keep some centrifuges. I think the deal will still work, within that 15-year frame anyway, because yes, it's tough on the Iranians. But the left sometimes underestimates how bad a nuclear-armed Ayatollah would be. North Korea's bad enough, tucked away behind the DMZ.
Iran is a huge, fundamentalist oil power in the middle of the Middle East. It can't be allowed to get nukes, and war should be an option to prevent that, and an ideal deal would've meant Iran dismantling all its enrichment facilities. But the war option is dimished because we've fucked up the Middle East, not to mention empowered Iran by inexplicably installing its agent, Maliki, in Iraq under Bush. (The CIA did that - it's on the record - and I still can't figure out why.)

We simply had less leverage over Iran, and we can thank the neo-conservatives for that.
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