“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Gun Slinging Drone - Someone Better Rethink This In a Hurry


  1. A longer barrel, and a laser sight, and you might have something. :)

  2. Replies
    1. I am, actually, a little surprised that they haven't brought offensive drones down to the Company level. It surely looks easy enough.

  3. Need anymore proof that the GOP Likuds Force exists?

    Sen. Ted Cruz is planning to use a highway funding bill to add sink a long-term Iran nuclear deal reached earlier this month.

    The Texas Republican, who is running for president, will offer an amendment to the bipartisan, six-year roads bill that "ensures no Iranian nuclear deal unless Iran recognizes Israel and frees American hostages," his office said on Tuesday.

    The Senate passed legislation earlier this year that allows them to review and vote the White House's final nuclear bargain with Iran. But, at the time, lawmakers rejected a Republican-led push to require Tehran to publicly support Israel and release three Americans currently being held.

    Democrats, and the administration, argued that while the two provisions are important, they are separate issues. The measures also likely would have derailed negotiations on the long-term deal because Iran would have rejected them.

    According to a copy of Cruz's amendment provided to The Hill, Obama will be prohibited from lifting or reducing statutory sanctions until Iran has met the two requirements.

    Cruz and many other Senate Republicans have been vocally critical of the deal on Iran's nuclear program, reached earlier this month.

    President Obama on Tuesday said that the administration is "not going to relent" on getting the three Americans released, or on trying to get the Iranian government to help locate former FBI agent Robert Levinson.

    But Cruz slammed the White House, saying that it hasn't gone far enough.

    "President Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton couldn't even be bothered to say before we even begin a conversation, release four hostages currently languishing in a hell hole," he said. "Those four hostages have been abandoned by the federal government."

    The Texas Republican went a step further, suggesting that the Iran nuclear deal could lead to "tens of millions of Americans dying."

    "The projections are that one nuclear head in the atmosphere over the Eastern seaboard could result in tens of millions of Americans dying," he told reporters, when asked what the greatest risk of the deal was. "That's what is at risk… that millions of Americans will be murdered by radical theocratic zealots."

    1. Iran buys 100 Russian refueling aircraft for its air force to reach any point in the Mid East

      Anyone still think it's smart to take off all sanction on Iran?

      n defiance of the arms embargo, Iran has placed an order for 100 Russian IL78 MKI tanker aircraft for refueling its air force in mid-flight. The transaction runs contrary to the terms of the nuclear accord the six world powers and Iran signed in Vienna earlier this month. These tanker planes can simultaneously refuel 6-8 warplanes. Their acquisition brings Israel, 1.200km away – and the Middle East at large - within easy range of Iranian aerial bombardment.

      150 Billion dollars buys a lot of offensive ability.

      But according to Deuce, TRADE is the most important issue.

      Trading with a nation that hangs gays? Hold US Hostages? Funds and trains terrorists across the globe?

      What difference does it make when we can make a buck?

      So says Deuce.

    2. Deuce ☂Wed Jul 22, 11:08:00 AM EDT
      Need anymore proof that the GOP Likuds Force exists?

      Sen. Ted Cruz is planning to use a highway funding bill to add sink a long-term Iran nuclear deal reached earlier this month.

      The Texas Republican, who is running for president, will offer an amendment to the bipartisan, six-year roads bill that "ensures no Iranian nuclear deal unless Iran recognizes Israel and frees American hostages," his office said on Tuesday.

      How dare an American demand that Israel be recognized and that American Hostages be released

  4. .

    When you are stuck in the single digits even in Iowa, you have to try something.

    Cruz is a whackadoodle who likes to portray himself as the uber-conservative in the race (why I am not sure since it is such a small demographic). He can't seem to keep his foot out of his mouth. He manages to turn off even those groups he is targeting such as Christian conservatives.

    If Evangelicals find themselves disinterested in Cruz’s Christian pitch, they may have good reasons. Last September at a gala event hosted by the organization In Defense of Christians (IDC), Ted Cruz took the stage not to extend his sympathies to international Christian leaders gathered to represent persecuted Christians abroad, but rather to bash them for not supporting Israel. He was subsequently booed off the stage.

    I can't believe even the GOP would allow Cruz' bill to move forward. They know the president would veto it and on a bill as important as the highway bill it would be the GOP that suffers.


  5. .

    Turkey and ISIL

    Interestingly, the Turkish government has not hinted that the attack could be the work of Syrian intelligence as it has done in the past. Instead, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and other Turkish officials have unanimously indicated that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is most likely the culprit.

    The attack is the final nail in the coffin for anyone inside the Turkish government still holding on to the illusion that an “entente cordiale” with ISIL can continue. Murmurs of such an agreement with ISIL began in earnest last year when Turkey was able to negotiate the release of 49 citizens taken hostage by ISIL. Turkey's unwillingness to open its airspace to international airstrikes against ISIL further fueled suspicions that the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led government had in fact struck a deal with the devil. None of this means the Turks were “actively” cooperating with ISIL, but it does suggest that the Turkish government was pursuing some form of a “live and let live” policy towards the terrorist group.

    The real likelihood that such a policy existed has less to do with any religious affinity between ISIL and the AKP-dominated government -- as some voices have suggested in the past -- and more to do with cold realpolitik and hard security calculations. The reality is that ISIL kept both the Bashar al-Assad regime and the Syrian Kurds in check, which killed two birds with one stone for Turkey. In addition, Turkey's geographic exposure to ISIL meant Turkish leaders preferred to avoid antagonizing the group lest it unleash a wave of ISIL-inspired terrorist attacks inside Turkey.

    But clearly, this position has gradually started to change. Over the last few weeks, close to 500 suspected ISIL supporters, sympathizers and operatives have been rounded up by Turkish authorities, suggesting that leaving ISIL alone is no longer tolerable given the organization's growing foothold inside Turkey. The Suruç attack is most probably ISIL's way of telling the Turks to stay away.

    But Turkey's hardening stance towards ISIL speaks to the abysmal failure of Turkey's Syria policy. Instead of balancing threats against one another, as Turkey has attempted to do until now, threats seem to be accumulating and amplifying...


    1. .

      Whoops, the article starts out talking about the terrorist attack in Surac.

      The terrorist attack in Suruç is tragic and criminal by any measure.


  6. Iran buys 100 Russian refueling aircraft for its air force to reach any point in the Mid East

    Anyone still think it’s smart to take off all sanction on Iran?

    They bought Russian refueling aircraft because no one else would sell to them.

    1. It is also a good reminder to the brain trust in the GOP that without a deal, life with Iran will go on with or without the US.

  7. Israel is always pitching attacking Iran. What do you expect them to do?

    1. To whit:

      Much of the criticism of the Iran nuclear deal has focused on the fact that it is entirely limited to the nuclear issue, which leaves Iran a free hand — and new resources — to continue policies that have angered regional and international players. There is no denying that if Iran plays its hands well and uses the next decade to build its economic and political potential, its regional influence is likely to expand, as is its capacity to do the sort of things that have angered Israel and Gulf Arab states.

      The deal’s biggest critic may be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it “a historic mistake.” The irony is that the urgency with which the Obama administration pursued a nuclear deal was itself a product of Israeli actions. For Netanyahu, the deal was a good example of “be careful what you wish for.”

      A little reminder is helpful here. To his credit, President Barack Obama succeeded early in his first term to get international support for sanctioning Iran — one critical reason for Iran’s willingness to take the negotiations more seriously. There have been deliberate and sustained efforts to continue pressuring Iran on multiple levels, including its behavior outside the nuclear issue.

      Netanyahu preferred U.S military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, over Israeli ones, from the outset. His calculus was that the key fear that could drive the U.S. debate to support military strikes on Iran was the timeline of Iran’s nuclear program — not Tehran’s support for groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.

      Netanyahu exaggerated the imminent nuclear threat as much as possible. Remember how many times, over the years, he cited Iran as being only six months away from a bomb? He gave the impression that Israel was prepared to take matters into its own hands by striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, even without U.S. backing. Initially, however, most analysts, including U.S. officials, believed he was simply bluffing.

      There were many reasons why the United States didn’t take Netanyahu’s early threats seriously. For one, Israel’s capacity for sustained long-distance military operations remained limited. More important, even substantial U.S. strikes were seen to have the capacity only to delay Iran’s nuclear program — not stop it.

      Israel would then have also had to worry about Iranian and Hezbollah retaliation, as well as eventually dealing with a nuclear Iran. The focus on Iran was also seen as partly intended to shift attention from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where Netanyahu faced much international pressure.

      But something happened in the lead-up to the 2012 U.S. presidential elections. The Israeli pressure on the Obama administration to take action substantially increased.



    At first, it was hard to know if this was merely a political play. It was no secret that Netanyahu preferred the Republican nominee for president, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. His pressure on Obama was seen to be playing into the Republicans’ hands. But there was far more to the story than politics.

    The Israelis took steps in 2012 that portrayed as credible their threat to attack Iran – and inevitably drawing the United States into the fight. We don’t know much about the specifics, but reports revealed hints that the Obama administration was growing increasingly alarmed by Israel’s actions. The Netanyahu government was spending billions of dollars on a military buildup, as well as consolidating military cooperation with Azerbaijan near Iran’s northern borders.

  9. {...}

    Not until a year later were there whispered suggestions — including one from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — that Netanyahu had spent billions to make his threats look more credible to Washington rather than for serious military preparation.

    What is clear is that the Israeli moves were taken seriously by the Obama administration, which shifted its assessment in 2012 as more high-level U.S. officials began to take the Israeli threat to attack as credible.

    Even aside from the coming presidential elections in November, the prospect was seen as disastrous for Obama. He was not going to allow himself to be dragged into another messy war in the Middle East with no end in sight. Only the Iran issue had the potential to do so, even after his re-election. And Obama also understood that the war would have been even worse for Israel.

    How would war have been good for Israel? The Jewish state would have been, for the first time, at war with a Persian civilization (since all Iranians would likely have unified against the enemy) that would inevitably develop nuclear weapons anyway. It would have seemed that the United States was deliberately dragged into war on behalf of Israel — undermining the Israeli-U.S. relationship. How in the world is that good for Israel?

    So a nuclear deal that would avoid war — and make it less likely to result in an Iranian bomb than war — became the Obama administration’s priority. It went into full diplomatic gear and worked on multiple tracks. The administration did everything it could to make it happen before Obama left office.

    Which also meant the focus of the deal had to ignore nonnuclear issues because that would have opened a Pandora’s Box by making an early agreement almost impossible. Besides, this was not merely a U.S.-Iranian negotiation but one that involved five other countries, not to mention messy American and Iranian domestic politics.

    Sure, there were other incentives along the way. The rise of Islamic State, for example, created common interests. Iran had leverage for involvement in troubled areas where U.S. influence was limited: Syria and Iraq. Some may also have seen strategic leverage to be gained with two longtime U.S. allies that can be hard to influence: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    But these were benefits that came after the fact. What truly focused U.S. priorities was that Israel made it clear to the White House in 2011-12 that Washington could otherwise be dragged into a war it could not control. One that would likely have devastating effects on both the United States and Israel. Thus started Obama’s urgent search for a nuclear deal.

    In clinching the deal with Iran, Obama has, above all, succeeded in averting a disastrous war that would not have prevented Tehran from acquiring nukes. And it was Netanyahu who made sure Obama thought war was on the horizon.

  10. Netanyahu is a disaster and has always been one.

    Go ahead GOP, double down on lard ass.

    1. And you double down on Assad, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Mullahs of Iran.


  12. Number of Israeli troops who served in Iraq: 0
    Number of Israeli troops who served in Afghanistan: 0
    Number of Israeli troops deployed to fight ISIS: 0
    Number of times per year Netanyahu complains that America does not do enough for him: 278

    1. Number of Israeli troops fighting jihadists and arabs seeking their destruction 7.1 million
      Number of Israel troops who served in UNIFORM fighting for the survival of their people 7.1 million
      Number of America troops who served in Israel fighting for Israel ZERO
      Number of American Troops based in Israel to prevent terror attacks by the Palestinians of all stripes. ZERO
      Number of times Deuce called Israel some slur per year? 574

  13. .

    It's only about three weeks to the first GOP debate. Normally, I avoid all political debates. However, with the inclusion of Donald Trump in this one it becomes must see TV.


  14. And, I don't know where that "100" Refueling Tankers came from, but it's nuts. I'm not sure that Iran even has 100 planes (maybe, they do, but most of them are awfully old - we're talking Vietnam Era F-4's for god's sake.

    1. Rufus, maybe if you had served in the military you would understand logistics.

  15. You know you are right.

    Let’s take a peak....well, well, well. The bullshit Debka File:

    In defiance of the international arms embargo, Iran last week placed an order with Moscow for a huge fleet of 100 Russian IL78 MKI tanker aircraft (NATO: Midas) for refueling its air force in mid-flight, thereby extending its range to 7,300 km. This is reported exclusively by DEBKAfile from its military and intelligence sources. The transaction runs contrary to the terms of the nuclear accord the six world powers and Iran signed in Vienna earlier this month.

    EBKAfile (Hebrew: תיק דבקה‎) is an Israeli military intelligence website based in Jerusalem, providing commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, national security, military and international relations, with a particular focus on the Middle East.

  16. An unimpeachable source with no bias or agenda!!

    1. SO what if the Debka file has a bias?

      You have a bias and it doesn't shut you up


    An Israeli couple who blog about terrorism have achieved international fame -- and a bit of notoriety -- by setting off a "dirty bomb" scare in New York City.
    The brouhaha began last week with a report on DEBKAfile -- the 7-year-old Web site operated from the Jerusalem home of veteran journalists Giora Shamis and Diane Shalem -- asserting that al-Qaeda had vowed on the Internet to plant a "dirty bomb" in New York.
    It seemed like a standard posting for the site, which claims to attract hundreds of thousands of daily users with its potpourri of Hebrew and English alerts, predictions and analyses focused mainly on potential Islamist threats and the West's military counter-campaigns.
    This time, however, it wasn't just news junkies paying attention.
    Prompted at least in part by the Debka report, New York City officials went on high alert, and the city's Police Department set up checkpoints around lower Manhattan and deployed radiological monitoring equipment on land vehicles, boats and helicopters.
    Nothing untoward transpired, and city officials made clear that they had responded to a vague tip.
    "These actions are like those that the NYPD takes every day -- precautions against potential but unconfirmed threats that may never materialize," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.
    Mainstream media frequently write-off Debka -- the word refers to an Arab folk dance -- as a fringe outfit catering to conspiracy theorists. But the recent episode marked the second time in recent months that the site caused a stir in more mainstream circles.
    In June, following what quickly proved to be a false report in Debka, The Associated Press and Reuters filed news stories incorrectly suggesting that Turkish forces were now operating inside northern Iraq.
    Critics claim the site, which often relies on anonymous sources, relies on information from parties with an agenda.
    "DEBKAfile has frequently promulgated materials put out by rightist elements of the Republican Party, whose worldview is that the situation is bad and is only going to get worse," Yediot Achronot investigative reporter Ronen Bergman wrote.
    Bergman said Israeli intelligence officials do not consider even 10 percent of the site's content to be reliable, and that the New York alert suggested U.S. authorities are still reeling from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
    But Shamis and Shalem, both of whom worked for more than 20 years covering foreign policy and intelligence issues for the London-based Economist, have said that 80 percent of what Debka reports turns out to be true.
    The site predicted in 2000 that al-Qaeda, having tried to blow up the World Trade Center in the 1990s, would strike the landmark again.
    It also predicted the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising, and warned well before last summer's war in Lebanon that Hezbollah had amassed 12,000 Katyusha rockets that were pointed at northern Israel.
    Shamis voiced surprise at the New York alert.


    1. {...}"We did not think it would make such a stir," he told the Ma'ariv newspaper. "This is the first time that a Debka story prompts a security alert in the United States."
      In an Aug. 9 posting, Debka reported that its analysts had picked up an al-Qaeda pledge over the Internet to strike "by means of trucks loaded with radioactive material against America's biggest city and financial nerve center."
      A day later New York police kicked into action, with police officials reportedly saying that the measures were in response to the Debka report.
      Shalem said she was "absolutely sure that we were only one source" in the decision by the New York authorities to go on alert.
      In a post on Monday, the Web site declared that "the chatter continues" and said that the New York police had come up "with a further piece of information which was not sourced to DEBKA suggesting that a dirty bomb may go off on Friday evening around 34th Street in Manhattan, where the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and Macy's department store are located."
      Debka proceeded on its Web site to slam its critics, complaining of "unbridled, gratuitous assaults on this publication's credibility from the publications which missed the story, prominently Associated Press, the International Herald Tribune and FoxNews."
      Shalem said the Israeli media in particular "is hostile because we scoop them."
      Like any journalistic enterprise, Debka doesn't always get it right, Shalem acknowledged, noting the corrections and clarifications found daily in major newspapers.
      "What we're doing is not scientific," she said. "We specialize in looking a little bit ahead. We don't claim to be prophets, but we are taking much more of a risk. Most of the time we are justified," she said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem.
      Shalem said they have 11 reporters stationed around the world. They have followed al-Qaeda since 1988, she said, using analysts trolling the Web for "chatter" from al-Qaeda sympathizers that could provide details on upcoming attacks.
      Debka is free, making its money from advertising, though it also provides special e-mail bulletins for paying customers.
      Paul Goldenberg, national director of a security network that services American Jewish organizations, described the New York Police Department's intelligence-gathering operation as top notch and said it was impossible that the force would respond solely on the basis of a Debka report.
      As for his operation, known as SCAN: The Secure Community Network, Goldenberg said it would only issue warnings or take other steps after consulting with government agencies.
      In general, Goldenberg said, Internet users need to understand that privately operated Web sites are often less reliable than official government sources.
      "The information should not be taken as 100 percent factual," said Goldenberg, who in the 1980s headed up an intelligence unit in the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.
      That said, Goldenberg added, several private organizations -- including the Anti-Defamation League, journalist Steve Emerson's Investigative Project and MEMRI: The Middle East Media Research Institute, a group that translates media reports from the Arab and Muslim worlds into various languages -- maintain longstanding relations with law enforcement agencies and have proven to be valuable sources of information.
      JTA editor Lisa Hostein and managing editor Ami Eden in New York contributed to this report.

    2. It will be curious to see where this exclusive “alert” takes us.

    3. These two assholes are just scam artists. I, personally, am not aware of them ever being right about anything.

    4. Rufus IIWed Jul 22, 02:36:00 PM EDT
      These two assholes are just scam artists. I, personally, am not aware of them ever being right about anything.

      You personally?

      Sure they got a few things wrong…

      But they get most things right.

      Now Rufus, you have told us you are not an expert at all on the middle east, in fact have bragged how you don't know shit about it… so why should your opinion about the debkafile mean anything?

    5. Don’t worry about it. Your source was The Debka recreation room in the basement of some Jerusalem whack jobs.

  18. Oh yea:

    Iran Has Ordered 100 Russian Refueling Aircraft, Claims DEBKAfile
    Source : Our Bureau ~ Dated : Wednesday, July 22, 2015 @ 03:00 PMViews : 141 A- A A+
    The Ilyushin IL-78 air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft
    The Ilyushin IL-78 air-to-air refuelling tanker aircraft

    Iran has ordered 100 Russian IL78 MKI Tanker Aircraft to extend its air force’s range up to 7,300 km, DEBKAfile, an Israel based Intelligence website has claimed.

    DEBKAfile intelligence and security news service reported today that the move is in opposition to international arms sanctions. The trade is against the terms of the nuclear agreement signed between the six world powers and Iran in Vienna this month.

    These tanker planes can simultaneously refuel six to eight warplanes. Their acquisition brings Israel, 1.200km away as well the rest of the Middle East within easy range of Iranian aerial bombardment.

    Moreover, It also helps Iran’s air force to overtake Israel in terms of the quantity and range of its refuelling capacity.

    DEBKAfile claimed that some of the tactics and escape clauses Iran has had built into its nuclear agreement with the world powers has helped it to strike the tanker purchase.

    The purchase of Russian refuelling craft is an example of this kind of evasion because the deal confirms the arms embargo in force until 2020, both Moscow and Tehran can maintain that the Russian aircraft industry cannot produce 100 new planes before the five years are over, and so the transaction is not a violation.

  19. Let’s go to war because Debka File from a basement in Jerusalem says it is so.

    1. No hardly, let russia build and sell iran those refueling planes and then let Israel blow them up..

      no war, just creative capitalism.

  20. Just how seditious is the Lobby in its quest to foment a war between the US and Iran? Read on:

    WASHINGTON — A former top adviser to US President Barack Obama is calling on Washington to provide bunker-busting B-52 bombers to Israel as a means of bolstering Israeli deterrence and the credibility of its so-called military option should Iran opt out of commitments codified in Tuesday's deal with world powers.

    "To have a credible military option, it's not enough to say all options are on the table. We have to be much more blunt," said Ambassador Dennis Ross, a longtime diplomat and former special adviser to Obama on Iran.

    In an interview Thursday, Ross said he favors the transfer of an unspecified quantity of B-52 Stratofortress bombers outfitted to deliver 30,000-pound GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators as one of the means of shoring up deterrence vis a vis Iran.

    "Deterrence becomes a very important question as we move toward implementation," Ross told Defense News of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed July 14 in Vienna.

    "The life of the deal in terms of threshold status is for 15 years, after which it legitimizes Iran as a nuclear threshold state ... So sometime before year 15, the Israelis should have this capability," he said.

    He noted that in the nearer term, Israeli pilots could start training in the United States and working jointly toward receipt of the new capabilities.

    Ross' remarks were the first time he or any other member of Obama's inner circle publicly endorsed an idea bandied about for years as a means of fortifying Israel's legally mandated Qualitative Military Edge (QME).

    Language proposing delivery of aerial refueling tankers and bunker-buster munitions to Israel was included in the US-Israel enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012.

    In April 2014, Michael Makovsky, president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and David Deptula, a retired US Air Force three-star general, penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal titled "Sending a Bunker Buster Message to Iran."

    In it, they noted Obama had "already taken one potential source of leverage off the table by promising to veto legislation that threatens tighter economic sanctions on Iran." They called for transfer of "several B-52 bombers" as delivery vehicles for MOP weaponry capable of striking hardened targets deeply buried in Iran.

    But neither then, nor now, has Israel publicly proposed or promoted the notion of acquiring B-52s.


    Ross was born in San Francisco and grew up in Marin County. His Jewish mother and Catholic stepfather raised him in a non-religious atmosphere. Ross graduated from University of California, Los Angeles, in 1970 and did graduate work there, writing a doctoral dissertation on Soviet decision-making. He later became religiously Jewish after the Six Day War.In 2002 he co-founded the Kol Shalom synagogue in Rockville, Maryland.

    During President Jimmy Carter's administration, Ross worked under Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in the Pentagon. There he co-authored a study recommending greater U.S. intervention in the Persian Gulf region "because of our need for Persian Gulf oil and because events in the Persian Gulf affect the Arab–Israeli conflict." During the Reagan administration, Ross served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs in the National Security Council and Deputy Director of the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (1982–84).

    Ross returned briefly to academia in the 1980s, serving as executive director of the Berkeley-Stanford program on Soviet international behavior from 1984–1986. In the mid-1980s Ross co-founded, with Martin Indyk, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy ("WINEP"). His first WINEP paper called for, among other things, appointment of a "non-Arabist Special Middle East envoy" who would "not feel guilty about our relationship with Israel."

    In the administration of President George H. W. Bush, Ross was director of the United States State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, working on U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the reunification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control, and the 1991 Gulf War. He also worked with Secretary of State James Baker on convincing Arab and Israeli leaders to attend the 1991 Middle East peace conference in Madrid, Spain.

    Former Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath described him as being more "pro-Israeli than the Israelis." Occasional references to his Jewish ancestry were brought up within the Arab world (although Ross maintains this was not a problem with other heads of state during negotiations), while some conservative Israelis branded him “self-hating"—each questioning his ability to be unbiased, though Palestinians involved in the negotiation process would insist that his perceived lack of objectivity had little to do with his religion. Describing Ross, Roger Cohen wrote that "Balance is something this meticulous diplomat [Ross] prizes. But a recurrent issue with Ross, who embraced the Jewish faith after being raised in a non-religious home by a Jewish mother and Catholic stepfather, has been whether he is too close to the American Jewish community and Israel to be an honest broker with Iran or Arabs. Aaron David Miller, after years of working with Ross, concluded in a book that he 'had an inherent tendency to see the world of Arab–Israeli politics first from Israel's vantage point rather than that of the Palestinians.' Another former senior State Department official, who requested anonymity ... told me, "Ross's bad habit is pre-consultation with the Israelis."

    1. more importantly - what is:

      "Israel's legally mandated Qualitative Military Edge (QME)."?

    2. .

      From Wiki,

      Qualitative Military Edge (QME) is a concept in US foreign policy. The U.S. commits itself to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge (QME) -- that is, the technological, tactical, and other advantages that allow it to deter numerically superior adversaries.[1] This policy is defined in current US law.[2][3][4] It is a vital component in encouraging stability and peace in the Middle East.[5]

      I knew this was US policy. The fact that it is written into law? Un-fucking-believable.


    3. A law that was tacked on to a road spending bill or something? :-0

    4. .


      There is always some nut like Cruz trying to earn brownie points and stand out in the crowd even if its a crowd of nitwits.


  22. The US does not need conflicted dual nationals with conflicted loyalties in a position of affecting US security. Such individuals should be fully vetted and their loyalties to foreign powers should preclude them from positions where a clear pattern of conflict of interest exists.

  23. Deuce ☂Wed Jul 22, 04:27:00 PM EDT
    The US does not need conflicted dual nationals with conflicted loyalties in a position of affecting US security. Such individuals should be fully vetted and their loyalties to foreign powers should preclude them from positions where a clear pattern of conflict of interest exists.

    Yes, let's start with you. Your Iranian masters have got something on you…

    You are acting quite suspiciously, have you registered as an agent of iran yet?

  24. No, I agree with 57% of the US voters, 65% of US veterans that oppose another US war in the ME, the EU, the UN and anyone else that wants to dump Israel as a so-called ally to the US.

    1. LOL

      Weak Deuce.

      Better ask again and ask honestly...

      How about asking would you allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon and threaten America with an EMP?

      But your continued slander of Israel is par for the course.

      SO called ally?


      Iran is a self stated ENEMY of the USA.

      not a so called enemy, but a real enemy..

      but you want to trade with them, help them and give them a path to have nuclear weapons.

  25. I do worry about an Israeli false flag attack on some US asset trying to blame it on Iran.

    1. LOL


      I worry about another 300,000 sunnis being murdered by Iran...

    2. Nonsense. That is not your position at all. You love when they kill each other. You have stated it often:

      What is "Occupation"Fri May 29, 08:13:00 PM EDT
      As I have said for years....

      The Shits verses the Suns.....

      Both hate Jews, Zionists, Judaism, Israel...

      Both hate America, liberty, freedom and American exceptionalism.

      So really, now that they are killing each other?

      They have less ability to kill me.

      TO that I say?


    3. You are the prototype Neocon Zionist. The goal is destabilization and to keep Muslim killing Muslim. You equate Zionism with America.


    Before negotiators finalized the agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, Scott Walker was saying that he could not wait to rip it up. The 2016 Republican contender formally launched his candidacy last week with Dick Cheney–echoing foreign-policy bombast, reaching a crescendo with his promise “to terminate the bad deal with Iran on Day One” of his presidency.

    But that’s not the only thing Walker is talking about doing on Inaugural Day. The governor says that it is “very possible” that the next president—and make no mistake, Walker thinks a lot about the next presidency—could “take aggressive actions, including military actions” sometime between the swearing-in ceremony and the inaugural ball.

    After experiencing quite a bit of criticism earlier this year for his lack of foreign-policy preparation, and for frequently outlandish statements that savvy conservative commentators decried for their lack of perspective, Walker has positioned himself as a fierce hawk who proposes more military spending and a combative approach to the world. In other words, he has done a full Cheney. (Notably, when President Obama suggested after another of Walker’s Iran outbursts that the governor might want to “bone up” on foreign policy, it was the former vice president who rode to the Republican’s rescue. Criticism from Obama is “almost like a paid commercial” for Walker, chirped Cheney.)

    Walker’s Cheneyism was confirmed over the weekend after a telling back-and-forth with the man the Wisconsinite hopes to displace as the choice of the Republican establishment: former Florida governor Jeb Bush. Responding to over-the-top statements from some of his fellow Republicans—including, presumably, Walker’s “terminate the bad deal with Iran on Day One” line—Bush offered precisely the sort of measured response that unsettles the party’s neoconservative agitators.

    “One thing that I won’t do is just say, as a candidate, ‘I’m going to tear up the agreement on the first day,’ That’s great, that sounds great but maybe you ought to check in with your allies first, maybe you ought to appoint a secretary of state, maybe secretary of defense, you might want to have your team in place, before you take an act like that,” said Bush.

    Walker is not about to get tripped up checking with allies or putting a team in place.

    “He may have his opinion,” the Wisconsin governor said of Bush. But, Walker added, “I believe that a president shouldn’t wait to act until they put a cabinet together or an extended period of time, I believe they should be prepared to act on the very first day they take office. It’s very possible, God forbid that this would happen, but very possible, that the next president could be called to take aggressive actions, including military actions, on their very first day in office.”

    Not possible.

    “Very possible.”

    That’s the Walker worldview.

    Oh, by the way, while they both trail Donald Trump, Walker has pulled ahead of Bush in the latest ABC News/Washington Post and Fox News polls of the Republican contest.

  27. WE may have forgotten but Iran hasn’t. U.S. leaders have repeatedly threatened to outright destroy Iran

    It’s not just John McCain singing “bomb bomb bomb Iran.” Admiral William Fallon, who retired as head of CENTCOM in 2008, said about Iran: “These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them.”

    Admiral James Lyons Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in the 1980s, has said we were prepared to “drill them back to the fourth century.”

    Richard Armitage, then assistant secretary of defense, explained that we considered whether to “completely obliterate Iran.”

    Billionaire and GOP kingmaker Sheldon Adelson advocates an unprovoked nuclear attack on Iran — “in the middle of the desert” at first, then possibly moving on to places with more people.

    Most seriously, the Obama administration’s 2010 Nuclear Posture Review declared that we will not use nuclear weapons “against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] and in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.” There’s only one non-nuclear country that’s plausibly not in this category. So we were saying we will never use nuclear weapons against any country that doesn’t have them already — with a single exception, Iran. Understandably, Iran found having a nuclear target painted on it pretty upsetting.

    1. This story was filed by CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk from the United Nations.

      Within hours of President Obama's news conference at the close of a summit to rid the world of "loose nukes" in Washington, Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations distributed a blistering response in a letter to U.N. leaders accusing the Obama administration of "nuclear blackmail".

      CBS News was sent a copy of the letter, which Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee addressed to the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly President.

      In the letter, Khazaee says statements made by Mr. Obama and other senior U.S. officials "are tantamount to nuclear blackmail."

      Khazaee specifically cites comments made by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates immediately after the administration announced sweeping changes to the U.S. nuclear engagement policy in its "Nuclear Posture Review".

      Speaking at the Pentagon, Gates told reporters the new U.S. nuclear policy, "has a very strong message for Iran."

      "We essentially carve out states like Iran... all options are on the table when it comes to countries in that category," said Gates. "If there is a message for Iran here, it is that... all options are on the table."

      Khazaee slammed those remarks, saying they "constitute a serious violation of the United States obligations and commitment, under international law, particularly Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations and also the provisions of the Security Council resolution 984 (1995), to refrain from the threat or use of force against any State." (Full letter reprinted below)

      U.S. statements about President Obama's new policy "pose a real threat to international peace and security."

      Now that is the pot calling the kettle black. Iranian leaders have on numerous occasions made direct threats to Israel, and they continue to flout mounting international pressure to halt a uranium enrichment program which Mr. Obama and his Western allies fear is secretly aimed at producing nuclear weapons. Iran insists the program is meant to generate electricity, and nothing else.

      Iran has for years befuddled the West with conflicting messages over their willingness to negotiate on their nuclear program. Even as Khazaee delivered the letter at U.N. headquarters, according to Reuters, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran would respond positively -- if the United States changed its policy towards Tehran.

      Meanwhile, the five Permanent Members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, (the "P5+1") met Monday night in Washington to plan a second round of negotiations to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran.

    2. Below is a reprint of the letter sent by Iran’s U.N. delegation

      In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
      No: 135 13 April 2010


      On 6 April 2010, the United States government published its Nuclear Posture Review [NPR] which outlines the U.S. nuclear strategy and policy, and among others, contains groundless allegations against the peaceful nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following the release of NPR, some high-ranking officials of the United States including the U.S. President and Secretaries of State and Defense, on the basis of wholly wrong assumption, have made public and implicit statements, threatening to use nuclear weapons against the Islamic Republic of Iran. For instance, Secretary of Defense of the United States, in a news briefing held on 6 April 2010 at the Pentagon, asserted that "the NPR has a very strong message for Iran..., because whether it's in declaratory policy or in other elements of the NPR, we essentially carve out states like Iran.... And basically all options are on the table when it comes to countries in that category". He added "so, if there is a message for Iran here, it is that... all options are on the table in terms of how we deal with you."

      In view of these developments, I would like to draw your kind attention to the following points:

      1- Such inflammatory statements which are tantamount to nuclear blackmail against a non-nuclear-weapon State signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) constitute a serious violation of the United States obligations and commitment, under international law, particularly Article 2 (4) of the Charter of the United Nations and also the provisions of the Security Council resolution 984 (1995), to refrain from the threat or use of force against any State.

      2- It is evident that these statements are not only declaration of intention but also part of official document which articulate the United States policy on first use of nuclear weapons, at its discretion, against a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the NPT, and, therefore, pose a real threat to international peace and security and undermine the credibility of the NPT. Such remarks by the U.S officials display once again the reliance of the U.S government on militarized approach to various issues, to which the threats of use of nuclear weapons are not a solution at all.

      3- The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a victim of weapons of mass destruction in the recent history, is firmly committed to pursuing the realization of a world free from weapons of mass destruction, not only in words, but also by full implementation of three major legal instruments banning weapons of mass destruction, namely NPT, Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). In addition, the Islamic Republic of Iran has categorically and consistently rejected the development, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons on religious and constitutional grounds. Iran's nuclear activities are, and always have been, for peaceful purposes.

      4- After 40 years since the entry into force of the NPT, and while the U.S. officials are apparently advocating the nuclear non-proliferation, let's not forget that the United States as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon against the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a result of which 200,000 people perished, continues to illegitimately designate a non-nuclear weapon State as target of its nuclear weapons and contemplates military plans accordingly.


    3. {...}

      In view of the above-mentioned points, members of the United Nations should not condone or tolerate such nuclear blackmail in 21st century, and should take resolute action to ensure the total elimination of all nuclear weapons as the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. In this regard, the United Nations and its relevant organs have a fundamental responsibility to strongly oppose the threat of use of nuclear weapons and to reject it.

      It would be highly appreciated if this letter could be circulated as a document of the Security Council and that of the General Assembly, under agenda item 9, 82, 92, 93, 96 and 107.

      Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

      Mohammad Khazaee
      Permanent Representative

      H.E. Mr. Takasu,
      President of the Security Council
      United Nations, New York

      H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
      Secretary General
      United Nations, New York

      H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki
      President of the General Assembly
      United Nations, New York

    4. This is history not hysterical disinformation shoveled out by the AIPACers and swallowed whole by the US Media.

    5. The world will regret the deal with Iran...

      Hundreds of thousand more will die at the hands of Iran and it's proxies.

      But you personally will ignore those deaths.

      Iran will lie and violate every agreement it has signed, it is only a matter of when, not if..

      Last month? it violated the interim agreement. You could care less.

      There will be more deaths in Gaza and Lebanon, Yemen and Sudan and across the Syria and Iraq all because America released 150 billion in cash.


  28. Further Instructions From Israel to The GOP Likuds Force

    Israel’s ambassador addresses GOP hardliners on Iran deal
    By LAUREN FRENCH 7/22/15 8:24 PM EDT

    Israel’s ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer on Wednesday told 40 of the most conservative Republicans in Congress that the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated by the administration does little to protect Israel from aggression.

    Capitalizing on a widespread distrust of the nuclear proliferation deal among congressional Republicans, Dermer argued that in the past, the U.S. generally had support from neighboring countries when it crafted arms deal but this time it was acting without the support of its closest allies in the Middle East.

    At the event organized by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), Dermer said Israel was skeptical that the billions of dollars Iran is expected to receive once a series of decades-old sanctions is lifted wouldn’t be used to fund terrorism that targets Israel. Under the agreement, those funds are to be earmarked for the development of Iran’s beleaguered economy.

    “If we hand them $150 billion … that’s huge. They are within two to three months of nuclear breakout and they can build one weapon with the resources they have in that period of time if they adopt the Obama-negotiated agreement,” King said
    Dermer wasn’t speaking at the Iowa Republican’s Conservative Opportunity Society to convince GOP hardliners to oppose the deal. The Republican conference is broadly opposed and will likely vote en masse to oppose the agreement. Instead, it was a chance for Israel to continue the aggressive outreach it’s planned to try to turn lawmakers against the agreement.

    Dermer has met with 350 House members in the last 20 months, in addition to 85 senators, an Israeli official said. In its lobbying efforts, Israel plans to target Democrats aggressively as the party is widely considered to be holding the swing votes between sustaining a veto from President Barack Obama or blocking the agreement. Dermer has met with two dozen Democrats on the deal in the last few weeks, the official said.

    Republicans likely have the numbers to block the Iran deal when it comes to the House floor after Congress’ 60-day review period. Obama has said he would veto that legislation.

    At the Republican meeting Wednesday, Dermer stuck to points outlined months ago by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his joint address to Congress.

    “He was making the case about how it would be bad for the U.S. and disruptive for the entire Middle East because the [intercontinental ballistic missiles] they are creating will have the ability to hit U.S. soil, too. The deal as it was negotiated opens up a lot more problems than it solves, from his point of view,” Rep. Doug Lamalfa (R-Calif.) said of Dermer’s presentation.

    Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) said one of Dermer’s strongest arguments was Republicans and Israel feel as if the U.S. is acting alone.
    “About 20 years ago, we did a deal with the North Koreans and the two most vulnerable countries there were South Korea and Japan, and they were for the agreement. The friends of the United States were for the agreement but in this case most of our friends, who are the most vulnerable, are against the agreement,” Webster said. “We ought to at least take a second look, a second thought about that because they are the ones who have to withstand what we are allowing.”

    Read more:

    1. This is but another of the course, improper and vulgar conduct of Israeli diplomacy under The Netanyahu Regime in Israel:

      An ambassador is an official envoy, the highest ranking diplomat who represents a state, Israel and is accredited by the sovereign state The USA, as the resident representative of their government appointed for a special and temporary diplomatic assignment.

      The host country, USA permits the ambassador control of specific territory called an embassy, whose territory, staff, and vehicles are generally afforded diplomatic immunity in the host country, our country.

      As formally defined and recognized at the Congress of Vienna (1815), ambassadors are regarded as personal representatives of their country’s chief executive rather than of the whole country, and their rank entitled them to meet personally with the head of state of the host country, in our case President Obama and his staff, specifically the Secretary of State, John Kerry.

      Since 1945, all nations have been recognized as equals, and ambassadors or their equivalents are sent to all countries with which diplomatic relations are maintained. Before the development of modern communications, ambassadors were entrusted with extensive powers. All nations that is except Israel.

      Israel is chosen and as such they routinely disregard the rules of others and in this case interfere with the internal affairs of the USA.

      If I were Obama, this asshole would be on a plane back to where he came from with a note helping Israel understand the normal workings of a lawful state.

  29. Others have clearly noticed who Netayahu is as well as his GOP bath house towel holders:

    Published on
    Monday, March 16, 2015
    by Common Dreams

    Opposing Two States, Netanyahu Unmasks GOP-Likud Agenda of Fake Diplomacy
    byRobert Naiman

    Congressional Republicans who are trying to blow up U.S.-European diplomacy with Iran would desperately like Americans to believe that they have some alternative besides war to the Administration's multilateral efforts to reach a diplomatic agreement with Iran.

    If any fair-minded man or woman who reads newspapers retains any doubt that this claim is fraudulent, let incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - whom Congressional Republicans constantly invoke as their Supreme Guide on diplomacy with Iran - put these doubts to rest. (If the Jewish Daily Forward's JJ Goldberg is correct in his handicapping of the Israeli election Tuesday, Netanyahu may not be Israeli Prime Minster for much longer.)

    The New York Times reports:

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Monday that as long as he is the leader, a Palestinian state would not be established, reversing his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    What does this mean for Iran diplomacy? It means that the man whom Congressional Republicans have been touting as their Supreme Guide on Iran diplomacy has just spectacularly exposed himself as a diplomacy fraud.

    The cornerstone of international diplomacy to try to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict is that the endgame is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

    Netanyahu just moved to blow that up. He's just told the world: if I am re-elected as Prime Minister, forget about a diplomatic resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. That’s what Netanyahu and the Tom Cotton Republicans want to do to multilateral diplomacy with Iran: blow it up.

    1. {...}
      It's understandable how the Netanyahus and Cottons of the world came to see Iran diplomacy the way they do. Until now the world has mostly let Netanyahu get away with being a diplomacy faker in his dealings with the Palestinians. The Netanyahu formula has been: pretend that you support a two-state solution to the conflict, negotiate in bad faith, blame the Palestinians if you can't reach agreement.

      So, perhaps it's natural for Netanyahu and the Cotton 47 to think: Netanyahu has gotten away with fake diplomacy with the Palestinians, why can't the U.S. do fake diplomacy with Iran?

      Even on the Israel-Palestine front, it's far from obvious that the Netanyahu conclusion is stable. Every year that passes without a diplomatic resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict sees significantly more strength in Europe for the belief that a resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict will be impossible without the imposition of biting sanctions on the Israeli government.

      But regardless of that, negotiations with Iran are fundamentally different from negotiations with the Palestinians, because the negotiations with Iran are fundamentally multilateral in a way that the negotiations with the Palestinians have not been, and Iran has levers to make the West unhappy if the West negotiates in bad faith that the Palestinians do not have.

      The sanctions that are biting Iran are fundamentally multilateral sanctions. The U.S. cannot maintain or extend these sanctions without the cooperation of Europe, Russia, China, and other countries. Only in Republican John Wayne fantasyland does the U.S. get to order these countries about. Cooperation with these countries was essential to getting the sanctions in place, and if Congress blows up diplomacy with Iran, some of these countries are sure to say, well, there's no reason for us to comply with these sanctions anymore, because the premise of the sanctions when these countries agreed to them was that the purpose of the sanctions was to pressure Iran to seriously negotiate. Blowing up diplomacy would mean blowing up the sanctions regime. Of course, some of the Tom Cotton Republicans would be totally delighted, because their real agenda is war with Iran, and blowing up the sanctions regime would bring war closer.

      This is why it is crucial to keep Senate Democrats off of the Corker-Menendez bill, the main Republican legislative vehicle right now for blowing up diplomacy. Republicans have now made "blow up diplomacy" the Republican Party Line. It is telling that Rand Paul signed the Iran letter of the Tom Cotton 47. It is telling that Rand Paul is a co-sponsor of the Corker-Menendez bill. The closer we get to 2016, the more the GOP is making Rand Paul drink the Iran warmonger Kool-Aid. The fact that even Rand Paul is now running with the Iran warmongers increases the urgency of pulling Senate Democrats away from them. You can urge your Democratic Senators to oppose the Corker-Menendez bill here.

  30. It is truly disgusting to see the display of disloyalty to the US by the GOP sycophants.

  31. .

    Why does Iran even have a nuclear program in the first place?

    How Iran's Nuclear Objectives Have Changed Over Times Due To Its History

    In pure arms control terms, the United States came away with huge victories on every major issue. Nonproliferation experts almost unanimously think the deal severely limits Iran's program and makes it far harder to get a bomb, and that is not even to speak of the humiliating inspections and monitoring regime Iran has accepted. According to Aaron Stein, another nuclear expert, it "makes the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapon in the next 25 years extremely remote."

    These kinds of concessions only really make sense if the primary purpose of Iran's nuclear program is no longer to build a bomb. If what it wanted instead was validation of its nuclear program from the world, then it got it.

    Iran is allowed to maintain much of its major nuclear infrastructure; many of the crippling international sanctions are going to come off. Iran's leaders have defied the West's insistence that it abandon domestic enrichment entirely, and delivered hard, practical benefits to Iran's economy and its people.

    Those benefits are pretty different from a nuclear warhead, in terms of the sort of value they bring to a country. But that just goes to show the degree to which this program is no longer about bombs. That could change if the hard-liners return to political prominence in Iran, but for now this deal makes strategic sense for the country.


  32. Senior administration officials in Washington said on Wednesday they had reached the conclusion that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not interested in any nuclear arrangement with Iran – except for one in which Tehran completely capitulates but is denied sanctions relief in return.

    “That is the logic of Israel’s criticism,” they said in a briefing with Haaretz.

    The officials also warned that the consequences of a decision by Congress to veto the Iran nuclear deal could be “potentially catastrophic,” strengthening Iran, weakening the United States and limiting its ability to defend Israel “in a number of ways.”

    They claimed they heard of Israeli demands that the deal address Iran’s support for terrorism or its regional ambitions for the first time in the prime minister’s address to Congress in March. “These issues had not been raised before that in the context of a nuclear deal,” they said.

    Subsequently, however, Netanyahu rebuffed an American offer to discuss his own demands in bilateral contacts, just as he has refused to consider U.S. offers before and after the conclusion of the deal to upgrade Israeli defense capabilities. “He fears that that would be acquiescing,” they said.

    The officials expressed both dismay and disappointment at the fact that Netanyahu and other Israeli opponents of the Iran deal did not find anything positive in the Vienna agreement – even though many Israeli positions had been incorporated in the final document. The officials noted that the agreement also met the “red lines” that Netanyahu himself had drawn during the past few years – “and then some.”

    Under such circumstances, they added, “It’s hard to have reasoned discussions” with Israel.

    1. In The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defined chutzpah as “that quality enshrined in a man who, having killed his mother and father, throws himself on the mercy of the court because he is an orphan.” Today we have a new paradigm for chutzpah: the Israeli government’s demand for “compensation” from the American taxpayers for the Iran nuclear agreement.

      Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the Times of Israel that during U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter's visit the Israeli government would discuss "the compensation that Israel deserves in order to maintain its qualitative [military] edge" over Iran. The Obama administration of course is amenable.

      Why does Israel deserve compensation (in addition to its $3 billion in U.S. aid every year)? If anything, Israel should compensate American taxpayers!

      Iran is not—and was not going to become—a nuclear threat. American and Israeli intelligence have said so repeatedly.

      But even if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were right about Iran's intentions, he should be rejoicing at the agreement, under which Iran will get rid of nearly all of its enriched uranium and two-thirds of its centrifuges. Its nuclear facilities will be open to even more intrusive inspections than they have been under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Even its non-nuclear military sites will be subject to inspection, an intrusion no other government—particularly the United States—would accept. And that is just the beginning. Uranium-enrichment research will be restricted, and construction of a heavy-water reactor, which would yield plutonium, will be scrapped.

      The term for these various restrictions will begin at 10 years and lengthen from there, but this does not mean that Iran will later be free to do what it wants. As an NPT party (unlike nuclear monopolist Israel), it will always be subject to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which certifies that Iran has not diverted uranium to military purposes.

      What did Iran get in return for those concessions? Iranian money frozen since the 1979 Islamic revolution will be released and the economic warfare perpetrated by the United States and the rest of the world—euphemistically called "sanctions"—will eventually be ended. In other words, Iran can rejoin the world economy—its people relieved of cruel economic warfare—if it gives up a weapons program it never had, never wanted, and did not plan to pursue. Those crafty Iranians! They acquired thousands of centrifuges as bargaining chips to be traded away for peaceful commercial relations with the world.

      Israel's rulers, like their American supporters, say they have another reason to hate the agreement. (For my own far different reservation, see this.) "Giving" Iran all that cash (it belongs to Iranians) will let the Islamic Republic pursue its aggressive aims in the Middle East, which include helping Israel's enemies, Hamas and Hezbollah.

      Balderdash. Iran is not pursuing an aggressive policy in the Middle East, and it is sheer projection for an American or Israeli to make that charge. George W. Bush handed Shia-majority Iraq to Iran when he overthrew Iran's nemesis, Saddam Hussein. Barack Obama is siding with Iran against the Islamic State in Iraq. Iran's ally, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, is under assault by ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the United States. And the Houthis in Yemen, who get some Iranian help and are fighting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, have long struggled against the central government for self-rule, in response to which U.S.-backed Saudi Arabia is waging a bloody war of aggression.

    2. Iran has supported Hamas, although the Palestinian group (like Israel) opposes Assad. But Hamas exists to resist Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. Likewise, Hezbollah arose to resist Israeli occupation of and periodic attacks on southern Lebanon. While some of Hamas’s and Hezbollah’s tactics have indeed been atrocious, their raison d'être is opposition to Israeli aggression—not terrorism.

      There is no Iranian imperialism. Nuclear Israel faces no threat. In the current turmoil it sides with Sunni Arabs, including al-Qaeda affiliates, against Iran, because turmoil serves Israel's interests and Iran is a ready-made bête noire. Why does Israel need a manufactured threat? Because if Americans knew the truth, they might focus on the Palestinians' plight. Israel and its Lobby cannot have that.

      This piece originally appeared at Richman's "Free Association" blog.

    3. The "plight" of the palestinians?

      is self created.

      The American public understands who and what the palestinians are.

      That is why the overwhelming number of Americans do not support them or their cause.

      Hamas exists to resist Israeli occupation?

      Hmmm interesting since Israel left Gaza 100% and the PA took it over...

      Then HAMAS murdered the PA and took it over and started to rocket Israel INSIDe the 1948 borders.

      Now of course Hamas views all of Israel as "occupied"

      Hamas's charter is clear. KILL ALL THE JEWS WORLDWIDE.

      These are your friends..

  33. No, American Taxpayers Shouldn't 'Compensate' Israel for the Iran Deal
    The Obama administration, of course, is amenable.
    Sheldon Richman | July 23, 2015

    1. .

      Tell us something we didn't know Sheldon. There is no agreement Bibi would have been satisfied with. Just as with the Palestinian 'peace talks', Bibi talks a good game up to the point there is a chance for some tangible progress then the goal posts shift. SOP.


    2. Once again you make it up as you go.

      There are 5 points that I have presented that would satisfy many critics.

      Your willful ignorance speaks volumes of your need to misdirect and distort.

      The Iranian deal is bad, no military inspections, it retains it's centrifuges, it doesn't account for it's icbms and warhead product and of course doesn't address iranian terror support or it's holding of American hostages. Of course you counter it's a nuclear deal, and yet non-nuclear benefits are being given to Iran.

      As for the palestinian issue?

      The palestinians were offered a firm deal years ago for a 2 state solution, land swap, token refugees and even 1/2 of jerusalem. It was refused.

      You are entitled to your opinion but not the truth.

      Abbas refused to sit down with bibi for talks, even after bibi "froze" all settlement construction for 11 months.

      So take the side of the palestinians and the millahs of Iran.

      I'll stand with America and Israel and those that actually understand reality.

  34. Deuce, within the last month have called Jews traitors and in need of being investigated as agents of a foreign nation.

    Described Israel and it's leader as war mongers and genocidal maniacs.


    Fact is that Iran supports and funds Hezbollah and Syria and directly has had a hand in the direct killing of 300,000 syrians and 550,000 iraqis.

    Iran has helped murder more palestinians in 36 months than ALL ARABS have been killed in the israel-arab conflict in 60 years....

    These are the people Deuce stands for...


  35. Correction, I have not said that Jews are traitors. AIPAC does not speak for all Jews. Neither do you. Neither does the Likud. Neither do the Zionists or Israeli firsters. Think of it as the mafia. They do not represent all Italians. Being against the mafia is neither being anti Italian or anti Catholic.

    You use Jewishness as a shield. That is your move. You believe it intimidates and it does. It is a slimy tactic to use the Holocaust as a shield. AIPAC does it all the time.

    1. You use the term "zionists", Israeli firsters and verbally assail Jewish leaders one daily and hourly basis.

      You have allowed Rat to attack and others to attack who Jews are.

      So your protests are well quite frankly, bullshit.

      Walks like a duck, talks like a duck, smells like a duck? you are a duck.

      You can play word games all you wish.

      We see thru your parlor games.

      You have assailed the jews of Europe for not defending themselves and blaming the genocide by the Nazis on them.

      Sorry deuce, I understand you do not have the mental ability to be honest about this, but no matter EVERY other Jew who has spent ANY time here has come to the same conclusion.

      You hate Israel, it's leaders and any Jews that stand up for themselves.

      You hate others to be sure…

      But that's not the issue.

      You wiggle and twist, make absurd statements like: AIPAC does not speak for all Jews. Neither do you. Neither does the Likud. Neither do the Zionists or Israeli firsters. Think of it as the mafia. They do not represent all Italians. Being against the mafia is neither being anti Italian or anti Catholic.

      I use reality as my shield.

      The Holocaust was real, as was the arab domination and attempts at genocide.

      The shield of reality?

      The Arabs? Control 899/900th of the middle east (not counting iran) Israel sits on 1/900th and has 20% arabs as citizens.

      Who's the bigot here?

      Iran calls for the death of America and the death and eradication of Israel, it's proxies? Hamas and Hezbollah call for the death of all Jews.

      You say I USE my Jewishness as a shield?

      Maybe you should look at your friends a little closer..

    2. Reality is easy to USE AS A SHIELD.

      It aint Israelis or Israel Firsters or AIPAC members calling for the DEATH of Iran, the genocide of the arabs of the disputed lands…

      Yeah I said it, the "arabs of the disputed lands"

      While you are so concerned about the PLIGHT of the Palestinians (pardon me while I chuckle) you say NOTHING about Hamas's irresponsibility in leadership. It's using its citizens as human shields, it's execution of it's kids used to DIG TUNNELS, but you bitch that homes have not been rebuilt? But say noting about Hamas's bragging about being resupplied by Iran with advanced rockets.

      But meanwhile? In Syria? The Iranians and their proxies have butchered ten thousand palestinians and hundreds of thousands of arabs.. and you could give a hoot..

      You sir use the Palestinians as a shield.


      Following Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog’s announcement that he opposed the Iranian nuclear deal, right-wing critics wasted no time accusing J Street of being anti-Israel, pointing out that the organization’s extensive efforts to support the deal now fall squarely outside the bounds even of left-wing Zionist discourse. This accusation misses the point entirely: It foremost mischaracterizes pro-Israel support for the deal, ignores the political context in Israel, and most importantly reflects outdated notions of how best to support Israel in an increasingly divided U.S. Congress. The challenges facing each country’s mainstream left differ, leading them to sometimes diverge on strategy.

      Although J Street doubtless represents the largest, most divisive left-wing Zionist group in the American Jewish community, according to its detractors on the right, it is by no means alone in its support for the Iran deal. In addition to the 59% of American Jews who support the deal, according to a J Street poll, its opinion is echoed by other progressive Zionist groups, including Conference of Presidents members, Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu, the latter of which has ties to Israel's Labor Party and is a member of AIPAC. General countenance for the deal is also expressed by leading figures in Israel’s military establishment, as well as many non-Jewish pro-Israel American diplomats, lawmakers and senior military leaders. Unless all of the above are also to be considered anti-Israel, then the potential to both be pro-Israel and support the Iran deal cannot be dismissed.

    4. You speak for Zionists and right wing religious fanatics. You do not speak for main stream and progressive Jews.

    5. 98% of all jews are "zionists"

      Main stream jews are zionists.

      There are a few thousand far left wing Jews that are anti-Israel.

      You can keep them.

  36. Meanwhile,

    The United States and its allies conducted 15 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria on Tuesday, and another 15 strikes targeting the militant group in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Wednesday.

    Most of the strikes in Syria, 10, were concentrated near Al Hasakah, where they destroyed vehicles, fighting positions, a staging area, bunkers, an excavator and three checkpoints, according to a statement. Strikes also targeted Islamic State near Ar Raqqah and Kobani.

    The Iraq strikes were spread throughout the country, but the three near Ramadi were intended to hit crucial targets for Islamic State, said Colonel Wayne Marotto, chief of public affairs for the Combined Joint Task Force, referring to the group as "Daesh."


    "Coalition air strikes are supporting Iraqi-planned and led ground operations around the Anbar capital Ramadi, specifically targeting Daesh units, vehicles, buildings, material and IED stores," Marotto said. "We select targets that would provide Daesh a tactical advantage."

    Mo' Virgins, Pleeeze

    1. How many women and kids were killed?


      When Israel was striking Hamas tagets in Gaza you said if you lived there you'd be a member of Hamas too…

      why the hypocrisy, the double standard?

      Why are you silent about assad barrel bombs in markets?

      is ISIS savagery worse than Assad/Hezbollah and Iran's?

      ISIS has butchered a fraction of the number that Iran/hezbollah and Assad have…

    2. The biggest thing Iran deal critics get wrong, in one paragraph

      According to critics of the Iran deal, Obama got played. If he had just waited, they argue, painful economic sanctions would have forced the Iranians to cave completely. And when that happened, the United States could have taken down Iran's nuclear program entirely, instead of just limiting it.

      This narrative sounds compelling. It's also a total fantasy. The way sanctions actually worked means that the longer the US waited to make a deal, the worse it would have been.

      Miles Kahler, a distinguished professor at American University, put this point really well in a piece for Brookings. Kahler's basic point is that the deal isn't just an agreement between America and Iran — it's a deal between America, Iran, and America's international partners. People who say there was a better deal don't really understand what countries like Russia and China wanted out of the negotiations:

      Each of [America's] negotiating partners—three European allies, Russia, and China—paid a higher economic price for these economic sanctions in trade and investment foregone than the United States, whose companies have had (and will continue to have) limited economic exchange with Iran since the revolution, prevented by layers of unilateral sanctions imposed by successive U.S. administrations. Without the support of its negotiating partners for extending or deepening sanctions, their effectiveness would be immediately undermined. Given the greater opportunity cost of sanctions for them—particularly for Russia and China—it is difficult to imagine that they would follow any U.S. pursuit of a tougher bargain. Thus, the deal that is on the table represents not only a bargain between the P5+1 and Iran, but also a bargain among the P5+1 partners themselves.

      In other words, the sanctions that led to this deal depended on the participation of those other countries. But because they previously traded a lot with Iran, they were also suffering a lot from the sanctions. America didn't have strong trade ties with Iran in the first place, so it felt much less economic pain. But Germany and China didn't want to give up the money they could make from Iran forever. If Obama walked away from this deal, these countries would likely have given up on sanctions altogether — and the prospect of a "better deal" would have vanished.

      This is a very basic, fundamental point, but no deal critic has been able to answer it in a remotely plausible fashion. That's probably because the supposed "better deal" is 100 percent fictional. It was never a real option — just a myth made up to obscure the truth that this deal was the best one available.


    3. The deal sucks.

      Giving Iran a free ride to a nuke? Stupid.

      Removing all sanctions the way they are doing? Stupid.

      The old saying?

      DO NO HARM

      Has been violated.

  37. Love quirk's crystal ball

    QuirkThu Jul 23, 05:39:00 AM EDT

    Tell us something we didn't know Sheldon. There is no agreement Bibi would have been satisfied with. Just as with the Palestinian 'peace talks', Bibi talks a good game up to the point there is a chance for some tangible progress then the goal posts shift. SOP.

    The Palestinians have refused offers by every Israeli leader and American president.

    The Israelis (and by extension) were not even allow at the table for the Iranian talks. Obama has lectured America that you talk to your enemies, so why was Iran not forced to sit at the table with israel?



    1. Israel didn’t need to be at the table. It took the Republicans to the bathhouse.

    2. Funny (NOT) but once again you don't have the guts to be honest and address the issue.

      Israel is a major part of the issue.

      To exclude it?

      Is a reward to Iran for it's violence against Israel.

    3. .

      Bubblegum and lollipops.

      Knowing Bibi as they do, why in the world would the major powers allow him to sit at the table and assure there would not even be negotiations much less a deal?



  38. The DOL reported:

    In the week ending July 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 255,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 281,000. This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 24, 1973 when it was 233,000. The 4-week moving average was 278,500, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 282,500.

    There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims.
    The previous week was unrevised.

    The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.


    calculated risk

    1. Taken as a percentage of the Work Force, this is, far and away, the lowest number in history.

    2. Or, as a percentage of the population, or any other metric one could possibly come up with.

    3. .

      Any reduction in the unemployment number is a positive.

      However, taken in isolation the number's real value is questionable. Is the drop the result of the exploding job market?

      Or, is it because it doesn't take into account the number of people eligible to work that are not in the civilian workforce. Some argue that the drop in the civilian workforce is because of baby boom retirements but I doubt that given the exploding population of Millennials. That would leave people not working for economic reasons. Or, the underemployed because they can't get full time employment or because they are restricting the time they work for economic reasons, that is they work only up to the point where they start losing government benefits.

      Then, there is the issue of the quality of the jobs being created.

      I will tend to ignore the unemployment numbers until we actually see some significant rise in wages, not due to things like increases in the minimum wage but because of a shortage or workers.


  39. A slender majority of Israeli Jews favor the reconstruction of a block of settlements in the Gaza Strip, a decade after Israel withdrew from the Palestinian territory, a poll published on Monday showed.

    Some 51 percent of Israeli Jews said they were in favor of rebuilding the Gush Katif group of settlements, located in southern Gaza and where more than 8,000 Israelis lived prior to the 2005 withdrawal.

    The poll published on the NRG news website of 587 people did not include members of the Arab minority, who represent nearly 20 percent of Israel's population.

    Israel evacuated Gush Katif and other Gaza settlements in 2005 under a plan launched by then prime minister Ariel Sharon.

    Israeli authorities have since prevented its citizens from travelling to Gaza.

    The Gush Katif block was the most prominent of Israel's Gaza settlements.

    Two years after the withdrawal, Islamist movement Hamas took power in the Palestinian coastal enclave and Israel tightened its blockade against the strip, which has seen three wars with the Jewish state in the past six years.

    Gaza's 1.8 million population has been hit by grinding poverty and soaring unemployment, while Israel's blockade has been blamed in part for the lack of progress in rebuilding since a devastating war last summer.


    1. Maybe Hamas should focus on building a civilization and not a war machine, tunnels and rockets?

      Reap what you sow.

    2. Reap what you sow? You must be talking about Israel;

      the Islamist organization whose militant wing has rained rockets on Israel the past few weeks has the Jewish state to thank for its existence. Hamas launched in 1988 in Gaza at the time of the first intifada, or uprising, with a charter now infamous for its anti-Semitism and its refusal to accept the existence of the Israeli state. But for more than a decade prior, Israeli authorities actively enabled its rise.

      At the time, Israel's main enemy was the late Yasser Arafat's Fatah party, which formed the heart of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Fatah was secular and cast in the mold of other revolutionary, leftist guerrilla movements waging insurgencies elsewhere in the world during the Cold War. The PLO carried out assassinations and kidnappings and, although recognized by neighboring Arab states, was considered a terrorist organization by Israel; PLO operatives in the occupied territories faced brutal repression at the hands of the Israeli security state.

      Meanwhile, the activities of Islamists affiliated with Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood were allowed in the open in Gaza — a radical departure from when the Strip was administered by the secular-nationalist Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser. Egypt lost control of Gaza to Israel after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which saw Israel also seize the West Bank. In 1966, Nasser had executed Sayyid Qutb, one of the Brotherhood's leading intellectuals. The Israelis saw Qutb's adherents in the Palestinian territories, including the wheelchair-bound Sheik Ahmed Yassin, as a useful counterweight to Arafat's PLO.

      "When I look back at the chain of events I think we made a mistake," one Israeli official who had worked in Gaza in the 1980s said in a 2009 interview with the Wall Street Journal's Andrew Higgins. “But at the time nobody thought about the possible results."

    3. Yep, reap what you sow…

      the Islamic world is in flames by their own hands…

      israel? a paradise for arabs.

      But you have never been have you?

      You have not seen the smiling facing of jews, druze, arabs and more walking in a peaceful park in israel…

  40. BERLIN - Germany's economy minister has dismissed criticism of his recent trip to Iran, saying Tehran's poor human rights record and refusal to recognize Israel aren't legitimate reasons to avoid doing business with the country.

    Sigmar Gabriel says the sanctions against Iran were based solely on the nuclear dispute and now that is resolved it would be wrong to restrict economic ties with the country.

    Jewish groups and opposition lawmakers have called on Germany to consider its special responsibility toward Israel, which considers the Islamic Republic a threat to its national security.

    But Gabriel told reporters in Berlin on Thursday that despite Germany's strong support for Israel and human rights, refusing to do business with Iran would be seen as failing to reward the country for solving disputes through peaceful means.

    1. Sanctions on Iran were based on a whole slew of issues. these issues are being swept under the rug for commerce.

      Once again Germany is dealing in blood money.

      How many Gays can be hung with 150 billion dollars?

      How many Jews can be bombed with 150 billion dollars?

      How many bullets can be purchased, how many rockets, how many lives will be lost for undoing NON-nuclear sanctions for the "deal"?

  41. If Americans support Iran deal, 56-37, what gives Israel the power to ‘croak’ it?

    - See more at:

    1. Is that really an accurate poll?

      Maybe the Congress, who is elected to represent the people, would be given the right to VOTE on it.

      As for Israel's right to "croak" it?

      Well if you were HONEST you'd have to admit that the "deal" directly concerns Israel's interest. And any deal that doesn't take into account someone that is so important to the deal would have to say that the deal was made poorly.

      What gives America the right to make a deal (with the P5+1) that excludes Israel?

      Why was Israel excluded from the talks?

      Obama repeatedly tells us that you talk to enemies. So why was Israel not allowed to be at the table?

      Unless you are saying that Iran has no interest in Israel?

  42. So in the end, Deuce stands with the Palestinians and Iranian mullahs…

    I stand with Jews that believe in Zionism, which is main stream.

    Deuce, do you stand with the Palestinian guy who murdered 5 marines in TN?

  43. Israel has given retired U.S.-supplied Cobra combat helicopters to Jordan to help the Hashemite kingdom fend off insurgent threats on the Syrian and Iraqi borders, a U.S. official with knowledge of the deal has told Reuters.

    The handover, initiated last year, was approved by Washington, which provided mechanical overhauls for the aircraft before they were incorporated free of charge in Jordan's existing Cobra fleet, the official said.

    "These choppers are for border security," the official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Reuters.

    Asked how many Cobras were transferred, the official said: "Around 16, though some may have been used by the Jordanians for spare parts" rather than kept intact.

    Jordanian and Israeli officials declined comment, as did the Pentagon.

    So go ahead deuce, find fault..

  44. .

    Strike early and often seems to be the AIPAC plan for opposing the Iran nuclear agreement.

    Yesterday, I saw the add put out by Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, the 501c organization formed by AIPAC to scuttle the Iran agreement. I must have noticed the add five or six times in one day on various channels from FOX to NBC to CNBC. I don't know how much TV adds cost but if they are running as many adds in the other states that are being targeted as they are here, I suspect they may have to go over the $20 million they have allocated for this effort.


    1. The Iranians are spending quite a bit too..

      but they are funded by Obama to the tune of 11.8 BILLON already dispersed…

      that's 11,800 MILLION compared to AIPAC's 20 MILLION…

    2. .

      The Iranians are spending quite a bit too..


      I haven't seen that mentioned in the news. Do you have a link?

      Or is this like the 'secret annexes' and 'America's commitment to protect Iran's nuclear facilities' you mentioned yesterday?


    3. You don't see a lot that is out there.

      America disbursed 11.8 billion already.

      Iran is spending it all over the place.

      Do some research.

      As for your flippant: Or is this like the 'secret annexes' and 'America's commitment to protect Iran's nuclear facilities' you mentioned yesterday?

      Might I suggest to that you do some research as well?

      Or is that to hard?

    4. I forget I was dealing with the retarded…

      Iran deal at risk: Key senators demand secret annexes

      In a written statement released by two prominent Republicans yesterday, we learned:

      Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-04) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) on Friday had a meeting in Vienna with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), during which the agency conveyed to the lawmakers that two side deals made between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will remain secret and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the public. One agreement covers the inspection of the Parchin military complex, and the second details how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

      A spokesperson for Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) — Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman and co-sponsor of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act — this morning tells Right Turn, “Senators Corker and [Ben] Cardin sent a private letter to Secretary [John] Kerry requesting two additional documents associated with the Iran nuclear agreement that were left out of the materials required to be submitted to Congress per the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act that the president signed into law.”

      Under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the clock does not start running on Congress’s 60 days to review the deal until all the agreement “and all related materials and annexes” associated with the deal are turned over. A central purpose of the bill, as its co-sponsors often declared, was to ensure that Congress got the entire deal. Without the bill, the president — just as he is attempting to do now — would never be compelled to reveal what he had promised the Iranians. A summary of the bill stated, “The bill requires the president to submit to Congress the agreement and all related documents, including specifics on verification and compliance. This ensures Congress will get to see the entire deal and make an independent judgment on its merits.” On the floor of the Senate on May 11, Corker urged his colleagues to pass the bill, stating unambiguously that “it ensures transparency. The bill requires the president to submit to Congress the text and all details of any nuclear agreement with Iran, if one is reached.” The president signed off and now appears poised to ignore it.

    5. .

      America disbursed 11.8 billion already.

      Iran is spending it all over the place.

      I see you are again non-responsive. You've shown nothing that says the Iranians are spending money to promote the deal, there or more importantly here.

      As for the $11.8 billion you are talking about, Obama has provided Israel with about $25 billion during his presidency, likely the most f any president. Does that count too?


    6. .

      As for the 'secret annexes', the agreement calls for Iran to supply information about all past aspects of their nuclear program that have military connections. If the conditions aren't met, the deal will become null and void.

      That being said, the process starts with the IAEA. If they are not satisfied with Iran's answers, they end up referring it to the other participants in the deal for review and resolution. If the info Iran offers is insufficient the deal will be cancelled. However, as I mentioned here a few days ago, the question becomes will the IAEA be willing to scuttle a deal everyone involved wants?

      I can see where the 'secret annexes' could scuttle the deal. In reality, I doubt they will.

      If the deal is scuttled, the result is obvious. The US keeps its sanctions. The rest of the world drops theirs. Iran is not constrained at all and continues along the path they have been pursuing. Israel is happy. The GOP is happy. And we are less safe than we would have been.


    7. .

      What about that American commitment to protect Iranian nuclear sites?


    8. One of the clauses in the nuclear deal reached between world powers and Iran last week guarantees that the world powers will assist Iran in thwarting attempts to undermine its nuclear program, Israel Hayom learned Sunday.

      Article 10 of the deal, included in a section titled "Reactors, Fuels, Facilities, and Processes," stipulates that world powers and Iran will foster "cooperation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran's ability to protect against, and respond to, nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems."

    9. .

      That sounds like a training program to me with Iran protecting their own facilities.


  45. Turkey To Let U.S. Use Incirlik Air Base For ISIS Airstrikes, Officials Say

    A major shift in stance is reported after clashes on Turkey's Syria border.

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Turkey has agreed to let the U.S. military use a key air base near the border with Syria to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State, senior Obama administration officials said Thursday, giving a boost to the U.S.-led coalition amid a surge of violence in Turkey blamed on IS-linked militants.

    The agreement, which President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed in a phone call Wednesday, follows months of U.S. appeals to Turkey and delicate negotiations over the use of Incirlik and other bases by the U.S.-led coalition - a sensitive topic in Turkey. American officials said access to the base in southern Turkey would allow the U.S. to move more swiftly and nimbly to attack IS targets.

    Turkey has yet to publicly confirm the agreement, and the U.S. officials requested anonymity because they weren't authorized to comment publicly. The White House declined to confirm the agreement, citing operational security concerns, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama and Erdogan had discussed efforts to fight IS during their phone call Wednesday.

    "The two leaders did agree that we would deepen our cooperation as we take on this ISIL threat," Josh Earnest said, using an alternative acronym for the militant group.

    Turkey's consent came as the country finds itself drawn further into the conflict by a series of deadly incidents near Turkey's long border with Syria, where . . . . . . .


  46. WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Wednesday that we ought to phase out Medicare, the federal program that provides health insurance to Americans once they're 65.

    "We need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits," Bush said. "But we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they're not going to have anything."

    Bush praised Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for proposing to change Medicare to a system that gives seniors medical vouchers instead of paying their bills directly. He also lamented that "the left" reacted with . . . . .

    I thot this was s'posed to be the smart brother

    1. .

      I can imagine the size of those vouchers.


    2. .

      Hey, when you are spending a $ trillion a year on the military and military adventures, its hard to find money for 'non-essentials'.


  47. A very prestigious cardiologist died, and was given a very elaborate funeral
    by the hospital he worked for most of his life...

    A huge heart... covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the
    service as all the doctors from the hospital sat in awe. Following the
    eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside. The heart then
    closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever.

    At that point, one of the mourners just burst into laughter. When all eyes
    stared at him, he said, 'I'm so sorry... I was just thinking of my own
    funeral...I'm a gynaecologist!'

  48. AWEA’s Second Quarter 2015 Market Report released today shows 1,994 MW were installed during the first half of 2015. While that figure more than doubles installations during the same time period last year, it is still well below the pace set in 2012, when the U.S. industry installed more than 2,900 MW in the first half of the year and eventually provided 42 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity at year’s end.

    Looking forward, more than 100 wind projects are under construction in 24 states, representing more than 13,600 MW of total wind capacity and over $20 billion worth of private investment. The majority of new wind construction activity is in Texas, with Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and North Dakota also benefiting from large amounts of new investment.

    “This was the strongest second quarter ever for wind and we continue to see robust activity in the industry. However, uncertainty around federal tax policy clouds the outlook for new growth and could result in the industry being forced off another cliff,” said Hannah Hunt, Research Analyst for AWEA.

    There are now 67,870 MW of installed wind capacity in the U.S. and over 49,000 wind turbines online. Texas continues to lead the nation with over 15,000 MW of installed wind capacity, and California now has over 6,000 MW of installed capacity.

    New trends as industry grows

    The Florida-based utility Gulf Power and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. signed power purchase agreements (PPA) for 180 MW and 108 MW of wind in the second quarter, respectively, building on the trend of Southeastern utilities choosing to purchase wind energy.

    These announcements are paired with recent news in July that construction will begin on the first commercial-scale wind farm in North Carolina. At 208 MW, the announced project will be far larger than any other in . . . . .


    1. Every state in the United States has either an operational wind energy project, a wind-related manufacturing facility, or both. Over 1,000 utility-scale wind projects – which represent over 66,000 megawatts (MW) and over 48,000 wind turbines – are installed across 39 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. There are also more than 500 wind manufacturing facilities spread across 43 states.

    2. The CEO of Union Pacific said, this morning, that coal shipments are down 30%.

    3. Of course, a lot of the coal has been replaced by Natural Gas.

  49. American Jews want Congress to approve the Iran deal. That’s the headline from the first independent survey of America-Jewish opinion conducted in the days after the Iran nuclear deal was announced.

    The L.A. Jewish Journal, an independent, nonprofit media company based in Los Angeles, sponsored the survey in order to provide a precise, thorough portrait of American-Jewish and national opinion at a time of intense concern and debate. Our hope is that the numbers and analyses presented below will provide a better understanding of how this crucial sector views the controversial deal between the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Iran.

    As the analyses by professor Steven M. Cohen, who oversaw the survey, and our senior political editor, Shmuel Rosner, indicate, the findings have far-reaching implications and meanings for American Jewry, Israel and the United States.

    They demonstrate a significant divide between the positions of major Jewish groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and many Jewish Federations, which have publicly opposed the deal, and the majority of American Jews. The thousands of American Jews publicly protesting congressional approval of the deal obscures the reality that most American Jews want Congress to approve it.

    As Rosner points out, the results also depict a continuing divide between American-Jewish and Israeli-Jewish opinion. In terms of their expressed support for the deal, the two groups are almost mirror opposites of each other.

    Our hope is that this survey will provide the basis for a thoughtful, honest and civil discussion among our communities on an issue crucial to us all.

    53 - 35 That Congress Should Approve

    1. Congress will approve the DEAL, no matter what it says or doesn't say.

      Then the games begin.

    2. Assad (with Hezbollah's help and Iran's leadership, weapons and cash) will go on a killing spree...

      another 100,000 arabs should die, including another 10k of palestinians (of course that is because hamas just had a meeting with the Saudis) LOL

      And in Israel?

      Nothing except planning....

    3. The world can change in a flash...

      and it does.

  50. Real cool news from America's BFF...

    A UN investigation found that Iran had executed 753 people in 2014, which is expected to be far exceeded this year if trends continue to hold.

    Human rights watchdog Amnesty International Thursday released a report claiming that the Islamic Republic had executed over 690 people from January 1 to July 15 2015, far exceeding the 246 executions declared by authorities in Iran.

    Amnesty said it had compiled "credible reports" on executions carried out by Tehran and arrived at the number of 694 as of mid-July, noting that the number approached the total amount of executions performed in the Shi'ite stronghold in all of 2014.

    Wow, they are on a roll...

  51. Turkish Warplanes Hit Islamic State Targets Along Syrian Border: REPORT

    The operation comes a day after Turkey agreed to allow the U.S. access to a key Turkish air base.

    Associated Press


    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish warplanes struck Islamic state group targets across the border in Syria, Turkey's government confirmed Friday.

    A government official says three F-16 jets took off from Diyarbakir airbase in southeast Turkey early Friday and used smart bombs to hit three IS targets across the Turkish border province of Kilis. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of government rules requiring prior authorization for comment, said the targets were two command centers and a gathering point of IS supporters.

    A government statement said the decision for the operation was taken at a security meeting on Thursday, held after IS militants fired from Syrian territory at a Turkish military outpost, killing a soldier.

    The official said the Turkish planes had not violated Syrian airspace.

    The bombing followed a decision by Turkey this week to allow the U.S. military to use the Incirlik air base near the border with Syria to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State.

    The agreement, which President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed in a phone call Wednesday, follows months of U.S. appeals to Turkey and delicate negotiations over the use of Incirlik and other bases by the U.S.-led coalition — a sensitive topic in Turkey.

    American officials said access to the base in southern Turkey would allow the U.S. to move more swiftly and nimbly to attack IS targets.

    Turkey's moves came as the country finds itself drawn further into the conflict by a series of deadly attacks and signs of increased IS activity inside the country.


    Butler reported from Istanbul.