Tuesday, May 8, 2018

History repeats itself

He is at it again.

Sixteen years ago in 2002 Benjamin Netanyahu told the American Congress: "that there was no question whatsoever that Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons."  And he mentioned what a great thing it would be if Saddam was overthrown by you-know-who. 

 One month later Congress passed the Iraq Resolution authorizing  the "Use of Military Force Against Iraq".  He suckered us.  The press kind of forgot about Netanyahu's role and blamed it on Curveball and Chalabi.  They had a part for sure, but the blame lies squarely on Netanyahu and his NeoCon proxies in the US who amplified his message.

History repeats itself.  Now he is back pushing us to go into Iran.  And the video above where he fukked us into invading Iraq was so recent that I have eight grandchildren and a dog older than that video.  Yet we seem to have forgotten and are getting suckered in once again.

The scary thing is that it will not stop after Netanyahu either retires or goes to prison for corruption.  His right hand man in the Israeli Parliament, Juval Steinitz, is recently quoted as threatening the assassination of Assad.  Steinitz is considered a frontrunner to succeed Netanyahu by the Jerusalem press.  Referring to Assad, Steinitz said: "His blood is forfeit".  The guy appears to be Netanyahu on steroids.

Will we ever smarten up?


  1. As much as I dislike and distrust Mr. Netanyahu, I fear the larger blame lies with the American body politic to allow and enable the "Washington Rules" crowd to prosper.

  2. In this case I think Israel is kidding itself. Iran is a much different nut than Iraq and I don't see much prospect for war regardless of Bibi's wishes.

    Trump's move is certainly dumb, as it gets us nothing, and so I think this was motivated by domestic politics, Trump's desire to overturn everything Obama did, as well as scratching the usual backs.

  3. I strongly dislike the hypocrisy, the maximalist/extremist objectives and how much Israel's "security policy" resembles white South Africa's: They too kept almost all other nearby countries in a state of mess for their own "self-defence". It's even more extreme around Israel.

    The core of the problem is in my opinion the U.S. veto in the UNSC that shields Israel from most official consequences of its actions. It could be forces to leave the occupied territories and could be punished for its so far casual bombing of other countries if that veto did not protect it.

    Meanwhile, Western support for the horrible Saudi regime and the other kleptocracies in the Gulf region becomes even more egregious now that Saudi-Arabia has begun to play violent regional great power.

    I begin to subscribe to the theory that Trump does what gives him the most attention, regardless of actual policy content or effect. So I don't see any U.S. policy consistence regarding the region any more. I just hope there won't be a war to distract from domestic scandals.

  4. This is where I really want to take some dimension lumber to the "media". I think the single biggest part of this is that Joe and Mary Lunchpail are constantly bombarded with "terrorism" panic and piss-poor Middle East reporting that there's practically no intelligent civil discourse on these issues in the U.S. public forum. It's all ignorance and fear of smelly foreign devils (probably dusky, certainly sinister) all the way down.

    The level of ignorance is so high that people like Bibi and Cheney and Bolton and all these other goddamn nuisances can simply lie with impunity and get a critical mass of the public to buy in. It worked in 2003 and it could work again here.

    Sadly, my only hope is that the Joint Chiefs are telling these bastards to go piss up a rope. You thought Operation Mess-o-Potamia was bad? Try occupying a country that's an order of magnitude larger AND has an exceptionally toxic history with U.S. meddling. You think that the Iraqi Sunnis hated getting defenstrated? Try Iranian Shiites who have a long memory of the Shah's hated SAVAK. They may not love the mullahs, but try THAT on for size.

    The U.S. has never been a particularly useful actor in the Middle East, so I'm not sure that this is particularly "worse". The only irking part is that it seems like Orange Foolius is doing this largely just to spite the Hated Negro, which is wht utterly infuriates me. It would be one thing to do this for reasons of state. But to satisfy the bloated ego of a tangerine-colored real-estate grifter? Rrrrrr.

    It puts me strongly in mind of this sequence from Shaw's The Devil's Disciple:

    RICHARD. I am aware, sir, that His Majesty King George the Third is about to hang me because I object to Lord North's robbing me.

    SWINDON. That is a treasonable speech, sir.

    RICHARD (briefly). Yes. I meant it to be.

    BURGOYNE (strongly deprecating this line of defence, but still polite). Don't you think, Mr. Anderson, that this is rather—if you will excuse the word—a vulgar line to take? Why should you cry out robbery because of a stamp duty and a tea duty and so forth? After all, it is the essence of your position as a gentleman that you pay with a good grace.

    RICHARD. It is not the money, General. But to be swindled by a pig-headed lunatic like King George.

    SWINDON (scandalised). Chut, sir—silence!

    SERGEANT (in stentorian tones, greatly shocked). Silence!

    BURGOYNE (unruffled). Ah, that is another point of view. My position does not allow of my going into that, except in private.

  5. I note that Bibi spent V.E. Day in Moscow at a place of honor next to Putin. There are stories in the Israeli press that Putin gave Israel a wink, a nod, and a free pass to hit those targets in Syria. True? Or agitprop to break up the budding friendship between Russia and Iran?

    Bibi was probably giving Vlad tips on how to be a bit more subtle when meddling with US elections. "Be more like us Vlad: create an AIPAC oops I meant ARPAC, fund some think-tanks, buy some US newspapers, invest in a US based cable channel, sponsor congressmen to go on study missions to Sochi or Saint Pete, etc.

    1. My guess is it may not have been a wink so much as a shrug; they may be allies of convenience but Putin is unlikely to have any particular tenderness towards the IRGC. So long as it doesn't threaten his client Assad, or his own people, bombs away...

    2. FDC -

      Your guess is on target IMHO. Although Treatykiller Trumpy's dumping of JCPOA will drive Moscow and Tehran even closer together. They both view the regional ambitions of both the US (and Turkey!) with great suspicion. Iran has long been candidate for membership in the Collective Security Treaty Organization.

  6. "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

    1. Engels?

      I think it is more like "Doom" as per Santayana. But similar sayings go back for millennia.

  7. And now we have the inevitable conclusion of the story begun in 1948; the Trumpkins and Likud join to celebrate Greater Israel, the full embrace of ethnic cleansing.a

    I'd accept this as a form of loathsome realpolitik if I thought that 1) Israel had a practical value as a US "ally", and 2) the Trumpkins has done the geopolitical analysis sufficient to make them confident that the Arab states will throw the Pals under the bus and accommodate with Likud. I don't. I think this is US conservative fantasy wanking, and when one side or the other emerges from the current Shia-Sunni Thirty Years War with a headlock on the Muslim umma we will find out how shortsighted and stupid this is.

  8. I wrote this five years ago and it rings truer than every today:

    "When our generation is remembered it should be for that, and for that above all. Whatever good we have done, whatever kindnesses we may do, the crimes for which we hung the defeated leaders of Nazi Germany, the crime of making aggressive war, the "crimes against peace" of Nuremberg; the crimes of others that by our acceptance and indifference we have made our own, will remain with us always. Like the unquiet ghosts of the dead of Baghdad, Ramadi, and Basra, like the mournful fragments of the GIs flown home inside plastic sacks, and like the cries of the headscarved women, weeping for sons and fathers and lovers vanished in the morning mists that rise above the Tigris as the merciless dawn floods the watermeadows with light as red as blood."