Global, Mishegas

I read the news today, oy vey

I should be working, but haven’t yet licked my blog addiction. News of note:

Finally, from earlier this month: How Bush’s delusional incompetence brought Hamas to power in Gaza (Vanity Fair)

16 thoughts on “I read the news today, oy vey

  1. Hey JewSchool,
    Why don’t you remove the “nofollow” from your comments?
    There are even plugins you can get that only “follow” bloggers who have made a certain number of posts.
    Adam

  2. (Remember: If the bombs start falling on Iran, you can’t say that the American Jewish community hadn’t been working for that goal for years).
    sorry…WHAT? care to back-up this ridiculous and offensive assertion?

  3. Sure. What has AIPAC’s position been on Iraq? What have the AJCommittee and the Wiesenthal Center been asking for in their direct mail the past few years? Why do you think President Bush managed to elide an Iranian desire to wipe out Israel with a desire for a bomb?
    For that matter, why do you think Obama doesn’t want a primary in Florida? As the only candidate not in favor of fighting Iran, he’s scared to face the Jews of Miami Beach.
    But it’s not just about the bombs. Since posting, I’ve read the latest from Chris Floyd, who points to this article on how the U.S. has already declared all-out economic warfare against Iran.
    Faced with economic warfare, North Korea folded. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. What will Iran do?

  4. You’re right. The Iranian government would never want nuclear weapons, or to wipe out Israel for that matter, if it weren’t for Bush, AIPAC, etc.
    Is it enabling evil to support sanctions against Iran? Should we do everything possible to assist such a progressive, open regime?

  5. What has AIPAC’s position been on Iraq?
    well, assuming you mean *IRAN* (minor detail dude), I’d say their position has been clear: divestment and sanctions.
    What have the AJCommittee and the Wiesenthal Center been asking for in their direct mail the past few years?
    again, divestment and sanctions.
    Why do you think President Bush managed to elide an Iranian desire to wipe out Israel with a desire for a bomb?
    huh? if you wanna rework that question so that it has anything to do with the issue you raised, I’d be happy to respond to it.
    but generally you’re really off the mark here dude. just admit it. with the exception of Norm Podhoretz (who represents a small fraction of a small fraction — Republican — Jews, and who is not the head of anything nor the spokesman for anyone), I have not heard ONE prominent Jew in the US advocate bombing Iran.
    (and you’re not fooling anyone by changing the subject to “all-out economic warfare against Iran.” how Iran happens to respond to diplomatic and economic pressure has little do to with the US deciding to bomb it.)
    so, yeah, what were you saying about the American Jewish community working toward the the goal of bombing Iran for all these years?

  6. The truth is, in relation to their threat, economic and political sanctions against Iran have been relatively mild. And even if they were harsher – do you really want to claim that “all out economic warfare” is unwarranted against a country that has declared itself in support of the destruction of the US (never mind Israel), funds and gives weapons to terrorist groups (particularly Hezbullah), and is seeking to create a nuclear bomb? Yes, poor poor Iran, if only we were nice to them I’m sure they would leave us alone. To my mind, if you are against the idea of war with Iran (as I am) you should celebrate sanctions – their success is the best way for war to be prevented! Because whether we like it or not, a nuclear Iran is not an acceptable possibility for the US or Israel, and if they do not “fold” one or both of those governments will attack them.

  7. Jewtah is right on point.
    And economic sanctions, if Russia and China were to get on board, could help bring about the political reform in Iran that most Iranians want(if we are to believe what we read in the English and Hebrew press.)
    Maybe Reb Yudel wants to live in Iran under the current regime?

  8. Crickets? Mmmm. Yummy!
    I think my argument boils down to two or three separate but related questions.
    Is the Bush Administration policy toward Iran appropriate? What actually does the Bush Administration want for Iran? And has the Jewish community been responsible in its policy?
    It won’t surprise you that I think the Bush Administration’s Iran policy has been misguided and harmful to Israel.
    First, there was the declaration of an “axis of evil” between three countries (has anyone ever seen a three-cornered axis?) that weren’t working together. It was a declaration that pushed North Korea to develop and test its nuclear bomb. And it was a declaration that helped Iranian hardliners tremendously.
    Second, there was the invasion of Iraq, which has immeasurably strengthened Iraq.. It’s hard to discuss the invasion, because even with four thousand soldiers dead, the American people still have no idea (1) why the Administration wanted to invade Iraq so badly that it relied on forged documents it knew to be false, (2) who forged the documents or why, and (3) why Rumsfeld told his underlings not to prepare a plan for what would come after the invasion.
    Those are big holes in what we know — though it seems like that #3 can be explained by the plan to have Ahmed Chalabi take over as Iraqi strongman, which brings up the question of (4) how much influence Chalabi had over American war plans, (5) whether he has been an Iranian agent all along, and (6) whether long-time Chalabi cheerleaders like then-Forward editor, now Shma-dubbed “influential thoughtful Jew associated with neoconservatism” Seth Lipsky owe an accounting.
    Third, there was the rejection of Iran’s 2003 overtures, which displayed a willingness to discuss all issues of mutual concern — including Iranian support for Hezbollah. The Bush Administration preferred to talk tough — and among the first fruits of their desire for confrontation was the rise of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And all the tough-talking didn’t do anything about Hezbollah. I wonder what David Grossman would say to George Bush if had the opportunity.
    Why did the Administration take this course with Iran? Darned if I know. But I have no reason to believe their Iranian policy is any wiser or better executed than their Iraqi policy.
    And perhaps I’m old-fashioned, but I’m not willing to sign up with any policy that relies on lies and false propaganda. They lied to invade Iraq, and now they’re lying about Iran. They’re lying about which sides the Iranians are supporting in Iraq, and they’re not owning up to the fact that Ahmadinejad is more welcome by the Iraqi government than is George Bush. The Torah tells us m’dvar sheker tirhak — stay away from a false thing — and that alone is reason for anyone to question themselves when they find themselves on the same side of an issue as George Bush or Dick Cheney.
    In summary: The U.S. policy so far has elevated the most extreme Iranian elements while eliminating Iraq as a regional counterweight.
    The second point is: What’s the current Bush policy?
    This all amounts to reading tea leaves, but forgive me for not taking the Administration at its words. Fool me once — won’t get fooled again.
    The last time the U.S. government talked sanctions, they had already decided on war (though it was impolite to say so at the time, since that would insinuate that the U.S. president was a liar). The fact that Bush has implemented harsh sanctions, but publicized instead false allegations that Iran said it sought a nuclear bomb, and continues to make misleading statements about Iranians support of Iraqi militias, makes it seem that the sanctions are meant to be the beginning of a campaign that ends with bombing.
    Is this Kissinger-style brinksmanship? Or is this more Bush/Cheney recklessness? My willingness to extend the benefit of the doubt to Cheney expired a few years back.
    I’m not about to predict what will happen in the next nine months, but if the bombs do fall, you can’t say you weren’t warned.
    (In a sane country — as they say in Israel — an Administration with this track record would have fallen to a no-confidence vote, or at least been impeached.)
    Finally, what about the American Jewish role? I wish the J-Street project lots of luck, but if the shit hits the fan, the face of American Jewry will be the Irving Kristols, the Abe Foxmans, the Seth Lipskys, the David Twerksys, the Marvin Hiers, the Doug Feiths, the Joe Liebermans and all the AIPAC chevre.
    If the US starts a war with Iran in the next nine months, the fact that the Jewish community was only asking for sanctions will be moot; the fact remains that our anti-Iran advocacy have made the Bush/Cheney policy of regime change not only tolerable, but non-debatable.

  9. You make many good points about the failed policies of the Bush Administration. Although that isn’t much of a secret.
    You also make many good points as to why it might be dangerous to support sanctions against Iran.
    But will you least concede that Iran, given the demographics of its population, has the chance to make a real turn toward a more open style of government, and perhaps sanctions might help bring about those changes? Would that not benefit the entire world–especially the Iranian people–and not only Israel?
    If we are to believe what we read in the Western press, it’s incomprehensible how the Bush Administration turned down Iran’s 2003 proposals.
    But, however we got here, we are heading toward military strikes against Iran. In this case, what is worse, such strikes or this Iranian regime holding nuclear missles? How did it come to this?

  10. Will sanctions turn the people against the regime? Or will it make them rally around the regime?
    Let me ask you: If China were to impose sanctions against George Bush, wouldn’t that help rather than hurt the Republican party in the elections? Wouldn’t surrendering to the Chinese be seen as anti-American?
    Iran with nuclear missiles will have to be constrained by deterrence and diplomacy. The Iranian president may be the messianic equivalent of Pat Robertson (as ours may well be) but militaries tend to maintain their more realistic, secular power-base. The Pakistanis haven’t used their bomb either.
    The problem in discussing this at all rationally is that the American policy for the past seven years cannot be explained in rational terms that don’t sound like conspiracy mongering. Oil at $114 a barrel is good for Iran. Massive trade deficits with China is good for Iran. An overstretched US military is good for Iran. Slamming the door on foreign students and visitors is good for Iran. Declaring a “crusade” is good for Iran. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that any military action undertaken by the administration will be good for America.
    At this juncture, I believe it criminally irresponsible to support or applaud any new Bush policy or initiative…. and dropping nuclear-tipped bunker busters is about as radical as an initiative can be.

  11. Oil at $114 a barrel is good for Iran. Massive trade deficits with China is good for Iran. An overstretched US military is good for Iran. Slamming the door on foreign students and visitors is good for Iran. Declaring a “crusade” is good for Iran.
    And don’t forget, taking out Saddam Hussein is really good for Iran.

  12. the fact that the Jewish community was only asking for sanctions will be moot
    ….well, “moot” except for the fact that you accused the Jewish community of advocating the bombing of Iran.
    Thanks for the response, but it basically amounts to “as soon as what I predict will happen actually happens, then what I said did happen — but which never actually happened — will be irrellevant.”
    sorry man but I think you need to be more responsible about the things you post on the internet. a lot of haters would love to be able to point to a Jewish-run website that claims that the US Jewish community has been pushing the US to bomb Iran.
    PS crickets aren’t kosher; I assume you know this.

  13. Second, there was the invasion of Iraq, which has immeasurably strengthened Iraq..
    Yudel: it’s really, really difficult to take you seriously on this topic when you continue to confuse “Iran” with “Iraq.”
    that’s twice on this very page that you’ve done that.
    and again, your strained efforts to connect the Bush Iran policy to “the Jews” is nonsense. will anti-Semites in the US point to the Jews in the neo-con movement like Feith and Lieberman as proof of Jewish control over Bush’s Iran policy? OF COURSE. the haters did the same thing when the US invaded Iraq (despite massive Jewish movement against the war). what’s your point? Jews are always a convenient scapegoat. (and ill-conceived internet posts like yours only give more ammo to the haters.)
    dude I like Jewschool and I like reading/making comments, etc. you may be a good commentator on some topics but, with all due respect, you know next to nothing on this topic. you have raised exactly ZERO original concepts here.
    so Rumsfeld and company screwed the pooch on the post-invasion occupation. this is news? so there were some forged documents. and we’ve known this since, what, 2004 or something? so a certain Forward editor used to ride for Chalabi, who turned out to have been an Iranian agent. are you suggesting the Forward editor knew this? if so, show some proof. you are aware that Chalabi duped many, many people in the administration also, right? and if he was an Iranian agent, and people in the admin (or at the Forward lol) knew this, why did they allow themselves to be taken in by him? isn’t your whole point that we’re AGAINST Iran? so why coddle a known Iranian agent adn facilitate the execution of Iran’s foreign policy aims?
    your arguments contradict each other.
    move on; you are not equipped to opine on this topic. your own personal paranoia of Jewish war-mongering is not a solid basis for an informed blog post.

  14. Reb Yudel,
    As I’m sure you know, Iran is very much dependent on its trade relations with the West–Iran is actually a net importer of oil.
    Will a combination of sanctions and smart diplomacy help bring about the changes that most Iranians want (if we are to believe what we read in the Western press?) It’s impossible to predict of course. But tough-handed diplomacy seemd to bring about real changes in the Soviet Union and South Africa, for example.
    Have we thought about the consequences of the current Iranian regime going “nuclear?”
    What will it do to the balance of power in our world? Will it cause the Arab regimes to go nuclear? How far will it set back the forces of reform within Iran? How will it effect the Sunni-Shia split? The “radicalization” of the Muslim world? etc., etc.
    I know it is sexy to bash Bush, and to point out all of his administration’s blunders–most notably the Iraq invasion. But is the use of forces alway the incorrect option?
    BZ–I’d be curious as to what you think.

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