Netanyahu visit

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Re: Netanyahu visit

Postby Jnyusa » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:24 pm

If I might rephrase the point that I believe portia is making ... although there might be good reasons for Israel to oppose nukes in Iran and good reasons for the US to oppose nukes in Iran, these are not going to be the same reasons in both countries. They will arise from different backgrounds and be given different weights. So the arguments that might be entirely persuasive from Israel's point of view might not be so from the US point of view.

It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to say that US policy is 'wrong' because it does not reflect the background and weights given to the issue by Israel. It would make sense though to say that US policy is 'wrong' if it contradicts our own background considerations and the weight that we give to various factors within our own strategic policy-making.

As I said previously, I am not a fan of the policy that the US and Europe are pursuing with Iran, but I'm also aware that Mideast policy in the US has been deeply penetrated by the strategic goals of our various intelligence agencies, and these can rarely (in my mind) be fit to the stated policies of the executive branch. In other words, even people who are highly knowledgeable about the Mideast (which I am not at the present time) would be challenged to explain our actions in terms of the policies we publicly avow because so much of what determines our actions is never publicly stated and may even be partly concealed from the President himself (as it was during Iran-Contra). To be even more blunt, it is my suspicion that we take as many actions to create or sustain conflict in the Mideast as we take to reduce or ameliorate conflict, and this is a reflection of intelligence agency agenda that over-arches multiple Presidential administrations.

This is probably not as true for Europe as it is for the US, but I have no idea how much pressure the US' leadership within NATO, for example, puts pressure on European foreign policy.

The chief of NORAD testified before Congress ... yesterday? a day or two ago ... that we are presently vulnerable to invasion by Russia, vulnerable to attack by ICBM, unable to defend Europe ... your basic retread of a 1950s testimony. What was the testimony about? The NORAD budget, of course. It needs to be bigger. Much bigger. Well ... how could I, or any average member of Congress, quantify the threat of Russian ICBMs landing in Newark? It's just completely beyond my scope, or anyone's scope, to assess that risk and assign an appropriate dollar amount to it. We are at the mercy of such strategic assessments; the fear of causing greater vulnerability to all US citizens is a salient and overwhelming fear on the part of Congress. The same uncertainties held in the case of Nicaraguan armies invading Texas, Nigerian yellow cake ending up in Iraq, Russians invading West Germany via East Germany - all of which have been presented as arguments in the past by one or more agencies of government who are 'expert' only in the sense that they know their own deployment capabilities, and are entirely self-interested in a financial outcome. We have no real mechanism for soliciting objective expert testimony beyond the reports of intelligence analysts to subcommittees, and these are choreographed by those intelligence agencies to fit their own agendae. Congress, and also the President, in my opinion, live in a peculiar kind of information vacuum.
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Re: Netanyahu visit

Postby Billobob » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:24 pm

Governments will make up any excuse to stay out of trouble with other countries or not to help them. Really if countries left each other alone we wouldn't have this problem then again that's like saying if we didn't have sex we wouldn't have the abortion problem.
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Re: Netanyahu visit

Postby Storyteller » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:08 am

Obama says US open to talks with Iran on immediately lifting sanctions

US President Barack Obama on Friday left open the door to “creative negotiations” in response to Iran’s demand that punishing sanctions be immediately lifted as part of a nuclear deal, even though the initial agreement calls for the penalties to be removed over time.

Asked whether he would definitively rule out lifting sanctions at once as part of a final deal aimed at keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Obama said he didn’t want to get ahead of negotiators in how to work through the potential sticking point. He said his main concern is making sure that if Iran violates an agreement, sanctions can quickly be reinstated — the so-called “snap back” provision.


“How sanctions are lessened, how we snap back sanctions if there’s a violation, there are a lot of different mechanisms and ways to do that,” Obama said. He said part of the job for Secretary of State John Kerry and the representatives of five other nations working to reach a final deal with Iran by June 30 “is to sometimes find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani insisted last week that they would not sign a deal unless all sanctions are lifted right after an agreement is signed. Obama initially portrayed their comments as a reflection of internal political pressure, while pointing out that the initial framework agreement reached earlier this month allows for sanctions to be phased out once international monitors verify that Tehran is abiding by the limitations.

Obama also said Friday that a bill introduced by Congress seeking a review and approval of a nuclear deal with Iran would not derail negotiations with Tehran, set to resume next week, and that the proposed legislation was a “reasonable compromise” he planned to sign off on.

The legislation would block Obama from waiving congressional sanctions against Iran for at least 30 days after any final agreement, which would give lawmakers time to weigh in. Obama said he still has concerns that some lawmakers are treading on his unilateral power as president to enter into a political agreement with another country, but the bill has language that makes it clear that lawmakers’ review will be limited to the sanctions imposed by Congress.

“That I think at least allows me to interpret the legislation in such a way that it is not sending a signal to future presidents that each and every time they’re negotiating a political agreement, that they have to get a congressional authorization,” Obama said. He said he takes lawmakers who have drafted the legislation at their word that they will not try to derail negotiations.

The president also weighed in on Russia’s announcement earlier this week that it would lift a five-year ban on delivery of anti-aircraft missiles, giving the Islamic republic’s military a strong deterrent against any air attack. The White House initially objected, but Obama said, “I’m frankly surprised that it held this long.”

Russia signed the $800 million contract to sell Iran the S-300 missile system in 2007, but suspended their delivery three years later because of strong objections from the United States and Israel. “Their economy is under strain and this was a substantial sale,” Obama said.

Russia, which also is party to the talks along with China, France, Britain and Germany, said the preliminary nuclear agreement made its 2010 ban on sending missiles to Iran no longer necessary.


The talk of "snapping back" sanctions is obvious hogwash; I have no idea who he thinks would fall for it. It took years to create the existing sanctions regime and there were still copious amounts of waivers given. It will take decades to "snap back" anything even assuming that the US will manage to build international support for it after everyone and their mom will rush into the opening to do business with Iran. But Obama is open to discussing lifting all sanctions up front and hoping that Iran honors their part of the bargain some time later, despite Iran being pretty damn vocal about seeing the deal as a one-way street.

Another remarkable thing is how sanguine Obama is about the sale of technology that will constrain the military option further still. That comes some time after he declared as part of his defense of the indefensible deal that the capacity of the USA to prevent Iran from going nuclear by force would be "undiminished". Well, it's being diminished as we speak and all Obama has to say is that he is surprised that Russia honored its own commitment for once.

It's almost as if Obama is trying to make sure that the foreign policy disasters he is responsible for will be impossible to mitigate by anyone who replaces him in office.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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