Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mort Klein is not a Happy Man

Michael L.

Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), is not a very happy man, today.

Concerning Obama's recent capitulation to the Islamist regime in Iran ZOA staff writes:
Achaemenid Soldier Iman MalekiThe Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is deeply horrified, but not surprised, by the truly terrible nuclear agreement that has been signed by the P5 +1 nations (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, including the United States, plus Germany) and the radical Islamic Iranian regime. This agreement will provide nuclear weapons and hundreds of billions of dollars to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Hitler of the Mideast, and to Iran, the Nazi Germany of the Middle East. Only last Friday, Khamenei and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, appeared at the latest of a series of regular rallies calling for destruction of the U.S. and Israel.

The ZOA National President Morton A. Klein has issued the following statement:

“The nuclear agreement concluded in Vienna is quite simply a catastrophe and a nightmare. It leaves the world standing at an abyss."
I like Mort Klein and the ZOA is the most stalwart of the major pro-Israel organizations.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus, writing in my newly found home at The Jewish Press, has cataloged the basic reactions of the major pro-Israel (or allegedly pro-Israel) organizations in the United States.

The ZOA, of course, loathes the deal and Klein seems to be in no mood to take Sar Shalom's considered advice.  Instead, they are "horrified" and the deal is "terrible" and the Iranians are Nazis.

J-Street, on the other hand, is happy as the proverbial clam.

Marcus writes:
J Street founder and president Jeremy Ben-Ami once described his nascent organization as “President Obama’s blocking back.” It apparently still sees itself that way. While hedging its bets a tiny bit by calling the deal “complex and multi-faceted,” J Street takes President Obama at his word and concludes that the deal “appears to meet the critical criteria around which a consensus of non-proliferation experts has formed for a deal that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.” Tellingly, the statement does not mention what those criteria are.
At the end of the day, US president Barack Obama got precisely what he wanted, a piece of paper with a Persian signature.  What it means beyond that is difficult to see.  At the beginning of the negotiating process Obama told the American people that it was US policy to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weaponry.

The purpose of "the deal" was not to get a piece of paper with some signatures on it.  The purpose of the deal was to fulfill the US foreign policy goal of preventing an Iranian bomb.  The deal does not do that, thus it is yet another Obama foreign policy failure.

On the very outside, we will likely see an Iranian bomb within ten years, maybe fifteen, but my guess is considerably closer to five.  What this means is that the Obama administration has sold us all down the river.

Jews.  Arabs.  Australians.  Americans.  Europeans.  All of Asia.

We are about to embark upon a brave new world wherein a highly bigoted Persian Shia government, that despises Jews and westerners, and maintains resentment from 1953, will now control the world's most dangerous weaponry.  This is going to change the face of the Middle East and, perhaps, the world, more generally.

Once Iran gains the bomb the western powers will have no ability to curb its behavior.  Iran will place a nuclear shield around its partnerships and interests, as any country would do.  Unfortunately, for the rest of us, Iran's partnerships and interests include Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis in Yemen.  Iran opposes the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but that is primarily because ISIS is a significant inconvenience on Iran's intentions toward Iraq.

Although virtually no one seems to be discussing it, what we are seeing in Iraq is an Iranian take-over with American complicity justified by the need to defeat ISIS.  It can truly be said at this point that Iran has absolutely defeated Iraq, with the help of the United States, and will now go forth to control, if not conquer, a significant portion of that former country as it consolidates its power throughout the region.

This is an exceedingly interesting moment in history and an exceedingly dangerous one.

The Obama administration is desperately hoping that the Islamic Republic of Iran will represent a stabilizing force in the region.  Obama seems to want Iran to take over the US role in that part of the world and impose an Iranian Peace on the neighborhood.  This is not entirely unfeasible except for the fact that Iran has yet to make nice with Israel.  Until that happens empowering Iran with nuclear weaponry, an enormous influx of cash, and additional prestige - which it will use to beat upon Israel via its proxies in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip - will not lead to peace.

After Chamberlain returned from signing the Munich pact with Hitler, in September of 1938, Churchill famously remarked, “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

I do not know that this deal is anything close to the same level of importance as the Munich pact, but it might be.  None of us know what the future holds and none of us, I suspect, really have much understanding of the Ayatollahs of Iran and their military capacity... which is about to take an enormous leap.

What I see, as I put it earlier, is a roll of the dice.

It could be that Obama's gamble is going to work out.  Maybe Iran will be brought in from the cold and perhaps Obama is right to pat it on the head.

What I still do not understand, however, is the quid pro quo?

Who gains in this deal other than the Ayatollahs?


  1. "Who gains in this deal other than the Ayatollahs?"

    I've been asking myself (and my wife) the same question. What do we get out of this except a radical regime with more and increasing power? He's betting on genocidal fuckheads to stabilize the region? I'm sure every Sunni must be looking forward to that.

    1. My understanding, such as it is, is that the Sunni regimes are livid. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are fit to be tied, as we say in Texas.

      But you have to give Obama some credit. He did, in fact, bring together Arabs and Jews in a kind-of, sort-of, maybe alliance of sorts. I mean, if there is one thing that Israel has in common with Saudi Arabia and Egypt (and presumably Jordan) is that none of them want to see a nuclear Iran.

      The only people who actually gain from the deal are the Ayatollahs and the Obama administration if it can maintain the illusion progress on the matter.

      What should be clear to everyone is that Iran will become a nuclear power within relative short order.

    2. The quid pro quo :

      " his classic Marxist worldview in which he sees America as the problem on the world's stage...

      ...And in the Middle East, he's taken the side of Iran over U.S. allies like the Sunni monarchies and Israel because his central view is that America and American power is the problem in the world. And, therefore, American allies are part of that problem. And, therefore, what he does is, in a sense, retreat from the world, and enhance the position of the enemies of American allies."
      Extract of Mark Steyn interview.

      Even if you disagree with someone like Steyn on many things, this view of the primary problem in the world being 'American power ' is the most prevalent view at most universities in Europe and in America.
      The Left in Europe are fuelled by their hatred of America. As are the American Left.
      Anything is better than America; anything .

      I don't think they spend much time considering what happens next. The most important thing is the dismantling of the status quo. The destruction of Western 'hegemony'. America as the world's superpower - after the end of the British Empire - is the ultimate embodiment of Western hegemony. Making America less powerful ( and constantly reminding everyone how many sins America has committed and how those sins can never be got over ) is the main goal.
      The liberal media and intelligentsia in the U.K. are ecstatic about the Iran deal, as they are about the Cuba deal.
      You cannot overestimate how much they hate America.

    3. I was at a party in San Francisco a number of years ago and a friend of mine who is rather hard left was talking to a Polish emigre who had lived under the Soviet system. He kept trying to explain to this guy that the US is just as bad as the Soviet Union. The Polish emigre, of course, was having none of it. I never forgot that moment because at the time I was dumbstruck that any intelligent person could possibly think that any western governmental system, including that of the US, could possibly be worse than what people lived under with Soviet Communism.

      Let me say this, tho. I think that the American right-wing makes a mistake when it screams to the heavens about Communism. You see this a lot in places like David Horowitz's Front Page Magazine. They are constantly shaking their fists at Communists. It's kind of like old men shaking their fists at clouds. The fact of the matter is that in the US whatever movement there may have been for Communism in the twentieth-century is long dead.

      I won't say that there are no Communists in the US. I am, in fact, personally familiar with an individual who has, at least in the past, considered himself a Communist. But there is no necessary infrastructure for potential American Communists to work within. Any revolutionary movement requires an infrastructure. Lenin knew this exceedngly well. There must be newspapers, unions, political parties. We have no such Communist manifestations in the United States and haven't for many decades. One would have to go to the 1940s, in the US, to find a vaguely significant Communist presence, but even then it was fading out. By the 1950s, of course, Americans were in absolutely no mood for Soviet-style Communism.

      What we tend to have are social democrats. We also have right-leaning libertarians in the Republican Party and right-leaning religious social conservatives, also in the Republican Party, but the social democrats are associated with the Democratic Party and contain a significant contingency of anti-Semitic anti-Zionists.

      Which, needless to say, makes me just want to evacuate politics, period.

    4. I think what Steyn is saying is that Obama's world view is influenced by Marxists, i.e., Soviet Cold War propaganda relating to the third world, labeling the West as racist, colonialist and imperialist in an effort to undermine support for the United States et al. The so-called unaligned movement.

    5. Yes.
      He's not saying that western liberals actually want a communist state, he means that they are influenced by 'Marxist' thinking. Marxist thinking provided the template for the political radical movements of the sixties. It's about influence.
      It's got nothing to do with actually wanting a Marxist state.
      It's about the theories that were derived from the Marxist template.
      It's not about economics.
      It is about seeing the world as having been out of balance, in terms of power .

  2. "and Klein seems to be in no mood to take Sar Shalom's considered advice"

    I should clarify my position. I started my post with saying that I was leaving the task of describing how awful the deal is to others. Klein speaks for me in fulfilling that task. The issue is, what should we do in reaction to the deal in its current state?

    The scenario I would suggest pondering is walking into a room with a key inserted in a slot. If you turn the key one way, 11 Democrats in the Senate will agree that the deal really is as awful as Klein, Netanyahu or anyone else says it is. If you turn the key the other way, 14 Democrats in the Senate will decide that the deal is bad enough by just a smidgen to justify voting to override Obama's veto. Which way do you turn the key?

    Motivating Israel-supporters to write to their representatives in Congress is a needed component. Scare stories are even justified in doing so. However, in actually communicating with those representatives, becoming unhinged can be counterproductive in the task of actually convincing them that the deal warrants an override.

    1. I understand and I think that you've made a necessary point.

      I find myself exceedingly skeptical that the US Congress will overturn the deal, but we should certainly try.

      Is it your sense that there is a chance of success?

    2. With woefully inadequate knowledge of what the actual people who will decide are thinking, I'd say it's an outside chance. How outside the chance is will be affected by our tactics for discussing the deal and the administration that produced it.

      Anyone have any actual data on how the Democrats in Congress are leaning?

    3. Some data that provides some indication of how an override would be accomplished if it is:

  3. This is a Progressive administration. Major Progressive foreign policy goal is a dismantlement of colonialist Zionist project. If you are looking what did anyone get in exchange for the Iran deal is't the Progressives sticking it to the Jews.

  4. This will spur proliferation by others in the region.

    With the lifting of sanctions, Iran will cause more havoc, violence and aggression directly and through proxies, that raises the probability that American hard power, troops on the ground, will be necessary, at large cost. It is foolish to believe the unfrozen money and oil revenues will be used to promote peace and harmony.

    On so many issues where Obama acts like his way is the ONLY smart and right way, the results tend to show otherwise, that he overestimated the effect of his policies and his opinion of himself. He and his supporters really believe he is playing 3D chess, creating utopia, so they are unable to contemplate even the possibility of negative results, let alone actual results, from which they are so often immune.

    Although Obama is president of ALL the people, he only acts for those who support him, and has a cold heart for those who differ. That is what Oren said, too.

    1. Y'know, School, were it not for these Iranian screechings of "Death to America! Death to Israel!" and the fact that they support both Hamas and Hezbollah, I could probably get with the deal.

      Of the many things that I do not understand, another is how Obama and his supporters can possibly justify allowing an upfront enemy of the West the ultimate weapon during the lives of their children?

      This is a gamble that the West need not make, yet we are making it.

      We're shooting craps and while I love Texas Hold 'Em, I despise games of chance.

    2. He is helping to cement a government in place that a substantial part of its own population hates. This became quite obvious in 2009. Obama is no freedom fighter. He is playing Big Game Real Politik using his own warped view of reality as a guide, courtesy Columbia University.

    3. Two articles about the Iran deal:

  5. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Nuclear armed Iran will no doubt adopt an approach that's ambiguous, one that claims they are defensive. And no doubt Obama & co will rush to their defense of that defense. It's important to understand what defensive purposes are in this context. Iran believes it's in their best interest, in their best 'defensive' interests, to wipe the Mideast clean of all Sunni Arabs and all Jews. But like even their critics are wont to say, the Iranians might be insane but they're not stupid. A first strike against the Jews would not serve their deeper game. At least not as a first move once not-declaring-declaring they are a nuclear state. A country rarely can find the rationale to nuke a country that can nuke them back. Moreover, it's unlikely for all their sturm und drang that the Iranians have sufficient nuclear capability to wipe out the whole of Israel. Damage, sure, buy ending the country, unlikely. On the other hand using nukes second hand through proxies against Arab states might be the way to go for them. What we would today call a 'tactical weapon' in the 5-20kt range would easily take out various ISIS contingents, most of the Egyptian capital, Riyad, Jeddah, Aleppo or Tripoli (either one). And if they can successfully control all of the Straits of Hormuz so that only their oil gets though it would be a huge bonanza for them. Point being there are distinct advantages to utilizing a nuclear weapon in 'peace time'. The after effects to the world economy would be far more devastating than they could achieve during a hot war. If I were Iran that's way I'd go. This won't happen before Obama leaves office but probably during Hillary's second term or whomever steps in after she dies in office.

  6. Once again Lord Jesus Obama Mahatma Christ Supreme Leader Maximus the Great has shown he really doesn't know WTF he's talking about. At a regional conference about strategic issues facing the Arab states this pictorial was used. And narry a 'palestinian' appears