Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Attacking Iran: Israel the Lobby or Obama?

My article on the Iran crisis “Attacking Iran: Israel, the Lobby or Obama?”  (about 7 pages, 3000 words plus footnotes)
is available on the DESIP website at:

“Attacking Iran”   raises the question of responsibility for the current impasse in the negotiations with Iran.  The article is based on analysis especially by three writers: David Bromwich who essentially summarizes Trita Parsi’s record of the Obama administration's handling of the Iran negotiations; and  articles by Robert Wright  and Stephen Sniegoski on the Israel Lobby's role in directing President Obama’s hand. 

My article is pretty much open ended, but my personal conclusion, as the title hints, is that the main problem is with the Obama administration, not the Lobby.
Read more:


Ronald said...

Peter wrote:
Nice work. I read most, guess you could also say that the 'super' main problem is our military folks. Our military is in over 130 countries now. The empire is ever expanding. God forbid if you don't get into bed with us, er...that's the U. S. But as someone who did not vote for the rock star in '08, there were a few of us, I will run to vote for him in '12. I may hold my nose when I vote, but if the other folks get into office, well, if you think things are bad now, etc. Oh, I voted for a third party candidate last time.

Ronald said...

Ronald resonded to Peter:
Thanks, Peter. Of course I agree; it’s just that, since O is a special case, we’re in a hard place; as you’ve said.
So we’re back to which is worse, though it always seems this time is worse than the last.


Ronald said...

ES wrote:
"It should be pointed out that the only two recent U.S. presidents who lost re-election bids - Jimmy Carter (1980) and George H.W. Bush (1992) - had taken positions antithetical to those of the Israel Lobby and drew its full ire."

This is classical conspiracy theory nonsense. Carter lost because of economic troubles at home and his being punished by Khomeini abroad--with or without the connivance of the Republicans and their October Surprise. Bush was punished by the American people, similarly, voting their wallets. If you're a Zionist conspiracy theorist, everything looks like a Zionist conspiracy theory.

I trust Parsi on these matters, though I agree with you, he's too soft on Obama. Obama does not want a full break with the Israelis, but he also doesn't want to come off as "capitulating to the Iranians," something which would be political death at the hands of the Republicans.

A deal was in the offing in early 2009, but the contested election and the brutal repression of the opposition made any deal with the Iranians completely impossible.

Also, if you're going to write about this issue, you really should read the IAEA reports themselves and look at the voting of its members. Safdari is a blind supporter of Iranian policy on this issue and not to be trusted, although he should be read. Read the reports themselves. Even the Russians, staunch Iranian allies, have expressed exasperation with the Iranian position. Safdari dodges this issue, as I recall, and no wonder. It undermines the argument of the "poor, peace-loving, anti-nuclear weapons fatwa Iranians" vs. the big bad imperialists. They too share a great responsibility here, though I believe the vast bulk of the trouble is coming from the Americans, followed by the cowardly Europeans.

Ronald responded:
Thanks, Evan. Well said. As it happens I agree with every point you made. I’m sorry I didn't have you as a consultant before this went to press.
On Carter and Bush, I basically agree with you although the Lobby was a factor.
I should also have included Bromwich’s notes about the contested elections in Iran which he argues could have been worked around in the end if O was interested.

Ronald said...

GG wrote:
Hi Ronald, I must say i don't really share your view of Obama. Everything always comes down to cui bono, what's in it for Obama to attack Iran? He is a tap dancing hustler who wants to make a "mark' on the world. The last four years for him was just a rodeo/Survival reality show, just stay in the game, game. Now he is to be elected to a second term, he will now try to "show them what he's made of". This will translate to him wanting to earn the Nobel he prematurely received. He will go on a tear em up spree of "peace', look for him to give the Pals the green light to ask again for Statehood at the UNSC, and this time he will not veto it, so voila the Pals get a state (he becomes the president who solved the impossible Mideast peace!) . This will be pay back time for him and his loathed nemesis Netanyahu. It will cost Net his PMship (great). He will then negotiate with Iran, my guess he will want Israel to open up to nuke inspections, put the spotlight on them for a change. Expect a new big shake up of the cabinet and security staff. We will see. Best. G
Ronald responded:

Thanks, G. Good comments, as always.
Yup we disagree about O. I think he deliberately wants to lose the election –notice how he made sure not to do anything to fix the economy –partly because he doesn't want to be there when we go to war vs. Iran.
Also, he and Netanyahu have the same goal: destroy the Palestinians.