Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

President Obama to Iran: Buzz off!

by Oui Wed Sep 25th, 2013 at 07:50:18 AM EST

A dry analysis of the political positioning at the UN General Assembly yesterday. Preaching to the global community or placating the warmongers at home. A new spirit of optimism may be justified, the work will be done behind closed doors and through back-channels. Plenty of work do be done by Secretary Kerry in the coming months.

The Handshake That Never Happened  by Justin Raimondo

(Anti-War) -  The world waited with bated breath as the day approached: would President Obama's speech to the UN General Assembly reflect positively on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's "charm offensive" (as the Israelis derisively dub it)? Would the two meet up at a luncheon arranged by Ban Ki-Moon and - gasp! - actually shake hands?

We now know the answers to these two questions: no, and certainly not.

It's funny how subjective impressions can be. People often hear their hopes rather than what is actually being said: here's Phil Weiss, over at the activist MondoWeiss web site, who sees in Obama's speech evidence of a "bold opening to Iran," all but proclaiming the beginning of a new era in US-Iranian relations. On the other hand, here's Max Fisher over at the Washington Post with a much more sober - and, I would say, more accurate - assessment.

Rouhani never showed up at the luncheon, and therefore the handshake that was supposed to have shaken the world never happened.  

Former U.S. officials blast diplomacy with Rouhani at MEK rally outside UN

Continued below the fold ...

Former U.S. officials blast diplomacy with Rouhani at MEK rally outside UN

(Mondoweiss) - While the Iranian expatriates, some of whom fled the country in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, chanted for the downfall of the Iranian regime, former U.S. officials spoke on stage.

The stars of the rally included former U.S. ambassador to the UN John Bolton; former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Rhode Island Democratic Representative Patrick Kennedy; and former chairman of the Republican National National Committee Michael Steele. They had one uniform message: stop Iraq from cracking down on MEK members and halt the Obama administration from carrying out talks with the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani.

The rally was held immediately after President Obama addressed the UN–where he hinted that negotiations over Iran’s nuclear energy program might be pursued by the U.S–and just hours before Rouhani spoke. The new Iranian president said that he was open to nuclear negotiations as long as Iran’s right to enrich uranium–which is protected under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty–was respected. But those words were likely to do little to persuade hardline former U.S. officials who attended the pro-MEK rally.

He ought to be thrown out of the UN,” Rep. Kennedy said of Rouhani. “President Rouhani and his mullahs…are waging a war not only against the Iranian people, but the Syrian people.”

Kennedy, along with Bolton, Giuliani and Steele have all received handsome speaking fees in the past from MEK-affiliated organizations. They were among a gaggle of former U.S. officials who lobbied the U.S. hard in recent years to take the MEK off the State Department terrorist list. The lobbying effort bore fruit last year when the State Department did just that, despite the MEK’s past involvement in violent attacks. The MEK had been trained by the U.S. in Nevada in 2005 and received U.S. intelligence that the group used to carry out the assassinations of Iranian scientists, according to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. In February 2012, NBC News’ Richard Engel and Robert Windrem reported that the MEK colluded with Israel to kill Iranian nuclear scientists.

[Some links added are mine - Oui]

The aggressive rhetoric of FM Laurent Fabius and FM William Hague has been muted by the reality of the Kerry/Lavrov agreement reached in Geneva.

Lavrov: Syria resolution to be submitted to UNSC in line with Geneva deal

(RT) - A Syria resolution drafted by Russia and the US and submitted to the UN Security Council does not suggest immediate military action under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, Russia's FM Lavrov said. A vote on the measure could take place Friday evening.

The Council has begun consultations on the draft and may vote on the resolution on Friday evening, as soon as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons makes its own decision on the submitted draft, Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said.  

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov might slightly extend his visit to New York to take part in the vote, and his counterparts from the Security Council member states are considering similar moves, Churkin added.  

The resolution which was submitted to the UN Security Council is fully in line with the Geneva framework on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria, Sergey Lavrov told the press earlier on Thursday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's 68th session.

    "There will be no enforcement in line with Chapter 7,"
 he emphasized.

The draft resolution backs the agreement reached in Geneva regarding Syria's commitment to place its chemical weapons stockpile under international control. If there is any violation by any party - as the resolution  also calls on the opposition to assist in the disarmament process - the Security Council will convene again and will be ready to take enforcement measures in line with Chapter 7, Lavrov said.

    "We have finalized the draft which will be submitted at the headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Hague any minute now," Lavrov said in a short statement on Thursday evening. "We have also agreed on a US-Russian draft resolution which will be submitted to the Security Council later tonight."

The draft resolution emphasizes the need to rely on the professionalism of the OPCW experts and calls on the UN Secretary General to assist the experts in the implementation of the reached agreements.

Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction

by Oui on Fri Sep 27th, 2013 at 04:53:09 AM EST
UN Security Council unanimously adopts Syria resolution

(RT) - The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution outlining the details of taking under international control and ultimately destroying Syria's chemical arsenal.

"Today's historic resolution is the first hopeful news on Syria in a long time," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the council immediately after the vote.

The Syrian sides must engage constructively in the upcoming Geneva 2 conference, which would be a significant step towards the "creation of a democratic state that guarantees the human rights of all in Syria," Moon said in his address to the Council.

    "The regional actors have a responsibility to challenge those who will actively undermine the process and those who do not fully respect Syria's sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity."

... The Council's vote came shortly after a consensus had been reached earlier on Friday by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in regards to the proposal. The draft resolution is fully in line with the Geneva framework on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

The five veto-wielding members had agreed upon the text on Thursday before presenting the draft to the full 15-member body during overnight discussions.

Director-General's Statement on Executive Council Decision on Destruction of Syria Chemical Weapons

by Oui on Fri Sep 27th, 2013 at 11:36:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been and am always optimistic, looking for opportunities where diplomacy could lead to a breakthrough towards peace in the Greater Middle-East.

Secretary Kerry had to win the battle inside the Oval Office from "humanitarian hawks" Susan Rice and Samantha Power. His leading "off-the-cuff" remark caused the space for Lavrov and Putin to make a CW proposal on Syria.

President Obama made a decision to go through Congress and delayed the military strike, which would have caused deep trauma to the Middle-East and played into the hands of the right-wing conservatives in Congress, Turkey, GCC States and Israel. Any act of war outside International Law would have destructed Obama's second term, sharpened conflict with our "enemy" states Syria, Iraq, Russia, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Iran. My take a fortnight ago ...

If John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov illustrate their determination ...
STEP 1 -  Resolve CW issue on Syria
STEP 2 -  Arms embargo and a political solution for Syria
STEP 3 -  Resolve nuclear issue of Iran with president Rouhani
STEP 4 -  Finalize a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine

Peace Will Be the Nail In Netanyahu's Coffin  Feb. 20, 2013

by Oui on Fri Sep 27th, 2013 at 05:00:46 AM EST
Historic Call Between US President Obama and President Rouhani of Iran

 « click for link

In a phone conversation b/w #Iranian & #US Presidents just now:
@HassanRouhani: "Have a Nice Day!"
@WhiteHouse: "Thank you. Khodahafez.".
-- Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) September 27, 2013

by Oui on Fri Sep 27th, 2013 at 06:47:31 PM EST
Well said BooMan! We'll have three days of the Bibi and Sara Netanyahu show in Washington DC and at the UNGA in New York.

Natanyahu comes well prepared as he just lifted a gag order (military censorship) of an arrest of an alleged Iranian spy on September 11. Expect a lot ado about nothing.

Body Language - If this photo truly mirrors the mood of Benjamin and Sara Nethanyahu, expect three days of thunder above New York and the District of Columbia. Article in TOI - Netanyahu heads to US, vows to tell 'the truth' about Iran.

 « click
PM Netanyahu will meet President Obama on Monday in the White House

Netanyahu flies to US in role as spoil-sport to Iranian Rouhani's 'charm offensive'

(JPost) - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left late Saturday night for a three-day visit to the US, where he will try to offset Iranian Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani's "charm offensive" by stressing that Iran must be judged by its actions, not words.

Government officials acknowledged that Netanyahu had his work cut out for him, as US President Barack Obama's telephone conversation with the Iranian president on Friday indicated there was a new, more open attitude toward Tehran.

Bibi's Gag Order In Jerusalem

Before heading to the US, Netanyahu directed his ministers not to comment on the Obama-Rouhani phone call or US-Iranian relations, in an apparent effort not to embarrass him before his scheduled meeting with Obama in Washington on Monday. Netanyahu's office did not issue any reaction to the phone call.

Some good reads @Tikun Olam by Richard Silverstein ...
Obama Breaks With Bibi on Iranian Uranium Enrichment
Phone Call Heard Round the World
Iran and U.S.: Gathering Momentum for Peace

Of course, a red carpet has been laid out on Capitol Hill lined by a bipartisan delegation. Op-Ed in the Washington Post by  Robert Menendez and Lindsey O. Graham. This follows the letter written in August to President Obama by Menendez and Graham, and signed by a total of 76 U.S. Senators, calling for tougher sanctions against Iran.

Iran's messenger has changed. Its message has not

The new face of Iran we anticipated seeing at the United Nations last week sounded and looked quite similar to the old face of Iran we have come to know. We expected a charm offensive. We readied ourselves for a possible diplomatic breakthrough. But we were left underwhelmed.

We remain skeptical about Tehran's intentions. Iranian leaders are skilled negotiators with expertise in delay tactics and obfuscation. Yet to ignore the overtures coming from Iran during this period of furious public diplomacy would have been imprudent, especially when a peaceful resolution preventing Iran from achieving nuclear capability is the outcome we all aspire to achieve.

But what happens in Tehran seems to stay in Tehran, and President Rouhani's charm offensive didn't quite follow him to New York. Rouhani was betwixt and between, reaching out to our world, but still shackled by his world. He spoke of tolerance and responsibility during his General Assembly speech, while listing grievances against the West and launching into a diatribe against Israel -- a familiar refrain we've heard before. Rouhani's inability to reciprocate to President Obama's offer of a handshake at the United Nations was weak, yet Rouhani accepted Obama's phone call on Friday.

In the coming days, we will be outspoken in our support for furthering sanctions against Iran, requiring countries to again reduce their purchases of Iranian petroleum and imposing further prohibitions on strategic sectors of the Iranian economy.

We proceed with an open hand, but there can be a deal only when Iran's actions align with its rhetoric.

Thousands welcomed Rouhani as he arrived home from the airport. In interviews, citizens expressed hope of a better relationship with the US. There was a group of 60 hardliners who critizised the rapprochement to the West. Of course the Jerusalem Post and even the BBC reported the acts of the 60 hardliners. Apparently under the motto: "The Iranians are a unreliable and irrational people, a danger to engage with." It's a joy to read Ms Glick in her opinion piece at the Jerusalem Post yesterday. AIPAC in disarray after the broken promise of Netanyahu and Obama to support a military strike on arch enemy the Assads of Syria. All certainties are falling apart, with Obama's power to engage with Rouhani and Teheran, Israel will lose a boogeyman. In the absence of Avigdor Liberman, Netanyahu himself has taken the task of Israeli foreign policy minister. A true disaster for Israel.

by Oui on Mon Sep 30th, 2013 at 06:38:53 AM EST
Iran Spy Gag Order Lifted After 'Order From Above'

(Ynet News) - Police said today (Monday) during the remand hearing of Ali Mansouri, accused of spying for Iran on Israel, that publication of the affair was sped up following a request from "Israel's highest echelons."

At the hearing in Petah Tikva, the Magistrate stated that the gag order on the case was to be removed a day earlier, after police filed a request asking that publication of the case be brought forward. A police representative said that "Police made the request but the order came from the higher echelons."

Unnamed security sources quoted by Channel Two have said the timing of the news is not a coincidence, and is connected to the new developments and the warming in relations between the US and Iran. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet the US President in New York White House later Monday, and is expected to urge Obama not to ease sanctions on Iran, until it ends its plans to develop nuclear weapons.

Iranian media denies spy report

Meanwhile, the Iranian daily, Tehran Times, claimed Monday morning that the detention of Ali Mansour was "pure propaganda" timed to torpedo the "rapprochement Iran is seeking with the US and Western countries."

by Oui on Mon Sep 30th, 2013 at 07:03:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The article you cite includes the pictures he had in his camera, presumably to help future terrorists.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 30th, 2013 at 07:05:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<<New York>> as meeting place should have been crossed out as the two leaders were scheduled to meet in the White House today.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet the US President in New York White House later Monday, and is expected to urge Obama not to ease sanctions on Iran, until it ends its plans to develop nuclear weapons.

Iranian media denies spy report

Meanwhile, the Iranian daily, Tehran Times, claimed Monday morning that the detention of Ali Mansour was "pure propaganda" timed to torpedo the "rapprochement Iran is seeking with the US and Western countries."

PM Netanyahu arrives at White House to meet with President Obama

by Oui on Mon Sep 30th, 2013 at 01:06:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Accuses Iran of blowing up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Opens his remarls by speaking solely about the terror state of Iran. What a bs from a "leader" of the Jewish people. Accused Iran in support of Assad murderous regime and responsible for gas attack of Damascus. The planned assassination of Saudi Ambassador in US and the Iranian spy just arrested in Israel who planned to bomb the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu at UNGA: Israel will stand alone if needed in preventing Iran nuclear weapons

(JPost) - A steadfast Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made clear in a speeach to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that Israel would not accept a nuclear armed Iran, and would "stand alone" if necessary to achieve that aim.

"Israel will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, even if we have to stand alone," he said.

'Iran's Rouhani is wolf in sheep's clothing' - Netanyahu to UN General Assembly

He dismissed the recent so-called "charm offensive" by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, charging that while his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, had been openly aggressive towards Israel, he was concealing his true intentions. The iranian's goal, Netanyahu said, was an end to the sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy and were implemented over Teheran's intransigence on its atomic ambitions, and it was for this reason that Rouhani was elected.

"[Former Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmedinejad was a wolf in wolf's clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep's clothing," Netanyahu said during his address.

Netanyahu ended his speech with a tale of the anti-Semitism suffered by his grandfather and his subsequent Zionism.

"The people of Israel have come home, never to be uprooted again."

Remember Bibi's Wisdom on Iraq 11 Years Ago - Video

by Oui on Tue Oct 1st, 2013 at 02:50:48 PM EST
I must have listening to another speech ...

ADL praises Netanyahu's 'rational and emotional' UN speech

(JPost) - "Prime Minister Netanyahu has disappointed his critics who warned him not to be negative or shrill. He did not reject diplomacy, but in an articulate, reasonable, rational and emotional way made clear why the international community cannot afford to be complacent about Iran's ongoing nuclear weapons program," ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement.

ADL Op-Ed: It's Iran, Stupid -- How to Guarantee US Credibility Remains After Syria Crisis

by Oui on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 04:00:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Syrian President Assad Regarded As a 'Reformer,' Clinton Says

(CNS) March 28, 2011 - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew a contrast between Syrian President Bashir Assad and his late father and predecessor, and said U.S. lawmakers who recently have visited Damascus regarded him as a "reformer." She made the startling comment while explaining why the United States will not intervene on behalf of Syrian civilians revolting against the regime as it has done in the case of Libya.

When Kerry was asked about Syria during a question-and-answer session afterwards, he voiced optimism about the direction relations were taking. "I have been a believer for some period of time that we could make progress in that relationship. And I'm going to continue to work for it and push it. President Assad has been very generous with me in terms of the discussions we have had," Kerry continued. "And when I last went to - the last several trips to Syria - I asked President Assad to do certain things to build the relationship with the United States and sort of show the good faith that would help us to move the process forward."

James Rubin Advocates Syrian Regime Change, U.S. Military Intervention to Defang Iran

(Tikun Olam) June 12, 2012 - Jamie Rubin, a one-time foreign policy spokesperson in Bill Clinton's administration has put forward a truly diabolical argument in Foreign Policy Magazine on behalf of Syrian regime change as a way of defanging the Iranian mullahs.  The odd thing about Rubin's essay is that while he's offering nostrums on behalf of U.S. foreign policy objectives, he makes no bones that the reason we should do these things is not so much for ourselves, but on behalf of Israel.

Syria: From Regime Change To Regime-Led Change

(M of A) Nov. 2012 - The U.S. does want to kill the SNC, but that is necessary to create a viable Syrian opposition that allows for a political solution for the situation in Syria. Largely because of Libya the aim and plan of the U.S. has changed from regime change in Syria to regime-led change. Clinton made clear that she thinks the SNC is worthless. She used quite undiplomatic language to express her disdain about their disunity.

Washington is no longer following the Brookings Doha Center advice. Shadi Hamid, the Brookings Doha man, is furious about this. He wants a military intervention and his most important issue now is to further arm the rebels. That is understandable for two reasons. The rebels can no longer hold ground and had to revert to terror tactics because they did not follow the steps of guerrilla warfare. They are likely to fail and the false hope is that more weapons would help them. The other reason is money. Brookings Doha Center is a paid piper for the Emir of Qatar.

The Neocon March on Damascus

(Global Research) Aug. 28, 2013 - Here we go again. As Americans prepare to march on Washington, Washington is preparing to march on Damascus. As part of the buildup to war, a chorus of liberal hawks and neoconservatives has issued a new manifesto in--where else?--the Weekly Standard calling upon President Obama to engage in regime change in Syria. Just as they demanded military action to topple Saddam Hussein, so they now are insisting upon the removal of Bashar al-Assad.  

by Oui on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 04:01:31 PM EST
The Other Lobby: Newspapers of Gulf Oil Monarchies Condemn US-Iran Rapprochement

On 29 and 30 September, Bahrain and UAE newspapers were observed to carry commentaries reacting to Obama's comments regarding Bahrain and the latest developments in the US-Iranian relations, expressing mixed views on the "rapprochement" between them, Ruhani's stances, and the way they affect the Gulf states. Following is a roundup of some of these opinion pieces:

Manama Akhbar al-Khalij Online in Arabic [English] -- Website of independent, pro-government daily

- on 29 September carries a commentary saying that the Gulf states "are going to pay the price" for the US-Iranian relations. The commentary says that the United States "will steadily adopt the Iran's stances toward the region," referring to President Obama's recent description of the situation in Bahrain as "sectarian tension." The commentary says that Iran agreed to work with the United States on its nuclear program and Washington "will not hesitate to give up the head of the GCC" in return.

Manama Akhbar al-Khalij Online in Arabic

on 29 September carries a commentary saying that the "United States and Iran accustomed us to their hidden malicious coordination as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan," but they revealed it now. The commentary adds "no wonder" Obama called Ruhani, because "improving the relations with Iran publicly became urgent now; it is the announcement of an illegitimate relationship that lasted for years." The commentary further talks about the US Ambassador to Bahrain saying that his mission is to "ignite the sectarian rivalry." ...

Manama  Al-Watan Online in Arabic [English] -- Website of pro-government daily, harshly critical of Bahraini opposition, featuring articles by prominent Bahraini commentators...

- on 29 September carries a commentary saying that "amid the US-Iran intimacy that came up suddenly, we find that President Obama went back in his last comments to stick Bahrain between Syria and Iraq." The commentary adds that "inserting Bahrain in what happens in these two countries is the biggest political crime committed by Obama against our peaceful country."  

US moves on Syria, Iran outrage Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Gulf News) - The Obama administration's handling of overtures on Syria and Iran have outraged regional ally Saudi Arabia, which is signaling it wants to do more to boost the power of armed rebel groups on the ground in Syria as the US pursues diplomacy.

Saudis fear that Syrian President Basher Al Assad will use the time afforded by US- and UN-backed diplomacy on Syria "to impose more killing and to torture its people," Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal said Thursday night in New York, in a warning that was overshadowed by the attention paid to the weekend's first public contacts in three decades between the presidents of Iran and the US.

Accordingly, Saudi Arabia wants "intensification of political, economic and military support to the Syrian opposition...to change the balance of powers on the ground" in Syria, Prince Saud said in his remarks to the Friends of Syria group, a coalition of Western and Gulf Arab countries and Turkey that supports the Syria opposition against Al Assad.

Saudi Arabia cancels UN speech

by Oui on Wed Oct 2nd, 2013 at 04:03:28 PM EST
On how American Jews are Mostly the Opposite of Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu

(Informed Comment) - A huge  Pew Charitable Truest telephone poll of American Jews confirms many of the things learned by previous religious polls conducted by Barry Kosmin and colleagues under the rubric of the American Religious Identification Survey. What is striking is how dissimilar the mainstream of Jewish Americans is to the ruling Likud Party in Israel, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu and his party use Judaism and Jewish heritage as the basis for the construction of an exclusivist, nationalist, hardline ideology hostile toward and suspicious of non-Jews.

... AIPAC, the Zionist Organization of America, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Anti-Defamation League (which too often defames other people) are completely unrepresentative of Jewish Americans. But they do represent a few very wealthy super-nationalists such as Sheldon Adelson and (on his bad days) Haim Saban.

One of the takeaways of the poll is that American politicians and media should stop being so afraid of the American Likudniks, who very ironically use their extreme nationalism to accuse other people of being bigots. The Israel lobbies don't represent most Jewish voters, and if voter sentiment is the issue, they can most often safely be defied. Likewise, organizations such as CAMERA, who monitor journalists and attempt to discipline them or get them fired if they dare criticize Likud policy, should just be ignored. They don't speak for Jewish Americans. They speak for a small group of fanatics.

New Pew Poll on U.S. Jewish Identity

(Tikun Olam) - The Pew Research: Religion and Public Life Project commissioned a new poll on American Jewish identity (full report here) and the results are fascinating and chilling at the same time.  Pew decided to take up the task when the Jewish federations, who'd done the last, controversial poll in 2000, declined to do so.

According to the poll, there are now 6.6-million American Jews.  35% of Jews identify as Reform; 18% as Conservative; and 10% as Orthodox.  19% of Jews have no denomination.  58% of Jews intermarry and that figure rises to 71% for non-Orthodox Jews.  Two-thirds of American Jews do not belong to a synagogue.  One-quarter do not believe in God.  Only 26% believe that religion is "very important" in their lives compared to 56% of the overall American population.

by Oui on Thu Oct 3rd, 2013 at 03:12:10 AM EST
Of course, all Obama loyalists call it a masterpiece of 11th Dimensional Chess, he can do no wrong. What a bs. Remember, France and the US were just hours away from a devastating military strike on Syria that would have destroyed any Obama "legacy."

It's not 11th Dimensional Chess, just a lucky hand at poker when Secretary Kerry set up a one-two rebuttal with his Russian colleague Lavrov and secured the CW removal option in Syria. Left AIPAC look like fools and empty handed, so did the hawks in the White House, Capitol Hill and Jerusalem. Not even speaking of Ankara, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh.

Here is how the blog community reacts on poor brinkmanship from the Oval Office:
It's At Least 11-Dimensional Chess   BooMan on Sept. 25, 2009
Russia's chess game trumps Obama's checkers (with video)   Sept.11, 2013
Obama Wins 11th Dimensional Chess Match: Agreement with Russia to Remove Syrian Chemical Weapons  Daily Kos on Sept.14, 2013

by Oui on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 03:52:16 AM EST
To appreciate what Obama achieved, try to imagine what would have happened with G.W.Bush instead. It's not just luck, but the ability to take advantage of luck that counts (like what Napoleon is supposed to have said about generals - don't you prefer a lucky president to an unlucky one?)

As to making AIPAC look like fools, didn't he already do that by getting reelected?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 05:41:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It might better be said "...appreciate what Kerry accomplished...', although Obama did take advantage of what had been done. I can only hope that he has a new sense of caution about the advise of his national security team.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 5th, 2013 at 08:08:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What if ... George W. Bush was president or perhaps Mitt Romney is not the issue. President Obama is now 5 years in office and picked his closest advisers and cabinet members. The buck stops at his desk in the Oval Office. The president is responsible for failed diplomacy under Hillary Clinton, failed ME policy as the "Arab uprising" took place, choice for illegitimate regime change in Libya by military means, the spread of arms to Al Qaeda linked rebels in the Maghreb and into Syria. The United States, UK, France and the GCC States pushed for a foreign intervention to overthrow the Assad regime. They are responsible for the bloodshed of the civil/sectarian violence in Syria. Ms Clinton failed to unite the outside opposition (SNC) during the 30 month war, she chose to support the Muslim Brotherhood backed by Egypt (Morsi), Erdogan in Turkey and the Emir of Qatar. Qatar shipped tons of arms and munitions from Libya to Syria. Hollande with France in Mali and now two actions by US Delta Forces in Tripoli, Libya and in Somalia are mopping operations of earlier failures.

Somehow in decisions on foreign policy, the US does not reckon with decades of blowback. Obama is no different on foreign policy effects.

by Oui on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 02:59:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what would you suggest that Obama should have done in Egypt or Turkey? There are limitations on what the US can do (partly as a result of terrible decisions in the past) and most of the alternatives may well have been worse.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:00:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You need answers? Read about Nazih al-Ragye and US/British hypocrisy and duplicity.
by Oui on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 06:25:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see anything here about Egypt or Turkey, let alone suggestions as to what he could have done better.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Oct 7th, 2013 at 02:22:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Iran's Leader 'Optimistic' about Rowhani's US Diplomacy, but Skeptical of Washington, Israel

(Informed Comment) - Undersecretary of State for political affairs Wendy Sherman the point person in US negotiations with Iran, asked Congress not to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran given it just opened a round of diplomacy. But she went on to say that the Obama administration would insist on thorough-going negotiations, saying of Iran that "we know that deception is part of the DNA".

YouTube Video - Under Secretary Sherman Testifies on Iran

I don't think people in Washington who talk like that realize how offensive such language is, with racialist overtones. Try saying of a Western country that deception is part of its people's DNA and see what happens to you. I'm sure the Islamic Republic is duplicitous, but I'm not sure it is a matter of DNA or that it is more duplicitous than many other governments that are US allies.

In any case, Khamenei has given evidence in support of Rouhani's assertion that the Leader has given him support in his diplomatic initiative, and has expressed "optimism" about that initiative despite his distrust of Washington and its special relationship with Israel.

The USG Open Source Center translated Khamenei's remarks from his website.

    "Iran's Supreme Leader `Pessimistic' About USA
     . . . Speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i at a military cadets ceremony in Tehran on 5 October --
     Saturday, October 5, 2013
     Document Type: OSC Translated Text

    The Iranian nation is a nation that has shown its firmness in defending its ideals and interests and it has shown its desire for safety and peace and coexistence with Muslim brothers and all human beings. These are parallel to each other. We should add that we approve and support the government's diplomatic moves. We emphasize diplomatic efforts and measures along with the Iranian nation's comprehensive preparedness . . . We support whatever our government does, be it the recent events of the (president's and foreign minister's) trip (to New York) or other diplomatic efforts and measures they take. Of course, some of the things that happened during the New York trip, we believe, were not proper. However, we are optimistic about the diplomatic delegation of our dear nation and its servant, the government.

    Certainly, we are pessimistic about the Americans. We do not trust them. We consider the government of the United States of America as an unreliable, arrogant, illogical, and trespassing government, which is badly possessed and dominated by the international Zionist network. They are forced to appease the extorter and forged regime that has occupied Palestine to observe the illegitimate desires and interests of the international Zionist network. They ought to be flexible against it for the interests of the international Zionist network.

    They call it America's interests, whereas America's national interests entirely contradict what they are doing today in support of the forged regime. The government of the United States of America is blackmailing the entire world, appeasing the forged Zionist regime. We witness these facts. We do not trust the US government. We trust our own officials. We are optimist and we want them (officials) to take right and firm steps carefully and considering all aspects. They should not forget national interests even for a second.

    The important point for the Islamic Republic's system is the internal strength of the structure of the Islamic Republic, the internal strength of the Iranian nation. This has managed to protect the country, national unity, respect to great ideals of the Islamic Republic, and respect to the national honor. The Iranian nation is a dear nation. The revolution gave honor back to them.

    The time when an American sergeant could dare to beat up an Iranian colonel on Iranian land and officials of our dear country had to observe the arrogant enemies is over. The Islamic Republic made the Iranian nation dear. This honor remains and it is increasing day by day. It is the duty of all officials and the Iranian nation to defend and steward it. A nation becomes proud by its main identity and honor. Otherwise, the nation cannot make progress. The duty of the Armed Forces is to be prepared. They should have the spirit to defend the ideals and the nation that trusts them and backs them."

Khamenei throws support behind Rouhani's trip to UN

by Oui on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 04:31:32 AM EST
Jerusalem Post: Report: US invites Iran to play soccer friendly (10/05/2013)
The Portuguese head coach of the Iranian side, Carlos Quiroz, welcomed the prospect on Saturday of a US-Iran friendly ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Iran's Tasnim News Agency reported.


The head of Iran's soccer federation, Ali Kaffashian, has also reportedly confirmed the proposal of a match between Iran and the US, stating that the two sides still had to configure some details before the game could become a reality on the field.

According to Kaffashian, four countries - Iran, the US, a European country and a South American country - would participate in the event comprising of a series of friendlies.

In the Neurozone, there can be only one.
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 06:54:57 AM EST
The match was reportedly slated to be held in the US during the last week of April 2014, if conditions for the match were upheld.
Do the conditions include stopping their nuclear program?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 07:25:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
to save wrestling as an Olympic Sport and succeeded.

Iran, U.S. find common ground in fight to save Olympic wrestling

TEHRAN, Iran (SI/AP) Feb. 19, 2013 -- The caretakers of the Olympics may have inadvertently accomplished what has eluded diplomats: Galvanizing Iran and the U.S. on a common goal.

Wrestling officials from the arch foes appeared to be in bonding mode on the sidelines of a Tehran tournament less than a week after the stunning decision by the International Olympic Committee that will force the ancient sport - as old as the Olympics themselves - to lobby for a spot at the 2020 Games.

Already, the fight to keep wrestling in the Olympics has brought the U.S. and Cuban federations into a possible alliance. But close cooperation between Iran and America would be an even more remarkable display of common cause with almost everything else driving them apart

Iran's Free-style Wrestling team participates in exhibition matches in New York and Los Angeles - May 2013

by Oui on Sun Oct 6th, 2013 at 01:47:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis: Egypt's message to Obama - Keep your aid

(JPOst) - Army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has emerged as the most popular public figure in Egypt, and he is well aware that many Egyptians have both turned sharply against the Brotherhood and bitterly concluded that Washington supports the movement.

Military officials told Reuters that the country's generals have grown mistrustful of the United States throughout the political crisis that erupted after Morsi's overthrow. They were infuriated from early on when the United States began hinting that action could be taken to demonstrate Washington's displeasure at Morsi's removal.

Military officials said they were not surprised by the reduction in aid. "There is a saying among us that 'whoever is covered by the Americans is in fact naked'. Americans shift their positions based on their interests and don't have principles. But we also know that whatever they say or hint they would do, in the end they will not want to lose Egypt."

Egypt's army is exploring its options. "The military definitely has plans to diversify its source of weapons which include going to Russia," said the military source, who did not elaborate.

El Watan newspaper, which is close to the army, quoted a military source as saying that Egypt will soon announce deals for arms from "new markets other than America" which are of the same standard as ones from the United States.

American efforts to sell democracy in Egypt and return the Brotherhood to politics have deepened long-standing mistrust of the United States.

by Oui on Fri Oct 11th, 2013 at 02:52:57 PM EST

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