November 11, 2013
While France Blocked Negotiations Kerry Blames Iran
As has been widely reported
it were French demands that blew
the recent Geneva negotiations with Iran:
[F]rom the moment he arrived, Mr Fabius saw his role as the plug-puller in chief. His first act was to reveal details of negotiations that were meant to have been kept secret. His second was to tell France Inter radio that Paris would not accept a "fool's game"; and his third was to declare the results of the talks before Lady Ashton and Mr Zarif could do so jointly.
Under pressure from the Zionist lobby Secretary of State Kerry and his acolytes are now trying to change that story and to blame Iran for the failure of the negotiations. A propagandistic NYT story takes the lead in this attempt:
[W]hile France took a harder line than its partners on some issues, a senior American official said it was the Iranian delegation that balked at completing an interim agreement, saying that it had to engage in additional consultations in Tehran before proceeding further.
A senior American official who briefed Israeli reporters and experts in Jerusalem on Sunday said that the six world powers in the talks had approved a working document and presented it to the Iranians, according to Herb Keinon of The Jerusalem Post, who attended the briefing.
It is easy to identify the "senior American official. After the Geneva negotiations Kerry dispatched
his deputy Wendy Sherman to Israel:
US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman arrived in Israel Sunday for meetings with senior government officials, to update them on the recent round of Western negotiations with Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
Why doesn't the NYT identify Sherman when it is obvious that she is the "senior American official" in Jerusalem? Is it because she is a racist
“Deception is part of the DNA of the Iranian leadership.”
Or is it because she is known to lie
Sherman claims that “It has always been the U.S. position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all [and] doesn’t speak to enrichment, period.” But, in fact, the United States originally held that the right to peaceful use recognized in the NPT’s Article IV includes the indigenous development of safeguarded fuel-cycle capabilities.
Whatever. The false Sherman claim is now supported
by Kerry himself:
Earlier reports said the talks fell apart because France refused to accept the proposed deal. Kerry said the major powers reached an agreement but Iran was not able to accept the deal "at that particular moment".
"The French signed off on it, we signed off on it," he said in Abu Dhabi. "There was unity but Iran couldn't take it."
These false claims are supposed to reflect criticisms of Kerry from Netanyahoo and his helpers in Congress. To blame Iranian negotiators and racist bizarre Bazzar rhetoric
might be helpful to achieve that in the short term. But it will make it more difficult for Kerry to achieve any real negotiation results. This while Iran, as its intensifying cooperation
with the IAEA shows, is clearly willing to come to a reasonable agreement.
Posted by b on November 11, 2013 at 07:02 AM | Permalink
As you always emphasize in your excellent blog, let's not forget the big picture. From an analysis as far back as 2006:
We describe these political consequences of recent structural shifts in global energy markets by the shorthand "petropolitics." While each of these developments is challenging to U.S. interests, the various threads of petropolitics are now coming together in an emerging "axis of oil" that is acting as a counterweight to American hegemony on a widening range of issues2. At the center of this undeclared but increasingly assertive axis is a growing geopolitical partnership between Russia (a major energy producer) and China (the paradigmatic rising consumer) against what both perceive as excessive U.S. unilateralism. The impact of this axis on U.S. interests has already been felt in the largely successful Sino-Russian effort to rollback U.S. influence in Central Asia. But the real significance is being seen in the ongoing frustration of U.S. objectives on the Iranian nuclear issue. This will likely be a milestone in redefining the post-Cold War international order -- not merely because Iran is likely to end up with at least a nuclear-weapons option, but because of what that will imply about the efficacy of America's global leadership.
Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 11, 2013 8:22:43 AM | 1
From The Guardian live feed:
Iran's state TV says a 'roadmap' for expanded monitoring reached with UN nuclear chief. More to follow…
These negotiations are, I think, separate from the ones which have collapsed. It shows Iran is set on its course and is not giving up.
I'm also more optimistic than others. After all this shenanigans and inter-Western back stabbing, I think the chances of an attack on Iran - American or Israeli - have shrunk to virtually zero. The US Congress never voted on Syria, but an attack became politically impossible. We could now be in the same situation with Iran.
Posted by: johnf | Nov 11, 2013 8:26:57 AM | 2
No believes anything that Obama/Kerry say. They are like the Israelis now, pushing on against the opposition of everyone else on the planet, more isolated and more hated everyday. There will be few crocodile tears shed when they collapse, together.
Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 11, 2013 8:32:45 AM | 4
"Do I believe the reporters who were THERE, and who saw what was going on?
Do I believe the reporters in Israel who are being told by the Israelis what they had just been told by the Americans?"
Johnboy poses the question on the previous thread.
The answer is that the reporters who were in Geneva didn't know what was going on because nothing was going on in Geneva, nothing except a puppet show in which M Fabius had the rare honour of a starring part, with sub-titles prepared well in advance.
And Russia and China were once more being shown-will this ever sink in to their simple minds-that the United States does not pursue its own interests (it is far too powerful for that to be necessary)- but takes the easy way out.
It takes the easy way, of bowing to infantile pressure from the Wahabs and the Jabotinskyites, because the major concern in Washington is always the next election. Any energy diverted from that is seen as sheer waste. (This does not, of course, apply to macho adventures in genocide, such as Iraq, which will garner electoral approval and increase national paranoia.)
The ball is just where China does not want it: in the court of the two formerly Communist powers. They can seize the opportunity to place themselves at the head of the swelling international opinion that Iran is in the right and that the bullying has to stop. But....
As the late, and not in the least bit lamented, Abba Eban was wont to say (deceitfully) of his victims " These people never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
And I'm not sure that they are wrong: massive changes are taking place in the strategic balance, but they are taking place slowly. The decline of the American Empire is inexorable but not assisted by thermite charges. It can be painful to watch the people on the top of this edifice so unaware of the foundations crumbling beneath them. But it is happening.
Having said that allow me to change the subject to point out that while Iran undoubtedly has the right, as a sovereign power, to enrich uranium it is, in my view, wrong to pursue the chimera of safe nuclear power. It is an indication of the falseness and folly of the current situation that the most recent applicant to build Iran's power stations was Japan.
Nuclear power is unsafe. Nuclear Power stations put the human race in danger. Fukushima is proving that beyond doubt every day. Iran should insist that the NPT be expanded to prevent the proliferation and dismantling of nuclear power.
That may seem irrelevant but to me it is a constant irritant in this debate, partly because nuclear power programmes should be outlawed and partly because, as the stuxnet virus showed we are dealing with madmen in the US and Israel for whom the Samson option of blackmailing the world to get their own way is perfectly permissible.
What the relationship between stuxnet and Fukushima was I have no idea but it is certain that sabotage of a nuclear powr station has taken place and can in the future.
Posted by: bevin | Nov 11, 2013 8:59:58 AM | 5
johnf @ 3: Thanks for link, I'll not hold my breath until the news appears on American Corporate media.
bevin @ 5: "Nuclear power is unsafe. Nuclear Power stations put the human race in danger. Fukushima is proving that beyond doubt every day. Iran should insist that the NPT be expanded to prevent the proliferation and dismantling of nuclear power."
I'll second that. You'd think that reasoning would be crystal clear the world over.
Posted by: ben | Nov 11, 2013 9:21:05 AM | 6
OK, I was wrong. ABC news gave Kerry 5min, and gave the Iranian signing story 5 seconds.
Posted by: ben | Nov 11, 2013 10:15:56 AM | 7
Years ago, Jews used to accuse the Palestinians of
"Never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
I can just see Bibi & Co Rolling On the Floor Laughing their Asses Off at their success in helping the entire dumbass Obama Administration to actually catch this (hitherto mythical) dis-ease.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2013 11:06:42 AM | 9
Iranian media are attributing the "non-event" in Geneva to the refusal by the Western camp to sign-up on the right to enrich at industrial level.
According to those media, the proposed framework for agreement has 3 main aspects, the confidence building measures by both sides; their detailed implementation processes, which should take between 6 to 12 months; the final outcome of the process or return to normal in the "nuclear dossier". The stumbling point would have been the last one, where the US is refusing to clarify its position on enrichment. Iran looks flexible on the first 2 points if the third is agreed uppon. Arak was just an excuse brandished by France positioning herself as the repsentative of the hardliners in the Western camp.
This is exactly where the first round of negociation in 2003-2005 got muddled, with the Iranian side being duped into a compromise beyond its redlines. The second team of the negociators obviously had to fight hard to get this lost terrain back (and even more), loosing some ground at the economic turf. Now, with a Rouhani much wiser and more cautious back on the helm, Iran stood firm on the "right" issue. The fact that the other side avoided so far to announce this as a defeat or even a setback for the negociations, shows, in my opinion, that most likely than not it is the Western camp which will be looking to take some steps towards Iran.
Posted by: ATH | Nov 11, 2013 11:12:37 AM | 10
The Iranian foreign minister Zarif sees this like I do above. Kerry lying/spinning to set the fault on Iran and that will impede negotiations.
Javad ZarifVerified account @JZarif
No amount of spinning can change what happened within 5+1 in Geneva from 6PM Thursday to 545 PM Saturday.But it can further erode confidence
Posted by: b | Nov 11, 2013 12:43:15 PM | 11
I guess Denis Ross has retired or something and has left Wendy (Ruth) Sherman as his replacement. Nothing in her Wiki really jumps at you except that she worked for the very Anti-Iranian Warren Christopher and for Madeleine 'yes it's worth it' Albright. Also was a Fannie Mae big wig in the late 90's. Husband is a senior fellow at the German Marshal Fund.
Posted by: Lysander | Nov 11, 2013 1:13:52 PM | 12
I think they pull these tricks to frustrate the iranian government and hope for a tougher answer from the iranians.That they, they will have an excuse to make shit up and startt another war plan on them.
but... Iranians beat them with kindness and a smile.
Posted by: Shoes | Nov 11, 2013 1:19:17 PM | 13
Now more from FM Zarif:
Mr.Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over half of US draft Thursday night? and publicly commented against it Friday morning?
The answer is of course no. It were the French. But Kerry blames Iran.
Posted by: b | Nov 11, 2013 1:38:31 PM | 14
not so sure. By reading today an Iranian's sites they are sending very tough and saber rattling messages.
"Commander: US to Sustain Biggest Damage in History in Case of Military Action against Iran"
"Defense Minister: US Incapable of Attacking Iran"
As far as I know negotiations are going to be resumed by November 20th, and than this:
"Iranian Army to Stage Asymmetric Wargames Late November." meaning November 22nd.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 11, 2013 1:40:03 PM | 15
The idea of Israel attacking Iran on its own is absurd. Iran and its allies can take a heavy toll of Israeli lives in retaliation. The chosen people can dish it out but cannot take it.
Posted by: Andoheb | Nov 11, 2013 2:07:34 PM | 16
'representative democracy' is one of the worst forms of government with its gross deception that party members represent the voters
bad men/women make bad governments
Posted by: brian | Nov 11, 2013 3:46:01 PM | 17
Posted by: b | Nov 11, 2013 1:38:31 PM | 14
do americans like their elected 'representatives' telling lies in their name?
Posted by: brian | Nov 11, 2013 3:50:34 PM | 18
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2013 11:06:42 AM | 9
its not the Obama regime is 'dumbass', but that many of its members owe their allegience to israel
Posted by: brian | Nov 11, 2013 3:54:21 PM | 19
For the USG, this time around is at the level of push and shove to get a deal that she can sell to her internal constituancy (lobbies + finance + in a small degree the voters) as a victory before 2014 elections. Afterwards, all bets are on the table again since I don't see yet a sign of paradigm shift in US strategic thinking. A shift which I don't necessarily exclude, since I believe that finding a modus vivendi with the Islamic Republic is in the interest of the US side (I mostly mean for the strategic reasons but also to a certain degree for the economy, finance and general well being of the population)
So publicly, France, SA and Israel played the bulldogs sometimes out of touch with the US, which stayed behind; meanwhile, in private, US tried to display a leading role with a reasonable and restrained face, showing detachement from the extremist in her camp, only taking side publicly after the drama ended. But, the two other sides , the Iranians and the Russian/Chinese, couldn't be duped. They both knew who is steadfastly holding the leash and runing the kabuki.
The other difference this time around was that all the sides were talking about a new framwork of building trust and avoiding the destructive zero sum game. So, as b is somehow alluding to, agreement or not, if the US tries to go back to the dead-end policy of sanctions and win-loose game, she will continue ending up on the short side of the stick, outsmarted nicely again by the iranian leadership. On the other hand maybe, and this is a big maybe, if a win-win agreeement is reached, it can be the first step in the long march of strategic shift in the US positions.
Posted by: ATH | Nov 11, 2013 4:31:02 PM | 20
It seems like only last week that Obama was Commander-in-Chief and Lord High Ex-e-cutioner.
When was he demoted to Obedient-Silent-Minority?
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2013 4:34:37 PM | 21
"bad men/women make bad governments"
It is the hoodlum and rapacious mentality, in fascists regimes and its leaders that makes regimes genocidal. A very nature of "representative democracy" is demanding leaders with hoodlum minds.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 11, 2013 4:38:06 PM | 22
And you believe Reuters - who are in the pockets of both the US and France at the UN . Check Matthew Lee's blog ICP. The new Pravda of the FUKUS- P3.
Posted by: Yul | Nov 11, 2013 5:59:34 PM | 24
Kerry's statement in the UAE that Iran walked away from the negotiations is not as bad as it first appeared. http://rt.com/news/kerry-iran-nuclear-deal-532/ has the story in some detail. He did not deny that the French provoked the crises. What the French did was insist on new language in the proposal that the US had worked out in advance with the Iranians. This new language was not acceptable so they returned to Tehran for consultations. Kerry's statement was factually correct, but by omission a diplomatic nuance or what regular folks consider a lie.
In any case the language Kerry used leaves open the process that resulted in the tentative agreement in the first place. Iran might be miffed but it is not likely that they will stiffen their demands, which basically were met informally. The danger is that this will give Israel, Republicans and the lobby to create a political firestorm that forces the US to accept all of France's demands.
Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 11, 2013 6:13:23 PM | 25
Just to follow up on my post 25, I do not see in Kerry's words any indication that US goals in these negotiations have changed. Namely the Obama admin wants a deal, that we have dropped our demand against enrichment and that we are willing to relax sanctions.
This Arak reactor is just dust and smoke so the French can show the Saudis and Israelis that they are looking out for their interests.. Maybe the Iranians should offer to give the French all of their spent reactor rods -- that would solve a big head ache for the Iranians and make France feel important.
Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 11, 2013 6:24:00 PM | 26
And you believe Reuters...
No, I do not.
But the thing is, ideologically speaking, Iran's Mullah are not better than the Mullahs in DC and the EU. What we are seeing is geopolitical clash between the Western colonial oligarchies and national or regional oligarchies, namely Syria and Iran who are out of global finance mainstream. From domestic politics prospective, there is no difference among them - equally repressive a rapacious.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 11, 2013 6:29:28 PM | 27
I do not know about Khamenei but it is well known that Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and his sons are very wealthy.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 11, 2013 6:32:44 PM | 28
There is some justice in seeing Hollande booed during one of the most meaningful annual events in France - the commemoration of the end of World War I.
That scumbag can at least have no doubt that he has failed his country and is despised by his countrymen. Doubtless, though, the sting of rejection can be softened, as Blair's was, by the lucrative do-nothing job he'll be offered by a Wall Street bank following his ignominious reign.
Posted by: guest77 | Nov 11, 2013 8:21:04 PM | 29
"“The president has been willing and made it clear that he is prepared to use force with respect to Iran’s weapon, and he has deployed the forces and the weapons necessary to achieve that goal if it has to be achieved,” Mr. Kerry said during an interview with NBC."
Who can possibly take these clowns seriously anymore?
To allow one's poodle to piss on negotiations with the world watching, and then still threaten war? Having just backed down from a similar scenario just a few months ago?
I'm completely out of synonyms for "shameless fools" at this point.
Posted by: guest77 | Nov 11, 2013 8:42:40 PM | 30
Another ingredient to the pot: Avigdor Lieberman is back! This should get interesting.
Posted by: Maracatu | Nov 12, 2013 1:23:35 AM | 31
#30"Who can possibly take these clowns seriously anymore?"
The Kerry quote you provide is part of a diplomatic move on his part to achieve a deal with the Iranians that should avoid another war. The diplomatic process is ugly indeed. However it beats the alternative of more war. Be patient, peace is worth it.
Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 12, 2013 1:24:38 AM | 32
"But the thing is, ideologically speaking, Iran's Mullah are not better than the Mullahs in DC and the EU."
I think we need to compare what the ideologically motivated DC/EU Mullahs have done to the Middle East in the last 10 years plus to what the Iranian Mullahs have done.
Posted by: curious | Nov 12, 2013 1:51:20 AM | 33
I'm not absolutely certain what Kerry thinks he is achieving by standing before the press and claiming that Up is Down, the Sky is Green and the Grass is Blue, and the USA and France see eye to eye on the minutiae of an interim deal with the Iranians.
I mean, anyone who matters knows that he's spouting nonsense, and if they are capable of being fooled by such foolishness then they don't have the wit nor the wisdom to be a player in this game.
Or, in short: what was the point of lying?
Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 12, 2013 2:17:46 AM | 34
It seems to me that if good geopolitics means not letting Iran achieve nuclear parity with Israel, then good geopolitics means not letting Israel have the opportunity to do to Iran, what they do with impunity now to Syria, that is, violate air space and launch air attacks.
As Syria's fangs are being pulled, the US-AQ 'opposition' is being heavily armed, and on some pretext or false-flag response, there will be boots on the ground soon, then Syrian military bases will be overrun, and their radars and air missile defenses be turned off.
That opens a blind corridor for Israel, already gifted US stealth technology, GPS pinpoint targeting, nuclear bunker busters and long distance refueling tankers, to attack without warning over the horizon, take out Iran's theater missile defense systems, then to launch GPS and laser guided bunker busters, scramming before Iran can launch any counterattack.
Remember, the US has just launched the heaviest spy satellite in history a few months ago.
Heavy means optics. Extended IAEA inspections, perhaps to previously off-limit facilities, means comparing those super-optics to the IAEA satellite phone GPS readings for targeting.
Good geopolitics means not giving Israel an opportunity. Obama gave them that opportunity. He sold them bunker busters, stealth technology, long-range refueling as Boeing outfitted Israel's fighter-bombers with nuclear launch rails. All on his watch. It's on, baby.
That's what the fuwfaw about Hillary and Benghazi was all about. Not that State/CIA was in Benghazi, arming and funding AQ mercs to topple the Assad regime, but that the death of a US diplomat highlighted for all the world to see that we WERE there arming and funding AQ.
Iraq.... Libya... It's just a matter of posturing as the third quarter clock winds down.
That's how it works. They break their victims by prolonged stress postures and Big Lies, as State/CIA has broken Americans' will to stop this SudatenLandt-on-Steroids PNAC Putsch.
47,000,000 America evictions in the pipeline. $400B interest-only perpetual national debt. 'Structural austerity', concealed behind ObamaCare Smiley Face, and blatant Fed looting.
The iron claw in the velvet glove.
"Who CARES about Benghazi!?"
Posted by: PeeDee | Nov 12, 2013 3:12:26 AM | 35
Russia calls Kerry a liar (again): Russia Says Iran Not to Blame for Geneva Talks Failure
MOSCOW, November 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has said Iran was not to blame for the failed outcome of nuclear talks in Geneva last week, hinting at cracks in what had previously appeared to be a relatively united international front on the issue.
A source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the account of the talks given by US Secretary of State John Kerry this week was an oversimplification of events.
“The draft of the joint document readied by the Americans was agreeable to the Iranians, but as decisions at the negotiations in this format are adopted by consensus, it was unfortunately not possible to come to a final agreement. This was not the fault of the Iranians,” the source said.
Posted by: b | Nov 12, 2013 6:40:45 AM | 36
@neretva'43 @23 - That Reuters piece about "Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei built vast US$95B business empire through systematic seizure of properties" is pure propaganda.
The organisation in question is a public endowment which is nominally headed by the Iranian head of state. It isn't owned by him.
From what I could gather it got its money from taking over the assets of the Shah and his followers who first raped and then fled the country. It uses its money for welfare, especially on veterans of the Iraq/Iran war, and on promotion of the Islamic republic. It has, for example, spend a billion on mosque building and Shia revival in Iraq.
To claim that Khamenei somehow "owns this" is like claiming that Obama owns the financial conglomerate known as Social Security.
Posted by: b | Nov 12, 2013 6:46:16 AM | 37
"ideologically speaking, Iran's Mullahs are not better than the (Mullahs) in DC and the EU. What we are seeing is geopolitical clash between the Western colonial oligarchies and national or regional oligarchies."
I agree but the regional oligarchies are namely Iran and KSA.
The French who know the Iranian elite better then most of the iranians are pissed and they realize an Iran beeing too ambitious(they lost Syria to Iran) and now they see the oportunity to hit back AND earn some money just by chearing the saudi effort to derail talks.But they bet on the wrong horse and Kerry hinted to that wrong bet as he said
"We are not blind, and I don't think we're stupid,"..."Some of the most serious and capable, expert people in our government, who have spent a lifetime dealing both with Iran as well as with nuclear weapon and nuclear armament and proliferation, are engaged in our negotiation,...
I think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe, and particularly of our allies like Israel and Gulf states and others in the region."
The Rouhani administration made a mistake not to engage KSA in "some kind of talks"(that would have limited KSAs diplomatic flexibility) but I think that would have been to much for the hardliners at home because they hate the al sauds even more then Israel.
Posted by: some1 | Nov 12, 2013 9:18:12 AM | 38
Correct, Is Kerry the Worst Secretary of State Ever?
It enough to read this piece to see that US neo-fascists fumes at this process. It is hard to understand their separation of a real world.
I agree. The way they have presented it leave no doubt, in particular a headline of an article.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 12, 2013 9:22:44 AM | 39
here, in this video, which is interesting to me from many reasons chiefly it shows neocolonial policy of the US,: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/AsiaIns panelists at the forum, Rubin, Barnett R. says that the Iranian told him the U.S. Congress is ruled by "Neoconservatives, Military companies, and Christian extremists". Well said.
Just imagine having dealing with these hoodlums?
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 12, 2013 9:49:31 AM | 40
I think you got it completely wrong. Iran engaged both SA and Persian Gulf monarchies before, after and during the election of Rouhani. The official, overt and covert policy of Iran since the end of the Irak-Iran war in 1988 was to engage its neighbours, while limiting the illegitimate presence and influence of the outsiders in the region. Iran's overall perception is that a genuine democracy, reflecting the political will and orientation of the majority of the population, in any of the countries in the region, can only be to her benefit. Even after more than 20 years of enmity by the West and its surrogate in the region, her regional strategic goal remains the same: to lay out the foundation for a security and economic cooperation by promoting relationships based on mutual trust and oriented towards a win-win outcome.
It seems that your mis-conception, and I would add ideological bias, (similar to neretva's) regarding the legitimacy of the political order in Iran is playing a big role in your complete mis-understamding of the situation.
Posted by: ATH | Nov 12, 2013 10:03:26 AM | 41
That would be good template for any country, wouldn't it? It sounds as Policy of Zero Problems with our Neighbors of current Turkish administration, i.e. multilateral approach?
But realities are different either because of its own interest and than you collude with the Empire in regard neighboring countries or you are seeking revenge. But that is long story, but that video that I posted touched lightly that topic.
And your doctrine as any doctrine turned into demagogy.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 12, 2013 10:28:14 AM | 42
"...a genuine democracy, reflecting the political will and orientation of the majority of the population".
'So-called ‘democracy’ is a sham, the ballot a travesty. In modern bureaucratized systems, whose birth dates from the mid-nineteenth century, the feudal organization has been carried to the next level, so to speak. A chief objective of what Thucydides referred to in his epoch as synomosiai (literally ‘exchanges of oaths’), that is, the out-of-sight fraternities acting behind the ruling clans, has been to make the process of the exaction of rents from the population (a ‘free income’ in the form of rents, financial charges and like thefts) as unfathomable and impenetrable as possible. The tremendous sophistication, and the propagandistic wall of artfully divulged misconceptions surrounding the banking system which is the chief instrument wherewith the hierarchs expropriate and control the wealth of their supporting community, is the limpid testimony of this essential transformation undergone by the feudal/oligarchic organization in the modern era. The West has moved from a low-tech agrarian establishment built upon the backs of disenfranchised serfs to a highly mechanized post-industrial hive that feeds off the strength of no less disenfranchised blue- and white-collar slaves, whose lives are mortgaged to buy into the vogue of modern consumption. The latter-day lords of the manor are no longer seen demanding tribute since they have relied on the mechanics of banking accounts for the purpose, whereas the sycophants of the median class, as academics and publicists, have consistently remained loyal to the synomosiai.
The other concrete difference between yesterday and today is the immensely increased throughput of industrial production (whose potential level, however, has always been significantly higher than the actual one, to keep prices high). As for the ‘democratic participation’ of the ordinary citizens, these know in their hearts that they never decide anything of weight, and that politics consists in the art of swaying the mobs in one direction or another according to the wishes and anticipations of the few having the keys to information, intelligence and finance. These few may at a point in time be more or less divided into warring factions; the deeper the division, the bloodier the social strife. The electoral record of the West in the past century is a shining monument to the utter inconsequence of ‘democracy’: in spite of two cataclysmic wars and a late system of proportional representation that yielded a plethora of parties, Western Europe has seen no significant shift in her socioeconomic constitution, whereas America has become, as time progressed, ever more identical to her late oligarchic self, having reduced the democratic pageant to a contest between two rival wings of an ideologically compact monopartite structure, which is in fact ‘lobbied’ by more or less hidden ‘clubs’: the degree of public participation in this flagrant mockery is, as known, understandably lowest: a third of the franchise at best.'
from: Conjuring Hitler: How Britain and America Made the Third Reich (2005) by Guido Giacomo Preparata
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 12, 2013 10:41:28 AM | 43
Not necessarily, it all depends on the "characters" and "personality" of the state involved. Since the end of Soviet Union, the US policy towards its, real or perceived, adversary or even economic competitors was based on a mixture of carrots and sticks: while overtly promoting economic cooperation and trust building she was covertly applying threats and pushes and intimidations. This is not exactly the policy principles of, lets say China, India or even, to a certain degree, Russia.
Iran has been steadfast in her pursuit of better relationship with her neighbours. And, even what can only be called malicious treachery of some of them haven't derailed her from this policy. That's what I would call a principled position. And that is what one can trust to build further cooperation in the future, since one realizes that he is facing a partner that won't stabb him in the back while he is talking to others. If you call that demagogy, then I am sorry to say that you have another huge mis-conception to work on.
I would add that even at the time of Khomeiny which represented the revolutionnary period, Iran acted with dignity and restreint with her fellow neighbours. When Saddam, clearly with the knowledge of the US and Soviet powers, was using Chemical Weapons against Iranian soldiers, Khomeiny refused to allow the use of such weapons and even prohibited the making of them.
Posted by: ATH | Nov 12, 2013 11:08:03 AM | 44
You know, neretva, there are unhealthy features about that book. It's very interesting but it's built round an entire vision of 20th-century history which is completely unproven. It's very hard to believe, for instance, that the western intervention forces sent against the Russian Revolution were intended to fail. In some ways, it isn't a plausible hypothesis, for the period. Today we have complex and sophisticated, stratified and compartmentalised machinery for organising and insulating large-scale black operations that they certainly didn't have then. Today, it's possible to talk about large and expensive military operations that are designed to fail, but 100 years ago, I don't think so.
Also, the climax of his book deals with the financial manipulations of Montague Norman at the bank of England, who according to him single-handedly manipulated the entire global banking system, primarily the USA and Germany, as if he (Norman) were the only thinking being in the entire picture and all the others were either will-less automata or gullible fools. And this while Norman, apparently, was at least semi-insane and living in a sort of psychotic fantasy. It's quite a gothic tale, but is it true to life?
What is possible, and easy, is for a third party to stay out of a war until the two opponents exhaust each other, and then step in and pick up the pieces cheaply, as the US has certainly done in both World Wars. But what is not so easy is to stage an intervention which is intended to fail, as Preparata requires that they did in Russia in 1917. Take that away, and his whole dystopian vision of 20th century political manipulation falls apart. And I'm not one who customarily talks tritely about "cock-up rather than conspiracy."
As for democracy, in general, it is simply not a term you can meaningfully apply to a mass society. In the absence of a really excellent system of popular education, the masses cannot understand world conditions. And as long as religion is at all powerful, the masses will be intoxicated by it, whereas the elite understand its real irrelevance. Marxists have always admitted these facts, and have never romanticised mass opinion as liberals pretend to do. Once Lenin said that Trotsky's major failing was that he always underestimated the apathy of the masses, which is surprising and amusing, and probably quite true too.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 12, 2013 11:15:22 AM | 45
Saying that Mullahs in Iran are similar to the Mullahs in DC and EU is not challenging the legitimacy of the political order in Iran.
-"Iran engaged both SA and Persian Gulf monarchies before and during the election of Rouhani."
yes but for tactical reasons(atracting the aktiv Iranian so called oposition in US/EU whose loans and TV-stations are paid by KSA)
-after the election of Rouhani KSA invited Rouhani to come to Mecca (via press) for Hadj but he didnt get the GO because there were backchanel meetings with US/EU deligations at that time and the Mullahs felt quite strong.So Rouhani didnt go to KSA and told the iranian and arab press that there was no official invitation.In the world of diplomacy and especially for the ME and very specificaly for Iran and KSA this is a very lordly way.It is also lordly to ask a president unofficially for a visit.
So this is in your view "promoting relationships based on mutual trust and oriented towards a win-win outcome".
In very short I was challenging the legitimacy of the neo-colonial order in the ME and in my opinion the Mullahcraty in Iran is a result of that order.
mutual trust? between wahabism and shiism?
economic cooperation?oil price?stage of devalopment?
On Saturday there was a report about Irans missiles and a senior revolutionery guard said that the first modern Artillery that was given to Irak in the days of war was a gift from king hussain to saddam.
Understanding Iran is a very complicated matter.
Posted by: some1 | Nov 12, 2013 11:30:50 AM | 46
"In the absence of a really excellent system of popular education, the masses cannot understand world conditions."
Any "education" in a class society will inevitably be indoctrination. Education only works for the masses by mistake, when the ruling class relaxes and forgets that those "liberal" values it talks about are not meant to be implemented.
In recent years we have seen the ruling class recall its true interests in education, with a vengeance: privatisation, job training, cuts to liberal arts, reduction of faculties to the precariat, fees and loans. All intended to tie education directly into the routine of indoctrination. The cost, in terms of society's loss of original thinkers, innovators and a broad minded public opinion is negligible to a ruling class which doesn't live "here" anymore.
As to understanding "world conditions" that never did have much to do with civics or history courses: life experience, sharpened by political education, (refined by life experience) is what has always mattered.
"And as long as religion is at all powerful, the masses will be intoxicated by it, whereas the elite understand its real irrelevance."
Rowan you've got a thing about religion- get over it. You live in England? And religion is all -powerful? I don't think so.
Are you sure that you're not just fllowing the imperialists and attributing, to "lesser breeds without the Atheists" this subjection to religious superstitions?
"Marxists have always admitted these facts, and have never romanticised mass opinion as liberals pretend to do."
But they have recognised that without the conscious commitment of the masses to political action it is impossible to overthrow capitalism.
The truth is that so did the Romantics-"Ye are many! They are few."
Posted by: bevin | Nov 12, 2013 12:01:28 PM | 47
following not fllowing, which is the Welsh.
Posted by: bevin | Nov 12, 2013 12:02:22 PM | 48
I've got a thing about religion, definitely. I belong to that generation which was swept with LSD at the end of the sixties. Here we are, over 40 years later, and I am still carefully dissecting the damage. Not that I 'blame' the LSD, as such. In fact, I have learned more from experimenting with another psychedelic, salvia divinorum, which is similar but significantly different, than I have from reading any number of books. The point is, the human brain is a very deceptive thing. It has a large range of possibilities which seem supernatural when experienced. And there are a large number of ways to trigger these effects. What is loosely called 'hypnosis' is actually fairly common, or even endemic, depending on how exactly you define it. (From one point of view, merely watching television is sufficient to induce a sort of light hypnosis). It is surprisingly easy to convince yourself or anybody else that something is true when it is actually complete moonshine. Examples of the general effect can be found all over the place, once you know what you're looking for. For instance, I have seen quite a few interviews with 'law enforcement professionals' who cannot distinguish between what they have seen in Hollywood thrillers and what they have seen on the news. So religion is just the most obvious aspect of a universal brainwashing culture that extends right across normal life. Because it's so obvious, religion is at least easier to study. And there is no doubt that religion in its entirety is more right-wing than anything you can find on the secular political spectrum. It is, therefore, political poison, literally, and needs to be appreciated as such.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 12, 2013 12:31:57 PM | 49
"...there is no doubt that religion in its entirety is more right-wing than anything you can find on the secular political spectrum."
Religion does not exist prior to society. In imperialist societies religion will act in conjunction with the rest of the ideological apparatus. In the metropolis this might mean Cardinal Manning at the Dock Strike, Major Attlee at Toynbee Hall or Father Coughlin howling into the ether about Jews. In the periphery it can mean nuns being massacred as reds or swaggering prelates dining with Pinochet.
It is true that most religious figures will propagandise for the status quo, or worse. But the same is true of Economists and Political Scientists, who exert at least as much influence on the masses as priests and ministers of religion.
In contemporary society it seems to me that the political poisoners are the Euston Atheists, reconstructed Utilitarians who sneer at religion while practising a neo-Darwinist cult of nature worship in which the mass of mankind are regarded as inferior, to be seen and not heard from, unenlightened, and given to worshiping "Sky Fairies" rather than the Boss, the Bank and the Book known only to the elect.
Posted by: bevin | Nov 12, 2013 1:23:20 PM | 50
Well, the Euston people seem to me to be an ad hoc pressure group constructed by zionist special interests. Zionism, because of its intellectual sophistication, wide diaspora support, and late development, is a chameleonic movement and will present itself in every possible way, appealing to all sorts of constituencies. But you can go back further and find more typical examples of what you mean. There were the Social Darwinists who enlisted as imperialist propagandists, to try to counteract the exclusive association of atheism with the Left. And now there are again: Richard Dawkins for instance. But this is ad hoc political engineering; I'm talking about the broadest and most enduring relationship between religion and the Right, often the very hard Right, ie various forms of religious fascism, including the dominant US evangelical variety, but also the Catholic fascist groups that made up such a large proportion of the original European Gladio network.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 12, 2013 2:38:34 PM | 51
Talking of Gladio, here is one of my favourite weird quotations, this from Stephen Dorril's book on MI6, and there is nothing else in the book quite like it for weirdness:
After WW2 Churchill set up a Central European Committee, with the aim of forming an “anti-Russian Confederation” of Central European nations, intended to give Britain total domination of Central Europe. MI6, supported by French intelligence and the Vatican, recruited Central and East European émigrés, MI5 established Masonic lodges among the exiles, and networks were set up in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and elsewhere, providing the basis for Intermarium, Prometheus, NTS, Gladio, etc.
The statement "MI5 established Masonic lodges among the exiles" is so bizarre that I can't help feeling the people who vetted Dorril's book before publication must have let it through by mistake.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 12, 2013 2:52:02 PM | 52
49;Father Coughlin was incorrect about Jewish hegemony in the USA?Sheesh,and here I was thinking there are very few Jews in American politics,media and banking and their representation was miniscule compared to their population percentage.And Mr.Jesus was right wing?Socialism of the heart,instead of the pocketbook?
Nothing amazes me more than the arrogance of the Zionists in refusing to see that their rehabilitation of Adolf Hitler(and if you don't think preemptive war,mass incarceration of their opponents w/o redress,targeted murder aren't out of the Nazi playbook you are in denial) will bite them in the ass one day,and that their serial lying enforces the historical view by the rest of humanity that deception is in their DNA.(ho ho)
I wish they would wake from their mass induced hysteria and paranoia,join in with the rest of humanity in celebrating our commonality, and make a just peace with their neighbors and create a true garden of Eden for all in their neighborhood.
Posted by: dahoit | Nov 12, 2013 3:01:11 PM | 53
Rowan Berkeley #45
There are many "holes" in that book. I cut and paste that part of democracy which was relevant to discussion which we had at that moment on this site.
Yes, there are many "holes" in that book, as far as my knowledge of history goes. While we at the Russian Revolution no question has been answered where did Lenin came from? It is know that he had considerable financial backing from the Germans.
I was astounded when I read a book "Facts and Fascism" by George Seldes. The U.S. was far more fascistic than it was described by Anthony Sutton and Carrol Quigley. So I do not discard flatly anything from that book. One have to bear in mind propensity of the Western powers to rewrite history, or to be on "right side of history". There are very afraid of the Blowback, or Iran Coup moments.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 12, 2013 4:25:59 PM | 54
"Not necessarily, it all depends on the "characters" and "personality" of the state involved."
So you leave a room that Iran's FP might not be principled?
"Since the end of Soviet Union, the US policy towards its, real or perceived, adversary or even economic competitors was based on a mixture of carrots and sticks: while overtly promoting economic cooperation and trust building she was covertly applying threats and pushes and intimidations. This is not exactly the policy principles of, lets say China, India or even, to a certain degree, Russia."
No dispute here, U.S FP is extremely unilateral, forceful, violent and ultimately genocidal.
"Iran has been steadfast in her pursuit of better relationship with her neighbors. And, even what can only be called malicious treachery of some of them haven't derailed her from this policy. That's what I would call a principled position. And that is what one can trust to build further cooperation in the future, since one realizes that he is facing a partner that won't stabb him in the back while he is talking to others. If you call that demagogy, then I am sorry to say that you have another huge mis-conception to work on."
I call that pragmatism. Which is the norm in international relationship.
I do not know what mis-conception you are talking about. That Iran regime is theocratic oligarchy or something else?
"I would add that even at the time of Khomeiny which represented the revolutionnary period, Iran acted with dignity and restreint with her fellow neighbours. When Saddam, clearly with the knowledge of the US and Soviet powers, was using Chemical Weapons against Iranian soldiers, Khomeiny refused to allow the use of such weapons and even prohibited the making of them."
OK if so than I admire that. I still am not sure/believe that the Iranian regime couldn't stop Muqtada al-Sadr in its onslaught of Sunni fellows neighbors.
Otherwise I have nothing but respect for Iran's ancient civilization, culture and the fight to be master of its own destiny.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 12, 2013 4:41:56 PM | 55
Posted by: Some 1 | Nov 12, 2013 6:02:41 PM | 56
"This is not exactly the policy principles of, lets say China, India or even, to a certain degree, Russia."
I've missed this one. All of them except India are "Permanent Five" of SC-UN, China and Russia have voted for sanctions against Iran that are still in place, and you still see them as a friendly states?
Russia screwed couple times not delivering important air-defense systems to Iran, not wanting to antagonize the US. And Russia for quite long time drag its feet over the nuclear power plant in Iran.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 12, 2013 7:05:15 PM | 57
"It seems that your mis-conception, and I would add ideological bias,regarding the legitimacy of the political order in Iran is playing a big role in your complete mis-understamding of the situation"
-I dont have any ideological bias,regarding the legitimacy of the political order in Iran.(The islamic republic is the result of colonial hegemony in ME)
"Iran engaged both SA and Persian Gulf monarchies before, after and during the election of Rouhani"
-Yes Rouhani has called for closer bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia and a resolution of differences between Tehran and Riyadh [“This issue has been highlighted both in a congratulatory letter from Saudi Arabia King to me, and in my thank-you letter to him, and both sides are ready to eliminate minor tensions to guarantee the mutual interests and those of the Muslim world”]
but this was for domestic audience and a domestic tactic.
-After the elections Rouhani was "invited" to KSA to attend Hajj.
The answer was:
“The invitation was not even addressed as the protocol stipulates. There were only talks about a desire that Rouhani would visit [Saudi Arabia] and the visit did not happen due to his [Rouhani’s] busy schedule.”
Do you understand this diplomacy and what that means?Iran made a tactical mistake because they felt too strong as on those days some back-chenel talks with US/EU deligations were going on.To display friendship would benefit Iran and corp KSAs manovering capabilities. Rouhani understood that but I think he didnt want to provoke the Revolutionary guards.It remains to be seen whish one can make more truble the guards or KSA.
from Iran http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/09/19/324879/rouhani-calls-for-closer-saudi-ties/
from KSA http://islamtimes.org/vdcexz8x7jh8zfi.1kbj.html
from Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/rouhani-to-forgo-hajj-tehran-official-says/
from libanon http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2013/Oct-07/233801-iran-envoy-rouhani-visit-to-saudi-arabia-possible-after-hajj.ashx#axzz2kX8LnWdI
Posted by: Some1 | Nov 13, 2013 9:21:34 AM | 58
the official Saudi answer:
“Regarding reports that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has invited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to perform Hajj this year, the source said that the Hajj is one of the pillars of Islam and that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not extend official invitation to perform Hajj, which is a religious duty. “The desire to perform Hajj is the decision of the individual leaders and officials of the Islamic World,”
Posted by: Some1 | Nov 13, 2013 9:33:10 AM | 59
Iranian media are attributing the "non-event" in Geneva to the refusal by the Western camp to sign-up on the right to enrich at industrial level. ATH at 10.
The French language media, the same. And this was exactly the point that Fabius stuck to - he has said so himself, clearly and in explanatory detail, several times.
.. that most likely than not it is the Western camp which will be looking to take some steps towards Iran.
The French media blame France for scuppering the deal (or, for a few, support Hollande-Fabius as having “done the right thing.”) And the quotes from Kerry in no way blame Iran, but only ‘lack of Western agreement on some precise points’ etc.
Even Fox news seems to have it straighter than the NYT:
Western leaders, meanwhile, were keen to display a unified front after suggestions that France had broken ranks in Geneva and demanded more concessions from Iran on enrichment levels and an under-construction heavy water reactor that produced a greater amount of plutonium byproduct, which could be used in eventual weapons production. Kerry said it was Iran that put the brakes on reaching a first-phase agreement, but gave no details on the Iranian concerns and suggested it was only a matter of time before a formula is found.
Note: Iran put the breaks, i.e. Iran could not go beyond a certain point.
Posted by: Noirette | Nov 13, 2013 9:59:34 AM | 61
neretva #53: You can find innumerable books claiming that Lenin was employed by the German General Staff (and Trotsky by Wall Street and/or the City of London), because this was what the Czarist propaganda was all about, and it's easy to construct such cobwebs if you are a web-spinning spider of conspirology. Preparata’s argument though was based on Mackinder’s geopolitical axiom of preventing “a Eurasian embrace” between Germany and Russia, which could equally be expressed as undermining any strong alliance in Europe and warding off any potential linking up of the German Junkers class with the Russian whites/Czarists. This is perfectly sound, but Preparata goes further than this and states quite explicitly several times that the Brits and Yanks helped the anti-Czarist forces in 1917 because the Czar was threatening to make a separate peace with Germany, and they thought that Kerensky, the Mensheviks, the Bolsheviks, or anybody else for that matter, would be preferable to the Czar making peace with Germany. Preparata even cites a source for this — amazingly, it is Leon Degrelle’s book, Hitler, Born At Versailles, reprinted by the Institute for Historical Review in 1987! This is of course the ‘neo-nazi’ ‘holocaust denialist’ IHR! And Degrelle was the leader of the Belgian Nazis! But this is Preparata’s source for the following analysis:
The British Ambassador in Russia himself was at the centre of the scheme to overthrow the Czar if he should ever lose his stomach for war.
Pluto Press, who published Preparata's book, may be happy with this, but I’m not. Because it makes no sense.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 13, 2013 10:38:10 AM | 62
“There is no reason to be tormented,” an official source in Tehran told Al-Monitor. “Iran knows what it wants, and that’s what we are after.” The source explained that a deal on the nuclear front will help get other files in the region sorted. “The Syrian crisis wasn't at the heart of the negotiations, but it was discussed thoroughly during side talks. Moreover, there was an American request that we discuss possible options whenever the nuclear deal is sealed, and that’s why some regional powers asked the French to put their spanners [wrench] into the talks, and here we are.”
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/11/iran-nuclear-deal-syria-progress.html#ixzz2kXjDoiyu
Posted by: Some1 | Nov 13, 2013 11:23:28 AM | 63
Gareth Porter has an interesting piece on this subject:
Here's a sample on the French Foreign Ministry:
"....Unlike the United States, where the pro-Israeli influence is exerted through campaign contributions coordinated by AIPAC, in France the presidency has nearly complete control over foreign policy. A small group of officials has shaped policy toward Iran and Israel for the past six years. The people who are now advising Fabius on Iran are, in fact, the same ones who advised Sarkozy's foreign ministers Bernard Kouchner and Alain Juppe. "There is, in the ministry of foreign affairs, a tightly knit team of advisers on strategic affairs and non-proliferation which has played a major role in shaping the French position on Iran over the years," a knowledgeable French source told Truthout. The direction the group has taken French policy generally has coincided with that of the neoconservatives in the United States, according to close observers of that policy.
"At the center of that tight-knit group is the former French ambassador to the United States during the George W. Bush administration, Jean-David Levitte. He was appointed diplomatic adviser to Sarkozy in 2007. Levitte, who has been called by some the "real foreign minister" of France, has family ties to Israel and Zionism. His uncle, Simon Levitt, was co-founder of the Zionist Youth Movement in France.
"This was not the first time that France has played a spoiler role in international negotiations on the Iran nuclear issue. Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, recalls in his memoirs how the French delegation came to the October 2009 meeting with Iran in Vienna on a "fuel swap" proposal armed with "scores of amendments to our prepared draft agreement." In that case as well, it appeared that the French role was to ensure that there would not be any agreement....."
It is worth reading the whole thing.
Posted by: bevin | Nov 13, 2013 5:06:31 PM | 64
More from the Russians
Russian FM: Iran Backed US Nuclear Proposal
Russia's foreign minister says Iran had accepted a U.S.-draft proposal on a nuclear deal, but last-minute amendments blocked an accord last week in Geneva. Sergey Lavrov's account fits with comments from Iran and world powers. But it offers additional insights into how Washington apparently led the negotiations seeking to ease Western concerns that Iran could one day produce nuclear weapons — a charge Iran denies. Lavrov did not mention which country offered the 11th hour amendments. Others, however, say France raised concerns over issues such as a planned heavy water rector that produces more
Lavrov expressed hope Thursday that envoys will not abandon "agreements that already have been shaped" and strike a pact with Iran when talks resume next week. Lavrov spoke during a high-level visit to Egypt.
All this makes Kerry look silly.
Posted by: b | Nov 14, 2013 2:33:34 PM | 65
This is implausible:
The amended version was circulated literally at the last moment, when we were about to leave Geneva. At first sight, the Russian delegation did not notice any significant problems in the proposed amendments.
The Voice of Russia article
referred to has been withdrawn, presumably because the US complained about it and the Russians are chickenshit scum.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 16, 2013 5:17:27 AM | 66