Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 28, 2013

The Rouhani Week

The Rouhani week is over and it was a full success. Contrary to various propaganda claims the Iranian president said nothing essential that differed much from what his predecessor said. But he said it in a different tone and with a much better orchestration and that made all the difference. When Rouhani arrived back in Tehran he was greeted by some 50 protesters who condemned him for talking with the Great Satan. They may well have been part of the Rouhani show demonstrating to the United States that Rouhani can not go all the way it wants him to go. He was also welcomed by Ali Akbar Velayat who is a close advisor to supreme leader Khamenei. His week in New York and his phone-call with Obama can therefor claim to have high endorsement.

The White House seems to be very happy that it can now deal with someone who its own and Israel's propaganda have not (yet) demonized as the next Hitler. It is also glad, for now, that it can avoid a further escalation with Iran and a possible war which, as the campaign against open war on Syria demonstrated, would have no support from United States citizens. Indeed a deal with Rouhani over the nuclear file, easy to get if the U.S. walks back from its hostile position, may help to find a solution for Syria where the U.S. regime change project has thoroughly failed and the threat of a new Al-Qaeda base is now its most pressing concern.

These new developments are destroying the strategy of Israel's prime minister Netanyahoo. He can no longer outright push for War on Iran. The Israeli delegation was the only one that left the UN General Assembly when Rouhani spoke. A clear demonstration of Israel's new isolation. Its AIPAC lobby had already lost the fight for War on Syria and upcoming domestic business will keep Congress occupied with other issues. Sure, there are still some loyal Senators for AIPAC pressing for more sanctions and war "preventing Iran from achieving nuclear capability". Nuclear capability is something Iran achieved some years ago and the U.S. public is not in the mood to wage war to turn the clocks back on that. The lobby has lost for now and some of its leaders are recognizing it. David Harris, Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, warns Netanyahoo in a Haaretz piece:

[U]nless Israel wants to continue to find itself largely alone on the world stage, it will have to find new ways to make its case, so that it is not just talking to itself and its supporters. Simply implying, for instance, that anyone who sits down with Rohani is a modern-day Neville Chamberlain or Édouard Daladier won’t do the trick.

To the contrary, it will only give offense and alienate. There are more effective and less shrill ways of making the case for caution, vigilance, and strength.

One wonders what "more effective and less shrill ways" Mr Harris has in mind. One thing is sure, he is not yet willing to give up. We can expect some open and some hidden dirty tricks to derail any successful talks between Iran and the United States.

But Netanyahoo may truly lose this one. We will know that he has given up when he changes his target. After the first Gulf war Israel's propaganda changed from demonizing the then defanged Saddam Hussein and instead started to demonize Iran. Israel always needs an enemy, the new Hitler, to distract from its continuing colonization of Palestine and to keep its picture as an eternal "victim" alive. As the War On Iran project fails could, please, Saudi Arabia become Israel's new villain?

Next week Netanyahoo will be visiting Washington and New York. He is unlikely to get the same attention and success that Rouhani got. Another stupid comic stunt at the UNGA in New York would make him even more irrelevant. He needs a new game but will have difficulties to find one.

Posted by b on September 28, 2013 at 17:40 UTC | Permalink

next page »

the goal has never been war on Iran. THE GOAL IS THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE.
wars are steps to disarm countries who might raise a hand to slow it down, and to some extent are for padding pockets of oil kings and the M.I.C. but if Iran agrees to let the Palestinians be run out of what will become greater Israel and let them starve in Gaza, then Iran will be speaking the "tone" that the US/Israel like to hear.

Posted by: anon | Sep 28 2013 18:03 utc | 1

"the goal has never been war on Iran. THE GOAL IS THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINE."

What nonsense; there's no oil in Gaza. No doubt, the Palestinians are expendable but getting rid of them has never been the endgame.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 28 2013 18:31 utc | 2

@ruralito |2

"Palestinians are expendable but getting rid of them has never been the endgame."

What gave you that impression? Since the very beginning of recolonization of Palestine it was a goal to: a) get rid of natives, b) occupy their land, and expand further to parts of neighboring countries.

In case you missed, Jews did genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and many times openly declared what are their goals. Its not a secret to anyone. If Jews just occupy Palestine and leave Palestinians intact, when Jews would be minority and they cant have that. For this very reason they cleansed 300k of natives till they started fight back (before Israel was founded), and then Jews used the Palestinians resistance as an excuse to do genocide.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 28 2013 19:03 utc | 3

Israel Prepares to Drill for Oil in Occupied Golan, al-Akhbar, Sep 25

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 28 2013 19:05 utc | 4

I believe they found oil off the coast of Gaza too.

But it is the water and the land that they are after.

Posted by: Susan | Sep 28 2013 19:25 utc | 5

As the War On Iran project fails could, please, Saudi Arabia become Israel's new villain?

I think they may already be seeding that one.

all those troops and mil equipment floating around out there. Could be for anything.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 19:32 utc | 6

I'm saying genocide is a tactic; the big prize is Iran. What gives me that impression is putting my feet up over the heater when it's 20 below outside.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 28 2013 19:37 utc | 7

wow. I thought I was stating the obvious. let's try again:

zionists did not take over Palestine for oil. they are in the process of one of the biggest ethnic cleansings in modern times with the support of the good ol' USA. that's no easy feat!

not everyone has the same goals. multnational oil corp's close to the gov't of the US (an empire) want control of oil, and they don't care about ethnic cleansings. brutal kingdoms in the middle east want to keep control of many millions of people who will eventually overthrow them - and that also puts Iran in their crosshairs or any other large country that is more run by its people than the kingdoms are. not all of these goals are perfectly compatible.

but the goal of zionists - which are Israel and some in the US - is the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Posted by: anon | Sep 28 2013 20:14 utc | 8

to be more clear, zionists want the US to smash Iran to keep any threats away from the ethnic cleansing. just like Syria. some others may want oil profits, but they don't necessarily have to smash Iran to get that. in fact, it didn't go perfectly well in Iraq or Libya or Afghanistan... the real reason to smash the military might of Iran is to weaken anti-zionist neighbors. the US seems like the perfect dummy for this.

if Iran gives in on the question of Palestine and decides not to help Syria or others with any weapons that could hurt Israel, then Iran will suddenly be everybody's friend. just like Saudi Arabia, etc.

Posted by: anon | Sep 28 2013 20:21 utc | 9

"just like Saudi Arabia" whose oil is at the disposal of the Imperialists.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 28 2013 20:30 utc | 10

Iran has for the first time since Alexander the Great both its feet in the Mediterranean and it is not going to give up that to become anybody's friend!!!!!!!
Palestine is at the core of the iranian doctrine and it gave him legitimacy in the eye of its own people who saw in it the exact struggle of Imam Hussein.The so called"Israel"is the biggest looser of the marathon of UN General Assembly.They, as the West ,have become incredibly stupid.All their maneuver for the last twenty years have had a devastating boomerang effect from occupying Beirut who gave birth to their most dangerous foe,Hezbollah,to their last shenanigans in plotting with their american friends the Greater Middle East project and the demonizing of the Islamic Republic of Iran .Even in Syria they have with the West validate the Resistance Axis and the rise of Russia and the beginning of a multi polar world.What the West doesn't understand or want to understand is that they have in front of them a very patient and resilient axis ,an axis that starts in Lebanon and reaches Beijing.Yes they have and continue to inflict horrendous pain on whole populations but they are slowly drowning in moving sands and ROW is rising!

Posted by: Nobody | Sep 28 2013 20:40 utc | 11

The US does not rely on SA oil exports.

Possesion of the oil is not necessarily the game

Denial of possesion is just as useful

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 20:40 utc | 12

"The US does not rely on SA oil exports."

One hand washes the other. Oil is the universal solvent. Doesn't matter who "relies" on it. Long as it flows.

At present Iran's oil is embargoed but if Iran plays nice with Octopus Inc that will change.

Whether Palestine is ethnically cleansed or not.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 28 2013 21:06 utc | 13

Long as it flows.

You seem blind to the possibility that making it not flow, especially for others, can be a very powerful weapon

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 21:10 utc | 14

"You seem blind to the possibility that making it not flow, especially for others, can be a very powerful weapon"

Fuk you and your insults! I just said more or less the same thing, bozo! But rather than shutting your yap or agreeing with me you are determined to get in the final anti-hom.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 28 2013 21:23 utc | 15

"...not everyone has the same goals. multnational oil corp's close to the gov't of the US (an empire) want control of oil, and they don't care about ethnic cleansings. brutal kingdoms in the middle east want to keep control of many millions of people who will eventually overthrow them - and that also puts Iran in their crosshairs or any other large country that is more run by its people than the kingdoms are..."

anon@8 makes a very good point, neither the war in Iraq or Libya was a war for oil, not for the imperialists anyway.
They certainly find the alliance of oil companies and the stars in the eyes of silly consumers who believe that war will lead to cheaper fuel and lower living costs, to be very helpful in winning public support for their wars.
But the wars are for hegemony, for full spectrum domination across the globe. That is the prize being aimed for, and, if that is achieved, oil, gold, coal, land and livestock will all be theirs.
The truth is that if Iraq was a war for oil it was a complete failure, immensely expensive and unproductive. If Afghanistan was a war for a pipeline route it was a disaster. If Libya was designed to give the oil companies control over Libya's reserves it was a farce.

In fact all three wars were aimed at consolidating the political and military dominance of the United States. And the campaign against Iran, which has simply changed its nature for a while, is part of the same lunatic drive by the fools who run Washington.

Time is running out for the neo-cons, the (literal) fascists in Tel Aviv and the vast body of opportunists who have leaped onto their bandwagon in the past decade or so. The public is waking up. It has to.

Israel is going to have to make some hard choices: the ethnic cleansing project is going to fail. Their colony is surrounded by Palestinian refugee camps and is beginning to suffer from emigration as the smarter colonists realise that failure is just a matter of time. And that the hard line anti-peace tactics of Netanyahu and his friends was suicidal: it exposed the true and ugly nature of zionism to the world.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 28 2013 21:43 utc | 16

Ain't no pipelines in afghanistan neither

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 21:46 utc | 17

Fuk you and your insults!

And the same to you, Sir

just said more or less the same thing,

No you didn't -you said the opposite.

I said "denial of possesion" and you replied "as long as it flows", which is the opposite of "not flowing" which is what denial of possesion was a reference to. Perhaps you misunderstood it,

But I did say it twice and you replied saying "Long as it flows" which, tbh, looks pretty much like you being blind to that possibilty I mentioned.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 28 2013 22:10 utc | 18

A good week for Rouhani and pro west reformers in Iran, bad week for Iran. Trusting US and Obama is a big mistake.

Posted by: Loyal | Sep 28 2013 22:13 utc | 19

@18 OK I've got a bit of spare time. How does one deny possession? The Iranians will always possess their oil. And it still flows. To India, Turkey, China.

Posted by: dh | Sep 28 2013 22:26 utc | 20

bevin, I don't think Israel policy is suicidal, rather they have an impossible mission: a "Jewish state" in the heart of the ME has no choice but endless war; the two-state solution was always a fantasy, it would never have been able to appease Israel anxiety for its "security"; the only sane possibility has always been the one-state solution and getting rid of the last racist state of the world, in other words recognizing the gigantic blunder (or crime) committed by the winners of WW2

Israel's project failed from the start; in their racist view, they thought the Palestinians would break and disperse, like other people did in the course of colonialist history; but that history was over when Israel's history began

as you said, the Palestinians are there, millions, all around Israel, they have the pictures, the papers and the keys of the homes they were dispossessed from - no way they'll disappear

Zionist leaders' wet dream now is that of a dehumanized Palestinian population, begging for a crumble of bread; this fantasy is what turned them into a caricature of the Nazis

and now, they have to address the problem of the growing Israeli-Arab minority; proposals are openly discussed regarding "land swaps" that would rid the "Jewish state" of Arabs; an endless tragedy

Posted by: claudio | Sep 28 2013 22:39 utc | 21

"Trusting US and Obama is a big mistake."
In this regard I think nobody knows better then the iranians but it was actually a good week for Iran too because the World bacame a chance to see this Nation in a positiv context(even in the western media).
refering to post Nr.6
"As the War On Iran project fails could, please, Saudi Arabia become Israel's new villain?"
"I think they may already be seeding that one"

The saud`s might think in the same direction "Loyal" thinks("Trusting US and Obama is a big mistake.") but shure is they are pretty nervous.
verry verry interesting read from KSA or former US ambassador there abot the the mindset in KSA.

Posted by: Some1 | Sep 28 2013 22:55 utc | 22

dlaudio @21:

the zionist project in the ME has been a huge success. no one around it has challenged it since 1967. even Hezbollah only protected its own borders, and Syria didn't even do that. all Syria did was have weapons that could reach Israel and a leader who agreed with anti-zionists, but he never even inched toward doing so, even for his own territory! aside from that, Israel's neighbors seem as complacent with the ethnic cleansing of Palestine as Californians who keep voting zionists into office.
may they rock on!

Posted by: anon | Sep 28 2013 23:47 utc | 23

claudio, not dlaudio, obviously. dang these tiny internet devices!!!

Posted by: anon | Sep 28 2013 23:47 utc | 24

"One wonders what "more effective and less shrill ways" Mr Harris has in mind

Political blackmail, bribery, and intimidation of our DC maggots, of course. Need you ask?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 0:20 utc | 25

Sorry, somewhat offtopic, but here I present 2 pieces on UNSC Resolution 2118.

Any thoughts? Mrs.Ulrich seems a bit worried..

Posted by: Luca K | Sep 29 2013 0:23 utc | 26

Oh ho hum. Has someone got a little pink pacifier they can stuff in hmm's mouth? Seems he is still stuck in infancy. Why ain't I suprised?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 0:23 utc | 27

Well....I might as well get into it too. Oil, water, ethnic cleansing......all motives behind Israel's expansion and policies.

But first and foremost, the grease for the skids, is complete military superiority over its neighbors. That is the grand goal that must be achieved and maintained above all else, because without that superiority Israel cannot survive. In a nutshell, that is the basis for Israel's constant sniveling and moaning about Iran.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 0:33 utc | 28

Actually I think there may have been a time when integration might have worked. Prior to the '67 war. Since then it's been like trying to graft an apple onto a lemon tree.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 0:39 utc | 29

There's lots and lots of free ebooks out there that layout zio intentions, philosophy etc

Thinking "integration might have worked" just suggests you might possibly benefit from reading some of em.

"Integration" was never really part of the plan, not before or after 67. They weren't shy about saying it either, back then

Posted by: hmm | Sep 29 2013 0:50 utc | 30

Well smartass maybe 'integration' wasn't quite the right word. I went to Israel in the Sixties, worked on a kibbutz etc. and I met people who genuinely thought they could get along with Arabs. Of course they did have a somewhat superior attitude but I think they meant well. The '67 war changed any thoughts of cooperation.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 0:57 utc | 31

"They meant well".

Delusional. Both you and them, deluding both you and themselves about their own intentions.

"Integration" certainly weren't the correct word for what zios had in mind, in 1938, 48, or 67, nor anytime in between.

Sounds to me like you just allowed yerself to be fooled by the fake socialism of the kibbutz. Fake-socialist or not, it was still probably, like the majority of them, sitting on stolen land.

Kind of hard to miss that, I would have thought, but then whadda I know.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 29 2013 1:09 utc | 32

Well admittedly I was quite young at the time and I have learned a few things since. The people I knew on the kibbutz didn't call themselves Zionists. They were more communists than anything I think. They may even have been quite idealistic. And I think they may even have felt a little guilt about the land. Even Jews can be naive I guess. And of course there were others with another agenda.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 1:14 utc | 33

integration didn't even work in the US. I'm guessing that Kibbutz's integrate worse than NJ's Long Branch or midwest's endless "book fee" high schools. stats say it went the wrong way. who cares.
you Kibbutzim have been killing and starving and maiming them while taking away their land and deporting them from their birthplaces all along with the funding of the US. you are ethnic cleansers. ETHNIC CLEANSERS.
no excuse for that.

Posted by: anon | Sep 29 2013 1:19 utc | 34

Hey steady on there anon. I am not a kibbutznik and never was. Just a wide-eyed (and possibly delusional) little goy hitchhiking around the Middle East in the Sixties. When incidentally it was still possible to go through the Mandelbaum Gate.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 1:25 utc | 35

p.s. we've been silent for so long but we have not changed. the US public hates the zionist racist project and does not want to participate anymore. you will only see your own opinions that you buy in the media, but we are sick sick sick of it. all of us. we are not left or right, we just want to raise our kids and live like anyone else. we want the zionists to leave us alone and stop painting us as brutal killers.

we are fed up.

Posted by: anon | Sep 29 2013 1:27 utc | 36

#Deir_Ezzor - Freedom rebel fighter in #Syria steps on the Christian Cross #Syrian_Truth

Posted by: brian | Sep 29 2013 1:27 utc | 37

Agree with @Claudio and @Bevin, disagree with @Anon when he says:

the zionist project in the ME has been a huge success. no one around it has challenged it since 1967.

Look just because no one has invaded Israel since 1967 doesn't mean Zionism is not being challenged and certainly doesn't mean that it is a success. As Nasrallah says, to often people think Israel is some invincible force and that Arabs would be crazy to fight it militarily. Nasrallah called Israel "as fragile as a spiderweb" in a speech that became known as the Spiderweb Speech on the 1 year anniversary of the 2006 war.

Anon says that Zionism has been a huge success. Certainly not in Demographics, 2011 was the first time the Palestinian population outnumbered the Israeli population inside the two states (as in, not including the millions of Palestinians in Lebanon/Syria/Jordan). That will continue into the future with higher birth rates by Palestinians.

Zionism is also not a huge success Economically. In the OECD group (basically all developed countries) Israel is second last with only Mexico behind it in terms of poverty, one figure that blew my mind. In 1995 13% of Israels population lived below the poverty line, in 2012 24% of the population was under the poverty line. On wages in 2012 it was one place ahead of Greece and we all know what a train-wreck Greece was in 2012.

With a crap economy and falling demographics Israelis will do what all peoples do in such times. Emigrate in large numbers. The US offers Jews fast-track citizenship as does Germany and probably Russia. If a third intifada happens or a regional war I suspect a lot will look elsewhere. The Palestinians have got little options to leave, since they are stateless... even getting a passport is a problem. The Israelis can leave whenever they want.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Sep 29 2013 1:44 utc | 38

I am neither as optimistic as 'b' nor as pessimistic as Loyal (#19). I am more inclined to think that this is *mostly* a great deal of fanfare for nothing. I really don't think that we are in a different position from where we were 1 year ago. 'b' is right, Rohani has said nothing different from what Ahmadinejad used to say, but then again Obama has not changed his position either.
But if I have to choose one of the assessments by 'b' and LOYAL, I am afraid I am more inclined to find LOYAL's assessment as to what is the more likely outcome(incidentally, I don't think that the 'booing crowd' were Rohani's own men, I think 'LOYAL' is in a MUCH BETTER position to see that than 'b' is).
But as I said before I am neither as optimistic as 'b' is nor am I as pessimistic as LOYAL. I am more inclined to say that things have really not changed that much.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Sep 29 2013 1:46 utc | 39

@ 39
" I am more inclined to say that things have really not changed that much."

Obama has spoken with Rouhani - the first time a conversation between a US President and an Iranian President has happened since 1979.

The door is open, and I happen to think that is huge. I realize of course that it could close again at any time - but for now, it is open.

Last Tuesday Abbas was introduced at the UNGA as the "President of the State of Palestine" - that was historical.

Change is occurring - perhaps not as fast as we would want... but, happening.

Posted by: crone | Sep 29 2013 3:54 utc | 40

(38) Colm O' Toole wrote:

"The US offers Jews fast-track citizenship as does Germany and probably Russia."

Armes Deutschland!

Posted by: Luca K | Sep 29 2013 4:13 utc | 41


You seem to attract a lot of vitriol here. Well, I like what you write, u tell it like it is.
Which seems to anger some folks around here... particularly those who seem to be playing damage control and managed opposition games...
Best wishes!

Posted by: Luca K | Sep 29 2013 4:20 utc | 42

The people I knew on the kibbutz didn't call themselves Zionists. They were more communists than anything I think. They may even have been quite idealistic. And I think they may even have felt a little guilt about the land. Even Jews can be naive I guess. And of course there were others with another agenda. Posted by: dh | Sep 28, 2013 9:14:55 PM | 33
Oh dear, oh dear, what a vintage delusion this is. I have written at length about what I call "the old Jewish leftist con." I have even attempted a detailed history of the deception of Stalin in 1947/8 which led to the massive arms transfer from him via Czecho which allowed the Jews to win the war:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 29 2013 5:05 utc | 43

As much as I usually agree with b assessments, here I disagree in one, and quite possibly the decisive point:

In my minds eye the magic isn't done by rohani or his soft tone or orchestration. The magic is that zusa on one hand quite simply can't afford a major war against an opponent compared to whom Iraq and Afghanistan would look like leisurely walks. And the magic is that Russia - finally - has shown to engage in a war against zusa if absolutely needed; or at the very least they pokered brilliantly.

Ok, with Achmadinedschad it would have been harder due to zusas established dislike and the ease with which A. could be painted as bad guy. But it isn't about rohani; any other non overtly aggressive Iranian politician could have achieved the same outcome.

Zusa knew all along that Iran wasn't going for nuclear weapons. But now, thanks to Russia, unlike before the calculation has very considerably changed; a war against Iran would quite certainly bring israels annihilation with it and cost zusa very dearly in blood.
Zamerican military superiority has shown being hardly more than a mix of vanity and bragging. Their chances in a war against Russia would be slim and to make things worse zusa must be more afraid of going nuclear than Russia.

Comparing the cost of an S-400 fired missile with that of a zusan jet zusa can't but loose one way or the other and quite probably both ways. Comparing air power one must not forget costs, too (ca 1:3 in favour of Russia) and the asymmetric defense situation (expensive and not that reliable zusa jet vs. rel. cheap and known to be deadly precise Russian missile).
And we are not even talking about China yet, who would certainly love to have a comfortable opportunity to break zamerican Pacific wet dreams and molesting China.
Also to be considered is that both wouldn't need (or want to) attack zusan main land while zusa needed to establish and keep going complex, endangered and very expensive supply and resupply lines (Typically zusa pays way more money on theater buildup/supply/resupply than on fighting).

But this is just part 1. The really funny part 2 is going to be cleaning up the ME, that is, terminating the terroristic criminal abomination israel.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 29 2013 5:08 utc | 44

Mr P, Iran does not have S-400.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 29 2013 6:19 utc | 45

A) But Russia has. Russia didn't let Syria happen and they won't let happen Iran.
B) Don't underestimate Irans capabilities. Their AD systems are good enough to kill certainly not 90+% but 65% -70% of zusan jets. And they ae perfectly well capable to terminate zaudi arabia which comes down to breaking zusas dollar dominance and hence their position.
Or do you think zusa brawled and threatened but never attacked Iran because zusans are such nice peace-loving guys?

I said a year ago that zusa is done but I knew myself that most wouldn't yet recognize it. After all, zusa invested a lot and worked hard to continue looking important. Now after making lots of noise and not attacking Syria it should be quite well visible. Furthermore zusa *immensely* lost face, standing, and position and had to basically allow Russia to take over the lead.

zusa is done. And soon israel will be done, too. With one difference: zusa will be allowed to exist, even as a second class regional power. israel not; it will be terminated.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 29 2013 6:40 utc | 46


You seem to attract a lot of vitriol here. Well, I like what you write, u tell it like it is.
Which seems to anger some folks around here... particularly those who seem to be playing damage control and managed opposition games...
Best wishes!

Posted by: Luca K | Sep 29, 2013 12:20:13 AM | 42

from MoA's "about" page:

Moon Of Alabama was opened as an independent, open forum for members of the Whiskey Bar community.

apparently the passionate but convivial and collaborative atmosphere of this bar isn't to everyone's taste

Posted by: claudio | Sep 29 2013 8:49 utc | 47

Despite all the crap about "convivial" this place is as fullof vitriol as any on the net.

Despite all the claims of "it's not what you say but how you say it" that's demonstrably nonsense.

The other day I wrote that S y Hersh is a coduit for a CIA faction. That imo is a fairly uncontroversial statement, as I cannot see how he could be anything but. Straight away some leftist trolls spewed venom and were not at all constrained in their trolling.

The leftist trolls here feel secure behaving like that. And it is obvious thatas long as one does not upset the left dinosaur trolls all will be well. Claudios talk above is nonsense as it only applies as long as one does not say anything that might upset the poor old leftist dinosaurs. Have an original thought howeverand the poor dear get a little apopleptic. Probably from jealousy, imo.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 29 2013 10:21 utc | 48


Despite all the crap about "convivial" this place is as fullof vitriol as any on the net.
many of us here have the suspicion that that's precisely what you are trying to accomplish

leftist trolls ... poor old leftist dinosaurs
now you are really trolling; throwing, as you often do, red rags in the arena trying to fire up brawls over void concepts

Posted by: claudio | Sep 29 2013 10:56 utc | 50

Yeah whatever

You do plenty of it yourself.

Posted by: hmm | Sep 29 2013 11:09 utc | 51

Thanks to Some1 @22 for the link to the Freeman interview: informed, intelligent, judiciously cynical and minimally rhetorical.
Freeman is certainly no romantic leftist, but he does perceive the difference between political realities and wishful thinking or benighted arrogance.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Sep 29 2013 12:35 utc | 52

@51 Whatever?!? We're down to one word high school stuff now? Are you getting low on venom?

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 13:49 utc | 53

"Egypt has a history of switching sides, making dramatic readjustments in its strategic orientation. Ultimately that is what’s at stake here. The United States should exercise caution with Egypt. We could provoke a return of Egyptian strategic deference to Moscow. Of course, we’re not in the Cold War, and Russia is not our enemy. But it is a diplomatic rival, and were Egypt to return to military supply and training relationships with Russia under circumstances where the Egyptian army was running Egypt, this would have ramifications that go well beyond the question of our priority use of the Suez Canal or reliable transit rights over Egyptian airspace. I think that’s one element of this, but far from the only one."

He means, he would reconsider their using the Suez canal or the Egyptian airspace?? What a joke... Bullying?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 29 2013 14:11 utc | 54

@ Hmmm

The other day I wrote that S y Hersh is a coduit for a CIA faction. That imo is a fairly uncontroversial statement, as I cannot see how he could be anything but.

Just LOL. Hearsay and pet rumors are not "uncontroversial statements". Point to one source or piece of research backing this wild claim up. Just because you pull some idea out your ass doesn't make it a fact.

Hersh has got all his stories from My Lai to Abu Gharib from good old fashioned journalism. He hears some rumor, he investigates. He published the photo's of Abu Gharib after he was tipped off from an Iraqi intelligence officer, not from some CIA puppet master. And how would this "CIA faction" gain exactly from the revealing of torture (which the CIA involved in). It's likely that in 2004 the CIA would be fairly opposed to having journalists sniffing around torture programs.

Of course Hersh might well have sources in the CIA, even sources with agendas, but likely he has dozens of sources around the world feeding him information. That's how journalists operate. Doesn't mean he is in their pocket or being played by them.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Sep 29 2013 15:14 utc | 56

One thing that civilian hawks and doves have in common is a gross underestimation of Iran'smilitary potential. Hawks say attack because the Iran military is so weak compared to the US. Doves say not necessary to attack because Iran is too weak to threaten US and its allies.

Fortunately the US military has a much more realistic estimate of Iran strength and is not at all anxious for a war.

Posted by: Andoheb | Sep 29 2013 15:27 utc | 57

When this blog isn't hmm's ego tickler, it might be worth commenting here again.

Until then...

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 15:34 utc | 58


I agree. It may be best to starve the troll and hope he goes away.

Posted by: Massinissa | Sep 29 2013 15:44 utc | 59

@43.....Sorry RB I just noticed your post. You have to realize that I was referring to people I met personally on a kibbutz in 1962. Yes it's possible they were deluded but to me at the time they seemed sincere. No doubt Stalin would see them as useful idiots.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 16:02 utc | 60

I should add that these were people who had left Germany and Poland in the thirties before WW2. Probably they were being used by hard core Zionists too.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 16:06 utc | 61

"hmm" is suspended.

Posted by: b | Sep 29 2013 16:07 utc | 62

Allahu akbar...

Posted by: Mina | Sep 29 2013 16:14 utc | 63

Posted by: Some1 | Sep 28, 2013 6:55:50 PM | 22

Thanks for that interview with Chas Freeman. He certainly kept his Imperialist/Atlanticist blinkers on. He also made several weird assertions, the most bizarre of which was that Russia and Iran are rivals. What encouraging things did you read into it?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2013 16:15 utc | 64 again....just in case anybody thinks I'm trying to justify groups like the Irgun and Haganah.....I'm not. I was young. I have learned a lot since. But I can see why Israel looked very attractive to young German Jews in the thirties.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 16:18 utc | 65

Good. All that abrasive Confirmation Bias was becoming irritating.
MoA just got 20% better.
And briefer.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2013 16:24 utc | 66

@ 65.
I was a bit surprised by your 'up to 67' assertion. In order to believe that one would have to ignore, or be ignorant of, the infamous "breaking of bones" campaign in "Isreel's" early days. One could hardly describe that as invitation to enjoy peaceful co-existence. In my opinion it was a monstrous crime and Jews who continued with the Israel Project after that are ALL monsters and will remain so.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2013 16:44 utc | 67

@67 I agree. But I was referring specifically to people I met on kibbutzim. I think they envisaged some kind of peaceful coexistence prior to '67. Clearly they got swept up by events. That's what usually happens to naive idealists.

Or maybe they were just trying to pull the wool over my eyes. The kibbutz movement was a mainstay of Israeli propaganda...radiant young girls picking fruit etc....that's probably why I went there at the time.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 16:58 utc | 68

@ DH, #60, #61, #65: It's a very strange phenomenon, and very recurrent, the achingly sincere Jewish leftist. My article is a specific case study, though the case is of enormous, world-historical importance (namely, the specific deception of Stalin that procured the arms that allowed the 'Jewish state' to come into existence). I cannot prove that 'the old Jewish leftist con' is really a fixed, historical constant. I suppose that just on the basis of the Jewish bible, you cannot avoid developing a culture which sees itself as naturally fitted to lead the world from a collectively superior position, for its own good. I've experienced this again and again at close quarters, because I have done a lot of real-life research inside the Jewish world. There is of course only one way for a non-Jew to do this, namely, he must seek conversion. And since there are at least half a dozen major streams of Judaism, I was able to seek conversion to most of them, one after another. Was I sincere? Up to a point. With one group I got as far as learning to lay tefillin before freaking out. Do I regret freaking out rather than continuing? I don't think so: now I feel fairly certain that the Jewish culture simply is not superior enough to justify a persistent and very sneaky project to rule the world for its own good.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 29 2013 17:06 utc | 69

@ RB. You obviously know more than me. I do recall reading somewhere that socialism was seen as an antidote to anti-semitism. I don't see how that could be reconciled to the idea of a 'chosen people'.

Posted by: dh | Sep 29 2013 17:17 utc | 70

@38 Colm

Israel may be an economic basket case, but the effects of that are padded by the $3B a year from the United States.

That $3,000,000,000 is key to Israel's ability to punch far above its weight.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 29 2013 17:20 utc | 71

"peaceful kibutzim"? OK, I see. Must be something like "us marines for democracy" ...

No matter how often, how mercilessly and how insistingly the jews trumpet it: That *IS *NOT* their land. Not. Theirs.

And: The result of "peaceful kibutzim" and other jewish folklore can't possibly be overseen or mistaken: A criminal, terroristic, extremely weaponized, mass murdering abomination based on, existing by and acting quite exclusively with lies and avoiding and fighting against any conceivable solution possibly leading to peace with teeth, claws and to their last breath.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 29 2013 17:31 utc | 72

#64 That he puts the number of dead in the so-called CW attack at three or four hundred, and not above one thousand is already quite strange.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 29 2013 17:37 utc | 73

If anyone wants to know why "Israelis" hate Gilad Atzmon, this article helps to explain it

If anyone wants to know why "Israel" will probably destroy itself trying to have Iran destroyed, one of the contributing factors was the Tehran Holocaust Conference in 2006 which made a lot more (true) facts about the Euro Holocaust (as opposed to the Palestinian Holocaust) available than Atzmon's article.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 29 2013 17:37 utc | 74

@71 Oh, I should add that removing that $3B would certainly be a step in the right direction towards peace in the region.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 29 2013 17:42 utc | 75

I do recall reading somewhere that socialism was seen as an antidote to anti-semitism. I don't see how that could be reconciled to the idea of a 'chosen people'. Posted by: dh | Sep 29, 2013 1:17:42 PM | 70
Quite so. But dissolving the Jewish people (whatever exactly that expression means) into the general population has never quite succeeded, because of deeply held reservations on both sides, and the results of unsuccessful attempts to do it have been quite catastrophic. On the one hand, Jews in the process of dissolving into larger communities actually continue to prefer one another's company, and thus perpetuate their own separatism inside the supposedly universal community rather than dissolving into it; and on the other hand, Jews who do everything possible to leave their Jewishness behind and really dissolve into the larger community are frequently reminded of their Jewish origins by their new companions just when they are trying hardest to forget them. Finally, you may have a machiavellian sort of contingent who are determined to pretend to dissolve into the larger community while quite deliberately maintaining a Jews-only inner core, with the aim of taking over larger, non-Jewish movements by subterfuge.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 29 2013 17:55 utc | 76

""hmm" is suspended."

I agree with quite a bit the "hmm" has to say. Certainly, I'm no saint in my posting style. But here's the deal...

I've got a remodel I'm doing in Beverly Hills right now, so I'm stuck in a motel room Mon thru Fri, and I do not have internet access during the week. So, I get cable and network news. On the weekends I just wanna get some news thats not government vetted bullshit, and I want to discuss and debate that news with people un-buffaloed by the likes of Hannity, Maddow, Cooper or Zakaria.

The last thing I want to experience on my weekend searches for the truth on my favorite blogs is the divisive and corrosive effects of a week after week on-running battle that one commenter wants to wage against any and all that dare to disagree with him.

Lord knows, I never want to see debate unfairly moderated, or a commenter singled out for expulsion or suspension. I value many of hmm's contributions, and honestly, there is substance to his opinions that will be missed until his return. But enough is enough. I hope he wises up a bit, and does a little introspection about what it is about himself that has managed to alienate more than a few commenters that otherwise can respect many of his opinions.

And before he again accuses other commenters of being "trolls", he might wanna look at his own effect on this blog, and what it is an actual "troll" hopes to achieve. Seems to me hmm has been a smashing success at exercising Troll Craft.

I hope his suspension is short, and enlightening.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 18:22 utc | 77


Seems your criticism is an all inclusive overview of Jews.

Am I missing something, or do you truly believe that you can shoehorn all jews into the kind of devious psuedo-melding you seem to accuse them of? Are there not any Jews that can co-mingle with the gentiles without subterfuge, or the discarding of their "jewishness",(whatever that is)?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 18:38 utc | 78

Thanks to Mr.Pragma with whom I wholeheartedly agree about Russia and zusa and about the abomination!

Posted by: Nobody | Sep 29 2013 18:55 utc | 79

@78: "Co-mingle" is a meaningless non-word. If it just means "socialise" then the question is trivial. If it means "combine with to form a single nation" then your use of the expression "without ... the discarding of their 'Jewishness' (whatever that is)" renders your question unanswerable, because the answer will depend precisely on what they conceive their "Jewishness" to be.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 29 2013 19:53 utc | 80


Previously you said his: "He tells us what his CIA contacts tell him. His CIA contacts tell him what they want us to know. that is all."

Now you say: "No one said he was being duped or in their pocket"

Excuse me, but "he tells us what they tell him...that is all" equals "being in their pocket" and there is no other way to read that. It is clear as day that that is what is being stated.

"He tells us what his CIA contacts tell him...that is all" That is all. You make him out to be just a stenographer for the CIA instead of the reality: he is using his contacts along with other material to do what journalists are supposed to do - to create a whole picture of the truth from the disparate sources.

Of course here come the pathetic insults. Luckily you are the only one here I don't have to convince about it.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 29 2013 20:09 utc | 81

"I made no comment about Hersh being untruthful."

No, you simply suggested that he is a conduit for CIA propaganda - full stop.

If you are saying that a man who bills himself as an investigative journalist is actually a mouthpiece for the CIA and that is all then that - by definition - would amount to him be being untruthful.

I'm certainly glad you are changing your tune a bit, but it doesn't make your previous statements any less inaccurate and libelous.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 29 2013 20:16 utc | 82

damn, I thought he was suspended...

Posted by: crone | Sep 29 2013 22:05 utc | 83

The relevant fact here is not Hersh being a good, honest journalist or a cia conduit or whatever.

The relevant facts are

- there are many reasons and indications pointing to the official OBL story being false - while there is nothing clealy showing it to be even vaguely true.

- that pretty much all western msm either *evidently* act as gov. conduits or even try to push governments along their zionist agenda.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 29 2013 22:10 utc | 84

Mr Pragma, there are two problems with our discussion;

1) we don't know yet what of the official OBL storyline Hersh will contest in his book: that OBL was killed? or the circumstances in which it happened?

2) what would the Zionist agenda be regarding the OBL case? Israeli intelligence sources were among the first to spread the story that OBL died many years ago; so would in this case CIA and Hersh be spreading Zionist propaganda? so was the blitz in Pakistan, if it was a fake, anti-Zionist propaganda?

I mean, we are missing fundamental elements of knowledge; and "general rules" like the one you state, while useful guiding principles, are quite useless without specific knowledge over which to apply them, or without a working hypothesis regarding the events we discuss

I proposed one (barely sketched) which might be true or false, but that tries to make sense of events; alternative theories (that the raid was a complete hoax, because OBL was already dead, and the Us then obviously must have know that) - should at least try to explain what was to be gained by such a risky venture

Posted by: claudio | Sep 29 2013 22:48 utc | 85


Then your comment, #76 is equally meaningless, as you too admit to ignorance about what exactly "jewish people" are. Nonetheless, you seem to have avoided addressing the gist of my query. I am intrigued by your all inclusive opinion on the "jewish people's" alleged inability to "dissolve into the general population".

Personally, I have known people for years before becoming aware of the fact that they were jewish. They seem to have melded quite successfully into the "general population". Is this where you tell me all of thier big noses make such an assimilation impossible?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 22:57 utc | 86

"....alternative theories (that the raid was a complete hoax, because OBL was already dead, and the Us then obviously must have know that) - should at least try to explain what was to be gained by such a risky venture"

Purely political. Obama's sky was falling, and he needed a political "victory".

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29 2013 23:00 utc | 87

@ 90

agree with that... OBL's death was a chip they held 'til he was convenient to 'kill' him.

Convenient in the sense that it served some positive purpose for White House.

Posted by: crone | Sep 29 2013 23:35 utc | 88

@90, 91 - doesn't seem enough to risk totally alienating Pakistan, with which relations were already edgy; but, ok, hypothesis are hypothesis

Posted by: claudio | Sep 29 2013 23:51 utc | 89

Funny to watch you winnow down your statements into something resembling accuracy. That's some sort of progress. But your goal, though narrowed, seemingly remains the same.

Your claims to know the content of Hersh's revelation enough to suggest that it comes from a faction in the CIA based on a book teaser in the Guardian is laughable, and smacks of the same kind of disinfo that right wing trolls put out about Wikileaks "Oh, they're telling us what we know, it's clearly a 'CIA limited hang out op'" blah blah... based entirely on your lame argument from authority with your suggestion that you "know the business."

Your blanket statement based on little more than suggestions that "you know" or "its obvious" (as all of yours seem to be) that "there are no mavericks in the media" in the age of Wikileaks and the NSA revelations are also ridiculous. That you might call any suggestion that it is possible for journalism to still reveal some truth not attached to a deep state agenda, if only at the margins, simple "hero worship" aims to cover up the fact that you are just engaged in blanket demonization of the last bits of media that can still operate with any success at all.

What you are doing is classic inoculation theory - despite having no proof of what may come out, you are seeking to discredit whatever Hersh aims to reveal as a CIA info drop and that is all.

But it makes sense coming from someone who touts the successes of American foreign policy in Syria and elsewhere, despite your desperate attempts to come off as an anti-zionist.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 30 2013 0:12 utc | 90


risk of "totally alienating Pakistan" is probably not as high as you seem to think it is.
Nothing more than your own hypothesis

seems a high risk game

the Us needs Pakistan to play along its stategy in Afghanistan, but that strategy is at odds with Pakistani national interests, and a ferocious arm wrestling is taking place; seems that a "mission accomplished" photo op, furthermore staged, would be a too risky proposition

besides, if OBL was dead, Pakistan would have known, and would have reacted to that blatant breach of its sovereignty and the bluntness with which the Us stated that Pakistani authorities had been kept in the dark because untrustworthy

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30 2013 0:34 utc | 91


As far as I know, Pakistan is still part of our give away billions idiocy. So, considering that, I doubt we "totally alienated" Pakistan, as long as the money keeps flowing. Just because this "aid" to Pakistan is not being flaunted, as it was when Musharif was our "ally" in this shameless scam called the "GWOT", does not mean we aren't still pissing our money away to them.

And even if we did "alienate" Pakistan, what is the end result? Can you point to one single dynamic in our middle eastern policies that has been altered by this alleged "alienation"? We still fly drones there, right? We are still doing targeted asassinations, right? The media representations of our relationship with Pakistan seem to imply a rift, but I have no doubt that the Pakistani government still has its palm outstretched in its quest for alms, and these maggots in DC have no qualms about filling that palm. So really, wheres the alienation? No doubt, its just business as usual, conducted behind a curtain of subterfuge and misinformation.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 30 2013 0:40 utc | 92

@98 - also Egypt is; it's not a "give away billions idiocy", it's the Us mil-ind complex funded by Us taxpayers beyond explicit appropriations in the budget; most of that money is military aid used for purchasing Us weapons

flying drones isn't the strategy; the strategy is getting some significant faction of the Taliban to agree to a SOFA; Pakistan should aid the Us by hitting the "bad" talibans, but this goes against long-held agreements over the governance of the western provinces, stokes terrorism, kills Pakistani soldiers, and keeps Pakistan on the verge of becoming a failed state; but without Pakistan collaboration, the Us won't get their SOFA and will be forced to further postpone their withdrawal date, if they don't want to risk another Iraqi debacle

in this context, the OBL raid must have had - IMO - a strong motivation;

hey, if it was all fake, they could have had some Hollywood producer stageit in a less volatile region, after all

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30 2013 1:03 utc | 93


Without you being able to articulate that, there's no way to decide whether your statement has any meaning.
trolling as usual; why don't you just admit you have no clue over the Us-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India dynamics, instead of provoking?

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30 2013 1:05 utc | 94

you only read comment explicitly directed at you?

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30 2013 1:24 utc | 95


While I do agree with what you propose to consider I do not think that's a conditio sine qua non for our discussion, depending on what our approach, interest and focus are.

Sure, if the focus were on "When and how did OBL die?" we'd need a whole lot more information - and - yet more information allowing us to judge the information we got etc.

If the focus were on "Is Hersh to be trusted and/or is he, knowingly or not, being played/used by some party?" it would be way more complex.

The problem is one that is often encountered in looking at issues like this. Accordingly, there is a meta problem, namely that doing it "right", one soon drowns in detail information, little of which is solid and most of which is interrelated - and interdependent - on other pieces of information. Short, one has to process large amounts of information in order to arrive at some conclusion that has roughly the solidity of any given wave pattern in the ocean.

Therefore I prefer to work with a small (if not very refined) set of facts (and strong hypotheses) which have proven well. Furthermore I prioritize issues and questions. While it might, for instance, be entertaining and interesting to find out the correct constellation re. S. Hersh, the overall value would be very limited; to on the other hand achieve a suffiently high certainty that OBLs final weeks and months and in particular his death was *not* what zusa and the media tell us, seems to have a high value (whatever the detail may be).

Also the whole matter is very complex; not only will I necessarily always lack a large amount of relevant information but, quite certainly more gravely, those perceived as the major actors are just puppets themselves.
It's probably a weird way to put it but I try to avoid the middle (where 90% seek their luck) and rather concentrate on two opposite sides; for one the tangible, verifiable, pragmatic facts (like missile capabilities), on the other hand on trying to narrow down the (usually intentionally very vague) contours on a higher level (like what's the major vectors that are detectable again and again in zusa/zato politics) and to finally correlate the two if any possible.

One thing I try to strictly avoid is to intellectualize matters or, even worse, to sort the world and the events into "schools" (e.g. "the liberals" (in all their funny variations)). Reality simply is too "floating" and dynamic for that although universities cling to that approach and teach it.

So far I'm not too unhappy with the results although I recognize that many may easily (too easily) wipe them aside.

(Note: This was an explanation attempt, not by any means an attack on you)

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 30 2013 1:53 utc | 96

@104 - one more useless post, just to say that mine was what I already very clearly said it was ... an hypothesis

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30 2013 6:01 utc | 97

@105 Mr Pragma, thanks for articulating your method (not an easy task); I hadn't for a moment felt it as an attack, although I understand that the current climate on the blog made you feel the need to be clear this out; we are here to confront and discuss, right?

I don't have time now for an equivalent feat, nor for answering the many points you brought up; I'll just say there many points I agree with, others not, I'll prepare an answer later

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30 2013 6:21 utc | 98

Claudio's constant needling of hmmm is exactly symmetrical to hmmm's own replies, so if one of them is a troll, both of them are, as a team, pretending to compete while actually collaborating to make the thread about as interesting as a Chinese table tennis tournament for everybody else.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 30 2013 7:11 utc | 99

@RB - I advanced an hypothesis, which might be right or wrong, on the OBL raid, and backed it up with some reasoning; hmm seemed disturbed by the topic being touched upon; why didn't he simply keep quiet? there's nothing symmetrical here

anyways, I only react, I never start an argument; but I'm not going to leave the last word to an as...le, especially if he nonetheless keeps reappearing on the blog;

I noticed you are quite sensitive to criticism of hmm, try giving him some advice on how to behave

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30 2013 8:03 utc | 100

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