“If you hit them, they will behave …” – the neocons’ song.


I have long puzzled over the question of why the neocons; Lindsey Graham, the late John McCain (be brave Lindsey!), Jack Keane, Bolton, Pompeo, etc., etc., ad nauseam,  cling so firmly to the idea of striking Iran a hard blow.

Today I heard the reason voiced on the Sunday newsies by several of the Faithful.  "If you punish the Iranians they will behave" was the refrain.  "They know they would lose to the US and so would be afraid to go to war with us."  This delusion is a variation of the Rational Actor Model.  This poly sci inspired model is based on the false premise that everyone, everywhere functions on the basis of the same priorities and values.  This is an untruth.  For example, a willingness to die for one's country is not a universally shared attitude.  Nor is, a belief in an almighty God who dictates one's duty in this world.  A god in whom the Muslims actually believe as expressed in the shahada (testimony) depicted above.

So, pilgrims, the neocons believe that if the Iranians are punished like children who are spanked for picking their noses, they will recognize the error of their ways and the country will accept the will of the US and more importantly of the Zionists who are IMO the source of such a belief.  Zionism seeks a ME pacified with regard to the existence and hegemony of the Jewish State. 

To that end the Zionists have followed a relentless practice of punishing their opponents in order to bring them to heel.  That has never worked for them but they persist in this "strategery" and have clearly convinced a critical number of movers and shakers in the US to follow their lead.  pl

This entry was posted in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Middle East, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to “If you hit them, they will behave …” – the neocons’ song.

  1. Timothy Hagios says:

    When Trump announced that he had called off an attack on Iran at the last minute, I had hoped it was a face-saving lie meant to evade a war while still looking tough. However, assuming that we can trust John Bolton to tell the truth (granted, a big assumption), it’s looking like the story was true. At a private function a few days ago, Bolton claimed that “everyone in the White House” had agreed to attack Iran in retaliation for the downed drone before Trump got cold feet.
    Really, everyone? If this is true, then it suggests that Trump doesn’t even have a single voice of reason among his advisors. Hopefully, O’Brien will bring some sense to the table.

  2. TedBuila says:

    Gypse King has still got (us-a) by the short hair. Lets see if he will comit the USAF-DOD to “dome” Aramco? Ie one has to (a) wonder if DOD has more of its eggs (or MIC head) in the offensive or defensive basket and (b) where the Rational Actor Model fits in

  3. turcopolier says:

    The 12ers believe that at the apocalypse the Mahdi (hidden Iman) will return with Jesus to judge us all and the dead will be risen to greet them and be judged with the living. Not a good idea to choose to fight people who believe things like that, not a good thing.

  4. Babak Makkinejad says:

    We are resting our hopes on the gentle intercession of Isa Masih.

  5. srw says:

    Read this in The Guardian which I think is true:
    ‘There is a longstanding joke told in the Middle East about Saudi Arabia’s reluctance to fight its own wars. “Saudi Arabia will fight until the last Pakistani,” the punchline goes, in reference to the fact that Pakistani troops have long supported Saudi’s military endeavors.
    The punchline has expanded lately to include the Sudanese, a recent addition to the Saudi army’s ground troops. Saudi Arabia is accustomed to buying labour that it deems too menial for its citizens, and extends that philosophy to the army.’
    My take: the US doesn’t need to become Saudis new “Pakistan”.

  6. kemerd says:

    I am sure a lot of believers in Iran to such stories. But, the real reason is they can strike back and strike hard. I am astonished by the way the US politicians behave when talking about striking a major country.

  7. Eric Newhill says:

    Yes. The neocons are crazy fools, but the Iranians are religious fanatics. Both are equally capable of incendiary actions based on their mental existence in a separate reality.
    I have always thought that a middle path is the best course of action for the US. Ignore the Zionist demands to get involve in a sorts of clever by half expressions of punitive and preemptive force. At the same time make it known that if any country demonstrates that it has become an active existential threat to Israel, then the US will reduce it/it’s forces to rubble. Also, if any country is hosting terrorist groups hostile to the US, then they get attacked with very open ended ROIs. No COIN.
    However, if Israel, with no real provocation, attacks someone bigger than it can handle, then it must be left to suffer the consequences.
    Get the troops out of the region and sit back and watch. Also, let the religion of peace and honor kill each other through factional wars. The US should stay out of that, though I guess US businesses could make some money selling the factions weapons with they can kill each other.

  8. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Islam is not a religion of Peace, it is a religion for both War and Peace.
    Peace is preferable, even with the unbelivers but war, regrettably will be necessary at times.
    You do not know any Arabs, that is for certain, else you would not have made light of the notion of Honor.

  9. Babak Makkinejad says:

    At the end, we are just left with our Hopes.

  10. aleksandar says:

    If I remenber well
    Fist to come is the Mahdi.
    But he will be unable to defeat Antichrist
    Then Jesus will come to kill him.

  11. Charlie Wilson says:

    You have got to be a genetic mutation. Post your karyotype.

  12. blue peacock says:

    Col. Lang
    The neocons seem to always advocate military intervention and regime change in the ME as well as in South/Central America. And they have a big bugaboo with Putin’s Russia. However, they remain silent with respect to the real threat of the Chinese communists who have always had an expansionist mindset. Do you have an opinion on why that is the case?

  13. blue peacock says:

    “…if any country demonstrates that it has become an active existential threat to Israel, then the US will reduce it/it’s forces to rubble.”
    Why is this our problem? How does this serve US national interests?

  14. anon says:

    Birdie by bye

  15. Eric Newhill says:

    I meant to say open ended ROEs. Too long in corporate world.

  16. DH says:

    Mahdi returns with Jesus, that’s pretty cool.

  17. Rep says:

    Imran Hosein a Sunni scholar have a ton of videos about Islamic eschatology, it is quite interesting.

  18. coboarts says:

    Several years back I read a post on the Diplomat site by an author I had come to respect. In reference to the Vietnam experience, he was talking about a newer strategy of bombing them more, faster. I had to comment then about how after dropping more bombs than in WWII or something like that the North Vietnamese went from peasants in black pajamas sneaking through jungle trails to basically driving armor down a four lane highway, or something like that. It seems to infest our military thought leaders, too. And how can anyone really think the Iranians will wilt? – “Children were used to clear minefields or in the “human wave” strategy of attack where hordes of bodies were more or less just thrown at superior Iraqi artillery in an effort to overcome them.”
    If you blow up people I love – then it’s all out baby. And who doesn’t think like that -?

  19. Lars says:

    I just toured the WWII museum in New Orleans, something I would suggest everybody will do. Thus, I would suggest that the US acts very carefully. Wars that get out of hand are extremely expensive on many levels. Besides, I have some doubt that young men and women today would answer the call like they did in 1941-42.
    I agree with those who urge the US to bring all US troops pout of the region and just watch, be prepared, but don’t get involved. It appears that the WH, and possibly others, think that US troop will not be attacked. I would consider that a bad bet if things get out of hand. As it has been said, if it can go wrong, it eventually will.

  20. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The Imam of Age is supposed to emerge from his occulation in Mecca, in Masjia al Haram, flanked by Isa Masih.

  21. turcopolier says:

    Allah yubarak fik, akhi.

  22. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Israeli ROI is optimal; use other peoples’ kids for their goals. Fantastic returns! No risk! Not again.

  23. catherine says:

    ”At the same time make it known that if any country demonstrates that it has become an active existential threat to Israel, then the US will reduce it/it’s forces to rubble. ”
    I am mystified by your fondness for Israel. Are you American? Jewish?, Christian Zionist? per chance?
    I am surprised also that while you are smart enough to read this site with its expert host and many other knowledgeable people that you think the US should support Israel to begin with.
    I cant think of any other welfare client country of ours that has caused us as much trouble as Israel both in our political system and the ME. And also degraded the US reputation around the world because of our enabling what is ‘rouge’ state.
    I know that certain segments espouse that the US ‘owes’ it to the Jews to support Israel because of the holocaust. In fact I have heard some proclaim that Americans have a ‘moral obligation’ to support Israel because it is a Jewish state.
    Imo both the Jews and Israel owe the US (and all the allies), we don’t owe them.
    I do agree with you here…”However, if Israel, with no real provocation, attacks someone bigger than it can handle, then it must be left to suffer the consequences.”
    ‘If’it includes not furnishing Israel with weapons or jet fuel from American refineries as we have done in their attacks on Lebanon and Gaza. I would also classify Israel’s bombings in Syria and lately Iraq and its drones hitting areas in Lebanon as ‘provocation’ and any response by them would then not be considered ‘attacking Israel first’.

  24. Snakepit says:

    As long as it isn’t hope nd change.

  25. ISL says:

    What evidence do you have the the Chinese communists are expansionist? Haven’t seen China overthrowing any other nations’ govt to change it to become Chinese communist…..
    If by expansionist, you mean offering better economic deals than the US can, that is competition.
    In any case, most neocons seem more measured than Dr. Strangelove. A very low bar that leaves lots of room for disaster.

  26. Eric Newhill says:

    Blue Peakock,
    It’s just the way it is.
    Just as Muslims are going to think and do things because they’re Muslim, Jews/Israel/Jerusalem are going to be important to those of the Judeo-Christian faiths.
    What? Only Muslims get sympathy and understanding around here?
    And then there’s the social justice idea that something has to be done to protect Israeli Jews from another holocaust.
    Maybe things are changing. You can vote for more people like the freshman Democrats e.g. Ilhan Omar and the Black caucus. They would be very happy to break ties with Israel and watch her burn.
    Also you can declare all religions except Islam to be false and not worthy of respect and all of their believers to be deluded. Good luck with that.
    Personally, I find the idea that one group of people has the correct and true knowledge of God and His Will to be arrogance and belligerence in the extreme and antithetical to peace and spiritual development, but I don’t make rules on this big blue people farm.

  27. CK says:

    People with no love. We pigeonhole them as socio/psycho paths or politicians.

  28. CK says:

    Of course our relationship with KSA is based on money. US dollars which are what the Saudis take for their oil. We print paper promises and get real goods and services which we otherwise could not afford. Iran and Russia recently announced that they will be trading in national currencies not dollars. China is likewise. Iran Russia and China have already announced alternatives to the US SWIFT system which means that announced sanctions become less and less relevant. It is indeed all about money, should the KSA ever stop using the US dollar that huge bill represented by all those legal tender dollars comes back to buy up whatever is of value left in the USA.

  29. Barbara Ann says:

    Your concern for Israel’s existence (and not Iran’s) is perplexing. It is also misplaced I think. Do you not believe that Israel’s substantial nuclear arsenal is enough to deter an “existential” threat and if not why not? Your argument sounds mightily similar to the Zionist hawks’ doctrine of preemptive war – with the US in the van. I reject this view utterly.
    There will never be peace in the region until Israel is forced to make peace with its neighbors. And it will never do that while it believes the US is on hand to destroy its enemies at will. Trump’s best strategy to make peace in the ME would be to remove unconditional support for Israel. I strongly suspect he knows this, but his room for maneuver is limited at present.

  30. Barbara Ann says:

    Yes, who will be wearing the Plastic Keys to Paradise in this war? Anyone who can get near an American anywhere in the ME I would have thought.

  31. Eric Newhill says:

    Barbara Ann,
    I guess I’m not expressing myself clearly.
    I’m being realistic. Support for Israel is never going to go away because of social justice for Jews post Holocaust and because of Judeo Christian religious beliefs. So we have to work within that structure.
    I’m suggesting that within that structure we should protect Israel from existential threats that they cannot handle on their own – real threats, should they arise However, we should not buy into every paranoid scheme they concoct, which includes preemptive strikes for low threat probabilities.
    If Israel embarks on an aggressive course of action, unprovoked, and finds itself in big trouble, then they can survive or lose on their own. This should be made clear to them.
    It seems to me the best of all worlds given reality.
    To me personally, Israel means no more than Iran, or the UK, or France, or Tahiti.
    Everyone wants to acknowledge and respect Islam, but overlooks the same for Judeo/Christian.
    Personally, I think all of those religions are believing in nonsense stories. I don’t think that the One True God gave an infallible creed to a guy In a cave anymore than to a guy on top of a mountain. I don’t think that a mullah has any more clue as to the nature of God than does the Pope. It’s ludicrous to think any of that is true, let alone to get all agitated over it and kill people. But lots of people do. They call it “faith”, but I that’s not what I think faith is. Why people can’t accept that these religions are, hopefully and at best, just different starting paths to realizing true spiritual development and social cohesion escapes me entirely, but that’s the way it is. Again, IMO, we have to work within that structure.

  32. Vegetius says:

    Judeo-Christian faiths?

  33. eakens says:

    If you have more than one kid I feel sorry for the one(s) you love less

  34. prawnik says:

    That logic is mere a pretext for the neocons to get the war they so crave.

  35. oldman22 says:

    From his many years at MI6 and as UK diplomat, Alastair Crooke probably knows as much as anyone about this:
    “The US is ‘blowing smoke’ about launch sites mainly to divert from the very obvious (but embarrassing) fact that the raining down of missiles on Abqaiq, primordially owes to the Saudi war on Yemen (supported unreservedly by Trump).”

  36. blue peacock says:

    Tibet was annexed militarily. They’re now using the classic first step of using the facade of BRI “investments” to acquire for all intents & purposes “sovereign” territory around the world.

    “Magufuli has alleged that the China has presented “exploitative and awkward” terms in exchange for financing. Chinese financiers set “tough conditions that can only be accepted by mad people,” Magufuli told local media.
    “They told us once they build the port, there should be no other port to be built all the way from Tanga to Mtwara south,” Magufuli told a delegation of business people at State House in Dar es Salaam on June 14.
    “They want us to give them a guarantee of 33 years and a lease of 99 years, and we should not question whoever comes to invest there once the port is operational. They want to take the land as their own but we have to compensate them for drilling construction of that port,” he said.”

    They have already acquired a major port in Sri Lanka where the Sri Lankan government has no authority. Chinese military provide security. They can do whatever they want with the port including use for military purposes.
    You may say it is just commercial competition. No matter how it is labeled the CCP is expanding their footprint globally. My question is why are the neocons ignoring them?

  37. Oscar Peterson says:

    When you look at these inept and weak Saudis, you really wonder how Caliph Umar did it back in the day.

  38. turcopolier says:

    ‘Umar was an Arabian but not a SAUDI Arabian.

  39. Oscar Peterson says:

    You failed to answer Barbara Ann’s questions.
    With Israel possessing a first and ,almost certainly, a second strike capability, what existential threats are you talking about that Israel is not postured to deal with?
    Also, don’t know what you mean by “Judeo-Christian,” a phrase you seem to love.
    Judaism is Judaism and Christianity is a Judeo-Hellenic fusion (and thank God for the Hellenic parts.) Do you ever use the term Judeo-Islamic? Or Islamo-Christian/Christo-Islamic (see the discussion below about Jesus returning at the right hand of the Hidden Imam at the end of days in 12er Shiism.) If not, why not?

  40. Oscar Peterson says:

    I’m sorry but what is the practical difference between “a face-saving lie meant to evade a war while still looking tough” and “getting cold feet”?

  41. Barbara Ann says:

    I do not think that we have to accept the structure of unconditional support for Israel as permanent Eric. The Squad are a sign that bipartisan consensus in this respect may not always be a given. The more the Zionists abuse US support for Israel – and boy have they – the more likely it is that fissures will emerge that call its unconditional nature into question. A war of choice with Iran would open a chasm.
    The lessons of the Holocaust and the particular suffering of the Jewish people must never be forgotten. But the historic persecution of the Jews does not give Israel the right to behave any way it likes. Moreover, as I have said here in the past, Israel’s policy of labeling all criticism leveled against it as “antisemitic” runs the risk of ultimately being spectacularly counterproductive in the worst possible way.
    Israeli security can best be safeguarded by it being encouraged, to a lesser or greater degree, to make peace with its neighbors. With its presence in Syria and close relations with all parties, Russia is in an excellent position to take over the mantle of security guarantor. This should (and may) be Trump’s policy.

  42. Oscar Peterson says:

    “the Iranians are religious fanatics”
    They’re not the ones who’ve taken others’ land because “God gave it to them.”

  43. catherine says:

    ” I guess I’m not expressing myself clearly”
    Your obfuscation is quite clear. I think we understand perfectly now.

  44. blue peacock says:

    “It’s just the way it is.”
    I assume that you believe that our self-imposed obligation to be the military wing of the Israeli state will continue at least for the foreseeable future, no matter if it is in our interests or not.
    I’m curious if this is because of a real heartfelt “guilt” because of the holocaust which I wonder why since we were the liberators not the perpetrators or because the zionists figured out how to manipulate our political and media system better than anyone else or there was exploitation of some religious beliefs held by some Americans?
    FDR turned away Jewish refugees. Did Ike have a policy of using our military to alleviate any perceived threat the Zionist state may have believed it faced? Clearly Lyndon Johnson felt it was more important to protect Israel than our sailors on the USS Liberty. When was the turning point that we became completely obsequious to zionist interests?

  45. Eric Newhill says:

    Blue Peacock,
    IMO it’s what you say + Christians religious beliefs about Israel and the second coming and the Old Testament stating that the Jews are God’s chosen people.

  46. Eric Newhill says:

    Barbara Ann,
    I guess a lot of people here ignore Col Lang’s reminders that analysis is not advocacy. Again, I’m just calling thing as I see them.
    I think nuclear weapons are reserved for the most extreme crises. No one wants to use them. Once the nukes start flying, we are all in big trouble.
    You can talk about how things “should” be all you want. It’s now how they are/reality.

  47. Fred says:

    Because Western societies are a bigger threat to them.


    I think Iranians, how ever fanatical, are not as fanatical as members of certain Protestant Churches in the United States that, in essence, posit that their own salvation lies in the destruction of Israel, the United States, and the world – not necessarily in that order.
    I understand that they are real people have the right to vote, but that does not make their views any less extremist.
    Furthermore, the fanatical Iranians are not desirous to see the end of Iran just so that they may be saved – they have loyalty to Iran, more than one can say about many in the United States with dubious loyalty to her.

  49. Eric Newhill says:

    It’s a common that you’d know if you ever actually read anything about religions and cultures. There are even a few wikis covering it. Look it up. I suspect that you’re just some atheist anti-semite.
    So you want a world in which everyone is hurling nuclear weapons at each other and where nations are free to attack each other for whatever reason they chose? Where might equals right; a throw back to life circa 2,500 BCE?
    I answered Barbara Ann’s question. I’ll also Col Lang’s. My opinion is that the neocons hate Iran so much because Iran won’t recognize Israel’s right to exist and Iran has made threats to wipe it off the map and Iran is developing the capability to do just that. The neocons seek a Pax Americana. They believe that the American way is the best way. That we are exceptional and therefore have the responsibility to bring peace and order to the world.
    I think they don’t know how to do what they want to. They are bunglers because they have no military experience and they don’t appreciate cultural realities either. I appreciate their sentiments to an extent because I too think that America is the best and the strongest. However, I don’t think that what the want to do is possible. We cannot go all Roman on rebellious people. In an interconnected world, the rebels can strike back in ways that rebels could not back in Rome’s glory days. And there are the costs.
    The UN was supposed to be a means of peacefully solving these kinds of problems, but too fails.
    People like you want to call me names and play at being morally superior while secretly hoping for the destruction of a nation that you have deemed unjust. You like Sharia? Iran is not a Lilly white society. How hard would it be for them to just shut up about destroying Israel and recognize its right to exist like any other country? Again, is that the kind of world you want to live in? Where a country can deem another as undeserving of existence? Because once that’s the precedent it can be applied anywhere to anyone. Just saying.
    Now you can get back to insulting people (me) who present you with perspectives you just don’t want to hear. BTW, I’m not advocating for anything. Questions were asked and I’m just explaining, best as I can tell, why things are as they are.
    Maybe Col Lang only wants an echo chamber here, but I have more respect than that for him and don’t believe it is the case.

  50. I find it difficult to understand the theory of “petrodollar imperialism”. There’s nothing stopping anyone who sells anything to the States exchanging the dollars received for other currencies.
    There are two constraints that give colour to the theory. The first is that many transactions, between other countries, or between the USA and any country, get cleared through New York. This can allow the USA to impose conditions on such transactions, or penalties as a form of sanction, that other countries may find irksome. That is, I believe, the main reason other countries are starting, as you mention, to conduct transactions directly. But they are not so much avoiding the dollar as avoiding New York, or any other financial centre influenced by New York.
    The other constraint is that at least until recently it has made sense to hold reserves in a stable currency such as the dollar. That, rather than an alleged agreement between Kissinger and some Sheikh accounts for the fact that vast sums were held in US Treasuries. It’s also easier to borrow in dollars because of the deep liquidity of the American financial markets.
    So although it may walk like a “petrodollar” and look like a “petrodollar” I maintain it isn’t one.
    But I’m quite willing to be corrected. Maybe there are other mechanisms in play I don’t know about.
    What is certain is that “petrodollar” or not, any outside country with any sense should be reducing its exposure to trade and financial dealings with the West as a whole. The whole caboodle looks increasingly unstable and no one with any sense would touch it with a barge pole unless they had to.

  51. artemesia says:

    There are nearly 200 commenters to Ron Unz’s most recent article debunking the narrative that, you assert, demands American support for Israel/Jews.
    That article is a follow-on to at least 5 similarly provocative — or perhaps defiant — essays, which garnered, in aggregate, well over 5000 participant’s comments, many of them adding even more sourced information that is otherwise censored by ‘mainstream’ gatekeepers.
    Your assertion that support for Israel / Jews is “just the way it is,” IS, but only as long as gatekeepers can keep people like Ron Unz, the books and authors he sources, and those who read and participate on his webzine, silenced or outlawed or self-censoring.
    Unz forum participants have grown exponentially in a very few short years. In that same time-span, zionist or neocon or whatever-you-call-it efforts to criminalize such communication has also increased: what kind of democratic republic submits to censorship imposed by those whose first loyalty is to a state not the United States?
    I learned from harsh experience that tiny cracks in a foundation are the first manifestation that a structure is fundamentally unsound; nothing plumb, square and level can long remain on such a flawed foundation, and tiny cracks seldom disappear — they get bigger and more destabilizing. Criminalizing exposure of the crookedness of the zionist foundation is not going to make the cracks disappear.
    Iran is not the gravest threat faced by Israel and even those American Jews who are united only around the religion of holocaust.
    The gravest threat to “that which IS,” is something Jeremey ben-Ami conceded several years ago in a talk at Politics and Prose in DC: his children’s Hebrew teacher asked him, “What should we tell out children (about Israel’s occupation of Palestine)?”
    Ben Ami answered, “We should tell them the truth; if we do not, if we lie to them, when they find out, there will be resentment —”
    More and more Americans, Jewish and not, are discovering that they have been lied to.
    The more zionists and neocons attempt to criminalize exposure of such lies, the greater will be the resentment.

  52. Eric Newhill says:

    Here we agree. There are religious fanatics everywhere, including in America.
    Even the secular humanist social science/polisci people have a substantial set of fanatics among them.
    There is what appears to be a twisted Darwinian like urge to believe that one’s way is The One True Way and then to impose it on all others, by force if there’s resistance; even by extermination of the opposition.
    Such people seem to rise to the top to control societies because their inflexible beliefs give them the audacity to do so. Decent thoughtful and respectful people eschew such egocentric audacity. Then there are all of the mindless followers of such leaders. Many people seem to be conditioned to follow confident leaders and tend to be unable to discern confidence based on wisdom and experience and deep thoughtfulness from the loud brash harangues and empty promises of the egotistical fools and fanatics.
    How could God have created billions of people/souls who could have never heard about Islam or Christ or Yahweh and who were (or are) therefore doomed to Hell because they lived somewhere where that message didn’t reach or in a time before it existed. If God wouldn’t do that, then why are we deciding that we need to condemn and kill in God’s name? It’s all BS, brother. We should all be free to seek our relationship with the higher spirits and Spirit in our own way. If an organized religion is a path that helps someone do that, then fine. But not if that means getting all literal about it and using it as justification to attack “infidels”. This applies to atheists as well.

  53. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There is a Judaic Tradition, a Christian Tradition, and an Islamic Tradition. While they may overlap or ech one another here and there, they are separate. Cow Chapter, verse 62 provides an impetus and a basis for an Islamic ecumenism – in my opinion,, but that path was never taken.

  54. Eric Newhill says:

    I say 2 +2 = 7 and you say it = 5. We both call each stupid and both of our honors are insulted. We shoot holes in each other at dawn.
    Yes honor is so very important.

  55. Eric – Christian Zionism pre-dated the Holocaust.  It was one strand, I’d guess a fairly minor one in truth, that influenced the British decision to set up what later became the State of Israel.
    Zionism itself is of historically recent growth.  Before Herzl, or rather before the late nineteenth century pogroms, it was very much a minority aspiration among Jews.  “Next year in Jerusalem” was a metaphorical aspiration and the idea that it should be fulfilled by physically moving large numbers of Jews to the Middle East was just one of the many oddball notions that are always knocking around on the fringes – it wasn’t taken seriously by the majority.
    OK, it is now.  Very much so.  And there are now also large numbers of Christian Zionists, or evangelicals inclining to Christian Zionism, in the States.  Plus many Mormons.  So you could argue that even if it’s a largely invented cult and one of recent growth, it’s one that has such a strong hold on so many people, and those many people influencing the foreign policy of the USA, that it’s a secure basis for the continuation of what is becoming a Jewish ethno-state in the Middle East.
    It’s not.  Jabotinsky et al were on a loser from the start.  What has to be done now is to find some way of enabling the Jewish settlers in Palestine and their descendants to stay in place safely.  That’s common sense – we don’t want some new version of the Nakba but going the other way.
    What that “some way” is it’s not possible to guess. But it sure as hell isn’t the way that’s being pursued at the moment.  The reliance on American military supremacy to keep a settler community safe for ever is a foolish as the reliance on British military supremacy to keep the white settlers in Rhodesia safe.  One can assert that as fact, not as a vague prediction.  The militant Zionism we’re seeing in action at the moment in the Israeli government, and in a large proportion of the Jewish community in Israel, is exactly the wrong way to go about ensuring a permanent Jewish settlement there.
    Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.  We do our friends in Israel no favours by confirming so many of them in that madness.

  56. Oscar Peterson says:

    “People like you want to call me names…”
    “Now you can get back to insulting people (me) who present you with perspectives you just don’t want to hear.”
    Please enumerate the “names” and “insults” you are referring to. There are none in any of my posts.
    Your response is utterly incoherent. Frankly, I’m embarrassed for you. Are you familiar with the concept of a persecution complex?
    But back to the issue at hand. You have still failed to answer Barbara Ann’s and my question: With Israel possessing a first and ,almost certainly, a second strike capability, what existential threats are you talking about that Israel is not postured to deal with?
    What is your answer? You really don’t have one, do you?

  57. Oscar Peterson says:

    Exactly so.

  58. Oscar Peterson says:

    I think that trying to characterize 80 million people as “fanatical” is absurd on its face. Obviously, there are plenty of Iranians with strong faith and a willingness to act on that faith. What constitutes fanaticism vice some other, putatively less threatening expression of faith is so subjective a question that it’s almost pointless to try and answer it.
    As for Christian Zionism, I find it objectionable on any number of doctrinal and practical grounds. It is ultimately a form of ideological shabbosgoyism that is a profound affront to the dignity of Christianity.

  59. Oscar Peterson says:

    And the best part is that they don’t actually have to invest anything. The investment capital is simply provided gratis to them and they get the returns!

  60. Oscar Peterson says:

    Well yes, of course. But the contrast between Arabians of that day and this–Saudi or otherwise–is quite striking.
    By the way, I used the italics function in a comment above, and now it’s turned everything (that I see) all the way down to the bottom of the string to italic. Everything above is still non-italic. Strange.

  61. turcopolier says:

    When you turn on a feature like italics you have to turn it off at the end of your use of the feature. If you do not it runs on forever like that. I made a straightforward ststement sbout ‘Umar. Why the “but?”


    Islam never claims that those who have no heard of Islam are going to Hell.
    That has been the tradition view of Christians.

  63. Eric Newhill says:

    Yes. I agree with what you say (as I usually do). I think you’re downplaying the impact of the Holocaust on the Jewish psyche, but otherwise, yes, that’s where we are today.
    There must be a process over time to deescalate Zionistic policies. Running around with virtual torches and pitchforks and condemning Israel isn’t going to get anything done.
    And this is where Iran and the Palestinians’ stubborn pride (hatred?) plays a role. Almost everything they do and say indicates that a reverse Nabka is exactly what would happen. So they are not helping matters.

  64. Procopius says:

    Sheldon Adelson and several other billionaires believe protection and support of Israel is an overriding national interest of the United States. So do many more Evangelical Christians, who believe the book of John the Revelator means they must do everything they can to bring about the conditions the prophet said would be present when Jesus returns. That includes having the Jews regain control of Israel. They seem to ignore as inconvenient the statement that all the Jews will be converted to Christianity, but that’s for a different discussion. My interpretation is that they thing they can force the god to deliver The Rapture at their convenience, which should count as blasphemy, but what do I know.

  65. CK says:

    Attempt to buy a tanker load of sweet light Saudi crude with any other currency than the $. Saudis won’t sell unless you pay dollars. Saudis won’t sell even if you offer Saudi Riyals. Russia Iran and China are not only avoiding NYC and SWIFT they are trading oil in their own currencies avoiding $.
    The deal is simple the Saudi leaders only accept $ for their oil and in turn they are allowed to live and live large. As soon as Saddam Hussein announced that Iraq would accept gold for its oil he was deposed.

  66. turcopolier says:

    Oh, bullshit! I know the people who brought us to war in Iraq and their drive for that had nothing to do with petrodollars.

  67. turcopolier says:

    Not to hell, to Limbo in the catholic tradition

  68. CK says:

    Powell and his ilk yes they had little interest in P$.
    Cheney and his had a bit more interest in Oil and P$.

  69. Fred says:

    You are an experienced oil trader or just an expert on Saudi leadership and Saddam Hussein?

  70. turcopolier says:

    No. this is a fable. Cheney was as much motivated by the neocon ideology as the most crazy among them. Don’t try t feed me the usual economic determinist crap.


    Sorry, my mistake. You are right.


    So, I am correct to include that you are Shameless?

  73. CK says:

    Economics has exactly 0 effect on war-decision making in the US government.
    Never has had and never will have. ( If they were alive we could attempt to ask FDR, WW, The old Bull Mouse and various other American leaders entirely free of any taint of economic considerations ). Oil and P$ are irrelevant to the venal and corrupt, as long as Israel keeps sending the shekels.
    I am not an overpriced and underperforming DC money sink of a restaurant.
    I have never suggested that economics was the determining factor in decision making only that it is very important to a lot of venal pols and an even greater amount of dual citizenship individuals.

  74. CK says:

    Are you any of those things?
    I accept the Colonel’s appreciation of Saudi Leadership, character and morality.
    I watched them hang Saddam live (snark) on the internets.
    I have bought and sold many different commodities over the last 73 years. Some profitably, some not so much.
    Ex = has been
    spurt = drip under pressure

  75. Eric – yes, you are of course quite right. The Holocaust overshadows the post-Mandate period and quite changes how it’s all viewed.
    Just finished Gilmour’s life of Kipling. Interesting that that arch-apostle of imperialism foresaw disaster from the very start of the Mandate. But then, one thing he’d had first hand experience of was inter-faith and inter-sectarian clashes. Others who knew their way round the Islamic world were similarly pessimistic. To no avail. Imperial hubris towards the end of empire was something else and it’s not just Palestine that lost out because of it.
    In fact the more one looks at the mess they leave behind there’s really only one rule for empires. Don’t.

  76. Oscar Peterson says:


  77. Oscar Peterson says:

    “I made a straightforward ststement sbout ‘Umar. Why the ‘but’?”
    To indicate that I acknowledged your point about Umar BUT that I had a larger point to make about Arabs and Arabians over historical time.

  78. LA Sox Fan says:

    I assume Iran would act rationally if the US launched a limited bombing/missile strike on Iranian territory. The rational response to such a US strike would be the launching of a substantial percentage of Iran’s missiles against every US military base, every Saudi and other US allied Gulf States’ military bases, oil fields, oil exporting infrastructure, electric power generation, and water de-salinization plants with range of those missiles. Trying to hurt as much as possible an enemy at war with your nation is a completely rational response to an attack.
    Iraq after the First Gulf War is a good example of what happened to a country that allowed the US to embargo its oil sales and bomb it at will. It became weaker and weaker as time went on, only to be invaded by the US after years of suffering. Why anyone would think a rational nation like Iran would “do nothing” in the face of a US attack is a mystery. Iran would be better off trying to cripple oil exports from the Gulf, and thus weaken the entire Western World including the US, than turning the other cheek and being gradually defeated. They would behave like Japan prior to WWII, which launched a war knowing there was a good chance it could lose, rather than face the certainty that the US would slowly strangle Japan if it did nothing. Japan was “rational.” Iran’s response to a US attack would be rational too. Our problem isn’t that other countries act in an irrational manner. Our problem is that we are irrational and we have deluded ourselves into believing that the rational thinking of others is irrational.

  79. ex PFC Chuck says:


    “Christian Zionism pre-dated the Holocaust. It was one strand, I’d guess a fairly minor one in truth, that influenced the British decision to set up what later became the State of Israel.”

    In The Peace to End All Peace David Fromkin argues that Prime Minister David Lloyd-George’s strong and vocal Christian Zionism was perhaps the major factor in that decision.

  80. oldman22 says:

    Eric Newhall says:
    ” Iran has made threats to wipe it off the map and Iran is developing the capability to do just that.”
    This is oft repeated Israeli propaganda, a deliberate mis-translation.
    Here are a few references you might care to read:
    “Ahmadinejad did not use that phrase in Persian. He quoted an old saying of Ayatollah Khomeini calling for ‘this occupation regime over Jerusalem” to “vanish from the page of time.’ Calling for a regime to vanish is not the same as calling for people to be killed. Ahmadinejad has not to my knowledge called for anyone to be killed.”
    Juan Cole, https://www.juancole.com/2007/06/ahmadinejad-i-am-not-anti-semitic.html
    “When we look at Gaza’s before and after pictures (below) it becomes clear that the charge is more appropriate to Israel itself.”
    “Belief: Iran has threatened to attack Israel militarily and to “wipe it off the map.”
    Reality: No Iranian leader in the executive has threatened an aggressive act of war on Israel, since this would contradict the doctrine of ‘no first strike’ to which the country has adhered. The Iranian president has explicitly said that Iran is not a threat to any country, including Israel.”
    “Experts confirm that Iran’s president did not call for Israel to be ‘wiped off the map’. Reports that he did serve to strengthen western hawks.”
    ” (By the way, for Farsi speakers the original version is available here.”

    The Lede – The New York Times News Blog
    Israeli Minister Agrees Ahmadinejad Never Said Israel ‘Must Be Wiped Off the Map’
    ” Teymoor Nabili of Al Jazeera suggested during an interview with Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy, that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s rhetorical flourish had been misinterpreted. “This idea that Iran wants to wipe Israel out,” Mr. Nabili said, “now that’s a common trope that is put about by a lot of people in Israel, a lot of people in the United States, but as we know Ahmadinejad didn’t say that he plans to exterminate Israel, nor did he say that Iran’s policy is to exterminate Israel.”
    “As the Guardian columnist Jonathan Steele explained in 2006, a more direct translation of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks would be: “this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time,” echoing a statement once made by the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.”

  81. Thanks. I take an amateur’s interest in the Mandate period, that muddle of genuine British imperial idealism, hubris and straight Machtpolitik that led inexorably to the Nakba. There was a discussion on SST a while back covering the surprisingly vicious rivalry between the French and the British in the area at that time which goes some way towards explaining the difficulties with the Vichy authorities in North Africa during the war. Makes the heroic Free French stand at Bir Hakeim all the more remarkable. I didn’t know of the book you mention and shall certainly get it. Thank you very much.

Comments are closed.