Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran

Exclusive: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu showed off his extraordinary control of the U.S. Congress as he bathed in waves of applause while denouncing President Obama’s proposed deal with Iran and urging America to sign up for the Israeli-Saudi regional war on Iran and its Shiite allies, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Addressing Congress in the style of a State of the Union speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won 41 rounds of applause as U.S. lawmakers eagerly enlisted in the Israeli-Saudi conflict against Iran and its allies an enthusiasm that may well entangle the U.S. military in more wars in the Middle East.

Speaking to a joint session of Congress for the third time tying British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for the record Netanyahu went far beyond excoriating President Barack Obama’s negotiations with Iran to restrict but not eliminate its nuclear program. He portrayed Iran as a dangerous enemy whose regional influence must be stopped and reversed, a position shared by Israel’s new ally, Saudi Arabia.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015. (Screen shot from CNN broadcast)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015. (Screen shot from CNN broadcast)

Netanyahu declared: “In the Middle East, Iran now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa. And if Iran’s aggression is left unchecked, more will surely follow. So, at a time when many hope that Iran will join the community of nations, Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”

Netanyahu’s reference to “Iran’s aggression” was curious since Iran has not invaded another country for centuries. In 1980, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq at the urging of Saudi Arabia invaded Iran. During that bloody eight-year war, Israel far from being an enemy of Iran became Iran’s principal arms supplier. Israel drew in the Reagan administration, which approved some of the Israeli-brokered arms deals, leading to the Iran-Contra scandal in 1986.

In other words, Israel was aiding Iran after the Islamic revolution overthrew the Shah in 1979 and during the time when Netanyahu blamed Iran for the attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and various acts of terrorism allegedly committed by Hezbollah, a Shiite militia in Lebanon. Israel only shifted toward hostility against Shiite-ruled Iran in the 1990s as Israel gradually developed a de facto alliance with Sunni-ruled and oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which views Iran as its chief regional rival.

Netanyahu’s choice of Arab cities supposedly conquered by Iran was strange, too. Baghdad is the capital of Iraq where the U.S. military invaded in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated government — on Netanyahu’s recommendation. After the invasion, President George W. Bush installed a Shiite-dominated government. So, whatever influence Iran has in Baghdad is the result of a U.S. invasion that Netanyahu personally encouraged.

More recently, Iran has supported the embattled Iraqi government in its struggle against the murderous Islamic State militants who seized large swaths of Iraqi territory last summer. Indeed, Iraqi officials have credited Iran with playing a crucial role in blunting the Islamic State, the terrorists whom President Obama has identified as one of the top security threats facing the United States.

Netanyahu cited Damascus, too, where Iran has helped the Syrian government in its struggle against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front. In other words, Iran is assisting the internationally recognized government of Syria hold off two major terrorist organizations. But Netanyahu portrays that as Iran “gobbling up” a nation.

The Israeli prime minister also mentioned Beirut, Lebanon, and Sanaa, Yemen, but those were rather bizarre references, too, since Lebanon is governed by a multi-ethnic arrangement that includes a number of religious and political factions. Hezbollah is one and it has close ties to Iran, but it is stretching the truth to say that Iran “dominates” Beirut or Lebanon.

Similarly, in Sanaa, the Houthis, a Shiite-related sect, have taken control of Yemen’s capital and have reportedly received some help from Iran, but the Houthis deny those reports and are clearly far from under Iranian control. The Houthis also have vowed to work with the Americans to carry on the fight against Yemen’s Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Leading the Battle

Indeed, Iran and these various Shiite-linked movements have been among the most effective in battling Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, while Israel’s Saudi friends have been repeatedly linked to funding and supporting these Sunni terrorist organizations. In effect, what Netanyahu asked the Congress to do and apparently successfully was to join Saudi Arabia and Israel in identifying Iran, not Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, as America’s chief enemy in the Middle East.

That would put the U.S.-Iranian cooperation in combating Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in jeopardy. It could lead to victories by these Sunni terrorists in Syria and possibly even Iraq, a situation that almost surely would force the U.S. military to return in force to the region. No U.S. president could politically accept Damascus or Baghdad in the hands of openly terrorist organizations vowing to carry the fight to Europe and the United States.

Yet, that was the logic — or lack thereof — in Netanyahu’s appeal to Congress. As he put it, “when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.” He also argued that Iran was a greater threat than the Islamic State, a position that Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren has expressed, too.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime [in Syria] as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in a 2013 interview. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran”  even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

In June 2014, then speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

Netanyahu made a similar point: “The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs.”

Of course, Iran has disavowed any interest in developing a nuclear bomb — and both the U.S. and Israeli intelligence communities agree that Iran has not been working on a bomb. Further, the negotiated agreement between Iran and leading world powers would impose strict oversight on Iran’s civilian nuclear program, leaving little opportunity to cheat.

Instead, Netanyahu wants the United States to lead an aggressive campaign to further strangle Iran’s economy with the goal of forcing some future “regime change.” The principal beneficiary of that strategy would likely be Saudi Arabia, which has served as the proselytizing center for the reactionary Wahabbi version of Sunni Islam, which inspired Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

Elements of the Saudi royal family also have long been known to support Islamist militants, including forces associated with bin Laden. Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that convicted al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui identified leading members of the Saudi government as financiers of the terrorist network.

According to the story, Moussaoui said in a prison deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of the group’s donors and that the list included Prince Turki al-Faisal, then Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar bin Sultan, longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor; and many leading clerics.

Moussaoui also said he discussed a plan to shoot down President George W. Bush’s Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, at a time when Bandar was the ambassador to the United States and considered so close to the Bush family that his nickname was “Bandar Bush.”

Moussaoui claimed, too, that he passed letters between Osama bin Laden and then Crown Prince Salman, who recently became king upon the death of his brother King Abdullah.

While the Saudi government denied Moussaoui’s accusations, Saudi and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms have been identified in recent years as financial backers of Sunni militants fighting in Syria to overthrow Assad’s largely secular regime, with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front the major rebel force benefiting from this support.

Shared Israeli Interests

The Israelis also have found themselves on the side of these Sunni militants in Syria because the Israelis share the Saudi view that Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” reaching from Tehran to Beirut is the greatest threat to their interests.

That attitude of favoring Sunni militants over Assad has taken a tactical form with Israeli forces launching attacks inside Syria that benefit Nusra Front. For instance, on Jan. 18, 2015, Israel attacked Lebanese-Iranian advisers assisting Assad’s government in Syria, killing several members of Hezbollah and an Iranian general. These military advisers were engaged in operations against Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, Israel has refrained from attacking Nusra militants who have seized Syrian territory near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. One source familiar with U.S. intelligence information on Syria told me that Israel has a “non-aggression pact” with Nusra forces, who have even received medical treatment at Israeli hospitals.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have found themselves on the same side in other regional struggles, including support for the military’s ouster of the elected Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, but most importantly they have joined forces in their hostility toward Shiite-ruled Iran.

I first reported on the growing relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia in August 2013 in an article entitled “The Saudi-Israeli Superpower,” noting that the complementary strengths of the two countries made their alliance a potentially powerful influence in the world. Israel wields enormous political and media clout — and possesses nuclear weapons — while the Saudis use their oil, money and investments. [For more details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran.”]

What the world saw in Netanyahu’s bravura performance on Tuesday before the wildly applauding members of the U.S. Congress was him proving his value to his Saudi cohorts, demonstrating how he can make some of America’s most powerful politicians behave like trained seals, bouncing up and down to cheer him even when he openly seeks to undermine the sitting U.S. President.

Some of the loudest applause came when Netanyahu told the Congress, “My friends, for over a year, we’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”

Netanyahu’s enthusiastic reception signaled to President Obama that he has little political support for a negotiated agreement with Iran and signaled to Iran that all their concessions are unlikely to lead to any meaningful easing of sanctions from the U.S. Congress.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

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35 comments for “Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran

  1. Joe
    March 3, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    It is hardly surprising that the Republicans and most Democrats would cheer the source of the bribes and press control that got them elected. Israel has never represented anything for the US but money and press for politicians. Those trained to doubt this need to do their homework. There is no support for Israel among those who care for truth and justice.

    We are fortunate to have so many Jewish people in the US with the courage to recognize and speak out against the wrongs of their right wing.

    The only US interest in the Mideast aside from the humanitarian responsibility it has never tried to fulfill, is oil, and it has tended that by making deals with dictators. Israel has no oil, is the primary problem in the region, and is the principal antagonist of US interests there. Only the control of US mass media by right wing Jews convinces the ignorant otherwise, and only their control of elections with corporate bribes keeps Congress in their power. They are the principal antagonist of democracy in the US. Who would have thought in 1947 what a blessing it would be for the world and the US if they were wiped out.

  2. TrishaJ
    March 3, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Not only do I disagree with what Netanyahu said, I disagree with his being given the opportunity to say it under the circumstances that opportunity was given. This is America, not Israel. How would Mr. Netanyahu like it if President Obama came to Israel, uninvited by Netanyahu, and urged the people there to go to war for American interests.

    John Boehner has lost sight of his job – to represent the people; he has become arrogant and rude to the point of insulting the President and therefore, this country and our people; he has apparently lost his moral compass; and he represents much that is wrong with our country today. If Mr. Boehner wants to go to war with Iran, he should be the first to enlist and be put in harms way. Or he can move to Israel and enlist in their army. Unfortunately, it seems he pushes for wars that others will be sent to fight.

    • Korik
      March 4, 2015 at 7:22 am

      My gosh, a Republican at the front? It would have to be a front against truth and justice, and some place with lots of gold to steal by means of lies and scheming. There have been two published attempts to assassinate him, so there is hope, but I prefer your peaceful approach. All advocates of war must lead the advance guard into the teeth of the machine guns.

  3. B. Grimsly
    March 3, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    It is obvious to the whole world that Netanyahu wants to dominate the middle east., being and remaining the only power with nukes. “Iran is busy gobbling up the nations. We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation and terror.”
    Is he insane?
    The truth is that Israel is busy gobbling up a nation and spreading terror by manipulating other nations to do its bidding.
    We must all stand together to stop Israel’s spreading of false hoods. Congress members are an embarrassing lot: how can they possibly applaud this lunatic, knowing full well that what he is telling them can be documented as lies and propaganda? How can they look at themselves in the mirror and not cringe with shame?

    • Kathy
      March 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

      Well said! It’s so strange that this should happen at this time. If this is what we can expect from a Republican controlled Congress what else could and would do.

      They are all cheering for a war mongrel and I would say against their own President. This has never happened before and the people should be outraged. I know I am…

      They give another countries Prime Minister over here to degrade our own President this is a shame they will carry with them for a long time.

      Israel has got to stop this land grab they have going under this Prime Minister and they really should vote him out of office. Yes he was here to boaster his chances to win a very close political race at home. Republicans and some Democrat’s should be in utter shame but I do not believe they have the moral campus to understand what they have done.

      Israel has nuclear weapons the only country that does and it seems that it is hell bent on taking us into another war. Israel needs to step back or lose the backing of the USA. With what their Prime Minister did putting down our President; can you believe that our Congress cheered this guy on as he preceded to tell our President what to do, how to do it and when to do it and this right in our sacred buildings of our country.

      Be gone ill one from our country and with him gone we much also kick out those who would stand against our President with this evil one.

      • Theodora Crawford
        March 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm

        I’m happy to see so many comments expressing anger that Netanyahu was allowed the opportunity to tell us what we should do and to speak against our President. Alas, I fear the opportunity was an excuse for many to vent their racial prejudice veiled (thinly at that) in a rallying cry for war. Excellent and informative article, thanks! Let there be truth and honesty and some compassion for the victims of our greed and self-righteous behavior.

  4. Frank in VA
    March 3, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I’d still like to ask Bibi why the Israeli air force strafed the lifeboats fleeting the USS Liberty that Israel bombed.

    But that’s just me.

  5. rose day
    March 3, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    The photos of Congress pandering to Netanyahu may (or not) be symbolic of the disconnect between politicians and those who elect politicians. There is enough information available
    to persuade me that ‘the vote’ has been up for grabs for some time and computer voting
    manipulation has pushed the paradigm into warp speed which could explain discrepancies.

    Effective computer hacking is not inexpensive and voting appears to have evolved into a
    process wherein the outfit with the necessary bucks to hire the best hacker has the edge…
    disheartening at the least. This scenario is an explanation which for me personally sheds the
    tiniest bit of light on a predicament which features low public approval of elected officials who are busy back-slapping and cozying up to world leaders who do not necessarily have America’s best interests in mind.

  6. Bill Bodden
    March 3, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    As deplorable as Netanyahu and his speech may have been, the elected members of Congress can be charged with little contradiction to be worse. Here is a man whose hands are drenched in the blood of hundreds of innocent women and children in Gaza, victims of Operation Cast Lead and Operation Enduring Freedom, declared by distinguished authorities as violations of international law and as crimes against humanity, and for their thirty pieces of silver in campaign donations our (sic) representatives give him dozens of standing ovations.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      Yeah.

      One of my US Senators is a nominal Democrat named Joe Donnelly. Today he guaranteed that there are no circumstance whatever I’ll vote for him. Not even if the Republicans run Jack-The-Ripper reincarnated.

      In fact, if at gunpoint I’m forced to vote at all, I’ll vote for the Republican. Better to have somebody who can get the full blame for his actions instead somebody else pretending to be on my side, but isn’t on anything important.

      But there I go – dreaming again. Here in Indiana my vote is collected and tabulated by no-verification computer devices. The people with the money will install anybody they damned well please in any elected office.

      • Peter Loeb
        March 4, 2015 at 7:16 am

        VOTING (SUPPORTING) THOSE WHO SUBMIT TO ISRAEL IS BLASPHEMY

        Long ago I concluded that while I cannot change the world, I can control my own vote
        and I have refused to support any politician or political entity which considers the
        US-Israeli positions worthy of any support whatsoever.

        Others consider this “unpatriotic” , an affront to the “right to vote” as American as apple
        pie. I consider this personal decision of mine courageous. In my case, implementation
        of this decision has been extermely painful. I have “drawn a line in the sand”.I have
        been forced not to support politicians and political entities whose other actions
        I approve.

        I refuse to choose to “forget” the thousands of Palestinians murdered, raped,etc. for any other worthy issue or cause.

        If my Senators in Washington decide to back Israel as they have it is understandeable
        politically. I doubt a candidate could be elected in Massachusetts condemning
        Israel. It remains unacceptable to me.

        A Muslim scholar (Tariq Ramadan) has written: ” …Muhammad acknowledges a pact that was established before the beginning of Revelation and which pledges to defend
        justice imperatively and to oppose the oppression of those were destitute and powerless…”

        As a non-Muslim, I passionately subscribe to these committments.

        —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

        • Theodora Crawford
          March 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm

          Thank you Mr. Loeb. I too am sickened by the Palestinian plight and our complicity in continuing this outrage. We have surely lost our way to the highest bidder. I fully suspect the trials of the Middle East would not exist if we hadn’t wanted to control their oil. Does anyone mourn the loss of priceless antiquity’s treasures?

          • Bill Bodden
            March 4, 2015 at 6:48 pm

            We have surely lost our way to the highest bidder.

            With very rare exceptions Congress and the White House have almost always been purchased by the highest bidders. In most cases, people who have a positive attitude when voting are very likely voting for their crook or the lesser evil or are naive enough to believe in the myth they are voting for someone to represent them.

  7. Michael Gillespie
    March 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Netanyahu desperately wants a major war. With his comment about ISIS “butcher knives” he is once again attempting to focus the world’s attention on barbarity for which Israel is largely responsible, and away from barbarity within his own religious tradition. It seems clear enough that Israeli Third Temple fanatics, who have significant support within government (1), cannot fulfill their dream of razing the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount, there to build their Third Temple and reintroduce ritual animal slaughter/blood sacrifice to what they consider its rightful place at the center of religion, without a major war. They need the chaos and fog of war in order to destroy the Muslim holy places, and they are keenly aware of that though of course they don’t say so publicly, at least not yet.

    Pro-Israel Islamophobes, while claiming to be the acme of modernity, have frequently and persistently derided those they hate for their supposed allegiance to a primitive, backwards 13th century Islamic religious and cultural perspective. Evidence strongly suggests that the racist, bigoted accusations Zionists spew at Muslims are intended to distract attention from religious extremism in their own political tent and within their own religious tradition, extremism based directly on primitive cultural mores and religious practices that predate both Islam and Christianity. Israel’s Third Temple fanatics don’t look back to the 13th Century. They dream of the pre-Christian era and, if we take them at their word, their plan is to bring an end to Christianity, Islam, and all other religions with the exception, of course, of their own.

    Philip Weiss wrote late last year about his interactions with Third Temple zealots: “And when I asked a young [Jewish] American named Jeremy, What do you think [Israel] will look like in 100 years? he responded with a religious vision: I see millions of people streaming through these streets to get to the temple to make animal sacrifices. People of all former religions from all over the world, he said–because then the messiah would be here and the other religions would disappear.” (2)

    Richard Silverstein noted last April: “So when a bunch of seeming fanatics parade a bunch of fat, balding middle aged men through the streets of Jerusalem and tell us they’re the Jewish High Priests of the future, I sit up and take notice. This is friggin’ scary. Not because the rest of world Jewry will respond in any positive way to this rump attempt to revive the priestly elite. But rather because the combination of this religious movement allied with State power will send Israel even farther in the direction of religious holy war.” (3)

    Lo and behold, after the terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, Netanyahyu called for a global holy war against Islam, in very explicit terms. (4)

    A look at the history of religiously motivated terrorism reveals patterns and commonalities across racial, religious, and national boundaries. Unsurprisingly, groups motivated by historical grievances to use violence tend to be focused on the past. To the extent that they look to the future, their goals tend to be informed primarily by the desire to reclaim lost power, security, prestige, and land area controlled in the past during what they view as their nation’s or group’s golden age. Violent groups motivated by historical grievance march into the future resolutely facing backwards with their eyes focused determinedly on the imagined racial and religious glory of their ancestors; they have no idea where they are actually going, precious little or no concern or understanding as to how their plans and violent actions may affect others and shape the future.

    The motives of such groups often include revenge against those they view as responsible for historical losses, humiliation, and suffering, while their ideas, ideals, and conceits are to varying extents based on and informed by ancient religious texts, practices, and associated mores and ethnocentric perspectives typical of what they view as the golden age of their history. This is true of nation states motivated by historical grievance as well as terror organizations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS. The government of Israel routinely destroys Palestinian Arab mosques and homes and Israeli fanatics are bent on destroying the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, while ISIS fighters destroy artifacts in a museum in Mosul, much as the Taliban before them destroyed relics in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Such seemingly opposed ideas and actions actually represent two sides of the coin of primitive, desperate, violent religious extremism.

    Israel has destabilized the entire region, just as Michael Neumann predicted in 2002: “As the world slowly tries to emerge from barbarism–for instance, through the human rights movements for which Israel has such contempt–Israel mockingly drags it back by sanctifying the very doctrines of racial vengeance that more civilized forces condemn. Israel brings no new evils into the world. It merely rehabilitates old ones, as an example for others to emulate and admire.” (5)

    Netanyahu needs a major war, a global holy war against Islam. He has said so! If he gets that war, of course Israel will raze the Muslim holy places on the Temple Mount, know by Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. That is an essential element of the Third Temple zealots’ plan to return Israel to the golden pre-Christian, pre-Islam era of ancient Hebrew history. Left to their own devices, Israeli religious fanatics will have their militant messiah, and the modern world be damned.

    I wonder, has Netanyahu decided that he himself is messiah material? He’s already jetting around declaring that he speaks for all of the world’s Jews. Small wonder Norman Finkelstein has referred to Netanyahu as “a maniac.” (6)

    (1) http://www.timesofisrael.com/minister-calls-for-third-temple-to-be-built/

    (2) http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/vision-replace-mosque

    (3) http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2014/04/15/israeli-settler-priests-prepare-to-build-holy-temple-resume-animal-sacrifices/

    (4) http://www.tubechop.com/watch/4706372

    (5) http://www.counterpunch.org/2002/07/06/what-s-so-bad-about-israel/

    (6) http://www.tubechop.com/watch/5101702

  8. Zachary Smith
    March 3, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    It’s time to play hardball, but I doubt if this particular Administration has the ‘testicular fortitude’.

    They surely have the means, if they want to use them. It’s illegal for US Aid to go to Israel if Israel has nukes. So for decades everybody has been playing “pretend” so as not to recognize the obvious.

    http://www.wrmea.org/2015-january-february/lawsuit-challenges-u.s.-ambiguity-toward-israels-nuclear-arsenal.html

    That ought to change. It probably won’t, but it ought to.

    Israel smashed Gaza last year, and humans there are living in misery because the shitty little nation wants to force them to leave if possible, and to kill them if they won’t. The US money going to Israel to assist their thefts and murders could go to people in need. People in Gaza. Ukraine. Lots of places.

    A person can dream….

    • Bill Bodden
      March 4, 2015 at 12:15 am

      When we consider Mitch Daniels was elected governor of Indiana after he predicted the war on Iraq could be done on the cheap for $60 billion nothing out of that state should come as a surprise. The latest estimate from Joseph Stiglitz is that the total costs could exceed $5 trillion. But what does he know. He was just some Nobel laureate in economics and probably hasn’t read the Bible in years.

  9. March 4, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Americans are aware that our elected officials on Capitol Hill are mostly mules of Israel. They inherit from their parents or boss the personae of “cleverness”. Like mules, the officials on Capital Hill are sure-footed, negotiate bumpy ground carefully, and when needed with remarkable speed and conformation, approve decisions that degrade the lives of the middle class, deprived and unloved in the nation here and abroad.

    Israel is the greatest threats to world peace, followed by another racist regime, medieval Saudi Arabia. They created ISIS, of course, thanks to the idiocy of our own government.

    Unless we rise for our national interests, Washington will fully sell our country to racists, warmongers, Wall Street and Military Industrial Complex to further fill the pockets of superrich with gold at the expense of our blood and treasure.

    Think about it: no country has created more enemies for us compared to Israel simply because Israel does not come to peace with Palestinians. If Israel and Saudi are opposed to ISIS, how come ISIS has no dispute with them?

  10. Akbar Montaser
    March 4, 2015 at 12:13 am

    The speech was regrettable. It showed the real existential threat to Israel is the Prime Minister!

  11. Cassandra
    March 4, 2015 at 12:19 am

    FYI those who don’t know about it — the world’s best voting system is Venezuela’s. They have touch screen ballots that are printed for the voter to verify and confirm before being machine tallied. The voter then deposits the printed ballot in a ballot box for each machine. Throughout the voting period flying squads from the CEC visit the polls at random and hand count the ballots to verify the accuracy of the machine tally. The verification squads get to roughly half the polls. Apart from verifying the machine functioning, they provide an unarguable exit poll. Any broad departure from the partial count in the total count would need investigation.

  12. Minnesota Mary
    March 4, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Obama has seen correctly that he has no support in deriving a deal with Iran. Now he should call Bibi’s bluff and say, “Bibi, Iran is your neighbor in your hemisphere, and you say it is a mortal threat to Israel. The U.S. will not stand in your way if you want to bomb Iran into submission. The. U.S. has generously provided you with more than adequate war power and an iron dome for protection from incoming bombs. You go ahead and do what you want, and by the way, you will need boots on the ground to subdue Iran after the bombing—Israeli boots not American boots.”

  13. March 4, 2015 at 1:19 am

    Over the past weeks I sent correspondence to the White House, and the VP, to my two senators (Schumer and Gillibrand), to Senator Reid and to Rep Nancy Pelosi with a “modest proposal” which I had posted on my blog [picaflor1968.wordpress. com Unfortunately and typically, I received no acknowledgement at all from any of them.

    If you care to read the proposal (much too democratic apparently even for Democrats), it is here: http://picaflor1968.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/a-modest-proposal-or-flip-flop-on-netanyahus-coming-to-speak-to-congress/

  14. March 4, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Netanyahu is a bit of a one-issue man on foreign policy. He may be able to fool the US Congress, where there are few who bother to check up on the facts, but he is far less likely to be able to fool Israeli voters this time round.

    His policy of persuading Sunni Muslims to fight Shia Muslims is a very dangerous one indeed. If one side or the other actually won, Israel would be in a far more vulnerable position than it is now. And I doubt very much whether his friends in Saudi Arabia would be content with just that victory.

  15. Roy
    March 4, 2015 at 3:59 am

    After today, I know who owns American, and it isn’t Americans. Shame on representatives of Congress to applaud this leader who is telling America how it should run its foreign policy. But I forgot, being re-elected is more important therefore, the money of the Jewish financiers are most important to your campaigns. This should be a disgrace for Americans, instead we applaud hypocrisy, double standards and prejudice.

  16. Peter Loeb
    March 4, 2015 at 7:22 am

    CONNECTING THE DOTS…

    In this brilliant article, Robert Parry connects the dots. In so doing he exposes the self-
    denial and self-imposed silences of those who ride the fabricated myths they have
    been fed and have voraciously consumed.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA USA

  17. Vesuvius
    March 4, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Being dead sure that the Ayatullas of Iran shortly are going to destroy Israel, Mr Netanyahu, (with his own cellar full of nukes) for which he is “convinced” since at least 15 years now, he ought to seek the only real good solution to save Israel: Relocate the country somewhere else than the difficult Middle East. Why not ask the kind and loving Senators and House Representatives in Washington for the necessary piece of land somewhere in the United States of America? Their enthusiasm on March 3 bodes very well for an easy negociation over this Little problem, to save The Chosen People for eternal future and prosperity.

  18. Bente Petersen
    March 4, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Seems to me USA has a problem with a large number of their elected people in the Congress and Senate being in a condition of treason to the USA. . . supposedly their fatherland. Or even lower in a condition of confusion.

  19. Gregory Kruse
    March 4, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I don’t know what could make me feel more hopeless. This isn’t a Star Wars movie. The “Empire” strikes first, and the rebels all get killed in real life. I’m reading Charles Hazen’s history of Europe, particularly the British Empire, in which he speaks of empire in glowing, almost erotic tones. “We” are so great that “we” should rule the world. It only takes one maniac to turn the heads of the ambitious toward that golden light of power, because that light blinds them to the dark consequences of fascism and slavery and allows them the chance to become well-rewarded minions. The consequences of lust for empire resulted in two world wars; I shudder to think of the consequences of the melding and concentration of military and financial power in the hands of a maniac by the name of Bibi Netanyahu.

  20. Vesuvius
    March 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    By the way, the cheering Senators and Representatives of March 3 (and on earlier Bibi occasions on the Capitol), did they ever learn about the U.S.S. Liberty? Attacked in 1967 by Israeli forces, trying to sink the ship and killing and wounding U.S. servicemen!

  21. Brendan
    March 4, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    From Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, 2 March 2015 :
    “We’re an ancient people. In our nearly 4,000 years of history, many have tried repeatedly to destroy the Jewish people. Tomorrow night, on the Jewish holiday of Purim, we’ll read the Book of Esther. We’ll read of a powerful Persian viceroy named Haman, who plotted to destroy the Jewish people some 2,500 years ago. But a courageous Jewish woman, Queen Esther, exposed the plot and gave for the Jewish people the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
    The plot was foiled. Our people were saved.
    (APPLAUSE)
    Today the Jewish people face another attempt by yet another Persian potentate to destroy us. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei spews the oldest hatred, the oldest hatred of anti-Semitism with the newest technology.”

    Ah, those Persians, you just can’t trust them, they haven’t changed in thousands of years. That’s not really racist, honest!

    • Brendan
      March 6, 2015 at 6:45 am

      The Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif contradicts Netanyahu’s version of the history of the relationship between Iran and the Jews:

      “He even distorts his own– scripture. If– if you read the book of Esther, you will see that it was the Iranian king who saved the Jews… It is– it is truly, truly regrettable that bigotry gets to the point of making allegations against an entire nation which has saved Jews three times in its history: Once during that time of– of a prime minister [Haman?] who was trying to kill the Jews, and the king saved the Jews, again during the time of Cyrus the Great, where he saved the Jews from Babylon, and during the– Second World War, where Iran saved the Jews.”

      The last part is probably a reference to the Iranian diplomat Sardari who helped an estimated 2000 Iranian Jews escape from France in WW2 by giving them passports.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/full-interview-iranian-foreign-minister-mohammad-javad-zarif-n317516

  22. Andrew Nichols
    March 4, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Uncanny. The 41 ovations reminde one of the Stalin era iin the USSR or the Hoxha era in Albania where speeches by the Dear Leader evoked endless such displays, each participant acutely aware of serious consequences if they failed to arise or betrayed any lack of enthusiasm. Literal execution then, career ending via AIPAC today. If I was a patriotic American, I’d be humiliated and furious at this shameless grovelling.

    • M A
      March 7, 2015 at 7:28 am

      The nails planted by AIPAC into their seats would not let them sit for more than a few seconds at a time.

  23. Michael
    March 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    If anyone had tried to come before the Senate and had said about Israel anything near to the truth, not only would they have been kicked out, they would also face charges of anti-Semitism. This man is as dangerous as any that has come before him, not only does he want the whole of the Middle East as part of Israel, he wants the US to fight their wars. He is an evil man in a world being controlled by evil men, and in any competition, he would win, hands down.

  24. Bill Bodden
    March 4, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    If Israel’s leadership knew it would provoke the wrath of Congress or the White House it is highly unlikely Israel would have engaged in the slaughter of the people of Gaza as it did in Operation Cast Lead and Operation Enduring Freedom. To the contrary, Israel’s leadership knew these actions would be approved at the highest levels of the US government. It follows then that Congress and the White House must share in the guilt of these violations of international law and crimes against humanity.

  25. Vesuvius
    March 5, 2015 at 5:46 am

    On New York Times webpage, I found a transcript of the PM’s speech in U.S. Congress. Having read it, I am apalled — first of the hateful speech itself, secondly of the incredible ovations by the U.S. Senators and House Representatives present.

    Read Mr Netanyahu’s speech! It reminds me of two orators, very active the 20th Century, who no doubt would have been very delighted to listen to Mr Netanyahu’s endeavours in the art of hateful and lying speechmaking: Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. Here, Mr Netanyahu appears as a true heir to these infamous speakers and politicians. (And he has the cellar full of undeclared, “secret” nukes, Iran has none, but has signed the NPT.)

    What makes med really sad is the ignorant reception this baloney did recieve in the U.S. Congress, of all places on Earth. May President Obama and his team, and the P1+1, reach a satisfying deal with Iran.

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