As’ad AbuKhalil weighs Iran’s position at a dangerous point in U.S. relations, but says the prospects of war are not as high as Gulf regimes and Israel want them to be.
By As`ad AbuKhalil
Special to Consortium News
The crisis in Iranian-U.S. relations has reached a dangerous point, and Israel and its Gulf allies are hoping for a major U.S.-Iranian war. The Iranian regime clearly has limited options available to it since it is tied by the nuclear agreement, while reaping diminishing rewards from it with the reimposition of U.S. sanctions. But it has some options, nevertheless, especially in the event of military confrontation.
Its enemies have been operating on the assumption that the sanctions would either drive the regime to surrender or will lead to a popular revolution, which would end the Islamic regime. Neither of the two scenarios are likely in the foreseeable future, and the regime — if it faces a threat to its survival — will fight ruthlessly (and the Iranian regime has more of a popular base than the Syrian regime). But the prospects of war are not as high as Gulf regimes and Israel want them to be.
The Trump administration came on an agenda of exclusive focus on domestic politics, and President Donald Trump has long opposed U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. He criticized President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq early on, when many Democrats were marching to that beat.
Trump comes from a traditional Republican isolationist foreign policy although his administration is staffed with an odd mix of neo-conservatives and interventionist conservatives. (National Security Advisor John Bolton bristles at the suggestion that he is a neo-conservative because it implies he was once a Democrat, which he never was).
But Trump’s appointments in foreign policy and defense can’t be read as an indication of his foreign policy agenda or “doctrine” because he alienated so many members of the Republican foreign policy establishment that he couldn’t hire from the traditional Republican rolodex, and he seems to put personal loyalty and flattery way ahead of any ideological litmus test.
Trump’s Intentions Unclear
It has not been clear what exactly Trump wants from Iran. Even in the Middle East: he started his campaign by calling for a “neutral” U.S. stance toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, and yet exhibited from the White House the most pro-Israeli bias ever seen in the Oval Office (continuing the pattern of every U.S. president becoming more pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian than his predecessor, with the exception of the team of President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker).
On Iran, Trump simply railed against the Iran nuclear deal without offering any specific criticisms (it is doubtful that he read the agreement or even listened to a detailed briefing). Just like the health care issue, Trump is less concerned about substance and public policy and more about his own brand name and legacy, and the desire to dismantle what is perceived — rightly or wrongly — as the achievements of the Obama administration.
Iran has been aware of the Israeli plotting in all this; of its eagerness to provoke Iranian forces in Syria into a confrontation. And consistently, the Iranian regime has resisted Israeli provocations but maintained its presence in Syria. It has continued to supply Hizbullah and Iraq Hashd militias with support and financing (despite the exaggerated reports by The Washington Post’s Liz Sly and other Western correspondents who seem to talk exclusively to foes of Iran and Hizbullah in the Middle East).
Iran is also aware that some factions in the Trump administration are aligned with Israeli-Saudi plans for a major military confrontation with Iran.
But the notion that the U.S. would go to war against Iran is rather unthinkable. The war against Iraq, an exhausted country, suffering from two successive major wars and from crippling U.S.-imposed sanctions, resulted in the debacle that spawned a variety of terrorist organizations. A war against Iran would cost (in human and financial terms) far more than the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, unlike Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran does indeed have supporters, allies, and clients throughout the region who would come to its defense in the case of a major war. There can’t be a limited war against Iran.
The Iranian regime is also split along ideological lines. President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif had promised prosperity and stability if talks with the U.S. proceeded and if a nuclear agreement were reached.
But the Rouhani-Zarif team, which prides itself on its knowledge and familiarity with Western thinking, made major mistakes in its negotiations with the team of President Barack Obama. It should have known that an agreement with a president in his last two years would not necessarily last if he is replaced by a president from the other party (in other words, they presumed that a Democrat would succeed Trump and would stick to the agreement). But the Iranian negotiators — who, incidentally, are far more skilled and shrewd than the negotiators for the Palestinian Authority, from Oslo until the last round of negotiations — failed in two major ways.
No. 1) They didn’t reach an official treaty, which would have required ratification by the U.S. Senate (which would have been unlikely under Obama).
No. 2) They didn’t include in the agreement a clause that would specifically reward Iran (or punish the U.S.) if Washington unilaterally decided to violate the agreement, which had the international juridical support of the UN Security Council.
The Rouhani-Zarif team always clashed with a hardline team in Iran, which did not put faith in talks with the U.S. The Supreme leader identified with the hardline team yet wound up going along with the plan by Rouhani-Zarif.
Tehran Must Be Frustrated
Tehran, today, must be frustrated: While it clings to the deal and adheres to its terms, the Europeans have failed to engineer an alternative financial mechanism to allow Iran to buy and sell on the international market. U.S. sanctions have become more effective, and U.S. global bullying has intimidated countries and corporations from doing business with Iran.
There was reason to expect this might happen. The Republican Party made its position on the agreement quite clear when it invited a foreign leader, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, to list a litany of complaints before the U.S. Congress (where the Democrats were too afraid of the Israeli lobby to register disapproval and the Obama White House typically too meek to respond).
The hardline faction in Iran — whatever that means — does not seem to have an alternative to talks with the U.S. Recent interviews with Zarif in the U.S. were intended to articulate a new policy of Iran, in which the government expresses willingness to talk to the administration.
Zarif counters skeptics in Iran by distinguishing between Trump and what he calls “Team B” (Bolton and company). And if Iran wants to preserve the deal and has no alternative plan, talks with the Trump administration may become inevitable.
Trump is not a stickler for issues or policy details but he prefers to have his name and personal imprint on any international agreement. The administration added to its list of demands for denuclearization an insistence that talks with Iran would cover No. 1) ballistic missiles; No. 2) regional issues; No. 3) Iran’s support for groups classified as terrorist groups (which now includes the Revolutionary Guards — i.e. the U.S. would like Iran to stop supporting its own armed forces).
The Obama administration already tried to put all those on the agenda in the last negotiations and Tehran adamantly refused. The Supreme Leader just last week indicated his government’s refusal to discuss those issues as well, which may be a signal that the Supreme Leader could be open to a new round of negotiations with the Trump administration but strictly over nuclear issues.
What happened last week may indicate the Iranian course of action in the event of military assault on its forces. It could easily strike at targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE before striking at targets in Israel because their responses will be less severe and they are far more easily intimidated.
Just a few years ago, when an official UAE envoy met with a Hizbullah leader and sent messages about Hizbullah behavior in the region, he received a stern message about possible war scenarios that would include targets in the UAE, which left that envoy ashen-faced (I learned this from a well-placed source).
Saudi and UAE media seemed less eager for war than they were two weeks ago (with the exception of the English-language Arab News, which is directed to a Western audience). The attacks on the ships and the oil installation may have been sufficient to scare the two regimes. The prospects for war are not high, but if Israel and Saudi Arabia get their way with an American war, its ramifications would destabilize the entire regional order, an order which is highly beneficial to U.S. interests. For that—and given his own proclivities, Trump may think twice.
As’ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of the “Historical Dictionary of Lebanon” (1998), “Bin Laden, Islam and America’s New War on Terrorism (2002), and “The Battle for Saudi Arabia” (2004). He tweets as @asadabukhalil
Difficult to deal with the Western expression of objectivity. The loss of essential soul-qualities in connection with the massive narcissism expressed in Western societies makes it impossible to be understood. The Western “politics” are not politics – they are criminal Mafia-like behaviour hipocrit to an unbearable extent. To deal with the snake is only for masters.
How is it that in your book, every other government deserve to be loved as a “Regime” but the rouge American regime in DC. I usually stop reading analyses that call legitimate governments regimes. Iran’ government and Iranians are the one standing up to the global hegemony and a rouge regime that is ailing your Arab blood. Show respect for Iran, if your brethren don’t have the guts to standup and fight.
as the title of the piece says …irans military options…………………..you seem to have left out one thing…
IRANS MILITARY OPTIONS!
Yesterday TRNN posted a brief interview with Prof. AbuKhalil concerning the listing of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Since I previously alluded to the fact that I didn’t understand the history or activities of that organization I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank him for helping to educate this rust-belt schmuck, and generally as an expert on the region for all his informative work. Too bad it is not more widely known and discussed.
Can you please publish articles that list for the 99.999% Always was, Totally Fake TV, believing USA? You mentioned Israel & USA benefiting from sanctions. No one in my reading has ever listed exactly what sanctions do,or that there are benefits to some from them. The zombies have to be educated because you need their help to dislodge the Corrupt USA gov in elections.
Each article needs to include beginner level references.
Iran should buy the bomb. As America is the only country to have dropped nukes on another country, letting it decide who can and who can’t have nukes is like letting Nazis decide who can and who can’t have gas chambers.
“Trump is less concerned about substance and public policy and more about his own brand name and legacy, and the desire to dismantle what is perceived — rightly or wrongly — as the achievements of the Obama administration.”
That is exactly IT. Trump is undoing everything Obama did, large or small. Probably because Obama dissed on him at the Correspondents Dinner. Petty, but the BIG fucking ego can’t stand criticism.
I think you both mis-understand the title.
The author, As’ad AbuKhalil, who *is* an Arab, blogs under the name “The Angry Arab”. That phrase in the title is to identify the author. It says nothing about the identity of Iranians. The titles of all of his other articles on Consortium News are similarly prefaced.
dave, then he should put it in small print after the name of the article with the word “by” in from of it. In this particular case he could have at least titled his article, “The Persians’ military Options.”
I’m hoping the US war engine is tuckering out.
It could use a banana up the tailpipe.
Geopolitical requires macro-vision,and for starters let us look at, threat to Petro Dollars and disruption of China’s “Silk Road Project, and lastly disruption to European and Japans energy lifelines.
China, Russia, Turkey,’ Venezuela, and Iran with already today signed onto trade pacts not denominated or dominated by the Petro dollar,
13 nations have signed up, helping to finance the Silk Road that are talking basket currency exchange system made up of regional partners currency that looks to be acceptance of Euros, but not British Pound or Petro Dollars.
Worlds largest N G field is the Caspian Sea Basin and it is joint owned by Iran and Qtar, a product that Europe finds considerably less expensive than buying US, Canad/Brit based LNG.
A product that upon completion of Silk Road should drastically lower cost and up supply availability to all European nations and open up Central and Asia, ME markets of their goods.
Yet Europe isnomore than euuchs guarding US nations whore houses, and as voluntarily became eunuchs, they may as well of had tongues cut out so to be completely unservicable to those 130 national US owned houses of ill repute in UN.
US/Israel, ( one and same or is it Israel before US) and NATO have been at war and punishing Iran since 1ou0s, and they will continue doing so unyo days when Iran surrenders or has become a nuclear wasteland.
Recent history of Syria, Iraq, Libya, AfghanistananYemen and Somalia, has proven beyond a doubt US military has no consciousness and cares not for humanity other than a few of their own.
Americans have a simple solution to the facts about the Mideast and US choices that we don’t wish to acknowledge: Blame Israel.
The DHF solution to the facts he/she refuses to admit is to distract from Israel, and he/she comments here for no other purpose.
Israel has done nothing but promote violence and instability in its neighborhood, hoping to benefit from it.
A mafia state, absolutely.
Professor’s comments about potus are contradictory and confusing.
potus is unable to construct a policy and disinclined to follow-through on any rational or useful options to war presented.
If, as proffered, potus presented himself as an isolationist, his minder’s have given him aides to continue on that tack and no amount of .normalizing can show him as other minded.
Or the professor’s comments on “no war with Iran” may be based on secret knowledge that says irrational belligerent communications by potus and aircraft carriers are simply adrenaline for public consumption.
@ :… aircraft carriers are simply adrenaline for public consumption.”
You’ve got it right there at the end. U.S. aircraft carriers are toast if they attack Iran. Russia and China have guaranteed Iran that they will not allow the Iranian government to be toppled. Both Russia and China have long-range hypersonic anti-ship missiles so fast and maneuverable that the U.S. Navy has no defense to them. Iran itself has missiles of sufficient range to reach an attacking aircraft carrier and if fired in sufficient numbers would destroy their target.
U.S. aircraft carriers are monuments to a day gone by, useful now only for splatting a country that has no strong defense against the wall. They’re no longer useful in a war against Russia or China. And they probably would be no threat to Iran alone.
What happened to my replies?
Sorry I asked. They are now showing up.
Trump think twice???he never thinks at all, but is swept along by “advisors” like Bolton, and has no idea of real world war-fighting and cares even less. Constant threats, all twittering lies, contempt for any thought of peace or cooperation, lest alone considering other points of view, the Trump regime follows its predecessors a little more vulgarly but with the same principles.
ps using the term “régime” for Iran, but pretending Trump has an “administration” is a play on words by Angry Arab
Never under-estimate the opposition. I think it has been a big mistake to sweep Trump aside as a clueless dolt.
I find I seldom need to comment here but noticed this:
‘No. 1) They didn’t reach an official treaty, which would have required ratification by the U.S. Senate (which would have been unlikely under Obama).’
It was simply not going to happen considering the terms the US Senate would demand.
It seems to me Iran made the ideal choice. Being in their current situation gives them leverage and legitimacy moving forward.
They gave up a less preferred and difficult option (nukes.) This is something they could literally buy conceivably.
At present they look good to the world and I think the trade issues will be resolved over the coming years.
A war of aggression against Iran would be very costly. That said I believe the US prefers carpet bombing them back to stone age rather than defeating them. It’s SOP these days.
Without question, Iran does not want war with the United States. Its infrastructure would be destroyed, its economy beggared for generations and hundreds of thousands of its citizens killed even if occupation of the country by Washington’s armies were impossible.
Does Washington want this war to lay waste Iran? Depends upon what its objectives really are, because such a scenario would not be cost-free to America either, though of no existential threat to it. Is Washington really willing to be ranked with history’s worst mass murderers in order to stifle Iran’s political and economic interests in the Middle East, or its participation in a greater Eurasian trading bloc with Russia and China? Just why does it consider Iran so dangerous, if in fact it truly does? Is this conflict merely based on pure avarice, with an eye toward grabbing oil reserves and perhaps more Lebensraum for Israel? Does Washington foolishly think that major wars are a justifiable mechanism with which to stimulate one’s own economy, or make the shareholders in the MIC fabulously wealthy? Or do the neocons leading this effort actually think that by making an example of Iran both Russia and China will be intimidated and retreat from their efforts to promote more trade, develop their economies, expand their spheres of influence and elevate their standard of living? Surely Washington can have no dog in the fight between Sunni and Shia Islam? If they do, they are sicker and more dangerous than anyone ever imagined. Or could it be mere self-destructive pride, with the Pentagon and intel agencies still butt hurt over seeing their puppet the Shah toppled 40 years ago, as if political power in Iran was theirs to bestow upon whomever they see fit?
History, if not the rest of the entire contemporaneous world will not digest any of that easily. If that is our government’s game (and I don’t think it is an objective of the basically powerless American majority), the day will come when it is wringing its hands over the endless reparations the world will demand for all the nefarious deeds it is perpetrating today. Logically and morally, if Washington wants a bigger piece of the world economic pie as it is evolving in the 21st century, it needs to constructively work with its perceived competitors, not attempt to destroy them because, as any cocky kid just hanging out on some street corner has already learned from experience, “what goes around, comes around.”
Trump is Israel’s No. 1 Shabbos Goy, ever ready to bend over and drop his trousers for Adelson. He is even more of a 30 Shekel Whore than any previous occupant of the White House, and that’s saying something. America is Israel’s bitch. If Trump’s Zionist paymasters want a war, that’s what they will get. The Orange Baboon won’t get in their way. Just another war for Israel, with the dumb goys providing the muscle, the blood and the treasure.
And Trump is the weakest president in US history, much as he likes to preen and posture as a hard case negotiator. US foreign policy has been delegated to Bolton and Pompeo, and the Middle East to Crown Prince Kushner and little Princess Shiksa Ivanka. “Daddy, you just have to bomb Syria!” Is Trump in control of anything? Is anyone in that administration?
I find it doubtful that Thump has the capacity to think really strategically – like what would happen if we destabilized the entire Middle East. He is, in fact, pretty much focused on self aggrandizement. What he doesn’t seem to realize is that he’s putting his name on the beginning of the decline and fall of the American empire.
Any analysis that is based on the notion that Israel wants war lacks credibility, because it defies logic. It’s fashionable to portray Israel as a military mega-power trampling over the “impoverished” Arab oil states, and to portray the US as a gullible, weak dupe of the ever-sinister Jews, Russians, whatever. It’s all nonsense, and the more people seek to understand international relations in view of the potential for nuclear war, the less the old stereotypes sell.
US involvement in the Mideast is about protecting US oil interests in the region. Period. Israel is a separate issue. Jews are indigenous to that land, restored (again) as the Jewish nation in 1948, via the UN. It’s a tiny country, roughly the size of New Jersey — some 1% of the Mideast region, with the remaining 99% consisting of the various Arab states, some of which seek to eradicate Jews from the region. These Arab nations are armed to the teeth by China, Russia, and the US. Note that it is Iraq, not Israel, that gets the lion’s share of US aid. In spite of impossible odds, Israel persists in surviving.
We’re reaching the point where our own survival requires taking a clear-eyed look at US domestic and international policies overall. Our 1950s political ideology serves to “rally the people” around this or that cause, has little connection with the broader realities of our current era..
“Any analysis that is based on the notion that Israel wants war lacks credibility, because it defies logic.”
Then how do explain almost continuous war for seventy years?
And Israel is the cause of far more war than just the many it has been at the center of.
The horrible Neocon Wars, killing a couple of million people and creating millions of refugees, are Israeli-inspired.
Ariel Sharon and others were pitching for them many years ago behind the scenes.
“These Arab nations are armed to the teeth by China, Russia, and the US. Note that it is Iraq, not Israel, that gets the lion’s share of US aid. In spite of impossible odds, Israel persists in surviving.”
Quite inaccurate. The Arab states are not armed at all on the same level with Israel. Just to start with, none have nuclear arsenals.
And it is important to recognize Israel is the most subsidized entity on earth. The total of all its public and private subsidies, coming in many shapes and forms, are like nothing ever seen before.
“US involvement in the Mideast is about protecting US oil interests in the region. Period. Israel is a separate issue”
No, it is not. Israel is de facto a colony of the United States in the region, a rather peculiar colony and one covered in religious myths and legends, but still a colony serving most of the purposes colonies have always served.
That is precisely why it so subsidized and privileged with many special arrangements from free trade to being given all kinds of large contracts.
Israel has been a tremendously hostile force from the start because it adopted the “iron wall” notion of dealing with its neighbors instead of trying to establish good relationships.
The only nations in the region Israel has good relations with are those ruled by kings and tyrants loyal to American policy. Israel pretty much hates and fears democracy in the Arab world and is a major factor in working against it.
That’s because Israel has so little in common with its neighbors. It is populated largely by people of European origin – the Ashkenazim – and will always feel rather alien in the region.
I’ll just add the important additional point:
And it is very important to recognize that while some Israelis might not want war with Iran, that clearly is not the case for their dreadful government, especially if it can manage to arrange it so America and its allies do all the fighting while Netanyahu sits back, with his feet up, watching the show on television with a big bowl of popcorn.
Well, DH, you always play the “It’s the Oil!” card here with zero evidence or argument.
Do you bomb the local gas station to stabilize the supply?
@ “Any analysis that is based on the notion that Israel wants war lacks credibility, because it defies logic.”
For decades, spreading violent chaos in neighboring countries has been a very large part of the Israeli government’s strategy for survival and to facilitate its regional empirical ambitions. That is obvious from Israeli government conduct and has been publicly acknowledged by a former Israeli government official. See Oded Yinon, A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties, hxxp://www.globalresearch.ca/greater-israel-the-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east/5324815
Many Israeli efforts to persuade the U.S. government to handle the messy military part are also well established established facts.
In regard to Iran in particular, Israel has been lobbying for the U.S. to attack Iran militarily throughout Benjamin Netanyahu’s time at Israel’s helm, promoting that goal through the myth that Iran has ambitions to obtain nuclear weapons. Obama attempted to finesse that call for war against Iran by negotiating the JCPOA, negating the Iranian Nukes Myth without publicly shaming Netanyahu for his lies. On the Iranian Nukes Myth, see my article here for supporting hyperlinks, including reports of multiple intelligence assessments by all U.S. intelligence agencies and a rather striking Mossad document: hxxps://relativelyfreepress.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-question-about-ron-wydens-intelligence.html
Who can forget sights like this: hxxps://static01.nyt.com/images/2012/09/29/world/middleeast/29israel/29israel-jumbo.jpg (photo of Netanyahu at the U.N., lying to the world about Iran’s mythical nuclear weapons program).
@ “Note that it is Iraq, not Israel, that gets the lion’s share of US aid.”
See this 2018 article: hxxps://www.concernusa.org/story/foreign-aid-by-country-getting-how-much/
According to the second chart, Iraq gets $4.38 billion annually while Israel gets $3.1 billion. But check this article: hxxps://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL33222.html
In that one we learn that Israel is the “largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” totaling $134.7 billion and that Israel gets almost $1 billion more than the $3.1 billion through other programs, putting Israel’s take very close to Iraq’s. So I’d say that your “lion’s share” for Iraq is a gross exaggeration.
As to your suggestion that Israel was created by the U.N. in 1948, that is an false Israeli founding myth. In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly passed a measure suggesting that the Mandate of Palestine be partition into two nations, one Arab, one Jewish. But that was only a request that the Security Council take the enabling action. See UNGA 181 (II), hxxps://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/7F0AF2BD897689B785256C330061D253 (“The General Assembly … Requests that … The Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation … “). The General Assembly lacked authority to make such decisions itself.
The Security Council never took action on that request because of very strong (and correct) objections that the U.N. Charter itself required that the population of the Mandate territory decide its form of government, rather than it being imposed by the U.N. It is all of the people of the former Mandate Territory of Palestine that have a right of self-determination, not a Jewish subset:
“States have consistently emphasized that respect for the territorial integrity of a non-self-governing territory is a key element of the exercise of the right to self-determination under international law. The Court considers that the peoples of non-self-governing territories are entitled to exercise their right to self-determination in relation to their territory as a whole, the integrity of which must be respected by the administering Power. It follows that any detachment by the administering Power of part of a non-self-governing territory, unless based on the freely expressed and genuine will of the people of the territory concerned, is contrary to the right to self-determination.”
Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965, International Court of Justice (judgment of 25 February 2019), pg. 38, hxxps://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/169 (;) see also V. Gudeleviciute, Does the Principle of Self-Determination Prevail over the Principle of Territorial Integrity?, 2:2 Int. J. Baltic Law (2005), pp. 57-58.
The establishment of a separate Jewish nation by criminal paramilitary forces within Palestine was illegal and in direct violation of that right of self-determination secured by the U.N. Charter, a treaty in which Israel is a member, notwithstanding the legally irrelevant situation thousands of years before.
Intending no disrespect, I sincerely suggest that you seriously consider checking your facts before posting on such a volatile subject. Hearsay is incredibly unreliable, which is why its use as evidence is severely curtailed in the courts. You have been victimized by false propaganda.
Above was in reply to DH Fabian.
In addition to the roughly $134.7 billion in U.S. foreign aid Israel had received as of 2018, the U.S. has also subsidized Israel by paying billions more for aid to Palestinians since Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip in 1967. Under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the occupier, Israel, is responsible for the well-being of the people who live in the occupied territory, including food, shelter, medical care, cost of governance, education, and other specified important services.
But rather than getting tough and forcing Israel to honor its responsibilities through, e.g., deducting the amounts spent in Palestinian foreign aid from the foreign aid paid to Israel or voting for a U.N. Security Council resolution with some teeth in it, the U.S. government (and other nations) assumed those Israeli responsibilities until last year when the Trump Administration stopped paying the U.S. share, creating a crisis in Palestine.
So given that factor and those already discussed in my parent post, I’d say that Israel gets the lion’s share of U.S. foreign aid, far more than Iraq.
You MUST change the title. When the word “Iran” follows the word “Arab,” the strong impression is that the Iranians are Arabs. THEY ARE NOT. THEY ARE PERSIANS. Many people don’t know this (because the Iranians are never called Persians in newspapers because sounds soooooo much better than “Arab” to lots of people who think they are superior to Arabs (when they are not). Please do something about this before thousands more see it.
Now I’m going to read the article.
“The Persians are an Iranian ethnic group that make up over half the population of Iran.” Yes, it gets complicated. We have the same problem when discussing Russia, of which only a segment of the population is ethnically Russian.
Extremely relevant Rob ! Very much like referring to Europeans or Canadians as American, only far more so. We have a similar cultural error not understood in my part of the world when Australians refer to New Zealand Maoris as “blacks” –
(My comment was supposed to be in reply to this thread, but it seems others have also clarified the author’s attribution in the title.)
I think you both mis-understand the title.
The author, As’ad AbuKhalil, who *is* an Arab, blogs under the name “The Angry Arab”. That phrase in the title is to identify the author. It says nothing about the identity of Iranians. The titles of all of his other articles on Consortium News are similarly prefaced.
I get you and now that you say that I recognize the handle. However, I too was a bit confused. I went looking for which Arabs were angry in the article. Besides which, I remember back in the 1970’s our landlady used to call her Iranian tenants Ay-rabs, just to tease them. They took it in good stead and fired right back at her, then laughed. They were friends. But all the Persians I’ve known or worked with have usually made a point that they are not Arabs.
Anyway, I do think the title needs an edit to prevent the run-on confusion.
Why does the author use the term “regime” right from the beginning, repeating it several times?
It is the government of Iran.
Using the word “regime” in that fashion represents classic American propaganda mode and is off-putting for continuing with the article.
Poor choice or hidden agenda?
While I don’t endorse my country, America; attacking Iran unilaterally, I do find it extremely naive for Iranian leaders to suppose they can prevail in a war with America.
If the Iranian leadership were smart, they would establish dialogue with the Nation of Israel as a way to promote peace in the region.
Instead, Iran has chosen the pathway of resistance and isolation vs political savvy and adaptivity.
I personally believe that Saudi Arabia and Egypt export more terroristic theology than Iran, but those two countries do no not threaten “Death to Israel” on tv everyday.
Israel is a sensitive issue for Americans, since America played a large role in liberating Europe from Hitler in WW2.
Iran miscalculates and overplays its political and military hands which has led to where we are today.
If American leaders were smart they would not play by Netanyahu’s playbook. Nor would they engage in middle east sectarian battles that have nothing to do with our national security. Nor would they fabricate “evidence” to justify their lovely little wars.
Alas, American leaders are anything but smart. In that sense, Iranian leaders have a clear advantage.
Odd for you to say that since Iran has never attacked another country and Israel has attack many, many surrounding countries; in fact, not too long ago Mossad murdered five Iran scientists. Israel has attacked Iraq, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Jordan. That murder group will go anywhere in the world to kill Palestinian supporters … such as Indonesia recently where they assassinated a professor. Iran has done nothing to deserve the animosity heaped upon it by the USA and Israel. Have you been to Iran. I suggest you go. You will find a highly intelligent people who are welcoming, kind, generous to strangers, and peace loving. Iran has adhered to the “deal” and the US has broken it. The US plan was for Iran to break the deal; then there would be the excuse to attack them. Didn’t work out. Iran actually has every right to make nuclear weapons….after all, we have them and Israel has them, but the Iranians decided in 2003 to NEVER have them and they have never enriched to the 90% required. They have low grade enrichment for energy and medical isotopes only. I suggest you read the Brookings Institute “Which Path to Persia” when lays out the method and plan to lead to war with Iran. Ask yourself, who are the bad guys. Not the Iranians; that’s for sure.
You can no more negotiate with the Zionist Regime than you can with the Nazis. And the US is just Israel’s bitch. Iran realises this. They don’t want any kind of negotiation, they just want to destroy Iran. The Little Satan and the Great Satan have been threatening to destroy Iran, separately and jointly, on a daily basis for the past 20 years. The two Satans export more terrorism than Iran could ever do in a thousand years. The Exceptional And Indispensable People and the Chosen People are taking on the whole world, like Hitler in 1941. And they will end up the same way. This may be no bad thing. When those folk in the Yew Ess Ayy are starving and freezing in the rubble of their ruined cities, like the Nazis in 1945, they may finally realise the enormity of their crimes. This may be coming sooner than anyone realises. And it couldn’t happen to nicer people.
Shon, nobody “prevails” in a modern war, and Iran certainly could do harm by its actions ,but sees no benefit as it has much more intelligent and thoughtful and experienced people in charge than the USA has. It is keeping to an agreement that the USA withdrew from- it is in the right, is not trying to attack anyone, including Israel which has the fixed idea that it is in danger from Iran, when that is not true. Iran has not chosen isolation-just the reverse. As for Israel-it goads the USA into attacking Iran, but this will not help Israel and will destabilise the region and cause untold damage and death. That “death to Israel” TV story is just that-a story like the Russiagate nonsense in the USA.
Shon, Your comment that Iran wouldn’t prevail in a War against America is ludicrous? Maybe you should look at the History books that show that the US Military has not won a major conflict or War since WW2? Despite having, supposedly, the most powerful Military in the World, they have lost in Korea been humiliated in Vietnam & after 18 yrs in Afghanistan, have failed there as well! Iraq, where the US illegally invaded is now influenced by Iranians, & the US Regime change chaos has failed in the Ukraine, Syria & now Venuzuela, Iran can fight back if attacked by the US & could utterly destroy all the Middle East & Saudi oilfields, which would plunge the Worlds Economy into free fall? Also if you want another History lesson, it was actually the Russians & their sacrifice of 13 million people dying in WW2 which saved the Europeans & that liberated Jews from Nazi death camps & saved Europe from Nazi Tyranny, not the USA, which got all the credit for winning the War & Russia’s contribution was excised from History books! Iran has the right to determine its own Sovereignty & future & America has no right to dictate how any Country other Nations should be governed! Trump should stay in his own Country & mind his own damn business & stop interfering in others affairs!
@ “… I do find it extremely naive for Iranian leaders to suppose they can prevail in a war with America.”
Yes, the U.S. has such a sterling track record in wars since World War II:
Korean War — Fought to a standstill, North Korea still has the same government.
Viet Nam War — U.S. was defeated.
Afghan War — Still going on 17 years later, but the U.S. is rapidly losing ground to Taliban, Afghanistan’s former rulers, and seeking a peace treaty so it can retreat.
Iraqi War — U.S. prevailed militarily at first but is still fighting. In fairness, the previous Iraqi government was destroyed.
Syrian War — Nearly over with the U.S. defeated and the Syrian government still intact.
Libyan War — The first U.S. “humanitarian war” to protect Libyan civilians. The U.S. war transformed the nation with the highest standard of living in Africa into a failed state where warlords battle and slave markets operate openly. In fairness, the former Libyan government was destroyed.
I could go on and on, but you should get the drift. The U.S. is not very good at winning wars. Iran is four times as large as Iraq and has four times Iraq’s pre-war population. And unlike Saddam’s Iraq, the Iranian government has been preparing for war with the U.S. for decades. Iran also has a weapon akin to a nuclear bomb, the unfettered ability to block the Strait of Hormuz, through which some 20 per cent of the world’s oil supply passes. Should Iran do so using its anti-ship missiles dug into the mountains north of the Strait and its large fleet of mine-laying mini-submarines and fast boats, the economies of western nations go up in smoke.
To boot, Russia and China have both given the Iranian government assurances that they will not allow the Iranian government to be destroyed. Both Russia and China have long-range hypersonic anti-ship missiles that are so fast and maneuverable that the U.S. Navy has no defense. They are capable of taking out aircraft carriers and their supporting ships. groups.
As a former combat soldier who fought 27 months in the losing Viet Nam War, I can advise you to educate yourself: the U.S. is not invincible. There is a *lot* of propaganda in the movies, television, newspapers, etc. that paints the U.S. military as some sort of unbeatable force. History and correct analysis of the Iranian situation teaches otherwise. Unfortunately, too many of our leaders have bought into the hype and drastically over-estimate our military’s capabilities. We may have a great military, but history teaches that our civilian leaders are idiots when it comes to choosing which wars to fight.
Unfortunately, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are two of those idiots and Trump is a highly impressionable twit, so Iran may yet have to send our military running with its tail between its legs.
On Iranians chanting “Death to Israel,” you do realize that Israel has been waging war against Iran for several years in Syria, don’t you? More than 2,000 airstrikes against a nation that is in Syria by invitation to help Syria defeat the headchoppers illegally sent in and supplied by the U.S, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates to do those nations’ dirty work. And Iran is currently the target of severe economic sanctions provoked by the Israeli propaganda myth that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Israel still persists in arguing for the U.S. to invade Iran. If I were an Iranian, I wouldn’t be pleased with Israel either. In fact, as a U.S. veteran and citizen who has watched Israel suck the U.S. into multiple wars, Israeli government misbehavior makes my blood boil.
Maybe we could threaten Iran with U.S. “advisors” who would train them to win the “American” way. We keep sending countries our advisors and I keep wondering 1) who would want us, the U.S., to provide advice and 2) why don’t we hire “the enemy” as advisors to us. We sure seem to need it.
Other note, when I enlisted I still believed in the Gulf of Tonkin. Ha. Took me a few years. “Our” lies win at starting wars. That is about the only kind of “win” we seem to keep pulling off. Just heard PBS on the car with some woman interviewed, talking about the seriousness of the Iranian threat to the US. I yelled at the radio and had to shut it off.
It’s amazing how much noise there is around these events with very little content, but that reality is what allows thugs like Bolton or Pomeo to thrive.
Truth has no bearing on their exercise of power.
The pure exercise of power, of hurting those you don’t like for whatever reason, is what absolutely drives them.
And, of course, that perfectly describes that sick man, Trump.
My God, is the United States in a terrible place.
“For that—and given his own proclivities, Trump may think twice.”
My only concern is that Trump is incapable of thinking even once, much less twice.
In order to help prevent war with Iran, please sign the petition:
no war at sight: bullying & staging are the only tools left in their diplomatic kit. power means little if everyone thinks you are a thug.
Everyone thinks Iran is a thug. Does that mean Iran is powerless?
No. It means that “everyone” is ignorant.
“Everyone thinks Iran is a thug”
Sorry, but that’s just a ridiculous statement.
The Iranians have abided by international law scrupulously enough to put both Israel and the United States to shame.
to add to (This was all worked out back in 2005 and the plan to install President Trump into the white was only was decided near the end of 2014, there are others business owners, developers and politicians involve but this is Saudi Crown Princes grand plan with Trump that why he did not want to punish him over the assassination of the Journalist.
Trumps has been diverting money into Israel since 1985 under secret Russia contact that really a front for Israel business.)
Trump in the Presidency roll was to divert funding from America military budget into Israel military budget then divert it to personnel adventures of property and investments.
People are not following the flow of information, the hand signs and are not listening remarks of a crook three amigo leaders as well as business elite.
The White Supremacists groups that put Trump and Prime minster Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu back in to power are just use abuse toys for Trump to play with as soon as three amigo get what they want Irans coast line the white supremacist groups, the alt right and there offsets are all going to be hang out to dry and possible arrest under the last stage of this deal of the next century.
President Trump does not care as he claims about America citizen and its interest he just conning everyone to get his wealth and land.
North Korea and China are just all fronts to divert attention away from President Trumps illegal activities.
The agreement under president Obama was a three stage process,
The first stage was to get Iran to reduce there nuclear ambitions in return to restabilise Syria and stop terrorist from causing more unrest in the region.
The second stage was to negioated alliance with Iran’s military to work together with other middle east nations to stop the terrorist resurging back in Iraq and Afragistan, else where part of this was hope that Iran and Israel could start the process to recognise each other then to find common ground to work on proper peace plan for all the middle east with Israel part of this was Iran would refrain from making threats to Israel and Israel in kind.
Third stages was based on 10 year plan to monitor Iran’s nuclear resources for electricity purposes which involved America, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany as the monitoring nations with Inspectors from United Nations being allow access to Iran’s military sites to ensure no process is breached.
In return sanctions would be lifted in stages as Iran complies with the process.
There was also going to be if Democrats in America got re-elected official end to hostiles between America Iran with talks of a possible Trade deal down the track.
I like to point out the deal place on the table was always known to the Iranian it was always going to be based around the incoming government and based on there behaviour and conduct towards other nations.
There was no solid and more clear instruction than this America would do everything it could to negotiate with Israel to find way forward but Israel dictator Prime Minister was never going accept Obama deal that why Israel with the help of Saudi crown princes inner circle interfered in America election and put the blame on Russia,
President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu have collude with Saudi crown prince to actually invade iran but not over Nuclear bombs as they are public claiming its much more that a nuclear bombs or threats,
They want Irans coast line because it is worth $1.2 Trillion dollars in investment of resorts, Apartments and Yachting clubs just like Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza is worth $900 billion to Trump in golf courses, resorts.
All up if they can occupy the region Trump is set to make $3 trillion dollars over the next 10 years alone.
This was all worked out back in 2005 and the plan to install President Trump into the white was only was decided near the end of 2014, there are others business owners, developers and politicians involve but this is Saudi Crown Princes grand plan with Trump that why he did not want to punish him over the assassination of the Journalist.
Trumps has been diverting money into Israel since 1985 under secret Russia contact that really a front for Israel business.
Clinton promised Saddam that if he had UN inspectors certify that he had eliminated all WMDs, sanctions would be lifted. Saddam agreed, no sanctions were lifted, and Bush, Jr overthrew Saddam and handed him over to be hanged.
Bush, Jr and Clinton made the same promise to Muammar of Libya, with Obama ordering that Muammar and Libya suffer the same fate as Saddam and Iraq.
Obama made the exact same offer to Iran, so President Clinton would have no threat of WMDs when she ordered regime change. No ATM or credit card works in Iran, because Iran are blocked from SWIFT, and Obama did not lift that, or any other US sanction.
MichaleWme, excellent comment. A deal with the US is a deal with the devil.
IMHO, starting from “They want Iran’s coast”, this post is speculative, and the speculations are very problematic. Getting the opportunity to invest in putative Iranian coastal properties is an extremely long shot while such opportunities exist on the Red Sea cost of Egypt, to give one example. What would motivate “plans to install Trump” in 2014 when every single one of Republican contenders was adamant in the support of Israel and Gulf allies? On the scale of pro-Israeliness of stated positions, Trump was actually moderate. For example, Marco Rubio said that before doing anything in the Middle East he would call Netanyahoo first, while Trump would rather wait for Netanyahoo to call him. Various rich supporters of Israel supported various contenders, Rubio, Cruz, Bush, Trump actually had less support. Who could guess in 2014 that the other GOP contenders were so laughable AND appreciate Trump’s top competence: to laugh at the laughable ones.
@ “The first stage was to get Iran to reduce there nuclear ambition”
No. That’s false, based on Israeli propaganda. Iran had no nuclear weapons program or ambitions, at least according to former President George W. Bush, two U.S. National Intelligence Estimates (consensus position of all U.S. intelligence agencies) and Israel’s Mossad. See my article here for supporting references and links. https://relativelyfreepress.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-question-about-ron-wydens-intelligence.html
@ “The second stage was to negioated alliance with Iran’s military …”
You obviously have not read the JCPOA agreement. The Agreement does not even touch on such issues. It was adopted as U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015). You can read it here. https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/content/2231/background (linked from left sidebar).
Another Israeli paid commenter for sure.
There’re a couple of them on here.
Either IDF, who have an entire unit dedicated to making such distractions, or unemployed Israeli students earning pocket money from the Netanyahu government which started paying people years ago to kick up dust into every conversation having a bearing on Israel’s concerns.
I don’t understand the title. Does it refer to the writer?
Iranians are NOT Arabs, they are Indo-Europeans, and speak an Indo-European language (the Eastern branch), as do most Afghans, Pakistanis and Indians (from the north). And have a look at the western branch of Indo-European languages and you will see that English is one of the cousins of Persian.
Yes. It is a name the writer goes by.
“Angry Arab” is the author’s nickname. There is a growing and confusing trend for the author’s name to be included in the titles of articles. I find it reprehensible.
Consortium News writers who have regular columns are all identified with their names in caps in the title followed by a colon: RAY McGOVERN, PATRICK LAWRENCE, PEPE ESCOBAR and THE ANGRY ARAB.
It is confusing people, Joe.
Good to see that the writer correctly states that Bolton is not actually a neo-Conservative. He has always been a Republican and was a supporter of Barry Goldwater.
Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle are neo-conservatives. On foreign policy, Bolton has much in common with them.
This is a bit complicated. There exists paleo-conservatives who represent more faithfully Republican positions 30-40+ years ago, but were sidelined from foreign policy apparatus (officialdom, think tanks etc.) and the majority of “contemporary conservatives” who engage in a competition who supports Israel more or who opposed “hostile regimes” more. Thus the “contemporary conservatives” may be labelled neo- to stress that these extreme positions are new, while the people themselves prefer to be labelled “mainstream”. Trump is just incoherent and thus hard to classify. If he were consistent with his campaign positions he would have some paleo-conservative staff.
That reminds me an anecdote. A person close to death explores what is a better place for the afterlife. In Heavens he sees souls in white robes singing praises of the Lord. Seems rather boring. In Hell, the women are pretty and well dress, there is music, laughter and wine. The choice is obvious. Then he goes to Hell where the souls are plunged into pools of molten sulphur. He asks: where are beautiful women, wine, laughter? A devil explains: then you were a prospect, now you are a client. One cannot rely too much on the campaign positions.
The title refers to Saudi and the UAE who say they are furious with Iran’s promoting all the terrorism taking place in the Middle East. This fits with the US. Bush, Jr, in his 2003 State of the Union address, said that 9/11 was planned, funded, and organised by Iran and perpetrated by co-religionists of the Ayatollahs, led by Mullah Omar in Afghanistan, Saddam in Iraq, and Kim in the DPRK. The Washington Post said this was one of the 5 best State of the Union messages ever give. A US court has ruled the no Saudi had anything to do with 9/11, and another court ruled that Iran was 100% responsible.
Since none of the terrorism in the world is perpetrated by Persians, nor did they have anything to do 9/11, but officially and legally, they are responsible for all of the terrorism and all of 9/11, and the Arabs are rightfully furious, what does this say about the world we live in?
You’re right that blame for terrorist attacks is often wrongly attributed, and in many cases this misattribution is deliberate. For example, according to “Terrorism and Deadliest Enabling Scandals of The 21st Century” by Rodney Stich, the US administration falsely claimed that the Khobar Towers attack was done by Hizballah, while it was actually an Al Qaeda job. On the other hand the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 was blamed on Libya, whereas it was actually perped by a Palestinian terror organization at Iran’s behest. Tehran ordered the bombing as payback for the downing of an Iranian passenger jet over the Persian Gulf by the USS Versailles. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine did the job for a reported 1 million bucks. President Reagan knew, but he didn’t want trouble with the mullahs because he needed their support at the time. So he turned to Gaddafi, who was glad to furnish a couple of fall guys for the occasion.
Your fatuous claim that Persians are never guilty of terrorism is belied by the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, the worst terrorist act ever committed by a foreign power in Latin America. Technically it was committed by an Arab, a Hezbollah myrmidon, but it was crime of the Iranian government. The official in charge of the crime at the Iranian embassy in Buenos Aires was promptly appointed Iranian defense minister, although he was on an Interpol wanted list.
You would need evidence for that lengthy detailed accusation, but apparently there is no evidence at all on who did the Lockerbie bombing. The only evidence was the remains of a timer, which was made by the same company that made timers once ordered by some company in Libya. That is not evidence. Will you confess to the bombing if there were remains of something made by a company from which you once ordered something? Likely there is such evidence against you (and against nearly everyone).
The same as all the blaming of Russia for almost any action occurring anywhere. None of it is based on facts but that seems not to matter.
Yes, it refers to the writer. It is the name of his blog.
As Joe Lauria notes, that’s the name that the author goes by and it is appropriate for him. He’s of Lebanese extraction and, therefore, of Arabic extraction. It’s good to see so many people who know that Iranians (Persians) are not Arabs – having lived there, I can tell you for sure, Iranians look down their noses at Arabs.
They look down on Saudia Arabia because S.A. stole their art and claimed it as their own. They don’t look down on Arabs just because they are Arabs, but they do look down on thieves and ignorance.