HuffPost: Demanding What You Can’t Get: Obama’s Gamble with the Iran Talks in Vienna

The Huffington Post has published our latest piece, “Demanding What You Can’t Get: Obama’s Gamble with the Iran Talks in Vienna.”  We also append it below:

As nuclear talks between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna extend past yet another (largely U.S.-imposed) deadline, the dysfunctionality of the Obama administration’s approach becomes increasingly apparent.  Since April, when the parties announced a set of “parameters” for a final deal, senior administration officials have staked out public positions on the most important unresolved issues that, frankly, are inconsistent with what was agreed in April.  These include a U.S. demand for open-ended retention of a conventional arms embargo and other aspects of the United Nations Security Council-authorized sanctions regime.

There has never been any serious prospect that these U.S. positions could actually provide bases for negotiated outcomes.  Take, for example, the Obama administration’s demand for open-ended retention of a conventional arms embargo and other aspects of the United Nations Security Council-authorized sanctions regime against Iran.  Not only does Tehran object to this demand; Russia and China—like the United States, veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council—do, too.

The Obama administration defined stark stances on the future of UN sanctions and some of the other outstanding issues ostensibly to rebut charges of “weakness” from domestic opponents and to deflect criticism from traditional U.S. allies Israel and Saudi Arabia that it is “appeasing” Iran.  But, if Obama and his team ultimately want to conclude a deal, they will, at some point, have to retreat from the diplomatically untenable positions they have so publicly assumed—thereby exposing themselves to even stronger political attacks.

This is the (entirely self-generated) dilemma currently looming over the Obama administration.  Going into this week, relative optimism was rising that the Vienna talks might be on the verge of producing a final deal.  Officials from participating governments say that compromises have been found over previously disputed aspects of lifting U.S., European, and most UN sanctions against Iran.  U.S. and Iranian negotiators have also been making progress toward resolving differences over the kinds of nuclear research that Iran will conduct while a final agreement is in effect.

Against this backdrop, the most difficult challenges facing the seven delegations in Vienna pertain to the drafting of a prospective UN Security Council resolution that would nullify previous resolutions authorizing international sanctions against Iran and formally start implementation of a final deal.  It is in this context that unrealistic U.S. demands to keep in place an open-ended arms embargo against Iran have become the main obstacle blocking conclusion of a comprehensive nuclear agreement.

There was considerable speculation, in Washington as well as in Vienna, that the Obama administration would be eager to finish negotiations before July 9.  (According to recently enacted U.S. law, if the administration had presented the text of a final nuclear agreement to Congress by July 9, Congress would have had thirty days to review it; from July 9 until September 7, the law gives Congress sixty days.)  Such speculation, however, overlooked the White House’s real calculation:  that, by modifying U.S. negotiating positions to permit agreement on terms of a new Security Council resolution—thus setting the stage to conclude a final deal this weak—the administration would receive more political criticism than if it appeared to “hang tough” and let July 9 pass.

This calculation explains why, according to officials from participating governments, the U.S position regarding the terms of a new Security Council resolution has, over the last few days, become less conducive to reaching a final agreement.  Moreover, the United States appears to be encouraging its British and French partners in the talks to define their own increasingly individuated positions on the issue.  As a result, P5+1 delegations are now spending more time in Vienna negotiating among themselves than with their Iranian counterparts.  When they do interact with Iranian representatives, their dialogue becomes, in effect, ever less a multilateral negotiation between the P5+1 and Iran and ever more a series of bilateral negotiations between Iran and various P5+1 states.

The Obama administration appears to calculate that it can posture in this way for some as yet unspecified period time, after which it can then quietly modify U.S. negotiating positions and reach a final agreement—claiming all the while that, by “hanging tough,” Washington persuaded Tehran and Moscow to take more “reasonable” stances.  This will be political theater with little connection to diplomatic reality.  But it is the narrative that Obama and company want to craft.

No doubt, Obama and his White House advisers think they are handling difficult domestic political dynamics with admirable adroitness.  But, in diplomatic terms, their approach assumes that other key players—including Iran—will wait indefinitely for Washington to get serious about closing a deal.  It also assumes that, if the process breaks down due to a U.S.-induced impasse over terms for a new Security Council resolution, the rest of the world will buy the Obama administration’s narrative that this is Iran and Russia’s fault.

Odds that these assumptions will prove false are greater than Obama and his team are ready to acknowledge—a reality that makes their course strategically irresponsible.  Fundamentally, this irresponsibility stems from failure to appreciate the full importance of an Iran nuclear deal—and, beyond that, of a broader realignment of U.S. relations with Tehran—to American interests, in the Middle East and globally.

The Obama administration continues to treat a prospective nuclear deal as what might be described as an asymmetric arms control agreement, whereby Iran gives up ambitions—regularly alleged by American politicians and just as regularly denied by Tehran—to develop nuclear weapons, and the United States gives up…well, not very much.  The administration has yet to treat a potential nuclear deal as American interests actually require:  that is, as a critical initial step in a broader process of rapprochement with the Islamic Republic of Iran—rapprochement as profound as the realignment of U.S. relations with the People’s Republic of China in the 1970s.

Hopefully, the Obama administration will get through its political theater over a new Security Council resolution over the next few days and close a final nuclear agreement with Iran.  But it would be far better if the administration renounced this kind of theater entirely—and got down to the serious business of reformulating U.S.-Iranian relations.

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett  


34 Responses to “HuffPost: Demanding What You Can’t Get: Obama’s Gamble with the Iran Talks in Vienna”

  1. Khomeini says:

    To Leveretts

    Thank you for this good assessment. However, I think there is one dimension missing in your assessment which is the “Obama Legacy” factor. With Obama’s presidency near over, and yet with no foreign policy success story he seems to be worried about how history will remember him. Obama is the only president who has been sidelined by a foreign official (Netanyahu)to give a speech in Congress. Taking these into account, Obama turned out to be the weakest president US had in recent history. Now that he is on the verge of leaving office, he is motivated to have some good written in history for his track record. This is where Iran comes in. A deal, any deal, no matter how weak it might be as long as it can show a positive achievement will suffix for Obama. I think this legacy factor is clearly playing in Iran – P5+1 negotiation.

  2. ordinary says:

    Perhaps Obama figured that he does not have the required US house and congress votes to implement the deal. He wants a deal if it can pass the house and congress. Hence he has no choice but to: 1. allow more time to himself to work with house and congress to get the votes; 2. demand a tougher deal with Iran to make it possible to persuade the house and congress to accept it.

    Obama could not have made the case for Iran with the American public – as a strategic necessity for the U.S. – it was a loosing battle in the face of neocons, lobbies, republicans, the majority of Americans, and the media, plus France, UK and Germany.

    Kooshy says:
    July 9, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    Net-Net, either way Kooshy’s estimate is right.

  3. ordinary says:

    A good estimate of the meaning of “US loosing its dominance – if so how”:

  4. Karl.. says:

    If there is a deal it will indeed be a weak one, as Leveretts say, there is no vast vision on Iran proposed by obama. Much like the recent Cuba deal. Obama still want regime change.

  5. Smith says:

    This is what happens when a nation give up its nukes. Then this nation has to beg others for the most simple things when it is under attack by a nuclear armed adversary.

    This nation should not expect to get anything. Except spanks. Left and right. Since it is the only thing it deserves.

  6. Kooshy says:

    pragmatic says:
    July 11, 2015 at 8:58 am
    Nice job of relating fart to temples, I can’t figure out what’s the relation between Mr Baghaie’ legal problem according to a political appointee of current seating Pres. To what Ali linked earlier, which contrary to others Dr. Is walking without bodyguards and people going over each other head to see him. Can expand and say what was the point?

  7. Kooshy says:

    On ongoing nuclear negotiations it seems to me US is doing everything she can to upset the Iranians and have them react on irritation so she can blame them for failure and keep the coalition intact.

    As it has become more obvious on Russian sanctions on Ukrainian case, to just have a coalition of just US and her three European clients is not enough to keep a strong sanction regime on Iran, even at UNSC level.
    IMO us is trying hard to over turn the board and have Iran be responsible, so far Iranian side was smart to check (kish) them on this.

  8. Smith says:

    Iranians should not complain and blame their absolute lack of creativity on their “poverty”.

    In 1958, she wrote to her friend Joy Brown who, along with her husband Michael, had given her money to leave her job and focus on writing.

    Lee told them she was trying to finish “My Novel”. She described it as “the hardest damn thing to write I’ve ever attempted” and added: “I’m about six weeks’ gone with another one.”

    Lee then went on to list ideas for future books. “I have my work cut out for me for the next fifteen years:

    (1) Race Novel
    (2) Victorian Novel
    (3) What Mr Graham Greene calls An Entertainment
    (4) I’m gonna tear Monroeville to pieces (1958 Monroeville)
    (5) A Novel of The United Nations
    (6) India, 1910

    “Can you feed and lodge me so long?” Lee then asked.

  9. pragmatic says:

    Kooshy says:
    July 11, 2015 at 10:47 am

    You are so naive! You are distorting facts once again! Are you serious that Ahmadi is walking without bodyguards? Just think twice before your fingers start typing! I count 5 of them.

    Please leave me alone, I really do not have time nor do I have the patience writing to ENHERAFY people like you. Thanks.

  10. pragmatic says:

    Ayatollah Hashemi’s interview with Guardian. Now, do you see anything wrong or complex in this interview?

    توافق اتمی برای هر دو مورد تاثيرمثبت دارد؛ اولا در ايران وضعمان به حالت عادي برميگردد؛ ما در حالت عادي مشكلي در كشور نداريم؛ منابع زيادي در كشور هست كه در ارتباط با همكاري هاي خارجي مي توانيم هم بهتر نقد كنيم؛ هم بهتر بفروشيم و تكنولوژي هاي جديدي لازم داريم كه به فرض مي توانيم آنها را بياوريم؛ روابط تجاری مان تقويت مي شود؛ توليدمان خيلي بالا مي رود؛ ما الان تقريبا 40 تا 50 درصد توليد نقد سرمايه گذاري شده مان راكد است؛ يك دفعه تجارتمان چند برابر و تقويت مي شود؛ و ارتباطات جهاني ما تقويت مي شود. البته ممكن است از لحاظ اقتصادی خيلي زود و فوري از فردا نتيجه ندهد؛ ولی از لحاظ روانی مثبت است چون همين حالت رواني خودش يك مانعي است واين اصلاح مي شود. خيلي از جاها آماده سرمايه گذاري هستند؛ مخصوصا ايرانيان خارج مايل هستند كه به ايران بيايند؛ ماهم ظرفيت بسيار بالايي براي سرمايه گذاري داريم؛ فقط زير مجموعه پتروشيمي ايران كافيست كه يك تمدن بزرگي در سواحل خليج فارس ايجاد كند؛ نيروهاي تحصيلكرده فراواني داريم كه زمينه كار براي آنها فراهم مي شود؛ در خارج هم كه روابط عادي شود زندگي راحت تر مي شود و ايرانيان در داخل وخارج احساس امنيت مي كنند؛ در مجموع فكر ميكنم بسيار مفيد اس.

    ما دنبال سلاح هسته اي نيستيم؛ اما اسرائیل نمي خواهد اين مشكلات ما حل شود؛ خوب مي داند كه اگر ايران اين مشكلاتش را حل كند؛ موقعيت سياسي و اقتصادي و فرهنگي و تبليغاتي اش و همه موارد دیگرش بالا مي رود؛ كشورهاي عربي متأسفانه خيلي هايشان كم كم دارن به اشتباه به طرف اسرائيل مي روند آن موقع وقتي كه ايران در ميدان باشد نمي گذارد آنها بروند آن طرف؛ او (اسراييل) منافعش است و اين كار را مي كند.

    در مورد جنگ یمن معتقد به خامي مسئولان جديد عربستان هستم. اگر ملك عبدالله بود اين اتفاقات نمي افتاد؛ خوب قبلا هم يمن بود و سالهاست كه آنجا دعواست؛ عربستان چكار مي تواند بكند؟ اون موقع چكار مي توانست بكند؟ در آن موقع كه آنها همه چيز داشتند؛ اگر يمني ها خودشان دنبال يك حركتي باشند عربستان بايد منتظر باشد ببيند از اينها كدامشان مسئول مي شود روابط گرم با اينها داشته باشد؛ ‌خطر اينها را نداشته باشد مزاحمت نداشته باشد؛ به خاطر خامي اشتباه كردند وحالا چه طور عقب نشيني كنند؟ كار آساني هم نيست.
    در مورد سوریه من نگرانم كه بالاخره دولت سوريه اكثر منابعش خشكيده و مي خواهد زندگي كند؛ ‌حامي جدي مالي تسليحاتي و خيلي چيزهاي ديگر هم ندارد؛‌ خيلي از شهرهاي مهمش اشغال شده‌؛ مراكز نفتي اش يا تعطيل شده يا غارت ميشه؛ گازش كما بيش دارد همينطور مي شود؛ ‌منابع فسفاتش آسيب ديده و ميليونها آواره دارد و خيلي مساله دارد كه اصلا كشور منهدم شده و خوب بالاخره با كمك مقاومت و كمك ايران؛ ‌كمك حزب الله بالاخره سرپا مانده اند ولي روز به روز هم تروريست ها دارند تقويت مي شوند؛ حالا ديگه به هرحال به جايي بند هستند كه دارند تقويت مي شوند؛ نگرانم كه چه اتفاقي در آنجا بيافتد؛ ‌دنيا اين را فهميده كه اگر الان دولتش (سوريه) سقوط كند آن منطقه مي شود قلمرو ترويستها بدتر از ليبي فعلي. چون عملا در ليبي دولت مستقري ندارد و مي بينيد كه چه وضعي دارد؛ اين بدتر مي شود؛ در كنارش اسرائيل هست كه او خصم جدي سوريه است. بالاخره سوريه يك سد بزرگي در مقابل كارهاي تجاوزگري اسرائيل بود و مي تواند بعدا باشد. بنابراين مجموعه اين عوامل جاي نگراني پيش مي آورد؛ خود غربي ها هم ترسيده اند غربي ها مي‌دانند كه اگر آنجا مركز تلاش و فعاليت تروريست ها شود به همه اطراف سرايت مي كند و ديگر خيالشان راحت نخواهد بود و تروریسم هر گوشه دنيا را تهديد خواهند کرد و از هر گوشه دنيا ارتزاق مي كنند كه بسيار خطرناك است؛‌اگر روزي سوريه دست تروريست ها باشد جنگ داخلي بيشتر مي شود و مردم سوريه بيشتر پايمال مي شوند ومنابع سوريه بدتر تلف مي شود و خيلي اتفاقات مي افتد و درآن صورت لبنان مشكل واقعي پيدا مي كند وعراق هم نا امني اش قوي تر مي شود و بعد هم در كشورهايي مثل تركيه؛ عربستان؛ كويت و اينجاها هم مساله ایجاد مي شود و خيلي اتفاقات مي افتد. من اوضاع را بد مي بينم ؛

    در مورد آينده فلسطين من هنوز هم عقيده دارم كه حضور اسراييل و اين دولت جعلي بالاخره موقت است و يك روزي بالاخره اين جسم كه خارجي است و در پيكر يك ملت و يك كشور وارد شده روزي حذف مي شود؛ حالا كي و چگونه؟ شرايط فرق مي كند؛‌ مي تواند خيلي زود شرايطي فراهم شود كه اسراييل صرفش نكند كه بماند و مي تواند هم خيلي طولاني شود چون اسراييل و حاميانش دارند تلاش مي كنند اين دوره را خيلي طولاني كنند؛.
    در مورد لبنان معتقدم حزب الله لبنان حقيقتا يك نهاد بسيار بسيار با ارزشي است؛‌ پايه اين مقاومت زمان امام موسي صدر ريخته شد كه تحت عنوان حركت مستضعفان بود. من در بيروت بودم كه داشت شكل ميگرفت و همان موقع تبريك گفتم كه اين راه به آساني قابل خاموش شدن نيست؛‌ اين مي ماند و آنها بايد دنبال كنند، كه از داخل آن حزب الله بيرون آمد و خالص ترين انسانهاي آن منطقه، عضو حزب الله هستند و ثابت هم كرده‌اند كه خيلي مقاوم و خيلي با اخلاص هستند و خيلي اصولشان محفوظ است و راهشان مشخص است. این مجموعه خوب كه البته ارتباط اساسي عقيدتي هم با ايران دارد و ايران كاملاٌ با آنها ارتباط دارد و ماهم آنها را به عنوان اسوه اي براي ساير جاهايي كه مي خواهند مقاومت را شكل دهند مي بينيم و تا حالا هم تردید نكرديم و آن را ادامه دار مي بينم. نگران بودیم اگر سوريه هم وضعش به هم بريزد حزب الله مشكلاتي پيدا كند. ولي حزب الله الان خودش اينقدر نيرومند است كه به تنهايي هم مي تواند خودش را حفظ كند؛ ممكن است كه خيلي ها تشويق شوند كه ضربه اي بزنند؛ خوب ضربه اي مي زنند؛ ضربه اي هم مي خورند؛ ‌الان به اندازه يك كشور آنها در لبنان كوچك تاثيرگذار هستند.

  11. kooshy says:

    pragmatic says:
    July 11, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Yes I can see, you are so busy relating farts and temples you really don’t have time to research, post, anything else except “Eshaeh” expanding PR ( you read BS) on laughing Nut job and family and of course the beloved “Shykh”

  12. pragmatic says:

    When I read posts praising Haleh Noor I don’t have any other choice than come back at enherafies here! At least, I relate farts and temples, on the contrary to you that distorts facts! People like you are so delusional, you can’t accept the truth that the most corrupted government of Iranian history was the 9th and 10th cabinet. You guys have closed your eyes to all that he has done. A month ago you wrote that you loved the way, Mahmoud talked to the US media, look at you, this is how much your brain expands! You are so into your BS that you write about hegemony and etc.. And your colleagues here praise you or vise versa. Who do you think you are? Kissinger? Breizienski? Or Gandi? Let me bring you to reality: you are nothing! You are an ex tudehie who has a dictatorship in his soul.

    It is apparent that you can’t see the current issues in Iran, because you are living in overseas (my guess is Germany, because you sound so much like TODEHIES, full of complexes). You can’t take a defeat, because (again guessing) you are brain washed all your life by Ehsan Tabari and Rafigh Kianouri. We shall see in Esfand whereat, once again, you will be defeated by the majority of the Iranian people. Frankly, you are clueless about everything that goes on in Iran. Like before revolution your party was clueless. People like you are enherafi as Ayatollah has said numerously. As his excellency has said, people like you can’t have a polite debate, because you think what you say is the correct thing. Again, it comes from illiteracy and lack of wisdom. Agha always talks about wisdom, which is nonexistent in your world.

    Lets wait and see if your hero and his team can take over the government again.

    Since I believe in democracy I can only wish you luck. Now please go masturbate with your drastically ideas!
    As you say in Germany: Aufiderzhen!

  13. James Canning says:


    For many years, Obama has favored normal relations between the US and Cuba.

  14. James Canning says:


    I doubt very much indeed, that Obama thinks sanctions against Iran are likely to result in “regime change”.

  15. nico says:

    Video reportedly hacked by CyberBerkut from a MacCain’s aid.
    It shows execution execution by ISIL…

  16. Kooshy says:

    pragmatic says:
    July 11, 2015 at 1:00 pm
    Ok pragy joon, you leveled a lot of guesses and charges as who I am, where I am, and what my background was etc. which you should know non can stick,I been commenting here long enough for others to know how I think. this you did so amateurish, thinking you can distract and avoid answering what asked earlier which was: why you felt necessary to remind M. Ali of Mr Baghaie’ legal troubles when he posted a link related to Mr. Ahmadinijad’ participation on Qouds day, suggesting how popular he still is? I think your irrational respond was because you couldn’t even take that, could you? That’s why you wanted to remind him that ” think twice his old staff have legal troubles according to a political appointee of his rival and current seating president” so this will not be permanent.

    You know that was so childish an a cheap shot ( like what trios zios do here) that bothered me and that’s why I got on your case. Like you asked I will you alone as long as you stop trying to sneaking “layees” without explaining without marking it IMO. Realistically to survive here you need to let go of your high school days of Najafabad ( which sounds like all followers of Nut job and Shykh of reforms never were able to) and stick to the ever reality of greenish “vanak.”

    I always use to say “man got to know his limitations” that’s a good start.

  17. Kooshy says:

    From old Dirty Harry Eastwood movie
    Man got to know his limitations

  18. Pragmatic says:

    I posted Baghaie to show how unpopular marmots is. Since you live in Europe and you are not familiar with enternal politics of Iran why don’t try to learn? Who is shykh? Vanak?
    We shall see in up coming elections where he stands.

    Tudahie enherafi go get your facts strained out.

  19. Pragmatic says:

    دبیر مجمع تشخیص مصلحت نظام گفت: توافق با 1+5 دو مرحله دارد که یکی آن چیزی است که روی میز است و دیگری آن چیزی که در تهران و واشنگتن تأیید می شود.

    رضایی افزود: توافق چیزی نیست که روی میز نوشته شود بلکه تأیید نهایی در تهران و واشنگتن انجام می شود و زمانی که ایران و کشورهای 1+5 تعهدات خود را همزمان اجرا کردند و تحریم ها بر ضد ما در مدت معقولی رفع شد توافق نهایی حاصل می شود.

    وی خطاب به آمریکایی ها گفت: لبخند آقایان روحانی و ظریف را غنیمت بشمارید زیرا 13 سال پیش آنها به شما لبخند زدند و شما تحویل نگرفتید و سیلی 20 هزار سانتریفیوژ و غنی سازی 20 درصدی را خوردید.

    رضایی افزود: اکنون به شما توصیه می کنم خنده دوباره آقای روحانی را تحویل بگیرید که سیلی 100 هزار سانتریفیوژی نخورید.

  20. M. Ali says:

    It was my fault for posting something offtopic. I just thought the contrast between Ahmadenijad in the middle of the crowd vs all the other politicians was visually interesting to post a link

    To get back to topic. We’re slowly crawling towards their next “this time its final, we’re serious, we promise” monday deadline. Feedback from politicians were more positive yesterday, but its hard to read anything from them.

    Again, I can’t imagine what the post-deal situation will be. As the leverett’s keep mentioning, as long as the narrative doesn’t change, we’ll still be wading through problems.

  21. Pragmatic says:

    The close lens shots can do magic! On subject of the day, ostensibly many here are against the deal. Mearly they know it’ll be an end to their so called pakdast hero.

  22. M. Ali says:

    Rumors continue to pour in that today might be the last day. A braver person than I would put all his savings in the Tehran stock market, but I’ve been burned enough by stock markets to be wary of it.

  23. Karl.. says:

    This is sickening,

    “US used psychologists in ‘war on terror’/torture”

  24. Pragmatic says:


    If I were you I would by the stocks of those seven banks which are allowed to use the swiftright away, such as pasargard, Saman and day. Pasargard us a solid bank.

  25. Smith says:

    در سال 93 مجموع درآمد دولت از محل مالیات‌ 70 هزار و 900 میلیارد تومان بوده که 35 هزار 919 میلیارد تومان آن از محل مالیات‌های غیرمستقیم و 35 هزار میلیارد تومان از محل مالیات مستقیم بوده است.
    براساس گزارش بانک مرکزی از درآمدهای مالیاتی دولت، میزان مالیات‌های مستقیم و غیرمستقیم دولت در سال 93 نسبت به سال 92 و 91 افزایش یافته است. همچنین این گزارش نشان می‌دهد در تمام زیرشاخه‌های این دو نوع مالیات، روند درآمدهای مالیاتی افزایشی بوده است.

    بیشترین میزان مالیات دریافتی در سال 93 مالیات اشخاص حقوقی است که در مدت مذکور 24 هزار میلیارد تومان مالیات دریافت شده که از رقم مصوب این سال هم پیشی گرفته است. بعداز مالیات اشخاص حقیقی، مالیات بر کالاها و خدمات در رده بعدی قرار دارد که دولت توانسته در سال 93 حدود 21 هزار میلیارد تومان مالیات دریافت کند.

    کمترین میزان مالیات دریافت شده هم مربوط به مالیات بر ثروت است که در سال 93 حدود 2.5 میلیارد تومان مالیات دریافت شده است.

  26. Fiorangela says:

    ordinary says:
    July 11, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Engelhardt’s analysis reflects a serious problem most Americans have: because the Allies have never been honest about the causes of WWII or the war crimes Allies committed in it, they see that war as US “glory days,” and the prosperity that marked post-war era in USA was somehow something the American people earned, or was their right as reward for virtue.

    In fact, that prosperity came about through the deliberate destruction of entire peoples, cultures and hundreds of cities — German and Japanese cities.

    Engelhardt wrote: “World War II, and a can-do post-war era in which the staggering wealth and power of this country were indisputable.

    Think of “the can-do post-war era [of indisputable] staggering wealth and power of this country” as presents under the Christmas tree, but “World War II” as the criminal activity by which they were stolen. “Oooh, Mommy, Daddy, thank you thank you for the wonderful toys you stole for me for Christmas!”

    Then you understand why it is that the USA does not know how to go about re-enacting that “era of staggering wealth and power” other than by waging war. Obama is channeling FDR.

    After the USA reduced to rubble 75% of Germany and killed 7.5 million of its soldiers and civilians and transferred another 15 million of them out of their native homes, the USA copied German social programs, German national highway programs, moved German scientists and engineers to USA to invigorate its space and computer industries, adapted German labor and industrial models, mimicked German university models. The USA did not earn its post-war wealth and power, it killed and destroyed to take it.

    That’s why Iran is the target of choice: USA does not have Mexico in its crosshairs; Mexico does not have the human capital that USA seeks to both destroy — to eliminate competition — and capture, as USA captured German scientists. Iran has that highly educated human capital that could, if free to thrive, overwhelm USA. Iran is in the crosshairs.

  27. Fiorangela says:

    ordinary says:
    July 11, 2015 at 1:21 am

    And another thing —

    Engelhardt wrote:

    “So what’s wrong with this picture of the obvious signs of decline: the greatest power in history, with hundreds of garrisons scattered across the planet, can’t seem to apply its power effectively no matter where it sends its military or [can’t] bring countries like Iran or a weakened post-Soviet Russia to heel by a full range of threats, sanctions, and the like, or suppress a modestly armed terror-movement-cum-state in the Middle East?”

    The Allies achieved a liar’s victory in WWII — it committed war crimes in that it defeated Germany and Japan by waging war on their civilian populations. They called this the “greatest war.” Puffed up in their triumphs, they absolutely believe that gawd almighty endowed them with the right to bring all and any other sovereign nation of their desiring “to heel.”

    That is the fundamental arrogance, the original sin at the dark heart of the US – zionist ideology.

    Allies committed crimes against humanity (in WWII, the template).
    They got away with it.
    They called the “victory” achieved by their crimes, and their evasion of accountability and punishment for those crimes, signs of their superior virtue.
    Based on this false notion of superior virtue, they repeat the WWII behavior.

  28. Amir says:

    I’m hearing Kerry (US secretary of state) has attended mass before meeting with Iranian minister of foreign affairs (Zarif) at the cathedral which was attended by JF Kennedy (US President) before his meeting with Khrushchev (Soviet Premier).

    One thing that has captivated me is the lengths people would go to make a point; now, I might have been misinformed and I’d be making arguments based on false assumptions, but I remember Obama (US President) had said something like after he had been elected the world has become more tranquil and even the oceans have slowed their rising (or something to that effect); makes me wonder if current politicians are like Russian dolls, each a smaller version of his/ her predecessor.

    I was wondering if Kerry thinks he’s moving earth and heavens?

  29. James Canning says:


    Are you arguing that the Soviet Union achieved victory in the Second World War, by “criminal” actions?