Where Trump’s and Bibi’s Interests Clash

“What Bibi wants, Bibi gets,” writes Pat Buchanan. But war with Iran is not what either U.S. national interests or Trump’s political interests want or need.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

On Monday, President Donald Trump designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, the first time the United States has designated part of another nation’s government as such a threat.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist group.

With 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 2,000 in Syria, often in proximity to Iranian units, this inches America closer to war.

Why did we do it? What benefit did the U.S. derive?

How do we now negotiate with the IRGC on missile tests?

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Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu took credit for Trump’s decision, tweeting, “Once again you are keeping the world safe from Iran aggression and terrorism. … Thank you for accepting another important request of mine.”

Previous “requests” to which Trump acceded include moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, declaring Jerusalem Israel’s eternal capital, closing the Palestinian consulate and cutting off aid, and U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, as sovereign Israeli territory.

What Bibi wants, Bibi gets.

One hopes his future requests will not include a demand that we cease dithering and deliver the same “shock and awe” to Iran that George W. Bush delivered to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

With Bibi’s election win Tuesday, his fifth, the secret Mideast peace plan Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been laboring on these last two years is likely to be unveiled.

Yet it is hard to see how Jared’s baby is not stillborn.

Bibi is not going to accept a Palestinian right of return to Israel, or a sharing of the Holy City with a Palestinian state ruled by a successor of Yasser Arafat. And as Bibi fought Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal of the 8,000 Jewish settlers from Gaza, he is not going to order the removal of tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from homes on the West Bank.

Indeed, on the eve of his reelection Tuesday, Bibi promised Israelis he would begin the annexation of Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

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As for Trump, he is the most popular man in Israel. And he is not going to force Bibi to do what Bibi does not want to do and thereby imperil his major political gains in the U.S. Jewish community.

Given the indulgence of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for BDS, the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, and the divisions among Democrats over Netanyahu’s expansionism, the president’s pro-Israel stance has proven a political winner for the GOP.

But while a U.S. war with Iran may be what Bibi wants, it is not what America wants or needs.

Consider what 20 years of U.S. wars in the Mideast have cost this country, as China has stayed out of the region and pushed its power and influence into Asia, Africa and Europe.

Ten Myths About Israel, Ilan Pappe
Outspoken Israeli historian Ilan Pappe examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins and identity of the contemporary state of Israel. New at the AFP Store.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have regained control of more territory than they have held since 2001, and they are negotiating with the Americans for a withdrawal of our remaining 14,000 troops.

Cost of the Afghan war: 2,400 U.S. dead, 32,000 wounded, $1 trillion sunk, and the U.S. on the precipice of a potential strategic defeat.

So dreadful has become the five-year Yemeni civil war between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed regime they ousted that the U.S. House and Senate have invoked the War Powers Act and directed Trump to terminate U.S. assistance for the Saudi intervention.

In Libya, where a U.S.-led NATO intervention overthrew Colonel Gadhafi in 2011, a renegade general now controls two-thirds of the country and is mounting an assault on Tripoli. U.S. soldiers and diplomats fled the capital last week.

In Syria, President Bashar Assad, with the support of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, defeated the U.S. backed-rebels years ago.

The Syrian Kurdish militia we partnered with to crush ISIS have been designated as terrorists by the Turks, who promise to annihilate the Kurds if they try to return to homes along the Turkish border.

As for Turkey itself, President Erdogan says he will take delivery this summer of a Russian-made S-400 air and missile defense system.

Go through with that, says the U.S., and we cancel your order for 100 F-35s. The justified U.S. fear: Russia’s S-400 system will be tested against America’s most advanced fifth-generation fighter, the F-35.

If Turkey does not cancel the S-400, a NATO crisis appears imminent.

In Iraq, where 5,000 U.S. troops remain, the government has both pro-U.S. and pro-Iran elements in Baghdad, and mutual designation of the IRGC and CENT-COM as terrorist organizations can only present hellish problems for America’s soldiers and diplomats still in that country.

Bottom line: Though Bibi and John Bolton may want war with Iran, U.S. national interests, based on the awful experience of two decades, and Trump’s political interests, dictate that he not start any more wars.

Not a single Middle East war this century has gone as we planned or hoped.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? and Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War, all available from the AFP Online Store.


Russian Presence Feared in Mideast

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz warns that the Russians are back—and looking to threaten Israel.

By Richard Walker

A warning that Russia has returned to the Middle East to threaten Israel is just one of many alarming claims coming from Israel and from figures in the U.S. military who have added China to the mix.

Mor Altshuler in Israeli’s leading newspaper, Ha’aretz, has warned that Russia is back after 45 years specifically to threaten Israel, and that its expanding Russian naval presence could interrupt Israel’s energy plans in the eastern Mediterranean and hold them hostage. She also questioned the Trump administration’s commitment to Israel: “Are all the players on our side playing with clean hands? Frankly, I must say that soon I might start missing Barack Obama.”

Her warning was very much in keeping with a growing fear within the Israeli political and military establishment that there is a changing strategic environment in the eastern Mediterranean where Israel has a small coastline with the Mediterranean Sea, compared to countries it considers enemies, such as Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria.

Some believe that the Trump administration has become too isolationist, yet Israel believes it should be able to project its power into the eastern Mediterranean region, both militarily and in pursuit of claiming rights to gas fields under the sea. It is the prospect of energy riches, as much as exerting a strong military footprint that shapes Israeli opinion. However, without a strong U.S. naval presence in the region to rely on, Israel has begun to feel vulnerable, and more so since Russia has a large Mediterranean fleet based on the Syrian port city of Tartus. In comparison, Israel possesses a small naval force.

According to NATO sources, on a recent trip to Tel Aviv, National Security Advisor John Bolton got an earful from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the threat posed to Israel by Russia and by China’s big spending to buy friends and influence in the eastern Mediterranean. Netanyahu complained that the U.S. no longer has any of its fleets based in the region and that Israel was being closed in by its enemies.

The eastern Mediterranean has taken on greater significance for Israel and for other nations in the region, especially Turkey, since the discovery of large gas deposits off the island of Cyprus, which is equally controlled by Greece and Turkey. Israel and Egypt quickly signed a deal with the Greek Cypriots and Egypt to pipe gas to Arab nations and to Europe via Greece, thereby bypassing Turkish and Russian pipelines. The Turks weren’t long in deciding that they had rights to drill for energy in the waters around Cyprus, and they announced that they even had plans for a large naval base in the north of the island. The announcement panicked the Greeks, who controlled most of Cyprus, and the Israelis. Turkey, with perhaps the largest coastline in the eastern Mediterranean, was in effect saying to Israel, “Not so fast.” It was a warning that did not go down well in Tel Aviv. The prospect of future naval clashes between Israel and Turkey quickly dampened the enthusiasm of the big U.S. and French oil giants, who were anxious to get their hands on a share of the riches by handling exploration and the building of pipelines.

Ten Myths About Israel, Ilan Pappe
Outspoken Israeli historian Ilan Pappe examines the most contested ideas concerning the origins and identity of the contemporary state of Israel. New at the AFP Store.

While the energy issue is undoubtedly important in explaining Israel’s growing unease, there are bigger issues at play that define why Israel feels it faces an existential threat. Neocons have for some time added to Israel’s fear by claiming that the Trump administration is failing in its duty by not ordering Turkey to abandon building a large naval base on Cyprus. In fact, the Trump administration has preferred a hands-off policy. Turkey is, after all, a NATO member, and it has a right to build a base if it wishes. There is no indication that the Trump White House has any desire to intervene no matter how much Israel is pressing for action.

The critical issue driving Israeli fears is that it cannot manipulate Russia. It therefore sees the alignment of Russia with Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran a serious threat to its power. But that aside, there is also the agenda of some in the ranks of the U.S. military who feel that Russia and China have an agreed strategy across the Middle East. Commander Tony Chavez, a member of the globalist group Chicago Council on Global Affairs, argues that Russia is determined to control the region, as evidenced by the fact that in September 2018 it held the largest Mediterranean naval exercise since the Cold War. He also points to China’s growing use of ports across the eastern Mediterranean as part of a new policy to confront U.S. power.

While Israel and its neocon backers in Washington press for a return of a powerful U.S. naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean, it seems that, for now, that is not going to happen.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.

Blame Yemen Slaughter on Obama; Some Congressmen Want Carnage to End

Trump’s predecessor was the one who paved the way for this Mideast genocide.

By Richard Walker

In the last three years, the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the assistance of London, Paris, and Washington, have dropped over 18,000 bombs on Yemen, a country the size of California, resulting in the slaughter of innocent people and a humanitarian catastrophe on a massive scale.

Before anyone lays the blame for the war crimes committed by the Saudis and their allies at the door of President Donald Trump, though, it should be remembered that the war in Yemen began in earnest in 2015 under President Barack Obama and, if anything, his decision-making provided the impetus for all the killing that has since transpired. He committed the U.S. to backing the Saudis and provided them with even more weapons. He also agreed to expand the UAE’s highly modern arsenal. Though the media rarely focuses on the UAE, it has one of the world’s most powerful armies, and like the Saudis, buys only American weapons.

The UAE has gone under the radar of media coverage even though its planes have bombed civilian targets, and its special forces, mostly American trained, have been accused by Amnesty International of carrying out war crimes in secret prisons in south Yemen. It is one of those rich Arab nations that seeks to impose itself on the region. In 2014, Business Insider published a story claiming the UAE had “the most powerful army you had never heard of.” It uses surrogates, in the form of extreme Islamic militias, including al Qaeda, to do its dirty business in the ground war in Yemen. It also works closely with Erik Prince, brother of Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Prince supplies the UAE with mercenaries.

Congress is finally coming to grips with the Yemen crisis, recognizing that it does not serve U.S. foreign policy interests to be a major player in a war that has killed so many women and children and created a famine that may kill millions. So how did it come about that members on both sides of the aisle in Congress believe it is time to break with the Saudis over this crisis? Some will point to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, but that does not address the fact that, for some time, there has been a bi-partisan congressional effort to draw attention to the issue, and the fact that the Saudi leader, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), is a dangerous, impetuous ally.

The closer the U.S. gets to his foreign policy adventures, the more likely it will be that Washington will shoulder the blame for his failures. MBS’s role in the Khashoggi murder merely enabled members of Congress to shine a brighter light on Yemen.

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Missing in much of the Yemen coverage is the fact, as AFP reported in October 2016, that 65 members of Congress—Republicans and Democrats—led by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), backed a stern letter by Lieu to then-Secretary of State John Kerry about the U.S. role in Yemen. Lieu, a former War College lawyer told Kerry: “The Saudi coalition is intentionally targeting civilians, or they cannot distinguish between civilians and military targets. Both would be war crimes.”

Lieu’s words carried the implication that American military personnel working for the Saudi coalition risked being charged with war crimes. The letter followed the bombing of a funeral in Yemen’s capital that killed 100 civilians and injured 500 others, many of them children. The bomb was a GBU-12 Paveway II 500-pound, laser-guided munition, sold to the Saudis in a Washington arms deal.

Contrary to some reporting, there has been growing bi-partisan congressional support to disengage from the Yemen conflict. It may well be that the Obama administration never fully briefed Trump about the prominent role it played in supporting the Saudi slaughter in Yemen.

Members of Congress have also been angered by intelligence reports confirming that the UAE, with Saudi backing, has paid members of ISIS and al Qaeda to help it run a counter-insurgency campaign in southern areas of Yemen. The UAE would like to make southern Yemen an independent state that the UAE monarchy would control through Islamic proxies linked to al Qaeda, and especially, AQAP—al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the group Washington fears most. It would give the UAE a direct link through Oman to Yemen and the Arabian Sea.

It is no wonder, therefore, that Congress is disturbed by our alliances with the UAE and the Saudis, who have competing agendas for Yemen and are prepared to work with our enemies to achieve them.

If Congress fails to separate the U.S. and the Saudi-UAE coalition, Washington will own the Yemen War and all that flows from it. The same goes for France and Britain, which have hidden their military backing of the Saudis behind the controversy surrounding the Khashoggi murder. It has allowed them to deflect from their role in Yemen, but many in Congress are determined that should not persist.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.

Some in Senate Want U.S. Support for Carnage in Yemen Terminated

President Trump vows to veto a bill banning actions not authorized by Congress.

By Mark Anderson

The Senate has been grappling with new legislation (S.J. Res. 54), which, according to the Library of Congress, would “direct the removal of United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen that have not been authorized by Congress.” President Donald Trump has so far indicated he would veto the measure.

In a statement released right after the Senate voted 63-37 on Nov. 28 to discharge this resolution from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and send it to the full Senate for an eventual vote, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a committee member, said: “I applaud the Senate for taking action . . . to ensure a long-overdue debate on the Senate floor over ending the United States’s unauthorized support for the devastating war in Yemen. With thousands upon thousands of innocent lives lost in Yemen, and millions living on the edge of famine, we must send a clear message that this is not what America stands for, and I welcome a robust debate on ending our involvement in the war, stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and restoring Congress’ voice in foreign policy.”

Paul previously led bipartisan efforts to oppose U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen. In early November, “he forced a procedural vote on his resolution that would have blocked the sale of an estimated $300 million in high-explosive rocket artillery and associated training and support to Bahrain, a member of the Saudi-led coalition waging the war in Yemen,” according to Paul’s press office.

A spokeswoman for his office told AFP on Dec. 6 that the date of the final floor vote on S.J. Res.54, while it conceivably could come at any time, is most likely to happen in mid-to-latter December.

Upon learning of the pending vote on Nov. 28, the White House dispatched Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to hold a morning press briefing with senators to warn them beforehand that S.J. Res. 54 could impair imminent negotiations that, they say, are designed to broker peace.

According to The Hill, a Washington paper focused on Congress, Mattis and Pompeo also noted, “The UN special envoy for Yemen . . . hopes to convene talks in December after receiving commitments from the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels it’s fighting.”

Although the Trump administration is replacing NAFTA and has stepped up its efforts to guard the southern border with U.S. troops—among other positive moves that contrast sharply with prior administrations’ policies—the tragic situation in Yemen is arguably one of the Trump administration’s most ill-advised policy ventures.

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Various accounts from Middle Eastern and Western news sources paint a horrendous picture of widespread civilian death, destruction, and dislocation in this small Arab nation that meets Saudi Arabia’s southern border—resulting mainly from brutal aerial assaults carried out by a Saudi-led military coalition in which U.S. forces have been refueling coalition warplanes and helping target Houthi rebels who are reportedly aligned with Iran and have taken some degree of control of the government.

Author, lecturer, and strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl, writing for the non-partisan Canada-based website “Global Research,” stated that the situation has “little to do with any Shi’ite [Houthi] versus Wahhabite-Sunni [Saudi] conflict. Rather, it has to do with strategic control of world energy. So long as [the capital city of] Saan’a was in control of a Saudi proxy . . . it was a secondary priority for Washington. The oil was ‘safe,’ even if the Yemen government had [as it did] expropriated the U.S. [oil company] properties.”

However, Engdahl added, “Once a determined independent Houthi Zaidi force was in control of Yemen or a major part, the threat became serious enough . . . to begin the war,” because a “Houthi-controlled Yemen would be a potential client for Russian or Chinese oil companies to open up serious exploration,” combined with the fact that “the Houthi also had friendly relations with Iran.”

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor.

From Terrorist Assassin to Savior

As Iraq continues its descent into chaos, one Shiite cleric offers to make nation great again. Surprisingly, this same man spent years on American military’s most-wanted lists.

By Richard Walker

As Iraq once again shows increasing potential to descend into chaos, a fiery cleric, once at the top of the U.S. military’s most wanted lists, is riding to the rescue, promising stability. He is the iconic, dark-robed Muqtada al-Sadr who spent many years hiding out in Iran where he gave allegiance to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Al-Sadr’s history no longer troubles many American military and diplomatic figures who watched al-Sadr’s Iraqi political coalition score successes in Iraq’s elections in May this year. Memories of the time when he ran the Mahdi Army and threatened U.S. soldiers occupying Iraq in the wake of the 2003 invasion, have been replaced with a belief that he could now be Iraq’s savior and a potential U.S. ally.

The sudden revisionism lies in the fact that al-Sadr has promised to stamp out corruption and restore public services. These are pressing issues at the heart of the anger fueling serious violence by ordinary Iraqis. They have watched oil flow at an unprecedented rate while the profits have found their way into the accounts of oil corporations, greedy politicians, and powerful clans. Rivers are filling with sewage in parts of the country, and bribery is at an all-time high. Basra, once a jewel in Iraq’s crown, is falling apart.

The American-based writer, Sinan Anton, who was born in Iraq, blames the American invasion 15 years ago, saying what he witnessed in Basra last year was worse than anything under Saddam’s rule. His views about the cause of the chaos are shared by The American Conservative.

The recent defeat of ISIS, while it appeared would like nothing better than a civil war in the country to enable them to gain even more power and territory. And, as militants flee the Russian-Syrian assaults in Syria, they are heading to Iraq.

The striking thing about much of the growing chaos, and the potential for a mass, violent movement to overthrow the established order, is that it is not driven by Sunnis, who fought U.S. troops with Saudi backing after 2003. Instead, the impetus for a revolution is coming from the majority Shiites who are mired in poverty and corruption. Ironically, many of them say they resent Iran’s hold on the political establishment and the fact that Iranian goods are flowing into Iraq while Iraqi production is dying.

In May, as instability grew, al-Sadr arrived like a knight on a white charger, promising to make Iraq great again and to drain the swamp. He also promised a non-sectarian approach with a coalition comprising Sunnis and smaller parties, including communists. Most prominent, however, was his main backer, the pro-Iranian Fatih group that won 47 seats to al-Sadr’s 54, giving both the controlling bloc in the Iraqi parliament. Fatih’s leader, Hadi al-Amiri, also runs the massive pro-Iran militia, the Badr Brigades. With al-Amir at his side, al-Sadr is now the Iraqi kingmaker, telling the Iraqi prime minister to pack his bags. Some suspect that Tehran dispatched him to bring stability to Iraq because an internal conflict would not suit Tehran.

Col. Michael D. Sullivan, who served five tours in Iraq and fought against al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, sees it differently and appears to speak for many in Washington when he says this is a new al-Sadr we’re seeing. He points to the fact that al-Sadr disbanded his Mahdi Army in 2011, ordered them not to attack U.S. troops, and three years later marshalled them to fight ISIS. If some critics think Sullivan’s assessment is wishful thinking, he counters that the cleric is nowadays an Iraqi nationalist and pragmatist, posing no threat to the United States. Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffery seconds his analysis, telling USA Today, “Al-Sadr can be irrational, but he is better than the Iranians taking over.”

It could also be argued that the Iranians will not have to take over Iraq when al-Sadr is running the country with the pro-Iranian Fatih group, its Badr Brigades, and the Mahdi Army.

It is not often acknowledged that Iraq shares a border with Iran, so those making accusations that a politico-religious nexus between the two nations is malign ignore the close historical, religious, and familial connections binding the two countries.

But it is in the shadows that trouble may be lurking.

Israeli warmongers led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are consumed with a desire to have the U.S. go to war with Iran, knowing it would have support from the many pro-Zionists in Congress.

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In an example of classic irony, The White House recently threatened Iran with retaliation for an attack on U.S. facilities in the Green Zone in Baghdad even though Iran’s embassy in Basra was set alight and ransacked at the same time. The threat pleased the hawks in Tel Aviv.

For now, there are expectations al-Sadr will support the U.S. military presence in the country, but that could change if Israel initiates a confrontation between America and Iran.

On the other hand, if Sullivan is right, al-Sadr will not seek to anger Washington. While the Pentagon considers him a policy bonus, alliances in the Middle East are fragile when based on self-interest. He could become the cleric with a target on his chest once again if hawks in Washington, Riyadh, and Tel Aviv have their way.

Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.

Neocons Punish Palestinians

After the Palestinian Liberation Organization called for Israel to be investigated for war crimes at the ICC, the State Department ordered its D.C. office be closed. Palestinian officials have vowed to fight back against this kind of “collective punishment” of Palestinians.

By Dr. Ed DeVries

The State Department has ordered the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, D.C. because the PLO “has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” the State Department announced Sept. 17.

In an official statement, U.S. officials said, “PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise.”

The PLO office, which serves as a de facto “embassy” staffed by an “ambassador” to represent Palestinian interests to the U.S. government, has been instructed to close no later than Oct. 10.

The decision follows an extended period of estrangement between the Palestinian Authority, a self-declared but unrecognized nation-state on Israel’s West Bank, and the United States. The Palestinians have also withdrawn from talks over a still-to-be-released plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

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In response, Palestinian officials vowed to fight what they are calling “bullying tactics” and “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people.

“These people have decided to stand on the wrong side of history by protecting war criminals and destroying the two-state solution,” said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. “I told them if you are worried about courts, you should stop aiding and abetting crimes.”

This brings us to the real reason for ordering the closure: The PLO has called for an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Neither the United States nor Israel recognizes the court.

The Washington Post reports that there is legislation in place to close the PLO office in the event they ever attempt to prosecute Israel or the United States in the ICC.

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At the same time the State Department was closing the PLO office, National Security Advisor John Bolton was putting the ICC on notice.

During his 9/11 commemoration speech, given the prior day to the Federalist Society, Bolton, an unapologetic advocate for Israel, made it abundantly clear that “The United States will not in any way cooperate with the International Criminal Court.” He called the ICC an “unaccountable, bureaucratic body that runs counter to the Constitution and is antithetical to our nation’s ideals.”

Neither the United States nor Israel are signatories or participants in the treaty that established the ICC, thus the ICC has no jurisdiction over either nation or over the citizens of any non-signatory nation. When officials from the ICC announced recently that they were stepping up last Afghanistan,” Bolton used his 9/11 speech as an opportunity to send a message:

Today, on the eve of Sept. 11, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the President of the United States. The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. And we certainly will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own.

After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.

To make sure that the warning was taken seriously, the national security advisor threatened sanctions and punishments to any ICC judges, prosecutors, or investigators who would dare to defy the U.S.:

We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans.

Bolton also threatened a ban on travel to the United States for people involved in the attempted prosecution of Americans before the ICC and proposed measures to strengthen existing agreements with other countries to shield Americans from international prosecution.

So while the official order makes no mention of the PLO’s attempt to prosecute Israel, and possibly Americans, in the ICC, it was no coincidence that the PLO office was ordered to close at the same time as the president’s national security hawk put the ICC on notice. The State Department ordered the PLO out of Washington to ensure that the world received Bolton’s message loud and clear.

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Quick to respond, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations Security Council the next day, calling for “an international Middle East peace conference to be convened” later this year. He also attacked Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Trump is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly later this month. It is believed that he will intentionally ignore Abbas’s remarks, since he is not the “president” of a recognized nation. He will instead use the opportunity to remind the world of the threat posed by Iran and to reiterate his opposition to the international nuclear deal with that nation.

Since its founding in 2002, all three successive administrations of both political parties have rejected the jurisdiction of the ICC over American citizens. However, the Obama administration did cooperate with the court in its prosecution of non-U.S. persons.

A pastor and in-demand traveling speaker, Dr. Edward DeVries is the editor of the Dixie Heritage Newsletter and a contributing editor at THE BARNES REVIEW. He is the author of 30 books including the two-volume Glory in Grey. Some of his other titles include Sacred Honor, The Truth About the Confederate Battle Flag, Prayer is Simple, Every Member a Minister and Coaching Youth Baseball the Right Way. He is also the host of TBR RADIO’S “Dixie Heritage Hour.” Please check it out at www.BarnesReview.org.

Armchair Warriors for Zion

The U.S. government is bursting with lackeys who place Israel, not America, first. While Jared Kushner, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton are ever busy ensuring U.S. foreign policy considers Israel first, now Kenneth Marcus at the Department of Education is working to eliminate any ideas that might prevent the foreign nation holding first priority in our students’ minds, as well.

By Philip Giraldi

I have recently written about how American Jews who are protective of Israel have succeeded in inserting themselves in the U.S. government at various choke points where the bilateral relationship between Tel Aviv and Washington are managed. The Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (OTFI) in the Treasury Department, for instance, is notable in that regard, as it has been a Jewish enclave since its founding under George W. Bush in 2004. Since that time, it has successfully ignored Israeli violations of law to include its nuclear program and colonization of the West Bank while increasing penalties inflicted on countries like Iran, regarded as hostile to Israel. Nor should one forget the Jewish cabal that was largely responsible for the Iraq war, which proved disastrous to genuine American interests.

Doug Feith and Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon together with Scooter Libby at the White House were responsible for the phony intelligence that was stove-piped up to policy makers to make it look as if Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to the United States. Air Force Col. Karen Kwiatkowski has reported how neoconservatives corrupted the intelligence analysis process. Meanwhile Israeli intelligence officers, diplomats, and military personnel were able to move around the Pentagon freely, having special access granted to them by Feith.

As it turned out, there were no such weapons and the only beneficiaries of a shattered Iraq were Israel and Iran. Currently, many of the same people, who in no way suffered career-wise for their poor judgment and their collaboration with a foreign country, are pushing all available buttons to bring about a much bigger war in Syria and a new conflict with Iran. The new policy, spelled out by National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on recent trips to Israel, demands the ouster of Iranians from Syrian territory and regime change in Damascus. It will require a U.S. armed presence in Syria for years to come.

Syria will thereby become the next Afghanistan and Iraq, dysfunctional countries all in a row that once upon a time were both independent and stable. Nowhere has the United States “won” in any sense, and the occupations appear to be interminable. You can blame the dunderheads in Washington for the policy failure, but you must also blame Israel.

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One should not ignore the interminable so-called Middle East peace process, either, which is all about protecting Israeli interests. It is being run by presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and a team of Orthodox Jews negotiating with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is also an Orthodox Jew with a rabbi as his principal advisor. Friedman spends his days defending Israel, even when it shoots dead 70 unarmed demonstrating Gazans.

Recent policy initiatives by the White House have consisted of cutting off all funding to Palestinian refugees in an attempt to make them either surrender or disappear, preferably both. It is a policy dictated by Israel, which provides no benefits to the United States. Bolton, in his recent condemnation of the International Criminal Court, tied the refusal to recognize the court and the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington to attempts to hold Israel accountable for war crimes, meaning American policy is being driven by Israeli interests.

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The most recent bit of Israel-first policy in the Trump administration involves the Education Department. As some university students are actually capable of thinking independently and are rejecting the standard Israeli fabricated line about how it is the “only democracy in the Middle East” and “America’s best and truest ally,” both of which are manifestly untrue, it was perhaps inevitable that the government Zionists who are intent on protecting Israel would turn to shutting down any criticism of the Jewish state on campus. There was, however, a little problem sometimes referred to as the First Amendment, guaranteeing free speech. So along comes Kenneth Marcus, and he finds a nice little niche in the government where he can work to stop the process whereby Jewish students, so it is being claimed, are being made uncomfortable by criticism of Israel.

Marcus has been the assistant secretary of education for civil rights since June, which gives him authority to enforce what he chooses to define as the rights of students at universities. The position is quite powerful in that any university or college receiving federal funds can be deprived of that income if it is found to be in violation of the rules that Marcus chooses to enforce.

Marcus is an ardent Zionist, who has frequently been in the news opposing Palestinian groups on campus. His appointment is a major shift in how the Department of Education sees its role in serving as thought police at America’s institutions of higher learning.

It is not as if Marcus’s views were unknown before he was appointed. He previously served as head of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, which he founded in 2011 “to combat the resurgence of anti-Semitism in American higher education.” He was an outspoken advocate for all things Israeli and Jewish, with particular focus on silencing the Palestinian-led nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have perhaps correctly identified as the biggest threat to their country. Netanyahu, of course, defines a threat as anything that prevents him from dispossessing the Palestinians of the remainder of their land and inducing or forcing them to move elsewhere.

The BDS movement is indeed popular among university students in the United States and also in Europe, as it combines nonviolence with an assertion of the rights of the Palestinian people.

Lewis Foundation Legal Notice

Marcus has reopened a case dismissed in 2014 that was initiated seven years ago by a Zionist group against Rutgers University, claiming that the school permitted a “hostile environment” for Jewish students. Investigation by the Obama administration Department of Education determined that that was not so, but Marcus thinks otherwise, revealing his turnaround decision in a letter to his allies at the Zionist Organization of America.

Marcus’s office does not have jurisdiction over religious discrimination, but it does “aggressively enforce” civil rights “which prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin.” So he is calling Jews an “ethnicity” linked to Israel as a “right to self-determination.” Any criticism of the existence of Israel then becomes anti-Semitism and also racist, making the promotion of the Palestinian cause hate speech and therefore subject to being banned on campus.

More than 200 civil rights groups objected to the appointment of Marcus but the Senate nevertheless confirmed the assignment by a 50 to 46 vote. That a partisan like Marcus would be considered as an enforcer of civil rights is a travesty, as he, like many other Jewish Zionists in senior government positions in the Trump administration, are only interested in what they think benefits Israel.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.

U.S. Christian Conservatives Should Be Supporting Iran

The morals, manners, and devotion of the Iranian people are a model for the U.S., says leading American Catholic intellectual E. Michael Jones. “Islamic Iran is succeeding as a godly society, while the Christian West is failing.” 

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

I recently returned from Mashhad, the biggest city in eastern Iran. Mashhad is a holy city for Shia Muslims. It hosts the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia imam, visited by millions of pilgrims from all over Iran as well as Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and other countries including the United States.

This year, for the first time ever, Mashhad hosted a conference on international politics, not religion. The sixth New Horizon Conference, entitled “Jerusalem al Quds: Eternal Capital of Palestine,” brought together 51 notable intellectuals and activists from North America, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.

This year’s conference transpired at a moment of crisis for Palestine.

On May 8, President Donald Trump torpedoed the Iran nuclear deal. Six days later, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, presided over the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Occupied Jerusalem—on the same day that Zionist snipers murdered 60 unarmed Palestinian demonstrators and injured 2,771.

It is worth noting that Ivanka, who was raised Presbyterian, is married to Jared Kushner, who is Orthodox Jewish. In 2009, Ivanka herself converted to Orthodox Judaism.

American Freedom Party Conference in Tennessee

This all happened on the eve of Nakba Day, the annual commemoration of the Palestinian Holocaust of 1948, when Zionists murdered thousands of Palestinians and terrorized the survivors into fleeing their country, with more than 700,000 ousted from their ancestral lands.

The death total for the Great March of Return was at least 110 Palestinians. More than 12,000 were injured, thousands by live gunfire, including those permanently crippled by exploding bullets banned by the Geneva Conventions. The Israeli snipers who carried out this month-long massacre were never in any danger from the unarmed demonstrators.

The Jerusalem conference in Mashhad featured a smattering of left-leaning “progressive” Palestine activists, which included: anti-Zionist Israeli Miko Peled, son of Gen. Matti Peled, the hero (from Israel’s perspective) of the 1967 war; Greta Berlin, organizer of the Flotilla to Gaza; and Sander Hicks, a candidate for Congress from New York City. But a larger number of conference attendees represented more traditionalist, conservative, often religious viewpoints. The world’s most influential traditionalist thinker, Alexander Dugin—an Eastern Orthodox Christian and advisor to Russia’s leadership—is perhaps the best known.

Among the many Christians present in Mashhad were E. Michael Jones, one of America’s leading Catholic intellectuals, and Scott Bennett, a Protestant and whistleblowing ex-U.S. Army psyops officer. Interestingly, these two fervently conservative American Christians absolutely love the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I introduced Jones to the organizers of the New Horizon conferences in 2013. After visiting Iran and participating in the February 2013 conference, which featured lively discussion of topics that are taboo in the West, Jones called the Islamic Republic “the capital of the free world.” Since then, Jones has been a regular visitor to Iran for New Horizon conferences. He finds the religiously based social order of the Islamic Republic extremely refreshing and suggests it could in some ways be a model for any Western countries that might someday return to Christianity.

Of course, Jones obviously is not suggesting that Shia Islam, the majority religion of Iran, ought to take over America. His point is that Islamic Iran is succeeding as a godly society, while the Christian West is failing. As he writes in Culture Jihad in Tehran, “Islam has an uncanny ability to arrive on the scene when Christianity is failing in its mission.”

Scott Bennett agrees with Jones that America has strayed from its Christian roots and that Iran’s Islamic Republic could be an exemplar for Christians. The Iranian people’s manners and morals, he observes, compare favorably to those of Americans and Europeans. And the Islamic Republic’s political behavior on the international stage, Bennett agrees, has generally been reasonable, consistent, and principled—while Western and especially Israeli behavior has been anything but.

So why do neoconservative “Christians” like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and Mike Pence hate Iran so much? One possible answer: Bolton, Pompeo, and Pence are owned and operated by Zionists. Iran’s principled support for Palestine puts it in the crosshairs of the Zionist-hijacked U.S. war machine.

Truth Jihad, Kevin Barrett
Now available ($12) from the AFP Online Store.

Another reason why Bolton, Pompeo, and Pence hate Iran is that the Islamic Republic does not have a Rothschild-owned central bank. Worse, it is leading the movement to end the reign of the Rothschild petrodollar as global reserve currency. On April 18, Bloomberg reported: “Iran Dumps Dollar in Favor of Euro Amid Deepening Standoff With U.S.” It is worth noting that other countries that challenged the reign of the petrodollar, including Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Muammar Qaddafi’s Libya, were subsequently destroyed by the U.S. military.

If Bolton, Pompeo, and Pence were faithful Christians and loyal Americans, they would join Iran’s war on the Rothschild petrodollar. Rothschild funny-money is un-Christian because it is based on usury. And it is un-American because our Constitution demands that the U.S. Treasury Department, not a private cabal of bankers, issue our currency.

Maybe we need a new group: “American Christians for Islamic Iran.”

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host.

Lebanon Threatened With Genocide

Hezbollah has become a major power broker in Lebanon, explains Richard Walker, after winning big in the recent election—prompting immediate threats of genocide by an Israeli politician called “more dangerous than Hezbollah.”

By Richard Walker

Despite a well-funded and devious Saudi campaign to put its favorites in power in Lebanon’s recent parliamentary elections, Hezbollah and several smaller parties won more than half the seats, making Hezbollah a major power broker.

Hezbollah’s victory led to threats of genocide against Lebanon by Israeli religious right-wing politician Naftali Bennett, who has been described by some Israelis as more dangerous than Hezbollah. As the “Middle East Monitor” put it, had Russia made such a threat against any of its neighbors the condemnation in the West would have been widespread. The Israeli threat was somewhat ironic, given President Donald Trump’s letter to Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun in November 2017, thanking him for Lebanon’s role in the war against terrorism and assuring him of American support. A month later, Aoun described as dangerous Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Kingdom Identity

The Saudis had placed their electoral hopes on the Sunni Arab Future Movement, which lost 13 seats to Hezbollah. The result upset the Israelis and neocons in Washington, all of whom had been hoping for a Hezbollah defeat. The outcome indicated that Hezbollah continues to attract the support of Lebanese Christians who have felt for some time that the Islamic organization protected them from ISIS and al Qaeda. Hezbollah had the backing of the country’s largest Christian party, the Free Patriotic Movement. Hezbollah has been a major supporter of that group.

In the wake of the election, a document came to light exposing how the Saudis plotted to undermine Hezbollah in the polls. Their plan was to funnel large sums of money to Hezbollah’s opposition, the Future Movement, and to encourage a bigger inflow of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, which could be blamed on Hezbollah’s support of the Assad government. The plan backfired badly for the House of Saud and its favored Lebanese politicians.

The New Jerusalem, Michael Collins Piper
Michael Collins Piper on Zionist Power in America. Available from the AFP Online Store.

Ever since Israel got a bloody nose in its last war with Hezbollah in 2006, there has been a drumbeat in Tel Aviv to find a pretext for a new war with Hezbollah, something that would please Saudi Arabia, its Sunni allies, and U.S. neocons like John Bolton, who now dominate the Trump administration’s national security and Middle East policies.

It was hardly a coincidence that within hours of Trump exiting the internationally approved Iran nuclear deal that Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu launched air strikes against targets, including Iranian ones, in Syria. It was a sure sign he was hoping to goad Iran and Hezbollah into a shooting war designed to drag the United States into war. His move was praised by the Trump White House.

Israeli meddling in Syria and Lebanon is nothing new. Netanyahu has been supporting extreme Sunni militias like the al-Nusra Front that have been funded by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states. Wounded al-Nusra fighters have been treated at Israeli military hospitals in the Golan Heights, a part of the region that Israel claims to be its own, in contravention of international law.

The Golan belongs to Syria, but Israel wants to keep it because of the oil and gas it holds. It would suit Israel if the Syrian government were destroyed so that it could not continue to lay claim to the Golan Heights. Netanyahu has given Genie Energy Ltd., a New Jersey-based company with leading neocons like Dick Cheney on its board, gas and oil exploration rights to parts of the Golan Heights. In September 2017, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met with a former Israeli politician, who runs an Israeli subsidiary of Genie Energy.

The Lebanese know all about Israel’s political and military interference in the affairs of its neighbors. Israel first invaded Lebanon in 1979 and then later in 1982, withdrawing in 1985 while maintaining a 12-mile security border inside Lebanon. Israel has not forgotten that it was Hezbollah that mostly forced it to pull out of Lebanon in 1985. After it did so, Hezbollah instigated a policy of seizing Israeli soldiers and using them to bargain for the exchange of Lebanese men held in Israeli prisons. The seizure of two soldiers in 2004 was the precursor to Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon in 2006.

Ever since the Bush-Cheney era, there has been a growing nexus of Israel and Sunni Arab states like Saudi Arabia plotting a war with Shiite Iran that would also result in attacks on Hezbollah and the Assad government in Syria. Russia has made it clear its military will not sit idly by if there are any moves to remove Assad, but that leaves Israel with the option of drawing America into a war with Hezbollah and Iran. To that end, it is more than likely there will be a growing drumbeat from Tel Aviv, Washington, and Riyadh insisting that Iran has resumed its nuclear program and that Hezbollah is an increasing threat to Israel.

What is missing in many of the assessments of such a war is that even if America, Israel, and the Saudis won an air war, the war that would be fought on the ground across the region, including in Iraq, would be long and bloody. Israel and Saudi Arabia would not remain unscathed, and the U.S. military would not be able to protect all purported U.S. allies across the region.

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.

Israel at 70: Bibi’s Troubled Hour of Power

President Donald Trump and the Congress continue to seemingly answer to Israel’s prime minister in foreign policy decisions, yet how long can such unwavering support continue in light of Israel’s ongoing slaughter of innocent Palestinians and keeping Gazans penned up in the world’s largest open-air concentration camp? 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

For Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister save only founding father David Ben-Gurion, it has been a week of triumph.

Last Tuesday [May 7], President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal as Bibi had demanded. Thursday, after Iran launched 20 missiles at the Golan Heights, Bibi answered with a 70-missile attack on Iran in Syria.

“If it rains on us, it will storm on them. I hope we have finished the episode,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, boasting that Israel’s raids hit “nearly all Iranian infrastructure in Syria.”

The day before, Bibi was in Moscow, persuading Vladimir Putin to cancel the sale of Russia’s S-300 air defense system to Damascus.

Yesterday [May 13], in an event televised worldwide, the U.S. embassy was transferred to Jerusalem, with Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner doing the honors in what Bibi called a “glorious day.” Few can recall a time when Israel seemed in so favorable a position.

The White House and the Republican Party that controls Congress are solidly behind Israel. Egypt is cooperating to battle terrorists in Sinai.

Think the IRS Never Loses Cases? Think again!

Israel has a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf royals. And the Palestinians have never been more divided, isolated, and alone.

Yet, there is another side to this story, also visible this last week.

As the transfer ceremony of the Jerusalem embassy was taking place, TV split screens showed pictures of protesting Palestinians, 52 of whom were shot dead Monday, with thousands wounded by snipers. Some 40,000 had rallied against the U.S. embassy move.

Even before Monday’s body count, the Gaza Health Ministry said that, over the previous six Fridays of “March of Return” protests, 49 Palestinians had been killed and 2,240 hit by live fire from Israeli troops.

Those dead and wounded Palestinians are not likely to be forgotten in Gaza. And while Israel has never had so many Arab regimes willing to work with her in pushing back against Iran, Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit called the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem a “clear violation of international law.”

Gheit added: “The fall of Palestinian martyrs by the bullets of the Israeli occupation must ring an alarm . . . bell to any state that does not find anything wrong with the immoral and illegal stance that we are watching.”

Last week, Hezbollah, which arose in resistance to the 1982 Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and expelled the Israeli army 18 years later, won Lebanon’s elections. A Hezbollah-backed coalition will likely form the new government in Beirut.

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S. and Bibi ally, said that any attack by Hezbollah, which fought Israel to a standstill in 2006, should bring an Israeli declaration of war—on Lebanon.

While Israel launched some 100 strikes on Syria in recent years, Syrian President Bashar Assad has survived and, with the aid of Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia, won his civil war.

Assad and his army and allies are far stronger now, while President Trump, Israel’s indispensable ally, speaks of bringing U.S. troops home from Syria. In polls, a majority of Americans lines up behind Israel in its clashes, but a majority also wants no more U.S. wars in the Middle East.

Also, Sunday, the U.S. sustained another major political defeat.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi lost his re-election bid. Based on early results, the winning coalition was that of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, against whose forces U.S. troops fought a decade ago.

Running second was a ticket led by a Shiite militia general close to Iran. When a new government is formed in Baghdad, the orientation of Iraq seems certain to shift away from the United States.

The Wandering Who? Atzmon
From world renowned jazz musician and humanitar-ian Gilad Atzmon … Now available at the AFP Online Store.

While the Israelis are the most powerful nation in the region, how long can they keep 2 million Palestinian Arabs confined in the penal colony that is the Gaza Strip? How long can they keep the 2 million Palestinians of the West Bank living in conditions even Israeli leaders have begun to compare to apartheid?

Across the West, especially in universities, a BDS movement to have students, companies, and consumers boycott, divest, and sanction Israeli-produced products has been gaining ground.

The Palestinians may have been abandoned by Arab rulers and the wider world. Yet, history teaches that people forced to survive in such conditions eventually rise in rebellion and revolution, take revenge, and exact retribution for what was done to them and their own.

Republican leaders often say that we cannot permit “any daylight” between the U.S. position and that of Israel.

But can the country that decried for decades the panicked reaction of an Ohio National Guard that shot and killed four students at Kent State University sit silent as scores of unarmed protesters are shot to death and thousands are wounded by Israeli troops in Gaza?

Bibi and Israel appear to be on a winning streak. It is difficult to see how, over the long run, it can be sustained.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.


Iranians Have Kept Up Their End of the Nuclear Bargain

By all accounts, Iran has kept up its end of the JCPOA bargain, and most of the world is imploring Donald Trump to leave it alone, and not withdraw from the plan. The president knows “that such a move could lead to Iran resuming its earlier efforts to build a nuclear bomb, thereby destabilizing the Middle East and inviting a major war. Such a war would be applauded by Israeli hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his allies in the Saudi Royal Family, and Zionist elements on Capitol Hill.” Indeed, much is at stake. . . . 

By Richard Walker

According to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, Iran has honored its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the JCPOA, but a stroke of President Donald Trump’s pen could signal its end or lead to a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from it.

Guilt By Association, Gates
Available at the AFP Online Store.

Such an outcome was first promised by Trump as an election pledge, even though he knew that such a move could lead to Iran resuming its earlier efforts to build a nuclear bomb, thereby destabilizing the Middle East and inviting a major war. Such a war would be applauded by Israeli hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his allies in the Saudi Royal Family, and Zionist elements on Capitol Hill.

On the other hand, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, and France, which also signed the JCPOA to end Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions, might well choose to stick with the deal and encourage Iran to do so, too. The EU has called on all sides to ensure the deal is protected. EU chief Federica Mogherini has pleaded with Washington to preserve it for the sake of security, arguing that it is working as planned. Her view is supported by most experts who believe the deal, which took two years to negotiate, represents a major diplomatic achievement. The White House disagrees, claiming it has been a disaster and that the Iranians have been cheating. IAEA inspectors who have conducted strict inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites have shown that claims of cheating have been bogus. The inspections have been the most thorough and strict ever undertaken by the IAEA.

Forgotten in the media coverage of ongoing threats by Trump to scrap the deal is the fact that it was supported in 2015 by a UN Security Council vote of 15-0. That confirms those determined to jettison it would have to overturn a majority UN Security Council vote. China and Russia will not let that happen.

Hair Tissue Mineral Testing

On April 27, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that it was encouraging all signatories to the JCPOA to “honor and safeguard it.” That followed a similar commitment from the Kremlin with a spokesman pointing out that the deal was a product of “meticulous and intense diplomacy,” and there is no alternative to it. One of the interesting elements of the Kremlin statement was its insistence that Iran’s “stance” on the JCPOA was critical in any consideration of it. In other words, those like Trump or France’s Macron who mused about negotiating a new arrangement could not do so without Iranian approval. Such an approval will not be forthcoming. Iran’s leaders have said they will not allow a word of the nuclear deal to be altered.

Lost in much of the media speculation about the future of the deal is that Iran has kept its commitments even though it has not benefited that much financially, given all the hype in the West about what the deal would do for its economy. That can be explained in part by Trump’s public threats to wreck the deal, a move that has dissuaded international banks and companies from doing business with Tehran.

From the day it was negotiated, the deal was threatened by Netanyahu and his backers on Capitol Hill. It was also vehemently opposed by the Saudis, who have Trump’s ear. Some Israeli intelligence chiefs, however, have disagreed with Netanyahu, pointing out that the Iranians have honored their side of the bargain, thereby making it impossible for them to build a nuclear weapon for at least 20 years.

In a move not mentioned in Congress or in the mainstream media, The Jerusalem Post recently lambasted Trump for his stance on the deal in language that was startling.

“This reality is clear, even to former critics of the deal. Trump’s bombastic rhetoric is not backed up with fact: There is no case in which unilateral withdrawal serves U.S. interests,” reported the Post.

Those familiar with Middle East politics know that White House opposition to the nuclear pact is ultimately aimed at weakening Iran’s influence in the region. It is a strategy applauded by Israel and the Saudis. Russia, Iran’s ally, is watching events carefully and has been negotiating secretly with Iran to boost its missile defenses.

North Korea will no doubt have been studying the Iran issue, wondering if it could ever trust Washington to be a reliable broker in a nuclear deal. However, if North Korea were to give up its nukes, it would continue to pose a major threat to its neighbors because of its massive arsenal of short-range missiles that could obliterate South Korea and strike Japan. The issue of that arsenal does not appear to have been on Washington’s agenda.

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.

Beware the Ides of May

May is shaping up to be a dangerous month for America and the world, as President Trump decides whether to kill the Iran and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians walks in the Great Return March back to their stolen homes.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

The Ides of March—March 15—was a bad day for Caesar. But this year, it is May 15 that portends trouble for the empire and the world. Consider the events lining up for that week.

On May 12, President Donald Trump is expected to kill the Iran nuclear deal, ratcheting up Middle East tensions to the breaking point. If Trump does kill the deal, as French President Macron says he will, the Iranians will undoubtedly pull out and start enriching uranium again, as is their right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran is a signatory in good standing of the NPT, unlike the rogue state of Israel with its hundreds of nuclear weapons. When Iran follows Trump out of the nuclear deal, Israel will start screaming, “Bomb Iran!” And Trump, who listens to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, may or may not be able to resist being led by the nose into yet another huge, unwinnable Zionist war.

Another monumental Mideast provocation will follow two days later: the opening of the U.S. embassy in occupied Jerusalem. This move would be Trump’s open declaration of war on the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims. Jerusalem has been administered by Muslims essentially ever since Islam existed. It is in many ways the true spiritual capital of the Islamic world. Every Muslim on Earth worthy of the name would willingly die to defend Jerusalem from the Zionists.

If the U.S. endorses the Zionist claim to Jerusalem by opening an embassy there, America will suddenly be considered a legitimate target by billions of people—including many Christians, who correctly recognize Zionism as Antichrist.

The CIA in Iran
From AFP: The history of U.S./Iran conflict

Then the following day, May 15, the Palestinians’ Great Return March will culminate with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian concentration-camp inmates trying to walk, unarmed except with bolt cutters to snip the barbed wire, back to their stolen homes. The genocidal Zionists will undoubtedly massacre hundreds or even thousands of unarmed people, as they are in the habit of doing. The Zionists have already shot many dozens of people dead and wounded more than 5,000 for the crime of congregating to protest too close to the border.

This series of three massive provocations leading up to May 15 will pit Israel and the nations it secretly controls against the Palestinians and their billions of supporters all over the world. The Palestinians’ major state supporter, Iran, has dozens of military installations in Syria, as well as a battle-hardened ally, Hezbollah, next door in Lebanon. Russia, a supporter of Iran and a major force in Syria, risks being drawn into this imminent conflict.

What makes this situation especially dangerous is that the War Party seems to actually want to draw the Russians in. After a recent fake gassing in Douma, Syria on April 7, the neoconservatives—including National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—as well as a great many liberal armchair warriors, were pushing Trump to bomb Syria in a major way—a way that would have killed Russian troops and forced the Russians to sink the U.S. ships that sent the missiles, as Russian leader Vladimir Putin has promised to do.

The psychopaths pushing for World War III would like nothing better than a “new New Pearl Harbor”—9/11 being the old New Pearl Harbor. They know that getting the Russian military to sink U.S. ships is a great way to rally the American people for war. The false flaggers blew up the USS Maine in 1898, orchestrated the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, orchestrated the treasonous Pearl Harbor eight-point-plan in 1941, plotted to sink ships in Operation Northwoods (1962), and staged the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964.

Will they do it again come mid-May?

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host.

YouTube and the War Against Iran

Was the YouTube shooter, Nassim Aghdam, a victim of the anti-Iran culture war? 

By Kevin Barrett

We are told that Nassim Aghdam, the woman who purportedly shot three people at the headquarters of the video hosting service YouTube before taking her own life, fled her native Iran decades ago in search of freedom, glamor, and creative opportunities.

As a rising YouTube star, she branded herself “Green Nassim” and put out slick, stylish videos advocating animal rights, healthy living, and veganism.

But then something went wrong. As The New York Times video “Who Was the YouTube Shooter?” tells us: “She explains that even though she was a member of the Bahai faith, which is a persecuted faith in Iran, she doesn’t really like life in the United States. And she says, ‘In Iran they kill you with an axe; in the United States they kill you with cotton’—an Iranian expression saying she’s dying a slow death in the United States.”

“Welcome to freedom of speech,” Nassim says sarcastically in the video. “Do you think Iran is better than the USA or the USA is better than Iran?”

American Freedom Party Conference in Tennessee

The issue that finally drove her over the edge was YouTube censorship: “I’m being discriminated against, I’m filtered on YouTube. I’m not the only one,” she said in her final message before attacking YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., and then killing herself.

YouTube has indeed been censoring alternative media outlets. Many leading independent channels, including British broadcaster Richie Allen’s, have been shut down on ludicrously flimsy pretexts—a clear violation of the First Amendment, since YouTube, owned by CIA asset Google, has a de facto monopoly and therefore must be considered a public utility, not a private company.

But why would YouTube try to bury Miss Aghdam’s “stylishly sexy Iranian girl promotes healthy living” videos? To understand the likely answer, we need to know more about the Zionist-driven culture war against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

At the behest of Israel and its American assets, the U.S. government has been spending billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to beam pornography and decadence into the minds of the Iranian people. A massive U.S./Zionist Farsi-language media operation, based in the Los Angeles area, produces programming ranging from hardcore pornography to sexually titillating fluff, all of it designed to undermine traditional values and promote the idea that the U.S. is a rich, liberated, sex-saturated paradise. Why? To brainwash hormone-addled Iranian young people into rebelling against their “repressive” Islamic culture and government.

When Miss Aghdam began making YouTube videos, they fit this paradigm reasonably well—so the CIA-Google powers-that-be gave her a free pass, or perhaps even tweaked the algorithms to promote her. The commissars overseeing the anti-Iran culture war must have loved the videos showing “sexy Nassim” dancing happily in front of American and Israeli flags.

But then Miss Aghdam grew disillusioned with American life. She started telling her viewers (most of them in Iran) that the U.S. is definitely not paradise, that in fact it isn’t any better than Iran. Suddenly, for no discernible reason, the number of views drawn by her videos began to drop. Miss Aghdam, no idiot, realized what was happening. She protested, growing ever more critical of the U.S. and the phony “freedom” it pretends to offer. And the more she protested, the more CIA-Google tweaked their algorithms to bury her videos and destroy her career. In a final, desperate gesture of misguided protest, she shot up YouTube’s headquarters.

In the same April 8 issue of The New York Times featuring the video about Miss Aghdam, another article appeared headlined “Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit.” The article quoted Edward Shorter, a historian of psychiatry at the University of Toronto: “We’ve come to a place, at least in the West, where it seems every other person is depressed and on medication. You do have to wonder what that says about our culture.”

Truth Jihad, Kevin Barrett
Kevin Barrett’s classic book
on 9/11 is now available
at the AFP Online Store!

No need to wonder. What it says is obvious: Western culture has gone completely insane. The New World Order’s orchestrated destruction of tradition and religion has created a world that may look like paradise on the outside—as Miss Aghdam’s early videos suggested—but is rotting and dying on the inside.

The CIA-Google mind-controllers want Iranians to rise up against their country, destroy their religious traditions, turn Tehran into a third-rate replica of Los Angeles, and start taking anti-depressants to cope with the anomie. Maybe it’s a conspiracy by the pharmaceutical companies looking for new markets.

If Americans were aware of what is being done to them, they would rise up in revolution against the New World Order oligarchs who are dumbing them down, annihilating their religion and spirituality, and robbing their lives of value, purpose, and meaning. In so doing, Americans would be following in the footsteps of the people of Iran, who successfully revolted against the NWO’s hellish materialism and decadence back in 1979.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.

Protests Greet Israel Lobby’s Annual Gathering

With Palestine remaining an open-air concentration camp under Israeli occupation, protests were held Washington D.C. outside the annual AIPAC convention. Among many others worldwide, increasing numbers of Jews, including in Israel, oppose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heavy-handed, violent tactics. 

By Mark Anderson

Palestinian activists and supporters, including the Right to Return Coalition (Al-Awda) and the ANSWER Coalition, held several protests before and during the March 4-6 national convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC—one of Washington D.C.’s most powerful lobbies.

“For over a century, the Palestinian people have been struggling against colonial rulers for . . . self-determination,” noted a news release announcing these groups’ opposition to “the racist American Israel Public Affairs Committee.”

The large annual AIPAC gathering at the Mount Vernon Convention Center included remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also met with President Trump at the White House mainly to discuss the perceived Iranian threat to Israel and Trump’s stated intent to back out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran.

American Freedom Party Conference in Tennessee

Netanyahu, hamstrung by scandals at home, has proven himself to be a particularly militant aggressor against Palestinians. Even some liberal Jews, in Israel and abroad, as well as anti-Zionist orthodox rabbis who take part in the Washington protests, disapprove of the Netanyahu regime’s documented and disproportionately deadly attacks against Palestinians and the imposition of a police state over them.

A young girl whose plight was recognized during a March 3 “Free Ahed” D.C. rally has come to symbolize that tyranny.

The “Free Ahed” movement refers to Ahed Tamimi, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl reportedly taken in the dead of night by Israeli soldiers. After her mother, Nariman, produced a video that went viral—showing an altercation involving soldiers trying to enter the family dwelling—the girl was arrested.

According to “FreeAhed.org,” “Ahed is accused of slapping a soldier and faces 12 charges in Israel’s military court, which has a conviction rate of 99%. Ahed’s mother is being charged with incitement for posting the video.”

Ironically, while the protestors also held a forum on the history of Palestine’s liberation struggle, from Israel’s 1948 founding to the present, University of Oslo history professor Ken Rossinow, writing March 6 in The Washington Post, of all places, put forth one of the most critical articles of Israel ever to appear in a major mainstream newspaper in recent memory.

Under the jolting headline, “The Dark Roots of AIPAC, ‘America’s Pro-Israel Lobby’ “—underscored by the subheading, “The group was formed to spin positive PR after Israeli atrocities”—Rossinow outlined the lengths to which the Israeli state has gone to stay on good terms with its ultimate benefactors: U.S. taxpayers.

AIPAC’s beginnings as the American Zionist Committee for Public Affairs, renamed AIPAC in 1959, “reveal the long journey the group has traveled. . . . It once operated in obscurity; now its influence lies partly in its genius for publicity. . . . It has always responded to Israeli actions, working to mitigate their impact on the American scene,” Rossinow wrote.

That mitigation keeps the $3.8 billion a year in official U.S. foreign aid flowing mainly to Israel’s military, enabling it to continue oppressing Palestinians.

According to Rossinow, in latter 1953 President Dwight Eisenhower “briefly suspended the delivery of U.S. aid to Israel after it violated the terms of a UN-brokered armistice agreement with Syria . . .”

And while Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles tried to get Israel to back down, on Oct. 15, 1953 a special Israeli army unit “had struck into the Jordanian-occupied West Bank and committed a massacre in the Palestinian village of Qibya, killing more than 60 civilians indiscriminately” in retaliation for the reported Oct. 12 murder of a Jewish woman and her two children in Israel.

Rossinow stressed that after the Oct. 12 killings, then-Israeli PM Ben-Gurion and top colleagues chose nearby Qibya “to suffer retribution” in an intentionally disproportionate and brutal manner, launching what has become standard Israeli policy.

In response, yesteryear’s American media wasn’t so reticent on revealing Israeli terror. Even Time magazine, wrote Rossinow, “carried a shocking account of . . . casual mass murder by Israeli soldiers at Qibya —‘slouching . . . smoking and joking.’ ” Moreover, The New York Times—you read that correctly—published what Rossinow described as “extensive excerpts from a UN commission that refuted Israeli lies about the incident.”

Since AIPAC is an unregistered agent of a foreign power, the proper mitigation is to require that AIPAC register as a foreign agent under the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act. AIPAC would then have to publicly acknowledge it’s working on behalf of a foreign government and submit its income sources for review.

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful emails at [email protected]

American Traitors Incite Treason in Iran

Despite the Founding Fathers’ admonition to enter “entangling alliances” with no foreign nations, “the U.S. has strangled itself in a cat’s cradle of entangling alliances,” says Kevin Barrett. As a result, the nation is mired in a series of wars for the benefit of one of those allied nations—Israel, which continues to pressure the U.S. to expand our wars into Iran. Given how quickly and how often those who took an oath to defend the Constitution instead defend an entangling alliance, the question is: “When will the traitors at home stop inciting treason abroad?”

By Kevin Barrett

Thomas Jefferson’s foreign policy doctrine—restating the key line from George Washington’s farewell speech—was simple and sensible: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations—entangling alliances with none.” The Founding Fathers’ credo held sway until World War II. Since then, the U.S. has strangled itself in a cat’s cradle of entangling alliances. Worse, it has allowed one of those alliances, the unofficial one with Israel, to drag it into a series of disastrous Middle Eastern wars.Think the IRS Never Loses Cases? Think again!

The American agents of Israel who helped orchestrate 9/11 are guilty of treason, which is defined in the Constitution as “levying war against the United States.” They blew up the World Trade Center and bombed the Pentagon in order to trick the U.S. into attacking Israel’s regional enemies: the “seven countries in five years” mentioned by Gen. Wesley Clark, who has cited a neocon memo suggesting that the purpose of 9/11 was “to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”

In order to “take out” those countries the neocon-run post-9/11 United States has had to work closely with the relatively small number of Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Libyans, Somalis, Sudanese, and Iranians who are willing to commit treason against their own nations. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan have been effectively destroyed by American agents of Israel and their bought-and-paid-for local traitors. Lebanon and Iran are next in their gunsights.

But Tehran is putting up a stiff fight. Since 1979 Iran has managed to persist as the Middle East’s only fully independent country, only genuine democracy, and most formidable opponent of Israel.

Brainwashed for War, Prorammed to Kill – Matthias Chang
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Israel, which has ethnically cleansed the majority of its rightful voters, is neither a democracy nor a legitimate nation. Though its creation was recommended by the UN General Assembly, it was never implemented by the Security Council. Israel has violated dozens of UN resolutions thereby eliminating any possible claim to legitimacy.

More than three times the size of Iraq, Iran boasts a population of 80 million. When under attack, Iranians will unite and put their lives on the line for their country, as they proved during the 1980s war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Currently Iran boasts many strategic advantages including thousands of the latest and most lethal anti-ship missiles, which are dug deeply into the mountainous terrain overlooking the Persian Gulf. Using those missiles, Iran can sink all U.S. ships in the Gulf and shut down 20% of the world’s oil supply, inducing a catastrophic global depression.

A December 2004 Atlantic article reported on a series of war games simulating a U.S.-Iran conflict. The result was simple: “You have no military solution for the issues of Iran,” according to lead participant Sam Gardiner.

Yet pro-Israel traitors in the U.S. government continue plotting to destroy Iran. According to neoliberal Zionist Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, the U.S. has given Israel the green light to launch another huge war on Lebanon, with the aim of expanding the war to Iran.

This “U.S. green light,” of course, was actually given not by actual patriotic Americans but by Israel’s neocon agents.

Meanwhile the mainstream American media, also dominated by Zionists, relentlessly tries to stir up sedition in Iran. The minuscule minority of Iranians who are actively opposed to their nation’s Islamic republican constitution are given grotesquely disproportionate, fawningly favorable coverage, while ordinary Iranians, who protest over economic issues and corruption but would die to defend their nation and its constitution, are ignored.

Iraqi traitors like the swindler Ahmed Chalabi helped the neocons murder more than a million of his countrymen and destroy his country as a modern, technologically advanced society. Somali traitors cooperated with the U.S.-Israeli-orchestrated Ethiopian invasion, occupation, and destruction of that nation. Sudanese traitors helped the neocons orchestrate the vivisection of their country, including the amputation of the resource-rich south, which is now occupied by Israel and its friends. Libyan traitors helped Hillary Clinton and her Zionist controllers destroy that country, which formerly featured the highest living standards in Africa. Syrian traitors assisted in the destruction of that nation by an Israel-orchestrated, U.S.-assisted ISIS rampage.

Are there enough traitors in Iran to force “regime change”? No chance. They all fled with the Shah in 1979 and are now living side-by-side with their Zionist friends in the rich neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Some of them dream of returning to help overthrow the Islamic Republic. But the Iranian people will have none of it. The 2009 “Green Revolution” fizzled, as did recent CIA-Mossad attempts to hijack legitimate demonstrations and turn them into riots.

When will the traitors at home stop inciting treason abroad? When we arrest, try, and sentence them for their crimes, starting with 9/11.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.

Is U.S. Being Sucked Into Syria’s War?

Israel conducted a massive attack on Syria after one of its fighter jets was shot down, an act not surprisingly blamed on Iran. But, asks Pat Buchanan, “Why would Iran, which, with Assad, Russia, and Hezbollah is among the victors in Syria’s six-year civil war, wish to reignite the bloodletting and bring Israeli and U.S. firepower in on the other side? Naturally, Israel expects the U.S. to jump to assist. Will President Trump respond as expected by our Middle Eastern “ally”? Buchanan suggests what’s needed now is “active diplomacy, not military action.” 
By Patrick J. Buchanan

Candidate Donald Trump may have promised to extricate us from Middle East wars, once ISIS and al Qaeda were routed, yet events and people seem to be conspiring to keep us endlessly enmeshed.

Friday night [Feb. 9], a drone, apparently modeled on a U.S. drone that fell into Iran’s hands, intruded briefly into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights, and was shot down by an Apache helicopter.

Israel seized upon this to send F-16s to strike the airfield whence the drone originated. Returning home, an F-16 was hit and crashed, unleashing the most devastating Israeli attack in decades on Syria. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu says a dozen Syrian and Iranian bases and antiaircraft positions were struck.

Monday’s headline on The Wall Street Journal op-ed page blared:

“The Iran-Israel War Flares Up: The fight is over a Qods Force presence on the Syria-Israeli border. How will the U.S. respond?”

Op-ed writers Tony Badran and Jonathan Schanzer, both from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, closed thus:

“The Pentagon and State Department have already condemned Iran and thrown their support behind Israel. The question now is whether the Trump administration will go further. . . . Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (has) affirmed that the U.S. seeks not only to ensure its allies’ security but to deny Iran its ‘dreams of a northern arch’ from Tehran to Beirut. A good way to achieve both objectives would be back Israel’s response to Iran’s aggression—now and in the future.”

The FDD is an annex of the Israeli lobby and a charter member of the War Party.

Think the IRS Never Loses Cases? Think again!

Chagai Tzuriel, who heads the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, echoed the FDD: “If you (Americans) are committed to countering Iran in the region, then you must do so in Syria—first.”

Our orders have been cut.

Iran has dismissed as “lies” and “ridiculous” the charge that it sent the drone into Israeli airspace.

If Tehran did, it would be an act of monumental stupidity. Not only did the drone bring devastating Israeli reprisals against Syria and embarrass Iran’s ally Russia, it brought attacks on Russian-provided and possibly Russian-manned air defenses.

Moreover, in recent months Iranian policy—suspending patrol boat harassment of U.S. warships—appears crafted to ease tensions and provide no new causes for Trump to abandon the nuclear deal Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani regards as his legacy.

Indeed, why would Iran, which, with Assad, Russia, and Hezbollah is among the victors in Syria’s six-year civil war, wish to reignite the bloodletting and bring Israeli and U.S. firepower in on the other side?

In Syria’s southeast, another incident a week ago may portend an indefinite U.S. stay in that broken and bleeding country.

To recapture oil fields lost in the war, forces backed by Assad crossed the Euphrates into territory taken from ISIS by the U.S. and our Kurd allies. The U.S. response was a barrage of air and artillery strikes that killed 100 soldiers.

What this signals is that, though ISIS has been all but evicted from Syria, the U.S. intends to retain that fourth of Syria as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

In the northwest, Turkey has sent its Syrian allies to attack Afrin and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened Manbij, 80 miles to the east, where U.S. troops commingle with the Kurd defenders and U.S. generals were visible last week.

Midweek, Erdogan exploded: “(The Americans) tell us, ‘Don’t come to Manbij.’ We will come to Manbij to hand over these territories to their rightful owners.”

The U.S. and Turkey, allies for six decades, with the largest armies in NATO, may soon be staring down each other’s gun barrels.

Has President Trump thought through where we are going with this deepening commitment in Syria, where we have only 2,000 troops and no allies but the Kurds, while on the other side is the Syrian army, Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran, and Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan?

Clearly, we have an obligation not to abandon the Kurds, who took most of the casualties in liberating eastern Syria from ISIS. And we have a strategic interest in not losing Turkey as an ally.

But this calls for active diplomacy, not military action.

And now that the rebels have been defeated and the civil war is almost over, what would be the cost, and what would be the prospects of fighting a new and wider war? What would victory look like?

Bibi and the FDD want to see U.S. power deployed alongside that of Israel, against Iran, Assad, and Hezbollah. But while Israel’s interests are clear, what would be the U.S. vital interest?

What outcome would justify another U.S. war in a region where all the previous wars in this century have left us bleeding, bankrupt, divided, and disillusioned?

When he was running, Donald Trump seemed to understand this.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.