Inside The Iran Sanctions

People make their way on a sidewalk in downtown Tehran, Iran, Monday, July 30, 2018. Iran's currency has dropped to a record low ahead of the imposition of renewed American sanctions, with many fearing prolonged economic suffering or possible civil unrest. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

People make their way on a sidewalk in downtown Tehran, Iran, Monday, July 30, 2018. Iran's currency has dropped to a record low ahead of the imposition of renewed American sanctions, with many fearing prolonged economic suffering or possible civil unrest. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

With Eric Westervelt (@Ericnpr)

Automobiles, gold, steel. The Trump administration reimposes financial sanctions on Iran, with those on oil to come. Where might this hard-line policy lead?


Thomas Erdbrink, Tehran bureau chief for The New York Times. (@ThomasErdbrink)

Reuel Marc Gerecht, senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Former director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century and Middle East specialist at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

Jarrett Blanc, senior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Former State Department coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation at the U.S. Department of State under President Obama, where he was responsible for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program. (@JarrettBlanc)

Reuel Marc Gerecht appearance on On Point Radio proves my theory that “Old Neocons never die; they become Fellows in the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).” These American-Zionists--direct decedents of Irving Kristol's Neoconservatives had better pray that America does not become as “great” as Germany in the 1930s.  American Jews and Gentiles alike are socialize to be afraid to criticize Israel and its leadership's irredentism in its perusing of a mythical biblical past.  American Jews who criticize Israel are called “self-hating-Jews,” and Gentiles who criticize Jews and/or Israel's Un-American behavior are labeled anti-Semites.  However, it is in the American nature to support the under-dog and to have compassion for oppressed and mistreated peoples such as the Palestinians.  And sympathize with nations who have come to the peace-with the West, sign compacts with the expectation of peace, only to be double-crossed, when their only crime is having allies.

Israel cannot seem to find peace within itself because of American Zionist as Avraham Burg writes in The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From Its Ashes (2008):

It seems that more than six decades after his death, Hitler retains his influence over American Jews.  Vulnerability can be felt in the most impressive community the Jews have ever built, a Jewry more glorious than those of Babel and Spain, even more so than German Jewry that existed between the time of Mendelssohn and the Shoah.  The potential is there for Jews to change the world for the better, if they only free themselves from the Nazi shackles.

Courageous Israel is a mini-America in the “Wild East.”  It faithfully represents the American spirit in a region that is very much in need of salvation.  In Israel you find frontiers and pioneers with vision just like the early American West.  Israel plays the cowboy, and the Jews of America provide the strategic support that compels every U.S. Administration to support Israel.  In turn, Israel supports the administration that is supported by the Jewish organizations that support Israel that supports them.  What is wrong with mutual back-scratching?”


Iran is a Shiite nation at war with a union of Sunni nations out to destroy it in a sectarian war.  Israel is allied with the Sunni Arabs in its effort to destroy Iran as part of the continuation to “flatten” all its Middle East enemies.  After the destruction of Lebanon, Libya, and Syria, Iran is the last Islamic nation standing that can challenge Israel as suzerain of the Middle East.  After Iran is flattened, then Israel, with the military aid of the United States can take on the Sunni Arabs and the Turks.

Ben Hubbard and others write in “Strike in Syria Lights Up Iran-Israel Shadow War That May Be Escalating,” (New York Times, Tuesday, April 10, 2018): As the war in Syria ground on, Iran came to Mr. Assad's aid, sending seasoned fighters from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political party that Iran supports.  It later organized an international airlift of militia fighters from a number of countries to bolster Mr. Assad's military.

Israel now worries that as Mr. Assad's position becomes more secure, Iran has turned its focus to the military capacity it appears to be building to help it in a future confrontation with Israel.

Israeli leaders frequently threaten to bomb Iran, so having strong military proxies near Israel's borders gives Iran some protection.  If Israel attacks Iran, the thinking goes, it knows it can expect a painful response from Hezbollah in Lebanon, and perhaps from other militia now operating in Syria....

Worried that Iran is using the cover of the war to strengthen its allies in Syria, Israel has repeatedly launched airstrikes on what it believes to be weapons convoys bound for Hezbollah, which fought Israel to a standstill in a month long war in 2006 that kill hundreds of people.


According to Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke in America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (2004), Reuel Marc Gerecht was an integral part of the group of Neocons the Project for a New American Century PNAC that propagandized George W. Bush as Commander-in-Chief into the first 21st century 20-year war in South Asia: Afghanistan, in order to lure him into invading Iraq on false pretenses.   Therefore, Gerecht is what Slater and Moore in The Architect label as Israel-firsters—an American citizen that puts the cause and welfare of Israel ahead of the needs of the United States.  Thereby the Iran Deal is anathema to Gerecht and peace is an alien concept.

Halper and Clarke declare that Gerecht is part of the Neo-Conservative Network.  In February 1998, a small group of national security thinkers who were outside government sent an open letter to the Clinton White House suggesting “a comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his regime.”  Among the signatories were Eliot Abrams, Richard Armitage, John R. Bolton, Douglas Feith, Zalmay Khalilzad, Richard Perle, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, and Dov Zakheim, who all held positions in the Bush administration.  Other leading figures in Washington to sign the letter were Frank Gaffney, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Joshua Muravchik, Martin Peretz, chief editor of the New Republic.  They called themselves the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf.


But this was only one player among many.  The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Heritage Foundation, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Center for Security Policy (CSP), the Hudson Institute, and the PNAC had also n a neoconservative coalition of intellectuals, ex-government officials, political advisers, media figures, and key conservative personalities, all pressing for the era of American supremacy.  They spoke at congressional hearings, took an active role in the mainstream media discourse, sent open letters to the White House, published articles regularly in the major newspapers, and produced a stream of books.


From the time of its inauguration in 1997, the PNAC was an essential element of this defense-establishment-to-be.  The PNAC signatories were a well-connected group of prominent intellectuals and former government officials with strong links to the national security bureaucracy, the defense establishment, the print and cable media industry, dominant sections of the U.S. Defense industry, and some of American's wealthiest conservative foundations.  A large portion of the signatories, such as Abrams, Gary Bauer, Zalmay Khalilzad, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Dan Quayle, Peter Rodman, Henry Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz had all served in the Reagan or G.H.W. Bush administrations.


Others worked had worked for the CIA, such as Reuel Marc Gerecht and James Woolsely, who was the agency's director from 1993 to 1995.  This list of signatures also included those who would subsequently assume pivotal roles in the foreign policy of George W. Bush's administration, such Rumsfeld, VP Dick Cheney, Wolfowitz and I. Scooter Libby, Cheney's Chief of staff and an active neoconservative in the 1990s.




Halper and Clarke write that various neoconservative think tanks and research institutions seem intertwined, so do the foundations that finance them.  Organizations such as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and the Castle Rock Foundation constitute a core group of conservative bodies that provide the money for research institutions such as AEI, the Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institute and for individual scholars, such as Robert Leiken, at institutions such as Harvard University.  There is considerable overlap among the benefactors, the members of the major think tanks, and the senior levels of the Bush administration.  The Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution have been instrumental in connecting policy analysts, Republican Party officials, and conservative scholars for years.


Over the 1990s, Washington's neoconservative establishment grew into a far-reaching, well-funded, and powerful intellectual-political matrix in the shadow of the Clinton White House.  Groups such as the PNAC also forged links with social conservatives such as Gary Bauer and William Bennett.  Christian Right groups such as Empower America and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDOD) became involved in pushing for a conservative internationalism overseas.  In building on the biblical foundations for an apocalyptic confrontation in the Middle East, the Christian Right came to support the neoconservative [Neocon] agenda concerning Israel after having little interest in foreign policy during the 1980s and the early 1990s.  Empower America and the FDOD subsequently joined the neoconservative support for Israel's Likud Party.


Halper and Clarke state that the neoconservative media discourse after 9/11 presented a binary interpretation of the event casting it as an apocalyptic contest between good and evil, and it found support and common ground among domestic Christian conservative groups and Neocons.


Under the auspices of its second generation in the 1990s, neo-conservatism extended its links with evangelical groups to include foreign and defense policy.  The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) forged links with social conservatives such as Gary Bauer.  Christian conservative groups such as Empower America and the foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDOD) came to support the neoconservative ambition of a conservative internationalism overseas. 


Former Education Secretary and co-signatory of PNAC statement of principles William Bennett helped to bridge the gap between neo-conservatism and social conservatism.  With Jack Kemp, Bennett founded Empower America in 1999 as a conservative policy group designed to encourage conservative moral values.  William Kristol and Bennett also teamed up with pro-life leaders, such as Bauer, executive director of the Christian Legal Society, Samuel Casey president of the Christian Coalition, Roberta Combs, chairman of the Religious Freedom Coalition, and William Murray, in sending open letters to the White House on issues such as human cloning, while urging congress to pass legislation banning certain types of cloning and abortion.  After 9/11, Empower America and the FDOD helped to carry the administration's message across the media.  Neoconservative figures such as National Security council official Elliott Abrams interests in religious affairs (on which he has published extensively) were also instrumental in helping to promote the links between Washington's neoconservatives and Christian evangelicals, sometimes serving as advocates for issues of importance to religious groups such as sex trafficking and AIDS.



The links in ideology between neoconservatives and evangelicals grew more obvious after 9/11.  Evangelical leader Pat Robertson was able to join with Neocon Michael Ledeen in taking quotations from the Koran as evidence that Islam “is not a peaceful religion.”  Robertson cited events from the year 632 as evidence that a permanent jihad against those who were not part of the Islamic tradition was inherent in Islam.  He could now link terrorism directly to the demand for greater support of Israel, by claiming that America had been at war for thirty years with fanatical terrorist from the Middle East.  Like Ledeen and other neoconservatives, Robertson advocated supporting democratic insurgencies in the region and spoke of Iraq as “a source of terror and deadly terror with biological, nuclear and chemical warfare.”


Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham and head of Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief organization, spoke in a similar vein.  Together they found common ground with neoconservative figures such as Daniel Pipes and Michael Ledeen in helping to project an ever more hostile backdrop of commentary toward Arab and Islamic culture in the mainstream TV and print media.


In parallel with hostility toward Islam, scriptural considerations based on the evangelical view of Israel as the site for the second coming of Christ tended to fuel support for Israel in general and for the Likud Party in particular.  As Middle East tensions rose after the failure of the Camp David initiative, Ralph Reed joined together with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein to found the Stand for Israel, designed to mobilize political support among the grassroots Christian Community for the state of Israel and later the war on terror.


The group was created out of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which has been a central forum for promoting the relationship between evangelical Christians and American Jews since 1983.  A survey conducted after 9/11 showed that 56 percent of evangelical Christians, when asked to cite the most important reasons why they supported Israel, referred to its alliance with America in the war against terrorism.  Neoconservative Daniel Pipes remarked in July 2003, “To those who wonder why Washington follows policies so different from the European states, a large part of the answer these days has to do with the clout of Christian Zionists.”

Donald Trump promised American-Zionist billionaire Sheldon Adelson that if he would back his campaign financially, “Israel would have no better friend.”  This was tantamount to the German Army swearing allegiance to Hitler, and not to the German Constitution.  Thereby, the will of American secular society can be ignored and overridden.  Trump kept his promises to Adelson and the Christian-Zionist by moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, now by canceling the Iran Deal, thus insuring that Antisemitism will continue as part of the Middle East process.

Views: 71

Comment by koshersalaami on August 17, 2018 at 5:28am

Before you come to conclusions about Jews, I suggest you talk to some. That or maybe make enough time to read some of my posts on the subject. Hell, I’ll do PM if you have questions. Actually, in your case I’d do email if you wanted. 

The largest Jewish denomination in the United States is the Reform movement. Its position (it has one and it is my denomination) is in opposition to the Settlements and in favor of a two state solution. Netanyahu has gotten to the point when he visits the US where he spends most of his time among the extremely supportive Christian Right rather than the increasingly critical American Jewish community. So the idea that criticism of Israel indicates self-hatred as Jews is at this point complete bullshit. American Jewry is NOT represented by the neocons. A substantial majority of Jews are Democrats. I don’t think there is a single Republican Jew left in Congress (there was one in Virginia, Eric Cantor, but he lost his primary in 2016) - there are a lot of Jews in Congress - and the Jewish Justices on the Supreme Court are all in the liberal wing of the Court. 

That doesn’t mean we support BDS. The problem with BDS is twofold: 
1. When Israel’s human rights climate is about middle of the road in terms of the world’s governments - and is better than most of the rest of the Middle East right now, because most of the Middle East really is that bad - that climate is treated as though it were the worst in the world. Why does a nation with a comparatively mildly oppressive environment get to be the only US aid recipient with this kind of movement? I’m afraid there aren’t too many obvious reasons. Yes, I think BDS is antisemitic, which does not mean I think criticism of Israel is antisemitic. 

2. BDS is stupid and dangerous policy, and the why of that has to do with the Holocaust, which I’ve noticed a whole lot of gentiles who talk about Israel don’t get. The primary influence of the Holocaust is the conviction that if anyone successfully exterminated large numbers of Jews, the world cannot be counted on to help. Keep in mind that a lot of Holocaust survivors who learned this lesson personally ended up in Israel, where many survivors and the children of survivors still live. The existential threat to Israel has never let up for a single day of its existence, even when within its 1967 borders. That’s what drives Netanyahu’s reaction to Iran, a nation that has led directly to a whole lot of Israeli deaths through its sponsorship of Hezbollah in actions that were unilateral when Iran did not face any threat from Israel. Right now there are heavily armed Iranian military units within sixty miles of Israel’s border in Syria. Though I do not approve of how Netanyahu has handled America’s relationship with Iran, and his own military officials don’t either, particularly the insulting circus of addressing Congress without informing the President that he was coming, it does not follow that Israel’s assessment of Iran as threatening is illusory. It is anything but. Iran’s supplying of Hezbollah through Syria is the main source of Israeli military action in Syria and has been for a long time, a fact which tends to be ignored by those critical of Israel and oddly uncritical of Iran. But this is a tangent. The policy is dangerous because if Israel faces an immediate threat it perceives as existential and has doubts about its ability to handle such threats conventionally, the only alternative that will leave Israel is nuclear strikes. Or possibly, I suppose, lethal chemical strikes. 

As to the influence of the Holocaust on American Jews, the conviction that we are not permanently safe anywhere doesn’t come from the Holocaust. It comes from experiences all over the world since the Diaspora. The Holocaust is not unique, just big. There have been lots of places other than prewar Germany where we were accepted, then rejected. (In fact, that’s why Zionism and Israel exist - after two thousand years of this, a lot of Jews finally got fed up. Modern Zionism was actually triggered by an event in France.) The best place for Jews during the Middle Ages was Muslim Spain, followed by the Christian takeover and the Spanish Inquisition, where Jews went from acceptance to being burned at the stake for being Jewish. To use a more recent example that’s notable for an entirely different reason: The Iraqi Jewish community was driven out by the Ba’athists in modern times. In 1900, between a third and a half of Baghdad’s population was Jewish. The community dated from the Babylonian conquest of Judah when the First Temple was destroyed. Jews were forced out after being part of the community for twenty-five hundred years. I’m glad you’re so sure we’re safe. We didn’t expect to see swastika wearing Nazis marching in Charlottesville carrying torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us” while being supported by the President of the United States, but it happened. 

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on August 17, 2018 at 11:20am

Geeezzz...  here comes the dodge and weave "Not!"s...

Judaism is a religion, unless it's "not"...  Then it is a tribe... unless it's "not"...

Israel is a Jewish state, unless it's "not"...  Then it is "the only Democracy in the Middle East"... unless it's "not"...

The American Jewish community supports Israel, unless they do "not"...  Then they do "not"... unless they do...

Jews hate Netanyahu, unless they do "not"...  Then he might represent them... unless it's "not" convenient to admit it...

Holocaust is a trademarked term owned by Judaism that allows them to scream "antisemite!!!" at people they disagree with, unless it does "not" fit their argument, then it is "not unique".

BDS is "antisemitic", unless it's "not"...  because MILLIONS of both Jews and gentiles who are "NOT" antisemitic support it as a means to nonviolently protest Israel's fascist actions and apartheid policies...  which Israel and her supporters do NOT want because then their brutal attacks can't be passed off as "a response to violent protests" (which is all bullshit anyways)...

"We join with communities of conscience around the world in supporting Palestinians, who call for BDS until the Israeli government:

Ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantles the Wall; recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194."

~ Jewish Voice of Peace

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on August 17, 2018 at 11:25am

P.S.   KB, don't you realize how utterly bizarre and ironic it is for you, a white male, to lecture a woman of color about feeling "safe" in America?  SERIOUSLY??  Are you THAT insular and self-centric???

Comment by J.P. Hart on August 17, 2018 at 11:49am

Pollyanna & Me

Land of the Free, curious
No help
magical thinking

Comment by koshersalaami on August 17, 2018 at 1:10pm

It was she who brought up the Jewish safety issue. On that I’m reasonably sure I’m better informed than she is. Or you are, for that matter. 

If someone characterizes my community it is my place to comment, as if someone characterizes your community it is your place to comment. You might notice that the title of the piece involves antisemitism. 

As to what is and what is “not,” I can’t be responsible for your wanting answers that are more simple than the reality proves to be. In addition to which, your objections sound a whole lot more generic than responsive to my comment to Mary. 

You wrote a post asking a question. I wrote a post answering it. The post contained no antagonism to you or to the question. 

Gee, Kosh defended something Jewish. The nerve.

Comment by mary gravitt on August 22, 2018 at 12:21pm

What WE as Americans must understand is that our leaders rule the world.  The would is always in conflict due to leaders who want to prove that they have a Divine Right to rule.  This puts the average persons of all lands in danger.  This is the history of the West.  I say the West because I, as an American am part of the West. 

Each ethnicity within the West has its own unique history and whether Jew or Gentile we have our quirks.  What I understand about Jews is though my understanding of Blacks.  We have always been on the outside.  Just like I know that no one does not notice that I am a Negro/Black regardless of my complexion.  And in back of the cover of Whiteness, a Jew is always noticed--religious marker or not. 

In a country that wears its Christianity on its sleeve and its Hypocrisy as a public badge of honor want to see all Blacks be gone; and all the Jews who will not submit destroyed when Jerusalem is filled with Jews.  Trump's Christian supporters are the most dangerous people in America.  And to have Trump move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a Provocative act.  When to war breaks out, no one will blame Trump.  They will blame the Jews.

The late Howard Zinn tried to explain this to the Israelis.  The Israelis have always done the "dirty work" for the US.  And the Neocons have had their part in this scheme.  The Neocons are an evil in themselves.  They want to rewrite history; play to the power of the manifest destiny of the West and establish Israel as the suzerain of the Middle East, when it would be better if Israel establishes her own friend in the Middle East instead of getting involved in a sectarian war between the Sunnis and the Shiites.  In the end the Arabs, the Turks, and ISIS will gang up on Israel.  And in the end when Trump finishes playing the Whites against the Blacks-browns-reds and yellows, America itself will be destroyed in the Second Civil War.

No matter what in the world opinion will always be on the side of the Americans; and the Jews will be hated.

Reuel Marc Gerecht should have been strung up with piano wire along with all the Neocons traitors who along with PNAC and all traitors that persuaded G.W. Bush to get involved in a War on Terror: a never ending enterprise.  They plotted and planned no future but Forever War.  Now he is convincing Trump and company that war is still the answer because there is no profit in peace.   Gerecht is a Jew.  Who do you think will take the blame?


Comment by mary gravitt on August 22, 2018 at 12:22pm

I welcome any emails.  It takes me time to answer because I do not have internet at home.


You need to be a member of Our Salon to add comments!


Enemy of the Good

Posted by Tom Cordle on February 18, 2019 at 3:06pm 4 Comments

See, Sick Stories Sell, Sometimes

Posted by Robert B. James on February 18, 2019 at 9:17am 1 Comment

Not To Be Sacrilegious . . .

Posted by J.P. Hart on February 17, 2019 at 2:00pm 10 Comments


Posted by M. C. Sears on February 17, 2019 at 10:02am 6 Comments

Day Two: The Show Goes On

Posted by Robert B. James on February 17, 2019 at 8:24am 4 Comments

Two Sundays

Posted by Robert B. James on February 16, 2019 at 8:00am 0 Comments

WOW {poem}

Posted by J.P. Hart on February 16, 2019 at 4:00am 4 Comments

Bell Bottom Blues

Posted by Robert B. James on February 15, 2019 at 8:30am 3 Comments

© 2019   Created by lorianne.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service