This could come about only through control of Syria by some European power or powers or by international concert. The number of Jews in Palestine is today so small and their position so artificial a product of Zionist stimulation that further immigration of Jews could come only through large capitalization by wealthy Jews throughout the world.
--Lothrop Stoddard and Glenn Frank, Stakes Of The War: Summary of the various Problems, Claims and Interests of the Nations at the Peace Table (1918)
David Stockman recalls that even "the Great Decider," George W. Bush, ultimately threw in the towel. In his memoir he confessed that it would have been hard to explain to the American public why he was launching another war to eliminate an alleged Iranian WMD threat when his own intelligence agencies had just concluded it did not even exist!
Indeed, the war rumors about Iran's alleged nuclear-weapons program were then being beaten loudly by the very same crowd--Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bolton, Feith and the like--that had falsified the WMD claims against Saddam Hussein.
This cabal had resorted to the same kind of falsified intelligence that the first time around had generated the infamous "curve-ball" pictures of Saddam's alleged biological-weapons labs that turned out to be pasteurized-milk plants.
This time it was a bunch of falsified drawings and nuclear weapons plans mysteriously found on a laptop computer that had been turned over by an Iranian dissident group called the MEK. The latter, ironically, had long been allied with Saddam Hussein and had been on the State Department terrorist list from 1997 to 2012.
So it needs to be shouted from the rafters that all the arm waving and screeching against this deal by the GOP warmongers and the Israeli lobby is grounded in a Big Lie. The whole Iran-is-after-the-bomb narrative is just WMD 2.0
Indeed, the War Party had been so shrill and unrelenting in promulgating this
trumped-up story that the other side of the equation is hardly known to the American public. Yet, the overwhelming weight of the evidence over more than three decades--including information obtained by the IAEA during the course of extensive investigations--is that Iran's primary aim has been to obtain enrichment capacity for it civilian reactors.
In fact, when it incipient weapons-research program was shut down on 2003, the Ayatollah Khamenei took a decisive step to remove all doubt inside the Iranian government. He issued a fatwa (ban) against the possession of nuclear weapons by the Islamic Republic.
NOT EVEN HOUDINI COULD BREAK OUT OF THE NUKE AGREEMENT'S CONTAINMENT CHAINS
Stockman comments after all, why would a nation purportedly motivated by a fiendish desire to get the bomb ever agree to a network of restrictions, controls, roadblocks and handcuffs from which not even Houdini could escape? All of this containment machinery would keep the Iranian regime many steps--nay, many miles--removed from anything even remotely resembling an A-bomb capability.
The agreement is designed to virtually suffocate even the civilian nuclear industry that Iran has proclaimed to its purpose all along. And needless to say, that is something that it is entitled to--including uranium-enrichment capabilities--as one of the 193 signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The later, of course is most definitely a nonexclusive club--since it includes every nation on the planet except India, Pakistan, South Sudan and Israel.
Under any rational assessment of the agreement, therefore, suffocation of its incipient civilian nuclear-power industry is exactly what Iran has embraced. It has done so in the name of ending the wholly unnecessary confrontation with the West over its mythical nuclear-weapons program and to thereby gain relief from the sadistic regime of sanctions that have so drastically and unfairly punished its 77 million innocent citizens.
Iran has agreed it will dismantle the core of its heavy water reactor at Arak, which would produce plutonium as a by-product. Although such waste material cannot be used to make a bomb without a reprocessing plant, which Iran does not have and could not likely get. Iran has agreed to replace the current core with an alternative non-weapons capable reactor technology.
Finally, wrapped around all these limited capacities for civilian enrichment will be a cradle-to-grave inspection regime covering its entire nuclear fuel cycle. This will put inspectors on the ground and sophisticated monitoring equipment in place at its uranium mines, milling plants, storage and transportation facilities, processing plants, centrifuge operations, civilian reactors, waste-handling and processing stations and all the supporting services and equipment supply and maintenance activities along the entire route.
In short, Iran has agreed to put what will be a tiny civilian nuclear-power and uranium-enrichment industry into a wholly transparent fishbowl. The inspection and monitoring system will be so exhaustive and intrusive that it will resemble the lock-down in a high-security federal prison, and, in fact, will make Iran's entire sovereign territory subject to inspection demands "anytime and anywhere"--including its military facilities.
A GIANT TISSUE OF LIES THAT WILL DESTROY AMERICA IS NOW EXPOSED
Stockman believes that the fulminations of Senators McCain, Graham and the rest of the GOP War Party, along with the hysterical bellowing of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his legions of lobbyists on the Potomac, have nothing to do with the actual nation of Iran and the actual leaders who signed the agreement.
The War Party is attacking a giant fiction and tissue of lies of its own making--an untruthful narrative that is grounded in pure politics, not the security interests of the citizens of either America or Israel.
Indeed, the three-decades-long demonization of Iran has served one overarching purpose. Namely, it has enabled both branches of the War party to conjure up a fearsome enemy, thereby justifying aggressive policies that call for a constant state of war and military mobilization.
Stockman declares that when the Cold War officially ended in 1991, the Cheney crowd [of Neocons] in the George H. W. Bush White House feared the kind of drastic demobilization of the U.S. military-industrial complex that was warranted by the suddenly more pacific strategic environment. In response, they developed an anti-Iranian doctrine that was explicitly described as a way of keeping defense spending at high Cold War levels. The narrative they developed to this end is one of the more egregious Big Lies ever to come out of the Beltway. The story is the same for the Israeli branch of the War Party.
In lieu of a two-state solution in the territory of Palestine, Israeli policy has aimed to produce a chronic state of war with Hezbollah and its Iranian ally.
And that goes to the heart of Netanyahu's Big Lie. His relentless claim that Iran is out to annihilate Israel and by implication liquidate its Jewish population is a preposterous distortion and exaggeration of Iran's policy, as articulated by its supreme leader himself.
The real issue is the Palestinian question and the gross injustices that the Palestinian diaspora outside of Israel's current borders, and the occupied populations pinned inside the massive settler communities of the West Bank, has suffered for decades.
But even then, Iran dies not propose to seek redress for the Palestinians by dropping nuclear bombs on Israel or sending in its own feeble military or even hordes of hired terrorists.
What is at stake in the nuclear agreement is of truly epochal importance. The Iranians have signed the agreement in good faith and have locked up any potential for development of a nuclear weapon that they do not want, and have thrown away the key.
Look at the jubilation on the streets of Iran that came after the announcement. It was owing to the prospect that the West's brutal sanctions will be lifted, and that their country now has a pathway back into the community of nations.
Stockman posits that Israel ought to think its lucky stars that two flawed but inspired politicians--Barack Obama of the United States and Hassan Rouhani of Iran--found it possible to transcend 30 years of lies and enmities on both sides in order to give peace a chance.
More importantly, as Iran comes back into the community of nations and re-enters global commerce it will give the citizens of Israel an opportunity to see that they have been betrayed and jeopardized by the terrible lies, bullying, megalomania and insuperable will to power of Bibi Netanyahu.
The path to a better, safer future for Israel's citizens does not lie in the repeal of this agreement on the floor of the U.S. Congress during the [Trump] administration.
Stockman promises a better future lies, instead, in a resounding repudiation of the Netanyahu government the very next time the Israeli voters have the chance to go to the polls.
What is so worrisome about the Netanyahu-Adelson-Trump connection is that these Zionist is a case of grosse tete et peu de sens, big heads and little wit. The Neocons, American Zionists, manufactured the War on Terror and the Wall Street Crash that threatened to lead to the American Holocaust. Fortunately, the election of Barack Obama was such a cultural shock that killing Jews because of Wall Street shenanigans went out of mind, but still rest in the subconscious. The Neo-Nazis chant of "Jews will not replace us," should be a warning that Hitler and his plans for eradication never died in the Eurocentric heart. Netanyahu with his confidence in the Right-Wing Christian fundamentalist and Securing The Realm, and Adelson with his trust in his wealth, had better reexamine their faith in Donald Trump's ability to remain President if he draws the American military into a war to protect the interest of Israel over Realpolitik interests of the United States. Tillerson, the CIA, and Pence are waiting-in-the-wings.
While President Trump plans to announce his view on the nuclear deal with Iran, leaders in Iran have been making their statements and giving hints to their strategy as well.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
This week, we expect President Trump to address the U.S. approach to Iran. A central question is what to do about the nuclear deal with that country. His secretary of state and secretary of defense have said the deal is in the U.S. national interest, but the president has said he does not like this deal negotiated by President Obama's administration. He faces a deadline for a decision that could start the U.S. down the road toward potentially backing out. So that's the view from Washington. NPR's Peter Kenyon has been listening for the view from Iran.
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AHMAD KHATAMI: (Speaking Farsi).
PETER KENYON, BYLINE: That's hard-line cleric Ahmad Khatami at Friday prayers in Tehran last week, broadcast by Iranian state television. He's saying America has broken both the spirit and the letter of the JCPOA. That's the nuclear deal. He also says, neither the U.S. nor Europe can be trusted.
President Trump is required by Congress to certify that Iran is still holding up its end of the nuclear deal. If he doesn't do that this week, Congress could reimpose sanctions on Iran. Trump and other critics of the deal say it does nothing to contain Iran's destabilizing actions in the Middle East or to restrict its ballistic missile program.
Some of Iran's reactions have been predictably threatening. Revolutionary Guard commanders have weighed in. One says, the U.S. would need to move its regional bases out of range of Iranian missiles if the deal is violated. But Iran watchers say rhetorical bluster isn't a reliable predictor of how Tehran will respond to pressure.
Last month, President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News that Iran could certainly ramp its nuclear program back up if the deal falls apart. But he added through an interpreter that it wouldn't be the first to walk away from the accord.
PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI: (Through interpreter) And that's not difficult. We can easily go back to previous conditions if counterparts were to not live up to their commitments. But you do know fairly well that Iran will not be the initiator of this return to that path.
KENYON: The stakes for Tehran are high. Losing the sanctions relief it gained by agreeing to sharply restrict its nuclear program for at least a decade could threaten billions of dollars' worth of business deals now in the works. And despite the release of billions more in frozen assets under the deal, Iran is only in the early stages of rebuilding its economy.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has sometimes taken a different approach, pointing out the benefits to the West of staying in the nuclear deal. In a September conversation with journalist Charlie Rose, Zarif said, under the agreement, Iran is scheduled to make permanent the enhanced, more intrusive nuclear inspections known as the additional protocol. It's currently accepting those only temporarily. But, Zarif added, it would be unlikely to do so if Congress put sanctions back on Iran.
MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF: So if Congress behaves, in six years from now, we will be ratifying the additional protocol. Additional protocol is the most intrusive inspection regime that is available.
KENYON: Tariq Rauf is a former official with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA carries out the more intrusive inspections Zarif was talking about. He says keeping those in place is vital. And he wonders if other countries might maintain the nuclear deal and keep right on trading with Iran even if Washington does restore U.S. sanctions.
TARIQ RAUF: Yeah, I think that would not be a bad outcome. And there have been signals, I believe, from Iran that the Iranians would be prepared to live with that. They would be unhappy about the U.S., but they wouldn't walk out of the deal if the rest of the partners continued to honor it.
KENYON: But that would be much less likely if Congress adds punitive measures against other countries for doing business with Iran. So besides Iran, Europe will also be watching closely as America signals a shift in its Iran policy away from diplomacy and toward possible confrontation. Peter Kenyon, NPR News, Istanbul.
New research explores our tendency to label mass shooters as either mentally ill or as terrorists, based on whether they are Muslim or not.
David Becker/Getty Images
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, inevitably everyone turns to the question of why - why would someone do something so horrific? President Trump was asked this very question right before he boarded Marine One. And here's what he said.
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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He was a sick man, a demented man, a lot of problems, I guess. And we're looking into him very, very seriously, but we're dealing with a very, very sick individual.
MARTIN: Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo used another term to describe the shooter.
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JOSEPH LOMBARDO: I can't get into the mind of a psychopath at this point.
MARTIN: A demented individual, a psychopath - these might seem like perfectly accurate ways to describe the 64-year-old Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, but new social science research suggests we don't reach for those terms for all shooters. To understand more, we are joined by NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam Hi, Shankar.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hello, Rachel.
MARTIN: What does this new research say?
VEDANTAM: It's ongoing work by the psychologist Azim Shariff for the University of California at Irvine. Along with Brett Mercier and Adam Norris, Shariff has run experiments with several hundred volunteers. So he gives them accounts of different kinds of mass shooting events with different kinds of perpetrators. These are hypothetical events, Rachel, and he asked volunteers to judge if a shooter suffered from a mental disorder. Shariff says that the terms we use are often shaped by our own attitudes, especially if the shooter is Muslim.
AZIM SHARIFF: For people high in anti-Muslim prejudice, people are very unlikely to perceive the Muslim shooter to be mentally ill. But people are completely comfortable in saying that the Christian shooter was mentally ill.
MARTIN: So that's interesting because when you describe someone as being mentally ill, embedded in that is a sense of helplessness, right? Like, they're crazy. We can't do anything about it.
VEDANTAM: That's right. And of course, in the criminal justice system, having a mental illness can sometimes be exculpatory. We say that people shouldn't be held responsible because they're ill. Shariff and his colleagues also think that the terms we reach for have something to do with our own desire to distance ourselves from people who do terrible things.
SHARIFF: If you're a Christian or if you're an American and there's an American or a Christian or whomever does something, if you can paint them as aberrant, that means that now you have a different explanation for why they'd be a shooter. It does not reflect upon your group at all.
MARTIN: So it would have nothing to do with one's race, ethnicity or religion. It would be this exception, this exception to the norm.
MARTIN: So at the same time, I think reasonable people can argue that anybody who opens fire or you know kills a lot of people is to some degree mentally ill.
VEDANTAM: I think that's absolutely right, Rachel. In fact, given that we diagnose disorders like psychopathy by observing people's willingness to do terrible things, it's reasonable to say that Stephen Paddock's behavior seems psychopathic. Shariff thinks that one problem with the way we reach for these terms might be that we don't do it often enough. In fact, as many as 40 percent of lone wolf shooters may indeed have a mental illness. If we use such terms for all perpetrators, he thinks it might help us reduce the risk posed to us by emotionally troubled individuals.
SHARIFF: If part of what's causing these problems, these mass shootings, that are actually on the increase is mental illness and we're not taking that seriously because we have this inborn prejudice against a certain group, then we're less likely to solve these issues.
VEDANTAM: You know, Rachel, the research is not saying that we are wrong to reach for psychological terminology when it comes to mass shooters. All that it's saying is that we use such language inconsistently and that our choices might sometimes be shaped by our own hidden biases.
MARTIN: Shankar Vedantam is NPR's social science correspondent. He's also the host of a podcast that explores the unseen patterns in human behavior. It's called Hidden Brain. Thanks, Shankar.