Between Mecca and Jerusalem

December 26, 2011

( The Middle East Policy Council, formerly the slightly more truthfully named American Arab Affairs Council, founded by two American diplomats who worked in the Middle East, is typical of how the Gulfies do things. Saudis and Emiratis don’t do their own laundry or build their own buildings or pump their own gas, they hire foreigners to do it for them. The Saudi Lobby is their equivalent of the Filipino maids, British architects and Indian construction workers. Want someone to spread the smear that the Jews control America. Hire that boy who took our messages to the president, give him a budget and let’s see what he can do.

You won’t find politicians stopping by the American-Saudi Political Action Committee. Instead a whole bunch of former American ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, like Chas Freeman, explain their position to influential people, which just happens to be the position of the House of Saud.

That goes double when the target is the general public. In 2003, the Alliance for Peace and Justice ran a bunch of radio ads attacking Israel and calling for an end to the occupation. The “Alliance” was the end of a long tail that led through an ad agency to a public relations firm and to the Saudis. Qorvis Communications, founded a year before September 11, acts as the House of Saud’s PR firm. Raided by the FBI back in 04, it’s still out there and working hard for the kingdom, and has its own political action committee. Much like the way the Kuwaiti government used the law firm of Shearman and Sterling to run a campaign against Guantanamo Bay.

One Qorvis alum, Judith Barnett, another former diplomat, sits on the advisory board of J Street, the left-wing anti-Israel lobby. And the Finance Committee of the Democratic National Committee. Not to mention Amideast, formerly American Friends of the Middle East, originally the Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, an organization created to oppose the creation of Israel. Its co-founder *Kermit Roosevelt Jr had come out of the board of the Institute of Arab-American Affairs, which was headed by the same man who headed the Arab League’s office in the United States– proving that the Saudis were still playing the same game as far back as the 1940’s.

Ms. Barnett’s political activism aligns neatly with her business in The Barnett Group, which helps Middle Eastern companies overcome “trade and governmental regulatory barriers” to do business in the United States. This line of work isn’t particularly unusual for her ilk. Barnett was formerly the VP of Georgetown Global Investments Corporation, which specialized in Middle Eastern investments. GGIC was started up by Marc Ginsberg, another former ambassador to the Arab world, who blogs at the Israel Policy Forum, yet another left-wing anti-Israel group.

Tying them all together is Ambassador Robert Pelletreau, another J Street advisory board member, the original contact man for the PLO and a member of the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute, (funded by a collection of oil companies and the Sultan of Oman) and on the advisory council of the Israel Policy Forum– and is also the treasurer of Amideast. In addition to all that, he’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and on the boards of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce and the American-Iranian Council. The latter is part of the Iranian Lobby and has arranged meetings with Ahmadinejad. His former law firm, Afridi, Angell & Pelletreau is based out of the United Arab Emirates. (MORE)


Former Obama Iran adviser says ‘attack Iran now’

December 24, 2011

(Carl) A former special adviser to President Obama on Iran policy has written an article in Foreign Affairs (subscription required) in which he argues that the US should hit Iran now.

“The truth is that a military strike intended to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, if managed carefully, could spare the region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term national security of the United States,” Matthew Kroenig, a nuclear security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations who served as a strategist under Defense Secretary Robert Gates, said in an article published by Foreign Affairs Magazine.
Kroenig acknowledged that a military operation in Iran is not an “attractive prospect,” but explained that it is within the US’ power to minimize the anticipated effects.
“If it does so successfully, it can remove the incentive for other nations in the region to start their own atomic programs and, more broadly, strengthen global nonproliferation by demonstrating that it will use military force to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons,” Kroenig wrote.

The only way I can see Obama doing this is if it is the only chance he has of winning reelection. And even then, I don’t see this happening. This is not a President who is going to go to war against anyone other than Israel for anything and certainly not without UN approval.

the key words are that this guy is the former adviser… don’t get excited. sit down… shut up

The crisis of the Assad regime in Syria has already reduced Hezbollah’s power #Syria #Hezbollah #Lebanon #Assad

December 2, 2011

Council on Foreign Relations is trying to spin the leadership of Lebanon as trustworthy. this is bullshit. we should not give arms to Lebanon again. They are not to be trusted. bullshit follows…

Council on Foreign Relations seems to want to push the idea that Jumblatt is reformed.
This is bullshit. This guy is Assad’s ally…
and is trying to stay in power. Here is Jumblatt pictured with his daughter.

March 16, 1977: 

On July 2, the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah had this to say about the UN’s Special tribunal on Lebanon, which is investigating the murder of former prime minister Rafik Hariri:

the tribunal is part of the war against us, because we are leading a confrontation against Israel….The most dangerous goal of this tribunal is to create strife, a civil war in Lebanon, or especially a division between the Sunni and Shiite in Lebanon.

He has also said the Tribunal is “trying to destroy the human and social fabric of Lebanon,”  and called on all Lebanese to boycott it:

I call on every official and every citizen in Lebanon to boycott those investigators and not to cooperate with them … because all that is being offered to them reaches the Israelis. Continuing cooperation with those encourages more violations of the country and helps with the aggression against the resistance.

In January of this year, “Mr Nasrallah told a TV audience that Lebanese judges, funding and obligations to the tribunal must be removed.” Now something has changed. Today’s press in Lebanon reports that:

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah Thursday said the party will not trigger a crisis over the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon despite its continued opposition to the move. ‘In a bid to preserve political stability and to keep the government intact while reaffirming our opposition [to the court] … We don’t accept the funding but we will not create a problem, Nasrallah said during a televised speech.

What happened to those fiery words of yesteryear? Simple: the Syrian uprising. Nasrallah and Hezbollah will be among the great losers if the Assad regime is toppled, along with Iran and of course the Assad clan itself. Without Syrian support and the use of Syria for storage and delivery of weaponry from Iran, Hezbollah will be weaker.
We can also see this in the maneuvering of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, once a Syrian ally. As recently as January the headlines were “Lebanon Druze leader Walid Jumblatt sides with Hezbollah in crisis.”
As one report summarized, “Just a year ago, Jumblatt was Syria’s most vocal critic, a man who dared, long before others, to call for the downfall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose father most likely ordered the assassination of Jumblatt’s dad during Lebanon’s civil war. Then, last January, Jumblatt did a spectacular about face, siding with the Syrian and Iranian-backed Hezbollah against his former West-leaning allies.”
But by October, “Walid Jumblatt severely criticized the Syrian regime during a concert that he hosted for his friends in the city of Jbeil. Jumblatt reportedly picked up the microphone and addressed his guests by saying: “Unfortunately, we are now enjoying music while the Syrian people are revolting against oppression and tyranny.” And Jumblatt has now applauded the funding of the Tribunal, which is another step away from Syria and Hezbollah.
When the Hezbollah leader, who has repeatedly plunged Lebanon in to crisis and into war, now has to say “we will not create a problem,” tectonic plates are moving in the Middle East. Without understating Hezbollah’s strength and viciousness, the crisis of the Assad regime in Syria has already reduced its power. Assad’s fall will reduce it more. This is yet another reason why the United States should be doing all we can to bring Assad down, the sooner the better.

This is news. Jumblatt changed sides this week. don’t believe what CFR says. The reason CFR wants to picture Jumblatt as reformed so fast is because like the Democrats, CFR wants to give arms to the lebanese soldiers (which is like giving it directly to Hezbollah). The CFR post here is a lie. The game plan is that if America doesn’t give the arms then the Russians will.

Kamal Jumblatt, 60, leader of Lebanon’s Druze community, a member of the Lebanese Parliament and a Socialist-nationalist supporter of Palestinians, is assassinated by the Syrian Social Nationalist Party — which Jumblatt had legalized as interior minister some years earlier. Jumblatt was also the founder of the Progressive Socialist Party. He was the leader of the Palestinian-Muslim alliance in the Lebanese civil war, opposing Christian militias. His was assassinated likely by orders of Syria’s president, Hafez el-Assad, who briefly feared that a Palestinian-Muslim alliance in Lebanon would tip the balance of power too much in their favor in the civil war. Jumblatt is succeeded by his son, Walid. 

White House seeks Israeli agreement to negotiate on 1967 lines

June 11, 2011

Steven Simon, the new White House National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa, told representatives of the Jewish Community Friday during a conference call that the White House was looking to get both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to adopt Mr. Obama’s “principles as a basis for negotiation,” according to a recording of the call played for the Washington Times.

Clinton’s administration was agile with the terrorism issue?

The Obama administration will tap Simon, a former top National Security Council official in the Clinton administration, to head the NSC’s Middle East desk, according to Laura Rozen of The Envoy foreign policy blog on Simon would succeed Daniel Shapiro, who by default has become the top administration point man for pro-Israel groups and Israeli officials.
Simon, currently a Middle Eastern studies fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, co-wrote “Building a Palestinian State” in 2005 when he was a senior analyst at the Rand Corp., a policy institute close to the U.S. defense establishment.
The paper at the time was the most comprehensive outline for Palestinian statehood and foresaw substantive Israeli concessions in the West Bank, although it also preserved some major settlements, including Ma’aleh Adumim. via

Mr. Obama’s position is “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
Mr. Simon, who served as the Clinton White House’s top counter-terrorism official, said the United States had about a month to head off the Palestinian plan to declare a state during the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting set for September. via

“We have a month to see if we can work something out with the Israelis and Palestinians as accepting these principles as a basis for negotiations,” he said. “If that happens we are somewhat confident that the Palestinians will drop what they intend to do in the U.N.” via

but the U.S. already said it would veto a Palestinian state. There is no threat here… why is Obama making it a threat to Israel… if he says he will veto Palestine? It certainly is not the first time America vetoes Palestine. Even Baker did it and threatened to pull funds on top of that.

A third former senior U.S. official told the Envoy that Simon had been offered and accepted the NSC job, and noted that when Simon was at the Rand Corporation during the Bush administration, he had worked on a project on developing a Palestinian state. via Laura Rosen @

Joe Lieberman: Obama must make clear that he will stop Iran

October 1, 2010

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Ct) told the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday that President Obama must make it clear that the United States will stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“Some have suggested that we should simply learn to live with a nuclear Iran. In my judgment, that would be a grave mistake. And as one Arab leader I recently spoke with pointed out, how could anyone count on the United States to go to war to defend them against a nuclear-armed Iran, if we were unwilling to go to war to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran? Simply put, having tried and failed to stop Iran’s nuclear breakout, our country will be a poor position to contain its consequences.”
“It would also be a failure of U.S. leadership if this situation reaches the point where the Israelis decide to attempt a unilateral strike. If military action must come, the United States is in the strongest position to confront Iran and manage the regional consequences. This is not a responsibility we should outsource. We can and should coordinate with our many allies who share our interest in stopping a nuclear Iran, but we cannot delegate our global responsibilities to them.”
“The single most important test of American power in the Middle East today is whether we succeed or fail in stopping Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability, and how we fare on that test will surely affect our standing in the rest of the world.”
“It is time to retire our ambiguous mantra about all options remaining on the table. Our message to our friends and enemies in the region needs to become clearer: namely, that we will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability — by peaceful means if we possibly can, but with military force if we absolutely must.”

Talk, Talk, Talk