Tag Archives: US Congress

Before the Dark Forces Took Over America: Those Were the Days……..

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Sometimes, reading and listening to the media and to people, many people both here and abroad, it seems like Dark Forces have taken over America. People talk wistfully of the era of Obama, Bush, and Clinton. Yes, the era of George W Bush is also missed now as part of a Golden Age, and that is an accurate assessment given what has come after Barack Obama. Who would have thunk it way back in 2008?

That is because the Dark Forces have now completed their takeover of America, at least for now. In this dangerous bleak Year of Our, Your, and Their Lord of 2017. Only the federal courts and the media stand between them and wrecking the system so carefully crafted by the Founding Fathers of the United States. The legislature, those who are to consent and advise, have gone spineless. A combination of malevolent lawmakers in the Congress, tunnel-visioned corporate types running the executive branch, and an ignorant uninterested president are leading America to some kind of brink. (Did I leave out single-issue-focused voters?) Widening domestic class warfare and likely more permanent wars abroad, mainly new wars in the Middle East. Even as they claim to be trying to make America great again.

In that spirit, it is appropriate to listen to an old but good song that expresses the spirit of these dark times. It is sung by Mary Hopkins, and is titled Those Were the Days…….

A sad song, now even more bigly sad….

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

U.S. Congress Playing Sykes-Picot: Meddling in Iraq, Neglecting America………

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“An influential Shiite cleric threatened Wednesday to attack U.S. interests in Iraq and abroad over a congressional provision to send arms directly to Sunni and Kurdish fighters. The proposed measure in the House Republicans’ defense authorization bill for next year would distribute a quarter of the $715 million authorized to train and equip the Iraqi army outside the government’s control. It’s unclear if the provision will survive the months-long legislative process. “In the event of approving this bill by the U.S. Congress, we will find ourselves obliged to unfreeze the military wing and start targeting the American interests in Iraq — even abroad, which is doable,” said the statement on Muqtada al-Sadr’s website. In a rare turn of events, both al-Sadr and President Barack Obama signaled their opposition to the provision by House Republicans………….”

Iraqis are rightly pissed at the U.S. Congress for meddling in their internal politics. Come to think of it many Iraqis have been pisssed at the U.S. Congress for meddling in their affairs for years. Come to think of it, the American people should be pissed at the U.S. Congress for not achieving much domestically, but they are not: they keep re-electing the same putzes.

Now the Republican Congress is discussing supplying weapons directly to some regional parts of Iraq without consent of the central government in Baghdad. Or the elected Iraqi parliament. Sort of like Russia or China offering to sell weapons to Texas or Vermont directly. Or like Iran offering to sell weapons to Qatif in Saudi Arabia without the consent of Riyadh. Or like the Mexican Cartels selling weapons back to Arizona without the consent of Senator John McCain.

In recent months, nay in recent years, the U.S. Congress has shown that it can act decisively only in matters related to meddling in the Middle East (and especially on issues of concern to Israel’s Likud). Maybe it is time for them to keep their grubby hands off the internal affairs of other countries and focus on matters at home. Rather than try to re-enact the era of Sykes-Picot without the deep knowledge and experience of that era…..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Iran Nuclear Duel: Supreme Leader Khamenei vs. Supreme Leader Netanyahu………

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“Iran said on Wednesday it would only accept a deal over its contested nuclear program if world powers simultaneously lifted all sanctions imposed on it. The comments by President Hassan Rouhani came the day after U.S. President Barack Obama was forced to give Congress a say in any future accord — including the right to veto the lifting of sanctions imposed by U.S. lawmakers……………”

The United States Congress, both houses of it, has finally managed to get hold of the pending Iran Nuclear Deal. The congressional jingoists are now in control of this issue. Which very likely means that as far as the United States is concerned this deal will remain ‘pending’ for a long time, at least through the 2016 general elections.
It will be fun but also painful to watch the major candidates from both parties doing contortions and pirouettes to avoid the pitfalls of taking any clear and definable position on this issue. That especially applies to the Democrats, since the Republicans have already abdicated and handed American Middle East policy to a foreign leader. A tail that effectively leads the dog now. A triumph of campaign money over national interest.

Now the nuclear deal, as far as bilateral American-Iranian relations are concerned, will be in the hands of two Supreme Leaders. These two will decide the outcome: (1) Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for Iran, and (2) Supreme Leader Benyamin Netanyahu for the United States. I suspect the latter will have more say in the final outcome, which may mean there will be no final deal.

Which might be irrelevant, since the blockade is already unraveling. Russia has decided to resume the delivery of defensive missiles to Iran (S300). The other major countries of BRICS and others have already started the framework of an alternative or parallel world financial system that will compete with the Bretton Woods bureaucratic institutions of IBRD and IMF. That might reduce the effectiveness of this recent clamor for blockades and sanctions that Western powers seem to impose with impunity.

It is a measure of the complete domination of the Israeli tail of U.S. Middle East policy that even members of Mr. Obama’s own party were ready to defy a potential veto. Now that the U.S. position seems to be in more doubt, the Iranians are also playing hardball.
Either way, the Western sanctions are being whittled away, as they should be. Worldwide economic sanctions and blockades on whole countries only harm the people, not their rulers…………

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Ad Nauseam: Boehner Promises One Iran Bill Every Week…….

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“House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that his chamber is ready to take up the Corker-Menendez bill on approval of any Iran deal as soon as the Senate is done with it. Boehner also indicated it may not be the last Iran bill dealing with the negotiations that will come through his chamber. Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House have been lobbying lawmakers ahead of this afternoon’s meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to consider the legislation. They’re also busy at work trying to spread the message that lawmakers just want to kill any Iran deal………….”

That would be the Corker, er, Menendez, er, AIPAC Bill.

My Georgetown source (no, she is not Saudi ambassador Al Jubeir and does not frequent Cafe Milano with Arbabsiar and Mexican drug cartel types) reports the following interesting plan. If pressed by the harried media, which he probably won’t, Boehner will admit that the congressional goal is to speed things up: to introduce one Iran bill each and every week. Congressional bi-partisan carpet bombing of the Iranians (and Obama).
He added that Tom (Cotton?) had originally wanted a bill each and every day. In addition to a new taunting letter sent to Ayatollah Khamenei each and every day. He was talked out of it.

That way, he added, the Iranians may eventually see the light of day and give it up. When asked: what about the Europeans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, etc? Will they not understand the game and give up the sanctions as well in that case? He replied: that is not the script according to Bibi…………..

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The New American Jihadist Movement: Over There ……..

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“In 2006, when the Times published a piece revealing that the government, in the name of fighting terrorism, had collected the private financial information of Americans who had nothing to do with terrorism, Cotton, then an Army lieutenant stationed in Baghdad, sent a letter to the newspaper, saying that the editors should be put “behind bars.” ………… In 2012, he was elected to the House, where one of his first acts was to call for an amendment to a sanctions bill that would impose penalties not only on those who broke the law but also on their relatives, including their “great-grandkids,” “to the third degree of sanguinity.” The amendment failed—as the Washington Post pointed out, it was blatantly unconstitutional—but Cotton didn’t have much time for regret, because he had already decided to run for the Senate against Mark Pryor, the two-term Democratic incumbent, with the backing of the Tea Party Express…………..”

He said: “impose penalties not only on those who broke the law but also on their relatives, including their “great-grandkids,” “to the third degree of sanguinity.” But then he was a brash young man at the time. A brash middle-aged but powerful man can be even more dangerous.

The various American wars in the Middle East and in Muslim lands have created a whole cottage industry of people and institutions that profit from warmongering and guilt by association. And the prospects are promising for more. Never been more promising.

They have had their eyes set on an Iran war, Mother of all Middle East wars. Even the Bush (43) chickenhawks would not take the plunge: shows you how far the Republicans (and a few Democrats) have gone. Imagine how long it could last and how much it would cost and how high some defense company shares can go. And how higher that would raise the barrier along the Jordan River, even higher, one of the goals that are not articulated.

Oh, and about “the letter” to Iran meant to scuttle the nuclear negotiations and possibly provoke a new Middle East war. Juan Cole reports that Tom Cotton received over $700, 000 for his senate campaign from the right-wing Emergency Committee for Israel, another group of well-funded and frustrated but hopeful chickenhawks. Principles, even those of warmongering, don’t come cheap. But then most Republicans and many Democrats in Washington already know that.

It is a new American Jihadist movement. Just like the terrorist Caliphate of ISIS, it seeks to dominate here and to impose its will and that of its donors ‘over there’. Through continued political war here, and continued military campaigns ‘over there’.  That requires a lot of money.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Five Dollar Bill: Forget Canadian Spock, USA to Replace Abe with Bibi…….

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“Since Friday, the world has been grieving the passing of Leonard Nimoy, with many touching tributes to the man best known for his role as Spock on “Star Trek” hitting the Internet over the weekend. Perhaps one of our favorites so far is happening in Canada, where Trekkies are “Spocking Fives” by putting images of Nimoy on the country’s $5 bill…………

SpockCanada
New Canadian

AbeLincoln –> NetanyahuLooney3                                                                                                      Proposed US change
NetanyahuLooney2
New face of GOP

My very own special incredible Congressional source is reporting that this Canadian move has inspired the U.S. Congress. If the Canucks can honor Mr. Spock (Nimoy) on the $5 bill, why not the US? So, she reports that a bi-partisan group of representatives and senators are getting ready to propose a similar U.S. move.  No, it has nothing to do with Spock.

Fresh from their verbal oral interaction with Benyamin Netanyahu last week, still in the grips of the afterglow, the law-makers will propose that the USA replace Abe Lincoln with Benyamin Netanyahu on the $5 bill. With the cost of living and ‘entertainment’ now so high in Washington, they claim, Abe Lincoln can’t buy you as much as he used to.

Americans will have the joy of carrying Bibi in their wallets, and even giving him back to the tune of $5-6 billion every year. Besides, it is a New Republican Party now, it needs a new symbolic and final break with its distant shameful and inconvenient past……….
Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Meir Dagan of Mossad: ‘Chickenshit Spewed Bullshit at U.S. Congress’…….

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“Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan lambasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a Channel 2 interview previewed Thursday, calling his speech before Congress “bullshit,” and charging that his policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians endangered the Zionist dream……… In a snippet from Dagan’s reaction to Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress on Tuesday — which he watched alongside a Channel 2 reporter — Dagan can be seen muttering at the screen “bullshit” after Netanyahu makes a point on Iran’s progress in its nuclear program………..”

So this former chief of the Mossad, like other top Israeli commanders, don’t think much of Benyamin Netanyahu. They call Chickenshit’s speech Bullshit. They would know: have been close enough to him to know, and maybe familiarity does breed contempt in this case.
As for members of the U.S. Congress (both houses): how can they tell? They have been acclamatised or desensitized to bullshit, they produce so much of it themselves………

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

A Fatwa on the Nuclear Deal: What If……..

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From the Netanyahu speech and the orgasmic reaction of the members of the U.S Congress, we have learned that it all has little to do with the nuclear issue as far as Israel and its Washington lobby are concerned. It is more about forcing a certain foreign policy path on the Obama administration so that it would try to force certain regional policies on Iran. Which means it is aimed at certain failure and increasing tensions in the Middle East, possibly leading to another war against yet another Muslim country. But Netanyahu has no intention of waging a futile war alone: he wants to drag the United States into it. Which might mean creating and inviting Shi’a extremists to open a second front against the West. Great, so much for the ‘war on terror’. 

What about the rest of the world? The Germans, Russians, French, Chinese, British, and billions of others who are not Netanyahu cheerleaders? The rest of the world that is not necessarily captive to moneyed American or Israeli lobbyists, powerful special interests, Rapture-obsessed evangelical Christian Zionists, and bigoted Las Vegas tycoons? Those who are truly concerned about the nuclear issue and have no other ‘foreign’ agenda imposed on them?
If they like ‘the deal’ but Washington is too afraid to accept it? They are likely to reject American dictates, which in that case would be Israeli dictates. The sanctions will get much weaker, since they will become even more unilaterally American. Can the extreme right wing in America, the half of the government that is a proxy for the extreme Israeli right wing, force its agenda and the Iran blockade on the rest of the industrial world? On the rest of the world? Highly unlikely………..

So my fatwa is that failure of the talks will very likely also weaken the Western blockade as well. So shall it be written, so shall it be done. Probably……

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

The Bibi Political Circus Hits Washington: Netanyahu’s Nuclear Looney Tunes………..

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A polarizing figure, a celebrity, and a supremely opportunistic politician. Now he brings his circus into enemy territory: Washington DC. It has been a circus,a diplomatic and political and media circus these past few weeks. Of the kind that only a celebrity (in America) like Netanyahu could deliberately provoke and organize. Besides Israeli politics he also seeks to deliberately embarrass and disrespect the black man he probably detests the most: Barack Obama. He would never do that to a white president. He also knows the nuclear negotiations have their own logic, be they successful or not.

Folks at the White House consider him a ‘chickenshit’.

Many Democrats, be they Jewish or gentile, see him as either a chickenshit or just a political hustler following his only path to keeping his job. Most of them would not dare say so publicly. Some of them have already decided to throw Obama under the bus and attend the Netanyahu political rally.

Most Republicans see him as the man who will lead the Jewish people to a belated conversion to the old Jewish sect of Jesus Christ. At the time of the Rapture.

A couple of star-struck extreme American neoconservative groupies even have a form of man-crush on him. They have taken to comparing him to Churchill, evoking Munich and the Holocaust and all that.

Will he use his staple of Looney Tunes Road Runner WileCoyote cartoons again to illustrate the nuclear issue? It should be interesting when the the bull is spread and let us see how much of it sticks to the ceiling of the Capitol.

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Netanyahu’s Good Arab Proverb: the Dogs Bark but Will the Caravan Move On?……..

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The Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On: الكلاب تنبح والقافلة تسير” A very good Arab proverb.

“It is said that Israelis’ favorite philosopher is Spinoza. I approve. Iranian intellectuals are less able to speak their minds in Iran’s unfree media than their Israeli counterparts (though there is a price to too much frankness in Israel, as well), but one on one they are also level-headed and clear-eyed. I suspect Iranians’ favorite philosopher is Rumi. If so, again, I approve. In fact, I think Rumi and Spinoza would have gotten along famously. Unfortunately contemporary Iran and contemporary Israel don’t get along at all politically, which sets the stage for the Washington melodrama planned for March 3, when Israel’s belligerent prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, will address Congress in a bid to undermine President Obama’s diplomacy with Iran on their civilian nuclear enrichment program…………”

“The coming weeks will put the relationship between their countries, which otherwise remain stalwart allies, to one of its toughest tests. Netanyahu is bound for Washington for an address to Congress on Tuesday aimed squarely at derailing Obama’s cherished bid for a diplomatic deal with Tehran. At the same time, Secretary of State John Kerry and other international negotiators will be in Switzerland for talks with the Iranians, trying for a framework agreement before a late March deadline………….”

There is an excellent Arab saying or proverb: “The Dogs Bark, but the Caravan Moves On= الكلاب تنبح والقافلة تسير“.
It seems that the caravan of the Iranian and P5+1 negotiations is moving on, even as Mr. Netanyahu and his American groupies become more shrill. Even as they intensify the campaign against a deal aimed at avoiding yet another Western war against a Muslim country. Throwing all kinds of distortions at the media here, while inserting himself and his reelection campaign into a tense American political situation. Something no foreign leader has ever done, not with the connivance of a major American political party. Not in this century.

So, the dogs bark and will continue to do so, but will the caravan of peaceful negotiations keep moving on?

Here is what I wrote on this many long months ago:
He has been warning them for more than twenty years now that the Iranians are only six months away from a nuclear bomb. From way back in the 1990s, when he was fear-mongering to win his first election, he claimed that the mullahs were about to go ‘nuclear’. I am surprised Europeans still listen to him (American politicians are different, they have their own ‘compelling’ excuses for listening to him). Over two decades, Mr. Netanyahu and his ministers have promised the world a lot of unrealized nuclear slam dunks about Iran………..”

Cheers

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com