Disclosure: Myron Fenster is author of the book "Up from the Straits: A Memoir," former editor of Conservative Judaism - a journal published by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America - and a contributor to publications including Newsday and the Jerusalem Post. He is rabbi emeritus of the Shelter Rock Jewish Center in Roslyn, N.Y., and currently the rabbi of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Greenport, N.Y. Al Sharpton hosts the MSNBC show "Politics Nation," and Grim is a contributor to the network.
The Holocaust Card:
Rabbi Myron Fenster: Nuclear Iran Existential Threat to Jews
By Jim Meyers and Brett Sandala
07 May 2012
Rabbi and author Myron Fenster tells Newsmax that Israel must take the threat of a nuclear Iran seriously and not make the mistake Jews made regarding Hitler's threats before the Holocaust.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Fenster discussed the significance of Israel to Jews, the Six-Day War, his involvement in the American civil rights movement, Judaism in the United States today, the Arab Spring, and more.
He said his lifelong ambition is to bring about an integration of American values with his Jewish tradition.
Fenster was asked if he agrees with noted attorney Alan Dershowitz's assertion that Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapon would pose an existential threat to Israel and possibly the danger of a second Holocaust.
The Race Card:
Reverend Al Sharpton: Black Churches Are About To Start Lobbying For The Iran Deal
By Ryan Grim 14 August 2015
WASHINGTON -- The Rev. Al Sharpton plans to call on black churches to organize support for the nuclear agreement with Iran as early as Saturday, he told The Huffington Post. "We have a disproportionate interest, being that if there is a war, our community is always disproportionately part of the armed services, and that a lot of the debate is by people who will not have family members who will be at risk," Sharpton said.
"I am calling on ministers in black churches nationwide to go to their pulpits Sunday and have their parishioners call their senators and congressman to vote yes on the Iran nuclear plan."
Sharpton has previously nudged Cory Booker on Twitter regarding the senator's position, arguing that the New Jersey Democrat couldn't quote Tupac on war while also opposing the deal.
Booker is under pressure back home to oppose the deal and is close with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who has been an outspoken opponent of negotiating with Iran.
Sharpton has reached out to Booker, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and other New York Democrats but decided he wanted to take the movement national, he told HuffPost.
"There needs to be a balance in this. Clearly lobbyists and others like AIPAC are pushing on their side and there needs to be an organized effort on the other side. And we're kicking it off tomorrow morning," Sharpton said. "A lot of Democrats, I think, should have to consider how their voters will feel in their base vote."
The deal is within striking distance of having the support needed to survive, but many wobbly Democrats are still claiming to be undecided. Black Churches Are About To Start Lobbying For The Iran Deal
Iran Nuclear Deal. Race Card v Holocaust Card Red Herring
By Lil Joe
The race card is a politico-ideological invention of ruling class politicians and demagogues used to justify genocidal conquests, as in North America the European invaders killing off indigenous Americans. The same with Brits in Australia regarding Aborigines. This is also what's happening in Palestine __ Zionist occupation of Palestine -- mass murder by bombing campaigns, mass arrests and police intimidation of native Palestinians by European and American settler-colonists. This is universal colonial conquest behavior and not about being 'Jews'. The American slave holding landed aristocrats also used political and ideological demagogues. Race ideology in the U.S. was used to justify chattel slavery.
The extremely hard conditions of the plantation colonies meant that the owners, and the colonial authorities, always faced the possibility of revolt. As long as black slaves and white servants worked alongside each other this included the possibility of joint action, however temporary. In 1676, for example, Bacon's rebellion in Virginia had involved servants, slaves and freemen. Rare as such risings might have been, they terrified those in authority. Increasingly, laws were passed to enforce racial segregation. Such laws helped to create a form of racial solidarity among the white colonists. Increasingly whites, even poor whites, could identify themselves as a part of the privileged race. The privilege of their colour exempted them from slavery and granted them certain civil rights. The plantation owners' fear of resistance and rebellion evolved into a more general white fear of black rebellion. In these ways slavery was crucial to forming the new racial identities in the American colonies. Slavery and the rise of capitalism, Issue 33
Racial consciousness is the content of identity consciousness which has been internalised. It would've and does still require critical thinking communist conscious workers to recognize the alien character of bourgeois ideology to successfully identify, resist and refute racial ideological consciousness. Such working class class consciousness didn't exist in the 16th -17th century. It does today!
Race cards are historical. At first sight ironic and obviously contradictory that "Jews" and 'African American' politicians, ideologists and opportunists have appropriated race ideology, insomuch as the race ideology of the anti-semitic Nazis and racist Ku Klux Klan was used to oppress Jews qua Jews and Blacks qua Blacks. The seeming anomaly is not so strange, nor in material reality is it an antinomy (Kant). Once subjected to materialist class analysis using dialectic (Hegel) analytical method the anomaly is explained and antinomy sublated. What Nazi government and Zionist government and Ku Klux Klan and Black Democrats in the U.S. government had or have in common is each government is a political representative of its nation's ruling classes.
Today, the race card is used by opportunists and demagogues picturing of 'Jews' and 'people of colour' as victims, but the objectification of Zionism in the form of the Israeli garrison State is an oppressive occupation State of an Apartheid regime based on violence and Blacks in the U.S. government are State embodiments just as vicious and repressive of American 'people of colour'. Palestinians are the victims of Zionist occupation of Palestine. The repressive, vicious Zionist occupation and repression of Palestinians has nothing to do with the European holocaust. Netanyahu is not a segregated Jew in a Warsaw Ghetto but the head of a garrison State and Obama isn't an African slave on a plantation or a share cropper in Mississippi oppressed by the Ku Klux Klan State. Obama is head of State, the Commander and Chief of the U.S. armed forces.
Classes rule. It is the most powerful, dominant economic classes that are the political ruling classes. Consequently, as it is not the consciousness of men and women that determine their existence but, to the contrary its their social being that determines their consciousness and in class society the ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling classes grasped as ideas and transmitted as culture. Ruling ideas are by culture transmitted to individuals. By socialisation -- upbringing, including official 'education' -- in the schools and Churches across the U.S. from birth individual Americans are appropriated into a highly ideological religious and racialised culture by which concepts and prejudices of religious doctrines and racial identities are internalised.
In some cases __ i.e. among the world's oppressed masses and exploited classes __ religion is the heart of a heartless world and spirit in their spiritless condition. Yet religious doctrine and racial identity is determined by politics. The phantoms formed in the human brain, religion, politics, race, morality, metaphysics, and their corresponding forms of consciousness, thus no longer retain the semblance of independence. As an ideological weapon used by the U.S. ruling class politicians and propagandists in America, religious and racial consciousness is ideological false consciousness used as political tools to define or describe 'issues' as red herrings that divert critical thinking from material analysis of material conditions and issues.
Conflicts of material class interests are ideologically articulated as differences of opinion. This in America more often than not is articulated in the language of religion and race.The Bible is a political tool. The Zionists and the racialists use the same Bible. Zionism and Black racialism as articulated by "Jews" and "Blacks" respectively, has been used for practical political and ideological purposes and benefits. The holocaust card is a red herring with respect to material interests and conflicts of interests in the Middle East because the history of the real holocaust -- I say history and real because there has been more than the one in Germany 1930s - 40s, because it actually happened.
But, it happened in Christian Europe __ e.g. the Crusades, the Bubonic Plague . . . which was blamed on the Jews being permitted to live in Christian kingdoms as causing God's wrath.
In 1189, the Third Crusade began. At its head was the English king, Richard I, popularly known as Richard the Lionheart. In popular imagination he is commonly portrayed as a great and noble warrior. In actuality, he was an exceedingly deceitful, immoral, cunning and vicious person. His motivation in leading the Third Crusade was basically political. He was not very religious, although in the Middle Ages everyone was religious. Everyone believed in heaven and hell. But kings like Richard felt they could buy their way out or in. He had himself crowned at least three times, because his status as the rightful king of England was always contested. Before embarking on the crusade, during his coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1189, he incited a mob against the Jews and initiated the first pogrom in the city of London. Hundreds of Jews were beaten to death, robbed and burned alive. Jewish homes were burned down, and several Jews were forcibly converted. That was before the crusade. Expulsions and Burnings
From 1349 until about 1390, the Jewish communities of France, Germany and England almost disappeared completely. In 1350, Frankfurt had over 19,000 Jews. By 1400, not 10 Jews were left. That typified the situation in many other communities throughout Western Europe. In addition to Christian persecution, Jews were also dying from the Black Death. It is hard to tell whether proportionally more Jews died from the plague or the persecutions. The Black Death
No genocidal campaign against Jews has ever occurred in Muslim Asia. Quite the opposite. Islamic kingdoms dutifully following the teachings of the Quran provided sanctuary for Jews, regarded as 'the people of the book' . . .
After the Jews were sent into exile in 70 CE, the main Jewish community in the Diaspora was Babylonia. It was the only place in the world where Christianity did not take over, and therefore, the Jews thrived there. They built their own yeshivas and lived autonomously. Thus, they were free to engage in the centuries of scholarship that produced the Talmud.
In the 9th century, the Jewish community in Babylonia began to decline, so many Jews went to North Africa, which was populated by two Moslem tribes: the Berbers and the Moors. The Berbers were fierce warriors, while the Moors were artisans, mathematicians, and merchants - the cutting edge of civilization. Together, they became a tremendous force in the world.
The Jews saw they had opportunity with them, particularly with the Moors, who were less religious and therefore, more tolerant. In other Moslem countries where the Jews lived, they had to accept the status of dhimmi,second-rate citizen. Their synagogues had to be unobtrusive, and they had to keep a low profile. All that changed with the Moors. Their alliance with the Jews lasted almost 400 years, and by the time the Moors were emigrating from North Africa into Spain, they brought along the Jews not as dhimmis, but as equals.
Thus, the Sephardic Jews lived in an open and intellectually advanced society. The study of philosophy abounded, so Sephardic Jewish scholarship became philosophical. The Jews also rose in public life, becoming government ministers. Maimonides was court physician to the Sultan of Egypt. Individual Jews sometimes suffered assaults from their Moslem neighbors, but there were no Crusades, no pogroms per se, no Holocaust. The Origins of Sephardim and Ashkenazim
It's both historically false and presently ridiculous that "Christian Europe" -- Germany, France, Britain -- and the the United States are presenting Islam as a 'religion of hate' and 'anti-semitic'. Together with Judaism and Christianity, Islam is Bible based.
The claim of the governments of these countries to put in place the Iran nuclear deal ostensibly to protect the "Jews" in the State of Israel from the Islamic Republic of Iran is ridiculous to the core. What the states of Germany, France, Britain -- and particularly U.S. imperialism -- is protecting __ or, rather, advancing, is their mutual and respective imperialist interests. It was in these country's capitalist ruling class's interests, minus Germany, in 1948, that the Zionist occupation State that calls itself Israel was established and armed against Palestinians and Arab nations, in the first place.
This is what the Suez War was all about. This is what U.S. Middle East policy is all about! In the U.S. the Bible and the holocaust are used to justify providing billions of dollars in direct monetary and military aid to the nuclear armed Apartheid garrison State, that calls itself "Israel". Black members of Congress and the media are just as much imperialist supporters of Zionism.
Race politics and ideology was used by German Nazi politicians to legitimize the genocidal policies against Jews. Race was used to justify slavery in the U.S. After the Civil War's emancipation of Blacks from chattel slavery the ideology of race was used to shore up the system of racial segregation and justify discrimination. In the contemporary political world race ideology is used by Zionists and Black racialists to advocate government agendas, using past wrongs to promote submission to State policy.
Zionist ideology notwithstanding, oppression of Jews in Europe by European States does not justify the Zionist garrison State's vicious oppression of Palestinians in Palestine. Similarly, Black nationalist ideological accusation of 'white skin privilege' notwithstanding, working class whites today don't benefit from, nor are they responsible for the Atlantic slave trade and chattel slavery or for contemporary police killings of Black, Latino and white working class and oppressed poor folk, in inner-city poverty stricken American cities. [visit website for recent stats: Investigation: Police shootings]
Hitherto, using the holocaust prevention card for their justification Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the Republicans in these Chambers, have in unison played the 'protect the 'Jewish' State from an 'existential threat' and 'second holocaust' card. This is not for the sake of 'protecting Jews'. It is all about U.S. imperialist foreign policy. The establishing of the Zionist regime and feeding it as a military outpost of imperialism cost money and political commitment.
Israel aid remains untouched in 2014 US budget proposal: Under 2014 budget proposal submitted by U.S. President Barack Obama to Congress on Wednesday, Israel would receive $3.4 billion in total military aid, including $220 million for the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
Israel would receive $3.4 billion in total military aid under the 2014 U.S. budget proposal sent to Congress by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, virtually unchanged from its current level of military aid from the U.S.
Obama's proposal includes $3.1 billion in general military aid for Israel, similar to 2013, plus a separate request for $220 million to finance the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system. In 2013, funding for Iron Dome was not included in the president's original budget proposal, but $210 million was added later on by Congress. Obama's 2014 proposal also allocates $96 million for joint U.S.-Israel research and development projects, including the David's Sling and Arrow missile defense systems. The overall budget proposal that Obama submitted to Congress on Wednesday totaled $3.8 trillion.
The proposed budget hopes to tame galloping deficits by raising taxes on the wealthy and trimming benefit programs. The proposal includes $1.8 trillion in new deficit cuts over the next decade as the U.S. tries to reduce its debt.http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=8527
Universal common class interests is the content Identity of interests of those in power and determine general international and domestic State policies. Yet differences emerge concerning specific strategy and tactical implementation. Classes rule but Parties govern. There are different Parties and factions within Parties. There are inevitable tactical disagreements between Israeli Zionist and U.S. imperialist government's tactical operations. The differences concerning the Iran nuclear deal is in this way explained.
Democratic Party, as well as the Republican Party, represent economic and political ruling class interests, or/and factions of the ruling classes. Colour of course can be and is used by Black Democrats to manipulate colour struck American audiences. Guilt-ridden gullibility, no 'white' American liberal wants to be identified as racist or anti-Semitic. Democrat member of Congress John Lewis fires both barrels: the race card and the holocaust card at once __
Rep. John Lewis wrote an Op-Ed in 2002 describing King's "special bond with Israel": During his lifetime King witnessed the birth of Israel and the continuing struggle to build a nation. He consistently reiterated his stand on the Israeli-Arab conflict, stating "Israel's right to exist as a state in security is uncontestable." It was no accident that King emphasized "security" in his statements on the Middle East. On March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his tragic death, he spoke out with clarity and directness stating, "peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality." During the recent U.N. Conference on Racism held in Durban, South Africa, we were all shocked by the attacks on Jews, Israel and Zionism. The United States of America stood up against these vicious attacks. Once again, the words of King ran through my memory, "I solemnly pledge to do my utmost to uphold the fair name of the Jews -- because bigotry in any form is an affront to us all." Op-Ed
Set aside references to his race card hero Rev. King, Lewis is saying essentially the same thing as Zionist holocaust card shark Joe Lieberman:
Joe Lieberman believes that America and Israel share a unique bond built on our shared values, shared commitment to freedom and democracy, and shared interests in defeating terrorism and promoting security and stability in the region. Lieberman has been a national leader in fostering ties between the US and Israel. He believes that supporting our ally is integral to US national security interests. Putting Pressure on the Palestinians. Joe Lieberman believes that Yasser Arafat is no longer a credible partner for peace. He has called for Arafat's removal and his replacement with leadership willing to stop terrorism, to recognize the right of a Jewish state of Israel to exist in security, and to build a democratic Palestinian state. 2004 U.S. Presidential Campaign: Joe Lieberman | Jewish Virtual Library
John Lewis is a Democrat, and ideologically and politically a Zionist who went to the U.N. Conference on Racism specifically to represent interests and policies of U.S. imperialism in support of the Zionist State. In support of the Iran nuclear deal, Lewis, Sharpton et. al are siding with Zionism in opposition to Iran having the potential to develop nuclear weapons deterrence -- neither of them has ever denounced Israel that already has a nuclear arsenal of over 200 nuclear weapons.
Rep. John Lewis on Iran Nuclear Deal Jul 14, 2015 Issues: Foreign Affairs
The United States is under no illusion about the threat that a nuclear Iran poses to the global community. Continuing to operate in the dark, however, is unsustainable. An agreement that makes the process of demilitarization and nuclear disarmament more transparent, in the long-term, can lead to greater national security for all members of the world community [read: the State of Israel, hint, hint] US negotiators intended to expand the tools, options, and leverage for engaging with Iran. Close monitoring and the ability to re-implement sanctions swiftly are critical components of the proposed agreement. ... I hope that future presidents and other leaders will be able to build upon this effort to bring greater stability to the Middle East, which is in the best interest of the United States, Israel, and the entire world community. http://johnlewis.house.gov/press-release/rep-john-lewis-iran-nuclear-deal
Democrat's Black Caucus in the House of Representatives is a sham. Civil rights leaders that fought to end racial segregation in society, segregate themselves in Congress! This illusory separation can be seen in facts. Racialism is a political stunt by means of which to advance both their own individual opportunist interests and the politics of the Democratic Party. It's a sham. It is really a tool, using their genetic determined colour to manipulate 'black folk' into the Democrat's camp in government, U.S. imperialism.
Congressional Democrats in the Clinton-Obama-Clinton faction of this Party and government, that Sharpton support the so-called Iran nuclear deal. It has nothing to do with Black people being in 'disproportionate numbers' in the military. Sharpton, indicating that it is in 'Black interests' [as though any faction represents the interests of working class Blacks!] to support the deal is using his complexion implying that those white and Jewish members of Congress who oppose it are rich racists whose sons and daughters are not 'at risk' were it come to war with Iran. In this connection Sharpton is presenting the race card at odds with the Jewish holocaust card.
Congressional politics and print and electronic media promote identity politics of colour. This is what the MSNBC featured Black employee Al Sharpton is paid to do. MSNBC's 'progressives' have always been useful for government supporters support for the Obama administration's bloody policies in the Mid-East __ the drone wars on Afghan, Pakistini, Somoli and Yemen villages/villagers, the murderous invasion of Libya, the overthrow of it's government by lackey forces backed, or more correctly led by NATO /U.S bombing campaigns__ notwithstanding the videotaped murder of Gaddafi, the primary founder/funder of the African Union.
This political tactic was/is useful to intimidate 'white liberals' that fear the label of 'racist'. Of course as pretended heir to Martin Luther King and preaching non-violence to Black rebels, he cannot come straight out and advocate for imperialist violence and war. Yet, he does endorse it, as an 'anti-racist', of course, by denouncing as 'racist' those Americans who refuse to give Obama 'credit' for the killings of Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi.
Al Sharpton might very well be a Christian __ along with e.g. John Hagee and others who support Israel __ but he is no 'leader in the Black community'. He is a Democrat.
Congressional Democrats are united in support of their garrison State, Israel. Differences between the administration supporters, represented in this instance by Sharpton vis-a-vis the Zionist advocate of the Party represented by Schumer, are tactical regarding 'control' of Iran. The factions differ in the degree to which Iran should be forced by sanctions to capitulate to the imperialist West and the degree to which they are willing to capitulate to its Israeli ally. These ruling class interests have in truth nothing to do with Blacks being disproportionately in the army or Jews facing a 'second holocaust'.
Sen. Schumer's illogical case against the Iran deal
By Fareed Zakaria Opinion writer August 13
Dear Sen. Schumer,
When you announced your decision to vote against the nuclear agreement with Iran, you explained your reasons in a nearly 1,700-word statement that is thoughtful in substance and civil in tone. And yet, in the end, I found it unconvincing.
I believe that the agreement is flawed. But it is the most intrusive, demanding and comprehensive set of inspections, verification protocols and snapback measures ever negotiated. Compare the detailed 159-page document with the United States' 1994 accord with North Korea, which was a vaguely worded four-page document with few monitoring and enforcement provisions.
You have three sets of objections, which I will get to, but you fail to note what must happen at the outset, before Iran gets widespread sanctions relief.
Iran must destroy 98 percent of its enriched uranium and all of its 5 percent to 20 percent enriched uranium, remove and store more than two-thirds of its centrifuges (including all advanced centrifuges), terminate all enrichment at its Fordow nuclear facility and render inoperable the key components of its Arak (plutonium) reactor. All of these steps must be completed to the satisfaction of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
It is difficult to imagine that a serious military campaign against Iran would set back its nuclear program as much as this deal does from the start. Fordow, for example, is buried deep in a mountain and would probably survive all but the most intense bombardment.
Your first objections are about the inspections and sanctions. You argue that the inspections are not "anywhere, anytime" and have a 24-day delay that is "troubling." But all of Iran's known nuclear facilities are subject to anywhere, anytime monitoring. And for new, suspicious sites, as nuclear expert Jeffrey Lewis points out, "what opponents of the deal have done is add up all the time limits and claim that inspections will occur only after a 24-day pause. This is simply not true. Should the U.S. intelligence community catch the Iranians red-handed, it might be that the Iranians would drag things out as long as possible. But in such a case, the game would be over."
In that scenario Sen. Schumer, you argue that the sanctions snapback provisions are cumbersome. We must have read different documents. The one I'm looking at contains the first mechanism for the automatic reimposition of sanctions ever created, to my knowledge. And they can be triggered by Washington unilaterally. Peter Feaver, a former aide to President George W. Bush, and sanctions expert Eric Lorber, in expressing skepticism about the deal, admit that "we are hard-pressed to come up with other examples when the U.N. Security Council has voted to disenfranchise future U.N. Security Councils and create legally binding decisions on the say-so of a single member."
You argue that the United States might prefer to restore sanctions in part and that other countries might not go along with this. But the fact that Washington could unilaterally snap back all U.N. sanctions is surely extraordinary leverage that it could use to get other countries to agree to a partial reimposition of sanctions.
You further say that "after 15 years of relief from sanctions, Iran would be stronger financially and better able to advance a robust nuclear program." Let's be clear. Iran is going to get sanctions relief no matter what. The international sanctions against Iran were put in place by other countries solely to get to a nuclear deal. None would go along with extending the sanctions, given that Iran has produced what they all regard as an acceptable agreement.
Foreign Policy magazine reported on an extraordinary meeting this month, when top diplomats from the other five great powers involved in the deal met with senators to urge them to support it. The British and Russian envoys explained that if the deal was rejected, the sanctions would "unravel."
Your final objection is that Iran would use some of its newly freed-up resources "to redouble its efforts to create even more trouble in the Middle East." That might be true, but the deal does not stop the United States and its allies from countering these activities, as they do today. The non-nuclear tensions between Iran and the United States predate Tehran's nuclear program, continue today and will persist in the future. But they would be much worse if Iran had a nuclear threshold capacity.
Your basic conclusion is that "if one thinks Iran will moderate ... one should approve the agreement. ... But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate ... then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement." This is the most puzzling and, frankly, illogical part of your case. If Iran remains a rogue state, all the more reason to put its nuclear program on a leash.
Rejecting this deal would produce an Iran that ramps up its nuclear program, without inspections or constraints, with sanctions unraveling and a United States that is humiliated and isolated in the world. You cannot want this. I respectfully urge you to reconsider your position.
Fareed Zakaria writes a foreign affairs column for The Post. He is also the host of CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS and a contributing editor for The Atlantic.
Conflict within US political establishment over Iran nuclear accord intensifies
By Patrick Martin
10 August 2015
In a television interview broadcast Sunday, President Barack Obama reiterated his warning that opponents of his nuclear agreement with Iran offer no alternative but a new American war in the Middle East.
Invited by CNN's Fareed Zakaria to pull back from his comparison of Senate Republicans to the elements in Iran opposed to the deal, Obama instead repeated the charge, saying both the Republicans and the hardliners in Tehran opposed any easing of US-Iranian relations.
The interview came only days after New York Senator Charles Schumer responded to Obama's August 5 speech warning that the alternative to the nuclear deal was a war that could extend well beyond Iran and the Middle East by announcing he would vote against the agreement. Schumer is expected to succeed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid as the top Democrat in the upper chamber of the US Congress next year.
The ultimate fate of the agreement, which includes Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany and is backed by the United Nations, remains unclear. The US Congress is expected to vote on the deal after it returns from its summer recess on September 8.
Virtually the entire Republican caucus in both chambers is set to disapprove of the agreement, along with a significant faction of Democrats. The White House is scrambling to secure sufficient votes among Democrats to prevent the House and Senate from overriding a presidential veto of a bill blocking US implementation of the accord.
The conflict within the American state presents the spectacle of a large majority in Congress, speaking for powerful forces within the ruling elite and the intelligence and military apparatus, pushing for imminent war against Iran and risking a breakup of the US-Europe alliance and the outbreak of a Third World War. Obama gives the impression of a "commander in chief" who is losing control over a drive to war far greater than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He seeks to present himself as an advocate of peace, despite boasting in his August 5 speech of having sent American forces into combat in seven countries since he took office in 2009. Both factions in the conflict that has erupted over the Iran deal are committed to the defense of American imperialist interests around the world and to the use of massive violence when deemed expedient.
The differences have arisen, in part, because the previous interventions by the Bush and Obama administrations have produced debacles for US imperialism in the Middle East. Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, to name only the most obvious, have disintegrated into bloody civil war as a consequence of US military operations and political subversion.
The Obama administration is seeking to carry out a tactical shift, testing whether the Iranian bourgeois regime headed by President Hassan Rouhani can be induced, through a combination of economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure and the threat of war, to align itself more directly with Washington. It sees the nuclear deal as the potential precursor to Iranian assistance to US-backed forces in Iraq, Iranian backing for the removal of the Assad regime in Syria and a reorientation of Iranian economic ties from Russia and China to the Western imperialist powers.
In his interview broadcast Sunday, Obama said he had been "encouraged... that the Russians are now more interested in discussions around what a political transition-or at least framework for talks-would look like inside of Syria." He continued, "And presumably, Iran is seeing some of the same trends that are not good for them."
The US Congress will take up the Iran nuclear deal when it returns from its August recess, with votes set in both the House and Senate on resolutions to disapprove the deal and block any lifting of US economic sanctions on Iran. A resolution backed by the Republican leadership is certain to pass the Republican-controlled House, but requires 60 votes-meaning at least six Democrats-to overcome a Senate filibuster.
If Congress adopts the resolution of disapproval, Obama will veto it and his opponents will seek to override the veto through a two-thirds vote of each house. Assuming every Republican supports it, the veto override would need the support of 13 Democrats in the Senate and 44 Democrats in House. Reacting to Senator Schumer's statement opposing the nuclear deal, White House spokesman Josh Earnest commented that he "wouldn't be surprised" if Senate Democrats took Schumer's dissent into account in the leadership vote set for the end of 2016.
Referring to the New York Democrat's vote for the 2002 authorization of the war in Iraq, Earnest said, "There's no denying that this difference of opinion that emerged overnight is one that has existed between Senator Schumer and President Obama for over a decade."
"Senator Schumer is advocating an approach to foreign policy that minimizes the likelihood of success in diplomacy and relies far too much on the ability of the United States to unilaterally impose our will through force," Earnest continued.
The comment raises obvious questions, since Schumer was far from the only leading Democrat to vote for the Bush administration's war in Iraq. Hillary Clinton, now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the Iran deal, also voted for the war resolution.
In his final question to Obama in the CNN interview broadcast Sunday about the dangers that would follow a congressional rejection of the deal with Iran, Zakaria concluded as follows: "[A]re you worried that you would confront, within your remaining term, the strong possibility that you might have to use nuclear-that you might have to use military force to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?"
The apparent Freudian slip was a reference to the possible use by Washington of nuclear weapons against Iran. Obama turned the question aside, saying he preferred "not to anticipate failure" in getting the Iran deal ratified. But the fact remains: a US war against Iran would not be limited to air strikes against nuclear energy production sites and might not be limited to the use of conventional weapons.
The aim of such a war would be the military conquest of Iran and installation of a puppet government. To accomplish this against a country of 80 million people, four times the size of Iraq, would require an American occupation force in the hundreds of thousands, or the use of nuclear weapons, or both. Conflict within US political establishment over Iran nuclear accord intensifies - World Socialist Web Site
Editorial Notes of La Verdad-La Verite-The Truth
By La Verite
As this issue of La Verite-The Truth goes to press, the agreement signed on 24 November between Iran and the imperialist powers on the issue of Iran's nuclear programme has come to illustrate the profound crisis in which the whole of the system of imperialist domination - with US imperialism, the most powerful of all, at its heart - finds itself.
The agreement is unquestionably one through which imperialism is trying once again to lay down the law in the domestic affairs of a sovereign country. US imperialism, which claims the right to own nuclear weapons (and so far is the only power to have used them) and claims the same right for its satellites, beginning with the State of Israel, wants to deny that right to others. Be that as it may, after a whole period of escalating statements and threats against Iran, including the threat of military intervention, the fact that US imperialism finally sought out an agreement, a negotiation, with a country which it was threatening to hit militarily in the preceding months is far from insignificant. "We cannot rule out peaceful solutions to the world's problems", Obama commented after the agreement, adding: "Tough talk and bluster may be the easy thing to do politically, but it's not the right thing for our security."
Right up to the last minute, different factions within imperialism wavered between several options. Expressing itself via its Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, French imperialism (represented by a "socialist" government) once again tried to play a quite different tune, one that was more aggressive, more militaristic. In the United States itself, one faction in Congress declared itself very unhappy with the agreement that had been reached. As for the Israeli government, it protested loudly against what it saw as the reintegration of Iran into the circle of diplomatic relations between states.
Obviously, it does not follow from this that imperialism has given up the war option. This is a fundamental and permanent tendency of imperialism, which Lenin characterised almost 100 years ago as "the epoch of wars and revolutions". This tendency has been especially pronounced for several years. Just as the agreement on Iran was being signed, the imperialists - including the French government - were announcing the groundwork for an intensified military intervention in the Central African Republic, while Iraq, Afghanistan and Mali continue to sink further into chaos, and threats against the sovereignty of Algeria are still being made. . . . Editors - La Verite-The Truth http://socialistorganizer.org/editorial-notes-of-la-verdad-la-verite-the-truth/
U.S. Out of the Near East Now!
Down With Sanctions Against Iran!
MARCH 30-The blood of tens of thousands who have been slaughtered in communalist violence throughout the Near East is on the hands of the U.S. imperialist rulers, who continue to stoke religious and ethnic hatred throughout the region. To undermine the Iran-allied regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the U.S. incited and armed sectarian Sunni forces, plunging that country into civil war. In Iraq, the U.S. is relying on militias controlled by longtime pariah, Shi'ite Iran, as ground troops against ISIS, which itself arose out of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and now controls a wide swath of the country. In Yemen, where for years the Obama administration has been launching drone strikes against the population in the name of targeting Sunni Al Qaeda forces, the U.S. is backing the Saudi-led attack against the Zaidi Shi'ite Houthis, who are viewed as an Iranian proxy.
At the same time, the White House has taken a spin at diplomacy with Iran, much to the alarm of Israel and the U.S.'s Sunni Muslim allies in the Persian Gulf. The Obama administration's latest round of negotiations over Iran's nuclear program-with the participation of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China-has also worked leading Republicans into a frenzy. In January, without informing the White House, Republican House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rail against Iran at a joint meeting of Congress. The head of the Near East's only nuclear-armed state, Netanyahu was enthusiastically applauded throughout his March 3 speech in which he ominously declared that the terms the White House was offering Iran "will inevitably lead to nuclear war."
A week later, 47 Republican members of Congress sent an open letter to the Iranian government declaring that any agreement it negotiated with the Obama administration could be revoked by the next president "with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time." Although the Israeli government has denied it, U.S. officials report that Israel has been spying on the nuclear negotiations and-what has really got the White House worked up-leaking the information to Congress. The Obama administration has tried to rein in the rabid Netanyahu as it continues its nuclear negotiations with Iran.
On March 25, the Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen. With the support of a coalition including other Gulf states and Egypt, the Saudis aim to restore the government of Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who resigned the presidency in January in the face of attack by the Houthi rebels. The air campaign, for which the U.S. says it is providing "logistical and intelligence support," was announced in Washington by the Saudi ambassador. The Iranian government has denounced the U.S.-backed assault in Yemen.
Those who run U.S. imperialism add a twist to the expression that today's ally is tomorrow's enemy. For them, today's ally is today's enemy. The only constant is that imperialist domination breeds misery and war. Notwithstanding their bickering and conflicting policies, the Republicans and Democrats share a common class interest: maintaining U.S. supremacy in the oil-rich Near East. The imperialist system is based on war and plunder, and as the world's "superpower," U.S. imperialism is the greatest enemy of the world's workers and oppressed.
U.S. Out of the Near East Now!
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