November 16, 2013

A France-Israel-Saudi Arabia alliance?

One of the more interesting diplomatic developments in response to the Obama Administration's opening to Iran is the French Socialist government's sudden attempt to woo Israel and its de facto allies, the Persian Gulf Sunnis, out of the American orbit. 

From DebkaFile, a shadowy organization devoted to stirring the pot:
Hollande and Netanyahu to consider forming a joint French-Israeli-Arab front against Iran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 16, 2013

French President Francois Holland and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrive in Jerusalem Sunday, Nov. 17. Their talks with Israel’s leaders are likely to determine how France, Israel and Saudi Arabia respond to the Obama administration’s current Middle East moves, with critical effect on the next round of nuclear talks taking place in Geneva Wednesday, Nov. 20 between six world powers and Iran. 
France will be given the option of aligning with the Middle East powers - Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt - which challenge President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry’s race for détente with Tehran. 
If he accepts this option, the next decision facing President Hollande will be whether, how and when this grouping is willing to consider resorting to military action to preempt a nuclear-armed Iran. This option has been abandoned by Washington, a decision succinctly articulated Tuesday, Nov. 12, by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: 
“The American people do not want a march to war,” he told reporters. Therefore: “…spoiling diplomatic talks with Iran would be a march to war.” 
Ergo, opponents of a US-Iranian deal – Carney omitted mention of Iran’s military nuclear program to leave US negotiators a free hand for easy terms – are pushing for war. 
Hollande and Netanyahu will have to decide between them whether to create a joint French-Arab-Israeli military option to fill the gap left by Washington’s abdication from the war choice and, if so, whether, how and when to exercise it. 
Foreign Minister Fabius, whose vote torpedoed the original US proposal for Iran at the first Geneva conference, analyzed the implications of Obama’s policy in a lecture this week marking the 40th anniversary of the French Policy Planning Staff, which largely shapes Paris government foreign and defense policies. 
He said: “The United States seems no longer to wish to become absorbed by crises that do not align with its new vision of its national interest. Because nobody can take the place of the United States, this disengagement could create major crises left to themselves. A strategic void could be created in the Middle East, with widespread perception of Western indecision.” 
The self-evident corollary to this diagnosis is that by foregoing resistance to the US-Iranian understanding, France, Saudi Arabia and Israel would share America’s responsibility for the major crises erupting in the region, which none of them would be able to control.

In case you are wondering about the Socialist involvement, the French left was traditionally more pro-Israel than the French right. The French government was Israel's mentor in developing nuclear weapons in the 1950s. (Another example of 1950s France-Israel cooperation was their conspiracy, with Britain, to attack Egypt in 1956.) In the 1960s, however, the rightist Charles De Gaulle started to wonder, "Why is this in France's national interest?" So, De Gaulle pulled the plug on nuclear cooperation.  (However, recent rightist president Nicolas Sarkozy identified most closely with his Salonikan grandfather, so the Gaullist tradition of standoffishness toward Israel has been declining).

France would always love to regain its rightful status as the leading Great Power, but it may well be feeling the need for a partner in its challenge to the U.S. In the long run, France reviving its 1890-1917 alliance with Russia might make sense, especially as a Russia-Israel alliance is not wholly implausible. For example, the Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, a Moldovan-born leader of ex-Soviet Israeli voters, is a huge admirer of Vladimir Putin. 

By the way, Lieberman is now in his second stint as foreign secretary after an interruption due to a corruption scandal. Typically, countries appoint as foreign minister fairly suave, high-tone individuals, such as classical pianist Condi Rice or yachtsman John Kerry. In contrast, Lieberman is a former bouncer. It's kind of like America appointing as Secretary of State radio talk show host Michael Savage, which would be fun.

Now, I realize that we are accustomed to assuming that everything involving Israeli foreign policy is a matter of the utmost seriousness, and therefore my analogy that Israeli foreign policy has certain resemblances to American college football (You don't see Alabama in a hurry to sign a peace treaty with Florida, do you?) hasn't been widely popular. So, I expect even less agreement with my new analogy of Israeli foreign policy to professional wrestling, with Avigdor Lieberman as the heel you love to hate. But just keep it in the back of your mind ...

And if Netanyahu and Lieberman were to form an alliance with France and Russia, then the Israeli Left might eventually respond by making an alliance with its traditional cultural role model, economic superpower Germany. Germany hasn't swung all that much weight on the world stage since the Recent Unpleasantness (and instead must make do with manufacturing Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches, and VWs), but it's not so recent anymore. Bygones can suddenly turn into bygones, especially if Responsible Opinion in the media suddenly swings in that direction.

This notion that in the future, world politics will sort of be Israeli politics writ large may seem unrealistic, but the history of recent American Presidential campaigns (remember Newt Gingrich's surge in 2012? How about George H.W. Bush's sudden collapse in 1992?) suggests that it's not out of the question.

49 comments:

2Degrees said...

An observation relevant to a part of the article.

How important is Lieberman really? If Netanyahu wants to talk to Obama or Putin, all he has to do is pick up the phone. I am sure they would take his call. I know NZ is not necessarily a good analogy, but when the ruling Labour or National Party want to give a high-profile, low-influence job to a coalition partner, they make then foreign minister. That's how left-wing Helen Clark got rid of hard-right coalition partner Winston Peters. Incidentally, the house-trained right, led by current PM John Key, has refused to deal with Peters under any circumstances.

Simon in London said...

France-Israel-Saudi would just be a temporary alliance as long as Israel and Saudi both need to stay US allies. France can't do much - she can't take an independent decision to attack Iran, though Israel can.

France-Russia would be a powerful alliance, but Russia backs the Shia and the Balkan Orthodox and opposes Turkey; Israel backs Turkey and opposes the Shia and the Balkan Orthodox. France can't ally with Russia without a major realignment. The Kosovo war showed that France was happy to abandon her old Slavic links and I don't see that changing.

Anyway France is not that powerful or useful. What could really shake things up would be if Israel and Russia allied, which ironically could beome likelier if the Syrian Ba'ath are replaced by a Sunni Islamist regime. Unlike the US/West Russia has a tendency to be loyal to her allies and wouldn't likely abandon Assad, but if Israel is encircled by hostile Sunni Islamist regimes there may be pressure towards a new alignment.

Anonymous said...

It's been said that France is blocking the deal between US and Iran... but notice that there isn't much complaining from the US side. Not from the media, not from the US government. If anything, there are plenty of voices praising France for its action.

It's all wink-wink.
Jews control the US, and they are using Obama as the 'carrot' and they're using Hollande as the 'stick'. They don't wanna make things easy for Iran.
So, when Iran reaches out, Jews use Obama to talk peace and diplomacy. But they work with French Jewish elites to pressure Hollande to sound the alarm.

Some Frenchmen might appreciate the symbolism of France playing the role of 'great power', but symbolism only goes so far. To be sure, symbolism is appealing. If one thinks about it, the Nixon-Mao meeting didn't lead to anything. China was still a crazy and closed society, and the Cold War continued. If anything, the real change happened with Mao's death, after which Deng visited the US. Now, that was truly momentous and led to dramatic changes. But it's been eclipsed by the symbolism of the meeting between Mao and Nixon. We still hear so much about Nixon and Mao but very little about Carter and Deng, who paved the ground for the real change.

Symbolism may be the only thing left for the French in the Great Power game. But De Gaulle used it better than this pathetic Hollande. And there was some validity to what De Gaulle was after: A united Europe independent of both US and USSR. But what is this nonsense about Iran for France? Anyone with any sense and knowledge could see it's just the French sucking up to Zionist elites.
Of course, it's safer to discuss Saudi influence, and it's true that Sunni Arabs hate Iran. But Saudis have no direct influence IN the West. The force that is really breathing down Hollande's back is Jewish power. Despite his so-called 'leftism', he is just France's Dubya.

Big Bill said...

This is wonderful!

Rather than being the 51st State of the Union, the Jewish nation can at last be independent of the American nation and make its own way with its Muslim allies.

With any luck the Jews and Arab Muslims can resolve their differences, make common cause against the Persian Muslims and release American from incessant neoliberal/Democrat warmongering.

It is a healthy development for Americans AND Jews. And nothing in the new alliance will prevent Eliot Abrams and the Azure crowd from continuing their Jewish rapprochement with China.

We Americans can develop nuclear power for a fraction the cost of the neoliberal wars and can let the Semites and French take care of things over there as they struggle for oil.

It is a win-win for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Or like the Atlee making that hick former truck driver Bevin foreign secretary. Amiright Steve. It's funny how Steve's son of the soil, Virgil Caine I'm a working man act disappears the second he personally dislikes someone. Then it is all catty putdowns and petty snobbery. Not that it really bothers me it just shows how sincere his whole it's hurting the working man schitck is.

For the record Michael savage has two advanced degrees how is that like a former bouncer. Sean Hannity was a former construction worker so I guess that works. Borders language culture seems like the perfect positive triad to oppose invade, invite, in hoc.

Anonymous said...

The Saudis have huge influence in the west anonymous pleas quit lying.


Matt Buckalew

Big Bill said...

"Of course, it's safer to discuss Saudi influence, and it's true that Sunni Arabs hate Iran. But Saudis have no direct influence IN the West."

"No direct influence" other than the thousands of mosques and Salafi preachers they are planting and funding throughout the West, that is.

The sooner we "demote" the Saudis and their fifth columns the better.

Anonymous said...

Saudi Arabia is, at the very least, looking out for its own interests.

But France is not. It's just doing the bidding of globalist Zionists. If France really wants to act like a great power, it should do what De Gaulle did. Remain aloof of non-European alliances. De Gaulle emphasized European power without getting entangled in super power politics. Only by Europeans sticking together--with France as the dominant force, of course--could they hope elevate themselves to great power status.

If France really wants to play great power politics, it should play both Iran and Saudi Arabia, i.e. find ways to deal with both. Do business with Saudi Arabia, do business with Iran.

De Gaulle set up diplomatic relations with China irrespective of what the US said. He was willing to play with/against US, USSR, China, or any other country.

But the fact that France is siding so close to Israel and Saudi Arabia and against Iran shows that it's just a toady nation of the US. Maybe Hollande knows it, maybe he doesn't. But what he's doing is precisely what American Jewish elite power wants him to do. He's just playing the 'bad cop' to Obama's 'good cop'.

What a fool. But as the film AFFAIR FAREWELL showed, French aspiration of greatness could be downright comical and clueless.

Big Bill said...

"France-Israel-Saudi would just be a temporary alliance as long as Israel and Saudi both need to stay US allies."

With Saudi wealth + Israeli technology and organization + French military/manufacturing capability, we might be shed of them forever. We can always hope!

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, what really brought the French-Israeli alliance to an end was the Mehdi Ben Baraka affair.

Anonymous said...

"The Saudis have huge influence in the west anonymous pleas quit lying."

Yep. All over Silicon Valley, top law firms, Wall Street firms, DC, Hollywood, big media, elite colleges, San Fran, Chicago, Miami, and etc. I see Saudis all around.

Look. Saudis have a lot of cash, and they throw it around. But throwing cash around only goes so far. Gaddafi threw cash around too, but how far did it get him?
Japan threw a lot of cash around in the 80s, but what elite institution in the US was directly controlled by Japan?
Russia and China have their lobbying groups in the US, but the notion that most politicians will favor China/Russian interests over Zionist/Jewish ones is hilarious.

Saudis seem more powerful than they really are because they are so useful to the US/Jewish power. Sunnis hate Shias, and that is useful to Jews: divide and conquer.

Suppose Saudi Arabia was mostly Shia and sympathized with Iran and didn't oppose its nuclear program. Even if it threw money around, its influence would be zero. But because its interests happen to coincide with that of Israel, we go on pretending that Saudis are controlling events.

Saudis are to the US what Hussein's Iraq was in the 80s. Back then, Iraq was useful as a bulwark against Iran, and so we could pretend that Iraq was influencing US policy on Iran. But it was really US using Iraq against Iran because Hussein was dumb enough to get involved to get involved in a war that would prove to be poisonous. (For one thing, it led to his indebtedness to Kuwait, which he then invaded, and then came the Gulf War, the sanctions, and eventually the Iraq War.)

If Saudis had any sense, they would stop this nonsense and make peace with Iran and Syria. But Sunni Arabs have this idea that they should have total dominance of the Middle East and would rather destroy Shias, even if they have to ally with Infidels.
It's like Europe during WWI. Instead of coming to their senses, European nations beat the crap out of one another over which nation should be the dominant power.

SFG said...

"But France is not. It's just doing the bidding of globalist Zionists. If France really wants to act like a great power, it should do what De Gaulle did. Remain aloof of non-European alliances. De Gaulle emphasized European power without getting entangled in super power politics. Only by Europeans sticking together--with France as the dominant force, of course--could they hope elevate themselves to great power status."

Arabs are knifing Jews in the French streets. I'm sorry, but Israel does not have the hold over France it does over the USA. Just because nobody talks about Jewish power doesn't mean everything has to do with the Jews. Most likely France is trying to make friends so they can be more important, as Steve suggests.

And the Israeli Left buddy-buddy with Germany? I suppose anything's possible, but I can not see it. ;)

bjdubbs said...

Or appointing Bernie Kerik as DHS secretary. It's hard to believe, but that nearly happened. If you're ever inclined to think that maybe George Bush wasn't that bad, just remember Bernie Kerik and Harriet Myers.

ATBOTL said...

Hollande's hostility to Shia Iran may be an effort to appease France's large Muslim population, who are overwhelmingly Sunnis. By some accounts, the Muslim vote is what put him in office.

Support for Hollande in France is in free fall now. It's unlikely that France will continue down whatever path Hollande has in mind for long, so I wouldn't bet on such a weak player successfully rearranging long term alliances.

"Anyway France is not that powerful or useful. What could really shake things up would be if Israel and Russia allied, which ironically could beome likelier if the Syrian Ba'ath are replaced by a Sunni Islamist regime. Unlike the US/West Russia has a tendency to be loyal to her allies and wouldn't likely abandon Assad, but if Israel is encircled by hostile Sunni Islamist regimes there may be pressure towards a new alignment."

Russia will not ally with Sunni Islamists. Russia's long term plan is to establish a chain of Shia/secular states in the northern Middle East to act as a buffer against Salafi type Islam. The Iran/Iraq/Lebanon/Syria axis will get stronger, as the Sunni Islamists further discredit themselves and Christians/Druze/Kurds get more organized and militant.

For those who are not paying attention, the Syrian regime is winning now. Wait until the joint Syrian/Iraqi operation to clear Sunni Islamist rebels from the border area. Iraq is acquiring attack helicopters and raising militias for this. Should be a lot of ultra-violence that will deepen sectarian divisions in the region and further drive home to non-Sunnis and non-Arabs that they have only one choice: Fight the Sunni terrorists and crush them or get killed themselves.

The Al-Qaeda types have made too many enemies, people are sick if them and their sympathizers in the broader Sunni community. Expect to see Christian, Buddhist and Hindu militia groups forming to fight Sunni Muslims across Southern Asia and Northern Africa. It's already happening.

ATBOTL said...

"Arabs are knifing Jews in the French streets. I'm sorry, but Israel does not have the hold over France it does over the USA. Just because nobody talks about Jewish power doesn't mean everything has to do with the Jews. Most likely France is trying to make friends so they can be more important, as Steve suggests."

There is a clique of powerful, baby boomer aged Jews in the Socialist party in France who have a lot of influence. DSK is part of this clique. Many of these people were part of the radical protests in the 60's, and like many similar types in the USA, they are friendlier to Israel than their far-left ideology would dictate if it were applied evenly. This is common knowledge in France and discussed frequently. Obviously, the Jewish lobby in France does not have the same influence as it does in the USA, but it is more powerful than most Americans realize, being fed only Jews-as-victims stories in the US media.

France also has it's own neoconservative movement with the same underlying dynamics as ours.

Bert said...

"Expect to see Christian, Buddhist and Hindu militia groups forming to fight Sunni Muslims across Southern Asia and Northern Africa. It's already happening."

One of the favorite talking points of supposed internationalists is the current situation in Burma, where Buddhist groups have been attacking Muslim terrorists and gangsters. Naturally the media frames the Buddhists as the bad guys and those poor Muslims as innocent bystanders.

I'm delighted to see that Assad is on the verge of triumphing. It makes Hillary Clinton look even more ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

"For those who are not paying attention, the Syrian regime is winning now."

It's not just the Syrian regime, see who else is on a roll:

"Syria Falls Apart: Kurds Declare Self-Rule, Assad Besieges Aleppo"

"... Kurdish militias seized another group of villages this week in northeastern Syria from jihadists, adding to an impressive few weeks of territorial gains."

Doesn't quite smell like the end of history just yet.

Anonymous said...

Among those aging boomer jews in France: Jack Lang, Daniel Cohn-Bandit, jacques Attali, Serge Moati, Paul Amar, Gerad Miller, Alain Drucker, Jean Marc Benhamou, Benjamin Stora, Julien Dray, Laurant Fabius, Bernard Henry Levy, ...

Anonymous said...

France-Israel-Saudi would just be a temporary alliance as long as Israel and Saudi both need to stay US allies. France can't do much - she can't take an independent decision to attack Iran, though Israel can.

Anyway France is not that powerful or useful


Actually, France has one very valuable asset: its ability, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to veto Security Council resolutions brought against Israel or in favor of the Palestinians.

Israel is extremely unpopular at the UN and would, absent American protection, face an endless series of UN-sponsored investigations, economic sanctions, travel restrictions, referrals to the International Criminal Court, and threats of military force. An alliance with France would make Israel less dependent on the US for protection from international law.

But Israel has nukes, you say? Well, so did another apartheid state: the former White-minority government of South Africa. South Africa's nuclear weapons, formidable military, and relatively advanced and self-sufficient industrial base provided little protection against the international community after the Reagan administration abandoned them. The economic sanctions that followed crippled the South African economy and convinced the South African ruling class to transfer political (but not economic) power to the Black majority; working-class and middle class Whites, as well as White farmers, were abandoned by the ruling class, dispossessed by the Blacks, and vilified by the West.

Matt Buckalew said...

Jack Lang, Daniel Cohn-Bandit, jacques Attali, Serge Moati, Paul Amar, Gerad Miller, Alain Drucker, Jean Marc Benhamou, Benjamin Stora, Julien Dray, Laurant Fabius, Bernard Henry Levy

So basically no one who will be alive in fifteen-twenty years. Moreover, from a quick glance no one who held when of the four most powerful offices of state in France. Yea that's the wave of the future. Honestly, clicking the Franco-Jewish Intellectual tab on wikipedia isn't going to prove your point. Yea minister of culture is pretty cool job and all but Jack Lang isn't calling the shots.

Meanwhile France's growing Sunni Muslim population likely holds the Socialist Party's future electoral success completely in its hands. Honestly saying Jews run France is like saying the Catholics from the USA surprisingly stupid. Nonetheless the claim is like crack to the crotechycons.

It's funny everyone laughs at Boussett and those erudite, reactionary french bishops who feared that the Protestants would sweep to power in France. But at the time Protestantism was on the march many prominent Protestants weilded major power, like Coligny, not just a few fashionable West Bank intellectuals.

Matt Buckalew

Anonymous said...

"do business with Iran"

There is no business to do. Iran can't even meet its domestic fuel needs currently. Iran's only hope is to close the Straits and drive oil towards 275-300 plus a barrel. This is not hard to figure out. Thugs cost money increasingly Iran cannot pay its thugs. Why on earth would someone do business with someone when they know the only way that nation can survive is by resorting to international black mail. The most valuable thing Iran has is the ability to close the Straits. Iran cannot sustain itself with its current oil reserves valued at the current price per barrel. Currently it can't do that because we would sink their cute little missile armed speed boats. Add nuclear weapons to the equation and now they can and will close the straits.

I guess my question is this are the crotechycons ok with Iran becoming a North Korean like terrorist state perched on the straits closing the straits at will in order to drive the price of oil upward. You guys complain about handicap parking spaces I have a lot of trouble believing that you will suffer with monk like patience the upheaval that Iran oil market chicancery will unleash. Maybe the cockles of your hearts will be so warmed by prospect of sticking it to Netanyahu that it will heat your house. If that is the case ok fine that makes sense. But for me, it is really revealing that the crotechycons see the nation that paints Death to America on its missiles as their putative friend because "Fu#* Netanyahu" has become their operating principle.

Anonymous said...

It's funny. European powers created Syria and Iraq. In Syria, they made the Allawite/Shia the minority rulers over the Sunni majority, and in Iraq, they made the Sunni minority the rulers over the Shia majority.

Then, much later, US decided to make the Shia the majority rulers of Iraq. And now, US and Europe arms the Sunni rebels against the Shia/Allawite minority rulers in Syria.

Should the West be playing games with people's lives like this?

Anonymous said...

"There is no business to do. Iran can't even meet its domestic fuel needs currently."

BECAUSE IT'S NOT ALLOWED TO DO BUSINESS!

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile France's growing Sunni Muslim population likely holds the Socialist Party's future electoral success completely in its hands. Honestly saying Jews run France is like saying the Catholics from the USA surprisingly stupid. Nonetheless the claim is like crack to the crotechycons."

It's like this. There are many more blacks and browns than there are Jews(and homos), but trust me when I say Jews(and homos)will continue to dominate the Democratic Party. And there are even fewer Jews in the GOP side, but notice how the neocons have tremendous power over the GOP, the voter base of which is mostly white protestant and some Catholics.

Those who control the mind control the body.
French Muslims and Africans are dumb.

Anonymous said...

"Arabs are knifing Jews in the French streets."

And blacks in the US sometimes rob Jews and rob Hasidim community. But that doesn't mean Jews are under the tyranny of blacks.

Look at the elite power structure of France, and it's far more Jewish-controlled than Muslim-controlled.

And then there is banking and media.

anony-mouse said...

1/ "The Syrian regime is winning now"

Hasn't the Syrian regime been 'winning' for about a year now? Any particular date when the civil war will be over?

2/ 12% of France is Muslim, and most vote Socialist. That I find interesting given Hollande's moves.

3/ The PM of Israel has always been its FM regardless of who officially holds the office.

4/ France has long had an interest in influencing things in Lebanon and Syria and doesn't want anyone replacing them, whether the potential replacement would be Russia or Iran.

5/ Unlike France, the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran have below 2.0 TFR's

Landstuhl said...

France is punching above its weight here (as in Libya and Mali) to compensate for having lost the EU's steering wheel to Germany entirely. Up until midterm Sarkozy there was that "special relationship" France-Germany which effectively ran things in concert, with the UK throwing wrenches into the gears occasionally.

Germany's position is quite interesting: In Europe, it's now top dog, period. Foreign policy-wise, they hold lots of cards but rarely play high stake games: Note their opposition to the US-led Iraq war, to UK's Libya silliness and to the France-led Mali intervention.

In the Middle East, traditionally Germany has lots of goodwill: They are the biggest economic partner of Turkey and the Kurds, Iran and Israel, Egypt, the PA, etc, simultaneeously. They are known to broker lots of background deals, such as the Israel-Hezbollah prisoner deals.

They get along well with Russia, Japan and China, Brazil. They play both sides in Syria: they inherited East-Germany's Assad connection and are simultaneously host to the opposition exile government.

So everybody's darling, basically, except they have recently taken to kick the US's shins about the NSA stuff and unilaterally cancelled an Appendix to §10 of the NATO statute, which was a WWII relic that gave the allies undue influence. I wonder what their long-term game is.

IHTG said...

Anonymous, you are so, SO boring.

European powers created Syria and Iraq. In Syria, they made the Allawite/Shia the minority rulers over the Sunni majority

lol no.

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

"Germany hasn't swung all that much weight on the world stage since the Recent Unpleasantness, but it's not so recent anymore."

The early part of a previous century is "recent"?

It's as if a fanatical Roman crowd was in charge of Hollywood, academia and politics, and so rich that it was funding Punic Wars memorials everywhere (including in Australia). Hannibal would always be marching on us right now, or at the greatest remove "recently".

Anonymous said...

Why would sanctions harm domestic fuel production? You are really stupid.

It would be suicidal to not impose sanctions if you can on a nation which paints death to America on its missiles.

Anonymous said...

It's as if a fanatical Roman crowd was in charge of Hollywood, academia and politics, and so rich that it was funding Punic Wars memorials everywhere (including in Australia). Hannibal would always be marching on us right now, or at the greatest remove "recently

Wait so Cato was Jewish? Because this is exactly what Rome at the height of its power was like. Powerful functioning counties don't like dumb poor nations run of their mouths and paint death to America on its missiles unconfronted.

Who forgets the famous Talmudic saying Carthage delenda est.

Anonymous said...

BECAUSE IT'S NOT ALLOWED TO DO BUSINESS!

Exactly. The sanctions impede normal business and commercial operations. That is after the whole point of sanctions after all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctions_on_Iran#Effects

"The social and economic effects of sanctions have also been severe,[46] with even those who doubt their efficacy, such as John Bolton, describing the EU sanctions, in particular, as "tough, even brutal.""

"Sanctions have reduced Iran's access to products needed for the oil and energy sectors, have prompted many oil companies to withdraw from Iran, and have also caused a decline in oil production due to reduced access to technologies needed to improve their efficiency. According to Undersecretary of State William Burns, Iran may be annually losing as much as $60 billion in energy investment.[49] Many international companies have also been reluctant to do business with Iran for fear of losing access to larger Western markets. As well as restricting export markets, the sanctions have reduced Iran's oil income by increasing the costs of repatriating revenues in complicated ways that sidestep the sanctions; Iranian analysts estimate the budget deficit for the 2011/2012 fiscal year, which in Iran ends in late March, at between $30bn to $50bn.[50] The effects of U.S. sanctions include expensive basic goods for Iranian citizens, and an aging and increasingly unsafe civil aircraft fleet."

"Sanctions tightened further when major supertanker companies said they would stop loading Iranian cargo. Prior attempts to reduce Iran's oil income failed because many vessels are often managed by companies outside the United States and the EU; however, EU actions in January extended the ban to ship insurance. This insurance ban will affect 95 percent of the tanker fleet because their insurance falls under rules governed by European law. "It's the insurance that's completed the ban on trading with Iran," commented one veteran ship broker.[60] This completion of the trading ban left Iran struggling to find a buyer for nearly a quarter of its annual oil exports."

"After Iranian banks blacklisted by the EU were disconnected from the SWIFT banking network, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz stated that Iran would now find it more difficult to export oil and import products. According to Steinitz, Iran would be forced to accept only cash or gold, which is impossible when dealing with billions of dollars. Steinitz told the Israeli cabinet that Iran's economy might collapse as a result."

Anonymous said...

5/ Unlike France, the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran have below 2.0 TFR's

France and US fertility is heavily immigrant/non-native driven, Israeli fertility is driven by its lower and religious elements, and Saudi Arabia is irrelevant.

J said...

America is losing fast its influence and interest in the Middle East: it has no money to wage another foreign war, and then it is self sufficient in oil. The time has come for France to reclaim its former possessions (Syria may become once more a French Protectorate - the world would welcome France to stop the massacre and make order). La jour d'gloire est arrive!

Chubby Ape said...

In the 1960s, however, the rightist Charles De Gaulle started to wonder, "Why is this in France's national interest?"

People curious about de Gaulle's views on Israel should look for his November 27th, 1967 press conference; it's really something to behold. He gives a 14min answer - without notes or teleprompter - that would make Cicero nod his head in approval. I did a quick search for an English subtitled version of the clip and had no luck. I saw though the Jerusalem Post called the press conference "infamous" as recently as last year. The legend lives on ....

Here it is in the original French at least:
De Gaulle sur Israël

kaganovitch said...

Steve , the comparison of US secretary of state to Israeli foreign minister is completely inapt. In the US the cabinet is chosen by the president, in Israel, which has a parliamentary system, no party commands a majority of Knesset seats, hence all governments are coalition governments in which ministerial portfolios are the subject of interparty negotiation. Liberman's position is just the result of Russian-jewish power in the Yisrael beyteynu party. The Israeli system is liable to such absurdities in every portfolio even defense; witness the defense minister 2006-2007 Amir Peretz (the equivalent of making Jimmy Hoffa jr or andy stern defense secretary)

Anonymous said...

1. Debka is an utterly unreliable source. Their statement by itself is meaningless.
2. France may be trying to gain influence in the Gulf and Saudi. They need the investment and they need the export sales, especially of weapons. They are not sympathetic to Israel in the least. They might even be said to be hostile to Israel. Anything they do with Israel is only because they see it as pure French interest.
3. Iran does have a below replacement birth rate but their difficulties with this will begin in the future, not now, when the very large number of those born in the 70s and 80s retire and there will be a much smaller number of workers who can support them. The Iranians themselves have noted this repeatedly with alarm. This problem will be worse than the one facing Germany or Japan or any other country in the West because their demographic collapse was much faster - all in one generation. They are not a good bet for the future in any event.

Simon in London said...

ATBOTL:
"Russia will not ally with Sunni Islamists."

Yeah, I was thinking the opposite: Israel + Russia vs the Sunni Islamists.

The US would continue to support the Sunni Islamists as at present, and (of course) would continue to support Israel too, thus making it pretty much a wash. Say Turkey goes fully Islamist too, ie Israel 'loses' Turkey the way the US lost Iran. If in 20-30 years Israel and Russia start to feel seriously threatened by an emerging Caliphate, they become natural allies - and possiby throw in Shia Iran as a third leg of an anti-Caliphate axis.

Not saying it's likely, but there are some geopolitical fundamentals that make it possible.

Anonymous said...

"Israel is extremely unpopular at the UN and would, absent American protection, face an endless series of UN-sponsored investigations, economic sanctions, travel restrictions, referrals to the International Criminal Court, and threats of military force."

No way.
Latin America doesn't care about Middle East issues one way or another. They'll do business with any side.
China doesn't care one way or another about Israel. It doesn't meddle in the politics of other nations.
Russia doesn't care either. Putin is only glad to do business with Israel... even as he supports Syria and does business with Iran.
Japan and 'East Asian Tigers' don't care about international politics either or human rights issues.
Africans just want money and handouts. After the Cold War, money dried up from the communist bloc, so Africans just play along with the New World Order.
Some European media may have harsh words on Israel, and some European politicians may raise some fuss, but look at the behavior of European delegates at the UN when Iranian president Addyman spoke up for Palestinians. He simply asked 'why did Pallies have to lose their lands over the crime of Europeans', and the Europeans all walked out.
And what is the main cult of secular Europe? Worship of the Holy Jew and the cult of Holocaust. Europeans might sometimes complain about the treatment of Palestinians, but they worship the Holy Jew too much to ever do anything consequential against Israel.

Noah172 said...

For the record, the polling at the last presidential election in 2012 showed that most French Jews, ~70%, went for Sarkozy, not Hollande. My guess is because Sarkozy talked tough about immigration (meaning, that is, Muslims) without being an eeeeevil neo-Nazi (/snark) like Le Pen, while the Socialists are boosters of mass immigration.

Anonymous said...

Its really sad how mideast dysfunctionality and Israel have distorted American politics. America should really steer clear of this whole hornets' nest. Contrary to popular opinion the USA has no real vital interests in the mideast at all.

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

"For the record, the polling at the last presidential election in 2012 showed that most French Jews, ~70%, went for Sarkozy, not Hollande."

On foreign policy, there is no difference between the two.

Anonymous said...

"In the US the cabinet is chosen by the president..."

But who chooses the president?

How did Obama, who was rejected even by Chicago blacks, come to be the leading candidate? Who groomed and elevated him?

And when he chose his Cabinet, whose orders was he following?

Anonymous said...

Shame on the French political leadership - they have given legitimacy and cover to two rouge states - Israel and Saudi Arabia. Those two states suppress people within their borders - they are the worst police state governments in the ME.

Israel and Saudi Arabia brought 9/11 to our shores. Just think how different the world would be without that tragedy.

France needs money. One wonders how little the Jews and Saudis had to cough up?

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

It's funny how Steve's son of the soil, Virgil Caine I'm a working man act disappears the second he personally dislikes someone."

It's funny how any pretense of neutrality by anonymous posters falls away the moment a certain nation is discussed in any terms other than those that would meet the approval of an old testament prophet.

"For the record Michael savage has two advanced degrees how is that like a former bouncer."

I think what Steve meant is that he (Savage) has the radio personna of an angry drunk. He is seriously off his rocker. He rants and raves on the radio about his neighbors barbequeing. And, by the way, when a guy changes his name from "Wiener" to "Savage", it is perhaps indicative of some deep-seated psychological baggage.

NOTA said...

The sanctions we have imposed on Iran, the cyber attacks we've carried out on them, and the assassinations of Iranian scientists done by folks we support are all acts of war, or would be if someone tried them on us. Iran can't do anything about it because we are way stronger, thankfully. But it's worth remembering that we do this shit to weaker countries all the time. We bomb them, assassinate people in their countries, do all kinds of crap that would be called an act of war if done to us. They generally swallow it, because we're too strong to take on. Sometimes, we get a little blowback in the form of terrorist attacks, but those are pinpricks, and can be used to keep justifying even more acts of war done to weaker nations. (Also, most Americans don't have the faintest clue what our foreign policy looks like, so politicians and talking heads can spin these as unfathomable outbursts of hatred.).

Most likely, this will work out for us. We will probably stay stronger than the countries we kick around for the forseeable future. If that ever isn't true, though, we or our kids and grandkids will get a truly horrible level of payback.

Anonymous said...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/15/the-assassination-of-arafat/

Will the NY Times call for Israel's reckoning with this?

If Dallas must answer for JFK assassination..

ATBOTL said...

So basically no one who will be alive in fifteen-twenty years. "Moreover, from a quick glance no one who held when of the four most powerful offices of state in France. Yea that's the wave of the future. Honestly, clicking the Franco-Jewish Intellectual tab on wikipedia isn't going to prove your point. Yea minister of culture is pretty cool job and all but Jack Lang isn't calling the shots. "


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Marx and Freud and have been dead for a long time and they still have influence. As in the US with the neocons, the clique under discussion has vast influence in France through the mass media, especially the more prestigious outlets, which give them a tremendous amount of positive press, space to expound their views and the echo chamber effects of mutual reviewing, praising and quoting.

Anonymous said...

>>> Should the West be playing games with people's lives like this?


does it also bother you that Arab colonialists transformed wide swaths of the SE Asians local-yokel religiousity into Orthodox Sunni Islam?