Robert W. Merry tries to figure out where and why things started to go horribly wrong in the US’ Middle East policy since 9/11 –
Where Bush and the American elite went wrong after 9/11 was in refusing to believe those attacks reflected a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West. In believing the problem was a dearth of democracy, they crafted a policy that destroyed those elements within Mideast Islam best-positioned to keep at bay the forces of Islamist fundamentalism. And, in interjecting American power into the Islamic heartland—planting the American flag in Islamic soil in a highly provocative manner—they fanned the flames of Islamist fundamentalism throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Ray Takeyh re-examines the CIA’s role in one of the major turning points in Iran’s history –
In reality, the CIA’s impact on the events of 1953 was ultimately insignificant. Regardless of anything the United States did or did not do, Mosaddeq was bound to fall and the shah was bound to retain his throne and expand his power. Yet the narrative of American culpability has become so entrenched that it now shapes how many Americans understand the history of U.S.-Iranian relations and influences how American leaders think about Iran. In reaching out to the Islamic Republic, the United States has cast itself as a sinner expiating its previous transgressions. This has allowed the Iranian theocracy, which has abused history in a thousand ways, to claim the moral high ground, giving it an unearned advantage over Washington and the West, even in situations that have nothing to do with 1953 and in which Iran’s behavior is the sole cause of the conflict, such as the negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program.
Yaron London laments the far reaching consequences of the massive-scale search for the three kidnapped youths –
It occupies huge forces diverted from other missions, and involves enormous financial expenditures and management resources which carry a price too. It worsens our already shaken relations with the moderate Palestinian leadership, inflicts a lot of damage on hundreds of thousands who are prevented from moving and are unemployed, leads to hundreds of false arrests and sends many who have not committed a crime into the hands of investigators who were not blessed with the hands of pianists.
Sherwin Pomerantz celebrates some remarkable stats concerning Israel’s impact on the US economy –
The over 200 Israeli-founded businesses located in the state [Massachusetts] booked over $6 billion of revenue there and generated nearly $12 billion in economic benefit to the state, inclusive of their own revenue, plus the multiplier effect of their spending in the local economy, for example, on office space and accounting, legal, marketing, healthcare and other services. This represented 2.9% of Massachusetts’ GDP in 2012. These companies directly employed over 6,600 people in the state and supported over 23,000 jobs based on the multiplier effect of their demand for goods and services in support of their businesses.
Michael Young explains how Iran can benefit from a US intervention in Iraq –
Simon is correct in seeing Iran as the ultimate beneficiary of American missteps. No doubt the Iranians view collaboration with the Americans as possible leverage in the nuclear file, something that enhances goodwill and can be reflected in a satisfactory outcome to the nuclear talks.
But there would not be much in it for the United States. Maliki is unlikely to open up to the Sunnis, and Iran has no intention of making him do so. American-Iranian cooperation in Iraq would essentially benefit the Islamic Republic. If Obama is unwilling to go all the way and resolve the ISIS headache both in Syria and Iraq, then it’s better he do as little as possible. America’s short attention span tends only to favor its adversaries.
A provocative TNI piece considers ‘the case for Bashar Assad’ –
American idealism frequently clouds the judgment of our policy makers. We want to promote democracy everywhere, and we have a seemingly nonnegotiable aversion to dictators. But sometimes there simply isn’t a better alternative—toppling a despotic regime often creates more problems than it solves. The United States is certainly creating more problems for itself in Syria by working against Assad. Obama said the United States needs to support moderates in Syria because they are fighting terrorists “who find safe haven in the chaos,” but arming the opposition to topple Assad is only prolonging the chaotic power vacuum that allows those terrorists to thrive.
The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola writes about the recent rise in French anti-semitism –
Anti-Semitism, Jewish activists fear, is becoming more socially acceptable. In May, for instance, the far-right National Front — a party long rooted in anti-Semitism but which sought to portray itself as reformed — came in first in elections here for the European Parliament, winning a whopping 25 percent of the national vote. Yet last week, its patriarch, Jean-Marie Le Pen, suggested just how unreformed a segment of the party remains. In a video posted on the party’s Web site, he suggested that a Jewish folk singer should be thrown into an oven.
J.J Goldberg remembers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, the three civil rights workers murdered by a lynch in Mississippi 50 years ago yesterday–
For some reason, the yahrzeit of the three has not become an annual memorial day on a Jewish calendar that’s packed with memorials for Jewish heroes and martyrs. Goodman and Schwerner should be counted among the most important heroes in American Jewish history. Perhaps some day we’ll know how to tell our own story. Maybe then our young will care enough to stick around.