Obama: Opponents of Iran Deal are Warmongers

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Lame duck Obama pulls no punches. In his major address Wednesday on the Vienna deal reached with Iran, Obama let his critics have it.

I take it he has done the math and knows that the Republicans in the House and possibly the Senate will reject his Iran deal, but that they do not have the votes to over-ride his veto of any restrictions they try to put on it. So he, unlike first-term Obama, has no illusions that he can reason with the GOP gangsters on the Hill. Instead, he is already reaching over their heads to the American public and trying to convince it that he is doing the right thing. So since he can’t likely persuade the GOP Congress, he is letting them know what he really thinks of them at last.

He said,

“Now, when I ran for president eight years ago as a candidate who had opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, I said that America didn’t just have to end that war. We had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place.

It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy, a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus, a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.”

This is a bolder than ever before characterization of the Iran deal’s knee-jerk critics, many of whom, Obama correctly pointed out, were against the deal even before they had any of its details. He is laying the Iraq War directly at the feet of the Republican Party and of war hawks among the Democrats (though note that contrary to what is often alleged, the majority of House Democrats voted against the Iraq War).

What was wrong with that rush to war? It derived, Obama says, from an active preference for war rather than diplomacy, and for a preference for unilateral American war-fighting over coalition-building.

Obama implicitly evoked the ghost of Paul Wolfowitz (now an adviser to candidate Jeb Bush), who as the number two man at the Pentagon told Congress in spring of 2003 that the Iraq War would cost $60 billion, that only 100,000 troops would be needed, and that those troops would be back out of the country for the most part by October of 2003.

Obama said,

“Leaders did not level with the American people about the costs of war, insisting that we could easily impose our will on a part of the world with a profoundly different culture and history. And, of course, those calling for war labeled themselves strong and decisive while dismissing those who disagreed as weak, even appeasers of a malevolent adversary.”

Dear GOP: just in case the no-drama style is confusing you, he is making fun of you as juvenile delinquents who preen and strut and call level-headed people pussies.

What really happened?

Obama:

“More than a decade later, we still live with the consequences of the decision to invade Iraq. Our troops achieved every mission they were given, but thousands of lives were lost, tens of thousands wounded. That doesn’t count the lives lost among Iraqis. Nearly a trillion dollars was spent. Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al-Qaida in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.”

Let me expand on what Obama said. About 100,000 US troops received at least flesh wounds in Iraq, with 33,000 injured badly enough to go to hospital. Some 10,000 of those in turn were pretty badly wounded and need Veteran Administration hospital care in the long term. Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz estimates that over the life time of the wounded veterans, and given other costs such as replacing all those bombs we dropped, and paying off the $1 trillion we borrowed (yes, Bush fought the Iraq War with deficit financing as though he were taking out a 30 year mortgage), the Iraq War will end up costing $3-6 trillion dollars. That would mean that Wolfowitz, a mathematician, was only off by a factor of a hundred to 200.

Myself, I figure that an Iran war should cost about 3 times what an Iraq War cost, since Iran is nearly 3 times more populous and geographically expansive than Iraq. So, $18 trillion. The US gross national product is about $17 trillion annually, and our national debt (an important chunk of it built up during Bush’s wars) is about equal to that. This situation is very bad– you never want your debt to equal your GDP, and it has already hurt the US credit rating. If you double the national debt with an Iran war, you pretty much turn the US into Greece right there. You might as well just go to the Chinese embassy and offer to sell yourself into slavery at that point.

So, again, GOP, let me just expand on what he is saying: You lied us into the Iraq War in part by low-balling us. It is like when an auto dealer initially offers you an unrealistically low price on a car to get you hooked on the idea of owning it, then gradually lets you know that unfortunately there are those pesky extras like, you know, tires and windows and taxes that will rather raise the price– but you still want it, right?

And Obama is saying that he is determined that a big infantry-driven land war is just not going to happen with regard to Iran as long as he is president, and he moreover is amazed that after the Iraq debacle anyone should even be talking about such a catastrophic course of action.

Those who are, he said, are warmongers.

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Related video:

CBS: “Full speech: President Obama defends Iran nuclear deal”

38 Responses

  1. If Obama had really pulled no punches, he would have told the Republicans, and others in the US Congress, that they were acolytes and traitors and in the pocket of a foreign government.

    • If he had really pulled no punches, he would have said:
      1. Iran is signer of NTP, Israel is not
      2. Iran has never produced a nuclear weapon, Israel has a clandestine stockpile of them
      3. The authority for sanctions and the P5+1 negotiations flow from the NTP. The CJPOA is an enforcement of the NTP agreement.
      4. Multi-million campaign by AIPAC is epitome of special interests, Israel is a special interest

  2. I’m listening to Morning Joe as I browse the internet. The talking heads are saying the president has to put aside this kind of rhetoric…..accusing those opposed to a deal with Iran as warmongers.

    Personally, Obama hit the nail on the head. A good debate question for the candidates tonight would be….What happens to oil prices five minutes after bombs start falling on Tehran? If oil prices double or triple how will that affect the economy and the average American? Of course Fox News would never be in favor of peacemaking.

  3. It was Mitch Daniels, director of the OMB, (subsequently governor of Indiana and now President of Purdue University) who gave the New York Times an estimate of $50 to $60 billion for the cost of the Iraq War. link to nytimes.com

    My comment is in no way to be construed as a defense of Mr. Wolfowitz.

  4. Obama has never felt ashamed of his rhetoric against Jewish Lobby and his pro-Israel actions.

    In his address to the ‘Veterans of Foreign Wars’, Obama didn’t forget to assure his Jewish vote-bank: “In US-Iran deal, we are promoting the US and Israel’s security.”

    How funny of Obama, Iran has neither WMDs nor long-distance delivery mechanism to attack US mainland thousands miles away. However, Iran does have the capability to attack America’s 51st State – Israel, directly or through Lebanon-based Hizbullah, which already has defeated Jewish army in 2000 and 2006.

    link to rehmat1.com

  5. You know, Obama may have gotten to the point where he simply decided to finally Speak-To-Power, as they say when refering to more obvious mortals.

    He does have a superior soapbox, and he stands to yet do a lot of good by calling the various Players out directly. You’d hear a very telling conversation if this sort of tactic were done right.

    Contrast, for example, the perspective and impact of the above post by Dr. Cole, with the one below: link to examiner.com

  6. Having a double major in mathematics and chemistry in undergraduate studies does not make one a mathematician; in the same capacity, I don’t think having a major in history, entitles one to the title of historian. Paul Wolfowitz went on to do graduate studies in Political Science, and ended up getting his PhD in Political Science from University of Chicago. He had no graduate training in mathematics. One also doesn’t need a PhD in mathematics to do the accounting that is needed make an estimate of the the eventual cost of the Iraq War. Accounting and mathematics are quite different disciplines. I do not consider Paul Wolfowitz a mathematician. His father, Jacob Wolfowtiz, was a statistician or mathematician, who made many seminal contributions. Paul Wolfowitz made absolutely no contributions to the field whatsoever.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusion: one that I believe I’ve read here for several years. In addition to the in-exorbitant cost (humanitarian and financial), a strike, multiple strikes, or war on Iran would also be illegal under international law (just like the Iraq War).

  7. A sincere question because I haven’t read a detailed analysis of one point – what would have happened if we kept the sanctions in place on Iran? Isn’t that the third alternative to this-deal-or-war? Our sanctions against Iran are from what I can tell not as expensive / active as the state we kept Iraq in between the wars so presumably they could have been left in place for a lot longer (until Iran was ready to give more concessions).

    • Our sanctions, we could keep. But the rest of the world won’t go along, and we’re not that important.

      • Except that the rest of the world actually did go along and would continue if forced to choose between doing business with the US (GDP $16.77 TRILLION) vs the Mollah Regime (368.9 BILLION).

        • Not true – The USA has a LOT MORE to lose in any trade war than any other nation. Also note that China and Russia are looking for ways to seriously degrade the USA power. GWB handed them lots of ways to peel off power and starting a trade war would just further hammer the USA. Your arrogance blinds you to reality that the USA can NOT control the world by force, which Obama appears to understand. As I noted in another post on this topic, the USA has run out of “lever” to pull and has to abide by what the rest of the world thinks. You may not like the fact the USA is losing power, but that is just how the world works and how it has worked for over5000 years – power never stays in one place very long. After WW2 the USA had lots of power, but as history clearly shows, it has started to flow away. Get used to it.

    • You do not appear to understand just how little power the USA has in the real world.

      There are many different types of sanctions, of which the USA very little real power to control:

      – Direct USA/Iran trade sanctions – These have been in place since 1979 and are totally worthless since the USA and Iran have no trade or financial transactions. BUT even with USA direct sanctions in place, Iran has been able to freely get critical USA goods by using the fine old ancient skills of smuggling and money laundering. For example, Iran recently purchased, via the ancient skills, FOUR brand new USA built helicopters and all the necessary repair parts. Oops, so much for USA sanctions. The Helicopter company followed all the rules – they just got scammed by the old skills.

      – Third-party sanctions – That is, TEMPORARY non-USA sanctions on trade with Iran. To get Iran to the table, the USA persuaded the P5+1 to put their own sanctions in place. The BIG PROBLEM is those other countries have made it very, very obvious that those TEMPORARY sanctions are going to disappear by the end of 2015, regardless what the USA does. The USA has NO POWER to keep those third-party sanctions in place. If the congress critters try to use trade restrictions on non-USA companies, the countries that those companies call home, will retaliate against USA companies and soon IBM, HP, Google and many other USA-based multi-national companies will be stringing up congress critters and beating them with metal baseball bats. Keep in mind most other countries are just looking for a handy excuse to close their countries to USA companies and limit their markets to “friendly” companies. The USA has no way to control any other country – even war will not work because as Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and dozens of smaller wars have shown, the USA can NOT control other countries by force and the risk of war with Russia or China is a staggeringly obvious BAD IDEA.

      – Financial transaction restrictions – That is, using the USA/UK controlled SWIFT international banking system to limit financial transactions with Iran. The USA has done OK with this UP UNTIL NOW, but the brute force the USA used, has angered lots of countries who have a severe case of “There, but for the grace of of the USA, go I.” As a result, China has been able to convince virtually all of the world to create an alternative to the USA controlled international banking system which is coming on-line right now and will be fully functional by early 2016. Once the Chinese banking system is running, anyone that wants to do financial transactions with Iran will be able to do so with zero interference from the USA. And if the USA tries to get nasty about it, the USA will drive most of the global transactions out of the SWIFT system and to the Chinese bank system with does NOT use USA dollars, causing the USA dollar to lose value (so much for your standard of living ).

      So basically at this point, the UN has OKed the deal and most of the rest of the globe are going to drop all sanctions on Iran and freely trade with Iran and there is absolutely NOTHING the USA congress can do about it other than whine like a spoiled brat.

      So, NO the USA has no way to “increase the sanctions,” let alone keep the current TEMPORARY ones in place.

      The question that should be asked is “why would any reasonably intelligent American think the USA ruled the earth?”

      • In the mid 1990’s Halliburton traded with Iran in violation of the sanctions until caught. Their CEO at the time? Dick Cheney. Where the almighty dollar is involved, you can’t even count on putative US corporations to go along with US policy.

  8. And rightly so, and it will be interesting
    to watch which of them will beat the
    tom-toms the loudest tomorrow on Fox News.

  9. One other factor to consider before attacking Iran – we wouldn’t be the only major power involved this time. Russia and China would be players as well, either directly or indirectly.

    Russia could either ship arms and equipment to Iran overland via Azerbaijan, or across the Caspian Sea… or they could instead wait until the US forces were tied down in Iran, and strike elsewhere.

    China could also supply high-tech weapons to Iran (a great place to test their “carrier killer” missiles). Alternatively, they could make aggressive moves in the South China Sea, secure in the knowledge that the US lacked the power to support its allies in that region while fighting in Iran.

    Teddy Roosevelt said “talk softly, and carry a big stick.” The far-right’s version seems to be “Scream loudly, and re-enact Pickett’s Charge on a global level.”

    • Keep in mind that Iran has a LARGE, MODERN weapons industry, that has already cloned the very deadly Russian BUK, the equally deadly Russian S-400 (in collaboration with China), and the Russian 200 MPH supercavitating torpedo (and designed a sub especially for the Persian gulf).

      Iran already has a very deadly multi-layer air defense system that rivals those of Russia and China. All attack simulations I am aware of from BEFORE 2010 show that the USA could lose as much as 65% of the attacking aircraft. Note that the US military and the IDF are well ware of the danger of attacking Iran and have very bluntly told the political leadership in the USA and Israel that an attack would be suicidal. This might be why Bibi has not attacked, even though he whines about doing so – his generals would probably shoot him first.

      In addition to the air defenses, Iran has designed very deadly sea defenses, including the previously mentioned subs, fast attack boats and lots of shore to ship missiles based on advanced French and Chinese technology. Iran already has clones of the DF21C MRBM, so it is very probable that it also has at least one clone of the DF21D “carrier killer.”

      Then there is the “grunts” problem. Iran’s standing army is LARGER than the USA army and marines and is equally battle-hardened. BUT in addition, Iran has over 30 MILLION military capable humans. Per the USA army’s own doctrine, the USA would need a MINIMUM force of ONE MILLION USA soldiers to take and hold Iran for more than 30 days and the casualty rate would be thousands every week.

      Keep in mind that Iranians have been EXTREMELY PARANOID about a USA attack for over 30 years and have dedicated lots of resources and time to making sure that any USA attack would be extremely painful for the USA.

      As Rummy would say “piece of cake, what could go wrong?”

    • From what I’ve heard about the GOP debate, the candidates are still promoting the delusion that Iran will cave in and there won’t be a war. They know the public can’t recall all the way back to the years before 2003 when this same scam was being sold.

      Even the GOP is afraid of admitting to the public that America can’t win World War 3. The question is, can the Zionists, Saudis and GOP sabotage peace in such a way that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization further delays Iran’s membership, which will make official that we are threatening war with all the countries in Central Asia plus Russia and China.

      • I think China has put all the infrastructure in place so the USA no longer has any control, and will have no problem with having Iran join SCO.

  10. One of the many idiocies of the lunatic right is the assumption that any war with Iran would be a cake walk and that Iran would do nothing to fight back. Here’s a very plausible scenario in case of a US attack/war on Iran. Iran mines the Straits of Hormuz, persuades Iraq to reduce the production of oil and then attacks Saudi oil fields. The damage to Western economies from this alone could run to tens of billions and cause a world wide depression. People accuse Iran of being a state sponsor of terrorism. With a US led war, wouldn’t all the gloves come off so that Hezbollah would launch thousands of rockets at Israel and terrorist attacks mushroom all over the world? And this doesn’t even begin to count the cost of a military engagement with Iran, which still has tens of thousand of religious fanatics willing to die combating the US. Here’s something that Obama won’t say because he cannot. Iran getting nuclear weapons would be preferable to having a war with Iran. And a point I keep raising. Where were the critics when North Korea got the bomb while Bush was President? Why didn’t Bush do anything to stop them? Same reason, the cost would be prohibitive.

    • Something no one seems to understand is that the Saudi oil infrastructure is all one-off, hand built and once it is blown up, it would take years to replace.

      There is no “Home Depot” for oil infrastructure anywhere on this earth where the Saudis could get off-the-shelf infrastructure, nor are there hundreds of thousands of trained infrastructure builders (there are only a few thousand on the entire earth).

      If Iran gets pushed into war, the BEST thing they could do is stop all ship traffic in the Persian gulf, then if the USA didn’t back off, just destroy the Saudi oil infrastructure which would send the price of oil through the roof. This would benefit the oil producers in the USA who could sell their oil for high prices to the rest of the world (you don’t actually think they would be “patriotic” and keep it all in the USA, do you?).

      Basically, war with Iran would gut the USA leaving it with very little power and a huge debt.

      But as Sun Tzu pointed out, extreme hubris and stupidity has never stopped anyone from doing the worst possible thing.

      I suspect that once the USA starts the war, it will be less than six months before the USA public is looking for a way to hang the USA leaders that lead them down the garden path, because the costs will be so high..

        • Which is what everyone in the USA should have and would have if the USA had a sane national energy policy. But due to our “rugged individual” stupidity and our total inability to plan for anything beyond next Tuesday, the USA will run full sped into that rock wall and wonder why no one told us we were in danger of hitting a rock wall.

          Given the huge amount of non-carbon energy available, there is no reason not to use it. All we have to do is INVEST in making the non-carbon energy ubiquitous, which we could easily do if we quit having super expensive wars and quit buying worthless war toys like the F-35 (it is so complex, it will totally fail in the real world). BTW – Iran has figured out that for the cost of one F-35, they can make hundreds (maybe thousands) of inexpensive, reasonably accurate missiles – definitely enough to drop that F-35 from the sky with lots left over.

  11. The speech, which I have watched twice in full, was quite brilliant, Ciceronian indeed. It’s rare these days to encounter a speech eschewing emotion and relying so completely on intellect. Those preparing to stand for office might profitably take salutary note of those parts that evoked spontaneous applause. (If you want a reminder, look at the transcript and do a ‘find’ on APPLAUSE.) link to washingtonpost.com

    Each interest group will take what it wants from it, but one paragraph, perhaps in a sense the most poignant was:

    If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear deal or the sanctions we have painstakingly built. We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility is the anchor of the international system.

    Some fear that credibility is already threatened, and when he employed the verb ‘lose’, I think he really meant it.

  12. The vote will be interesting. Obama said the only country against the deal is Israel. If a congressman votes no against the world it is indication he is “indebted” to AIPAC or that in next election the will take them out. Take names.
    Did you see Senator Kaine at hearing on IAEA. Took them to wood shed. On Iraq, IAEA was right, we were wrong etc,etc, beautiful.

  13. I am just wondering what other people think: what right did the United States have to place sanctions on Iran in the first place? Obama claims that it was this deal or war. Another poster advocated maintaining sanctions. Didn’t Brazil and Turkey broker a deal with Iran in 2010? And didn’t Obama reject that deal? The United States and the other nuclear powers who signed the NPT have never fulfilled Article VI, which calls for disarmament. Hell, they haven’t even considered it. (Though Corbyn is advocating disarmament as part of his Labour leadership bid. And I believe there was a Democratic candidate in the early 80s who said they would not respond with nuclear weapons to a Soviet first strike.)

    With respect to war mongering, I really do not think Obama is any position to criticize Republicans: increased troops in Afghanistan, increased drone attacks, led the push for UN SC Resolution 1973 that authorized military intervention in Libya (and then went beyond its scope with regime change). On Iraq, Obama spent 2011 trying to convince the Iraq Parliament to offer immunity for US troops so the United States could maintain a military presence. (And the troops did not achieve every mission they were given. Far from it.) And he drew a redline on Syria only to be saved by the Westminster opposition and coalition dissidents.

    • You have to look at this Iran deal in isolation. Most nations are fearful, not so much of Iran acquiring a bomb but of the consequences, specifically the proliferation of such armaments in the area, and then the increasingly likely possibility that someone somewhere will just press a red button one bright morning. Working all this through with Iran is supposed to put that box of matches well out of reach. Many are pissed off because they see the deal as providing momentum towards a nuclear weapon free ME, any resistance to which would further isolate Israel.

      President Reuven Rivlin said on Thursday that the tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama have him “worried” because “for the first time I see that we are in isolation.”

      link to jpost.com

      isolation exposes Israel’s activities in Palestine, and in that sense can indeed be regarded as an existential threat.

  14. JUST IN!

    Chuck Schumer says he is voting against Obama’s (and the other major countries) agreement with Iran. This is momentous because everyone says that Chuckie is next to take control of the Democrat wing of the Senate. I have never understood how or why that the Democratic senate leadership is etched in stone, but we know that it is. This is so undemocratic. It seems like the old Politburo of the USSR.
    Here we go, with the Democratic party running as the Republican lite party, leaving little or no cracks between the parties with regard to the Pax Americana world plan.
    Argh!

    • During his 34 years in Congress, Schumer has become fond of telling his voters that his surname is derived from “shomer,” the Hebrew word for “guardian.” “I am a shomer for Israel and I will continue to be that with every bone in my body,” he said in 2010.

      link to huffingtonpost.com

      • I have a standing invitation on several websites for anyone to provide any instance where Senator Shumer has ever voted on an issue that was in opposition to the position of AIPAC. Doubt I will ever see one.

  15. Obama had the courage to denounce the warmongering tyrant over a democracy, described in Aristotle’s Politics, who needs a foreign enemy to demand domestic power as “protector” and accuse his opponents of disloyalty. Those who go along with such demands are manipulated, either ignorant of the issues or fearful of the accusations of their own kind. But Obama and the Dems cannot well defend their own acquiescence to such demands, their own warmongering in Ukraine and Syria, or their failure to advocate or engage in the major humanitarian aid programs that achieve the peace and cooperation so despised by the warmongering tyrants.

  16. Yes, Chuck Schumer has now openly said he will oppose the nuclear deal. Given his influence and future power in the Senate, Schumer’s explicit position helps to clarify why Obama now – only a day or so before Schumer’s announcement, which he surely now knew of – finally spoke up and fought back. It was clear that it is not only the Republicans who are destroying the multinational agreement and fostering attacks on Iran and a war. It is also the Democratic leadership in the Senate and (with Debby W Schultz) in the House – both fully tied to the right-wing mind set and program in Israel of Netanyahu et al, the policy and lobbying apparatus of AIPAC – all contrary to the voice and mentality of the vast majority of American Jews and many progressives in Israel – who are undermining peace and stability in the region and the world at large. They are bringing on another Churban ( holocaust). For all the talk by those on the right that we are seeing in Obama’s position another Munich, it is Paris – not Munich – that should be our vantage point in all this. The failure of the Senate, long ago, to ratify Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations project ( with all his and its failings ) precipitated much of the horror, wars, and killings through the end of the second world war, and beyond. The failure to create a structure and architecture of peace; a hard heartedness toward defeated foes; failure to live up to the rhetoric and hopes of the Paris accord; and the resulting bitterness of colonized peoples in Africa, China, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East to the betrayal of the hopeful promises of the Paris accord led to a cascade of disasters that were generated by our Senate’s failure to ratify the treaty and support the President. America’s presumption of the moral high ground is undercut by the fact that we overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in the early 1950’s, that we dropped two nuclear bombs on civilian cities in Japan, and to recently invaded Iraq by both Bush I and II. Today, the Republican Party as a whole, the centrist-right wing of the Democratic Party – the Democratic Leadership Council of the Clintons, Gore, and people like Schultz and Schumer are once again precipitating another cycle of long-term disaster. The President has, and had, reached the end of his rope; he began to admit our errors. We must carry it further.

    • I find it mind boggling that so many political leaders seem to think we live in a uni-polar world where the US can impose its will whenever and wherever it wants. Delusion is particul;arly strong in US political discourse, especially among conservatives. What we should be doing is building an international system based on alliances where the US can maintain its leadership while no longer being the only or the strongest super power. The Iran Agreement should be the model for the US going forward; it is an absolute brilliant piece of diplomacy, among the greatest in US history.

  17. I’m getting scared. I see no evidence that the supporters of peace have any willingness to hurt the supporters of war, which is what we’re down to. Instead, the supporters of peace attack other supporters of peace for not being absolute pacifists in the past, as if that was the position of the American people. The poll numbers show that the American people have learned nothing, and fear everything but their own military’s violent incompetence.

    The supporters of war will march, and pour money into campaign coffers, and create an illusion of consensus that will attract low-information voters, while the supporters of peace will sit at home and bemoan the way things are.

    Schumer should be treated by the peace movement exactly as though he were George W. Bush himself. His office should be barricaded by human chains. He should have no peace anywhere he goes, since he wants no peace for anyone else. But you know that won’t happen. He won’t even admit that war will result from his actions, and no one will take him to task.

    • @super390 who said: “I see no evidence that the supporters of peace have any willingness to hurt the supporters of war, which is what we’re down to.”

      How true. In fact, the hawks get free shots all the time to spin the world the way they want. For example, Tom Cotton and others allege that Iran (via Hezbollah) killed Americans in Lebanon back in the day when Israel had invaded Lebanon with an apparent attempt to make Lebanon part of Israel’s conquest.
      Cotton repeats every time he talks that Iran was responsible for killing Americans in Iraq.
      Al Qaeda in Iraq, according to the daily news reports, were the ones we were fighting in Iraq—the ones using IEDs. Now, as it turns out, according to Cotton and the right wing, it was Iran we were fighting in Iraq! Who knew? Is Cotton right? Was Iran the real enemy in Iraq? Nobody ever refutes the warmongers on this.

  18. The Warmongers, much of the GOP and many Americans put their faith and belief in money and power which are dead ends with wars and chaos.

    People want and need to believe, have faith in a religion, person, group, party or/and in themselves.

    Some of the Middle East wars and conflict materialize from disagreement of which version of Islam is the true version. In many Middle East countries the average citizen is poor and uneducated, thus often turns to their location’s version of Islam for guidance. If their religious leader is narrow minded and won’t accept other versions/religions, the result is religious chaos and wars.

    The best bet for the Middle East peace is education and jobs.

    But not the American education system that emphasizes competition and being the best so that you can be rich. Cooperation and helping our self and all others to do our “individual” best towards perfection is a better mode. Faith in your higher self and/or higher power will save humanity. There are cases where individuals have consciousness without brain activity, suggests that our souls, true consciousness is separate from the mind and body. link to youtube.com

    I believe religions equally respecting women and men, that have both at all levels of hierarchy or are making such changes are no longer living in the Middle Ages. Many if not a majority of religious and spiritual practices are still in the Middle Ages and in the Middle East.

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