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Trump Goes Full Metal "Israel First"

LFC's Photo LFC 23 February 2018 - 01:02 PM

Is Trump actively trying to incite a war? As if moving the embassy to Jerusalem wasn't a big enough F.U. he's thinking of accepting money to build it from one of America's biggest Israel Firsters. Bold is mine.


he Trump administration is considering an offer from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for at least part of a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, four U.S. officials told The Associated Press.

Lawyers at the State Department are looking into the legality of accepting private donations to cover some or all of the embassy costs, the administration officials said. The discussions are occurring as the new embassy clears its final bureaucratic hurdles. On Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended weeks of delay by signing off on a security plan for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, according to the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly and demanded anonymity.

In one possible scenario, the administration would solicit contributions not only from Adelson but potentially from other donors in the evangelical and American Jewish communities, too. One official said Adelson, a Las Vegas casino magnate and staunch supporter of Israel, had offered to pay the difference between the total cost — expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars — and what the administration is able to raise.

Under any circumstance, letting private citizens cover the costs of an official government building would mark a significant departure from historical U.S. practice. In the Jerusalem case, it would add yet another layer of controversy to Trump’s politically charged decision to move the embassy, given Adelson’s longstanding affiliation with right-wing Israeli politics.

It’s not clear if there are any precedents, nor whether government lawyers would give the green light to accept Adelson’s or anyone else’s donations for the embassy.

That's awesome! Let's tamp down religious conflict by using religiously connected money to an already controversial project. Good thing Jared "I'm Too Comprised to Get a Security Clearance" Kushner is on the job of solving Middle East peace.

baw1064's Photo baw1064 23 February 2018 - 01:28 PM

He probably realizes his best road to improving his popularity is to start a war, and has come to realize that North Korea may not be the best country to start one with.

JackD's Photo JackD 23 February 2018 - 02:19 PM

Probably Iran instead; they don't have nukes yet.

Progressive whisperer's Photo Progressive whisperer 23 February 2018 - 02:45 PM

View PostJackD, on 23 February 2018 - 02:19 PM, said:

Probably Iran instead; they don't have nukes yet.

His Saudi buddies would like it too!

LFC's Photo LFC 28 March 2018 - 05:29 PM

The great dealmaker is showing his "abilities" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Here's the core of the article:


Over the past five months, there have been at least three rounds of leaks signalling what Trump's peace plan may entail for the Palestinians.

In November 2017, it was reported that Trump's peace plan would oversee the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in an unspecified territory, but without Jerusalem as its capital and with all the settlements remaining. The report, based on the testimonies of anonymous senior officials on Israel's negotiating team, also signalled that Trump's plan would ignore the Palestinians' right of return and give the control of the Jordan Valley to Israel. Around the same time, it was also reported that Abbas was summoned to Riyadh and told by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to either accept Trump's peace plan or resign.

In February 2018, it was reported in Arab and Israeli media that Trump's peace plan would entail the relocation of some minor settlements, a possible Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and some form of international protection for the holy sites in Jerusalem - seemingly an upgrade for the Palestinians, even if it still fell far short of their demands. And, finally, earlier this month, it was reported in various media outlets that the PA's intelligence chief, Majid Faraj, has seen the latest version of the 35-page peace plan in Riyadh. According to Palestinian officials that spoke to the media on condition of anonymity, this version of the peace plan included the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders on half of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, without Jerusalem, and with only humanitarian solutions to the refugee issue. The plan, moreover, calls for "building a new Jerusalem for the Palestinians from the city's surrounding villages" and also keeps Palestinian security and borders in the hands of Israel.

There seems to be consensus among the Palestinian leadership that Trump's plan, as it stands today, is something that "no Palestinian leader could accept". Abbas himself has said that the plan's objective is "to destroy the Palestinian national project". Edward Said described the Oslo Accords as a "Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles" 25 years ago, so what should we call Trump's "deal of the century"? A mini-Palestine is perhaps the correct term, as it will only consist of Gaza and 50 percent of the West Bank - together amounting to no more than 11.5 percent of historic Palestine.

LFC's Photo LFC 30 March 2018 - 12:16 PM

Things are getting ugly over there again.


At least 12 Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured by Israeli security forces confronting one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border in recent years, Gaza medical officials said.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, pressing for a right of return for refugees to what is now Israel, gathered at five locations along the fenced 65-km (40-mile) frontier where tents were erected for a planned six-week protest, local officials said. The Israeli military estimate was 30,000.

Families brought their children to the encampments just a few hundred meters (yards) from the Israeli security barrier with the Hamas Islamist-run enclave, and football fields were marked in the sand and scout bands played.

But as the day wore on, hundreds of Palestinian youths ignored calls from the organizers and the Israeli military to stay away from the frontier, where Israeli soldiers across the border kept watch from dirt mound embankments.

The military said its troops had used “riot dispersal means and firing toward main instigators.” Some of the demonstrators were “rolling burning tires and hurling stones” at the border fence and at soldiers.

Live fire was used only against people trying to sabotage the border security fence and at least two of the dead were Hamas operatives, an Israeli military official said.

Palestinian health officials said Israeli forces used mostly gunfire against the protesters, in addition to tear gas and rubber bullets. Two people were killed by tank fire, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Witnesses said the military had deployed a drone over at least one location to drop tear gas.

Gaza health officials said one of the 12 dead was aged 16 and at least 400 people were wounded by live gunfire, while others were struck by rubber bullets or treated for tear gas inhalation.

LFC's Photo LFC 06 April 2018 - 03:46 PM

Is it any wonder Trump loves Netanyahu? He wants that power!


Six Palestinian journalists were shot and wounded by the Israeli army during clashes Friday between demonstrators and troops on the Gaza border, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate said.

The union said the six were shot despite wearing clothes clearly identifying themselves as journalists, adding it held Israel “fully accountable for this crime”.

None of the injuries were life threatening, but it called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

Trump would be pissed that none of the injuries were life threatening, though.

andydp's Photo andydp 01 May 2018 - 08:03 AM

Went to Hamilton 68 site. I saw quite a few URLS and tweets dealing with Netanyahu, Iran et al. Need economist view on the highlighted Russia Times Tweet below. (bold mine)

From my FB posting:

Twitter has been busy with lots of stuff about Netanyahu and his speech.

Russia Times reports Vlad had a phone call with Bibi yesterday.

Of note: Russia Times says Iran is "dropping the dollar in foreign trade just as Iraq did before the invasion". Does this mean Iran is selling its dollar reserves ?

libertyblitzkrieg says Netanyahu is trying to get the US to attack Iran.

Hannity reports "Bibi has evidence Iran is "Violating nuclear deal"

Traveler's Photo Traveler 01 May 2018 - 09:23 AM

That entire cache is old material. There is absolutely nothing current in there to suggest Iran is violating the deal. The supposed denial of inspections applies only to sites that were specifically excluded from the deal in the first place. Now if they are starting warhead research in these locations that would seem to be an obvious deal breaker. But the IAEA who is tasked with making that call has not requested any such inspections.

LFC's Photo LFC 01 May 2018 - 09:30 AM

All you have to do is watch how Trump and the Republicans have been spreading lies about Mueller, Comey, the FBI, FISA, etc. to protect Trump from ... well, something that Trump is clearly scared shitless of having see the light of day. Trump is fishing for an excuse, ANY excuse, to fire Mueller and shut the whole thing down.

Now Trump wants to kill the Iran deal and Netanyahu is trying to help him find an excuse, ANY excuse, to do it. If I was in a leadership role in Iran I would have been laying out plans to restart the nuclear program for the last year. Trump is making it crystal clear, and putting a magnifying glass on it with Bolton and Pompeo, that it's their only path to security from a Trumped up attack on their nation. I'm sure they're looking at how Kim played Trump with his nukes and missiles to now quite possibly get everything he wants if Trump doesn't completely blow it ... a VERY big "if".

LFC's Photo LFC 01 May 2018 - 10:20 AM

The Trump administration realizes that what they claimed was stupid, even for them.


Has or had? The White House is quietly walking back a charge that Iran maintains an active nuclear weapons program, saying it really meant that Iran had one before the 2015 nuclear agreement.

A statement sent to reporters Monday by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said a cache of Iranian documents released by Israel is “consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program.”

But intelligence agencies in the U.S. and overseas have stated that the 2015 nuclear deal has frozen Iran’s nuclear program.

The version of Sanders’ statement posted to the White House website has been modified to make clear Iran “had” such a program. The White House is calling it a “clerical error.”

andydp's Photo andydp 01 May 2018 - 03:07 PM

The version of Sanders’ statement posted to the White House website has been modified to make clear Iran “had” such a program. The White House is calling it a “clerical error.”

Bolton must have choked when he saw that...

LFC's Photo LFC 14 May 2018 - 11:19 AM

F***ing perfect. We're now full out on Israel's side, backing them on the single most contentious issue of the most contentious foreign policy matter in the Middle East. I suspect that this is likely due to a big push from Ivanka and Jared. We might as well be openly stating that Israel has the right to Jerusalem as its capital while pissing on the Palestinians. Any chance of anything resembling a peace deal is now completely dead and we'll continue to side with Israel as they continue settling and developing Palestinian land, pushing them into ever shrinking and less economically viable spaces. Welcome to apartheid.


Amid deadly clashes along the Israeli-Palestinian border, President Donald Trump declared Monday a “great day” for Israel as his top aides celebrated the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem as a campaign promised fulfilled.

Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, led the U.S. delegation with a single message: Only Trump had the courage to act on what America has wanted for a long time.

“While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American Embassy once they were in office, this president delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it,” Kushner said.

The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv has infuriated the Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as a future capital. Protests roiled the Gaza border, resulting in at least 37 Palestinians killed, officials said.

In a video address that aided at the ceremony’s opening, Trump said the move to Jerusalem has been a “long time coming,” after the U.S. had “failed to acknowledge the obvious” for many years. Trump said he remained committed to “facilitating a lasting peace agreement,” and that he was “extending a hand of friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors.”

Earlier that morning on Twitter, Trump urged people to watch the ceremony on television and declaring the day “A great day for Israel!” As the ceremony began, he wrote: “Big day for Israel. Congratulations!”

Likewise, Trump’s aides also made no direct reference to the climbing death toll. In a Fox News interview, Mnuchin repeatedly referenced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said Trump should be praised for “taking action” to keep Americans and people in the Middle East safe.

LFC's Photo LFC 14 May 2018 - 11:27 AM

For the Christianist right this is the beginning of the Holy War to take back God's Land ™. On Faux News this video is beyond just disturbing. Bonus points for going out of her way to piss of Iran as well.


Fox Host Jeanine Pirro says Donald Trump fulfilled biblical prophecy by moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile Mitt Romney speaks up against the religious bigot they chose to give the opening prayer.


Senate candidate Mitt Romney of Utah says a prominent Baptist minister shouldn’t be giving the prayer that opens the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem because he’s a “religious bigot.”

In a tweet Sunday night, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee criticized Dallas minister Robert Jeffress for his remarks about Jews, Mormons and Islam.

Romney said, “Robert Jeffress says ‘you can’t be saved by being a Jew,’ and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.’ He’s said the same about Islam.”

The liberal group Media Matters reports on its website that Jeffress made the remarks cited by Romney in a 2011 speech at the conservative Values Voter Summit.

Jeffress responded in a tweet of his own by defending his view that “salvation is through faith in Christ alone.”

It really is like they're going out of their way to rub the Palestinians' collective fact in this. I guess that's how the Evangelicals get their Armageddon.

JackD's Photo JackD 14 May 2018 - 11:53 AM

And lots of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in Gaza. Hell of a celebration!

LFC's Photo LFC 14 May 2018 - 12:56 PM

AP has been updating the news out of the region. Not good. Death toll is up to 41 killed and 770 wounded.


golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 14 May 2018 - 01:05 PM

Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem sparked riots and protests. And it's Israel's Independence Day to boot. Who'd have thought that the combined wisdom of various country's diplomats would be so right? Such a surprise. Jared and Bibi are good buds so that's all that matters.

LFC's Photo LFC 14 May 2018 - 03:03 PM

Saudi Arabia likely wants us to attack Iran for them. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wasn't a pushover when the Saudis previously demanded that we go to war into a full scale war against them. Trump clearly is a pushover so we should all be ever nervous. Top it off with Bolton and Pompeo at Trump's elbow and very little nudging is needed.


In Robert Gates’ memoir, Duty, about his years as secretary of defense, he describes a memorable encounter that is relevant to today’s rush to war with Iran.

In July 2007, Gates met with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah at his sumptuous palace in Jeddah and, Gates writes, “I lost my cool.” The evening began with a multi-course banquet in a room the size of six basketball courts with an Olympic size swimming pool in the middle. The ceiling above it was painted to look like the stars. The room had on one side a floor-to-ceiling aquarium 75 feet across and 30 feet high with exotic fish inside, including sharks. I’ve been there myself, it’s impressive.

After the meal, Gates and the king met directly. The king railed against Iran and pushed for a full scale American military assault far beyond just its nuclear facilities. He threatened the Saudis would “go our own way” if Washington did not go to war. Iran, he often told visitors, was the source of the region’s problems and must be dealt with by force.

Gates got angry. The king was “asking the United States to send its sons and daughters into a war with Iran … as if we were mercenaries”—as if American soldiers could be bought by a Middle East potentate or state to do its bidding. “He was asking us to shed American blood, but at no time did he suggest that any Saudi blood might be spilled.” America had two wars already in the region and did not need another. In his recollections, the SecDef says, “I was pretty wound up.”

As probably the best secretary of defense ever, Gates was making clear no one should try to push America into a war it doesn’t need to fight to serve another country’s interests. Caution is not weakness. It’s often wisdom. War almost always has unintended consequences, and it’s worth losing your cool to stop one.

Unfortunately we have listened to the siren call of war in the Middle East too often in the past. The pitch is always the same. If we just use force against X, it will lead to a “New Middle East” that is prosperous, at peace, and without terrorism. Twice this fantasy has produced wars that only benefited Iran and helped make it the power it is today.


Iran has risen to regional hegemony thanks in large part to the self imposed own goals of 1982 and 2003. Tehran played its cards smartly but it was more the recipient of others mistakes than the crafter of its own good fortune.

The Trump administration is now violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. The Saudi and Israeli governments have separately cheered on the administration but they both want much more: at a minimum Iranian behavior must be changed forcefully; at most the regime in Tehran can be toppled (although no replacement is available not even a Bashir Gemayel, Israel’s murdered protege in 1982). Iran’s gains must be rolled back in Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sanaa.

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, both of whom have been called serial bunglers in the past, are now pressing the United States to do much more than tear up a treaty. Both are facing Iran and its allies in civil wars in Syria and Yemen which have no end in sight. Both are in difficult situations and looking to their American allies for help. Israel has often promised to take unilateral action against Iran’s nuclear program. In a warning eerily like Abdullah’s to Gates, MBS is now promising that Saudi Arabia will acquire the bomb to keep up with Iran.

The lesson of Gates’ meeting in 2007 is highly relevant to today’s situation. The American people would be wise to lose their cool if the administration listens to those who are all too eager to send Americans into harm’s way to pursue fantasies.

The administration made a bad decision to violate the JCPOA. The road to a repetition of the 1982 and 2003 disasters has been opened.

LFC's Photo LFC 14 May 2018 - 03:30 PM

More Israel First rhetoric.


White House says responsibility for Gaza deaths ‘rests squarely with Hamas,’ supports Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’.

JackD's Photo JackD 14 May 2018 - 04:02 PM

"Saudi Arabia likely wants to attack Iran for them." Likely Israel too. Nervous times.