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  • Beyond American hegemony and a liberal international order

    With Trump's departure from the Iran deal, many are mourning the 'rules based international order.' But Trump is not the problem: the world has changed, and the idea that the U.S. dominates the world by dint of power, values, wisdom, even God’s decisions is a myth. By Gordon Adams America’s place in the world is experiencing an historic turning point. All the mumbo-jumbo about being the “exceptional” and “indispensable” nation, the natural “leader” of something called the “West,” the guarantor of some kind of international system of “rules” is finally being cast into the dustbin of history. [tmwinpost] This moment…

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  • For Adelson-funded organization, anti-Semitism is not a problem

    Right-wing Jews like Sheldon Adelson have no problem shelling out money for the European 'New Right,' even if it means flirting with anti-Semites. By Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton A familiar group of super-hawkish, anti-Iran U.S. billionaires has been spending millions of dollars on a rather eclectic and somewhat bizarre organization of mainly foreign leaders. This organization, the Friends of Israel Initiative (FOII), has hailed the advent of what it calls the “New Right” in Europe. It has even excused the “flirtations with anti-Semitism” on the part of some of the adherents of this new European alt-Right, so long as they support Israel.…

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  • The Iranian nuclear deal remains the least bad option

    Pulling the U.S. out of the deal — or provoking Iran to pull out — would mean abandoning the least bad option for dealing with an Iran that can produce highly enriched uranium.  By Peter Jenkins Abbas Araghchi was in London last week. Araghchi, one of Iran’s deputy foreign ministers, was a negotiator of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the July 2015 agreement designed to resolve international concerns about the nature and intent of Iran’s nuclear program. Toward the end of an interview with the BBC on February 22, Aragchi was asked whether the JCPOA would “collapse if the United States [were] not…

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  • Killing the Iran deal with a thousand cuts

    Much like President Trump is undermining his predecessor's other flagship achievement, the Affordable Care Act, the president is attacking the Iran nuclear agreement piecemeal. The result will be tragic. By Paul Pillar Don’t be either fooled or relieved by President Trump’s waiving, for now, of nuclear sanctions on Iran, and thus his forgoing of an explicit withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Trump still is determined to destroy the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), though not necessarily in the way he threatens, or in a way some have feared. He is set on destroying the JCPOA partly because of…

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  • Bannon: Adelson drove Jerusalem embassy move

    An excerpt from a new book on the Trump presidency confirms: the right-wing billionaire and Netanyahu backer has been a driving force behind the administration's foreign policy decisions. By Eli Clifton Candidate Donald Trump claimed that he wouldn’t be beholden to campaign donors and slammed his Republican primary opponents as puppets of their wealthy patrons. “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!” Trump tweeted in October 2015. But an excerpt from Michael Wolff’s upcoming book Fire and Fury quotes Steve Bannon, who served as CEO of the Trump…

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  • Is Sheldon Adelson behind Trump's decision on Jerusalem?

    The Jewish-American casino mogul, also a major supporter of Prime Minister Netanyahu, has reportedly grown impatient with Trump's delays to follow through on his campaign promise to move the American embassy. By Eli Clifton President Donald Trump is expected to announce U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday, and possibly his intention to move the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv. The move is a step toward fulfilling his campaign promise, during a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to move the embassy to Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] It’s still uncertain if Trump will go…

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  • Stuck between Trump and Netanyahu, Abbas is running out of options

    U.S.-led negotiations are the only game in town for the Palestinian Authority — Abbas doesn’t have many choices available. But according to those close to him, he is unsure about how to proceed given that the goal posts have been moved yet again. By Dalia Hatuqa It would have been a startling assertion had it not been heard before. Two weeks ago, Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he would not be evacuating any settlements in the West Bank. “We are here to stay, forever,” the Israeli prime minister said at the settlement of Barkan. “We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen…

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  • What's the story with the siege on Doha?

    It is very difficult to accept at face value this newfound determination to defeat terrorism by the Gulf states by humiliating a smaller neighbor whose differences consist primarily of alternative choices of distasteful proxies. By Gary Sick There are several things that I find confounding about the current conflict within the GCC: First, as a member of the US policy team that first applied sanctions against Iran when our diplomats were being held hostage in Tehran, we drew the line at food and medicine. That has remained true in the succeeding 37 years. Despite all the onerous sanctions that the…

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  • Can the Iran Deal survive the Trump administration?

    From a White House flirting with a policy of regime change to a changing political reality in the Gulf to the terror attacks in Tehran, the Iranian nuclear deal's survival is anything but guaranteed. By Derek Davison The Iran nuclear deal—Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—is facing multiple threats, and whatever hope there may once have been that it could serve as a basis for improving U.S.-Iran ties is probably gone. Between the Trump administration’s emerging focus on Iranian regime change and recent instability in the Persian Gulf, simply maintaining the deal itself is proving to be a serious…

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  • ADL demands Trump advisor disavow ‘anti-Semitic hate groups’

    It's been a rough couple of weeks for Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka following a series of investigations that began with reporting by Lobelog, and published on +972. By Eli Clifton Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka has had a rough two weeks. It began with LobeLog’s report that he wore the medal of Vitezi Rend, an anti-Semitic Hungarian organization that collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, at an inaugural ball. [tmwinpost] There followed the publication of a series of articles questioning his credentials and experience as a counter-terrorism expert, not to mention the circulation on the web…

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  • What 'putting Iran on notice' really means

    It’s high time for the United States to interject some realism into discussions about Iranian missiles. By Greg Thielmann Iran’s January 29 flight test of a medium-range ballistic missile helped prompt an ominous if ambiguous warning by U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on February 1: “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” Since it is facing so many other international crises, it is curious that the new administration gives such a prominent place to Iranian missile testing, which poses no existential threat to the United States or its allies and is not prohibited by the Iran…

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  • Prominent Iranian-Americans to Trump: Keep the nuclear deal

    Thirty-seven leading Iranian Americans pen open letter to President-elect Trump, urging him to keep the Iran deal. Abandoning it, they write, will 'once again put the United States and Iran on the path of war.' By Jim Lobe In a particularly eloquent and straightforward defense of the Iranian nuclear deal, 37 prominent Iranian Americans have appealed to Donald Trump to maintain U.S. compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran. The letter comes on the heels of an appeal to Trump by prominent U.S. scientists urging him to support the deal and a recent poll demonstrating…

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  • Clinton speech was scrubbed of Palestinian rights, emails show

    Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton's campaign chair urging speechwriters to tone down language on Palestine, and reveal what language was removed from the candidate's speech to the Saban Forum last December. By Eli Clifton WikiLeaks released a hacked email this week from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in which he urged Clinton’s speechwriters to tone down language that might “evoke how people feel about how Israel is treating the Palestinians,” in a speech she was to deliver at the Saban Forum in Washington last December. [tmwinpost] It was unclear what, if any, changes were actually made following his email, and the…

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