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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New York Times Editorial, "A Baffling, Hard-line Choice in Israel": How About Looking at Ploughshares?

In a New York Times homepage lead-in to an editorial entitled "A Baffling, Hard-line Choice in Israel," we are told "Benjamin Netanyahu selected a defense minister badly suited to the Obama administration and to forging peace in the Middle East."

Whoa! I am indeed disturbed by Netanyahu's decision to replace former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon with Avigdor Lieberman, a former IDF corporal, as defense minister, but Lieberman is "badly suited to the Obama administration"? An Israeli defense minister need not be suited to Obama; rather, he/she needs to be the person best suited to keeping the State of Israel safe in the face of death threats from "moderate" Iranian mullahs.

Let us also not forget Obama's appointment of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense. The appointment of Hagel, known for his hostility to Israel, was supported by Iran.

In addition, Hagel had been a director of the Ploughshares Fund. According to a Daily Caller article entitled "Revealed: Iran Deal Propaganda Money Made Its Way All Around Washington" by Russ Read:

"Ploughshares also provided over $280,000 to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) for its work supporting the Iran deal, some of which went directly towards sending NIAC staff to the nuclear negotiations in Vienna. NIAC was accused of engaging in lobbying efforts on behalf of the Islamic Republic around 2007, which led to the organization’s president Trita Parsi bringing suit against journalist Hassan Daioleslam for defamation. Parsi eventually lost the protracted legal battle."

Trita Parsi, NIAC's president? As reported by Michael Rubin in a Commentary article entitled "Ploughshares: The Money Behind the Iran Deal" (my emphasis in red):

"It is a theme supporters of the Iran deal have picked up. Trita Parsi, an Iranian-Swede who leads the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and once declared that everything he does, he does for Iran, marked Senator Harry Reid’s endorsement of the deal by declaring it a defeat for big money, a silly statement given Reid’s own partisanship and acceptance of myriad campaign contributions from lobbying groups. 'The Iran Project,' likewise reported, 'In efforts to sway Iran debate, big-money donors are heard.' The news media has played along. 'Big Money and Ads Clash Over Iran Nuclear Deal,' USA Today reported.

The irony, however, is that many of the staunchest proponents of the Iran nuclear deal feed from the same trough of cash supplied by the Ploughshares Fund, a multimillion-dollar group which defines itself as a foundation seeking nuclear disarmament but which has, for several years, taken a consistently apologetic line toward Iran. Now, too often analysts throw around discussion of funding to cast aspersions on those who disagree with them in the policy debate. Often, this is nonsense. Few analysts on either the left or the right are blank slates that simply follow the money. Those staffing NIAC, for example, have always sought an end to sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Wait! There's more!  Earlier this month, in a New York Times Magazine article entitled "The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’s Foreign-Policy Guru," David Samuels quoted Ben Rhodes, Obama's Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, as saying that "We created an echo chamber" to support Obama's unsigned nuclear deal with Iran. More specifically, Samuels wrote (my emphasis in red):

"When I suggested that all this dark metafictional play seemed a bit removed from rational debate over America’s future role in the world, Rhodes nodded. 'In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this,' he said. 'We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked.' He is proud of the way he sold the Iran deal. 'We drove them crazy,' he said of the deal’s opponents."

And what did Ploughshares do? Ploughshares ploughed $576,500 to J Street to support the nuclear deal with Iran, i.e. cause Congress to believe that the deal had the backing of those who purportedly care about Israel's security.

Yes, it's time for a Congressional inquiry!



    "The Obama administration decided early on that the only way to get the United States out of the Middle East was to replace it with Russia and Iran."

    {no mention that Avigdor Lieberman is 'a defense minister well suited to the Putin administration']


  2. Excellent blog.
    The NYT still bleats out its moribund mantra that "what is good for Obama is good for the USA and the world". Few presidents have been more destructive of sane, logical policy than Obama. He has betrayed more allies than any previous president, with his warped world picture, apologising to all and sundry for the USA's history, and failing to notice that no one gives a pink fart for his apologies.