Netanyahu: Iran Lied

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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116 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    NPR had a story last week that touched on how dangerous it was that Trump officials were calling the deal “not binding”.

    The suggestion that the Iran deal was not binding drew immediate skepticism from some analysts and experts. Jonah Blank, a former aide to ex-Secretary of State John Kerry, wrote on Twitter that the statement was “exceptionally dangerous” — and not just for the Iran deal or the potential impact on North Korea. “If nations can’t trust U.S. commitments made ‘by an administration that is no longer in office,’ then every pledge is valid for only four years,” he tweeted.

    Looks like the whole “not binding” thing turned out to be accurate.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      Trump State dept:
      This JCPOA is not a treaty, it’s not an executive agreement. It has no signatures. It has no legal status. It is a political commitment by an administration that’s no longer in office.

      Right.

      Obama State dept:
      If nations can’t trust US commitments made “by an administration that is no longer in office,” then EVERY pledge is valid for only 4 years.

      Also right.

      The Obama administration walked away from the “policies” of the Bush administation vis-a-vis Libya… here’s a site with a detailed timeline: The high-water mark is reached in 2006.

      May 15, 2006: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announces the U.S. establishment of full diplomatic relations with Libya. As part of that move, President George W. Bush submits a report to Congress certifying that Tripoli had not engaged in acts of terrorism in the previous six months and had provided assurances that it would not support terrorism, thereby allowing Libya to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

      Does this impact North Korea? I should think so. How do you bind administrations for more than 4-years? Formal Treaties passed by the Senate; I’d be surprised if North Korea settles for anything less (if they are indeed serious at all).

      My snarky take is that the reboot of the West Wing can’t come fast enough so former Obama officials can dream of what their world would be like absent the legal and political frameworks we actually have.

      And I write this as someone disposed towards keeping the Iran framework in place…Report

      • I suspect we have already promised North Korea something for this recent spat of good behavior. We will see.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

          I expect so. At least a shiney new Trump Tower Pyongyang… will have the best, most authentic Kimchi ever.

          I’m waiting to hear what the other half of the deal turns out to be… I’m expecting a shoe to drop, but not sure what kind of footware it will be.Report

          • Rumors are its troop withdrawl. That would make China happy. We will see. And thus far China And Xi Jinping have worked Trump at every turn so wouldn’t surprise me if this is any different. Kim doesn’t adjust the fade line in that silly haircut without checking with China; they are the straw stirring this drink, not Trump.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

              Could be, though Kim dropped the pre-req of US withdrawal that had stood in front of talks before.

              I just don’t think we’ve seen what the price tag is yet… and even the speculations I’ve read are working with assumptions that have all been superceded; at least superficially … and I don’t think I’ve even seen a credible leak about what are in the blinds and what table stakes are.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

                That’s a very sophisticated way of saying that KJU and Trump have not only not made a bet yet, they’re not even holding any cards in their hands to look over before they cleverly bluff. Right now, it’s all bluster about how the game is going to go. The game about the game.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                More or less.

                It seems to be something more than the previous sort of extortion as negotiations… witness the handshakes in the DMZ and public pledges… that’s a new style, at least.

                Or, maybe the Nuclear program done got broked… and its better to get half a uranium yellow cake than none.

                That also doesn’t mean that talks *do* collapse and KJU positions the failure on the US/Trump/Electoral College/South Korea/China/Brexit or whatever… that’s a pretty old trick… but still a new tactic for this regime.

                Maybe SK decides the US can’t deliver what was so tantalizingly close… but China? Maybe China has an offer?

                That’s the thing about politics/diplomacy/business… there are always other actors and the opponents are always thinking of new ways to achieve their ends.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Thomas Friedman wrote about this: the Golden Toilet theory of Trump’s foreign policy.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Yeah, I can’t help but think that Kim is looking at Libya a hell of a lot more than it’s looking at the Iran deal. Kim doesn’t strike me as the kinda guy who would see Iran as more relevant to his situation.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

          There are all sorts of savvy in the world of politics, but only one sort of dumb: don’t give up yer nukes. KJU isn’t dumb.

          Or, you know, maybe he is. But is he dumber than Trump?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

            I’m musing on how there is a single Steam account in North Korea.

            It’s theorized that it belongs to KJU.

            This is an opportunity to rejoin the rest of the world. Maybe die in bed as an old man.

            That’s gotta be tempting, right?Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

              Not if it means giving up the nukes. He won’t. He may say he will (NK leaders have said that before) but he won’t. Only a fool would, and KJU ain’t no fool.

              Israel has nukes. Lotta people don’t know that…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                If even a tenth of the rumors of what happens in NK are true, KJU knows that he can’t let the rest of the world really see what happens in the country and have it confirmed.

                I know this. I know that KJU ain’t no fool.

                But then I think about that one single Steam account again…Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well, I think it’s important to remember that KJU’s willingness to meet with SK Moon and US Trump comes right on the heels of his recent missile tests. Seems to me he knows he doesn’t need US level missile sophistication for the threat of a nuclear launch to shake diplomats in their shoes.

                Trump is playing a poker game, where the stakes are literally (from his pov) pocket change. KJU is playing the game of his life.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                The Dictatorial problem of grabbing the tiger (or wolf, or lion, or whatever animal is culturally appropriate) by the ears is that you can never let go. I’ve often wondered if we created a New (and better, safer and more luxurious) Elba for old Dictators to retire to whether much misery could be avoided at the expense perverse incentives.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Serious question: is the Problem limited to dictators and not (say) democratically elected reps in a Constitutional Republic? Once those folks try to tame the wild beast by grabbing its ears they’ve crossed a binary line of no retreat, no surrender. See Greitens or Menendez amongst others.

                Granted, the consequences aren’t as clearly disastrous. Except in numbers.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                Sinecures have always had many uses; but we’re too good for sinecures.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Menendez begs to differ, sir. (Humbly. In the best southern drawl.)Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                Bob Menandez… Did they buy him out? Not sure I’ve seen anything to that effect, yet? Or am I missing something?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

                No one bought him out except the lobbyists whose quid-pro-quo resulted in his criminal case.

                Don’t worry, tho. All is right. He was acquitted and the Ethics Panel only gently rebuked him. He’s front-running for re-election. (Dem Sen. from NJ!)

                It’s been a while, but I’ll try to track down some juicy links of his corruption.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                “Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted on federal corruption charges Wednesday, accused of using the influence of his office to advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, lavish vacations and more than $750,000 in campaign donations.?

                Federal prosecutors laid out the charges in a 14-count indictment charging Menendez with using his office to help Salomon Melgen, a ­Florida-based eye doctor with whom Menendez had maintained a long personal and political friendship. Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf in at least two disputes, one with federal regulators over Medicare charges and the other involving a bid by Melgen to secure a ­port-security contract in the Dominican Republic, according to the indictment.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                For some bizarre reason I can’t link either a post about his corruption charges or quotations expressing them.

                Google Wapo Menendez corruption, I guess.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater They went straight to spam for some mysterious reason. Rescued now. *kicks spam filter gently*Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou says:

                Weird. I’ve linked and quoted WaPo stuff many many times before.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater Yeah, I agree it’s weird. I can only guess that some rogue spammer in some other corner of the internet was using the text to virally spam or something, and it upset our spam filter sufficiently…. ah, who knows.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                Sure, that shows that Menendez could be a candidate for Domestic Elba… but instead he’s just Honey Badgering his way to elections.

                In my scenario, its the fact that he can Honey Badger that you want to have an Elba… else it’s business as usual.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Marchmaine says:

                the tiger (or wolf, or lion, or whatever animal is culturally appropriate)

                I’m torn on this. On one hand I like the idea of it being an exotic Endangered Species to really hit into the idea that something important is at stake here. On the other hand, tho, I think a common sharp horned big mammal might be the animal of choice to make sure that any would-be dictators realize that if they mess with the bull they’re gonna get the horns.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                I’d prefer it to be a Kaiju of some weird sort. The Koreans have them also. Grab Gappa the Triphibian Monster by it’s horn, that will make everybody take notice.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                So, no famous Japanese eared animals?Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Mothra hasn’t had much work lately. How about Gamera?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Stillwater says:

                Well, it would be tidy of the beast were to limit its rampage to only the offending ear-twister… but that’s not how the beast typically reacts.

                On the other hand… we’re civilized folk… not every dictator gets a buy-out… some we shoot. Pour les autres, of course.Report

  2. Avatar Murali says:

    For all we know Netanyahu is the one who is lying. It is not unknown for war-hawks to manufacture evidence as a pretext for war. If Israel had the evidence earlier, why only produce it now?Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Murali says:

      Israel could have believed an earlier release would not get them the results they desired or would not have been accepted.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Murali says:

      According to Jennifer Jacobs up there, if it’s a lie then the US has decided to run with it.Report

    • Frankly, there was no reason to believe that the Iranians where every going to abide by any deal, or ever abandon their nuclear ambitions. Especially after they got the concessions they so desperately needs in cash and sanction relief. So this news is not only believable, but unsurprising.

      This is an important lesson we are getting ready to repeat in North Korea. No matter what they say, they will never denuclearize. Assuming otherwise is just pretending.Report

  3. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    Given the examples of the other two Axis of Exil powers, North Korea and Iraq, they would be fools not to pursue a bomb.Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    So I figured that I’d wander over to the reddits to check out what’s going on over there.

    I must still be stuck in the 90’s because I read the comments and think “holy cow, these people are all hard right-wingers!” and have to remember “nope, these are lefty positions now.”Report

  5. Avatar greginak says:

    Yet somehow Mattis said Iran is abiding by the agreement as does the International inspectors. So is the big takeaway that the Iranians wanted to produce a bomb yet maintained a public stance they didn’t. WOW, by that i mean snooze.Report

  6. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Today is like a neocon “get out of jail free” card. The jubilation is off the charts. And the pretense is the same: yellowcake and centrifuges.Report

  7. Avatar Morat20 says:

    This sounds a lot like Colin Powell telling us about Iraq.

    Luckily, this should be easy to determine the truth. After all, the inspectors have access to all of Iran if need be, and as John Oliver noted a few weeks ago — even the places the inspectors have to wait a week or so to get access to, you can remove uranium — but not the radiation.

    So easy to test. Israel says it knows there’s a secret program, so it clearly knows where. If it knows where, UN inspectors can be there within a week. No amount of clean-up can prevent them from determining whether Iran was up to some crap.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:

      Israel says it knows there’s a secret program, so it clearly knows where.

      Nah. Consistent with Neocon Nightmare 1, this will be a known unknown.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Morat20 says:

      From what i’ve read so far, there is no secret program to find. The docs show many years ago Iran thought about building a bomb and they kept files and documents relating to that. This is less than impressive. Old binders don’t give off radiation, well they shouldn’t. If they do then the scientists involved won’t be much use in not that many years.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to greginak says:

        But…we knew that. That’s pretty much why we did the whole sanction thing in the first place, then agreed to this deal.

        We knew they were making preliminary moves, possibly exploratory, possibly as the beginnings of a push. Of course they said they weren’t, but it’s not like we believed them then.

        So…why the fire?Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Morat20 says:

          The nearest thing to an actual …umm…thing so far is that they were supposed to give up any and all records regarding their program. Since they may have kept old powerpoints and docs that means they can restart their program later. I guess we’ll see what is in the hoard of docs since they are being given to all the signatory countries. I’ll say its 50/50 we won’t even be talking about revelation in a week.

          One of the constant critical threads of the deal has been that Iran can restart their program after all their tricksy following the deal stuff. The deal didn’t go until the heat death of the universe. So that. All i know is We didn’t start the fire.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

            NO! We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning. But we’re gonna fight it! Alls we gotta do, see, is invade another country and go door to door, building by building, putting out those damn flames. Easy peasy chicken breezy. It’ll take two months and the whole war effort will be funded by captured oil revenues.Report

        • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Morat20 says:

          This feels a lot like another exciting memo from Devin Nunes. One that cracks things wide open. Or at least acts as a MacGuffin to get everybody excited while you say whatever you want about it knowing that hardly anybody will actually read the thing and think about it.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

        No, there is no evidence of a secret program. The “lies” were already known prior to the implementation of JCPOA.

        More substantively, I think Bibi lied when he said, or implied at least, that thousands of “pages” of documents were stolen from Iran. I think Mossad hacked … something … the equivalent of which is “thousands of pages”, and which might have been stolen from the inspection agency and not Iran.

        I dunno. Bibi is a great statesman, a terrific politician, and fucking liar through and through.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

          I think some of the docs actually confirm Iran gave up their efforts at a nuke program when they said they did years ago. I wonder how many intel assets or moles Israel used to for this.

          Agreed about Bibi. I’d want to check the raw data if he told me the Negev was dry and hot.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

            Well, here’s what the WhiteHouse is saying:

            ON ISRAEL’S ANNOUNCEMENT RELATED TO IRANIAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS DEVELOPMENT: …These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran has a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people.

            Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

              The same White House that said 3-5 million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yep. That’s the one.

                We’re in a weird place where everybody knows that Iran continued the nuclear thing (because they’d be fools not to) and we also know that Israel is lying when they say that they’ve got proof that Iran is doing the thing that everybody knows they’re continuing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                We’re in a weird place where everybody knows that Iran continued the nuclear thing (because they’d be fools not to)

                I, for one, don’t know that. I think they absolutely *want* to have a nuke. They’d be crazy not to. Hell Israel gets away with figurative murder because of their nukes.

                But I also think that since folks think the same thing I think about Iran, Iran’s thinking may have changed. There’s precedent here: Iraq. (Warning!!!)

                Nothing in Bibi’s presentation constitutes *new* evidence that Iran is violating the terms of the JCPOA. So tonight is a bad time to be arguing that they are.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                I, for one, don’t know that. I think they absolutely *want* to have a nuke. They’d be crazy not to.

                Israel presumably wants/needs nukes for (MAD) defense. Iran presumably wants them for regional dominance.

                Israel gets away with figurative murder because of their nukes.

                “Figurative”? Did you mean “litteral”?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                Yes, I agree that Iran wants, and depending on the level of US/western/Israeli belligerence, *needs* them.

                Well, sometimes the division between figurative and literal breaks down…Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yes, I agree that Iran wants, and depending on the level of US/western/Israeli belligerence, *needs* them.

                Israel and Iran don’t share borders. Yes, Iran (and it’s proxies) insist Israel shouldn’t exist and Israel insists it should, but that seems more belligerent on Iran than Israel (ditto supporting openly would-be genocidal terror groups).

                I don’t think Saudi Arabia can reasonably be called a member of “the West”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter says:

                I agree. Israel and Iran don’t share borders, and SA can’t reasonably be called a member of the west.

                The two topics I addressed were that Israel has nukes, and that Iran wants nukes. Not sure how any of the other stuff matters.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                well, how’s this:

                If it came out that Iran did, in fact, have a secret nuclear program… I wouldn’t be surprised at all. “Of course they did”, I’d think.

                If it came out that Israel is stirring the pot, that Iran is complying, and Israel is releasing old intelligence from before the deal as if it were written after the deal… I wouldn’t be surprised at all. “Of course they did”, I’d think.

                Both narratives make perfect sense.

                I am curious about the verb tense in the new and improved White House statement.

                That seems to indicate that Israel is stirring stuff up.

                Of course they are.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird

                If it came out that Iran did, in fact, have a secret nuclear program… I wouldn’t be surprised at all. “Of course they did”, I’d think.

                But we all know Iran did have a secret nuclear program, up to 2003. That’s not under dispute. But you had said that for sure Iran was continuing with that program in 2018 (because they’d be fools not to).

                That statement is the one Netanyahu is making (or implying). That what was true in 2003 is true after 2015. And that, to quote you again, everybody knows that Iran continued the nuclear thing

                It is the cavalierly throwing out as Everybody knows something that it is definitely not known by everybody, and denied by most, including the IAEA (who definitely should know), what brought forth the Iraq War.

                If nothing else, please do not add your individual help to the future Iran War. We already have Bolton and Pompeo for that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                You’re absolutely right. There are a bunch of people out there who do not believe that Iran is continuing its nuclear program and I should not have implied that they would be anything but surprised by finding out that Iran was not complying with the deal.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird

                The problem is not the inaccuracy of the “Everybody knows”, to be replaced by “Many people believe”

                The problem is that the likelihoods of Iran currently developing or not-developing nuclear weapons are not the same. It’s orders of magnitude more likely that Iran is complying with the Nuclear Deal than that it is succeeding in a very hard game of deception. The false equivalence from someone that should know better (that most likely knows better) is what’s not OK

                And i apologize if this gets close to the personal realm, but I do believe the Socratic game you like to play sometimes is not unlike what some politicians use to manipulate people that definitely are less aware than you. Intelligent, cultured people like those that comment here used to play a similar parlor game – it ended with The Terror.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to J_A says:

                The problem is that the likelihoods of Iran currently developing or not-developing nuclear weapons are not the same. It’s orders of magnitude more likely that Iran is complying with the Nuclear Deal than that it is succeeding in a very hard game of deception.

                But I don’t know this, though.

                I know that it is in Iran’s best interest to announce that it has a nuke. For reasons similar to that it is in KJU’s best interest to announce that it has a nuke.

                Libya proved (pretty conclusively) that playing ball will *NOT* result in the leadership dying in bed as an old man.

                The only smart thing to do is get one and then regain some measure of sovereignty in the region.

                This is not me saying that Iran is good (or bad) or that Israel is bad (or good) or even that the Iraq war turned out well for anybody but Saudi Arabia.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Jaybird says:

                @jaybird

                We’re in a weird place where everybody knows that Iran continued the nuclear thing (because they’d be fools not to) …

                I don’t know such a thing – I know they had one, and I know after the expiration of the deal, they can restart it. But I definitely don’t know that they are continuing it right know, behind the backs of the Inspectors.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                I just re-read this:

                We’re in a weird place where everybody knows that Iran continued the nuclear thing (because they’d be fools not to) and we also know that Israel is lying when they say that they’ve got proof that Iran is doing the thing that everybody knows they’re continuing.

                This is really disappointing, Jaybird. You’re playing a weird game here, the usual game you play, which may – if this proceeds like Iraq – result in lots of dead people.

                Add: which isn’t to say that your comment will result in dead people, but rather that the game you’re playing is the same *game* which will result in lots of dead people.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater OK, merits of the charge about gameplaying aside, I’m very sure that whatever games Jaybird may or may not be playing, they are not going to result on lots of dead people.

                He really doesn’t have that kind of power.

                *quizzical eyebrows*

                I think that telling people their speech on a discussion board is going to result in lots of dead people is probably a personal attack??? Hard to say because it’s honestly that confusing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou says:

                Read the comment again.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater Thank you for clarifying. I’m still not sure how it makes sense but at least it’s clear that you’re talking about patterns that show up among many different people, and not Jaybird personally.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou says:

                No, at the risk of moderator invective and potentially a ban, I’m talking about Jaybird personally. In the graph I quoted above he effectively *endorses* two competing claims, which can’t both be true, but by signalling acceptance of both of them inclines people to *not believe either*. That reduces the calculus for things like, say, war, to an emotional calculus, one divorced (apriori in our formulation!) from facts and evidence.

                That’s exactly the *game* which got us into the Iraq invasion and war.

                So, no, I’m not gonna surrender on this issue easily.

                Add: I also have in my pocket that essay he wrote about morality as a vector some time ago…Report

              • @stillwater My point was that you were not accusing *him personally* of directly causing people *to die*.

                You are accusing him of participating in a pattern (aka game) which *when wielded by people with power and/or large masses of people* directly causes people to die.

                At least as far as I can tell.

                You may not see daylight between those two things, but I do.

                Your original comment read as the former.

                It seems now that you meant the latter.

                If you actually meant the former, sure, let me know and I’ll suspend you for a week, because if you are at the point where you are accusing people on this board of directly being the cause of lots of other people dying, I think *you probably need a break*.

                But it doesn’t seem like you were doing that.

                It hasn’t exactly been an easy couple of days for moderation around here, so if people could maybe make things a little easier and simpler for me and not talk about “surrendering” to the moderator when she asks for clarification about really confusing statements, that would also be *really nice*.

                Though obviously it’s not required.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                Your original comment read as the former.

                It seems now that you meant the latter.

                No my original comment read as the latter, but it was vague enough I clarified with an “add”, before you raised objections.

                Ban me if you want to. You seem to know all about what people mean and intend. Even better than the writers themselves. Lord knows I don’t have that power, of banning or omniscience.Report

              • Great, you just said you meant the latter.

                That’s all I needed.

                I don’t have any idea what you mean and intend, quite obviously, but it’s hard to be charitable about those two things at the moment.

                (It was pretty obvious to me that when I said “your original comment read as the former” I meant “read to me as the former”)

                Also I asked for clarification before your comment updated. At least on my end.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                Have fun with the ban hammer Maribou.

                Ask Jaybird if he agrees with you about the way you wield it.Report

              • @stillwater I *just* said you told me what I needed to know. Why on earth would you think that meant I was about to ban you?

                I was trying to tell you to cut me some damn slack, considering I’ve been dealing with an actual troll calling me actual names, virulently, for the last two days, that you could show a little compassion.

                But you know, without giving that much direct acknowledgement to said troll.

                At this point, I’d rather see if you can stop being like this – not because you’re going to get banned – because I would appreciate it – than worry about not feeding said troll.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                I *just* said you told me what I needed to know. Why on earth would you think that meant I was about to ban you?

                Because you posted as Maribou Moderator?

                Hell, that’s the best I got. I was in a discussion with Jaybird. Being what those always are I was confused before you entered into it.Report

              • @stillwater Oh dear god, is that all it is.

                Look, if I post as Moderator, people think when I’m just asking them to clarify what seems to me to literally read as a direct attack even though I really don’t think it is (in the way that I might object strenuously to, anyway), that I’m threatening to *ban* them.

                If I don’t post as Moderator, other people decide to get into pages of argument with me whether I was being reasonable to ask for clarification, tell someone else (to be clear *not you in this conversation*) to stop being an asshole already, or whatever.

                All it means when I post as Moderator is that I’m communicating seriously about something I need clarified or a behavior I want someone to stop that *could*, anywhere from 1 to 40 steps (*depending on the situation*, this one was a lot farther toward the middle 20 steps-ish, at any one of which steps it was more likely to get settled than cause problems, unless there was a sudden turn I wasn’t expecting) from now, result in *some* form of action, and I don’t want to hear from the peanut gallery at the moment, or at least, I actually don’t mind hearing from them, polite feedback always welcome, but could they email me instead of getting into the argument themselves please?

                That’s literally all it means.

                And I started using the tag because *some* people were finding it very difficult to distinguish between things I was just saying as an individual, even when I said 3 or 4 times in the comment that I was just saying it as an individual, not as a moderator, and things I was saying because I was trying to get people to not be jerks to each other, and they asked me to start using said tag, and I don’t really care except it’s kind of a pain in the rear, but whatever, it’s minimal effort.

                It’s not some giant overlooming threat, anymore than there being a moderator is always some kind of giant overlooming threat.

                If anything, given that I have never not once even under far more provocation banned anyone for saying ANYTHING to Jaybird, unless they were already banned for being a troll and just spraying the world with drama and he was among the drama-targets, if you WERE going to personally attack someone and not suffer any long-term consequences, Jaybird would be the person to attack. (I am obviously not advocating that people test out this theory as it will STRESS ME OUT A LOT.)

                That said, I really don’t want to be treated like some evil version of the avenging angel of G-d himself every time someone doesn’t like my way of moderating them. It is wearing. It is extra-wearing when there are people treating me like dirt out there in troll-land.

                So I am *asking*, not ordering you, to consider not doing that.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                Oh dear god, is that all it is.

                No, that’s not all it is. There’s the fact that you’ve threatened to ban me before. Several times. And in fact have banned me before. Not incidental stuff.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater I suspended you. *Overnight*. The shortest suspension I’ve ever handed out to anybody.

                That’s not a ban.

                And if we’re going to go there, you also sent an extremely salty message in response to the suspension, one which would have resulted in at minimum a longer suspension for someone I did not already value as part of the community, and yet I did not do ANYTHING about that, nor have I even ever brought it up until now.

                I really *wish* you would get it through your head that I’m going out of my way to make *more* room for you on this site because *I value your contributions to the community*, you don’t have some damn hammer hanging over you at all times.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou says:

                I really *wish* you would get it through your head that I’m going out of my way to make *more* room for you on this site because *I value your contributions to the community*

                Well that goes both ways Maribou. I really wish you’d get it thru *your* head that if people like me can’t comment here this place isn’t worth commenting at. I mean, I’m the least of your problems, in the bigger scheme of things.

                Add: I don’t know if you remember the old days (not the Old Old days, just the old days) when I was a moderating influence on the discourse around here. The place has changed since then. It’s a culture magazine, even tho lots of old timers – not enough, sadly – still remain. There’s no purchase for reasoned debate except a vague concept of “civility”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                The fact that DD was banned is a travesty.Report

              • Avatar Maribou, Moderator in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater I’ve been here since the Old Old days. I remember what I remember. I expect you and I remember things differently.

                But as a point of fact, DD (I assume you mean DensityDuck?) has literally never been banned *or* suspended by me. He took offense to a mistake I made in questioning him at the very beginning of my moderating time (I took NO action) and removed *himself* despite my apology. He comes back every so often. Sometimes under different names.

                If you mean someone else, I stand behind every ban I’ve ever made. All six of them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                I stand behind every ban I’ve ever made. All six of them.

                Good for you!

                I know you love to play the “i’ve been here longer than you” game, but where were you on the TVD ban?

                I was opposed. You?Report

              • Avatar Maribou, Moderator in reply to Stillwater says:

                @stillwater I’ll note, also, that two of those bans were just reiterations of bans from years past, not even really mine (though I did agree with them.)

                My opinion on the TVD ban was that it was hard on everybody, including the people who made the decision to do it. I’m not sure what I would have done in their shoes, especially considering how much conversation was going on behind the scenes at the time. It seems likely, given my faith in the people who made those decisions, that I would have made the same ones, or damn close.

                It’s also clear that there’s no way in hell you’re going to listen to my asking you to show some compassion and cut me a break, so I’m done discussing this for now.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                It’s also clear that there’s no way in hell you’re going to listen to my asking you to show some compassion and cut me a break,

                No. Of course not. Are you considering my emotional state right now and exhibiting compassion towards me? No, all I see is you expecting emotional concessions from me…

                That’s how power structures work…Report

              • “Are you considering my emotional state right now and exhibiting compassion towards me?”

                I do this on a very, very regular basis. I am doing it right now, in fact, or the last 30 minutes of this conversation would’ve gone a lot differently than they have.

                I just don’t generally make a point of mentioning it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Maribou, Moderator says:

                That’s good.

                Look, I’m fine with you banning me. I’m fine with this incredibly stupid discussion ending. Whatever you want to do is fine with me EXCEPT for more expressions about how emotionally generous you’re being.

                Fuck that. Ban me. Don’t. End this shit one way or the other.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                For the record, I know that my own personal inclination is to be completely laissez-faire. But I also know that laissez-faire resulted in a great deal of toxicity and good, really good, writers and commenters just up and leaving.

                So my preferred way of dealing with things resulted in outcomes that I didn’t like. I’m now in a place where I’m trusting in Maribou’s judgment.

                The discourse *IS* better when we’re snarling at each other but not biting each other.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                The discourse *IS* better when we’re snarling at each other but not biting each other.

                Right. Because there’s no meat. Snarling is the entirety of the display.

                You’re wrong, tho. The place was much better before Tod turned it into a culture/politics magazine. Before that agreeing to snarling and biting were part of the price of admission.

                Add: I mean, unless you thought what we talked about in the old days was just grist for snarling and didn’t matter. That it didn’t matter at all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                Half of the writers who made this place that good all got real jobs at real places that paid real money for their stuff.

                And now they write columns for websites where all of the commenters are normies and they have the occasional tweet where they mention that they just can’t face their comment sections anymore.

                I miss that old site too. But I don’t have as many essays in me as I did back then.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                I miss that old site too.

                Moving away from *that site* was a conscious decision.

                Add: I’ll admit to not holding TK in the highest level of regard, the category reserved for exceptional achievemant, like most OGers do. It struck me as self serving at the time. Strikes me as the same now.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Sadly no, we don’t know Iran continued it’s nuke program. There isn’t evidence of that nor is whatever Bibi is tossing out showing that so far. The inspectors have not found a super double secret nuke program.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

              The same White House that said the House investigation into Russia *proved* there was no collusion?

              NO COLLUSION! WITCH HUNT! SAD! so sad…Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

              They’ve taken back that tweet. Somewhere I read it was supposed to be ‘Iran had’, not ‘Iran has’.Report

            • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

              Funny story about this White House statement. It’s been changed:

              I noticed one change. Just one letter. It’s tricky to find. All it does is change a tense. It’s an “s” to a “d”. Enough hints. Who else can find it?

              “The United States is aware of the information just released by Israel and continues to examine it carefully. This information provides new and compelling details about Iran’s efforts to develop missile-deliverable nuclear weapons. These facts are consistent with what the United States has long known: Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world and from its own people. The Iranian regime has shown it will use destructive weapons against its neighbors and others. Iran must never have nuclear weapons.”

              https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-israels-announcement-related-iranian-nuclear-weapons-development/Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to greginak says:

                @greginak Fascinating.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                With the help of Google and Twitter, I think I figured it out!

                Iran had a robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program that it has tried and failed to hide from the world

                Present tense/past tense shift can fuck things up, yoReport

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Just a slight “Terminological inexactitude”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                “Look, when our people – hard working people – transcribe this stuff a certain level of imprecision is to be expected. Let’s not blame them for any errors in transcription, shall we?”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                I see that.

                I’m looking forward to how this plays out in media tomorrow.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

                Primarily because this signals that Israel lied, we believed them for a minute, took a second look, and then figured out that we’d been manipulated.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                My guess is that it will be immediately forgotten anywhere with an audience not predisposed to hawkishness and laundered in venues that are. It’ll become one of those pro-war bullet points quoted by Bill Kristol that no one ever actually researches.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

                The talking point (which the White House stepped on with its verb tense error) is that the Iranian government lied *before* the deal, and played Obama, Kerry, Rhodes, et al like chumps.

                The premise that’s getting muddled, because people love dunking on Rhodes, is if anyone should give two rials what the state of things were *before* the agreement, if the Iranians are sticking to the agreement conditions now. Furthermore, regarding that ‘if’, people that are anti-agreement are using the past status to say ‘no, we can’t trust that they are *currently* abiding by the agreement’. But, those anti-agreement people seem (to me) unwilling to do any sort of thing that would actually establish ground truth, short of tearing up the agreement entirely.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kolohe says:

                The argument that an agreement to end Iran’s nuclear program is invalid because Iran had a nuclear program to end is not compelling.Report

              • Avatar J_A in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                The argument that an agreement to end Iran’s nuclear program is invalid because Iran had a nuclear program to end is not compelling.

                In Bibi’s and Bolton’s defense (God, that was hard), Iran more or less kept arguing until the last day that they actually hadn’t had a program, and all the parties sort of finally settled on “Whatever, mate, let’s move on. “Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to J_A says:

                I have to smile at the mental image of Iran and Israel each negotiating an agreement over the nuclear weapons that neither one has, or ever had, or ever will have.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Who believed them? It was an obvious lie from the get-go.Report

              • Personally, I think that the story that “holy cow, this is new information!” turning slowly into “no, wait… we already knew this…” is more plausible than the “clerical error” changing “has” to “had”.

                But that could just be me projecting.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

                What’s plausible is that Bibi and Bolton wanted to make a big splash with a ‘game changer’ but the comms shop tripped over their own feet in the rush to p0wn the Obama administration.

                Say what you will about the Bushies, they knew how to sell a war.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kolohe says:

                Checked Drudge, the only mention was off to the side.

                Checked CNN, they’re talking about changing the word “has” to “had” but not about the content of the presentation.

                Fox doesn’t have anything on the front page.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

                It worked well enough. After all, the usual suspects started screaming for heads to roll, without having actually seen any evidence or taking a few minutes to think about it.

                Admittedly, it fell apart after that — although I don’t think it was because it faltered, so much as it was there solely to get the usual suspects screaming, to reinforce a belief.

                Not to change minds, but to make sure those who already believed kept believing. After all, he’s got his own domestic problems to face, and Iran hawkery is one way of stoking his base.

                And if another repetition got a gullible fence sitter to jump off, all’s the better.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

                If the sales job isn’t good enough to generate some accelerated CVBG & ARG deployments, it’s a bad sales job.

                I bet they’re already regretting not sticking with a Clinton.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

                What’s this “we” crap, kemosabi?Report

  8. Avatar North says:

    Good thing Bibi doesn’t farm for a living because those are some sorry sorry fig leaves he’s peddling.Report

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