CNN vs Newsweek: Who Joins the Silly Parade on the Mideast?

Mish

CNN and Newsweek offer differing views on the peace deal between Israel and the UAE. First let's look at what Trump says.

Most Significant Step in 25 Years?

CNN Toes the Line

Please consider the UAE-Israel announcement proves the folly of warming to Iran by Michael Oren.

(CNN)The impending peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is a game-changer for the entire Middle East.

More than its economic and diplomatic potential, though, the UAE-Israel accord is of immense strategic value. It signifies the emergence of a united Middle Eastern front against Iran. Such an alliance was necessitated by the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action -- the Iran nuclear deal. Contrary to hopes that it would transform Iran into a responsible regional power, the JCPOA bolstered Iranian efforts to gain even greater power in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and support terror worldwide.

By abandoning the nuclear deal in 2018, the United States regained the leverage and the trust needed to broker the UAE-Israel breakthrough.

Israel-UAE Accord is a Mere Sideshow 

Next, please consider the Newsweek article the Israel-UAE Accord is a Mere Sideshow by Zaha Hassan.

Peace is good. Friendly relations between belligerent states in a fragile region plagued by conflict? That's a hallelujah moment, or so it might seem at first glance. But despite the hype, the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced by President Trump on Thursday (dubbed the "Abraham Accord") to normalize relations between the two countries is not a miracle of biblical proportions. It's cold, hard political opportunism taken at the expense of Palestinians. It is political theater in which Palestinians and the remains of their homeland offer a convenient backdrop. The UAE may wish to portray itself as Palestine's Arab savior, pulling Israel back from the brink of illegally annexing more Palestinian land, but the reality is that Palestinians and their rights had nothing to do with it.

For years, the UAE has been enjoying the benefits associated with military, intelligence and technological cooperation with Israel, but behind the scenes. So why be that Gulf state to step into the fray of Arab public opinion as the first—though likely not the last—to tear up the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which offered Israel peace and normal relations with Arab states and dozens of other Muslim countries, in exchange for an end to Israel's now 53-year-old military occupation of Palestinian land? Blame it on the U.S. presidential elections and Trump's pandering to right-wing Evangelicals and big pro-Israel donors. Blame it on a microcopic virus that is taking down the unmasked and untethered president of the United States. Blame it on the fact that Arab regimes of questionable repute and in need of refurbishing their tarnished image believe that the road to redemption in Washington runs through Israel.

And why would Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu promise to temper his territorial ambitions for a Greater Israel in exchange for open diplomatic ties with a small Gulf state? He hasn't. He has only pledged to "suspend" his annexation plans. Postponing annexation for a little while—until after November, perhaps?—in order to have the UAE and maybe other Arab Gulf countries, or even a Muslim-majority country on the African continent announce normalized relations, is a much smarter move, politically.

Who is Zaha Hassan?

Zaha Hassan is visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Middle East Program, and former coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine's bid for UN membership.

Who is Michael Oren?

Michael Oren, formerly Israel's ambassador to the United States, Knesset Member, and deputy minister in the Prime Minister's office.

Political Propaganda at CNN and Newsweek

Both views are political propaganda, not independent analysis.

Political Propaganda by Trump

Donald Trump says he Expects Saudi Arabia to join UAE-Israel Deal.

Saudi Arabia has different views.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan ruled out the possibility until the Palestinian issue is resolved.

"Peace must be achieved with the Palestinians" on the basis of international agreements as a pre-condition for any normalisation of relations, Prince Faisal told reporters during a visit to Berlin on Wednesday.

Prince Faisal said the kingdom remained committed to peace with Israel on the basis of a 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Saudi Arabia, which does not recognise Israel, drew up the 2002 initiative by which Arab nations offered to normalise ties with Israel in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in 1967.

Lie of the Day

Trump called the UAE-Israel accord a good agreement and said: "Countries that you wouldn't even believe that want to come into that deal." He did not name any other countries besides Saudi Arabia.

And Saudi Arabia itself is a lie. 

Behind this deal, what's going on?

F-35 Fighters Jets For Sale 

Let's go back to the Nuclear Accord Deal and see what's what.

Iran Honoring Commitments?

June 14, 2017 PolitiFact asks Is Iran complying with the nuclear deal? 

The prevailing view among foremost authorities is that Iran has complied with the deal.

The U.S. State Department, which is required to report to Congress every 90 days on Iran’s compliance, also certified in April that the Islamic Republic is living up to its end of the deal.

PolitFact noted minor violations.

The deal says Iran can keep 130 metric tons of "heavy water," a modified liquid used in some nuclear reactors. However, Iran has twice crept over its limit, according to the IAEA, each time by a fraction of one ton.

Daryl Kimball, the executive director Arms Control Association, downplayed the heavy water issue as a "minor infraction," and noted that Iran currently does not have a functioning heavy water reactor. In other words, from a practical standpoint, the issue is essentially moot because excessive heavy water wouldn’t move Iran closer to building a nuclear weapon.

 David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, wrote in a June 5 analysis of the IAEA’s report said "Iran appears to be complying more strictly with JCPOA limitations over which it was facing controversy, such as the heavy water cap." 

September 26, 2017: Trump’s Top General Says Iran Honoring Nuke Deal

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday joined other members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet in confirming that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal that has put a temporary halt to its nuclear weapons program.

 “The briefings I have received indicate that Iran is adhering to its JCPOA obligations,” Gen. Joseph Dunford wrote in answers to questions in advance of his hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, using an acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

April 19, 2019: IAEA Says Iran Abiding by Nuclear Deal

“Iran is implementing its nuclear commitments,” said Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The agency has had access to “all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit.”

Summation

  1. US State Department: Iran honoring the terms.
  2. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Iran honoring the terms.
  3. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Iran honoring the terms.
  4. Arms Control Association: Iran honoring the terms.
  5. Every other signee of the accord: Iran honoring the terms.

Trump alone says differently. 

Which Side Rings True?

This is not close. 

Trump undid the single best thing Obama did. 

Mish

Comments (43)
No. 1-12
Sechel
Sechel

Israel and the UAE were already working together albeit quietly and under the radar and one of the worst kept secrets in politics Yea this looks driven by politics. Israel gave up almost nothing. UAE gained little on the surface. The notion this was driven by arm sales is an obvious speculation. Trump gets a political achievement which he has yet to achieve. The much heralded Kushner Palestinian peace deal fizzled.

There's clearly a Sunni Shia divide in the middle east. Israel Arab was never really the true conflict. Iran's moves have pushed the UAE and Saudi Arabia to find common ground with Israel although Saudi Arabia is unlikely to formalize any time soon. In the Middle east the enemy of my enemy is my friend was never more true

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

As long as the west bank Palestinians have no self determination or semblance of democratic voice and another 2 million Palestinians are kept under a virtual prison in Gaza there will continue to be long term issues that at one point or another will surface.

Quatloo
Quatloo

It is hard to really call the Iran ‘treaty’ an Obama accomplishment, because as with the Paris Accords he did not even try to get the constitutionally required ‘advice and consent’ of the Senate. He could have made the effort and made an appeal to the American people, but instead he just gave up on the idea without even trying. This opened the door for Trump to simply reverse both actions.

Sechel
Sechel

I do wonder if F-35's really improve UAE security but rather make some rich rulers feel powerful. Strategically if I'm the UAE worried about Iran I'd probably want anti-missiles, missiles, radar, high speed gun boats and some diesel powered submarines to help patrol the waters. Iran does not have a formidable airforce. An F-35 sale makes no sense to me.

Fl0yd
Fl0yd

One must be motivated by narrow interests to attack the UAE-Israel agreement. Peace is a good think - isn't it?

I fail to see the link with the alleged Palestinian interest. This is like arguing that the US and UK must remain hostile till the Northern Ireland issue is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

Celebrating the agreement as a monumental breakthrough is an exaggeration, obviously. It serves the political needs of Trump and Netanyahu. It might also serve the UAE stance vs Iran.

I'm not convinced about the weight of the F35 purchase argument. Was the agreement pivotal to this end? I'm skeptic.

I read in other places the argument that the agreement eases the process of F35 purchase. Not sure how credible this is

Fl0yd
Fl0yd

Mish, you seem often rather skeptic about the stance and performance of government agencies. However, you cite their JCPOA confirmations verbatim.

The JCPOA was a bad agreement! Iran violated the NPT, which it signed willingly. Rather than rolling the Iran nuclear program back and penalizing Iran for the NPT violations, the JCPOA formalized Iran's transgressions. Iran hardly conceded anything in the process.

The wishful thinking that the JCPOA would ease Iran into becoming easier to deal with didn't materialize.

All that said, once the JCPOA was signed, I still don't know whether the US should have walked back (despite Obama reportedly cutting corners in the confirmation process in Congress).

Finally, Iran is successful at pressuring both its Suni rivals and Israel. So much so, that Suni Arab countries seem to soften their stance vs. Israel. Wow!

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I dont agree it was the only thing Obama accomplished. Your perspective is completely skewed.

Webej
Webej

Don't have the references at hand, but even the so-called intelligence "community" agrees with the assessment of JCPOA observance.

Rbm
Rbm

The land was promised to the children of Abraham. Its a family argument. And we should stay out of it. . . .

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I will go on the record here. There will be a nuclear device detonated somewhere in the middle east by the end of the decade and it will be because Trump allowed multiple countries to proliferate nuclear weapons under the guise of selling them weapons.

FactsonJoe
FactsonJoe

So since Iran was apparently following the terms of the deal Obama negotiated with only minor infractions then the next question is WHAT KIND of TERMS were in that Iran deal Obama negotiated...

Remember that Obama, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, Susan Rice are all fans of Muslim Brotherhood and Obama started his presidency with an apology tour of Middle East and Obama was FINE with Muslim Brotherhood taking control of Egypt and was angry that General El-Sisi had to take control after Muslim Brotherhood started committing acts of violence against christians and moderate muslims in Egypt and El-Sisi put Muslim Brotherhood leadership in prison.

Remember that Obama was FINE with Iranian General Soleimani paying shia-militias in Iraq bounties for every killed American soldier and Obama did NOTHING despite these Iranian bounties leading to the deaths of almost 1000 American soldiers under Obama killed by shia militias wanting the bounties.
Trump sent a missile to kill Soleimani and others in Iranian leadership and Hezbollah leadership.
This is why Democrats and media have grabbed the BS claim that Putin is paying bounties for Taleban to kill Americans in Afghanistan which is the most ass backwards theory ever since Putin hates Taleban and extreme muslims and islamists.
That claim is concocted up by CIA and other intelligence which wants forever war and USA to be in Afghanistan in 100 years to create continued profits for military-industrial-complex.

Remember that Obama massively boosted muslim immigration to USA that was stupidly started by George W. Bush after CAIR lied to Bush that 80-90% of muslims voted for Bush and Republicans in 2000 election so Bush started flooding swing states with muslim immigrants and found out in 2004 elections that they voted for Democrats 80-90% of time and Obama continued the flooding of swing states with muslims to make them blue states since muslims vote 80-90% Democrats in 2004,2008, 2012, 2016.

Remember that under Obama CIA was arming FSA (Free Syrian Army) units that instantly defected and joined ISIS once they had gotten the arms shipments.
McCain visited to meet with FSA/ISIS while still being the war monger he was.

Obama also REFUSED to bomb ISIS oil convoys to Turkey and thereby allowed ISIS to fund their operations and Obama was stupidly clinging onto his earlier description of ISIS as Junior Varsity Team before ISIS took control of most of Syria and large parts of Iraq and Obama's hate towards Lt.Gen Flynn dates to this since as head of DIA Flynn criticized Obama's unbelievable idiocy of the JV Team comment and attitude toward ISIS and Flynn was FIRED by Obama as a result.

Benghazi was about Obama giving shoulder launched missiles to Libyan opposition (Muslim Brotherhood affiliates and Al-Qaida/ISIS) to fight Gaddafi and then those shoulder launched missiles ending up in Afghanistan where American helicopters were shot down with them and Obama/Clinton tried to buy back the missiles through the Benghazi consulate but islamists decided to keep the shoulder-launched missiles and instead loot the consulate and steal the tens of millions the consulate had for the shoulder-launched missile buyback.

Obama is the one RESPONSIBLE for the flood of migrants to Europe through Libya since 2013 at 150k-200k a year that Italy pushed further north without registration to get rid of them.
Under Gaddafi Iraly had a deal with Libya to STOP the African migrants and send them back to their home countries most of which are peaceful.
Obama is RESPONSIBLE for the 2015 crisis of millions rushing from Turkey to Greece and onward to Germany since Merkel was trying to COPY Obama with her statements that started the rush and the syrians were coming to Turkey in large numbers because of Obama's policies and the ISIS enlargement to Iraq made lots or iraqis also rush to Europe after Turkey gave Iraqis visa freedom to boost tourism to Turkey at the start of 2015.
Greece copied Italy and just did NOT register the asylum seekers (out of 1+ million Greece registered just 11 000 in 2015) and instead just pushed them north toward Germany and this policy caused more people to want to come when they heard one could get to Germany and get free apartment, free welfare money, free everything and family re-unification when one went to Greece.
Greece itself gives NO GOODIES so if borders would be CLOSED nobody would go to Greece.

In my opinion the Obama Iran deal was mostly kick the can and take credit now moment (and bow to muslims like Obama did with the apology tour and like CIA's communist voting Brennan did by speaking in Arabic and apologizing for USA) since all the requirements placed on Iran were to be removed in time and starting in 2020 the deal has NO LIMITS on how many centrifuges Iran can have.


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