Streams

David Sanger on Syria

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times and a contributor to WNYC, talks about the situation in Syria.  

Guests:

David Sanger
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [39]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

People like Laila, Sheldon, DTorres, doofusboy believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran is not developing nuclear bombs must also believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no homosexuals, as the little president of the Islamic Republic told the audience at Columbia University.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAel96pxGeI

Some people will believe anything the politburo tells them to believe.

Feb. 08 2012 11:34 PM
Laila from New York

I am reassured that there are some who have it 100% right, as does DTorres. At least some are better informed and do not swallow all the propaganda we are hearing.

Feb. 07 2012 02:06 PM
Laila from New York

Messrs. Lehrer and Sanger, as usual,did a great job in repeating all the Israeli Lobby's talking points. I think it's a great shame that The Brian Lehrer Show, is now coupled with the NY Times; two Israeli apologists for the price of one? I'm not surprised at the plethora of ignorance about the facts exhibited in some of these comments, a direct result of the misinformation which these two entities spread. As for the louder and louder drumbeats of war against Iran, the question I would like to ask everyone: Is it good for America?

Feb. 07 2012 02:02 PM
DTorres from Manhattan

We have far more Nuclear Weapons than Iran does.
Israel has far more Nuclear Weapons than Iran does.

Israel says Iran has "nuclear ambitions" while Israel has Nuclear Weapons.

We do not need to attack another country, yet again.

When was the last time an Iranian Billionaire, donated millions of dollars
to an American Presidential Campaign, in order to buy that potential President?

Feb. 07 2012 01:36 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

jg, - yes, Israel gave up the Sinai because, unlike the Golan Heights or West Bank, there would have been a 4th war if they did not, and you are right, Egypt would almost have never gotten it back anytime soon.

America saw Mubarak and Egypt as the "leader" of the post-colonial Arab World, hence the aid to keep Egypt "peaceful, "secular", and stable," even though the Mubarak regime was brutal and corrupt.

The Saudis and the world will NEVER allow a non-Arab, Siite country in Iran to rule the Saudi Arabia or the peninsula.

My point is: America should guarantee Israel's right to exist, not Likud's.

Feb. 07 2012 12:09 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Taher

Jews and Arabs are ethnically related, but so are most "Indian" tribes. We are related but different tribes. The Ishmalite tribes got MOST of the Middle East. Israel got a tiny sliver. Leave us alone in our tiny sliver, and we won't bother you.

Feb. 07 2012 11:47 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Yes indeed jgarbuz from Queens, Jews are part of the ancient and prehistoric Semitic population of the Middle East.
Hebrew/ Phoenician/ Canaanite languages have commonality with Aramaic/Akkadian the root languages of modern Arabic.

Feb. 07 2012 11:39 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon again

After Israel defeated EGypt THREE TIMES, and Sadat failed again in 1973, he finally had no choice but to recognize Israel or never get Sinai back. Jimmy Carter twisted BEgin's arms and Israel was guaranteed US aid in exchange for having to giving up the oil fields, the air and military bases, and the security that Sinai gave. There were no tunnels to Gaza nor rockets flying into Israel when Israel controlled the SInai with Gaza. So I can undestand US compensating Israel, but why Egypt??? The US got it back for them, so why the aid too? I never understood that part.

As for selling arms to the Saudis, the US sold arms to Iran and the Shah,and those US planes and ships are still the backbone of the Iranian armed forces. EVentually, if Iran gets away with it, the Saudi air forces will be part of the IRanian forces as well. Mark my word. The HOuse of Saud will collapse, and with a nuclear IRan, the US won't be able to do a damn thing short of nuking IRan. And if Iran has nukes to hit back with, that won't happen either!

Feb. 07 2012 11:36 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

jg, I agree with you on some points. It is scandalous, the amount of aid America gives Egypt to "keep the peace" but I understand why. America sells the Saudis arms for obvious reasons - she needs their oil. I am not an isolationist. I have no problem with America implying Israel's right to exist but I resent American politicians falling over themselves to appease the pro-Israel lobby. It does neither Israel nor America any good in the long term.

Feb. 07 2012 11:29 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Taher

99.75% of the Middle East belngs to the Arabs. One quarter of one percent (00.25%) of the Middle East belongs to the Jews.

Feb. 07 2012 11:22 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

jgarbuz from Queens. Yes I see your Zionist worldview. Anyway Semites have been living in Middle East since prehistoric times. And modern Arabs are descendant
of those prehistoric people.

Feb. 07 2012 11:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon from Brooklyn

I am CERTAIN that most Americans are tired, mentally demoralized, and want to retreat back into the cocoon and bring back the "good old days" of the 1930s when the US was isolationist, but also in the grip of a Depression. I agree that Americans want ISrael, the Middle East, the whole world to go away. They want peace and quiet and the return of jobs and the good life that many have lost. The problem is, life does not work the way we want it to. We want families who loving and loyal, and that doesn't always happen.

As for Israel getting "special status," it certainly appears that way, though it's not necessarily like that in reality. In fact, the US gives as much aid to the Arabs as it does to Israel, and sells Israel's enemies, such as Saudi Arabia, some 3 times as much arms as it gives to Israel. The US has been playing both sides of the fence since 1948, but US politicians have made it sound like it's all for Israel. But examination of facts shows otherwise. Too much history to go into here. The US is not doing it for ISrael. It is doing for US interests. ANd US interests do not want Iran, or NOrth KOrea, or anyone to get any more nuclear weapons, or to control Middle Eastern oil supplies and oil prices, which the consumer feels very directly at the pump.

Feb. 07 2012 11:12 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

jg - I think Sharon is expressing the sentiments of many, if not most Americans, who feel Israel, excuse me - the Israeli Govt gets special status from US politicians for domestic reasons, and the US gets NOTHING in return. Netanyahu is the 2nd most powerful man in US politics.

Israel has one of the best military set ups in the world, she has HUNDREDS of nuclear weapons. She can take care of herself.

Feb. 07 2012 11:03 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

TO Taher

Why the Crusades ultimately failed? Because the homelands of the Crusaders were in Europe, in France, Germany and Britain! But the homeland of the Jews is Israel, which the Roman occupiers called Palestine 100 years after Jesus. The Crusaders could finally go home to Europe. Israeli Jews cannot and will not go back to Poland, Germany, Yemen, Iraq, Morocco, India, Ethiopia, etc.

Anyhow, the Crusades were just a counter attack. The Muslim Arabs conquered the Middle East 500 years earlier on. It was just one set off occupiers fighting another set of occupiers. Israel is Jewish soil.

Feb. 07 2012 10:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sharon who wrote

"Israel is a burden we don't need." Once again, it's always the fault of the Jews. The rise of Hitler was the fault of the JEws. The rise of Stalin was the fault of the Jews. The rise of Jesus was the fault of the Jews. Guess what? There were wars before there were even Jews! There were wars before Abraham! President Jefferson took the US into a war with the Muslim Barbary Pirates in 1801. I wonder how that can be tied into Israel or the Jews?

Feb. 07 2012 10:52 AM

Maybe we could send Cheezzlewhiz and jaggerbuttz on a secret mission to dismantle Iran's nuclear program.

Cheezzlewhiz and jaggerbuttz: The Solution

Look for the trailer for the Hollywood blockbuster!!

Feb. 07 2012 10:50 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

jgarbuz from Queens
Just want to let you know something about the Middle East- NOTHING IS FORGOTTEN. When the US and other western powers leave the region accounts will be settled by all.
The First Crusade began in 1095. Followed by many Crusades and the establishment of European kingdoms in the Near East. The last Western kingdom was ejected by natives in 1291. Nothing is forgotten.

Feb. 07 2012 10:49 AM
avi from Brooklyn,NY

To compare iran to the Soviets and the MAD policy that kept us "safe", and therefore why the "irrational" fear of Iran obtaining the bomb is to compare apples and peaches and show total ignorance of a basic. What drives a faction of the Iranian gov't is an end times theological fanatical belief in the 12th Imam, the Mahdi who vanished in the 9th century and can't return till Israel is destroyed and the world is in chaos and they are determined to bring this about. Why we won't believe an enemy that continually tells us "we will beat you because you worship life and we worship death" is beyond me.

Feb. 07 2012 10:47 AM
Esther from Baltimore

Sharon: "It is physically impossible for Iran to hit the US with a nuclear weapon." Well, I'm so glad you've been briefed on the latest classified intel! I feel so much more secure now! And nobody could ever possibly bring down the Twin Towers! Your head is in the sand, baby!

Feb. 07 2012 10:43 AM
uscdadnyc from Queens NY

To the Caller that came on ~10:20AM, who said Iran did not do anything against the US. Perhaps he is not old enough to remember the Iranian Hostage Crisis. A clear Violation of International/Diplomatic Law. Perhaps the caller believes there is a SOL (Statute of Limitations) on such actions. Perhaps the caller does not think such actions are of any subsequence. Interesting Theor(ies), but not one(s) that I subscribe to.

Feb. 07 2012 10:43 AM
Sharon from UES

To: jgarbuz from Queens

You are comparing apples and oranges. "Who cares what the people think?" The people do. These are not our enemies. Invading a country of 70 million is utter INSANITY. That number dwarfs what we had in Iraq. While invasion might set Iran's progress back quite a few years but it turn the vast majority of peace-loving people against us.

It is none of our business. Israel is a burden and we don't need. The people here don't want it. ASK THEM! These are our tax dollars. NOT ISRAELS!

Feb. 07 2012 10:42 AM
dboy from Nyc

Wha... wha... whoa, Sharon from UES!!!

That is very anti-Semitic!!!

You just can't blurt-out facts or criticism regarding Holy Israel!!!

What the hell are you thinking???

Feb. 07 2012 10:40 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

In 1938 everybody felt that Hitler was only a problem for the Jews. By 1940, Poland, Britain, France and others learned otherwise. By 1942, Americans learned that too. Americans learn late, because the threat always seems so far away and unreachable. It is mental isolationism, that has nothing to do with geographical realities. But when Cuba got Russian missiles and nukes, suddenly we were prepared to go to nuclear war with Russia to get them out.

Feb. 07 2012 10:39 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

You let your guest get away with this nonsense about Iran giving nuclear weapons to terrorists. You had Zbigniew Brzezinski on your show and he clearly said that countries with nuclear capabilities DO NOT give them away.
Clearly what we have here is the Israel lobby at work via the New York Times.
Sadly the New York Times is the best journalism that is offered in America. Where nobody in that organization understands the world.

Feb. 07 2012 10:37 AM
Esther from Baltimore

Why do you say it gives Israel a "convenient" reason not to negotiate if Fatah forms a unity gov't with Hamas? Should any country negotiate with a gov't whose main ideology is bent on the other country's destruction?

Feb. 07 2012 10:37 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sharon from UES

If you would have polled Americans in 1941 about wanting to war against GErmany and/or Japan, no doubt 80% would have been against it. And nobody would have believed that Japan could hit the side of a barn, much less sink nearly the entire Pacific Fleet in a matter of hours. So who cares what the people think? What matters is, what the enemy thinks. And there are enemies out there, whether we like it or not.

Feb. 07 2012 10:35 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

America has no allies in the middle east. The sooner she realizes that, the better the world will be.

Feb. 07 2012 10:33 AM
Vera from UES

The "Jewish Community"???? You mean the 1% of Americans who want to invade a sovereign nation? We already did that for them with Iraq.

This all comes down to the swing vote in Florida, but I have to tell you Obama rendered Florida unnecessary in the last election.

Feb. 07 2012 10:33 AM
Robert from NYC

Ride on Sharon, you got that right!

Feb. 07 2012 10:31 AM
Sharon from UES

If you were to poll the US voting population or put this to vote, MOST probably 80% of Americans would want NOTHING to do with "Middle Eastern" foreign policy. Especially Israel. I wish they would just ask Americans.

We have problems here. Let them duke it out. It is physically impossible for Iran to hit the US with a nuclear weapon. Israel and protect herself.

Feb. 07 2012 10:29 AM
Robert from NYC

So it's ok to kill some (hundreds was quoted by caller) and let Saleh get away with it. Is that what Sanger said. Yeah but it's not on the scale as... lol.
That kind of says it's ok for one country to kill a few people while the other comes back and kills thousands. Somehow there is a situation like this last and it's ok when the 1000s are killed, or at least it seems not to bother anybody while the 2 or 3 killed from the other side is the terrorist!? What?! I'm confused.

Feb. 07 2012 10:29 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapons means:

1. The end of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty;
2. The end of the US or anybody to stop Iran in the region;
3. The possibiity of an Israeli attack on Iran and vice versa;
4. The possibility of terrorists, e.g. Hezbollah, from getting a dirty bomb;
5. The probability of an arms race in the Middle East, as well as many other countries scrambling to get nukes (again, end of the NPT.)
6. The possibility of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States falling under IRanian proxy control.

Feb. 07 2012 10:28 AM
Phil from People Republic of Brooklyn

Ask about the Arab League Mission Report!

Feb. 07 2012 10:27 AM
Hiyad

Israel, USA, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are using the Salafees to fight Iran in Syria. Doesn't it sound Familir. Is it Bin Ladin, The Talabans and Afganistan again.
It is cheaper and easier to communicate with Iran.
second if you are sad about the blood shed in Syria remember what happened in Iraq with the US invasion

Feb. 07 2012 10:24 AM
dboy from Nyc

Well, Mr. Cheezzlewhiz, everyone knows that the NEW YORK TIMES is very anti-Semetic. Along with everyone else, of course.

Feb. 07 2012 10:23 AM

The caller abut us messing with Iran is absolutely correct...thank you Brian for kinda making his point...David Sanger now explains to us the world has changed and we have to kill people...

Feb. 07 2012 10:22 AM
eCAHNomics

r2p=bomb them for humanitarian reasons too.

Feb. 07 2012 10:13 AM
eCAHNomics

Oh goody, the USG's stenographer. Now we'll find out what Obama wants us to know but is not brave enough to say himself.

This, BTW, has nothing to do with what is true or factual or really happening.

Feb. 07 2012 10:09 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian-

Ask Sanger if he knows why his paper, the NYT, elected to specifically exclude Khameni’s direct threat to Israel in their article about his incendiary rhetoric on Friday in Tehran. Sanger himself has always been an honest reporter....and Iran is a major player in Assad's survival.

As other news services reported:
“Ayatollah Ali Khameni addressed thousands of worshippers attending a Tehran University prayer service marking the Fajr celebration. “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed” Khameni said Friday.

I think we all know that the NYT wants to minimize the threats to Israel and eliminate any justification for Israeli intervention. This is a despicable lack of integrity given the world’s focus on this unstable situation.

COMMENTARY MAGAZINE said it well this week:

“While we don't know how or why a mention of this element of the speech managed to get excised from the account in the Times, it's a question worth pondering.... So when Khamenei repeats the Islamist regimes pledge to make good on its threat to destroy "the Zionist regime" in the same context as its vow to satisfy its nuclear ambitions, this is no minor rhetorical point... For the Times to eliminate Khamenei's threat to Israel from its coverage even as it accurately reports other elements of the speech is more than curious. At the very least, it is an egregious error of judgment. At worst, it smacks of an effort to skew the discussion about Iran away from the imminent peril that its Tehran's nuclear program represents."

Feb. 07 2012 08:01 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.