Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, alleged 'agent of the CIA'.

Some people believe that the CIA has stopped supporting the Turkish generals, because the Turkish generals have become too nationalistic.

Some people believe that the CIA has switched its support to the moderate Islamic AKP party, one of whose leaders is Abdullah Gul.

Apparently the CIA wants to use certain Moslems to gain control of the natural resources of Central Asia....

David Cameron and Abdullah Gul, November 2010.

On 8 November 2010, Turkey's President Gül said that Turkey is playing an active role in shaping the New World Order.

(President Gül: Turkey plays active role in shaping new world order)

Gül was speaking at London's Chatham House, said to be a front for the security services. (Chatham House: MI6 Front And Corporate Think-Tank)

Chatham House, also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, is the sister organisation of the US Council on Foreign Relations.

Chatham House has presented Gül with its prestigious Chatham House Prize.

During his speech Gül suggested that the Cold War era world system was yet to be replaced by a new and effective system.

Gül suggested that the new order will be accomplished in the next decade.

Gül said that this new order must focus on the whole world and reject a Euro-centric understanding of history and international affairs.

Gül said that the new order must be a multicultural one where a single power's hegemony is absent.

Gül had a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, a staunch supporter of Turkey’s accession into the EU.

On plans to build a NATO-wide missile defense system, Gül dismissed claims that the planned shield is designed to protect Israel from a possible Iranian missile attack.

Gul studied for two years in London and Exeter in the United Kingdom.

Gul is an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Civil Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath

Fethullah Gulen is the founder of the Fethullah or Gulen movement, which most suspect is linked to the CIA.

Gul and his AKP party are linked to the 'moderate Islamic' Fethullah Gulen sect, which some suspect is linked to the CIA.

Fethullah is named after Fethullah Gulen, the founder of the group.

On 10 February 2010, Dikran Ego wrote (Turkey) :

"Many ... fear that what is happening now is the AKP government, together with the followers of the Fethullah-sect, who have taken positions in all governmental and military institutions, has begun to break down a competing power structure in order to establish its own position and take full control of the state.

"The question is whether the AKP government will deal and eliminate the (military generals')terrorist network 'Ergenekon' ... to establish its own 'Ergenekon' based on 'islamofascist' ideologies."
(Government Sponsored Terror Squad Killing Assyrians, Other Minorities in Turkey )

Fethullah is seen by most as being the CIA. (Fethullah Gülen's Web Site.) Former CIA operative Graham Fuller reportedly helped Fethullah Gulen obtain permanent residency status in the USA. (Has the Universal Caliphate Emerged from Pennsylvania? Is the CIA ...)

Why would Fuller support Gul, who reportedly wants a 'modern and moderate' grouping of Moslem countries, allegedly as part of a New World Order?

The answer reportedly comes from the transcripts of investigative reporter Sibil Edmonds. (Has the Universal Caliphate Emerged from Pennsylvania? Is the CIA ...)

Reportedly, during the Clinton administration, the CIA began to fund Gulen and his movement "with millions derived from drug trafficking – including the revenues amassed by Turkish underworld figures (bubas) from the flow of heroin from Afghanistan through northern Iran to Turkey." (Has the Universal Caliphate Emerged from Pennsylvania? Is the CIA ...)

Gulen set up madrassahs (Islamic schools) and cemaats (Muslim communities) throughout the Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmernistan and newly-formed Russian republics "in order to gain control of the vast oil and natural gas reserves of these developing countries."

Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s first Islamist President, is said to be a fan of Gulen, along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Has the Universal Caliphate Emerged from Pennsylvania? Is the CIA ...)

Turkey, under the AKP, has taken a more pro-Iran and more anti-Israel approach.

This might not worry Obama and Brzezinski, who reportedly want Iran as an ally against Russia and China.

Turkey's AKP party worries Israel which sees Turkey being friendly to Syria.

The Gulen movement has been outlawed in Russia, perhaps because it is seen as being a tool of the CIA.

The CIA allegedly believes that the Gulen movement "will succeed in uniting the Muslims of Central Asia and, thereby, gain control of the natural resources of these countries for the so-called 'good' of the American people." (Has the Universal Caliphate Emerged from Pennsylvania? Is the CIA ...)

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Military Incompetence: Why the American Military Doesn't Win..."

"Gross Military Incompetence: Why the American Military Doesn't Win..."

The Iran hostages rescue operation in 1980....and the collisions of US helicopters with US transport and refueling aircraft in the Iranian desert is a prime example of Gross incompetence too....

Interesting article you cite on the performance of the US military in Grenada. I don't usually comment on military matters, but as I served in the 82nd during this time I thought I'd add my $.02. I have to say that the Washington Monthly article and your commentary on the US military is spot on in every detail, except that the original plan of attack involved the Rangers parachuting in to take the runway so the 82nd could then airland its troops in, with my battalion, the 2/325 AIF, being the first one in. I did not participate in the invasion as I was on emergency leave when it happened, but I heard all the stories after-wards and they corroborate much of what was in that article.

It was amazing the number of casualties my unit experienced considering how badly outnumbered and outgunned the Cubans were. A captain and platoon sergeant from my battalion were both killed when they foolishly walked solo up a hill to try and locate the enemy...and succeeded in doing so. Our brigade HQ was hit by an A-10 strike that was called in by a lieutenant to take out a sniper resulting in one dead and at least 11 injured—proving the old adage that there is nothing more dangerous than a 2nd Lt with a compass and a map. Despite their small number the Cubans seemed to be everywhere, and our Recon platoon alone was ambushed twice albeit with no casualties.

My jeep took a bullet during one of these ambushes, and given the huge numbers of medals they handed out afterwards, I'm surprised I didn't get a Purple Heart or Bronze Star for my jeep's ordeal, even though I wasn't there. As it was, they gave Bronze Stars to all the company kiss-asses who showed up for the party, and some other medal for everyone else.

I heard a lot of stories of objectionable behavior and outright war crimes just from my company alone. In one case, a Cuban prisoner was stripped bare-chested and tied face down to the hood of a jeep and driven around like a hunter's trophy. The hood of a jeep can get pretty hot even in winter let alone in the hot Caribbean sun. I heard reports of soldiers shooting cattle and stealing cars for sport, as well as blowing up houses with LAW rockets and killing fish with grenades—though some of these attacks were by request of locals hoping for compensation.

In my opinion, the 82nd at that time was just a dog and pony show where incompetent and disinterested careerist officers stopped to get their tickets punched with the necessary Airborne experience needed for future promotions to field grade officer positions. We spent most of our time cleaning the barracks and picking up cigarette butts rather than training for war, and most of our officers and NCOs were utterly clueless and incompetent. That there were always cigarette butts to pick up showed the general attitude of officers and NCOs to the men, as we never dropped our own butts knowing someone else would have to pick them up....
Typical of this breed was one of my captains who was a West Point grad and remarkable ass-kisser even by 82nd Airborne standards (or "cheesedog" as we called them, from the practice of eating the "from under cheese" from under their superior's foreskins). This clown would have us run by the commanding general's headquarters during our morning PT and demand we let the general know we were there by shouting with bogus enthusiasm. We finally broke him of the habit by laughing uproariously instead.

The captain was with the unit for 6 months when he requested a display of our weapons for inspection. I was a TOW anti-tank gunner in Combat Support Company which included the TOWs, 4.2 inch mortars and the Recon platoon. We lined up our TOWs "dress right dress" or in a neat row and this putz walks over to my TOW and asks his XO, "is this a TOW?"

Of course, let me not spare our Air Force friends, who routinely dropped us in the trees on jumps, or Marine Corps Anglico which called in a barrage of 155mm artillery fire during a training exercise just 300 yards from their position on the very edge of a fire zone just as we were driving by in our jeeps, How none of us were killed or injured is a mystery as the explosions were close enough and loud enough to cause me ear pain for a few weeks after-wards.

Based on my experience in an allegedly "elite" unit I'd have to say the US military is an overrated farce. Thank God we didn't have to say "Hooah" back in those days as I think I'd have gone postal if they forced me to mouth such a bloody moronic, mealy-mouthed affirmative. As it was our required "All the Way, Sir!" was bad enough....
Coming back to the 1983 invasion of Grenada, it would be a good idea to compare it with the 1979 taking of the Tadzh-Bek Palace by 520 lightly armed Soviet officers and soldiers against a defending force of 2500 heavily armed defenders. You can read all about this operation in this article:

And just in case anybody would suspect the author of this article of being some kind of commie-groupie, here is a short bio:

LESTER W. GRAU, a Vietnam War veteran and retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, is an analyst for the Foreign Military Studies Office at the Army's Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth. He is also the editor and translator of The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan and The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujaheddin Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Israelization of the United States....and the ugly Americanization of ISRAEL....

The "Special Relationship" Comes Home

Israelization of the United States....and the ugly Americanization of ISRAEL....


The images of the American armada plowing through the deserts of Iraq, bombing military and civilian targets, laying siege to Iraqi cities, targeting Iraqi leaders, shooting civilians, blinded by sandstorms, stalled, ambushed, shocked by the Iraqi resistance, facing suicide attacks, suggests an eerie but inescapable comparison. Is this America's West Bank? Is this the Israelization of United States--heading to its logical conclusion?

Most Americans have been taught by their captive media to interpret what happens today in the Middle East in terms of what happened yesterday. The clock of history in this region always starts with the most recent "suicide" attack mounted by Palestinians against "peaceful," "innocent" Israeli "civilians." If, somehow, these Americans could be persuaded to take the long view, they might begin to understand that the war against Iraq is perhaps the culmination of a process that had been long in the making: the Israelization of United States.

The founding fathers of Zionism understood clearly that their colonial project had no chance of succeeding without the patronage of a great power. The Zionists tried but failed to persuade the Ottoman Caliph to open up Palestine to Jewish colonization; he declined their inducements. Then, the British found themselves in a tight spot in the midst of World War I. They sought Jewish help in accelerating US entry into the war. In return for their help, the Zionists got the vital support they wanted. In the infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, the British promised "to use their best endeavour" (what charming language) to facilitate the creation of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine.

The British occupied Palestine in December 1917 and immediately opened it up to Jewish immigration. At the end of the war, according to the terms of a secret agreement, the British and French vivisected the Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire to splinter Arab unity. Syria was carved up four ways: Lebanon, to create a Maronite-dominated state; Jordan, to reward one of the sons of the collaborating Sharif Hussein; a French-controlled Syria; and the British mandate of Palestine, the future Israel. Soon, the Jews of Europe came pouring into British-occupied Palestine, setting up a parallel government with their own military.

The die was cast for the Palestinians. They were no match for the combined Zionist and British forces; and there was no help from weak Arab "states," hamstrung by imperialist control. Still the Palestinians fought to save their homeland. When the British stopped the Jewish im-migration, the Zionists mounted a terrorist campaign. The British lost nerve and passed the buck to the United Nations, or, effectively, to the United States, which now dominated that august body. Motivated in part by anti-Semitism and still strong Christian sentiments, but also swayed by a determined Jewish campaign, United States pushed a partition plan that strongly favored the Jews. The Palestinians rejected the partition plan. They and other Arabs mounted a feeble resistance, but were routed by the Zionists. Close to a million Palestinians were expelled from their homes, and never allowed to return.

It should be understood that the creation of Israel did not--at least in the early years--advance America's strategic interests. At the time, United States and Britain exercised firm--and very profitable--control over the oil resources of the Gulf through a clutch of weak and pliant monarchies. The emergence of radical governments in Egypt in 1952, and, later, Syria, only deepened the dependence of the oil-rich Arab monarchies on Western powers. When the Iranian nationalists sought to nationalize their oil in 1952, the Americans and British organized a coup, and reinstated the deposed King. In other words, the British and Americans were firmly in control of the region--without any help from Israel. A "special relationship" with the Israeli interloper could only undermine this control by inflaming Arab nationalist sentiments.

The record of American assistance to Israel shows that the special re-lationship did not develop until the late 1960s. US aid flows to Israel remained well below $100 million annually until 1965, and, more importantly, very little of this was for military hardware. The aid flows doubled in 1966, increased six fold in 1971, and five fold again in 1974 when it rose to $2.6 billion, going up to $5 billion in more recent years. Further, this aid was disbursed mostly in the form of grants, and nearly all of it was spent on military hardware. Indeed, these terms indicate a very "special relationship," not available to any other country.

Most commentators, especially those on the left, attribute the emer-gence of this special relationship to Israel's stunning 1967 victory over Egypt, Syria and Jordan. They argue that this victory convinced the US that Israel could serve as a vital ally and a counterpoise to Arab nationalism and Soviet ambitions in the region. But this explanation is both one-sided and simplistic. It completely ignores the part Israel played in initiating this relationship, deepening it, and making it irreversible.

If the special relationship was the product of an Israeli victory over Arabs, US should have embraced Israel as a vital ally after its first victory over Arab armies in 1948, or after 1956 when it seized the entire Sinai in a lightning strike. Why did US have to wait until 1967, after Israel had humiliated the leading nationalist states and Soviet allies in the region. Presumably, the Arab defeat should have reduced Israel's usefulness to the US. In addition, the doubling of American aid flows to Israel in 1966 as well as the cover-up of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty--a reconnaissance ship--off the Sinai coast, indicate that a special relationship had begun to develop well before the 1967 war.

If America's special relationship with Israel was slow to develop, in large part, this was because Israel was doing quite well without it. At least in the 1950s, the British were still the paramount power in the Persian Gulf, a position it would yield only slowly to United States. In addition, Israel entered into a very fruitful military relationship with France, which supplied not only heavy arms and combat aircraft but collaborated on its nuclear weapons program. Israel was quite confident of its military superiority over its Arab adversaries even in these early years. Apparently, the British and the French too knew about this, since they persuaded Israel to invade Sinai in 1956 as part of their campaign to regain control of the Suez canal. This confidence was well-placed. Within a few days, Israel had taken the Sinai from the Egyptians.

If the war of 1967 produced stunning Israeli victories, it also drove Israel to look for a new partner. First, since it had started the war against French advice, President De Gaulle suspended all arms shipments to Israel. In order to make good the loss, Israel turned to the US, which had the added advantage of being the world leader in military technology. At the same time, Egypt and Syria would seek to rebuild their decimated military by pursuing an even closer relationship with Soviet Union. Given the logic of the Cold War, this forced the US to develop Israel as a counterweight against the growing Soviet influence in the region. The conditions were now ripe for the growth of a special relationship between Israel and the US.

This Israeli decision to realign itself with the US was pregnant with consequences. Israel would have to persuade Americans that their vital interests in the region--protecting their oil supplies, rolling back Arab nationalism, and containing Soviet influence--could be best served by building up Israel, militarily and economically, as the regional hegemon. This would not be an easy task since American support for Israel was certain to alienate the Arab world. And Americans knew this.

The Israelis undertook this task with seriousness. In casting itself as the regional hegemon, Israel was playing a high-risk, high-stakes game that could succeed only if it was supported and financed by the US. Also, Israel could not build a new strategy on a special relationship that Americans would be free to reverse. In order to make this an enduring relationship, Israel would bolster it at two levels.

At the grass-roots level, it worked to build a strong, emotional American identification with Israel. This was pursued in a variety of ways. Most importantly, American consciousness was saturated with guilt over Jewish suffering. In his book, The Holocaust Industry, Norman Finkelstein has shown that the sacralization of the holocaust began only after 1967, and how the guilt this produced has been used to silence Israel's critics. Americans now feared that criticism of Israel would be seen as anti-Semitism. As a result, few dared to criticize Israel in public.

Israel was also portrayed as a democracy, constantly under attack from Palestinians and Arabs. Two explanations of Arab hatred of Israel were offered. It was a species of anti-Semitism. Like its older European cousin, Arab anti-Semitism was unprovoked; it had no causes. Alternatively, unable to modernize, the Arabs hated Israel because it was the only country in the region that was both free and prosperous.

At the political level, organized American Jewry amplified its efforts to increase the pro-Israeli bias of American politics. While individual Jews continued to play a distinguished role in liberal and left causes, nearly all the major Jewish organizations now worked feverishly to put pressure on the media, the Congress and the Presidency to offer unconditional support to Israel. In several states, Jewish money, votes and media tilted elections towards the most pro-Israeli candidates. In addition, Jewish organizations worked more effectively to defeat candidates who took positions even mildly critical of Israel. This is documented in Paul Findley's book, They Dare to Speak Out.

Once Israel's special relationship with the US was in place, it would acquire its own logic of success. This logic worked through several channels. First, as Jewish organizations worked to shape US policies towards Israel, they would improve their tactics, and their initial victories would bring more Jewish support and, in time, more success. This logic even worked to turn temporary reverses to Israel's advantage. People who argue that the US special relationship with Israel was prompted by its victory in 1967 should also note that its near-defeat in 1973 led, the following year, to a more than five-fold increase in the US aid package to Israel to $2.6 billion. Egypt took this message to heart, deciding that it would be futile to challenge this special relationship any further. In 1978, it signed a separate peace with Israel, after US promised to sweeten the deal with an annual aid package of $2 billion. It's chief rival eliminated, Israel's hegemony over the Middle East was now more secure.

Iran's Islamist revolution in 1979 added new strength to Israel's special relationship with the US. The overthrow of the Iranian monarchy, the second pillar of American hegemony in the Middle East, increased Israel's leverage over US policies. In addition, the accession to power of Islamists raised the bogey of the Islamic threat to the West. The Israeli lobby, especially its Middle East experts, had been making the case for some time that the Islamist movements in the Middle East opposed the US per se, and not merely its policies towards Israel. The alarm caused by the Iranian Revolution gave strength to this interpretation.

The end of the Cold War in 1990 stripped the special relationship of its old rationale. Israel would now have to invent a new one to continue to sell itself as a strategic asset. It would now market itself as the barrier, the break-water, against the rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism. For many years, the chief opposition to the corrupt and repressive regimes in the Arab world, whether dictatorships or monarchies, had taken Islamist forms. Pro-Israeli apologists in the media and academia--mostly Jewish neoconservatives and Middle East experts--argued that the West now faced a new Islamic threat, global in its scope, which hated the freedoms, secular values and prosperity of the West. Bernard Lewis, the "doyen" of Middle East experts and a passionate Zionist, solemnly intoned in 1993 that this was nothing less than a "clash of civilizations." This was a clever move, but also a necessary one, to convert Israel's conflict with the Arabs into a new Crusade, the war of the West (read: United States) against Islam. It was clever move also because it had support from Christian fundamentalists, who were now a strong force in the Republican party.

The new Crusaders worked in tandem with Islamic extremists in the al-Qaida camp who also wanted to provoke a war between Islam and the US. Every time Osama's men struck at American targets, it was exploited by the pro-Israeli lobby to promote the Clash thesis. When the nineteen hijackers struck on September 11, 2001, they could not have chosen a better time. The man at America's helm was a born-again Christian, an isolationist, elected by right-wing Christians, with a cabinet that took its advice on foreign policy mostly from Jewish neoconservatives. The neoconservative's plan for a new Crusade had been ready long before 9-11. They had the President's ears after 9-11, and the President bought into their plan.

In no time, George Bush had been converted into a new Crusader. He described Ariel Sharon as a "man of peace," after embracing every one of his extremist positions on the Palestinians: reoccupation of West Bank, repudiation of Oslo, removal of Arafat, and dismantling of the Palestinian authority. He laid out his binary doctrine--you are with us or against-us--and prepared for pre-emptive wars against the "axis of evil."

The new Crusade is now underway. The world's only superpower, commanding one-third of the world's output, and nearly one-half its military expenditure, has entered Iraq to effect "regime-change," to bring democracy to a people it has emasculated with bombs and sanctions for twelve years. In its new Crusade, United States stands at the head of a numerous "coalition of the willing," now including forty-five countries. But Israel is missing from this long list, even though a team of colonial administrators, handpicked by Paul Wolfowtz, has already arrived in Kuwait City to take over Baghdad. That is a trick no magician could imitate. The Israelization of the United States is complete....

The Israelization of America
by James Brooks
December 7, 2002

US officials recently announced the somewhat jarring news that Israeli security forces will be training American soldiers in the techniques of urban warfare. Apparently Israel's illegal thirty-five year occupation of Palestine has enabled it to perfect tactics that our troops will need in a 'possible' war on Iraq.

Most informed Americans will receive this news with a sense of both foreboding and dislocation. The brutal tactics of the Israeli "Defense" Forces have been denounced for decades by human rights groups, the United Nations, and scores of foreign governments. Is this how we want our own troops to fight? Our sense of dislocation (even "topsy-turvy") in greeting this news traces to something else; the fact that Israel has always been our client, not the other way around. Why are the Israelis now teaching us?

Is this really something new, or is it merely an unusually explicit lesson in the continuing education of American power by the Israeli vanguard? Who has been learning from whom in this "special relationship"?

From Covert Crimes to Points of Pride

Over the past half century, Israel's organized terror against Palestinian civilians has moved from the relatively secret operations of special Israeli army and paramilitary units to globally televised depredations wrought with helicopter gunships, state-of-the-art tanks, and F-16 fighters. In the process, massacres like those perpetrated in the old days by Israeli army units at Deir Yassin and Qibya have been dwarfed, in terms of casualties, scope, and property damage, by today's daily and indiscriminate destruction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Crimes that Israel once felt compelled to hide from the world are now on full display, vigorously defended by the Israeli government.

Fifty years ago, America also felt the need to conduct most of its international crimes far from public view. Interventions in the affairs of uncooperative nations (invariably conducted to "fight communism") were mostly secretive, CIA-led actions that made surreptitious use of special military units, typically called "American advisors" (Honduras, Guatemala, Iran, and Cuba provide a few relevant examples).

Now, emboldened by the demise of its only global counterweight, the Soviet Union, and encouraged by Israel's success in using conventional military forces in a public and illegal campaign against civilians, the US is increasingly eschewing the old "secret war" model in favor of direct and open military intervention with American troops. Witness Somalia, Haiti, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan during the past ten years.

Pre-emptive Action

Israel has long been criticized for taking pre-emptive military action against its perceived enemies. Two well-known examples are its surprise attack against a nearly-completed Iraqi nuclear power plant and its protracted, illegal and bloody occupation of southern Lebanon. Despite worldwide criticism of these and many other blatant violations of international law, Israel continued, and continues, undaunted.

The Clinton administration was noted for its fawning support of Israel's occupation, and for abandoning a long-standing US commitment (on paper only, of course) to return Palestine to its pre-1967 borders. Clinton also took a big page out of Israel's book on international relations, when he insisted, against strenuous objections from the United Nations, that the US has the right to launch pre-emptive strikes, and that NATO had the right to wage war on Yugoslavia without UN approval. This year, the Bush administration dropped all pretense of maintaining security with deterrence and adopted the illegal Israeli standard of pre-emptive strikes as official US policy.

Militarization of Politics

Our politicians have also learned much by example from our close and "special" relationship with the government of Israel. For decades, our pols have used cant, dissimulation and fraud to excuse Israel's most egregious crimes. In the process, much has been learned about how to turn acts of wanton destruction into a noble defense of freedom. Israel's willingness to keep 'pushing the envelope' of state terror has been invaluable in this process, training both American pols and media in the arts of propaganda required to justify ever-larger crimes.

Meanwhile, the American populace has been steadily learning to accept Israel's gross violations of human rights, international law, and common decency as
"necessary for peace and security", justified by "Israel's right to defend herself". This lesson in moral decay and desensitization is proving handy indeed, as the current US administration seeks to extend American hegemony in the Middle East by a new war of occupation.

The Terror Card

Following the tragedy of 9/11, Israel immediately recast its thirty-five-year occupation of Palestine as an essential front in the "war on terror". To extract maximum political advantage from our loss and grief, Israeli politicians like Ariel Sharon suggested, with typical touches of arrogance and self-satisfaction, that, finally, Americans know how Israelis have felt for years. We face a common and implacable enemy, they lectured us, leaving unspoken the message that we Americans had better develop some backbone and put our shoulder to the anti-terror wheel.

Of course, our politicians did not really require Israel's instruction to convert our tragedy into their political windfall. However, they quickly employed several rhetorical devices that, before 9/11, were most often found in Israel's political toolbox (domestic and foreign). Suddenly, all kinds of international and domestic issues were redefined as being part of the "war on terror", requiring new and drastic solutions that were, of course, necessary for "security", and often highly profitable for favored corporate interests.

No doubt our leaders saw major advantages to this radical simplification of world affairs. First, they could dispense with even the pretense of negotiation, because "you cannot negotiate with terrorists". They could neatly sidestep, or simply dispose of, human rights limitations imposed by law and the Constitution, because "terrorists have no respect for the rule of law". The "terror card" also enabled them to bulldoze public opposition to new and highly intrusive government surveillance, and so on.

Remote Funding

Just as Israel depends on billions of dollars annually from a compliant US government to maintain its military occupation and indifference to UN resolutions and international law, America's power axis also thrives on a steady flow of wealth from a similarly remote and supine source – the American people. And just as Israel makes it a point to occasionally disobey the orders of its US sponsors, so American politicians at the pinnacle of power pointedly disregard the many voices of the people that call for justice and peace. During consideration of the recent Congressional resolution supporting war on Iraq, Democracy Now reported that citizen messages to Congressional offices of both chambers and both sides of the aisle were running 10 to 1 against the resolution. Naturally, both the House and Senate passed the measure by overwhelming margins. The reply to the American public was clear; "We watch our push-polls. Pay your taxes and shut up."

Injustice at Home

Even within its own pre-1967 borders, Israel's human rights record is abysmal. Twenty percent of Israel's population is now comprised of non-Jewish Arabs who, by law, are systematically rendered second-class citizens in their own homeland. Special hells in Israel's complex legal and social caste system are reserved for Bedouins and African Jews. Israel's stubborn insistence on the primacy of the "Jewish state" and its institutionalized discrimination against non-Jews have set poor examples for America, where Israel is routinely hailed as a shining example of "Western democracy". We cannot quantify the debasing effects of this mass fantasy, but we can see that while America's own system of minority repression becomes increasingly severe, the public is told that pride in America's "liberty and equality for all" is at an all-time high.


Israel's long war of attrition against the Palestinians has proven to America's power elite that it is possible to indefinitely occupy the land of another people, even in the face of nearly global opposition – if you're backed by enough raw power. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip constitute a kind of open-air laboratory and lecture hall, in which Israel demonstrates the advantages of occupation to its dutiful American pupil. These advantages include a dirt-cheap labor pool that can be turned on and off at will, the ability to emasculate and/or decapitate any effort at self-rule within the occupied lands, the utility of occupation as an object lesson and divisive thorn-in-the-side of neighboring enemies, and so on. Israel has also demonstrated the usefulness of sustained occupation for increasing a nation's overall military might. The constant war-footing, and the need for violent repression of a restive and disenfranchised people, create never-ending opportunities for the purchase and use of the latest military equipment, and for the containment of domestic politics.

One Lesson Not Learned?

While American power has in general been a very attentive student of Israeli policy and practice, there is one crucial lesson at the back of Israel's textbook that remains unlearned: Israel's approach will never create peace or achieve a just solution. Of course, that suits its purposes. The point of Israeli strategy is to grind the Palestinians into dust until they just blow away, and the last shreds of Palestine can be swept up into Greater Israel, always the goal of the military Zionists and their Laborite alter egos.

Unless forced to do otherwise, Israel, driven by a tragic and fundamentally racist ideology, will fight on for a hundred years to dispose of the "Palestinian problem". But American attempts to apply the localized Israeli model (designed to acquire land the size of Rhode Island) to a "global war on terror" are rewriting the definition of "over-reach". By following Israel's lead (which is constitutionally averse to just solutions) in the "war on terror", we ensure that the war will never be won and will never end. Increasingly, we suspect that our leaders may understand this lesson, too. And they're getting ready to send another 14 billion dollars in shiny red apples (disguised as new loan guarantees and military aid) to their beloved teachers in Jerusalem.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Impotence of Elections.... Americans out of work, out of income, out of homes, out of hope....

The Impotence of Elections....
Americans out of work, out of income, out of homes, out of hope....

In his historical novel, The Leopard, Giuseppe di Lampedusa writes that things have to change in order to remain the same. That is what happened in the US congressional elections on November 2.

Jobs offshoring, which began on a large scale with the collapse of the Soviet Union, has merged the Democrats and Republicans into one party with two names. The Soviet collapse changed attitudes in socialist India and communist China and opened those countries, with their large excess supplies of labor, to Western capital.

Pushed by Wall Street and Wal-Mart, American manufacturers moved production for US markets offshore to boost profits and shareholder earnings by utilizing cheap labor. The decline of the US manufacturing work force reduced the political power of unions and the ability of unions to finance the Democratic Party. The end result was to make the Democrats dependent on the same sources of financing as Republicans.

Prior to this development, the two parties, despite their similarities, represented different interests and served as a check on one another. The Democrats represented labor and focused on providing a social safety net. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, housing subsidies, education, and civil rights were Democratic issues. Democrats were committed to a full employment policy and would accept some inflation to secure more employment.

The Republicans represented business. The Republicans focused on curtailing big government in all its manifestations from social welfare spending to regulation. The Republicans’ economic policy consisted of opposing federal budget deficits.

These differences resulted in political competition.

Today both parties are dependent for campaign finance on Wall Street, the military/security complex, AIPAC, the oil industry, agri-business, pharmaceuticals, and the insurance industry. Campaigns no longer consist of debates over issues. They are mud-slinging contests.

Angry voters take their anger out on incumbents, and that is what we saw in the election. Tea Party candidates defeated Republican incumbents in primaries, and Republicans defeated Democrats in the congressional elections.

Policies, however, will not change qualitatively. Quantitatively, Republicans will be more inclined to more rapidly dismantle more of the social safety net than Democrats and more inclined to finish off the remnants of civil liberties. But the powerful private oligarchs will continue to write the legislation that Congress passes and the President signs. New members of Congress will quickly discover that achieving re-election requires bending to the oligarchs’ will.

This might sound harsh and pessimistic. But look at the factual record. In his campaign for the presidency, George W. Bush criticized President Clinton’s foreign adventures and vowed to curtail America’s role as the policeman of the world. Once in office, Bush pursued the neoconservatives’ policy of US world hegemony via military means, occupation of countries, setting up puppet governments, and financial intervention in other countries’ elections.

Obama promised change. He vowed to close Guantanamo prison and to bring the troops home. Instead, he restarted the war in Afghanistan and started new wars in Pakistan and Yemen, while continuing Bush’s policy of threatening Iran and encircling Russia with military bases.

Americans out of work, out of income, out of homes and prospects, and out of hope for their children’s careers are angry. But the political system offers them no way of bringing about change. They can change the elected servants of the oligarchs, but they cannot change the policies or the oligarchs.

The American situation is dire. As a result of the high speed Internet, the loss of manufacturing jobs was followed by the loss of professional service jobs, such as software engineering, that were career ladders for American university graduates. The middle class has no prospects. Already, the American labor force and income distribution mimics that of a third world country, with income and wealth concentrated in a few hands at the top and most of the rest of the population employed in domestic services jobs. In recent years net new job creation has been concentrated in lowly paid occupations, such as waitresses and bartenders, ambulatory health care services, and retail clerks. The population and new entrants into the work force continue to grow more rapidly than job opportunities.

Turning this around would require more realization than exists among policymakers and a deeper crisis. Possibly it could be done by using taxation to encourage US corporations to manufacture domestically the goods and services that they sell in US markets. However, the global corporations and Wall Street would oppose this change.

The tax revenue loss from job losses, bank bailouts, stimulus programs, and the wars have caused a three-to-four-fold jump in the US budget deficit. The deficit is now too large to be financed by the trade surpluses of China, Japan, and OPEC. Consequently, the Federal Reserve is making massive purchases of Treasury and other debt. The continuation of these purchases threatens the dollar’s value and its role as reserve currency. If the dollar is perceived as losing that role, flight from dollars will devastate the remnants of Americans’ retirement incomes and the ability of the US government to finance itself.

Yet, the destructive policies continue. There is no re-regulation of the financial industry, because the financial industry will not allow it. The unaffordable wars continue, because they serve the profits of the military/security complex and promote military officers into higher ranks with more retirement pay. Elements within the government want to send US troops into Pakistan and into Yemen. War with Iran is still on the table. And China is being demonized as the cause of US economic difficulties.

Whistleblowers and critics are being suppressed. Military personnel who leak evidence of military crimes are arrested. Congressmen call for their execution. Wikileaks’ founder is in hiding, and neoconservatives write articles calling for his elimination by CIA assassination teams. Media outlets that report the leaks apparently have been threatened by Pentagon chief Robert Gates. According to, on July 29 Gates “insisted that he would not rule out targeting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange or any of the myriad media outlets which reported on the leaks.”

The control of the oligarchs extends to the media. The Clinton administration permitted a small number of mega-corporations to concentrate the US media in a few hands. Corporate advertising executives, not journalists, control the new American media, and the value of the mega-companies depends on government broadcast licenses. The media’s interest is now united with that of the government and the oligarchs.

On top of all the other factors that have made American elections meaningless, voters cannot even get correct information from the media about the problems that they and the country face.

As the economic situation is likely to continue deteriorating, the anger will grow. But the oligarchs will direct the anger away from themselves and toward the vulnerable elements of the domestic population and “foreign enemies.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Middle East Peace? piece by piece into the Abyss....

Middle East Peace? piece by piece into the Abyss....

By Richard Sale, author of Clinton’s Secret Wars

In his 1989 book, From Beirut to Jerusalem, Tom Friedman wrote that Israel’s far-right “will never be prepared, for ideological reasons, to allow a Palestinian state in the West Bank or Gaza,” explaining, “They are committed to holding forever the Land of Israel, out of either nationalist or messianic sentiments.”

Friedman has been proved right, but the reluctance of Zionists to share the Land of Israel with the Arabs stretches far back into the origins of the state. Glints of this ruthless intractability could be seen in a recent CBS Sixty Minutes segment about Israeli settlers racing to build new homes in East Jerusalem, an area of the highest historical and religious value to the Muslims there. It is my view that such an action amounts to “aggression by settlement” and will destroy any chances of any agreement in this tragic, ancient quarrel.

As I have said here before, Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, envisioned the Jewish settlement of Palestine as giving rise to “a wondrous breed of Jews...the Maccabees will rise again,” and he talked of the “displacement and transfer” of Palestine’s Arab population, albeit “with full financial compensation,” according to Israeli historian Benny Morris. “We must expropriate gently,” Herzl said. “Both the process of expropriation and removal of the poor (Arabs) must be done discreetly and circumspectly.”

When the British issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917 its real purpose was not to give the Jews a homeland, but to bolster British ability to fight the Germans. In 1917, British forces were bogged down in a stalemate and the British leadership was fearful of the Russians making a separate peace. Also, many Jews in America favored the Central Powers. To curb this and in an effort to draw America into the war, the declaration promised Palestine as “a national home for the Jewish people.”

It is an amazing document. Britain was offering to give away land to which it had no claim, nor did it consult with the thousands of Arabs who had lived in it for 700 years. Eight years after the declaration, Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a prominent Zionist and a key actor in establishing the declaration warned, “Palestine is not Rhodesia, and 600,000 Arabs who live there have exactly the same right to their homes as we have to our national home.”

After pogroms in Russia in 1901, a large influx of Jews into Palestine began and by 1919, tensions between Arabs and the new arrivals were increasing, especially since the Zionists had plans for large scale immigration and settlement. According to Morris, Maj. Gen. Sir Arthur Money of the Occupied Enemy Territory Administration in April 1919 wrote to Lord George Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary, “The Palestinians in fact desire Palestine for themselves, and have no intention of allowing their country to be thrown open to hordes of Jews from Eastern and Central Europe.” To implement the Balfour Declaration “would involve Britain in the use of force in opposition to the will of the majority of the population.”

Another who saw the issue with dazzling clarity was future Israeli President David Ben-Gurion. When it came to Arab versus Jewish aspirations, he said, “...Not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question. No solution! There is a gulf and nothing can bridge it....We as a nation want this country to be ours; the Arabs as a country, want the country to be theirs.”

A Ben-Gurion aide said that should the Jews “...allow a partner into our state – all content and meaning will be lost to the enterprise.”

The Jews intensified their building of settlements and in 1928 violence between Arabs and Jews erupted in a quarrel over construction at the Temple Mount.

Throughout the years until World War II, Jewish purchases of Palestinian land took place, the sales coming from Arab absentee landlords who lived in Turkey or Lebanon and who cared little that Jews were buying it as long as they were paid a good price. But when the Jews bought the land, they evicted the Arab tenants who had lived on it for centuries, Morris says. He adds that the betrayal by absentee Arabs of the Palestinians devastated the Palestinian national movement, and more and more Arabs saw the Jewish immigration as a springboard for Jewish expansion in Palestine.

In any case, Morris claims that by 1936, as some ugly tensions continued to build, Ben-Gurion clearly saw their cause. In May, he said, “The Arab fear of our power is intensifying. (It’s) exactly the opposite of what we see. It doesn’t matter whether or not their view is correct. They see immigration on a giant scale...they see the Jews fortifying themselves economically...They see the best lands passing into our hands...They are fighting dispossession...The fear is not of losing land, but of losing the homeland of the Arab people which others want to turn into the homeland of the Jewish people.”

Ben-Gurion was also candid enough to acknowledge that in the Arab-Israeli political struggle “...we are the aggressors and they defend themselves.”

By 1936 Morris said that no mainstream Jewish leader thought coexistence with Palestinians to be possible and that the Jewish solution lay with a clear physical separation of the two peoples, achievable only by transfer and expulsion of the Arabs. In fact, the Jewish leadership saw transfer as “a highly moral solution,” in the words of one. Leaders felt that the Arab had no ancestral or religious tie to his land and that Jordan or Egypt or Syria would be the same for them as Palestine. Transfer would be best done “voluntarily,” but, if necessary, force would be used. As one Zionist politician Zingwell had said in 1905, “We must be prepared to

drive out by the sword in possession as our forefathers did,” and added that there was “no particular reason for the Arabs to cling to these few kilometers,” as if the Jews’ passionate attachment to the land was unique and peculiar to them.

(This, of course, echoes the earlier British plan to put all their Jews in Uganda or Abraham Lincoln’s scheme to settle former American slaves in Liberia.)

Today, Israel’s hardline far-right is back in power and the persuasiveness of Israel’s Social Democrats is a thing of the past. Headed by Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu, occupying the post for a second time, serious disagreements between the Israeli leader and President Barack Obama over the peace process were quick to emerge and remain in full force. Netanyahu, as usual, stubbornly resists the two-state solution, involving the creation of a viable Palestinian state, which is favored by Obama and his team.

It was clear from the first that the real contest of wills would prove to be the question of Israel’s soaring construction of Israeli settlements on the disputed land of the West Bank. Soon after reaching power, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unequivocally called for a halt in the construction of all such settlements. When Israeli President Shimon Peres met with President Obama, he talked of trying to get a waiver from the U.S. regarding “construction to accommodate natural growth in the settlements.” Peres added that the children of such settlements “are not going to live on roofs,” ignoring the fact that settlements continue to advertise for home purchasers, evidence of ample capacity.

Secretary Clinton went further by demanding a freeze on “natural growth,” adding, “We want to see a stop to settlement construction – additions, natural growth, any kind of settlement activity – that is what the president called for.”

The reply of the Netanyahu government then became obstinate, a condition, says Schopenhauer, in which the assertive will crowds out the judgment. On the eve of President Barack Obama’s speech at Cairo, Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai met with leaders of Israeli settler organizations to announce that all the resources of his office including the ministry’s “impact on local authorities” would be used for “the good of expanding settlements.”

When Israeli officials said that West Bank settlement blocs like Gush Etzion, Alfei Menashe, Ariel, Ma’al and others would remain in Israel under a final status agreement so that there would be no point in preventing construction, Obama officials said they just might initiate immediate final talks on the border between Israel and the future Palestinian state, according to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.

When Netanyahu officials said that the Obama proposals violated unwritten or verbal agreements about settlements reached with the George W. Bush administration, Secretary Clinton replied that there was “no memorialization (sic) of any informal or oral agreements” and in any case, “...they did not become part of the official position of the United States government.”

Obama had already drawn the stark line during his speech in Cairo when he said, “We do not accept legitimacy of Israeli settlements,” the first time a U.S. president has discussed the legality of the settlements in terms of international law since President Jimmy Carter. Veteran Mideast former U.S. diplomat David Mack told me that the question of legality of the settlements was important because “Israel takes great pride in being a society of laws,” adding that the Israeli Supreme Court had ruled in 2005 that settlements were illegal “under the Geneva Convention.”

When Obama officials recently went further and said that the status of Jerusalem would be determined by peace negotiations, Netanyahu said defiantly, “United Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours.”

All of which sounds so dreadfully familiar. Israeli historian Benny Morris once wrote, “All Arabs were seen by the Zionists as essentially untrustworthy, not to say treacherous,” and in 1946, Ignatius Mubarak, a noted Zionist, made clear this view when he testified before the Anglo-American Committee, and, a year later, before the UN Special Committee in favor of Zionism. “If you oppose Zionism in Palestine, it means returning the people to the domination of savagery and the country to the state of anarchy and bribery in which it existed under the Ottoman is a struggle between civilization and regression, and the Jews represent civilization,” he said.

So it would appear Israel and the Netanyahu government are faced with the predicament of deciding what kind of society Israel should become – expansive and pluralistic or narrow and exclusive. In a recent article for Haaretz entitled, “Israel is controlled by religious fanaticism,” by Shulamit Aloni, Aloni quoted a 1902 letter sent by Lord Rothschild to Herzl in which Rothschild explained why he could not support the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, saying that he would “view with horror the establishment of a Jewish colony pure and simple; such a colony would be imperium imperio. It would be a Ghetto with the prejudice of the Ghetto; it would be a small, petty Jewish state, orthodox and liberal, excluding the Gentile and the Christian.”

What Rothschild wanted was an Israel that would “ensure complete equality and political rights to all its inhabitants regardless of religion, race or sex,” and “guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language and culture” as stated in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State.

But the present spectacle of deadlock and the unbridled race by Israelis to illegally build homes on territory whose ownership is still in dispute makes one heavy of heart....but their primary aim is to steal more land at all cost....and kick the natives out from Israel proper and from the West Bank.....