Walt & Mearsheimer’s Proof That ‘Tail Wagged the Dog’ Points American Jews to a Universalist Ethos

Everyone in my community (opponents of the Iraq war who seek a more balanced American policy toward the Palestinians) has only one question about Walt and Mearsheimer’s forthcoming book: Will it be ignored? For instance, James Morris, who I believe I once saw explode in the audience at an American Enterprise Institute program on Israel’s secure borders (led by Richard Perle and Dore Gold), has been sending out emails about his efforts to get the book covered by ’60 Minutes’. No dice.

I am a cockeyed optimist; I don’t think it will be ignored. I don’t think it can be. One fear we’ve have is that the LRB paper was such a tremendous sensation that the big media, having only grudgingly covered that, would now say, Oh well this is just an expansion of the paper; old news. One mainstream editor said as much to me a few weeks back in shooting down a proposal I made for an article about Stephen Walt’s Jewish milieu (more about that later…). "Oh I think that moment is over," the editor said. Class dismissed.

I no longer fear as much. Making my way slowly to the end of the actual book (it’s a dense read, esp. for someone who cares deeply about every issue they raise), I don’t think anyone can argue that the book recapitulates the paper. The book expands the paper by a factor of 4 in pure numbers of words, and the book’s tone is more exalted than the paper’s. The authors are less tentative, and less emotional, qualities I remember in the original. The manner of the book is amazingly calm. The arguments are more solid, and go much further. As for solidity, I am simply awed by the field of reference. W&M have read every comment ever made by an Israeli official about U.S. policy, they have found every neoconservative crackpot comment about remaking the Middle East. They did this in little over a year. God bless the internet (or the coolie system in academic research!).

But the main reason the book cannot be ignored is that the arguments go much further, and are devastating. Simply put, the book proves that the tail has wagged the dog on the greatest foreign policy mistake of the last 40 years, a mistake that has caused incredible suffering in Iraq and the U.S., and blasted my country’s image. The evidence the authors marshal is so compelling that it leaves me, as a progressive Jew, weeping with distress over what the fervid particularist imagination of rightwing Jews has done to my country. I applaud the authors for being cold. They don’t seem to have any of my feeling. They leave it to the readers, and they trust educated Americans to be able to discuss these issues without setting loose the cossacks.

Again I say, it is progressive American Jews who as much as anyone ought to be morally and spiritually engaged by this book. I hope that the JJ Goldbergs and Dan Fleshlers and Seymour Hershes and Glenn Greenwalds and Jerrold Nadlers of the world (none of whom supported this war) will at last turn on the neocons openly and say, Your wrongheaded policies about Israel are a big reason our country is in Iraq, how do you answer? Progressive Jews must do this, a political/moral cleansing for the sake of the United States and Jewish tradition. And they will do it. The only question is how many of us there will be.

I would point to one sentence in the book that I found heartbreaking. The authors describe in detail the neocon vision of transforming the Middle East as democracies by starting with Iraq. The dream that peace in Jerusalem would begin with war in Baghdad, which has ended in such a miserable failure, grew out of the conviction that Israel was a great democracy and that its treatment of the Palestinians would be overlooked once the U.S. changed Arab societies. It is a complete delusion; and yet its power over Jews of even liberal stripe can be glimpsed this week in The New Republic, where, in further evidence that the prowar coalition is delaminating, Jonathan Chait turns on Bill Kristol and at one point cries out, Oh where is that dreamy neocon philosophy of yesteryear. "[T]here was something inspiring in their vision of America as a different kind of superpower–a liberal hegemon deploying its might on behalf of subjugated peoples, rather than mere self interest." I.e., we will decide who among you Arabs are subjugated, and then destroy that society…

But I still haven’t gotten to Walt and Mearsheimer’s sentence. In describing that neocon vision of the "wonderful future Israel [could] expect after the war," the authors say, you might think people would be more sophisticated and experienced than to believe such stuff. But they add, "The original Zionist dream of reestablishing a Jewish state where none had existed for nearly two millennia was nothing if not ambitious…"

That sentence is devastating because (while it refers to Israel’s leaders) it describes American neoconservatism, accurately, as an expression of a great Jewish attribute, the prophetic ability to cast a vision of the future into the world and gain adherents for that vision. (Communism, Freudianism, globalism all have drawn on dreamy Jewish brains). As I have argued on this site before, this is why anti-Zionism is the new Zionism. American Jewish universalists (including assimilationists) must help to chart a different vision for Israel’s future and the U.S.’s too, away from the militarized isms this book anatomizes so calmly and convincingly. We must accept our new status as principals in the U.S., and find a spiritual/political raison-d’etre that takes greater account of other peoples, for instance Arab societies and the American communities that have produced the foot soldiers of this war.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Neocons, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 50 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Bill Pearlman seems to be another Jewish (Israel first) Zionist on patrol for AIPAC (and/or the ADL) above. The pro-Israel lobby was pushing for US to attack Iraq then as well. Iraq was not our enemy. It was Israel's enemy (he was supplying 25,000 to the surviving families of Palestinian suicide bombers trying to desperately resist the continued theft of their land in Palestine (American soldiers/marines should not have to die fighting Israel's war in Iraq). Our problems (to include our terror problem) out of/in the Middle East have come as a result of supporting Israel (see the following youtube video short):

    "Sit Down!" The Power to Silence

    Leo Braudy says there's only a few minutes left YET he finds time for himself to ask two more questions! When does a panel discussion ever end, go to the Q and A and THEN go back to the moderator asking even more questions of the panel? (when you want to serve Israel's agenda)
    It is depraved to deny the main motive for the 9/11 attacks.

    link to youtube.com

    Our terror risk/problem has only been compounded by the war for Israel in Iraq with Iran on deck for Israel as well. How many more Americans have to die/get horribly maimed fighting wars for Israel in the Middle East? Look how Bush is pushing (via JINSA/PNAC Neocon associated Cheney) for US to attack Iran:

    Will President Bush bomb Iran?

    link to telegraph.co.uk
    By Tim Shipman in Washington
    Last Updated: 12:17am BST 02/09/2007Page 1 of 3

    In a nondescript room, two blocks from the American Capitol building, a group of Bush administration staffers is gathered to consider the gravest threat their government has faced this century: the testing of a nuclear weapon by Iran.

    President Bush dramatically stepped up his war of words with the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

    The United States, no longer prepared to tolerate the risk that Iranian nuclear weapons will be used against Israel, or passed to terrorists, has already launched a bombing campaign to destroy known Iranian nuclear sites, air bases and air defence sites. Iran has retaliated by cutting off oil to America and its allies, blockading the Straits of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf bottleneck, and sanctioned an uprising by Shia militias in southern Iraq that has shut down 60 per cent of Iraq's oil exports.
    The job of the officials from the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Departments of Homeland Security and Energy, who have gathered in an office just off Massachusetts Avenue, behind the rail terminus, Union Station, is to prevent a spike in oil prices that will pitch the world's economy into a catastrophic spin.
    The good news is that this was a war game; for those who fear war with Iran, the less happy news is that the officials were real. The simulation, which took four months, was run by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with close links to the White House. Its conclusions, drawn up last month and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, have been passed on to military and civilian planners charged with drawing up plans for confronting Iran.
    News that elements of the American government are working in earnest on how to deal with the fallout of an attack on Iran come at a tense moment.
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    On Tuesday, President Bush dramatically stepped up his war of words with the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom the US government accuses of overseeing a covert programme to develop nuclear weapons. In a speech to war veterans, Mr Bush said: "Iran's active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust."
    He went on to condemn Iranian meddling in Iraq, where America increasingly blames the deaths of its soldiers on Iranian bombs and missiles. Mr Bush made clear that he had authorised military commanders to confront "Iran's murderous activities".
    This was widely taken to mean that he is set on a confrontation with Iran that will culminate in a bombing campaign to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, just as Israel bombed Saddam Hussein's Osirak reactor in 1981.
    The president's intervention came just weeks after leaks from a White House meeting suggested that Vice-President Dick Cheney, who is understood to favour the use of force, has regained the upper hand over the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates, who both advocate diplomacy and sanctions to isolate Iran. Mr Cheney reacted with fury when the State Department suggested that negotiations might continue past January 2009, when Mr Bush leaves the White House.
    So the question is: did Mr Bush last week set America inexorably on a path to the next war?
    Washington officials, with close links to the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council, say that the speech was designed as a threat not just to Iran, but to America's Western allies, along with Russia and China, who have been slow to support – or who have opposed – UN sanctions against Iran. James Phillips, a Middle East expert at the Heritage Foundation, who helped devise the war-game scenario, said: "It is simultaneously a shot across Iran's bows and an appeal for the international community to do more to stop or slow Iran's nuclear programme."
    A former White House aide added: "If this creates in the Iranians' mind a state of fear such that they back off, that helps your diplomacy. Bush is a political poker player. To play poker, you have to know when to bluff."
    Mr Bush had another reason for speaking out, too. With General David Petraeus due before Congress on September 11 to report on progress on his "surge" in Iraq, Mr Bush wanted to make the case that a withdrawal from Iraq would boost Iranian influence there – in the hope that this would increase domestic support for his policies.
    In Teheran, Mr Ahmadinejad was also quick to make the Iraq connection, but as an impediment, not impetus, to American adventurism. "We have an expression in Farsi which says, 'Bring up the one that you have given birth to first, then go for another one'," he said. "Let them do what they started in Afghanistan and Iraq then think of other countries." He dismissed threats of military action as "more of a propaganda measure than factual".

    But European observers, and some in the American government, believe that Mr Bush has resolved to "do something" about Iran before he leaves office. A State Department source said: "If we get closer to the end of this administration and we are not seeing suitably tough diplomatic action at the UN, and other members of the P5 [the five permanent members of the Security Council] are still resistant to anything amounting to more than a slap on the wrist to the Iranians, then people will start asking the question: how do we stop our legacy being a nuclear-armed Iran?"
    Mr Bush's escalation of the rhetoric was deliberate. A former White House aide said that the reference to a "nuclear holocaust" was a precise attempt to bracket Mr Ahmadinejad's quest for nuclear weapons and stated desire to wipe Israel off the map with Hitler's destruction of the Jews.
    "By using that word 'holocaust', Mr Bush has provided a moral reason to allow the Jewish state to do what it needs to do," said the former aide. "He is reinvoking the notion of 'never again'. If you believe that there could be another Holocaust, it becomes morally indefensible to stand back. It is a powerful and loaded term. Those people in Europe who believed that the neo-cons have gone away and shrunk under a rock had better wise up fast."

    British and American military officials believe that Mr Bush's ideal scenario is to bring about regime change in Iran, whose mullahs humiliated the US government during the hostage crisis, 28 years ago. "Unless you live here, it is difficult to understand how much the hostage crisis – is burnt into the psyche of Washington," said a Western diplomat in Washington. "They were made to look weak and the people who did it are still in power."
    There are credible reports that the US has stepped up clandestine activities in Iran over the past 18 months, using special forces to gather intelligence about military targets – nuclear infrastructure and air bases, and Revolutionary Guard command centres from which Iran could coordinate attacks in Iraq.
    The Pentagon has made contact with a Kurdish group called the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, which has been conducting cross-border operations in Iran, and with Azeri and Baluchi tribesmen in northern and south-eastern Iran, who oppose the theocratic regime. By using military special forces, rather than the CIA, the administration does not have to sign a Presidential Finding, required for covert intelligence activity, or report to oversight committees in Congress.
    Information on US targets has leaked from the Pentagon. B2 bombers and cruise missiles would strike up to 400 sites, only a few dozen of which are linked to the nuclear programme. B61-11 bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapons would be the ultimate weapon against the heavily fortified installations; first in the crosshairs would be the main centrifuge plant at Natanz, 200 miles south of Teheran.
    A Pentagon source said: "We have a targeting list and there are plans, but then there are also plans for repelling an invasion from Canada. We don't know where everything is but we do know where enough is to cause them enough damage to set back the programme."
    But there are grave doubts that bombing would work. Davoud Salhuddin, a US dissident and Muslim convert living in Iran, said: "The US will not have the ability to change the regime here. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has been preparing himself for a US attack for the past 30 years. If they attack Iran, the problem of terrorism that they are trying to solve will get 100 times bigger than it is now… Americans will not feel safe in their own homes."
    The other problem is that the CIA, apparently, does not have enough intelligence to guarantee that the nuclear programme could be permanently crippled, and little way of knowing after the event how much time they have bought with a raid. International estimates of how long it would take Iran to get a bomb vary between a year and 10 years.
    The latest polls show that just one in five Americans would support the bombing of Iran now, but about half would do so if their government considered it necessary: clearly a position from which Mr Bush could build a case for war. Three out of four voters want to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
    Just as crucially, US government officials say that the CIA has failed to come up with a "smoking gun" that would persuade the international community to back military action. Last autumn, the CIA told the White House that while it believes Iran is running a clandestine nuclear weapons programme, it does not have conclusive proof. Radioactivity detection devices placed near suspect facilities did not find the expected results. Stung by criticism of their performance over Saddam Hussein's weapons programmes, CIA bosses warned Mr Bush and Mr Cheney that this did not prove that Iran had successfully concealed the programme from inspectors.

    The diplomatic case against Iran suffered another blow when the International Atomic Energy Agency last week gave an upbeat assessment of Iranian co-operation with weapons inspectors. It found that Iran continued to enrich uranium – necessary for a bomb, but also for civil nuclear power – in violation of UN Security Council demands, but at a slower rate than was expected.
    A State Department source said a new push would be made to advance the case for sanctions this autumn, but the hopes of progress were mixed. "The Russians and Chinese are still stonewalling, and the Europeans don't want to get involved," he said.
    The one bright light for American hawks was a speech from the French President Nicolas Sarzoky, fast becoming Washington's favourite European, who, while ruling out French involvement in air strikes, did warn that Iran could face military action unless it abandoned the enrichment programme, presenting the world with a "catastrophic choice" between "an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran".
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    Complicating everything is President Bush's weak ratings in public opinion and on Capitol Hill, and the fact that some of his closest allies, including the political strategist Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, have jumped ship.
    Only Congress has the power to declare war, and Mr Bush would need Congressional approval for military action against Iran within 60 days. Some think he might struggle to win that approval. "I don't think there is any real fight left in this White House. And no one in Congress wants to help them," said one Republican.
    But critics fear that if Mr Bush cannot advocate confrontation with Iran, he might yet seek to provoke it. Joseph Cirincione, of the Centre for American Progress, accuses Mr Bush of "taunting Iran". He said: "Like the similar campaign for war with Iraq, this effort seems to be designed to find a casus belli, perhaps by provoking Iran into some action that could justify a military assault."
    In the meantime, administration officials are studying the lessons of the recent war game, which was set up to devise a way of weathering an economic storm created by war with Iran. Computer modelling found that if Iran closed the Straits of Hormuz, it would nearly double the world price of oil, knock $161 billion off American GDP in a single quarter, cost one million jobs and slash disposable income by $260 billion a quarter.
    The war gamers advocated deploying American oil reserves – good for 60 days – using military force to break the blockade (two US aircraft carrier groups and half of America's 277 warships are already stationed close to Iran), opening up oil development in Alaska, and ending import tariffs on ethanol fuel. If the government also subsidised fuel for poorer Americans, the war-gamers concluded, it would mitigate the financial consequences of a conflict.
    The Heritage report concludes: "The results were impressive. The policy recommendations eliminated virtually all of the negative outcomes from the blockade."
    James Carafano, a former lecturer at West Point, the American military academy, who led the war game, said: "It's not about making the case for war. I have yet to meet a government official who says: 'I've just come from a fierce debate about whether to bomb Iran'."
    But in Teheran they are waiting. Abbas Abdi, one of the US embassy hostage takers in 1979, now a reformist political activist, said: "The style of the Americans is that they go forward with the political dialogues, get a couple of resolutions and then they wait to see what the circumstances are. They have no problems in attacking Iran, for sure."
    Additional reporting by Kay Biouki in Teheran

    http://nomorewarforisrael.blogspot.com

  2. Bill Pearlman says:

    So, the first gulf war had nothing to do with Kuwait and the Gulf States. And it was totally a war for Israel. Ok, again I put it to you gopolitical geniuses. Iran is just about to touch off a nuclear arms race in the area. Are you confortable with that. Second, I know nobody gives a shit about the moral implications of throwing allies over the side but If Iran hits Israel do you think they're just going to swallow that. And do you think we're going to be ok, didn't work in 1939 and its not going to work now.

  3. Westwood Persian says:

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran has reached its long-sought goal of running 3,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium for its nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Sunday in a report on state media.

    The U.N. Security Council had threatened a third round of sanctions against the country if it did not freeze the uranium enrichment program — which Iran maintains is for peaceful energy purposes, but the U.S. says is to hide a weapons program.

    "The West thought the Iranian nation would give in after just a resolution, but now we have taken another step in the nuclear progress and launched more than 3,000 centrifuge machines, installing a new cascade every week," the state television Web site quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

    Still, Ahmadinejad's comments seemed at odds with independent assessments of the status of his country's enrichment program.

    As recently as Thursday, a report drawn up by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, put the number of centrifuges enriching uranium at closer to 2,000 at its vast underground hall at Natanz.

    The 2,000 figure is an increase of a few hundred of the machines over May, when the IAEA last reported on Iran. Still the rate of expansion is much slower than a few months ago, when Tehran was assembling close to 200 centrifuges every two weeks.

    As well, Iran continued to produce only negligible amounts of nuclear fuel with its centrifuges, far below the level usable for nuclear warheads, the report said.

    "They have the knowledge to proceed much more quickly," said a U.N. official.

    While Iran has denied stalling, the official and others suggested it could have decided to proceed at a slower pace as it increases its cooperation with agency investigators looking at past suspicious activities so as to reduce any sentiment to impose new U.N. sanctions.

    Former U.N. nuclear inspector David Albright and Jacqueline Shire of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security said the slowdown could be a combination of both "technical difficulties" and "political considerations."

    "Iran likely has managed to learn how to operate individual centrifuges and cascades adequately. However, it still may be struggling to operate a large number of cascades at the same time in parallel," they wrote in a report e-mailed to The Associated Press.

    "In addition, Iran's leadership may have decided to slow work to overcome technical problems in order to forestall negative reactions that would lend support for further sanctions by the UN Security Council."

  4. Seth Roberts says:

    Great post. I didn't start off interested in this subject but you've made me interested by writing about it so well.

  5. David says:

    "Your wrongheaded policies about Israel are a big reason our country is in Iraq, how do you answer?"

    I know what you're saying, but remember that the real crime the Lobby is being accused of is not of having wrongheaded policies. That's pretty common. It's of corrupting the system so that rightheaded policies can not emerge out of the democratic discussion. It's of abusing their position of great power. Ultimately, it's of having no respect for the host society.

  6. James Morris says:

    Dear Mr. Weiss,

    Here is a link for the CBS '60 Minutes' email which conveys that the executive producer (Jeff Fager) is refusing to do a segment on the Mearsheimer/Walt book:

    '60 Minutes' refusing to cover Mearsheimer/Walt book:

    link to warwithoutend.co.uk

    I don't think 'explode' was the most accurate description. The AEI moderator was trying to cut me off after I had responded to Dore Gold when I had conveyed that the US was tragically attacked at the World Trade Center on 9/11 (and earlier in 1993) because of US support for Israel's brutal oppression of the Palestinians and that such was also conveyed in James Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' book (simply look up 'Israel as a terrorist motivation' in the index). Ambassador Gold had earlier mentioned in his presentation that Israel had nothing to do with 9/11 (wording to that effect). In addition, I was trying to ask JINSA/PNAC associated Neoconservative Richard Perle why he had basically lied to Congressman Walter Jones when he had asked Mr. Perle about his association with the 'A Clean Break' document during a Congressional hearing (see the following URL):

    link to gorillaintheroom.blogspot.com

    The 'A Clean Break' document is addressed on pages 261-269/321 of Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' book (see the following URL):

    'A Clean Break' (from James Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' book):

    link to itszone.co.uk

    The paperback version of 'A Pretext for War' includes an additional section about the ongoing AIPAC espionage case which the pro-Israel biased US press/media is hardly covering either. Stephen Green is mentioned in that additional chapter (his name in referenced in the index) as the FBI brought him in as a consultant after writing various books and articles to include the following one which mentions Mr. Perle as well:

    Serving Two Flags:

    link to ifamericansknew.org

    Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' is shown in the right margin of the following URL which includes the transcript of the exchange with 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton about how 9/11 tragically took place because of US support for Israel (see the 'What Motivated the 9/11 Hijackers?' video which is linked at the upper left there):

    The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel

    link to representativepress.blogspot.com

  7. Steven says:

    Truth in Palestine

    Phil sympathizes with the Palestinians.

    Me, too.

    But differently.

    The real rescue will come from a Palestinian leader with integrity.

    Before gaining independence, the leadership must steer the society to an internal peace and moderation.

    Like Iraq, which gained independence too early, and slipped into the tyranny Baathi style, Palestinian leaders have used all outside assistance for war and terror.

    A pre-independence policy should create a just society, which gives up the revenge and terror.

    The revolutionary Saddam Husseins of Palestine are not the right prescription for a peaceful Palestinian future.

    Let us not support them.

    Let us support the real Palestinian Abraham Lincolns.

  8. James Morris says:

    Just a footnote to my comment above.. The following article conveys how Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' book had such an effect on Congressman Walt Jones in it was instrumental in turning him against the Iraq quagmire:

    The Three Conversions of Walter B. Jones:

    link to motherjones.com

    More on Mearsheimer & Walt:

    link to warwithoutend.co.uk

  9. Oarwell says:

    Phil, sorry to cavil, but this sounds a little like noblesse oblige:

    "We must accept our new status as principals in the U.S., and find a spiritual/political raison-d'etre that takes greater account of other peoples, for instance Arab societies and the American communities that have produced the foot soldiers of this war."

    I view all hortatory statements (even my own) with suspicion. Let's just end the lies and demonstrate media complicity in disseminating agitprop (so that never again will lies lead us to war), and call it a day. But I know your heart's in the right place.

    Also, describing the text as "exalted" makes it sound a bit like Holy Writ.

    My prediction: The book will be largely ignored (other than a few obligatory denunciations), but will be read by its target audience. Mention of the book will be considered polarizing, and therefore anathema. Eventually it will be regarded in the same way Carroll Quigley's 'Tragedy & Hope' is regarded: true, sobering, but largely irrelevant.

  10. lester says:

    as ron paul supporter, let me assure you there is a VERY good chance it will be ignored.

  11. David says:

    "Mention of the book will be considered polarizing, and therefore anathema."

    My expectation as well. Which is odd, because "polarizing" is often exactly what the media finds profitable. But the particular situation of our media rules out any mainstream attention to this.

  12. link to antiwar.com

    August 31, 2007
    Showdown Over Iran
    We can stop the coming war with Iran – but concerned Americans must act quickly
    by Justin Raimondo

    ——————————————–

    Published on The Smirking Chimp (http://www.smirkingchimp.com)

    link to smirkingchimp.com

    Attacking Iran Would be Madness and a Capital Crime

    By Dave Lindorff
    Created Aug 30 2007 – 9:26am

    —————————————

    link to counterpunch.org

    Do We Have the Courage to Stop War with Iran?
    By RAY McGOVERN

  13. Walt & Mearsheimer's Proof That 'Tail Wagged the Dog' Points American Jews to a Universalist Ethos

    link to philipweiss.org

  14. David Seaton says:

    Phil,
    One point I'd like to bring up in relation to Mearsheimer and Walt's book.

    They both belong to the "realist" school of power politics. In this view of world affairs, nations have permanent "interests", not permanent allies. If a country is useful to the USA at any moment it is protected and if not it isn't. We support a military dictator in Pakistan because it useful to do so and we strangle Cuba because it opposes our policies. This attitude explains the "coldness" you detect in the book.

    America's permanent interests in the Middle East are: access to oil at a reasonable price, free movement of goods and warships through the Suez canal and more recently that its regimes not export terrorists to the United States and its "clients".

    During the Cold War, specifically after the Six Day war of 1967 where Israel thrashed, trashed and humiliated the Soviet Union's clients, Israel was seen to be valuable asset for the USA in the Middle East and much interest was shown in fostering the relationship. Perhaps the most important dividend of supporting Israel was to woo Egypt, the most important country in the region away from its alliance with the USSR. Israel then became America's "watchdog" in the ME.

    What is more curious is Finkelstein's theory that these American Jewish elites themselves *only really became interested in Israel when the Jewish state became a major strategic asset for the USA*. (Before 1967, Zionists were seen to be too socialist for American elite taste) These Jewish elites, again according to Finkelstein, have used their role as "intermediaries" of Israel as a tool to pry open the doors of American power elites and join the WASP elites at the trough.

    If the by any chance Israel were ever to be seen as a gross liability to US interests (as it seems to be now to many observers here and abroad), and that the for the Jewish elites being seen to promote Israel a handicap to their access to those corridors of power, than these Jewish elites might suddenly cool off toward Israel considerably. I remember an article written by Charles Krauthammer (sorry no link) during last summer's war in Lebanon where he bluntly and nastily (Krauthammer the antisemite?) warned the Israelis that military failure would have such an effect on the "special relationship".

    This why I think that the book will not be "ignored", just as Mearsheimer and Walt's LRB article was not ignored. Because although the Jewish elites of America are very powerful and influential, they are not the only powerful and influential ones in America and I think that a lot of coldblooded, thin lipped, rich old WASPs of the Brent Scowcroft, James Baker variety have come to the conclusion that Israel far from being a strategic asset, is now a geopolitical millstone around America's neck. And these "old, white men" want these views fully aired and debated and the more effort Foxman and Dershowitz (to name two)make to *silence" the book, the more it will sell and the more people will talk about it. That is why the professors were encouraged to write the article and that's why the book is getting a top publisher.

    As this collides with the neocon campaign to start a war with Iran, I think we are going to see one of the nastiest political seasons in Washington since the late 1850s.

  15. Have Mearsheimer and Walt even scratched the surface?

    "Two former American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists facing espionage charges have subpoenaed Ms. Rice, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, and several others to testify at their trial next year.

    If their testimony is allowed by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, the trial could offer a behind-the-scenes look at the way American foreign policy is crafted.

    Although Mr. Ellis closed yesterday's hearing to the public, the government's opposition to the subpoenas was outlined on a court calendar entry.

    Documents filed by attorneys for lobbyists Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman argue that the Israeli interest group played an unofficial but sanctioned role in crafting foreign policy and that Ms. Rice and others can confirm it.

    "In other words, they'll tell us that back-channel disclosures are an everyday common practice?" Mr. Ellis asked in a hearing last year during a rare public discussion of the issue. That argument is a key to the defense."

    link to nysun.com

  16. Crimson Ghost says:

    Another excellent book on this subject published in 2006 is THE POWER OF ISRAEL IN THE US by James Petras.

    Since Petras is a left winger his book has been almost completely ignored by the mainstream media.

    But Walt and Mersheimer — being close to the traditional ruling elite– cannot be so easily swept under the rug.

  17. Oarwell says:

    Good pull quotes from that Jewishweek article:

    "Talking even indirectly about the war option is risky because “there is virtually no public support for an attack on Iran,” said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato."

    (Refreshing honesty not seen in the NYT or WaPo)

    “Flirting with the military option without understanding its meaning is very dangerous,” said Shoshana Bryen, special projects director for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). “I don’t think Jewish leaders are pushing the administration to war, but by not understanding the consequences, they are not making themselves look good; they open themselves up to a lot of criticism by being glib about going to war.”

    (What else can they be but glib? Somber? Somber won't sell the war.)

    "The dilemma for Jewish leaders is this: While almost none advocates preemptive military action to end the threat of a nuclear Iran, most believe opposition to new military commitments is growing by leaps and bounds — a new version of the classic “Vietnam syndrome.”

    (Why, then, a dilemma?)

    "And if Iran believes military action is unlikely, “you have no diplomatic leverage,” said Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. “I don’t think there is a great deal of understanding [among the American public] of the threat Iran poses to the United States and the entire region, including Israel.”

    (Neither is there a great deal of understanding of the threat posed by Iceland to the United States. Because there is none.)

  18. Paul E says:

    .
    Phil — I am very skeptical about the notion that the neocons "are the main reason our country is in Iraq". As Rumsfeld was quoted as saying, this seems to presume that he and Cheney just fell off a turnip truck. I would appreciate it if you would tell us what it is that you find so compelling in this thesis of the tail wagging the dog.

    I do agree entirely that progressive Jews should speak out more against Jewish rightwingers and the passivity on this issue of the rest.

    Oarwell — I was sorry that Oarwell rejected so many of my ideas, because s/he generally seems to be very perceptive. It seems very possible that s/he was trying to goad me into being clearer, and in any case I am grateful for the help in seeing where I am failing to get across. I will try to respond as well as I can.

    Obviously a lot of my ideas come from Freud. Some time ago I read most of his books, but by now I don't remember what I read, so I am not at all clear about the boundary between his ideas and my interpretation of them. Anyone reading this should keep that in mind.

    Unfortunately, Freud's teachings are still essentially an esoteric tradition. There may be plenty of
    scholarship on the subject, but to really understand it you have to learn to see the working of your own mind from that point of view. This cannot be communicated directly. It is kind of lame to say that, but that is how it is.

    It can be described. The basic idea is the process of repression. This can be defined as denial carried to the point where all traces are totally erased from awareness. Certain feelings or desires or ideas cause a painful sense of guilt or fear or shame, so one learns to ban them from consiousness.

    Repression is not healthy. A large part of ones mental energy is diverted into fighting with itself. The repressed material gains strength because of its banishment, so once established, the bind has a natural tendancy to grow.

    Repression erects barriers against the mobility of conciousness.

    Repression is the ground of neurosis, but it is not limited to neurotics. It is part of the process of socialization, and so almost universal, at least at this stage of our cultural evolution.

    By definition, repression is obscure. It is not visable on the surface of things. It is not part of our common sense. Certainly people never think
    directly about their issues. That is why the concept is a breakthrough idea.

    When peoples repressions are threatened they tend to become angry and/or frightened. The best indication of the nature of the repression seems to be by inference from what agitates people beyond what seems to be called for. But you are able to see this only if you don't share in it.

    Oarwell says that Americans are not afraid of terrorism. I have certainly seen such fear expressed, after the attack on the WTC, by some people in New York, mostly women. In our culture
    women are more allowed to be afraid than men are. And how about the universal pronouncement that "everything has changed"? I like Oarwells reference to "the marketing of evil". You can't market anything without tapping into some motive that already exists.

    Yes it was Truman who dropped the bomb. When Oppenheimer met him a couple of months later he said "Mr. President, I feel I have blood on my hands". Truman didn't like that, and afterward was heard to mutter "Dammit, he hasn't got half as much blood on his hands as I have, but you don't go around bellyaching about it." Later he told the secretary of state "I don't want to see that sonofabitch in my office ever again". Which sonofabitch?
    .

  19. David says:

    I didn't know that the electronic media had ever paid any attention to the Lobby issue, but now (thanks to LibWhiteBoy's site) I see that Scarborough Country did indeed cover it last year–
    link to vidilife.com
    I didn't think I could still be shocked by the state of our media, but this did it. We've still got a huge battle ahead of us.

  20. Alan says:

    *

    The Jewishweek article is good because it shows the calmer voices in the Jewish community finally being heard. What it says in code to those zealous Jewish leaders who have completely lost touch with reality for quite some time now is: Stop pushing for war with Iran or risk a huge backlash.

    Note however the ridiculous talk about keeping "all options on the table". This is another one of those soundbites that mean absolutely nothing yet all "serious" beltway pundits and politicians keep parroting it. In a very good article on (Jewish) "liberal hawks" and Iran, a wise reader gets to the bottom of the matter in the comments section:

    "No one need worry the slightest, tiniest bit about leaving the military option on Iran "off the table", particularly because no one can find this table and tell scientifically whether something is "on" or "off" this table.

    Scientifically, 'taking the military option off the table' with respect to Iran does not actually cause any military equipment or personnel to vanish, nor does it teleport them from their current locations. At any time, at any point, Congress could declare war or the President could do his usual unilateral Commander In Chief thing and order an attack, and it would matter zero whether or not anyone thought something had been "on" or "off" of "the table".

    On table and off table are completely political terms. No table exists. No policies are on or off of one, particularly not with regard to military matters."

    Indeed! Article – and some very good comments – here:

    " Let's Get Serious – What do liberal hawks actually want to do regarding Iran?" by Ezra Klein:

    link to prospect.org

  21. Paul E says:

    Joamhim —

    I think you have something to say, but I don't think you serve yourself well by dark mutterings about the Occult transnational askenazi conspiricy. Presumably you are being funny, but there are too many nuts on the internet for it to be smart to make that kind of joke.

    Since you keep talking like that I suppose you mean something by it. I guess you have already explained it, but for those of us who missed it you might do it again.

  22. Kevin says:

    Wonderful writing, Phil, please keep it up.

    Yes, you raise an excellent point in relation to the neocon dream (which it would seem W&M also pick up on) that by an interventionist policy in the Arab world, including occupation and invasion, the case for Israel's righteousness would somehow be accepted by people across the region and in the world at large (or the case against it would dissipate). But in fact, the ugly truths about Zionism and also about Israeli conduct only seem to have been brought in sharper relief, and this isn't just as a result of the 'mismanagement' of the war. In fact, around the world the case for Israel has grown weaker rather than stronger in the last few years.

  23. Alan says:

    Kevin wrote: "In fact, around the world the case for Israel has grown weaker rather than stronger in the last few years."

    Judging from the quality of today's apologia and apologists and the fact that someone like Dershowitz had to be brought in to make the "case for Israel", this is certainly an understatement.

    20 years ago it was a whole different story. Back then it was difficult to counter the official narrative of Zionist mythology because only specialists had enough knowledge, and even theirs was lacking. But then the New Historians showed up and started demolishing that mythology from within Israel. That was important, but still, how many people would actually buy or read their books?

    And then the internet revolution started. With the internet, one does not have to be a specialist to see maps of the West Bank and the gradual progression of the settlement project. Today one can find and read all the UN resolutions regarding Israel with two clicks of his mouse. Incredible amounts of material are readily available to anyone. Just reading Haaretz for a few months is enough to get enough facts to demolish any Zionist apologist anywhere.

    The last blow for a militarist Israel and the Israel-first crowd covering for her has been the neo-cons. In the information age, their style of networking and operating is too transparent. They still don't realise that if the US sustains enough damage they might end up in jail. Well, too bad for them. I can't say I will be too saddened.

    What all of them (Israeli and US Zionist elites, "liberal" gatekeepers, misguided and brainwashed sentimentalists etc) have missed is that in the information age no nation can be run as an ideological relic of 19th century nationalism and militarism. Just as Rumsfeld realised that you can't really run Abu Ghraibs in the age of pocket digital cameras and camcorders and laptops connected to the internet. The days of Ben Gurion's prescriptions for "perpetual war" and "dynamic borders" are long gone. Israel will have to grow up and become a normal country or my long held conviction and prediction that today's Zionism will end up being bad for Jews everywhere will be proven right.

  24. Just saw the following posted at http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

    link to dailytimes.com.pk\08\31\story_31-8-2007_pg4_2

    New book challenges US support for Israel

    NEW YORK: An upcoming book challenging whether diplomatic and military support for Israel is in the best interests of the United States is set to spark fresh debate on Washington’s role in the Middle East.

    “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” written by two of the United States’ most influential political science professors, is set to hit the bookshelves next Tuesday and promises to break the taboo on the subject. Written by John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt from Harvard, the book follows an article they published last year that stirred impassioned debate by setting out a similar position.

    Their thesis is that US endorsement of Israel is not fully explained by strategic or moral reasons, but by the pressure exerted by Jewish lobbyists, Christian fundamentalists and neo-conservatives with Zionist sympathies.

    The result, according to the book, is an unbalanced US foreign policy in the Middle East, the US invasion of Iraq, the threat of war with Iran or Syria and a fragile security situation for the entire Western world. “Israel is not the strategic asset to the United States that many claim. Israel may have been a strategic asset during the Cold War, but it has become a growing liability now that the Cold War is over,” the authors said.

    “Unconditional support for Israel has reinforced anti-Americanism around the world, helped fuel America’s terrorism problem, and strained relations with other key allies in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia,” they added.

    According to the two writers, “backing Israel’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians has reinforced Anti-Americanism around the world and almost certainly helped terrorists recruit new followers.”

    Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, described the book as “an insidious, biased account of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the role of supporters of Israel in the US,” in an interview with AFP.

    “Everything about American policy toward the conflict is presented in exaggerated form, as if America is completely one-sided in support of Israel and that those policies are simply the product of the Israel lobby.” He is countering Mearsheimer and Walt’s book with his own title: “The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control,” due out on the same day.

    Mearsheimer and Walt highlight the three billion dollars in US economic and military aid that Israel receives every year – more than any other country. They also point to Washington’s diplomatic support: between 1972 and 2006, the United States vetoed 42 United Nations Security Council resolutions that were critical of Israel, while watering down many others under threat of veto. Foxman counters that the special relationship works both ways and that the United States has gained much out of its ally.

    The Chicago Council on Global Affairs canceled a public debate on the issue planned for September and featuring Mearsheimer and Walt when they were unable to schedule a time that Foxman could also manage.

    In the conclusion of their book, Mearsheimer and Walt say that the United States must change its policy towards Israel. “The United States would be a better ally if its leaders could make support for Israel more conditional and if they could give their Israeli counterparts more candid advice without facing a backlash from the Israel lobby.” With just over a year until the 2008 US presidential election, however, they said the issue was unlikely to even enter the debate. afp

  25. Ravenhawk says:

    The exposure of the Israeli Lobby is a good and important thing in itself, but it doesn't go far enough. The Israeli agenda is an extension of the Jewish religion with all its warts, and there can be no apology for claiming that.

    Since the advent of the online Zohar, anyone can search and read the ideas expressed within it, that mirrors the Israeli/Neo Con agenda perfectly. There is no "Vague Jewish Conspiracy" here. It is the words of Judaism itself, laying out their plans, and specifically their plans of genocide, dispossession of everyone except themselves.

    From the Destruction of the 70 Idolatrous Nations

    link to kabbalah.com

    To the Destruction of Ishmael

    link to kabbalah.com

    To the Destruction of Rome

    link to kabbalah.com

    To the Destruction of Edom, the White Race and the Christian Church,

    link to kabbalah.com

    it exposes Jewish plans that have been laid out long again, and are in full swing as we speak, Israel driving and controlling America's foreign and defense policies, and indeed, the once great nation itself.

    However in the endgame of God, it will not end as Judaism has planned, but in a great disaster for not only the non Jews of the world due to Jewish plans and plots, but also for Jews and Israel as well.

    The real question is whether or not World Jewry will take a fresh look at these matters and decide if they wish to continue with their age old plans, or if they will decide to create something better, better for everyone, both Jew and Gentile alike. Judaism is not considered to a static religion, but a religion that changes overtime when new information and better ideas arise. So we can only hope for the best.

    I will close with this passage from the Jewish Prophet Isaiah which seems to fit this situation perfectly:

    "What need have I of all your sacrifices?" says the Lord. "I am sated with burnt offerings of rams, and suet of fatlings, and blood of bulls, and I have no delight in lambs and he-goats. That you come to appear before ME – Who asked that of you? Trample my courts no more; bringing oblations is futile, incense is offensive to Me. New moon and sabbath, proclaiming of solemnities, assemblies with iniquity, I cannot abide.

    Wash yourselves clean; put your evil doings away from My sight. Cease to do evil; learn to do good. Devote yourselves to justice; aid the wronged. Uphold the rights of the orphan; defend the cause of the widow.

    "Come, let us reach an understanding," says the Lord. "Be your sins like crimson, they can turn snow-white, be they red as dyed wool, they can become like fleece. If, then, you agree and give heed, you will eateth the good things of the earth; but if you refuse and disobey, you will be devoured [by] the sword." For it was the Lord who spoke.

    Source Isaiah 1:11 – 20. in Tanakh: A New Translation of the Holy Scriptures Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society. 1985

    Which path will the Jewish people choose; a path of life, unity, healing for all; or the path of war and destruction? Right now they’re on the path of war and destruction, but it is still not too late to change.

    It is up to them to choose, though at some point it will no longer be their choice. It is the hope of many they will chose the path of healing and compassion for all; that they will choose to create a world living in peace and mutual cooperation for everyone.

  26. Ravenhawk says:

    Let me post the right links to the Zohar references above…something happened, I'm not sure what. But here's the right links I believe..

    From the Destruction of the 70 Idolatrous Nations

    link to kabbalah.com

    To the Destruction of Ishmael

    link to kabbalah.com

    To the Destruction of Rome

    link to kabbalah.com
    To the Destruction of Edom, the White Race and the Christian Church,

    link to kabbalah.com;

  27. bill Pearlman says:

    Good to know you have our best interests at heart ravenhawk. Also, a good thing we have the 2nd amendment in this country.

  28. bill Pearlman says:

    One more point, Iran has the bomb, no problem right, Therefore the sunni's are going to want their bomb, ok. then we pull out of Iraq, the fault line if you will. Turkey goes for their bomb. So, basically you have the most vital region in the world on a nuclear hair trigger alert. So, even though the fervent wish is that America tosses Israel over the side, ( forget the moral implications of turning your back on an ally of 60 yrs ) But ok, Israel is on its own and backed into a corner. Iran, which is run by a bunch of demented lunatics hits Israel. Something that I know is a fervent wish of most yof you here. Israel hits back and hopefully leaves at least one bome for Spain and David Seaton. The whole ares goes on generaly nuclear conflageration. Oil is somewhere between $800 and $1000 a barrel. So, I ask you Arie, David, Alan, and all the rest. I know you want to badly see the second holocaust, if you even believe the first one took place. But, is exterminating world Jewry worth a world wide depression and a general nuclear war.

  29. Perhaps Iran might want nukes because Israel has so many of them (see the following article):

    link to smirkingchimp.com

    Attacking Iran Would be Madness and a Capital Crime

    Israel is no ally to US.. Israel has plotted to get US to fight wars on its behalf going back to the Lavon Affair (Google 'Lavon Affair'). Israel has murdered and maimed Americans when the rogue state deliberately/treacherously attacked the USS Liberty (see http://www.ussliberty.org and link to tinyurl.com ) and then lied about such ever since. Israel has drained the US treasury of BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars that would have better spent in America (like to keep bridges from falling down!). See the 'High Cost of Subserviance' to Israel article (and the 'Declaration of Independence' article as well) via the following URL:

    High Cost of Subservience to Israel:

    link to itszone.co.uk

    The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel:

    link to warwithoutend.co.uk

    Prominent Mideast analyst associated with AIPAC espionage:

    link to warwithoutend.co.uk

  30. gentilewoman says:

    I am a gentile. I do not understand why I cannot have an open and free discussion with my Ivy-educated Jewish friends about Israel or Aipac. Even those ostensibly against the war in Iraq or Iran will not engage with me. Inevitably there are some vague generalizations and motions to change topics. Will someone answer this please? I have wanted to move the discussion forward because I am deathly afraid there will be and already is destructive polarization between Jew and gentile. If something isn't done, i.e. liberal Jews speaking out, Jews in general will seem as if they are a solid block.

  31. U.S. signs $30 billion defense aid pact with Israel (while US states go broke with not enough funding to keep bridges from falling down and similar!):

    link to itszone.co.uk

  32. Garbo says:

    Gentlewoman – Given the history of the persecution of Jews I tell you I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, that you may find some of your liberal Jewish friends tentative about your wanting to talk about Jews are ruining the world.

  33. In matters concerning Israel there is no such thing as a liberal.

    link to homo-sapien-underground.blogspot.com

  34. Arie Brand says:

    Would Iraq have been attacked anyway, without the support of and encouragement by the Israel lobby? I believe yes, because this aggression fits into a game plan in which Israel is merely a side show – a game plan in which the US, as Larry Everest has said, is trying to convert its military superiority into economic dominance. A game plan that has got unstuck.

    I already quoted Tony Judt's opinion that the likelihood was that Iraq would have been attacked without the interference by the Israel lobby. I also referred to Chomsky whose opinion on this matter is well known.

    But a third witness who cannot be suspected of any love for the Israel lobby is Norman Finkelstein. This is what he said the 15th of April last year in the Huffington Post:

    " … I neither believe that the main impetus behind the war was the Israel Lobby nor do I believe that the first loyalty of Jewish neo-conservatives is to Israel. It nonetheless remains true that a self-declared Jewish state pushed hard for the war; that powerful Jewish organizations faithfully doing Israel's bidding pushed hard for the war; and that prominent Jewish neo-conservatives who parade their love of Israel pushed hard for the war. Is it really a shock if Americans might now wonder whether Iraq wasn't a "Jewish war," and don't those who created this disastrous impression bear some culpability for it?"

    To return to the game plan and Larry Everest (author of "Oil, Power and Empire – Iraq and the Us Global Agenda"): this is what he wrote in Counterpunch when the war was still fresh (Dec.6/7 2003):

    "Behind closed doors, Bush was giving top U.S. corporate heads and financiers a different message: according to Bob Woodward's recent book Bush At War, in October 2001, on the eve of war with Afghanistan and as planning was beginning for invading Iraq, he told a private New York meeting of business leaders, "I truly believe that out of this will come more order in the world-real progress to peace in the Middle East, stability with oil-producing regions."

    "In his paean to his former boss, Bush speech writer David Frum laid it out more directly: America's new global "war on terror," he wrote, was designed to "bring new freedom and new stability to the most vicious and violent quadrant of the earth-and new prosperity to us all, by securing the world's largest pool of oil."

    Indeed, said Everest:

    "Controlling Persian Gulf oil and dominating world energy markets has been a prime U.S. strategic objective for over 60 years,…"

    (In a comment to Phil's previous entry I wrote about the US role in the overthrow, in 1953, of the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mossadeqh who had had the audacity to nationalize the oil industry).

    James Petras has peremptorily declared, but not on the basis of very good arguments, that all talk about interest in oil here is 'rubbish'. He had talked to representatives of oil companies who had shown little interest in military action. They were doing well through the ordinary market.

    W. & M. came with a similar argument. Even if oil companies would be interested in agression they couldn't make their influence felt because their lobby is singularly inactive and mainly interested, so they have been told, in tax matters.

    Haven't these people heard of a 'national agenda' that is, one might suppose, not entirely dependent on the input of lobbies?

    I am sure Cheney has heard of it.

  35. Newkirk says:

    What to make of this? God Damn Yids are ruining Switzerland.

    GENEVA (AP) – The campaign poster was blatant in its xenophobic symbolism: Three white sheep kicking out a black sheep over a caption that read "for more security." The message was not from a fringe force in Switzerland's political scene but from its largest party.

    The nationalist Swiss People's Party is proposing a deportation policy that anti-racism campaigners say evokes Nazi-era practices. Under the plan, entire families would be expelled if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offenses or benefits fraud.

    The party is trying to collect the 100,000 signatures needed to force a referendum on the issue. If approved in a referendum, the law would be the only one of its kind in Europe.

    "We believe that parents are responsible for bringing up their children. If they can't do it properly, they will have to bear the consequences," Ueli Maurer, president of the People's Party, told The Associated Press.

    Ronnie Bernheim of the Swiss Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism said the proposal was similar to the Nazi practice of "Sippenhaft" – or kin liability – whereby relatives of criminals were held responsible for his or her crimes and punished equally.

    Similar practices occurred during Stalin's purges in the early days of the Soviet Union and the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution in China, when millions were persecuted for their alleged ideological failings.

    "As soon as the first 10 families and their children have been expelled from the country, then things will get better at a stroke," said Maurer, whose party controls the Justice Ministry and shares power in an unwieldy coalition that includes all major parties.

    He explained that his party has long campaigned to make deportation compulsory for convicted immigrants rather than an optional and rarely applied punishment.

    The party claims foreigners – who make up about 20 percent of the population – are four times more likely to commit crimes than Swiss nationals.

    Bernheim said the vast majority of Switzerland's immigrants are law-abiding and warned against generalizations.

    "If you don't treat a complicated issue with the necessary nuance and care, then you won't do it justice," he said.

    Commentators have expressed horror over the symbolism used by the People's Party to make its point.

    "This way of thinking shows an obvious blood-and-soil mentality," read one editorial in the Zurich daily Tages-Anzeiger, calling for a broader public reaction against the campaign.

    So far, however, there has been little popular backlash against the posters.

    "We haven't had any complaints," said Maurer.

    The city of Geneva – home to Switzerland's humanitarian traditions as well as the European headquarters of the United Nations and the U.N. Refugee Agency, or UNHCR – said the campaign was likely to stir up intolerance.

    The UNHCR said the law would run contrary to the U.N. refugee convention, of which Switzerland is a signatory.

    But observers say the People's Party's hardline stance on immigration could help it in the Oct. 21 national elections. In 2004, the party successfully campaigned for tighter immigration laws using the image of black hands reaching into a pot filled with Swiss passports.

    "It's certainly no coincidence that the People's Party launched this initiative before the elections," said Oliver Geden, a political scientist at the Berlin Institute for International and Security Affairs.

    He said provocative campaigns such as this had worked well for the party in the past.

    "The symbol of the black sheep was clearly intended to have a double meaning. On the one hand there's the familiar idea of the black sheep, but a lot of voters are also going to associate it with the notion of dark-skinned drug dealers," said Geden.

    The party also has put forward a proposal to ban the building of minaret towers alongside mosques. And one of its leading figures, Justice Minister Christoph Blocher, said he wants to soften anti-racism laws because they prevent freedom of speech.

  36. confused says:

    i don't understand why nonjews like cheney and rumsfeld are so totally in step with jewish neocons like wolfowitz, perle, kristol et al.
    someone mentioned that baker and someone else are starting to see israel as a millstone rather than a help.
    why are cheney and rumsfeld not starting to see this? can someone explain this?

  37. Ravenhawk says:

    Cheney has been a board member of JINSA, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs, a Neo Con driving force….there are very few politicians who are have gotten thru the pre-screening of the Israeli Lobby, and if they do, their opposition is heavily funded in the next election.

    Pretty much all of our politicians are Israel loyal. Unfortunately, Israel seeks to rule the United States, and to use it as their money pit and mercenary army.

    So far they've accomplished that completely, to the great disdain of thinking Americans. Israel is intended to be a place of compassion and kindness to everyone, not a Jewish Supremacist nation that uses other countries to run genocidal operations against whoever Israel chooses.

    The World was not created solely for the Torah and Jews.

  38. Ben says:

    People here should petition the most influential political shows in the US to give Mearsheimer and Walt interviewers. I believe the following are the best venues:

    NBC Meet the Press with Tim Russert
    link to msnbc.msn.com

    ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulos
    link to abcnews.go.com

    CBS Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer
    link to cbsnews.com

    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
    thedailyshow AT comedycentral.com

    PBS John McLaughlin's ONE ON ONE
    link to mclaughlin.com

    I personally petitioned the Colbert Report a few weeks ago about this issue and then I read on the israellobbybook.com website that an interview is now scheduled for October 2, 2007. I'm not sure if that was partly my doing or whether its just a coincidence.

  39. Ravenhawk says:

    Despite the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) saying Iran's atomic program is moving very slowly and is not significant:

    link to ca.today.reuters.com

    We can see who is clamoring for the blood of the goyim (non Jews) of Iran:

    link to youtube.com

    It's part of the Jewish "Destruction of the 70 Idolatrous Nations" agenda. (meaning any nation following anything other than Judaism or the 7 Noahide laws).

    link to kabbalah.com

    In the first reference on the above site we see the racism, or "speciesism", of Judaism. "Yisrael are called men, but the other nations are not", thus they can be destroyed with impunity.

    Of course this idea is a huge and serious sin that is committed by Judaism, and those who allow them to do this. We must all address this issue if the world is to continue, otherwise we shall destroy ourselves.

  40. David says:

    Nice work, Ben. :)
    (Although the book site is down right now.)

    Arie, your arguments would be more convincing if when you say "oil" you would be more careful about distinguishing between oil industry interests (Exxon-Mobil profits), and national energy security interests (usually called "access"). I'm often not clear to which you're referring. (BTW, the idea that my government might be thinking about ensuring long-term energy access doesn't frighten me in the least — it's what I expect them to be doing. Good relations with the countries who want to sell the stuff is a good starting strategy.)

  41. Ravenhawk says:

    Here's what Saddam was offering up until 3 days before Bush invaded Iraq in 2003. That was the last time we had contact with the Iraqi UN Delegation.

    We'd been asked by Northern Gulf Affairs in the US State Department to try to design a "Peace Bridge Project" with Iraq. So we did so. The Iraqi Ambassador insisted we meet face to face, so this meeting took place at headquarters of the mission of Iraq to the United Nations in New York.

    Here's the summation of what the Iraqi government was offering from 2000 until 2003. You will see they were inviting American oil companies to come to Iraq and develop the Iraqi oil.

    (I am removing our address and contact info from this post as requested by our host)

    This synopsis of the meeting with Ambassador Hasan was presented to Northern Gulf Affairs, Iran and Iraq (at the time) as well as many other offices and desks within the US State Department. It was sent to other US Politicians as well as the press at the time.

    Center For World Peace and Understanding

    October 30, 2000

    Meeting with Ambassador Hasan, October 24, 2000

    The meeting with Ambassador Saeed Hasan, Permanent Mission of Iraq to the United Nations, occurred at their UN Delegation offices in New York at 12 noon October 24, 2000.

    Ambassador Hasan was cordial, warm, and friendly. He was very interested in a “Peace Bridge Building Project with Iraq”. He seemed excited, not only on the telephone during the preliminary discussion of the project, but during our meeting.

    Mr. Hasan opened the discussion by stating that America and Iraq had high prospects for good relations in the future for several reasons:

    1. Historical good relations with America. In the past Iraq/US relations have been good.

    2. It is time to end the current situation and explore peaceful avenues.

    3. Iraq is a secular power in a region where religious fanaticism is prospering.

    4. Iraq’s Baath Party is based on modern political and economic theory.

    5. Iraq is more connected to the western civilization than GCC Gulf regimes and holds openness to Western values.

    6. During the 1980’s Iraq paid a heavy price to maintain stability of the region and to prevent the spread of Islamic radicals.

    7. A sincere desire to forget about the past and to have good relations with America and the West in the future.

    8. A belief that there is no other solution than dialogue to the
    current situation.

    Mr. Hasan stated that he feels progress will be made when:

    1. Iraq is free from military attack.

    2. Iraq is free from demonization in political speeches and in western press.

    3. Iraq is free from interference in the internal affairs of its country.

    Mr. Hasan stated he feels it is high time to end the current situation
    and explore peaceful solutions. He believes that the continued sanctions against Iraq hurt America’s image in the world, as they cause America to be seen as “killers of children” thru the results of the sanctions.

    Mr. Hasan stated the Sanctions and No Fly Zones harms the basis of international law and that the No Fly Zones are not based on any UN Resolution.

    Iraq is open to Western and American business.

    Mr. Hasan states that America is the end consumer of most Iraqi oil and therefore Iraq would like to have Iraqi oil developed by American oil companies and that Iraq is open to further development by western business interests once the current situation is resolved.

    Iraq is committed to all Treaties of Weapons of Mass Destruction-Non Proliferation for everyone in the region and that they are ready to work on a Non Proliferation Treaty for the entire Middle East.

    Mr. Hasan stated it is unrealistic for one or some countries in the Middle East to be allowed such weapons and others to be banned from having them. He stated it is in the interest of the entire region and humanity in general to ban such weapons.

    Mr. Hasan suggested that for further “Building of Peace Bridges with Iraq” the following course of action:

    1. Lift economic sanctions. He states there is “no justification” for the continuance.

    2. Stop all actions military or other interfering in the affairs of Iraq.

    3. Eliminate the “No Fly Zones”.

    4. Respect Iraqi sovereignty.

    5. Return to the UN Charter.

    6. Return to observance of International law in all respects.

    Mr. Hasan further stated that Iraq is ready to give full respect to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

    It is our hope that these actions will be taken to end the suffering of the people of Iraq and to improve their living situation. We believe these actions will improve the security of the entire region, reduce the general level of tension in the Middle East, and improve the light in which America is viewed in the world.

    Warm regards,

    Center for World Peace and Understanding

    Founders note: This was what was presented to Northern Gulf Affairs and many other offices and officials….unfortunately, the war went forward…..how many more wars they have planned is not known
    at this time.

  42. Bill Pearlman says:

    Ok, Ravenhawk, I going to try to be liberal here for a second and engage in diologue. You want to see Israel destroyed, I don't. Where is the middle ground, is there middle ground?

  43. Arie Brand says:

    David you wrote:

    "Arie, your arguments would be more convincing if when you say "oil" you would be more careful about distinguishing between oil industry interests (Exxon-Mobil profits), and national energy security interests (usually called "access"). I'm often not clear to which you're referring. (BTW, the idea that my government might be thinking about ensuring long-term energy access doesn't frighten me in the least — it's what I expect them to be doing. Good relations with the countries who want to sell the stuff is a good starting strategy.)"

    I made the distinction that you indicate by talking of the difference between the interests represented by lobbies and a 'national agenda'. But, I agree, your wording is more precise.

    As to the desirability of safeguarding 'long-term energy access' by peaceful means: I couldn't agree more.

    But even Carter seems to have had a plan, around 1980, to seize the Iranian oil fields with military means (see my latest comment on Phil's previous entry). Albright once formulated one aspect of American thought on this matter: what is the use of having the most impressive armed forces in the world if you don't use them.

  44. It's ranked #82 on Amazon. It's not going to be ignored. Trust me.

    I just spoke by phone today to Mearsheimer about the Chicago event cancellation. The guy is amazingly reasonable, lucid & coherent. It is the attackers & opponents who are shrill & desperate.

    BTW, Abe Foxman's anti-Israel Lobby diatribe book is ranked 15,000. Just desserts. But tell me why anyone would want to buy that piece of dreck??

  45. David says:

    ——————————————————————————
    "It's not going to be ignored. Trust me."

    Ohhh, I hope you're right. :)

    Here is the first true review, in The Sunday Times of London, written by Max Hastings. It's vey positive. Remembering that the Sunday Times is a Murdoch paper, the last two paragraphs should give you a feel for the huge discrepancy in world views on either side of the Atlantic–

    "For Europeans, all this adds up to a bleak picture. Only America might be capable of inducing the government of Israel to moderate its behaviour, and it will not try. Washington gives Jerusalem a blank cheque, and all of us in some degree pay a price for Israel’s abuses of it.

    "After that remark, I shall be pleasantly surprised to escape an allegation from somebody that I belong in the same stable of antisemites as Walt and Mearsheimer. Yet otherwise intelligent Americans diminish themselves by hurling charges of antisemitism with such recklessness. There will be no peace in the Middle East until the United States faces its responsibilities there in a much more convincing fashion than it does today, partly for reasons given in this depressing book."
    link to entertainment.timesonline.co.uk

  46. Hymie Weiss-Goldberg says:

    Why are you a self-hating Jew?

  47. Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for Iran
    link to timesonline.co.uk

    September 2, 2007
    Pentagon ‘three-day blitz’ plan for IranSarah Baxter, Washington
    THE Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert.
    Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
    Debat was speaking at a meeting organised by The National Interest, a conservative foreign policy journal. He told The Sunday Times that the US military had concluded: “Whether you go for pinprick strikes or all-out military action, the reaction from the Iranians will be the same.” It was, he added, a “very legitimate strategic calculus”.
    President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.
    Related Links
    Hardliner takes over Revolutionary Guards
    One Washington source said the “temperature was rising” inside the administration. Bush was “sending a message to a number of audiences”, he said ? to the Iranians and to members of the United Nations security council who are trying to weaken a tough third resolution on sanctions against Iran for flouting a UN ban on uranium enrichment.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week reported “significant” cooperation with Iran over its nuclear programme and said that uranium enrichment had slowed. Tehran has promised to answer most questions from the agency by November, but Washington fears it is stalling to prevent further sanctions. Iran continues to maintain it is merely developing civilian nuclear power.
    Bush is committed for now to the diplomatic route but thinks Iran is moving towards acquiring a nuclear weapon. According to one well placed source, Washington believes it would be prudent to use rapid, overwhelming force, should military action become necessary.
    Israel, which has warned it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, has made its own preparations for airstrikes and is said to be ready to attack if the Americans back down.
    Alireza Jafarzadeh, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which uncovered the existence of Iran’s uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, said the IAEA was being strung along. “A number of nuclear sites have not even been visited by the IAEA,” he said. “They’re giving a clean bill of health to a regime that is known to have practised deception.”
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, irritated the Bush administration last week by vowing to fill a “power vacuum” in Iraq. But Washington believes Iran is already fighting a proxy war with the Americans in Iraq.
    The Institute for the Study of War last week released a report by Kimberly Kagan that explicitly uses the term “proxy war” and claims that with the Sunni insurgency and Al-Qaeda in Iraq “increasingly under control”, Iranian intervention is the “next major problem the coalition must tackle”.
    Bush noted that the number of attacks on US bases and troops by Iranian-supplied munitions had increased in recent months ? “despite pledges by Iran to help stabilise the security situation in Iraq”.
    It explains, in part, his lack of faith in diplomacy with the Iranians. But Debat believes the Pentagon’s plans for military action involve the use of so much force that they are unlikely to be used and would seriously stretch resources in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    ————————————–

    Showdown Over Iran
    We can stop the coming war with Iran – but concerned Americans must act quickly

    link to antiwar.com

    —————————————-

    Attacking Iran Would be Madness and a Capital Crime

    link to smirkingchimp.com

    http://nomorewarforisrael.com

    ———————————

    New book challenges US support for Israel
    NEW YORK: An upcoming book challenging whether diplomatic and military support for Israel is in the best interests of the United States is set to spark fresh debate on Washington’s role in the Middle East.
    “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy,” written by two of the United States’ most influential political science professors, is set to hit the bookshelves next Tuesday and promises to break the taboo on the subject. Written by John Mearsheimer from the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt from Harvard, the book follows an article they published last year that stirred impassioned debate by setting out a similar position.
    Their thesis is that US endorsement of Israel is not fully explained by strategic or moral reasons, but by the pressure exerted by Jewish lobbyists, Christian fundamentalists and neo-conservatives with Zionist sympathies.
    The result, according to the book, is an unbalanced US foreign policy in the Middle East, the US invasion of Iraq, the threat of war with Iran or Syria and a fragile security situation for the entire Western world. “Israel is not the strategic asset to the United States that many claim. Israel may have been a strategic asset during the Cold War, but it has become a growing liability now that the Cold War is over,” the authors said.
    “Unconditional support for Israel has reinforced anti-Americanism around the world, helped fuel America’s terrorism problem, and strained relations with other key allies in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia,” they added.
    According to the two writers, “backing Israel’s harsh treatment of the Palestinians has reinforced Anti-Americanism around the world and almost certainly helped terrorists recruit new followers.”
    Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, described the book as “an insidious, biased account of the Arab-Israeli conflict and of the role of supporters of Israel in the US,” in an interview with AFP.
    “Everything about American policy toward the conflict is presented in exaggerated form, as if America is completely one-sided in support of Israel and that those policies are simply the product of the Israel lobby.” He is countering Mearsheimer and Walt’s book with his own title: “The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control,” due out on the same day.
    Mearsheimer and Walt highlight the three billion dollars in US economic and military aid that Israel receives every year – more than any other country. They also point to Washington’s diplomatic support: between 1972 and 2006, the United States vetoed 42 United Nations Security Council resolutions that were critical of Israel, while watering down many others under threat of veto. Foxman counters that the special relationship works both ways and that the United States has gained much out of its ally.
    The Chicago Council on Global Affairs canceled a public debate on the issue planned for September and featuring Mearsheimer and Walt when they were unable to schedule a time that Foxman could also manage.
    In the conclusion of their book, Mearsheimer and Walt say that the United States must change its policy towards Israel. “The United States would be a better ally if its leaders could make support for Israel more conditional and if they could give their Israeli counterparts more candid advice without facing a backlash from the Israel lobby.” With just over a year until the 2008 US presidential election, however, they said the issue was unlikely to even enter the debate. afp

    ————————————–

  48. Bill Pearlman says:

    One fast comment, we went to war with Iraq to save Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. If not for Israel Sadam Hussein would have had the atomic bomb to use against America soldiers.
    What is that worth, is it worth anything?