‘J Street’ Cannot Take on AIPAC and the Neocons Frontally

I said earlier this week that I was going to get to Jeremy Ben-Ami's comments at the Jewish antiwar conference of last Sunday. Ben-Ami is the brains of J Street, the alternative Jewish lobby; and he was introduced with genuine excitement, by Rokhl Kafrissen, a young Jewish editor, who declared: "What Jeremy Ben-Ami did was organize a response to the neoconservative domination of the Israel lobby. I don't think you can over-exaggerate how important that is to people of my generation."

Yes: Don't we all despise the neocons! But in Ben-Ami's shrewd comments, it was clear that neoconservatism is not going away in the Jewish leadership, and in fact, that it reflects strong currents inside the Jewish community.

Here are some of Jeremy Ben-Ami's statements (quoted when in quotations, all emphases mine):

On Iraq:

When people look back on the Iraq war, they will justly ask, "Where was the Jewish community?" Because "we were not there; we were not stepping up loudly and clearly as a community." Jewish organizations were careful not to support the war explicitly or vehemently. But "there was a very strong perception that Jewish individuals in the Administration, Jewish neoconservatives and thinkers, and activists involved in [Jewish organizations] if not the organizations themselves were behind the scenes big supporters of the concepts that drove the war." [Absolutely true] These concepts included the idea that "you can solve your problems through the use of force." Though: "I don't blame [that idea] all on the Jews."

Note that the very basic data point, Jewish neoconservatives, so hotly disputed by the neocons themselves and by Jeffrey Goldberg and Yivo, is stated directly by Ben-Ami (as it was by Joe Klein). More on Iraq:

We must ask, Who was against the war? The Jewish community, by and large. But as for organizations, Ben-Ami said, there were only two, including the National Council of Jewish Women. This meant that the war had "minimal [Jewish] opposition, and maximal individual Jewish support."

Ben-Ami spoke of the ways that the Jewish community is of two minds, hawkish and dovish at the same time:

American Jewish opinion is complex re Israel/Palestine. People like to say that Jews are liberals, but they can be very tough about Arabs. Yes they are for a two-state solution, by 70 to 30. But then 70% would support an invasion of Gaza tomorrow. "There's a split in the mindset, both here and in Israel."

What's absent: political leadership. Israel hasn't had a strong leader in almost a generation. And AIPAC is the only leader here of the American Jewish community on these issues. That's why J Street is so important, it's offering some diversity, Ben-Ami says. Though I would say: ethnocentrism doesn't work; progressive Jews have to make an alliance with other progressives, to take on the neocons.

Ben-Ami said a lot about the power of the Israel lobby.

When congressmen close their doors, they agree with J Street about the need to talk to Iran. "It isn't a matter of convincing them we're right… They don't have the courage to lead. They need to be given the courage to lead."

You can't be a Jewish organization in Washington without Israel "lurking in the background" of all discussions [Let my people go!] Things will always be considered through "an Israel lens, and that lens today is all about Iran."

"The Israel lobby has made Iran the number one issue for the Jewish community when it comes to foreign policy. If you're going to engage members of Congress," you have to talk about Iran. "They'll say, 'Isn't Iran the greatest threat to Israel?'"

J Street can't fight this attitude. "The voice of the Jewish community in Washington is and has been for 30 years" a "cluster of organizations that would seem to speak for the Jewish community." All of them right wing: AIPAC, Zionist Organization of America, the ADL, the American Jewish Committee, and the Council of Presidents.

"We need to think about how we take that on… We're going to have to have an [approach] that is not anti-AIPAC…. A lot of very good people belong to AIPAC. 100,000 people belong to AIPAC." When people think about what their grandparents would want them to do with their money, they feel guilty and think, AIPAC. "You're attacking a sense of communal identity if you attack the institution."

AIPAC is a "source of power" for the Jewish community in Washington. And "the power in Washington relates to money." That's AIPAC's strength, money. "Until we are able to tell [members of Congress] that staking out positions that most of the Jewish community support is not going to hurt them politically, then we're not going to have a voice." These congressmen agree with us privately. But they won't say so publicly. We cannot take AIPAC on directly.

My conclusion: Jewish activists on Palestine Anna Baltzer and Phyllis Bennis are right. They say that progressives should not try and truck with the Jewish community. Shouldn't avoid it, but shouldn't truck with it either. Because out of Zionist feeling, and outsider feelings of Jewish power, that community is claimed by neoconservatism. If you want to attack neocons, you must get outside the Jewish community and make a bridge, right now, to Trita Parsi, Scott McConnell, and the realists. It will be a powerful coalition, and reasonable Jews will come on board. J Street, which has already done important work with its announcement that so excited Kafrissen, will be most effective in such a coalition.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss

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

  1. ifnotnowwhen says:

    People like Witty always brag about how dual-loyalty is a non-sequitur, in that everybody has lots of loyalties, even down to
    what color socks they wear. He thus (he thinks) cunningly avoids or bashes the issue, which is, what is your prime ID? It seems to me
    we will all be facing this issue squarely in the context of Iran. As AIPAC et all pushes, as the pretext for war is implemented, whether by Israel, our "special" ally and/or Obama regime, we will all witness
    the question to be writ large, i.e., is America's interest the same as
    Israel's?

    Make no mistake, it's on the drawing board now.

  2. Richard Witty says:

    I saw two excellent films this week about some theme of the middle east (Iraq and Iran, NOT Israel mentioned once, rationally).

    Persepolis about the Iranian revolution, and The Valley of Elah about American soldiers returned from Iraq.

    In neither, were Iraqis or Iranians in or seeking power, anything resembling innocent, kind, or just.

    The Valley of Elah's message was of the horrific corruption of humaneness that the particular American soldiers embodied. They had become sadistic. The ice-breaking moment was of the soldiers in a convoy that chose to run over an 8 year-old blocking the road, rather than stop (stimulated by the their fear of being attacked when intentionally stopped by similar obstacles by precedent).

    The obvious message was the degradation to sadism on the part of the soldiers. But, the initiating experience was stimulated by the culture of terror that pre-existed and co-existed.

    Power is a game of GO. If you've ever played the game, one message is that in the game to win one is a teetering shadow of oneself/other.

    NEITHER is first. And, at the same time, "we" are always. And NOT, "THEY" (whomever is the identified enemy, Hamas, fanatic Shia, US military, Israel, paleo, neo).

    The neo-conservatives were not right, nor were they wrong.

    So long as the US is dependant on middle eastern oil, we ARE involved there. Whether Israel is in the stew or not, oil is still the game.

    If you want to change the way the game is played, or even that it is played, conservation of the use of oil is KEY.

  3. Richard Witty says:

    "My conclusion: Jewish activists on Palestine Anna Baltzer and Phyllis Bennis are right. They say that progressives should not try and truck with the Jewish community."

    By the same logic, YOU should not truck with the US government.

    Get human already.

  4. It's because of this attitude, which amounts to hereditary bigotry (and to the intentional time-wasting tactics of the richard wittys of this world) that there is no hope for american jewry to rehabilitate itself:

    When people think about what their grandparents would want them to do with their money, they feel guilty and think, AIPAC. You're attacking a sense of communal identity if you attack the institution.

  5. otto says:

    "People like to say that Jews are liberals, but they can be very tough about Arabs."

    The word is 'chauvinist' or 'bigoted', not 'tough'. 'Tough' is a clear euphemism here.

  6. ifnotnowwhen says:

    Why are you discussing the red herring Big Oil? Show me some evidence that Big Oil was not content with Saddam selling oil to the West. Look at Chaney's original actions and take on any attack on Iran.

  7. ifnotnowwhen says:

    Why did he change so?

  8. Jacqueline_Hyde says:

    AIPAC own military force and they ain't gonna give it up without a fight. And I'm not talking metaphors.

    You think we're gonna lay a guilt trip on them and they're gonna say "Oh sorry, we'll be nice from now on". Fantasies!

  9. Anonymous says:

    "minimal [Jewish] opposition, and maximal individual Jewish support."

    Regular shell game. We are not talking about a people ignorant of what was happening, we are talking about the very premeditated silence which opens the doors for individuals to perform their trade. Where now the smiles of joy which were plenty before the war whenever a fresh neoconseravtive appeared on the cover of some magazine to the pride of the jewish audience. Were now the cries of antisemitism which were plenty before the war whenever someone pointed that such and then such and then such face on the cover of the magazines were of jews?

    "Minimal opposition to the war" but maximal opposition to the antiwar movement. I was there. Your newfound inocence will not deceive me.

  10. LD says:

    I personally think the Palestinians, Iraqis, Iranians, et all. are all majorly screwed. Their lives will continually be terrorized by "democracy."

    We will become their Nazi Germany. What's worse is that we always tell ourselves how noble our intentions are while at the same time affirming our eternal bond with Israel.

    Arabs are the new Jews.

  11. Ed says:

    The globalizationist left-liberal mentality is indeed at the heart of the problem here. It says: the traditional way of life in the Middle East is backward, primitive, violent and superstitious. We are entitled to invade and occupy in order to enlighten and liberate them. (This also provides useful cover for imperial interests looking to make a buck.)

    Jewish Zionists who suffer from this mentality are doubly hypocritical, in that they reserve for themselves the right to maintain their own superstitions, and actually demand that the US go to war to preserve their own version (the Jewish state) of what they call “backward” in others.

    This is why Weiss’ recommendation of aligning with realists, who recognize and take into account that, even in the West, we’re all hicks to one degree or another, and that we’re not invincible, is key. Jews have trouble acknowledging their own backwardness due to a culture of self-absorption, narcissism and delusions of grandeur that Zionists then exploit to keep them in the Zionist echo chamber.

  12. Michael W says:

    @Ed,
    You said: "MW, your religion isn’t interested in the benefit of all humanity. It’s not interested in making the world a better place, despite its "tikkun olam" subterfuge. It’s interested in it’s own self-interest, its own tribe's well being …" at link to philipweiss.org

    All across the US, Jewish communities take part in an annual event called "Mitzvah Day" which is where synagogues and Jewish Day/Sunday Schools organize their congregants and students to participate in good deeds. The are many different things we do. My particular favorite is to volunteer at "Our Daily Bread", a cathlic soup kitchen.

    Do you still hold the belief that "[my] religion isn’t interested in the benefit of all humanity"?

    Remember, this is nation wide, not just my synagogue. Does your religious community hold a similar nationwide annual event? Of course one shouldn't just do it once a year but "Mitzvah Day's" benefits last all year and compelles us to do it more often.

    "Mitzvah" means commandment but our interpretations teach us to go beyond that to make it mean "good-deeds". A miss translation but when we interpret Tanakh as a whole, we are compelled to help the stranger (read gentile).

    In my Jewish High School, we also took part of a program called BLUES, a Black & Jewish student get together for the sake of learning and what ever. My greater community has many blacks and Jews. On our trip to Israel we also volunteered at a center for kids from troubled homes which included Jewish and Arab kids. We also also had a one day program at a Bedouin city similar to "BLUES".

    So I ask you again, do you still think my religion only cares about its own self interest? Do you still think that Judaism isn't interested in the benefit of all of humanity? I'll let you ponder.

  13. Richard Witty says:

    The realists will seek "US interests".

    And that is an improvement over genuine live and let live proposed by J Street?

    You have your heads in the sand. Either that or your hearts.

  14. ifnotnowwhen says:

    RE "By the same logic, YOU should not truck with the US government. Get human already."-Witty

    So, Witty should I refuse to pay my income tax, knowing it goes
    towards American imperialism, feeding racist Israeli settlers? Vote for a third party candidate, rather than the alternative winner, tweedledee or tweedledum?

    Try my best to keep my nephews and nieces from enlisting in the
    USA military?

    My conclusion too: Jewish activists on Palestine Anna Baltzer and Phyllis Bennis are right. They say that progressives should not try and truck with the Jewish community.

    I write and call my congressional representatives. They simply ignore me
    when they don't avoid my questions, and send me boilerplate
    AIPAC propaganda. They always respond the same whether Republican or Democrat.

    I don't truck with the USA government as much as practical. I don't want the IRS at my door. I voted for Obama over McCain
    when in the primary I voted for Ron Paul, and I gave him money
    from my slim income. I encourage my son and nieces and nephews and their children never to join the USA military.

    What else can I do not to truck with Uncle Sam?

    Crystal Night was not approved of by the bulk of Germans. That's a fact.

    What the heck do you think this blog is about?

  15. John Lewis-Dickerson says:

    FROM ABOVE: "They say that progressives should not try and truck with the Jewish community."

    I don't see any reason why non-Jewish progressives should not HAVE "truck" with Jewish progressives. I am accustomed to the usage of the term "truck" as in " fraternization, commiseration, empathy etc".

    Merriam-Webster: (see # 3 below)
    Main Entry: truck
    Function: noun
    Date: 1553
    1: barter
    2: commodities appropriate for barter or for small trade
    3: close association or connection (as in "will have no truck with crooks")
    4: payment of wages in goods instead of cash
    5: vegetables grown for market
    6: heterogeneous small articles often of little value ; also : rubbish

    I do see why it would not make sense "TO Truck". (see #2 intrasitive)

    Main Entry: truck
    Pronunciation: \ˈtrək\
    Function: verb
    Etymology: Middle English trukken, from Anglo-French *truker, *troker, from Vulgar Latin *troccare, probably of imitative origin
    Date: 13th century
    transitive verb
    1 : to give in exchange : swap
    2 : to barter or dispose of by barter
    intransitive verb
    1 : to exchange commodities : barter
    2 : to negotiate or traffic especially in an underhanded way : have dealings

  16. Richard Witty says:

    "Ifnotnowwhen".

    You should have more imagination than to only ask "which conspiracy" pulls the strings. (Your question about whether "big oil" pulled the strings or the "Israel lobby" did.)

    The REALITY is that regardless of whether Israel was anybody's motivation for invading Iraq or not, OIL is the reason that the US is in the middle east at all.

    Without our addiction to oil, military involvement in the middle east might be accurately isolated as "defending Israel" (a useful approach to an ally).

    One of the implications of the opportunistic use of the term "realist", is that ONLY what is in America's interest, and by who knows what definition, would be included in the math of US policies.

    Its a silly equation. The US necessarily has very complex interests that originate from a very wide variety of concerns, legitimately.

    To infer that your definition of what is a US interest should be authoritative is ludicrous, an exercise of "if I were king". And, we've all seen what happens when ideological driven individuals are "king".

    Should the US ally with Israel, to mutually defend say?

    YES.

    But, the key word is defend, which is NEVER an easy word to clarify in the modern world.

    The Mearsheimer thesis of dynamic balance of inevitably expansion seeking regional powers describes the difficulty.

    His Israel Lobby thesis, was a bit inconsistent with his previous work, except to criticize the method by which a prior dynamic balance of opposing powers was destabalized by the US invasion of Iraq.

  17. John Lewis-Dickerson says:

    FROM ABOVE: "We're going to have to have an [approach] that is not anti-AIPAC…. A lot of very good people belong to AIPAC. 100,000 people belong to AIPAC."

    THE STATEMENT ABOVE MAKES SENSE TO ME. IT WOULD BE VERY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO TURN THIS INTO A ZERO-SUM GAME!!!!!

    PS. FRANKLY, AIPAC SOMETIMES SEEMS CULT-LIKE TO ME; BUT THEN, SO DO A LOT OF OTHER GROUPS (NRA, etc)!!!!!!!

  18. Richard Witty says:

    "I encourage my son and nieces and nephews and their children never to join the USA military."

    Who knew that you were so "disloyal"?

  19. Michael W says:

    @Ed,
    One more thing. When a local church burned down last winter, who's House of Worship took those congregants in and let them use their space for services? It was the synagogue I belong to. Not another church, but a synagogue. They still have their services at my syangogue when our kids go to Sunday School.

  20. David Green says:

    I did a few Mitzvah Days. It always impressed me as more congratulating ourselves for being giving than actually being giving. Given the political context, it doesn't wash. In the current context, compassion is problematic.

  21. Colin Murray says:

    Richard:
    So long as the US is dependant on middle eastern oil, we ARE involved there. Whether Israel is in the stew or not, oil is still the game.

    Colin:
    Your statement implies that we invaded Iraq because of oil, which is complete horseshit. JUST HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE? Or maybe you are deluding yourself because you can't stand the ugly truth that fellow Zionists, more extreme by far than you I think, but who you are apparently willing to defend (circling the wagons? from the rest of us? why do you think that is necessary?), are using us like we are food animals, and killing millions of Arabs, not so Israel can exist, but so Israel can carry out a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the OPT, stealing, beating, terrorizing, and murdering people innocent except for the crime of being born to a people inconveniently living on land coveted by a bunch of religious fanatics.

    Our nation certainly has interests in Middle Eastern oil, and we will be involved there one way or another as long as that remains true, but the thesis that invading Iraq was the best way to satisfy any of our nation's petroleum-related objectives, governmental or corporate, is weak. We permanently stationed force structure in the region because oil we need is there, but none of the objectives that were served by that force-in-being policy were served by invading Iraq. There was a CHANGE in state policy, and the oil companies were not behind it; they went along for the ride trying to make the best out of a situation that they did not create. The people who run oil companies play their game to make money for themselves and their shareholders. They are not wild gamblers, but serious and competent businessmen who play for high stakes and want a high payout, and do take some small trouble to minimize risks to ensure that they walk away with the big bucks. Cite a credible piece of evidence that oil companies were behind the second Gulf War.

    The people who made the invasion of Iraq happen, who sabotaged and wrested control of intelligence pipelines to command authority, who fabricated and misrepresented Iraqi capabilities and intentions, who pushed nonsense onto our ignorant gullible fool of a President, who led and staffed the Office of Special Plan and the Israelis with whom they collaborated, and the journalists who peddled lies to the American people (Judith Miller and others) were NOT oil industry operatives, they were extremist Zionists, to the last man and woman, they were extremist Zionists. We are at war in Iraq because extremist Zionists started it. I hope to God that these people (Wolfowitz, Feith, Miller, et al) are indeed considered extreme by the 'mainstream' majority of Zionists, because if they are not, and they are not stopped, then America, Israel and the rest of the Middle East, have seen only the first glimmer of the torturing and killing yet to come.

  22. Richard Witty says:

    Colin,
    Its still the truth that with or without oil, the US will intimately and intrusively involved with Middle Eastern politics.

    Aside from the too prominent presence of intentionally mass murdering fanatics in pursuit of a far far uglier political objective than ANYTHING that Israel does.

    Neo-conservatives participate in accurately identifing the threats to OUR way of life (pluralism) that terrorist Islamicism represents.

    Its what they do with that identification that I contest.

    I will NOT revise rational observation for the sake of ideological ping-pong.

  23. Richard Witty says:

    Mumbai is not nothing.

  24. John Lewis-Dickerson says:

    DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS:

    November 27-28, 2008 — Mumbai attacks part of "Blowback" for CIA double cross

    by Wayne Madsen @ waynemadsenreport.com

    The violence that is sweeping Mumbai's tourist and business areas is the work of rival Hindu nationalist terrorists and Muslim gangs, according to WMR's Asian intelligence sources. Scores have been killed and hundreds injured in the violence sweeping India's financial capital. Although the "Indian Mujaheddin" and "Al Qaeda in India" are the corporate media's suspects in the violence, the attacks have more to do with score settling and a warning by a CIA asset and Muslim-Hindu gang violence.

    The violence began with some crude "dud" bombs being planted around the city. However, these are seen as "false flag" attacks carried out by HIndu nationalist terrorists who support the Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which hopes to beat the ruling Congress Party in forthcoming elections. The Hindu nationalists often wave the "Muslim terrorist" shirt to win popular support…..

    ENTIRE POST-
    link to my.barackobama.com

  25. John Lewis-Dickerson says:

    OOPS!

    link to my.barackobama.com
    post/johnlewisdickerson/gGxt94

  26. Again, you are quoting from a subscribers' only Madsen product, which is not available to the sceptical enquirer like myself for source checking.

  27. Richard Witty says:

    And taking of religious center is what?

    Blowback for the CIA?

    ALL of the actions were attacks on civilians ONLY.

  28. Richard Witty says:

    You're quick to apologize for terror.

  29. morris says:

    November 27, 2008
    Neocon Lobby Group Loses Its Angel

    by Eli Clifton

    HONG KONG – The right-wing US advocacy group Freedom's Watch is reportedly shutting down as its main funder, Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, becomes one of the high-profile casualties of the global economic downturn.

    link to antiwar.com

  30. I love this quote from M J's TPM article:

    "Call me naive, but I would think that anyone on trial for espionage would keep his mouth shut about security issues and personnel relating to the country he is charged with betraying."

  31. Sword of Gideonthe point. says:

    Even the bard of Seattle, Richard Silverstein, saw fit to mention the Mumbai attacks. The latest exploits of the "religion of peace", But that news must have gotten by Phil somehow.

  32. Richard Witty says:

    "Colin,
    Its still the truth that with or without oil, the US will intimately and intrusively involved with Middle Eastern politics."

    that should read

    "with or without Israel", the US will be intimately and intrusively involved with Middle Eastern politics.

  33. ifnotnowwhen says:

    The Power of Big Oil (Bush Admin–how many are former or future oil executives?) and AIPAC and their slavish think tanks, and MSM bugles–who has a chance against this power complex?

    Money talks, principles walk.

  34. Colin Murray says:

    Richard:
    Neo-conservatives participate in accurately identifing the threats to OUR way of life (pluralism) that terrorist Islamicism represents.

    Colin:
    Fundamentalist Islam is far less of a threat to my country than fundamentalist Christianity of fundamentalist Judaism. Extremists from all three engage in terrorism. Unfortunately, terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists is directed AT MY COUNTRY AND PEOPLE because of terrorism by Christian and Jewish fundamentalists directed at Arabs and Persians.

    Neocommunist 'observation' of 'Islamicist threats' have nothing to do with fear that they pose a danger to Western civilization, and everything to do their perception that such pose a threat to Israel freedom of action to continue ethnic cleansing in the OPT. I am neither stupid nor a fool. Islamic fundamentalism has been around since the beginning of Islam, their ire has been directed at us only since we have been mucking up their countries at the behest of Israel-firsters. Your 'observations' are only rational within the context of the deliberately cherry-picked subset of data you use to create them. You see what you want to see, not what is. That blissful ignorance will not save you reality's bite on the ass, any more than Scooter Libby's (aka 'Pooper Scooper') protestations of innocence saved him from the reality of an impartial jury convicting him for his crimes.

    ************************************************
    Richard:
    Blowback for the CIA?
    ALL of the actions were attacks on civilians ONLY.

    Colin:
    Since when is blowback confined to non-military targets? Naivete, Richard, speaks your name. MOST terrorist blowback is directed against civilians who support, mostly unknowingly through taxes like American public support of Israeli terrorism in the OPT, crimes by their governments against the people to whom the terrorists belong. This is far, far from being an original observation, and is only a hair from being merely common sense.

    **************************************************
    Colin:
    I highly recommend folks read M.J. Rosenberg's article in TPM "On Trial For Espionage, Steve Rosen Attacks Gen. Jones as NSC Adviser While Martin Peretz Attacks Obama for Talking To Shimon Peres". It is very well written and parts are actually quite funny. The arrogance of neo-communist traitors continues to astound me, more fool I. My fear is that Mr. Rosen's brazen attempts to vilify a loyal American who has served and continues to serve our country signifies foreknowledge of a pardon or other circumvention of our justice system. Many thanks to Rowan Berkeley for bringing it to my attention.

    link to tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com

  35. Colin Murray says:

    Richard:
    Neo-conservatives participate in accurately identifing the threats to OUR way of life (pluralism) that terrorist Islamicism represents.

    Colin:
    Fundamentalist Islam is far less of a threat to my country than fundamentalist Christianity of fundamentalist Judaism. Extremists from all three engage in terrorism. Unfortunately, terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists is directed AT MY COUNTRY AND PEOPLE because of terrorism by Christian and Jewish fundamentalists directed at Arabs and Persians.

    Neocommunist 'observation' of 'Islamicist threats' have nothing to do with fear that they pose a danger to Western civilization, and everything to do their perception that such pose a threat to Israel freedom of action to continue ethnic cleansing in the OPT. I am neither stupid nor a fool. Islamic fundamentalism has been around since the beginning of Islam, their ire has been directed at us only since we have been mucking up their countries at the behest of Israel-firsters. Your 'observations' are only rational within the context of the deliberately cherry-picked subset of data you use to create them. You see what you want to see, not what is. That blissful ignorance will not save you reality's bite on the ass, any more than Scooter Libby's (aka 'Pooper Scooper') protestations of innocence saved him from the reality of an impartial jury convicting him for his crimes.

    ************************************************
    Richard:
    Blowback for the CIA?
    ALL of the actions were attacks on civilians ONLY.

    Colin:
    Since when is blowback confined to non-military targets? Naivete, Richard, speaks your name. MOST terrorist blowback is directed against civilians who support, mostly unknowingly through taxes like American public support of Israeli terrorism in the OPT, crimes by their governments against the people to whom the terrorists belong. This is far, far from being an original observation, and is only a hair from being merely common sense.

    **************************************************
    Colin:
    I highly recommend folks read M.J. Rosenberg's article in TPM "On Trial For Espionage, Steve Rosen Attacks Gen. Jones as NSC Adviser While Martin Peretz Attacks Obama for Talking To Shimon Peres". It is very well written and parts are actually quite funny. The arrogance of neo-communist traitors continues to astound me, more fool I. My fear is that Mr. Rosen's brazen attempts to vilify a loyal American who has served and continues to serve our country signifies foreknowledge of a pardon or other circumvention of our justice system. Many thanks to Rowan Berkeley for bringing it to my attention.

    link to tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com

  36. Anonymous says:

    Though the count is reluctant to leave his tomb these days (a sure sign that the end of the world is indeed comming) he probably would agree a month was enough for Collin to prove he is not in an oedipal trajectory. From a "Witty's love child" to a mondoweissian Robert Conquest he has become a pleasure to read.

  37. ifnotnowwhen says:

    Gen. Jones is a real American.

    He exhibits all the characteristics.
    Those who attack him?
    Witty/SOG peeps, every one.

  38. James says:

    neocommunist?

    Murray, you are such a boor.

  39. Glenn Condell says:

    'The neo-conservatives were not right, nor were they wrong.'

    Talk about having your cake and eating it too. Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth. How do those splinters feel up your butt crack?

    'The globalizationist left-liberal mentality is indeed at the heart of the problem here'

    God your arse must be sore from riding that poor old horse. Hopefully it will die soon and we can all watch you flog it.

    Yeah.. Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed, GE, Halliburton, Carlyle, Bechtel et al – left liberals to man!

    '(This also provides useful cover for imperial interests looking to make a buck.)'

    Ed, those interests are not the tail. They’re the dog. Your transposition unfortunately falls under the column marked 'useful'.

    ‘a mondoweissian Robert Conquest he has become a pleasure to read.’

    Very well said. Almost as well said as this:

    ‘Fundamentalist Islam is far less of a threat to my country than fundamentalist Christianity of fundamentalist Judaism. Extremists from all three engage in terrorism. Unfortunately, terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists is directed AT MY COUNTRY AND PEOPLE because of terrorism by Christian and Jewish fundamentalists directed at Arabs and Persians.’

    This sums up for me why a ‘non-aligned’ like myself is involved in this issue at all, and why blogs like this exist. For years these machinations didn’t touch me and my family, so I ignored them. But virtually anyone with a pulse and the ability to read nowadays knows how close the flames now are to their own feet, and those of the people and the communities they love. They can, despite desperate attempts to blur the media picture, see clearly where blame lies, and simply will not swallow the lies served up to us, in an attempt to enlist us as fodder for Israel, Eretz or otherwise, in it's millennial conflicts, which have nothing to do with us, and which have drained our blood and treasure, and made our name mud all over the world.

    ‘We’re mad as hell, and we’re not gonna take it any more’ !!

  40. maasanova says:

    J-Street seems to be just a way to control the debate of middle east policy by acting as a good cop to AIPAC's bad cop.

    That's because Americans are not allowed to discuss it's role with Israel and it's role in the middle east

  41. Richard Witty says:

    I "love" it when dissenters state that "US citizens are not permitted to discuss".

    What a stupid lie. What are you doing here? How many websites to you visit that complain about US and Israeli relations?

  42. MM says:

    On the teevee and in print, anti-zionism of any color is persecuted like it was the plague or some kind of faith crime.

    Any challenge at all to the ethnic nationalist project of cleansing Palestine of its indigenous population is "crossing the line."

    So many of America's intelligent and necessary political voices are marginalized and ridiculed with the familiar, well-crafted slurs–"radical," "long-shot," "spoiler," "activist," etc. Recent examples are Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Cynthia McKinney.

    In an actual democracy, where the people rather than media corporations decide who their representatives can be, and candidates are given media access in accordance with democratic principles, candidates and voices would not be excluded for opposing another country's legal and moral transgressions.

  43. Richard Witty says:

    "Any challenge at all to the ethnic nationalist project of cleansing Palestine of its indigenous population is "crossing the line.""

    Bullshit. There is considerable criticism of expansion into the territories in western press.

  44. MM says:

    Sorry Richard, but actually 6% of Israel was paid for. That means 94% was an "expansion into the territories", by violent force.

    And that relevant detail simply cannot be stated on American TV or print media. It conflicts with the ideas of eternal victimhood and historical presence that allegiance to zionism demands.

    You can pretend you can't see it, if that makes it easier on your conscience. But we can. Your weak cry of "Bullshit" probably won't change anyone's mind.

    After all, Richard, you make it clear you're only here to disrupt the conversation, not add anything of value. You certainly don't want to learn, or change, anything.

  45. anon says:

    As usual Witty intentionally lacks all proportion, now suggesting free ideas exchange and facts on the internet, especially in small blogs such as Phil's, are carriers of same to the American masses equal to the MSM in all its forms.

    Goebbels would say, look the White Rose shows all we want to do
    is give All Germans the facts, so they can make up their own minds
    and judge, vote accordingly. Didn't they pass out their opinion sheets, tossed them out, down to the open air?

    Most average Americans get their news from TV. The cable TV news takes an adversarial approach, at best. Mostly a display
    of talking heads hurling heavily slanted opinions at each other,
    with little discussion of the supportive facts on either side.

    In terms of our special ally, Israel, we don't even get that bit of
    adversarial trial drama in any form of the MSM, most especially
    in the main conduit of news to the folks, TV news.

    I have yet to see a display of even uncontested facts regarding the
    historical P-I conflict.

    It's a bench trial, with the defendant and defense counsel muzzled.

    The Judge is bipartisan, demos or repub ust alles.

  46. Richard Witty says:

    And you two are passive fools, demanding a spoonfeeding media, rather than personal research and reading.

    "Not permitted".

    How foolish and fucking lazy.

    I personally have not owned a TV for 21 years, and I get informed.

  47. anon says:

    We are demanding a media that does not spoon-feed, Witty. It's why
    our founding fathers demanded a free press, and subsequent constitutional case law supported it in the name of the people.

    We are happy you get informed without a TV. All we are asking if
    that for those who do rely on the MSM for their news, information,
    they actually get a few facts once in awhile, rather than bigoted opinion masked as such.

    If you think this is not a major issue in our current politico-culture, then perhaps you should check out the mass TV info provided once in awhile. You could even lapse into high literature.

    Remember 1984, Big Brother?

    That's ok so long as they wear a visible or invisible skull cap?

    Cut, they ear a cap to become asshats.

  48. stevieb says:

    "And you two are passive fools, demanding a spoonfeeding media, rather than personal research and reading."

    That's rich, lol.

    For someone so 'informed', you do a great impression of a die-hard zionist propagandist.

    I also have noticed that you are quite civilized and compromising when it comes to Israeli crimes and atrocities, and become crass and rude when discussing things like forming a truly democratic state where Arabs and jews are equal.

    Did you say you were a progressive?

    I say your an asshole….

  49. Ben says:

    Neconservatism is simply that place where three special interest groups overlap.

    Big Oil, the Military Industrial Complex and AIPAC all share a common interest in Balkanizing the Middle East.

    As estranged from the average American person as their ambitions are, together they make for such a powerful combination that superfunds both candidates in every race that they are virtually assured that their agenda dominates no matter who wins or what the public thinks.

    Faces will change, but we will only know that the neocons are out of power when these three special interest groups no longer agree with each other.

  50. Trey says:

    Don`t forget inside every jew there is a human being waiting to get out.

    Now I know there are some jews who actually have redeeming human qualities and characteristics.

    More power to that quintet.