‘CNN’ gives platform to latest neocon astroturf war-with-Iran group

on 40 Comments

Important post from Eli Clifton on the neoconservative echo chamber pushing for war with Iran. Why isn’t Chris Matthews or Rachel Maddow putting Clifton on air? Do we really want another disastrous American war in the Middle East? Excerpts:


No sooner did I write about the growth industry in astroturf groups promoting a U.S. or Israeli military attack on Iran than a new one sprung up on CNN. ..

The new group, The Emergency Committee for Israel, appears to have made its public debut on July 6 when Campbell Brown—who ironically is married to Dan Senor, who serves on the four-man board of the neoconservative The Foreign Policy Initiative—hosted Noah Pollak, its “executive director,” to discuss Obama’s recent meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the threat allegedly posed by Iran’s nuclear program.  A transcript of their discussion can be found here.

…Pollak, who writes for Commentary Magazine and has served as the assistant editor of the Jerusalem-based, Shalem Center’s Azure magazine,…repeated the talking points that the recent meeting  between Obama and Netanyahu represented the end of the White House’s “tough love” toward Israel and suggested that the Palestinian leadership’s “fractiousness and powerlessness [!]” made progress toward any kind of peace process unlikely.

On Iran, Pollak went straight for the recent money quote delivered last week by the UAE ambassador to the US:

BROWN: Noah, Netanyahu did seem pleased with the administration’s efforts to go after Iran’s nuclear program. In his words, he said these efforts have teeth, they bite. But are the U.S. and Israel really, in your view, on the same page when it comes to Iran?

POLLAK: I would suspect not, although this is one of those issues where there is a huge amount of private discussion that goes on, although it was very interesting to see today in a story that just came out the ambassador of to [sic] the UAE came out and openly advocated for military attacks on the Iranian nuclear program.

So, I think there is a developing consensus that something needs to be done and that it would be very, very bad if the Iranians went nuclear.

The UAE foreign minister has said that the ambassador’s comments were taken out of context and didn’t represent the views of his government, but that hasn’t stopped various foreign policy hawks from jumping on the remarks as a green light from the Arab world for a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

It’s pretty clear that Pollak and Hoover, along with the people behind Keep Israel Safe and Stop Iran Now, are part of the extensive neoconservative echo chamber which seeks to create the appearance of a diverse coalition of grassroots groups calling on the US to prevent Iran from going nuclear by any means necessary.

40 Responses

  1. idiocr4cy
    July 12, 2010, 12:44 pm

    Have you seen the latest posts on Andrew Sullivan blog by David Frum? He’s on a astroturf campaign too, pushing his nonsense to Sullivan audience. Quoting the uber likud propagandist middle-east non-expert Bary Rubin made me puke for instance.

  2. Debonnaire
    July 12, 2010, 1:00 pm

    If the Zionist entity nuked Montana tomorrow, Rachel Maddow would wave the Star of David flag. And, Chris Matthews is scared to death of the Israel Lobby and their many, many media friends. He didn’t used to be, but once they started speaking of him in dark tones – he hid under his desk and recited the Kol Nidre.

    • Sumud
      July 13, 2010, 6:55 am

      Don’t be an ass Debonnaire.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      If you have criticisms of Israel and/or the lobby, make it.

      If you have a bee in your bonnet about jews then really, Mondoweiss probably isn’t the place for you. It’s not the first time you’ve made such comments. I’ll start hitting the “report abuse” button if you don’t pull your head in.

  3. Justice Please
    July 12, 2010, 1:20 pm

    “Do we really want another disastrous American war in the Middle East?”

    MSNBC is owned be General Electric, which produces weapons among other things. So yes, Maddows employer might just want that, another disastrous but profitable war in the Middle East.

    • MRW
      July 12, 2010, 3:00 pm

      It wont be disastrous. It will be absolutely catastrophic. Diabolical.

      We will get nukes in the USA — from angry and Israel will get none.

      If we get bombed here as a result, you can go to the bank with the following: because non-Jews in this country are precluded from criticizing Israel openly, muzzled in the broadcast and print press, the dam will break among Joe Public, who won’t give a damn about distinguishing ‘Israeli’ or ‘Jewish’ in their complaints, and you will hear anti-semitism in the US unlike anything recorded in history before. Israel will have wrought a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Since there is no thought for the consequences on the part of Israel, I wonder if its real aim isn’t to destroy the USA? I can’t believe they could be so stupid; I fail to accept that the IQs are that low; the Americans clamoring for this should be brought up on treason charges. While we’re fighting Iran, Israel will ethnically cleanse Gaza completely (can blame it on a false flag bomb) and make a stab into Iraqi territory starting in Mosul (because it wants to help its US friends).

      • Citizen
        July 12, 2010, 3:09 pm

        You mean unlike anything recorded in US history before.

      • MRW
        July 12, 2010, 7:34 pm

        No. I dont. I meant what I said. I think they (the Israelis and their rabid US supporters) are playing with dynamite. [BTW, I am NOT talking about a Holocaust. I am talking about anti-semitism. I am talking about words coming out of people's mouths as a consequence of something.] This country has 300+ million people. The element of scale would be unprecedented.

        I have been saying this would be a consequence to striking Iran ififif…it brought retaliatory nukes or bombs to these shores for nearly two years here. I’m not saying anything new.

        You think the 20% out of work are sitting in front of their TVs watching politics? They’re watching feel-good movies, if they can afford a TV at all. Or the people who’ve lost their homes, and their cable, and their internet. They’re not plugged into this being a possibility, and therefore able to voice a choice or a complaint. There is a huge seething mass out there, apart from the crazed Rapture Raptors, who have no idea that three [or is it four, now?] of our aircraft carriers are sitting in the Straits of Hormuz, that Israeli warships and nuclear subs have gathered there as well, that Israel and its blind US supporters have a financial boot on congress for the upcoming election to help get this done, that every anchor and pundit is being employed to make America scared of Iran, that the threat of their using nukes from the the ME is being used to make us do the deed, and that we just talked Costa Rica, which has no military, to let us station 46 warships on both of its coasts ‘as an exercise’ we say.

        They don’t know. But you have some major bombs go off in this country for the first time in US history in retaliation for the unfathomable ignorance of going to war to protect a presumed — a completely unreal — threat to a foreign country, and you watch these masses wake up.

      • Avi
        July 13, 2010, 12:35 am

        No. I dont. I meant what I said. I think they (the Israelis and their rabid US supporters) are playing with dynamite. [BTW, I am NOT talking about a Holocaust. I am talking about anti-semitism. I am talking about words coming out of people's mouths as a consequence of something.] This country has 300+ million people. The element of scale would be unprecedented.

        I think you’re giving your fellow compatriots too much credit. I’d love to be wrong, but my experience tells me otherwise. When the time comes, and I hope it doesn’t, Israel’s backers in the US (that includes every newscaster and producer from the tip of Maine down to Santa Monica) will make sure that the blowback will be against Iranians, Middle Eastern-looking people and Muslims.

        Years of propaganda telling the average American that Israel is “our ally” cannot be invalidated overnight. Try and convince Joe six pack that it’s really AIPAC that influences US policy in the Middle East and you’ll find rather quickly that there is no substitute for the great boogieman, the Muslim. What makes your job harder, is the fact that every Zionist in the US hides behind feigned concern for the US when he/she vilifies Arabs/Muslims as the perpetual enemies of both the US and Israel. Just like those pro-Israel demonstrators who show up at rallies carrying Israeli flags and US flags, as if they give a damn about the US – so long as the money keeps flowing.

      • Schwartzman
        July 13, 2010, 12:40 am

        Avi, you make a good point here:

        Years of propaganda telling the average American that Israel is “our ally” cannot be invalidated overnight

        Now replace American with Israeli/Palestinian, Israel with Palestine/Israel and “our ally” with “our enemy”.

        How would our generation of Palestinians and Israelis possibly form a bi-national state without first a separation.

      • Citizen
        July 13, 2010, 6:50 am

        Did 9/11 wake up the same seething yet sleeping masses? Did they
        follow the findings of the 9/11 Commission, including the determination that the motive was to shake a fist at US foreign policy rubber-stamping Israel, which the Commission redacted into a generalization that foreign policy is always a problem? Did it wake our fellow American up to their government’s stupid decision to attack Iraq? Did they ever get curious abut PNAC; have they even heard of it to this day? No. The set up for war on Iran continues unabated, even more blatently–go to any bar or restaurant at the mall or on Main St and see if anyone is aware of our naval buildup near Iran, and the two German and Israeli vessels tagging along.

      • Donald
        July 13, 2010, 8:06 am

        I think Avi is right–a major terrorist attack as a result of a war with Iran is not going to make people question either our policies or Israel’s behavior. It’ll rally the majority of Americans around the flag and anyone who points out the crimes of either Israel or America will be vilified by most of the political spectrum, including by some so-called leftists. That’s exactly what happened after 9/11. The utterly tame and obvious comments of Susan Sontag in the New Yorker, merely asking us not to be stupid in our reaction, brought out an unbelievably harsh response and as for Chomsky, forget about it. I “knew” one guy online who was a highly intelligent lefty, not worshipful of Chomsky (which can get annoying, of course), but not dismissive before 9/11 just went crazy afterwards.

        You’d think people would have learned after 9/11 and Iraq not to do this, but don’t count on it. A lot of people think “everyone believed Saddam had WMD’s”–they’re unaware of how much lying about the evidence went on. And they think the Surge made the difference in Iraq (rather than a number of factors which have lowered the level of violence). Never underestimate how stupid people can be.

        Also, the danger of hanging out at this blog or online at political websites is that you might think everyone has caught on, but what you’re reading is a self-selected group of people obsessively interested in the I/P conflict.

      • Psychopathic god
        July 12, 2010, 5:42 pm

        careful there, MRW, you’re talking antisemitic fucking insane kinda talk.

      • potsherd
        July 12, 2010, 7:48 pm

        I totally agree with MRW

  4. Formerly T-Bear
    July 12, 2010, 1:35 pm

    Asia Times online has a new article

    link to atimes.com

    in reference to:
    Hawks sharpen claws for Iran strike
    By Jim Lobe

    Seems the war drums are being readied for the next war – over non-existent nuclear weapons. This is likely the last war if the fools proceed.

  5. Chu
    July 12, 2010, 1:36 pm

    I think the echo chamber will have a rough second round advocating for a third war. They’ll try, but their wont have success, and hopefully look like cheap whoring shills in the process.

    • Mooser
      July 12, 2010, 3:46 pm

      Chu, if you’ve got an Air Force, and especially if it’s filled with Fundegelical wingnuts, you don’t need to advocate for a war, you just start one. All you need is a couple of bombing runs to cause so much destruction there’s no going back.

      • Bumblebye
        July 12, 2010, 8:31 pm

        Which came close to happening in the Balkans in the 90s! One of your generals, who’s name escapes me (took a run at the presidency recently?) horrified the Brits when he wanted to attack the Russians. I think the Brits had charge of the airport they were coming in at, and managed to stop him making a very ill-advised move. What could have been, eh! Who will be there to stop the next mad fool?
        And yet just a few years before, the Russian navy in the Gulf during the Kuwait fracas were itching for their government to join the allies (as per Dad, who was out there & fraternising).

      • demize
        July 12, 2010, 8:35 pm

        General Wesley Clarke, Micheal Moore was a big supporter of his. Rolling eyes…

  6. traintosiberia
    July 12, 2010, 1:43 pm

    How does the propaganda work

    Get married to a TV host. Open a few shops selling same stuff under different brands. Claim that you have ” diversified ” sources of gleaning expert opinois from diferent ranks of society.
    Send one of your employees to the TV to be interviewed by your spouse extolling the virtues of your works and dedication to the services of American wellness ,virtues, and security. Spout the talking points when gory images of Al Quaida show up on the screen .Make sure you connect Saddam,Ghaddafi,Ahmednezad,Kassem rocket,and Hitler in different combinations. Buy the way get a pardoned -felon to connect you to somebody in the governemnt for business. Send the profit to West Bank or donate it to IDF in next fund raising in NY.Free some money from Israel treasury which then can be poured in governemnt -run military-intelligence enterprises to mass produce the piratted version of the intelelctual properties stolen from US .List the company in US. make money. Open more shops in US. Get more interviews .Complete the circle and increase the radius.Get one of your employye on the TV to start another circle .

  7. demize
    July 12, 2010, 2:23 pm

    Why isn’t Rachel Maddow? I can’t say, but I’m permenantly scarred by seeing her alternately donning The Hijab or ACU’s and Helmet this week. Absurd.

    • Citizen
      July 12, 2010, 3:11 pm

      Yeah, demize, it scarred me too; she even fired an M-16–and purchased a nice Arab rug for her mother.

      • demize
        July 12, 2010, 5:58 pm

        Aww Christ no, are you serious?

      • Citizen
        July 13, 2010, 6:59 am

        Yep, there she was on national TV, strolling along in her half-assed Hajib & fatigues; then she was shown how to fire an M-16, squeezed off a few rounds, her and her guide (some GI) moved on, where they stopped beside a tent and she picked out a small native rug, the peddler wrapped it up in a square for her; off she went, gushing how happy her mom would be to get the area rug product of those millions skilled fingers. I presume she’s back in the TV saddle now, sharing with her audience all she learned from being so hands on.

  8. Citizen
    July 12, 2010, 2:39 pm

    CNN? Oh, that part of Oceania:
    link to salon.com

    (Pt II of traintosiberia’s post on how the propaganda works)

    • Dan Kelly
      July 12, 2010, 4:34 pm

      They consolidated the media under Clinton and now they completely control the propaganda.

      Glenn linked to a report on MSNBC’s firing of Ashley Banfield. It’s worth reading the report and the entire lecture Banfield gave at K-State.

      link to digbysblog.blogspot.com

      link to k-state.edu

      Anyone who speaks humanely is not allowed to be on television, be it the mainstream cable networks or PBS. Even people who speak out against war on these outlets do so from the point of “it’s not good for our interests,” or “there’s another side to the story.” But what about the humanity, the moral outrage?

      What has happened to us?

      • Psychopathic god
        July 12, 2010, 5:44 pm

        what has happened to us?

        we have come to share the values of our ally, Israel.
        by total immersion.

      • Dan Kelly
        July 12, 2010, 6:21 pm

        Where is today’s MASH? The Vietnam War (yes, I know, MASH was about Korea, but it was intended as an indictment of Vietnam and war in general) didn’t serve any Israeli/Zionist purpose. The Middle East wars do, and isn’t it interesting that we don’t have any programming that expresses moral outrage at the current wars?

      • Citizen
        July 13, 2010, 7:02 am

        Yeah, that baptism was the handling of the USS Liberty, total immersion–drowned the baby; never came up, as you see.

  9. Driss Moonves
    July 12, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Maddow doesn’t talk about the Middle-East unless Richard Engel is present and Olbermann, doesn’t talk about the Middle East.

    • Avi
      July 13, 2010, 12:40 am

      That’s because Maddow doesn’t know anything about the Middle East, except for the talking points she receives from the Israeli consulate.

      In all seriousness, when Michael Ware was on the same talk show as Maddow, he explained what was going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan and described the “players” involved in the armed conflict. Maddow sat there slack jawed, as if she’d never heard of Pashtu, or Urdu, let alone the Northern Alliance.

      But, give her 10 minutes and she’ll come up with a nice smart alec report about a domestic issue, with her I’m-trying-to-look-smart glasses.

  10. Debonnaire
    July 12, 2010, 3:03 pm

    Maddow will however lovingly quote Nazi Jew Paul Berman on the “virulent anti-Semitism” which presently has all Jews fleeing for their lives. Her dowdy fatuity also pleases Dersh who has lauded her as a “welcome new progressive voice”.

    • Citizen
      July 12, 2010, 3:15 pm

      She use to present as not a dowdy person, and less mannish:
      link to blogs.creativeloafing.com

    • Colin Murray
      July 12, 2010, 4:41 pm

      Your choice of words is offensive. What the hell exactly is a “Nazi Jew”? What the hell is wrong with you?

      • Cliff
        July 12, 2010, 4:55 pm

        Just stick to Zionist. That’s bad enough.

        I remember seeing this movie called ‘The Believer’ which was about this orthodox Jew who pretended to be a gentile and more importantly, a Nazi. He hated that Jews were weak and victimized so he became a Nazi to exert himself in the way he couldn’t as a Jew (ignorant script).

        The story is so indulgent and ridiculous. All this guy had to do was become a settler. Move to Israel. And you’re on the power trip already.

        Nobel prizes! Only democracy! Civilized! Holocaust = always victims no matter what; RIGHTEOUS victims!

        I mean, what more could you ask for in an identity to latch on to? Yet, this moron chose Nazism.

        I saw it before I knew about Israel-Palestine. Before I knew what a Zionist was – around 2003-4. It’s a good movie mainly because of Ryan Gosling’s performance.

        7 years later, the movie has entirely new meaning for me. This guy should have made aliyah.

      • demize
        July 12, 2010, 8:53 pm

        I saw it too. He actually becomes a NAZI-Skin. If you remember the part where he is going to Daven in Temple and he starts arguing with his obviously Zionist Cousin, who say how can you be a Jewish-Skihead or something, he retortd with a screed about Sabra and Shatilla that was completly accurate.

      • demize
        July 12, 2010, 8:55 pm

        Sorry about the missing letters.

      • Citizen
        July 13, 2010, 7:48 am

        Yes, Cliff–the character should have made aliyah–check out the psychological profile this plot summary shows:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        BTW, here’s some data on the real life character the film was based on:

        link to en.wikipedia.org

  11. radii
    July 12, 2010, 4:19 pm

    yeah, as I watched Rachel Maddow wander the Afghani streets in her boyish clothes (yet head covered) and looking more butch than most of the Afghani men, I was wondering what they made her out to be – someone like one of their local trannies? … or a boy they’d like to f*ck (as per local custom) but ewww she’s really a girl … liked her a lot until she opened her mouth about israel

  12. traintosiberia
    July 12, 2010, 6:27 pm

    Shadow Elite by Janine R.Wedel is the book that explains the way the current culture of quasi illicit and legally undefined these destructive lobbying works to the advantage of selected few that are interconnected at multiple levels within and outside various organizations with impunity.Powerful social and political forces always make sure that the culprits if caught with pants down , are whisked away to a safe hibernating hole to mature further for a robust comeback for next cycle of a worse kind of political and economic damages.

  13. midnightschild
    July 12, 2010, 7:43 pm

    Remember what happened to Helen Thomas? So all reporters felt that shot over their bow when the Gibbs/Obama team said she should apologize. So much for stomping on free speech. Yes, the drums are beating, Obama really bent over for BiBi, and Bill Clinton got press by saying Iran could have suitcase bombs.. just like Cheyney saying Iraq had WMD’s. Obama has nothing to worry about, he knows he has lost all credibility with the Muslim world, and besides they don’t pay as much as AIPAC. Read the article about the Evangelicals sending tax-exempt money to Israel, and Obama will continue the 3.2 billion no matter that Israel’s unemployment is 6.5, while ours is 9.5. We’ll put people to work in another war. The only reporter who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is , is Dana Milbank.

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