If Kerry fails, Israel will be an apartheid state ‘and that didn’t work too well the last time,’ CENTCOM general warns

Israel/Palestine
on 113 Comments

Recently retired US Central Commander General James Mattis warned yesterday that if Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority failed, Israel would be exposed as an apartheid state. Mattis pointed at the settlement enterprise as the source of Israel’s diplomatic crisis, declaring that “the protagonists” – Israel and the Palestinian Authority – might not be as interested in a deal as Kerry is.

Speaking July 20, at the Aspen Institute’s annual Security Forum, Mattis said that as a result of Israeli intransigence and the US special relationship with Israel, he and his troops have “paid a military security price.” His comments echoed those of his predecessor, General David Petraeus, who told the Senate Armed Service Committee in 2010 that “enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors” had damaged US interests in the region. Petraeus was hammered by pro-Israel forces for his remarks – Abe Foxman called him “dangerous” — and wound up walking them back.

Mattis, a 45-year military veteran, left his post at CENTCOM on June 1 and appears to be speaking his mind without much concern for domestic political pressure. Here are his remarks on Israel-Palestine and Kerry’s efforts in the region [beginning at about 41:00]:

I would tell you that the current situation is unsustainable. It’s got to be directly addressed. We don’t want to turn this over to our children, the same thing that you and I have lived with our entire adult lives. We have got to find a way to make the two state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported, we’ve got to get there, and the chances for it are starting to ebb because of the settlements and where they’re at, are going to make it impossible to maintain the two state option. For example, if I’m Jerusalem and I put 500 Jewish settlers out here to the east and there’s ten thousand Arab settlers in here, if we draw the border to include ‘em, either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say the Arabs don’t get to vote — apartheid. That didn’t work too well the last time I saw that practiced in a country. So we’ve got to work on this with a sense of urgency, and I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel and that moderates all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t want to show respect for the Arab Palestinians. So [Kerry's] right on target with what he’s doing. I just hope the protagonists want peace as much as he does.

Later, in response to a question from his audience, Mattis reiterated his opinion that the US special relationship with Israel was damaging American interests:

The Middle East peace process and the lack of progress there, that Secretary Kerry is doing so much for right now, that short stops a lot of support for us because all politics are local and Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, just like in Washington and Aspen…I would just tell you that they can’t come out in support of us if we don’t see some progress where Secretary Kerry is wisely focused like a laser beam right now.

About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

Other posts by .


Posted In:

113 Responses

  1. seanmcbride
    July 21, 2013, 11:25 am

    Bombshell.

    There is no conceivable way that the Kerry mission can succeed — the Israeli government, and Israeli society as a whole, will not under any circumstances permit it to succeed, on irrational ideological and messianic grounds that have nothing to do with pragmatic calculations of Israeli national security or the Israeli national interest.

    So: what’s next? What are the most likely scenarios?

    At or near the top of my list: a replay of the Jewish-Roman wars, with “Rome” now including nearly the entire world (including Europe and the United States), climaxing with the exercise of the Samson Option by Israel against “the nations.” We are sleepwalking into this nightmare.

    • Citizen
      July 21, 2013, 12:36 pm

      @seanmcbride
      I see your scenario as inevitable at this juncture in time. However, the US will have to suffer tremendously defending Israel with its treasure, then blood, before it joins “the nations” fighting against rogue Israel’s persistent oppression and expansion. The reason? AIPAC $$ & the complicit US mainstream media. Look how easily the American people were led into the neocon’s war on Iraq. 8/11 remains our Reichstag fire, and it still has plenty of pep–I’m hearing at least as many voices favoring Bush Jr and Obama’s liberal application of the Patriot Act as there is against it, and accordingly, viewing Snowden (& Manning) as a traitor, not a hero.

      • dbroncos
        July 21, 2013, 3:20 pm

        @seanmcbride, Citizen

        As time goes on with the Zionist status quo in place the window remains open for a decisive war to change the I/P landscape but that’s not to say that war will change I/P for the better. On the contrary, both Iraq wars were said to provide the basis for a just and peaceful settlement (Madrid conference, “the road to Jerusalem goes through Baghdad”).

        The US government, the BDS movement, Palestinian and Israeli activists have the leverage to transform Zionist maglomania. Effective civil disobediance and BDS initiatives that challenge the powers that be are in fact powerful weapons of war by other means. In a violent conflict to oust Zionism from the ME, Palestinians would be the biggest losers which has been demonstrated over and over in the last hundred years.

      • Abierno
        July 21, 2013, 6:46 pm

        The basic issue, which appears overlooked, is that the Palestine government which is based on an elected president and a unicameral legislative body doesn’t exist. Abbas term expired in January of 2009 – he retains power only as a result of US/Israel insistence. The results of the 2006 elections are unforgettable: Hamas won a landslide number of seats, Bush/Rice/Abrams failed an attempted putsch with Mohammed Dahlen in Gaza and 50 of the 132 elected legislators currently sit in Israeli and Palestinian jails, so even if Abbas decided to call the legislature together (which he won’t, having shut it down at US insistence) nearly 40% of the freely elected legislators are unavailable. Abbas and his cronies have been repeatedly called out by our Congress and media for corruption. Given this history, is there anyway that Palestinians will not see these negotiations as a sell out?

        Time is running out but not in the way that Kerry’s statement portends.
        Thanks to short sighted policies in Iraq, Libya and Syria, Russian and China
        have become quiet but major players in the Middle East, allying with Iran, Syria, Turkey and Lebanon. On another front, expatriate Palestinians are rising to positions of money and influence all over the world and they are organizing into every strengthening political networks. Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza area calling for new elections, a call which is being
        effectively being suppressed by US pressure. Regime change in Palestine
        will probably entail the rise of considerable third party candidates, and
        Fatah and Hamas candidates who strongly differentiate themselves from current leaders. Look to see far more female candidates. Given the level of
        education – Palestinians are the best educated Arab group in the Middle East
        these new legislators will represent a professional class with impressive
        political tactical skills. They will not be a class of politicians whom Israeli
        extremists can easily accuse of attempting to push Israel into the sea. They will however be vocal, adept and effective in undoing the Gordian knot of
        the Israeli occupation using every local, national and international means at
        their disposal. These people – diaspora and resident, cannot be denied their political structures and rights forever. The corrupt, illegal, US
        brokered Abbas regime is on its last legs.

      • doug
        July 21, 2013, 6:59 pm

        I am concerned that these new talks about talking will be a cover for attacking Iran. The line being circulated will encourage the meme that the road to peace in IL/PA will be through Tehran.

      • Citizen
        July 21, 2013, 8:45 pm

        @ dbroncos
        Yes, the Palestinians would be the biggest losers. I wish I had your confidence that “The US government, the BDS movement, Palestinian and Israeli activists have the leverage to transform Zionist maglomania.”

        The whole point is a probable guesstimate of what looks like the reality of what will go down.

      • Hostage
        July 22, 2013, 5:30 am

        The basic issue, which appears overlooked, is that the Palestine government which is based on an elected president and a unicameral legislative body doesn’t exist.

        That talking point is incorrect. Here is the relevant portion of the General Assembly resolution on the observer status of Palestine which explained that the PLO itself is the provisional government of the State of Palestine, not the PA:

        Recalling also its resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988, by which it, inter alia, acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988 and decided that the designation “Palestine” should be used in place of the designation “Palestine Liberation Organization” in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system,

        Taking into consideration that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, is entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine,

        link to unispal.un.org

        Here is the PNC declaration on the provisional government:

        The Central Council and the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization shall be empowered to appoint a time for the formation of the provisional Government, the Executive Committee shall be entrusted with its formation, and it shall be presented to the Central Council for a motion of confidence. The Central Council shall adopt the provisional system of government until such time as the Palestinian people exercises full sovereignty over the land of Palestine.

        link to unispal.un.org

        The PA was a creature of the Oslo Accords. The preamble of the 2003 Basic Law stipulated that it did not alter the fact that the PLO is the sole representative of the Palestinian people and that it was based [w]ithin the framework of the interim period, resulting in the [Oslo] Declaration of Principles Agreement between the PLO and Israel. link to palestinianbasiclaw.org

        The Basic Law was promulgated as an interim measure by the Chairman of the PLO (which retained the power to appoint and remove governments under the terms of the 1988 Algiers Declarations). The PA was redesignated as part of the government of the State of Palestine in January, 2013. See Abbas Signs Decree to Change PA Name to ‘State of Palestine’ link to algemeiner.com

      • Sibiriak
        July 24, 2013, 2:17 pm

        seanmcbride:

        What are the most likely scenarios?

        At or near the top of my list: a replay of the Jewish-Roman wars, with “Rome” now including nearly the entire world (including Europe and the United States), climaxing with the exercise of the Samson Option by Israel against “the nations.”

        Since we are speculating….

        I don’t see the U.S. turning against Israel in the next four decades, if ever. Europe is committed to a “two-state solution”, but what the minimum requirements for a “viable state” in this day and age are is highly debatable.

        So, I see two possibilities ahead:

        1) The Palestinian leadership accepts a very truncated, non-contiguous, semi-sovereign state, with highly limited ROR in some kind of unjust “two-state” settlement. After that, there could be confederation with Jordan, or other Arab states, or in the long run, Israel (maybe ultimately deepening into a single-state, in the VERY long run.)

        2) Nothing changes. The apartheid regime continues. After decades of pressure, negotiations finally produce a slightly less truncated, non-contiguous, semi-sovereign Palestinian “state”, etc.

    • Annie Robbins
      July 21, 2013, 12:39 pm

      There is no conceivable way that the Kerry mission can succeed — the Israeli government, and Israeli society as a whole, will not under any circumstances permit it to succeed

      iow, in the final analysis you think it is the israeli gov and society who hold the keys.

      what’s next? …At or near the top of my list:… climaxing with the exercise of the Samson Option by Israel against “the nations.”

      thanks for the analysis sean. why not just fold up the cards and go to the beach now that we’ve established the probability israel is going to blow up the world.

      • seanmcbride
        July 21, 2013, 1:10 pm

        Annie,

        iow, in the final analysis you think it is the israeli gov and society who hold the keys.

        The Israeli government, Israeli society, the worldwide Israel lobby, and especially the American branch of the worldwide Israel lobby.

        They have consistently been able to mow down the opposition with the greatest of ease, and I don’t see this situation changing anytime soon. They are better organized and more highly motivated than their opponents.

        My predictions for the future of this situation couldn’t be more pessimistic.

        When I first began paying attention to Mideast politics, I thought it would be easy to change the dynamics in a more positive direction. Wow — was I ever wrong. It took me a long time to fully understand the power of the political machine that Zionists have managed to assemble — it’s mind-boggling.

        (Note: I use the term “worldwide” a good deal because we are in fact dealing here with a global political machine — that context must always be kept in mind in trying to understand the impact of Israeli power and politics on the world.)

        How do I deal with such a pessimistic situation? By trying to pay attention to many other issues that are much more life-affirming. But it’s a struggle — the Israeli agenda keeps impinging on more and more aspects of American life in a negative way that is impossible to ignore.

        In fact, I am going to the beach today and I am not going to be thinking about Mideast politics — I will be immersing myself in the sunlight and the sea. :)

      • seanmcbride
        July 21, 2013, 2:16 pm

        Perhaps God really is on the side of Israel (and Greater Israel) — bad things keep happening to political and opinion leaders who have either promoted the peace process or who get on the wrong side of Israel and the Israel lobby:

        1. Ariel Sharon (stroke)
        2. Bill Clinton (sex scandal/Monicagate)
        3. David Petraeus (sex scandal)
        4. Ehud Olmert (financial scandal)
        5. George H.W. Bush (one-term president)
        6. Jimmy Carter (one-term president)
        7. John F. Kennedy (assassinated)
        8. John F. Kennedy Jr. (assassinated?)
        9. Yasser Arafat (assassinated?)
        10. Yitzhak Rabin (assassinated)

        Anthony Weiner, on the other hand, seems to be making a remarkable comeback from a scandal that was entirely of his own making — perhaps God (and Israel) are the key.

        No matter what obstacles it faces, the Greater Israel project handily rolls over them and proceeds inexorably forward.

      • hophmi
        July 22, 2013, 11:27 am

        “My predictions for the future of this situation couldn’t be more pessimistic.”

        Wow. I honestly had no idea you felt this way. Again, wow.

        Most American Jews, including the Zionists, favor a two-state solution.

        “How do I deal with such a pessimistic situation? ”

        By creating conspiracy theories about the power of American Jews to make it seem more pessimistic and therefore, a self-fulfilling prophecy?

      • libra
        July 23, 2013, 7:59 pm

        Sean McBride: They have consistently been able to mow down the opposition with the greatest of ease, and I don’t see this situation changing anytime soon. They are better organized and more highly motivated than their opponents.

        All these exhaustive lists Sean and yet still no intuition as to any weaknesses in the Zionist setup. No wonder you are so hot on machine intelligence.

        Any Palestinian reading your analysis would lose heart. Surely that is not your real intention? But my intuition is that the Palestinian people hold the real power here. As soon as they collectively give up their dream of their own state, the writing is on the wall for “the Jewish state”. Hence the enormous effort to keep that dream alive, even as the Israelis daily make a mockery of it with their continued settlement and encroachment on the remaining Palestinian land.

      • Citizen
        July 21, 2013, 1:22 pm

        Not the whole world, Annie, just drag it down and burn it up as much as possible before “the nations” take it down as a menace to world society, and, as I commented above, the US will spend much treasure and blood fighting in its behalf, before it switches sides, and joins “the nations.” Sean’s not folding his cards; he’s still trying to help stop this, more and more likely end. The world will survive the state of Israel no matter how long the US taxpayers fund it’s lebensraum and occupation and gives it the cutting edge in weaponry over the whole Middle East. The only way to stop eventual descent into the Samson Option ultimately is for highly influential Jewish Americans to speak up against Israeli policy and conduct. So far, it’s only a handful, and none of them are big time players. OTOH, I don’t see where China, India, Brazil, and Russia fit into a scenario where Israel eventually feels the need to do its Samson Option. See, there’s hope after all, even if Phil and Adam don’t equal Adelson and Soros.

      • bilal a
        July 21, 2013, 2:08 pm

        Syria will be in shambles for a decade, Egypt will be paralyzed almost as long. Tiny Jordan is bought off, and the Gulf States are secret allies of Israel against the Arab street. In other words there is no military pressure on Israel. zero.

        Economically, us assistance to Israel is small compared to the informal assistance of zionist networks in not just lobbying ngos but in every sphere of American life including cultural.

        Palestine will not be free until America is free.

      • Citizen
        July 21, 2013, 8:55 pm

        This is true. And it will take immense direct suffering in WW3 for America to free itself. Some pe0ple have to be hit over the head before they wake up.

    • Abierno
      July 21, 2013, 2:15 pm

      Absolutely correct. Netanyahu in today’s Haaretz: “I pulled the Palestinians down from their tree of preconditions” – no building freeze in the territories, no prisoner release and no mention of 1967 borders. Game over.

    • hophmi
      July 22, 2013, 11:23 am

      “the Israeli government, and Israeli society as a whole, will not under any circumstances permit it to succeed”

      Another bald assumption without a single supporting fact.

      Majorities on both sides support a two-state solution, even if Sean McBride irrationally believes it can’t happen.

    • James Canning
      July 22, 2013, 1:56 pm

      @seanmcbride – – European diplomats generally think the best way forward is simply to make clear to Israel it cannot change its borders with Palestine by growing colonies of Jews in the West Bank.

      • seanmcbride
        July 22, 2013, 2:25 pm

        James Canning,

        European diplomats generally think the best way forward is simply to make clear to Israel it cannot change its borders with Palestine by growing colonies of Jews in the West Bank.

        Do you think Israel gives a damn what European diplomats think? Israel views Europeans as one of many enemies around the world.

        In any case, Israel is easily able to control Europe by using the Israel lobby in the United States to apply heavy-handed American pressure on European governments to enforce support of Israeli policies — the chief policy of which has been to continue to build new settlements in Greater Israel.

    • lysias
      July 22, 2013, 3:13 pm

      Are there any technical means to neutralize Israel’s nuclear arsenal? (I wonder, for example, whether it might be possible to block command and control.)

  2. seanmcbride
    July 21, 2013, 11:28 am

    James Mattis will now be tagged as an “enemy of the Jews” by Likudniks and religious Zionists.

    • Citizen
      July 21, 2013, 12:46 pm

      @seanmcbride
      Why not? 41 years of military service to USA, noted for his intellectualism and interest in military history, with a personal library that once included over 7,000 volumes, and a penchant for publishing required reading lists for Marines under his command. Anyway, he retired a couple months ago. Nobody of real influence will pay attention to him. He’s now AIPAC dog meat. Won’t be the first retired high ranking military officer who had subject concerns. Nobody paid attention to them. Who paid attention to Petraeus? Anyway, not retired at the time, Petraeus played it safe at Congressional hearings, leaving his concern about the US-Israel special relationship’s damage to our troops and nation in his brief case on the floor, “just for the record.”

      • American
        July 21, 2013, 1:58 pm

        @ Citizen

        Look at it this way—it took the zionist around 45 years, from 1945 to 1990 to fully consolidate their power over congress and US politics. They did this primilary by gaining control of the media early on, the Lobby and political money –both of which led to appointments of ‘court’ Jews and Zios to US positions by each administration.
        There were a few bumps along their road with Eisenhower, Kennedy and Bush I. But with Bush II they actually ‘took over’ and with 911 and Iraq they were out of the closet. Another thing happened along the way, the internet as a source of information becoming available to the majority of the US and the world–which I-Firstdom hasn’t been able to control.
        There was grumbling about Israel among the public that followed politics and FP already before Iraq and that increased it, and then there was Lebanon in 2006 and then there was Cast Lead in 2008 which kicked the Isr criticism into high gear in the public–and not just on the net–I have related before the front paged pictures and editorial condemnation of Isr in my local newspaper and people’s reaction to it.
        The msm doesnt reflect at all what the majority and mainstream of the public thinks –especially on Israel and FP–you get no real sense of what any Americans are thinking on anything because all the msm does is showcase the dueling ‘fringes ‘ and their mouthpieces.

        My point is the Zionist had a 45 year ‘head start’ on Americans….but in less than 10 years we are starting to catch up. ..particularly in the 5 years since 2008.
        This hasnt filtered up to the politicians yet because they pay no actual attention to what Americans are saying anyway about anything.
        Under all the other issues being fought over there is a ‘slow boil ‘going on in the country and the Isr aberration is part of the America First meme.
        The pot will eventually boil over on I-Firstdom ….it’s just going to take more time and events by the Zios and Israel flaunting their ownership of the US as the public feels themselves more and more sacrificed and ignored by their own government in favor special groups and foreign interest.
        Have patience, the top will blow off eventually.

      • Blank State
        July 21, 2013, 6:15 pm

        Carroll, I am a bit perplexed by your read on things. I talk top people regularly about Israel, and there is no subject that holds rival fopr false impressions and ignorance than the general public’s knowledge about our corrosive relationship with Israel. Your contention that the general public considers Israel anything other than a democratic and upstanding ally is ludicrous.

      • Citizen
        July 21, 2013, 9:03 pm

        @ American
        Hope the Zionist top will blow off before it leads to regional ME war, then WW3. I just don’t see it in my lifetime. Then again, I’m really old and my personal health habits are not so good. Are your personal friends and acquaintances up on this stuff? Mine are not.

      • American
        July 22, 2013, 11:06 am

        @ Blank State

        Since I know you have followed this for a long time you should be able to see the increased criticsm of Israel. Look harder.

      • American
        July 22, 2013, 11:21 am

        @ Citizen

        “Are your personal friends and acquaintances up on this stuff? Mine are not.”

        They are now..LOL
        It might take a ME WWIII to do it but it will blow.
        I dont know how to explain the difference in what you see living in Fla and what Blank State sees living in Calif and I see being on the mid south east coast in a basically purple state..maybe it boils down to the areas.
        I think I can say for certain though that among the public that uses the net for news that has been a large increase in anti or criticism of Israel.

    • James Canning
      July 22, 2013, 1:57 pm

      When James Mattis is being a true friend of Israel in making these much-needed statements.

    • thetumta
      July 22, 2013, 10:04 pm

      So what? Any reasonable person will eventually be tagged as an “enemy of the Jews” by Likudniks and religious Zionists. Time to decide. The problem is here.
      Hej! Tumta

  3. just
    July 21, 2013, 11:38 am

    Israel IS an apartheid state right now, and our “special relationship” has and is harming our National Security.

    And the Palestinians continue to be Occupied, terrorized, made to suffer and brutalized, while we stand by as a Nation and say ‘tut- tut’. The US sees no evil, hears no evil, speaks no truth wrt Israel.

    Nice he had something to say, I guess. 1S1P1V.

    • yrn
      July 21, 2013, 1:36 pm

      “while we stand by as a Nation and say ‘tut- tut’. The US sees no evil, hears no evil, ”

      I thought you were referring to the 100,000 butchered in Syria.
      Na, who cares…….

      • W.Jones
        July 21, 2013, 7:08 pm

        “I thought you were referring to the 100,000 butchered in Syria.”
        Are you familiar with the Clean Break document?

      • Hostage
        July 21, 2013, 10:02 pm

        I thought you were referring to the 100,000 butchered in Syria.
        Na, who cares…….

        The US has had plenty to say about Syria. You might want to keep quiet about that, because Israel has proven to be utterly useless as a so-called tool for the exercise of US hegemony in the region. It would be much wiser for our government to spend its money and devote its efforts elsewhere.

      • just
        July 21, 2013, 10:22 pm

        yrn– is this article about Syria?

        Always point the finger elsewhere, and deflect any and all critique of Zionism and the horrendous Occupation and theft of Palestinian land and resources. Hasbara 101.

      • amigo
        July 22, 2013, 6:03 am

        I thought you were referring to the 100,000 butchered in Syria.
        Na, who cares…….y(a)rn.

        not suggesting that you care, are ya.

  4. atime forpeace
    July 21, 2013, 12:10 pm

    My take is that unfortunately he believes his intel services wholeheartedly. The Iranian Mexican bs he believes because his intel svs told him so…yeah. Is he not aware of the stove-piping of intel that led us into Iraq? Not possible, no way no how.

    And what’s up with the fact that he fully embraces the idea that we can intervene in other countries civil wars, and are almost duty bound to do so…this is very unfortunate in my estimation and speaks volume about the entire culture of what is called Gov’t in the U.S. Sumting wong.

    We are just so f-kd…if this is what passes for wisdom.

    • atime forpeace
      July 21, 2013, 12:25 pm

      Maybe Bill Kristol can discover him soon and put together a Palin/Mattis ticket for the next presidential run, he is already fully vetted and very smart sounding.

  5. Justpassingby
    July 21, 2013, 12:14 pm

    There is already apartheid policies and it have worked for decades with both Israel, EU and US approval.

    • Citizen
      July 21, 2013, 12:53 pm

      @ Justpassingby
      Yep. Look how it snuck into the OECD without even really meeting the basic criteria, with only Norway, Ireland, and Switzerland initially objecting. Both the apartheid impact and settlements were a big issue both in terms of social and economic criteria, all ignored by “the West.”

  6. Walker
    July 21, 2013, 12:27 pm

    Google News returns two irrelevant hits for “+mattis +apartheid”. Guess it never happened.

  7. gingershot
    July 21, 2013, 12:29 pm

    The Kerry Mission is trying to put the Apartheid toothpaste back in the tube. There’s already over 750,000 illegal paramilitary state supported terrorists over the borders of Israel, interfering with any possibility of a Palestinian state

    The One State Solution merely takes the Apartheid out of the One Apartheid State Israel has already created

    How come it feels like the hermetically sealed media control over the Israeli/Palestine conflict has been burst in the last few days, ever since the EU announcement of boycott of the Apartheid control over Palestine?

    Was that the straw that broke the camel’s back?

    • gingershot
      July 21, 2013, 1:12 pm

      NOTE:

      The Israeli/Palestinian comments by Mattis begin at minute 42:00

    • James Canning
      July 22, 2013, 2:04 pm

      @gingershot – – Zionist-expansionists want people to believe the presence of Jews in the West Bank means those areas with large numbers of Jews must be included within Israel’s borders.

      Jews can live in Palestine. If they obey the law, etc etc etc.

  8. Annie Robbins
    July 21, 2013, 12:37 pm

    this video is over an hour. can someone tell me where that blockquote is in the video so i can fast forward it and listen to the context?

    • HarryLaw
      July 21, 2013, 12:56 pm

      Hi Annie, the General’s opinion on Israel/Palestine is at 41 mins, but I recommend the whole video, he takes in the whole of the middle east, Blitzer tries to put words in his mouth of course.

    • gingershot
      July 21, 2013, 1:12 pm

      Annie – Mattis’ I/P comments begin at minute 42:00

      Maybe an update note could be appended to Max’s article so everybody can go right to it

    • MRW
      July 21, 2013, 3:43 pm

      Start at 41 min mark for first one, cant find the second.

    • frankier
      July 21, 2013, 4:31 pm

      Around 41:30

    • Qualtrough
      July 22, 2013, 12:14 am

      Hi Annie,

      There is a way to see YouTube video URLs so that they start when you want. I found this, but there may be other methods:

      Add the following hash to the end of the link: “#t=1m20s” where “m” = the minutes and “s” = the seconds.
      For example heres a video that is 1 minute and 45 seconds long, I only want to show the part that begins at 1 minute and 19 seconds till the end.

  9. irmep
    July 21, 2013, 12:42 pm

    The general would be more compelling if he stripped out all of the weasel-word qualifiers:

    “I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM because the Americans were seen as biased in support of Israel” s/b

    “Because Americans are biased in support of Israel, I paid a military security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM” and

    “all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t want to show respect for the Arab Palestinians.” s/b

    “moderate Arabs won’t be with us until there is respect for Palestinians.”

    I bet, in battle and under heavy fire, he wouldn’t tell his platoon, “Let’s be publicly seen taking hill Alpha-6. Do you want to be with me?” Whether he knows it or not, he’s just joined the biggest battle in Washington, and better bark clear commands and objectives.

    • Citizen
      July 21, 2013, 1:40 pm

      Yes, that’s a valid point you make. Perhaps he speaks in such abstractions because he’s essentially been a manager himself for so long, albeit a military manager? He may no longer know how to speak bluntly, colorfully, like a common Marine grunt. As an aside, and responding to another commentator above, yes, he served the neocons in their wars. Maybe, like Petraeus, he’s only bothered by the fact they learned that US rubber-stamping of Israel’s whims had, and does continue to block getting more Arab support for what the US military has been directed to achieve. That is to say, his top priority remains just being a good soldier, like Petraeus, but the hypocritical agenda his non-military bosses direct severely hamper him getting their agenda accomplished? So, yeah: “Whether he knows it or not, he’s just joined the biggest battle in Washington, and better bark clear commands and objectives.” Does he know it? Partially. I don’t have any evidence he has a morality beyond the US Marine creed. There’s something beyond Code Red after all. See A Few Good Men.

    • MRW
      July 21, 2013, 3:28 pm

      Smart.

    • ritzl
      July 22, 2013, 3:12 am

      Don’t forget it’s the Aspen Institute. They’re all elite buds and that’s just the way they talk amongst themselves. It certainly diminishes the red-meat directness, but I don’t know if it diminishes the meaning or significance.

      What’s maybe more significant is Mattis’ resistance to Blitzers phrasing.

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 9:31 am

        Zionists always try to frame the picture and keep disguised whistle blowers like retired generals or presidents painting within the Zionist framework. Too bad Helen Thomas didn’t learn how to handle that, which is to nip it in the bud ASAP.

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 9:58 am

        At just over 40 minutes into the video, the General says the current I-P situation is unsustainable. States his either/or re 2state or apartheid 1 s. Moderate Arabs cannot come out in support of US official plan if the Palestinians are not treated with respect. Says even hardluck Yemen is moving toward a democratic government, and the Arab Street desperately wants democratic government. You have to be for something, not just against, some people don’t get that. Iran has significant internal and external limits on its powers (due to sanctions), plus the supreme leader sits on a shaky crown. 50 nations support us in Afghanistan. Estonia and Holland have lost more soldiers than USA per capita there. This big story does not get to the US public. All politics are local over there, just as here. Kerry’s focused like a laser beam right now. Is it too late in Syria now, given the Russian involvement–too late without US boots on the ground? No. but we should play the ball as it lays, with lots of help from other nations and explanation to the US public. Syria fighting total war can defeat us fighting a limited war. US does not lose wars, it loses interest, e.g., after taking casualties.

        Re huge resources available to combat command, what’s the role of US commanders? In terms of diplomacy, not a week went by where I did not talk to the local leaders, ambassadors, and I carried messages that remained private. I don’t write policy for my government, nor does your military. I just carry out the last 60 meters of it. I worked for synergy. Look at the professional military of Egypt, Syria, etc; they are professionals, top notch so. They work as I did. If you don’t vote for more money for diplomacy, you better vote for more ammunition.

        Have we created more enemies by our policy? It’s easier to love America if you never set foot in Washington DC, many say. You vote people in; we’ve done our best. Yet our young soldiers wrote a blank check with their lives to the US government. That message they send answers your question. (How?)

        If our troops are good to go, what help can we give their brittle families? Our military mothers are strong and often better organized than our military. Thank the military families in person, that’s worth more than anything I could do or say.

        Despite sequestration we are not weak, and don’t tell your adversary we are weak.

        Blitzer on waste of our efforts in Afghanistan. As we start pulling out troops, think what the money saved could do locally. But they want to tax us $70B on our withdrawal of assets, a shake-down. General says he don’t know if this will happen. Afghan Prez is local tribal leader, he has to placate his people. I don’t believe we will pay customs. But I’m retired, cannot say what US government will do.

  10. David Doppler
    July 21, 2013, 1:43 pm

    James Mattis first earned respect as a leader among Marines, then among all the armed forces. What he says here is likely to carry great credence among rank and file US military from the top down. If suppressed or played down by media, that will only magnify its import to the military family, as measured by the skuttlebutt, the true skivvy, what gets discussed over drinks at the end of the day, how the news gets digested through the informal military filter.

    Israel’s policy of stalling peace while building settlements and blaming others is nearing the end of its course. It can either be abandoned under ever-increasing international pressure in favor of a reformed Israel which seeks to assure its security by being a good and valued neighbor, or it can be escalated by creating ever larger security crises, such as by inciting violence among occupied Palestinians, attacking Syria, launching war with Iran, during which further genocide and/or ethnic cleansing can occur under cover of larger military operations and the “justification” of existential threat. Clearly, there are elements within Likud and the more radical right parties in Israel working overtime to achieve the latter. Will cooler heads prevail?

    Obama appears to be playing a game of direct communication of inviolable security guaranties to the Israeli public, undermining Netanyahu’s very stale existential threat mantra, while slowly ratcheting up US and international pressure, leaving time and space for rational voices within and outside Israel to contribute to momentum, and for the power elite within AIPAC and the Neoconeria to assess whether they want to further risk their influence by continuing to defend the indefensible. The process is working, but slowly. It will inevitably succeed if given time, barring some new cassus belli – real or staged. We live in an interesting time. A critical time.

    • Ellen
      July 21, 2013, 7:02 pm

      AIPAC and the Neoconeria to assess whether they want to further risk their influence by continuing to defend the indefensible.

      Today’s Sunday paper in Zürich had a large article on the Israeli settlements. It dryly concluded that the Israeli leadership, which apparently does not represent the majority of Israeli’s, must now decide between stories of Biblical prophesies and real world pragmatism.

      Indeed, a critical time.

    • Citizen
      July 21, 2013, 9:28 pm

      @ David Doppler
      Maybe that’s what’s in Obama’s mind on this issue. I don’t think so. Obama is a short term political thinker all the way. He’s more concerned at this juncture about who will pay for his presidential library, and support his post-POTUS books and speeches. He wants to play gold at the most exclusive club with great golf bag and sticks, while his daughters go to Harvard or Yale. That’s it for him. “If given time”? He does not have enough time in office left. His dead Cairo Speech is what’s relevant. I don’t see his man Kerry picking up on that and flying with it, although it would go a long way in the non-Zionist Middle East tinder box. If there’s a cassus belli, it will be contrived by Israel. I mean, beyond the general fear Iran one currently in vogue.

  11. Erasmus
    July 21, 2013, 4:09 pm

    David Petraeus+ James Mattis are so darn right

    And they know what they speak about.
    It is the USA unqualified Support of Israel all through, that let’s the world see the USA as the same villain or culpret for utter disregard of HRs and international law as the Israeli Governments.

    With Israel manouvring itself day by day into the abyss of international isolation and as the pariah state par excellence, the USA gets drawn into the same abyss.

    And here lies actually imo the real genuine US-interest, or should be, to disentangle the USA from this unfortunate Siamese relationship. Its getting the USA only more and more (if that is still possible) into the international doldrums of political isolation and forego its potentially much better relations with the entire Islamic world and beyond.
    Apart from improving the security of US-citizen and Army personnel markedly.

    There are materially no military /power interests that could justify this special bilateral relationship – it does not give any positive returns for to a heavy price paid by the USA since decades, neither politically, nor economically, nor in any other way.

    So, a robust new role of the USA to bring the I-P problem to a concluding peace treaty is indeed genuine US-specific interest.
    As it actually should also be understood by the Israeli voters as their longer-term life-insurance.

    • Citizen
      July 22, 2013, 10:09 am

      Meanwhile, the Israel Firster true believers and (non-Jewish) whores in both houses of congress are seeking to legislate into existence by this Fall, and are winning, the elevation of Israel as our most superior trusty ally, worthy of total enmeshment in every muscle of our sovereignty. Even Kissinger said in the mid-70s that our total support of Israel helps Israel but is not a strategic interest of the US. It’s documented in our State Dept Historian archives, as was revealed a few days ago on this site. It’s like reality does not exist in contemporary US politics, most especially regarding anything touching on Israel, which is to say, most everything due to the primacy of the Zionist agenda, an Ace card played against players holding 5 cards, each lower in priority by itself, nobody in Congress or WH holds collective US interest as it’s Ace card. The gloss over this is they all pretend to speak for “We the people,” while Dick and Jane remain manipulated by mainstream media, and ignorant of facts concerning our “most major strategic partner,” Israel.

      • James Canning
        July 25, 2013, 2:06 pm

        @Citizen – – Israel lobby has perverted and subverted “debate” in the US regarding American interests in the Middle East, and other places. Intentionally.

  12. Erasmus
    July 21, 2013, 4:52 pm

    David Petraeus+ James Mattis are so darn right

    And they know what they speak about.
    It is the USA unqualified Support of Israel all through, that let’s the world see the USA as the same villain or culpret for utter disregard of HRs and international law as the Israeli Governments.

    With Israel manouvring itself day by day into the abyss of international isolation and as the pariah state par excellence, the USA gets drawn into the same abyss.

    And here lies actually imo the real genuine US-interest, or should be, to disentangle the USA from this unfortunate Siamese relationship. Its getting the USA only more and more (if that is still possible) into the international doldrums of political isolation and forego its potentially much better relations with the entire Islamic world.
    Apart from improving the security of US-citizen and Army personnel markedly.

    There are materially no military /power interests that could justify this special bilateral relationship – it does not give any positive returns for to a heavy price paid by the USA since decades, neither politically, nor economically, nor in any other way.

    So, a robust new role of the USA to bring the I-P problem to a concluding peace treaty is indeed genuine US-specific interest.
    As it actually should also be understood by the Israeli voters as their longer-term life-insurance.

  13. karen
    July 21, 2013, 4:56 pm

    I am just wondering what the national interests are and how one arrives at the conclusion that something is, or isn’t in the national interest.

    • Citizen
      July 22, 2013, 10:27 am

      @ karen
      Back in the ’90’s the US refused to enhance trade relations with the former USSR unless that entity allowed its Jews (many highly educated at Soviet taxpayer expense) to immigrate wholesale to Israel, so they could settle in the ancestral homes of the natives. The USSR honored this. If it had not, America would have lost all the benefits of trade with the Soviets, and an accompanying opening up of better relations generally with that huge power. If you were representing America’s best interests, would you have set Jewish immigration from Russia to Israel as a precondition to opening up trade with Russia?

      Currently, Netanyahu is pressuring America to attack Iran; he’s been doing this for 20 years, all the while knowing Iranians have no nuke weapons while Israel has had them, and constantly threatens Iran, and knowing Iran has not instigated any war, while Israel has instigated every one of theirs, except arguably the ’73 war (where Nixon saved Israel’s ass–the Arabs were trying to regain what Israel took in ’67.)
      Israel sees Iran as an immediate threat due to geography, while US sees Iran as a threat, but not immediately.

      There’s many more examples of where the US and Israel’s interests separate, but Dick and Jane don’t know them as the main media does not inform them, and US political leaders constantly paint the sky between US and Israel as non-existent.
      How many Americans do you know who know about the Nakba? How many know about daily life of oppressed Palestinians, said oppression funded by US tax dollars? Are Israel’s versions of Jim
      Crow in the American interest? Is it good PR for America that we support this de facto with our funds, while the whole world looks on?

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 10:35 am

        Further, are you even aware of PNAC agenda, a later ’90’s blueprint for serving Israel’s hegemony by using US force and funds? The neocon agenda, still going strong despite clear evidence it was a fraud imposed on the gullible American citizens by seizing 9/11 as our own Reichstag Fire?
        Iran, Iraq, Syria have been targeted for fall and division that long, and it’s still a work in progress, Bill Krystol leading the way, along with the likes of Bolton, both appearing regularly on Fox News as buddas of US foreign policy.

      • James Canning
        July 25, 2013, 2:11 pm

        @Citizen – – I very much doubt Israeli leaders actually fear an attack by Iran, in absence of an Israeli or American attack on Iran.
        Israel’s programme of permanent suppression of the Palestinians is made more difficult and dangerous, due to Iranian backing of Hezbollah and Hamas.

      • karen
        July 25, 2013, 8:59 pm

        Hi Citizen

        That didn’t explain anything although it gave me an excellent definition of ‘blather.” Please try again. Explain what the “national interests” are and how one comes to the conclusion that something is, or isn’t in the “national interests.”

    • James Canning
      July 22, 2013, 2:08 pm

      karen – – One might assume it is in the national interest of the American people, for wars in the Middle East to be avoided where possible?

      • seanmcbride
        July 22, 2013, 2:16 pm

        James Canning,

        One might assume it is in the national interest of the American people, for wars in the Middle East to be avoided where possible?

        It is in the interests of the military-industrial complex to promote as many wars as possible — many members of that network have made fortunes from the Global War on Terror, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, the “homeland security” regime and apparatus, etc.

        Why do you think it is that Israel and the Israel lobby have worked so hard to develop intimate connections with this power bloc in American politics and why the military-industrial complex has put its full weight behind Israel? It’s a highly profitable venture.

      • MHughes976
        July 22, 2013, 4:56 pm

        What constitutes a national interest, for the purposes of international dealings, is reasonably agreed at least for normal circumstances, I think. It is in the interest of each nation to be reasonably able to protect its territory from foreign armies – both by its own armed force and by alliances and negotiations – and to have reasonable freedom to engage in trade so as to secure important resources and increase prosperity. What other understanding would make sense? The logical means to secure our interests include being generally trustworthy, which is an important basis for all negotiations, and in preferring to have friends rather than enemies wherever possible. Therefore creating antagonism beyond necessity is a threat to national interests, especially if the antagonism arises in a way that threatens access to resources of extreme importance.

      • elisehendrick
        July 25, 2013, 9:03 pm

        “What constitutes a national interest, for the purposes of international dealings, is reasonably agreed at least for normal circumstances, I think.”

        And yet no one on this thread has yet been able to give a straight answer.

        “It is in the interest of each nation to be reasonably able to protect its territory from foreign armies – both by its own armed force and by alliances and negotiations – and to have reasonable freedom to engage in trade so as to secure important resources and increase prosperity.”

        So you assume that all people within a respective ‘nation’ actually have the same interests? For example, what exactly is ‘increasing prosperity’? Whose prosperity is being increased?

        ” What other understanding would make sense?”

        The understanding that ‘national interest’ is pure science fiction, which is why there’s never any serious attempt to explain how one can go about working out what a particular ‘nation’s’ interest actually is. There are class interests, but there are no national interests, unless you seriously think, for example, that soldiers have the same interests as arms dealers, or GM shareholders have the same interests as GM workers.

        ” The logical means to secure our interests include being generally trustworthy, which is an important basis for all negotiations,”

        Since when – the usual basis for international negotiations is being generally frightening. It’s worked fairly well for the US ruling class for the past 200 years.

        “Therefore creating antagonism beyond necessity is a threat to national interests, especially if the antagonism arises in a way that threatens access to resources of extreme importance.”

        Ohhh, the circularity!!!!!!

      • Keith
        July 22, 2013, 5:17 pm

        JAMES CANNING- “One might assume it is in the national interest of the American people, for wars in the Middle East to be avoided where possible?”

        True enough, but when have the best interests of the American people ever been considered in the formulation of policy? In common usage, “national interests” or “American interests” almost always refers to the interests of the American 1%. Currently, the US is a militarized national security state that is engaged in endless war to secure global hegemony. The business of the US is war, which is one reason why our warfare spending (“defense” spending) is about half of the global total, completely inconsistent with a peaceful foreign policy. Empires and militarism go hand in hand. So claiming that one set of elite policy priorities somehow equates to the national interest is spurious. Our military are there to pursue full spectrum dominance, not promote peace and goodwill toward men. And retired General Mattis is a career militarist and imperialist, not an advocate for the American people.

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 5:24 pm

        @ James Canning
        Yes, and, adding insult to injury, the Israel First crowd running everything American even slightly impinging on Israel is paid for by the cash-strapped US masses; consider that Israel benefits from 20% of all foreign aid funds, not counting the interest paid to Israel, or the underwriting of Israeli debt for nothing, and the endless MOU and trade agreement benefiting much more Israel than the US. And we won’t talk about Israel’s selling reverse engineered US weapons and tek products, and its steady violation of US patents. Nor will we mention things domestic, like the fact that 80% of ALL us funding of community protection against terrorism goes to 2% of the population.

      • elisehendrick
        July 25, 2013, 9:07 pm

        “karen – – One might assume it is in the national interest of the American people, for wars in the Middle East to be avoided where possible?”

        Not the American people who own oil and arms stock. Middle East peace is the last thing those Americans want. So much for national interests.

  14. Denis
    July 21, 2013, 5:19 pm

    Kerry is pushing a Devil’s deal if ever there was one. When GoI agrees to anything as momentous as this and starts releasing Palestinian prisoners, you can bet a bunch of Muslims are going to die somewhere. My bet is they’ll be Shia.

    Kerry currently has EU doing the dirty work of wielding the stick to get BiBi in line w/out AIPAC squealing at Obama. That’s smart, but where’s the carrot?

    The carrot is US agreeing to get on board with bombing the b’jeezus out of Iran.

    Here’s the deal that’s coming down the pike. 1) The West Bank Palestinians (Hamas will never sign onto this Devil’s deal) will get the Israeli monkey off their back and they will be permitted to administer their own land but not deploy a military. 2) Israel will get both the EU and Iranian monkeys off its back. 3) Iranians will get pounded into the mud with US GBUs and, possibly, GoI tactical nukes.

    A win for the Israelis. A win for Obama. A win for the Sunnis. A loss for the Iranians and other Shia. But there’s more . . .

    Without Iran, Assad will fold his cards and end up in the Moscow airport with Snowden. Double win for Obama and Israel. But there’s more . . .

    Without Assad and Iran, Hezbollah will have to crawl into a hole somewhere. Triple win.

    After Obama leaves office GoI will do a false flag missile attack from Hebron and use that as an excuse to re-occupy. Then we’ll be back to square 1 for Palestine and GoI will be able to continue toward its manifest destiny in the Levant.

    Mark my words — a deal on Palestine guarantees that Iran will get attacked, and I’m not talkin’ stuxnet.

    What’s missing here is what bone will Obama throw to China to sit this out. With China on the sidelines, Russia won’t think of intervening.

    Well, here’s a clue: China is currently taking more than 50% of the Iraqi oil. China would be more than happy to stay out of a dust up with Iran — maybe they’ll get the lion’s share of that oil, too.

    Trump had this much right, as long as “we” and “we’re” doesn’t include Israel:

    We spend $1.5 trillion, we lose thousands of lives, we destroy a country … but China is in there taking out all the oil, and we’re getting nothing …

    link to businessinsider.com

    • James Canning
      July 22, 2013, 2:09 pm

      @Denis – – Hamas leaders have indicated Hamas will accept Israel within 1967 borders. Subject to conditions.

      • hophmi
        July 22, 2013, 2:33 pm

        “Hamas leaders have indicated Hamas will accept Israel within 1967 borders. Subject to conditions.”

        Why is it that when Hamas leaders say something that is plainly at odds with both their charter and their rhetoric, you take it at face value?

      • Denis
        July 23, 2013, 12:06 am

        James, yes, Hamas has moderated its position and has opened the possibility of signing onto a deal based on the 1949 (aka 1967) border, Jerusalem as the Palestinian capitol, refugee problem “resolved”, and no recognition of Israel.

        Here’s a recent al-Monitor interview with dpty foreign minister Ghazi Hamad supporting your comment.

        link to al-monitor.com

        I was thinking along the lines that if Hamas sees GoI as giving up the West Bank in return for US attacking Iran, I don’t think Hamas would ever get on board that train. But maybe. I never really understand how the Sunni/Shia hatreds are balanced against the Muslim/Jewish hatreds in the area. It seems too fluid to really analyze with the way GoI plays Sunni against Shia.

        I don’t think the border issue, per se, would be important enough to Hamas to give up Iran unless there is a provision for connecting WB and Gaza, as in the 1947 borders. Egypt already has the Sinai back, essentially, so a deal to go back to 1949 borders wouldn’t help Gaza. Now, if they could work a deal back to the 1947 borders, Hamas would go along with about anything.

      • James Canning
        July 23, 2013, 7:28 pm

        Thanks, Denis. And let’s remember Hamas accepted the 2002 Saudi peace plan (as part of the Unity gov’t of Palestine).
        Hamas has backed the insurgents in Syria, which obviously does not score points in Tehran.

  15. atime forpeace
    July 21, 2013, 5:36 pm

    Listen to how he speaks of Iran and Venezuela after bragging how well Yemen has come along, he says….

    “There is a way to have a democratic gov’t, but it does not have to be one that is run by IMPERIOUS HAUGHTY moralistic kind of my way or the highway politically islamic leaders who put the religion first, and you take a look at iran, they can’t win the affection of their own people, they can’t run an economy, they’ve infuriated the world, they have no strategic ally; regional worldwide, i wouldn’t count Venezuela when they had the little fat guy in charge as a strategic ally, so you see these failures and the best thing you can do is something like a muslim brotherhood…”

    Smooth, if you change a few words around he could be talking about The beacon of Democracy, the indispensable nation, led by moralistic kind of my way or the highway politically democratic leaders, the light unto the nations, that shining city on a hill with a thousand points of light shining on the world…peddling Democracy the God that failed across the globe at the point of a gun, whose willing coalitions have to be bribed or threatened to join them in their murderous romps across the globe making the world safe for hegemony.

    what hypocrites these elitist be!
    this doesn’t sound like a friend to peace to me.
    he does at least understand as he mentions early on, that it would bankrupt the country.

  16. jewishgoyim
    July 21, 2013, 5:53 pm

    I wonder how familiar this guy is with the Israel Lobby. He’s probably not reading Mondoweiss everyday but I wonder if he realizes to what extent he is probably getting on Blitzer’s nerves by saying what he is saying on Israel. Does he know Blitzer worked for AIPAC for instance? Not that he would not say it if he knew but does he get this kind of subtleties?

    He is 100% behind “the Iranians using an alcoholic car salesman” theory for the first ever deadly terrorist attack in the US (through some Mexican drugs cartel…). This seemed like an obvious manipulation and it surprised no one that the Obama administration did not really act on it. Is he not so smart or does he know things that we don’t? Was he taken in by this plot? Can he be this misinformed?

    Or did the Iranians really used an alcoholic used car salesman to hand the US the best casus belli ever on a golden platter? Really? Or is he really propagandizing on Iran? Pure and simple? It boggles the mind.

  17. Keith
    July 21, 2013, 6:03 pm

    I find myself deeply troubled by many of the comments on this thread. Such enthusiastic support for empire and militarism! “American interests” is a vague term usually associated with the interests of some group of the 1%, but misrepresented as beneficial to the 99% of Americans, the interests of the planet’s remaining 99% not even considered. As a general rule of thumb, American foreign and domestic policy is focused on the 1%, not the 99%, unless accidentally. Additionally, a former high-ranking imperial militarist is excessively lauded as if militarism is the key to our problems, rather than the cause of much worldwide suffering. Military spending and military aid need to be dramatically reduced, yet, retired General Mattis makes no such recommendation. No surprise there. Yet, he and his comments are lauded by my fellow Mondoweissers much like the Egyptian military is lauded by deluded Egyptians, and for similar reasons. Have I missed something?

    • seanmcbride
      July 22, 2013, 9:10 am

      Keith wrote:

      Have I missed something?

      Yes — most of us aren’t communists or boilerplate ultra-leftists.

    • Citizen
      July 22, 2013, 10:50 am

      @ Keith
      Yeah, you missed that although most of here regularly on MW see that Mattis is just an old soldier, still serving what OWS (remember them?) called the 1% (See facts on increasing income/wealth gap for last 30 years put out by CBO), he at least pointed out that our very special relationship with Israel harms us. We are always thankful for anybody of the slightest influence who brings even vague, abstract attention to that cancer on America.

    • Ellen
      July 23, 2013, 5:05 am

      Yes, Keith you are missing something. The official line from the US political “leaders” is that endless support of Isreal is in our long term interest, including personal security. That we must support Isreal because it is an island in the middle east, surrounded by bogey men who do not like us. (Just an example, ref. a letter from Roy Blount published here.) The lie is yet again exposed.

      we now have US Generals, telling us the opposite. That on going irrational support of the Israel enterprise is undermining us.

      Point is: the stated reasons by our elite and political class for supporting Isreal (that it in our security interest) is a lie.

      Our elites and politicians do not care about what is in the best interest of the American people.

      • Keith
        July 23, 2013, 1:31 pm

        ELLEN- “Yes, Keith you are missing something.”

        Pity that your comment doesn’t indicate what I am missing.

        “Point is: the stated reasons by our elite and political class for supporting Isreal (that it in our security interest) is a lie.”

        This is what you think I am missing? Jeez, Ellen, virtually all of US foreign and domestic policy is misrepresented to hide elite objectives. This brings nothing new to the conversation.

        Point is, Ellen, your comment ignored the essence of my comment. While it is right and proper to criticize Israel and Zionism, the de facto support for imperialism and militarists in evidence on this thread as a result of some perceived anti-Zionist position is morally untenable and foolhardy. Some slight change in imperial tactics to deemphasize Israel does not make the new policy laudable. And cheering on career militarists is a loosing proposition. That is what I was referring to in regards to the current popularity of the Egyptian military seen as the saviors of the Egyptian people from the ‘evil’ Muslim Brotherhood. Anyone who thinks that the Egyptian military represents the best interests of the Egyptian people needs a reality check. Two years after the initial uprising the Egyptian people are in worse shape than ever. Likewise, anyone who doesn’t understand that retired General Mattis represents some segment of the 1% is engaged in self-deception. I sometimes get the impression that there is a core of Mondoweiss commenters who would support the Devil if they thought that he was an anti-Zionist.

        I hope this comment goes through. A comment I made yesterday (7/22) at 5:17pm languishes in moderation even as your comment made 12 hours later sails through. This occurs quite regularly in my case.

  18. Blank State
    July 21, 2013, 6:09 pm

    So what constitutes “failure” on Kerry’s part?

    If he and Obama, in collusion with the zionists, allow Israel to continue stealing land, while acting out this shameless charade about renewed negotiations, it can be considered a success on Kerry’s part, not a failure.

    Is there really anyone watching this scam unfold that believes it is a legitimate effort to mediate in a fair manner? This is just one more betrayal committed against the Palestinian people, casting this despicable bigot Netanyahu as one willing to seek peace and just settlement with the Palestinians. Its a scam, an act, that Obama and Kerry are staging, and the zionists are directing the play.

  19. Jinjirrie
    July 21, 2013, 8:52 pm

    Don’t you love it when imperialists like Mattis whine even harder than liberal zionists, attempting duplicitously to defend the empire’s non-existent ‘good name’? How useful Israel is as a smokescreen for empire, and even the empire’s minions believe the propaganda.

  20. Karl Dubhe
    July 21, 2013, 9:18 pm

    It really is worth the time to listen to the whole video.

    At the 37 minute mark he starts to compare the war on terror to the conflict (“constant skirmishing”)between the USA and the Native Americans. That is after Wolfie compares it to the never ending war on (some) drugs. I found it interesting to hear a former leader of the military make such an analogy, and it’s a wee bit disturbing to be honest.

    I heard the general give serious credence to the Zimmerman Telegram, and other myths of how others had done the USA wrong. :) (yes, I’m being bad and stretching it a wee bit.)

    The thing that I did like about his talk is his insistence that the cost of military operations be recognized. Not to mention the chance of success in using the same old hammer that’s been used so often in the past. He wasn’t willing to condemn the results of the latest war against Iraq, (and wolfie did seem to misuse/switch the name Iraq for Iran, at least one time that I noticed.) which wasn’t surprising, but he wasn’t as enthusiastic about the results was he?

    The USA has long been known for being more of a danger to their allies, than their enemies. Even though I think that’s true, the alliance is still more valuable than the potential cost. I was surprised to hear him whine about that. I expected him to joke about it. :)

    I know I’m not focusing on the P/I remarks. Delete it if you want. :)

    • Hostage
      July 22, 2013, 6:25 am

      I heard the general give serious credence to the Zimmerman Telegram, and other myths of how others had done the USA wrong. :) (yes, I’m being bad and stretching it a wee bit.)

      The Zimmerman Telegram was authentic. The U.S. Naval Institute, hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy since 1873, just published Thomas Boghardt’s, The Zimmerman Telegram: Intelligence, Diplomacy, and America’s Entry Into World War I, in 2012.

      The only questions are 1) whether or not Zionists, like Nahum Goldmann, working in the Jewish division of the German Foreign Ministry were behind the hair-brained proposal or tipped-off the British government so it could make the intercept and 2) whether or not the telegram was a significant factor in the decision to go to war.

      The Zionists certainly had the means, motive, and opportunity to do it and many inside and outside the U.S. government were looking for any excuse to reap some of the spoils of war. I’ve never seen any conclusive proof, one way or the other.

      In any event, we know that the Zionists played both sides against one another and that Germany engaged in the same form of propaganda about a Jewish national home in Palestine as Balfour & the UK government and pressured their Ottoman allies to support the scheme.

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 12:56 pm

        RE: “In any event, we know that the Zionists played both sides against one another and that Germany engaged in the same form of propaganda about a Jewish national home in Palestine as Balfour & the UK government and pressured their Ottoman allies to support the scheme.”

        Yes, this is correct history. Zionism has played a key part leading to US involvement in WW1, which lead directly via Versailles, to WW2, which lead to Holocaust, which lead to counterpunch legitimacy of Israel by “the nations,” which lead to current state of affairs, (with Palestinian people the innocent victims incurring sympathy of entire arab/Muslim world) with Israel-US “special relationship,” which seems to be leading to WW3 via Iran.

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 1:28 pm

        More on Goldmann, Mister German Reparations: link to h-net.org

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 1:36 pm

        More:
        In his book “Mein Leben als deutscher Jude” (“My Life as a German Jew”), Dr. Nahum Goldmann describes the “phenomenal rise of German Jewry” as follows:

        “German Jewry, which found its temporary end during the Nazi period, was one of the most interesting and for modern Jewish history most influential centers of European Jewry. During the era of emancipation, i.e. in the second half of the nineteenth and in the early twentieth century, it had experienced a meteoric rise…. It had fully participated in the rapid industrial rise of Imperial Germany, made a substantial contribution to it and acquired a renowned position in German economic life. Seen from the economic point of view, no Jewish minority in any other country, not even that in America could possibly compete with the German Jews. They were involved in large scale banking, a situation unparallelled elsewhere, and, by way of high finance, they had also penetrated German industry. A considerable portion of the wholesale trade was Jewish. They controlled even such branches of industry which is in general not in Jewish hands. Examples are shipping or the electrical industry, and names such as Ballin and Rathenau do confirm this statement. I hardly know of any other branch of emancipated Jewry in Europe or the American continent that was as deeply rooted in the general economy as was German Jewry. American Jews of today are absolutely as well as relatively richer than the German Jews were at the time, it is true, but even in America with its unlimited possibilities the Jews have not succeeded in penetrating into the central spheres of industry (steel, iron, heavy industry, high finance, shipping), as was the case in Germany.
        Their position in the intellectual life of the country was equally unique. In literature, they were represented by illustrious names. The theatre was largely in their hands. The daily press, above all its internationally influential sector, was essentually owned by Jews or controlled by them. As paradoxical as this may sound today, after the Hitler era, I have no hesitation to say that hardly any section of the Jewish people has made such extensive use of the emancipation offered to them in the nineteenth century as the German Jews! In short, the history of the Jews in Germany from 1870 to 1933 is probably the most glorious rise that has ever been achieved by any branch of the Jewish people”. (p. 116)

        “The majority of the German Jews were never fully assimilated and were much more Jewish than the Jews in other West European countries”. (p.120)

        “My work in those years was essentially of a propagandistic nature. I was too young and unknown to play a part in the leading circles of Germany, let alone of world Zionism, which was partially controlled from Berlin”. (p. 121)

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2013, 1:40 pm

        Can’t find much on Goldmann’s influrence while he worked for the WW1 German government. This doesn’t even mention it: link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

        Anybody provide more info?

  21. southernobserver
    July 21, 2013, 10:09 pm

    An outstandingly plain and useful statement.

    A reasonable person might venture to disagree on one point. The disputed-territories-of-self-described-Israel inside the 1967 borders are already a solidly established apartheid state. Non-jews have access to less than 10% of the land, they are forced to live in different areas/towns, attend different schools, receive different levels of funding and are subject to different laws.

    This discrimination is largely religious/theocratic or ethnic as you please. Serious, well established apartheid all the same. This would not be changed by withdrawal to the 1967.

    Since disputed-territories-of-Israel are _accelerating_ the take over of the remaining disputed-territories of Palestine, it is obviously not happening.

  22. Krauss
    July 21, 2013, 10:55 pm

    As Max Blumenthal knows, the bombshell here isn’t what Mattis says(it’s unremarkable in it’s normalcy), it is that he says it at such an elite event like Aspen.

    It would have been even better if he went out and said it before retirement.
    We still have to contend with bigots and crazies like Abe Foxman, however.

    • Kathleen
      July 22, 2013, 1:36 pm

      For years I attended the Aspen Institute talks. The neocons seemed to really get hold of this debate in the early 80’s. This is a breakthrough. Ever see the Wolf Blitzer/Norman Finkelstein debate? Priceless

    • libra
      July 23, 2013, 6:54 pm

      Krauss: We still have to contend with bigots and crazies like Abe Foxman, however.

      The Bigotfinder General is a bigot himself! Surely this can’t be true?

  23. john h
    July 22, 2013, 4:20 am

    What a depressing array of comments. What an evil and cruel world has been created and/or colluded with by “the land of the free”. Shared values. Hypocrisy, narcissism, exceptionalism, and power at any cost for any purpose. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  24. yonah fredman
    July 22, 2013, 7:49 am

    Failure of the Kerry peace process is a safe bet, although I pray for longer shots all the time.

    I think those who tell us that the generals do not consider Iran a threat now have to deny that Mattis says what he says vis a vis Iran and its nuclear capabilities and actions. I know everyone likes to pick and choose what to listen to and what to emphasize, but Mattis says that Iran has enriched uranium beyond the point of usefulness for peaceful purposes and therefore it is clear that their intentions are not peaceful, although as of yet, they have not started a process of further enrichment that would take about a year from its start (not a year from its discovery) to result in weapons’ grade uranium.

    Also his comments on Hezbollah and the Bulgarian terrorist attack do not resemble much of the rhetoric we hear here on MW.

    But his comments on the price of the Israel Palestine conflict on American interests are important and worthy of bookmarking.

    • James Canning
      July 25, 2013, 1:57 pm

      @yonah – – I assume you are aware the George W. Bush administration in effect forced Iran to begin enriching uranium to 20 percent.

      Act of gross stupidity, in your view?

  25. giladg
    July 22, 2013, 8:59 am

    It’s a myth the think that the problems in the Arab countries have anything to do with the Israel/Palestine issue, and it is even a bigger myth to think that the US will be showered with love and appreciation as they continue to turn their backs on the Jewish State. As some in the US turn their back on Israel, it appears that the opposite is happening. Anyone see those posters in Cairo recently? The ones with Obama.

    • James Canning
      July 25, 2013, 2:04 pm

      @giladg – – Sanctions against Syria helped lead to unrest that sadly grew into insurgency. Those sanctions in turn had a great deal to do with Israel’s failure to accept the peace offers made time and again by Syria over the years.

  26. James Canning
    July 22, 2013, 1:53 pm

    Bravo for a clear warning from an important US general, regarding damage to US national security interests caused by foolish US Congress and its continuing support for illegal colonisation programme in the West Bank by Israel.

    • Citizen
      July 22, 2013, 5:53 pm

      Yeah, it’s just all over the mainstream media, every news infotainment host is telling Dick and Jane what our honored General is saying about the AIPAC chain around our neck, with its tough leather strap and thousand nodes of Zionist lights.

  27. NickJOCW
    July 22, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Zionism in the sense of the active involvement of its super rich is comfortably nestled within a much broader reality. The 1% is not an exclusively US reality. It exists in Europe and probably almost everywhere, it is supra-national and its loyalties, like those of European aristocrats in the Middle Ages, are as much if not more to each other within their elitist system as to this or that nation. The wealthy Zionists are part of that. Peace does not serve them any more than it did aristocrats in the historical past. They don’t need states or police, they live in gated enclaves and pay their own security guards, they pay for their medical needs and their children’s education, they don’t need social services or public transport, they pay little or no tax. They don’t give a damn. Change has to arise from below and the danger is that the urgency that unites disparate groups too often leads to sectarian chaos, indeed sectarian division is one of the principal tools elites employ to keep change at bay. It is far easier to unite disparate groups against something, like the anti-Mubarak uprising, than to keep them together later when it comes to a plan for the future. I believe we need to cultivate the fraternité embodied in the French revolution, but globally. That is the only glue that will bind us all and set us all free. It’s an elusive concept but look at the way Morsi’s son manages to stay with it. link to youtube.com

  28. lysias
    July 22, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Corey Booker, the very pro-Israel contender for the Democratic nomination for Frank Lautenberg’s seat in the Senate, is getting financial support from the usual suspects: The Hill: Spielberg, Geffen lead parade of stars donating to boost Booker’s Senate bid:

    Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) got a big assist from a bevy of A-list celebrities — including Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and “Alias” actress Jennifer Garner — who helped push his second quarter fundraising haul to $4.6 million.

    According to the Bergen Record, Booker received the maximum $10,400 donation from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and heiress Ivanka Trump.Trump is hosting a fundraiser for Booker at her Manhattan home this week.

    . . .

    Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape, and his wife both gave the maximum amount to Booker as well.

    Other tech donors include Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, who gave $5,200, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who gave $10,400.

    Hollywood also gave big to Booker, with “Lost” producer J.J. Abrams giving the maximum amount. DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen gave $5,200; actress Jennifer Garner gave $5,000; and director Steven Spielberg and his wife both gave $2,600.

    Booker has well-publicized relationships with a number of celebrities, most notably Oprah Winfrey and Zuckerberg, whom he lobbied for a $100 million donation to the Newark school system in 2010.

    Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald supports Booker’s opponent Rush Holt.

  29. Joseph Glatzer
    July 22, 2013, 5:06 pm

    Who are “Arab settlers”? And who are these so-called “Arabs”? Is there any such thing as PALESTINIANS? Fuck this guy. Speeches like this have been given for decades about the “last chance for the two state solution” and their only intended purpose is to postpone the end of colonialism and apartheid in Palestine. Every time they say these supposed warnings “time running out” or whatever it just puts time on the clock which was gone DECADES ago.

    Furthermore what he’s saying is, “It’s almost two late to corral Palestinians into Indian reservations which we’ll call ‘Palestine’ and maintain the settler colony Israel for the long run”. Is this really something we should celebrating?

    Speeches like this are part of the problem and are nothing to celebrate. They should only be seen as a recognition of the writing on the wall that the reality is always worse for Israel than what these pronouncements claim.

  30. yonah fredman
    July 24, 2013, 4:45 am

    Mattis’s words regarding the cost of US support for Israel should be bookmarked.

    We should also note his contention that Iran has enriched uranium past the point of usefulness for peaceful purposes.

    We should also note his contention that Hezbollah was responsible for the terrorist attack in Bulgaria. Since this has been posted the EU has labelled the military wing of Hezbollah as terrorist due to that attack.

Leave a Reply