Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler

US Politics
on 75 Comments

Last night Chris Matthews did a Hardball segment titled, “How Hillary Became a Hawk,” with Mark Landler, whose reporting for the New York Times on Clinton’s foreign policy has been so electrifying in recent weeks. Landler just published a book called Alter Egos, about the struggle over foreign policy between (secretary of state) Hillary Clinton and (president) Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton “was most willing to see interventions ending with a good outcome. That’s what made her very different from President Obama who I think generally viewed interventions as ending with a bad outcome,” Landler said.

Landler: She still defaults to the belief that American intervention can be a good thing. Obama simply had a different view of these interventions… The Iraq war was for him a formative foreign policy experience. Probably the most important one he had, and the one he brought into office with him. Where she had seen some things work out well. The Balkan intervention–

Matthews: Her key decision politically which hurt her in the 2008 race was supporting the authorization for going to war in Iraq. How did she turn on that… How did she get to that decision. How has she reviewed it since?

Landler: First of all, She’s acknowledged that was a mistake

Matthews: What’s that mean, though, what’s mistake mean?

Landler: OK, she’s acknoweldged that was a mistake because she said she wasn’t given access to the full intelligence dossier, right?

Matthews: That’s not a mistake.

Landler: And the point is she didn’t read the full NIE that actually talked about whether Saddam had weapons of mass destruction or not.

Matthews: Well did he have nuclear weapons? I’ve got no evidence that ever have suggested we knew or thought he did. But they sold it.

Landler: That’s right. She sort of hung it on her being deceived by the administration when the argument is she probably didn’t do adequate due diligence to figure out the truth.

Matthews: Why did she want to vote yes?

Landler: I think it was a combination of what I said earlier, which is her own instincts, plus you have to also acknowledge, New York senator, post-9/11, worried about her own–

Matthews: Concerned about Israel, too.

Landler: Precisely. Worried about her own possible political future.

Gosh I wonder how much of that “Precisely” is in Landler’s book. He’s an establishment cat; they sniff at this stuff and walk away usually.

Congratulations to Chris Matthews for thinking this continuously over the years and letting it slip now and then, as he did here, in august company, and got an echo. So Matthews got protection on the thinking from a New York Times reporter. This is evidence that Steve Walt and John Mearsheimer’s thesis of ten years ago– that the Iraq war would not have happened without the Israel lobby pushing — is becoming conventional wisdom, now that the lobby split over the Iran war vote and the Iraq war is ancient history. It was this charge that led Jeffrey Goldberg and Alan Dershowitz to smear Walt and Mearsheimer as anti-Semites. Who will go after Landler and Matthews? And where were Matthews and Landler when the lobby was telling us that black is white? And again: I wonder how much of that “Precisely” is in Landler’s book. Any of it?

Remember that Landler has reported that in trying to hobble her successor John Kerry’s negotiations with Iran in 2012 and 2013, Hillary Clinton was “swayed by… Netanyahu.”

Remember that Netanyahu — whom Hillary Clinton has promised she will invite to the White House within days of her arrival there — told the Congress in 2002 that if we just took out Saddam Hussein the Middle East would be transformed. The master propagandist that Hillary Clinton listened to:

If you take out Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region…

Remember that Jerrold Nadler explained the Israel lobby’s political pressure when he voted for the Iran deal. He got the same pressure over his vote against the Iraq war:

I took a lot of criticism for my vote, and both my American patriotism and my commitment to Israel were questioned

(BTW, MSNBC blacked out the spine of Landler’s book when it showed the book’s image on air, I bet so as to deny an advertising opportunity to Random House/Bertelsmann. Weird.)

More in the Clinton file. This is disgraceful. Brianna Gurciullo of Politico reports on a Bill Clinton appearance in New Jersey, where someone in the audience engaged him about Hillary Clinton’s position on Palestine. Bill Clinton blames the imprisoned people of Gaza for being sneaky and violent, and says he “killed himself” to get a Palestinian state. Well maybe he shouldn’t have been Israel’s lawyer on that deal.

But the Sanders effect is also visible: you can see that Clinton is on the defensive over Palestinian children getting killed.

“They were human beings in Gaza,” the audience member said.

“Yes, they were,” Clinton said. “And Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas, and they are smart.”

The line prompted applause, and he continued: “They said they try to put the Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents. They’re good at it. They’re smart. They’ve been doing this a long time.”

“I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state. I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza,” Clinton said.

He then praised Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, for setting up meetings between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“There’s nobody who’s blameless in the Middle East, but we cannot really ever make a fundamental difference in the Middle East unless the Israelis think we care whether they live or die. If they do, we have a chance to keep pushing for peace,” Clinton said. “And that’s her position. Not to agree with the Israeli government on everything, not to pretend that innocents don’t die, not to pretend that more Palestinian children don’t die than Israeli children. But that we can’t get anything done unless they believe, when the chips are down, if somebody comes for them we will not let them be wiped out and become part of the dustbin of history.”

Did you see where he says that Israel could be “wiped out.” By Palestinians firing rockets? Is he crazy? This is pure propaganda. It is Holocaust fever.

Also, I’d note that Clinton got applause for this in New Jersey. So the Democratic Party is divided on this issue, as Pew informed us. It’s worth breaking the party over the issue; and a lot of Democrats share my belief on that score, and many of them will be in Philadelphia this summer.

About Philip Weiss

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

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75 Responses

  1. just
    May 14, 2016, 10:46 am

    Thanks for pulling it together, Phil. The truths keep a- comin’. The question is whether the American people will pay attention, understand, or even care…

    Good for Chris Matthews~ too bad he doesn’t go the distance and stay the course.

    I absolutely love this line, btw: “He’s an establishment cat; they sniff at this stuff and walk away usually.”

  2. lysias
    May 14, 2016, 10:57 am

    Why doesn’t the Politico article say where in New Jersey this took place? Was it in some heavily Jewish town like Fair Lawn?

    Meanwhile, the MSM blackout on Jill Stein continues. Just like they blacked out Sanders until he started winning primaries and they had no choice but to cover him.

    • just
      May 14, 2016, 11:01 am

      The Haaretz article that I referenced earlier did, lysias:

      “Bill Clinton defended his positions on the Arab-Israeli conflict at a campaign event for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, on Friday, Politico reported.

      While the former president was speaking at the event in Ewing Township, New Jersey, an attendee yelled, “What about Gaza?””

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/recent-comments/#sthash.Xq2WHB8J.dpuf

      • lysias
        May 14, 2016, 11:04 am

        Thanks. Ewing is, I believe, a suburb between Trenton and Princeton. I know nothing about its ethnic makeup.

      • just
        May 14, 2016, 11:09 am
      • Kay24
        May 15, 2016, 4:28 pm

        Talking about NJ it seems Cory Booker and the NJ senate has gone over to the dark side.
        What those shekels and having zionists representing you can do.

        “New Jersey Politicians on the Verge of Voting to Suppress Residents Who Support Palestinians’ Human Rights
        New Jersey seems ready to join a growing number of states have voted to punish companies that support the BDS movement.”

        http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/new-jersey-dems-vote-suppress-residents-who-support-palestinians-human-rights

      • Citizen
        May 16, 2016, 3:44 am

        There’s a Jewish Community Center located in Ewing, NJ. Buildings went up in the 1950s. I think it is, or was once called the Trenton JCC; I think some of the facilities were sold off since then. Basically, Ewing is next door to Trenton. There was a big industrial building nearby and this was frowned upon by some of the Jewish Community during the building of the center and subsequently.

  3. HarryLaw
    May 14, 2016, 12:53 pm

    Clinton sounds like Golda Meir. “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”
    Now if only the US will take out Iran and Hezbollah for Israel, just like Iraq, Israel will be a lot safer, we already know from H Clinton’s e-mails “Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted”.,https://wikileaks.org/clinton-emails/emailid/18328 Syria is a work in progress. It is likely Israel would like to smash up the whole of the middle east, purely for peace of mind, and would be willing to fight to the last US serviceman to do it.

    • Citizen
      May 16, 2016, 3:51 am

      Hillary, like all of elected & politically appointed Washington DC, still never mention to the US public Israel has had the bomb for years.

  4. yonah fredman
    May 14, 2016, 4:37 pm

    “It’s worth breaking the party over the issue.” Thus sayeth Phil Weiss. And if breaking the party results in a trump presidency?

    • yonah fredman
      May 14, 2016, 11:24 pm

      But of course, the democratic party should reform itself and the Jewish people should reform itself, but purists like Phil Weiss advocating “poison” and “breaking” are not allies, but gadflies.

    • traintosiberia
      May 15, 2016, 9:43 am

      National Interest interviewed Trump

      It was a refreshing break from the hackneyed time worn repetitive echo generating mantra of American indispensability ,exceptionalism and leadership Nothing like this has been heard from a Republican foreign policy candidate in decades. Trump doesn’t want to modify the party’s foreign policy stands. He’s out to destroy them.”

      [Heilbrunn is the editor of The National Interest, publication of the Nixon Center, ] — it continues ”

      This is why perhaps his most significant statement was: ‘I will also look for talented experts with new approaches, and practical ideas, rather than surrounding myself with those who have perfect résumés but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war.’ What Trump is talking about is dispensing with an entire wing of the GOP that has controlled the commanding heights of foreign policy over recent decades.”

      Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which led to one foreign policy disaster after another.

      “They just kept coming and coming. We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.

      “We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.”

      http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/04/28/the-trump-test/

      Trump sounds more confident and sure he is damned right also .
      A Trump presidency or someone with this philosophy can create domino effects domestically
      Politician now devoid of the career enhancing opportunities of mass killing abroad will have to look back and be forced to address the domestic issues .They will fight over who is better in building roads,schools,universities.laboratories,manufacturing units,docks,and ports . They have to decide on minimum wages and student loan ,on drug problem on universal health care .

      Now on Clinton- Can the world afford her ?

      “Washington Coup in Brazil? Was Incoming President US Embassy Informant?
      by Daniel McAdams, May 14, 2016 http://www.antiwar.com) Can Honduras see light at the end of her tunnel vision that only points to her upward journey ?

      “Neocon character assassin Jamie Kirchick, writing in the European edition of Politico, put a new gloss on it by claiming to detect a Vast Kremlin Conspiracy as the animating spirit behind the Trump campaign. ” and Neoocns will rather vote for Stalin.
      [
      Are we surprised why the conspiracy theory is now in vogue and suddenly turned into insight?]

      and they are ready to desert the common sense approach and go back to “- “Which is why they are even now returning to the Democratic party, channeling the long departed spirit of “Scoop” Jackson – and good riddance to them. I” http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/04/28/the-trump-test/

    • ritzl
      May 15, 2016, 10:29 am

      Then the Dem ptb will think harder about it all next time – and do better.

      If they don’t do better – more forcefully representat an alternate, non-plutocratic message – they’ll lose again.

      Eventually someone will get the message.

  5. pabelmont
    May 14, 2016, 4:54 pm

    “[T]hat the Iraq war would not have happened without the Israel lobby pushing — is becoming conventional wisdom, now that the lobby split over the Iran war vote and the Iraq war is ancient history.” ?? Since when is the lobby split? Suddenly JVP and maybe J-Street are on-a-par with AIPAC? Don’t think so.

    But I do begin to think that the Democratic Party (even, just barely possibly, some of the insiders) are beginning to question absolute obsequious obedience to Israel. And the young, with sanders as cheerleader, are far ahead of the party regulars.

    It is so important for us, the alternative press, to hammer away at the stupidity of the Israeli claim to be fearful (or, let us say, to be reasonably fearful) of being wiped out by those ineffective rockets (little better than fireworks) from Gaza which almost never hit anything. why have no serious rockets hit Israel from Lebanon (Hezbollah) or Syria in all these years? Because the would-be shooters, in any, fear Israel too much to start that sort of thing. All this is clear. Israel’s “fear” is pure political theater.

  6. US Citizen
    May 14, 2016, 7:10 pm

    Got some news for you Bill. As a lawyer and former Sec. of State it looks like you and Hillary need a refresher in international law:

    Reviewing a few facts of international law relating to occupation, and Israel’s blatant and constant violations of them, may be helpful:

    Law: An occupying power must not move its own citizens permanently onto the occupied nation’s land. Temporarily housing soldiers on a short-term basis there to maintain peace and the safety of the occupied people is allowed.
    Israeli violations: Israel has moved over half a million Israelis into the West Bank, and Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu has stated categorically that not one of them will be removed.

    Law: The people of the occupied lands must not be displaced permanently.
    Israeli violations: Millions of Palestinians have been forced from their homes to make room for illegal Israeli settlers.

    Law: The culture of the occupied land must be respected.
    Israeli violations: Israel has done much to destroy and obliterate the culture of Palestine. The destruction of entire towns and villages, mosques and historical sites is ongoing. In one particularly egregious example, Israel bulldozed the ancient Ma’man Allah cemetery, dating at least to the 12th century and possibly earlier, and constructed a ‘Museum of Tolerance’ on the site.

    Law: The occupying power must ensure the safety of the occupied peoples.
    Israeli violations: Bombing the Gaza Strip, breaking into the homes of Palestinians in the West Bank at all hours of the day and night, arresting men, women and children without charge, shooting peaceful protesters in the back, cannot be seen as ensuring their safety, and protesting these atrocious crimes does not make one anti-Semitic.

  7. US Citizen
    May 14, 2016, 7:11 pm

    Big Bad Palestine is treating itty bitty tiny Israel badly.
    One struggles to keep one’s stomach settled when reading such drivel from Bill.
    Please answer these questions Bill on behalf of your “wife”.

    Where is the demand that Israel renounce violence and recognize Palestine?

    Please define exactly what the US “national interest” is with Israel.

    Why is ineffectual resistance to brutal occupation considered terrorism, yet the occupation itself, which takes a horrific toll on all Palestinians on a daily basis, considered acceptable?

    By totally erasing any nod, any mention, any compassion toward the slaughter of Palestinian children, women and men in their homes, schools and hospitals, Hillary Clinton makes a mockery of her touted Methodist upbringing and her declared concern for children everywhere.

    With all her self-regarded experience in foreign affairs she continually backs state terrorism against millions of Arab Palestinians trapped in two enclaves, surrounded by walls, military outposts, and suffering from deep poverty, including widespread diseases and severe anemia among Palestinian infants and children.

    Hillary has shown little understanding that her work as Secretary of State was a catastrophe for the Middle East. Her public statements seem to be a combination of mendacity, compartmentalization, and ignorance.

    As a member of the Quartet she did nothing of substance for solving the I/P issue. Not to mention being a whore for AIPAC/Israel Lobby. She has also pleased her financiers. She has again vowed to strengthen U.S.-Israel ties, fight BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction), and strengthen the Israeli military machine. The woman is a sociopathic, narcissist menace to US society.

    • Mooser
      May 15, 2016, 3:45 pm

      “The woman is a sociopathic, narcissist menace to US society.”

      I’m hoping her husband will keep her in line.

      • irishmoses
        May 17, 2016, 10:02 am

        Hah. That was funny.

      • Mooser
        May 17, 2016, 12:26 pm

        “Hah. That was funny.”

        It might be now. It won’t be for very long.

      • MHughes976
        May 17, 2016, 12:35 pm

        Now you mention it, quite terrifyingly funny on several levels.

  8. Bandolero
    May 15, 2016, 7:10 am

    Remembering the remarks of JJ Goldberg at JStreet with reference to opensecrets, that Dems get almost all their big money from jews, here’s a quick check of the list of Opensecrets’ list of Hillary’s top donors 2016 – just going around in German alternative media:

    https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contrib.php?cycle=2016&id=N00000019&type=f

    1. Soros Fund Management ($7,039,900) – company of infamous jewish hedge fund billionaire George Soros

    2. Euclidean Capital ($7,002,700) – family office of jewish hedge fund billionaire James Harris Simons

    3. Paloma Partners ($4,007,900) – alias of jewish billionaire finance investor S. Donald Sussman

    4. Laborers Union ($4,000,886) – union with large investments in Israel, in 2002 it’s boss Terence O’Sullivan was to be honored by Israeli bonds sellers with a tribute dinner

    5. Saban Capital Group ($3,532,171) – company of jewish-israeli Hollywood billionaire Haim Saban

    6. Pritzker Group ($2,814,309) – company of jewish billionaire family Pritzker

    7. Women’s Self Worth Foundation ($2,502,700) – foundation of Haim Saban’s wife Cheryl Saban

    8. Herb & Marion Sandler/Sandler Foundation ($2,502,700) – foundation of jewish billionaire banker Herbert Sandler & family

    9. Priorities USA/Priorities USA Action ($2,151,025) – finance vehicle of Hillary Clinton dominated by donations from jewish billionaires

    10. Dreamworks SKG ($2,013,500) – company of rich jewish Hollywood stars Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg

    And so goes it on and on. No 11, is jewish media owner Fred Eychaner, no 12 is the company of jewish hedge fund billionaire James Harris Simons and so on.

    via: Parteibuch – the billionaires behind Hillary Clinton

    https://nocheinparteibuch.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/die-milliardaere-hinter-hillary-clinton-im-portrait/

    Maybe Hillary’s foreign policy regarding Israel and Palestine has to do something with her donors?

    • Eric
      May 15, 2016, 7:38 pm

      Right. And on the Republican side, Sheldon Adelson has apparently committed up to $100 million to fund Trump’s campaign along with key congressional races. Which accounts for Trump dropping his “neutrality in negotiating” idea and outdoing Killary in belligerent pro-Israel bluster. Quite depressing, but as always, money talks and it will ever be thus.

      • Bandolero
        May 15, 2016, 10:02 pm

        Eric

        To me it looks more like that Trump is a stealth candidate of the largely rightwing christian donor network of the Koch brothers, with Corey Lewandowski being the key connection. I believe Americans for Prosperity had a huge role in making Trump the nominee. I know, Charles Koch said, he’ld maybe vote for Hillary instead of Trump, but I think that’s just another trick.

        Not that I neccessarily prefer white right racists to zionist racists, but if I’m right that would explain why the neocons fought him so hard. Now that they lost, the Neocons try to come onboard of the Trump ship, that’s how I’ld explain Adelson’s endorsement and the rumor that Adelson will donate big to Trump.

      • Eric
        May 16, 2016, 2:28 pm

        Bandolero: I thought the neocons were against Trump initially because they couldn’t buy him (a la Rubio, Cruz and Bush), which made him more unpredictable and a risk to their interests. They also despised his “neutral approach to the Israel/Palestine deal” that he claimed to advocate at first. That’s when they released their packs of media dogs on him with fury, even though the voters largely stood by him. Now that he’s the nominee, it’s normal they’d want to make an accommodation, but in a campaign which may require a billion dollars, Trump needs them more than they need Trump. They have Hillary after all, who is as reliably obedient as they come.

      • Bandolero
        May 16, 2016, 7:28 pm

        Eric

        I think Hillary has her own set of problems for the Neocons and their pressure group AIPAC. Many of her top donors are close to J Street, and to win the presidency, Hillary must accomodate Bernie and his supporters, who are also no big fans of AIPAC. But Trump is close to Americans for Prosperity and their southern Christian donor network, which all leaves the Neocons – since their candidates Rubio and Bush flopped – between two chairs.

  9. bopfromthedarkside
    May 15, 2016, 9:39 am

    And what happens when Bibi tells the reptilian Hillary to attack Iran. Let the nation’s leading neoconservative, Norman Podhoretz speak.

    “Norman Podhoretz, an impassioned cheerleader for war with Iran, reached heights of apocalyptic sang-froid scaled only by the criminally insane when he predicted the following scenario, in the event of a US attack on Iran: “It [Iran] would attack Israel with missiles armed with non-nuclear warheads but possibly containing biological or chemical weapons. There would be a vast increase in the price of oil, with catastrophic consequences for every economy in the world, very much including our own. The worldwide outcry against the inevitable civilian casualties would make the anti-Americanism of today look like a love-fest.”

    http://www.countercurrents.org/nolan030508.htm

  10. MHughes976
    May 15, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Many of us don’t want to see anyone wiped out, while badly wanting injustice and oppression to be removed, abolished, binned. It may be that American Presidents can get nowhere with Israel if they appear unconcerned about wipeout but it seems they see no need for an equivalent concern for the Palestinians. How can they expect any trust from that side of the Wall?

  11. Scott
    May 15, 2016, 2:18 pm

    Gosh I wonder how much of that “Precisely” is in Landler’s book. He’s an establishment cat; they sniff at this stuff and walk away usually. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/supported-matthews-landler/#sthash.vBxCVgkA.dpuf

    Wonderfully phrased!

    • MRW
      May 16, 2016, 1:16 am

      ✔✔✔

    • Joe62
      May 16, 2016, 9:55 am

      I thought that was a beautiful image, as well: “sniff at this stuff and walk away usually”

  12. Kay24
    May 15, 2016, 3:51 pm

    If only our senior journalists have the spunk to stand up together and demand that they should criticize Israel, and their pro Israel bosses can withstand the attacks from the Israeli lobbies, the way they criticize or write articles on everything else (even the President), the American people might finally get the truth.

    • MRW
      May 16, 2016, 3:21 am

      our senior journalists don’t have the courage or character. So forget that.

    • Eric
      May 16, 2016, 2:38 pm

      Kay, let’s be realistic. Most of the major media personalities are paid very well and like to live high. “Spunk” equals “unemployment” and that’s a risk virtually none of them are willing to take, especially once they’ve had a taste of the good life. Therefore, MSM self-censorship will continue indefinitely, at least until the Zionist entity unravels of its own accord, which is inevitable but will take time (perhaps decades) before all comes crashing down.

      • Kay24
        May 16, 2016, 5:08 pm

        Agree. I am realistic, I start off by saying “IF ONLY”.

        The US media is disgraceful. It not only supports and protects a nation that acts like a rogue nation while pretending to be a “democracy”, it also decides who should be the nominees of both parties, covering the elections to suit that narrative. They helped sell the Bush/Cheney war that resulted in a costly quagmire in Iraq. We do not have ONE credible journalist who will challenge our politicians especially their unwavering support for Israel (by simply referring to the occupation and continuing land grabs, those words are never uttered).

  13. MRW
    May 15, 2016, 8:35 pm

    Everyone, read Chas Freeman’s speech last week:

    America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East
    http://chasfreeman.net/americas-continuing-misadventures-in-the-middle-east/

    He withers Clinton.

    • Bandolero
      May 16, 2016, 5:38 am

      MRW

      I think Chas Freeman gives a realistic and well-written description of the state of affairs in MENA.

      But then he starts to drift off the mark and to dangerous ideas like the US must be strongly involved in the MENA region because not being involved would mean abdicating as world hegemon. That idea explains not what is at stake in MENA for the U.S., but it is one of the major ingredients that led to the disastrous state of affairs. It is even more important to reject this misjudgement by Chas Freeman as he correctly describes that unconditional US support for Israel must be changed to enable the US to do something good instead of bad in MENA, but offers no way how to defeat the Israel lobby in the US. And baring a defeat of the reigning power of the Israel lobby in the US, no US involvement in MENA would be a lot better for all than US involvement.

      Combined with the second major misjudgement of Chas Freeman, that the US should support the abandonment of the Sykes-Picot borders, his advise will create more US induced desaster in MENA. The Sykes-Picot borders have many critics, and rightly so, because their are an odious colonial legacy. But redefining these borders, thereby breaking up the states they define, is a recipe to ensure decades of more war fighting for where the new borders shall be drawn. That would serve no one’s interest except Israel’s – because Israel would gleeful enforce it’s hasbara theme then, that all the arabs and muslims are unable to live together in peace and Israel is the only peaceful country in the middle east. So, Chas Freeman’s policy idea of breaking up the Sykes Picot borders would not only lead to more desaster, it would also not contribute to defeating the Israel lobby, which he agrees is a neccessity, but enforce and enable it to gain even more power.

      • MRW
        May 16, 2016, 1:32 pm

        @Bandolero,

        I didn’t read it that way. I don’t think he made a case for us to be the world’s hegemon. I thought he was talking about maintaining our status as a reliable global power via acting in our own interests for once. Hegemon is a thing distinct from global power. Russia is a global power, for example, so is Britain.

        And nowhere did I read that he supported the abandonment of the Sykes-Picot borders. Instead, he said our ill-advised foray into Iraq produced cracks in them, and is leading all sorts of other groups—Kurdish, Alawite, Salafi, Shiite, Houthi—to attempt to replace them, which he says won’t succeed.

        I thought Freeman was a lot more nuanced than you give him credit for, but to each his own.

      • Bandolero
        May 16, 2016, 7:11 pm

        MRW

        Yes, you’re right that I exaggerated a bit. Freeman doesn’t use the words “abdicating as world hegemon” but he says the “ability to transit the Middle East is essential to U.S. global power projection” and “decision to write off the region would be a decision to go out of business as a world power.” That puts it different in less harsh words, but the reason Freeman gives for needed US involvement in the middle east is nevertheless U.S. global power projection, aiming at global US hegemony.

        That goal is not only nefarious for itself, but Freeman’s statement is also plain wrong. Of course, the US can be a global power, can even keep being the global hegemon. without the ability to transit the Middle East. The US has two coasts from where it can project global power, to Asia, Europe and Africa without the ability to transit the Middle East. And it is this policy suggested by Freeman that is one of the roots of the disaster in the missle east. US presidents go there with something like good intentions – as far as projecting global power can be called good intentions – and the result is always disaster, because as long as the Israel lobby wields it’s huge influence in the US it can’t be different, because Israel sees disaster in the middle east as in Israel’s best interest, so as the Muslims there can’t unite in peace which could lead to a serious challenge for Israel.

        And that’s also true for the second policy proposal of Freeman which I harshly criticized. Freeman says: “Stop trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The states and borders that have been shattered can’t now be restored. … the United States should focus on working with partners in the region to ensure that the restructuring of the region’s borders does as little harm as possible to U.S. and allied interests.” That’s exactly what the Israel lobby and the neocons want, because giving up the states is a recipe for endless war in the middle east, especially when it’s done by the US, where the Israel lobby has such huge influence. To achieve peace, and to diminish the ability of the Israel lobby to foment sectarian and ethnic strife in the muslim world, the opposite policy is neccessary: accept the authority of governments inside their state borders. Stop sponsoring separatist and ethnic movements, like KRG in Iraq, “Sunni insurgency” in Syria, Sunni “people’s comitees” in Yemen, Christian militia in Lebenon etc. And that’s also the way Israel and the Israel lobby will come under pressure, not the other way around as Chas Freeman proposes it.

        That said, I like Chas Freeman, because he is not afraid to speak his mind in front of the Zionist mafia, and much of what he proposes is quite fine, but I think the two points I lined out here are big fat mistakes Freeman makes. And sadly, Freeman’s policy proposal including these two big mistakes seems to me similar to what Donald Trump is up to.

  14. yonah fredman
    May 16, 2016, 1:15 am

    Dick Cheney was elected Vice President in 2000. (there are two problems with this statement. 1. The Bush-Cheney ticket won the election only because of a Supreme Court vote and 2. Usually the Vice president is a supporting player while the president is the primary player, but regarding foreign policy and security, this was clearly not the case with Bush-Cheney, certainly not at the critical early points: 9/11 and the decision to go to war against Iraq.) Cheney had signed onto the Project for the New American Century in 1998, a program that prioritized finishing the war against Iraq. His reaction to 9/11, given his PNAC affiliation was no surprise.

    Clearly PNAC was a neoconservative document. (neoconservative implies- right wing Jews and likud Zionism) But Cheney was elected and put the document into reality.

    Hillary represented the state of New York after the election of 2000, she had a specific constituency that included many supporters of Israel. Once the administration decided that the 9/11 attack implied a necessity (an opportunity) to put the PNAC into effect, someone representing the state of New York was not in a position to buck the trend of history, particular a senator. (Nadler, as a congressman, could choose independence, but Clinton could not. She was a rookie, just elected and she could not buck that moment in history.)

  15. HarryLaw
    May 16, 2016, 4:22 am

    Thanks MRW. But how much of the problems of the Middle East are caused by Saudi Arabia.
    “Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-the-north-of-the-country-9602312.html
    Bandar is calling for the genocide of the Shia in the Middle East, is he not aware that of the eight countries which surround the Gulf, there is a 2 to 1 Shia majority population, and that the Saudi attempt to ‘buy’ friends and mercenaries to do their dirty work has not been entirely successful, most notably in Yemen and Syria. I think the time is coming when those medieval satraps are overthrown, and not before time.

    • Bandolero
      May 16, 2016, 1:11 pm

      Harry

      The current order – or better: disorder – in the middle east is a product of a Saudi-Israeli joint venture. The Saudis bring into this backwarded & catastrophic joint venture an extremist ideology – wahhabism, or more precise takfirsm, like Chas Freeman calls it – and tons of oil money, while the Israelis bring into that joint venture political clout in Washington. Both are readily being helped by Turkey. ISIS, but not only ISIS, is a case in point.

      The Nineveh-Anbar insurgency 2013/2014 which gave to ISIS was driven from Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan – that’s where the leaders of this insurgency met, where there propagandists were based and from where the coordination was done. This was only possible as a collaboration of the Israeli/Saudi/Turkish forces of that joint venture I described above. DIA-head lieutenant general Michael Flynn confirmed as much indirectly in 2015 when he told the public – based on a FOIA released document – that the creation of the ISIS caliphate was a “willful decision” by powerful parts of the US government. We all know today, HRC and her very pro-Israel guys and gals were the faction in the US government behind it.

      WIth other powerful wahhabi/takfiri terror groups from Afghanistan over Libya to Yemen it’s pretty much the same: the Saudis run the show and Israel firsters in the US government enable them. So, that offers a way out: target the Saudis, and target the Israel lobby by this, who has a hard time of defending their Saudi wahhabi allies. We currently see that tactic – target the Saudis to hit the Israel lobby – employed against the neocons/neoliberal Israel firsters in the US with initiatives like 28 pages and Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

      Very funny to see that Israel-firster Lindsey Graham was initially for the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act before he understood that the real target of that would become Israel so he put the act on hold now.

  16. Neil Schipper
    May 16, 2016, 5:54 am

    … to smear Walt and Mearsheimer as anti-Semites.

    From 59:55, Christopher Hitchens on: AIPAC, Rabin’s declaring the aspiration to Israeli independence from AIPAC, the undeserved self-congratulatory flavor (and nudge-wink undertones) of Walt and Mearsheimer, and most of all, the delusion that the conflict with jihadism is a consequence of Israel-Palestine.

  17. Neil Schipper
    May 16, 2016, 5:55 am

    Did you see where he says that Israel could be “wiped out.” By Palestinians firing rockets?

    I did not see it. Neither, actually, did you. It’s something you decided to concoct.

    • Brewer
      May 17, 2016, 3:15 am

      @ Neil Schipper
      Not concocted by Phil. That adjective belongs to Clinton who concocted a conflation between the Holocaust and Hamas who conduct a legitimate resistance armed with home-made rockets (which they fire onto their own land, currently colonised by Israelis) and are about a trillion dollars short of possessing the power to put a dent in Israel’s borrowed armour.
      It is very telling when Zionista’s only available response to argument is fatuous.

  18. David Plimpton
    May 16, 2016, 9:26 am

    Very good discussion.

    One more bit of hogwash are the statements of Bill Clinton, HRC, the Israel Lobby, and everyone else who purports to represent the best interests of the U.S., which say the way to effect a satisfactory outcome for Israelis and Palestinians is to have Israel’s back on almost everything, so they’ll feel secure and come to the table in a cooperative mood.

    Not only does our experience since 1948 refute that premise, but this assertion is also either disingenuous and/or shows our leaders don’t have the foggiest notion how to negotiate.

    A negotiator has to bring leverage to the table, the stick as well as the carrot. Israel
    is feasting on carrots from the U.S. to the tune of billions and almost unlimited affirmation and media support. They have no incentive to negotiate and never will unless we threaten (and I don’t mean bluff) to cut off all monetary aid, weapons sales, trade and other things unless they give the Palestinians their rightful land, including pulling back the settlements. If we did that the Palestinians (at least the people, but maybe not Palestinian “leaders”) wouldn’t be a problem and we could guarantee both sides reasonable security. I say reasonable because we can’t promise anyone, including our own citizens, total safety.

    Maybe it wouldn’t work because Israel would elect to go it alone, but cutting off all our aid after that choice by Israel would be better for the U.S. than the hopeless situation we have now. We would at least have more resources to deal with things here in the good old USA. We’ve forgotten that charity begins at home.

  19. JLewisDickerson
    May 16, 2016, 4:50 pm

    RE: “Bill Clinton blames the imprisoned people of Gaza for being sneaky and violent and says he ‘killed himself’ to get a Palestinian state. Well maybe he shouldn’t have been Israel’s lawyer on that deal. “ ~ Weiss

    THE COMEBACK KID(STER) RIDES AGAIN! ! !
    [2016 ITERATION]

    ■ QUESTION 1: When Bill Clinton blames the imprisoned people of Gaza for being
    “shifty-eyed Jews”
    “sneaky and violent” (like the Bolsheviks were once said to be*) isn’t that just his way of saying (or, at least, implying) that Gazans are natural-born “super predators” who must be brought to heel (i.e., having forfeited any right to human dignity, Gazans do not deserve even a modicum of consideration)???

    ● Bill Clinton’s Racist Defense of the ‘Super Predator’ Myth | Observer – http://observer.com/2016/04/bill-clintons-racist-defense-of-the-super-predator-myth/

    ● Reality Check: Hillary Clinton Not Telling Truth About Her “Super-Predator” Claims – http://truthinmedia.com/reality-check-hillary-clinton-not-telling-truth-super-predator-claims/

    *POWERPOINT PRESENTATION: Animal Farm, by George Orwell
    To download – http://goo.gl/jqQLHv
    In 1945, he published Animal Farm, one of the two novels for which Orwell is …. Lenin’s policies were often more violent and sneaky than those of Marxist beliefs.
    SCREEN CAPTURES:
    · SLIDES 31 thru 34
    · SLIDE 31
    · SLIDE 32
    · SLIDE 33
    · SLIDE 34

    ■ QUESTION 2: When Bill Clinton says “he ‘killed himself’ to get a Palestinian state” is he saying that he so loved the Palestinians that he gave his own begotten self (à la John 3:16) when in reality he only cared about there being something that could be called (credibly, or not) a Palestinian state because he believed it would benefit Israel and the U.S. more than did the status quo occupation and/or other alternatives???

    SEE: “Perfect English or Not, Netanyahu Shares No Common Language With Obama” | By Akiva Eldar | Haaretz.com/opinion | February 10, 2009

    [EXCERPT] . . . Netanyahu will find it hard to woo the new administration with empty promises to unfreeze negotiations and freeze the settlements. Presumably, former president Bill Clinton did not conceal his opinion of Bibi from his wife. If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has forgotten Bibi’s tricks then Dennis Ross, who was the coordinator of the peace process in the Clinton administration and is an advisor to Obama, can refer her to his book “The Missing Peace.”

    There he quotes president Clinton’s reaction to Bibi’s retreat from a commitment.

    “At times he was tough,” writes Ross, “yelling at Bibi when he retracted an earlier pledge on Palestinian prisoners. ‘This is just chicken shit. I’m not going to put up with this kind of bullshit.'”

    Aaron David Miller, who was Ross’ deputy, also documented the days of Bibi and Bill. In his book “The Much Too Promised Land,” Miller relates that during their first meeting in the summer of 1996, Bibi lectured the president about the Arab-Israeli issue, prompting Clinton to expostulate when it was over, “Who the fuck does he think he is? Who’s the fucking superpower here?”

    Most definite of all is Joe Lockhart, who was the White House spokesman at the time. In a recorded interview to Clayton Swisher, author of the book “The Truth About Camp David,” he described Netanyahu as “one of the most obnoxious individuals you’re going to come into – just a liar and a cheat. He could open his mouth and you could have no confidence that anything that came out of it was the truth.” . . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/perfect-english-or-not-netanyahu-shares-no-common-language-with-obama-1.269819

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 16, 2016, 7:01 pm

      RE: “And Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas, and they are smart.” ~ Bill Clinton

      MY COMMENT: I think that qualifies as “damning with faint praise”! ! !

      ■ FROM WIKIPEDIA (Human shield):

      Human shield is a military and political term describing the deliberate placement of non-combatants in or around combat targets to deter the enemy from attacking these combat targets. It may also refer to the use of persons to literally shield combatants during attacks, by forcing them to march in front of the combatants.

      Using this technique is illegal by nations that are parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, and the 1998 Rome Statute.[1] . . .

      . . . ● Israeli-Palestinian conflict

      · Israel

      According to defense officials, the Israel Defense Forces made use of the “human shield” procedure on 1,200 occasions during the Second Intifada (2000-2005).[16]

      According to human rights groups Amnesty International[17] and Human Rights Watch,[18] the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used Palestinian civilians as human shields during the 2002 Battle of Jenin. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that “for a long period of time following the outbreak of the second intifada, particularly during Operation Defensive Shield, in April 2002, the IDF systematically used Palestinian civilians as human shields, forcing them to carry out military actions which threatened their lives”.[19][20] Al Mezan reported the systematic use of “human shields” during the invasion of Beit Hanoun in 2004.[21] Human shields were also employed by Israeli soldiers to subdue a stone-throwing protest in Hebron in 2003.[22]

      In 2004, a 13-year-old boy was photographed tied to an Israeli police vehicle in the West Bank, being used as a shield to deter stone-throwing protesters.[23][24]

      In 2005, Israel’s High Court of Justice banned the practice,[16][25] with the Israeli Defense Ministry appealing the decision.[16][26] While acknowledging and defending the “use of Palestinians to deliver warnings to wanted men about impending arrest operations”, a practice known in Israel by the euphemism “neighbor procedure”,[22] the IDF denied reports of “using Palestinians as human shields against attacks on IDF forces”, claiming it had already forbidden this practice.[25]

      In 2006, however, initial investigations by B’Tselem indicated that the IDF might have used civilians as human shields in 2006 Beit Hanun.[27]

      In February 2007, footage was released of an incident involving Sameh Amira, a 24-year-old Palestinian, who video showed serving as a human shield for a group of Israeli soldiers, getting inside apartments suspected to belong to Palestinian militants ahead of the soldiers.[28][29] A 15-year-old cousin of Amira and an 11-year-old girl in the West Bank independently told B’Tselem in February 2007 that Israeli soldiers forced each of them in separate incidents to open the door of a neighboring apartment belonging to a suspected militant, get inside ahead of them, and open doors and windows.[30]

      The Israeli Army launched a criminal investigation into the aforementioned incident.[28] In April 2007, the Israeli army suspended a commander after the unit he was leading was accused of using Palestinians as human shields in a West Bank operation.[31] In April 2007 CBS News reported that, according to human rights groups, the IDF did not stop the use of human shields, but the incidence was dropping.[19][28]

      During the 2008-2009 Gaza War

      During the 2008-2009 Gaza War known as Operation Cast Lead, Israeli military forces were accused of continuing to use civilians as human shields by Amnesty International and Breaking the Silence.[32] According to testimonies published by these two groups, Israeli forces used unarmed Palestinians including children to protect military positions, walk in front of armed soldiers; go into buildings to check for booby traps or gunmen; and inspect suspicious objects for explosives.[32][33] Amnesty International stated that it found cases in which “Israeli troops forced Palestinians to stay in one room of their home while turning the rest of the house into a base and sniper position, effectively using the families, both adults and children, as human shields and putting them at risk”.[34] The UN Human Rights Council also accused Israel of using human shields during 2008-2009 Gaza Conflict.[35][36]

      The Guardian compiled three videos and testimony from civilians about alleged war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers during the 2008-2009 Gaza War, including the use of Palestinian children as human shields. In the videos three teenage brothers from the al-Attar family claimed that they were forced at gunpoint to kneel in front of tanks to deter Hamas fighters from firing at them and that they were used to “clear” houses for the Israeli soldiers.[37]

      An IDF soldier’s testimony for Breaking the Silence told that his commander ordered that for every house raided by the IDF, they send a “neighbor” to go in before the soldier, sometimes while the soldier placed his gun on the neighbor’s shoulder;[38] according to the soldier, “commanders said these were the instructions and we had to do it”.[38] Gazan civilians also testified of being used at gunpoint as human shields by Israeli soldiers.[39] An Israeli military official responded to these allegations: “The IDF operated in accordance with the rules of war and did the utmost to minimise harm to civilians uninvolved in combat. The IDF’s use of weapons conforms to international law.” An Israeli embassy spokesperson alleged Hamas pressured the people of Gaza into making those accusations.[37]

      On March 12, 2010, the Israel Defense Forces prosecution filed indictments against two staff sergeants of the Givati Brigade for forcing a 9-year-old Palestinian boy to open a number of bags they thought might contain explosives in January 2009. The boy told he was hit by the soldiers and forced to work for them at gunpoint.[40] The IDF said it opened the investigation after the incident was brought to its attention by the United Nations.[41] On October 3, 2010, a conviction in this matter, accompanied by a demotion and suspended sentence, was handed down by the military court against both defendants, though neither soldier was actually jailed.[42][43][44] The sentence was criticized as too lenient by Human Rights Watch[45] and the boy’s mother.[40]

      2009-2014 Gaza War

      A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces in June 2013 of “continuous use of Palestinian children as human shields and informants”, voicing with deep concern 14 such cases had been reported between January 2010 and March 2013. It says almost all accused soldiers involved in the incidents have gone unpunished.[46]

      In an interview with Breaking the Silence, a former Israeli soldier recounted that the commander of his unit employed the policy, despite acknowledging its ban, as he would rather that a Palestinian civilian be killed carrying out the duty than one of his men.[47] He told young Palestinian boys were also used by this particular unit to carry out military duties for the Israeli army.[47]

      Defense for Children International-Palestine reported 17-year-old, Ahmad Abu Raida (also:“Reeda”),[48] was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers, who, after beating him up and threatening him, at times with sexual overtones,[49] used him as a human shield for five days, forcing him to walk in front of them with police dogs at gunpoint, search houses and dig in places soldiers suspected there might be tunnels.[48][50] The New York Times stated that his assertions could not be independently corroborated; the Israeli military confirmed that he had been detained, noting his father’s affiliation with Hamas, who was a senior official in the Gaza Tourism Ministry.[51] No material evidence of the physical violence allegedly suffered by Raida, e.g. photos, medical reports or lingering wounds resulting from repeated blows, was produced.[52]

      The Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights published testimony that, during the 2014 Gaza War, Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as shield in Khuza’a. A family, that also gave a video interview, recorded by Media Town, told the group that Israeli soldiers had killed the family’s patriarch, a 65-year-old who was carrying a white flag, and proceeded to place family members, including children, by the house’s windows and shoot from behind them.[48]

      A UN official made the accusation that Israel used a school in Gaza as a military base.[53] . . .

      SOURCE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_shield

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 16, 2016, 10:30 pm

        P.S. ■ FROM WIKIPEDIA (Criticism of the Israeli government):

        . . . ● Military practices

        · Human shield allegations

        The IDF acknowledged using the “Neighbor Procedure” or the “Early Warning Procedure”, in which the IDF would encourage a Palestinian acquaintance of a wanted man to try to convince him to surrender. This practice was criticized by some as using “human shields”, an allegation the IDF denied, saying that that it never forced people into carrying out the Neighbor Procedure; and that Palestinians volunteered to prevent excess loss of life. Amnesty International[55] and Human Rights Watch[56] are among the groups who made the “human shield” comparison. The Israeli group B’Tselem also made the comparison, saying that “for a long period of time following the outbreak of the second intifada Operation Defensive Shield, in April 2002, the IDF systematically used Palestinian civilians as human shields, forcing them to carry out military actions which threatened their lives”.[57] The Neighbor Procedure was outlawed by the Supreme Court of Israel in 2005 but some groups say the IDF continues to use it, although they say the number of instances has dropped sharply.[57][58] . . .

        SOURCE – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Israeli_government#.22Neighbor_Procedure.22

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 16, 2016, 10:49 pm

        P.P.S. ALSO SEE: “Israeli army uses Gaza children as human shields” | By Rania Khalek |ElectronicIntifada.net | August 11, 2014

        Since the assault on Gaza began, Israeli leaders and their supporters have repeatedly accused Hamas of using Palestinian civilians as human shields in an attempt to absolve Israel of responsibility for deliberately killing more than 1,600 Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

        Despite there being no evidence to prove this libelous claim, it has been unquestioningly echoed in major media outlets and invoked by US officials to blame Palestinians for their own slaughter. It has even been used to justify genocide against Palestinians in a newspaper ad created by anti-Palestinian extremists Shmuley Boteach and Elie Wiesel.

        But the available evidence demonstrates that it is the Israeli army, not Hamas, that has been using Palestinians as human shields in Gaza.

        In video testimony released by the Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, which you can watch at the top of this post, Ramadan Muhammad Qdeih recounts how Israeli forces stormed his home in Khuzaa, where some sixty members of his extended family were sheltering in the basement on 25 July, and forced them to act as human shields. . .

        CONTINUED AT – https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israeli-army-uses-gaza-children-human-shields

  20. Brewer
    May 17, 2016, 4:29 am

    @JLewisDickerson

    The entire “Human Shields”, “Arms concealed in Hospitals and schools” is nonsense.
    For a start here is scant evidence that the technique has ever been deliberately employed by Hamas (whose ideology forbids such behaviour). But let us look at the reality of an IDF assault on Gaza. Civilian dead in houses, apartments and malls. No-one questions this “collateral damage”. Then some bright spark from Amnesty or some other NGO points to a school or Hospital bombing and the Israeli response is “Human Shields”, “Arms concealed in Hospitals and schools”. It is pathetic – really. Gaza’s population density is around 9,713 persons per square mile.
    Palestinian resistance has few choices. Negotiation doesn’t work. The Hamas imposed cease-fire prior to “Cast Lead” was treated with contempt – according to Israel’s own monitoring group, Hamas held to it. That assault was planned months before and executed regardless of the status of rockets, threat or belligerence.
    “Human Shields”, “Arms concealed in Hospitals and schools” etc are pathetic propaganda points aimed an audience unacquainted with warfare, History and Geography. Unfortunately, probably the majority of Westerners these days.

  21. MHughes976
    May 17, 2016, 11:49 am

    If someone does in fact operate a military organisation from a hospital does that fact make an attack on the hospital by the other side, let’s say our side, legitimate? If so, the non-combatants become targets and their rights become forfeit not by any act of their own but by someone else’s – which is a drastic thing indeed. I would think that we could never justify such a thing at very least unless the unavoidable risk from the Hospital Attackers to hospitals, playgrounds etc. on our side had become objectively serious and too much to tolerate.

  22. just
    May 17, 2016, 5:40 pm

    Democracy Now! featured Noam Chomsky yesterday and today. Here’s a bit on HRC and BDS from yesterday’s show:

    …”AMY GOODMAN: Noam, I wanted to go back to the candidates on this issue, particularly what Hillary Clinton had to say to AIPAC earlier this year, when she criticized the BDS movement, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.

    HILLARY CLINTON: As I wrote last year in a letter to the heads of major American Jewish organizations, we have to be united in fighting back against BDS. Many of its proponents have demonized Israeli scientists and intellectuals, even students. To all the college students who may have encountered this on campus, I hope you stay strong. Keep speaking out. Don’t let anyone silence you, bully you or try to shut down debate, especially in places of learning like colleges and universities. Anti-Semitism has no place in any civilized society—not in America, not in Europe, not anywhere.

    AMY GOODMAN: Professor Noam Chomsky, can you respond to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton?

    NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, some of what she said is quite accurate. I’m strongly—I’m very happy that she has agreed that one should not shut down debate on this issue in campus. She’s about 40 years too late. Over the past decades, I’ve had plenty of experience. The few other people who talk about this issue have similar experience of trying to give talks on the topic on university campuses, with police protection, with meetings broken up violently, with airport-style security at entrances. Even at my own university, until not long ago, not only did there have to be a police presence, but the police insisted on walking me back to my car, just because of the threat of violence. So, that’s been going on for decades. And it’s very nice that Mrs. Clinton has finally decided, yes, maybe it would be nice to have free and open debate on campus—as there is now for the first time. And it’s a good thing that there is, that there is now a possibility of free and open debate on campuses. You can find, if you search, marginal cases of excesses. Reminds me of back around 1970, when people like Seymour Martin Lipset were desperately searching through local black newspapers to see if they could find an anti-Semitic comment somewhere, so they could then condemn the black movements as anti-Semitic. Yeah, I can understand the game. But the fact of the matter is, now there is, for the first time, free, open, extensive discussion and debate on campus—not perfect, by any means, on—you can find things on all sides, but radically different from before.

    As to the tactics of boycott and divestment, they make perfect sense. When the Presbyterian Church imposes a boycott and divestment on anything connected to the Israeli-occupied territories, including U.S. multinationals—that’s critical—which are involved in the territories, that’s a very positive step forward, not only supportive of international law, supportive of genuine moral principles, a significant act, a nonviolent act, to oppose brutality, violence and repression. We could, I think, go much farther. As I said, we should be calling for implementation of U.S. law, along joining Amnesty International and others to call for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel. Boycott and sanctions make perfectly good sense when these tactics are properly applied, as they often are.

    You can understand why Hillary Clinton is frightened of them. They might undermine the policy of her husband and his predecessors, and Obama, as well, to support Israeli violence and aggression, to protect Israeli nuclear weapons from scrutiny so we can’t have a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region, to veto Security Council resolutions, which literally support official U.S. policy, as Obama did in February 2011. Yeah, and the nonviolent actions to undermine this, legitimate actions, of course frighten Hillary Clinton enormously. And then you hear tirades like this.

    But one part was correct. Namely, it’s a good idea to protect the right of free discussion and debate on campus. It’s a shame that that never occurred to her for the past 40 years, when it was impossible to have debate and discussion without violence, police protection and so on. …”

    http://www.democracynow.org/shows/2016/5/16

    • just
      May 17, 2016, 5:59 pm

      Oh, and by the way, the Methodists voted against BDS.

      Gee thanks, Hillary. [see “Calling Israel a ‘modern day miracle’ and ‘vibrant bloom in desert,’ Clinton says BDS is anti-Semitic” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/calling-miracle-clinton/#sthash.o8nTVRYQ.dpuf ]

      “BDS Resolutions Shot Down by United Methodist Church

      Hillary Clinton criticized the boycott movement last week, in comments believed to be directed at the church.”

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.720107?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

      (nice use of the word ‘shot’, too…)

      • Boomer
        May 17, 2016, 7:55 pm

        Yes, she wants to take our relationship with Israel “to the next level,” whatever that means.

        Details here, with a sanctimonious picture of Mrs. HRC:

        http://www.christiantoday.com/article/israel.boycott.movement.down.in.flames.at.united.methodist.conference/86283.htm?email=1

      • Boomer
        May 18, 2016, 8:34 am

        PS re Hillary’s sanctimony.

        Actually, there was a time when I respected Mrs. Clinton’s rhetoric about moral and spiritual values. There was a time, as First Lady, that she dared to use the word “Palestine,” and acknowledged (if obliquely) the rights of the Palestinian people. She was attacked for this, of course, and for other things, and eventually began her journey toward embracing the neocon’s Truth. It’s that history that, among other things, leads me to perceive hypocritical sanctimony where once I perceived sincere belief.

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/11/23/embrace-the-70s-hillary.html

      • silamcuz
        May 18, 2016, 8:58 am

        Wow, surprised to know that Boomer, however I am not at all surprised at the prospect of Hillary not being the demonic spawn of Satan everyone claim she is.

        I honestly think Hillary is just a fairly OK person trying to do good in a hellishly evil, corrupt political landscape, made harder by having a sleazy, unfaithful and irresponsible life partner.

        People need to understand, Hillary was an ardent Zionist during a time when America as a whole was ardent Zionist, where Israel was seen by most as having an unbreakable holy bond with the country, and Arabs / Islam / Muslims were genuinely despised within the mainstream thought. If democracy was about representing the will of the majority, then I would consider Hillary an exceptionally democratic leader.

      • Kay24
        May 18, 2016, 9:16 am

        Boomer, I agree with you. If my memory is correct I remember Hillary being attacked because she dared to kiss Mrs. Arafat when greeting her, which did not go well with the Palestinian hating crowd in the US.
        I guess they taught her a good lesson to toe the line and do exactly what they command (throwing a good campaign donation the carrot). It is strange how a few attacks by the lobbies, and some loud criticism in the media can quickly make those who dare to take a neutral stance, become suddenly vocal about Israel must be protected with our blood and money.
        Ah the power of alien lobbies.

      • Bandolero
        May 18, 2016, 12:52 pm

        silamcuz

        I disagree. I am convinced that Hillary Clinton is a demonic spawn of Satan. I remember well, that it was her, who led US policy to destroy Libya, it was her who was responsible for spreading propaganda like Gaddafi bought “African mercenaries” which made the jihadi fanatics she supported slaughter all black popele they could find besides all other decent people they didn’t like, it was Hillary Clinton who was responsible for spreading propaganda like Gaddafi ordered tons of viagra to enable Libyan soldiers rape women with which she incited mass rapings of women and mass killings in Libya. And for what did she incite and enable all this carnage? To please Israel, Saudi Arabia and to protect French colonial designs over Northern Africa? Or was it just pure bloodthirstiness of Hillary personally? Remember how Hillary Clinton was happy, after she managed to destroy a country and kill tens of thousands of innocent people, that she also managed to have her jihadi stooges killing the leader of that nation by sodomizing him with a knife:

        https://youtu.be/Fgcd1ghag5Y

        A similar sectarian carnage Hillary Clinton has also caused in Syria, with hundreds of thousands of deaths, and that all the while the DIA was loudly warning her that her actions would create a jihady principality in East Syria and Western Iraq. But Hillary Clinton took – as DIA head Michael Flynn puts it – a “willful decision” to carry on with that disastrous policy anyway. And now, on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton promises she will order the US military to create an illegal “safe zone” for her jihadi friends in Syria, well knowing that attempting to this can only lead to more carnage and war with Iran and Russia.

        Hillary Clinton may have not always been that but with her recent actions, politically totally needless actions of war, mass murder, torture, and racial, misogynist and sectarian incitement, of her own choice, Hillary Clinton has proven to be a demonic spawn of Satan.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 18, 2016, 2:43 pm

        bandelero, sila says “I’m just focused on dismantling white supremacy” but hillary is “a fairly OK person trying to do good in a hellishly evil, corrupt political landscape”. she gets a pass and “People need to understand” she “was” (past tense) an ardent zionist when “Arabs / Islam / Muslims were genuinely despised” (again, past tense… as if the islamophobic fury taking place currently is long gone).

        so much hypocrisy it’s hard to comprehend. as if she doesn’t have the back of the kagans and other powerful white neocon supremacists. and he tries to improve his endorsement by mockingly referencing all her detractors (“everyone”) claiming she’s “demonic spawn of Satan” what bs. there are millions of people such as myself who can’t tolerate her aggressive WAR footing and — don’t even believe in satan. what a hasbara tool.

        she also managed to have her jihadi stooges killing the leader of that nation by sodomizing him with a knife

        we came we saw he died, cackle cackle cackle. gross.

      • eljay
        May 18, 2016, 2:51 pm

        || Annie Robbins: … sila says “I’m just focused on dismantling white supremacy” but hillary is “a fairly OK person trying to do good in a hellishly evil, corrupt political landscape”. she gets a pass …. so much hypocrisy it’s hard to comprehend. … ||

        It would seem that hypocrisy is the specific role silamrugaltech has been uniquely molded to play in the universe.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 18, 2016, 2:57 pm

        in the MW universe anyway.

      • eljay
        May 18, 2016, 3:01 pm

        || Annie Robbins: in the MW universe anyway. ||

        Dude’s gotta start somewhere… ;-)

      • Mooser
        May 18, 2016, 5:42 pm

        “Dude’s gotta start somewhere… ;-)”

        Oh, he(or she) always does, then runs smack into himself coming the other way.
        I’ll give him this: he is never, ever haunted by the hobgoblin of little minds, foolish or otherwise.

      • Boomer
        May 18, 2016, 7:22 pm

        Kay24: yes, your memory about the embrace is correct. Interesting details of her evolution are here: https://theintercept.com/2016/05/17/hillary-clinton-wasnt-always-this-one-sided-on-israel/

      • Mooser
        May 18, 2016, 7:54 pm

        “dude’s gotta start somewhere”

        And end somewhere, too.

        The MW universe seems to have ejected “silmacuz” archive from its orbit. Maybe that’s an obit.

      • silamcuz
        May 18, 2016, 11:16 pm

        Annie Robbins

        “so much hypocrisy it’s hard to comprehend. as if she doesn’t have the back of the kagans and other powerful white neocon supremacists. and he tries to improve his endorsement by mockingly referencing all her detractors (“everyone”) claiming she’s “demonic spawn of Satan” what bs. there are millions of people such as myself who can’t tolerate her aggressive WAR footing and — don’t even believe in satan. what a hasbara tool.

        Where is this coming from? I thought it was pretty obvious I was referring to her good-will in acknowledging Palestine, in a time when the entire country was fervently Zionist or pro-Israel, as a sign of her potential for good. This despite the views of majority of people, both in the Re. and Democratic camps, that she is pure evil, completely lacking in any virtues. The spawn of the Devil bit is a hyperbole of what I think people’s average opinion of her is.

        I don’t like people who are so eager to assign guilt of a nation to an individual, no matter how vile that individual may be. It is a convenient way to escape from being accountable, and disregard personal complicity in the manifestation of national-scale system of violence and oppression.

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 30, 2016, 1:01 pm

        RE: “Oh, and by the way, the Methodists voted against BDS.” ~ just

        MY REPLY: In 1844 the issue of slavery resulted in a north/south split of the Methodist Church here in the U.S. Although the split was eventually repaired in the 20th Century, the United Methodist Church remains somewhat gun-shy. Consequently, they are reluctant to be seen as passing resolutions “calling for the church to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s control of the West Bank” because that might (and likely will) be characterized as “supporting BDS”; yet, this past January their pension fund removed  five Israeli banks from its portfolio, saying the investments were counter to its policies against investing in “high risk countries” and to remain committed to human rights.

        P.S. My great-great-grandfather, Rev. Josiah Lewis – https://www.facebook.com/notes/john-lewis-dickerson/biographic-etchings-of-ministers-and-laymen-of-the-georgia-conferences-rev-josia/10204726447297697

        P.P.S. Julia Frances Lewis, and her daughter, Amanda America Dickson (1849-1893) – https://www.facebook.com/notes/10204199895894241/

      • Annie Robbins
        May 30, 2016, 1:33 pm

        such interesting links/history dickerson!!! especially julia and amanda. thanks for sharing them.

      • just
        May 30, 2016, 4:57 pm

        What a truly magnificent history, John! wow. Thanks for sharing it. I had no idea that the church ‘split’ over slavery, either.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 30, 2016, 5:22 pm

        I had no idea that the church ‘split’ over slavery, either.

        really? i have written about it several times because it played a prominent roll in my family history as many members of my family were abolitionist methodist ministers, one being hung pre civil war caught up in the texas troubles.

        here are two examples but there are several others:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2013/02/street-leader-solution/#comment-545594

        http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/us-freedom-riders-woke-a-nation-palestinian-freedom-riders-must-wake-the-world/#comment-389842

      • just
        May 30, 2016, 5:38 pm

        How in the world did I miss them? You, too, have a rich history. Thanks, Annie!

  23. Mooser
    May 17, 2016, 6:05 pm

    “Reminds me of back around 1970, when people like Seymour Martin Lipset were desperately searching through local black newspapers to see if they could find an anti-Semitic comment somewhere, so they could then condemn the black movements as anti-Semitic.”

    Whoa! Chomsky cast that bit of brooding upon the airwaves, but I don’t think it will come back to him as cupcakes.

  24. Tchoupitoulas
    May 18, 2016, 2:52 pm

    Thanks PW; I’m glad I happened to read this b/c I understand something better now.

    “…we cannot really ever make a fundamental difference in the Middle East unless the Israelis think we care whether they live or die. If they do, we have a chance to keep pushing for peace… we can’t get anything done unless [the Israelis] believe, when the chips are down, if somebody comes for them we will not let them be wiped out and become part of the dustbin of history.” – Bill Clinton

    So, basically he’s saying the only path to peace is humoring and assuaging the fears of the paranoid, fearful Israelis, who are all convinced they are a heartbeat away from extermination. [um, from all their hostile neighbors that they keep attacking] So basically, the Clintons’ position is they have to appease the crazy people in order to advance the peace process.

    God. Israel only has 400 nuclear warheads. What’s it gonna take to make them “feel safe?”

    I think Israel is playing the Clintons, just like Israel is playing everyone else. I think Israel is crazy like the proverbial fox.

    And if I’m wrong, and the majority of Israelis really are in the grip of some existential panic, then I don’t think smart leadership should involve humoring crazy people.

    • eljay
      May 18, 2016, 3:13 pm

      When Bill says he cares about Israelis, he means Jews. But he doesn’t act like someone who cares about Jews because if he did he:
      – would be advocating the universal and consistent application justice, accountability and equality; and
      – would not be aiding and abetting a colonialist, (war) criminal, religion-supremacist and highly-destructive (to both Jews and non-Jews) “Jewish State” project.

      (Helping Zio-supremacists to…
      – pack as many Jews as possible into a “Jewish State”; and then
      – generate maximum blowback against Jews and the “Jewish State”,
      …is not a sign that one cares for Jews.)

      Bill – like Hillary – is a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

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