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bob

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  • Israel lobby wields influence on US use of force because it is connected across aisles -- Politico
    • Israeli intelligence 'intercepted Syrian regime talk about chemical attack'
      Information passed to US by Israeli Defence Forces's 8200 unit, former official tells magazine

      The 8200 unit of the Israeli Defence Forces, which specialises in electronic surveillance, intercepted a conversation between Syrian officials regarding the use of chemical weapons, an unnamed former Mossad official told Focus. The content of the conversation was relayed to the US, the ex-official said.

      The 8200 unit collects and analyses electronic data, including wiretapped telephone calls and emails. It is the largest unit in the IDF.

      Israel has invested in intelligence assets in Syria for decades, according to a senior government official. "We have an historic intelligence effort in the field, for obvious reasons," he said.

      Israel and the US had a "close and co-operative relationship in the intelligence field", he added, but declined to comment specifically on the Focus report.

  • Obama scared AIPAC into silence, then defeated it
    • This is exactly the type of article that needed to be written. The events surrounding the Hagel confirmation speaks directly to power within the beltway. MJ Rosenberg acknowledges some conjecture, but he is looking at the people who were assuaged and the people who were ignored. Let us be reminded that this site reported on the White House's efforts to lobby AIPAC This fits in with a message MJ Rosenberg mentioned earlier on how AIPAC "chooses to keep the Hagel onslaught going in order to show who is in charge. “This is what we can do.”

      AIPAC certainly remembers the black eyes it endured in 1992 from the attention it received with the public fight both with Bush and Rabin, and it does not appreciate the spotlight. Obama's strength may have been in recognizing this. Certainly there has been relatively intense coverage of this from SNL jokes, to Bill Maher, to news outlets and blog reporting. None of this is good for the nightflower, and to increase the pressure would have been quite visible under all this scrutiny. AIPAC certainly does not want this much visibility. A tactical delaying action of sorts, as AIPAC could not mount a full attack with its support in the Senate eroded and its actions scrutinized by many. Even still, it was assuaged by the White House.

  • AIPAC request for U.S. backing of Israeli strike on Iran gets Senators' support
    • Also, this should find its way on this site.

      link to forward.com

      Walt and Mearsheimer Are Ready for their Close-Up
      The Idea of an "Israel Lobby" Has Entered the Realm of Pop Culture

    • Ali Gharib
      With prominent liberal Democrats already signing on, AIPAC's lobbying heft will likely propel a bill that, in Congressional sentiment at least, commits the U.S. to active support of a potential Israeli attack that experts think could have consequences as grave as further destabilization in the region, adverse global economic consequences, and even a hardening of Iranian resolve to get a weapon.

      ......

      At my last job, AIPAC complained when a colleague wrote that the group's tactics were pushing the U.S. toward a new Middle East war. Make no mistake: though non-binding, this Graham-Menendez resolution—announced as an AIPAC initiative before being introduced in Congress—is a pro-war effort. During now-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearing, the nominee's years-old remarks about the influence of the pro-Israel lobby on Capitol Hill were seized upon: “Name one dumb thing we’ve been goaded into doing by the Israeli, Jewish lobby," one Republican demanded. If only Graham had given Hagel an extra few weeks to hand him this shining example. - See more at: link to thedailybeast.com

  • Latest NBC/WSJ poll shows American sympathies with Israel at lowest point since 1989
    • Americans May Sympathize With Israel, But They Want a More Even-Handed Policy, Say Walt & Mearsheimer | November 17, 2008

      We think that the discussion on your blog about the recent poll commissioned by the Israel Project misses a critical issue.

      The fact that 57 percent of the respondents "support" or "strongly support" Israel,
      while only 6 percent "support" or "strongly support" the Palestinians
      is not surprising and is consistent with past findings. As Jeff
      Blankfort correctly points out, this is due in good part to the fact
      that Israel's supporters stifle criticism of Israel in the media, while
      working hard to demonize the Palestinians. But even if we had an open
      and freewheeling discourse about Israel in this country, we believe
      that most Americans would still be sympathetic to Israel and certainly
      support its existence.

      The critical question which the survey
      does not address is, what do most Americans think our policy should be
      toward Israel and the Palestinians? Specifically, do most Americans
      favor the "special relationship," where we unconditionally give Israel
      abundant material aid and firm diplomatic backing? This policy — which
      has been our actual policy for many years — means that we back Israel
      to the hilt no matter what it does to the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. We favor Israel over the Palestinians, and indeed, favor Israel in any conflict in which it is involved, like the Lebanon war in 2006.

      The answer to that critical question is that most Americans do not support
      the special relationship. They are much more critical of Israeli policy
      than their elected representatives are and they are far more willing to
      support a hard-nosed approach to dealing with the Jewish state than
      most policymakers would be. For example, a 2003 survey conducted by the
      University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes
      (PIPA) found that 60 percent of Americans were willing to withhold aid
      to Israel if it resisted U.S. pressure to settle its conflict with the
      Palestinians. In fact, 73 percent of those surveyed said the United
      States should not favor either side in the conflict. Two years later, a
      survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League
      found that 78 percent of Americans believed that Washington should
      favor neither Israel nor the Palestinians. A July 1, 2008 poll ("World
      Public Opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,")
      conducted by (PIPA) found that 71 percent of Americans believe that we
      should take neither side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; only 21%
      think we should take Israel's side.

      The Lebanon war
      in 2006 provides further evidence that the American public does not
      favor supporting Israel unconditionally. Polls at the time showed that
      U.S. opinion was sharply divided about Israel’s actions during that
      war. Two separate polls found that 46 percent of Americans held Hezbollah
      and Israel equally responsible for starting the conflict and a USA
      Today/Gallup poll found that 65 percent thought the that United States
      should take neither side in the conflict – which again is contrary to
      the idea of a special relationship.
      Nevertheless, the U.S. government
      emphatically took Israel’s side during the Lebanon war, as it has in
      every recent conflict involving Israel.

      In short, the key issue is not where the sympathies of the American people
      lie, but what they think US policy toward Israel and the Palestinians
      should be. The survey done for the Israel Project did not address this
      issue. Nevertheless, it seems clear that the American people do not
      support the special relationship the US has with Israel. Specifically,
      they do not believe that the US should favor Israel over the
      Palestinians, even if they identify more with Israel than the
      Palestinians.

  • Chuck Hagel confirmed as Secretary of Defense by 58-41 vote (Updated)
    • as Jason Vest article in the Nation the fall of 2002

      The only faults in Jason Vest's article was that it was not longer, and that there aren't more like it.

      This subject needs a book.

      the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). And just as was the case two decades ago, dozens of their members have ascended to powerful government posts, where their advocacy in support of the same agenda continues, abetted by the out-of-government adjuncts from which they came. Industrious and persistent, they've managed to weave a number of issues--support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general--into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core.

      If I haven't seen a book or another article on this subject, please submit it. I would love to read it.

    • Remember that the neocons pushed their agenda out of the pentagon, and the "intelligence" justification came out of the Pentagon. It is a check against a Wolfowitz, Feith, Shulsky style Office of Special Plans that created a special intelligence unit at the Pentagon. That controversial Pentagon provided the cooked "evidence" that shaped the administration's views on Iraq's alleged ties to the terrorist network behind the Sept. 11 attacks. This office bypassed normal intelligence channels to make a case that conflicted with the conclusions of CIA analysts.

      The purpose of the unnamed intelligence unit, often described as a Pentagon "cell," was to scour reports from the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and other agencies to find nuggets of information linking Iraq, Al Qaeda, terrorism, and the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In a controversial press briefing in October 2002, a year after Wurmser's unit was established, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged that a primary purpose of the unit was to cull factoids, which were then used to disparage, undermine, and contradict the CIA's reporting, which was far more cautious and nuanced than Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Feith wanted. Rumsfeld particularly enjoyed harassing the CIA staffer who briefed him every morning, using the type of data produced by the intelligence unit. "What I could do is say, 'Gee, what about this?'" Rumsfeld noted. "'Or what about that? Has somebody thought of this?'" Last June, when Feith was questioned on the same topic at a briefing, he acknowledged that the secret unit in fact looked at the connection between Iraq and terrorism, saying, "You can't rely on deterrence to deal with the problem of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of state sponsors of terrorism because [of] the possibility that those state sponsors might employ chemical weapons or biological weapons by means of a terrorist organization proxy.

      Though Feith, in that briefing, described Wurmser's unit as an innocent project, "a global exercise" that was not meant to put pressure on other intelligence agencies or create skewed intelligence to fit preconceived policy notions, many other sources assert that it did exactly that. That the White House and the Pentagon put enormous pressure on the CIA to go along with its version of events has been widely reported, highlighted by visits to CIA headquarters by Vice President Cheney and Lewis Libby, his chief of staff. Led by Perle, the neocons seethed with contempt for the CIA. The CIA's analysis, said Perle, "isn't worth the paper it's printed on." Standing in a crowded hallway during an AEI event, Perle added, "The CIA is status quo oriented. They don't want to take risks." That became the mantra of the shadow agency within an agency.

      Putting Wurmser in charge of the unit meant that it was being run by a pro-Iraq-war ideologue who'd spent years calling for a pre-emptive invasion of Baghdad and who was clearly predisposed to find what he wanted to see. Adding another layer of dubious quality to the endeavor was the man partnered with Wurmser, F. Michael Maloof. Maloof, a former aide to Perle in the 1980s Pentagon, was twice stripped of his high-level security clearances‚ -- once in late 2001 and, again, last spring, for various infractions. Maloof was also reportedly involved in a bizarre scheme to broker contacts between Iraqi officials and the Pentagon, channeled through Perle, in what one report called a "rogue [intelligence] operation" outside official CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency channels.

      As the momentum for war began to build in early 2002, Wolfowitz and Feith beefed up the intelligence unit and created an Iraq war-planning unit in the Pentagon's Near East and South Asia Affairs section, run by Deputy Undersecretary of Defense William Luti, under the rubric "Office of Special Plans," or OSP; the new unit's director was Abram N. Shulsky. By then, Wurmser had moved on to a post as senior adviser to Undersecretary of State John Bolton, yet another neocon, who was in charge of the State Department's disarmament, proliferation, and WMD office and was promoting the Iraq war strategy there. Shulsky's OSP, which incorporated the secret intelligence unit, took control, banishing veteran experts‚ -- including Joseph McMillan, James Russell, Larry Hanauer, and Marybeth McDevitt‚ -- who, despite years of service to NESA, either were shuffled off to other positions or retired. For the next year, Luti and Shulsky not only would oversee war plans but would act aggressively to shape the intelligence product received by the White House.

      Both Luti and Shulsky were neoconservatives who were ideological soul mates of Wolfowitz and Feith. But Luti was more than that. He'd come to the Pentagon directly from the office of Vice President Cheney. That gave Luti, a recently retired, decorated Navy captain whose career ran from combat aviation to command of a helicopter assault ship, extra clout. Along with his colleague Colonel William Bruner, Luti had done a stint as an aide to Newt Gingrich in 1996 and, like Perle and Wolfowitz, was an acolyte of Wohlstetter's. "He makes Ollie North look like a moderate," says a NESA veteran.

      Shulsky had been on the Washington scene since the mid-1970s. As a Senate intelligence committee staffer for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, he began to work with early neoconservatives like Perle, who was then an aide to Senator Henry Jackson. Later, in the Reagan years, Shulsky followed Perle to the Pentagon as Perle's arms-control adviser. In the '90s, Shulsky co-authored a book on intelligence called Silent Warfare, with Gary Schmitt. Shulsky had served with Schmitt on Moynihan's staff and they had remained friends. Asked about the Pentagon's Iraq intelligence "cell," Schmitt‚ -- who is currently the executive director of the Project for the New American Century‚ -- says that he can't say much about it "because one of my best friends is running it."

      According to Lt. Colonel Kwiatkowski, Luti and Shulsky ran NESA and the Office of Special Plans with brutal efficiency, purging people they disagreed with and enforcing the party line. "It was organized like a machine," she says. "The people working on the neocon agenda had a narrow, well-defined political agenda. They had a sense of mission." At NESA, Shulsky, she says, began "hot-desking," or taking an office wherever he could find one, working with Feith and Luti, before formally taking the reins of the newly created OSP. Together, she says, Luti and Shulsky turned cherry-picked pieces of uncorroborated, anti-Iraq intelligence into talking points, on issues like Iraq's WMD and its links to Al Qaeda. Shulsky constantly updated these papers, drawing on the intelligence unit, and circulated them to Pentagon officials, including Rumsfeld, and to Vice President Cheney. "Of course, we never thought they'd go directly to the White House," she adds.

      Kwiatkowski recalls one meeting in which Luti, pressed to finish a report, told the staff, "I've got to get this over to 'Scooter' right away." She later found out that "Scooter" was none other than Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff. According to Kwiatkowski, Cheney had direct ties through Luti into NESA/OSP, a connection that was highly unorthodox.

      "Never, ever, ever would a deputy undersecretary of Defense work directly on a project for the vice president," she says. "It was a little clue that we had an informal network into Vice President Cheney's office."

      The Lie Factory

    • Deals were made, and varous pro-Israeli types were assuaged. The media turned. Neocons were left in the dark to pound their fists in their respective media outlets.

      The new beltway power dynamic for all to see, but its always changing.

  • The Israel Project-- and Chris Matthews-- say you can't make deals with Palestinians
    • Perpetuating the trope of Palestinians as the "appropriate" target for violence? The Trope that Israelis lack agency and are merely objects acted upon, who "respond?"

      Its always in the media.

  • In fresh defiance of Obama, Israeli gov't approves oil-drilling in occupied Golan
  • Updated: Elliott Abrams tries to sound like... a liberal Zionist
    • The neocons are scurrying left, because they realize that their little platform on the right is dissolving.

      Temporary tactical move due to a lack of access to power. Don't worry, its not permanent.

    • praising Yair Lapid's centrist surge

      The Israeli political overton window has shifted so far, that Yair Lapid can be considered centrist. Let that sink in.

  • Hagel news: Abrams says lobby is mostly Christian, JVP wants Americans to say 'apartheid'
  • The 99%: Netanyahu successful as Americans agree on Iranian 'nuclear threat'
  • Schumer describes Hagel's come-to-Jesus moment
    • This statement will be the last one from me, since it takes so long to get a message through, if it gets through at all.

      Hostage: Your analysis misses the point that the goal of these lobbies is to control the agenda on their issues, regardless of who gets appointed.

      The "lobby" is not in lockstep here. That is a key point. See below.

      Hostage: So all of the mainstream Jewish Lobby organizations are still trying to keep things in an uproar.

      This statement is incorrect. All pro-Israeli groups are not in unison here.

      You can see who was assuaged and who wasn't and look at power in the beltway.

    • sardelapasti :

      That is definitely a valid point, but it also goes outside of the hearing. "enforcing Sen. Schumer’s ‘behind the scenes’ deal with Hagel"

      But, there is more. You have the very visible shift of support to Hagel in he media. You have how the Hagel hearing was senators’ audition for donors. You have White House lobbying of AIPAC . AIPAC's dislike for the limelight on this very well publicized fight is important here, too.

    • Annie:

      I find it extremely difficult to have a discussion where my replies take either a very long time to get approved, or are stuck awaiting moderation. I have sent you an email. I hope to continue this there.

      i don’t think he had to grovel to anyone for the nomination
      White House and Hagel sourced above making concessions. There are many links above regarding those events.

      i think the lobby is very much remains unsatisfied. they’ve chosen to remain in the back seat (some of them) to save face

      To be clear, the lobby is a loose coalition, and it is a group that disagrees with each other at times. People with pro-Israeli interests are certainly disagreeing now. Why?

      That is the key part of you are missing. Who are those people, and how does that speak to power?

    • (Your comment is awaiting moderation.)

      I'm not sure why other posts are getting though, but my responses here have been hung up since this morning. Perhaps I need to resubmit? If not, then delete anything you find redundant, mod.

      Hostage: Ill summarize the comments that are hung up in moderation.
      Rerear my post, I answer points, and it is far more complex than So all of the mainstream Jewish Lobby organizations are still trying to keep things in an uproar.
      Also, read below.

      ------

      Annie:

      Let me simplify this. I really feel we are running parallel here. You links from AIPAC to CUFI does not prove total control from AIPAC. I don’t think you suggest this. In fact, I think you would agree with my point below

      Lets move forward and assume there is solid proof that AIPAC directly controls CUFI.

      Moving forward, the links above show how AIPAC has backed off, and are letting the nomination go through. Yet, AIPAC et. al. are strategically using pain in this nomination. They are letting the nom through, but they are using an overall strategy to make this a difficult process. AIPAC is not alone in this.

      Under this strategy, you can let the “useful idiots” out to run a full ahead campaign. These less powerful groups can, because they lack the teeth to stop the nomination. They can only inflict pain.

      So, I think everyone can agree that breaking this down into 1) who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination, and 2) what groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination lets you see power in the beltway.

      This is especially important as I see a growing strategy to use the useful idiots, like CUFI, to take the focus off groups like AIPAC, so the nightflower can do its work.

      So, lets break this down. This is very helpful to visualize power within the beltway.

      • Who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination?

      • What groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination?

    • Annie:

      Let me simplify this. I really feel we are running parallel here. You links from AIPAC to CUFI does not prove total control from AIPAC. I don't think you suggest this. In fact, I think you would agree with my point below

      Lets move forward and assume there is solid proof that AIPAC directly controls CUFI.

      Moving forward, the links above show how AIPAC has backed off, and are letting the nomination go through. Yet, AIPAC et. al. are strategically using pain in this nomination. They are letting the nom through, but they are using an overall strategy to make this a difficult process. AIPAC is not alone in this.

      Under this strategy, you can let the "useful idiots" out to run a full ahead campaign. These less powerful groups can, because they lack the teeth to stop the nomination. They can only inflict pain.

      So, I think everyone can agree that breaking this down into 1) who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination, and 2) what groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination lets you see power in the beltway.

      This is especially important as I see a growing strategy to use the useful idiots, like CUFI, to take the focus off groups like AIPAC, so the nightflower can do its work.

      So, lets break this down. This is very helpful to visualize power within the beltway.

      • Who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination?

      • What groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination?

    • It’s time for you start answering some questions instead of just asking them. If you don’t consider the B’nai B’rith, the ADL, the AJC, and the ZOA to be the major organs of “the Jewish Lobby”, then who are you talking about exactly? Why would AIPAC need to lift a finger when the Jewish Lobby and its constituency are in full “dog whistle” mode?

      Reread my post. Especially this part.

      Even some conservative pro-Israeli lobby organizations have taken positions that have backed away from removing him as an option. Let us not forget that Obama made an effort to assuage AIPAC, and that White House lobbying of AIPAC may explain why group is not going great guns so far against Hagel nomination. Let us also recall that Hagel prostrated himself in front of the lobby for votes. AIPAC is the key group here, and people are speculating what it is that they are doing. MJ Rosenberg, as mentioned on this site, suggests AIPAC “chooses to keep the Hagel onslaught going in order to show who is in charge. “This is what we can do.” No doubt that message has been received in all the right places. Jim Lobe gives a laundry list of reasons why AIPAC has pulled back. So, while AIPAC have their fingerprints on the smear Hagel campaign, they have backed off for strategic reasons. These reasons certainly remind us of the lessons AIPAC learned in 1992, and they extend to some other high profile right-wing lobby organizations. The RJC, similarly, are letting it go through, but they want to make an example. The Republican Jewish Committee wanted a “very difficult and bruising nomination battle.” Very tough warning.” Neoconservative Ari Fleischer is angrily resigned to it. The language I do not see here is to stop it. Even the confirmation hearing was seen as a visible attempt of making this pain visible was to reinforce behind the scenes deals. It is to make an example from a candidate they are letting through.

      -------------------------------------------

      Annie:

      not til you answer my question first bob. again:

      Look above at my post to Hostage.

      If yo can provide some new substantive info. I'm all ears.

      So far, this is clear and the information is all over this site, its just not put together to show how in a neat location, the groups who were placated and assuaged, and the groups people ignore because they dont have power.

      Whats Phil's new article?

      Elliott and Rachel Abrams try to sound like… liberal Zionists

      The neocons are scurrying left, because they realize that their little platform on the right is dissolving. Last week Chuck Schumer condemned the neocons-- his former buddies on Iraq, he threw them under the bus. So is it any surprise that Elliott Abrams is praising Yair Lapid's centrist surge in Israel, speaking on New York's public radio station? And distancing himself from the settler movement that he stood up for again and again under George W. Bush.

      Exactly what I said above.

      Theyre ignored because they dont have access to power. No need to kiss their butts.

      This isnt exactly a controversial statement I'm making, its just not synthesized in to a neat package. Hostage and Annie, reread my points here.

      • Who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination?

      • What groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination?

      Clearly the groups still fighting the nomination do not have the power to stop the nomination. The ones who Hagel placated and showed fealty to, did.

      This speaks, directly, to the power dyamic inside the beltway today.
      Neoconservatives do not have the same access to power under Obama as they did under G. W. Bush. I've cited reasons above. Just to put it here again

      Obama made an effort to assuage AIPAC, and that White House lobbying of AIPAC may explain why group is not going great guns so far against Hagel. Hagel prostrated himself in front of the lobby for votes.

      AIPAC “chooses to keep the Hagel onslaught going in order to show who is in charge. “This is what we can do.” No doubt that message has been received in all the right places. Jim Lobe gives a laundry list of reasons why AIPAC has pulled back. So, while AIPAC have their fingerprints on the smear Hagel campaign, they have backed off for strategic reasons. These reasons certainly remind us of the lessons AIPAC learned in 1992, and they extend to some other high profile right-wing lobby organizations. The RJC, similarly, are letting it go through, but they want to make an example. The Republican Jewish Committee wanted a “very difficult and bruising nomination battle.” Very tough warning.” Neoconservative Ari Fleischer is angrily resigned to it. The language I do not see here is to stop it. Even the confirmation hearing was seen as a visible attempt of making this pain visible was to reinforce behind the scenes deals. It is to make an example from a candidate they are letting through.

      You had a very visible shift of support to Hagel in he media. You see a break where Jewish lobby figures that are associated with the Democratic party, you know, the party where “2/3 of Democratic money comes from Jewish donors” or 60 percent of the money raised from private sources, have lined up to support Hagel. In fact, the senate confirmation was an effort by the congresspeople to gain access to some of this money. (sources above)

    • Hostage: So all of the mainstream Jewish Lobby organizations are still trying to keep things in an uproar.

      Not all by a long shot. Its more of what Jackson Diehl of the Washington Post says, that the appointment is a move to the left. It is more than just the left, as we have even seen prominent Netanyahu mouthpieces accept Hagel. We even have official Israeli spokespeople publicly approve of Hagel. So, what is going on here?

      From your words, and people you miss, its not all mainstream Jewish Lobby organizatons. Your words:

      grovel to Schumer, Cardin, Boxer, Feinstein, Levin, Lautenberg, et al. and every one else who expressed some reservations over his stated positions.

      You had a very visible shift of support to Hagel in he media. You see a break where Jewish lobby figures that are associated with the Democratic party, you know, the party where "2/3 of Democratic money comes from Jewish donors" or 60 percent of the money raised from private sources, have lined up to support Hagel. In fact, the senate confirmation was an effort by the congresspeople to gain access</a< to some of this money.

      Even some conservative pro-Israeli lobby organizations have taken positions that have backed away from removing him as an option. Let us not forget that Obama made an effort to assuage AIPAC, and that White House lobbying of AIPAC may explain why group is not going great guns so far against Hagel nomination. Let us also recall that Hagel prostrated himself in front of the lobby for votes. AIPAC is the key group here, and people are speculating what it is that they are doing. MJ Rosenberg, as mentioned on this site, suggests AIPAC "chooses to keep the Hagel onslaught going in order to show who is in charge. “This is what we can do.” No doubt that message has been received in all the right places. Jim Lobe gives a laundry list of reasons why AIPAC has pulled back. So, while AIPAC have their fingerprints on the smear Hagel campaign, they have backed off for strategic reasons. These reasons certainly remind us of the lessons AIPAC learned in 1992, and they extend to some other high profile right-wing lobby organizations. The RJC, similarly, are letting it go through, but they want to make an example. The Republican Jewish Committee wanted a "very difficult and bruising nomination battle.” Very tough warning." Neoconservative Ari Fleischer is angrily resigned to it. The language I do not see here is to stop it. Even the confirmation hearing was seen as a visible attempt of making this pain visible was to reinforce behind the scenes deals. It is to make an example from a candidate they are letting through.

    • You are right. In addition, I'll add with Yuri Sklezine:

      “Personally, we did not engage in any pogroms, we tried to prevent pogroms…So if the Jews, all of them, do not plead guilty to the social revolution, then the Russians, all of them, will not plead guilty to the Jewish pogroms” (Slezkine 187).

    • So, Liberals hold the sway in the Beltway?

      Obama isn't a liberal, especially when it comes to foreign policy.
      I'm not sure why the conversation has to keep moving away from these two points.

      • Who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination?

      • What groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination?

    • Thats right, Hostage:

      I actually list the ZOA and others above at 3:54

      You also have a whole collection of Pro-Israeli groups and congress people senators who have turned around on Hagel, and Israeli representatives disagreeing how he was "bad for Israel." There are a lot of these people. That said:

      • Who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination?

      • What groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination?

      Clearly the groups still fighting the nomination do not have the power to stop the nomination. The ones who Hagel placated and showed fealty to, did.

    • Annie:

      I read this site regularly. I just do not post regularly. I like your articles.
      Let me ask you something. Make two lists list.

      • Who was Hagel compelled to grovel to for nomination?

      • What groups remain unsatisfied and are still fighting the nomination?

      Clearly the groups still fighting the nomination do not have the power to stop the nomination. The ones who Hagel placated and showed fealty to, did.

      Groups like CUFI are arguing, but they're not going to be able to stop it. The Neoconservatives do not have the same access to power under Obama as they did under G. W. Bush.

      This is a terrific lens into power dynamics in the beltway today.

    • Annie:

      Thanks for the link. So far, there isn't much to go on regarding AIPAC and Hagel. So far, Nightflower or not, I have to have some foundation to it. Right now, I see speculation that AIPAC is somehow not silent.

      In comparison, the Christian lobby seems ignored in comparison to how Hagel prostrated himself to people like Senator Schumer.

      I would love to see some new information that would change this perspective.

    • Made a few revisions and forgot some edits.

      First sentence should read
      "You know, the real meat of this story is on how Hagel's confirmation reflects power within the beltway between Christian Zionists, the GOP, and the Israeli lobby."

    • Phil Weiss:

      You know, the real meat of this story is on the dichotomy of power between the Christian Zionists, the GOP, and the Israeli lobby.

      You have covered how Hagel has appeased Schumer et. al. You have covered how his alleged "anti-Israeli" positions have been debunked, such as the USO port. You have covered how AIPAC backed off.

      What is interesting, is to see Daniel Pipes moan about how AIPAC is sitting on their hands, while CUFI is doing the heavy lifting. Combine that with the residual GOP rage from Hagel's critical stances in years past that Jon Stewart covered last night.

      In other words, put in one list the people who's butt Hagel kissed andwho backed off, and put on another list who is still furiously trying to knock off Hagel. This is a good way to visualize power. CUFI can't do it. McCain can't do it. Hagel felt no need to kiss their butts, either.

    • Good article

      link to jewishpress.com

      ...snip...

      Schumer provided inaccurate information about other matters Wednesday morning. He said that “there is not a major Jewish organization against Hagel.”

      That’s not true.

      The Zionist Organization of America and the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) have been on record opposing the nomination of Chuck Hagel since President Obama first named him as his choice for secretary of Defense.

      The centrist American Jewish Committee has been at least softly opposed to Hagel’s nomination even before the nod was officially given by the president. Back in December, the AJC’s president, David Harris said, “what message would it send to have a Pentagon chief who has very different views on strategies for dealing with Iran, the central foreign policy challenge of our time, than the White House has had to date? Or questions the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist group at the same time the Administration is urging the European Union to add the group to its terrorism list?”

      And the politically centrist, Democratic Party-leaning Anti-Defamation League joined the AJC in strongly questioning the nomination after information about some of Hagel’s comments, in particular that he was recorded as saying that the “U.S. State Department is an adjunct of the Israeli Foreign Ministry,” at a speech at Rutgers University in 2007.

      AIPAC NOT TAKE POSITIONS ON NOMINATIONS
      Much has been made of the lack of opposition by the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee, but AIPAC never takes a position on a political nomination. The absence of one in this situation should give no comfort to Hagel supporters, or signal anything else to those who have questions and are looking to organizational leadership for direction.

      A source close to AIPAC provided The Jewish Press with a lengthy explanation for why AIPAC was sitting out the Hagel debate.

      The celebration by the pro-Hagel sycophants suggesting that AIPAC’s long standing policy of not lobbying on nominations is somehow meaningful is truly evidence of how little they understand the organization or the pro-Israel community. AIPAC didn’t have to endorse Cynthia McKinney’s opponent for the pro-Israel community to know that she was hostile to Israel and favored terrorists and totalitarians and despots over democratic allies.

      To understand how AIPAC feels about people like Hagel and Cynthia McKinney, all one has to do is open their eyes. The organization’s longstanding policy not to rate or endorse candidates is the same as not lobbying on nominations.

      Chuck Hagel’s record on issues important to the pro-Israel community is dismal. He spent years literally bragging about it, and now he says there is not a shred of evidence to show that hostility. That comment is as sincere as his apology for his attacks on gay rights and on openly gay Americans. Likewise his slurs suggesting American Jews, who along with tens of millions of non-Jewish Americans are part of America’s the pro-Israel lobby, are somehow less than completely loyal to America, is truly disgusting and evidence of bigotry.

      So what organizations was Schumer thinking of that don’t oppose the Hagel nomination? Maybe he meant J Street or Jewish Voice for Peace.

      Then again, Schumer also predicted after his White House meet-up with Hagel that the nominee would wow the crowds at the confirmation hearings. Schumer said then, “he’s going to allay the concerns of many people.” True, but the senator probably did not mean allay the concerns of those who feared Chuck Hagel might become the U.S. secretary of defense.

      And there’s this: while Schumer described himself as having given a meaningful tutorial to Hagel on the anti-Semitic associations with dual loyalty and the pain caused by stereotyping, when Schumer – falsely – assured his audience Wednesday morning that “no major Jewish organizations oppose Hagel,” he then explained who did.

      “The main fight on Hagel is coming from the neocons, who you know well. And they resent Hagel’s apostasy on Iraq,” Schumer said. “You may remember — the neocons helped push Iraq — and Hagel was one of the first Republicans to say Iraq wasn’t working. And he was right. But that’s where it’s coming from.”

      Ah, yes, the evil neocons. Isn’t that a derogatory code word for a particular religious minority group?

    • “And I told him what a double standard is. That Jewish people throughout the centuries have suffered a double standard. Everyone could be a farmer except Jewish people. Everyone could live in Moscow except Jewish people. I said when everyone else can lobby but all of a sudden when those of us who are pro-Israel lobby, it’s a negative, that’s a double standard. And I’m sure you didn’t mean it, but it harkens to the old days.

      Sen. Schumer, are you discussing the old days of having a life with more resources compared to the vast majority of the population who toiled under crippling manual labor under serfdom? Here, again, is the trope of a lack of Jewish agency. Are we going to see this extend into banking again, and how this was forced by the church? Lets not pretend that banking wasn't a far better life than toiling a short and rough life in the fields. This trope, strangely, seems to extend to modern day Israel, where all military actions are described "in response" to an external action, and measures on that action are merely "in defense." Can the Israeli state have agency? No. Apparently, the regional second strike nuclear power lacks agency and is merely an object that is acted upon by far weaker nations that surround it.

      We can agree that Soviet pograms were terrible, senator Schumer. Now, why do you feel that an American needs to feel the pain that Russians gave to Jews? Why is this collective pressure OK to you, while you admonish Hagel for being insufficiently sensitive to you? Its not even the same people that Schumer is conflating. Terrible. All Hagel can do is sit and cry.

  • Which will prevail-- latest neocon charge on Hagel over Israel, or D.C.'s fatigue over delay?
    • Beinart. The Crisis of Zionism Page 156.

      One state department official remarked that after personally lobbying 150 different foreign diplomats against the Palestinian effort, "sometimes I feel that I work for the Israeli Government."

  • Abrams calls Hagel anti-Semitic for questioning legitimacy of the Israel lobby
  • Hagel and the lobby, the unending non-story
  • Israel's worldwide role in repression
  • Hagel is right, Israel must negotiate with Hamas -- Slater
    • Recall Hagel's consistently low positon on years and years of "the Israel Factor" by Rosen. These date back to 2006

  • Israel lobby doesn't want Al Jazeera coming into 'millions of American homes'
    • Eliot Spitzer Out: Quits Job at Current TV After Purchase by al-Jazeera
      Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer is quitting his Current TV show "Viewpoint" following the cable channel's recent acquisition by al-Jazeera.

      In a Sunday interview in the New York Times, Spitzer acknowledged the network's anticipated change in direction from liberal news talk to an international news focus with al-Jazeera's acquisition.

      Spitzer said his departure was "more of my instigation than theirs, truth be told."

      Pan-Arab al-Jazeera, owned by the oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar, has struggled for years to win space on American cable television, but Spitzer didn't appear to share the view of many who consider the network as anti-American or sympathetic toward al-Qaeda.

      "I view Al Jazeera as a very serious journalistic outfit. They have proven to observers around the world that they are serious and objective," said Spitzer. "They will have to, at a P.R. level, prove to the American public that that is the case. And I think that over time they will succeed at doing that."

      "For me, journalism has been more a matter of projecting a particular approach to covering policies, to covering issues. It was a continuation of what I tried to do in government. And that doesn’t fit with their vision of what they are going to do," said the former governor.

      Spitzer, 53, resigned as New York governor in March 2008 after news of his frolicking with an upscale Washington D.C., escort service became public. Referred to as "Client-9" by the escort service, Spitzer was regarded by many as hypocritical for hiring a prostitute after spending years as the state's attorney general and prosecuting wealthy New Yorkers who used escorts.

      Despite his tarnished image, CNN hired Spitzer to cohost a primetime show with Kathleen Parker in June 2010 which was later cancelled by the network a year later. In March 2012, Spitzer was hired by Current TV to host his own show, replacing liberal talk show host Keith Olbermann who was fired.

  • Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks
  • CBS no longer categorizes American Jews as 'ethnic minority'
    • Krauss The Orthodox sections of American Jewry will remain monolithically white(okay, not entirely, about 20 % of them are Sephardic Jews, but many of them tend to be on the same wavelength as Southern Europeans in how they look.

      For all of the U.S. govt, white is technically defined as people with origins in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. This includes Arabs.

  • Iraq/Iran is 'feverishly working to develop atomic weapons' -- Netanyahu 2012 echoes Netanyahu 2002
    • 01-12-1995
      Netanyahu: Iran is real nuclear threat
      Jerusalem Post
      A SERIOUS threat of nuclear war hangs over Israel, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum yesterday. Only a handful of MKs and no ministers were present to hear Netanyahu’s warning that Iran will be capable of nuclear war within five years.
      “Within three to five years, we can assume that Iran will become autonomous in its ability to develop and produce a nuclear bomb, without having to import either the technology or the material,” Netanyahu said. “[The nuclear threat] must be uprooted by an international front headed by the US. It necessitates economic sanctions on Iran.”

  • Neocons 'pushed' mindless Bush into 'idiotic war' -- Chris Matthews
    • Kathleen:

      I forgot about Suskind. I really can't recall why I dismissed him, either. Now I can't weigh whether that was fair or not. Contingency plan? At any rate, thanks for bringing that up.

      a solid decade before the invasion

      Not going to happen. Cheney was calling regime change in Iraq a "quagmire" in the mid 1990's. He was also privately conducting millions of dollars in business in Iraq (1997-2000) when the Neoconservatives were clamoring for regime change. On Iran, he was even more misaligned and the reasons are quite long here. These are parts of the reasons why Heilbrunn, Halper, Clarke, and others label Cheney (and Rumsfeld) not as neoconservatives.

    • The energy task force records are being kept secret to prevent the American public from understanding that Israel-centric neoconservatives (the most powerful arm of the Israel lobby) attempted to cajole, manipulate, maneuver, trick, entice, bully, etc. the US oil industry into supporting a war against Iraq that they didn’t really believe in. This much has been obvious from the start.

      Perhaps. My point is we have an orgy of evidence now. There is little need for speculation.

    • cheney’s specialty

      Cheney was not on board until after 9/11. He was quite opposed to an invasion plan before that.

    • One of the reasons people can not name them is that Cheney and team refused to release the Energy task force records way back when. Where folks believe they divided up the oil resources in Iraq…made plans for the then upcoming fracking surge which is now in play

      When discussing the "oil industry," we do know that they were in direct opposition to the plan that the Neoconservatives envisioned and pushed through. The fight was visible before the war when the oil industry was lobbying to ease/drop the sanctions and after the war when they were fighting privatization.
      I wonder what people expect to find in these Energy task force records? We have verification after verification that the plan was neoconservative.

    • ColonWright: pre-conceived paradigm.
      and
      seanmcbride: Keith — you have passed over the line into pure comedy. Supposedly I have “bizarre standards of proof” because I have asked you to provide any evidence whatever to support the belief that a vague and undefined American corporate elite is agitating for a war against Iran. You can’t name a single name.

      Agreed. His basic rebuttal was to state that neocons were " talking about oil, oil ,oil" at the start of the war, somehow creating the mental block of these people concerned with their idea of Israeli interests in the region for years before, during, and after the war. Connecting any oil plans directly to the neocons wraps it up in a blanket of either concerns for Israel or Israeli concerns – especially when you have an “oil industry” opposing the plan. Frankly, thats all the argument you need.

    • All of you guys are forgetting Paritzky.

      No. Its just that connecting any oil plans directly to the neocons wraps it up in a blanket of either concerns for Israel or Israeli concerns - especially when you have an "oil industry" opposing the plan. Frankly, thats all the argument you need.

    • Greg Palest was the journalist who blasted the Enron Valdez stories. First on the scene to report the damage, etc. You may not agree with his conclusions but he’s a credible journalist and does great work. He had to leave the US to report from London, so to speak although he does have a NYC base, because he was annoying TPTB here. I think he also managed to piss off the BBC, where he was reporting from, because he wasn’t telling the company tale. He opened his own website instead.

      Palast was one of the early ones to cover this split between the neoconservatives and "big oil" on Iraq. That coverage is good.
      He goofed in that particular article on his speculation that the "industry" would win in the privatization/nationalization fight. They did not.
      The information on the fight and his speculation makes this a terrific source when discussing whether "big oil" went into Iraq 'to get the oil.'

    • Greg Palast is an Israeli gatekeeper in the alternative media who has tried to scapegoat the oil industry for engineering the Iraq War.

      His bias is why I like this citation.

      The article clearly shows the fight between Neoconservatives and "Big Oil" over what was a Neoconservative plan. Big Oil loathed it and did not get their way.

      Information like this is one of the most powerful arguments against the "get the oil" nonsense out there. Its even better when it comes from Palast, who assumes the industry will be victorious.

      Whoops!

    • BOB- Thanks for the link which serves to buttress my case and totally undermine yours.
      ....

      “”Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.”

      “The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq’s oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq’s oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.”

      If you followed the last 5 years, or if read the book you presented, you would know that the "industry favored" plan did not succeed.

      You need to reread your sources without trying so desperately to find oil.

    • “laid out for the first time pre-war oil plans hatched in the Pentagon by arch-neoconservative Douglas Feith’s Energy Infrastructure Planning Group (EIPG).” He discusses the history of the project, noting that “Here, in writing, was the approach adopted in the years to come by the Bush administration and the occupation authorities: lie to the public while secretly planning to hand Iraq over to Big Oil.”

      This plan by the neocons to shift over to a privatized system is not new. People wrote about it years ago. Here is Palast in 2005. The oil industry hated that plan and they didn't get their way.

      Whats is new information here is directly connecting it to Douglas Feith. Neocon of Office of Special Plans, allegations connecting Al Qaeda to iraq, etc.
      In a fight between Oil companies and neoconservatives, its nice to know who the originator is.

    • He says perfectly clearly that to secure tightening oil supplies(due to increased depletion from existing fields), you need to free up ‘politically constrained oil reserves, most of which is in the Middle East’.

      I thought this old argument had been buried a long time ago.

      Oil companies were fighting and lobbying to increase trade to both Iraq and Iran. If they wanted to secure the sources, they would have listened to the oil companies (including Cheney) and not went with the sanctions.

      In the late 1990′s, Saddam was begging to sell their oil, and U.S. companies like ExxonMobil (and the American Petroleum Institute) were lobbying to ease the sanctions . link to nytimes.com
      Meanwhile, the lobby, as it were, was pushing for both Iraq invasions (yes, the first one, too link to mondoweiss.net link to mondoweiss.net .

      Neoconservatives were pushing for this war since the nineties, when people like Cheney were arguing against sanctions and calling a proposed Iraq invasion a "quagmire." During this time, neoconservatives were pressuring Clinton to pass the Iraq Liberation Act, and got him to do it when he was pressed with a sex scandal with Lewinsky. Clinton was mocked by people like Brownback for not doing anything with it. Neocons explicitly called a "focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right".

      Here is a breakdown from Woodward. He and others cover Cheney's turn around, and how it occurred sometime after 9/11. Close friends noted how this event simply changed him.

  • Brian Williams is justly outraged by Mormon bar on intermarriage
  • New 'NYT' correspondent embraces goal of 'sensitively portray[ing] both sides of conflict'
  • Announcing a new partnership between Mondoweiss and Salon
  • Perelman flops from Obama to Romney. Why?
  • Latest demographic threat: 43 million Arabs on Facebook
    • i really don’t get why they do not understand this is not a framing issue. it’s the policies!!!!!!!!!!!

      Annie. In good measure, it is a framing issue where narratives are controlled. For example, take the common Hasbara theme of X attacks, and Israel responds. When framed you see only a missile or missiles go off, then and only then does Israel "respond." Of course, when you look at a slightly deeper context, this trope can fall apart.

      The internet has brought multivocality to the discussion, and this is ultimately a coffin nail for Hasbara.

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