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  • The Israel Lobby on campus in Illinois: A challenge for BDS
    • And just another example - we could be at this forever:
      link to angryarab.blogspot.com

      "Israel and Hollywood
      "The exchange between the two countries is now so substantial that people often speak of a “pipeline” going back and forth. And the mainstream media, including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com all have taken note. “Not since Golda Meir wanted everyone to make and write ‘Exodus’ has there been so much activity,” Ben Silverman, founder and CEO of Electus and the former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, said in a recent interview. “I do think there’s a renaissance happening,” said Sherry Lansing, the former studio chief of Paramount Pictures." (thanks Houssam)"

    • green is a very good writer. great essay. i think it could be limited to two points:

      A biased and discriminatory political agenda, dictated and limited by Israeli state interests and U.S. hegemonic interests in the region, is thus inevitably part and parcel of such academic agreements.

      And:

      Nevertheless, popular support for Israel, including among Jews and on campuses, is at an all-time low. The recent and welcome radicalization of the notion of “occupy,” combined with the principles and goals of the BDS movement, suggests assertive and persistent responses to Lobby business as usual on campus and in state government.
      ----------------------------------------
      Regardless of how one feels about the Israel Lobby and its power within the official american system, I think we can all agree that a lot of the "exposing the lobby" stories have a real "MSNBC" quality to them. "ALEC Exposed!" It evokes a sense of "No Shit!" in the reader/viewer.

      This is not to say that these people do not deserve our scorn, or that their efforts do not have a negative impact on the Palestinian struggle - but I do think it is important to remind ourselves of the grave injustices we americans allow in our own society, before we get indignant about state sponsored injustice in a far away land.

      It's very to explain the existence of the Israel Lobby and ALEC when we consider the nature of the state, the vast resources of some private citizens, the malaise producing corporate media/entertainment complex and the openness of the american system - i mean, if you got the will and some cash, the sky is the limit. Whatever else is true about the lobby - they are tireless and have the resources, just like the billionaire right wingers who support groups like ALEC. Our problem isn't with the Lobby, it's with the institutions that enable the lobby.

      And I think this is part of the generational divide that is evident in the views of young people - they don't view the lobby and the state as being separate, they see it as one entity, and I think that helps to explain why Israel is now getting crushed in the court of (young) public opinion, young people are looking around to see gross inequalities, discrimination and corruption as institutional imperatives and in that sense, the lobby becomes just another spoke on the wheel. The lobby's line has become the official line - young folks ain't buying the official line on anything.

      I think Green is still routing for institutions to come to their senses, and thus focuses on the entities corrupting institutional policies - but if we look at these institutions in their totality, I think we find them to be incapable of any such thing. Public Universities being just one very illustrative example.

  • A lull on this site
    • Hold the phone - so blankfort got banned for his views regarding the lobby? I thought it was because of the transfer agreement stuff etc? How can anyone be banned for writing about the lobby, here of all places? This site leads the league in lobby driven articles....

      Does anyone know what Blankfort said? My take was that he really really emphasized the role of "conspiratorial jews" - but to the point of banning? hmm. His essay on Chomsky from years back on Dissident Voice was tremendous, and in my opinion is the only serious argument against some of Chomsky's views regarding the lobby, us-israel relations etc. Blankfort offered the only argument that - if considered on a point by point basis with Chomksy- could reconcile the different "schools" of thought regarding US regional policy, US-Israel Policy and the I/, I/Arab conflicts.
      A counterweight to Chomsky gets banned?? How many people can lay claim to that title?(aside from mcbride, american.... haha ZING!! Jus kiddin.. love lives here!!)

      On the "new rules" comment thread, Phil mentioned that he didn't write as much about "jewish identity" and "jewish power" mainly because of commenter disapproval. I wonder if he isn't writing about "jewish power" for other reasons.... me personally, i have no use for discussions of jewish power etc. to me its a distraction -- we don't need to focus on the individual actors, we have a uniform policy (here in america) to deal with;

    • Don't sweat that shit, Walid - you've got the respect of us all here, your a great contributor, some folks just don't react well to views that differ from their own (especially when its from someone they usually agree with)

      Ive been CRUSHED on some posts by folks who I usually see eye to eye with - I think sometimes, especially on popular threads, people are trying to say something that will garner the attention of the person you are replying to - so if 30 people are replying to the same comment (say one of mine for example) and someone says, "Hey Crowther, go sleep with your sister" -- Im probably going to respond - not too kindly- to that person. And of course, it all devolves from there.

      I think a far worse offense is the "your a moron" type sht you sometimes see in comment threads (Guilty) -- I personally didn't like Donald's civility post, but left it alone, he's a consistent commenter, has lots of good info to share etc. And it was his opinion, and we should all be allowed our opinions. I think we can hammer each other on views, beliefs about civility etc. - but where I draw the line is the "your not serious, you know nothing of what you talk about" stuff. This should be a place where one can inform AND learn, and in my view, making negative declarative statements about other regular commenters hurts that effort.

      -- Dan

    • Wow, Danaa, one of the all time great posts....

      I couldn't agree more, all the way through - Witty exists, therefore he should be here, and if truth is going to exist here - with consideration to the tone with which it is delivered- Blankfort should be here too.

      And, I have to say, when I think of who some of the most frustrated people have been here, and who the banned or disinterested are, it's the anti-zionist jewish guys. shmuel is a rare bird these days, mooser, avi ( come on avi!!)
      blankfort......

      I'll say this: We need MORE Jewish cats like these guys around, not less.

      BRING BLANKFORT BACK!!! STOP THE MONDO EXODUS!!!

    • BRING BACK BLANKFORT NOW!!!!!

      FCKIN A MRW --- TREMENDOUS POST

      And yes, the comment section IS MONDOWEISS!!!

      Maybe we should start a site formerlyallowedonmondoweiss.net

      This is insane, MW wants to have a "honest investigation" without the honesty - I dont think people realize what a special place the comment section was, as i said above, i read for years without posting - and in that time I got to read the writing of incredible minds, saying things that were "taboo" but totally true - and it made me unashamed to state my views.

      the comment section was a view affirming space, whatever else was true about it, it was a place where if you came armed with facts and a thoughtful argument you could hang - but if you came with nonsense and platitudes, you got shredded. What the F more could we want?

      BRING BACK BLANKFORT NOW!!! STOP THE MONDO EXODUS!!!

    • Again, I think Chao's sense of urgency is spot on. I really can't overstate my agreement all the way through.

    • Fckin A Cliff....... I agree across the board.

      I will say this though, I have noticed more and more "maybe the "jewish community" doesn't have much to offer here" (regarding palestine) comments not only here on the MW comment threads - but in other places as well. I think the great wall of jewish leftist arbitration is coming down -- all we can do is to go out in public and state our views, regardless of who is present, which is what I try to do.

      If we are consistent, and we agree that someone being able to move to israel based on who they were born to (no matter where they are from in the world) is bullsht, well, in my view, elevating the speech of someone based on the same criteria is also bullsht. And we shouldn't be afraid to say it - being jewish does not give you anymore legitimacy to protest Israel or advocate for palestine than anyone else.

      And anyone who says otherwise is a tosser

    • "Okay, and now, I mean lately, does it still amaze you? Do tell your truth!"

      No, it doesn't. I hate to say it, but I think it was Mooser on the Jerry "Just Wars" Slater thread said it best when he said - "this is becoming the best liberal zionist site on the web!" -- there is more than a little truth to that.

      I don't know what has happened, but I don't think I can read anymore "Oh gawd, what has happened to my people" articles from jewish folks, and I can't be bothered with the "adelson funds gingrich" max blumethal type reporting -- we here all know dersh, adelson, mort zuckerman and co. are assholes, does it really need to be written about daily?

      Ive also noticed that MW has changed at the same time the "left" gets ready to get behind Barry and the O's for a second term -- lots of Paul bashing, lots of "scary republicans" and their Israeli counterparts, but NOTHING on O's wars in Libya/Yemen/Somalia etc (we could go on and on), his war mongering in Syria or really anything about how the I/P conflict is affected by all of these happenings.....

      Recently, I get the feeling that sometime soon, I am going to be reading a "I can't believe my people used a war with iran as cover to kick palestinians out of Israel/Palestine" article, followed directly by some poetry from rosengarten and sob sister accounts from other jewish cats. the thought of this makes me wanna puke

    • That's the word on the street(blankfort's banning) -- until I saw the Moose man the other day posting, I thought he was too..... DumVita and a couple of others are gone as well, although it seems like it may have been voluntary......

      One I thing I will say, this site used to amaze me -- i read it everyday for a couple years before finally commenting, I read the incredibly well written and thoughtful comment section and was intimidated to jump in -- and Blankfort was a part of it.

      The fact that Taxi - TAXI!!- has a problem getting through the mod's is unbelievable to me....

    • "As Andrew Levine from the Institute for Policy Studies has shrewdly observed, [4] Obama the neo-con may be a very clever move to pre-empt Mitt and win even more votes. But it may be an exercise in transparency, as Obama, even before his State of the Union address, has been reciting Kagan to the letter, as in forget Asia, this will be another American century, and I will be at the helm; thus remember, it is I that coined the only change you can believe in.

      And that's when this really becomes a scary movie; if Obama the neo-con concludes that to get to his new, dominant American century first he needs to do some vacuum-cleaning in Southwest Asia, blowback or not, he'll do it - to the delight of the Keyboard Warrior brigade." (escobar)

    • haha! he's been churnin' them out lately......

    • no way annie - that was from a couple days ago - I linked to his latest!!! haha :)

      Actually, Im full of it - this is his latest " return of the keyboard warriors"

      link to atimes.com

    • Escobar's latest is a worthy read:

      link to dissidentvoice.org

      ".......All this dovetails with an explanation by fine journalist Nir Rosen, author of the indispensable Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World; Homs is essentially a question of rebels seizing government checkpoints – and government forces shelling a few neighborhoods with mortars. According to Rosen:

      There was no fighting in Homs, just shelling from these safe locations (from the point of view of the regime), suggesting they are unable to actually attack Khalidiya with regime fighters … No opposition fighters were killed in the attack. And up to 130 people in Khaldiyeh were killed and 800 wounded (like I said not fighters). Now that’s a lot of people but if you were watching the news … you would think that Homs was destroyed while in fact this attack can also be seen as a sign of the regime’s weakness in the city.

      Compare this with my Syrian source worried that “people are completely in the dark as to what the government is thinking regarding Homs”.

      Imagine an armed insurrection in a mid-sized city in the US; the whole world saw how peaceful Occupy Wall Street was dealt with by billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg. The “disgusting” BRICS have made it clear; there will be no NATOGCC humanitarian bombing of Syria. But NATOGCC may be succeeding in its plan B: to plunge Syria into civil war."
      -------------------------

      I would just like to add how friggin awful (and maybe intentionally misleading) Juan Cole has been in regards to Syria. But, this was probably to be expected - his latest up today is a near total joke and he even weakly takes on his " people say I like wars when a democrat is in office" detractors...... Prof Cole and Jerry "Just War" Slater would probably have a lot to talk about.....

    • The Angry Arab News Service is a really good (often times hilarious) read, not only about Syria, but ME politics in general.....

      The Escobar article that cites the arab leagues findings in Syria is probably the finest repudiation to the "the syrian regime is massacring its people" line out there....

      link to angryarab.blogspot.com

      "Nawaat: The massacre in Homs, killing more than 200 lives, the deadliest since the events started, does it seem suspicious to you?

      A.M: This massacre is signed and its authors are making fun of our intelligence. Is it possible to believe for a moment, a government, whatever it is, could commit such a massacre on the day his case is brought before the Security Council?"

  • Beinart to cast Obama as caped hero of two-state-solution in forthcoming book
  • Bruising Judt, Fukuyama says Arabs aren't ready for liberalism
    • It's official that Blankfort got banned? that's fcked up

    • "and where being an intellectual could often mean complicity in enormous crimes.”
      ---------------------------

      What do you mean " could often" Frankie? Seems to me, intellectuals "often are complicit in enormous crimes" -- with a few exceptions.

  • Jewish substitution and the white gaze
    • This is the Phil Weiss I came to cherish...... Effectiveness starts with being self aware and a willingness to be critical of yourself, seems to me you got it down my brother. Cheers Phil.

  • Would you buy a used metaphor from this warmonger? (Niall Ferguson's 'creative destruction' echoes Rice's 'birth-pangs')
  • Should Alan Dershowitz refuse to take himself seriously?
  • Both sides are wrong in the ‘Israel Firsters’ debate
  • Barghouti: Attacks on the Penn BDS conference reveal panic that Israel is losing hearts and minds
  • When Desmond Tutu got the ‘Penn BDS’ treatment
    • "It was a tokenizing and racist sentiment that made “the Jews,” collectively, the final arbiters of what goes on in the Middle East and what could be done to Palestinian lives. I wrote a long response in Olympia’s alternative newspaper criticizing the idea that Jews (and only certain Jews) somehow “owned” the Palestine/Israel conflict and that they had the final say on the issue."
      -----------------------------------

      It seems to me that this only matters when jewish cats are "pro-israel" - I see the same dynamic (maybe even in more exaggerated fashion) taking place in the "peace camp" or whatever we want to call it.

  • Penn boycott conference is target in viral scare game
    • And this is how Palestinian rights becomes a "jewish issue" in America. Might as well have Linda Richman (mike myers from SNL) tell the crowd to "talk amongst yourselves".....

      Just fucking Boycott, enough with the "lets have everyone -- Jews-- understand where we are coming from" nonsense. Go to a Bed Bath and Beyond and hold signs that say "F Sodastream" (or something) and tell the Zio's your going to encounter to F themselves.

      Go to a trader joe's and say loudly enough for the person next to you to hear, " Im definitely NOT buying Tribe Hummus, I dont support Apartheid"

      I see any actions like the ones I mentioned as being much more productive than sitting in a auditorium listening to a bunch of american jews talk about BDS, their feelings about BDS, their feelings about "their people" and all the other nonsense that is sure to be ever-present at this "conference"

      The only thing that needs to happen at this conference is for Ali Abunimah to get up and say, " We are here to call on all people of conscience to boycott Israel in its entirety, and we (I) dont give a rats ass about what world jewry thinks of it"

      And you would be able to tell immediately who is for real and who is full of it.

  • So the U.S. military doesn't want to attack Iran and neither does Israel. Who does?
    • I agree with this also….”But I will NEVER agree with the contention that our ME policy would be benevolent and pro-independence/democracy if “the lobby” wasn’t around. ” And on the military privatization and the vulture war profiteers.
      ------------------------------
      That's really my only point here!! hahaha!! Cheers American!

    • "You don’t deny my assertion that American support of Israel damages American relations with Arab and Muslim nations in the region and undermines American strategic interests. In fact, you acknowledge this is the case."
      ------------------------------------------
      Yea, I don't deny that american support of israel pisses off the POPULATIONS of arab and muslim countries, but you can say the same about our support of arab and muslim dictators - either way, my point that the US doesnt care about what some guy on the street in cairo thinks stands. we don't - drone attacks pisses them off to, ripping guys off the street and taking them to gitmo or libya or jordan to be tortured pisses people off too, just like our support for the tyrants lording over them, pisses them off

      so ur idol barack obama who you say cares for palestinians claims he has the power to assasinate americans with no charges, trial or due process, in fact, he's used it this power.
      faced with this reality, are I am really supposed to take seriously those who say that american leaders "care" what average people think?

    • American,

      I don't know how many times I have to write it out - I don't subscribe to the "oil theory" - I am not a oil fetishist, at all. But, I do have to say, all of those foreign oil companies you mention are publicly traded companies.....$$$$

      My reticence to adopt "the lobby and only the lobby" line in regarding responsibility for the Iraq war is NOT a "oil was the sole reason" contention.

      My contention is that there were many, many hands in the mix - and yes, the lobby was one of them, and indeed provided much of the public advocacy for war.

      But again, I was IN THE MILITARY AT THE TIME - and witnessed first hand the huge privatization of the military (which had been a long time goal of many, not just neo-cons) - I witnessed the MASSIVE build up of a for profit element, not just on the ground, but also in intelligence collecting, in "domestic security" and in a host of other areas. The washington posts "top secret america" from a year ago is a worth while read in this regard. And again, I am not saying THIS was the sole reason either.....

      I am not in any way saying there is no lobby, or that they have little to no power. All I am saying is, no one should be all that surprised with the US stance to I/P and the region, based on what the US position is to much of the rest of the world (and especially the parts it considers "important") -- And I am also saying that I AGREE WITH MOST OF WHAT YOU ALL ARE SAYING - just not to the same degree. But I will NEVER agree with the contention that our ME policy would be benevolent and pro-independence/democracy if "the lobby" wasn't around.

      Sht, fellas - I think we can disagree on the extent of the lobby's influence, but I don't see how you guys can call me some idiot, or say that nothing that I write here is rational. The fact of the matter is, we mostly agree.

    • "The failure to achieve a two-state solution will greatly injure American interests (including *capitalist* and *imperial* interests) and ruin American relations with Arab and Muslim nations in the region on whom we are economically dependent."
      ------------------------------------

      Well, there it is. This statement of course, begs the question, what is the US's "relationship with arab and muslim nations" in its practical application?

      Its the support of tyranny. The house of Saud, the Shah, in Egypt, in Jordan, in Bahrain, in Qatar, in Tunisia, in Iraq, in Pakistan - do we need to go on?

      So, just like Walt and Mearsheimer, your problem with the Lobby is its potential to fck up THIS relationship with the arab and muslim world. Well, me and you have nothing else to talk about.

      As for the US being "economically dependent" on "nations" in the region, as if the people living there have a say in our deep involvement in their economies- a quick look around would tell us that "nation" really means "dictator/monarch/junta - and they are the ones who are dependent, namely on US arms and cash to help them stave off their populations.

      As for the failure of the two state solution screwing this up - your preferred resolution i take it?- I guess we will see, for decades now US/western capital and business has invested in Israel, they seem to be doing OK.

      If you are of the opinion that the United States is somehow interested in independent nationalism in area's it considers economically and strategically important, me and you are never going to agree sean. it's a claim not based on fact.

    • Not saying I agree with the guy completely, but I think one would be hard pressed to say that Chomsky doesnt have a firm grip on history, or is some sort of cult figure

      link to youtube.com

      link to youtube.com

      and 5 parts in all......

    • How has the prime minister of israel been able to bully and humiliate the president on settlements?

      The president doesn't care about the settlements. None of them ever have. I don't know how much clearer I can be. What client state hasn't been able to run roughshod over the people it governs? Seriously, name one. The US has allowed far worse than settlement building brother. And like I have said repeatedly, Israel gets away with sht like that where no other country would, and yes, that is because of the lobby.

      You say I know nothing of history, but I explained a great deal of it in my posts here - but because it's not all about the lobby and israel, you totally ignore it. Half your posts here are lists of peoples names, and yet you sit and criticize and condemn others as unserious or whatever.

      I agree that Israel is a special case, again, Ive said that repeatedly - but if we are going to ignore completely - as you clearly are here- the fact that for decades it was a "vital strategic asset" when considering why the lobby is powerful as you say it is, your missing a big piece of it.

      Part of the calculus that made israel such a important strategic asset is changing, and that is why there is a discussion about israel and it's policies taking place - and when you look at around at some of the other big time state actors in the region, it begins to make sense.

      For example, look at the way Turkey has positioned itself. They are fully on board with the western powers regarding Syria ( and who knows about with Iran), and two weeks ago the foreign minister went to Tehran to tell the Iranians as much. Is Turkey doing the bidding of the west because of the Israel Lobby? Or do they have their own interests?

      I get it man, your offended by asshole israeli leaders - totally understandable, but any US president under our current model is gonna take some disrespect from a leader that does his bidding most of the time. And the Israeli's do that sht to everybody -
      link to time.com

      Joe Biden is no special case. A couple days later the Turks got a "statement of regret" and for the time, their trade (worth hundreds of millions if not more) continued. Did Turkey not cut ties with israel or demand a full apology because of the Turkish Israel Lobby?

    • bob,

      great post brother - cheers. again, im not trying to state that there is no lobby or that they can't get their agenda across, even sometimes in the face of big business (though it is usually over things like the "severity" sanctions and such, rather than a fundamental difference or interest) -- All I am saying is that, in the case of Iran, regime change has long been the want in washington, regardless of the Lobby.

      my thing is, aside from israel/palestine, and especially when you are talking about war, in order for the lobby to really do its thing, other factors have to also align with their position, and in the case where the lobby is considered -especially here- to be the main reason for war, we find that there are other factors, and they are indeed strategic both militarily and economically. Now, I don't agree that oil, the dollar, our control over the extraction and distribution of resources and the transport of them to the world markets should be the top priority of the US Government, but they are.

      So, to me, the lobby is just one offshoot (albeit an extreme offshoot) of what passes for serious, rational statecraft in the US -and it shows in the Weissman admission above, Clinton and Kohl wanted a form of sanctions, the Lobby pounced and raised the stakes.

      If I thought that American policy is only fcked up in the middle east, I would be all over the lobby thing - but its fcked up everywhere, in a very similar pattern, so again, while I agree the lobby is a menacing force, I think it is more important to look at the institutions that make it possible for the lobby to exist. the lobby can only exist if we continue to spend trillions on war and guns, it can only exist if our policy is to garrison the planet - and it can only exist as long as the overarching goal of the US state is to run the global show.
      We all agree that if the US changed its stance toward Israel, there would be big change - so let's talk about that, to me, talking about conspiracies and sht is better left for the history channel, we can do something about this NOW
      I see that being much more effective that sitting, kvetching over the lobby or listing numerically, the people "in the lobby" -- whatever else is true about the lobby, focusing on it does distract from what enables the lobby, our overall policy, but M-W are looking to defend that policy, so they blame it all on the lobby. I might agree with what they say, but their agenda should be made clear.

    • Just one other thing - I don't think anyone should underestimate how radically different the military has become over the last decade; The Clean Break paper and the memo the neo-cons wrote to clinton about attacking iraq were around for a long time - but so was cheney's paper on privatizing the military. And, again, as someone who was in the military during all of this (went to boot camp nov 2001) I can personally attest to the massive privatization that took place in the military.

      I stood in a company formation one day (2004?)and was treated to a guy from a big defense contractor telling a company of US Marines that any eight of them could right then, get out of their contract with the government - and do a tour in Iraq as a private security "operator" and make over 100k tax free.

      Think about that. Openly recruiting mercenaries from the ranks of federal troops, with the governments consent. But it wasn't just security guys - almost everything from combat to intelligence has a large for profit element in it now.

      Again, I dont mean to make THIS the prime cause of the Iraq war (the privatization of war) - I just think it is another important factor, which is again, part of the reason I don't obsess over the Lobby as the prime source of evil, to me there are plenty of them - and when enough of them get together, yes you get war

    • sarcasm roha sarcasm - come on now, whaddaya take me for!?! :)

    • Sean --

      American is right, we are talking past each other. And It's because we are indeed, coming at this thing from two totally point's of view. Let me explain myself --

      After WWII the US was a power unknown in world history and the guys running the show wanted to keep it that way. And since the end of the second world war, there hasn't been a single country that was once in the american sphere of influence, gained independence, and wasn't either destroyed violently or economically. In fact, we can go back even further with that contention - no one gets out alive, as they say.

      So, again, Iran being the potential target of American aggression makes perfect sense, given history and the fact that Iran was once a fixture of the American system. I mean, we were TIGHT with Iran when the Pahlavi's were doin their thing......

      The policy has been regime change since 79. that's why we backed saddam against Iran in the 80's; why we've tried innumerable times to overthrow the government....Just like regime change was the policy in 53, which i think we can agree was not the doing of the israel lobby, or maybe we can't

      And so, where I have to agree with you that "the lobby" does indeed desperately want war with Iran, but not necessarily with "american interests" at heart - I have to look at the huge number of other countries where this exact scenario has played out.

      And then I read what the planners wrote about what our support for Israel -which they viewed as being a bulwark against arab nationalism- would mean in the middle to long term. This was always going to happen, in my view.

      My contention is that the Israel lobby is powerful, but only because of how important the region it's in is - I get the impression sometimes that people think the Israel lobby would still exist if Israel was in the south pacific.
      And, yes, I am sorry, I can't ignore the fact that we live in a (state) capitalist country, and that US planners were calling the middle east possibly the greatest economic prize the world has ever known.

      So, this is a basic lens through which i view "the lobby" - I do notice that they seemingly have undo sway, can get what they want and that Israel is allowed things no other country would ever get away with. But again, Israel for a very long time played a critical role in beating back arab/muslim independence which meant fat contracts for oil/guns/finance and co.

      And what israel wants in terms of wars is pretty much in line with what US policy is - regime change in Iraq and Iran being two good examples. But again, this is independent of "the lobby" - just like our coups/invasions of a sht ton of other countries around the world.

      To me, its a qualitative issue with the Israel Lobby - they are really good at what they do, but they are also selling the best product. stick with them and they'll garrison the whole middle east, half of africa and most of south asia - they will ensure that if anyone goes near the interests of the US (especially the dollar), they will be dealt with.

      So, who is the Lobby? Useful idiots. Just like the Evangelical Christians are for domestic big business. I consider the lobby to be almost the same as those people who showed at tea party events sponsored by the koch brothers. They're being used.
      If the lobby didnt exist, the government and big business would have to create it.
      And who better than people who have a long history of suffering and exploitation for the face of the effort to dismantle and destroy your opposition --- Way better than just "commies"

      Again, my emphasis is on the fact that the US has never needed any help in finding wars to fight or governments to overthrow, if the US ends up going to war with Iran, will the lobby be part of the reason? sure - but only part of the reason. That's been my point the whole time - does it exist and have sway? of course. in terms of overall regional/global strategy? only when its close enough to official policy. and it's pretty close here.....

      I didnt mean to get abstract, talking about "capital" and sht, i was baked earlier. but the fact remains that these companies DID want war with iraq - go watch farenheit 911 again, the guys from the oil and weapons companies (dont forget that the MIC is almost all private, even cooks and transport) telling each other how much money they were gonna make. these cats are laughing at the fundies and the jewish zio's, again, in my opinion...... bash away

    • In 1995, the Strategic Command under the Clinton administration released a study speculating over the use of nuclear weapons for strategic purposes. Titled "Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence," the document concluded that the goal of U.S. foreign policy should center on creating fear in the heart of adversaries: "Because of the value that comes from the ambiguity of what the U.S. may do to an adversary if the acts we seek to deter are carried out. It hurts to portray ourselves as too fully rational or cool-headed. The fact that some elements may appear to be potentially ‘out of control’ can be beneficial to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts in the minds of an adversary’s decision makers. This essential sense of fear is the working force of deterrence. That the U.S. may become irrational and vindictive if its vital interests are attacked should be part of the national persona we project to all adversaries…nuclear weapons always cast a shadow over any crisis in which the U.S. is engaged. Thus, deterrence through the threat of nuclear weapons will continue to be our top military strategy."
      --------------------------------------
      I would add that "bitter conflicts" within the power centers would go a long way in making people think (1) the US is in the grips of nefarious forces (2) the US's actions are irrational - thoughts?

      link to nukestrat.com

    • Bibi has more power than the US president who says he can assasinate americans with no charges, oversight or judicial review, let alone a trial? Holy sht, we gotta stop Bibi!!!

    • For months now Sean, I have read you castigate others, call them stupid or ignorant or simplistic, apparently now I am a "zealous ideologue" -- that's fine, I guess, Im a big boy and can take it. I don't see it as useful, and doubt you would say anything similar to my face, but it is the internet - we can all be keyboard tough guys, I suppose.

      As for the paragraphs Ive "ignored" - go back up to my first posts where Keith Weissman admits AIPAC and "the lobby" didnt have Iran on their radar UNTIL Clinton and Kohl spoke of isolating Iran and restricting trade. So, yea, again, the Lobby has incredible sway when their agenda dovetails with the agenda of the State, as defined clearly in post WWII planning
      ( something you seem willing to ignore)

      And again, like I said, what you call "bullying" I call excuse making. Why don't you tell me how Arms manufacturers, oil companies and the US Government and their real interests have suffered....You can't, because they haven't. (record profits, yet again this year)

      As for the story I have been missing, the "bitter conflict" - what evidence is there for this? Some story in the NY Times? Oh, Gareth Porter said so? Yea, consider me very skeptical about any "bitter conflict" especially given the fact that the US now has three carrier groups in the Gulf and has ratcheted up tensions on it's own. The US supposedly wanted nothing to do with WWII, and yet now its understood that oil embargo's on Japan helped cause Pearl Harbor and there is considerable evidence the Gov't knew it would be attacked, allowing for the US to enter the war. So this "reluctant" thing has been done before.

      As for "the capitalist lobby" - which is better described as "the state"- being against a war with Iran, can you cite one example where war was NOT good for the interests of concentrated capital? Where has war not benefited capital, large industrial companies, weapons manufacturers and their ability to consolidate their power? Any war with Iran, in my view, is about China and Russia, access to energy and dollar dominance - also key in the Iraq war.
      You are still conflating "US Interests" with "society" - they are not the same thing. But somehow, I think US capital cares about this:

      "Join the oil-for-gold program
      BRICS members India and China, together, buy at least 40% of Iran's oil exports, roughly 1 million barrels a day. That's 12% of India's oil needs. As for China, last year it bought 30% more oil from Iran than in 2010, an average of 557,000 barrels a day.

      The real "international community" is now very much aware that India will start paying Iranian oil with gold - and not only rupees, via Indian state bank UCO and Turkish state bank Halk Bankasi. Beijing - which already trades with Iran in yuan - may also turn to gold. Needless to say, both Delhi and Beijing are major gold producers and holders of gold assets. Global consequences: gold shooting up, petrodollar going down, oil traders opening bottles of Moet in droves. (escobar)

      I'll just link to some others that help to inform my views:
      link to tomdispatch.com

      link to tomdispatch.com

      link to atimes.com

      And, your right, nothing I say describes the real world:

      The number of major U.S. invasions since World War II: 13

      By conservative estimates, the U.S. led over a dozen invasions of sovereign countries in the last 65 years – including attacks on North Korea (1950 and 1951), Cuba (1961), South Vietnam (1962), The Dominican Republic (1965), Cambodia (1970), Lebanon (1982-1983), Grenada (1983), Panama (1989), Iraq (1991), Haiti (1994), Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq again (2003). U.S. covert operations designed to overthrow foreign governments are about three times more common than invasions. As William Blum explains in his classic book Rogue State, "From 1945 to the end of the century, the U.S. attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes."
      link to counterpunch.org

      Semper Fidelis,

      Dan

      PS - The idea of a a Empire Worshiping "realist" like Walt "embarrassing" Chomsky is pretty funny.

    • I think we need to be clear in what the US Government represents - it represents the Capitalist Class and very little else. And so, yes the offshoring of manufacturing etc is a feature of capitalist development, as foretold by Adam Smith. He stated very clearly that once domestic profits from industry started to decline, capitalists would look for undeveloped (labor) markets to make their goods for them, and import them back to the mother country. It's part of capitalist development.

    • Let me be clear - I do disagree with Chomsky on several points (BDS being just one) but to analyze only one small fragment of data to make generalizations about ALL of American Foreign Policy ( as is required by lobby fetishists) doesnt seem to make much sense, in my view

    • Oh, I don't know, how about the fact that the entire region is ruled by dictators, kings and tyrants all reliant on the US and subservient to Multi-National Corporations? Or how about the fact that the focus here is on Israel, rather than the US Imperial strategy laid out in great detail after WWII - seems like the "Lobby" crowd just wants to completely overlook this......

    • Im not all over the map - I reject the premise.

      You can only talk about "The Lobby" if you disregard - entirely- US actions throughout the rest of the world. And frankly, up until the Invasion of Iraq, the Middle East death toll that the US and Israel can be called responsible for is pretty freakin small, compared to Central and South America, Asia and Africa and elsewhere. But no one here gives a sht about that, we just want to talk about Israel and "The Lobby" as if US Policy toward the whole world is not uniform.

      It's a mindless exercise. USA GOOD - LOBBY BAD. Of course you are talking about "the jews" brother man, without Jews there would be no Israel, no Lobby and according to the followers of "The Lobby is the problem" doctrine, no problems in the Middle East ( at least as it pertains to US interests) -- All evidence to the contrary. If it weren't Israel, it would be another country. Your the one talking about jewish lead conspiracies and policy coups, not me.

      If we begin to discuss US policy around the world, we notice almost immediately the similarities region to region- and the Lobby argument falls flat on its face. And that is why Phil practically NEVER posts about the GCC, Turkey and other regional pillars of the American system to say nothing of American Imperialism in other regions.

      Again, NO ONE IN THE US GOVERNMENT PLANNING APPARATUS GIVES A SHIT ABOUT "AMERICAN SOCIETY" - I can't believe this still has to be explained. "US Interests" have nothing to do with Americans, US Interests are capital, access to resources and control over their extraction/distribution. Full Stop. Enough with the "lobby acts against American societies interests" nonsense. No shit. You know what else is against societies interests? Fossil Fuels, Fried Food and Beer, Nuclear armaments, the MIC and Justin Bieber.

      What you call "bullying" I call leaders having a built in excuse to prosecute the aims of the empire without catching too much flack. And if we are only going to consider "the bullying" and not the immense return the US has gotten on its investments, this whole exercise is rather uninteresting

      link to isreview.org
      "Consider the following examples:

      Israeli military advisers helped to train the militaries and secret police agencies of such "friends of Israel" as the Shah of Iran, Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, Emperor Bokassa in the Central African Republic, General Idi Amin in Uganda, and Ian Smith of Rhodesia.

      In 1978, Israel sold U.S. jets and attack helicopters to Indonesia as that country's military carried out genocide against East Timor. To date, the Indonesian military has killed more than 200,000 Timorese. Israel's arms trade with the Suharto dictatorship continues today.

      In the last year of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua, Israel provided 98 percent of the arms Somoza used to kill 50,000 Nicaraguans. In 1980, Israel supplied 83 percent of the arms to the genocidal military regime of Guatemala. 14

      In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Israel earned more than $1 billion a year selling weapons to the military dictatorships in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. "Thus while Jewish newspaper publisher [and human rights advocate] Jacobo Timerman was being tortured by the Argentine military in cells painted with swastikas, three Israeli generals, including the former armed forces chief of staff, were visiting Buenos Aires on a 'friendly mission' to sell arms." 15

      In 1977, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan announced that Israel would not abide by the international arms embargo against the racist South African apartheid regime. Even an Israeli newspaper conceded, "It is a clear and open secret known to everybody that in [South African] army camps one can find Israeli officers in not insignificant numbers who are busy teaching white soldiers to fight Black terrorists with methods imported from Israel." 16

      Israel anchored an international terrorist network which ran guns, drugs and other weapons between Panama's Noriega, the contras in Nicaragua, Middle Eastern arms dealers, the Sultan of Brunei and the CIA. The Reagan administration made use of this network during the "arms for hostages" Contragate affair in the mid-1980s."
      ----------------------------------------------

      When your government provides these kinds of services to "The Master" and allows for these stories to NOT be front-page news in the NY Times, yes, the US will help you along with your colonial project. I have no idea why this is not understood.

      As for the "what other Lobbies are pushing for war in Iran" -- that's easy, the Capitalist Lobby. But the capitalist lobby IS the US Government, so we don't even talk about that - we only talk about Lobby's that are not directly tasked with maintaining the Global Capitalist Order and Dollar Supremacy. Or are you making the argument that "potential conflict" in the ME has been bad for Big Oil, Big Guns and Big Business, I hope not, one would be hard pressed to find a more fallacious argument, especially if you take into account that a small loss in the ME can lead to huge gains elsewhere (which it so often has)

      "The U.S. took the first step to underwriting the Israeli venture in 1949, when it extended a $100 million loan to Israel from the newly created Export-Import Bank. The U.S. justified its support for Israel as necessary to counteract "the Soviet threat" to the Middle East oil fields. But its true enemy was rising nationalism in the region." (see above link)
      -------------------------------------
      And here it is, as plain as can be - "rising nationalism in the region" Nationalism can lead to bad things like nationalization of resources, banks and education - it can also lead to people NOT wanting to live in a mainly export only economy ( which is a requirement in the American system) -- and so, when Israel was willing to abide by the rules of the system, and pledged to thwart arab nationalism in the region, it was capitalized and supported - and its been that way since.

      The fact of the matter is, if you take part in American/Western consumerism you yourself are "in the lobby" agitating for war with Iran, whether you want to believe it or not. If you own technology made by child slave labor, if you drink free trade coffee, if you shop at Wal-Mart or other big box stores including whole foods and trade joe's you are actively taking part in a system based on explotation. "the lobby" is but a very visible part of the entire picture -- if Iran is able to forge trade and development agreements not reliant on the dollar and others follow suit, the game is over - for all of us, and that is why our "leaders" can feign not wanting to attack Iran while three aircraft carrier groups head to the Gulf, and while Diego Garcia becomes a US nuclear stockpile -they are totally powerless to do anything about it- the whole system, our whole way of life is predicated on our dominating the rest of the planet.

    • So, it was the Lobby that made the US also destroy central and south america?(guatemala, el salvador, nicaragua, honduras, colombia, chile, argentina, bolivia etc) It was the Lobby that armed Indonesia as it committed genocide in East Timor? It was the Lobby that made the US destroy Indo-China, which lead to the crimes of Pol Pot and others? It was the Lobby that destroyed Haiti? Cuba? The Phillipines? The Lobby was responsible for the overthrow of the Shah? The Lobby was responsible for US backed dictators/tyrants/murderers in Romania, Hungary and elsewhere in eastern europe during the soviet era? The Lobby was responsible for supporting Apartheid South Africa as it helped to destroy Mozambique and Angola? I could go on and on.....

      We are either going to accept that we live (in the US) in one of the most dastardly, murderous and tyrannical empires the world has ever known, and take some responsibility for it ourselves, or we can talk about "the Jews" and their henchmen. I have very little interest in the latter. I refuse to place my mind in the position where I accept the supremacy of jews, and become reduced to begging and pleading with them to "change," and that is exactly the mindset required. That's why M-W talk about "righteous jews," which follows the same "in order to critcize you must first laud" model. The fact of the matter is, M-W are very much FOR American Empire, their argument is that indeed there is a very powerful establishment in the US and Jews are part of it - this is totally fine with them, in fact, its almost considered a " jewish achievement," they aren't looking to change anything about "the establishment" and it's actors, they just have a problem with some of it's advocacy, especially in regards to Israel. Me, I got a problem with the whole thing.

      It goes without saying that this argument is very popular among "righteous jews" as it confers onto them special powers to bring peace, and says nothing about the blantant moral inconsistencies of those who have climbed to the highest levels of power and influence while pretending to give a shit about others. In other words, you can be a "righteous jew" while being a arch capitalist, or part of the US consumer culture (which happens to rely on the slave labor of 12 year olds in China and elsewhere). You can be "righteous" while saying nothing of being a part of the greatest machine of economic exploitation in the history of mankind - in fact, you can be righteous while defending it. And defense of the empire is the central point of "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy" - Our Government Is Good, But These Crazy Jews keep making problems. When it comes to the Palestinians being stateless and rights-less, sure, I totally buy it - but when it comes to regional and global policy? That dog just don't hunt.

      Here's my main man Noam:
      link to chomsky.info

      "What were "the Lobbies" that led to pursuing very similar policies throughout the world? Consider the year 1958, a very critical year in world affairs. In 1958, the Eisenhower administration identified the three leading challenges to the US as the ME, North Africa, and Indonesia -- all oil producers, all Islamic. North Africa was taken care of by Algerian (formal) independence. Indonesia and the ME were taken care of by Suharto's murderous slaughter (1965) and Israel's destruction of Arab secular nationalism (Nasser, 1967). In the ME, that established the close US-Israeli alliance and confirmed the judgment of US intelligence in 1958 that a "logical corollary" of opposition to "radical nationalism" (meaning, secular independent nationalism) is "support for Israel" as the one reliable US base in the region (along with Turkey, which entered into close relations with Israel in the same year). Suharto's coup aroused virtual euphoria, and he remained "our kind of guy" (as the Clinton administration called him) until he could no longer keep control in 1998, through a hideous record that compares well with Saddam Hussein -- who was also "our kind of guy" until he disobeyed orders in 1990. What was the Indonesia Lobby? The Saddam Lobby? And the question generalizes around the world. Unless these questions are faced, the issue (1) cannot be seriously addressed."

    • Keith,

      Yesterday, after reading Phil's "what did aipac do, and when" post, I went back and read Keith Weissman's confession to Robert Dreyfuss that Phil wrote about a while ago
      link to pbs.org

      And MW's:
      link to mondoweiss.net

      One passage, totally overlooked by the "Jews did this, its the Lobby" crowd is this:

      In the mid-1990s, Weissman began to work on issues related to Iran. Before that, at AIPAC, Iran was "an afterthought," he said. But as German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Bill Clinton began to discuss ideas about isolating and reducing trade with Iran -- at the time, according to Weissman, the United States was Iran's biggest trading partner and Germany was second -- AIPAC saw an opening to start working on Iran, and from that the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) emerged.
      ---------------------------------
      And so, this is my most basic point about "The Lobby" - is it opportunist? Yes, of course. Does it have it's own agenda, apart from "US Interests"? Of course. Does it DICTATE policy, of course not. They are only powerful when their goals align with the "grand strategy" goals of the state.

    • link to atimes.com

      "Time to review the evidence. In roughly one month, no less than three US aircraft carriers and their strike groups will be sloshing around the American Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea; the USS Abraham Lincoln, USS Carl Vinson and USS Enterprise, plus good ol' French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. And yet one more Pacific-based US aircraft carrier can be swiftly dispatched.

      Apart from this naval hajj of US aircraft carrier groups, the 40-year-old USS Ponce is being retrofitted into a special ops amphibious hub - to be dispatched to the American Gulf.

      The Pentagon's CENTCOM is fast upgrading the 14,000-kilogram Orwellian bunker-buster monster known as Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP), theoretically capable of taking out Iran's underground nuclear installations.

      A certain Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Project - one of those myriad revolving doors in Washington mixing politicians and military-complex types - wants to give Israel some 200 additional MOPs and three KC-135 aerial refueling tankers to "increase the credibility of a military strike" against Iran"
      -- Pepe Escobar

  • Who's the moderate? Romney teams up with anti-Muslim speakers, Greater Israel advocates
    • Along those same lines Teta - many of us here (including me) call out the "liberal zionists" and the "Israeli left" for the frauds that (many) of them are - but when it comes to the "hometeam" we are not nearly as critical.

      Where we look through "liberal" Jewish Israeli calls for justice, equality etc. and seemingly disregard them as either cathartic or distracting, a lot of us here are all too willing to "believe" the represented left in the US, project onto them our own ideas and values, and "hope" and "think" that they want to act on our behalf, but are unable to, usually due to some "enemy" whether it be the Republicans, "The Lobby" or those damned "low information voters." In this way, "we" are no different than those we claim to despise.

    • "As the success of Newt Gingrich's candidacy shows, this pro-occupation, anti-Muslim outlook on the Middle East is a core part of the Republican Party."
      ---------------------
      The same could be said about the Democratic Party - the fact that it isn't said here more often is frustrating. Republicans might be more vulgar, but there is little to no daylight between the parties on these issues......

  • Racism Report: Africans in Israel
  • Mossad chief held secret talks in DC with top U.S. officials
    • When it's David Petraeus saying that, yes, he is giving voice to those "concerns"about Iran's undefined "nuclear ambitions" -- Especially since he has characterized Israel as "intransigent" before (in regards to Palestinians)
      -- aren't the Israeli's acting "intransigently" in their endeavor to provoke war? Apparently not, here they just have "concerns".... Its the world wide threat assessment, and not only is Israel not discussed as a "threat," our CIA director is meeting with his Israeli counterpart to discuss the latter's "concerns" which are shared by the Panel he sat on, per Clappers statements.

    • So, Petraeus is giving voice to Israeli "concerns" where he once spoke of "Israeli intransigence threatening American lives" ..... Hmm... a few months ago, my man Phil had a post about Walter Pincus at WaPO calling into question US Aid to Israel. I said that it was probably Petraeus or one of his henchmen in the MIC giving Pincus the OK to run such a story, because they were worried the Israeli's might be getting a little too big for their britches - The CIA guys needed more time, and they especially wanted US troops out of Iraq before anything got out of hand......
      link to mondoweiss.net

      Here is an article from Ray McGovern from last October about "Petraeus's CIA" in regards to Iran
      link to therealnews.com

      "What to Watch For:
      If Petraeus finds it useful politically to conjure up more “evidence” of nefarious Iranian behavior in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, Lebanon or Syria, he will. And if he claims to see signs of ominous Iranian intentions regarding nuclear weapons, watch out."

      And away we go.......

  • Is Israel a failed state? asks 'American Conservative'
  • Rosenberg gets Trita Parsi call for Iran diplomacy into 'LA Jewish Journal'
    • "The new facts here all involve the conflation of American and Israeli interests in having a war with Iran, a very serious issue indeed for which we need strong language."
      -------------------

      I dont get this. How are the US Governments interests not in line with the Israeli stance of inevitable aggression? I agree that an attack on Iran would offend the sensibilities of many in America and Israel, and may mean seriously bad consequences for both groups - but "American Interests" and "Israeli Interests" have absolutely nothing to do with actual Americans or Israelis.

  • AIPAC met quietly with Dem thinktank to deplore writings critical of Israel, and took its leaders to Israel
    • ".....it would be more useful to describe groups like AIPAC as backing measures that could escalate into military conflict, as opposed to accusing AIPAC of seeking war."
      -------------
      That is hilarious. Im still kind of chucklin'....

  • Why we should be furious the Haditha massacre Marines got no jail time
    • Yea, I definitely don't disagree. The military brass is trying to protect themselves and their civilian bosses, per the Greenwald parameters for American Justice:

      The Rules of American Justice are quite clear:
      link to salon.com
      (1) If you are a high-ranking government official who commits war crimes, you will receive full-scale immunity, both civil and criminal, and will have the American President demand that all citizens Look Forward, Not Backward.

      (2) If you are a low-ranking member of the military, you will receive relatively trivial punishments in order to protect higher-ranking officials and cast the appearance of accountability.

      (3) If you are a victim of American war crimes, you are a non-person with no legal rights or even any entitlement to see the inside of a courtroom.

      (4) If you talk publicly about any of these war crimes, you have committed the Gravest Crime — you are guilty of espionage – and will have the full weight of the American criminal justice system come crashing down upon you.

    • What is most shocking is that here we are looking at a mountain of evidence, confessions from individual Marines and parts of their command, as well as testimony from Iraqi's were there that day - Everybody gets off.

      But where there is ZERO evidence brought forth, we find not only guilty verdicts but death sentences. Fairness and impartiality indeed. If the emperor says you have to go, you gotta go - if the emperor grants you immunity, you have immunity.

  • One State, Two States: Who is the subject of Palestinian liberation?
  • 'NYT' gives Israelis its magazine to make an attack on Iran 'normal'
    • The strong line of continuity here refers to the British to American progression in the region. The Brits (along with the Russians and others) were decidedly against Persian democracy (for obvious reasons) - and so, when the US took over Britain's Empire following the second world war, the default US position was to oppose Persian democracy. (The US Embassy opposed Baskerville as well)

      That is why I said, "we have always been at war with Eastasia" - the US inherited the empire and it's antagonisms.

    • Yeah, I am.

      link to pbs.org

      And so, in 1906 the "strong line of continuity" began. The Iranians are not people, they are not allowed to have constitutions.

      We are at war with Eastasia, we have always been at war with Eastasia

    • Ok, so lets call Saudi Arabia another pillar (which it is) your only reinforcing my argument that "the Lobby" is but one part of the machine. Look at how we are arming them, the Bahrainians and the Qatari's.....

      Israel has an economy based on subsidies from the US - and the US has an economy based on subsidies from taxpayers, just like every other state capitalist country in the world. What does the US get for its subsidies? It gets a bulwark against Arab nationalism/self determination, it gets a high tech sector to invest in, a big customer for arms and other technologies and a "western" in a region of great strategic importance that is a reflexive ally.

    • Right, and it's the US's "MIC" -- I just can't take seriously those who say that the US being duped by the Israeli's and its US henchmen...We dont say the same about the rest of the world that we sell a sht load of weapons to.....that's what the US does, its the worlds weapons manufacturer in the ultimate state capitalist model.

    • Ok, fine - go tell Buffett and his buddies they're getting ripped off, that their investments are not yielding a return. They'll laugh at you. It seems like everyone is in the Lobby, what I am saying is that not everyone "in the lobby" is making irrational decisions. Seems to me that "potential conflict" does a lot for high oil prices, and it also seems to me that non-aligned countries (like Iran) are overall bad for business in the West, as they disregard the West's authority - this becomes problematic for those seeking to dominate the planet.

      Israel on its own is not a big player in international capital flows, but they represent one of the pillars of the global capitalist system in the region and they play a key role in allowing for external control of the region and its resources - that much should be clear to anyone here.

      Klare's latest is worth a read
      link to salon.com

    • "It’s not pretty and it’s disgusting, but face the reality instead of wishing it away."
      -------------------
      That's what I am telling you.

      As for Buffett, 4 billion buckaroos is a lot of money - its a publicly traded company. Someone should tell Warren his interests are being harmed!!
      Exactly, his interests aren't being harmed, that's why he's investing in Israel, as are many other large institutions and their billionaire CEO's. If the Israel Lobby includes the interests of Global Capital, what the fuck are we talking about here? But your right, Buffett is a Good Democrat, therefore I shouldn't mention that he invests in Israel....

      You keep projecting onto Obama what you hope he thinks or feels. You don't know he doesnt want those sanctions - his objection was that he would have to petition congress for exemptions for China, South Korea etc - he thought that impeded his power, that was his objection - not the sanctions themselves.

      As for Turkey - there are Kurds in Syria, there are Kurds in southern Turkey as well as in northern Iraq. Turkey isn't going to stand for a Kurdish Spring. They are fixing to be NATO or the UN's ground troops for intervention in Syria, troops and gear building up on southern border now. Now that the EU bid is done, they are re-focusing on becoming a regional hegemon, and for right now, they need the West
      link to counterpunch.org

      link to counterpunch.org

      "Turkey has more projects in Syria than has any other country, while its trade balance with Syria is positive and exceeds one billion dollars. More importantly, Turkey’s largest Arab export market is in the United Arab Emirates: eight billion dollars in 2008. Given the UAE’s central role in the regional counterrevolution, that Turkey has fallen into line behind it and the American government is not a surprise. Erdogan has nearly turned himself into a Turkish doppelganger of an Arab autocrat: talk left on Palestine while walking right on the economy, and then scurry right on Palestine, too, as soon as attention is averted."
      link to mondoweiss.net

    • If Israel did attack Iran, which I don't think it will - it will be because that is what the US wants. I know we're supposed to pin everything on the Lobby around here, but the US "interests" vs Iran battle has been going on for a very long time, and pre-dates the state of Israel.

      If we want to pretend the US does not have a "grand strategy" for the region (and the world) and that US interests - capital- are being hijacked by those crazy Israeli's - fine, if it helps us feel better about voting for democrats, have at it, but it just isn't true. Don't get me wrong, there is a "Israel Lobby" that holds sway, but the idea of a "Pinky and the Brain" scenario, with the Israeli's leading us around by the nose to only their bidding is just totally ridiculous. Just look at the about face Turkey has done recently, they're in the running for #1 Client State status over there, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Lobby.

      Also, can't we finally move past the "Obama may have lost control" nonsense? This is the guy who last week told every American we should be more like the military in our day to day lives. This "the president is being pulled in so many directions, faces brick walls of obstruction" stuff started waaaay back during the healthcare debate and was fallacious then. The Israel enthusiasts and Iranian Bashers are a bi-partisan team, but here again, its "bibi and the republicans" as if the Democrats don't have extreme Israel firsters in their ranks. And the reason there's a bipartisan consensus is in some part because of the "lobby" but also because there is no bigger Israel firster than capital and that's who calls the shots. But, I guess it was the Lobby that made Warren Buffett drop 4 billion on Iscar, or maybe Buffett is in the Lobby? Who isnt in the Lobby?
      "The purchase is the largest Buffett has ever made outside the United States. He told Yediot Aharonot that "I believe in the Israeli market and the Israeli economy and I think that this is a good time to invest in it." -- Buffett.(2006)
      link to mfa.gov.il

  • The battle between the US/EU and China/India to control world energy resources is being fought in Iran
    • link to counterpunch.org

      Tripathi again for the win!

    • link to counterpunch.org
      "Fears in the capitals of China, India and Russia have begun to grow. To break the sanctions, both Beijing and New Delhi have offered to buy Iranian oil and pay for it in gold (or in Yen). The Russians indicated that they would offer Iran a defensive shield against a full-scale attack. These are not reliable friends. India has already voted against Iran in the IAEA, and China and Russia have gone along with sanctions when they have been pressured by the US.

      Iran’s response to these provocations has been remarkably sober. As a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran can legally develop a nuclear energy program. It has been reasonably open to investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose strongest note in its November 2011 report was that “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device.” This is not a smoking gun. On January 8, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta mused, “Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that’s what concerns us.” But a “nuclear capability” is not outside what is permissible for a NPT member state."

  • 'Former thug who found Judaism hopes to be first African-American in the Knesset'
    • "I mean, deporting a caribbean born rapper from the US is one thing, barring one Moshe Levi from entering the US is quite another!"

      hahahahaa!! Yes, indeed it is....

    • Well, here's one of P. Diddy's former acts - once known as "Shyne" - now known as Moshe Levi

      "Doing his time for firing that pistol in the nightclub with Puff Daddy and J. Lo a dozen years ago, the rapper known as Shyne experienced a jailhouse religious awakening. The faith he says changed his life involved embracing his heritage as a black man, forswearing destructive behaviors, covering his head and taking a new name. Yet it had nothing to do with the Nation of Islam. The former Jamal Michael Barrow, a.k.a. Shyne, a.k.a. Shyne Poloeniut, now answers to Moshe Levi. He spends his days studying Torah and striding through the Old City of Jerusalem in the long tailored coats favored by Hasidic Jews, sidelocks a-bob and a rabbi’s lecture booming on his iPad.

      Read more: link to globalspin.blogs.time.com

  • Wait-- do you like Israel? (Jeffrey Goldberg's ultimate test)
    • the war in 73 was just bluster? Hmm.... this is the same "no right of return" halper, yes?

      Why is it that non-jews always have to tell jews how great they are? here's a better question - why are jews willing (really wanting) others to lie to them? I mean, I could say "Jews are the Shit" outloud, right now - it doesn't mean that's what I really think. And I think that's somewhat part of the problem. The Zio's and Co. just want people to mindlessly repeat pro-jewish slogans, but they aren't interested AT ALL in doing anything themselves to actually DESERVE such kind words.

      There is very, very, very little difference on these matters between the Goldberg's, the Halper's and "Jews for...." groups - they all start with everyone else sort of genuflecting to some mythical (and often times completely fallacious) vision of what the practical application of "Jewish" has meant in our time and throughout history. In any cultural or religious "tradition" there are progressive, even inspirational elements - but I have to say, Jews are unique in incessantly touting these elements as if to establish their own moral supremacy, even while the majority of Jews the world over support the completely immoral "jewish state."

      I got an idea, how about "The Jews" say they love the rest of us? How about some shit like that?

  • Sundance doc'y on Paul Simon playing South Africa undercuts power of cultural boycott
    • I liked Paul Simon, until I heard the original recordings and music of the people he straight up stole from. He's the Led Zeppelin of folk music. A musical imperialist.

      The dude played Israel last year as well - and caught some flack for it
      link to facebook.com

      Here's the presser he did in Tel Aviv:

      link to cinchreview.com
      "Simon talks about himself as a secular Jew and refers to his puzzlement at being sometimes expected to opine on behalf of Jews in general, especially with regard to Israeli/Palestinian issues. (Simon deliberately avoids commenting specifically on any political issues; of-course as soon as his gig in Tel Aviv was announced he would have begun coming under pressure to cancel it from those who advocate “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” against Israel. Clearly he did not cancel it.)"
      ---------------
      I can understand where the guy is coming from, I mean, half of his fans up and moved to Israel - gotta go where the fans are, right?

  • Abunimah and Woolsey debate BDS in the 'Philadelphia Inquirer'
    • "You know the South Africans didn’t just have BDS. They also got: a UN arms embargo; the ICERD to prohibit apartheid; the ICSPCA to make it a crime and call for the establishment of an international criminal tribunal; and incorporated the offense of apartheid into the Statute of the International Criminal Court in 1993. So it wasn’t just campus BDS that caused F. W. de Klerk to see the handwriting on the wall. " -- Hostage

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

      So, forgive me for saying "legal" sanctions and not just "international sanctions" -- but it seems like we agree that the legal route you insist on for Palestine could not have been instrumental in bringing about an end to Apartheid in South Africa - you say it is because the means were not available, fine - that in no way negates my general point about the irrelevance of the courts.

      So, the International Criminal Court (in statute form at least?) was around in '93 as you say, but wasn't taking cases until 2005?(after coming into form on '02) What the F were they doing for those 12 years?? This is my most basic point with the masturbatory high society institution crowd - it's what they do in between cocktails and telling each other how great they are. Im sure it took that long to get implemented because all involved cared so much and were exceedingly diligent. Still not sure what the F these people were doing before 1993.....

      This is the same "will not have jurisdiction over aggression until 2017" ICC? The one that can't prosecute crimes that took place before 2002? I have to say, this argument is almost comical - these cats are in the hip pocket of the Security Council states. The US voted against the Rome statute, which almost by definition means it will completely disregard it.

      Of course, the 800 gorilla in the room is - the US itself is a lawless country. kind of ironic, we got lawyers coming out of our ass and yet we are not governed by the law....

    • Well, let me say that for all of the international legal sanctions against Apartheid South Africa, it continued - and it continued because of it had "the one vote" that mattered, give you one guess who it was. In fact, toward the end of Apartheid, the US was increasing it's cooperation and trade with SA- Israel too.

      "Palestinian activists need to publicly support efforts to prosecute Israeli officials directly in the ICC without relying on non-judicial UN political forums."
      -----------------

      So, I agree here. I think using every avenue available makes complete sense, but I also have to think of how little Israel and the US care about the law. And I also have to think of the disdain that international institutions have shown to the Palestinians - why advocate using these institutions to solve the problem? They didn't solve the problem in SA. And that isn't even mentioning the huge gap between sympathy for Blacks in South Africa and Palestinians living anywhere -- we've had decades of propaganda bashing them, to many they are all terrorists, shouldn't the emphasis be on creating mass solidarity instead of shepherding their cause behind the closed doors of international court rooms - whose judgements will be meaningless?

      The other thing I have to mention is how the law is often used to strip away the perceived right of people to advocate for and defend themselves -- if it's "in the courts" then public action is all but meaningless, right? And isnt the law the mechanism for justifying the unfair? In other words, equality before the law justifies inequality elsewhere. Why worry about what a court of elites has to say, when you can gather mass opinion around the world? Here we are 45 years into a blatantly illegal military occupation....yet somehow the courts are the answer? Like Malcolm said about the civil rights act: Yea, now we got laws....that no one can enforce.

    • It's really, really hard to disagree with Boycott Israel on Campus here.

      Equally hard to understand is the sectarianism from our resident "jewish voice for peace" member, Hostage. The "Palestinian Spokesmen" should probably just shut up and let the Jews handle it, eh?

      Funny that Boycott's comments are critical of BDS as being too timid, and a "jewish voice" comes to set him straight - but aren't "jewish voices" some of the main reasons for the timidity in the advocacy of BDS?

    • Abunimah is speaking a totally different language. With hims it's "jewish israeli's" but the neo-cons just say "Israeli's" as if they weren't a million and a half palestinians - to say nothing of other minority groups- living as citizens in Israel. The "pro-israel" people have no defense for their definition of "israeli," or for what their two state solution really would really look like. The debate is now framed around universal rights, so it stands to reason that rights for non-jews living in the land between the jordan river and the med shouldn't come at the expense of the rights of non-jews living in israel -- what can the "Jewish State of Israel" crowd say to that argument? One thing's for sure, it will be surely be racist....

      And what can they say about this?
      link to therealnews.com

  • Quoting Israelis, 'NYT' front pager says Iran will take a military strike lying down (won't even raise oil prices!)
    • They will be greeted as liberators, come on Matt, get with the program!

      If Iran were attacked and didn't retaliate, the Israeli's and the US would be the pariahs of the world, and I hope that international civil society would sanction both countries furiously.

      A non response would be just what the doctor ordered for emerging coalitions in the Global South that Iran is apart of, it could be a tipping point.... I can't state enough how much I hope this doesn't happen (iran being attacked)

  • Josh Block is not an Israel firster! No way, man
  • Obama opposes Assad's human rights violations now, but not when they were useful to the US rendition program
    • John Walsh at dissident voice has a wonderful essay up called " A pledge for anti-interventionist Progressives in 2012" - well worth a read:
      link to dissidentvoice.org
      "I pledge to exclude potential allies who do not share my notions of justice from the antiwar movement. After all the antiwar movement belongs to progressives. I pledge to keep at bay libertarians, paleoconservatives and, above all, the average American Jane and Joe, with an unscalable Chinese Wall of political correctness. Let’s keep out the riff-raff. For this I pledge to look for leadership to “Progressive” Democrats of America, UFPJ, Peace Action and Juan Cole.

      I pledge neither to sponsor nor to join any large antiwar marches or demonstrations this election year. For if there are antiwar marches, it is a sure sign that there are wars. I pledge, if forced into such marches of folly in order to preserve my credibility or my donor base, to censor any mention of Obama. I pledge to treat impeachment as a taboo subject.

      I pledge until November 7, 2012 to keep far from my consciousness the unspeakable suffering being visited on the darker peoples of the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia by my president with his sanctions and bombs. These sufferings are as nothing compared to the purity of my movement and the hollow promises of Obama for better social programs."

  • New checkpoint method: gassing Palestinian cars with unknown chemical
    • Wow man. Im sure the US border patrol and regular police forces will be using the same sht in short order.....

  • Max Ajl, "One State, Two States: Who is the subject of Palestinian liberation?"
    • I didn't get that he was talking about US capital investments into the other Arab states, I think he was speaking towards the role of US and international capital into the Israeli economy/occupation.

      I think his broader point is that while the Lobby does have some sway, those arguing that the occupation and US/israeli policies are in some way against US interests --which to him, and me for example, are synonymous with capital-- are making a fallacious argument. Go tell Warren Buffett for example, that the occupation is bad for business is what he is saying; but Warren Buffets' bottom line would disagree with that contention. (and he does invest highly into israel).

      Ajl's points are well taken because he is looking to extract the "perceived US interest" in the advocacy of someone like Finkelstein and also Ali Abuminah who he cites. Finkelstein, although he doesnt mean to, makes the same case as the Lobby fetishists, that US interests are harmed by the Israeli occupation/policies towards the Palestinians. But "US Interests" can only be defined by access to resources and return on investment - in this sense, Israel and all that comes with it have been a smashing success. And that is why he is for "anti-systemic" efforts, that draw stark contrasts between the goals of US interests and those of actual humans.

      I dont think Ajl is basing his argument so much on the US having an interest in "unresolved conflicts" as he is saying the US has an interest that is opposed to Arab nationalism/self determination/democracy. And a quick glance around the region, and brief review of its recent history (since oil was discovered) bears this out, at least in my opinion. His arguments are closer to Chomsky's "grand area" assertions, which again in my opinion are far more helpful in understanding not only the I/P conflict, but the regional conflicts as well

    • A powerful essay by Ajl.

  • Jack Ross in Brooklyn tonite-- on Elmer Berger and the 'foreign nationalism' of Zionism
    • "We therefore oppose all ideologies and organizations, be they Jewish or non-Jewish, that regard Jews as an identifiable secular minority."
      --------------
      Cheers!

      "But for any who believe they are Jews by religion - not nationality - the whole proposition is fallacious and potentially dangerous. Any foreign nationalism, such as Zionism, which controls charities, houses of worship, schools, and community centers all over the country poses a greater threat of a "conflict of loyalties" than a foreign nation without so elaborate a system of interference in, and control over, the lives of citizens of another country. "
      -----------------
      Fallacious Indeed!

      This is a fantastic excerpt.

  • Iran sanctions backlash-- oil buyers ditch dollar
    • Agreed!!

    • Not to be a debbie downer, but the bretton woods system was still a fixed exchange rate system - it wasn't until the end of the bretton woods system that the dollar became a "floating" currency, all the better for financial liberalization.

      The bretton woods system is what made american manufacturing, it basically said that the US would not be able to hoard interest payments from europe as they rebuilt - it would have to be reinvested/capitalized, and made sure that no country could manipulate currencies.

      We can bash on the bretton woods system, but lets also remember that it worked. for a long time. and I think at the time of the end of WWII the US had every right to dollar dominance, we held over half the world's wealth and something like 70% of capital. the bretton woods system was as benevolent a system of exchange as there ever was....

    • Good point Antidote -- I keep hearing that the Venezuelans are killing West Indian Manatees en masse. You heard that too? We gotta save the Manatee!!

    • Pan-African Currency and Oil/Resource Exchange apparatus I believe.....No way Uncle Sam was letting that happen.... I think the beef with Chavez was more to do with Venezuelan "interference" into the American project in Colombia.......He has to sell his oil in dollars, cuz we're the only market that can use some of the oil they produce- i guess its a particular crude that requires heavy refining etc...

    • Sheeeeit - this is what Ive been saying!!! (nice work annie!)

      Pepe Escobar's "the myth of a isolated Iran" is another piece (along with Michael Klare's recent essays) worth reading on this topic.....

      Brazil and South America are also involved in the "ditching of the dollar" - basically the Global South is in revolt and are finding ways around the dollar. Expect an invasion of Venezuela soon......

  • 'Center for American Progress' censors references to Israel from piece on Islamophobic film
    • Obama let these guys know what time it was the other night with the "Our iron clad, IRON CLAD! commitment to Israel's security" line in his speech.

      He was telling CAP and others to shut up. And, let's not project views onto Reich, do we know what he thinks? That surely seemed like an intentional attempt to whitewash.....

  • Security expert formerly in Bush I administration says Holocaust rationalizes Israel's nuking Iran
    • So, how does the scenario you describe not spell national suicide for israel? i tried to stay away from the "they will get nuked themselves" angle - and mentioned radiation/fallout instead, but surely this would be something planners would have to think about.....In the end, we both agree with each other - if they dropped a nuclear weapon on Iran, one way or the other, Israel would be finished. The israeli's seem to prefer the slow road to eventual "destruction" through their policies, I don't see them wanting to expedite it anytime soon

    • ahadhaadam -

      well, i am generally not one to underestimate the wests ability to commit atrocities and impose a double standard, I don't mean to here. We are discussing though, a nuclear first strike - or aggressive nuclear war. I doubt very much that the western media (and I agree, it probably would try) would be able to contain the visceral reaction/hatred the world would feel toward israel, and unfortunately, jews in general, as it would be the self proclaimed "jewish state" aggressively destroying another country.

      The holocaust would also officially be dead as a useful tool of the israeli's and zionist jews - no one would ever want to hear from either group again about the suffering and horrors of a holocaust decades ago if faced with a modern holocaust of their creation. And, I think, once the holocaust "goes" so too do all moral defenses anyone can attempt to make for Israel. Governments might still tow the line, but the world's population would be radicalized. again, just my opinion.

    • that would be national suicide for israel if they did that. leaving aside potential fallout/radiation issues, they would be the pariah of all pariahs. and the ill will would definitely not be kept to jewish israelis

  • Factchecking Marty Peretz
    • cheers citizen, i appreciate that

    • What is interesting here, is that the point of Melville's essay was to tell Americans in a literary sense "hawthorne is who you have been waiting for" - he is the great american genius americans thought "will come in the costume of Queen Elizabeth's day" -- he is saying, shakespeare wasn't even "Shakespeare" in his time and that in every generation there is real genius, and that idolization and over emphasis on earlier epochs and genius can lead to stagnation, and is overall disdainful of humanity - as it deifies very few, creating in them a unattainable standard for genius. In short, we manufacture a sense of "all time genius" in some, but at the same time, overlook and disregard genius in our present.

      So, if Peretz is saying he felt the "shock of recognition" he is stating (from an idealist point of view) the recognition of the "idea" in our time. So, he says the Arab Spring represents in our time the true manifestation of genius and the "idea" - but in the hands of those crazy A-rabs, it "lapsed." This is some incredible racism right here, he is basically saying, "see what happens when we let the Arabs carry the torch of humanity? These people aren't to be trusted with defining for this generation things like liberty, justice and freedom. They are "now" smart enough to "think" about these issues, and their own condition, but are still in need to arbitrary and undemocratic control of their societies, in fact they prefer it this way. This guy is a D-BAG

      Melville also has another interesting line, especially in the context here:
      " Whereas, great geniuses are parts of the times; they themselves are the time; and possess an correspondent coloring. It is of a piece with the Jews, who while their Shiloh was meekly walking in their streets, were still praying for his magnificent coming; looking for him in a chariot, who was already among them on an ass.
      ----------------------

      I wonder how Marty feels about this.

  • The antiwar movement must rise again. Now
    • You make good points Bruce -- and as you say, the compromises are arranged among elites, and to me, this is the problem.

      But I do think that "my" definition of liberalism is right there under the surface, and can be seen in anti-state rhetoric and anti-corporate personhood rhetoric. But, in my opinion, it is more important to any coalition building that the left gives up its defense of "the government" -which currently is a elite driven state capitalist model- and begins speaking in earnest about empowering people in their places of employment, in their communities etc.
      The occupy movement does a wonderful job at being anti-statist, and I think it's a big part of the reason why it still enjoys widespread support.

      It's the institutions of "social solidarity" that have been a large part of the problem. Trade Unions, the think tank/ single issue advocacy of the left -- there are too many litmus tests and credentials required to be a involved in the left solidarity movements - the right doesn't care who you are or what your background is at all, look at the clowns on right wing radio/TV, almost none have credentials or are "serious" people, but they have an opinion, can communicate with working class people, so they have a job and a platform. the left needs to do this if there is to be any coalition building. Having some ivy league educated hipster make the case is not helping.

      The reason why I think the real reform needs to begin with the left, is for the reasons you cite earlier - right wing populism has made gains while left wing populism hasn't - it is of extreme importance that the left is honest with itself and admits their methods and strategies have not worked, but rather hurt. But the upper crust liberals, if left in charge will continue to harp on the economically trivial (gay bashing/bullying, saving the whales, "representation" of non white males etc) which turns off a lot of people and at the same time does nothing to advance the cause of the real left, working people. But I think this starting to change, the new citizen radio thing could be tremendous in this effort, but again, as you say, it will take organizing and a dedicated effort

    • I should say, the percentage of the real laboring classes - the poor, lower middle classes that vote for the right wing agenda is pretty small. the lower classes are the least frequent voters on the whole but pluralities vote "left" -- If we are talking about the small business owner/white collar middle management right wing populists"petite bourgeois" - yea, that is undoubtedly a massive gap, those people are truly F'd up. But again, those people have a self interest in the current model. but there are more non-participants than there are real working class "right wingers"

      The reason the "right wing populists" could take over the republican party, and possibly the country is because our system gives disproportionate power to small states. There are more people living on ten blocks in new york city than the whole state of wyoming, and yet new york state and wyoming have the same number of votes in the senate. but in terms of a mass right wing movement of the people, that just aint happening.

      But I do think that aside from the small biz/white collar element, there is a lot of agreement - especially on war.

    • I agree with your point about Newt Gingrich for sure, and I do understand where you are coming from

      I think the divide between left/right populism is big, and I think it is big because both left and right in the states have forsaken their historical roots and both movements are now in a "post-historical" period, where they themselves are free to re-define whatever they like. For example, there is no rational explanation for "liberalism" to be a state worshiping (and in my opinion deeply authoritarian) movement. When you go back and read some of the classical liberals, they are almost uniformly anti-statist. Humboldt's "Limits of State Action" comes to mind. But now, being "liberal" almost by definition means defending the state or in our language "the government" - this is antithetical to any sense of liberalism, if the term has any meaning.

      In this sense, left and right SHOULD be very close to one another, and I think that the case can be made. "your on the left, Im on the right, we both loathe the state - lets do something about it" --- But as long as the left continues to define itself with defense of concentrated power (the state) your probably right, the splintering will continue.

      The right's shock troops have been bred to loathe the state, but not to loathe arbitrary power - their masters are of course the capitalist class, so subordination to outside orders for survival is something the rulers on the right want to engender in their troops, makes them better wage laborers. But in here, I think, again, there is a real opportunity among working people (and not elites speaking on behalf of working people) to find common cause. The working class "left" wants to suppress the tyranny of the corporate state/capitalist class - the working class "right" wants to suppress the power of the state to arbitrarily intervene in their lives. I dunno, I think common cause can be found - but only among working class folks - and with the help of the "petite bourgeois" on both sides as they slip down the economic ladder into the proletariat.......

    • bruce,

      I always put left in quotes, as its a term that has lost much, if not all, of its meaning - same with liberal or conservative.

      Of course the MSM includes democratic partisans and its base as official representatives of "the left" - it sets a boundary for debate by doing so. If the furthest "left" you have to go is someone like Howard Fineman, your not going very far, and this is what the corporate media want.

      Funny, I agree that Maddow and others might not identify as "leftist" but she also happens to be the 'face of the left' everynight on TV. This is what I meant by "some of the faces of the "left" have to go" --

      There is no "left" that is represented anywhere in the mainstream - socialists are the left. there is no mainstream socialist organization or group of advocates, we're here talking about the capitalist "left" - to me, that is no left at all. I don't see how you can be pro-capitalism and say your are anti-war, it seems to be a necessary element in capitalist development - over production, diminishing profits and excess capital have always been a recipe for war, until we talk about our mode of economic production, any talk of anti-war movements seems premature.

      I find the left/right distinction to be useful, to the extent that it defines where our political allegiances lie, with the establishment/ruling class (right) and the general mass of people (left). The problem is that in America, advocating what would truly be best for workers and their families - owning their labor- is considered too radical to even mention.

      And so, we are left with upper class liberals, who benefit from capitalist society and defend it to the working class people, who with nowhere else to go, either buy in or drop out entirely. In this sense, the liberals represented in the mainstream at once (1) bracket what is acceptable or "serious" in our political discourse (2) defend and make palatable the ruling political class to working class people (3) take from the working class their right to speak for themselves. Working class issues are one thing, working class people are to be shunned at all costs.

      The real left, the wage earners and their families must first come to the realization that their public advocates often have differing and even antagonistic interests(and they are begnining to, even if the now identify as conservative) - these would be the "5-6 different ideological/political types" people. The only reason you would need those 5-6 different types is because of class. The left should be an economic distinction, not an ideological distinction, and if that is the understanding, than common ground can be found among "working class conservatives" or those on the right who have a personal interest in a working class anti-war movement.

    • Well said Bruce.

      "I will not deny that the Vietnam War was a larger issue in 1967 than the Mideast wars are today"
      ---
      Well, yea, no one is getting drafted into the service

      ""Why is there no organized anti-war movement in 2012?" Before George Bush's Iraq war there actually were massive global anti-war protests. "
      ---------
      George Bush was a Republican. The Democratic party(and its assorted minions) is not going to get behind a anti-war movement when a democrat is in the white house (especially when there is no draft)

      "My only caveat against what I just proposed is the worry ....."
      --------
      That you would be creating something like a "vanguard"? - While I treasure Greenwald, some of the others you mention have cheered on war before and some (sullivan) are tried and true Thatcherites. Others (Uygur) have done a 180 since their salad days, in his case on the young turks web based show. Aside from Greenwald and vanden heuvel there really isn't a portrait of integrity mentioned. And to me, that is what being "anti-war" is all about. Do I want to fight and die? No. So, therefore, I don't want anyone ELSE to fight and die.

      Unfortunately, this sentiment becomes harder and harder to find as we climb the economic and influence ladders in liberal circles. the further removed one is from the prospect of actually fighting and dying, the more one seems to care about far away places that might be in the need for "humanitarian intervention" -- we see this among celebrities, professional "left" agitators etc. I mean, Rachel Maddow fell just short of advocating an invasion into Uganda because of their anti-gay laws. Some of the "liberals" on this site are STILL defending US involvement in Libya. So, I think before any agenda or platform gets decided on, "the left" needs to first call out some of its inconsistent members.

      I guess what I am saying is, the "left" needs to first admit how full of sht they are and have been, and then go from there. And the people who have "lead" in this area, should be looked on with skepticism, not with reverence - in my opinion. Some of the "faces" of the left need to go, post haste

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