Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2610 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)


Radical dissident. Retired.


Showing comments 2610 - 2601

  • Memo to Sen. Warren: More young Dems want US to side with Palestine than Israel
    • MOOSER- "Yup, “affirmative action” was all about the Jews. Wow!"

      Listen Jerk, that isn't what I said and I resent you implying that it was. Perhaps you have more in common with Hophmi than either of you would care to admit.

      Perhaps you are unaware that there used to be descrimination against Jews in housing, education and certain types of employment. If memory serves, Chomsky went to MIT because of anti-Semitism at Harvard.

      "The black-Jewish alliance has been a mariage of convenience....From the beginning, both groups had a deep interest in civil rights legislation. Blacks were denied rights, but so were Jews." (p316, "Jewish Power," J.J. Goldberg)

      "The apparent enthusiasm displayed by American rabbis or by the Jewish organizations in the USA during the 1950s and the 1960s in support of the Blacks in the South, was motivated only by consideration of Jewish self-interest...." (p103, Jewish History, Jewish Religion," Israel Shahak)

      “Individual Jews had been prominent among supporters of black civil rights throughout the century….In retrospect, the romantic image of these idealistic volunteers has obscured the very pragmatic nature of the black-Jewish alliance…..Like everything else in black-Jewish relations, pinpointing the moment when the alliance began to unravel depends on where you stand….’My belief is that it really began with the Bakke case in 1978,’ says former NAACP national chair William Gibson.”

      “The case involved Allan Bakke, a white Christian from Minnesota who was rejected by the medical school at the University of California at Davis in 1974. Bakke sued, charging that the school had admitted less qualified applicants under the university’s minority admissions program….”

      “When the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1978, all of the major black civil rights organizations filed amicus briefs supporting the university’s affirmative action program. The Big Three Jewish defense agencies all filed briefs supporting Bakke. It was the first direct, public, head-on confrontation between the black and Jewish communities over a basic civil rights issue. The blacks lost.” (all quotes from JEWISH POWER: INSIDE THE AMERICAN JEWISH ESTABLISHMENT, by J.J. Goldberg)
      link to

    • MOOSER- "“The (civil rights)movement attacked Jewish interests”?

      Come on, Moose, surely you are aware that once affirmative action had broken down the doors to Jewish advancement, the big Jewish civil rights groups did an about face and decided that affirmative action was now reverse discrimination. They are the ones that pushed these law suites against college affirmative action programs using white Gentiles the way they once used Black litigants. I got into this with Hophmi a several years back.

    • MEMO TO PHIL WEISS- You are a die hard Democrat and will likely never change no matter how bad they have become, or how much worse they are sure to be. So, how did Warren vote on that war mongering, anti-Russia resolution?

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a liberal Zionist
    • HOPHMI- "Total nonsense written by the head of a tiny org that was always afraid to speak up, even when Jews were being slaughtered."

      The WZO was not a tiny organization and the reason they refrained from giving significant support to European Jews was that they thought that this would interfere with their Zionist goals of establishing a Jewish state. They did try to help their fellow Zionists, but only to the extent that they were good pioneer material, even preferring young American Jews over older, less suited Europeans who were left to suffer their fate. Tree has gone over this in detail in the past, however, you continue to display your characteristic misrepresentation of the historical reality.

    • DANAA- First of all, welcome back! Don't be such a stranger.

      As to your questions regarding liberalism and Zionism, I would suggest that a liberal Zionist is analogous to a liberal imperialist, that is, an American liberal. A liberal is someone who complains about and applies bandaids to systemic injustice while simultaneously supporting the system which inevitably produces these injustices. Liberals mainly represent a certain segment of the ruling elite. They are rhetorically progressive, but nowadays that is about it. The type of people who can talk about Just Wars and Humanitarian Interventions while keeping a straight face. Liberals would be aghast at the notion of fundamental systemic change.

      As for Zionists, I basically agree with Israel Shahak that Zionism is a retreat from the enlightenment back to Classical Judaism, albeit in a secular and distorted form. The primary goal is maintenance of the tribe for the power-seeking advantages that this provides. Israel is primarily of symbolic value as a tribal unifier.

  • We're all anti-American now
    • WALID- "...Putin made a fundamental mistake that others before him tried and ended up in big trouble. Saddam, Gadaffi, Chavez, the Iranians; it was moving away from the petro-dollar."

      Disentangling themselves from the global financial system is essential if Russia, China, Iran,etc, wish to function as independent states. Unfortunately, this may be too little, too late. I don't think that Putin and Russia alone can withstand the full spectrum of forces applied, his only hope being strong support from China which has yet to occur. Agreeing to a pipeline years in the future doesn't cut it. Unless China has the means and the will to dump $500 billion in US Treasuries onto the secondary market with the warning that another $500 billion will be forthcoming if Uncle Sam doesn't back off, I don't see the empire as changing course. I doubt that China is capable of such an act without destroying its own economy. In fact, China appears committed to empire and to enlarging its own role within the imperial architecture. Below, I supply a quote and a link to an interesting article by Andrew Gavin Marshall which discusses these changes to the global political economy. Finally, I think that the US has already achieved its primary goal of blocking potential Russia/EU economic and military cooperation. And yes, the petro-dollar is an essential component of global financial control.

      "First, we must properly address the nature of China’s rise in the world order. What we are witnessing is an historically unique situation. For the first time, the rise of a ‘new’ power is taking place not in the context of rising against the hegemonic powers of the time, but within the hegemonic order. In short, China’s rise has not been a rise against America, but rather a rise within the American world order." (Andrew Gavin Marshall, 2011)
      link to

    • IRVI- "Relax, you have been apparently swallowing too much of those scare-mongers."

      Credit where credit is due, it takes real talent to be this misinformed, assuming that you are sincere. As for Putin, he is not the problem, our neocon inspired empire is the problem. Putin has done a masterful job so far in dealing with US/NATO aggression in view of his relatively weak position. Your comment did, however, provide me the opportunity to provide a link to an excellent analysis by Diana Johnstone.

      "For over a year, the United States has played out a scenario designed to (1) reassert U.S. control over Europe by blocking E.U. trade with Russia, (2) bankrupt Russia, and (3) get rid of Vladimir Putin and replace him with an American puppet, like the late drunk, Boris Yeltsin." (Diana Johnstone)
      link to

    • IRVI- "...there are still other superpowers in the world, as China and Russia"

      Neither is a superpower. Both are under assault from the empire, particularly Russia. The US is engaging in reckless brinkmanship in the Ukraine which may result in the termination of the species. Our war mongering Congress is competing with the war monger in chief to see who can be more reckless. Things are coming to a head and the next two years are going to be extraordinarily dangerous.

    • PHIL- "Time to reassess our ideas of ourselves. Myself I have no idea where that will take me, except that I’ll be looking hard at my own belief in American exceptionalism. I had it, I don’t think I ever want it back. It was a mythology."

      Mondo-Pilger? That'll be the day! Don't forget that you have a lot of catching up to do.

  • 'Racist, fascist bullshit'-- Marcel Ophuls exposes Islamophobia in Israel
    • HOPHMI- "Considering your history here, Keith, one would think you’d be careful about tossing out accusations."

      Interesting comment. Care to elaborate about my history here?

      Hophmi: "I was quoting Lenni Brenner...."

      Without quotation marks?

      Hophmi: "...who talked about Judaism disappearing in America."

      Honesty is not your forte. You didn't complain about JUDAISM disappearing, did you? What you said was " the future, there would be far less American Jews." Sounds to me like you are dishonestly comparing the decline in the Judaic religion with the elimination of "Jews," however defined. You are implying an underlying desire to "get rid of the Jews," aren't you? A pogrom. Eternal, irrational anti-Semitism. You wear your dishonesty on your sleeve. For you, truth is what works, nothing more. Who are your role models? Abe Foxman and Alan Dershowitz? You seem to enjoy carrying the Ashkenazi man's burden.

      Straw man? No, partner, spot on.

    • Page: 26
    • HOPHMI- "...the American Jewish community was assimilating at a rapid rate, and in the future, there would be far less American Jews. The audience applauded, loudly. Less Jews sounded like a great thing to them."

      I fail to see why an assimilated Jew would not remain Jewish unless Jewish tribal chauvinism is inherent in your definition of Jewishness. Do you consider yourself assimilated? For what it is worth, I consider you one of the most chauvinistic commenters on Mondoweiss. You are so extreme that you equate any and all criticism of Jews, Jewishness, Judaism and Israel as anti-Semitic. You are a power seeker defending the power and privilege that Jewish "kinship" facilitates. Charges of anti-Semitism the main weapon in your limited intellectual arsenal. Your libelous attacks of no concern to you.

  • 'Suicide Drones' and the Spoils of War: Israeli arms manufacturers look to cash in on the war in Gaza
    • SEAFOID- "They really need one of the old style prophets now to wake them up."

      Yes, where is Marc Ellis when you need him. And what is all of this nonsense about a silicon calf?

    • PABELMONT- "This weapons testing as a purpose (maybe THE purpose) of all that killing."

      There are historical precedents. For example, the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan even as Japan was attempting to negotiate terms of surrender. Also, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a uranium core, whereas, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki had a plutonium core.

  • Mamdani's 'holistic' challenge: Anti-Zionists must persuade Jews they can only be safe by dismantling the Jewish state
    • MOOSER- "I got to say “Interrogating the Native category” is the fenciest way of saying ‘the Palestinians don’t exist’ I ever heard!"

      I doubt that Tokyobk meant it that way, however, I also doubt that he even considered that his words could be so construed. Perhaps if he adopted a more straightforward manner of expression in lieu of his reliance on quasi academic jargon there would be less misunderstanding.

      My comment to Ben in response to his comment on my initial comment was actually a good faith attempt at dialog. He doesn't appear to me to be a die hard hasbarat, rather, he seems like someone suffering from life long indoctrination. His comment to me doesn't make sense in view of what I actually said. He appears to have responded to various attitudes which he has projected onto me without even realizing it. The gist of my comment was rather simple. Throwing the onus onto the victim to reassure the victimizer is grotesque. Besides, Israeli policy is decided by the Zionist elites in Israel and the US, the fears of the average Israeli Jew hardly the determining factor and subject to manipulation in any event. The exception would be the Fundamentalist Jews who see the unredemption of any of the sacred soil as an offense to God, issues of security irrelevant. I hope my comment to Tokyobk didn't come across as excessively harsh. He tends to vex me with his Judeocentric myopia.

    • TOKYOBK- "...your Jewish/goy perpetual war agenda...."

      My perpetual Jewish/goy perpetual war agenda? MY PERPETUAL JEWISH/GOY PERPETUAL WAR AGENDA?!? Good Lord Ben, have you no idea what you are saying? I'm the one who claims never ending irrational Gentile anti-Semitism? Have you been sufficiently marinated in Zionist propaganda that you are incapable of perceiving reality for what it is? Do you seriously believe that the cult of the Holocaust and eternal anti-Semitism is my doing? You think that Gentiles who take offense at being always accused of Jew hatred if they criticize Israel or Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism is a sign of anti-Semitism? Are you even capable of seeing beyond yourself or beyond the tribe? I doubt it. What good are advanced degrees if you are incapable of even a smidgen of introspection?

      Tokyobk: "Like it or not the individual rights of all people living between the river and sea matter, not for the sake of Jewish egos but for the sake of human rights."

      I agree completely. When have I ever said otherwise? So why are you implying something which isn't true? Good Lord Ben, get a grip! You are a smart guy, but Zionist ideology has messed you up. You need to undergo Ziocaine detoxification. Perhaps Mooser can be your sponsor.

    • In view of all that has transpired before, during and after the creation of the Jewish State, all of the violence and terror and mass murder of the Palestinians by Israeli Jews, I am distressed that there should be so much emphasis on reassuring Israeli Jews about their safety. It is truly a triumph of Zionist propaganda that we should be forever inverting cause and effect to continually reassure the aggressor that they have nothing to fear. How long will Gentiles feel obligated to pander to the supposedly oh-so-fragile Jewish psyche? Or is it a highly successful rationalization made popular primarily after the six day war and Jewish ascendancy into the corridors of power? Israel will change if and when the empire, including Jewish imperial elites, need it to change. The psychology of the average Israeli Jew has as much impact on Israeli policy as the psychology of the average American has on imperial policy.

  • Whew! Likely DefSec nominee said U.S.-Israel relationship has never been stronger
    • JLEWISDICKERSON- "Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems quite perversely ironic that Israel uses German Shepherds* to to terrorize Palestinians."

      No problem. If French Fries can be relabeled Freedom Fries, surely these dogs can be renamed Freedom Shepherds. Besides, the more fascistic the US and Israel become, the more our "democracy and freedom" is touted.

  • Elizabeth Warren visits Netanyahu, even as he undermines US negotiations with Iran
    • MARC B- "’s a crude measure, but anyone with ivy links should be presumed to be corrupt."

      Shall we include Phil? Well, at least he is not a lawyer!

    • SIBIRIAK- "Unfortunately, they all do."

      While the elected officials do, some of the Third Party and independent candidates offer promise of change. It is primarily for this reason that the majority of the electorate does not vote for them. The average voter is psychologically incapable of revolting at the polls, or of discharging the duties of responsible citizenship. In fact, a government of the people may be inconsistent with hereditary hierarchical tribal instincts. Most social science is, in reality, mostly rationalizations justifying current power relationships. But you are quite correct that transnational capital is more or less calling the shots, our vaunted democracy primarily a marketing tool for manufacturing consent.

  • Poster questioning Zionism makes her feel 'unsafe', Wellesley student says
    • HANNINK- "Whether or not you agree that the poster is inflammatory- the thirty members of the Jewish community on campus who have voiced that it is remains reason enough to call for the administration to act."

      Thirty Jews want the poster removed and it is still up? Has Abe Foxman been informed? What is the administration waiting for? A pogrom? If this ain't anti-Semitism, the words have no meaning!

  • 'What is your religion?' question surprises two American visitors to the occupation
  • Some reflections on the 5th anniversary of Kairos Palestine
    • MARC ELLIS- "The next five years promise more of the same in the political arena."

      While subject to different interpretations, I suspect that your "pessimistic" prognosis may actually be somewhat optimistic. The empire (including Israel) is on an accelerating, take no prisoners rampage which seems poised for a conclusive showdown with potential competitors. Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine, the entire Middle East is on fire. Additionally, Ukrainian fascists, armed, trained and supported by NATO appear set to launch a major NATO sponsored offensive against the Dombass region likely to draw Russia into the conflict directly. Taken together and conbined with the pivot to Asia, we are witnessing an imperial global military offensive which will destroy the existing order. The intent is to secure hegemony in the new world order, otherwise known as neoliberal globalization, neofeudalism,etc. With the Republican victories in November, we now have an even more war mongering Congress to go with our war mongering President. All restraints are gone and the next two years promises to be cataclysmic. ISIS is a de facto proxy army of empire. Syria will continue to be destroyed and Lebanon and Hizbollah are likely to come under attack. As bad as things are now, I think that they will soon get much worse. The imperial leadership (including Israel) are power-mad sociopaths. I conclude with a quote from one of these neocon sociopaths to give a flavor of their thinking.

      “If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war… our children will sing great songs about us years from now.” (Michael Ledeen, following 9/11/01 attacks)

    • MARC ELLIS- "Jewish theology and spirituality today is thoroughly infected with imperialism, colonialism, ethnic cleansing and atrocity. This includes the Jewish establishment and the synagogue system that suffered its own demise when Holocaust theology became dominant."

      In my view, this is but one of many insightful statements which make this article the best you have ever done on Mondoweiss. I still find it somewhat surprising that a theologian has authored some of the most realistic assessments of the reality of Israel-Palestine. Perhaps a little more emphasis upon imperial geostrategy would be nice, however, what you have done is already more than most. One point of contention, however. First a quote, then a comment.

      Ellis: "In Israel-Palestine, Jews of Conscience are struggling against the final assimilation of Jewishness to unjust power."

      For starters, I don't see empire Jews as assimilated, rather, I believe that their Jewishness and ethnic solidarity is a critical component of their success. I agree with Israel Shahak that Zionism is a throwback to classical Judaism and to the unifying exclusivity which that provides. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the Anti-Defamation League, and AIPAC are concerned with power-seeking, not equal rights. Even you, prophetic or not, seem overly concerned with your Jewish identity.

      As for Jewish theology today being infected with imperialism and colonialism, when has it been otherwise? During the period of Classical Judaism, Israel Shahak refers to "...the social role of the Jews as an integral part of the upper classes. In many countries, Jews were treated as potential nobles and, upon conversion, were able immediately to intermarry with the highest nobility." (p67, "Jewish History, Jewish Religion," Israel Shahak) In other words, Jewish elites have historically been an integral part of imperialism and the struggle for power, their Jewish separatism a group strategy for performing specialized social functions for the Gentile rulers. The notion of the Jews as history's eternal do-gooders is self-serving mythology. Most groups seek to increase their power, the Jews are no exception.

  • 'Palestine is an anxiety' for Americans-- Salaita in New York
    • JUST- "Someone will offer him a tenured position...."

      If that happens, then things aren't as bad as I think they are, however, I think they are and I doubt that this will happen. Salaita is being made an example of what happens when you visibly buck the system.

  • It's one state and 'kumbaya' is the way forward -- former Police drummer Copeland
    • PABELMONT- "I’ve never understood how “the ship has sailed” on 2SS can imply that 1SS (of the right sort) is possible."

      I agree. Furthermore, I have come to believe that engaging in discussions of a one state versus a two state solution is, at best, a waste of time and possibly counterproductive. Somewhat analogous to fiddling while Rome burns. The first order of business should be Palestinian human rights and security. If you can't get the siege of Gaza lifted, there is little point in wishful fantasizing over future scenarios. A quote and a link.

      "The deeply troubling impression that I came away with was that a negotiated, relatively “peaceful” resolution of the conflict is impossible and that those individuals who believe that the Israeli state would grant sovereignty and respect the human rights of Palestinians within the context of either a one or two state solution are either naive regarding the nature of Israel’s settler project or fundamentally dishonest." (Ajamu Baraka)
      link to

  • 'Zionism' is now a dirty word for American opinion elite, Frank Luntz concedes
    • PABELMONT- "...lets run things around here and make sure everyone knows who is running things."

      But if they dare to discuss who is running things, label them anti-Semites!

  • Caltech prof says Israeli scientist passed NASA rocket secrets to his government
    • DAVID DOPPLER- "The ambiguity results from a clear conflict between the tried and true American value: “we are a nation of laws, not men...."

      Are you Joking? Apparently you place much greater emphasis on words than on actual deeds.

      "Nothing less than the future of the Republic is at stake."

      I hate to break it to you, but the republic hasn't existed for quite some time. We are part of a business run empire and behave accordingly. Lawlessness is an intrinsic part of the political economy. You weren't aware? Seriously?

  • US Jewish voters have more favorable feelings about Netanyahu than Obama
  • 'We will make soap out of you!': Violent right-wing protest against Jerusalem art exhibit reflects rising anti-democratic tide in Israel
    • MARC-B- "Far from spitting on veterans, the antiwar movement welcomed them into its ranks and thousands of veterans joined the opposition to the war."

      Something which seems to have gotten lost in all of this spitting nonsense is the degree to which active duty military and veterans were an integral and critically important part of the anti-war movement. As the war continued, this rebellion in the ranks was of great concern to the military leadership and the prime reason for going to an all volunteer (mercenary) military.

      Personally, I think that we are far too euphemistic in regards to the troops. While I appreciate that many are practically forced by necessity to join up, nonetheless, our "sons and daughters" (as they are referred to in the media) are, in reality, imperial storm troopers utilized to kill and subdue Third World people who resist empire, and who stand ready to smash domestic dissent such as the Occupy movement. The military defends the empire, not the republic. Excessive patriotic zeal is a hallmark of fascism, and we are rapidly moving in that direction.

  • Al Jazeera investigates the USS Liberty attack in 'The Day Israel Attacked America'
    • W. JONES- "How do you know that Egypt could not be confused with the attackers?"

      The Egyptian air force had already been destroyed on the ground, among other reasons which I don't feel like going into.

      "Dayan threatened the planes but didn’t attack."

      That is because they halted the flights after Dayan's threat. Had the Liberty been repositioned as ordered by the Joint Chiefs, I suspect that it wouldn't have been attacked. And yes, I suspect that the US was warned that the Liberty would be attacked if not repositioned. That scenario, if it became public, would have been a huge blow to US Middle East geostrategy, as well as resulting in severe repercussions for Johnson and McNamara. That is probably why the Navy fighter planes were recalled. Not only would that have destroyed our strategic alliance with Israel (who had destroyed Nasser and Pan Arabism, much to our delight), but it would have politically catastrophic for LBJ, et al.

      "Planes were ready to go with nukes soon before the attack occurred. Whom were the nukes intended to be dropped on?"

      I believe that the ready aircraft on an aircraft carrier are armed with a variety of weapons in order to respond to a variety of contingencies, however, I am not familiar with the navy's operational procedures, nor with what they may have been anticipating during the 6 day war.

    • CHU- "New details...."

      I am glad that the al Jazeera video provided you with additional information you were previously unaware of, however, none of this information was actually new. Had you previously read "Assault on the Liberty" by James Ennes or "Attack on the Liberty" by Jeffrey St. Clair (one chapter in "The Politics of Anti-Semitism," Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair eds.) most of these "revelations" would already be known to you. Once again, not to say that this review wasn't informative for many, but merely to emphasize that it broke no new ground, which I found somewhat strange insofar as the actions of LBJ, the Joint Chiefs, Admiral McCain and the possibility of back channel communication between Israel (Moshe Dayan) and the US (LBJ, Joint Chiefs, etc) practically cry out for investigation. A lot of people seem to want to keep the deep story buried.

      I didn't bother to watch the video so I don't know if they mentioned that the first pilot ordered to attack refused and was arrested and court martialed when he landed. When he was released, the pilot, Evan Toni, contacted Ennes with his story. I guess what I am trying to say is that even these "exposes" seem to me to be a sort of ongoing cover up insofar as they simply review what has been previously known with no additional detail. In other words, what cannot possibly be denied is discussed, however, what can be successfully covered up is.

    • Well, here we go again. Another rehash of the USS Liberty with nothing new added. I'm not objecting to the review, but why nothing new? Initially, the Joint Chiefs denied the Liberty's request for an armed escort, apparently thinking there was no danger. Two days before the attack, however, the Joint Chiefs ordered Admiral McCain to reposition the Liberty 100 miles farther out, away from the combat zone. The order was never implemented, Admiral McCain claiming the order was not received due to a highly improbable technical snafu. What prompted the Joint Chiefs to elect to reposition the Liberty? Why not an armed escort? One would think that there are enough avenues of legitimate inquiry to clear up some of these unanswered questions concerning LBJ, the Joint Chiefs, Admiral McCain and the circumstances causing Moshe Dayan to order the attack. How about the back channel communications between Dayan and the US?

      Let me add one point. Since Israel was the only power capable of launching and sustaining this attack, the notion of a false flag operation to stage an attack and blaming it on Egypt (which was obviously incapable of doing it) is, in my view, utterly preposterous.

      Finally, subsequently, on another occasion, Dayan threatened to shoot down US reconnaissance planes and the flights were halted. Dayan publically stated that "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
      link to

  • Dempsey bucks Obama line by praising Israelis for Gaza tactics
    • In a related topic, since the empire is attacking virtually every Middle East country that is allied with Russia, I think it highly beneficial to read a short analysis posted today by James Petras concerning Russian strategic vulnerability versus imperial geostrategy. In my opinion, Professor Petras' analysis is quite accurate and a must read. A quote followed by a link.

      "In the face of Western sanctions Putin’s leading oligarch-allies are his weakest link in formulating an effective response. They press Putin to give in to Washington as they plead with Western banks to have their properties and accounts exempt from the sanctions. They are desperate to protect their assets in London and New York. In a word, they are desperate for President Putin to abandon the freedom fighters in southeast Ukraine and cut a deal with the Kiev junta." (James Petras)
      link to

  • Unionizing solidarity with Palestine: Support grows for BDS among grassroots labor movement
    • While it is always nice to see that there are some progressive union members at the local, grass roots level, let us not kid ourselves into thinking that the AFL-CIO is a supporter of human rights. The AFL-CIO and most of the international unions are staunch supporters of empire and have an extremely sordid history of sabotaging progressive unions overseas as well as working closely with the Sate Department and CIA to destabilize targeted countries, Chavez in Venezuela one of many incidents, albeit an unsuccessful one. I have no doubt that these efforts continue. Likewise, the AFL-CIO subservient loyalty to both the Democratic Party and to Zionist Israel is unlikely to change anytime soon.

  • Israel lobby stakes claim for Jerusalem at Supreme Court, but Kagan isn't buying
    • ANNIE- "the question we need to be focused on is when will the masses say stop, demand accountability and justice."

      The only way to do that in a democracy is to vote the Republican and Democrat rascals out by voting Third party or independent. And when will that happen? Probably some time after Hell freezes over.

    • SHINGO- "A surplus is can only be a nett positive for any country."

      Apparently you are unaware that in the global financial system money is CREATED through bank credit (debt). Reducing and finally eliminating the total debt (public and private) would effectively reduce and eventually eliminate the entire money supply, hardly a recipe for "let the good times roll."

      As an aside, historically the public and private debt required a growing economy to generate the demand for new loans to service the old loans. This growth is no longer sustainable, hence, privatizations are required to generate the demand for new loans. Neoliberal globalization is, in my view, a direct consequence of the nature of our private, debt based financial system.

      The entire global financial system will soon be restructured (or else), but not before the banks and oligarchs have plundered as much as possible. With the Republican victories in the mid-term elections, Obama will now have all the excuse he needs to go completely berserk in starting more wars and wrecking economic havoc on the American people. I predict that the final two years of the Obama presidency will be a galloping disaster.

  • Is Israel the wallpaper in US culture?
    • HORIZONTAL- "First off, I have no idea who Lena Dunham is, although I know the name. Hopefully this doesn’t cast me as a hopeless fogey."

      I never heard of her either until yesterday when I saw this interesting review over at CounterPunch by Ruth Fowler. Not that Fowler is free from criticism for much the same thing in regards to social media and "reality" hype. Below is a quote followed by a link. Be warned, the review is rather vulgar.

      "In the meat market of American celebrity, all we have to sell is a little piece of our self, and we’re taught to sell it over and over and over, in whatever way we can. If we’re thin and hot, flog that. If we have the personality of a fart, take out a Facebook ad for it. America is a nonstop branding machine for assholes intent on commodifying their dreadful and utterly banal personalities into a career. Dunham is no different. Her success lies not in the fact that she is uniquely shaped and sized, writes “refreshingly” about tedious uncomfortable sex, gets her tits out all the time and wears truly awful outfits from Urban Outfitters. Her success lies in the fact that she is fat, white, rich, privileged, racist, ignorant and disgusting: just like the heart of American society. Dunham makes white people feel OK about their racism. She normalizes, by writing about and participating in, non-consensual sexual activity (it’s OK because she’s self aware). She makes it socially acceptable to be a spoiled brat living off mommy and daddy’s money because it’s OK when you’re self aware and you’re turning it into a show for other people just like you to enjoy." (Ruth Fowler)
      link to

  • As conditions worsen in Gaza, residents ask: ‘Where have all the activists gone?’
    • NORMANF- "What Egypt is doing now to the Gazans is now far worse than anything Israel has ever done."

      Egypt is an American vassal state and a de facto ally of Israel. Egyptian policy towards Gaza is set by the Egyptian elites not the Egyptian people and is entirely consistent with US/Israel policy. Your continual reliance upon unfounded claims of anti-Semitism is indicative of tribal myopia. You might occasionally try to display at least a minimal amount of intellectual integrity.

    • WALID- "Israel also agreed to allow construction material into Gaza....But two months after the war ended, no building material has entered Gaza due to Israel’s ongoing blockade."

      This is par for the course. Israel has consistently violated each and every cease fire that it agreed to after pulverizing Gaza. Of course, Hamas will be held strictly accountable.

  • Will BDS become another form of ritualized solidarity?
    • On a related topic, there is a MUST READ analysis by Shimsho Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan relating to oil and war in the Middle East. A couple of quotes followed by a link:

      " In other words, war and conflict in the region – processes that are customarily blamed for rattling, distorting and undermining the aggregate economy – have served the differential interest of the large oil companies at the expense of leading non‑oil firms."

      "...with one exception, in 1996‑97, the Petro‑Core never managed to beat the average without there first being an energy conflict in the region.4 In other words, the differential performance of the oil companies depended not on production, but on the most extreme form of sabotage: war." (Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan)
      link to

    • MARC ELLIS- "BDS also displaced, correctly I think, Norman Finkelstein’s cult-like status and the invocation of international law as almost a religious rite."

      Well, I suppose that is one way to describe the purge of dissenting views by certain elements of the BDS leadership. Elements, I might add, that appear to me to have more than a smidgen of tribalism and a power seeking agenda. Folks who play the anti-Semitism card at the drop of a hat.

  • 'We are in a violent fight with extreme Islam' -- Feiglin leads rightists to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque
    • CATPORN- "So the question, if the Israeli lobby is so strong it can make the White House cover up the murder of 39 American sailors and the destruction of a ship, what can’t it do?"

      I believe that the attack on the Liberty and subsequent cover-up is more complicated than simply a super-powerful lobby. When the Liberty was first ordered on station, they requested an escort which was denied. One can only assume that the Joint Chiefs saw no danger. Subsequently, two days prior to the attack, the Joint Chiefs ordered the Liberty to reposition itself 100 miles farther out, away from the combat zone. The order was never relayed by Admiral McCain (Senator McCain's father). One can only assume that the Joint Chiefs received information indicating that the Liberty would be in danger, and that this was the best option. I'm guessing that they received a back-channel message from Moshe Dayan that unless the ship was moved Israel would attack it. Apparently, they agreed to do so. McCain sat on the orders (later claiming a technical glitch) probably with LBJ's approval. When the attack occurred, there were so many secrets under the table that LBJ was desperate to hide that a cover-up was his only out. Remember, the six day war was a huge victory for US foreign policy goal of getting rid of Nasser and Pan-Arabism. Who knows, perhaps in another 50 years the full story will come out. Subsequently, on another occasion, Dayan threatened to shoot down US reconnaissance planes and the flights were halted.

  • 'Jewish students were barred from attending' pro-Palestinian event -- Alterman misrepresents
    • MOOSER- “You’re only calling me an asshole because I’m not Jewish!”

      Moose, you're a genius! Why didn't I think of that? Besides, anyone who would use such crude language is clearly anti-semantic!

    • MOOSER- "That happens to me all the time!"

      Me too! And I'm not even Jewish!! Go figure.

  • Recognizing Palestine—and political reality
    • Several comments are in order. The first is to recall that when Ben-Gurion pushed for acceptance of the UN partition plan, he was denounced as a traitor by the revisionists who wanted all of Palestine without compromise. Ben-Gurion pushed ahead noting that once Israel achieved statehood they would be in a stronger position to achieve their ultimate objectives which were simply not obtainable at the time. In other words, statehood as a first step, not a final resolution. Nowadays, it would appear that, differences notwithstanding, folks like Chomsky and Finkelstein are analagous to Ben-Gurion, Barghouti and Abunimah analagous to the revisionists. It should also be noted that Chomsky used to support a bi-national state up until Arafat agreed to a two state solution, at which point Chomsky changed to conform to the express wishes of the Palestinian leadership, the bi-national solution rendered moot. Furthermore, this would tend to support Finkelstein's position that a certain segment of the BDS leadership was being less than honest when claiming agnosticism regarding a one state versus two state solution. Quite obviously they want a one state solution and are opposed to efforts leading to a two state settlement. Personally, I feel that the current situation is unacceptable and support any and all efforts to obtain some sort of physical peace and security for the Palestinians by ending the blockage of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank, etc. All of this bickering about the final resolution decades down the road serves no useful purpose.

  • Anti-semitism charge is increasingly being leveled against Israel's mainstream critics
    • MAFTALI BENNET- “It turns out that even when a British Muslim decapitates a British Christian, there will always be someone to blame the Jew,”

      Gee, that has a familiar ring to it. Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon which caused the death of over 20,000 Lebanese, including those in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Israel had sent their Phalange mercenaries into the camps to do the killing which resulted in worldwide outrage and condemnation to which Menachem Begin responded, “goyim kill goyim, and they come to blame the Jews." This grotesque sense of victimhood which sees all criticism as examples of anti-Semitism is the rule, not the exception. For what it is worth, the Nazis consistently depicted themselves as the victims of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy.

  • Europe wearies of Netanyahu's diversions
    • IRVI- "The point is Keith that this is not about gentiles but Europe...."

      Well, you are correct that historically Europe was an extremely violent place. I believe that in the 100 year war, one-third of the population of Prussia perished. Any feel for how the Jewish experience compared to that of non-Jews?

    • WALID- "The same question could be asked about the US and other Western countries. In some ways, the answer would be “yes”, and in some other ways, the answer would be “no”.

      Indeed, while definitions of "democracy" may vary, I am of the opinion that there is no effective democracy among any of the Western "democracies." In fact, these "democracies" should be referred to as "capitalist democracies" insofar as they are plutocracies with elections. Getting hung up on democratic mythology is a mistake. In the real world, the choice is between bureaucratic control by (primarily) governmental elites versus elite control emphasizing capitalist market mechanisms. The rule of money is a much more efficient and effective means of social control. While dictatorships are periodically overthrown, in the long run money overwhelms all opposition.

    • IRVI- "It is not a conspiracy, Mooser, it is History and it is Europe, or rather the painful, if not tragic, Jewish saga in it – while a minority there over millennia."

      Tell me, Irvi, have you given any thought to what is wrong with Gentiles that they are such intrinsically evil people? Surely you have given the matter much thought in view of your eternal victimhood.

  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • HOPHMI- "Your argument is completely idiotic. Emigration of Hispanics to the United States is way, way up. Therefore, there must be no anti-immigrant hatred in the United States."

      Interesting argument. As you should be aware, the emigration of Hispanics to the United States is large in spite of anti-immigrant feelings in the US. This is because these desperate people are fleeing the intolerable conditions in their countries which have resulted from US policies towards Latin America. And while Israel has not been subjected to this type of economic and physical oppression, it would appear that a fair number of Israelis are also fleeing Israel in search of friendlier and safer climes. As for emigration from Israel versus immigration into Israel, I believe that for the last 8 years or so they are about the same, rendering your comment about Berlin versus Europe a disingenuous distraction.

  • The Missing Context: 'Islamic State' sectarianism is not coincidental 
    • I, too, am very pleased to see this article posted here. It goes to the heart of something I have been saying for a long time. You simply cannot evaluate the political economy of the various Middle East countries in splendid isolation. Their governments and economies have been heavily influenced both by the history of imperial interference and the ongoing geopolitical strategies of powerful states. In this case, the US and Israel have historically promoted sectarian groups to weaken secular nationalism in the Middle East. Those dictators are our dictators, not the consequence of some innate Arab or Islamic backwardness. It is all about power and the empire is the primary architect of an unjust global system. No, it is not all the Godfather's fault, but much of it is.

    • WALID- "It’s puzzling how these 2 terrorists are helping Jordan."

      It is difficult to recognize patterns from so little information, however, I have been struck by how many of these terrorists have been held in prisons, then released. Below is a quote and a link involving this phenomenon where terrorists are (dare I say it?) recruited(?) in allied prisons and then released.

      “We have to ask why the majority of the leaders of the Islamic State (IS), formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), had all been incarcerated in the same prison at Camp Bucca, which was run by the US occupation forces near Omm Qasr in southeastern Iraq….. First of all, most IS leaders had passed through the former U.S. detention facility at Camp Bucca in Iraq."

      "Former detainees had said in documented television interviews that Bucca…was akin to an “al-Qaeda school,” where senior extremist gave lessons on explosives and suicide attacks to younger prisoners. A former prisoner named Adel Jassem Mohammed said that one of the extremists remained in the prison for two weeks only, but even so was able to recruit 25 out of 34 inmates who were there. Mohammed also said that U.S. military officials did nothing to stop the extremists from mentoring the other detainees…" (quoted by Mike Whitney)
      link to

  • Israel's Dead Soul: Steven Salaita's critical scholarship explains his dismissal from the University of Illinois
    • DAVID GREEN- "At the root of his exclusion are his serious political views."

      Oh, David! Unless his "serious political views" only manifested themselves between his hiring and firing, then his serious political views as evidenced in "Israel's Dead Soul" didn't prevent him from being hired. Surely it would have been easier not to hire him than to fire him. Now it may be true that his Zionist enemies may be as much or more concerned about his serious political views than with his specific tweets, but until the tweets they seemed to lack the power to get to him, otherwise he would not have been hired. Sure, his tweets probably wouldn't have mattered in another context, but that is part of what I am saying. When you stand in opposition to concentrated power you have to exercise a modicum of prudence. Dershowitz can get away with a lot (including alleged plagarism) because he is part of the power structure. Salaita is not and needs to exercise discipline, lest he provide his enemies with the means to get him fired. And while his tweets probably wouldn't have mattered in another context, I doubt that he would have been fired had he not made those indiscreet tweets.

    • DAVID GREEN- "Steven Salaita’s Israel’s Dead Soul (2011) merits serious attention and ultimately effusive praise."

      Do you really believe that? Perhaps in academia such tortured complexity of language is thought to indicate brilliance of insight, but not to me. It has been my experience that when dealing with complicated issues simplicity of language is essential to the understanding of deeper truths. Those who obfuscate through complexity usually have little to say. Your quotations suggest an academic trying to impress other academics. Perhaps he is capable of writing decent prose if he truly wants to communicate to a more general audience, but such is not the case here.

      Don't misunderstand, it is a shame he got fired. But he didn't get fired over "Israel's Dead Soul," he got fired because of his impolitic tweets. Our society is becoming more authoritarian as we progress towards a neofeudal dystopia. Those in the academy who buck the system can expect to pay a price, particularly when they visibly rebel. The UIUC administration is sending a message to their academic staff to get in line and stay in line or else. That is why I disagreed with other Mondoweiss commenters that the uproar over his firing would result in his rehiring. Highly unlikely. The powers that be aren't going to set a precedent by backing down. This is obviously intended to intimidate the faculty into keeping a low profile. It will probably work.

  • Clintonite turns on Netanyahu for trying to bend US 'to his will'
    • DAN CROWTHER- "You are out of your mind if you think jewish israeli’s are leaving israel due to a lack of liberal democracy."

      I agree. Furthermore, the term "liberal democracy" is without substance. What constitutes democracy? Simply voting in meaningless elections? Having a Bill of Rights which has been torn to shreds? Democracy, reform and liberalism are labels which have become operationally meaningless, which have been reduced to marketing labels which appeal to a certain group of people. In the US, we have a capitalist democracy, that is one dollar equals one vote. Elections are little more than marketing campaigns in which the "citizens" get to vote for which corporate candidate they prefer to screw them for the benefit of the candidate's fat-cat constituency. The whole process part of our glorified social mythology, yet another tool of social control. I am unaware of any "Western" country in which a true, substantive democracy exists, where the citizenry exercises significant control over the political economy.

  • Is ISIS a crisis for the so-called Jewish state?
    • MCYDA- "The support for their heavy machinery and weapons is readily available by payment of the locals."

      Are you joking? Lightly armed guerrillas can live off the countryside, armored units including artillery require massive logistics to function. Perhaps you are not aware of the long US history of using Islamic extremists to attack targeted countries? A few quotes and links not found on the MSM.

      “ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi is known to be a US intelligence asset, according to a former senior Al Qaeda operative, Nabil Naim, among other sources." (Finian Cunningham)
      link to

      "The absurd contradictions and deceptions of this latest US-led war in the Middle East should be brazenly obvious for anyone not brainwashed by Western “news” propaganda. The extremists that Washington is supposedly hunting now down are the progeny of American covert war in Syria that the Syrian government has been battling against for the past three years. The Saudi and Qatari allies now joining US warplanes to pound Syria are the financiers and weapons suppliers of the very terrorist networks that they are claiming to attack." (Finian Cunningham)
      link to

      "Let’s us dig in the issue of ISIS a little more. Among the countries who have joined the U.S. led coalition against ISIS, aren’t there some that still finance ISIS? Yes, there are. In case Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan were to stop the flow of money and arms to ISIS, it would not take more than a week for the whole business to be over. However, other than a few symbolic measures, nothing substantial has been done on that front. In other words, the reactionary coalition keeps feeding the organization that they have declared as the “enemy”. Who would believe you after this?

      But they want us to believe it. ISIS is out of control(!). Let us state it then: it was desired that ISIS gets out of control!" (Kemal Okuyan)
      link to

      "The Empire began attacks against its own creation – the Islamic State or ISIS as it is known here in the Middle East. Countless ISIS cadres were armed and trained in the NATO-run refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan, right on the Syrian border. And the main purpose of ISIS was to destabilize and destroy Bashar al-Assad’s Government in Damascus.

      ISIS did not fall from the sky. Nor is it some sort of spontaneous movement. Like the Mujahedeen forces in Afghanistan, which fought both, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) and later the Soviet Union, ISIS were paid, armed and trained by the United States and its allies.

      It is a common tactic used by the West, to identify and groom the most radical forms of Islam, including Wahhabism, which is now choking Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region." (Andre Vltchek)
      link to

      Western intelligence officials say they can track the ISIS oil shipments as they move across Iraq and into Turkey’s southern border regions. Despite extensive discussions inside the Pentagon, American forces have so far not attacked the tanker trucks, though a senior administration official said Friday “that remains an option.” (David Sanger, The New York Times)
      link to

      "It is clear, however, that the U.S. has no intention of destroying IS’s impressive armor and artillery capabilities, which have been heavily deployed in the siege of Kobani yet only lightly damaged by American air power." (Glen Ford)
      link to

    • DAN CROWTHER- I came upon an article today which fits in nicely with my comment above in regards to US/Israel ME strategy. Quote and link below:

      "With US politicians and the American media engaged in an increasingly acrimonious debate over the strategy guiding the latest US war in the Middle East, the United States Army has unveiled a new document entitled the Army Operating Concept (AOC), which provides a “vision of future armed conflict” that has the most ominous implications. It is the latest in a series of documents in which the Pentagon has elaborated the underlying strategy of preventive war that was unveiled in 1992—that is, the use of war as a means of destroying potential geopolitical and economic rivals before they acquire sufficient power to block American domination of the globe." (Bill Van Auken and David North)
      link to

    • DAN CROWTHER- “I’d like to add: I find it both interesting and distressing that even some “radical” Americans are taking up the line of “ISIS is a threat to us, US strategy is in tatters, ISIS is bad for Israel, it’s a big blowback etc etc”

      I don’t know that I would call Patrick Cockburn a radical, however, other than that I agree completely. It is almost comical. Last year when Obama was opposed by the American people in his desire to bomb Syria, these same folks said his policy was in tatters. Now that his plan to bomb Syria (relabeled ISIS) has overwhelming approval these liberals once again claim that his policy is in tatters. For me, the fact that public opinion can be turned on its head so easily and quickly says volumes about empire and the manufacturing of consent. It is easy to believe what is convenient to believe, and self-deception is the rule, not the exception!

      Dan Crowther- “No way ISIS is bad for Israel.”

      Once again, spot on! We have reached a point of rapid change where empire needs to quickly destroy potential competitors, and is doing so efficiently. Iraq has been destroyed and is now being divided into three areas, Libya has been destroyed and the African Union rendered moot, the Egyptian “Arab Spring” has been crushed, the remnants co-opted, Syria effectively destroyed and under continued attack putting Hezbollah in jeopardy, Hamas severely weakened, perhaps fatally, etc. As for Israel, apparently some folks are unaware of the Oded Yinon plan which reflects upper level Israeli thinking but has lain dormant for close to forty years awaiting propitious timing. I conclude with a quote from an analysis of the plan by Israel Shahak along with a link to the full discussion.

      “The following essay represents, in my opinion, the accurate and detailed plan of the present Zionist regime (of Sharon and Eitan) for the Middle East which is based on the division of the whole area into small states, and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states….Here I want to draw the attention of the readers to several important points: The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze'ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha'aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the "best" that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: "The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi'ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part" (Ha'aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old….The strong connection with Neo-Conservative thought in the USA is very prominent, especially in the author's notes.” (Israel Shahak)
      link to

    • PHIL- “Thus Benjamin Netanyahu has said again and again that Hamas, an Islamic Palestinian political party and resistance force, and ISIS are identical.”

      Identical? Hamas has been supplied with US battle tanks, artillery and anti-aircraft missiles? Hamas fighters are treated in Israeli hospitals before resuming fighting? Hamas is being covertly assisted by the US and Israel? Who knew? An interesting question is why ISIS’ military objectives include parts of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, but not Israel? Why doesn’t Israel ever get attacked by ISIS or al Qaeda?

    • AVNERY- “I am not afraid of ISIS’ military capabilities, which are negligible….”

      Interesting comment, which I would love to see Avnery develop. Many others describe ISIS as virtually invincible. Their capabilities are obviously well above “negligible,” what with being armed with US tanks, artillery and anti-aircraft rockets. Now, how did they get hold of this equipment and training in its use? Of course, if they are too successful, just make Turkey cut off their fuel and munitions. Tanks and artillery require intensive support which ISIS is obviously receiving from some of those now crying wolf.

  • Shlomo Sand resigns from being Jewish. Totally. Mostly. Almost
    • SHMUEL- "He would probably not be subject to informal discrimination either, as he would still be identified as a Jew."

      Would not the death threats he has received be considered "informal discrimination?"

    • SIBIRIAK- “Judaism” refers not just to “the Jewish religion,” but to ” the philosophy, and way of life of the Jewish people” as well."

      Are you suggesting that Judaism is more than a religion whereas Christianity and Islam are merely religions? If so, does the religious component of Judaism have a name? However, if all religions embody a philosophy and way of life, then are atheists also religious?

      I think that Mooser's point is well taken, no need to muddy the waters.

    • SAND- "In London it is the universities and their students of both sexes, not the Talmudic schools (where there are no female students), that remind me of the campus where I work. In New York it is the Manhattan cafes, not the Brooklyn enclaves, that invite and attract me, like those of Tel Aviv. And when I visit the teeming Paris bookstores, what comes to my mind is the Hebrew book week organised each year in Israel, not the sacred literature of my ancestors."

      This is an absolutely incredible paragraph, very revealing. Previously he says that he rejects the racism of Zionist Israel, yet here he identifies with scenes in London, Paris and New York, the capitals of two of history's most brutal empires and the financial capital of the equally brutal and racist global hegemon. Yet somehow he is blind to their dark underbelly. The myth of Israel deeply tarnished, yet the myth of Western liberalism and humanism as bright as ever. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. To be able to enjoy the fruits of empire without the victims of empire. To salve his conscience while continuing to live the good life. Apparently, this is the liberal fate: to remain a member of the loyal opposition and salve one's conscience by incessantly whining about it.

      While I liked "The Invention of the Jewish People," his op-ed is a very narrowly focused critique of Israel and Zionism. I am surprised that Marc Ellis lauds Sand's self-indulgent op-ed as an example of the "prophetic" voice. Apparently, prophets are much more shallow than I realized.

  • Tablet types Rev. Shipman as elite, anti-semitic WASP
    • "How rich are you?"

      How rich is Elie Wiesel? Exploiting the Holocaust pays very well from what I hear. What a shame he lost a chunk of change to Bernie Madoff.

  • Israel and the g-word
    • STEPHEN SHENFIELD- "What do others think about that?"

      Unless you are a religious Jew or have definite feelings of Jewish tribalism, describing yourself as coming from a Jewish background is correct. People who identify as anti-Zionist Jews may in fact be using anti-Zionism as a guilt-free Jewish tribal unifier.

  • It looks like Obama is checking out on Israel
    • PHIL- "Is Obama walking away from Israel?"

      No. The empire (including Israel) is utilizing ISIS/ISIL/IS as a proxy army to destroy Syria (Lebanon? Hezbollah?) and remove Assad as part of the neocon originated plan to remake the Middle East. Additionally, Iran, Russia and China are experiencing imperial attempts at destabilization. The empire is on a rampage, Obama the spokesman not the architect although he seems to approve. Both Obama and Natanyahu are consumate liars and should never trusted. These inferred public spats are of little importance.

  • American airstrikes and the universal 'language of force'
    • ANNIE- "...but to say he’s “persona non grata on Mondoweiss” would be incorrect."

      I stand corrected. At one time he appeared to be, however, that is no longer the case. With the benefit of hindsight, I regret making the comment. Dredging up the past serves no useful purpose.

    • CATPORN- "Noam Chomsky explains it welL...."

      Noam Chomsky explains a lot things very well, however, you need to be aware the extent to which Noam Chomsky is persona non grata on Mondoweiss. I provide a link you might find interesting.
      link to

    • NICKJOCW- "Rationality is having the ability to reason."

      The dictionary definition of rational and logical are virtually synonymous. I am somewhat arbitrarily designating a conclusion as rational if it is consistent with empirical reality, logical if consistent with relevant assumptions. Hence, beliefs based upon irrational mythology/ideology/propaganda can be completely logical conclusions which are nonetheless irrational beliefs. This all gets into group mythology/ideology/propaganda as a means of harmonizing individual behavior in support of group goals and objectives. The notion of individual citizens as unbiased, coldly rational beings weighing the evidence is pure mythology. Just observe the success of Madison Avenue in selling just about anything, including political candidates. My comment was an attempt to call attention to the fact that, yet again, a military intervention is being sold to a demonstrably gullible public. What does this say about informed citizens, democracy and democratic theory?

      I discuss the concept of "The Logic of Irrationality" in a mini essay linked below.
      link to

    • "As the United States and its coalition partners embark once again on an ill-fated, military misadventure in the Middle East, the recycled language used to promote such policies is predictable. And this time around, as in the past, it’s effectiveness is proven."

      I think that this raises important questions. Why is such crude propaganda so effective? What does this imply about democracy in general and American democracy specifically? Is the "rational political man" really rational?

  • Fineman and Robinson blast Sam Harris and HBO for promoting ignorance about Islam
    • MOOSER- "I’ll see your transmogrification, and raise you one transubstantiation!"

      For some curious reason, I found this hysterically funny.

  • Eight hours on Third Avenue
  • White House is now in open spat with Netanyahu over his 'American values' lecture
    • KRAUSS- "The democrats could easily lose the senate..."

      The Democrats will probably lose the Senate, which will provide Obama with the triangulation excuses he needs to ratchet up his warmongering and neoliberal austerity. These next two years are likely to be an unmitigated disaster for the American people and the world as the empire consumates its current agenda.

  • Where is the antiwar movement?
    • Here is an update to my comment of 10/7/14 @ 5:17 pm:

      "It is clear, however, that the U.S. has no intention of destroying IS’s impressive armor and artillery capabilities, which have been heavily deployed in the siege of Kobani yet only lightly damaged by American air power." (Glen Ford)
      link to

    • SEAFOID- "There is going to be a massive writedown of plutocrat wealth the next time the market crashes."

      I seriously doubt that. Rather, I predict that there will be an enourmous transfer of wealth upwards (privatizations, etc) to fulfill the debt obligations, including a scheme to "bail in" the bank's depositors to pay off Wall Street. Systemic problems will not be addressed until they have stolen as much as they can steal, leading eventually to financial neo-feudalism.
      link to

    • CATPORN- "ISIS don't exist because its a Muslim area, ISIS exist because outside forces don't like the fact that - 300 million Muslims are sat on the majority of the planets oil, at the worlds most important crossroad -"

      You are essentially correct, however, Krauss is psychologically incapable of arriving at certain rather obvious conclusions which are at odds with his bias. Something else which should be pointed out is that ISIS is not just a bunch of bearded guys carrying Kalashnikovs, they are attacking Kurdish forces with US tanks which they supposedly "captured" in previous battles. Ya, sure, you betcha. A good chunk of this equipment came their way when US trained and equiped Iraqi forces abandoned their equipment without a fight under orders from their US trained officers. Abandoned fully functional heavy armor with fuel and munitions? Well, that is one way to supply ISIS while maintaining plausible denialability. Now, who do you suppose trained these terrorist Arabs to operate these US tanks? There is no way that ISIS could be fielding and supporting armored units without US/NATO complicity, including preventing the Syrian air force from attacking them. Oh yeah, ISIS has "captured" artillery too.
      link to

    • DAN CROWTHER- "I bet Medea Benjamin’s a nice lady but she’s awful at being a spokesperson. She always accepts the conventional parameters for discussion."

      I suspect the reason for that is that she and a lot of the other dissident opposition have a symbiotic relationship with the empire. Notice how they only oppose a specific war at a time with no attempt to deal with the systemic nature of the problem. The US is a warfare state. The business of America is war. But Code Pink isn't about to take on the empire is it? She can best be described as a member of the professional opposition.

      According to William Blum:

      "This basic belief in America’s good intentions is often linked to “American exceptionalism”. Let’s look at how exceptional US foreign policy has been. Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:

      Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.

      Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

      Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

      Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.

      Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

      Led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance by American teachers, especially in Latin America.
      link to

  • Maher lumps Islam with ISIS, and CNN's Cuomo says Aslan's 'primitive' tone proves Maher's point
    • PHIL- "P.S. Count me among those who believe that traditional religious teachings are responsible for violence. Islam, Judaism, Christianity are all in the dock. Globalization is making these traditional tribalist understandings more and more problematic/wrong."

      I don't know that traditional religious teaching is the impetus for violence, which seems to me to have its roots in the struggle for power. Yes, religion can be manipulated to justify violence, however, societies go to war due to the power seeking of their elites. As for globalization reducing violence you have it backwards. The enrichment of the few and the impoverishment of the many caused by neoliberal globalization has increased the amount of violence both between competing nations and internally through sectarian divisions exacerbated by harsh economic conditions. In case you haven't noticed, Obama and empire have set the world on fire.

    • I think what should be obvious is that the "Clash of Civilizations" meme is a pretext for intervention in the Middle East, hence, is being heavily promoted by the imperial media. This should not be a surprise except, perhaps, for the crudity and overbearing nature of the "journalists." Notice, also, that Aslan seeks to defend Islam against partisan attack rather than attack the consequences of Western intervention and imperialism. Most of the current violence in the Middle East flows from the US/Israel attempt to redraw the map of the Middle East. Ongoing US support for al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL/IS is well known to those who care to look. The US is on a global terror campaign attacking and destroying anything that might conceivably challenge imperial hegemony, but you can't discuss this on the corporate media.

      As an aside, Reza Aslan's book, "Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth," is an interesting and worthwhile read.

  • Netanyahu lectures Americans on open housing and 'ethnic purification'
    • PHIL- "Amazing performance; and Schieffer was completely flatfooted."

      It is a very effective propaganda technique to let Netanyahu lie without challenging him on it, leaving the impression that he is telling the truth. More media complicity.

  • TX congressman who expressed concern about Gaza deaths undergoes 'healing process' and will fly El Al to Israel
    • "El Paso, a city with a 70% Hispanic majority, has a relatively small Jewish community, estimated at 4,000, amid a population of some 862,000. But Jews are well represented on O’Rourke’s donor list, with local businessman Stephen L. Feinberg among the top contributors to his campaign."

      What does this say about American democracy? What does this say about the gullibility of the average voter? As long as politicians know that doing the right thing counts for little, whereas, massive campaign funding counts for everything, nothing will change. The question is why the electorate allows themselves to be bamboozeled so easily.

  • Salaita says UI appeased 'a few wealthy donors' and destroyed his career
    • "...University of Illinois leadership adopted a false narrative in order to appease a few wealthy donors...."

      I seriously doubt that Salaita's termination was done to appease "a few wealthy donors." These few wealthy donors may have instigated the action, and be the public face of this effort, however, I suspect that his termination had the overwhelming support of the prevailing power structure which is apparently sending a message concerning the limits that academic dissent will be tolerated. Is it a coinicidence that Obama has prosecuted more whistle blowers than all previous Presidents combined? Surveilance, prisons, militarized police, our society is rapidly becoming more authoritarian, more coercive. All of this in anticipation of civil disobedience as society collapses under the weight of neoliberal globalization. Salaita is but a small part of a big picture. Stick your neck out and get your head chopped off.

  • Ilan Pappé on Israel’s 'post-Zionist moment' and the triumph of 'neo-Zionism'
    • STEPHEN SHENFIELD- "That is why the post-Zionists flourished in the mid-1990s when many Israelis (rightly or wrongly) saw this as a real prospect."

      I agree, and this slight, initial loosening of Israel's ideological rigidity panicked the the diehard Zionists (neo-Zionists?) who launched an ideological counter attack. This was aided and abetted by wealthy American Jewish Zionists who provide considerable funding for settlements and right-wing politicians (recall that Netanyahu received over 90% of his campaign funding from foreign sources, and over 50% from one American Jewish family). There is a nice discussion of this ideological offensive in "Towards an Open Tomb: The Crisis of Israeli Society," by Michel Warschawski.

    • KRAUSS- "I doubt you’re Jewish...."

      No, but I read "Portnoy's Complaint" multiple times and that should count for something.

    • STEPHEN SHENFIELD- "Like many others, I have found the term “post-Zionist” somewhat perplexing. It seems to imply that Zionism is already a thing of the past, which is manifestly not the case."

      Perhaps, had you been born and raised in Israel, you would feel differently. Uri Avnery has made the same point that Zionism was the scaffolding upon which the Jewish state was created and that, once created, the Zionist scaffolding should have come down, ie post-Zionist. The Israeli post-Zionist, therfore, would accept the Jewish state as given, but would create new and improved mythology/ideology to justify a kinder, gentler Jewish state.

      An Israeli neo-Zionist, however, doen't want a kinder, gentler Jewish state, rather the neo-Zionist desires a militarized warfare state to maintain an internal cohesion and commitment roughly equivalent to the original pioneering spirit which discouraged dissent. Both of these categories relate to Israeli Jews, not American Jewish Zionists.

      For American Jews, particularly American Jewish Zionists, Israel was/is both real and metaphysical. American Jews don't live in Israel, rather, they experience Israel through Jewish-Zionist mythology. American Jewish Zionists are mostly interested in preserving mythological Israel and the quasi-religious unification of the tribe, a function once filled by classical Judaism. So for most American Jewish Zionists, Israel is an object of veneration which they uncritically support, and which symbolically represents tribal power and tribal salvation. Therefore, for American Jewish Zionists, Zionism continues as it was with little desire for change. In fact, any true liberalizing of the Jewish state would be resisted by American Jewish Zionists.

  • Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis
    • For those confused about ISIS versus al Qaeda versus the "Free Syrian Army," I provide a link to Cindy Sheehan interviewing Brandon Turbeville.
      link to

    • "Ladies and Gentlemen, Would you let ISIS enrich uranium? Would you let ISIS build a heavy water reactor? Would you let ISIS develop intercontinental ballistic missile?"

      PM Netanyahu, would you support ISIS in its attempt to overthrow Assad?

      "Foreign Policy documents that Israel is also treating ISIS terrorists for free in its hospitals:

      In the past three months, battle-hardened Syrian rebels have transported scores of wounded Syrians across a cease-fire line that has separated Israel from Syria since 1974, according to a 15-page report by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the work of the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). Once in Israel, they receive medical treatment in a field clinic before being sent back to Syria, where, presumably, some will return to carry on the fight.

      The Israeli government has been providing medical assistance to Syria’s wounded for more than a year. In February, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit to a military field hospital in the Golan Heights."
      link to

    • HORIZONTAL- “He needs 30 security guards? In New York

      Perhaps he is afraid of being raped by Pam Geller and/or Debbie Schlussel. Those two eat nails for breakfast and complain about them getting soggy in milk.

  • NYT's opening to a 'fringe voice' excites rage from Israeli army, journalism, business leaders
    • KRAUSS- "The fact that there is even a firestorm here is a problem in of itself."

      The "firestorm" is necessary to create the illusion that this op-ed is much more significant than it actually is. The notion that the Mairav Zonszein op-ed marks some turning point from business as usual is wrong. If anything, it will result in Zionists circling the wagons in support of Israel while most NYT readers will pay little attention. Reading the entire op-ed originating from Jaffa, Israel, it sounds to me that Mairav is likely a liberal Zionist. Instead of getting all worked up over minor stuff like this, it would be better to highlight the fact that ISIS is supported by the US, Turkey and Israel, etc. with Israel providing medical treatment and some air support. Funny how ISIS doesn't even talk about attacking Israel, only Arab states.

  • Modi and Netanyahu's NY bromance
    • PHIL- "What a fortuitous triangle, the U.S., India and Israel."

      US imperialism, Israeli Zionism and Hindu fascism. Birds of a feather, natural anti-Muslim comrades in arms. So much for BRICS.

      India, along with South Africa, is a perfect example of neocolonialism, how political independence is meaningless without economic independence. Now the natives administer the country for the benefit of foreign corporations and local oligarches. A global matrix of control from which none are allowed to escape.

  • Lutheran activists fear new church leadership will stifle criticism of Israeli occupation
    • W JONES- "Keith, Israel Shahak wrote about this topic a bit, I think."

      Indeed he did, but to what avail? From time to time I recommend "Jewish History, Jewish Religion," by Shahak, but fear that I am becoming repetitious.

    • W JONES- "I did not mention making a contrast with Maimonides."

      No, I did. The whole point being that when historical Jewish/Gentile relations are brought up the focus is almost always on perceived anti-Semitism. Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism is rarely, if ever, mentioned.

    • W JONES- "Luther really did have an intolerant side."

      In contrast to Maimonides?

  • When Rouhani says blaming ISIS on Islam is Islamophobic, is anyone listening?
    • KRAUSS- “Rouhani's self-patting on the back, i.e. blame it all on the West, does indeed mirror Chomsky, who too refuses to see the cultural foundation of the natives as a crucial element and instead prefers to pass the buck onto the U.S. entirely, just like Rouhani.”

      Once again, your “analysis” is little more than the ritual incantations of a diehard anti-Chomskyite. Why bring Chomsky into this? The rest of your so-called analysis is basically an updated version of the white man’s burden. Rather than claim that these Third World people are racially inferior, you blame their situation on their “cultural foundation.” In doing so you whitewash the ongoing effects of imperialism and Western interventions. Almost all of these countries are totally screwed up as a consequence of Western imperialism which destroyed the indigenous culture and replaced it with Western oriented subservience. Any leader which resisted, like Mossadegh in Iraq was overthrown and replaced by satraps and compradors. Most of these corrupt leaders take their cue from Wall Street and the IMF. You seem in deep denial about the consequences of Western imperialism.

      Krauss: “It's the same fundamental flaw, whether it is ISIS in the Middle East or Likud in Israel that is being discussed.”

      The fundamental flaw is your inability to perceive reality due to your overpowering bias in regards to the Lobby. I have put together a few quotes and links for people who actually make an attempt to understand what is going on.

      “Who supports ISIS, anyway, if not the countries committed to “degrade and destroy” it? These include the US, European NATO countries, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others. ISIS is a convenient way of dividing, weakening and sometimes overthrowing all the societies in the region.” (Paul Larudee)
      link to .

      “Obama assures us that he is assembling a new coalition of the willing to join him in smashing ISIS. It turns out that every prospective member of the coalition was a co-conspirator with the United States in giving birth to ISIS – Britain and France and other Europeans, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates...ISIS has many, many fathers, all of whom now deny patrimony.”

      “Turkey, which is part of NATO, has been a wonderful father to ISIS, allowing the caliphate’s fighters free use of its long border with Syria and Iraq. In return, Turkey gets to buy the cheap oil from the fields that ISIS seized from Syria and Iraq, which makes the Turks somewhat reluctant to try to kill little baby ISIS.” (Glen Ford)
      link to

      “ISIS leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi is known to be a US intelligence asset, according to a former senior Al Qaeda operative, Nabil Naim, among other sources. Former CIA personnel have also disclosed that ISIS, like Al Qaeda, was set up to further geopolitical goals for Washington and its allies in the Middle East. These goals include regime change in target countries, such as Syria, and perpetuating the money-spinning American military-industrial complex by creating an endless security threat. Officially, the network may be a proscribed terror organization and “an enemy of the state”. But in the underworld of black operations, ISIS is a covert instrument of US government and corporate interests.” (Finian Cunningham)
      link to

      “Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.” (Garikai Chengu)
      link to

      “Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).” (Nafeez Ahmed)
      link to

  • Palestinian problem is central to region but Israelis control U.S. policy -- Brahimi
    • "We need Americans. They have a huge role to play. But they cannot be an honest broker.”

      The notion of empire as an honest broker is ludicrous, with or without the Lobby.

      From the Nation interview: "More than two decades of American naïveté or misunderstanding of Arab and other regional societies, astonishingly poor planning and post-conflict miscalculations that undercut claims of success, have left a deep mistrust and lack of confidence in the United States, in the view of the United Nations’ most experienced and savvy international envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, who worked closely with Americans in Iraq in 2004 and Afghanistan in 2001–04."

      The notion that US policy is the result of good intentions gone wrong is one of the most enduring liberal myths. So, he worked with Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan? He now lives in Paris? Say no more. What a crock.

  • Netanyahu erases the boundary between world Jewry and Israel in celebration of 'our country'
    • DAN CROWTHER- “A large portion of the Americans here at MW who obsess over the israel lobby and public zionists I feel fall into the category of folks who don’t see or acknowledge the other horrors the US plans and supports….”

      I agree that many MW commenters tend to overlook both the brutal history of the American empire and of the impact of imperial geostrategy. As for the Israel Lobby, I think that a lot of the difference between Walt and Mearsheimer aficionados and me is in regards to what is part of the Lobby versus what constitutes a domestic concentration of power, albeit an extremely biased one. I feel that much of what gets lumped into “the Lobby” would more properly be considered part of a domestic Israeli/Zionist support network. In other words, a significant part of the American power structure is staunchly pro-Israel.

      As a consequence of the Israeli Lobby/network, Israel is an anomaly. Without this powerful domestic support, Israel would be more or less a vassal state. With the Lobby/network, it is an integral part of empire able to uniquely influence US foreign policy in the Middle East. At least as significant, I think that the US Israeli network has substantial influence over other aspects of American foreign policy as well. I consider US based Zionists and their organizations to be the locus of global Zionist power, exerting considerable power within empire and also over Israel.

  • Obama says Muslims bear responsibility to counter radical Islam (so are Jews responsible for Israeli violence?)
    • JEFFB- “This had nothing to do with Gaza. Stay on point.”

      The article was about responsibility for violence in the Middle East. Israel’s failure to lift the siege of Gaza, to actually implement their responsibilities under previous cease fire agreements, and to continually engage in provocations and periodic mass murder dealt with the article. Your attempt to divert the discussion to Israel’s PR efforts in Haiti was a thread hijack. All that your “10 second” effort demonstrated was that it was necessary to search out the story. In fact, the first I heard about it was when you brought it up in your comment. You are the one who knowingly and provocatively brought up Haiti and organ harvesting. No one was talking about this until you diverted the discussion, then implied anti-Semitism (blood libel?) when other commenters responded to you. Apparently, your ongoing intent is to fabricate examples of “anti-Semitism” and irrational “hatred” of Israel in the Mondoweiss comment section. My mistake was in responding to your propagandistic nonsense.

    • JEFFB- Foolish me. I should have realized that a determined person surfing the web will eventually find what he is looking for. I hadn't seen the Haiti allegations before, however, I was aware of the documented case of Israelis harvesting organs from dead Palestinians. Also, the Israeli connection in the Kosovo organ harvesting operation. Both of these brought the standard denials and allegations of anti-Semitism and blood libel. Tribal solidarity brought to grotesque extremes. I tend to doubt that the Israelis engaged in organ harvesting in Haiti when there were so many oportunities back home. Why risk the negative PR? And that is what the Haiti mission was. If Israel was really interested in humanitarianism, they should start by lifting the seige of Gaza and stop their mistreatment and periodic mass murder of Palestinians. I provide two quotes, first from the Guardian on Kosovo and the Israeli connection, the second by Noam Chomsky on Israels shameful behavior towards Gaza.

      "It is fitting that the man described as the "fixer" in Kosovo's alleged organ ring was an Israeli of Turkish descent....The Israeli market for donor livers has been well-documented, and most international trafficking rings have involved wealthy Israeli patients on so-called "transplant tours". (Paul Lewis, The Guardian)
      link to

      "The official story is that after Israel graciously handed Gaza over to the Palestinians, in the hope that they would construct a flourishing state, they revealed their true nature by subjecting Israel to unremitting rocket attack and forcing the captive population to become martyrs to so that Israel would be pictured in a bad light. Reality is rather different.

      A few weeks after Israeli troops withdrew, leaving the occupation intact, Palestinians committed a major crime. In January 2006, they voted the wrong way in a carefully monitored free election, handing control of the Parliament to Hamas. The media constantly intone that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In reality, its leaders have repeatedly made it clear and explicit that Hamas would accept a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus that has been blocked by the US and Israel for 40 years. In contrast, Israel is dedicated to the destruction of Palestine, apart from some occasional meaningless words, and is implementing that commitment.

      The crime of the Palestinians in January 2006 was punished at once. The US and Israel, with Europe shamefully trailing behind, imposed harsh sanctions on the errant population and Israel stepped up its violence. By June, when the attacks sharply escalated, Israel had already fired more than 7700 [155 mm] shells at northern Gaza.

      There should be no need to review again the horrendous record since. The relentless siege and savage attacks are punctuated by episodes of “mowing the lawn,” to borrow Israel’s cheery expression for its periodic exercises of shooting fish in a pond in what it calls a “war of defense.” Once the lawn is mowed and the desperate population seeks to reconstruct somehow from the devastation and the murders, there is a cease-fire agreement. These have been regularly observed by Hamas, as Israel concedes, until Israel violates them with renewed violence." (Noam Chomsky)
      link to

    • "It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL…."

      Unbelievable! Obama's misrepresentations surpass even those of Slick Willy, no easy task. Since the US virtually created the Mujahideen from which al Qaeda sprang, and encouraged, funded and trained ISIS (ISIL, IS) as proxy fighters to destroy Syria, this statement, along with the rest of his speech, is mind boggling hypocrisy. Two quotes: the first on ISIS, the second on Obama's speech:

      ""The Empire began attacks against its own creation – the Islamic State or ISIS as it is known here in the Middle East. Countless ISIS cadres were armed and trained in the NATO-run refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan, right on the Syrian border. And the main purpose of ISIS was to destabilize and destroy Bashar al-Assad’s Government in Damascus.

      ISIS did not fall from the sky. Nor is it some sort of spontaneous movement. Like the Mujahedeen forces in Afghanistan, which fought both, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (DRA) and later the Soviet Union, ISIS were paid, armed and trained by the United States and its allies." (Andre Vltchek)
      link to

      "Obama’s September 24 speech at the UN is the most absurd thing I have heard in my entire life. It is absolutely amazing that the president of the United States would stand before the entire world and tell what everyone knows are blatant lies while simultaneously demonstrating Washington’s double standards and belief that Washington alone, because the US is exceptional and indispensable, has the right to violate all law." (Paul Craig Roberts)
      link to

    • JEFFB- "The accusations were that the Israelis weren’t really there to provide food and clear water but rather they were there to harvest the organs of dead Haitians...."

      I am unaware of any accusations of Israel harvasting the organs of dead Haitians. Unless you have a link or two, I think you made that up. Funny that you should bring up Kosovo where organ harvesting and other criminal activities are widespread.

    • YONAH FREDMAN- "...antisemitism is terrible...."

      Compared to all of the crap which is going on in the world today, anti-Semitism is a relatively minor consideration. That you perceive it a major problem indicates that you may suffer from a terminal sense of eternal victimhood. Believing yourself a victim means you never have to concern yourself with your own prejudices or be held accountable for the actions of your own group.

    • MOOSER- "Has anyone, anywhere, who wanted to stop being a Jew been prevented from doing so by the laws of his country (except in Israel, of course)?"

      Nazi Germany.

  • Rosh Hashanah After Gaza
    • MARC ELLIS- Rabbi Jacobs says: “The job of a rabbi is to be a moral leader.”

      This sounds like Noam Chomsky talking about the responsibility of intellectuals. It would be nice if this idealistic mythology was reflected in real world behavior, however, it is inconsistent with the function of organized religion in our society which is to provide a psychological palliative for the individual group members and a collective organizational framework for group goal seeking. Organized religion is, in fact, a major component in achieving compliance with the social order and historically has been supportive of warfare and empires. Rabbis are not prophets and vice versa. It is difficult to imagine either you or Fr. Roy Bourgeois leading a congregation.

      Also, while I sympathize with Jews of conscience emphasizing Israel/Palestine insofar as it so publicly reflects upon Jews, let us not forget that we are also citizens of empire and have an obligation there. And is it likely that organized Jewry which has been either silent or openly supportive of imperial militarism should suddenly speak out on Gaza? For a variety of reasons, Israel cannot be viewed in isolation from empire.

  • Homegrown jihadis and the limits of the Israel lobby
    • As I reflect upon this article, I am bothered by several things. First, why is an article on homegrown Jihadis combined with a discussion of the Lobby? I fail to see the connection. Second, why has Maggie Sager in effect misrepresented Chomsky on the Lobby? Her "Chomsky" quote is actually Stephen Zunes who Chomsky quotes in a fairly nuanced discussion of Lobby power following the Walt and Mearsheimer publication.

      The power of the Lobby is determined, to a significant degree, by how one defines the Lobby. Include enough concentrations of domestic power and the Lobby is us, not some foreign force. Also, talking about "American interests" is problematic. American foreign and domestic policy rarely seeks to promote the interests of the American people, rather, it reflects the perceived interests of the American (now international) dominant elites. Why we should be concerned with how the Lobby effects fat cat power seeking is a mystery to me. If the Lobby actually does hinder the effectiveness of empire, then at least it performs some useful function.

      For those interested in the Chomsky article on the Lobby, I provide a quote and a link.

      "Notice incidentally that what is at stake is a rather subtle matter: weighing the impact of several factors which (all agree) interact in determining state policy: in particular, (A) strategic-economic interests of concentrations of domestic power in the tight state-corporate linkage, and (B) the Lobby." (Noam Chomsky)
      link to

    • AMERICAN- "No one here is stupid enough to believe the Lobby ‘runs everything’."
      AMERICAN- "What the US DOES for Israel and often does TO other countries FOR Israel is because of the Lobby. Period "

      So the Lobby isn't all powerful and doesn't run everything but it is the reason things are the way they are? Just the Middle East? Is the empire just a figment of my Chomskyite imagination?

      American: "All people and mean all, including Israel critics, that think the US has One Motive for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g it does are so shallow they could drown in a saucer."

      An empire is not a motive, it is a power relationship. Do you not believe in empires? No Roman empire? No British empire? No American empire? No 1000 US military bases overseas? No expansion of NATO? No pivot to Asia? The US hasn't engaged in non-stop warfare against the entire Third World following World War II? No US trained and supported South American death squads? Etc, etc, etc. Methinks that you are in deep denial. Now one can debate the relationship of Israel, the Lobby, and American Jews to empire, but to deny the existence of empire or the reality of imperial geostrategy is a curious attribute of devout anti-Chomskyites. If you need empire to disappear to make your case, you haven't got a case.

      American: "Being embargoed because of Israel’s war cost US ‘business’ billions and cost the world trillions."

      Well that certainly explains the rise of the OPEC empire and the decline of the US to a second rate failed state. Amazing how the US is the sole super power after all these years of putting Israel's interests above our own. Just think how dominant we would be if you were calling the shots. I'm not going to respond to all of what you said, however, you should be aware that the rise in oil prices greatly improved the oil companies' profits as well as providing a huge pool of petro dollars which the Saudis graciously stashed into US Treasuries and other Western financial assets which contributed to American financial dominance.

      Final comment. The State Department history which you lovingly quote is the official government line, hardly an insightful commentary.

    • PIOTR- “China is clearly merely rounding the list, we did nothing to undermine China, modest steps to embolden countries that China could intimidate, like Philippines, do not count as “trying to eliminate China”.

      Good lord! Are you really unaware that AFRICOM is meant to counter China’s growing economic influence in Africa? The pivot to Asia is a direct threat to China, hardly “modest steps” to “protect” against Chinese aggression. A couple of quotes and links:

      “On 31 July, the National Defense Panel in Washington published a remarkable document that called for the United States to prepare to fight six major wars simultaneously. At the top of the list were Russia and China – nuclear powers.” (John Pilger) link to

      “America prioritizes Russia and China singly and together as Evil Incarnate, each to be contained, isolated, drastically weakened, Islamic militancy now and in future the sideshow, distraction, indeed pretext, for the full militarization of American society in going after bigger game. Syria and Ukraine are identified as geostrategic opportunities having sequential import, under the cover of antiterrorism placing decisive military “assets” in closer proximity to the Enemy.” (Norman Pollack)
      link to

    • PIOTR- “Try to make a living by neglecting support of Israel in favor of promoting valiant Ukrainians and Georgians in their fight against Russian bear.”

      So you consider the neo-Nazis in Kiev “valiant Ukrainians?” You support the imperial fomented “color revolutions” as examples of people power? No wonder you are anti-Chomsky. Perhaps you should spend some time educating yourself on the evils of the American empire. Nothing you have said about the elites being influenced by Think Tanks, etc. changes the fact that ultimately society is more or less run by elites, including Jewish elites. Actually, I don’t think that this reflects Marxist thinking regarding economic determinism. Furthermore, Chomsky is not a Marxist, vulgar or otherwise.

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