Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2422 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)

Keith

Radical dissident. Retired.

Website: http://saskck.blogspot.com

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  • Israeli embassy puts Mona Lisa in a hijab -- 'Israel now, Paris next'
    • LYSIAS- “A very good description of the situation the U.S. military faced in Vietnam. And how did that war end?”

      With Vietnam destroyed and millions of its citizens dead, now a neoliberal paradise for investors.

  • As in Vietnam and South Africa, Gazan masses are willing to pay high price for freedom -- Kasrils
    • TOKYOBK- “Therefore the only option is peace and reconciliation based on equality.”

      You do realize that this implies the end of political Zionism as it now manifests itself? Also, perhaps, the end of Israel as a Jewish state? From your mouth to God’s ear, but don’t hold your breath.

  • Joan Rivers slams CNN and BBC coverage of Gaza -- 'you're all insane'
    • It is easy to believe what is convenient to believe, and self-deception is the rule not the exception. Political theory makes reference to the rational political man, and economic theory makes reference to the rational economic man. As such, both are inevitably wrong about much of political economy. I define something as rational if it is consistent with empirical reality, and logical if it is consistent with relevant assumptions/ideology. They are not the same thing. If there is a conflict between the two, depending upon the strength of the bias, most folks will defend group mythology against unpleasant facts. I refer to this as the logic of irrationality. No amount of rational argument will change Joan Rivers’ opinion regarding Israel and the Palestinians.

  • PLO official Hanan Ashrawi: Israel's assault on Gaza is 'state terrorism' and should be referred to the International Criminal Court
    • DANAA- I agree with your comment completely. Additionally, it seems to me that this latest assault on Gaza is intended as a full blown terror campaign designed to break the back of any support for Hamas, as well as a big F U to the world. Public opinion? Who cares. The Godfather and his Middle East Capo are providing a demonstration as to the price of resistance. Look at Libya, Iraq, Syria and now the Ukraine. I provide a quote which sums up my view.

      “The United States has set the world on fire. It is nonsense to talk of a “new” Cold War, when what the world is witnessing is multiple conflagrations as intense and horrifically destructive as at any period since World War Two. Virtually every one of these armed conflicts has been methodically set in motion by the only power capable of perpetrating such massive, simultaneous mayhem: the United States, along with its underlings in London, Paris and Tel Aviv – the true Axis of Evil.”

      “Whoever coined the phrase “No Drama Obama” should be sentenced to a lifetime of silence. The First Black U.S. President systematically brought swastika-wearing fascists to power in Ukraine to start a war on Russia’s borders. The passengers of the Malaysian airliner are victims of Obama’s carefully crafted apocalypse, a pre-fabricated conflict that could consume us all. Obama methodically and without provocation laid waste to Libya and Syria, and now the jihadists unleashed by the United States and its allies are destroying Iraq all over again and threatening to erase Lebanon and Jordan and even the oil kingdoms of the Gulf. Obama has signed yet another blank check for Israel’s ghastly war of ethnic annihilation in Gaza – a crime against humanity for which the U.S. is fully as culpable as the apartheid Jewish State, which could not exist if it were not part of the U.S. superpower’s global war machine.”(Glen Ford)
      link to blackagendareport.com

  • Hamas mimics Hezbollah tactics, and no one will have stability till blockade is lifted
    • WALID- “The former employee at US National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, has revealed that the British and American intelligence and the Mossad worked together to create the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).”

      Jeez, I’m glad you brought this up. And their “victories” in Iraq consisted of Iraqi troops ordered to abandon their weapons and flee. A way to quickly and surreptitiously supply ISIS with a lot of US weapons, including tanks? They apparently have already used these tanks raising the question of who provided the tank training? Three guesses. Now ISIS is ISIL and claims the northern part of Lebanon as part of the Caliphate. A US/Israel created ISIL invading Lebanon from the north to fight Hezbollah? ISIL as a pretext for Israel to maintain “defensive” occupation of the Jordan valley? I don’t know why some folks are claiming a big Hamas victory, things look grim to me.

    • Let us not go overboard in comparing Hamas to Hezbollah. Hamas is much, much weaker militarily than Hezbollah, and is surrounded by Israel on one side and Egypt on the other, both hostile to Hamas and both massively supported by the US, also hostile to Hamas. It is difficult to imagine a more one-sided balance of forces. Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are both under attack and I suspect that soon Hezbollah will be too, with ISIS (ISIL) coming from the north and Israel from the south. It is all part of the remaking of the Middle East and things are going to get worse before they get better, if they get better.

  • U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza
    • TOKYOBK- “…does not fully explain why the US wants that strip of land for its own empire purposes.”

      Neither the US nor Israel want the Gaza strip. Okay, maybe Israel somewhat due to potential offshore gas fields. The primary reason for this assault, however, is to destroy Hamas, even as Egypt destroys the Muslim Brotherhood. The harsh siege came about after Hamas won the elections in Gaza, an unacceptable result for US/Israel. After Hamas, then comes Hezbollah. You are with us or against us. Every potential competitor to empire is under attack or will be. The long war is here. The present is bleak, and I fear that the future will be bleaker.

  • Israeli forces shell UN school where displaced Palestinians gathered, killing at least 9
    • LIBRA- “That said, I’ve often wondered why some people still think it's all about oil, thereby making themselves look very naive.”

      It is never “all about” any one thing, however, to deny the strategic importance of oil is to make yourself look worse than naïve, to put it charitably. It is only on Mondoweiss where I encounter this curious position. Out in the real world of geopolitics, this position is ludicrous. Here are a few recent examples. If I felt like wasting time I could inundate you, but why bother? You, and some of your cohorts will never change your views regardless of rather obvious reality. You do realize that the entire world is dependent up hydrocarbon fuels, don’t you?

      “Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms,” the CNN report concluded, indicating that, “From ExxonMobil and Chevron to BP and Shell, the West’s largest oil companies have set up shop in Iraq. So have a slew of American oil service companies, including Halliburton, the Texas-based firm Dick Cheney ran before becoming George W. Bush’s running mate in 2000.” (Nicola Nasser)
      link to counterpunch.org

      “The oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein was racked with insurgency, and when vicious repression failed, it delivered a portion of the vast oil revenues to the people in the form of government jobs, social services, and subsidized industries and agriculture. The oppressive United States occupation was racked with insurgency precisely because it tried to harness the country’s vast oil revenues to its imperial designs in the Middle East. The oppressive Maliki regime is now racked with insurgency, because the prime minister refused to share those same vast oil revenues with his Sunni constituents.
      It has always been about the oil, stupid! (Michael Schwartz)
      link to zcomm.org

      Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ukraine, the East and South China Seas: wherever you look, the world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts. At first glance, these upheavals appear to be independent events, driven by their own unique and idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely and they share several key characteristics — notably, a witch’s brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that have been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy….Make no mistake about it, these are twenty-first-century energy wars.” (Michael T. Klare)
      link to zcomm.org

    • LYSIAS- “Is there anything Israel could do that would make the U.S. stop protecting them at the UN and elsewhere?”

      Yes, challenge the US for control of some of the significant Middle East petro states. Have you ever wondered why with all of their military power they haven’t occupied at least one significant oil state, thereby freeing themselves from being dependent upon US support?

  • Israel's 'defeat'
    • MARC ELLIS- “Some pundits are calling Israel’s invasion of Gaza a defeat.”

      Ali Abunimah and Gilad Atzmon for two. Lordy, lordy, what wishful thinking. Norman Finkelstein has an interesting perspective on this:

      “Abbas will negotiate an agreement with Egypt whereby the PA will staff Rafah crossing, enabling Abbas to declare that he won an end to the blockade. The quid pro quo, however, is that he will agree to prevent any arms smuggling into Gaza and to disarm Hamas. Because
      (a) Hamas’s key demand was to end the blockade,
      (b) Hamas is isolated politically and neutered militarily, and
      (c) Abbas is technically the head of the Unity government, Hamas will be forced to agree to these terms.
      If things go according to plan, it will mark the end of Hamas as a resistance movement, to the joy of the Arab states, the US, EU, Israel and, of course, the PA.
      (3) The US gave Israel total diplomatic cover during the latest massacre. So, it’s payback time. Obama and Kerry will role out the terms of the framework for peace. WIth the Palestinians battered and Hamas defeated, the PA will (happily) sign on. Insofar as Netanyahu can now ask for near-anything and get it, the US will probably tweak the framework to meet his every demand. Kerry, Netanyahu and Abbas may yet get the Nobel.”
      link to normanfinkelstein.com

  • US plays decisive role in Israel's attack on Gaza
    • “The request for $225 million in fiscal 2014 funds for Iron Dome — and the special conditions — came in a recent letter to congressional leaders from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel .”

      Well, if the request came from Chuck Hagel, I guess that it must be okay. I’m sure glad that he’s SecDef to hold Israel’s feet to the fire! Of course, it was only after his confirmation that we discover his fondness for donkeys. Who knew?

  • Nobel peace laureates and celebrities call for military embargo on Israel
    • W JONES- “Rather, my criticism is that he was a nationalist youth leader dedicated to a nationalistic political party and worked on a nationalist kibbutz….”

      A nationalist youth leader? He was a cultural Zionist who has always opposed a Jewish state. He accepts the reality of Israel, a member of the UN. He says that nowadays he would be described as an anti-Zionist. Philosophically, he would like to see the dissolution of all nation states in the future (I disagree with him on this). You have, once again, blatantly misrepresented him. I find your fixation on Chomsky curious. Perhaps your link to the Allison Weir website with the picture of Jeffrey Blankfort provides a clue? I might add that it is difficult to respond to you insofar as you pack so much misinformation and disinformation in your comments, all “supported” by links to videos or radio interviews (hostile ones) which I have no time or desire to listen to. Based upon my readings of Chomsky’s work (primarily books), your characterization of him is way off base.

      W Jones: “Chomsky’s political party, Hashomer, had a leftist aspect and a reactionary aspect, because it wanted socialism but it also dedicated itself to one religion only in a country made of three major religions.”

      Whoa, partner. First of all, I am not aware that Chomsky is a member of any political party. Was he a member of the Hashomer youth movement in his youth? Are you saying that it is reactionary for a Christian to practice Christianity in a region with three religions? Reactionary for a Muslim to practice Islam in a country with three religions? Or is it only Jews who are reactionary for practicing Judaism in a country with three religions? What is your point, except to falsely imply that Chomsky is a reactionary? As a matter of fact, Chomsky is not religious at all and has never advocated for a Jewish state or suggested that an ideal society be divided along religious lines. I am sure that he supports religious freedom for all in a pluralistic society, and other forms of cultural diversity. Yet, you seem to insinuate that this constitutes sectarianism. More misrepresentation from you. You are a regular “Energizer Bunny” of disinformation.

      You have obviously devoted a lot of time and effort trying to find things to use against Chomsky, therefore, you can hardly be accused of ignorance. I don’t object whatsoever to honest criticism of any of Chomsky’s positions, however, I find the ongoing misrepresentation of him offensive. I find it interesting that Mondoweiss attracts so many anti-Chomskyites like you.

    • W JONES- “Chomsky on the other hand said in a debate with the ADC that it is a “small” lobby.”

      The size and strength of the lobby depends upon how one defines the lobby. If we just talk about the professional lobbyists, it is probably small. If we include all the “friends of Israel,” then the lobby is enormous and includes what I (and I assume Chomsky) would consider domestic concentrations of power. Chomsky answers this question differently at different times depending upon how the question is phrased within the specific context of the interview. My opinion on Chomsky is based primarily upon his books. I have neither the time nor inclination to view all of his video interviews. Apparently you have devoted considerable time and effort looking for isolated quotes to impugn him. The Frank Barat interview appeared to me when I initially saw it as a hostile interview by a BDS supporter who was hectoring Chomsky looking to provoke an ill-considered response.

      Jones : “In his interview with Frank Barat (Part 4/4), Chomsky said “It’s 100 times times worse in the US, or in England, or anyplace else you talk about” and concluded from this that BDS is “pure antisemitism”.

      You continue to alter your phraseology slightly on this to imply something which I don’t think reflects Chomsky’s views. First of all, the crimes of either the American empire or the British empire were much worse than anything that Israel has done so far. This is not to excuse Israel, but to acknowledge that Americans who focus laser like on Israel while ignoring the crimes of empire are hypocrites. Focusing on Israel while ignoring Americas crucial support does lend a certain credibility to charges of anti-Semitism, however, his argument that BDS should be limited to certain types of actions is not tantamount to calling BDS per se as “pure anti-Semitism,” a blatant misrepresentation. Arguably, American efforts should focus on ending US support for Israel, however, that could be too big an effort to be productive.

      Jones (from a previous closed thread): “…on certain topics related to the Palestinian Conflict, like the Lobby, Apartheid, BDS, the Right of Return, and whether a society should ideally be divided on religious lines, Chomsky takes a PEP position.”

      This is an outrageous misrepresentation of Chomsky. You are labelling any deviation from the BDS party line as non-progressive. As for dividing a society along religious lines, this, apparently, is your misrepresentation of Chomsky favoring a two state solution as being the more realistic option. All of your caveats aside, based upon your links alone, you are obviously a charter member of the anti-Chomsky brigade. The reason I even bother responding to some of this anti-Chomsky drivel is that it has become apparent to me that there is an orchestrated anti-Chomsky effort afoot. Initially, this was centered on the Right, however, as society has moved ever rightward, certain elements on the Left have found a niche in vilifying critics of empire, Chomsky being the most visible. Christopher Hitchens the best known example. As empire progresses towards neo-feudalism, some folks alter their perceptions in search of funding as full spectrum dominance includes the doctrinal system. And, all of your excuses aside, any website which praises Freeman, Hagel or Kerry while vilifying Chomsky has some serious issues.

    • “Israel’s ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world.”

      Funny, I see no mention of the Israel lobby. Is the Palestine BDS National Committee a bunch of Chomskyites?

      “We call on the UN and governments across the world to take immediate steps to implement a comprehensive and legally binding military embargo on Israel, similar to that imposed on South Africa during apartheid.”

      Who signed? Among others, Chris Hedges, Cynthia McKinney Illan Pappe, John Pilger and Noam Chomsky. I search in vain for Chas Freeman, Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, among other Mondo stalwarts. Perhaps some sort of oversight? Easily corrected if they click on the link and add their names.

  • Gaza is a concentration camp, and it's an American delusion not to recognize that -- Weschler
    • W JONES- “Unlike Chomsky, Obama, Hagel, and Kerry are politicians and their careers depend on them saying the right thing.”

      Yes, pity the career imperialist who is constrained from speaking out against policies he supports and implements. You gave me two quotes from Chas Freeman, how about Hagel and Kerry? Some Mondoweiss commenters wrote their congressmen in support of these guys, even as they bad mouth Chomsky. Freeman is no longer in government and can speak his mind about Palestine and his troubles with the Lobby. Other than Palestine and the Lobby, how does this career imperialist’ record on progressive issues compare to Chomsky? What is his opinion on the School of the Americas, neo-liberal globalization, the Libyan intervention, the Ukrainian intervention, and the pivot to the East? Actions speak louder than words, and Freeman’s career in support of empire speaks volumes about your hero. Unless you fundamentally support empire EXCEPT in the Middle East, it would seem to me that lauding Freeman and vilifying Chomsky is irrational, unless the purpose is denigrate Chomsky for other reasons.

    • TEAR-STAINED UZI- “…it’s frustrating that he provides cover now for PEPs.”

      Curious, how expressing an honest opinion on certain aspects of BDS can be considered as providing cover for PEPs. His opinion on effective tactics differ from yours? So what. This hardly explains the extreme and unjustified vilification of Chomsky by more than a few Mondoweiss commenters. Same with Finkelstein.

    • PHIL- “Gaza is a concentration camp, and it’s an American delusion not to recognize that — Weschler”

      I am sure that those Americans responsible for US policy are fully aware of the conditions in Gaza, which they helped create and fully support. When it comes to straight talk about Gaza, here is what one prominent American intellectual and Mondoweiss villain has to say:

      “When Israel is on “good behavior,” more than two Palestinian children are killed every week, a pattern that goes back over 14 years. The underlying cause is the criminal occupation and the programs to reduce Palestinian life to bare survival in Gaza, while Palestinians are restricted to unviable cantons in the West Bank and Israel takes over what it wants, all in gross violation of international law and explicit Security Council resolutions, not to speak of minimal decency. And it will continue as long as it is supported by Washington and tolerated by Europe – to our everlasting shame.” (Noam Chomsky)
      link to zcomm.org

      Perhaps you could provide some comparable quotes from Mondoweiss heroes such as Chas Freeman, Chuck Hagel or John Kerry? Okay, Hagel and Kerry are former heroes.

  • Bowing to AIPAC, Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting Israel
    • KRAUSS- “Honest question, Phil: why do you keep giving oxygen to a racist bigot like MJ Rosenberg?”

      Probably because Rosenberg shares Phil’s laser-like focus on “The Lobby.” Please note that the roll call of “anti-Iranian” Jewish billionaire funders describes them as part of AIPAC, the Israel Lobby. But are they lobbyists for Israel whose actions are directed from Tel Aviv, or do they represent domestic concentrations of power with a strong pro-Israel bias? The answer is significant. If they are lobbyists, then they are foreign to the body politic and can be removed without disturbing the underlying foundations of power. If, however, they, along with the military industrial complex, the main stream media, et al, are part of a biased domestic power structure, then change would require a challenge to the very foundations of empire, something Phil has no intention of undertaking.

  • 'Are you a fucking leftist?' --Israeli fascists target anti-occupation activists in Tel Aviv
    • W JONES- “Like you, I would disagree with American that Chomsky portrays Israeli abuses as “strictly” the fault of the US.”

      Ah, an attempt to appear reasonable and unbiased, how sweet. However, your next comments involve cherry picking Chomsky based upon a particular comment or essay taken out of context and overemphasized compared to his main body of scholarly work speaks otherwise

      You quote Chomsky as follows: “…you don’t have to have sanctions on Israel. It’s like putting sanctions on Poland under the Russians because of what the Poles are doing. It doesn’t make sense. Here, we’re the Russians.” You then disingenuously attack Chomsky’s analogy. Yet, Chomsky’s point is clear as clear can be: it is hardly necessary for the US to boycott Israel when all that is required is to end the long years of shameful support, the diplomatic and financial/military support. Perhaps you feel that the US bears no responsibility in this matter? Uncle Sam a helpless victim of the Israeli Lobby?

      Let me comment on another of your quotes. Chomsky says: “… Our primary concern, I think, should be change in fundamental US policy, which has been driving this thing for decades.”

      You disagree? Israel couldn’t do what it is doing without imperial support. And while one may disagree with the extent to which an Israel Lobby (however defined) influences US foreign policy generally and specifically in Palestine, Chomsky’s assertion that a change in US policy is necessary seems rather obvious, to me at least. Focusing on Israel while exonerating empire may make some folks feel good, but is hardly realistic. And Chomsky bashing among some elements of the left seem to me to be part of a broader effort to discredit an iconic symbol of resistance to empire and militarism.

    • AMERICAN- “…the actual facts of many US actions and misadventrues contridict Chomsky’s its all capitalist & empire claims.”

      Chomsky never says this. You are again building a straw man to attack. Most of Chomsky’s work simply documents the reality of US foreign policy with both quotes from declassified documents and the observed reality of US actions such as a network of about 1000 foreign US bases and the destabilization of countless countries, along with assassinations and the training of terrorists at the School of Americas, support for Syrian terrorists and Ukrainian neo-Nazis, etc. Chomsky rarely, if ever, refers to “empire” (although I do) and I don’t recall him tying this in with capitalism.

      American says: “You either refuse to look at them or you see them but cant defeat the facts so you dont address the information and stick your head in the sand and follow your Pied Piper.”

      Typical ad hominem BS. The only “facts” I get from you are claims to have previously provided them. The notion that Chomsky is a “Pied Piper” to a group of cultish followers is the same tired old mantra of the knee-jerk, lock-step anti-Chomsky bashers on Mondoweiss. That Hostage was unable to convince you of your errors is hardly surprising. Your anti-Chomsky dogma is an essential part of your persona and of your relationship with a group of your fellow Mondoweissers.

      Finally, I find it curious that you and other Chomsky bashers were so thrilled with Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. Or have I misread your comments on this?

    • AMERICAN- “Chomsky is the only one I am familiar with that dishonestly promotes it as “strictly” the US’s fault.”

      Chomsky says no such thing, yet you and other Mondoweiss commenters continue to misrepresent him at every opportunity. It is like a group dogma which binds the Mondo social network together. I suspect Hostage took a break from the ongoing intellectual dishonesty of the Mondo Chomsky bashers which he was powerless to correct.

  • Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach
    • JENIN YOUNES- “One woman commented on the NY Times article that Palestinians consider themselves no better than cannon fodder, so we have every right to do the same. Horrifying. Could you imagine the outrage if someone said that about any other group?”

      I don’t mean to shock you, but it is quite common for citizens and officials of Western nations to believe that our defenseless victims don’t value life as evidenced by the fact that they don’t surrender even after we have killed so many of them. A quote to illustrate the point.

      “William Westmoreland once remarked on Vietnam, where the United States killed 4 million men, women, children, and infants: “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient.” (David Swanson)
      link to counterpunch.org

    • Page: 24
  • Netanyahu says there will never be a real Palestinian state
    • PHIL- “American Jews can do the greatest service to the future of Israel and Palestine and the broader Middle East by saying they don’t need a Jewish state….”

      What American Jews are those, Phil? Zionism and Israel have been key factors in re-establishing Jewish solidarity (kinship) resulting in power Jews joining the upper tiers of the imperial power elite. Empire Jews. Jewish fat-cats profit immensely from the spoils of empire and are not likely to change as long as that remains true. Israel currently is an integral part of empire. The reshaping of the Middle East is a joint undertaking. ISIS (ISIL) has ties to both the CIA and Massad, and is part of the plans to breakup targeted Middle East states like Iraq and Syria. ISIS also provides Israel with a pretext for occupying the Jordan Valley and, when the time is right, for seizing control of Southern Lebanon. One part of all of this is for Israel to destroy Hamas and Hezbollah. BDS is fine in a limited sort of way, but don’t delude yourself with unrealistic expectations. By the way, how is the Free Gaza Movement doing following the Mondoweiss intervention?

  • Israel's message to the Palestinians: Submit, leave or die
    • SUMUD- “In Australia at least – I won’t discuss the other countries as I know my own much better – there has been a decades long (ongoing) campaign of reconciliation."

      Who to believe, you or John Pilger?

  • Liberal Zionists' denial of Israeli racism heightens danger to 'everyone living in this land' -- Blumenthal
    • DANAA- Glad to see you back commenting on Mondoweiss! I attempted to reply to your thoughtful comment to me on the Chomsky thread, however, when I clicked on the “submit” icon a message said that the thread was closed. I appreciate your thoughtful comment and find you thought provoking even when we disagree. My concern on that thread was not that folks disagreed with Chomsky (I did too, somewhat), but at the unjustified ad hominem attack on the man and his work well beyond his mild criticisms/suggestions concerning BDS. Furthermore, while acknowledging your psychological perspective, I think it goes beyond that. Nowadays, the manufacture of consent includes psy-ops involving the internet and social media. I sense a certain orchestrated aspect to this whole business. Control of funding is a powerful means of eliciting a desired response without even asking. Enough said. Welcome back.

  • The rationality of Israel's War
    • DONALD- “In what way?”

      Marc’s comment appeared to me to be a short lament on the sad fact that one way or another, the Presbyterians (and other churches, labor unions, pension funds, etc.) are going to be invested in the imperial neoliberal system, hence, providing de facto support for injustice. It wasn’t an attack on the Presbyterians per se as Libra suggests.

    • MARC ELLIS- “What to do when the field of real battle is so one-sided is the only question worth asking now. There aren’t any easy answers.”

      So, the prophet is also a realist? Somewhat surprising that they let you post here. But are you understood? Notice how your comment about the Presbyterian divestment was misunderstood. Of course, the two sentences I quoted could just as easily been applied to the struggle against neoliberal globalization and possible human extinction. Times are tough and the future looks bleak.

  • Chomsky supports portions of BDS agenda, but faults others, citing realism and int'l consensus
    • SHINGO- “What a pile of delusional and dishonest crap!!.... You are a insufferable liar Keith….In fact your stupid argument shows what an ignoramus you are.”

      Your infantile temper tantrum indicates that I struck a sensitive nerve. Good.

      Shingo: “I would go so far as to say no one here disagrees with any of Chomsky’s criticisms of the US.”

      Since I began commenting on Mondoweiss, I have been labeled a “Chomskyite” numerous times, my strategic perspective attacked as a de facto defense of Israel, that is blaming EVERYTHING on some vague entity known as ‘empire’ as opposed to the visible “Lobby.” Something that many here claimed Chomsky does. Jeffrey Blankfort constituted an extreme form of anti-Chomsky animus, claiming that Noam was a “gatekeeper” who was hobbling Jeffrey’s noble efforts in spreading 911 Truth. Any attempt to point out the geo-strategic importance of control of access to oil was met with hoots of derision. Your statement about general Mondoweiss agreement with Chomsky concerning US foreign policy is ludicrous in the extreme.

      Shingo: “I challenge you to cite one example of anyone who’s progressive and pro Palestinian who has betrayed those values outside the IP conflict.”

      One person? More like the whole website. Notice how a true progressive like Chomsky is vilified while someone like MJ Rosenberg, who hasn’t got a progressive bone in his body, is warmly regarded on Mondoweiss just because he coined the phrase “Israel Firster.” How about professional imperialist Chas Freeman who devoted his career to pursuing imperial objectives but is something of a Mondo hero because he opposes the lobby. Most of Mondoweiss was rooting for career imperialist Chuck Hagel simply because the Lobby opposed him. How is that working out? ‘Hagel, Hagel, he’s our man, if he can’t do it Kerry can!” In all of these the only thing which mattered was opposition to the Lobby, progressive values played no role whatever.

      Shingo: “Bears me how throwing bricks at BDS is a positive approach either.”

      Chomsky’s thoughtful criticism of certain aspects of BDS is hardly throwing bricks, whereas, the ad hominem slurs against Chomsky, reaching well beyond his limited comments on BDS, is an attempt to discredit him personally. I am not objecting to principled disagreement with Chomsky on this or any issue, what I object to is the vitriol and distortion and outright misrepresentations, part of a broader effort to discredit Chomsky which is part of the Mondoweiss worldview.

    • LIBRA- “Keith, just because Jeff Blankfort takes apart your view of the US-Israel relationship doesn’t make him intellectually dishonest.”

      If you followed the link, you would know that Blankfort attacks Chomsky, not me or my view of the US-Israel relationship. Suggesting that he does is intellectually dishonest, a somewhat common tactic among the fans of Blankfort.

    • HOSTAGE- “It’s becoming clear that most of the people commenting here are conducting a witch hunt.”

      You got that right, and it’s not the first time either. Below are two links, the first to “Unfair to Chomsky,” the second to a Jeffrey Blankfort’s intellectually dishonest screed, both of which may interest you. In many ways this is a shocking thread.
      Link to “Unfair to Chomsky” link to mondoweiss.net
      Link to Blankfort link to leftcurve.org

    • W JONES- “So it’s Phil’s fault that Phil posted an article by Chomsky that was picked up by the Guardian?”

      No, it’s Phil’s fault that he posted this article on Mondoweiss eliciting the predictable and irrational anti-Chomsky vitriol. From the get-go, Mondoweiss has maintained an anti-Chomsky outlook which appealed to the core commenters who gravitated to the Mondo website. Many are America Firsters who can’t abide trenchant analysis of imperial depredations or their responsibility as US citizens, preferring to focus on Israeli crimes while downplaying US support for those crimes. Your comment about the Guardian is an irrelevant non sequitur.

      W Jones: “People have their biases, Keith.”

      Obviously, however, on Mondoweiss there is a form of an echo chamber where like-minded individuals come together as a social network to bask in the reflected glow of shared bias, deluding themselves that making numerous comments on the internet constitutes activism. Any honest review of the comments on this thread will quickly indicate that Mondoweiss has a solid core of commenters who viscerally dislike Noam Chomsky all out of proportion to anything he has said or done, and, in fact, have to distort his statements and positions to create a straw man to attack. One gets the impression that there are those Mondoweissers who feel that the biggest obstacle to peace and justice in Palestine is Noam Chomsky. Furthermore, anyone who thinks that these intermittent Chomsky bashing sessions perform a useful function is seriously delusional.

      W Jones: “The PEP phenomenon does exist.”

      So does the POOP phenomenon (Progressive Only On Palestine). Anyone who refers to this harsh critic of Israel as PEP is so far out of touch with reality as to be beyond the pale. Chomsky begins the Nation article with the observations that Israel couldn’t do what it is doing without US support, and that as long as Israel has US support it will continue to do what it is doing. I concur completely. The Israel lobby notwithstanding, US foreign policy is key. How to change it? Beats me, but I don’t think throwing bricks at Noam Chomsky is a positive approach.

      Did you click on the link I provided for Libra? If so, you’ll see that Chomsky bashing is a hallowed Mondoweiss tradition which reflects a culture which Phil has cultivated, although he denies it.

    • LIBRA- “Oh dear, I hope Keith doesn’t read all these nasty comments about Professor Chomsky.”

      Always a pleasure to know that you are thinking of me. As for the nasty comments, they are hardly new to Mondoweiss. Every now and then Phil likes to rally the Mondo cadres with an orgiastic display of anti-Chomsky animus more befitting a Moriarty or a Valdemort than Chomsky. When it comes to absolutely insane anti-Chomsky vitriol, the “Unfair to Chomsky” thread can’t be topped. link to mondoweiss.net

      The anti-Chomsky bias among a large chunk of Mondoweiss commenters is somewhat interesting. Here is someone lauded by the likes of Glen Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Richard Falk, Arundhati Roy, etc., yet denigrated by less-than-luminary Mondoweiss commenters, one even criticizing Chomsky’s linguistic work. Some folks consider Chomsky a threat to their worldview. Lyndon LaRouche hates Chomsky and had his followers disrupt some of Chomsky’s talks in the 1970’s, making death threats, etc. While the main stream media mostly ignores Chomsky, significant elements of the fringe left and fringe right viscerally dislike him, which is different from merely disagreeing with him. There are things about which I disagree with Chomsky, however, I greatly respect him and the contribution he has made. I think that his book “Year 501: the Conquest Continues” should be required reading in high school. I might add that many of his critics come close to being apologists for empire.

  • Can a neocon change his spots (and come back as a liberal interventionist for Hillary Clinton)?
    • DAN CROWTHER- “Just shameful the way “liberals” convince themselves of the good intentions of politicians they “like.”

      I have come to believe that self-deception is the rule, not the exception, and that most folks spend their entire lives lying to themselves.

    • DICKERSON 3870- “I initially supported the “humanitarian” intervention in Libya, but very soon afterwards I began to very much regret it after seeing the way the U.S. and its allies flagrantly, grotesquely, and shamelessly abused the UN Security Council resolution on Libya (authorizing member states to establish and enforce a no-fly zone) in order to instead pursue their own “regime change” agenda.”

      In view of the consistent history of empire, one would have thought that the outcome was somewhat predictable. Perhaps you have some examples of empire expending blood and treasure to bring the benefits of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to Third World peoples?

    • DAN CROWTHER- “Phil the neocon.”

      Nope, Phil is a liberal interventionist. Difference? Neocons bomb and destroy countries and kill people for the worst of intentions, whereas, liberal interventionists bomb and destroy countries and kill people for the best of intentions. See the difference?

  • Young Jew seeks to prepares his community for heretical & inevitable-- end of Jewish state
    • “…a restructuring of the political situation in the Holy Land, even in the “best case scenario,” would completely upturn the Jewish communal landscape and the way American Jewry perceives itself.” (Jonathan Katz)

      Interesting. About two weeks ago, Mondoweiss had an article concerning Jewish leaders and anti-Zionist Jews in which Elana Kahn-Oren appeared (to me at least) to be imagining some form of post-Israel Zionism in which the Jewish state would no longer be the core unifier of Jewish tribalism. It appears to me that Jonathan Katz is thinking along similar lines. Zionism came into being in response to modernity and the fragmenting of Judaism. And while Zionism has been surprisingly successful in achieving its goals, it’s serious contradictions make its future problematic. It would seem that at least some of the Jewish leadership and future leadership with a strong sense of Jewish community are seeking an alternative to Zionism and a Jewish state as a means of perpetuating Jewish tribal cohesion. Post-Zionist Zionism?

  • From Mississippi to Gaza -- Dorothy Zellner reflects on 50 years of struggle
    • WOODY TANAKA- “And any young folks who learn how the bonus marchers were treated….”

      Thanks for calling attention to this sad reality. How many know that the military assault on the bonus marchers was under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, the officer in charge of the assault Major George Patton?

  • Make 'hasbara' a household word
    • LIBRA- “Keith, it’s your need to weave everything the US does into one cohesive global strategy that bogs you down.”

      Bogs me down? How? You mean that my comment about how the pro-Israel crew refrains from criticizing empire indicates that I am “bogged down?” You may disagree with the comment but that would take the form of saying that you feel these Israel Firsters frequently criticize current imperial policy. My original comment had nothing to do with imperial strategy. Speaking of which, are you suggesting that the empire lacks a cohesive strategy? That the empire got to be an empire inadvertently, ad-libbing and stumbling along?

      Libra says: “For example, the US meddling in the Ukraine has neocon fingerprints all over it, but that doesn’t have to mean it was ‘made in Israel’.”

      Unfortunately, the neocons remain highly influential in the formulation of imperial policy. Nonetheless, the policy remains imperial policy. Simply saying “the neocons did it” hardly absolves empire. Nor does it indicate that without neocon influence the policy would be significantly different. After all, imperial policy inevitably reflects a rough consensus of the imperial concentrations of power.

      Libra says: “What the US does elsewhere in the world may be of less interest to Zionists, but US policy in the Middle East would seem to follow a neocon game plan and generally serves Israel’s interest by destabilizing the whole region into warring factions.”

      Yes, of course Zionists have more influence over Middle East policy than elsewhere. Who has ever said different? Israel is an anomaly thanks in large part to the Zionist lobby. Having said that, imperial policy, however formulated, remains imperial policy. As for “destabilizing the whole region into warring factions,” that would appear to be the new imperial strategy globally, to destroy any (primarily) Third World nation which resists imperial designs. Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and potentially Russia and China too. Smashing the weaker states into even weaker bits and pieces (divide and rule), all trade dependent for survival, linked by a Western controlled global financial system is the new face of a corporate global empire. Now, one can disagree with my assessment, however, simply labelling people as neocons or Israel Firsters sheds little light on any of this.

      One can only wonder at the umbrage you take whenever I mention empire. It is understandable for Mondoweiss to focus on Israel, Zionism and the Middle East. It is quite another to suggest that any deviation from myopic fault finding is somehow improper. I find focusing exclusively on Israel’s faults while studiously ignoring America’s and empire’s to be morally repugnant.

    • LIBRA- “But if you insist on putting the Empire cart before the Zionist horse it must all be so confusing.”

      To someone fixated on Zionism and Israel, the events in the Ukraine, Africa, South America, and the far East must be inexplicable. Not to mention neoliberal globalization and the financialization of the global economy. How to lay all of this at Israel’s doorstep must be challenging indeed. Of course, when in doubt, hang your hat on the neocons. Perhaps you have examples of the pro-Israel commenters taking an anti-empire position on Libya, Ukraine, the eastward expansion of NATO or the pivot east? Perhaps you can site yourself on these matters which you apparently regard as either trivial or Israel’s doing? Perhaps you can make reference to the lack of emphasis to Israel in “The Grand Chessboard” and other writings on geostrategy?

      Libra, you need to realize that Israel is but one part of a much larger struggle for power, something which you resist with all of your might in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Perhaps you take comfort in simplistic analysis? Pity, some of your attempts at humor are amusing.

      Finally, ignoring the crimes of empire is de facto imperial apologetics. As an American citizen, my primary responsibility is to resist empire (including support for Israel). Your myopic worldview notwithstanding, the crimes of empire greatly exceed anything Israel has done (odious as they are) by orders of magnitude. To deny it is to be complicit.

    • JAMES NORTH- “I have been reading comments on Mondoweiss for years, and I don’t think I’ve even seen the pro-Israel forces disagree with each other a single time.”

      Another thing which I don’t recall seeing is the pro-Israel crew ever seriously criticize the American empire. Some may harken back to the genocide of the American Indians or to the evil of slavery, but current events is off limits. I assume that they are afraid of biting the hand that feeds them, what with Israel dependent upon imperial support. To borrow Marc Ellis’ phraseology, these guys are empire Jews.

  • I’m a Lutheran member of a Jewish organization, and I support Presbyterian divestment
    • TOKYOBK- “The context for Jewish permission is Jews having been historically victims in the Christian world….”

      Oh, lord, here we go again! You distress me, Ben. I think you are capable of doing much better, yet you cling to your Jewish myth-history and your psychological victimhood. Jews were an integral part of the Christian world, performing specialized functions, ghettoized mostly by choice, whose social position was always well above the peasants. Of course anti-Semitism existed, but so did Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism. And don’t ever forget that it wasn’t Black slave traders who sold the Jews into slavery to work and die in the new world but the reverse. It is one thing to be a Zionist, another to be an ignoramus who limits himself to self-satisfying mythology. At the least, you should read “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” by Israel Shahak.

      Tokyobk said: “…I do think especially Lutherans should speak with humility regarding Jews and rights, given their history and the ideas of their founder.”

      Once again, intellectual integrity requires you to put this in historical perspective. I am under the impression that Martin Luther was initially somewhat philo-Semitic, however, upon learning Hebrew and reading the Talmud and how Jesus and Gentiles were depicted, he became anti-Semitic in the religious sense. So don’t go complaining about what Luther said without acknowledging what the Talmud said, Jews spitting when they passed a church etc. Also, don’t forget that Europe back then was a violent place. Many different groups experienced violence and victimization. Continuing to ignore what the majority of Gentiles experienced is intellectually dishonest. It is all relative. Finally, lumping all non-Jews together will inevitably cause a misreading of history and political economy.

  • 'The explosion of Jewish dissent is a struggle against the assimilation of Jews to power' -- Ellis
    • W JONES- “The ArchBishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero.”

      As I noted, “While there have been exceptions….” Liberation theology was an anomaly, the exception which proves the rule. And please note what the consequences were as the US and its proxies used extreme violence to destroy those religious folk who took their moralistic mythology seriously. Religion which does not align with power is dealt with harshly. Unless I am mistaken, today El Salvador is much the way it was before liberation theology, with the Catholic Church hierarchy complicit in its demise.

    • MARC ELLIS- “When prayers become platitudes – in the face of great suffering – then it’s time to call these religious leaders to account. In my mind they become culpable enablers of injustice.”

      When has organized religion ever represented the downtrodden except, perhaps, rhetorically? While there have been exceptions, by and large, organized religion provides an ideological underpinning and justification for the status quo. What empire has not had the support of its religious leaders? When will American religious leaders oppose empire and neoliberalism? The essence of organized religion is social control.

  • Neoconservatism is 'vindicated' in fawning 'NYT' piece on power couple of Kagan and Kristol
    • MOOSER- “what makes Jewish “Jewish”?

      An interesting question with many different answers. Something Jews like to discuss among themselves, but get overly defensive when discussed by Gentiles. Surely tribal solidarity is a key component.

  • Wisconsin Jewish leaders open the door to-- shhh -- anti-Zionists
    • LEANDER- “Now I guess that sets it once and for all. The essence of Judaism and correspondingly "the Jews" is the state of Israel. Alternatively Judaism means each and every Jew must love Israel warts and all.”

      I’m not so sure. While her contention that Judaism and Israel (blood and soil nationalism) are historically co-joined is ludicrous, I sense that she is attempting to imagine the beginnings of a post-Israel Zionism. Initially, Zionism was a project to reunify a splintered world Jewry under the banner of nationalism as an alternative to adherence to Classical Judaism. A way to reestablish a unified tribal cohesion on a secular basis. To a significant degree, it worked.

      Nowadays, however, the Jewish tribe is in danger of re-splintering over Israeli actions. Elana Kahn-Oren here seems concerned that internal disputes over Israel could diminish the tribe by forcing many Jews outside the tribal tent. My guess is that she places tribal solidarity above love for Israel and that she is tentatively exploring a kind of Zionism beyond Israel. In a sense, trying to have her cake and eat it too. Interestingly, the term “Jew” which once designated a follower of the Judaic religion, now more accurately describes a member of a birthright affinity group concerned with power and privilege, united by an ideology of eternal victimhood, and where integration in the host society is described as assimilation even as tribal members psychologically separate themselves from non-Jews.

  • The Banality of Religion: 'Prayer summit' at the Vatican fails to inspire
    • MARC ELLIS- My gracious! So much criticism coming your way, much of it unjustified. A lot of micro nitpicking concerning your “prophetic” macro analysis of organized religion as a soothing palliative, when what we need is a morally grounded call to action. Of course, expecting organized religion to be other than a mythological distraction/justification of the existing power structure is, perhaps, unrealistic. No, railing against systemic injustice is for zealots and prophets who can thereby be assured of receiving their fair share of abuse and little else.

  • Let it go
    • ELLIOT- “Also, the justification for a Jewish state is anti-Semitism.”

      One of the primary purposes of Israel is to prevent Jewish assimilation into Gentile society. Krauss is referring to “Jewry” in the sense of Jewishness and Jewish tribalism. I doubt that he is commenting on the Judaic religion. During the enlightenment, Jews splintered into Reformed, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism, along with secular Jews. Zionism and Israel is an attempt to re-unite the various branches of Jews on a secular, quasi-religious basis. The exploitation of perceived anti-Semitism is a key ingredient in the success of Zionism and the maintenance of Jewish tribal solidarity. Krauss appears to be saying that without perceived anti-Semitism to exploit, Jewish tribalism will fade outside of Israel. I agree.

    • DONALD- “Based on what appears in the NYT, including yesterday’s editorial, you’re right, but the question is why?

      Why? Because the media disseminate official propaganda. To the degree that the government represents the rough consensus of the dominant elites, they can count on media support. The media, in turn, are rewarded with advertising dollars. Should the media depart from its primary propaganda function, they will lose advertising and eventually fail financially. Only if the government departs from elite consensus, or if there are serious differences among the various elites, will the media begin to fulfill their mythological role as providers of accurate information to inform the citizenry. Mostly, they manufacture consent. This shouldn’t be surprising. In fact, it is difficult to imagine an alternative in view of the nature of our political economy.

  • I am Palestinian, and I am human, and I am here
    • UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA? Well, that explains a lot. Where but at an Ivy League school would an undergraduate drink vodka? I mean, Jeez.

  • Jeff Goldberg gets hit from right and left for suggesting Jews should leave Europe
    • JUSTJESSETR- “Jew-hatred is an irrational, seemingly self-replicating hatred that is based on nothing….”

      Spoken like an irrational, Gentile hating Jewish chauvinist.

    • What chutzpah! Zionists like Victoria Nuland and Bernard-Henri Levy cheer the Ukrainian neo-Nazis while Jeffrey Goldberg complains about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe! Connection? What connection? This isn’t the first time that Jewish Zionists have collaborated with the Jews’ worst enemy. Then as now, it was predicated upon supporting Israel and Zionism. These empire Jews are engaged in sinister machinations.

  • Gates Foundation begins to divest from occupation profiteer G4S
    • As we begin to enter the age of neo-feudalism, perhaps it is appropriate to refer to the new capitalist nobility by traditional titles which more accurately reflect their social position and power. Lord Gates, Great Lord Microsoft, Lord Buffet, Great Lord Berkshire Hathaway, Mega-Lord Goldman Sachs, etc. How about Lesser Lord Jagger?

    • ELLEN- “All considered they are among the good people with good intentions.”

      Bill Gates is a ruthless power-seeker who strongly supports all of the noxious “free trade” (read ‘corporate rule’) agreements, and along with the Koch brothers supports charter schools (down with public education) and computer oriented programmed instruction, perfect for software development. Also, Gates and his “philanthropic” buddy Warren Buffet are looking to invest in the Canadian tar sands boom, relying on rail transport instead of the northern leg of the Keystone XL (the southern leg already approved and, I believe, completed). In other words, opposition to the northern section of the Keystone XL is consistent with Buffet’s investment in rail transport for tar sands oil.

      The harsh reality is that those we laud as philanthropists are, in reality, fat-cat social engineers whose “charity” promotes their personal agenda. I am sure that a full perusal of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation portfolio would probably reveal numerous questionable holdings. Questionable for the 99% that is. None of these so called ‘do-gooder’ foundations will ever do anything to fundamentally alter the current system of injustice which underpins their wealth and privilege. They are an integral part of the political economy of empire. And while you may choose to believe that Bill Gates is a “good person with good intentions,” I don’t. I am sure, however, that both Bill and Melinda see themselves this way, much as the royalty of old liked to think of themselves as serving the people’s welfare.

      As for me, I firmly believe that concentrated wealth is a symptom of social dystopia.

  • But what can a poor boy do, except to boycott Israel
    • This situation is hardly as shocking as it may first appear to some. Images die hard. These aren’t the same struggling musicians starting out. They are highly successful media personalities and businessmen. They are solidly within the 1% and behave accordingly. And it is hard to imagine any of these rock superstars boycotting Israel while honoring Western troops on memorial day. And don’t forget that empire’s crimes far surpass what Israel has done, reprehensible though that is. Hypocrisy runs deep. Ongoing, staunch opposition to empire virtually insures commercial failure, and these stars are driven to succeed. Hardly role models, their carefully crafted images notwithstanding.

  • Israeli government tries to undo image of Pope at the wall
    • TOKYOBK- “…denying Jewish suffering….”

      You seem rather obsessed with the myth of eternal anti-Semitism and Jewish suffering. Let us be clear, throughout history there have been Jews who suffered just as there have been non-Jews who suffered. Those individuals who suffered, suffered, those that didn’t, didn’t. There is no group symbiotic suffering. From previous posts, I gather that you are well educated and at least somewhat privileged. Yet, you moan and groan like you have just been rescued from some concentration camp. Enough, already! Stop wallowing in your fantasy victim-hood. You are privileged, deal with it. You are a privileged citizen of an empire which has been screwing the entire Third World longer than you have been alive. And Jews are not one of the minorities that are over-represented in our over-populated prisons. Time to see beyond yourself.

  • A Papal confession to the Palestinian people
    • STEPHEN SHENFIELD- “He learned Hebrew and studied Talmud with rabbis in order to gain a better understanding of Judaism. But some of the things he learned upset him and he turned against Judaism.”

      Thanks for pointing this out to Ellis, something which should not be necessary for a Professor of Theology. Is it possible that he is ignorant both of the difference between classical anti-Semitism (corresponding to Classical Judaism) and of modern anti-Semitism (racially based), and of the nature of the Talmudic writings which would justifiably give offense to a Christian? Perhaps he needs to read “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” by Israel Shahak. If he has read it, then he should review it. He has had some good posts when discussing Jews and empire, but lately his “prophetic” interpretation of events leaves a lot to be desired.

  • The U.S. continues to appease Narendra Modi
    • JAMES NORTH- “The business community, in both India and internationally, is ecstatic at Modi and his BJP party’s big win; after all, it contributed as much as $1 billion to his campaign.”

      The empire has helped transform India into a Hindu-fascist neoliberal basket case. South Africa is an economic apartheid basket case. With this in mind, it is long past time to stop lionizing Gandhi and Mandela. Both contented themselves with political changes while leaving the structures of economic domination untouched. As a consequence, both India and South Africa are locked in a framework of global corporate/financial control. Both, in effect, represent the effective imperial co-optation of resistance to Western control and exploitation. Both countries continue to languish in massive poverty for the majority, alongside lavish riches for the elites. Modi suits the empire just fine

  • What’s wrong with the ADL survey and how it could be improved
    • WOODY TANAKA- “So all you did was demonstrate that good government must be based on rationality and not irrationality.”

      Your comment touches upon an aspect of political economy that is complicated and difficult to discuss, but I am going to attempt it. First of all, prior to the industrial revolution and the rise of capitalism, virtually all governments were justified by religious mythology, the divine right of kings, etc. The separation of church and state was a necessary condition for the replacement of royalty by the economic elites as the de facto rulers of society, justified both by economic ideology and by democratic mythology. I say democratic mythology because while we claim adherence to democratic rule, we are, in fact, a plutocracy ruled by the economic elites who manufacture consent. And while the rule of the pre-capitalist royalty was based to a significant degree upon adherence to religious mythology, capitalism depends less upon ideological fealty than it does upon money power and an all-encompassing market. In fact, the genius behind capitalism as a system of social control is its unique ability to monetize power.

      Government, now as then, is based upon power and elite power-seeking. Essential voluntary compliance of the citizenry/subjects is achieved through the use of ideology/mythology which misrepresents reality in such a way as to facilitate elite goal seeking. Modern capitalism also makes use of market mechanisms along with the promise of power attainment through capital accumulation.

      The bottom line to all of this is that the correlation of rationality to good governance is somewhat problematic. The fact is, most of us are not as rational as we think ourselves to be, there are deeper forces at work easily exploited by those with the power to do so.

  • Shalom Modi: India and Israel look to deepen ties following victory of the Hindu right
    • ECRU- “…with corporations replacing the state….”

      I suspect that we are talking about the same thing, differences primarily semantic, however, this is such an important topic that I feel the need to provide additional clarification. First of all, the corporations are not replacing the state per se. In traditional feudalism, the King represented the state, the Feudal Lords represented smaller spheres of power and control. In neo-feudalism, the corporations are not analogous to states, but to smaller, more discreet spheres of influence, demarcated not by territorial boundaries but by functional expertise and market share. The ongoing elimination of public services combined with the privatization of public entities means that the citizenry will have few, if any, rights except those granted by the private corporations to those who provide them with profitable service. Even more than now, governments will manage the population in such a way as to facilitate the achievement of private business objectives, government officials interchangeable. An elaborate network of planned interdependencies will be controlled by the financial system, influenced by a rough consensus among the elites. Powerful states will remain to provide the necessary levels of coercion to ensure control when market mechanisms no longer suffice.

    • ECRU- “Looking from this side of the Atlantic – has the US ever NOT been nationalistic – to the point of jingoism?”

      From the perspective of 21st century globalization, the term “nationalistic” has somewhat debatable meaning. Surely, all of the “free trade” agreements cannot be described as “nationalistic.” Also, the intentional hollowing out of the US infrastructure in favor of globalized production controlled via a globalized financial system surely does not represent traditional nationalism. Yet, within this emerging matrix of globalized control, there is a definite insistence upon an American preponderance of control in which potential rivals are preemptively subdued or destroyed. It is not classical nationalism, but what to call it? A Western-based (primarily US) globalized system of elite control based upon trade interdependencies tied together by the global financial system with some corporations having a national character, others not. Neo-feudalism?

  • Rothkopf's jailbreak from the Zionist captivity is sure to embolden others
    • PHIL- “So Rothkopf reveals himself as an American everyman….”

      You can’t be serious. Apparently you identify with Rothkopf, therefore, embrace his spin as Gospel. I don’t know if he is anti-Zionist as you claim, however, I am positive that he is not, nor likely ever will be, anti-imperialist. To the contrary, Rothkopf is a proud member of the imperial intelligentsia. As for democracy, I am quite sure that he is a stalwart defender of CAPITALIST democracy where one dollar counts for one vote, and neoliberalism reigns supreme. This is your idea of an American everyman? Perhaps you are ideologically closer to Rothkopf than I thought. Oh well, live and learn.

  • Israelis are in Nigeria to help search for girls -- Susan Rice
    • PHIL- “Gosh I hope they find those girls, but I’m cynical. Israeli rescue operations– with the most sophisticated methods– are a big part of its international self-promotion.”

      You are right to be cynical, however, Israeli self-promotion is the least odious aspect of this Western pretext for increased military involvement in Africa. This is all part of the great game to control Africa’s resources and to check China’s economic initiatives. Two quotes, the first from Glen Ford, the second from Ajamu Baraka:

      “In 2009, when the Boko Haram had not yet been transformed into a fully armed opposition, the military summarily executed their handcuffed leader and killed at least 1,000 accused members in the states of Borno, Yobe, Kano and Bauchi, many of them apparently simply youths from suspect neighborhoods.”

      “Most relevant to the plight of Chibok’s young women, Obama led “from behind” NATO’s regime change in Libya, removing the anti-jihadist bulwark Muamar Gaddafi (“We came, we saw, he died,” said Hillary Clinton) and destabilizing the whole Sahelian tier of the continent, all the way down to northern Nigeria. As BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka writes in the current issue, “Boko Haram benefited from the destabilization of various countries across the Sahel following the Libya conflict.” The once-“shadowy” group now sported new weapons and vehicles and was clearly better trained and disciplined. In short, the Boko Haram, like other jihadists, had become more dangerous in a post-Gaddafi Africa – thus justifying a larger military presence for the same Americans and (mainly French) Europeans who had brought these convulsions to the region.” (Glen Ford)
      link to blackagendareport.com

      “You can’t understand the threat posed to Nigeria by Boko Haram, or the ghastly destruction of Syria over the past three years, outside the context of “the vicious NATO obliteration of the state of Libya.” One huge crime begets many consequences, including the death of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi. The Left should be outraged at Obama policies – in North Africa, in Syria, and in backing neo-fascists in Ukraine.” (Ajamu Baraka)
      link to blackagendareport.com

  • Open recriminations begin over failure of peace talks
    • JOHN DOUGLAS- “…I see that not so much as seeking a hegemonic end as simply serving the interests of what Ike warned the U.S. about, the money interests of the defense and security economy.”

      If this was a simple case of military Keynesianism, the US would be attacking yet another defenseless Third World country such as Libya. The pivot to Asia and particularly the destabilization of the Ukraine are high stakes gambits risking potential disaster to achieve geostrategic objectives. Scott Noble discusses both neocon philosophy and Brzezinsky in regards to hostility to a re-emergent Russia:

      “The theoretical basis behind America’s treatment of post-Soviet Russia crosses party lines. Paul Wolfowitz, who served as Deputy Secretary of Defence under George W. Bush, wrote in Defence Planning Guidance (1992): “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere.”[33] Similarly, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski argued in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard that control of Eurasia – to the exclusion of Russia – is the key factor in ensuring American primacy.” (Scott Noble)
      link to counterpunch.org

      Mike Whitney discusses how this philosophy specifically relates to the US/NATO putsch in the Ukraine:

      “This is Obama’s plan for the “New Ukraine” a fascist-ruled failed state that follows Washington’s directives and puts pressure on Russia thorough endless provocations, belligerence, and war. Ukraine will be Washington’s pit bull in the East, separating Moscow from crucial sources of revenue and thwarting efforts at greater EU-Russia economic integration. This is how Washington hopes to insert itself into Eurasia, to improve its prospects in the Great Game, and to establish global hegemony into the next century.” (Mike Whitney)
      link to counterpunch.org

      Make no mistake, this is not MIC business-as-usual. The Godfather is seeking to destroy or control the competition during a strategic window of opportunity. Heretofore, nuclear war has been averted because the “other fellow” backed down. Washington is now counting on this continuing to occur. Eventually, that won’t happen. We are in the most dangerous period since the Cuban missile crisis where a single Soviet naval officer refused to go along with launching a nuclear armed torpedo. We are in a very unique and dangerous period of history.

    • TRAINTOSIBERIA- “Is Peres regretting the inability to seize that missed opportunity of Palestine capitulation to every conditions Israeli placed on them?”

      Israel’s refusal to make peace even on its own terms can only be explained if the Israeli elites view peace itself an existential threat to the Jewish state. The Jewish state of Israel is a militarized warfare state which needs ongoing war and threat of war to survive in its present configuration, and to facilitate the future attainment of Israeli Middle East hegemonic ambitions. A similar condition exists in the US where a hyper aggressive long war is being pursued to lock in imperial neoliberal global hegemony. A peaceful solution to the Ukraine strife is not wanted and won’t be tolerated.

  • On NPR, two states is still what 'the solution needs to be'
    • STEPHENJONES- “A Palestinian Mandela would be a Godsend to Israeli Jews….”

      I’m glad that you pointed this out as it highlights a certain Mondo blind spot. We continue to hear about Mandela and Gandhi as if they represented some sort of true liberation. They did not. The illusion of political freedom camouflaged the reality of ongoing economic servitude. Both countries remain essentially imprisoned within the global capitalist system. This system bleeds the Third World dry for the benefit of the transnational corporations and the local business elites/oligarchs. At this stage of the game, the matrix of global financial/market control is so overwhelming that I doubt that either South Africa or India can break free. Of course, the local fat cats who profit from the systemic injustice are all too eager to support ongoing neoliberalism.

  • Using Schwerner and Goodman and the Nazis to deny the Jewish moment (privilege)
    • PHIL- “Time and Gawker refer to the piece as a defense of “white privilege” — and it is — but I also see the Jewish angle.”

      Jewish angle? Hell, this is an in-your-face defense of Jewish power and privilege masquerading as a defense of white privilege. Back when the Jews were clawing their way into the power structure, they “altruistically” defended Blacks against the evils of discrimination and championed affirmative action. Now that they are secure in their power, they reverse course and “altruistically” defend non-Jewish whites against the evils of “reverse discrimination.” The operative phrase is “meritocracy,” those who attend Princeton are there because they deserve it, those stuck in our permanent underclass have only themselves to blame. Tal Fortgang’s lack of any semblance of empathy is notable, along with a haughty arrogance indicating someone secure in the knowledge of his power and privilege. And he has an advantage over non-Jewish elites, the ability to flaunt historical Jewish victim-hood to camouflage his current status and actions.

      At least as interesting is Howard Megdal’s attempt to exploit the murders of Schwerner and Goodman to try to score points for Jewish tikkun olam. The fact that these two individuals happened to be Jewish (religious? secular? organized?) does not mean that other Jews can lay claim to their sacrifice. Yet, Megdal makes a spurious reach into the past to claim some sort of tribal martyrdom. Was it tikkun olam when the Jewish civil rights groups reversed themselves on affirmative action and began preaching the gospel of “reverse discrimination?” A defining characteristic of modern Jewishness is a cultivated sense of group victim-hood which has profound implications for how Jews act toward non-Jews.

  • Abunimah and Blumenthal's freedom ride
    • ALI ABUNIMAH- “What I argue in the book is that Israeli Jews as a settler colonial community are just like every other settler colonial community.”

      This suggests to me that Ali Abunimah doesn’t understand the essence of Zionism as ideology. Claiming that the Zionist cadres will yield to the logic of rational self interest is a denial of the quasi-religious nature of Zionist ideology and of the entire notion of redemption of the land, and of the diehard resistance to the ‘un-redemption’ of even an inch of the sacred soil. This reality is discussed by by Zeev Sternhell, Israel Shahak and others.

      Shahak states: “Indeed, close analysis of Israeli grand strategies and actual principles of foreign policy as they are expressed in Hebrew, makes it clear that it is ‘jewish ideology’, more than any other factor, which determines actual Israeli policies.” (p9, Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

      As for Abunimah’s claim that whites in South Africa gave up power, surely he should be aware that political Apartheid was replaced by economic Apartheid, the white elites and transnational corporations dominating South Africa, blacks worse off than they were under formal political Apartheid. But even that cosmetic change occurred under radically different conditions.

    • PHIL- “Israeli society was only going further right.”

      The entire global political economy is moving further right, Israel merely a local manifestation of a global trend. Attempts to analyze Israeli society in splendid isolation will likely be wrong. Let us not confuse neoliberal globalization with Zionism.

    • JUST- "Remember Mandela, MLK, Gandhi… they won."

      Do you really think so? Interesting.

  • Jewish neocons and the romance of nationalist armageddon
    • PHIL- Perhaps you are making too much of the so called decline of the neocons. At the strategic level, there is little difference between the neocon “Project for a
      the New American Century” and Brzezinski’s “The Grand Chessboard,” both of which are consistent with US policy and actions in the Ukraine. The most significant difference seems to me to be the neocon emphasis on American unilateral militarism versus Obama’s emphasis on multilateralism, covert operations and financial warfare to achieve the desired results. Perhaps another significant difference is the neocon emphasis on the primacy of the American nation-state versus the neoliberal emphasis on an American dominated global empire. So yes, the nationalistic emphasis is an anachronism, however, the decline of the US in conjunction with the extension of a system of globalized domination should hardly be of concern to elite power-seekers who will benefit. In fact, the new system of corporate/financial control will be beyond the political control of any nation, even the US. If they can pull it off. An interesting topic no doubt, but one which I doubt is suitable for extended discussion on Mondoweiss. As for power-seeking as a consequence of a uniquely Jewish experience, perhaps the less said the better.

  • Who will be the last neoconservative?
    • PHIL- “The problem with his theory is that “a massive overall response” means a meaningful threat of military action. And very few American politicians now want to invade another country halfway around the world– certainly not Syria or the Ukraine.”

      Perhaps this is why drones and special operations forces have been emphasized? Utilizing all of the tools of full spectrum dominance, it seems to be the case that while conquering and occupying a nation is too expensive and problematic, simply destroying potential future competitors is quite viable. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, all destroyed or in the process of being destroyed. Afghanistan is the model for the Ukraine. Substitute neo-Nazis for Mujahideen and the similarity is hard to miss. Brzezinski utilized the Mujahideen to draw the Soviets into Afghanistan to protect their southern flank, now his acolytes in the State Department are utilizing neo-Nazis to draw the Russians into all or part of the Ukraine to protect their western flank. And make no mistake, the neo-Nazis were put in charge of the security services of the Kiev putschists, and form the core of the forces attacking the anti-Kiev rebels in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. They control the new National Guard forces established and trained by US/NATO which are independent from the regular police and army.

      Let us not put too much emphasis on labels of our own creation. The tactics of dominance have been updated, however, the objectives remain essentially the same. The empire has morphed into a global corporate/financial empire, with an interpenetration of financial and business interests. There are three potential obstacles to global neoliberalism: Iran, Russia and China. All of the more minor ones like Yugoslavia, Libya or Syria have been dealt with through destruction. The empire is on the march against Russia. Ukraine is being destroyed, and the neo-Nazis will be used to disrupt the Russian border. A potential Russian/German entente has been averted. If Russia capitulates, Iran will likely fall into line and China will be contained. Or, there could be a nuclear war. In any event, the ease with which US/NATO destabilized the Ukraine bespeaks of raw power in the fullest sense. And don’t underestimate the use of financial power to secure imperial objectives.

      As for the neocons, what is in a name? Militarism is alive and well, now joined by financial warfare. If one wishes to argue that the ineffective militarism of the neocons has now been replaced by the more effective covert destabilization of Obama, you may have a point. George W. Bush was disruptive to empire, Obama much more effective in securing imperial objectives.

      We live in dangerous times, and I foresee worse to come. Cheers.

  • Kerry's Last Ditch Effort
    • HOPHMI- “Which is why it withdrew from Lebanon in 2000.”

      As I indicated in my comment, Israel withdrew as a consequence of Hezbollah. Perhaps you thought that the IDF storm troopers merely tired of the killing of civilians? Israel has a long history of violent actions in Lebanon in an ongoing attempt to extend the borders of Israel, and to establish a pro-Israel Christian state in the South of Lebanon. Also, destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure is good for Israeli business by eliminating the competition. Having been stopped by Hezbollah, Israel is seeking to weaken and destroy Hezbollah, including destroying Syria thereby isolating Hezbollah. For you to claim that Israel “has no designs on Lebanon” is pure propaganda, typical for you.

      In regards to your scurrilous ad hominem attack on me on the “When the Holocaust shows up” thread, I put together a response but, alas, the comments seem to have been cut off. Lucky you. It would appear that libelous labeling is your forte, the ability to assemble facts to support reasoned argument beyond your humble ability. But then again, when the facts are so much against your position, what other recourse is there for a Zionist apologist?

    • HOPHMI- “…Israel has no designs on Lebanon….”

      Are you suggesting that Israel has abandoned plans to expand Eretz Yishrael if and when the opportunity presents itself? Israel has long had plans to absorb parts or all of Lebanon at least as far as the Litani river. Until possible, it has contented itself with fabricating excuses to attack Lebanon, destroy infrastructure, and smash a potential competitor. How many thousands of Lebanese did Israel kill in the 1982 assault? Eventually, Hezbollah was created to force an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon. I have difficulty believing that you are not aware of this and am forced, once again, to conclude that you lack any semblance of intellectual integrity.

  • When the Holocaust shows up
    • HOPHMI- “Most people would say that the Holocaust showed exactly why Jews needed a nation of their own….”

      You have it backwards. Israel needs the Diaspora much more than the Diaspora needs Israel, except perhaps for the American Ashkenazi who profit from Jewish tribal solidarity. And yes, the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists was pivotal in winning over organized American Jewry to the Zionist cause, whose intense organized support seems to have been critical to the creation of the Jewish state. How can you deny it?

  • When the going gets tough, Roger Cohen gets going
    • ELLEN- “Trafficking of women and children who are bought and sold among third parties is modern day slavery.”

      Yes, this is exactly what I am talking about. Legal slavery may have more-or-less disappeared, however, illegitimate de facto slavery exists and we should be aware of it. Objectively, these people who are bought and sold and controlled against their will are, in fact, slaves. Let us not split too many hairs arguing over the differences in the manner of control.

      From Wikipedia: “Contemporary slavery refers to the institutions of slavery that continue to exist in the present day. Estimates of the number of slaves today range from 12 million[1] to 29 million.[2][3][4][5] Slavery is a multi-billion dollar industry with estimates of up to $35 billion generated annually. The United Nations estimates that roughly 27 to 30 million individuals are currently caught in the slave trade industry.”

    • TOIVOS- “Quite amazing, to think of it, how long slavery lasted and then how quickly it disappeared.”

      Although no longer considered legitimate, slavery has not disappeared, rather, it is now a profitable criminal enterprise. As for the delegitimization, I suspect that it correlates strongly with the industrial revolution which has made mass slavery an obsolete mode of production, at least in the West. Third World sweat shops another matter. Regrettably, we appear to be coming full circle back to a form of First World neo-feudalism involving modern debt servitude, the super rich and corporations the new lords of the capitalist realm. Lord Gates, Lord Adelson, Great Lord Goldman Sachs, that sort of thing.

  • John Judis's Truman book is a landmark in anti-Zionism
    • FEATHERS- “Please get that memo to Ukrainian people whose democratically elected leader the US has Mossadeqhed….”

      I agree. Furthermore, I believe that we have entered a period of extreme danger which may be as perilous as the Cuban missile crisis during which “Vasili Arkhipov, a Soviet submarine officer…blocked an order to fire nuclear-armed torpedoes on October 27, at the tensest moment of the crisis, when the submarines were under attack by US destroyers. A devastating response would have been a bear certainty, leading to a major war.” (p74, “Hegemony or Survival,” Noam Chomsky) There have been other incidents as well as the US has engaged in 70 years of nuclear brinkmanship, planetary survival contingent upon the other fellow backing down. How long can this go on? The ongoing eastward march of NATO and the destabilization of the Ukraine is a very high risk strategy for empire to pursue. Power-lust may well be the death of us all.

  • How many 'Palestinian Arabs' want to kill 'all Jews?'
    • WOODY TANAKA- “She’s a raving lunatic.”

      The video shocked me as well, in fact, I couldn’t bear to watch the whole thing. If she was just one sick individual, it might be pitiable, however, we need to keep in mind that she is a respected member of the US/Israel intelligentsia, an ideological fundamentalist. As I commented when I first saw the link (Two desperate anti-Semitism charges….), she would have made one hell of a Nazi. She and her ilk scare me.

  • Obama and Kerry are spurred by 'vainglory' in pursuing talks -- Finkelstein
    • Norman Finkelstein has maintained from the start that Kerry’s position was to force the Palestinians to accept an agreement based upon long standing Israeli positions, in other words, Palestinian capitulation made possible by current Palestinian weakness. Yet, we see that Israel refuses to make peace even on its own terms. How can this be? The only answer which makes any sense to me is that Israel won’t make peace on any terms, peace itself an existential threat to the Jewish state. Israel, like the US, is a warfare state which needs conflict to maintain internal cohesion, as well as to pursue the hegemonic ambitions of the Israeli elites. Furthermore, American Jewish Zionist elites also require an Israeli “Sparta” under perceived threat to motivate and direct the activities of the US Zionist cadres, and of organized American Jewry in general. There is something extraordinarily perverse about a situation where Israel, in effect, refuses to even consider a Palestinian surrender because they are much too valuable as “enemies.”

  • 'Israel is the home of all Jews,' declares a right-wing official
    • ELLEN- “There was a “de nazification” program after the war….”

      In name only. The reality is that the US recruited massive numbers of these reliable “anti-communists” to help us fight the Cold War. The two best known were Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon,” who worked for the CIA in post war France and later in South America, and Reinhard Gehlen, the Nazi General who was in charge of intelligence on the Eastern front. Initially, Gehlen worked clandestinely to maintain the networks of neo-fascist saboteurs he established in Eastern Europe. Later he became head of the West German BND (CIA). Uncle Sam has been involved in a huge amount of unsavory activity in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.

  • Mark Halperin excommunicates Rand Paul, over Israel
    • PUPPIES- “The only thing we may well have to remember (limitedly to Palestine for this site): anything any of these lesser-worse-evils do, if we voted for them we are personally accessories. No other interpretation possible.

      Glad to hear someone else say it. Voting for either of the corporate candidates provides them with electoral legitimacy. Far from being a “wasted vote,” voting Third Party provides the only hope. Unless there is a revolt at the polls, nothing will change for the better.

  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • LYSIAS- “The fliers in Donetsk sure look to me like a CIA-inspired provocation.”

      It would appear that the fliers are part of a Western psyops campaign, most likely a proactive attempt to try to blame Putin and Russia for incidents of anti-Semitism likely caused by the neo-Nazis the US put into power in Kiev. Anti-Semitism is a sideshow and a distraction. The US destabilized the Ukraine and organized a Putsch for geopolitical reasons. The apparent reasons were to both prevent increased Ukrainian/Russian cooperation, and to scuttle increased Russian/European cooperation. The media disinformation campaign is the absolute worst that I have seen since the empire dismembered Yugoslavia for geostrategic reasons.

      When a Democrat makes war or destabilizes there is NO opposition, and the media marches in lock step. The empire is on a rampage, determined to lock in global hegemony during a brief window of opportunity. This is an extremely risky gambit. Obama is a much more effective warmonger than Bush.

      I have two links, if you are interested. The first is to a Counterpunch article by Mike Whitney which summarizes the situation quite well.
      link to counterpunch.org

      The second is to a brief video by Michael Hudson, an economist at the University of Missouri who wrote “Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominence,” and more recently “Finance Capitalism and its Discontents.” He is so upset by the situation in the Ukraine that he becomes visually agitated during the interview. Make no mistake, the empire is on a war footing and this is extremely serious.
      link to dandelionsalad.wordpress.com

    • HOPHMI- “You don’t need the CIA to find antisemites in Ukraine.”

      Right you are, Hophmi. Victoria Nuland and Bernard-Henri Levy found a lot of them in Maidan square and encouraged them to overthrow the elected government, promising full Western support. As ye sow, so shall ye reap!

  • Resurrecting Passover?
    • WALID- “…his language is very cryptic….”

      I agree completely. He appears to me to be aiming for overarching moral truths, whereas some of the commenters are getting caught up in the petty details of religious ideology. Fundamentally, it all comes down to a question of right and wrong, and of the hypocrisy of spouting verbal righteousness while participating in immoral acts, whether it be Israeli depredations or imperial aggression. One cannot criticize Israel and turn a blind eye to empire, and Marc, bless his soul, is no hypocrite.

    • MARC ELLIS- I feel the need to comment, but am unsure of what to say or how to say it. Is it your fate to now feel the need to drive the money lenders from the temple? Is that even possible? You have a fierce moral clarity and my respect, yet I fear that your verbal bludgeon will win you no friends. Take care.

  • Fear of Arab-Americans in the public square
    • ROHA- “Since an awful lot of people have made a career (and in many cases a lot of money) from this speculation, the IPCC has not yet rejected the main speculation.”

      Totally lacking in empirical data to support your cultish fantasies, you inevitably fall back upon a conspiracy theory to “explain” the absence of any support whatsoever in the technical literature. The notion that increased concentrations of greenhouse gases do not result in increased absorption of solar radiation is absurd. And the global warming denier websites you undoubtedly frequent do not represent mainstream climatology. Their “empirical data” and gross misrepresentations never appear in the scientific literature. The notion that there are big bucks to be made by antagonizing the energy companies turns reality on its head, but is quite consistent with denier mentality.

      RoHa said: “I would be quite happy if no mention of it were ever permitted.”

      You would be happy if you comment hadn’t passed moderation? I hate to break it to you, but you are the one who initiated this discussion.

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • TRAINTOSIBERIA- Fascinating link. I may well be called an anti-Semite for saying this, but Caroline Glick would have made one hell of a Nazi. Not a typical Nazi, but an exceptionally rabid one. Change a few names and the message is the same. “We” are the victims of the “Evil Other.” Perhaps that is why the Nazis approved of Zionism.

  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • PHIL- “…I asked why liberal Zionist groups Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu remain in the Conference alongside so many rightwing organizations.”

      I would have hoped that it would be at least somewhat obvious that, differences aside, Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu share the Presidents core operative value, namely, Jewish solidarity in pursuit of Jewish organized power-seeking.

  • 'No decision has been made on Jonathan Pollard,' says State Dep't
    • AEL- “I wonder if this is in retaliation for Israel’s lack of support for America’s stance towards Ukraine and Crimea.”

      What lack of support? I suppose that one could argue that neocon Victoria Nuland doesn’t represent Israel (although Israel’s interests are always close to her heart), however, the presence of traveling sayanim Bernard-Henri Levy in Kiev encouraging the Putsch suggests Israeli complicity, as does the reported presence of Israeli special forces ops among the violent “protesters.” I might add that Israel was all over the Georgia assault on South Ossetia, and performs other services for empire (and itself) in Eastern Europe, the literal birthplace of Ashkenazi Zionism, where Jewish/Zionist solidarity provides a basis for organized activity of various kinds.

  • For Miliband, the road to 10 Downing Street runs through Jerusalem and Sderot
    • KRAUSS- “Puppies, it’s not even borderline with you. You’re a raging racist with a deep-seated hatred of Jews. You’re obsessed with us. You are a piece of anti-Semitic filth.”

      First of all, a piece of advice. Get some therapy!

      True anti-Semitism involves HATRED of Jews simply because they are Jews. Simple prejudice or bias is not anti-Semitism, and the casual use of the term is, in my view, serious defamation of a person’s character. Nothing in your quotes of Puppies struck me as indicative of anti-Semitism, however, your vile smear of him strongly suggests anti-Gentile chauvinism on your part. And let me emphasize “vile.” (no, not all quotes are “scare quotes”) Referring to the “other” as unclean “filth” is classic bigotry. Your little screed against Puppies is the most objectionable post I can recall seeing on Mondoweiss, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

      Let me move on to a serious matter which you inadvertently highlighted, namely, the Jewish obsession with anti-Semitism. First of all, who appointed you Mondoweiss censor? Phil, Adam and the rest of the moderators are responsible for screening comments, no need for you to hurl accusations. I don’t believe in censorship, so I am glad that your comment was approved. I helps me to understand who and what you are. As for real anti-Semitism, I don’t see that as a problem, although racism in general continues to be of concern. I much prefer to keep an open mind and let the discussion continue than to try and squelch it through intimidation which is what you are attempting. Obviously, you don’t feel threatened by Puppies as evidenced by your self-righteous arrogance towards him, much like the Lord of the Manor chastising a stable boy. Alas, you are not alone in that regard and from my perspective there is much more anti-Gentile chauvinism on Mondoweiss than anti-Jewish bias, and virtually no anti-Semitism. It doesn’t take much to be called an anti-Semite here.

      Unfortunately, anti-Gentile chauvinism seems to be an inevitable consequence of perceived Jewish victim-hood, one of the core components of Jewish identity. Just look at Scarlett Johansson claiming anti-Semitism in response to criticism. I conclude with a quote of Israel Shahak on the Jewish attitude towards non-Jews. “Therefore, the real test facing both Israeli and diaspora Jews is the test of their self-criticism which must include the critique of the Jewish past. The most important part of such a critique must be detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.” (“Jewish History, Jewish Religion”, Israel Shahak, 1994)

  • Simon Schama's Israel whitewash
    • MAXIMUS- “Does anyone know of any books/websites (other than Shlomo Sand) which explore Jewish history in a more dispassionate manner?”

      I strongly recommend “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” by Israel Shahak. It is a relatively short and easy read with lots of valuable info. Amazon has it used for $6.40. Shahak, now deceased, was a highly regarded Israeli dissident intellectual, a friend of both Noam Chomsky and Jeffrey Blankfort.

    • SIBIRIAK- “…this is Zionist myth-history.”

      Is this not also Jewish myth-history, or do you see a significant difference between the two? Speaking of myth-history, I believe that it was Napoleon who said that history was basically lies that were agreed upon. I would suggest that most history is a self-serving narrative imposed upon society by those with the power to do so.

      Getting back to Jewish myth-history regarding an unbroken chain of Jewish persecution and victim hood, Hannah Arendt had this to say: “…it was Jewish historiography, with its strong polemical and apologetical bias, that undertook to trace the record of Jew-hatred in Christian history, while it was left to the antisemites to trace an intellectually not too dissimilar record from ancient Jewish authorities. When this Jewish tradition of an often violent antagonism to Christians and Gentiles came to light, “the general Jewish public was not only outraged but genuinely astonished,” so well had its spokesmen succeeded in convincing themselves and everybody else of the non-fact that Jewish separateness was due exclusively to Gentile hostility and lack of enlightenment. Judaism, it was now maintained chiefly by Jewish historians, had always been superior to other religions in that it believed in human equality and tolerance. That this self-deceiving theory, accompanied by the belief that the Jewish people had always been the passive, suffering object of Christian persecutions, actually amounted to a prolongation and modernization of the old myth of chosenness and was bound to end in new and often very complicated practices of separation, destined to uphold the ancient dichotomy, is perhaps one of those ironies which seem to be in store for those who, for whatever reasons, try to embellish and manipulate political facts and historical records.” (Hannah Arendt)
      link to mondoweiss.net

  • 6 DC heavyweights tell Kerry, Netanyahu in West Bank is like Putin in Crimea
    • JAMES CANNING- “That said, a stable, prosperous Ukraine would be a good thing for Russia.”

      Probably it would, which is why you will not see a stable, prosperous Ukraine as long as the US/NATO/IMF are calling the shots. Thanks to the Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution,” its economy is in bad shape in spite of Russian subsidies and is now heading towards a total disaster. The Ukraine will now be subjected to the IMF neoliberal shock routine resulting in massive privatization and corporate/oligarchic looting. It has been effectively destroyed and can no longer present a threat of some sort of union with Russia, a problem for imperial hegemony. Also, this new “cold war” puts a chill on German/Russian cooperation, a secondary objective. Below, I provide a quote and a link to an excellent discussion of the Ukrainian economic situation by Jack Rasmus.

      “Looking longer term, should the USA and the west prevail politically somehow in the coming contest for the Ukraine, the Ukrainian economy will be in shambles far worse than it is even today. Ukraine’s currency will be near-worthless. Inflation rampant. Government subsidies stripped from households. And economic hardship severe, as a ‘Greek-Style’ austerity is imposed. But western banks and multinational corporations will have a field day, as they say, buying up industries and companies on the cheap in the east and restructuring them to fit their global economic plans.” (Jack Rasmus)
      link to zcomm.org

  • 'In every generation they rise up against us' -- Passover and the Jewish imagination
    • HOPHMI- Who are you calling a fabricator, liar and anti-Semite? Apparently, my Einstein quote had an incorrect third sentence. The first two sentences, however, seem to be accurate. I was making a comment based upon the information I had available. I don’t feel the need to go to primary sources to verify every single quote, an impossible standard which you hardly hold yourself to. The essential point being that anti-Semitism is to a significant degree encouraged by historical Jewish hostility to Gentiles. Witness your reaction to my use of the quote. Rather than simply providing a correction, you take the opportunity to smear me as a liar and anti-Semite, totally unjustified but consistent with the Mondoweiss culture. It doesn’t take much to be called an anti-Semite here.

      Speaking of Mondoweiss culture, it is a whole different experience than what I was used to. Prior to beginning commenting in 2010, I had never personally witnessed anti-Semitism, nor been called an anti-Semite. My personal experience with Jews had been non-eventful. They were mostly secular, I am secular, just a bunch of middle class folks. It was a bit of a shock to be exposed to the aggressive venom of the power-seeking East Coast Askenazi who comment on Mondoweiss. It didn’t take long for a tribal anti-Zionist self appointed censor to accuse me anti-Semitic comments based upon my critique of Zionist power-seeking. Among you East Coast power-seekers, this type of behavior is considered appropriate, honest discussion to be avoided, control of the narrative the prime concern. Witness how my entire comment has been deleted based upon a one sentence error. Unlike you, I need to be careful what I say.

  • Outspoken Rahm Emanuel goes off-the-record when asked about Israel
    • W. JONES- “Liberal does not necessarily mean the same as leftist. There is a school of “liberal economics.”

      You are saying that Rahm Emanuel is a liberal economist? If not, then the more common usage of the term “liberal” would seem to apply. If so, then “liberal” Rahm and “liberal” Phil would have a lot in common, birds of a feather, so to speak?” And if a classical liberal is not on the left, where exactly on the political spectrum does he reside?

      You may have a point. In our current state of debasement of the political discourse occasioned by the rapid rightward drift of political thought, a “liberal” probably can be considered part of the “soft” right. Even so, Emanuel’s neoliberal credentials are hard to ignore and correctly identified as right-wing authoritarianism occasionally camouflaged by liberal rhetoric. I have nothing but contempt for Rahm Emanuel, but if you feel justified in categorizing him alongside “liberal” Phil, who am I to object? Phil is capable of clarifying any ideological misunderstandings.

    • W. JONES- “Emanuel is a liberal….”

      Surely you jest. Emanuel is a kickass neoliberal who seeks to privatize as much as he can as fast as he can. I know that liberals ain’t what they used to be, however, calling Rahmzy a liberal is going too far.

  • 'We ask you to show solidarity with the farmers and their families of Gaza': Open letter to Neil Young from Gaza agricultural workers
    • JEFF LEVY- “…and was the only white superstar who publicly opposed George Bush II’s “war on terror.” (Living with War album, 2006)

      I am not going to delve into who may or may not be considered a “white superstar,” nor who all eventually publicly opposed the war on terror. My point is to ask WHEN this opposition manifested itself. Neil has an uncanny sense of detecting which way the wind is blowing and to posture accordingly. Finally opposing something years after it took effect doesn’t speak well for Neil’s analytical ability. Hey, I am glad he finally saw the error of his earlier actions, but let us not distort historical reality and Neil Young’s propensity to go with the flow. His initial support of the war on terror was well reported on dissident websites, I offer two quotes and links.

      “People for the American Way, which once described the goal of the PMRC censors as “to bring children and parents together on music selection,” gave Neil Young its Spirit of Liberty award at a December 11 Beverly Hills banquet. Young used the occasion to proclaim his support of the USA/Patriot Act, which became law on October 26. “To protect our freedoms,” Young said, “it seems we’re going to have to relinquish some of our freedoms for a short period of time.” (Lee Ballinger and David Marsh)
      link to counterpunch.org

      “That may strike some as odd, given that Young’s 2006 “Living with War” CD was a direct challenge to the Bush administration and the U.S. occupation of Iraq. But the key to my criticism is the year — 2006. An anti-war record three years into the war should not be cause for uncritical accolades for a musician who claims to be a dissenter. We should be asking Neil Young, “Where were you in 2001?” The answer: He was writing and recording “Let’s Roll,” which was released on his 2002 CD, “Are You Passionate?” ….When the movement could have used an eloquent musical voice, Young was on the other side.” (Robert Jensen)
      link to counterpunch.org

    • This is yet another example of how capitalism co-ops dissent. Back in the 60s before they were rich and successful, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young gave voice to an anti-establishment, anti-war generation. Neil Young’s “Ohio” still retains the power to move. Somewhere along the way, fueled to an extent by drugs and fame, they inevitably made peace with the system which had rewarded them so well, although they still thought of themselves as rebels. After 9/11, Neil Young supported the war on terror only to later do an about face and call for Bush’s impeachment when he finally figured out he had been duped. David Crosby and Graham Nash showed some awareness by serenading the occupy movement in Zucotti Park but then performed for Obama at the White House. Perhaps they were channeling Bono. I still love their music, but let us be honest, they have morphed into cocaine liberals. Success will do that to you. Fortunately, I have been spared that fate.

  • Jewish National Fund lures singles to Israel with tasteless sexual joke in NYT
    • TALKNIC- “Zionism was a secular form of Judaism” A secular religion. AMAZING!!”

      While all ideologies are not religions, all religions are ideologies. They are distinguished from other ideologies by the use of a god-head(s), and by a mythology rooted in the metaphysical. Some ideologies, however, seem to give a metaphysical interpretation to secular phenomenon. I believe that Zionism is one. Israel is heaven, the Holocaust hell, and anti-Semitism a dark, irrational satanic force. This is combined with a secular use of Judaic symbolism to create a unifying mythos quite removed from reality and taken on faith. Ultimately, secular religions tend to be unsuccessful in interpreting physical reality in metaphysical terms, hence, short lived. They last only so long as they appear successful in explaining and controlling events.

  • Pollard was in it for money, and sold so many dox Cap Weinberger wanted the death penalty
    • I have a great deal of difficulty imagining a system so lax that a significant quantity of truly sensitive information was stolen this easily. If so, then the upper echelons of the security establishment should have, at the least, been fired for gross incompetence. Most of the stuff classified as secret or even top secret shouldn’t be. The classification is primarily to prevent embarrassment to the government when official lying is documented by internal records. In other words, to keep the citizenry in the dark. As a consequence, the volume is so large as to require lax procedures as a practical matter, however, truly sensitive material should be beyond the reach of enlisted petty thieves. And if the stuff was truly sensitive, then I am guessing that he had inside help and a lot is being kept quiet.

  • 'The clash of civilizations’ theory is absolutely and completely dead
    • The Clash of Civilizations “theory” is basically an ideological construct designed to promote an “us” (Judeo-Christians) versus “them” (Arabs/Muslims). If one can sell this hokum to the public, then it makes it a lot easier to justify imperial aggression in the Middle East as “defensive” (they hate us and are out to hurt us, etc). Also, it rather obviously makes supporting Israel against “them” much easier. It is basically a guide for the selling of US/Israel war mongering. No surprise that this is associated with Harvard, which provides imperial indoctrination disguised as education.

  • Obama's European message-- self-determination, equality, dignity-- is null and void in Palestine
    • K RENNER- “…that’re either denying the occurrence of Serb crimes and abuses throughout the Bosnian wars and the Kosovo wars….”

      Why are you fabricating this nonsense? Once Germany and the US succeeded in fomenting a civil war, then, of course, atrocities occurred on all sides. This occurs in all wars, however, civil wars are particularly ugly, including the US civil war. Serbia was the designated enemy, hence, Serb atrocities were widely reported and frequently exaggerated whereas Croat and Muslim crimes were not reported. This is standard imperial propaganda in support of intervention.

      Your original comment was in support of this “humanitarian” intervention which you imply was in response to Serbian ethnic cleansing and which supposedly the bombing put a stop to. The reality is that the bombing was intended to destroy the Serbian infrastructure which it did. One consequence was to increase the ethnic violence which was anticipated and which occurred. One would think it obvious that you don’t bomb some place to save lives, you bomb it to destroy it. Hardly a conspiracy theory.

      As for Kosovo today, its economy essentially consists of international aid, employment at US Camp Bonsteel, and organized crime involving drugs and human trafficking. Most of the remaining Serb population has fled. It is the type of human disaster typical of US led “humanitarian” interventions. Check out Libya. Some quotes and links below. By the way, when you describe unvarnished reality as a far left conspiracy theory, you are part of the problem.

      “The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, "is the head of a 'mafia-like' Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe," The Guardian disclosed.”

      “The veil of secrecy surrounding KLA atrocities could not have been as complete as it was without the intervention of powerful actors, particularly amongst political and military elites in Germany and the United States who had conspired with local gangsters, rebranded as "freedom fighters," during the break-up of Yugoslavia.” (Tom Burghardt)
      link to pacificfreepress.com

      “The whole thing, as well as any other illegal business, is controlled by the state both in Kosovo, Albania and all of former Yugoslavia,” said one of the Albanian men, who called himself Rexhep. “No one can do [smuggle] drugs, women, cigarettes or anything without blessing from above.” (Matt McAllester)
      link to globalpost.com

      “Based on three months of reporting, involving dozens of interviews with politicians, former KLA members, diplomats, former NATO soldiers, political analysts and officials, GlobalPost has found that concerns about criminality among Kosovo’s ruling political class went largely ignored by the United States, NATO and the United Nations over the past 11 years — and in some cases U.S. and U.N. officials thwarted criminal investigations into former senior KLA figures.” (Matt Mc Allester)
      link to globalpost.com

    • K RENNER- “I suppose the Serbs didn’t ethnically cleanse and murder Croats and Bosniaks back throughout the 1990s, either?”

      The first massacres were against Serbs. In “late September 1991, over 120 Gospic Serbs, including prominent professors and judges, were abducted and murdered….According to Croatian human rights activists, this was the first major massacre of civilians in the Yugoslav civil wars.” (p29, “Fools Crusade,” Diana Johstone) Subsequently, most of the Serb population was ethnically cleansed from the Krajina district of breakaway Croatia. This was at the start of the US/German/NATO instigated civil war. Croatia was headed by Franjo Tudjman who revived the philosophy and symbolism of the Ustashe party which had allied with Nazi Germany during World War II and had run the Jasenovac death camp where Serbs, Roma and Jews were exterminated. Tudjman’s avowed goal was to eliminate Serbs and ally Croatia with Germany.

      “Oh, look. More far-left blather.”

      Apparently you take comfort in imperial mythology. Hey, if you can’t trust the MSM, who can you trust? Certainly not the likes of Johnstone, Chomsky, Blum, Pilger, Lituchy, Herman and Parenti, among others.

    • PHIL- “…principles the U.S. has nullified in its policy in Israel and Palestine.”

      Only there? It is one thing to focus on Israel/Palestine, quite another to turn a blind eye to the reality of empire. Perhaps it is only Israel/Palestine and AIPAC/Zionism which you find disturbing? From a moral standpoint, US actions towards Palestinian rights are quite consistent with its actions elsewhere.

      “He opposes militarism:”

      Have you gone into standup comedy? This is parody, right? I mean what with the massive US military budget, the expansion of NATO, full spectrum dominance, the militarization of space, increased funding for cyber warfare, updating the nuclear arsenal (in violation of the non-proliferation treaty, I might add), the US engaged in wars (old and new) practically everywhere, drone attacks, etc, etc, etc, this is your idea of “opposes militarism?” And what is he doing in Europe if not to scuttle any chance of Russia/EU cooperation? NATO is the US primary means of maintaining a European presence and influence, hence, this US created new cold war with Russia. Finally, has it escaped your attention that the US is a warfare state? If Obama actually opposed militarism, he never would have gone far in politics.

    • K RENNER- “The Kosovar Albanians would disagree with you.”

      Prior to the NATO bombing campaign, the number of Serbs killed by the Kosovo Albanians exceeded the number of Albanians killed. The terrorist attacks by the KLA were designed to provoke a response from the Serbs to justify NATO intervention to achieve their separatist goals. Casualties increased dramatically when bombing commenced, as was expected.

      “This was a multinational intervention….”

      Yes, US led NATO pulverized Yugoslavia in general and Serbia in particular. This was an imperial intervention justified by the violence resulting from imperial destabilization actions. Empires are not known for their commitment to humanitarianism, however, all aggressors attempt to justify their actions with humanitarian propaganda.

    • HOSTAGE- “The “Sentinels of NATO” had the right and a duty to intervene in the former Yugoslavia to prevent ethnic cleansing of Kosovar villiagers….”

      The ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia was primarily a consequence of US/German destabilization activities. One consequence was to transform NATO from a hard to justify faux defensive alliance into an imperial out of area mercenary strike force. In 1990, the U.S. congress passed the Foreign Operations Law of 1991 which, among other things, specified a cut-off of all aid, credits and loans to Yugoslavia within six months. The World Bank and IMF were directed to follow suite. The only money to be permitted was to go to the right-wing separatist forces. It was, in effect, a declaration of economic war against Yugoslavia. The CIA predicted a bloody civil war as a consequence. Of course, that was the intent. Mind you, this was years before anyone even heard of Sarajevo. Germany was directly involved somewhat before the US, however, the German BND (CIA) under Reinhard Gehlen had, along with the US, maintained the network of fascist organizations which Gehlen had constructed when he was a Nazi General on the Eastern front during World War II. Prior to the conflict, the CIA had listed the Kosovo Liberation Army as a terrorist organization. This was yet another case of the Western powers balkanizing the Balkans. The notion of “humanitarian intervention” is bogus to the core. This was yet another imperial intervention for strategic purposes.

  • D.C. scribes party with red wine, vinyl, and image of a terrorist
    • HOPHMI- “Protesting Putin’s invasion of Crimea is a Zionist plot. LOL.”

      There appears to me to be an overwhelmingly strong correlation between support for Zionism and support for American imperialism. Your attempt at justifying the eastward expansion of NATO and the illegal coup in the Ukraine are reprehensible but predictable. And trying to characterize critics of US warmongering as “retreads from the pro-Soviet movement,” is yet another example of your profound intellectual dishonesty.

  • Obama's foreign policy has just one potential legacy-- Iran
    • TOIVOS- “Rest of Obama's policies have been an incoherent mix of failures.”

      Funny, I rate him as the most effective imperial President ever. He has been much more effective in implementing Wall Street’s agenda than George W. Bush. More effective even than slick Willie. Of course, he doesn’t actually set the policies, he merely sells them to a demoralized electorate.

  • Corasanti describes inspiration for novel, 'The Almond Tree'
    • ANNIE- “go ahead and take the last word (or several i’m sure), it’s all yours.”

      You are taking this whole business much too personally. You are the one who “can’t seem to leave it alone.” Why else the lengthy defense followed by the lengthy quote of what I said on the previous thread? Everything I said at the time was justified when I said it. My questions the obvious ones following Corasanti’s alteration of her official biography to suddenly include a mystery Palestinian husband. I am not going to bother responding to why I found the book contrived since I don’t feel the books merits additional discussion by me. And your insinuation that my assessment of “The Almond Tree” as literature was a result of a deep bias on my part is totally off base. Had it been even reasonably well written, I would have read it cover to cover as I originally intended. And far from being fixated on “The Almond Tree,” I had set the book aside and out of mind until it came up again as part of Mondoweiss’ promotion of the book.

    • ANNIE- “you didn’t read the book keith. and in your comment that got dumped you claimed to have read 20 pages, and now it’s up to 40? Hmm.”

      In my first comment I said “I closely read the first twenty pages plus skimmed an additional twenty.” I think that qualifies as “about forty.” I tried to shorten this comment not expecting you to nitpick me. Foolish me.

      “while i don’t qualify as someone you respect”

      Why so catty? Was I referring to you? Why such a chip on your shoulder? Since this was Willem P J deBrouwer’s first comment, he doesn’t qualify. There are other commenters who don’t inspire confidence, surely you could name a few.

      “i read and liked the book.”

      I am happy for you. I obviously didn’t, and forty odd pages was enough to convince me not to read further. And I bought the book. Had to, The Seattle Public Library doesn’t have it. Strange, it being so well received and all.

      “corasanti doesn’t profess to be a great learned writer”

      In the initial discussion she continually compared her book to “The Kite Runner,” as did all of her promotional material. Now we have a new commenter suddenly appear comparing her book to “Cry, the Beloved Country,” so don’t you go claiming she is simply some modest do-gooder.

      “i think a more apropo comparison might be uncle tom’s cabin”

      I probably wouldn’t be able to read more than 40 pages of that either, but I take your assessment at face value that “The Almond Tree” is on a literary par with “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

    • WILLEMPJDEBROUWER- “Have you read her book?”

      I read about 40 pages. I found it to be very contrived and poorly written, so much so that I stopped reading even though I had originally planned to read it all. My first comment was rather insulting and provocative and didn’t pass moderation, hence, I am toning this one down a lot. Because of the commenter response on the first series of articles on “The Almond Tree,” I expected to see more on this thread now that some of us had read the book, but, alas, that did not occur. I wonder why? And now, as we approach the end of the comment period, you come along with your very first Mondoweiss comment. How interesting. I have never read “Cry, the Beloved Country,” however, I suspect that it is much better written than “The Almond Tree.” I would love to see a Mondoweiss commenter that I respect who has read both make a comparison.

    • SCOTT- Well, you can forget about reading my comment below as it didn’t pass moderation. I’m not sure why. Granted, it was a rather harsh critique of “The Almond Tree,” but not outrageously so. Apparently, I have yet again offended one of the moderators. In the past, attempts at euphemistic rephrasing were of no avail so I’ll leave it at this and hope that this sneaks its way through. Cheers.

    • SCOTT- You may care to read my comment below. If you decide to get the book, do yourself a favor and buy a used one, there seem to be a lot of cheap ones floating around.

  • Lockerbie: 25 years of geopolitics over truth
    • MARC B- “…there is significant circumstantial evidence that some US military intelligence types may have been the target of the bombing, rather than the generic ‘western’ passenger plane. if you look at the case from that angle, it takes on a different complexion.”

      I vaguely recall a drug tie-in, the subject of which was the basis for a film called “The Maltese Double Cross” which was suppressed. I should point out, however, that these two scenarios are not mutually exclusive. I believe that Iran did contract out for a plane to be blown up in retaliation for the intentional shooting down of the Iranians jetliner by the USS Vincennes, but also, that the specific plane targeted may have been because of this drug/intelligence business, the perpetrator collecting a double payment. The so called intelligence agencies are extremely unsavory, unprincipled characters, their “assets” even worse. I put nothing past them.

    • LYSIAS- “Capt. William C. Rogers III, the commander of the USS Vincennes, which shot down the Iranian Airbus, was outrageously given a medal after he left that command.”

      I believe that the entire crew received medals at the conclusion of their mission and have long ago concluded that the shooting down of the Iranian Airbus was no accident, it was an intentional act of terrorism approved at the highest levels.

  • BDS supporting rock star Roger Waters hits back against vicious smears
    • PUPPIES- “You’re quite free with wildly imaginative smears.”

      Yes he is, and frankly it bothers me the way some folks feel free to libel others as anti-Semites in so casual a manner. I read “The Wandering Who?” (not “Jew”), and I didn’t find it anti-Semitic at all. I come from the old school where anti-Semite refers to someone who hates Jews because they are Jews, a serious allegation in my opinion. The casual disregard for either definitive evidence or adverse consequences to the allegation indicates a total lack of respect for the person being libeled. A perceived power differential where the accuser behaves as the Lord of the Manner accusing a stable boy of misbehavior, and can’t even conceive that he is acting inappropriately. Perhaps this is a consequence of the cultivated sense of eternal victim-hood justifying entitlement which motivates some folks.

  • Tony Benn, who said there is no moral difference between a stealth bomber and a suicide bomber
    • Tony Benn quote: “You’re a declining empire, as we were, and you’ll learn the truth…. You were beaten in Vietnam…”

      I disagree with Benn and agree with Chomsky on this. The US didn’t lose in Vietnam, rather it achieved its minimum objective of essentially destroying the country to prevent it from succeeding. Following the war, the U.S. imposed economic sanctions on Vietnam until Vietnam capitulated. “Vietnam was therefore compelled to pay to the US the huge debt incurred by the Saigon government that the US had installed as its local agent for its wars in Indochina….” (p101, “Hegemony or Survival,” Noam Chomsky).

      He is wrong about the empire in decline as well. While it is somewhat obvious that the US nation-state is in decline, perhaps intentionally, the transnational corporate/financial empire appears to me to be growing in power. The ability of the global financial system to force compliance is unprecedented. Witness the Ukrainian oligarchs who changed sides when their western investments were threatened. Future sanctions will likely target Russian oligarchs who may abandon Putin when push comes to shove. At the least, the Ukrainian coup prevented any warming of relations between Europe and Russia that could conceivably have led to an informal European alliance without the US. I conclude with a quote and a link to an excellent article by Jack Rasmus.

      “There has been growing concern within the ranks of this element that western Europe—and especially Germany—have forged too deep and too close economic ties with Russia. They want to break those ties and replace them with greater European dependency on the USA economically….The long term objective is to have Germany and Europe dependent on US natural gas, at the expense of Russian gas.”
      link to counterpunch.org

  • Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah's 'The Battle for Justice in Palestine'
    • SIBIRIAK- “I submit that “Global Jews belong to the Jewish religion” is an untenable definition of global Jewry.”

      Perhaps not. Had the reference been to “the Judaic religion” you would undoubtedly be correct, however, if we apply a broad interpretation of “Jewish religion” to include a secular interpretation of religion as an ideology taken on faith which achieves in-group solidarity, then the concept of “Jewishness” as immutable destiny may qualify. In other words, there is a certain quasi-religious aspect to self-perceived “Jewishness” which transcends rationality.

  • Dateline, Ukraine: How the State Department 'midwives' democracy
    • BANDOLERO, LEANDER- “So, when she orders the US amb to Ukraine to “F… the EU” – is she executing US policy – or is she betraying the US, too?”

      Don’t you two find it odd that so much “confidential” communication has become public? What better way to “leak” a message than to have it intercepted and made public? Normally, I tend to ignore public statements, however, I can’t help but feel that Nuland was very effective in telling the EU that the US calls the shots and they should back off from negotiating. The US absolutely does not want the EU sans the US negotiating with Russia. Or getting too friendly with Russia. Or, God Forbid!, forming some sort of alliance with Russia which would challenge US hegemony. If you recall, back in the nineties, Germany took the lead on Yugoslavia until Uncle Sam pushed them out of the way by scuttling an agreement which would have ended the conflict much earlier. The US wanted NATO to bomb Serbia to destroy the infrastructure and to justify NATO as an out of area strike force. And that is what happened. I have great difficulty believing that Nuland couldn’t have talked to the ambassador over more secure communications, or that she is deviating from well established imperial policy.

    • Let me add an additional comment. The Ukrainian economy is a disaster, the consequences of which will profoundly influence the course of events. I am providing a quote and a link to an excellent article by Jack Rasmus discussing the Ukrainian economy for those interested.

      “Looking longer term, should the USA and the west prevail politically somehow in the coming contest for the Ukraine, the Ukrainian economy will be in shambles far worse than it is even today. Ukraine’s currency will be near-worthless. Inflation rampant. Government subsidies stripped from households. And economic hardship severe, as a ‘Greek-Style’ austerity is imposed. But western banks and multinational corporations will have a field day, as they say, buying up industries and companies on the cheap in the east and restructuring them to fit their global economic plans.” (Jack Rasmus)
      link to zcomm.org

    • I am going to try to concisely make a few points about the complicated situation in the Ukraine. At one level, it is not very complicated. It was an imperial destabilization followed by a putsch. Was there legitimate grievances? With Wall Street and the IMF destroying the economies of Eastern Europe, how could there not be? Talk of “reforms” is a joke. There is no Eastern European country strong enough by itself to break free from the global financial system and the implementation of neoliberal globalization. The deposed President was an oligarch? Jeez, what a shocker. After the USSR broke up and Washington implemented economic “reforms,” all of Eastern Europe is essentially run by oligarchs. Money rules, and the fat cats call the shots. But Yanukovich got out of line and got too cozy with that upstart Putin, so he had to go. That is the simple part.

      The complicated part revolves around Putin’s ascendance in both the Middle East and in Western Europe. The Middle East is somewhat obvious. Syria is under attack and Putin is in the way. I am emphasizing Putin specifically because without him in power, Russia was much more compliant with imperial wishes. So Putin and Russia are under attack. Western Europe is less obvious. Suffice to say that if Russia was able to somehow form an alliance with Germany and France, it would be catastrophic for empire. US controlled NATO exerts organizational constraints on Germany and France while threatening Russia. Also, all of the countries separating Russia and Germany are NATO members, with the Ukraine eagerly pursued.

      A significant impetus for US emphasis on fracking natural gas is to export it to Europe thereby supplanting Russia’s influence with regard to energy. While Russia remains the number one exporter of natural gas, the US is now the number one producer. None of the power elites seems overly concerned with the environmental consequences of fracking, or of increased fossil fuel use. Without going into detail, I think that the Russian economy will be made to suffer and Putin blamed.

      I suppose we could summarize the ongoing destabilization of target regimes, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, etc., as a hyper-aggressive and risky attempt to alter the global geostrategic situation in such a way as to lock-in imperial hegemony for the foreseeable future. And while the US nation-state may be in relative decline, the global corporate/financial empire isn’t. Also, the power of the global financial system penetrates national boundaries imposing severe limits on governmental discretion.

  • 'NYT' provides frank descriptions of lobby's power in review of Truman book
    • CITIZEN- Likewise, can you imagine the film "Defamation" being made by someone other than an Israeli Jew? Being allowed behind the scenes access to Abe Foxman?

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