Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2561 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)

Keith

Radical dissident. Retired.

Website: http://saskck.blogspot.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      For some curious reason, I found this hysterically funny.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      According to William Blum:

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

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

      Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

      Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

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

      Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      In contrast to Maimonides?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Nazi Germany.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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