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Radical dissident. Retired.


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  • Ari Shavit's Zionist revival is a hit in New York
    • MIRIAM6- “Why mention Shavit’s Ashkenazi background?”

      Perhaps because the Ashkenazi were the driving force behind the success of Zionism and the creation of Israel. Also, if we look at American Jewish organization and success, I suspect that we would be looking mostly at Ashkenazi Jews. This is something which I haven’t seen analyzed but would like to. Perhaps, as Mondoweiss’ self-described champion of the Misrahi, you could provide valuable feedback. The more I think about it, the more I come to think of Israel as the Ashkenazi State supported by American Ashkenazis with some Misrahi support coming after the fact.

      As for your reference to the Balkans below, are not Ellie Wiesel, Bernard-Henri Levy, and Susan Sontag, along with the majority of the New York Jewish interventionist intelligentsia Ashkenazi? Do you really want them lumped together with Mizrahi Jews? Just asking.

  • Showtime's 'Homeland' and the imagination of national security
    • I continue to maintain that the entertainment media, including video games, not only works in harmony with the news media to manufacture consent, but probably is the more significant of the two insofar as it is the creator of the social mythology against which the news is evaluated for believability and relevance. Even a quick survey of the extreme violence throughout the movies, TV and video games will quickly demonstrate an irrational society comfortable with violence, sadism and militarism. A reminder, as if one was needed, of the extent to which the American people are easily manipulated.

  • Liberal Zionism ends with a pinch
    • IRISHMOSES- “Not unlike the Jews, Hoa business success and ethnic/cultural separateness made them unpopular and envied in SVN.”

      Indeed, the experience of the Diaspora Chinese in Southeast Asia has great relevance to the Jews of Europe. Kevin MacDonald, a controversial author, discusses the Chinese expats, along with other Diaspora groups, in the preface to “A People That Shall Dwell Alone.” The two groups have many similarities of experience, a primary difference being that the Chinese avoided politics. Surely, this type of analysis provides better insights than the quasi-religious, fundamentalist belief in eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. But, since knowledge and insight are at odds with Zionist mythology, one can understand why this type of comparison is not pursued. Perhaps some of Mondoweiss’ Jewish anti-Zionist scholars would care to look into this?

  • JDate's mission of making 'JBabies' might provoke outrage, 'Atlantic' writer allows
    • JBABIES????

      Take a long hard look at the pictures, folks. These babies represent Judaism and/or Jewishness? They look more like ABabies to me, with all that implies about Ashkenazi misrepresentation. Perhaps we should examine some of these labels more closely.

  • 'Bloomberg marched with a fascist'
    • DAN CROWTHER- “…and that's not even mentioning the US sponsorship of former fascists in Germany and Japan post WWII.”

      Absolutely correct on all counts. It is somewhat surprising how many Americans are oblivious to the real world history of empire. Apparently, they think that empire was a gift from God as a reward for all of our “humanitarian” interventions. Normally, I might be tempted to expand a little with examples, however, I am currently having so much difficulty getting comments through moderation that my heart just isn’t in it. In fact, my comments are now going to be few and far between. As to your observation regarding Phils cranium in relation to his posterior, Phil exemplifies the truism that it is easy to believe what is convenient to believe.

  • Self-exiled Israelis in Berlin now number 20,000
    • GERMAN LEFTY- “Clearly, the goal of the documentary is to intimidate us Germans into keeping our mouths shut about Israel’s crimes.”

      That is exactly right! This is not a sign of distress from a weak and defenseless group of victims. This is a tactic of intimidation by a powerful group seeking to control the discourse. A tactic, I might add, which may well contribute to a self-fulfilling prophesy.

    • KRAUSS- “They represent the top 20% of the country in terms of employment prospects….”

      Would I be correct in assuming that they are overwhelmingly Ashkenazi? I suspect that Mizrahi Jews might be less welcome, even by the Ashkenazi expats.

  • Natalie Portman and Woody Allen see anti-Semitism as pervasive
    • SIBIRIAK- “Wow.”

      Wow, indeed. This is a demonstration of power, not victim-hood. The ability to establish definitions and labels. In Europe, some countries have laws making Holocaust denial illegal. And how about being called an anti-Semite for linking to a website that practices “Holocaust denial?” I sometimes wonder if the Zionist aren’t trying to incite a low level of anti-Semitism in order to justify Zionism?

    • EUR1069- “I suggested it before & I repeat it again: We need an ironclad, codified legal definition of anti-semitism on books to defuse any & all PR shenanigans, intimidation & blackmail from hoodlums like Abe Foxman once & for all.”

      Be careful what you wish for, EUR. Laws are written by those with power. Do you really wish for Abe Foxman’s definition to have the force of law?

    • What is fascinating about these interviews are the implications. Both of these people have been hugely successful in an industry strongly influenced by Jewish power and privilege, yet, rather than acknowledge a Jewish advantage, they complain about anti-Semitism! The implication is that the high rate of Jewish success was achieved in spite of anti-Semitism. Ah, the eternal victim-hood of the rich and famous!

      Of the two, Portman is much more extreme. Her comments bespeak of thinly veiled anti-Gentile chauvinism. Yet, will she ever need to worry about suffering any consequences analogous to those who are labeled anti-Semites? I think not! Perhaps, in a more generous moment, she will offer to let the 99% eat cake. Israeli made and Kosher, of course.

  • A lynching by another name would be a political murder
    • “…the killers exultantly bathing their hands in Jewish blood. It was a deeply shocking illustration of the savage hatred of the enemy we had thought we were making peace with: say what you like about Israeli policies, we could not think of a single case where Jews washed their hands in the blood of their enemies.”

      Apparently he “looked” with eyes closed. Putting aside the butchery of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps carried out by Israel’s Christian mercenaries under Israel's direction, we have only to look to the Nakba. Ralph Schoenman writes: “The commander of the Haganah, Zvi Ankori, described what happened: ‘I saw cut off genitalia and women’s crushed stomachs….It was direct murder’.” (p33, “The Hidden History of Zionism,” Ralph Schoenman)

      The director of the International Red Cross in Palestine describes what he saw entering Deir Yasin: “The gang (Irgun) was wearing uniforms with helmets. All of them were young, some even adolescents, men and women, armed to the teeth: revolvers, machine-guns, and hand grenades, and also cutlasses in their hands, most of them blood-stained. A beautiful young girl with criminal eyes showed me hers dripping with blood; she displayed it like a trophy.” (p35, “The Hidden History of Zionism,” Ralph Schoenman)

  • What Comes Next: We need the courage to do away with existing institutions, policies, and paradigms
    • BINTBIBA- “Courage to overcome ‘consequences’ is not impossible.”

      Courage may well be essential, however, let us not delude ourselves that the problem can be corrected talking about the “courage” to change “existing institutions, policies, and paradigms.” This suggests that what is required is some sort of intellectual exercise involving policies and paradigms. One can develop the most brilliant paradigm and recommend the wisest of policies, but without the power to implement these things you have engaged in a sterile exercise, essentially evading the problem. Yes, the Palestinians need courage, however, they desperately need to address the asymmetrical power imbalance and develop strategies to deal with that as best they can in view of their limited resources and utter dependency upon international aid.

    • MHUGHES976- “What new policies and paradigms will we put in place of the old lot?”

      “We” put in place? The elites formulate the policies and the intelligentsia create the paradigms to justify these policies. The 99% need to educate themselves on the real-world political economy and devise strategies for dealing with the enormous power imbalance.

    • “We need the courage to do away with existing institutions, policies, and paradigms.”

      “Courage” has little to do with it. Power has everything to do with it. Those with power do as they like, those without suffer as a consequence.

  • Lift the cruel, unfair sanctions on Iran, and you can close the nuclear dossier
    • Concern over Iran’s nuclear program by US/Israel is a pretext for destabilizing the Iranian government. The US continues to have the means to resolve this US/Israel created conflict. For some background, I provide a 5 paragraph quote from Noam Chomsky:

      “The real issue is what will happen in the United States. The way the issue is presented in the United States, and most of the West, the problem is Iran’s intransigence and its rejection of the demands of the international community. There is plenty to criticize in Iran but the real issue is quite different. It’s the refusal of the West, primarily of the United States, to enter into serious diplomacy with Iran. And as far as Iran violating the will of the international community, that depends on a very special definition of international community which is standard in the West where the term means the United States and anybody who goes along with it. So if the international community includes the world then the story is quite different. For example the non-aligned countries, which is most of the world’s population, have vigorously supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium – still do.

      The nearby region, in the Arab world, Arab’s don’t like Iran it’s quite unpopular there are hostilities that go back very far. But they do not regard Iran as a threat, a very small percentage regard Iran as a threat. The threats they perceive are the United States and Israel, so they are not part of the world as far as “international community” is concerned but it’s a western obsession. Are there ways to deal with it, whatever one takes a threat to be? Sure, there are ways.

      So for example in 2010 there was a very positive advance that could have mitigated whatever the threat is supposed to be. Turkey and Brazil reached a deal with Iran in which Iran would ship out its low-enriched uranium in exchange for storage in Turkey, and in return the west would provide isotopes for Iran’s medical reactors. As soon as that was announced Brazil and Turkey were bitterly condemned by Washington and by the media, which more or less reflexively follow what Washington says. The Brazilian government was pretty upset by this, so much so that the Brazilian Foreign Minister released a letter from President Obama to the president of Brazil in which Obama had proposed this assuming that Iran would turn it down. When Iran accepted, of course he had to denounce it and Obama went right to the Security Council to try to get harsher sanctions.

      There’s a more recent one that is even more interesting. Last December there was supposed to be an international conference in Finland to carry forward longstanding efforts to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons, all weapons of mass destruction in fact, in the Middle East. This is under the auspices of the proliferation treaty, basically the UN. Well it was to be in December, it didn’t happen. The first thing that happened is that Israel announced they wouldn’t participate. Then everyone who was interested was waiting to see if Iran would participate. Iran said they would participate with no conditions. Immediately Obama called off the conference….

      It’s also worth remembering that every day the United States and Israel are violating international law on this issue. The UN charter, if anybody cares, bans the threat or use of force in international affairs. Every time an official says “All options are open,” that is a criminal act. Here nobody cares.” (Noam Chomsky)

  • AIPAC's 'unlimited' funds are greatest obstacle to peace, former British foreign sec'y says
    • “It is amazing that ideas that were once blacklisted as being anti-Semitic are coming more and more into the mainstream, as people seek to explain the power of the Israel lobby.”

      Yes, one can more freely discuss the Lobby without being labeled anti-Semitic, however, this is true only because sectors of the dominant elites (Carter, Mearsheimer and Walt, for example) support this change and benefit from it. I see little change in most other areas where charges of anti-Semitism remain a potent weapon for intimidation and for restricting the range of behavior and discussion. Make no mistake, this is a technique of social control used by the strong. To be labeled an anti-Semite usually has significant consequences, particularly in regards to organized harassment combined with threatened removal of funding. I am unaware of instances where American Jews are being intimidated and coerced by charges of anti-Gentile behavior. The ability to hurt someone while remaining invulnerable to retaliation establishes a power relationship. The people who benefit from this unequal relationship are likely to want to see it continue.

  • Boston ad agency pulled ads about Palestinian land loss after ADL complained, 'Globe' reports
  • 'The Onion' uses the k-word
  • Yeshiva U panel concludes Israel and Jews face destruction from: Iran, assimilation and occupation critics
    • MIRIAM6- What is the purpose of your comment? Neither the article nor my comment refers to the Judaic religion. This discussion panel was not intended to promote Judaism, it was designed to promote Jewish tribalism and support for Israel. Your attempt to conflate my comment with disrespect for the Judaic religion is both clumsy and completely lacking in intellectual integrity.

    • ALEX KANE- “…assimilation was killing off American Jewry….”

      Interesting choice of words. Did an autopsy confirm the cause of death? Interesting logic, isn’t it? Jews equal tribalism therefore the demise of tribal solidarity equals the “death” of Jews. Of course, images of death appeal to the exploiters of the Holocaust. How much longer must we endure these fat-cat victims?

  • MJ Rosenberg owes Ali Abunimah an apology for false accusations of anti-Semitism
    • MIRIAM6- “You want proof ?”

      Proof of what? That you complained and that the comment was pulled? I never doubted that. The rest of my comment stands. Why don’t you and Adam and M.J. do lunch sometime?

    • Jeez, hasn't my comment of Oct 23 @ 4:00 pm been in solitary confinement long enough?

    • MIRIAM6- “So don’t try claiming that anti- Semitism has never happened in MW.
      It is not true.”

      Should I take it as a backhanded compliment that you felt the need to respond to my comment while simultaneously creating a straw man to avoid dealing with what I actually said?

      The Mondoweiss comment section is a valuable forum where important issues can be freely and openly discussed. As such, a certain latitude is necessary, too much attention to political correctness counterproductive. And the Stalinist censorship which Rosenberg advises would totally destroy Mondoweiss. And what the hell is an anti-Semitic comment anyway? Who is going to judge? You and MJ Roseberg and other Jewish gatekeepers? You would like that wouldn’t you? I’m sure Rosenberg would. Jews deciding what is acceptable for Gentiles and other Jews to publicly say about Jews.

      Miriam says: “…several months ago I noticed a commenter in MW had posted a comment which carried two links to sites – both of which clearly involved Holocaust denial. I complained about it….”

      Ah, the never ending search for whiffs of anti-Semitism. Since you didn’t provide a link, am I supposed to take your word that it was clearly anti-Semitic? Who elected you gatekeeper? And what is an anti-Semitic comment? Anti-Semitic is supposed to refer to someone who HATES Jews simply because they ARE Jews. How do you deduce this from a comment? As for websites, some (most?) of the so-called anti-Semitic sites are run by Mossad as black propaganda to demonstrated anti-Semitism to impressionable Jews in need of a victim-hood fix. Suppose I agree that there are some bona fide anti-Semites commenting on Mondoweiss. So what? I don’t see anti-Semitism as a significant problem like Zionism is. So let the discussion continue, and you and MJ can go to you know where.

      Miriam say: “Anyone with half a brain looking at Gilad Atzmon’s website can see he is an anti Semite.”

      Really? I grant you that Gilad tends to intentionally use needlessly provocative language apparently as a technique for self-promotion, however, much of what he says about Jewishness is similar to things which Israel Shahak has said using scholarly language. Also, he seems to be reacting to the pillorying he constantly receives from the tribal anti-Zionists. I like some of what he says, others not so much, but anti-Semitic? You throw a pretty wide net, Miriam. As for Greta Berlin, I continue to believe that she was treated shabbily by Ali Abunimah and Mondoweiss. At this stage of the game, it would be only natural for her to resent the Jewish tribalists who stiffed her. And, yes, it is all about power. Who leads and who follows and who determines who is acceptable to lead.

      Miriam says: “You are forgetting that the people at the centre of all this are the Palestinians- not people like yourself.”

      That’s rich. All of you liberal Zionists shedding crocodile tears over the fate of the Palestinians! You want us to believe that you scour Mondoweiss looking for hints of anti-Semitism in support of Palestinian rights? Your problem, Miriam, is that you are just too good. So why don’t you lay your heavy burden down and let Phil and Adam (with lots of help from Annie) run Mondoweiss without having to deal with your holier than thou complaints?

    • On April 8, 2013, on a Mondoweiss post titled “Hiroshima Epiphany,” well known “anti-Semitism” accuser M.J.Rosenberg commented: “I could, if I wanted to, find hundreds if not thousands of anti-Semitic statements here. My beloved friend, Phil, should either shut down all comments or preferably screen them for anti-Semitism, Islamohatred and other forms of bigotry.” It was part of one of three irrational comments he made. Check it out.

      He never provided any quotes or evidence of his typically reckless accusation. For some curious reason, this former AIPAC official is treated much too respectfully by many Mondoweissers. His smears and slanders bespeak of power (at least in his own mind) and arrogance. In my view, he is a caricature of an empire Jew ruthlessly charging anti-Semitism against those who get in his way. Foxman on steroids.

      Silver lining? Yes, there is a certain rough justice to Ali Abunimah being on the receiving end of this type character assassination in view of his role in tarring both Gilad Atzmon and Greta Berlin with this same BS. Were these same people involved in excommunicating Norman Finkelstein too? What is the end result of all of this? Jewish tribal anti-Zionists jockeying for control and power. Jeez.

      Rosenberg apologize? Who cares?

  • The Arab Spring is actually the Arab century -- Lustick
    • “The Arab spring is really the opening of the masses….”

      Lord save us from Marxists and their decrepit ideology. Having been almost totally marginalized in a capitalist political economy which they don’t understand, they grasp at straws. Suddenly, bread riots in reaction to neoliberalism are transformed into a fanciful “Arab Spring.” The “masses” are rising up! Ya, sure, you betcha. The Left, what is left of it, is doomed to ongoing irrelevancy as long as it clings to Marxist ideology.

  • NY panel featuring Adelson asks whether Jews can exist without Israel
    • “It would seem that in the view of this panel, Jewish existence is predicated on the existence of the state of Israel, because Jews everywhere else are assimilating.”

      Yes indeed, Israel and Zionism are the glue which holds the tribe together. And the tribe facilitates organized power-seeking. And Sheldon Adelson and Shmuley Boteach are power-seekers.

      “This is connected to Yair Lapid’s idea that the only place you can be Jewish is Israel.”

      Israel needs the Diaspora American Jews to survive as an expansionist Jewish state. I assume that Adelson and Boteach know this. Yair Lapid, being an Israeli Jew, is out of touch with reality. Perhaps Abe Foxman can straighten him out.

  • The young flee Israel because it is a 'failure' and 'xenophobic theocracy' -- 'Haaretz' columnist
    • KATHLEEN- “I would apply those same wishes for justice and accountability to be applied to those in the Bush administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice Feith, Addington, Cambone,etc etc) who created, cherry picked and disseminated false pre war intelligence to the American people and then invaded Iraq on those false pretenses.”

      No doubt that these people have escaped justice, the power elite usually do. However, please be aware that you are focusing on the public face of the imperial elite. Let us not ignore the men who wheel and deal in the shadows. The Bush administration didn’t hijack the empire. The empire serves the deep state. So do empire Jews. So does Obama. Without a fundamental restructuring of the political economy, things will likely get worse. The financial system is the key.

    • KATHLEEN- “There is a phenomena taking place where non Jews who have been working on these issues for decades and often isolated by their actions by the Jewish community in these communities are being pushed out of these seats and replaced by Jewish individuals.”

      What is the current status of Greta Berlin?

  • Report: Summers rejects Netanyahu offer to be top Israeli banker
    • Let me add one more thing. Larry Summers, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin were dubbed “The Committee to Save the World” by Time Magazine for their role in the financial crisis. A better title would have been “The Committee That Screwed the World.”

    • Below I provide a quote and a link to an interesting review of Larry Summers career from when Summers was the preferred candidate for Federal Reserve chairman. This should also provide some insight into Obama’s priorities.

      “Summers was somewhere involved in all these policy fiascos—from the original $787 billion, business tax cut heavy stimulus, to the generous bankster bailouts, to failing to prevent the homeowner foreclosures (while subsidy mortgage lenders)….The point of this Summers’ policy history review is to show that Larry Summers has always done what the banksters have wanted….” (Jack Rasmus)

  • Journalists should tell their readers if they're Zionists
    • JON S- “Warsaw was under Nazi occupation , while Gaza is ruled by the Palestinian Hamas.”

      The notion that the enclosed, sealed off Gaza is “ruled” by Hamas is absurd. Israel controls Gaza in similar fashion to how the Warsaw Ghetto was controlled.

      From Wikipedia: “The Germans closed the Warsaw Ghetto to the outside world on November 16, 1940. The wall was typically 3 m (9.8 ft) high and topped with barbed wire. Escapees could be shot on sight.”

      Hmmm, a separation wall. People could be shot on sight by guards. Jeez, that sounds similar to Gaza, doesn’t it?

      From Wikipedia: “The ghetto was divided by Chłodna Street, which due to its importance (Warsaw's major street leading to the east) was excluded from it. The area south of Chłodna was known as “Small Ghetto”, while the area north of this street – “Large Ghetto”.

      The ghetto was divided and separated by German only streets. Ring a bell? (at least for the West Bank).

      From Wikipedia: “Like all the ghettos in Poland, the Germans ascribed the administration to a Judenrat (a council of the Jews), led by an "Ältester" (the eldest).”

      Like what Israel did with the PA? Or is it unfair to compare the PA to the Judenrat? And when Hamas won the election, Israel tried to crush Hamas and Gaza like the Nazis crushed the Warsaw Ghetto following the uprising. But since Israel is not currently operating a Treblinka extermination camp, we should all hold our tongues concerning some rather obvious comparisons. This, in spite of the fact, that we Americans are enabling this to occur and have a responsibility to speak out. And don’t forget that our comparisons with Nazi Germany mostly refer to prewar Germany to when the stage was being set. Seems to me that the stage is once again being set. Should we wait until there is a war in the Middle East and Israel unleashes its nuclear armaments killing tens of millions before we speak?

      Finally, perhaps you feel that it would be more honest to compare Gaza to an Indian reservation than to the Warsaw Ghetto. Feel free. Also, did you know that Hitler greatly admired how the US dealt with our native population in order to provide lebensraum for our white settlers? Yup, Israel and the US have a lot of skeletons in their combined closet.

    • HOPHMI- “The reasonable comparison of Gaza with the Warsaw Ghetto? How is it in any way reasonable? Do we have hundreds of thousands of people dying there every year? Let’s start with that.”

      I referred to the Warsaw Ghetto, not the Treblinka death camp. Below is a link to Wikipedia’s description of the Warsaw Ghetto. Read it. See if you can’t detect more than a few similarities with Gaza. I can. Notice that I am not comparing Gaza to Germany’s final solution. However, with several hundred Israeli nukes aimed at the Arab capitols, you Zionists stand ready to implement your final solution which would exceed Germany’s by a factor of ten or more. Not that you care, or can see beyond the tribe.

    • MIRIAM6- “Again – just as with the Balkans conflict – the Rwandan Hutus were compared to Nazis….As are the Israelis today….The whole purpose of course – as was the case in the Balkans and Rwanda – is to engender support for intervention in the affairs of both Israelis and Palestinians….”

      Your sophistry is breathtaking! You have literally turned reality on its head comparing the past labeling of the Serbs as Nazis- a pretext for military intervention- with the reasonable comparison of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto. As a pretext for what? For the reasonable objective of getting the empire to STOP intervening in the I/P conflict. Stop the military aid! Stop the diplomatic support! Stop the money going to settlement construction! If it wasn’t for imperial support, Israel would have long ago abandoned its hegemonic pretensions and most likely sought peace and reconciliation with it Arab neighbors instead of ongoing warfare and human rights abuses. Surely you are aware of all of this. So why this clumsy insult to our intelligence?

  • Jews turn away from Judaism, Jewishly
    • LIBRA- “So Sean, you’re suggesting an algorithmic tweak is all that’s needed.”

      Sometimes you are quite amusing. I particularly liked the last line about Larry, Sergey and Mark. For what it is worth.

  • Corey Robin calls on American Jews to reflect on their 'power and status' and deep differences with Israeli Jews
    • YRN- “Woody Allen: “Many critics of Israel motivated by anti-Semitism”

      Woody Allen sounds like David Mamet. A highly successful Jew of immense privilege who likes to piss and moan about anti-Semitism. I assume his whitewash of Israel is based upon a cultivated ignorance. Yet another egocentric Jewish fat-cat victim.

  • What Comes Next: Rights, not 'arrangements'
    • “For us, the issue should focus on rights, not on political arrangements which are ultimately not our business.”

      I agree completely. In the short term, the focus needs to be on the safety and security of the Palestinians in Israel/Palestine. End the blockade of Gaza, protect the West Bank Palestinians from the illegal settler-terrorists, safeguard the land and trees and crops, etc. Not an easy task, but preferable to never-ending discussions or “negotiations” over one state versus two states. Ending human rights violations should resonate with most, and is tough to argue against.

  • I have eyes, I have eyes (for a people being cleansed and ghettoized)
    • W JONES- “Like what?”

      All of the inevitable consequences of our dysfunctional political economy. Ongoing warfare leading to eventual nuclear war, global warming and other forms of environmental catastrophe, neoliberal globalization and eventual financial collapse, etc. All of this the result primarily of imperial power seeking, empire Jews disproportionately among the power seekers. Survival of the species surely trumps Israel/Palestine as a cause for concern.

    • MARC ELLIS- “…the ultimate danger to the Jewish future. That danger is the continuing oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel, with American Jewish enablement.

      Perhaps you are underestimating the other dangers posed by empire Jews?

  • Is the Jewish Theological Seminary dreaming of a world where Palestine and Palestinians don't exist?
    • MARC ELLIS- “These essentials being unmentioned in his remarks, Eisen’s address becomes irrelevant and banal. I would say irresponsible.”

      Curiously, I think that you have misunderstood the essence of Eisen’s message. First, he says “We need to…shore up membership rolls of synagogues and schools….The way to grow Conservative Judaism is to reach out beyond it to bring in more Jews.” He talks of sacrifice: “We cannot do anything worthwhile without taxing ourselves to the utmost of our capacity.” He meant financial commitment….”

      There is no mystery, Eisen wants more members and more money. Of course, just coming out and saying that sounds a little too crude and mercenary so he has to gussy it up with scripture and organizational history. Notice how he downplays the religious observance in the synagogue as not good enough. Nope, get out of the synagogue and get more members and more money! It is an organizational pep talk, for gosh sakes. You were expecting prophetic?

  • Liberal Zionist Peratis comes out for BDS to shake up, and preserve, 'Jewish Israel'
    • Kathleen Peratis says: “Their advocacy of the ‘full’ right of return of Palestinian refugees means an end to Jewish Israel… We cannot march shoulder to shoulder with them.”

      Now, ask yourself, why would Israel remaining a Jewish state be important to an American Jew?

      Later, she says: “I can’t conclude without saying a word about fear, the fear of activist Jews that endorsing BDS means you are no longer under the communal tent.”

      Exactly what function does this Jewish “communal tent” serve? Mutual Jewish support for each other? De facto ethnic nepotism? A significant factor in American Jewish success? Is American Jewish support for Israel as a Jewish state an act of group solidarity? Trying to preserve the advantages of American Jewishness? Has support for the Jewish state of Israel replaced Judaism as the unifier of the Jewish tribe?

      I suspect that Kathleen Peratis is essentially what Marc Ellis would refer to as an “empire Jew.” She seems primarily concerned with maintaining her power and privilege, this change primarily reflecting a change in tactics in pursuit of her overall objectives. She is a human rights lawyer? Whose human rights? I detect no concern for the human rights of the Palestinians, rather her focus is on Israel and Jews, even detecting a “whiff” of anti-Semitism while ignoring the larger human rights issues. Clearly, introspection is not her forte. But then again, how could it be?

  • What Comes Next: Working without a political framework
    • HOPHMI- ‘Yes you can! make one state out of Serbia and Kosovo. Yes you can! make one state out of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Yes you can! make one state out of Sudan. Yes you can! make one state out of Indonesia and East Timor. Yes you can! make a peaceful multiethnic state out of Iraq. Yes you can! make a peaceful multiethnic state out of Lebanon.”

      Except for Indonesia and East Timor, all of the countries you mention were united and multiethnic living in relative peace until the empire intentionally destabilized them for geostrategic reasons. For you to list Lebanon is particularly egregious in view of Israel’s long history of attacking and destabilizing Lebanon, killing tens of thousands and destroying infrastructure. Yes, it is difficult for countries in the Middle East to enjoy anything approaching normalcy when the empire and Israel continue fomenting trouble and encouraging divisiveness.

  • Isaiah's complaint
    • PIOTR- “I have a mixed feelings.”

      You are too forgiving. M J Rosenberg’s argument is that Ali Abunimah (who I am not familiar with) harshly criticizes Israel and Zionism therefore he HATES Jews therefore he is an anti-Semite. Notice how casually Rosenberg tosses the label around, unconcerned about its impact on Abunimah. What arrogance! He commented a couple of times on Mondoweiss a while back and, as I recall, did the same thing. In his worldview, there are Jews and anti-Semites. Some anti-Semites know their place, others need to be taught a lesson. And notice how this unabashed anti-Gentile chauvinist claims an intolerance for racism! A lot of Mondoweissers seem to have a soft spot for M J Rosenberg, not me.

    • MARC ELLIS- Another good post which, no doubt, will result in you being subjected to verbal abuse. Then again, what prophet hasn’t been?

  • The 'Trickle-Down Security State'
    • MARC ELLIS- “Our movements are monitored by national, state and local officials.”

      The war on terror has little, if any, relation to actual terrorism. Heck, a little terrorism is useful in justifying the war on terror. The obvious reason for our burgeoning national security state is control of the domestic population. Worldwide, the elites foresee increasing civil disobedience as a consequence of neoliberal austerity and are prepared to deal with it coercively.

      “In the U.S. Space Command’s Vision for 2020, they anticipate that "globalization of the world economy" will lead to "a widening between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’" with "deepening economic stagnation, political instability, and cultural alienation" leading to violence and unrest among the "have-nots."

      “According to a November 2008 report of the U.S. Army War College, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence establishment are preparing for what they see as a historic crisis of the existing order that could require the use of armed force to quell social struggles at home.” (“The Global Economic Crisis,” Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Editors, p259)

  • 'The bra is a security threat': Harassment and interrogation at Ben Gurion airport
    • MIRIAM6- “For one thing – I simply pointed out in one of my comments on this thread- in the interests of balance – that if the claims of beatings suffered by those two Canadians held without trial in Egypt were true – then arguably visitors to Egypt have come off far the worse than this ‘anonymous’ visitor to Israel/Palestine.”

      Yes, thank you for pointing out that now that Israel’s friend and ally General El Sisi has taken over the government of Egypt, things have taken a sharp turn for the worse.

    • MIRIAM6- “No, – it is mostly security concerns for the Israelis.”

      No, it is mostly intentional harassment. Is there more than one person commenting under the “miriam6” handle? A week or so ago, you made a couple of decent comments not in keeping with your standard fare. Now, you seem to have returned to form. Pity.

  • The Rabin assassination-- and the immunity of rightwing Jewish terrorists
    • YONAH FREDMAN- “Would it be so difficult for you to put qualifiers on this statement.”

      Yonah, the entire second paragraph quote adds considerable qualification to the initial statement. I am referring to those American Zionist Jews who provide the bulk of the support for Israel, both financially and politically, and who, as a consequence, have considerable influence on Israeli society and policies. If you are aware of significant numbers of American Jewish Zionist organizations which supported Rabin during this time, please inform us. My entire point is that Israel is to a significant degree the way it is because of American Jewish Zionist support for Israeli militarism and expansionism, and opposition to Israeli/Arab accommodation. You disagree?

    • What wasn’t discussed, and what I would like to emphasize, is how unpopular Rabin was with US Jewish Zionists when it appeared that he was taking baby steps for peace. Make no mistake, US Jewish Zionists support Israel to the extent that it conforms to their desires for a militarized Jewish state. I seriously doubt that an Israel seeking peace and justice would receive much US Zionist support. Israel’s rightward drift, expansionary policies, and abuse of the Palestinians has been aided and abetted by US Zionist Jews. Below is a comment I made several months ago to that effect.

      “Why you and other Mondoweissers tend to belittle US Zionist influence on Israel is a bit of a mystery. The notion that the people who effectively lobby on Israel’s behalf and fund settlements, think tanks, birthright tours and campaign funding have little or no influence on Israeli policy is illogical. Everyone talks about the power of the Israel Lobby, which is based upon organization and money. A lukewarm Lobby ain’t going to be effective. Their opinions carry weight. Additionally, if American Jewish money is so effective buying US support for Israel, why would it not be equally effective influencing Israeli politicians? Why make a big to-do about Jewish Democratic campaign financing and ignore the 96.8% campaign financing Netanyahu got from foreign sources? It is virtually inconceivable that this type of support would be provided unless those providing it approved of Israel’s expansionist, militaristic policies and actions. How much US Zionist funding is the Israeli peace camp getting? He who pays the piper doesn’t have to call the tune. Successful pipers share their patron’s taste in music and automatically play mutually pleasing music.”

  • De Blasio is hawkish on Iran, and his bundler funds Israeli army
    • HOPHMI- “What does Iran have to do with progressivism? Is it a progressive position to advocate allowing Iran to gain nuclear weapons?”

      A progressive would oppose US intervention in the affairs of Iran and stress diplomacy over sanctions and threats of war. A progressive would most certainly not be fooled by the imperial pretext of concern over nuclear weapons, the US having done more than any other nation to advance the development and deployment of nuclear weapons. A progressive would support a nuclear free Middle East which Iran supports and US/Israel oppose. A progressive wouldn’t be a mindless supporter of Israel and Zionism, such as you. Below is a two paragraph quote from Noam Chomsky concerning the relevant facts of the issue which US/Israeli propaganda distort.

      “So for example in 2010 there was a very positive advance that could have mitigated whatever the threat is supposed to be. Turkey and Brazil reached a deal with Iran in which Iran would ship out its low-enriched uranium in exchange for storage in Turkey, and in return the west would provide isotopes for Iran’s medical reactors. As soon as that was announced Brazil and Turkey were bitterly condemned by Washington and by the media, which more or less reflexively follow what Washington says. The Brazilian government was pretty upset by this, so much so that the Brazilian Foreign Minister released a letter from President Obama to the president of Brazil in which Obama had proposed this assuming that Iran would turn it down. When Iran accepted, of course he had to denounce it and Obama went right to the Security Council to try to get harsher sanctions.

      There’s a more recent one that is even more interesting. Last December there was supposed to be an international conference in Finland to carry forward longstanding efforts to establish a zone free of nuclear weapons, all weapons of mass destruction in fact, in the Middle East. This is under the auspices of the proliferation treaty, basically the UN. Well it was to be in December, it didn’t happen. The first thing that happened is that Israel announced they wouldn’t participate. Then everyone who was interested was waiting to see if Iran would participate. Iran said they would participate with no conditions. Immediately Obama called off the conference….” (Noam Chomsky)

  • Two-state advocates are on the defensive in debate on Capitol Hill
    • CALM- “Israel and NATO became "Partners" in the fight against terror on March 07, 2013. The Israel-NATO Brussels protocol obligates NATO to come to the rescue of Israel under the doctrine of collective security, were the security of Israel to be threatened. Prior to this agreement, Israel was operating under the [NATO] Mediterranean Dialogue (Observer status), which was created in 1994.”

      Well, I am glad to see at least one other Mondoweiss commenter aware of the expansion of NATO and how it could influence imperial policy. It was Clinton during the assault on Yugoslavia who transformed NATO into an imperial out-of-area strike force, empire’s foreign legion. According to Rick Rozoff:

      “NATO and the West have an agenda, and that agenda is complete and total military domination of the world…..NATO, as an organization, should have been disbanded after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. But they have done quite the opposite and have continued with a global expansion that has made NATO the single-largest military power in the history of the world.” (Rick Rozoff)

      As for your contention that “I think that the U.S. is gonna walk away from the United Nations within the next 10 years, and it will be NATO which will be then utilized.”, it depends upon what you mean by “walk away from.” The empire will undoubtedly rely more on NATO to implement its military assaults on other countries, however, I can’t see the US quitting the UN for a variety of reasons, not the least of which its ability to stifle UN effectiveness as a voice for Russia, China and the rest of the Third World. Much of what the US is currently doing is intended to keep Russia and China in their place, and prevent a Russia-Iran-China alliance which could conceivably upset the current alignment of geo-political forces. Abandon the UN to Russia, China, et al? I seriously doubt that.

  • Deconstructing Ian Lustick's 'two-state illusion'
    • SEAFOID- “With the US weakened I think Israel’s room to manoeuvre is diminished.”

      Exactly my point. Faced with a declining patron, Israel could conclude that it is now or never for Greater Israel. Zionists have a long history of throwing caution to the wind and taking high risk actions to achieve their objectives.

      “Ethnic cleansing in jerusalem could be the end of the house of saud a catalyst for ww3.”

      Both Israel and the US are risk takers who have engaged in brinkmanship for many years with scant regard for the consequences. The expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders, the pivot to Asia and the deployment of missile defense systems on Russia’s and China’s borders is provocative in the extreme. As for the house of Saud, don’t romanticize the effectiveness of the Arab street or underestimate the effectiveness of brute force.

      “China needs ME oil.”

      China needs oil. Most of China’s imported oil and gas comes from areas effectively under US military dominance. China lacks significant force projection to secure oil supplies on its own and is dependent upon the US to guarantee a continued supply. My best guess is that should things unravel in the Middle East, China would support US military actions to restore “stability.” Control of access to resources is why we have about 1000 US military installations worldwide.

      As for a nuclear war, the risks are as great or greater than they have ever been. If the empire keeps behaving the way it does, nuclear war may be unavoidable. But if you are a sociopathic, power-lusting imperial fat-cat, you have other priorities. Cheers.

    • DANAA- “I see this entire discussion of ’1ss’ vs ’2ss’ as an interesting exercise for those who want to engage in a brand of optimism essential to the ever hopeful of the west’s political left. It is, of course an exercise in futility….”

      I agree completely. A clumsy analogy would be arguing over the placement of furniture in a future home when you have no money and no job. First things first. As long as Zionism in its present form holds sway over US and Israeli Jews, neither a viable one state or two state solution is possible. Zionism would have to change significantly (cultural Zionism to replace political Zionism?) or be abandoned completely. In the meantime, let us forget grandiose plans for the future and concentrate on the here and now. The focus needs to be on human rights and justice for all. End the siege of Gaza, equal water for all, replace discriminatory laws one by one, etc. I have no idea how this can be implemented, however, I think that focusing on human rights is perhaps easier to explain and sell than elaborate arguments over one state versus two states.

    • SEAFOID- “…Zionism assumes stability and time.”

      I’m not so sure. We have entered a period of considerable uncertainty and instability in regards to the coming-to-fruition global financial/corporate empire, the heir to the US empire. Predictions are tenuous at best during this period of extreme volatility. I suspect that the US would like to focus on other priorities than Israel/Palestine, and that both the US and Israel are waiting until the dust settles to re-evaluate global power relationships, constraints, and opportunities. However, Israel may perceive that the current situation presents a strategic opportunity to implement Zionism’s “final solution” regarding the non-Jews in Israel/Palestine, particularly if they sense a significant weakening of their US patron, without whose support their dreams of a Greater Israel would not be possible. In any event, before the end of Obama’s second term, I think that the you-know-what is going to hit the fan. Furthermore, the coming disaster is more-or-less intentional, a means to realign the system.

  • Netanyahu says Palestinians must recognize 'the Jewish state' for peace (and then says even that isn't enough)
    • MIKE KONRAD- “The Jews have been looking to return for 2000 years.”

      No they haven’t. For at least the last 1000 years, individual Jews could immigrate to Palestine, but chose not to. Why should they? This is all a Zionist myth. An additional trickle of Jews immigrated to Palestine as a consequence of early Zionism, but most Jews, trying to escape from Germany or Eastern Europe, preferred the US or England. In fact, even after the war and Holocaust, most Jews wanted to go to one of the Western democracies but were practically shanghaied to Israel by Zionist thugs in the survivor camps. Once in Israel, most preferred Tel Aviv to the backcountry Jerusalem. And when Israel became a state, it was transformed into a crude imitation of the Jewish Eastern European homeland, including planting inappropriate fir trees. Hardly indicative of reverence for their mythical Middle East “homeland.” If it wasn’t for the skillful exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists, it seems unlikely that a Jewish state would have been created.

  • Video: Another Problem from Hell? Adelson and Wiesel laud Rwanda's Kagame
    • What this despicable charade represents is that American Zionist Jews like Adelson, Boteach, and Wiesel are staunch supporters of Israel, empire, and militarism. Make no mistake, Rwanda under Kagame is a US vassal state. Zionist support for this mass-murderer facilitates the achievement of imperial objectives.

      “The United States has financed and given overall direction to the worst genocide since World War Two, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 1996, Washington has drenched Congo’s eastern provinces in the blood of over six million people. The governments of Rwanda and Uganda, the direct perpetrators of this holocaust, are in every sense of the word agents of U.S. foreign policy, who operate with impunity under the imperial umbrella.” (Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report)

  • When myths about Jews collide with Jewish reality
    • DANAA- “…Israel’s depraved arrogance as it wallows ever more deeply in dark deeds that can barely be mentioned among the civilized.”

      If by “civilized” you are referring to the Western “democracies,” I would suggest that the history of Western imperialism has massive “dark deeds” that, in fact, surpass anything that Israel has yet done. That this dark history is rarely discussed is a consequence both of historical ignorance and of an effective doctrinal system which transforms these dark deeds into noble acts of humanitarian intervention and the white man’s burden in regards to “uncivilized savages.” Israel’s fault isn’t that it deviates significantly from this bloody tradition, but that it conforms so closely to historical norms of imperial brutality and self-righteous callousness.

  • 'Zionism has made us insiders' -- David Grossman tells Max Blumenthal
    • BETSY- “Do you have any links or readings to suggest re/ writings that go into this in depth?”

      I discussed this in greater detail a little over three years ago in a mini-essay titled “Perverse Triangle” (Link below) Additionally, a short but valuable book I frequently recommend is “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” by Israel Shahak. Also, “The Hidden History of Zionism,” by Ralph Schoenman. There are others, but they are longer, and include “Overcoming Zionism,” by sometime Mondoweiss contributer Joel Kovel.

    • “Because of Zionism, we finally have the chance to be insiders.”

      It has long been my contention that Zionism has contributed significantly to Jewish success in the US. This occurred for two reasons. The first is that Zionism is a variant of blood and soil nationalism that has weaned American Jews from Marxist universalism. Marxism was viewed as a threat to capitalism, Zionism was not and, in fact, was highly congenial to cooperation with fascism and support for capitalism in general. Both Israel and the US are forms of a national security state. The second is that Zionism replaced Judaism as the unifier of the Jews which Judaism could no longer do having splintered. Zionism provided organized American Jewry with a common power-seeking ideology which focused tribal cooperation and organizational effectiveness. Israel’s success in the 1967 war completed the process. Jews were no longer viewed as socialist/Marxist threats to the status quo, but as stalwart defenders of capitalism and militarism. This success has primarily accrued to the Jewish elites who may no longer require Zionism to maintain their positions of power and privilege.

  • At liberal forum in D.C., Israeli pols obfuscate their country's nukes
    • The reason that Israeli and American lawmakers dance around the reality of Israeli nukes is that currently all US military assistance to Israel is illegal if Israel is acknowledged to possess nukes and no waiver signed. Acknowledging Israeli nukes would involve acknowledging past and ongoing willful violation of US laws.

      “The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 as amended by the Symington Amendment of 1976 and the Glenn Amendment of 1977 prohibit US military assistance to countries that acquire or transfer nuclear reprocessing technology outside of international nonproliferation regimes. Israel, unlike Iran, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. If Congress wishes to provide US taxpayer funded foreign aid to Israel in compliance with US law, it may do so only under a special waiver from the office of the President as in the case for Pakistan.”

  • Hillel director slams Birthright for refusing students' requests to meet Palestinians and see checkpoints
    • LIBRA- “But how on earth he manages to squeeze all that bouffant hair under his baseball cap, I simply can’t conceive.”

      Ever heard of an Obamahair net?

    • MIRIAM6- “Your weird misplaced admiration for bouffant haired narcissist Philly Weiss….”

      I object, Phil is no more narcissistic than I am! Okay, maybe you have a point, but “bouffant haired”?

    • DANAA- “American jews are considered effete, pale, physically cowardly, sort of dorky and generally not very handsome.”

      Phil’s trips to Israel HAVE had an impact!

      But seriously, how could I resist the temptation to once again post the link to “Israel Man and Diaspora Boy”?

  • J Street's achievements
  • As US government shuts down over budget crisis, group debuts DC ads calling to cut aid to Israel
    • Thanks for the quote which reaffirms my statement that treasuries constitute national debt, “…Treasury securities (“ national debt”)….”, and that failure to increase the debt limit will impact the sale of new treasuries, hence, Quantitative Easing. Nothing in the quote contradicts anything I have said. I am well aware of the fact that the national debt is an inevitable consequence of our debt based money system, not something to be paid off.

      You seem to have backed off from your assertion that “The US govt does not ‘borrow’ money from the private sector to run the government.” Of course it does. When it auctions treasuries, it is borrowing from the private sector to make up the shortfall between expenditures and tax revenue. The Federal Reserve Banks and all of the other banks are in the private sector and create our money supply.

      “The private sector is not allowed to create currency.” Yes it does. The authority to create and manage the money supply was delegated to the US central bank, the Federal Reserve. “Except for coins, the government does not create money. Dollar bills (Federal Reserve Notes) are created by the private Federal Reserve, which lends them to the government.” (p3, “Web of Debt,” Ellen Brown)

      “How about the unit of account in the United States is the Dollar. Treasury securities are dollar deposits at the Fed. Okay with that?” (MRW)

      No, they are not dollar deposits at the Fed. Uncle Sam has not LOANED the Fed money which has been deposited, the government has BORROWED created money from the Fed. The treasuries are IOUs. Furthermore, Treasury auctions involve more than just the Fed buying treasury securities (loaning the government money), other folks are involved as well. And please don’t conflate the Treasury auctions with the secondary market for US Treasury securities, an important part of the global financial system not relevant to this discussion. And yes, I am aware that the treasury market plays a critical financial role well beyond that of government borrowing to cover the revenue shortfall, however, once again, not relevant to the discussion which has already wandered well beyond the limited intent of my original comment, not to mention Mondoweiss’ focus on the Middle East. This is my last comment on this thread.

    • MRW- Jeez, I just noticed another blatant contradiction! You say: “The US govt does not ‘borrow’ money from the private sector to run the government.” Previously you said: “When the US Treasury sells treasury securities at auction on the 15th of every month, it sells them on the open market. Anyone can buy them: endowments, large family trusts, foreign governments and banks, states, municipalities, corporations, rich individuals, etc. Anyone.” So which is it? Are not “corporations and rich individuals” the private sector?

    • MRW- “Read “Freedom from the National Debt” by Frank N. Newman, former Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury. Then we can talk.”

      I don’t know if I am going to bother to read this or not. You seem hopelessly confused. Everything I said in my original post was essentially true. You have added needless complexity to the issue along with a ton of misinformation. From the reviews for “Freedom from the National Debt”

      “A more modern way to think of the Treasury auction process is not as the U.S. government "borrowing" safe money from people. Rather, the auctions are ways to allocate, through a market process, a limited supply of new Treasury securities to bidders who want to invest in the safety and liquidity of Treasuries.”

      My response? I am well aware of the treasury market as being a relatively safe resting place for institutional (and other) investors (like me), primarily due to the US dollar as the global reserve currency. And while Frank Newman may advocate a “new look” at treasury auctions in regards to borrowing “safe” money, that doesn’t alter the fact that treasury auctions are the government borrowing (not creating) money to run the government. The “safety and liquidity” of treasuries is dependent upon the ability of the Treasury to continue to borrow money via the issuance of new treasuries, which, in turn, is contingent upon the raising of the national debt limit. Failure to raise the debt limit will severely curtail the treasury auction and more-or-less shit can Quantitative Easing, which was the subject of my original, uncomplicated post. I have trouble believing that this book states that treasuries are not Federal debt obligations as you maintain. Perhaps a quote would entice me to read this book which you seem to have misunderstood.

      As for “There are too many things wrong in your definitions and understanding.” Funny, you took the words right out of my mouth. Are you aware of how many times you have contradicted yourself? For example, you say that “Buying a treasury security is like buying a bank CD.” True enough, a CD is a bank debt obligation to you in return for the MONEY you gave to the bank. Then you say that “Treasury securities are US currency. And the US federal government issues its own currency.” No, the Federal Government does NOT create money! The Federal Reserve and private banking system create money primarily in the form of bank credit. The Federal Reserve LOANS money to the US government when it buys treasuries and the banks create additional money when they create loans supported by the treasuries the Fed deposits in their accounts. This isn’t all that complicated so quite trying to make it so with superfluous detail.

    • MRW- I hadn’t planned on getting involved in a lengthy discussion regarding the Federal reserve system, however, I take issue with several of your comments.

      Yes, there are 12 member banks in the Federal Reserve system, however, except for the NY bank, the heads of the other banks rotate membership within the Federal Reserve Board. The head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, while powerful, is not the same as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Barnanke.

      MRW: “Treasury securities are US currency.”

      No, they are not. They become part of the money supply, however, they are debt obligations of the US government which could potentially default.

      MRW: “But they are “currency.” It’s how the federal government injects new currency into the US economy when it has to. And that is debt-free money no matter what anyone tells you. The US Treasury pays interest on the “debt” by issuing treasury securities annually to pay for that “debt service.”

      All currency is money, however, not all money is currency. Currency does not pay interest. Treasury securities are debt obligations which do pay interest. The US Treasury, lacking sufficient tax revenue, pays interest on maturing treasuries by SELLING new treasuries on the open market to obtain the funds to pay the interest and rollover the debt. A big chunk of these new debt obligations are purchased by the Federal Reserve ($85 billion per month) as part of the Quantitative Easing program.

      I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that US Bonds and Treasury securities were not debt obligations which, in effect, constitute the national debt. They are and they do. Also, the notion that the Fed purchase of treasuries with created money somehow reduces interest income is tough to fathom. These treasuries become part of the banks’ deposits which form the basis of bank credit which is the foundation of our money supply.

      Anyone interested in additional information on our financial system may care to read “The Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown. Also, I provide a link to a video presentation by Damon Vrabel which provides an excellent summary of our present system.

    • Hey everybody, I’m about to say something which will probably be hugely unpopular so I’ll likely say it only once. The primary objection to military and other aid to Israel is moral, not economic. In fact, the economic objection is pathetically weak. The total budget request for fiscal 2013 is $3.8 trillion, therefore, the $3.1 billion request for Israel is less than one-tenth of 1% of the total, hardly a budget buster. The imperial military is asking for $ 673 billion, over 200 times as much. Let us be honest here, $3.1 billion is relative chump change compared to the imperial military and other expenditures of empire. If you are going to talk about the economic aspect, it is far better to tie the $3.1 billion for Israel with all other war spending which, in fact, it is. Still and all, my objection to Israel is primarily moral. Support for Israel and empire is flat out wrong. Period.

    • Make that "throw the entire system into default."

    • “The study of money, above all other fields . . .is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.” (John Kenneth Galbraith)

      One would have thought that the budget crisis and government shutdown would be the ideal time for financially knowledgeable people in the press to explain, at least somewhat, the workings of the financial system and how that relates to the crisis. Alas, that is not the case, at least for the more popular press. I don’t read the Wall Street Journal, so maybe the financial press did.

      One would have hoped that at least someone would have brought up Quantitative Easing and how that relates. For those not familiar with the particulars (I’m not all that knowledgeable), QE essentially involves the Fed buying $85 billion in US Treasuries per month with money it creates, then depositing these in the regional banks to act as deposits to be loaned out. That’s right, the main “investor” buying Treasuries is Ben Barnanke using money he has created. In other words, money the Federal Reserve has created turns up as Federal debt to be repaid. That is because the Fed is more or less privately owned and operated. If the Fed was a public utility, the money would simply be injected into the economy with no debt added to the national debt, hence, no debt ceiling problem. Theoretically, the Fed could do what Ron Paul once proposed and simply forgive the debt since it didn’t cost them anything to create the money to buy the bonds. Kind of like a de facto public bank.

      Alas, two new problems arise. Since the purchased bonds form a significant part of member bank reserves, forgiving the debt would probably wipe out enough of the banking reserves to through the entire system into default. Actually, that is what Quantitative Easing was designed to prevent. The other problem is the market reaction to the sudden cessation of QE. Even Barnanke’s hint that he might taper off QE sometime soon caused a moderately severe reaction. A cold turkey cut off would cause the mother of all panics.

      What to make of all of this? First of all, this created “crisis” is an excuse to further advance a vicious class war and cut citizen benefits while continuing to throw money at Wall Street. Second, if and when Wall Street is ready, it will lay down the law to Congress and the “crisis” will be resolved. Third, Wall Street may not want the crisis to be resolved. Sitting on a mountain of cash, Wall Street may decide that the time is right to intentionally crash the global economy, buy up everything they don’t already own, and transition the planet to global neo-feudalism, the ultimate goal. Why now? Wall Street has their hired lawyer in the White House, what better time?

      Israel? Not particularly significant in the big picture at this point in time. Hold onto your hats, gang, this could be the start of a very rough ride!

  • Hotel Rwanda at Cooper Union
    • HOSTAGE- “I didn’t accuse her of being a troll or hasbarist in those particular connections.”

      I wasn’t referring to you. In my quick skimming, these labels came up several times (I don’t recall who used them). My only point being that MAYBE there may be more to Mariam6 than has heretofore met some folks’ eye. Her comments regarding Bernard-Henri Levy certainly resonated with me. Nothing more than that.

    • MIRIAM 6- “I would like to add that Bernard Levy is even worse than Elie Wiesel.”

      I agree. Also, your highlighting of liberal hypocrisy in supporting “humanitarian” interventions is justified (Yugoslavia was a travesty). Finally, your linked comments regarding an Israel with equal rights for all seemed reasonable. Yet, you are attacked as a hasbarist and troll. Hmmm.

  • Israel's real fear: shift in balance of power with a normalized Iran
    • SYCAMORES- “besides israel there are other regional powers that would be not to happy to see a normalize Iran

      True enough, and it demonstrates the degree to which the petro monarchies and other Middle East US allies are out of touch with their people, most of whom would welcome a nuclear Iran as a countervailing force to US/Israel aggression. Below I provide a quote and a link to a recent Zogby poll.

      “…support for Iran and its nuclear program appears to have risen over the same period, according to the new survey, the sixth in a series designed by University of Maryland Prof. Shibley Telhami and carried out by Zogby International since 2002.

      Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of more than 4,000 respondents in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said they held a “very unfavorable” attitude of the United States, up from 57 percent in late 2006, while 19 percent more said their views were “somewhat unfavorable” — roughly comparable to the results of 17 months ago.

      At the same time, support for Iran and its nuclear program appears to have risen over the same period, according to the new survey, the sixth in a series designed by University of Maryland Prof. Shibley Telhami and carried out by Zogby International since 2002.

      The poll found that two-thirds of the Arab public (67 percent) believes Tehran has the right to pursue its nuclear program and that international pressure to freeze it should cease. That compares to 61 percent who took the same position in 2006.

      Remarkably, nearly three out of four Saudi respondents said that if Iran acquired nuclear weapons, it would have “positive” influence on the region, while 51 percent of UAE respondents agreed. Pluralities in Morocco and Egypt took the same position, while pluralities of roughly one-third in Lebanon and Jordan said Tehran’s acquisition of a nuclear weapon it would make no difference.

      The new survey also found that fears regarding both US and Israeli designs in the region have also increased over the past 17 months, despite the length of time that has passed since the summer 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon which inflamed anti-Israeli and anti-western opinion throughout the region.

      Asked to name two countries that, in their view, posed the “biggest threat” to them, a whopping 95 percent and 88 percent of respondents named Israel and the US, respectively. That compared to 85 percent and 72 percent, respectively, in late 2006.
      By comparison, the sense of threat posed by Iran appears to have diminished over the same period. While 11 percent of Arab respondents named Iran as one of the two greatest threats in late 2006, only seven percent did so in the most recent survey.”

      link to

  • In euphoria over Iran breakthrough, Wash Post poll says 85% of Americans approve
    • PHIL- “He retweeted this John Kerry tweet:”

      Tweets? Has it come to this? I haven’t commented on the insidious impact of tweets on journalistic analysis, however, the time has come. Tweets are a prime example of how the internet has INCREASED the power of the dominant elites. This is worse than gossip, it is a perfect example of perception management which you are breathlessly taking at face value. All of these people have an agenda, along with a professional staff of skilled propagandists to construct these “personal” comments.

      “Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.” (I.F. Stone)

    • AMERICAN- “All this may be too much to hope for but if Obama can pull this off then he will deserve his Nobel Peace Prize.”

      Pull what off? Get Iran to capitulate and realign with US objectives, like it was under the Shah? Achieve imperial objectives through the use of soft power instead of hard power? Has he dropped the illegal and unjustified sanctions? Actions speak louder than words, and so far I have seen no indication of a change in imperial objectives, merely a flexibility in tactics. Obama is a professional liar. Nothing he says should be taken at face value.

  • Nairobi mall massacre makes NPR do a 180 on Israel-style racial profiling
    • MARC-B- “sounds like a cluster f*ck of incompetence from the start.”

      Arguably so was 911, and look how well that turned out for the Bush administration. A national security state like Israel or the US needs terrorists and other enemies to justify its military/”security” activities, just like Zionism needs anti-Semitism.

      Speaking of predictable retaliation, how many remember that Somalia was one of the seven countries targeted for regime change under George W. Bush? Andre Vltchek comments:

      “For years and decades now, the West has been destabilizing Somalia. Kenya and Ethiopia, two staunch allies of the West in the region, are playing a deadly game, incessantly. Thousands of civilians have already died….Kenya is one of the closest allies of the West in Africa, with both US and UK military bases all over the nation, and with Israeli intelligence personnel on the Swahili coast and elsewhere….It had been common knowledge among the expat community in Nairobi that the attack against the Westgate Mall was very likely to come. Al-Shabaab had been threatening almost ever since the Kenyan invasion of Somalia, that it was ready to blow up tall buildings in the capital.” (Andre Vltchek)

  • What Jewish leader is willing to take up the opportunity Rouhani has provided?
    • WOODY TANAKA- “One needs only study the era to uncover repeated calls to fight the war, and to win the war when it was being fought, and to take specific action, both on a national and personal level, specifically to aid the people suffering under the assault of the Axis powers.”

      Jeez, Woody, give me a break. Virtually every war of aggression is justified based upon humanitarian intent. This is called pretexts and propaganda. I could care less about the public statements of government and other liars. Actions speak louder than words, that is why I asked for an example or two of any ACTION which the allies took during the war which was clearly motivated by a concern for human rights. Your response? That I should study up on statements of concern. Christ, not even statements from the classified record, but public statements. Surely, this great concern must have manifested itself concretely. Surely, all of your historical analysis should enable you to provide an example or two off the top of your head. I didn’t exactly spend a lot of time on my examples, well known to all.

      I have already spent an inordinate amount of time responding to your evasiveness. Unless you come up with something interesting, I am not going to pursue this. The examples of US realpolitik motivation, including the recruitment of Nazis after WWII, are rather numerous, easy to find, and quite unambiguous. You might care to read about General Reinhard Gehlen to get some insight into Uncle Sam’s humanitarian impulses.

    • WOODY TANAKA- “Regardless, If you don’t believe that part of the motivation of the Western Allies in fighting the Second World War, then, as a historical matter, you are simply wrong.”

      Woody, motivation is a psychological phenomenon which can only be inferred based upon specific actions. Did the British fire bomb Dresden out of concern for human rights? Did the US firebomb Tokyo and Nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki out of concern for human rights? Perhaps you could provide an example or two of any action which the allies took during the war which was clearly motivated by a concern for human rights? As Henry Kissinger so bluntly put it, “Foreign policy should not be confused with missionary work.”

    • WOODY TANAKA- “Baloney. Part of the motivation of the Western Allies was specifically human rights concerns.”

      Western concern for human rights is primarily rhetorical and for propaganda purposes, a pretext for war. Any examination of the history of the European colonial powers and the US in their treatment of Third World peoples will quickly reveal that their collective concern for human rights is close to zero. Actions speak louder than words. And if you can’t come up with numerous examples of what I am talking about, then shame on you.

  • Netanyahu says Rouhani denies the Holocaust. But he doesn't
    • DANAA- “Ultimately its fortunes will depend on how the Empire fares far more than on its own beginnings, as tainted as some of those were.”

      Very insightful observation, and one which begs the question of what planning Israel has done in regards to relative changes in the global power structure. For example, is the new corporate/financial empire Israel friendly? Also, Israel and the Lobby seem to prefer the security of US global dominance, and appear to want to preserve it (re: Project for a New American Century, etc). And while some Mondoweissers feel that Israel detracts from imperial effectiveness, I doubt that the Zionists feel the same or are consciously trying to undercut American hegemony. In fact, one more reason to oppose Zionism is that the Zionists appear to be staunch defenders of empire for Israel’s sake.

  • Is Rwanda the Israel of Africa?
    • MARC ELLIS- Some quotes from Glen Ford on Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame’s democratic credentials.

      “One of the United States’ main allies in Black Africa recently declared himself the winner of a farcical presidential election with 93 percent of the vote. But there will be no outcry from Hillary Clinton’s State Department or Barack Obama’s White House, or even much of a fuss from the New York Times, because President Paul Kagame, of Rwanda, serves U.S. interests. You will never hear western governments and media call Kagame by his true name: a dictator and warlord from the minority Tutsi tribe that holds sway over the majority Hutu population through a reign of terror. Instead, western capitalists shower his regime with money and high praise as an example of how Africa should be governed.

      Compared to the Congolese genocide, stealing an election in Rwanda is child’s play. The majority of the Hutu population lives in terror of the Tutsi-dominated regime, which is rooted in the guerilla army that invaded Rwanda from its bases in Uganda and set off the genocidal tribal violence that killed hundreds of thousands of Tutsi and Hutus – although the Hutu victims of Paul Kagame’s army must be mourned in silence. It is a crime in Rwanda to even raise the question of mass killings of Hutus during the violence of 1994, as Kagame fought his way to power. Indeed, any criticism of Kagame’s regime is guaranteed to get one branded as a genocidaire – an advocate of genocide – or a proponent of “divisionism,” which means saying anything that might tend to undermine the people’s obedience to Paul Kagame. You might just turn up dead, as did several of the regime’s opponents in the run-up to the sham election. No serious opposition was allowed to compete. The Kagame police state has ways to ensure that almost everyone votes for The Leader. Voters mark their ballots with their fingerprints next to the chosen candidate, so no one’s vote is a secret.” (Glen Ford)

  • Obama's greatest achievement-- blinking on Syria
    • PHIL- “He entered the White House thinking that he could undo the pressure of the lobby and the neoconservatives and make an opening to the Arab world and Iran….”

      OH……..MY……..GOD! Get some therapy! A sure sigh of mental instability is the delusion of psychic powers. This is pure projection, unsupported by empirical facts. All of his appointments and actions indicate that this corporate flack is Wall Street’s White House lawyer. No doubt Penny Pritzger’s appointment and floating Larry Summers as his favorite for Fed Chief are more examples of Obama’s Machiavellian assault on AIPAC and Wall Street? What happened was a tactical adjustment, nothing more.

      The empire seems to be divided into two schools of thought, those who favor soft power and those who prefer hard power. That the press chose to cover this the way they did indicates that significant numbers of elites are resisting the overemphasis on hard power. The goals of both groups are essentially the same, American dominance of the global corporate/financial empire which has evolved. Obama is the most effective imperial president we have ever had, the more effective evil. Even worse than slick Willie, and that is saying a lot. You, however, have consistently made excuses and spun reality in favor of this enemy of the people.

      The world is undergoing a restructuring which will eventually encompass the global financial system in order to deal with the impossibility of never-ending compounding of interest obligations. The geostrategic stakes are enormous, and this is where empire’s priorities are. I finish with a quote and a link to an article I highly recommend.

      “But Africa and the Middle East appear to fascinate by the abundance of available raw materials and strategic importance. There is where one sees the constant signs of US involvement and its competition with Russia and China. And because direct conquest is geared towards full destruction of the countries attacked, it is clear that pacification for business purposes is not sought. Rather it appears that control over the supplies of oil and raw materials is secondary, but that it is clearly a struggle for the control of access to those materials by competitors like Russia and China. (Gui Rochat)

    • JOEMOWREY- Bless you, Joe. You are an oasis of sanity on a website where Phil leads his cadres on endless irrational flights of fantasy. Remember Egypt and Libya?

  • 'If the world turns on us, we will go North Korea on them' -- say some Israelis
    • NEVADA NED- “Israel have gradually drifted to the political right over the last decades.”

      So has the US and the rest of the world, with the exception of South America. It is a global phenomenon which must be analyzed accordingly.

  • 'Most Wanted' poster of imperial Jewish life hypes attack on Syria
    • HOPHMI- “Kagame is not perfect. But he is also credited with created a modern, sustainable Rwanda, that has, heretofore, not fallen back into its old sectarian divisions. I think Kagame is certainly qualified to speak on genocide”

      Indeed he is, Hophmi, but from the perspective of a perpetrator. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report describes him as “America’s genocidaire in central Africa.” Some quotes:

      “Paul Kagame and his mentor and fellow warlord in neighboring Uganda, President Woseri Museveni, were given the green light by the West to kill and steal at will in Central Africa. They are the two main architects of the genocide in the eastern Congo, where some estimate six million people have died since Rwanda and Uganda invaded the region, in the mid-Nineties. The soldiers of these two U.S. henchmen are still there, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, looting precious minerals for sale to multinational corporations under cover of tribal warfare – wars created and nurtured by Kagame and Museveni, themselves, for the sake of power and profit and the favor of the United States and Europe. Kagame and Museveni have more blood on their hands than any combination of men in Africa – which makes them heroes to the West” (Glen Ford)

      “The U.S. tells the world it can’t figure out how six million people died in the Democratic Republic of Congo – while Washington writes the checks and arms the perpetrators to the teeth. Like Mafia Dons pretending to be honest businessmen, successive U.S. administrations subsidize and direct the worst genocide since World War Two. The United States has financed and given overall direction to the worst genocide since World War Two, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 1996, Washington has drenched Congo’s eastern provinces in the blood of over six million people. The governments of Rwanda and Uganda, the direct perpetrators of this holocaust, are in every sense of the word agents of U.S. foreign policy, who operate with impunity under the imperial umbrella.” (Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report)

      HOPHMI- “You are nothing compared to him, and your accomplishments in making the world a more just place are nothing compared to his.”

      Perhaps you could share with us some of the accomplishments of this diehard supporter of Israel and empire? When has he ever criticized an imperial war or intervention? Hell, he is promoting an imperial assault against Syria, already the victim of imperial intervention resulting in massive loss of life. And yes, Wiesel is a shameless exploiter of the Hollocaust. But then again, what Zionist isn’t?

      As for the other three warmongers, they are classic Jewish supremacists promoting Israel and empire. And when mentioning glass houses, you would do well to look in the mirror.

  • Ilan Pappe weighs in on One State
    • MARC ELLIS- “Politically we have to assume that Israel isn’t going to collapse and that a Palestinian state is still-born. We also have to assume that, whatever the arguments in its favor, Israeli Jews, in consort with Jews around the world and the powers that be in the international system, are not going to voluntarily or through the use of force promote or demand one democratic and secular state for Jews and Palestinians.”

      Realistically, the status quo is unlikely to change until after the great neoliberal global transformation either succeeds or fails. A struggle is underway to lock-in Western control of the transnational neofeudal empire being imposed. The stakes are immense, and the Masters of the Universe are not going to be diverted from their primary objectives. Due to the power and influence of American Zionist Jews, Israel plays a larger role than would otherwise be the case. The “Lobby” is as much an imperial lobby as an Israeli lobby, the support of a militarized empire being crucial to Israeli ambitions.

      That the present course of actions is likely to lead to an environmental and social collapse and possibly nuclear war seems not to have noticeably figured in the geostrategic calculations. Pity.

    • MARC ELLIS- “Don’t laugh. Israel is part of the security network in the Middle East.”

      Indeed, all of the US allies are linked through various security arrangements in which NATO figures prominently. Yes, NATO, which Clinton helped to transform into a global imperial expeditionary force of unprecedented size and scope. A transnational military to enforce the policy of the transnational empire. Rick Rozoff comments:

      “The Partners Across the Globe and longer-standing military partnerships are slated to grow in all parts of the world. Among the more than 50 nations that have provided NATO with troop contingents for the war in South Asia are additional Asia-Pacific states not covered by other international NATO partnership formats like the Partnership for Peace (22 nations in Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia), the Mediterranean Dialogue (seven nations in North Africa and the Middle East, with Libya to be the eighth) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, which targets the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).” (Rick Rozoff)

      “I sincerely doubt there are a dozen nations in the world, out of 194 members of the United Nations currently, that dare pursue an independent foreign policy, including explicitly, in an expressly in military manner, are not tied to the Pentagon’s evolving and expanding international military nexus.” (Rick Rozoff)

  • Chomsky: Israel and US enjoying the spectacle as Syria descends into suicide
    • DAN CROWTHER- When I first read the interview over at Znet (Michael Albert has fashioned his whole career riding Chomsky’s coattails, but that is another story), I didn’t think much of it. Surely not Chomsky at his best, but an interview so what the hell. I was rather surprised to see it featured on Mondoweiss as it adds little to the discussion and Phil has previously argued against Chomsky’s “materialist” analysis, imperial strategy versus the Lobby, etc. I can only wonder how this came about. I have a theory, however, it would be imprudent of me to share.

  • Breaking through the Empire's glass ceiling
    • STEPHEN SHENFIELD- “We need to be more specific. Which part of the world are we talking about? Which historical period?”

      Who, me or Marc Ellis? My comment was addressed to his statement “…strutting on the world stage after being on the bottom for so long,” which was a shopworn repetition of the myth of 2000 years of Jewish victimhood. And yes, it would be nice if folks like Ellis would differentiate between the various cultures and how Jews were treated in relation to Gentiles, etc.

      “In much of Europe, especially Poland and Spain, the Jews were a social caste bound in service to the kings and lords with the special task of controlling the lower orders and extracting surplus from them….”

      This is not my understanding of the Polish Arenda system where Jews made bids to the Polish magnate for the right to manage an estate and collect taxes from the serfs. The magnate got a fixed amount, the Jews kept the surplus. Sounds like power and privilege to me! Yet, you make it sound like running an estate, controlling the trades, and collecting taxes was a form of servitude, the Jews victims. That is like saying that the 1% forces the 9% to screw the 90%, therefore, we should feel sorry for the 9%. That is not an honest way of looking at things, yet, that is an integral part of Jewish eternal victimhood mythology. Is it too much to ask for a little more historical honesty and reflection? Or am I an anti-Semite for even bringing the topic up?

    • MARC ELLIS- “For Jews, becoming executioners was a sign of strength, the thrill of thrills, strutting on the world stage after being on the bottom for so long.”

      Your continued reference to historical Jewish powerlessness and victimhood is an ahistorical rendition of Jewish mythology. Perhaps you need to read “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” by Israel Shahak. During the period of Classical Judaism, there were no Jewish peasants and the Jews were relatively well- off compared the majority of Gentiles. Whatever Jewish suffering occurred, it was not relatively worse than what groups of non-Jews endured during this period. Most of your comments regarding the Jewish prophetic seem to pertain more to the period of the enlightenment when the Gentile Kings broke the power of the Rabbis to coerce a closed society. Seriously, you seem trapped within a particular version of modern Jewish mythology.

      As to the rest of your post, you are spot on, as you frequently are when discussing current political economy and imperial geostrategy. Samantha Power is a professional warmonger married to an empire Jew, both seeking advancement within the framework of a warfare state and brutal empire. Of necessity, they, along with all of the imperial power structure, are skilled and shameless liars.

  • Do's and don'ts for progressives discussing Syria
    • SEAN MCBRIDE- “We have two separate issues here that need to be disentangled.”

      I would suggest that at this stage of the game that may not be possible. For example, the neocons obviously have a strong pro-Israel bias, however, they are also spokesmen/lobbyists for the military industrial complex. Israel has become an integral part of empire. AIPAC speaks for both. We have become hyper-militarized. The global political economy is undergoing rapid fundamental change away from productive capitalism towards financial capitalism. The US needs to destroy the competition for imperial control in order to lock in its dominant position as manager of empire. Isolating Russia and (particularly) China is critical. Iran stands in the way, Syria as well. Obama is an extraordinarily effective imperial President who can do things few others could. Blacks and liberals have effectively been neutralized. The game plan appears to be war abroad and structural adjustment at home, most to be completed by the time Obama leaves office.

    • SIBIRIAK- “However, could you please reconcile these two statements which seem somewhat contradictory.”

      Basically, what is happening is that the nation states continue to compete for relative position and advantage WITHIN the framework of empire. Just as two capitalist corporations compete within the framework of capitalism, neither trying to weaken the system, so too, China doesn’t want to bring down the empire, rather, it wants to improve its relative standing within the imperial system which serves the new capitalist elites so well.

      “Since practically the beginning of capitalism, nationalism and transnationalism have been in dialectical tension, so the question is: what is the precise current status of that systemic dialectic?”

      For starters, I am not a Marxist and am uncomfortable with Marxist terms such as “dialectical tension.” Putting that aside, as I understand your meaning, the rise of transnational empire corresponds closely with the rise of transnational corporations, which in turn, corresponds with the development of high speed computers and telecommunications. This, along with the elimination of barriers to capital flow, along with the creation of economic interdependencies, permit’s a network of global financial control not possible 40 to 50 years ago. The major corporations are all transnational in scope and nature, and the global political economy and empire have adjusted accordingly.

    • DANAA- “Whatever keith is saying, it ain’t the forces of Empire doing this dance of the bombs.”

      Suggest you read “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives,” by Zbigniew Brzezinski, to see how an imperial geostrategist thinks. The relationship of The Lobby to empire and Israel is more complicated than you seem to think. And while you think that the tail wags the dog, even you would admit that the tail needs the dog. Israel without empire would be a whole different ball game, which is why most Zionists are de facto imperialists.

    • MRW- “Not only that, Russia understands abiotic oil–oil is fucking renewable”

      Oil no, bullshit yes! Curious that the Russians don’t just sell the Chinese the process rather than trying to build all of those pipelines.

    • AMERICAN- “Er….the columnist for Press TV who wrote the above obviously doesnt do analysis and has no knowledge of Russia.”

      Actually, Finian Cunningham knows quite a lot, and is in general agreement with most strategic analysts. Let me re-quote one part, then comment.

      “…the denial of vital resources and markets to the West’s global rivals of Russia and China.”

      That is, the control of resources needed by China, and the control of markets depended upon by Russia. I’m not going to bother trying to analyze your Russian oil/gas reserve information in regards to quality of oil/gas, or whether these reserves have been developed, along with the transportation infrastructure. The empire is trying to develop the Caspian Sea basin, and provide other alternatives to be able to supply Europe and make it less dependent on Russia for strategic reasons. Also, the US wants to scuttle, if possible, many of the pipelines planned by Russia, Iran and China. Should Russia, China and Iran complete their energy infrastructure plans, it would probably destroy imperial hegemony ambitions. Right now, China is dependent on the West, not Russia, for its energy, and Russia is dependent upon the European market, not China. And if Iran is controlled by empire, then Russia and China will be severely weakened. Pepe Escobar has written quite a lot about pipelineistan:

      “Use either name, or anything else you want, and what you're really talking about is what's happening on the immense energy battlefield that extends from Iran to the Pacific Ocean. It's there that the Liquid War for the control of Eurasia takes place.

    • TAXI- “Trying” is key word here. But been failing, especially with the Russia and China block making their support of Syria and Iran very clear in the past year.”

      I don’t see failure. Russia has limited force projection capabilities, China virtually none. The US, NATO, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc, have overwhelming force at their disposal. Neither Russia or China are in a position to do much of anything except, perhaps, Russia engage in nuclear brinkmanship, but I doubt it. Not over Syria which, at the least, will be effectively destroyed as Viet Nam was. This is high stakes full spectrum dominance.

      “Can USA afford (even in dollar terms) to go to war with both Russia and China….”

      The empire isn’t going to war with either Russia or China, it is pre-empting the possibility of a future challenge to imperial hegemony. Notice that I now usually refer to the “empire” rather than the US. The empire has morphed from a nationalistic US empire into a transnational corporate empire managed primarily from the US, which serves the needs of global capital, including Chinese and Russian capital. It takes a while to appreciate the significance of the change. Additionally, China continues to buy US Treasuries, hence, to finance US militarism. And while both China and Japan are trying to reduce their Treasury holdings, a collapse of the global financial system would be a disaster for them, along with everyone else. It is a huge house of cards likely to eventually bury us all.

      “It will now have to share the mideast with the Big Bear and the Red Dragon, no other way around it – except for a gamble on world war 3.”

      It has no intention of “sharing” the Middle East. The masters of the universe are sociopaths who will risk World War III before they will relinquish power.

    • DANAA- “…for the US and its imperial interests it’s mostly thumbs down.”

      I disagree. The empire is in the process of trying to achieve absolute hegemony over the Middle East. If you are not with us, you are against us. Assad is not with us, and has to go. Additionally, Syria stands in the way of NATO expansion and total control of the Meditteranian.

      “Syria is absolutely essential for NATO’s long-term prospects. The port city of Tartus, on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, hosts the only Russian military base in the East Mediterranean. NATO doesn’t want the Russians to have that base, seen as an impediment to NATO’s expansion across the Mediterranean.” (Pepe Escobar interview)

      “If the West succeeds if effecting the overthrow of the Syrian government, Syria and Lebanon will be targeted for membership in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue. (As will Palestine if and when it is recognized by the United Nations.) With the new administration in Cyprus confirming its intention to immediately join the Partnership for Peace, every nation in the Mediterranean Sea Basin will be a NATO member and partner. The integration of Cyprus will also complete the process of recruiting every European nation (excluding mini-states Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican) into the NATO orbit.” (Rick Rozoff)

      “Syria is, from this viewpoint, a crucial staging post for Western imperialist plans to roll over the oil-rich Middle East in order to install regimes that are pliant with Western geopolitical interests. These interests include untrammeled access to the world’s main oil and gas reserves, eventual regime change in the regional powerhouse of Iran, and the denial of vital resources and markets to the West’s global rivals of Russia and China.”

    • An article today at Counterpunch is highly relevant to the Syrian situation:

      “In the 1980s, Prince Bandar was deeply involved in the Iran-Contra scandal in Nicaragua and it his intelligence agency that first alerted Western allies to the alleged use of sarin gas by the Syrian regime in February. Bandar has reportedly for months been focused exclusively on garnering international support, including arms and training, for Syrian rebel factions in pursuit of the eventual toppling of President Bashar al-Assad.

      Reportedly, the Saudi-Zionist discretely coordinated effort, confirmed by Congressional staffers working on the US House Foreign Affairs Committee as well and the US Senate Foreign Relations committee, is being led by Bandar protégé, Adel A. al-Jubeir, the current Saudi ambassador and facilitated by Bahrain ambassador Houda Ezra Ebrahimis Nonoo, who is the first Jewish person, and third woman to be appointed ambassador of Bahrain. Long known, for having myriad contacts at AIPAC HQ, and as an ardent Zionist, Houda Nonoo has attended lobby functions while advising associates that the “Arabs must forget about the so-called Liberation of Palestine. It will never happen.

      The project has set its sights on achieving American involvement in its third and hopefully its forth (the Islamic Republic) war in this region in just over one decade.

      Labeled the ‘surgical strike project”, according to one Congressional staffer, the organizers, as of 8/26/13 are blitzing US Congressional offices with “ fact sheets” making the following arguments in favor of an immediate sustained air assault. They are being supported by the increasingly anguished cries from neo-cons in Congress such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and their ilk.

      Sources in Iran and Syria has advised this observers that they expect the US bombing to commence within 72 hours.” (Franklin Lamb)

    • “Ramah Kudaimi is a Syrian-American activist in DC.”

      Based upon her rather obvious and shameless propaganda piece, she is clearly what Marc Ellis would probably refer to as an empire Syrian. It is well to keep in mind the extent to which empires have always depended upon satraps, compradors, and quislings to maintain control.

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