Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 3731 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)


Radical dissident. Retired.


Showing comments 1100 - 1001

  • Dying of schmaltz
    • SHMUEL- “Shalit’s capture – intended to facilitate the release of Palestinian prisoners – was thus an act of legitimate resistance.”

      Absolutely correct and very well stated!

    • CHARON- “It’s the self-praise that reminds me of the psychopaths who make up the executive level of many American businesses.”

      I think “sociopaths” is more correct, but why quibble? As for the “self-praise,” a stunning example of this is President Obama’s remarks on the death of Gaddafi (linked below). US/NATO basically made war on a militarily weak oil rich country, totally destroying their infrastructure and their quality of life. In his remarks, he praises the “brave pilots” who dropped bombs on defenseless civilians. He also says that now Libya’s future looks quite bright, no doubt true for Western business and for the satraps and compradors, the immiseration of the majority a regrettable but unavoidable consequence of neoliberalism. Methinks that the “white man’s burden” is rather easily borne, and our benevolence rather exaggerated, to say the least. Link to Obama on Gaddafi- link to

    • JEFFREY- “…those who have elected to live in the illegal settlements, who carry arms and who have used them against the Palestinians and who harass their villages and uproot their trees, should not enjoy the same immunity….”

      I agree completely! As I have stated in the past, the term “settlers” is far too innocuous. These people are paramilitary invaders, paramilitary occupiers, paramilitary terrorists. Under these circumstances, armed resistance is self defense.

    • AMERICAN- “The US leadership isn’t the solution, it’s also quite mad.”

      Although you paint with an overly broad brush, there is much truth in what you write. Our business and government leaders are hyper-ambitious power seekers who will do practically anything to increase their power and influence regardless of the consequences to others. They are bona fide sociopaths. Why else all of the wars, killing and heartless exploitation down through history? It is quite depressing to realize that the people calling the shots are the last people a sane person would want calling the shots.

    • AMERICAN- “Simply put, the foreign aid bill passes due to AIPAC’s pressured lobbying for it (because it contains the Israel aid package).”

      Unless I am mistaken, there are moves afoot to move the Israel aid package from the foreign aid appropriation and stick it elsewhere, Defense I think.

  • 'Neocon' is suddenly a bad career move (and Rachel Abrams ain't helping the Elliott Abrams brand)
    • To your list of neocons, surely you need to include Barack Obama, whose foreign policy so closely resembles the Project for a New American Century action plan. Speaking of our war monger in chief, I have included a link to his comments concerning Gaddafi’s death, which is the greatest concentration of falsehoods I have ever heard. I swear, he makes slick Willie seem almost respectable. Link to Obama on Gaddafi- link to

    • SEAFOID- “That means we are spending between $16 million and $27 million per year on each potential terrorist.”

      I believe that is known as terror Keynesianism.

    • “We must redouble our commitment to independent thought….”

      Has Leslie Gelb gone into stand-up comedy?

    • KAPOK- “It doesn’t matter if the US goes broke; they need only “point their cannons at you” in John Fogerty’s immortal verse.”

      While not completely true, it is more true than a lot of Mondoweissers seem to think, having been brought up on economic mythology. Fact is, the Federal Reserve is the de facto central bank for the global financial system, and the dollar the world’s reserve currency. In an integrated global financial system, Uncle Sam isn’t quite as destitute as folks think. And the recent explosion of military spending, wars and public debt is a means to force structural adjustment on the American people. The American empire may be less in decline than undergoing a metamorphosis. All hail Lord Blankfein!

  • Finkelstein thinks shift in young Jewish opinion means there will be 2 (viable) states. Mearsheimer doesn't
    • Phil- “serbia doesn’t recognize kosovo. BFD; kosovo is a state.

      Kosovo is a state in name only. The US basically created the “state” of Kosovo for geo-strategic reasons. The US had three primary objectives: re-Balkanize the Balkans, build the strategically important camp Bondsteel, and utilize NATO as an out-of-area strike force. The three principal sources of revenue for the “state” of Kosovo are employment at camp Bondsteel, foreign aid, and mafia criminal activities, including drugs and slavery/prostitution. Kosovo is not big enough to be an independent state, only to be an occupied outpost of empire, hardly what you should be using as a role model.

    • HOSTAGE- “The number of states is completely irrelevant. The most pressing problem is the lack of equal human rights and discriminatory treatment under existing national laws.”

      Glad to hear you say this! Sometimes I think that arguing about 1 state versus 2 states is a counterproductive diversion. Right now the most pressing problem for the Palestinians is their current quality of life. The siege of Gaza is priority one, followed by the improvement in the conditions of life for all Palestinians, with an emphasis on their security concerns. The arbitrary military mass-murder, individual assassinations, and paramilitary (settler) anti-Palestinian violence needs to end ASAP. Until the ethnic cleansing stops, the number of states is irrelevant.

    • EEE- “If this were true there would surely be large anti-Zionist Jewish organizations on campuses. Where are they?”

      Where on earth would these college kids get the money to do that? You seem to be confusing individual opinions with organizational manifestations of established power.

  • Rep. Steve Israel's anti-Israel, anti-Semitic record on Occupy Wall Street (which must be news to him)
    • “By the way, Steve Israel just happens to be chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. You know, the organization that exists to get Democrats elected to the House of Representatives.”

      “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” (Lily Tomlin)

  • Erdogan dis'd Obama to his face-- US is Israel's 'lawyer'
    • WALID- “Pabelmont, there’s more show business than actual conflict between Turkey and Israel.”

      Walid, I think you have a good point. Sometimes we unrealistically project our hopes onto states and statesmen, imagining some morally righteous good guy who will ride to our rescue. Nations and politicians are rarely, if ever, driven by moral imperatives. Rather they pursue coldly calculated strategies to benefit their dominant elites. While Turkey does appear to be pursuing a somewhat different course under Erdogan, it is unwise to get carried away with wishful thinking. A long history of collaboration exists between the US, Turkey and Israel which will not disappear overnight. A recent example can be found in an article on drone warfare at CounterPunch.

      “The Air Force is now negotiating with Turkey to relocate some of the Predator drones still operating in Iraq to the giant air base at Incirlik next year.”
      link to

  • Is Occupy Wall Street anti-Semitic?
    • RADII- “now the overreaction raises eyebrows – my, the zio-squad is sure sensitive about the issue of the percentage of jews among the wealthy banking elite … and, hence, lends credence to the very argument they sought to rebut.”

      I doubt that these Zionists have any interest in “rebutting” any argument about Jewish financial power. Their goal has consistently been to create the perception of anti-Semitism to motivate Jewish Zionists. If, in the process, they create some real anti-Semitism, all the better for them. The perception of anti-Semitism and the induced fear of pogroms and a new Holocaust is the mothers milk of Zionism.

  • Bill Kristol: 'We need to hear' that Obama has gone to war on Iran
    • ANNIE- The ratlines are an important piece of history that has been largely suppressed. Many were run by the Catholic Church with the help of the US government. They provided a means for the US to recruit rabid anti-communist Nazis in the Holy War against communism. The most famous was Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, who worked for the US in France after WWII until he became too hot and was spirited to South America where he continued to serve Uncle Sam, sometimes working with Israeli agents in his duties. Perhaps the most significant was General Reinhard Gehlen, who was head of intelligence on the Eastern front for Nazi Germany during the war, and who was recruited by US intelligence after the war to form the Gehlen Org, providing intelligence and other duties in Eastern Europe, which involved dealing with the fascist elements which had been set up by the Nazis. He later went on to become the first head of the German BND, which was their CIA equivalent. US collusion and collaboration with Nazis and other fascist before and after WWII is astonishing and sordid and not widely known although it should be.

  • Fat lady sings -- Israel announces new E J'lem neighborhod called Givat Hamatos
    • MRW- That history lecture link you provided is an absolute hoot, so much better than most of the crap on commercial TV.

      One quick general comment concerning Canadian politics is that Canadian policies have become more closely aligned with the US empire of late because political power tends to align with economic power, therefore, the increased integration of the Canadian economy with the US economy created pressure to harmonize politics as well. After all, the Canadian Prime Minister has to answer to the same transnational corporations that the US President does.

    • Let me begin by seconding Phil that this has been an excellent discussion so far. I would only add a few thoughts concerning the dynamics of the situation. First, we must always keep in mind that Israel is to a certain degree unique, hence, to a degree unpredictable. Following the establishment of the Jewish state, secular Zionism to a significant degree lost its reason for being, the Labor party declining. There has been a steady drift to the right including a much stronger emphasis on a biblical justification for anti-Arab discrimination and abuse. Israel Shahak claims that Israel has gotten more “Jewish,” in the classical sense. What this implies is that there is a strong undercurrent of irrational fealty to old testament Zionist ideology. Stated another way, what may be seen by others as reasonable and rational compromise is viewed by the Israeli religious right as blasphemy. Giving up so much as an inch of the sacred soil an affront to God. This does not bode well for any negotiated settlement.

      The second point is that we live in interesting times, we live in scary times. Neoliberal globalization, wars, mass protests, resource depletion and environmental degradation. I sense a fast approaching global upheaval, a historic turning point where all bets are off. There is so much happening in so many places with so many problems that it is impossible to keep up. The whole point being that not only do Israel’s internal dynamics make prediction tenuous at best, but that external forces may shape Israel’s future in unknown and unpredictable ways. Things are happening so fast globally that in a year or two the whole Middle East dynamics may be radically different. It could be a wild ride.

  • Neocon orgs seek to paint Wall St protests as anti-semitic
    • DANCROWTHER- “What I have a hard time understanding is how guys like Lloyd Blankfein cease to be jewish when they destroy the economy – but are “leading jewish figures on wall street” during the boom times.”

      In view of Jewish overrepresentation in the corridors of financial power, it is perhaps relevant to inquire as to what extent Jewishness and Zionism contributed to this phenomenon, and to what extent Jewishness and Zionism influence the current course of financial behavior. While I am in no position to comment on this, perhaps Jeffrey Blankfort has gathered some data. This whole question is likely to bring shrieks of “anti-Semitism” from those who have a vested interest in stoking Jewish paranoia. For a Zionist, anti-Semitism is a win-win situation. I might add that if it turns out that Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Larry Summers, etc are Zionists, it would impact our Middle East analysis enormously. Too much stuff goes on in the shadows.

  • Americans believe red herring-- Iran is Enemy #1. Why?
    • FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH- “Israel in Libya: Preparing Africa for the “Clash of Civilizations” is an article over at Dissident Voice which discusses Iran and China versus the US, NATO and Israel, and which has much pertinent information of relevance to this thread. I have included the link for those interested.
      link to

  • Do we really need another 'Gandhi'?
    • FOOD FOR THOUGHT- “In the last fifteen years or so, there have been over 150,000 political murders and disappearances.... Don’t talk to me about Gandhi; he wouldn’t have survived a week here.” (Guatemalan rebel,1994)

  • Fragile Egypt
    • PHIL- “Walking back from the Cathedral, I thought about Zionism in Jewish life.”

      Hopefully, you also think about imperialism in American life.

      “The twitter/facebook methods that Egyptians pioneered will never be killed.”

      Careful that you don’t put too many eggs in that corporate controlled basket, particularly when the basket is tethered to Wall Street and empire.

      “As for the U.S.—well, we should be helping Egypt in a peaceful transition toward democracy.”

      Democracy? You mean like we have here? Ritual voting and the illusion of democracy? You would do well to at least somewhat temper your romanticism with a smidgeon of cold rationality.

  • The 99 percent in DC
    • JUSTICEPLEASE- “Fourth, wealth means power, and if power is too concentrated and held by a minority, democracy ceases to function properly.”

      The negative relationship between concentrated wealth and anything even approaching democracy has been recognized for quite some time, but for some curious reason not by the general population. The great upwards flow of income and wealth in the last 30 or so years represents a vast upward flow of power. We have come full circle back to the middle ages, with oligarchs replacing feudal barons reigning over us all based upon the divine right of capital.

      “In short, there are many good reasons to stop the 1% and build up a new, truly market-based economy where the financial sector does not overshadow the production of real goods.”

      Our current financial system is a social disaster. It is a private system for private profit, and is based upon debt-based money. Nothing wrong with profit, per se, however, the pursuit of profit by those who create and control the money supply inevitably leads to financial gamesmanship in which the real economy is sacrificed to maximize the paper profits of the financiers. We are seeing this now. Additionally, a debt-based money system loans money into the system at interest. Interest which must be repaid with borrowed money. An internal compounding which is unsustainable, and which requires systemic mechanisms to ameliorate the compounding, mechanisms which do not exist at present. There is no more important task than taking control of the financial system away from the private financiers. We live in a complex society effectively controlled by directing the flow of money.

      “We are ruled not by governments anymore but by financial powers that use interest-bearing debt to exert control over governments, corporations, and people. Almost all other political issues with which we concern ourselves are secondary symptoms of or purposeful distractions from this larger narrative that is never reported by the Wall-Street-funded media.” (Damon Vrabel)

  • The Ninety-Nine Percent
    • RADII- “Arab Spring, European anti-austerity protests, israeli anti-oligarchy, and US “Occupy” protests are all essentially BREAD RIOTS….”

      Indeed they are. They are the belated reactions to entirely predictable circumstances caused by neoliberal globalization, which, in turn, is driven by our predatory financial system. These predictable reactions have been anticipated by the elites who have prepared laws and militarized the police forces to deal with the situation using “legal” force. Homeland security. I wish the protesters well, but cannot be optimistic. What must be kept in mind is that those who strive for and obtain significant power are sociopathic power seekers. They care only for power and are unconcerned over any collateral damage. Their immoral myopia could be the end of civilization as we know it. Cheers.

  • Operation Enduring Failure: Ten years of war on Afghanistan
    • I’M SHOCKED! Not one comment so far claiming that the neocons got us involved in Afghanistan, therefore, we did it for Israel? I am interested in how this will play out.

    • TOVIOS- “…the American people were so traumatized by 911 they would not be satisfied without war.”

      The American people were intentionally traumatized by the media and government to psychologically prepare them for this imperial slaughter (“war” is far too generous an interpretation in view of the power disparity). Works every time.

      "Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." (Herman Goering)

  • Kol Nidre in Cairo. Not
    • KATHLEEN- “Well that may be but his willingness to discount and make fun of the loss of life in Iraq, Afghanistan etc….”

      I have never seen Mooser say anything even remotely resembling this. His humorous comments (not his serious ones) are almost always directed toward individuals, in the comments you reacted to towards Phil. His comments towards Phil usually revolve around some aspect of Jewish identity, and frequently involve Mooser poking Phil with a form of guy humor that women don’t understand and don’t like. Had I known that my comment would provoke such an over the top reaction, I wouldn’t have made it. As for the Mondoweiss moderation policy, you should be happy your comment got through in which you equate Mooser’s comments regarding a religious service in Cairo with making light of mass murder, an interesting conclusion to say the least.

    • KATHLEEN- Mooser’s comments are irreverent and entertaining with a bit of truth sandwiched in. He adds some needed humor to Mondoweiss. I suspect that Phil likes having him around.

  • Yom Kippur fast in solidarity with political prisoners to take place at Occupy Wall Street this Friday
    • EEE- “By the way, where does one get the license for being human, my dog wants to apply.”

      Is your dog aware that if his application is approved it will then become illegal for him to lick his you-know-what (or, at the very least, in extremely bad taste)?

  • NYT reviewer: Small group of Bush advisers will take real reason for Iraq war to their (restless) graves
    • MRW- “The entire Iraq War was for Israel’s benefit.”

      Yes, and Uncle Sam is nothing but a dim witted Sabbath Goy who, by pure happenstance, blundered into becoming an empire. Good luck on that one.

    • CITIZEN- Nice link to the debate. I have pasted the quote below for those who may not otherwise go to the link.

      “Bush decided to invade Iraq in April 2001, six months before September 11th, and the official reason was to improve Western access to Iraqi oil.”

      "President Bush's Cabinet agreed in April 2001 that 'Iraq remains
      a destabilising influence to the flow of oil to international markets
      from the Middle East' and because this is an unacceptable risk to
      the US 'military intervention' is necessary."[1]

      The whole point being not that oil was the exclusive reason for Iraq, but that it was a key determinant which figured in the calculations. This is entirely consistent with Israel being initially cool to the invasion and having to be persuaded that this was but a prelude to Iran, at which point they enthusiastically supported the invasion. That the occupation didn’t go as planned doesn’t alter any of this.

    • SEANMCBRIDE- “I can easily name a few hundred pro-Israel militants who were key ringleaders of the Iraq War.”

      Interesting analytical technique. Label someone as “pro-Israel,” then offer that up as proof that they were motivated exclusively by their pro-Israel bias. Perhaps if you could read their minds and get it notarized it would be more convincing. As an alternative, you might consider putting less time in cherry-picking quotes in your ongoing attempt to deny the obvious reality of the strategic importance of oil.

      “Please name a few dozen members of the oil lobby who agitated for an American invasion of Iraq.”

      The obvious rejoinder is for you to name me all of these ‘Israel loyalists’ who don’t put gas in their cars. Or the millions of Americans and Europeans who have abandoned their cars and switched to bicycles in droves. Or how the American military has become less dependent upon oil for its highly mechanized killing machine. The notion that the Middle East oil reserves are of no strategic value is sufficiently bizarre as to not require rebuttal, your cherry picked quotes notwithstanding. However, since you seem to have an affinity for quotes, I’ll give you two.

      “China is in fact correct to be worried about its oil supply. Some say the invasion of Iraq was meant to enhance U.S control over the Middle East’s black gold in light of a rapidly expanding Chinese appetite. Elsewhere, reports the Washington Post, “The United States is building a network of military bases and diplomatic missions whose main goal is to protect American access to oil fields in volatile places such as Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and tiny Sao Tome and, as important, to deny that access to China.” (Dissident voice, 4/24/10)
      link to

      “And the pipeline, coupled with green energy projects in China, South Korea, and Japan, might begin to wean East Asia from its dependency on Middle Eastern oil and thus on the U.S. military to secure access and protect shipping routes.” (John Feffer)
      link to

      We have had similar discussions in the past which have gone nowhere. It doesn’t appear to be enough for you to demonstrate the obvious pro-Israel bias in Washington. Rather, you seek to eliminate any other imperial motivation for US actions. That is, you locate the locus of causality exclusively in the Israel lobby, the US empire an innocent babe in the woods being used by the evil Zionists. Eliminate the lobby and the US reverts to its true noble self. Sorry, but this is a grotesque misrepresentation of history and current reality. The US didn’t get to be an empire by being Mr. Nice Guy, nor by ignoring its strategic interests. I, too, am an anti-Zionist. However, I am also an anti-imperialist. It is not wise to focus exclusively on the Middle East, ignoring the big picture in the process.

    • JEFFREYBLANKFORT- “Keith, the meeting of Cheney with the oil company heads was to get them on board.”

      Get them onboard for what? The meeting occurred 5/16/01. Besides, you and Sean Mcbride keep assuring the rest of us that the oil company execs were opposed to the invasion in 2003. Personally, I wouldn’t put too much stock in any public statement by these guys. They would be stupid to publicly support the war. What was said behind closed doors, however, remains secret.

      “It is a mistake to compare the two US wars on the Gulf. Bush Sr. wanted to avoid the first, hoping Saddam would withdraw, and waited so long before launching it that he was being accused of having cold feet.”

      Jeffrey, your conclusions are poles apart from mine. The first Gulf war had more to do with Israel than the second. Bush I did everything in his power to prevent a peaceful settlement, which would have left Iraq with infrastructure in place and with the potential to project power in the Middle East. The US intentionally decimated the Iraq infrastructure to preclude Iraq from recovering. Saddam was left in power for multiple reasons, a significant one being so there would be a pretext for sanctions and the complete destruction of Iraq as a viable Middle East player. By the time of the second war, Iraq was a basket case easily invaded. That the occupation created fierce resistance was caused by several factors, not the least of which was US mishandling of the occupation. Be that as it may, the US is still there and has built “enduring” bases, hardly necessary to “defend” Israel. In other words, the US has established the means to ensure access to the oil and a way of influencing China, regardless of which oil company reaps the short term profits.

      Finally, you would do well to reconsider your ongoing insistence on the lack of strategic importance of oil, and of the primacy of Israel and the Lobby in imperial strategizing. The empire doesn’t invade countries based upon only one reason, there are usually multiple goals and objectives. The importance of the Lobby in regards to the Middle East is obvious, it is hardly necessary to argue that control of access to resources, a traditional imperial concern, is not a factor. Of course it is. It is also consistent with US history from day one, the US invading countries for raw materials and markets long before there was an Israel or Lobby.

    • CORRECTION- Should read: '...Cheney held meetings of the energy task force which issued a final report on 5/16/01.'

    • NEVADA NED- I think that the reality of the US empire is sometimes underemphasized on Mondoweiss- a serious mistake, in my view. As for the timing of the Iraq invasion, prior to 9/11, Cheney held meetings of the energy task force which issued a final report on 5/16/11. At the time it was noted that “America faces a major energy supply crisis over the next two decades,” Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham told a National Energy Summit on March 19, 2001. “The failure to meet this challenge will threaten our nation’s economic prosperity, compromise our national security, and literally alter the way we lead our lives.” I find it curious there is so much emphasis on the neocons as alleged de facto Israeli surrogates, rather than on their role as imperial hawks. This when even Walt and Mearsheimer acknowledge that Israel was initially cool to the invasion, only becoming enthusiastic when told that Iraq would be first, followed by their main concern Iran. Iraq at the time a basket case and no threat whatever to Israeli ambitions. As for subsequent developments, the creation of AfriCom speaks volumes about where the US empire sees its future as the arbiter of an intensified resource war. Also, the construction and maintenance of between 750 and 1,000 US bases worldwide strategically located to secure access to known energy reserves is difficult to explain away regardless of statements by energy company executives or former government officials. Internal debate over specific tactics to achieve strategic objectives is not unusual and should not be given undue emphasis. Actions speak louder than words, and the strategic importance of oil is difficult to miss.

  • Take notice D.C. - Panel of distinguished Arabs analyze the 'Arab Spring' at Harvard
    • “Al Qassemi warned, credibly I think, that the Gulf Arab states must transition and adopt constitutional monarchism in order to survive. Their homogeneity, natural resources and strong tribal norms cannot forestall democratization.”

      I am under the impression that nowhere on this planet is there anything approaching real democracy. What you do have, particularly in the Western “democracies,” is ritual voting and the illusion of democracy. Symbolic participation to ameliorate popular discontent.

  • Anwar al-Awlaki's extrajudicial murder
    • IRISHMOSES- “The problem is that your current definition of war has been overtaken by history and the rise of non-state actors like al Queda.”

      Let us begin by noting that al Qaeda is an offshoot of the Mujahadeen which were created by the CIA in order to fight the USSR in Afghanistan. We taught them and Osama bin Laden everything they knew. As far as I know, the Mujahadeen remain a CIA asset.

      The problem is that the tactic of terrorism has been labeled as a war as a pretext for the US government to engage in blatantly criminal activities and the further shredding of the US constitution. The crap that goes on in the name of “national security” and the bogus “war” on terrorism should be an affront to all.

      “Granted, the niceties of diplomacy seem lacking in that the killings in question took place in Pakistan and Yemen. But, the fact remains, both of those countries are war zones in which war is being fought every day.”

      The US is at war in Pakistan and Yemen? Why is the US even in Pakistan and Yemen? Apparently you feel that once empire decides to kill a lot of people for geostrategic reasons, then the nationality of the victims is of no consequence? You may have a point. If one supports empire and violence then perhaps equal opportunity mass murder has a certain balance to it. On the other hand, if one supports peace and justice, then one would support the dissolution of empire and bringing the storm troopers home. Storm troopers? Let us be honest about the whole business, eh? As Martin Luther King stated before he was assassinated, the US is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. And you know what? The situation has only gotten worse. Want to dramatically reduce terrorism? Get Uncle Sam to stop doing it.

  • Michele Bachmann says Obama 'laid the table' for the Arab Spring
    • As I have commented elsewhere, the fat-cats love Obama and want to see him re-elected. How is this possible when he is a neoliberal warmonger who is screwing his base beyond belief? Easy, scare the left to death with Republican candidates who are so far beyond the pale as to be caricatures of right-wing fanatics. That is why the drift to the right has turned into a stampede. Works every time. The public is rather easily manipulated by those who have the resources to do so. US elections are rituals, a political circus, full of color and noise, diverting attention away from the underlying systems of power and control. Follow the money.

  • Perfect match: Bob Bernstein uses settler sources for racist anti-Arab 'WaPo' Op-Ed
    • BREWER- Human Rights Watch is closely linked with “liberal” Democrats from the Clinton administration and was a cheerleader for the Yugoslavia “humanitarian” intervention as well as the Libya intervention. They do some good work, Finkelstein quotes them all of the time on Gaza, however, they are not truly independent and can be relied upon to support imperial aggression when performed by a Democrat.

  • Ron Paul for Palestinian statehood: 'I believe in self-determination of peoples'
    • “As we saw after the Cold War, numerous new states were born out of the ruins of the USSR as the various old Soviet Republics decided that smaller states were preferable to an enormous and oppressive multi-national conglomerate.”

      These “old Soviet Republics” had a lot of help from Uncle Sam in deciding that “smaller states were preferable.” One can only hope that Ron Paul isn’t really so naïve as to think that US geo-strategic calculations and regime destabilization efforts didn’t play their part in the break-up of the USSR, and in the “color” revolutions which followed. But, you never know.

  • Border anxiety in the West Bank
    • “I didn’t even notice the soldier's wave, as we slid through the checkpoint. He did this with his hand, my friend mimed, because we looked Israeli.”

      “…we looked Israeli.” That is to say Ashkenazi?

  • Breaking: 'Irvine 11' found guilty on two charges for protesting Michael Oren
    • JAMES- I agree completely. This trial must be viewed in the larger context of the overall suppression of dissent under the guise of “anti-terrorism.” Look at how the anti-globalization protests in Canada were handled. As structural adjustment comes to the First World, protests are anticipated and will be dealt with harshly.

  • Clemons: Imagine Cuba trumping the Soviet Union in the 60s, that's what Netanyahu did to Obama
    • PTJ- A couple of comments. First, the very notion of Jewish “kinship” is something which Phil has broached previously, therefore, Atzmon’s discussion of “Jewishness” is in line with Mondoweiss objectives. The big difference is that Phil tries to be at least somewhat subtle and circumspect, whereas Atzmon tends to be more in your face. The other point is that, considering organized Jewish support for Israel, Jewishness and Zionism and the Jewish state of Israel are inexorably intertwined. I don’t agree with all of what Atzmon says, however, much of what he says can be excellent springboards for discussion. Whether or not this is a viable option for Mondoweiss is another story. As it is, Phil has been subjected to criticism for what he has so far done.

    • MRW- I am reading “The Wandering Who?” right now. Like most of Atzmon’s writing, it has its ups and downs. Some quite good, some not so much. Like Israel Shahak, Atzmon’s perspective is heavily influenced by having lived in Israel, hence, his perspective is inevitably different from a non-Israeli. I only skimmed the Tony Greenstein screed that Shmuel linked. From what little I read it was an over the top misrepresentation of Gilad Atzmon. Most of what Atzmon says is non-controversial, although he sometimes uses needlessly provocative language. His views on the Lobby and the neocons virtually mirror Mearsheimer and Walt, and would not stand out if posted on Mondoweiss. I think that much insight could be gained by figuring out why he is so reviled by organized Jews of all sorts. He himself comments on this noting “Could it be that it was my comprehension of the Jewish political identity that brought so much Jewish animosity to my door?” Perhaps, like Shahak, he says certain things publicly concerning Jews and Gentiles which historically Jews only spoke about to each other behind closed doors.

  • Obama speech was shattering to liberal Zionists
    • RICHARDWITTY- “Nothing at all was truly threatened by blacks having the full right to vote, equal access to public goods and services (libraries, schools, public transportation), and equal rights before the law. The same holds true for Palestinians. Palestinians are human beings.”

      Richard, you appear confused. You are arguing that Israeli pretexts are not valid, apparently unaware that pretexts are never valid. They are used not because they are true, but because they serve a purpose. Zionism requires anti-Semitism to maintain itself and Israel needs enemies and threats to justify its militarism and hegemonic ambitions, and to hold Jewish Israeli society together in opposition to a common enemy. If Israel actually worked for and achieved a secure peace, and if the ADL were to admit that anti-Semitism was a relatively insignificant problem, Israel would likely fracture due to internal conflicts, and Zionism would simply fade away. And if you were to acknowledge the reality hidden by the mythology, you would abandon liberal Zionism for liberal humanism.

    • “Feels like Obama has basically abdicated any moral authority on anything.”

      At this stage of the game, with US militarism and neoliberal globalization run rampant, it is extremely difficult to imagine Obama having any moral authority to abdicate.

    • LIBRA- “How can a handful of rich men have such influence without sitting on a very large base of support? It’s about much more than money.”

      Good point. The money is critically important, however, it is the popular support which gives the money legitimacy. The Zionification of organized American Jewry is an essential component of Zionist power. In this regard, anti-Zionist Jews are an important part of weakening American Zionism and support for Israel as a Jewish state.

  • Ashrawi and Tibi say Obama made it sound like Palestinians are occupying Israel
    • CRONE- “…this spineless excuse for a leader.”

      I think that this is a serious misreading of who and what Obama is. This assumes that he shares your values and vision and simply lacks the courage to stand up for what he/you believe in. Not so. Obama identifies completely with the elites and is aggressively pursuing their neoliberal agenda. In an interview on the RealNews network, Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report describes the situation quite well. Link below.

      Link to RealNews interview of Glen Ford on Obama
      link to

  • US is all alone on 'Israel Island' --Munayyer in Chicago Trib
    • “A valuable lesson from the Arab uprisings is that Israel cannot expect lasting peace with Arab regimes if it does not have peace with Arab nations. It can't simply wall itself off from neighbors it has maligned and expect peaceful coexistence.”

      Whatever gave the author the absurd idea that Israel seeks a lasting peace with it’s neighbors? Israel, like the US, is a warfare state. A lasting peace could be the death knell for Zionism as we know it.

  • Chomsky says Perry is 'often in outer space'
    • “Well, I must say that politics in this country now is in a state that I think has no analogue in American history and maybe nowhere in any parliamentary system…These are—the positions that they are taking are utterly outlandish. I mean, as you mentioned before, I just came back from Europe, where people just can’t believe what they’re seeing here, what people are saying.”

      In my view, all of this is political theater and completely predictable. The fat-cats love Obama and want to see him re-elected. How is that possible when he is a neoliberal warmonger who is screwing his base beyond belief? Easy, scare the left to death with Republican candidates who are so far beyond the pale as to be caricatures of right-wing fanatics. That is why the drift to the right has turned into a stampede. Works every time. The public is rather easily manipulated by those who have the resources to do so.

  • Israel lobby R Us
    • Why are we spending so much time worrying about inconsequential polls? Public opinion does not determine policy. Policy is formulated by the elites and consent manufactured. Public opinion is rather easily manipulated by those who have the resources to do so. Also, if you are going to make a big to-do about election results, you have to report the campaign funding. The Republicans rode to victory in 2010 on a tidal wave of money, part of the plan to provide Obama with a Republican congress so he could triangulate ala Bill Clinton, his role model. I am guessing that Obama will win in 2012 with record breaking campaign contributions, as will the Republican congress. Together, they will continue implementing the neocon/neoliberal game plan. Let the charade continue!

    • ANNIE- It would appear that Zionism has had at least some success in passing on its values to a younger generation. Ah, tradition.

  • 'New York' magazine calls Obama 'first Jewish president' in effort to salvage his rep with 'A-list tribesman'
    • IRAGLUNTS- I stand by my original statement. What must be remembered is that Obama possesses unique qualities. Nor only is he a super salesman like Slick Willy, but he is Black. This fact has totally incapacitated resistance from those who are to be screwed first and most. As such, he is able to do what no Republican could dream of. As Mike Whitney phrases it in the latest print edition of CounterPunch:

      “The bottom line is that the Obama team saw the stimulus as a means to an end. Summers and company didn’t want a strong rebound. What they wanted was an economy that was healthy enough to keep breathing, but too feeble to resist the attacks of Wall Street and big business. And Obama was a big part of their plan. He was fingered as the pitchman for structural adjustment and belt-tightening. He’d use impressive rhetorical skills and power of persuasion to preach the gospel of austerity and to clear the way for slashing entitlement programs.”

      I agree with Whitney completely. Wall Street should easily give this guy an “A” for what he has done for them. Way more than Bush could do. Way, way more than his Republican contenders can do. Obama is the President most capable of bringing structural adjustment to the US without provoking massive resistance. That is why he received massive Wall Street support in 2008, and that is why he will receive massive Wall Street support in 2012, AIPAC political theater notwithstanding. Don’t be distracted by the political theater. Power knows what it wants and is not easily brushed aside. Whether or not Obama modifies his rhetoric on Israel/Palestine or Jerusalem is not that significant. Empire is in the process of a profound transformation. Israel and the Lobby is of less importance than some Mondoweissers like to imagine.

    • IRAGLUNTS- “The lobby will eat Obamen for lunch.”

      If the Lobby goes after Obama in a serious, threatening way, they will be attacking the most effective cash cow that Wall Street and the military-industrial complex ever had. Take on Obama and you take on the two primary centers of imperial power. I doubt that it will happen, but if it does, then we will be witnessing a major upheaval among the ruling elites.

  • The privileged divide-- non-Jews want to talk the issue, Jews don't
    • PTJ- Your point is well taken. A key to understanding Jews and Zionism is to understand that Zionism is, in many ways, classical Judaism in secular form, warped by Eastern European blood and soil nationalism. Both Zionism and classical Judaism see Jews as a people apart. Both oppose assimilation. “It seems that Israel and Zionism are a throw-back to the role of classical Judaism -- writ large, on a global scale, and under more dangerous circumstances.” (Israel Shahak)

  • Turner victory in overwhelmingly Dem district suggests that Obama could be primaried from the right
    • Folks, this is all political theater. Poor Obama! He’s under attack and has no choice! Sure, he has given away 99% of what little we have left, but without him to protect us, that final 1% is threatened! The Jews have abandoned BO! Oy, Oy! Thank God those radical lefties on Wall Street will come through with tons of progressive moola to save us from the Republican Tea Party barbarians! Rejoice, rejoice! Medicare going. Social Security going. More wars and debt servitude coming. But, you know, it could be worse. What if the Republicans win in 2012? And so the familiar drama replays itself endlessly. Ah, but there is comfort in tradition!

  • We've learned nothing since 9/11
    • MRW- “The building was on fire for over 5 hours
      No, it wasn’t. Check the video and fire reports.”

      “Crack! — WTC 1 collapses.
      Hour = 10:28:22 a.m.; Time = 1 hour, 42 minutes.

      The upper block of WTC 1 drops into the burning impact zone and ejects a cascade of incandescent metal and heated stone laterally, from near the 97th story (368 m), at between 12 m/s (27 mph) to 15 m/s (34 mph) during the 1.5 seconds it takes to fall down to the original height of the 71st story (269 m). (3)

      This hot volley, within the overall pyroclastic cannonade discharged by WTC 1 during its collapse, hurtles at 86 m/s (193 mph) at a steep angle down into the face of WTC 7 from Floors 18 to zero. A solid missile — a hot section of I-beam? — punches into Floors 11 and 12, bursting through the concrete floors and touching off fires. The elevator shafts at Floors 8 and 9, about 10 to 15 m (33 to 49 ft) into the building, are ruptured and the elevator cars fall out onto the floors. The air pressure wave presses on eardrums, stairwells fill with dust and smoke, and lights go out, the building shakes for nearly 10 seconds; magnitude 2.3. (2)

      Time resumes. Some phones are still lit, but they make no connection.
      Wandering confused, Floor 7, heavy dust, one cubicle is burning at the west end — flashlights?, firemen! They lead people down through the choking haze. The lobby is layered in white dust, wires hang from the ceiling, the street is littered with wreckage, a huge cloud rolls all along Vesey Street blocking out the view south.

      Hour = noon; Time = 3 hours, 13.6 minutes.
      WTC 7 was mortally wounded. In 5 hours and 21 minutes, it would collapse.”
      link to

      MRW- “temperature of the burning jet fuel was 1100 degrees C (2000 degrees F)
      (1) planes couldn’t fly if that was the temp
      (2) check your facts next time: link to”

      “The airplanes hurtling into the buildings with speeds of at least 200 m/s (450 mph) fragmented into exploding torrents of burning fuel, aluminum and plastic. Sparks generated from the airframe by metal fracture and impact friction ignited the mixture of fuel vapor and air. This explosion blew out windows and billowed burning fuel vapor and spray throughout the floors of the impact zone, and along the stairwells and elevator shafts at the center of the building; burning liquid fuel poured down the central shafts. Burning vapor, bulk liquid and droplets ignited most of what they splattered upon. The intense infrared radiation given off by the 1100 C (2000 F) flames quickly ignited nearby combustibles, such as paper and vinyl folders. Within a fraction of a second, the high pressure of the detonation wave had passed, and a rush of fresh air was sucked in through window openings and the impact gash, sliding along the tops of the floors toward the centers of intense burning.

      Table 2, Fractional Strength of Steel at Temperature
      temperature, degrees C fractional strength, %
      200 86
      400 73
      500 66
      600 43
      700 20
      750 15
      800 10

      The fires heated the atmosphere in the impact zone (a mixture of gases and smoke) to temperatures as high as 1100 C (2000 F). However, there was a wide variation of gas temperature with location and over time because of the migration of the fires toward new sources of fuel, a complicated and irregular interior geometry, and changes of ventilation over time (e.g., more windows breaking). Early after the impact, a floor might have some areas at habitable temperatures, and other areas as hot as the burning jet fuel, 1100 C. Later on, after the structure had absorbed heat, the gas temperature would vary over a narrower range, approximately 200 C to 700 C away from centers of active burning.”
      link to

      MRW- “Vaporize a 110 story building? Jeez, I thought that the buildings collapsed. Why the bullshit?
      See the video? Listen to the firemen who said the largest piece of building content they found was the dialpad on a telephone? The building was reduced to dust and twisted metal, unless the contemporaneous videos and news reports are fakes.

      The “vaporization” of the building was the result of the awesome forces released by the collapse itself. You did observe the buildings collapse, did you not? Therefore, they were not “vaporized” by anything other than the collapse itself. The airplane crash plus fires caused the structural failure resulting in the collapse. The same would have happened with a controlled demolition. The explosives would not have vaporized the buildings. Your statements concerning the fires and “vaporization” of the buildings is a misrepresentation of what actually happened. Contemporaneous videos and news reports do not in any way suggest that these buildings were reduced to dust and twisted metal by any forces other than the collapse itself, which, in turn, was caused by the airplane crashes and fires. There is no physical evidence for any other cause for the collapse of the WTC buildings, notions of a controlled demolition are supported by inference alone based upon questionable calculations from highly biased sources. Nothing I have said, however, is likely to change your mind.

    • CHAOS4700- Yes, by all means ignore the middle of my comment. Believe in magical explosives that can withstand 5 hours of fire without going BOOM? Once again I am confronted with faith based physics.

    • NOFN- “The accepted theory is under debate right now, not that of the skeptics.”

      I wasn’t aware that any coherent alternative explanation was ever presented by the “skeptics.” And that is part of the problem. Due to people like David Ray Griffin, the failures and culpability of the Bush administration to prevent 911 have been mixed in with efforts to cast doubt upon the cause of the collapse of the WTC buildings and, incredibly, that the Pentagon was not struck by a hijacked aircraft but by a missile. As a consequence, Bush administration culpability has been effectively linked with fantastic claims regarding missiles, etc.

      “Answer me one question: How did WTC7 come down at free fall speeds?”

      How fast should it fall? The building was on fire for over 5 hours, any explosives (illogical to begin with) would have exploded long before the collapse, hence, it fell because of the effects of the fire. The speed of the fall is irrelevant and a red herring.

    • MRW- “I don’t accept that jet fuel can melt 80,000 tons of structural steel, and I don’t accept that 56 minutes is sufficient for a kerosene-level fire (jet fuel has the same burning point as kerosene) to vaporize a 110-story building. (A kerosene-level fire cannot create a fire that is two or three times its burning point. Ask any fireman. This is basic physics.)”

      Wow, talk about a 110 story straw man. Melt 80,000 tons of structural steel? Who ever said that happened? Vaporize a 110 story building? Jeez, I thought that the buildings collapsed. Why the bullshit? This is basic physics? No, this is you trying to evade the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever of a controlled demolition, the only alternative explanation for the airplane strike cause of the collapse. The only “evidence” is in trying to cast doubt upon the official investigation, which seems conclusive enough for me.

      “The NIST report is not conclusive. It left out critical information that was in the earlier FEMA report. Serious scientists have questioned the data they are allowed to see, and have found it doesn’t add up. This is science.”

      This is your conclusion based upon your reading of the report, or is this the conclusion of the scientists you trust at the Truther websites? Are you a scientist? A physics professor?

      In a previous thread you said that “…Americans are laughed at from Argentina to Beijing for believing a barbecue-strength fire can decimate 113 stories in 9 seconds….” On this thread you say that “(A kerosene-level fire cannot create a fire that is two or three times its burning point. Ask any fireman. This is basic physics.)” Seems to me that you have already reached some conclusions. Fire too cold. So, just how hot does kerosene burn? In thermodynamics of 911, Manuel Garcia, Jr states that the report indicated that the temperature of the burning jet fuel was 1100 degrees C (2000 degrees F). Does this agree with your calculations? This temperature was sufficient to weaken (not melt) the steel sufficiently that when combined with the structural damage caused the upper floors to collapse upon the lower floors and the whole building to come down. Building 2 collapsed first primarily because the impact zone was lower, hence, more weight above to support.

      “You’ve extrapolated into areas that don’t concern me. You’ve got your definition of a “truther.”It does not apply to me. I want the truth. Simply.”

      Based upon your comments, I seriously doubt that you would be satisfied with anything other than a conclusion that it was a controlled demolition that brought down the WTC buildings, even though you will not pursue the illogic of that conclusion, the virtual impossibility of high explosives not pre-detonating in the intense heat (2000 degrees F). Now, either there were explosives or not. If after 10 years, there is no evidence that it was even feasible to do this, what is the point of additional investigation? Nothing anyone can say will convince you or any of the faithful that there were no explosives.

      I have thoughtfully provided the links to Manuel Garcia Jr’s CounterPunch articles on the WTC collapse. They are a relatively easy read. His e-mail is listed if you have questions.

      link to

      link to

      link to

    • MRW- “If anyone wants to watch a dry but highly informative film of the science of what happened on 9/11 and what could not have happened under any understanding of basic physics, the architects and engineers ….”

      The implication of your statement, of course, is that the 200 professionals who evaluated the WTC collapses were incompetents and/or frauds, and apparently not too clever since their conclusions are so obviously bogus to anyone, such as yourself, who has even a minimal understanding of basic physics. Have you submitted your analysis to one of the professional journals for publication?

      I have included a link to the official study for those who feel they are competent to evaluate it. link to

      I was originally going to link to Manuel Garcia at CounterPunch who evaluated the evaluations, and to something I wrote 5 years ago titled “911 Conspiracy Cult”, but decided against it. I am weary of all of this, lacking the religious fervor of a Truther. I have had lengthy discussions with Truthers in the past which were roughly comparable to arguing with a creationist. The proof of Godly creation is that evolution is impossible. The lack of evidence for a magical deity carries no weight whatsoever. Likewise, for a Truther, the proof of a controlled demolition is the claimed impossibility of a collapse caused by airplane strikes and subsequent fires. This “fact” is accepted by most Truthers on faith, most lacking the rudimentary knowledge to even begin to make such an assertion. And just as creationists have PhD creationists to “prove” that evolution is impossible, so too do Truthers have credentialed experts to claim that the NIST study was bogus. In the 10 years since the collapse, I have yet to see any Truthers demonstrate that a controlled demolition was even possible under the circumstances, it is simply taken as a given. I am going to put aside for the moment the question of the missile-not-an-airplane striking the Pentagon as being unworthy of serious consideration, although apparently there are Truther pilots who claim that was the case.

      I want to briefly summarize why I think that a controlled demolition was virtually impossible and totally illogical. Let us begin by noting that a controlled demolition assumes a governmental conspiracy of immense proportions, al Qaeda not capable of placing the explosives which would have rendered the airplane strikes redundant. Since the Bush administration let it be known that it would welcome a new Pearl Harbor, it seems highly likely that privately they welcomed the 911 attacks. But why collapse the buildings? When the first plane hit the first building, Bush had his new Pearl Harbor. Why complicate things by placing high explosives in three occupied buildings, something comparable to a mission impossible plot? Where would these explosives be placed? How can high explosives be exposed to high temperature fire without pre-detonating (cooking off)? Why drop the second building first? Why use airplanes to camouflage a controlled demolition if you are going to bring down building 7 without an airplane strike? Why bring down building 7 in any event? Truthers have never even asked these questions, much less given answers. And there is no point asking them. They will only point to some new “unexplained” puff of smoke detected in one of the videos they watch endlessly.

      Right after 911, I became convinced that the government had, as a minimum, been negligent in preventing the attacks and was now seeking to exploit them. I wanted to see the Bush administration held accountable. I had an opportunity to see the David Ray Griffin film on 911. I almost fell over. What crap! It became obvious to me that Griffin was the Lyndon LaRouche of 911 Truth. A well-funded sharpie intended to discredit bona fide doubts by association with crackpot theories. And he has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams! What I once referred to as a cult is now close to a bona fide secular religion, with the number of faithful probably equal to religious Judaism. Incredible! And just as five years ago this cult sucked the energy out of the anti-war left, now it continues to render what little remains of the left irrelevant through guilt by association with a movement that to its members seems the very essence of gospel truth, but to the majority appear as conspiratorial wing-nuts. But, who knows? In hard times, fundamentalist religion has wide appeal, cold rationality never popular. I suspect that after this comment my Mondo-popularity, never high, is probably headed for a new low. Such is life.

    • DBG- Perhaps Israel should change its tactics and burn Palestinian flags instead of Palestinians?

    • CHAOS4700- I’m glad to see you bring this topic up. While most of us are aware of the bias in the main stream media, what is much less discussed is the bias in the entertainment media which create the myths which strongly influence how even objectively reported news is perceived. The degree to which the entertainment media actively promulgates the mythology which shapes our society’s world-view. Warfare and warriors, heroes and heroics, patriotism and the use of massive violence to "defend" our freedoms from sinister evil-doers are all recurring themes which facilitate the maintenance of our violent and militaristic society. The average person perceives reality in a massively distorted fashion due to this ideological pre-conditioning. In my opinion, the entertainment media, primarily film and TV, are at least as significant as the news media in shaping opinion and manufacturing consent.

  • Summer lesson
    • CHAOS- Congrats! You hit the nail on the head! “…her son married a Jew….” Oh? And what kind of Jew? An Ethiopian Jew? I think not! A Sephardic Jew? Possible, but unlikely. An Ashkenazi Jew? That’s more like it! Phil needs to understand, if he doesn’t already, that Jewish kinship is mostly an Ashkenazi phenomenon. You-know-who need not apply.

  • Bernard-Henri Levy, philosopher for hire
    • WALID- Lordy, lordy, BHL teaming up with fellow humanitarian advocate of mass murder Bernard Kouchner? An old friend from the Ashkenazi propaganda network that helped sell the imperial project of dismembering Yugoslavia and massively bombing Serbia to save lives? The folks that showed empire that liberal Zionists could deliver the goods much more effectively than the neocons, Likud, and Republicans? That helped set the stage from turning NATO from a bogus defensive alliance into a bona fide imperial out of area strike force? Who is safe when guys like this advocate for an imperial humanitarian killing binge? And who can doubt the extent of Israeli and Zionist involvement in this whole sordid business. Thanks for all of the additional detail which I was mostly unaware of.

    • TAXI- I agree. Udi Aloni seems to be overly deferential to someone more appropriately described as a buffoon than an intellectual. Recently, Tariq Ali was part of a mock tribunal charging BHL with crimes against the intellect. And don’t get me started about BHL’s role with the Libyan “rebels.”

  • British colonial strategy and the 9/11 blowback
    • CITIZEN- I am aware of the Project for a New American Century, a neocon enterprise which has profoundly effected US foreign policy. I maintain, however, that although extreme in its brazenness, it was not a substantive departure from US imperialism. Furthermore, the “hijackers” are no longer in the government, yet the policy guidelines appear to remain in force, a sure indication that they represent established policy not an aberration. In fact, a strong case can be made that Obama embodies the neocon philosophy. What President has been engaged in more wars at one time than Obama? How many covert interventions? How many secret drone assassinations?

      Ten years ago, neocon Michael Ledeen said: “If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war… our children will sing great songs about us years from now.” To me at least, this could be the unstated mantra of the Obama Whitehouse. It also reflects the times. We appear to have entered an era of massive assaults on any and all opposition to corporate/financial control (neoliberalism).

    • CITIZEN- “…how they quite literally hijacked US foreign policy to serve Israel….”

      That the neocons were particularly aggressive in pursuing militarism is beyond doubt. That they “hijacked” US foreign policy is a PR myth by more discreet militarists like Wesley Clark. US foreign policy and militarism has been in evidence from the beginning. It is a mistake to think that US Middle East policy is a radical departure from past history, or that it is exclusively shaped by Israel, or that it would be fundamentally different without AIPAC. Two quotes, the first from Chomsky, the second from Kissinger. I don’t fully agree with Kissinger, however, I think there is more truth there than many Mondoweissers care to admit.

      “Already early in the 19th century, Simon Bolivar observed that: "the United States seems destined to plague and torment the continent in the name of freedom." Simon Bolivar lived in Colombia and is like a George Washington for Latin America - Bolivia is named in his honor. The USA has not been kind to Colombia. The USA took the province of Panama away from Colombia by force, and installed a puppet government so that the USA could build, own and operate the Panama Canal on US terms. Late in the 19th century, the then President (and dictator) of Mexico, Porfirio Diaz, made a statement that has become legendary: "Pobre Mexico, tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos." (Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the USA.) Few have questioned his judgment in this statement.” (Noam Chomsky)

      “Israel is dependent on the United States as no other country is on a friendly power…. Israel sees in intransigence the sole hope for preserving its dignity in a one-sided relationship. It feels instinctively that one admission of weakness, one concession granted without a struggle, will lead to an endless catalogue of demands…. And yet Israel’s obstinacy, maddening as it can be, serves the purpose of both our countries best. A subservient client would soon face an accumulation of ever-growing pressures. It would tempt Israel’s neighbors to escalate their demands. It would saddle us with the opprobrium for every deadlock.” (Henry Kissinger, quoted in “Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East” by Gregory Harms)

    • ALFA- I would just like to add that those 7 nations include Libya, Syria, Lebanon (Hesbollah), and Iran. Ah, the Arab Spring takes curious twists and turns.

    • What a fantastic post! It is this type of background information that is so essential in understanding the various individual events in the Middle East and elsewhere, which may otherwise appear random and incoherent or, worse, be misrepresented in a manipulative fashion, as in the clash of civilizations.

      Additionally, it highlights the responsibility that imperialism and the imperial powers bear for much of the negative aspects of life/culture/etc in the Third World countries they exploited. Divide and conquer, divide and rule. Then complain about the inevitable dysfunctional consequences of First World suzerainty which now predictably require a “humanitarian” First World intervention to “help” the benighted natives. And it continues. Neoliberal globalization hit the Third World first and hardest. Now, it appears, chickens are coming home to roost. A global elite has arisen, and the rest of us have become disposable. Welcome to the world of debt servitude.

  • 'Huffpo' warning: US support for Israel may be a mile wide but an inch thick
    • “The reason this remains such a potentially explosive issue for domestic and international politics is because the current leaders in Israel, Palestine and Washington may have become regionally and historically marginal, if not irrelevant, to the fundamental changes that have occurred and continue to occur on the ground in the Middle East following the Arab Spring.”

      To paraphrase Marx, ‘Delusional fairy tales are the opiate of liberals.” Fundamental changes on the ground? Aaaaaargh! The only fundamental changes I see are that Libya is down and probably out, with Syria likely to be next. These were two of the more significant “enemies” targeted by the neocons 8 years ago. Who is left? Iran? From my perspective, the US/NATO/Financial empire appears pretty strong and not likely to compromise at all. Does anyone remember why that guy in Tunisia set himself on fire? As I recall, it was because he couldn’t get a job. A consequence of neoliberal globalization. And as this economic discontent spread, it was effectively contained and transmogrified into the romantic metaphor of the Arab Spring, a convenient way for empire to hide covert imperial operations leading to “humanitarian” interventions. The notion that democracy is flowering in the Middle East even as neoliberal structural adjustment comes to the First World raises self-deception to a new level.

      “We are ruled not by governments anymore but by financial powers that use interest-bearing debt to exert control over governments, corporations, and people. Almost all other political issues with which we concern ourselves are secondary symptoms of or purposeful distractions from this larger narrative that is never reported by the Wall-Street-funded media.” (Damon Vrabel)

  • Liberating the Palestinian voice
    • RANIA- “I’ve just learned that I can’t really be nice or sensitive when it comes to discussing these things, so I don’t discuss them with them anymore. I think that is probably why I am here.”

      Interesting comment. It touches upon a rather interesting aspect of life in the US. Our society has become so atomized and depoliticized that meaningful discussions with our fellows rarely take place, trivial small talk being the norm. I suspect many Mondoweiss commenters are here for this very reason.

    • EEE- Well, you are your usual self aren’t you? Israel starts a war in 1967 and conquers Arab lands and you play the victim card. What if this? What if that? The poor Jews would have suffered terribly if they had lost the war that they started! How about this: what if Israel didn’t start this war of aggression? What if Israel did something incomprehensible like make peace with its neighbors and stop starting wars of aggression?

    • Calling someone an anti-Semite to silence criticism of Israel, Zionism and any and all things Jewish is but one side of the coin. The other side is that repetition of the charge of anti-Semitism reinforces the impression of anti-Semitism which, in turn, reinforces Jewish perceptions of eternal victim-hood, a key ideological unifier of Zionism. As an ideological construct, it is impervious to rational refutation.

  • Gabe Schivone and the new hyphenated-Jewish identity
    • GUILTYFEAT- You have made an incredibly disingenuous comment to justicewillprevail, who was obviously referring to systemic Israeli discrimination against non-Jews when he/she wrote: “…in one particular country it is written into the law that if you so happen, as an accident of birth, to belong to such a group, then you are awarded rights and privileges not available to any other citizen, or even the indigenous people of the country.” You attempted to equate this unique Israeli discrimination to other nations’ somewhat similar immigration laws. But that is not the point, is it? Israel combines a whole series of formal and informal rules, practices and procedures based upon a person’s right of return, the net effect being to engage in massive camouflaged racial and ethnic discrimination without ever once referring to race or ethnicity. I am sure that you are aware of this, therefore, I can only conclude that you are engaging in intentional misrepresentation.

  • Will Libya victory feed western hubris?
    • WORKERBEE- “But I doubt that Libyans will simply submit to a NATO takeover of their country, complete with military bases.”

      That is what the Libyan government militias were trying to prevent and they lost. Let us begin with what should be obvious. Libya has been physically destroyed. All of the benefits they hitherto enjoyed, like free education and medical, etc, will be eliminated. NATO will almost assuredly have a base in Libya, and AFRICOM will also be welcome. Virtually all public assets will be privatized. Women will suffer new restrictions. Libya will be incorporated into the global financial network. There will likely be tribal conflicts resulting in low level ongoing death and destruction. Additionally, the destruction of essential infrastructure such as water purification will result in additional disease and death. At this stage of the game, there is very little that the people of Libya can do to prevent any of this. Of course, the compradors and quislings will be well rewarded.

      No need to ask for citations, just save this and repost it in a year and make me eat crow. Five months ago I made another prediction. How well did that turn out? “When the dust clears, I think it is highly likely that Libya’s infrastructure will have been destroyed and the countryside littered with depleted uranium munitions. The Libyans, who have a relatively high standard of living and development for Africa, will be reduced to pauper-hood. The total number of people killed will greatly exceed the number which would have died with no intervention. Libya may be divided, with the oil-rich east under US/NATO/rebel control.” It appears at this point that US/NATO was able to conquer all of Libya, however, overall my assessment was both accurate and obvious. And if a year from now I am totally off base and the Libyans are cleansing themselves in the headwaters of the Arab Spring, then eating crow will be a small price to pay for their unexpected good fortune. Perhaps you could also make a prediction?

    • WORKERBEE- “I do remember, but the articles don’t make that argument.”

      I wasn’t the one who provided the citations you refer to, I linked to Bill Blum who you ignored. My point about lowering the bar would seem obvious. What is the point in challenging a particular reference when the essential point is so rather obvious? The references don’t specifically support the assertion? So what. Rather elementary logic supports the conclusion, your sophistry concerning sources, reference, etc, a diversion from the obvious reality of the situation.

      “And how can the rebels both be mercenaries and un-trained, ineffective fighters?”

      Easy. The “rebels” are de facto mercenaries of empire who provide photo ops after US/NATO pulverizes the Libyan militias. The key rebel “leadership” are bought and paid for US educated hirelings, Mahmoud Jibril (PhD, Univ of Pittsburgh), Ali Tarhouni (University of Washington economics instructor), etc. These are strong neoliberal advocates.

      An interesting question is what your position is, other than being a troll and opposing a wide variety of different opinions. In toto, you are both ideologically and factually inconsistent, throwing logic to the wind as you flitter about piecemeal arguing different perspectives. Perhaps you are an intellectual gadfly, demonstrating to yourself how clever you are.

    • TOVIOS- “Air power by itself does not win wars on the ground. It requires disciplined ground forces.”

      If by disciplined ground forces you are referring to the special operations forces and advisors which controlled the final stages of the intervention, you may have a point. I appreciate what you are trying to say about the El Qaeda elements in the Libyan “rebels”, and am not unsympathetic to your concerns, however, we need to keep in mind the relative military weakness of the Libyan militias when faced with the overwhelming firepower of US/NATO. That they were able to resist US/NATO aggression for 6 months is quite an accomplishment. In the end, they were simply overwhelmed by the forces of US/European imperialism. No point dying in a losing cause. If US/NATO could smash Serbia to bits in 78 days, how much easier to smash the much, much weaker Libya to bits in 6 months?

      As an aside, if mercenaries seems somewhat inaccurate, how about de facto mercenaries?

    • TOVIOS- “There is no evidence that these rebel forces are mercenaries, Keith erred in making that charge.”

      In view of the frozen assets turned over to the Western backed rebel leadership, which will be administered by a University of Washington Professor of economics and probable CIA asset, along with other probable financial assistance, I don’t think that it is incorrect to say that the rebels as a group have been bought and paid for, that is mercenaries, regardless of the motivation of some of the individual fighters. I am not claiming that these guys are soldiers of fortune, merely that they have received and are receiving massive financial support, and are more or less following the instructions of their paymasters.

    • WORKERBEE- “Neither of those links says anything about Libya’s rebels, much less that they are “mercenaries”. They don’t even discuss how much the rebels depended on NATO firepower.”

      Well, you have certainly lowered the bar, haven’t you? Can you recall the ostensible reason for this “humanitarian” intervention? Gaddafi was supposedly about to overrun the “rebels” and perpetrate a massacre. Remember? NATO was going to stop the evil Gaddafi from defeating these same “rebels” right at the start, which sounds an awful lot to me like they had minimal military capabilities and popular support without the “assistance” of massive NATO firepower. If they didn’t need 8,000 bombing sorties, why engage in such massive bombing contributing to over 50,000 deaths so far? As for the mercenaries comment, who do you think is paying for all of their equipment and salaries? France has been involved in this for a long time. Bernard-Henri Levy their spokesman. The “transitional” minister for finance and oil is a University of Washington professor on sabbatical. Then there are all of those “frozen” Libyan assets being turned over to the transitional council which, in an unprecedented move, has already opened a central bank. Get real. That this is an imperial intervention is obvious to all but the willfully blind.

      An additional comment needs to be made. This intervention isn’t occurring in a vacuum. We have 65 years of relevant history to guide us. Ever since the end of World War II, the US has been engaged in a non-stop war against the entire Third World, from Latin America to SE Asia to the Middle East. No empire has ever engaged in what could even remotely be considered a “humanitarian” intervention, although noble sounding pretexts are regularly provided to justify, yet again, another imperial intervention. The documentary record speaks for itself. Uncle Sam is a serial mass-murderer. Documentation? Read Noam Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, Tariq Ali, Arundhati Roy, William Blum, John Pilger, etc. Virtually all of the liberal intelligentsia has consistently provided ideological support for US imperial interventionism, which now includes neoliberal globalization.

    • SEAFOID- “America don’t have the money to fight no wars abroad. It can’t please all those 1% of rich folks AND balance the budget.”

      The authors of “American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance” disagree. They feel that “…the US not only has the capacity to sustain its own massive current account deficit but also to reproduce its position at the top of the imperial chain.” This is the result of several factors of which the unique position of the Federal Reserve as the de facto central bank of the global financial system is very significant. In other words, the US controls the global financial system. Empire is in the process of transmogrifying itself. Neoliberal globalization is all about created interdependencies and financial control. In short, reports of imperial collapse are premature.

    • SURPRISE, SURPRISE- It seems this liberal Zionist is also a liberal imperialist! Ignoring history, regurgitating propaganda and downplaying NATO’s assault on Libya, he declares victory in the name of the Libyan people! What imperial chutzpah!

      “…a victory of Quaddafi would have led to a bloodbath….” An honest person would choke on these words. At least 8ooo bombing sorties, infrastructure destroyed, and, according to Chris Hedges: “Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council estimates that the number of Libyans killed in the last six months, including civilians and combatants, has exceeded 50,000.” Guess what? A US/NATO intervention has led to a verified
      bloodbath. And it ain’t over yet! Tribal civil war awaits.

      As I wrote in March, the Libyans under Gaddafi enjoyed free medical, free education, the highest UN development index for all of Africa and the highest standard of living in Africa. All of that has been destroyed as the empire has gained control of Libyan oil and preempted any future threat to empire by Gaddafi. The “rebels” were basically mercenaries totally dependent upon US/NATO firepower, equipment, logistics, helicopter gunships, drones, and special ops forces for victory. To pretend that this was other than an imperial intervention for geo-strategic reasons is to be an apologist for imperial intervention, something many liberals feel quite comfortable doing. Shame!

      The sad truth is that liberals only protest Republican wars and militarism. When there is a Democrat in the White House, liberals don their holier-than-thou mantle to support wars to “save lives,” as all liberal wars do, liberals being noble and good by definition. Facts don’t count, they never do if you are a public intellectual and know how to spin reality. And lordy, lordy, haven’t a lot of facts been ignored by Jerome Slater. For those interested in a more truthful evaluation of the Libyan intervention, I recommend the following by William Blum:
      link to

  • 9/11 commission prevaricated about prime grievance behind the attack, Palestine
    • MRW- “…Americans are laughed at from Argentina to Beijing for believing a barbecue-strength fire can decimate 113 stories in 9 seconds….”

      Two quick questions. How did these high explosives manage to withstand the intense heat of the fire without pre-detonating (cooking off)? Why did the person controlling the demolition bring down the second building first?

  • Wikileaks drip drip drip
    • MUDDER- “So sad and so piercing to our American myth of spreading democracy.”

      Indeed, the myth has become accepted reality, and reality itself has been consigned to the memory hole. And those who can be made to believe absurdities, can be made to commit atrocities. The story of liberal imperialism and humanitarian interventionism in a nutshell.

  • The people demand the return of the old regime
    • MYMARKX- “…I certainly don’t believe in voting third party or casting protest votes when we know beforehand that only one of the Two Evils has any chance of winning. I think we should boycott the election ….”

      And what message does a boycott send? That the citizenry is too apathetic to vote? That they basically approve of things and see no need to vote? This is your idea of protest?

      I protest vote and I consider it the duty of concerned citizens to protest at the polls. If our fellow citizens protest voted en mass, things would be radically different. A significant vote for alternative candidates sends a message to the elites that the citizenry actively seeks change and elite electoral control could be threatened without elite compromise. It also sends a message to politicians that simply having the biggest war chest may not be enough, therefore, voter preferences gain in importance. Additionally, significant protest voting sends a message to organizers that a significant number of the polity are at least minimally mobilized for action. If people can’t even arouse themselves to spend a couple of hours protesting at the polls, why bother? So yes, right now protest voting has negligible impact, however, hope springs eternal that perhaps people will wise up and begin resisting, initially in this most safe and convenient way.

  • UN report on flotilla raid: Israel shot em the wrong way but everything else it did was fine
    • HAYTHAM- For what it is worth, I like your style. A little righteous indignation seems appropriate. Mondoweiss has an extraordinarily high level of discussion. Many high quality commenters. Some appropriate moderation is useful, the site lacked that in the not too distant past. Perhaps it has gone too far in the other direction?

    • HOPHMI- “…one being the support of Palestinian and other Arab leaders for Hitler.”

      Are you sure you want to go there? Would you care to discuss Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin and Rudolph Kastner?

  • Scenes from an occupation: Wikileaks cable details 2006 massacre of Iraqi family (incl 5 month old baby) by US troops
    • TAL- “So once again American soldiers are involved in war crimes.”

      Yes, that is an inevitable consequence of an imperial intervention, and why I steadfastly oppose imperial interventions, and all manifestations of empire. While I think that it is very appropriate that Mondoweiss focus on Israel/Palestine (an indirect imperial intervention), I am painfully aware that the US is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world as Martin Luther King stated, but which is rarely reported in the MSM.

      “Are there any demonstrations in the US over these issues?”

      There were huge demonstrations prior to the Iraq invasion that had no effect. ANSWER continues to hold demonstrations, for what they are worth. There is a big one planned for October 6 in Washington, DC. See you there?

      “Who are your Amira Hass and Gidoen Levys exposing these crimes and writing about them in MSM?”

      I am unaware of any radical critique of the American empire in the MSM. Even in the alternative media, people like Juan Cole, Gilbert Achar and Stephen Zunes find reasons to justify imperial intervention when it is a Democrat in the White House. For a fine analysis of the Libyan intervention, I highly recommend the ever reliable Bill Blum:
      link to

  • Where Israel is headed
    • HOPHMI- “Look, do you really want to compare the equality women have in the Arab world to the equality women have in Israel?”

      I do believe that if one were to examine the status of women in the Middle East, it would turn out that women have fared far better in secular societies than under religious fundamentalism. Furthermore, if one were to examine US/Israel’s policies in the Middle East, one would conclude that they have opposed secular nationalism (Nasser, Iran, etc), and have supported or created the conditions conducive for religious fundamentalism (Israel initially encouraged Hamas as a rival to the PLO). In other words, US/Israel bears considerable responsibility for the conditions of women in these Middle East regimes. Conditions which you now criticize while failing to acknowledge Israeli and US culpability. To this I add that the women of Libya are about to be treated to a reduction in status at the hands of empire’s ‘freedom fighters’, who contain more than their share of religious fundamentalists. Their standard of living is also going to plummet. Then there will be the inevitable death squads. Shall they take comfort in the metaphor of the Arab Spring? I think not.

  • Bad interventions, and a few good ones-- which was Libya?
    • ELEANORKILROY- “Is it that simple, Keith?”

      Yes it is. Any honest review of the relevant history will quickly reveal that the American empire has frequently intervened militarily to achieve geo-strategic objectives, resulting in massive death and destruction. Following World War II, the US intervened in Italy, Greece, Korea and elsewhere to smash the popular resistance forces and reinstall the fascist collaborators. In Latin America, the US overthrew democratically elected governments which were replaced by military dictatorships and death squad democracies. In Viet Nam, the US prevented an election which would have likely brought Ho Chi Minh to power, and assaulted SE Asia militarily resulting in millions of deaths. The US also encouraged and supported the military coup in Indonesia in which about one million “communist” peasants were murdered. Afghanistan and Iraq join a long list of victims of US imperial aggression. I have left out a lot, but the pattern is clear. The American empire routinely engages in covert operations, terrorism and mass murder in order to achieve its imperial objectives. This is what empires do. Hardly the entity to keep the peace and save lives.

      All of these interventions were justified by lofty rhetoric. Defense against communism, protect freedom, bring democracy, defeat terrorism, fight drugs, humanitarian intervention, obligation to protect, etc. The actual consequences, however, were quite different. Massive death and destruction, destroyed infrastructure, undemocratic imperial satrapies, economic subordination, etc. All of this routinely ignored or misrepresented by the media and “informed” liberal intelligentsia.

      Why would anyone believe the imperial propaganda system? Actions speak louder than words, and the facts on the ground seem quite clear to me. Frankly, I don’t care what Gilbert Achar or Juan Cole have to say about all of this. They are part of a doctrinal system that has been justifying imperial depredations for as long as there have been imperial depredations. Humanitarian intervention and white man’s burden are part of the same narrative. I do agree, however, that Americans have a responsibility to protect. Namely, to protect other nations, particularly Third World nations and people, from American imperial violence, including NATO, etc. In other words, Americans have an obligation to oppose all US imperial interventions, no matter how noble sounding the pretext used to justify them.

    • To me the question is quite simple: do you support imperial aggression and war crimes, or do you oppose them? The very notion that empire is going to intervene for “humanitarian” reasons is so absurd that it is believed only by the willfully blind or the liberal media and liberal academics who provide ideological justification and propaganda for imperial war making when it is a Democratic President making war. And sometimes when it is a Republican as well. This is what empires do, and this is how the propaganda system functions.

  • Democratic cong'l candidate uses Israel issue to pander to rightwing Republicans
    • KATHLEEN- The war on terror has been a failure only if one naively assumes that it is, in fact, a war on terror. However, viewed as a pretext, the war on terror has been wildly successful in securing elite objectives. I could go on but prefer to leave it to Mondoweiss readers to draw their own conclusions regarding the validity of my statement.

  • Another congressperson writes home from the Jewish State, surrounded by madness she compares to Nazism
  • Obama's Wall Street defectors to Romney include strong supporters of Israel
    • HOPHMI- “It is no secret that Obama does not have a good relationship with Wall Street.”

      Have you gone into stand-up comedy? Obama is Wall Street’s lawyer in the White House. The Street was his most significant funding source in the last election and will remain so this next election. This is nothing but political theater.

  • Exulting over Libya
    • PHIL- Your brain has been pickled by a metaphor. And by your “liberal” bias. Can’t deal with the reality that Obama is a warmonger implementing the neocon agenda? If Bush was President, methinks that you would be calling this imperial intervention for what it is, based upon the simple facts of the matter. Rather difficult to ignore the reality of a massive US/NATO bombing campaign against this militarily weak oil rich country. Or the helicopter gunships. Or the drones. Or the mercenaries. Or the financial support and arming and training. But that is just what you have done, isn’t it? If the facts and relevant history contradict your narrative, ignore them and focus on the romantic metaphor of the “Arab Spring,” like it was the source of some river that actually existed which would sweep away the evil and cleanse our souls. And in so doing, tying together disparate events through the logic of your bogus metaphor, to imply a reality which doesn’t exist. Of course, you wouldn’t do that for a Republican warmonger, would you? But a Democrat, you betcha. It’s the liberal thing to do. Liberal solidarity and all. It is what the members of the liberal intelligentsia do, after all. Provide ideological cover for Democrats implementing the Republican- that is to say corporate- agenda.

  • Israel's only hope is that theocracies emerge...
    • HRK- Both Israel and the US have a long history of supporting Islamic fundamentalism and opposing Arab secularism. Secular pan-Arabism is seen as a serious threat to US imperial control and Israeli hegemonic ambitions, whereas, Islamic fundamentalism reinforces the “Clash of Civilizations” meme. Also, religious fanaticism encourages sectarian conflict, a key component of divide and conquer, divide and rule.

    • EMMA- For what it is worth, Israel is also the command responsibility of the US European Command, not the US Central Command which has responsibility for the rest of the Middle East. Also, very close relations with NATO.

  • Libyan triumph exposes the west's double standard for Palestine
    • PHIL “This is a joyful night. The liberation of Tripoli and Libya is one of those events we never could have predicted at the beginning of the year, I've been glued to the screen, sharing the triumph of the hopeful people in the streets in north Africa.”

      Ah, the triumphalism of the liberal imperialist is a wonder to behold. Cheering on the empire? Shame on you! Normal self-deception is one thing, but at this stage of the game, this is beyond the pale.

      In todays Seattle Times it said that “…television showed crowds of opposition fighters in Tripoli unfurling the tricolor flag of pre-Gadhafi Libya….” Pre-Gaddafi? Back when the Sheik ruled on behalf of the Western oil corporations and Libya was one of the poorest and least educated in all of Africa? Before the tyrant Gaddafi redistributed the wealth and Libya rose to the top of per capita income and education in all of Africa, with the highest development index?

      Yes, let us unite in joy with Phil to celebrate the liberation of Libyans from their country’s wealth as Libya reverts to the Third World model of poverty for the masses as Libyan assets are privatized and otherwise commandeered. As their government reverts to an imperial satrapy with elections, and structural adjustment provides hope for the future. Of course, the imperial rebels will need to consolidate their power, which will likely entail some form of the ‘Salvadoran option’ as ‘Gaddafi loyalists’ are neutralized with a little help from US Special Operations Forces. A bright future indeed.

      Forgive me if I interpret events differently. Let me begin with a quote:

      "in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.…” (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130, quoted by Michel Chossudovsky)

      Obviously, the five year time horizon was overly optimistic. Iraq dragged on and Hezbollah held firm. What to do? The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt provided a problem and an opportunity. The problem was how to contain the Egyptian discontent and prevent it from spreading to the oil rich areas. Egypt was contained, Bahrain, which borders Saudi Arabia, crushed. The opportunity was to intervene in targeted nations, such as Libya and Syria, under cover of the ‘Arab spring’, a convenient label which romanticizes and misrepresents the reality of the situation.

      In Libya, the imperial ‘rebels’ have had massive imperial support from the get go. Money, weapons, training, special ops support, diplomatic support, and an unprecedented amount of US/NATO air support. Without this, they would have been easily defeated long ago. As it was, it took quite a long time to defeat the militias of this militarily weak country. If these imperial mercenaries had any real support among the people they would have won in about a week. The stiff resistance was not the result of any sort of misplaced loyalty to Gaddafi, rather it was patriotic resistance to yet another foreign invasion/intervention of Libya, with consequences that are rather easily predicted. The empire smashes yet another weak and defenseless Third World country (population 6 million), and the Progressive Only On Palestine (POOP) liberals are besides themselves with joy. So who’s next? Iran? Chavez? The noecon dream moves forward. Can’t get much more ‘humanitarian’ than that! Ah, the White Man’s Burden is alive and well!

  • JINSA says that Israel has been all for an Arab state since Partition
    • The JINSA e-mail must be viewed in context. Of course it is propaganda, but it is more than that. It is propaganda with a purpose. The Zionists have excelled at imposing their narrative on the actual events so that objective reality has been pushed aside by Zionist mythology. This mythology has become tarnished of late. This is part of a never ending attempt to reimpose and buttress the Zionist narrative. If they can get away with it, they may return to the ‘Land without people for a People without land’ myth. Defending the group ideology is an important part of group cohesion. Examples are easy to find in the Mondoweiss comments section.

  • If 1.5 million Jews were locked up in Gaza, where would 'Commentary' be on violent resistance?
    • “However one sees this situation, a key point to keep in mind is that this sort of thing isn't going to stop as long as the occupation and the siege of Gaza persists….”

      Of course, violent resistance will continue. I think it is mistake, however, to assume that a low level of Arab “terrorism” isn’t welcomed by the state. All national security states such as the US and Israel need some sort of enemy to justify their militarism. For the US, the USSR is gone, and the “Clash of Civilizations” is the best substitute available. For Israel, Zionist militarism is justified by bogus security concerns, and ongoing US support by the same war on terror logic. In other words, the policy produces a predictable response which, in turn, is used to justify the policy. Face it, the US and Israel need enemies and won’t tolerate peace because it threatens their power structures.

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