Commenter Profile

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


Radical dissident. Retired.


Showing comments 1200 - 1101

  • US and Israel march in lockstep towards expansion of military detention
    • DAN CROWTHER- “And the march toward neo-feudalism continues….”

      It is, after all, the apparent objective of neo-liberal globalization. The formation of a super rich capitalist nobility to rule over the mass of people locked in debt servitude. All of it ultimately driven by debt money and compound interest in a private financial system. A system bound to collapse with incalculable consequences. Our greatest enemy our own elites. Not being superstitious, I can only conclude that the Mayan calendar is an incredible coincidence.

  • From Occupation to 'Occupy': The Israelification of American domestic security
    • SEAFOID- The militarization of the police and the increasing reliance on coercive force as a means of social control has been going on for a while. It is intended as a means to subdue the domestic population when confronted with the inevitable social disruptions caused by neoliberal structural adjustment. This is the Third World model currently being imposed upon the First World. The financial sector is reducing the majority to a form of debt servitude. The year 2012 is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

  • Letter from Cairo: the liberals, the Brothers, and the poor
    • AVI_G- “When the West crushed all forms of pan-Arab nationalism, the only outlet, the only avenue for political expression was through religion.”

      Exactly! The rise of religious fundamentalism throughout the Middle East was an inevitable consequence of US/Israel policy. It also appears to have been intentional since it reinforces the “clash of civilizations” meme. Secular, democratic “us” versus theocratic, fundamentalist “them.”

  • The earlier me
    • TOKYOBK- “I do believe that the basic sport here is “wow aren’t those Zionist Jews especially weird, cultish, nutty, fill in the blank, when in fact Zionist behavior is pretty typical generally to human history and specific to the region.”

      Painting with broad strokes, I agree. The one point which I feel needs emphasis, however, is that Israel’s actions are anachronistic. That is, while similar to historical Western colonialism, they are occurring after the horrors of colonialism have been recognized and are no longer considered acceptable. Looking at the big picture, however, it should be apparent that Israel’s ongoing human rights abuses are of a kind with historical Western depredations, and with current US/NATO warmongering. And I haven’t even touched upon the consequences of ongoing neoliberal globalization, structural adjustment, and the financial warfare being waged against Europe.

    • DUMVITA- “Is the State of Israel a ” good parent”to its “children” or not??
      What kind of a hidden agenda the “Big Daddy Israel ” has in raising its children in paranoical/narcissistic delusions???”

      I don’t think that the parent/child relationship is a useful analogy in evaluating elite behavior as it relates to the majority. The elites got to be elites by aggressively, myopically, ruthlessly pursuing power. They feel no love or responsibility towards those they exploit to achieve their power seeking objectives. This reality is universal, surely as true in the US empire as in Israel. Far from being loving and wise parents, the elites are power mad sociopaths, pursuing a destructive agenda which threatens to destroy the species and much else. The sad truth is that our greatest threat comes from those calling the shots. As for a hidden agenda, that goes without saying. All power seekers are frauds and liars, attempting to camouflage their perfidy with benevolent imagery.

  • 'Washington Post' says 'questions surfaced' about Amb. Gary Locke's possible dual loyalty to China
    • “Ever since President Obama named Locke to replace Jon M. Huntsman Jr., who resigned as ambassador to run for president, questions have surfaced about whether the Chinese American’s background might lead to dual loyalties.”

      Is this some sort of sick joke? There is nothing even remotely comparable to the Zionist Lobby among Chinese Americans. Yet the subject comes up. But not for the Zionist who have publicly pledged their troth to Israel. Are we talking East Coast media bias or what?

  • About last night
    • KRAUSS- “If OWS gets it’s way, it won’t be enough to raise a few taxes here and there. You have to totally redo the entire political system and purge it away from monied interests."

      “purge it away from monied interests.” From your mouth to God’s ear! And that is the key, isn’t it? Both the economy and democracy suffer grievously from an excessive concentration of wealth (money power).

  • Why is Charlie Rose hugging Seth Klarman?
    • It is in the nature of social organization that the unorganized majority are inevitably controlled by an organized minority. This organized minority is possible due to strong internal cohesion enabled by a shared ideology. The Zionist ideology permeates organized American Jewry, and creates the motivation and solidarity necessary for effective coordinated action. Israel is the tribal totem, the Holocaust and perceived anti-Semitism the motivators. The Zionists expend considerable resources in cultivating and maintaining their Jewish Zionist base. Their organizational success provides an effective base for influence and power-seeking. American Zionist efforts are primarily toward that end. American Jewish Zionists are a power-seeking collective. Charlie Rose is responding to that power.

      “Zionism is Jewish power- worldly and state power: military, economic, and ideological, too. It is the power, which to paraphrase Thomas Hobbes, is the “capacity to give names and enforce definitions,” including the definition that collapses the meaning of Jewishness into the support of Israel….” (Joel Kovel, “Overcoming Zionism”)

    • MRW- “Their philanthropy is tax avoidance. That’s all.”

      I think you are being too charitable. “Philanthropy” enables the rich to leverage their wealth so as to exert considerable social control and influence. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Council on Foreign Relations, for example. It is how the wealthy avoid taxes AND shape the social environment to their liking. It also is how the fat cats co-opt the opposition to oligarchic rule. In my view, there is no such thing as a progressive foundation in the fullest sense of the term. None which would support fundamental changes to our current system. They are instruments of power masquerading as charity.

  • What's my line? I'm Bruce Springsteen of the Middle East, the land of milk and honey
  • Questions about Bernard Avishai's 'Harper's' piece
    • "Hebrew haven in a heartless world."
      “Repeatedly he speaks of anti-semitism and the need for a "refuge" from it. That heartless world that we need a haven in. And a tenet of the Jewish state is that it will provide a place for people fleeing anti-Semitism.”

      What crap! What Bernard Avishai really wants is to have his cake and eat it too! As you note, “he has homes in Jerusalem and New Hampshire too. How heartless has the world been to Avishai?” This guy wants to live a privileged life while claiming victim-hood. No need to justify your actions or affluence if you are the victim. Poor guy NEEDS a home in Jerusalem just in case. What this jerk can’t seem to understand is that in claiming eternal victim-hood, he also indicates that he perceives Gentiles as eternal victimizers, evil and irrational. This is anti-Gentile chauvinism, the mirror image of anti-Semitism.

  • Activists charge World Health Organization with being 'blind to apartheid'
    • DUMVITA- “What Role for Germany and Europe in a NEW WORLD ORDER”.

      Ah, you are concerned about a world run directly by the financiers? Where “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)?

      Where “On November 25, two days after a failed German government bond auction in which Germany was unable to sell 35 per cent of its offerings of 10-year bonds, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Germany might retreat from its demands that the private banks that hold the troubled sovereign debt from Greece, Italy, and Spain must accept part of the cost of their bailout by writing off some of the debt?”
      link to

      Over at Dissident Voice, James Petras writes that “We live in a time of dynamic, regressive, regime changes. A period in which major political transformations and the dramatic roll back of a half century of socio-economic legislation are accelerated by a prolonged and deepening economic crises and a world-wide financier led offensive.” He identifies three phases, beginning with “decaying democracies,” which lead to “oligarchical democracies,” and soon to “colonial technocratic dictatorship.”
      link to

      Of course, we don’t know what will be discussed, however, there are some rather significant changes going on, aren’t there?

    • DUMVITA- “…speakers will include …. the Tunisian web activist Slim Amamou and the fmr. spokeswoman of the LIBYAN TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL Iman Bugaighis.”

      Interesting indeed! The Berlin Foreign Policy Forum includes a Tunisian web activist and a former spokeswoman of the Libyan Transitional Council! Seems strange, to say the least. Unless, of course, there is more to these two than we have been led to believe.

  • Updated: Will Tel Aviv and Washington play it safe Egypt and Syria?
    • AVI_G- I am inclined to agree with you. Two points: First, Middle East opposition to Syria, including Turkey, is significantly influenced by Sunni Muslim opposition to a potential increase in Shi’ite Muslim unity and power across much of the Middle East. Second, the empire is on a roll in implementing long planned objectives to remake the Middle East and is not about to slow down to let the opposition regroup.

    • DICKERSON- “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”

      I think I have seen this philosophy before. See the quote below.

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

  • NBC and the Israel lobby
    • PHIL- “What is the Israel lobby? It is the force inside our discourse that defends the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel, forever.”

      I think we have a conceptual problem when we make our description of the Israel “lobby” overly broad. A lobby is a lobby. It’s actions are guided by the organizing entity directing it’s activity. Much as I hate to identify with James Petras, I do feel that his label of “Zionist Power Configuration” is more accurate. These are all the people, from Zionist Jews to Christian Zionists to a Zionist friendly military-industrial-media complex which are strongly biased in favor of the Jewish state and act accordingly. The use of the label “Israel lobby” implies a foreign entity which can be surgically removed from the body politic. In fact, a Zionist friendly mindset permeates the corridors of power, and is intrinsically linked with American imperialism. I once again strongly emphasize that, in my view, the center of Zionist power is the US, and that rise of the Israeli right wing was encouraged and financed by American Zionists. Furthermore, that the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the American Zionist power configuration.

  • Salon: Israel pushes US warmongering via neocon dog-tail-waggers
    • ANNIE- “i knew it. i knew they wanted wheeler airforce base back for africom.”

      You got that right! What is happening seems to be going right by a lot of folks. The neocon Project For a New American Century is being aggressively implemented by the Obama administration. The neocons see this as a window of opportunity to lock in US corporate/financial dominance before a rival becomes strong enough to contest US militarism. In essence, the collapse of the Soviet Union has caused Uncle Sam to go crazy. Potential rivals are being eliminated or hogtied. Things are moving fast, folks having trouble keeping up. The US empire increasingly controlled by the financial elites, the planet being turned into one big “company town.” Full spectrum dominance, full spectrum warfare. Africa a major prize in a world of diminishing resources. Total war on the 99%.

    • LOBEWYPER- “Have you noticed how hyper-vigilant the Zionists are to the slightest sign that American support might be weakening?”

      Israeli Zionists? Yes. American Zionists? No. The following quote provides some insight.

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

      What must be kept in mind is that the dominant elite are sociopaths. We are ruled by mad men. Humanity still exists, in spite of a long history of mass murder and genocide, because previously the species lacked the capacity to kill itself. That is no longer true.

      “To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski, quoted by Andrew Gavin Marshall, Dandelion Salad 1/28/11)

    • DUMVITA- See my comment below (assuming it passes moderation) and read the two articles. Your comment is reasonable speculation based upon known criteria. The empire is going all out for a complete restructuring of the Middle East to achieve US/Israel strategic objectives. One new wrinkle is that conflict is no longer limited to conventional means, but may include both cyberwarfare and financial warfare. Full spectrum dominance in the fullest sense of the concept. We live in extremely dangerous times.

    • US/ISRAEL VS SYRIA/IRAN- Two awesome articles over at Dissident Voice are extremely informative on current US/NATO/Israel machinations in the Middle East.

      First, Pepe Escobar writes that “This is part and parcel of the “strategic opportunity” identified by the powerful Israel lobby in Washington; if we strike against the Damascus-Tehran link, we deal a mortal blow to Hezbollah in Lebanon. That, ideologues believe, can now be sold to world public opinion under the cover of the former Arab Spring — now “Arab Winter” after a metamorphosis, before “Arab Summer”, into the Arab counter-revolution).” The whole article is a must read I heartily recommend.
      link to

      Second, Tom Burghardt writes about current covert operations against Iran, including cyber warfare. “As the U.S. and Israel ramp-up covert operations against Iran, the Pentagon “has laid out its most explicit cyberwarfare policy to date, stating that if directed by the president, it will launch ‘offensive cyber operations’ in response to hostile acts,” according to The Washington Post.” Another must read article.
      link to

  • Pamela Geller's Islamophobia hits new low with Thanksgiving Day smear of dietary laws
    • MOOSER- “Is their something in the New Testament which requires Christians to guzzle every goddam drop of booze in the house when you invite them over?”

      If you want to put a quick stop to this serve Mogen David.

  • Brave ‘NYT’ describes Israel’s efforts to ‘pinkwash’ occupation
  • Who's on top in VF piece-- 'Tom Buchanan' Winkelvosses or 'lifelong elite' Zuckerberg?
    • MRW- “You have no idea who Moglen is. You wouldn’t be able to do email today without him, because he invented it when he was 16.”

      Lordy, lordy, another Jewish computer “genius” to save us from ourselves! And a lawyer to boot! If he ain’t the Messiah who is? Maybe so. I will eventually look at the longer video. Until then, who can doubt Google’s revealed truth? I guess that I am just an old curmudgeon. I had always thought that the internet was developed by the US military. I’m surprised that your guru is still around. If he was that big a threat to elite power, I would have thought that he would have disappeared long ago. But, you’re right, I don’t know. Perhaps when I see the longer video I’ll be converted.

    • MRW- Freedom is dependency on a device called FreedomBox? I listened to the 15 minute video and something about it and Eben Moglon didn’t quite sit well. I can’t put my finger on it but I would be very cautious about putting too much faith in a miracle cure for technological vulnerability.

    • MARC B- “…who does goliath petition for assistance? larry summers.”

      For what it is worth, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, used to be Lawrence Summers’ chief of staff at the Treasury Department.

    • “Facebook is the most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented.” (Julian Assange)

      For some reason I have trouble taking this whole Mark Zuckerberg computer genius business at face value. For starters, both he and fellow computer genius Bill Gates went to Harvard which, as far as I know, is not a top school for information technology. It is, however, connected with the CIA, which has more than ample computer capability. How does a Harvard underclassman crank out 500 man hours of programming over a weekend? Perhaps he had help? Perhaps surreptitious control of the internet is an integral part of full spectrum dominance?

  • Santorum says West Bank is Israel's Texas, and all who live there are 'Israelis'
    • This is a shocking interview. A know-nothing ex-senator interviewed by an inept interviewer. For starters, the 1967 war was started by Israel with the foreknowledge of the US. More significantly, Rick Santorum is the only one I have ever heard make the ludicrous claim that the West Bank is part of Israel. Even Israel acknowledges that the West Bank is occupied territory. Furthermore, this lawyer should surely be aware of international law regarding the acquisition of territory by military force. The US acquisition of Texas from Mexico is a moot point. I’m shocked that Rick Santorum would make such ludicrous statements in public where they were recorded.

  • Revival of Geneva Initiative features divisive figure: Bernard-Henri Levy
    • “Bernard-Henri Lévy, French philosopher and writer”

      A more honest description would read ‘Bernard-Henri Levy, “French” Jewish fat-cat Sayan.’ Whenever this guy shows up, can “humanitarian” suffering be far behind?

  • The problem with 'occupation' in the occupy movement
    • WITTY- "Universalism is consistent acceptance of all people, and in the present."

      Tribalism is incompatible with universalism. Zionism is incompatible with the values you profess to believe in.

    • DUMVITA- The article you linked to is excellent and I highly recommend it for all Mondoweissers. I do, however, take some exception to the demonization of fractional reserve banking. In a private system, there is literally no alternative to creating money in controlled amounts. There would, of course, be no such problem in a public banking system. A couple of points need emphasis. First, modern capitalism is all about financial control, not ownership of production. Second, globalization is primarily about extending financial control, a form of financial warfare leading to debt peonage for the majority. Finally, the system depends upon continual growth to service the compounding interest built into our debt-based monetary system. In regards to the occupy movement, hopefully they are aware or becoming aware that our modern society is a money controlled society, and that our current difficulties are a direct consequence of a privately controlled predatory financial system. A couple of quotes to emphasize some key points.

      “We are completely dependent on the commercial banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system.... It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied very soon.” ( Robert H. Hemphill of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank)

      “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) link to

  • Derfner slams Jason Alexander as yet another 'evenhanded liberal failure'
    • SAND- Please notice that I said “the US government (empire) and American Zionists.” I am of the opinion that it is American Zionists more than Israeli Zionists who are the source of much of the problem. And all of us collectively share some responsibility for the actions of the US government. I am reacting to what I perceive as a tendency to focus exclusively on Israel thereby implicitly absolving the US of any responsibility. I continue to believe that while Israel is the spiritual symbol of Zionism, the US is the center of Zionist power. Think of American Zionists as the umbilical cord attaching the US empire to the Jewish state. As a consequence, I believe that American Zionists are a huge stumbling block to a just solution. Added treat, a quote from Norman Finkelstein.

      “For Israel’s new American Jewish ‘supporter,’ however, such talk bordered on heresy: an independent Israel at peace with its neighbors was worthless; an Israel aligned with currents in the Arab world seeking independence from the United States was a disaster. Only an Israeli Sparta beholden to American power would do, because only then could US Jewish leaders act as spokesmen for American imperial ambitions.”

    • “…everybody out there is afraid to say out loud what, from all impressions, they know to be true: that the Israeli government is the problem….”

      If it was just the Israeli government, it wouldn’t be that big of a problem. Alas, the US government (empire) and American Zionists make a large contribution to the problem and, in fact, may be the critical stumbling block to a solution. Too often, anti-Zionists tend to uncritically absolve Uncle Sam from responsibility for what goes on in Israel/Palestine. Strong though Zionist influence be, we cannot wash our hands of American responsibility for financing and supporting what goes on in the Middle East. Like it or not, we are talking about US/Israel. End US support and Israel will behave differently.

  • Egypt, Syria, and the dynamics of counter-revolution
    • WALID- WOW! You have a massive amount of knowledge on this! I don’t know how much Max is aware of any of this, however, realistically very little in depth detail can be included in a regional discussion painted in broad strokes. His article is somewhat lengthy even without the detail, and provided a nice point of departure for your more detailed comments.

      As for the Egyptian uprising, while I surely wish them well, I cannot be overly optimistic. We live in a globalized world more or less run by global finance. Wall Street and the IMF have more to say about Egypt than the Egyptian government. Egypt is totally enmeshed in the global system and is dependent upon the financial system for essential imports, particularly food. If any Egyptian government strays too far from acceptable behavior, their lines of credit disappear along with their food imports. It is extremely difficult for a Third World country to break free. Now that even includes the periphery of Europe, Greece, Italy, Spain, etc., who are being broken by the financiers. Things are grim.

      Perhaps that is another reason for the overthrow of Gaddafi. There was a slight danger of a Libya-Egypt rapprochement if a populist anti-Israel government came to power in Egypt. Libyan support could have made the difference and totally upset the balance of power. Now Egypt has NATO on one side, Israel on the other, and it’s food supply in the hands of the IMF. Not a promising future.

    • MAX- Overall excellent analysis! It is good to see at least a few who don’t get carried away with the romantic metaphor of the “Arab Spring,” which explains nothing while justifying irrational policy, and instead looking at the regional politics from a strategic perspective. “…the American and Israeli governments that are attempting to shatter the region into a jagged mosaic of statelets….” There have been plans in existence for a long time to do this which are now being aggressively implemented.

  • Pro-Israel rabbis slam Paterno for standing by while others were hurt
    • To clarify my comment above, Rabbi Joshua Hess is attempting to put a universalist veneer on a tribalist ideology.

    • “Among the myriad of verses which implore us to protect the vulnerable, the most critical one is, "Do not stand idly by, while your fellow's blood is shed." This commandment requires us to do whatever we can to save and protect the life of a fellow human being.”

      What utter hypocritical rubbish. To condemn Paterno is fine, he deserves it. But to misrepresent scripture is quite another thing. Please bear in mind that in Classical Judaism, the source of reference is the Talmud, not the Torah. The Talmud is the accepted Rabbinical interpretation of the Torah. In the Talmud, “fellow” refers to “fellow Jew.” The way a Jew is supposed to relate to the safety of a gentile was expounded upon at length by Moses Maimonides, Judaism’s greatest philosopher and Rabbinic authority. Suffice it to say, that Rabbi Joshua Hess has totally misrepresent Judaic teachings on this topic. For those interested, I highly recommend “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” by Israel Shahak.

  • Contextualizing the Holocaust
    • Final comment. I think it takes a certain amount of chutzpa and insensitivity for a rich American Jew to promote focusing on the Nazi Holocaust, while simultaneously ignoring the genocide of the native Americans, and the suffering of the Black American slaves. The Indians and the Blacks are far more integral to US history than European Jews. Also, in view of the relatively low social status of American Blacks and Indians, much of it a direct consequence of US history and ongoing US racism, I am troubled by this ongoing attempt by some Jews, the most successful ethnic group in the US, to continue to promote themselves as the ultimate victims. Furthermore, it is quite obvious that the phrase “never again” is not intended as a universal statement, rather, it is meant as a tribal rallying cry to justify all manner of Zionist depredations.

    • EXILED- I’m glad you brought this up. The news media always present these situations as local affairs involving long simmering animosities. They almost never highlight Western involvement, one Western power arming and supporting one side for strategic reasons, another Western power arming and supporting the other side in what is, in effect, a neocolonial struggle, the locals proxies for the great powers. They die while some Western power profits, all the while pontificating about First World peace and harmony, Western enlightenment, etc.

  • Unpacking the Israel-Kenya deal to help wage war in Somalia
    • This is to supplement my comment above. First of all, I hope that everyone did notice that Somalia was one of the seven countries identified for regime change. Why Somalia? Today, an article in CounterPunch (excerpted and linked below) explains why. The key point is that this isn’t just about Israel and Kenya. The US empire has newly energized strategic interests in Africa, particularly Northern Africa. This being the case, any analysis must be cognizant of imperial geo-strategy.

      “The Horn of Africa is one of the most strategically critical regions in the world with the narrow passage where the Red Sea joins the Indian Ocean, the Bab el-Mandeb, being a potential choke point for much of the worlds commerce.

      Almost all of the trade between the European Union and China, Japan, India and the rest of Asia passes through the Bab el-Mandeb everyday. Up to 30% of the worlds oil, including all of the oil and natural gas from the Persian Gulf heading west passes through the Horn of Africa daily.

      Who controls the Horn of Africa controls a major chunk of the worlds economies and whether you and I understand it, the CIA, MI6 and all the western intelligence agencies know all to well just how critical the Horn of Africa is to their national interests.”
      link to

    • To look at what is unfolding in Somalia and see only Kenya and Israel is to miss a huge part of the situation. The empire is deeply involved in all of this as one should expect. Two quotes. The first provides historical perspective, the second the current reality.

      "…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).
      link to

      “Global Research first reported on 19 October [2] the lethal use of US drones in attacks on various locations across southern Somalia in a coordinated air campaign to assist the advance of Kenyan ground troops deep into Somali territory held by Islamic insurgents. We reported that US drones began attacking Somali targets days before the Kenyan army began its incursion, and have continued in a pattern that indicates American air power is being used to pave the way for ground forces as they advance towards the southern port city of Kismayu….Global Research also reported on 26 October [3] that French naval forces had joined the bombing campaign - again despite official French denials carried in Western media - and that the conclusion from these military developments was clear: Washington and Paris are now engaging in a secret new war in East Africa - a region where up to 12 million people are at risk of starvation from years of drought and Western-induced conflict….The bigger picture to this is, as John Pilger noted previously in Global Research, a "modern scramble for African resources" by Western powers, which have in recent years watched enviously the growing influence of China in the region. This neo-imperialist scramble for Africa is consistent with NATO's conquest of Libya. The close collaboration between the US and France in the bombing of North Africa is now being rolled out in East Africa.”
      link to

  • Propaganda Revisited: Iraq, Iran, and the rhyming of history
    • I think what this demonstrates in graphic form is that the greatest threat we face is from our own elites. They are reckless power-mad sociopaths. The people in charge are the last people a sane person would want in charge. How can we save ourselves?

  • Thank God Amira Hass never became a fashion writer
    • DUMVITA- “It is MUCH more complicated than that.”

      In a capitalist society, money is power, economic power in fluid form, the primary instrument of social control. The financial warfare that Wall Street is now engaging in is an attempt to establish global financial suzerainty. This is naked power lust. And yes, I agree that history revolves primarily around elite power seeking. I would add that most people are primarily concerned with security and fitting in. Power seeking is an elite preoccupation. I am not sure what Byzantine level of complexity you refer to. Of course, any analysis involves necessary simplification, and the comments section of Mondoweiss perhaps not the best place to get excessively detailed.

    • “But in a very short time tens of thousands of young people focused their criticism not on marginal issues, but on neoliberalism, on super-capitalism, on the privatization of the state.”

      These are critically important issues. Global finance, guided by Wall Street, is engaged in global financial warfare against the 99%. Too few understand the nature of our money driven society. Most economists earn their living misrepresenting reality in service to power. We are in the midst of a controlled demolition of the global economy. Things can only get worse. Wall Street needs to be subdued. The private debt-based monetary system replaced. How that can be accomplished ain’t exactly clear.

  • The progressive vanity of the colonial, per Doris Lessing
    • PHIL- My point was that although your post was nominally about Israel, your focus was mostly on the liberal mindset which manifests itself mostly among certain specific groups in Israel and the US. That is, I would hardly describe Israeli society as liberal in outlook, therefore, you are questioning the thought processes of a certain group of people who exist in Israel and the US. Certainly the passage quoted pertains as much to US liberals as to Israeli liberals. As for the people you mention, I am only familiar with Jeff Halper. There is no hard line of demarcation between a liberal and a radical. I suspect that Halper may be more radical than liberal. To me, the difference is the degree to which the individual is able to see the systemic causes of injustice, rather than focusing mostly on the specific problems which are merely symptomatic of the larger problem. Of course, one must correct problems one at a time, to focus on everything is to focus on nothing. However, the solution must always take into account the big picture and be consistent with overall social improvement. As to Jewish idealists going to Israel to escape the US empire, it is easy to substitute a new myth for an old one that fell apart. Once confronted with the new reality, some were able to see through the myth, others not. Human psychology is complex. Rationality is not pervasive, most are seduced by the logic of the mythology. And when reality is glaringly different from self-serving mythology, one either abandons the mythology or develops numerous defense mechanisms to cope.

    • PHIL- Let me begin by noting that your post seems to me more of a Freudian slip than an appraisal of the Israeli mindset. The situation you quote seems more appropriate to liberal thinking than to the views of the militant Zionists. That is, the type of thinking motivating much of the Israeli peace movement, and American liberals as well. I would describe liberalism as a concern over instances of systemic injustice combined with loyalty to the system which creates the injustice. A way of suppressing feelings of guilt by pointing out the crimes of others (never ourselves) while continuing to enjoy the fruits of personal privilege based upon systemic exploitation. Psychologically finessing the difference between self-image and reality.

  • 'Post' ombudsman secretly admits that a writer who attacked Israelis as Rubin attacked Palestinians would lose her job
    • DICKERSON- Thanks for the link describing the funeral. Fascinating! I had the impression I was reading about a Mafia funeral, a Jewish Sonny Corleone. People paying their respects to power.

    • PHIL- “I answer that question sociologically: the zeitgeist came about because of the rise of Jews into the Establishment and the rigid construction of Jewish identity on a Zionist framework.”

      I think that you are essentially correct. The obvious follow-on question is “How did this come to pass and what continues to sustain this phenomenon?” In this regard, the focus needs to be on the Jewish elite who have the resources to impose their vision on the majority. In other words, why are so many Jewish elite Zionists, what’s in it for them?

  • Evidently Harvard University chose not to acquire this celebrity lawyer's papers?
    • ANNIE- "something tells me if harvard had wanted them harvard would have acquited them."

      Annie, be honest now, was that a typo or a pun?

  • 'Occupy the Occupiers' disrupts Birthright Israel event
    • AM_A- “How exactly does this help the Palestinians? Will it make the people who attended this event more sympathetic to their cause?”

      Hopefully by alerting the potential Birthright Jews that the whole Birthright program is basically an indoctrination program funded by elite American Zionists to recruit future American Jewish Zionist cadres to support the American Jewish power seeking Zionist collective. “Why Jews are Disproportionately High Achievers.” That is to say, why are Jews disproportionately powerful? No doubt there are many reasons, however, I have become convinced that Zionist organizational affinity and solidarity plays a significant role. A significant weakening of Zionist solidarity and Zionist power is probably essential to achieving a just peace in the Middle East.

  • IAEA report is a dud, and 'Moon of Alabama' busted it wide open with "Nanodiamonds"
  • 'The New York Insular Times' publishes a tome on Shalit
    • EEE- “The press covers what people are interested in.”

      Rubbish! In a nominally democratic oligarchy such as the US, the media are a part of the doctrinal system which facilitates the control of society through the use of propaganda which serves elite interests. Media which don’t serve elite interests lose funding and go out of business.

  • Kristallnacht is memorialized w shattered mirrors
    • PHIL- “But what about this display, I confess I feel a little bit manipulated, it feels over-assertive, as if it is happening to Jews here.”

      That’s the whole point, isn’t it? The never ending overemphasis on Jewish suffering as a means to influence current emotions and perceptions regardless of how remote these incidents are from current reality. The emphasis always on Jewish suffering and Gentile culpability. Universal values smashed under the weight of tribal solidarity. The intentional inculcation of a sense of eternal victim hood. The religion of the Holocaust.

  • Remnick favors containment of Iran, calling war plans 'a heedless attack that risks the whirlwind'
    • PHIL- “…the idea of containment after World War II that was pushed by wise man George Kennan.”

      You are quite correct. It was Kennan who pushed for containment rather than coexistence, confrontation rather than rapprochement. A famous quote follows.

      “We should dispense with the aspiration to ‘be liked’ or to be regarded as the repository of high-minded international altruism. …We should cease talk about vague … unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.” (George Kennan, 1948)

      Since the US has always operated according to straight power concepts, we can only conclude that this was a reminder for those who might otherwise take US propaganda seriously, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms for example.

  • Strategic asset or rogue state? Israel's threats to Iran 'concern' Pentagon
    • SHINGO- This is going to be my last comment on this thread. I have had this type of discussion in the past. The Truther religion, like Creationism, is non-falsifiable in the eye of the true believer. Forever focusing on perceived anomalies in the “official” story, the ludicrousness of the proposed alternative is completely ignored.

      “You’re clearly not being serious. As I admitted to you, the deal breaker in the controlled demotion argument are the logistics as to how it was pulled off.”

      What’s that? No controlled demolition? But then again, no collapse caused by airplane strikes? Where does that leave us? The twin towers still standing? Good God, you aren’t going with the Judy Woods’ energy beam fantasy, I hope?

      “C4 is an example that comes to mind.”

      This in response to my question about the type of explosive commonly used in controlled demolitions and the flash point? Mighty skimpy reply. Am I to assume that C4 is a commonly used controlled demolition explosive? Am I too assume that the flash point is above 600 degrees centigrade (1112 degrees Fahrenheit), the temperature which you accept as that which is possible from burning jet fuel (but below the official estimate)? Military bombs can cook off, but not C4? But since you seem to be distancing yourself from the controlled demolition scenario, what’s the point of all of this?

      “What are you talking about Keith? One of the characteristics of steel is that it retains a high degree of flexibility and malleability. Unlike concrete, it exhibits strength in both tension and compression, thus shcckwaves do not affect steel the way they affect concrete. …The only thing that would have sheared the bolts (and the welds)
      would have been direct impact, and direct impact would have been met with resistance, friction, and inertia.”

      Thank you, Dr Shingo, for that expert opinion. You may be surprised that Dr Garcia, a physicist, doesn’t share your basic understanding of dynamic forces. He writes:

      “Elastic waves are launched from the collapse front (the leading edge of descending material, like "weather front") at the moment of first impact. Within 0.01 s, a stress wave has traveled through the metal framework to five levels below the collapse front, a distance of 20 m. These lower levels experience a rapid –dare I say explosive? –increase in the stress within their frames. Bolts and rivets may be sheared, and joints ruptured by the resulting impulsive forces.

      For example, assume a carbon steel (HR 0.45C) bolt or rivet of 1 inch diameter is used to support a force of 8,000 kilograms, equivalent to a stress of 22,500 pounds-per-square-inch (psi). This stress is only one quarter of that material’s tensile strength of 90,000 psi; an apparently conservative design. However, an unexpected increase in load by a factor of five, to a total of 48,000 kg, or 135,000 psi, would probably rupture the joint.

      The stress wave from the initial impact races down the lower structure, arriving at ground level in 0.18 s (we continue with the numerical example). During that time, the collapse front has descended another 1.3 m. The stress wave is like a messenger telling the material it passes to "move down and compress" in response to the advancing collapse front. On reaching the ground, the wave could transmit some of its energy past the building’s foundation to radiate as a seismic wave through the earth, and another portion of its energy would reflect back up (the major effect, especially if the foundation is more rigid than the building it supports). The message of the upward running wave is "compress even more, dead-end down below."

      Shingo, where does this leave me? Do I rely on your inferred expertise, or go with Manuel Garcia, Jr? And what is this nonsense about the Oklahoma bombing? Had that occurred on 9/11/01, and had it been done by alleged al Qaeda operatives, it could well have been a sufficient pretext for US military action. However, I believe that crashing planes into the twin towers was much more dramatic, recorded on video and endlessly replayed, and would likely provide the necessary pretext without collapsing the towers.

      Finally, you contradict yourself all of the time. The fire wasn’t hot enough to soften the steel, yet there was molten metal at ground zero. Are you suggesting thermite? You complain that I am asking for too many details, yet aren’t concerned that the Truther websites you frequent don’t provide a realistic alternative scenario after 8 full years, even though they have the resources to endlessly dissect and misrepresent the NIST study. You complain that the NIST report didn’t investigate endless alternative scenarios even as you yourself admit that a controlled demolition was illogical. You continue to criticize the NIST report which I doubt that you have read or are competent to evaluate based upon Truther websites which you accept as Gospel. That’s it. I’m off this thread.

    • SHINGO- “There are more scientists and engineers rejecting the NIST explanation than those supporting it(1,400 to 200).”

      1400 + 200 = 1600. Only 1600 scientists and engineers in the US? I am surprised! I don’t know what the total number of scientists and engineers is, but 1400 hardly constitutes a majority. More like a very small minority, and that is without verifying their professional credentials. The 200 are those who specifically looked at the situation, performed experiments, etc.

      “Modern explosives are not like gun powder that ignites upon heat or impact.”

      Perhaps you could enlighten us as to the common explosives used in controlled demolitions along with their flash points. I have had personal experience with military bombs “cooking off” when exposed to a jet fuel fire.

      “That’s true, but the question you are not addressing is that the official explanation is just as implausible.”

      As implausible as what? No detail has been provided of a remotely plausible alternative. A controlled demolition is assumed, period. Show me the controlled demolition! How much explosive? What type? Where placed? How wired? How wiring remained intact after an airplane strike? Why collapse the second building first? Perhaps a few tests to demonstrate feasibility?

      “Anyone who has played pool knows that a billiard ball hitting one or more other balls leads to the each becoming progressively slower.”

      And all this time I thought that gravity would tend to cause a downward acceleration. Go figure. During the initial phase of the collapse, when the hard steel of the top section hit the hard steel of the bottom section, a shock wave was produced which went up and down the structure shearing rivets, etc. Once set in motion, the dynamic forces totally overwhelmed the remaining structure, hardly requiring explosives to facilitate the process. And why would anyone want to anyway? Actually, when the first plane struck the first building, the Bush administration had their New Pearl Harbor, why collapse them at all? Why building 7 if the goal was to make it look like just the airplanes did it?

      “What amazes me is that while you are so quick to dismiss the controlled demolition theory, you remain unphased by the fact that the only time steel buildings collapsed due to fire was 911 and that it happened 3 times.”

      What amazes me, Shingo, is that you seem oblivious to the obvious rejoinder. Assuming that your statement is correct about “only time steel buildings collapsed due to fire,” how many times have controlled demolitions been preceded by airplane strikes and raging fires?

      Dr Shingo, you make many claims about the flaws in the NIST report. Does this mean that you have personally gone over it in detail, or are most of your comments based upon Truther websites? If you and your fellow “scientists and engineers” have some hard data, why not work it up and submit it to a professional journal? Or are they all part of the cover up?

      Now, I am not a scientist or an engineer, and am not competent to comment on the technical issues. However, I like to think that I have enough common sense to realize that any sort of covert operation would need to be simple and involve few people. Hijacking 4 airliners and flying them into buildings is about as complicated as possible for a realistic chance of success. Lining 3 buildings with high explosives to achieve dubious benefits is wildly improbable, requiring a huge conspiracy. Hitting the Pentagon with a missile not an airplane is outlandish, yet the Truther movement has this as one of their claims. Incidentally, there is good reason that I mentioned Lyndon LaRouche. La Rouchies are all over the 911 Truth movement. So are Ron Paul libertarians.

    • IRISH MOSES- “This has also happened to at least one well known IP commentator (I forget his name) whose IP commentary is now tainted by his propounding of 9-11 conspiracy nonsense.”

      You have hit upon the reason that all of this started. David Ray Griffin is the Truther version of Lyndon LaRouche. They represent a part of the doctrinal system in which embarrassing truths which are difficult to cover up are tainted by association which absurd assertions. The rather obvious fact of the matter is that the Bush administration knew or should have known about the 911 attacks, at least in general terms, and, at the least, bent over backwards to allow them to happen. At the least, the Bush administration was guilty of gross negligence, perhaps more. Yet, by concentrating on controlled demolition assertions, the basic issue of willful negligence was ignored, while considerable energy was expended arguing about technical issues which the general public did not comprehend, expounded by confused lay people whose “expertise” consisted of regurgitating bogus “facts” they gleaned from Truther websites, none of which they were competent to evaluate independently. Just in case the controlled demolition myth gained traction, the missile not an airplane scenario was introduced to insure ridicule.

    • PABELMONT- “Then there was 9-11, and because the engineering consensus seemed to be that the WTC buildings were brought down by demolition charges (the heat from gasoline fires being too small to melt the steel beams supporting the buildings), ….”

      The only place such a consensus exists is among the 911 Truther faithful on Mondoweiss who cling to their fantasies in spite of the irrationality of the claim, avoiding a realistic assessment of the “controlled demolition” hypothesis. Let us begin by noting that a “controlled demolition” following an airplane crash is an oxymoron. Once the plane hits, all control goes out the window. Also, any demolition charges in the area of the intense fire would pre-detonate, the fire being much hotter than the flash point of the explosives. In your estimate, how many tons of explosives were involved? How many man hours to preposition these explosives? How done with the floors, ceilings and walls intact in these occupied buildings? Seems to me like a pretty big operation to keep secret. Of course, you can go to websites where PhDs will tell you what you want to hear. None of these, however, will demonstrate how a controlled demolition could be done. Shall we discuss the missile not an airplane striking the pentagon as well? In case you missed it, below is a copy and paste quote from Manuel Garcia, Jr, a physicist, from the CounterPunch website.

      “The popularity of 9/11 conspiracy theories (also outlined in a useful Wikipedia entry) has prompted NIST to present a very nice webpage addressing the usual questions of the conspiracy viewpoint, and providing clear descriptions in non-technical English of the physics and engineering explanations embodied in the NIST WTC Towers Final Report .

      Summary of NIST Findings

      The World Trade Center Towers (WTC 1, WTC 2) were tall square buildings with supporting columns grouped along the vertical axis (center) and closely spaced along the perimeter (building faces). A "hat truss," at the top of each building, tied the outer walls to the central columns; and this truss had a height equal to that of five stories.

      A hijacked airliner was crashed into each building about 10 or 20 stories down from the top. The columns along one face of the building were sheared for a height of several floors, as were many of the columns at the core. The exploding fuel from the airliner ignited fires throughout the levels within the impact zone, as well as dropping fire down the stairwells and elevator shafts at the building’s core, and billowing up to higher levels. The shocks of impact and detonation loosened the "fire protection" thermal insulation on steel beams in the impact zone.

      The damaged core columns in the impact zone could no longer hold up all the weight they were meant to carry. The core columns in the upper block now found it necessary to partially hang from the hat truss. The hat truss pressed down much more forcefully on the perimeter columns, transferring the load of the hanging weight. The added compression of the perimeter columns could only be distributed to the three undamaged faces, and because of the irregularity of the damage one face assumed a much higher load than the other two.

      The fuel fire burned up to 1,100 degrees C (2,000 degrees F) for perhaps 10 minutes. It ignited the many plastic furnishing (carpets, curtains, furniture, equipment cases, clothing, fixtures, office ceilings and partitions), paper items (paper supplies, books, pressed wood), and some structural elements (gypsum wall boards, plastic plumbing), which then continued the fire. The exposed steel beams in the impact zone heated to between 700 C to 1,000 C. Steel at 700 C has 50 per cent to 70 per cent of its strength at habitable temperatures; and steel at 1,000 C has between 10 per cent to 30 per cent.

      The floors in the impact zone sagged because of broken joints to central columns, heat causing their metal framing to soften, weaken and expand; also because of the weight of debris fallen from above . The sagging floors twisted their joints to the perimeter columns (on the three intact faces); the length of column above a floor joint being twisted inward. For one face of the building, the combined stress of the original weight above it, the added compression from the hat truss, and the torque from the sagging floors were too much. Its perimeter beams were bent inward to the point of failure, and they buckled.
      The NIST investigation was an extremely detailed analysis by 200 engineers and building professionals, describing the conditions of the buildings from the instant an airplane collided to the moment a collapse began. The next section of this CounterPunch report carries the story downward from the point where NIST leaves off. NIST concentrated its resources on the greatest uncertainty: what initiated the collapse? It was understood that once an upper block of the building was in motion the structure below would be unable to counter the dynamic forces, and collapse would proceed to the ground.”
      link to

    • Let me add that Uncle Sam would dearly love to gain control over Iranian oil, and if Israel’s belligerency can assist in this, it would surely be an example of a strategic asset. I think many Mondoweisser’s are defining strategic asset much too narrowly. The relationship between Israel and the US is complex and perverse, and extends to many areas outside the Middle East, not the least of which is the Zionist containment of what once was a Jewish Marxist tradition.

    • There is, of course, an alternative explanation for Israel’s heated rhetoric. Tied in with the story of the alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador, this creates immense pressure to do something. And while a military attack on Iran cannot be ruled out (even though Uri Avnery rules it out), it may be a ploy to get the rest of the world to go along with actions short of war. That is, for the global financial elites to agree to sanction Iran’s central bank. Over at CounterPunch, Sasan Fayazmanesh makes the case.

      “In sum, the bizarre story of the used-car salesman, Mexican drug cartel, and the Saudi Ambassador is inextricably linked to the US-Israeli desire to sanction Bank Markazi. It is expected that this “sanction of mass destruction,” or “nuclear option,” will do the trick and will help to paralyze the Iranian economy. Down the line, it is hoped, the shattered economy will create the right conditions for the overthrow of the “Iranian regime” and its replacement by a US-Israeli friendly government.”
      link to

  • JTA wonders why 'Jewish influence' is so 'pervasive' in our politics
    • PHIL- “herzl was a xmas tree jew like myself who … acted to try and help his community.”

      Perhaps it would be helpful to look a little closer at this. Obviously, you are referring to the Jewish community. But what, exactly, is outside of the Jewish community? Is it a lot of similar communities? An Italian community? A Mexican community? A Roma community? Or is every Gentile lumped together into one huge oppressive Gentile community? Now, if Jews mostly believe that the world is divided into Jews and Gentiles, not Jews and Italians and Mexicans and Roma, etc, and if the Gentile “community” supported their “community” at the expense of the Jewish community, what would that be called?

  • Creeping halacha rolls on
  • Netanyahu’s party platform 'flatly rejects' establishment of Palestinian state
    • CHAOS- “Likud clearly doesn’t accept a Palestinian state. No political party in Israel does.”

      Exactly! And it has been that way right from the get go, and will continue to be that way unless Israel is forced to change. And it kind of rankles me that these Zionists totally misrepresent this reality, bringing up Hamas’ charter while ignoring six decades of empirical evidence along with very clear policy statements, spoken in Hebrew, to the Israeli Jewish electorate. Their arguments are bogus, completely tainted by a lack of intellectual integrity.

  • 'You lost' -- reporters at State say UNESCO vote isolates U.S. from world opinion (and possibly from intellectual property enforcement)
    • AMERICAN- “I say this over and over, the Israel problem begins and ends in the US. It has to change HERE for Israel to ever change.”

      Essentially correct. Israel is the spiritual center of Zionism, however, the center of Zionist power is the US.

    • WALID- Bernard-Henri Lévy. When this guy shows up, can a “humanitarian intervention” be far behind? I am becoming more and more convinced that he is more than just a rich Zionist “philosopher.” A Mossad sayan perhaps?

    • CHARON- “If the US never apologized for accidentally shooting down Iran Air 655, a civilian jetliner, they definitely aren’t going to apologize for this.”

      Perhaps one reason that they didn’t apologize was to ensure that Iran understood that it was no accident. There are strong indications that the USS Vincennes intentionally shot down the airliner as a message to Iran that should the Iran-Iraq war continue, the US would become directly involved on the side of Iraq. The crew of the USS Vincennes were decorated with the combat action ribbon as a consequence of this “accident,” personally given by Vice President George H. W. Bush.

  • Israel lobbied Serbians in Bosnia to block Palestinians at Security Council
    • TOVIOS- Of course it would be wrong to denounce an entire people, most of whom are pawns in elite power seeking. The leadership is more to blame, Franjo Tudjman, a Ustashe racist incarnate, and Alija Izetbegovic, a Muslim supremacist, who hated Serbs and Jews equally. I reserve primary responsibility, however, for the US and Germany who armed and supported these separatists for strategic reasons.

      The Balkans have a long history of conflict resulting from great power interference. The Yugoslav federation was, in fact, formed to try achieve sufficient size and power to resist the great power machinations. It worked for a while. After the Soviet Union imploded, however, Yugoslavia lost it’s value as a buffer to Soviet power. It was now viewed as an impediment and potential threat to US designs on the area. Germany also had interests in separating the provinces.

      How many people know that in 1990, the U.S. congress passed the Foreign Operations Law of 1991 which, among other things, specified a cut-off of all aid, credits and loans to Yugoslavia within six months? The World Bank and IMF were directed to follow suite. The only money to be permitted was to go to the right-wing separatist forces. It was, in effect, a declaration of economic war against Yugoslavia. The CIA predicted a bloody civil war as a consequence. Of course, that was the intent. Mind you, this was years before anyone even heard of Sarajevo. Germany was involved somewhat before the US.

      Also, how many are aware that the Muslims were divided on this issue, many choosing to fight to remain in a united Yugoslavia? Of course, the US strongly supported the separatist forces led by Alija Izetbegovic who was trying to establish an ethnically pure Muslim republic. Considerable aid was provided, including bringing in Arab Mujahadeen Afghan veterans, possibly including al Qaeda fighters. All of this unreported, of course. Need we mention Kosovo, the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army, and camp Bondsteel?

      The bottom line is that great powers act according to their strategic interests, the consequences to others and basic morality be damned. The media then engages in propaganda to disguise intent and gain popular support for war and state terrorism. “Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.” (I.F. Stone)

    • WHIZDOM- “Serbian Chetniks were active Nazi collaborators.”

      The bulk of the partisan resistance to the Nazis were Serbs, who suffered dearly for this. Muslims from Albania, however, were allied with Nazi Germany and provided one SS division to the Axis effort, and were rewarded with a greater Albania for their efforts. The Croats were also allied with Nazi Germany, providing four SS divisions, and were rewarded with a greater Croatia for their efforts. The Croats also ran the Jasenovac death camp where hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma were exterminated. After the war, the US helped thousands of Ustashe Croat war criminals escape to the US via “ratlines,” where they became émigré anti-communist freedom fighters. During US/Germany’s dismemberment of Yugoslavia, US media propaganda inverted actual history as the anti-fascist Serb partisans were depicted as the new Nazis. This propaganda continues, and has become so entrenched that the propaganda has become accepted history. The notion that the truth eventually wins out is a myth. History is mostly lies that have been agreed upon to advance elite objectives.

  • Netanyahu needs a history tutor -- Can UNESCO experts help?
    • PZ777- "The Dead Sea Scrolls were held in secret by gentile scholars and only released through the intercession of Jewish scholars."

      Perhaps you could provide additional detail. I was under the impression that Israel "acquired" the scrolls as a consequence of the 6 day war. Is this wrong?

  • West's 1% salivates over spoils of the Libyan 99%
    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- “In case you hadn’t looked, war has been consuming much of Africa for years, most of which has passed without comment or a sign of concern by the Western Left.”

      Jeffrey, Africa is a war torn basket case primarily as a consequence of Western imperialism and subsequent neocolonialism. Most of these wars are facilitated by various Western powers supplying one side or the other with the guns to fight these brutal wars. Following WWII, Africa was a low priority for the US which left the former European colonial powers in charge to exploit the continent as part of restoring the prewar capitalist system. The lack of direct US involvement meant that US activists properly concentrated on areas of direct US involvement such as Viet Nam, Central America, etc. Your comment concerning lack of “comment or a sign of concern by the Western Left” lacks relevance.

      Dan’s comment that “This is a war for Africa, and it has only just begun.” is, in my view, valid. Times have changed. Africa has reentered US imperial planning as we enter what many analysts describe as an era of resource wars. AfriCom is a concrete manifestation of current imperial strategy targeting Africa. The Europeans will no longer be left to their own devices, but will partake of the spoils as members of NATO, a US imperial out of area strike force. In this regard, I think that Obama’s recent emphasis on drone warfare and special operations forces is particularly relevant.

      “Still, those 60 military and CIA bases worldwide, directly connected to the drone program, tell us much about America's war-making future. From command and control and piloting to maintenance and arming, these facilities perform key functions that allow drone campaigns to continue expanding, as they have for more than a decade. Other bases are already under construction or in the planning stages.”
      link to

      "The Obama Administration has been particularly enamored of SOFs, and, according to reporters Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post, is in the process of doubling the number of countries where such units are active from 60 to 120. U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Col. Tim Nye told Nick Turse of Salon that SOF forces would soon be deployed in 60 percent of the world's nations: "We do a lot of traveling."

      Indeed they do. U.S. Special Operations Command (SOC) admits to having forces in virtually every country in the Middle East, Central Asia, as well as many in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. But true to its penchant for secrecy, SOC is reluctant to disclose every country to which its forces are deployed. "We're obviously going to have some places where it's not advantageous for us to list where were at," Nye told Turse.
      SOF forces have almost doubled in the past two decades, from some 37,000 to close to 60,000, and major increases are planned in the future. Their budget has jumped from $2.3 billion to $9.8 billion over the last 10 years

      These Special Forces include the Navy's SEALs, the Marines Special Operations teams, the Army's Delta Force, the Air Force's Blue Light and Air Commandos, plus Rangers and Green Berets. There is also the CIA, which runs the clandestine drone war in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia."
      link to

    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- “Not to go on I will end by quoting this statement of yours which I have seen in a number of forms and which may explain my criticism of those who have denied the legitimacy of the Libyan rebellion. “No doubt,” you write, “many of the people involved had, or thought they had, legitimate grievances.” You can’t get much more paternalistic than that.”

      Jeffrey, it is an elementary principal of morality that we should be much more concerned with immoral acts for which bear some responsibility than of those acts of others which we lack the power to change. US/NATO has engaged in a massive imperial intervention which has virtually destroyed the Libyan infrastructure, and has resulted in deaths estimated between 30,000 to 50,000 Libyans, most as a consequence of the US/NATO bombing campaign, with more yet to come. In my opinion, US/NATO is guilty of massive war crimes for which they will never be held to account. Libya has been effectively destroyed. As US citizens, Jeffrey, you and I bear some responsibility for empire’s actions. Gaddafi’s actions from 16 years ago do not lighten our current responsibility, and being overly solicitous of rebels who lynch blacks and execute prisoners is not meeting that responsibility. This imperial intervention is the single worse thing that has happened to Libya since Gaddafi took power. This is what we should be opposing without equivocation.

    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- With all due respect, brevity is not your forte. It is somewhat difficult to discern a coherent line of thought in your meandering comments, which seem as much concerned with self-promotion of your efforts over these many years, and of the perceived failure of others to do likewise, as with commenting on the specific issues at hand. For example, you seem obsessed with Gaddafi and the Abu Salim prison massacre. I don’t know what happened there, however, since you indicate that this prison massacre occurred in 1996, and since we did nothing at the time, I think it is safe to assume that US/NATO’s intervention had nothing to do with this. Also, Saif al Islam Gaddafi’s London mansion seems less than germane, unless you are claiming that extravagances such as this impoverished Libyans, fuelling resentment, etc, an unlikely assertion in view of Libya’s relatively high standard of living. As for oil, I believe that Gaddafi was threatening to renegotiate concessions to pay for the Lockerbie bombing penalty, and had talked about nationalizing the oil. And don’t forget about China, now no longer in position to enter into any future oil deals with a Gaddafi run Libya. There were a lot of different reasons for this US/NATO intervention, however, “humanitarianism” was not one of them.

      “But I do not absolve Gaddafi from his responsibility for continuing the war and urging the fighters of his favored Sirte to do so even if it meant that the town would be destroyed.” Beautiful! Now all of US/NATO’s destruction of Libya is Gaddafi’s fault because he didn’t surrender when US/NATO bombed! This is your advice to countries that are assaulted by outside forces? To surrender to neocolonialism? And don’t tell me that the “rebels” represented “the people.” If they did, with all of the US/NATO firepower and logistical support brought to bear, Gaddafi wouldn’t have lasted a week. Since our discussion on the Reform Jews thread began in a disagreement over the extent of US/NATO’s initial involvement, and since you reposted your comment here, I will conclude by doing the same for my response to the comment you reposted.

      JEFFREY BLANKFORT- A rather long post which in no way contradicts my original contention that the uprising was instigated/encouraged by US/NATO. No doubt many of the people involved had, or thought they had, legitimate grievances. An ideal situation for CIA assets and agent provocateurs to stir things up. Regardless of one’s opinion of Gaddafi, there is way too much evidence of prior intent and prior planning to believe that this was the fortuitous implementation of some dormant contingency plan. The events in Tunisia and Egypt created a huge impetus to implement current plans for reshaping the Middle East, as well as respond to the challenge of the uprisings. Timing is critical, hence, I seriously doubt the covert operations guys sat around twiddling their thumbs waiting for something to happen on its own. Too much occurred way too fast not to have been orchestrated.

      As for Gaddafi’s record, I don’t see anything in your laundry list that indicates that he was worse than Uncle Sam or Israel, both of whom engage in low intensity conflict and outright wars of aggression all of the time. You might at least acknowledge that one of the “terrorists” that he supported was Nelson Mandela, that Libya under Gaddafi had a relatively high standard of living for Africa, free education, etc, all of which are likely gone as a consequence of this US/NATO intervention. Or that he resisted empire’s designs on Africa, seeking African unity and independence. To reference Libya’s development index, the highest in Africa, indicates that we don’t know what we are talking about? This even as you criticize others for one-sided analyses. Two of the quotes I provided were from John Pilger and Bill Blum, two sources that I have confidence in.

      “…describing the Libyans who were putting their lives on the line fighting him as NATO stooges.” Fighting him? Who the hell was fighting him? How many US/NATO sorties were there? How many bombs dropped and missiles fired? How many US/NATO special operations forces on the ground despite denials? Qatar mercenaries? Cruise missile fired? Drones, etc? Any sane person looking at the imbalance in firepower quickly realizes that the Libyan defensive militias were hopelessly outgunned. Yet, they fought on for 8 months against the US/NATO aggression. Have you seen pictures of Sirte? Of all of the bodies being put into mass graves? This is “saving lives?” Funny, for a tyrant, there were a lot of people that preferred living in a Gaddafi ruled Libya than a US/NATO imposed neoliberal colony of empire. Libya has been destroyed. If you choose to interpret this as a glorious victory for the rebel forces and for liberty, have at it. I continue to view this as an imperial abomination.

      A final comment in regards to US/NATO’s plans and intentions. I offer a quote referencing US plans after Iraq. Of course, Iraq didn’t go as smoothly as planned, putting the whole timetable back, however, look at the countries mentioned. Do you see any correlation with what is going on now?

      “…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).
      link to

  • 2 reports say Israel may be preparing Iran attack
    • RICHARD WITTY- “Avi is clear who is the good guy and who is the bad guy.”

      You seem to be affected by what I refer to as manichean madness. That is, rather than judging people and nations based upon their actions, you subjectively label them as “good” or “bad” and judge their actions based upon your label. If one were to look at the Middle East objectively and judge nations based upon the number of wars started and people killed, it would be quite obvious that the US and Israel are the baddest of the bad. Israel’s goal has for many years been to establish a mini-empire (Eretz Yisrael), and to be the local Middle East hegemon. This goal takes precedence over peace, and has been written about by high level Israeli planners. One example of this planning is the infamous proposal of Oded Yinon written in 1982 and published by the World Zionist Organization.

      “The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel's satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.”
      link to

  • Arab Spring at 9 months -- Helena Cobban
    • WALID- “For those hung up on the romantic Arab Spring tag….”

      I don’t know who came up with the “Arab Spring” metaphor, but its use has been a disaster, tying together disparate events into a false and propagandistic imagery. The metaphor took on a life of its own, used to justify the unjustifiable by ignoring the facts in favor of the romantic image.

      Helena Cobban’s assessment of the Arab uprisings 9 months on, which is much longer than the conclusions shown, is overall quite good. I am a little surprised that there aren’t more comments on this thread. Perhaps Mondo’s humanitarian interventionists have belated realized that when empire intervenes, things usually, and predictably, get worse for the folks on the ground.

  • Reform Jews' biennial will feature ultra-right, Sharansky and Kristol
    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- A rather long post which in no way contradicts my original contention that the uprising was instigated/encouraged by US/NATO. No doubt many of the people involved had, or thought they had, legitimate grievances. An ideal situation for CIA assets and agent provocateurs to stir things up. Regardless of one’s opinion of Gaddafi, there is way too much evidence of prior intent and prior planning to believe that this was the fortuitous implementation of some dormant contingency plan. The events in Tunisia and Egypt created a huge impetus to implement current plans for reshaping the Middle East, as well as respond to the challenge of the uprisings. Timing is critical, hence, I seriously doubt the covert operations guys sat around twiddling their thumbs waiting for something to happen on its own. Too much occurred way too fast not to have been orchestrated.

      As for Gaddafi’s record, I don’t see anything in your laundry list that indicates that he was worse than Uncle Sam or Israel, both of whom engage in low intensity conflict and outright wars of aggression all of the time. You might at least acknowledge that one of the “terrorists” that he supported was Nelson Mandela, that Libya under Gaddafi had a relatively high standard of living for Africa, free education, etc, all of which are likely gone as a consequence of this US/NATO intervention. Or that he resisted empire’s designs on Africa, seeking African unity and independence. To reference Libya’s development index, the highest in Africa, indicates that we don’t know what we are talking about? This even as you criticize others for one-sided analyses. Two of the quotes I provided were from John Pilger and Bill Blum, two sources that I have confidence in.

      “…describing the Libyans who were putting their lives on the line fighting him as NATO stooges.” Fighting him? Who the hell was fighting him? How many US/NATO sorties were there? How many bombs dropped and missiles fired? How many US/NATO special operations forces on the ground despite denials? Qatar mercenaries? Cruise missile fired? Drones, etc? Any sane person looking at the imbalance in firepower quickly realizes that the Libyan defensive militias were hopelessly outgunned. Yet, they fought on for 8 months against the US/NATO aggression. Have you seen pictures of Sirte? Of all of the bodies being put into mass graves? This is “saving lives?” Funny, for a tyrant, there were a lot of people that preferred living in a Gaddafi ruled Libya than a US/NATO imposed neoliberal colony of empire. Libya has been destroyed. If you choose to interpret this as a glorious victory for the rebel forces and for liberty, have at it. I continue to view this as an imperial abomination.

      A final comment in regards to US/NATO’s plans and intentions. I offer a quote referencing US plans after Iraq. Of course, Iraq didn’t go as smoothly as planned, putting the whole timetable back, however, look at the countries mentioned. Do you see any correlation with what is going on now?

      "…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).
      link to

    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- You might want to check out Walid's comments and links on the "Arab Spring @ 9 months" thread.

    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- There is abundant evidence that US/NATO had been preparing for some time to destabilize Libya and overthrow Gaddafi. Too many CIA assets involved not to conclude that the uprising was “encouraged” by Western sources, including Bernard-Henri Levy, media reports notwithstanding. A few quotes and links.

      “Abdul-Jalil gained his job in the Libyan government in January 2007, when he was named Secretary of the General People's Committee for Justice (the equivalent of Justice Minister). He has been paving the way for NATO's military and economic conquest of Libya ever since.” (Dan Glazebrook)
      link to

      “That it is a coup by a gang of Muammar Gaddafi's ex cronies and spooks in collusion with Nato is hardly news. The self-appointed "rebel leader", Mustafa Abdul Jalil, was Gaddafi's feared justice minister. The CIA runs or bankrolls most of the rest, including America's old friends, the Mujadeen Islamists who spawned al-Qaeda.” (John Pilger)
      link to

      “But there are several reasons to question this analysis in favor of seeing the Libyan rebels' uprising as a planned and violent attempt to take power in behalf of their own political movement, however heterogeneous that movement might appear to be in its early stage. For example:
      They soon began flying the flag of the monarchy that Gaddafi had overthrown
      They were an armed and violent rebellion almost from the beginning; within a few days, we could read of "citizens armed with weapons seized from army bases"3 and of "the policemen who had participated in the clash were caught and hanged by protesters"4
      Their revolt took place not in the capital but in the heart of the country's oil region; they then began oil production and declared that foreign countries would be rewarded oil-wise in relation to how much each country aided their cause
      They soon set up a Central Bank, a rather bizarre thing for a protest movement
      International support came quickly, even beforehand, from Qatar and al Jazeera to the CIA and French intelligence.” (Bill Blum)
      link to

    • TAXI- “There ain’t a chance in hell a war against Syria or Iran is gonna take place.”

      With Obama in the White House, betting against war is risky. This guy is a neocon’s neocon! We are in a very volatile period. Our sociopathic fat cats appear to be trying to lock in imperial control during a brief window of opportunity. Who could have predicted that the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt would provide an opportunity for US/NATO to instigate an uprising and militarily intervene in Libya? I’m not saying that the US or Israel will attack either Syria or Iran (the US is covertly involved in both countries), but that it can’t be ruled out. There is a certain reckless abandon to current US foreign policy that fills me with dark foreboding.

    • PHIL- “…all major American Jewish orgs have the Zionist religion.”

      Indeed they do! In this regard it should be noted while opinion polls among individual Jews may suggest disenchantment with Israel, the actions of the major American Jewish organizations indicate continuing support for Israel. Since these organizations are the agencies of Jewish power, this means that the Jewish elites continue to support Israel. Why would that be? I would suggest that these elites perceive Israel and, in particular, Zionism as important to their power-seeking activities. Zionism, Israel, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, these are the basis for the ideological bonding of the various strands of organized Jewry, which is a significant component of Jewish power. It would appear that the Reform Jewish elites prefer Jewish solidarity over other considerations.

    • CHAOS- “Remind me again what “liberal Zionist” is supposed to mean.”

      Perhaps liberal Zionist is to Zionist what Reform Judaism is to Judaism.

  • Lacking 'legitimacy' in its neighborhood, Israel is imploding -- Sullivan
    • JEFF KLEIN- “Most Jewish survivors of the Nazi extermination in Europe expressed a desire to emigrate to the US or the UK. Instead, Zionist functionaries were put in charge of the DP camps and most of the refugees were forced to Israel….”

      This needs to be stressed every time the subject comes up. The Zionists were not primarily interested in saving Jewish lives, rather, their goal was to save the Jewish tribe from assimilation. It is a little more complicated what I stated, but not much.

  • Breakthrough: 'Ynet' honestly seeks answer to question, How did American Jews get so rich?
    • JUSTICE PLEASE- “Imagine what this community of more than averagely rich, intelligent and influencial people could do, if all of them realized what a con game Zionism really is.”

      I would suggest that for the Jewish elites, Zionism has contributed to their relative success. Zionism has replaced Judaism as the unifier of the Jews, and provides much of the organizational energy in organized American Jewry. It is in the nature of oligarchy that an organized minority usually directs the activity of the unorganized majority. Zionism represents a Jewish power-seeking collective, somewhat analogous to a large mafia. In this regard, while Israel is the spiritual center of Zionism, the center of Zionist power is the US.

    • PATM- Israel Shahak’s book, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years,” should be required reading for those desiring insight into Israel and Zionism. I have recommended it in the past, and am taking advantage of your comment to do so again.

    • When it comes to success, regardless of the ethnicity of those involved, there is an important factor which needs to be mentioned. This has been commented on by a world renowned observer: “I have found it always true, that men do seldom or never advance themselves from a small beginning, to any great height, but by fraud, or by force…. I do not think any instance is to be found where force alone brought any man to that grandeur, but fraud and artifice have done it many times…Which things being so, it is manifest the Romans wanted not at the beginning of their rise, that dexterity of cheating that is so necessary to all people that are ambitious….” Furthermore, “...he that does practice it, understands better how to disguise it by some honorable pretense....” (Niccolo Machiavelli)

  • J Street presses division inside Jewish community, blaming neocons for leading 'charge to war in Iraq'
    • HOPHMI- “the American people and their representatives in Congress”

      "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)

    • PATM- “As to a “significant realignment elsewhere” to achieve oil security, think Canada’s tar sands.”

      This isn’t about US access to oil, this is about US control of Europe’s, China’s and Japan’s access to oil and the leverage that provides to empire. My initial answer to your question was not sufficiently clear. This is a difficult topic to write about because there are so many factors involved that a full discussion would take too long to write and take up too much space. My answer, therefore, will inevitably be somewhat of an oversimplification, all of it personal opinion in any event. I am going to make one more attempt to see if I can compress my thinking into an explanation of my views that at least makes a bit more sense.

      Something to keep in mind is that although imperial strategy has been somewhat consistent over time, the specific tactics required to achieve strategic objectives are continually modified to adapt to a changing world, and to adjust to previous actions whose outcome deviated from plan. The situation in the Middle East is significantly different than, say, 30 to 50 years ago. No Shah, no Saddam, oil prices up and oil reserves in doubt, to name a few significant changes. Also significant is the rise of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization, the intentional hollowing out of the US manufacturing base and the shift of manufacturing to transnational corporations located in China, with all of the contradictions that entails.

      It appears to me that at this point in time imperial geo-strategy is based upon three core objectives. The establishment of near total control over the known hydrocarbon fuel reserves, the establishment and control of a global financial system, and the creation of an overwhelmingly powerful military capable of rapid force projection and full spectrum dominance. These three together give empire effective hegemony over the planet. Each is significantly dependent upon the other two to be viable. The US cannot afford its bloated military without deficits funded by others as a consequence of financial control, which in turn, is facilitated by control of oil (traded in dollars). As it is, the whole system is unstable and not likely to last long. This appears to be seen as a window of opportunity in which the US destroys as much of the competition as possible to establish as much control as possible before system collapse. That is, to land on top of the rubble. It should be obvious to any sane person that all of this is a huge leap in the wrong direction, a sure recipe for global disaster. Unfortunately, the fat cats calling the shots are sociopaths not overly concerned with externalities such as the impoverishment of the citizenry or the survival of the species. As for extracting oil from Canada’s tar sands, that, along with fracking, is an environmental disaster waiting to happen.

    • PATM- “Why do you think a complete withdrawal would likely “presage the rapid collapse of the US empire” ?”

      It appears to me that the US/corporate strategy is to gain almost total control of the world’s oil reserves while the getting is good. If Iraq breaks free of empire, not only would the this be a major psychological blow, but, together with Iran, this would break the US stranglehold on the region and give China the opportunity to obtain sufficient oil outside of US control to permit a more independent course, to develop its domestic economy instead of buying Treasuries. For many years, the US has been prepared to go to war to maintain effective control of the Middle East energy reserves. The consequences flowing from the loss of effective control would be enormous. Of course, there are ways to maintain control with minimal American boots on the ground. Obama has greatly expanded the use of drones for use in low intensity conflicts, and one can envision securing only the oil fields while encouraging sectarian violence elsewhere. On the other hand, a total loss of direct control of Iraq’s oil would eliminate a key component of US hegemony, requiring a significant realignment elsewhere including a dramatic reduction in US reliance on militarism. If the US can prevent this, the US will prevent this. If not, I predict a fairly rapid realignment of global power.

    • PATM- I think that it is much too early to take any of this at face value. While “combat troops” may be pulled out of Iraq, tens of thousands of support troops and contractor mercenaries are likely to remain. We will have to wait and see if these bases are in fact turned over to Iraq, or if maintained by contractors as “lily pads” for future rapid redeployment. Total US withdrawal from Iraq is almost inconceivable as this would likely presage the rapid collapse of the US empire.

  • Palestine in Oakland
    • DUMVI- Lech Walesa was a de facto asset of the US at the time, receiving critical support from the AFL-CIO, which, in turn, receives US government funding for its foreign policy institutes which have a long and sordid history of connivance with the US State Department in opposing militant 3rd World unions and supporting militant unions who oppose a regime the US wants to destabilize. They were active in Venezuela in the attempt on Chavez, for example. The actions of the AFL-CIO outside the US have been extremely harmful to US workers and to the international labor movement.

  • David Brooks propagandizes for Netanyahu-- he has no partner for peace
    • RICHARDWITTY- “The question came up of why hundreds of billions of dollars is not being invested in productive activity, but is sitting as cash in the hands of a few very very large corporations and private funds.”

      To a large degree it is because it is well understood that Wall Street is engaged in a controlled demolition of the real economy in order to implement neoliberal structural adjustment in the US. We are entering an engineered global depression which will likely spiral out of control. They hope to acquire real assets at fire sale prices. Who is going to invest in the real economy during intentional deflation? Obama’s recent economic proposals are political theater, made only after the Republicans were in a position to successfully block them. Brooks’ characterization of Obama as a fighter is a fraudulent misrepresentation of Wall Street’s lawyer in the White House.

  • World condemns Israel's Jerusalem landgrab, while US says it is 'within the frame of our policy concern'
    • ANTIDOTE- “no way, Keith, that’s not what the Vatican wants.”

      What exactly did I say? “That is pretty much what the financial elites want- a centralized financial authority to use its financial power to rule over us all.” I was noting that what dumvitaestspeset claimed was similar to what the global financial elites are pushing for. As for the Vatican, I make no claims.

      As for Sharia law and interest-is-sin ideology, be careful what you wish for. Unintended consequences can be a bummer. The idea of interest as usury is not new, the church having that position for a long time. One consequence was that lenders engaged in charade to circumvent the prohibition, charging late penalties instead of interest on the understanding that the loan would be repaid sufficiently late to require a penalty equivalent to the desired interest. Another consequence was to assign money lending to Jews who had no prohibition against charging Gentiles interest. Jews “forced” to take possession of the goose that lays golden eggs. Funny, in all the tales of Jewish suffering, they never mention being forced to care for the golden goose. Go figure.

      But what about nowadays? Current short term interest rates are close to zero and how has that worked out? Well, for starters, I’m receiving negligible interest on my Treasuries, G*d d*mn it. Additionally, the fat cats are awash in practically free money which is being used for speculation and for driving various markets up or down. My whole point being that the financial system has been intentionally made complex and that reforms need to be well thought out by many people, the solution subject to democratic accountability. In this regard, a certain humility is necessary, hubris possibly fatal. As for Karl Marx, I am not overly concerned with what he said 150 years ago.

    • DUMVI- “The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions….”

      That is pretty much what the financial elites want- a centralized financial authority to use its financial power to rule over us all. What really needs to be done is to roll back globalization as much as possible as fast as possible. We need to emphasize local autonomy and reduce corporate/financial controlled trade dependency. Think globally, act locally. Remember, our global interdependencies have been intentionally created as a means to facilitate global financial control.

    • SEAFOID- “and let’s see what happens when Greece defaults.”

      Yes, indeed. We live in interesting times, we live in scary times.

  • The Global War on Halloween (fake head not included)
    • This costume is but a small example of the extent to which our warfare state perverts the popular culture so as to manufacture support for a permanent warfare state. It is something insufficiently commented upon. The extent to which the entertainment media glorify and normalize violence in order to create a “warrior” mentality whereby the “good guys” are always locked into violent struggle with evil. In other words, the American warfare state empire inevitably produces cultural blowback in support of militarism which, in turn, results in a violent and unwholesome society.

  • For neoconservatives, Israel is a foreign and domestic issue
    • “Concern for Israel alone cannot explain why the neoconservatives turned against liberalism….”

      Liberals? Most of the original neoconservatives are ex-Trotskyites who were always more interested in power than in ideological fealty. In the 1960s, they read the handwriting on the wall, decided that being a member of the “vanguard of the elite” lacked career potential and switched sides, many going to work for “Scoop” Jackson or in the labor unions. They have been infinitely more successful as right wing fanatics than as left wing fanatics, their fundamentalism a plague on us all.

    • STOGUMBER- “Is it really a problem to call Israel in the 1950s/1960s (economically) “socialist”?”

      Yes. Israel was created as a Zionist variant of Eastern European blood and soil nationalism. Socialist vocabulary provided a universalist veneer for what was, in effect, Zionist ethnic exclusivity. Jewish nation building trumped all other concerns and was dependent upon the support of the local Zionist capitalists as well as the Diaspora Jewish capitalists.

  • Americans who support Palestinian cause must be willing to lose friends
    • POTSHERD2- “Today’s media have cheapened friendship, reduced it to the click of a button.”

      Something clicked when I read your comment. What if now or in the near future these electronic “friends” aren’t real? What if they are sophisticated computer programs designed to influence opinions and behavior? A quantum leap in manufacturing consent?

    • DBG- "Everyone knows what antisemitism is...."

      "While in the past an 'anti-semite' was someone who hates Jews, nowadays it is the other way around, an anti-Semite is someone the Jews hate." (Gilad Atzmon)

    • In fairness, I should also mention Ali Tarhouni, the former University of Washington economics professor and neoliberal enthusiast, who, after a couple of decades in the US, returned to Libya (with CIA encouragement?) to become the rebels’ oil and finance minister. According to the SEATTLE Times, he is the front runner to become Libya’s next prime minister. Shades of Syngman Rhee! Imagine that, a UW professor may become Libya’s next PM! Are we talking grassroots democracy or what?

    • OLIVE- “This young lady, Rachel Corrie, Brian Baird, Jim McDermott, the list goes on.”

      To your list, I would like to add Bert Sachs, who, on his own, defied the US government to bring humanitarian assistance to Iraq during the sanctions, and whose trial has been postponed.

  • The Real ‘Theater of the Absurd’: Netanyahu, Givat HaMatos and his endgame in Palestine
    • CITIZEN- Back when Jefferson and Rothschild made their remarks, the market economy was much less pervasive than nowadays. There was at least some measure of personal autonomy outside the market. That is no longer true in First World countries. Now, our large and highly complex society is effectively controlled by directing the flow of money, by those who direct the flow of money. This doesn’t seem to be well understood by those marinated in Marxian ideology, endlessly engaged in ritual incantations about ownership of the means of production, a 19th century delusion. Until the financial system is controlled by we the people, all other reforms are band aids doomed to eventually fail. A privately controlled debt based monetary system is crushing us down.

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