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Total number of comments: 4092 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)


Radical dissident. Retired.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      “He opposes militarism:”

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

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

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

      “This was a multinational intervention….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      “i read and liked the book.”

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

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

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

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

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

    • WILLEMPJDEBROUWER- “Have you read her book?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Capitalism and its contradictions: From Arizona to Florida to #UCLAdivest
    • BRADY FOREST- Attempting to link the murders of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin with the “contradictions of capitalism” is a rather unique perspective, to put it charitably.

  • Thought experiment. Dateline Ukraine
    • I wasn’t planning to comment again on this thread, however, I received a couple of e-mails regarding new developments which are important. It would appear that we are about to witness a major confrontation in the Ukraine and Crimea as part of a terrifyingly aggressive imperial strategy. I suspect that there will be an escalation in Syria as well. Cheers. Two quotes, first Francis Boyle followed by Bruce Gagnon.

      “I suspect this entire Ukraine Crisis had been war gamed and war planned quite some time ago at the highest levels of USG/NATO. Notice DOD slipped 2 US warships into the Black Sea just before the Olympics under a patently absurd pretext. In other words, what we are seeing unfold here is a USG/NATO War Plan. They instigated the fascist coup against Yanukovich. They anticipated that Putin would then respond by taking over Crimea. I suspect the US/NATO/EU response will be to introduce military forces into Western Ukraine and Kiev and thus make Ukraine a de facto member of NATO, which has been their objective all along. They have already anticipated what Putin's next move after that will be. Notice also the massive anti-Russian campaign by the Western News Media working in lock-step with each other. Another sign that all this has been planned well in advance. I suspect that USG/NATO/EU figure that Putin knows they have this offensive, first-strike strategic nuclear capability with a rudimentary ABM/BMD capability so that at the end of the day he will be forced to stand down-or else. Compellence as opposed to Deterrence.Just like during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That is where this USG/NATO/EU War Plan is heading on the assumptions that they can keep their deliberate Escalation Dominance under their control and that at the end day Putin will be forced to stand down just like Khrushchev did and for the same reasons. That would leave USG/NATO/EU in control of at least half of Ukraine as a de facto NATO member state.” (Francis A. Boyle) (e-mail, no link)

      “Already the war drums are sounding after Russia moved more troops into Crimea to protect its Navy base and the large pro-Russian population in the region.”

      “Writing yesterday in Foreign Policy Admiral James Stavridis (Ret) called for NATO to immediately increase "all intelligence-gathering functions through satellite, Predator unmanned vehicles, and especially cyber" and to sail "NATO maritime forces into the Black Sea and setting up contingency plans for their use." This is full-blown war talk - with Russia. Admiral Stavridis was Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009 to 2013. He is currently dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.”

      “If Stavridis is saying these things you can just imagine what plans are underway inside the Pentagon and at NATO HQ in Europe.”

      “The Russians know that they are being set up. Reporting for Asia Times, Pepe Escobar wrote, "Even before neo-con Victoria 'fuck the EU' Nuland’s intercept, [Russian intelligence] had already identified the wider mechanics of the CIA-style coup – including Turkish intelligence financing Tatars in Crimea... And what will the Tatars in Crimea do? Stage a jihad? Wait: the 'West' will surely try to FINANCE THIS JIHAD."

      “It's Syria all over again, this time right on the Russian border.” (Bruce Gagnon)

    • A few additional comments on the geostrategic implications of the Ukrainian destabilization are in order. First, a hugely influential strategist in the Obama administration is none other than cold warior Zbigniew Brzezinski. In “The Grand Chessboard” he discusses the importance of the Ukraine in limiting Russia's future potential.

      “Ukraine…is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire…..However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine...Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia. (p46)

      The US geostrategic goal, therefore, is to prevent that from happening, and is the underlying reason for this destabilization which was initiated after the Ukraine turned down the EU and IMF in favor of closer ties with Russia. I might add that the ongoing expansion of NATO is crucial to US imperial strategy.

      Brzezinski recommends: “In the short run, it is in America’s interest to consolidate and perpetuate the prevailing geopolitical pluralism on the map of Eurasia. That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy, not to mention the remote possibility of any one state seeking to do so.” (p198)

      In a nutshell: destroy any potential competition. I think that is what is going on now. The empire is transforming itself during a brief window of opportunity and anything and everything which potentially stands in the way is/will be attacked and destroyed if possible. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. have effectively been destroyed. It is too expensive to occupy and control, so destruction is the preferred alternative. I think that is what is happening in the Ukraine as well, and, so far, it seems to have succeeded. I might add that neoliberal globalization is the cause of much planetary social unrest and upheaval. The empire is on a rampage and the global 99% are going to suffer increasingly dark times.

    • Well, finally. I am surprised it took this long to cover this critically important situation which Max Blumenthal wrote about and which I linked yesterday. For those who missed it, I repeat the link:

      In addition to its strategic importance, this situation relates DIRECTLY to the conflict in the Middle East, particularly Syria. I offer a quote and a link from Pepe Escobar discussing an aspect of this not readily apparent nor highlighted in the media.

      “NATO’s wet dream is one thing; it is quite another to pull it off — as in ending the Russian fleet routinely leaving Sevastopol across the Black Sea through the Bosphorus and then reaching Tartus, Syria’s Mediterranean port. So yes, this is as much about Syria as about Crimea.” (Pepe Escobar)

  • 'NYT' says East Jerusalem isn't occupied, and Israel lobby takes credit
    • SIBIRIAK- Sternhell Quote: “On 3 January 1951 the censor, at that time attached to the Ministry of the Interior, forbade theatrical troupes, singers, and other entertainers to perform in Yiddish.”

      From the re-released “Zionism in the Age of Dictators”: “To encourage Zionists, the Nuremberg laws in 1935.….Rabbis were ordered to conduct their sermons in Hebrew- the language Zionism has recreated for Israel- rather than Yiddish.” (p305)

      Birds of a feather?

  • Settler leader's vision for peace: millions of American Jews must move to Israel and Palestine
    • SIBIRIAK- “I’m not so sure it was so much real support as use.”

      The support was real enough as was the planning and direction from Washington. In other words, the US didn’t just take advantage of a useful situation, rather, the US/NATO/EU was the driving force behind the Putsch. If, however, you are trying to say that the US support is contingent upon the continued usefulness of these neo-Nazis, then, of course, that is true, and is fairly standard.

    • PUPPIES- “So before we buy it, it’s a good idea to check if the genocide supporters of Ukraine have turned Israel admirers too.”

      Indeed, there are indications that this may have occurred at least to some degree among the leadership. Israel Shamir notes: “Historically, the liberal–Nazi alliance did not work because the old Nazis were enemies of bankers and financial capital, and therefore anti-Jewish. This hitch could be avoided: Mussolini was friendly to Jews and had a few Jewish ministers in his government; he objected to Hitler’s anti-Jewish attitude saying that “Jews are useful and friendly”. Hitler replied that if he were to allow that, thousands of Jews would join his party. Nowadays, this problem has vanished: modern neo-Nazis are friendly towards Jews, bankers and gays. The Norwegian killer Breivik is an exemplary sample of a Jew-friendly neo-Nazi. So are the Ukrainian and Russian neo-Nazis.”

      There are other indications, however, that among the neo-Nazi cadre, anti-Semitism may be quite real. In spite of that, it is well to remember just how well Zionists and Nazis worked together in the past. Hopefully, it will be of interest to some that “Zionism in the Age of Dictators” by Lenni Brenner has been re-released. A quote followed by a link.

      “The WZO tried to extend its relationship with Nazism. On February 26, 1937, Feival Polkes of the Haganah Labor Zionist militia, met with Adolf Eichmann in Berlin.” (Lenni Brenner)

    • “Jews from Europe will come home to Israel as massive extremist Islamic populations fill France, Spain, England, and elsewhere.”

      There will likely be an increase of Jews fleeing Europe in response to both actual and perceived anti-Semitism as a result of the increasing popularity of neocon inspired, US supported rise of the neo-Nazi parties in places such as the Ukraine where a successful imperial destabilization has occurred. For the neocons and other Zionists, this is a win-win situation. More Jews for Israel and improved support for Israel as a “safe haven” among American Jews. Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism and they seek to foster it where possible. Witness the neocon support for the Ukrainian neo-fascist “freedom fighters.” Max Blumenthal has written about this, I don’t know why Mondoweiss is ignoring this important and relevant topic. I provide a quote followed by a link.

      “White supremacist banners and Confederate flags were draped inside Kiev’s occupied City Hall, and demonstrators have hoisted Nazi SS and white power symbols over a toppled memorial to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his palatial estate by helicopter, EuroMaidan protesters destroyed a memorial to Ukrainians who died battling German occupation during World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol have become an increasingly common site in Maidan Square, and neo-Nazi forces have established “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.”

      “Svoboda’s openly pro-Nazi politics have not deterred Senator John McCain from addressing a EuroMaidan rally alongside Tyahnybok, nor did it prevent Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland from enjoying a friendly meeting with the Svoboda leader this February. Eager to fend off accusations of anti-Semitism, the Svoboda leader recently hosted the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine.” (Max Blumenthal)

  • Mayor of Canadian city invites Ehud Barak to economic summit
    • I think that it is important to mention something else here. In the past, I have occasionally posted a quote from General Wesley Clark indicating a neocon inspired US plan to invade or destabilize seven countries. Let me re-quote a part, then continue- “…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). Of course, the original time frame was off (5 years), however, a look at the countries and subsequent events indicates that the plan was more-or-less implemented by Obama, only Iran somewhat in doubt.

      In following the news, it appears increasingly obvious that not only has Obama targeted the original seven, but appears to have added to the list to include anything which potentially stands in the way of complete imperial hegemony. The two most prominent additions are the Ukraine and Venezuela, both of which are being subjected to destabilization campaigns. Thailand, too. The empire is on a dangerous rampage and appears intent on eliminating any and all opposition to imperial hegemony during what the elites see as a window of opportunity preceding a global upheaval as a consequence of neoliberal globalization. None of these situations can be analyzed in isolation, they are part of a total campaign. I will conclude with a quote from a prominent neocon to give a flavor of their operational philosophy.

      “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)

    • TOIVOS- “The rabbi sent a request to Lieberman asking for Israeli help in securing Kiev’s Jewish community.”

      Perhaps he should have appealed to Victoria Nuland who is rather chummy with these right-wing, anti-Semitic thugs which the US is paying and directing in an effort at punitive regime change. Of course, Nuland breaks no new ground. There is a long and sordid history of Zionists working with anti-Semites to achieve Zionist objects.

      “In this case, Nuland, who - according to the WSWS - is "the grand-daughter of Jewish immigrants who fled to America to escape pogroms in Tsarist Russia".was seen "handing out cookies in Maidan square to Svoboda thugs who venerate the mass murderers of Hitler's SS." (Bill Van Auken)

      “A number of confirmations have come in from readers that Washington is fueling the violent protests in Ukraine with our taxpayer dollars. Washington has no money for food stamps or to prevent home foreclosures, but it has plenty of money with which to subvert Ukraine.” (Paul Craig Roberts)

      “…the EU deal that Yanukovych turned down, precipitating the uprising, actually offered Ukraine little other than Greek-style financial servitude, while the Kremlin, at least, proffered cash on the barrelhead. The opposition itself is not a monolith of moral rectitude; one of its driving forces is an ultra-nationalist faction that spouts vile anti-Semitic rhetoric.” (Chris Floyd)

      “Ukrainian rioters have seized 1,500 guns, 100,000 rounds of ammunition, 3 machine guns, and grenades from military armories….The human-rights trained Ukrainian police have permitted the violence to get out of hand. A number of police have been burned by Molotov cocktails. The latest report is that 108 police have been shot. A number are dead and 63 are in critical condition.” (Paul Craig Roberts)

    • “The statement points to a strange dichotomy between politics and economics–as if the two can be separated.”

      While I have some problems with this particular commentator, this particular statement is absolutely correct. It is a grave error to treat economics as separate from politics, rather, we need to deal with the political economy. The notion that economics is “the dismal science” is pure propaganda. Dismal yes, science no. Capitalist economics is primarily an ideological construction justifying the unrelenting concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the capitalist elites. It is basically a series of rationalizations intended to justify the power seeking actions of capitalists who provide employment for economists. Capitalist economists function similarly to the high priests of yore, sanctifying the divine right of capital to rule. And if you don’t comprehend that we are a money driven, money controlled society, you need to wake up.

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • GERMAN LEFTY- “So, you consider the Oval Office the bottom of the heap?”

      So you consider Barack Obama to be reflective of the average Black American? What nonsense! As for the situation of American Blacks in relationship to the downtrodden of the Third World, I guess you think that they should be grateful that they are not forced to live on $2 per day under a US supported dictator. You seem to lack any semblance of empathy for those less fortunate than you. As for that Wall Street lawyer in the White House, here are some Black opinions on just how much good that has done for US Blacks:

      The Obama Legacy. (Bruce Dixon)

      The White House Un-Reality Show. (Glen Ford)

      The Absurdity of Post Racial Theory in Racist America. (Danny Haiphong)

    • CITIZEN- “Read it and get a glimpse of Keith’s vision of affirmative action justice.”

      That’s right, create a social environment where one group is virtually guaranteed to have lower test scores, then use these test scores as a basis for excluding the disadvantaged group from obtaining the means to advance, in effect, holding THEM responsible for the environment they found themselves trapped in. Further, that attempts to overcome this environment, and the deplorable history of slavery and racism, are racist discrimination favoring “less qualified” applicants based upon these test scores. You should be aware that “Minding the Campus” is run by the “Manhattan Institute,” a right-wing think tank financed by the likes of the Koch brothers, the Olin and Scaife foundations, and previously, the tobacco industry, all of whom appreciative of their “scholarship.” That you can easily locate studies that support right-wing policies is hardly surprising, particularly since the Jews did an about face on this very issue. That you seem to take this crap seriously is another matter.

    • GERMAN LEFTY- “Yes, proactive measures to ensure EQUAL treatment, NOT the continuation of SPECIAL treatment (in a different form).

      What special treatment? How are they to receive equal treatment if the past history has deprived them of the necessary wherewithal to compete? You think that efforts to enable 20% of the population to proportionally partake of the benefits of a society constructed on the backs of Black slaves are reverse discrimination? You think that poor Black kids and middle class white kids compete on an even playing field? As for your ridiculous philo-Semitic example, you think having the Ivy Leagues set aside a 2% enrollment quota for Jews would be philo-Semitic?

      Keith said: “The notion that the consequences of centuries of slavery and discrimination can be overcome in a few decades is ludicrous.”

      German Lefty responded: “Don’t put words into my mouth. I have never made such a claim.”

      I was responding to your comment in general terms which encompass standing arguments. Jewish civil rights groups, for example, initially supported affirmative action when it benefited Jews, however, once they had achieved their objectives they did an about face and opposed what they now claimed was reverse discrimination. Does your comment reflect your opinion that efforts to overcome the consequences of centuries of slavery and discrimination will take a long time?

      Keith said: “The notion that America has turned into some sort of post-racial society is the convenient rationalization of privileged white people”

      German Lefty replied: “Again, you put words into my mouth. I have never claimed that US society is post-racial.”

      Once again, I am commenting in broad terms and was, in fact, referring to comments which Phil has made in the past about a post-racial society, a common liberal fantasy.

      German Lefty says: “It’s affirmative action (i.e. reverse racial discrimination) that prevents the development of a post-racial society.”

      So you think that Blacks and other minorities would have been better off without affirmative action? I find this type of thinking absolutely incredible. Blacks are at the bottom of the heap because we did too much for them! Jeez.

      You keep referring to Jews in Germany and elsewhere being hurt by reverse discrimination. Apparently you equate highly privileged Jews receiving unjustified favoritism with poor Blacks trying to catch up and integrate into a society which has historically impoverished them in the full sense of the term. There is no equivalency between Jews who are over represented in the Ivy Leagues and the corridors of wealth and power and Blacks who are under represented in these areas. Blacks are, however, over represented in our prison system, one area where they do receive special treatment.

      Now one can believe that our society is unjust, with obvious examples of unfair distribution of wealth, power and opportunity, and that therefore we should take steps to change society to more equitably distribute the fruits of current labors and correct for past injustice. Or one can believe that wealth and power justify themselves, that fat-cats are fat because they are either inherently superior or have acquired superior qualifications open to all, and that those who are poor and uneducated are inherently stupid and/or lazy, the products of a failed ethnic culture, therefore, there is nothing that can or should be done, they deserve their fate. Now, the royalty of old and the elite of now firmly believe the latter. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, however, your previous comments seem to indicate a lack of social responsibility. We are all of us to a large degree a product of our circumstances, something you might care to reflect upon.

    • CITIZEN- “I will bite–centuries of reverse racism, most especially against white males most of them sans a single slave owner in their family tree?”

      What reverse racism? Providing compensatory benefits to Blacks to ATTEMPT to undo some of the disparity wrought by centuries of discrimination and injustice is “reverse racism?” As a consequence of this slavery and discrimination, Blacks start out with so many strikes against them that they will NEVER be fully integrated into our society unless they receive special consideration in regards to educational opportunities and hiring practices. To simply remove legal discrimination without regard to their history and status is to doom them to remain a perpetual underclass. You think that proactive measures to ensure that 20% of the population is proportionally represented throughout our society is racist? If as a result of past social practices Blacks (and other minorities) are deemed “unqualified” for higher level jobs, or lack the money for education, then society has an obligation to make them qualified and fund the education necessary to enable them to compete. If that takes quotas and other assistance, so be it. In view of the history and under the circumstances, I have no sympathy with whites who cry reverse discrimination. And to refer to this as racism is frankly offensive.

    • GERMAN LEFTY- “Opponents of affirmative action (i.e. reverse racism) support equal rights, just like opponents of Zionism (i.e. reverse racism) support equal rights.”

      Nonsense. Correcting the consequences of past injustice requires ongoing, proactive measures to deal with those consequences. The notion that the consequences of centuries of slavery and discrimination can be overcome in a few decades is ludicrous. This country was built upon the utilization of slave labor and needs to continue to take steps to rectify the consequences of that. The notion that removing legal discrimination is adequate to enable the victims of discrimination to compete against the beneficiaries of white privilege is a joke. You may be interested to know that in labor law when an employer is found guilty of wrongful practice it is customary for the judgment to require the employer to “make the worker whole” to rectify the situation, that is, to provide a remedy which provides comparable benefit to what would have been provided had the wrongful practice not occurred. What would you imagine would be required to “make American Blacks whole” to rectify the consequences of centuries of slavery and ongoing informal discrimination? The notion that America has turned into some sort of post-racial society is the convenient rationalization of privileged white people, and the opposition to affirmative action an attempt to protect white privilege which was obtained through racist practices.

    • PHIL- “The Jewish community is rebranding Jewish culture, from the brave civilization that gave us the greatest minds of the last 100 years, Einstein, Marx and Freud….”

      Had you said “some” of the greatest minds, I would be more forgiving, however, this statement reeks of both Euro-centrism and Judeo-centrism to an embarrassing degree. Let me begin by saying that I consider both Marx and Freud (particularly Freud) to be easily two of the most overrated individuals to have lived. Freud was a fraud who projected his hang-ups onto his (primarily Jewish) patients. Penis envy, indeed! Marx merely inverted classical economics in order to justify a centralized dictatorship of elites. As long as the left continues to cling to Marxist thinking, it will doomed to continued intellectual irrelevancy.

      While there is little doubt about Einstein’s achievements, to what degree are you claiming that his mathematical genius was a product of Jewish culture and community? I am not aware that either Judaism or Jewishness influenced his mathematics one way or the other. How about non-European societies, anyone there not deserving of dismissal as one of the “greatest minds?”

  • 'Can you tell who is an Arab?' appeal is tax-deductible
    • LIBRA- “After looking at these mug shots, I think my potato purveyor might be an Arab; should I switch suppliers?”

      Only if you plan on baking them. Deep frying, however, is inherently purifying. In fact, blue-eyed Ashkenazi visiting Israel seem to prefer these local Hebrew fries containing just a hint of forbidden spice.

  • Great Britain’s 100 year war on the Arab world
    • Overall, an excellent article which points out the degree to which Western development was dependent first upon slavery, then upon resource (primarily oil) extraction. Britain de-industrialized India upon conquering it, giving Britain a competitive advantage and driving India into poverty. I disagree with the author concerning India after independence. India today is a Hindu fascist neoliberal state in which there is massive poverty and astronomical farmer suicides. Political independence was thwarted by continued economic dependence, compradors and satraps serving empire and themselves. Don’t be fooled by the macro economic statistics. Yes, the corporations are doing just fine, it is the people that are hurting. China, too, is overrated. The most dynamic sectors of the Chinese economy are the Western (primarily US) transnational corporations which manufacture things in Chinese sweat shops to ship elsewhere.

      Although I loved the historical perspective, I am puzzled by the lack of transition to current reality. For starters, the British empire yielded to the American empire, which in turn is transmogrifying into the corporate/financial empire. This emerging empire exerts control (financial backed by military) over a global economy that is dependent upon a dollar backed financial system enabling a Wall Street directed matrix of financial dependencies. While the locus of control currently remains in the US, the system itself encompasses much more than the older national empires. For a variety of reasons which I won’t go into, the system has embraced neoliberalism and is headed towards a form of neo-feudalism. The system is also headed for disaster as geostrategic advantage appears to trump human survival. We are at a critical juncture in history.

  • Transcript: Netanyahu calls on U.S. Jews to fight BDS-- 'eerie' anti-Semites 'on the soil of Europe'
    • HOPHMI- “I can’t think of a reason why WSWS or Counterpunch would support stronger ties between Ukraine and Russia, or call members of the Orange Revolution neo-Nazis.”

      Faced with overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you resort to ad hominem name calling. For the record, are you denying that the US is involved in a destabilization effort in the Ukraine? That it has provided $5 billion dollars to empower the right-wing opposition as indicated by Nuland’s taped phone conversation? That these right-wing groups are both anti-Semitic and fascist? Are you even aware of who Reinhard Gehlen is?

      Hophmi: “Blame Jews for that one too.”

      Are you denying that Victoria Nuland has neocon roots? Are you denying that the neocons are involved in empire’s increased militarism? Are you saying that the neocons represent all Jews? Notice that I referred to neocons and other Zionists, not to Jews per se. Are you defending the neocons? Imperial foreign policy? Are you capable of anything other than blind support for Israel and empire?

      Here are a few more quotes and links for you from various authors of high repute. As for denigrating Counterpunch, it is a superior website, far better than the Zionist crap you indulge in. No more bullshit, Hophmi, if you want to support and defend these neo-Nazi hooligans in the Ukraine, just come out and say it. Like I said before, working with these types of people (or Al- Qaeda, for that matter) seems to be no problem for Zionists such as yourself. I might add that once again Zionist actions contribute to anti-Semitism.

      “The Soviet collapse unleashed the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony. Russia under Putin, China, and Iran are the only constraints on the neoconservative agenda….To neutralize Russia, Washington broke the Reagan-Gorbachev agreements and expanded NATO into former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire and now intends to bring former constituent parts of Russia herself–Georgia and Ukraine–into NATO….”

      The neoconservative Victoria Nuland sits in her State Department office happily choosing the members of the next Ukrainian government. Is this US official oblivious to the risk that Washington’s meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine and Russia could be triggering nuclear war? Are President Obama and Congress aware that there is an Assistant Secretary of State who is provoking Armageddon?” (Paul Craig Roberts)

      “All of these organizations share a common ideology that is vehemently anti-Russian, anti-immigrant, and anti-Jewish among other things. In addition they share a common reverence for the so called “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists” led by Stepan Bandera, the infamous Nazi collaborators who actively fought against the Soviet Union and engaged in some of the worst atrocities committed by any side in World War II….” (Eris Draitser)

      "In the latest debacle for the US State Department and the Obama Administration, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was caught on tape micro-managing Ukraine opposition party strategies with US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. That the Ukraine regime-change operation is to some degree being directed from Washington can no longer be denied..The taped conversation demonstrates in clear detail that while Secretary of State John Kerry decries any foreign meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs, his State Department is virtually managing the entire process." (Daniel McAdams)

      “Government buildings are being trashed, ransacked. It is happening in Kiev and Bangkok, and in both cities, the governments appear to be toothless, too scared to intervene.”

      “What is going on? Are popularly elected administrations all over the world becoming irrelevant; as the Western regime creates and then supports thuggish 'opposition movements' designed to destabilize any state that stands in the way of its desire to fully control the planet?” (Andre Vltchek)

    • HOPHMI- “He’s correct, of course. Antisemitism is a serious problem in Europe.”

      I notice that the picture in your linked article is from 1938. Surely, there must be some recent photos of this “serious problem?” And speaking of European anti-Semitism, I think an up-tick is virtually inevitable in view of US support for the neo-Nazi hooligans in the Ukraine. Below is a quote and a link you might be interested in. As usual, neocons and other Zionists are only too happy to work with neo-Nazis and other fascist sympathizers if it furthers their objectives. To be fair, recruiting ex-Nazis as anti-communist freedom fighters is as American as apple pie. This article (and others) indicate that US funding for this destabilization is at least $5 billion, with the US calling the shots.

      “In this case, Nuland, who - according to the WSWS - is "the grand-daughter of Jewish immigrants who fled to America to escape pogroms in Tsarist Russia".was seen "handing out cookies in Maidan square to Svoboda thugs who venerate the mass murderers of Hitler's SS." ("Leaked phone call on Ukraine lays bare Washington's gangsterism", Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site)

      “By the way, Nuland's "husband is Robert Kagan, the right-wing foreign policy pundit who served as the founding chairman of the Project for a New American Century, the neo-conservative Washington think tank that played a key role in the political and ideological preparation for the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan." (Mike Whitney)

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • Although this article ostensibly seeks to “explode” a legendary anti-Semitic episode, the net effect is to focus on a more-or-less irrelevant piece of dated European history. A 1903 pogrom where 43 Jews were killed. Terrible. How many Jews have been lynched in the US? One, according to Jeffrey Blankfort. How many Blacks have been lynched in the US? I don’t know, but I suspect more than 43. How many Jews versus Blacks have been killed in race riots (pogroms?) in the land of the free?

      Okay, so the guy is a Professor of Jewish history. No doubt he focuses on Jewish achievement and Jewish persecution. That is his job as part of the Jewish/Zionist doctrinal system. I suspect that there was a huge increase in the number of Professors of Jewish history following the 1967 Middle East war which marked the ascent of the Jewish elite into the citadels of power. There are probably Jewish chairs of this or that too. Somewhere Norman Finkelstein said that these were mostly funded by Jewish fat-cats and the scholarship was/is usually non-existent.

      So we hear about a 1903 pogrom and discuss the Czar’s role, always emphasizing Jewish victim-hood, the debate reinforcing the myth. I wonder, do any of these Professors of Jewish history who emphasize Russia ever talk about Genrikh Yagoda? So what exactly is the point of this article other than a continuation of the never-ending emphasis on Jewish victim-hood? How does this relate to contemporary Zionism, Israel, the Middle East, or anything remotely relevant?,7340,L-3342999,00.html

  • Praising Judis, Heer says Jews who abandoned liberalism for Israel are coming home
    • “…in the wake of the Holocaust and the urgency it lent to the Zionist case….”

      My gracious, what twisted logic! Saving Jews from the Holocaust was never the goal of Zionism, and following the defeat of Nazi Germany there was hardly any urgency. More honest phraseology would indicate that the Holocaust provided the Zionists with a perverse form of legitimization to commit crimes and the power to do so as a consequence of both Gentile sympathy and the dramatic increase in Jewish tribal solidarity caused by heightened Jewish perceptions of anti-Semitism.

  • 'I'll believe a corporation is a person the day it gets a colonoscopy'
    • For those interested in changing our present system, I strongly recommend not using either the traditional labels such as capitalism, Marxism or socialism. Few people would agree on a common definition, yet use of the label implies agreement where there is none. Also, I would recommend abandoning both Marxist and neo-classical economic terminology. Both are ideologies which significantly misrepresent reality and which will tend to bias your thinking in unproductive ways. Forget about the bourgeois, proletariat, unearned rents and ownership of the means of production. The 19th century came and went.

      What then? Simply describe the way things are using common everyday language, then figure out what should change and how that can be accomplished. A lot of things need changing, some more meaningful than others, some easier. A key factor concerns social power. In our system, money is power, economic power in fluid form, the primary instrument of social control. The last couple of decades there has been an enormous upward shift of power (money). The 1% is stronger than ever, the 99% weaker. Our political economy is radically out of balance and needs correcting. Progressive taxation on income and wealth for individuals and organizations is the only way I know to do that. Until the 99% financially re-empowers itself, little else can be accomplished. A lot of other things need doing, but without social power there is little prospect for success. Also, we don’t need to daydream about some distant revolution leading to some illusory workers paradise while neglecting the present. I can assure you that right now the corporations and financial system are implementing plans (TPP, etc) to turn the planet into one big corporate town with the 99% reduced to a form of indentured servitude (neo-feudalism).

  • Is Obama punting on Kerry's peace plan?
    • YONAH FREDMAN- “A credible scenario in which republican president Bush who chose Cheney as his Veep and Rumsfeld as his secretary of Defense, could have avoided war with Afghanistan?”

      There are two issues here. The first is your lack of reading comprehension. What did ToivoS say? “It was the right thing because the American people wanted to go to war after 911.” (ToivoS) He says that it was the “right thing to do.” I responded asking if it would have been right for the Russians to invade. Since Afghanistan didn’t attack either Russia or the US, why is it the “right thing?” As to what the American people wanted, that is a matter of the elite manufacture of consent rather than any innate factor. The American people were whipped into a war frenzy. To imply otherwise is tantamount to saying that the 1% was responding to the wishes of the 99%, hardly a credible argument.

      The second point concerns your argument that since Cheney and Rumsfeld were war mongers, poor Georgie had no choice. First of all, Rumsfeld initially wanted to go after Iraq right from the get-go, however, Powell talked him into going after Afghanistan first because it was an easier sell to the public because of Osama bin Laden. You are aware, I hope, that bin Laden was recruited by Pakistan intelligence and vetted by the CIA, who built all of those camps and taught him his tradecraft? And then you get into the problem of to what degree the Bush administration was willfully negligent (or worse) in allowing the attack to occur.

      In sum, the imperial attack on Afghanistan was undertaken for strategic reasons, was immoral and unjustified, and cannot be excused by any appeal to external pressure. Unlike you, I do not look for excuses to justify immoral militarism as being somehow “realistic” and unavoidable. But then, I am not a Zionist.

    • TOIVOS- “At the time, deposing the Taliban from power was the right move.”

      At the time, would you have supported the Russians invading Afghanistan to “depose the Taliban?” Would that have been the right move?

  • De Blasio's leftwing base is enraged by AIPAC moment
    • MARC B- “…he has never been one for much in the way of prescriptive advice. he describes problems, analyzes them, mostly astutely, but I don’t recall anything like a blueprint for a solution.”

      That is absolutely correct, therefore, I take it that you agree that Krauss has demonstrably misrepresented Chomsky by saying that Chomsky’s argument is that “if we just fight capitalism then the occupation will disappear.”? As for my perception of Chomsky bashing, perhaps you are not aware of how frequently I was labeled a “Chomskyite” for even suggesting that the US foreign policy was consistent with imperial power-seeking rather an exclusive result of an omnipotent Lobby? Or Phil’s orchestrated Chomsky bashing on the “Unfair to Chomsky” thread? Usually, when Chomsky is brought up by the anti-Chomsky crowd, it is to misrepresent him. Since I noticed that you didn’t comment on the “Unfair to Chomsky” thread, I am providing a link so that you can better understand my position.

    • W JONES- “By talking about the Israeli state as a kind of puppet of the US colonialist empire, it suggests that Israeli policies are actually a reflection of US policies.”

      I have never heard him refer to Israel as a puppet of the US colonialist empire. This is yet another misrepresentation of Chomsky. You should be aware that your quotes do not support your thesis. I have read a lot of Chomsky and his primary emphasis is on US foreign policy. It is an attempt to provide information to the citizenry not otherwise available in the mainstream media. His underlying analysis is that US foreign policy more or less reflects the consensus of domestic concentrations of power. This should hardly be controversial. He most certainly never said nor implied that “if we just fight capitalism then the occupation will disappear.” I suspect that he would be appalled by such advice. If you are actually interested in what Chomsky thinks, I highly recommend “Year 501: The Conquest Continues,” and specifically to the Middle East “Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel & The Palestinians.”

    • BILAL A - “Chomsky’s first youthful impulses took him to Israel to live in a socialist kibbutz on stolen land.”

      Yes, and he didn’t like what he saw and returned to the US (also stolen land) where he became a harsh critic of US foreign policy and of Zionist Israel. You appear to be illogically trying to tie Chomsky’s youthful stay at a kibbutz with neoliberal globalization and other disjointed rants, the purpose of which is unclear. Although I responded to Krauss’s anti-Chomsky misinformation, I generally avoid even bringing Chomsky up because of the anti-Chomsky hysteria it usually evokes.

    • KRAUSS- “Nevertheless, your focus on capitalism is the inverse of Chomsky’s argument: that the occupation is the creation of capitalistic forces and if we just fight capitalism then the occupation will disappear. That was always a stupid argument.”

      What Chomsky says and what you claim he says are so far apart that your claims are libelous. I don’t feel like getting into another dispute with the anti-Chomsky crowd, however, I would like to see you supply at least one quote where Chomsky says that “if we just fight capitalism then the occupation will disappear.” Apparently, there is much satisfaction derived from creating a straw man, naming it Chomsky, then attacking it for the stupid things which you falsely attribute to it.

    • KRAUSS- “And the ugliest kinds of movements were often socialist movements, whether Stalinism or Nazism.”

      I don’t have a good operational definition of socialism, however, I doubt that Stalinism even comes close. As for Nazism, that and other forms of fascism are capitalist to the core. Just because the National Socialist Party had “socialist” in the name means nothing. Neither does Union of Socialist Republics. Frequently, labels which people apply to themselves are designed more to mislead than enlighten. Currently, look at Europe and all of the “socialists” implementing the neoliberal agenda.

  • The US charade in Egypt, Syria and Palestine
    • MARC ELLIS- “Where will John Kerry fly to next? Perhaps he will take a much deserved vacation.”

      Regrettably, no. Instead, he will be working hard to implement the odious Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) “trade” agreement to lock-in corporate/financial control.

      “In preparation for the upcoming North American Leaders Summit which will be held in Toluca, Mexico on February 19, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently held a meeting with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts….During a press conference, a reporter asked about reopening NAFTA in order to update it. Secretary Kerry answered, “the TPP, is a very critical component of sort of moving to the next tier, post-NAFTA. So I don’t think you have to open up NAFTA, per se, in order to achieve what we’re trying to achieve.”

  • Truman always opposed a religious state, but caved to 'fanatical' Zionist lobby
    • ELLEN- “It is amazing how one interprets the world when they have been trained to be an eternal victim.”

      Yes, indeed, it is truly amazing the extent to which some folks will mangle reality to support their bias. In the thread about the book with “Jew” written 6 million times, I think that to put the Holocaust as part of World War II in perspective they would need to make that book part of a ten volume set with the other nine books containing the word “Goy” written 6 million times. But to even suggest such a thing would be considered by some as Holocaust denial and prima facie evidence of anti-Semitism. In today’s paper, venture capitalist Tom Perkins compared “recent activism against the San Francisco Bay Area’s tech elite to the early anti-Semitic actions of the Nazis.” (Seattle Times, 1/28/14) Can you believe it! Oh, the suffering of the fat-cat victims!

      “Needless to add, it was Jewish historiography, with its strong polemical and apologetical bias, that undertook to trace the record of Jew-hatred in Christian history….” (Hannah Arendt)

  • 'NYT' publishes Holocaust trivia on front page
    • LYSIAS- As you correctly point out, the British are responsible for several historical ‘holocausts.” Is this taught in British schools? I suspect not. But they do teach about the Nazi Holocaust, something not caused by the British. Focusing on the crimes of others standard fare. Has this dwelling on the Holocaust saved any lives? I doubt it. In fact I recently read that an estimated 9 million children a year die from poverty related causes. Also, focusing on this one event tends to diminish the more than ample history of mass murder. A couple of quotes and links.

      “The teaching of the Holocaust was and remains compulsory in English schools. (Indeed, a long-running scheme in operation then and now ensures two seniors from every high school in the country visit Auschwitz on trips subsidized by the U.K. government.)”

      “…Israel Studies programs, Holocaust Studies programs, Jewish Studies programs, all of which sprung up to justify Israeli policy (none has any real academic content, and most were subsidized by wealthy Jews)….” (Norman Finkelstein)

  • 'That tyrant whose seat you're in? We took him out' (The Egyptian revolution continues)
    • I continue to be astonished and dismayed by all of this reference to an Egyptian “revolution” as if that is what it really was. It wasn’t. It was basically an IMF riot in reaction to neoliberal globalization. There is a problem with labeling it a revolution, then basing your analysis upon your label. There is way too much giddy romanticism and too little understanding going on. There is no revolution unless you seize control of the underlying mechanisms of power. This never occurred. The army continued to effectively control the country with the support of the empire, including the global financial system upon which Egypt was dependent for survival. I said at the time that Egypt didn’t have the wherewithal to break free from the global system. It didn’t and it doesn’t. More street riots will result in more street riots and little else. Unless Egypt can feed itself without foreign assistance, it is incapable of breaking free from imperial control. Below is a quote from Tariq Ali saying essentially the same thing.

      “Ever since the beginning of the Arab Spring there has been much talk of revolutions. Not from me. I’ve argued against the position that mass uprisings on their own constitute a revolution, i.e., a transfer of power from one social class (or even a layer) to another that leads to fundamental change. The actual size of the crowd is not a determinant—members of a crowd become a revolution only when they have, in their majority, a clear set of social and political aims. If they do not, they will always be outflanked by those who do, or by the state that will recapture lost ground very rapidly.” (Tariq Ali)

  • Secrecy of de Blasio's AIPAC conclave fuels anti-Semitic tropes -- Sullivan
    • SEAFOID- “…war mongers from Martha’s Vineyard….etc.”

      I agree that is a great quote, however, I think my favorite (from memory) involves him looking around and asking Yoav Shamir “Do you see a Holocaust? With all of the hunger and misery in the world, I am supposed to be concerned about some idiot painting a swaztika on a wall?” I think that says it all. Real anti-Semitism is not a problem and should be of little concern to rational people concerned with the consequences of the global political economy. Allegations of anti-Semitism are politically motivated, and are usually made by those with the power to defame with impunity.

    • PHIL- “…that Israel has ignored US national interests for a long time.”

      Lordy, Lordy, are you about to share with us your interpretation of the “US national interests?” Folks who talk like this are usually referring to US imperial interests, to those things which benefit the 1% as if that reflected the best interests of the American people. So, are you complaining that Israel doesn’t fully support imperial objectives? At this stage of the game, it would be nice for you to expound on this subject. For starters, perhaps you could briefly describe those things which the US government is doing which benefit the American people rather than the corporations and financial sector.

      Andrew Sullivan: “How many troops did Israel send to fight with Americans in Iraq? None. Forty other countries did, led by the UK, Australia, and Poland. How many troops did Israel send to fight with Americans in Afghanistan? None. Fifty-nine other countries helped, also led by the UK. In both cases, this “greatest ally on earth” would have been extraordinarily counter-productive if it had been involved. That’s how useful an ally the country is in confronting our common enemies.”

      For starters, do you think that Afghanistan and Iraq are our enemies? Do you think that all of the countries providing troops to “help” the empire in Afghanistan and Iraq are supporting the best interests of the American people? And if not, how are these wars in the “US national interests?” Seems to me that you are a little too comfortable with the American empire. Not to worry. The American empire has significantly transmogrified itself into the global corporate/financial empire. What is good for Wall Street is good for the USA. You don’t hear Lloyd Blankfein complaining, do you?

  • How we can oppose the Assad regime and Western intervention at the same time
    • LPROYECT- “You people should be aware that the Arab left agrees with Omar rather than you. This statement includes not only respected leftist intellectuals like Tariq Ali and Ilan Pappe but a virtual who’s who of Arab intellectuals and writers:”

      I am sure that if they agree with you that you would claim that they were “a virtual who’s who of Arab intellectuals and writers.” I am more concerned with the facts on the ground than any testimonial argument. I am sure that the US State Department would be happy to provide additional testimonials. As for Tariq Ali, your information is dated. More recent events have caused him to reevaluate. I provide a more recent quote and link. I also provide an additional two recent quotes from left anti-imperialist intellectuals. The reality behind this imperial assault on Syria is rather obvious to those willing to see.

      “But much has changed since the beginning. The Syrian Left, among which I count many friends, old and new, is weak and could not retain control of the mass movement anywhere. They were strong in Aleppo and parts of Damascus but were soon overtaken by the Muslim Brotherhood and groups to its Right, backed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Deserters from Assad were taken over by Turkey and France. So the character of the uprising changed by the end of the first twelve months. How can one not register this fact? The relationship of the forces today does not favour any secular or progressive groups. To pretend otherwise is to be blinded by illusions or the requirements of intra-sectarian left politics.” (Tariq Ali)

      “With Al-Qaida now among its allies, and US-armed coupmasters secure in Cairo, the US intends to crush the last independent states in the Middle East: Syria first, then Iran. “This operation [in Syria],” said the former French foreign minister Roland Dumas in June, “goes way back. It was prepared, pre-conceived and planned.” (John Pilger)

      “U.S. strategists care little about the fact that, in their quest to oust the Syrian President, they have created an unholy alliance between the U.S. and its Wahhabi allies from Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda as their “boots on the ground.” It is an alliance that ensures that, should the Al-Assad government fall, the Syrian people will either live under totalitarian fundamentalist Wahhabi rule or see their country disappear as a coherent state and into warring factions.” (Ajamu Baraka)

    • SIBIRIAK- “But was it too categorical in declaring a Putin victory?”

      Not at the time the article was written. Up until then, Russia had suffered defeat after defeat as NATO moved eastward in seemingly unstoppable fashion. Ukraine is seen as critically important in empire’s attempt to keep Russia weak and isolated. In “The Grand Chessboard,” Zbigniew Brzezinski claims that “Ukraine…is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps transform Russia.” (p46)

      Sibiriak: “How do you see the current situation playing out?”

      Hard to say. Let us review some history. First, remember that Eastern Europe embraced nationalism later than Western Europe, hence, their national identity is less firmly established with rival groups still vying for power. Nazi Germany was able to take advantage of this to develop networks of Nazi collaborators during World War II. The General in charge was Reinhard Gehlen who went to work for the CIA after the war, maintaining these fascist networks as anti-communist “freedom fighters.” Gehlen later became the first director of the West German BND (CIA equivalent).

      The pro-Western orientation of most of the post Soviet republics was greatly facilitated by Western NGOs who received funding and training from US Aid, Soros Foundation, etc. These provided much of the driving force and direction of the color revolutions which transformed Eastern Europe in conformity with imperial objectives. Ukraine’s Orange Revolution is discussed in the linked article. The current riots are extremely violent and intended to bring down the government. The “protesters” are throwing Molotov cocktails, etc. Below is a current link to videos of the violence in which police casualties outnumber those of the rioters.

      In conclusion, it would appear that empire is prepared to bring anarchy and destruction to the Ukraine rather than tolerate any sort of alignment between the Ukraine and Russia. How it will turn out is difficult to say, however, it should be noted that the US is a warfare state, violence and destruction is what we do. Empire appears to be on a rampage. You are either with empire or against empire, and if you are not with empire you can expect to be attacked.

    • DANAA- “Looks to me like someone who may be ripe for hitching a ride on a little bandwagon. The psychological profile is a fit.”

      Once again you and I are in complete agreement. This guy reeks of opportunistic self-promotion. Not all that unusual, regrettably. Since you brought up the Ukraine on another comment, you might enjoy the following quote:

      “After the WWII, the remainder of pro-Hitler Galician SS fighters were adopted by US Intelligence, re-armed and turned into a guerrilla force against the Soviets. They added an anti-Russian line to their two ancient hatreds and kept fighting the “forest war” until 1956, and these ties between the Cold Warriors have survived the thaw...After 1991, when the independent Ukraine was created, in the void of state-building traditions, the Galicians were lauded as ‘true Ukrainians’, as they were the only Ukrainians who ever wanted independence….Memorials of Galician Nazi collaborators and mass murderers Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych peppered the land, often provoking the indignation of other Ukrainians. The Galicians played an important part in the 2004 Orange Revolution as well” (Israel Shamir)

    • WALID- Omar Chaaban wrote: “It’s finally Canada Day…Couldn’t be more ashamed to be Canadian….Fuck Canada Day”

      I agree with the sentiment even as I question the effectiveness, indeed sincerity, of his tactic. I don’t think his associating himself dressed in traditional Palestinian head covering, unshaven, etc, with his vulgar slur does the Palestinians any good. Perhaps that was the intent. Having said that, I hope no one suffers from the misconception that Canada is some liberal civil rights paradise. No longer the refuge for Vietnam war resisters, Canada has swung way to the right and, under Harper, is well to the right of the US (believe it or not). Thanks to the tar sands boom, Canada resembles a petro state, Harper a strongman who runs over native rights. Putting all of that aside to focus on the Middle East, I offer a few quotes to emphasize Canada’s absurdly strong pro-Israel bias.

      “In announcing the trip last month at a Jewish National Fund dinner, where he was being honored, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Israel “a light of freedom and democracy in what is otherwise a region of darkness” and pledged that the Jewish state “will always have Canada as a friend.”

      “Harper was the first Western leader to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority following Hamas’ 2006 election in Gaza and the first to withdraw from the second UN World Conference Against Racism, known as Durban II, saying the event would “scapegoat the Jewish people.”

      “The one-sided extremism of the Conservative government’s support for Israel just keeps growing. The latest example is Ottawa helping convince the European Union to list Hezbollah’s military wing as a “terrorist” organization. After that decision was taken, Foreign Minister John Baird declared, “We are thrilled that the European Union unanimously has agreed to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. We’ve been pushing for this.”

      “In 2008 Canada and Israel signed a wide-ranging public security agreement, and, for the first time in its history, in 2011 Israel named a defence attaché to Ottawa. Until at least the end of 2010 the Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv served as Israel’s Contact Point Embassy to NATO, the military alliance of Western nations. The embassy served as the liaison between Israel and NATO, assisting with visits of NATO officials to Israel. According to internal government documents examined by The Dominion, Ottawa worked to strengthen Israel’s partnership with the military alliance, helping its “pursuit of a Status of Forces Agreement, getting access to the NATO Maintenance Supply Agency, [redacted].”

      “In February 2010 deputy foreign minister Peter Kent implied that Canada already considered Israel a member of NATO, which operates according to the principle that an attack on any member is considered an attack against all members. Reflecting the alliance’s purported principle, Kent said “an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada” and in July 2011 defence minister Peter MacKay reiterated this position privately. According to briefing notes uncovered by CBC he told Israel’s top military commander, Gabi Ashkenazi, that “a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada.” (Yves Engler)

    • DANAA- “I can’t believe that Mondoweiss is giving AGAIN! a forum for this sleazy trojan horse….”

      I am not all that surprised. Something for you to puzzle over. First, that “open letter” post on January 20th, one of the signatories was Mondoweiss own Bekah Wolf. Remember her? Second, a google search indicates that there is some sort of Twitter connection between Bekah Wolf, Omar Chaaban, and Ali Abunimah. I am not familiar with Twitter, however, both Omar and Bekah have icons displayed on Ali Abunimah’s Twitter page.

      As for the Ukraine, whenever a “liberal” Democrat makes war, he can count on the support of his fellow liberals as long as he dresses it up as “humanitarian.” Look at Clinton in Yugoslavia, Obama in Libya and now Syria, and perhaps a “color” regime change (or at least policy surrender) in the Ukraine. Liberals love war and support empire, but need the liberal media to lie to them to salve their conscience. The white man’s burden is basically a liberal phenomenon. Also, be wary of the NGOs. They are the modern equivalent of the missionaries. Do-gooders for empire!

    • OMAR CHAABAN- “To Assad we must say “you must go” and to Obama we must say “stay out of Syria.”

      Stay out of Syria? How about stop the murderous imperial regime change efforts and get out of Syria.

      Assad must go? You obviously are doing your best to gather liberal support for imperial regime change. You appear to be a nominal human rights activist who covets a symbiotic relationship with the elite power structure by channeling the opposition in ways which support imperial regime change in the name of humanitarianism. Once again, it is a matter of “get out” not “stay out.”

      Omar Chaaban: “…a point can be reached whereby such a government loses legitimacy in its entirety.”

      For a Palestinian living in Vancouver, you seem curiously smitten with the white man’s burden. It is not for you or me to judge the legitimacy of the government of Syria, or what kind of government is even possible in view of the legacy of colonialism, neoliberal globalization and the machinations of empire and the Gulf monarchies. What we can say, however, is that this intervention has resulted in the loss of over 100,000 lives and the destruction of the country. This intervention should be stopped immediately and all military aid to these terrorists stopped and all foreign fighters removed.

      Since you live in Vancouver, you might get involved in trying to stop the mining of Alberta’s tar (oil) sands. Thanking you in advance.

  • Cracks in the lobby: Wexler warns Netanyahu not to be 'cavalier' about US support
    • PHIL- “If I’m Palestinian and I read that, why would I want to cut a deal? The terms will only grow more favorable if I hold out.”

      You live in a fantasy world. The Palestinians are totally dependent upon outside aid for survival, hence, in an extremely weak negotiating position. Kerry has already brokered the support of the Gulf monarchies and the EU for his plan.

      “Both sides of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks risk paying a high price in losing European Union trade and aid if negotiations collapse, the EU ambassador to Israel said on Wednesday.”

      “We have made it clear to the parties that there will be a price to pay if these negotiations falter,” ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen told reporters.

      The Palestinian position is grim, the future bleak, yet you feel that they should hold out because “the power relations are about to shift in (their) favor?” Jeez.

  • An open letter to Stephen Harper, agent of colonialism, injustice and hypocrisy
    • Oh Lord, is this post an attempt to buttress Omar Chaaban’s bona fides as an anti-imperialist in order to strengthen his credentials as a critic of Assad and potential enabler of more aggressive imperial intervention in Syria? There is a lot to criticize about Harper but why this particular author?

  • 'Economist' pulls cartoon showing Obama shackled to Congress bearing Star of David
    • THANK YOU, ABE FOXMAN! I’m serious! The original cartoon was disgustingly anti-Iran, greatly distorting the past relationship and current history involving the US and Iran. The picture showing both Obama and Iranian President Rouhani is much more respectful of Iran and conducive to a more honest appraisal of the negotiations. Of course, a balanced photo is still inherently biased insofar as it hides America’s shameful record in regards to Iran. Better that than the original crude cartoon caricature of crazed Mullahs.

    • MARCB- “you have asked this question repeatedly, and you have been told repeatedly that the underscore in your name is the problem.”

      Would it be too fanciful to suggest that he specifically uses the underscore to prevent a record of his comments for future reference and to be able to claim that he is being discriminated against? I for one was unaware that an underscore would cause a problem, hence, his claim would seem to have some validity until explained, and who is going to keep doing that? Perhaps Mondoweiss should not allow underscores in a name?

  • When you watch football, you are complicit in violent assault
    • PHIL- “And it is worse than what the Romans did to the gladiators because we have replay.”

      Surely an exaggeration, however, football as the modern equivalent of gladiatorial contests seems reasonably accurate. It performs the same function as well. A vicarious, simplified reality providing escape from the real world. It is one of my criteria for assessing a society’s potential for grass-roots change. A high level of emotional investment in meaningless sports is indicative of a citizenry incapable of confronting harsh reality, preferring escapism instead. Not that sports are bad, per se, but that a sense of perspective is in order. Trouble is, too many fans are fanatical, totally immersed in the “reality” of their sports world. Neoliberalism? Who cares.

  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • USHPHE- “I’ve read nearly every Noam Chomsky book from cover to cover….”

      Well, you sure fooled me! I see no evidence in any of your comments of a geostrategic perspective, or of any influence by Noam Chomsky. I respond to what is written in the comment itself, not on some purported reading list.

      AshPhe: “…I am not yet fully knowledgable about this specific case….”

      In view of your claim to have read “nearly every Noam Chomsky book from cover to cover,” I would expect you to be more knowledgeable on this topic than you now profess to be. In your initial comments, you seemed sufficiently sure of yourself to side with the Western backed Jihadi “rebels” against a government defending itself against outside intervention and destabiliztion as part of a scheme to redraw the map of the Middle East. By the way, I never called you an imperialist. I said that you appeared to be supporting this particular imperial intervention and called upon you to state that you opposed this armed intervention and destabilization effort which has already cost the lives of over 100,000 people. Something which you haven’t done.

      AshPhe: “For me all this is just an opportunity to learn and understand and come to an informed decision as I’ve already said.”

      If after reading “nearly every Noam Chomsky book from cover to cover,” you still haven’t got a clue, then nothing I could say would make the slightest difference. Since you referred to Chomsky, I’ll leave you with a Chomsky quote. See if you can determine the relevance.

      “There is, evidently, much satisfaction to be gained by careful inspection of those writhing under our boot, to see if they are behaving properly; when they are not, as is often the case, indignation is unconstrained.” (Noam Chomsky)

    • RITZL- “I was trying to say that predominantly in the ME we seem to choose chaos over repressive “stability.”

      I would suggest that within this context that “chaos” represents a form of stability. The stability that US/Israel seek is a stabilization of power relationships. Having your enemies engaged in ongoing sectarian conflict leaves them weak and no threat to either the empire or Israeli hegemony. This is the essence of the Oded Yinon plan.

      “The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze'ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha'aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the "best" that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: "The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi'ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part" (Ha'aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.” (Israel Shahak)

    • DANAA- “Keith, so you think Phil is a stealth imperialist at heart?”

      I certainly wouldn’t phrase it that way. I think that with the exception of Israel/Palestine, and of Jewish kinship issues, Phil seems quite happy with the way things are. For example, I cannot imagine Mondoweiss vigorously opposing neoliberal globalization even though Phil (and Adam?) may not be for it. One consequence is to view specific problems in isolation without considering the systemic implications.

      Danaa: “As for democracy, we should do well to remember just how much the west (US/America/France) did to prevent anything truly democratic from rising anywhere in the ME. After all, it could bring to power an element the Empire didn’t like! may be even someone like Morsi (Islamist! gevalt!)?”

      That is absolutely correct. Look at Mossaddegh in Iran, for example. And not just the Middle East either. Of course, the whole notion of what exactly constitutes democracy, particularly when you are being destabilized by outside forces, is an interesting topic. Is capitalist democracy truly democratic? How about the influence of outside money thanks to globalization? Imperial NGOs, etc.

    • ANNIE- “but in both libya and syria he was eating the ‘peoples noble aspirations’ propaganda”

      Well, that was my whole point. As a liberal working within the mainstream media he inevitably has a strong bias to the effect that while there are problems, the system is inherently good. Likewise, while Uncle Sam may make mistakes, the US operates from the best of intentions. This bias will inevitably lead him to want to believe that empire is performing a humanitarian intervention rather than an imperial destabilization. He is susceptible to the propaganda because it comports with his bias. This is true for most of us. We all have different biases and different strengths of bias. Phil could never be a radical anti-imperialist like me and ever work in mainstream media again. Nor would Mondoweiss be as successful as it is if he openly shared my views. I am not being as critical of him as it may first appear. I am merely calling attention to the fact that some of the more recent posts give me cause for concern, and that we shouldn’t assume that agreement on Israel/Palestine should imply agreement on other areas in the Middle East. But, you definitely have a point that Phil may not be the one promoting this particular effort to demonize Assad and romanticize the “rebels.” There may be other forces at work.

    • WALID- “Omar probably knows Talal; they sing the same song.”

      Either that or belong to co-opted ex-pat groups who have been recruited by empire. Have you noticed that while Phil supports the Palestinians, he remains quite accommodating to empire. As I recall, he was at least somewhat supportive of the Libya intervention. Of course, that is what being a liberal means. Overall support for the system which you then criticize on a few specific issues. To consistently criticize empire means never again working in the mainstream media. Some of these more recent posts suggest that Mondoweiss is ready to accommodate empire as long as the imperial intervention is done discreetly with ample propaganda. Is this a prelude for more intervention to come? Empire is on a rampage.

    • OMAR CHAABAN- “And I maintain that this is exactly the case in Syria.”

      Anyone who compares the bogus “threat” posed by Hamas to Israel with the very real threat to the Syrian regime and the people of Syria caused by the imperial assault on Syria utilizing thousands of heavily armed and massively supported Jihadi fighters is an imperial propagandist. An estimated 100,000 Syrians have already been killed. How few Israelis would have to die before an all out Middle East war ensued, perhaps involving nuclear weapons? Your sophistry is breathtaking!

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