Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2911 (since 2010-02-17 01:44:49)

Keith

Radical dissident. Retired.

Website: http://saskck.blogspot.com

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  • Leveretts: False flag in Iranian hit likely disguises U.S.
    • AVI_G- First of all, thanks for the thoughtful reply. It obviously took some time and I appreciate that.

      Part of your response seems to be agreement concerning the use of drones and special operations forces, although you concentrate on the drones. Drones, I might add, that have demonstrably violated Iran’s airspace, an act of war. Let us look instead at the logical inferences from the use of special operations forces. What exactly do they do? They engage in illegal covert operations. They engage in all sorts of provocative and destabilizing activities. Their use a form of low level hostilities short of full scale war. Not the type of thing to do to friends and allies, or to engage in if trying to calm things down. Also, being covert, one would hardly expect to know where they are operating specifically or what exactly they are doing. Generally speaking, however, sabotage, assassinations and recruiting local terrorists falls under their purview.

      We may rightly suspect that they are operating in Iran, after all, that is what they have been established to do. One would be surprised if they are not, particularly after Obama continues to reiterate that all options are on the table. Any additional confirmation?

      From the link to the Leveratts article we find that “In May 2010, the New York Times reported on a “Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order”, signed by then CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus in September 2009 authorizing the sending of U.S. Special Operations personnel to Iran “to gather intelligence about the country’s nuclear program” and “identify dissident groups that might be useful for a future military offensive.”

      Additionally, Ted Snider (Zmail) noted that “Seymour Hersh reported as far back as 2006 that American “clandestine activities” were taking place inside Iran. Hersh said that “teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups”.

      Under these circumstances, Avi, I find the notion of a lack of CIA knowledge and involvement not credible and, like the Leveretts, have said so. Hardly the type of statement indicative of support for Israel, or an attempt to whitewash Israel.

      And yes, I am a big picture kind of guy. I don’t believe in evaluating specific events in isolation, rather, I tend to look at things within the overall framework of political economy and imperial power seeking and strategy. In my view, we have entered a period of planned instability and shocking change, and attempt to rapidly lock in elite control. The empire is on a rampage even as it undergoes metamorphosis.

      Finally, more as an aside as anything else, in regards to my comment about the military budget “skyrocketing,” perhaps that does qualify as hyperbole, however, if one were to compare the military budget in 2001, plus additional war money (none), with the military budget in 2011 (10 years after 911), plus the additional costs for Afghanistan and Iraq, I think you would find a very substantial increase. We are a warfare state by design.

    • AVI_G- “In addition, their writing cherry picks information to fit their agenda. They ignore, for example, the reluctance of the United States to start another war. The last thing the US needs now is another front. It hasn’t the resources, it hasn’t the manpower. And NATO won’t be there to help, given current economic turmoil in Europe.”

      Well, one can’t accuse you of cherry picking information since your comment is simply a regurgitation of your biases.

      “They ignore, for example, the reluctance of the United States to start another war.”

      This comment is absolutely priceless. The US is still involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US and NATO have just got done pulverizing Libya, the US has special ops forces involved in covert activities in Somalia and Yemen, the US and Israel and Turkey are destabilizing Syria, the US and Israel are trying to destabilize Iran, Special operations forces and drone operations have been dramatically expanded, the US is shifting and expanding Pacific operations to contain China, has increased both troops and carriers in the Middle East, the defense budget is skyrocketing, and, based on your cold headed analysis of the facts on the ground you conclude that the US is reluctant to start another war. Sorry, partner, but technically “As with sanctions and covert military onslaughts on Iraq in the run up to 2003, the first point to underline is that the US is waging war on Iran.” (Alexander Cockburn) http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/13/war-on-iran-it%e2%80%99s-not-a-matter-of-%e2%80%9cif%e2%80%9d/

      “The last thing the US needs now is another front. It hasn’t the resources, it hasn’t the manpower. And NATO won’t be there to help, given current economic turmoil in Europe.”

      For how long have you been saying this? Did you predict that NATO would have the resources to attack Libya? Of course they have the resources. What do they lack? Part of what is occurring is that borrowing to fund the military is a priority. Wall Street is bankrupting the First World in order to structurally adjust the economies and lock in financial control. They will likely buy up real assets on pennies to the dollar with money they create.

      “The Leveretts’ writing reads like Everyone sucks rhetoric. It seeks to whitewash Israel’s culpability by muddying the waters and surfacing feeble arguments.”

      Yup, anyone who deviates from your laser-like focus on the “Lobby” as the fount of all evil must be trying to whitewash Israel. What other explanation is there?

  • Bombshell: Israeli intelligence posed as CIA to recruit terror group for covert war on Iran
    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- I don’t feel like responding to everything you say, however, I would like to clear up the issue of the 2006 Lebanon invasion. First of all, I did not say that Israel attacked Lebanon BECAUSE the US encouraged it to do so, I said that the US encouraged the Israeli invasion which it supported.

      According to Wayne Madsen, “The current (2006) Israeli assault on Lebanon was stage-managed between the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and neocons in the Bush administration, according to well-connected sources in the nation's capital. The Bush administration had prior knowledge of and supported Israel's planned attacks on Gaza and Lebanon, the sources have revealed.” http://miami.indymedia.org/news/2006/07/5215.php

      In a video, Norman Finkelstein says both the US and Israel were involved in the planning, singling out Bush for primary responsibility. Elsewhere, Finkelstein has asserted that Hassan Nasrallah holds the US jointly responsible.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VfnGpHOEXQ

      Finally, noted Chomskyite Uri Avnery had this to say:
      “In order to understand why the war broke out, the question is not who profited from it in practice. The decisive question is: who would have profited from the enterprise if it had succeeded as planned?

      The one who stood to gain the most was the President of the United States. George Bush was already stuck in the Iraqi quagmire. He desperately needed a success in the Middle East.”
      http://robertjprince.wordpress.com/2007/07/14/uri-avnery-on-the-first-anniversary-of-the-july-2006-israeli-war-on-lebanon/

    • DONALD- The intent seems to be to create the impression that Uncle Sam is some sort of innocent bystander, even as we seek to provoke an Iranian response which can be misrepresented as a provocation requiring a massive US military response. Because the Iranians are aware of our terrorist activities, they could logically retaliate. By distancing ourselves from these activities, we can hoodwink the American people into believing that the crazy Mullahs have unjustifiably attacked us. How many people are aware of the full stary of US provocations leading up to Pearl Harbor?

    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- Quote from the article: “No matter what anyone thinks, we're not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians."

      Do you seriously believe this? Do you seriously believe that the CIA doesn’t do assassinations and other covert ops? Why the umbrage over my comment that I judged this “bombshell” to be disinformation?

      Why the rancor over my comment that Israel has historically performed covert operations for the US which the empire didn’t want to be associated with? “…I organized a large demonstration in front of the Israel Consulate in San Francisco, protesting Israel’s role as a”surrogate” for the US.” That being the case, you obviously are aware of the accuracy of my comment. Why the excessive verbiage if not to obfuscate with excessive detail?

      As for Chossudovsky, I’m not surprised that he fell out of favor with you (like Chomsky, I might add) due to his emphasis on imperial aggression which doesn’t conform to your lifelong bias that skullduggery by “the lobby” explains practically everything. As for the LaRouchie article you mention, I am unaware of it. Because of the LaRouchies involvement with the 911 Truth movement, I suspect that you are on more intimate terms with these people than I am. In any event, Chossudovsky’s analysis comes much closer to explaining the facts on the ground than that of some de facto defenders of empire. Many of his observations are supported by others. For example, Ted Snider (Zmail) noted that “Seymour Hersh reported as far back as 2006 that American “clandestine activities” were taking place inside Iran. Hersh said that “teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups”.

      Speaking of the facts on the ground, you seem quite dismissive of empirical reality which doesn’t conform with you worldview. The empire attacked and invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, encourage Israel to invade Lebanon in 2006, with NATO attacked Libya and supported “rebels” who rode to victory on empire’s coat tails, is involved in covert military operations in Somalia and Yemen, and is trying to destabilize Syria and Iran. Additionally, Wall Street is attacking the economies of Iceland, Greece, Ireland, and probably Italy, Spain and Portugal. The Euro is failing and the World is sliding into a controlled depression designed to facilitate structural adjustment. We have between 750 and 1000 military bases globally, with a skyrocketing defense budget. Since the dollar is the worlds reserve currency, money isn’t a problem in the short term. The Project for a New American Century is being implemented full steam ahead. Yes, Jeffrey, there is an empire. No, Jeffrey, it is not being run out of Tel Aviv. And yes, Israel is an integral part of empire. And yes, the Zionists have inordinate influence, possibly on Wall Street as well, but I don’t know about that. What we are seeing in the Middle East, therefore, is the implementation of imperial geo-strategy, albeit one heavily influenced by Israel.

    • AVI_G- “If that is your assessment, they you have very little understanding of the power dynamics between the two parties, Israel and the US. Need I elaborate?”

      Perhaps a review of the global power dynamics is in order. Let us begin with what should be obvious, but is repeatedly ignored. The US is a capitalist “democracy.” In other words, capital rules. Those who control the flow of large amounts of money have the real power and call the shots. Currently, the most powerful economic sector is financial, Wall Street effectively runs the empire. The function of government under this system is to manage the country and empire in such a way as to achieve elite objectives. Neither Barack Obama nor Benyamin Netanyahu have the freedom of action you imagine.

      With this in mind, the notion that the tail wags the dog implies that Wall Street takes its marching orders from Israel, a notion that I find ludicrous. While AIPAC is indeed influential, I seriously doubt that it would get in a confrontation with Wall Street or the military-industrial complex. Obviously, war-mongering appeals to both sectors and they get along quite well. You should be aware, however, that imperial power seeking is not a consequence of Israeli interference. No doubt they exert an influence over US Middle East policy, but the notion of a reluctant empire being dragged into these conflicts isn’t credible. I seriously doubt that Bibi Netanyahu has significant influence over the likes of Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon.

      The empire is in a period of transition, attempting to utilize full spectrum dominance to lock in imperial control into the twenty-first century. A new empire based as much on financial control as military. The US is currently engaged in an effort to eliminate potential rivals for planetary dominance, to militarily crush the weaker ones such as Iran and their smaller allies, and to gain absolute control over vital resources such as oil and natural gas so as to keep Russia and China dependent upon US favor. In this regard, the empire is currently engaged in various stages of military action in over 7 countries- Iraq, Afghanistan (Pakistan?), Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Iran, and is shifting forces to the Far East to threaten China. The imperial leviathan is on a rampage. If things go as planned, Israeli elites will likely benefit. If thing go seriously awry, none of us may survive to argue about it.

      While I am at it, let me recommend a book many will find informative. “The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century,” Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Editors. A couple of quotes:

      “We are not dealing with a narrowly defined economic crisis or recession. The global financial architecture sustains strategic and national security objectives. In turn, the US-NATO military agenda serves to endorse a powerful business elite which relentlessly overshadows and undermines the civilian government.

      Underlying these military agreements, a cohesive US-NATO-Israel military axis has emerged. This powerful alliance is dominated by Washington. The Pentagon ultimately controls the overall process of military decision making to the extent that neither Israel nor a NATO member state can undertake a separate military without the Pentagon’s green light. Moreover, since 2009, Israel’s air defense system is integrated into that of the US and NATO.”

    • JEFFREY BLANKFORT- “In other words, your theory is not only pure BS, it has been used to keep the Palestine solidarity movement from protesting against the Zionist establishment and its stranglehold on Congress. Me? I’m suspicious of anyone who keeps peddling it.”

      Where to begin? My “theory” that Israel has in the past provided arms and training to some of the US death squad democracies in Latin America at US request? That Israel has performed various disreputable services for empire is hardly a “theory.” No doubt, Israel profited from these adventures, however, the US was well aware and supportive of what went on, including Israeli help to apartheid South Africa. The notion that my opinion that the CIA is intimately involved in AfPak covert ops, not the “victim” of Mossad machinations has kept “…the Palestine solidarity movement from protesting against the Zionist establishment and its stranglehold on Congress.” is an outlandish overreaction. Your lifelong emphasis on Zionism and AIPAC seems to blind you to the big picture, and to US culpability. It is one thing to highlight the power of the Zionist lobby, quite another to ignore imperial power seeking, to downplay anything which detracts from you very narrow focus.

      An important point needs to be made. I have become aware of a concerted propaganda effort to disassociate the US from active participation in attempts to destabilize Iran. Obama favors negotiations, Israel is forcing a reluctant Uncle Sam to do this or that. The intent seems to be to create the impression that Uncle Sam is some sort of innocent bystander, even as we seek to provoke an Iranian response which can be misrepresented as a provocation requiring a massive US military response. I am not alone in thinking this. Over at Dissident Voice, Michel Chossudovsky writes “Iran is the target of US-Israel-NATO war plans. Advanced weapons systems have been deployed. US and allied Special Forces as well as intelligence operatives are already on the ground inside Iran. US military drones are involved in spying and reconnaissance activities.” The article is titled “Provoking Iran into Firing The First Shot.” Link below.
      http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/01/provoking-iran-into-firing-the-first-shot/#more-41213

    • One of the functions that Israel performs for the empire is to perform certain tasks which the US doesn’t want to be identified with. They have been doing this for a long time. I am very suspicious of any “leak” from unnamed officials which tends to absolve Uncle Sam from some covert operation.

  • The headline you aren't seeing: Iran wants talks, Israel pushing for war
    • “Iran expert Gary Sick writes in CNN that both the U.S. and Iran want negotiations to occur.”

      Perhaps someone should tell that to Barack Obama! The statement flies in the face of all of the empirical data. Gang, it’s easy to believe what is convenient to believe, and self-deception is the rule not the exception. US actions toward Iran are hardly friendly, those of a peacemaker. The image of a reluctant empire being dragged to war by Israel is not credible. The empire is currently engaged in worldwide full spectrum warfare in an attempt to secure US/corporate/financial hegemony in the 21st century.

  • Israel is trying to hook us into a war with Iran-- Matthews and Baer speculate
    • “I know the White House doesn't want a war with Iran.”

      "…in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.... (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23605

  • WINEP official says U.S. strategy is aimed at provoking 'Pearl Harbor' that justifies war with Iran
    • PHIL- Thanks for providing this insider's support for my comment on the "Israel likely killed Iranian scientist...." thread. Things are looking grim. It is difficult for people to acknowledge and deal with the reality that our greatest danger lies with the people who rule over us. And these are the people you rely on to perform a "humanitarian" intervention? Cast aside your illusions, my friend. We are under attack from above and need to keep a clear head.

  • 'Infiltrators' and the Jewish state
    • “…sought to ban judges from using international or Muslim law as a basis for deciding cases.”

      Looks like a Trojan horse to me. I seriously doubt that anyone is concerned about judges applying Muslim law. I seriously believe that a lot of folks would like to ban the use of international law, particularly those relating to war crimes.

  • Israel likely killed Iranian scientist to kill US/global diplomatic effort to resolve nuclear issue -- Lobe
    • TOVIOS- Alexander Cockburn has an article over at CounterPunch that is worth a couple of quotes.

      “As with sanctions and covert military onslaughts on Iraq in the run up to 2003, the first point to underline is that the US is waging war on Iran. But well aware of the US public's aversion to yet another war in the Middle East, the onslaught is an undeclared one.”

      His point is well taken. It is a mistake to think of “war” solely as an invasion or a bombing, a clash of armies. Obama is transitioning to a new style covert warfare utilizing drones, special operations forces and assassinations, etc. He includes a nice graph showing the effects on the Iranian currency. Make no mistake, we are currently engaging in low level warfare against Iran right now. Another quote:

      “As for the embargoes of Iranian oil, Obama is most certainly doing the oil industry a big favor. There have been industry-wide fears of recession-fueled falling demand and collapse of oil prices. That has led to industry-wide enthusiasm (aided by heavy pressure from the majors) for strongly cutting total world oil production (and enjoying the bonuses flowing from the subsequent world price rise), with all the cuts to be taken out of the hide of the Iranians. The Financial Times made clear the need to shrink world production in the following key paragraph in a report last week: "Oil prices have risen above $110 a barrel since Iran threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil chokepoint, accounting for about a third of all seaborne traded oil. Oil fell to a low of $99 in October amid global economic growth worries."

      As Pierre Sprey remarked to me, "Note also that this is one of those rare but dangerous moments in history when Big Oil and the Israelis are pushing the White House in the same direction. The last such moment was quickly followed by Dubya's invasion of Iraq."
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/13/war-on-iran-it%e2%80%99s-not-a-matter-of-%e2%80%9cif%e2%80%9d/

      My whole point being that the empire has already crossed so many red lines that we are technically at war with Iran now. It is presently low level. Uncle Sam wants regime change and will keep upping the ante until Iran breaks or retaliates. Retaliation would provide a pretext for a massive attack to destroy Iran. Iran is extremely important in containing China by controlling its access to energy. This is an extremely risky gambit being pushed by crazed neocon risk takers.

    • I think that all of the indications are that US/Israel are trying to provoke a war with Iran. This is classic Israeli strategy. You keep assassinating folks until the other guy retaliates, then you claim that the retaliation was the initial provocation causing you to retaliate against terrorism or whatever. Even an Israeli air strike is conceivable. Should Iran retaliate by sinking US ships, what better excuse to “retaliate” with nuclear weapons? I’m not joking. How many times do I have to post that Wesley Clark quote showing the seven regimes targeted for regime change, all of which are now under attack? And before anyone says that this is nuts, that it would tank the world economy, I say so what? Wall Street is tanking the world economy right now anyway. Besides, who would suffer more, the US or China? Any analysis which doesn’t acknowledge obvious US efforts to militarily contain China, to control it’s access to oil, are deficient. Rather than continue, I will copy and paste extended quotes from a Paul Craig Roberts article over at CounterPunch.

      “Only the blind do not see that the US government is preparing to attack Iran. Washington has deployed missiles directed at Iran in its oil emirate puppet states, Oman and the UAE, and little doubt in the other US puppet states in the Middle East. Washington has beefed up Saudi Arabia's jet fighter force. Most recently, Washington has deployed 9,000 US troops to Israel to participate in "war games" designed to test the US/Israeli air defense system. As Iran represents no threat unless attacked, Washington's war preparations signal Washington's intention to attack Iran.

      In my judgment, the US government's war preparations are driven by three factors.

      One is the neoconservative ideology, adopted by the US government, that calls for the US to use its superior military and economic position to achieve world hegemony. This goal appeals to American hubris and to the power and profit that it serves.

      A second factor is Israel's desire to eliminate all support for the Palestinians and for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Israel's goal is to seize all of Palestine and the water resources of southern Lebanon. Eliminating Iran removes all obstacles to Israel's expansion.

      A third factor is to deter or slow China's rise as a military and economic power by controlling China's access to energy. It was China's oil investments in eastern Libya that led to the sudden move against Libya by the US and its NATO puppets, and it is China's oil investments elsewhere in Africa that resulted in the Bush regime's creation of the United States Africa Command, designed to counter China's economic influence with US military influence. China has significant energy investments in Iran, and a substantial percentage of China's oil imports are from Iran. Depriving China of independent access to oil is Washington's way of restraining and boxing in China.

      What we are witnessing is a replay of Washington's policy toward Japan in the 1930s that provoked the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan's bank balances in the West were seized, and Japan's access to oil and raw materials was restricted. The purpose was to prevent or to slow Japan's rise. The result was war.

      Despite the hubris in which it wallows, Washington understands the vulnerability of its Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf and would not risk losing a fleet and 20,000 US naval personnel unless it was to gain an excuse for a nuclear attack on Iran. A nuclear attack on Iran would alert both China and Russia that they could suffer the same fate. The consequence would be that the world would face a higher risk of nuclear armageddon than existed in the mutually assured destruction of the US-Soviet standoff.”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/12/the-next-war-on-washington%e2%80%99s-agenda/

      "…in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.... (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23605

      “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)

  • Tariq Ali and Oliver Stone to discuss 'On History' in NYC
  • Egypt's history through British-colored glasses
    • Most are familiar with “Manufacturing Consent” by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman. It documents the hardly surprising bias and propaganda of the main stream news media. I think we are all more or less aware of this obvious reality. Less discussed, however, is the propaganda impact of the cultural system which this article calls attention to. My own view is that the mythology/ideology promoted in the entertainment and cultural media is at least as important in the manufacture of consent as news media bias. Most humans willingly adapt their cognitive interpretations to be consistent with group mythology/ideology. As such, the average person perceives reality in a massively distorted fashion due to this ideological preconditioning. In other words, people’s opinions are formed in such a way as to be logically consistent with culturally based misrepresentations of reality. Misrepresentations, I might add, which are consistent with elite objectives.

    • “We live entangled in webs of endless deceit, often self-deceit, but with a little honest effort, it is possible to extricate ourselves from them. If we do, we will see a world that is rather different from the one presented to us by a remarkably effective ideological system, a world that is much uglier, often horrifying.” (Noam Chomsky)

  • Adelson is devoted to furthest right wing in Israel
    • PHIL- “Adelson has cleverly used his vast resources to help push Israeli public opinion to the right and to influence US politics in the same direction.”

      As I continue to stress, American Zionist Jews have a considerable impact on Israel’s policies and actions. The relationship between the US empire, American Zionist Jews and Israel is complex, a sort of perverse triangle.

  • Just wars-- and civilian casualties
    • JEROME SLATER- “It then tries to limit and constrain wars as much as possible, by setting up a series of criteria–which are actually hurdles–which wars must comply with if they are to be regarded as moral and, increasingly, legal under the Geneva conventions and other forms of international law.”

      In those thousands of years when some of the world’s best minds, including you, have been pontificating about how morally righteous some wars are, and erecting these intellectual hurdles, exactly how many wars has just war theory prevented? The sad truth, Professor, is that you and your ilk are part of the doctrinal system which justifies imperial warmongering. And yes, as long as you and your fellow “just war” theorists are around to lend support, wars probably are inevitable. How fortunate you are not to have to worry about being on the receiving end of one of your “humanitarian” interventions.

    • JEROME SLATER- “Is there any serious doubt that the Libyan people enthusiastically welcomed the overthrow of Gaddafi?”

      Upon what do you base this outrageous statement? What is this but rank propaganda? The overthrow of Gaddafi was a US/NATO instigated regime change performed for geo-strategic reasons: the oil, the water, the proposed African currency, Gaddafi’s attempt to resist US imperial hegemony, the US denying China access to Africa’s resources. Also, perhaps you are unaware of Libya’s relatively high standard of living under Gaddafi, the highest development index in Africa, free medical, free education, relatively high women’s rights, all of which are now gone.

      The Libyan resistance to US/NATO aggression held out for an astonishing 7 months against an opponent backed by awesome NATO firepower, over 20,000 air sorties, many thousands of bombs and missiles destroying much of the Libyan infrastructure. Under these circumstances, had the Libyan people truly “enthusiastically welcomed” the rebellion, Gaddafi would have been defeated rapidly. As it was, it wasn’t nearly enough to merely arm the rebels, NATO had to do most of the fighting, including US, British and French special operations forces and mercenaries from Qatar. Before NATO’s assault on Libya, hundreds of people had been killed. Following the assault, tens of thousands have died, the country is in ruins, and indications that sectarian fighting will break out. And, as usual, the “humanitarian” US/NATO doesn’t even bother to keep track of civilian casualties. Professor Slater, it has come to my attention that Uncle Sam is a serial mass murderer who should never be allowed to militarily intervene anywhere anytime. And you, sir, are an apologist for imperial wars of aggression. “Just War” theory is nothing more than a variant of “White Man’s Burden.”

      All of this is part of US plans to crush any opposition to US hegemonic ambitions. Here is a quote from Wesley Clark discussing several nations designated for regime change that have been or are now under attack and/or destabilization. Obviously, the planned time horizon was overly optimistic.

      "…in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.... (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23605

  • Ron Paul's foreign policy should be embraced
    • M ERLOT- Several points. First, I was probably overly hasty in keying in on homing pigeon’s response without even bothering to read your comment. Sorry. Second, I agree with much of what you say about Ron Paul. I have made similar comments in the past causing me to be criticized by the Ron Paul cadre. Finally, I think that you are overly optimistic about the benefits of US foreign assistance, which is primarily a vehicle for exercising soft power. US “aid” is mostly loans, and come with strings attached in any event. In fact, the use of debt to force Third World countries to undergo structural adjustment is a primary mechanism behind neoliberal globalization. If Uncle Sam was really interested in helping Third World countries, the first step would be to cancel Third World debt, the second would be to reverse Globalization and intellectual property rights which inhibit technological diffusion. We could go on and on, however, the rather obvious fact is that the “West” has used all means at its disposal to lock in the Third World into perpetual subservience to First World needs. As such, even “humanitarian assistance” has been used primarily to achieve dominance and control. This won’t change as long as Wall Street is calling the shots.

    • HOMINGPIGEON- “Stopping Jack the Ripper would deprive London of the services of a trained surgeon.”

      Your comment is quite apropos. Sending Uncle Sam in to perform a “humanitarian intervention” is equivalent to sending in a serial mass murderer to quell an alleged domestic disturbance. The US didn’t get to be an empire by “providing needed assistance.”

  • Ron Paul's antiwar position is simpleminded
    • PARTING SHOT- Something is bothering me and I have to get it off my chest. The more I read Jerome Slater pontificating about just war theory, the more pissed off I get. What bullshit! Who the hell comes up with a just war theory? The intelligentsia of the war mongering states, that’s who. Some hifalutin phraseology designed to justify wars of aggression. What does international law say? It outlaws war except in self defense. Period. You can defend yourself against attack from another country. 911 was a terrorist atrocity, not an attack on the US by Afghanistan, a weak and defenseless country which has suffered enormously, partly as a result of CIA machinations. Did any Afghan intellectuals contribute to just war theory? Any Vietnamese? Any South American victims of US financed and directed death squad terror? For the victims of imperial aggression, self defense is a necessity, no need to construct any bullshit theory to rationalize war mongering. The very construction of the theory indicates that the authors anticipate the luxury of choice, the ability to debate whether or not to start a war. The victims, of course, have no choice.

    • NORTHOFFORTYNINE- Lordy, lordy, where to begin? Perhaps by noting that you obviously are a gold bug, perhaps a loyal follower of Ron Paul.

      At one time, gold served a useful function as a medium of exchange between strangers in primitive economies. Being valuable in it own right, it facilitated exchanges between disparate autonomous participants in fledgling markets. Nowadays, however, modern economies are complex, integrated and highly monetized. As such, money has become indispensable for the functioning of the economy, all of us dependent upon money to secure the stuff of life. Our entire economy is effectively controlled by directing the flow of money at the macro level. The store of value of money is that which it can purchase in the real economy. The amount of money in circulation should be a policy decision based upon the desired economic objectives, which, in turn, is informed by the desired social objectives. The real economy has no relationship to the quantity of gold available, gold being a commodity nothing more, and one which is subject to considerable speculation. To tie the control of the real economy to some fixed quantity of a particular metal is irrational. Unless, of course, you possess gold and hope to profit.

      In regards to inflation and other problems usually cited by gold bugs, the problem lies not with modern money backed by the real economy, rather it lies with our PRIVATE banking system in which private individuals control the supply of money to generate profit for themselves. It should be obvious that private financiers seeking profit will try to game the system at the expense of the real economy, which they have. Both speculative bubbles and recessions/depressions are largely a consequence of private financiers increasing or decreasing the money supply to achieve their personal objectives. Currently, we are in a contraction leading to a depression which is intentional, a means to implement structural adjustment and secure the rule of finance capital. In my view, a sound financial system absolutely requires a government run financial system, one which relies upon sovereign money as opposed to debt money, and which utilizes taxation both to ameliorate excess concentrations of economic power and to deal with the compounding of interest at the macro level. I leave you with a couple of quotes.

      “Whosever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce….” (Pres. James Garfield)

      “The powers of financial capitalism have another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.” (Prof. Carroll Quigley)

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

    • Based upon some additional comments which have been posted, I think it appropriate to add that in this post Professor Slater demonstrates his contempt for international law. Legally (for what that is worth nowadays), countries are prohibited from attacking another country for “humanitarian” reasons, military actions restricted to bona fide defense against attack. All US military interventions after World War II have been illegal, coerced UN acquiescence notwithstanding. To even for a moment attempt to justify imperial assaults on relatively defenseless countries and peoples is morally repugnant. And to see Professor Slater lower himself to the role of apologist for imperial warmongering saddens me.

    • DAN CROWTHER- “If anyone needed any further proof of the irrelevance of the american liberal class, look no further than this essay”

      Sad, but true. Liberals are noted for a propensity to piss and moan about systemic injustice, while simultaneously defending the very system which inevitably results in these injustices. Liberals are, after all, an essential part of the system.

      I am, however, somewhat surprised by Slater’s actual defense of some of empire’s wars of aggression. The very notion of a “humanitarian” intervention is preposterous. Didn’t Hitler occupy the Sudetenland for the “humanitarian” purpose of protecting the German Volk who lived there? Countries and empires go to war to achieve strategic objectives. Period. World War II is a bit more complicated, however, let us not forget the extent of US business cooperation with Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, and the extent to which both Hitler and Mussolini were admired by the West right up to the start of the war. In sum, Slater’s post was both shameful and embarrassing.

    • MRW- “Value of legal tender in the US….is what the people produce. Money is not gold, nor should it be pegged to gold….”

      Bless you for this comment!

  • Jewish power + Jewish hubris = 'moral catastrophe of epic proportions'
    • CITIZEN- “I very much agree with Danaa.”

      Me too, however, I would go a bit further. Strictly speaking, anti-Semitism refers to the irrational hatred of Jews simply because they are Jews. The obvious implication is that an anti-Semite is an irrational, hateful, evil person. The Jewish chauvinistic myth that the world is inherently anti-Semitic therefore assumes that most Gentiles are inherently irrational, hateful, evil people. A vile accusation and insult employed in almost cavalier fashion by anti-Gentile chauvinist Jews. This myth forms the basis for the underlying fear which Gilad Atzmon discusses, as well as the cult of eternal victim-hood which is at the core of Zionism. Let me end with a quote from the late, great Israel Shahak:

      “Therfore, 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 a detailed and honest confrontation of the Jewish attitude to non-Jews….In the last 40 years the number of non-Jews killed by Jews is by far greater than the number of Jews killed by non-Jews. The extent of the persecution and discrimination against non-Jews inflicted by the ‘Jewish state’ with the support of organized diaspora Jews is also enormously greater than the suffering inflicted on Jews by regimes hostile towards them. Although the struggle against antisemitism (and of all other forms of racism) should never cease, the struggle against Jewish chauvinism and exclusivism, which must include a critique of classical Judaism, is now of equal or greater importance.”

    • NORTHOFFORTYNINE- “First of all, there is no such thing as “Jews”….These collective identities are artificial constructs, typically imposed from above for political purposes…..At days-end, we are all individuals.”

      Yes, but individuals that function with groups united by group ideology. The fact that the Jewish collective identity is an artificial construct does not mean “Jews” do not exist, rather, it means that it is not biologically based. In fact, the term “Jew” refers to a person who willingly accepts inclusion into a more or less exclusivist birthright collective. This collective employs a group strategy designed to promote group success. A strategy, I might add, that currently is spectacularly successful.

      “For if there is a such a thing as an “aristocratic” group by birth, then there is such a thing as a “peasant” group by birth.”

      One of the characteristics of most societies is the formation of rigid hierarchies of power and privilege. One’s future significantly impacted by the group one is born into. Money and power beget consequences which are then used to justify the power and privilege. Educational opportunities, access to funding, mentoring, contacts, etc. In trying to work for a just society, it is imperative to create conditions which ameliorate those circumstances which deny vertical mobility to those born into humble circumstances, and which limit individual growth and the potential for development. And to distribute the social rewards in at least a somewhat egalitarian fashion, absolutely necessary to achieve meaningful democracy rather than our current oligarchy of the elites. In this regard, a significant consequence of neo-liberalism is to lock-in the rule of the rich.

      To the degree that Jews are an elite group, a vanguard group of aristocrats, it is incumbent upon us to inquire why this is, and how it is possible for any group to arrogate unto itself such disproportionate power and privilege. The same holds true for all centers of power, the rich in general, the corporations in particular. The childish notion that vast differences in wealth and privilege are primarily the consequence of some sort of divinely guided meritocracy, superior individuals mysteriously floating to the top, those at the bottom slackers, is not to be taken seriously. Power is sought and fought over, fraud and deception ubiquitous. The mass of unorganized individuals ruled over by an organized minority. There is no more critical issue for a society than to continually examine power relationships and the struggle for power.

    • EEE- “Come off it Phil. You and Haber are just extremists.”

      I don’t know about Haber, but Phil is the quintessential liberal, hence, doesn’t have an extremist bone in his body. Pity. It is not a bad thing to be opposed to empire, not just Israeli depredations. Or to stare long and deep into Jewish anti-Gentile chauvinism. Or to be aware of the consequences of neo-liberal structural adjustment and ongoing US militarism. You, however, seem to see your calling as a defender of ethnic power and privilege, and of systemic injustice. As such, you are morally bankrupt, but seem not to care.

    • MOOSER- “Hophmi, old son, I hate to break it to you, but that sock you keep under your bed is not the sperm bank which will save Judaism. But don’t worry, I’ll be fighting for your right to marry Ms. Gold Toe.”

      Where do you come up with this stuff? I can’t stop laughing, Mr. Gold Toe.

  • Linda Gradstein: 'I'm not an Israeli citizen, but that being said, I'm part of Israel.'
  • Arendt: Born in conflict, Israel will degenerate into Sparta, and American Jews will need to back away
    • Hi Gilad, thanks for taking the time to comment. Always nice to hear from the author. I do feel, however, that your response requires that I elaborate somewhat on my initial comment to Kraus. Let me begin by paying you a compliment. I feel that the foreword to “The Wandering Who?” was exceptionally well written. Beautiful prose. Insightful description. So good, in fact, that whatever followed was bound to be a bit of a letdown.

      Let us begin with Chapter 9, the object of Gabriel Ash’s critique. Entitled “Jewish Unconsciousness is the Discourse of the Goyim,” it endeavors to unravel the unconscious motivation of Zionist Jews, a hopeless and somewhat dubious task. Needless to say, empirical evidence of group unconsciousness consists largely of the author projecting his bias. That “proof” should consist largely of a subjective interpretation of a Cohen brothers film is hardly convincing. Perhaps this is why Gabriel Ash chose this particular chapter to highlight, while ignoring the rest of the book, some of which is quite good.

      I very much liked chapter 18, where you discuss what constitutes Jewishness. I have always found this topic intriguing and quite germane to Jewish tribalism, Zionism, and the creation of the Jewish state. I found the discussion quite good, and somewhat agree with your conclusion that “That which maintains the Jewish identity is fear.” I have long felt that without the Holocaust, Zionism would have withered away, a Jewish state never created. I do feel, however, that there is more to Jewishness and Zionism than simply fear. I think that a certain opportunistic sense of eternal victim-hood as a psychological balm is significant, along with the power seeking organizational solidarity provided by Zionism.

      Let me conclude with a comment on “anti-Zionist Zionists,” which I refer to as neo-Zionists. First, I think that Jews opposing Zionism identifying themselves as Jews has, overall, been a positive thing. It has served to combat the notion that Zionism speaks for “the Jews,” and that opposition to Zionism is anti-Semitism. It has opened up the discussion considerably. Having said that, I do think that you are on to something. It appears that many anti-Zionist Jews, Philip Weiss included, have utilized their organized Jewish anti-Zionist activities to reinforce their Jewish identities. Attempting to have their cake and eat it too. Gabriel Ash, however, seems to fall in yet another category. In addition to the above, he is, I believe, a doctrinaire Marxist. As such, anything which does not adhere to a rigid Marxist explanation is considered a threat to his ideology, which, in turn, rejects “Jewishness” as an explanation for anything.

      In sum, I liked the book and hope that you aren’t overly upset by my comments on chapter 9. Hopefully, we will see more of Gilad Atzmon on Mondoweiss.

    • According to Israel Shahak, “It seems that Israel and zionism are a throw-back to the role of classical Judaism ….” That is to say, Zionism is a tribal ideology which functions similar to classical Judaism as a unifier of the Jewish tribe. It strives to maintain an exclusivist Jewish identity which necessitates opposing assimilation, frequently referred to as an existential threat to the Jewish people. Perceived anti-Semitism is the mother’s milk of Zionism. It is important to remember that Zionism is a means to unite the Diaspora Jews through the Zionist ideology and the organized support of Israel. Without the committed, organized support of American Diaspora Jews, Israel could not exist in its present form as a militarized, war-mongering Jewish state. Likewise, without Israel and Zionism, Jewish tribal solidarity would begin wane, already somewhat happening. Too much has been made of Israel as a Jewish refuge. The reality is that the Jewish state has always been desperate to secure Jewish immigration to remain viable.

    • KRAUS- I have read Gilad Atzmon’s book “The Wandering Who” and overall enjoyed and recommend it. I think it worth noting, however, that the different chapters vary considerably in quality, some very good, others quite bad. Atzmon tends to be intentionally provocative, however, this book was more restrained than other things he has done. Below, Mooser links to Jews Sans Frontiers, where Evildoer takes a cheap shot at the book by focusing on chapter 9, one of the worst. It is interesting to compare the Atzmon book with Israel Shahak’s “Jewish History, Jewish Religion.” Both are from a secular Israeli background in which their experiences with the Judaic religion are formed by how that religion is observed in Israel, which tends to be more Orthodox and not at all what a US Reformed Jew is accustomed to. Something to keep in mind.

    • EEE- Einstein was a cultural Zionist who opposed political Zionism. Bequeathing his papers to the Hebrew University is not inconsistent with opposition to a Jewish state. Likewise, one can make major contributions to an American University while still opposing US imperialism.

  • Another mainstream voice challenges idea of war on Iran
    • How is it possible to even read crap like this and take it seriously? What is the point if not to give the appearance of credibility to ludicrous pretexts? Does anyone seriously believe that Uncle Sam is worried about a nuclear Iran, except perhaps because it would restrict our aggressive actions somewhat. Iran is strategically significant because of its oil, gas, and location. The US appears committed to denying Russia and particularly China unfettered access to these geo-strategic resources. It is all about imperial hegemony combined with Israel’s regional hegemony. The Godfather is responding to a potential threat to future hegemony. Discussing phony pretexts as if they were real concerns is a joke. Unfortunately, imperial strategy will never be discussed in the mainstream media.

  • Expendables of a waning empire
    • HOSTAGE- I think people are making a big mistake in trying to apply traditional military concepts to current hostilities. When the object of hostilities is simply to destroy a country, not occupy it, what does “winning” mean? Did we really lose in Vietnam when the primary objective was to destroy a threat to imperial hegemony? The empire is currently in the process of attacking any and all POTENTIAL threats to future hegemony. High risk confrontation and brinkmanship are the order of the day. Additionally, the global financial sector is currently destroying economies in order to institute a form of debt servitude. Under these circumstances, economic disruptions caused by an interruption to the oil supply could well facilitate the complete financialization of the world economy. We have entered an extraordinarily dangerous period.

    • I think that describing the empire as “waning” is incorrect. It would be more accurate to describe it as metamorphosing into a Corporate/Financial matrix of control employing full spectrum dominance.

  • AIPAC-championed amendment pushes Obama into a corner on Iran
    • VR- What many Mondoweissers fail to comprehend is that George W. Bush was "Obama Lite." We are entering extraordinarily dark times.

    • DAN CROWTHER- I think the Pepe Escobar article is highly germane. Iran is emerging as the key area of geo-strategic confrontation in the 21st century, the very centerpiece of the Project for the New American Century. I think that US planners, particularly the neocons, sense a narrow window of opportunity to establish complete planetary domination, to be achieved by full spectrum warfare: financial, sanctions, destabilization, terrorism, political, media, bombing, special ops, drones, cyber war, etc. They are seeking global control of the three F’s : Food, Fuel and Financial. Iran is strategically critical. Russia and China are desperately trying to break free from US hegemony. With its oil, gas, and strategic pipeline location, Iran could provide the means for a counter hegemonic strategy. If the US is able to destabilize and control Iran, however, a real challenge to the emerging US/Corporate/Financial matrix of control seems unlikely.

      Of course, current US massive aggression is extremely dangerous. Current US leaders, however, are risk takers who are more concerned with acquiring power than the survival of the species. It should be noted that the US is currently engaged in low intensity aggression against Iran which is being escalated, the proposed sanctions blatant economic warfare. “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)

  • 'Economist:' analysis of Iraq war that leaves out neocons' Jewishness is 'deficient'
  • Ron Paul and the left
    • I continue to be amazed at the undue emphasized upon Presidential elections, as if electing a new person could conceivably make dramatic changes to entrenched systems of power. Presidential elections have devolved to the point of being expensive spectacles, mere diversions from the reality of real political economy.

      Over at Dissident Voice is an excellent article called “Differential Accumulation” dealing with capitalism as a system of power. Economics is mostly ideology disguised as objective “science,” most economists earning their living misrepresenting reality in service to power. It is refreshing to come upon an article which lends academic support to some of my views. There is an interesting chart showing that Middle East energy related wars were consistently preceded by sub-par oil profits, and followed by above average profits. I found it an interesting read and highly recommend it.
      http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/12/differential-accumulation/#more-40663

  • The Ron Paul moment-- bad and good
    • MRW- Two references from memory are Ellen Hodgsom Brown, “Web of Debt” at
      http://www.webofdebt.com/

      And the Damon Vrabel series, Renaissance 2.0 at http://csper.org/

    • MRW- “Keith, the US Federal government absolutely is the monopoly supplier of US currency. Where do you think it comes from?”

      As I indicated in my comment above, “The FEDERAL RESERVE, a privately controlled bank, controls the money supply.” The Federal Reserve is owned by the member banks which are privately held. The Fed is NOT a government entity, although it masquerades as one. The government borrows from the private banks including the Fed when they buy US Treasuries. Yes, the Treasury mints coins. Yes, the Treasury could take over the Fed and issue sovereign money instead of continuing to borrow (sell Treasuries) to increase the money supply. There is a long history to the private banks taking over money creation. I am away from home and my reference material or I would supply a number of quotes. I am neither ignorant, stupid, or joking. The government does not, Not, NOT create the money supply. Private banks do and loan it into the system with ultimately catastrophic consequences. Wall Street is currently engaged in financial warfare against the planet, creating a controlled depression. Up until about two years ago, I also thought that the government controlled the money supply and created new money as required to service the real economy. It seemed to make sense. How else would a sane person do it? When I found out the truth, I almost fell over. Private financiers controlling the money supply for private profit at the expense of the real economy? It is totally insane. It is what we have now. No joke! Note: if you are only referring to “currency,” a small part of the total money supply, suggest you read the writing on some of your bills. You will note that they are all Federal Reserve Notes. Basically, our “sovereign” money consists of coins.

    • MRW- “The US Federal Government is a currency issuer.”

      Aaaaaaaaargh!!!! The US government DOES NOT control the money supply!!!! The FEDERAL RESERVE, a privately controlled bank, controls the money supply. The government borrows money from the PRIVATE banks which create it, hence, DEBT MONEY. If the government took control of the Fed, it could create sovereign money, which would solve a lot of problems. This is not the same as Ron Paul’s desire to eliminate the central bank, which would be a disaster.

    • SHINGO- “What many like yourself never get Keith is that foreign policy is almost entirely driven by domestic policies….While domestic matters will remain under the thumb of Comgress, a president has a great deal more latitude on foreign policy.”

      Are you not aware that these two statements taken together are a logical contradiction? As a matter of fact, foreign policy is overwhelmingly influenced by domestic concentrations of power such as the military-industrial complex, the Zionist power configuration, the media, etc. That is why the overall thrust of US foreign policy has remained quite consistent over time. US foreign policy is consistent with a national security state empire.

      In order to change US militarism, it is necessary to eliminate empire. This will require shifting the focus from military spending to domestic spending, from building weapons to building schools and providing free education and healthcare for all. To direct the flow of money from war making to creating a sustainable society. Ron Paul opposes government intervention in the economy, preferring instead de facto business rule. Yet, to eliminate military spending without increasing non-military spending would be economic suicide. Unlike you, I cannot imagine him being able to cut military spending significantly, however, I can imagine he and his fellow “conservative” Republicans agreeing to eviscerate all functions of the federal government which benefit the average person, with the Democrats going along.

      The bottom line is that Ron Paul is a one trick pony. It is a good and timely trick, and I like it just fine, and I am very pleased that he is providing some semblance of sanity in this one area, however, overall he is totally incapable of doing what is needed. I shall continue to vote third party or independent, knowing that ultimately concentrated economic power, primarily finance capital, is calling the shots and that we will likely go from bad to worse, as is happening now.

    • An interesting discussion which nonetheless suffers from the fact that it is virtually impossible to adequately discuss political economy in the comments section of Mondoweiss. Permit me to add a few observations.

      First is that Ron Paul’s foreign policy positions are a vast improvement over what we have now. However, his domestic policies would be an unmitigated disaster. He, like Alan Greenspan, is an ideological soul mate of Ayn Rand, a modern day advocate of Social Darwinism. I fear that his foreign policy ideas would be stomped into the ground, whereas, his domestic policies would grease the skids of neoliberalism. I, like Dan Crowther, am disturbed by the cult like obsessive loyalty of his Mondoweiss supporters. It is one thing to support a lesser evil, but to turn a blind eye to obvious faults and react defensively is not good.

      In regards to the Federal Reserve, there seems to be some confusion as to the absolute necessity to have a central bank versus the extremely dysfunctional consequences of a PRIVATELY run central bank working to advance the financial sector at the expense of the real economy. It is our privately controlled financial system in conjunction with our debt money monetary system in conjunction with unmoderated compounding interest which is the root cause of much of our problem. Not the only problem, but the underlying driving force. The driving force behind neoliberal globalization and structural adjustment, I might add.

      Finally, there also appears to be some confusion regarding what exactly a National Security State is. The term is a euphemism for a soft version of fascism, which is essentially military Keynesianism. One can have all sorts of government intervention in the economy without hiding it by military spending and warmongering, however, larger military budgets and empire go hand in hand. Reference to historical US militarism, while true, doesn’t adequately address the changes in our economy, and their impact on policy. For example, while the Indian Wars following the Civil War were superficially similar to current imperial depredations, these wars themselves were considered an EXPENSE incurred to achieve certain economic advantages. Currently, imperial war fighting costs are viewed as an ECONOMIC STIMULUS to prime the economic pump. That is to say, war itself has become a primary objective of our warfare economy.

  • Why Alan Dershowitz is wrong on Israel's 'rights'
    • In discussing Dershowitz and the law, we must keep in mind that “the law” has been rather successfully misrepresented as representing “justice.” The harsh reality is that the law is essentially the codification of the status quo designed primarily to protect the system of power and privilege of the elites. Justice only comes into play insofar as a certain appearance of justice is necessary to quell domestic discontent. For someone like Dershowitz, the law and power go hand in hand, and truth is what works to achieve your objectives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Where “On November 25, two days after a failed German government bond auction in which Germany was unable to sell 35 per cent of its offerings of 10-year bonds, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Germany might retreat from its demands that the private banks that hold the troubled sovereign debt from Greece, Italy, and Spain must accept part of the cost of their bailout by writing off some of the debt?”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/28/just-another-goldman-sachs-take-over/

      Over at Dissident Voice, James Petras writes that “We live in a time of dynamic, regressive, regime changes. A period in which major political transformations and the dramatic roll back of a half century of socio-economic legislation are accelerated by a prolonged and deepening economic crises and a world-wide financier led offensive.” He identifies three phases, beginning with “decaying democracies,” which lead to “oligarchical democracies,” and soon to “colonial technocratic dictatorship.”
      http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/11/the-new-authoritarianism/#more-39665

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      First, Pepe Escobar writes that “This is part and parcel of the “strategic opportunity” identified by the powerful Israel lobby in Washington; if we strike against the Damascus-Tehran link, we deal a mortal blow to Hezbollah in Lebanon. That, ideologues believe, can now be sold to world public opinion under the cover of the former Arab Spring — now “Arab Winter” after a metamorphosis, before “Arab Summer”, into the Arab counter-revolution).” The whole article is a must read I heartily recommend.
      http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/11/that-rocky-road-to-damascus/#more-39648

      Second, Tom Burghardt writes about current covert operations against Iran, including cyber warfare. “As the U.S. and Israel ramp-up covert operations against Iran, the Pentagon “has laid out its most explicit cyberwarfare policy to date, stating that if directed by the president, it will launch ‘offensive cyber operations’ in response to hostile acts,” according to The Washington Post.” Another must read article.
      http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/11/target-iran-washingtons-countdown-to-war/#more-39618

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Who controls the Horn of Africa controls a major chunk of the worlds economies and whether you and I understand it, the CIA, MI6 and all the western intelligence agencies know all to well just how critical the Horn of Africa is to their national interests.”
      http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/17/choke-point-bab-el-mande/

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

      "…in the Pentagon in November 2001, one of the senior military staff officers had time for a chat. Yes, we were still on track for going against Iraq, he said. But there was more. This was being discussed as part of a five-year campaign plan, he said, and there were a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.…” (Wesley Clark, Winning Modern Wars, p. 130).
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23605

      “Global Research first reported on 19 October [2] the lethal use of US drones in attacks on various locations across southern Somalia in a coordinated air campaign to assist the advance of Kenyan ground troops deep into Somali territory held by Islamic insurgents. We reported that US drones began attacking Somali targets days before the Kenyan army began its incursion, and have continued in a pattern that indicates American air power is being used to pave the way for ground forces as they advance towards the southern port city of Kismayu….Global Research also reported on 26 October [3] that French naval forces had joined the bombing campaign - again despite official French denials carried in Western media - and that the conclusion from these military developments was clear: Washington and Paris are now engaging in a secret new war in East Africa - a region where up to 12 million people are at risk of starvation from years of drought and Western-induced conflict….The bigger picture to this is, as John Pilger noted previously in Global Research, a "modern scramble for African resources" by Western powers, which have in recent years watched enviously the growing influence of China in the region. This neo-imperialist scramble for Africa is consistent with NATO's conquest of Libya. The close collaboration between the US and France in the bombing of North Africa is now being rolled out in East Africa.”
      http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/us-military-confirms-washington%e2%80%99s-secret-new-war-in-somalia-despite-official-denials-by-finian-cunningham/#more-119465

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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