Category Archives:
US Policy in the Middle East

Trump’s Israel advisor (again) argues for annexation of the West Bank with bad math

Allison Deger on
David Friedman, Trump adviser

Donald Trump’s Israel advisor again raised the possibility of his candidate backing the Israeli annexation of the occupied West Bank, while dining with the representative of a settler organization in New York during the “last two weeks,” according to a report published by Israel’s Channel 2 who obtained a video of the meeting.

Clinton and Trump lack a plan for Iraq other than more war

Wilson Dizard on
The Clinton Trump debate, at Nellie's Sports Bar in Washington

Neither Clinton nor Trump have a long-term plan for Iraq or the middle east that doesn’t involve war. Clinton wants to destroy ISIS, but doesn’t offer any reason other than ISIS must be destroyed. Israel/Palestine, although it helps drive the religiously motivated violence in the region, doesn’t even register for either candidate.

Shmuley Boteach seeks to blackmail Obama over his legacy

Philip Weiss on
Shmuley Boteach ad in New York Times

“President Obama, as you leave office keep your friendship with Israel intact,” Rabbi Shmuley Boteach threatens to help destroy Obama’s legacy if he dares to try to create a Palestinian state.

The two-stroke solution

Philip Weiss on
Netanyahu and Obama in NY, Sept. 21, 2016

President Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in New York on the sideline of the UN General Assembly and there was more talk about the president playing golf in Israel and visiting the country in his post-presidency than there was about the vaunted two-state solution.

‘Beholden to AIPAC’ — progressive senators Warren, Murphy, Brown sign letter seeking to limit Obama’s actions

Philip Weiss on
Eliz. Warren at Tufts last September, (c) Pat Westwater-Jong

Vermont Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Kentucky’s Rand Paul were among the dozen holdouts from a letter the Israel lobby group AIPAC circulated seeking to limit President Obama’s actions to oppose Israeli settlements in his last months in office. Still, many progressive US senators as well as vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine signed on to an Israel lobby letter designed to limit President Obama’s actions against the Israeli occupation, now nearly 50 years old.

Powell emails expose depth of media self-censorship re Israeli nukes

Philip Weiss on
Man about town Jeffrey T. Leeds, from youtube

Colin Powell privately said that Israel’s 200 nukes are the strongest argument in favor of the Iran deal, but when he went on Meet the Press, he didn’t say a word about it. And neither did Obama or the MSM. This self-censorship reflects obeisance to the Israel lobby.

Netanyahu’s ghost on ‘ethnic cleansing’ video is rightwing pollster Luntz

Phil Weiss and Yakov Hirsch on
Frank Luntz

An immoral Orwellian video whose goal was to defend the indefensible, Netanyahu’s “ethnic cleansing” video was drawn in part from the words of his American rightwing glimmer twin, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, who is dedicated to committing American Jews to Israel’s defense.

Trump and Clinton promise to repeat foreign policy mistakes of the past

Wilson Dizard on
Commander-In-Chief Forum on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 (Photo: Heidi Gutman/NBC)

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton participated in a public forum with veterans on Wednesday night, describing how they’d defeat Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Although they diverged on the methods their answers were the same — more war in the middle east. Clinton is playing the role of Ego in American foreign policy, rationalizing unethical decisions, owning up to some questionable decisions (Iraq) but not others (Libya). Meanwhile, Trump is the remorseless Id, the base impulse of empire to seize land and resources through the promise of deadly force. The Id knows colonialism isn’t about bringing the blessings of civilization to conquered, it’s about exploiting them and their resources. Trump seems to understand that in a way Clinton doesn’t, or at least won’t admit.

‘NY Times’ rigs a purported news article to push U.S. escalation in Syria

(((James North))) on
New York Times headquarters

New York Times reporters Mark Landler and Mark Mazzetti write that President Obama’s Syria policy is unchanging, a fact “that frustrates many analysts because they believe that a shift in policy will only come when Mr. Obama leaves office.” But readers will learn nowhere in this article that other analysts argue persuasively that Obama’s hesitation to add even more fuel to the flames in Syria is the right thing to do.

Many Clinton Foundation donors oppose BDS– and so does Clinton

Philip Weiss on
Saban and Clinton, on an earlier occasion

Hillary Clinton has become a zealot against BDS in the last year, evidently in part because many large donors to the Clinton Foundation oppose BDS. These supporters suggest the new lineaments of the Israel lobby under Clinton, in which liberal Zionists and rightwing Zionists are merged.

Let’s talk about Russian influence

Philip Weiss on
Neera Tanden and Netanyahu at Center for American Progress

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager says the “hand of the Kremlin” has been working in US elections, but no one talks about the hand of Israel, which is on everything from pushing the Iraq war to censoring any reference to the “occupation” in the Democratic Party platform. The system is rigged by the Israel lobby, and everyone knows it, even if they can’t talk about it.

The omnipresent hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration

James North and Philip Weiss on
Retired admiral James Stavridis is now a dean of international school at Tufts and a neoconservative darling

Stephen Cohen and Juan Cole say that Russia and Iran are trying to defeat ISIS with attacks in eastern Syria. A. Trevor Thrall says US attacks on Assad would lead to another endless war. But the media are ignoring leftwing, realist and libertarian voices in favor of the hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration.