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  • A conversation with Miko Peled
    • Agree. Great job. Peled is a principled man. You brought that out, Phil.

    • This video shows Israeli barbarism. Anyone in the US doing what Israelis do to Palestinians would be charged and jailed for criminal behavior and shunned for their lack of humanity. But we permit this, because why?

      Israelis fearful of delegitimization?

      They should be, because the day is coming soon when the entire US will react with revulsion. Give it two years.

    • Exactly. A wonderful soaring speech. In 1968.

      But Ella Baker was born in 1904, and started her civil rights activism when she was 16 [I think she already at Howard University but don't hold me to it...I don't feel like scouring my computer to get the details] in 1920, nine years before MLK was born.

      When MLK was 11 years old, Baker was excoriating the NAACP in Harlem (1940) for their lack of effort, and faulting them for using the wrong approach. She advocated non-violence, and she did not agree with diminishing the efforts of rich white women in fur coats who were drawn to the movement. She said we need these people, they are a bridge. She was fiercely independent in her thinking and strategy.

      One of her phrases was, "Strong people don't need strong leaders." Another, "Martin didn't make the movement. The movement made Martin."

      MLK came to prominence within the movement in 1954. He was a man: acceptable. But understand the times. She was black and a woman. The femaleness of herself was more of detriment to her prominence than her blackness.

      The recorded interviews with the original civil rights figures of the 60s in Charles Payne's book are a testament to her greatness. She organized the Freedom Riders, founded all the major alphabets of the civil rights movement, like SNCC, and organized the lunchroom protesters. She trained every single one of the civil rights lights that we remember.

      After the Civil Rights Act was passed, few Americans knew the history of what Blacks had been through, nor did they care. So Coretta king was free to craft one that they could believe. Because of that wonderful speech, most Americans are willing to believe that MLK was the driving force behind the movement. He was not. She was. She is given short shrift because she was quiet, level-headed, and effective. And a woman.

      But every single civil rights poobah still alive in the 1990s as Charles Payne recorded them for his book treats her as the singular god of their movement. Their deep reverence and awe is real.

    • Americans are taught that Rosa Parks was a little old lady who got on the bus, and was really tired and sat in the first available seat that just happened to be a white seat. And she just sat down because she was tired. We know that was complete nonsense. She was an activist, and it was done in order to provoke.

      Bravo! He's informed.

      Rosa Parks was working for Ella Baker, the real leader of the civil rights movement, not MLK. Baker taught Parks how to agitate through peaceful means, as Baker taught thousands of activists at the time. MLK never did. Historian Charles Payne documented this with recorded history in his memorable 1998 book I've Got the Light of Freedom.

      MLK's legacy was a concoction of Coretta King, his widow, who campaigned hard during the 70s for the MLK holiday Reagan signed into being in 1983. I remember Coretta King's efforts well.

  • Why 'give him a chance' is not an option
    • Dr. Rothschild

      he did not “win” the election. He “won” the Electoral College which has been corrupted by years of Koch brothers and friends building on the aristocratic insecurities and rural biases of our founding patriarchs.

      No. He won the election. Fair and square. The way people have been winning the presidential election for 227 years.

      The Electoral College is Article 2 of the Constitution. The Electoral College elects the president and vice-president, not the popular vote, otherwise candidates would concentrate their efforts in the most populous areas and ignore the majority of the nation.

      You can say you don't like it. Fair enough. But to claim he didn’t win it properly is not facing reality. Candidates craft their election strategies to win Electoral College votes, not population numbers. Trump had 1.6 million fewer votes than Hillary, didn't he, something like that. But he didn't campaign in Manhattan where the votes were, where Hillary cleaned up. Or LA. Or Chicago. He campaigned in the Great Lakes states and Pennsylvania where the electoral votes were, and got what he had to win to lock up the election the way the Constitution states, which Clinton couldn't pull off.

      You can call that bogus, but you would be wrong. It’s crazy talk.

    • I agree, ritzl.

    • If Trump were to keep Victoria Nuland anywhere near the corridors of power, it would be proof positive he's a neocon in sheep's clothing.

      I think we have escaped WWIII by not electing Hillary. Her only real power as a president would have been foreign policy--as Head of State complete power to act on her own--provided she didn't sign any treaties which require a 2/3 vote in the Senate. She was a warmonger who wanted to poke the Russian bear aggressively, and put a no-fly zone over Syria which would have escalated the entire region into a real war zone. She crafted the Ukrainian disaster and ouster of a democratically elected president ("regime change") with Nuland. And she wanted to continue the austerity programs that have so badly damaged the middle class and poor domestically since 2008. Good riddance to her. The Clinton era is dead and I couldn't be happier.

      I also think all this mewling about Trump is premature and hyperbolic. I urge all of you to read Scott Alexander's article "YOU ARE STILL CRYING WOLF."
      Alexander is a pseudonym for a practicing midwest doctor who has really unpleasant things to say about Trump but calls out the commentary about him in trenchant and clearly defined terms. Dr. Rothschild would do well to read it.

    • The Muslim Registry called NSEERS (National Security Entry-Exit Registration System) was created on Sept 10, 2002. It was an abysmal failure, but Obama didn't get rid of it, did he.

      The program had three parts.

      First, it required non-citizens to register when they entered the US -- a process that included fingerprinting, photo taking and interrogation.

      Second, it mandated that these people, as well as others already in the US, register and regularly check in with immigration officials. [This requirement has been in place for all green card recipients from time immemorial, but only once a year.]

      Third, it kept track of those leaving the country to make sure that temporary guests did not remain illegally. Violators were arrested, fined and even deported.

      All males 16 years of age or older from 25 countries were forced to register.

      Although no religious groups were explicitly targeted, all but one was a Muslim-majority country.

      The countries included: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen. The sole exception: North Korea.

      Trump intends to add Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan.

      The Brennan Center for Justice wrote today:

      Federal courts previously found the NSEERS program constitutional, but they also warned that they would reach a different conclusion if there were evidence that the program was based on religious animus. . . .

      And in the aftermath of 9/11, courts were willing to accept NSEERS as an emergency stopgap. Today, however, the United States has an automated entry-exist system for all foreign visitors (US-VISIT), rendering the NSEERS registration process “redundant, inefficient, and unnecessary,” according to the Department of Homeland Security’s own assessment.

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
    • Hey. mcohen. There is a space between sentences when you write English.

    • This was a great post, Phil.

    • “on a roll” and crying “antisemitism” was part-and-parcel of the mechanisms they used to maintain that power. so why not keep crying it? it might still work !

      No, it's not going to still work. Nobody gives a shit.

      I am delighted Trump won. I love the kick in the teeth to the media. Love it. I also believe he is going to be the consequential president we all hoped Obama might have been, which Obama didn't have the smarts or judgment to be. I was duped by Obama. I campaigned for him like no other from September 2006 (months before he announced in Springfield in Feb 2007) thru Nov 2008. Many 22 hour days, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that. I was a fool, and I have spent a lot of time since examining what I failed to realize because I was so wrong.

      This guy does not like Trump, but his read on what is happening post-election is correct, in my view. He lacerates the Yonah Freedman brand of overblown self-importance displayed in the lead comment above, the one annie correctly and accurately sneers at. And he backs up Phil's nuanced comments in the site post.
      You Are Still Crying Wolf by Scott Alexander

      If you decide to read it, read the whole thing. It's long. But not dull. I love how he rips apart the hyperbolic KKK argument.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg is Jewish
  • 'Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong' -- the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (Retired)
    • After an inordinate wait to see somebody in the Pentagon, the Israelis walked to the office in a brusque manner. The office secretary made them wait even longer, so she didn’t make them sign the roster. Big freakin deal.

      Maybe in your country. But not here. And not in the Pentagon.

      You have zero knowledge of US military rules and regs. And, it appears, even less about the State Dept's 'foreign agents' laws.

    • Superb interview.

    • Donald Trump’s constant refrain and campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” makes me shudder when thinking of the thousands slain in repeated military conflicts that needn’t have been fought.

      You're confusing and conflating two disparate things. “Make America Great Again" refers to domestic renewal, not regime change.

      One of the reasons that the hawks are out for blood vis-à-vis Trump is because they object to what they call his "isolationist" views. That he would talk to Putin and negotiate with him, not declare him, and Russia, an enemy. That he would work with Russia to fight ISIS in Syria, not demonize it as Obama has done. That he would strengthen the military for defensive purposes, not use them for needless wars. Trump's positions would severely clip the obscenely rich defense industry, not to mention Israel's global security industry, two sectors that have cleaned up since 9/11. In fact, the only ones.

      Hillary would have the constitutional power, as Head of State, to decree the continuation of these militaristic missions without the approval of Congress. She's all for ginning up for a war against Russia; her screeches against Putin are not only misinformed, they're insane. She wants to go to war against Assad. She's for a militaristic approach to China. And her bigtime donors and supporters know it and support it. That's why they're buying her obedience.

    • You didn’t waste any time turning an interesting interview into an anti-Israel screed.

      Crock of shit. You obviously did not read the whole thing.

      And BTW, this mewling about Anti-Israel sentiment is getting old.

  • Let's talk about Russian influence
    • Phil,

      But enough about all that. Let’s talk about Russian influence.

      Before you do, may I suggest you do some research by listening to Professor Stephen F Cohen's Tuesday night radio braodcasts with John Batchelor on WABC 770 AM Radio, NYC. Usually 10 PM your time. Anyone can listen online in real time. The Podcasts are available the next day here.

      On Cohen's page on audio boom:✓&q=stephen+cohen, the broadcasts marked in the playlists at the bottom of the page are some of Cohen's greatest hits over the last 8-9 months.

      Stephen Cohen is, as you probably know, Katrina vanden Heuvel's husband. (For overseas readers here, Katrina vanden Heuvel is publisher and editor-in-chief of The Nation, the pre-eminent progessive magazine in the country.) He speaks fluent Russian, taught Russian history at Princeton and NYU, and lived in Russia with Katrina at some point before they had kids.

      His analysis is superb. I warn you, however, he has no use for Obama admin foreign policies (excoriates Power and Rice), is highly disdainful of Hillary's foreign policy chops and her suitability to be head of state without dragging this nation into WWIII. He has high praise for what he calls Trump's "sanity" in foreign policy thinking, although he points out that "every member of my family" oppose "what I say" about Trump. Cohen gives detailed reasons for his objections. He has also decimated the NYT and many of the characters you list above for their reporting, translations (of Putin's words), knowledge of history and diplomacy, and fitness as professionals.

      John Batchelor has been doing these broadcast hours with Cohen for three years. Nielsen reported that Cohen's "off-the-charts" ratings on Batchelor's show raised the show's overall rankings. I have my calendar bookmarked so that I don't miss one of them. No doubt NYC cabbies are tuned into him.

  • Palestinian anti-racist struggle against Zionism and Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to building a just world
    • At the risk of being too blunt, you have to a special kind of stupid to believe that the Israel’s existence is about establishing a Jewish authority over Palestine

      I'd have to be a special kind of stupid to believe otherwise. Then what the fuck are you doing to Palestinians?

    • silamcuz,

      Weasel answer. You didn't answer Annie's questions.

    • I don't buy this bullshit statement: "Black anti-racist struggle against White supremacy are crucial to building a just world."

      That's a ridick postulate I don't have the time or energy to explain. But White Supremacy is not the problem. It's a tired 20th C argument that succumbs to their jailers, like the current "white privilege" horseshit.

      I fault the popular now-maudlin American creation myth for Blacks. They weren't slaves. They were an enslaved people. They were brought over in chains. Formerly free people with a history and with magnificent pre-1500 AD accomplishments that drown any in the the entire history of the world, given the 700-800 years they did it in . . .if you bothered to read. (But you would have to read early 20th C accounts. Fat chance.)

      Why do you think Blacks were denied the right to learn how to read and write for their first 400 years in this country?

      Because they might discover who they were. And what they contributed to the history of mankind, now lost, now claimed (stolen) as white Christian European history.

      Whatever. Black Muslim Africans created European culture, and that is too much for 99% of Americans to bear hearing.

  • Reloading comments from April and May 2014
  • Iran deal is still imperilled by deep state-- hardliners, Israel lobby, Hillary Clinton
  • Jewish entitlement, and Jewish populism
    • So it’s not recording or storing all the archives which is either expensive or problematic, it is making the complete archives internet-accessible at all times which strains or overloads your current provider?
      Did you ever expect to have so much of it? It sure grew some.

      Uhhh, Mooser, a typical small e-commerce site has more data-access traffic than MW on any given day or in any week or month.

      All products and product photo shots (full-size and thumbnail) take up massively more storage space--just for starters--than a text-based site like MW does even with 10 years worth of comments.

      All products and photo shots are entered in a database, along with a text description. Typical for all product sites on the web, even your local web-based hardware or gardening store. This technology was perfected years ago. They plug in the coding module and customize it (they don’t re-invent the wheel).

      Accessing the data is a search function, and that tech is decades old; Google, Amazon, Yahoo, MySpace, WordPress, a lot of defunct companies, and the social media sites did the job of perfecting it for everyone.

      Furthermore, a relational database is like a series of closets. You open the door and take out what you want. In MW’s case, each commenter--the unique record--is one closet. Since the past (the archive) doesn’t change, nothing is being altered, just new stuff added. Big whoop.

    • Thank you, Adam.

      [I didn’t see your comments before replying today.]

    • as i think it may require lots of money or some kind of upgrade or something.

      Not a chance. Someone is being bamboozled. I PDF’d Hostage’s comments up until a couple of years ago--a few hundred PDF pages--and the total storage amount was 10 MB. That’s bupkes. Zero-insky.

      It was absolutely incumbent upon the tech guys to have redundant backup. That is what Phil and Adam pay for! Google’s Blogger app gives you better protection and backup. Can’t handle a leetle database? Gimme a fucking break. That’s like saying a a bicycle wheel can’t handle painted spokes.

      Phil and Adam signed off on certain blog features, and agreed to pay a certain price for them. And these techos can’t deliver all of a sudden in the middle of the night with no warning? As Jack Nicholson said, “Go sell stupid someplace else."

    • Wonderful solution: if Phil and Adam have the history, produce a DVD of them (a de minimus cost per when mass produced) and sell them for $25 to $50. An outfit near me produces DVDs for $2-$3 for self-publishing musicians, who are not flush with cash, and even mails out the orders for an additional fee...something under a dollar. They don’t produce all the DVDs at once. They are on an as-ordered basis. Headache-free for the musician.

      Use as a fund-raiser for phuck’s sake. So instead of costing money to repair this disaster, make money off what you’ve got. And those of us who want to can donate an extra copy or two to the local library.

    • Holocaust, Mooser? Never, not ever. Not in this century.

      An uncomfortable backlash against Jews? Might happen. Lots of triggers could stoke various groups. Although those leading the backlash wouldn’t call it uncomfortable; they would call it an expression of their rights. Danaa has written quite eloquently what happens to people when they aren’t listened to, when their opinions are denigrated and forced to submerge. Trump’s popularity is proof of that.

      A raging backlash against Jews, equal to what’s happening to Muslims in this country? Could. But what would spark it? It wouldn’t come out of left field.

    • Mooser,

      At that point, they became the property of Mondo, to either publish, discard, with no obligation to archive.

      You’re mixing apples and oranges. Mondoweiss makes no copyright claim on commenter entries. If it decides to discard and therefore not publish, its prerogative, of course it’s not going to archive.

      But that is not what I am saying. It has offered a database of comment archives by individual commenter for seven years. The initial five archive years have been erased. This year. Without notice. Most of us stupidly assumed they would be retained. And given current de minimus storage costs and settled developer code that can handle this easily, it makes no sense.

      I’m just a teensy bit appalled at the idea that Mondo might have an obligation to me. It don’t.

      I didn’t say Mondoweiss had an obligation to me. I said I and many others made contributions that are as valuable as the blog posts themselves. I’m offering to help pay to get them back.

      I’m saying that contributors like Hostage and others helped make this site extraordinarily valuable for the content of what they wrote. They increased the value of this site. Even the epic fights and from those who were eventually banned.

    • Bryan,

      He talked a good game in that youtube and spouted platitudes about what he thought the hoi polloi should have (education, child healthcare, fair taxes) but he had eight years in office to accomplish it, but didn't.

      I’m not going to go into macroeconomic possibilities and policies, but this guy had the power to effect those goals. He didn’t.

      He had time to get knowledgeable people to educate him about how the federal monetary system works, as opposed to the non-federal government private sector, but didn’t.

      The US federal government creates its on currency. The non-federal government private sector does not; it has to earn or borrow it from commercial banks or credit unions.

      The US federal government is not run like households, which have to pay back debts at interest on a strict time schedule after putting up collateral or a down payment. The US federal government has no such restriction. Obama doesn’t know that.

      The accountant and economist worker bees deep in the bowels of the US Treasury or Federal Reserve know this because they account for federal money issuance (misnamed ”public debt”) because it is recorded--'accounted for'--on the right side of the accounting ledger under Liabilities. Where else is it going to go? What the federal government is buying goes on the left under Assets, be it an airplane, federal government office supplies, or federal park maintenance workers.

      Obama’s definition of populism is out of touch with what the US populace is saying. He may come across to some as a great vision guy, but as Texas governor Greg Abbott wrote recently, “JFK wanted to send a man to the moon. Obama wants to send a man to the women’s restroom."

    • annie,

      Data overload or not, backups are on separate servers “offsite,” which means at another location. That’s what redundancy means.

      For example, Google has monster server sites in areas around its different centers. BUT. Their redundancy sites can be located--replicated- in lower-energy cost countries in South America, cooler European countries, or Australia or Canada. These site locations are not published for security reasons, and usually protected by armed gaurds. Ditto Amazon, which in addition to selling Orwellian amounts of stuff handles a staggering amount of the world’s cloud and server services for other companies, the majority of them wholesale providers.

    • More thoughtful Jews need to wrest the Jewish future away from the Aspen Ideas Festival, and remedy elitism with humility. That means cutting down the power of the lobby, and allowing Americans to wake to the persecution of Palestinians.


      We need to hear more Primo Levi voices from the American Jewish community, not these ignorant knee-jerk studs who are basically dual-loyaltists and who think popular American opinion can be derided without consequence. Dream on, freiers. Dream on.

      See the always thoughtful David Shasha’s excellent recent post here about the difference:
      Elie Wiesel and Primo Levi: A study in contrasts

    • OT, I apologize, but this concerns everyone who has ever contributed to this site, and it’s important. For example, we can’t reference previous comments made here about Leon Wieseltier, who Phil has covered before.

      Can we get an official explanation why the 5-6 years of comments have been summarily removed from

      This was done without prior notice to anyone. Why? How did this happen? Some of us have invested over 10 years of our lives and time contributing to this community. This was a tremendous time (and monetary) commitment no matter what anyone thinks of the value of what I contributed.

      A few years ago, I preserved all my comments up to that time via PDF. A feature of Acrobat Pro allows a word-count. It was 1.85 million words then—nearly three years worth at the time—the equivalent of 18-100,000-word (eighteen 400-page) books.

      Over the years commenters have contributed vital, important, thoughtful, and historically important comments. All that’s lost. All of Hostage’s VIP historical posts and references vanished! Shmuel’s comments gone. Ditto seafoid and shingo and Blankfort. Taxi. annie. Ari. American. Citizen. gamal. Slater. Danaa. Etc. These commenters made this site. So did Mooser. It’s a two-way street.

      Please don’t tell me it was some technical difficulty. Every American server company has redundancy, and multiple backups, or it won’t last in business longer than 24 hours, much less escape the wrath of the law. This ain’t 1995. It’s impossible to get rid of web content these days without an express executive decision to erase it. Ask Hillary. (registered with, does it webhost as well?) changed servers in August 2015, according to the status tab here. Whoever made that change made full multiple backups of the site, and made sure that all previous content was carried over and worked technically. So the current arbitrary cutoff date of the summer of 2014 doesn’t make sense.

      And it doesn’t make sense that blog posts from 2006-2014 are preserved but not the comments attached to them.

      Comment archives accessible by individual commenters started here in late July 2009, however. Digital advances and pennies per Gig storage costs in the aughts (2000s) made the Mondoweiss site decision to provide them a pedestrian choice. We have all counted on it since then.

      I think we’re owed an explanation. And, ideally, an explanation of any effort being made to get them back. Some of us would pay to get our histories back. They’re lurking out there in toto somewhere. And given standard server-company practice not to permanently remove backups for 6-24 months--even after sites go down--they are still recoverable, because of legal federal government retention requirements.

      Please note: Server-companies do not know what is contained in an individual site’s content, but federal laws now mandate retention, security, and preservation of certain private-firm medical and legal records. Failure to do so is costly and against federal law. All court submissions to federal courts must now be electronic. Therefore if a server-company has one private law firm or medical company--or mortgage banker--on its servers, they have blanket backup retention rules for the whole shebang to accommodate its federal legal requirements, even after a firm goes out of business, which allows time for someone in charge to download and preserve them.

      Please respond. Thank you.

  • 'NY Jewish Week' speaks bluntly of 'Israel firsters' in US politics
    • “I was thinking of my aliyah experience, in relation to others that moved to Israel. Now as a citizen, of both the US and Israel; I think much of the politics of the Middle East”

      Raphael is lucky. He’s alive. Many, many, many , Palestinian kids are not.

    • The guy who fired Phil at The Observer is his son-in-law, and wrote his 2016 AIPAC speech.

    • vidal’s rhetoric included ugly jew hatred unrelated to israel as well

      Just as ugly as what Israelis and Israel-Firsters write and say about Palestinians today. So what’s your point?

  • Michael Oren, historian, gets US history wrong to score a propaganda point
    • Michael Oren, historian, gets US history wrong to score a propaganda point

      Ah, the kindness of words.

      Let’s call it what it is. He lied. The intention was manipulation.

  • Netanyahu agonistes
    • Thanks for the reply, Yakov; goes without saying you could be standing by my right elbow speaking for me. (But then, you play poker and train dogs, my two loves.) Pixie complimented your writing. I compliment your insightful and clear thinking, which always produces great writers.

    • Yakov,

      How many officials and leaders saw what I saw when I watched Netanyahu at the Congressional hearing on the Iraq war in 2002: That everything out of his mouth was total bullshit. All he was interested in was saying whatever it took to make an American attack on Iraq more likely. Is there anyone else in the world who can show such a contempt for Congress? And the fact that you’re not allowed to even point this out in the United States– is that Orwellian or Kafkaesque or both? Because Netanyahu had the support of scurrilous American Jewish writers, and Jewish machers too, in foisting his views on us.

      You’re Jewish. Imagine what it was like for a Gentile to express what you perceived in 2002 . . . . in 2002.

  • Dennis Ross tells American Jews, 'We need to be advocates for Israel' -- and not for Palestinians
    • @Mooser,

      Col. Lang? I pity the fool who tries that!

      No shit. :-)

    • Gamal,

      Maybe you should go over there and counter him. maybe it was inartfully said from your POV, but in all Lang’s short posts over the years, I’ve found him to be particularly sympathetic to Arabic culture except when he criticizes Saudi Arabia devastating Yemen. He is forever correcting people’s Islamophobia. I didn’t read it the way you did. I gotta get to the airport!!!

      And he not gracious about how the Israelis treat the Palestinians.

    • Shmuel,

      With all due respect to Col. Lang, he would do well to leave “the Arab mind” talk to the likes of Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer.

      Uhh. He was trying to convince Ross that he wasn’t operating with both barrels. As Lang’s other comments have shown, he doesn’t have much respect for Ross’s representation of the United States, nor his ability to recognize US national interests.

      As Powell’s Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson has said a few times on The Real News Network, you didn’t get to be a US Military officer before 2000 without an advanced university education. (Let’s put aside the ‘Perfumed Princes’, Generals etc. who decided to play the political/civilian game instead and transgressed their military role for their material benefit.) I’m partial to military men who speak plainly, know what they are talking about because they’ve lived it, and remain realists. And that includes the Israeli high command. Say what you will about Meir Dagan, who scorned Americans, and everything about us. But he represented his country and its interests well. And he did it plainly and realistically.

    • Gamal and, I asssume, Shmuel,

      For the record, Colonel Lang speaks, reads, and write Arabic. Taught it at West Point where he created all instructional programs in the Arabic Language and Middle East Studies 40 years ago for the US Military. He lived in North Yemen and Saudi Arabia for eight years. (He has seemed particularly sympathetic to the Yemenis in Saudi Arabia’s latest attacks on them, and has written fondly of the tribes and military personnel he lived among.)

      Jeremy Schall used Lang as a major source in his book Dirty Wars. Scahill’s partial description of him here is more colorful:

      Colonel Walter Patrick Lang spent much of his military career in dark ops. Early in his army service, he helped coordinate the operation that led to the capture and killing of Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1967. He was a member of the Studies and Observation Group, SOG, which ran the targeted killing campaign for the United States during the Vietnam War, and eventually became the head of the secret Defense Intelligence Agency global human intelligence program. He was posted in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other hot spots around the globe. Lang also started the Arabic-language program at the West Point Military Academy. Throughout his career, he watched closely as the United States created this new special ops capability. The principal role of the “vanilla” Special Forces, like the Green Berets, was “training and leading indigenous forces, usually irregular forces against either regular forces or guerrilla forces. That’s what they do, so they’re attuned to foreigners. They seek to find people who are empathic, who work well with foreigners. Who like to sit around and eat with their right hand out of a common bowl bits of stringy old goat. And listen to somebody’s gramma talk about the baloney, fictional ancestry of the tribe. They like to do that.” Lang likened Green Berets to “armed anthropologists.” JSOC, he said, was envisioned as “a counterterrorist commando outfit modeled on the British SAS [Special Air Service]. And the SAS does not do ‘let’s get happy with the natives’ stuff. They don’t do that. They’re commandos, they kill the natives. These people are not very well educated about the larger picture of the effect that [their operations] have on the position of the United States in the world.” [MRW: Lang means JSOC, Joint Special Operations Command, which Scahill then discusses at some length.]

      Scahill, Jeremy (2013-04-23). Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield (pp. 49-50). Nation Books. Kindle Edition.

      (For those of you old enough to remember the hit TV show The A-Team, the cigar-chomping team leader played by George Peppard was based on Pat Lang. Lang ran MACVSOG for two years.)

      “Stupidity,” Gamal, is not one of Lang’s strong suits.

    • Annie,

      Read this Colonel Lang anecdote about Dennis Ross: And the scales fell from his eyes ...

      Ross has no business being within 10 miles of the State Dept. representing America...and us. Not only because he doesn’t represent us--which he does not--but because he doesn’t have the basic chops to be an effective State Department foreign service officer as Lang story details. Lang, it should be remembered, was Military Liaison between the US and Israel for what? Ten years? His assessment is not merely anecdotal; it’s informed.

  • By stressing accused Orlando shooter's Muslim name, Trump can gain upper hand on Clinton -- Michael Oren
    • The PLO was co-founded by a Christian.

    • First reaction of blog journalist Weiss in aftermath of disaster: condemn oren in your headline.

      Why not? Oren needs to keep his nose out of American politics. He’s an Israeli citizen. His opinion is immaterial. Just Israel trying to wiggle its fat butt in where it isn’t welcome and make it about herself.

    • But they’ll get their panties in a knot over a Mexican flag.

    • Sadness, horror, gloom, outrage, fear, resolve are among the emotions being expressed by Americans today,

      For 50 dead. When are we going to express that level of compassion and empathy and sorrow for the hundreds of thousands we slaughtered overseas, needlessly, over the last 15 years? Needlessly. Creating the same hole in the heart of families who lost their sons this morning.

      Our moral relativism makes me sick.

      And we have the gall to sit around with our thumbs in our bum and our brains in neutral wondering why all this is happening to us? The LGBT issue wouldn’t even be an issue if we, as a nation, had an ounce of moral character and fortitude. It would be woven into who we are. Equal rights. Period. End of story. But right now we’re a bunch of brazen lyin’ pussies who wail worse than the Israelis at attacks we think unfair, who lie to ourselves worse than the Israelis lie to us about why some killing event is so horrendous but our own actions had nothing to do with it, and who, like the Israelis, bullshit their superiority when it doesn’t exist. We’re both morally vacant, and opportunistically so.

  • Whistleblower: US General Sean Swindell bears responsibility for deadly Kunduz hospital attack
  • Hillary Clinton supported Iraq war because of Israel, say Matthews and Landler
    • @Bandolero,

      I didn’t read it that way. I don’t think he made a case for us to be the world’s hegemon. I thought he was talking about maintaining our status as a reliable global power via acting in our own interests for once. Hegemon is a thing distinct from global power. Russia is a global power, for example, so is Britain.

      And nowhere did I read that he supported the abandonment of the Sykes-Picot borders. Instead, he said our ill-advised foray into Iraq produced cracks in them, and is leading all sorts of other groups—Kurdish, Alawite, Salafi, Shiite, Houthi—to attempt to replace them, which he says won’t succeed.

      I thought Freeman was a lot more nuanced than you give him credit for, but to each his own.

    • our senior journalists don’t have the courage or character. So forget that.

    • Everyone, read Chas Freeman’s speech last week:

      America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East

      He withers Clinton.

  • US Jews adopted 'deferential' relationship to Israel, and tabooed dissent so as to preserve US gov't support
    • "big-Zion” = Zbig? ;-)

    • Phil,

      Anti-Semitism preserved that outsider status; and many Jews collected evidence of anti-Semitism with the goal of preserving the ghetto walls.

      Astute comment. I’ve been accused every once in a while of being an anti-semite around these parts over the past decade for things I’ve written, and I’ve taken on the task of mocking the newbie trolls who think invoking it in a kamikaze swipe against regular Mondoweiss commenters is going to have any effect. (Latest being the week old newbie “hoya saxa” on another thread.)

      Your image of "preserving the ghetto walls” is so apt. Because that’s exactly what American Gentiles I hang out with don’t get about perceived Jewish Israel/Holocaust/Zionist passive-aggressive insanity. ’You bitched about being pitched into ghettos for centuries but when America says We Get It, You Don’t Have To Worry About That Here, You’re One Of Us’, we get body-slammed and lose our careers and reputations for treating you as regular Americans’. We only have to look at the slurs flying around the political landscape these days to get a flavor for quintessential American to-and-fro when revved up for taking on one of our own. But you’re suddenly hothouse flowers who can’t stand criticism or bear a cold eye. The broader Jewish community—not the Israel-First crowd—remains silent when the blanket treatment once visited upon Jews is now visited upon Muslims as a group, as if it’s proper and allowable (MW excepted). And the unthinking and uneducated among America’s hoi polloi go along with it precisely because Jewish leaders haven’t put a stop to it, which they can. Abe Foxman (or Jeffrey Goldberg) rolling in with a Casablanca moment (“I’m shocked, shocked”) after the damage has been done is too little too late, and transparently cynical.

      Gentiles are catching on. The one thing, whether it really exists or not, is an American sense of fairness that permeates the thread of life here. It’s the one argument you can bring up in any discussion of wrongs and rights, and it gives pause. Nothing else does. It caused 11 Christian church groups to petition Congress in 2011. It’s stamped into the Millennial worldview as a generational edict. It works at the family dinner table when someone has his jackboots on and jumping on everyone’s neck.

      I think you capture the zeitgeist. I thought this was a great article.

  • On Holocaust Remembrance Day, NPR promotes Israeli army but Obama takes a pass
    • @hoya saxa,

      pass on some more classic antisemitic tropes. [...] Even if that means violating the US dept of state definition of antisemite.

      Violating the US dept of state definition of antisemite?” What violation?

      This is the United States of America, bub. We have a First Amendment. People are free to dislike who they want and express it. People can hate Jews, Japs, and Jains here all they want as long as they aren’t inciting violence. Enshrined in a 1977 US Supreme Court case known as the Skokie case. Allowed the Nazis to assemble and parade around in their Hitler gear with swastikas upsetting the six Holocaust survivors who lived in the town. Even the ACLU took up their right to do it. It’s the law of the land.

      I don’t know what country you’re from, but in this country, the State Dept does not write the laws of the land. The State Dept could declare only Christian thought is allowed inside embassies, and everyone here would tell them to pound sand. So get off your prissy stool and put your wag-wag-wagging finger down by your side.

      You’re a newbie here at Mondoweiss. Start showing some respect. Many of us have been around here for over 10 years.

  • Saying Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state is not anti-Semitic
  • Sy Hersh's 'forbidden statement': Sanders's liberation from NY Jewish money could change US foreign policy
    • That’s because Sanders does not know and no one on his team knows that the 1992 Ukraine Constitution gave Crimea the legal right to decide its own future. (Obama’s national security infants don’t know this either.)

      The new Constitution written in the aftermath of the fall of the USSR, granted Crimea effective independence within Ukraine and the legal right to determine its own path and relations with others, including whether it wanted to stay with the Ukraine or return to Russian rule. The decision would be made by referendum, which Crimea exercised in March 2014. Legally.

    • However he went on a bit about Bernie not demonstrating enough knowledge about foreign policy to make him feel “comfortable” or something like that.

      I agree completely with him. Sanders isn’t ready for primetime when it comes to foreign policy. His attitude towards Russia and his backing of the sanctions against that country are alarming.

  • Trump and the war for 'Western Values'
    • Bandolero April 30, 2016, 9:44 pm,

      I agree with your billiards analogy. I found Trump’s foreign policy speech far, far saner than the neocon-driven caterwauling about it, and the frenetic neocon-driven organizing against him. Further, Trump said things that Sanders should have been saying. The President’s job is foreign policy; it’s his bailiwick as Head of State. I was relieved to hear his stance on NATO, which is dancing dangerously close to provoking war with its unnecessary encroachment on Russia.

      I’m remaining circumspect, however. I was completely duped by Obama, and didn’t see the signs then--or refused to see them. I campaigned for him like a fanatic. I was dead wrong. So perhaps my judgment is just as poor now.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg terrorizes peers into silence over his daily intellectual and moral outrages
    • WH,

      I’m perfectly aware of Brzezinski’s part in the Grand Chess Game with Carter, but it wasn’t a bigtime operation in 1979 and they only allotted $5 million to it initially. That’s 25% of what the govt spends on funding OSHA training grants every year.

      It was Charlie Wilson who got the funds bumped up during the election campaign in 1980, just before Reagan got in, and in the succeeding 9 years, multiple times. The Reaganites were inspired that the Mujahideen were hitting Russian planes with their second-hand shoulder-to-plane missiles and ramped the whole thing up. All of this is documented in George Crile’s book, Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History. (They made the movie from it.)

      The 'atrocious warlords' like Hekmatyar and Mojadeddi were tribal leaders running their tribal soldiers in the valleys and hills. Who else were they supposed to fund? Funding guerrillas was the point. It was the Cold War, and getting the Ruskies was all that mattered to the US, even if it meant sleeping with the enemy. The US has never been very good at studying the consequences. The ISI has always acted like CIA-East. It was they who approached the Mujahideen to help contain what they perceived as a serious Soviet threat along their entire northern border.

    • Regurgitev.


    • Well, Yakov, you galloped through that and I gladly followed. What was delicious is that you started at their assholes and worked your way to their mouths. What a ride.

    • Urban legend, and part of the neocon effort to demonize Carter. It was Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson in Reagan’s second term who took it to the level you ascribe to Carter. Look it up.

  • Norman Finkelstein on Sanders, the first intifada, BDS, and ten years of unemployment
    • @Keith,

      The New Silk Road is a pipe dream which will never be completed and which probably shouldn’t be.

      Don’t count on it.


      Are you listening to Stephen Cohen’s reports on the John Batchelor Show? It’s (He usually appears for an hour every Tuesday night, although he’s been MIA for the past two weeks.)

      You should. Enlightening. There is a fabulous archive that you can listen to while feeding the cats or cleaning up.

      EDIT: Here’s a page of past broadcasts. Search for Stephen Cohen’s name here:

    • False equivalency.

    • A smart guy, mired in the past.

      A smart guy who deserved far, far, far better than he got at dePaul. He was robbed of his reputation and his future by gutless wonder fellow academics with the nobility and character of gnats. He was denuded of something he loved and he was great at: teaching. Finkelstein was wronged on so many levels. He was destroyed by that immoral and despicable (to me) asshole-pig Dershowitz.

      He isn’t mired in the past. He was strapped onto a backward-thinking rocket and propelled in it. And unforgivable.

      Tell me the prominent Jews who came to his defense. None.

      EDIT: I have my intellectual differences with Finkelstein, but the immorality of happened to him is indisputable.

    • I mean, is this Rushkoff character your go-to-guy when it comes to deep insights into Judaism??

      Get off your horsie and take off your spurs. Put the bag of quarters down. The diversion ain’t workin’.

    • @Sibiriak,

      Why were you hurriedly searching for this nutty Rushkoff vid???

      (1) Are your serious? We source things around here.

      (2) Because Finkelstein’s comments on nation states are as loony and elitist, not to mention as disturbing and mean, as Rushkoff’s. And I never forgot Rushkoff’s comments.

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