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The Nation defends John Brennan, Obama’s nominee for the CIA

By Joseph Kishore  | WSWS | January 26, 2013

The Nation magazine is home to a particularly odious group of journalists. The “left” publication speaks on behalf of a privileged layer of the upper middle class, deeply complacent, lacking political principles and more and more integrated into the military and political establishment.

Even by these standards, a column penned by the Nation ’s Robert Dreyfuss January 22, “Brennan at the CIA Might Surprise Us,” stands out. Dreyfuss is no casual commentator. He is the Nation’s chief foreign policy correspondent. The article thus presents the magazine’s more or less official position in defense of John Brennan, nominated by President Barack Obama to head the CIA.

As Obama’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, Brennan played the principal role in vastly expanding the administration’s drone assassination program. He oversaw the development of the “disposition matrix” to permanently institutionalize the practice of extrajudicial murder—disposing of human beings—in the name of the “war on terror.”

Before serving under Obama, Brennan was the director of the National Counterterrorism Center in the Bush administration, where he was implicated in torture and illegal domestic spying. In sum, this is a man with a great deal of blood on his hands.

This is Obama’s second attempt to nominate Brennan for the top post in America’s spy network. When the president first tried to do so in 2009, the nomination came under criticism from his liberal supporters. Brennan eventually withdrew his nomination.

This time around, there has been much less criticism. The Democratic Party and its milieu have moved even farther to the right over the past four years. Some voices have been raised, however, including from a few liberal commentators cited by Dreyfuss. The Nation responds by offering its services as a lawyer for Brennan and the Obama administration.

“Were you a terrorist or member of Al Qaeda, you wouldn’t want to meet John Brennan in a dark alley,” Dreyfuss begins. “He’s an Irish tough guy, and he doesn’t apologize for wanting to obliterate Al Qaeda. For four years, as Obama’s top adviser on counterterrorism, that’s been his job… Often innocents have died.”

“But Brennan may surprise us.”

In the end, the massacre of thousands of civilians by US drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and other countries is of little concern to Dreyfuss. “Maybe, just maybe, John Brennan won’t be a bad CIA director,” he writes. What, one might ask, is a good CIA director? The notion that the Nation might take a principled stand in opposition to the American government’s chief spying and dirty tricks agency does not cross Dreyfuss’s mind.

The article resorts to lawyerly sophistry. There are “widespread accusations, not necessarily accurate, that he [Brennan] supported torture during the George W. Bush administration.” He “may or may not have objected to the use of waterboarding and other violent techniques.” To claim that he is “a supporter of torture,” is “an accusation without proof.”

Really? Brennan is on record as declaring in 2007, “There has been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the [CIA] has, in fact, used against the real hard-core terrorists. It has saved lives.” We must “take every possible measure” against those “determined to destroy our nation,” he declared in another interview given at that time.

As for drones, Dreyfuss goes on, “it’s a mixed bag.” He boasts that “on several occasions, I met and interviewed Brennan.” In these discussions, the Nation assures its readers, Brennan came off as a principled man, even “left,” animated by a belief that “the military is the wrong instrument in fighting terrorism.” He quotes an article in the Washington Post portraying Brennan as guided by a “moral compass” in his selection of drone targets.

Parroting the line of the Obama administration, Dreyfuss insists that Brennan has sought “to limit, not expand, drone warfare.” This can only be taken as an endorsement of the “disposition matrix.”

Dreyfuss refers to claims that Brennan has lied about the impact of the administration’s drone killing, asserting that it has not killed any civilians. However, Dreyfuss observes, “Brennan made clear that he was talking about a specific stretch of time” of about a year—suggesting by implication that the hundreds of people killed during this period all deserved to die. The administration automatically categorizes any adult-aged male it happens to kill as a “terrorist.”

If this defense does not suffice, Dreyfuss has another one prepared. “To be sure,” he writes, “as the White House’s counterterrorism chief and as a spokesman for the administration, Brennan has no choice but to defend the administration’s policy of carrying out a global drone warfare program.” Brennan, after all, was just following orders.

The attitude of Dreyfuss and the Nation magazine toward basic democratic rights is summed up in the comment’s treatment of the administration’s policy of assassinating US citizens. Mention of this violation of fundamental constitutional principles is confined to the final paragraphs, in which Dreyfuss notes that “Senator Ron Wyden says he wants answers about the administration’s legal justification for killing American citizens via drone attacks.”

The confirmation hearings next month, Dreyfuss assures us, “should be seen as an opportunity to get answers to all these questions, on the record.”

This is an obvious fraud. Dreyfuss is well aware that the administration has adamantly refused to make available its pseudo-legal justifications for assassinating American citizens, successfully blocking in court efforts to force it to do so.

Dreyfuss personifies a social layer that, through the mechanism of the Obama administration, has reconciled itself to imperialism, becoming in fact one of the most adamant supporters of American aggression. There is nothing remotely left-wing about these forces. They are capable of supporting and defending any crime.

  • Brennan (alethonews.wordpress.com)

January 27, 2013 - Posted by | "Hope and Change", Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , ,

22 Comments »

  1. Dreyfuss wrote an entire book on how the US accidently or shortsightedly keep supporting “fundamentalist Islam”. He never considers the possibility that this might be a rational and programmatic strategy despite the fact that this support dates back nearly 70 years and has since continued very overtly in places like Libya and Syria (not to mention Saudia Arabia and through them Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and probably most of the rest of the Arab countries). I think of him as being in the same category as Juan Cole. As with Cole, I can’t tell if he really is just a dangerous “useful idiot” or he is actually a clever sort of conscious propagandist who draws people in by taking the right moral position but then twists matters of fact and analytical interpretation in order to induce people to the support mass murder. The article on Brennan is a good example of this.

    Incidently, I view Professors Walt and Mearsheimer as being in much the same category, and partly in response to your own comment defending the “Israel Lobby thesis” (http://wp.me/p2fj7A-fX), I posted this commentary (http://wp.me/p2fj7A-gB). I hope you find it interesting.

    Comment by Kieran Kelly | January 27, 2013 | Reply

    • ” a clever sort of conscious propagandist who draws people in by taking the right moral position but then twists matters of fact and analytical interpretation in order to induce people to the support mass murder.”

      Yes, and that applies to all “progressives” in the Obama/Democrats camp.

      ~~~

      As to your linked commentary, my initial response would be that Jewish supremacy (talmudic law) predates imperialism, capitalism etc…

      I don’t necessarily single out Jews for criticism either. Christian adherence to fundamentalist old testament thinking is almost as abhorrent.

      I don’t view market economics as the ultimate evil. I don’t see ideological orthodoxy as progressive. Rather, I support mixed economics as do Bolivarians.

      Just because Walt and Mersheimer’s American exceptionalism is wrong does not mean that they are also wrong about the Israel lobby’s power.

      Yes, modern Western imperialism is the biggest problem we face. But what is its under-pinning? And whom is it in the service of?

      I think that you will find that those who control or dominate the Western media, academia and financial sectors wield more power in London and Washington than Syngman Rhee ever did.

      In case you missed it (I know, it’s a really long read): http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/

      I realize that these substantive realities may not seem as obvious in New Zealand, but drill down into the settler colonial moral bases and you quickly run into ancient tribalist myths. Even in New Zealand.

      I think that you are right to question the notion of the power of the Israel lobby and hope that you continue to do so (at least for awhile).

      One weak point in your analysis I might cite is the necessity of militarily dominating regions of oil production.

      Western imperialists control oil profits through the commodities trading bourses in London and New York. They also dominate the transport, refining and retailing of petroleum products. Administration of nations where oil is pumped from the ground is entirely unnecessary. Besides, the US has complete dominance of all global shipping lanes. There is also the reality that commodity producers are far more dependent on the sale of their good than the Western nations are had “over the barrel” relying on suppliers. OPEC being a Western construct originating at a country club in Scotland and primarily benefiting big oil. Also, oil and gas are simply super-abundant and widely sourced. To control them as you suggest is to control the whole world anyhow. That’s like controlling coal, corn or wheat.

      I notice that you turn also to the “war against oil” (wars for high oil prices) thesis which I always found more compelling but still lacking as a primary imperative behind what has been happening this century.

      I find your juxtaposing imperialism and nationalism interesting. For all its faults, nationalism has very real advantages over imperial order.

      I absolutely love you description of the arrogant Strategic Realists. I hope you write an essay or something along those lines.

      As to your experience with commentators who exclaim “the Jews”, perhaps you could see their using that term as similar to others using thee term “the Christian right”. In any event there are 52 American Jewish organizations, all of which are Zionist. And supremacy and Zionism are based in the scripture. And, as an Aletho News commentator points out; nobody has to be Jewish.

      How does the Israel lobby stack up against the MIC? It doesn’t have to, it has JINSA. It is one and the same.

      I think that you might take a more critical look at the assumption that “instability drives US arms sales”. Have not regimes such as that of the Shah or the Saudis always recycled petrodollars into US arms regardless of stability?

      Lastly, is not “spreading US global dominance” also just spreading Jewish supremacy?

      Comment by aletho | January 27, 2013 | Reply

      • Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I’m so glad you found some of my commentary interesting. There are a couple of points that need clarifying, and I am afraid that the first point is one that I have to ask you to clarify. I don’t understand the relevance of the “Myth of American Meritocracy” article. There is absolutely nothing in it which would cause me to rethink my stance and I am unsure about the meaning of you own words “I realize that these substantive realities may not seem as obvious in New Zealand, but drill down into the settler colonial moral bases and you quickly run into ancient tribalist myths. Even in New Zealand.” Maybe if you explain what you mean in the US context I could better grasp the comparison to New Zealand (Aotearoa). We have some pretty interesting myths about our place in the world, but “ancient” and “tribalist” are not words I would apply.

        Maybe Aotearoa might serve as a good example of the role of Judaism and Zionism in Western societies. Our Prime Minister had a Jewish mother. This, by traditional definition, makes him a Jew but, as he puts it, he is more of an “agnostic, verging on atheist.” He is pro-Israel, he is a Harvard graduate, the former global head of foreign exchange at Merrill Lynch, and an all-round fuckwit. None of this prevented Aotearoa from voting for Palestinian statehood, because individuals like John Key don’t count for anything in such matters of foreign policy. Unlike fellow Anglophone nations the UK and Australia, NZ has never voted with the US and Israel on Palestine issues at the UN. In fact it is only on the odd occasion that the UK and Australia have voted with the US (usually it is just very small nations who are subject to rather disproportionate coercion and inducement). How does this fit in with theories about “Jewish supremacy”? The US and Israel stand alone apart from occasional symbolic support from their closest military allies.

        So it is more or less the US unilaterally supporting Israel, with no explanation as to why the Zionists can’t exert similar control over any other state. I mentioned Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry in my commentary. I should have provided a link in my transcript. The book can be downloaded at http://archive.org/details/HolocaustIndustry. I can’t cite page numbers, because the version I have doesn’t have any, but the relevant section is the first part of Chapter 1. He demonstrates the subservience of Jewish leadership in the US to US foreign policy. That all changed in 1967, and therein lies your answer. The US cultivated Israel for strategic purposes and cultivated the pro-Israel right-wing Jewish leadership – giving it inflated power, but power firmly subordinated to US imperial uses (which, as even Blankfort and W&M point out, is often counter to Israeli interests).

        I know that that is only half of the story – in fact it is quite instructive to divide this into halves. The above half is the story of the right-wing and the national security/governmental establishment, that is more-or-less the artificial aspect of the Zionist lobby. But it works with a foul form of synergy (dysergy?) with a complementary left-wing and intellectual establishment based pro-Israel discourse. (At least that is the tradition – I don’t think that there is any real left-wing support for Israel remaining.) This left-wing, liberal and academic Zionist strain dates from before US strategic attachment to Israel. Jewish prominence in the intelligentsia – especially as leading humanists – in combination with their over-representation in left-wing and liberal politics made very fertile ground for Zionist sentimen. The Shoah gave a strong impetus and urgency to Zionist arguments. It is not surprising then that rejection of traditional prejudice against Jews was of paramount importance and this mostly accompanied a “never again” sentiment which led, rather unreflectively, to support for a Jewish state.

        So, for a long time the left was blinded to the fundamental humanity of Palestinians. They eagerly swallowed Israeli lies because those lies allowed them to fulfil their desire to support Israel in what they believed to be good conscience. I will repeat, however, that the real left-wing no longer supports Israel. However, the real left-wing has virtually been abolished from the public discourse in the West. Instead we pretend that liberals are left-wing. This is rather like saying that Nazis are left-wing. Some people genuinely claim that the Nazis had a left-wing aspect because of their left-wing rhetoric. I prefer to look at the reality of their actions. Nazism was very, very right-wing. Liberalism is a largely right-wing ideology. (At some point I plan to do a commentary about what left-wing actually means, and I will propose now that it is not a relative term).

        So, this is something I acknowledge and decry, the overweaning influence of Zionism amongst a lot of what passes for socially conscious movements or organisations. I just read something about Zionist domination of the Anglican church, and I can totally believe it – at least at the leadership level. But, as I already stated, this sort of thing affects poxy liberal dominated organisations of the sort that never make serious efforts to fight injustice, but like to claim victories against injustice as their own.

        Not only has the real left-wing abondoned the Zionist camp, the intellectual establishment is moving away from it too, though powerful forces are pushing back against this. Zionist bullies attempt to censor the academic world with considerable success, but the very fact that they are visible demonstrates the failure of the organic thought control system within academia to maintain boundaries of allowable expression on this issue. As an interesting side note – if you look at the epitome of Zionist bullying himself, David Horowitz, he is highly condemnatory of opponents of US foreign policy even if they are completely silent on the subject of Israel. I can also personally attest that at least 15 years ago (and maybe still to this day) there was an effort made outside of the US to say that criticism of US foreign policy was a form of “anti-Semitism” in itself! (And I can add that despite the Iraq sanctions, much of the criticism of the US at that time had nothing to do with the Middle East and could not in any conceivable way be linked to Israel).

        Now I must clarify a couple of points from my commentary which you seem to have misapprehended. You deny “the necessity of militarily dominating regions of oil production” but I don’t think you quite understood what I was suggesting. I am aware that “Western imperialists control oil profits through the commodities trading bourses in London and New York. They also dominate the transport, refining and retailing of petroleum products.” And that “…the US has complete dominance of all global shipping lanes.” But even the US can’t actually get away with just attacking international shipping because they don’t want it transporting oil to a particular place – well, they kind of can but only in certain specific cases. In most instances the international community would really kick up a stink. All the international community asks of the US is a lame pretext, but there has to be some pretext. That is part of the reason why garrisons are so essential. They are not just a logistical framework for “power projection”, though they are that, they are a ready source of pretexts, provocations, false-flag events and “terrible mistakes”.

        You see, in order to intervene somewhere you need both hard power (which the US has in spades) and the soft power, or at least a vaguely presentable casus belli. This is partially why the US has been rather busy in many places for the last couple of years fomenting conflict and instability. As mentioned in the commentary, a cursory glance at the recent history of the Eastern Congo shows that neocolonial extractive processes can now be maintained in what is now referred to as “failed state” conditions. ‘Taint so with oil though – pipelines are too easily blown up. That is not a problem for the US though with regards to what you refer to as “the ‘war against oil’ (wars for high oil prices) thesis”. The brilliance of imperial garrisons in this instance is that they are a constant source of friction and antagonism with the locals. In some instances this may be a bit of a pain, which is why the US got the Brits to exile all of the Chagos Islanders from their homeland. In this instance it is a boon. It makes destabilisation and provocation simple. It creates an economic flow which can create a dependent comprador class – and so forth.

        You make it seem that US military bases are not needed, but then one must ask why there are so many of them? This is quite an expense to go to if you don’t have a serious purpose in mind. A simple counterfactual might give an example. You see, some places like the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic Circle have oil which requires a great deal of expertise and expense to extract. Other places like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran have oil that is much easier to get at. What happens if you have nothing to threaten these countries with? (OK, I do understand that there are other options, but regime change through covert action can fail, economic warfare can be withstood, and containment requires a consensus that – to be frank – the rise of the BRIC states makes nigh impossible). Saudi Arabia has a cosy relationship, but only by opposing the regime to the people – meaning that reform and revolution both pose threats. If Iraq, or even just Arab Iraq, unites nationalistically what is to keep them in line? As it is now, the major oil companies of the former IPC are not necessarily getting much out of Iraq (exept in Iraqi Kurdistan). What’s to stop some movement taking over Iraq, rewriting the constitution, and starting to use oil money for Iraqi development? The US can’t control it, but they can stop it.

        And what about Iran? Israel keeps lying about Iran’s nuclear programme, but so does the US, the UK and a whole bunch of other Western states. Israel’s lies are just shriller and sillier. Obviously this is either a pretext to facilitate military intervention, or a bluff to convince Iran that the pretext is sought. Either way, proximate military forces are a necessity. I know that some people say that Israel is the tail wagging the dog on this one too – but no one ever explains what Israel stands to gain from this. I could go through the list of red herrings, but to cut it short the only real motive for Israel can be to prevent the development of a deterrent nuclear capability which would only really make sense if a) they had a fairly surefire plan to neutralise Hizbullah or detach it from Iran and b) their current actions actually were a way of convincing Iran to abandon its nuclear programme (when they seem more likely to motivate Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability). These issues are really not that easy to solve or ignore. The US motives, though, are readily apparent. Bad things that Iran might do from a US imperial perspective include: use oil money to develop own economy; develop own oil infrastructure; deepen ties with China, Russia or (and let us not forget this possibility) the EU; develop transport and financial networks in conjunction with others which allow for oil trading which is entirely outside the realm of US control. All of this can be stopped simply by fucking Iran up, and the process has already started with sanctions. Let us hope that the sanctions regime cracks soon, and that major military intervention never happen.

        Now allow me to turn to two points which you made with which I must disagree (unless you were just being ironic). The first is the idea that referring to “the Jews” is like referring to the “Christian Right”. It isn’t. “Zionists” is. “The Jewish elite” would probably just about scrape in. But to refer to “the Jews” in this manner is to deliberately conflate diverse peoples and to attribute to them a single character – in this case negative – which has no basis in reality. You yourself have posted articles decrying the equating of Islam with terrorism, and how can you say this differs? Moreover, the words “nobody has to be Jewish” make me extremely uncomfortable. You also shouldn’t imply that all Jews must take the supremecist aspect of the scriptures seriously. There are plenty of Jews who reject that stuff, and plenty who reject Zionism including quite a number who do so on the grounds of scripture. There are also those who reject religious belief and yet still feel themselves Jewish because it is part of their ethnic identity which, in all people, is composite and multitudinous.

        I have left to the last the most important thing of all, which regards your own last sentence. You ask: “Lastly, is not ‘spreading US global dominance’ also just spreading Jewish supremacy?” The answer to that is no. More important, however, is the question it raises: “what Jewish supremacy?” Look around at the world we live in. It is a white supremacist world. It is a world where European languages and culture have come to dominate. The US has become the successor of Europe as Western master of the globe. As the richest country on the planet, its capital dominates. Through this it maintains an unparalleled ideological and propaganda apparatus, particularly through entertainment and marketing. It retains a military dominance which beggars belief. And the religious identity with which it identifies itself – over and over again – is Christian. Bush Jr. cited divine guidance as a reason for invading Iraq, and a very large proportion of US personnel saw the conflict in religious terms and fought, in part, because they felt it was to the benefit of Christianity. After Christianity, the major US ideology of relevance was liberalism. “New atheists” also supported the “crusade” launched by Bush, and the official party line spouted by such folks became that Christianity was more inherently liberal that other religions, like yucky Islam and suchlike.

        I know that there is a lot of Jewish involvement in the entertainment industry, and a fair amount of US capital is in Jewish hands, but if they are so supreme, why so little impact? Why isn’t Judaism one of the great world religions?

        To recap – US imperialism is a continuation of Western imperialism and it represents: White supremacy; Eurocentrism; hegemony of European language and culture; partial hegemony of Christianity; global dominance of liberalism and of Western capital. These are real things that can be observed around us at all times. There is not need to seek out something hidden in this instance, because anything of this nature that it is even possible to conceal is of vastly lesser significance.

        Comment by Kieran Kelly | January 29, 2013 | Reply

        • Kieran,

          I should have been more specific.

          In the Myth of American Meritocracy piece are figures which chronicle the expulsion of non-Jewish European Americans from the ranks of the elite directors of US institutions and policy makers etc… any powerful career path. I presume that such a phenomenon is nowhere near the same in N.Z. This is significant in that it provides evidence of a level of supremacy adequate to shift control to members of not just a tiny elite economic class but also a tiny minority cultural/ethnic group. This fact alone, even without control ove,r finance should answer your question about the difference in domination over the US relative to some European states.

          When one considers that all of the major centers of US power, be they political, economic or cultural, are dominated by this one tiny minority which also has a lockstep allegiance to Jewish supremacy (such as Zionism), one must accept that anything that furthers US power also furthers Zionism and, in fact, Jewish supremacy.

          US imperialism may indeed be an extension of European imperialism, but you might discover that European imperialism also served the very same minority group which held sway over the royal purse through domination of finance. In the late Giovanni Arrighi’s writing one learns that capitalist finance was foreign to Northern Europeans. It arrived as a mobile entity which passed through Venice to Genoa to Amsterdam to London. The powerful owners of capital being free to abandon entire imperial orders and move on to another host which provides new opportunities for exploitation or new populations to dispossess.

          Real power is always concentrated. Majorities are almost always only nominally in charge. Think about it and you will see that there is nothing about majority rule which is true. Otherwise the working class would wield power the world over. The elite don’t want you in their group, they want to exclude the other. If a religion is involved in proselytizing it surely is not that of the upper caste. Do Brahmins wish to make Dalits into Brahmins?

          I, personally, would not use the term “the Jews,” as you complain a commenter elsewhere does, but my comparison was meant to shed light on their probable intent. However, when a scripture tells followers that gentiles are like beasts to be used, hewers of wood and haulers of water, and when it demands that you destroy nations which do not submit, this has to be addressed. Just as Christian Zionism was at fault in the Monroe doctrine and the N.Z. settler’s beliefs, Judaism is the ideological basis of contemporary Zionism. It is real words on real paper. And if one abandons their religious doctrine then one is left with deism or agnosticism and their national identity. Judaism is a religion, not a race. It is not my practice to focus on religion but I am aware of these aspects of both Judaism and Christianity. I also have to condemn Islam for accepting these same screeds as “the word of god.” That said, this is not what Aletho News is about. There are atheist promoting sites out there, I don’t even visit them.

          I disagree entirely with the Finklestein and/or Chomsky claim that Jews only came to achieve influence after 1967. If that were true the US would not have been the first nation to recognize Israel, minutes after its declaration. In previous decades Jewish dominance may have been better concealed and better shared with another tiny WASP subset but there is ample cause to believe that it did have final determination over US foreign policy. Consider the timing of the US entry into WWI along with the Balfour declaration as one example.

          I see an Iranian nuclear capability as the death knell for the Zionist project not a prerequisite for using oil money to develop an indigenous economy, something that Iran has already been doing for decades and which, in fact, the sanctions imposes on Iran.

          US military bases are for military purposes, not oil. No oil transit can possibly occur without the acquiescence of the US navy. There is nothing on the horizon that could possibly free Iraq, Iran or any other country from this reality. It requires no control of lands or even administrations. This power is very real and explains why Japan became so desperately dependent on nuclear power and why Germany has wasted hundreds of billions on inefficient solar and wind installations.

          I like your presentation of Liberalism being more right wing than Nazism. In many respects this is of course true in my estimation. But then I am open minded enough to also notice that the Old Testament is more racist and violent than Mien Kompf. The real ideology is reflected in economic policy and the Nazis were Keynesians, just like today’s Liberals.

          Comment by aletho | January 29, 2013 | Reply

          • Hi. Thanks again. Interesting stuff. BTW I actually meant to suggest that Liberalism was less right-wing than Nazism, but still pretty right-wing. I agree about the existence of small elites in one sense, but different forms of power are distributed in different ways and each is subject to constraints as well as conveying certain privileges and abilities.

            – As for Jewish dominance of finance – it shouldn’t be exaggerated. Gentiles became dominant in finance long before finance became dominant in Western societies. If you have a look at the Rothschild history you’ll see that after the 1814 coup in GB, as they moved into North America, their clients, peers and rivals were gentiles. North American finance was dominated by Dutch and English protestants, and by the end of World War I, they were the ones in the driving seat of global finance. As a single family and a single power the English Rothschild’s might stand out, and they certainly did promote Zionism and Anglo-US imperialism, but their peers and rivals were collectively greater than them, and they were not Jews.

            – As for the annexation and settlement of Aotearoa, Zionism just does not enter into it in any way. Many settlers were racist and/or ruthlessly land hungry. British elite discourse was racist and chauvinist, but revolved around strategic problems (they rather stupidly feared a French annexation) and what passed for humanitarianism. Most missionaries supported the British annexation (with notable exceptions) but their interest was in converting Maori, not in Christianisng the land by putting a bunch of white people on it.

            – As for the haste of US recognition of Israel, they just beat everyone to the punch that is all. The Soviet Union was the first to give formal recognition, but everyone who voted in favour of the UN partition plan was endorsing Zionism. US haste doesn’t signify anything. The interesting thing is that the UK held off for a year, trying to put some distance between themselves and their culpability for crimes against Palestinians.

            – As for Jewish dominance in the top Ivy league schools, I don’t see that as being of overweaning significance. It comes from three things: 1) US Jews are almost all white; 2) they had made inroads in these institutions due to historically high academic performance and the fight against discrimination; 3) as an ethnic group, Jews have risen to very high in relative status within the US. But let’s face it, those at the top are fast assimilating.

            – I see why you reject the Finkelstein/Chomsky assertions, but I think that you are focussing on something different than what they are describing. They don’t “claim that Jews only came to achieve influence after 1967.” They are describing the manipulation of the mass of religious Jews through religious and community leaders who have power within that community. They are not referring to Jews who are part of the national elite. They are describing an act of co-optation and not one of empowerment.

            – I feel that I should reiterate that those powerful figures who lend fanatical support for Israel in the US lend even more fanatical support to the US and US imperialism. Maybe there is such a level of jingoist nationalism in the public political discourse in the US that it somehow seems normal, but all of the leading US Zionists are screaming mad insane warmongering US imperialists.

            – If it is secret manipulative power you want, then look no further than the US. Declassified CIA documents, not to mention Cablegate, reveal that the US has systematically infiltrated Aotearoa in many areas including the government and higher education. In the 1950s the CIA bagan implementing a plan to emplace pro-US lecturers in our universities, and I can attest to the fact that in the academe it is still unacceptable to make serious critiques of US foreign policy (though Dubya and his cronies did open a window of opportunity for a while there, once Obama was elected it became heretical again). The US has bullied Aotearoa on many occasions and it is the US that bears the primary responsibility for forcing Aotearoa to adopt drastic neoliberal “Washington Consensus” economic policies and systems of governance. Aotearoa has gone from one of the least unequal counties in world history in terms of wealth and income, and is now nearly as unequal as the US. We’re a neocolony. And guess what? The same sources reveal that the US has done this to most countries in the world. Imagine that – most countries in this world are under US neocolonial domination and then there are many that are subject to even more overt US control. And guess what else? I notice that Israel has had the same neoliberal policies forced on it.

            – You don’t explain why Iran nuclear capability means death knell for Zionism. Any nuclear weapons capability (and its a fair bet that they only want capability not actual warheads) would only give deterrent ability to Iran. Even then it is not really a full deterrence against Israel’s arsenal. The only threat I could see would be added impetus to the imposition of a ME nuclear free-zone, which still wouldn’t diminish Israel’s massive conventional forces.

            – I guess that much comes down to the oil and militarisation issues. I don’t exactly know what you mean by “US military bases are for military purposes, not oil.” What military purposes? Why are some many forces deployed around oil assets? Why is there a Carter Doctrine? Why, through the creation of the Rapid Deployment Force, which foreshadowed CentCom, was it concern for oil supplies that spawned the creation of a formal global system of military hegemony? I tried to explain the strategic sense of this as it relates to oil as a strategic asset, and I won’t reiterate here. But even if you reject that theory, you can’t reject the simple undeniable facts of the nature of US military deployments.

            – Finally, I must bring up the fact that there are real dangers to promoting hypotheses of Zionist or Jewish supremacy. I’m very glad that you don’t personally single out Judaism and its scriptural basis for criticism, and equally glad that you don’t equate a religious identity with race. But look around at what sort of reaction this discourse provokes in others. The US people have been made far too invested in myths of US superiority, and they are being very cruelly betrayed by a klepto-corporatist elite. They are far too well primed for scapegoating. There may never be a US kristallnacht, but it is only too easy to see some mentally unstable person taking this too far – a US Anders Breivik. I know that the truth is the truth, and one cannot hide from it because of potential negative consequences, but are we talking about a Truth, or a truth, or a partial truth with nuances? Or is the “Israel Lobby” thesis more of a comforting myth that allows people to continue the avoidance of confronting the true nature of US empire?

            Comment by Kieran Kelly | January 29, 2013 | Reply

            • - Ive been seeing fairly consistent reports of 50-60% Jewish representation on Wall Street as well as in campaign finance which is a solid majority as well as a 2,000% over-representation. Enough to dominate. Especially when one considers the likelihood of the balance of the members of the elite going along rather than creating conflict.

              – I won’t argue the 19th century settler mentality. Perhaps it differs from hemisphere to hemisphere. Across the North American West, as well as in New Russia (present day eastern Ukraine) fundamentalist Christianity including Zionism was the ideological basis for dispossession of indigenous Turkic peoples and Native Americans.

              – I don’t think that there is anything controversial about the fact that Truman received a substantial and decisive campaign contribution as a quid pro quo for the Israel recognition. It seems widely accepted as factual and not seriously in debate.

              – It seems as though you have yet to take in the entire “Myth of American Meritocracy” article. Sorry about having to propose that you read such a lengthy piece.

              – Of course, I would just point out that the “screaming insane pro-American jingoism” on the part of Neocons is simply that the exercise of US power is the furtherance of Zionist aims. Ditto for worldwide academic infiltration etc…

              – A strategic deterrent in the hands of a resistance state such as Iran would mean that Israel would eventually face conventional military resistance to its aggressions. Israel relies on a preponderance of force or destructive capability. Without the freedom to expand territorially and seize water assets such the Litani river for example the Zionist project is not at all achieving its goal. In fact, many Jews would become leery of Zionist militarism and opt for safer digs.

              – Is there any analysis of excess US military basing near oil or just mantra? Disinformation. It appears that the big numbers of troops and planes are in Italy, Germany, Japan and Korea. A collection of more oil poor states would be hard to assemble. Russia seems to be of primary concern as well as Iran, two countries whose militaries are not under US domination. While Russia may indeed be an energy powerhouse, I have yet to hear an argument that the US is bent on seizing Russian oil and gas. Iran of course is an impediment to Israeli domination over Syria and Lebanon, not to mention Gaza. Not much of an oil story there when looked at objectively.

              – I don’t view the Israel lobby as an excuse to avoid confronting American exceptionalism etc… If anything it may help people to recognize it.

              Comment by aletho | January 29, 2013 | Reply

              • I’m sorry but I’m going away for a couple of days so I cannot really address this properly now. Thanks for giving this so much thought and effort, however, though much of what you say has substance some of it is nonetheless merely gainsaying what I have argued. I have given quite a lot of detailed reasoning, at considerable effort, and I feel that it would advance our discussion greatly if you reciprocated fully. Would you consider writing a proper article laying out your stance and reasoning? Anyway, it’s summer here and I’m going to stay by the beach for a couple of nights during which I will probably spend as little time thinking of this stuff as possible.

                Comment by Kieran Kelly | January 29, 2013 | Reply

                • I apologize for not giving this discussion as much time as you have. I dedicate so much time to aggregating content for Aletho News etc… that it makes it difficult.

                  Enjoy your time at the beach and when you return you might look at these timeless analyses:

                  Militant Zionism and the Invasion of Iraq

                  http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/militant-zionism-and-the-invasion-of-iraq/

                  Zion-power and War: From Iraq to Iran

                  http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/zion-power-and-war-from-iraq-to-iran/

                  and, in case you only skimmed it, this one is very pertinent to the question:

                  Are They Really Oil Wars?

                  http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/are-they-really-oil-wars/

                  Perhaps you will find more informative newer articles posted at Aletho News in the future as well.

                  Comment by aletho | January 29, 2013 | Reply

                  • Hi Aletho.
                    Let me just say that I quite like Ismael Hossein Zadeh in general terms. The first supporting material I linked from the transcript of my Israel Lobby commentary (here) cites The Political Economy of US Militarism and in my master’s thesis I cited him around half a dozen times. But here he seems to concentrate all of his weaknesses in one place – in fact he displays an obtuseness with regard to this topic that he does not otherwise seem to possess leading me to conclude, yet again, that there is a strong psychological imperative driving the Israel Lobby discourse.
                    I don’t want to spend too much time on this, but Zadeh is using a broken paradigm, just as I described in the commentary. This can be seen from the fact that he is raising questions, but not only is he not answering the questions, but he does not acknowledge that there is something to answer. Primary and symptomatic among these is his assertion that old forms of colonial domination are no longer used (as if we didn’t already know that). Zadeh knows that there is a successor neocolonial order, and he knows very well that it is a militarised one. Somehow, however, he feels in this instance that asserting that old school colonialism is inapplicable means that he can dismiss the issue. He doesn’t understand the mechanics of the current US imperial system, and in fact his understanding of direct colonialism is too reductive, so he pretends there aren’t any, even though he knows better.
                    Zadeh knows that the US adopted a “relative gains” paradigm of essentially global imperial dominance during World War II (as George Kennan put it to maintain a “position of disparity”). This is why the Bretton Woods institutions mount sustained attacks against the poor states of the world. This is why the debt crisis that Zadeh mentions, but somehow, even though he knows that it is true, he neglects to mention that the “oil shocks” of the 70s and 80s were essential to creating that debt crisis – just as he strangely neglects to mention that these oil shocks were manufactured in the West – pitched through the CFA’s Foreign Affairs and then prolmulgated at a Bilderberg meeting, believe it or not, and implemented through US client states Saudi Arabia and Iran.
                    Ask yourself, then, what would a populous, strategically placed, historically hegemonic state like Iraq have become if the US had not: 1) lured it into attacking Iran; 2) deliberately extended and controlled the tempo of the resulting conflict in order to maximise damage to both states and both peoples; 3) provoked the invasion Kuwait (I can’t provide all details here, but they did); 4) unleashed genocide – a bombing campaign followed by a sanctions regime with further bombing which inflicted incredible human suffering, social disintegration and economic destruction; 5) continued genocide through another bombing campaign, an invasion and an incredibly broad and complicated destruction of everything Iraqi involving the fomenting of strife, the destruction of intellectual and cultural life, and massive economic degradation. What would Iraq look like if the US hadn’t done that? What would it look like if, in addition to that, the US hadn’t backed the 1968 coup and Saddam Hussein’s 1978 takeover? What would Iraq be like, and how the hell could that be reconciled with US imperial domination.
                    That’s the thing, Zadeh, like so many others, barely grasps the strategic significance of oil for the imperial power, and keeps going on pointlessly about the straw herring of oil company profits (I love his quote from some French exec “A few months of cash generation is not a big deal. Stable, not volatile, prices and a $25 price (per barrel) would be convenient for everyone” – “a few months”? – try ten years. Zadeh knows too, from his reading of Engdahl, whom he cites, that previous oil shock prices were used for geostrategic ends (i.e. North Sea oil and the Alaska pipeline) and the same is occuring now with tar sands exploitation, Keystone XL, and the massive expansion of fracking.) But not only would an unattacked Iraq fall outside of the system of imperial domination, it would pose a virus risk far greater than that posed by a united nationalist Vietnam.
                    So Zadeh is not really grasping the neocolonial imperial structure, and equally, for someone who wrote a whole book on US militarism, he doesn’t seem to grasp the nature of US military interventions. He is not alone in this, and that is why I devote so much of my energies to trying to point out that post-WWII major US miltary interventions are not “wars” but genocides. Even Korea had only a façade of war – an odd façade, but understandably convincing for those having to fight. Indochina, Iraq, and Afghanistan are no more “wars” than the Armenian Genocide was. Remember that to this day most Turks, and all Turkish officials, will tell you that there was no genocide, just an unavoidably brutal war against insurgent guerillas.
                    Here are some of Zadeh’s words which back up my contentions far better than they do his:
                    “Contrary to the claims of the proponents of Peak Oil and champions of war and militarism, the current oil price shocks are a direct consequence of the destabilizing wars and geopolitical insecurity in the Middle East, not oil shortages. These include not only the raging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also the threat of a looming war against Iran. The record of soaring oil prices shows that anytime there is a renewed U.S. military threat against Iran, fuel prices move up several notches.
                    The war also contributes to the escalation of fuel prices in indirect ways—for example, by plunging the U.S. ever deeper into debt and depreciating the dollar, or by creating favorable grounds for speculation. As oil is priced largely in U.S. dollars, oil exporting countries ask for more dollars per barrel of oil as the dollar loses value. Perhaps more importantly, an atmosphere of war and geopolitical instability in global oil markets serves as an auspicious ground for hoarding and speculation in commodity markets, especially oil, which is heavily contributing to the recently soaring oil prices.
                    As much as 60% of today’s crude oil price is pure speculation driven by large trader banks and hedge funds. It has nothing to do with the convenient myths of Peak Oil. It has to do with control of oil and its price. . . . Since the advent of oil futures trading and the two major London and New York oil futures contracts, control of oil prices has left OPEC and gone to Wall Street. It is a classic case of the ‘tail that wags the dog.’[8]
                    Wall Street financial giants that created the Third World debt crisis in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the tech bubble in the 1990s, and the housing bubble in the 2000s are now hard at work creating the oil bubble.”
                    “Many of these countries (including, yes, Iran) would be glad to have major U.S. oil companies invest, explore and extract oil from their rich reserves. Needless to say that U.S. oil companies would be delighted to have access to those oil resources. But U.S. champions of war and militarism have successfully torpedoed such opportunities through their unilateral wars of aggression and their penchant for a Cold War-like international atmosphere.”
                    “But the major reason for the persistence of this pervasive myth seems to stem from certain deliberate efforts that are designed to perpetuate the legend in order to camouflage some real economic and geopolitical special interests that drive U.S. military adventures in the Middle East. There is evidence that both the military-industrial complex and hard-line Zionist proponents of “greater Israel” disingenuously use oil (as an issue of national interest) in order to disguise their own nefarious special interests and objectives: justification of continued expansion of military spending, extension of sales markets for military hardware, and recasting the geopolitical map of the Middle East in favor of Israel.
                    There is also evidence that for every dollar’s worth of oil imported from the Persian Gulf region the Pentagon takes five dollars out of the Federal budget to “secure” the flow of that oil! This is a clear indication that the claim that the U.S. military presence in the Middle East is due to oil consideration is a fraud.”
                    As for the other readings: I did read “The Myth of American Meritocracy” and it is very interesting and there are grounds for concern (I’d be more worried about the attack on those public schools which have challenged the Ivy League for prestige), but when it come to foreign policy I’ve got to say “so what”? I also have doubts about the “on Wall Street” claim, but again, so what? It is top exec’s, directors and major shareholders you should worry about, not people like traders or lesser execs. Just look at who really owns things and runs things, it is not that Jewish at the very top. As for Petras, I find that he has a tendency to naïve fatuousness in any event, and it is no surprise to me that it crystalises into a big ball of stupid when he address the Israel Lobby issue.

                    Comment by Kieran Kelly | February 1, 2013 | Reply

                    • Kieran,

                      The point Zadeh makes that you question is that, in the neo-colonial paradigm, oil and commodity prices in general are no longer set administratively and supplies are no longer dedicated to specific spheres. Cyrus Bina has written at length on this topic.

                      The neo-liberal successor order to that which existed prior to the 1970s is even more globalization of both trade and finance. This global economic structure fails to require military control over oil fields.

                      The fact that the oil shocks of the 1970s were engineered in the West is extensively dealt with in Bina’s work and well known to Zadeh. This in no way conflicts with Zadeh’s analysis regarding “war for oil”.

                      What would Iraq look like if the US had not destroyed it?

                      Probably a lot like Turkey, a perfect client state with a very attractive investment environment.

                      However it also would have been the worst nightmare for the Zionist entity.

                      The geostrategic end that you see in the oil price shocks is actually the creation of a global economy that can function in the absence of Persian Gulf oil. This is a Zionist aim, not an imperialist imperative. I delve into this question in

                      Three Mile Island, Global Warming and the CIA

                      http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/three-mile-island-global-warming-and-the-cia/

                      As far as Wall Street is concerned, I think that you will find that Jewish domination in the higher ranks is even more consolidated than in the financial sector as a whole. Just look into the top positions at Goldman Sachs over the past many decades now, or for that matter almost any of the “too big to fail” outfits that have now displaced even more of the rest. Look at US Treasury Secretaries, Fed Chairmen and other top appointees. These positions have been in the %100 Jewish category for decades. What are the odds?

                      You need to take a fresh look at the empirical evidence.

                      Comment by aletho | February 1, 2013

                    • You write “The point Zadeh makes that you question is that, in the neo-colonial paradigm, oil and commodity prices in general are no longer set administratively and supplies are no longer dedicated to specific spheres.” No I do not question that point. Have you actually been reading the thousands upon thousands of words which I have devoted to answering your assertions? Do you really think that the only paradigm in which military violence is used for imperial domination of strategic resources involves this sort of command economy stuff? The British empire didn’t work like that. Nor the Spanish. Nor the Portuguese. Nor the French. Nor, for that matter, the goddamned Roman empire. So what you are basically saying is the US empire is different because it almost never does what was almost never done by previous empires.
                      “This global economic structure fails to require military control over oil fields.” In fact, the US needs to exert a credible threat of military intervention over more than just oil fields. Oil is of more than usual significance as I will address below, but it is not the only reason for intervention. You know as well as I do that the US has a very widespread garrisoning policy as I mentioned previously. You know also that US military interventions are incredibly common. Do you seriously explain them all as being in the service of a greater Israel? Perhaps the Zionists are also responsible for France being in Mali, n’est-ce pas?
                      “The fact that the oil shocks of the 1970s were engineered in the West is… well known to Zadeh.” Of course I know this. I would have thought that it was pretty obvious, and I again must wonder if you are giving due attention to the things that I am writing as a conscientious considered response to your own statements.
                      “The geostrategic end that you see in the oil price shocks is actually the creation of a global economy that can function in the absence of Persian Gulf oil. This is a Zionist aim, not an imperialist imperative. I delve into this question in ‘Three Mile Island, Global Warming and the CIA ‘” You don’t explain why this “ is a Zionist aim, not an imperialist imperative”. If this were the case then you would be implicitly suggesting that Thatcher was beholden to extremist Zionists in 1979. I don’t think that you can sustain that suggestion. Also, your last paragraph is not actually evidentially linked to anything preceding it. I don’t want to be too silly, but it could have as easily read: “An outcome of energy independence would be greater freedom to initiate wars of aggression across Central Eurasia region that would destroy any potential threat from Russia against a resurgent Poland. Brzezinski’s Polish origins and well known antagonism towards Russian hegemony in Eastern Europe may shed some light on his advocacy of these policies.”
                      You end by urging me to embrace the empirical evidence. Do you mean something like this list of the top 50 finance CEO’s (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-highest-paid-ceos-at-the-largest-us-based-financial-companies-2012-6?op=1), or this list of billionaires (http://www.forbes.com/billionaires/), or this list of the top investment banks (http://www.businessinsider.com/bloomberg-markets-magazine-the-20-investment-banks-that-took-in-the-most-money-in-2011-2012-3?op=1)?
                      I’ve got some other empirical data for you. Check out this data about life expectancy in Iraq (http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/iraq/life-expectancy-at-birth). Notice the dips? Especially the male life expectancy, right? Now check out Turkey (http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/iraq/life-expectancy-at-birth). No dips. Hmmm. And, Iraq had a higher life expectancy than Turkey in 1978. Hmmm. Now lets look at some more development indicators. According to the CIA “Following the war with Iran in 1988, Iraq was ranked 50th out of 130 countries on the 1990 UNDP Human Development Index (HDI). This index measures national achievements in health, education, and per capita GDP. Iraq was close to the top of the “medium human development” category, a reflection of the Government’s continued investment in basic social services. By 1995, Iraq had declined to 106th out of 174 countries and by 2000 it had plummeted to 126th, falling behind Bolivia, Egypt, Mongolia and Gabon and close to the bottom of the “medium human development” category.
                      According to the HDI, an Iraqi born in 1987 could expect to live 65 years while citizens in bordering Jordan had a life expectancy of 67 years. By 1998 an Iraqi was expected to live only 63.8 years while a Jordanian saw an increase in life expectancy 70.4 years in 1998. Compared to Jordan, where the literacy rate rose from 75 percent in 1985 to 88.6 percent in 1998, Iraq’s had dropped from 89 percent to 73.5 percent. In 1990, Iraq ranked three places above Jordan on the HDI. In 2000, Iraq placed 34 below Jordan.” Bear in mind that 1990 was 10 or 12 years after Iraqi progress had been reversed which maybe, just maybe, could sort of be linked to the US supported 1978 takeover by Saddam Hussein and the US fomented and sustained war against Iran. Do you seriously think that left alone Iraq would have been “a lot like Turkey, a perfect client state with a very attractive investment environment”? Iraq would have broken through to developed country levels of wealth and industrialisation, and it is not some tiny Emirate or something. The Brits couldn’t run the place as a client state and nor could the US. They both tried and unequivocally failed. Even after a two decades long genocide, the US can’t impose its will on Iraq, and reverts to “dual containment” (with Iran) and destabilisation. That is why I keep trying to get you to think about how strategic denial works and about how a subordinate relationship can be created when relying purely on veto power backed by credible threats of one sort or another (which is the most significant tool in informal imperialism and neocolonialism anyway).
                      In the end, there seems to be a fundamental omission in your conception of oil as a strategic resource. You seem unable to escape a paradigm wherein the strategic significance of oil lies in imperial possession, control and exploitation. But the oil doesn’t disappear just because it isn’t under US control, nor does its strategic significance end. This is especially so with more easily and cheaply exploitable oil such as the Iraqis possess.
                      On a different subject, Jeff Blankfort has written: “That Stephen Zunes and Steve Niva have been the only ones that I am aware of willing to take on the challenge to defend their opinions is in itself a tribute to the power of the lobby. And the consequences? Having been dismissed as relatively unimportant by the pundits previously mentioned,. the lobby has been allowed, like a professional football team up against a high school opponent, to run up and down the field and score at will. Indeed, they are the ones who have been providing the lobby with protective cover and the anti-war and Palestinian solidarity movements have tragically followed their lead.” So, the people who provide “protective cover” to the lobby are scared to defend their positions against enemies of the lobby (like Blankfort) because of the power of the lobby? How does that work? I think there was a bit of a logic failure there, but I am beginning to suspect that there might be other reasons why people will not debate adherents of the Israel lobby thesis. With that in mind, may I once again humbly request that if you should choose to respond to this, that you do so by engaging with the material I have provided.
                      Finally, I feel I must reiterate the stakes here. Not everyone is as committed to peace as yourself. Not only are there hateful people out there, but there are also vulnerable people. People who are hurt and disillusioned may want nothing more than the security of the sort of myth that the Israel Lobby thesis provides, and that is dangerous to them and others. More than that, however, I also feel acutely that it is essential to avoid providing the excuses and red herrings that are so essential to continued US acts of aggression and genocide. This is an imperial polity that thrives on dissimulation and misdirection. You did not accept my comparison with blaming Syngman Rhee for entrapping the US, but the discourse was nigh identical. It served the same purpose in concealing brutal imperial criminality, and it is still taken as credible to this day in some circles. The fact that there are a number of powerful people within the US of Jewish origin, does not alter the disparity of power between Israel and the US.

                      Comment by Kieran Kelly | February 2, 2013

  2. The tribe controls both the left and the right.

    The well meaning Christian left has been neutered (just as the well meaning Christian right has been).

    Dreyfuss is a Jew who controls the left intellectual elite. Bill Kristol is a Jew who controls the right intellectual elite.

    The tribe’s words always pump more fear and and demand the killing of more Muslims.

    We will never know peace – America is screwed – the true self interested America can NOT be heard.

    Comment by JohnJ | January 27, 2013 | Reply

  3. When someone shows a lack of respect for human life and begins a process of natural selection of who can live and die, such a person is an enemy to mankind.

    Comment by Ribeekah | January 28, 2013 | Reply

  4. I was tortured for almost 3 years by the FBI and their friends only
    because 85 years old man, Roland H Sibens(chicago), now he is 88, convinced them that I
    am a terrorist. I was tortured for working on my prosthetic legs in
    the basement. I done absolutely nothing illegal or wrong. They thought
    that in theory it is possible to hide bomb in them. They were trying to torture me till I
    sign their insane story. They tortured me using more than 100
    different torturing methods and trust to me waterboarding is not how
    they torture nowadays. I dont know where to find justice.

    I think that after 9/11 things got out of control. Freedom fighters
    became tyrants. In 1945, most Germans had an opportunity to learn about Nazis death
    camps. I hope that one day American citizens will get chance to learn about people
    like me, who were tortured with no reason for years.

    Comment by Jacob Gabel | January 30, 2013 | Reply

  5. Kieran,

    I now see that your (Zunes’?) explanation for US policy is giving primacy to the “demonstration war” argument for US military intervention in the Middle East. The recent quintessential examples being Granada and Panama.

    I my judgement, this argument fails due to the fact that the US has only shown that it is incapable of imposing its plans even given a decade of brutal occupation. What has been demonstrated?

    Devising a global economy that can function in the absence of Persian Gulf oil is obviously NOT an imperialist agenda. If the Western economies were not benefiting from trade with the Gulf states they could simply alter the arrangements or freely withdraw from their patronage.

    It is plainly obvious that, for Israel to remain more powerful militarily than the rest of the region, massive destruction of the Persian Gulf region, likely including significant closure of the Hormuz straits, will occur. In any event, Netanyahoo has been quoted stating that the goal is to develop solar technology that can displace Saudi energy exports.

    What is the point of posting gibberish?: “An outcome of energy independence would be greater freedom to initiate wars of aggression across Central Eurasia region that would destroy any potential threat from Russia against a resurgent Poland. Brzezinski’s Polish origins and well known antagonism towards Russian hegemony in Eastern Europe may shed some light on his advocacy of these policies.”

    It’s as though you refuse to recognize any Zionist conflict with Iran. So any analysis that recognizes such, is the same as gibberish.

    Perhaps you find the Zunes talking points so appealing that you are shutting out the obvious.

    Comment by aletho | February 2, 2013 | Reply

    • - “Demonstration model”? Give me a break. Will you at least do me the courtesy of not putting ridiculous assertions in my mouth. I know I mentioned “credible threats” precisely once, but in order to create from that some belief that I am asserting some primacy of demonstration you have to have completely ignored everything I have addressed to the issues of the strategic relevance of oil and the strategic relevance of Iraq. And you have to have convinced yourself that I chose to leave bringing up my main point until now.
      – You write: “Devising a global economy that can function in the absence of Persian Gulf oil is obviously NOT an imperialist agenda. If the Western economies were not benefiting from trade with the Gulf states they could simply alter the arrangements or freely withdraw from their patronage.” Wow! I actually directly dealt with that in the last comment I made (not to mention many times prior to that), but you aren’t even bothering to take in what I am writing.
      – You ask “What is the point of posting gibberish?” The point is to show that, although your example does not seem on the surface to be as ridiculous, your assertion of a given state of affairs does not demonstrate anything. To give another example, you write: “It’s as though you refuse to recognize any Zionist conflict with Iran.” But I could replace Zionism and Iran with any number of other actors, silly or otherwise. I could write “It’s as though you refuse to recognize any Indian conflict with Pakistan.” It doesn’t mean anything, and that is particularly relevant because of the way you constructed your article. You seemed to think that you were giving evidence of Zionist involvement, but in fact you were showing that you had already made that conclusion based on evidence which was not given in the article – hence the Zionist aspect was entirely without evinced foundation.
      – Will you please stop mischaracterising what I write? You should revisit it with an open mind. I know that some of it is complex, difficult and often inelegantly phrased, but I’m only too happy to elucidate on parts that are not understood. We can only have a constructive discussion on this topic if you are engaging with my actual thesis. I have far more thoroughly addressed your own comments than you have mine, and I think it is really past time that you return the courtesy by revisiting some of my substantive claims.

      Comment by Kieran Kelly | February 2, 2013 | Reply

      • “… the Zionist aspect was entirely without evinced foundation.”

        Woolsey is widely known as an Israel First Neocon on his own but then there is the following that you seem to miss the significance of:

        In promoting the reduction in reliance on Middle Eastern oil imports Woolsey is joined by prominent hawks such as Senator Joseph Lieberman, former Senator Sam Brownback, Representative Eliot Engel, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former national security adviser Robert McFarlane, Thomas Neumann of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum, Frank Gaffney head of the neoconservative Center for Security Policy (CSP), Cliff May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), Gary Bauer of American Values and Meyrav Wurmser of the Hudson Institute.

        Comment by aletho | February 2, 2013 | Reply

        • This stuff might seem substantive, but really it is no more so than my silly reference to Brzezinski. All of these organisations, including JINSA, place emphasis on the primacy of US military dominance. Furthermore their historical ideological roots can be traced back to explicit US or Anglo-US imperialism including not only the proto-neocons of the early cold war (which I have already discussed) but also to Cecil Rhodes and the CFR etc (which was, of course, massively supported by successive Rothschilds). Okay, so a European settler colony in Palestine has always been part of the plan – I never denied that – but why would you insist on elevating one involved formation (the Zionists) over more powerful forces involved in the same project and over the project as a whole?

          Comment by Kieran Kelly | February 2, 2013 | Reply

          • I do elevate the more powerful of the forces. Their power has been amply demonstrated. If you choose to pretend it is non-existent that is just your choice.

            Comment by aletho | February 2, 2013 | Reply

            • “I do elevate the more powerful of the forces. Their power has been amply demonstrated.” Is this just a tautology? In what sense has “their” power been demonstrated. They don’t have the economic power, the military power, or the soft power.

              Look, I do understand where this comes from. Just now Greenwald has a piece in the Guardian out about more Dershowitz crap, and the ostentatious obeisance paid to Israel by US politicians is enough to make anyone puke. But that’s the whole point, it is just theater and a way of controlling the domestic political discourse by keeping it away from reality. You are being hammered over the head by this stuff for a reason. Don’t think that any of this stuff actually means anything in the broader realm of US imperial policies. The Israel Lobby does not control US foreign policy. The idea is silly on the surface and when you delve down deeper (despite all of the distractions) it remains completely unfeasible.

              Comment by Kieran Kelly | February 2, 2013 | Reply

              • So, in your view, the fact that 50-60% of political campaign finance has Jewish strings is some kind of conspiracy trick to convince us into thinking that Jews have power? Nobody on Capitol Hill fears AIPAC, it’s all a myth that we are being hammered with?

                Good luck with that.

                Comment by aletho | February 2, 2013 | Reply

                • No, that is not my view, in answer to your question. Why have you once again decided that you need to tell me what my position is? I’m not even sure what “Jewish strings” are. Is it some kosher thing?

                  Comment by Kieran Kelly | February 2, 2013 | Reply


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