A long list of prominent individuals has signed, a number of organizations will be promoting next week, and you can be one of the first to sign right now, a petition titled “Call For Independent Inquiry of the Airplane Crash in Ukraine and its Catastrophic Aftermath.”
The petition is directed to “All the heads of states of NATO countries, and of Russia and the Ukraine, to Ban-ki Moon and the heads of states of countries on the UN Security Council.” And it will be delivered to each of them.
The petition reads:
“Set up an impartial international fact finding inquiry and a public report on the events in Ukraine to reveal the truth of what occurred.
“Why is this important?
“It’s important because there is so much misinformation and disinformation in the media that we are careening towards a new cold war with Russia over this.”
That’s not hyperbole. It’s the language of U.S. and Russian politicians and media.
Of course, there are undisputed facts that could change people’s understanding. Many Americans are unaware of NATO’s expansion or of what actions Russia views as aggressive and threatening. But when a particular incident appears to be set up as a proximate cause for war it is well worth our time to insist on an exposure of the facts. Doing so is not to concede that any outcome of the inquiry would justify a war. Rather it is to prevent the imposition of an unproven explanation that makes war more likely.
What if the Gulf of Tonkin had been investigated 50 years ago this month? What if the independent inquiry that Spain wanted into the USS Maine had been allowed? What if Congress hadn’t swallowed the one about the babies taken from incubators or that hilarious bit about the vast stockpiles of WMDs? Or, on the other hand, what if everyone had listened to John Kerry unskeptically on Syria last year?
When a Malaysian airplane went down in Ukraine, Kerry immediately blamed Vladimir Putin, but has yet to produce any evidence to back up the accusation. Meanwhile, we learn that the U.S. government is looking into the possibility that what happened was actually an attempt to assassinate Putin. Those two versions, the one initially announced with no apparent basis and the one reportedly now being investigated in secret, could hardly be more different. That the second one is under consideration makes it appear very likely that any serious proof of the former claim has not been found.
Here’s a longer version of the petition:
“At this very moment in history, when so many people and nations around the world are acknowledging the 100th Anniversary of our planet’s hapless stumble into World War I, great powers and their allies are ironically once again provoking new dangers where governments appear to be sleepwalking towards a restoration of old Cold War battles. A barrage of conflicting information is broadcast in the various national and nationalistic media with alternative versions of reality that provoke and stoke new enmities and rivalries across national borders.
“With the U.S. and Russia in possession of over 15,000 of the world’s 16,400 nuclear weapons, humanity can ill-afford to stand by and permit these conflicting views of history and opposing assessments of the facts on the ground to lead to a 21st Century military confrontation between the great powers and their allies. While sadly acknowledging the trauma suffered by the countries of Eastern Europe from years of Soviet occupation, and understanding their desire for the protection of the NATO military alliance, we the signers of this global call to action also note that the Russian people lost 20 million people during WWII to the Nazi onslaught and are understandably wary of NATO expansion to their borders in a hostile environment. Russia has lost the protection of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which the US abandoned in 2001, and warily observes missile bases metastasizing ever closer to its borders in new NATO member states, while the US rejects repeated Russian efforts for negotiations on a treaty to ban weapons in space, or Russia’s prior application for membership in NATO.
“For these reasons, we the peoples, as members of Civil Society, Non-Governmental Organizations, and global citizens, committed to peace and nuclear disarmament, demand that an independent international inquiry be commissioned to review events in Ukraine leading up to the Malaysian jet crash and of the procedures being used to review the catastrophic aftermath. The inquiry should factually determine the cause of the accident and hold responsible parties accountable to the families of the victims and the citizens of the world who fervently desire peace and a peaceful settlement of any existing conflicts. It should include a fair and balanced presentation of what led to the deterioration of U.S. –Russian relations and the new hostile and polarized posture that the U.S. and Russia with their allies find themselves in today.
“The UN Security Council, with US and Russian agreement, has already passed Resolution 2166 addressing the Malaysian jet crash, demanding accountability, full access to the site and a halt to military activity which has been painfully disregarded at various times since the incident. One of the provisions of SC Res 2166 notes that the Council “[s]upports efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.” Further, the 1909 revised Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes adopted at the 1899 Hague International Peace Conference has been used successfully to resolve issues between states so that war was avoided in the past. Both Russia and Ukraine are parties to the Convention.
“Regardless of the forum where the evidence is gathered and fairly evaluated, we the undersigned urge that the facts be known as to how we got to this unfortunate state of affairs on our planet today and what might be the solutions. We urge Russia and Ukraine as well as their allies and partners to engage in diplomacy and negotiations, not war and hostile alienating actions. The world can little afford the trillions of dollars in military spending and trillions and trillions of brain cells wasted on war when our very Earth is under stress and needs the critical attention of our best minds and thinking and the abundance of resources mindlessly diverted to war to be made available for the challenge confronting us to create a livable future for life on earth.”
U.S. intelligence analysts are weighing the possibility that the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was a botched attempt by extremists in the Ukrainian government to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin whose aircraft was returning from South America the same day, according to a source briefed on the U.S. investigation.
If true, the direction of the investigation into the July 17 crash has veered dramatically from initial U.S. government allegations that eastern Ukrainian rebels, using a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft battery, were responsible for bringing down the plane killing 298 people onboard.
The Obama administration used those claims to whip up an anti-Russian hysteria that prompted European countries to ratchet up economic sanctions against Moscow, starting what now looks like an incipient trade war.
But the U.S. analysts dismissed those original suspicions because they could find no evidence that such a missile battery had been supplied by the Russians or was in the possession of the rebels, prompting a shift in thinking toward a scenario in which Ukrainian hardliners working with elements of the air force may have tried to ambush Putin’s plane but instead hit the Malaysian airliner, said the source speaking on condition of anonymity.
Putin flies in a plane with similar red, white and blue markings as the Malaysian airliner and was known to be on his way home after a six-day visit to South America. But his plane took a different route and landed safely in Moscow.
After the crash, as U.S. intelligence analysts pored over phone intercepts and other intelligence data, they began to suspect that the motive for the shoot-down was the desire among some Ukrainian extremists to eliminate Putin whom they had been privately vowing to kill – words initially viewed as empty bluster but which were looked at differently in hindsight – the source said.
If some Ukrainian authorities were hoping to ambush Putin’s plane, they also would have had only a matter of minutes to detect the aircraft’s presence and make a decision to fire, so it could be plausible that the attackers made a hasty decision to hit Putin’s plane before they realized that they had made a tragic mistake.
After the crash, the Ukrainian government quickly assembled some pieces of information from “social media” to pin the blame on the eastern Ukrainian rebels and the Russian government for what would have been a reckless decision to supply such powerful weapons to a poorly trained force.
The rebels denied having a Buk anti-aircraft battery capable of reaching an aircraft flying at 33,000 feet and the Russians denied having supplied one, but those denials were brushed aside by the mainstream U.S. news media and were rejected as well by senior U.S. officials. Only three days after the crash, Secretary of State John Kerry made the rounds of five Sunday talk shows to embrace the Ukrainian government’s assertions although the official investigation into the crash had just begun.
The following Tuesday senior U.S. intelligence officials briefed mainstream reporters from several news outlets offering qualified support to the claims by Kiev and Kerry, but some journalists noted the lack of any real evidence and the briefing’s curious reliance on “social media” rather than aerial reconnaissance, phone intercepts or other official sources. The absence of this corroborating evidence suggested that the case against the rebels and Russia was weaker than the Obama administration was letting on.
Yet, because of the high-level endorsements of Russia’s presumed guilt, the U.S. intelligence analysts are moving cautiously in developing their alternative scenario, said the source, who added that another line of inquiry still being pursued is that the Ukrainian military brought down the passenger plane simply to create a provocation that could be turned against the rebels and Russia.
But the assassination motive would seem to make more sense given the intense hatred expressed by Ukrainian leaders toward Putin and how Ukrainian extremists would view the murder of Putin as a giant feather in their cap.
Still, the idea of assassinating the Russian president by shooting down his plane – even if the attack were carried out by hardliners without the approval of top officials – could have provoked a major international crisis. Nuclear-armed Russia would have almost surely retaliated against Ukraine, possibly with a full-scale invasion which could have escalated into a dangerous military confrontation with the United States.
This possibility of a cascading crisis beyond the control of rational policymakers has always been a risk since the U.S.-backed overthrow of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, a putsch spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias though also supported by more moderate political figures. The U.S. State Department quickly embraced the coup regime as “legitimate,” but ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, which had been Yanukovych’s political base, resisted the new order.
Crimea, another stronghold of ethnic Russians, voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move endorsed by Putin and backed by Russian troops who were stationed in Crimea, the site of the Russian naval base at Sebastopol. The annexation of Crimea was heartily denounced by President Barack Obama and U.S. allies in Europe, who began applying sanctions on Russia.
Meanwhile, the new Ukrainian government, which gave the neo-Nazis several ministries in appreciation for their key role in the coup, began calling the ethnic Russian resistance “terrorists.” New National Guard units, formed from neo-Nazi militias, were dispatched to intimidate ethnic Russians in the southern city of Odessa, where scores were killed when a pro-Kiev mob set a trade union building ablaze.
A Worsening Crisis
As the crisis worsened, several eastern cities in the Donbass region also voted to secede and an armed resistance emerged against the Kiev regime, which responded by vowing to crush the rebellion with an “anti-terrorist operation” that has included artillery and aerial bombardments against towns and cities held by the rebels.
On Friday, a Ukrainian parliamentary group reported that more than 10,000 people have been killed in Kiev’s offensive since April, a number far higher than earlier estimates.
Angered by the mounting violence, the Russians lodged murder accusations against two Ukrainian officials, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Ihor Kolomoisky, a billionaire oligarch who was appointed by the coup regime to be governor of the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk Region.
Kolomoisky, known for his strong-arm business tactics including deploying paid thugs to intimidate rivals, is now using his fortune to finance paramilitary units, such as the Dnipro Battalion which is considered one of the most aggressive and brutal units in the “anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Ukraine.
Since the February coup, Kolomoisky also has engaged in a bitter war of words with Putin whom he publicly mocked as a “schizophrenic shorty.” But Kolomoisky’s fury toward Putin has intensified in the face of the Russian murder charge and other threats to the billionaire’s PrivatBank holdings. In private conversations, Kolomoisky has made angry threats against Putin, the source said.
Other Ukrainian officials have vowed to kill Putin. Ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a onetime Kolomoisky ally, said in an intercepted phone: “It’s about time we grab our guns and kill, go kill those damn Russians together with their leader.”
Though U.S. intelligence was aware of such threatening anti-Putin rhetoric via American intercepts, the rants were not taken seriously, at least not until after the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner, the source said. Now, they are reportedly being studied as a possible motive for the July 17 attack.
Another curious development was the sudden resignation on Thursday of Andriy Parubiy as chief of Ukraine’s national security. A longtime neo-Nazi leader, Parubiy had organized and directed the paramilitary forces that spearheaded the putsch on Feb. 22 forcing Yanukovych and his government officials to flee for their lives.
Parubiy refused to explain his reason for quitting but some analysts believe it may have a connection to the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down, the source said. The U.S. intelligence analysts specifically said their evidence does not implicate Ukraine’s current President Petro Poroshenko or Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, but they did not extend that clearance to the more extreme elements of the government, the source said.
Based on technical evidence that Moscow has supplied to U.S. and other investigators, it appears that the Ukrainian military had several Russian-made Buk anti-aircraft missiles along the path of the Malaysia Airlines flight as well as two jetfighters in the air in the vicinity of the doomed plane.
Eyewitnesses also reported seeing one or two Ukrainian jetfighters near the airliner right before it was blown out of the sky. Two theories are that the jetfighters were trying to identify the plane or were responsible for finishing it off if the missile failed to do the job.
An independent analysis by an expert on the Buk systems, who has reviewed the Russian evidence, says it shows that one of the Ukrainian anti-aircraft batteries was in position to take down the Malaysian airliner by inflicting damage consistent with the wreckage that has so far been recovered from the plane.
As the pieces of this puzzle fill in, the image that emerges is of a possible Ukrainian ambush of a jetliner heading into Russian airspace that had markings very similar to President Putin’s official plane. As shocking as that picture may be, there is a grim logic to it, given the demonization of Putin who has been likened to Hitler and Stalin by pundits and politicians from Ukraine to the United States.
However, even if the U.S. intelligence analysts do assemble a strong case implicating an extremist faction within the Ukrainian government, there is still the political problem for the Obama administration of dealing with a conclusion so dramatically at odds with the original accusations aimed at the rebels and Russia.
Powerful people are notoriously unwilling to admit mistakes, especially when it could open them to charges that they rushed to judgment and behaved recklessly. There are similarities with the hasty U.S. conclusions a year ago when sarin gas killed hundreds outside Damascus on Aug. 21 – and the finger of blame was pointed immediately at the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
On Aug. 30, Secretary Kerry declared repeatedly that “we know” that the Assad regime was guilty, but some U.S. intelligence analysts were privately expressing their doubts and refused to endorse a “Government Assessment” which presented no verifiable evidence to support the accusations. The four-page white paper also suppressed the dissents of the analysts.
Over the ensuing months as much of Kerry’s case fell apart, some of these analysts came to believe that rebel extremists were likely responsible for the attack as a provocation to draw in the U.S. military into the civil war on their side. But the U.S. government has never retracted its allegations against the Syrian government. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case.”]
Given how far senior U.S. officials have gone in heaping blame for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down on the rebels and the Russians, it is hard to envision a walk-back of those accusations regardless of the actual evidence. To compel that would require true courage from U.S. analysts or from international investigators looking into the crash.
It is never easy to contradict important people, especially when they have leveled such serious accusations so confidently. That is one reason why Kerry and the mainstream U.S. news media should have held back on their conclusions until a thorough investigation had been done.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).
A Short History of Israeli Impunity
‘From abroad, we are accustomed to believe that Eretz Israel is presently almost totally desolate, an uncultivated desert, and that anyone wishing to buy land there can come and buy all he wants. But in truth it is not so … [Our brethren in Eretz Israel] were slaves in their land of exile and they suddenly find themselves with unlimited freedom … This sudden change has engendered in them an impulse to despotism as always happens when “a slave becomes king,” and behold they walk with the Arabs in hostility and cruelty, unjustly encroaching on them.’
Ahad Ha’am, 1891; cited in Shlomo Sand, The Invention of the Land of Israel, 2012.
‘If Lord Shaftesbury was literally inexact in describing Palestine as a country without a people, he was essentially correct, for there is no Arab people living in intimate fusion with the country, utilizing its resources and stamping it with a characteristic impress; there is at best an Arab encampment.’
Israel Zangwill, 1920; cited in Naseer Aruri, ed., Palestinian Refugees, 2001.
‘[the Haganah] should adopt the system of aggressive defence; during the assault we must respond with a decisive blow: the destruction of the [Arab] place or the expulsion of the residents along with the seizure of the place.’ ‘The war will give us the land. The concept of ‘ours’ and ‘not ours’ are peace concepts, only, and in war they lose their whole meaning.’
David Ben-Gurion, December 1947, February 1948; cited in Aruri.
‘The conquest [of Deir Yassin by Irgun and Stern Gang forces, supported by Haganah operatives, in April 1948] was carried out with great cruelty. Whole families – women, old people, children – were killed … Some of the prisoners moved to places of detention, including women and children, were murdered viciously by their captors.’
Yitzhak Levy, Haganah Intelligence Service; cited in Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, 2004.
‘[Of the massacre at al-Daway(i)ma in May 1948] Cultured and well mannered commanders who are considered good fellows … have turned into low murderers, and this happened not in the storm of battle and blind passion, but because of a system of expulsion and annihilation. The few Arabs remain the better.’
Account of a participant soldier who Morris claims ‘appears to have based himself largely or completely on hearsay’ but who elsewhere is described as an eyewitness; cited in Uri Davis, Apartheid Israel, 2003.
‘One Friday night in September 1967 … we were left alone by our officers, who drove into Jerusalem for their night off. An elderly Palestinian man, who had been arrested on the road while carrying a large sum in American dollars, was taken into the interrogation room. While standing outside the building on security detail, I was startled by terrifying screams coming from within. I ran inside, climbed onto a crate, and, through the window observed the prisoner tied to a chair as my good friends beat him all over his body and burned his arms with lit cigarettes. I climbed down from the post, vomited, and returned to my post, frightening and shaking. About an hour later, a pickup truck carrying the body of the “rich” old man pulled out of the station, and my friends informed me they were driving to the Jordan River to get rid of him.’
Sand himself, in The Invention of the Land of Israel
‘“We take the land first and the law comes after” [claimed Yehoshafat Palmon, Arab affairs adviser to the Mayor of Jerusalem to the author]. ‘The law comes after …’. In fact, for most Arabs it did not come at all.’
David Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, 1977
Let’s not mince words. Israel is an abomination. One is hard pressed to find words in English powerful enough to describe the grotesqueries. There are numerous bread-and-butter tyrannies – some of which (foremost, Saudi Arabia), curiously, we have as friends. But Israel is unique. Israel was conceived as necessitating ethnic cleansing, and was created and is sustained by ethnic cleansing. Israel was created and is sustained by terrorism. Israel is, sui generis, a force for terrorism and ethnic cleansing.
There is the view, fashionable amongst middle-of-the-road optimists harbouring a two-state solution pie-in-the-sky, that the problem is that the state has been appropriated by the political Right and the Far Right. The good Israel has been hijacked by the nasties. On the contrary. The current Israel is the natural heir of its origins and subsequent entrenchment of ethnically-based legal and cultural structures. Israel now produces racists as a majority voice, with citizens imbued with universalist values reduced to near powerlessness.
As a consequence, Palestinians, having been designated as without humanity, can be deprived of their residual dogged hold on their existence, deprived of their property and murdered at will. The current mass murder of Gazans is merely par for the course. It has become a spectator sport. Sadism against the non-people is a rite of passage.
Moshe Menuhin, famous by association as father of Yehudi and Hephzibah, appears to be now neglected as a resolute anti-Zionist. His 1965/1969 The Decadence of Judaism in Our Time explains why. His ‘almost preferred’ original title, “Jewish” Nationalism: A Monstrous Historical Crime and Curse, better conveys the book’s contents. It retains its pertinence. In Decadence we read:
‘As to Zionist Israel of the present day, I prefer the truth as fearlessly told by one honest repentant Israeli, Nathan Chofshi, in reply to all the sordid and revolting propaganda, brazenly and inhumanly and hypocritically told by such tribalistic barbarians as Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Shimeon Peres, Levi Eshkol, Abba Eban and the entire lot of the military gang that runs poor misguided Israel. Said Nathan Chofshi [in 1959]: “We came and turned the native Arabs into tragic refugees. And still we dare slander and malign them, to besmirch their name; instead of being deeply ashamed of what we did, and trying to undo some of the evil we committed, we justify our terrible acts and even attempt to glorify them …”.’
The ‘entire lot of the military gang’, now fronted by the sociopath Benjamin Netanyahu, is still in charge.
It is forbidden by the censors who channel acceptable opinion to draw parallels with the Nazis’ modus operandi. But if the shoe fits …
There is Israel’s Mengelian experimentation on caged Gazans, apart from saturation bombing, with nerve gas, depleted uranium, white phosphorous and flechette shells. More, the model of the Reichstag fire false flag has been readily replicated, not least in the 1954 Lavon Affair and, most spectacularly, in 9/11 (whence the five dancing Israelis at Liberty Park?). Practice makes perfect with false flags. Add extra-judicial murders made to order.
Then there is the collective punishment. In late 1966, three Israeli soldiers died near the then Jordanian border when their vehicle ran over a land mine. Menuhin summarizes the Israeli response:
‘The war [June 1967] actually began earlier, at Es Samu, on November 13, 1966. Like Deir Yassin before the big war in 1948, like the shelling of Gaza in September 1955, the capture of El Auja Triangle in the Sinai desert, and other “Small Wars,” Es Samu was a diversionary attack, a good exercise for brave solider boys. Es Samu, a peaceful, undefended civilian village in Jordan, was attacked at dawn on November 13, 1966 by twenty Patton tanks, eighty armored half-track personnel carriers and jeeps with 4,000 Israeli troops, which rumbled across the frontier, overwhelmed an eight-man police post, swept into Es Samu, demolished 125 houses, 15 stone huts, destroyed the mosque, shops, an elementary school and a medical clinic, killed 26 Jordanians, wounded 54, and captured three Jordanian soldiers. Three tanks reduced the local mosque to rubble. It was wanton, indiscriminate murder and destruction, just to teach the Arabs a preliminary lesson about the real thing to come.’
And finally there is lebensraum, the idée fixe. Menuhin again:
‘The “fixed idea” – the “Ingathering of the Exiles” … became a Territorial Imperative. The evolved idea of Prophetic Judaism that “God did ‘Tshakah’” (justice, salvation, charity) to Israel (the Jews) by dispersing them among the nations of the world and that the core of their religion was universalism, humanity, ethics above all, was discarded in favor of a new religion, newly learned from the European political nationalists, – Lebensraum, statism, expansion, and thus a Greater Eretz Israel was what the Shertocks[Sharretts], Ben Gurions, Moshe Dayans and the rest of the military junta of Israel insisted on, cost what may to themselves and to their victims, the Arabs of Palestine … All this will explain the Big Wars (1948, 1956, 1967) and the many “Little Wars” which have taken place from 1948 to this day, wars of “Redemption” and Expansion to satisfy the demands of the “fixed idea”.’
Menuhin provides a minor but telling case study under the heading ‘The “Little Wars” in the Scheme of the Fixed Idea’. Citing General Carl von Horn, UN Mediator, reflecting in a 1966 book:
‘[The Israelis] developed a habit of irrigating and plowing in stretches of Arab-owned land nearby … Gradually, beneath the glowering eyes of the Syrians, who held the high ground overlooking the zone, the area had become a network of Israeli canals and irrigation channels edging up against and always encroaching on Arab-owned property. This deliberate poaching was bitterly resented by the Syrians …’
Menuhin expands on the outcome:
‘The time came to give the Syrians a typical “reprisal” attack. On February 1, 1962, the village of El-Tawafiq was razed to the ground. The Arab farmers of the Lower and Upper Tawafiq used to [citing von Horn] “observe with alarm the Israeli kibbutznik (cooperative farmers) tractor-drivers as they speeded up on each turn at the eastern boundaries of their fields, making the plows swerve out, thus slowly but surely extending their previous cultivation eastwards into [very fertile] Arab land.” … by destroying the Tawafiq villages, the Israelis got what they wanted, what the “fixed idea” dictated.
And from Uri Davis (Apartheid Israel) citing an interview of a settler, in response to the stance of Yeshaayahu Leibowitz, renowned Riga-born Israeli academic, Orthodox in the necessity of state-religion separation and opponent of the post-1967 Occupations:
‘Leibowitz is right. We are Judeo-Nazis, and why not? … Even today I am willing to do the dirty work for Israel, to kill as many Arabs as necessary, to deport them, to expel and burn them … Hang me if you want as a war criminal … What you lot don’t understand is that the dirty work of Zionism is not finished yet, far from it. True, it could have been finished in 1948 …’
And Davis citing Leibowitz in 1982, echoing Israel Shahak:
‘If we must rule over another people, then it is impossible to avoid the existence of Nazi methods. The [Shabra and Shatila] massacre was done by us. The Phalange are our mercenaries, exactly as the Ukrainians and the Croatians and the Slovakians were the mercenaries of Hitler, who organized them as soldiers to do the work for him. Even so we have organized the assassins in Lebanon in order to murder the Palestinians.’
Israel and the United Nations
The cheer squad makes much of Israel’s legitimation at the hands of the United Nations, so why then has the UN been treated by Israel with comprehensive contempt?
The initial Partition Plan of the special committee, apart from being outrageously favourable to the Jewish community (envisaged to accommodate refugee intake), was a dog’s breakfast – entirely predictable, given the absurdity of the ambition. For example, Arab opponents claimed that, with upward adjustment for the size of the Bedouin population, the proposed Jewish state would have an Arab majority. A slightly modified plan passed the General Assembly on 29 November 1947 with more than the needed two-thirds majority.
The vote was devoid of principle – it relied on the US succumbing to the seeming electoral advantages of garnering the domestic Jewish vote (and in opposition to all but one of President Truman’s myriad Cabinet and bureaucratic advisors), the Soviet Union (with its satellites in tow) pursuing purely a realpolitik agenda, and other countries bribed or threatened by Jewish lobbyists.
Menuhin evaluates the process thus:
‘Then came Partition, on November 29, 1947, the most illegal and inhuman giving away to outsiders of land that belonged to the indigenous Christian and Muslim Arab population, through political manipulation and pressure, as well as through the Christian guilt complex vis-à-vis the Jewish people, – all at the expense of the innocent Arabs.’
Alison Weir neatly summarizes the story in a Counterpunch article, October 2011. The General Assembly recommendation was never implemented by the UN Security Council. Rather Israel was established by means of terror on 14 May 1948.
The notion, implicit in the cheer squad’s defense, that the Zionist leaders would have been satisfied with the Partition Plan’s boundaries if the Arab armies had not attacked is ludicrous. Jerusalem was to be governed by international forces – out of the question for the Zionists. More, Israeli leaders were having nothing to do with the General Assembly Resolution 194 (III), 11 November 1948, which ‘… Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date [etc.].’
UN Mediator Count Folke Bernadotte, appointed immediately in May to sort out the mess, was disbelieving (cited in Menuhin): “[The Israeli government] had shown nothing but hardness and obduracy towards these refugees. If instead of that it had shown a magnanimous spirit, if it had declared that the Jewish people, which itself had suffered so much, understood the feelings of the refugees and did not wish to treat them in the same way as it itself had been treated, its prestige in the world at large would have been immeasurably increased …” Moshe Shertock/Sharrett replied to Bernadotte: “The Jewish government could under present conditions in no circumstances permit the return of the Arabs who had fled or been driven from their homes during the war …”.
(Shertock and Menuhin were contemporaries at the Zionist Jaffa-Tel Aviv Gymnasia Herzlia during 1909-13. Shertok learned his lessons well; Menuhin read the wind and immediately cleared off to the US, his own promised land.)
For his troubles, Bernadotte was assassinated – an event that Menuhin recounts with the most profound disgust:
‘Bernadotte’s Peace Plan, as well as his recommendations to the Security Council, made him a marked man in Israel. … We must now go on to the date that will live for ever in infamy, September 17, 1948, when that incredible crime was committed by militant, inhumane, insane, political nationalists who worship a State that will expand their Lebensraum, in Nazi fashion. … Murderer Nathan Friedman-Yellin was soon amnestied, and in 1950, the Israeli Government allowed the murderer to stand for election to the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) of which he became a member.’
The subsequent state of play is well summarized by Davis (Apartheid Israel, p.63ff.):
‘The territory of pre-1967 Israel is classified by international law under two categories:
1. the territory allocated for the Jewish state by the UN partition Plan for Palestine;
2. the territory occupied illegally by the Israeli army in the 1948-49 war beyond the boundaries of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
Under the UN Charter and resolutions, Israel has no legitimate rule in either category. Israeli rule over the territories allocated for the ‘Jewish state’ … was subject to a number of important conditions, notably compliance with the terms of the steps preparatory to independence and future constitution and government, none of which has been upheld by the incumbent state.
Likewise, the Israeli occupation, in 1948-49, of territories beyond the [1947 Plan] boundaries …, their colonization … and their subsequent annexation to the State of Israel are in violation of both the UN Charter and of international law, like all colonial occupation. From an international legal point of view, Israeli claims to West Jerusalem, Safad or Jaffa, occupied in 1948-49, are as thoroughly invalid as Israeli claims to East Jerusalem, Hebron or Gaza, occupied in 1967. …
The State of Israel has chosen to violate the constitutional stipulation posited by the United Nations General Assembly as a condition for its legitimate establishment. …
… the elections for Israel’s Constituent Assembly, stipulated in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, were held in July 1949. The Constituent Assembly was elected … for the explicit purpose of endorsing Israel’s constitution. … Yet, when the Constituent Assembly convened, it became clear that an agreement had been reached by the major political parties represented by the Assembly to betray the mandate on which they had been elected … the Constituent Assembly passed instead the Transition Law (1949) transforming itself by fiat into the First Knesset [to which a delegate cried out: ‘This is a political putsch!] …
But most significantly, the State of Israel is guilty of flagrant violation of the constitutional principle regarding citizenship as stipulated by the UN General Assembly in the 1947 Partition Plan for Palestine. There is no question that under the stipulations of the said Plan all the 1948 Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants, by now some four million people defined under Israeli law as ‘absentees’, are constitutionally entitled without qualification to Israeli citizenship.’
Israel has since treated the significant number of UN Resolutions that are adverse to its ongoing belligerence as of no consequence. And Israel has cause, for it has been endowed with immunity by the Great Powers.
And to ram home the immunity, Israel bombs whenever appropriate (Lebanon, Gaza) UN facilities. Old Testament stuff, with late modern weaponry.
Is it or isn’t it? Regarding the Occupied Territories, the answer is self-evident. Going where hair-splitters fear to tread, Davis goes to the nub of the matter behind the ‘Green Line’ (p.36ff.; 82ff.):
Racism is not apartheid and apartheid is not racism. Apartheid is a political system where racism is regulated in law through acts of parliament. … In an apartheid state the state enforces racism through the legal system, criminalizes expressions of humanitarian concern and obligates the citizenry through acts of parliament to make racist choices and conform to racist behaviour. …
Apartheid in Israel is an overarching legal reality that determines the quality of everyday life and underpins the circumstances of living for all the inhabitants of the State of Israel. … The introduction of [the] key distinction of ‘Jew’ and ‘non-Jew’ into the foundation of Israeli law is, however, accomplished as part of a two-tier structure. It is this structure that has preserved the veil of ambiguity over Israeli apartheid legislation for over half a century. …
The first tier, the level at which the key distinction between ‘Jew’ and ‘non-Jew’ is rendered openly and explicitly, is in the Constitutions and Articles of Association of all the institutions of the Zionist movement and in the first instance, the [World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund]. The second tier is the level at which this key distinction between ‘Jew’ and ‘non-Jew’ … is incorporated into the body of the laws of the State of Israel, notably the body of strategic legislation governing land tenure. …
The situation alters radically after the establishment of the State of Israel, in that now the exclusivist constitutional stipulations of the WZO, JA and JNF (for Jews only) are incorporated into the body of the laws of the State of Israel through a detailed sequence of strategic Knesset legislation … Thus organizations and bodies that, prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, could credibly have claimed to be voluntary have been incorporated … into the legal, compulsory, judicial machinery of the state: …
* 1950: Absentees’ Property Law; Law or Return; Development Authority Law
* 1952: World Zionist Organization – Jewish Agency for the Land of Israel (Status) Law
* 1953: Jewish National Fund Law; Land Acquisition (Validations of Acts and Compensation) Law
* 1954: Covenant between the Government of Israel and the Zionist Executive …
* 1958: Prescription Law
* 1960: Basic Law: Israel Lands; Israel Lands Law: Israel Lands Administration Law
* 1961: Covenant between the Government of Israel and the Jewish National Fund
In subsequent years this body of strategic legislation governing the terms of tenure of 93 per cent of Israel lands was further refined in such pieces of legislation as the Agricultural Settlement (Restriction on Use of Agricultural Land and Water) of 1967 and the Lands (Allocation of Rights to Foreigners) Law of 1980. The list above, however, represents the mainstay of Israeli apartheid …
… it is through this two-tier mechanism that an all-encompassing apartheid system could be legislated by the Israeli Knesset in all that pertains to access to land under Israeli sovereignty and control without resorting to explicit and frequent mention of ‘Jew’, as a legal category, versus ‘non-Jew’. …
In other words, in the critical areas of immigration, settlement and land development the Israeli sovereign, the Knesset, which is formally accountable to all citizens, Jews and non-Jews alike, has formulated and passed legislation ceding state sovereignty and entered into Covenants vesting its responsibilities with organizations such as the WZO, the JA and the JNF, which are constitutionally committed to the exclusive principle of ‘only for Jews’, that legal apartheid is regulated in Israel. And it is through this mechanism of legal duplicity that the State of Israel has successful veiled the reality of Zionist apartheid in the guise of legal democracy since the establishment of the State of Israel to date. …
The same procedure has been applied by the Knesset in order to veil the reality of clerical legislation in Israel. Israel is a theocracy in that all domains pertaining to registration of marriage, divorce and death are regulated under Israeli law by religious courts. …
The critical importance of these structures of veiling and obligation cannot be sufficiently emphasized. They represent one of the primary vehicles that made it possible for official representatives and various apologists of the Zionist movement and the Government of the State of Israel to deliver the claim that the State of Israel was a democracy akin to western liberal democracies, the Palestinian nakba notwithstanding. …
Pointing to these facts alone [Arab Israelis having the vote, access to the Knesset as members (in principle), and equal access to the Israeli courts (in principle)] is tantamount to an exercise in misrepresentation, manipulating these significant features in order to veil the fundamental apartheid structures of the Israeli polity in all that pertains to the right to inherit property; to access the material resources of the state (notably, land and water); and to access the welfare resources of the state (for example religious services and child benefits) such as fully justify the classification of the State of Israel as an apartheid state. …
In all matters pertaining to the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the conflict between a settler-colonial state and the native indigenous population, namely, in all matters pertaining to the question of rights to property, land tenure, settlement and development, Israeli apartheid legislation is more radical than was South African apartheid legislation. … Not insisting on petty apartheid has veiled Israeli apartheid from scrutiny by the international community …
The annihilation of identity
Having denied the existence of a functioning Palestinian society before expropriation, Israel’s founders of necessity confronted its existence. Facts on the ground. The myth of the non-existent Palestinian society had to be forged in reality. First, the population had to be cleared out, fragmented – thus the nakba. The ensuing diaspora naturally precluded a modicum of social and political integration. Next, the physical space had to be furiously appropriated – the landscape destroyed, built over; everything re-named.
In addition, pulverize the crucial intangible dimension – the cultural landscape: memory, history, identity and its artefacts. Nur Masalha’s 2012 The Palestine Nakba provides an accessible summary.
‘In 1948, the Israeli state appropriated for itself immovable Palestinian assets and personal possessions, including schools, libraries, books, pictures, private papers, historical documents and manuscripts [etc.]. … several private collections of manuscripts and tens of thousands of books were looted by the Haganah and never returned [citing John Rose]. Parts of these private collections, including the diary and private papers of Khalil al-Sakakini (1878-1953), ended up in the library of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Al-Sakakini was one of the country’s leading Palestinian educators, linguists and authors. …
In 1958, a decade after the Nakba, the Israeli authorities destroyed 27,000 books, most of them Palestinian textbooks from the pre-1948 period, claiming that they were either useless or threatened the state. The authorities sold the books to a paper plant. …
For many years stateless and exiled Palestinians had to rely on the Beirut-based Palestinian Research Centre [founded in 1965 on the initiative of Dr Fayez Sayigh] and the Institute for Palestine Studies (also in Beirut) to preserve their national heritage. … The resourcefulness and popular success of the [PRC] were resented by the Israeli state and Israeli academia. The Centre established and amassed Palestinian archives, disseminated historical and scholarly research on Palestine and preserved Palestinian popular culture and heritage. Before the Israeli invasion of Beirut in September 1982, two attempts were made by Israel, in July and August, to destroy the Centre completely [citing Cheryl Rubenberg].
In 1982, as the PLO evacuated Beirut during the Israeli invasion, Palestinian institutions in the city were destroyed. In the mid-September, the Israeli army raided the [PRC] along with other Palestinian and Lebanese institutions. Nearly all Palestinian cultural institutions in Beirut were pillaged, including the Palestine Cinema Institute, the Samed Workshop and the Palestinian Red Crescent clinic. The contents of the [PRC] were systematically looted; its historical archives and a 25,000 volume library and microfilm collection were looted and carted away by the Israeli army [citing Rashid Khalidi]. … [The army appropriated] precious documents, dating back centuries, that the Centre had purchased in Europe and restored to the cultural custody of the Palestinians. … On 5 February 1983 the [PRC] was destroyed by a bomb that killed 20 people …
In 2001 the Israeli government closed the Orient House (Bayt al-Sharq) in East Jerusalem and confiscated its archive and the collections of the Arab Studies Society housed in it. … The Arab Studies Society Library and the archives of the Orient House were a piece of living history and a monument to the long and continuing Palestinian struggle for survival in Jerusalem. [From both the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference and the 1993 Oslo Accords] Israel promised that it would not violate the right of the House to continue to operate freely. …
In 1982, as the PLO evacuated Beirut during the Israeli invasion, Palestinian institutions in the city were destroyed. In the mid-September, the Israeli army raided the [PRC] along with other Palestinian and Lebanese institutions. Nearly all Palestinian cultural institutions in Beirut were pillaged, including the Palestine Cinema Institute, the Samed Workshop and the Palestinian Red Crescent clinic. The contents of the [PRC] were systematically looted; its historical archives and a 25,000 volume library and microfilm collection were looted and carted away by the Israeli army [citing Rashid Khalidi]. … [The army appropriated] precious documents, dating back centuries, that the Centre had purchased in Europe and restored to the cultural custody of the Palestinians. … On 5 February 1983 the [PRC] was destroyed by a bomb that killed 20 people …
In 2001 the Israeli government closed the Orient House (Bayt al-Sharq) in East Jerusalem and confiscated its archive and the collections of the Arab Studies Society housed in it. … The Arab Studies Society Library and the archives of the Orient House were a piece of living history and a monument to the long and continuing Palestinian struggle for survival in Jerusalem. [From both the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference and the 1993 Oslo Accords] Israel promised that it would not violate the right of the House to continue to operate freely. …
… in the Israeli reoccupation of Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank in the spring of 2002, Israeli soldiers vandalized the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre in Ramallah, which was set up to preserve Palestinians’ cultural heritage.’
Not only the latter, but at the same time, Israeli forces vandalized the entire Palestinian governmental bureaucracy. This act was under cover of ‘Operation Defensive Shield’, during the Second Intifada, as revenge for the deaths of Israelis at Palestinian hands. The comprehensive vandalization included the Finance Ministry and the Central Bureau of Statistics. Israel knows more about Palestinians (regarding data, as opposed to their mentality) than the Palestinian authorities themselves.
In July 2006, the IDF did it again in Nablus. Gael Toensing recounts:
‘The site itself was a landscape of obliteration–the legacy of the Israeli Occupation Forces’ three-day blitzkrieg on a complex of public buildings that included the muqata’a–an enormous command and administrative structure built in the 1920s by the British–a Palestinian security building, part of a prison, and the ministries of agriculture and the interior. …
Buried and half buried in the ruins of the Ministry of the Interior were hundreds of thousands of file cases and documents–birth and death certificates, identification records, passports and other travel documents, ledgers of hand written information–a heritage of historical information about Nablus residents that covered more than 100 years of successive Palestinian occupations under the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, the Jordanian kingdom, and the current Israeli regime.
“We offered to give the Israelis the keys of the building so they could search it to make sure there was no one hiding there, but that was not good enough for the Israelis, who insisted on demolishing everything,” said Abed Al Illah Ateereh, the director of the Ministry of the Interior in Nablus. … “There is 100 percent damage,” Ateereh said. “They destroyed the building completely, but that wasn’t enough for the Israelis. They then used their Caterpillar bulldozers to churn up everything and mix all the documents with the soil so that nothing is able to be preserved,” Ateereh said.
The ministry had at least 175,000 individual case files each containing multiple documents. It will be impossible to recover an entire case file, Ateereh said. Some of the newer documents are backed up on a computer, but the old historical records are priceless and irreplaceable. “Passports, birth certificates, family information, identity records–all the kinds of information that an interior ministry would keep are all gone. These documents were used not only by Palestinians, but also by UNICEF and other agencies and foreigners who came to the ministry to do research,” Ateereh said.’
In short, the strategic and systematic annihilation of identity.
We read that student groups have been rekindled in Israel to whitewash on the netwaves the IDF’s latest mass murder. A spokesperson, Bar David, who claimed “We want people abroad who don’t know our reality to understand exactly what is going on here”, is reported by the New York Times (so it must be true) as previously serving in the military spokesman’s unit of the IDF.
Welcome to a microcosm of the Hasbara. The Hasbara would have to be the most spectacular propaganda machine in modern history (i.e. in all history). The legendary Goebbels (admittedly lacking latter day instruments) was a comparative lightweight. The Soviet Union’s western defenders, although numerous, were ghettoized and lacked access to the mainstream media and officialdom.
The 2002 Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus is an exemplary representative of the art. It is a weighty 128 pages (including appendices). The Handbook was funded by the ‘NGO’ Jewish Agency for Israel. The Handbook conflates the criticism of Israel (‘the haven and sanctuary of the Jewish people’) with the de-legitimization of ‘Jews everywhere’ and of Judaism. The Handbook denies the Occupation; rather Gaza and the West Bank are ‘disputed territories’. The Golan Heights and East Jerusalem have already been silently appropriated.
The Handbook provides two Communication Styles – point scoring and genuine debate.
‘Central to point scoring is the ability to disguise point scoring by giving the impression of genuine debate. … To disguise point scoring, comments need to seem to be logical, and to follow from what was said before. Use phrases that subtly change the agenda or reframe the debate to do this: “Well, that’s not really the right question …” [etc.]’
‘Genuine debate’ is reserved for those who know what’s going on (‘where listeners are mature and interested’). Here the Handbook recommends an element of subtlety – one is allowed to acknowledge that ‘Israel is an imperfect country’. The object remains, however, to offer 100 per cent support for this ‘imperfect’ Israel in the face of its many enemies. Notes the Handbook, ‘In private conversation and in friendly settings, it is reasonable to admit that Israel has made mistakes [‘policy errors’, never instanced] that she attempts to learn from (sic), whilst pointing out that other countries do this too.’
The Handbook also provides ‘two main approaches to Israel advocacy … “neutralizing negativity” and “pushing positivity”’. A standard response in the first category is ‘The action was justified because …’. Standard responses in the second category are ‘Israel is a democracy’ and ‘Israel wants peace’.
Democracy and peace – hello? In that regard, an integral component of the Hasbara is the lie. Not so much a single Big Lie. Rather, multiple related lies, that combine to a multi-component Big Lie. There’s the killing lies. Israel left Gaza in 2005. The IDF targets only terrorists, and does so with pinpoint accuracy. Hamas uses human shields. By using human shields, Hamas forces us to kill children. And, by the way, Israel’s shelling of the USS Liberty (in 1967) was an accident.
Then there’s the fundamental ‘existential’ lies. The land expropriated awaited productive utilization. Israel is a democracy (read ethnocracy). There is no such thing as Palestine. If the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition Plan and the Arab states hadn’t gone to war against Israel there would be a Palestinian state already. Israel has no partner for peace. We were here first. It’s our land by historical right (variation on the theme: God gave it to us). And so on.
Thanks to Shlomo Sand’s 2009 The Invention of the Jewish People, the narrative of the indubitable historical lineage between then and now has passed its use-by date. The ‘Diaspora’ is a misnomer. Mass conversions into Jewry (and some out of it) puts the bulk of the Zionist migration and War refugee settlement of Israel as interlopers.
Thanks to Sand’s 2012 The Invention of the Land of Israel, we learn that the myriad attempts to claim a ‘natural and historical’ right to ‘the Land of Israel’ (still ill-defined) are an incoherent and intellectually embarrassing mess. The biblical references from which one seeks legitimacy are inconsistent. The opportunist oil-and-water conflation of sacred and secular arguments is instructive of the charade. Ultimately, the various attempts to find legitimacy in historical right are all trumped by the practical necessity to leave the boundaries of ‘the Land of Israel’ undefined (emphasized by Ben Gurion), open to extension as dictated by the needs of a growing Jewish population.
But the Hasbara exists precisely to render testimony and scholarship like Sand’s invisible. Who reads books, especially dense books on troublesome subjects? The object is to dictate the agenda of the mainstream media. More, the priorities of decision-makers and opinion-makers must be channeled. Thus the perennial sponsoring of the white-washing trips to Israel of elected national legislators and of journalists, who duly arrive home as significant repositories and replicators of the myths and lies.
Right on cue, here is the witless Australian Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, the keynote speaker at the third Australia-Israel-UK leadership dialogue (sic) in Jerusalem. (Pyne is taking a holiday from privatizing Australian higher education.)
‘Whenever there has been a congregation of freedom loving nations versus non freedom loving nations, Australia has always been prepared to be in the fight and always on the right side. And that’s how we view the State of Israel that we are on the right side. … It shows that Israel has existential threats that requires them to take firm action to protect those freedoms, firmer actions than Australia has had to take to protect our own existence [etc.].’
One of the commenters proposes: ‘I and many others would vote to make you an Honorary Jew.’ Frankly, we Down Under would be thankful if you’d take this wretched flunkey off our hands (take the whole Cabinet as a job lot gratis) before he does further damage.
I first came to this troublesome arena belatedly and by accident. It was the death of Arafat in November 2004. The Australian media went ballistic with domestic and international players of the global Hasbara. Arafat as the consummately evil terrorist. Who never missed an opportunity to make peace. Arafat walked away from Barak’s magnanimous offer at Camp David in 2000, etc.
Now hang on a minute. Didn’t Arafat recognize ‘the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security’ in September 1993 as a prelude to the Oslo Accords, and accept the 1967 boundaries? Isn’t it the case that Barak offered nothing at all at Camp David (as meticulously laid out by the late Tanya Reinhart in her 2002 Israel/Palestine)?
So here was the Hasbara brigade, frothing at the mouth, lying through its collective teeth. Uri Avnery, hardly an Arafat devotee, exclaimed at the time:
‘The disgusting filth poured out over Yasser Arafat during the last few days in practically all the Israeli media makes one ashamed to be an Israeli. The demonization of the Palestinian national leader, which has been the center-piece of Israeli propaganda for decades, continues even after his death. It seems that 37 years as occupiers have bestialized our society and left it bereft even of common decency. Ministers and fishmongers, TV icons and university professors, “leftists” and outright fascists tried to outdo each other in utter vulgarity.’
Thus was my initiation into the Hasbara phenomenon. I concluded rationally, on the basis of the statements of the Hasbara crowd alone, that something was substantially rotten in the state of Denmark. And thus it has proved since that time.
If Israel is intrinsically ‘a light unto the nations’, why does it need the Hasbara?
The Triumph of Rambo Tribalism
Israel has an enviable fan base from people and groups who are citizens of other countries. It is most transparent in the groupings that percolate into the hierarchies of the ‘representative’ bodies of national Jewry. Without the support of these bodies, the ongoing barbarity of Israel towards the subject Palestinian people would cease overnight.
But there is also a litany of subaltern foot soldiers who man the press letters pages and the media comments sites in the defense of Holy Israel. They are particularly unfriendly to the defectors of Jewish ethnicity. The Australian noted anti-Zionist Antony Loewenstein is a case in point. His own Damascus moment arrived when the usual suspects unleashed another torrent of bile when Hanan Ashwari, senior Palestinian official, was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 2003. For his courage and forthrightness, Loewenstein has been perennially the recipient of odious abuse from the Hasbara cheerleaders. Enter the ‘self-hating Jew’ epithet.
An extraordinary dimension of Rambo Tribalism has been the Zionist simultaneous marginalization and appropriation of Judaism. Menuhin, in distress, calls it ‘Napalm Judaism’. Menuhin’s Decadence is an extended discourse, on precisely this issue:
‘Advancing, evolving, universal and spiritual Judaism, which was the core of the Judeo-Christian code of ethics, is now becoming the tool, the handmaiden, of “Jewish” nationalism, so that the ethical injunctions Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet have been transformed into the unethical, primitive and tribalistic “Covenant of the Chosen People” and “Israel First.” …
The parochialism, tribalism and jingoism of contemporary “Jewish” nationalism, spawned and nursed by Ben Gurion and his junta, are one of the great tragedies of the Jews and of Judaism of our time. Here is where the real degeneration played havoc with an age-old civilized and ethical and universal people.’
Menuhin completes his book with an extended cri de coeur regarding the direction of his beloved American Council for Judaism. The ACJ was founded by the German Reform-influenced Rabbi Elmer Berger in 1942 as an anti-Zionist beachhead. In August 1968, several Directors of the ACJ instigated the expulsion of Berger from the Council. A tidal wave of muscular Zionism ensued from the easy Israeli victory in the June 1967 War, and that was the effective end of the AJC as an anti-Zionist force in the US. The current hegemony of AIPAC and like-minded Jewish organizations relegates the AJC and its orientation to ancient history.
This experience of betrayal has most recently been expressed, rightly with fury, by Norman Pollack, 24 July, on this site:
‘… expressing my abhorrence to the war crimes committed by Israel, by convention, in world Jewry, THE representative of the Jewish people and religion, leading therefore to feelings of shame, alienation, and betrayal, that my religion, ancestral heritage, upbringing, could so distort the meaning of Judaism as I’ve known and loved it …’
Yet in this long process of debasing Judaism for reasons of state, Israel is now seeking from the UN (similarly debased by Israeli contempt) agreement for the recognition of Yom Kippur as a globally-oriented UN holiday! Israel has raised the bar on Chutzpah.
A curious phenomenon of wanting a foot in both camps is the Jewish faith school system in Australia (possibly elsewhere). In their mission statements, it is not unusual to find a commitment to both the inculcation of Judaic (read, universalist) moral values and to a (seemingly uncritical) support of Israel. Some examples:
‘Our purpose is to cultivate in our students a passionate sense of Jewish identity, a sense of belonging to the worldwide Jewish community with special ties to the Australian Jewish community and the State of Israel. … We build a sense of belonging and cooperation by promoting mutual respect, in line with our belief in the ideals of freedom of religion, speech and association, peace, openness, tolerance and social justice.’ (Sholem Aleichem College, Melbourne)
‘We strive to foster critical thought, cultural interests, tolerance, social responsibility and self-discipline. … Moriah not only aspires to achieve excellence in academic standards, but maintains and promotes among its students an awareness of and a feeling for Jewish traditions and ethics, an understanding of and a positive commitment to Orthodox Judaism and identification with and love for Israel.’ (Moriah College, Sydney)
Bialik College (Melbourne) is of particular interest. The first Jewish school established in Australia, in 1942 (from Wikipedia) ‘… from its beginning it was intended to be a Zionist school, with the establishment of the State of Israel central to its identity.’ From its mission statement:
‘Centrality of Israel: We are a Zionist school that inculcates a love of Israel. We recognise the centrality of Israel and Hebrew to the Jewish people. We support Israel and are committed to its well-being.’
Bialik College is the school from which one Ben Zygier graduated as an accomplished student. He evidently took the school’s values to heart – he ended up moving to Israel and being employed in some capacity in Israeli intelligence. Zygier died, in still murky circumstances, in a high security cell in December 2010 – the unqualified love of Israel can have its down side it appears. Bialik takes its entire Year 10 class to Israel for 6 weeks. This year, the class is travelling via China for a cross-cultural experience. A visit to Gaza, as a potential location for ‘Bialik’s inclusive cross-communality’ appears to be not on the itinerary.
Perhaps the saddest reflection of Rambo Tribalism is the impulsion of Jewish people, citizens of various countries, to go and join the IDF, to participate voluntarily in ongoing repression as an occupying force and in mass murder of a subject people. Those who have left comfortable environments to become jihadis for some murderous Islamist outfit in the Middle East are (rightly) seen as unstable, perhaps deranged. Those who become jihadis for Israel’s ethnic cleansing are labeled spirited, courageous, ‘unsung heroes’.
Tribalism involves the suppression of one’s moral compass and integrity (abstract diffuse) for the close comforts of togetherness and acceptance. One can understand how it happens, and is sustained. But at what cost?
Being a compulsive newspaper letters page reader, a particular letter, from Ms X, in the Melbourne Age, 19 July 2005, remains a seminal experience:
‘Along with other progressive-minded Australians of Jewish descent, I signed a petition of support for Palestinian self-determination in 2001. Endorsing the petition is one of many endeavours to support any peoples, regardless of race or religion, struggling against occupation, dispossession and oppression. Such struggles include the Palestinian people against the Israeli state, the Iraqi people against the US and its allies, the Saharawi against Morocco and the East Timorese against Indonesia.
These state powers are from different religious traditions but are united in using the politics of hegemony and state terrorism. In 2001 the petition was published in both mainstream and Jewish newspapers. Only this week, I was told not to attend the funeral of a great-aunt as my “name appeared in the [Australian] Jewish News supporting Palestine”.
Now that I have the red star of Marx pinned to my breast, what does this mean? Am I now a non-Jew or simply a self-hater? Or maybe my Jewish heritage makes me more keenly appreciate the tragic consequences of racism and oppression.’
Nine years down the track the stance of Ms X and her family relationships remains unknown. A resolute handful of anti-Zionist Australian Jews regularly front the social media (by default of exclusion from the MSM). Meanwhile the myriad ‘official’ Jewish organizations in Australia remain unrepentant functionaries for a foreign pathologically criminal state.
Buying Governments, establishing Impunity
Israel has an uncountable number of governments in tow. In the ‘democracies’ (U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, etc.) it doesn’t matter which Party is in power, Israel has that country in tow. Some countries (notably Australia) render themselves servile indirectly via their servility to the U.S.
Israel owns the U.S., lock stock and barrel. On 17 July, all 100 Senators voted for a resolution supporting Israel ‘as it defends itself against unprovoked (sic) rocket attacks’. Beyond abject servility, it is a treasonous and criminal act. Beyond the armaments flowing from the U.S. for the continuation of the slaughter, mendicant Israel continues to enjoy billions of dollars each year courtesy of the hapless U.S. taxpayer. Vocal Congressional critics of Israel (Cynthia McKinney, Paul Findley, etc.) lose office with the Lobby funding their opponents, providing a clear warning to any hopeful seeking office to purportedly represent (a quaint idea) the American public interest.
In spite of the annual payola, the U.S. gets nothing in return. Israel treats the U.S. as its dogsbody. Thus Secretary of State John Kerry is forced to leave empty-handed from attempts at a ‘peace settlement’, with Israel subsequently belittling Kerry as weak. Which of course he is, because he is a product of an American political structure that will not pull the plug.
Joel Kovel (Overcoming Zionism, 2007) lists some key events in which Israel’s actions have significantly harmed U.S. interests. He continues:
‘Like the murder of Rachel Corrie, they manifest a self-reinforcing circuit, which begins with wanton disregard for the ordinary principles of humanity and ends with the granting of impunity for the “special” state, which, emboldened, commences the circuit anew. The same pattern obtains throughout the entire pattern of Israeli history, most notably in the flouting of scores of UN resolutions pertaining to the Occupation of Palestine.’
Remember that the University of Michigan Press went into meltdown with this book, after attack from the Lobby, over its contract to distribute Pluto Press publications in the U.S. And Kovel was subsequently sacked from his teaching job at Bard College. Remember also Norman Finkelstein, sacked from DePaul University for his forensic dismantling of the Hasbara narrative. The necessary complement of the Hasbara is the attempted censorship and silencing of its exposure as a fraudulent enterprise.
Kovel notes that the only occasion in which Israel has not got its way is in the U.S.’ continuing incarceration of the spy for Israel, Jonathan Pollard. Thus we have the squalid scenario of Israel attempting to blackmail President Clinton over its knowledge of the Lewinsky Affair to have Pollard released to enjoy the comforts of a hero’s residency in Israel. (How many in Congress are being similarly blackmailed?) This atypical recalcitrance from the U.S. constitutes an intolerable affront to a state accustomed to fulfilling its ambitions without exception.
Symptomatic of this mentality is the fact that Israel can steal or counterfeit national passports for use in its espionage or false flag activities. States remain craven in the face of this lawlessness.
And the Future?
While addressing the emasculation of the American ‘Left’ in particular, Kovel articulates well the current impasse and its broader implications:
‘Acceptance of the “special” nature of Israel, often manifest in an appeal to just how horribly Jews have suffered, goes hand in hand with devaluation of Israel’s victims and minimization of its crimes. Given the indisputable fact that Israel’s conquest of Palestine radiates across the world and sets into motion so much hatred and disorder, the inability of progressives in the global superpower to come to grips with Zionism drags down everything they do, and makes it impossible to deal effectively with war and peace alike.
One thing that is truly special about Israel is continual moral embattlement. A seemingly eternal struggle over wrongdoing and justification dogs its every step. This has inner ramifications that cut to the heart of the Zionist project.’
The stark reality is that Israel’s ‘continuing moral embattlement’ is an attribution only for those still possessing a morality gene and thus prone to outrage. Israel holds all the aces. It possesses near absolute power, for the reasons outlined above. None of the key pillars that underpin that power – nation states, national lobbies – have cracked under the escalating Gaza death count one iota. There have been no mea culpas amongst longtime supporters. The Hasbara is going full bore, with the mainstream media on tap and the foot soldiers flooding social media.
Of significance, the situation in the Middle East has never been more favorable to Israel’s regional hegemony. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, two distinct tyrannies with their own agendas, are firmly allied with Israel. Iraq has been conveniently dismembered – the process pursued by the U.S. predominantly in Israel’s interests in the first place. Syria is in the process of being dismembered. Ditto. The U.S.-induced chaos in Ukraine has conveniently forced Russia’s attention away from Syria. Jordan is now a U.S./Israeli satrap. Iran is hobbled by crippling sanctions, again for Israeli interests. Only Hezbollah remains unchained – and that ‘impediment’ is currently being addressed.
Gaza is living, has been living, a nightmare. West Bank residents also, if to a lesser extent. The diabolical reality is that at present the forces capable of bringing Israel to heel lack the requisite morality gene in their DNA.
Thus the overwhelming and urgent de facto responsibility of the street – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. Israel at present experiences no ‘moral embattlement’. The effective embattlement has to come in a tangible form.
Afterword: Saving the Language Itself
Another casualty of the Israeli Hasbara machine has been language itself. Of course, language is intrinsically a vehicle of manipulation for purposes of persuasion – embodied in the personalized Rhetoric from the Classical Age to the industrial strength propaganda techniques devised in the hothouse of World War I and since imposed unstintingly on the hapless populace (thank you Edward Bernays).
There is one dimension of the propagandized structuring of language that has been brilliantly successful, because it has been applied in blanket fashion and has been rendered subliminally. It has been in the linguistic devices by which a dual world has been manufactured of ‘us’ versus ‘the other’. War propaganda fits naturally into the medium.
It is in the arena of the creation of popular support for (or the deadening of opposition to) Empire that the language of duality has been most successful. Thus Britain, in its painting the globe red, was engaged in a ‘civilizing’ mission to the great unwashed. The U.S.’s imperial thrust, massively assisted by the unprecedented propaganda machine of the Cold War, was rather an exercise in exporting ‘freedom’ to the variously oppressed.
Thus did we imbibe with Mother’s milk the verities of good guys versus bad guys, us versus them. This creed, instilled a priori and embedded in our language, has dramatically undermined our capacity for the perception and rational processing of information. Thus we might discover, no doubt by accident, that U.S. governments have knocked off the odd government, here there and everywhere, but such raw material is rendered as dissonance in our inherited mental and linguistic tool kit, and is readily discarded as unfathomable white noise. Ron Jacob’s recent piece, ‘US and Israeli Exceptionalism’, 15 July, highlights precisely this point.
With the good guys / bad guys duality hardwired, long impeding the critical faculties, along comes the Hasbara, elevating the manipulation of language to a new plateau. This is a qualitative leap. Moving beyond the difficulty of seeing the stye in our own eye, the Hasbara upends linguistic conventions. Black becomes white, evil is translated into righteousness. Victims of murderous ethnic cleansing become terrorists.
The conventions of language go completely out the door. Mass murder is self defense. The Great Wall is a barrier or a mere fence. Land grabs are voluntary relocations into disputed territories. And as Master Spinmeister for the Israeli mafia we have Mark Freiberg/Regev – unhappily an Australian export. The head spins. It is near impossible to think clearly. The jaw drops in disbelief.
When Israel is ultimately called to account, the optimists steeling the resolve, and the Hasbara machine is interred, perhaps we might be able to reclaim our language and to use it for purposes, albeit rusty for lack of practice, propelled by both reason and morality.
Evan Jones is a retired political economist from the University of Sydney. He can be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ukrainian Civil War took a violent and headline-grabbing international turn for the worst on 17 July following the downing of Flight MH17. Although it appears more and more likely that it was the Ukrainian Army that shot it down and not the anti-Kiev Resistance, pro-Western media has been aggressively pushing the narrative that Russia, specifically President Putin, was involved and has been suppressing evidence to the contrary. It has even gone as far as to infer that “Russian-backed separatists” carried out a “terrorist attack”, further upping the propaganda ante. The reason behind this massive information war is that the US wants to “isolate Russia” and expand NATO into Ukraine, something which it has largely been unable to successfully do up until this point. In fact, it appears as though the US is now readying to play its trump card – granting Ukraine major non-NATO ally status and declaring Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, both of which would in turn advance NATO interests and threateningly force the EU to choose whether its destiny lies with the Atlantic or the Continent.
“Operation: Isolation” before Flight MH17
Prior to the downing of MH17, US-led sanctions against Russia were unsuccessful in isolating Moscow. The EU refused to enact any meaningful sanctions that would endanger its $330 billion yearly trade with Russia, thereby mitigating the US’ economic bullying efforts. In fact, the verbal threat of sanctions was actually beneficial for Russia since it motivated the country to look outside the West for future economic prospects. An historic gas deal with China was signed in May that was worth nearly half a trillion dollars, and in the same month, the Eurasian Economic Union was officially formed. Then, right before 17 July, Putin attended the BRICS conference in Brazil where he met with leaders representing nearly half of the world’s population, and they committed to creating the alternative BRICS Development Bank. Clearly, Russia wasn’t going to be isolated by the West.
All while this was happening, the US kept trying to find a backdoor way for incorporating Kiev’s armed forces into NATO, and it found it through its local lackey, Poland. A plan was concocted by Ukraine to create a joint brigade between it, Lithuania, and Poland, with Poland being the key NATO partner involved (Lithuania on its own is almost insignificant in international and military affairs of any kind). The importance here is that Kiev has been institutionalizing the relationship it has with its new strategic partner, Poland, also inviting its former overlord and mercenary-in-arms into the east to assist with “creating new jobs” (read: plundering) in Donbass. What is happening here is that even if the West was unsuccessful in isolating Russia, it could at the very least move as much of its influence eastward to the Russian frontier as it can in order to enact maximum pressure on Moscow.
The “Terrorist” Label and Shadow NATO
Almost immediately after it happened, the MH17 catastrophe was seized upon by Western political opportunists as valuable capital for their geostrategic game. As was mentioned in the first paragraph, pro-Western media outlets immediately laid the blame squarely at Putin’s feet, and this wasn’t coincidental. The objective in doing so has been to generate enough anti-Russian sentiment in Europe so as to justify mutually disadvantageous sanctions (more so for the socially and politically fractured EU, many of whose members are still in recession, than for the economically resolute Russia). The EU, and especially Germany, will only “shoot itself in the kneecaps” as either an emotional or forced response, as to do so under any normal circumstances would be absolutely unreasonable.
Thus, the “terrorist” label entered the discourse.
It has now become popular for Western opinion makers to repeat the Kiev slur that the anti-coup Resistance are “terrorists”, emphasizing that they are “Russian-backed” and “supported by Putin”. It doesn’t matter that none of this is true – what is important is that it is repeated as loudly and as often as can be. The result is to acclimate the public into believing that Russia under Putin is a pariah state, much as Newsweek magazine tried to convince their audience with its last hate piece. Poroshenko has taken things even further, likening MH17 to Lockerbie and 9/11 and trying to get Donetsk and Lugansk’s governments on the international terrorist list.
It is only a short leap of “logic” to see the connection between Russia and Putin as terrorist sponsors and the US’ designation of state-sponsor-of-terrorism status onto the country. Such a step would lead to immediate US sanctions and intense pressure on the EU to cut off its major non-energy trade contacts with Russia and fiendishly move towards diversifying away from Russian gas (to say nothing of killing the South Stream project). The US will only take this extreme step if it is sure that it has more influence over Europe than Russia does and that Europe can be convinced to sacrifice its economic well-being for ideological and political reasons (which is not that far-off of a possibility for such an indoctrinated leadership).
Just as before the tragedy, it must be noted that the US is still pursuing the goal of shadow NATO integration with Ukraine parallel to isolating Russia. It is reported that it may be on the cusp of granting Ukraine major non-NATO ally status and even providing pinpoint precision intelligence for attacking anti-Kiev SAM sites. This could rapidly creep into something much more, per the Libya model, especially since US military advisors will be on the ground. Thus, in one fell swoop, by evoking the “terrorist” label, the US can ‘kill two birds with one stone’ – guilt/force the EU into “isolating Russia” (thereby isolating and harming itself as well) and swallow Ukraine into Shadow NATO.
The US has plainly demonstrated that it is salivating for a Cold War redux with Russia, and once more, Europe is caught in the middle. It is completely contrary to any of its interests for it to participate in this needless and aggressive geopolitical struggle, but as the EU seems wont to do nowadays, it may easily get sucked into it out of misguided ideological and political reasons dictated by the US. In fact, it may have little choice: the US could unilaterally declare Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and then force the EU, whose largest export market is the US and with whom it is negotiating the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (which European political elite naively believe will benefit them), into acquiescing to its military occupier’s demands. This wouldn’t “isolate” Russia, which has already made a strong push into the non-Western world since April, as much as it would isolate the EU, but ironically, this may even work in Washington’s favor by crippling its friendly economic rival and keeping it under its thumb for at least another decade.
Moreover, Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” would create a clear dividing line between the West and Russia and could give a renewed hybrid purpose to NATO. Whereas in the Cold War it was an anti-Russian organization and then in the “Global War on Terror” it nominally became an anti-terrorist organization, it may soon carry the new hybrid mission of containing a “terrorist-supporting” Russia. This would also provide enhanced justification to European populations for the deployment of even more US and NATO personnel in Eastern Europe, as well as deeper and faster Shadow NATO integration for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, thereby laying the framework for a Western battering ram into Russia’s Near Abroad. All of this would rightfully alarm Russia, which would then defensively ramp up its multivector cooperation with ‘The Rest’ and BRICS. This would be especially so for its prized strategic partner and fellow Western target, China, potentially creating an eventual de-facto alliance between the two giants out of shared security concerns and transforming the Eurasian strategic landscape.
Kiev is not interested in a fair and unbiased investigation into the downing of the Malaysian plane over Ukraine, so it is sabotaging the work of international experts, one of the self-defense forces leaders said on Wednesday.
Kiev’s authorities have been obstructing the international investigation into the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane since day one, Deputy Prime Minister of People’s Republic of Donetsk Andrey Purgin told Russia-24 TV channel on Wednesday.
Purgin said it became clear that Kiev is sabotaging the probe two days after the incident, when international experts were not let into the area, as Kiev claimed it could not guarantee their safety.
Kiev simply refused to accompany the international experts, Purgin stated. The Malaysian group of experts made it down to the crash alone, with no security from Kiev.
It took four days for international experts to gain access to the site. The reason is that even after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced a 40-kilometer ceasefire zone around the crash site, Malaysian experts came under heavy shelling from the Ukrainian army while making their way within the ceasefire zone.
The Boeing 777-200ER, which was on a scheduled flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 passengers and crew on board, was shot down over Ukraine on July 17. There were no survivors.
Kiev authorities have accused the militia of being behind the catastrophe. However, the militia stressed that it doesn’t possess the means to shoot down an aircraft at such an altitude.
Following the crash, the dead bodies were left under 30C heat, as self-defense forces were pressured by the OSCE not to move the bodies until the international experts arrived, the Donetsk People’s Republic’s Prime Minister Aleksandr Boroday told BBC.
“We waited a day, two, three – but no experts,” Boroday said. “They were all sitting in Kiev.” To keep the dead bodies laying there became “absurd” and “inhumane,” he added.
The Ukrainian militia handed over to Malaysian experts the black boxes from the plane on Tuesday. Investigators say they have found no evidence that the black box recorder was tampered with.
Read more: Ukrainian militia hand over MH17 flight recorders to Malaysia
The Dutch Safety Board said it has taken charge of the international investigation. It will coordinate a team of 24 investigators from Ukraine, Malaysia, Russia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It added that four Dutch investigators are currently operating in Ukraine.
The bodies of the first victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived back in the Netherlands on Wednesday.
A day earlier, the UN Security Council condemned the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and called for an international probe into the incident in a unanimously adopted resolution.
Secretary of State Kerry has earned an unenviable reputation for bombastic exaggeration at times when diplomatic caution is needed, a pattern that he has demonstrated again in rushing to judgment over the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
The last time a major war loomed on the near horizon, Secretary of State John Kerry played fast and loose with the facts. In a speech on Aug. 30, 2013, he solemnly claimed, no fewer than 35 times, “we know” that the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for chemical attacks outside Damascus on Aug. 21.
Just a few days later it became abundantly clear that Kerry did not know. There was instead a great deal of uncertainty within the U.S. intelligence community. And, to their credit, my former colleagues in CIA and in the Defense Intelligence Agency stood their ground by refusing to say “we know.”
Indeed, the dog-not-barking moment in the Syria-sarin case was the absence of U.S. intelligence officials sitting behind Kerry when he testified about his supposed knowledge to the U.S. Congress. Unlike the tableau in 2003 when CIA Director George Tenet positioned himself behind Secretary of State Colin Powell to give silent endorsement to Powell’s false allegations about Iraqi WMD to the United Nations Security Council, Kerry had no such support when he made his case against Syria’s government, although the clueless U.S. mainstream news media failed to notice this significant absence.
We Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) tried to alert President Barack Obama to this lack of consensus among our former colleagues in a Memorandum for the President on Sept. 6. Determined to avoid a redux of the fraudulent intelligence performance on Iraqi WMD, our former colleagues refused to “fix the intelligence around the policy” – again. The opposition was so strong that not even the malleable CIA Director John Brennan could give Kerry the usual “Intelligence Assessment” he wanted. So the best the Obama administration could cook up was something called a “Government Assessment” bereft of verifiable evidence and shorn of the normal dissents that intelligence analysts file with traditional estimates.
The reason for this internal intelligence community resistance was that, from the start, it made little sense that Assad would have launched a sarin attack right outside Damascus just as UN inspectors were unpacking at their Damascus hotel, having arrived in Syria to examine another chemical incident that Assad was blaming on the rebels. Further, the evidence quickly began to accumulate that the Syrian rebels had sarin and that they may well have been the ones who released it on Aug. 21 in a scheme to push Obama across his “red line” against the use of chemical weapons and induce the U.S. military to join the civil war on the rebel side.
At the time, the rebels were increasingly desperate. They had suffered a string of setbacks earlier last summer. The Turks, who had been aiding the rebels, also were growing convinced that only open U.S. military involvement could avert a looming defeat. So they set out, with apparent support of hawks in the U.S. State Department, to mousetrap President Obama into “retaliating” against Syria for crossing the “red line.”
Kerry’s performance on Aug. 30 – with all his “we knows” – was a clarion call for attacking Syria and might have prevailed, were it not for the fact that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey intervened and talked sense to the President. Less than 24 hours after Kerry spoke, Obama surprised virtually everyone in Official Washington by announcing that he had decided not to attack Syria immediately as expected, but rather would go to Congress for authorization.
How close the world came to another U.S. war was underscored by the fact that after Obama’s decision, France, which had been eager to attack, had to be told to decrease the alert status of the fighter-bombers it had on the tarmac. Israel had to be told it could relax the highest-alert posture of its defenses.
On Sept. 1, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham angrily confirmed that Dempsey’s intervention had put the kibosh on their clearly expressed desire to attack Syria post-haste.
Kerry: Giving It the College Try
But an attack on Syria was still in play and Kerry gave a bravura performance in his Sept. 3 testimony to a Senate Foreign Affairs Committee whose leaders showed by their own remarks the degree to which they, too, were lusting for an attack on Syria. Kerry’s testimony on Syria included a transparent attempt to play down the effectiveness of al-Qaeda affiliates in gaining control of the armed opposition to Assad.
Kerry’s testimony drew a highly unusual personal criticism from Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a televised meeting of the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council on Sept. 4, Putin said, “He [Kerry] is lying, and he knows he is lying. It is sad.”
But Kerry continued to dissemble. Still arguing for war on Syria, Kerry was asked at the end of a Sept. 9 press conference in London whether there was anything Assad could do to prevent a U.S. attack. Kerry answered (quite dismissively, in view of subsequent events) that Assad could give up every one of his chemical weapons, but “he isn’t about to do that; it can’t be done.”
However, such a plan was already afoot, being pushed by Putin’s diplomats. Later that same day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Syrian counterpart announced that Syria had agreed to allow all its chemical weapons to be removed and destroyed. Cutting out Kerry, Obama had cut a deal directly with Putin. All Syria’s chemical weapons have now been destroyed.
So this is the backdrop against which to give credence, or not, to Kerry’s stacking up the evidence against Russia for the shoot-down of the Malaysian airliner on Thursday over Ukraine.
Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash – and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.
Military officials – chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev – posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.
1. Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?
“Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north,” said Kartopolov.
2. Was MH17 leaving the route a navigation mistake or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk?
“The maximum deviation from the left border of the corridor was 14 km. Following that, we can see the plane maneuvering to return to the corridor, yet the Malaysian crew did not get a chance to complete the maneuver. At 17.20, the plane began to lose speed, and at 17.23 it disappeared from Russian radars.”
3. Why was a large group of air defense systems deployed to the militia-held area if the self-defense forces have no planes?
“As far as we know, the Ukrainian military had three or four air defense battalions equipped with Buk-M1 SAM systems deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk on the day of the crash. This system is capable of hitting targets within the range of 35 km at the altitude of up to 22 km.”
Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)
4. Why did Kiev deploy Buk missile system right next to the militia-controlled area straight ahead of the tragedy?
“We have satellite photos of the places where Ukraine had its air defense units deployed in the southeastern parts of the country. The first three photos were made on July 14. The first photo shows Buk launchers 8 km northwest of Lugansk. You can clearly see a TELAR and two TELs. The second photo shows radars 5 km north of Donetsk. You can see two TARs along with other equipment and technical structures. The third photo shows air defense systems north of Donetsk. You can clearly see a TELAR launcher and about 60 military and auxiliary vehicles, tents for vehicles and other structures.
“Here’s a photo of the same area made on July 17. Please note that the launcher has disappeared. The fifth photo shows a battery of Buk missiles at the village of Zaroshchenskoye 50 km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Shakhtyorsk on the morning of the same day. The sixth photo shows the same area on July 18. As you can see, the battery has left.”
No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)
5. On the day of the crash Kiev increased activity on its Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are components of the Buk system in the area. Why?
“Also, July 17 saw increased activity on the part of Ukraine’s Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are part of the Buk system. Here on this chart you see that there were seven radars operating on July 15, eight radars operating on July 16, and nine radars operating on July 17 in the area. Then, starting with July 18, the intensity of radar activities radically decreased, and now there are no more than two or three radars operating a day. The reason behind this is yet to be found.”
6. What was a military plane doing on the route intended for civilian flights?
“There were three civilian planes in the area performing their regular flights at this time. There was a flight from Copenhagen to Singapore at 17:17, there was a flight from Paris to Taipei at 17:24, and then there was the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.”
“Also, Russian monitoring systems registered that there was a Ukrainian Air Force jet, probably Su-25, climbing and approaching the Malaysian Boeing.”
“The Su-25 was 3-5 km away from the Malaysian plane. Su-25 is capable of climbing to the altitude of 10,000 meters for a short period of time. Its standard armament includes R60 air-to-air missiles, which are capable of locking and hitting targets from 12 km and which are guaranteed to hit the target from the distance of 5 km.”
(RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)
7. Why was the military jet flying at almost the same time and the same altitude with a passenger plane?
“At 17:21’35, with [the Boeing’s] velocity having dropped to 200 kilometers per hour, a new mark detecting an airborne object appears at the spot of the Boeing’s destruction. This new airborne object was continuously detected for the duration of four minutes by the radar stations Ust-Donetsk and Buturinskaya. An air traffic controller requested the characteristics of the new airborne object, but was unable to get any readings on its parameters – most likely due to the fact that the new aircraft was not equipped with a secondary surveillance radar transponder, which is a distinctive feature of military aircraft,” said Makushev.
“Detecting the new aircraft became possible as it started to ascend. Further changes in the airborne object’s coordinates suggest that it was hovering above the Boeing 777’s crash site, monitoring of the situation.
“Ukrainian officials earlier claimed that there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in the area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true.”
8. Where did the launcher – from the video circulated by Western media and showing a Buk system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia – come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported?
“I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems – unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia,” said Kartopolov.
“For example, media circulated a video supposedly showing a Buk system being moved from Ukraine to Russia. This is clearly a fabrication. This video was made in the town of Krasnoarmeisk, as evidenced by the billboard you see in the background, advertising a car dealership at 34 Dnepropetrovsk Street. Krasnoarmeysk has been controlled by the Ukrainian military since May 11.”
9. Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?
Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.
10. Why haven’t US officials revealed the evidence supporting claims that the MH17 was shot down by a missile launched by the militia?
“US officials claim they have satellite photographs proving the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched by the militia. But no one has seen these photographs so far. As far as we know, there was indeed a US satellite flying over southeastern Ukraine on July 17 from 17:06 to 17:21 Moscow time.
“This satellite is part of an experimental system designed to track and monitor the launches of missiles of various ranges. If our US colleagues have imagery from this satellite, they should release it for the international community to examine it in detail. This may be a coincidence, but the US satellite flew over Ukraine at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner crashed.”
This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.
The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “maybe.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”
Last month, a military judge dealt a significant blow to U.S. prosecutors’ efforts to suppress torture evidence in the Guantanámo military commissions.
In a ruling in the U.S.S. Cole case, unsealed last week, Judge James Pohl told prosecutors they must hand over CIA black site information to the defense attorneys of Abd al-Rahim Hussayn al-Nashiri. Back in April, Judge Pohl similarly ordered the prosecution to give extensive information to Mr. al-Nashiri’s lawyers about his “4-year odyssey” through the CIA’s rendition and torture program. In the new ruling, Judge Pohl confirmed the core of the earlier order and issued important findings that will reverberate not only in Mr. al-Nashiri’s case but also in the 9/11 case, where one of the five defendants has already asked for similar information.
Judge Pohl found that Mr. al-Nashiri was subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” – the government’s euphemism for torture and cruel treatment, such as waterboarding and stress positions. More importantly, he ruled that information about that abuse is relevant and helpful to the defense. In particular, it will be relevant at sentencing because Mr. al-Nashiri faces the death penalty. His lawyers have said they will argue that he cannot be executed because he was tortured by the CIA – an argument that 9/11 defense lawyers will also likely make for their own clients.
Judge Pohl also said that the use of torture techniques will impact whether any statements Mr. al-Nashiri made afterwards are too tainted to be used at trial. Under the military commissions rules, the prosecution must convince the judge that the statements were “voluntarily given” in order to use them. The prosecution has already indicated that it will seek to use statements Mr. al-Nashiri made to the FBI after he arrived at Guantánamo. But with the new ruling, the prosecution will be required to turn over the information the defense says it needs to argue that these statements were tainted by the CIA’s earlier torture and abuse.
Judge Pohl’s order requires the prosecution to give the defense lawyers 10 categories of information, including where Mr. al-Nashiri was held, the conditions in each site, whom he interacted with, and how he was rendered from site to site. What’s not clear is the extent to which the prosecution will seek to provide summaries or other substitutes for some documents or to redact the names of personnel. According to Mr. al-Nashiri’s lawyers, this will be litigated in the coming months. Still, the ruling has definitively established that the information is relevant and helpful to the defense, and any new requests by the prosecution to narrow what it has to turn over will be limited by the ruling.
That’s a sea change, although a long-delayed one on a fundamental fair trial right: access to evidence. Judge Pohl has decided to step down from this case to concentrate on the commission trial of the 9/11 defendants. It’s now up to his successor to ensure this important decision is properly implemented.
The neoconservative movement, which is generally perceived as a radical (rather than “conservative”) Republican right, is, in reality, an intellectual movement born in the late 1960s in the pages of the monthly magazine Commentary, a media arm of the American Jewish Committee, which had replaced the Contemporary Jewish Record in 1945. The Forward, the oldest American Jewish weekly, wrote in a January 6th, 2006 article signed Gal Beckerman: “If there is an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim, neoconservatism is it. It’s a thought one imagines most American Jews, overwhelmingly liberal, will find horrifying. And yet it is a fact that as a political philosophy, neoconservatism was born among the children of Jewish immigrants and is now largely the intellectual domain of those immigrants’ grandchildren”. The neoconservative apologist Murray Friedman explains that Jewish dominance within his movement by the inherent benevolence of Judaism, “the idea that Jews have been put on earth to make it a better, perhaps even a holy, place” (The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy, 2006).
Just as we speak of the “Christian Right” as a political force in the United States, we could also therefore speak of the neoconservatives as representing the “Jewish Right”. However, this characterization is problematic for three reasons. First, the neoconservatives are a relatively small group, although they have acquired considerable authority on and within Jewish representative organizations, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. In 2003, journalist Thomas Friedman of the New York Times counted twenty-five members saying, “if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened”. The neoconservatives compensate for their small number by multiplying their Committees, Projects, and other think tanks, which certainly give them a kind of ubiquity.
Second, the neoconservatives of the first generation mostly came from the left, even the extreme Trotskyist left for some such as Irving Kristol, one of the main editors of Commentary. During the late 1960s the Commentary editorial staff begins to break with the liberal, pacifist left, which they suddenly find decadent. Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary from 1960 until his retirement in 1995, was a militant anti-Vietnam dissenter until 1967, but then in the 70s became a fervent advocate of an increased defense budget, bringing the journal along in his wake. In the 1980s, he opposed the policy of détente in his book The Present Danger: in the 1990s, he calls for the invasion of Iraq, and then again in the early 2000s. In 2007, while his son John Podhoretz was taking over as editor of Commentary, he asserted once again the urgency of a U.S. military attack, this time against Iran.
Third, unlike evangelical Christians who openly proclaim their unifying religious principles, neoconservatives do not display their Judaism. Whether they’d been Marxists or not, they appear mostly non-religious. It is well-know that their major influence is the philosophy of Leo Stauss, so much so that they are sometimes referred to as “the straussians”; Norman Podhoretz and his son John, Irving Kristol and his son William, Donald Kagan and his son Robert, Paul Wolfowitz, Adam Shulsky, to name just a few, all expressed their debt to Strauss. Leo Strauss, born to a family of German Orthodox Jews, was both pupil and collaborator of political theorist Carl Schmitt, himself a specialist of Thomas Hobbes and advocate of a “political theology” by which the State must appropriate the attributes of God. Schmitt was an admirer of Mussolini, and the legal counsel of the Third Reich. After the Reichstag fire in February 1933, it was Schmitt who provided the legal framework that justified the suspension of citizen rights and the establishment of the dictatorship. It was also Schmitt, in 1934, who personally obtained from the Rockefeller Foundation a grant for Leo Strauss to study Thomas Hobbes in London and Paris, and then finally end up teaching in Chicago.
The thinking of Leo Strauss is difficult to capture, and certainly beyond the purview of this work. Moreover, Strauss is often elliptic because he believes that Truth is harmful to the common man and the social order and should be reserved for superior minds. For this reason, Strauss rarely speaks in his own name, but rather expressed himself as a commentator on classical authors, in whom he discovers many of his own thoughts. Moreover, much like his disciples Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind, 1988) and Samuel Huntington, he is careful to clothe his most radical ideas in ostensibly humanist principles. Despite the apparent difficulty, three basic ideas can easily be extracted from his political philosophy, no different from Schmitt. First, nations derive their strength from their myths, which are necessary for government and governance. Second, national myths have no necessary relationship with historical reality: they are socio-cultural constructions that the State has a duty to disseminate. Third, to be effective, any national myth must be based on a clear distinction between good and evil; it derives its cohesive strength from the hatred of an enemy nation. As recognized by Abram Shulsky and Gary Schmitt in an article “Leo Strauss and the World of Intelligence” (1999), for Strauss, “deception is the norm in political life” – the rule they applied to fabricating the lie of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein when working inside the Office of Special Plans.
In his maturity, Strauss was a great admirer of Machiavelli, who he believes he understood better than anyone. In his Thoughts on Machiavelli, he parts from the intellectual trend of trying to rehabilitate the author of The Prince against the popular opinion regarding his work as immoral. Strauss recognizes the absolute immorality of Machiavelli, which he sees as the source of his revolutionary genius, “We are in sympathy with the simple opinion about Machiavelli, not only because it is wholesome, but above all because a failure to take that opinion seriously prevents one from doing justice to what is truly admirable in Machiavelli; the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech”. The thought of Machiavelli is so radical and pure, says Strauss, that its ultimate implications could not be spelled out: “Machiavelli does not go to the end of the road; the last part of the road must be travelled by the reader who understands what is omitted by the writer”. Strauss is the guide who can help his neoconservative students do that, for “to discover from [Strauss’] writings what he regarded as the truth is hard; it is not impossible”. This truth that Machiavelli and Strauss share is not a blinding light, but rather a black hole that only the philosopher can contemplate without turning into a beast: there is no afterlife, and neither good nor evil; therefore the ruling elite shaping the destiny of their nation need not worry about the salvation of their own souls. Hence Machiavelli, according to Strauss, is the perfect patriot.
Neoconservatism is essentially a modern Jewish version of Machiavelli’s political strategy. What characterizes the neoconservative movement is therefore not as much Judaism as a religious tradition, but rather Judaism as a political project, i.e. Zionism, by Machiavellian means. Note that, in an article in the Jewish World Review on June 7th, 1999, the neoconservative Michael Ledeen defends the thesis that Machiavelli was a crypto-Jew, as were at the time thousands of families nominally converted to Catholicism under threat of expulsion or death. “Listen to his political philosophy, and you will hear the Jewish music”, wrote Ledeen, citing in particular Machiavelli’s contempt for the nonviolent ethics of Jesus and his admiration for the pragmatism of Moses, who was able to kill countless men in the interests of enforcing his new law.
Obviously, if Zionism is synonymous with patriotism in Israel, it cannot be an acceptable label in American politics, where it would mean loyalty to a foreign power. This is why the neoconservatives do not represent themselves as Zionists on the American scene. Yet they do not hide it all together either. Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Adviser in the administration of Bush’s son, wrote in his book Faith or Fear (1997): “Outside the land of Israel, there can be no doubt that Jews, faithful to the covenant between God and Abraham, are to stand apart from the nation in which they live. It is the very nature of being Jewish to be apart — except in Israel — from the rest of the population”. It is hard to come up with a better definition of Zionism, the corollary of which is the apartheid practiced against non-Jewish peoples in Palestine, defended in the same year by Douglas Feith in his “Reflections on Liberalism, Democracy and Zionism”, pronounced in Jerusalem, defending the right of Israel to be an “ethnic nation”: “there is a place in the world for non-ethnic nations and there is a place for ethnic nations”.
If one is entitled to consider the neoconservatives as Zionists, it is especially in noting that their foreign policy choices have always coincided perfectly with the interests of Israel (as they see it). Israel’s interest has always been understood as dependent on two things: the immigration of Eastern Jews and the financial support of the Jews of the West (American and, to a lesser extent, European). Until 1967, the national interest pushed Israel toward the Soviet Union, while the support of American Jews remained quiet. The socialist and collectivist orientation of the Labor Party in power naturally inclined them in this direction, but Israel’s good relations with the USSR were primarily due to the fact that the mass immigration of Jews was only possible through the good will of the Kremlin. During the three years following the end of the British mandate on Palestine (1948), which had hitherto limited Jewish immigration out of consideration for the Arab population, two hundred thousand Polish Jewish refugees in the USSR were allowed to settle in Palestine, with others coming from Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.
The Six Day War was a decisive turning point: in 1967, Moscow protested against Israel’s annexation of new territories, broke diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv and stopped the emigration of its Jewish citizens, which had accelerated in the previous month. It is from this date that Commentary became, in the words of Benjamin Balint, “the contentious magazine that transformed the Jewish left into the neoconservative right”. The neoconservatives realized that, from that point, Israel’s survival – and its territorial expansion – depended on the support and protection of another super-power, the U.S. military, and concomitantly that their need for Jewish immigrants could only be fulfilled by the fall of communism. These two objectives converged in the deepening of military power of the United States. This is why Irving Kristol engaged the American Jewish Congress in 1973 to fight George McGovern’s proposal to reduce the military budget by 30%: “this is to drive a knife into the heart of Israel. [...] Jews don’t like a big military budget, but it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States. [...] American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don’t want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel”. We now understand better what reality Kristol was referring to, when he famously defined a neoconservative as “a liberal who has been mugged by reality”.
In the late 60s, the neoconservatives support the militarist fringe of the Democratic Party, headed by Senator Henry Scoop Jackson, a supporter of the Vietnam War who challenged McGovern in the 1972 primaries. Richard Perle, parliamentary assistant to Jackson, wrote the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which made food aid to the Soviet Union conditional upon the free emigration of Jews. It is also within the office of Scoop Jackson that an alliance between the neoconservatives and the Rumsfeld-Cheney tandem will be forged, before Rumsfeld and Cheney took advantage of the Watergate scandal to join the Republican camp and infiltrate the White House. Perle placed his protégés Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Pipes in Team B, whose report was published in Commentary. During the Carter period, neoconservatives allied with evangelical Christians, viscerally anti-communist and generally well disposed towards Israel, the foundation of which they see as a divine miracle foreshadowing the return of Christ. The contribution of the neoconservatives to the Reagan victory allowed them to work within the government to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Israel; in 1981, the two countries signed their first military pact, then embarked on several shared operations, some legal and others not so, as evidenced by the network of arms trafficking and paramilitary operations embedded within the Iran-Contra affair. Anti-communism and Zionism had become so linked in their common cause, that in 1982, in his book The Real Anti-Semitism in America, the director of the Anti-Defamation League Nathan Perlmutter could turn the pacifism of the “peacemakers of Vietnam vintage, [the] transmuters of swords into plowshares”, into a new form of anti-Semitism.
With the end of the Cold War, the national interest of Israel changed once again. Their primary objective became not the fall of communism, but rather the weakening of Israel’s enemies. Thus the neoconservatives underwent their second conversion, from anti-communism to Islamophobia, and created new think tanks such as the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) led by Richard Perle, the Middle East Forum led by Daniel Pipes (son of Richard), the Center for Security Policy (CSP) founded by Frank Gaffney, and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). President George H.W. Bush, however, cultivated friendships with Saudi Arabia and was not exactly a friend of Israel; he resisted in September of 1991 against an unprecedented pro-Israel lobbying campaign that called for $10 billion to help Jews immigrate from the former Soviet Union to Israel. He complained in a televised press conference on September 12th that “one thousand Jewish lobbyists are on Capitol Hill against little old me”, thereby causing Tom Dine, the Executive Director of AIPAC, to exclaim that “September 12, 1991, is a day that will live in infamy”. Bush also resisted the neoconservatives’ advice to invade Iraq after Operation Desert Storm. Finally, Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker was too receptive to Arab proposals throughout the Madrid Conference in November 1991; the neoconservatives, as a result, sabotaged Bush’s chances for a second term and supported Democrat Bill Clinton. After eight years of Clinton, they finally completed their victory by having Bush’s son George W. elected and forcing him into the second Iraq war.
During Clinton’s two terms, while the Madrid agreements were buried by the Oslo Accords negotiated directly with an overwhelmed Yasser Arafat, neoconservatives prepared their return with Rumsfeld and Cheney, and threw all their weight behind their ultimate think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). William Kristol, son of Irving, also founded in 1995 a new magazine, The Weekly Standard, that immediately became the dominant voice of the neoconservatives thanks to funding from the pro-Israeli Rupert Murdoch. In 1997, it would be the first publication to call for a new war against Saddam Hussein. During the Clinton years, neoconservatives, although consulted by the White House, were not part of it. And so it is relevant to mention that, during this same time, the FBI was investigating an Israeli mole in the White House, who was allegedly using the code name “Mega” and enjoying privileged access to the Security Council. According to the investigator Gordon Thomas, quoted by the New York Post on March 5th1998, the FBI investigation was stopped when “Israel blackmailed President Clinton with private recordings of his steamy conversations with Monica Lewinsky”.
Speeches and mirrors
The 2007 book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, shocked the American public by exposing the considerable influence of pro-Israel groups, the oldest of which being the Zionist Organization of America, and the most influential since the 70s, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The authors demonstrate that “the Lobby” has been the major force driving the United States into the Iraq war and, more generally, into a foreign policy that lacks coherence and morality in the Middle East. The authors’ thesis is yet incomplete because they leave absent the complementary role played from within State by the neoconservatives, who form the other arm of the pliers now holding the American foreign policy.
“We, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it”, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said to minister of Foreign Affairs Shimon Peres on October 3, 2001, according to Israeli radio Kol Yisrael. His successor Benjamin Netanyahu proved it on May 24, 2011 by receiving 29 standing ovation by the American Congress, including at each of those sentences: “in Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers” ; “No distortion of history could deny the 4,000-year-old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land” ; “Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967” ; “Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel”.
These two forces — the crypto-Zionists infiltrated in the government and the pro-Israel lobby — sometimes act in criminal conspiracy, as illustrated by the charge against Larry Franklin in 2005, who, as a member of the Office of Special Plans working under Douglas Feith, passed classified defense documents to two AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, who in turn transmitted them to a senior official in Israel. Franklin was sentenced to thirteen years in prison (later reduced to ten years of house-arrest), while Rosen and Weissman were acquitted. Most neoconservatives are active members of the second most powerful lobby pro-Israel, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), of which Dick Cheney and Ahmed Chalabi are also members, among others responsible for instigating the Iraq invasion. JINSA was founded in 1976 by American army officers, intellectuals, and politicians, with one of its stated aims “to inform the American defense and foreign affairs community about the important role Israel can and does play in bolstering democratic interests in the Mediterranean and the Middle East”. Colin Powell, according to his biographer Karen DeYoung, privately rallied against this “separate little government” composed of “Wolfowitz, Libby, Feith, and Feith’s ‘Gestapo Office’”, which he also called “the JINSA crowd”.
In 2011, Powell’s former Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson openly denounced the duplicity of neoconservatives such as David Wurmser and Douglas Feith, whom he considered like “card-carrying members of the Likud party. […] I often wondered if their primary allegiance was to their own country or to Israel. That was the thing that troubled me, because there was so much that they said and did that looked like it was more reflective of Israel’s interest than our own”. In fact, a significant number of neoconservatives are Israeli citizens, have family in Israel or have resided there themselves. Some are openly close to Likud, the nationalist party in power in Israel, and several have even been official advisors to Netanyahu; many are regularly praised for their work on behalf of Israel by the Israeli press. Paul Wolfowitz, for example, was nominated “Man of the Year” by the pro-Likud Jerusalem Post in 2003, and « the most hawkishly pro-Israel voice in the Administration » by the American Jewish daily newspaper The Forward.
The duplicity of the neoconservatives is brought to light by a document revealed in 2008 by authors such as James Petras and Stephen Sniegoski (see bibliography); it is a 1996 report by the Israeli think tank Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”, sent to the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The team responsible for the report was led by Richard Perle, and included Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and his wife Meyrav Wurmser. Perle personally gave the report to Netanyahu on July 8th, 1996. The same year, the authors signed the founding manifesto of PNAC in the U.S., and four years later, they would be positioned in key posts of the U.S. military and U.S. foreign policy. As its title suggests, the report Clean Break invites Netanyahu to break with the Oslo Accords of 1993, which committed Israel to the return of the territories it occupied since 1967 and to retract illegal settlements. The new Prime minister should instead “engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism” and reaffirm Israel’s right over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip: “Our claim to the land — to which we have clung for hope for 2,000 years — is legitimate and noble. […] Only the unconditional acceptance by Arabs of our rights, especially in their territorial dimension, ‘peace for peace,’ is a solid basis for the future”. The authors of Clean Break therefore encourage Netanyahu to adopt a politics of territorial annexation, not only contrary to the official position of the United States and the United Nations, but also contrary to public commitments made by Israel. Even though he signed the “roadmap” intended to lead to an independent Palestinian State in September 1999, and maintained his position at the Camp David summit in July 2000, Netanyahu followed the advice of Clean Break and secretly worked to sabotage the process. During a private interview filmed without his knowledge in 2001, he bragged how he undercut the peace process: “I’m going to interpret the accords in such a way that would allow me to put an end to this galloping forward to the ’67 borders”. He also said: “I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in our way.”
The recommendations to the Israeli government to sabotage the peace process in Palestine are presented by the authors of Clean Break as part of a larger plan to allow Israel to “shape its strategic environment”, by “removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq”, weakening Syria and Lebanon, and finally Iran. When Perle, Feith and Wurmser moved to key positions in the U.S. government, they arranged for the United States to implement the program themselves, without Israel having to pay a single drop of blood. If there are differences between the Clean Break report written for the Israeli government in 1996 and the report Rebuilding America’s Defenses written by the same authors for the U.S. government in 2000, it is not in the program itself, but rather the argued reasons. First, Clean Break does not have Iraq as a threat, but as the weakest of the enemies of Israel, the least dangerous and the easiest to break. In a follow-up to Clean Break, entitled Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant, Wurmser emphasizes the fragility of Middle East States, particularly Iraq: “the residual unity of the nation is an illusion projected by extreme repression of the state”. Thus the same action of first overthrowing Saddam is recommended to Israel and the United States, but for opposite reasons. The weakness of Iraq, which is the reason for Israel, does not constitute a valid reason for the United States; and so it was therefore necessary to present Iraq to the Americans as a mortal threat to their country. Netanyahu himself authored an article in the Wall Street Journal in September 2002, under the title “The Case for Toppling Saddam”, describing Saddam as “a dictator who is rapidly expanding his arsenal of biological and chemical weapons, who has used these weapons of mass destruction against his subjects and his neighbors, and who is feverishly trying to acquire nuclear weapons”. Nothing of such a threat, however, is mentioned in Israeli internal documents, which also make no mention of any further connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, nor even Al-Qaeda in general. The perspective on Iraq in Clean Break was the realistic one, while the motives given America were pure propaganda: by the time American troops moved into Iraq, the country had been ruined by a decade of economic sanctions that had not only rendered its army powerless, but also destroyed its once exemplary education and health care systems, taking the lives, according to UNICEF, of half a million children.
The second fundamental difference between the strategy recommended for Israelis and the propaganda sold to the Americans: while the second highlights both the security interest of the United States, and the noble ideal to spread democracy in the Middle East, the first ignores these two themes. The changes proposed by the Clean Break authors are not expected to bring any benefit to the Arab world. Instead, the goal is clearly to weaken Israel’s enemies by sharpening ethnic, religious and territorial disputes between countries and within each country. After the fall of Saddam, foreseen in Coping with Crumbling States, Iraq would be “ripped apart by the politics of warlords, tribes, clans, sects, and key families”, for the benefit of Israel. Furthermore, it is not democracy that Clean Break recommended for Iraq, but rather restoring a pro-Western monarchy. Such an outcome would obviously be unacceptable to the Americans, but when Lewis Paul Bremer, as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in 2003, brought about the destruction of the military and civilian infrastructure in the name of “de-Bathification”, it was viewed as a success from the eyes of the Likud. Better still, by dissolving the army, Bremer indirectly created a disorganized pool of resistance of some 400,000 angry soldiers, ensuring chaos for a few years. Daniel Pipes had the gall to write, three years after the invasion of Iraq: “the benefits of eliminating Saddam’s rule must not be forgotten in the distress of not creating a successful new Iraq. Fixing Iraq is neither the coalition’s responsibility nor its burden”. And besides, he adds, “when Sunni terrorists target Shiites and vice-versa, non-Muslims are less likely to be hurt. Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one” (New York Sun, February 28, 2006). Under Bremer’s leadership, 9 billion dollars disappeared in fraud, corruption and embezzlement, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen, published January 30th, 2005.
In 2001, Lewis Paul Bremer was the chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism who appeared on NBC two hours after the “collapse” of the Twin Towers, to calmly explain that “Bin Laden […] has to be a prime suspect” and that “there are at least two States, Iran and Iraq, which should at least remain on the list as essential suspects”. When the reporter from NBC drew a predictable parallel between the attack and Pearl Harbor, Bremer confirmed: “It is the day that will change our lives. It is the day when the war that the terrorists declared on the US [...] has been brought home to the U.S.”
The difference between the neocons’ Israeli and American discourses finds its explanation in the Israeli document itself, which recommends Netanyahu present Israeli strategy “in language familiar to the Americans by tapping into themes of American administrations during the cold war which apply well to Israel”; the Netanyahu government should “promote Western values and traditions. Such an approach […] will be well received in the United States”. The references to moral values are thus nothing more than tactics to mobilize the United States. Finally, while the authors of the Israeli report stressed the importance of winning the sympathy and support of the United States, they also declare that their strategy will ultimately free Israel from American pressure and influence: “such self-reliance will grant Israel greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of [United States] pressure used against it in the past”.
Passing off a threat against Israel as though it were a threat against the United States is a trick to which Netanyahu had no need to be converted; he has been employing it since the 1980s to rally Americans alongside Israel in the “international war on terrorism”, a concept which he can claim to have invented in his books International Terrorism: Challenge and Response (1982) and Terrorism: How the West can Win (1986). In their book An End to Evil (2003), Richard Perle and David Frum likewise work to embed the fears of Israelis into the minds of Americans; for example, they ardently urge Americans to “end this evil before it kills again and on a genocidal scale. There is no middle way for Americans: It is victory or holocaust”. It is, however, impossible for anyone to be consistently hypocritical, and it happens eventually that neoconservatives recklessly open their thoughts to the public. This is what happened to Philip Zelikow, Counselor to Condoleezza Rice and Executive Director of the Commission on September 11, when, speaking about the Iraqi threat during a conference at the University of Virginia September 10, 2002, he let slip: “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat is and actually has been since 1990: it’s the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell”. That’s really it in a nutshell: the United States must be led to make war with the enemies of Israel, and in order to that, Americans must be convinced that Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies.
In addition, it is necessary that the Americans believe that these enemies hate their country for what it claims to represent (i.e. democracy, freedom, etc.), not because of its support for Israel. The signatories of the PNAC letter to President Bush on April 3rd, 2002 (including William Kristol, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz, Robert Kagan, and James Woolsey) go as far as claiming that the Arab world hates Israel because it is a friend of the United States, rather than the reverse: “No one should doubt that the United States and Israel share a common enemy. We are both targets of what you have correctly called an “Axis of Evil.” Israel is targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles — American principles — in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred”. It is a well-known fact that America had no enemies in the Middle East before its covenant with Israel in the late 60s. On September 21st, 2001, the New York Post published an editorial by Netanyahu propagating the same historical falsification: “Today we are all Americans. […] For the bin Laden’s of the world, Israel is merely a sideshow. America is the target”. Three days later The New Republic responded with a headline on behalf of the Americans: “We are all Israelis now”. The post-9/11 propaganda has created a relationship fused by emotion. Wrongly, Americans have understood September 11th as an expression of hatred towards them from the Arab world and have thus experienced immediate sympathy for Israel, an emotional link neoconservatives exploit without limit; Paul Wolfowitz declared April 11th, 2002: “Since September 11th, we Americans have one thing more in common with Israelis. On that day America was attacked by suicide bombers. At that moment every American understood what it was like to live in Jerusalem, or Netanya or Haifa. And since September 11th, Americans now know why we must fight and win the war on terrorism”.
Questioned on September 11 about the event of the day by James Bennet for the New York Times, Netanyahu let go: “It’s very good […] it will generate immediate sympathy. […], strengthen the bond between our two peoples”. He confirmed it 8 years later, at Bar-Ilan University: “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq”, adding that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor”. (Ma’ariv, April 17, 2008).
One of the goals is to encourage Americans to view the oppression of the Palestinians as part of the fight against Islamic terrorism. As Robert Jensen said in the documentary Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land by Sut Jhally et Bathsheba Ratzkoff (2004): “Since the Sept 11th attack on the US, Israel’s PR strategy has been to frame all Palestinian action, violent or not, as terrorism. To the extent that they can do that, they’ve repackaged an illegal military occupation as part of America’s war on terror”. On December 4th, 2004, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon justified his brutality against the people of Gaza by claiming that Al-Qaeda had established a base there; but then on December 6th, the head of Palestinian Security Rashid Abu Shbak revealed in a press conference telephone banking traces proving that the secret services of Israel had themselves tried to create fake Al-Qaeda cells in the Gaza Strip, hoping to recruit Palestinians under the name of bin Laden. The recruits had received money and (defective) weapons and, after five months of indoctrination, were instructed to claim a future attack in Israel on behalf of “the Al-Qaeda group of Gaza”. Israeli services had intended, it seems, to mount an attack (whether real or false) against their own people and do so under the name of Al-Qaeda, in order to justify retaliation against Palestine.
In April 2003, a report titled Israeli Communications Priorities 2003, commissioned to the communications agency Luntz Research Companies & The Israel Project, by the Wexler Foundation, a Zionist organization specializing in cultural exchanges, offers linguistic recommendations to “to integrate and leverage history and communications for the benefit of Israel” with the American public. The document recommends, for example, to speak frequently of “Saddam Hussein” which are “the two words that tie Israel to America”, and “two of the most hated words in the English language right now”. “For a year — a SOLID YEAR — you should be invoking the name of Saddam Hussein and how Israel was always behind American effort to rid the world of this ruthless dictator and liberate their people”. The report also repeatedly suggests that a parallel between Saddam Hussein and Yasser Arafat needs to be established. By an ultimate sophistication, Michael Ledeen disputes in his book The War Against the Terror Masters (2003) the common idea that peace in Palestine is the condition for peace in the Middle East; the opposite, he claims, is true: “If we destroy the terror masters in Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran, and Riyadh, we might have a chance of brokering a durable peace [in Palestine]”.
The road to World War IV
Iraq was first on the list. Since the first Gulf war, neocons have been demonizing Saddam Hussein’s regime. David Wurmser, for example, published in 1999, after other islamophobic books, Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein. In 2000, the American Enterprise Institute published Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein’s Unfinished War Against America, whose author, Laurie Mylroie, expresses her debt to Scooter Libby, David Wurmser, John Bolton, Michael Ledeen, and above all Paul Wolfowitz and his wife Clare Wolfowitz, also member of AEI. Mylroie goes as far as accusing Saddam Hussein of being the mastermind of anti-American terrorism, blaming him (without proofs) for the 1993 bombing of the WTC, for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and for the attack against the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000. What threatens the United States, according to her, is “an undercover war of terrorism, waged by Saddam Hussein,” itself “a phase in a conflict that began in August 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, and that has not ended”. Richard Perle described this book as “splendid and wholly convincing”.
Neoconservatives lost no time in exploiting against Iraq the trauma of 9/11 after creating it. As soon as September 19th , Richard Perle invited to join in a Defense Policy Board meeting neocons Paul Wolfowitz and Bernard Lewis (inventor before Huntington of the self-fulfilling prophecy of the “Clash of Civilizations”), but neither Colin Powell nor Condoleezza Rice. The assembly agreed to overthrow Saddam Hussein as soon as the initial phase of the Afghanistan war is over. In a letter to President Bush written under the letterhead of PNAC, they reminded President Bush of his historical mission: “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism”. The argument of a link between Saddam and Al-Qaeda is here toned down and, in the summer of 2002, Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair will simply evoke “broad linkages”. Perle, however, kept claiming, against all evidence, that supposed 9/11 terrorist Mohamed Atta had met with Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir in Prague in 1999. On September 8th, 2002 in Milan, Perle even made up a scoop for the Italian newspaper Il Sole : “Mohammed Atta met Saddam Hussein in Baghdad prior to September 11. We have proof of that”.
Rumors of a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda were finally traded for a more elaborate casus belli : Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. To force this new lie onto the American State Department and public opinion, Cheney et Rumsfeld renewed their winning strategy of Team B, consisting in overtaking the CIA through a parallel team of pseudo-experts, to produce the terrifying report they needed: this will be the Office of Special Plans (OSP), established within the Near East and South Asia (NESA) [Center for Strategic Studies] of the Pentagon, under the control of neocons William Luti, Abram Shulsky, Douglas Feith, and Paul Wolfowitz. Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked for NESA at that time, testified in 2004 of the incompetence of OSP members, whom she saw “usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the president. [...] This was creatively produced propaganda”.
On February 5th, 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell engages his reputation in convincing the General Assembly of the United Nations that Saddam Hussein’s WMDs pose a threat to the world. He will later regret his speech, calling it “a blot on my record”, and claiming to have been deceived himself.
Just as some neoconservatives see the failure of U.S. forces in Iraq as a pretext to threaten Iran, others find the failure to recover Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction” a pretext to accuse Syria. In 2003, they passed on the ridiculous allegations of Ariel Sharon, who said that Iraq had secretly transferred their WMDs to Syria, along with their nuclear scientists. On November 11th, 2003, Congress passed the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act, imposing economic sanctions intended “to halt Syrian support for terrorism, end its occupation of Lebanon, [and] stop its development of weapons of mass destruction”. The aggression against Syria didn’t begin until 2011, under the guise of a civil war, but it had been premeditated since at least February 2000, when David Wurmser, in an article for the American Enterprise Institute entitled “Let’s Defeat Syria, Not Appease It” was calling for a conflict through which “Syria will slowly bleed to death”.
Since September 2001, Iran has also been placed in the cross-hairs of the neoconservatives. They seem to echo the sentiments of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who, in the London Times on November 2nd, 2002 called Iran the “center of world terror” and called for threats against Iran “the day after the U.S. invades Iraq”. The failure of U.S. troops to silence the resistance in Iraq forced the postponement of the attack on Iran. But Daniel Pipes took the bad news in good spirits, cheerfully stating in the New York Sun (February 28th, 2006) that the Iraqi civil war will invite “Syrian and Iranian participation, hastening the possibility of an American confrontation with those two states”. In spring 2008, President Bush publicly took up this new neoconservative chorus: “The regime of Teheran has a choice to make. […] If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners”. We should remember that in May 2003, through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, the Iranian government sent to Washington a proposal known as the “Grand Bargain”, which, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, promised cooperation with the United States to stabilize Iraq and to establish there a secular democracy, and was prepared to make further concessions, including peace with Israel. Bush and Cheney, however, prevented Powell from responding positively to the gesture. And therefore, summarized his Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson: “the secret cabal got what it wanted: no negotiations with Tehran”.
In parallel to this kind of diplomatic obstinacy, false pretenses of war have been regularly created. We know from Gwenyth Todd, advisor on the Middle East linked to the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf, that after being barely appointed commander of the fleet in 2007, Vice Admiral Kevin Cosgriff ordered his aircraft carriers and other ships into aggressive maneuvers in order to strike panic into the Iranians, hoping for a shot fired that would allow them to engage in war for which the pro-Israel lobby was eagerly waiting. Cosgriff wanted to “put a virtual armada, unannounced, on Iran’s doorstep”, without even informing Washington, according to the Washington Post, August 21st, 2012. On January 6th, 2008, the Pentagon announced that Iranian boats fired on American ships USS Hooper and USS Port Royal on patrol in the Strait of Hormuz, while broadcasting threatening messages such as: “I am coming to you”, and “you will explode after two minutes”. The television showed one of the Iranian boats dumping small white objects into the water, presenting the situation as one of hostility, as though the white objects were mines. Referring to this exceptionally “provocative and dramatic” incident, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen expressed concern about “the threat posed by Iran”, including “the threat of mining those straits”, and affirmed his willingness to use “deadly force” if necessary. In reality, the situation presented by the media and Mullen was completely untrue. The Iranian boats that patrolled the area and often passed American ships on a daily basis, had issued no threat whatsoever. Vice Admiral Cosgriff admitted that American crews had, in fact, noted that there was nothing to worry about, since the Iranian boats carried “neither anti-ship missiles nor torpedoes”. Nor did the threatening radio messages come from these vessels: “We don’t know for sure where they came from”, admitted the spokesman for the Fifth Fleet Lydia Robertson.
The 2009 Iranian elections and the ensuing protests in Tehran presented an occasion for a new tactic of psychological warfare, this time using Internet-based social networks and relayed by the American media. Within a few days, the death of a young woman that took place during the protests was appropriated as a horrifying symbol of the kind of oppression taking place in the Islamic regime. Neda Agha-Soltan was killed June 20th, 2009 by a sniper from the paramilitary, while exiting her car with her music teacher. A video of her agony and death, filmed live by mobile phone, was transmitted instantly around the world on Facebook and YouTube. Several rallies were held around the world in her honor. There was talk of her being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Her fiancé, a photographer named Caspian Makan, meets Shimon Peres in Israel and says: “I come to Israel as an ambassador of the Iranian people, a messenger of peace”, adding, “I have no doubt that the spirit and soul of Neda was with us during the presidential meeting”. Unfortunately, there emerge blatant inconsistencies: 1. There are actually three videos of Neda’s agaonizing death, which resemble several “takes” of the same scene. 2. A BBC interview with the doctor who attended her death is full of contradictions. 3. The autopsy concluded that Neda was killed at point blank range. 4. Finally, the face that became a global icon is actually that of another young girl, Neda Soltani. Many surmised that Neda Agha-Soltan, an apprentice actress, agreed to act her own death in exchange for a promising career abroad, but was shot for real immediately after.
Finally, Iran is indicted, since the beginning of the first Bush presidency, for its civilian nuclear research program, claims being made that it is only a front for secret military operations. The 2005 publication of a first National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report was the subject of intense media attention regarding Iran and its supposed interests; though its revision in 2007 should have calmed what were alarming implications from the 2005 version, it was largely ignored, as was the fact that religious leaders of Iran, begun by Ayatollah Khomeini, had issued several fatwa banning nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Meanwhile, nothing is mentioned regarding the illegal Israeli program that operates still unacknowledged, one that has allowed Israel to stockpile an estimated 200 atomic bombs to date.
Among the countries targeted by the neocons after 9/11, we must not forget to mention the two best allies of the U.S. in the Middle East, which is proof that the neocons do not have U.S. interests at heart. The plan to accuse and threaten Saudi Arabia was clearly built in the 9/11 false flag scenario, as is evidenced by the fact that Osama bin Laden and 15 out his 19 highjakers were Saudis. David Wurmser first opened fire in the Weekly Standard with an article titled “The Saudi Connection”, pretending that the Saudi royal family was behind the attack. The Hudson Institute had long been preparing the ground by violently denouncing all the sins (real and imaginary) of the Saudi dynasty, under the lead of its co-founder Max Singer (today director of research at the Institute for Zionist Strategies in Jerusalem). In June 2002, the Institute sponsored a seminar called “Discourses on Democracy: Saudi Arabia, Friend or Foe?”, where all answers pointed to foe as the right answer. A special event honored the publication of the book Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, by the Israeli Dore Gold, once an advisor to Netanyahu and Sharon and an ambassador to the United Nations. On July 10th, 2002, neocon Laurent Murawiec, of the Hudson Institute and Committee on the Present Danger, was invited to speak before Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board to explain that Saudi Arabia represented “the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent”, and to recommend that the U.S. army invade it, occupy it and dismember it. He summarized his “Grand Strategy for the Middle East” by these words: “Iraq is the tactical pivot. Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot. Egypt the prize”.
The neocons provided, in fact, the original inspiration of the soft challenge to the 9/11 official story, which admits the responsibility of Al Qaeda but points to links between the Bushes, the Saudis, and the bin Ladens. In their 2003 book, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror, Richard Perle and and David Frum (Bush’s speech-writer) write that “The Saudis qualify for their own membership in the axis of evil”, and ask President Bush to “tell the truth about Saudi Arabia”, meaning that Saudi princes finance Al Qaeda. To understand the absurdity of such a claim, let us recall that Osama, who called the Saudi princes traitors to Islam for tolerating U.S. military bases since the Gulf war, was stripped of his Saudi nationality in 1994 and banned from the bin Laden clan. In a Declaration of War Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places, published in 1996, bin Laden called for the overthrow of the Saudi dynasty and, in 1998, he admitted his role in the 1995 bombing of the National Guard headquarters in Riyad. Osama is the sworn enemy of the Saudis. It is unthinkable that the Saudis would have conspired with Osama bin Laden. [...]
Bin Laden is a multi-use patsy. Blaming him for 9/11 made it possible to threaten and blackmail Saudi Arabia, but also Pakistan, another U.S. ally. For if the Taliban are behind bin Laden, Pakistan is behind the Taliban. No official accusation was made against Pakistan, but General Ahmed Mahmud, director of ISI (Pakistan’s CIA) was implicated by information leaked from India (an ally to Israel, against their common enemy Pakistan), by the The Times of India on October 9th, 2001: “US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohamed Atta from Pakistan by [ISI agent] Ahmed Omar Saïd Sheikh at the insistance of General Mahmud”. Since Mohamed Atta is nothing but a patsy in this whole affair, the information can only be interpreted as a way to blackmail the ISI and Pakistan into supporting the official 9/11 story and collaborating with the U.S. to destroy the Taliban. If the ISI did pay Atta for some reason, then Atta’s name was picked as ringleader of the terrorists precisely for that reason, as a lever against Pakistan. Mahmud, who had travelled often to Washington since 1999, was there precisely between September 4 and 11, 2001. He allegedly met George Tenet, Director of the CIA, Marc Grossman, Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and perhaps Condoleezza Rice (who denies). At the moment of the attacks, he was at a breakfast meeting including Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Porter Goss, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee; “We were talking about terrorism, specifically terrorism generated from Afghanistan”, said Graham, who with Goss will be appointed to the 9/11 Commission.
The fake assassination of bin Laden (or assassination of fake bin Laden) in May 2011 in Pakistan is another proof that the 9/11 master plotters intended to keep maximum pressure on Pakistan. It allowed accusing Pakistan, after Afghanistan, of having welcomed and protected bin Laden for 10 years, which constitutes in the eyes of Americans real treason and a cause for war. Several books are written in this vein, such as Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of Global Jihad by ex-CIA Bruce Riedel. According to Riedel, bin Laden’s quiet life in a suburb of Abbotabad suggest “an astonishing degree of duplicity” on the part of Pakistan, who might well be “the secret patron of global jihad on a scale almost too dangerous to conceive. We would need to rethink our entire relationship with Pakistan and our understanding of its strategic motives”.
All these wars and threats of wars under false pretexts in the wake of 9/11 betray a desire to inflame conflicts in the Middle East rather than to control resources, let alone encourage stability. Michael Ledeen himself declares in his article “The War on Terror will not end in Baghdad” in the Wall Street Journal, on September 4th, 2002: “We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia: we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize”.
What could be the motivation for these incessant accusations and two-faced policies? It’s not simply a mindless killing spree, and is rather a project designed by a group of exceptionally intelligent men, under a particular rationality with precise and realistic goals — but to what purpose? Osama bin Laden replied to this question in an article published by the London Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi on February 23rd, 1998 (partially translated by Bernard Lewis in Foreign Affairs, November-December 1998). Referring to “the Crusader-Jewish alliance”, bin Laden speaks of “their attempts to dismember all the states of the region, such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia and Egypt and Sudan, into petty states, whose division and weakness would ensure the survival of Israel”. Indeed, it appears that a Zionist cabal is interested in a new kind of world war, one that would weaken and fragment all the enemies of Israel for decades to come, putting it in a position to surpass even the United States, who would be ruined by their ruthless military spending (just like the USSR in the 80s) and hated across the globe. Little, it would seem, stands in the way of the final phase of the Zionist plan: a thorough ethnic cleansing and the annexation of the whole of Palestine. Not without some irony, the neoconservative Stephen Schwartz, author of The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Saud, from Tradition to Terror (2003), attributed to Saudi Arabia a plan that would spread terror throughout the world (while recognizing Saudi Arabia “incapable of defending its own territory”) and blamed Islam for the emergence of a World War whose bloody unfolding will mean: “The war against terrorist Wahhabism is therefore a war to the death, as the second world war was a war to the death against fascism”.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal dated November 20th, 2001, the neoconservative Eliot Cohen speaks about the war against terrorism as “World War IV”, a framing soon echoed by other neoconservatives. In September 2004, at a conference in Washington attended by neoconservatives Norman Podhoretz and Paul Wolfowitz entitled “World War IV: Why We Fight, Whom We Fight, How We Fight”, Cohen said: “The enemy in this war is not ‘terrorism’ […] but militant Islam”. Like the Cold War (considered to be a third world war), this Fourth World War, as seen prophetically by Cohen, has ideological roots, will have global implications and will last a long time, involving a whole range of conflicts. The rhetorical device of this “fourth” global conflict has also been popularized by Norman Podhoretz, in “How to Win World War IV” published in Commentary in February 2002, followed by a second article in September 2004, “World War IV: How It Started , What It Means, and Why We Have to Win”, and finally in 2007 in a book called “World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism”.
The Bible and the Empire
Clearly, the strategists of Likud and their neoconservative allies intend to forge their legacy as those who waged and won the global annihilation of the Islamic civilization. How does one account for such hubris? One explanation lies in the very nature of the State of Israel and the leadership role held by its military since day one, not unlike the American National Security State. David Ben Gurion, who combined the functions of Prime Minister and Defense Minister, saw the whole fate of Israel integrally intertwined with its failure or success in the defeat of an Arab enemy: “Why should the Arabs make peace? If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: […] we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that? They may perhaps forget in one or two generations’ time, but for the moment there is no chance. So, it’s simple: we have to stay strong and maintain a powerful army. Our whole policy is there. Otherwise the Arabs will wipe us out” (Nahum Goldmann, The Jewish Paradox: A Personal Memoir, 1978). Thus, circumstances decree that Israel is and will be a security state.
It is, of course, also a colonizing state. Even when Levi Eshkol replaced Ben Gurion in 1963 as Prime Minister, his government could not oppose the military’s will of annexing new territories, as Ariel Sharon revealed to journalist Ze’ev Schiff shortly after the Six Days War: “We could have locked the ministers in the room and gone off with the key. We would have taken the appropriate decisions and no one would have known that the events taking place were the result of decisions by major generals” (Ha’aretz, June 1st, 2007).
Sharon is the man who, in the eyes of Israel and the world, most aptly embodies the spirit of the Israeli military and its security apparatus. He commanded Unit 101, which, on October 14th, 1953 razed the village of Qibya, Jordan, with dynamite, killing 69 civilians in their homes. In 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, a unit under his command executed more than 200 Egyptian prisoners and Sudanese civilians. In 1971, charged with putting an end to ongoing resistance in the Gaza Strip, his troops killed more than 100 Palestinian civilians. And in September 1982, acting as the Minister of Defense, he launched the invasion of Lebanon, where, after his [overseeing the] slaughter of refugees in two Palestinian camps in West Beirut he was given the nickname, “the butcher of Sabra and Chatila”. The Prime Minister at that time was Menachem Begin, once the leader of the Irgun terrorist militia, who coordinated both the attack on the King David Hotel in 1946, and the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948.
Begin, Sharon and Netanyahu’s Likud have never stopped campaigning for a Greater Israel and against a proposed Palestinian state. While Foreign Minister to Netanyahu from 1996 to 1999, Sharon described the Oslo Accords as “national suicide” and rather advocated the “biblical borders”, thereby encouraging illegal settlements: “Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours” he said on November 15th, 1998. When he came to power in February 2001, with Netanyahu in turn becoming Foreign Minister, Sharon deliberately sabotaged the peace process and set off the second intifada through a series of calculated provocations. When on March 28th, 2001, 22 nations gathered in Beirut under the auspices of the Arab League and agreed to recognize Israel if it only complied with Resolution 242, the next day, the Israeli army invaded and besieged Yasser Arafat in his headquarters in Ramallah. Six months later, September 11th brought the fatal blow to any hope of peace.
The Likud and its political allies among religious extremists are not merely opposed to the secession of Palestine; they are driven by an almost imperial vision of Israel’s destiny. In December 1981, Ariel Sharon expressed in a speech for the Institute for Strategic Affairs at Tel Aviv University: “Beyond the Arab countries in the Middle East and on the shores of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, we must expand the field of Israel’s strategic and security concerns in the eighties to include countries like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, and areas like the Persian Gulf and Africa, and in particular the countries of North and Central Africa” (as translated from Hebrew in the Journal of Palestine Studies). This speech will be canceled at the last minute because of the controversy over the annexation of the Syrian territories at Golan Heights, but it will be published shortly after the in daily Ma’ariv. This “Sharon doctrine” is found in a number of Hebrew texts, translated and published by the dissident Israel Shahak in Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies (1997). In an essay entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the Eighties” written for the World Zionist Organization in February 1982, Oded Yinon, a former senior official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, put forward a strategy to exert control over the Middle East through the fragmentation of Israel’s neighbors, beginning with Lebanon: “The total disintegration of Lebanon into five regional localized governments is the precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and the Arab peninsula, in a similar fashion. The dissolution of Egypt and later Iraq into districts of ethnic and religious minorities following the example of Lebanon is the main long-range objective of Israel on the Eastern Front. The present military weakening of these states is the short-term objective. Syria will disintegrate into several states along the lines of its ethnic and sectarian structure, as is happening in Lebanon today.”
The ideology behind Likud’s strategy and its neoconservative allies is an intransigent version of Zionism. Zionism, as its name suggests (Zion is the name given to Jerusalem 152 times in the Hebrew Bible), is before anything else a biblical dream, shaped by the biblically defined borders of Eretz Israel. “The Bible is our mandate”, proclaimed Chaim Weisman, the future first President of Israel, at the Versailles Conference in 1919. In Germany in the late 19th century, the biblical notion of a “chosen people” was translated by the founding fathers of Zionism into a racial ideology, correlative and in competition with the fantastical dream of a superior pan-Germanic Aryan race. Zionism, like Nazism, opposed the assimilationist trend of the majority of German Jews. Zeev Jabotinsky wrote in 1923, two years before Hitler’s Mein Kampf: “A Jew raised in the midst of Germans can certainly adopt German customs and speak the German language. He can become totally immersed in this German milieu, but he will always be a Jew, because his blood, his body and his racial type, his entire organic system, is Jewish”. We now know that these kinds of claims are categorically unscientific: Israeli settlers from Eastern Europe can not claim any biological descent from among the ancient Hebrews in Judea or Samaria, unlike the Palestinians they’ve evicted from their ancestral lands, and perhaps the Sephardic Jews from North Africa, once called “human garbage” by the Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and submitted to eugenic policies in the 1950s (Haim Malka, Selection and Discrimination in the Aliya and Absorption of Moroccan and North African Jewry, 1948-1956, 1998).
The Zionism of Zev Jabotinsky is as important a key as the Machiavellianism of Leo Strauss in decrypting the mentality of the men who, in Israel and in the United States, are trying to reshape the Middle East. It is, at least, a key to understand the ultimate goals of Benjamin Netanyahu, whose father, Ben Zion Netanyahu (born Mileikowsky in Warsaw), was the personal secretary of Jabotinsky. March 31st, 2009, Netanyahu appointed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, from the Yisrael Beiteinu party that presents itself as “a national movement with the clear vision to follow in the brave path of Zev Jabotinsky”. Lieberman is intent upon, “fighting Hamas just as the United States fought the Japanese during the Second World War”.
Zionism has outlived Nazism because, after the war, it was able to shamelessly capitalize on the terrible persecution of Jews in Europe and usurp the representation of the Jewish community. To do that, it had to force the forgetting of its active involvement with the Nazi regime in the 30s, which then saw the immigration of Jews to Palestine as the “solution to the Jewish problem” (see Lenni Brenner’s 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis, 2009). The pervasive legitimacy of Zionism has also relied heavily upon its biblical roots. Despite being agnostic, David Ben Gurion (born Grün), was indoctrinated by the biblical story, to the point of adopting the name of a Judean general who fought the Romans; “There can be no worthwhile political or military education about Israel without profound knowledge of the Bible”, he is quoted stating (Dan Kurzman, Ben-Gurion, Prophet of fire, 1984). While envisioning an attack against Egypt in 1948, he wrote in his diary: “This will be our revenge for what they did to our ancestors in Biblical times” (Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, 2008). The planned ethnic cleansing by Ben Gurion in 1947-48, which forced the fleeing of 750,000 Palestinians (more than half of the native population), was deeply reminiscent of that which was ordained by Yahweh against the Canaanites: “dispossess them of their towns and houses” (Deuteronomy 19:1), and, in the towns that resist, do “not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).
This dream instilled by the biblical God to His chosen people is not only racist, it is also militarist and imperialist. These verses from the second chapter of Isaiah (reproduced in Micah 4:1-3) are often held up to show the pacifist trend of the biblical prophecy: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4); but taken in context, we see that this Pax Judaica will come only when “all the nations shall flow” to the Jerusalem temple, from where “shall go forth the law” (Isaiah 2:1-3). This vision of a new world order with Jerusalem at its center resonates within the Likudnik and neoconservative circles. At the Jerusalem Summit, held from October 12th to 14th, 2003 in the symbolically significant King David Hotel, an alliance was forged between Zionist Jews and Evangelical Christians around a “theopolitical” project, one that would consider Israel, according to the “Jerusalem Declaration” published on the official website of the Summit, “the key to the harmony of civilizations”, replacing the United Nations that’s become a “a tribalized confederation hijacked by Third World dictatorships”: “Jerusalem’s spiritual and historical importance endows it with a special authority to become a center of world’s unity. [...] We believe that one of the objectives of Israel’s divinely-inspired rebirth is to make it the center of the new unity of the nations, which will lead to an era of peace and prosperity, foretold by the Prophets”. Three acting Israeli ministers spoke at the summit, including Benjamin Netanyahu, and Richard Perle, the guest of honor, received on this occasion the Henry Scoop Jackson Prize.
Jerusalem’s dream empire is expected to come through the nightmare of world war. The prophet Zechariah, often cited on Zionist forums, predicted that the Lord will fight “all nations” allied against Israel. In a single day, the whole earth will become a desert, with the exception of Jerusalem, who “shall remain aloft upon its site” (14:10). Zechariah seems to envision what God could do with nuclear weapons: “And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite all the peoples that waged war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet, their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths” (14:12). It is only after the carnage that the world will finally find peace, providing their worship of “the Lord Almighty”: “Then every one that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of booths. And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain upon them…” (14:16-17)
Is it possible that this biblical dream, mixed with the neo-Machiavellianism of Leo Strauss and the militarism of Likud, is what is quietly animating an exceptionally determined and organized ultra-Zionist clan? General Wesley Clark testified on numerous occasions before the cameras, that one month after September 11th, 2001 a general from the Pentagon showed him a memo from neoconservative strategists “that describes how we’re gonna take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan and finishing off with Iran”. Is it just a coincidence that the “seven nations” doomed to be destroyed by Israel form part of the biblical myths instilled in Israeli schoolchildren? According to Deuteronomy, when Yahweh will deliver Israel “seven nations greater and mightier than yourself […] you must utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, and show no mercy to them. You shall not make marriages with them…” (7:1-2). “And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven” (7:24).
Laurent Guyénot – Engineer (National School of Advanced Technology, 1982) and medievalist (PhD in Medieval Studies at Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2009). He has authored numerous books on the subject. He has dedicated the past three years to studying the behind-the-scenes history of the United States, where he lived for five years.
It is heartbreaking this week, despite the insatiable Signals Intelligence fiefdoms exposed by Edward Snowden, to see our elected lawmakers scrabbling for yet more mass surveillance of UK citizens.
Time and time again we are told Islamic extremists are threatening our very way of life and time after time the evidence before our eyes is that our only real threat is the home grown, party political poodles of the police state.
In this case all the emergency ‘Data Retention and Investigation Powers’ bill (DRIP) will do, if passed into law, is bring what European lawmakers say could be illegal activities of British data retention within the law. Worried that they will be prosecuted for stealing data about who innocent citizens are communicating with and when, they are rushing to shift the legal goalposts so they are no longer breaking it, hoping that crimes they already committed will be overlooked.
What a blatant abuse of power by our lawmakers. Labour’s bloodhound MP Tom Watson rightly smelt a rat when he spotted House of Commons timetables being shifted around but Downing Street knows which side its bread is buttered. Confirmation that the emergency DRIP bill was about to be bounced through parliament was handed to the London media almost 24 hours before it was announced to the Members of Parliament who have to scrutinize and vote on it in a matter of days.
And you can see why they tell the press before they tell parliament too. London’s mainstream media have forgotten how to pose questions to the securocrats. Even when earlier this week, former Director General of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove told the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) that the Islamic terror threat to Britain was grossly inflated, and that ‘Britons’ Cameron included presumably, ‘spreading blood-curdling terrorism messages should be ignored.’ By the end of the week that, was all forgotten and the Islamic threat had expanded again so much that emergency legislation was now necessary to sacrifice our freedoms by Monday.
The 7/7 bombings? Big questions never asked, let alone answered
Nine years ago this week, London saw four devastating bomb attacks which killed 56 people on three London Underground trains and a bus. To mark the occasion graffiti was daubed on the Hyde Park 7/7 memorial, saying “Blair lied thousands died” and “Four innocent Muslims”. These are views which, though quite common on the streets, particularly of Leeds where three of the four alleged bombers came from, they are never articulated in the British mass media at all.
Questions, objections and evidence raised by the long standing July 7th Truth Campaign, families of the victims and some of those caught up in the attacks still hits a cold hard wall of police, government and security service silence. Nine years and fifty broken families on, national media discussion has been reduced to safe questions about amounts of compensation money paid to families and how far to curtail civil liberties to stop ‘this kind of attack,’ as if it’s all done and dusted, ever happening again.
When the government’s so-called ‘narrative’ was published in May 2006 researchers immediately spotted glaring errors with the alleged bombers journey into London. Home Secretary John Reid was forced into the House of Commons to announce that the train the police said they caught did not run that morning. Although the official story had it they were ‘clean skins,’ it later transpired MI5 had been following them for years. Those were just two in a series of shameful omissions and embarrassing errors in a police investigation and Home Office narrative with a frighteningly short shelf life.
The London Underground CCTV cameras bristling every few yards on the tube and every bus has several, so why were no CCTV pictures ever produced which showed any of the alleged bombers in or getting onto the bombed trains or bus? Verint Systems, an Israeli firm, won the private CCTV contract five months before the attack but no questions appear to have been asked during their vetting, despite Verint’s group chairman, Kobi Alexander, running off with tens of millions of dollars, wanted by Interpol, the FBI and Wall Street regulators the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
On the morning of 7/7, Associated Press in Jerusalem reported Israel’s then Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who happened to be in London that day, had received a warning from Scotland Yard before the bombs went off. Bibi changed his plans and stayed in his hotel, the report said, instead of setting off for a conference he was due to be attending at the Great Eastern Hotel at Liverpool Street Station.
Later that day, and subsequently on the BBC’s 2009 ‘Conspiracy Files’ documentary the Israeli embassy denied getting that warning but in the German newspaper ‘Bild am Sonntag’, Mossad chief Meir Dagan confirmed – yes they got the warning and passed it to Netanyahu in his hotel before the bombs went off. Even more embarrassing than this inability to get the story straight was that the official Home Office narrative, as well as all the evidence produced at the inquest, said there was no warning: the bombings were a surprise attack.
Former police officer Peter Power, sacked from his job in the Dorset constabulary after fiddling his expenses, appeared across global television on 7/7 representing his private security firm ‘Visor Consultants’. He described a terror drill exercise he was supposedly conducting that morning envisaging bombs at the same three tube stations where the real bombs went off.
With 275 stations on the London tube network, the chances of this really being as he said, a coincidence, come out around 275 to the power of three multiplied by the number of days in the year, 365 – around a cool eight billion to one, Peter. He described it on one TV network that day as a ‘spooky coincidence.’ An oblique reference perhaps to ‘spooks,’ the nickname given to the secret services?
He subsequently revealed to the BBC that his ‘terror drill’ had been sponsored by event organizers and publishers Reed Elsevier who, until 2007, ran Britain’s biggest arms fair, the Defence Security Equipment Exhibition (DSEI), where private military companies advertise everything, right up to fighting nuclear wars for you, and by the way torture equipment is openly on sale.
The proper judicial procedure would have been a public inquiry into the attacks, which would consider evidence systematically in front of a jury. Instead an inquest, designed to investigate a single death was convened in October 2010 under Lady Justice Heather Hallett, but her all-important jury was mysteriously missing. As the inquest dragged on through 52 separate hearings, survivors, and families of the victims, complained their big questions were not being addressed.
Previous attacks in public places and on public transport across Europe such as the 1980 Bologna railway station bomb, which killed 85 people and the 1985 Brabant Supermarket massacres which killed 16, have been conclusively traced to NATO intelligence by parliamentary enquiries in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland.
If the spooks had planted the 7/7 London bombs, it would not be the first time the network of NATO & Swiss secret services known as the ‘Club of Berne’, have done so. Under the guise of national security, they live a publicly funded life far from democratic oversight, and have been proven to run secret armies, immune from prosecution, in structures that run parallel to the regular armed forces.
“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game,” stated NATO Operation Gladio soldier, Italian fascist Vincezo Vinciguerra. The objective, he explained from jail in a 1992 BBC Timewatch documentary, was “to force the people to turn to the state to ask for greater security.” Back in the 1980s the fake enemy was the Soviet Union, today it’s Islamic Extremists.
Controversial privacy law blasts pedophile enquiry questions out of the news
On the same day of this week’s ninth anniversary of 7/7, Home Secretary Theresa May announced in the House of Commons two enquiries into elite pedophile rings believed to be rooted in Westminster, connected to prominent public figures and said to have been centered around Elm Guest House in South West London. But May’s first choices to lead these enquiries are entirely unsuitable establishment figures themselves. The first, Peter Wanless, was Principle Private Secretary to three cabinet ministers including Michael Portillo and the second, Lady Butler-Sloss’s brother was attorney general when the abuse was allegedly taking place.
With all talk of who will or will not head up pedophile enquiries forgotten, the new emergency, we are being told by Prime Minister David Cameron, is that if terrorists were to attack Britain in the near future, like another 7/7, he would not want to say he had not done everything to stop them. But what Cameron isn’t saying is that his DRIP law will also help the secret state to keep a close eye on victims of child abuse, whistleblowers and their support networks.
What if this week’s real emergency is that criminals inside the Metropolitan police and secret state have known about and facilitated child abuse rings, used for political blackmail, for decades; that the two enquiries Home Secretary Theresa May set up this week might have their pliable leadership, overturned and get some real teeth, as the recent Hillsborough Independent Panel did. That the ‘well respected’ public figures that protected Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and the rest may be about to be winkled out and jailed at last.
Beginning his working life in the aviation industry and trained by the BBC, Tony Gosling is a British land rights activist, historian & investigative radio journalist.
Lower Manhattan, New York City, September 11, 2001; a shocking event leads to the declaration of the so-called global “War on Terror” lead by the United States Government.
The world changed after 9/11. Since then Governments across the world and the British Government in particular have introduced anti-terror laws that have compromised essential liberties in the society.
But that was not enough for the British officials. There was a need for another shock to the society to introduce laws to discipline those who were outspoken about the Government’s behaviors.
On the morning of July 7, 2005, Londoners started their day with panicking news. On that day, several explosions occurred on the public transport system in the city of London.
Fifty-six people, including four alleged suicide bombers, died in three explosions on the London underground and one explosion on a London bus.
Within hours, the British Government, the Metropolitan Police, Intelligence agencies and many others started to propagate stories that do not simply add up to common sense.
Nine years on and there is still no clear picture of what happened that day. British officials hoped that time will erode the ambiguities, but they are now turned to snowballs attracting more attention among the public.
Preliminary Events: Coincidence or Planned?
In May 2004, the BBC’s investigative current affairs program “Panorama” had a panel of experts discussing how Britain would react to a terrorist attack just like the future 7/7 bombings. The scenario included three explosions on the London Underground and one of a vehicle.
The program entitled “London Under Attack” depicted a fictional terrorist attack. It was presented in a documentary style as if it were really happening. Surprisingly the simulation was as similar as possible to the real event that happened months later.
On the morning of 7 July 2005, there was one more territory that has caused controversy ever since. Senior Metropolitan police officer Peter Power was conducting a tabletop exercise that morning, that not only envisaged the attacks on the Underground involving three simultaneous explosions at 3 tube stations but a bombing on a bus. Power’s scenario involved the very same underground locations that were attacked in real life that morning.
Israel is Here Again
On the morning of 7/7 In London, Israeli Finance Minister of the time, Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled for an economic conference in London but he never left his hotel room adjacent to the site of the first explosion. In the confusion after the attacks, Associated Press reported that Scotland Yard had tipped off the Israeli delegation. A senior Israeli official admitted that, minutes before the explosions it had informed the Israeli delegations that it had received warnings of possible terror attacks.
Netanyahu and Scotland Yard have since denied the reports. The story itself was being reported by other sources and traveled right around the world’s media.
The former mayor of New York and staunch Zionist, Rudi Giuliani was also in Britain. On July 6th, he appeared up in Yorkshire, where he gave a rousing pro-war on terror speech. He admired Tony Blair, while deploring the way the world had allowed terrorists to get out of control through failing to take the problem seriously enough.
What was Giuliani doing in London that morning or indeed the UK? No one has ever answered that. Was it a coincidence that Giuliani who was the mayor of New York on 9/11 was in London on just the day the London bombs went off?
The Secret Services Knew about the Threat and Colluded with the Terrorists
Although there have been suspicions and anecdotal evidence of a fifth or more bombers, the official 7/7 story claims that only four home-grown extremists were responsible for the attacks. They were Mohammed Siddique Khan age 30 from Beeston Leeds, accused of the Edgware Road blast. Shehzad Tanweer aged 22 also from Beeston, accused of the Liverpool Aldgate blast. Jamaican-born Germaine Lindsay age 19 from Aylesbury, allegedly set off the bomb at the carriage heading from Russell Square station and Hasib Hussain the youngest at just 18 said to have blown himself up on the number 30 bus outside of Tavistock Square.
One may ask why were all these radicals and potential terrorists with links to networks overseas, residing in Britain in the years leading up to 7/7? That question is a long and complex one that includes elements of collusion by the state and security services with the extremists.
In his book “7/7: What Went Wrong” former British army officer and intelligence expert Crispin Black, wrote of a secret Government policy known as the covenant of security.
He says this refers to the long-standing British habit of providing refuge and welfare to extremists on the unspoken assumption that “if we give them a safe haven they will not attack us.”
Under the covenant Britain spent years harboring preachers like Abu Hamza former Imam of the Finsbury Park mosque and Omar Bakri former leader of “Almuhajeruns” now “Muslims Against Crusades.”
In fact at various stages, both men were assets of the MI5 and the MI6.
Abu Hamza became an informant for special Branch and the MI5 in 1997 and despite his inflammatory sermons and role in recruiting for terrorism he was told that what he was doing fell under freedom of speech.
“You don’t have to worry unless we see blood on the street” the authorities told him.
While they were turning a blind eye, Hamza was training young men how to use AK-47, handguns and mock rocket launchers during country retreats. He was preparing them for the tougher times they could face overseas that the authorities also knew he was funding.
Hamza was so protected on British soil that the French even considered kidnapping him to stop him. Egypt was so concerned that they offered to swap him for a British prisoner, but they were turned down.
Richard Reid the “Shoe Bomber” was a regular attendee of Hamza’s Finsbury Park Mosque before he attempted to down American Airline’s flight 63.
Hamza’s influence also did not escape those surrounding the future 7/7 bombings. Alleged bombers Mohammed Siddique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer and Jermaine Lindsay had all attended his sermons at various stages.
It is hard to understand why there was such a careless policy of appeasement.
Was Britain really in such a position that it was safer to harbour extremists than it was to challenge them? One possibility is that the covenant was really to benefit Britain’s foreign policy goals. It’s easy for the Government to say four Muslims attacked Britain, but things get a lot more complicated when those four Muslims grew up in an extremist environment which the Government themselves permitted.
On the one hand, British citizens were told we’re fighting a war on terror but, on the other hand, their Government helped and supported the terrorists. What’s more worrying is that they may not have learned the lesson about this appeasement and collusion.
Since at least the 90s, the Government and its intelligence agencies put Britain at risk by harboring Wahhabi extremists and allowing them to groom young British men for terror overseas when it suited their foreign policy.
Paving the Way for Attacks
Despite all of the data, on June 2, 2005, just over a month before the attacks, the terror threat level was lowered, and police were moved out of the city. The official announcement stated “at present there is not a group with both the intent and the capability to attack the UK.”
So on the one hand, officials were warning about attacks on the underground and were conducting drills and exercises in preparation, yet on the other hand they lowered the threat level stating nobody was planning to attack, and had since claimed they had no inkling that anything like this was going to take place. Subsequent Government investigations have never adequately addressed this massive contradiction.
Resisting against Transparency
On May 1, 2007, survivors and relatives of those killed on July 7 2005, delivered a letter to the Home Office calling for an independent and impartial public inquiry into the attacks. That was brusquely rejected by the Government.
Perhaps what’s nonsensical and offensive is that survivors and family members of the victims had to wait five years for any judicial hearing.
What did take place was an inquest although it was long overdue. Its scope was limited, and the coroner’s main goal without certain guilt was to determine how the deaths occurred.
This proved extremely difficult because there were no internal post-mortems carried out on the bodies. There was no forensic evidence from the scenes as to what explosives were used. There was no CCTV on the trains or buses to verify the conflicting eyewitness’ reports and even the locations of the blasts in relation to the passengers have not been adequately determined.
The Home Office narrative gives locations for 3 of the alleged bombers on the tube and says that all of them took off their rucksacks containing the bombs, putting them on the floor and blew themselves up and killed those people. But the problem is that the Metropolitan police entered into evidence at the inquest a series of diagrams that do not for the most part, correspond with where the Home Office narrative says the explosions took place. So to talk about the official story of what exactly happened is a falsehood. There isn’t any accurate and clear official story.
The British establishment theory is that there was a conspiracy of four home-grown suicide bombers who were not known to the intelligence agencies, who attacked in London using home-made bombs with no outside help.
The MI5 were not challenged, or cross-examined at the inquest. It rejected recommendations put forward by the families to help prevent this happening in the future.
James Eadie QC arrogantly stated : “The evidence simply does not give rise to any concern about other deaths in the future or continuing risk.”
This echoed the King’s Cross Underground fire of 1987 when the authorities failed to implement recommendations even by 2005.
Consecutive Governments Tried to Hide Something?
Nick Clegg and David Cameron picked up on the events when they were in opposition and scalded Blair for rejecting the public’s wishes.
But now the coalition is in full swing. They too have shown no interest in getting to the truth behind Britain’s most devastating terrorist atrocity. Rather than becoming more transparent about their actions and protocols and more importantly their collusion with the very terrorists that citizens are supposed to be protected from, in November 2011 foreign secretary William Hague revealed plans to restrict further the ability of courts to discuss in public the work of the MI5 and the MI6, who suggested intelligence data should only be discussed in secret court hearing.
If that was the case following 7/7, we may not have been privy to most of the information covered in this report. What exactly are they trying to hide?